Sunday, July 31, 2016

Moved to Wordpress

Hello everyone! It's a bittersweet night, but I have officially moved over to Wordpress. All of my posts here will stay as they are. Nothing will be deleted, but I will be updating everything to give you direction to go to my new website.
I am now on Wordpress. I've changing blogging websites for a lot of reasons, but one of the main reasons is that Wordpress gives me more chances to blog. I have the app on my phone, so I can choose to blog from my laptop or phone whenever I choose. It's not heavily html based, and alas Blogger never updated to seem more modern. I am hoping everyone who follows this blog will head over to my Wordpress blog and join me again. Thank you all so much for your support --it means a lot. And on Wordpress I'm planning on blogging more on a schedule like I should!

Again I'm sorry to make such a huge change, but it is for the better. This will be my last post on Blogger. If you have any questions please contact me.
Lindsey Richardson

Monday, July 25, 2016

Rewriting and Beta Readers

As much as I wish this post was on my (almost ready) Wordpress blog, I'm putting together the finally touches on that blog this week. This month has flown by, and a lot of that probably is because I worked almost every night to ensure I finished this book. Last night I stayed up later than usual to finish with rewrites. As promised, I wanted to fill you in on the details and give you an idea of what's next for Clara and Claire.

The rewriting process was long and numerous times challenging. I used an app I've mentioned before called "Wordly" to track my progress with word counts and time. I also used Ommwriter on my Macbook Pro to stay focused while I typed. A lot changed in the book, all for which was hopefully for the better. Some scenes were deleted entirely, other scenes became something new, and characters developed over the months I worked on this. I'm definitely not the fastest at rewriting a novel, but I really wanted to finish with a product I could feel confident sending to my beta readers.
At the end of the entire process, Clara and Claire totals in almost 98k words. It's probably my longest book yet --I can't remember how much Cursed With Power is, but I'll do some searching later this week to check and see if it's true. The word count surprised me. I started with approximately 82k and ended with 98k. It's a lot to read --it was a lot to edit-- and I'm eager for feedback because so much has changed. 
A lot of people have asked me during this whole process, "what's rewriting consist of?" For me it consisted of adding in my edits into the manuscript, but also typing it all up in a new document so if I wanted to add something in or delete something I could do it as I wrote. The main story did not change. The ending mostly stayed the same, but everything from characters to minor details improved with this process. I finished the first draft of this book in four months, so I knew when it came to editing and rewriting I had a lot of work ahead of me. And who knows how much I'll have to do once beta readers give me their feedback. But in the meantime I'm celebrating another progression and another step closer to publication.

As for my beta readers, first of all shoutout to them. Four wonderful readers/writers have offered their time to read my book and give their feedback. I'm ready for the good, the bad, and the ugly. This will be my first time having beta readers since Cursed With Power (back in the days when it was on Inkpop and Wattpad.) So even though it makes me excited/nervous, I'm overall ecstatic that I will have someone else's opinion besides my own.
The goal with the beta readers is to have read the entire book by the end of August. This way I can fix whatever I feel is appropriate, and then once it's ready I can send the manuscript out to my editor. So who knows what I will do for the entire month of August while I wait, but maybe I'll start drafting up ideas for my next book or just write for fun. Despite some of the setbacks I've faced, I still intend to participate in NaNoWriMo. 

As of right now the order of events for the book goes as followed:
  1. manuscript is in hands of beta readers
  2. review feedback/ make revisions as necessary
  3. send manuscript to editor for final read over
  4. make revisions as necessary
  5. begin process for publication
Step five is a big one. It's one that just can't be summed up in a few words. There's so much I have to do before publication. This year I'm aiming to go big with this novel. I want to hire someone to do the interior formatting to look stunning (instead of doing it myself with the limited tools I have). I'll also need to set up a cover reveal, blog tour, and release party and giveaway once it gets closer to my planned publication date. The publication date is still up in the air at this point, but I will keep you posted on what seems to be in the realm of possibilities.

I'm excited to be done with rewriting and eager to hear back from my beta readers. I also want to hear back from you. If you have any questions or thoughts you want to share about what's upcoming for Clara and Claire, ask away. I'll be sure to answer your questions in the comments and also shout them out in another blog post. Hopefully the next time I'm posting I'll be live on Wordpress. I will finish up the final steps with the new blog this weekend when I come back from a short vacation. I'll be returning on Saturday, so Sunday afternoon I might be able to unveil the new blog if I have the chance.
Thank you for all the support!!
Lindsey Richardson

Sunday, June 12, 2016

54k and counting!

I've returned from vacation! It's been such a crazy month already, and unfortunately I didn't have time to put up a post before I left for vacation. Since I've returned I have also been busy and catching up. Tonight I reached 54k in Clara and Claire and have updated some minor things with some of my social media websites.

I'm also seriously considering moving over to Wordpress or Squarespace (probably Wordpress) simply because Blogger just isn't doing it for me anymore. I don't post as much as I want to because this interface has been a pain to deal with over the past years. So whichever you use for blogging, leave your opinion in the comments as I struggle to make this big decision. I definitely want to move over to something that will last longterm and will be easily to manage and update than Blogger currently is.

Lastly, as I near closer to the end of my rewrites I do want to share more about the process altogether. So although this post is short my next will be more detailed --and who knows maybe even on a new blogging platform *fingers crossed*. But if I do switch over to Wordpress I will update everything and send you over that way!

Lindsey Richardson

Monday, May 9, 2016

Taking a Break when Writing

It's later than I usually stay up on a week day, and especially a Monday at that. But I just had to share my small victory for tonight. 
I took a break from writing yesterday (Sunday). After realizing on Saturday evening that there were some flaws with the magic system in Clara and Claire I spent a lot of time thinking. So much time that I didn't feel very accomplished on Saturday night. What should have been a 6-8 hour period of free writing time was maybe 2-3 at best because of my concerns. I spent most of my time scribbling ideas and questions into my notebook. And I have to admit it made me feel defeated in a way. A book where everyone in it has magic can't exactly make it if it has an issue with how the people use magic. 
So come Sunday night I took a break. I didn't even look back into my journal. I spent the night relaxing and catching up on sleep to start another week.
And then tonight I decided to jump back into the action. It's been a long day, but I decided I had nothing to lose. And honestly when I know I've skipped a night of writing I feel guilty and want to write again. So I did. And I did it all without my notebook full of questions and ideas about the magic system. Instead I went to Pinterest for inspiration. A lot of my inspiration comes from there --the images help me piece together my own ideas in my head. And once I fueled up on inspiration I dove back into writing again. I finished the chapter that I couldn't finish Saturday night and reached 30k words in total for the rewrite. And 30k out of 82k I can't complain about --keep in mind these numbers are approximate; the first draft was 82,719 but it's easy to just round it to 82k.
So even though right now it's almost midnight and I'm still awake, I just had to share while I'm in the moment. Now that I'm done writing for the moment I wanted to share this because I've seen a lot of writers admitting their defeats lately. And to some this might seem like a small victory, but writing is made up of a bunch of small victories. Being able to jump back into writing tonight like nothing changed reconfirmed yet again that this novel means so much to me. And that this story is important; my characters are dying to tell it and aren't afraid to fill my head with their voices. Each time I get further in the rewrite I'm that much more excited to share this book once it releases. 
I think these breaks in writing are important. They're not something I always enjoy, but afterwards it allows me to return to my writing with a open mind. It stops me from being overwhelmed and clouded with too many ideas or questions. It helps me stop analyzing my work so much that it takes the fun out of it. Tonight I just wrote with inspiration and changed up the scene and feeling of the chapter along with it.

Since it's late, I'm going to post my writing progress on social media and head to bed. In the meantime, let me know how you take breaks when you're writing. Leave a comment and I'll get back to you!
Lindsey Richardson

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May: New goals

I love new months, and I'm so excited that May is here! I started rewriting Clara and Claire at the end of April, and my goals for this month are important to finishing that process. This month is all about finishing rewriting. As I've mentioned before, I'm going on vacation at the start of June. So I would love to go away, knowing that my book is in the hands of beta readers! In order to ensure that happens I made myself a schedule in hopes of staying on track.
As I write this post I am 21k into rewriting the book. I have mentioned changes happening in the book, and they are very noticeable ones. During the break I took after editing I really worked out plot holes and the world building for the story. I added in a new chapter, and tonight for instance I changed the beginning scene of chapter seven (which is now chapter eight because of the new one I added in). The great part about rewriting is I can tell the book has changed immensely for the better, and this is the version I can be proud of. This is the version I want to share with my beta readers. This is something I can really work with if after this still more needs to be changed. 
Like I mentioned at the beginning of starting this book, I never want to rush myself through this process. I've rushed in the past, and it's only lead to pain and nightmares. So this time around I'm not going to be too harsh on myself if say by the start of June I'm near done but not complete. I know this is a long process, but I also feel like I'm making great progress with how far I've come already. I am really optimistic and hopeful this can be done in May. Especially since I'm not changing every single thing in the book. Adding in a new scene or altering something here and there is nothing in comparison of if I had to change the whole book from beginning to start. I just want to make sure now with rewriting that Clara's voice stays consistent the whole way through. Now that I am more familiar with her, her narration has also improved. But hey, that's just my opinion. I guess we'll really know once it's left up to the beta readers to decide.

If everything goes according to plan --and believe me, I'm determined -- I will let interested beta readers know. I'll probably send out a definite invitation by the last week of May (or second to last). By then I should be able to tell if I'm going to make it to my deadline.

Thanks so much to everyone for being so patient while I work on this book. If you've already finished the Magicians series, I'm sorry to keep you waiting for this next book. But believe me so much is going into it, and I'm really eager to finish it with the deadlines and goals I've set in place. As always I'll keep updating my social media with progress I make as I go.
But for now, I need to catch up on sleep.
Good night!
Lindsey Richardson.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rewrite in progress!

Yesterday and today have been great days for rewriting. I'm already 9k through the book in terms of rewriting everything. To be clear not absolutely everything is being rewritten and changed. A lot of this is so I'm able to add in new material, strengthen scenes, build character relationships, and etc. Not everything needs changing, which is why I'm going through this a lot faster than when I actually wrote the first draft. I like being able to write up each chapter all over again because I know exactly what's going on now. It lets me become more familiar with the characters and the story. It's not like a couple months ago when I was wondering "wait... what chapter did that happen in?" And yesterday I added in two whole new chapters. So a lot of exciting and great changes are happening to the book as we speak.
As far as the rewriting process goes, I love it! I've been taking a lot of pictures of my progress and sharing them all over social media. I'm thinking at the end of this book once it releases I can make an album of where I started and ended with this journey. It'd be great to bring along to book signings. 
What's been getting me through these past couple days? Honestly after taking a break and then getting back into the work I love I feel fully prepared. I always keep my journal and first draft beside me at all times while I'm rewriting. I have a bunch of notes of what needs to be added, changed, and any questions I have. There's so much happening, but I love it. I'm using Ommwriter as my primary writing software. I type up everything on there while listening to their calming music, and then at the end of every day I copy it and paste it into my word document. 
Once again I'm using Wordly (the writing app I've talked about before) to track my progress. I just started using it today. I realized I wanted a way to track how long I'm writing and how much I get done. So I made a new writing project and called it "Clara and Claire Rewriting," and now I can see how close I am to reaching the 82k total at the end. 
Once I'm done with this rewriting process I'm thinking it's going to be time to call in the beta readers. You know who you are! And if you're interested there's still plenty of time to let me know. I go on vacation in June --so if May goes really smoothly maybe I'll finish rewriting that month and in June send it off to beta readers. That way I can come back from vacation and hear your thoughts!

In other news...

If you follow me on my other social media, the cat's out of the bag in terms of my most recent announcement. I've decided on October as my set deadline/goal of when I want to be done with Clara and Claire. And I mean done with everything. October gives me plenty of time to get everything finished and ready for publication. And it also means that by November I'll be able to start on my next big project (via NaNo). It's a secret right now --and I won't reveal it until the release of Clara and Claire --but I definitely want to be done before November. Last year I couldn't really participate in NaNoWriMo because of our honeymoon (and hey I'm not complaining). But this year I really want to be joining in with my fellow writers so we can go through the madness together. 

It's been a crazy Wednesday, and this is my last task before heading to bed. I've updated some of the pages on the blog that I noticed hadn't been updated recently (my bad entirely). And I'll be coming back again later on this week to update you with more. 
Lindsey Richardson

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Part 2: Rewriting

I took a longer than intended break after I finished editing Clara and Claire. And today I finally got back into working on my book again. Despite that long break, I did spend a lot of time thinking about plot holes and different aspects of the book I needed to work on. Now I'm finally working on it again, and I'm calling this second part of the process "rewriting" --though obviously I'm not rewriting everything. This is the time for me to rewriting scenes that weren't strong enough, add on to scenes that were missing something, and get rid of parts in the story that just don't belong. It's the time for me to add in character backstory and relationships that might not have developed in the way I wanted them to. As I told you before there's still a lot of work to get through before I'm done. Today I went through all of chapter one again, despite before thinking I was entirely happy with it. But turns out I wasn't, and today it became a better and stronger chapter.
This journey has taught me so much. I might not have an editor, but I'm relying on myself (for now --later on I'll hopefully have beta readers) to get through this. And I'm not putting myself on a strict deadline because I want to do this right. This story is so important to me, and I want it to be a masterpiece. I want that breakthrough I had in September of 2015 --where I realized this is the book I want to dedicate myself to--to be more than just a breakthrough. I want this to be more than just "another book." I want this one to be my breakthrough novel that can reach more people all around the world. It's a big goal, it's a scary one... and sometimes I think it's downright impossible. But I'm being honest with you because that's what I want. I set big goals for myself as an author because I want to impact people's lives. I want Clara's story to reach people's hearts and souls.
I remember how many times I rewrote and edited Cursed With Power. And I know since my very first book I've learned so much. But for this story to be bigger than just "another story" it does need a lot of my time. It needs a lot of focus and patience and determination. Today I realized I'm glad I took that break after editing because now I know the book better than when I finished writing the first draft. I know the characters, and I know how I want to improve it and make it stronger than that first draft. Right now I can't say just how big of a change the rewriting process will be. If I had to guess I'd say a huge change because there's some many things I've expanded on and altered all for the better of a stronger more solid story.

Today I wanted to take the time to tell you where I am with this book. Because in the end I want to bring you the very best piece of work I can. And I'm willing to dedicate however much time that takes. No excuses, no shortcuts --just hard work and determination. Some days I might fall, but the next day I'll get right back up and start again. Some days I might not do as much, but the next day I'll put in double the work.
This is an even harder journey because I know where I want to go with this novel. Now it's up to me to make it happen. And I hope you'll join me for the ride.
Lindsey Richardson

Monday, April 11, 2016

Editing: Complete

This evening I finally did what I said I was going to do: finished editing. It has been a long process, but now at least a huge part of the process is complete. I've been wanting to talk about what's next in terms of what I need to do with this book to release it. 
Step 1 was editing the entire first draft (what you see in the picture above). I always have to have a hardcopy of my book to edit before I can even touch the copy on my computer. So sadly none of the edits are included in the file yet. Maybe I choose a slow way of getting it done, but this is the process I've always gone through with all of my books. (And since I don't have an actual editor it's solely me working on this).
The next part of this process is applying edits, and more importantly rewriting and adding content. Answers to questions, backstories that were missed out on, relationships that didn't develop properly, world building, and making sure the magic system is solid. So while I'm done editing, it still feels like I have a lot left to do. And I do --the first draft has a lot that needs to be added to it. But it's all totally manageable. It's after rewriting and adding content that I believe I'll be calling out once again for beta readers --some of which have already contacted me. More about that will be announced on my social media, and I'll likely be posting a sign up form as well.
As for when Clara and Claire will be released, I again cannot say. I have no idea --I'm working with vague timelines here. Looking at the calendar presently, I want to see if I can have everything ready for beta readers by June or July. That doesn't leave me with a lot of time, but that's the goal I want to work towards. If June or July isn't plausible then I can always add on another month or two --no big deal. I rather take my time with it than worry about rushing and putting too strict of deadlines on the work ahead of me.
Now after rewriting and beta readers, I need to work on interior formatting. The part I probably dread the most if we're being honest here. Paperback and ebook formatting needs to be completed, and I have't bothered too much with it (like usual) because I just wanted to focus on the story for right now. (I'll regret that later on this year.) I'm thinking of hiring someone to design the interior of my book to look fancy --I already have someone in mind so it's just a matter of having it all ready and (obviously) having the money for it.

There's a lot to look forward to and work towards --beta readers I'm especially excited for. I haven't shared this book with anyone. I've shared quotes and ideas, but I haven't revealed a single page to anyone. I can't wait to finally receive feedback, but there's definitely a lot of work remaining until I reach that point.
In the meantime I'm eager to start adding in new material and rewriting weaker scenes. As always I'll be uploading my progress via social media and (trying) to post more on here too. I realize I've been slacking in my blogger game this month --I end up getting too busy especially since I work on my book primarily at night (and then have no energy or time to blog). But I promise there's much more to share in these coming months, and now with editing out of the way it's time to get back to what I love the most: writing.
Coffee and motivation is welcome!
Lindsey Richardson