Category Archives: WIP

Revision

I was scribbling in my journal the other day, trying to work through why I hate revision so much. And I think I’ve made some headway.

I’ve rambled a bit about my ~process~ before. I’m a pantser and don’t take kindly to outlines. I fly by landmarks. How I get there? I have no idea. I just know I do. I’m a discovery writer. I like finding out how things work and how they fit together. Continue reading Revision

Revision

I’m back in Khazad-dûm. And it’s really not so bad. I outlined the Defiant Canary in my notebook and it’s really quite pleasing. It’s nice to have a path and know where I’m going and what I’m going to do.

The strangest thing about this book, I’ve made each POV switch its own chapter. I have a tendency to head-hop, but with three POV characters, it’s hard to keep it all straight. So, each is labeled with its respective owner.

Having the outline has made a world of difference. I cut out all the weird little half page POV snippets before I ran across them with a blue papermate. I can’t even tell you how demoralizing it is to be on a good clip with the revision and then finding there was all this weird work to do to get it into shape.

I think I have to have a set system for revision. I can’t just hack at it pell-mell as I usually do. I think the first step is to write down the outline and weed out all these weird half-page POV barfs. Do all the major structural stuff. Then use Suzanne Johnson’s excellent monster revision workshop. Like oh my god, take her workshop. It’s incredible. Her plotting workshop is rad af too. I think if I outlined, I wouldn’t have to take this first step of doing this structural step. But outlining is so meh in my brain. I’ve used her plotting ideas and melded them with my pantser ways to keep things organized better. Everything I’ve written since taking that workshopping class is in such better order and will be easier to revise. Anyway.

I’m feeling real good about this. I’ve been sending chapters as I revise them to my beta readers. It’s a fun story and there’s cultists and Cthulhu-esque whales and all manner of nonsense.

I think I have a real good chance of releasing this by June. That’s my plan. And then I think I’ll release Mort the month after. And then… I’m not sure. Probably The Washed Up Astronaut. Anyway. I have a ton of work all lined up. I’m looking forward to it. And I’m getting excited to see where this will take me. The more I write, the better I feel about what I’ve been writing. Anyway. I’m feeling super hopeful and excited and rad.

NaNoWriMo Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I won the 50k part on the 14th. I won the 100k hopefully later today. I’m 1,913 words out from hitting it. Should be easy… supposing I figure out what project I want to work on next.

I finished My Pet Void. I’m sure I’ll realize all kinds of things need to be added in revision, but now? Now I’m all Aaack! I’m short for hitting 100k.

I have a few projects I still need to finish up. And I have so much revision work that it’s not even funny. But the strangest thing of all, there’s nothing really in the hopper for potential stories. Nothing there crying out to be written, nothing that just needs to come out.

Which was part of the hardest part of this 100k challenge. I have not been so kind to myself. I’ve gotten a little fluffy, more than I can attribute to thanksgiving and all that. I haven’t been walking my dogs nearly enough, the Entropy Machine has been watching so much television. Enough that I have opinions about Blue’s Clues and that Joe is creepier than Steve and that Steve would make the most annoying husband ever. “Hun, you see my keys?” “On the counter by the door.” “On the freeway to Lahore?” *looks genuinely confused*

Anyway. But, oddly enough, My Pet Void was a little heavier than I originally intended and I have not been so good about practicing self-care. So, now that I’m almost done with the month and this project, I’ve been getting up early again and I’ve been going back to my slow carb thing. This is my second morning up early and I’m a little tired, but I’m feeling okay. Maybe procrastinating a little at getting working at 100k, but I’ve been neglecting this too.

On the upside, the app Sleep Cycle is pretty rad. And it wakes you up when you’re the most awake, so it makes it too hard to fall back asleep in the middle of a snooze cycle. That and Forest have helped me stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to my phone in bed.

But, I’m done rambling. It’s time to get on with the day and on with my 100k. I’m looking forward to being finished. I can’t even tell you how fried I am. But it was an excellent test/stretch my capabilities adventure. This NaNo has been great for networking and meeting some new writer friends. Hard not to feel a little isolated when you’re living in your head so much. Anyway. Back to 100k.

Time for some towel chucking

Well, I’ve finally accepted I’m not going to write 60k words this month. Which is way sucky because that means my word goal for October is going to be nearly 71k.

We fly out Thursday morning. That’s ohmygodohmygodohmygod less than 36 hours. I signed up for a plotting workshop. And a writing contest. You guys wanna read a hella depressing story? Here you go. And then that moment where you look at what you entered into a contest and go, “Wow, that’s really quite rubbish.” Anyway. Impostor Syndrome? Or just cold stark reality going, WTF YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO ENTER INTO A CONTEST?!

14322538_10100591737979431_1513431989361099003_nMy friend told me I had to let one thing slide. Well, I’m letting my word goal slide. I printed out my Defiant Canary manuscript. Of all my mss, I think Defiant Canary is going to be the easiest to edit and revise and get out there. Maybe that’s me just being lazy. But, maybe it’s just the nudge I need to get things rolling again. If I can get another book out and under my belt, then all the rest of the things that need finishing (I hear you manuscript pile! stfu!) can get finished too. Here’s the first chapter to The Defiant Canary. It’s… a weird story. I definitely write for myself. It’s paranormal romance with a touch of Lovecraft horror. Anyway. It’s rad and fun and sexy and has some fun characters doing some rad stuff. 😀

So, I have a little dose of failure-itis, not going to hit my goal, but… I still have October and I have November. And I have a rad book lined up for NaNoWriMo this year. I hit 85k last NaNoWriMo and I should be able to do that again.

Oh, one last discovery. I don’t value revision as highly as I value writing. A piece of me is delving into invisible work territory. Just like women’s work is undervalued because it’s invisible, maybe revision does the same? I have a blog post banging around about invisible work in my head that has been meaning to come out and I just haven’t done it yet. Anyway. I need a way to quantify my revision work. Or at least to see that it’s making a difference. Or… something.

This is probably my last post from US shores. And I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting from Okinawa. I’ll definitely be on Insta, so follow along there for sure.

And, I’ll be looking for test readers for the Defiant Canary when I get home in October. So, if you’re interested in that, email me at tremblingtrimble at gmail . com with BETA in the subject line and how you’d like your version, either pdf or for Kindle.

Conundrum:

I feel like listening to the Hamilton soundtrack (again. some more) but I’m scared I’ll get burned out on it.

I guess this means time for writing because I can’t listen to it and write. Hello, Kiri Te Kanawa! I think this is my favorite Figaro on youtube. And my favorite writing music. Well, for this project at least 😀

What’s your favorite writing music? Put your favorite youtube video in the comments!

Snatched From The Jaws of Defeat!!

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.44.45 PM

Well well. I managed to do it. Almost, heh. Well, I will do it tomorrow.

The hubband has been out a lot lately and I’ve had a hell of a time keeping up the writing with him gone.

I was going to throw in the towel because it was too much to catch up. That was just too hard.

But my story has been whispering, “Hey. Write me. You can still hit 500k for the year as long as you write ~2k words a day. Doesn’t matter if you hit your stretch goal for the month because you just need ~2k today.”

I’m almost there. I’m going to hit the hay in a minute, but goddamn, it feels so good to be hitting 50k this month. Especially when it looked like I wouldn’t.

Something about a story finally firing on all cylinders and that moment of, “*gasp* I think [redacted] is going to die! But I love him. Oh, no! I love him!” and the sheer doggedness to get this story out. And the goal to have 4 stories written this year. (Aside. How many stories have I written this year?! I’m not even sure now. No, like legit, wtf have I written? Several half-cooked/finished stories and The Defiant Canary. At least I’ve accomplished something, heh. I feel like there was something else. No, maybe this is right.)

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.54.28 PMAnyway. I have my plan for NaNoWriMo for this year. I sent my friend the first part I wrote a few years ago. I had characters and a hook, but no plot. A few days ago a random plot dropped into my head from a plot faerie and I was, “Why, hello plot. I’d like to introduce you to my dear friends, character and hook.”

I’m getting super excited for November now.

My favorite thing with romance novels is I have the destination and some major wayposts. Fall in love. Break up. Get back together. Have some smashing hot sex along the way. But how they do those things… I have no idea. My notebook is full of story ideas and hooks and “Well, why do they break up?” I have no idea how things will happen. Sometimes my little darlings surprise me. And generally, I let them. I just follow them around and write down their exploits. Somehow, it makes me feel better to say they are the ones doing it. Not me. I don’t do mean, horrible things to people. But my characters? Some of them are fucking assholes. 😂

Anyway. Enough rambles for tonight. I’m just super excited about meeting my goal. Well, almost meeting it. Being caught up enough that I can pretty positively say I’ll hit it tomorrow. Here’s to scribbling and here’s to perseverance and here’s to just fucking doing it.

In other news, anyone know where I can find a gluten-free black and white cookie in Salt Lake?

Back on the Horse

That migraine knocked me out and off schedule. I’ve been having a hell of a time getting my shit back together.

It’s hard to maintain. It’s hard to find the motivation to wear so many hats. And maybe that’s just being whiny. I’ve always had some executive function issues. I had a hell of a time in high school. I’d always put things off until the very last minute. Same for college. The fact I was even able to put Just for Kicks up for sale is something of a miracle. It still surprises me sometimes.

So, trying to figure out how to make my brain work for me, not just get into its weird little ant trails, has been an ongoing challenge. Making rules has helped a lot. When I made the rule, I wake up early to write, I’ve woken up around six almost every day. Actually getting out of bed and writing didn’t happen, but I was awake. And goofing around on Facebook and Instagram. All the productivity stuff I follow is all about that first half hour of the day. And I’ve been frittering it away on social media nothingness.

But, I was up early this morning. Six. Without an alarm. Just Bzzzt! and I was awake. And I wanted to go back to sleep, but I just haven’t been able to fall asleep asleep after waking up. Just this shitty dozing that does nothing but make me crabby. I  figured out how my new project is going to start and I have a first chapter. That’s a real big motivator. I’ve been perseverating on it and now that I have it, I’m feeling it.

I know writing is war of attrition. I saw a presentation by Kristen Lamb a while back. She said that of everyone who wants to write a book, only 5% will actually start. Of those 5%, only 5% will finish. Of them, only 5% will edit. And on and on. Same goes with blogging. All you can do is just keep doing it.

So here I am. I’m just going to keep on keeping on.