Back In Action! 2018 *PLANS*

So I’ve pretty much decided that January and July and no-blogging months. It’s just too hard when my brain’s in full holiday mode, and I prefer to dedicate my time to writing as much as possible while I can.

That said, work is back this week, and so is blogging! Generic stuff this week, then hopefully I’ll FINALLY finish that series on party hosting, and then I want to dive deep into a topic that seems to intimidate a lot of people: THEME. Yup, you heard it: I’m going to be spending a few weeks writing about the idea of theme in writing. The posts will be tidied up, a bit of bonus content added, and released as an ebook at the end of it all. (If you’re keen to get that bonus content early, sign up for my Patreon – *everyone*, including the $1/month tier, will get the bonuses as soon as I write them, which will be as much as 6 months earlier than the ebook is released.) While the book will be mostly aimed at genre-fiction writers, it will be equally useful for any writer who’s not so sure about theme, AND also for students of all ages who struggled to analyse themes in texts :3

In other news, Sanctuary 3 is going well (regular snippets also on Patreon for $2+) – I’m over 2/3rds of the way through, and at this point we’re looking at a late May/early June release, all going well. I’ll share a blurb etc as soon as I have it. Rest assured: as many of your lingering questions as possible will be wrapped up in this exciting finale! All the goss on Aphros, the Valley, the Shadows, and some shocking revelations about the roads – plus the obligatory break-and-enters into the fairies’ Lodge :’D Fun and shenanigans and saving the world – and Edge’s family.

Also coming this year: the start of a new series, which will seem strangely familiar if you’ve read this series of posts on plotting; a standalone novella in the apparently super popular Witch Blue series (this is the one with personality-based magic clans, where your Myer-Briggs type determines which abilities you have – it’s a sprawling space opera/puzzle mystery with science-based magic/superpowers, and every time I mention it on social media, y’all seem to go nuts for it 😀 (thanks!!)); and more short stories on the Darkness & Good blog in anticipation of a second anthology in 2019 or 2020. And besides all that, there’s a Sekrit Projekt in the works too, a non-writing one which is taking me out of my comfort zone a bit, but which I’m super, SUPER excited about. Very early stages yet, but you’ll hear more about it throughout the year :3

Anyway, happy new year of all varieties. Here’s to 2018!

<3 A

Back In The Saddle

Took aaaaaall day, but I managed to pull 4000 words yesterday. After not writing for nearly 4 weeks, it was like pulling teeth for most of the day – but near bed time I FINALLY hit my stride (helps that that’s my peak writing time anyway, when I’m not too exhausted for it) and it was like flying again for just a little bit. Wrote two whole scenes (this book isn’t having chapters, just scene breaks) plus tweaked and massaged a bunch of earlier stuff, and finessed the upcoming plot line to be more character-driven and less forced-march.

I’m at about 36% of scenes, or about 44% of word count. IDK, the word count might end up more than the 75k I’m assuming it’ll be at this point, you never know.

If you’re interested in knowing what I’m writing specifically, come on over and join my Patreon; I post a snippet from every writing session there for everyone at the $2 and up levels, and occasionally for the $1 crew too — and if I start hitting goals, there will be fun goodies all round for EVERYONE, including, eventually, special Patron-only editions of any ebooks/paperbacks I put out :3 Come check it out!

But regardless: WOO. WRITING! *\o/*

In Which I Am A Terrible Person, OR Why The Right Book Makes a Difference

(Also: Why I Decided To Publish My Own Books.)

This was supposed to be a lot more coherent that I suspect it’s going to be, because I have a throat cold* and this is the busy point in my two-week timetable and my sanity has pretty much fled, but anyway. I’m doing this blogging thing, yes I am, see me do it.

* Not sinus stuffy, just coughing and hacking and GUNK, ew, glerk.

Confession: I am a terrible person.

I mean, I’m not *actually*, not for the reason I’m talking about today, but it sounds satisfyingly melodramatic to say so, so you know.

Why am I terrible?

I am not working on Sanctuary 3. 

My original deadline was the end of the year for the content-edited book, so I could pull a late Feb/early March release, because that’s what I’ve been telling everyone. Which means I was supposed to start the draft at least 2.5 weeks ago.

Dear readers, This Was Not A Pleasant Experience.

I tried. I really did try.

I spend a week trying to scrape together an outline from the notes I’d made. I skyped the twin, who is Expert at Plotting. I made notes of all the threads I needed to tie up from books 1 and 2 (that’s them in the background of the picture below).

I had an outline – of sorts.

I had an idea – of sorts.

And then the second week, I sat down to force myself to start writing it. You want to be a writer, I reminded myself. That means actually writing. You know. Words. On pages. But it was like the proverbial blood from the proverbial stone, and it was Not Fun.

Look, I have a day job, okay? And two small businesses aside from writing. I don’t NEED writing to earn money for me, I don’t NEED to publish… So if it’s not going to be fun? Ick. Just, ick.

Also, I hadn’t written a novel in over a year, and honestly I haven’t done much writing at all this year so far, it’s mostly been formatting and editing and proofing and so much more formatting. So I was worried that maybe I’d just forgotten how to write easily, that maybe this was a Me Thing.

Then, on a whim, I opened an older novel, one that was supposed to be next in the queue after Sanctuary 3, which I’m basically rewriting from the ground up now that I am a seriously better writer than I was in 2011 (THANK GOODNESS) but which I passionately love and adore and which early readers back in the day did too. Oh, look, you can go read about it here.

So anyway, yeah, I pulled that out to *ahem* look at. And, uh, oops. I’ve written 9k on it in the last 3 days. o.O

I mean, granted, a lot of that is totally blocked out, so the shape of the action is all there for me, and I’m just adding character and voice and setting, but whoa. 9k in 3 days? Ain’t never written that much so quickly, except maybe the week I was finishing up Through Roads Between when I drafted it last year.

So: clearly the problem is not that *I* am broken, but that something with Sanctuary 3 is just not gelling yet. I’ll write it, obviously I will – it’s not a runaway best seller (AH HA HA) but I do have a tiny, encouraging core of fans for the series (*waves*) and I’m not going to leave them/you in the lurch.

Just… not yet.

I could force it, but honestly, this is one of the main reasons I decided in the end to go with indie publishing: complete flexibility. HNOT is *working* right now, by golly is it working, and Sanctuary 3 is *not*. I’d meant to point out a whole bunch of metaphors here for the fact that sometimes, when you’re trying to hard to force something in life to work, it’s a pretty good signal you’re going in the wrong direction – but I’m lacking brain and my throat’s now sore too :\ So instead, Imma wrap this up and find a handy bed to collapse into, because yay + sleep + yay. Then I’ll probably get up and write some more of HNOT, because it’s totally captured my creativity, and I don’t feel like doing much else except writing it.

And I’m going to be grateful for that, and enjoy it, because this? This is what I signed up for.

Bring it on.