Tuesday, 7 February 2023

#TeaserTuesday

Cat needs to be safe, even if that means lying to her parents about where she's been...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/INAR

[ID: A gradient from light blue to purple background with the title IT'S NOT ALWAYS RAINBOWS at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

“Where on earth have you been?” she asked, when I walked into the hall.
“I went to get tea from Starbucks,” I said. It wasn’t a lie, I just hadn’t told her why I’d gone.
“With who?” she said, raising an eyebrow. I guess she thought that she could make me tell her something I didn’t want her to know, but as it turned out, she was going to be disappointed.
“I went with Jayden and the guys,” I replied, resisting the urge to give her a smug look.
“Catherine, you were not with Jayden. I called her parents and they said she was home,” Mum said, using my full name to let me know how much trouble I was in.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, in the bottom left corner is the Readers' Favorite review seal, beside the New Apple Solo Award seal and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]

 

Monday, 6 February 2023

How I Outline For Revisions - The After Process

HOW I OUTLINE FOR REVISIONS

I am very much someone who barely plans when it comes to drafting. It's something that people think is strange in that I plan pretty much every other aspect of my life, but drafting not so much. That said, I am someone who outlines when it comes to revisions, which I've talked about before, but thought I would go into more detail of how I do this today.

Right now I am into the revisions of Cramping Chronicles: The Third Ache, and have only really in the last month, been able to put my outline together and work out what needs to be changed, what needs to be worked out, what plot holes need to be closed, and what plot beats and points need to be expanded upon. I started doing the revisions back in November, and will be doing them for a while yet. The book was one that I felt, and remembered, needed a lot of work, and while I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of things I actually got right, and threaded through the story, there are some beats that don't work and will either need to be expanded upon in book four, or cut altogether.

So how do I go about doing it? I'm going to break it down into steps for you, and expand on them as we go through each one. If this is something that you don't do, but want to learn more about, then stick around!

STEP #1: THE READ THROUGH

Now personally, when I finish drafting, I file the book away and don't think about it much, or at all, until it comes to the time for revision. This can be months, or it can be years, depending on the book itself. If it's part of a series, then obviously I'll be thinking back while writing the next book so that I can be sure of keeping things somewhat consistent through the whole series. To be honest though, a lot of the bigger points stick in my head anyway no matter how much I might try to forget about them.

So my first step has to be dusting it off, and sitting down, and reading through it from start to finish. I allow myself to fix formatting issues, and any typos, but I do not let myself do any re-writes. If I think something needs to be cut, I'll mark it in my notes, and in the document, but I won't actually do any cutting until I've read through it completely and have pages of notes to write up and organise.

STEP #2: THE OUTLINE
This usually happens when I read through it again, make more notes and highlight specific parts that need to stay, and ones that need to be changed or rewritten or even cut completely. From there I will get it all organised in a word doc or the like, and move things around. It allows me to see the story as a whole, and also pinpoint exactly where those changes need to occur. Like if I know that a scene coming up is pivotal to the overarching plot, but there's some problems with it, I'll mark that one for a bigger change than say, a scene that doesn't have as much of an impact.

There are, of course, always scenes that I feel like need to be removed, and changed around and the like, and it's usually at this stage that I'll make those decisions, like whether or not it is going to be cut, or changed, or moved. I do this because when I get into the next step, I want to be working with as much of the whole story as possible.

#STEP #3 IMPLEMENTING CHANGES

This is the part when all the hard work really begins. I don't mean that the rest isn't hard, it very much is, but it's at this point that I'll start taking those highlighted parts, and my notes, and systematically going through from page one to make those changes. I'll deal with the bigger ones first because there's little point worrying about line edits when I need to rewrite whole swaths of text, but I'll go through, rewrite, make more notes, and make sure that it flows from one plot point to the next and so on.

This is the one that takes the most amount of time, and it's something where, occasionally, I've had to go back to step two and start again, redo the outline and remark everything because I've spotted a new plot problem or one of them has been too difficult to make it work right. Either way I stay on the final step until I'm absolutely happy with things.

When I get to betas and the like, I pretty much start again, going through, making an outline and making sure everything works. It's a long arduous process, but it's the way it should be.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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Friday, 3 February 2023

Review of The Lie That Binds by Amy Argent

I am a liar.

I lie to protect myself.

I lie because I’m terrified.

I lie to keep a secret that would destroy everything in my life if everyone knew.

Holly is the new girl at school and my unwilling lab partner. She hates me because I’m one of the popular guys—one of the bullies who terrorize the unfortunate and the unpopular. For me, it’s who I’ve had to become to keep anyone from getting too close—close enough to see right through me.

When Holly finds out my secret, I have to do whatever it takes to keep her quiet—even if it means telling the most damaging lie of all—the one I tell myself.

Amazon

My Review: 4.5 STARS

I picked this up having read the blurb and decided that it sounded like a pretty thrilling read, and I wasn’t disappointed. Bad guy and good girl tropes are strong in this one I adored the dynamic between Holly and Nathan. I loved watching them fall in love and everything that went with it. Argent has a way of making the characters feel real, pulling you along for the journey and loving every second of it. The book was amazing from start to finish and the only reason I took a break from reading was to get some sleep. Overall, an amazing story and one that I think will appeal to most readers.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

 

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

#TeaserTuesday

Tara know she should tell her dad, but she's sure the notes will stop on their own...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/DTFS

[ID: A virbrant blue and black background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - FIFTH SECRET at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

“About 3pm. Why?” he asked, starting to look concerned. I had no idea if the worry and yes, I’ll admit it, fear was showing on my face. I knew that even if it wasn’t, this line of questioning was making it seem that way to Dad. “Is everything okay, Tara?”
“It’s fine,” I lied.
“Are you going to open it?”
“Yeah.” I realised then that I’d piqued Dad’s interest.
I put my index finger under the flap on the back of the envelope and tore it open. I could see that my hands were beginning that shake so I gave myself a stern talking to.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, in the top right corner is the Readers' Favorite review seal and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]

 

Monday, 30 January 2023

Drafting Fun - The Creative Process

DRAFTING FUN

When I was thinking up topics to do for blog posts, I didn't realise that I've written about this before (piece found here) and around the same time of year as well. I guess the reason it's come up again is that for me, drafting is the best part of the writing process. I stand now at having completed forty first drafts. I've started more than that, and have obviously done more second and onwards drafts as well, but for me that first draft is where the magic lies. It's always been a fun part for me and while I sometimes worry about running out of ideas, it hasn't happened yet and considering the many brewing in my head, I doubt it ever will.

I've always been someone who loves to put fingers to keyboard, and before that, pen to paper, and tell a story. It's always been a part of me, even when I didn't realise it completely. For those not in the know, I didn't start writing properly until I was 19 and retired on medical grounds, I picked up a pen and I started to tell the stories that had been going around and around in my head for years. Since then I've done breaks for uni, for other health problems, and just because I was burned out. However the past five/ten years or so I have been seriously writing. Making sure that every story I tell gets to live its life on the page.

I know that there are some writers who adore editing, for them, the drafting is more getting the words out, and then the fun begins. I've never been one of them, and I don't see that changing any time soon. While I appreciate the editing and revision cycle, it's just so draining for me, that it's hard for me to find anything close to enjoyment in it. The end result is worth it, but beyond that I would happily just draft and draft and draft. It's only because I want to share my stories with people that I go to publish and edit and the like, but if that wasn't a need or want of mine, I really do think writing would just be something I did for myself.

As it is, it's not, and I have found so many amazing readers over the years, have met so many nice people because of being a writer and author, that I can't help but just fall more in love with the drafting phase of writing. I've talked about it before here, that I will soon get to the point where I have drafted more novels than I will ever have time to publish, but for me that's just a side effect of getting to do what I love for a living. I have, more than once, thought about taking some time away from writing new stories, and focusing on the revisions of ones already written, but I'm not sure if that's something I'll do this year or not. It's still hanging there in the back of my mine as a maybe.

So you might be wondering, why do I like drafting so much? I don't know if it's down to the way I plan (or don't as the case may be) or the fact that I've always been an avid reader, and because I don't plan extensively, the discovery of the story is like reading a book that no one else has read yet. I get to know the characters, I get to see the plot unfold, and I get to have all this fun while doing it. There truly is, for me, no better job to have. I get paid to make people think, to create escapes for people, to take away their sleep time because they just want to read one more page. I get paid to create new worlds, maybe like our own, but maybe not, and I get paid to do all of that, and have a lot of fun doing it.

It's just an amazing job for me, and while being an author holds many different jobs within it, that part has to be the better one. So yes, I just love drafting and love watching the characters, the world, the plot, come alive as I write ad there's nothing better, for me, than that!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments! 

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books.

Friday, 27 January 2023

Review of Secret Crush by Rori K Pierce

One secret can ruin everything.

Jesse Howell goes from being a nobody to the most well-known student at Bradley High School after her biggest secret is exposed. She's the one thing her parents don't want her to be: gay.

After working hard over the years to keep her sexuality a secret, it's all undone in a single night. Now everyone knows and they're all eager to voice their opinion about it. Some are encouraging, while others are cruelly unsupportive.

With graduation--and any hope she has of escaping her oppressive parents-- still two years away, Jesse must decide how to navigate her life until then.

Will she find the strength to be unapologetically herself, or will she succumb to the hateful judgments of others and lose herself completely?

Amazon

My Review: 5 STARS

I’ve read Pierce’s work before and fallen in loved with them as a writer. This book was a must have and an enjoyable read. The Girl Crush series is a favourite of mine so seeing this prequel had me desperate to know more about Jesse and the things that happened before the first book. It was heart wrenching in places, and you’re along for the ride, hoping and wishing for things to be different, when if you’ve read book one, you know the answer to that. It was an enjoyable quick read and one that I recommend to all who love LGBTQ fiction! Highly recommended!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Thursday, 26 January 2023

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

#TeaserTuesday

Harriet has a long task ahead of her, and no idea how to go about it...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/DUKN

[ID: A light grey background with the title DESTINATION: UNKNOWN at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

“Why do you need my help?” I asked again.
“My father has been wrongly accused of the crime of murder,” Dorothy told me, tears shining in her eyes. “If you do not help me, he will hang and our family will be reduced to poverty. We’ll all be split up and sent to the workhouse. I can’t allow that to happen.”

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, in the bottom left corner is the Readers' Favorite review seal and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]

 

Monday, 23 January 2023

Tracking My Time & How It Works For Me

TRACKING MY TIME & HOW IT WORKS FOR ME

I have been using the Toggl app for the past two years, and while I've not yet released the stats for 2022 (the one above is from 2021) I plan to do that on my Authortube channel in February. It's something that I fell into when I first got my ipad. I wanted a way to track my writing time, and then went through a few apps until I found Toggl and was very happy with it, and so have stuck using it.

The reason I started was more because I wanted to know how long things took me. I was starting to get into a paper planner, and just wanted to know when I was planning, just how much was possible for me to get done in the small timeframe allowed by my body before it gives up for the day. I found that I could, easily, do my chapter a day, and could also have a few days a month to do videos and revision, but would need two days to manage to do blog posts and vlog scripts for the month ahead. It was because they require a bit more brainpower and to try and do them both in one day, I would end up stressed and anxious and it just did not go well.

Last year I did a video breaking it all down (which can be found here) and like I said above, I plan to do the same this year for those who love the stats and numbers of writing and the indie author career. I will say that I am far from the norm, simply because I have the other drains on my time, such as hospital visits and resting time and the like, but I am someone whose full-time job is to write (even if, for the sake of transparency here, I don't get paid enough for it to be my only source of income).

Having those stats at the end of the year really does help me set myself up for success when it comes to both planning my time, and also working out what's feasible for me to manage in a month. Like I know that if I set aside days just for revision, I can, usually, manage to get through a draft in a month. I also know that when it comes to the professional edit (something I don't track for reasons I'll get into in a moment) I will have less time to be able to write, record and do all the admin stuff, because that's going to take a huge chunk of time to get done in the mornings.

So going back to what I don't track, why do I track some things and not others? The answer is simple, I can't adequately do so. Like I don't track time in the professional edit because I know that the way me and my editor work is to do the corrections, and chat about this and that. It would be a massive spike in the time spent, because it would vary from day to day what we were also chatting about. I also don't track things like making social media images, and posting and all of that either, because while those numbers would add up eventually, they are, again, hard to track, and I think that I would end up with a skewed result at the end of the year and it just wouldn't feel right to me.

But does tracking my time work for me? Yes, it very much does. It's not just about the pretty pie chart, but allowing me to see if something takes me longer than usual, and why that might be. It allows me to adequately plan my time, and it also helps my anxiety when I'm feeling like I don't have enough time to get things done, I can look back at past numbers and know that, hey I can do the majority, if not all, in the time I do have. It's been a stress reliever for me, and while it might not be that for everyone, and I don't recommend everyone does it, it works for me and I'm happy with that.

For some writers, having a ticking clock would just make them feel worse, for me, it's a relief, it's something I enjoy doing, and it's something that calms me down on mornings when I've slept later than planned and think I have to rush through things. It's calming, and I very much get that it won't be for everyone. But if it's something you do want to try, I do recommend Toggl, I don't have the paid version, and it works perfectly for my needs and there is that pretty pie chart and break down, which just makes it all the more fun.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books.