CARRIE JONES – THE LAST GODS

LAST GODS

I gotta give Carrie Jones a shout-out for her Patreon page. She’s sharing a previously unpublished book (THE LAST GODS) one chapter at a time (audio and / or print).

She’s just at chapter three, but I’m already looking forward to Fridays (the day a new chapter goes live).

It’s really good. Seriously. And I love the effect of doling it out in small increments, a little at a time. The chapters stay with you, and you spend the week wondering where the story’s going, what turn it will take next.

And, like I said, she’s just on chapter three.

Highly recommended.

 

 

REVISION CAVE

I’ve been here the entirety of ’19. Actually, I’ve been here since before Christmas.

IMG_1580

I’m usually a pretty quick write. Usually. But I’ve actually been working on this particular book since late ’17. In fits and spurts, sure. And by this point, I’m really down to line edits. But still. 2017.

Actually, looking at my publishing plans for ’19, I’m going to be doing a ton of revision. Reworking half-done manuscripts written, similarly, in fits and spurts.

I feel like the past few years have been a real period of growth. I mean, anyone involved in a creative pursuit is constantly growing. You have to. But these past few years have involved more exponential growth, if that makes sense. To a great extent, that’s due to my work in the indie market. I’ll be posting more about the lessons learned throughout ’19.

But for now…

It’s back into that revision cave for me.

5 THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME

  1. I love old movies. Looooove. If Joan Crawford or Bette Davis is in it, I’m watchin’.
  2. A member of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils taught me to play guitar. I still play, though not nearly as much as I’d like.
  3. I’m a news junkie. I write with several newsfeeds open on my computer all day.
  4. I like hats. And glasses. I can’t help it.
  5. The thing I love most about writing is that it’s a task you can NEVER master. I’m constantly learning and growing and changing my mind, finding new ways to draft and techniques for revision.

REVISION TIP: FIND THE WORDS YOU’RE REPEATEDLY REPEATING

I’m in the midst of copyediting a new release, and I just found about eight billion “just”s running through the manuscript. Not just that, but I also found plenty of “though”s. Yes, just when I thought I had all those “though”s and “just” extinguished, I’d click through the pages and find just about eighty billion more. Ah, but that’s okay, though. I’ve got ’em cut now.

Seriously, kidding aside, I am finding it to be one of my biggest pitfalls: When I’m drafting and concentrating solely on the story, the what-happens, I rely on far too many of the same phrasings and small words throughout. I don’t even see the repetition until I’m in the copyediting stage.

The funny thing is, once I start searching manuscripts for repeated words (or phrasings), I find tons of them. The search for “just”s becomes the search for “though”s becomes the search for “maybe”s…With this manuscript, I’ve actually spent a couple of days on nothing but searches for repetition.

It can be tedious and you can start to feel blind after a while, but in order to get rid of that repetition, you do wind up pushing yourself to replace it with more original phrasings.

I’m looking forward to reading this book tomorrow–you know, just to get a sense of flow. Even after all that, I might still find a few more repetitions, though.

 

WRITING TIP: GETTING EXCITED ABOUT YOUR NOVEL-IN-PROGRESS AGAIN

We’ve all been there: that project that had lit such a fire in you, about 30k-words in, has become a real slog.

So how do you get it back?

A few simple tricks:

Give yourself permission to write a scene that feels juicy, but doesn’t have anything to do with the WIP as it is right now. Maybe it’s a pivotal scene that you know will take place toward the end, during the climax. Maybe it’s a scene you think is probably outside the current narrative, but that could show your MC in a new light. The idea here is to get away from just staring at the problems in your current WIP. Sometimes, the answer to what’s dragging your WIP down isn’t in the current WIP at all. You still have to discover it. So go exploring! If you write new scenes, play with character development, you can often figure a way out of the corner you’ve written yourself into.

Give yourself permission to write a different project one day a week. This one obviously works if you’re a write-every-day kind of author. The thing is, you can just get worn out looking at the same project day in and day out. Give yourself permission to play with something completely different one day a week. This could be a poem, a picture book, a chapter of a work outside your usual genre. Anything. Just take a break. You’ll often find yourself energized and ready to get back to your work the next day. (The beautiful part of this technique is, your “break project” can actually wind up being a book you publish as well!)

Find a beta reader. Or even an idea-bouncer. Sometimes, a sounding board can do wonders. Just talking through the problem might be all you need to do (here, you’re not asking someone for loads of reading time, you’re just talking through the overall story or plot points). You can find new ideas for your WIP, sure, but sometimes the most valuable part of working with another person can be getting confirmation that you’re on the right track, telling an interesting story or a story that needs to be told. Sometimes, just knowing that you’re not wasting your time can help give you fuel to really dig deep into your project.

Of these, my favorite and moist used is actually #3. We’re writers; we do a lot of solitary work. But sometimes, you just have to get out of your own head in order to move forward!

 

WHERE DO YOU DISCOVER BOOKS?

For my first post of 2019, I’m doing a bit of asking rather than telling. I want to know all about where you, as readers, discover books.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately. I remember, I was taking this night class my last semester of undergraduate school (you know,  back in the Pleistocene Era.) A Brit lit class. On the last night, as we were turning in our final papers, one of my classmates asked our prof, “So…where do you go to know about books?” She’d studied lit for four years. And she wanted to keep reading. She wanted to read good fiction. Quality fiction. But after four years of study, had no idea where to find good quality contemporary fiction. The prof didn’t really have much of an answer, either.

And it’s a question I still bump into online quite a bit: where do you find your next read? There is no single, clear answer. This seems to frustrate a lot of people.

The thing is, I think for avid readers, the hunt for the next good read really can be every bit as interesting as the next good read itself. I think the dig is fun. (It’s almost like antiquing, in a way.)

It’s funny–we’re all so focused on results, we forget the process and the search is supposed to be enjoyable, too.

I find my own books through a hundred different ways: trade reviews, online chatter, awards, direct recommendations from booksellers and fellow authors, BookBub-style newsletters, etc., etc., etc. I enjoy looking at books–the covers, the presentation, the finish on dust jackets. I like the smell of bookstores. I like talking about books. And I love hunting for my next favorite author.

I’d love to know how you hunt for your authors, too.

If you’ve got a sec, shoot me a message here. If that form doesn’t work, feel free to email me: hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

I can’t wait to chat more…

 

MG BOOK RECOMMENDATION: SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS

As we wind down ’18, I had to shoot out one last book recommendation. I know it’s a little late for Christmas orders, but this one would also be a great just-after-Christmas read for any MG enthusiasts home on break:

618hfZkMT-L._SY346_

This tale of a 13-year-old magician in training is absolutely spellbinding!

Grab a copy here.

 

 

 

 

 

~

I also recently joined Instagram, where I’ll be posting plenty of additional reading recommendations. I’m always on the lookout for a new read myself. I hope you’ll join me for booktalks through ’19! You can find me here.