Keep chipping away #IWSG

Since I don’t have much to share from the month, I’ll jump right into the question.

IWSG question of the month: When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

The answer to this varies. Sometimes I’ll jump ahead. Sometimes I’ll grab my side story file and hash out if I’m getting stuck. A few times a story will get shelved and I’ll let it sit before coming back to it. But a coach I had would often yell out for the class to keep chipping away (because there felt like no end to wall ball shots). It’s kind of stuck with me.

Eventually it comes together. Keep in mind, I am a notorious pantser.

With the exception of Twisted Magics, I’ve made a playlist for every book, which helps, but that’s me. Constants are anything for battle music. Then there’s others that I’ll have for just general emotions through certain parts. Usually I’ll add something I just feel like listening to. Even while working on a project, I’ll make adjustments to the playlist.

Though I have a lot of projects that I haven’t touched or that have been shelved for years. Terra takes up most of my time and I still haven’t figured out what I want to do with these other things. There’s one that I’ve been wanting to expand upon that might be the size of a novella by the end of it, but it still sits and haunts me.

For now, back to Terra stuff.

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Rollercoaster ride #IWSG

What happened to April?

In between the chaos that is now my schedule, I managed to get some heavy lifting done on book 7. Added a few new scenes and increased the overall word count. Just not to where I want to be for a minimum.

Strangely, I do have a minimum for the books. If I fall below that, I know I’m missing things. I didn’t finish the pass through I was on before I tossed it at my alpha reader hoping for another perspective (he wanted some reading material for in-flight). We’ll see what he has to say when he gets back, though I’ve gotten some feedback already.

But before I get to the IWSG question of the month, I want to give a huge shout out to everyone who stopped by my table at Gem State Comic Con. You are all awesome and you have no idea how much I enjoyed seeing some returning faces! I’m looking forward to seeing people at Gem State Gaming Con in July.

IWSG question of the month: It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

There are tons of highs and lows. I kind of touched on some above, but I think my favorite high is when a scene just comes together. Especially if it’s one that I had been fighting with.

Though giving my alpha reader (a welcomed) mental whiplash was fun also.

Lows? Probably when the words won’t come. When I can’t get the scene to play in my head. These are usually times that I know I need this particular scene, but damned if I can get it to come out.

Granted, book 7 overall nearly getting canned was a pretty big low. My first attempt at it was a spectacular disaster. While I salvaged quite a bit from it, things I had wanted to introduce got put on the back burner in favor of being able to keep the overall story.

Art of any medium is a rollercoaster ride. While you’ll likely not be getting me on an actual rollercoaster anytime soon, this one I’ve ridden for so long that getting off seems strange.

And, finally, because we can all have some Star Wars fun:

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Listening #IWSG

Ack! It’s Camp NaNo and I’ve taken on likely more than I can manage. I’ve got a table at Gem State Comic Con this weekend that I need to make sure I have everything prepped for. Signed up/paid for two more events this summer this month. Pinewood Derby for my daughter’s Pack was earlier this week (sorry, no pictures – I was running around with my iPad and a list of racers and their numbers which made me look official enough or something to get ALL the questions). And there’s still plenty more on the calendar that I don’t want to think about right now.

Doesn’t leave much time for other projects to try and get to at the moment. Though book 7 edits is the project for Camp NaNo so at least there’s progress there.

IWSG question of the month: Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

Not yet. I’m exploring options still, but unless I can bring that cost much further down, I cannot afford to make any of them into audiobooks. I have a decent mic and the program to do it myself, but I’m not certain I would be the best person to be the narrator. I don’t have the training as a voice over actor. Though I could probably muddle through what I vaguely remember of audio production.

That and I have a pair of noisemakers in the house even when I’m the only human there and a surprisingly busy neighborhood. I’d have to invest in some soundproofing.

So, I am still looking into doing audiobooks when I have the chance, but for the moment it has to be set on the “I’ll get to it eventually” pile that is ever growing. The thought of running a Kickstarter or something with Patreon or Ko-Fi has crossed my mind to help with the cost, but I’m not sure I would make it for one book to be produced (and having six out currently that could be done as audiobooks makes those numbers look even more insurmountable).

For now, it’s back to getting ready for the con this weekend. I can definitely say I’ll also be at Gem State Gaming Convention this summer (I’ve missed this con!). The other one is always weird to try and announce early because I’m never quite sure I have my spot until I start getting responses closer to the event. I’m very much hoping other events return or are able to run fully again.

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Just because you can doesn’t mean you should #IWSG

I should start this post with some progress. Yes, I’ve finally gone back and started editing book 7. It was in a much better place than I feared it was (post NaNoWriMo chaos is always questionable). I’ve got plenty of editing still to do and possibly some scenes to add since it’s a bit thin for my liking.

I’ve put it back down for now with the chaos of life. Though I’ll pick it up again soon. When I have two of them going at the same time, the newest one kind of goes on and off hold for these first few months of the year anyway while I prepare the other for publication. It’s enough of a routine that I’m unconcerned at the moment.

The major reason for putting book 7 back on hold is my calendar is filling quickly this month and most of it belongs to my daughter. If it was merely taking her to drop her off and wait, I’d likely be poking at Scrivener on my phone if I didn’t take my iPad with me. However, my attention will be required.

IWSG question of the month: Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

So many times. Especially when it’s adding scenes during editing. Does this fit? Is this just for my own entertainment? Does this help the story at all?

While I ask those questions, I also look to see if it there’s a way to work it so it’ll fit/help. Most of the time I can get it to play nice. I’m not sure if I’ve ever really trashed a scene after writing it (excluding when I’ve done a complete rewrite of something). This may be more because I write so minimally when I draft that I’m constantly having to add.

That and overthinking things before I start is a specialty of mine.

As for being conflicted about writing a whole story, absolutely. Every time I start something, but if I don’t write it, I won’t know. If it doesn’t work out, no one else has to see it.

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Paralyzing fear #IWSG

You know that rough of book 7 I was talking about? Yeah… I still haven’t looked at the file again. Why? I’m scared.

And that’s not the only thing lately. I’ve been trying to pick up some new skills or returning to things I used to do, but stopped because… well, I sucked. I know I’m fighting myself on the “if you’re not immediately good at this why bother?” part that I grew up with and knowing it takes time and practice. A particular line from Firefly comes to mind:

“She understands, she doesn’t comprehend.”

Firefly “Objects in Space” River Tam

Writing escaped a lot of that because I kept it secret and private. It was my little playground for a long time where I could be as messy and as bad as I wanted. And most importantly, no one could tell me how bad I was.

It’s not like I haven’t been writing at all. I’ve been toying with other projects that will never see the light of day. My scratch pad where I can play to my heart’s content. I just need to figure out how to apply that to other things.

Anyone else ever hesitate or pause on a project because of fear?

New year, new um… #IWSG

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. Not sure why, but they just never worked for me.

A draft of book 7 is waiting for me. I decided to take at least a month away from it before coming back which is really weird because I usually dive right into editing in December. In the interim, I’ve been poking at some side stuff, trying to figure out where things are going post. Things that will actually help me edit the book itself.

I swear it makes sense. Maybe only to me, but it does.

This year I’d like to pick up some other things that have fallen by the wayside. Nothing I would constitute as a resolution, but I’m going to get back to drawing. I should probably find an accountability partner for this. For now, I need to learn Procreate.

I also need to get back to figuring out what to do with my website. While I map out the sections, there will likely be a lot of blank pages until I go back and fill in.

Book 8 is stewing in my mind also. I hadn’t wanted to do two background stories back-to-back so I held off. Then there’s all the other writing projects and concepts that have been collecting dust.

I know I won’t get to it all. I’m not sure how much I can get to. What do I choose to put aside for the time being (possibly again)? Eventually I’ll figure it out.

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Writing joys and woes #IWSG

NaNoWriMo is over and the year is quickly coming to an end. I’m not sure what to make of it all. There has been so much going on that it’s been hard to keep track of.

I’m not even certain what to write at this point. About as much as my brain wants to work right now is to look at the calendar and see how soon the next expansion for Final Fantasy XIV drops. I’ll be happily indulging myself in Endwalker’s story.

December’s optional question: In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

Plenty of stressors in writing. From having no idea where the story is going while I’m getting a draft down to how it’ll be received. This year’s NaNo project definitely had me pulling on my hair. It would not work last year and after bouncing some ideas with my alpha reader, I managed to push through this year. I haven’t gone back yet to see how bad it is, but he got his hands on it while I was still writing and it sounds promising.

But that happens a lot. I do, however, take delight in seeing it all come together. Not to mention the kind words I’ve received from people over the years who have enjoyed my series. Though I’ll admit, I’m afraid to ask specific questions on what in particular they like. And it doesn’t help that I am the keeper of all spoilers.

Sorry this is so short and disjointed. Usually I’ll have pulled up the project already and started making sure everything is lined up since I’ll change my mind on the fly and not go back to edit because, well, NaNo, but I think I’m going to let it sit for a little bit. Maybe poke at it again later in the month.

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I forgot… #IWSG

Uh… oops. It’s been chaotic and I’ve kept missing IWSG days and am running late on it today, but at least it’s still today. And yet somehow I’ve remembered during NaNoWriMo.

November IWSG question: What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

The blurb. The blurb is the bane of my existence. The “let me tell you about the book without spoiling anything” ends up going through so many rewrites. I always have a number of people looking it over.

The title? Usually I was giggling coming up with random titles and then picked one to see if it would stick or not. Some did, others didn’t. Once I’ve settled on one, I make sure I work it into the story somewhere at least once. I think I got Shattered Illusions in a few times (though it may have been slightly altered on some).

I kind of wish I had kept the list of all the goofy names Brandi and I came up with while trying to title Mortgaged Mortality as a NaNoWriMo project. There were at least two dozen title ideas.

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Quit? #IWSG

IWSG question of the Month: What would make you quit writing?

I may take breaks and walk away for a while, but I don’t think I could ever quit. I’ve recently been rereading an old file. The one that I figured out that if I wanted to tell that story I needed more world building and then my current series was born. It’s funny what I forgot was in there that eventually made its way into the series. Ideas that have been brewing for years. (No, I’m not sharing, my writing was horrid.)

So, while projects may never be seen, I doubt I’ll ever stop. Writing is too much a part of me. It started as a means of escape and evolved from there.

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Divine and Conquer

Time is still a funny thing, isn’t it? Suddenly we’re a week out from release of Divine and Conquer and I still haven’t done any sort of announcement or cover reveal. I really did lose track of time with that.

Granted, I’ve been waiting to also get the files for bookmarks and FB/Twitter covers, but that’s not much of an excuse.

This will be the last one in this series for a bit. It’s a good pausing point where I can turn my attention to other projects. Currently Divine and Conquer is available for ebook preorder on Amazon and will be up for preorder (both print and ebook) with other retailers in the next few days. Print on Amazon will go live on the 21st and as for the copies I keep on hand… well, I’ll be ordering them on the 21st. I’ll announce when I have them.