Plotting the end of the world

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Megamind

Plotting is a thing we do. Plotting takes us from point A to point B. Whether it’s a road trip or figuring out dinner.

Bwa ha ha. *Inserts evil laugh**

I have to add a little evil laugh there because plotting seems more evil than planning and I can’t cook for sh*&. Moving on…

As writers, we plot.

Whether you plot as you go or write these beautiful detailed outlines that look like hieroglyphs to me (because I can’t outline to save my life), plotting is necessary in writing.

Over the years, I’ve collected quite a few helpful resources for plotting I’d like to share. And after seeing Brandon Sanderson’s instructions on Plotting, I realized I am a plotter! Yes! I don’t use Word or Excel to plot. I use my journals to construct my ideas before I sit my butt in chair to write. And then I plot as I go. Yeah, that’s a thing.

Check out Brandon Sanderson’s lecture below

https://youtu.be/Qgbsz7Gnrd8

Martha Alderson’s Plot Whisperer is a good one. She also has videos on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/marthaalderson

And Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. This is a screenwriter’s tool, but can be applied to novel writing as well.

So there you go! Any other plotting tools I missed?

Goal Setting: the pain and misery

I have a love-hate relationship with goal setting–let me just throw that out there. Now, I do very well with deadlines. I thrive knowing when something is due. I need that to develop a strategy. Something concrete and short term. Short term.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably lost weight loss bets with family, gave up on projects, shredded all those beautiful goal writing journals because dammit, this year you were going to accomplish those things! Didn’t happen. Then those beautiful notebooks you created are a thing of heinous reminders of all the things you should’ve done, but didn’t. A fire pit would be nice to have right about then.

But nope! Do not despair. Every smack with a curve ball is a learning experience. Like Shakira says,

Try Everything Lyrics - Shakira - iLyricsHub

Some things to consider while goal setting:

  • Time. How much time are you allowing for all the things you need to do? Work (writing and the one that pays the bills), Family time, Health focus time, house projects time. BE MINDFUL and set small goals you can achieve. Two hours of writing a day. Laundry on Wednesdays Only! Saturday movie nights with family. Do NOT let them sucker you with more time than they need. Unless it’s a really cool anime show that hooks you on the first episode then you’re screwed. Or a book series about dragons. Okay, focus!
  • You are a living, breathing, person and it’s okay to want and need different things from your appendages (see family note above). It’s okay to remind your family this. Sometimes, they forget.
  • Sit down and make a plan with your family. Include them in your goal setting. Delegate activities if that works for you. Example: Everyone does their own laundry!
  • Revise as you go. These things are not set in stone. Revise your goals as you feel the need.
  • And, do not beat yourself up if you didn’t accomplish what you set out to do. Life gets in the way sometimes. You know yourself best. Celebrate the small stuff and have some wine, or coffee, or tea, whatever makes you happy.

Good luck!

#IWSG

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I’ve written an actual blog post. I miss it. I miss this. Blog hops and connecting with other bloggers. I fell off for a few years, because I felt as if I didn’t have much to contribute anymore. My publishing journey had stalled, and I took the time to do anything else other than write. I delved into quilting and making purses. I knitted and made bracelets. I kept busy with everything not writing.

Then I delved into fan fiction with the mentality that I would be the only one to read it. I took another authors work and rammed it with my own beginnings and endings. I added and killed characters. I stripped plot and settings. I made it my own. And then I deleted it all. This exercise allowed me to hone into my own skills. To create my own characters. To find my own path again.

I started to write again.

And then I started to submit.

I got full manuscript requests. I got revise and resubmit requests. And I worked my ass off. But alas, that story didn’t quite make it. I chucked it and started writing and reading like a mad woman. In 2020 I wrote a dozen full length manuscripts and found one that I decided to submit. Then at the end of 2021, I got a publishing contract.

During my time away from writing, I knew I wasn’t ever going to let it go. Writing will always hold a piece of my sanity and Lord knows I need it. But there’s a difference between writing for publication–which is the job aspect of the journey–and writing for myself, which is the fun part. In choosing to submit again, I chose to jump into the trenches and put aside my doubts and fears and move forward. One step at a time.

I am excited about this new stage in my writing journey. This new book is in a genre I’ve never written before and am excited for where it may lead me.

What I learned from my years of silence was that everyone’s path is different and it’s okay to let go from trying to publish if you find yourself miserable. Try different crafts, different interests, and eventually, you’ll find your way back.

If writing is something that makes you happy, then do it. Just write. If you want to try to make a living out of it, then pull up your sleeves and get into the trenches, but know that they are two separate goals.

And it’s totally okay to just write.

Check out the other blog post by clicking on the image above and enjoy!

My Best Reads in 2021

Below are my best reads for 2021. It was tough to limit myself to just ten books after reading a crazy amount of books this year. I found some great authors along the way too! Let’s start with my favs YA books.

  1. What If It’s Us – by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
  2. My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen by David Clawson
  3. Lock and West by Alexander Eberhart
  4. Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens by Becky Albertalli
  5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  6. Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon
  7. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
  8. Conventionally Yours by Anabeth Albert
  9. Will Gayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  10. Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

Adult favs

  1. The Straight Guy Series by Alessandra Hazard
  2. Reign of Darkness (Prince’s Assassin Series) by Ariana Nash
  3. Forgotten Luca (the Four series) by Sloan Kennedy
  4. Butterface by Avery Flynn
  5. The Grave Between Us by Tal Bauer
  6. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  7. Orphan X (Series) by Gregg Hurwitz
  8. The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Aramas
  9. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
  10. LOL by Lucy Lennox

Honorable mentions–Authors I would definitely read again.

  1. Ella Frank
  2. Brook Blaine
  3. Ella James
  4. Neve Wilder
  5. Emma Scott
  6. Lillith Saintcrow
  7. SM Reine
  8. John Gilstrap
  9. Jeffery Deaver
  10. Onley James