FRIDAY FORAGE – 2013/07/26



I’m thrilled at the breakthrough in my outline revision. Took some MAJOR brainstorming but I’ve breathed new life into my Fractured Tales Series. It’s a departure from my original concept, but that’s all part of the process and I’m stoked! I played around with half a dozen scenarios and put new twists to a story that already had twists built in. Fun times.

Hopping around the interwebs, I’m happy for fellow writers who’ve completed their drafts, revisions, and even got book deals. There’s a buzz of excitement in the writing community and it fuels every writing session I have.

Yesterday, I registered for Candace Havens’ The Book in a Month Club workshop that includes a Fast Draft process where I dismiss my internal editor and churn out twenty pages or 5,000 words a day. Hopefully, I can use the weekend to my advantage. I’ll use this method not only for my current WIP but for potential anthology submissions. Smaller word counts mean an even speedier way to a completed draft. I will need to outline, of course, to ensure I have the proper foundation before I let loose.

Now that I’ve got my compass sorted out with this WIP, I can’t wait to immerse myself in some major writing sessions. Tomorrow, I’ll be writing in the waiting room at the dentist’s office. Anywhere and everywhere, the words are gonna fly.

It’s interesting how much can happen in a fortnight to change the direction of a project, as well as my renewed energy to tackle this head on. No one said it would be easy, but highs and lows, the ride’s been fun because I learn new things everyday about the craft of writing, my WIP, and myself as a writer.

I’m in the Pit no longer.

Things are definitely looking up.

A to Z Challenge 2013 – U is for…


You’ve heard the saying ‘you can’t please everyone’ and it’s important to keep in mind when living the writing life. If you are lucky to gain a following, you’re sure to have your detractors. What if your biggest detractor is yourself? Don’t get me wrong. I love my characters. I love my stories. I think there comes a time when the story overwhelms me so much that I’m sometimes left unsatisfied even as I type the final word. Is it because of the rewrite? Or the rewrite of the rewrite. No, it’s the rewrite of the rewrite of the rewrite that gets me. That must be it.

I’m sure when I have children of my own someday I’ll endure a similar myriad of emotions as a writer who has birthed a story into the world. Each story I write is like one of my babies. I nurture it, sometimes smother it with good intentions, but want what’s best for it. I hope that when it goes out into the world that everything will be okay and that it can stand on its own (or maybe in a series. One can dream. ;-)) I think the pang of being unsatisfied is closely linked with its cousin, perfectionist. I don’t want a perfect story. I want a story that has its ups and downs. Of course, the only flaws a story should have are character flaws. Anything else needs to be nabbed before it gets published. Is not being satisfied because you suddenly want to change something or think there’s still room for improvement? Like any child, there comes a time when you have to let go.

Still, I think I’ll never be a fully satisfied writer. I consider it a good thing because it’ll keep me hungry to continue crafting stories but humble when those that I do write go off into the world and mingle.

Hmmm… unsatisfied with the spillage of my inner monologue, I at least have the good sense to include my #ROW80 MID-WEEK CHECK-IN with the blog entry rather than in the comments section. Score one for me.

1) Blogged A through U for the A to Z Challenge.

2) Words counts up to yesterday are as follows:

Camp NaNoWriMo – 60,969 words as of Day 23
Savvy Authors Boot Camp – 57,719 words as of Day 23

There are a couple of challenges in May and beyond that I’m considering, but I’ll look into them further and post about them in Sunday’s Check-in. Until then, many more scenes to unfold in both stories but I’m glad I’ve surpassed my targets. I almost rewrote one of them from scratch, because apparently I’m just unsatisfied that way. Fortunately, I held off. That’s where revisions come in. For now, and always, it seems, I write. 🙂


Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter


A to Z Challenge 2013 – Q is for…



When you have a word count target to reach within a short timeframe, you’re taught that you need to get those words out now and worry about editing later. In theory, this makes sense. I reached my targets in half the allotted time: an extra (and slightly masochistic) challenge I gave myself this writing month. I wrote eighty thousand words for two different novels in fifteen days and I am proud of this accomplishment. This feat was in addition to my daily blog challenge and other writerly obligations, the details of which you can get a refresher here.

In the two weeks left in April, I can easily continue with those stories because they are far from over but I want to take a moment to reflect on what I’ve written so far. I’ve tried to make each moment count in my stories. Besides, after slogging away at the keyboard for a month, do I really want to drown myself in extensive editing that I could have otherwise avoided had I put more thought into the drafting process?

This is why quality over quantity is so important. And I will keep this in mind for the latter half of this writing month. I still have letters R through Z for the blogging challenge and there are a couple of short story anthology submissions due at the end of the month that have caught my eye. When it is so easy to produce first draft vomit, do you choose to get out the words that matter or the words that hardly matter, at all?

What are your thoughts on the whole quality versus quantity debate?


Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter


A to Z Challenge 2013 – F is for…


Roger Ebert and Jane Henson. Two names familiar to this child of the 80’s. They will be remembered for their contributions to the artistic community. I watched ‘Siskel & Ebert’ several years sooner than I probably should have. I gained an appreciation for the moving picture around the same time I knew I was going to be a writer someday. I’m a huge fan of movies and I owe a great deal of that to their show.

In honor of our theme letter and as a nod to another creative influence in my life, Jane Henson, today I think about a time when imaginations ran wild and all you had to to was walk over to your television and turn it on (or for those of us who got lucky and had a clicker. Remember those? Yay for old school retro tech.)

The words to this song echo the push and pull, the ebb and flow of my writing process this month. There’s time for fun, but there’s also time to get down to work. A week into my write-a-palooza, I hope to maintain such a balance so as to avoid burn out and to ensure that, above all else, I enjoy the writing journey as much as the end result.

Dance your cares away

*clap clap*

Worry’s for another day
Let the music play

*clap clap*

Down at Fraggle Rock

Work your cares away
Dancing’s for another day

Let the Fraggles play

Dance your cares away

*clap clap*

Worry’s for another day
Let the music play

*clap clap*

Down at Fraggle Rock

Are you a ‘child at heart’? What bits of nostalgia do you keep close as you travel along your writing journey? Are you a work hard, play harder type of person, or do you stick to extremes? Let’s not forget to have fun in all that we do. Writing’s good for soul. You should enjoy it. Maybe even dance your cares away. *clap clap*


Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter


A to Z Challenge 2013 – D is for…


clock   Deadline

 (via shawn_the_juggalo & jblaze66)

Writers often work long hours to meet a deadline. *cough* NaNoWriMo *ahem* Camp NaNoWriMo. Perhaps, it’s a self-imposed deadline or one set by your boss, editor, publisher, or others. Regardless of the type of deadline, do you feel that it helps your writing or hinders it?

Sometimes, we tend to lose ourselves in the writing process. We churn out the words like a


(via jobugjeepers)

When that happens, I take a step back from the project and reassess the situation.

1) What do I hope to gain with the completion of this project?

2) What’s more important, quality or quantity?

3) Does this piece have the right voice?

4) If I were a reader, what would it take to hook me?

5) Could I approach this from a different perspective?

These are just a handful of questions I’d ask myself to make sure I’m not hammering out senseless drivel. As with any story, every word counts. Every chapter, scene, and moment has their purpose to drive the story forward, to compel the reader to turn the page. When we keep that in mind, it makes us reconsider how much pressure we put on ourselves to come up with the final product.

No one I know likes the pressure of a deadline. However, I find it a necessary tool to keep me on my toes and to ensure that I’m mindful of the message I’m trying to convey. A perfect example of this are my recent writing Sprints over in the Savvy Authors Chat room and on Twitter. A group of writers come together and write for an hour, posting our word counts in the end. While it’s not the same as a project deadline, the motivation is the same. I want to get as much out before time’s up. While I’m typing away, I’m also asking myself questions to make sure that what I’m writing has direction. The sense of accomplishment at the end of the hour does wonders for the writing process, as a whole. Sometimes the pressure, if we work with it and not against it, is a good thing.

I try not to think about the looming deadline ahead. Rather, I do my best to stay motivated and imagine typing those final words, and in doing so, find myself more confident, focused, and eager to begin


(via MichelleGregg61)

How about you? Do deadlines pressure or motivate you and your writing process?


Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter