Time? #IWSG

This month’s IWSG question is: how do you find the time to write in your busy day?

I stopped and went “what time?” as I’ve been mostly ignoring it for the past couple of weeks. And as much as my schedule increased in terms of how busy it got this year with the little one starting preschool (among other things), I’m sitting in trepidation at how much busier next year will be.

For now I’m trying to use the short time she’s in school to get something done, though lately it has been other things demanding my attention first. I think once the dust settles and I get used to the new routine, it’ll even itself out.

But honestly, I’ll grab whatever time I can. I don’t have a set schedule and I’m certain I’ll be making good use of the iOS version of Scrivener and my Dropbox syncing (since before Scrivener for iOS was released I would bounce between computers).

Writing on the run is hard, editing harder, and with as much as this post might be disjointed I think I can make it work.

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Burnout? #IWSG

I did some pretty heavy revisions to Shattered Illusions (Terra Chronicles book #2) during Camp NaNoWriMo last month. Managed to pour a lot of energy into it and called the revisions good fairly early so I could have it printed to work on while out camping.

And then never touched it. I still haven’t. About the most I’ve done is put it in a binder and find a red pen along with some loose-leaf to go with it. And wonder why the paper seems so thick because that wasn’t what I ordered, but I won’t complain. Might gripe about the turn around time this new place I tried took, but they came in way cheaper than where I usually go.

But no actual editing. I keep telling myself I need to get back on it. I need to have it done to go into beta in September. Which isn’t working.

My brain wants to work on anything but that. Including trying to figure out how I’m going to start book 3.

*sigh* If I keep trucking the heavyweight around everywhere, I might eventually get some work done on it, right? About as fast as I seem to be picking up Scrivener for iOS. (Okay, so I initially held off in hopes of getting a coupon for it from Camp NaNo.)

Now onto the IWSG question for the month: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

Like my very very very first piece of writing ever? That is wonderfully long gone. It was a place for me to escape and I never really put much effort into it.

My first really serious attempt is somewhere in my Dropbox still. I kept trying to write Kage’s story for a few years off and on. I had some things I liked but overall it never worked. While Kage gets a brief mention and cameo in Twisted Magics, I haven’t revisited any version of the story yet. Though from the ashes of one of them sparked a general idea that eventually took off into my current series. I do plan on looking back at some point so I can get a feel for Kage again as it gets closer to her return.

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Muse Monday: Shattering

Today’s post might go in a few different directions, but I’m announcing book 2’s title. Just no date – way too much work ahead of me, but the title I’ve had on it a while has stuck.

I had this song on in my vehicle and ended up hitting repeat (much to my husband’s dismay when he realized I had left it there for a while). Eventually it gave birth to the finalized title for book 2: Shattered Illusions.

No, don’t take this as a general plot. I also won’t say more on this as I don’t want to spoil anything.

I suppose the next question I should answer is if Lindsey Stirling was the reason I gave Ketayl the instrument I did. The answer to that would be no. I won’t argue that I find inspiration from her now (and others), but initially it was because of my grandfather. Granted, when he played, it sounded like someone was killing a cat slowly. He was good when he was playing the guitar and 3 harmonicas at the same time though. Just not the violin.

I’ve used this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo to do some heavy editing. Not that it would really change things in terms of getting Shattered Illusions edited, but watching my little arrow get closer and closer to center amuses me.

Shattered Illusions has undergone significant changes – all for the better as far as my too eager beta reader is concerned (we’ll see). Still have more in mind to make, but I’m hitting the point of not wanting to look at it anymore right now.

And of course just as the challenge kicked off for the month, I came up with an idea for book 3. That one is really untitled – even I’ve got nothing right now. At least it looks like I’ve got my project for NaNoWriMo in November (even though I kinda want to work on it now).

I suppose that’s enough wandering for one post.

Muse Monday: In rememberance

Some people like to put in things for people who have been in their lives. I’m sure someday I will, but my latest little cameo was to a player character in our gaming group that one of my characters killed.

He took a swing at her first. It was the last thing he did.

Anyway, I didn’t give him a glamorous or even remotely nice little place, but his name was mentioned. At the very least it entertained me and I’m sure once a couple of my upcoming beta readers (who are also players) get their hands on that part, it will make them smile (at least it wasn’t one of theirs I inadvertently killed).

Perhaps not the most Muse Monday worthy topic, but he ended up in a large section I rewrote and I had people look at me funny for giggling maniacally. Did I mention my characters were not fond of him to begin with?

Pick up the pace #IWSG

I ran into some serious issues early on with book 2. Got them sorted out a few months ago and now it’s down to editing (and maybe add an epilogue). I’m just not sure how fast I can turn around this book given how long Twisted Magics took to come to completion.

Yeah, I know, no book is ever completed, but you get the idea.

It took close to three years to get the first one to where it is. The first draft was horrid. I scrapped the whole thing a year later and rewrote it. Learned a ton from my critique group in the process, but I still make a mess on first drafts.

Holy crap do I make a mess. There were sentences that I must have been flying trying to get down in November during NaNoWriMo because I was missing a number of words for it to make sense. Others I obviously changed my mind while writing and didn’t back up enough so trying to make heads or tails of that was fun as well. I have sections that are purely dialogue that I need to go back and fill-in. I could keep going.

There is a strong preference from a few that I try to get it out about a year from when Twisted Magics launched (if not sooner). I’m not sure if I can and I’m afraid of letting people down with the next book. Especially given how small it is right now.

For this month at least, I’ll be tackling book 2 in revisions during Camp NaNoWriMo. With any luck I’ll get to the point of being able to have it printed before leaving town for a few days so I can start attacking it with a red pen.

Anyone else get worried over non-existent deadlines?

And now for the new IWSG Day question: What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

Um…[insert long pause here] Did we have to start with a hard question?

Most recent is “where’s the next book?” But the one that has stuck with me for a while is about my characterizations. Since I let my characters drive the plot (I probably shouldn’t as some of them don’t even have a license), it meant a lot that I gave them each unique voices and have them be full creations rather than flat.

Even so, I still had to fight with one to get her stubborn streak to override her natural shyness and insecurity. I still have a lot to learn, but it did help in those early days of the first drafts to know I had nailed something.

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Muse Monday: Try Everything

First I want to apologize for my lack of response and posts lately. Life’s been crazy and I’m still playing catch-up with everyone.

Recently I was making a new playlist for the book I’m working on and admittedly, I’m not sure if this song belongs on it or if I just put it on there for my daughter. Playlists end up getting burned to CD and then into my vehicle they go.

Anywho, I bought my daughter Zootopia for her birthday and she’s been in love with it so I get to hear this song frequently enough that it gets stuck in my head:

I keep asking myself if it belongs on the playlist in question. I still can’t honestly answer, but maybe it needs to be there while I’m editing. Or I need to hear it for myself.

In any case, I thought I’d switch gears and try something fun for a change. Figured I should also keep it light to start.

I’m curious how many others build playlists for what they are working on. Do random things just seem to end up on it?

Twisted Magics

Twisted Magics will be available in 2 weeks on June 21st. In the meantime, I’ve linked to several places that pre-orders can be placed below.

Just as a note: I will be taking print pre-orders through my online store until the end of day on June 13th (which is pretty much when I give up playing games and writing/editing and go to bed). All print pre-orders will then be shipped on June 14th. Don’t worry though, print copies will be available through Amazon within a week after.

Now, to add to the fun, I will be taking questions from comments that I will answer in my post next week.

This past week, I called it good on completing the first draft of book 2. Now for the editing…

Other than that, I’m going to be enjoying more story to my favorite game today. Well, as much of it as there is, but the people in charge of Final Fantasy XIV have not let me down yet.

Yes, I play the game for the story, though blowing things up is fun too. The main scenario story line has had my attention since day 1 and has not let go. Especially with this expansion (now on patch 3.3), though I am still mad about what happens at the end of the Vault. They know how to hit me hard in the feels every single time and it doesn’t have to be a major event either – the quieter moments are just as impactful.

Given my quick overview of the patch notes, there will be also side story quests that I’m sure to enjoy as well. Most of them I’ll easily fall into – Hildebrand I usually need to prepare myself for. It’s one of those I want to enjoy the silliness and not be thinking about how stupid this questline is. Either way, I love that my character is a part of all of this story, shows up in cutscenes, makes the same facial expressions that likely the player is also (this aimed especially at Hildebrand) and is portrayed as the heroine that she is.

I hope everyone doesn’t mind that I deviated a bit today about gaming within a writing post, but I really am a sucker for a good story. I’m slowly working my way through a book I started way too long ago (keep getting distracted) that’s actually quite good, but I don’t want to talk about it yet. Eventually I’ll finish it, but hopefully before I go too heavily into editing mode.

3D Mock Up

And now the information on how to get a copy of Twisted Magics!

Ebook versions are available for pre-order through Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo.

Print copy pre-orders are available through my online store. I will begin shipping these on June 14th. If you would like me to sign/write something inside the book, please mark it in the special instructions.

June is coming fast

Twisted Magics will be available in 5 weeks on June 21st. In the meantime, I’ve linked to several places that pre-orders can be placed below.

To add to the fun, I will be taking questions from the comments that I will answer in my post next week. I didn’t get any questions last week. /sadface

So I’ll talk about some other stuff.

What have I been doing since completing this project? Working on book 2. I’ve reworked the ending to something I’m more content with, though there is still a long way to go. I’m also working on a shorter piece that would be a good backstory for book 2 (actually, I wrote it to work out the events and how these characters interacted back then), but is way too big to end up as a prologue (I wouldn’t do that to you guys).

I’ve also been working on critiques for the past few days. I can spend quite a bit of time on a particular document and sometimes I wonder if I’ll be heard. It also follows to when I was recently asked about speaking to a group about my indie publishing experience. I worry that the particular audience will not be willing to listen to what I have to say. Now, let me clarify – I don’t expect anyone to follow exactly what I say. I am not any type of authority on the matter, but I’d like to have what I do say considered.

3D Mock Up

And now the information on how to get a copy of Twisted Magics!

Ebook versions are available for pre-order through Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo.

Print copy pre-orders are available through my online store. I will begin shipping these on June 14th. If you would like me to sign/write something inside the book, please mark it in the special instructions.

Chain reaction #IWSG

The first chain reaction was glancing at my feed this morning and realizing that while I had planned a post for tomorrow, I totally forgot about #IWSG.

The one I actually want to talk about is a short story (well part of one since I can’t seem to stay short) that I have up for critique tonight. I’ve more or less grown thicker skin with receiving critiques. For some reason though, this one has me nervous and thinking that everyone will hate it. This then extends to that everyone will also hate my book once it releases.

This isn’t helpful while I’m struggling with book 2. I’ve got some gems in there that I plan to keep, but I’m doubting my progress.

It’s a very complicated position that I’m in currently. A couple of days ago, I was asked by a different group if I would consider submitting something for critique. This is a group that I haven’t sent anything to for a while. There’s one person who takes over and kind of ruins everything. Makes me not want to volunteer anything.

I agreed though and will be reworking this piece for them after tonight. What has me confused is that the person that approached me called my MC by name. I told her I didn’t think anyone remembered my work (it has been probably close to a year and I rarely submitted). Then she told me that I’ve grown a number of fans.

Wait, what?

I haven’t yet mentioned that Twisted Magics will be available on June 21st. Yes, you heard it here first. I guess I’m still trying to process that and all of the people my husband has convinced to buy the book. This isn’t counting the few people that I’ve mentioned it to offhand and they’ve also pledged their support. It’s overwhelming and I am extremely grateful, but I’m scared that I won’t live up to their expectations (there’s also the chance that I could offend someone badly that I care about).

Just like I won’t live up to the expectations of the group tonight.

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Going against the norm

As I quickly wrap up the last edits for Twisted Magics, I keep thinking about something that one of the members of my little critique group brought up about ditching my final chapter. His point was because my story has turned into this “hero quest” and those usually end shortly after the final battle.

And I’ve given his thought some serious consideration. I never tried putting my story into one of those neat little boxes. I have trouble explaining what sub-genre of fantasy it belongs in as it is. And I keep thinking of the last chapter and thinking that I should see if I can push it into book 2, but it also starts setting up for book 2. And I want to deal with the aftermath and tie off a few more threads in Twisted Magics.

Not to mention I don’t have a whole lot of time left in my schedule to make such drastic changes. I suppose I could change it from a chapter to an epilogue, but I’m not sure how different that would be to a reader. I know for me, if there’s more story, I’m going to read it. Prologue/epilogue doesn’t make a difference to me as it is part of the story.

As well as I am desperate to put this project to rest. Book 2 is glaring at me like a jealous lover and I’m itching to get the plans I have in mind implemented in the rewrite. I’ve also taken a few days and worked on side stories. I’m not sure how much interest there would be, but I’ve been considering, after I release Twisted Magics, every so often posting a short side story here that could not make it into the book.

Ironically, I have a few of those for book 2 already also, but that’s because the story wasn’t playing nice and I went to the side with other characters to work things out.

What are your thoughts on epilogues? Would you go outside the norm for your particular genre/sub-genre if that is where the story took you?