Good morning!! All of you look particularly beautiful today. What can I say, I’m in a great mood. I’ve finally beat *most* of the sickness I’ve had for the past week and a half, so now I can go back to important things like tweeting, blogging, reading, and, oh yeah, catching up on homework (yikes!!).
But, you know what I actually didn’t stop doing while I was sick? Writing. And even though I only wrote one short story and one (partial) scene from my WIP. I did it and that’s pretty darn amazing.
Just in case you don’t believe me, here’s my calendar (of course, I suppose I could’ve rigged that too).
My writing goals, for the most part, have been pretty simple.
- Write 500 words a day
- Write a short story a week
The butterflies represent big things accomplished. The first is when I wrote a couple chapters for various WIPs. The second is me finishing a short story (which is spooktacularly amazing). Guys, writing short stories is hard work. I deserved that butterfly.
— Patrice Caldwell (@whimsicallyours) September 18, 2014
See, hard work. (I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t find novels hard but short stories, like what do I even write about. However, I like a good challenge so that’s what this has been.)
And the little stars are for me completing my 500 word a day goal. But, as you can see, I didn’t do much writing other than that (blame the plague I had).
What the calendar doesn’t show is all the brainstorming I’ve been doing. The MS I’m writing now, though written in 1 POV, has a cast of 5 characters (including the protagonist) that really need to shine. Though I’m not a plotter I adore brainstorming and with each book I’ve written my methods improve. So, what am I doing this time?
— Patrice Caldwell (@whimsicallyours) September 15, 2014
I really do swear by it. It will change your life. If you follow it (and by following it I mean really set aside time to work on it) your characters will leap off the page. I did it with my last WIP, POSSESSION (the one that’s out with agents, cue nail biting) and everyone who has read it has said Bria’s voice is so strong. Well, her voice sucked until I found Chuck Wendig’s blog (a lifesaver!).
Excel is also a lifesaver.
I’m a visual person therefore I love charts. And, I needed something to keep track of who my characters are, what they look like, a bit of backstory, voice, weaknesses they don’t want revealed (they’re teen criminals so they would consider them weaknessess), and so forth… This is not an end all be all. I have Word documents and notebooks with more detailed information. But, when I’m writing, I often need something I can quickly pull up. Also, this helps to keep the characters separate from each other while at the same time making sure they have connections to each other.
Last but not least:
This outlining method by YA author, Kiki Sullivan is one I used for POSSESSION and am not using with my current WIP, THE EGYPTIAN JOB.
Because this post is getting kind of long, I have class in an hour, and I’m sure you’re all dying to know what my story is about (read: I really want to tell you), I’m going to direct you to my Writer Resources page where there are links to every post, video, etc…I’ve found helpful while writing.
This story is super special in that no matter how much I tried, and believe me I tried, this story refused to fit into the speculative fiction category. In other words, this is my first contemporary novel (*gasp* — the funny thing is I have another Contemp. YA in the oven). Like I always say, I’m just a messenger. My characters wanted this set in present day sans magic and so that’s what I’m going to give them. Without further ado:
THE EGYPTIAN JOB
YA Thriller/Mystery — Think the TV show, Leverage meets The Heist Society by Ally Carter
At age sixteen, Jenna Banks (the daughter of the infamous Brandon Banks) is known as one of the best, and the youngest, criminal masterminds in the Greater Boston area. At least she used to be before she broke her number one rule and quit the “family business” for good.
But leaving the criminal world proves harder than expected when she’s approached by one of the members of her “criminals anonymous” support group (the one that’s sponsored by St. Anthony’s Church). He’s been robbed and he needs Jenna’s help to get back what’s been stolen from him.
She accepts the job thinking it’ll be doing some good, however what she doesn’t realize is not only is it a trap, the man who recruited her is the notorious Backstabber–a criminal who’s been using other criminals to do his dirty deeds. Now Jenna’s identities are blown, all nine of them, and she’s forced to go into hiding. But when she discovers his next target is the Egyptian Collection at Boston’s Museum of Antiquities (the one her mom was just named director of) she decides to get revenge (and save her mom’s job) by recruiting a team unlike any the criminal underworld, and the world, has ever seen. There’s just one catch, every heist needs a grifter and to pull off this one she’ll have to recruit the best grifter she knows… Nathan Brooks, the guy who stole her heart, causing her to break her number one rule: never get emotionally attached.
Now, Jenna and her ragtag team of criminals, who only ever work alone, have two weeks to pull of the biggest job ever. If they succeed they’ll go down in criminal history. If they fail her mom’s career will be over and their next job will be breaking out of prison.
–This novel stems from my love for con artist-y books, movies, and TV shows. I started watching Leverage this summer and fell in love with the show. It was canceled after 5 seasons and I kept wanting something similar to it but found nothing. So, I thought, why not write it myself and wouldn’t it be cool if, like in the Heist Society, there were teen criminals who acted like Robin Hood-esque figures, using their criminal skills to aid those who have been wronged by wealthy or wrongful individuals and corporations.
That’s all for now. The blurb is still a work in progress, but I’m thrilled to be working on this project. It’ll be nice to work on something contemporary to challenge myself and so I don’t get SF/F fatigue. And, it’s set in Boston so it’ll be great to go into the city and do research.
Thanks for stopping by my blog; your comments are always welcome below!