Tag Archives: The Inner Slave Driver

#ROW80 Check-in 6/21/15

Annnd here we are again with another check-in. I’ve been more productive, which is really good. ūüôā

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!

I’m still going slowly wordcount-wise so my muse doesn’t get spooked. I haven’t been able to work on both main WIPs every day, although I think I managed it once. So maybe it’ll end up being a back-and-forth thing, and that’s totally okay. I’m being gentle with myself because things have been rough on me as of late, and I don’t need to hear my Inner Slave Driver screaming at me about low wordcounts. Nope, my ears are plugged.

Here’s the run down:

Survivor – Worked on it today and last Sunday. I’m on page 10 of 831 (!!) but I realized that I messed up a few scenes. Oh, yes. It would have helped to take a glance at my outline and notes beforehand, but now I’ve got it straight. It is SO overwhelming, rewriting this book. But it will be better for it, and I still believe it is worth the work to make it saleable. I also need to distill some of these scenes into the core idea, because I can see how little some of them accomplish story-wise. I’ve learned how to identify that kind of stuff, whereas 11 years ago, I knew nothing. So, progress.

Ever Touched – More work in Hiveword (it is Hiveword, not Hivemind! I frantically searched for it last night — didn’t bookmark the site, duh — and discovered this. Oops? But now I’m straight.) Got some characters named and identified, got a few scenes added to the outline. It’s coming along.

Fireborn – No new words here. I got a bit stuck on where to go next. I know the what, just not the how. I thought about it and I think I have a direction now.

Covenant – 646 more words for a total of 4,810 in draft.

Changeling part 2 – I got feedback and have revised/edited it. One more pass for typos and such, and it’ll be done.

I think that’s it for today. Going to try to get more work done today if I can, in between Father’s Day stuff.

As for the chocolate consumption report, been craving it MADLY and have been eating ALL THE THINGS which is really bad for the waistline. I may need to cut back at some point. ūüė¶

How are you doing on your goals?

#ROW80 Check-in 3/8/15

I’ve been busy proofreading and haven’t had the time to do a proper ROW80 post, so please forgive me. I did finish the proofreading, but I was a few days late. I’m having some stress/eye pain issues that have made it tough to concentrate. My editor was okay with it (I’d worried about that). But now it’s done and I can breathe again.

My #1 goal is to RELAX. So I haven’t done anything writing-wise. It seems my brain and body need a break after intense writing/editing/deadlines and the last thing I want to do is stress myself out too much. So yesterday was a “free” day. I worked on Grave Touched’s cover because I need to give myself enough time to get it done properly (first time doing a cover! Wish me luck!) and I binge watched Game of Thrones. I also ran a backup, which I promised myself I’d do once the book was sent off to my editor. (I’m very OCD about my backups).

So…what is on the horizon?

~Today I will poke a bit at Survivor. I was rewriting the first chapter when I started the edits on Grave Touched, and I don’t want that to be left hanging.

~Some point soon, I will get back to Fireborn and write those 661 words I need to make my goal before the end of this round.

~Ever Touched plotting

~Poetry. I have several poem drafts to weed through, and some old ones I discovered by accident, so that should be fun. (And maybe some more #badpoetry. *winks.*)

As for when, just gonna say soon. I have a really hard time taking breaks (as much as I need them) because my brain is ALWAYS spinning with ideas and I feel a desperate need to get them down. And, I’m just used to writing every day. The last day I wrote anything was January 27th. Yikes! Two months ago. Granted, I was editing and proofreading, but that doesn’t count. My Inner Slave Driver has to relax. *rolls eyes*

So that’s what’s going on. I hope to make some progress, even a bit, before the end of the round.

Also, chocolate consumption: through the roof. Stress = stress eating. Enough said.

2014 Year-End Review and 2015 Goals

 

2014¬†was a busy, productive year for me.¬† It was also my (first) Year of No Fear, which went pretty well.¬† I know I’m slightly late with this, but hey — better late than never, right?

So, first up: Year of No Fear.¬† I did a review on the Turtleduck Press blog recently and rather than repeat myself, I will point you to that post here. In summary, I did pretty well.¬† A lot got crossed of the list, and other things weren’t done.¬† But overall, I’m happy with my progress and will be carrying it forward this year (*points to 2015 Manifesto above*).¬† As always, you’re welcome to join me. *grin*

Okay, next up: 2014 goals.  How did I do on them?

~Rewrite and revise Grave Touched by deadline (Sept/Oct ‚Äď we‚Äôre not sure yet) ~It¬†turned out to be January 1st and I’m happy to report that I’ve turned it in to my editor and am (*twitches*) waiting to hear what she thinks.
~Continue working on another draft of something (Flamebound is the top contender) if it doesn’t interfere with GT ~This did not happen as such.  I ended up starting an erotica novella as part of my Year of No Fear, which is on the backburner for now, and also wrote a novella for a TDP anthology.  So, yes, new drafts, but nothing from the revision pile yet.
~Continue the Flamebound revision (ties into the draft above) ~Not done for the above reasons.  But I have been doing a massive amount of thinking about it and that is progress. *fierce look*
~Make some type of ruling on Survivor ‚Äď when to work on it and COMMIT to it ~Yes!¬† I’ve decided to poke¬†at it on Sundays, which is what I did back in 2004 when I started the draft.¬† I can probably handle another book¬†on one day, and this gives it a separation so I don’t mess myself up.¬† It’ll be slow, for now, but I hope to increase the pace sometime soon.
~Plan/plot/figure out Ever Touched¬†~ Eh, been working on this.¬† I’m sure of a few things, but not of others.¬† The main players have changed, however.
~Write more flash stories/poetry ~Done.  Wrote 10 poems and edited 2 drafts.  On flash Рwrote and posted to TDP this year: Changeling, part 1: The Faerie Lights, Warped, The Contract, and The Penitent. More to come!

And now, finally, 2015 goals.¬† I have so much I want to accomplish this year, but don’t want to put myself under too much pressure.¬† So, here goes:

~Publish Grave Touched, pending approval, in May (tentative)
~Write Fireborn, Reaper Girl novella
~Figure out a plot for Ever Touched
~
Start writing Ever Touched
~
Poke at Survivor (my book, not the TV show) on Sundays
~Start rewrite of Flamebound
~
Write 1 poem per week minimum
~Do something with darkroom

Annnd I’m stopping there, as that’s enough to wrap my head around.¬† I’m hoping to do some of that writing stuff simultaneously so it doesn’t look so daunting…yeah, I will be busy!

Your turn!  What are your goals for 2015?

 

 

In the home stretch

I’ve been writing a lot since I last posted.¬† Something like 30k or so.¬† My drop-dead deadline is April 1st to get it to my Turtleduck Press editor.¬† And that is a polished, publication-ready manuscript…not the mess it is currently.

The first half of the book needs to match the second half.¬† I changed quite a few things.¬† And it needs some smoothing.¬† That’s the only problem with completely pantsing it (that is, writing without an outline) — you end up with a lot of things to rewrite or clean up.¬† But it works.¬† I haven’t written a book this fast in a long, long time.¬† And the kicker is that I haven’t written down any of my plans.¬† I’ve let things happen organically.¬† I’ve followed my muse wherever she’s led me, and I believe the finished product will be awesome for it.

I’ve had a few setbacks, though, like migraines and wrist issues.¬† I’ve been careful, but unfortunately, my left wrist is soooo sensitive.¬† So I’ve been taking care not to overdo it.¬† And if I do, I usually skip the next day’s writing session to compensate.

My original goal was to have the draft done by mid-month.¬† That’s not happening.¬† The draft is at 108k now, and I anticipate at least another 5k to wrap things up.¬† I’ll be cutting some things so I hope to have it end up around 100k when I’m done.

My new deadline is to finish the draft this weekend, but I’m not sure if I can do it.¬† I’ll try like hell, though, because that will give me more time to revise, edit, and polish.

I also have decided on book 2, both the name (Grave Touched) and the main “problem.”¬†¬† So that’s good.¬† I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in between edits, but I’ve considered starting book 2.

I also wanted to get some work done on the Flamebound revision and the Survivor Rewrite.

Recently, I sat down and put all the Survivor files together into a master document.¬† Then I can just move stuff around, cut, add, etc.¬† It came in at around 300k and 800+ pages!¬† This will be a big job, but I want to try to get it traditionally published.¬† Same with Flamebound.¬† We’ll see how it all shakes out.

So. Back to writing.

68k on Fey Touched

I just hit 68k on Fey Touched.¬† I can hardly believe it because I started in on October 31st, writing roughly 30k a month.¬† I haven’t stopped to plot ahead (just what’s in front of me currently – the “headlight method”) and I haven’t really stopped to analyze much of anything.

Normally — or what’s been normal — for the past few years, I’d work myself up into a frenzy about how awful my writing was, and naturally the muse would disappear.¬† I’d get depressed, and I wouldn’t make my words for the day.¬† I’d get more depressed, and on and on.¬† Yeah, there are flaws in Fey Touched.¬† There is an entire thread that might need to be reworked.¬† There are some worldbuilding things that need to be tweaked.¬† There’s a telepathic dog named Pixie that needs to play a larger role in the first third.

But, I also had a few surprises: a potential romance between the MC and someone I didn’t expect, the plague angle which I believe rocks, and the telepathic dog thing.¬† Oddly enough, I’m not a dog person at all, but I have a soft spot for my sister’s boyfriend’s German Shepard/Ridgeback mix.¬† And so Pixie was born.

Writing this way takes me back to the old days, when I felt free.¬† When I wasn’t so worried about getting published.¬† I just wrote.

So Fey Touched has brought the joy back.¬† It wasn’t even planned — it was a stray thought I had while filing one day at work and it grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.¬† I had to write this book.¬† And while the revision might be intensive, as I suspect it will be, I’m very happy with it overall.

I also have not a single thing written down in the way of plot, not even for memory purposes.¬† I do have a great memory, but since I hit 30, it’s been slipping a bit.¬† Normally I would write things down.¬† But having it in my head playing like a movie works.¬† Writing this quickly (and for me, this is very fast) keeps the story in my head and it’s flowing, changing, mutating.¬† I have ideas all the time, but one or two will stand out.¬† And that’s my next direction.¬† That’s how I’ve managed to write so much in going on 3 months.¬† It’s just there.¬† I don’t have to even think much.¬† It’s pretty amazing.¬† And exhilarating.¬† This is what I meant by writing with joy.¬† It’s amazing.¬† I feel better.

I have gotten stuck a couple of times, but each and every time (with the exception of the 11k start that needed to be trashed in the beginning), it’s been only for about a day.¬† I’d get into my writing headspace and brainstorm and poof!¬† It’s there.¬† It’s always there.¬† Pretty damn amazing.

I’ve got ideas for books 2 and 3.¬† Book 2 deals with the fallout of book 1, and book 3 introduces a new character who switches sides.¬† It’ll be cool.

Still on track to be done around February.

And I need an ending.¬† Currently it’s nebulous, but I trust my muse to figure it out and hopefully share.¬† Soon.

Update

Things are finally rolling along with writing.¬† I floundered and flailed a lot, and got hit with an idea that grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.¬† It’s actually the project formally known as Surrender, which was originally The Sacrifice, my first finished novel evah written in November for NanoWriMo.¬† My first time.¬† Ah, the memories.

So now it’s a science fantasy that basically has the Fey rooted in science, not myth.¬† Sound interesting?¬† It’s a million shades of cool, and I’ve been majorly jazzed.¬† I am beginning to enjoy writing again.¬† I still feel the need to rewrite stuff, but so far, I’m winning the argument.¬† First draft, baby.¬† Rewrites will come.

I’m hoping — if my wrists hold — to get a good chunk of this done by the end of the year.¬† I’m most likely going to publish it with Turtleduck Press, and my deadline is April 1st.¬† Kind of scary, but good practice, too.¬† So, this is my unoffical NanoWriMo novel.¬† It’s called Fey Touched.¬† The name Surrender didn’t fit as well as Fey Touched did.¬† I’m hoping to make this into a series.

Darklight has been put aside.¬† I thought I could do both, but I really work better with one project.¬† I need to get immersed into the story, and I can’t do that if I’m thinking about another story.

I’m still going to try to work on the Alpha Female revision as planned, after my words are done for the day.¬† I still believe in it and think I could make it so much better. I’d love to be able to submit it soon.

As for Pirouette, it’s with critiquers.¬† Until I get more feedback, I can’t make any decisions on whether or not to work on it more.¬† I’m guessing yes, but we will see.

I’m also writing more poetry for Turtleduck Press.¬† It’s been eye-opening so far.¬† I seem to have changed a bit, and I hope for the best.

What else?¬† Something huge recently happened that shook things up at home.¬† For awhile I couldn’t write, but now I’m finding it a comfort.¬† And that’s a good thing.

Oh yeah — I guest blogged on my friend Ana Ramsey’s blog.¬† I talked about my crazy muse and I.¬† Go read it.¬† It’s cool.¬† Linky: http://anaquana.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/guest-post-5-erin-kendall-surviving-my-muse/ .

 

Perfect is the enemy of the good.

This is one of Holly Lisle’s concepts in her How to Think Sideways class.¬† Something I seem to have forgotten in my quest to get published.

Lately I’ve been feeling out of sorts and frustrated with my writing.¬† Darklight has been stalled, the poems I wrote for Turtleduck Press were like pulling teeth, and every time I sat down to write I was paralyzed by the fear that whatever I write won’t be good enough.¬† That anything I wrote would be crap and no one would want to publish any of it.¬† That everyone else would be successful but I wouldn’t be because my writing sucked and wasn’t publishable.

Talk about a head case.¬† I started thinking more positively, that no, my stuff didn’t suck and yes, I would be published someday, and that was that.¬† And I remembered how I used to write when I first started 10 years ago (!)¬† : I wrote with joy.¬† I didn’t worry about anything on the page.¬† I kept moving forward.¬† I didn’t analyze anything to death and I rarely, if ever, rewrote anything during drafting.¬† But as time went on, this perfectionism crept in through the cracks.¬† It was insidious.¬† Just a “that first scene isn’t right.¬† Maybe you should rewrite it?”¬† became “wow, that whole first chapter sucks.¬† Let’s start again.¬† And again. And again.”¬† And this is why Darklight‘s first two chapters have been rewritten no less than 5 times.¬† Head. Desk.

I worried too much about making it perfect — the mood, the hook, the main character — and I completely derailed myself.¬† I’m not even supposed to rewrite while drafting.¬† It used to be an¬†ironclad rule.¬† Now it’s more of an afterthought.

So I decided to bring the love back.¬† I¬†will write and not worry about anything anymore.¬† I’ll let the story unfold the way it’s going to unfold, and I¬†will follow my muse.¬† NO REWRITES.¬† I can make notes.¬† But that’s it.

And I will continue to work at getting published.¬† I’ll edit and revise and rewrite when it’s time.

And lastly, I won’t ever tell myself that I’m not good enough, because I AM.¬† And I know that deep down.¬† Sometimes it gets lost in the daily shuffle.¬† No more.

As Holly Lisle says, write with joy.

It’s going….kind of.

It’s been slow.¬† Darklight is just shy of 5k, after rewriting the opening scene 3 times.¬† I also discovered a better way to bring out the creepy so things have changed a bit plot-wise and Ellya might have a brother who becomes very important later.¬† I think.¬† The muse and I are still working on that.

I had oral surgery one week ago to remove a wire from my jaw surgery 20 years ago (!) that my body decided to reject.¬† I’d been feeling like utter crap, dizzy as hell, and a bit spacey, and that is why.¬† So no writing occurred because I couldn’t fathom it.¬† So I took a bit of a break, but spent most of my time either reading or thinking about writing, which was actually quite productive.¬† So now I’m back at it, but slowly, because my muse is still a bit gun-shy.¬† My quota is 100 words a day and I’m aiming low.¬† I have the time, and pushing myself or pressuring myself isn’t gonna work this time.¬† So going slow and building up to more.

I’ve approached Darklight very differently than I’ve approached other novels.¬† I’ve never tried to write a straight-up horror novel, and I suspect this one will end up with psychological horrors as well.¬† I can’t help it.¬† It’s my inner psychologist working on me.¬† But I am trying for more horror too, so we’ll see.

I’m also telling this story differently.¬† First person present, a first for me.¬† Also there will be some journal entries by Ellya, the main character, in this novel and they will take place in a different location than the main action (her relationship with her love interest I think will be told in the journal entries, at least for part of it).¬† And finally, the chapters have names.¬† They will all use the format “[something] and the [something].”¬† And I’m letting my muse come up with them ahead of time and I will try to pull out what I think should go in that chapter based on the limited “plotting” (if you could call it that) I did.¬† Totally random, totally muse-directed, and I think it’ll be good. This is thanks to Holly Lisle, who has a class (How to Think Sideways) which I took and graduated from where she demo’d a plotting technique.¬† I sort of adapted it for my chapters.

So I’m living the muse for now, and it’s been enlightening.

I’ve also decided that once I get the comments back on Pirouette, I’ll make a ruling on whether or not I want to pursue getting an agent with it.¬† And after that is decided, I’ve also decided to tackle Alpha Female again.¬† Going with my goal of submitting something this year, I think AF is the logical choice as it needs a bit of work and then it might be ready for critique.¬† We shall see.

On the back burner (can you tell I’ve been thinking a lot about this?) are Darkweaver, which was supposed to be my Nano novel for this year, and my Fae-war romance inspired by my grandparents that suddenly bopped me over the head about a week ago.¬† Tentatively titled Pixie Queen, but that’s subject to change.

Ugh.  Want to move forward.  And I am, just slowly.

Missing: One Muse

I’ve got a big problem.¬† My muse has up and disappeared.¬† I’ve been working on stuff for Darklight, waiting to start until I felt like I had enough done, and I¬† feel that I do.¬† Except my muse has been absent.¬† And I’m getting to the point where I need to either start this thing or go off in another direction.

Darklight hits a lot of my buttons: conspiracy, the dark side, mind control, an alternate reality, memory loss, possession, a dead goddess, love between enemies to name a few.¬† So I’m jazzed about this.¬† I’ve even got a hint of a voice for the main character.¬† I have an idea of the first scene and the 3 “disasters” that will help move the plot forward.¬† I’m struggling with finding the right name for my MC.¬†I need to have it at least sorta right before I start, or it won’t work.¬† (Survivor, oddly enough, is the exception.¬† I slapped two names out of thin air for the twin MCs and they grew into their names).¬† This feels really important to me.¬† I’ve gone through so many names: Tempest, Dasia, Annalisse, Terlyn, Emiliana, Elizabeth, and now Ellia.¬† I think Ellia might be it, but I’m going to let that settle a bit before making the decision.¬† It’s like naming a baby: it needs to be right.¬† It needs to invoke what I need to invoke.¬† As an aside, I am using the name Tempest for another character, and it fits perfectly.¬† I’m also considering Velia.¬† There’s a cool meaning there that I can’t quite remember, but I do remember when I read up on it, something clicked.

As for my muse…well, I suspect she’s feeling a little intimidated.¬† This would be my first serious foray into the horror genre and if I offer it up to Turtleduck Press, I’m going to have a tight deadline.¬† I believe I can do it, but it’s a bit scary nonetheless.¬† But I need the practice writing to a deadline so I think it would be good for me.¬† If I can just start the thing.

So I’ve decided that if she doesn’t come back by the end of this weekend, I’m using brute force.¬† Gonna put whatever on the page.¬† She’ll want to poke at it, and that should get her interested.

But if you see her laying on a beach sipping pina coladas, tell her that she’s urgently needed.¬† I need her back like yesterday.

Decisions, decisions.

I just got back from vacation.  We camped up North at a beautiful campground.  It was, for the most part, nice.  Unfortunately, it rained a lot, so we spent more time in the tent than out of it.  But hey, a week off work was wonderful.

I go back tomorrow.  Not looking forward to that.

I had decided to try to finish Pirouette this weekend.¬† No crazy pressure, just a goal to keep me motivated.¬† I had something like 30 pages to edit, so it was doable.¬† And I did!¬† I have a few minor things to fix (a few continuity things) but it’s pretty much done!¬† Yay!¬† And I made my goal of finishing it by the end of the month — a week early, no less.¬† I’ll need to run it through a quick edit, then it’s off to critiquers!

Kind of exciting and kind of scary all at once.

So I’m starting to think about my next project.¬† I would like to get back to writing.¬† I’ve done very little all year, and my muse needs something new, fun, and most of all, not editing.

So at first I was thinking Darklight.¬† I’m pretty excited about it, but I need to nail down a few things first.¬† I also need to brainstorm a plot — even just something to get me started.¬† I don’t necessarily need the whole thing, just a springboard to jump off of.¬† I know that my main character is going to escape her confinement, but that’s it.¬† I need more than that.

Then I remembered Broken (to be re-titled Oubliette) from last year.¬† My supernatural thriller thing.¬† I read it over last night and fell back in love. It’s 12k at the moment, and I have scene cards already made for it.¬† No actual plot, just ideas.¬† But that can definitely work.¬† Both are possibilities for Turtleduck Press, so working on either one will get me closer to self-pubbing.

So….which one?¬† I’m very excited about both, and considered doing both at the same time, but that’s crazy.¬† I’ve tried drafting up to 4 (yes, you read that right) novels at once and it was….chaotic.¬† I don’t doubt my ability to keep things separate, but I’d like to focus on one project.¬† I think my energy would be better spent working on one.

My gut is saying Oubliette, because it’s already started and I’m really excited about it.¬† But I suppose I can wait a bit and see..still have that edit to do and 2 critiques I owe some writer friends.¬† So we’ll see.¬† Nothing’s in stone yet, but I’m leaning toward Oubliette.

Stay tuned.  The epic battle begins now.