WIPs and Chains

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Wildflowers in Alaska Photo by Michele Venne

                                          Wildflowers in Alaska
                                        Photo by Michele Venne

Taking a break from books on the craft of writing is much needed. Reading the books, making notes, writing the blog posts ahead of time, reviewing each past just before clicking “publish” is useful to keep me organized and to remind me of the varied advice out there on how, when, where, and even why we write. I’ll be picking up with this practice in a week or two, but I thought for today I’d discuss my Works In Progress and the Chains (Blocks) I’m feeling.

Progression of Projects (WIPs-Works In Progress) (Flowers)

  1. The flash fiction anthology that I’m publishing is compiled of stories from six of us that meet on Friday nights. For eleven months, we chose a prompt and a word count, then brought our pieces in for critiques the following month. Some wrote more than one piece for each prompt, others weren’t able to submit a piece for each prompt. Two of group have never published anything, two of us have several books in print, one has a book out of print but writes articles each month for magazines and a newspaper that has national reach, and one has contributions in two other anthologies. (Working with this group has sparked another blog post!) The print proof should arrive Friday. We’ve all contributed to the culmination of this project, and we all have different levels of excitement and a sense of accomplishment.
  2. My website, about 6 years old, is in the process of being overhauled and moved to a whole new platform. For this monumentous occasion (and job!) I’m rewriting much of the copy that will be on the site. (Will post another blog about doing this and direct you to the new address.) Some will stay the same, but edited and updated, while other parts are new and need to be written from scratch. I’m also changing from third person to first person point of view, which gives the site a different feel. There will be more pictures of me and pictures taken by me on the site. And though I’m a little behind Google’s change in having everything be mobile-friendly, I’m excited that people will be able to find me no matter the device they’re using for the search.
  3. I’ve had, for a while now, a schedule for posting on my blogs (Did you know I have 3?). This one, for some reason, seems to be the easiest for me to keep up with. Perhaps it’s using books on craft as an anchor. Or that I have more of an audience for this blog than my other two. Which leads to the realization that if I want to increase my readership for the other two, then I need to post more consistently. Hence the schedule that seems to have morphed into a “suggestion” instead of “get this done!”
  4. I have completed two-thirds of my first trilogy. Both books, Of Art and Air, and, Of Hoof Prints and Heartbeats, have won awards. I’ve had as many, if not more, compliments from readers regarding these last two books as I have on, Of Dolphins and Desires, which readers claim “reads like a movie”. Book Three of the Tanner Trilogy, as yet unnamed, isn’t a blank page. I have over 41,000 words so far in the manuscript. For my novels, that’s about one-fourth the length it’ll likely be when I’m done. I haven’t looked at it or worked on it in two years. I’m embarrassed to admit that. This story is darker than the other two, has some paranormal touches, but is still a romantic thriller, as are all of my novels. This is not the first “series” I’ve written. My fourth novel is a sequel to my third. There were no hang-ups or issues in completing either of those!
  5. If any of you have friended me on Facebook, you’ve likely been reading my Bedtime Story. It wasn’t my idea, but one I “borrowed” from another author who grew her friends to the tens of thousands by writing one. I’ve increased my friends by about 45, so that’s something! It started to poke at me more than a year ago. I wrote a couple of pages on scrap paper and kept it. I’ve expanded on that original scrap paper and have fallen in love with my characters. I’ll eventually make the Bedtime Story into a novella as an introduction to a seven (gulp!) book series. If you’re interested in reading it, find my author page on Facebook.

The Chains (Rocks)

  1. We’re still working on the Kindle version of the anthology. It should be available soon. I’ve been hinting the last couple of times we’ve all been together what their plans might be after we’ve published the book. Maybe getting together the end of January, after the holidays. Maybe writing another anthology, but this time one prompt and a short story instead of flash fiction. The place where we’ve been meeting is in a commercial building that is for sale, so we  don’t know where we’ll meet or if we’ll disperse once the building sells. I’ve really enjoyed working with these writers and my hope is to continue to see them, write with them, maybe publish another book with them…that’s just my “chain” of attachment to be around people I like, to do work I love, to create something good.
  2. There’s a lot of writing on a website! (Or at least on a site like mine.) Figuring out what is still relevant, what will continue to be as time marches forward, and what is obsolete sometimes means reading the old pages five times through before making a decision to scrap the whole thing or to pull a sentence and keep it…my “chain” to the past and what I must relinquish to move into the future. I’m working with two incredibly talented women, without whom I wouldn’t have gotten this far. They’ve done my site before and one continues to do the work on my book covers. There’s a lot of communication that has happened, and will continue to happen, as we work to fit pictures and copy and pages to this new and wonderful place in cyberspace.
  3. One of my strengths as a person is my organization and ability to schedule. One of my “chains” in this sphere of business on the Internet is the schedule that sometimes seems overwhelming and too time consuming for the return on investment. I’ll continue to work towards keeping to that blogging schedule, and maybe finding ways to make the creation of my blogs easier for me, more friendly and consistent for my readers, while keeping in mind things like “evergreen” and “repurpose”.
  4. Book Three in my trilogy has been wearing a mask of fear. My inner critic keeps the story in “chains” by telling me how it won’t be as good as the other two award winning novels in this series, how I don’t have enough readers so who really cares if Book Three is written or not, how I don’t have the time, how I’ve written similar storylines before, how it’s too dark and it will scare away readers, how I’ll never finish it this year, etc. I’m a pantser through and through. I pick up my pen and I write what I see on the movie screen in my head. But that hasn’t worked for this manuscript since I stopped writing it. So, I’m going to try an outline. I know some of the plot that happens. I know how justice will be served at the end. And like the scheduling in #3, this manuscript will be worked on consistently until it’s done…unofficially by the end of November.
  5. Because I’m in love with my characters (which usually does happen, but not like this, or that I remember, since it’s been so long since I’ve worked on a project this involved) I’m reluctant to end my Bedtime Story. A joke shared by someone I know said that this was the “never-ending story”. So, to release myself from the “chains” of keeping this story going because I’m having such fun writing it, but it’s getting in the way of completing the other projects I’ve got going, I’m marking down the few remaining installments, with a promise to get started on the series as soon as the other major project is in print.

Interested in my previous projects? You can view them here (at the old website): www.myjoyenterprises.com

What WIP’s are you working on? What chains are holding you back?

2 Comments on “WIPs and Chains”

  1. I’m honored to be one of those writing friends and part of the anthology. I can’t wait to see it. I also can’t wait to read book three and I, and many others, know it will be great. We are waiting so knock that critic off your shoulder and hop to it.

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