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I’m not dead!

Hello, hello, new year!

I know, I know… I haven’t updated my blog in.. centuries. Forgive my literary hibernation, stuff happened. :(

Among those things –
-I transferred and started school again. Woots!
-I spent 4 months trying to write Redhaven #2
-Scrapped it
-Started again
-Said fuck it, pushed the plot from the original book #2 to #3
-Nano’d book #2 with a new plot.
-FINISHED BOOK 2. FUCK TO THE YES.
-Started edits and rewrites. Blurgh.
-I also started taking my health seriously and dropped 50 lbs in 5 months. (Go me!)

But yes! Things are going… slowly, but at least they’re going now. The changes and edits for Book #2 of the Redhaven Saga (tentatively called Blood Rites) are pretty much locked, so it’s just a matter of getting through the edits. Cover is underway, too, so expect some previews in the next months or so! (I say this with the utmost vagueness, because who the hell knows when it comes to book publishing. It’s done when it’s out, haha.)

But yes, book #2 is underway, fo’ realz this time. Vampires and demons and werebats, oh my!

I also did some compiling, and found out I have anywhere between 14-17 series/one-shot novel ideas in my little folder of scraps. That’s a ton of projects. I’m going to focus on Redhaven first, of course, but geez! I’m glad I write down my ideas… I’m sure my future self will thank me for it, but still. Most of the ideas are fantasy in some variety. Actually, I think all of them are, but still. They range from high-fantasy to post-apocalypse to… well, other stuff. I’ve been thinking perhaps I could alternate and work on a few things here and there at the same time, but I don’t want to spread myself too thin. Still, it would be nice to take a break from witches and werebats and venture into apocalyptic shenanigans. Could be fun, no? We’ll see… Really want to polish up Blood Rites and get it out. If I wrote the first book in a month, surely I can get the second out in two. (…I actually wrote book 2 in a month too, but… you know what I mean.)

I’m sure there’s other things I could update about, but this is good for now. Just wanted to let the interbutts know I haven’t died or anything. I just took a writing hibernation.

 

<3 :D

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84 Twitter Tags for Writers

Twitter is kind of scary! There’s only about a berjillion hashtags, so it’s sometimes hard to know which to use. Some are obvious (#writer), but some are a little abstract. I did a little digging, and came up with a list of about 84 twitter tags common in the writing and indie writer communities. A lot of this comes from other lists, (specifically from Nadine’s blog) but I squished ’em all together in a list. Here we go!

 

 General Writer Tags

 

Indie

 

Genre

I have a cover!

Siren Snow_draft_08small

Vlog #5

 

Me rambling (I tend to do that I’ve noticed :I ) about new year, my goals, and reaching half completion with my book.

 

Happy New (Writing) Year!

Well, 2012 is almost over, and we’re all alive and un-apocalypsed, so woot!

I know a lot of people do the whole ‘new years resolution’ thing, but I’ve got several. It’s really more of a to-do list than anything, but still. New year, new goals, maybe even a new life!

I’ve said it in various places, but I’ll reiterate just for the sake of mashing it into my brain. (I have this notion if I repeat it to myself a million times, it’ll happen… something about psychology, but yeah.)

I want to write for a living. I want to be a ‘stay-at-home’ writer. I want my stuff to support me, so I can write full time. Mostly, I just want to share my stories with people who might like them. I want people to know my characters as intimately as I do, and I’ve always longed for that moment when someone I don’t know gushes about something I’ve written. That’ll be a cool moment.

So! My goal this year is to, at the absolute minimum, get book #1 of the Redhaven series out. I have about 80 berjillion ideas for other books, but I’m going to focus on this one first. It appears, from very early planning, that the Redhaven series will be around 7 to 8 books. Maybe 9 including the finale. I dunno. Somewhere there abouts.

Now, getting one book out a year is uncomfortable for me. Ideally, I’d like somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-6. (Which, if I sat here every waking spare moment, I could probably get the whole series out in a year, but then my fiance would be a stranger and my kitty-children wouldnt know me anymore, lol.) So, baring total soul-consumption-paced writing, I’m shooting for 4. 3 months a book seems… just about right. That way, the whole series can be done in around 2 years, and hopefully by THEN I’ll have enough of a people-base to do some other projects.

For the moment I’m staying focused on #1 though. Baby steps, Tori, baby steps.

The second thing on my list is to start an excercise/diet routine, but I make that one every year, and it only kinda works. Maybe I’m content with my fluff. This is going to be a year of kicking myself in the butt and making myself do stuff, so hopefully my determination to write will bleed over into my determination of un-fluff myself.

 

We’ll see! Happy New Year!

 

(I am going to get so drunk tonight. I love you guys.)

6 Things I’ve Learned as a New Writer

At the beginning….

 

I haven’t written in large volume, consistently, for a very long time. I’m just starting out, actually. I’m writing my very first novel. But like with some new adventures, there are things you learn right off the bat; things that become glaringly obvious in the first few steps. Don’t stick your arm out of the shark cage. Fasten your seat belt on a roller coaster. (Seriously). Make sure the car is in reverse if you want to go in reverse. (Don’t ask.)

I’ve turned a new chapter in my life, and I’m pursuing a writing career. Whether I make it or not is still up in the hair, but with a lot of hard work, I think I’ll get there. I’ve only been at this for a short while, but I’ve already learned some key things.

 

Take it with a grain of salt, as this is just my personal experience, but here’s 6 things I’ve learned as a new writer:

 

  1. Outlines change. – Even if you don’t outline, things change. Even if your plot is ironed out in your head, it’ll probably still change. That cool plot you thought you had? It will totally shift and change and become practically unrecognizable toward the end. New ideas will sprout as you write, and it’s okay to change stuff. Keep a record, and/or write down your ideas. Play mix and match. Find out what you like and what you don’t. Everything can be changed. (Well, most things can be changed… the important stuff kinda has to stick.) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed chapter 7. If you’ve spoken with me in the last week or so, you know how much I hate chapter 7.
  2. Listen to your characters – They, at some point, WILL speak to you. It may sound a little creepy, but they will – you’re basically playing god with people you’ve created. You know their inner most thoughts and motivations, and you hold their destiny in your hands. Listen to them! If someone or something seems off, re-write it. Get in their heads, and theirs shoes, and let them write themselves. Do some character exploration if you have to.
  3. There will be days you’ll hate writing – I call these ‘burn out days’. It’s okay to take a break once in a while, but be careful that a break doesn’t become infinite. Clear your mind if you’re getting frustrated, but always come back and write some more. Some days that’ll be really hard. Some days it won’t. Keep going, no matter what.
  4. If you’re doing this as a potential career, treat it as such – Set a schedule; you have no idea how much they’ve helped me. Go ‘to work’ at no later than x time, and schedule breaks and a lunch. Decide when you want to be done for the day. If you don’t get a whole day off very often, give yourself ‘split shifts’. Basically, carve out a set time to write, and stick to it. If you don’t ‘show up for work’, your book will ‘fire you’. For me, I usually get up sometime between when my fiance leaves for work (6:30am) and when it’s too late for me and I feel guilty about sleeping in (9am). It’s not a concrete wake up time, but I ‘get into work’ no later than 9:30 no matter what. I write until noon, and then break for lunch. Then I write until 4pm when my fiance comes home. Sometimes I write into the evening, but I like to spend time with my loved ones, so I don’t feel quite that guilty. Just do whatever works best for you, but again, keep going, no matter what.
  5. Having a writing buddy is INVALUABLE – This is just my opinion, and it may not work for everyone, but I absolutely ADORE having someone to pick at ideas with. My best friend Maegan is also writing her book, and we spend more time than we probably should on Skype, tossing ideas back and forth, and helping each other when we get stuck. My fiance Kevin is also a valuable ally as I tackle the monster named ‘Novelzilla’. He’s my muse. Find your muse! Find someone who’s creative brain inspires you. Check out the author’s section of Kindleboards. Maybe a professor? If you’re stuck on something pitch some ideas to them as a reader; see how they react. One or two extra brains are nifty.
  6. Never, EVER even THINK about giving up – At some point, and I can attest to this, you’ll have the ‘big moment of self doubt’. You might have more than one. You’re entire process might be riddled with them. You might even go straight to publishing with one. These moments of doubt are basically just moments when you beat yourself up. You think your writing isn’t good enough, or your idea is stupid and no one would ever want to read it. You think, well, if I suck so bad, maybe I should just quit. DON’T. DON’T. NO. STOP IT. DON’T MAKE ME SMACK YOU. If you love writing, even on the worst days, and it’s all you want to do, persue that bitch! Write like there’s no tomorrow! Write like you mean it! Write because it’s inside you and you want to get it out! Don’t stop writing, if it’s something you genuinely enjoy. You have the next big thing in there somewhere. You won’t know until you try.

 

This might change in the future. I’m still at the beginning of things. I’m still new! This is just what I’ve taken away from my experiences so far. This is whats working for me. I’m not claiming to have all the answers and suddenly be some writing guru, but this is just what I know so far.

 

Take with a grain of salt. Hopefully, that grain of salt is on a margarita glass sitting on a coaster next to your laptop as you clickity clack away on your book. That’s where mine was, anyway.

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