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