Lethargy

My get up and go got up and shot itself in the face: is how I describe how I’m feeling right now. I think it’s been a couple of weeks since I did any real work. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that all my motivation is gone. Not the external motivation, the internal fire that keeps me going and keeps me warm at night.

Not depressed… which is usually a cause of this behaviour. A little stressed but in the process of fixing that. A few life changes, what with school and driving courses and applying for a student loan.

Could be the student loan. Since I’m dragging my feet about applying.

I have this weird relationship with spending money I need to improve my situation but not wanting to because of how large the dollar amount is.

Or it could be because my birthday is coming up. Normally I get whiny and … well, wine-y.

So the “Alphas Book 1” hasn’t been written. I do have to start over and write from the beginning of the book but it’s a loss of a couple of pages and I like the new plot better.

Wherein there is no plot really. But it’s a nice show of how Alphas can and do act. So far I’ve just had them startled. Like a cat finding a cucumber laying behind it. And the Alphas shown have been bickering over land. Land, like that’s going to get them a gold star.

I mean, it could, there’s a new world order they’re working out. But typically owners of land rule for a decade or so then get eaten and forgotten about.

Actual Alphas, who are settled in stable land, don’t worry about the land or who owns it. Unless that person interferes with their studies or inventions, then the owner of the land dies horribly when the Alpha unleashes his companions on the Dom’s settlement and just sits back with a cold drink, watching the bloody chaos that follows.

I don’t know why I want to write about the companions going all stabby but it’s been a recurring fantasy of mine since I created the world and it hasn’t been linked to any real world problem. It’s probably a phenomenon in the world that I just want to explore, as I am a world builder.

Anyhow. Real alphas are a bit more like Blane when Alex was still alive. Alex (or a companion) would run their land, estate, raise the children right. The Alpha would take an active role but their mania would mean sometimes they are absentee fathers, which is where the companion comes in, stepping in to fill the role of father while the actual father is off and away.

So in Alphas Book 1 we come across Darien who is constantly checking his email. I really had to pry it out of him as to why it was important. He told me to take a flying leap, I threatened to have him broken for Rebecca’s (the only Mother so far) entertainment and that didn’t work. Then I threatened to sell his companions on the black market for dirty, unpleasant things and finally he relented.

He checks his email and phone throughout basically thinking things like, “nope, still a broke Alpha,” because he’s recently done a thing for his line of work, which I won’t spoil because it kind of ties in to the big ending. Darien isn’t necessarily young for an Alpha to break out into the world, twenty-seven or so. Which means he’s late to the party so to speak. He wasn’t in school all that time. He graduated at twenty with a doctorate (which is not unusual for an Alpha) and promptly and accidentally took on an underage companion.

With how Alphas break companions and create lifelong, unbreakable bonds with their new… ‘friends’ this is a very real problem in the world. Darien went to a party, Cody said he was of age and had a fake identification (obviously Darien couldn’t tell the difference) then found out the problem the next day.

Okay, so that’s a little world building for me because without that I might lose interest. Cody would be the first companion broken while underage who is acknowledged in the books but when you have jerks like Owen about, it’s likely happened in the past and I hope they were slaughtered slowly by their own companions.

Oh… that happened too. Wonder what the story was behind that.

Darien and the new kid Al are in talks with one another about how this will go. It seems they want a bunch of smut with the old companions in the first book, a bunch of smut with Al in the second book, and then maybe a third to wrap up the whole story with a bunch of smut all around and maybe with Blane.

Who probably walks in pissed off because this would be the sixth book, I think, that I have him called.

Why?

Oh, he knows why.

Which is also why he’s not protesting too loudly to me about it.

Of course, these would be novella lengths, not books. Or novellettes.

Obviously my words aren’t backed up, so I’m not burnt out. The ideas are still there and flowing like ever before.

No idea what’s wrong. But I have to head out for a course now, so I’ll have to try to solve this problem later.

Alphas

So… I now need to name the world that Daughters of the Alphas takes place in. I’ve had a short but heated debate with the Alpha from this morning and have agreed to do a companion series involving Alphas and their companions.

That’s right, I know there are some readers out there who have been waiting for this. I will be doing a m/m series in the same world.

The point that the Alpha argued was that this world started as m/m and has been f/m with a quasi m/m sub-theme because of the civil war. But before the war, Alphas recognized that some of them just weren’t interested in women except for breeding. As in, not attracted to them but they are friends with women or hire a surrogate.

In the new world order the place of the companion has changed yet not. Even though Alphas and companions go together like cats and catnip, they haven’t been covered in Daughters of the Alphas. Even the planned books, the Alphas are mainly heterosexually inclined.

The terms that have so far been agreed to:

-Aiming for novella lengths. Short reads basically.

-Both new and settled companions

-Possibly tales of Alphas from the past. So historically relevant to the world.

As it’s going to be novella length in nature, I’m not certain when they will get done. The last novella was Contract Gifted which was written across three or so months as I had the time. This was among other projects as well.

So, names for the world and ideas on how to get this moving.

Crop

I missed last week’s update because I was doing a read edit of Seed. This week happens to be the day before the first day of the month so I’m combining the two.

After a great deal of thought, I’ve decided to close The Ethereal. This means His Halo is being removed from the schedule and I will not be pursuing more books in the world. This doesn’t mean that I will never complete the trilogy, just that there are no plans to work on it.

I’m not enjoying writing or editing the books. Readers don’t get excited over them like they do with others so it’s time to call it.

I liked the covers though.

So it’s the last day of January, and His Wings is halfway through a description edit and sitting just shy of 80k words. It’s launching April 8th so I’m determined to get this done.

Seed has gone through the first read edit and I think I like it better than At Death’s Door but that could just be me liking a newer story better than an old one. Once I have the description edit of His Wings done, I will input the edits for Seed and get it off to the betas.

Fragments is almost halfway through a read edit. Once that’s done and Seed is off to the betas, I will input it’s edits and get it up for preorder.

Depending on betas, I might have three books launch across a month.

I’m also working on a side project that started bothering me called The Others which is a blog story? I’m not entirely certain. It is an experiment for sure. It’s just written as the whim takes me and in between things.

Which finally brings me to February. It’s project is Crop which has gone back on the rotation instead of being a floater. With about ten chapters left to write, Crop will likely take most of the month because of how it is written. Its word count is unknown, probably somewhere between 35k and 45k at the moment. I believe I had just started chapter ten.

I can only write Crop on my phone, which leaves the mornings, nights, and work breaks open. Hence where I’m getting all the other edits done. If I finish Crop early, I will launch into writing Harvest almost immediately.

Depending on other edits, I will also start the description edit of Crop right away. If Seed launches May 1st, I want Crop to launch no later than August 1st, and Harvest on October 1st.

No word on March’s project yet. I have to get Harvest written by April 12th. Hmm, 13th, let’s say. That’s when my long commutes end and I want to keep that… that kind of pace.

I’ll miss those focused times for writing on my phone. I’ll have to get a longer pair of headphones so I can plug into my computer once I move and blast music loud enough to drown my own thoughts until I can focus. Maybe that’ll work.

His Wings

As this is an obligation piece, it’s no surprise that His Wings is my January project. It’s an obligation because I have a trilogy planned, but His Grace is actually my worst selling book.

Yeah.

But, I have the trilogy planned out and I’m going to finish the damned thing. It could be that, because I have the trilogy planned, people are waiting for all the books to come out.

I have this one all plotted out, but came to hesitating at a m/m/f threesome for some bloody reason. Mind you, I don’t usually do threesomes. I think this would be the third I’ve ever written and the book requires two or three threesome scenes.

This may be my most challenging project because my heart isn’t quite in it. I want to see the trilogy through but I don’t feel like anyone cares about the book so I’m not as interested.

His Grace ends in a happy-for-right-now way too, so I could have walked away for a year like I did with Masked Intentions but I don’t want to drag it out like that.

D.o.t.A. may end up being my August book forever more. Which is fine, I don’t have a plan for that series really. Most of the books are stand alone.

Anyhow, going into this month, His Wings has a word count of about 9,000. Three chapters are complete, seventeen more to go which will total a minimum of 51k more words.

I have January 1st off, then work until Thursday and gave three days off in a row. I was supposed to have the 1st and 2nd off but the schedule was messed up. I had to fix it myself because everyone at work was perfectly okay with paying me an extra day.

Yeah… I get paid for stats.

But I had planned that day to get a handle on His Wings and if they wanted me to work an extra day they should have checked with me first.

So, I’ve got four days off in the first six of the year. I’m hoping to have His Wings complete by next Sunday because I need to dive into two more edits and one read through for Beth.

Not to mention the cover work I’ve been ignoring.

Lots of work to do again, not enough hours to do it in.

One Year Plan… and Rules

Okay, so my plan over the next twelve months is to complete twelve books. That way, come next November, I will have finished twelve novels and have between three and nine that I can then begin to edit and publish, hopefully just as quickly as I wrote them.

This, I realized needs rules:

-The books just need to be completed. If one is almost written (like Contract Sealed) or partially done (like Prototype and Bound in Blood) they are not excluded from the count. In fact, completing books should be encouraged!

-Which leads to the second rule. One book a month. That’s it. If I finish Contract Sealed two days into December, I don’t get to write again until January. I can plan the books, scribble a bit, but I’m not allowed to actually start. This has proven in the past to be quite helpful in my production.

-For sanity purpose over the next five months, there is one exception to the one book a month rule: Harvester trilogy. That’s done on my phone during commutes and is sometimes the only way I stay sane. If the trilogy is complete, I’m back to one a month.

-Books still need to be published. Not one a month, but at least a couple next year. The one book a month is supposed to help balance this off.

-By the last day of the month, I will make a post announcing which book I will be working on. Then (in a perfect world) will update every Wednesday on where I currently am in the book.

-Should I run behind, the one book a month bit goes out the window. Because then I have to get two, three, four, done. I may cry mercy, just whip me a couple times to get me back on track.

-These are completed rough drafts. A rough draft doesn’t have to have the completed word count. Fragments went from something like 70k up to 85k words during the first edit. Seed is about 77k and has jumped almost 2k words in the first couple of chapters. But the rough draft does have to be complete. Adding a chapter is one thing, not finishing the last four is not allowed.

-After the completion of a book, if it is done early, I will take two days off in a row. Preferably from both jobs… these are to do with as I please but will likely be playing video games, drinking, and sleeping. You know, normal celebratory stuff. After that it’s back to editing written books.

The rules may end up changing a little bit. This is, after all, the first time I’m doing this kind of a marathon. All told I’m hoping for a word count that’s about 924k words, so about one book shy of a million.

The past year I’ve written… okay, I’ve tried to count it four times and I keep coming up with a different number. A trilogy, a D.o.t.A, Seed, His Grace, Contract Signed… Seven books, I think? Yeah… I feel like I’m forgetting one.

Going from seven books when I had no specific goal in mind, to a planned twelve is not going to be as crazy as it sounds. For me, it’s about finding the right rhythm and keeping that goal in mind, to keep focused. When I’m not focused I get all over the place, and then four things end up getting half-done.

Waiting for a Flight

This week seemed to go by so slowly, but in a good way. It was nice and I was relaxed.

Though I did sleep between ten and twelve hours every night and was still tired, I think it has more to do with not sleeping in my own bed than anything else.

Then, on Wednesday, I looked into my work schedule for the next week and the stress hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m not going to talk about the what, but only going to say that the stress wasn’t because I remembered or realized that I have to go back to work at the end.

I didn’t find a magical job, so I’m not moving for eight more months. It’s fine, gives me time to save up and such and such.

On the writing front I have three read edits ahead of me on three books. One is for the proof of Death Mask which could very well be the last book Createspace carries for me.

More on that at a later date.

Then there’s the first read edit of Framents before it goes to Betas. And then the second read edit of His Grace after I put in the changes…

Ah, balls. I forgot it’s almost through September now.

To make my deadline, I’ll have to start the read edit for His Grace on Monday. I can also start the proof at the same time.

Then read Fragments which is due out in November.

All this reading is done on commutes and breaks at work. So, what’s going on at home?

Well, tonight is wine and a hot bath to try to de-stress after seeing the schedule. Tomorrow is making the cover of His Grace again. Then after that, it’s writing His Wings.

I’ve got the plot all written out for that.

That just leaves Seed with no point on the agenda for about three weeks. I want it done and out with His Wings in December.

Four books in three months is my goal. The planets basically aligned for me, I’m going to take advantage of this.

Because after His Wings, the next book isn’t out until February, and is His Halo.

I kind of want to get to work now. On the writing, I mean. I’m excited for the end of the year, I have a goal and I want to make it happen. I know I can make it happen!

On Not Meeting a Word Count

75,629 / 90,000 words written.

That was not my goal, so what to do now?

Well, here’s what actually happened:

I wrote a majority of my words over three days, which was about 22,000 per day. One day I wrote 600 words, another only about 3,000.

Friday night (technically Saturday as it was 2am) I finished the rough draft at about 67,000 words. A rough draft is rough because you then make changes.

It was halfway through my second day of heavy writing that I realized I hadn’t been doing descriptions. Not of the characters or rooms, or really any emotional attachment to anything. It was mainly dialogue and barebones.

So, I went back to the beginning and started adding it all in. I’ve only reached chapter nine in this endeavour, not even halfway through the book.

Reaching that 90,000 word count for this book is possible, I just have to backfill the stuff I skipped over because I knew it would slow me down. If I had done it, I would only be about 40,000 words and not know the end or the thread of plot through the book. I would have lost it.

Now that I’ve got it, I’m almost good to go. Yay.

Long nights and regular mornings can wear you out. If you want to try this yourself, you will need to figure out what writing method works best for you, and practice meeting the word count.

This was a stretch for me, I knew that. I did it to fill a staycation where I couldn’t afford to do anything or go anywhere. It was my break from reality, one that I planned so that when I woke up this morning for my day job, I didn’t feel dejected because I did nothing but play video games and drink.

Don’t get me wrong, those things still happened…

Halfway through the week, I realized that I had no plan in place to edit it. But I think I can place it in the edit spot for Seed as I’m not certain that will be done on time.

I should be working on that now, but two hours of sleep and a long day ahead of me. I need my wits, because I need my day job and there’s not much room for error today.

During my week off, yes, I was pretty well holed up with no contact with ‘real’ people. All I had, for the most part, was a writer chat that kept me company. They knew what I was planning, and called me crazy, but then cheered me on and participated in sprints when I was struggling to meet my word goal for the day.

Once I made that goal, I was pretty well set. I’d end up staying up another four to six hours and adding between six and ten thousand more words to the book.

I don’t think I could have managed it without that chat.

Anywho. Heading back to the day job today. Not enough sleep because of a combination of my sleep schedule for the past week and being a little manic of plans for marketing and such.

The one plus side of the late night is that I might have and line on the next D.o.t.A. book. Apparently Morgan is content without telling his story, so I’m not about to push him.

New Alphas, new city, with only one of the old crew making a brief appearance. It promises to be fun.