This past month has been a crazy busy one. I’m just finishing up the draft of book #2 in my Italian brotherduet. It is my first ever duet, due out in the Spring of 2015, and I found that I really loved writing such closely linked stories. I ended up writing 2 books in 4 months. That right there is something I never thought I’d accomplish.
Let’s go back to the beginning, well, maybe not that far. I don’t think sharing my childhood adventures of writing short mysteries and passing them around the elementary school lunch table will demonstrate what I’m trying to get at here. ;-) Instead let’s rewind time back to when I became serious about my writing and my pursuit to be published.
In the beginning, I would write when the mood struck me. Then it progressed to writing with a modest daily goal. But then I’d trip myself up by revising and revising and revising so that writing one book would take me a year. I was proud that’d I finished a book, but it was only one book in a year. I started to stress because I wanted to write for Harlequin, a lifelong dream, and I’d heard that they wanted their writers to produce multiple books a year. *stomach churned* I was never going to be able to do that at my current pace. Something had to change. But what?
At that point in time, I didn’t do any planning—zero plotting. I wrote everything from the seat of my pants, including writing myself into some corners. Eventually I decided that it was taking far too much time to rewrite the entire book, not once or twice but three or four times. Sooo…I took myself on a journey to find out what process worked for me.
I took online writing classes, one after the other, trying other people’s methods. I tried brain mapping, poster boards and any number of other things. I finally settled on Plotting via Motivation taught by Laurie Schnebly Campbell. It clicked for me and I use it as a jumping off point. I’m not saying it’ll work for you. Everyone is different. You just have to find what works for you.
Two years ago, I wrote my debut in 3-4 months, but now I am able to write one in 2 months including time for revisions on a prior book and AA’s. It all flows together. But one thing I learned not to do is go back and edit my draft. I keep moving forward and make notes as I go so I don’t forget what I wanted to change. These notes aren’t anything major that will change my plotline. They are more along the lines of finding an appropriate name for a secondary character or finding out how long it takes to get approval for something. Anyway I never thought I would be so productive, but sometimes I surprise myself. LOL.
I use a spreadsheet to keep me on track. I talk more about my spreadsheet in an earlier “Figuring It Out” post. You can read it HERE. Being the curious sort, I pulled up my spreadsheet for my current release, THE RETURN OF THE REBEL. I completed that book in 5 weeks. :-) Of course there were no interruptions in there such as revisions or AA’s.
Sometimes we tell ourselves that we can’t do something. That is never helpful. Instead, we should prop ourselves up and realize that we are capable of more than we think. ;-)
And what does this accomplishment mean to me? I get to reward myself with some down time this summer. It’ll be a much needed chance to unwind. :-) Yes, that was one of driving motivations to kick up the pace.
But in the meatime, I’m celebrating the release of book #4, THE RETURN OF THE REBEL.
Jax Monroe is a reformed bad boy with a good heart. Cleo is a good girl with a guilty conscience. Reunited beneath the bright lights of Las Vegas, can this childhood crush turn into something more? Or will secrets and danger destroy their chance at real love?
TOP PICK! RT Book Reviews 4.5 Stars
Cleo’s eyes twinkled. “Are you flirting with me?”
“If you have to ask, I must not be doing it right.”
She laughed some more. “I’m glad not everything about you has changed. You were always a great guy in my book.”
Her gaze lifted up to meet his. The tender look in her eyes touched something deep inside Jax—a part of him that he thought was long dead. In that moment, he felt more alive than he had in months.
Without thinking he reached out and caressed her cheek. “Thank you.”
She leaned into his touch, short-circuiting the logical side of his brain. The only coherent thought in his head was to pull her close and kiss her. And this time he wouldn’t be kissing her rosy cheek. This time he planned to find out if those cherry-red lips were as sweet and passionate as they were in his daydreams.
THE RETURN OF THE REBEL is available now:
Amazon US - http://amzn.to/1itSo46
B&N - http://bit.ly/1kfK2tU
Kobo US: http://bit.ly/1mTe35k
iBooks US: http://bit.ly/QWqemt
Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/1fn3w2v
Amazon Canada - http://amzn.to/1pIdK1P
Amazon India - http://bit.ly/1itT9u8
So my question to you is…What is the last thing that you accomplished that really surprised you?