State of the Book Writing

Still not dead

Well, first of all NaNoWriMo did not go as expected. The last one was the first one ever that I attempted and didn’t „win“. I’d say there were two parts to it, one being the fact that I was sick for 2 1/2 weeks in November. As in having a cold and no energy whatsoever. I spent most of my days in bed waiting to get better. That is a valid reason for not writing much for sure.

But before that I had been struggling with not writing much for about a year already.

Now writing an average of 500 to 700 words per day sounds pretty good but for me it just doesn’t feel enough. First of all there are a lot of stories I want to tell and I don’t want to have to pull out an idea ten years later because I was writing so slow. Also, I do write pretty fast even with the „Writing in the Dark“-method so 700 words typically take me between 15 and 20 minutes.

Spending only fifteen minutes a day on the thing that you claim is most important to you? Slightly pathetic. Mind you, I don’t have day job that eats my whole day, no commute, I could easily devote an hour a day on writing if I only tried hard enough.

So I’m trying to remedy that and have so far written an average of 2,000 words a day for three days in a row.

The reason I didn’t write anything here on the blog was that I took the advice in „Blogging for Authors“ to heart to not fill my author blog with stories on how difficult writing is.

Since I’m still working on the trilogy (slowly) and since I want to finish all three books before publishing there isn’t much else to tell.

I do have plans for blog posts that aren’t on how hard writing is, though, and am hoping to not abandon this space for weeks at a time again.

Thanks for still reading this.

State of the Book

And NaNoWriMo begins again

Sorry for not posting in months. I’m still rather busy with the writing. I am currently on book two of the Eva Mandel series.

I’m doing NaNoWriMo again, this time as a rebel because I started this book a few weeks ago.

First few paragraphs of book two:

It was my first day coming back to the university after a week off. I only had spent one night in the hospital but the doctors had thought it best for me to rest instead of work.
I did resent that because I didn’t like not working but then I realized that they were only talking about not going in to teach. Nobody had said anything about research.

And I had to say that spending a week at home had been very nice. Now that I had my home back, my tiny little house, parked behind Katherine’s barn. I sat on my stoop with a cup of tea in my hands, looking at the woods.
I hadn’t dared to go in again so far but I couldn’t avoid it forever. I was a little scared of finding the clearing again where I had met that weird, magical creature. I was almost equally scared of going into the woods and finding out that there was no clearing. Or no creature.

I had had a lot of things to think about in the past week, not the least if it being my newfound ability to use magic. For thirty years I had been very sure that I was the least magically inclined person there could be and then things exploded in my face. Literally. When I started to work at the academy.

I’ll try and check in a little more often this month.

State of the Book

There might not be blog posts but there is writing

Well, all of that did not go quite as expected.

I started writing a new series in November. Finished the first draft of that, and immediately started writing the first book in yet another series.

And that’s the one I’m currently working on. I am hoping to finish that one by the end of the month but then I had hoped to finish it at the end of March – shrugs shoulders.

Anyways, here’s something from that story for you to read:

The inside view and the outside view never match up.

I was scared shitless.

The people I was going to meet would probably think me cold, arrogant, and completely unconcerned.

Story of my life.

I stood in front of the huge building that was housing the Academy of Supernatural Phenomena. It looked more like a castle than like a university. I was wearing a bright and shiny new white gown that showed my status as a member of the teaching staff. I had cursed whoever thought white was a good color for that. Not only was is impractical and hard to keep clean, it only made me looked all washed out and unwell.
And it didn’t go with anything I owned so I had to invest in a second capsule wardrobe just for my new job.

I thought back to when I had gotten the letter asking me to teach and do research here. Feeling wanted was a novel experience for me, and getting the psychology of magic-department started was important enough to trump my need for privacy and quiet.

From past experience I expected a lot of misunderstandings, and a lot of people offended, and a lot of dumb questions. But there was nothing to be done about it.

I walked up the stairs under the gothic arches and entered the dark entrance hall. It looked almost like a church. Maybe whoever built this thought that connecting the university with history – even if that connection was fake – would make it more respectable, more legitimate and more structured.

Right in the middle of the big hall was the statue of a grieving angel in white marble. “To those who have fallen in the service of magic,” it read. As if there had been a war.

Unlike a lot of the students studying here, I could remember a time without magic. A time when we thought that the supernatural was just something humanity had invented for pleasure, and to make sense of the world before science existed.

And then the Y2K problem had turned out to not be a computer failure but instead the return of magic to the world.

There are quite a few things that I’ve been wanting to write about here on the blog but I’m pouring all my writing time into writing fiction at the moment. I have also almost finished the posts for the „buy fewer books challenge“ for March and April, I only need to put in links which is a little ridiculous.

So. Back to the writing I go.

State of the Book

2017 in review and goals for 2018

I tried to look back at the year, and went through all my notebooks to find my goals, especially my writing goals, for 2017.

Seems I never quite committed to anything.

Now I’m always on the fence about goal-setting. I hate not reaching them but if I don’t set any I can’t see if I failed or succeeded.

I did find something I wrote on ravelry on December 8th 2016, though:

My plan is to use December to plan the third in the trilogy (wrote the first draft of the second in November), then I want to revise the second, and then we’ll see.

I definitely want to revise all three of them into something publishable. I hope I can get there eventually.

And while it did take me a little longer to plan that novel (it always does, I need to plan differently – or write faster) that is pretty much what I did. I wrote the first draft of the third novel, revised the second, and then got sort of stuck.

I’m still waiting to hear back from the person who is reading novel one. I gave it to her at the end of August, and it seems she has been busy.

Right now I am in the middle of finishing this year’s NaNoWriMo-novel, the first in a series of paranormal mysteries. So far I’m liking it but it’s slow going. There was some health stuff, and other projects, and so I haven’t spent a lot of time on it. I’m pretty sure I can finish the rough draft until the end of the year, though.

My hopes for 2017 had been to finish and publish the trilogy. That didn’t happen. So I am making goals for 2018 this time. Here they are:

  1. Get all four novels in progress finished, and as publication-ready as they can be.
  2. Overhaul all three websites (personal blog, writer blog, teaching website).
  3. Save enough money to publish at least one book.
  4. Find a critique partner.
  5. Find beta readers.
Now that I’m looking at those goals I can already see a potential problem in there. When I wrote „save enough money to publish at least one book“ in my mind that was the same as actually publishing it. But there are more steps involved, aren’t there? Finding and editor or two, having cover art made and a cover (I’m guessing but that’s probably about ten more steps in itself), formating the whole thing, uploading and such.
I am also not quite sure about the beta readers. But I should try it. Anybody volunteering?
I do have high hopes for next year but then I’m such an optimist. I always have high hopes for everything. So I’m raising my glass to the next year a bit early, and am hoping that I’ll actually manage to put the work in so that this can happen.


State of the Book

State of the thing – September 2017

Well, time flies when you’re having fun.

I did a little bit of traveling, and found that summer break does not mean vast amounts of time to spend on novel-revision. I mean I should have known, that’s what always happens.

I found a first reader for novel one. I delivered the thing to her on paper, all printed out, at the end of August but haven’t heard back yet.

By now novel two really is almost revised. I am currently doing the type-in of all the changes that I made to the paper copy. Of course I estimated that I could finish that this week. Since I’m now on page 41 with only three more days to go I might have to adjust my estimate. Maybe.

Book three is laying around doing nothing. I think I might be able to finally write the end after finishing this editing round on novel two.

Next steps will be: read through novel one aloud and then find some more beta readers, finish type-in of novel two, and then read through it again, and then finish rough draft of novel three.

Working on three novels at once does have advantages. I can make sure that book one doesn’t have anything in it that contradicts novel three but it sure feels like I’m not really making progress.

Onwards and upwards I say.

State of the Book

State of the thing May 2017

So it’s slow going but when is it not?

The first in the „Magically Real“ trilogy is exactly in the same place as last December, only I read through it again, and I still like it, which is good. I will have to check if I can leave the song lyrics in there because of copyright issues, if not I will have to find a way to evoke the same kind of feelings with my own words instead. Aprt from checking that out my next step will be to put the novel through grammerly and to read it aloud to myself.

The second book is almost revised. Which sounds better than it is. I have started to become very weary of the word „almost“. As my husband says, „Almost done usually means about fifty percent.“ I am at the point of revision where I have a plan what I want to change and how, so that the actual cutting will be not too painful. So the next step for that will be to actually cut the manuscript and put the new things in that I think were missing and then to go through it again to look at it as a whole.

And the third book is what I’m activiely working on at the moment. I had hoped to finish the rough draft by the end of April but I still have about 5,000 to 7,000 more words to write on that. There was a big music project demanding my time and energy at the beginning of May, and that meant I didn’t write anything for two weeks. Which was okay, and which I had planned for in advance. But afterwards I didn’t quite get back to writing, and that has been rather frustrating. So that will be the next thing I tackle, finishing that first draft.

I never quite managed to do a complete outline for that book. Which is a big mistake, and I believe that’s the reason why writing this takes so long. When I have no idea what to write next I have a lot of days when I open the document, stare at it for ten minutes or so, and then I close the document again, and that’s that for the day. I always tell myself that I’ll think about the story for the rest of the day and write some at night but I never do.


I did plan the next few scenes out, this time with pen on paper, and so I hope that I’ll be writing them over the course of next week, and then that rough draft will be done. I’ll implement the revisions to book two over the rest of the month, then have a quick look at book number one, and then spend July working on revising book three. I hope. I will also travel for a week in June, so I’m not quite sure how productive I’ll be then. For revision I work with a ton of worksheets and the printed out manuscript, and I don’t really want to lug that around for a week.

Maybe I should use that week to brainstorm ideas for the book after that. I’m thinking of starting a new series. That would be cool.

The new thing around the corner always feels more exciting than the old thing you’ve been working on for quite some time, doesn’t it?