Saturday, November 14, 2015

10k Blog Views

   That's pretty cool. :)

   I don't have anything definitive to report on Volume #11 yet, but I'm hoping to have it out by Wednesday. I'll update when I have a better timeline.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Update on Volume #11

Volume #11 is nearly done. I'll know more this weekend when I finish editing.

I'll try to update on Saturday once I have a better idea of the release date. 

I'm also going to be setting up a mailing list in the near future, so stay tuned for news on that!

Fate Lock Volume #11

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What am I up to this week?

   This week has been crazy. 
   Writing has been my greatest passion for my entire life, but passion doesn't pay the bills... at least not yet. I'm hoping that in another year I'll have enough income to write full time. Until then, I have to start working again. So...
   I started a new job. It's a really exciting opportunity, but I'll be working most days during the week. Never fear!!! I will still be updating Fate Lock at least once every three weeks, though I would prefer to post a new episode every week or two weeks.
   The reason I've been running behind for the past few volumes was because of my job search. Realistically, the new job will be just as time consuming as the job search, but hopefully it'll be less stressful. 
   Everything seems to be falling right into place now, and I'm going to be marathon-ing Volume #11 this weekend, so stay tuned for updates.
   Don't forget to share Fate Lock with your friends! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

And then everything went horribly wrong. . .

   I feel like screaming.

   So, I was having trouble with Chapter 2. I've been working on it off and on for the past three days. The pacing was wonked, and the whole scene felt rushed. I just couldn't get it right, so today I rewrote part of it. That seemed to be working, and then it just wasn't.
   Chapter 2 had to go. It just didn't make sense... and so did half of Chapter 1, and half of Chapter 3... 5,000 words in all that I'm going to have to completely rewrite. That's at least 5 hours worth of work, and that's at my best rate. It could easily take me twice that long.
   I wish I drank alcohol. If I were Kylie, I would be getting hammered right about now. If I were Riss, I would be punching someone... probably Gregory... I think I'll make Riss punch Gregory in Chapter 2 just to get my frustration out... (Kidding. Riss was already going to punch Gregory in Chapter 2... You'll see...)

   It was my own fault. I had this super exciting thing that I wanted to toss into Chapter 2, but it just didn't belong there. It was crowding out the real purpose of the scene. I might still use it later, though honestly, I think I've given the story enough plot twists that all my characters are walking around with permanent wedgies, so I'm gonna try to let this gem slip through the cracks. The story doesn't need it.

   Part of me wants to stay up all night and finish the damn thing, but I know me. If I try pulling an all-nighter, my hourly word count will tank. I won't actually finish it any faster than if I had just gotten 8 hours of sleep, and on top of that I'll catch a cold.

   Now for the good news. I am proud of me. While, yes, I am flipping frustrated, in the past a setback like this would have sent me into YouTube procrastination mode, and I wouldn't have written a thing for a week. Instead, I found the problem, hacked it out, and spent an hour creating a very detailed plan for how I'm going to make the new version of Chapters 1, 2, and 3 even better.

   I had to cut so much out that I'm not sure where my completion percentage is sitting anymore, but I'll update when I figure it out. I'll know for sure by tomorrow morning.

      I absolutely 100% have to be done by Wednesday, but I'm setting my exceptionally unrealistic completion deadline at 5pm tomorrow evening.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Volume #10 Update #4

Sunday 10/25/15
10:30pm . . . Completion 65%
Writing 85% - Editing 71% - Formatting 20%

  I had the most frustrating afternoon. Nothing wanted to work for me. I was hoping to get the writing portion of this volume completed by midnight, but that's not happening.
  I'll get as close as I can as fast as I can and update at Midnight.

4:00pm . . . Completion 63%
Writing 85% - Editing 66% - Formatting 20%

  Heading into the final stretch on this one... I'll update whenever I take a breather. I struggled with some of the scenes in Chapter 2. The pace of the story really starts to take off in this volume, and Volume #11 will be the most exciting yet. Stay tuned... ;)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Volume 10 Update #3

Saturday - 10/24/15
7:30am . . . *Completion 50%
Writing 60% - Editing 55% - Formatting 20%

  I kept meaning to update yesterday and then forgetting about it. The last 25% of each volume always goes the fastest for me. I'm really excited about the scene I'm about to start writing, so I expect that by 7pm, I'll have another 20% progress to report.
  I fully plan to have Fate Lock Volume 10 done by noon tomorrow. I'll be working through the night, and I'll update here every few hours. Wish me luck!

*As a guide to my completion percentages... The writing phase takes about 1/2 the total time I spend working on any given volume with editing and formatting taking up the other 1/2.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Volume 10 Progress Report #2

Tuesday - 10/20/15
7:30am . . . *Completion 20%
Writing 39% - Editing 0% - Formatting 0%

  I've hit a slowing point, and for me, that means it's time to start moving onto the next phase... Let me enumerate... :)
  I write longhand with pen and paper so that I can't go back and fiddle around/nit-pick with the story. There are only so many times you can change a word or reorganize a sentence when you're writing longhand. Eventually, the paper becomes completely illegible.
  I used to be very picky about paper quality, but over the past year, I've swung the other direction. High-quality, glossy paper doesn't absorb ink as efficiently as low-quality, porous paper. The higher quality the paper, the messier my hands look by the end of the day. For this same reason, I REFUSE to write with gel ink pens.
  While I'm not picky about paper quality, I am EXTREMELY picky about pen quality. I actually only use one type of pen, the Zebra BP F-301, and I have a lot of them.
  These pads are great. You can tear out half the pages without ruining the pad, and the pages you tear out will all still be glued together. It's fantastic.
  Another great thing about these 100 sheet writing pads, is that they are cheap, so I don't feel wasteful about only writing on the front side of the paper. I use the back-side to make notes about changes I want to make in Stage 2.
  Stage 2 is the typing phase.
  When Stage 1, the handwritten portion of my story, starts to slow down, I move on to Stage 2. Then back to 1, then back to 2, until I'm finished. Stage 3 doesn't generally begin until Stages 1 and 2 are complete, but that's not a hard and fast rule.
  I'll update again some time this afternoon. I have a couple things to do today other than writing, but I should still be able to get some good time in on the story. If I have time, I'll try to post the first paragraph or two of Volume 10 on the blog.

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Tuesday - 10/20/15
12:00pm . . . *Completion 26%
Writing 39% - Editing 24% - Formatting 0%

  At my current rate, I should have Volume 10 up for sale by Friday, but I don't feel like it should take that long. That's my #1 problem though. I never think things will take as long as they actually do. I'm always looking at my BEST rate and thinking that I can work at that speed constantly. Obviously, that's not feasible.
  I cut six inches off my hair this morning when I got out of the shower. The scissors were there... My hair was there... and I was getting sick of all the tangles. So now it only comes to my waist. I might cut off even more so that it comes to my shoulder blades. I pretty much just wear it up all the time anyway. Any thoughts, internet?
  I REALLY need to dye it. I have 6" of brown showing above the blonde, but I sorta don't want to have to keep up with the blonde anymore either. I bought some dark blonde hair dye, and I'm going to try to fade the top part into the bottom part, so it can grow out ombre style.

*          *          *

Wednesday - 10/21/15
9:00pm . . . *Completion 31%
Writing 45% - Editing 31% - Formatting 0%

  So sleepy...
  I didn't get as much writing done today
as I wanted because I spent about half the day trying to find a replacement for my cover art program. It keeps making my computer crash, and every time that happens, I lose the progress on the image. It also takes several minutes to save the file, so I've been trying to find a balance between losing work and saving every few minutes... PAIN...
  I did get some new cover art completed while I was testing out every graphic design program on the internet. Some of the programs I found have some really interesting effects... This is the new frame image for Volume 6. What'd'ya think?

 *As a guide to my completion percentages... The writing phase takes about 1/2 the total time I spend working on any given volume with editing and formatting taking up the other 1/2.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Volume 10 Progress Report

  I thought I might try something a bit new for Volume #10. . . We'll see how it goes.

Sunday - 10/18/15
12:15 pm . . . *Completion: 0%
Writing 0% - Editing 0% - Formatting 0%

  So, I spent the past four days formatting the paperback version of Book #1. That will be Volumes 1-6 compiled into a single book. The file's so big that it's making my computer slow and taking forever. (I have to get a new computer soon. Part of the reason the last two volumes went over schedule was due to my computer crashing repeatedly. ) It's probably going to take me another two weeks to finish it, so I'm going to put that on hold for now and start working on Volume 10.
  I'm at a place in the story that I MASSIVELY changed since I wrote the original version of the series, so for the first time since I started the serialization, I'm going in without a single scene written. Funnily enough, that should make the process a bit quicker. I write much faster than I rewrite.
  *As a guide to my completion percentages... The writing phase takes about 1/2 the total time I spend working on any given volume with editing and formatting taking up the other 1/2.

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Monday - 10/19/15
12:24 pm . . . Completion: 10%
Writing 20% - Editing 0% - Formatting 0%

  I thought I'd be a bit further in by now, but the first chapter of Fate Lock Volume #10, which I might call "Lost Without You", took longer than anticipated. It's hard for me to start writing a scene if I'm not sure how the characters are going to react to a particular situation. I tend to sit, staring at a blank page, trying to work out what I'm going to write before I write it. I keep forgetting to remember that I write better when I'm completely clueless and winging it.
  What I thought would be the first three (separate) scenes of Volume 10 actually merged into one giant and LOOONNNGGGG scene that will take up at least the first 2 chapters.
  Technically, it's my damn book, so I can say where the scenes begin and end and cut them up however I feel like. But to me, it never feels like the scene is over until there's a time skip, usually accompanied by exposition... i.e. Four hours and four florist shops later, my mother finally decided that we had found enough flowers. 
  I just love the alliteration in that sentence. If you hadn't noticed, I really like alliteration.
  I'll try to update again during my next break ~3:00pm or so.

*          *          *

4:00pm . . . Completion 14%
Writing 27% - Editing 0% - Formatting 0%
  Just a quick progress update, and back to work I go. Let me know if you like these mini-updates, and I'll start doing them for each volume. The next scene should really fly, so I'm hoping to hit 50% on my writing completion before I run out of steam today.

*          *          *

7:30pm . . . Completion 19%
Writing 37% - Editing 0% - Formatting 0%

  I didn't quite hit my goal of 50%, but I managed to tack on another 10%, and now it's bedtime. I'll update again tomorrow. 

*          *          *

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fate Lock Volume 9: Lost and Found is LIVE!!!

One misunderstanding after another is driving a wedge between Kylie and Riss. Kylie is desperate to fix their marriage, while Riss seems content to scatter its ashes.

Finally! Volume #9!

So, what's up with my lateness issues???

I am incapable of moderation. When I start to approach a deadline, I panic, and I stop sleeping and eating. One might think that would get my work out early, right? Um, no... See, when I'm exhausted, sleep-deprived, stressed, and malnourished, my efficiency takes a massive hit. It doesn't just half my productivity, it quarters it. I go from producing 800-1,000 words per hour to 200-250 words per hour.
 It's not healthy, so I'm trying to get things on a more even keel. There's some bugs to work out, but I'm hoping that by Volume 11 or 12 I'll be back on a real schedule. I'll post updates on my progress.

To check out Volume 1 of the series, click here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Current Mood: ANNOYED

I can't believe how many dislikes this trailer has...

Jem was my favorite cartoon when I was little. (I think I mostly liked her name because it sounded like mine.) I used to watch Jem, immediately followed by Transformers, which I didn't like as much, but She-Ra and He-Man were my peeps! When I was five, I begged my mother to take me to Fantastic Sams to get my hair cut just like Cover Girl from GI Joe... which turned out to be a mistake... but hey... learning opportunity.

While I don't remember much about the original show past the pink star earrings and opening credit theme song, this trailer irked the hell out of me.

Jem was magic.

Jem was special.

Jem was my idol...

This girl is none of those things.

Aside from the names of the characters, this show shares absolutely no similarities with the 80's cartoon.

Hollywood needs to stop repurposing and dismantling my childhood!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I win Twitter

I'm not sure what I did, but my twitter followers increased by 25% yesterday.
I updated my profile.
I changed my header photo.
I retweeted a few interesting articles.
And I've begun to use hashtags in my promotional tweets...
I've never thought that twitter was that interesting as a social media platform, but I'm beginning to see the appeal. It's an opportunity to be a part of a world-wide conversation.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Update on Fate Lock: Volume 9

I haven't written in my blog in awhile, but since not all my readers are on Facebook, I thought this might be a better way to keep people updated about my series, Fate Lock.

I'm currently working on Volume 9, and I think I should have it up for sale by Wednesday evening... However, I SUCK at estimating time... Generally, I need about twice as long as I say I will.

So Fate Lock #9 should be available sometime between Wednesday evening and Friday morning.

To check out Volumes 1-8, link below.