Tag Archives: sweetgum valley series

An Update, Some Insight, Plus An Important Reminder…

Yesterday I reached 40,050 words on novel number 3! (Insert thumbs up here) — For context, that’s roughly 160-ish actual book pages. I’m halfway there! (Give or take a few thousand words.)

One of my least favorite things about starting new books, is that for me, it takes hitting a stride, which is somewhere close to the halfway point, where I really click with my characters and everything starts flowing smoothly. Until then, getting the words down is a little more difficult. There are more big edits that happen in the first half of my books verses the back half, for that reason.

It takes a bit for me to get to know the characters well enough to do them justice. I miss small details about who they are, which I learn as I spend more time with them. Once I get to that point, or when I’ve finished the first draft entirely, I’ll notice instances where a character says something in the beginning that doesn’t line up with their personality at all. They’d never actually say it. So it has to go. Usually to be replaced with something more fitting.

We’ve now reached the point in book 3 where the words are flying and everything is just peachy. The back half should go much more quickly than the first. And I’m really excited!

Justin and Lynsey, the hero and heroine of this novel, are turning out to be one of my favorite couples. (Granted, for all I know they’ll all be my favorites before this series is over!) I think, really, my heart just goes out to Lynsey, and I love seeing Justin peel back all her layers and show her what love can be. Not what she’s always known it to be. So I’m loving this one.

Quick update on Edits. — Novel 1, still working on in between writing. I edit for a few days, write for a few. I like to give myself a break from the monotony of editing. It really drains so much out of me, and it’s not nearly as fun. Edits also go better the fresher my eyes are upon the pages. So the little breaks help not only me, but the book itself. Plus, I’m still getting something valuable accomplished in the meantime. It’s a win-win.

I’m kind of amazed, really. I had about 7,000 words when I picked up writing book 1 in September 2018. Now, here we are in February 2020, and I’ve written two full length novels, with a million rounds of edits in between, and I’m halfway through book 3. So by the time the two year mark rolls around in September, I’ll have written three full-length novels, and if not a fourth, I’ll be knee deep in writing it. Three, possibly four novels in two years, the first of which should be published by late Spring/early Summer, if all goes well.

I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Ya know, you go to school, you graduate, they tell you get out there now, make something of yourself, get a job, a career, go to college, make it all happen. And some of us, we flounder a bit. We’re still learning so much about ourselves, how in the world are we supposed to have it all figured out already? Some do well, others do not. I used to look at other people and feel like a failure. Why couldn’t I get my feet off the ground? Why was I going nowhere? Ya know? — But none of that mattered. I see that clearly now. But back then, it was a little soul-crushing.

I’m much more self-aware and a lot more self-confident than I was back then. And if I’ve leaned anything from all this, it’s never, ever compare yourself to anyone else. Fight for yourself, move at your own pace, and ignore anyone who might belittle you for being at the back of the pack. That’s not how this works. In a lot of cases, timing is everything. Don’t lose sight of yourself, because all you can see is someone else. That’s more heartache than it’s worth.

Heather!