Father Figure

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 12 – Sunday, October 8th, 2017)

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Welcome Back! When I last updated everyone, I had sent a very early alpha/beta read to several people to review while I was away on vacation. I returned earlier this week and am ready to get back into the swing of things. I had to take a short hiatus for two days since returning so I could focus on my first novel, ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ as a few things came up (cover and final editing!); however, I squeezed in a couple of days focus on ‘Father Figure’ towards the end of the week. Below is the current week’s status:

writer

Status:  Sunday, October 8, 2017 – Week #12

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • I read all of the feedback from the alpha/beta reading team. I am very appreciative to everyone who took the time to read my draft, answer the ten primary questions, suggest areas for improvement and fix some of the grammar/spelling items I missed. Overall, it was a successful process that has definitely provided me clear direction on what I need to focus on next.
    • I broke down all the suggestions into three key areas: (1) easy fixes, (2) mid-level fixes and (3) hard fixes. By this morning, I’ve completed all the (1) easy and (2) mid-level fixes in the next version. What remains are the (3) hard fixes — approximately 20 areas that need to be thought through before I can begin any additional changes. More on these items in the area below for the upcoming week’s plans.

 

Next Steps: Plan for Upcoming Week

  • Focus on the ’20’ areas for improvement. I will map out a plan for each of the items and introduce 5 of the 20 changes next week. I will work on the other 15 the following week. My goal is to be done with the next version before October 31st so that I can send out for the next ‘beta read’ version.
  • Key ares to focus on include:
    • I’m considering rolling back from a 1998/2018 time period to a 1983/2003 time period. This allows me more flexibility in terms of character arc matching background setting — to help with a few rationale and believe-ability concerns.
    • I’m considering moving the location setting for one arc from Ohio to Mississippi. It fits better with my character arc and background setting and will help me accomplish more realistic portrayals of what’s happening.
    • Some of the background in the first few chapters needs to be condensed. It’s a bit wordy and subsequently delays me from getting to the good part of the story action in an early enough fashion.
    • Refine a few character personality issues. A few readers loved them, a few thought there were some discrepancies in personality and actions.
    • Match voice and dialogue for each character more distinctively and consistently. Some areas were very tight. Some were a little weak. A few folks thought the characters were quite alive, jumping off the page. A few thought the dialogue wasn’t as unique as it needs to be.
    • The ending was a little too rushed. It needed a few more chapters to flush out the reactions after the big climax scenes.

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • Although I’ve been through the alpha/beta read process in my first novel, Watching Glass Shatter, I learned a lot in my approach for my second novel, Father Figure. Given I rushed the last few days to leave for vacation, it all came together about as well as I’d hoped; however, it could have been better had I made some additional time to prep everyone. I should have had more clear questions and provided a stronger picture to the readers of what areas still needed work. Unfortunately, it left a few folks thinking it was a finished product, and others thought it was supposed to be error-free. Once I clarified, the process went a lot smoother. I have a good plan for the next round!
  • It’s amazing to see how people’s opinions can range on the same material. 1 beta reader loved the first 5 to 6 chapters, but thought the rest was not as good. Another beta felt the first 5 to 6 chapters moved too slowly, but highlighted the rest as fantastic. My biggest takeaway, besides agreeing that everyone is probably right, is that I have to get to the crux of what the readers liked and disliked, so I can decide what my intention is versus what actually happened in the story. I love this process. I love hearing why someone thought a particular scene was brilliant and another person felt the dialogue was off, or the setting was weak or the plot was not believable.  As a writer, it’s a challenge to apply what I hear to the direction I want to take. I am grateful for such strong and open-minded beta readers, as it has been very helpful to hear all sides and angles.
  • I’m really excited to dive into these changes next week. I have so many creative juices flowing right now, I don’t know what to do with myself!

 

Side Note: ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ is nearly complete. I will have a COVER REVEAL and LAUNCH DATE within the next week. Look for the post soon!!!

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Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah, who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she encounters a stranger who will change her life.
    • 2018 – Brianna Porter, 18, who lives in NYC, is struggling with understanding who she is.  She longs to escape her surroundings and leaves for college in Pennsylvania where she begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom she had a one-night stand, later finding herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret about her father and stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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My Novel: Father Figure (Week 11 – Friday, September 15th, 2017) – Sending to Beta Readers Tonight

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Round 1 Edits are complete. I’ve even incorporated a few pieces of feedback on the first two chapters from the beta reading team. I feel sadness over putting the novel on hiatus for two weeks, but the break will give me the energy boost when I return from vacation to power through the next phase. In the meantime, this will be the last Father Figure update until Friday 10/6. For now, I am thrilled to present Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, September 15, 2017 – Week #11

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • All grammar and spelling has been corrected to the best of my ability. I plan to step away for a few weeks and look at it again with a fresh set of eyes, as I know I’ll find a few minor updates once I’m relaxed. Those types of items will be easy to fix in Round 2 Editing.
    • I removed 5% of the pages / content, leaving me at 378 pages and 112K words. I know I have another 5% that will need to be cut to clean up excess wordiness, but I plan to wait until after beta readers have some input before I slash and burn!
    • I corrected 95% of the perspective or point of view (POV) issues that I could find. I’ll fix the remaining ones after receiving beta feedback as depending on whether I keep a few small sections, the POV issues may disappear on their own.
    • Character and setting descriptions have been enhanced and made consistent throughout all chapters.
    • It will be released to a few beta readers this evening!

 

Next Steps: Plan for Next Few Weeks

  • Vacation: 9/17 thru 10/2 – No work to be done on Father Figure.
  • Round 2 Edits (beta feedback incorporation) will occur from 10/3 thru 10/20.

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • I am looking forward to putting this out of my focus for two weeks, but I’m also looking forward to jumping right back in on 10/3 to review beta feedback and begin Round 2 Editing. I hope it only takes 2 to 3 weeks to finish this effort, as I’d like to send it to agents and the publisher in early November, pending how much remaining work I have to do with Watching Glass Shatter, my first novel. I’m really excited to think about this second one coming to a conclusion, but also shocked that it will have taken just under 4 months to dream, write and edit a ~375 page novel.
  • In October, it will be time to start thinking about novel #3. I already have ideas, but I will not let myself work on it until  Watching Glass Shatter is on on the market and the initial 30 days of advertising and sales have occurred. Anyone interested in participating in another poll again to let readers and fans pick the third novel?
  • In November, Book Reviews, Blog Tours and Interviews will be the priority for Watching Glass Shatter, but I will also prepare an outline for novel #3. While Watching Glass Shatter starts to enter normal reader mode, around 12/1, I’d like to start writing again, assuming Father Figure’s edits are complete and in final stage review with the publisher.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she encounters a stranger who will change her life.
    • 2018 – Brianna Porter, 18, who lives in NYC, is struggling with understanding who she is.  She longs to escape her surroundings and leaves for college in Pennsylvania where she begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom she had a one-night stand, later finding herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret about her father and stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 10 – Friday, September 8th, 2017)

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Did you ever have one of those weeks where things just don’t go as well as you planned? I finally had one, but it’s totally fine. It was a banner week in terms of becoming an author, but I had to split my time between Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure which meant I didn’t meet all my goals. Four of my five days this week were devoted to a holiday, returning from the short trip to LA and launching the new author website. As a result, I only had one day to work on the new novel, but I am really excited to present Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, September 8, 2017 – Week #10

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • I read thru 75% (285 of 380 pages) and edited them for all grammatical and spelling errors.
    • I marked 10 areas for content removal or reduction.
    • I cleaned up most of the point of view issues.

Next Steps: Plan for Week #11

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • Mon – Finish reading remaining 25% and correct grammar and spelling
    • Tues – Finish marking POV issues and content removal options
    • Wed – Fix POV issues
    • Thurs – Update character and setting descriptions throughout whole book
    • Fri – Remove and adjust areas of content change
  • Send first draft to 5 beta readers
  • Prepare for vacation 9/17 thru 10/1 – No work to be done on Father Figure!

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • I am behind this week, but I will finish on schedule next week. And I am excited to begin sharing it with beta readers.
  • I adore ~15 chapters in the middle where even as the author, I’m flipping pages so quickly because the suspense is killing me. Maybe it’s because I know the content, but to see what the characters go through seems really amazing. I feel like I found the right balance of dialogue and description to stop and start the thrills, it makes readers want to dive in. I could be wrong, but I think I might have done quite well in this section.

 

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Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s encounters a stranger who will change her life.
    • 2018 – Brianna Porter, 18, who lives in NYC, is struggling with understanding who she is.  She longs to escape her surroundings and leaves for college in Pennsylvania where she begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 9 – Friday, September 1st, 2017)

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I am heading out of town for a long weekend getaway feeling absolutely thrilled with the current state of this book. I am really excited to present Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, September 1, 2017 – Week #9

  • Chapters 27 thru 28
    • The goal was achieved. By Monday morning, the first draft of the book was complete at 345 pages, 28 chapters and 103K words. It felt amazing to know that I had accomplished so much in so little time (9 weeks!). I shut down the laptop by mid-afternoon to give myself off from writing the rest of the day. A break was in need… at least until I began reading it Tuesday morning. :O
  • Chapters 29 thru 32
    • My first editing step was to count the pages for each chapter. I suddenly found that while chapters 6 thru 28 each held between 9 and 13 pages, there were vast differences in the page count for chapters 1 thru 5. One chapter had 32 pages while another had 28. Unacceptable! I spent the morning fixing the outline and ultimately decided to split a few chapters in half and add in more content to balance the story. It needed to hold 50% focus on each of the two primary characters. By Thursday, I drafted an additional 40 pages so that we now stand at a fully completed first draft with 385 pages, 32 chapters and 111K words. Yes, it needs to be reduced by at least ten percent before I let anyone review it during the first beta reading phase.
  • Round 1 Edit
    • I skim-read the entire novel on Friday morning to make notes on all the physical characteristics about each character and every location or setting, verifying consistency and noting any holes.

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #10

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • When I return after Labor Day, I will begin the re-read process. Below are the steps I plan for next week:
      • Tues / Wed – Read the entire novel from start to finish to fix any grammar or spelling issues
      • Thurs – Highlight areas that are weak, e.g. candidates to cut or re-write
      • Thurs – Update character and setting descriptions throughout whole book
      • Fri – Highlight areas where the POV or Perspective is inconsistent
  • Finalize who will be the list of the first 3 to 5 beta readers
    • I will be ready to share between 9/17 – 10/1 while I’m in North Carolina and Florida on vacation.
    • If you have time to read while I’m away to provide feedback when I return, private message me on Twitter, Facebook or jamesjcudney4@gmail.com.

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • The ending is no longer in debate. As I finished writing the last chapter yesterday, I stumbled upon a hidden gem I’d left in a few previous chapters that needed to be tidied up a bit. A surge of beauty formed inside my head, leading me to write a conclusion that I absolutely adore. I might even be happy enough with it that I don’t feel the need to consider an alternative ending that would enable me to write a sequel. As much as I love these characters, I think I successfully told the whole story. But we shall see once the beta readers get hold of it.
  • I seem to find myself always saying the same two lines when describing certain character actions: (1) I have this weird affinity to explain how someone is laughing or crying, or (2) I have a constant need to say when someone sits or stands. It’s a bit funny, given it happens at least twice per chapter. I will definitely need to fix this during the editing stage. I don’t think anyone cares about those two actions that much!

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s encounters a stranger who will change her life.
    • 2018 – Brianna Porter, 18, who lives in NYC, is struggling with understanding who she is.  She longs to escape her surroundings and leaves for college in Pennsylvania where she begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns the shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 8 – Friday, August 25th, 2017)

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It’s been an extraordinary week full of intense focus and free-flowing words to the point that I nearly doubled the quantity I expected to complete this week. I’m still in a bit of shock, but the scariest part is as of this afternoon, I’ve completed 27 out 28 planned chapters. And I plan to finish writing the final chapters by Monday afternoon so that I can say the first draft is done. Don’t ask how it happened, just be glad! Without any further ado, I present to you Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, August 25, 2017 – Week #8

  • Chapters 17 thru 22
    • The goal was achieved. I actually completed the most complex portions of the novel, where all the major actions happen. It was a bit of an emotional week, living through what happened to these characters. As I was channeling the mindset when someone goes through what these wonderful extensions of my world have encountered, I found myself actually feeling depressed and excited. It’s only then that you can accept you’ve maybe dug deep enough to produce a solid story with good writing.
  • Chapters 23 thru 26
    • I wrote 4 additional chapters this week that hadn’t been planned. I’d finished my original commitment by mid-day Wednesday and decided to just “push” it, as many of you read in one of the 365 Daily Challenge posts earlier this week. These chapters were difficult, as I had to deal with the repercussions of all the drama and conflict unfolding. It’s a bit like throwing a halfway assembled puzzle into the air and finding that when it all comes falling down around you, you can see more clearly what needs to happen to finish it.
  • Favorite Line
    • One of the lines that just fell from my lips, which I hadn’t even thought of or considered during the outline, feels like a contender for my favorite one:
    • “All you’ve ever done is build a plan for my life so that you have something to regret when it falls apart. I am not the practice game for trying to figure out what you should have done with yours in the first place.”

 

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #9

  • Write chapter 28 to finish a complete first draft of the novel pre-editing. I expect it to end up at 350 pages or about 108K words. I also expect to open a bottle of champagne at dinner on Monday evening when it’s completed as a little toast to such a major accomplishment.
    • Nine (9) weeks ago you voted for the premise of Father Figure as my next novel. I had some vague ideas of what I needed to accomplish, but nothing concrete. And it took me three (3) weeks to outline and (5) five weeks to write the whole novel — only because of everyone’s faith in me. Thank you.
  • Round 1 Edit:
    • Re-read all 28 chapters and make notes for what needs to change, move or go
    • Highlight by color each of the different character and scene descriptions to ensure everything matches across the length of the novel
    • Finalize who will be the list of the first 3 to 5 beta readers
      • I might be ready to send out a few chapters to folks the day I leave for a trip to visit family in Louisiana 9/2 thru 9/5. If not then, it will be 9/17 – 10/1 while I’m in North Carolina and Florida.
      • If you have time to read while I’m away to provide feedback when I return, private message me on Twitter, Facebook or jamesjcudney4@gmail.com.

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • The ending is still in heated debate. Two people have read chapters 1 and 2. A different set of two people are the only two people who have any idea what the whole story is thus far and what I’m considering doing if it’s a single book versus a potential series. Both of those people separately advised me to write the final chapter from both perspectives, which is double the work. But it might be double the pay off, so I plan to do this on Monday before I close out the first draft. I probably won’t let beta readers see both versions, perhaps just the one that sounds the best. But at least I have a fallback plan. Thoughts?
  • I’m learning more about myself from writing this book. When Amalia encounters her first conflict, I thought about what I’d do in her situation. Then I thought about what a girl her age in that situation might do. It seems I might have a few things in common with an 18 year girl from a small Ohio town. Who woulda thunk it? Not sure what it says about me either… ugh, life is quite a paradox.
  • I gained some confidence this week. I’ve written tons of book openings, outlines, and even gotten as far as writing a third of a few novels I never actually completed, before this one. But on Monday, I will have two fully written 350+ page novels under my belt. And you know what? I’m pretty darn excited and proud that I can accomplish a goal when I set my mind to it. My writing style has improved. My voice has grown strong. My perspective on life has changed for the better. I can’t tell you how much happier of a person I am by choosing this route for the future.

 

Meryl Streep is my favorite actress, so this is me right now!

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Amalia makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Amalia, going by Molly and living in NYC, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns the shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 7 – Friday, August 18th, 2017)

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It’s been quite a busy week for this writer. I only worked three days given I took a long weekend getaway beginning Thursday morning. But the great piece of news is that I was able to complete everything I wanted to in those first three days. Without any further ado, I present to you Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, August 18, 2017 – Week #7

  • Chapters 12 thru 15
    • The goal was achieved. I have completed 212 pages and 66K words. The chapters were a little shorter than I expected, but I wrote from pure passion and memory, meaning I did not look at the outline to incorporate specific details I had assigned to each chapter. When I go back to edit next week, I’m confident the chapters will expand.
  • Chapters 16
    • I wrote 1 additional chapter this week that hadn’t been planned. It was a tough one, leading up to a major climax in chapters 17 and 18. Groundwork has been set. Suspense has been generated. Now I need to deliver.

 Next Steps: Plan for Week #8

  • Edit Chapter 12 thru 16 to match tone and voice of earlier chapters, include additional details and check repetition in words or phrases.
    • I will definitely spend a lot of time on this phase next week, as I rushed through the chapters more quickly than I normally would. But I re-read everything once, before signing off for the week, and felt they were still strong.
  • Write chapters 17 thru 22 with a target to end up in total at ~ 275 pages & 85K words.
    • I’ve doubled my work for next week, as I really want a first draft complete by 9/1. I am heading out of town for a family visit over Labor Day, where I will not do any work. I need a few days to decompress from the novel where the words will magically do their work in the background.

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • A writer’s job is to know his or her characters. It’s imperative to connect with each one, whether it’s the protagonist, antagonist or a supporting role. Sometimes it is easy, especially when a writer builds people (s)he already knows into a few of the roles. Sometimes it is difficult when you are writing for a character you have little familiarity with. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but the 4 characters who I am spending the most effort on are all women. They have different age ranges, come from different backgrounds and live in different worlds than I do. I have some research to do. I suggested to someone a place we needed to go from some research next week and got a flat answer of “No. I’m not going there with you.” Quite amusing. Anyone want to dance on the dangerous side with me? 😛
  • I have completely changed my mind on the ending. I’m still battling the question of if this is a series or single book. If it’s a series, I know the ending in this installment. If it’s a single book, I’m gonna need to think a lot more than planned. The depth in three of the characters has made me realize I cannot go with my original plan. Something changed along the way and I want to do something positive to help them. It can’t all be good and it can’t all be bad. Someone has to live with the consequences of a bad decision, right?

 

How do you feel about the progress? Do you want to hear more about the plot or the characters? Are you curious to read a few chapters? I sent the first two chapters to two friends to read this week and am looking forward to their feedback. Scary but exciting!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Amalia makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Amalia, going by Molly and living in NYC, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns the shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 6 – Friday, August 11th, 2017)

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Writing a book runs the range from easy to difficult. At times, the words are exactly as captivating as you need them to be. In others, the words feel more stilted than one could possibly imagine. First drafts are only meant to be the initial release of the story in your head. I encountered both extremes during the course of the week, but in the end, it all came together quite nicely. I’m still baffled how six weeks ago this was barely a figment of my imagination and now here we are with 40% of the first draft written. I present to you Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, August 11, 2017 – Week #6

  • Research
    • Let’s not discuss.
  • Chapters 1 thru 6
    • Editing went well. I cleaned up a few grammar issues. Dropped in a few connections for surprises in later chapters. Overall, there are moments in the story where I find myself a bit teary and at others excited. I should be ready to share two chapters with the beta team before the end of August.
      • Describing the onset of a winter blizzard in the deep fields of a small Ohio town has been intense. But some of the descriptions I’ve included feel like a few paragraphs of my best writing.
  • Chapters 7 thru 9
    • I committed to drafting three chapters this week and I’m happy to say I met the goal. I’m finally back down with a count around twelve pages per chapter, which is what I had planned. I feel good about not being too wordy, and I’m inclined to think the initial chapters have some backstory and/or descriptions which might be pushed forward a bit to balance out the page count and keep the interest in the action growing more fervent.
  • Chapters 10 thru 11 (BONUS!)
    • Ever the Type A personality, I wrote an additional two chapters this week. I have not edited them, just let the words fly from my fingers to the characters on the laptop screen. I’ll decide next week if that was a good idea or a bad one based on how well written they seem after a few days distance. But… it was important to push myself if I want the entire first draft complete sooner than the original plan.
      • TIP: Sometimes writers get caught up in details along the way. I wanted to name a specific music artist or song in a paragraph, but needed to research the perfect option. I had a choice: (a) take 15 minutes to find it and get lost down a rabbit hole where I lost the momentum or (b) add a “____” to be filled in later. Always add the line, you will get more done in the end.

 

 Next Steps: Plan for Week #7

    • Edit Chapter 7 thru 11 to match tone and voice of earlier chapters, include additional details and check repetition in words or phrases
    • Write chapters 12 thru 15 with a target to end up in total at ~ 210 pages & 65K words
      • At that point, I’ll be 55% complete with a first draft
      • At that rate, with 5 more weeks to finish the remaining 45%, a first draft needs to be complete by 9/16 when I leave on vacation. It will sit untouched for 2 weeks to let my mind process in the background, then I can begin editing in early October upon my return home.

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • Building characters is an incredibly fun experience. I’m not certain how other writers embrace the process, but for me, each one lives and breathes with me throughout the day. Let’s take Amalia, the main character, as an example. I know what she looks like and I watch in my head as she walks around a college campus.
    • I know the little flip she does with her curly hair
    • I notice the way the wind carries her perfume across the library entrance
    • I knew the adrenaline markers across her body when she’s afraid of the guy who appears to be following her
  • The campus is remarkably similar to where I went to school merely because I need a setting. I’ll adjust those particulars later as the visualization is about how Amalia behaves. She has a few distinguishing features (no reveals here!) and in order to convey them throughout the story without constantly repeatedly saying the same thing, I have to imagine
    • how her body would walk
    • how it would sit
    • how it would interact when she was intimate with someone
  • I’m not one for fluff, so I need to have a strong sense of not only how her body moves, but how she feels about the way it moves. When I add in the backstory of her relationship with her mother and father, it gets more complicated.
    • what words did her mother use to teach Amalia about femininity
    • how did her father handle his daughter becoming a woman
    • what happens when she goes from small town to college campus.
  • These are things that, at least for this writer, don’t just flow out of my head and onto the page as I’m writing. I need those details worked out in advance, incorporated from the outline into the book at the proper time. It’s a rather organized approach, but at the same time, I feel it brings depth to the character whereas if I just wrote it as I thought of the sentiments, it may not feel strong enough for what I’m trying to accomplish.
  • On a scarier note, I stumbled upon a few potential changes to an event that I’d planned to occur in a chapter I wrote this week. When you have a character with more than one love interest, you need to be careful to clearly show why (s)he would feel attracted to each potential suitor. Though I’d summarized a half page about each relationship in the outline, it didn’t feel distinct when I wrote it. I wasn’t convinced that I’d built a proper explanation or desire to distinguish what each love represents. I have some re-thinking to do which at first made me nervous, but now I realize it will help set up the conflict in a way that readers might not even be sure who they want to be together. I love a good challenge!

Are these tidbits confounding you? Raising and peaking your interest? Or you’re just waiting until I have something more real to share? Thanks for listening.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Amalia makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Amalia, going by Molly and living in NYC, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns the shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.