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Did I really just do that?

Pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone. I've been doing that a lot lately, in a lot of areas in my life. And I've just found another way to push it in my writing. Yep. I believe the last time I said I was venturing into new territory with my writing was when I said I had multiple story ideas going on in my head. And now, I have just outlined a novel! I've tried it before, and after I've outlined the first half, I toss it all aside and don't bother working on it. This time, it's different. Why? OK, well, I've started calling my first-drafts just a really detailed outline, but now I had to come up with a synopsis for a book I haven't written yet. Book 2 in the trilogy. I sort of knew what I want to happen, so I will call this synopsis a very basic outline! Yay me! And now I get to do another very basic outline for book 3! The synopsis is general enough that I have a lot of room to move in the story, but I have the basic character and conflict arcs, and it will help to keep track and tie it all up in book 3.


I must say, I love discovering how much I enjoy parts of the process of writing I never thought I could like. It reminds me of my second year at Seton Hill University when my mentor challenged me on my editing process. My first thought was that I can't do it, at all. And then I asked myself why I thought that, I hadn't tried it yet. I adore the editing process now. It is a completely different creature compared to the creative getting down the first draft. The editing is where I get to really work out the story and work on the craft of writing. And now the new challenge of writing a synopsis of something I haven't written yet, something I thought I couldn't do. But I gave it enough thought, and now I have a great working document.


The plan for starting book 2 then, is to begin the first draft on September 1, though to be hones, I just might start it a little sooner than that.






And the work goes on...

But now I have a real reason for it!

Now that I have an agent, I've been busy working on edits of "Disappeared". I thought it was great before, and it was, it just needed more. A lot of little bits of more. About 10,000 words of more.

That has kept me nice and buys, but that isn't the only thing.

I teach a workshop on "Silencing your Inner Saboteur" (my next workshop runs August 8 - 28, 2011, through From the Heart Romance Writers. Sadly, lj doesn't seem to want to insert links tonight. The website is http://fthrw.com/workshops/wkshop_2011_08.php. Registration dadline is August 1). And so I've also expanded it into an e-book available at Smashwords.com (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/75840). It is also available at www.diesel-ebooks.com (http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000075840/Peters-Sherry-Silencing-Your-Inner-Saboteur/1.html). It will be available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Apple in the next couple of weeks.
 
It is an interesting foray into e-publishing. At this point in my career, it certainly is not something I would personally choose for my fiction. I really do believe to succeed in e-publishing you need to have a name and/or a fantastic publicity machine behind you, even if that machine is yourself. So why choose to go this route for my workshop material? I wanted to make more information available to those taking my workshop, and at the same time, perhaps a few others might stumble upon it and find it useful.
 
I'd looked into e-publishing for a few months, and while it might be more cost-effective to publish directly with Kobo and Amaozon, etc., if I were to sell thousands of copies, I found smashwords simply more user friendly, and they take care of distributing to all the major retailers so that I can have it available within weeks, rather than in several months while I wait for paperwork to clear.
 
It is an experiment and we'll see how it goes. 
 
Now back to editing the fiction! 

An incredible shift on the writing path

 Well, these last several months have proven to be incredibly interesting and life-changing. My writing journey has changed in a big way. And so, rather than simply documenting here how many words I wrote or how many pages I've edited, etc. I thought I would add to it the new adventure. 

At the end of May, i attended Phoenix ComicCon where I met agent Cherry Weiner of the Cherry Weiner literary agency. I won't tell you the whole story here, though I will say that it was a whirlwind. By the end of the weekend, she offered to represent me.

I signed the contract on June 15, 2011.
 
This is a phenomenally exciting step forward.
 
Cherry agreed to represent me after reading my manuscript for "Mabel the Lovelorn Dwarf.". I don't know if this has ever happened, but after signing the contract with Cherry, we had a wonderful discussion and came to a mutual agreement, that "Mabel" would need to be put in the drawer. 
 
Thankfully I had followed the advice of countless people. While "Mabel" was on submission to agents, I wrote another novel. It is also fantasy, but is very different from "Mabel".
 
While I could send the manuscript to Cherry as it is, I wanted to give it another read over and give it another round or two of edits. I've completed the first pass of edits, and I'm glad I'm taking the time. W.hat is written is good, but there are a lot of little ways I can add to it. 
 
My job for the next few weeks is to give the manuscript another two or three passes, try and work out as many glitches and  clean up as many typos, before I send it to Cherry at the end of the month.
 
So as I venture on this new part of my journey, I hope to add in news of the process with my agent.
 

The pleasantly unexpected

Inspite of my great optimism and expectations because of yesterday's productivity, it was beginning to look like I wasn't going to get any writing done. Thanks to the slow change of seasons, my wrists were bothering me a little bit, nothing to worry about, just enough to annoy me when I sat at my keyboard. I'd like to say they were sympathy pains for Mabel and her shoulder pain, but I know better, this kind of thing happens at least once or twice a year. So with Dragon Naturally Speaking open as a backup, and after actually doing the dishes out of procrastination, I finally sat down to write. I knew what I wanted to write, I just wasn't sure how much I'd actually get done. Instead of setting the goal of 2,000 words, I changed it to the modest goal of 500 words. Achievable and exceedable goals. Once I started typing, the pain went away, and I did more than exceed my goal. 

As for the story itself, I'm enjoying taking my time with it, seeing where the plot is going, experiencing it all through Mabel's eyes. I don't know how much of this is going to end up in the final draft, but that's not my concern right now. And I like that.

Word count: A whopping 2,094!

Day ???

I've given up on counting days, so I'll have to start being more creative with my subject lines.

After a slow writing week, with really only one productive writing day, I need to make up for it this weekend. And I'm doing just that. I like where things are heading, the characters are behaving themselves, suitably moody for the beginning of a novel.

Word Count: 2,162
This brings me to just over 10,000.

Day 30

 After two days of no writing due to work commitments, it feels really good to get back to the writing. I thought it would be a lot more difficult to get back into the story. So far, there just seems to be something about the characters that just pulls me in. I have some concerns about the way one or two of them are acting right now, but it will work itself out.

Word count: 1370

Day 27

An excellent writing weekend. Despite my procrastination, it has been incredibly productive. Today is no exception. I was ready to stop early, but I'm pleased I didn't, that a friend of mine encouraged me to keep going.

Word count: 1855

Day 26

I'm sneaking it in right under the wire here. That's what happens when I procrastinate all day. It was a good day though, relaxing, a good Saturday. But I'm happier now that I've written. And it was a good day of writing in the end. And I left off in a spot I should find easy to pick up tomorrow.

Word count: 1100 words


Day 25

Best writing day so far. Put in some good writing time tonight. It does confirm for me though, that I write better between 10 pm and midnight. If I could survive on 5-6 hours of sleep a night, things would be great. Or if I could change my work hours.  However, I shall continue to make the most of writing time I get, when I get it. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have plenty of writing time.

Word count: 1200
That's right! Here's hoping for an equally productive day tomorrow.


Day 24

After a non-writing day yesterday, I had a successful day today. Characters are revealing things about themselves all over the place. It's great for setting the foundation for the novel's conflict. I'm curious to see where this is going. I know, plot-wise, but character-wise I can't wait to explore.

Word count: 900

Onward and upward.


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