Tag Archive | women’s fiction

First Draft Blues

As a writer, I’m just not in a great place.

I’m working on completing the first draft of a story that has turned into something completely different than what I originally intended

As I’m writing this book, I’m reminded of my younger years when I began a story and became so discouraged that I could never see it through to completion. I’d write a few chapters and then give up because I knew it sucked. At that time in my life, I didn’t realize that first drafts are supposed to, so I just surrendered to the suck and gave up. I know better now, but the feelings remain.

I’ve often struggled with the story for months at a time. Leaving Eva took about a year to complete. When I became frustrated with the story I simply walked away from it for weeks at a time. As I try to hone my writing skills, I find now that walking away simply makes me rusty. When I pick it up again, I have to sharpen those skills all over again and I just feel as though I’m trudging in knee-deep mud, unable to move forward. I’ve been more committed to writing regularly, so walking away from the story this time, isn’t an option.

Writing this story is so difficult that I want to pull my hair out. I know… I believe… that somewhere in there is the beautiful story of a young woman whose past is dark, but her love for her husband and children changes her. These are the stories that I love.
I’ve also been experimenting with my medium. This is also the first book that I’ve written mostly by dictation, so instead of the words flowing out from my fingers they have to come out down from my brain and out  of my mouth. The connection has often been fuzzy and the process, difficult. Although my brain is often racing as the words hit my mouth I often want to take them back, the moment I hear them come out. The biggest difference is that with dictation there is no backspace. I often find that what I’ve written is unintelligible and as I go back to reread, I struggle to try and figure out what the hell I was thinking.

Still, I am tenacious.  Although it’s been a struggle and I’m convinced that this is the worst story I’ve ever written, I’ll press on because I need to see how it ends. While, dictating has given me the ability to write thousands more words faster than I might normally have time for, I know I’ll send up cutting many of them. The heart of the story is somewhere in the mess of  extra words and tangled chapters; I can feel it. I just have to find it.

I know that in the characters of Liv and Danny, there is great love and passion. However as with many couples, there is also deep conflict which is all I can share right now. Will they end up together? Will they be happy? Even I don’t know the answers yet. I do know that the characters love one other deeply but as with most of my stories, and much of life, it’s not always about love. It’s about so much more.

This books is about love, betrayal, and deception. It’s about lives ruined by selfishness and indulgence, neglect and  regret. The dynamic between the characters is heartbreaking and strong, and I can’t wait to flesh it all out. In many ways, I know this will be the most challenging first draft I’ve ever had to pick apart. I would love say writing gets easier; instead it seems to get harder. I’ve expected that the story will fall into place faster but it has eluded me.  There’s something magical about the moment when a story clicks in place, and with this one it hasn’t had that moment yet.

I am happy that I’ve dictated this book despite the challenges and frustration. The importance of learning a new process and sticking to it has taught me that there are other ways to be productive. With limited time as a wife, mother, and a full-time career, it is often impossible to put pen to paper. Dictating has become my saving grace and I am committed to becoming more skilled in this process

As I struggle with this first draft, I am in a place where I am also wrestling with self-doubt. It’s the moment when I question my ability to write well at all, which is a common fear for many writers. I imagine that if the process was easier I would have already written a thousand books already, so I am trying to remind myself that I can do this. I am going to pull myself up by the collar, kick myself in the butt, and tell myself to stop whining. 

I know that I’ll make it through this somehow. I can feel it in my heart and deep down in my bones. I’m searching for the story and reminding myself why I love to write so much. Through this journey, I’m sure I’ll find what I’m looking for … those two beautiful words …

The End. 

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Busy Little Author

I’ve been a busy little bee lately  in my personal life, professional life, and author life. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been crazy busy, but it’s how I like it.

It drives my husband nuts because I can’t even sit still to watch television which has been that way most of my adult life. My mind is always racing with a thousand things to do, which makes it increasingly difficult to settle down. I usually move from one thing to the next, until I fall into bed exhausted.

As the boys get ready to go back to school, the shopping is done, and the summer is winding down, I am excited to get to focus on some of the author life things that have been neglected. Summers are an impossible time to finish and edit books, work on projects, and even focus on any marketing. I’ve decided that I’ll try and take at least one weekday this year, to try and focus on my author life because the buzz of too many unfinished things is enough to make feel stabby.

I also find that not having time to write also makes me extremely cranky, as well. When I’m writing, I am at peace and I need the time in my head to cope with the outside world, at times.

I have been able to finish a couple of things recently. I rewrote and added some chapters to The Forgotten, my fantasy series about how the selfish actions of one creature creates a world where the children have been abandoned and forgotten. It’s the first book in The Lost Children series. I loved the story about Jakob and Kell, but felt that it needed to be more robust and added some backstory to make it more interesting. This story is near and dear to my hear because the main characters were inspired by my boys and many of the children bear names of children I know. The next step for the Lost Children is to publish it in paperback.

I’m also in process of editing the third book in my women’s fiction series, Saving Eva. I’ve been hesitant as I finish it, afraid of disappointing fans of the series, but early beta readers love it. I do know that I’ll be adding a surprise ending to it, so you’ll have to stay tuned for that. (Sorry Elizabeth and Heather)

The first book in the series, Leaving Eva, has been reworked and is ready to be rerelease with Evatopia with a beautiful new cover. Eva’s powerful and emotional story will be available to new readers and will have the potential to reach a broad new audience, which is incredibly exciting!

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I’m also working on a super-secret project that I’ll reveal soon. It’s something that I’m terrified of writing, but I’m doing it for that very reason.

 

I’ll be sending out more information about my super-secret project in my newsletter, so if you’d like to know about it, sign up here! I’m only revealing the secret in my newsletter, so you’re not going to want to miss out!

 

Being a Writer

Being a writer is weird. Strange. Frightening. Disconcerting. Dizzying. Horrifying. Breathtaking.

Amazing.

I should’ve recognized in my early life that I was a writer because I’ve always loved stories, often seeking them out on every possible canvas; books, movies, art, news, music, people, and even commercials. Stories could always intrigue me, enthrall me, and draw me in, and often the effect lasted for days. 

With every person I’ve ever met and every problem I’ve had there is an interest about where they came from, what motivated them, and how they have became what they are. Even if I didn’t ask them, I imagined it. 

Being a writer has allowed me the freedom to explore this curiosity as well as my imagination in a way that makes more sense to me. I can indulge my intense curiosity and contemplate the hearts and minds of my characters without reservation. I can also create a world that I can control, instead of watching it helplessly unravel before me, as true life can have the tendency to do. Yet, as freeing as it is to control the destiny of my characters and plot the outcome of their stories, writing can also take a turn and the story can still end up completely changed from they way I intended it to be. 

This is also part of the beauty of being a writer.

Finding something within that I never realized existed, giving it life and permission to breathe, is unbelievably intoxicating and I have fallen in love with it. I don’t know what I ever did before I was a writer and I don’t know how I existed when I wasn’t. 

I’ll often have people ask me about my writing journey because they want to write. I’m sometimes unsure advice to give, other than to “just write.” Everyone’s path is their own. I believe that if you’re a writer then at some point, you’ll know. You’re heart and soul will scream it out to you, though it may only sound like a whisper at first. But when you can no longer silence the chaos and pouring out your heart onto paper is you’re only option … you’ll finally know.

You’re a writer.

Surprise Cover Reveal

I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. I wasn’t going to reveal the new cover for Leaving Eva until March 30th, but I just LOOOOOOOVE this cover so much, I couldn’t help it!

This is the cover for my Booktrope release of Leaving Eva. Many of my readers are confused because it is a rerelease of the book I published independently in 2013. But Booktrope was awesome enough to pick it up, as well as my other two books, so this is my first release with them. Leaving Eva is getting a facelift, a new synopsis, and was cleaned up a little bit, and I am thrilled with the results!

The official release for Leaving Eva will be April 20th, complete with a Release party on April 19th from 12-8 est.

For those of you who haven’t read Leaving Eva yet, I hope you’ll consider reading it. I love the story (not just because I wrote it) and the characters are a part of me, fulfilling a lifelong dream and making me complete.

Synopsis:

Leaving Eva is the heartrending story of one woman’s battle to overcome her tragic childhood and the abandonment and abuse that haunt her.

On the outside, Brynn Michael seems to be living the perfect life. She’s a successful businesswoman married to a handsome and devoted husband. But nobody, not even her husband and childhood sweetheart, Adam, knows the true depth of Brynn’s horror. Abandoned as a small child by a young drug addicted mother then abused by her adoptive father, teenage Brynn turns to the only solace she can find in the sharp end of a razor. She spends her lifetime hiding the scars, both physical and emotional, until she has no choice but to face what she has been running from her entire life.

Brynn must figure out a way to confront her past or risk losing Adam, the only true love she’s ever known, forever. But in spite of it all, Brynn may not have the ultimate choice, as the past eventually seeks her out.

In this dramatically dark novel, Jennifer Sivec, author of women’s fiction, delves into the selfishness and depravity of human nature, and begs you to question whether happiness can ever truly be attained once you have been deeply scarred.

Cover

 

Release Party Link

https://www.facebook.com/events/664794363647487/