The Vacuum of Gaming, Writer’s Block and College

Right.

Hi.

It’s been a while.

Let me explain.

For xmas and my birthday the household got a Switch and a PS4. I feel that probably explains quite a bit to begin with, but my excuses (because let’s face it, that’s what they really are), don’t end there.

Then of course there’s been class, and despite it not necessarily being my favorite thing to do, it definitely has to take priority given that 1) education is important, and 2) education is pretty damn expensive these days, so failure is not an option.

So between class, Spiderman, Breath of the Wild, and my ridiculous Steam library continuously calling my name, that’s already quite a few hours gone. But I’m still writing, or trying to at least.

In comes the writer’s block portion of my title.

I’ve hit a bit of a wall in terms of inspiration, so that’s currently been a struggle over the last several months. I have the WIP I started in November, and my previous project is ready for another round of edits, but I feel like I’m sitting in a funk right now and I’m not sure how to shake it off. I’m not excited about the new WIP and that’s bumming me out, and I’m still in a confusing abyss in terms of edits and who I intend my actual audience to be.

To any writers that may be reading this: decide your audience before you begin! I promise it’ll save you some time, effort and grief later down the line.

So, to try and resolve at least one of my issues, I’ve gotten a trilogy at the recent suggestion of one of my writer’s group members. I started reading this week, and hopefully it will help me decide whether or not my finished draft should be revised with a MG audience in mind, or a YA. Fingers crossed, because I desperately want to finish and start querying for that.

I’m also considering a web-serial that I’ve been outlining for a little while now (and world building), but I won’t say anything else about that until I actually start writing it. That won’t see the light of day for some time to come.

And yeah, that’s about it really. Nothing exciting. Nothing new. Hopefully I can work up the gumption to change that here soonish though. Wish me luck.

It’s June

Ah! How did I seriously let so much time pass between updates? You know what it is — it’s a case of persistent procrastination. It’s always saying, “I’ll do that tomorrow,” and then tomorrow never being any closer than it is today. So yeah, I really need to work on my effort levels. You’d think that gets easier with age, but it doesn’t, at least not in my case.

Right. So. That being confessed… I am still working on my second draft of the current WIP. I’m more than half way through however, and in addition to quite a few large changes, I’ve also been working on the query letter for it and have also changed the title.  I am so not waiting until the last minute to get a query put together this time. I still have to do a summary and that will be enough of a pain – which is what I’ll likely do on my next full read-through once this draft is done.

Now I just have to figure out genre and age level it’s for… I think I might go back go MG (I teetered toward YA), and it may possibly fit into ‘dark fantasy’ as a category.

In other news… New job is going well enough. I’m much more comfortable there and I feel like I’m getting the hang of things. I also want to go back to school this year if I can manage it, which will really tie up whatever free time I thought I had. Ugh, the things that we do for our futures, eh?

At any rate, I want to try and pick up adding posts on a weekly basis again (or maybe semi-monthly I could manage better?). I think I’ve given myself more than enough time to slack off. The hardest part of updating is coming up with what to write about, so that’s what I’m going to do for the next week: think about what I want to write about on a weekly basis.

Wish me luck.

Progress(ish)

I’m still alive.

I’m still editing.

I’m still in training at my new job.

Of course, things were slowed the last couple of weeks as sickness struck. No worries, it wasn’t THE FLU, but it was a bad enough head cold that I developed an earache and went on antibiotics, which might have a second round coming up. Apparently I’ve been suffering from a massive sinus infection, which probably accounts for the trouble my ear has been giving me over the last couple of months. I’ll find out tomorrow if it’s cleared up at all. I probably should have gone in to see a doctor sooner, but I really am loath to see them. It isn’t a phobia, but it’s certainly on my list of least favorite things.

Otherwise things are moving forward. I’m working on draft 2 of my WIP, and waiting on some feedback from a friend to decide on some very big changes that could happen within the story. Not sure which way it’ll go, but I should find out soon enough.

I’m also going to go see Disney on Ice today with my mom. Sure we’re both adults and not bringing any children with us, but honestly I think it’s healthy to do something whimsical every now and then. The last time I went to one of these sorts of shows I was in the single digits, so it’ll be interesting to see how enjoyable it is after growing up.

At any rate, felt like it was time for an update. Hopefully I’ll finish my second draft within this next month or so and I can write another short story.

Until then, stay awesome!

 

It’s been a while…

I haven’t updated in some time, and that was for a variety of reasons. I’ll start from the top and most obvious reason: holidays! Ugh, what a wonderful and stressful time of year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years Eve to the fact that I left the country for a couple of weeks – this was just a horrible time for me to log in and update. I know, I know; I should have make some posts ahead of time and timed them to publish during that period, but… well I am just not that organized or ahead of the game yet. Maybe next holiday season.

BUT, things are mostly back to normal now. Mostly. My job situation has very recently changed as well, so that too is a shift in my usual normalcy. Hopefully this change won’t be too life altering. One job went away but a new one popped up at just the right time. I’m not really a believer in fate and all that, however it did seem a little ‘meant to be’. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and challenges this new position will bring, so fingers crossed!

Back to more relevant things though: I did manage to finish my WIP rough draft just before my trip to Germany. That was in around the second week of December. Not in time to qualify as a win for NaNoWriMo, though I did still make my own deadline, which was to finish before I left. I didn’t get much done in edits while I was away, but since my return on December 31st, I’ve been making good progress. I’m about 2/3s the way through my initial mark up.

I printed the whole thing out: 290 pages, and around 54k words. Why’d I print it out? Well, I find marking up my work by hand is more helpful. I can see the entire book better, and it’s just easier in my opinion. I do hate wasting the paper, but to combat that I print out 4 sheets per page, so it really cuts down the amount of paper I use.

So yeah, that’s all the stuff that has happened since November. I finished a book; traveled to Germany, saw some movies, and started a new job. What a way to start 2018!

I hope everyone else had a great start to the new year, and hopefully we all see good things coming our way.

Crap, it’s #NaNoWriMo, I swear!

Bah! I absolutely, totally and completely forgot to post. I blame it on National Novel Writing Month!! I’ve been trying to remain an active participant, so it’s probably safe to say my posts may be spotty until the new year, because after November there’s xmas and a trip to see family.

That said, NaNoWriMo is going well so far and I’m 15k words in. It’s for the WIP I’ve been working on, but after some serious though I had to make some large, critical changes that have taken some time. I’m nearly caught up with where I stopped however, so soon it’ll be new words until I hit the end.

Can I get it done by the end of November? No clue – but I’m sure as shit gonna try.

Adding Magical Realism, Plus NaNoWriMo Hopeful

I finally made my decision on whether or not to write a MG ghost story with magical realism or not, and I’m pleased to say that I am going forward with it. Ever since coming across the term I’ve been sort of enchanted by idea, and while I started out wanting to write a kid’s horror, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not very good at creating horror. I love reading it, and I love to watch it; however, when it comes to producing horror of my own I don’t seem to have any sense of what’s needed. I may have a passion for it, but I just don’t have a knack for writing it, at least not that I’ve seen so far. I might try again eventually (got a couple ideas floating around), but right now I’ll shelf them and move on.

SO…. with that finally off my chest, I’m pleased to say that now my efforts will be to write something vaguely reminiscent of Pan’s Labyrinth but for children, so obviously with far less horrifying moments and themes. I’m now rewinding a little to add in these new elements. What I’m really hoping for is to be finished with my planning and outlining before the end of October so that I can participate in National Novel Writing Month finally! I’ve never really been in a good position to join, so fingers crossed I get a chance to this year.

Will I be able to finish this been before the end of this year? Sweet Christmas do I hope so 🙂 I’ll keep the blog updated on my progress in the meantime.

In other news: I’ve been slacking a little on the Querying front… definitely need to remedy that soon…

Still going

Needless to say, PitchWars was a bust. Thankfully the world moves on, and I’ve begun to query again. I’m 6 rejections in, all of them basically saying the same thing: thanks for the query but no thanks. I think I might go up to 15 rejections before I sit down and maybe revisit the manuscript. I have some notes from my writer’s group and a potential prologue just sitting off to the side right now; once I hit 15 I think I’ll make some adjustments and then try some more.

Work on the current WIP continues. I’m right at the halfway mark, so that’s nice. Unlike so many of my other projects though, this one is far less wordy. So much so that I might actually have to go through and add more words. Insanity! I think though, that because I’ve chosen to try my hand at MG instead of adult, I’ve also been trying to avoid going too deep into the descriptive rabbit-holes I tend to get stuck in.

Also, the big question on my mind is how different I’d like to make this WIP once the rough draft is done, if at all. Currently it’s just a simple premise: children’s ghost story, but I keep asking myself if I should add something extra. Ghost story in space? Ghost story with magical realism? I think my biggest worry is the notion that perhaps a simple ghost story just isn’t enough. I should probably start scouting out the MG market to see what agents are looking for and what’s overly-saturated right now.

Ugh.

At any rate, work continues and the world moves on.

WIP Word Count: 19,424

Outlining vs Pantsing

Do I outline, or do I pants? It’s a question many a writer has asked before, and I’m no different.

I’ve done both, but I find my primary method is to outline. This of course has it’s drawbacks though. While I have a clearer picture of where my story is going and how it will end, it also steals away any surprise/suspense I have. It’s something I’ve struggled with, and I hate that feeling I get after I’ve finished a full outline: boredom.

This is why I’ve been trying something slightly new – a modified approach, if you will.

Normally in my writing process I follow these steps:

  1. Base idea origination: this is the bottom line ‘pitch’ in my head that starts the whole thing up.
  2. Basic main character conception.
  3. Ideal ending generation.
  4. Random event generation: this is the point in which I just start writing out all the random scenarios I think would be fun or neat to read/write.
  5. Event coordination: I then take my random events and start to put them in a more coherent order when it’s clear that scene D can’t happen until A B and C are in place.
  6. Filling in the gaps / Outline: At this point I have the scenes that mean most to me and the order (which is still adjustable in many cases) that I’d like to see them in. Now the time between those scenes need to be filled in, connecting all the dots together to create ‘the story’.
  7. Drop it like it’s hot: Right around this time that feeling of boredom sets in now that my entire story is already laid out. Sure it’s more like a lengthy synopsis, but I feel like it’s been told and writing more gives no satisfaction. So I have to drop it for a bit until that feeling goes away.
  8. Write the rough draft.
  9. Hide it in a folder for a month or three.
  10. Revise.
  11. Edit and revise again.
  12. Revise again.
  13. Get a second opinion: this is where a writers group or beta readers REALLY shine.
  14. Edit and revise again.
  15. Rinse and repeat as many times is necessary or until my sanity gives out.

So anyway that’s basically the full list, but with my current WIP I have decided to stop somewhere between numbers 5 and 6. I have my characters, my ideal ending and my random events already, but instead of doing a full outline all at once I’m going to try and do it a couple chapters at a time with plenty of room to pants-it.

Hopefully this will keep me intrigued all the way through. Sadly I haven’t made much progress since last week for various reasons, but I’m hopeful that I can dive back into it here shortly.


Regarding PitchWars:

Still no word on this which can mean 1 of two things: 1) my first chapter / query just wasn’t engaging enough or 2) my submission didn’t actually go through. I’m more inclined to think it’s #1 due to the number of competitors I was up against, but the hopeful part of me wants to consider #2 as well. I don’t recall getting any message after submitting, but then again I don’t know that I was looking out for one either.

In the end, it’s been a week and I think by now most of the mentors have chosen the stories they’d like to request more for, and mine was not amongst them. But I’m honestly okay with this. I’m trying to work on my current WIP, and while I’d like the old one to be out of my hands already, this gives me more time to do ‘stuff.’

I sincerely wish all the people who were accepted the best of luck though, and I hope all of them find an agent!

Pitch Wars x2

So I did it.

I did it on the last day (as I assumed I would), but I’ve submitted to Pitch Wars with my fingers crossed and my gut twisted.  Truth be told I’m not expecting a full MS request or anything, but whether I get one or not, at least I’m still putting my crap out there, and that seems like a step in the right direction.

Do I hope I get a full MS request and/or mentorship? Well on that I’m torn. It would be pretty awesome to work with somebody published on there and get some good ‘outsider’ insight/perspective, but at the same time I’m working on a new WIP, and the thought of diving back into an old one isn’t quite as exciting. Still, I think I would really work hard to make it worthy of publishing, and if I’m not chosen then I’ll just keep querying and hope some helpful agent out there will give me some pointers.

And like I said, still working on the current WIP, and while progress isn’t always steady, it’s still moving forward!

WIP WORD COUNT: 15,801

Pitch Wars

Another Twitter Event is about to begin, and I have no idea whether I want to participate or not. Realistically I should. I could always use mentoring, and my finished draft is certainly not as good as I’m sure it could be with a lot more work. The problem then? I don’t want to do that work!

I am so utterly exhausted of working on that damn book, and if I never have to open it again that would be okay with me.

So I’m torn. Do I try for a mentor and commit to doing another draft of Genesis Lunae, or do I continue my querying efforts and hope that somebody bites while it sits as is? I have until August 6th to decide, and I’m sure I will make my choice on the 5th.

In the mean time, I’ve tried to dedicate myself to 500 words a day on my current WIP. I’ve been on this path for about 4 days now, and for 3 of those 4 I’ve managed 500+ each day. If I can keep up managing this 75% of the time, then I think I’ll be finished before too long. To try and help with the endeavor I’ve started a 500-Club with my writer’s group wherein we basically harass one another every day with the question of, “have you written your 500 words yet today?” I’ll post updates on how efficient this process is.

Here’s hoping…

Current WIP word count: 12,754