EVO Ghost Update 01/06/17

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In my last update, I had hoped to have finished the remainder of my EVO Ghost draft by June. I fell a little short, but I’m close- real close. I hadn’t bargained on the read-throughs of EVO Nation and EVO Shift taking as long as they did. The read-throughs were important, and I have notes upon notes to keep in mind when drafting/ editing book three.

Another distraction, but an exciting one, was sorting the paperback version of Thrown to The Blue. The full cover was completed, and I gave the document a final check before submitting it for review. Keep your eyes peeled for the paperback release.

A few days ago, I had a break from all things EVO. My mind was being consumed day and night by Teddie’s story, so I took a day off to concentrate on Zombie Playlist. I easily fell back into Dagger’s mindset, and even sorted at least four definite tracks to add to her playlist. Whoop.

What have I been listening to?

Seeing as I have only written on my Zombie Playlist WIP this last week, I shall include one song from the playlist. This is an exclusive, because I NEVER divulge the playlist songs. I tend to keep them secret because each song is a chapter title and compliments the narrative. Are you ready for a sneak peek…

What’s Next?

There is only one thing on my agenda: Finish the first draft of EVO Ghost. Once that is done and dusted, I can have a break from it for a few weeks, and get the cover and blurb reveals out of the way.

I hope to finish the first draft of Zombie Playlist before I dive into the redraft of EVO Ghost. That way, both WIPs get a rest before I go over them with a fine tooth comb. Although, Zombie Playlist is a novella and may be ready for publication before EVO Ghost.

Excerpts:

These are short and sweet. No spoilers.

EVO Ghost:

“Where’d you get it,” I say, holding my numb lip up with my fingers.

“It was in the pocket of a coat that I claimed from the laundry when I first arrived. It may have been through the washer, but its wrapper is still intact. I shoved it in a drawer and forgot about it. I wouldn’t be putting it anywhere near my mouth if it has been through the wash with people’s smalls.”

Zombie Playlist:

If you haven’t eaten Marshmallow Fluff out of the jar using a Curly Wurly, you haven’t lived. Open packets litter the floor around us, and an empty bourbon bottle rolls around on the uneven floor boards. That was the extent of the alcohol supply, but one bottle of bourbon between two light-weights after months on the dry was more than ample.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

EVO Ghost Update 05/05/2017

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Whoo, what a month April was. I did complete CampNaNo, but I couldn’t post an update due to having broadband issues for 10 days!! Yep, I was having withdrawal. Any hoo, I am back with a bang, hence the flood of book reviews I have posted.

CampNaNoWriMo

I reached 25k with a few days to spare. It was touch and go for a little bit, but I slogged through it and came out a winner. Whoop! What does this mean for EVO Ghost? Well, I thought I would be close to finishing, and I am 25k closer, but I think there is another 20k left until I can sign off on the first draft. I can see light at the end of the tunnel now, and Teddie has told me how this will play out, so I’m all guns ablazing.

Muse-ic

I had good fun tweeting daily muse-ic inspiration throughout CampNaNo, so I plan to continue along a similar thread. In these posts I will include a favourite track of mine that I have been writing along to. First up, Katy Perry’s Rise. This song sums up Teddie at the moment. I can’t stop listening to it because of her. There is even a line that perfectly captures her…

‘Can’t write my story. I’m beyond the archetype.’

Yep, yep, and yep. This is how I feel about writing Teddie’s story most of the time. I hope I do her justice in EVO Ghost.

There is another, more emotional, line that puts a lump in my throat…

‘I call on my Angels. They say, ‘Oh, ye of so little faith.”

Those of you who have read the first two will know who Teddie’s angels are. *Sob*

What’s next?

I will continue on with the first draft. I hope to have another 20k written by June, but I may be punching above my weight with that target. When the first draft is done and awaiting a redraft, I shall do a cover reveal. I have had this cover ready since last year- nearly a whole twelve months ago to be exact. I’m itching to show you all the final cover in the series.

Excerpt

I’m having to be really picky with these excerpts because I’m worried about spoilers.

“Impartial counsel time,” he states. I nod my head, blinking back tears. “Do not go into this mission with revenge as your motivator. Justice is what you seek, and fighting for justice will hold you steady. Justice for those who have suffered, those you have lost, is more satisfying than revenge.”

“I don’t see the difference.”

“You will when and if the time comes. Justice will ensure that you can live with yourself after all of this.”


Did you partake in CampNaNo last month? Do you have a writing playlist? Drop me a comment!


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CampNaNoWriMo Update: Week Three

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This week has been a rollercoaster ride on the writing front. On the 17th, my NaNo stats showed that I was 7 days behind schedule. That was approximately 5.5k words to catch up on. I found myself in a bit of a self-doubt slump, but by some crazy umph of writing spirit, I not only caught up, I am now on track to reach my 25k target before April 30th. Whilst typing up my handwritten bits and bobs from the Easter holidays, I realised I had written a lot more than I thought I had. Plus, finishing an important, emotional chapter has made these past few days a writing blur. I’m not sure how much sense I will find in what I have written, but the words our down.

Word count: 19,730/25k

My drafting music for the last seven days:

15th:

16th:

17th:

18th:

19th:

20th:

21st:

An excerpt from this week’s drafting:

“That was reality,” I say. “Don’t forget that. Just because it’s a lovely moment in the midst of a load of crap ones, it doesn’t mean that it was any less real. We’ve got to live now in case we don’t get our chance later.” I tuck his book under the pillow and slide my boots on.

“You will get your chance to live later. I’ll die to ensure that,” he says. The feeling in his words makes my stomach knot.

“That would sound really romantic if it wasn’t my worst fear.”

Are you participating in CampNaNoWriMo, and how are you finding week three?


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

CampNaNoWriMo Update: Week One

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Week one has been and gone, and surprisingly, I haven’t faired too badly. At the beginning of the week, I had a little panic because I was falling short of my daily targets, and with my little one off school for Easter, I wasn’t sure how I’d rectify it. Perseverence was my way forward. I trudged on even when all I wanted to do was browse Pinterest and eat cake.

Word count:  5854 of 25k

I have been posting my daily drafting music to Twitter, and decided that I would recap the list here on my weekly updates. I usually fixate on one song that inspires, motivates, or sets the tone for what I’m writing at that time and will listen to it on repeat.

1st:

2nd:

3rd:

4th:

5th:

6th:

7th:

Now, it’s time for a cheeky excerpt from this week’s writing sessions:

“Chill out. I just mean that she could disappear into the sunset and leave us all to it. What difference does Theyda Leason make to our mission tonight, tomorrow, or whenever? We have four able bodies on babysitting duty, instead of where they’re needed. Why are you so important?”

I hold my hands out. “When you find out, let me know.”

He laughs a little. “See, that’s just it. If the woman herself doesn’t even bloody know—”

I point a finger in his face. “Hey, don’t twist my words. I don’t know what difference Theyda Leason can make, but I’m damn sure that I want to be a part of whatever is about to go down. I don’t want a babysitter any more than you want to babysit, yet here we are.”

Stay tuned for my updates over the course of CampNaNoWriMo. Are you participating this month? Do you have a playlist that gets you through the drafting stage? Feel free to drop me a comment.


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Update: 30/03/2017

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It has been over a month since my last update, and with CampNaNo just days away, I thought I’d sum up my writing journey over the past 5 weeks.

Word Count

My promise to write everyday during March has been fruitful. I only missed about five days due to commitments, and some of my word counts were little more than 100 a day, but little by little I managed 15.5k words. I’m happy with that, considering this month has been hectic. There has been more birthday parties, school parent’s evening, school science display afternoon, Mother’s day, treats out, volunteering on school trips, and song presentations. Not forgetting, my asshole of a cough. Yep, some of you may know that I have had a time of it with colds and coughs. 6 weeks later, I’m still coughing but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m feeling much better, and there is no threat of me coughing up a lung.

Reading

I have been catching up on my reading of late. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff wouldn’t let me go, so I read when I should have been writing. Sometimes, we’ve just got to do these things, right? Also, I was honoured to receive an advanced ARC of Brianna West’s final book in the Promiscus Guardians Series, Resurrection. I have been patiently waiting for this book whilst West did other things. (Oh, you know, have a baby and what not.) Seriously though, the woman is a power house when it comes to writing.  Again, I couldn’t put the book down. Damn all the brilliant storytellers distracting me from my writing!

CampNaNo

I’m not going to lie and say that I’m a NaNo prepper because I’m not, so I can’t use that as an excuse. That being said, knowing that I’ve set myself a 25k word count for April has left me a little complacent on my March writing. I don’t want to burn out, do I? Hopefully, CampNaNo will see me nearly finished with my first draft of EVO Ghost. *She says tentatively.* I shall not be doing another update post for a while as I shall be doing weekly NaNo updates. Keep your eyes peeled for those.

Excerpts (EVO Ghost only. I have done zero writing on Zombie Playlist.)

EVO Ghost: (sorry for the short teasers, but spoilers…)

Throwing my bag over my shoulder and readjusting the black wig, I make my way to the truck. Rafe places a hand on my chest. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

“Since when does Rafe Lloyd pander to anyone?” I say, sliding passed him. Looking over my shoulder, I throw him a half-baked smile. “I’m fine.” I know I’m kidding myself, but it’s not going to change the fact that this needs to happen. I have to leave the safety of The Hive, and today is the day.


One of the women leans a little closer to me. “You’re not what I expected.”

“Despite what Towley would have us believe she doesn’t have horns and a thirst for blood.”

The woman shakes her head. “I expected someone polished- sharp and shiny around the edges. You’re a bit of a mess, no offense.”

I shrug. “Little offends me now.”

She throws me a wink. “You’re human and that’s reassuring, even if you are coming apart at the seams.”

Am I that obvious?


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Update 19/2/17

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It has been nearly five weeks since my last update. Oopps! I have been working on both EVO Ghost and Zombie Playlist since the last update, so working out the word count is going to be interesting. I haven’t thought to do a word count in these last five weeks, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

Word Count:

On the 13/1/17 my EVO Ghost word count was 27k. I am now at 38.5k. I didn’t check my word count for Zombie Playlist in January, but I am at 12.5k now, so I’d hazard a guess that I have written about 4k in five weeks. EVO Ghost steals more of my attention, so 4k isn’t too bad.

Researching and Note-Taking:

I may not have written more than about 15k in five weeks, but I have been researching various subjects for EVO Ghost and filling my notebook like you would not believe. As I have said before, I don’t write well if I plan too much, but recapping on the first two books, and mapping out chapters I have already written, has been useful.

I rarely make notes for Zombie Playlist. The notebook that I use is mini, and I only seem to use it when I’m on the go and can’t get to my laptop. I write long hand to type up at a later date. I’m sure more note taking will occur, but EVO Ghost takes priority. Sorry, Dagger, but you have to wait your turn!

Busy Bee:

This week has been a particularly bad writing week. I say week, more like ten days. I’ve had a lot on: school craft afternoons, half-term holiday, three parties, family visits, a wedding, a gardening day… It has been never ending. If I really wanted to, I could have written between six and seven in the mornings when my daughter eats breakfast and watches TV, or for a few hours in the evenings once she was in bed, but I simply didn’t want to. I’ve had a nice week reading and watching Netflix and Amazon. I’m catching up on Black Sails, and have now entered the last season of Breaking Bad. Yes, I’m late to hop on the band wagon, but I’m here now. Oh, and I also watched all of Santa Clarita Diet.. and season three of The 100. Not forgetting, I’m up to season two of Peaky Blinders and episode three of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice series. Okay, okay, I’ve watched a lot of TV.

March is the Month:

I have told myself to treat March as a deadline month. I don’t actually have a deadline, or set one for myself, but I would like to write at least 1k words a day, making the most of those early morning hours and evenings where possible. I’m not too fussed if I fall short on the 1k daily goal, as long as I’m actively writing every day. I shall let you know how I get on when I remember to post another update.

Excerpt:

My excerpts shall be short to avoid spoilers.

Zombie Playlist

“There’s a car. Does that mean someone lives here?” King whispers.

“How do I know? I can’t see through bloody walls.”

“Then, we knock.”

I look to him in disbelief. “Season yourself up first. It’s only right if you’re going to serve yourself up as a zombie snack.”

“So, we’re going to break into someone’s house?”

“What are they going to do? Call the police? If you want, you can stay here, and I’ll scout the place.”

He doesn’t take much convincing. His knuckles turn white from gripping the bat, and he sinks further into the grass. “Don’t kill anyone who is alive. Please, Dagger, I mean it.”

“As long as they’re not trying to kill me,” I say, climbing the fence and sprinting to the side of the building with my gun raised.

EVO Ghost

I can’t ask people to fight, Teddie, because I am a sheep in wolf’s clothing. All I can do is try to provide safety- that is my service.”

“Do what you’ve got to do. You’re the one who has to live with yourself and your choices, just don’t judge me on what I have to do, because I have to live with myself too.”

“Although I now see that my campaign was futile, I’m intrigued as to what has changed with you? You would not allow me use your name to further my cause.”

“I’ve found a leader to believe in.”

Grayson lowers his eyes. “Ah, yes, I believe you have. I had to look that man in the eyes today, after betraying him all those years ago. I saw no hate.”

“Rafe isn’t fuelled by hate, but by what’s right.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Update 13/1/17

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I haven’t posted an EVO Ghost update on my blog in what feels like ages. I have hinted at some struggles on Twitter and in my Muse-ic post, and now, I thought I’d let everyone know how I’m getting on.

Word Count:

After Christmas, I started on EVO Ghost with 24k words written. I hadn’t touched the manuscript for a while because I was focussing on Thrown to The Blue, but going back knowing that I already had 24k words was a motivator. That motivation didn’t last long. I couldn’t move passed a particular point in my story, and for days, I procrastinated. Eventually, I decided to cut 10k words, taking me back to where I knew I was last inspired. I took the narrative in a completely different direction and the words flowed much smoother. I’m now at 27k words and going strong, so that’s 13k written since Christmas. The bonus is that some of the cut stuff will make it into the narrative a bit further down the line.

‘Third Book in the Trilogy’ Syndrome:

Half of my word count issues stemmed from self-doubt. Rather than let my story flow and pay it little heed until the redraft, I stressed myself out with worry over loose ends, tying up character arcs, making the third book epic etc. I dubbed this self-doubt, ‘Third Book in the Trilogy Syndrome’. I know this book has to close the story, and I want to do right by my characters, but dwelling on it wasn’t helping. Getting back to my usual ‘seat of my pants’ drafting style has helped me progress the narrative.

Where I am at now:

I am neck deep in drafting, researching, and note taking. A brilliant idea popped into my head that wouldn’t leave me alone. When I finally wrote it into the narrative, the whole story shifted up a notch, and a huge plot hole filled itself. Phew. I also may have, kinda have, sorta have an ending idea. I say this very gingerly because my ending ideas usually change as the narrative moves along. Teddie will tell me how this ends, but I’m hoping this idea has been sparked by some hidden message in the narrative so far. That happens to me, you know. I only realise why I typed something when that something becomes important further down the story arc. Strange, but amazing, right?

Excerpt:

This excerpt is only small because it is very hard to find interesting paragraphs without spoilers, especially for those who may not have read books one and two.

I push at my temples, scrunching my nose against the tension forming in my head. “You were doing what you thought was best,” I say, more to myself than him. “Still, you should have told me from the first.”

His mouth opens and closes like a fish. “I thought you’d be—”

“A bitch about it. You saved my life. I won’t forget that easily, just don’t keep things from me. I have… trust issues.” I smile and tap at the stapled scar on my scalp.

“Sorry, I’m just used to my family being hard-headed and petulant.”

“Oh, I can be both of those. I just have perspective now.”

How do you overcome self-doubt? Have you written a trilogy, and how did you find the experience?


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My Time Jump Hack

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It’s happening. There is going to be a time jump in EVO Ghost. I have had conflicting advice on adding a time jump to my narrative, but in the end I thought , ‘a time jump will make me happy, and I write to make me happy’. I do feel it benefits the story for numerous reasons, and cuts out mundane routine that would be present if I mosied on through; first person present tense can be a little tricky that way.

imagesNow, I know I’ve got a lot of work to do to pull the time jump off, but I know I can do it, and make it beneficial to the narrative.

I’ve already discovered one hack that has been great for getting back into the headspace of all the main and secondary characters- renewed character notes!

I am focussing on each character separately, not solely thinking about them in terms of their relationship toward my MC, but in terms of where their heads are at. What has happened during the time jump? How did the situation at the end of book two affect them? Where do they fit in the new world? This practice in itself is great for inspiring narrative developments and plot twists. Some people have changed for the better, others for the worse, some tug on my heart strings. At least I know where to go with the narrative and character development.

Have you ever written a time jump into your narrative? Did it work? Did it prove harder than imagined?


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

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Getting Back to Pen and Paper

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When I first started properly writing, 12 *cough* years ago, I always used pen and paper. We had a PC in our family home, and I had access to computers through college, but at home I was vying for PC time with other family members, and at college I was cramming revision and writing essays. Pen and paper was easiest.

When I moved out at 20 with my boyfriend, now hubby, and my bestie, Charlotte, I didn’t have a PC. I would use Charlotte’s when she wasn’t using it, but again- pen and paper was easiest.

Then, laptops came into the equation. As soon as I had one warming my lap, typing took over. I would write notes, but I rarely drafted on anything other than a laptop. That remained true until very recently.

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I was suffering from a headache that only got worse from staring at a screen. I had a wave of motivation, so I couldn’t not write. I grabbed a pen and paper and knuckled down. Wow, I forgot how liberating it was to actually write words- physically write words in my handwriting. Weird, right? No, I think there is a creative link between thinking and physically writing. It is the reason why I write my notes by hand, and now the reason why I plan to draft a part of EVO Ghost by hand. I’m still a typing advocate, but when stuck, it’s pen and paper for me, and I am definitely in a rut.

Do you draft all, part, or none of your WIP on paper? Are you an avid note taker? I welcome all comments.


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Writing Out of Sequence

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The only way I could get back on the EVO Ghost drafting train was to write out of sequence. I’m not a fan of this process because anything I write usually gets cut or requires a LOT LOT LOT of editing. As I don’t plan, I find it hard to know exactly where the narrative is headed, so writing out of sequence is guesswork, and 9 times out of 10 I guess wrong. It’s hard to judge where a character’s head will be at when they arrive at that point in the narrative, and if they’d make the choices I have written into the narrative.

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So, why do it? The answer is simple- because I’m stuck. I’m contemplating a time jump, and when you write in first person present tense that is easier said then done. I need to have certain aspects in my main character’s life in place before the said time jump, so that the tranformation wont be a shock to the reader. It is proving a lot harder than it sounds in theory. My plan is to write out of sequence until I have a brain wave- yep, that’s the extent of my plan. It usually works, so I’m holding out hope.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, and what are your feelings on writing out of sequence? Any time jump advice? All comments welcome…


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