Posted in updates, Writing

Readjusting & Optimism

One week down, one more to go.

It’s that time of the year again when school is right around the corner, and the workdays are filled with training and setting up the classroom. Let’s not forget waking four hours before I’m used to waking up. I find myself trying not to sleep at 9 pm. Not to mention, I have one more week of training before school starts.

Most importantly, my writing schedule has been thrown out the window.

It mainly has to do with the fact that I’m not editing anymore, and I’m still writing the last book of a trilogy. But I also know I’ve been busy and tired. I still write on the days I need to, but I don’t write as much. Definitely feeling it today since I’m catching up on the word count for the week.

Moving forward, I’ll stick to writing two chapters a week instead of one. So, Monday through Wednesday/Thursday is one chapter, and Thursday/ Friday to Sunday is another. This new schedule will only be until I get feedback from my beta readers. Luckily, some friends and family wanted to be beta readers for my book.

This past week, I compiled a list of agents with my genre AND started on my query letter. I’m not excited to start writing the synopsis, BUT I do want to wait for my beta readers as well in case I need to fix plot holes or consistency issues, etc.

Overall, I’m excited to start the next step of becoming a published author. While the road is long and full of potential roadblocks, I feel like I’m making progress.

Posted in updates, Writing

Accomplishing Goals

The end of my summer vacation brings excellent news. Sure, I go back to work in two days, but I managed to finish one of my goals this summer. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without proper time management and the writing schedule I set up all those weeks ago.

I’ve finished editing a novel I’ve been working on for a while. Overall, I believe my book is finished. I’ve been looking for a couple of beta readers now and I have two so far. Possibly three. I’m thinking maybe five beta readers to start with is a good number.

The beta readers can finish reading the book by September. Having a deadline of three to four weeks isn’t bad. While not everyone reads at the same pace, it’s a realistic goal. In the meantime, I’ll keep building my agent list to query and definitely make sure my query letter is perfect. I think that’s going to be the hard part. Writing the query letter and even the synopsis will be difficult.

Either way, I’m excited to start this part of the journey. If all goes well, I can send out my query letters before agents start closing for the holidays. Wish me luck.

Posted in updates, Writing

My Writing Schedule – An update

Recently, I discovered a writing schedule for myself where three or four days out of the week would go towards editing/ rewriting chapters of one of the novels I was working on. The other days would be reserved for writing a new chapter for the second novel I’ve been working on. This only worked because I decided to limit myself to only focus on two novels. Having multiple projects at one time is not helpful to the completion of any projects. Plus, it helps that the projects are from the same novel series.

This past week, I’ve followed the writing schedule I set for myself and found two things that I’ve noticed.

First, while I usually aim to editing one chapter a day, it came to my attention that sometimes I want to do more. I had to remind myself that it was okay to work on two chapters a day instead. Limiting myself wasn’t the aim here.

Second, I’m having a little trouble with the writing portion of the week. I don’t necessarily have a word count for the day, and that hasn’t been an issue before. Mostly, I think it has to do with my plotting where I didn’t plan all the details and only focused on the major points. That can be taken care of easily.

Five hundred words or more is what I think is a good amount for the day. The novel I’m writing is an online novel so word count works differently. Three thousands words a chapter is pushing it for an online platform.

In general, I’d like to say that this writing schedule definitely works for me. Switching between editing and writing makes me feel a lot more productive. There are days where I don’t work as much as the others, but I don’t feel like I’m being lazy. Taking breaks is important too. Burning out or making this feel like a chore won’t be helpful in the long run.

Next week, I’ll be going on vacation. I haven’t decided if I’m going to take a break from writing and editing in general, but I’ll still take my laptop to do a little work just in case.

Posted in Writing

Character Creation – part 1

Sometimes a character pops into my head before the actual story. There might be a small scene around the character but nothing is concrete. I don’t plan for this to happen, it just does.

So, what do I do when I have an idea of a character? For starters, I tend to know the character’s sex. I don’t know the character’s gender until way later.

Next, I think about what kind of world would this character live in? Futuristic? Fantasy? Modern day?

Once, I decide that, I look at the situation they are in. Do they struggle to pay for basic essentials? Are they on the run? Are they a gun for hire? Maybe they are a detective/ investigator.

If I can’t think of an answer, I mix and match. Would this character fit in an urban setting? Would it make sense if they were on the run? Nothing is is ever concrete at the beginning. Characters are like clay. They can be modeled as many times as they need to.

As the character takes shape, pieces tend to fall into place. A character now has a sword and a gun. The only place they drink their coffee is from a run down shop on a corner of a not so nice street. For character creation, I think it’s helpful to start with the little things.

What would their room look like? It’s a clean? Messy? Undisturbed? Do they use mouth wash? What snacks do they eat? Do they drink too much coffee? What does a normal day for them look like? What kind of clothes do they wear? Where do they buy their clothes?

There are a lot of character creating questionnaires out there and I’ve found some of them very useful. However, I don’t always need to use them. Sure it’s important to know if your character has any family, siblings, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a pet, but I found that somethings, character creation gets bog down with those sorts of questions.

At times, it feels like a job to me and it’s no longer fun. The character just slips from my mind and it never goes anywhere. I like to mull it over a bit. Keep it a secret if you will before putting it down on paper.

Posted in Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt – Gray Eyes

And just like that, the man I’d been kissing moments ago became the most dangerous man on the planet.

His face flashed across the platform’s screen. Somewhere behind me, the train screeched to a halt. Shoulders moved past me but all I could look at was at those gray eyes.

The picture was terrible. His face was blurred, distorted. Anybody who didn’t know him wouldn’t recognize him. I guess I didn’t know him as well as I thought.

It been only moments ago, when we said goodbye, that I was looking at those same gray eyes.

“Suspect is charged with arson, theft, murder, kidnapping . . .”

The list just went on and on. Apparently, he was behind the recent Ouji attack where a government building had exploded. The news didn’t say it but it the building had been a research facility. I should know. I used to work there until recently. That was where I first met him.

Terrorist was what the media called him. Yeah, with a rep list like that I would do and yet, was it really him? Was this the same guy who brought me dinner when I worked late? Or gave me a ride because my car wouldn’t start?

He had even helped me buy groceries. It couldn’t be him and yet, how could I not know those gray eyes. They looked like a thunder storm. The way the sky once moved, the way it is portrayed in videos.

“Train to Zanx will depart in five minutes. Train to Zanx . . .”

Had it all been a lie? Was that just one of his many personas? It would make sense. If it was true, everything he ever said and did would be a lie.

My gut twisted. It was a lie. Pressure build behind my eyes. I blinked rapidly. Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted. It didn’t mean anything, not really. I knew it wouldn’t last. That was obvious.

Somewhere close by, heavy footsteps approached. They came to a stop around me.

“Miss Alex Wight. Please come with us.”

I turned to the voice that had spoken. Surrounding me, there were seven individuals in tactical armor. They all point their weapons at me. The woman who had spoken stepped forward. She had cuffs in her hands.

“What is all this for?” I asked.

Most of the platform was empty but there were a few who loitered around waiting for the next train. They kept a wide berth from us.

“You’re charged with aiding a terrorist,” the woman answered, “please come with us.”

I shoved my hands in my pockets. And just like that, I was a suspect.