RS: I Haz Planz 29/01


Thursday again. Seems to go by really fast. What’s all that about? o.O

Actions Last Weekblank calendar from OpenClipArt

~Complete Deep Edits on 12k words of ‘Second Base’ (which takes me up when Karen shows Dan ‘Black Angelus’ on her laptop – I realise these markers are a bit cryptic as far as you’re concerned, but I can’t really help that. Sorry folks!).
Nope. I’ve had to tweak and fiddle a whole lot more in this second. I can tell I was still writing myself into the story by this point. There are details that need to move forward in the story and even more than need to go back. I even had to go to the first quarter of the story and fiddle some bits there based on what I picked up from the First Pass Read. In light of all that I only got two thirds of the way through. Ah well.

~Proof ‘Malcolm’ and format
Sorted. Now I just need to decide on a suitable release date. Not that I have much time. It’s pretty much today, tomorrow or Saturday. Probably Saturday.

Activities For This Week

  1. Finish the remaining third of last week’s Deep Edits on Second Base.
  2. Complete Deep Edits on a further 12k words of ‘Second Base’ (which takes me to Cindy threatening to tear Dan a new one if he doesn’t tell her why Karen was so upset when she called).

Thoughts…

goal shooting goals from open clip artI got my first review for Sugar Dust last week. You can see it here if you’re curious. I was pleased to see it didn’t slate me down to the ground, though a little disappointed at some of the comments regarding Dan’s character growth. I suppose it’s to be expected; some folk always want more. Though I am keeping that review in mind as I keep working on Second Base, working on rounding him out a bit more. There’s always space for more character growth (says I) and I recently learned that if I want to keep submitting to Breathless Press, that my stories must now hit 50k and beyond. Well… that gives me much more space to play, right? :)

This is the last few days of January. Next week I’ll be rounding up the month and chatting about the changes I need to make to my plan to avoid going screwy in the head.

Speak soon smexxy people!

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RS: Learning From Editing pt7 – The Speedy Way Is (Sometimes) The Only Way


‘Don’t Stop, Never Give Up’

Yes… I know that’s a line from an S Club 7 track, but I was more thinking of the fact that I really need to finish this series.

So, who remembers this? ^_^ Who remembers me chatting about my experiences in all the different forms of editing I’ve been part of in recent months? Well… if you need a recap, the first post is here and you’ll find links to subsequent posts from that one. This is actually the last post from that sequence, so it makes sense to get it done.

So. Speed.

I’m quite a nippy writer. It’s taken me quite a while to figure out that part of the reason my turn around makes people goggle (sometimes) is because it’s pretty damn fast given my other responsibilities. But that’s not the speed I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about deadlines.

I used to hate deadlines. In DSB‘s old job, she would look at rotas and lists of things needed at such-and-such a time and quite literally sob. It just seemed too much. That’s because (at the time) she was really crap at using deadlines to her advantage to help prioritise and organise. Now she, and by default, I have gotten pretty bloody good at it.

Deadlines with my independent works are all self imposed. I use them to organise myself and plan what comes where. And they can easily be shifted if I need them to. Deadlines from Breathless Press were not so flexible. Obviously if life came and slapped me in the face (as it did once or twice) I was able to go back to Jenn and ask for an extension on whatever I might be doing. Often I only needed an extra day, though once I think I asked for a whole week. Regardless, working within a time frame for someone else gave me the biggest push I’ve ever imagined possible.

Road runner 'go' meme

Meep, meep!

Towards the end, when I was certain I wouldn’t see the manuscript again, I received an email from Jenn asking for another once over of the complete 47k manuscript. Also, because of her deadlines there was no wiggle room with mine. It was a case of just get it done. In five days I believe.

Well! With the help of my goal lists here, I already know what’s coming in my week. It means I also know what I can just shove to one side over something that has to take priority.

I’ve never been so focused. So strict. So ‘up on it.’ And this is the core message of this post, really. Deadlines focus you. They give you a clear goal to strive towards and, if they’re set by someone else, deadlines really do give you an extra shove to get work done. And, of course, meeting a deadline is always cause for celebration.

Sometimes I have to resist the urge just to set a goal, just so I can celebrate meeting it afterwards. :p

How do you find deadlines help with the work you need to get done? Or do you not set them at all? Do you find, instead, that deadlines make you panic therefore making it impossible to do anything? I’d love to hear the spectrum of thoughts on this topic, because I know there is quite a broad one.

Chat back, cats!

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IY: Mah Plans 26/01


goal shooting goals from open clip artHi again, everyone. You all well? Had a good Monday? Mine was about the same as it always is: filled with kids stuff and Frozen. yes… we’re still watching that movie. -_-

Actions Last Week

Figure out… that stuff *points* (by Tuesday 20)
That *pointing* is at last week’s post. I won’t give you another run down – my head still hurts – but if you’re new here, this is what you want to read. So, did I do it? Yes! Finally. A day late, but I did it. Woo! I know know what I’m doing. Good feeling.

Name the drama-triangle version of Ileandra (by Tuesday 20)
Yeah, I think I’m happy. I’ve decided to name her Kailah Turner, which still has elements of the exoticism I associate with this version of the character, but the name is still pronounceable. KAI-laaah. Quite literally how it is spelt. Yup. I’m happy.

Decide if I will keep the three stories separate (each about 11k) or interspersed into one running novella of around 33k (by Wednesday 21)
This will defo be one novella of around 33k. Short stories is all well and good, but the point is that these characters are all interlinked. Their actions affect the others and the effects are felt by all. So it makes sense to write it all as one and give as much time to each part of the story as I can. You’ll see as I go on.

Start writing: get at least 10k drafted
Ha! *slaps thigh* Ha!

stupid idea meme

Well… it was.

No. I didn’t get it done. I got 1650 words in, but that’s it.

Saying that though… I’m thrilled with what I do have! It will need (mega) editing but it’s such a great feeling to be writing about this character again (I’ve started with Diavian Hatara). She’s just so… broken! It’s going to be fun exploring how she got to the character I know and love, since this story takes place before what I used to roleplay in The Ice Wolf Tavern.

Activities For The Week

Right. Okay, so what the hell do I do this week?

  • Double check ‘On A Knife Point’ outline and look for holes, make notes if there are areas that need to be addressed
  • Write 10k of the new novella ‘Dead or Alive’
  • DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT ‘SILK OVER RAZOR BLADES’

Thoughts…

Had I not told you I’d named the novella? Well I have. ^_^ I’m still not sure I’m happy with it, but it is a working title so I can change it easily.

This week has shown me a couple of things:

  1. With all the best will in the world I still take on more than I should
  2. It’s a good thing I do plan, because if I didn’t, I’d have still more that I can’t handle
  3. My plans for the year need to be reassessed
  4. Rejection is something I’d forgotten about (due to the sheer number of recent successes) but my relationship with it is relatively healthy (though I can’t say the same for my relationship with chocolate)

This is good, by the way. Very good. It’s nice to see now, before I get too far into the year, that some things need to be rejiggled. I’ll talk about it a bit more in my end of month round up (since that will give me time to chew on what things need to be fiddled) but stay calm peeps. I am aware of just how crazy my schedule is and I do know that I can’t do everything the way I hoped.Cheerleader from openclipart

So I’m ready to change. I’m flexible like that. ^_^

Have a good week lovely people! Stick to your goals, go slow and steady and please, feel free to share how you’re getting on. I’d love to know what your plans are for the year/month/week and wave my pom-poms for you.

new ileandra signature,

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IY: My Life Is Over? (aka Rejection)


*sigh* Following my big news of a couple of weeks ago, I have an update for you with regards to ‘Silk Over Razor Blades‘ and Angry Robot.

Though the editor who took on the manuscript was keen enough on the manuscript to take it to the group acquisitions meeting, his enthusiasm was not quite shared. This means that though he might have liked the piece, overall it wasn’t enough to convince Angry Robot as a whole to make an offer.

sad dog wants chocolate meme

Because chocolate makes it aaaaaaaaalllllll better.

I saw the email at 11:30pm on Friday night and forced myself not to read it until the following morning. I didn’t want that sort of news in my head when trying to sleep, whether it was good or bad. In hindsight, I’m glad I waited until the cool (and level headed) light of day to read those words.

First, I should mention that it wasn’t a form rejection. Not in the slightest. And there were extremely positive notes within the short message that convince me I’m doing the right thing. That I have an idea worth pursuing. Indeed, it confirmed something I’ve worried about for a long time, which is that the market is still very much saturated with vampire stories. This means that they (or perhaps any publisher) taking on a vampire piece, needs something particularly unusual/different/special about it. At this time, in this instance, that’s not ‘Silk Over Razor Blades.’

But that’s okay!

Now that I’ve had a couple of days to let this sink in and get over the desire to wallow in a box of chocolates, I see all the good from this. If you recall, I intended to publish the book through Little Vamp Press anyway. I was all ready to start selling on 1 December, but held back because the piece was under submission.

Now I know (rather than trusting to my own confidence) that the story I have to tell and the manner in which I tell it, is something marketable. It didn’t tick all the boxes with the team at Angry Robot but it ticked a good number of them and that is all any author can hope for. You can’t please every person, every time with every product. It just doesn’t work that way.

If they told me the story needed to be stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up, this post might well be a farewell post. But they didn’t. They gave me specific instances in which writing could be developed to make the characters and the story stronger.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

cunning plan meme - blackadder

Ooooh, yes I do!

At this point, I have no idea when ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ will be available. I need to take another look at it from beginning to end and pick out those instances that need a little work. But once I’ve done that, it’s on. I’ll kick start my blog tour, I’ll reopen the giveaway and do all the things I had planned at the end of last year.

But not yet. For now… I have some editing to do. ^_^

new ileandra signature,

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RS: I Haz Planz 22/01


Back again! I love this point of the week, looking fresh at what I want to do while debating watching the next episode of whatever it is DSB has in mind. At the moment it’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer. YUSSSH! ^_^

Actions Last Week

~Complete Deep Edits on 12k words of ‘Second Base’ (which takes me up to the scene with Karen and Pete chatting in the garden).
Sorted. Taking it a chapter a day is really keeping me from going insane. Slow and steady and all that.

~Perform Beta Edits on ‘Malcolm’ using comments from (very, very kind!) beta readers
Done. Now I need to let it rest (for a couple of days) before I do one last read and get it ready for proofing.

~Write the special (compilation version only) special story for the end of the ‘Meeting Each Other’ series
Yes. Wow. Okay. Didn’t expect to get it in, but I did. 500 words short of my goal of 3k, but I couldn’t stretch the story any further without it feeling exactly that. So I stopped. Let’s see what editing does to it when the time comes.

Activities For The Week

  1. Complete Deep Edits on 12k words of ‘Second Base’ (which takes me up when Karen shows Dan ‘Black Angelus’ on her laptop – I realise these markers are a bit cryptic as far as you’re concerned, but I can’t really help that. Sorry folks!).
  2. Proof ‘Malcolm’ and format

Thoughts…

goal shooting goals from open clip artI spent a bit too much time last week relaxing. Not that I didn’t get lots done – I did – but these stretching goals are within my grasp with the two full days I have in the week.

I’m going to push a little further to get these bits done, this time. I really want ‘Malcolm’ done and dusted by the end of the month, then I can focus on the print compilation.

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RS: Slippers & Chains: Sugar Dust – Teaser Sample


One Day To Go!

Sugar Dust Cover artOkay guys, after this, I swear I’ll shut up about it (maybe) but I did promise you an excerpt. Well… today is the day.

For those of you not familiar with this story and itbackstory (where you been at?!) you should take a look at this and this to get you up to date.

Now I’ve been given the go ahead by Breathless Press to share this teaser and I finally have some buy links too. Those will come at the end.

Blurb

Dan loves submissive women and longs to build a harem of willing females to fill what he lovingly calls his ‘Slave Library.’ He shares his plans for sexual bliss with Karen, the first of his submissives in both his mind and his heart. But when an unexpected visit from his mother leads to uncomfortable questions about his ex, Dan realizes that past mistakes are catching up to him, faster than he can run.

The first D/s relationship to blend comfortably with her vanilla life is the one Karen shares with Dan. She treasures the freedom in the act of submission and wants nothing more than to share it with her Master for as long as possible. Why then, does he insist on bringing other women into their beds? And why can’t he say he loves her?

As Dan battles his inner demons, Karen hopes a sexy mini break at the exclusive fetish club, Sugar Dust will allow them time to relax and reconnect. There she meets Beth, personification of Dan’s past storming in to demolish her present. Can she show Dan that their relationship is strong enough to break the chains of his past, before Beth drives an immoveable wedge between them with her tales of what once was?

Enjoy Your Teaser

Happy woman meme, teaser sample

Click The (very) Happy Lady For Your Sample! ^_^

Blog Tour

Yes and the tour is going wonderfully, thank you very much!

I believe there has been an issue with my third stop (Katie Babbles) so my post may not be active now (or for a while) but everything up to Love Romance Passion is up and ready.

Why not visit me there and see what’s kicking off?

big red bus OpenClipArt

Hop on the Sugar Dust tour bus! ^_^

Dawn’s Reading Nook – (1) Live Now!
Coffee Time Romance (2) – Live Now!
Katie Babbles (3) – 21 Jan
Savy Authors Appears (4) Live Now!
Romance Reviews Today (5) – Live Now!
Love Romance Passion (6) – 22 Jan
Urban Fantasy Investigations (7) – Live Now!
Romancing The Book (8) – Live Now – ENTER THE CONTEST TO WIN THE BOOK! ^_^
Romance Junkies (9) – 23 Jan
Erzabet’s Enchantments (10) 26 Jan

Links

So… if after all that, you fancy buying the piece, this is how you do so!

Buy from Breathless Press
Buy from Amazon

Phew! Right, that’s it. Tomorrow, if I can manage it, I’ll post pictures of how I chose to celebrate. ;-) Don’t worry, they’ll be safe for work.

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IY: Mah Plans 19/01


goal shooting goals from open clip artEvening everyone! How has the first day back at work been for you? As fun and productive as mine I hope? Or at least bearable. ;)

No preamble today, no blathering, let’s just do it.

Actions Last Week

Prepare and send January’s newsletter to all subscribers
Done. I hope you guys are enjoying the story?

Name the drama-triangle (ugh)
Eerm. I’ve named the three sides of the triangle (ha!) but not the shape as a whole. Does that count? *head desk*

Outline Michael Garran’s story
Done. As well as Diavian’s and Ileandra’s (yes, yes, I know, damnit, I’ll change her name!). I had to physically stop myself from writing, it would have been just too much fun. Plus I have some major wrinkles to smooth out before I can, so it was best not to do anything.

Activities For The Week

Welp… I’m a lot further ahead than I thought I was going to be. So that’s good. However those wrinkles I mentioned…

Remember how once upon a time, every new character I created had my name? Well… they were often the same character as well, just put in a different setting. There’s the Silk Over Razor Blades version of Ileandra (who is now named Lenina Miller), the Gaea version of Ileandra (who is now named D’nai T’keyah) and the roleplay version of Ileandra (who is still called Ileandra Young *sigh*).

The roleplay version of Ileandra is the one that features in this ‘drama-triangle’ but she’s also the version that appears in the short story I’ve sent to subscribers. Except in a miscalculation (otherwise known as a wild cock-up) I called the subscriber-story-version D’nai T’kyeah.

Does your head hurt yet?

I need to decide if the modern and traditional versions of roleplay Ileandra Young are going to remain the same (meaning I’ll need to explain the time skip within the story I’m writing now, though subscribers will already know about it because of the story they’re currently receiving) or if I should keep them separate. And I need to do that before I decide if the new-subscriber-story will be set in the same world as Silk Over Razor Blades, thus giving it the same vampire mythos.

head exploding meme, you said what now?

Created on imgflip.com

Right. Okay, so what the hell do I do this week?

  • Figure out… that stuff *points* (by Tuesday 20)
  • Name the drama-triangle version of Ileandra (by Tuesday 20)
  • Decide if I will keep the three stories separate (each about 11k) or interspersed into one running novella of around 33k (by Wednesday 21)
  • Start writing: get at least 10k drafted

Thoughts…

Yes. I know, I know, WTF, right? But looking at the plan DSB put together for the year, it’s the only way I’ll be able to write the piece and edit it in time for distribution at the end of May (week 22). I’ll need to write it and get it out the way before I start drafting ‘On A Knife Point’ (which begins in week 8 – Feb 16).

If I’m going to do each of the three stories separate, then it’s not so bad, I can draft and edit them in chunks, but if I’m going to do the whole lot as a single novella then I’ll really (really!) need to know exactly what’s happening so I can set up the plot arcs properly and make sure they criss-cross in the right places. That means getting it all written.

I have four weeks to do 33k words. Easy, really (she says!). But I figure if I aim for 10k a week, then I have that last week to play catch up if I need to.

I know I normally give myself a week to do these things on these lists but you’ll notice extra dates in this week’s batch of activities. That’s because I need as much time as possible to get this 10k down while DSB is going mad working on Caladria and Fab Fables (more on that next week).

Phew… okay. It will be fine. It will. Honest. Let’s just… ignore what I said last week about burning out. o.O

new ileandra signature,

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