Hitting 60 k on the magic school novel

I hit 60 k on what I’m calling The Magic School Novel. This is the novel that I am planning on submitting to agents and publishers once it is finished. I am pleasantly pleased with this because I normally write serially. This means I basically post my novel daily and write as I go.

I started doing this because I was frustrated with the publishing process. It’s LONG. First, you’ve got to get an agent. Then, the agent has to find an editor for you. Then you’ve got to go through edits. And then, finally, your book gets published.

When I found Dreame in 2018, it seemed like a simple enough way to get published. And it does take a lot less time to get published with them than anywhere else because it is serial fiction.

However, there are limitations in writing serially. It’s a lot harder to get an audience this way as it is based on all of your work. And not, say, a publisher’s connections with a publicity team. Or your agents helping you spread the word about your book.

I was so burnt out on hearing NO time and time again for things I thought were brilliant stories that serial fiction just seemed like a good option. But I realized to do the things I want to do as an author, like have a wide reach, I’m probably going to need an agent for that.

So, I am going to try traditional publishing again. This time with what I’m simply calling The Magic School Novel. And I haven’t written for traditional publishing in such a long time. You know, where you write out the full thing, and then edit, and edit again, and again and then send it out HOPING someone notices enough to sign it.

60 k is the furthest I’ve gotten on a project I’ve considered for traditional publication. I’m super excited about this. The concept is something I’ve been working on since 2018. I’ve got a good feeling about it. I can’t explain it.

Kindle Vella Week 17

Goals for the month:

  1. Get The Anointed up to 100 k, so I’ve got a few chapters ahead.
  2. Work on The Wolves of Glacier Falls, get that finished for Dreame.
  3. Start working on The Magic School novel.
  4. Work on UX design class again to finish up certification for writing app I want to create.

Okay, so maybe if I pick some goals I’ll be able to say motivated. It is so easy to become a hermit in Montana the instant fall and winter hit. It is colder, and darker. And for me, who grew up in California always surrounded by vitamin D and going to a place where half the year the sun is gone, its also SEASONAL DEPRESSION TIME. Or, as I like to call it, my yearly sadness. Not to make light of it at all but you’ve got to have a little humor about it right?

But this year I am going to try to stay on top of things and get back into the swing of things with updating. Re-read my story, and try to figure out what will happen going forward.

I also want to pick something specifically for Kindle Vella to write and I’ve thought a lot about how to make that platform work for me. I think a mystery might be what I write next for it because that is an easy way to hook people. Or maybe I’ll do a contemporary romance. Who knows? But I’ve decided that the type of project might factor into how well a serial novel does. Things were people have to remember a lot of facts might not do so well, whereas simple beach read type fiction is probably going to get a lot more reads because people can pick up where they left off.

I might be wrong about that, but it is something I’ve thought about a lot lately.

Kindle Vella Week 15 Wrap Up

October was the month of doing nothing. I barely updated. I got distracted by a writers conference I attended. I started work on a werewolf novel and then that werewolf novel got messed up by my computer so I am restarting that novel. I had a bad sinus thing and so everything got messed up. I put off working on the UX class.

Not a lot got done. My own fault. But sometimes that happens. You slip up, and then you get back to it. So, November will be the month of getting back to it.

The hard thing is getting excited about a project that isn’t seeing any growth or readership. While I still like the story, there are other projects I’m passionate about right now. It feels like pulling teeth trying to post on something that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Obviously, not posting this month is an issue. And I know there are things I need to work out on my end. But kindle vella itself has issues and its just easier to work with Dreame where I do have an established audience and I actually, you know, get paid.

A new month. A new chance to see if we can make this work.

What I’m Reading: Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Lore tells the story of teenage girl Lore aka Melora Perseous born into the dangerous world of Gods. A descendant of Perseus, Melora and her family were supposed to be trained to be warriors and vessels for the ancient greek gods. However, her family has lost their power and prestige. Melora as a young child becomes determined to regain it but after the mysterious deaths of her family, Lore finds herself forced to run from the only world she has ever known.

Alone in New York City, grieving the loss of her old guardian Gil, Lore uses the skills she was taught as a child to make a living as an underground fighter. One night, her childhood friend Castor appears, only he is different. He has claimed the power of the God Apollo by killing him during Agon, the time when Gods are forced to walk earth as humans, and is there to warn her that she is in danger from her old life.

Meanwhile, a dangerous new god has appeared that threatens not only Lore’s existence, but everyone’s.

Found by the Goddess Athena also, Lore is given an offer she can’t refuse. Align with her, and Lore can remain hidden from her old life that she’s tried so hard to run from. But even the deal with the goddess might not be enough.

What was great about Lore was that while there was a LITTLE bit of romance in it, it wasn’t the main focus. Bracken not only created a fully, fleshed society that was complex, she also created a heroine that was strong without being defined by only that.

While it does drag at some points, the book was filled with action and definitely kept my interest. A great read for anyone who loves Greek mythology.

What I’m Reading: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games tells the story of Avery Grambs, accidental heiress. Avery has been gifted a billion dollar inheritance by a man she doesn’t even know: Tobias Hawthorne. To receive it in full, Avery must live for one year in a house filled with puzzles and boogey traps and a mystery that might just make her life or take it. And that’s if she can survive the four, charming and dangerous Hawthorne boys that will be living with her for year too that all want the money and her blood.

It’s a twisty, high stakes thriller similar to Knives Out. The minute you finish it, you will want to open it back up and re-read again to find out what you missed the first time around.

What I’m Reading: The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

I won’t lie, I knew nothing about The Gilded Ones when I bought it but I saw the cover and thought that the art was just SO PRETTY I had to read it. It’s a YA Fantasy about a girl raised in a world where girls aren’t allowed to cut themselves to remain ‘pure’ and must undergo a ceremony to see if they are once they come of age. When Deca, the main character, undergoes the ceremony she bleeds gold bled instead of blood. Already set apart because of her skin color, Deca is instantly ostracized and deemed a monster, locked away. Deca finds herself recruited into an army by a mysterious messenger from her countries Emperor, who wants her to help fight the death shrieks that keep their country in constant terror. As Deca gets further into her military service, she starts learning more about her mysterious abilities and her origins including her mothers past which is nothing what she imagined it to be. As Deca pieces everything together, she uncovers a secret she never thought possible and embraces the powers she was afraid of for so long.

I love watching a genre grow! I’m so happy that I am starting to see more fantasy that isn’t British or Americanized. Namina Forna did a stunning job creating a fully evolved world and I found myself knowing enough about the world she created while at the same time desperately wanting more. Absolutely can’t wait for the next one! October 5th can’t come soon enough.

Kindle Vella week 4 Start

So. Had a bit of a rough week last week. Cried a lot. Felt miserable. And we’re here. The beginning of week 4. Almost a whole month that the Kindle Vella program has existed.

Things I need to do do this week: write more back log episodes so I can plan them out. I posted everything at once, and so everything I need to build up my episodes again. I don’t even know if it makes sense.

Nothing much makes sense right now. I so badly want to be a fantasy writer but I’ve not had much luck with it. I’m trying to come up with a contemporary story but switching gears from contemporary to fantasy is like forcing me to do homework. That’s the only way I can explain it.

And I’ve read contemporary books I’ve LOVED. So it’s not like I don’t like the genre. I’m just used to writing fantasy. I LIKE writing fantasy. Big worlds and world building and epic quests.

But sometimes you’ve got to write things you don’t necessarily love to try to make an impact. I think about this a lot. Growing up, one of my favorite authors was Louisa May Alcott. I read pretty much every book by her including her letters collection.

What most people don’t know is that she was a GOTHIC WRITER. There’s a whole chapter in Little Women that talks about this actually. Her and the Professor discuss whether or not she should be writing that type of work because it’s not “important” and its silly but Jo’s got a whole career going with it and she MAKES MONEY which her family needs to live off on so nothing to sneer at.

And Alcott pulled that from her real life. Behind A Mask was one of her more notable ones. Alcott notoriously disliked her most famous work, Little Women, which she herself admitted to writing for profit. The gothic novels were Alcotts true love.

But she was a woman writing in the eighteen hundreds when women weren’t supposed to write and certainly not about scandalous love affairs and tragic heroines or whatever.

Often times with art, its so hard to balance creativity and finance. Passion vs. Profit. We all want to do what we love but at what cost?

I guess writing contemporary isn’t such a hard challenge itself. I’ve done worse things for a job. And I’m sure I can find SOMETHING I’m passionate about that doesn’t involve magic and dragons and put my own spin on it.

I’ve been working on a novel that involves the Russian mafia and a girl that is studying abroad and I’m in the beginning stages. I’ve got to wait until I get at least 25 k to see what I’ll do with it. That’s usually the point where I figure out if I like it or not or I scrap it. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll end up with a completely new idea and abandon the Russian mafia story. Who knows?

I mentioned in my Week 3 wrap up that I watched Ted Lasso when I was having my breakdown. And in the show, he’s got the word BELIEVE in bright yellow paper over his office wall. And right now I guess that’s all I can do. Believe, and work hard, and hopefully this will turn into something.

Come on week 4. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get my first read.

What I’m Reading: News of Our Loved Ones by Abigail Dewitt

News of Our Loved Ones by Abigail Dewitt follows the lives of three generations of women from World War Two. While the writing is beautiful, the story itself falls flat. The way the story is written, you only get glimpses of the characters lives. Whereas there are whole chapters where things are mentioned only briefly that could have been made into a whole novel themselves. The writing was lovely but Dewitt changes characters frequently, and only tells the reader how to follow along on the front page with a list of characters and the chapters they are in which is very confusing when you are trying to be involved in the book. And not focus on trying to flip to the front to remember which chapter is about what character.

What I’m Reading: If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains tells the story of drama student Oliver Marks, and his group of fourth-year university friends at Dellecher Classical University. While studying Shakespeare, life imitates art as they become embroiled in the mysterious death of one of their classmates. While the world and characters are great, the final outcome was a bit predictable and there was one character in particular whose ending was a little cliche. That said, the writing was beautiful and it was so very atmospheric that it was fun to read regardless.

What I’m Reading: The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab

Addie is a young woman growing up in France who doesn’t wish to get married. On her wedding day, she makes a deal with an old god for “more time”. The trouble is, she isn’t specific with her wish. The old god, named Luc, gives Addie exactly what she wants with a price—-Addie is immortal, but no one remembers her the minute she’s out of her eyesight.

While the writing is beautiful, the book itself drags. Addie finds out she’s been cursed by an immortal god and does nothing to stop it or investigate it. She doesn’t meet any immortals during her time on earth and somehow only one other person that has a connection to them during her 300 years. Even though it seems like Luc, the God she deals with, is constantly dolling them out.

The book has two things going for it. The writing, and the characters. Both are interesting enough that it will keep you reading and you’ll want to see what happens next, and you’ll probably be satisfied with the ending.

But Addie as a character does sort of drift. She constantly seems to be alone, and there were a lot of missed opportunities to expand on things that would have been interesting to expand on. That said, for a literary fiction book, it does what it is supposed to. The writing is beautiful, and its sad and nostalgic of times gone by.