Every Writing Journey is Different…No For Real!

If there is one lesson that I’ve learned throughout my 35 years on this Earth is that no footstep is the same. Sure our paths may seem similar, we’ve both turned a left or two, but the reality of it all is that they will end in separate places at different times.

When I first started writing, it was for relief. With all the temptation around me at school and the love I had for my boyfriend, and now husband, with me every waking moment, I had to find a way to release some lustful desires in a healthy way, so I started writing. I wrote freaky tales and shared it with my friends, which did something powerful for me that I reflect on today–I connected women on a level I didn’t know I could through erotic words.

Then when my mother passed in December of 2006, my best friend showed me that writing was also a way to cope with pain and loss. I really let all the painful words that were being held back by my tears out of my system into poetry and journaling. Writing has not only helped with my sanity and recovery but it’s taught me more about myself that I thought it could. I mean, a totally different emotional level.

So did I know that I would be pursuing a writing career when I was in college. No. Elementary, well yeah. I’ve dreamt about telling the stories that were in my head since I was young but I only thought it was a dream, until now.

And it’s not until now, or should I say the past year, that I’ve realized that becoming a full-time author may look totally different for me than anyone else, so I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.

So I’m taking the next big, and what was one of the scariest steps thus far, which was why I decided to take my talents to Patreon–a platform build to help creatives survive why continually sharing our work.

So, why Patreon? Three reasons:

  1. Supplemental-ish Income: This platform allows a creative like me to make an income by supplying a product on a regular basis. As an early published author who only has two books out, it helps to supplement my income to help cover costs like editors, cover designers, software, supplies and all the other stuff that comes up in between (travel costs to conferences and marketing materials).
  2. Storytelling on a monthly basis: I love writing. Did you know that? It’s so true that on this platform I get to write short stories and upcoming chapters for you all to review and give feedback on. Oh, and depending on what tier you subscribe to you will get multiple stories a month, free stuff and so much more.
  3. Connecting with you on a personal: It’s hard to be real on so many channels, and to be honest I can’t be for “commercial” reasons, but on Patreon I plan to be the best and honest me I can be because everyone who supports this dream desires nothing less. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about those of you have bought my book and who have already subscribed to this blog. I’m keeping you in the loop on some of the goodies, but honestly, if you want the gems…you know where to go and what to do!

My path will be different but it will happen because I know it’s for me. If your struggling to live your purpose, I challenge you to take a leap of faith. Trust that the path is already there and all you have to do is take the next step, even if you can see it clearly. What you feel, is what is for you.

Join DNC on Patreon.

With passion

DNC

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Pitching a Book: Allergies, colds, and mothering…oh my!

Photo by Unknown

I am an avid believer that in life there are no excuses…except during allergy season in Atlanta, when your fighting a cold and when your a mother — there are no days off in motherhood. So, my goal of pitching to a literary agent each week in March was delayed, until last week.

Check out my Writing vlog on YouTube

That’s right, I pitched to two agents last week. That means I’ve pitched to three agents since Feb. 25 — and I’ve heard back from two already! But I’ll share those details next week.

What I want to touch on this week is what you need to do even before you begin pitching your romance, erotic, fantasy, middle grade, YA or non-fiction (and so on) masterpiece. There are levels to this pitching thang and here is what I’ve learned since I’ve started.

Query Letter

As I shared before in my post Pitching to Literary Agents: See what had happened was…, your query letter not only summarizes your novel or novella, it sells the book. Be sure to include the word count, the genre(s), the audience who would love your book and who you’re book is similar to. That last part has been hard for me because I only like certain erotic stories, and they are mostly the classics.

But, if you can relate your book to a current author or novel, be sure to mention it in your query letter.

Oh and keep this to one page because a lot of agents just want this in an email and they are not going to read anything longer.

Synopsis

This was THE HARDEST piece to pull together for me but in the end, it was worth it because it helped me find those hidden holes in my own story. Again, in the post that I shared earlier, I touched on the importance of this piece.

Yes, no one wants to give away their whole book in 2-5 pages but you must in order to give some agents a full look your storyline.

Remember: this helps them figure out any holes and as I found out, it will help you too.

The FULLL EDITED Manuscript

Originally, I shared that you should have the first three chapters ready. Now I’m changing that to having the full piece completely edited. That means peer groups, hiring an editor, and reviewing it until you want to throw it across the room or are dreaming continuously about every word, every period, hell maybe even the amount of tabs throughout (or is that just me).

This is mandatory because some agents will ask for the first 10 pages or the first three chapters or the first 20 pages or the whole damn thing!! The idea is to be prepared for whatever their request may be. It could be the difference between making the connection now or missing the boat.

We’ll folks, that all I have time for! I’ve back on a normal writing schedule working on book two in this series, and preparing for passion-fy release sooner than later (thank to everyone who voted on instagram)!

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Did You NaNoWriMo Yesterday or Naw?

So how did your first day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) go? Did you hit your word count or naw? For me, it’s “or naw” and here’s why…

Instead of trying to hit a daily word count, I’m adjusting my strategy to a weekly word count. To be exact, approx 2,000 words a week. Want to know why, because I’m a realist. I have too many other roles that I have to stay on top of in life, so I can’t allow myself to be stress out daily that I didn’t hit a goal.

What else am I doing differently? I’ve actually plot planned with notecards to help pull out details surrounding the storyline. I don’t like doing outlines, so this allows me to organically hit the areas I feel like writing about when I want to write about them. It also helps to ensure that I’m always supporting my overall plot.

My NaNoWriMo goal is to knock out three chapters for my book focused on my childhood in St. Louis.

What’s your goal and how did your first day go?

If you’re having trouble getting started, grab a little #fridaymotivation from my YouTube channel.

spur-snapshot

With passion,

DNC

When Desires Change Mid Draft

Lately, I’ve been on a journey to explore and grow my intentions around writing… #writerslife #authordnc

Lately, I’ve been on a journey to explore and grow my intentions around writing. When I started blogging to now, I’ve wanted to share lessons learned from wedding planning to life crises. The stories I’ve told and feedback I’ve received have solidified that I was made to tell genuine stories.

So I stretched my storytelling further when I published my first book, Untraditional: A Collection of Passion-Fy Short Stories. I was satisfying one of those “I really wish” dreams that I spoke of in college so when I looked back on all the words that I had written to date, I couldn’t believe that it was a dream destined to come true.

When I quietly published my second book, Like. Love. Lust., I wanted to give a piece of me. Something that the first fantasy romance didn’t dive into, even though it took several debates to convince my family and friends so…even my grandfather questioned the details. People forget that I’m an only child — to my mother at least — and my imagination has always been on like 100,000. But Like. Love. Lust. was a reflection of the rollercoaster of emotions that I went through on my journey to learn love. A path that was rough and reckless at times, but that taught me more about the woman I was and wanted to be.

Now, as I work on my third piece, I know how it started off in my mind but now my soul desires to switch gears.

It’s the continuation of the short story The Robinsons’, from Untraditional, that takes leads you down a path with Nia after an unforgettable encounter with Mr. and Mrs. Robinson. Nia is introduced to her new self. More aware of her desires. More open to all possibilities but none that she desires to stick. Just living for each moment.

As I edit my story, I’ve gotten to certain parts where I understand that this or that character plays such an important part to how she will or will not take her next steps and I owe their presence more explanation. But wait…this was supposed to be like a straight passion-fy tale of like, love and lust?

I’m discovering that this piece is taking so long because the message that I want you, my readers to receive is much deeper than just those simple emotions. When I coined the term passion-fy, I even included the descriptor of “intensely emotional characters” so why have I tried to pigeonhole myself to three?

So I won’t anymore. I desire to give you the novel that I’m thinking about now in hopes that you not only understand Nia complex and emotional plight but how her mother, friends, The Robinsons, co-workers and all are as passionate as she is.

Thanks for being patient with me…

With passion,

DNC

Oh, and if you want to want to get a taste of how the story starts off…mind you a very rough draft of it…check out The Teaser post. Leave some feedback while you’re there too. I would love to hear what you think.