Novel Writing, Uncategorized

How to organize your first draft #novelwriting

CaptureThe past few weeks, I’ve been working on my second “real” novel, and it hit me this morning that I’ve finally figured out how to organize my work in the first draft stage so I can keep track of what I’m doing. Because organization can be a key element of being an efficient writer, I thought I’d share my system in case some other writer might find it useful. I think the easiest way to explain my system is to paint a picture of it for you, so I took a screenshot of the first page of my actual document:

And now, I will explain what I have done: Continue reading “How to organize your first draft #novelwriting”

Novel Writing

I think it’s time to start #writing

English: penulis = writer
Writers write! | English: penulis = writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My notes on my new novel have reached 12 pages and 6,500 words. I have come up with a focal point to build my story around. The more I think about it, the more convoluted the story becomes. I think it’s time to start writing!

I seem to have also discovered my main writing genre, despite the fact that there are other genres I would like to write in. The book I originally planned to write next was adult fiction with a little bit of magic and fantasy thrown in. It was going to be dark, and in many ways, devious. I still really want to write that book. However, it seems to make more sense in this moment to maintain the momentum I have built with Valley of the Bees and stick with future-fantastic dystopia.

I also can’t ignore the fact that this new novel is demanding to take center stage at the moment! Continue reading “I think it’s time to start #writing”

Novel Writing

Reining it in: How to focus your #story so it doesn’t run away with you #amwriting

Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. P...
Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. Photos taken by Eadweard Muybridge (died 1904), first published in 1887 at Philadelphia (Animal Locomotion). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My new novel has topped 3,500 words of notes as I freewrite and brainstorm my way into an outline. I had a moment today when a sudden realization about what my novel is really about struck me. A shiver ran down my spine as I realized the possible implications of the totally subversive idea that emerged from the murky depths of my subconscious mind.

“This is big,” I thought.

And then, “This is probably going to piss a lot of people off.”

Muahahaha!

Not literally, but I was thinking it.

As I typed out the details of my idea, another idea struck me. By “struck me,” what I mean is that it wacked me upside the head like a baseball bat. Continue reading “Reining it in: How to focus your #story so it doesn’t run away with you #amwriting”

Novel Writing

New novel worries: How do you know when an idea is worth #writing?

Freytag's pyramid
Freytag’s pyramid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I run down the final stretch of publishing Valley of the Bees, I am itching to get started on my next novel. I don’t want to waste all of this momentum I have built while writing my last novel. After all, gathering and maintaining momentum seems to be half the battle of writing!

My first problem was what to write. Luckily, I had plenty of ideas. I just couldn’t seem to choose one. I was ready to write one novel one day and a completely different story the next. When I finally settled on an idea that held my attention for more than a couple of days, I thought the battle had been won. A vibrant story world has taken shape in my mind, and my main cast of characters is coming to life.

Then I realized: I have no plot! Continue reading “New novel worries: How do you know when an idea is worth #writing?”

Demons of the Night, NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing, Valley of the Bees

It’s time to gear up for #NaNoWriMo 2016!

It’s that time of year again, writing friends! Time to prep for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November! This year, I am doing it, and I am doing it right. Anyway, that’s the plan!

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot to do over this next month to prepare. My writing plans for October include: Continue reading “It’s time to gear up for #NaNoWriMo 2016!”

Editing, Novel Writing

#YouKnowYouAreAWriterWhen you can flip your own switches. #VotB

Original manuscript of a revision of "Spi...
Even Poe had to revise his work! | Original manuscript of a revision of “Spirits of the Dead” in Poe’s handwriting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At various crossroads on my writing journey, I have often happened upon “road signs” that let me know that I am heading in the right direction. These signs make me think, “Wow, I really AM a writer.” One example was when I completed my very first novel manuscript draft seven years ago. You know how it is. It feels like you will never finish. You often wonder if you are even capable of writing a complete novel. And then, one day, you find yourself typing, “THE END,” and you think, “Wow, I really AM a writer.”

At that moment, it feels like you have accomplished everything you need to do. You have reached the end of your writing journey. You wrote a novel! Woohoo! That’s a MAJOR accomplishment. And you are, rightfully, proud of that accomplishment.

But then, you realize that you need to edit that first draft. You realize that you still have a lot of work to do before you can call it, “done.” (Or, at least I hope you do!) You don’t rush out and self-publish that first draft because you take your writing seriously, and you want to offer your readers the best possible reading experience. Continue reading “#YouKnowYouAreAWriterWhen you can flip your own switches. #VotB”

Digital Marketing, eBooks, Novel Writing, Valley of the Bees

Book description, Book 2 of Valley of the Bees #VotB

I am currently working my way through the process of finalizing my manuscript for With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 so I can upload the file to my retailers. It is an arduous process. My latest task was to convert my manuscript to an ePub file so I could read through it on my phone. You wouldn’t believe the errors I caught just by looking at the book in a different file format on a different device!

Valley of the Bees Logo
Valley of the Bees Logo by Jendy at https://jendy.threadless.com/.

Anyway, this afternoon I am working on a description of Book 2 so I can add some marketing copy to the end of Book 1. This is the description I am working on for marketing book two in my Valley of the Bees series:

Would you read this book?

Continue reading “Book description, Book 2 of Valley of the Bees #VotB”

eBooks, Novel Writing, Valley of the Bees

New cover design & website reveal

Today, I am excited to reveal the official, professional cover design of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 and also announce that Valley of the Bees has its very own website!

Cover Design by Jennifer DeWeese at jendy.threadless.com.
Cover Design by Jennifer DeWeese at jendy.threadless.com.

Early this month, I learned that Smashwords was having a giant, sitewide sale that sounded like the perfect opportunity to market my new novel. If only I had my book set up for pre-order, I would be able to add links to the end of all of my other books and offer those books for free for the entire month. But I didn’t yet have my pre-order set up.

What to do? Get my pre-order set up already and get to work, of course! Continue reading “New cover design & website reveal”

Book Reviews, Novel Writing, Uncategorized, Valley of the Bees

Now available for pre-order: With Envy Stung | Valley of the Bees #1

It’s official! I just set up my novel, With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 for pre-order on Smashwords! I completed the first draft of the third and final book of this trilogy, and I finally feel confident that Book One will be ready for publication by its September 1st release date!

With Envy Stung cover with white border
With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 is now available for download on iTunes and Kobo. It will soon be available on your Nook as well! See the links within this blog post for more info.

This is such a huge milestone for me. I have been working on this trilogy for about three years now. With Envy Stung has been critiqued and revised until I can’t imagine what else I might possibly do to make it shine any brighter. That is, until I sit down to read through it again and find a few more lines that I could write *just a little bit better.*

Update: I now have direct links where you can pre-order your copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 from the retailer of your choice:

As with any work in progress, I will probably always be able to find something else that I could tweak a bit more. But, as with any other work in progress, the time always comes when it’s time for the author to let it go as it is. I feel confident that With Envy Stung has reached that stage in the writing process. The time has finally come to complete my final line edits and format the book for publishing! Continue reading “Now available for pre-order: With Envy Stung | Valley of the Bees #1”

Novel Writing, Valley of the Bees

Planning the final book in a series

A friend of mine is sketching out some ideas for the cover of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1. What do you think?
A friend of mine is sketching out some ideas for the cover of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1. What do you think?

I don’t remember having this much trouble writing the outlines for books one and two. I’ve made a list of all of the loose ends that need tied up, and now I am trying to figure out how to tie them together. It’s getting very complicated!

I thought I was ready to publish book one, but as I play with all of these loose ends, I think maybe I’m not ready after all. What if I need something to happen in book three that won’t work due to something I wrote in book one? I won’t be able to go back and revise it once it’s published!

Maybe I need to at least have a first draft of book three before I publish book one. I want to start my pre-launch of book one, but what if I don’t have it ready in time? What if I think it’s done, but it’s not? I have thought it was done many times throughout the process, only to find that it still needed more work.

What if, what if, what if? Sometimes – a lot of times – writing is just a whole lot of “what ifs!” Continue reading “Planning the final book in a series”