Tuesday, November 30, 2021

NaNoWriMo, Planning Ahead, and IWSG

And November crawls to a close. For the second time ever, I stalled out before 50K. I'm okay with this. I've won far more than my fair share of NaNos. Too much stress this year, overtime, overbooked, and very little sleep. I've been perpetually exhausted for months. So at 35K, I found peace with just letting go. I'll get back to the story at some point. It was going well and I was enjoying it. Frayed, being urban fiction, is something totally different than what I've written before and I'd like to see how this emotionally charged story wraps up.

On deck for December: wrapping up Spindelkin on Kindle Vella. The story is done, it just needs a bit of editing and then getting the second half of the novel posted. Click the cover off to the left if you'd like to give this YA dark fairy tale a try. The first three chapters are free. Also on the agenda: sleep, quiet time, recharging the internal battery, and copious amounts of ice cream and hot chocolate.

January will be devoted to making a few minor tweaks to my current novels, taking inventory for events for the new year, and finalizing my book signing schedule. At them moment, it's looking like 28 weekends. Cutting that to 26 is ideal, but we'll see. I'll be focusing on Renaissance Fairs, Comic Cons, and larger art festivals in 2022. 

February is my scheduled month to dive into the last edits of Seeker: Book 4 of the Narvan. I hope to have it completed by April/May. 

Beyond that, I intend to get Spindelkin out in print by fall or it may wait until spring 2023. No crazy five book publishing plan for 2022.  Is any of that subject to change? Sure, my motivation goes in spurts and sometimes I just have to roll with it, but at the moment, my motivation is declaring a well-deserved vacation.

Books make great gifts! You can purchase signed copies of all of my books and have them shipped directly from me to you by clicking on the "Buy Signed Copies" tab at the top. 

If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.

And now to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question: In your writing, what stresses you most and what delights you?

Not a whole lot stresses me with writing. There's plenty of that outside of my fingers on keyboard. Usually writing is my happy place. But in the spirit of answering the question, I'll go with getting through the middle. Stories always start out with a sort of manic energy, when you're full of ideas and excitement about seeing this new word baby flow on to the page. But that wears off. It can be easy to wander off to other new projects or begin to doubt that you're on to something worthwhile for all the time you're spending on it. If there's anything I've learned in all the novels I've written, or started writing, the middle is where I trail off. If I can get past that 50 to 60% point, we're golden. 

Delights me? Seeing a story come together, when the dots connect, the plot threads tighten, the characters come alive. There's some of that in the first draft to be sure, but a lot of the most gratifying moments happen in edits, once the whole story is in my head and I can see how to pull it together tighter, and add those emotional or detailed scenes that I breezed over in the first draft. There's a lot of delight in writing. Thankfully. That's why we keep doing it, isn't it? Or maybe we're just mad. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Book Release, IWSG, and NaNo!

First, the exciting news... The Minor Years is now available in paperback from your favorite online retailers. 

On idyllic Veria Minor, Anastassia struggles to fit into a life she never wanted. She’s lost everything she’s worked so hard for.
According to her cover story, she’s now an acolyte Seeker, a mother, and wife of Isnar Ka’turoc. In reality, the Council’s torture has left her with only a whisper of her telepathy, she doesn’t know the first thing about raising a kid, and the man she’s stuck with is the same one who ruined her life. If she wants to stay among the living, she must learn to forgive and adapt.
When the Narvan unexpectedly falls into Jey and Merkief’s hands, the one thing on both of their minds is revenge. Kess killed Anastassia and Vayen, but he now has the High Council’s protection. To make things worse, he’s been awarded the advisory position for the Narvan’s neighboring system, including control over the wealthy planet of Merchess, which had provided much of the Narvan’s funding.
Strapped for credits, at each other’s throats, and attempting to meet the High Council’s demands, Jey and Merkief wage a covert battle with Kess. If the violence explodes, everyone will suffer.
Available at all your favorite online retailers or visit me at Grand Rapids Comic Con Nov 12-14 or at the Bluestocking Bookshop in Holland on Nov 27.

Ebook links are coming soon.
If you're not familiar with 
and find links to all the other 
participating writers.

Next up is this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question: What is harder to do, coming up
with the book title or writing the blurb?

While titles take their sweet time coming to me, I'm going to have to go with writing the blurb. Having to stare at the entire novel and figure out what bits create the most enticing blurb without giving too much away but also providing enough detail is challenging. The two things (now that I've done a bunch of them) are:

1. Focus on what happens in the first few chapters rather than the whole book. The stakes obviously have to draw from the main plot, but the characters and what they generally face are often laid out at the beginning.

2. Write a synopsis. Somewhere about book seven or eight, those vile things started coming to me before I even write the book. I credit that to the agony of having to write seven or eight of them from the whole novel after the fact. My brain apparently said, ok, enough of that! Let's just start there and then write the book. So while I still claim to mostly be a pantser, I guess this edges me toward planster territory. Staring at one to three pages of the synopsis is much easier to digest for blurb purposes than trying to analyze the whole novel.

And that brings us to National Novel Writing Month.

I'm launching into an Urban Fantasy this year for something different. That's been on my list of Speculative Fiction subgenres to try for a while now. After spending so much time on YA books Spindelkin and The Traveling Circus and The Skeleton Key last year, I'm having to make a conscious effort to drag myself back into writing for the adult market.

Don't get me started on the title. I don't have one. Currently, the project is known as "Witty Title". I usually find the actual title as I write. Since I'm only on chapter two, it will likely be a while before that happens. So far things are moving along smoothly thanks to my handy synopsis.

If you're participating in NaNoWriMo and want to be buddies, I'm Gypsywitch on the NaNo site.

And now I better get back to writing because sadly, this blog post doesn't apply toward my daily word count.