Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon 16

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

1. 88,544 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (I’d just started making changes based on beta’s suggestions, but I had to set it aside to work on short story)

2. Short story: 4399 words

3. Comic spec script done (one issue written a couple of years ago with nowhere to submit it to), but no outline for entire series

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 88,805 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (edits based on beta’s suggestion complete and turned in to publisher)

2. Short story: 9988 words (first draft done and turned in to editor)

3. Comic spec script, pitch and outline complete (2251 words for outline/pitch), turned in to Oni Press for their open submissions period (it’s rare to find a comic publisher that will accept pitches from writers without artists).

WIP Issues This Month: Juggling fiction writing, work writing and travel nervousness.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. I can somehow juggle multiple projects at once.

2. I can go a long time (over a year!) without an agent and prospects for my future writing but apparently still feel okay about it. (A successful new release helps with that!)

3. Writing for the comic medium is interesting; your descriptions are only going to be seen by an artist and editor, so you have to rely on visual cues and dialogue alone to tell the story.

4. People can have vastly differing views on your writing. (It seems obvious, but they really, really can!)

What distracted me this month while writing: I’m posting this ahead of time because I’m due at Book Con in NYC Saturday to sign NOBODY’S GODDESS! 0-0 (Hopefully I’ll make it in time to add my name to the blog list.) It’s going to be amazingly fun as both a reader and a writer. I’m also just touring NY (as I tend to do yearly to visit my bf’s family) for a week! I didn’t have as much work this month, but I was still busy–I got a fellow author client (my favorite kind!) and have been working on editing a manuscript for her. I also attended a small local authors fair back home before I left for NY. Plus, Amazon selected NOBODY’S GODDESS as a feature in one of their newsletters and sales have really picked up this month. I’m excited to have all these new readers!

Goal for next month: I have my first round edits for the short story due in a couple of weeks (and may be able to announce what that’s all about next month). If I get first round edits for NEVER VEIL 2, I can start working on that, but I’m not sure when those are coming. It might be time to get back into manuscript drafting and tackle that YA suspense I wanted to start over from scratch… I don’t know… I have some editing to do for other authors as well.

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Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 15

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  1. 88,537 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (first edits complete, sent off to beta, but I hadn’t had a chance to go over her edits for the first few chapters yet)

2. Short story: Just an outline

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 88,544 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (I’d just started making changes based on beta’s suggestions, but I had to set it aside to work on short story)

2. Short story: 4399 words

(I also write a short 2000-ish-word scene from the lord’s POV for my NOBODY’S GODDESS book tour.)

WIP Issues This Month: Finding time to write and getting back into drafting–I hadn’t drafted since November!

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. It’s really hard for me to juggle fiction writing with work writing, but I try anyway. 0-o

2. You can feel like your first draft of something is crap but have to keep pushing through it when you’re on a tight deadline.

3. It’s hard for me to avoid info-dumping in a short story. Maybe I’ll fix it in revisions.

4. Enthusiasm for your debut is a great mood-booster!

What distracted me this month while writing: So much! I participated in the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt in early April and made an appearance on a lot of blogs to promote NOBODY’S GODDESS, both for my book tour and as guest spots. NOBODY’S GODDESS released on the 21st, yay. It was also my birthday and my boyfriend’s birthday the week before. Plus, we went to C2E2 in Chicago just yesterday.

Goal for next month: I have to finish and polish up this short story–it’s on deadline for something I can’t announce yet, but it will be published! (Assuming they don’t think it sucks after reading it. ;-; It was taken on outline, so…) Even though I have a lot of work this weekend, I really want to finish it before Monday. Then I have to finish my beta-suggested edits for NEVER VEIL 3 because it’s due to my publisher June 1st and she turned in all her suggestions, so it’s just waiting on me! That’s enough for me, so no other writing goals for the month! And I’ll be traveling to NY the last week of May to do my first book signing–at BookCon!

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #14

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  88,294 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (almost done with first edits)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 88,537 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (first edits complete, sent off to beta, but I haven’t had a chance to go over her edits for the first few chapters yet)

WIP Issues This Month: Finding time to work on it, really. I did devote a few weeks to proofreading my friend’s book instead (while she worked on beta’ing mine and wrote another manuscript–she’s a busy bee!), but it was really hard for me to find time to edit at all, let alone write. I guess that’s good that I’ve been busy with work. (I’ve also been busy gearing up for NOBODY’S GODDESS promotions!)

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Working had on first edits is worth it–my beta reader noticed I’d improved on certain issues!

2. It can be hard to balance the time you spend on your writing with all the work and other stuff you need to do–even when you’re really trying to fit it all in. (*same lesson as last month, lol)

3. Promoting my book is fun but time-consuming.

4. I certainly take a lot of time off between writing manuscripts sometimes.

What distracted me this month while writing: Work and proofreading for a friend. Month9 put together a blog tour for NOBODY’S GODDESS that will start late next month and I made it into the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt in early April! Fellow WIP Marathoner Suzanne van Rooyen is even on the same team. (Team Gold!)

Goal for next month: I need to do edits to NEVER VEIL 3 as my beta reader’s suggestions come in, but she’s really busy, so we might not finish in April. I intend to do even more promotion for NOBODY’S GODDESS since it’s release month: April 21st! I still don’t feel up to going back to writing something new, unless opportunities come up. Right now my goal is to get back into writing this summer.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #13

I just realized we’ve been doing the monthly check-ins for over a year now!

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  88,514 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (first draft finished in November but first edits needed)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 88,294 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but I added a few thousand words for an entire new scene and have also subtracted a few thousand words while reading it)

WIP Issues This Month: Ever since I went through the editorial wringer with my Month9 book, I’ve gotten better at editing–a good thing, naturally. But that means I’m applying lessons learned at this stage, my very first read-through of my draft, and it’s significantly slowed my pace. My biggest issue is I talk about where characters are looking or where their eyes are, in addition to having a few extra words like “I noticed…” I had to decrease those in NOBODY’S GODDESS and this time I’m trying to save my editor some work by addressing the bulk of them from the get-go right now. But man, I feel like I have to edit every other sentence!

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. I find I have a lot of the same types of sentences if I’m looking for them.

2. It can be hard to balance the time you spend on your writing with all the work and other stuff you need to do–even when you’re really trying to fit it all in.

3. While writing and editing, you go through phases when you love your work and phases when you hate it. That’s normal, I assume!

4. Reviews coming in for your book are scary but exciting–and a great review can really make me happy!

What distracted me this month while writing: This was the end of January, but to update from last month, we really did enjoy ALA Midwinter and came back with so many books. (Have I read any yet? Nope! I had too many others I wanted to get to first.) I had work for a few new clients and it didn’t seem like I had time to edit as much as I’d like–and my “cheat” for squeezing editing in anywhere (doing it on my Kindle and jotting down notes on what to change) doesn’t work so well when you want to change every other sentence. 😛

We revealed the prologue for NOBODY’S GODDESS this month! If you missed it, check it out here.

Goal for next month: I have to finish these initial edits for NEVER VEIL 3 and send it off to my beta–which I honestly think I’ll be able to do this weekend, yay. Ideally, I’d even make her suggested changes to the draft by the end of March so I can turn it in to my publisher in April, but that’s just the earliest I can turn it in–I have until June if neither of us can get the work done fast enough. 😉 (I should have edited much sooner if I wanted to turn it in sooner!) I also have some proofreading to do for her on a project I betaed a few years ago, so there will be NO time or desire for writing this month.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #12

I’m writing this ahead of time, although hopefully I’ll be able to post my link. I’m off to ALA Midwinter today! (Not as a librarian. Just as a book lover. And an author, I suppose!)

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  1. 85,589 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS, latest round of revisions done and sent back to publisher

2. 88,514 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (first draft finished in November but first edits needed)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 1. 85,048 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS, FINAL round of revisions complete and sent back to publisher! (Looks like I did nothing, but I did re-read it in its entirety yet again!)

2. 88,514 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3… Oops. Yeah, I actually did nothing for that one!

WIP Issues This Month: Getting back into the groove of writing and/or editing. I did edit NOBODY’S GODDESS because I had a looming deadline, but somehow I just haven’t found the time and/or motivation to get to editing NEVER VEIL 3 like I need to.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Promoting my book is a lot of fun and I wish I could get paid to do that instead of work so much, ha.

2. You can find typos (very few) even after you’ve read a book a dozen times and like 10 others have edited it!

3. I really need to figure out how to get to the place between work-hard-on-manuscript-every-day and barely-do-anything-for-it-all-month.

4. I’m apparently afraid of diving into a big edit.

What distracted me this month while writing: Quite a lot! I helped my boyfriend move, so the packing, moving and unpacking took us a while. We’re headed to ALA Midwinter in Chicago today, too. My cover reveal for NOBODY’S GODDESS was so much fun! (And I love my cover!) You can see it all over my website, but in case you otherwise missed it:

Nobody's Goddess Cover Smaller

Goal for next month: I STILL need to add a new scene to NEVER VEIL 3 and fix a few things and then start the whole beginning-to-end read-through before passing it along to my beta. That’s been my goal for two months now and it just hasn’t happened. It’s been almost a year since I’ve been agent-less, too, and I feel sad thinking about how I’ll have nothing to query anytime soon, but I really need to finish NEVER VEIL 3’s initial edits before I get back to any of my on-hiatus manuscripts (or start something new). I also plan to start direct-subbing my project agents passed on last year soon.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #11

Happy (almost) 2015, fellow WIP Marathoners! 🙂 I love checking in with you each month. Even when I don’t get much done, it helps to remind me to get back on track. Congrats to all of you on your writing and editing this year, and good luck next year!

Things I’m Glad I Did In 2014:

  1. I finished 3 manuscripts, including both books 2 and 3 of NEVER VEIL. (Well, the drafts are finished, anyway!) 2/3 of the manuscripts I’d done some work on in previous years, but it was still nice to get to “The End.”
  2. I got to announce my book deal! (I kept it secret in late 2013 waiting for the go-ahead to announce.) It’s been fun getting to know readers who are looking forward to the book and willing to give a new author a chance.

In 2015, I’ll love to:

  1. Celebrate the release of NOBODY’S GODDESS! (Hopefully in April. And I’m hoping the cover reveal will be much sooner than that. I’ve seen the mockups and can’t wait to share!)
  2. Sign at BookCon (I hope it works out) and/or do signings locally or visit schools.
  3. Complete another manuscript and try for an agent again.
  4. Direct submit my agent-rejected manuscript to smaller publishers because I still believe in it. (I’m still waiting on a few responses, but I doubt I’ll get an agent with it after all.)

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  1. 88,426 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3–first draft done

2. 82,790 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS (NEVER VEIL 1), in the process of revising

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 1. 88,514 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (I spent very little time on it)

2. 85,589 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS, latest round of revisions done and sent back to publisher

WIP Issues This Month: Oops. After that first week, when I was finishing up the latest NOBODY’S GODDESS edits for my deadline, I really barely did any writing or editing at all. So… Finding the time and motivation to get back into it.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. December is not a good time for me to write.

2. You can resurrect scenes you liked you long ago cut out when an editor suggests something and you think you have the perfect thing to address that in your reject folder. (Yay!)

3. You wind up reading a manuscript MANY times before publication. Many. Good thing I love my characters!

4. Juggling writing, work and so much else can be hard.

What distracted me this month while writing: The holidays! Not just the actual celebrations (I’ve had two so far :)), but preparing for them took up a lot of my free time, and I don’t even consider myself someone who goes overboard. Also, work picked up a little (yay) and multiple people in my life, including me, got sick, so that sucked. (I seemed to have it easiest with a head cold, though.) I saw The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, but it was my least favorite of all six LotR films. (Yet I want to see it again.) I also got distracted by Super Smash Bros. throughout the month.

I don’t usually mention my reads here, but My True Love Gave to Me was the PERFECT December read for me and gave me many warm fuzzies.

Goal for next month: My editor tells me I may get the final round of revisions to do and approve in January for NOBODY’S GODDESS–that’s right, the FINAL round. It’s off to the printers after that! So that will come first, of course. I do want to add a new scene to NEVER VEIL 3 and fix a few things and then start the whole beginning-to-end read-through before passing it along to my beta, but I have time before it’s due and may not get to it. (My goal last month was to start it and I barely did, so…) I hope to, though. I have no plans to draft anything new or work on any of the other projects on hiatus this month, though.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #10

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count: 1. 23,897 words and 10 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3

2. 85,221 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS (NEVER VEIL 1)–I hadn’t touched it in months and was waiting on the next round of revisions, which I got back in early November… When I got it back, my stellar editor helped me cut down some wordiness, so it was 82,854 words and 26 chapters before I began work on the next round (wow, a good editor can really help you streamline things!).

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 1. 88,426 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3–first draft done! Woot! It took me 45 days (not bad at all) and I started the month of NaNoWriMo with 33,000-ish words–and managed to add 50,000 to “win” the month’s challenge by November 20th.

2. 82,790 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS (NEVER VEIL 1), in the process of revising

WIP Issues This Month: Not many again! Writing has gone well for me the past couple of months. I need to watch for repetitive phrases. (I tend to have people cross their arms and I write about people’s eyes a lot.)

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. When I can write a draft relatively quickly, I feel much happier about the writing process. (It took me 5 months to write NEVER VEIL 2, even though it was 20k shorter and I started with 10k already written! 0_O)

2. Watch for “I saw X do this” or “I felt X happen” type of sentences in first person POV because they just add lots of extra words. My editor cut them all down (to like “X did this” and “X happened”)  and the sentences read smoother.

3. Taking time to write something you really want to write, even though you know it won’t help you reach your new writing goals (I can’t get a new agent with NEVER VEIL 3, but I wanted to write it more than I wanted to write something new), can help you get your writing mojo back. (So I won’t have a new agent this year… Perhaps not even next year. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean it’ll never happen again or even if it doesn’t… *shrugs* What can I do?)

4. Finishing a trilogy is very satisfying! (Although there are years of revisions ahead.)

What distracted me this month while writing: I didn’t do much this month besides fiction write (even my client work has decreased, boo), so that might explain why I did so well. (If only I could make that my full-time job and not feel guilty about not business writing as much. *sigh*) I saw Mockingjay Part 1 twice because I love the Hunger Games books and films with every fiber of my being. 🙂 (Reading the trilogy inspired me to get serious about fiction writing after almost a decade of floundering.) I saw a couple of other good movies, too. (Big Hero 6, Interstellar, Birdman and Nightcrawler.) I’m not big on Thanksgiving, but we had a couple of nice, small gatherings.

Goal for next month: Wrap up this round of revisions for NOBODY’S GODDESS (due December 7th). Start revisions for NEVER VEIL 3–maybe even finish the first round and get it ready for my beta reader, but with the holidays and plenty of time before my due date (June 1st! I’m hoping I can turn it in a few months early, though), I’m in no rush. I just want to work on it, you know? And I don’t feel up to diving into a new (or on-hiatus) WIP just yet.

Winner-2014-Square-Button

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #9

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  0 words (outline completed over two years ago, though)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 23,897 words and 10 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (That “new WIP” I started over the summer is on hold for the foreseable future; I never could bring myself to finish the outline even.)

WIP Issues This Month: Not many!  This was the first month I’ve done well in quite a while. I totally planned for November to be this big writing push since I wanted to do NaNoWriMo, but I knew the 50,000 words I was aiming for in that month wouldn’t be a first draft for NEVER VEIL 3, and I was tired of waiting to start. I finally convinced myself to start and so far it’s gone pretty quickly! I haven’t had days where I’m just staring at the page. Some days I struggle to turn off distractions and devote a block of my time to writing, though.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. You CAN get your writing mojo back, even after feeling like you never will.

2. Having a passion for your characters helps push you to write.

3. Going off-outline can lead to very interesting surprises.

4. Writing is fun! (I re-learned that.)

What distracted me this month while writing: Not too much. I had less client work, which isn’t a good thing for my pocketbook, even if it frees up more time for writing. I visited the David Bowie Is exhibit in Chicago mid-month, and that was fun. (See photos here.) Some GOOD things are happening “behind the scenes” this time as far as my books/writing/editing goes, but I can’t talk about them yet. Maybe by next check-in!

Goal for next month: Successfully complete NaNoWriMo! (But also, don’t feel bad if I can’t write that much. My friend pointed out at this rate, I probably will have written 50k in 30 days regardless, I just started earlier.) I hope that brings me to the end of a first draft for NEVER VEIL 3, but I can see it quite possibly not being enough words yet. (The conclusion is a long one!) Still, I’ll be a heck of a lot closer.

Many of you are already my buddies on NaNoWriMo (can’t wait to cheer you on if you’re participating this year!), but if you’re not, please add me! (Click the logo.)

Participant-2014-Web-Banner

Oh, also fellow WIPMarathoner Suzanne and I interviewed each other recently for the Month9Books blog! Keep an eye out for our announcement on Twitter whenever those interviews appear.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #8

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  3287 words and 1 1/2 chapters (New WIP)

Current report WC + CC/ SC:  3287 words and 1 1/2 chapters (New WIP)–no progress (I wrote like two paragraphs in the outline if that counts for something; ha, it was on the last marathon update day, too)

WIP Issues This Month: This is the second month in a row I haven’t worked on fiction writing seriously. So I really have no business making this update! I’ve been busy, but I’ve also been down in the dumps about writing due to some things going on behind the scenes. I can’t find the motivation to dive back in. I WILL by November, though, for NaNoWriMo. I hope earlier. I want to start NEVER VEIL 3 by then. (Putting the above new WIP on hold–although I did want to finish the outline for that at least. But the motivation isn’t there.)

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Other authors struggle, too. (It was nice hearing from those who’ve “made it” at Fierce Reads, and how they still have doubts.)

2. Going too long without fiction writing is a bad idea.

3. Editing other people’s writing at least gives me a kind of satisfaction and helps motivate me a little.

4. There’s only so much that’s under my control as a writer, and that’s the writing, so I need to get back to that.

What distracted me this month while writing: I’ve been busy with work, but I also visited NYC for my 7th time with my boyfriend to visit his family! (And Melissa Giorgio, who coincidentally lives near them!) I did a writeup of the Fierce Reads event we attended here, and posted photos here. We did a lot of bookish and Japanese culture things because my favorite hobbies are anime, reading and comics. It was our first time visiting Strand Bookstore as well!

Goal for next month: Maybe finish the outline for the new WIP, although it’s not very important. (At this stage, I’ve given up having anything to show a potential agent for a year or more!) Possibly start NEVER VEIL 3. The outline is done. I should just dive in, a little bit at a time. Maybe it’ll help me work up to the insanity that is 50,000 words in November.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Report #7

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count: 1. 69,577 words and 28 chapters (NEVER VEIL 2)–working on post-beta edits

2. 3287 words and 1 1/2 chapters (New WIP)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 1. 70,052 words and 28 chapters (NEVER VEIL 2)–first draft done and sent to publisher

2. 3287 words and 1 1/2 chapters (New WIP)–no progress made on this or even on the outline, *sigh*

WIP Issues This Month: I didn’t work on my WIPs at all on any day in August. (That last bit of editing on NEVER VEIL 2 was done in late July.) So my issues were… finding the time and motivation to do that. And I failed. Except I was busy with other things, too.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. A month off from fiction writing hopefully doesn’t make me a failure as a writer.

2. Editing other writers’ works can help me step back from my own writing and get some perspective.

3. The longer I go without working on fiction writing, the harder it is to get back into the groove.

4. There is such a thing as too many story ideas.

What distracted me this month while writing: I spent a lot of time this month beta reading the last book in the Silver Moon Saga (it was over 110,000 words ^^), and it was bittersweet to say goodbye to the characters (until the next time I read it, which should be soon!) I’ve grown to love for years now. There were some periods in which I had more freelance work than others, and I did some editing for potential clients I’m excited (and nervous) about hopefully having a chance of working with. And… I got one of my dream freelancing opportunities! For at least the next month, if not longer, I’ll be a Daily Streaming Anime Reviewer for Anime News Network for three shows. My boyfriend and I also visited the Chicago Botanical Gardens for the first time earlier in the month, and it was a lot more fun than I even expected it to be.

Goal for next month: I did finish NEVER VEIL 2, but I didn’t get any work done on the outline for the new WIP. This month I already know I’ll be really busy for a week at least, so I don’t imagine I’ll get a lot of writing done. I still haven’t decided if I should dive into NEVER VEIL 3 yet or not–I’ve had enough of a break from the series to justify going back now–but I would like to finish the new WIP’s outline at minimum first. And if I start it beforehand, I’ll be breaking the NaNoWriMo rules if I work on it in November. Not that that’s important!