Discovering My Story

One of my all-time favorite authors, Ted Dekker, recently came out with a short interview and e-book about how he views writing, the thing he says has helped him sell millions of books and able to write for a living. You can download both items for free HERE!

Ever since listening to and reading his advice, I have been diving deep into planning for the Book Book. (I’ll fill you in on The Blessed status later.) I had my world built, my characters developed, my plot structure basically figured out, and, upon gaining his advice, have been seeing the Book Book and its characters in a completely new light.

It’s a viewpoint that says “this is my story”, not simply the story of my characters. I spent an evening soul searching, being vulnerable, and listing down my insecurities, fears, struggles, and false identities. I looked at the list and found that my two main characters could identify with many of the things I struggled with, but there were a few themes that were the strongest connection between the three of us.

It’s a theme of people pleasing, spurred from the fear of failing others. A theme of sacrificing doing what is right in order to do something good that others will see.

This theme has spurred on a lot of searching, and while a few answers have risen quickly to the top, I know there is further down the rabbit hole to go yet:

 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I were still trying to please men, I would not be a daughter of the King.
Galatians 1:10

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
Matthew 16:25-26

I love the reminder that Ted Dekker brought up time and time again, that when we have inspiration, we are in the Spirit and I look forward to having my eyes opened as I grow with my characters in discovering what it looks like to have a servant’s heart but not with the goal of gaining other’s approval, but instead as a way to live out my identity as an Heir with Christ.
Romans 8:17

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Planning Ahead…

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I thought I would give you a quick post on what is happening next in my world of writing!

As far as THE BLESSED goes, I might have written nearly 70k this month for it, but there is still plenty of writing left to be had. I’m almost finished up with Act 2 (just the major, life-changing events to happen there) and then it’s onto Act 3 with the rise of conflict and the resolution!

Then, I’ll have two books in need of editing! Millie is getting through THE VARKEN with editing, and I am excited to dive back into that story and those characters and start really grinding into it to get it ready for publishing in April. My amazing cousin Amy has agreed to do the cover for the novel, and I’m excited to see what she comes up with (she painted the cover for THE KEEPER as well).

I’m excited to have so many new tools at my fingertips this time around with publishing. Along with Scrivener, to make the editing process easier, I’m also looking forward to investing in my formatting a little further. In THE KEEPER, the formatting was very bare-bones and simple, and I’m hoping to learn more about font choice, margins, that sort of thing, this time around. I even have a new website book-marked to aid me in my quest at http://www.diybookformats.com/ and http://www.diybookcovers.com/. Both have lots of great tutorials and ideas here, and a great one to keep on hand for when you reach this point of your process.

While all of this editing is happening, I’ll continue working on world building and character development for the Book Book by writing short stories. I’m so excited by the mundane things I’ve created for this world that I need to get it out of my system! When the Book Book starts, I don’t want to drag on with showing everyone’s daily routines. While that’s interesting, I’ll want to focus more on the plot and characters, and let the world build around you as you read.

Our musical Scarlet is almost through with its round of workshops and will be moving into a whole new planning phase soon. Although timing is still a secret, I’m excited to announce that it will be performed in the 2016-2017 season at our local theatre and I’ll be directing, which will be a huge learning curve for me but I’m looking forward to the stretching and growing.

And lastly, our second musical, Fractured, is well under way! I’ve been working on a blog post about writing musicals, but it keeps staying in that ‘drafting’ stage. As for now, we only have 2 more songs left to write (which will total around 20 songs) and a few scenes left to draft up in the book. It is still very much in the early stages of the writing, with lots of editing and smoothing out needed, but I’m looking forward to polishing it up!

So that’s what’s on the horizon in Erin’s writing world.

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, what’s on your writing schedule?

How I Won NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is a crazy month where hundreds of thousands of people works towards the goal of writing 50,000 words for their novels. Even though I try to make time to write every day, I love the community of writers that rise up in November to encourage one another forward towards their goal. The forums and the Facebook group are incredibly helpful and, without them, NaNoWriMo would feel much more lonely and long. In fact, it is a big reason why I love this month.

But if I’ve learned anything this month, it’s that one method doesn’t work for everyone. I have very specific things I do to keep myself motivated to keep writing, but those methods might not work for everyone. What’s important, is finding out what works for you and sticking with it! It’s been a year of trial and error, but now I have my settled routine, and I got into the groove just in time for November.

Here’s what I did:

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