Tag Archives: YA

My Writing Process – Part 2.A, Planning

So a few days ago I started blogging about my writing process, namely to help out a young writer think through the process and give her some encouragement. I realize (as you’ll see below) that in putting together the process, I combined planning, plotting and character building together. They are all really one VERY LARGE step, but for purposes of my blog I’m going to break them down into subsections.

Here are the phases of writing a book, as far as I’m concerned.
1. Inspiration – coming up with an idea
2. Planning, Plotting, Character Building
3. Writing that first draft
4. Editing, First Readers and Cover Design
5. Beta Readers, Revisions and Blurb Writing
6. Wrapping it all up and releasing it to the world

 

So in looking at step 2.A really – planning here are my thoughts. I’d love to hear yours as we’ll only grow and get more efficient from learning from one another.

 

Once I have a bit of time on my hands I move from the inspiration phase to the planning phase. I’ll be fair to my muse and let you know that I have about 300 book ideas thanks to her (my) overactive imagination. She usually forces a story on me, so where I’d love to go to my inspiration journal and actually pick an idea, that’s never the case. Usually one idea that I’ve been chewing on from my inspiration journal will just bounce around in my skull until I sigh in defeat and sit down to write it (start to finish).

 

So… with idea in hand and my muse sucking on a coke… let’s talk planning.

 

I’m a mathematician, so this is going to be VERY different for some of you to read, but that’s okay. Might help you out and perhaps not. I plan first by considering the parameters of what I need to get done. I know there’s a side of your brain that needs freedom and I’ll get to that in both plotting and in writing the first draft, but I’ve found that if I set boundaries in the planning phase, then my writing moves from a hobby to a very viable option for sustained income in my future.

 

Plus – rules and structure are the essence of freedom. I set it up and then I can play without concern in the box I’ve built. If I need to go outside the box I simply chop the box down and expand it. Nothing hard and fast set in stone.

 

So for me this is about number of words and pages from the get-go. I set up my book in Scrivener (which I just found and am still learning about) in chapters. How do I know how many chapters I’ll have? I calculate them. Check it out:

 

Romance – 50-60K words in a novel / 2500 words per chapter = 20-24 chapters
YA 85K words in a novel /  3000 words per chapter = roughly 28 chapters

 

I could go on, but the point (for me) is to know how many chapters I have to work with. If I don’t have a target to aim at in the big-picture view, then I’ll ramble and end up with far too many words, or not nearly enough. Having the number of chapters set up and aligned allows me to understand my plot points per chapter. I want my reader to end each chapter at a good point. I’m fine going over the word count per chapter, but I keep in the back of my mind that I have a goal to reach at minimum, and I do it.

 

With my chapters set up and my box created around me, I start to freely move into the stages of plotting and characterization, and I’ll tell you that for me these two next steps are ordered based on the story. Am I focused on telling a tall tale, or is there a character that won’t get out of my skull?

 

I know that’s not much in the way of planning, but it’s only part of that phase to me. Next time we talk about one of my favorite topics: characterization.

 

Until then – write your rear off. The world needs more fiction.

 

L.

 

(Oh! I have 3 books releasing this month. Wish me luck and join my e-mail list if you wanna know more. http://eepurl.com/9Nrc1 )
Advertisements

Getting in the mood…

Well, that has a few connotations, doesn’t it? I’m getting in the mood to write!!

Sometimes it takes a bit of inner pressure to sit down and commit yourself to write 85,000 words over a two week period, but much like all things that take consorted effort, a new book brings crazy amounts of joy and a huge sense of accomplishment once done.

So what’s on my plate the next two weeks in terms of my writing?

1. Decent, Soul Keeper III. The final book in my debut trilogy will be my main focus. I’m going to sit down and bang it out over the next few weeks. It’s been moved to a late February 2015 release namely because I’m working with my book manager at BookTrope to figure out timing now that the trilogy has been picked up by them. I’m super stoked at where this book will take us and the adventures we’ll get to go on together with Sam, Nick & Marcus.

2. I’m wrapping up round 1 of edits tonight on Howl at the Moon, my first Middle Grade novel in my Liarus Detective Series. The first one was SUCH a blast to write that I have another scheduled to come out later this year called “Good to the Last Drop.”

3. Working on edits (on chp 6 of 32) for a series I’m writing under Kate Thomas (my New Adult/Romance) penname. It’s co-authored with a good friend of mine, so we’re working back and forth on edits and hope to get it to my editor for a real review later this month. It will be a trilogy with a fun college setting. Deep rich characters are quickly emerging.

4. Lastly, I’ll be going through my first edit on “The Core: Equilibrium I,” a series about Ellie and her adventures in better understanding the supernatural world she’s being dragged into. It started as a romance and then moved into a supernatural series quickly as I wrote her story.

Follow me on Twitter and FB under my Kate Thomas accounts to keep up on those projects!

@Autr_KateThomas

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateThomas

Hope your new years has started off wonderfully! Mine’s going to be crazy and yet fantastical!

L.

Fill Your Kindle Sale – Dec 26 thru Jan 1

All ebooks are only 99 cents for the duration of the sale. Look below to see all the books included
(listed in alphabetical order by author).

Thanks for shopping Indie!

#IndieBooksBeSeen

5476768_orig

After Christmas

Click here for links to all of the books!

Crazy to think for a dollar each, all of these books could be yours.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Big News: Soul Keeper Series has a Publisher

Morning everybody!!

Hope you day is going smashingly well. I got eleven, (yes count them) eleven hours of sleep last night. I’m wide awake and rejoining the land of the living after five weeks of the flu. Who knew there were two billion different strands and that I would be the only human alive to sample each of them effectively – I know… impressive.

I’m super stoked to share some news related to my Soul Keeper Series. Last week Seattle-based publisher, Booktrope picked the series up and will be reprinting the titles under their publication starting in January. As you guys know, Deceived released on Aug 28th this year, Destroyed on Nov 15th this year and Descent is scheduled for Jan 2015.

Booktrope is honestly a new style of publishing from anything I’ve seen and to be completely honest, I start researching them a month before I released Soul Keeper independently. I wanted to find a publisher that would help me with the areas I didn’t understand in this industry, meet me at the table with my ideas and theirs alike and give me a wide reach because of their reputation while I’m working so hard to build mine. Enter Booktrope.

Check them out when you get a chance – http://booktrope.com/

Their model is all around working together as a team. So as an author, I’m given a Book Manager, an Editor, a Proofreader (obviously I need this one bad. Is proofreader one or two words?), and a cover designer. There is no up front fees paid to anyone like I do now in self publishing, but everyone shares in the royalty of the book sales. So the incentive is that everyone on a team will work hard together to create something incredible and then promote it in the right venues, aligning the message to the appropriate target market and such.

I have to give thanks out to my friends, Della Connor, who I met at the Texas Teen Book Festival in Austin. The only way to submit to Booktrope is through a recommendation by a current author of theirs and Della was kind enough to submit for me. 🙂

So what does all of this mean? UM… I don’t know, but I’m super stoked to already feel like part of a family.

Look for more announcements to come as I have a lot to share over the next few days. I’ve been BUSY in my flu season.

If you’d like to get these announcements earlier (hot off the press), then sign up for my newsletter!! The holiday one went out yesterday!

L.

Why I Love Being Indie!

I think from a young age I’ve always been independent, always looking for a way to forge a new path and climb a steep hill and do it mainly on my own. So joining onto the Indiebooksbeseen and the Indie movement is something that was bound to happen.

A little bit of history…

I wrote my first YA supernatural novel in the spring of 2010, having read a zillion books through my younger life and realizing that I truly understood the necessarily elements that belonged in a YA novel without going over the edge. I’m funny and a bit edgy myself, so I figured I could do this book thing. Can I just tell you that writing the 90,000 word / 500 page novel was the easy part.

After getting more people than necessary to edit the book I began to research the query/agent/publisher map. How was I going to get this great story in front of the right people and better yet, make the time to do all of these non-writing activities to get the book published? I’m sad to say that I spent three times the amount of energy and effort on trying to get the book noticed than I did creating it. Crazy!

The whole effort ended with a great story, 200 rejections, months and months of beating my head against the wall, tons of dollars to attend this event and use this template and yadda… yadda… Finally – I put the manuscript in a drawer and said to hell with it.

The rest of the story…

Four years later I was done being poked by a good writer friend of mine who’d fallen in LOVE with Soul Keeper back in 2010 and finally opened the drawer to dust it off. A few good writer friends of mine had gone “Indie”. I pushed back against them a little and asked 2 million questions as I wasn’t in the mood to spend money or emotional energy on a project that seemed to be going nowhere.

However, with loads of nudging and reassurance I decided I’d self-publish my books and if nothing else – they’d be loud and proud on my own shelf. So let me tell you why I love being Indie.

1. No one will ever love my book as much as me. It’s my creation and having the freedom to choose what it looks like and where the plot goes is all mine to decide. I don’t have someone standing over my shoulder making it “better” by their definition of “better.”

2. I can spend as little or as much time, energy and money as I want. Obviously the more I put into it, the more I’m going to get out of it, but that’s with anything in life. The cool part is that if I’m a good editor or if I can design my own cover, then those are costs to be saved and skills to be used.

3. I belong. In a world of independent authors I find myself fitting in just perfectly. We all work hard and dream big and the encouragement is beyond belief. I don’t have to write a certain genre or stick to a certain structure in the plot. I simply write, promote and support and honestly feel great about myself at the end of the day.

Being an Indie author, to me, doesn’t really have anything to do with being Independent though. It’s a statement that says I’m capable of making every step along this book writing/producing platform to take a dream from start to finish. The truth of what Indie authors are doing is showing the world that there still exists hope. Hope to dream big and work hard to make that dream a reality.

That’s why I love being Indie!

L.

Check out this link: https://clrozelle.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/10-things-that-suck-and-rock-about-being-an-indie-author-part-1/

25 days of Indie’s – Deceived Day 1!!

So one of my favorite book bloggers is up to something new – a 25 day video posting for the 25 days of Christmas that features indie authors. Keeley’s support of what we as indie authors are trying to do is seemingly rare from what I’ve seen thus far and very appreciated by me and my buddies.

So huge thanks to her and I hope you enjoy the video!!

Deceived was picked for Day 1!!

Check it out. 🙂

Book Review & Promo: Transformed

Transformed

Transformed by E.V. Fairfall 
Publication date: January 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Thea, all-mighty Mother Earth, only had one rule to follow above all else, one promise to keep to her brother: never take a human form. She would’ve kept that promise if it weren’t for Brice. He’s handsome and confident, but above all he’s merciless.

He’s also a hunter who has tormented Thea for years. She believes if she could teach Brice compassion, she might finally be able to save her creations and herself from his savage ways. Then she meets Chamber: another hunter.

She soon finds herself fascinated by−and torn between−the two boys: Brice and Chamber. Lost within a torrent of human emotions, Thea starts to lose who she is as she falls in love with the one thing that she’s always hated: a hunter… a human.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
About E.V.
I love to write just as much as I love to read. I try to read a book per week, which doesn’t always work out, but it’s the thought that counts. Aside from all that I am a huge animal person.

Transformed is my first novel, but it isn’t my first publication; I’ve had several short stories published over the last two years. My main goal as a writer is to explore humanity and to give people something fun to read.

Author links:

My Review:
(4 out of 5 stars)

First of all, let me just say that I LOVE the cover of this book. It’s whimsical and beautiful, drawing at the part of me that hopes for a great story to sink into. The story centers around Thea, who happens to be “Mother Earth”, and her desperate need to preserve life on earth. She has the wicked gift of being able to shift into almost anything and one of the best parts of the book is watching her do so in a manner that is smooth and well written. The love story that runs through the pages of the book is fun and endearing, your heart quickly going out to the characters as they traverse this crazy thing called love. Having her brother as what some might call “almighty God” was a little odd, but I’m thinking if mother nature had a brother, God would be him.

Overall it was a great story with more than one theme running through the pages. I enjoyed it very much and LOVED the idea behind E.V.’s creation, having seen nothing like it. I would recommend it to anyone who loves supernatural/fantasy fiction, especially to the YA crowd. Great read!

Please note that E.V. is running a special on the book! Get out there and purchase it!

Howl at the Moon (MG)

HATM Ad

I’m working hard on my debut Middle Grade Novel, Howl at the Moon. I’m so crazy stoked about it because the story was just incredibly fun to write. My editor just returned the first draft with very few edits and I have commissioned an artist to draw the cover, so I’m well on my way to getting it out the door and sharing it with my family, friends and fans.

I’ll be posting updates here of course, but the release could be as early as Christmas or as late as end of January. Either way – ALMOST THERE!!!!!

Short Excerpt:

Darkness pressed in tightly as the wind of early winter swept up and tossed my hair around my head. My eyes were wide with terror as silky white mist moved in front of me. My  breath was trapped in my lungs, screaming for release. The cemetery yawned with delight as the air shifted just so, and the figure of a young woman materialized, her empty eyes moving among those gathered to conjure her from far below the earth. A snort echoed in the air around me as the witch doctor beckoned me to engage the spirit.

            “Speak, boy. She’s now part of your future,” his gravelly voice barked out in my direction.

The burning on my forearm began again and I gasped, looking down, still holding the candle I’d been given in the other hand. The spirit moved closer to hover above me, her lovely pale lip lifted in a devious smirk.

            “Yes, Ben, tell me of the—”

“Benjamin Warren!” Mrs. Lawson shouted. “Are you even awake?”

I snapped my head up as I quickly wiped the drool from my face, my sleeve seemingly already wet. “Uh, yeah. Just closed my eyes so I could think better.”

L.

Destroyed, Soul Keeper II RELEASED!

Oh my goodness I’m stoked to share this next book with my readers. I had SO MUCH fun writing book two because the plot went to places I couldn’t imagine. There were moments that were wrapped in Greek Myth and others where I felt like I was visiting Diagonally in Harry Potter. So much fun. I think my new favorite character has to be Eros, the God of Love.

Check out the new book on Amazon and pick up a copy today!!

http://www.amazon.com/Destroyed-Soul-Keeper-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00P9UOFYS/ref=asap_B00N51UAO2_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416078768&sr=1-2

From the second book in the Soul Keeper Series…

 

Now I lay me down to sleep,

Whom shall I trust my soul to keep?

If I should die before I wake,

I leave to fate my soul to take.

 

The seal has been broken and the Soul Keeper Prophecy set in motion. Marcus and Nicolas are battling for the heart of one woman, Pandora’s only daughter; however, not everyone is playing by the rules. With interference from both sides of the lines and too many deities with hidden agendas, the trio must take matters into their own hands and look for another ending, one that removes control from fate.

Can they find the missing page from the prophecy that has the ability to change everything?

Will the new stranger they’ve been given as a guide assist or mislead them?

Will Samantha make a decision on who it is that she truly loves, saving one and destroying the other?

What if her choice is no choice at all?