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

Sunday, March 6, 2016

How I found THE novel

Tonight as I finished edits I had a moment of realization. This realization wasn't anything new exactly, but it's been a feeling of relief I've been having for months now. When I finished Bloodline Inheritance I was afraid to jump into something entirely new. Even as I started writing (and then rewriting) the first chapter of Clara and Claire I had my doubts. So what changed? It's a weird thing to explain, especially to people who aren't writers, just how I ended up writing this story. But Clara's story was in my head for so long while I finished Bloodline Inheritance that I couldn't just give up on it when the going got tough.

There are so many potential ideas that never make it to the novel stage. For one reason or another the author decides the story just isn't strong enough, and it gets shelved. Years ago when Inkpop still existed I had endless amounts of novels that were never finished. Any idea I had I would just run with it until it died. Turns out that isn't such a great strategy. People will tell you a variety of ways you can find the next novel that you want to write. I remember doing those Google searches myself when I started out with Clara and Claire and had my doubts. But it turns out no one can really give you the answer you want. No one can tell you what the next book you should write is going to be because they don't know the ideas that have been flooding your head. They don't know what kind of creativity you're working with. They don't know you or your novels.
The novel you've been wanting to write is inside of you like a locked away memory. And the most truthful advice I could give you about finding it is to really look further into who you are as a writer and a person. Decide what kind of stories you want to tell, and you'll realize the novel you've been waiting for was locked inside your head all along. Sounds easy, doesn't it? (If only that were the case...)

From my own personal experience, I can say I've known for months now that Clara and Claire is the correct novel for me. And this editing process only strengthens that confidence. I always worried that nothing would be as close to my heart as the Magicians series --I mean those are the novels that started my career as an author. At the same time, though, Clara and Claire has its own special place in my heart. I find myself thinking about it at all hours of the day and night. When I'm not working on the book it haunts me to think I'm wasting precious time (even though I know I still have to manage with my daily lifestyle outside of writing).
If there's anything I wish I had done more with Cursed With Power, it's that I wish I had shared more of the journey to publication. I talked a lot about it, but I never really documented in the way that I am trying to do with my newest novel. This book I want to try to show every aspect of the process, so at the end of it everyone from my friends and family to readers to complete strangers can gain more insight into what I do. Sometimes it's hard to explain what we do as writers, but I'm hoping that by sharing pictures as I go through the motions it can shed more light into the work that we do. And even if it doesn't for everyone, I know it will have a huge significance for me to look back on once the book is published and be able to say "this is where I started, and this is where it is today."
My novel didn't come to me in a dream or through a writing prompt. I found my novel because I knew it would challenge me to step outside of my comfort zone. To get scared sometimes, to be uncertain, but most of all to have fun with something entirely new.
Lindsey Richardson

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Writing a Fictional World

I've always wanted to write a novel with a fictional world. So many authors do it nowadays, and it gives you so much more room for creativity. There were fictional parts of worlds inside of the Magicians series, but when in came to Transylvania I tried to stick to realistic and accurate to history. When it came to Belsgar the magicians weren't there constantly, so we never really knew what it would have been like to live there.
Now with Clara and Claire I'm finally taking my jump into the fictional world building process. It's scary at times, and I'll admit it's the hardest part of this novel so far. Last night I dedicated hours to world building instead of any editing. At the end of the day I know the structure for Clara's world needs to be strong enough for the rest of the story to hold up. And I find myself reading blogs and advice tips about how to write about a fictional place. The hardest part is remembering that while you do need it to make sense, you're allowed to have fun with it.
What drew me to this new adventure in a fictional place? It just felt like the right way to tell Clara's story. I tried to place the novel in a modern day setting and it did not feel right. I played around with a lot of different ideas, but with Clara being a mage I decided this new magical system and magical beings can live in a world of their own.
Without giving away too much of the story, I'm working with a magical world that lives spread out amongst three islands. Islands are interesting too; I've never worked this closely with islands before. The whole idea of the the ocean separate three different islands always fascinates me because... well, I haven't done it before, so it leads to other questions of transportation and etc. While plucking my brains, I am having fun with world building. I can imagine the islands in my head, and it keeps my brain busy at night (and at work). Ideas are constantly coming to me, and at the end of this I know Clara's world will be something unique and different. She definitely isn't making it easy for me, but I would not want to have it any other way. Writing about a fictional world definitely is not an easy task, but they say to write what you're afraid of. And this is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone --but in a good way.
Once I'm finished with the novel I will feel more comfortable about giving advice on fictional worlds. For now I want to get ahold of Clara's world and make it stronger and more stable. When I'm finally finished and satisfied I'll be going more into detail in regards with my experience and any suggestions I can offer to other authors. All I can say for now is if you've ever considered writing it it's definitely worth the challenge.

As for other news, a new month has started! March is here, and it seems like somehow we flew through January and February. Usually I write an individual post about the beginning of the month, but I decided to incorporate it with this post. January was a huge month for me, since I finished writing Clara and Claire. February was the start of the editing process, but as I realized last month there is a lot of work to be done on my first draft. A lot of people ask me on a daily basis when the book will be done and ready to release. And at this point in the process I have no idea. All I know is I'm working hard without overworking myself (considering I also work full time outside of writing). I have so many ideas and ways to improve my first draft of this novel. It won't be easy work, but the best kind of work never is done in a day. Or even in a month for that matter, so I'm not angry at myself for not finishing edits in February. So this month I'll continue on with edits, and as always keep you updated with the process.
Lindsey Richardson

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Clara and Claire Book Cover

I am beyond thrilled about the cover for Clara and Claire. I received the cover files on Thursday, but unfortunately I just did not have the time to write up the post about it. I love having the book cover done and ready ahead of time. It's one less stress factor I have to worry about in the preparation for publication. So it feels really good to know it's ready whenever the book is. It also gives me a lot to work with because now my book finally has a "face." It's no longer just a book that I wonder what it will look like once it's in print. Now I know how the cover looks, and if that isn't a motivation boost I don't know what is.
And in case you forgot who's designing the cover...

Alivia Anders, who designed the cover for Thicker Than Blood, has designed the cover for Clara and Claire. Out of all the covers from the Magicians series TTB is still my favorite, and now I have the cover of Clara and Claire --which might be my new favorite (I just can't decide yet because I love them both so much). So rest assured knowing that Alivia has done it again, and I can't wait for her and I to share the beauty come cover reveal day.
As for the cover reveal, I wanted to explain it again for anyone who hasn't been a part of past cover reveals. I don't officially share the cover for my books until I've decided on a release date. Once I know when I'm releasing the book I'll set up everything for the cover reveal. And as always I'll be asking for your help to share the cover around on social media. I will share more details about how you can participate and the official date for the cover reveal at a later time. 
The hardest part about this process is hiding the cover and keeping it to myself for the time being. And as hard as it is, I know the wait is worth it --and I definitely want to give everyone enough time so that they can participate in the events of the cover reveal. While I can't share with you what the cover looks like, I will admit I think it looks entirely different from all of my previous ones. 
I'm really excited for the cover reveal (whenever that will be), but in the meantime I have complete determination to finish edits. The sooner I finish and feel satisfied with the manuscript the sooner I can send it out to beta readers.
In the meantime hope everyone has a lovely weekend!
Lindsey Richardson

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Editing One Chapter at a Time

February has proven to be another very busy month. And this is my first month since September where I'm no longer writing but editing. The difference is huge, and even though I've done this many times before, it's never easy. Edits aren't something that is finished in a day. It is not an easy task, especially when I work full-time five days a week. Some days I come home and just don't have the energy or desire to face my manuscript with a pen. Other days I take a break from it and write down ideas or play out new additions in my head. I'm constantly thinking about my novel, but alas I can't be constantly revising it.
Instead I'll tell you this. My process this time around with editing is a bit more laid back. In the past revisions were a nightmare. They usually are regardless, right? Who looks forward to going through their entire manuscript and picking apart what's right from wrong? The way I did it with the Magicians series forced me to be on a very strict deadline. The deadlines (outside of Cursed With Power) I set for myself, but I set them nonetheless because I wanted to make sure I was releasing a new book every year without missing one. While I accomplished this there were definitely many times during that process that I dreaded editing. That wasn't something I wanted to do with Clara and Claire, especially when with this novel I've learned so much and gained new tactics on the writing process. My friends kindly reminded me that I finished the novel in four months while planning a wedding, going on a honeymoon, and working (obviously). So when it came to revisions this month I decided I needed to give myself a break from my usual demanding deadlines.
This month my revisions have been all about working with one chapter at a time. This helps me get a feel for each chapter individually. I'm not even opening my laptop to go through with what I've already editing in previous chapters. I want to have it all written down and marked up, and then I'll go to my computer and work out what's left over. Perhaps this makes it harder later on for when I have to go through my manuscript on the computer, but I'm actually used to that part. The other part is making notes of things I wanted changed, or don't make sense, or are never explained at the end of the book. There's a lot of work staring at me every night, but I'm not letting it overwhelm me like I've done many times in the past. I'm accepting the work I have accomplished as a success (no matter how small). And at the end of the day --after working, spending time with my hubby and friends, continuing with hobbies and activities I love-- I really do have to take into account the little successes. I have to accept that I'm not a full-time author, and in order for this novel to be its best it will require time. Let's face it, this novel is the first one I've written outside of the Magicians series. So there's a whole world inside of Clara's story that I need to explore in great depth. It's a new world I want to introduce you into, and I want to make sure I'm doing it right.
I really wish there was an app (like the writing ones) to show my progress with revisions, but know that I'm working hard. As always I'm sharing my progress on Instagram , my author FB page, and Snapchat, and those are the best places to follow along! I will try to post more on here with the progress I've made, and let me know if you guys have any suggestions/requests of what you want to hear more about.
Next chapter to edit: chapter 8
Thanks so much to everyone who is following me and supporting me on this new adventure! They always say write the story you're afraid to tell, and I've definitely taken several leaps out of my comfort zone :)
Lindsey Richardson

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Special Post

Wishing everyone a very happy Valentine's day! I'm later on this post than I wanted to be, but I also did not want to rush this. As much as I've been talking about Clara and Claire lately, I wanted to take the time to talk about the Magicians series too. How can I include both? Well, I've made something special to go along with the holiday. We're talking about relationships from the books. While there's nothing in here I would consider a spoiler (or anything to ruin the series for you), I'll let you make the decision. But in all honesty I just picked out a quote from each relationship and ran with it. So you're safe to move ahead even if you haven't read any of the books.

Alaire and Celestria, Cursed With Power (book 1)

"Are you prepared to lose Alaire? If you enter into a war, you cannot turn back for him; that is the price you must pay if you love the man."
There are so many quotes between Alaire and Celestria, and honestly choosing one was difficult. This one stands out to me because it was someone else's opinion about their relationship. Celestria had to realize at this point in the book the dedication she was making to magic. And Celestria is the girl I've talked about for years, the one who has loved and lost. When I added Alaire into the final version of CWP it was such a relief to have a strong male character like him to be a part of her adventure. Their relationship hands down will always be my favorite.

Leal and Nicia, Shadows and Embers (book 2)
"You are the only person I can trust."
Leal has a lot of relationships throughout the series that I could talk about. But the one the one that always tugs at my heart the most is his relationship with Nicia. I can't give away too much about what's shared between them. Nice isn't introduced until Shadows and Embers, but she's definitely one of my favorites who started in Destin. 

Christopher and Jacquette, Thicker Than Blood
"Without you by my side I fear I would not have endured this suffering."
While Thicker Than Blood focuses on Alaire's story, I had already included him in this line up. So I wanted to take the chance to even shout out one of our lesser acknowledged (at least on the blog) relationships from the series.

Malin and Ema, Bloodline Inheritance
"You have nothing to fear while I am by your side."
As we venture further into the series I have less I am willing to share about the specifics. There were a lot of other relationships I considered for this book, but this one seemed like the least likely to spoil anything major. And while I can't say much, I'll say I did love the positivity between these two.

If you've read the Magicians series, what was your favorite romantic quote? A favorite couple from the series? Comment below and let me know!
In the meantime, I had one last quote I wanted to share. I've talked a lot about Clara and Claire, and every now and then I'm too excited to stay quiet about it. So here's a special one directly from the upcoming book...

Ezra and Clara, Clara and Claire
"Be careful who you push away, Clara. I am willing to take any shot that comes your way."
The fact that with each passing day my newest novel becomes more real means a lot to me. It's changing my life all over again because I know this book will take me in new directions with my future as an author. And while I don't want to give away too much about Ezra and Clara so soon, I'll admit their relationship is never an easy one. On her own Clara has a lot to overcome, and I can't wait for you to see how it all unfolds. 
Again this is a quote directly from the book, and I just could not resist including it with the line up I made for you guys. I hope you're as excited as I am, and in the meantime be sure to comment and send in more requests of what you want to see next!
Happy Valentine's day!
Lindsey Richardson

Friday, February 5, 2016

Celestria Hale figure!

I meant to post this on the same day as when Celestria arrived. But now is better than never, right? I am so excited about this new addition to my author swag that I just had to share!
Made by ArtistSomeDay
Meet Celestria Hale, the girl who has loved and lost. Celestria has had such a huge impact on my life, and I think she'll always be my personal favorite. She was the main character of my first book to be publish, and she and I have been through a lot. She's been a part of my life for so many years now, and when I heard about these figures I knew she was the one I wanted.
I ordered this PopFunko figure on Etsy through ArtistSomeDay. She does amazing work --custom orders and repaints. I immediately knew I wanted to do Celestria, and then I went through Cursed with Power to choose my favorite outfit of hers. Celestria is dressed in her attire she wore shortly before the ballroom scene with Alaire. I always remember this outfit because of Alaire's comment about its beauty. Even Celestria herself also commented it was the fanciest dress she had ever worn. 
She is wearing a long white dress --the chest piece was decorated with sparkles to make it look more fancy. Her shoes and bow are also decorated this way (the bow was not part of her outfit in the book, but I thought it added to her nicely). The pink dotted design at the bottom matches along with what she remarked in the book being at the bottom of her dress. And finally of course she has green eyes and red hair as she does in the Magicians series.

I am so thrilled that these figures exist. Eventually I want to have one for all of my main character (five in total out of the Magicians series) and at least two for Clara and Claire. I can't wait to bring these to book signings and show them off. In the meantime I plan to take more pictures of her and share them on social media, so keep your eyes opened.

It's almost 1am, so I'm headed to bed while I still make sense. I'm working hard on revisions for Clara and Claire, and the book cover is slowly in progress as we speak now. As I mentioned before, I'm working with Alivia, and everything she designs is beautiful! Can't wait to see how it turns out!
Lindsey Richardson

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Plans

February has arrived, and along with the new months comes new plans. January was a huge month for me and for Clara and Claire especially. Now that the book is finished I am already working on revisions and edits. 
My plan for revisions is this: I go through every chapter twice. Once to add and remove anything, and a second time using ProWritingAid to assist me in fixing sentences, overused words and etc. I'm also keeping track in a small notebook any questions I have that I know will come into play later. This is only a brief look into what I do. It's time consuming and not easy. I finished chapter one today and felt comfortable with moving on. Maybe I'll only get through one chapter each day --who knows about what I can accomplish on the weekends. Even so, there's 34 chapters so if I spend one day on each chapter that is still decent time. And it allows me to really analyze the chapter and look more closely at the plot and characters. I want to make sure everything is going as it should be.

I'm also in the market for beta-readers. I've announced this on Facebook and Instagram, but if you're someone who thinks they would be interested please let me know. This will be my first time using beta-readers, but I definitely want to give it a try --especially when my other author friends have such success with it. 
The plan for Clara and Claire is to have it ready to release this year. Since I just finished the book last month, I also won't be too upset if I can't release until next year. It will ruin my track record for releasing a book every year for the past four years, but I don't want to put this book on shelves if it isn't ready.
So far I'm feeling really excited to be editing. I know this will probably change; it's not the easiest task. For right now I think I have a lot of energy built up from all the hours I spent just trying to write the book, and now it's exciting to think what else I can change to make it the best it can be. I definitely want to put my best work forward, so again I'm urging interested beta-readers to step forward. 

As for the book cover, it's in the works way ahead of schedule. I'm exciting to have the cover in advance, so I don't have to be worrying about that and can focus on revisions. 

All in all, this month is all about revisions. I want to get as most as I can done, and then next month hopefully hand out my book to beta-readers. I need to look more into it because I've never gone through with that process again. 
Well, I'm off to spend time with the hubby. I have a lot on my mind and a lot of work ahead of me,  but again the hardest part is done. I'll gladly take on the challenge of editing now!
Lindsey Richardson

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Clara and Claire: the End!

Tonight I finished writing Clara and Claire. Writing this book proved to be a challenge, and I cannot emphasize that enough. If it wasn't for my support group I don't think I would have finished it as soon as I did. I officially started Clara and Claire in September of 2015. Four months later, today, I completed it. The book ends with 34 chapters in total and a big announcement at the end of the book. That announcement I'll be revealing later --probably when Clara and Claire releases.
First of all, I did it. I actually reached the end of this book and did it in the time that I set as my deadline. I did not expect to reach the end this month --I thought sometimes I fell behind with my schedule for writing. But I did it, and the ending alone is a huge accomplishment for me. When I finished the Magicians series last year in July I felt so nervous about my the new adventure awaiting me. I knew right away that I wanted to write Clara and Claire. The idea for the story had been in my head for months prior to finishing Dyanna's story. But I waited and was patient, and I refused to start writing it until I was done with my series. Then Bloodline Inheritance released, and it finally hit me that I had finished my series. The series I had focused all of my time and passion on since 2010 was finally complete. I had to move onto the next novel, move onto new characters and a plot and setting... and it broke my heart a little bit. I'm not going to lie --it broke my heart a lot. I loved the story behind the Magicians series, and July was the first time in a long time that I finally had to wave goodbye to my series. It didn't mean it was gone to me forever; I still look back on those books for inspiration and motivation from time to time. But it meant I had to move forward and start the next great book.
It was a big task... It was one I was scared to death of.
So from July up until September I had no idea where to start. I rewrote chapter one countless times, and no matter what I did it seemed like I had nowhere to go. During those months I questioned writing Clara and Claire. I tried to think of other possibilities of what my next novel would be. But Clara's story stuck with me. I could not get her out of my head, no matter how hard I tried. And then in September I joined my writing support group, and that was what finally changed everything for me. I started writing again with more confidence. I shared my progress with other writings, who --like me--were in the mist of writing their next great book. For the first time I had a writing schedule --every night at 9--and stuck to it. I was writing like a mad woman, and at the start of September and following that I've never felt more alive. It was like how it had been with writing Cursed With Power for the first time. The newest of it all and the excitement and even the nerves of writing this novel kept me up at night. It kept me working hard, and it was not before long that I fell in love with the story. I fell in love with it, and despite any prior fears, I knew this was the next book for me.

I know this is a long post. I have so much I want to share about reaching the end of Clara and Claire, and there will be plenty of time for that. Most importantly, I just wanted to share a little backstory of how it all started out and how I got to where I am tonight. It means a lot to be at the end of this book. Though this is my fifth completed novel, I've never felt more challenged in my life. I know that the books after this will only bring more challenges and obstacles, but that's the fun in writing isn't it? 

So now comes the question of... what's next?
For me, the hardest part of this process is finally over. (I say that now because I'm not editing yet...) Next I'll be going to Staples and printing out the entire book to go through with a pen and edit. There are a lot of revisions I already have stored in my head and notebooks that need to be done. There's several new ideas I want to add in. I'm sure there will be a lot I add and delete in the next process of revisions and edits. Who knows how many times I'll read through this book until I'm satisfied. My goal is to release this book this year, but if I don't feel it's ready I am perfectly okay with waiting until it is perfect.

And while you're here, I'll let you in on a little secret. It's more of a surprise, and I just cannot hold it in any longer.
Remember the cover art for Thicker Than Blood? Alivia Anders is the talented artist behind it, and she will be designing the cover for Clara and Claire. I can't wait to share more details, but in the meantime just now that the cover is going to be amazing!!

Time for me to finally take a break from writing and celebrate. Hope you'll join me in the celebrations! :) Thank you so much to everyone for the support!
Lindsey Richardson

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Can't write? Trick yourself.

As I reach the end of Clara and Claire (I'm at 72k now), I've learned a lot about overcoming the hard days.  The days where I don't feel like writing but at the same time know I should be. The days where writer's block seems to have all the control over whether I finish this novel or not. I came across something the other day that talked about doing anything that makes your mind think you're not writing (when in reality you are). What a strange concept right? Except it works better than you'd expect.
The past few weeks I've been spending more time handwriting my chapters than typing them up. Handwriting anything is definitely going to require more time than simply typing it. (Lately it seems faster to me since I have tips on my nails, but that won't be the case always.) Sometimes I write in cursive to be a little faster, but the fact of the matter is that this method has been working for me. It's been working on the days where I think "no, I can't write." And that's not to say it works 100% of the time, but hey I'll take what I can get. Staring at a blank screen can be more intimidating than a blank notebook... and it also will point out your grammar or incomplete sentences instantly. All those red lines underneath words starts to leave me feeling panicked and then all I want to do is fix them.
So then what ways can you trick yourself into writing?
  • Write on post its if you're out somewhere or carry around a travel size notebook --this way you're able to scribble down ideas or a sentence or two without even thinking too hard about it
  • Write in a journal, on a piece of paper or clipboard --just try to get the ideas out and don't worry about being neat, spelling right, or your sentence structure. Remember all of this you can come back to at a later time and fix
  • Find a writing app --something like Hanx Writer gives you that nostalgic feel of a typewriter, and you'll have so much fun with the sounds and the vintage look you'll forget you're writing and just have fun with it. Remember it's not always all seriousness --let your creative side run wild
  • Find pictures for the scene or character --and write with those as your aid. A picture says a thousand words right? 
The nice part about handwriting or using another method to write what you want in your novel... Is that eventually you have to sit down and type it up. So you're writing it, reading it and typing it. It gives you more of a chance to add on to the story as you go and remember more of what you've written thus far. It gives you the chance to change things instantly and then just go with it.
So tell me do you ever trick yourself into writing? What other methods do you use to defeat writer's block? Leave a comment below; you might just be helping out another writer.
In the meantime I have a chapter to type up. Wish me luck!
Lindsey Richardson

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: New Year, New Goals

Happy New Years everyone! I wanted to take today to reflect on everything I accomplished in 2015 and all that I want to accomplish in 2016. I am so excited for this new year, and I hope you are too. Thank you for being a part of my journey.
2015 (in no particular order):

  • New job
  • Got engaged //I could not believe when Eric proposed to me in February of 2015. I was not expecting it at all, and our coworkers threw us a wonderful party to celebrate.
  • got a new cat (Ahri) //We're so happy to now be owners of three cats. They're a handful, but I love them to death. Ahri has such a great personality, and people love coming over to see her.
  • published Bloodline Inheritance --my 4th book //If anything finishing Bloodline Inheritance taught me that it's okay if I can't make the deadline that I planned out for myself. There is no sense in rushing artwork. Deanna's story is complete, and I'm glad she was able to share it with Malin as well (so we could learn more about him)
  • successful book launch and follow up posts (cover reveal and release date)
  • finished the Magicians series //The moment I released Bloodline Inheritance it still took a few days for me to finally process it. I had finally finished the Magicians series. This is the series I started planning out in 2015. I could only imagine what it would be like to one day have the entire series complete, and now I can say that I have done it. It was a huge advancement as an author to complete my first series and have the entire series published. I know as I continue forward my writing will only improve. The Magicians series was the first door that opened up for me to be a published author. Now I had an endless amount of doorways to open as I continue with my career
  • started writing Clara and Claire --more than half way finished! //As much as I wanted to finish Clara and Claire in 2015, I'm not disappointed. I started writing the book after the release of Bloodline Inheritance. And even with starting in July, I didn't really put my heart into it until September. It was in September that I finally decided this was the right choice for my next book, and I started over with a blank page. The fact that in 4 months I ended with 64k is a huge deal when I started out fearing I would never make it past chapter one. The characters really grew on me and now I'm finally it for the long run. 
  • joined a writing motivation group //My motivation group has been the reason behind my success this year. I never joined one of these --I heard about them, but I never knew how powerful they could be for a moral boost. I joined in September, and that's when my writing finally took off. I felt inspired and encouraged to finally write my new novel. I wanted to write every day just to share the progress with my fellow writers.
  • improved with graphic designs
  • got married //I can't believe I'm a married woman now!! I am so proud to call Eric my husband, and I'm finally used to my name change. It has been such an incredible year for us, and I love that he has supported me every step of the way.
  • went on our honeymoon --on a cruise!!
  • spent time with friends and family
  • complete Clara and Claire //This is a huge goal for 2016, and one that I am determined to accomplish. I know that once I finish the first draft of this book, I can run to Staples, print out the entire thing, and then get down to revisions. (Yeah it's crazy how ready I am to get into revisions and editing... because I know the book desperately needs it!)
  • Shop for book covers //I am so nervous and excited about looking for book covers. I don't know who I'll go with this time, but I'm open to anything. 
  • Blog more
  • Share my data with my word counts during the entire time it took me to complete Clara and Claire //I don't know how I want to do this yet, but I did want to share my progress and the app I use has a way to export everything into Excel. So once I'm done I want to share it with you
  • Release my 5th book //If all goes well and I stick to my schedule I want to release my novel this year. I don't know when, but for the past 4 years I've released a new book each year. Hopefully I can stay consistent 
  • Plan a vacation with the hubby
  • Celebrate our one year wedding anniversary
  • Blog and write more --stick to a schedule
  • Register for book signings
That's all I can think of for right now, and I'm pleased with it overall. I have a lot  of work ahead of me, but I know I can do it if I put my heart into. I am so excited for what 2016 holds for us, and I hope you'll join me as we explore it together. Happy New year!
Lindsey Richardson