EVO Ghost, Writing and Me

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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Writing and Me

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?


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100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

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 and Me

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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Writing and Me

Mapping Out

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No, I haven’t turned plotter all of a sudden, but I am having to map out what I have already written, so I know what I have touched upon, and where I was going etc. I guess it’s plotting in reverse; starting a flow chart only after I’ve written a chapter.

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This is really really helping me with book three, EVO Ghost. I keep having mini panics about tying up loose ends, making the finale epic, and ensuring everyone has their showcase. At least with mapping out the chapters I have written, I have a visual aid of where I was intending to take the narrative, and I don’t forget any details.

As I have discussed in previous posts, I can’t plot- I just can’t. There is something about plotting that leaves my narrative stilted, and my characters unbelievable. That’s just my experience. The fun of writing for me comes from discovering the narrative as I plow on, and I find my attention wandering if I already know the ending; much like someone giving you a film to watch, but telling you the plot twist first.

Do any of you pantsers have tips and tricks for keeping your narrative on point? I’d love to hear from you.


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100% K.J Chapman, EVO Ghost, Writing and Me

WIP Update #2

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Hello! This update feels a long time coming. I haven’t posted much other than reviews, interviews, and promos on my blog of late, so I need to get back in the swing of it.

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Word Counts:

Since my last update, I have only managed a further 3.5k words on the EVO Ghost draft. I have, however, written 12k on a new idea. I took a short hiatus from EVO Ghost to have a little break from the EVO world and embark on a new journey. I’m pretty sure I will continue with the new idea at a later date, and I am thinking it might make an interesting novella. I haven’t written anything on EVO Ghost for the past fortnight due to various priorities, but I plan to end the dry stint tonight with some writing sprints.

Book Review Requests:

Another reason for my low word count is the time I have spent requesting book reviews. Researching, emailing requests, and then responding to acceptances has taken up a LOT of time. It’s all part of the fun of indie publishing, right? I was pleasantly surprised with the response I have had, and I’m keeping everything crossed that the reviewers like both EVO Nation and EVO Shift.

ARC Reading:

Yep, I’m reading two ARCs at the moment. I’m fully engrossed in both, and this is not a positive in regards to my WIP, however, it is reading bliss. I’d like to read and review both within two to three weeks, so I’m not looking to let up anytime soon. Oh yeah, I’m also reading Brandon Sanderson’s The Well of Ascension: Mistborn #2. I think I might have to shower, eat, sleep, and read at the same time to get through them all.

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Needless to say, opting out of CampNaNo was a wise move for me, but I hope to join in during November. I’m enjoying reading the blogs of those who are participating, and can’t wait to have a crack at it myself. Who knows, I may be starting my new series at the end of the year…


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#AMWRITING Instagram Promos

I am fully embracing Instagram of late. It is a great way to share promos of published works and current WIPs. I wasn’t a committed Instagrammer before, but that has quickly changed. If you’re not on Instagram- why not? It is worth having another social media platform at your disposal.

Here are my latest #amwriting promos that I have been uploading over the last week. They are snippets of my current WIP, EVO Ghost:

 

If you’re already on Instagram, or looking to join, give me a shout when you are over there. I’m happy to return the follow! KJ Chapman on Instagram.



The images and excerpts featured in this post are the property of KJ.Chapman