Tag Archives: romance novels

Doing the Hard Part

I have a feeling I’m going to go indie. The market for romance has such a big indie component that it would make sense just to stay there.

So. I’ve started working toward it. My RWA chapter had a presentation on setting up newsletters. I’ve got a PO Box. I’ve got my url here. I’ve been doing all this backend stuff. BUT now I need to implement it. I need to use all these cool tools I’ve been collecting and actually do it.

I just sent up my Patreon. So many people have been telling me to do it for so long. And now, there it is. I can’t decide if I’m more terrified no one supports me or if people actually think I’m worth backing. Either way, it’s a scary proposition.

And if I want to do this, I actually have to do it. I can’t just write. I can’t just do this backend stuff. I need to do all of it. Even the hard parts. The “putting my work out there and having other people read it” parts.

But…

I’m finally doing it. I’m going to tackle the hard part. Rafiki is right. It is time.

A New Year and New Goals

The best part of this year’s NaNoWriMo is the friends I’ve made. I stumbled into a great group of people and we’re still supporting each other like it’s November. It’s nice to have a like-minded group of people to bounce ideas off of.

With that in mind, I think I’m going to have an easier time of hitting goals this year. We’ve set up a critique group and what kind of support we’ll need over the coming year.

My goals for 2017:

  • 500k words. I haven’t hit 500k in two years. I’m close this year, but it’s not feasible. I got sick on Christmas and I’m having a hell of a time shaking it off and as such, writing nearly 30k words by the new year sounds completely unreachable.
  • Write 6 manuscripts. I wrote 4 this year, but only if you count the two half-novels as one.
  • Release 6 novels. I’m planning to release them three-four weeks apart. In August. I’ve got a ton of shit to do for that.

God, that looks like a lot. The books I’ll be releasing are Le Morte de GrendelLuLo2, LuLo3, LuLo4, The Defiant Canary and … well, I haven’t decided on the sixth title. I know I have lots of stuff listed in my writing projects page (while I’m at it, I should update that, too) but my goodness, it’s hard to decide.

I’m pretty pleased that things are getting better and better with my writing. I feel like my latest projects are much better, with better writing and crafted better. The characters feel better, the plots feel more interesting. The writing is just better to begin with. Easier to edit, less weird stuff to take out. I don’t know why I’d just leave typos galore in my earlier manuscripts. THe and SHe all over the place. Silly things that are so annoying to go through and fix now.

Anyway. This is going to be a big year for me. A big year, with big goals. I can’t wait for the new year to start and all the fun, amazing things it will bring. 🙂

Snatched From The Jaws of Defeat!!

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Well well. I managed to do it. Almost, heh. Well, I will do it tomorrow.

The hubband has been out a lot lately and I’ve had a hell of a time keeping up the writing with him gone.

I was going to throw in the towel because it was too much to catch up. That was just too hard.

But my story has been whispering, “Hey. Write me. You can still hit 500k for the year as long as you write ~2k words a day. Doesn’t matter if you hit your stretch goal for the month because you just need ~2k today.”

I’m almost there. I’m going to hit the hay in a minute, but goddamn, it feels so good to be hitting 50k this month. Especially when it looked like I wouldn’t.

Something about a story finally firing on all cylinders and that moment of, “*gasp* I think [redacted] is going to die! But I love him. Oh, no! I love him!” and the sheer doggedness to get this story out. And the goal to have 4 stories written this year. (Aside. How many stories have I written this year?! I’m not even sure now. No, like legit, wtf have I written? Several half-cooked/finished stories and The Defiant Canary. At least I’ve accomplished something, heh. I feel like there was something else. No, maybe this is right.)

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.54.28 PMAnyway. I have my plan for NaNoWriMo for this year. I sent my friend the first part I wrote a few years ago. I had characters and a hook, but no plot. A few days ago a random plot dropped into my head from a plot faerie and I was, “Why, hello plot. I’d like to introduce you to my dear friends, character and hook.”

I’m getting super excited for November now.

My favorite thing with romance novels is I have the destination and some major wayposts. Fall in love. Break up. Get back together. Have some smashing hot sex along the way. But how they do those things… I have no idea. My notebook is full of story ideas and hooks and “Well, why do they break up?” I have no idea how things will happen. Sometimes my little darlings surprise me. And generally, I let them. I just follow them around and write down their exploits. Somehow, it makes me feel better to say they are the ones doing it. Not me. I don’t do mean, horrible things to people. But my characters? Some of them are fucking assholes. 😂

Anyway. Enough rambles for tonight. I’m just super excited about meeting my goal. Well, almost meeting it. Being caught up enough that I can pretty positively say I’ll hit it tomorrow. Here’s to scribbling and here’s to perseverance and here’s to just fucking doing it.

In other news, anyone know where I can find a gluten-free black and white cookie in Salt Lake?

Breakthrough!

Two of them actually.

I saw Stephen King last night and I saw John Brown today. It was just the kick to the pants that I needed. Stephen King prefaced his Q&A session with his two most commonly asked questions, “Where do you get your ideas?” and “What was your childhood like?”

 

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He’s like the daddest dad that ever did dad. And he totally kicked so much ass

 

His idea answer was perfect. He’d find something fun to play with in his daily life. Something shiny that would be fun to play with. Where he got his idea for Cujo, for instance. It was so nice to hear someone has the same creative process as I do. And especially nice that someone with the same creative process as me had a room full of people cheering and clapping for old books in a huge back catalog.

 

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Well…. maybe not

Today, the Utah chapter of the RWA met with John Brown for a presentation. It was along the lines of what Stephen King said. It’s about triggering something in the reader’s mind, it’s about saying, “A Chevrolet” instead of “a sedan.” You have to make a real, actual place in the reader’s mind. Make it lean, make it vivid. Find the big important chunks. Don’t describe every little thing about a character, just the big identifying features. Something that makes them ping in your mind. Same for environments and objects. Make it stick.

 

Anyway, these two presentations I watched, well, it gave me that little push that I can do this. I can fucking do this and write my stories and share them with the world. My writing processes aren’t terribly different from theirs. I can do this. I want to do this, this is what I always gravitate to, this is where I belong.

 

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He’s trolling, right? God, I hope he’s trolling

And my second breakthrough (this is a 180º from writing): I think it’s my cortisol that’s making it hard for me to lose weight. The hubster is still doing his travel work and it’s rough on my little brain when he’s gone. I’m running the show, making all the decisions, herding dogs and babies and all that. My stress level is pretty high when he’s gone. There are some studies I’ve run across showing high cortisol levels can hamper weight loss and I’m thinking that’s probably what’s happening to me. And this is important because if I don’t lose this weight (another 15 pounds!) I have to send this asshole $50. I’m not sure how to fix this, but having a suspicion of what’s going on is a good first step.

 

Feels good to be figuring things out. And it is so nice to feel like I can do this, that I can be a writer and write and share these stories. I guess that means it’s time to get back to revision… 😦 heh

And one last thought: The idea there are no “rules” when it comes to writing is freaking out my little autism brain. I need and love my rules. But, here’s the rulebreakers, I guess. ha!

Ideas

I don’t remember where I saw this quote, only that it went something along the lines of “Writers are just people who notice their ideas and turn them into stories.” Or something along those lines.

I was chatting with a friend on Facebook and she asked where I got my ideas for my stories. Truth is, most of my stories start with the tiniest kernel of, “Well, what if this were to happen?” and then I can’t stop playing with it.

The idea for LuLo came from walking out of a gymnastics meet with my sister in law. What if a collegiate gymnast fell in love with a scruffy parkour guy? She was Talulah, one of the names I had put forward for my kid, but my husband had vetoed. I thought about naming him Reese, but then she became Talulah Reese and suddenly she was a person. He was still nameless, but I had an idea of what I wanted from him. Her opposite in so many ways. Then I was watching Doctor Who and this slightly annoying character named Tallulah showed up and she was in love with pigman Laszlo. A little research into the name Laszlo et voila, he’s got a backstory and we’ve got a big fun sandbox to play in.

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I haven’t watched Jessica Jones because I can’t bear to see the Tenth Doctor be evil

 

It’s fun when you catch a wisp of a story. A little something will float past your subconscious and you go, “Waitasec. What the hell was that just now?” And you grab it and look at it and poke at it and find a blue papermate in your purse and ask your waitress for extra napkins and write like a crazy person and get the guts of your story scribbled down.

Usually those kinds of napkin stories are persistent and won’t leave you alone until the story is done. Those are convenient because then you just *blup* and there is your zero draft. There’s no, “Okay, I really should write something tonight.” It’s more of a “Well,  I can’t stop thinking about this story and it just needs to come out and you know how my brain is, but we’ll get brunch when I’m done,” kind of thing. It’s waking up from a dream and going to the desk and working before the sun is up.

Sometimes, that strike of inspiration will just hit and it will be amazing. Game of Thrones spoiler!
Continue reading Ideas

Guess Who Changed her Mind Again?!

So, I was going to totally rewrite Cop Drama and I’ve been totally dragging ass about starting working on it again. I decided to release it as a novella. I mean, I like it, of course, but I don’t love it enough to totally rewrite. I still have to rewrite the court stuff at the end, but I’m not going to do an extensive thing. The pacing is good, it’s a good story, I like their love story, but I’m just not going to do as much as I was thinking a blog post or two ago. (I blogged about this right? Or was I just thinking, “Oh, I should blog about the revision process,”?) Oh hey. I did.

Anyway. I was poking around Eloisa James’s site and I was all, “Hey. If she can write novellas, I can too.” Incidentally, I should write a review of her Desperate Duchesses series. Not that my writing is as good as hers or my books as well researched, but, it’s a good read. And it’s all written so you don’t have Game of Thrones agony/annoyance. Anyway. I’ll just release Cop Drama as a novella. I like that idea. It feels more right.

Just coming to that decision is an enormous relief. I think that was stopping me up.

This means I won’t have to do stupid layout either. I’ll just release it as an ebook. I like that idea too.

These kinds of ponderings make me goggle at the classics. How in the hell did Jane Austen write and revise Pride and Prejudice for instance? You can tell how much she loved her characters. She adored Elizabeth. And Darcy totally made her swoon.

Back to work now!