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Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was freaking awesome. Starting the weekend off with a nomination was absolutely priceless. I’m still smiling. But if I want to keep that smile in place, I’d better get some work done. Let’s see what I did last week…

1) LAST WEEK’S PROJECTIONS:

*Continue work on short story project. Still working towards 8,000. I’m 63% percent there.

*Research a SECOND short story project slated also for 2017. I’m going to tackle an MMA fighter love story. I saw a pic courtesy of Cover Me Darling and it inspired a story about the fighter who’s dealing with his own demons and memories of the girl who got away.

*Tackle changes on Demon’s Birthright. Back on track. I’ve re-written the first three chapters and they are sooooo much better.

2) THIS WEEK’S PROJECTIONS:

*Continue work on short story project. I need to add at least 607 words this week to stay on target.

*Demon’s Birthright: Write at least three chapters and get feedback.

*Continue research on Fighting for Second: An MMA Fighter Love Story. This is a story I just feel will end up a book. I’m already loving the characters–Chance Hanlon (the fighter) and Ximena Ibarra (the girl who got away).

*Got my manuscript back from my alpha reader. I’ve got some things I need to revise, cut, and expand on.

3) A FAVORITE LINE OR PASSAGE FROM MY STORY THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED: Demon’s Birthright got a little redirection. One of my critique partner’s gave me some homework, read Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Mist and Fury. Well, I needed to read A Court of Thorns and Roses first. AWESOME book (I’ll be posting a review soon)! I learned a lot reading it. I wanted to try my hand at writing emotional, intimate scenes (something DB will have). Here’s what I came up with…

His bedroom door was open. Other than a few items of clothing lying on the bed, there wasn’t any sign of him. I entered the room and headed for the nightstand. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up followed by his woodsy cedar scent filling the room. Damn, he caught me.
I’d been foolish to believe I could reach out and snatch what I wanted. Jewelry. His body. Both prized. Both out of my reach.
His movement was too quick for me. In a flash I was trapped in a corner. He pressed his muscular frame against me, pinning me in place. Once upon a time, I wanted this—his chiseled flesh locked with mine. His calloused, warm hands exploring my body—my breasts, my hips, between my thighs. Pushing my sensitivities to the edge and back. My breath caught. Goddess help me. I still craved this man like a drunk his next bottle.
My hips recalled our rhythm and moved on their own. What the hell was I doing? He drew me to him. I licked my lips in anticipation as he leaned closer. His warm breath caressed my cheek, teasing me, tempting me with the promise of more.
My eyes fluttered closed. My lips parted. I ached waiting for the inevitable.
His lips brushed mine and he whispered, “Not happening, Princess.”
Three words shattered the illusion. A reminder that I’d never be worthy of anything more than a drunken tryst in the heat of a moment.

My 20-year-old was left speechless. My CP who made the recommendation loved it. DB had a few issues going on with the plot, but the biggest issue was getting Raevyn’s emotions on the page. I needed to connect more with her. Writing intimate scenes have always been problematic for me. With YA I could have more fade-to-black moments or just hints at what was happening. Any description needed to be more subtle. With this NA story, in particular, Raevyn’s not a young innocent girl. She has a history with Cullen. I needed to show it.

4) THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED LAST WEEK: Not letting go. When I make an error, I have a tendency to cleave to the mistake like a dog with a bone. I keep drilling it, discussing it, it takes over my thoughts. My husband, once again, reminded me to leave the past in the past and move forward. I’m trying. It’s time to set some new goals and stop looking over my shoulder. Constantly looking back serves no purpose unless there’s something you’re willing to act on which will SIGNIFICANTLY change things. If the change is so minor no one will notice it, why bother? It’s a perfectionist problem. I’m sure I’ll be challenged repeatedly on this one.

5) SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP: Now that DB is back on track, I’m feeling better about it. I wanted to give up on it. The story wasn’t working and I couldn’t figure it out, but I knew there was a good story within the pages I’d written. I just needed to uncover it. Other than my CPs pointing out the problems, I found something on a website (sorry, I don’t remember the site). It was a list of questions which helped me to discover the REAL story. In case you’re a writer reading this and you’re stuck in your story, I’m sharing the questions here (paraphrasing as best I can):

  • What is unique and compelling about the idea behind your story?
  • How can that idea be tweaked? Can you add something to make it outrageous, tense, and full of conflict?
  • Is there a way to increase the stakes for the main character to add to the drama and suspense?
  • What is a goal for your main character that seems impossible to accomplish?
  • Are there any controversial or sensitive issues or themes you can associate with your story’s idea to draw on the readers’ emotions?
  • [This was the biggie.] Now twist the whole story idea on its ear so that there’s an intriguing dilemma or conflict.

It took a whole day for me to think on those questions. After I answered them, I was ready to pull out my beat sheet and re-plot the story. In the end, I have a more cohesive story and hopefully, one readers will enjoy.

That’s it for this week!

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Don’t forget to vote for your favorite books and authors for UTOPiA’s 2016 Awards! Regress is nominated for Best Debut Novel!

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