Back to the Drawing Board (Again)

I have decided to go back to the drawing board with my novel. It was not an easy decision to come to, but after being told numerous times that the novel was “too short to be marketable,” I’ve decided I had to. That being said, I don’t plan on adding more to the novel that’s already there. I don’t like to read novels with pages and pages of unnecessary description and I don’t plan to include that in my novel either,  just to just “pad” it out. Instead. I have decided to merge my first novel and it’s sequel into a single novel instead. The second novel, originally titled Artifact of the Forgotten, was meant to be a continuation of the story I began in Artifact of the Dawn. By merging the two, I’ll also be changing the title to The Artifacts of Truth. This will not only add the necessary Read More

My #PitMad Experience

Yesterday, on March 8, I participated in a Twitter event known as #PitMad, which is short for “Pitch Madness.” The event allows authors with completed manuscripts to pitch them on Twitter for any agency or publisher that may be interested in publishing a new work in a specific genre. I followed the guidelines for #PitMad as closely as possible. An author should only tweet three pitches for a single manuscript, not include any imagery, and space the tweets about four-hours apart during the twelve-hour event. I agonized over the pitches I wrote, and I even rewrote the third one a few times before I finally tweeted it. Each tweeted pitch did receive a lot of impressions, and some interaction from other authors, but nothing from agencies or publishers. This was only my first time participating, so while I kept my hopes up, I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get tapped to Read More

An Analogy for My Writing Process

I recently came up with a great analogy for my personal writing process. When I write my first draft, it’s almost like I’m doing a line drawing. I’m building the foundation for my story. I write all the pertinent plot details, dialogue interactions, perhaps a few details here and there. When I’m done, I have a barebones story. Then, when I go back and edit, I start coloring in the line drawing, adding details to help bring the entire story to life. My stories always grow when I go back and edit. I come from a technical writing background, where I learned to avoid any superfluous description (just the facts, ma’am!), which is why my first drafts are as barebones as they are. It also explains why pacing in my first drafts has always been a problem. I speed through many scenes, just giving the barest of detail before moving on. Read More

Working with a Professional Editor

This article is an update to a previous one I wrote last year, where I debated hiring an editor. As my more recent posts alluded, I did finally decide to work with one. Every write I spoke to advised that I should. Some even stated that it was impossible for a writer to self-edit. I still disagree with that sentiment and I believe that it’s important for a writer to be able to edit their own work, at least to a degree. I doubt an editor wants to slog through an unedited manuscript. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised when my editor didn’t find any significant issues for me to fix. He felt my world and character-building was good, my pacing well-measured, and there were no inconsistencies or plot-holes. His largest edit was more of a proofreader’s change. I forgot to add spaces around my ellipses whenever I used Read More

NaNoWriMo Progress – Day 28

I had meant to post more routine updates on my progress throughout NaNoWriMo, but I have been so focused on the novel I have barely come up for air (so to speak) all month. Now that November is coming to a close I am finally poking my head up again. As you can see from the above image, I’ve had a successful NaNoWriMo, although my novel, Artifact of the Forgotten, is not complete yet. While the core idea I had for this novel is still very much intact, how I’m expressing it in the novel is very different from how I first envisioned it. This novel is decidedly darker than my first novel, which surprised me at first. However, one thing I’ve learned over the past couple of years of writing is that my stories will take me on strange and unexpected journeys. I have stopped fighting it because the Read More

NaNoWriMo Progress – Day 5

I don’t want to flood people with daily progress reports. Instead, I decided to update my NaNoWriMo progress only periodically this month. As you can see from the graphic above, I’ve made good progress so far. After five days of writing, I’ve exceeded 12,000 words, and I’m averaging around 2,400 words/day. The minimum daily word count is 1,667 words/day to achieve 50,000 words within 30 days. If I continue the way I’ve been going, I’ll exceed 72,000 words, which is a healthy length for a science fiction novel. This second novel in my Artifacts of the Truth series is turning out to be darker than the first, but I think that may make it an even stronger story than the first. That’s not to say that I think the first story is at all weak. I am very proud of how Artifact of the Dawn has turned out, and I hope a Read More

Follow the Tangents: Going Beyond the What-If?

Many of the best stories begin with a ‘what-if’ premise. What if I were the last person alive? What if cats are really aliens? What if there really is a monster sleeping under my bed? Once you have the premise for your story, then what? My mind very often goes off on many and varied tangents when I daydream and when I write. Once I have that opening premise, I begin to write and I let the various tangents lead me down winding and crisscrossing paths until I have a complete, if somewhat messy, story. I let my stories develop organically, instead of rigidly sticking to an outline. I don’t always create an outline, and when I do, I rarely follow them outside of the major plot points. As you write your first draft, if your mind takes you on a tangent, follow it and see where it leads. I Read More

Why I Lack Self-Doubt

I have written about this before, but I seem to lack the sense of self-doubt–and occasionally borderline loathing–that many of my fellow writers’ experience. I’ve had some accuse me of either lying to myself or just outright lying. Some writers cannot fathom that any writer doesn’t experience any level of self-doubt in either their ability as a writer or in a piece that they have written. I know I’m not the only writer like this, but I do feel we are a small minority. I started to think about what makes me different from the vast majority of other writers, and I think I have a theory. Most writers need to share the stories they write with the world. They write as a means of seeking other’s approval, at least on some level. In which case, they write to please others and self-doubt can creep in when they worry that Read More

Including LGBT Characters

When I began writing my novel Artifact of the Dawn, I knew that my protagonists would ultimately end up in a romantic relationship together, although that journey for them is merely a subplot. I could have chosen for one of them to be female and have them be a heterosexual couple. However, I know there isn’t enough LGBT representation in mainstream fiction. My novel falls into the science fiction genre, and I wanted the fact that my protagonists are bisexual and gay just to be a part of who they are, without it having an impact on the overall story. Why LGBT Representation Matters While there is LGBT literature available to read, when looking specifically at mainstream fiction with LGBT characters (primary or secondary) the representation seems to be extremely low. I didn’t do an exhaustive search, but from the numbers I could find, it looks like there is less Read More

The Importance of Research

It makes sense that anyone writing a non-fiction work would do extensive research on the topic they are writing about. What not everyone may be aware of is the fact that even fiction writers have to do their fair share of research when working on a novel. The entire novel may be completely fictional and based entirely in the realm of fantasy, but that doesn’t negate the need to do research. Why Research is Important Even the most fantastical tale must have some believability to it. Otherwise, your readers will get pulled out of the story you are trying to immerse them in. If you solve every impossible nuance in a story by simply explaining it away with magic, then your readers will eventually be unable to suspend their disbelief. This is why many fantasy stories include limitations for magic users. Omnipotent characters are ultimately boring unless they have some flaw Read More