Posts Tagged ‘book two’

The extended typing project is going well and by mid-week I will have the first draft of my second novel complete. Then it’s on to the editing! I have several pieces of news to share soon. October will be devoted to editing almost exclusively. November…..that’s another story. I will be polishing and polishing and polishing but I will also have a lot of great things going on, from day 1 through the 29th (when I am publishing the sequel novel), and beyond!

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If you wonder… no, I am not holed up in a deep dark cave writing. (Though that thought is a little bit attractive, with the exception of the lighting issues… and the creepy-crawlies.)

I actually update a lot. I just don’t do it here. The best way to keep up with the latest is to check out my Facebook page. I tend to post there at least once a day. I wait to post here until I have ‘more’ to say but at the moment the ‘more’ is being poured into the notebook.

Speaking of the notebook…it’s nearly full! Last night I outlined my final five chapters and I should be screaming (like my 2 year old) I DID IT! YAY! by Sunday evening.

Then I’ll be crying I HAVE TO TYPE FOR 100 HOURS NOW! instead.

Such is progress.

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I counted last night.

140 = the number of hand-written pages currently comprising the vaguely named Book 2

45 = the budgeted pages left, based on content remaining (approximate)

60 = the actual number of pages left in the spiral notebook

These are hand-written pages.

I still haven’t typed a word.

I’m crazy.

I know.

Thing is, I have a sinking suspicion I may be tacking a few extra pages into the back of this spiral notebook. The chapters tend to get longer, somehow. I think it’s a mix of great action I want to draw out and something else entirely…

I have been feeling the pull on my feet… that awful drag where the motivation to finish and write this exciting stuff comes up against the knowledge that when I finish I have to do the part I hate. Two parts, in fact – type, and edit. They are inexorably joined and neither reside in my ‘YAY’ box. The typing will be my first pass at editing. Then I will edit more. Then I will start having those who helped shape the first book read. Then I will edit more. Then they will read it again. And I will edit again. Fun.

I think the story here in Book 2 is good. I want to get just a little (or hey, a lot) better with each book. I never want people to get into my books and say “Wow, this is really going downhill!” My main goal with the second book is maintain quality and improve the pacing as, fairly, more than one person has commented that Come the Shadows is a little slow in Act 1. I listen to fair criticism and always aim to improve. I’d like people to have to dig to find problems and debate nuance instead 😉

But to get there I have one thing in my way… and that darn editing thing is rearing it’s ugly head up again!

C’est la vie.

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Been a few days!

Life was thrown into chaos on Thursday when work went from ‘pick your color’ to ‘BANGBANGBANG’ in less than 24 hours, as our contractor began to replace the siding on our house. In April, an F-0 (what I said) or F-1 (what the contractor said) tornado hit our house. Thankfully we had no structural damage but cosmetically things have looked a bit rough for awhile. Now we near the end of repair work and it’s, well …… loud.

Yesterday, another storm rolled in. It was short but intense and old siding from the in-progress work soon littered our yard. We watched this from the open windows because, well, that was the most entertaining thing we could do with a 2-year old while the power was out. He kept asking us to turn on the lights, and to turn on Mickey, but was pacified and then truly enthralled with his stealthy attempts to stick his head out the window every time I blinked.

Despite the lack of power and the late evening hour I managed to scrawl in my notebook by the dying light from the open window. Another chapter finished, another page complete, and one step closer to finishing the first draft of book two. I’m well over the half-way point now and easily on track to finish (and have it typed) by the end of the month.

In the meantime, Amazon continues to sell Come the Shadows at 99c despite the price update to 2.99 that has already taken effect at Barnes & Noble. Sorry Nook-ers! (Is that right, it sounds far to much like a less savory word…) The issue lies with the Smashword version which has yet to update across it’s premium catalog. Hopefully that will take affect soon and I can stop thinking about pricing and focus on writing.

One last note about things I need to not think about while writing… I sold my first UK copy and didn’t even know it. Smile-worthy =)

One really, truly last note……if you don’t know what Timey-Wimey is, well, you’re missing out. Our power came on in plenty of time last night for our Saturday treat.


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I wrote Come the Shadows without any form of outlining. I knew the answer to whodunit (which, coincidentally, changed) and that’s about it. It was based on a script I wrote 3 years ago, which provided about 5% of the content of the book. The rest I wrote very organically, step by step, day by day, until a full book emerged.

When it was time to start book two, I drug my feet. To kick-start things I began an outline and came up with nearly 30 chapters of material before I actually started writing the text.

The outline has officially ended.

I’m again flying by the seat of my pants and while I’m a bit unsure how I’m going to get from M to Z I know X Y and Z, and a few bits in between. I have a feeling that I might just get faster now that I won’t be tied down by a plan. I hope so! It’s more than a little exciting to not know what exactly is going to happen in the next chapter. I get some of my best stuff that way (for example, most of the 2nd half of the last book).

In a few weeks, hopefully, I will be saying that the first draft is in the bag, and complaining about the three weeks of typing ahead.


If I had gone the traditional route, I might not even be writing this book now. Then again, I probably would write it right away despite the most well-intentioned advice. I do better when I finish a story fully so I can put it aside and free up all that mental room for the next one.

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I write in a spiral notebook. It’s my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. It feeds my creativity and my terror all at once.

When I’m writing I’m ‘in the zone’ and I don’t think about anything but the next step or even the next curve of an ‘a’. I just let the ideas flow and the physical act of writing does wonders to my overactive brain, forcing it to slow down and focus on those few relevant moments in the story.

But when I’m not writing, or thinking about the next part of the story, I’m thinking one thing…

What if I lose it?

That fear grows in proportion with the number of days since I last typed up my pages. And right now, that’s a lot of growing.

I really dislike the typing stage. It takes me a solid week to type up one month of work. I can type a good 25-30 pages a day and the sense of progress is great, especially near the end of that week.

But so is the pain. And the boredom.

I know, I know – stop with the notebook already, right?


Maybe one day I will. But there are benefits to the notebook as well – the creativity it feeds, and so much more. The notebook is the Rough Draft. When I type it up I then have a respectable First Draft. Typing is my first stage of editing. I fix little mistakes, and big ones too. I realize where areas need to be stronger. I start to plan out what needs to be fixed. I even put little red-text notes, with underlining and parentheses, that say FIX THIS HERE!

Right now I have 80 pages in my notebook and am just beginning Chapter 29 .(Yes, I have 3-5 page chapters – not James Patterson level but still kind of pace-y). Only the prologue and chapter one exist in the computer and I’m actually starting to forget some of the earlier information. (Did we already discover that evidence or not?!) Once typed up this will amount to about 100 pages, based on the way it converts due partially to what I end up adding as I type.

I know I’m at the point I need to type. I’m beyond it really.

But I resist.

Last night I even skimmed through most of the pages, reading an item here and there, to figure out my question about a particular piece of evidence. I got my answer and I kept writing.

My current goal is to be more than halfway finished writing the second book by the end of the month. I’m completely on track to hit that and if I’m smart I should then pause and type for a week. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I’d really like to finish the first draft entirely by the end of September and typing, though vital, feels like treading water (in mud) instead of swimming powerfully toward my goal.

If you see me out with a big purse with a distinct notebook shape and I have a very tight hand on it… I still haven’t started typing yet.

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Some aspects of my life don’t lend to choices. I have to take care of myself, my marriage, my son, and my job. Most of that’s enjoyable.

But when it comes to other things there are choices. Such as….

Write? or Blog?

For most of the time I was writing my first book I chose to write, every chance I got. My blog posts were spotty, at best. Now that the book is out I try to blog more but every post I do is a page I didn’t write. Tough choice!

If I go a day or two without a post here I’m probably getting in some GREAT writing time. Yesterday I wrote about 2k words. To sneak that in between work, end-of-summer fun, and time with the family is pretty good for me! But of course, the 2-3 blog posts already half written in my mind are still kicking around in my head, unheeded.

I’m at a good point in book two, about 50 pages in, with an exciting series of scenes. It’s FUN to write the thrilling parts. I love thinking to myself “this is GREAT!” as I furiously write the words before they disappear into thin air.

So, pardon the absences. I’m probably writing. Or I might be tickling a two-year old mercilessly.

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