Thursday, December 19, 2013

End of Year Status

Well, it's December, the end of the year. So I guess I should update before the New Year.

The Earth book is coming along. Chapter six is finish and I'm into Chapter seven. I hit 20,000 words so I'm definitely making progress.  JANO will probably see the end of this book since I plan to write on this book during it.

I'm up to date on memberships to all three of the writing groups in town so I'm starting the New Year with something new and educational. 

My friend returned the first five chapters of the Earth book and said she enjoyed it.  She said that I didn't give away too many clues. A clue a chapter is what she says I should do and asked if I introduced the killer yet. I told her no since he gets intro'd in Chapter Seven with a red herring. 

Another teaser!

Anyway, this has been a fairly good year, though there has been bumps in the road. 

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Status report on Earth book

The earth book is the one with the vampire FBI agent and the earth reading consultant.  I have finished five chapters so far and am almost done with the sixth chapter. I just have to figure out how I want to end the chapter. Of course, I already know how I want the next chapter to start. 

I had a friend read the third chapter and she figured out what clue I was leaving so that was good.   However, I don't know if I'm leaving too many clues too early or not.  That's the thing with mysteries, you can't be sure if you're leaving breadcrumbs or tire treads. :)  At least I can't as this is my first mystery, and I already know the ending!

I added a stalker to the story to mix things up a bit, and even though the characters know the stalker isn't the killer, evidence leads to him.  So is the killer using the stalker to try to throw them off or does he have something else in mind?

That's a spoiler, ain't it? ;)

Thought I'd tease you a bit.  

I still plan to get this book done with in the next three to four months. Hopefully by JANO, or I might have to work on it during JANO. I only got 3500 words so far during November.  I write a page or two, and then my attention wanders to future chapters instead of staying in the one I'm working on. My ADD strikes again, and being a pantser doesn't help either! 

I have given the five chapters I have done to a friend who has published a book, and asked her to give me a review of what I have done. Hopefully, I haven't given away too much of the clues, and she'll tell me straight what she thinks.  I took part of the one chapter in to one of my writing groups, and they said it was interesting. I'm taking that as a good sign. :)  

So status report on book: five chapters down, one almost done, and more to go.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Word Count Dulldrums

I'm not officially doing Nano, but I sit down at my computer every day to work on my story. I've only got 2,000 words done because RL(real life) likes to mess with me.  Thursdays I'm lucky to get 100 words done as I have prior committments, but I've been averaging about 300 words a night or one page a night since November started. I type a scene and then my brain goes blank.  Other thoughts intrude on my writting time and it's making me nuts!

Short trip I know. :)

I even got my brain food; peach rings.

I decided last night to forgo looking at my screen, and I went to play bingo since I had a free play certificate. I didn't win anything off the bingo play but I had fun, and I relaxed.  Thinking about how far behind I was on my word count was making me tense.  I'm not going to worry about how far behind I am, but think about getting closer to finishing my book.  I want to have it finished by the end of the month, but as long as it's done before JANO, I'm going to be happy. I want to start fresh for JANO.

I've decided as long as I write something, I'm not going to stress. It's the journey, not always the destination, that makes the effort worthwhile.  You learn things about yourself as you strive.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Criticism

Criticism is something I have a problem not getting defensive about. Most of my life there have been a lot of people who put me down, dismissing my work, good and bad, and not giving me credit.  Once you're told you are worthless enough times, you start to believe it. 

My fantasy worlds are my therapy.  They keep me sane in a chaotic world.

I have decided to finish at least a few of my books, and to publish them.  Criticism is a part of process of getting my book ready for publishing, but it is hard for me to accept.  I know that other people may have more experience with the publishing process and can help me get my book closer to publishing.  I'm a far worse critic then they ever will be, yet it hurts more when someone else is critical of my work.  I guess because it makes me think that all the criticism I give myself is true, and no one will want to read my book if and when I finish it. I try to tell myself that I'm just reacting to all the negativity that others had put on me growing up, and that others have probably felt the same way, but that doesn't always work. 

I took some of the pages of my earth story into a critique group. Chapter 2 to be exact, since I felt it was unfinished. They agreed. It sounded like they thought it was good, but needed some work. I know I do run on sentences alot. Stream of consciousness thinking leads to run on sentences in my work, though I do edit myself to the extreme. I'm sure I was defensive when they talked to me, but I was so nervous that I don't remember.  I get nervous because I think the work I show is not good enough, and people will hate it, thus I get defensive. It's a vicious cycle for me.

I'm trying to be more open-minded and accepting to criticism. If I seem defensive I'm sorry and I'll try to better next time.  That's all we can ask for, isn't it?  To do better the next time?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Self Publishing

Sharon Kizziah-Holmes came to the meeting of Springfield Writer's Guild and talked to us about self-publishing. She runs PaperBack Press which is a self-publishing company along with a few other ventures. I thought about self-publishing before; Xlibris sends me emails still from when I got my friend to publish through them. They're hoping to get me too. I alway thought self-publishing was too expensive and I wanted the thrill of an editor saying I was the best thing since white bread. :)

Anyway, I'm thinking about self-publishing when I finish Earth. Everyone talks about the rejections they got and you don't get that with self-publishing.  Of course you don't get advances either! 

The royalties are higher with self-publishing as well.

I don't know which way I really want to go. Both have cons and pros that make them attractive. So I'll just have to finish my book and maybe I'll try both ways.  Go the traditional and if that don't work try self-publishing or maybe I'll self-publish my first book and do the traditional with my second. I have 4 in the series after all. Not all plotted out completely but fleshed out enough to say I got the general ideas down. Anyway, Sharon got me thinking about self-publishing and it seemed affordable for someone on a limited budget like me.

However, I need to get my story done and editted before I think about even self-publishing, although Sharon has the Manuscript editted before she does anything else with it.  I need a couple of beta readers to go behind me and clean up my mess. I edit myself as I go but I don't know all the rules and spelling was never my strong point. Thank god for spell check. 

More and more I'm thinking about self-publishing, but I'm still wanting that acknowledgement from Editors that says I'm great. I think we all want that. We put our heart and soul into our work and we want that acknowledgement from people other than our family and friends who might be bias, whether they are or aren't.  We want the public to read our book and gush.  And buy our next book, of course!

Whether you go for self-publishing or the traditional route, once your book is out there, you can say you're a published author.  And that is what we all want; to be published. To have bragging rights. :)



 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My own version of NaNoWriMo

As I said on my previous blog, people have been talking about JANO, but some have been talking about NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, where you write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. I think I'll do my own version of NaNoWriMo to get me ready for Jano.

My Earth series has 4 books to it so far. At least that's all I've thought about; the four elements thus four books. I plan to do either the second or third book for Jano, but I decided I'll work on book 1 Earth during November as if I was doing NaNoWriMo and see if I can get it done. I have a vague outline for the book, but it is very, very vague. I'm a panster, I'm afraid. I get a idea, write it down, then get scenes from different parts of the book, and have to figure out how to mesh them all together.  Other times, I have a dream and I make a book around that dream.  My subconscious is a weird place if my dreams are anything to go by.

Does anyone have tips on NaNo and JANO? Since I've never done them before and the only thing I know about them is that 50,000 words is the goal, at least 1667 words a day, I'd like some tips.  I usually just sit down with music playing and write for an hour or two.  Sometimes, I don't get anything written because my mind won't settle. I wish I had a separate office where I could spread things out, put things on the wall, leave my papers out.  As you can tell I get distracted easily. ADD strikes again!

Chapt 4 of Book 1 Earth is coming along. I got stuck on names and got distracted by what I wanted to happen in the next chapter. As I said I'm a panster so I only work a chapter ahead, and forget what I want to happen in the one I'm working on!  Not really but I get distracted and don't get as much as I wanted to done.

I'm trying to think of names for my books. So far: Earth Reader, Fire Walker, and Wind Talker, but I'm stuck on Water. Any Ideas?

Well, I've rambled enough for now. I need to work some more on Earth, and maybe finish chapter 4 today or tomorrow. Maybe I'll have chapt 5 done before NaNoWriMo.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thinking about Jano

People have been talking about JANO, the writing event where you try to write a 50,000 word book in the 31 days of January. Without editing.  THAT would be hard for me, but I'm thinking about trying it Jan 2014.

However, not with the two books I'm working on now, but with the second book in the Earth series or the third depending on which way I decide. Fire or Water are the two contenders. They both have the FBI vampire and the earth reader in them, but the suspect kills either with burning or drowning respectively. Earth has over 3 chapters but only 12,000 words so I don't know if I could make it to 50,000 since I'm a 1/3 of the way through already. I'm not a flowery writer; I get to the point when I write fiction, though I ramble when I talk. I think I'll try rambling when I do JANO. Maybe I'll make more than 50,000 that way!

How are the rest of you planning JANO? Got your ideas stirring?

I plan to finish Earth within the next five months since, when I started working on it last month again, I told myself I'd have it done in six months. JANO's going to be hard for me that's for sure. 50,000 words in a MONTH!

To make the 50,000 words in 31 days, one has to write at least 1,613 words a day or a little over six 250-word pages a day.  Sounds doable, don't it?  Unless you write like me which means a page or two a day at the most because you write something then edit it before moving on. As I said JANO's going to be hard for me, but I need to learn to write flow-of-consciousness style so I can actually finish something and say it's finished without editting myself out of a finished manuscript.

A friend and I did something similar to JANO ten years ago. He and I said that we would meet at a certain time for twenty days and write on a book. I started a new book while he worked on one he had already started,but we stuck to it for only 15 days.  I made it to 88 pages and he did only 63, but we only did two hours a day so I think that was good.  For JANO, I think I'm going to have to set aside more than two hours of writting time a day and some good writting music to keep RL(Real Life) at bay.

I've rambled again. I think I'll stop here and maybe get some "real" writing done. HA! More like editting again since I can't seem to stop myself.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Books I'm working on

My first post looked lonely so I decided to give it a companion. Actually I wanted some feedback on my stories so another post was inevitable. Besides writers like to write or we wouldn't be writers, right? Also I don't know the rules to these blogs, how long does one wait before doing another blog anyway?

As I stated in my first blog, I'm working on two books. Both I concider fantasy, though the one could be concidered paranormal suspense as another writer told me since it has vampires and shaman/witches.

The main one I'm working on is temporarily titled Earth since one of the main characters can 'read' the earth.
She puts her hand on the ground and either hears a voice telling her what happen on that piece of land or she gets a burst of emotions/thoughts.  Sort of like a shaman/druid gets feelings/directions from nature, only in this story shamen have all four elements of nature(fire, earth, water, air) while she only has earth.  For the last ten years she has been a consultant for the sheriff's department and helped him find bodies and missing persons.  The FBI have come to town because two bodies were found by the sheriff that matched a few that were found in two other states, and the sheriff calls on her to check the area out to ensure there are no more bodies.  One of the FBI agents is a vampire, though these vampires are not your typical vamps. For one they've been living openly beside humans for over a hundred years and physically you can't tell the difference between a vamp and a human. Also they are not immortal, though they live a long time, and most are born vampires.  The earth reader and the vampire work together to solve the murders. There's some romance thrown in as well.

My second story is a dragon book, though you don't see the dragon for awhile. The society is sort of Greekish/Romaneque Sword and sorcery.  There are four types of people in this world, the Denea who are brutish and muscular, Aiken who are blond and slim, the old race who are dark-haired and stout, and the Dragons who are secretative and can appear as anything they like. Two slaves, one Aiken, one old race, escape from their master and become servants to a Dragon.  The Denean master tries to get them back since he promised the Aiken who was the son of the fall Aiken king to a Aiken militant, but fails.  So the Aiken militant tries and also fails, but he doesn't give up.  He keeps trying and angers the Dragon who then appears as the Aiken king.

I have three chapters done on the first book and working on the fourth.  The second story only has one chapter done and part of the second as I only work on it if I get stuck on something in the first book until I can fix the stuck part.  I have at least thirty books started, twenty of which are in my computer at this time, but these are the ones I'm concentrating on right now until I get them done. There's another one that I started this year that I get flashes of, but I don't know if I should make it my stuck story and leave the dragon book for another time or continue, or work on three books and see which one gets done first.

See my ADD again!

The third book is SCIFI. It has nanites, living computers, a collective mind, and alien species.  An alien alliance against the human government who thinks humans are superior.  A lone human on the side of the aliens with the protection of said aliens.  What do you think?

Anyway, I think I'll end here and see if anyone responds or looks at my ramblings.
   

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

First Blog

I'm not sure what I should write for my first blog so I'll probably just ramble along. I've joined the three writer's groups that are here in Springfield: Ozark Romance Authors, Sleuth's Inc, and Springfield Writer's Guild.  Writing's been a dream of mine since I was a teen and I have started several books. A chapter would get done and an idea for another book would distract me. And I'd be off on another book. So I have first chapters on several books, but few second or third chapters. My ADHD kept me from being able to sit for long periods of time, and concentrating on just one thing for more than minutes at a time. Getting even a chapter done when I was a teen was a major accomplishment. As I grew older I learned to overcome that problem.  I still have ADD, but I can concentrate for longer periods of time now.

I started putting my stories in my computer a few years ago. A few pages would go in and I'd correct typos as I went as well as editing sentences.  I realized that I had over thirty stories started; some with outlines, others with just a few sentences explaining the story.  So I decided I should pick two stories and work solely on them. Work on one until I hit a road block, then switch to the other until I can move past the road block. I picked two 'newer' stories, stories I had started in the last year.  Both were from dreams I had and are vivid in my mind so I figured I would stick with them more readily.  Not to mention, my older stories are all Sci-Fi fantasy, and not all in the computer yet.  

Sleuth, Inc has a contest due this month that starts with the words "You tell him or I will". I wrote a paragraph, but haven't continued. I'm trying to figure it out to where it's in the 1000 word limit.  When I write something with a limit it always goes over so I'm trying to work it out in my head first to pare down to the minimum I need. Hopefully, I'll get it in on time. I love mysteries with surprise endings so that's what I'm trying for.

I need to bear down and get serious with my writting. All these books in my head need to come out and get written, not linger in my subconscious and dreams.  I see scenes in my mind like a movie playing in my head.  A friend said that I should write my book as if it was a movie, then go back a add more if I needed to.  However, when I get done with a chapter, I immediately want a critique and editing done. I start on the next chapter but the last chapter is still in my head until I get a critique.  That's another reason I have few second or third chapters, I'm too busy critiquing!  I think I have a touch of OCD!

Anyway, I think I should finish this blog here. I've rambled enough for today I think.