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Friday, September 30, 2011

Is There A Method to the Madness?

insanity Pictures, Images and Photos

Every author has their own way of handling mass chaos. There are those who plot and think out every detail before writing, some who sort of outline and then there are authors like me who don't plan a thing. When you add multiple publishers to the mix it gets insane, especially when every character you write ends up being part of a series.

I love series as much as stand alone books, however I didn't imagine I'd have different series at five different publishers. Multitasking is a bitch depending on which story line is screaming the loudest to get out. So how do I handle the ranting lunatics in my head? Yeah they're mostly the heroes :)

I do have a huge desk calender on the wall in my den. Now ask me if I ever write in the den. Yeah, no not at all. I have only one recessed light in the den and though on set of deck sliding doors line the wall giving me a full wall of fresh light, it's still to dark even with a halogen lamp. So what good is the desk calender there? I have to have a place to put everything and for now that's where it be.

I have a sticky note system. I have different shapes and colors. Whenever a thought or a group of thoughts stampede in my brain much like a heard of angry tatanka's... I write it down. I know the names of the groups of characters so it's easy to separate. I try to take turns on what to write next or go by length of story.

Generally I can write a good 4 to 6 thousand words in a day. I also proofread so depending on the day I can knock out a good chunk of work. On rare occasions I can do 8 words in a day but sitting still that long or concentrating that hard on one thing taxes my imagination. I find I run out of steam and since I'm limited to brain food, I don't like going back and second guessing what I've written.

The novellas range from 12k to 47k so depending on what I'm doing, my turn around is really high.

How do I do it? I don't have a EDJ. My DH and the Teens leave at 7 am. I have roughly from 7 am to 230pm to do whatever I want. The teens are required to do house chores leaving me only with my room to clean and laundry at the laundromat on the weekends.

(Yes, the evil DH hasn't bought me my frontloaders yet, the laundromat is actually cheaper than washing and drying here. I'm for what's convenient and he's for the best out of a dollar!)

I do other things in the house. I do do job searches but no one is hiring here so I write. I digress.

With so much time on my'd think I wouldn't get distracted. I was never a big twitter person but it's growing on me. I am addicted to posting status updates on FB.

Still I manage to bring out some great stories. In fact the last one was just submitted. I sent a copy to my editor with is this even interesting. Not that I'm ever boring but when you're close to a situation or know a lot about a way of life or a specific dynamic you don't find it as interesting. So I panicked! All for nothing :P

So then, when you're writing at more than one place some question quality of work and loyalty. I always answer...when I add so many that my brain explodes I'll know it's time to stop. Loyalty always gets me because rather than thinking of that I'm trying to spread my brand out more. I enjoy working with many people because I generally love people. I also like having my name out more than a few times a year depending on what I'm doing :P


I did mention I have a few editors right? Each does things their own way but the bottom line is...they all point out the same issues or improvement needs across the board. Funny. I'll fix one thing or try to go deeper and they'll say Hales..... run a check on the heroines name throughout the entire doc or catch phrases I don't think I over use and my oddly phrased sentence. All have to do with me thinking so fast, I imagine I type it out of order.

The name thing gets me every time. I tend to choose unusual names and sometimes the variations of the spelling changes by end of story. I'll go with the most unusual so the name sticks in the minds of everyone :P

This chaos I thrive in has it's downs too.Getting sick is no fun. Being sick for a month or two can seriously put a writer behind. It really put a kink in my cycle and I haven't exactly gotten back on track. I'm gearing toward getting everything back on line.

Making yourself realize you're not super human is the first step to getting back in the saddle. Oddly recently, I've found I work better when people are home. Anxiety can play havoc with writing. For two months I knocked more writing out with a house full of arguing teens than an empty house. I thought about it and decided it had to do with the anxiety of having SVT episodes alone at home.

During that time I didn't write for two entire months. I attempted to and got maybe 500 words a week. I decided it was time to take a break until I was feeling like myself. I never expected it to take that long.

Current Series

Prophesies Implied. Writing Demonic Warrior now :P

Incubus Enforcers- Enforcer Rissa and Ander are nexxt

Channing Coven - Trace and Haylee are next

Familia Tygara - Samuel and Reina are next

USCG- Phoenix McCall is next

Fever Pitch

Shut Up and Kiss Me

On deck I have to wrap up Only Skin Deep, Tarun's Symphony and an unnamed nerd story these are generally ones I'll write 1k at a time. Generally after I've wrapped up edits or have the urge to finish them. They're also important but take more research outside of my experience. And this is the system that works for me :P

Now what works for you?


R. Ann Siracusa said...

It's amazing how many different methods writers use to organize their work. So many use computerized programs, but somehow I can't make that work for me. I guess I like old-fashioned paper (which accumulates like dust bunnies). I organize everything in 5 basic categories and color code each: 1)Personal, 2)Writing (the actual writing of novels and related activities), 3) Business, 4)Craft/Education/Professional Organizations, and 5)Marketing. We each have to find the system that works for us.

Katalina Leon said...

I'm always fascinated by another writers work space or habits. It's so comforting to know everyone's doing something different and there's no one way to be organized.

Hales said...

LOLThanks R.Ann and Kat! It's hard to remember it all so you have to have some sort of system!

Marianne Stephens said...

Everyone does their own thing as far as writing habits. What works for one person won't work for someone else.
I hear you about writing when ill...I can't do it. My writing is crap when I try.
Writing when truly motivated works best.

Carly Carson said...

I really like to have the house to myself, though I rarely do. That's when I do my best work. I try to keep everything on the computer, but I do keep notebooks for each book where I write stuff when I'm not at home. Though I still have random notes everywhere. I'm jealous of your productivity!

Hales said...

It sure does Marianne. I tried writing while not feeling well and my editor said... you must've been feeling like crap when you wrote this section. And she was right. I went back and read it and I was thinking...what on earth was I thinking when I wrote these two chapters. I had some clean up and clearing up to do. Def won't be writing while sick again lol.


I don't write every day. Sometimes I don't write for a week or two. And if I get edits in for a day or two. I try to write Mon-Fri at least and now that I'm feeling better I write until my brain is fogged :P I still have to go back and clean up and after a second pass I generally end up adding more thought and emotion. My brain moves super fast. I've had to slow down my typing speed. Thanks for the responses!

Sandy said...

Hales, I wish I could write as fast as you.

So glad you're starting to feel better. I haven't been writing for a couple of months because of illness, too.

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