Tag Archives: romance

Learning Hurts Sometimes

Over the past year, with my writing group, I have learned so much. My writing buddies have discovered I have a hankering for terrible books and every time they run across one, they’ll tell me about it and I’ll read them. Or, at least the first third when I’ve had my fill and have to set it down shaking my head. I’ve run across some doozies.

The upside of this, I have recognized so many problems in my own writing because of it. I’m revamping my Upcoming Titles page. Those titles I just swooped off the page were pretty terrible and not just Impostor Syndrome terrible. Legit garbage.

In any case, I might have a stack of eighteen manuscripts, but most of those deserve to stay there. I wouldn’t say it hurts, quite, to scuttle them. I’ve been KonMari-ing my house and it feels so good to clean out a junk pile. It feels good to put those manuscripts aside and know they’re done. I might rewrite them someday because I still love their characters, but that’s that.

From that stack, I think six are good enough to revise. Some of that might be my Impostor Syndrome, and some of that might be “Oh, I think I read something like that in one of those terrible books my friends throw at me.”

In any case, I’ll be updating titles and teasers. I’m curious to see where my writing career is going, but until I get to it and start working at it like work, well, it’s just going to stay right here.

I’m glad you’re on this journey with me.

Revision

I’m back in Khazad-dûm. And it’s really not so bad. I outlined the Defiant Canary in my notebook and it’s really quite pleasing. It’s nice to have a path and know where I’m going and what I’m going to do.

The strangest thing about this book, I’ve made each POV switch its own chapter. I have a tendency to head-hop, but with three POV characters, it’s hard to keep it all straight. So, each is labeled with its respective owner.

Having the outline has made a world of difference. I cut out all the weird little half page POV snippets before I ran across them with a blue papermate. I can’t even tell you how demoralizing it is to be on a good clip with the revision and then finding there was all this weird work to do to get it into shape.

I think I have to have a set system for revision. I can’t just hack at it pell-mell as I usually do. I think the first step is to write down the outline and weed out all these weird half-page POV barfs. Do all the major structural stuff. Then use Suzanne Johnson’s excellent monster revision workshop. Like oh my god, take her workshop. It’s incredible. Her plotting workshop is rad af too. I think if I outlined, I wouldn’t have to take this first step of doing this structural step. But outlining is so meh in my brain. I’ve used her plotting ideas and melded them with my pantser ways to keep things organized better. Everything I’ve written since taking that workshopping class is in such better order and will be easier to revise. Anyway.

I’m feeling real good about this. I’ve been sending chapters as I revise them to my beta readers. It’s a fun story and there’s cultists and Cthulhu-esque whales and all manner of nonsense.

I think I have a real good chance of releasing this by June. That’s my plan. And then I think I’ll release Mort the month after. And then… I’m not sure. Probably The Washed Up Astronaut. Anyway. I have a ton of work all lined up. I’m looking forward to it. And I’m getting excited to see where this will take me. The more I write, the better I feel about what I’ve been writing. Anyway. I’m feeling super hopeful and excited and rad.

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. 🙂

A Kick of Inspiration Right to the Pants

I’m at my local chapter of the RWA’s conference. I’m laying in bed, skipping the afterparty because I’m still jet lagged and my brain is so goddamn full from all the wonderfulness.

Sometimes I need to hear the stats on success in publishing. That it is a war of attrition. The 9/10 people want to write a book but only one out of those nine will do it. I mean, it’s going to be a grind. You will hit discoverability (sometimes, maybe, hopefully) between ten and twenty titles. After releasing LuLo, and knowing all the blood, sweat and tears that went into that thing, sometimes I don’t know if it’s worth it. Then again, I’ve been taking workshops and I’ve been learning ways to make things, if not at easier, at least faster. And I think the quality of the books I’m writing is higher. Not judging by this blog post of course 😉

Anyway. It’s hard to keep going. It’s hard to keep fighting. It’s good to get these little reminders. It’s good to be with other writers and people who have similar struggles and to hear their successes as well.

The first presentation is at 8:50 tomorrow. My poor frazzled brain is all, “You were on a different continent a couple days ago. WTF are you doing?! Calm your freaky ass down!” I guess it’s time to sleep. In this big hotel bed without anyone making noise or asking to go pee in the middle of the night or hungry preschoolers or snoring husbands. 🙂

Now if they could just tell me how to get excited about editing…

Time for some towel chucking

Well, I’ve finally accepted I’m not going to write 60k words this month. Which is way sucky because that means my word goal for October is going to be nearly 71k.

We fly out Thursday morning. That’s ohmygodohmygodohmygod less than 36 hours. I signed up for a plotting workshop. And a writing contest. You guys wanna read a hella depressing story? Here you go. And then that moment where you look at what you entered into a contest and go, “Wow, that’s really quite rubbish.” Anyway. Impostor Syndrome? Or just cold stark reality going, WTF YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO ENTER INTO A CONTEST?!

14322538_10100591737979431_1513431989361099003_nMy friend told me I had to let one thing slide. Well, I’m letting my word goal slide. I printed out my Defiant Canary manuscript. Of all my mss, I think Defiant Canary is going to be the easiest to edit and revise and get out there. Maybe that’s me just being lazy. But, maybe it’s just the nudge I need to get things rolling again. If I can get another book out and under my belt, then all the rest of the things that need finishing (I hear you manuscript pile! stfu!) can get finished too. Here’s the first chapter to The Defiant Canary. It’s… a weird story. I definitely write for myself. It’s paranormal romance with a touch of Lovecraft horror. Anyway. It’s rad and fun and sexy and has some fun characters doing some rad stuff. 😀

So, I have a little dose of failure-itis, not going to hit my goal, but… I still have October and I have November. And I have a rad book lined up for NaNoWriMo this year. I hit 85k last NaNoWriMo and I should be able to do that again.

Oh, one last discovery. I don’t value revision as highly as I value writing. A piece of me is delving into invisible work territory. Just like women’s work is undervalued because it’s invisible, maybe revision does the same? I have a blog post banging around about invisible work in my head that has been meaning to come out and I just haven’t done it yet. Anyway. I need a way to quantify my revision work. Or at least to see that it’s making a difference. Or… something.

This is probably my last post from US shores. And I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting from Okinawa. I’ll definitely be on Insta, so follow along there for sure.

And, I’ll be looking for test readers for the Defiant Canary when I get home in October. So, if you’re interested in that, email me at tremblingtrimble at gmail . com with BETA in the subject line and how you’d like your version, either pdf or for Kindle.

Snatched From The Jaws of Defeat!!

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.44.45 PM

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?

WOOOOOOO

The Defiant Canary clocked in at 136,116 words. I hit my word goal of 63,969 for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m super excited I hit my word goal this month.

And I’m super bummed. Like mega-super-duper bummed. I really liked playing in this story. The characters were fun. The plot was all romance meets Lovecraft (well, lite. I’m missing out on all the racism and my cultists were, well, namby-pamby).

Now…. Well, I guess it’s time to start working on revising. This was a fun story. Last year’s NaNoWriMo was super fun too. I need to get these out.

Time to start doing the hard work. Time to start nibbling on that shit sandwich. Hey look! An olive!!