Tonight was my first Halloween at the new house. We didn't get around to decorating like we wanted to, but we had a few things in the yard. I was a little bummed and nervous. My hubby and daughter had to work. My sister and her kids have been staying with us, but they decided to go to my other sister's house as they've always done. So not only was this going to be my first Halloween I was going to be doing it alone.
But my nephew Joshua came to my aid. He doesn't like dressing up and going door to door, but he stayed home with me and we handed out candy together to about 40 trick or treaters. We laughed and had a good time. Best costume of the night was the family dressed like pieces of the Tetris game. To top the night off my daughter brought home burgers for dinner.
This post will be made in 2 sections.
1) I worked on the chapter points for the next 2 books refining them.
2) I researched 2 publishers I'm considering submitting to. Now this is both a pro and a con. Putting the books out on my own gives me complete control, but takes a lot of time. Having them with a publisher will give me more time to just write. Either way I know I will still need to promote a lot. So not sure what's going to happen here.
3) started cleaning my office. I WILL finish it this weekend, because NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st and I want it done before that.
Real Life: Winter on it's way, so this week has been kind of a mess. There's a lot to do.
1) It snowed!
2) I packed away all the summer clothes. Well mine, since hubby will wear his shorts all year round.
3) Someone spotted a flea on my nephew's dog. So because of this and the fact that that I believe fleas travel in packs, so bought all 6 cats flea collars and drops for the dog.
4) Washed all my bedding. Pulled out the extra blankets washed them and added to all the beds.
5) Hubby decided it was time to turn heat on in both sides of the house just to make sure it all fires up. He cleaned the pellet stove a few weeks ago and has had that running on a few of the chilly mornings.
6) Hubby's still working on moving the laundry room from the first floor to the second floor. It's going to make my life so much easier. Laundry for 9 people is never ending.
Even the best plans might get shaken up from time to time. Case in point I spent a few months planning my new series. I came up with great titles, strong characters, settings for 9 of the 11 books. My series arc is compelling. I planned to start releasing these books in Spring 2017. So where did this go wrong? Well I'm not quite sure, but here's what happened.
I wrote Book 1. It's done. I love it. I'm just letting it rest a bit so I can start my self-editing round with fresh eyes. In the mean time I decided to write book 2 for my #NaNoWriMo project next month. I was gonna write it anyway, so why not just go for it. I have all the worksheets for the book (and the 7 that are going to follow it) filled out. So I was ready to start making a list of chapter points. That's when I had my Oh Shit! moment. I realized that I needed to switch book 2 and 3 in the line up. Not sure why I didn't notice this earlier. So now I have my chapter points for book 2 and 3 done. So it turned out not to be a major bad issue, and even turned into something positive. Now I'm hoping will get them both written even faster.
If that turns out to be the case then I might get one of the other series I want to do started, or finish up my Blackridge's series and get the whole series back out there. Lots of thinking to do, and hopefully lots of words to write.
Here it is the step I've been working to. Writing.
It's not that easy. As I've mentioned I like to write series so it's not like I can just write. Instead I need to make see where the story, or series will fit into my schedule. See it's not as easy as just sit and write. Yet that's what I need to do sit my ass in the chair and write!
Step 5, Chapter Points, is something that I only started doing about a year ago. I used to be a self-proclaimed panster. That means I just sat down and wrote not have a single clue where the hell I was going. But I couldn't plot.
I am not a plotter. Well that's not true. I can plot the hell out of a story. I've done two that I know every little detail and found that now that I know what's going to happen I've lost interest in them.
So I've become sort of a hybrid in a way. I make a list of things that I really want to happen in each chapter. I want to be sure these points move the story forward, so they need to be in the right order. I consider this a really super light outline. Just enough to know where I'm going, but not to draw myself a complete map of how to get there.
So now that I've got my summary (which has probably turned into a synopsis), my map, my character information, my bible (if I'm writing a series) I am ready to move on to the next step. What else could there be?
The next in my process is making the invaluable and much needed Series Bible.
Unless the book is a stand alone I do this from the start. However I will admit I writer a lot of series. Now's the time to mention that I like my books in a series to be able to read on there own as well as together. I really enjoy writing series, but I want to make sure I'm consistent with descriptions of my characters and where they live. Keeping track of character features and issues is very important. A family tree and map of the town is helpful too. So all those character sheets I've done get assembled here in the order of how the books will be written and released.
Now I'm off to the next step. Coming?
I'm ready for step 3. Character Worksheets.
Each and every character gets there own worksheet. Even the minor ones! I know what you're thinking. Why? The answer is easy. You never know when a minor character will become something more. Because I tend to write series based around families and friends I need to know a lot of the players before I start writing. The series arc helps with this, but I still find that I want to know more. Some of the stuff will never make it into the book becoming less important. Yet other things so small I might think they'll be unimportant could turn out to be a major issue at some point.
Along with the character sheets there is a few other things I need to do worksheets for. I will do a family tree and town map. If a certain home, restaurant, or business is important to the story I want all that info at my finger tips.
Now what happens to all this information? How do I keep it at the ready as I write? That's the next step. A Series Bible.
Now that I have an idea and probably a title it's time for step 2. The Summary. A good one.
I like to write a quick summary of the idea. It could be a couple of paragraphs about the story, but usually it's more like a page or two. There are a lot of variables that can determine how long the summary turns out to be. If the story is a stand alone it might just be a few paragraphs. If the story for part of a series then it'll be much longer. If it's part of an on-going series I need to figure out where the book fits.
If this is the first book in a new series then I'll need to work up the series arc too. This can take a bit of time, but it's worth it to write it all out for me to see.
I'll use the summary later to write the synopsis, but for now it's just for me to get my thoughts in order. And to get ready to move onto the next step. What's the next step?
I'm going to start this out by saying I don't think there is any right way to prep or plan when you are writing a book. Everyone has to find a process that they are comfortable with, and this is mine.
My pre-writing process has about 6 steps. The 1st step for me is coming up with Idea, or sometimes a Title to work off of.
These ideas can come from anywhere. Sometime I'll be watching TV or listening to the radio when an idea strikes. Wherever I think of something I try to write it down. Then it get's added to the white board of hope. This is where I make list ideas for books, promotional stuff, and anything else I'm hoping to get done or considering doing. Seeing it there gives it some time to take more shape. If after toying with it for a while I decide if its still an interesting idea to me. Sometimes this process can be wiped out by an idea I just can't let go of, which moves it to the top of the list. Then it moves to title time.
I've found that I write better with a title in mind. Again this might not be everyone's preference, but it helps me get a clearer picture in my head. So no matter the idea I try to come up with something. The working title doesn't always end up the same at the end, but it's usually pretty close.
Are you with me so far? Once this is all in place then I'll move on to the next step in my process.
As a writer and business woman. Yes I do consider myself a business woman, because there is a clear cut side to writing that is business related. The publishing world is an ever changing world and it's important to keep up to date. That's not what this post is about so we can talk about that another time. This post is about the writing side of things. It's about never thinking you know it all.
As for learning about the writing side of things I've decided to check out Scrivener. I download the trial version to play with while setting up for NaNoWriMo. I'm not writing yet, but I am getting my chapter points ready. I'm hoping to get familiar enough with the software that I can try it out for the entire month of November. I'm usually good once I try things out for a while.
Writing this post has brought a few things to my attention. I've never really described my writing process. Everyone has their own. So I've decided I'm probably going to do a series of post on the way I do things.
I'm a contemporary romance and romantic comedy author. My stories vary in heat levels from sweet to sizzling, but hopefully they all have a hint of humor. If you enjoy family and friend based series then you've found the right author.