Wednesday, 5 March 2014

What's Up Wednesday & IWSG



Welcome to What's Up Wednesday, a weekly meme run by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow. Here's what I've been up to this past week!

What I'm reading

I read Cress, which I LOVED! These books keep getting better and better, and I don't know how I'm going to wait a whole year for Winter, the final book!

I've decided I need to read more sci-fi! I read Two by Leigh Ann Kopans and Ultraviolet Catastrophe by Jamie Grey, and then the Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis. This has been on my list for ages! I read all three books in two days - I literally couldn't put them down! I was lucky to have some reading time this weekend when I finally reached the bottom of my to-do list, so I made the most of it!

What I'm writing

Carrying on with my WIP. I want to finish the draft by the end of the month, which is hopefully achievable! I'm also doing more plotting work on the hopefully-next WIP. My main issue at the moment is deciding whether I want to write this one in first or third person, past or present tense. Too many choices!

I signed the contract for Darkworld Book 3, too, and I started first-round edits on Walking Shadow (Darkworld #2). It's been a long road, but we're finally getting there! ^_^

What inspires me right now

It's March! Spring is coming! *dances* Well, the weather hasn't changed much, but we can hope!

What else I've been up to

Watching anime, reading, internship and freelance work. Making lists. Wondering how it's March already (where is the year going?!). Et cetera.

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It's also time for my March IWSG post! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the creation of Ninja Captain Alex, and is a great way for writers to share their worries, support and encouragement.


To everyone stuck in the middle of a draft (aka, a message I need to stick on my wall):

You are not alone.

You haven't forgotten how to write a book.

This happens to everyone. Even published authors. Even bestsellers.

This is completely normal.

DO NOT PANIC.

And here's a pep talk from Neil Gaiman.

Oh, the evil middle of the draft. *sigh* This happens every single book - and I'm currently writing my 12th! The first third of the book is great. I get into my stride, love my world and characters, and the word count keeps building. Then, around 25K in or so, everything grinds to a halt. Plot threads tangle. Characters are disobedient. My beautifully crafted outline collapses in on itself. Each 1000 words are a battle of wills. It feels like I'll never reach the end. Then, at long last, something clicks. Everything resolves itself, and I power-type to the last word. Unfortunately, with my current WIP, that hasn't happened yet. I had to rewrite my entire outline a few days ago, and I'm still stranded out at sea. You'd think this would get easier with each book. You'd think signing my fifth publishing contract this week might make it a little easier. But nope. Ah, well. Nothing to do but to keep typing!

Here's my latest method of avoiding panic: setting a timer. I know it's something I should be doing anyway, but I work best when multi-tasking - strange, but true! Unfortunately, it doesn't make for productiveness when the draft needs my full attention or it'll morph into a many-armed Lovecraftian monster. So I'm going to start setting half-hour timers in which I'll shut everything else off and Just Write. That's write, not panic and flail around, or check emails, or obsess over queries and my never-ending to-do list and the ever-building pile of WIP's that need revising/redrafting (possibly another reason for insecurity: I'm now juggling five series in different stages. FIVE.). Between waiting on final edits on Walking Shadow (Darkworld #2), waiting on first feedback on a different WIP, querying another and planning another to start writing next month, I definitely need more focus. So, timers! I'll see if it works...

32 comments:

  1. I'm stuck in the middle of a draft so I loved your advice and Gaiman's pep talk! Glad I came to your post today. :)

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  2. Wonderful advice. I loved Gaiman's pep talk! As I'm doing revisions right now, it always helps to see that the authors I admire struggle too. Good luck with your projects, and definitely pick up Beth Revis. Her books are awesome!

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    1. Thanks! :) It really does help to know that we aren't alone in this!

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  3. Yay for spring! I'm with you -- the sunshine and warmth are very welcome around here. And I'm so glad you enjoyed the AtU trilogy. It's one of my favorite YA sci-fi series. Have a great week, Emma!

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    1. It's joined my top sci-fi reads list, too. :) Thanks!

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  4. Good luck finishing your draft!
    I can't wait for the weather to change. Usually I love winter, but I'm ready for Spring this year.

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    1. Thanks! :) Winter feels like it's gone on forever!

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  5. Spring seems so far away right now LOL

    Great advice! And Gailman's pep talk is great too!

    Have an awesome week!

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    1. It does, especially with the weather we've been having lol. Hope it brightens up soon! Thanks! :)

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  6. I like the setting a timer idea. I may try that. Good luck with your writing!

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  7. I've had Across the Universe on my TBR for forever too and STILL haven't gotten around to reading it. One of these days...

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    1. I had it on my Kindle for months, but I really wanted to read another sci-fi book after I finished Cress. It's worth a read! :D

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  8. Thanks for the advice ^_^ Also, 12th book. Wow! :D

    I've read Across the Universe but I never picked up the second two, whoops!

    Have a fantastic week ^_^

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    1. I downloaded them to my Kindle as soon as I finished the first - impatience and one-click buy are a lethal combination! :P

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  9. I've been devouring sci-fi and fantasy lately, so I really need to read my copies of TWO, ULTRAVIOLET CATASTROPHE, as well as the finale in the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy. I've had that last one for ages now, but still haven't read it.

    I know what you mean about all the decisions relating to POV and tense. I tend to write first person present a lot, but in the fantasy I'm planning I've decided to do third person past. Should be a nice change! Good luck finishing your WiP this month. I'm sure it's doable! :-)

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    1. I definitely went through a sci-fi phase last week!

      I usually use first or third person past, but I wrote my last WIP in the present tense and was surprised at how easily it flowed.
      Thanks! :)

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  10. If this is your 12th novel then presumably you've been through all this before... hopefully it gets a little easier each time?

    Good luck completing your latest!

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    1. I'm not as clueless as I was with my first book, but there are always doubts. Still, it's progress! :)

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  11. Good luck with your draft! Oh, thanks for the advice. I most definitely needed to hear it today. Have a great weekend!

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    1. No problem! I think it's something all writers need to hear, sometimes! :)

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  12. If you're still in a sci-fi mood, you should check out THESE BROKEN STARS. It's one of the best YA sci-fi's I've read. Good luck with your WIP! The same thing happens to me: I hit a certain point of my draft and everything grinds to a halt. The good news is, we always get past it!

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  13. You're so right about the Lunar Chronicles. I've read too many series that just declined, but Marissa Meyer's books keep getting better. I was kind of laughing today because I can't wait for Winter (the book) to get here, but I'm waiting for winter (the season) to end. Kind of ironic.

    I recently bought Jamie Grey's book, THE STAR THIEF and ONE and TWO by Leigh Ann Kopans. They all look awesome and I'm hoping to get to them very soon. I just read the description for ULTRAVIOLET CATASTROPHE yesterday, and I'm thinking I need to add it to the list as well.

    Good luck finishing your draft by the end of the month!

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  14. One and Across the Universe series are on my list to read as well. These Broken Stars mentioned above is awesome as well. Good luck with your draft.

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  15. That's the only way I can write - block off a time with no interruptions.
    I'm actually better once I hit the middle. It's the first part of the manuscript that kills me the most..

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  16. Congrats on signing a contract!

    I need to finish the Across the Universe trilogy but it's been so long since I read the 1st book that I need to go back and at least skim.

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  17. I never could get into Across the Universe, not sure why since so many enjoyed it! Maybe I just wasn't in the mood? Congrats on signing the contract and making progress in your WIP!

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  18. Cool that you are reading so much. It is a great way to recharge for writing. Sounds like you have a lot going on, but that you have a good plan to keep rocking the writing. I have never tried the timer thing. My friend loves Write or Die, which is sort of a whole program timer thing. Whatever works.

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  19. Spring is coming... Spring is coming... a million voices throughout the country chanting in defiance of what their eyes see and their skin feels. But it's true. I believe it! :)

    That's a good pep-talk from Mr. Gaiman. It's does us well to remember that being a multi-published, hugely successful and popular author doesn't make the nitty-gritty of writing any easier. Sure, having Neil's success would mean being able to quit the day job, but that just gives us more time to be stuck at 25K.

    All the best with pressing on this week, Emma! :)

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  20. I've has ACROSS THE UNIVERSE on my TBR forever, too! It sounds fabulous, and your quick read of it makes me anxious to pick it up right now!
    Wishing you the best of luck with your continued revisions, writing, and everything. I think you are so wonderfully ambitious and it really inspires me!

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  21. Okay, I haven't even finished reading your whole post because after reading what you are reading, I had to jump right down to the comments and tell you that ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy by Beth Revis is among my very-most-favorite series! She is an amazing writer, isn't she? Okay... now I'll go back and read the rest of your post. :)

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