Tag Archives: Editing

Stealing The Caruso Editing Method

Last week, I mentioned that I’m going to try out a new editing method and I hinted that I might take a moment to describe it for you all. It’s nothing new, per say. People have probably been editing using some variation of this method for years, but it’s new for me and it was written out in a way that just clicked, so I wanted to share it with you all, even at the risk that it might not be as groundbreaking to you as it’s felt like to me. But before I get into the glorious details of what this method really is down below, I gotta tell you how I stumbled upon it, first.

You see, this method is from the genius that is author Melissa Caruso.

I’m very, very lucky to be friends with this inspiration, in a set of circumstances that I never would have imagined happening. You see, I interned for a little over a year with her agent, the fantastic and amazing Naomi Davis.

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Sorry, needed to take a moment to fangirl over these two, because THEY ARE INCREDIBLE AND I ADORE THEM and I have no chill about it.

Through Naomi, I met Melissa and even got a chance to become one of her beta readers for her wonderful series, including both The Tethered Mage and The Defiant Heir (which are both out now and if you haven’t read them yet, you should go read those books and then come back and learn how to edit your own books, because hers are not ones to miss).

But I’m seriously the lucky one, here. Since meeting Melissa, she’s been nothing but supportive, encouraging and one of the best cheerleaders out there, whenever we chat. Yet even if I didn’t know her, following her on Twitter is pretty much a no brainer if you’re a writer. Her threads of advice, personal experience and encouragement have gotten me through many a rough writing session or period of doubt.

But one such thread also caused the spark to go off in my brain and go, “Wait a second. If I edit my books like that, perhaps, just perhaps, I might just make it.”

So, ladies and gents, the secret is out. My new editing method, which I’ve dubbed the Caruso Editing Method and is complied in a list below based off of Melissa’s wonderful Twitter thread over that very topic (and being shared with you now thanks to her gracious permission). I’m so stoked to try out this out on Blood Price here in August (or perhaps July, if I clean up Artemis quick enough). Though I’ve gotten better, I’ve really been stuck in the whole “rereading my book and fixing typos and rephrasing sentences totally counts as editing” mindset. Which, I mean, don’t get me wrong, that is editing. It’s just line editing. Which should come last, after you focus on all of the more major issues and put in some serious work. And my books always need the work that should come before line edits. I just never realized what exactly that work looked like or how to break it down.

Until now.


The Caruso Editing Method

  1. Round One: Structural Edits
    1. Main building blocks of the story
    2. Strengthening character arcs
    3. Weak subplots that need to be expanded, merged or cut
    4. Pacing: is it too fast or too slow?
    5. Stakes and Agency: RAISE THEM
    6. Logic Checks: Does each characters’ actions make sense?
    7. Relationships: are they compelling and do they develop?
  2. BETA READER ROUND
  3. Round Two: Digging Deeper
    1. Internality: Get in tune with the characters feelings and make sure we’re not only aware of them, but we’re feeling them, too
    2. Convenience: Remove coincidence and make sure everything happens because of actual reasons driven by the story
    3. Voice: make sure all the voices are solid and distinct from one another
    4. Clarity: what were the beta readers confused about? Clear this up.
    5. Transitions
    6. Page-Level Pacing: tightening rambling and amping up intensity
    7. Setting: making sure it’s immersive and evocative
  4. BETA READER ROUND (if necessary)
  5. Round Three: The Finesse
    1. Line Edits
    2. Polishing Touches
    3. Check Your Typos!

That’s it.

That, ladies and gentleman, is how you edit a novel.

I mean, granted, it’s one way of doing it. There is no one size fits all for writers. And sure, I haven’t tried this out yet, to see if I like it. But I sure believe that I can’t go wrong in trying this out and seeing how it goes, because it highlights all the important elements within a novel that you want to be up to shape, regardless of what stage in your career you’re in: querying, debut or ten books under your belt and counting. I haven’t been this excited to edit in quite some time, even though looking at the amount of work attached to those structural edits in the first round is probably going to feel like a punch to the throat while I’m also getting kicked in the gut simultaneously. But it’s work that needs doing, if I want my story to live amongst the greats on the bookshelves and be read by readers I want to reach.

Greats like Melissa Caruso.

So thank you, Melissa, for teaching the wisdom you’ve acquired over the years to all of us and for me to continue passing it on, through this blog post. I’m so excited to try this out and see how this style helps improve my writing. I hope, my writing family, that by sharing this, you have a little bit of guidance, too, if you’re struggling to find an editing method that works. If you already have an editing method that you love, tell me more about it in the comments! Or if you end up using this method, I’d love to hear about how it works for you and what tweaks you did to make it your own.

Let’s edit great books, fam.

Cheers.

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My Neglected Passions and Pursuits

This writing break has been surprisingly hard.

I’ve finally figured out my writing routine, I think. I mean, it seems to be working, since I’ve written two first drafts this year when last year, I wrote none. There’s a lot that times into that–including being in a better place, mentally, this year, as well as buckling down and choosing, actively, repeatedly, to try and write at least five times a week, i.e., every day I also work my day job, so it’s like I’m working a second job. I’m really excited that I’ve figured this out and I’m no longer nervous, when I take a break, like I have now, that I’m not going to be able to get my momentum back. I totally know I will. I have the tools to do so and I know how to implement them.

Even if it’s going to be a little bit different the second half of the year, with editing.

I’ts definitely a brain switch, between writing first drafts and editing old drafts. Especially because editing every draft is going to be quite different, because there are always different aspects to focus on (I have a new editing method I’m going to try and I might write a post about it next week!). But I’m excited for the mental change, because it’s always nice to switch it up a little bit, yet still be making progress on these stories. Especially because, by writing new drafts during the first half of the year and then editing during the second half, I can start a system of querying (and, after finding an agent, going on submission) while still working on other projects and books. I think this is going to really work for me and I’m super stoked about it.

But, I told myself I wouldn’t start editing until the 9th of July. I wanted to take a couple weeks off, to reward myself for finishing my first draft early. Catch up on blogging, reading, those kinds of things. My neglected pursuits.

Yet I keep finding myself itching to write. To edit. To brainstorm ideas.

This is a great problem to have. To know that my spark isn’t gone and isn’t going anywhere. It’s fantastic to catch up on books I’ve been meaning to read, beta read for fellow writers, get caught up on all my blogs. Sure, I’ve had some moments where I could have been more productive with these things (and not been on social media as much), but it’s also been nice to kind of relax a bit, instead of constantly stressing out over my word count and trying to figure out the rest of the scene.

Though I’m itching to get back to it, I’m embracing this break for what it really is: a break to enjoy other pursuits, passions and hobbies before I switch my brain into editing mode and work my ass off for the rest of the year, editing (if I can really kill it) three novels (one at the third round of editing and two at the first round of editing, which take various degrees of effort). I’m excited to start.

But for now, I think I’m going to get back to reading.

Cheers.


Lying Numbers and Cheating Thoughts

I started writing a new book this week and I’m already 13,000 words in, after two days of working on it.

Before you start cursing my name and wonder what sacrifices I’ve made in order for the Muse to be so kind to me, let me clear something up real quick.

Hardly any of those words are new.

You see, I started working on this novel last year. I actually wrote almost 40,000 words before I ended up shelving it, just not feeling where the novel was going. In my head, I thought the novel was shit.

I’m really excited to report that, after reading through the first six chapters in the past two days, making tweaks here and there, I’m actually completely in love with this book and I’m struggling to figure out what I hated about it so much last time, that got me to the point where I shelved it. I even almost started crying, because I have already put Natanni through so much shit and I’ve only gone through the first 10,000 words.

I really hope this feeling continues, because at this rate, I’m going to reach the point where I got stuck last time by early next week, if not the end of this week, and I’m nervous that I’m going to get stuck again. But I’m so in love with the project right now and I want to finish this draft so badly, I think my stubbornness will win out and I’ll have a completed draft by June.

If, you know, I stop beating myself up, first.

You see, I use WriteTrack to track my progress and I made a plan to start yesterday and finish by June 31st. Following that plan, writing Sundays through Thursdays, I had to write roughly 1,400 words a day to meet my (minimum) word count goal of 80,000 by the 31st of June. I assumed, based off the memories and feelings I had, that I was going to scrap most of the draft that I’d shelved. I wasn’t expecting to like the first six chapters, i.e., 13,000 words.

So right now, it looks like I’ve written 13,000 words in the span of two days, rocketing past my daily word goal counts, already 1/8th of the way done.

And I feel like I’m cheating.

I know, I know.

That’s stupid.

I’m not cheating, even though I didn’t write those words from nothing in the past two days. Instead, I’m discovering the words I thought were shit before actually deserve to stay–for the first draft, anyway. I’m sure there will be some intense editing and fine-tuning in future drafts, so some, if not a lot, of the words I’m in love with now might disappear. But just because I actually like what I wrote before and plan on saving it doesn’t mean that I’m cheating in counting both of those days as successful word count goal days. I’m still working on this project and I’m just really lucky to have some surprising headway towards my goal of 80,000. And it’ll be nice to look back at all of that really fast progress once I am back to writing for the first time, instead of reading through old material and deciding if it’s good enough to stay or not.

Because once I hit that point, I know I’m not going to be averaging over 10,000 words every two days.

So how about I stop beating myself up and instead get excited about the fact that I’m actually falling in love with this story again, eh?

Cheers.


My Fears Over My Next Book Project

As you might have gathered from reading this post, I’m about to start my second project for the year of 2018. My goal is four completed writing projects for this year, whether that’s writing a first draft of a book or editing a previous project. To do that, I’ve got three months dedicated for each project. The first project was a success, finishing the first draft of my second book in a quintet, with three days to spare. Over the weekend, it was time to decide what I wanted to work on next.

Though I know what I’m going to work on now, it was a struggle.

First was trying to decide whether I wanted to edit or write something new. If I went the editing route, I had a couple of different options. I could edit the first book in my quintet one more time, before querying it more widely. I could edit the first book in the trilogy that I wrote, the first completed series I’ve ever finished–and first book ever written. I know it could use a long of editing, especially since I’ve written five books since then and I like to believe I’ve grown as a writer because of that.

Part of me wanted to go back and start editing my trilogy. Though I’ve moved on to other ideas and projects, a part of me misses those characters and that story. I still want their story told. Yet I was hesitant to start working on it again, as much as I miss it. Because I know it’s something that’s not going to get published–traditionally, at least. There are too many tropes–and the main subverting does not happening until the end of the third book–and it centers around vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters. All saturated markets in traditional publishing. Not so much in self-publishing, however. Even so, working on that trilogy felt like a potential waste of time, almost, with that knowledge in place?

With the first book in Artemis’s series, I only need to do some minimal editing, yet I’m also hesitant about querying it again, based off the feedback I got over my only rejection regarding the plot. I do plan to query it again, but I’m worried the market just isn’t right for it, right now. So part of me wants to wait.

And I also really want to write something new.

Well, new…ish.

You see, even as I debated–so much so, that I asked my boyfriend for advice–I knew what I wanted to work on: my shelved novel from last year, Blood Price. It creates a new mythology about the purpose of periods and I am just so jazzed about the concept. Out of all the ideas I have right now, I think it might be the most unique and, potentially, the strongest contender for helping me find an agent. Obviously, that’s something I’d like to work towards, so, logically, it feels like the novel I should be working on, next. I still wouldn’t be looking at querying this novel until at least early next year, at the earliest, if you count writing the first draft, editing that, a beta reader round and the edits based off that feedback. But I’d really like to work on this novel and actually finish the first draft.

So why did I go through all this back and forth?

Honestly?

I’m scared to write it.

I love the idea. And my main character, Natanni. I don’t know her fully yet, but what I do know is her strength, her unwavering support for her people and her ability to persevere. She inspires me already, without even writing her first story. After I shelved this novel last year, I came up with some new ideas that I’m really excited about and I think this could just be so much fun to write. None of that is what scares me. Although it’s set in a fantasy world, it’s in a tribal setting. As a white woman, I don’t believe I have the knowledge, experience or culture to accurately write about that setting, even if it’s a fantasy tribe. I’m scared to attempt it and completely misrepresent an entire culture.

Yet I still really want to write this story.

So.

Here’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to write it. I’m going to do my research, look into the groups of people and tribes who will influence the tribe I am creating within this book. I’m talking about a lot of research. I know a lot of that research will be done after writing the first draft, as well (I do that with most of my books; it just works better for me). And, when I finally get to the point where I’m ready for beta readers, I’ll search for a sensitivity reader, who is from or an descendant of that culture. And I’ll listen to what they have to say and then edit accordingly.

I’m still nervous to write this story, even though the idea originated because I wanted to write about a world where periods weren’t taboo or shameful, but instead talked about openly and even played an integral role into society. As a woman, I know I’m completely and totally qualified to write that narrative. But as the outline and the story has evolved, now it incorporates major elements, like tribal culture, where I am in no way qualified to write about that. So I’m going to do everything in my power to write the tribes of my story with that awareness in mind and do my best to learn about a culture that I don’t share, but want to write about it as well as I can, especially as an outsider.

And if turns out that isn’t something I can do? That this story, after everything, needs to be shelved, because I cannot write about that culture without my privileges and prejudices tainting it?

Then so be it.

But for now? I’m going to chase it and see if I can do this story that won’t stop bothering me justice.

Cheers.


Book Six: Or, Perhaps My Most Important Book to Date

Last night, I finished writing another book.

*panic flails*

*throws confetti*

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It’s my sixth ever completed book, which is mind blowing to me in its own right. It’s the second book in a quintet I plan on writing. And though this might seem like a silly claim, at this moment right now, I think it’s the most important book I’ve written to date.

Here’s why.

It’s the first draft I’ve actually been able to finish of a new book in over a year. I went on a crazy writing spree in 2016, writing three and a half books (finished the second and then the entire third book of a trilogy, a standalone and then the first book of this series). I killed it that year. Then, last year, I tried to rewrite the standalone, after realizing that the first attempt completely sucked, and then also attempted a brand new novel, shelving both of them after roughly 50 pages. I didn’t finish anything new last year. I was actually getting worried that I couldn’t, that I’d somehow lost the ability to complete a new novel.

So finishing this draft at 84,000 words and 165 pages?

Yeah, that felt damn good.

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Two, it was really neat to write the sequel to something again. After the trilogy, I haven’t tried to write another series, so that was really fun. It’s a very different experience, writing a sequel compared to writing the first book or a standalone. I’m not sure which I prefer, but it was really neat to continue Artemis’s story and see what challenges he had to deal with in this second story.

(Spoiler alert: he goes through some shit.)

Three, this book proved I could set a deadline and make it. My goal, on January 1st, was to have a finished first draft of a book by March 31st. As you can see, I hit that two days early. And that’s including the roadblocks life decided to throw at me, like getting hit with the super flu, so I had to push back my starting date by a little over two weeks, not starting to write anything until February 1st. Or random days where my writing routine got screwed up and I missed writing entirely. Or not hitting my word count goal for the day and falling behind early on.

Despite all of that, I was able to make both my word count goal and my deadline. And that included quite a few sessions where I was updating my word count in WriteTrack every 100 words and literally forcing myself to keep writing, to just make the minimum goal for that day. But also days where, two hours later, I’d update my word count and see that I blew past it by thousands of words.

But most importantly, I think, is the fact that this was the hardest book for me to write.

Because for the first time ever, I realized how shit it was while I was writing it.

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I think it’s reality check was bound to happen eventually. You see, the first trilogy I wrote? I thought it was great, after just the first draft. Even looking at the first drafts alone, I was just so dang stoked because this series was awesome and I couldn’t believe I wrote it. These books were gold.

Since then, I think I’ve grown up a little bit more. Or maybe that’s not even the right thing to call it; more like I’ve lost a little bit of my nativity and I’ve learned a lot more about what elements are required (usually) for a great book and a great story. And I’ve realized that, for me personally, as a writer? My first drafts usually are missing a lot of those elements. It’s through the editing process where I truly find the story and am able to craft it to the point where it’s finally something worth reading–and maybe, perhaps, worth falling in love with. That’s totally okay. I don’t mind the work I have to do, editing wise, to make these stories great.

It was just weird to write with that reality in mind for the first time.

I’m a little bummed, how many writing sessions I had where all I could think about, was how much I needed to change already; how I could already tell that what I was writing was probably going to get deleted, next round; how shit this book is, right now. That realization attempted to derail me, but I was stubborn. I had a goal and a deadline and I was fucking making it. So I kept writing and I pushed forward, updating an editing plan document alongside it as I went. And I finished the book.

The neatest part?

Even though there is still so much work to do with this book, every time I wrote this week, I was excited. I loved the ending and the way it came together, even though it was missing some key elements I know I’ll have to incorporate next time.

That’s why I think this book was so important. It proved that I can write another one, even if it is a sequel. It proved my ability to prioritize writing, to meet a deadline, to push past distractions, complications, hiccups, life. This book reminded me that first drafts, for me, are about finishing them, no matter how shit it is at the end or how aware I am about that fact. Because I have a finished draft. I have a finished book.

And it can only improve from here.

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I’ll be taking the weekend off to see family and friends over Easter and watch a little March Madness. Next week, I’m not sure what I’ll work on next. Will I launch straight into outlining a new standalone (hint: the book I shelved last year but I know I can salvage it)? Will I go back and try my hand at editing the first book of my trilogy, now that I’ve learned so much? Will I brainstorm something completely new?

I’m not sure yet.

All I know is that I want to work on and complete four different projects this year. I’ve already knocked the first one out of the park. April through June is my time for the next one.

I’m jazzed to see what it’ll turn out to be.

Cheers.


Permission To Be Shit

I’ve needed this a lot lately.

Why?

Because I started writing a new book.

Granted, it’s going pretty well, considering I’ve written more in this book than I did the last two books I attempted to write (I made it to roughly 50 pages each before I tabled both of them for other projects, whereas with this one, I’m almost at 80 pages and still going strong at almost 40,000 words).

It’s been really amazing, to get back into the swing of things, writing wise, and form a routine once again (and even more amazing to actually stick with it). It’s also been pretty difficult, to try and keep up with writing practically 2,000 words a day, five times a week, with another 1,000 on Fridays (which I’ve consistently not done, which is telling for when I start a new project later this year). I’ve had a mix of sessions, as a result.

Some days, I’m checking my word count every other second, just trying to reach the minimum of what I need to stay on track. Other days, I am flying past my goal and actually have to force myself to stop writing, sometimes, if only so I can get the rest of my To-Do List accomplished. Part of this is, in thanks, to me being stubborn, and I’m giving a lot of credit to using WriteTrack, a program I’ve mentioned before.

But another huge reason, I think, is because I’ve accepted that what I’m writing is shit.

Okay, maybe not necessarily that bad, but I’ve given myself permission to let it be so, if it comes to that, if only so I can get the story down. And that’s really important, especially when you’re working on a first draft. Especially since I’m coming from editing the first book of this series, the last edits being draft…four, I think? Maybe even five? I’m forcing myself to switch from a mindset of trying to “perfect” every element within that story, so I could query it, to trying to write a brand new story–even if it’s a sequel–down once.

That’s not always the easiest switch to make, especially when you’re trying to keep up meeting word counts, to boot.

It’s almost harder when I know, in the back of my mind, that most of what I’ve already written is going to need to change or be edited, in the future. There are already elements I know I want to improve upon: increase the settling details, make the characters more realistic, figure out the nuances of the technology I’m implementing, etc. Yet if I continue trying to edit and perfect the story now, without having a full draft to work with, I’m going to run into roadblocks and get discouraged, which is a road that dangerously sets up to unfinished first drafts.

And it’s really hard to tell a story without a finished draft, first.

I’ve just been reminding myself that, no matter how “shit” this story potentially is right now, that’s kinda where it’s meant to be, right now. That’s the whole purpose of first drafts and, honestly, is one of the hardest parts of writing. Getting the story down is difficult and editing is no easier. But at least, with editing, you already have something to work with and someone to improve upon. At this point, I’m not trying to write the next bestseller. I’m trying to write consistently and get the basic plot written, being surprised by it as I go, no matter what my outline says.

With that in mind, so far, it’s going surprisingly well and with one more month to reach 80,000 words, I’m ready to see what the next 40,000 bring.

Cheers.


You Could Call Me Stubborn (And You’d Be Right)

Last week, I received my first rejection over Artemis Smith and the Virtuous Marriage Quest.

I won’t lie.

That sucked.

Granted, it was different from any rejection I’d received before. I’d only queried my first trilogy, The Destiny of the Dragon, before this book, and I probably received around thirty rejections total, before I stopped querying it and decided to start working on something else. Most of those rejections were silent, though I got a few form rejections, too. One, however, that particularly sticks out to me, the agent included a line about how they hoped that, even though this book wasn’t for them, I continued to query and search for the right agent who was, which was really sweet and absolutely encouraging (obviously, since I still remember it to this day).

Yet this request was an exclusive full request, meaning the agent wanted to read it and have a chance to respond with their decision before I queried anywhere else. I was over the moon. My first request ever and a full, at that!

It’s not surprising that I cried for a little bit, after receiving that rejection.

But I also wasn’t surprised as to why it was rejected.

I wrote a book that’s the first in a quintet about an unpublished writer, Artemis Smith, whose service dog, Ruff Mutt, gets terminal cancer. Artemis, at a loss of what to do to help save his dog, meets a magician named Jack Kitsune, who offers him a deal. If Artemis agrees to enter into a fairy tale story Jack has the magic to create, he and Ruff Mutt will become characters within that story, successfully pausing Ruff Mutt’s cancer until they return to the real world. Yet there’s a catch: in order to ever return, Artemis must somehow fix the tropes within the fairy tale that Jack’s placed him in–a feat he’s never been able to do with his own writing, which has been rejected countless times for being riddled with tropes. If he fails to do so, Artemis and Ruff Mutt will be stuck in the fairy tale forever.

To save Ruff Mutt’s life, Artemis agrees and they enter the story, thus beginning their adventure.

As you can see, it’s a…quirky premise, for sure. I’ve always been concerned about that. And even though I’ve gone through rounds of edits, including beta readers, and received a lot of positive responses, I worried about how this book would sell, as an fairy tale inside an urban fantasy, being the start of a series, from a debut writer.

And right now, there isn’t a market for that kind of book.

Which is why, in this instance, it got rejected by my dream agent.

It isn’t the first time a professional in writing mentioned to me they worried about this book’s marketability (only the second time, sure, but still). A totally valid reason for it to get rejected and a really great reminder to me, as a querying writer, of exactly how many elements go into querying and factor the book’s chance of getting represented (most of which, outside of writing the book, are out of my control).

It’s so easy to forget that publishing is a business. There are so many things agents have to consider: market trends, audiences, what editors are wanting, other books currently coming out and how they compare to the books they are pitching, timing, on top of so many other elements I’m either forgetting or don’t understand. Agents can’t just represent books they like. And I was so excited that this agent liked my book. The story excited them and they loved my writing. No agent has ever told me that.

I was ecstatic to read that.

But sometimes, that’s not enough.

Because a book also needs to have the potential to sell.

And right now, mine doesn’t.

Which left me with a really big question.

What do I do now?

Well, after receiving that email, I cried (because that’s what I do with any emotional situation, let’s be honest). And then I worked out, because I was bummed out and I needed those happy endorphins to be released. I showered.

And then?

I went back to my laptop and opened up book two in Artemis’s quintet, Artemis Smith and the Steam Powered Fallacy, and then met my word count goal for the day.

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You might be wondering why I did that. Why would I continue working on the sequel of a book that might never sell because the basic premise is just so quirky that it might not ever be plausibly marketable? You might wonder “why”even harder when I admit that I still plan to write the entire quintet.

There’s quite a few reasons, actually.

One, is I absolutely love this story. I love Artemis and Ruff Mutt. I love the adventures they are going on. I love the main narrative they will experience. I love the basic plot of each book, which I have already mapped out. Even if every agent told me it could never be published, I’d still write this story out until completion, editing each book to the best of my ability. Because I want to find out what happens. I want to see the ending. I want to see how the story morphs and evolves and changes as I continue to write it, because already, just writing the first book and the first 35,000 words of the second, it has changed and grown in ways I never imagined, when I first sat down to write this tale.

Because, first and foremost, this story is for me.

Two, just because it’s been rejected once, doesn’t mean it always will be. Perhaps the market will change a year from now and everyone will want more urban fantasy. Perhaps I’ll query an agent with more contacts in that genre or one who has an idea they are excited about with how to market this series. Hell, perhaps I’ll query again and no one will like it, so I’ll decide to self-publish it on my own, simply because I want people to have the chance to read it. It may just be the hopeless romantic in me, but this story’s fate is long but decided.

Three, I’m just too plain stubborn to quit writing. And right now, this is the story I want to write. And I refuse to let one hiccup stop me from chasing my dream.

So I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to continue writing Artemis. I plan to work with an editor on book one, to make sure there aren’t any other major issues that might prevent an agent from liking the book, so Artemis has the greatest chance of winning their heart like he has mine. I’m going to continue writing the series. I’m ahead of my writing goal to have at least 80,000 words written of book two by March 31st and I plan to meet that deadline. I know there’s another stand alone fantasy I want to write this year, too, so that’ll give me a break from Artemis, but I have no plans of stopping his story.

Right now, my priority is to keep up my writing consistency and then finish a draft of book two, before going back and looking at how to elevate book one even more, if I can. Then, I’ll query it more widely, as I work on my new book. I’m even considering editing the trilogy I first wrote, to see if I can make that trope riddled series even potentially marketable (though that’s much more doubtful than this one).

I’m not sure how I’m going to achieve my dream of being published, of being read and, hopefully, writing stories that readers will enjoy. But I do know one thing for certain: I can’t achieve it if I give up now, or after any hiccup that comes up.

So that’s the last thing I’m going to do.

Cheers.