Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 28

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 67,323 words, 27 chapters + epilogue–first revisions done, off to beta, some subsequent revisions done.

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 67,664 words, 28 chapters + epilogue–post-beta copyedits done (I didn’t add another chapter–she discovered I named two chapters the same number, ha)

WIP Issues This Month: I barely, barely worked on editing/fiction writing. My life kind of blew up in a dozen different ways and it’s been difficult for me to accomplish anything.

What I learned this month in writing: Publishing is a wild ride of highs and lows.

What distracted me this month while writing: My life. I don’t want to get into too many details, but I have literally half a dozen extremely stressful things going on right now. But it could always be worse. (It could always be worse, it could always be worse…)

In good news, I had a great time at BookCon! And I got to meet Ifeoma! 😀 She was so sweet and supportive and I signed TWO books for her. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Next month, I’m signing at a WI Barnes & Noble for B-Fest! That’ll be an interesting experience.

Goal for next month: I need to do another read-through of the fairy tale story and probably a big chapter one rewrite. I don’t know if I’ll have time, but that’s the goal I’m setting.

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Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 27

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 65,273 words, 27 chapters + epilogue–first draft complete, about 15% through first revisions.

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 67,323 words, 27 chapters + epilogue–first revisions done, off to beta, some subsequent revisions done.

WIP Issues This Month: I didn’t start my new project, but I’ve decided I’m going to focus solely on polishing this (and getting ready to query!) before I do anyway.

What I learned this month in writing: It’s weird to read something you wrote years ago and be like, “Yeah, I wrote that one word at a time….”

What distracted me this month while writing: Excuse the rambling of distractions this month… Nobody’s Lady (The Never Veil Book Two) released April 12th, and I’ve been happy to see so many readers enjoyed it. It was both my boyfriend’s and my birthday this month, and we had a nice time celebrating. Something’s been going on in my life that’s kind of extra stressful, but I’m coping. I’ve been busy with work and I finished reading/giving feedback for my best friend from 5th grade’s 150,000-word novel! I also started edits for my best friend/beta’s latest. My Wattpad novel (eventually releasing through Patchwork Press), Fall Far From the Tree, is going to be featured as of May 19th, yay! Also, I’m off to Book Con in Chicago next month! Anyone else going?

 

Amy (1)

Plus, NOBODY’S GODDESS is only 99¢ for a limited time! It’s available on Kindle, Nook and Kobo at that price through the end of May (I think). This is the first time my book has been on sale.

Goal for next month: I want to start querying! I am so excited to query, you don’t even know! 😉 But I know I then have to go *quiet* now and not actually mention if/when I start querying. Plus, I have to finish polishing the book first. I’m not sure I’ll have time to start the new project with everything going on in my life, but maybe…

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 26

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 52,517 words, 20 chapters

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 65,273 words, 27 chapters + epilogue–first draft complete, yay! About 15% through first revisions.

WIP Issues This Month: I managed to finish my draft a couple of weeks into March and then… I could not find time to write or edit at all for almost two weeks. I know you’re supposed to let a draft sit anyway, but there were some changes I wanted to make ASAP and I wouldn’t have minded starting on the next project. But taking a break wasn’t terrible.

What I learned this month in writing: I can finish a manuscript again! (Seriously, I haven’t done that since late 2014. I tried in late 2015 and shelved that one and before that I was mostly burnt out.)

What distracted me this month while writing: I was really busy with work. I also had a dozen or so interviews and guest posts to write for my upcoming blog tour. (NOBODY’S LADY is out April 12th!) I went to C2E2 for a day, which was nice, even if it was crowded. Normal stresses, etc.

Also, from March 29th through April 3rd, I’m going to be part of YASH again!

pink

Goal for next month: I want to finish revising my fairy tale prequel and get it off to my beta! I might also start writing my next project, a NA romance I plotted a few months ago. I’ll try not to get distracted by book release fun! 😉 It feels a little different this time around, though, as only the people who really liked the first book would even care about its sequel, you know? I’m still working on trying to get people to read the first one!

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 25

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 36,153 words, 14 1/2 chapters

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 52,517 words, 20 chapters

WIP Issues This Month: I got really busy with work and had a cold, so there were multiple days in which I didn’t work on the manuscript at all. I really wanted to get further than this, but I’m getting close to the end at least.

What I learned this month in writing: (I decided not to do “four” things because I’m learning a lot of the same things each month at this point!) Juggling everything is hard. (But we all already knew that.)

What distracted me this month while writing: My cold, a client manuscript edit, lots of work writing… My boyfriend’s been sick as well (both from my cold and other issues). I got to look over the NOBODY’S LADY proofs, and it should be off to the printer soon! Other stresses….

But also, the NOBODY’S LADY cover reveal! And the blog tour sign-ups/e-ARC info! Click here for more information!

Nobody's Lady

Goal for next month: I would love to finish this manuscript, but I said that last month. I really want to finish it, though!

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 24

Has it really been two years since we started these monthly updates for the WIP Marathon group?

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 10,704 words, 4 chapters

NOBODY’S LADY: 70,746 words, 28 chapters (waiting to get final edits)

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: 36,153 words, 14 1/2 chapters

NOBODY’S LADY: 70,881 words, 28 chapters (revisions turned in)

WIP Issues This Month: I was doing really well with the new WIP toward the beginning of the month. I managed to write at least 1000 words a day for a while. Then I got caught up with a lot of work and kind of hit a “meh” part of my manuscript and I stopped working on it every single day, or only wrote a few hundred words a day. I had revisions to do as well. Still, I wish I could write faster. I know it’s not a race (no deadline for this), but I hate drafting. I love everything else about writing (revising, marketing, even querying) much more.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. You can run out of steam on a book even when you don’t think you will at first.

2. Pushing through and working on the manuscript anyway is painful, but every writing session takes you closer to the end.

3. After stepping away from a manuscript for a long time (NOBODY’S LADY), some of it can seem brand new when you read it.

4. Reading your work a year and a half after you initially wrote it is a strange experience.

What distracted me this month while writing: It’s been cold, so I’ve mostly stayed home this month. I’ve been busy and stressed with work and life, but I do have some news to share. The short story that I wrote back in April (I reported the word count on these updates) can finally be announced! It’s going to appear in a charity anthology later this year. I was also allowed to reveal the blurb for NOBODY’S LADY and you can pre-order the paperback. (The e-book will be available but isn’t up for pre-order yet.) My cover reveal is scheduled for February 26th, and you can sign up here if you want to participate!

Goal for next month: I might have NOBODY’S LADY proofs to look over and then it’s probably ready to go to the printer! *-* Meanwhile, I want to keep working on my YA FAIRY TALE. I’d love to finish it in February, but I’ll try not to set the goal only to be disappointed.

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 23: End of Year

I already did an end-of-the-year and goals-for-next-year writing update here, if you’re interested.

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA SUSPENSE:  53,965 words,  16 1/2 chapters

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: Not even thought of yet

NA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: Thought of, but not outlined at all yet

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA SUSPENSE:  58,546 words,  17 1/2 chapters  — SHELVED

YA FANTASY FAIRY TALE RETELLING/PREQUEL: Outlined completely; 10,704 words,  4 chapters

NA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: Outlined completely

WIP Issues This Month: Coming off NaNoWriMo “failing” (even with 25,000 words) and just not feeling the love at all for my YA SUSPENSE, I struggled in early December. I wrote every day (until I FINALLY took one day off), but it was often just 100 words. I’d been off-outline for a while with this book, but I just wasn’t loving it at all. But at the same time, it was already my second take at this (having thrown out the vast majority of the 50,000-word draft from 2012!), and I was worried I’d never finish it if I didn’t keep moving forward. (Also, I didn’t finish a single manuscript this year.) Plus, I’d worked on it EVERY DAY since early September, forcing myself to write even on insanely busy, tiring and stressful days.

But I just got.tired.of.it. I knew it might mean I’ll never finish it, or maybe I will come back to it someday. (It’s near the end and I have a vague idea of where it’s going, but it probably needs another 10-20k I’m not up for.) I wondered if I should give it up and work on my next project, which I pictured as the first of four books in a NA contemporary romance series I intended to straight-to-self-pub, but at the same time, I did want some finished YA manuscript to try to get an agent with again. (Coming up on two years without one soon!) Then I got a shiny new idea–finally a fairy tale retelling like I’ve always wanted to do that I think hasn’t been done before. (The fairy tale has been, but not this aspect of it–it’s more of a prequel with some of the same elements. Also, it’s not even one of the more popular fairy tales among YA retellings.)

So I got my love for writing back by telling myself it was okay to give up on the YA suspense. I outlined the new idea for a week while I tried to keep going with the YA suspense and finally decided to turn my attention to the new idea instead. And I’ve written a lot more per day so far, so I’m hopeful… I just hate being back at square one with a manuscript practically. ;-; Oh, but I also outlined the entire first book in the NA contemporary romance series in my downtime when on this writer’s high, so I feel like this had been a good decision for me.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Shelving a manuscript might sometimes be the best thing. (I’m just hoping I don’t get to 58k with this new one and think the same thing…)

2. It’s hard to tell the difference between the “this really should be shelved” and the “this is just you struggling and you really should finish it” feelings.

3. Writing is just… always hard!

4. Ideas hit you during the strangest most unexpected moments.

What distracted me this month while writing: I haven’t gone on any day trips this month, but I’ve been busy with work. (And Christmas! Yay!) Oh, and of course I saw Star Wars and felt like a kid again, and I’ve seen a few other movies.

Oh, fellow WIP Marathoner Suzanne van Rooyen and I have our books I HEART Robot and NOBODY’S GODDESS up for a Month9Books Readers Choice Award until December 31st! Throw either of us some love and vote or comment?

Goal for next month: I’m hoping I’ll finally get the edits for the second round (perhaps final instead of expected three rounds?) of NOBODY’S LADY revisions for real in January. There was a hiccup and I expected them back in October and each month since, but… I think now they’re for sure on their way. I’d love to get a lot more done in the YA fairy tale retelling. I don’t think I’ll want or need to start the NA until I finish the YA. I could start outlining the other books in that series, but I’ll probably wait until I’m focusing on that manuscript.

 

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 22

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA SUSPENSE: 30,155 words, 10 chapters

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA SUSPENSE:  53,965 words,  16 1/2 chapters

WIP Issues This Month: This is the first year I’ve tried NaNoWriMo that I lost. So even though I got more words done this month than I did the previous couple of months, I’ve been bummed about that. I’m losing the drive to finish this story. AGAIN. (This is my second attempt at it, with some major changes, and last time I petered out at about 50,000 words, too. Only last time I was stuck in the narrative and this time, I’m just bummed about it.)

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Sometimes even NaNoWriMo fails me. 😦

2. Even when I have an idea of where I’m going, it’s possible to lose interest in writing it.

3. Finding not one, but 2-3 similarities to a popular YA book in your WIP also helps make you less enthused about finishing it.

4. It’s hard to go from 100-500 words a day to 1700. (I managed for like 3 days and then just couldn’t do it anymore.)

What distracted me this month while writing: I went to Chicago (again ^^) one day early this month, but mostly I’ve been really busy with work. The time I do spend writing just isn’t that productive, either. But I have continued to work on it every single day, even if it’s only a few hundred words.

NOBODY’S LADY got an official release date: April 12, 2016, a few months earlier than expected!

I revealed the cover to my YA fantasy that’s going to someday be published with Patchwork Press! …And I started serializing it on Wattpad! It’s going to be a Wattpad-first novel with eventual ebook and paperback release in late 2016 or 2017. Click on the image to start reading today! 😀 Btw, this was my first WIP Marathon manuscript from back in 2013! *-*

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00007]

And I made a trailer for NOBODY’S GODDESS! That was actually a really fun distraction. I always wanted a trailer, even though I know they’re not the most effective marketing tools. I didn’t have the budget for one, so I made it myself. I had so much fun, I want to make one for FFFTT, but I really shouldn’t waste the time when I’m so busy. (See, I always want to do marketing stuff instead of draft when I’m unhappy with a draft’s progress!)

Goal for next month: I’m hoping I’ll finally get the edits for the second round of NOBODY’S LADY revisions this month. So I have to do that if so. Also, just to keep going with this YA suspense and not be tempted to move on to shiny new ideas. I have a feeling if I give up now, I won’t finish it at all. It’s not unsalvageable or anything, I just am not feeling the love….

 

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 21

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

YA SUSPENSE: 15,706 words, 6 chapters

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

YA SUSPENSE: 30,155 words, 10 chapters

WIP Issues This Month: Writing even when I don’t feel like it. (But I’ve kept my promise to myself and have written in the WIP every single day since I started in early September… Only most days I only write 100-200 words!)

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Tiny, short writing sessions still add up!

2. Tiny writing sessions aren’t that bad. I’ve always done better when I write more words per day, but writing just a few words is better than no words.

3. I can feel lukewarm about a manuscript while writing it. (I usually like it more than this… I mean, I DO like this one, but…)

4. Publishing is complicated

What distracted me this month while writing: I went to NYC for my NINTH time with my boyfriend! (+ Twice as a very young kid.) See my Instagram for pics from the Hunger Games exhibit (it was amazing *-*) and a book signing I went to. I also spent a day in Chicago earlier in the month. (We seem to go at least once a month now, don’t we?) Work, stress, etc. I’ve kept busy.

I also announced a new book I’m going to be releasing at some point…. FALL FAR FROM THE TREE! I’d appreciate it if you added it to your Goodreads page.

I started up a newsletter! Please sign up here! (First newsletter goes out tomorrow, so don’t miss out!) You get access to a deleted scene from an earlier shelved version of NOBODY’S GODDESS for signing up.

Wattpad “featured” my short story YA collection, DROWNED SILENCE, and it went from like 70 reads to over 14,000 in just a few weeks! Plus, the first story in the collection is Halloween-themed, so it’s the perfect read for today!

Goal for next month: I’m participating in NaNoWriMo for my third year! Add me if you haven’t already. (I think most of you have.)

NaNo-2015-Participant-Banner

I’m only sort of feeling it this time, though. But my goal is to add 50,000 words to the YA suspense (I’m not doing that other idea I mentioned last time)–but also not to be upset with myself if I don’t meet that goal.

I’m supposed to get the second round of edits for NOBODY’S LADY in November as well! So I’ll have to get that done if so.

I’m not sure where I am on edits for FALL FAR FROM THE TREE because some complications have arisen with publishing it…

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

WIP Marathon 19

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

1. Short story: 10,003 words (second and final round completed; just waiting on a proofread/publisher approval)

2. NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2): 67,652 words, 28 chapters (working on first round of publisher revisions)

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

1. Short story: 10,037 words (proofread completed and turned in to publisher–no more edits?)

2. NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2): 70,747 words, 28 chapters (first round of revisions completed and turned in to publisher)

WIP Issues This Month: As usual, not finding time or brain power to work on my own writing. (My eyes are acting up lately, too.)

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. I love how new scenes added in revisions can really add depth to a manuscript.

2. It seems like revisions are never done (until all of a sudden, they are).

3. I’m very picky about being in the right “mood” to work on my own writing; I can’t have a ton of things on my to-do list.

4. Editing is more fun than business writing.

What distracted me this month while writing: I had a lot of work again this month, including editing a long manuscript for a client that took up every moment of my work time not devoted to the usual clients. (I also finished editing my friend’s manuscript right before then–I’ve been busy editing!) I didn’t know I’d have that client last time I updated, so there was no way I’d complete the goals I set then.

I did go to the local Renaissance Faire, as I tend to do once a year! I just love the ambiance. I was a little sad I decided not to waste any money on a trinket like I usually get, though, but I had good food.

I found out the publisher of my short story has delayed the publication until next year! And I think I’m done approving it, so I probably won’t mention it again… Until I can finally announce it.

Goal for next month: I’ll be done editing for the client by the time September starts, so I think I can finally devote some time to a new manuscript. Maybe. I haven’t worked on one in almost a year. I’m not expecting second round of revisions for NOBODY’S LADY (which will most likely have a new title in time, by the way!) until October.