Writing and Such: When to Quit

I kid you not Chronicle family, I’ve been working on the follow up to Office Extravaganza for over three months, and I’m over it! I know some of you are probably like, “But it has only been three months. It takes some people years to right a novel.” And you’re right. A novel, which is usually over 40,000 words depending on your genre, can take years to write. 

However, I’m only writing a novelette, 20,000 words or less, and it’s taking FOREVER!

Has Quitting Season Started?

So, I’ve asked myself, “Self, is it finally time to quit?”

It’s like every day I tell myself that I have to finish today. Ideas keep coming and I jot them down but then stop because I freeze up. The words that follow that initial burst of creativity don’t feel or look right on my screen. They don’t give me that electricity like the others did. Then, I switch directions and tell myself, “Just give yourself one more day and it’ll be done.” Now imagine doing this same routine day after day, week after week, and now month after month. 

I promise I’m not bored with the storyline, or characters or subthemes. It’s like I can’t get it all the way out of me. I went to the beach, my favorite writing place, and came up with some amazing ideas for my business but then the story just stalled again.

Okaloosa Beach, Miramar Beach

What’s in between writer’s block and master-classing manuscripts? That’s right, me. *Slaps forehead and falls back on the couch*

Follow the “Rules” or Make Them Up

I’ve been told and researched that if you’re stuck on a story you should stop writing it. Move to a different storyline and if the story is worth writing, it’ll come back around, I guess like a Frisbee. Or maybe it’s more like a bad relationship that comes back around good. Either way I digress.

Then I feel like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. But, I don’t want to!” *Stomps away, like a six-year-old throwing a tantrum*

Honestly, my opinion for when you’re supposed to quit at anything, even writing, is only when you don’t love what you’re doing anymore and I’m still in love with this story. I’m giving myself one last week to finish this first draft. I’ll come back next week and let you know how it goes, promise. In the meantime, check out my new bookstore and share what you’re working on too. Have you had some writing woes recently?

With passion,

DNC

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Writing Relections: Time and Space Wanted

Sitting out on my deck, smelling the drying rain and smoking this hookah, I decided to check in with my Chronicles people.

I know it’s been a moment but that’s because finding a moment isn’t the easiest right now. I’ve been squeezing in a sentence or two here and there in my next book, the prequel to Office Extravaganza, but outside of that it’s been tough to do extra writing.

I’m doing my best to balance a full time job with a passion, but add in taking care of my youngest during this crazy ass quarantine and both time and space disappear.

It’s a good thing that I recorded several podcasts for my Patreon family but I’ll do better on this blog.

How are y’all hanging in there? Writers do you find yourself having more time or less to write? Readers the same. Have you smashed more books or less?

Mic check everyone. Hopefully I’m not the only one struggling with words but they are in my head I promise and I’ll keep dropping them because I would love to get this out to you all before labor day or soon after.

With passion, DNC

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NaNoWriMo is here! You ready or Nah?

It’s that time of the year when we writers decide to isolate ourselves from the world to get as many words, stories, outlines, edits and thoughts out in the name of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – like we really need another excuse to get lost in our word counts.

Since I learned that November was the designated month for such an audacious yet exciting event, I’ve tried to join in on the festivities and this year is no different.

With the a plan to knock out my 2020 self-pub piece, I’ve identified all the weapons (or tools for you non-warriors), tricks and hints that I could find starting with my own version of Popeye’s spinach – wine!

On my YouTube channel (say what, you haven’t subscribed…what are you waiting on?), I take you through my thoughts on my first wine subscription that started with a simple wine tasting.

While you’re there on my channel–after you subscribe–make sure to check out my NaNoWriMo playlist to find other tips and hints to surviving and smashing your goals throughout the entire month of November. I’ll continue to do videos thought the month to share my own progess too.

Got some tips of your own? Share away folks. Drop your tips in the comments below so we can all do this right. It’s a writing community thang so let help each other out.

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

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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