Thursday, June 3, 2021

2021: The year of forced introspection.

Y’all it has been a doozie of a year here. Freezes, flooding, work from home. 2021 has been pretty much as eventful as 2020. 

I eventually found an interesting balance. It takes lots of work and fails half the time. Not sure we need to get into how many times I forgot to click send on the grocery order or how many times I had to re-wash a load of laundry, but food was provided, and everyone has clean clothes. 

There is nothing like having a group of women surrounding you, poking you with emails and tweets from across the world, to keep you taking those deeps breaths so you can get back to something that you love- stories. To remind you that while you have put some things on the back-burner, like my monthly blogs, they are still there, my writing is still valid, and patience with the process is a virtue.

With the forced introspection that the past two years has brought, it was fun to learn some things about my writing process. Even though I teach writing (or taught writing in the BEFORE). Even though I have been a working author for over ten years now. I’ve spent the past two months creating the Author’s Preferred Editions to The Diaries Series to bring Violet Jordan back into the world. YAY!! But in going through that process, I saw just how baby of a writer I was when it was first written. 

Prologues everywhere, Epilogues galore. You want dream sequences, I’ve got twenty!

Flip phones. Need I say more.

So here a little appreciation post for my moments of Writing Growth for 2021.

First up, I need an outline, but not too outlining of an outline. I need milestones, but not a road map. I’ll eventually get there. These mini-synopsis have been a blessing in the two books that I was able to write in the past year. Two books! It took me three years to get Diaries #1 out the door, and two years to get TRUTH #1 out into the world. Now, I’m not saying these books were good, and my editors have ripped them to shreds, but they were written, word by word, page by page, chapter by chapter at a pace that felt like scaling a mountain. But as all those people on the internets say, “you can’t edit a blank page.”

Secondly, I default to dialogue without emotional beats. Just the words and none of the feelings or the texture of the scene, especially during a super intense scenes or info dumps (think the scenes where everyone is around a table talking about the baddie). It looks like reading a script instead of a book. But I developed something called a “Dialogue Sequel” that I can pull from when I feel that its getting a bit too wordy without any introspection. I’ll post about that next month. 

Thirdly, I really can’t read or watch TV when I am trying to create. I end up mimicking the tones and even sometimes the dialogue of characters. It’s so weird. I’m like a warped sponge. So in between projects, I have to take time to refill the Muse. I’ve binged The Great (Hulu), Bridgerton (Netflix), All the Marvel movies (MCU), and let myself dive off the deep end into Criminal Minds for about 6 seasons before I start editing again. 

Fourth, I binge books too, but rarely finish. I’m going to confess this because I think someone out there will need to hear it. I start probably 10 books a month, using the KISS App or Kindle, and I rarely find a book that grabs me enough to read it all the way through. I think I’m too picky? Or perhaps I just like really weird stuff. I usually go back to read authors that I know I love, like Hoffman and Gaiman and of course my ladies on the blog! (also you can now find the Merci Lanard series on the KISS app).  

So there you have it, a few things I’ve finally come to terms with in the past year. 

Oh wait, you want more. How about the exclusive cover reveal for all three Diaries!  You saw a sneak peak of it in Helen's post on Monday.  

Yeah. I know. so pretty.

Until next month, Happy Reading!

Amanda Arista

1 comment:

Helen Lowe said...

Wow, those new DIARIES covers are awesome, Amanda: love them!