Third Time’s A Charm

perf5.000x8.000.inddIt’s kind of hard to put into words how I feel about the third book in the Mystic Series. Last year, while I was writing the book, it seemed like I would never finish it.

There were two reasons for that:

One: I was simultaneously writing another paranormal romance –  Lachlan’s Curse (which I did complete early 2014 but that’s a whole other blog post).

Two: the book ended up longer than my target goal of 83,000 – 85,000 words. In fact, the word count after the last round of publisher edits was @92,000 words.

Because I am a die hard plotter, in my mind, this shouldn’t have happened. Obviously I took a wrong turn in Albuquerque or something.

Why so long?

Well, the short answer: that’s how long the story is. For those of you following this series (and I thank you very much!) this is Devlin Ward’s book.

Devlin is a virginal satyr who has a boatload of childhood drama to deal with before he can obtain his happily every after. Lucky for him, his heroine, Mary (aka Ma’at) is more than ready to take accept the challenge.

And believe me, it was a challenge for me too.  Even though I know this world well it didn’t make writing their story any easier. When I realized that the first draft would clock in around 95,000 words, I had a choice to make – stop writing and figure out what was wrong or keep writing because maybe nothing was wrong.

While that sounds incredibly insane, I know from first hand experience that I can be my own worst enemy (hello, Doubt Monster).

In the end, I decided to keep writing and see what would happen because I’m crazy like that. I figured, why not? I can always delete stuff later (which I did).

This past weekend, I read the book again after a final round of edits. And guess what? The length felt just right for Devlin and Mary.

So is there a moral to this blog post? Yes!

Don’t fear the delete key. And don’t be afraid to just see what’s going to happen next.

 

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Stormy Weather

Finally. It’s Friday! It’s always tough to get back into the groove after a week of vacation.

It’s funny how 5 minutes on my work laptop can dissolve every ounce of tranquility.

Anyway, I wasn’t totally idyll last week. After completing the first draft of Misfortune Cookie and sending it off to my first readers, I moved onto Mystic Storm (Zephyr’s book) and Redemption (Galen’s book).

So far, Zephyr continues to resist me. Galen, on the other hand is being more cooperative. The only problem, Redemption is the next book after Ascension, which I still have out on submission. Normally, I wouldn’t spend time on Galen’s book, but he’s been itching for completion since I started in it in January 2010. Plus, he’s so much fun to write. I’ll miss him when the book is done (maybe that’s why I’m still working on it).

I have a theory that Mystic Storm is harder because it’s the next book in a published series. I admit there’s a small shadow of concern in the back of my mind. I don’t want to disappoint people who enjoyed the first book. I know I need to forget all that, but sometimes it’s hard.

I am happy to report I’m over the 30,000 word mark and that seems to be the “sweet spot” for me in my writing. I believe it takes me about 30,000 words to get into the groove of the story. At last, Kalli and Zephyr have come into their own and the story I’ve plotted seems to be flowing more smoothly. Yay!

Does that happen for anyone else? Is there a magic amount of words you need to get on the page before you know your characters?

If you have time, please stop by and visit me at the Scribes where I’m talking – Hootsuite!

Until we meet again next week, I’ll leave you with an image from my photo collection from Stonington, CT – Zephyr’s home.

This is the building that’s the inspiration for the Gallup Inn – Zephyr’s hotel/day spa.

Onward Ho!

Happy Friday!! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes for – Care and Feeding of Your Doubt Monster.

Since last week, I’ve kicked into high gear. Finally, I’ve hit the halfway mark on my work in progress. And I’ve been slowing adding to Mystic Storm (Zephyr’s book) and Redemption (Galen’s Book). There must be something in the warm air because my daily word count has shot through the roof this week.

Last year, I averaged about 2,000 words a day on The Undead Space Initiative. This past week, I’ve done 3,000 words a day. Total word count to date  = 45,144.

I don’t know what has gotten into me, and quite frankly I don’t care. I just want to finish a book!

For the last few months, I’ve been dragging. I’ve had all three books plotted out, but for some reason, the words just weren’t flowing. And then I realized what I was doing. I was letting myself get stuck. My number one rule when writing is – onward ho!

Just like the settlers making their way out west, when I’m actively writing, my creedo is: don’t stop, don’t re-read, and don’t stare at the computer screen for too long.

So instead of trying to make myself write a scene that I wasn’t seeing or just not into at that moment, I moved onto the next scene repeating over and over –  I can fix it later.

Later. Not now. Later, when I’d finished the first draft.

When I’m done, it can be changed, improved, or deleted.

Really. It is that simple. I forgot. Silly me.

I know I’m not the only one who’s been in a bit of a slump. If you need motivation, I invite you to join us over at the CTRWA Facebook page where Jane Haertel is hosting writing sprints! If you’ve never tried one before, give it a try.

What’s been holding you back? What are your favorite tips for getting unstuck??

Vampires in Space!

Hello my friends! I’m doing triple blogging duty today.

At the Scribes I talk about bad boys – Take a Walk on the Dark Side. If you’re an Avengers fan (or a Loki fan), this post is for you!

And over at the Soul Mate Blog – Let’s Hear it for the Doubt Monster.

If you have time, stop by and say hello!

Today’s post is short and sweet as I’m currently working on two books.

Or I’m trying to anyway. The idea is that I’m always working on one book or the other. At the moment, it’s working and I don’t want to mess with a good thing. And, much to my delight, I’ve even worked on Galen’s book too (but I don’t want to jinx it so I won’t say much more!).

Time is limited and I’d love to finish at least one draft by July, because . . . drum roll, please –

The Undead Space Initiative is coming out in July from Pink Petal Books Finally, the crazy book I crafted in July 2011, about vampires in space, will be available.

Here’s the story in a nutshell:

Cherry Cordial, vampire stripper extraordinaire, spectacularly messes up her life with a single act of kindness. How could she have known when she rescued gorgeous rogue Ian McDevitt that she would be implicated in the vampire queen’s murder? Soon, she faces the wrath of the entire vampire community. To escape retribution, she joins a settlement program to colonize Mars. Her choices are grim: hurtle through space to the red planet to face the unknown and possible death, or stay on Earth and face> certain annihilation. To make things even more complicated, a certain gorgeous rogue seems to be shadowing her every move…

I don’t have the cover art yet, but when I do, you’ll all be the first ones to see it.

And, in case you missed last week, I’m participating in Night Owl’s Summer Fun Web Hunt. I’m giving away a $15 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Check out the rules by clicking the image below:

Now, y’all have to pardon me because I need to get back to writing so I’ll have something new on my bookshelf for 2013 and beyond.

 What about everyone else? What are you all working on?

So I was Like….

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to stop by the Scribes. My guest today is Sharon Buchbinder! Don’t miss a chance to say hello.

So here’s how my week has been. I’ve had this stuffy nose (either a cold or sudden allergy onslaught after the freak warm weather here in New England).

Needless to say, I’ve been dragging my sorry carcass around with a box of tissues and a grumpy attitude.

And when I attempted to write, my characters decided to give me crap.  Kind of like this:

Me: “Zephyr, I’m so sick of you.”

Zephyr: “Who me? I haven’t done anything wrong.” He spots a bag on the dining room table and reaches for it. “Is that a new book?”

Me: I ignore the question.  “Why are you making my life so difficult?”

Z: “Don’t look at me. It’s all in your head.” <plastic crinkles>

Me: “Sure be a typical man. Deny that you have any part in all of this. Why did you have to go and piss off the Fates? You’re making my life hell.”

Z: “If I hadn’t you wouldn’t have a story to tell, now would you?”

Me: “I don’t appreciate the cheek. If I wanted that, I’d go find Devlin.”

Devlin: “Did someone mention moi?”

Me: “No Devlin. I’m too stressed out to deal with you today.”

D: “Well pardon me.”  He turns to Zephyr. “Has she been like this all week?”

Z: “You have no idea.” He pulls out  J.R. Ward’s Lover Reborn and brandishes it in my face.

D: “Hey, she’s reading about those vampires again. What? We aren’t sexy enough for you?” He flexes his muscles. “And you have the nerve to complain that your word count is bad.” <wags finger> “For shame!”

I sit in the corner, chanting, “I’m the Author Goddess. I’m the Author Goddess…”

Zephyr, examines his nails. “Yeah, keep telling yourself that, sweetheart. Devlin, up for a round of drinks?”

Devlin says, “You bet your windy ass I am. Oh, mighty Author Goddess, have fun with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Too bad they aren’t going to write your book for you.”

They leave me muttering to myself like an idiot. I’m so pathetic even The Doubt Monster feels bad for me this week.

And on that note, I leave you with this great comic. Thank you Toni Andrews. You don’t know how badly I needed the laugh!

 

Halfway There!

Happy Friday! Please remember to visit me at Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes for my post about Change.

This week, I’m pleased to report that I’ve surpassed the halfway point. Total word count to date is 59, 806.

Due to family obligations, I had a few days where I was only able to hit 1,000 plus words. With vacation coming soon, I hope to be back on the 2,000 words a day track and possibly even surpass it.

The story has reached the mid-point climax and is rolling towards the black moment/reversal (hopefully next week).  After that, the final wrap up. Next, I’ll re-read the draft, plug the plot holes, fix the word boo-boos and ferret out any other transgressions.

This kind of aggressive first draft approach is new for me. I usually stop after the first act and re-read what I’ve done and make corrections. Not this time. I’m blasting through to the end and then reviewing the plot as a whole. I’m not sure if I’ll do this for my next book. We’ll see. Depends on how the process goes.

I’ve resorted to this method because, often times, I start second guessing the plot and playing the “what if” game and then I believe the whole story is crap, resulting in the urge to toss it out.

When I finish the first draft, I will share the blurb for the book. I can tell you, it’s something new for me and not like my other books.

See you next week!

2,000 Word Streak Continues…

This week’s progress –  @48,000 words. I’m still averaging 2,000 words a day, sometimes more. I credit this productivity to knowing the plot and to squelching my nemesis, the Doubt Monster.

Is every word and sentence golden prose?

Oh heck no. I will have to do a clean up draft before passing the book onto my trusted Beta Readers.

Overall, I’m happy with my progress. So to keep up the momentum, I’m heading back to work. See you next week!

Also – please check out my latest Scribe post – Love in an Elevator. I’d love to hear your take on love scenes.

2,000 Words a Day!

My goal all week has been to write at least 2,000 words a day. I’m unofficially joining my fellow Scribes in the Double Dog Dare to complete our novels by August 12.

I’m pleased to say, that so far, I have exceeded the goal. Despite all kinds of distractions – like winning first place in Passionate Ink’s Stroke of Midnight Contest last night, I’ve still managed to stick to my goal.

In the spirit of completing my next book, all I have to say is:

Word count to date – 28,850

Not bad for starting last week. I’m not sure what the ultimate book length will be quite yet. I’d like to reach 100,000 words, but I’m not sure if the story will play out that long.

I think a little friendly “competition” is a fun way to reach a goal. If you have trouble staying motivated or completing a task, enlist some friends to keep you honest!

I’ll be posting about reading over at the Scribes’ Blog. Please stop by and visit. We love your comments!