On ghostwriting and editing + a general update
It's been a while since I've been able to do a post that wasn't for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Life has been so hectic lately.
For one, we've just now gotten all the foster kittens out to homes, if you've been following that adventure. At least the ones that are leaving. We are keeping the mom and one of the kittens. After the last kitten left, we had to transfer the mom and other kitten upstairs, which required setting up a room for them to be comfortable in while we introduce them to the other cats. I expect that to take a couple of weeks and then hopefully we'll be all integrated and getting along peacefully. At least that's what I hope. We're going out of town overnight in about a month, and I hate to leave them, even if just for 24 hours, while they're still contained in one room.
We'll need all the good vibes that our grumpy kitties accept them with little growling.
In other news, I have been somewhat looking for a new job. I don't dislike my job, necessarily. It's a little boring and my boss is an extreme micromanager, which doesn't really go with my work style. Beyond that, it was an entry-level role, and there's not a lot of upward mobility. I have great benefits, but the pay is also low for my field. So I've been applying only for jobs that sound interesting.
But, I have a 30-minute interview in the morning for one! It sounds like a great opportunity. While I won't be upset if I don't get it, the job could open a lot of doors for me if I do. And definitely relieve some financial stress.
Normally I do an update about my month of writing adventures during my Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop post on the first Wednesday of the month, but here's a little mid-month update.
First off, I've been doing a lot of romance writing lately, but fantasy is really my jam. I came across a prompt through a group I'm in a couple of weeks ago and decided to try my hand at a little sci-fi/horror short story. Short stories aren't really my thing. I like to tell long tales, but this prompt was for a 1,000 word "contest" for bragging rights, so I set out to try my best.
Well, I had a lot of fun with it! I couldn't submit to the contest because it ended up being closer to 4,000 words, but I've got a nice little story to work with. I've been told, by a couple people who have read it, that I should submit it to some anthologies or journals. But first, I need some more added to it in the beginning, which was the biggest complaint from readers that it felt rushed at first. I think that's because I thought it was going to be a 1,000 word story at first, so I was trying to keep it short, but then when I realized that wasn't going to happen, I just let the writing happen.
Here's a snippet:
“What the fuuu…” Adrienne’s voice trails off.
“What is it?” I turn to see Adrienne lying on her stomach at the top of a steep hill.
I crawl up to join, fingers digging into dirt that was hotter than it should’ve been in late fall Pennsylvania.
“Holy shit.” I stare at the sink hole thirty feet across with no end in sight to its depth. Hot air hits my face like a breeze in the Sahara. I choke back bile at the smell of rotten eggs. "We should not be here.”
I'm really looking forward to finishing the edits and potentially looking for some magazines or anthologies to submit to! I've never submitted a short story before, so it's new territory.
If you've been following my blog since the summer, you know I started ghostwriting. At the writing of my last IWSG post at the beginning of August, I was just finishing up the final edits on the first project, which ended up being a 57k word romance novel.
Ghostwriting has been a really interesting experience. The characters in this book will live rent free in my head forever, and I hope that their story is loved by the people who read it and that it finds some success, because I really believe in it.
It's difficult, in some ways, because I don't get to take credit for these characters. But really, they weren't mine to begin with. At least not on this project. It was started by another ghostwriter and my client. I'm not sure how much input my client had with the original story and development of the characters because I came in late, but I know that this story was near-and-dear to her heart, because of some life experiences she had. I was more than happy to bring these characters to life for her.
I'm really proud of the book, so it is going to be hard to watch it from the sidelines, especially if people enjoy it and it finds success. But I'm happy to live vicariously through my client. Because it's given me some confidence. And that's the important part.
I wrote and edited a book in two months. TWO MONTHS, that my client is happy to publish under her name. That the editor loved. That the ARC readers are currently enjoying. I did that. And I know not everyone will love it, but it's given me confidence that when I want to self-publish my own stuff, I can. And I should.
Does ghostwriting have its pros and cons? Sure. But the pros, for me, outweigh the cons. I got paid for one book more than what many writers make in a few years off of multiple books. I'm officially a paid writer. It's given me that. And it's also given me confidence in my writing. Confidence to share my writing. Confidence that I am good enough to do this writing thing. And that I shouldn't give up. So that's huge for me!!
Is it hard? The rigorous schedule, disconnecting myself from my work, going with what the client wants even though it's not always what I want to write, sure... but it's been so worth it! And in about a week, in a way, I'll officially be published.
Let me use ghostwriting to segue into editing. At the top of those blog post I put a mock-up cover for my holiday romance draft that I finished in April.
I hate editing. Full stop. Editing is my single biggest roadblock to why I haven't published anything yet or just now had anything even remotely query-able. Because I get stuck on the edits. But honestly, ghostwriting helped me edit. Because every 10k words I had to send it off to my client and get input/feedback and make edits. Then the actual editor had to go through it, and I had to make those changes. It helped knock the edge off of editing if you will. It gave me some perspective and some practice.
While I was still heavy in ghostwriting this last project, I sent my holiday romance off to Alpha readers. It was in bad shape, with the first 50k still untouched from what I wrote during NaNoWriMo last November. But that's what Alpha readers are for, to see the super messy first draft and pay attention to the big plot points and plot holes and where things are slow or confusing, and not where you've written INSERT NAME HERE or given your two main characters a combination of about seven different surnames (including one being Stinton and one being Stanton LOL).
Getting feedback, and good feedback, from Alpha readers has given me the motivation to press forward with this story, and get it edited, and ready to do something with. Because it's a story I really want to share. Characters I want people -- outside of my alpha readers -- to meet. .
So, I've done it. I have fully revised my first draft of Home for the Holidays: A Tinsley Falls Romance. It is officially a second draft. I left nearly 8k words on the cutting room floor, and it now sits around 85k.
And that is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I'm pretty proud of myself for that edit, and I feel really great about where the draft sits as it is. I'm letting it sit for a bit while I figure out what to do with it next, and will be moving on to plotting out a couple more
That's the big question isn't it.
I've been speaking with my ghostwriting client about our next project(s). Potentially two shorter works, around 40k.
And I need to start thinking about what I want to work on for NaNoWriMo. I told my client no projects during November, LOL. I don't know if I want to finally revisit my high fantasy WIP and work on it, or write some more romance during NaNo. Depends on what I have time to get ready for by then.
I also can't believe it's almost time to start talking about NaNoWriMo! My most favoritest time of the year!
Anyway, I think that's enough rambling for now. How have you been friends?
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Link | IWSG August - Conflicted
Link | IWSG July - Where do the ideas come from?
Link | IWSG June - Replace writing? No way!
Link | IWSG May - Inspiration
Link | IWSG April - Spring has Sprung!
Link | IWSG March - Author Envy
Link | IWSG February - Writing Update and Cover Art
Link | IWSG January - Theme Word for the Year
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