When Writers Shack Up

10 things that happen when two writers shack up.

1. There is no voice of reason.

2. Every possible scenario/event/outcome has been discussed in incredible detail.

3. Very little cleaning gets done.

4. “Wait. I gotta write something.” is not only understood but normal and followed by complete silence.

5. Songs get put on replay and no one complains.

6. Not only is your first reader on the other side of the room but you get to read their books first too.

7. Joint oohing and awing over great lines and scenes.

8. Heated discussions on lyrics.

9. Word choice always matters in an argument.

10. More than ten years in and still haven’t run out of things to talk about.

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Writing Update – Editing

20150520_132048I am ecstatic to share that my book is going to be published with World Weaver Press.

There is a lot of editing ahead but I am so looking forward to it! I can’t wait to get Vanity in Dust in perfect shape for publishing and out into the world.

This will be my first published work. It is honestly a dream come true. I had some communication with the publisher during the query process and knew that things were going pretty well since I was still being considered but when I got the email that they were interested in publishing me, I cried. It was a bit embarrassing because I was at the gym.

I am so excited to be working with my editor at World Weaver to get Vanity in Dust ready for publication. It’s already been a fantastic experience and I’ve only just started.

I’m in the first round of substantive edits. Wish me luck because it sounds like there will be more!


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7x7x7x7 Challenge

I was challenged by Laura Harvey on Twitter and it sounded fun so here it is!

How it works? Go to the seventh page of your work in progress, find the seventh line, and then post the next seven to your blog or this blog or wherever you like! Then challenge seven other writers to do the same.

Vaun retorted sharply as he pushed the paper off to the side and picked up his fork once more. She might have ignored his breakfast cake but he would not.

The cringe never went beyond her eyes, but he saw it and it was enough to make him smile again. His sister had been forced into a marriage with the oldest son of the Vym family long ago and had never quite recovered from the scorn of it all.

“Tell me you didn’t rat me out to my own sister.” The Prince looked at Addom, taking a bite but only pretended to enjoy it. Eventually, even cakes became dull.

What did I learn from this?

1. My sentences are long. Really, really long.

2. Almost all of my writer friends are recluses who refuse to have twitter or blogs or even facebook. So, if you’re one of my writer buddies and you read this blog, consider yourself challenged. I’m going to have to go dig a few of you out of your hideaways..


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Update. Go September!


I should be working on one of my stand alone novel projects but, of course, all I want to do is work on the series I have out with publishers right now. Even when it’s not in front of me, it’s hard to put it out of mind. Of all the stages of looking for a home for a novel, I think the waiting has been the hardest because there’s simply nothing else I can do for the project in the meantime. I’m waiting to hear back from beta readers for the second and third books of the series and working on any more books for this series feels silly until I find a home for the first one.

So, as far as an update on the projects:

Vanity in Dust is sitting on the desks of publishers and I am breathlessly waiting to hear back.

Books 2 & 3 are with readers and I am looking forward to getting more feedback on them.

The Immortal Dead is being queried to horror publishers. Fingers crossed there too.

And the new project is outlined and ready to be written.

Cheryl is distracted by other people’s books and soon going to Umeå for a couple of weeks to eat far too much cake and drown in lattes. Pictures to come. Not likely to be an overly productive month but definitely going to be a fun one.

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I love outlining! I know, I know, that’s nonsense, but it’s so true. A handful of years ago I would never have thought that I would enjoy outlining so I know why a lot of pantsers out there would be skeptical.

Just consider it. Originally, I just wrote the book with all of the ideas of where it was going in my head. BUT, when I was writing the first book of a series, I found myself overflowing with ideas for the books to come. Desperate not to forget these ideas or lines of dialog, I started jotting them down in doc files.

When it came time to sit down and start work on Book Two of the series, I opened up the file with all of my notes only to realize that it was more than ten pages long. I read through it and started moving scenes around to get them in the right order and then just continued to add to it until I had a scene by scene line up ready.

That book took me maybe a month to write, following the scenes and keeping to a “word-count a day” schedule. Now, some of the scenes were literally just “-stuff” or “-Vaun/Addom”. But they were markers because I knew that I needed something more at that point and when I got to those spots, I had plenty in mind to fill them with.

I’ve continued to use this method and looooove it! I get my world in mind, have my characters and large plot line ready, and just sit down and write out an outline. It takes a couple days sometimes (when the outline is from scratch rather than from pages upon pages of scene notes) but, at least for me, it has been so worth it.

If you’re in the market for a new writing system, give this a try. It’s pretty much speed writing your book in bullet point form, scene by scene, sloppy as can be, but knowing that no one but you will ever see it. You come up with all sorts of things you didn’t even know you were going to do but were so necessary to balance out the book. You can see the pacing right in front of you and add in another scene if you see things being wedged too close together. And you get to sit there, typing and awing at your own genius.

At least for me, outlining has really made things easier. I don’t get distracted or convince myself that I don’t know what to write next or need to think about it for a while (which we all know means checking twitter and tumblr and roaming the internet at large). I’ve used this method three times now and it works. The book gets done and it gets done fast.

Writers out there, give outlines a chance!


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