Didn’t go as planned #IWSG

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.

Anyone else have this problem?

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It’s a secret #IWSG

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.

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What day is it? #IWSG

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.

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Crazy world #IWSG

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!

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.

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Worth a thousand words #IWSG

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.

Actually, he sent me a few things that I eventually used. The wizard storm in Conjured Defense was another. Thanks, Ellis L. Knox!

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.

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Stranger than Fiction #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Month: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story?

You know, I’ve been asked this before and my mind always goes blank. I know I’ve researched some strange things, but nothing stands out as the “ultimate strange thing.”

Though, while not strange, the most headache inducing was trying to understand financial terms for a story. This one hasn’t been released yet so I can’t really talk about it, but yeah… that hurt.

Maybe the wizard storm? GAH! I’m bad at trying to find something that stands out in among all of the research I have done.

Anyone else got anything interesting that they’ve researched?

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Incident Report #IWSG

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:

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Getting personal #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Day: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

I had planned on opening this up with a quote, but damned if I can find it now. I thought I knew who said it, but…

The short version is I write characters that are both aspects of me as I am and those of who I wish I was.

Except for Silver. I don’t think I have anything in common with him.

Joking aside, Ketayl is the closest to me as she’s my oldest character. She’s gone through a couple of decades of changes and growing to become her own character until she found her way into the series I’m working on.

Does she have some of my traits? Yes. Some deeper ones than I’m prepared to discuss here. Those became part of her character before I even knew what they were.

To give a more direct answer, we’re both introverts. I know those who have only met me at events might not realize it as I end up shifting into a different mode for that time period. If you catch me out and about, it’s another story.

Since this is something I know intimately, the trait easily made it into Ketayl. And in one regard, I hope there are people out there who can connect with her because of it and see that it isn’t a limitation, but just one part of who she is.

My own traits often make it into other characters as well. One thing here, another there. And as I stated above, it could be an active trait or maybe one I wish I had. I’d spend way too long trying to figure out who has what.

It makes one wonder who else writes their traits into their characters. Also if readers connect with characters because they connect with the traits portrayed.

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Genre Switching #IWSG

Anyone worried about that title?

IWSG Question of the Day: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

At the moment, with so much focus on the series I’m writing, science fantasy is my home. And thinking about other projects I have in progress or in planning… yeah, I seem to like it a lot. I tried my hand at cyberpunk once because it’s always had a special place in my heart to read, but it still ended up with fantasy elements (it was also really bad so it’ll never see the light of day).

It doesn’t mean I don’t read outside of it. I still love my sci-fi and other fantasy sub genres. Though paranormal romance can confuse me depending on how it’s written. I think that has something to do with romance itself being this weird entity that I occasionally poke with a stick.

Every time I open up the Kindle app, I’m greeted with a number of choices spanning many genres. What I gravitate toward first tends to be if they’re local or if I know them over the genre. And let’s not talk about the piles of physical books…

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Make it stop… #IWSG

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.Conjured Defense eCover

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.

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