The Life of a Manuscript

Holy shit, you guys.

manuscript and books

So, I haven’t been doing much of the creative writing part of my blog for a minute. Mostly because I’ve just been trying to figure out life, ya know? But also manuscript the only creative writing thing I felt like I could do was work on my book.

Naturally, I then avoided it at all times.

I have only been able to do one, two pages tops and this sounds maybe not that bad; however, I’m on the third “big edit” (adding in/smoothing out plot lines and character arcs), so I’m literally just re-typing most of it. I printed out the second big edit, made notes on it in a nice pink skinny sharpie with an obnoxious array of blue sticky notes to match, and now I’m re-typing it into Scrivener (holy, life saver program), so it shouldn’t realistically be that hard.

But, I mean, of course it is.

HOWEVER, a switch has been flipped and no, I have no idea why or how, but I currently have four chapters left after doing a chapter A DAY since last week.

I’m finally excited again.

After I finish, I get to read the book like a “normal” person (I say this with confidence even though I know that won’t happen) and send it to my momma, who really will read it like a normal person.

THEN, during that time, I will also be working on my first every query letter, synopsis, pitch, whatever else I need, etc. because we’re going to try and publish this baby.

I found some really nice articles to reference with examples and tips, but I have no idea what I’m doing. So if anyone has any advice, I’d be very grateful; however, I never know what I’m doing in life, so I’m going to do it anyway.

Thanks for reading! Here’s a vintage film preset edited photo of me I found from last fall that I’m including for no other reason than I like it.

cheers,

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Shades of Blue

I have the itch to keep writing new things, but I really need and want to finish editing my book, so I’ve decided this poetry/graphic design can be the compromise–even though I’ve never written actual poetry…

I use to always write song lyrics, though, and to me, it’s the same thing.

Would love to hear what your impression of my first one is! (Or if it even makes sense, haha.)

Cheers,

Free Writing | Nature ep. 1

A flower here and a flower there enriched the endless greens with jewel-toned glitter. The path less traveled had narrowed over time to a jagged walkway framed by a canopy of twisted branches that, for the time being, held as much green as below.

Truthfully it didn’t matter what time of year, nature crafted a sturdy tunnel that started on the edge of an open field with brush up to only a meager portion of its entirety. It grew in a tangled mess of every sort of plant imaginable—or rather it blossomed those imaginations that saw it. A never-ending effect drew from the tallest trees and their branches that curved over from old age.

The dirt stretched in anything but a boring line. The edges hidden under brush curled around rocks big enough to sit on and tree trunks left for dead after occasional destruction clean up, but mostly it sat and blended back into nature. 

The sun struggled shining through the puzzle of leaves and left an eerie kind of magic underneath. Heat escaped the air that joined the dim light, often providing a refreshing break.

Drops of sweat she felt gathering along her humidity-curled hairline disappeared hardly minutes into her walk. A blessing in disguise to name it all was an understatement.

And it was all hers.

Thank you for reading! It is super nice to take a break and write with no plan. Sometimes it even evolves into a plan. 😉

Also, any tips with commas would be great. I find myself guessing time and time again if I’m doing them correctly.

Thank you!

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Free Writing | 6.29.19

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In a crowded room drowned in dimmed lights that changed to the beat, danced a young woman squished between friends, avoiding aggressively-bouncing grown men who don’t understand the concept of personal space. 

They laughed and grabbed hands, switching positions anytime one got too close. Not interested in starting a relationship on the dance floor, but preferring to have at least one only girls night a month, they had grown accustomed to the drill.

A break in songs they actually knew led them to the bar. The blonde wiggled her way between two overly tall bodies and stood on the small step underneath the bar, leaning forward with her card in hand. A few minutes passed and the tall man to the left asked what she was drinking.

“Cider,” she said with a bright smile on her face, but immediately turned to the now ready bartender and ordered three for her and her friends. 

With the bartender busy, the man leaned in again. “Let me buy you a round.” 

Three glass bottles slid in front of her. She grabbed them, holding them in between her and the man. “Already got it, but thanks anyway.” 

The man laughed. “And I got the next one. Three more of those and a beer, please,” he said to the bartender. 

“No, thank you,” she said again and motioned to the bartender, who nodded. 

“What? You don’t want free drinks?” The man puffed his chest out, losing his cheerful demeanor.

The woman glared. “I just bought drinks. We don’t need more.”

“Yeah, whatever. Try not being such a tease, then.” His eyes raked her body, settling on her chest. 

She walked away without another word to join her giggling friends who had spotted a cutie across the room. With a playful smile and raised eyebrows, she handed out the drinks. “Perfecting your plan of attack?” 

“Maybe,” the two said innocently before they all burst into childish laughter—the encounter with the man out of sight and out of mind because let’s face it, it wasn’t the first time and wouldn’t be the last time they’d run into a guy like that. 


Basically what it’s like to be single and in your 20s…

I’m trying to write more and since my brain goes 100 different directions at all times and some days I just can’t focus on my stories, I’ve started to do the free writing thing. It’ll probably come out more personal than other things because it’s obviously easier to write what you know.

I’ve just recently started going out almost every weekend and while I don’t necessarily enjoy that, I also don’t like spending all my time alone in my studio apartment… it is very hard to date in your late 20s.

Anywho, I hope you enjoyed the little story of men who don’t get it! 😉

Thank you for reading!

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Scene Development | Let’s Write

I don’t really know what I’m doing while writing if I’m to be completely honest with you.

I do think that’s half of the fun—figuring it out, learning about new techniques, routines, and steps.

That brings me to my most recent discovery: scene development.

I didn’t even know this was a thing until this year which is a little embarrassing, but what can you do. I saw a little article on scenes vs. chapters and went down the Pinterest rabbit hole.

I don’t have an exact source for the setup I’ve recently been using because I see it in so many different articles (so if you know where it came from, please let me know so I can drop proper credit!).

Either way, here are the six steps I’ve recently been using to develop a scene:

1. Goal: protagonist/POV sets out to accomplish something

 

2. Conflict: while trying to accomplish, obstacle appears

 

3. Disaster: progress is prevented and POV moves forward on a different path/plot

 

4. Reaction: POV reacts (briefly or not) to previous disaster (character development)

 

5. Dilemma: as result of disaster, new complication arises in attempt to reach goal

 

6. Decision: decides how to act and new goal is made for next scene

 

Now it’s actually amazing how much this helps my writer’s block. Yes, it helps organization and pacing, but when I have no idea what to write, this is a tremendous tool. I literally just copy and paste this into Scrivener (in a folder I named scene outlines, haha) and fill it out. That way I’m able to quickly click back and forth when trying to write the dang thing. PLUS, if I’m not feeling the actual writing—which has been me this whole month—I still feel like I’m gaining progress… very vague progress, but progress.

I’m still not too solid on the whole “scene vs chapter” thing, but I do feel more comfortable writing now that I have some sort of guideline for pacing and content.

What helps you when writing a scene and/or chapter? Let me know!

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APRICATE

apricate
Verb; to bask in the sun
1690s; derived from latin

A time taken for granted by many; it was a day spent in the sun that could cure possibly the deepest of darkness. In a place where the clouds covered on the regular, where the cold lingered for far longer than the warmth, it became clear the mind wasn’t that strong. 

It was a sneaky, slow process that rose unknown until it was too late. 

Or maybe even until it was over. 

It was common, though, and when that time truly was done, it was hard to miss. Attitudes flipped as fast as frowns and with it a whole new life appeared. 

For everyone. 

A light both from within and from above shined brighter than it had in months. All a result from being still in the light and letting it relax tense muscles and minds. 

What a joy and a gift it is to not only be in the sun, but appreciate all it gives life.

 

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Thank you for reading. As you may have guessed, it’s finally warm enough to lay in the sun here in MN. It’s hands down one of my favorite times of the year.

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Jumping In Scared | Let’s Write

I am feeling the inspiration tonight and decided to do something a little crazy because who doesn’t need some crazy in their life?

I’ve decided and already started to outline the LONGEST story and character arcs I’ve ever attempted. Let’s just say I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series and need to give an entire universe and meaningful relationships that make me cry a shot.

I used to think I could only work on one story at a time, but then I realized that is not how my brain works. This attention span is short, people. I get so excited with so many things, so what is stopping me?

I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the work, of the time commitment, of the lack of recognition (sorry, a little selfish with that one), of judgement, of failure.

Of course, everyone is afraid of what they hold the most passion for or it would never be worth it.

I feel lucky to start this journey with an open mind, with many lessons learned, and with an acceptance that I have many to learn, but most recently, I’ve learned that no one is ever ready for the first step, probably not any of the steps. So, here we go.

So, if you have any tips or tricks on taking a massive, not nearly planned out enough story and turning it into an outline somewhat acceptable enough to work with, let me know.

Otherwise, this is my first update of many on this new ride.

I’ll see you next time.

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Eventide

Noun: the end of the day, evening (old English)

The sun dipped behind the trees that stood jagged and tall around the crumbing path of dirt and rock. A light wind rustled between leaves and pinecones dangling from branches above. A mixture of burnt oranges and pinks replaced the bright blue sky that had not one cloud to disrupt the colored gradient.

The path, originally made for walking, had grown old in age and disinterest. Many opted for a paved strip along the river, but some still took the chance that wove straight into the forest. 

And what a wonderful, forgotten option it was.

A silence overtook the short journey, whether in the morning or at dusk, but when the day ended, the true magic appeared. Those who walked the path as the sunset rose and fell experienced a peace not found in their reality. Laced through their relaxed steps grew a small seed of passion. Minds opened and drew upon dreams and wishes, molding them into goals. Fresh air forced a calm sensation of determined energy, willing soft smiles to appear. 

Worries of ifs shot to the forefront, but fell in battle due to growing confidence in deep breaths and closed eyes. Fear, while still leaning on dreams, lessened its hold as the world darkened. The music of nature ended the day’s journey with a sense of excitement and relief. It’s as if a new person came out on the other side, full of inspiring thoughts and motivated words. 

Those understanding of the harsh light during the day would return to when light became dusk each and every chance to relive and revive their love of the world and all it could become.

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Here is my first prompt in a series that I made up called the “Old Word Series”. 🙂 Pinterest is literally a gold mine of forgotten words and quotes that are begging to be used. So to kick off the new journey of the blog, I’ve decided to post one or two a week. They are definitely going to be my “fancier” style of writing, not that I get very fancy at all, but it’s different from my current project.

Anyway, thank you for reading! If you could spare a minute or two—let me know where this piece brought you. What do you think it means? These pieces will have meaning to me, but the best part of writing is how it affects others in so many different ways than intended. 🙂

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In The Woods

wolfropes

The woods were off in the broken part of town. When the big cities started to pop up closer to the river, people all but scattered over. We stayed. Nature was our home. Besides, we liked the peace and quiet. It’s not like we couldn’t just drive to the city when we needed.

After the houses became abandoned and the paths overgrown, the woods became off limits. The stories were usually enough to scare kids away from the wonder, but I was always curious. They were just stories after all.

Along with the cooler weather came crunchy leaves. They covered, undisturbed, the ground between the trees. It was beautiful. I almost didn’t want to walk through.

Almost.

A narrow path twisted through the woods. I had to push aside just about every branch that had grown over. It wasn’t a bother—only lasting five, maybe ten minutes. Time was hard to keep track of in the silence. There was a peace out here were there was no one to hear and no one to listen.

I got to the first house, well, treehouse. A jagged boulder sat the bottom of a rotten ladder. On top, perched in a layer of fresh moss, was a broken figurine of a man with a wolf head. The forearms were snapped off. It sent baby shivers down my spine. Fear or excitement? I wasn’t sure, so I kept looking.

My shoulder scratched against a heap of rope hanging from the treehouse. It was knotted, intertwined with pine needles and grass. A reddish tint glinted in the sun. Red rope?

A branch cracked and I snapped my head to the right.

A line of men, no shirt, wolf mask.

It wasn’t red rope.



 

It’s blood!! Did you get it! The rope is stained in blood!

I like to think if I ever wrote a horror story, it would start like this, shirtless men included. 

Anyway, I found two pictures a year or two ago and decided to write an intro! I’m really good at starting stories I never finish, so I figured I’d start to post them. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Life & Goals

This post is a day late because somehow I scratched my eyeball and it’s a lot harder to do things with one eye than I would have thought. (I also definitely scratched my eye because I’m growing my nails out and I have contacts…)

ANYWAY, despite sitting here fulfilling my nonexistent dream of being a pirate with an eyepatch, I have some actual good news.

My goal of editing 1000 words a day on my book has led me (with many days of not actually hitting 1000 words) to FINISHING MY SECOND MAJOR DRAFT and sending it to people to read and give feedback.

Originally the goal was to get to this point by January 2018. Oops.

July was when something magical took over and pushed me back into my determined self and now here in August, it’s done.

What I learned?

Even though, I had days of not hitting my goal and days of thinking “here we go again with the failed attempts”, I still kept going and succeeded. It’s one small step and I have so much to go and so much to learn, but damn it still feels good. It feels better to know that I don’t have to be perfect along the way either, that as long as I continue, I can do it. If I don’t quit, I win.

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Although, I am freaking nervous for people to actually read it.