Check In- 10/26/12

Brrrrrr! It's been a bit chilly out, which is great because I love fall weather! It's the perfect temp for snuggling up with a warm cat in my lap and tapping out a few hundred words or so! :)

I received Beta Reader #2's feedback and was super happy with it. She gave some really good advice, and pointed out the few spelling errors I couldn't find on my own. She gave me good pointers adding to the depth of my book and she's an avid YA Fantasy reader, so I trust her. I have a feeling that her feedback is going to bump my manuscript's word count up by 10,000. Which means I may not be able to "legally" participate in NaNoWriMo. Hmmm....

In other news, my model is not coming through with photos for the book cover, so I think I might have to create something on my own. I'm drawing inspiration from the lovely people at and I'm excited to try my hand with Gimp (too poor for Photoshop). 

Wish me luck!

My First Beta Reader Experience

This morning I awoke to an email in my inbox that I had been waiting for. It was my first beta reader giving feedback on The Two Worlds. Excited, I opened the email and read quickly through what she had to say.

It wasn't all good.

She liked the way the story flowed, but she felt that it read almost like a screenplay (stupid film-making degree!). She also felt like I was putting all of my cards on the table and not leaving enough mystery for the reader.


I had a flicker of disappointment, but then a thought dawned on me.

She read my story!

I jumped out of bed with a grin on my face. Someone had actually taken time out of their busy day to read my book!

It felt great.

Of course, I have to wait for my other beta reader to finish reading before I can start editing. But Beta 1's feedback was just what I needed to hear. I'm off to research the advice she gave me and of course, I'll get back to you on what I've learned.

Have you had a beta reader experience yet? What was your reaction?

Finding a Writing Schedule That Works For You

I'm a stickler--I find advice and try to stick to it, even if it's not working for me. When I decided to get serious about writing, I was told that a writing schedule was the way to go. "You'll develop discipline," experts said. "You'll form habits!"


After creating mutiple schedules and not sticking to them, I finally got to the final stages of The Two Worlds and am ready to self-publish it. How?

I stopped trying to fit myself into a neat little box. Shit happens. Things go awry in life. And feeling as though you should jump off a bridge because you failed to meet a couple of self-imposed deadline is for the birds.

So, I tossed my daily word counts and weekly to-do lists and stuck to basics. Here's my plan for the next few months:

November 2012:

-Publish The Two Worlds (currently in beta land)

The Two Worlds: Jarem's Revenge 

 -Write in November

 -Edit in December

 -Publish in January (Jan. 31)

The Waking Moon (romance novel)

 -Write in December

 -Edit in January

 -Publish in February (Feb. 28)

Here's 3 things that I've learned:

1) Having one broad goal with one target date is the only way I won't have a panic attack every time I open Google Tasks. Panic attacks = procrastination = not getting shit done.  Before, I would make SMART goals and then break them down into steps. From there, I would have multiple task lists. It was insane! I would spend hours crafting these lists that were supposed to make me more efficient when all it was really doing was taking away from my writing. Never again.

2) I know my writing capabilities now. I've been writing actively for about a year now and I know that I can crank out 2,000 words an hour...without really trying. I can also crank out 50,000 words in 30 days (thanks NaNoWriMo!).

3) I know my editing strengths and weaknesses. It took me awhile to figure out how to edit and how long it takes. I tried different methods at different times. Thanks to Tamera Kraft's advice, I finished up The Two Worlds and put it in beta readers' inboxes. This is the method I will be sticking to from now on.

The above schedule probably won't work for many folks. That's ok. Writing is an individual sport, so you can tweak your schedule anyway you like.

What about you? Do you have a writing schedule that works for you?

A Little Bit About This Blog...

       I'm a Google fanatic. I'm naturally inquisitive (I suppose that's a trait of writers), and since Google arrived on the scene back in '98 I've been hooked. When I decided to start being serious about my writing I automatically went on a Google binge! I researched every aspect of writing, from setting deadlines to getting published. I spent hours reading articles about writer's block and getting through the 'dreaded middle'. I frequented forums, stalked blogs and harassed my other writer friends.

      But what I couldn't find easily were blogs where the authors gave the honest, nitty gritty truth about getting published. I read lots of the same advice on various websites and blogs, but no one really gave a play-by-play of the struggle. Not to be outdone, I kept searching in vain, constantly thinking "Yes, that's nice, but what's it really like?"

      Everywhere I looked, published writers and experts advised newbie professional writers such as myself to have a website and a blog. "Post frequently!" they said. "Make sure you drive traffic!"

      I tried and failed. I didn't have anything 'fluffy' to talk about. I'm still learning and didn't feel comfortable writing 'how-to' articles. I didn't eat, sleep and breathe writing and therefore couldn't provide multiple posts about the industry's happenings.

So I gave up.

     Fortunately, whenever I give up it doesn't stick. I decided I would create a blog that would let other newbie writers know that they're not alone. I will chronicle my failures and celebrate my triumphs. If I find a method that works, I will share it...and I will share those that don't work, too.

     My goals is to let other newbie authors realize that they are not alone and provide resources for their struggle to.

Till next time!