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


Moving Forward

I stepped away from my writing for a short while after I received the news of my editor’s passing. It happened right before the two-year anniversary of my late husband’s passing so I needed to take some time to myself. I’m now ready to move forward. My query letter has been revised extensively, and I plan to begin sending queries to literary agencies. I’m hopeful that with all the changes I’ve made to both my query letter and my manuscript, that I’ll catch some agency’s eye this time around. In the meanwhile, I still have the second novel to finish writing and editing. That being said, I will try to blog more regularly, but I make no guarantees. When I get into writing mode, I often lose track of time.


Artifact of the Dawn – Novel Progress

I will admit, I am not the best at keeping my blogs regularly updated. I’d much rather write my novels than write blog posts. To that end, I thought I could combine the two today and just give an update on the progress of my first novel, Artifact of the Dawn. That is the first novel in my Artifacts of Truth series. I handed my latest revisions to my beta readers just before November last year, so they could make sure I didn’t introduce any new inconsistencies into the story, along with making sure all of my changes made sense (I made extensive changes to the manuscript at that point). When I completed NaNoWriMo, and most of the second novel in the series (Artifact of the Forgotten – title may change), I took time to review all the feedback from my beta readers. That led me to make some additional 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


Tips for a Successful NaNoWriMo

You’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo. You have your plot outlined and your character and worldbuilding planned. You feel completely ready and prepared for NaNoWriMo and complete the first rough draft of your novel. Many people who participate in NaNoWriMo think they are prepared, but many never complete the challenge. In fact, only an average of 15.6% of NaNoWriMo participants from 2006-2015 ever complete the challenge and surpass 50,000 words written for the month. Understandably, life can often get in the way and unexpected events arise. Regardless of the reason, I know more of you can succeed, so I want to share some tips that helped me win NaNoWriMo two years in a row now. Plan Your Time Besides planning your novel, many people forget to also plan their schedule around NaNoWriMo. Try to set aside some time every day to write. We all live busy lives, but try and find 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

No self-doubt, love your writing

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

Fake word on wooden stamp

You’re Not a Real Writer if…

As I interact with others in the writing community, I keep seeing the sentiment that someone is “not a real writer if…” What follows that seems to be a never-ending list of criteria to being a “real writer.” As if the act of actually writing itself is not adequate enough to be a writer. Here is a small sample of some of the things I’ve seen people claim you must be or do in order to be a “real writer.” Doubt yourself and/or your work, sometimes to the level of complete loathing. Develop detailed outlines or plans before you ever begin to write. Only use a pen and paper (or typewriter) instead of these newfangled gadgets. Have conversations with the characters you create. Never edit your own work, instead spend thousands to hire a professional editor. Never, ever like anything you’ve ever written. I could go on, but I think you Read More

Men Holding Hands

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