Goals for the Summer

It’s always good to have writing goals. These are a few of mine over the summer:

1. Editing and adjusting Grey Harbor. While agents are reviewing my work, a few of asked for certain edits to be attempted. I’ll be juggling some of my chapters and seeing if I can’t do just that.

2. Finish Make Bright the Arrows. This is book two in the Question and Answer series. I’ll probably work closest on this.

3. Get The Bonebreaker’s Daughter published. Just a short story, but one that I really loved to write and one that I think is a good snap shot of my ability.

4. Write at least 30,000 words in The Breach.

Those are my writing goals… With several trips planned and several weeks working at Duke Young Writer’s Camp, I’m not sure how well I can pull it off. But goals are needed to keep going, and now I have them. What are your goals?

You.Wrote.A.Freakin.Book… Now? Keep.Going.

I just finished my first book! As I begin the query process, I found a tweet by Amy Boggs to be incredibly encouraging (you can follow her here https://twitter.com/notjustanyboggs ). Her reminder? You. wrote. a. freakin. book.

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So, keeping that in mind… You begin the querying process, try to be professional and efficient, but you DON’T sit around and bite your fingernails! Now? It’s time to keep writing, because that’s what you love to do. Here are a few writing techniques I’ve been using to help myself keep fighting and motivated.

1. Worldbuilding through histories: Are you starting the foundations for your new world? Or expanding your current one? Maybe you want to get a better feel for the backdrop, for the history, for the religious and cultural influences your character’s world will impose upon them. I’ve started trying to write “historical” and “philosophical” quotations by historians from the worlds I’m building. I got the idea from all of Steven Erickson’s (Malazan Series) fascinating quotes at the start of his chapters. I sat and tried to write quotations about EVERY world building term I had already. The result? 10 pages of random quotes and a lot of deeper understandings about the world I’m writing. Here’s my example from The Breach:

“In the original Dividian tongue, the word ‘thrall’ has two meanings. As a verb, it described the completion or fulfillment of a debt. Its meaning as a noun is the more common use. It means simply: a slave.”  –   Et’Alure, The Unmaking

2. Write From Different Perspectives (Duh), but also Write Different Styles (Oh?)–  In my second book I really want to do a few more dream sequences, as my character went through some traumatic events in the first book. He also has gained a confusing power that has him seeing and dreaming things that are really hard to grasp. I did the same thing for these scenes. I tried to write 10 different dream sequences that were from the perspective of a few other characters, but also in a more “stream of consciousness” style. Here was the result:

Singed clothing. The fan’s flame out and the darkness consumes, pours into the crater left by the extinguished fire. I step forward and the darkness sharpens, the darkness takes shape. The Viceroy turns to face me and his cloak is the night. His grin is alight with power and then… nothing. He is gone, and I know that he is gone because I have taken him. Other creatures follow, creatures like me, creatures wanting to… taste. I run, and faster, until the ground dips and I’m running downhill into the pitch black. I hear the footsteps gaining on me when the ground gives beneath my feet and I turn, end over end, plummeting into something worse than the unknown.

3. Just Write- If you wrote a book, or a paragraph, or your first chapter… you. can. keep. going.

You’ve got this!