Editorial Assistance

New Writing Style

The first three pages (and only three pages) of Dream Catcher that I wrote before I realized college would eat up too much of my time to do Nanowrimo have been scrapped. I just couldn't write any more of it, in spite of how exciting and action-packed it was. It didn't feel right, similar to how the very first scrapped chapter of Savior of the Damned (when it was called Corpse Eater) didn't feel right.

In Corpse Eater, I wanted Alecia and Levi to be lovers in spite of his being a corpse eater demon thing. I was dead set on doing a supernatural romance that wasn't a vampire/human or werewolf/human romance. However, when I wrote that first kissing scene, I couldn't write another word for weeks. Even then, before I created the complex hardships that are present in Savior of the Damned concerning Levi and Alecia's relationship, my muse knew they could never easily be lovers. Plus, I realized I'm no good at writing romances.

What went wrong in Dream Catcher was writing in first person simply because I'm comfortable with it (I spent six years writing Savior of the Damned in first person) and not figuring out how I wanted to portray the dream world. Even though I'm certain college will be the bane of my existance for the next 2-3 weeks and interfere with time I could be using for writing, I can see the story coming together in ways that surprise me. Also, my storytelling style seems to have changed! Here's the first paragraph:

When in the waking world, Joachim Horowitz is as solid a human as everyone else. He has tangible skin that is at least two shades away from being very pale, dark hair that rests in a curly mess around his face, and sharp hazel eyes that people often don't notice due to his mastery of keeping them closed. If he stands out, which is a rare occurrence, it is either because he is standing - at a whopping 6'2" - or people have realized that the proportion of time he sleeps in class outweighs the proportion of time he's awake.

I'm All Over the Place

Between Chicago, Hammond, and Bloomington, it feels like I've been all over the place. I admire Neil Gaiman's travel lifestyle, but I also wonder how he does it. I'm so ready to just sit down in one place I feel comfortable at for certain, preferably my work desk at home or next to my boyfriend anywhere in his house, and write. Right now, I can't really do any of that. I'm going back to Indiana University Bloomington for another three weeks, a place where life is always hectic and all over the place. I dread going back. I really do. That's the honest truth.

The saddest thing, perhaps, is a comment my sister made recently when she saw me taking notes for Dream Catcher in a notebook: "I haven't seen you write in a while. You used to always have a notebook or book with you and you'd always be writing or reading. I thought you stopped."

I remember back when the only website I had was a small forum called Writer's Haven, when Savior of the Damned was my writing life. I did write and read a lot more back then, almost feverishly. I never kept track of word counts. I just wrote passionately as much as I could everyday, and I'd stop for a month or two and return with even more passion.

Soon, I plan to be a full-time writer and entrepreneur; I plan to try and make money off of what I've always loved and did for free through contests, freelancing, clients, self publishing, and traditional publishing. To begin, though, I know I need at least one month where I can bring my unorganized, scattered life back to an equilibrium and just sit, comfortably, at my working desk.

My college desk will never do it.

On another note, here are the two most recent songs I can't stop listening to:

Bit.ly and Hootsuite: Two good services for your website/blog

The first graph comes from Hootsuite, the second one from bit.ly. They are both free services, but of course you can choose to purchase more advanced versions. I don't use them as often and as consistently as I should to get a general idea about my site, but I really should take them more seriously.  Under each picture, I'll explain what the graph is showing.
I use hootsuite mainly to promote one link across Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn simultaneously. I think it makes the process a lot quicker. After doing that for about a month or so, I decided to explore more features on the left side of the site. The third picture down is Analytics. There, I created a 'Custom Report' and decided to have them mailed to me every month. So everytime I promote a link there, hootsuite will tell me how many clicks it got and from where every month. When I first started using Hootsuite, all those stats above were zero. Eight isn't a whole lot, but it sure made me super happy.

Bit.ly is my favorite. The graph above shows me getting 41 clicks on the shortened link to my blog post "How (NOT) to Survive Nanowrimo." The 41 clicks, which is unusual for me, happened as a result of people on Twitter RTing. I need to use Twitter more often, so maybe I can write a marketing series for Twitter similar to my Facebook and Marketing series. Basically, you put the link in the bit.ly box and it'll shorten the link for you. Promote said shortened link in all the normal places you usually promote links and then go back to the page and click the 'information' part next to the shortened link. It'll show you a bar graph and the circle graphs above, unless you didn't have any hits at all (sadly, this has happened to me a number of times). I'd recommend joining the site for free so it can collect all the links you shorten with bit.ly.

What are some services you use for keeping up with your site's stats?

On a Personal Note

This, sadly, will not be the year I finally win Nanowrimo. As much as I'm ashamed to admit it, way too many other things are competing for all of my time, so I'll have to back out. December is actually more ideal for me to write a book in a month. Also, can't forget the two songs I've had on infinitelooper lately!

November is a Ridiculous Month

On the first day of November, I opened Microsoft Word only to realize that I had a 7-page paper to write and then work for the last 5 hours of the day. As thus, my first day of Nanowrimo was spent getting thousands of words for school and maybe ten words for my story before I crashed of exhaustion and went to sleep.

The days after that jumped between those types of schedules. It's the 6th day of November, and I only have about 700 words toward my book. It's 700 words I really like and 700 words I'm eager to add more to, but that's a meager number to be nearly done with the first week of November. Right after I finish this blog post, I have an analysis paper to write and then a book review to write. I know for sure that I'm gonna want to take a Buffy break too.

If I'm lucky, it won't be well past ten by then and I can get back to writing again. I left Joachim in a nightmare realm. The floor is about to cave in, and he'll finally find the dreamer he needs to rescue. I'm very excited for all of this. Though I won't be turning to Savior of the Damned again for a couple more months, I left Alecia in her room waiting for a dinner that will destroy her life. She'll meet the Big Bad, or Samuel.

I love the differences and similarities between the Insomnium series (Dream Catcher) and the Danse Macabre series (Savior of the Damned). It's good to write something a little different each time, test your writing and imagination:
  • Setting: The characters in Dream Catcher live in an actual city (Evanston, Illinois), work at real places, and go to a real college (Northwestern). All the settings in Savior of the Damned, from the city to the schools to the stores, are made up. However, it is based off of Blue Island, Illinois and the surrounding suburbs I grew up with.
  • Characters: Apart from Joachim being a rogue dream catcher and Lottie being a witch, the characters are pretty normal, in that they have some contact with friends and family and no really large mental issues. They want to find a lover, make a future for themselves outside of their supernatural abilities. The vast majority of characters in SotD are supernatural creatures with different cultures of their own, and Alecia is already a damaged shell of a human when the story starts.
  • Death Count: Lots and lots of characters will die by the end of Danse Macabre. It's a really long series, between 8-20 books, and there will be many wars and large battles and world altering moments. Most of the action in the Insomnium series takes place in nightmares and most trained dream catchers never die in nightmares.
  • Romance: I'm harsher with romance in Danse Macabre than I am with Insomnium, but Danse Macabre is also darker.
  • Conflict: Danse Macabre has actual villains to be fought against. There are Big Bad's in each book and Small Bad's littered along the way to make it harder. Though there is also personal conflict, it has a tendency to end up closely intermingling with the overall conflict of the story. The conflict in Insomnium involves how hard a nightmare is. There is no tangible Big Bad. Perhaps in later books there might be inner conflict, but it wouldn't be on the level of inner and outer conflict in Danse Macabre.
On another note, music I've been addicted to lately: