On Novelling and Versification

I’ll spare the old adage of me not writing here in months. Been there, don’t that.

A few things have happened.

1. I published something! In my school magazine.

2. I started college, which fits into the above I suppose.

This last semester didn’t go as smoothly as my first. I really think my first semester of school went so well because I was so happy. I was in college after all. I had wanted so bad to go back to school and I finally achieved it. I was motivated.

I withdrew my second semester in the Fall. I’m not going to rehash it, but I needed a break. I went back this Spring. I liked my experience this semester a lot, but sometimes old friends visit. But I am proud of myself for finishing.

Most of the writing I did this year was for my English Composition II class. I really liked that. I like writing essays it seems and especially about literature and favorite authors. (I did all five of my essays on women. Pushing that feminist agenda!) But I really missed my creative work. I wrote here and there, but not much.

But I have been consistently working on my poetry. I frequently tell myself I work better on poetry because of the length. I can work, rework, revise poems in half the time it takes to write a novel.

I am about 50,000 words into Chloe’s book. But damn I’m tired of it. I’m writing bits and pieces of it, but I’m not really making any concrete movement.

But I’m going to get better at this novelling thing. I’m going to practice. I practice my poetry and I think I’m currently a much better poet than a novelist.

The concept of practice novels intrigue me. Technically I’ve got a few practice novels of my own. I’ve started at least one or two. The Lord and the Duchess is tucked into my hard drive. I don’t think it’ll ever see the light of day.

I read on Joyce Carol Oates wiki page that she wrote novels and then threw them away! And she’s written and published TONS of novels so I’m awed! I don’t think I’m at the point where I could throwaway a novel especially one that I finished. I’m a very sentimental person when it comes to saving things. Some would call it hoarding, but I’m not going to go there today.

Practice is the key! I’ve gotten back into doing writing exercises and I’m trying out the concept of morning and evening pages. I joined 750words awhile back and I just wrote my first entry. I finished my evening pages about an hour ago. So far, so good!

Character Voice

Finishing the book seems to be a chore to me. I never expected writing a novel to be easy. In fact I put it off for the longest. But I kept working on this book. I am so close to finishing but it’s not fun at all. I like looking back and reading my work but writing the ‘boring’ parts is taxing.

When I started to get back into writing I usually wrote the fun parts first. With the Mondian Chronicles I jumped into the juicy stuff. The meat of the story. But with Chloe’s book I started from the beginning. I distinctively recall that writing the sleepover was the most fun. When I say those words flowed easily I’m dead serious. My fingers did not hesitate on the keyboard.

I guess I could write out of order but I just feel like it would create an unnecessary mess. I don’t want to have to piece everything together.

But I started this post because I wanted to write that I am finally getting a grip on Jordana’s character voice. I had my first thirty pages critiqued and my partner told me that Jordana seemed flat. I’ve been trying to get inside her head. This morning I was looking over stuff I had written related to her character and all of the sudden this voice popped into my head. I was reading it but it was in her voice.

So that excited me. Now I’m trying to figure out what is going to happen in the lead up to Thanksgiving in Chloe’s world and I’m trying to figure how to show more of Jordana’s personality for the rewrite. All in a day’s work.

Til Death Do Us Part: Webserial

Hello! Some of you may know that I made my way back into writing through the web serial. But with my previous stories they were written out of order and the organization was a mess. I’m trying out the form again but…get this…I’m actually writing in order! The project I’m working on right now is Til Death Do Us Part. Here’s the blurb:

When she signed up for immortality she hadn’t expected it to be like this. It’s been a century and her vampire fiancée still hasn’t put a ring on it. After a much a younger family member marries Mariane starts to rethink her life. Should she hold out for the prize or is her prince charming just a dud in vampire’s clothing?

I always wondered what turnees did after being changed. Mariane is trapped in her seventeen year old body. She was willing to spend the rest of her life with her love but she REALLY expected to have his name while doing it. But that didn’t happen. Til Death Do Us Part is her story. Not only does she has to get used to the new millennium she has to deal with the dreaded mother in law.

I’ve posted the first chapter on Wattpad. You can find it here: http://www.wattpad.com/75217317-til-death-do-us-part

Work in Progress: When Chloe Met Jordana

I wrote a bit on Chloe’s book tonight. I actually like what I have. It’s more introspective. A great majority of my writing is made up of dialogue but I’m trying to add more layers to it. Dialogue is great but it can’t stand alone.

I added a new page here. It’s sort of a landing page for stuff I’ve written and posted online. It’s to give prospective readers a taste of what I do.

I thought I’d post an excerpt here tonight. I’ve been working on this book for about a year now. I want to share with you a scene from the sleepover. This entire chapter just flowed from my fingers. It was the most fun to write.

Chloe got up and left the room. She walked uncertainly down the hall. It was clear that Stefania and Xandra had been over many times. She felt a pang of jealously which confused her so she ignored it.

She found the bathroom. Closing the door behind her she turned on the shower and shed her clothes and stepped inside.

She thought of Jordana as she washed her hair. She hadn’t made her feel welcome. Chloe thought to herself but Stefania and Xandra had taken to her instantly. Jordana was the type of her person that drew others to her. Even she felt strangely drawn to her. It was like Jordana was a magnet and she was the metal.

Turning off the water she stepped out. She opened the closet door and reached for a towel. She dried herself and slipped into the pajamas. They smelt like her.

She walked back into the bedroom to find the girls crowded on the bed. They looked up at her expectantly.

“What’s going on…?”

“TRUTH OR DARE!” Stefania said.

The gist of this story is that Jordana moves to town. Chloe is the narrator. She’s popular by association. At first Chloe is hesitant to be seen around Jordana but as she grows closer to her she realizes that she likes her and she realizes she might like her a little too much. This story is a romance of the young adult variety. I’m nearing finishing but I’ve fallen behind.

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In The ‘Candlelight’ Of The Books Market: Paperbacks Are Selling eBooks

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

iStockphoto / CanoneeriStockphoto / Canoneer

Paperbacks Sell eBooks: Surprised?

I owe my headline to The Bookseller’s Philip Jones who, in an email to me, has noted that publishing is an industry “looking at its market by candlelight.”

What he’s referring to is the fact that so much sales data is held secret by Amazon and other major retailers. Oddly, I still encounter people in the business who don’t yet realize that we don’t know how many books are being sold. It’s perfectly legal for corporations to keep this information private. It’s also perfectly unhelpful.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that publishing is without data. Many houses are working hard to capture and start parsing data. And one of the areas they can see numbers is in social media.

In A Big Year Ahead For Data, The Bookseller’s Felicity Wood and Tom Tivnan, for example, quote Rufus Weston at HarperCollinsUK:

Publishers are realizing what…

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All About Those Bags

Tessa wanted that bag. She knew she shouldn’t but yet she found herself at the site again sifting through the hoard and hoards of bags.

She reasoned with herself that she wouldn’t buy anything. She had too many bags already. The last she counted it was 150 and that didn’t include the clutches.

But this bag was so perfect. It was the right size and a warm color. She reasoned that if she bought it she could use it with anything.

She exited out of the window. She pulled up the search engine and typed in ‘charities’.

Tessa infrequently gave to charity. Sometimes she didn’t remember, sometime she didn’t have enough to spare, and sometimes she just didn’t care. But she felt like she should do something to balance her monetary karma.

But that bag wouldn’t stay out of her mind. She scrolled through the list of charities. She couldn’t choose that one because they discriminated against LGBT people and that one looked unsavory.

She thought about just not giving anything.

But she opened up a link. It was a children’s charity. She made a quick donation and opened up a new tab. She decided to treat herself.

That’s the Way (Publishing) Goes

So according to my count I have sent out One Small Step four times. It still hasn’t found home yet. I haven’t given up but I’ve set the number of times I’ll send it out to ten times. If it hasn’t found a home by then I think I will retire it and work on others.

Speaking of working on stories I still haven’t finished another short story. I did finish the two sisters short story but I’ve decided to expand it into a novel.

But I have finished some flash fiction. Oh and that reminds me I sent out a drabble. I haven’t heard anything back on that. I sent out a narrative poem to the Southeast Review and I haven’t heard back from them.

But in some good news. The poem I sent to a specialist magazine was rejected but they encouraged me to send in more poems. I only sent in one the first time. Seeing that really made me happy. I haven’t written any poems suitable for the mag yet but I’m working on it.

In novel news I’m right smack dab in the middle of Art or Die. I’m about 40K in it and I’m shooting for 65K. I have to admit I haven’t been very inspired to write on it but I do like the story I’m just burnt out. :(

What about you guys? How are your writing projects going?