Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 20

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

Nothing on a new YA suspense manuscript (Well… You can count the 20 chapters and 53,910 words I wrote during my first go at this manuscript back in 2012, but I’m doing a page one rewrite with different characters and a supernatural element removed so 70-80% of that will be scrapped.)

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA SUSPENSE: 15,706 words, 6 chapters

WIP Issues This Month: Setting myself up with unrealistic expectations. I’m probably in the minority of writers in that the first draft is my least favorite aspect of writing. I just get weighed down by the tens of thousands of words still ahead of me and wish I could finish a draft in 10 days every time. (I did it once! Of course, I wound up adding 30k in edits over the next few years, but still.) 5000 words a day for 10 days seems doable on paper… Ha, but it’s only rarely doable for me.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Drafting doesn’t always come easily for me. (Not really a new lesson!)

2. I’m strangely very interested in marketing my books after they’re out when I have a draft I should be working on–probably because I don’t want to draft.

3. I feel like I’m not a “real writer” if I don’t say that writing is my favorite part of being a writer (does that make sense?), but it’s not. I have moments where it’s amazing, but it usually feels like a chore until I get to editing and the excitement of hoping the manuscript has a future.

4. Publishing is slow.

What distracted me this month while writing: Not too much. I tried to work on the manuscript every day, even if just a few hundred words. I spent a day in Chicago earlier in the month and attended a local cartoonist’s fair, both of which were fun.

Goal for next month: I might be getting my 2nd round of edits for NOBODY’S LADY in October, so that’ll have to take priority, but naturally, I want to continue working on writing the YA SUSPENSE and I actually have to start a new idea soon, too. I’m going to NYC again for a week, so that’ll put a dent in my progress, as I’m usually too exhausted and busy to get much done while on vacation. I hope I don’t lose my (slow-going) momentum on the project if I take a break, though.

Oh, I’m participating in YASH again in early October with NOBODY’S GODDESS! Stop by to win prizes and play along. 😀

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 #10


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.


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 #4

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count: 1.51,128 words and 21 1/2 chapters (NOBODY’S GODDESS/THE NEVER VEIL 2)

2. 50,250 words and chapter count no longer relevant because I wrote in a crazy, skip-to-scenes-I-want-to-write-most way. (NaNoWriMo project–not touched since November!)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 1. 67,566 words and 28 chapters (NOBODY’S GODDESS 2)–first draft done, yay!

2. 53,861 words and chapters still not quite relevant because I haven’t fixed it (NaNoWriMo project)

WIP Issues This Month: I started this month off with a bang–I was so productive and finished the NG2 draft by May 8th! That made me really happy and I was looking forward to tackling my next goal (after putting NG2 aside for a time to get some distance from it), finishing the NaNoWriMo project that had been on hiatus since November. I had to re-read it in its entirety before I could begin, really, because I’d been working on another world. I did that over about a week and a half and was able to make some edits as I went along. And it felt nice at first. I was starting to think, “Why did I burn out on this? It really isn’t that bad! In fact, it’s kind of good for being out of my comfort zone!” Then after re-reading what I had, I tackled trying to finish the draft and… totally hit a wall. ;-;

Meanwhile, at the same time, I got really busy with other things, and even thought I DO have time to write every day recently, I’m not making much progress at all, which depresses me. Every time I sit to write, it just isn’t flowing. So gone are my dreams of finishing the first draft of the NaNoWriMo by the end of May. (It SHOULD have been possible–I seriously didn’t need more than 5000-10,000 words to finish!) Now I’m wondering if I have to put that aside AGAIN to start NG2 edits, considering that’s due to the publisher August 1st and I need to give my betas time to read and then edit again after they read. *sigh* I’m not in a very confident author mood right now, but I’m making a little progress.

Four things I learned this month in writing:  1. I’ll always be going through good and bad writing phases. (So I hope I get out of this funk soon.)

2. It’s entirely possible to want to change some relatively small but still important things in book 1 of a series AFTER you already turned in the edits because of what came out while writing book 2. (Hope I get a chance to do so during the next round of edits!) Editing doesn’t end… 0_o

3. Beating myself up over not accomplishing as much as I’d like to is a bad idea (but I knew that and do it anyway).

4. My goals aren’t always realistic. Since I assume I’ll ALWAYS be able to write a decent amount each day when that’s clearly not the case.

What distracted me this month while writing: I’ve been trying to clean my ENTIRE house in the hopes of moving this year. (Don’t know when or where yet, just downsizing.) I’ve been tackling the big move clean up for seriously 10 years, but not every day like I have for the past week and a half. And there’s always more to be done, and I’ve been prepping myself to part with some things I didn’t originally want to get rid of, so there’s more cleaning to do. I’m also trying to ebay a lot of the stuff I’m parting with, and that’s a huge hassle, but my paying work has been light this month (which is both good and bad ;-;) so I have to do something to try to offset the decrease in income. Unfortunately, most auctions are almost too much of a pain to justify what little I earn off of something!

I’m still querying FALL FAR FROM THE TREE when I find the time (and I entered TheWVoice early on in the month but didn’t move on to the next round)–but between EVERYTHING ELSE, I’m not sending out as many queries as I’d like! So far, I’m pretty happy with the responses–I’m averaging a 12.3% request rate, which is more than NOBODY’S GODDESS got originally (and that one got me an agent!). 🙂 No offers, obviously. (I’d let you all know!)

Goal for next month: I need to do my first edits on NG2 and get it off to my beta(s). I really wanted to finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo and get that off to my beta(s), too, but I can’t give them both at once! I’m having a hard time deciding which to do first because I’d hoped to have the NaNoWriMo draft done by now but that’s obviously not happening. *sigh* Maybe I need to go back to NG2, brain shift though it may be, to jumpstart my writing muse.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Report #2

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count: 40,127 words and 16 and a bit more chapters

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 47,969 words and 20 chapters

WIP Issues This Month: I won’t lie–my progress over the past four weeks has been abysmal. I mean, any bit of progress is better than nothing, right? But I ought to have been much further along than this. Especially considering I had one really, really good day and wrote like half of what I did the whole month on that day. I’m not stuck–I have an outline and I’m trying to just finish a draft without thinking about the little problems with the story starting to nag at me (too much)–but writing has been a struggle lately. On the plus side, I’ve reached the point in the synopsis I’d been most looking forward to write, so maybe that’ll spur me forward.

Four things I learned this month in writing:  1. Beating myself up over a small word count is counter-productive. (But I keep doing it anyway.)

2. I don’t always write first drafts quickly! (Well, I mean, I have some unfinished WIPs, but before this, the two manuscripts I’ve finished were drafted in under a couple of months.)

3. Years later (and with editors’ help) after drafting, I can still think of ways to improve my manuscripts. ^^

4. I have to keep going. I have to keep going….

What distracted me this month while writing: I got sick about halfway through the month–I was on antibiotics, but I was hardly so sick I wouldn’t be able write for days on end, but that’s what happened anyway. Blame it on my mood, I guess. I got some sad news on my writing-career front about the same time that I had to deal with and led to another task that took up a bit of my time this month, but I’m trying not to disclose too much.

Goal for next month: I actually have to put the WIP (Never Veil Series 2) aside! Well, I’ll keep working on it here and there as much as I can, but it’s second priority since I’m starting the first post-book-sale edits for Nobody’s Goddess (Never Veil Series 1, The Veiled Man’s Goddess’ new title) and they’re due at the end of the month. So my goal is to finish this round of edits and write more of the WIP, but I won’t be surprised if my word count hasn’t gone up much in a month’s time!

Last 200 words: Can’t because it’s a sequel.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Check-In #7 (3)

I had kind of a hellish, busy week, so I wrote only on Sunday and Wednesday. *sigh* I might still write today, but since I have so much else to do, I’m not sure I’ll be able to. *sighs again* I’ll count any words today toward next week, then.

Last Check-in Wordcount + ChapterCount (+ scene count if you’re revising): 19,391 words and seven chapters

Current WC + CC (or SC): 21,839 words and eight and a half chapters

WIP Issues this week: Not too many issues with the WIP itself, just finding the time and energy to write.

What I learned this week in writing: I’m still working “off-synopsis” in a way. (I’m expanding on a few sentences in the synopsis that didn’t go into detail.) It’s quite possible to plot and pants at the same time!

What distracted me this week while writing: A lot of work and a lot of stress.

Last 200 words: Can’t.

I have news I’ll be able to share soon! I know at least one of you saw it and was kind enough to give me a shout-out about it anyway. 😉 But I’m waiting for the big announcement next week.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Check-In #6 (2)

I only managed to fiction write three days this week (so much for aiming for 5-6 days per week), but I still made some progress.

Last Check-in Wordcount + ChapterCount (+ scene count if you’re revising): 14,947 words and 5 1/2 chapters

Current WC + CC (or SC): 19,391 words and seven chapters

WIP Issues this week: I’m still having a little trouble keeping my tenses straight, but it’s getting better. Instead of writing almost every sentence in present tense and then having to fix it, it’s like 1 in 10 in present.

What I learned this week in writing: I’m working off a synopsis and this entire section that probably needs to be 5-ish chapters is like two sentences in my synopsis because it didn’t seem that important, just part of a slow build-up. So it’s kind of been fun discovering how I’m making those two sentences come to life. More drama and tension that I anticipated, which is good.

What distracted me this week while writing: Work, so much work. I saw a couple of movies this week, too.

Last 200 words: Can’t share due to spoilers.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon Intro

Back in August, I participated in a “WIPMarathon” put together by some of the other writers I follow on Twitter. Unlike NaNoWriMo, the WIPMarathon allows for personal, flexible goals: If you only want to edit and not write a new WIP, that’s totally fine. Whether you want to write 100 words or 2000 words a day, that’s totally up to you! And everyone’s a winner. 😀

I used the marathon to motivate myself to work harder on a YA fantasy I’d started the month before, and I actually finished the first draft that month! I wrote over 55,000 words in under a month to do so, too.

This time the WIPMarathon is running for two months: December and January. It’s not too late to join!

Learn more about the WIPMarathon and sign up here!

Marathon Goal: Well, I’m going to be honest and say that the first week of the WIPmarathon, I don’t plan to do a thing. Maybe brainstorm a tiny bit. But I desperately need a break from my creative projects after a lackluster NaNoWriMo.

After that, I have a number of things potentially going on, so it’s going to be a bit of a mixed bag of goals:

-Do edits (like a 6th or 7th revision? I can’t remember anymore!) on a YA fantasy

-Continue work on a YA fantasy WIP (currently 9591 words, needs to be a full first draft in a few months)

-Do edits (2nd revision) on a different YA fantasy (the one I finished during the last WIPMarathon)

…Those things are all my top priorities, but they also depend on talking with other people, and that depends on their schedules, so I’m not ready to dive into them quite yet. But I will be soon, I hope! I’ll definitely be working on at least some of them before the WIPMarathon is over.

My not-as-important optional goals to keep me busy when/if the above goals can’t happen are to finish the first draft of either my NA romance from NaNoWriMo (50,250 words at the moment) and/or a YA suspense I wrote last year (53,910 words currently). Both of these sputtered to a halt because I just felt that things were off about them. I’m not even sure I know how to fix them or if I can summon the ideas to at least finish drafts and try to fix them later. I think the YA suspense might even need close to a page-one rewrite. I just don’t know.

Stage of writing: See above. Five projects I’m juggling here! Two in revisions and three in drafting.

What inspired my current project: Reading The Hunger Games a couple of years ago really inspired me to get serious about my writing again. I wrote the first draft of the first YA fantasy mentioned while on a HG high. (Not that there’s much in common, I suppose, but there are some dystopian elements.)

What might slow down my marathon goal:  Having five separate projects to work on for starters! Other than that, the holidays and keeping my motivation up. (And trying to fight the desire to give up on those two unfinished drafts.)

Best time of the day for writing: I work from home (as a writer), so my schedule is pretty flexible. I probably write best in the afternoons if I have the time.

Posted in Writing

NaNoWriMo Check-In #4 (Final)


My first official NaNoWriMo is at an end! I “won,” but I don’t feel like a winner. I know I am just for working on one WIP every single day this month and writing so much, but since I lost all passion for this WIP, it doesn’t feel like a winning experience. Oh, and I didn’t even finish a first draft. I don’t know how much more is needed (not a ton more, but still), or if I’ll ever finish this one.

Initial Wordcount + ChapterCount:  36,601 words and 11 chapters (+ some work on a scene ahead I skipped to)

Current WC + CC: 50,250 words and chapter count no longer relevant because I wrote in a crazy, skip-to-scenes-I-want-to-write-most way. I even wrote the last few chapters despite there being so much missing in between. (Btw, my official NaNo stats say 50,019 because the counter is different, I guess. But I’ll stick with Word’s word count since that’s what I usually do.)

WIP Issues this week:  I did a bit better this week than last week, mostly because that “50k” goal was in sight and I found it easier to skip ahead to the scenes that seemed like they’d be most fun to write than to plod on chronologically. However, I was still sad that I wasn’t feeling the love for this manuscript. And I knew I was producing a mess by skipping scenes. Still, I figured out some sticky plot points even in this jumbled way I might not have otherwise.

What I learned this week in writing: I can produce something in the write-every-day-even-if-you-don’t-want-to way, but if I don’t have the passion for the project, it’s a struggle. I have written two projects I really loved every step of the way, even through all the edits, even through first drafts (which I wrote pretty fast because I loved them!), so it’s not just a “all writers hate their stuff at some point” thing going on here. I’ve hated most of my works, but not the ones I’ve put my faith in and shown other people. This one is sadly in the “this is not a good one” pile.

What distracted me this week while writing: Not too much. A little work earlier in the week. Two Thanksgiving dinners. 😀

Last 200 words: Spoilers, but also I’ve gotten too embarrassed by this manuscript to share.

nanowrimo progress

And… I continue on to the WIP Marathon for December and January! Blog post coming up after this one.

Who else participated in NaNoWriMo? How did you do?