Category Archives: Just Chatting

I’m Back!

Well, hello there Epic Dreamers. I’ve missed you all. I’ve missed this blog and writing posts.

I didn’t really mean to take a break from blogging. It just sort of happened after so many times of sitting down to write a post and realizing I had nothing to say. Eventually, I stopped thinking about it and the next thing I know, it has been months since I’ve been on here.

I’ve enjoyed the break after seven years (how has it already been that long?!) of blogging, but lately I’ve been thinking how I miss the writing community here and feeling an internal nudge to start writing again.

I’m here now to announce that I am officially back from my unofficial sabbatical. πŸ™‚

I’m planning on keeping the content the same: a mix of writing tips and short stories. So it’s back to the good ol’ Invisible World you know and love! I’ll be giving you different ways to outline your novel next week in honor of preptober (prepping your novel for November’s NaNoWriMo) and I also have a short story coming up after that (I’ve missed writing short stories).

Hopefully Indivisible World hasn’t been shoved down WordPress’s algorithm tunnels so far that all my readers are washed away. πŸ˜€

Let me know if you’re still here with a comment, if you would be so kind. And if anyone has any suggestions for future posts, I would be glad to hear them.

I look forward to chatting with you all again!

 

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The Most Important Thing You are Missing as an Author

Hey Epic Dreamers!

Do you ever feel like you are missing something in your writing journey? You have great ideas, you’ve studied the craft, you’ve put in the writing time, or maybe you’ve even published a book. But for some reason you still don’t feel like a real writer.

I saw an interview with Rachel Hollis the other day that made me realize there was a part of this being an author thing that I was missing that wasn’tΒ the prose, the plot, or the characters. While studying the craft and knowing how to flawlessly weave these elements into a story is important, there is another element that is crucial to whether we will achieve our writing goals.

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That element is theΒ mindset of the author.Β  Whether our dream is to be a best-selling author or to indie publish a collection of short stories, our success in achieving those goals is determined by our mindset. Our mindset is also what can hold us back from success, even if it is our most sought after goal.

Authors (or maybe just creative types in general) have a tendency to downplay their achievements and dreams. I know I do!

We may downplay our actual goals for our writing, telling family members or friends that it is “just something I play around with” because, we are afraid that they will judge us. We are afraid they will think we are arrogant for thinking that our writing is, or could ever be, that good or that they will laugh at us for taking a career in writing seriously.

As Rachel Hollis said, “None of us can step forward into who we are called to be because we are too worried about what [others] think of us.”Β 

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What she said in her interview made me realize that there was no shame in having a dream, no matter how big it is.Β 

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If you’ve struggled with taking your writing goals seriously or struggled with sharing you dreams of being an author with others, then take a moment to give yourself permission to dream. If you are feeling stuck with your writing it may not be because you haven’t read enough books on writing or because your plot isn’t exciting enough. It may simply be because you’ve hidden away the author side of you so much that it doesn’t dare to come out, even for you.

If you have a dream, don’t waste time being ashamed of it.Β  πŸ™‚

“I do not care what other people think of me for having dreams and goals for myself.” –Rachel Hollis

***I’ve started a monthly newsletter where I share videos that inspire me as a writer (ones like the interview with Rachel Hollis).Β They are short and to the point and only once a month, so I’m not spamming you to death. πŸ˜›

Saving the Cat Saved My Story

Hey Epic Dreamers!

Has it really been two months since I’ve posted? Yikes! I should be fired.

I’ve been in a bit of a writing rut for the last month or so. Maybe it’s the cold weather or the COVID craziness or simply because I’ve been working on the same story for roughly a year and not feeling like I’ve gotten anywhere with it, but I just can’t drudge up the energy to write (on the story or here).

Then I really had an “all is lost” moment when I received feedback on my WIP from my alpha reader and was attempting to use her suggestions to fix my story when began to notice even more in the story that needed fixing. I realized that it was such a mess that I wasn’t even sure it was worth salvaging and was seriously considering tossing it aside and moving on to something else.

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At the same time I had this dark revelation, a book I had ordered from the library, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, happened to arrive. I decided to push thoughts of my broken story out of my head and spend some time learning about the craft.

When I got to the section on the 15 beat story structure, everything began to click into place. I suddenly understood why things weren’t working in my story and, most importantly, how to fix them.

It wasn’t that the overall idea of the story was bad. It was simply that I didn’t have the right tool to transform the story into what it needed to be.Β  I felt like a builder hopelessly staring at a bunch ofΒ  scattered boards and nails, unsure of what to do until someone placed a hammer in my hand.

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After learning this way of plotting, I have made the painful decision to scrap my manuscript and completelyΒ  rewrite it.Β  I am going back to “ground zero” and going through the brainstorming/plotting stage with it and looking at it as if it were a completely new story that just happens to have the same characters and overall idea.

It was emotionally draining to realize that three drafts and months of work had to be scrapped, but it was also energizing to have found a way of plotting that finally clicked, jelled with me, synergized with my way of thinking about a story.

I bought a huge cork board and am covering it with index cards that represent each scene just as Snyder suggested. It’s been a lot of fun and I am actually excited about my story again and can see how the choices I’m making with the plot now will make it a much better story.

So, I guess I said all that to say, that’s my excuse for not posting in a while. πŸ˜‰

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I hope you all have been doing well, and I’d love to know how your writing projects are going (hopefully better than mine).

Also, I am starting a monthly newsletter where I will share fun, inciteful writing videos. Join us to get this month’s letter which will have a breakdown of the 15 beat story structure using Interstellar as an example.Β 

I’ll be sending it tomorrow!

 

To Do or Not to Do NaNoWriMo?

Hey Epic Dreamers!
This is the first year in 6 that I’m not doing NaNoWriMo. Β It’s become such a big part of my life that I’m emotional about not being able to participate this year.
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But as much as I would like to, my writing cycle doesn’t align with NaNo this year like it has in previous years. Usually I would time it so that I was ready to write a first draft of a story every November, but The Blood Debt is taking longer to get through than I thought and I don’t even have an idea for a new story (well I have a ton jotted down in a folder, but none cultivated enough to start a first draft of).
I wouldn’t have the time to work on edits and write 50,000 words on a new project as well anyway.
So, it looks like NaNo will have to be be skipped this year.
Even though I’m skipping this year for a good cause (editing my WIP) I still feel a bit like I’m giving up, quitting, missing out…
This will be the first time is 6 years that I won’t feel the satisfaction of adding yet another year to my winning streak and that irks me way more than it should.
I’ll just have to focus on the fact that NaNo is a tool to help authors start and finish books. It’s a means to an end. It isn’t completing NaNo that really counts but completing a manuscript….but oh how I will miss adding anotherΒ  “finished” novel to my profile. πŸ˜‰
How many of you are doing NaNoWriMo this year? (It’s okay…go ahead and rub it in.)

Join me for tons more fun, writing tips, and a glimpse into the daily life of a writer!

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How’s Quarantine Life?

How is everyone doing out there? Staying sane? Doing lots of baking and reading and home improvements to keep busy?

It’s strange that with all the extra time on my hands, this is the first blog post I’ve written in the month and a half since things really got crazy with COVID-19. I’m not sure why I haven’t posted before now. It might be a combination of finding other things to do and being at a lost for how to address something this drastic.

I really have no topic for today’s post other than to check in and see how everyone is doing.

I’ve been really lucky and haven’t been affected in a drastic way. I mean, yes, the places I can go have been limited to the grocery store and my apartment complex’s parking lot, but I don’t count that as drastic in light of how many people have lost their jobs, their businesses, or even their life.

I haven’t lost any loved ones and my husband still has his job, so all things considered, I’m doing really well.

I’ve been keeping busy cooking recipes off Pinterest, working on my next novel, and last week I even did a bit of drawing.

Of course there are downsides to being pretty much confined to a 600-square-foot apartment but since complaints about staying home are already all over the internet, I’ll spare you those and tell you what I do like about quarantine.

Of course there’s the obvious. More time at home means more time to read and write. (Any good book recommendations?)

I’m also enjoying not having to rush through dinner. There’s no where to rush off to, no commitments I don’t want to be late for. I can enjoy the food I’ve made and not have to feel stressed or annoyed by all the dishes and clean up that is left for when I get back from where ever we (my husband and I) are headed for the evening.

Which leads me to the thing I’ve enjoyed the most about quarantine, and that is the extra time I’ve had with Eddy. With no commitments in the evenings, every night is like a stay-in date night. πŸ™‚ I will miss all the time we have to play board games, play Age of Empires, watch tons of silly YouTube videos, and just cuddle on the couch when things go back to normal.

That said, of course I do want things to go back to normal (as normal as they can be after something like this).

So now that I’ve shared how I’m doing, how is everyone else? What kinds of things have you been doing to keep busy and stay sane?

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See what I’m up to!

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Spilling the Secrets on My Newest Novel

I’ve kept the novel I’ve been working on for the last three months a secret because making myself wait to share it motivated me to keep working on it and because I don’t like to share things too early. I need more than some character sheets and world building to comfortably announce what my novel is about. Mostly because the story could change quite a bit from the idea I had in my mind to the first draft I write, and because there is always the chance that I may decide that the story isn’t worth pursuing while writing the first draft.
But once that first draft is finished…I’m committed!
I finished the first draft on Christmas Eve (which made a fantastic Christmas gift) so that means I can finally spill all the secrets on my newest novel.
Yay! πŸ™‚
So let’s start with the genre. It will be another YA fantasy, although the tone will be a bit darker than The Hashna Stone. Also unlike The Hashna Stone, the main character will be female and it is entirely in one point of view.
Synopsis:Β 
Everything changes when Azrin, daughter of the most feared warlord in Asarna, finds out the truth about her heritage. The unimaginable knowledge forces her to rethink, not only who she is, but the views she’s held all her life. Will she let the secret she’s discovered ruin her, or will she fight against everything she’s trained to be?
Azrin
Introducing the Main Character
Now that she is sixteen, Azrin is allowed to become a warrior and pledge her allegiance to her father, the clan leader, and her clan, Dorgan. Being a warrior means that she finally gets to go on the raids that Dorgan is famous for and prove her worth as a warrior.
When her father refuses to let her go on the raid, she wonders if it is some sort of test, and decides to sneak off after the warriors anyway.
It doesn’t make sense that she wouldn’t be allowed to go when every new warrior is always taken on the next raid to prove themselves. Not being allowed was as bad as failing the test that determined if you were worthy of being a warrior. Were you really a warrior it you weren’t allowed to go raiding?
Azrin know it wasn’t because she wasn’t a worthy fighter. She had been training since she was seven and while her father was perpetually disappointed with her twin brother, he seemed to single Azrin out for special training that she simultaneously resented and was proud of.
Azrin knew that the extra training, though painful, was preparing her for something big, but she didn’t know what.
After a falling out with her father, Azrin accidentally finds out what it is her father has in mind for her, and she sets out to do it without his knowledge, seeking to win his approval back.
Other Characters:
Bryden–a sixteen-year-old bastard who lives with the town’s blacksmith. His mother was a slave, taken captive from another clan during one of Dorgan’s raids, who died giving birth to him. No one knows who his father is, but unbeknownst to most, Bryden carries the secret with him, knowing his father wouldn’t take too kindly if he revealed it, and bitterly not wanting to claim a father who wouldn’t claim him anyway.
Azrin befriended him when they were young, but after a falling out when they were twelve, hasn’t spoken to him for four years. But events play out in a way that leave Azrin no choice but to–at least begrudgingly–speak to him again and eventually admit the value of his friendship.
Delzred–Azrin’s father is cold, unforgiving, and ruthless. He is the clan leader of Dorgan, the clan that has been thrown out from the other clans of Asarna and banished from interacting with them in anyway. For generations, his clan has been forced to raid and steal from the other clans because none of them will trade with them (although they do enjoy the excuse to enact revenge on the clans who wronged them).
Delzred has found a way to make Dorgan a part of the Clans of Asarna again, though it make take a bit of trickery and Azrin is absolutely essential to the plan.
Does it have anything to do with The Hashna Stone?Β 
This book has nothing to do with The Hashna Stone and is a completely different story set in its own world and its own characters, so if you haven’t had the chance to read The Hashna Stone, you can still enjoy this book.
Well, there’s the scoop on my newest project! I’m loving this story so much and enjoying writing Azrin. She is pretty much pulling me along and I’m just writing what she does. She definitely made writing the first draft interesting!

New Year’s (Writing) Goals

The new year is a time to reflect on what happened in the previous year and dream about what may happen this year, but I haven’t spent that much time on either of those things until today.

It’s been a rainy, gloomy, sleepy day that hasn’t been good for productivity, but it did make for the perfect opportunity for some refection.

A lot of wonderful things happened in 2019. I moved into a new apartment, published my first book, and married my best friend. One might think that with so many amazing things that happened in 2019 that 2020 couldn’t possibly be any better. But I have a really good feeling about 2020 and am convinced that it will be even better than last year.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because people don’t tend to stick to those, but I’ve found that what works for me is to regularly evaluate where I’m at and where I want to be and list what steps I need to take in order to get there.

So I may not have some big resolution, but I do have goals I want to achieve in the next few months (which, to me, is much more doable than a vague or overwhelming New Year’s resolution).

One of these goals has to do with writing of course, because what would life be without constant writing goals. πŸ˜‰

I’ve planned out the next steps I need to take with my manuscript and jotted down tentative dates for when I will start and finish each step. This includes reading through a printed version of the first draft (Which I’m working on now!), writing the second draft, sending it to beta readers, writing the third draft, sending it to more beta readers, then writing a forth draft, then (hopeful) it will be finished and I can start phase two and get an editor to look over the first few chapters.

Why only the first few and not the entire book?

That’s another goal for 2020. I’ve decided to give traditional publishing a shot with this new novel.

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I’ve given the indie author life a try, why not try traditional as well? πŸ™‚

Since agents are likely to request a sample of the first pages or chapters in a book along with the query letter, I think it would be a good idea to have an editor look over it before sending (something I wish I would have done with The Hashna Stone).

These steps span out until April, so when April comes, I’ll reevaluate again and set new writing goals. That might mean a new story or yet another draft of my current WIP, depending where I’m at with it.

But whether I get an agent or self publish again, 2020 will hold yet another published book and all the work and thrill that comes from it.

And that, to me, will make 2020 a smashing success.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebration! Any favorite memories about the holidays that you care to share? What about New Year’s resolutions? Any big plans/goals for 2020?

***Also, I haven’t forgotten about sharing some tidbits on this novel I’ve been keeping a secret. I’ll be sharing next week! But if you don’t want to wait that long, head over to my Patreon page for all the details.

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Back from NaNoWriMo

Hey Epic Dreamers! I thought I’d let you know that I am still alive. NaNoWriMo didn’t kill me and I don’t hate words and never want to write again after the experience. πŸ˜›

After finishing five (Or is it 6 now? I’ve lost count.) NaNoWriMos, I do find that it is easier and not as overwhelming as it used to be, but at the same time it still requires dedication, patience and a laser-like focus on writing.

I tend to write sporadically with some days only reaching a little over 400 words and other days writing 4,000. Instead of beating myself up for this yo-yo writing style, I’ve learned to embrace it. Some days I have more time than others and some days I have to spend an hour or two world building or researching or simply trying to figure out what comes next (because I completely pantsed this novel).

I learned not to sweat the days I didn’t write much because I knew there would be other days where I would write for hours in a wonderful writer’s bliss and make up for it.

I had about 4,000 words left to write on November 30th, but I drank some coffee and didn’t do ANYTHING else but write until those words were down and I’d officially won.

I actually enjoy the longer writing sessions. It really allows me to get into the world and get my head in the character’s mind and that’s when writing stops feeling like work and becomes magic.

So, that is my advice for anyone writing: write until it feels like magic.

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But, just because I finished NaNo doesn’t mean the work–ur uh magic–is finished.

I’m currently at 100,000 words for this project and I’m barely halfway finished, so I’ll be keeping this post short so I can get back to writing.

Before I go though, I do want to share some news I think you will all like. The project I’m working on right now will definitely be something that I keep working on until it is published (yay!). So you can be expecting more books from me.

I am absolutely in LOVE with this character and her story! I’m having so much fun discovering the story and getting to know the characters, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

It’s not time to reveal anything yet, but I will be letting you all get a gimps of my new project as soon as I’m finished with the first draft. For now I’ll just say that the world is loosely based on Norse/Viking society and it is about the daughter of a war lord who…

Okay, I’m zipping my mouth closed. No more secrets!Β  You’ll have to wait until I’m finished with the draft. πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile, follow me on Instagram because I do occasionally let a few secrets out over there…especially pictures where some of the words to my WIP are visible and snippets of what I just wrote on my stories. It’s all great fun! πŸ™‚

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