4:40 AM

Got my coffee, everyone is still sleeping…lets edit Lost!

Editing Lost

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Where have you been?

Hi all!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted in here (sorry about that), but I’m going to start blogging again, and wanted to send a quick post to let you know what’s been going on with book 2, in the Awaken Series.

Right now I’m editing Lost (book 2) and I have plans to publish Lost in March 2014, which is exactly one year from when I published Awaken. I’m really excited about where the novel is at, and I can’t wait to show you the cover soon!

If you have any questions for me please leave a comment below. So for now, I’m off to editing! Have a great day everyone!

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Well That Was Scary!

I had a big scare on Monday, one that took me back 4 years ago where I lost my manuscript 3 times. Click here to read about it.

Computer ErrorI woke up, turned on my computer and after about an hour of trying to boot-it-up it just was stuck! I couldn’t get into any of my files, I couldn’t get onto the internet….NOTHING!

To say that my heart stopped is an understatement. Luckily, from my past experience with this type of thing happening (having me loose my work) I thankfully had it backed up. But still, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t do anything. When you have a deadline and something like this happens you just start to go into panic mode.

It did turn out okay. With the help of my very good friend Mat, he was able to get my computer working again! I have to thank him because after he worked his “day job” (which was a 12 hour shift) he got right on the phone with me (he lives in California) and 4 hours later it was complete! It is a funny story though, he couldn’t remotely sign into my computer (the internet wasn’t working) so we had to facetime each other on our cell phones, talk on another phone and I had to hold  my cell phone up to the computer so he could guide me.  At the time it wasn’t fun but looking back, it’s nice how technology has grown (with facetime & skype) so I could do that type of thing and get the results I needed.

Well, I better go and continue editing, this little bump has set me back a little and now I have to work twice as hard to meet my deadline. So for now, it’s off to the cave!

I’m Back!

deadline-concept_zps73688981Hello everyone, sorry for the break in my posts and “presence” here in the wonderful blogging world. For the past 5 days I have been in California visiting friends and family. Even though it was a wonderful visit, I have now come home to a very full email list & several chapters back from my editor that I have to go through. I’m trying to send my MS out to all my beta test readers within the next few weeks so I will be one busy lady.

So for now it’s off to editing and getting things ready!

P.S. My first round of beta readers are still submitting their reviews back to me (I only have a few left) so when I get those I will post them to my blog. Be on the lookout for that!

The Do’s & Don’ts

For all you writers out there you might want to listen in for a moment. I need to talk to you about something very, very important right now…you ready? Are you sure your listening? Okay, well here it is…don’t fill your pages with a bunch of meaningless, everyday “stuff”. What I mean by this is, don’t in every single chapter, all the way through the entire book, write what your character ate at every single meal…WE DON’T WANT TO KNOW THIS!

Now, the flip side to this is, you do have to make your character believable so you will need to have some meals placed in there occasionally but just make sure you have a point to it. Whatever you put in each chapter make sure that it’s building your storyline and has a purpose.

I know sometimes its really hard to write certain chapters and fill up your book. Nobody wants to read a 250 page book that lacks substance, they want a solid story. So if you’re having trouble coming up with things to say or different scenes perhaps you just need to step away from writing for a few days and come back to it.

Also, the reader wants diversity. Don’t write the same “type” of scene for three chapters. Example, don’t write, in three chapters, your character learning how to play golf (perhaps that’s a bad example but you get the picture). If you have to write it like this make it interesting. Build in emotion or build intensity (if that’s the type of manuscript you are writing). Make the reader want to find out what will happen. Make the reader fall in love with your characters!

I only bring this up because I recently read a book (no I’m not going to tell you which book it was) and almost the entire 500 pages was stuffed full of what type of foods the characters ate, what it smelled like, what it tasted like, etc. There was no back story to justify putting it in there. I felt like the writer didn’t know what to say and so she threw it in there to “fill up the pages” with something. It didn’t grow the story in anyway. So if your characters are eating please give them something interesting to say.

It’s All Part Of The Process

Hello all! It’s me again. I know I haven’t blogged in a week (been busy) but I’m back and ready to talk out my thoughts or write about them – however you want to see it.

So this week has been a lot of editing and researching. The editing process – well…hmmm…big over dramatic sigh – it’s a process. You know the old saying, don’t put the cart before the horse, well that saying rings true now, more than ever. Let me elaborate. You know when you work on something and you spend an ungodly amount of time perfecting it to the point where you finally think to yourself, it’s finished! Well, let me tell you friends, it’s only the beginning. What you just did was set the foundation for your story, put up a few walls and now (when an editor digs into it) it gets bulldozed to the ground and then you have to rebuild it back up again from the rubble.

I’ve recently sent my manuscript out to my second editor to polish it up and get it ready. What I didn’t expect was to get it back and see that every page was covered in red! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely thankful that I haven’t released it yet only to wake up the next morning to a critic ripping me apart, bit by bit (I’ve had nightmares about this). However, it does hit you right in the gut and you begin to think to yourself, will it ever be ready? I know the answer to that question is, yes it will, it’s just a very long process and sometimes I begin to go a little crazy…waiting and waiting and waiting.

With the research I’ve done, I kind of put it into two categories The Helpful category and the I’m Going To Beat My Head Against The Wall category. 1st the “help full” category is just that, helpful. It’s nice to get insight on how other’s have “done it” and then put it to use in your own work. The flip side to this is that you can completely have a mental breakdown reading what other authors say; I got an agent! I got the first copy of my book in the mail! I got a book deal! I’ve sold 10,000 copies in one day! You tend to (at least for me) start believing that your work is complete and it needs to be out there now. But like I said it’s a process and I have to keep telling myself to be patient.

The great part, and the thing that has made all the time I have spent worth it, is seeing the imperfections work themselves out and start to become what you had dreamed the story could be.

I’m beginning to see the finish line and when that day comes, when I can finally say “It’s complete”, I will look back on all the work and all the stressing and all the countless hours of asking myself “why not now” I will be able to say that it all happened at the right time.

    

Pass The Info Please!

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I’m taking a break from editing my MS, for the moment, to clear my head before I get back to it. Sometimes you just have to step away and refocus before you can go on. So I thought I would talk a little bit about my writing style and how I wrote this current MS.

A lot of people have made comments like: I have a story in mind but I’m not sure how to start it. Or possibly the most common question: What are some of your writing secrets?

Without taking too much time, let’s just dive right in shall we?

When I got the concept for this story I was living in a small town in Northern California and was a stay-at-home-mom who has never wrote anything since high school. I’ve always had a creative mind, having stories and songs come to me but never really took the time to write it out. So to say I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing, is no exaggeration. I was walking into this blind. What I did know was I HAD to write it! So that’s what I did. I sat down and wrote. I wrote and wrote until my eye crossed.

Starting out I had a good idea of the structure of the book and major details (there are three big events in the first MS that needed to happen) but everything else needed to be thoughtfully planned out (it was kind of all bunched up in my head, like a big ball of yarn or a sticky bowl of noodles). I’ve heard many authors give advice as to what tools they used to plot out a story. For those of you that need to plan it out ahead of time, there are many different programs that can help. I, on the other hand, haven’t used anything like that. I guess my brain works differently.

I just take it one chapter at a time, think about what needs to be in it, how I need to get to the major event and what characters need to be introduced. From there, I just write. When I started, I was into my second month, on my second chapter trying to get it perfect, when my husband said to me, “you’re never going to finish if you keep editing it”. And he was right. For all you new writers out there, just write it out, even if it’s terrible. Just get the concept out and onto the paper. This is what I call vomit onto the page. Because that’s what it will be on your first draft, vomit. It’s not going to be pretty, it’s not going to flow right but if you don’t do it then you might not ever finish.

Another reason why I’m glad I listened to my husband about waiting to edit until the very end, was this, I had wrote several things (details) that I thought were extra fluff and at the time I thought I should possibly delete. But then I remembered what my husband had said about not stopping and just keep writing. So instead I highlighted it in red and went on. When I went back to read my work and start on the editing process I went over all the lines that I was going to take out and realized that those little details (that I thought were extra fluff) really needed to be in there to tie in with the ending! So just because you’re not sure why you wrote something doesn’t mean that in the end you won’t need it.

In conclusion, if I was to give you one piece of advice for anyone who wants to write, it would be this, don’t talk yourself out of it. It’s so easy to do. If I had listened to those inter thoughts, ‘you’re not good enough to write’ or ‘you don’t have enough time to do that,’ then I wouldn’t be here at the final stages of the publishing process. I never want to look back and ask the question, what if?

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