About Amy’s Courage

The second book of my series already has a title. Unfortunately, it has little else.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written the book. But it’s a first draft and like all first drafts, it’s ugly. Really ugly.

I’ve been struggling with the editing. Really struggling. I kept opening up the draft, shuddering with horror and basically closing it again. I thought about settling and just doing a mediocre job but I hated doing that.

Then I read D. Emery’s excellent post Good News and Bad News, and I felt so validated. D. Emery writes about being stuck writing his second book, Darkness Revealed. He puts eloquently into words exactly what I feel.

Darkness Revealed is much more obvious about the philosophy aspects, and that takes a lot of thinking to get right. I need to craft philosophical ways of thinking and explaining the situation behind the Darkening, and they need to be logically sound.

And I don’t have the mental capacity (and barely the time) to do that right now.

…I realize that’s a disappointment for the people eager to read the sequel, but as I said with my retrospective post, quality is first, quantity will come with time.”

He could go ahead and write a mediocre book but his integrity won’t let him and I admire that in him. In fact, that’s what I want for my book too.

D. Emery’s post gives me hope. I hope that, like he wrote, ‘quality first, quantity will come with time’. For a beginning writer like myself, hope is a wonderful thing.

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Ranting about perfection

I’ve always been driven. Even as a kid, I always tried harder. The problem isn’t that I need to try harder, the problem is that I want perfection. I stare at the scene I’ve written and shake my head in despair. Absolute garbage! Delete button, here I go.

I found this article by Joe Bunting titled The Myth of Perfection on The Write Practice. It was actually really helpful because he starts by saying: you’re never going to be perfect. For me, that was great news because it set me free. I can accept it and try to do a good job, not a perfect job.

When I look forward, I get overwhelmed. I think of the odds against me and they seem insurmountable. It helps if I look back. Once, I didn’t speak English. I wrote and didn’t believe I’d ever get published. I’ve written a book, I have another on the works.

Maybe I need to embrace Good Enough and kick Perfection in the butt.

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What I’m doing now…

I’m almost done Amy’s Courage. I have the epilogue to write and I’m done. I’m excited and thrilled…and terrified of the editing that I know will come next.

Editing doesn’t come easy to me. I don’t have tons of money for someone else to do it so it’s up to me…and my trusty computer. The very first thing I have to do is look over the plot and make sure that it runs smoothly and that any superfluous scenes find their way to the trash. Then it’s going over the writing until it shines brighter than the stars in the sky.

My biggest editing nightmares are: knowing how to edit and when to stop and the dreaded passive voice.

So, I promise a post with links on how to edit very soon. I’ll add the links to my growing Resources page for easy access. I also promise a post on that nasty ‘passive voice’ and how to avoid it–also with links.

One final idea that you might be able to try: the new version of MacBook Pro has a feature that reads out loud anything you highlight. Hearing any written text out loud immediately highlights all and any typos, misplaced commas, and issues. It’s a very powerful tool…but you need patience because it will read the entire story in one slow voice. Also, you might want to use headphones (or not do it while in a public coffee shop–yeah, I tried it there. Enough said).

Another great review for Olivia’s Choice!

I’m over the moon with Andrea Whittle’s review. I’m thrilled to know she loved the book and wants to read part 2 (Amy’s Courage which I’m working on right now). She also did a little interview of yours truly and it’s in the post.

Here’s the link to the review:  http://pennydreadfulbooks.me/2013/11/20/olivias-choice-forest-races-1-taylor-grace/

So excited! Yeey!

Plot wars

I’m in the middle of a plot issue.

It’s the second book in a series. I have a hero I love and a heroine that deserves and challenges him. I have an idea of what I want the story to do. I know what their wounds and strengths are…but I’m fighting with the events that actually happen in said story.

I wrote the book last year. I really did. I wrote the entire thing from beginning to end. Let me tell you, it was not smooth sailing. I fought with the plot from the very beginning and only got through it by sticking to it and sheer will. I finally finished the book this summer…only to discover I didn’t like it. Worse, I couldn’t let it go that way. I thought it didn’t focus on the hero and heroine. It was simply blah.

So, I sat down and wrote another plot. I think this one focuses more on the two main characters and gives them more time to interact with each other. I hope it shows them in their best possible light. I hope it also challenges them into becoming better people and makes them face their wounds.

But, of course the only way to find out if it will do all that is to write it out. And there are no guarantees.

It was pretty gutting to realize I had done all that writing for nothing. Until I thought: wait a minute. I write for me. I write because I love to do it and not to get published or to be famous or to make money…well, maybe a little. Hee hee! No. Really, the point (I do have one, I promise) is that I love to write and this is another opportunity to do just that.

Even if the plot and I go to war again.

(credit: 123rf.com)

(credit: 123rf.com)

 

new blog

Hi everyone! Just started the blog and I’m thrilled. It’s in pretty rough shape but I can start adding information about my upcoming books and that thrills me to bits.

I finished Olivia’s Choice early May.  I’m trying to get it to see the light of day. I thought I’d get it out there in September or October…but life happens. I’m still trying but I need to be patient. As soon as I know, I’ll post it.

Currently, I’m working on Klias’ story, the second book in the series called Amy’s Courage. I’m about a third of the way in. I also have a pretty good idea of where the series will go after this. I think the third book will be about Prince Haar of the norns. After that, we’ll see where we are.

One last bit. Please be patient with this very, very rough blog. I’m learning as I go. If you have any tips or words of encouragement, please send them my way!