Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's NaNoWriMo! Plus Updates on the Next Book!


It's November and that means many writers are competing in NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month). I'm using this time as an opportunity to finish the first draft of Snow Dolls. I'll be honest here, there hasn't been many days with the kind of progress I' was hoping for. I'm at 78,000 words and the minimum goal I had in mind was closer to 85,000. I'm about two chapters away from writing The End. But it's grueling work. These are the chapters that matter...really, really matter, and I have to get them right. But that's where the problem lies. I keep thinking they're the most important chapters and I can't screw them up because the whole story will fall apart like ice turned to water, and as I sit there and try to finish the damn thing, all I end up doing is psyching myself out. Fingers frozen over the keyboard realizing that my heart is fluttering in my chest, and that eating ice cream would make me feel better, so I should go and do that, or better yet, just stop and catch up on all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls...

Snow Dolls has been two to three years in the making. Most of those years were spent building the world and the characters, and figuring out the plot. It meant a lot to me to finish Violet Storm, despite the fact that I did not believe in it as much as I did in Snow Dolls. Even so, it was important for me to finish. The hardest part about being a novelist is getting from one tough hurdle to the next, beginning with the idea, finishing the first draft, and then revising over and over again as you poke at every part, finding and fixing plot holes, character flaws, and of course sharpening the writing. There's structure and pacing to consider, character appeal and development, and good lord, does the story make sense? Is the ending right or will people want to scream and throw things at me? And how do I know everything works?

I try not to cry often. But seriously. They're more tears of joy.

Writing a full-length novel is a lot like trying to get to the end of a rainbow by wading through a river of tar. People do triathlons, compete in Iron Man's and Tough Mudder. Me, I write novels. Try that competition on for size.

But I couldn't do it alone. And I just want to say Thank You. Thank you SO MUCH for all the support with Violet Storm. From the amazing family and friends who are the book's biggest cheerleaders, to my fellow bloggers and friends, to the awesome Book Blog Tour, and editorial reviews, to the artists who helped me bring the story to life, it's been a tremendous journey.

And I can't wait to do it all over again. I hope to spend this month getting Snow Dolls ready to query to agents and then it's on to Crimson Earth, book two of the Modi Series!


Writer's Digest held their annual Self-Published Book Awards and the following is their rating for Violet Storm: (1-5 rating, 5 being great): 
- Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
- Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
- Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
- Plot and Story Appeal: 4
- Character Appeal and Development: 5
- Voice and Writing Style: 5

Not bad! I wish I'd placed, but I'm just happy they gave it such high marks. :)

If you've been waiting to get the book, you can get a copy on Kindle for $3.99. There's a few paperbacks left that I can personalize and ship. :) Just click here to check out that option

And Fitz says "Hi." Sort of.  



12 comments:

  1. Hey Anna! Congrats on getting such high marks from Writer's Digest. Nano is already an undertaking in and of itself. Best of luck finishing Snow Dolls and remember what matters most is that you are satisfied enough with the ending to finish it. Don't worry about anything else and focus. You can do it Ann.

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    1. Hi Sheena! It's been awhile. :) Your definitely right. At the end of the day, as long as I'm satisfied with the ending, that's all that should matter.

      Going to stop by your blog and see how things are going with you. I've been out of the blogging scene for a while since it's busy season at work and trying to finish up the book has been so challenging. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Yay! Major congrats on your amazing marks, and best of luck this month. I love the wading through tar to get to a rainbow--that's so true! I do hope you just get those two last chapters down--it's better to have a draft to work from an fix than to not have anything at all (or at least this is what I tell myself, though who knows if it's true :).

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    1. Thanks so much, Meradeth! :) I hope to finish sometime this weekend. Crossing my fingers, it all goes well!

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  3. It's so easy to freeze when we put too much emphasis on something. I used to do that all the time, preferring to write nothing than to write something inferior. But all I ended up with were blank pages. While I think the ice cream is a must, eat it while you write. And remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. That's what rewrites are for. :) Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Sara! Definitely encouraging. I can eat ice cream and type at the same time ;). I too would rather have something inferior that I can rework than to have nothing at all. (Pulling up my sleeves and getting ready to work!)

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  4. I was a judge in that contest!!! That was why I had to read 32 books in July. It was exhausting. Yours wasn't one, though. :-( I like this description: "Writing a full-length novel is a lot like trying to get to the end of a rainbow by wading through a river of tar." Pretty darn accurate! That sentence alone is proof you were born to be a writer.

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    1. Oh my goodness! 32 books in July?? I commend you! That is amazing. I come home from the library with a stack of books, but I don't think I've ever surpassed 10 books a month. :)

      That description made me laugh as I wrote it. It feels so true!

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  5. Wow, those are great points, congrats! I am very excited for Snow Dolls, and have been ever since I read the synopsis for it. And I love how blissfully happy Fitz looks, so cute.

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    1. Bah! I missed your comment. :) Thanks for all the encouragement!! And yes, Fitz...I love it when he's like a rag doll, all sleepy and friendly. He's a totally different cat when he's awake. LOL

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  6. Those are some excellent ratings for Violet Storm. And I'm in awe that you are now at 78,000 words. You'll finish that book for sure.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa! Just reached 85K this weekend. *_* Haha! That was my expression as I stared at the computer screen for hours - quite zombie-like.

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