Small Steps

2017 #ROW80 Round 2: Update #9| 10 Minute Novelist: Update #18

As I’m writing this, I’m listening to On Writing by Stephen King. It had been recommended to me many times, but I never had the chance to get to it. It’s not a regular writing guide. It’s part memoir and part opinion about writing structure. The one thing I’m taking from it is how he combine his life experiences into his stories.

I have only listened to two stories by King: The Colorado Kid and 11/22/63: A Novel. And like most people, I have watched several of the movie adaptations. But what called my attention is how much of his high school years’ anecdotes are part of the 11/22/63 book. It’s easy to see how we can make a character believable and interesting by giving it a quasi-real background story.

I’m still getting ready to start writing my next novel, but I’m liking the way it’s going. Less about the amount of words and how fast I can complete it and more about the different arcs and characters.

This week, I decided to start decluttering my days. I have dropped some of my daily posts; including my Wednesday update. I’m keeping the Sunday going because I love the interaction and having a group of people to talk about my week, but two posts a week are a bit redundant at the moment. I might go back to it but since I need to start getting ready to move out of state over the summer, I’m trying to be more effective.

I’m also moving away from online writing groups and social media in general. I’m trying to guard my writing time and trying to be more focus. As someone commented before, there were things distracting me that needed to be taken care of before I move forward.

I think I’m finding a good balance between real life, healthy eating & exercise, and story planning/writing. Plus, I prioritized the stories I want to write and set soft deadlines. I’m starting slow and small but in the end, it seems to be showing the beginning of a more cohesive story.


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Series Planning

2017 #ROW80 Round 2: Update #8 | 10 Minute Novelist: Update #17

I have three series started, but this is the first time I’m taking the time to look at all the books and how they would be connected. Before, I wrote stories in the same world, but there wasn’t a series arc/plot.

I finally decided to dig a little deeper. I have been handwriting everything I know about the stories romance arc, external arc, and the overall series. So far, so good. Now that I have a better idea of where I want to go and the main players, I’m ready to start outlining. And perhaps, doing some writing.

I’m taking a little bit of everything I have read and I’m looking forward to seeing if this new approach makes a difference when the writing goes into full mode.


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2017 #ROW80 Round 2: Update #7

I  realized earlier today that I’m the nesting stage of my writing project. I have four kids so I’m very familiar with the days before labor in which you start the last preparations. You try to get everything ready, clean and organize because you know the next couple of weeks are going to be hard, busy, and exhausting.

That’s where I am–looking forward to my next story for the first time since October of 2016. In Sunday’s update, I mentioned two reference books I read and at the moment, I’m going over two others, Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes and Take off Your Pants: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing by Libbie Hawker.

Also, I created a spreadsheet with all the project I have already titled and with summaries. Yes, I have way too many, but I tried to organize them according to preference and pending series. This way, I don’t feel guilty putting aside a project and working in the next one. Instead of coming up with more plot bunnies, I have them contain for a little longer.

There are a couple more days in the month and I’m using them to finally finish my next novel outline. In the end, I hope to have everything ready to write the book, plus a comprehensive outline template I can use for the next book. I think what takes me the longer when writing is getting everything ready to start writing. Will see how this goes.

I have written three book reviews and three blog posts this week. I have exercised for about an hour every day, and I’m taking time away from the computer. Overall, I’m having a good week. 🙂


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A Round of Words in 80 days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life.


References & Refreshers

2017 #ROW80 Round 2: Update #6 | 10 Minute Novelist: Update #16

My reviews and blog schedules still going strong. I even have a chance to read just for the fun of it, as I mentioned on my last post. I have been organizing all those ideas I have and trying to find some order–prioritizing series I want to finish and projects I can’t wait to start.

Also, I read two reference books. First, Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland which I got with the audio version included. Why? Because it’s easier to listen to the content and think about my story at the same time. Then, I can go back and review the text when I’m ready to write down what I know about my book. And the second was a re-read, Writing Faster by L.A. Witt. This is more of a pep talk book since the content is pretty standard.

They work well together because you want to have your character arc and book structure set before you look for alternatives to write faster. For me, it’s more about sitting down and start writing. After I know what I want to do, it’s easy to produce the words. I normally write one manuscript, no drafts. But, I’m trying to approach my next story as draft one. Perhaps this way I’d have an easier time deciding what to write afterward.

For the next week, I plan to continue with my reviews, blogs, and start pinpointing my next project. I’m not sure if I want to go with short stories to be published over the holidays or a novel. Will see which plot bunny wins the battle.


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2017 #ROW80 Round 2: Update #5

Today is reading day. I’m taking part of a read-a-thon and I’m reading books by one of my favorite authors in the genre I write on. Her books always remind me of the reasons I want to write my books. I don’t think I’m going to start writing again yet, but I’m using this time to refocus and plot.

As for progress, I have kept my blogging and review schedules. Also, I created the cover for a writing project compilation I’m working on my website and catch up with everything I missed during the Easter weekend. So, I have a somehow productive and relaxing couple of days.

Plus, I started taking part of the #RomanceFit challenge on Twitter. Adding some exercises to my writing routine. So far, so good.


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A Round of Words in 80 days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life.

Easter Break

2017 #ROW80 Round 2: Update #4 | 10 Minute Novelist: Update #15

I backdated this post, but I’m actually writing it Monday night since I took a couple of days off for the end of the Holy Week. Happy Easter to those who celebrated, and I hope, you all, had a great week.

Last week I did some editing, wrote several book reviews, and created some Scrivener files. I’m still getting used to the program, but using the template option is working pretty well.

I’m still unsure about the direction of my stories, but I think I’m getting to a better place. Thank you, guys, for your words of encouragement. It’s easy to lose sight of the end goal when trying to write what we enjoy and trying to anticipate the market.

I hope everyone has a fulfilling week to come!


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Old Friends

2017 #ROW80 Round 2: Update #3

As I mentioned in my last update, my writing has decided not to cooperate. I have been thinking about switching to different stories or continue with my current projects but nothing is working. Having the concentration of a toddler high on sugar doesn’t help either.

Therefore, I’m taking a writing break and moving into editing for a couple of days. Revisiting older friends might give me the distance needed to see my current WIPs with new eyes. I might be starting my writing hiatus earlier than I expected, but at least, something is getting done.


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A Round of Words in 80 days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life.