IWSG Question of the Month:Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?
Often enough I complain about how my characters won’t behave, but I have done the above.
The first several (failed) attempts at the series I’m working on, I tried to write a specific genre and I more or less held to it, but the story never worked. Granted, I was also writing from the perspective of another character and much more down the road in the overarching story than I currently am.
When I gave up and simply started writing (from Ketayl’s perspective) to explore the world, neither the genre nor the form was what I had started with.
I also have another project that seems to be taking on a life of its own and not what I had originally intended. For the most part, I’ve given up trying to force things to fit as they never seem to come out well.
Before I get into this month’s question, I know a lot of people are wondering when the ebook for Mortgaged Mortality will be available for preorder. I promise I’m working on it. With the delays, I’m trying to slim down some of the things I do to regain some of that time which is holding getting the ebook up until the final version is ready. I’ll be posting when it is available.
It’ll be soon! Things are moving well. There won’t be a delay on release. The only thing that will be off-schedule will likely be me having physical copies on hand.
IWSG Question of the Month: Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?
A secret, huh? I’m pretty open so I’m not sure what someone wouldn’t know.
I guess a fun one is that I keep a playlist for each project. While that part is known, the fun part is sometimes I toss something onto the playlist that I just want to listen to and has nothing to do with the story.
The entertaining part is my alpha reader usually gets subjected to me listening to said playlist over and over. He tries to match each song to where he thinks it should be in the story. Those one or two songs drives him nuts.
If there is something you would like to know, I’ll try to answer the comments. I’m pretty bad about reading them on the run and then forgetting I need to come back and reply.
Needless to say, that’s kind of my world at this point. The only reason I know what’s going on when at all it seems is if my calendar tells me. And thank goodness for that. Despite the consistent schedule for my daughter’s class calls, I’d mix up which teacher she was talking to which day.
I haven’t been writing or editing much the past few weeks. My brain just shut off. And likely it’s due to this weird world created by Covid-19 (plus having a 7-year-old asking me stuff every few minutes doesn’t get me far). Probably also partially due to I’m coming into the home stretch for book 5 (and trying to figure out when and how to do a cover reveal).
Of course a new release always comes with its own insecurities. Especially where I struggled with this one. It clicked late of what I needed to change for it to be the story that it is and I think I integrated some of the old stuff that needed to remain correctly.
Then there’s the uncertainty of my event schedule for the year. Right now my events that I would be selling at have either moved or are in a holding pattern while they decide what to do. A different event I was going to volunteer at just announced last night that they were canceling for this year. While that makes me sad, I know it’ll come back better than ever with the extra year to plan. And maybe I’ll have figured out a costume by then.
Well, we all know that this is the time of year that I start getting nervous as the next book goes into its final stages for release. I took a huge gamble on this one and I hope it pays off.
IWSG Question:The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?
Scary. Seeing what is normally a lively and vibrant city become so quiet. There’s still some traffic and people moving about as they go to work, but… It’s not the same.
I am grateful for the generosity of the community though. People reaching out (with maintaining social distancing) and checking in on each other. Offering to pick up and deliver for those who are stuck. So much has happened and I wonder how it’ll shape our world once this threat has passed.
In terms of writing, I’m still pushing along. I’m waiting to get working with my cover designer on 5 (I’ve held the title this long – might as well reveal with the cover). 6 is written and in editing. I’m fairly happy with the alpha version (and so is my alpha reader), but it’ll be a while still before it’s ready. I plan on working on it during Camp NaNoWriMo this month.
Who knows, maybe I’ll get ahead and get to some other projects I’ve been letting gather dust. At least I’d like to think that, but as I’ve found out during this time, the house can go from quiet and peaceful to chaos in under 5 seconds.
After some confusion, mishaps, and much cursing, I’ve regained control… of my blog. I claim that on nothing else.
I’ve been pretty quiet anyway over the past few months. Life’s been hectic to put it nicely. I’d like to think perhaps this month I can actually start getting started on some projects I’ve been putting off for a long time, but I need to return my attention to book 5 (and stop poking at 6 for now). Especially if I want to get it out on time.
February IWSG Question:Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?
For the setting, yes, which of course was integral to the story. I remembered when I was getting ready to start Twice Cursed, I had the rough concept, but no location. Someone in one of my critique groups at the time would occasionally send out an email when he found something of interest. I don’t have the original image (or at least I can’t find it right now), but it sent me into looking at what would become Ghost Forest.
Those two I’ve obviously finished. I’m trying to think of others, but those were the big ones. I’ve used other pictures here and there for small things: the necklaces Ketayl and Kitteren wore in Shattered Illusions, what some articles of clothing/armor would look like, etc.
Plenty small ones used in things I haven’t finished or is simply background story for me to have.
I’d love to hear of some fun inspiration other have used.
Late in the day, but not completely late for this month. I forgot to get it written early like I normally do and then I forgot that I needed to remember all of my login stuff because I got a new computer.
So, yeah, new computer (last one was dying a slow painful death and I couldn’t work on it) and I’ve booked events for most weekends this month. This coming weekend, August 10-11, I’ll be at Nampa Festival of the Arts. August 24-25, I’ll be at Boise Comic Arts Fest. And if everything works out, I’ll also be at Experience Garden City on August 31.
What I’m most insecure about right now is getting 5 moved along. I’m behind my normal schedule, but I’m pressing hard so I don’t have to move the release date.
IWSG Question of the Day:Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?
Oh, what a question for me. This happens ALL THE TIME. Have a character I plan to kill and I end up liking him/her too much. A character dies who I hadn’t planned to kill. Silver decides to do things he’s not supposed to for a couple of books and I have to hit the reset button. I could go on.
Usually it’s Silver who does things I’m not expecting, but sometimes things just go in a completely opposite direction. The following quote is the most accurate thing I’ve ever seen when it comes to how I write:
Oh gosh, anyone who has had the unfortunate chance to listen to me lately it seems like I’m putting out a never ending sequence of fires. Or trying to keep my world from completely exploding. I’m not sure which yet.
Which means writing has gotten sidelined. However, thankfully I had enough in place that Conjured Defense is still on course for release.
Doesn’t mean I’m not nervous about it leaving the nest and going out into the world. Despite what my beta readers tell me. At least my cover is pretty.
IWSG Question of the Day: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I’m not sure I have a particular instance where I learned that. The more I read, the more clearly I was transported to other worlds where I could leave the troubles of life behind. I could be whoever I wanted, go on adventures with amazing people, take on various challenges and villains… The good stuff.
And you would think I would apply this concept to my own writing, but eh, I just make stuff up.
Part of that is likely because in my calls for help, I was ignored. I’d write down my requests so there was no misunderstanding, but I remained unheard.
Yet, I continued reading and writing, escaping to somewhere else.
Yeah, I’ve been really bad about keeping on top of certain things lately. Writing blog posts being one of them. Trying to stay on track with getting Conjured Defense ready and it feels like a thousand or so other things.
While itching to get back to book 5 (saved my next attempt at it for Camp NaNoWriMo), I’ve been working on editing older stuff. Granted, family has kept me quite busy along with my volunteer work.
Though I finished a particular project there recently and it felt really good to see it go on to the next stage. Not that there aren’t a ton more projects waiting for me.
As for family, my daughter picked up a couple new things since the beginning of the year. Her soccer club with her school I was expecting again because she enjoyed it so much last year. Then she added Cub Scouts and she’s bound and determined to earn all of the Tiger adventures, which, of course, we’re helping her to achieve (she still has to put in the work though).
She’s a little over halfway there with more in progress. Of course my husband and I got dragged in to help.
Doesn’t exactly lend me much time to devote to writing lately. I had hoped to have finished a particular editing project by now, but alas, that hasn’t happened.
Going to Massachusetts and Connecticut for over a week last month didn’t help either, but it was great to visit. Got some work done in-flight since I couldn’t sleep.
I know I’m always insecure at this time in the process of getting a book out. I doubt it will ever really change. Got an idea for another series also, but outside of some notes at the moment, it’s not going anywhere. It’s really in the concept stage so I’m definitely not ready to share anything.
And that’s pretty much it right now.
IWSG Question of the Day: If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?
The first chapter. I struggle so much with beginning a book it’s not even funny. Once I get going, I’m good for the most part.
ACK! I missed last month! Sorry all. Things haven’t been the greatest and I’ve been rather distracted. Can I blame the puppy?
Okay, probably not. And he’s not that small anymore. Or that floppy. He does still try to get on my lap sometimes though.
The New Year always brings that time of reflection and looking forward. It can be kind of nerve wracking.
I really don’t know what 2019 will bring. I know things I have scheduled like being in Southern New England in March and Boise Book Fest in June. I’m working on staying on track with Conjured Defense. And if you’ve seen my newsletter, you’ve seen the next hint.
Also, all my books are on a Kindle Countdown deal on Amazon for $/₤0.99 through January 7th.
IWSG Question of the Day: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?
Oh gosh, I don’t know if I have a favorite. I love having conversations with people either about the books, the process, or even just some general topics regarding writing.
My least favorite is probably “how long have you been writing?” Wait! It’s likely not for the reason you think.
So, my dislike of that question is I typically don’t know the time frame that is being asked. Most of the time I start answering how long I’ve been just writing, which is most of my life, but many times people are looking at how long have I been putting out books or working on this series, which is a much smaller time frame. For me, all that time just writing for myself is a part of the whole story. It’s just not what I’m currently presenting so I have that “awkward” moment in realizing my mistake.
It’s like all the side story work I do with the series, but no one else has read it. Except for that one I put out on Wattpad a couple years ago.
NaNoWriMo is going on and you know what that means…
My head is buried in whatever new novel so I’m going to be pretty quiet this month. I’m really nervous with this one because I spent through the end of October getting Conjured Defense to beta status and didn’t get to spend much time thinking about book 5.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a concept, but typically I’ll have a decent sized playlist and a few key scenes I’ve been working on in my head. Usually battle sequences.
I entered November with a pretty sad excuse for a playlist and my concept. We’ll see how this goes. I’m a notorious pantser anyway. Should be fine, right? Right?
IWSG Question of the Day: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?
Um… I’ve been writing for so long I’m not entirely certain.
One of the things I will drive people nuts with is coming up with a variety of scenarios when the news reports something, but gives little or vague information. I don’t do this all the time and only with select people. It’s a fun exercise to come up with both logical and closing in on far-fetched scenarios. And of course everything in between.
Other than that, I tend to draw ideas from around me all the time without actively thinking about it. I never intentionally trained this, but it’s what I do. Most ideas or concepts that I keep end up in the “someday” pile. Some sneak their way in while I’m writing. It never has to be something large. Often times it’s a small moment in a larger story.