Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stacking The Shelves / What's Up This Week? (Aug. 4th)

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga's Reviews where people can share the fabulous books they've bought, borrowed or received during the week.

It's been a couple weeks so I have a few goodies to share with you guys. :D Here we go! 

 1. The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

2. The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst

3. The Marriage Mistake by Jennifer Probst

4. Dungeon Crawl by Robert Bevan

5. Ink by Amanda Sun

6. The Academy: Game On by Monica Seles

7. Dare You To by Katie McGarry

8. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey 

This week has seen the re-drafting I needed to do to get ready to do the final re-write on Sealer's Promise. That got finished yesterday morning, and I'll be talking about where that's at below. I also finally got Sealer's Promise up on GoodRead, and for the next two weeks that will mean an opportunity for all of you to enter for a chance to win a free book! 

I also got my ticket for the 3rd annual Ontario Book Blogger Meet Up! Extremely excited about seeing everyone on November 2nd. Last year's event was fabulous and I'm sure this year's will rock as well. :)

Aside from writing and blogging, it's pretty much been the usual: visiting grandma and aunt Brenda, spending time with Jay and trying to keep cool. Though the weather here has been pretty cooperative for the past couple weeks. 

Since I'm actively writing a project with a due date, the number of reviews I'll be doing will likely be between 4-6 a month until I have this done. What's at the top of my list right now? 


1. Dungeon Crawl by Robert Bevan: This will likely be my end-of-week or "OMG this draft is making me want to break something!" book. Robert's Caverns & Creatures stories are always good for a laugh out loud time, and I'm sure Dungeon Crawl will help preserve my sanity at that moment where the Sealer's Promise re-write threatens to squeeze it past a breaking point. 

2. If You Leave by Courtney Cole: Come on Tuesday! I madly loved If You Stay, so when I saw that this was going to be releasing, I had to make sure I listed it here. No doubt this will be a day one purchase for me. I just can't let it get in the way of finishing what I'm doing. (Bad!)

3. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: I've heard such great things about this book and it seems like it should be a very different read from the rest of what I've picked. Grabbed it at Walmart for 30% off, so I may as well dive right in! 
Sealer's Promise v3.0 Word Count: 3,900 / 80,000 (guesstimated word goal.) 

The first two chapters are done. They'll need some final revision work, but when I saw this stuff is done in the next few weeks, what I mean is it's the way the characters say it *happened*. 

A lot of people hate revision. I'm not one of them. To me, revision is when you take a finished draft and get to tinker with it, like a car nut getting to change the various pieces of a vehicle, or give it a wacky paint job. The structure is there; it just needs refinement. 

I'm not so great at what I'm doing here, though. This is a re-write. I'm actually writing the entire manuscript from scratch. Sure, I do get to look at stuff from my previous attempts, and can even use lines, descriptions, etc. if they will work. But it's very challenging. 

Today I thought I'd share five things that made me feel doing this last re-write would be worth it:

1. Switching from YA to NA. The ages of the characters, and what it would be appropriate and believable to have them do, just plain fits better. Also, a lot of the themes of the Sealer Saga as a whole just make more sense this way. I'll be blogging about this in more detail in the future. 

2. Refining Sarena. The biggest issue a lot of my betas had was actually my heroine, and I won't lie, this is something I really struggled with. I knew what I wanted her to be, but coming up with a way that would allow me to portray that in writing seemed like it was going to be impossible. Then, as I restructured other aspects of the story in my final draft outline, I saw that the problem was that I gave Sarena too much too soon. What this was doing was making her inconsistent from one situation to the next--sometimes she would kick total ass, and others she'd be (for lack of a better explanation) using other characters as shields. What did I discover about Sarena? Will, you'll have to wait and see. But the good news is, I finally have a grasp on how she operates. 

3. Controlling the pace of the romance: Anyone thinking I switched categories to have my characters be more sexy is thinking wrong. I've got absolutely nothing against sex / love scenes in fiction if they move the story forward. And there's no denying I want there to be chemistry between Sarena and Kesyl. But that's not the foundation of their story and switching categories either to "add it", or feeling I have to "add it" because of my decision, doesn't sit right with me. There are things I don't care for in how their original romance paced itself, and I'm really hoping to get those right.

4. Exploring Hycanth and the culture of Kindred and Sealers: In my first two drafts the characters spent a lot of time with Sarena and Jayden's parents, but my betas were like, "Why didn't you put them at the school?". When I looked at this and saw how much more interesting I could make things and how much more sense a lot of my lore and background could be if I did it this way, I was totally sold. Plus, I'd done all my research for Hycanth since it's important in future books, so switching this was relatively painless. It just means writing a lot of new scenes and structuring things differently. But that's what a re-write is for. :) 

5. Characters taking action: I think this is something a lot of writers struggle with; it felt like I was throwing things at my characters, rather than them making choices and following through. When I worked on my new outline I tried to make sure that I didn't abuse the ability to just have things happen, because I feel that a character looking someone in the eye and being able to say "I made a choice." is very much at the heart of good fiction. 

So, did you get anything exciting this week? What are you reading? Did anything awesome happen to you? I'd love to know, so feel free to leave a comment. :) 


  1. Monica Seles, the tennis player wrote a book?!? You've got a lovely stash here. Enjoy!

    1. Yes, apparently so. I didn't realize that when I bought it, either. I don't follow tennis--I just thought the cover was cute and the premise sounded like a fun summer read. Will the book score points with me? We'll have to wait and see. :)

      As for the rest, yes. I got some totally great stuff and I'm eager to dive in. I'm already 110 pages into The 5th Wave and it's keeping me from getting work done, meaning I'm enjoying it.

      Thanks for dropping by to check out my post. :)


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