Rediscovering the Joy of Writing and Two New Reader Giveaways

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Today I’m a guest over at On Top Down Under Book Reviews, helping them celebrate their blog’s 4th anniversary. I’m sharing more about my experience writing The Haven #2 and also offering up a giveaway. Check out the post at this link: Creativity, Disappointment, and Rediscovering the Joy of Writing. Be sure to comment there to enter the giveaway before October 18th.

Here’s a full list of their other anniversary events and giveaways.

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This week I’m also taking part in the massive Halloween Giveaway hosted by Diverse Reader. There are more than 40 prizes up for grabs and some fun posts by an amazing list of authors who are answering questions such as:

What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?
Tell us the best costume you ever wore for Halloween?
What’s your best Halloween memory?

What’s your favorite Halloween or scary story and why?

Stop by and check out all the fun, and be sure to enter the giveaway. The authors’ posts are divided into two sections: Part one & Part two (check out mine in part two).

The contest ends on October 20th.

Good luck!

Writing Life: The Rewards of Patience

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

“That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.”  ― Kelly Barnhill

“The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.” ― Stephen King

“The best advice I can give on this is, once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.” ― Neil Gaiman

I recently hit the point in revising HOW TO HEAL A LIFE where I’m even more connected to the story and the characters. I’m adding those extra little touches that allow for deeper meaning and emotional impact. I’m learning far more than I knew I was missing about who these characters are. At the same time, I’ve been strengthening their interactions, tweaking the overall story arc, and filling in any plot holes.

It feels really good to be at this point. I wanted to wrap this book up MONTHS ago, but I’m so very glad I stuck it out and kept on plugging away at the revision phase instead of calling it “quits” too early. I would’ve been seriously disappointed in myself. Especially when it came to this book. Seth’s journey is a difficult one, but I always hoped that would make the book all the more emotional and powerful for the reader. I wanted to give his story the attention it deserved. 

Now it’s coming together to be what I’d always envisioned for his story, and I couldn’t be happier.

I have a bit more to go with the revisions, but for me, this is one of the most rewarding parts of the writing process. I can’t wait to do my next read-through and see the full effect.

A Comforting Touch (Preview Snippet from How to Heal a Life)

From the unedited WIP of The Haven 2, HOW TO HEAL A LIFE…

With that simple touch, Seth awoke. He rolled his head to the side and just lay there, breathing heavily, staring at Vargas for several achingly long breaths, his eyes harboring a haunted expression Vargas almost couldn’t bear. But no way was he going to look away. Instead he ran the pad of his thumb over Seth’s skin in a comforting stroke.

 

The journey was never over (aka the reminder I needed when I hit delete)

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I so needed to be reminded of that right now. Not that I had to do anything as drastic as starting over, but I did decide to cut scenes from The Haven 2 and rework several others. Usually I’m pretty confidant about that decision, at least when I’m this far into a novel and I know the changes will make the story stronger, but it’s still disconcerting to hit that delete key.

Love this phase of writing!

The Haven Book 2 Manuscript

Pictured above is the binder containing the rough draft of Seth and Vargas’s story, HOW TO HEAL A LIFE (The Haven Book 2). I’m currently reading through it, revising, and adding more emotional depth and substance to the manuscript, and it’s going really well. I’m surprisingly pleased with the opening of the story, and that’s usually where I do most of my reworking. Knowing I’ve got a good handle on the beginning has me even more excited about this one.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress! Watch my newsletter and works-in-progress page on my website for more updates on this and my other projects.