My Learning Novel

Blood and Motive was the first book I wrote and is constantly teaching me. It was filled with all of my terrible writing habits, and the process of recognizing and improving those flaws in Blood and Motive has been more extensive than in any of my other novels. Instead of shelving it like others do with their first attempts, I stubbornly kept editing it because I always liked the story.

The reason why it’s taken years to get Blood and Motive at this point despite having successfully written four books after it, was that its length at 125,000 words made it difficult for me to read through it in a reasonable amount of time due to lack of spoons. Gaining more energy this past year to read faster while retaining more of what still needs to be changed has been so helpful. Before, I had edited the book in 3 pieces, and as a result, the quality of those parts have been wildly inconsistent.

The energetic me who worked on the first third of that book, put out tight dialogue, satisfactory end scenes, and emotions that can pull in readers. The tired me working on the second part, left a mess of fractured scenes, no emotion to irrational character behavior that creates little impact when they make mistakes or encounter grief, and scenes with so little detail that you can only imagine stick figures talking in white rooms. The slightly more energized me who really wanted to work on battle scenes, got her shit together for the last third of the book but still needs to do another editing pass.

It’s been a trial editing this book, but it really makes me happy how far Blood and Motive has come throughout the years. I guess the point of this post is to trust your gut when it comes to writing, and no advice is written in stone. Yes, my first book was a mess, but thank goodness I didn’t throw it in a drawer forever(that was the major writing rule back then) and decided to salvage it, editing a bit at a time while publishing other work.

Writing Smorgasbord

This is what I’m accomplishing right now: written chapters for a high Fantasy novel, a chapter for a fanfic, a few paragraphs for a Paranormal Romance, an outline for a revenge Sci-Fi novel, and editing another Fantasy novel and Urban Fantasy novel. My brain still wants to be frustrated at how little consistency there is in my work right now, but getting anything done is the victory. And I don’t know when there will be a “normal” again, especially since my country hasn’t hit the worst of this pandemic yet. That’s why I have to repeat to myself over and over again that what little I get done and no matter how hectic, is all okay. If I can’t get any words next week or perhaps weeks, that’s okay too.

Everything is so different, and while most people can wrap their brains around the facts of this situation, adjusting is still going to take a long time. Some day, I’ll be able to sit down and concentrate on one project for days at a time. I don’t know when that’ll happen, but the work I’m doing now and then, will all count.

Writing For Pleasure Again

One thing about publishing is I think it can get your mind too much into a business mindset. I mean yes, I need to make money, but I began doubting all of my writing because none of it seemed good enough. Reading helps cement that no one is perfect and it’s self-defeating to expect that much from myself, but brains are weird.

Lately, I’ve been able to look at my work with a more objective eye because just getting any writing done in this environment is almost a miracle. It also revealed that my writing more than anything comes from a place of comfort. When I forget that, nothing looks good. In the future, if writing is giving me a hard time without anything in the story providing the answer, I’ll remember this.

Distractions From A Pandemic

Writing is going smoothly mostly thanks to the fact I’m used to my life being in shambles, but also because having a long show on in the background is a good distraction. So here’s a list of what’s keeping my mind occupied whenever it wants to stray from whichever Romance novel I’m working on:

Arrow – There are maybe 2-3 seasons before it goes off the rails, but it does have shining moments like this:

Fringe – I didn’t get to finish it yet, but it’s scratches that X-Files itch.

Dark Matter – I appreciate women who would kill for each other.

Killjoys – Because Dutch is everything.

Banshee – This is a bonkers show with zero realism, but it was entertaining(Warning, the ending was trash).

Atlanta – I love how weird it can be sometimes because honestly, Georgia really has some weird stuff go down.

Yes, there are a bunch of great shows to watch now, but some are too pretty to the point that they not only distract me from the pandemic, but also from my work. Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra, The Expanse, and Hannibal are some of those examples.

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