How to Avoid Writer’s Panic

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Your face when you look at your to do list.

What is Writer’s Panic, you may ask? Well, it starts when you realize you haven’t been writing as much as you should. Then it deepens when you realize you’re falling behind. Next you’re neglecting your side projects to the point where they don’t exist, and something completely unrelated to writing completely monopolizes your time.

Now, it might be a happy thing. You could have a baby or adopt a kitten or go on vacation, or there could be a death in the family or a stressful move to another city. Either way, once you settle back in, all you can do is sit there and think about how very, very far behind you are.

Having just had a quarter-life crisis of sorts, I am there. I have an unedited novel from two years ago that still needs finishing, for god’s sake. Follow these steps and you will be up and running in no time.

Step One:

Get over your Writer’s Block. I have a post on that here, and it basically boils down to forcing yourself to write. The easiest way I’ve found is to just write whatever I feel like it whether or not it’s any good. Just sit down in front of the computer and make words happen in some sort of logical order.

Step Two:

Create a list of everything you’ve been working on in the last year or so (or shorter/longer, depending on how long you’ve been away from things). Organize the list in groups of things that are nearly finished, things that you’ve just started, and things you absolutely want to finish.

Step Three:

Decide on what to start on first. Have a short story that just needs editing? The choice is clear. Do you have five half-finished novels and no idea which to start? Think of which one is going to be the easiest to write and which ones you would weep to see go unfinished.

Step Four:

Don’t set any hard deadlines. Until you’re back into the swing of things, deadlines will only make you worry more. You can maybe set goals such as “finish novel B this year” or “write every other day at least” but you have to find a relaxed balance where you can stretch your wings, as it were. It might take time for some people to get back into the groove of things and there’s no use in stressing yourself out when you don’t have to, especially when returning from any kind of stressful break. 

Ask family members and friends help for motivation if you need to. Activities like NaNoWriMo or writing groups can help motivate you without putting any real pressure on you. You just need to remember that writing is supposed to be fun, no matter how much the opposite can seem true sometimes.

To celebrate my return to blogging, I’ve put my book Wildflower Crown for free on Amazon! Click here to claim your copy for Kindle. (It will work on a regular computer too, just download the app!)

Thanks for reading 🙂

Wildflower Crown is now available for purchase!

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Wildflower Crown is available on Amazon in eBook and paperback! Until Amazon gets around to joining the pages, here is the eBook link and here is the paperback link.

I’m super excited to share this with the world. I really like the story and I think you guys will too!

For those of you without money who are interested, I’m looking for reviewers and will give a free PDF or MOBI of Wildflower Crown in exchange for an honest review to be posted on Amazon, Goodreads, and your blog. You can comment below or use the contact form on my “contact” page to ask about getting a copy.

My Bookshelf: The Wolf’s Captive

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Title: The Wolf’s Captive

Author: Chloe Cox

Genre: Erotica/Romance/Fantasy

Amazon Summary:
“It’s the raunchy, decadent holiday of Bacchanal, and Lucia Lyselle is just hoping to make it through intact. But then her father is arrested, and Lucia is held captive by Lord Cesare Lupin, heir to the ducal seat and her secret protector. She’ll have to submit to Lord Cesare’s sexual domination for the duration of the Bacchanal if she hopes to win her father’s freedom. But she doesn’t expect to fall in love – and she doesn’t expect that she’ll have to choose between her family and Lord Cesare…

Lord Cesare Lupin has come back from war afflicted with an ancient curse. If he can’t find his mate, he’ll turn into a mad, blood-thirsty beast, and the city that is his responsibility will suffer. Just his luck that his mate turns out to be the daughter of a man accused of treason…”

Jeers (possible spoilers):

  • Yes, yes, we get it. Lupin means wolf. Rowling named Professor Lupin that because he was a werewolf and now all other authors need to stop doing the same thing.
  • I didn’t like how they were just suddenly in love with each other.
  • The entire treason plot was SO overly complicated and then it boiled down to basically nothing.
  • I think the story lacked a bit. It just wasn’t all it set out to be. It could have been better.
  • This is marketed as “BDSM” but it was pretty tame. I think doing stuff in public was the most risqué they got.

Cheers:

  • I guess I did enjoy the absurdity of it. (The whole thing takes place during a week of orgies, basically).
  • It kept me reading. I was fully interested in the story until the end.
  • I did think that the characters were fairly well-rounded.

Would I recommend it?:
If you like sex-centered stories that also manage to carry a descent plot, yes. If you want to read a book with a plot that just happens to have sex in it, no. The characters didn’t have any real romance together other than the magical pull of whatever it was, but overall I still enjoyed the read and would read another book set in the same world if the author produced one.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Captive-Erotic-Romance-Bacchanal-ebook/dp/B009518Q6A

Crafting the Perfect Kiss

Pucker up!

Pucker up!

I write romance. I read romance. I watch romance. I live romance. One of the biggest deals in romance is the first kiss, yet for the life of me I am not satisfied with the quality of the kissing scene in Wildflower Crown. I want them to be better than my previous novel, to set the stage for the rest of my books. I want to make women swoon! And men too, I guess, but I’m pretty sure they don’t swoon all that often.

Bro, stop breaking the forth wall as she cleans your teeth.

Oh yeah baby clean those teeth.

My problem is that my scenes appear too mechanical. I struggle with balancing describing what is actually happening and not having it read as “insert Tab A into slot B.” Maybe I’m the only one who will notice it, in the end, but if I get it smooth enough that when the person who crafted (which would be me) it is absorbed into the scene then I know I will have done a good job.

"I'm so wet right now." "So am I."

“I’m so wet right now.” “So am I.”

However, when I try to veer away from the mechanical and go towards the metaphorical, I end up making it sound ridiculous. Maybe this would be a little more forgivable in modern romance, where at least you can say “Electricity shot through her,” but I find myself stuck on this one scene thinking, “What the hell do I write now?”

“He leaned in and kissed her. Their lips came together gently, like two pillows smashing together. Her lips were soft as if he was rubbing his face against one of the aforementioned pillows. Heat spread through him like someone had dropped boiling fondue on his chest then washed it off with very warm water.”

Om nom nom give me that wittle tongue.

Om nom nom give me that wittle tongue.

Needless to say, the scene above will not be in the final draft, but I’ll be damned if you don’t read Wildflower Crown and think, “Oh well that was a nice kiss.” I’ve decided that to accomplish this, I won’t actually use the word “kiss” during the action. It was one of the many tips I found while Googling about, the best of which can be found here.

My Bookshelf: Love, Remember Me

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Title: Love, Remember Me

Author: Bertrice Small

Genre: Erotica/ Historical Romance

Amazon Summary:
“Lovely Nyssa Wyndham, as fair and proud as her mother Blaze, is lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

Scandalizing all of England, Henry has his marriage annulled, for the queen cannot meet the bawdy desires of the insatiable king. Henry seeks a spirited, lusty new wife—and eyes the beautiful Nyssa. But in a land rife with conspiracy and rebellion, there are those in secret power determined to thwart Henry’s intentions. A drugged Nyssa awakens in the arms of the notorious rake Varian de Winter. With her virtue destroyed, the outraged king orders them to wed.

Handsome—and soon smitten—Varian de Winter dares to conquer his spitfire bride. But the intrigues and dark side of the court intrude upon their brief happiness as Nyssa is trapped in a devious plot and witness to the deadly wrath of Henry Tudor. Suddenly, jealousy and revenge grow bloodthirsty, and all that Nyssa holds dear is in dire jeopardy.”

Jeers:

  • Alright, so the summary is a bit misleading. It says “Varian dares to conquer his spitfire bride” but he does absolutely no conquering. He wins her over with little things and any good husband would do to make his wife happy, so the plot isn’t really how I’d imagined it.
  • It focused way more on the nonsense of the court than the actual romance between Nyssa and Varian. It sort of glosses over that. One second she hates him, the next she is giggling and blushing at him, and then you skip a few months and they’re remodeling their old house and getting along quite well, then skip ahead a few more months and “oh, I guess I love him.”
  • You know how in some romance books when the main characters get together you can’t help but smile and cheer them on? Nothing in this book evoked my emotions like that.
  • At times, the descriptions were a bit much, but I think the genre is known for that. No, I didn’t need to read two pages of “we went to Hamfordshire, then Lampshadeshire, then Hobbitland, and then onwards to York!” but I got through it alright.

Cheers:

  • It was very well written.
  • If you like historical romances, this is probably the book for you. Very historical. Lots of names, lots of guessing who the hell they were actually talking about.
  • It was interesting, if not in the way I suspected. It was a little more scheming Game of Thrones-esq plotting (with less murder) and a little less flat-out romance.
  • Varian is clever but I honestly couldn’t tell you if I actually liked him or if I just really liked his name.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes, but only if you are fully aware that this isn’t just a romance. Had I wanted something to read on the beach that would make me smile and daydream about handsome knights, this would not be the book to read. However, it was still enjoyable, and despite feeling misled I’ll be checking out more of Small’s books (mostly because I already bought them for $0.01 off of Amazon).

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Remember-Me-Bertrice-Small-ebook/dp/B0086741FE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428273889&sr=8-1&keywords=love+remember+me

Additional note of less importance:
So I bought some of Small’s books because she died, actually. A blogger I follow recommended her books when posting about her death, so I thought I’d check them out. The blogger mentioned that Small wrote risqué sex scenes years ago of the same caliber of 50 Shades of Grey (that is now being applauded for being the first mainstream BDSM book when it clearly wasn’t). I do admit to buying the books and being interested in whatever historical fiction kink Small would come up with, but this book was very vanilla. They call a penis “manroot” and spanking is mentioned only once but only as a joke. So we’ll see if her next book lives up to this reputation.

Author Update: Damn the Little Gremlins Messing with My Novels

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I mentioned in a post before (I think) that I downloaded a new text-to-speech program that I found and enjoyed. I put Kiss of The Fey in chapter by chapter to sort out the remaining typos. I think it was only a month or so ago that I did the same thing by reading Kiss of The Fey on my Kindle, and I was sure that all the typos were gone, but I still went and found a bunch more with the text-to-speech program.

Clearly, little gremlins have been going through my work and putting typos where they have no business being. Obviously, I am not amused. If they put in any more after this, I am just throwing up the white flag in surrender. I can’t afford an editor and I cannot read through Kiss of The Fey another time this year. Maybe the next two years. I just hate it so much that it will cause me physical pain to do so until I take some time away from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like the story and I’m still proud of myself, but I’ve read it something like a dozen or more times in the last year and not only will it hurt, but I think that if I read it again I may actually die.

I need more reviews for Kiss of The Fey both overall and ones that don’t mention typos, so I’ll be doing a free promotion on Amazon next weekend. At the end it will also include the first sneak peak at Wildflower Crown! Just the prologue so far, though both the prologue and the first chapter will be available before Wildflower Crown goes on sale.

As for Wildflower Crown, the publishing date is set right now to be June 1st, but I don’t know if that will happen as planned or not. I just got finished with the 3rd draft and so I don’t get sick of it like I have with Kiss of The Fey, I’ll be waiting a few days before starting the final content edit… which will then be followed by heavy proofreading. And more gremlins. Yay. At the very least, reading it over with the text-to-speech program FIRST should save me a lot of grief.

I think my writing has improved since my previous novel and that Wildflower Crown will be a really enjoyable read. Hopefully. (Obviously I write with the intention of having other people read it and enjoy it!) It’s little more fun than Kiss of The Fey, I think the characterization is a little better, and hopefully in my initial release when I go around begging for reviews the reviews won’t mention any typos. I’m not messing around this time!

-Charlotte Cyprus

P.S. Not writing related, but it is FINALLY warming up here. By warm, I do mean 40-50 degrees, but AS IT SNOWED ON TUESDAY I WILL GLADLY ACCEPT 50 DEGREES. Of course, April showers bring May flowers, so it’s now going to rain for like 30 days straight, but as long as it keeps getting warmer and my foot keeps healing I will not complain.

My Bookshelf: How to Kill Yourself in a Small Town

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Title: How to Kill Yourself in a Small Town

Author: eden Hudson

Series: Redneck Apocalypse Book 1

Genre: Fantasy/New Adult

Amazon Summary:
The holy champion chosen to save the world is enslaved to a sadistic fallen angel and losing the battle for his sanity.

The guy chosen to save the holy champion is his binge-drinking redneck brother.

So, basically, the world is screwed.

Meet the Whitney boys:
Colt—a mentally unstable holy soldier with a rapidly deteriorating hold on reality. His last plan to rid the world of evil either failed horribly or went off without a hitch. With the constant torture and brainwashing, it’s getting hard to be sure of anything but the sick attachment he’s developing to his beautiful tormentor.

Tough—a smart-mouthed honky-tonk hero trying to drown his problems in music, women, and good times. He hasn’t spoken to Colt in five years—not since their disagreement over a nymphomaniac vampire turned into a drunken slugfest—but they’re still brothers. Tough knows he can’t leave Colt fighting for his life and his sanity alone. The question is whether Tough can fight off his personal demons long enough to save Colt from the literal ones. ”

Cheers:

  • This is such a weird novel.
  • Tough might be my favorite character ever. I don’t know why, but I loved everything about him. Even when he made bad choices or fucked up, I still loved him, and that he couldn’t talk made everything better, I think.
  • The names were weird without everything being a big deal.
  • The whole fallen angels and vampires and sirens thing was done pretty casually. The author didn’t go to great lengths to info dump the whole situation in the first chapter, but instead revealed it all at a natural pace.
  • The plot and information is really deeply woven. There’s a lot going on.
  • I HATE religious themed things or anything that has anything to do with religion. I had to put down a book about fallen angels and stuff that had good reviews for that reason, because it was so heavy on the god stuff. This book somehow doesn’t come off that way to me. God was more of a plot device than someone shoving religion at you, which is how it should read when writing non-religious fiction.

Jeers:

  • It’s a cliff-hanger. *pouts* Not that I won’t be happy to buy it. I’d have bought the paperback version of this one if it was available (and if I had any money).
  • Like I said, the author doesn’t rush to explain everything. I think this might throw off a lot of readers, but in the end, the book was still fabulous.

Would I recommend it?:
If any of you happen to follow me on Facebook, you’ll see that I already did! The story is 18+ and it may offend some of you, but I suggest that everyone try it out. I don’t know if this is a permanent thing, but right now it’s free on Amazon!

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Yourself-Small-Redneck-Apocalypse-ebook/dp/B00IJJBHDI

Author’s blog:

http://whitetrashcappuccino.blogspot.com/

My Bookshelf: The Ex

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Title: The Ex

Series: The Boss, Book #4

Author: Abigail Barnette

Genre: BDSM Erotica/ Romance

Amazon Summary:
“Magazine editor-in-chief, bride-to-be, and soon-to-be-step-grandmother at twenty-six, Sophie Scaife is looking forward to married life with her fiancé and Dom, wickedly sadistic billionaire Neil Elwood. As they enter unexplored sensual territory, Neil leads Sophie to the very edge between pain and pleasure—and she discovers a surprising new side to her sexuality.

While Sophie balances her hectic work routine with her devotion to her unconventional family, Neil has to adjust to life as a retired mogul. With their big day drawing nearer, they have to forge through pre-wedding jitters, personal crises, and an unexpected houseguest to get to their kinky ever after.

But a decades old trauma still haunts Neil. When the private details draw public interest, Sophie learns that the scars of his past are greater than he let on—and he’ll need all of her love to heal them…

Cheers:

  • I couldn’t stop reading it. The plot was very compelling.
  • The book is a reminder how bad things can happen whatever, without warning.
  • I was glad that Sophie and Valerie came to some kind of understanding.

Jeers:

  • I skipped every single sex scene. I didn’t even glance at them. I guess it’s hard to keep doing the same thing, and this is the fourth book, but I was way more interested in the plot than the sex.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! I really enjoyed it, even if I skipped over the sex scenes… which are kind of the point in this kind of book.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Ex-Boss-Book-4-ebook/dp/B00PUYFMMW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417647187&sr=1-1

Author’s Blog:

http://jennytrout.com/

Kiss of The Fey — The Inspiration Behind The Curse

This post is to explain a few questions I’ve received about Kiss of The Fey. In it, Xenos is cursed by a fairy, and together Johara and Xenos must work together to break it. Some people have correctly pointed out similarities between Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and Kiss of The Fey, but others have also pointed out Frozen (the movie) and other ice-related fairytales. This is not intentional.

When I first started writing Kiss of The Fey, it was a novella named “Princess Janoah’s Tale”. The writing prompt was to write a story inspired by a fairy tale, and the inspiration was Beauty and The Beast and Rapunzel. Yes, Rapunzel. Originally, Xenos had literally climbed into Janoah’s bedroom window. He had also been only 20 in that version, and Janoah was only 16. They were very silly back then.

Going forth from that, I cut out the Rapunzel part and stabbed Johara, inserting the Sleeping Beauty aspect. However, I didn’t want it to be so gentle, which is why her curse is so evil. When I thought of Xenos’s part in it, and how I could relate him to Beauty and The Beast, I realized that I had to do something more. He was cursed, but when he turned 31 he couldn’t just stay ugly. I didn’t want a literal interpretation of the fairytale. That’s what made me decide to have ice flow through his veins. This made it an actual curse. Instead of being ugly for his entire life, he was frozen. Because of his curse he did get some pretty nasty scars, but his physical appearance was never really a focus.

So as you can see, there was no Frozen/other fairytales behind the imagining of Xenos’s curse. I picked cold because not only did it go with living in the freezing north, but it drew a nice parallel to the original Beauty and The Beast curse. Also, it played on the fact that Xenos was supposed to be figuratively cold-hearted.

-Charlotte Cyprus