Browse Category by Writing
Jonah, WIP Wednesday, Writing

WIP Wednesday: Plotting and Outlining

First, let me just tell you… I could not spell outlining to save my life and had no idea how I was spelling it wrong until I realized I left out the ‘line’ part.

My brain is fried.

So JONAH is next, and I start his book on Monday. I have a schedule already set out for the rough draft. I have August 15th to the 31st to write it. Then, I go into my second draft which is from September 1st – October 1st. It then goes to the betas before I get it for the final draft.

Right now… plotting and outlining.

KILL. ME. NOW.

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Trace, WIP Wednesday, Writing

WIP Wednesday: What Beta Reading/Editing Really Looks Like

The betas are working on their read-through of TRACE, and Bri just started her final edits. We will be doing our tandem edits this weekend before sending out the book for formatting. This is a snapshot of what part of the first page looks like right now though. However, this doesn’t include my corrections and changes, since I have a different method of doing a ‘final pass.’ Which means reading it on paper and red marking the fuck out of it. Right now, none of my edits have hit this thing yet. I will also make final changes to the story as I catch continuity issues or story flaws. And I’ve caught a few.

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Somnolence, Trace, WIP Wednesday, Writing

✨✨WIP-It Wednesday✨✨

It’s WIP Wednesday again, and I’ve moved on to the printed manuscript of TRACE. This is what I read while the Betas are reading the digital document and making comments. I red mark my book, pick out errors and make notes where I need to build up areas. I also make notes where teasers and excerpts are… even though the one at the bottom of this page looks like the word ‘treason.’

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Somnolence, Trace, WIP Wednesday, Writing

✍️ WIP Wednesday Bear Skins And All

Hello, welcome to a lovely Wednesday! It’s Hump Day and that means another one of my updates, as well as a typo. Today’s typo is lovely… I mean bare skin, bear skin… who could confuse them?


I’m on chapter 17 of the second draft of TRACE. If you’ve read my previous WIPs, you know that I take my original draft, print it out and start an entirely new document. It’s going well. My word goal for draft two is 70,000, and I’m a little over halfway through the draft and at 73% of my goal. That will put this book likely at 80,000-85,000, which is quite typical for one of my books. The exception being Ethereal Bodies, which was close to 94,000.

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Somnolence, Trace, WIP Wednesday, Writing

Another WIP Wednesday

We are hard at work on TRACE. I’m 10 chapters in on the second draft which means I should be done by the end of the month if not a little sooner.

My process is to do the first draft, print it out and then rewrite it all over again in a new document with new content, cutting out excess, so it’s damn near close to what I want minus editing and beta feedback. Trust me to misspell the word shudder once in every book and for it to get through editing. It ALWAYS happens. Generally, it’s caught by an ARC reader when it’s too late. But it will be fixed in future editions when they are eventually published.

One of my WIP image today shows a snippet of two things: I can’t use a comma correctly and Bri was making changes back in 1969 the other night. I thought it was hilarious and I included it. There is another image inside this post with a TRACE WIP snippet so click to read more!


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Writing

Working on the Second Draft of Trace

I started working on Trace’s second draft yesterday. I’ve been fighting with one of my office helpers for real estate on the manuscript. This one is a real PITA and writing dirty scenes with an actual pussy on the paper is no assistance at all.


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Raiden, Somnolence, Teaser Tuesday, Trace, WIP Wednesday, Writing

WIP Wednesday with a Teaser Tuesday stuck in

So I’m working on Trace and just finished the rough draft this morning. Yay!

It was really a challenge because I’ve been sick for a week. I’ve luckily caught neither COVID or strep, but I feel pretty wretched. I’ve been sleeping a lot and when not sleeping I’m eating and trying to stay awake and do my Duolingo–which let me tell you is dificíl with a sore throat and no voice. But I persisted and completed Trace and now I can take a nap after I do this post.

So I don’t know if I was talking about raccoons or ragoons but one of these things is not like the other.


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Wishcraft, Writing

Behind the Scenes: Working on Wishcraft!

I have the bulk of Wishcraft, book 2 of PTB written. I read it last week and it made me laugh out loud and cry. There is one part that will definitely require tissues.

Yesterday I made the outline so Bri could see where the story was going and help me stay on track, and did the second draft on chapter one. I really am proud of Wishcraft. If anything, it is better than The Dream Keepers, and that is saying something, because I’m happy with how TDK turned out–even if I did think it was an extra needy baby in the end. 😜

This morning I woke up at five a.m. and started on chapter two. It’s a downer and I wanted to get it out of the way. I have a busy day, but before the end of the day I should be able to do chapter three too.

How do I write a second draft?

It sounds crazy and time consuming, but I do a hardcopy of the original and on a new Google document, I rewrite it. I have a guideline of the second book but it allows me to expand or edit as I see fit. AND THIS BOOK, AS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN, IS IN THE WRONG TENSE!

Augh. So, I’m rewriting it in the correct tense.

I make new Google documents for each chapter, and then download each one as I go, in case something happens, I have it backed up. I have written chapters before that I lost, and nothing is more heartbreaking than pouring your heart out and losing it to knuckleheadedness.

How much do I write a day?

When I’m writing a new story, I write between 3k and 4k words a day. And that is how authors tend to measure their books, not in pages, but words.

On a rewrite, like I’m doing with Wishcraft, I tend to use a pace program. I have, in the past, written primarily during NaNoWriMo events and the goal is to write 50k words in 30 days. This time, I’m using Pacemaker Planner. It works basically the same way as WriMo, but I don’t get an award at the end of it. Well, I get a book. 😂🤣

I gave myself 31 days to write 65k words. 65k isn’t a long novel and by the time Bri reads it and has me expand on things and redraft, the novel will probably be closer to 80k. The outline is almost ten more chapters than the first book. It’s possible that this book will just flow and I’ll write more than my goal to start with.

Pacemaker has me set up to write roughly 2,400 words a day and half that, 1,200 words, on weekends. I like to spend time with my husband, so the lighter schedule then is a big help.

How do I edit?

I think each author has a method and most people probably finish the book and hand it off to their editor. Bri and I have a different way of doing things. I write five or, sometimes, ten chapters, and hand them off to her to edit. I asked her to read for content the first pass this time.

Content editing is when you are reading to make sure the events are continuous, make sense, and that the plot doesn’t have any holes. My book is character driven–it means that this book in particular is mainly about the characters and the plot itself is the second priority.

Why?

Because writing this trilogy allows me to stretch out the plot and it story arcs, plays out, over the three books. You get to focus on the characters. And trust me, Michaela is a hoot and you want more of her.

I will compile the chapters I write and put them together in one document for Bri. She and I edit separately or in tandem, when we can, and we talk about my choices or argue over dialogue. Michaela drops her prepositions all the time and that is purposeful. It drives Bri nuts.

How do you know the book is complete?

It’s easy when I’ve a first draft, like now, because I can read through it and make an outline.

It’s an altogether different thing when I am writing a WIP (work in progress) that is fresh. Most books have the crux or crisis happen between 60-70% of the story. Then, your resolution is the last third-ish of the book. So when I’m writing, I use word count, plot, and common sense to determine where that 60-70% is. Then I work on the resolution.

A long reaching story arc like The Power That Be series works differently than all that. The fact that I have the chance to write the story up to the end and dangle a cliffy there for readers, means that the 60-70% happens in the third book. I get to do whatever resolution I want and leave readers hanging in book one and two as long as book three provides a resolution.

Book three is a pile of poo. It’s a meandering story that needs to be wrangled, outlined, edited and then redrafted. There is gold in it but it’s far from ready, despite me knowing what happens in that book.

So, there is some ‘behind the scenes’ on writing book two and some How-To on the writing process in general. I really hope that it inspires someone to write. You don’t need to be a Stephen King or Jane Austin to write a good book. All you need to do is have some ideas, time, methodology, and you have to write.

You can do it.

Please check out the pre-order on The Dream Keepers.

Look to also see it go up on Booksprout and BookSiren in the future. And sign up for my cover reveal and book tour.

Cover reveal with Enticing Journey will be 13 September.
Book tour with Xpresso Tours will be 25 October – 05 November.