Shhh! The End is Near!

Greetings and salutations my friends, and welcome to another bit from the Writing Fisherman!

Today I’m thinking about goals. Are they flexible? Should they be, and how often do you push them back? Do you set a goal with a firm date of execution to be finished then the date comes and goes so you set a new goal date. And then another. Then you write a new one in bold ink on your desktop, or perhaps set a calendar reminder in your phone like a countdown.  Is it a confidence thing, or are the goals we set sometimes unrealistic?c9d3a92fa9163e441127cda6b5a53207

If you’ve been following me for a few months, or since the beginning, you know my goal dates with my novel have been pretty fluid, to say the least. When I started this blog in 2015, I’d set a goal for that Fall. I intentionally left it dateless as I had no idea how to gauge my writing but to fit the paranormal nature of my story, I hoped for an October time frame. Then I pushed it to Spring-ish followed by a big announcement on my Facebook it would be coming in May of 2016. I thought that by announcing it to the world I’d freak out enough to get it done by then. My wife raised an eyebrow over that ill-fated decision which, obviously, didn’t work.

From there I went back to a Fall time frame again but I found myself floundering and thinking about another story. castle confusedAt the start of this year, I set a new goal of March and  again I went bust. Then I began to notice a pattern and I think I’ve finally figured out what’s going on. If I announce a deadline, the writing Gods will conspire against me, throwing problems big and small to confound my writing! That’s gotta be it, right?!

Okay, maybe not. But just like in fishing, or other sports, superstitions can be mighty strong. For example when my KC Chiefs are playing football well, I will wear the same outfit, use the same glass, and try making the same food each Sunday until they lose again. Likewise in writing, I’ve heard of other writers who need certain music to be playing, or will only begin a new project on certain days of the week. Some must stand to write, while others must lie down, and let’s just avoid the topic of those who write sans clothes shall we?rolling-eyes-animated-gif

Until I finish this first novel I think I’ve found a new superstition, deadline announcements. Just between you and me, I’m making a lot of progress in the past couple of weeks and the end is near. Suffice to say I will certainly be shouting from the rooftops when it is complete but I’m loving this sensation of writing for myself lately and getting lost within the story once more. With that in mind, I quote the immortal words of Elmer Fudd;

Elmer_fudd

 

“Shhh! Be wary, wary quiet. I’m hunting word counts!”

Posted in Am writing, Distractions, Fiction Writing, New Writer, Reasons to Write, Uncategorized, Write Every Day, Writing Goals | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

So, it’s been a while…

Isn’t it funny how the mind works? Forgetful-manYou walk into a room only to have forgotten why you went in there in the first place. Especially if it’s the kitchen because, at least for me anyway, I go right for the fridge because, that’s gotta be it right? There was something in there I wanted. Hmm, was it cake? Sure, why not, I bet that was it. I wanted cake. I go sit down with my piece of cake and that’s when my wife looks at me and says, “Where’s my drink I asked you for?”

Okay, so that didn’t happen (rarely) and I’m not talking cake today either. What’s been on my mind lately, and was really messing with me for a while, is how you can be convinced of having done something that you really didn’t do. Some of you who’ve been following me a while know I’ve been working on my debut novel for quite some time. After fiddling with it for years, I finally forced myself to sit and push it out for NaNoWriMo 2015. That’s when the Jedi mind tricks started coming. In an effort to keep going, and without an outline, I just pushed past any scenes, or chapters, I wasn’t sure about at the time. I got it done and have been editing, revising, and re-writing my first several chapters ever since. It’s been just in the past few months that I started making real progress. The kind where I believed I would be ready to publish by the April-May time frame.

My first hiccup was finding three chapters in a row, just past the halfway point that were only a paragraph or two summary of what should happen here. Ouch. Not to be beaten down by it I pressed onward and wrote like the wind, my fingers typing furiously at the keys breathing life into my baby. I was ecstatic with myself and convinced once more I was on track. High five!tghf

Then came a double hiccup.  First I found another incomplete chapter. More than a single paragraph summary but not more than a page, or two. I looked further ahead and realized there were a few more to come in the last third that were also incomplete. Seriously, one key chapter I wrote something akin to; “Guy runs into cave. Scares kids. Kids run other way. Someone lit some dynamite causing a cave-in. Other bad guy caught under, splat.” It goes on, but you get the idea. Now this isn’t the soul-crushing end of the world realization because I already knew I hadn’t written my final chapter yet. But I had convinced myself I’d previously written full chapters and that the ones in the half-way point I did were leading to these other ‘complete’ ones. It was a day later that my basement flooded again, this time from the foundation.

If you’ve ever gone through that hardship my heart goes out to you as I know your pain. For those who haven’t dealt with it, I can explain it simply like this. If you don’t have a sump pump buried under your house, there’s not much you can do until the rain stops. The clean up is still ongoing and has consolidated most of my time at home. This was sorta soul-crushing and made my previous writing realization a bit more surreal for me. It was to the point where I struggled hard for a couple of weeks with motivation to even try writing.

Needless to say, my inner writer finally came out again last week and it feels good. A writer friend is visiting next week and I’d hoped to have sent him a full draft before hand for us to go over in person during his visit, but it’ll still be good. Never-Give-Up-Quotes-6Plus I finally made it back to my writing club for a meeting which helps immensely with regaining momentum, and motivation. Through all of this I’m realizing that I’ve got to buckle down and get this one done THEN seriously look into my methods of writing. I listen/read a lot to the 20 Books To 50K group and I need to discover my speedier voice. This is not so I can put out a book every few weeks like they can, but I feel if I plan accordingly, one or two books a year is completely doable for me. Plus the organization will help me maintain the tone, voice, and continuity throughout my books, and I shouldn’t be left with any more surprises of things I thought I did, but didn’t. Point is, don’t give up!

Perhaps this is some symptom of not fishing enough? I bet it is! I mean I am the Writing Fisherman after all.

As always, thank you for listening and following me. Let me hear your struggles in the comments below. If you’re not familiar with 20BooksTo50K, or its founder, Michael Anderle, I suggest reading his indie author story. It’s inspirational to say the least! Meanwhile I’m craving cake for some reason so I’m off to find some. Talk to you again soon!

Posted in Am writing, Editing/Revising, Fiction Writing, New Writer, Planning Your Novel, Uncategorized, Writing Club, Writing Friends | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

My Novel Update from March

Failed again!!!

If you’ve been following along you know my personal goal was to get my novel done and out to my beta-readers by April first. Well that didn’t happen. I-May-Not-Be-There-YetI’m still celebrating the time and effort I put into my book in March because, after all, I made a lot of progress! Also I’ve become somewhat resigned to the idea that as a first-time novelist it’s taking longer than it would usually, but I’m learning a lot.

A big lesson I’m learning is that “pantsing” my novel was perhaps not the greatest thing. It was fun when I did it and hey, I got it written down. But I also left a lot of gaps where I couldn’t think of something so I just moved on and I have a lot of plot holes to fill. There are secondary characters taking over scenes, the main character wasn’t developing as she should, and the overall flow was stagnant at times. All this has made it very difficult to edit as I’m looking at what can stay and what needs to go. That said I’m hopeful I can finish in the coming week or two. Raise a glass and toast to wishes and dreams!

IMG_2973Aside from the hair pulling I’ve been doing while editing I’ve also had a few distractions last month. I was sick a while and ran the office alone at work for nearly two weeks to name a few. The most wonderful distraction has been my new grandson, Ezra! If you have kids of your own then you understand what I’m saying when I talk about loving someone with all your heart at first sight! He’s awesome.

IMG_2966On the fishing side of things, the Writing Fisherman has been high and dry for some time now without getting a line wet in some time. I think I’m going into withdrawal fits and I’m sure the lack of fishing is probably why I got sick! That’s really a thing, trust me.

 

As always thank you for checking in with me and I’ll be sure to update you on my novel progress in the next week or two. Take care!

business-spiderman-working-computer-office-1359497850d

Me back at work soon.

PS: So interesting occurrence here. Right at the end of writing this a spider fell from the ceiling and Peter Parker’d my hand! I didn’t even notice the little dude fall but I felt him land. Unfortunately he looked normal and I’ve not heard of any genetic testing going on around here. Damn, I never seem to catch a break.

 

Until next time!

Posted in Am writing, Distractions, Editing/Revising, Fiction Writing, Fishing, New Writer, Planning Your Novel, Spiderman, Uncategorized, Write Every Day | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The Shadow War – Launch Day!

Fantastic announcement from a friend, and local author, with the release of her newest book, The Shadow War. This is book 2 in the Wishing Blade series.

Stephanie Flint - Author and Artist

After an extra month of waiting, The Shadow War is finally here! It’s the second book of The Wishing Blade series, so if you’ve been wondering what happens next, that wait is over!

*Squee!*

I’m both excited and nervous with this one. For this one, we get to see Daernan’s point of view for a large part of the story (60%, to be exact), and we get one short scene from Siklana at the end. But don’t worry, Toranih and Shevanlagiy also get their fair share of scenes, too. Not only that, but we get glimpses of both Maijevan and Cantingen cultures, and the bit of rivalry that might be brewing between the various countries and cities. 😉

So, without further ado…

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

The Shadow War

Upper MG / Lower YA

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic SwirlThe Shadow War - Book CoverThe Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Though a shadow is as good as a ghost, with no free will to speak of, they may still be…

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Learning through Failure

A year and a half ago I began this blog for a myriad of reasons. It’s a great way to build an audience, or as other writers told me, creating exposure. I write conversationally, as comfortable as I can, to provide the best possible window into who I am. I also wanted to have something else to occasionally write, thus taking a break from my novel which I’d been attempting to write for years. It was Summer 2015 and my original plan, naive as it was, was to have written it in time for publication that Fall. I failed at that but did manage to complete a full first draft that November.

I kicked off 2016 revising and re-writing. I worked with an artist, my amazing daughter Anni, on special characters and came up with an idea for the cover. I even went so far as to announce it publicly, for a second time no less, that it would be ready by May. resilienceMeanwhile I was pouring over the first few chapters only, attempting to make them perfect. In the process I watched May come and go, once again without having reached my goals.

After that failure, I set a personal one for Fall again. This time keeping it mostly to myself due to losing a little momentum and even some faith in my ability to finish. Clearly I didn’t make that goal either.I took some time to begin a new novel rough draft in November then a break from writing all together through the Holidays.

When I sat down in January this, I had a epiphany of sorts. I felt like Neo in the Matrix as I suddenly could see how my story is to come together. What is going to fit and what won’t. the-matrix-animated-gifWhere a certain scene is needed while removing another, or combining multiple characters into one for clarification. I began making real progress. I’m over half way through the book now and moving along a good pace. Enough that I’m starting to believe I really might make my latest goal date of mid-to-late March for beta readers. Originally, I chose March due to a Self-Pub book contest in early April. A potential new possibility has presented itself making this newest deadline attempt still valid, but a bit more fluid. My main goal now is to finish with the best product I can at this time and we’ll see where it goes from there.

In the past year and a half, from 2015 to now, I’m amazed at the transformation my writing has gone through. I have to thank my failures for showing me the right way (write way?) to do this crazy thing I dream of accomplishing. I’m learning from failure and not failing to learn. How about you? (Side note, I actually wrote this a week ago and for some unknown reason, believed it to be posted already. Oops! Thankfully I’m hanging in there and still making great progress with my novel. I’ll keep you posted!) galaxy

 

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The Big Picture

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s good to be back! Thank you for sticking with me during that long stay away from the Writing Fisherman Blog. Really nothing new to tell in the fishing department as time on the water has been scarce and my luck when I do has been worse! So let me catch you up on what else I’ve been doing while away.shiny-purple

I finished NaNoWriMo and went into early December with most of my next novel written (34,000 words give or take). During which it has developed a sequel that slowed the process due in part to tie-ins between the books I wanted to figure out. I then took a couple of weeks away from writing to focus on family during the Holidays and my wife’s Winter break from college. Have I mentioned that I’m married to a college hottie? Wowza! I’d be remiss here if I didn’t also mention that the day after Valentines will be our Anniversary! Twenty years with my best friend, and true love, and it feels like only yesterday I was eating every meal at Dairy Queen just to get to know her.

My writing in January started slow at first but once I discovered key elements my story was missing it all began coming together. Since the end of the month, I’ve been on fire re-writing chapter after chapter. Character conflict and resolution, a story arch, new character insights, and fixing how to advance the story without giving away the end. I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with a current goal of March for a potential release of Nine-Mile Bridge. I’m going to do this! Then I take a earlier chapter to my writing group which I’ve missed attending for some time and that’s when I got the “bad beat.”

This is a poker term meaning you had the best hand with the cards available but are beaten when the last card falls (the River), revealing a better hand for your opponent.

rounders-o

Pretty close to my own reaction. Thanks Teddy-G and “Rounders”

It’s happened to me in Texas Hold ’em Tournaments. My worst was when my ace-high straight was beaten by a  diamond flush on the River. These can’t be helped as it’s blind luck they got the card needed to beat me. The worst is when I’m so excited by what I’m holding that I don’t see what’s right in front of me. For example, I was thrilled to have pocket aces (two A’s in your hand) and a third is on the table. The rest of the cards are mostly crap, no pairs, nothing that could make a straight. When I push in my chips, my opponent smiles because I failed to realize there are three clubs on the table for their flush. Those times are the worst. When you’ve beaten yourself because you weren’t paying attention.

What I learned in Club that night is that, although everyone enjoyed it and spoke on my much-improvedness (my own word), there was something confusing chronologically speaking.  I’d created multiple sessions of dialogue which would cover long periods of time without consideration that the world around shouldn’t be stopping. In particular my characters were discussing essential story information for hours on end at the restaurant they work at. I had them preparing for a dinner rush which, according to how I wrote it, wouldn’t have started until very late evening. That doesn’t vibe realistically with any eateries I know. I looked at other chapters and I’d done it there as well. Crap! How could I be so blind?! In trying to make my characters react realistically to each other I totally created a non-believable timeline of events without realizing it.

In the end, these mistake are going to make my story stronger through new editing and writing-is-hardpaying proper attention to the world around the characters. Namely their timeline. Thank goodness for Write It Now software which allows me to see the individual chapters so I can cut and paste scenes as needed. I’m also so very grateful for being part of a writing group that helps identify problems I could no longer see. If only my poker game came with such occasional help!

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you again soon!

Posted in Am writing, Distractions, Editing/Revising, Fiction Writing, First Draft, Planning Your Novel, Poker, Texas Hold'em, Uncategorized, Write Every Day, Writing Club | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Still Fishing

I’m alive!

Greeting readers and thank you for sticking around! I won’t be taking much of your time today as this is merely a notice that I’m not gone. Nor have I quit writing. IMG_2217On the contrary, I’ve been writing a lot which is where most of my focus has been these last few months. I just wanted to take a moment and let you know I haven’t forgotten you. I really appreciate you sticking with me for as long as you have. You are amazing! I also need to give a special thank you to my newest subscribers who’ve been checking me out even when I haven’t been writing for the public. Thank you!

I will have an official new post soon with my usual ramblings on life, writing and reading, and my sad lack of fishing of late. Mostly though, my upcoming post will be on how I learned my poker game sometimes correlates with my writing. Interested yet?

It should be ready to post at least by the weekend, maybe sooner. Thank you once again for tuning in and reading what this old fisherman has to say. Until next time!

Posted in Am writing, Fandom, Reasons to Write, Uncategorized, Write Every Day | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Keeping Up with NaNo-Writing Goals?

Hello, hello fans and friends alike! Welcome back to another exciting episode of The Writing Fisherman. Oooh, what will he talk about today? I’m sure my readers are just bouncing with anticipation for what I’ve been up to of late, aren’t you?  Okay, enough of the self-aggrandizing. I’ve not written a post in a while so I feel like a little boy bouncing off the walls after drinking a jolt cola cappuccino blend. I’m just excited to be back and making time for you, which I really should do more of.

downloadSo who’s doing NaNoWriMo? This guy right here is but, admittedly, sadly, I’m really struggling this year with keeping up in the word count. To be honest, it’s not so much the keeping up as it is the making time to write. As of yesterday, I’d not written a single word of my new manuscript in just over two days! At an average of 1,600 words per day to keep up, plus I was already 2,500 words behind schedule prior to this, that puts me at nearly 6,000 words behind schedule. Egad, the horror!

A little secret though, just between us. It’s IMG_1138not bothering me as much as I thought it would. Shocked? I mean, yes, I’d LOVE to finish my first draft this month. That is the whole idea behind it but, for right now at least, I’m not overly concerned. As always, I’ve got a lot on my plate going on right now and I’m learning new things about my writing style and habits.
Things like writing at the dinner table with a nearly two-year-old grand daughter running around is not conducive to progress. Even when I retreat to the garage to my work bench and attempt writing in solitude, I’m too often allowing myself to get distracted by any fishing tackle laying about awaiting organization. But I’m still not panicked about the numbers because I know I’ll get there. I gotta say, it’s a nice place to be.

That being said, I’m pretty thrilled to be working on a new novel. It too is a thriller but with a scifi slant. Preparing for this novel has been a blast, especially when I got to do a Q&A session with a retired science teacher to run some things by him.  That was a fun day!

Speaking of, I suppose this novel ain’t going to write itself so I suppose I should make time now to write. How are you coming along with your word counts? Are you doing NaNoWriMo or just sticking to your own writing schedule? If you are doing it and want to add me as a buddy, you can find me here and we can push each other along. Until next time!

 

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Loose ends- and a Contest! — Heir of Nostalgia

Originally posted on “Heir of Nostalgia,” the author page for a friend of mine, Steve Muse. You should absolutely check it out as he’s offering a free download plus a great contest! Absolutely worth your time.

Couple of things- First of all, thank you for taking the opportunity to download A Gathering Darkness, Book One of the Valerian Saga. If you love the idea of modern day adventure mixed with just a touch of magic and mystery, then this book is for you. BUT did you know, Book Two is out […]

via Loose ends- and a Contest! — Heir of Nostalgia

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Happy Book Birthday, Distant Horizon! — Stephanie Flint – Author and Artist

Awesome new release from an author friend of mine, Stephanie Flint, and her newest novel, Distant Horizon!  I’ve had the pleasure of getting some sneak peeks at it and I cannot wait to get my copy. Read all about it below.

Today’s the day! Distant Horizon is now available!😀 Isaac and I started writing Distant Horizon in 2010 after playing a tabletop rpg that Isaac was the gamemaster for. He created the world, most of the characters (except Jenna–she was my character), and the plot. Eventually, I decided I wanted to write everything down. Thus, the concept for Distant Horizon was […]

via Happy Book Birthday, Distant Horizon! — Stephanie Flint – Author and Artist

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