Isolation

As with many of you, the quarantine and lockdown many of us have found ourselves in is putting our emotional teeter out of wack. I’m still working my day job from home, so I’m stuck in one room now, while at the office I wandered around and could talk to people about roadblocks I came upon. I’m still emailing and talking to people, but I find I’m sitting far more. And so I’m sitting in the same place I normally write and I find it hard to want to sit there more hours in my day to write creatively.

I want to use this time. I have no social engagements, nothing to pull myself from writing other than my day job, but I’m far less productive. It’s sad really.

Perhaps it’s a mindset I need to flip a switch on, and I hope to do that now. On the weekends put more effort into my novels, which I so love writing.

I need to plant a tree in my heart, so a bird might come and perch and sing me a song. Or so the Chinese say.

The Best Words to Write

 

… Well at least when you’re working on a draft, it is.  Now the book is off to beta readers.  It’s all an iteration.

This is how editing works for me.

  • Bang out a rough draft.  I mean BANG it.  It’s rough, it’s wild, it sometimes contradicts itself and is a bit of a wild child, but it’s still your child and you love it.  My rough drafts are usually mechanical, very action focused without much emotional depth or scenes.
  • Let it sit, think about it.  During this period, I jot down ideas to change, to fix, to deepen.
  • Time to edit!  I go through four to six versions of each novel.  Each pass I focus on more specific things, like adding emotion, expanding world building, then I go for passes for plot consistency and flow, pacing, any holes that are obvious.  And then a final pass for typos.  All these passes take me some time.
  • Then off to beta readers.  I have various ones who will help with plot, or writing voice, or typos.  A variety of skills in my editing peeps is always valuable.
  • Then back to more polish, fixing the things my betas brought up and I agree with.  Sometimes it’s big stuff, sometimes it’s not.  It’s important to know what to change and what you feel is done correctly.  Trust your gut… but as I say that, I also think that if three or more betas agree with a thing, then I should probably change it.

What is your editing process?  How many drafts or passes do you make?  Do you use any computer tools to help with the editing?  I use word spelling/grammar checker, then Grammarly, then I pay another set of eyes to review the entire thing.  I always miss typos, but I do catch many.

Happy writing!  And for fans of my stuff, look for a new book this year!

2020 Comes in Like Lion (or is that March?)

The new year has always been a time of reflection and focus. I’ve had some good years, and some better years, and some years that shall not be named.

2019 was one of the better ones. I self-published Afflicted to the Core, which is the third Wielder World book. I also put groundwork on Wielder World 4, as well as a new stand alone mage/vampire contemporary fantasy.

Writing is a love, a somewhat expensive hobby, and an avenue I plan on walking far into retirement (which is still far away). Juggling a day job and writing has always been a challenge, but I hope to carve our more writing time for 2020.

With the more hours goal in mind, I hope to deliver you the two books mentioned above in 2020. And possibly another novella.

I also plan to hike more, and take more dazzling pictures, of which you can see in my natkennedybooks Instagram. Join me there and see what I’m up to.

Any goals for 2020? Writing or otherwise? Here is a cheering section for you!

NaNoWriMo – Time to saddle up.

November. To some it may mean Thanksgiving, the fall, raking leaves, visiting vetran’s graves. Many things. To me, it’s a focused month of writing for National Novel Writer’s Month aka NaNoWriMo.

The goal: 50,000 words in 30 days.

This will be my 14th NaNo. I started in 2004. Took a few years off, but have succeeded in every goal I’ve made for NaNo. I have a trunk full of rough drafts.

This year, I will be writing Wielder World 4! Looking forward to getting back to Reggie, August and Kyle. I want to squish them, I love them so much.

If you go to the website, there are lots of prep posts and documents. Check out NaNo Prep 101. Some of them are rockin’ useful, so give them a look at. I’m an outliner, so personally the outlining post/handout was useful for me.

Here are some tips, from me to you:

Outlining keeps the flow going, but don’t forget that you can off outline if the muse strikes

For people who abhor outlines, ignore this, but just think, maybe a little outline might help you, if you ever get stuck on ‘what happens next?’

Do not edit as you go

This will only slow you done. Go forth, writer, and get that junk down. Sure, it’s a rough draft, it will probably be junk, but that is what the glory of editing is for.

Write every day

This is the most important. Get into the habit. Sit your butt in the chair and do the thing. Don’t whine about it. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Just sidle up to it, so it’s not really paying attention to you, sit down and DO IT. Nobody can make you write but you. And to be a published author, to get a book finished, to have that warm fluffy accomplishment feeling, you have to write the words first.

Good luck and may the words flow smoothly.

A Personal Interview by Rita Chapman

I love doing interviews, asking and giving. It’s a way for me to talk about myself (which most people love to do) as well as talk to others, get them to share parts of themselves with their audience.

Rita Chapman, an author herself, asked me a few questions and I’d love to share them here with you! Go to her website (Rita Chapman’s Nat Kennedy Interview) to read the transcript there:

But I’ve snipped my favorite question here. Because it’s all about Pickle.

If you have owned pets, do you have a funny story you would like to share with us?

When I was young I used to raise sheep for 4-H. My first lamb was Pickle, and he was like a pet dog. He would follow me around, running after me as I rode my bike, baaing along, happy as could be. We would climb up this platform at the fairgrounds, and he would leap off. Leap! As in up into the air, not just jump down to the ground. He was known as Pickle the Flying Sheep by many of the locals.

Upcoming: Afflicted to the Core

Coming June 14, the next installment to the Wielder World: Afflicted to the Core.

At the conclusions of the paired novellas, Edge of Desperation and Center of Deception, Reggie, August, and Kyle had all escaped the Mara Murda cult lodge on Steptoe Mountain, where Reggie had been skinned and August had been juiced up on a powerful Nerve enhancing drug. Kyle learned just how bad the cults were and just how far Reggie would go for him.

The upcoming novel follows Reggie, August, Kyle and Bethany, Reggie’s sister, as they uncover more and more layers to the conspiracy behind the drugs and cults. It also delves more into just how dedicated these three men can be to each other.

If you’re interested in an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC), please contact me! (natkennedybooks at gmail)


Reggie Wolfe religiously visits Kyle Landon—his student in Nerve detangling—at the Harpford Disentanglement Center, where the younger man has been incarcerated on trumped up charges. During one of Reggie’s visits, Kyle’s able to warn his teacher of an imminent unauthorized transfer by an unknown shadow agency. Reggie demands help from his sister at the Bureau of Wielder Services but is pressed to take the matter into his own hands when bureaucratic red-tape stymies her actions. Breaking into a secret medical installation, Reggie and August Whalen find Kyle and six other men hooked to IVs, unknown chemicals pumping into their systems.

The three are caught up in a quest to find an antidote for the drugs and discover who is behind the powerful anti-male Wielder organization. On this dangerous road, will they forever remain friends, or give in to their growing attraction?

Cover Reveal coming May 23. Watch this space!

NaNoWriMo

Last month I was working on editing Wielder World 3, aka Afflicted to the Core, but I put that all on hold for NaNoWriMo which I participate in every year.

This year, I’m working on a vampire and mage story. Time to mix things up!

To all those NaNoing, good luck! I hope you get your words in.