Camp NaNo April 2021 Project

Sky Heart Coming Soon
Sky Heart by Ally Aldridge

Camp NaNo April 2021 Goal

My goal for Camp Nano will be to finish Sky Heart. I think there’s only 15k words left. It should be doable, but I have really been struggling with the ending.

If I do manage to get it done quickly, I will work on the prequel. It will be a novella in length and about told from Denny’s POV, about how she came to be friends with Gwyn.

Camp NaNo Story Snippets

@worldindiewarriors on Instagram have come up with some prompts to encourage people to share a snippet of their WIPs during April. They are a relaxed friendly bunch, so don’t worry if you can’t post for every prompt, or if you don’t post on Saturdays. The idea is to support each other and connect with others taking part. I’m going to try to do these challenges but I don’t post on Saturdays so… I’ll be posting when I can.

Follow #WIWSnippetSaturday

Wednesday Instagram Lives

Every Wednesday at 9pm UK, @worldindiewarriors will be hosting IG Lives to keep everyone motivated towards their goal. In addition, they will have a guest join them to discuss a topic of the week.

On 21 April, I will be their guest chatting about self publishing. If you have any questions or just want to join us, we’ll be happy to see you there.

[kofi]

If you have enjoyed this content, you’ll like:

Why I love World Indie Warriors

The World Indie Warriors Brochure

Why I have chosen to Self Publish

Behind the Book: The Bones of Who We Are by C L Waters

This book is the finale in the Cronus Chronicles series. I will place links for the earlier books in this series at the end of the post. Each interview covers different writing tips and info about the series.

How long did it take you to write this book once you had the idea?

The idea of Gabe’s story came in flashes, but once I finished writing Abby’s and Seth’s stories, Gabe’s story took about six or seven months to write the first draft. Another month or two to rewrite. I’d say the process from drafting through publication took sixteen months.

This book was written after you lost your dad – was it a therapeutic outlet? I notice that it deals with death.

This book explores my grief to some extent, or the ways in which suppressed grief has power over us. Writing Gabe’s story allowed me to process the loss of my father and my own pain. In many ways, I felt stuck like Gabe. When he walks into that childhood fort, I felt like I completely understood his need to hide there, to face death; though Gabe deals with suicide ideation, I think each of us face the symbolic death of self when we face the pain of loss, and then the subsequent rebirth when we find our way out of it. I’m not sure if that makes sense?

Tell me about the character Gabe?

Gabe has faced immense bullying his entire high school career; it’s called The Freak Challenge, and the object is to get Gabe to fight back. Writer of poetry and lover of Abby, he hasn’t fought back because he knows who started the challenge—Seth—and he’s biding his time to get back at his former best friend for the betrayal. His therapist has tried to help him. His adoptive parents have helped him. Even Abby, now, has helped him, but lingering over his head is the knowledge of his real parents and his fear of becoming them. When things spirals out of control and Seth’s life is on the line, Gabe crashes and feels like everything that’s happened is his fault, the fault of the DNA he carries in his body, and that the only way to save everyone else from the monster he’s becoming is to end it.

Each book is a different character from the series story. What inspired these characters?

You’ll see the parallels with the three characters in the Twilight series. Abby-Bella, Seth-Jacob, and Gabe-Edward (though an awesome reader thought Seth and Gabe were reversed which I love too). When I rewrote the books, Abby was inspired by the emergence of Hawaiian culture in my island home. The exploration of how one’s culture informs identity. Seth, as a villain, was inspired by the idea that even the villain has a story. That those either-or dichotomies are often flawed because as people we are a million variations of color. Finally, Gabe was inspired by my daughter who has struggled with mental health. When I read the statistics about males and sucicide rates, I was so saddened, I knew I wanted to explore this further.

When you finished the series you gave it a new look. What was it like relaunching a book and redesigning the covers?

It was hard work (and costly) but I’m so glad I did it. I am so proud of how they turned out, and they are so much more in line with how I envisioned them in the redesign as opposed to the original covers (which I liked too). It’s a lot of work. Finding a cover designer, formatting, learning the ins and outs of publishing in a more hands on way. I don’t think it’s probably a path for everyone, but I’ve enjoyed the process.

Do you design the covers yourself or use a designer?

I hired a cover designer. Her name is Sara Oliver (https://saraoliverdesign.com) and I think she’s amazing. I love working with her.

Can you share a snippet of the book?

Would love to . . . Though I’m not sure what to share. Here’s one of Gabe’s poems:

Vomit up the monster.

It plays with blocks,

Stacking and rearranging them

Around holes in my heart.

I’m the butt of a joke;

It’s laughing, wide mouthed,

And kicks – cracking what’s already damaged.

The monster crawls back inside

To be vomited another day.

-by Gabe

Excerpt from The Bones of Who We Are by CL Walters

Where can we go to discover more about you and your books?

My books can be found on any of your favorite platforms. I would always recommend going to your independent bookstore and you can always request them to bring it in.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link.

Discover more about C L Waters on her website.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Behind the Book: The Ugly Truth by C L Waters

Behind the Book: Swimming Sideways by C. L. Waters

Book Review: And The Stars Were Burning Brightly

Why & how I chose my cover designer!

[kofi]

Why you need a Copy Editor

When I decided to self publish I knew I would need an editor. As much as I love writing and creating stories, English language was never my best subject at school.

I wasn’t the worst but I wasn’t top of the class either. Even if I’d been good at English I’d still need an editor, because people miss their own mistakes.

Once ready for an editor, I was over whelmed by how many different types of editors there are. For Ocean Heart, I used many rounds of Beta Readers, and two rounds of professional edits, and used a professional formatter.

I chose to use Avery McDougall as my copy editor. 

Developmental Editor

Avery McDougall was my Developmental Editor. I wrote a blog post about my experience and included her comments in my Behind the Character series.

Why You Need A Developmental Editor

What is copy/line editing?

The two terms are often used interchangeably as they are similar and it’s important to check what your editor means so you can ensure what you are paying for is what you expect.

Copy Edit: Unsually involves checking SPAG, readability, and clarity. They may highlight where it’s not flowing right.

Line Edit: Usually focuses on the content and use of language. They highlight inconsistent style, where pacing is too fast/slow, if you’ve overused a word (or repeating yourself).

If you can afford both, do it. Traditionally published books will have a copy edit, then a line edit. If you can’t afford both, don’t skip the copy edit. Your spellchecker is not enough.

How I chose my Copy Editor

Avery was at the top of my list as I’d already had such a good experience with her, but I did consider letting another pair of eyes run over my manuscript.

Budget: This was a big deciding factor. I had a limited budget and had to operate within my means.

Recommendation: Connecting with other indie authors gave me a good source of recommendations, many are listed in the World Indie Warriors brochure.

Expertise: All of them had experience as an editor. One was new, but had already built a portfolio and I’d attended a workshop she did which helped build trust. But, Avery was the only one that specialised in YA.

I went with Avery as she ticked all my boxes and was already familiar with my book. As she does writing workshops with teens, she also has a close relationship with my target audience.

My experience

I paid Avery for a copy edit. But, it definitely over lapped into a line edit. For example, she highlighted a scene where the emotional impact needed work, and another scene where my character came off rude towards her friend.

Through Avery’s comments I learnt a lot about my writing. Once I’d actioned her feedback, my novel was definitely better.

Unofficial Proofreader

I wish I could have afforded a line edit but my budget was maxed out. Avery didn’t get to see it again, as I went ahead with my next step – formatting. Once formatted, I sent it off to my ARC readers.

One of my ARC readers was author Cassidy Reyne. She did an unofficial proofread for me. I didn’t ask her to do it, she’s just sweet like that.

As I’d already paid Ingram to publish Ocean Heart (it was on preorder) there was a fee to amend the files. I paid it because I wanted my book to be as perfect as possible. I’m so thankful to Cassidy for letting me know.

For my next book, I will seek out Cassidy’s eagle eyes – if she has time. If not, I will consider getting a professional proofreader.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

12 Tips For Self Editing

Behind the Character – Mariah

Book Review: Agent Undone – Cassidy Reyne

The Making of the Blurb – Ocean Heart

The Process of Publishing a Novel – 1 of 3

Check out the collection for all parts.

The first step to publishing a novel is often to write the first draft. This is the same whether you wish to traditionally or self publish. There are some exceptions to this rule.

If you’ve have an interesting story to tell from your real life or an expert in your field, a publisher or agent might reach out and request you write a book if there is a market in demand.

Some people prefer to hire a ghost writer to write for them. In this case you’re not the one physically writing your book and this post is not for you because today I’m covering writing the draft version.

Step 1 – Draft a Novel

Here is a handy info graphic of what I’m going to cover in this post.

You can save this to your Pinterest board.

Plan

If you’re writing a full length novel it’s useful to start with a plan. I don’t consider myself a plotter but I still write an outline. It helps me get from A to B, and a few check points along the way.

Some writers want a more detailed plan. They might want to design their characters, do some Worldbuilding and draw maps, or even need to research information.

Write

This is obviously the most important part. If you don’t write the book there won’t be a book. However, don’t get hung up on making it perfect. You will not publish your first draft – in fact nobody has to see that monstrosity if you don’t want them to.

Writing a novel is a big task. It can help to break it down into smaller more manageable tasks. Many writers find it useful to set word count goals. Writing sprints can be useful to focus time on writing in quick bursts.

Here’s a handy post on beating writers block.

Self Edit

Some writers edit as they write – this does slow the process down but afterwards your manuscript is in a better shape. Other writers spew the words onto the page and tidy up the mess afterwards.

It doesn’t matter how you do it but you’ll want to give it an edit before letting anyone else read it. It’s easy to make mistakes whilst you are in the moment.

You don’t need to limit the number of self edits. Edit it as many times as you need to. Some people break the task into different focusses. For example, you might do a read through and look for inconsistencies, or focus on SPAG, or receptiveness, or pacing.

Here is a post with some tips on how to self edit.

Alpha Reader

Not everybody uses an Alpha. They are often someone you are close to and you show them an early draft to get feedback. Sometimes Alphas are used before a book is finished to assess whether the story has any merit before investing a load of time in it.

Self Edit

Whenever you get feedback on your book you should reflect on it. Did your Alpha share some ideas to help you improve your book?

Don’t worry if they didn’t. Many Alphas are already your personal cheerleaders (like your spouse, mum, best friend, etc). They might not have the skills to critique but when you’re battling self doubt, they are the ones picking you up and cheering you on.

They may also have raised issues or ideas you hadn’t thought about. Often when trying to get someone to understand your idea, you discover the plot holes or where things aren’t clear enough.

Beta Readers

These people read a draft you’ve worked on improving. You can even find paid Betas who have skills to highlight where you can improve your novel further.

Here is a post that compares Beta and ARC readers (and touches on Alpha readers).

Self Edit

Yes! You will get feedback from your Betas on how to improve your book. It’s best to have a few Betas and they may even have conflicting views. Allow yourself time to reflect on their advice.

Remember it is your novel at the end of the day and if their ideas are changing the vision you had, you don’t have to apply them. However, if several readers pointed out the same thing, they most likely have a point you should pay attention to.

You may even want to ask your Betas questions. For example, is this sex scene too much for teen readers? Um… yes, I’m working on a story where my Betas will be asked this. 😂

Get a Professional Edit…

The next post in my series is about getting your manuscript professionally edited…

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this post, you will like:

Check out my Live Stream Team

5 Tips for Character Names

Creating a Catchy Novel Title

How NOT To Start A Novel

All Author Cover Contest

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, Ocean Heart (The Soul Heart Series Book 1), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

I’m getting closer to clinch the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor! I’d need as much support from you guys. Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover here:

Ocean Heart Cover

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

My debut novel releases tomorrow!

Coming Soon: Ocean Heart Launch Party!

About Ocean Heart

All Author Cover Contest – Vote Ocean Heart

Behind the Character: Gwyneth Turner

The final character to make an appearance is Gwyn.

Role in Ocean Heart: The Magician. Being Mariah’s main caregiver and having magical abilities means she’s able to support Mariah’s growth as a mermaid or meddle in her life to protect her.

Gwyn Turner

Like many women she lies about her age, but for a very good reason. If she told the truth it’d blow her cover. The lies Gwyn tells are to keep Mariah safe.

Gwyn is doing her job as mother to Mariah. With psychic abilities she’s had a vision of a dangerous probable future. Gwyn interferes using magic in a bid to keep Mariah safe, often causing more problems than those solved.

Gwyn is close to Jace’s mum Denny, and started their Sparkle Bakery Business together. It’s rumoured that every couple that has ordered a wedding cake from them got their happily ever after.

What my editor said…

I loved reading what Avery had to say about Gwyn and felt she summed her up exactly!

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:

Behind the Character: Mariah

Behind the Character: Jace

Behind the Character: Murray

Behind the Character: Ana

NaNoWriMo Mid Point Check in – Nov 2020

Hello my fellow Wrimos, how have you been? Are you hitting your word count goals? Are you enjoying your project?

The last question is the most important. Writing shouldn’t feel forced or like a chore. You’ll write best when you are enjoying your project.

This NaNo, I feel like I’m cheating. I’m not working on a brand new novel. You see, now Ocean Heart has been published (more details here), I want to get Book 2 out. And, it needs to be finished. But when I went to work on the ending of Sky Heart, I didn’t like what was already written. During NaNo, I’ve reworked, rewrote and written new parts. But, I’m working with chapters not an outline.

On top of this, I have three other novels I’m adding to when I get stuck on Sky Heart. Two are set in the same world and another is a sparkly brand new idea which I shouldn’t let distract me.

Word Count Progress (15 days)

Here’s a charts showing my progress over that past 15 days:

The red line is the number of words I need to achieve everyday to hit 50k by the end of the month. The yellow line is my personal daily goal. It’s more than the NaNo goal because I have taken into account taking days off for my book launch and birthdays. The blue bars are number of words written. Although, I am behind on my personal goal, I am still really pleased with where I am at.

You can see that I got off to a great start. I was so ready to write. I think it helped that I’d had a week off and enjoyed lots of family time.

Then, I got headache that lasted a few days. All my energy went into work. The anxiety about my book launch caught up with me & I struggled with sleep. It sucked my creativity dry.

World Indie Warriors were doing live sprints on Instagram. Attending one got me motivated again. We did a few sprints and I was back into my project again.

Distractions

These are the things that have taken me away from my writing and aren’t necessarily bad things, but have all impacted my goals.

Potty Training

This was not planned. But after having a nappy flung at me and my naked child squealing wee wee, it was easy to see she was interested in using a toilet. Often I write on my phone but it’s hard to get in the flow when any second you’re little declares they need to Go! Go! Go!

Birthdays

November is full of birthdays making it a difficult writing month. The first half of the month includes my son’s birthday and mine. Despite lockdown we tried to make the day a little more special. I did get to write for my birthday but Noah’s day was about Noah.

Reading

The book I am enjoying at the moment is If The Broom Fits by Sarah Sutton.

I’ve also just discovered Litsy. The app is a little like Instagram but all about books. I’ve spent a bit of time trying to figure out using the site but I’m starting to get the hand of it. I was a bit confused my ‘blurb’ which is just a post about anything, not a book blurb.

YouTube

I went live on YouTube with author H.B. Lyne. I always get nervous leading up to the event but afterwards I’m energised. So, I headed over to Instagram to hear Elexis Bell do a live reading of her new book A Heart of Salt & Silver. I’ve pre-ordered it but it’s taking ages to come. I want it now! Wah! I then headed over to World Indie Warriors who were hosting a live writing sprint on Instagram.

Book Blitz

At the start of the month was the Ocean Heart Book Blitz. I tried to retweet or share posts by everyone that took part. I didn’t have to but I really value those that support my launch. It meant a lot to me that they took an interest in my book.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

If you liked this, you’ll enjoy:

My NaNoWriMo Project

How to beat writers block

What’s happening this month!

Camp NaNo Progress (mid July 2020)

Behind the Book: Outfoxed by RJ Blain

This is the first time I’ve taken part in an Xpresso Book Tour but I just loved the look and sound of Oufoxed. The chance to find out more was so tempting, I applied to host a Behind the Book interview.

What inspired your novel Outfoxed?

This is a weird answer, only because… it’s just going to sound weird. Which is weird. So, I often do ‘what if’ speculative questioning about Life, the Universe, and Everything. This time, I wanted to pursue several things: what would happen if I fractured the United States in a ‘hardline’ fashion? In this case, quadrants due to fluctuating magical zones, with distorting boundaries separating the quadrants. This makes traveling between the quadrants difficult.

How would society change if the United States became separated in such a fashion?

The next question I wanted to pursue was “under what circumstances would people willfully sell themselves into slavery?” I also expanded that to “What would happen if parents could sell their children into slavery?” 

Side-note: most parents absolutely do NOT sell their children into slavery, but some do because they can in this society. Some pare paid to enroll their child into the system, but most parents who do are upgrading life for their kids. Before you get out the pitchforks, let me explain a little.

Here is the scenario: You have a child. You are from a destitute part of society. You are in a situation where you can’t really provide for your child as you want.

You have some things going for you. The right kind of magic. Good looks. Some desirable trait. More importantly, your child has those qualities as well, thus your child is a desirable for someone in a higher bracket of society.

In the system I’ve created, the person being sold is the one who is paid for the sale, most of them do so voluntarily, and there are strict requirements on how they are treated.

Your child, who had no opportunities, now may become the wife or husband (it’s equal opportunity) of someone in a position of power. They are given money to set up in their new life.

This is the pitch voters were successfully sold in the society, and they, as a nation, voted to have this system put into place.

For another fun side note, this system is founded on historical systems from several different countries, where people absolutely did buy the daughters or sons of one family to join theirs. I just implanted pre-existing systems into the United States and modified it to better fit the evolution of the society thanks to magic.

Note: I do not, in any shape or form, support the creation of this sort of society. I just got curious and wanted to see what would happen if I wrote a society like this, put characters in it, and wrote out how the system worked and how the characters fight to change it.

Novels would be boring if I didn’t give them something to work with or a conflict, after all.

And of course, what can go wrong in the book will go wrong, as Jade discovers for herself.

What did you enjoy most about writing your urban fantasy novel?

Just about everything. This story is so complex, and it’s set in such a rich version of Earth… it wasn’t easy to write, but it was a delight, a challenge, and a passion. It’s a lot of things I love about urban fantasy in one package… with a twist(er) tossed in for good measure.

This is book 1 in The Fox Witch series – Did you know you were writing a series from the start?

Yes. Before I even started writing Outfoxed, I had all three covers of the trilogy purchased, titled, and in my hands. I also started the ground work on its sister quartets and trilogies. At current count, there are something like twenty books across a bunch of trilogies and quartets, each one following a different set of characters. The next set in the world to come out will have connections to Jade and her friends in one way or another. (I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m not going to tell you how they’re connected yet.)

How many books do you anticipate in the series and what can we look forward to in the series?

The Fox Witch books are a trilogy, but there will, as I mentioned above, be a collection of a bunch of trilogies and quartets. There will be a ‘main’ series consisting of ten books, but until I have the cover art for the first book of that set, it isn’t being fully announced. However, I can announce the name of the model for the cover: Mr. Grace Draven, the husband of the wonderfulauthor of the Wraith King series. (I love these books, and I’m extremely biased; I format and proofread for Grace.)

I begged for Mr. Grace Draven to model for me. I begged. He finally agreed, and I screamed happily when it happened.

How long did Outfoxed take to write from the first idea to publishing?

Good question. I think about two years. When I initially started it, it was a pure passion project, and it wasn’t until I started wrapping up a different series I began working on it in earnest.

If you could have any super power what would you choose and why?

Regeneration and brain refreshing. After about six hours of working, I’m so exhausted, but I want to keep writing, but my brain checks out. I’d like to be able to refresh my brain on command. Also, sleep without tossing and turning for hours. I love sleeping… but it doesn’t happen easily or as often as I would like!

Which character in your novel do you relate to most and why?

Hrm. This is a good question. I really don’t know. I try to write myself out of my characters as much as possible, because readers are trying to read adventures about those characters, not about me! I insert food I like into the books. (If you see a character obsessed with a food, it’s probably a food I like. Not always, but often. It’s a controlled self-insertion, and it’s now an ongoing joke. I also do this with cars, although… look for the vehicles I destroy in creative fashions. Chances are I really like that car, SUV, or truck. The more creative I am about the destruction of it, the more I like it.)

In life is stranger than fiction, I bought the truck from one of the books. For my husband. It’s his truck. His dream truck. (It’s also my dream truck, but I would have my dream truck in a different color.) But the lead character in Cheetahs Never Win, following the very creative destruction of his truck… got his dream truck.

Which I now own.

I named my husband’s truck Dipshit. (After the horse in Water Viper.)

My sense of humor is strange.

For the record, my husband calls the truck Warspite. After the battleship.

Can you tease us with a short snippet from Outfoxed?

Absolutely!

The rumble escalated, and the lamp swayed on its chain, a warning one of the twisters passed directly overhead. Sandro frowned, his gaze locking on the light. “I wonder how much damage that swarm’s doing.”
People from all over the United States came to the Alley, and I’d joined everyone else in no longer caring where someone came from. He had an accent compared to the locals, but I couldn’t tell if he was deliberately hiding where he came from or if he always sounded like he could have lived anywhere in the world and magically fit in.
His question, however, told me a simple truth: Sandro hadn’t been in the Alley long. Those who’d survived through their first tornado season no longer cared about the damage ratings of a twister or a swarm.
It didn’t matter.

No matter how bad it got, like a weed in the cracks of a sidewalk, Tulsa endured.

When and where can we buy Outfoxed?

Outfoxed is available at all major retailers, and releases on November 3, 2020!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Outfoxed-Fox-Witch-Book-1-ebook/dp/B08128WGV7/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/outfoxed-r-j-blain/1134737783?ean=2940160932941

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/outfoxed-14

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/outfoxed/id1486409080

Where can fans find you to discover more and connect online?

My website, hosted by my cats, is https://thesneakykittycritic.com

I can also be found on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/rjblain.author

Beyond that, I am rather reclusive, usually because I’m hiding in my cave writing more books.

Thank you so much for hosting!



Outfoxed
R.J. Blain
(The Fox Witch, #1)
Publication date: November 3rd 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Death is a way of life outside of the safety of Inner Tulsa, and Jade means to keep flipping Mother Nature off until old age claims her. With one eye always on the sky, the last thing she needs is a pack of bounty hunters out for her living head. With no idea of why anyone would want her, her wits might keep her free, assuming she can resist the charming lures of Sandro, one of the men out to claim her as his own.

Left with the choice of being the evening snack of a tornado or taking shelter with the bounty hunter, she does what she does best: she lives on the edge.

Striking a bargain with the handsome bounty hunter buys her another day of life, but it also dumps her into the heart of a sinister plot, one meant to enslave the residents of the storm-tossed city—and the others brave and foolish enough to call the Alley home.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Google Play

Author Bio:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.

Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Goodreads

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

XBTBanner1

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you like this, you’ll enjoy:

More about the Outfoxed Book Tour

Behind the Book: Petrified by Ben Meeks

Behind the Book: Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom

Book Review: Blind Tiger by Rachel Vincent

My NaNoWriMo Project

Well… I have not one, not two, but THREE projects for November. And, I still probably won’t make the 50k goal.

That’s not me being a defeatist. I’m not quitting before I start. In fact, despite the odds, I’m still going to try. And, you should too!

November is always a busy month. It’s my son’s & I’s birthdays, and the birthday of lots of other loved ones. On top of that, I’m launching Ocean Heart. There’s a lot going on. Plus, someone always gets ill in November – I’m hoping the social distancing is going to help avoid that this year.

Realistically, November is not the best month for me to write. However, the NaNo challenge encourages me to be more focussed and accountable. Because of this, I write more because I took part. And, I love the community spirit, writing with us.

Project 1 – Sky Heart

This is the main project. Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Heart Series. Getting this published will be my 2021 big goal. So, I need to get it written.

Kiely got dumped for Christmas. Heartbroken she makes rash decisions to get over her ex-boyfriend, starting with a blindfold and a mystery kisser.

Kiely’s new wild lifestyle places her in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now she must stay alive, as she’s drawn into an ancient shifter war with werewolves and reapers.

Kiely’s battle to overcome her ex is about to take her to new heights.

Project 2 – Prequel

This will be a short novella. I may give it away as a readers magnet for newsletter signups. It’ll be a Historical Fantasy, but not set a long time ago. It’ll be in the 90s.

Project 3 – Luna

My werewolf villain wants me to tell her story. I’m not sure if it will be written just for me so I know her better or to share her with the world.

Luna’s story is also to be a Historical Fantasy. This will be going back to medieval times. It’s anticipated to be a novella.

What about you?

Are you doing NaNo this year? And, what do you think of my projects?

I usually focus on just one but I’m really feeling all three of these right now and just want my creativity to flow.

I’m planning on attending a few live write ins with World Indie Warriors on Instagram.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:

Camp NaNo July 2020

NaNoWriMo 2017 — Ally Aldridge

Now you can PreOrder Ocean Heart!

Behind the Character: Kiely

What is #Preptober ?

Preptober

A popular event in November is NaNoWriMo. During the month if November participants of the event take on the challenge to write 50k words.

So, what’s this go today with what preptober is?

Writing 50k words is a big task. As a result, people started preparing during October for NaNoWriMo in November. And, this activity got the name #Preptober.

NaNoWriMo Project

Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Heart series. It was almost finished but I struggle with endings. In April, I tried to write the ending (for Camp NaNo) but when I revisited the manuscript… it was awful.

For NaNo, I’m going to start over. I’m going to re-plot, develop my characters more deeply, focus on my world building, and organise my research.

What I’ve done so far…

Got Dabble

Dabble is online writing software. I love Dabble and I went to buy it, but found out there was a trial for NaNo. What’s more, my dabble manuscript will auto update my NaNo word count. How awesome is that?

And, Dabble now is mobile friendly. I’ve saved the site as an icon on my mobile so I can write on my phone. Yay!

Character Development

To work on improving my skills, I treated myself to two new books.

10 STEPS TO HERO by Sacha Black

CREATING COMPELLING CHARACTERS FROM THE INSIDE OUT by L.M. Lilly

View this post on Instagram

How’s your #preptober going? I’m doing the #wiwpreptober challenge but most evenings been so tired I’ve gone straight to bed and done no prepping. But it’s important to listen to your body and relax when you need to. 💛 Day 4: Plotter/Pantser: I’m somewhere in the middle #plantser . I have a vague plan but mostly make it up as I go. I’m more of of pantser but #savethecat has helped me improve my plotting and it’s something I want to improve as I think it’ll speed up finishing my novels. Yesterday, my new books arrived (top of the pile). I’m focussing on improving my character development. The one with no text on the spine is Rayne Hall’s The Word Loss Diet. Have you read any of these? 💛 Day 5: #worldteachersday My favourite teacher was Mr Macy, my English teacher. He gave me extra notebooks for my story writing – the way to a writers heart. Another top teacher was my primary school teacher who taught me what an author is and set my dream in motion. She was either called Miss Fancy of Miss Twinkle – I’ll have to ask my mum. 💛 Day 6: Setting? Book 2, Sky Heart, will start off in my home town Felixstowe but mostly set in the Isle of Skye (Scotland), and a short stopover in Birmingham. The images are from Unsplash by artist Massimiliano Morosinotto (@therawhunter ). 💛 #writingbooks #writingresources #writingtools #theemotionthesaurus #pocketguidetopublishing #thewordlossdiet #takeoffyourpants #theelementsofstyle #creatingcompellingcharacters #10stepstohero #raynehall #sashablack #inspirational #inspirationalteachers #authordreams #setting #writinggoals #isleofsky #isleofskyescotland #skyheart #writingyafiction #yafantasyseries #thesoulheartseries #plotter #pantser

A post shared by Author Ally Aldridge (@redfae) on

Book Bible Workshop

To help get all my story development organised, I attended a free workshop provided by World Indie Warriors and delivered by author J D Groom (who I’m a big fan of). If you’re a WIW member you can catch the replay via their website.

Doing #WIWPreptober

On Instagram World Indie Warriors are doing a photo challenge to keep writers motivated preparing for NaNo, and it’s an opportunity to get to know others better. I don’t take part everyday but here are my posts so far:

View this post on Instagram

How’s your #preptober going? I’m doing the #wiwpreptober challenge but most evenings been so tired I’ve gone straight to bed and done no prepping. But it’s important to listen to your body and relax when you need to. 💛 Day 4: Plotter/Pantser: I’m somewhere in the middle #plantser . I have a vague plan but mostly make it up as I go. I’m more of of pantser but #savethecat has helped me improve my plotting and it’s something I want to improve as I think it’ll speed up finishing my novels. Yesterday, my new books arrived (top of the pile). I’m focussing on improving my character development. The one with no text on the spine is Rayne Hall’s The Word Loss Diet. Have you read any of these? 💛 Day 5: #worldteachersday My favourite teacher was Mr Macy, my English teacher. He gave me extra notebooks for my story writing – the way to a writers heart. Another top teacher was my primary school teacher who taught me what an author is and set my dream in motion. She was either called Miss Fancy of Miss Twinkle – I’ll have to ask my mum. 💛 Day 6: Setting? Book 2, Sky Heart, will start off in my home town Felixstowe but mostly set in the Isle of Skye (Scotland), and a short stopover in Birmingham. The images are from Unsplash by artist Massimiliano Morosinotto (@therawhunter ). 💛 #writingbooks #writingresources #writingtools #theemotionthesaurus #pocketguidetopublishing #thewordlossdiet #takeoffyourpants #theelementsofstyle #creatingcompellingcharacters #10stepstohero #raynehall #sashablack #inspirational #inspirationalteachers #authordreams #setting #writinggoals #isleofsky #isleofskyescotland #skyheart #writingyafiction #yafantasyseries #thesoulheartseries #plotter #pantser

A post shared by Author Ally Aldridge (@redfae) on

October Blog Posts

All my blog posts for October are written, with pics and scheduled.

What I still need to do…

Plot Outline

I want to re-outline my story using Save The Cat. I’ve learnt a lot working on book 1 and want to use this to improve book 2.

BuJu

I’d love to get into bullet journalling. I’ll try and create a reward page to track my progress during the event.

October Newsletter

I need to write this. It’ll go out end of the month and I’m hoping it will contain details of my Preorder Giveaway.

November Blog Posts & Instagram

I’d like to have most of these written before I start NaNo so they don’t interrupt my progress. But, I’ll likely post on how I’m getting on and that can’t be written ahead of time.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Camp NaNo July 2020

NaNoWriMo 2017 — Ally Aldridge

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Books