Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “how to start your novel”


TODAY’S BREW: NyQuil, but just enough that I can still roam around and be parenty.

By Julie

Sure, sure, I’ve gotten these emails this week during the smashing week of BECAUSE THE NIGHT’s release:

Where have you been, Julie?  and

Our lives hurt without you, Julie. Come back to us.and

Please, tell us you’ll be back after BECAUSE THE NIGHT takes the world by wicked storm and you’ve had your brief hiatus to celebrate Kristen’s dreams coming true.

Okay, there’s a chance that none of those things were ever said to me. But now that you mention it, Julie, what the hell have you been doing, you lazy bitch?

Hey, I’ve been writing, don’t look at me like that! Put that pitchfork down! What the hell?!

*clears throat*

I hit 55,000 words on RUNNING AWAY, the sequel to RUNNING HOME last night. YEAH HUH, I DID TOO.

Oh, also, IT WILL NEVER, EVER END. The end is not almost near.

To update you on how my progress is after I wrote the little post about how I refuse to have my ass kicked by this novel, which, in all fairness, is a little daunting, I’m swimming with it easily. This book is going great. There’s so much happening, it’s like a whirlwind of life slapped Eliza in the face then kicked her a few times, but she still looks good despite being in her pajamas the whole time and having hamburger bun bits under her fingernails. There’s a new cast of characters, building upon some of the old ones, new surprises, old resolutions.

Also, we’re in Japan now, on a mountain top temple that may or may not exist to the ordinary human eyes, and hundreds of vampires live there.

Originally, RUNNING HOME was written completely by hand, so I had no idea how long the book actually was. Turns out that it was really two books, so RUNNING AWAY had a great start. But after revisions and making RUNNING HOME everything it should be, the sequel needed new work, too. So I have a pile of binder clipped loose pages, a bunch of handwritten notes that don’t go together, and random thoughts on more random word documents in my laptop machine to sift through as I write this book, to see what fits. Then there’s the occasional research on a place I have never been and a language I scarcely speak. There’s new mythology to thicken the familiar one from RUNNING HOME, so making that seamless is a job. It’s a process that’s different from writing THE HARPY and THE ANIMAL (which has yet to see the light of day) in that it’s just plain slower.

That being said, I’m still miraculously on track to finish the draft by the end of November. Some days I can write my requirement of 1,000 words, other days I can do 2,400.

But one thing I have made sure to do that’s a little new for me is to make sure I STOP.

I stop before I’m exhausted. I stop before I WANT to stop. That way I’m always fresh and ready to hit it again the next day. Slow and steady is winning this race. It’s easy to say “I’m on a roll!” and write for hours and hours, but that isn’t the long haul smart idea.

My writing process has to change with me. There can’t be one process that works all the time for every book BECAUSE REASONS:

1.  Every book is different. DUH.

2. If you do the same thing every time you write, how do you grow as a writer?

3. Writing is an experiment. If you don’t mix it up a bit, you never discover the next best thing.

I’m a pantser. I don’t have an outline, per se, ever. Like, ever. But a new thing I have to do for this book is at the end of every writing session, I write a quickie bullet point whosey that says what I need to focus on the next time I sit down. It helps keep me on the straight and narrow. Also, I’m writing this book basically music-free. It’s HARD, yo. But I need a lot of quiet for this one.

Now, I’m no hippie, so there are some rules that I have stuck to. In a former post, I gave a THIS IS HOW IT’S GOING TO GO sermon, and I’m on point. (See how I make it my bitch here My timeline has changed a bit, but the essentials are still in place. I’m nothing if not a motherfucker about hearing the phrase, “my muse is hiding,” and “I’m just not inspired.” Hell, no. This book works for you. You’re the creator, make it do what you want, when you want. Don’t let some mystical fucking force call the shots on your idea. So, yeah, RUNNING AWAY is going according to plan.

Thanks for giving a crap! I shall post an excerpt, maybe, one of these days. If you’re good.


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