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 🙂

The Editing Never Ends

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This was the “final” copy of Wildflower Crown. The one that was completely corrected and without errors. Yeah. That’s like 150 markers. To be fair (to me), there were only two or three actual mistakes/typos. The rest were “Hmmm, I could totally word that better,” or “DIALOGUE TAG WHAT ARE YOU DOING GTFO.”

So yeah, this is a little reminder not to freak out over shitty first drafts. This is the 6th draft now. However, all I have to do is make sure that fixing all those little tab things didn’t mess up any spacing and then format it for Kindle and it’ll be ready for publishing. Depending on how much time it takes to go live, Wildflower Crown will be out sometime this weekend or early next week. (I don’t know about you guys, but I’m excited. My second book! Woo!)

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Seriously got down to one of these things. Didn’t even notice until I’d already shut the book. Good thing I didn’t find two more things to be super picky over :p

My Bookshelf: Blur

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Title: Blur

Author: Kristen Middleton

Genre: Urban Paranormal

Amazon Summary:
“Seventeen year old Nikki and her twin brother, Nathan, move to the small town of Shore Lake to start over after their mother is brutally attacked. When a missing teenager washes up on shore during their first night at the cabin and there are whispers of vampires in Shore Lake, Nikki begins to realize that there are things roaming in the darkness that are far more sinister than what they left behind in the city.”

My Summary:
Something happens that is entirely unrelated to the plot, then they move to VAMPIRE CITAYYYY and shit goes downhill from there.

Cheers:

  • I read it all the way through to the end. I don’t know why, but I did. It may have been one of those “it’s so bad it’s good” things. I was screaming to my boyfriend OH HE IS TOTALLY A VAMPIRE I KNOW IT and was proved right, so that was nice.
  • I liked that it was in Montana. Montana is nice. I want to live there one day, even though I hate snow.

Jeers (possible spoilers):

  • Oh dear lord, this will be quite a list. First off, the book starts off with the mom being raped by her ex-husband, who is a cop. Three months later, they move to Montana to get a fresh start on life, and she immediately flirts with the first guy who talks to her… WHO IS ALSO A COP. Like, what. I could maybe see her going for him if her ex-husband HADN’T BEEN A COP AS WELL so that she could say, “Oh, he’s a cop, I feel comfortable with him” but no, it’s just terrible. Also, the whole raped and abused by her ex-husband thing doesn’t come up again. The author should have picked something different that made them move. Like literally anything.
  • Nathan (MC’s twin brother) has a girlfriend back home and complains about leaving her then immediately flirts with everything.
  • Everything SCREAMS vampires. Like they roll up into town and some pretty girl says “Oh, there’s plenty of things to do here after dark, DUN DUN DUN.” Foreshadowing? You’re doing it wrong.
  • Nikki (the MC) falls in love with Duncan in like two days. Which the author almost handled it well, but she ended up screwing it up. You can fall in love with someone in two days, but not like that. It was poorly written.
  • Nikki (still the MC) ends up falling in love with Ethan FOR NO REASON. OH MY FUCKING GOD I WANTED TO KILL THE AUTHOR. Like, at first, it as good. “I feel these things for him because he’s using vampire powers, but it’s against my will and I don’t want it.” Like, that’s good. Realistic vampire-ness. She recognizes that they’re predators. BUT THEN SHE JUST MAKES OUT WITH HIM WILLINGLY AND SUGGESTS THAT HE FEED FROM HER AND IT’S ALL JUST SO STUPID. It’s the worst love triangle since Twilight. Actually, Twilight was better. I repeat: TWILIGHT WAS BETTER.
  • The pointless cliffhanger.
  • “Miranda.”
  • How no one seemed upset at all the dead girls.
  • How pointless the plot was.

Would I recommend it?:
NO. It COULD have worked, but it didn’t. If the author hadn’t tried writing a series just to milk readers for their money, it could have been they moved, it’s a vampire town, Ethan and the Miranda thing was fully explained, the deaths were like actually explained and investigated, and the killer Dad thing was either cut or handled realistically and made relevant, then it could have worked out even with the bad writing, but this was just one problem after another.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Blur-Night-Roamers-Book-1-ebook/dp/B008S63B2M

 

My Bookshelf: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic

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Title: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic

Series: Dowser Series, Book #1

Author: Meghan Ciana Doidge

Genre: Paranormal & urban adventure?

Amazon Summary:
“If you’d asked me a week ago, I would have told you that the best cupcakes were dark chocolate with chocolate cream cheese icing, that dancing in a crowd of magic wielders — the Adept — was better than sex, and that my life was peaceful and uneventful. Just the way I liked it. That’s what twenty-three years in the magical backwater of Vancouver will get you — a completely skewed sense of reality. Because when the dead werewolves started showing up, it all unraveled … except for the cupcake part. That’s a universal truth.

My Summary:
So Jade is a normal girl in a family of witches. She can’t really do any magic herself, but she can make cupcakes, so she has that going for her. Out of nowhere, she’s the suspect of a murder, and suddenly werewolves and vampires are hanging around, and it turns out that she may not be as normal as she thought.

Cheers:

  • It may have just been because I wasn’t really trying to figure things out, but I didn’t see any of the twists coming.
  • I liked the characters. I hated Jade’s name, but I’ve just always hated the name Jade for no reason.
  • I liked how the magic was set up, and how Jade was rightly afraid of the scary things.

Jeers:

  • I can’t think of anything bad about it. I read it pretty quickly, so I guess I would’ve enjoyed it if it was longer, if we’d have seen a little bit more, but I suppose that’s what the sequels are for.
  • Jade seemed a tad Mary Sue-ish. All the guys want her, she has blonde hair, tan skin (without ever being in the sun), and indigo eyes. However, I still enjoyed the story, she certainly didn’t fall flat or read like Bella Swan.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! It’s a great read, lots of fun. There wasn’t any sex or romance, and I think that really helped the story stay on track. As long as you can abide by the name Jade, I say give it a go. The first ebook is free on Amazon, not sure if that’s permanent or not, but for now it is.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Cupcakes-Trinkets-Deadly-Dowser-Series-ebook/dp/B00DH5WVV6

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

Everything is going well!

I’ve sold a few copies of the ebook and a few paperbacks. I’m not ready to quit my day job, but I’d like to thank everyone who is supporting me by buying my book!

Now that Kiss of The Fey is out, I thought I’d tell you a little more about my future plans. As you can tell from my “Books” page, there are two novels I’m working on. The first is Only in WhispersOnly in Whispers is much darker than Kiss of The Fey, so I’m unsure of how long it will take to be released. I’m working on finishing the first draft, then I’ll probably set that aside for a little while just to let to stew before I reread it. It contains non-consensual sex, violence, kidnapping–all kinds of dark stuff. There’s also a male/male relationship which is just as much of a focus as the female/male relationship. I wanted to write something different, and I did. It’s very different.

The second book I’m working on is Colors of The Sky. This is going to be much more light-hearted than Kiss of The Fey, though the protagonist does have a dark secret. However, she’s very naive and trusting, and that gets her into trouble. I’m not starting on this until November, but I already know that it’s going to be a very fun book.

Now that I’ve published one book, I can’t wait to publish more! I think I’ve caught the publishing bug. Now I just need my writing to keep up with my ideas 🙂

-Charlotte Cyprus

Kiss of The Fey is available now!

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The release date was September 1st, but it turns out that Amazon doesn’t recognize my plans, so it’s out now! It’s available for both Kindle and paperback, and you can get it here!

You can read the preview on Amazon or right here. If you want to support a self-published author, it’s only $0.99 for Kindle!

I’m glad to finally share this with everyone. I hope you all enjoy it!

-Charlotte Cyprus

Getting closer!

I’m super excited to be getting closer to the release of Kiss of The Fey! I’m reading over the book for some last minute tweaks just to dot my i’s and cross my t’s. I’m really happy with how the book turned out. It’s been a long process, almost four years from the first form of the story until now, but I’m glad I stuck with it. It was worth it.

I’m also working on my second book, and I’m about halfway done with the first draft. I want to get it written as soon as possible. After getting Kiss of The Fey ready for publishing, I realized how much I enjoy all the work! I’m glad I’m publishing right as school starts. All the homework should distract me from the big gaping hole that the editing and formatting previously filled.

I hope you’re all having a great summer!

-Charlotte Cyprus