Saturday, October 30, 2010

When No Progress Equals Progress

Okay, I'm coming up for air and catching up with my blogging buds. Progress is going very well with Echoes of Regret...okay, not so much the writing. I hit a big snag and now put myself in a tough corner.

So how can I say progress is going well? Because -- for me anyways -- I think snags make for a better story in the end. Doubts creep in when I breeze through a story with few to no bumps. Did I challenge myself enough? Did I challenge my characters enough? Did I push the boundaries of my themes? Did I give the depth the story needed to match my vision?

With a few exceptions, my doubts are usually validated when I've reopened manuscripts where the stories just"flowed out" with no major glitches. I found the wrong answers to those questions. And, I have to reopen the manuscripts because those stories were never accepted for publication, because in the end, they just weren't good enough.

So progress on Echoes of Regret is going well because I'm using the tools of my writing trade to work through some big barriers, which in the end will hopefully give a truer result to my vision.

Good writing (and progress) all!

(OH! And I gave my first interview over at my publisher's blog, Desert Breeze Blog. It was a lot of fun answering the questions. Feel free to drop by and snoop me out over there!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Annnd Its Hit

Oh boy has it! I usually go through some sort of new date sort of thing with my stories. Because Echoes of Regret is a continuation in The Telomere Trilogy I got a heads up. Unfortunately, the new characters were a bit shy and the POVs were heavily on the Book 1 characters. Then it hit.

Driving towards the grocery store for the rest of the birthday supplies and Freddy started nagging about her guilt. Damani started crabbin' about the changing ways of his calling. Piper, well, piped in about her distant and cold relationship with her mother. And Jace. Okay, Jace has been easy-going, busy worrying about his sister.


They got very loud in my head all through the aisles. I kept having to look at my list to make sure I wasn't missing anything...having to backtrack twice to go back for stuff. I argued yet again with the self checkout due to my lapse in attention.

Finally getting home my characters were near anarchy as they found out I had to bake cakes first. Now, finally I'm on my laptop. The boys are watching they're chill out show. I've opened my manuscript.

"See that characters? Happy now?!"

Good writing all! (And if anyone has virtual duct tape for times like these, let me know.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gone and Done It

Well, I've gone and done it. I've signed up for my first NaNoWriMo.

The whole month of November will be dedicated to completing 50,000 words of Echoes of Regret. I will have to complete an average of 1,667 words a day to meet this goal, which is 8,333 a week. I'm used to writing 6,000 a week, so this will be a nice challenge.

I think I'll be fine. I've got my outline pretty fleshed out and my characters well developed. The only downfall will be the month itself. November is the start of our family's "birthday season", my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving), and Xmas shopping time.

Of course, I'm the one who wanted to become a published author. No matter what the month, I have to be able to focus my writing energies and creative outputs to create a manuscript in a reasonable time frame. This will be a great method to continue that career development.

Any of you participating in the NaNoWriMo? Any tips from you NaNoWriMo veterans?

Good writing all!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Telomere Trilogy has a Home

I heard earlier this week that my series is being picked up by my publisher, Desert Breeze! I sent them the first manuscript in the series along with the series synopsis and they wanted it.

The Telomere Trilogy Book One: Revelations of Tomorrow will be released October 2011 with the next two books coming out in 2012. I'm so excited I had to dance a little bit...and might have squealed. (Most likely.) Here's a little bit about it:

"After a load capsule careens into Captain Noah Bonney's interstellar vessel, she must face her inner demons and the sins of her people if she's to open her heart to the love of both her daughter and her lover.

The crew of Daring Star salvages the load capsule and find the beaten body of Jetta McCree. Jetta's discovered her employer developed a biochemical droplet and contracted with terrorists to manufacture on a large scale. Noah fights off corporate security forces, her ex-husband's pirate fleets, and carnivorous beasts to keep the young woman safe and get her to the safety of the Imperial Home Port.

But the adventure brings to surface demons Noah's been suppressing and secrets from her people's history she's tried to forget. Now, she must face them if she's to reconcile with her daughter and keep the love of her life from leaving. With over four hundred years under her belt and nothing but eternity ahead of her, she's built a thick shell…one she's not sure she can break. "

I'll keep you posted on the progress of all this as it goes along.

Good writing all!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Keepin' on Keepin'

Just wanted to drop in some various updates. Let's see...

I switched up my header menu a bit. Now that I'm dedicating more of my time to novel writing versus short stories, I've deleted my Completed Works section and replaced it with a Free Reads section. However, you can also access free material if you check out my Published Works section where several of my works appear in free e-magazines.

I uploaded a new free read titled Maka's Quest through Smashwords. I'm sure some of you remember it. It's my Native American inspired SF story. Please feel free to download it and --hopefully-- enjoy. Let me know what you think either here or in the review section on Smashwords.
Pill Hill Press' anthology, Bloody Carnival, is out with my contributed story Sorcerer's Carnival. Sorcerer Barabin, trapped for centuries, is working to gain the power to free himself from his dimensional prison...and he's only got two more souls to go. A fun evening at the carnival turns dark and dangerous for Lilia and James when they find out they're Barabin's final selection.

My Publisher (heehee...that's still neat to say) has their October releases up and it includes an awesome SF up, Borealis: A Space Anthology, which includes great SF writers, PI Barrington, J. Morgan, and Gail Delaney. Head over to Desert Breeze Publishing and check it out if you have a moment.

What's next...oh, I'm fighting off the need to chew my nails away from nervousness. My first book in the Telomere Trilogy, Revelations of Tomorrow, is still in submission review. I'm not sure what happens to time...but slows when you've got a big submission out. And now that I'm not actively submitting shorts, it's the only submission my anal brain has to focus on. Ah! The joys of authorship!

Good writing all!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Developing a Series: Closing Post

I want to again thank Jennifer Hartz and Tami Dee for such wonderful articles about both their approach to writing series and their latest releases. I hope you all enjoyed the week's theme too.

There are a couple great things I pulled out from their experiences I think I would like to try with my own writing.
  • Find the time to daydream: Sometimes as writers we focus so much on the need to write, we forget to just let our minds wander. Jenn really illustrated -- through her use of time during her commute -- that just mind-wandering for a little bit can really help you work out your story. And Tami Dee sits down at her computer and just goes with it. So, I'm going to try and not focus so much on my technical tools and just try letting myself brainstorm freely.
  • Plot the whole idea: I know a lot of people are not Plotters. I respect that and admire the freedom. As you can see from Tami's success it's not a requirement. However, I do think -- at least for me -- that for a story that crosses over books, plotting is a very important key to success. It doesn't have to be detailed, but at least a simple outline. Along with the plotting, using Tami's idea of a spreadsheet is a great way to track all the details. We're not talking'll be 240K or more.
  • Allow the seed to grow...don't stifle it with your original idea: Things won't always lead the way we thought when starting out. Don't go all willy nilly in every direction at a whim...but really think about the direction if it's just not working. Both Jenn and Tami showcased this aspect from their own experience writing their series.
  • Be diligent: Take whatever time you can to write...even if it's only a few minutes.
  • Make each book in the series strong enough to stand alone: Tami Dee really illustrated the point well, when she spoke about giving the reader enough finality to not feel open-ended between books, but still enough suspense to have them wanting to read the next.

I'm so happy I decided to try this exercise on the blog. In the process of completing the first book in my trilogy and starting the second, I realized some things I'm doing well, some things I need to correct before it's too far in, and those things that'll make it easier overall and going forward.

Good writing all!