writing

Word or Page Count — How Do You Keep Track?

Ugh! I’m sorry this blog post is late. I’ve been on a reading and relaxing binge after I sent off my edits, so blogging apparently slipped my mind. lol

Whenever you go to a publisher’s submission pages, you see their guidelines in what the publisher is looking for. These almost always include word counts, and if you submit a story not within the certain word count, chances are great that they’ll reject it. This alone could make one stare at the word count meter on their word processor, but after a dose of National Novel Writing Month, the problem can lead to word count obsession.

But then, there are authors who go strictly by page count. Some focus more on that than word count, and they’re probably just as bad about having desires to reach their goals.

Someone else I knew said they write the story and then submit it based on the length it happens to turn out at. But is that realistic? How about after you’ve already gotten a book published, and you’re writing the sequel? I don’t think it’s that easy, especially if one is looking to get a novel published. I have to have a goal in front of me to reach for.

How do you handle juggling a good story and fitting it into the word count requirements for submission guidelines? Do you think writers should write the story and submit based on the length it happens to be? I look forward to your thoughts!

Author versus Writer…

I read a blog not too long ago on the wording of “aspiring writer,” and how it implies that someone is “aspiring to write” instead of actually being a “writer.” Writers write. That’s what we do. If you’re “aspiring to write,” you’re not a writer, right? Wow, that’s a mouthful.

Anyways, when it comes to distinguishing those who are published versus those who aren’t, what do you call those who haven’t reached that point yet? I think “aspiring author” might be a better term since I visualize the term “author” as being someone who has a career writing. Of course, people could say that “writer” and “author” are the same thing. Just a different word. Besides, when reading bios, you tend to see “author of X series available 2016.”

The simplest way to avoid issue would be to drop the word “aspiring,” which some writers/authors dislike that word anyways. There could just be “published” and “unpublished.” But when it comes down to it, I think it’s just a matter of personal preference. There isn’t going to be any one phrase that will make everyone happy, except perhaps “published author.”

What’s your opinion on the subject? How should writers be labeled? I hope you’re having a great Monday!

Weekly Wrap Up

So, it’s Friday, and today marks an entire week on my new blogging schedule. Woohoo! Go me!

This week has been more brainstorming on my current work-in-progress, a paranormal romance. I’m going to get back on track writing it this weekend. I’ve also been wait, wait, waiting on responses from the submissions I have out there. No! Those aren’t bloody stumps where my fingernails should be. *grins*

Anyways, I’d like to give a shout-out to Lisa Kessler for the amazing news she’s gotten this past week. She has a short story, Across the Veil, up for sale on Kindle and got word of book deal with Entangled Publishing yesterday! Woo!

So… Now to bare my soul on my current progress tally.

This WIP’s Word Count

2110 / 85000 words

I hope everyone has a great weekend! How has this week been for you?

A New Way to Plot… The Slow Simmer

(Repost from Castles & Guns)

First things first, this isn’t a blog about the fabulousness of plotting. Don’t worry, pantsers! I don’t plot all of my books. So I’m not really a plotter, but I don’t write by the seat of my pants every book either. Sometimes I do a rough outline of major plot points, and sometimes the book just flows from my head to my fingertips. I guess my style of creating is something in between. Plotser, perhaps.

Recently, as many of you probably know, I’ve been working on plotting a historical urban fantasy type novel. But I’ve been doing something different than I have with other projects I’ve worked on. Letting the ideas simmer and reveal themselves to me a little at a time has been quite an experience.  I love letting them brew in my mind and play over and over, trying to figure out just the right way the events should happen before making a note about the scenes. I’m really in no rush since I won’t be working on it until November 1st and the fun onslaught of National Novel Writing Month.

I decided to stir up ideas and think about who my characters are before the big move, which has now been completed. I’m now in the aftermaths effect of unpacking. Anyways, I browsed Holly Lisle’s website to reread one of her articles on plotting, and what I found very useful was her “Novel Pre-Writing Workshop: Asking the Right Questions.” I even decided to try out bubble mapping, which I’d never really done before, effectively at least.

Maybe some of what has helped me has just been the fact that I’m trying something new, but I guess that since I still have the rest of September and the entirety of October to figure out this novel (without burning myself out of it) that I can sit around and tinker with this new system to figure out a way to incorporate to what I usually do. That being said, when it comes to writing with me, “usually” is an abstract word. This way of preparing though makes me feel more at ease since my last few novels had their ideas thrown together at the last minute before I began writing them. Clear procrastination in action. Maybe I can kick my procrastination habit. Who knows?

So how do you prepare yourself before starting a new writing project? Do you have an outline? A vague idea?

The End!

Last night, I wrote The End on my cyberpunk romance novella. Woohoo! Afterward, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. I’m so excited about this story. I think it’s fun and definitely unique. I can’t wait for it to find a home! Now I’ll give it a day or two to cool down before hopping into edits. Eek!

But in the meantime, I’ll be able to return to edits on my post-apoc paranormal romance. It’s been going slowly due to the cyberpunk novella, but I’m just as excited about it too. Going over it, I’ve been surprised at how much I’m enjoying it. *sigh of relief* I just hope an agent and editor will agree!

Reading has been slow as well, but at least I’m doing some. I’ve never really juggled two projects like this before, so I guess it’s good practice for when I get contracted.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Busy, busy…

This month looks like it’s not letting up. I’m busy, busy, busy! But what better way to start a new year than that? What am I juggling? Writing (and then revising) a novella, revising a novel to share with my critique group, and being a good critique partner for my critique group (oh, and ya know, a good wife, healthy eater, etc., etc., etc). I think I’m really looking forward to February. lol!

But, I think I’ve done pretty well with the juggling so far. I’m nearly half-way through the novella; okay, I’ve only revised 1 chapter of my novel… pffft!; I’ve also participated with the critique group, so I’m not horrible there; and the good wife stuff… eh… I’m sure hubby would think so. =) But… no perverted thoughts, okay? *grin*

Anyways, just popping by to say hello and give an update! Now back to work for me.

So far, so good!

This year has started pretty well! I’m a decent way into the cyberpunk romance novella I’m writing (and loving), and well, I’ve started editing my post-apocalyptic paranormal romance novel. I know I need to buckle down with it if I want to get it edited by my hopeful due date. Also, my desk is somewhat clean, and I’ve already started figuring out what projects I’d like to accomplish throughout the rest of the year. Woo!

Pretty soon, I’ll be putting in an update with my webmistress so you’ll actually see new content on my website. What a shocker! lol That’s another good idea for this year, not leave my website so sad and not updated. I think that depends on the progress I make with getting published though. =)

Hope everyone else has had a great start of the year so far as well!

The Year in Review… and Looking forward to 2011

Happy New Year everyone!

Wow, I can’t believe that the year is almost over. So much has happened this year. I’ve made writer friends and critique buddies. Revised a few different WIPs. Read 26 books. Co-founded the awesome blog, Castles & Guns. And I wrote two books! I also finally delved fully into the world of querying agents. I’d queried in the past, but it hadn’t been anywhere close to the scale that I did in 2010. And okay, I haven’t found an agent yet, but I’m certain good things will be happening within the new year. So much awesome stuff has happened recently, things that have kind of been building blocks toward better and more.

Yes, years end brings optimism for a more successful upcoming year, but that’s great, especially when one acts and makes a plan to stick to what they want to accomplish in the new year. I’ve formed my New Years Resolutions more like goals and have tried to decide what I really want to achieve in the upcoming year. With my “goals list” for 2010, I wrote down quite a bit of stuff I didn’t get to. Maybe because I didn’t work as hard at the beginning of the year as I did at the end of it, but I also think I acted more like throwing in everything and the kitchen sink, and I decided later what I really wanted to pick out of it. The bad point is it’s easy to get overwhelmed and think I’m not getting much accomplished, even if I got a decent amount of stuff done.

Anyways, so what am I trying for in 2011? I’m going to read at least 24 books. I want to write and revise at least 3 novels, write and revise some novellas, query the novels and novellas that I write and revise, possibly attend a conference (I’m torn between it and a Caribbean family vacation cruise.), and keep up and get better with social networking.

So what are your goals?

So close to The End!

Yippie! I am so close to the end of my WIP, I can taste it. Okay, maybe not… but still. I have about two scenes I will be finishing today to wrap up the story. Anything I’d do beyond that would be icing on the cake. Also, hubby and I are nearing the end of our Christmas shopping, which we’ve been getting done in record timing! Awesome! 😀

Well, that’s about it for now. Maybe I’ll update this later in my delirious excitement of typing The End. =) Woo!

EDIT: Yes! I have typed THE END! Woo! Although, I have a feeling the revisions on this one is going to be intense. Eeek!

And an update!

So, as you might’ve seen I had a “revise and resubmit for novella” on my blog. I’ve completed that, and as I said in the previous blog, it lifted a weight off my chest to have that sent off. Writing with Nano is going well, too. I’m planning on doing about 10k words this weekend to get me ahead of my goal. Then I won’t have to worry about pushing out large numbers when Thanksgiving rolls around and family comes into town.

I’ve also gotten up to 21 books read this year (leaving only 4 more until I reach my goal of 25), which is pretty amazing for me. I have so many books, but it seems like finding time to read (or so I thought) was really hard. It isn’t. I just had to make the time, exactly the same concept as writing or editing. If you want to do something, you have to make the time.