First Cup of Coffee – May 27, 2024

Happy 10th Anniversary to THE MARK OF THE TALA! I’m talking about why that was a milestone book for me and the journey from crack ho to the rise of #Romantasy. Also being an intuitive writer and how that impacts my process, especially revision. And balancing a traditional publishing career with an indie one.

Pantsing Doesn’t Mean Lots of Revising

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re talking about our revision process.

I’m running behind, as I seem to eternally be doing these days, and posting this a day late, but I feel it’s important to talk about my revision process to dispel a huge myth about intuitive writers. I feel strongly enough about making this case that I’m using the term “Pantsing,” which I almost never use.

(As an aside, the reason I don’t like that term is that it comes from “to fly by the seat of your pants,” which implies a lack of control that I think comes from the pre-plotting end of the spectrum. Writing without outlining beforehand does not mean having no control of the story. It also doesn’t mean that intuitive writers don’t plot. All writers plot; otherwise there wouldn’t be a story. The difference lies in whether we determine the plot before writing or during it.)

A consistent message I hear from those espousing pre-plotting is that writing a book without creating an outline first leads to many blind alleys, cutting huge chunks of prose, and spending even longer on revision. While this can be true of some writers – which is fine! Figure out what your process is and own it, I always say – this is not true of me.

Intuitive writers like myself have often internalized story structure. We know how to write the novel without resorting to external guideposts like an outline. I also think that I draft faster by writing intuitively, by submersing myself in the creative flow of the subconscious. It takes me typically 55-60 working days to draft a novel of 90-100K words. Then I spend about 14 working days revising. I typically cut 1-2K words in revision and add ~10K.

Explaining everything I do in revision would take longer than I have in this blog post, but in essence, my process is this:

  1. Write the story beginning to end, skipping nothing, never jumping ahead.
  2. Revise from the beginning. This involves:
    1. layering in foreshadowing and other clues for stuff I figured out along the way and about the ending.
    2. smoothing character arcs
    3. removing extraneous information, red herrings, doorways to routes I didn’t follow, tweaking word choices.
  3. When done, I read out loud one more time to catch any consistency errors or clunky wording.


And that’s all she (I) wrote!

Overthinking Your Writing? Be Like Jackson

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is: How do you stop overthinking your writing? The accompanying photo is of Jackson, who makes a practice of overthinking absolutely nothing. I’m tempted to say “Be like Jackson” and end the blog post here.

But, seriously, the key to not overthinking your writing is … stop overthinking.

I know that’s not helpful, but it is an important skill to acquire. Conversely, it’s important to purge yourself of the idea that thinking is necessary for writing. As an intuitive writer, I do everything I can to maximize intuition and minimize conscious thought. The more I think, the slower I write. I know this about myself, but there’s a pervasive idea out there that writing comes from thinking.

This gem was going around Twitter/X the last couple of days:

We won’t dive into how much of a dipshit this guy is, including a misguided impression that writers are somehow not into opportunities that allow us to pay the bills. What’s key here is that he believes you have to have an outline before writing, that you have to THINK it out. Spoiler: you do not. I am living proof of it and a total advocate for being that opportunist. Let the story come to you.

Something to keep in mind is that overthinking is a form of perfectionism, which can be paralyzing. Therefore, any techniques for killing perfectionist tendencies will help here. Basically let go of expectations and the need to make the story perfect as you’re writing.

Relax. Let it flow.

Be like Jackson.

First Cup of Coffee – February 2, 2024

A deep(ish) dive into my process today, to give an idea of how far down the intuitive writer spectrum I am. Also more on nuking the idea that slower = higher quality, and quieting the conscious mind to liberate the subconscious.

Pinch Points: WTF Are They??

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is: Pinch Points or small turning points. We’re asking each other if we plan them, use them as foreshadowing, or just let the story flow?

So, I read KAK’s excellent post from yesterday explaining WTF “Pinch Points” are and how she uses them. Spoiler: yes, she plans them out.

Cannot possibly be a spoiler for anyone who knows anything about me: No, I plan them, I might use them?


I swear, I need to start adding topics like “when you’re intuitively letting the story flow, how do you…. ” Except then I get stuck because there’s just not a whole hell of a lot to say about writing intuitively. Yep, here I am, letting things flow. Still flowing. How will it end? I have no idea!


Amusingly enough, however, what KAK explained in her detailed analytical post is pretty much the exact scene I wrote yesterday in my current manuscript: ONEIRA.

(If you haven’t been following the podcast, ONEIRA is a Totally New Thing – new world, new magic system, unrelated to anything I’ve written so far. I’ve been calling it the book I’m not supposed to be writing – it fell on me from out of the sky and insisted on being written – but all of my friends have finally convinced me that clearly I am supposed to be writing it, so I’m trying not to say that anymore.)

It’s almost eerie, how the scene I wrote yesterday matches exactly what KAK says the pinch point with the villain is supposed to do. But I didn’t plan it at all. In fact, this scene introduced a new POV character and a new plot element, totally unexpected. But this is how I write and how I write this book in particular. It’s insisting on doing all sorts of things that I haven’t done before and don’t expect and I’ve just surrendered and am going with it. Which actually makes this project really fun, because I’m just letting it be whatever it is and not worrying about reader expectations or where it will fit in the marketplace.

All of this is to say that we all have our own process. My mantra: figure out what your process is and own it.

KAK loves to geek out on analysis, minutely controlling her stories down to pinches.

My stories just go their own way and I try to cling to the saddle.

It’s all good.

(Except sometimes I end up writing something I’m not supposed to be writing….)

First Cup of Coffee – December 13, 2022

I’m delving into my worldbuilding process a bit today, trying to shed some light on how I combine the intuitive aspect with research, while minimizing rabbit holes. Also how Google search is shit for this kind of thing.

The Intuitive Approach to Avoiding Writing Repetitive Scenes

Yesterday I took Kelly Robson on the mandatory-for-all-creatives pilgrimage to see Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio. This was my fourth time and as shimmeringly inspirational as the first time.

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is how to avoid writing repetitive scenes.

I confess not much springs to my mind on this topic, probably because I’m much more of an intuitive writer than an analytical one. Even in revision – arguably the most analytical phase of my process – I don’t pay a lot of attention to whether scenes are repetitive. I do notice repetitive information, or emotional exchanges that have happened before. But so far as analyzing for goal, motivation, and conflict (GMC) – which is where this topic seems to have sprung from, regarding questions to ask to cull out repetitive scenes – that’s just not how I think about story.

So, how DO I avoid repetitive scenes? I think it helps that I’m a linear writer. I write from beginning to end and thus the story trajectory is always in my mind. That’s part of holding the thread to me.

It also helps to approach the story from a character-driven perspective. This is part of what people are getting at with GMC – it’s an analytical lens on character. If you’re an intuitive writer, like me, you’ll want to be in the flow of the character’s thoughts, emotions, and personal journey. Sometimes they might regress, as our growth isn’t always linear, but those steps back before the moving forward again can be important to the story.

Finally, probably the most analytical I get, I look at each scene as I’m revising and pay attention to what it’s accomplishing in the overall story. What aspects of the plot is it advancing? What questions are being asked and answered in the scene? How does this deepen or strain the relationships between the characters. Occasionally I’ll have two scenes doing more or less the same thing, and then I might consolidate them – or tweak the later one to be adding something new and different.

One thing I think is really important to keep in mind – especially in the face of the GMC/analytical types, who tend toward making a clean (and therefore somewhat sterile) formula for the story structure, to my thinking – is that not every scene has to “advance the story.” This is especially true in genre writing/escapist fiction where some of the story is there for the sheer joy of it. There is nothing wrong with having parts of the story exist entirely for sensual delight. Even in the most rollicking plot, we sometimes need a bubble of space to breathe, to relax a moment, for the characters to remember what they’re fighting for.

In fact, don’t we all?

First Cup of Coffee – May 30, 2022

On balance, dealing with Parkinson’s disease and problematic food additives. Also thoughts on being an intuitive writer and ways of discovering the answers to mysteries in my stories – or not!

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

I’m laughing because I said it wrong didn’t I epic fantasy romance I can’t ever decide what I write. Ah today is Monday may Thirtieth Memorial day here in the Us. Ah, a lot of people asked me if I was taking today off but I took last Monday off I mean granted, it was like a mental health day but um, no, not taking today off almost done with this freaking book. You guys. So yeah I um. Made it through the climactic battle scene. Um, at the I wanted to say at the end the climatic battle scene that happens at the end the culmination of the four book series. Um. Yeah, on Friday and I can’t remember how many I think I just did like my 2000 words. Yeah I did like 2055 I’m at 91.5 k so I have a little. Little bit more to do to tie it up digging bodies out of the rubble as it were that should absolutely be a beat I should do my own set of beat sheets. Now I shouldn’t have said that because now you guys are going to say yeah that be great. We want that who knows if I’ll ever do that and I’m such an intuitive writer that I don’t really think in those terms but I I guess I do know that this is my digging bodies out of the rubble phase. And then my epilogues so somewhere none words to go maybe I could finish those today and tomorrow certainly by Wednesday and finish this revision and then the out loud proofing.

Now. So so yeah, big big denouement as it were but I’m feeling pretty good about it. There is one mystery I haven’t solved. Oops and and I was not going to do it because I thought oh well do we have to have an answer to this and then when I was talking about coming close to finishing I was working with Darynda online and she goes oh I can’t wait to find out x I was like well shit. Guess I need to answer x I don’t really know what the answer is and see for me the way I write the den one of the real downsides of being an intuitive writer is that I can’t just pick a thing and have that be it. Um. I ah I have to discover it. It’s it’s like that. There’s an actual answer out there. There’s a truth out there I want to believe but I have to find it I can’t just assign it a thing. I know that probably sounds silly since it’s my book. But it’s the way it is. Yellow jacket coming into the hummingbird feeder. There. Not a honey bee honey bees would be welcome. Not yellow jackets it went and away again then it was foiled. If you didn’t know this if you have hummingbirds and you have Hummingbird feeders one way to foil the ants and the yellow jackets is to put vaseline like on the landing surfaces. You know you’d like. Don’t put on the holes but you put on the other landing surfaces and the crawling surfaces and. It repels those unwelcome invaders happy home tips here at first cup of coffee.

So so yeah, um, oh oh I was gonna say about that discovering the ending. For example, if you haven’t read The Orchid throne cover your ears for a moment because this spoils the ending. Or or leaf I’m sorry I know it’s only 5 minutes into the podcast. But um, but if you have read the or it’s own or if you don’t care about being spoiled last chance I did not know what Lia’s true nature was until the very end. I knew she had a secret that she was hiding but she was hiding it even from me and and ironically enough I was with Darynda at the rwa convention in Denver we drove up together and we roomed together and we got there a couple days early to do like writing retreat. Which was fun and we would like walk over to the public library and sit over there and write and and and I drove her crazy I drove her mad all week because I couldn’t forget how to finish the freaking book. And I was really trying to finish it before the convention started. But um, so she was trying to help me brainstorm what the answers would be I’ve probably told this story before but I think it’s funny because she um. I mean we kept talking about it and talking about it and I was explaining the things and she’s like well could it be It’s this could it be. It’s that could it be this other thing got something my eye there. We go cat here and. Some of them I really wanted to take because they were like some great ideas I was like oh that’s a great idea I should make it be that but I couldn’t just make it be that during this so good at coming up with ideas and then finally finally. I guess this isn’t all that spoilery because I’m not saying what it is finally I realized what it was what her secret was and and I told Doinda I was like thank you so much you you’re amazing I love you. Thank you for coming up with me and she gives you this look and she’s like Jeffe that is not even close to any of the things that I suggested I’m like that bar doesn’t matter.

Ah, so um I did have a good weekend I did have a very relaxing weekend. Ah I was very grateful to past Jeffe. Because I realized on Saturday morning that I had made an appointment like a month ago for Sunday morning to go up and get a massage treatment from my favorite therapist up at Ten Thousand Waves and so I went up yesterday morning and did that and it was. Delightful. It was really good. I was really tense was comes a shock to all of you I’m sure. Um, and now I’ve got my ah laundry list of things that I need to do to ah improve my. Flexibility, especially this upper back and my hip flexers he is like I said what they’re really tight and he says you need to do the work to keep them flexible I was like damn it I need to get back into yoga. My favorite yoga teacher has finally opened up a brick and mortar studio again. All of these great. Um I know people get mad if you say post pandemic because pandemic’s still going. But at least it’s um, opening up again, right? What can we call it call it. Um I don’t even know. Um, anyway it and it’s funny I think I told you guys when I got that body scrub like a month ago. Yeah, maybe almost 2 ah, you know she said I took a lot of dead skin off of your arms I’m like I know. Oh. That’s why I needed a body scrub and the the treatment I had yesterday is called a nose to toes and it’s it’s amazing if you’re in Santa Fe and can get up to Ten Thousand Waves which I recommend um, get this nosetoose treatment but it’s exfoliating and. Body work and hot oil nirvana so so he showed me the exfoliating gloves and he said look this is all the dead skin that came off even though because I soaked for an hour first even though your skin was wet was like so my skin is dry. It’s like I feel like. During the pandemic. It’s like I totally fell apart in ways that I didn’t mean to and so but that was wonderful and then I stopped by Megan’s house and got vases.

Getting ready to do flowers for the wedding next weekend very much looking forward to those festivities and I got out my spring clothes which I feel like well it is way too late I need to get better about doing that sooner. April felt so busy April of may. Maybe it’s just like having the conference done is making all the difference in the world but it didn’t take me all that long. It just took me a couple of hours um put away my winter clothes get out the spring close but I’ve made myself a reminder to do it at the beginning of April next year because Hello Hummingbird I have all of these really great spring clothes that are made that are springy looking but made for cooler weather and if you’re on video you’ll see I’m wearing my one of my sweaters that I got out. Because it is cool this morning so I’ll still have a chance to wear those things I’m sure that’s why I get for living at high altitude. But I wish I’d gotten them out sooner. So ah I need to. Be more Johnny on the spot with that. Ah, that first year of pandemic it was like I never I didn’t do one of them. It’s like I never got out my winter clothes or something but they noticed a thing so I know like there’s the whole Marie Kondo deal where you’re supposed to get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy. Ah, one of the things I do when I change over my closet is to get rid of stuff that I won’t worn and another rule I heard a long time ago I think my mother told me this one but I don’t know where she got it. It’s like if you haven’t worn anything in a year you should get rid of it um aside for like for you know like special occasion clothes and that doesn’t really work either. But I noticed this time that I do have like ah a mental expiration date. On some of my clothes because I had several things in there that I’ve been keeping for admittedly a very long time I mean a long time people I am not a ah person who gets rid of things easily. And there was this one dress that’s probably at least twenty years old I’m I’m not sure exactly what you’re but I’ve loved love love loved it and I’ve kept it all this time and this time when I got it out I looked at it and I was like ooh I had that instant o response.

Like why would I why am I keeping this stress. Um, so I did get rid of a few things like that. So several things that I have loved and kept for a very long time. So I don’t know what what changed there I certainly noticed and I think I’ve mentioned this before that I had a. A lot more warm weather clothes and I have cold weather clothes and I’m not exactly sure why that is although I fixed that this year and then I bought a whole bunch of stuff but I cut out this dress. My little dolphins I desired was a summer dress. So that’s. Now so it was nice. It was really fun to rediscover all of these things. It’s um, the getting out of the summer clothes is you know, not only a space saver thing to you know like put away the stuff that’s not appropriate for the season. But it’s also a rediscovering of the wardrobe because i. Had all these things I was like I forgot I owned this I totally forgot about this thing. So so yeah, that was really really great and I baked a blueberry pie I know one of the things we’re discovering. With David having Parkinson’s is that the neurophysiology because of course parkinson’s is where you’re not making enough of the transmitter you’re not making enough of the dopamine and he has to supplement. With external sources right? That’s the medication but he’s incredibly sensitive to any kind of food additives. Um, which are in just everything like even if you get the organic stuff. It’s like. We don’t even know what it is and you know and interesting in the us they don’t have to list what those things are because it’s considered to be proprietary and if it’s not regulated by the Fda. They can just do it so like colors or flavors that they do to enhance the product. Ah, they have an effect and I’ve heard you know parents of children who are on the spectrum or who have other kinds of it. It does seem to be you know, like neurological stuff that’s affected. You know they have to get really incredibly careful about those kinds of additives you know and I’ve heard you know like there was a whole thing about red dye number 3 being bad but there’s also all of these hidden things that end up making you feel bad and you don’t know why.

And when you have somebody who is reliant on a very delicate balance to feel good like David is it just it. It’s become just too much of a risk because it can throw off his medication for days if he gets something wonky so we are. Really try and get good about making everything from scratch at home. Um, which means not eating out so much not so much takeout although if we can get him really solid if we can get him really balanced then we can do some of these things. Um. Because it it but it has to be a single excursion. Our problem is is that we tend to do one excursion and then we go on a rampage so he had got this pie for me. I think I mentioned this before last Sunday when I was eating my feelings and it was a no sugar added pie which I you know because I’m trying not to do added sugars right? and but it had other shit in there and it threw him off for like three days so yes so I’d said you know what I should just. Bake a pie if we really want to have a pie I should bake one. It’s not that difficult actually baking pies is quite easy. So he reminded me about it yesterday afternoon and yeah so I baked a blueberry pie and oh my god you guys. It’s so good. It was delicious and it does have sugar in it. But I figured out. It’s twenty five grams of sugar in a slice of pie and I’m trying to stay below one hundred grams of sugar a day additional sugar. So so actually that was fine and I think I could decrease the sugar I think I could make that recipe with less sugar because it. Blueberries were sweet and yeah, so so yeah, that was great. Um Saturday I did a lot of hanging out and reading and weeding of the garden if you could see it I think it looks a lot better. You might not be able to tell. But. Yeah, got a lot stuff done in the garden and some like light chores done around the house that sort of thing so it was very relaxing weekend. So um, so yeah, I’m it’s nice to be back on a more even keel I very much appreciate all of you sending me nice notes and Megan Ciana Doidge

Bought me something at the farmer’s market email task for my mailing address a couple other people have sent me nice things and I I appreciate you guys. It’s it’s good to know that the support is out there. Um. You know I had a number of people invite me to to dump a rant or vent and I didn’t take advantage a whole lot of that mostly because if I didn’t want if I didn’t have to be dealing with stuff if I didn’t want to be thinking about it or if I didn’t have to be. Talking about it not putting this well am I you understand what I mean right? if I didn’t have to be directly dealing with it I didn’t want to think about it is what I am trying to say ah but you all are you all are wonderful I appreciate the the community that I have. Um, yeah, so I’m going to get to work and get this book finished and so on and so forth I hope that you guys all have a wonderful week. Many of you in the us anyway are on holiday today. So I hope it’s full of the holiday ish things that you would like it to be and I will talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye bye. Or goodbye. It doesn’t want to go.

First Cup of Coffee – March 1, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. It tastes a little different this morning. Maybe that’s just me I know I don’t have covid now anytime somebody says that they taste something. Taste funny. It’s like all of you lost your sense of smell and taste. It’s co today is Tuesday March first and it is mardi gras woo happy mardi gras um yes, I’ve been to various kinds of merit Mardi Gras um my mom lived in New Orleans for a while and so I’ve been to. Um I’ve actually never been there on fat tuesday on the Tuesday itself I’ve been there for leadup I’ve also attended Mardi Gras type things in Memphis went to um. Ball when I was in college and it was fun. So I know it’s um, different sorts of festivals and other parts of the world in Netherlands and italy it’s carnival. So if you are on video. You will see I am wearing my enormous ginormous Mardi Gras earrings that are masks 1 on either side I guess I could have put on beads I didn’t put bes on purple green and gold are mighty gra colors. So. So yeah, a little bit of mardigra festivizing here I do have tons of Mitiggra be’s not nearly as many as I used to and no I never showed anyone my tits so that’s a thing for those of you who don’t know a us tradition. When the floats go by the the boys on the floats will yell out show us your tits and girls will lift up their shirts some of them and show their their breasts to get like the really good beads and a friend of mine pointed out who is a detective in New Orleans he was like. Don’t show those yahooos your breasts when you can go buy that string of beads like the really good beats the really good ones. You know you could go buy it nanny store along here for like ten twelve dollars like isn’t it worth more than that I was like huh.

It’s a good point. I was going to say something else but I will so.

Ah, so yeah I did not write yesterday I just did release stay things I was as you guys know if you listened yesterday I was feeling very empty brained and I’m perkier today. So we’ll see I need to now get into the business of. Reorienting my brain back into thinking about The Storm Princess and the Raven King tying up Heirs of Magic I guess I should say that release day yesterday went fanabulous. You guys are awesome. Wonderful. You know, additional sales on top of the preorders I’m I’m very happy I also anticipate it will go on this week 1 thing that we talk about a whole lot and I know I’ll come back to storm princess because I did want to talk about release day stuff. Especially if you’re indie is because when we get to choose what day we release on is there’s all this debate of what is the best day to release books if you’re traditionally published books come out on Tuesday and so. You guys may or may not know this. But the reason that traditionally books come out on Tuesday is because The New York Times bestseller list comes out on Wednesday and which means that they would go to press on Tuesday night or Tuesday afternoon so they would count sales up through Monday. So the publishers started releasing books on Tuesday because that gave the books a full week of sales before the New York Times counted them. But best seller list. That’s why Tuesday that’s why Tuesday is the magic publishing day I think it’s funny. You know like how the how the tail ends up wagging the dog on these things. My nose has been inching lately. Doesn’t that mean that like someone’s giving you a gift or something I could ever keep track of the superstitions. Um, yeah, so so that’s why and now we know that the New York Times best seller list is even more a combination of. Black magic smoke and mirrors and sleight of hand because there are books that how do I put this. How do I say this delicately maybe by not saying it delicately at all. Ah, there is certainly exchanges of favors if not money.

For books to be placed on the bestseller list because the publisher wants them there regardless of sales if you’re looking at it from a purely numbers perspective. Those numbers are from particular bookstores. So The New York Times bestseller list counts books sold in bookstores I don’t know how they’re doing ebook sales since didn’t they add it or maybe it’s Usa today that added ebooks. But so like even counting just paperbooks. It wasn’t even all paperbooks. It was paper bookss at particular bookstores and and I know this because when not back when I lived in Laramie Wyoming I had a very good friend who was a manager at the local independent bookstore and she worked very hard to get that bookstore to be. 1 of the bookstores whose sales counted towards New York Times bestseller list in order to support one of the Wyoming authors Cj box. So so you know what’s interesting. It’s always been very selective very very much. Picking and choosing only particular um venues books and so forth. So if you’re self publishing. There are some people who will release on tuesday if they’re really trying to hit a list I’m really am not persuaded that it makes any difference. Hit a list. Not just for the sake of hitting the list and that’s something I notice a whole lot with self publishers is that that we can take these things that are hallmarks of success and kind of um, put the cart before the horse as it were. So something like um, like 1 hallmark of success is selling enough books to hit a bestseller list. So now there are all of these people who’ve reverse engineered it and figured out ways to hit a bestseller list so they can have those letters and say Usa today. Usat bestseller because then it gives them the hallmark of success but you didn’t actually get there because of the success of the books you just picked this thing another one I’ve noticed is people commissioning. This is funny. Commission fan art and it’s like well fan art is art that fans of the books create because they love the books and so it’s a great hallmark of success right? when somebody’s so inspired by your books that they create art about it. So.

Some of these self-publers are going out and commissioning paying artists to create what they call fan art but it’s not actually fan art so you know it’s all of these things where you sort of create this window dressing the appearance of success in order to be successful. You know and I do get that there’s you know some of that magical thinking and manifestation realization of the um you know like dressing for the job. You want to have kind of thing but and I’m not saying. That people should do those things but I think don’t make don’t mistake it for anything but what it is so other than that if you’re self publishing then the question becomes where do you. What day. Do you publish on for maximal success and and kind of the answer is we don’t know it doesn’t seem to matter I try not to publish on Tuesdays because all of the trap books are published on Tuesdays each week and so there just tends to be a glut at the same time. You know like a high tide floats all boats. You know, maybe there’s something to that to being on Tuesday this time I published on the twenty eighth because on a Monday because it was the very last day of February and I wanted that Amazon many. A month earlier right so if I had published today instead of yesterday then I would have gotten the money for that book as it is I’ll get this at the end of April if I’d published today I would have gotten it at the end of may so it’s a significant difference for me so far as. Money flow. So yeah because I was behind on the book I picked the very last day of February that I could and made it whoo. So so that’s awesome. But now I’m interested to see. Because I think normally I would not have picked a Monday and yesterday was a very very quiet day I know a lot of people are staying off of social media because of the war in Ukraine. Um, it’s just it’s been a lot and the people who are online are paying attention to that and not to other things. So yesterday felt very quiet as far as release days go but I’ve noticed already today I’ve noticed already today that there have been some more people popping up and congratulating me on the release of gray magic.

And I’m interested to see if like some of those usual, you’ll like where people do the weekly roundup of releases if some of those pick it up today because a lot of people just do those on Tuesdays and pick up all the books both tred and self published for the week um so maybe that will create a nice tale for this book which is definitely something we want. We want to keep those sales up for the the entire week also and you’ve heard it here. Um, the first book. Dark wizard is going to be a Kindle daily deal on Friday Amazon offered that to me so that’s pretty awesome. So I’m really going to try to keep that momentum going this week and yeah it was great time and on their part I think they may have been watching. Pre-orders on gray magic I mean that makes sense doesn’t it. So maybe that is the 1 thing about Amazon for as much as we bitch about them is that Amazon is very invested in selling books and so they they help us sell books and that’s. Kind of an awesome thing that they are running these algorithms all the time and looking at stuff and looking at how to boost sales. So um, yeah, so that’s all my stuff on release I’m interested to see how it goes this week um you know it is a funny time and I think we’re all very concerned. Um, so it goes right? So yes, now I need to get my head out of release of great magic. Of bonds of magic I need to start thinking about strong princess on the Raven King tying up this series and how do I do that I don’t know. Um so I did this very interesting online panel yesterday. With um pro writing aid they’d asked ssu one if we would be interested in putting together a panel and I handed the task off to Lexi Chantel who listens hi lexii Alexe did an amazing job. She ended up with me and Mary Robin at Koal and and I think it was great. Ah, she had asked other people and for various reasons people couldn’t do it that day it was yesterday was a strange day I don’t know whatever I was so busy doing so people couldn’t do it so it ended up being.

Just the 3 of us and Lexi did a great job of asking questions I feel like you didn’t talk about your own books in athley but that’s what you get for getting me and Mary Robinette on something is we will both talk a lot but they um. Audience was super engaged and asked great questions and it was really fun and Mary Robinette I think is very smart and and we have very different processes and so it was just interesting to to look at you know, like how she does things versus how I do things. And you know for me I think so much of it has to do with whether or not, you’re an analytical whether you take an analytical approach or an intuitive approach almost more. So I think that’s even more important than. Looking at things in terms of whether or not you are a pre-plotter or an architect versus a pancer or a gardener. Um I think whether how you approach the process of writing whether. For you. It’s an analytical thing which I think it very much is for Mary Robinette the way she describes things she um she works. She’s accustomed to working with teams because she comes out of theater. And so she actually has people read along as she stays a couple of chapters ahead but she has people read along and give her feedback on the story as she writes and she adjusts accordingly. Um, which I said gives me his It’s hard for me to imagine doing that having that. Feedback I um I want to to be in the story and I think it’s because I am an intuitive writer and it’s difficult for me sometimes when people try to get me to approach the story analytically because I just can’t um. I think that’s partly why I’m not a pre-plotter because I just you know when people ask me like well what is this character’s goal. My brain just doesn’t work that way which is funny because I’m very analytical in other ways. But as far as the creativity i’m. Very much an intuitive writer. So I feel like when I’m going moving back into the story and finding these characters again. It’s kind of a.

It feels like a process of submersion of concentrating and getting into that. So so one of the things I’m thinking about today is that the nebula finalists calls will start going out and I have already seen the list of. Finalists for this year’s nebulous and approved it and now it goes through a couple of stages of verification. But then I will probably be making some phone calls today. So which is a fun thing to do It’s definitely a perk of being president. But i. Also feel like it’s going to interfere with me sinking into this story.

That’s why um, Mary Robinette talking about working so collaboratively kind of gives me hives because all I can imagine is like having so many other voices in my head as I’m writing which she loves apparently I mean that’s that feeds her. Um I don’t want none yours voices in my head. But maybe I’m feeling southern today with ah with the Mardi Gra missing south I haven’t been to New Orleans in a while world fantasy convention is in New Orleans in November and I’m considering going. That would be nice wouldn’t it. Mema’s last time I was there might have been the RT conference in 2014, 2015 surely I’ve been there since ah I don’t know all right? well. This isn’t interesting. So um, so yeah I wish me luck getting back into the story congratulations to those of you who are nebula finalists the british science fiction awards also announced. Was it british science fiction hold on I was wondering why my counter wasn’t going up. Um, so yes, it is the british science fiction association and they they announced that yesterday nebula finalists will start being notified today and that’ll announce after. Um, I just wanted to remind you all that if you are not a nominee shortlisted a finalist if your books didn’t make this debt that is only 1 kind of recognition. Yes, it’s a hallmark of success. We’re coming back to this. You know how do you know what what are the emblems of success. What are the milestones yeah, getting nominated for awards winning an award those are those are 1 kind. They are not the only kind of having readers read and love your books. That’s the most important thing not having bestseller letters after your name not having art of your characters commissioned or. I want to say authentically generated there people receive things in different ways and do different stuff with it. So so yeah, if you are an author or other kind of artist out there and it can be.

Difficult during a award season when these awards are announced and very often. It’s the same names on these lists because those are the ones that a small community of people has decided is worthy of this particular kind of recognition. Um, don’t don’t worry about it because keep in mind that’s one community of people and it’s not It’s not everybody and it’s not the only thing so on that note. I’m going to wander off and see about getting my head back in this book and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care happy fat Tuesday.

Writing the Intuitive Way

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is as follows:

Of the 7 types of hooks, which one do you use most? The “Why” Hook. The “Character” Hook. The “Catastrophe” Hook. The “Setting” Hook. The “Contradicting Emotions” Hook. The “Inherent Problem” Hook. The “Goal” Hook.

Come on over for my take!