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The First Draft of Grisamore is Done!

On August 4th, I officially typed up the last chapter of Grisamore. And then promptly poured a glass of wine to celebrate.

I ended up with somewhere around 51,000 words, and a plan for the first round of revisions. Right now, it’s set aside while I get started on outlining the next novel (and getting ready for another semester of school), but I’ll be printing the whole thing out and attacking it with a red pen starting on October 1st.

Remind me to buy another black ink cartridge before then. And maybe some paper.

Now that I’ve finished with the first draft, it’s a little easier to read similar titles and make comparisons. Grisamore is still very much a skeleton of the final piece. I know where I want it to be, and I know where I have to go next. In October, I’m going to focus on adding a bit more to the plot and making basic corrections. Then, I’m setting it down again until after Christmas (making time for NaNoWriMo and the last month of school). In January, I start the historical work. That’s going to be the challenge.

There are historical novels that really draw readers into the past. Outlander comes to mind (Has anyone else watched the show on Starz?). I read the first novel a few years ago, and then read it again a few weeks ago, in preparation for the series premiere. I’m currently working my way through the second book in the series. Diana Gabaldon did her work. The novels are rich in historical detail, and there aren’t any annoying information dumps. I’m taking notes as I read. There’s a lot of inspiration in Gabaldon’s work.

In the mean time, I am playing around with a few different outlines. I’m trying put together my research and outline for my NaNoWriMo novel, a pirate tale. I’m also playing around with a kidlit idea. My girls are both fascinated by my pirate research, but I couldn’t find many middle grade novels (or books for younger kids) about young girls as pirates. I found a couple, and I know there’s more out there that I’m not finding (and probably some really good ones, too), but I’m putting a little bit of work into a short kids novel about a girl who runs away and accidentally finds herself on a pirate ship. The novel probably won’t ever be more than just something for my kids to enjoy, but it’s something to write a bit more on every day. I can’t put it down and walk away; the girls expect new material every night, and I’d hate to disappoint them.

It’s also turning into a really fun project. I’m enjoying it more than the girls are.

School starts again in another week, so I’m trying to spend more time reading (and away from the computer), and that means that I don’t get much writing in until late in the evening. At the moment, it’s my bribe to keep the children laying quietly in bed at night; if they interrupt me, there’s less story for them to enjoy the next night. It’s surprisingly effective. ;)

With Grisamore out of the way, I can also spend a bit more time preparing Compose Creatives for launch. Keep checking back; new information is coming soon!


Compose Creatives: A Soft Introduction

Compose Creatives

What do you get when you ask 20,000+ writers for input on which services would be most useful to them?

Actually, in a quick-moving Facebook group, when posting late at night, not a lot of people see your status.  But there will be a handful that respond, and I spent two hours in late February hearing their ideas, asking for clarification, and taking notes. And what came from that discussion is Compose Creatives.

A little background: as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a marketing major. This last semester, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take a course in arts entrepreneurship. Basically, the course focused on the business side of being an artist, something that I’d never given much thought to. The course turned out to be not only a lot of fun, but also very enlightening. I learned how to take everything I know about business and apply it to an artistic endeavor, and a big part of that was our main term assignment to create a business plan for an arts-based business.

When I first signed up for this course, it was because I wanted to push myself into taking my writing more seriously. It’s always been a hobby, but I was ready to turn it into a side career or at least a hobby that paid for itself. Everyone else in the course had these big, amazing plans for their art-based businesses, and I just wanted to sell a few books. I still want to do that,  but I started looking into business ideas that I could do, as a writer, to get more involved in the indie writing world. I had a couple ideas, but nothing concrete, and nothing that would really add to the community. In short, I was lost and completely without direction.

Skip forward a couple months. I sat down one evening to start planning out my project, and drew a blank.  So, being a modern woman with modern conveniences, I did what everyone else does when stuck for ideas: I got on Facebook and asked the members of my favorite writing community (much love to my fellow NaNoWriMo writers!).  [click to continue…]


Looking Towards Life After Grisamore

By the time the clock strikes midnight on July 30th, I’ll be finished with the first draft of Grisamore. I am currently sitting at 23,648. My goal is to cross 25,000 by the end of tonight, and 55,000 by the end of June. And then, it’s Camp NaNoWriMo and a month of crazy writing, with a goal of 100,000 by the end.

And then I’m going to set it aside for a couple of months, and start planning out a urban fantasy series that has been rattling around in the back of my head for a couple years. There are five books to plot out, with the possibility of expansion past that. My goal is to be ready to write by the time NaNoWriMo rolls around in November.

In anticipation of this, I took some time today to move some of my old Liquid Story Binder work on this series over to Scrivener. I love LSB, but Scrivener will let me work on all five stories simultaneously. I won’t be writing them all at the same time, but for plotting and planning, that ability is essential.

Writing a series is kind of my biggest writing nightmare. There is so much to keep track of! You need to know how it’s all going to go before you start writing. Yes, things will change later on as you keep writing, of course they will, and then you have to change your overall story to adjust for that change.

I mentioned a few sentences ago that I’m using Scrivener for this project. I’m also using a great template designed to match up with Structuring Your Novel by KM Weiland. KM’s book is a phenominal tool for taking a novel from vague idea to solid outline. I can’t recommend it enough. The template was designed by another writer, and KM was gracious enough to share it on her own site. If you use Scrivener, and want a better way to organize your novel and notes, this template is it.


Scrivener Template for Structuring Your Novel by KM Weiland

Scrivener Template for Structuring Your Novel by KM Weiland

You can’t see it very well there (sorry!), but those are the pages she has just for the outline, which is only part of the package. Seriously, this is an enormous pack of files. And while you’re at it, you should pick up a copy of the book the template was based on. You’ll thank me for it, I promise.

Today, I am writing. Based on the outline, I am about halfway through, but I accidentally left out a few scenes, and I know that I have to go through and add more to a lot of places. When I write, I tend to get down the ideas, and then expand on them a bit later. I’ll probably be spending most of July filling out the chapters I’ve already written. A bit of pre-editing editing, if you will. By the end of the novel, I have a better idea of who my characters are and what they’re working towards. It makes it a lot easier to go back after that and add in anything I missed.

I  love Grisamore. I love the characters, I love the story, and I love the nights I have free to immerse myself into that world. I’m considering a possible sequel, or maybe turning it into a three-part series, if it does well. Grisamore is about the location as much as it is about the characters in this book, and I’d be thrilled to get to explore the past (and maybe future) of this home in more detail. Many stories have unfolded within those walls.

And now, it’s back to writing. Because deadlines. Midnight (and my 25,000 word deadline) is less than eight hours away, and I get easily distracted. Catch you all later!