Monday Musings: Writing Updates

It’s February, isn’t it? January seemed to disappear, especially on the writing front. I got very little done in the past month. It’s been hard to get going again. I can’t seem to get back into a writing routine.

“Ah, yes,” they say, nodding knowingly. “Writer’s block. Happens to everyone.” Well, no. If you have paid attention to my writing rambles, you will know that I don’t believe in writer’s block, as such. I do not think there is some mysterious affliction that makes a writer unable to write just because. There is always a reason. Sometimes, it takes a bit of detective work to figure out the reason, but there’s one there. Until you figure that out, the writing is going to be difficult, maybe even impossible. Even after you figure out what’s happening to prevent you from progress, it can be difficult to get back on track. So, what’s up with me?

Well, a couple things. I don’t have an project that I am in the middle of right now. I have a novel that needs a lot of revision  and rewriting but the draft is done. I have the basics of the third installment of the Yo-Yo Files urban fantasy sketched out, but I haven’t really started writing. And I am working through the idea files to figure what to develop for the shorts collection. Doesn’t sound like there is reason for it being hard to start, doesn’t it?

Well, the problem is, all of those are the points in writing where I get the most hung up and have a hard time forcing myself to start work. Let’s look at them one at a time, shall we?

The novel- this thing has been hanging around for a few years. I wrote a draft of it for a NaNoWriMo project and set it aside for a while, as I usually do. When I re-read it, I realized there were some real problems with it. That’s not unusual with a draft, but I initially thought it was a timeline issue, and that I needed to rearrange the order of events to give it a better start. But even after that, I wasn’t happy with it, and I didn’t know why. When I decided to make revising it a priority this year, I began another read through. And that’s when it hit me: the problem really is that I need to cut most of the first three chapters. They are deep dive backstory for the main character and that just isn’t necessary to the story itself. Some of it will be, but not the whole life history. And that is the problem. I know that doing that will cut a whole bunch of words out of the story and the part of my brain that lacks confidence in my writing ability keeps saying I’ll never catch back up. In effect, I’m afraid to actually cut those words out.

The Yo-Yo Files- I know the basics of the story. I finished a bit of research that will, if not complete the outline, at least get me a good bit into it. And, being a plantser (part plotter, part pantser), I should be good to go, right? Nope. Enter the No Confidence Gremlin again. Don’t know enough. Mistakes will happen. It won’t be perfect. All adding up to not many words done.

The shorts- I have files full of ideas. A sentence or two. A title. A character sketch. Notes everywhere. And none of them look good enough. Never mind that’s how I got six scifi and six fantasy shorts drafted already with that method. No good ideas there. Nope.

What to do? Now that I have identified in detail the problems, I shove them aside. The chapters get cut. I start with the scene I have in my head for the Yo-Yo Files story. And I grab an idea and start playing with it. One (at least) of these gets done every day. Because I also know myself well enough to know that once I actually start, the words, the right parts of the story, the ideas will happen. Sit down. Do the work. It’s the only way to get it done.

Writer’s block. Phui. Writer’s progress.

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Two's Company small thumbnailMedusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.

Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died.  With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, it’s up to Deuce to figure out what’s going on, and how all the pieces fit the puzzle. Along the way, she reconnects with an old friend and discovers someone is stalking her. Deuce will need to connect all the dots fast, because more lives are at stake than anyone suspects.

Learn more here.

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here

 

 

tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

 

 

 

Feedmypeople-thumb

In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here

 

Five and Daemonthumb

Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here

 

YoYo#2Thumb

Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.

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