Words are Power

We’ve all heard it before that words carry power with them. They can tear someone down or they can build someone up. Words can destroy someone. They can also encourage someone. Words are powerful and should be respected both in the written form and the spoken form.

When writing a fictional piece, whether it’s poetry, a short story, or a novel, words create images in the reader’s mind. They bring both the world and the characters to life. For me, when reading (or writing) a movie plays through my mind. Imagination is a wonderful thing and sparked by, you guessed it, words. If there is magic in this world, I say it is in the power of words.

And now that I’ve mentioned the word word so often, it seems like a strange word…


Writing Update

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve done one of these. The original goal was to do a weekly update on our progress. Whereas that is a good goal to maintain, sometimes, for whatever reason, it’s a bit difficult to do so. And sometimes, we don’t make much progress in a week.

It seems that progress on book 2 in the Magna Luctus series has ground to a halt. I’m not sure why. I guess I’ll have to ask the hubby as he’s the main on this series. Maybe I can get it going again by adding to what he already has and making suggestions on where it should go. Though, it does seem like he’s been working on something else. Something he hasn’t told me about yet. Hmmm…. It seems like we need to catch each other up on some things.

As for the Ordinaries series, I have started book 4. This book is going slower than the other 3, mainly because I have Strep and have been miserable and also focused on getting better. I am about 18k into the book though. I refuse to allow illness to make me stop working on a series that I’ve fallen absolutely in love with.

The last book in the Hartland series called New Beginnings has come back from the beta readers and they loved it. It was mentioned that the ending is powerful. We’re looking on editing it a few more times to address a couple issues brought up by the amazing beta readers. We’re looking on a release date for this book March 23rd.

Well, now that I’ve written the post and schedule tweets for all of next month (such a drag at times), I am ready to take a nap and then dive back into book 4 of the Ordinaries series.

Inspiration and Its Wild Ride

I don’t know how I’ve done it, but in less than 2 months I’ve finished two novels and am already partway through the third novel, a little over 22k. When inspiration hit, I decided to push forward and see how much I could get done. Editing the first drafts of these books and polishing them can come after I’ve gotten the story out of my system. (I almost regret pausing to write this out. Almost.)

It is probably what I should have done with the Hartland series. I paused to edit and polish each book, when I really should have just finished the story while the ideas were flowing. By pausing, some of the ideas kind of fluttered away, leaving me stuck in places that shouldn’t have been so difficult to write. But because I lost the inspiration for the story, they were extremely difficult. Eventually, I found it again, but not after months and months of struggling to write a few words.

Because of the learning lesson I had with the Hartland series, it’s the way I have decided to start writing. Finish the story. Let inspiration take you on its wild ride.

Size Doesn’t Matter. Or Does it?

There are authors out there who can write amazing short stories. With only a few words they can paint a canvas and give their readers a peek into a new and exciting world.

I tend to become too attached to my characters or worlds to do short stories. Each time I’ve tried it has ended badly. Well, not badly, more like it ended with me scrapping the idea so I could use it later in a full length story and most likely use the characters in a different story.

The same thing can happen with a story which is novel length. You get a great idea, you pound out 60,000 or more words and end it. Then you realize that your characters or world have more to say. Soon, one novel turns into 3 or 4 or even 5. What started out as an idea for a short story has become an epic series where you’re not even sure if 5 full length novels are enough to hold everything you want to say.

Words have a strange way of multiplying.

The Trouble with Originality

The drive to be original is a noble goal. But it is not something a writer should let become a roadblock. I’ve noticed this about myself with a few of my stories. They’ll start out like normal. I come up with an idea I think is awesome at the time. I type out some of the important aspects of the characters, the world or the plot. Then I begin typing it out.

The roadblock comes when I take a step back and look at what I’ve written. I begin to wonder if people will hate it because it’s too much like this story, or because it’s a bit like that movie, or because the plot is similar to some TV show 30 years ago.

Self doubt is a huge thing for writers and is a constant struggle to overcome. Plagiarism is a serious issue, but let’s face it, nothing is original in this age. I’m willing to bet that every story written in the last 20 years is similar in at least 10 aspects to something written before it.

The key is the same as with anything that keeps you from writing: Power through it and just keep writing. Don’t let it bother you that you’ve found another’s work inspirational or influential. That’s what they’re supposed to do.

Writing Update

So last week, I skipped the writing update post I’ve been trying to make every week. There’s no real reason why I skipped it, other than that I didn’t want to do it, so I didn’t. How’s that for some honesty?

Anyway, on book 1 in the Ordinaries series, I am at 46k and am still going strong on the rewrite into first person. Writing in first person is still a little weird. This is the first novel where I’ve done it. I’ve read plenty of novels done in first person, but had never attempted to write one. I must say I’m having fun writing this novel for two reasons: 1.) It’s something I haven’t done before, so it’s a bit challenging, and 2.) I am loving the story and characters.

The final book in the Hartland Series: New Beginnings came back from the Alpha reader with a huge thumbs up. Here I was worried that it’d fall short from the other books in the series that came so easily for me. This one was a major pain in the ass to write! Yet, it seems at least one person likes it. They even liked the way I ended it. Now, I have to do another quick edit and send it out to the beta readers. Hopefully, I’ll hear some more good news from them.

Book 2 in the Magna Luctus series is coming along slowly. We only added an additional 1k to the word count. It’ll eventually get done. It seems this book is being as difficult to write as the final book in the Hartland series. I’m still pleased that we’re making progress on it though. Not all books come easily.

I hope everyone has a fantastic and productive week!

Challenge Your Writing

One of the best things that I’ve ever done for my writing is write the Hartland series. Those books challenged the way I wrote. Typically, I like to write with standard chapters. In this series, the chapters transferred from a number of characters. There were no actual chapters in the books. Instead, the story was told in parts through characters and the reader had to piece things together as they went along. These books were definitely something I had never written before. For those who have read it and enjoyed the story and the unique way it was told, I appreciate all the lovely comments. If nothing else, the Hartland series helped me grow as a writer.

And now, I’ve taken on another challenge with the Ordinaries series I’m currently working on. I don’t write in the first person. Normally, I don’t like to read it either but recently I stumbled across the fact that this story works better in first person. I wrote more than half the book in third only to realize this. So, as I’m going back through and changing things, I actually feel more connected to the main character now. I was having a hard time with Catherine Winters. I guess it was her trying to tell me that I was doing the story wrong. As an obstinate, know-it-all writer, I simply wasn’t listening. And, as I’ve been reworking it, I figured out how I’m going to end the story and what the next several parts are going to be. I was definitely stuck on the plot after I’d gotten almost 40k into it. The story wasn’t feeling the way it should have, which was what made me stop writing on it temporarily. Incidentally, it’s also what got me to finish the edit for the last book in the Hartland series. That was something I wasn’t looking forward to. It turned out it wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be.

I write this to reiterate what most writers already know. Writing a challenging piece is actually a good thing and helps us grow as writers. So to all those pieces of work that we dread writing because it’s difficult or because it’s something new we haven’t tried before, do it. Trust me, the personal growth you obtain from it is worth it.