Posted in Fiction

Book 3

Recently I began writing my third book in my Time Series. The title is tentative, so I am not going to share it just yet. But what I wanted to write about was how exciting it can be to embark on a new project yet challenging at the same time. One might think an author would feel as though beginning to write a new novel is nothing new, that it’s commonplace. One might get used to it and the newness of it wears off. That is all wrong. Each time I started to write a new book, I felt the exciting twist of wonderment as a new opportunity to create another story began to weave its web across the pages.

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Granted, I have only published two books and one book of poems. But it doesn’t matter. Each one is different, so your brain isn’t getting tired of the same old thing every time. What I enjoy best is the new conflict and plot twists I will have fun creating and inserting into the story.

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I have to admit though. Going into book 3 was slow going at first. I wrote the prologue and put it away. Then a couple days later I went back to write chapter 1. I wrote approximately 500 words of chapter 1, then put it away. A couple days later I wrote more. I have chapter 1 finished now, but I was still lacking something. I ended up making a list of things I needed for the story in order to move on with it, then I sat back for about a week or so and let those ideas work in my subconscious as I moved along with the rest of my life. I didn’t sit immobile and try to think of something. Doing that would have been way too boring, and it would have gotten me no where. But now I have it. As I went about my days, I would think about my story and what it needed, relaxed, let my imagination run rampant, thought about different ideas, etcetera.

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Book 3 is now making its way across the pages of my manuscript with much more ease. If you find yourself stuck like this, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to come up with ideas. They will come to you. You just have to give yourself a break.

Posted in Writing

Don’t Rush

Writing, whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, is more than the act of writing itself. It is a process and it all takes time. Rushing through from the beginning to the end will only get you no where very fast. This is not a post about the writing process; although, that is come up in a future post. No. This post is about taking your time with it. Let’s dig in.

I understand the urgency to get the finished product in front of people. Trust me when I say, readers know when a writer/author sped through their writing. How, you might ask? The writing itself will be bad. There will be misspellings, awkward sentences, punctuation in places there doesn’t need to be any and vice versa, plot holes, and/or the format is all wrong. The list goes on and on. I’m not talking about a few errors, because we all make mistakes. I’m talking about many. You might say that a piece of writing like this needed a good editor. That is correct. However, here again, the time was not taken to even edit the piece. Editing takes time, too. Trust me. I’m not talking about a couple of days or a week. Instead, I’m talking about months. Then beta readers have to read it first before putting it out to the public. The beta readers, or test readers, will give you viable feedback in regards to what is and isn’t working with your story or book.

Once you get feedback from your beta readers, look at their recommendations one at a time, and fix them if you agree with their assessment. Remember, it’s your writing, so it is up to you as the writer to do with your piece as you see fit.

Here is a list that should give you a picture of the length of time it takes to write a book…..

  • Planning- How you plan your story is up to you.
  • Draft one- Depending on the length of your story (book length) it can take 1 to 3 years for draft one. My second novel is over 500 pages and took me three years to finish the first draft. But remember, we are all different, and life gets in the way.
  • Draft two- No, you are not starting over from the beginning. What you are doing at this stage is taking your first draft and working with it from the beginning to the end. What you will be doing is tweaking your story, characters, structure, looking for plot holes, etc.
  • Draft three- Repeat draft two process. Yes, there might be things you will miss.
  • Do you need a fourth draft and beyond? That is up to you.
  • Self editing- You will want to edit your story/manuscript first before you send it to an editor.
  • Editing- Get a good editor. Shop around. Don’t hire the first one that comes along unless they come with good references.

As you can see, writing a book is not a quick process. Take great care with what you are writing. You want to please your readers not make them shut the book before it begins.

Posted in Fiction

An Author’s Journey Pictorial (Fun with Pictures)






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Posted in Writing

Story Tracks

Keeping track of your story as you’re writing it can be daunting the lengthier it gets. You have to remember from one chapter and scene to the next what happens where. How does a writer track their stories information so that they can refer back? Story tracks, or at least that’s what I call them. In other words, note cards.

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For each chapter take a few note cards and jot down a brief summary of the chapter or scene, or jot down the main ideas about what is going on. By doing this, if you need to refer back to a previous scene or chapter in your manuscript, you can refer to your note cards for each chapter first before scrolling back through all those pages worth of text in your manuscript. Trust me, it will save you lots of time.

Posted in Editing

Plot Holes

Have you ever read a short story or a novel and somewhere along the way the story/plot didn’t make any sense? It felt as though information was missing, or there was a lack of consistency. The result of all that is you scratching your head in wonder, putting the book down, or leafing back through previously read parts to see what you missed.

That gets too distracting. So how do you as the writer avoid making those same mistakes as a writer? In your own writing, some of the inconsistencies you may be aware of and some you may not be. For the ones you know of, write them down in a plot holes log. For the ones you are not aware of, you will catch those later in your editing.

To expand on this, here is what I do. In the writing software I use, Scrivener (You can find it at, I create an extra file labeled Edits. Within that file folder I have various files for the different types of editing I will do later. One of those files is called Plot Holes. When I know of a plot hole that I need to address later, I write it there. When I am finished with my manuscript later, one of the things I do is go to that list and fix those plot holes one by one. THEN I start reading my manuscript from page one and go straight through to the end. Along the way I am searching for any more plot holes I may have missed. I make note of them in the manuscript with my red pen and move on. When I get to the end of the manuscript, I go back to those plot holes I made note of in red pen and fix those. Please note…..when I am reading for plot holes like this, plot holes are the only things I am searching for as I am reading. DO NOT fix anything else or make note of anything else during this process because you will lose track of what you’re doing, and you don’t want to start over. If you have to stop to run an errand or cook dinner or something, mark your spot and go back to it later. Trust me, this is the process I used and it served me well.

Posted in Editing

First Draft Woes

The first draft of your manuscript can be rather turbulent. I get it. Really I do. When it’s finished, you look it over and think, “Uh oh, I don’t like this at all.” Two things you can do here. You can either chuck it altogether, or you can use it. Whatever you do, DON’T CHUCK IT. Why? I say this because, even if you don’t use some of it, part of it you will/can use. You can also use the whole thing but polish it up some or a lot. Only you know your story, so only you know how to fix it. In the end, you will have learned more as a writer, and your story will have grown and developed in ways you would not have imagined. If need be, walk away from it for a while. Take a break, think of other things. Then, go back to it.

I remember when I lost part of my manuscript when I was transferring if from my desktop to my new laptop. I was blindsided and distraught. I put the whole thing down and vowed I wouldn’t go back to it. Eventually, I did go back to it, and I made it better. The ideas flowed, big changes were made, and the story became more clear as it relates to where I wanted to go with it. So something bad can turn into a blessing if you let it.