Posts Tagged ‘novel’

Today is a day of writing an doing laundry. And I am struggling

I have been doing laundry for a couple of days now, one load at a time and all of my clothes are clean. I’m just working on blankets, sheets, and towels. In some ways, the worst part of the laundry and the best.

The worst because I’ll have to do more loads because the blankets and towels take up so much room and are heavier. The best because there is less folding. 🙂

Not to mention, as I was straightening the rest of my room, two socks were left out of the “clean clothes” part of my wash. And they are two different socks, which means I have to hope there is a matched set in the dryer or caught up with the towels. UGH!!

In between laundry, folding, etc., I’ve been working on my novel re-writes. I made some progress this a.m., but now is the time that I am really starting to get distracted because I reached the hard part.

And I’m hungry and there’s nothing to eat. Well, not nothing, but nothing that I can instantly grab and stuff into my pie-hole. I would have to actually cook something. The only chicken I have available is still kind of frozen and I’d have to microwave it to thaw it out. Plus it was the chicken I planned on using to make chicken crust pizza for lunch tomorrow. AND I had to throw my last onion away because although it was perfect on the outside, it was brown and slimy on the inside.

So, this means a trip to the store. Or a restaurant. And I fear if I leave the house, I won’t pick up where I left off.

And the dryer just buzzed.

And a friend of mine published a blog post, which reminded me I wanted to try to blog something 3-5 times a week at least, so now I have to write a blog post.

And I took some pictures of my cat pretending to not watch me pretending to write….isn’t she cute?


Some days it feels like I’ll never be done.

I think I’ll order take-out and keep writing…


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Naomi plotting world domination.

So, I have been hard at work editing my novel. Sometimes it is fun. Sometimes it is grueling.

One thing I have been doing as I re-write is submitting portions to my various writer’s groups and friends.

The experience has been a bit of a mixed bag. I have definitely received fantastic feedback from my various groups. Feedback on POV, narrative voice, character likability…all things I want to know about.

I’ve had some horrible feedback as well. Some people do not like my main character. Some people thinks she’s too insecure. Other people dig down deep in every word choice and grammatical error I made. And even still, some do not like my story at all and do not see where I am going.

I do worry that people don’t identify with my main character. But it is a conditional concern. Some people will not connect with my main character. I recognize that my book is for the New Adult market, ages 20-30. My book has a female protagonist and a primarily female cast of characters. I doubt very many 60 year old men are going to identify with a somewhat insecure 20 something female just trying to find her footing in life. But some might.

So, when middle-aged to senior men say, “I just don’t get her.” I say, OK, let me think about that for a bit.

When the twenty something young women I have reading the book say, “I LOOOOVE her! I so totally get her! That’s me at 22! OMG give me more to read!!!” I say, OK great! I’ve hit my mark. And maybe I disregard the other group.

When the twenty somethings say, “I like her, but why should I care about her? The story’s good, but…” I have a problem and I need to go back to the drawing board.

Where I am in the process, I ignore grammatical suggestions. I mean, I don’t totally ignore them, but I pretty much ignore them for now. I put them in a folder to be reviewed later. After many, many re-writes, they may not apply anymore. I may have removed that section. Who knows. But I will address grammar, word choice, sentence structure, etc. when it is time to address them. Not immediately after writing the first draft.

Having said that, I do not plan to do one or two drafts of something and immediately upload it to Amazon and wonder why it is not selling. The answer would be because it is poorly written, badly edited tripe, you moron.

Receiving critical feedback on a work you really care about is difficult under the best of circumstances, especially from people who are only getting snippets and who may not be your target audience.  Receiving feedback while you’re still effectively writing it is just awful.

Still, I’m almost done with my first re-write. Everything I’ve completed so far has been sent out to be reviewed by a small number of people. Once I’ve completed the first rewrite, I will go through it one more time. Incorporate some suggestions, fix grammar as much as possible, and then send it out for an honest to goodness beta read.

And then maybe I’ll throw up. Who knows…

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One of the many questions writers, particularly successful writers, are asked is “When do you find time to write?”

A seemingly reasonable question. We all have busy lives. If you’re not born an independently rich dilettante, you most likely have a #dayjob to pay the bills. It is exhausting to work all day and then come home and write all night. Or get up at dawn and write before going to work.

Yet, we all found the time to go see Infinity Wars, or binge watch eight seasons of Game of Thrones so we could then watch the infinitely disappointing eighth and final season. Or spend two hours a day playing candy crush on our phones. Or do what I did for a long time, play World of Warcraft or some other video game to the exclusion of everything else.

For me, my work schedule is just odd enough that it could provide both the free time to write or be enough of a hindrance to finding time. My office is 24/7 and I usually work a mid-shift, meaning I work at noonish until the early evening most days.

It would be easy for me to say “Ugh, there’s no time when I get home at 9pm or 930pm to start writing. I’m too tired!” And yeah, that’s pretty much true. But just look at all of that time in the morning!

I mean, even if I stay up until midnight, which mostly I do except on the nights when I stay up until 2am watching all three episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale that just dropped last night, and I’m not saying that I did, even though I totally did…I’m just saying that…ooooh look a trailer! Shiny!


Wait…Where was I?

Oh yeah, even if I stay up late, I can still wake up at 8am or 9am, get 8 hours of sleep or so and still have 1-2 hours available to make coffee and write before I have to start getting ready for work.

And today as tired as I was, I did get up and work on my novel a bit despite staying up until 2am to watch all three episodes The Handmaid’s Tale. (Thankfully, they didn’t drop all episodes at once!)

Even after writing, I had time to play a Facebook game, Toon Blast on my phone, watch the news, and prepare lunch before I had to take a shower and go to work.

The one thing I’ve learned through this process is the time is there. You just have to be disciplined enough to keep yourself focused enough so you finish. Focus and discipline are not my greatest strengths. I admit that. And yet, I’ve completed my shitty first draft and am I deep into my very first novel re-write. It can be done, even by the most distractable person. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

I’ll let you know when I get there.

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What’s a blog post without a picture of my cat doing her Writus-interruptus act?

Writing a novel is a huge undertaking. Once you’ve written the story down, you have to go through it several times to make sure it is readable and ready for public consumption.

I am currently in first re-write phase of my novel “Avenging Angels.” And I hate to admit it, I’ve gotten kind of lost.

I have been hard at work editing and re-writing. I have torn it apart and am currently trying to put it back together into some kind of continuous narrative. I have exported huge chunks of it for various writers groups I attend. Some are only reading 10-15 pages at a time, (about 1,500-2,000 words). Others are reading larger chunks of about 5,000 words a pop. And still others are reading 5 chapters at a time.

This is how I kind of got lost.

I lost track of what I’ve re-written and what I’ve sent out to my friends and fellow writers to review.

I spent a lot of time on Monday, probably about 5 hours, trying to import the changes I’ve made back into Scrivener and reorganizing my novel chapters. I also did some re-writing.  As I put each chapter back together, I got out my trusty notebook and pen – you know, the old fashioned way of outlining – and sketched out each chapter and the scenes in those chapters.


I managed to re-order about 20 chapters or so. I still have a large chunk of it that is not sorted into chapters yet. I did a lot of free writing without creating chapters. That is kind of my problem. I am definitely a pantser – an exploratory writer.

When I start a story, I have an idea of where I want it to start and where I want it to end. I begin, not by creating an outline, but just doing a free-writing sketch of what I want. I reveal all the plot points and the secrets of the story, the emotional highs and lows, and my plans for the main characters. Then I start writing my story. I write until I get a sense of the things. I keep going back and referencing the original sketch I wrote to make sure I’m on track. If not, I re-assess and change it as necessary. Only after I have an idea on how to get to where I want to go do I start outlining and creating chapters. This could be at the 2,000 word point or the 10,000 word point.

I know, not a very organized method of writing. But there’s nothing else about my life that is organized, so why start here, right? The problem with this is I got a little lost in my re-writes and the thought of trying to figure out where I was in the process was daunting. So much so, I hadn’t edited anything for a couple of weeks. And that was making me depressed about the whole endeavor. So, Monday, I just bit the bullet, planted my butt in the chair, and did it. And I feel much better.

Anyway, I think I’m back on track…for now.  I’ll keep you posted!

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I have been slaving away on my novel for over a year. I finished the first draft in November. I am currently slogging through my first rewrite. I’m exhausted. I have been having members of my various writing groups read some of it here and there just to see if I have something that is worth continuing with. Some days I love it and some days I do not.

So, to motivate me to keep me focused on my very first novel rewrite ever, I allowed myself to create a mini logo of sorts. Well, I guess I didn’t really create it. I bought a stock image that I thought looked cool, I paid a teeny bit extra to get the raw data file, and I asked a friend of mine who does graphic design to help me out. He would not have helped me if I sent him a .jpeg.


He also made some business cards for me as well. I am including those samples in this blog post. He created the cards with the white lettering. I tried to create the logo orange lettering.

The logo I created did not really shrink well to fit on the top of this page. I tried and it cuts off the wings. My graphic design friend is working on a logo that will fit at the top of this blog that I can use here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

We also decided the white letting is better because it really stands out.  I did a quick straw poll among a few friends. They all agreed the orange was nice, but the white popped. Also he’s a bit of a typography nut, he created the letter A’s with the cool little back and forth swishes for me.

So, now I have business cards with the title of my book and a cool image on it. And I will have a new logo for this website soon.

The re-write has been a lot of work. I also came up with a different ending. I did not like my original ending and figured I would just rewrite it when I got to it. But then I hit on an idea. I wrote up some notes about it and put it in a file. I use Scrivener, so it was easy to create a folder for it.  I also hit on another idea today when I was working on it. I re-wrote an entire scene with a new twist and thought to myself, “Wow, this conversation great! And what a twist! They don’t belong in this part of the story, though. Ugh!”

My characters really must have this conversation BEFORE the events that led to this scene.  Crap. So, I had to create a folder for that conversation. It is a good scene though. It builds the mystery and really fills out the plot, so I’m going to have to use it. I just need to work the conversation into an earlier scene. And now I still need to re-write the current scene.

I’d say I’m about 2/3 of the way through the re-write. I am approaching the apex of the story, so it is getting more difficult to finish because I need to focus on it.

Once I’ve completed the rewrite, I should have everything in order. Then I can do it all again! Wish me luck!


Logo I created


Square Business Card

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Tonight is it. The last episode of Game of Thrones. It has been one heck of a wild ride. Eight seasons, 72 episodes and only the gods, both old gods and new, know how many hours.

All I have to say is that it has been a shame that GRRM didn’t finish the books in time for the two Ds to finish up the series. They are clearly just rushing to burn the whole thing down and finish up their work so they can move on to wreaking havoc in the Star Wars franchise.

I have no idea how they are going to wrap up what happened last week in one episode. Whether it is 60 minutes, 80 minutes, or 90 minutes, the task they have in front of them is immense. And from what I’ve seen this season, I’m not sure they are up to the task.

As a writer, I know how difficult it is to tie up loose threads and bring a story to a satisfying conclusion. I do. And I’ve not written anything as complicated or intense as GOT. This season was always going to be a daunting task, especially since the source material is incomplete. Even if GRRM shared his thoughts and plans for the books with them and they based their story on those notes, I don’t see how they can leave the audience with anything other than an unsatisfactory conclusion.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Dany going all mad-queen and burning everything to the ground on us. I think given that she’s a Targaryen and has had a difficult rise to power, it is all too believable. My problem is that is not the ride we have been taken on for the seven previous seasons. For seven seasons, she has been:

Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Lady of Dragonstone, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.

She freed the unsullied, freed the slaves in Mereen, broke their chains, and won their loyalty by standing up for the downtrodden, innocent, and powerless. That is an honorable and powerful list of accomplishments and titles.

And now she’s the Crazed Killer of the Innocents? Fire Queen of the Westeros, and Destroyer of King’s Landing?

I do not buy it.

Like I said, I could buy that she could snap and turn into the mad-queen. There were hints enough in the book that she could head in that direction. The problem I have is that the creators of the show did not do the deep-dive into her psyche to make it believable. She has stood as a paragon of leadership for seven seasons. And the rush to the mad-queen feels just that, rushed. Moping around Winterfell for two episodes because nobody loves her is just not enough.

The fans of the show, both the readers of the books and casual viewers, have lived through seven seasons of betrayal, death, war, rape, madness, and cruelty. The characters, both protagonists and antagonists, have been complex and layered. And the story has been compelling. Yes, it is a grim-dark tale that could go bad, absolutely. This has not been a hero’s tale of overcoming all odds to defeat evil. Evil has won at almost every turn.

Nonetheless, throughout the books, and the show, there was the promise of something better. The promise of Azor Ahai, the Lightbringer, who will arise to fight against the darkness.

“There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.”

So, I don’t think it unreasonable that fans of the show would hope for a hero’s ending.

They defeated the darkness of the frozen north with the help of Dany and her dragons. And Arya. Gods love Arya! The White Walkers are finally, and hopefully, forever defeated. Now all they needed to do was rally support to defeat evil in the hearts of men, (and women), to come together and truly unite the seven kingdoms.

And maybe that’s the problem. The evil in the hearts of men can never truly be defeated. It will always be there. I guess I had hoped that in the fantasy world at least, they could overcome it enough to keep it at bay, to push back the tides of fear, distrust, and hate.

It is clear that this is not a hero’s story. Possibly never was. At this point, to try to create a happy ending out of the ashes of King’s Landing will feel false, and to end with the Mad-Queen on the Iron Throne will not have been worth the investment of time the fans have sacrificed.

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Well, I did it! I forced myself to stay up last night and finish, and about 1:00am EST I crested the 50,000 word mark.

So, I am officially done!

But here’s the thing, I’m not really done. Not by a long shot. I completed NaNoWriMo, yes. But the novel itself is not quite completely written. I still have a couple-three chapters to write somewhere in the middle. And then I have to start re-writes and corrections.

I also did stupid things like when I would get lost in a scene and not really know how to fix it, I just made some notes at the end of the scene of what I should probably fix and then I moved on to another scene.

I wrote things like:

“I hate this scene. This person cannot be here now. Find a way to fix it later.”


“Dialogue too cheery! These people hate each other. Fix later or delete scene?”


“Video of this person’s death released. This is how he died…describe in detail later.”

Then I would just hop to another scene or chapter.

Some of it I wrote sequentially. Some of it I did not. A lot of it I did not, actually. One great feature of Scrivener is that you can jump from scene to scene or chapter to chapter pretty easily which made bouncing around easier.

There is something to be said for just pushing yourself through to just write as much as you can of your story without really stopping. It is not perfect, but no first draft ever is. I feel like I have a solid 125,000-ish outline of a story. It is more than that, I know. I have the bones of a good story in there…somewhere. I have to find it, re-write it, refine it, polish it, then polish it again.

Bottom line, I have a lot more work to do before it is an actual novel. But as far as NaNoWriMo is concerned…I am DONE!













































































“Dialogue way too cheery! These people hate each other. Fix later, change scene or delete?”




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