RSS Feed

Category Archives: My progress

My New Website


I decided to get a website for myself with a customized domain name. I will be posting my new blog posts and all author information on the website: www.chassycheri.com. My old blog posts have been transferred over to the site as well. Thanks to the reader that are following me on this WordPress blog. Head over to that site and follow me there!

Chassy Chéri

Visit my new website: http://www.chassycheri.com

 

Advertisements

Thank You #NaNoWriMo

Thank You #NaNoWriMo

Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I finished the first draft of my WIP, Scent of Attraction. Before I discovered NaNoWriMo, my novel was at a standstill, just waiting on my computer—and in my head—to be completed. I figured, what is a better way to add 50,000 words to my novel, than to be motivated with a 2,000 daily word goal? I felt the same way when I decided to borrow book 2 and 3 for George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, a.k.a. the books that the TV show Game of Thrones is based on.

I’m used to taking my time reading books. The only time I go through books like chocolates (I like this analogy better than tissues) are those times that I read my favorite romance series of all time. Many may say, “How can you not be addicted to Martin’s books?” I was at first, but being under a deadline of 21 days to read a 700+ book and then a 1200+ book under the same conditions made me feel an aversion to pages and pages of lengthy description. Some people like detailed descriptions to get a real sense of this other world, but my analytical mind likes things short and to the point.

But I digress (I tend to do that in my blogs, don’t I?). I just want to praise the awesomeness of NaNoWriMo. I noticed that there were many people in my network that participate and was also surprised at the number of people locally that part of it. During the half way party, one of the restaurant patrons that started dining before the place was closed to the public didn’t know that there was a local group that got together for various events. She happened to be participating. One of the writers that I critique on Scribophile was also participating. So, you never know who around you is part of it.

NaNoWriMo is a great motivator with a network of people that are very supportive. This goal oriented aspect of NaNoWriMo helped stop me from going back to previous chapters to edit, and re-edit, and revise, and basically, delay my writing. I just kept writing. There are notes everywhere in my manuscript to add more info, or change a scene, or add another possible scene, but with a rough outline, I just pushed forward and wrote out each of the scenes with my points as prompts. I want to give kudos to those participants that are pansters and let their novel flow from their imaginative brains and into their fingertips. They built their novel with pure creativity alone. NaNoWriMo did bring out some of my own creativity, I deviated or added to my outline. Maybe I may use a simpler outline for next year.

I can’t wait to start from the 1st of November next year instead of 5 days in.

#NaNoWriMo Equals 50,000 Words in One Month?

#NaNoWriMo Equals 50,000 Words in One Month?

Trying to find a way to complete my novel, I looked at all sorts of tips on the internet and in e-books. I came across a few tips that are helping me, and hopefully, I will get 50,000 words in one month. The one thing I discovered that will give me the motivation to get these 50,000 words in one month is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Technically, I should probably be writing to get my target word count for the day, but I decided to take a break and catch up tomorrow. The approach that NaNoWrMo uses is a great approach to use all the time. It may be frustrating to just write and not edit in between, but unless it’s a major plot change that would need a rewrite of the chapter, writing ~1700 words a day can get you to your goal of a complete manuscript. I feel accountable to get my word count in for the day. It’s daunting to know that if I skip a day—maybe I will get my word count in today—I would have to double my word count the next day just to catch up.

Another great tip I found is to write constantly, everyday, about anything, hence, the blog (technically two blogs: this one and my mommy blog). It’s especially helpful when I get a bit of writer’s block and can’t figure out what to write next. I do have an outline, which is also a good thing to have. It’s gives me some direction and I have an idea where my story is leading. I tried to be a pantser, where I write and have the story flow out on its own, but I find that only works for me when I write blogs, like now. Sometimes I would create an outline for the blog, a.k.a. plot, but sometimes I just want to get the thoughts out of my head in the order they spew out.

Though, if I do decide to outline my blog, or in the case of my manuscript, my work in progress, I find that using Scrivener is a writer’s best friend. The software is affordable already, but if you take part in NaNoWriMo, you can get a 20% discount. The great thing about the software is organization your novel into scenes and chapters with cue cards that can display each scene outline. You can also add character sketches, setting sketches, plot information, and research items. It all stores with your manuscript for reference. It can compile your manuscript to save as different formats, including an e-book. Scrivener has helped a lot with organizing my thoughts.

When I’m not on my computer, another helpful tool is Evernote. I don’t use it for writing, but you can use it in the same fashion as Scrivener, but I find that Scrivener has more features. Evernote is available as an app on your smartphone, and this feature is valuable. There are times when I’m far away from my computer and a pen and paper approach doesn’t cut it because my handwriting is horrible and I type fast, even on the tiny touch keyboard on my smartphone—chalk it up to all texts I send to my girlfriends. I write my new ideas for a scene in my WIP on Evernote and I can access it on my computer via the cloud.

Aside from writing, a great help for any manuscript is an editing class. You can find out all the things you do wrong when you write and nip it in the bud before you write it down. Of course, old habits are hard to break, but at least you’ll know what glaring errors to look for when you go through your manuscript at the end. Some of these editing classes can be found on Groupon or from a writing association, like Romance Writers Association. Joining an association is a great way to other authors for advice. You can find a writing buddy that can give you the motivation and guilt like a workout buddy. It’s also a great way to find a critiquing partner.

And speaking of critiquing, signing up for a writing group, like Scribophile, is a great way to critique and get critiqued. Through critiquing, you can see common errors in plot, verb tense, POV, punctuation, and grammar. You can see what you want to see and don’t want to see in your own writing. And don’t stick to your genre. Explore others and sometimes you can find common elements that make a novel a bestseller. I read bestsellers and self-published works. It’s another great way to see what you want to see and don’t want to see in your own writing.

So, signing up for NaNoWriMo is a great way to get motivated to write your manuscript within the month, or at least 50,000 words of your WIP. Having a writing buddy can also guilt-motivate you to write. Hopefully, using all the tools I mentioned will help me reach my goal.

 

 

 

Putting My Imagination to the Test

Putting My Imagination to the Test

There are many romance novel related newsletters that pop up in my email—with permission, of course. It’s always good to have many resources available, from webpage design to editing to book marketing to stock images. I was lucky to see that Romance Novel Covers was having a sale on their stock images. Even before the sale, the stock images are quite affordable at $10–$15, depending on the size of the image—it is important to note that if you can afford to purchase the larger size, do it, because I made the mistake of purchasing my images at the smaller size. I can use these stock images to design my webpage or blog. More importantly, I can use these images to create my e-book covers.

So, I purchased a couple of stock images that portray each of the books in my Senses of Love series. Then, I went to work on designing a new cover for the first book, Scent of Attraction. The previous cover looked too amateur compared to the many that I see on the published books I purchase. I wanted to go for a light and fresh looking cover with some color. I liked with what I came up with. Hopefully, there’s nothing else on the cover that’s needed.

Cover for Scent of Attraction

Cover for Scent of Attraction. Stock image from RomanceNovelCovers.com

What Do I Do With My Time?


I never thought that I would be a stay-at-home mom. However, I had no choice. While I was on maternity leave, the company that I was working for went bankrupt. I decided to look on the bright side. I’m not pressured to go to work as soon as my maternity leave ends. I get to spend time with my second son and enjoy watching his toddlerhood. Since we only plan on having the two kids, I saw my unemployment as a blessing in disguise. In Canada, maternity leave is one year. I could have looked for a job once my maternity leave finished, however, the cost of daycare for toddlers under the age of 18 months is astronomical. The cost doesn’t get better after 18 months, but to start at entry level at a new company is financially straining.

So, the question I asked myself was, “What should I do with my time outside of caring for my son?” I am applying to various companies, but the job market is slow. I decided to pursue my aspirations as a writer. Reading a plethora of romance novels inspired my dream to be a writer. To do this, I realized that I needed develop skills that were outside those I learned academically. I majored in Biology and Zoology, which is far from related to writing romance—unless the novel involves a science geek, which has its possibilities. I signed up for a variety of online courses, Networking 101 through the Romance Writers Association (RWA), Self-Editing, Editing Camp through Scribendi, Microsoft Office 2010 through ITU Online, and Story Writing for Children through Write Story Books for Children. It may look odd to take a story book writing for children course for romance writing, but the basic concepts are there for writing books. The course for Microsoft Office helped improve my knowledge of software that can be useful for writing and planning my novel.

I was surprised with two particular courses. The networking course showed me the great potential social media has for marketing your book. Being introverted, I hate the concept of selling. The networking course revealed that subtly can work. Just get your brand known and recognized. The other course that surprised me was editing camp. I am still working through it but I have learned a number of new things.

The main obstacle for me is time management. So far, I go through the courses, network, and write my novel after everyone goes to bed. But, this doesn’t leave me with much sleep. There are also distractions like TV and housework that do not help. I did find a little something helpful, late night cafés that have internet access. So, on evenings like today, I head to the nearest late night café and write this blog. Right after I post this, I will work on my novel. So, until my next post . . .

Book 1 Blurb


I’ve heard that if you have a little blurb summarizing what the book is about, it helps when you get writer’s block. It also helps to keep the book going in the right direction. Here’s a draft summary of what book 1: Scent of Attraction is about.

 

Charlotte Emery has a problem with her nose. It dictates her life but she doesn’t know it. She doesn’t want to take a possible romance with her textpal, Max, to the next level for fear that she smell something amiss and taint that relationship.

Max Roberts feels a great connection with Charlotte and wants to take it to the next level but he doesn’t want to blur the lines between business and pleasure. When they finally meet in person, sparks fly.

Things go well at the beginning, but then her nose gets in the way. Usually, her nose wins. This time her heart’s declaring war.

 

I also have a temporary cover to keep me in line:

scent-of-attraction-filler

Let the writing continue :)!

Networking 101


I am taking an online course with RWA University on the RWA website. It’s taught by the wonderful Catherine Bybee. I love her books and I am delighted to see that she was teaching the course. I can’t wait to learn as much as I can to help boost my online presence. I’ve already started updating my Facebook profile and added a Facebook page for my pen name.

Next on the list of things to do is to continue writing this first book. Ideas keep floating in my head about Charlotte’s other friends and how their story will develop. Even though I have gain some free time since my toddler is now sleeping through the night, I seem to flit from many projects. Since I’ve been out of work (due to my employer going bankrupt while I was on maternity leave), I started a small home business for making pocket squares. On top of that, I’ve taken online courses from web design, to Adobe Photoshop, to Microsoft Office software, and then to author tools like the one mentioned before. And my other favourite distraction is the release of many new books from my favourite authors. Adding social media networking is just icing on the cake. However, they do say that the best way to write as an author is to continue writing in any form, and that would include blogging. I even try to dabble in some critiquing through Scribophile.

So far, I have 16K words and I’m on Chapter 4. Due to all the distractions, I keep rereading the earlier chapters to see where I think I’m going with the story. Hoping I can figure out a better schedule and efficient time management strategy so that I can get this book out of my brain by the end of the year!

%d bloggers like this: