One of my peeps on Google Plus, a Mister John Ward, had a super handy link to post today, and I figured I needed to come share it here with the few of you that read my blog with any regularity.
(Which implies I post regularly, and you know that doesn’t happen. But just go with it for now.)
William Hertling, a person with whom I’ve had absolutely no familiarity until today, wrote up an excellent check list in PDF format (clicky, clicky, clicky!) for those of us seeking a self-publishing route for our writing.
To sum it up, here are the sections:
Phase 1: Pre-launch
- Book Focused Activities
- Web / Social Media
Phase 2: Book Launch
- Weeks 1-4
Phase 3: Post Launch
Phase 4: Influencers
This is a seriously hardcore (and very handy) checklist. Eight pages long. Print them. Print them all.
Also, don’t get too ahead of yourself. Finish the writing first, and then start checking things off the list. I see you hovering over that upload button. Stop it.
I did it. I finally went back and changed the ending to book 1, because I was hella stuck on my outline for book 2. The Almighty Douchebag was brought back from the dead by way of not killing him in the first place. I even twisted the knife by giving him a parting line that made my protagonist want to burst into tears. Epic level assholery. This means all kinds of bad things for her in book 2, of course. I’m grinning like an idiot over here, you guys. An evil idiot.
There are so many fun possibilities for my outline now. Mallory, my protag, is spiraling into Everything Is Shit Land, and throwing The Almighty Douchebag into the mix again right when she’s at a super low point will just tip her over the edge. It changes the dynamic completely. She’s been having nightmares about the other guy she killed and everyone else that died in book 1, so she’s not exactly in a good place to begin with, and now she’ll have something else to freak out about. Tee hee!
Yeah. I need help. >.>
Along with all this rampant buzzkill for Mallory, I’m also going to be posting a prompt a day for NaNoWriMo. I decided to run with a disaster theme. Every day I’ll give my writer buddies over on G+ a small situation for them to apply to their story in some way. Day one’s prompt could be something like “your character’s microwave (or other convenient food cooker / materializer) breaks during breakfast.” Day two something could explode. Day three someone could steal your character’s mode of transportation (car, bike, space ship, horse, whatevs). If nothing else it’ll be a great exercise in creativity for me, but I hope it helps at least a few people keep up their word count.
How are your NaNoWriMo outlines coming along? Still excited for November? I know I am!
Remember that post I made a couple of weeks ago about writer’s block, and how one of the causes can be that something else has my attention?
Yeah. I’ve entertained goals of writing new prose, or revising a different story that badly needs it. Problem is, I never get very far. Why?
Because my werewolves won’t leave me alone. (Beware: spoilers ahead)
I don’t mean that literally, or even in the sense that these characters might have a life of their own inside my head. I know they don’t. But sometimes I get hyper focused, or obsessed, and when that happens with a story I have a really hard time letting those characters go until their story is exactly how I want it. (You all know what a pitfall that can be. Nothing is ever perfect.)
I thought the latest round of revisions meant I was done, at least until an editor could take a look at it and give me some pointers about where to take the story, or what to cut, etc etc. Except I think my subconscious already figured that out and I’m just not listening. I want to work on other things, not revise this one story into the ground. I don’t want to be a one hit wonder! Let me work on other things, already!
But I can’t let this go. I can’t. So I’m going to talk it out, because that’s the only thing I can do right now besides revise an already revised story.
So what’s bothering me about my latest round of revisions? The ending, for one. It’s off. There’s too much “just focus on the fact that you lived.” She doesn’t have a major breakdown, and she really should. I mean, she killed two people. Some others died. One of those personal kills was too high level for her. She wasn’t there yet, emotionally or mentally. Level 60 protagonist, meet the level 85 dungeon villain. I hate to break it to you, but you wouldn’t have killed him. That’s one of the things I need to revise. I just need to go with it. No happy endings here. It all needs to end in disaster… I just need to be brave enough to write it like that.
Second, my main villain is just all over the place. He needs more. Perhaps some conversations with the protagonist. Maybe one where she doesn’t know who he is, and then maybe a couple where she does. He’s not convincing to me, and if he’s not convincing to me, he’s not going to convince the readers.
Third, I think I have too much going on. The dragons just need to be pulled. It’s a minor sub plot insertion because I’m going somewhere major with it in book 2, but I don’t need to drop so much into the story line in book 1. References should be fine without adding a mystery plot that isn’t realized within the one story.
Speaking of unresolved plots (this is the part where you skip if you don’t like spoilers), my protagonist doesn’t ever go full wolf, and that’s never explained. I know when it’s resolved in the character’s timeline, but that timeline extends further than book 1. Which is fine, unless I never have a conversation about it, which I don’t. The question is asked, and no one answers, or even speculates (to be fair, no one has a lot of time to sit around thinking about these things). I’m thinking it really needs to be answered in one way or another, which might mean bumping the rest of the story to hit that part of the timeline.
All of these possibilities mean my story is going to bloat… by at least 10k words. I’m at 90k now. These revisions might take me into the 110k’s. A little bit big for a first novel. Means I’ll be paying more for editing services, and means will have more work to do myself before it gets to the point where I want to send it to an editor.
I think I’m okay with that, though. Never could do anything the easy way. So point for you, werewolves. I’ll get started this week.
So here we are. The reason I’ve been neglecting everything but G+ is now finished. I’ve successfully completed this round of edits in what I hope will be the last time I make any major changes until an editor smacks it around a little. I can now turn my werewuffs loose on the world. As soon as I get that query letter perfected, anyway.
It’s done. So why am I so twitchy?
Yesterday afternoon I sat at my computer, Scrivener still open, and just stared at it. Surely there was something else I could do. The urge to write the next scene nagged me, but if I tried expanding even just a little bit I would end up adding another half a novel on to the end. At that point I might as well just buckle down and start on book 2. (Book 2 picks up pretty close to where we left off in 1. It’s a new conflict with its own story arc, though, so I don’t feel comfortable starting that conflict and then leaving it hanging.)
The very last scene isn’t done to my satisfaction, so that could be part of it. I feel like I’m missing something. But even this morning I prepped to sit down for another few hours of revisions like I had more than just that last section to fix. I want to keep working on something! Gah!
I think I’ll have to take a few days off and get the rest of my life in order, hangover or not. The house has been a disaster area since May and our yard is like the botanical gardens of weeds. Not to mention half of it is dead due to the extreme heat and drought we’ve had here in Colorado.
So. A few days of extreme home makeover, cleanup style, and then perhaps I’ll try that “plotting” thing with book 2. If I can get some plotting done in time for August’s version of Camp NaNoWriMo I’ll be able to hammer out the rough draft for book 2 in that month, then have something else to revise until the end of the year. Unless I decide to do the November NaNoWriMo… which isn’t entirely out of the question.
Have you experienced a writing hangover? What did you do to get over it? Did you take time off between projects, or did you dive right into the next one in order to keep that buzz going?
Sorry for the extended absence. I’ve been editing my butt off (if it only worked like that… am I right, ladies?)
After a month’s worth of an unintended editing hiatus , I hit my stride again. Knocked out Chapter 6 on Wednesday and zoomed through Chapter 7 last night slash this morning. As per the beta readers’ feedback, I’m revisiting the beginning of Chapter 6, but since I know now where I’m going with it that shouldn’t be to hard. Also helps that it’s an exciting part of the story. It just got serious up in here.
To hold you over until I have the time and desire to write something that isn’t revision-related, here are the titles of my chapter scenes (subject to change as I edit) (also if anyone knows how to make tables in these posts please drop a comment):
Drunken Shenanigans Follow Your Nose
The Morning After Here’s My Card
It’s More Serious Than You Think Wait, There’s More?
House Arrest Get A Clue
Well Then The Animal Inside
Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover It’s Getting Hot In Here
Bad Dreams It’s A Trap!
Waking Nightmares Hide And Seek
The Meeting You Did What?
I’m Outta Here The Last Straw
Guard Duty The Game Plan
Confrontations Hunting Party
Not Just A Dream Do Or Die
Secrets Convenient Endings