writing

Creating a New Story: Part 1

Cinderella Cover3I have a million story ideas in my head and I want to write them all. The problem is, there are only so many hours in a day and I have to do things like sleep occasionally. Instead of waiting to start a brand new story until I finish editing my other finished works, I decided I’d reward myself with time to write new words on the side. I created a brand new story on Wattpad that I will be adding to exclusively there. Unlike Rose Circus, this story hasn’t been written yet. You will be seeing a true first draft in all it’s imperfect glory. Curious what my process is like? This is your chance to follow along as I create something new. I’ll post a new scene or chapter 2-3 times per week and will work on creating a regular posting schedule as the story evolves. This is a fun story that I wanted to play around with and I’m excited to get it out there. It gives me a break from my other work (including editing).

I have found that there are people who are interested in the process an author takes when creating a work. While every author is different, I thought it would be fun to share with you how I do things. I will post updates on that as I work on this story.

Process Update 1: All of my works usually start with a simple idea or a what-if. I LOVE fairy tales and I love when they are adapted in new, fun ways. I have also read my share of Vampire books and come from the school of thought that Vampires are supposed to be scary. But this story was actually triggered by the picture of the girl in the mask. When I saw that picture, I thought it would make a great cover for a Cinderella story. So I added it to my stock photo list and figured I’d go back to it when I had a better idea for it. A few days later, the image was still nagging at me and I went back to look at it. I started to think about how Cinderella could be modernized. Why would she put up with the mental and emotional abuse of an evil stepmother? Then, the wheels started turning and the idea came together. So I made a quick cover and wrote a description for Wattpad.

Story Description: After a tragic accident costs Ella’s father his life, she spends the next ten years living under the rules of her terrible stepmother. Forced to do the housework and living in the damp basement of her family’s home, Ella can’t wait for the day she turns 18 so she can leave it all behind. Everything changes when she discovers her father’s secret study and her family’s past. That’s when she realizes, her father’s death wasn’t an accident, he was killed by the very thing he hunted: Vampires. Now, Ella wants revenge against her father’s killer. Drawn into a world of magic, wealth, and superstition, Ella learns that the world wasn’t what she thought it was. The deeper she gets, the more dangerous it becomes. Can Ella learn how to fight against the creatures her father gave his life to hunt? Or will she become the hunted?

Usually, I outline stories before I write them. This time, I am starting with just the description. I’ll keep you posted as to where I go next!

Click here to find me on Wattpad and follow along!

520,000 Words for 2017

2017

Happy New Year!

A new year is a good time to evaluate your current goals and set new ones. I tend to think of the year as beginning in August since I am a teacher, but I’m a big fan of goal setting so when it comes to setting goals for 2017, I’m in.

So welcome, 2017, it’s going to be an amazing year! This year, my focus is on my writing. Last year, I took the leap and started telling people that I was spending free time working on writing projects. I’d kept that a secret for years, afraid that I wasn’t good enough. That I wasn’t a “real” writer. By sharing what I was doing with my family and friends, I started to view myself as a writer. I joined a critique group in April and started sharing what I wrote with strangers. Those strangers are now my friends and they have supported me through finishing two manuscripts. As somebody with a hard drive full of abandoned work, that was a huge accomplishment.

This year is going to be an even more amazing writing year for me. I am publishing my first book in a few weeks and working on a third manuscript. By the end of the school year, I will have the first three books in my first series written – and published.

To help reach all of my goals this year, I set deadlines for myself. As an indie author, I don’t have deadlines unless I create them. To accomplish what I want to, I need deadlines. I printed out blank calendars (Google Calendars are pretty great) and spread them out on a table. I then added deadlines for first, second, and third drafts for the books I plan to write in the next six months. I even added in when I’ll need to schedule in my editor. She’ll be getting an e-mail from me this week to set up the dates. That gives me an extra push on my deadlines as she’ll be expecting me. My covers are already booked with my designer. So it’s all on me now to write the words.

With a full time job and a family, it is a challenge to find time for everything. Something has to give. For me, it’s TV and long distance runs. I intend to get back into running but I won’t train for anything longer than a 10k. I just don’t have the time.

So where do the half-million words come in? To accomplish everything on my list, I have to write. A lot. I’ve set a goal of writing a minimum of 10,000 words each week. On good weeks, I hope to hit closer to 15,000 words. The 10,000 mark is the “you can’t go to sleep until you reach that word count” goal. That is about 5-6 hours of writing time per week – I can do that.  I encourage you to set a goal that is just a little out of reach. Something that feels attainable but pushes you outside your comfort zone to reach it.

And, here’s where I apologize in advance to my husband. I foresee a lot of evenings where I’m attached to my keyboard ahead this year. Thank goodness he’s a fan of my work. Find what works for you and make it happen. Happy 2017!

Do you have writing related goals for 2017? I’d love to hear them!