Romance Writers Weekly #lovechatwrite

It’s Romance Weekly time! Hello to all joining from Jo Richardson’s blog.

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Something a little different this week.

We are to write a love letter, less than 400 words, including the words- sweet (cheated a bit and used, bittersweet), brush, and pumpkin!

I actually wrote this on my lunch break today, so it’s not brilliant, but it was great fun to try out something new! :D I think the love letter should definitely come back into fashion!

To my dearest,

I can no longer brush these feelings aside. It has been too long to ignore what we once had, what we could have again.

How can you not see what I offer? Why will you not accept what I give?

You tell me it would be too much to bear, but I will bear it for the both of us. Bittersweet it may be, short it may be, but forgettable it would not.

The pumpkins are glowing orange outside of my window as I write this, like beacons of memories of what we once shared in those fields.

Take what you will from me, I would sacrifice it all to have you once more.

Just once.

Forever yours…

Not brilliant, and a bit old-fashioned, but great fun to write :D

Now, go check out what Elizabeth Janette has written for this challenge!

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Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 5519 (Total word count: 33,887).

Books read: 2/4.

End of October Indie Review: Reading.

Switch Up!

I just want to say a BIG thank you to all the lovely encouraging and supportive comments on my last post (I may not have replied to all, but I read them all and was so touched!). It was so nice to hear from other writers who feel the same. This community really is so incredibly supportive! :)

Today is the first day of just giving myself over to writing, I am doing this blog post on my lunch break! :D It has been nice though, it was lovely to start writing this morning and have no pressure to finish at a certain time so as I could begin social media, I actually think the quality of my writing improved for it!

Anyway, I had a nice plan of action in place for the book I’m working on at the moment.

It was my usual plan- Write the first draft, edit the next month, and then release. So release day would have been the end of November.

But, this book is different then normal as it’s the first book in a series; a series I have been thinking about writing for a good 2 years now.

As I began writing my first draft I knew I was going to need more time with it. More time with these characters I’ve been cultivating for years and more time to delve into the start of this series I’ve loved planning for so long!

So, I’ve had a change of plan. My plan now is to work on the first draft (still finish by the end of this month!) and then give myself two months for editing.

In November I am going to work on a short Christmas novella to release in December, then January and February I am giving over completely to re-writing and doing drafts of the current first book in my series.

I hope that makes sense :D

I do have to say, this is part of the reason I love self-publishing. I have no set time or specific book I need to work on. If I want or need to change up the order I release books or write books, I can! That is really a huge plus for writing and publishing books on my own!

Have you guys ever changed your writing plans? Have you started one book and then begun another at the same time?

Progress Report:

Status of first manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2232 (Total word count: 28,368).

Books read: 2/4.

End of October Indie Review: Reading.

Being a Writer= 10% writing and 90% everything else!

When I started this blog my main goal was to be honest, I wanted to record this journey and be truthful about how it was going and how I felt about it. This is one of those posts :D

So, over the past few days I’ve been in a bit of a weird head space!

I love writing and I’m very lucky to be able to dedicate all of my time to it as my full time career.

But when I thought about it, I’m not dedicating my full time to it. I write for around 1.5-2 hours a day, five days a week and though that’s a lot more than most people get the chance to do, it’s still not enough for me.

Most of my workday is spent doing social media.

Now, I’ve gone on about my inability to make proper use of social media before :D I’m also not good at using it for marketing, etc.

I’d say I’ve not done bad in book sales, more than some indie authors, but I also have to say that not seeing a rise in sales throughout the year but just a steady stream, kind of put me in a bit of a funk.

Why was I spending so much time on creating my author platform etc, if it isn’t going to help with sales?

Now, my writing isn’t all about they money :D But I do want to make a living off of it and though I understand I am a new author, it can be incredibly disheartening to see indie authors put out one book and they get to number 1 without seeming to do much at all, and my books float in the sea with the rest.

It just got me thinking about if I am using my time wisely. If my hours on social media aren’t gaining me sales or getting my name out any further, should I be spending so long on it?

As you probably have heard me say many times before, I really don’t like marketing! Those who do it well are successful, but I don’t do it well, I barely do it at all. The thought of shoving my work in people’s faces constantly really drains me and social media is a part of that. Trying to get my name out there and my work recognised is emotionally exhausting because I’m just not that type of person.

Now that I have established myself with a blog and things, is it time to allow myself to take a step back and wait for my books to speak for me?

What I’m trying to say is, I miss writing.

I could write all day if I could :D And that’s exactly what I’m going to do for a while.

I have made the decision that for the rest of the month, I am going to take a bit of a back seat on the social media thing. I’ll have a few blog posts, but not too many I don’t expect. I will still read others blogs, because I always enjoy your guys posts and find some great tips and information! But I probably won’t comment as much as I normally do.

I think not commenting as much on others blogs is part of my hesitance to cut back on blogging and social media. I have made a great many blogging friends and am so incredibly grateful for their support, I like to show mine by commenting and sharing their posts.

The social media side of things is important, I know, it’s the only way to get my name out there, but I really need to just write for a while, to give my everything to the craft I love so much.

So, if I’m not commenting as much as usual, please don’t think I’m not reading, because I will be! I hope you guys understand :)

Have a brilliant weekend everyone, I hope it’s a good one!

Books and Reading Wednesday: Books on my Bookshelf

I struggled to write my mid-October review this month, though I will try again and maybe put it up middle of next month. But for now, have another post from my new series, Books on my Bookshelf :D

(Books on my Bookshelf is not a review, just my personal memories and feelings on the books I own).

The book this time is Odalisque by Fiona McIntosh.

BOOKFM

I wasn’t given this book and I didn’t buy it, it was a book that was in one of the bookcases in the house and I was looking for something different so picked it up, now it sits in my bookcase :D

I have to be honest and say it’s not a book I remember fondly. I didn’t really enjoy it and what I most definitely remember is that it was a slog to get through!

It’s a book I read a few years ago, when I was trying to better my reading habits. Mostly I think I lay in bed, glancing at the clock and hoping my one hour reading slot was nearly over as I read it. I did finish it, but only because I forced myself to.

There is one scene particularly that I remember from the book, and is the main memory I have of it (SPOILERS for those who plan to read it or are reading it).

It was a scene where the mother of the new king (emperor, tsar? I can’t remember), takes the sons of the other women in the harem and lures them outside saying they are going to play. She makes them all crawl into red velvet bags and then has elephants trample all over them.

Now, I’m sure this wasn’t all that uncommon in reality in ancient times (killing of rivals, etc), but still, it’s a scene that stuck out to me and not for good reasons.

There was also another very detailed, gruesome scene about a man becoming a eunuch. Not so nice.

Though I have to say, I didn’t realise there were different types of eunuchs, so it taught me something! :D

Overall, it’s not a book that has me remembering much, I actually don’t even remember what the story was about.

This is just my opinion! I’m sure there are loads of people who loved it and that’s great too!

Random quote:Seeing his friend so broken had sickened him sufficiently that when he had strode from the balcony he had actually lost his morning’s meal into the bushes not far from his chambers.’ (Hm, lovely!)

Favourite thing about the book: The setting. I did love the setting, the deserts and the kind of Persian/Arabian feel it had to it.

Least favourite thing: Unnecessary detail. Felt like a lot of it was in there just to gross people out.

Something I took away from the book: Not every story suits everyone, even if you enjoy the genre!

So there you have it, another book from my bookshelf!

Do you have a book that you don’t remember fondly? Have you ever forced yourself to finish a book you weren’t enjoying?

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Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2503 (Total word count: 26,006).

Books read: 2/4.

End of October Indie Review: Reading.

The First Draft- It’s a love/hate thing.

One of my major flaws as a writer (and as a person) is my need to get everything perfect first time around.

You see how this could be a problem when it comes to writing? :D Considering the amount of drafts we have to do before we get something we’re pleased enough with to publish?

Writing a first draft can, at times, hurt me.

Staring at this horrible screen of text that isn’t perfect, that isn’t lovely, that sometimes doesn’t even make sense; it doesn’t do me any good!

But I have gotten better over this year since writing has become career. The first draft has to be written, no matter how I do it, it is the foundation of my book. If I don’t write, then I’m not doing my job! :D

The way I like to look at a first draft is that it is the skeleton. It is the bones of my manuscript.

The second draft is the muscles.

The third is the skin.

And from then on extra drafts and changes are the clothing, jewelry, and make up that allow my manuscript to sparkle.

Still, it’s hard. Nowadays I write my first draft without looking back at it. I just write it and keep on going. I use simple, not very active words, such as ‘pushed’, ‘pulled’ ‘looked’, etc, I even have sections where I’ve written, ‘She’s angry- describe’. I just write whatever to get that first draft down, with notes to remind me when I go back to edit.

I can then go back and change those words, make it active. make it flow. I can change the details, add description where I have left it out, etc.

But it is a struggle! When I think my writing is terrible, it puts a damper on my mood (which my poor family and friends have to deal with, sorry to them!), and I go into a fit of, ‘I suck as a writer!’ :D

But by the end, when all the layers are added, I come out of that mood having produced something I can be really proud of. A story that has been worth all the moods and hard work :)

What I’m trying to say is- Just write it. Don’t worry about language, or word use, or adverbs, or anything like that in a first draft. Just do whatever it takes to get that main bulk down.

It’s after the first draft that the real work begins ;)

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2793 (Total word count: 23,503).

Books read: 2/4.

Mid-October Book Review: We won’t talk about the lack of that…

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly!

Thank you to everyone who commented on my posts over the weekend :)

I am trying to add a change to my routine which started today, and has left me completely out of whack! So, I haven’t had time to write a blog post and I haven’t been able to manage commenting on many blogs yet!

So instead, enjoy this awesome vlog review of Prophecy of Stones by Sierra of Permashift!

I always love her vlogs, she’s hilarious and always makes me smile :)

The Queen’s Jester also got an awesome review from Teri Lloyd! :)

Sorry for the all about my stuff post! Will hopefully get a hang of this new routine soon.

Tomorrow won’t be a Romance Weekly post as (again) still shuffling my work around. I will have a normal post instead tomorrow though! :D

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Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2830 (Total word count: 20,710).

Books read: 2/4.

Mid-October Book Review: Yeah, not going so well!