Category Archives: Fiction

Wild News Wed – T-Minus 3 days until COVER REVEAL WITH A SURPRISE!

So, Vikans, Guess what?

KINETIC REBIRTH’S COVER REVEAL IS THIS SATURDAY!

THIS.

SATURDAY.

*insert excited squealing here*
*deep breath*
Okay, I am calm. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Time has flown by this year. After losing JV in late January, I felt broken and lost. A part of my heart had been ripped out and torn into millions of pieces. She was my closest friend. I could tell her everything and anything, and she wouldn’t judge or criticize. She was the purest, kindest, most supportive friend I could’ve asked for, and was one of those people that you’re lucky if you meet one in your entire life. A diamond, a gem, an angel on earth that had to return to Heaven WAY too soon, life cut short in the blink of an eye.

The only grateful thought I have is that she went almost instantaneously, no pain whatsoever. That is at least a blessing. But, it’s still not coping, and it’s still not closure.

But, KINETICS is both.

I went on my Smoky retreat, only a mere three weeks or so after losing JV. My Smoky companions were supportive and gentle, which helped knowing what weight I’d put on my shoulders by starting KINETICS. If you want more details on this adventure, read my previous posts from this year. I should be updating my Index tab this weekend as well, just FYI. But, in a nutshell, almost every character in this KINETICS series is one that they two of us came up with while roleplaying online together. All but one. The only character we didn’t create together is JV herself. I have inserted her as one of the heroes of the series. I had hoped that I could write her as accurate and true to JV in real life, but wasn’t quite sure if I’d captured it. I got this from my editor when I got the edits back:

KatNotes-JV_Compliment-Cropped

… And my happiness shot through the roof. Still, as my editor had never actually met JV, I knew I’d written JV’s character well to be liked, but there still wasn’t substantial proof that I wrote her accurately. However, I sent the short story prequel, “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, to three of JV’s closest friends, as well as JV’s husband/widower. All four loved it, and told me, “Yup, that was perfectly Jess.”

Side note real quick. “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, as of this AM, had just reached 100 downloads! This free short is now more successful than “THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY”, which has been out since November 2014! I am so excited about the response to this story, so download the e-story and share the link like crazy!!
Proof?

KineticTragedy_2017-08-16_midday

 

*ahem*
Okay, Back on topic.

However, it wasn’t until last weekend that I felt almost certain JV had been written exactly realistic and true to JV in real life. I talked to JV’s mother, who told me JV’s grandmother had read one of the ARCs I gave the family, loved it, said JV was so realistic and honestly her, and also that she guessed I was the main character. To which, I joked with JV’s mom, “Trust me, I wish I was half as cool as Jaden.”

As of hearing that, I knew I’d succeeded on preserving JV in print for all eternity. And I can’t wait to share her awesome bubbly-ness with the world.

If you want to see the cover reveal when it happens, go like my Facebook page, or follow my Twitter, where the news will drop early on Saturday, August 19th (THIS SATURDAY!). I WILL ALSO BE EMAILING MY Instafreebie subscribers, so if you download KINETIC TRAGEDY off there, you’ll get word that way too.

I am so excited to share this adventure with you. I can see JV smiling down on me, patting me on the back, telling me, “You got this.”

Keep Faith, everyone, and STAY TUNED!

THREE DAYS TO COVER REVEAL, BABY!

(Oh, and there’s a surprise announcement that will come out that day too. Hint: has something to do with “digital” books. 😉 lol)

 

Social Media Links:

Instafreebie (KINETIC TRAGEDY short + email list subscription) Link: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/N4Wnr

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/cmcdonnellauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/discoverywritin

 

Wild News Wednesday (2017-08-02)

Howdy, Vikans!

So, life’s been stressful lately, but I won’t bore y’all with details. However, I will update you guys on my writing endeavors. I owe you guys that much for reading coming over here to my slice of the Interwebs.

So, we have less than 3 months until the official print release of KINETIC REBIRTH, the first in my KINETICS series. You know, the one I’ve been talking about non-stop for months? Yeah, that one.

It’s due to release October 19th, 2017, and I have NEVER been more excited in my life! HOWEVER, some reveals are closer. I’ve decided to do the official cover reveal on my social media on Saturday, August 19th, exactly two months from the print book’s release. Along with it will be a surprise pertaining to KINETIC REBIRTH’S release, which I’m sure will make some people super excited.

Or, at least, I hope.

Anyway, if you want to make sure you get notified of the cover reveal, Like/Follow/Subscribe to the following pages, so you’ll see everything when the news goes live.

One way is Instafreebie. When you download KINETIC TRAGEDY, the eBook short story prequel to October’s novel release, your email is added to my e-Newsletter subscribers list. You’ll get pertinent information, and I promise I won’t be sending too many emails to my list. At least, not yet. To download the story AND be added to my subscribers list, go [here] to download it! If you just want to be a Newsletter subscriber, but don’t need the eBook short for whatever reason, you can directly sign up [here].

You can also Like my Facebook Author page. Either search C. McDonnell on the FB search bar, or just click [this link]. Yes, I did change the title of my author page. This is because I learned back in 2011, when I released my first short story, that there is a children’s book author that also has my name. So, all upcoming and future projects will be under author C. McDonnell, to stop confusing searches on Amazon, B&N, etc.

Another place to keep up with me is Twitter. My user is @discoverywritin, or you can click [here] to go to my Twitter page. Don’t be afraid to say Hi! I don’t bite, I swear.

Okay, one last update.

As of the beginning of June, I have been working diligently on Book 2 of my Kinetics series. Yep, the sequel to the above aforementioned October 2017 novel release. (Sorry, mouthful). As of now, title is TBD, as is completion date and release date. From June 1st until yesterday, I have written over 24k words (24,000 words, for those of you that don’t understand the abbreviation). YA Fantasy generally has an accepted 50k minimum word count, but I’ve never had a problem surpassing that in my other 7+ completed manuscripts that I’ve set on the back burner. So, essentially, I’m halfway to the least I can publish. While it is just an objective minimum, it gives me a calculable goal, and I know this book will surpass that easy peasy.

Also, to give a bit more details, this second book will encompass more of me and JV’s friendship, going back to our roots, back to when we first met and became friends back in October 2011. We met through mutual friends, through a forum-based fantasy RP they’d created. If you want more info on our journey through our five and a half year friendship, go to [this video] on Youtube, where JV and I discuss how we became friends. Part Two (found [here]) delves into our transition into coauthoring a series together.

And, for clarification, the KINETICS series is NOT the one we were coauthoring. Currently there’s a snag in getting her writings for it, but once that snag is untangled, then I will pursue that series as well.

Anyway, back to my information on Untitled Kinetics Project #2.

It goes back to our roots, in a little town called Hyndon. We created characters about 1-2 months in that were in a relationship together. Even after the RP site went inactive, JV and I continued those characters’ story within private, shared Google Docs files. That led to multiple different Google Docs of varying role-playing, each with their own sets of characters, settings, magic systems, etc, etc.

My Kinetics series is my ultimate dedication to JV, and the friendship we had together. This series will get crammed with so much of our writing together, that you will hopefully know her as well as I do.

Monday marked 6 months since she passed from this world, and I cried all day and all night, and didn’t sleep well that night. When I woke up the next day, my boss asked me, ten minutes into the work day, if I was okay, and that I looked like I was in bad shape. Have I mentioned how awesome my boss is before? Well, I am now.

19756673_10212272747270457_2669381282374313339_n

However, within a few hours, I looked at my JV Jr doll, who I’ve taken to work every day since the funeral, and also looked at the photo on my desk, and realized crying won’t bring her back. To be honest, I’d give up my creative mind if it meant bringing her back, but since that isn’t a possibility, I have to utilize my gifts to make sure she forever lives on through my writing. So the world can see how pure, creative, fun, and amazing a person she was. This is our friendship’s legacy, and I hope you’ll get copies when KINETIC REBIRTH is released, so you can see for yourself how much she meant to me, and to everyone else she cared about.

 

So, links are in brackets where each social media platform is mentioned. You can also locate me on the links on my “Contact Me” tab [here].

And, my new sign-off for Kinetics related stuff…

“Assume nothing.”

Also, Keep Faith, guys. Life may be hard now, but, at a certain point, you can only go up from there.

Hugs to you all.

Free and for a Cause

Hi there, everyone!

If you follow me on social media, then you already know that I have a new story releasing this week. If you’re not following me on social media, then you need to click [here] and follow my antics on your choice of social media platforms.

This story was created with the inspiration of starting my own Patreon page. The funds my Patrons give me will keep me inspired to write this series. My Patrons also get updates that aren’t anywhere else, as well as access to public updates before anyone else. There are also different rewards depending on a Patron’s pledge amount. If you might want to become my Patron for this series, click [here].

Anyway, you’re here to hear about the actual content of the saga, aren’t you?

Let’s begin:

My elevator pitch: Agents of SHIELD mixed with Divergent, if the teens had superpowers.

The Chaos Accounts is a saga that follows Division 3 of the MRC, an organization dedicated to keeping peace between humans and Metas, humans with incredible gifts. They also try and counter any destruction or injury caused by ChaosBlaze, and I’m sure you can infer their intentions based on their name.

acct_of_anxiety-cover_edited-1

 

 

The first story, “Account of Anxiety”, follows Blaine, a teen musician and impressionist, as he gets thrown headlong into the world of the Metas when his family is kidnapped by ChaosBlaze. This is essentially a brief introduction to the series and main characters, as seen by a confused, anxiety-ridden outsider.

I’ve got many others planned, and as long as I have people who want to read this journey of painful pasts, confusing and conflicted present, and uncertain futures, I will continue to write it.

 

 

Now, here’s a “catch”. At least for me.

The story goes live on 1/18/2017 (this Wednesday night). Between then and February 14th, here’s what I am going to do:

-For every free download of the story (it will be free everywhere but Amazon, cuz Amazon won’t allow it), I will donate $0.25 to Freedom From Fear, a national, mental-health advocacy based in Staten Island, NYC. (Details below)

-For every PAID download (aka-Amazon Kindle), I will donate $0.50 to Freedom From Fear.

-AND for EVERY REVIEW on B&N, Amazon, or Smashwords, I will donate $0.50 to Freedom From Fear.

So, essentially, this is money from my pocket that will be going to a good cause, and one that relates to Blaine’s anxiety issues, as well as making the world even slightly less scary for those of us with mental/emotional conditions.

To read more about Freedom From Fear, click [here] for more. The hashtag to share for this donation campaign by yours truly is #FearlessChaos

So, spread the word, because I will only be tallying downloads and reviews until February 14th!

Can’t wait for you all to jump on this crazy train with Division 3 and me!

And, as always, Keep Faith, guys. 🙂

Who Wants To Be My Patron?

*GASP*

OVER FOUR MONTHS!!

I’VE BEEN A BAD CHRISTINE.

You’ll have to forgive my overlooking of a COMMITMENT! Things have been crazy.

Here’s a quick little summary, because too much to go into too much detail::

-Ravencon: Was the most amazing experience in my life. Hoping to be invited back. Got my book (THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY, in case you’re knew to my side of the Internet) into the hands of about 15 people. Met some reeeeeeally cool people, and got to talk writing and publishing stuff. Whether I come back as a guest or a participant, I will be going next year, and will have copies of my book to sign. Visit ravencon.com for details.

Vacation: Boyfriend and I went on a 9 day excursion to Las Vegas and Arizona. We got front row tickets to see KA at the MGM Grand, slots and roulette at a few different casinos, and kept a chip from every casino. Actually, our last day there, we literally went to a bunch of casinos, just to trade a dollar for a $1 chip for a little collection. Between Vegas and Arizona, I think we have about 16 poker chips. We also got to go to the Grand Canyon, and if you ever get a chance to visit, DO IT. It is an indescribable beauty and unbelievable until you go from up to the edge and scan the horizon and you realize, “This isn’t a dream. This was created by nature. Nature’s amazing.”

Mono: Yeah, you read that intro right. I got sick with Mono in the middle of June. No, I have not been cheating on Boyfriend. I’m certain I probably just got it from sharing a drink with a friend, or maybe a water fountain in Vegas. *shrug* who knows. Six weeks without exercise had me gain back a bit of those 40 pounds I lost, but I’ve lost it since beginning of August.

Day job: Day job is chaotic. No details, because, obviously, this is the internet, but things be going CRAY at work, and I’m overwhelmed beyond all reason. I’m getting through it okay, and actually being more productive there, but, when I come home, I crash because there wasn’t anything to do.

That’s about to change.

Writing has always been my best antidepressant for me. I just haven’t had any motivation to write anymore. In order to get motivated again, I’m taking this BIG, RISKY step, and I hope some of you reading this will assist in this venture. It’ll keep me writing, and keep Depression from eating me alive like it has been lately.

I’ve joined Patreon, a community of content creators who rely on Patrons (you guys who join) to pledge a certain amount in support, and, in return, Patrons get cool stuff, like exclusive content, Google Hangouts, Live chats, and even some physical goodies. It varies depending on the Creator. There were two options for frequency of pledge. Patreon advised that if you are putting out 4+ pieces a month, go for a monthly rate. For the time being, I’m only planning on 1-2 per month, so I have it set per creation.

I owe it to Peter Hollens for using the site and being an inspiration to me. His music and videos got me through a bunch of hard times, and, now, I’m taking that same big step forward by joining him in the Patreon community. Here’s his Patreon page [link], and also a link to his equally-as-awesome wife Evynne’s [link]. I’ll also link two of my friends from my Smoky’s retreat I take every year: Hugh [link] and Bryan [link]. Both of them are pretty awesome dudes, and are creating pretty cool stuff, so check them out too. 🙂

My creation is serialized fantasy stories. These are stories I barely started that I need motivation to write up. These stories are also perfect fodder for serialized fiction, because the ones I’m choosing… Never decided on an ending. So, these are indefinite stories (or “Human” stories, as I refer to them on my Patreon page), and I’m hoping I can get a good deal written on them. But I need motivation.

And I need you.

Yes, you, reading this right now.

I’d really appreciate the support from ANYONE. When you go to my Patreon page, at the very bottom of my description, I have a link to the first chapter of my first serial, titled “Truths of the Triangle”. It’s essentially a twist to the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, involving magic, multiple worlds, and a race to save what’s left of the protagonist’s sanity. Right now, that first chapter is on my Google Drive account, but looking for ways to get it available for download. Just so you know though, downloadable versions will only be available on my Patron-only stream. All you need to do is pledge $1/chapter to get that access.

But… I think I’ll at least give ya’ll a lil’ snippet from that first chapter.

A little teaser, if you will::::

 

“They’re just so naïve, peaceful, no cares in the world. As if life’s all rainbows and sunshine.”

“You’re sounding like a demotivational poster right now. Should I call a doctor?”

A quick breath of a chuckle came from him. “You know what I mean.”

Kelli cocked her head. “I’m not sure I do. Everybody has bad things in their lives that bug them: drugs, alcohol, abuse, death. They just pretend everything’s fine to not bum out everyone else around them. In fact, the only thing bad that isn’t currently happening is World War Three.” She’d said it in jest, but the expression on his face said he hadn’t taken it as such.

The music continued to blast, but she heard his quiet, gentle words clear as day in her mind:

“That’s what you think.”

Kelli wanted to open her mouth to refute his annoying, avoiding response when he planted a long, forceful kiss right on her lips. It surprised her for a second or two, but she eventually fell victim to it, wrapping her arms around his neck and returning the gift. It just felt so right.

A loud boom from the front yard that shook the building broke them apart. They both looked at each other with wide-eyed, “What-The-Heck” glances. Then they heard the screaming, followed by huge plumes of smoke.

When a gunshot rang out, Kelli’s legs buckled. She hated that sound. Even in movie theaters, she always winced when someone shot a gun on screen. In real life, however, it was so much worse.

Help a girl out, please? 🙂 It would mean so much to me, plus keeps me out of the darkness that is Depression. Always a plus. And I’ve got some pretty cool rewards levels for Patrons. 🙂

Here’s the [LINK]. Adding it to my Contact Me tab here as well, if you want to find me everywhere else as well.

Have a good day, guys, and remember to KEEP FAITH! I know I will be. 😀

WB vs. L.O.I.: Post-Writeathon Blues

So, for once, two blog postings in a week. This should make up for forgetting February, right?

Anyway, this post is one that is rough for me to admit, but I feel that people could relate to it, so why the heck not, huh? I mean, if that retreat taught me anything, it’s that finding other writers who have faced similar situations is an eye-opener, and they can give advice for the troubles you might be having, because they might have gone through them themselves.

This week, my struggle is my inspiration. It’s gone on vacation. For who knows how long. I spent a straight 7 days writing about 8 hours a day, with breaks for lunch and just because I need to step away. So, about 6 hours a day, I was either brainstorming or writing. And now I have 28,000 words for my third book in my most recent series.

The problem with that?

When I got home, my inspiration said, “Adios. Sayonara. Goodbye. I’ll be back whenever.”

I had lost all inspiration to work on finishing it. Maybe it was the draining from writing that much in that short amount of time. Maybe I missed my new friends and the snippets we would share before dinner. Maybe I’d laughed too much over the course of that retreat, and it gave me brain damage. In any case, I have not been able to get a coherent chapter out of my head for days. And it’s frustrating! Because, only about a month or two ago did I know how my series would end. And the ending is AMAZING! (Well, in my mind anyway. The rest of you will be sobbing and sending threatening letters for me to write another book to make things better).

The point is, losing your inspiration can be a scary, frustrating thing. I’ve had plenty of times when I had writer’s block, but what I’ve come to realize is that Writer’s Block and Loss of Inspiration are two separate conditions.

Writer’s Block, despite the usage some people use, is when you can’t generate any ideas for projects you’re working on, which causes frustration because you had hoped it would amount to something. Loss of Inspiration takes from the (wrong) public usage and capitalizes on it. I see it as you know EXACTLY what you want to write, EXACTLY which characters it involves, and EXACTLY how it ends, but can’t, for your life, get the words down on paper/computer. Some symptoms of both of these would be:

– frustration;

– not being able to sit still for extended lengths of time;

– spending TOO much time on Netflix, browsing episodes of Friends, Supernatural, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or various, addictive anime shows;

– Talking/Rambling a lot, much to the annoyance of your family and friends.

However, a MAJOR effect of L.O.I. is one that isn’t that prominent in WB:

– Dreaming.

Being a writer is all about being an imaginative dreamer, right? Our stories are a part of us, every character has a piece of us in their looks, personality, attitude, quirks, or flaws. Each setting, plot bunny, character, world system – each and every word we have written since we wanted to be a writer – came from us. When you have WB, it restricts that dreaming ability, because we can’t seem to figure out what to write next. However, the opposite is just a frustrating to those with L.O.I.

They dream more than usual. You’d think this was a good thing, but think about it for a second. Being able to dream up every chapter, every plot point, every character development moment, but not being able to utilize it in story format? For me, that’s torture. It’s the most frustrating condition ever to have, and believe me, I know, because I’m going through it right now.

The downside? Every writer can get both of these issues at any time in their writing career. It will happen without notice, warning, or time to prepare, and when you least expect it. There’s a good thing to remember though.

There’s always a light at the end of a tunnel. You will get through it, and one day soon, you’ll be scribbling/typing at the speed of light. Just remind yourself of what you want, and remember that it will be worth it.

Yeah, having your own book in your hands, whether digital or print?

Yes, it’s ALWAYS worth the trouble.

Guess I gotta remember that myself, huh? 😉

AWESOME! – That Time In The Mountains

11021147_10205204431726986_4919789665877364578_n

I’ve been quiet for a while, trying to figure out what I could blog about. Now, I have the absolute BEST thing to write about.

For the past week, I have been away on a Writers retreat (Smoky Mountain Writers- SMW) with about <20 AMAZING people. When I arrived, I only knew one person, one of my mentors who pulled me into this. I was petrified, not knowing who these people are, just knowing they were writers and friends with my mentors. Said mentors assured me that these were good people, and I trust them, which is why I agreed to go. I thought, hey, it’s a good experience, and great networking. However, with my shyness and reluctance to interact with other people, I was still a bit anxious about how I would fair during an 8-day retreat in the middle of nowheresville Tennessee (The mountains in Gatlinburg, for anyone’s information) with a bunch of people I didn’t know. At worst, I’d get some writing done, get some sleep and food, and not embarrass the heck out of myself.

Man, I was SOOOOOO GLAD that it was much more than that.

My drive was difficult to say the least. I drove through a blizzard on I-81 for over 8 hours, finally stopping 15 miles from the VA/TN border on Saturday night. I continued the drive Sunday morning, and when I got there, I learned it had been totally worth it (no matter how much my mom said she was going to kick my @$$ when I got home).

Sure, a majority of our time was silent writing time (which, over 6.5 days, I’d written over 28k). At first it was hard to interact with these people, because all of them had some sort of connections with other cabinmates. Most had been to Balticon, and were planning on returning this May. Some were co-authoring works together, and others had been friends for years. It was intimidating, being the odd one out.

Then came the surprising part: they attempted to include me. Like, talking to me, actually WANTING to get to know ME, of all people. They understood the challenges I’d had in life, because all of them had been through it too. They were welcoming, kind, CRAZY people, so much like me that it stunned me for a bit. They got me to do things I never would have done elsewhere. I read some of my raw work EVERY NIGHT. I watched a New Zealand vampire ‘documentary’ (coming soon to places other than NZ- What We Do In The Shadows). I even hot-tubbed OUTSIDE in 30° temperatures!

Before I arrived, I believed this would be an amazing opportunity to network and make connections. I hadn’t really expected to make 17 new friends. By the time I had to say my tearful goodbye (Bad weather on last day, so left early), I trusted them so much, and I hope they will be friends with me for a long, long time. They were amazing, creative, spontaneous, CRAZY people, and I miss them so much already.

Onto Smoky Writers 2016!

As Stu WILL say, “AWWWWESUMMMM!”

IT’S HERE!!!!

So, if you can’t tell by the title, I’m EXTREMELY hyper!! My paperback book was officially released on November 25th, with the eBook versions out five days later. This dream was ten years in the making, and when that book was in my hands, I started tearing up. I may not be as far as my final goal, but this is the first step toward it.

This book was one of my favorites writing. It is a prequel to a trilogy I had completed TheProtektorsReality_400x640_115dpibefore starting to write this one. My goal is to get that trilogy traditionally published, hopefully sometime in the near future. This whole saga – which includes 4 short stories, 1 novella, the prequel, and the trilogy – is a project I started about four years ago. In fact, two of the four total books in this saga were NaNoWriMo wins, one in the traditional November NaNo, and the other during Camp NaNoWriMo.

Those of you that have a dream, don’t stop reaching for it! Though you may lose faith along the way, if you continue to pursue your dreams, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Check out the tab for my works to find the synopsis and links for The Protektor’s Reality. I’d really appreciate any support I can get, including buying or reviewing! It is available as a print book on Amazon, Kindle eBook, and also on Smashwords in all eBook formats, online reading, and also PDF file.

And don’t think this means I’m done. My journey is just beginning.

My Dream Come True

So, I know I’ve been away a while, but with good reason. Things have been a whirlwind for me since my last post. I’ve had schoolwork upon schoolwork (Graduating in 3 weeks though, so can’t complain), I’ve gone to a baby shower, had to go home every weekend to work one day every week at my job. My 72-year-old grandmother got married this past Sunday, and family came in from all over the country to celebrate with us. I was even a bridesmaid! (They’re perfect for each other, btw ❤ ). So yeah, things have been nuts lately.

Oh yeah, forgot the best part about this late post…

I’M GETTING MY BOOK PUBLISHED!

TheProtektorsReality_400x640_115dpiSelf-publishing, anyway, but there’s no shame in self-publishing, especially in this day and age. In fact, some very well-known authors started self-pubbed. You can look on the My Works page for the blurb, as well as the links (once they are available).

I started writing this book over a year ago, as my NaNoWriMo project last November. I finished the book a few months later, and now it’s going to be in a physical paperback book! The proof is due in the next day or so. I’M GOING TO BE HOLDING MY ACTUAL STORY IN MY HANDS!!!

I’ve been writing with the intent of being an author for ten and a half years now, and now I can say it’s actually happening! It’s so surreal!

Keep watching this page for updates, especially when the links are ready, because I’d really like this book to succeed! It’s one of the best, most polished books I’ve ever written, so I hope everyone enjoys the ride.

Keep Faith!

-Chrissy

Nearer and Nearer…

Well, folks, a lot has happened since I last posted. In regards to last post, I have lost a little bit of weight, but not much. This post, however, is about something much more important to me.

My publishing journey.

I have a few beta edits out for critique right now and am anticipating those arriving soon. Once I get those, I will fix what is necessary, and then run through another last round of edits myself. I can’t reveal what will happen once editing’s done, as it is variable and dependent on third parties. However, I know the plan and will it reveal when the time is right.

For now, though, you all will have to bear with me.

On another note, I just got back from a week in Orlando. Yes, Disney happened. Yes, I had a blast. Yes, I got to take a selfie with Sorcerer Mickey. No, I didn’t get to ride Jungle Cruise with Skipper Sam, my distant cousin (which was extremely depressing, by the way. Stupid lightning!).

Disney LogoI also got to exercise (fun, right?), eat a lot, visit family and friends that live in the area, and even late-nite mini golfing. While it’s true my family and I fought a bunch, what family vacation doesn’t end up in a frustrating argument at least once? In the end, the trip was amazing, and I am grateful I got to spend time there with my dad and sis.

My dad and I argue. A lot. On a regular basis. HOWEVER, he has always been there for me. He still is. He’s the one who is supporting me in my dream the most out of my entire family, both monetarily- and marketing-wise. We spent a majority of the 12 hour car ride home discussing my future as an author. I’m so grateful I have him in my life, and I hope he knows that!

Until another day, Vikans!

Keep Faith,

-Chrissy

Critiques Aren’t Meant To Cause Pain

021
As a writer, you’d think I’d be used to critiques by now. I’ve been in a writing fiction class, where they tore my fantasy to shreds, and I’m currently in my senior level English class, where our class is working on a publication that will be distributed to my entire town, and have been slammed by the harsh critiques I’ve been getting.

What does that do to me as a writer? In theory, as a writer, I need to analyze the critiques, edit accordingly, and brush it off like it’s a piece of fuzz on your shirt. It’s very nice in theory, but very difficult in practice. When you get copies of your work back, a story or manuscript that has been your precious word baby for a while, you get this feeling in the pit of your stomach and a feeling like someone torn your heart into tiny pieces.

Something important happens after that though. You read the edits, and eventually realize that some – if not most – are things that should be changed to make it better. That hole is still there, but starts getting smaller. Does that mean change everything they tell you to? No, it doesn’t. You have to use your discretion as the WIPs creator and figure out what is essential to the story and what can be changed. When you overcome that barrier, the hole is about the width of a pencil.

Finally, when you send that prec023ious word baby of yours back to the editors, and it comes back with a bazillion red markups, that hole expands again, but this time not as big as the first round. As you progress forward and get critique after critique sent back and forth, you start to catch things and habits in your writing that reoccur. Things like in-depth details, or grammatical errors, or maybe that you’re a comma-happy person.

That’s the point I’m trying to tell myself, and something I’m sharing with all of you. CRITIQUES MAKE YOU A BETTER WRITER! While seeing the red pen marks of death may crush you inside, you need to remember that the reason you even get those critiques back is because the editors (whether they are fellow peers, family, friends, or even just a distant connection of someone you know) are only marking those things to make your story the best it can be. Without those marks and notes, the story would go to publication with all the little mistakes and inconsistencies you missed in personal edits. Every good author or writer needs someone who won’t be careful when critiquing and sugarcoat it in sake of your relationship.

As I’ve learned recently, I still get a little pang of pain in my heart when someone tells me my story needs “a little work”. However, the fact still remains that my goal is to be the best author I can be, and that I can write stories that others will enjoy and that makes people feel something inside. If I have bad habits in my writing style, I want them broken before my stories go to publication to give my readers the best, because that’s what they deserve.

I remind myself of that every time a critiqued story comes back to me. I take a deep breath, open it up, and keep on writing.