Sunday, October 19, 2014

If We Were Having Coffee

A couple weeks ago, I read this post on the Perpetual Page-Turner and absolutely loved it! It’s a virtual coffee date, and reading it made me feel connected to Jamie, the Perpetual Page-Turner. (Yes, we have the same name!) It got me thinking… connections are important. Sharing our thoughts, celebrating our triumphs and admitting our worries and fears are important. Sometimes as a writer (and a person) I feel disconnected from the outside, socializing, beer-drinking, bar-going world. Sometimes I even feel disconnected from the writerly, readerly, bloggerly community (as I mentioned last week) and writing/talking/sharing can help overcome that feeling. So…


If We Were Having Coffee… I’d tell you that I just read A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray and loved it so much I finished it in one day! Which is saying something because I worked for six hours and spent time with my boyfriend that same day. The main character, Marguerite, is strong and adventurous. She doesn’t freak out or back down, even when her journey chasing her father’s killer takes her to alternate universes in London, St. Petersburg and in a city under the ocean. Plus, Paul and Theo?! YUM! I loved this book so much that it’s my next Six Star Review, which I’ll be posting two weeks from today. A Thousand Pieces of You comes out November 4th and I definitely recommend it!
What are you reading right now? What’s the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

If We Were Having Coffee… I’d tell you that I set aside the WIP that I’ve been working on for four years, and I’m a bit heartbroken about it. I set Loyalties Lie aside because I want to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m not ready to write the sequel. Plus, I was struggling with editing, so I decided take a three month break from the draft to work on a new idea during NaNoWriMo. I plan on returning to edits in January.
Have you ever set aside an important project? Did you return to it?

If We Were Having Coffee… I’d tell you that I’m nervous for NaNoWriMo this year. For the first time, I’m diving in with a brand new idea that I’ve only been developing for a month. It’s not fleshed out, and I haven’t decided yet if that’s a good thing or a very, very bad thing. Just because it’s my third time participating in NaNo doesn’t mean that this year will be a success. Actually, I feel like this year it’s more likely that I won’t win. And that thought frightens me.
What frightens you right now, if anything? How are you dealing with it?

If We Were Having Coffee… I’d tell you that my coffee isn’t actually coffee. I’m drinking a Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate because I gave up the real stuff in February. At first it was excruciating, but now I know it was for the best. I still get tired, but I never hit the lows of pure exhaustion that a few days or even hours without espresso would bring on before. So I’m back to just being dependent on chapstick.
What did you order? Something with espresso? (If so, can I smell it? Mmm thanks.)

Feel free to answer the questions I posed above in the comments below (if you’re comfortable sharing, of course)! I promise I’ll respond, however it might not be right away. I’m on the road today, and tomorrow I’ll be exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Pictures next week! 
I’d love to hear from you!


  1. 1. Not reading much right "1960" about the...1960 Presidential Election. Pretty good, lots of juicy US history tidbits. Don't read much fiction anymore, unless comics count, in that case, The Incredible Hulk from 1965.

    2. Whoa, what haven't I set aside? I had my sequel to my first original novel that I stopped working on after ~100+ pages in. Just lost steam on it and realized I couldn't get it right. So I came up with another story and finished that instead, and was much happier with the result. And short stories, lots of short stories I couldn't wrap up. Oh well.

    3. Ebola? No seriously I was fearful I had lost my prose touch earlier this year after going 3-4 years writing only scripts for comics. And so I decided to work on a few pages of the next sequel I had put away after two chapters and soon remembered how to write prose in my voice. That relinquished a lot of anxiety I had built up. Sometimes just putting my mind to it makes things much easier.

    4. I haven't had a Caramel Apple Cider in a few weeks since I've been on vacation. Need to fix that ASAP.

    Have fun in Harry Potter Land!

  2. Oh, let me ask you this: What is your editing process? I usually get a decent second or third draft (or when I feel comfortable with a good ending) on my computer, than print out a manuscript and get the old red pen out and go to town. Sometimes several times.

    What app do you write in? I use InDesign and really like it. If you felt comfortable with it, I could give a chapter or passage a look over and maybe give some suggestions by email.

    What is your editing struggle? Are you just hitting a storytelling block or are you just too close to the material that it's paralyzing your choices?

    1. When I said I wouldn’t be able to respond right away, I didn’t think it would be a week and a half later! So sorry for the delay!

      It’s reassuring to know that others have set aside projects and gone on to finish other things. I’ve finished some short stories, but I haven’t finished a novel. It scares me sometimes since I’ve been working on Loyalties Lie for four years. I’m hoping I’ll be happier with this NaNoWriMo project (and finish it much quicker!).

      My editing process isn’t set in stone. Before I set aside Loyalties Lie last month, I was working through scene by scene. When I finished the first part (of three) I looked at it as a whole before moving onto the second part. However, I got stopped up in the second part, trying to decide how to get to the third part.

      Which is where my editing struggle comes in. It’s about choices, and maybe it is that I’m too close to the material (though I’ve never thought of it that way). Over the summer I realized I have too much power in the sense that, as an author, I can write anything. (I’ve always known this, but it just hit me one day.) I can make my characters do/say/think anything (within reason) and I started listing my options for which direction to take the story and kind of freaked out. I got really overwhelmed by all the options, then became unable to keep them straight. So, overwhelmed and confused, I set aside Loyalties Lie last month to focus on a new idea for NaNoWriMo.

      I write in Scrivener. Though I admit I don’t use it to its full potential. There’s a video I’ve been meaning to watch on how to use it more than the basic stuff but haven’t gotten around to it.

      I’d appreciate it if you’d look something over! Would you mind waiting until I had something to show from NaNoWriMo? And of course let me know if I can reciprocate!

      Also re: Caramel Apple Cider. I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it! I hope you’ve managed to partake in one (or many) since your return from vacation!

  3. Ehh, you were busy in Harry Land; no big surprise!

    Yeah, not finishing stories goes with the territory. Especially early in your writing career. I've got file folders full of stuff I never finished. Most of it's crap but getting your "million words of sh*t" out of you sooner than later is good.

    I guess your novel is finished when you decide it's finished. I could keep beating myself up over "Jaunt" for the next decade, but I decided to let it go back in 2007 after 5-6 years of off-on writing and editing. For me I just prefer to get the book to where I'm as happy with it as I think I can get it with my current skill level, then go on to the next project (then again I like novelty and get bored with a project if it drags on). And nobody said you can't go on to another project and then come back after a few years.

    I've read that putting some time distance between when you've finished the rough draft and beginning the edit is a good practice...saying that, it sounds like you've been doing this for a few years. So, perhaps your NaNoWriMo project will give you the distance that you need to return to Loyalties Lie with a new perspective and maybe a fresher mindset on what direction you want to go with.

    I'm a writer that heavily invests in plotting, so I HAVE to have an idea with where I'm going before I decide to move forward with a project. My difficulties lie in meshing the plot needs with the characters' motivations...which sometimes takes me into interesting directions I didn't start out even contemplating and can be incredibly exciting. It's an interesting dichotomy of strict plotting and then organic unfolding of the story as you write—that's what makes me continue to write and is really fun. I "listen" to the characters and they are the ones dictating where they want to go. My unfinished stories were more often than not because I was forcing things or a direction that the story wasn't organically going.

    I've never tried Scrivener. Googling it, it looks like you can do all kinds of plotting and note taking with it, side-by-side with writing, which sounds like Celtx, which I've been using for writing a teleplay pilot recently. InDesign is a desktop publishing and text editor I like because I get distracted by having too much stuff in the way when I'm working on my manuscript.

    I'll look over whatever you feel comfortable having read, whenever you're ready! DM me on Twitter and let me know.

    Got one on Monday! Getting a visit from the DM tomorrow (again, two weeks in a row) so will need something stronger after I get home...!