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#ROW80 Check-in 11/11/15

Nano is in full swing, and I was typing away yesterday on Ever Touched when I came to a horrifying conclusion: it was just not working. No matter how I framed it, this story sucked. I know Nano is all about the wordcount and I believe in that to a degree, but the sick feeling in my stomach would not go away. Especially after last night’s work. I’d thought maybe it was pressure related (book 3 of a series), maybe it was because I was pantsing it and felt like I was floundering….but no matter what I told myself, the feeling continued to get worse. And I can’t continue on a project if I feel this way, Nano or not.

So I made a decision. I would start over. I’ll keep my words and wordcount intact (after all, I did write them!), but I’d start at the very beginning. I’ll do that for a few days. If things didn’t improve, I’d choose another novel and start that. It is still early in the month and I could probably get a good 15-20k in before the 30th.

So today I started it and…so far, it feels better. I feel like my character is acting and narrating in character (that was one problem) and I’ve changed her secret/problem a bit and I like it better now. I’ve also changed the way she and the male lead interact and again, much better.

Whether or not this is the answer to the problem I don’t know yet. But I have a long history of needing to restart stories. Fey Touched I started twice, and Grave Touched three times (not counting the rewrites! Counting them, probably five!). Sometimes you have to go where your heart goes, and I believe my muse was not quite on board. This is one case where brute force was the wrong thing to do.

Did I waste the first 11k? Hell no! I may reuse some of those scenes (with tweaks, of course!) and even if I didn’t, they started me on this path and needed to exist to bring me to this point. It’s all good.


Words written: 12,871
Words remaining: 17,129
Word wars: 9
Word wars with myself: 2
Chapters written: 0
What’s happening: An uncomfortable conversation (again!)
What’s next: Brianna needs to make a decision
Feeling: Better!

Chocolate: Not a lot! I had a chocolate-covered caramel from the hubby, and I ate a WW Sundae with chocolate syrup, yum!I lost a pound and a half!

RSW Progress Report 7/27/15

Annnd here we are again with a Ready, Set, Write! progress report!

How did I do?

How I did on last week’s goals

~500 words minimum on Fireborn/rework current scene – Partially DONE. 1,376 new words written, but did not rework scene. Have determined that I need to rework most of the second half, so that’s a thing.
~500 words minimum on Covenant – DONE. Wrote 2,044 new words.
~Finish book #2 for review – DONE, and will be posting review tomorrow.
~Start Survivor Rewrite…again. Not DONE. I have been working (and reworking) the outline and trying to figure out what the best first scene would be. Have not reached any conclusions, but it is simmering.

This week’s goals:

~Begin reworking Fireborn’s second half/1,000 words min
~1,000 words min on Covenant
~Make ruling on Survivor’s first scene
~Finish Camp Nano (10k, both projects combined)

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised: From Covenant, a bit more than one line…oops!

The door squeaked open. A servant with an irritated look glared at him. Reproach. Of course, he wasn’t worthy to even be in this section of the [compound]. Okay, fine. “Um…I’m looking for Annah?” Damn it, he sounded like a moron. She’d never let him see her. He had to project the idea that he belonged here. He cleared his throat as the servant arched a questioning eyebrow. “I was sent here by…” Who? “a Watcher. To check on her progress.”

The servant frowned. “But by checking on her, you will essentially destroy her trance and cause her to lose focus. Why would a Watcher want that?”

Busted. He put his hands up, swore when they shook. Decided to go for honesty. “Look, I can’t sleep because I’m worried about Annah. She’s my best friend, and if I can just see her, say hi, I’ll feel better. And I know she will, too.”

The servant gave him an assessing gaze. “You’re not going to give up if I say no, are you?”

“No.” Osri smiled.

“Very well, then. Make it brief,” the servant said, stepping aside so he could enter and then shutting the door. The room was lit by candlelight only, golden and shimmering. It was not what he’d expected. “Annah is this way.” The servant led him past fancy couches and end tables to a small alcove set into a window.

A huddled form sat inside, her head down and her face covered.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc): Still adjusting to the new medication and it has been tough to stay focused. Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon staring at my screen just unable to make myself do anything because I was so tired. I took a nap, and I perked up a bit afterwards. And being stuck on all three WIPs was a bit rough, too. Starting to work my way through that now.

Something I love about my WIP: With Covenant…there are so many layers that are revealing themselves to me as I go. I was stuck on something, and was mindlessly surfing online and bam! something came to me and another layer appeared. It’s like magic, I swear. And I’m just shy of 10k in the draft so there’s so much more room for more!

#ROW80 Check-in 6/7/15 – getting back into the swing of things

I’m back from vacation (camping FTW) and I’m getting back into the swing of writing again. I did write a bit while on vacation, on a totally different book because my muse wanted to. This idea actually hit me a few years ago about ghost marriage (a Chinese custom where a person is married to a deceased person for various reasons, usually to give the deceased a lineage)  and Egyptian mythology, but never could figure out the details. So I set it aside. While on vacation I was reading a book called The Ghost Bride about ghost marriage — and suddenly it hit me, the details and everything. So I started writing it and it’s going well so far. It’s called Covenant and it will be a trilogy.

As for my other projects, a bit fat zero. Fireborn is still rattling around in my head. I’d intended on brainstorming and/or outlining Ever Touched while on vacation, too, but that never happened. I have been pondering it though.

On Survivor, my intention is to start working on it on Sundays again. Today I’m devoting to Covenant, since the urge is there, but after this, it’ going to be Survivor.

I’ve found that after a book release I need time to rest my body and mind. I’ve never really been able to jump into another project right away, which is both good and bad. I feel like I lost a few months there, and that sucks, but I needed the break. I have the tendency to work myself into the ground, and I have to remind myself that I’m not a machine. But now the muse is waking up a bit, and I’m starting to get the urge again.

That’s really about it. Vacation was absolutely wonderful, and of course too short. I’m back to work tomorrow and I am dreading it. Can’t I just be on vacation forever?

On the chocolate front..um, lots. We had a birthday party a few weeks ago and the birthday boy wanted a Sanders Bumpy Cake. We had butter pecan ice cream and brownie ice cream…and leftovers for a few days. 😉 I’ve been eating mini Twix bars, WW caramel chocolate and wafers, and today I’ll get to have chocolate donuts. Oh, and s’mores while camping, because that’s required (and a white chocolate kit kat. Yummy!) I think that’s about it. Chocolate makes everything better.

Survivor: An Interview with Amber

Amber is the main character, and Survivor is the story. I’m having trouble with the first two scenes. So, I interviewed Amber. Found out some interesting things. (I do this occasionally when I’m stuck. It works wonders.)

So here’s the interview, as it came from my fingertips. You might get a kick out of it.

NOTE: A is Amber, blank is me.

Why are you being so difficult?

A: I’m not being difficult. You’re being difficult.

How so?

A: You won’t write. You’re confused. You can’t be confused with this.

Okay, why do you think that?

A: How long have you worked on this book? 11 years? You should know it. Really know it. And me.

I really don’t know you. Not as you are now. Time has passed between then and now.

A: I’m the same girl you sat down with back in 2004. I haven’t changed.

But your beginning feels wrong. Why?

A: Distance? You’re more sensitive now? Less sensitive? I dunno. You’re different.

I’ve grown as a writer, for sure.

A: Have you grown out of this book?


A: Okay, then. Let’s work together to solve this.

Okay, let’s do that.

A: I still think my beginning is powerful. All you got to do is fix it so [redacted for spoilers]. Maybe cut away from me screaming incoherently and to me in the hospital, looking at my face in the mirror and horrified at the bandages.

I could see you horrified, yeah.

A: I won’t look like her anymore.

No, you won’t.

A: And I will be…freaked out, I think. I mean, I was manic in scene 1, I was in an almost fatal car crash in scene 2, so I’m a little bit whacked out. Play with that. Bring in the Guardian.

Isn’t it too soon?

A: No, because I need stuff to pile up. It needs to build until I crack.

So I’m torturing you.

A: Bingo. And we know how much you love that.

I do, yeah. But why can’t we keep it the same?

A: The same isn’t working. Your brain is telling you that. Hell, your muse is telling you. You couldn’t even look at it yesterday, you were so confused. And that kinda sucks. I need my story told.

I need to tell your story. I need it out of my head and into the world.

A: Yes, so let’s take care of this problem and move the freak on, okay?

Okay. We will do that.

So…got some ideas. Also, just before doing this freewrite, I did a different one on why I was stuck. I discovered that because I’ve been getting feedback on everything, my muse is a bit beat up. (And I need that feedback, so this isn’t a complaint, honestly!) She’s feeling cagey about just writing and getting words down, and screwing up the story. So I need to step away from that — at least, when writing — and see if I can just write and not worry about anything else.

Things creep in, you know? Bills. Work. Eye pain. The upcoming release. What people will say. Hell, what they won’t say. I need to let it all GO, right here, right now.

And just write.