New Years Resolutions 2019

Another New Year’s Resolution post!

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I am trying really hard to set realistic goals this year. And I am going to check in on them quarterly.

 

My 2019 Resolutions:

1. Release Two Books This Year

Yes, I know we’d talked about three. But as long as I have a day job, I just don’t see that being realistic. I’d rather put out two books that I’m proud of than three that I think are only okay.

 

2. Write Three First Drafts

I’ve admitted that I spend a lot more time editing than writing, and that’s okay. BUT I need to make sure I always have a fresh supply of material to edit. The longer I spend time editing, the harder actually writing new material becomes. So this still needs to be a focus for me.

 

3. Eat food before it goes bad.

Didn’t see that one coming, did you? Our refrigerator is a black hole, and too often stuff goes in and I don’t find it until it’s sporting a mold colony. By eating what we buy, it saves us money and reduces our environmental footprint. We have a new, smaller, refrigerator. While it may seem counter-intuitive, I am hoping not being able to store as much and seeing more of it will help us achieve this goal.

 

4. Move at Least Three Days a Week

Walking. Biking. Whatever. Three days a week. This is a lot more doable since my office put in a small but very nice gym in the basement for employees. They even put in showers! I have already been working towards this goal, but I am adding it as I want to keep it at the forefront of my thoughts.

 

5. Keep a Food Journal

It’s hard to know what to change in your eating habits until you truly know what you are eating. I have a Fitbit I wear daily. It comes with a tracking program on the same app. I have tried to use it with varying degrees of success. I need to develop the habit of logging food, and that’s what this resolution is all about!

 

How about you? What are your resolutions? Have you started on them? Do you think you’re likely to keep them?

Writing Process: I Figured It Out

After taking a hard if biased look at my current WIP, I figured out what’s been causing the writer’s block.

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But less cute.

You don’t see the antagonist.

At the 45k word point, you still haven’t met him.

I have read a great deal of writing help on making sure you develop your villain. Make them a hero in their own story.

While I know a great deal about the antagonist, everything he has been doing is behind the curtain. It’s something the characters must respond to, but the reader doesn’t see him.

This is partially on purpose as the antagonist doesn’t want you to know it’s him. He wants to stay hidden. He wants you to think it’s someone else, and he’s done a decent job of setting up that person.

Villain
More he loves power. But not too far off.

However, at this point in the story, I really need him to take a more active role. His plans are hanging in the balance. He wouldn’t allow them to fall apart because of inaction.

But, I haven’t shown him yet. It’s hard to do a big reveal when the reader doesn’t know him or anything about him.

At the same time, as a romance story is traditionally only told through the eyes of the hero or heroine, I can’t just jump into his head and show my audience what’s happening.

I need to go back and rework the story. Find a way to show who he is without revealing him.

That means a pretty significant rewrite on a piece of work that isn’t complete.

I try really hard not to do this, but I truly see no way forward. He must step up now and take action.

I suppose I could try the random reveal and then work him back into the story later.

I will ponder both options and see which way has the characters talking to me again.

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NaNoWriMo 2018

I will not be doing NaNoWriMo. I know. Blaspheme.

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And any love from your family.

For those who may not be familiar with this, November in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). As part of the celebration, authors join together and attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

No, 50,000 words is not a full novel. Romance novels tend to be around 70,000-85,000 words.

But 50,000 words is A LOT for one month. A LOT. It’s almost 1,700 words a day.

Yeah, a lot.

Many people will tell authors that they *must* participate. That it shows them the pace of a true writer.

Yeah, no. Every writer is different. Every writer’s process is different.

For me, rough drafts are a tiny fraction of the work of creating a finished novel.

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To Love a Prince took me fourteen drafts. Yeah, Fourteen. After I discarded two different false starts.

Seducing the Ice Queen was ten drafts. Better, but still a lot more revising that drafting.

And while I still need to figure out how to shrink those number of drafts further and still have a product I am proud of, participating in NaNoWriMo will not get me there.

What it will do is make me stress even more, steal some of the joy of writing from me, and make my family hate my writing.

The after NaNoWriMo, I am still dealing with the unpleasant side effects while trying to get from 50,000 words to the 75,000+ words of a finished romance novel.

It also does nothing to conquer the editing process.

I’m going to posit that following NaNoWriMo might actually make my editing process more intense as I struggle to get the 1,700 words on the page rather than 1,700 words that make some sort of sense.

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Yes, most first drafts are dumpster fires. But there’s dumpster fires and then there’s industrial dumpster fires.

None of this means NaNoWriMo doesn’t work for other authors.

Whatever works for each writer is a valid form of writing, even if it means typing while standing on their head, or whatever else they may do.

Some authors swear by working at cafes. Or libraries. Or rainbow fields surrounded by unicorns.

I prefer sitting at my old computer desk or curled up in the recliner with my laptop. I like music but I don’t need it. I prefer my lap to be cat-free, but that isn’t always possible.

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Yeah, he’s cute. Until you want him to move.

I like to write when the kids aren’t awake, but again, not always possible. Sometimes I write on my lunch hour. Sometimes while my daughter is in dance class. I have toyed with the idea of dictation software so I can write in the car.

This is what works for me.

That new story I told you about? I’m over 40k words into it. I am hoping to have this first draft completed by the end of November. Then, it’s back to edits for Knight for Valor.

Progress!

I have finished my current edit on Seducing the Ice Queen.

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*happy dance*

I am taking a short break from the story before starting my final line edit that focuses on things like comma usage, word variation, and not ending sentences with prepositions.

On day two of this break, a whole new idea smacked me. I started writing it, and after two days, I’m over 4,000 words into it and still going strong! If not for this pesky thing called a day job, I’d be much farther along.

The characters are really coming alive, and that’s the best part about writing for me.

Yes it’s a first draft, and I both love and fear this draft. I love it because anything is possible. Because as I write it, I get to know the characters. Their foibles, fallacies, and strengths. I am a pantser, so this first draft is where I learn what happens to the characters and how they get their happily-ever-after.

*squee*

However, I also fear it because I’m staring at a blank sheet. There is nothing there to rearrange, fix or correct. It’s empty, waiting for those first words that will spur the next eleven revisions. There is no wordsmithed beauty to it. It’s raw and dirty, this first draft.

And that’s okay.

I just have to get it on the page.

After the blow my writing took back in July, I am ecstatic that my muse came back to sit on my shoulder again.

Magic

I’ve missed her, and I’ve missed the joy of creating new worlds and the people in them.