Follow along day by day as Author Merrie Housdon writes about what its like to write a book in this diary-style blog.
Be sure to ask questions, comment, and give feedback/advice. Your input is respected and desired.
Day 49: 7/16/18
It’s been a week since I’ve posted on this blog. To my own detriment, I haven’t accomplished much in the way of my WIP. This morning was the first time I opened the draft. I completed 2078 words in the two hours that I worked on it. I might do more later, but for now I am taking a break.
Last week wasn’t a great week for me as far as my progress is concerned. I spent a lot of time going through edits for A Heart Worth Keeping. The novel is coming along and I am hopeful that it will be published before Labor Day. After that, I will work on edits for my Christmas short story for the Annie Acorn 2018 Christmas Treasury. I’ve been featured in the treasuries for the last two years, and I plan on continuing to do so, as long as the privilege is extended to me.
The words are still coming easily for this novel whenever I do get a chance to work on it. Will I finish it in 11 days? I’m going to try my hardest.
To be honest, the driving force to finish this book on time is still incredible. Partly because I have been living in the Sunrise Valley world for almost two years. I love it, I want to write more of it and plan to do so. But I also want a break from it. Dive into new story ideas and run with it.
When I work on my next novel, I will be working on editing this one. Write for part of my day, edit for another part. It seems to work for me, although I’m sure I could get done much faster if I focused on one project at a time. I can’t do that though, it makes me anxious to sit down and work on one thing constantly. I need to switch things up for my sanity.
My last WIP, A Heart Worth Keeping, came in at right around 50k words for the first draft. As it sits now, it is 61k words. I went back and added scenes and added to existing scenes to make sure it flowed the way I wanted it to. It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s what happens this time around. But honestly, as long as I tell the story I want to tell, I don’t care what the word count ends up being.
Day 42: 7/9/18
Last Friday after I wrote my brief blog post, I sat down and wrote 2083 words. Over the weekend I read an amazing book by Laurelin Paige (who are we kidding, they’re all amazing) and read a few chapters in Game of Thrones. If you’ve read my short bio on the side, then you know that I am a huge fan of the Game of Thrones television show. So far, I love the first book in the series, too.
However, it isn’t a book that I can devour. I can only read a chapter or two, here and there. If the novels are as complex as the television series, then I know that every detail is likely important and not just aimless world building. It’s part of what I love about it. At the same time, that type of reading can be exhausting. And to be honest, we all know that the book series won’t be completed anytime soon, so what’s the hurry????
Back to my WIP… Now that my novel has reached the 20k mark, I feel like I’ve really started hitting my stride. I know the main characters better and the words are flowing easier. With that in mind, I am going to be targeting my writing session on a few scenes that I have been putting off. These scenes are meant to slow the pacing a bit, let the reader breathe and enjoy a break from the drama while still learning about the characters. I also find that throwing in a few other characters into these scenes will help set up for the next in the series.
The problem with these scenes is that they still have to move the story forward in order to be relevant and keep the reader’s attention. I think I do this successfully in A Heart Worth Keeping, but we’ll see what the audience thinks…Hopefully I haven’t bored them to tears.
Happy Monday Folks,
Day 39: 7/6/18
Not too much to say this morning, but I just wanted to do a quick check in to say hello.
I haven’t written anything since July 2nd because of Independence Day here in America. I took a few days off to spend time with my family and conduct a read-a-thon with that book series I was telling you about. I’ve been devourer it.
Today I am back in the writing routine, while undoubtedly think about the next two books in the series. I told myself today I cannot start the next book until I get at least 1,500 words on the page.
I’m worried about the time I’ve lost, but at the same time I won’t apologize for my reading indulgent. My love of reading is what made me want to writing in the first place.
I will check back in tomorrow to update on my writing progress today.
Happy writing and reading,
Day 36: 7/3/18
My word count total for yesterday was 2,073 words, all of which took place in writing sprints. Today is going to be harder to reach my goals because I was up past five am reading a really good book. I am so tired, up I’m up and trying my best. I also need to do some editing on my upcoming release.
I finished it, and unfortunately it is part of a series, so I sense a few more sleepless nights ahead of me. Not the brightest idea given my history with insomnia. I swear I'm one good book away from a nervous breakdown.
It is always a pleasure to find a book that really sucks you in. That is what I hope to do with my writing – draw a reader in and make them fall in love with my characters, my story. As an author, I can’t think of anything more fulfilling.
Sure, we all have dreams of fame and fortune. We want our work to succeed and to provide us with an income that allows us to live the lifestyle we want. But if you’re in it for the money then you should know, there are much easier ways to make a living. If you’re going to be an author, whether self-published, traditional, or somewhere in between, you need to take a good hard look at what success looks like for you. It’s different for everyone. For me, I would be happy just to know that I am someone’s favorite author. That person, of course, would need to be a complete stranger and not my mom or my husband.
Back to my writing process… I, again, did not write my scenes in sequence. I wrote part of the books climax. I knew the scene so well in my head, that I just had to get the words out. It’ll be a pain to get organized, but for some reason, it feels right to write the book this way. In fact, what I have written out of sequence has helped my fill in the gaps of my outline and what I’ve learned about my characters will be very useful in the future.
I’ve figured out some of the ways I want to incorporate my next feature couple into this book – as I did with the first novel/second story in my Sunrise Valley Series. There are so many stories swirling around in my mind for this series that it’s a little ridiculous. Part of my wants to write them all, and another part of me wants to write 4-5 books and see if they sell before I invest my time.
Anyways, back to work I go!
Day 35, 7/2/18
So, lets just get real for a second here. Friday’s writing session was completely different than any other session I have had, EVER.
I wrote 1687 words, bring my total word count to right around 16,000 words.
What made the writing session so different, you ask? I wrote a scene where one of my characters gets really angry. It wasn’t the scene I planned to write when I published Friday’s blog post. But, I felt like I had to write it. While writing this argument my character was having, I began to channel the emotions. I got mad, really mad. I had to stop writing and go lay down.
I don’t know what came over me, but as weird as this sounds, it was exhilarating. I imagine it is how an actor feels when they get on stage and embody a character. My only hope is that it is that electrically charged for the reader when he/she reads the book.
After that scene, I start to write the next scene and one of my character’s drops a major bombshell. I mean huge. It doesn’t affect the overall plot of this book, but it could affect things that happen in the series down the road. Where are these characters getting their idea’s from because it wasn’t me? I swear.
I didn’t write anything on Saturday and Sunday. Although I managed to read two moderately sized novels. Like Steven Kings said in his book On Writing, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Since I am far behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge of finishing 100 books in 2018, I decided to try and read a minimum of 3 books a week to catch up. It won’t be easy, but I have never completed my challenge in years past and I am determined not fail this year.
My other goals for July?
Happy Monday Folks,