Getting Inspired

Last night I joined many of my fellow Parliament House Publishing authors and had a two-hour chat on Twitter where we discussed all sorts of things about the writing process and our experience in writing books. It was a busy chat filled with funny revelations (wine was the drink of choice for many) and heartfelt conversations. One of the best parts was that other authors hopped in giving answers as well! I checked the tag (#PHPChat) earlier and saw that the conversation was still going with other authors. I absolutely love it!

It was a really inspiring evening and I honestly can’t wait until our next chat. There are a lot of new faces in our author family so it was great to put our feet up and not only get to know everybody, but also to talk about our books and about writing.

Speaking of, I made some major progress on my WIP today! Woo-hoo!

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
12/2 – 2,202

Current Word Count: 40,063

Progress:
One character had a major realization and a bit of a guilt trip. Then just as expected, someone lost their head. It wasn’t pretty, and things got pretty twisted by the end of it. There were tears, screams, and serpents.

Next Up:
Approaching a lonely tower on a hill and the group of men who run it. All parties will be converging here and once again, it won’t be pretty. This is ultimately where the climax of the book will take place. After that it’s all about setting up for Book 3. Whew!

Commentary:
I’ve finally reached the halfway mark! Oh my goooosh. I was so inspired after the chat last night that I knew exactly what was going to happen when I settled in to write this afternoon. Then everything fell into place and I understood how I was going to wrangle these cats in the direction they needed to go.

I’m excited to see the final few legs of this story unfold and to see what these characters do as a result of what happens. That’s the great thing about being a pantser, you have all these ideas but at the end of the day, the characters usually choose where they want to go. Sometimes you get to be as surprised by their decisions as the reader is.

A Month of Recovery

This month has been pretty interesting. Not bad, just… interesting.

I was hoping to get a lot of catch-up writing done on Broken and put aside time to do just that, but then I got sick for like weeks. The weather down here in GA has been all over the place. Highs of 20s one day and then highs in the 60s the next, so everybody is having allergy problems. I think the plants are as confused as we are. I’m still recovering after 3 weeks of struggling with it.

So I’m not a winner of NaNoWriMo this year, but that’s okay! There will always be more – and I usually do better during the Camp NaNo events anyway. I still got around 10k+ words added to my manuscript, and NaNo helped me do that.

Now it’s December and I’m gearing up for the release of Stolen in January, meaning that I’ll soon be announcing all sorts of opportunities. I’ll soon be organizing tours, book signings, events, giveaways, and all the things that you do with a new book release. If you’re interested in getting any book swag or even a holiday card from me this month, make sure you check out my Moonlight Wanderers Facebook Group or join the mailing list. I’m collecting addresses now to ship out goodies this month. There’s going to be a LOT going on next month and these folks always get the early access & opportunities for swag.

I finally got into the writing groove today for the first time in weeks. It felt good and I really needed that creative boost that it caused. Here’s hoping I keep this going!

Project:  Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
11/26 – 808
11/30 – 1,150

Current Word Count: 37,861

Progress:
Escaping one danger only to run head-first into more. You know how it goes. It’s difficult to work with someone who is so unstable and unpredictable, and it’s also frightening when they have so much power.

Next Up:
Somebody’s going to be real mad once they are back on their feet again, and someone is going to get hurt. It’s not going to be pretty, but when dealing with matters of an injured heart, it rarely is.

Commentary:
At times I feel like my writing is too disjointed, and then at other times I see how I can stitch the parts together again. As the storyline progresses, I see the story arc fall into place. I feel the direction take shape. I’m usually a complete pantser and this book is no exception. Because there’s so much to balance though, each scene does take a careful approach. I think that’s why this book is taking me longer to tackle. Each movement is like a chess piece getting moved and the landscape changes with each turn, until finally we reach the final confrontation. I’m getting closer and closer to that moment, and I’m both looking forward to it and dreading it for a number of reasons.

Happy December, everybody!

Learning to Be Kind to Yourself

Y’all don’t want to know how far behind I am on NaNoWriMo at this point. Let’s just say it’s been a heck of a busy month with a lot of good things going on, but not nearly as much time for writing as I wanted. At this point I’m a little under 20k behind, but that’s not going to stop me. I’m still trucking away, because even if I miss NaNo’s deadline, I still have other deadlines to meet.

Sometimes when you’re so far behind, it’s difficult to find the motivation to keep going. Sometimes it’s difficult to make the time for writing, and you really have to get used to forgiving yourself. It’s hard to do, but so necessary. You have to learn to be kind to yourself for missing deadlines, or not carving out writing time, or binging a favorite TV show. You have to allow your mind to wander. Cause when you sit back down to write you need to be able to dive in and make use of the sometimes limited time that you have. Give yourself the time you need to figure out where you’re going but don’t forget to return to it and give it the attention it deserves. Be kind to yourself but stay on track as much as possible. That’s the tough middle ground you have to find between slacking and overworking.

This week I mailed off a manuscript, I’m prepping for Stolen‘s release (in a little over 2 months!), I’m working on Broken, and I’m querying The Seeking. I realized that I’m juggling 4 pieces right now in various stages of readiness, and that’s just how the writing world works. Opportunities and connections don’t come every day, so you have to learn to jump when that comes along. This just always seems to happen in November around NaNoWriMo time – which I’m not complaining about! I’m just, whew, tired.

Here’s my incredible progress I made today on Broken and even though it’s not as far along as I need it to be, I’m still proud of myself for getting to this point.

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
11/14 – 653
11/18 – 2,301

Current Word Count: 35,855

Progress:
Finished up one scene and dived right into the next one. Some weird things are going on but I can’t go into too much detail without giving things away. Let’s just say they’re shadows with red eyes.

Next Up:
A bit of an angry tantrum followed by some very dangerous decisions. Desperation makes people act in strange ways.

Commentary:
I’m realizing how much reorganizing I’m going to have to make for this story to get the timeline down, and I may end up writing a full timeline to keep everything straight and to keep things going properly. The woes of being a pantser and trying to keep two POVs running smoothly. On a side note, this is quickly creeping up to the halfway mark!! And the first big climax of the story is really getting close. Considering this is book 2 of a 3 part series, it’s right where I need it to be.

Hope everyone else is doing well in NaNoWriMo this month! And if not, remember, it’s perfectly fine. Be kind to yourselves!

Just 500 Words

I’ve spent most of my weekend cleaning. I’m talking carpet cleaning, down on your hands and knees scrubbing, and tons of vacuuming kind of cleaning. The kind of cleaning that living with three cats requires. Ya’ll know what I mean.

So when I sat down to work on my NaNo project today, I was having a hard time getting my mind in gear. There are a lot of things going on right now that want to take up brain space instead of focusing on my (very important) writing deadline that NaNoWriMo is helping me reach. I was going to work on something else, but my sister offered, “At least get 500 words in first, then go work on that other thing.”

Okay, that’s not so bad! 500 words in NaNo life is hardly anything. I can surely get that many words in just doing a bit of tweaking on my existing piece really. Well… 500 words turned into over 2,000 words today. Not too shabby! I’m going to have to keep that trick in mind for the next time that I have trouble getting the words to flow. (Big thanks to my sister for giving me that boost!)

I’m still behind on NaNo by about 500 words, and that’s probably only going to get worse as the month goes by. We have friends coming in from out of town plus Thanksgiving later this month. So we’ll see if I’m able to keep up with these word count goals, but I’m certainly going to try!

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen serie

Words Written:
11/4 – 2,238

Current Word Count: 31,206

Progress:
Wow, I had a lot of fun digging into the psychological aspects of characters here. Folks had some very uncomfortable revelations and big decisions got made. I can already see myself coming back into this scene later to flesh this out even more, but considering this scene is around 5k alone, I think it’s at a good place for draft number one right now.

Next Up:
A major revelation just got made. Unfortunately they can’t really do anything about it, but now their heads are spinning. We have an escape followed by a rather terrifying encounter. That’s just how things go around here, okay?

Commentary:
Considering how difficult it was for me to get going this evening, I actually had a ton of fun with this scene! I thought it was going to be difficult figuring out where to go with it, but I really just handed the reigns over to the characters and let them figure things out. I’ve also got some ideas about how everything is going to be tied together here soon too, especially as we near that elusive halfway point.