The Misadventures of a Hopeful Writer

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Making Up My Mind

I’ve been thinking quite a bit recently on the future of The Reckoner. While I don’t believe what I wrote is terrible, I’m not happy with it. There was so much more I wanted to say, things I wanted to do differently. The only way to fix this is to either completely gut my book to make room for the new material, or to move on and write a new story. In the interest of my sanity, I’ve chosen the latter.

I’ve always wanted to write a social commentary. A piece of work that speaks to the age of genetic research and it’s implications. I don’t particularly want to box myself into hard science fiction. I was thinking that I would keep that as a back drop, a rough category to fall into. I can see the picture of this new story so clearly in my mind, the conflict, the direction and characters, the love and loss that will ensue. And I’m excited. I feel completely absolved of the trials and tribulations of marketing a not quite done novel, nor one that is particularly marketable in the first place. I have so much hope for my writing and this new story. I suppose we’ll see if I can live up to this hope.

So what about The Reckoner? Well, I’m going to use it as reference for what I don’t want and what I do want in this next story. I’m not putting it out to pasture entirely, but it’s not what I want to focus on anymore. It’s sad to move on, but I think it’s the right decision in the long run.

Here’s to new beginnings.

Pitching Madness

So as I was stumbling around the internet this morning, I came across a lovely little bit of information. Today is PitMad day! I’ve been steadily preparing myself for PitchMAS that starts next week, so when I discovered this Twitter Party I was not only excited, but actually prepared. I took to my new, shiny Twitter account and started to tweet (and still am in fact). It’s wonderful to see all the other writers out there doing the exact same thing and it’s so helpful to see what others are choosing to write and what is successful.

This being said, I’m hopeful, but am perfectly aware that there are many people tweeting at the same exact second I am, so it’s a sea of pitches out there that agents and publishers have to wade through just to see mine (If I am lucky). I’ve come up with several different 140 character tweets, but my favorite happens to be:

All is fair in love and science. A genetically mutated girl guards her heart and life after a science experiment goes wrong.

I must say, it’s really rewarding to break down an entire novel into a 140 character pitch. I’m analyzing and summarizing like never before, and making it catchy at the same time. It’s an interesting concept, getting to the root of the story in such a small space, but I’m ready.

New Month, New Challenges

I must admit, December is my favorite month of the year. Holidays are wonderful and my birthday is joyful, but this year, I’m adding new challenges that I’m absolutely excited about. This year I’ve chosen to enter Pitchmas, which starts on December 7th. In addition, I’m also submitting to a publisher I’ve been waiting to submit to for months, as their open submission period is only during December. With all of this looming before me, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.

In preparation I’ve been in touch with readers and doing my own third read-through, and things are definitely looking up! I’ve been crafting my 35 word pitch for Pitchmas as well, which is a tough write because of the word restriction. How can I sum up my novel in 35 words AND be creative, catchy and clever? I’m giving this a shot:

A genetic mutation. Champion of the people. Born one, destined to be the other, Evelyn Zarn struggles against corrupt science in order to save the people she loves with her own life on the line. 

Will it make it into the top 50? Well, we’ll see. Hopefully I’ll have happy news to report next week. I’m definitely excited regardless of the outcome, it’s important to push myself and put my writing out there. With optimism on my mind and a fresh round of edits, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!

 

Readers. Oh My.

As of today at 10:13, I have completed my content edits. I rearranged, rewrote and deleted. Wrack my brain, pulled hair out and lost sleep. I put sweat, blood and maybe a few tears into this piece of work. The time has come, the walrus would probably say to me, to talk of many things. Specifically readers. Honestly, the idea of putting the Reckoner down and allowing others to peruse and pick apart my work is scary. I crave this feedback and have so many questions stuck in my mind. Is the world believable? Do you like Evie? Is the Sci-Fi too light? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I know I’m a little frightened, but I keep telling myself it’s like jumping into a cold pool. The water will be okay eventually, but that initial plunge will be hard.

I’m taking offers right now, I’d love to get as much feedback as possible from different readers. I’m going to limit the number of readers, however, because too many readers will probably make my little heart explode.

So dear readers, please know that I’m going to be a crazy self-conscious worry wart of an author and intend to write all about my fears on my blog. As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned!

 

 

 

Nervousness, My Sworn Enemy

As I approach the end of my editing, which has transformed from content edits to more basic edits, a nervousness is taking over my stomach and declaring victory. If I’m going to take getting published seriously, someone else has to read it aside from me. Now I’ve had offers already, which is wonderful. I intend to take those offers, I crave that criticism. I may turn out to be my biggest critic, but I’m so bogged down in spinning a wonderful story that I’m not sure I can even see the words anymore.

I think that’s why I’ve been quite languid with my edits; I’ve almost come to a complete halt. My support system is spurring me on, however, and I’m starting to feel the pull. I just want to feel that fire, that desire to finish. If I can just get my nerves under control, I can finally finish this round of edits and start sharing.

Deep breath, it’s going to turn out fine.

That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself anyway.

Perspectives and Villains

The Reckoner is a story told about various characters, but very much focuses on the actions of the “good guys”. Now, while this is my intention, I need to also be aware of my “bad guys”. My villains deserve just as much attention as the careful detail given to Evie and her companions. I suppose my point here is that I often write one dimensional when it comes to my villains. I want them to be multi-faceted, to feel real emotions and to have understandable motivations. How hard can that be? Well, it turns out to be quite intricate, much like all of writing.

I’m running into a bit of a road block in my content edits due to this very issue. The turning point is about to happen, but I feel like my villain is falling flat. I have planned out the motivation, but my execution isn’t quite where I want it to be. It just feels, well, silly. I want a raw feeling born of hardship and hardened hearts. I guess I just want more than someone to hate, I want someone real.

I think the biggest point I can make in this post is the fact that I’m avoiding evil. Evil for the sake of evil sounds boring. I’m going to try and bring some wonderful perspective into the mind of my villain and why they do the things they do.

Another Summer, Another Return.

I realize I take a hiatus every summer, but that’s what summer camp does to my mind. I can’t write when I spend all my time either taking care of children or sleeping, it’s just too much. However, that is not the point of this statement. The real point is that my hiatus is almost over!

I’m still quite serious about getting published and intend to spend the fall really prepping and polishing. I’m also bumping up my word count slowly but surely, I”m hoping to hit 60,000 by the end of it. It’s been weeks since I’ve looked at my manuscript, so I took some time tonight to read. It’s really great to get a fresh perspective on my writing. I often find myself getting so bogged down in the details, so focused on getting my points across that I miss the simplest mistakes. It was nice to feel myself even get a little wrapped up in the words, it’s proving that maybe I have created a pull, some intrinsic quality of the words I chose that I strung together in sentences that makes me want to read, want to be be a part of that world.

It’s crazy to me to think that I may actually be moving towards starting my sequel novel. I’ve mapped out the continuation of the story already and it’s new locales and I’m excited to bring my characters there.

So here’s to another summer full of memories and another new beginning for The Reckoner.

Re-Writes…Lovin’ It

I didn’t believe that I would like doing heavy content edits. In fact, I thought it would be like pulling teeth. I had the hardest time starting, flipping open my printed copy of my manuscript and starting up my computer. I suppose the idea of doing much more than basic edits was a little daunting. I had so many ideas for changes swirling around in my head, I couldn’t keep anything tangible at all. However, once I broke myself out of this, I’ve been having such a great time.

I think the best part about essentially rewriting entire sections of my story and even adding new material is that I have a much better understanding of where the story is going now, what needs to be included to make it work and the overall continuity. I’ve made some significant changes in plot, trying to really develop motives. I think as a writer that’s something I’ve struggled with.

Everyone faces different pitfalls, things that pull us down and discourages us when we write. Don’t give up now! Even if you just started or are editing a finished product, it’s important to always be moving forward.

That being said, I’m very happy right now. I’m loving being so involved in the story, getting a better feel for my characters and igniting my love of writing again.

Feels good to be in love.

I Promise I’m Not Dead…Yet.

I recently completed the online workshop I was lucky enough to be a participant in and I feel completely refreshed as a writer. I learned so many things about my writing that I didn’t even have an inkling was true and far more techniques that I should be employing in my work. I really think my first five pages of my novel are far better because of the wonderful authors that helped me see the flaws and beauty in the words. I now feel so much more empowered to make necessary changes in my manuscript, which is something I intend to really push forward in during these upcoming weeks.

I’ve been running into the issue that it’s far more fun to write new material than edit old material, but it has to be done at some point. I’m not about to give up on The Reckoner any time soon, I really believe in it, as lame as that may sound. For now I’ve got to consign myself to the grueling road of revising regardless of the kicking and screaming my mind seems to have been doing lately. After all, if you truly love something, you never give up on it.

In an attempt to help my craft improve, I’ve been reading. And reading. And reading. I’m a little scattered sometimes, so I tend to end up in the middle of three books at the same time. I’m really looking forward to a book I recently purchased called Minutes Before Sunset. It’s by a wonderful author who’s blog I follow. I personally don’t want to be in the middle of three books anymore, so I’m finishing up as much as I can before I dive into this book. Reading is absolutely beneficial, I feel like I have a better understanding now of how I should be writing and who I’m writing for. Love, heartbreak, adventure, shortcomings and overcoming the odds is what I want to convey, what I love about books. Here’s to dreams, without them our lives would be very dull indeed.

 

I’ll be posting again soon with some of my revised work from the workshop, I’m just finishing up the last changes. As always, thanks for checking out my blog!

It’s That Time Again!

So this is a bit late, but better late than never? I’ll get right to it, this is a post for Weekend Writing Warriors! Check out their site for great links to other blogs, I promise it’s great.

I’m continuing my snippet from last week. Evie and Grey are still in the tavern, having a tense conversation.

 

He turned to the barmaid and ordered, gesturing towards the bar. “It’s just a local thing. If you’re going to be here, you might as well experience a little of Nevvara.”

Evie smiled, the skin around her eyes crinkling. “That’s nice of you.

“I just don’t want to be following a tourist around, might as well get it all out of the way now,” he added coolly, not matching her smile.

The girl rolled her eyes, expecting nothing less. He probably wasn’t ever going to be nice to her, a realization she was coming to.

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