Naming things #IWSG

Twice Cursed is coming and this month’s IWSG question made me both smile and want to slam my head on my desk.

IWSG Question of the Day: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Book titles. Without a doubt it’s book titles. Rarely do I have a problem with naming characters. Sometimes I forget to name them, but eventually I do. But book titles…

Twisted Magics and Shattered Illusions both went through changes before I settled on the final title. Twice Cursed I agonized over before starting as a project (had I think 3 or 4 I was debating between) and I was lucky it stuck. Book #4 I keep staring at the title, wanting something else, but right now it still fits. I’ve got a temporary title for a different book that I slapped on there because it amused me, but it’ll change. It better change. It’s too silly for what that particular book will contain.

I also try to use the title somewhere in the book. I’d have to look back again, but I think I left in something of the original title I had for Shattered Illusions. Not the actual title, but a nod to the path I thought the story was going to take. Twisted Magics had placeholder titles for a while because I hadn’t planned on publishing it initially. I was using it to try and flesh out the world and some side characters for a different story and then I found that this was the story I actually needed to tell.

Since I try to get a full draft down during NaNoWriMo, I will come up with a title, using it to at least attempt to keep myself on track knowing that the title could very well change. I didn’t get a full draft of #4 finished until last month (finished NaNo, just not the story), but I went from looking at the title as annoying to it fitting better. Not enough for me to release it though. Also while I love the path it took, I’m concerned about the path it took (hello darkness, my old friend). If I have to go with one of my other ending ideas, it might not fit so well.

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Twice Cursed and an #IWSG post

If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you’ve seen the cover reveal for Twice Cursed. If not, here it is again:

Mock Up 1

Release date is June 21st and pre-orders are live on Amazon for ebooks. I’ll announce when I have print versions. Speaking of, my proof copy should be in some time this week. I may be found staring out the window of my office watching the delivery drivers go by.

I’m always unsure about how a book will be received. This one so far is my favorite, though #4 is gaining ground there as I actually finish the story. It’s a little weird for me not to have the whole first draft written by this point, but I also remember Shattered Illusions got a major overhaul to its end about this time.

Part of me is worried each time that I won’t be able to release on time. I have concepts jotted down for the next few books in this series. I know where the thread that continues through each book is going. I just need to get there. Though lately, my characters have made things a little harder to figure out how to get there. If only they’d stop getting ahead of themselves…

IWSG Question of the Day: It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

No, though I do like picking seasons/holidays to write in for a particular book. Twisted Magics lead up the the Winter Solstice. Shattered Illusions lead up to (and through) the Summer Solstice. Twice Cursed is in the fall (mid to late October) and #4…I’m not sharing yet. No idea where #5 is going to land, but it’s too early to be putting much planning into that one (hi, next NaNoWriMo project).

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Just keep swimming #IWSG

It seems that I’m always pushing on something. Right now I’m wrapping up Twice Cursed so it can get out on time. I’ll have some fun stuff to share soon on that. It’s also time for Camp NaNoWriMo so I’m doing revisions and finishing book 4 at the same time.

And while I try to keep up a positive front mostly to try and fool myself, it’s another hair-pulling time. Especially since I let myself get behind. I’ve built in a big enough buffer that it’s not going to affect the release, but I’m always hesitant to formally announce the date until everything is guaranteed to be able to hit that date.

This time, I’d also like to have some fun with the release. I’ll see what I can come up with.

IWSG Question of the Day: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

This is a really odd question for me because it depends on what the circumstances are surrounding why I’m in this position. In most cases, I’ll bounce over to a side project to read through and maybe do a few edits. Maybe work on it some more. Just something that’s fun. Might not be fun for my characters, but…

There are instances where I’ll walk away and not touch anything for a few days. I won’t stay away longer than that because of a need to be working on something.

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Celebration? #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Day: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal / finish a story?

As much as I would like to, I’m usually neck deep in the next book when one releases. And my track record for post NaNoWriMo has been horrid. Something always goes wrong in life and then I’m dealing with that as the challenge ends. Don’t exactly feel like celebrating after that.

Besides, I’m already reading through my word vomit to see what came out.

I really do want to have some type of little “hey, it’s done” type of celebration, but besides the fact that things have not worked out in my favor, I don’t know what. Go for a nice meal? Take a day trip somewhere? Treat myself to something nice?

It’s like with the meet this weekend (that I’m kind of being dragged kicking and screaming to). My anxiety levels for this are at an all time high, and if I make it through I’d love to celebrate with my teammates. However, I’m traveling to Southern New England at the end of the month so it’s questionable if it’s feasible between saving up and work I need to get done. That and the child has a game soon after I’m done.

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It’s that time of year again #IWSG

I’ve done this before and I’m sure it’ll happen again. Every doubt about getting the next book finished on time likes to attack.

I just don’t think I’ve had quite so many other things going on at the same time to compound the worries. And the pressure to add more to an already crammed schedule… There very well might be hair pulling going on.

I’ve also felt bad that I have nothing of note to share with people on my various social media platforms. I feel like I’m a very dull person, but part of it is also I’m not sure what people want to hear about. So, I could have something interesting, but I never know what to share.

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Scheduling Chaos? #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Day: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

Oh gosh, do you want to see my nice neat table in OneNote? Thankfully I had someone up my tail pretty early on about setting a schedule and sticking to it. Granted, he just wanted to see me get Twisted Magics to publication.

I kind of took it from there and currently have through the end of 2019 planned out. And here I’m certain I’m about to hear people remind me that I claim to not be a planner. In the books themselves, I’m not. What I need to be doing with said book each month, I am. Am I drafting? Editing? Is it out to beta readers? Formatting? That kind of stuff.

To the point that I know I have roughly a year and eight months to get it from first word to available for purchase. And while that math sounds weird because I’m trying to stick to releasing one per year at about the same time, I have two books overlap for a bit.

Which means I need to stop toying with book 4 and get on the final edits for Twice Cursed. June will be here before I know it.

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2017 Writing Reflections #IWSG

IWSG Day Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Oh gosh, 2017 has been a strange year as it is. Right now I’m cursing not mentally preparing more for NaNoWriMo. I may have hit my 50K, but I haven’t reached the end of the story and all I seem to do now is pick away at it.

Of course that sets off the worry that I won’t be able to maintain my schedule.

Other than that, I’m not sure what I would have done differently. I might wish I had known some things before stumbling around in the dark for a while, but that time was spent learning things to take forward with me.

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It’s that time of year again… #IWSG

Oh, hey, I remembered to do an #IWSG post this time. The last couple of months have been a bit crazy and today starts off another level of insanity with NaNoWriMo kicking off. And the fact that this is my 11th year participating doesn’t make me sound any more sane.

NaNo-2017-Participant-Facebook-Cover

IWSG Question of the Day: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Initially I didn’t finish my projects if I didn’t win (usually gave up somewhere along the line because life) and I still have them kicking around somewhere. And honestly, even in their incomplete state, they have served a purpose – I’ve taken ideas from them for other projects.

My wins I’ve completed within the month. It’s a hot mess, but I have the story from beginning to end. Actually, I want to say Shattered Illusions wasn’t finished, but it technically was – I ended up scrapping the ending and extending the book out more.

The last few wins have gone on to be published. Currently only Twisted Magics and Shattered Illusions are available, but Twice Cursed will be out next summer.

However, that leads into my insecurity for the month. I’m writing book 4 in the series for NaNoWriMo and I haven’t been this blank on a book since I meandered my way through the first version of Twisted Magics.

I’m not a planner by any means. Tried it once and ended up ignoring my outline, but I usually have a better idea in my head of key moments I want to hit. What if this one doesn’t work out? What if I have to delay my schedule? Is it possible to keep up this momentum?

Granted, if you saw me wrestling with Shattered Illusions, then you know I’ve been through this before. Doesn’t make it any less stressful. There may be hair pulling and copious amounts of chocolate.

And if anyone is interested, I finally started a newsletter. It also pushes to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ll have some fun stuff coming out later this month.

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The other side of writing #IWSG

Oops, almost forgot to put up something for today.

Lately I’ve been focusing more on the other side of writing, or rather, the business side. Lining up events, marketing, sending off whatever information someone needs… It’s been a bit of a whirlwind month and it’s only going to pick up from here.

Which means I’m not getting a whole lot done on the writing/editing side.

I look at my schedule with trepidation as events get closer. Facebook takeover – how do I do that? The without sounding boring part. I got some awesome advice at Library Comic Con for when I’m doing those types of events, but what about that panel coming up?

While all of that is enough to scare this introvert, I think I might be more concerned that I’m falling behind on my schedule of getting editing done on Twice Cursed. And to think, I was ahead. I’ve already pushed aside a side project that I like to work on in these couple of months leading up to NaNoWriMo while whatever book I’m working on is out to beta readers.

I guess my insecurity for the month is if I can stay on task and keep up with all the new things happening. And that’s not even counting all the personal changes that have happened lately either.

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Entertaining? #IWSG

By now a few people have heard me being excited over the 3rd book I’m working on. And surprisingly, the title hasn’t changed so it might be the one. But what entertains me doesn’t necessarily entertain the next person.

Of course, the people who have heard me talk about it at all have looked at me funny over some of the ways I’ve described things/people in that completely not serious manner. This one just really fell in place and while there’s still plenty of work left to do, I’m actually quite happy with it.

But then I come off of that excitement and worry about how it’ll be received. And only having my alpha reader to really go off of at the moment (he’s the only one to have read the whole thing), I don’t really have a good gauge. I’m fairly certain I will when I send it out to my beta readers next month.

 IWSG Day Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

I guess my biggest one that I’ve been hitting lately is way too much description. The kind where it pulls you out of the story because there’s so much of it. There’s been a few recently that I’m wondering when I’ll get back to the plot.

If it’s something I’m reading for fun, I’ll put it down and walk away if it gets to be too much. Might come back to it later and try again. If it’s something I’m critiquing, I’ll note it and keep trying to plow through. And I’m not immune to writing it myself, though I usually don’t have enough description in early drafts. I can get carried away sometimes and have someone else point out that it’s not necessary.

I think the next one is repetitive words/phrases (though there are occasions that they fit nicely). I am so bad with this on the initial draft and go nuts trying to find them during the editing process.

There are others, but it’s little things that I often pick up on because I have to look for them in my own writing.

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