Writerly Wednesday~Watch out for the Roadblocks! #amwriting

courtesy of pixabay

We all have them. Whether we are writers or not, life can always throw us roadblocks. Sometimes it’s family, sometimes health or creativity. Sometimes a combination. I have a habit of starting things and not finishing. Having chronic illness makes writing more of a challenge than it already is. I have seizures and a memory disorder. My short-term memory doesn’t work very well. I get an idea and minutes later it could be gone. I could be writing full-force, have to get up and do something then Bam! It’s gone. I get frustrated easily. Luckily I have friends that keep me going. And NaNo really helps. I think the only stories I have even close to finished are NaNo stories. The trouble with those is a that they are written quickly to get a certain number of words in a month, quantity not quality. I loved 2015’s story Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats and decided I wanted to publish it. Now it’s time for the rewrites, beta reads and editing as we discussed last week in It’s Drafty in Here.

courtesy of pixabay

My head keeps going in a million directions. Is my plan going to make the story good enough to publish? Will anyone even want to read it? So I slam on my brakes. I am three-fourths of the way through the read through. I have an accountability partner that keeps pushing me and telling me to calm down. I use every excuse  I can to get out of work. I am determined though to get out at least one book this year.

courtesy of pixabay

I understand every step is still a learning process. I am learning a lot not only about writing but about my style and voice. I think if we ever quit learning we will get stagnant. Same with everyday life. No matter how old we are we still learn new things. Life is ever-changing. We learn as children, we learn as adults, we learn to raise children, then as middle age adults the children are gown and we have grandchildren and things are different from when the kids were little. Sometimes life takes a turn and we have to learn new job skills. Writing is a job and it does take some skill.  Also patience and not being afraid to learn. Friday I didn’t get a lot done and am two days behind. I used that as an excuse to quit. Darn roadblock. But my accountability partner told me to get my blogs and stuff done this weekend she expects me back on that edit on Monday. I don’t like much, then onto fixing this timeline and the notes I made. I have so many ideas. That is never what cause me the roadblocks, it is the fear of letting go, learning and moving on. Maybe if I get this one out the next will be easier. Then I can get back to writing.

Do you ever face a road block? How do you get past it?

Take a Peek Tuesday~Boy Meets Girl #amwriting #romance #sports

Hi Y’all! Would you like to take a peek at what I’m working on now?  This week I’m sharing a snippet from my current work in progress Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats, a M/F contemporary sport/cowboy romance. I have just started rereading self-editing and making notes so I can start the next draft. That one I plan to finish by April to get to my Beta reader if not sooner. I have posted bits of this before, so I will be skipping around. Don’t forget this hasn’t been edited yet, but should be a little better than the last draft. LOL

I am doing this a bit different. I will post a paragraph or so in each view since I write in first person split views.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats  copyright2016

Chapter One

Annie

Then the last one bounded from behind the vehicle with two duffles and a  bag of sports equipment.  His strong biceps are bulging under the weight, yet he trotted over to us, a bundle of energy packed into a tight pair of jeans a shirt stretch tight around his muscular frame and a cowboy hat on his head. He dropped the bags with the others; bounds back over to us shakes Rick’s hand then takes mine into both of his holding them securely.  (Work in the pink here  with the blue having Simon trailing behind him shyly?)

“It sure is kind of you to let us stay here in your lovely home. Coach didn’t tell us our hostess is such a beauty” He( who is he?) lifts my hands up to his full lips and lightly brushes them with a kiss. “Oh, I’m TJ.”

“Down Casanova. Get your butt over there with the others. You’re here to play baseball not charm all the women you meet!”  Rick rolls his eyes as he playfully punches TJ on the arm.I stood there mesmerized by the cutest boy–young man I’ve ever seen in years. Broad shoulders, big brown eyes and wild curly hair that’s a little too long. His handsome face in need of a shave. He would be my dream man–if he were 20 years older.

TJ

I helped Simon gather our stuff then jogged up to Coach and the hostess.Why did the heck Simon park so far from the house? Then I saw the others tossing the ball and figured he didn’t want to chance one through his window or a dent. The way we pitch a ball can do some damage.

Excitement overtook me as I took her small, fragile looking hand in mine.

Hot damn no ring! How on earth could a woman this gorgeous be single? I guess she could have a boyfriend, but all is fair in love and war.

“TJ join the others while we finish our business.” Coach glares at me.

He turns his head back and begins talking with Annie.  A sweet name for a lovely woman.  The coach focuses his attention back to her, lightly touching her arm as he speaks gently. I wonder if they are an item?

What do you think? Do you like the first person split view? What about Annie and TJ?

 

Writerly Wednesday~Decisions Decisions #amwriting #genres #newwip

Five years ago I decided writing would be fun. Just pick up a pen and start writing that story brewing in my head.  That is a good thought. It is also a good start. In reality, it isn’t that easy at all.

Having an idea for a story is a good beginning, but who are all the characters? What’s the plot? Subplots? Trope?  Genre? Are you going to plot it out? If so how much detail? A basic beginning middle and end or details by chapter? Or are you going to pants it? Even If you do that, you still need to know your characters to a point and the basic plot. How long is the story? Is it a short story, novella or novel? These are just basic questions for the writing of the story.  Now say you figured this all out. Sat down and got your first draft now the next barrage of decisions.

How many times will you reread it? How many rewrites will you do? Do you have your beta readers picked out? How many do you need?  Should you send it to them before the editor? Do you need one editor or three? Are you going to have a proofreader?  While you contemplate this, you also need to figure out who will be designing the cover.  Who will format? Will you hire it out or attempt it yourself and that brings you to–are you using CreateSpace, Smashwords or something else?  Are you self-publishing or submitting to a house. If you choose the latter, then you need to look up their submissions. What do you need? How many pitches? Are you writing them or having them professionally written? how do you write a summary? What’s the difference between a summary and a blurb? A blurb and an excerpt? Do you need all of this?

It took me years to come up with something that worked for me as I kept redoing and redoing and now I have a stack of unfinished books in files. I felt I never could get them right enough.  Now I am writing the rough draft, rewriting it once going through Grammarly as I do and then sending to my Beta(or Alpha) I’ll correct what she finds then send it to an editor. After that, a beta and proofreader and hopefully I will be ready to get it formatted.

Now that these decisions are made, you have more. You need your social media campaign set up. You need marketing plans. How many social media sites do you need?  How much time do you need to spend on them? Do you need a newsletter?  A blog? A website? What’s the difference? Do you need all three? How do you get people to sign up for it? All of this is up to an individual, but you do need to get out there.  I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest , Goodreads and I blog. I will have a website to showcase my books and a newsletter once I get my first release out.

Whew! Now you’re done, right? Nope. Whether you self-publish or submit to a house, you have to market your books. Social media is just to get you out there. to get people interested. the easiest way to lose them is to only post buy my book stuff. so how do you market?  I haven’t figured out all of that since I haven’t gotten that far, but I do have marketing experience since that was my day job for 19 years. If I could sell diamonds I should be able to sell books. I hope. There are a few ways to market I haven’t mentioned. One is tours. Not as many people read blogs as they use to so be sure to make these fun, offer prizes but what? Do people want a cup with just your name on it? Most likely not.  Books are good. If they are in your party they probably read. Gift cards are also good.  Look into your book and what it’s about. are there some fun scenes in it that you could come up with a prize from?  Early in the year, things like planners and calendars are good mid-year and later unless you have next years these probably aren’t good.  Does your character cook? find easy to ship cooking relating items like aprons, cookbooks, special utensils and you can ship direct from Amazon which makes it easy. Pick items related to the season as well.   Another fun way to get readers are Facebook parties. I love these.  and do as above have a few fun prizes, some books maybe one grand prize. One thing I dislike about these parties is if you have to preorder the book for the prize. it may be ok to have one post for those that do but don’t make it the only prize or grand prize. I also don’t like the prizes on the follow me posts. The prizes should be for fun and not to force people to sign up to your pages or like you.  more than likely they will leave shortly after. You want to win people over and get them to stay so be fun.

There is one more thing. Reviewers.  Reviews are important in so many ways. not only does it help other readers choose to buy or not, but it helps you move up the ladder in Amazon, get on lists, etc.  Reviews do not have to be professional or extensive.  Just pick your stars and a few words like it was good,  it was ok, I loved it. Or even if you felt there was something missing. Reviews should be honest. These should never be bought.

So as you see there are lots of decisions in writing. It isn’t just sitting down on your computer and popping out a story. A lot of work goes into it. Don’t get me wrong it is a fun occupation, but it can get overwhelming and expensive as well. Not all books will come out of the red. It is something you have to want to do and work hard at.

I am sure I left something out, especially in the putting the book up on Amazon. I haven’t gotten there yet so I don’t know what all choices are there. I have seen several, such as Kindle unlimited or KDP select. I see new things now like Kindle Worlds and Kindle Scout I will have to research.  And there is research.

Do you attend Facebook parties or follow blog tours? What kind of prizes do you like to see offered? Do you buy books based on covers and titles or by only authors you already know?

Writers work hard to entertain you so go out and let some of your favorites know how much you appreciate them. Life would be dull without books, since most movies once began as a story.

A new Year, New goals

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already the 4th day of the New Year. It’s also my Birthday.  This year I decided to bake myself a cake. The jury is still out on whether it will be Carrot, Texas sheet cake or Boston cream cake. All my favorites LOL I am leaning on the Boston Cream cake also known as a Boston Cream Pie since it is what mom always made for me. It will depend on how I feel that one has several steps.

I didn’t make resolutions this year. I figured to try something different and make small monthly goals. This month is mainly gearing everything up and getting ready so I can begin.

I have worked on my craft room and should have it all organized and labeled by the end of the week.  If I do, I will share photos.

I hope to do a room a week to get the clutter out and organization set in. Some rooms may not take so long others may take longer. I will see how far I get with this in January and what needs to be moved to February. I am taking it small steps at a time.

I am also cleaning files on my computer. I got the photos halfway done yesterday and plan to finish today. Then I will work on other document files till I had it all clean and backed up.

On my job front, I am determined to get out one book. I hope for at least three, but the small goal is one and go from there.  I am finishing the edits on Love Bites, to get back to the editor. Then I hope to finish Baseball bats and Cowboy Hats and the Spinoff MMM that goes with it. I am going to try a 30-day thing like I did with NaNo. If I can write 50 k in 30 days surely, I can self-edit it and send to a Beta in that time as well.  If all goes accordingly, I hope to have something out by summer.  I have several books in nearly finished status in my files, so I will see what is next if I manage to stay focused and the beta and editor doesn’t find too much wrong with those three.

On my blogging, I am cutting back. For now. I have cut my guest posts/reviews out except for a few friends. I am still reviewing, and you can find my reviews at TTC Books and More.  She has both mine and her reviews and monthly giveaways.  I will have a Teaser Tuesday still and Serenity Sunday. I am thinking about a week in review where I tell you about what books I have read and listened to, but haven’t quite figured that post out yet.

I am also cutting down on my email time by adding it with my walking on the treadmill.  What I can’t get through during this period I delete. That’s newsletters, recipes, free ebooks, etc. So far I have done this every day since Saturday.

All of this will free up my afternoons so that I can keep up my house and do crafts. By summer I hope to have a few crafts done to sell and set up a website and Facebook page for that. DO you have any name suggestions? I am considering Cat’s Crafty Corner.

That’s my plans for January is mostly organization and planning for the next few months.

Did you make resolutions? Do you think small monthly goals is a good idea?

 

 

 

 

Writing Romance A-Z~~ N, O and especially P

Writing Romance A – Z

Hi, everyone! I know I haven’t been blogging lately.  Life happened, and I fell into a bit of depression. I’m not looking for pity, but I have disabilities that sometimes hit like a Mack truck. I am on medication and mostly controlled, but there is no cure for seizures and my back pain is chronic.  I thought about giving up the writing, the blogging, all of it.  I have made a lot of changes to make things less overwhelming. That is what you haven’t seen much on the blog lately.

I am going to finish my writing A-Z. Then I’ll decide what’s next.

 

So now we are at N.   The first thing pops in my mind is Naked.  Difficult to write romance without getting naked.  I also like the spelling nekkid. I don’t use it much, but it’s cute in a western among cowboys or little kids. Sometimes we need a bit of humor, and odd spellings add that.

I love the word negligée.  The word alone stirs images of flimsy, sexy, romantic nighties and underwear.  What can be more romantic than that?

And of course naughty.  I think that speaks for itself.

 

Let’s move on to the letter O.  Only. Being the Only one the only man in the heroine or hero’s life.  The One. That can work in contemporary romance or in paranormal where they find their mate.  In my current WIP, my main young man is very different. He is only 23, but he has high morals and saving himself for the ONE. He says his mom told him he would know in his heart.  I also like the word Ominous. It is a great word for paranormal, supernatural or Romantic mystery/suspense.

 

I love writing Paranormal romance. It’s not all I write, but I love-making new worlds, creating new characters that don’t exist, giving them powers, but making them likable or human as well.  My first foray into writing was paranormal or urban fantasy.  I have learned so much since then that I think will make that series better. My dream back then was to be the next Kim Harrison. I have two file cabinets with binders of notes handwritten and some in chapters and drafts. I am considering pulling this out and reorganizing it, perhaps working on it next year.

 

I have another book called Dark Magick that I had planned to publish last Halloween, but my beta found a significant loophole, and I think this may become a series as well.

 

This brings me to a Trilogy that I also have nearly done.  It’s called Love Bites…First Bite. An urban fantasy.  It’s also vampires.  The first book began as an 8-thousand-word short story. I rewrote it into a 23k novella then decided it needed a bit more, and it is now a trilogy. I am sending it today to my last Beta then after we get done with my editor for a final look over. I am ready to make the leap and let this baby go. I won’t say when it will be out since that will depend on how much my Beta and Editor find, but it’s a big possibility it may be out this year or early next.  At least I have a plan. (see I slipped in another p-word)LOL

 

 

Do you like Paranormal stories? What are your favorite types? What do you look forward to in a new paranormal book? What do you hope you won’t find there?

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