First, Thank you to #ASummerInWriting over on Instagram and Dante Medema as well as Liz Lawson for all those prompts :-).
I got to meet and reconnect with some wonderful authors, and I’m feeling even more motivated to finish drafting my rom-com 🙂 I’m very excited about the progress I’ve made and for my upcoming Summer goals 🙂
1. Finish drafting my rom-com. This will be my main focus in the next two weeks so that I can send it to my CPs mid-August. I need about 15000 words. Totally do-able, right?
2. Announce and promote something very exciting (related to an audiobook). My newsletter subscribers will find out first (you can subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/g_Qp4D – hint, hint).
3. Prepare for the publication of the Italian translation of ALWAYS SECOND BEST.
4. Continue adding words to 2 small projects.
5. Continue brainstorming MISS ME, MISS ME NOT. I’m not “officially” writing it yet, but this project is never too far from my mind.
6. Publish the German/English version of ASLNO via Ingram.
7. Enjoy the process and all those little happy moments. ❤
Yes, those are my feet and my Bombas‘ socks 🙂 A little motivation Wednesday mainly as a reminder to myself. But also as a way to ask you: what made you smile today? And full disclaimer: a lot of those thought-processes are easier for me because of years of therapy and a lot of work 😉 And it doesn’t mean I don’t have moments where I focus on the fact that this used to be much easier. Just putting that out there. A few days ago, I did a few relevés and elevés from first position. They were far from perfect. And I can’t stand on the balls of my feet for very long or all the way because I still experience neuropathy and cramping in my feet (and hands) in addition to needing to re-build (or build – ha) muscles. But as I did those exercises, I smiled. Because it felt like progress. Kind of like when you’re writing a sentence that stays with you or when you finally understand your character’s motivation or simply when you write a few words in-between busy times or hard times. I enjoyed this moment when it happened. I smiled like I said. I think I even laughed I was so happy. And I smile as I post it even if my feet and hands are currently cramping. I know I’ll do this exercise again today. And I am revising my first chapters feeling grateful. A reminder to keep going, to keep swimming, to keep writing.
Today’s prompt for #ASummerInWriting is Plotter or Pantser.
A plotter is someone who plans their story before writing it. They outline. They usually know what happens in each chapter. I wish I could underline “usually” because they are many varying degrees and ways of being a plotter or pantser.
When you’re a pantser, the idea is you sit at your computer and write without a detailed outline or a roadmap. A pantser is someone who “flies by the seat of their pants.”
There are a lot of articles detailing both processes as well as the way some authors can be pantsing scenes while plotting chapters or vice-versa 🙂 Jami Gold has a comprehensive article entitled “Pantser vs. Plotter vs. Something In Between” if you’re interested in learning more.
I am a little bit of both.
I don’t have a very detailed outline. I do have a bit of a roadmap. I usually know how the story ends. I mean it’s a romance so there’s a happy ending, but I usually have the epilogue scene playing in my mind like a movie. I know some of the plot points. Buuuuut…I learn about the story and more about my characters as I start typing. Which means that things change. A lot.
Since I started using Scrivener, I write scenes out of order.
I revise them and re-write them as needed and so when I type “The End” on my first draft, it’s in a much different place than for my first novels.
Because I learned that if I just go to the end without going through that process, if I just push through and continue writing the story without going back to change some things, to polish other scenes, to get more into the head of my characters, I end up needing way more time to re-work said first draft. I’ve been known to completely re-write books because that first draft wasn’t working. And I found that it’s more motivating to me and less time-consuming if I write the scenes out of order, re-write them or delete them if they don’t work and if they do work, make them shine as much as I can before typing “The End.
That first draft is not my final manuscript. Far from it. Revisions still happen of course. But once I type “The End” on my first draft, it’s much much closer to being ready to be sent to my critique partners.
So now, my first drafts may take me a bit longer (depending on the novel but I should do another post on that :-)), but they require less work after typing “The End.
Sie hatte sich schon auf dem Weg zur Spitze gesehen…Innerhalb einer Woche aendert sich Natalyas Leben fuer immer.
Die 16-jährige Natalya Pushkaya hat nur einen einzigen Traum: die beste Ballerina zu werden, die es je gegeben hat. Das Tanzen hat schon immer bestimmt, wer sie ist und sie würde alles tun, um die Hauptrolle in der jährlichen Abschlussvorstellung der School of Performing Arts zu landen.
This was an easy and yet so difficult question to answer.
Difficult because there are so many reasons I write (including wanting to make a living out of writing – I mean I’m still day-dreaming about getting that call from Reese Whiterspoon about adapting one of my books or maybe Netflix or Lifetime).
But mainly, it is difficult because answering it also means being vulnerable in a way. Putting those words out there. Not a story. But part of my story.
And then answering it is also easy because I know the answers. I know why I write. All the reasons. And one of the main reasons.
I feel like it’s always been because writing is an outlet for my imagination.
Already when I was a teenager…I had those stories I wanted to tell. It’s hard to describe the feeling I have when I finally fully understand my characters and how much I want to be able to tell their stories. And how much I can’t wait for them to have a happy ending. Even though for some of them, it might take a lot of heartache along the way, they will have a happy ending.
Writing enables me to express myself. And know that my words may help others in one way or another. It might distract them. Pull them in. It might make them feel…
And when I don’t write, my anxiety and OCD tend to get worse. It doesn’t mean that writing is easy or that writing is the all-in-one solution.
It’s all about balance, right?
I go to therapy. Well, right now, I do zoom therapies 🙂
And I’m lucky that I have two wonderful therapists. One who’s been helping me deal with the anxieties related to cancer and who’s been helping me with staying in the moment, being more present while also not ignoring the fears that come with *wave hands* everything.
And more recently I also started seeing an OCD specialist. And I’ll be forever grateful to my “cancer” therapist who recognized that she couldn’t help me with what I was going through with OCD. So that I could learn how to deal with it. It’s also a process. I have homework 😛
Apparently, going through months of chemo, then radiation, then immunotherapy, then a stem cell transplant and menopause and vitamin D deficiency and everything means that the brain may not have its usual mechanisms in place to deal with stress. Mechanisms I had learned in therapy back in Germany 🙂 I also had to learn new mechanisms for OCD as I hadn’t done too much work on that before. I’m telling you… it’s a process.
The last book I wrote TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT meant a lot to me because I wrote it during treatment and right after treatment. I published it before my stem cell transplant. I raised money with it for LLS. I loved and still love Lacey and Hunter. Writing that book was very cathartic. And finishing to write that book felt like such an accomplishment.And the one I’m currently writing? It manages to make me laugh out loud. And swoon. And it’s very different than my romantic suspense (no killers in this one), but it’s another way for me to be in the moment. To work. To be productive. To dream. To be creative. To tell stories.
That’s why I write.
If you’re a writer, why do you write? And if you’re a reader, why do you read?
Today is the release day of the Italian version of A Summer Like No Other. I am so so excited about it. I even got one of the coveted little best-selling flags for it on Amazon Italy. 🙂
Thank you so much to my translator: Annalisa Lovat and my proofreader Cinzia Novi 🙂 and stay tuned for more information on bilingual editions of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER in Italian coming soon. And for the Italian version of ALWAYS SECOND BEST.
What’s the first line of the book you’re currently reading?
Here are the first lines of my novels (including my Work-In-Progress).
“Bucket List Item also known as “What was I thinking?” or “You’re going to rock this” List (depending on the days): Blind date – tomorrow.” (UNTITLED – Current WiP)
“Here’s what we all know: Sometime this week or the next or the one after that, we will find another dead girl.” (FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT). Technically the first line of that novel is: Fear. (but I took the first line of the second chapter :P).
“Evil doesn’t sleep, doesn’t rest, doesn’t forget.” (SEE ME, SEE ME NOT)
“The daisies on my mother’s tomb remind me of happier times.” (TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT)
“Blood. The blood is everywhere.” (ONE DREAM ONLY)
“Chopin’s music is the soundtrack of my life.” (ONE TWO THREE).
“The pop music blasts from the speakers so loudly that it resonates within me.” (A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER)
“I SHOULD HAVE STAYED at the School of Performing Arts this weekend.” (ALWAYS SECOND BEST).
“Kneeing a guy in the balls might not be the best idea.” (LOVE IN B MINOR)
She thought she left the cult behind. He thought he’d always protect her. They were oh so wrong.
Twenty-year-old Lacey Simon jumped from a building on fire to escape the cult her stepdad was leading, so college should be oh so easy. Except Lacey can’t seem to move on. Not only does she receive threatening letters, she’s also failing her classes. Fun times. Only Hunter, the firefighter who saved her from the fire and who’s been there for her ever since, reminds her that her stepdad no longer dictates her future. He tutors her in English, and he makes her laugh, blush and help her be more daring. But why does it feel like he’s only doing this to redeem himself from mistakes of his past?
Twenty-one-year-old Hunter Harrington used to think he was invincible until a frat party turned tragic and he discovered a dead body in the pool. Ever since that day, he’s been doing his best to keep his grades up and help others. Yep, he even joined the volunteer firefighters’ college program. When he’s accused of plagiarism, he’s forced to spend more time with Lacey. Not that he minds. He’d love to get even closer. But he has secrets of his own that could destroy their relationship before it even starts. And can he really keep her safe?
Can they trust themselves and each other enough to no longer be afraid to love and…to stay alive?