August 29, 2012

Help Me Name My Villian c. Lionsgate

I'm 13,000 words deep into the sequel to my debut novel, and searching for a kick ass name for a secret villian. How would you like to help me name him? Leave a comment and the lucky person I choose will also have their name listed in the acknowledgements to this book, which I hope to release next summer. My husband suggested Cletus, and that's just not working for me (for obvious reasons). Maybe you can come up with something better. Inspiration: think Tomas Hardy with red eyes and a black heart. 

August 17, 2012

Etopia Press Twitter Party

We're having a blast here at Etopia Press and decided to share in the fun! Friday, August 17, 2012 at 8:00-9:00 PM Eastern Time, we'll be celebrating Etopia Press' latest releases. On top of meeting some fantastic authors, we'll have scavenger hunts, prizes, and free ebooks!

Here's how to join the fun: Follow @EtopiaPress on twitter and find the Hashtag #ETOPIA. Save #ETOPIA in your searches and follow the tag Friday at 8:00. It really is that easy!

We look forward to seeing you there! (Preceding post copied directly from Etopia Press on Facebook) 

Unfortunately, I will be working a night shift. Boo. So I will miss all the fun, but if you get the chance you should stop by! Maybe you might win something or discover some really cool books to keep you awake at night. 

August 16, 2012

Cover Reveal

So here it is! I can finally share the cover for my very first novel. I am so in love with it I will probably sleep with the print copies when I get them in the mail. So how did my publisher and I end up with such a beauty? First, I had to fill out pages of detailed questions about my book and images I thought would make a super cover. Afterwards I was given a mock cover which I had some issues with. Mainly it had a pretty girl on the cover in a black prom dress. It was a great cover, don't get me wrong, but unfortunately when/if you read my book you will quickly discover my character is not the kind of gal to wear a dress, let alone one that shows cleavage. My awesome publisher listened to my concerns and pretty much scrapped the cover. My actual cover is what she sent me next. Leave me a comment to let me know if you like it or not. Does it make you want to pick up the book? 

August 09, 2012

Stuck in the Middle

Holy Hannah. I am 10,000 words into the sequel of my upcoming release, and I am crazy stuck. Only unlike the title of this post, I am not stuck in the middle but in the beginning. Beginnings are so hard for me. Every writer has their issues with various stages of their project, whether it is the beginning, the sagging middle, or the end; but for me, my crux will always be the beginning. I am slightly obsessive compulsive, and I view my books as neat, little buildings. If I don't build a great foundation, I can't continue. If I do the rest of the book will implode. I need a perfect beginning, even in my first draft. What does this obsession mean for me? I can't move forward no matter how desperately I try to work around it! With BLOOD, SHE READ I spent months on the first 20,000 words. When I finally had those opening scenes 'just so' I was able to move on and wrote the rest of the book in something like five or six weeks. Yes, 50,000 to 60,000 words in 5 or 6 weeks. It is all downhill from the beginning. At least for me.

With my current WIP, MAGIC, SHE CAST, I have five completely different openers. All of them are about 2000 words each. I just can't decide which one to chose or if I'll chose one of them at all. In reality I know I'll probably scrap them all and start again because that 'aha' moment hasn't come yet. I worry it never will, but don't all writers feel that way? That we'll never complete another book? I've only completed two so far, and another one that I'm 50,000 words into and I've officially developed a love-hate relationship with but I know I'll never truly abandon. The funny thing about my being stuck is that I have MAGIC, SHE CAST outlined--in great detail. I know what I want to happen, but the opening scenes keep tripping me up.

So how am I battling this nonproductive obsession? Anyway I freaking can. This includes:

1. Writing scenes I can't include
My book is in 1st person past tense so I can only share what my character experiences. I've been writing scenes from the hero's POV and also from the heroine's mother. I actually find this helpful and know it will inevitably make my plot much more solid. But is it helping my word count? Not so much. At least, not yet.

2. Writing random scenes that occur later in the book
I HATE writing out of order. It makes me anxious. But sometimes you have to more forward no matter how much your brain protests. And hey, this strategy DOES help your word count.

3. Brain storming alone or with friends
I have wonderful, supportive writer friends who are always willing to let me bounce ideas off of them. One in particular is always there to listen to me vent and push me in directions I hadn't thought of. This same person has just become an acquisitions editor for my publisher! Yay for her! I can't name her yet, because I don't think she's shared this information with the world yet.

4. Character profiles
Since I've already written the first book in this trilogy, I already know my characters fairly well, but in the past I've found that completing detailed character profiles has helped me move forward. Knowing what your character is all about will help you decide how they will realistically react to situations. Character choices are extremely important for your plot, which will make or break a novel.

So these are some of the ways I push my self through 'stuckitis'. And yes, they're not currently working for me, but I know they will eventually because they've worked for me in the past. I'm curious where other writers get stuck and the strategies they use to move forward. If you write, leave a comment. I'm always looking for suggestions. And if you're not a writer, leave a comment anyway. Just because you can. :)