Another Complete Rewrite?

Listen to this crap:

I reached the “end” of Untitled, and it turns out, it’s not the real ending. Like, at all. Unravel it even further, and all of the “things” I started learning along the way, the “things” I wanted to sprinkle into the next draft have already changed the entire story. Again.

DUDE.

I don’t even think this is the same story I started writing the beginning of last year. The original scene that I wanted to write just because (with no intent to share—just for me and yet, it spurred entire book) is NOT EVEN IN THIS NEW VERSION. The way they meet completely changes, so it wouldn’t make sense.

*blink*

*drinks wine*

*drinks more wine*

This is weird. I’m all for following my characters down their freaky little rabbit holes, but these are huge changes. So why make them? BECAUES THEY’RE BETTER THAN WHAT I HAVE. I just reread my first chapter of the rewrite and my God, does it suck. Not just the telly-writing (we can forgive that; it’s first draft) and I could even *maybe* get past the cliché-ness of the cheesy-ass freshman-level formatting (always something to edit later) but it was just BORING. There was no risk. No reason to keep reading, and I knew it was desperately missing something.

So, I dug in, and it didn’t take long. I knew what my characters wanted, but by changing the urgency of the need, it propelled one of my protagonists into a different situation, changing her back story (and, in essence, her current story). *Ahem* Enhancing her back story, which was interesting, but lacked a deeper level I now had thanks to this change.

I really wish I could say more. Explain more. But, I’m still figuring this thing out myself. Because, and I’m afraid to admit it, I’m not sure if the conflict in the previous rewrite now applies to this version. So, what does that mean? Another complete rewrite?

*goes out and buys more bottles of wine*

Do I have the energy for another new rewrite?

I really want to say no, and that what I have is fine—but who just wants fine? We all want the best, and I want the best for this story. This untitled, constantly changing story that won’t even tell me what to call it. Fucking story. But, I do want to keep working on it. I have to admit that before (and, well, kind of now) it’s solidly based on just the romance, and I found myself asking questions about what happened outside the romance. The answer to those questions enhanced the characters (the heroine more than the hero) and again, now the situation has changed.

But it’s okay, guys. I’ll figure it out. Each change digs me closer to a more interesting plot and I’m excited I’m not just at the mercy of the romance. I want excitement in every aspect, which is probably why I was drawn to writing Harrizel, which I need to get back to…

Maybe the impossible has happened: I miss writing fight scenes? Could that be it? And there are some in this new WIP, but maybe it’s the over action I miss? Romance just for romance-sake can get boring. I guess I like a little adventure to go along with it.

Wonder what this one will come out looking like.

At his point, your guess is as good as mine.

~ Lady Caitlin

I’m in a Funk

I’m feeling funky.

Wait. Scratch that. That’s not right.

I’m feeling in a funk. In a mood.

Something’s off.

Did Mercury meet up with Venus in retrograde on the wrong side of the moon? I believe in the all the cosmic stuff but don’t understand any of it. Just like chakras. Sometimes it takes me a while to get something, so I’m sure I’ll learn what it all means eventually, but for right now, I just know I’m in a funk.

Or maybe it’s a metamorphosis? I am seeing 5s and, according to numerology—of which I dabble a bit—5s are the number of change, especially triple 5s (what I’m seeing). Typically, the change signifies a large shift like a marriage, job change, or baby. It’s something significant. Well, I’m married, and I don’t plan on any babies, and I’ve had more jobs than I can count, so I’m not sure. But something is off, and there IS a change coming, and I PRAY TO GOD it’s a good one.

I completely forgot yesterday’s post was the IWSG one, so that sucks. I try not to miss those, but Wednesday was NOT my day. Elsa tried to bring her shit, and I had errands that took me out of work and into the storm, only to go back into work to face a multitude of metaphoric fires. Not fun. I should’ve been proactive and written the post prior but again, there’s this funk. I’m feeling all sorts of weird, and it’s messing with my creativity.

I’m still writing no-name. Actually, I have one more chapter to go to finish this first draft of a complete re-write, and then it’s back to the beginning for draft # two. Currently sitting at 117,000 words, this chunky monster will *for sure* need to be edited down—but there’s so much more I want to add! Ah, the joy of writing and editing and rewriting and reediting and hating yourself because all artists do at some point because the work drives us INSANE.

Least we have vices to help. And it’s nice most of them are legal.

Alright, I’m heading back out into the world with this funk. This mood. Wish me luck and try explaining the cosmos to me if you can. I’ll take all the insight I can get.

~ Lady Caitlin

P.S. The highlight on Wednesday was watching Loki. Have you seen this show? I’ve never been a fan of Loki (the character) or Tom Hiddleston much, but watching the show, I can now say I’m fully invested in both.

Boring But…Slightly Thrilling?

Raise your hand if you missed another week posting.

*raises hand*

Raise your hand if you had a GREAT post and then just…didn’t…write it.

*raises hand*

Raise your hand if you had a RIVETTING, GREAT post about almost dying in a car accident but then life got crazy and the weekend flew and you passed out on the couch from wine and forgot to write it.

*raises all the hands*

Well, it’s true. Batman and I almost died. But at least we were together (aawwww). Wouldn’t have been as cute if we were pancaked like the universe suggested, but some deity took the wheel and Nascar’d me to safety out there. I don’t know how we survived, honestly, as a car to the left was about to smash into my side WHILST another car was coming from the right, about to smash in Batman (due to me swerving from the lady on the left). It was a hard veer to the right, followed by an ever harder veer to the left, up over the curb, into the plastic construction work sign, and back down on the street, miraculously missing OTHER CARS AND THE LIGHT POLE.

Magic, it was. Or Guardian angels. Or a combination if they’re even different. Whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t me, so I don’t take any credit.

Other than my brush with danger, I’ve been well. Yes, I missed last weeks post (boo!) but that’s because I’m lazy and don’t have an excuse. But thank goodness I care enough not to miss two weeks in a row. Hurray for having at least some set of standards!

Life is going well. Job is okay. Actually not sucking at it, so I’m feeling pretty good! I’m on the sales report I want to be on at work, so now it’s just about upping my numbers. And I shall, my friends *cracks fingers with confidence* I shall. Still writing every day, and I know one of them will grant me the title for the book I’ve been writing for over a year.

Any day now…

But I’m not complaining. Every day I write more, clean up stuff, and generally make the story better, so I’m fine calling it Untitled for now. The title will reveal itself when it’s ready. Guess you can’t force these kinds of things, but I’m ready whenever you are, Muse…

Wish I had more to report, but a near-car accident, maintaining employment status, and getting a lot of writing done is all I’ve got for you this week. Boring but…slightly thrilling?

Whichever way you want to go, enjoy the week.

Make it badass.

~ Lady Caitlin

Making It Better #IWSG

There is a chance—a good chance—that I missed the last post for IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group). I don’t want to ring my own shame bell, but I’d be lying if I said I’d had perfect attendance all year, and I definitely haven’t, so, let’s forget my shortcomings and just jump into the optional question:

How long do you shelve your first draft before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

Excellent question! Mostly due to the appropriate timing since I’m a chapter and a half away (one week?) from being done with this FIRST draft of a COMPLETE re-write. So, the question is pretty much when do I swing back to the top with edits and re-writes and ways to improve the thing?

Right frigging away.

I don’t give myself a week away to get “fresh eyes” like lots of authors do. It’s never been my thing, and I think it’s because I’ll get beyond antsy if I don’t work on something. I mean—sure—I could find another small project to keep the creative juices flowing, but my heart knows I’m just writing fodder, and that none of it matters. What REALLY matters is going back through that completed draft and making it better.

So, why wait?

I certainly don’t. And I don’t plan on it with this story either. And, like all the other ones, the first draft is already weighing in at *quite* the length. Still have the remaining part of this chapter to write, plus another one, and I’m sitting at over a hundred thousand words. But it’s all good. I’ll edit the thing down to its rightful length, and if he’s still a chunky monster at the end, so be it. I’ve written my fair share of chunky monster books. Must be my thing.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

Think that’s all I’ve got for this week. We’ll touch base again next Wednesday, sound good?

Have a badass week!

~ Lady Caitlin

Magic Comes to You

Well, here I am, midweek in my first week being on my own. That’s right—I get to choose when to take lunch AND don’t have to worry about making sure I’m doing something correct for someone else. It’s all me, baby. All what I put into it. It actually makes me feel like an adult. Of course, I’m talking to you Day One. Let’s see how I feel Day One Hundred. Might want to be a kid again or have a kid job. I don’t know. But, I’ve tried a lot of other things and they didn’t work out…so…let’s see how I do with this.

Remember, getting good at this job might help me with the salesy part of writing that I DETEST, and so, this isn’t just the next job—it’s the next challenge to make me a better version of me.

(Again, ask me on Day One Hundred how it’s going…)

But I’m optimistic.

I have to be. The alternative is just too depressing, and I’m sorry, I just spent a year dealing with Covid bullshit, so no need to look for darkness when you can anticipate, hope for, and focus on the light.

Truth time: I was getting down on myself for a while because I wasn’t writing a lot. In fact, I was writing very little—the bare minimum I would force myself to write to still feel like I “worked.” For a few nights it was only a handful of sentences. Other nights, barely a few paragraphs. I crept along at turtle-speed, feeling like a creative failure. I was looking for darkness and found it. (Not recommended). Then I did something crazy. I forgave myself. Instead of berating myself for only getting a few sentences in, I applauded myself for inching my work that much more because if I hadn’t forced myself to sit down and focus for even a little bit of time, I wouldn’t have made the progress. I wouldn’t have advanced the story. I would have been just as far from the ending as before, so any work, even the *tiniest* amount counts. I know this—I’ve known this—but we tend to forget. So, when the epiphany sparked, I relaxed and let the darkness go. And then the craziest thing happened: I went in with the mindset of only writing a few sentences but after I reached what I expected would be the limit, I kept going. Kept writing. I wasn’t finished. Not only did I want to write more than a few sentences—I had to. Story was pouring out.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. It IS like magic. And look, I’m not saying it’s because I’m a Hogwarts Alumni or anything, but sometimes you submit yourself to the light and the magic comes to you. I’m going with this because statistically, it’s worked for me in the past.

Actual book update? Still no title. I’m past the Black Moment now and working on the denouement, the part of the story where things get explained and everything wraps up. Not a thousand percent sure how it’s actually going to end, but, I’ve pansted my way through this whole thing so why should the ending be any different?

On a final note, spent the weekend in Orlando with the family and had an awesome time! We went to Universal Studios on Sunday and I loved showing my nephew the Gringotts Bank ride in the new Harry Potter section. (Also: the ride is awesome. You should go if you haven’t. If you have, you should go again.) Now that the Orlando trip is behind us, it’s time to start setting my sights on summer.

I’m smelling a lot of barbecues in my future…

Have a badass week 😊

~ Lady Caitlin

Excited For This

It’s a big week for me. Well, it’s the last week. For me for training at work. So, I guess next week is a big week because the training wheels come off and we’ll see how good I do at this sales thing. That’s the other thing I’ll admit about this job: it’s in sales.

I don’t think I could’ve ever guessed that I’d try my hand at something like selling. Usually, I give up after a little resistance, but something about uncapped commission had me shrugging and saying, sure I’ll try. Also: I haven’t given up on this writing thing and while that’s, like, a *huge* part of the job, the other part is making people aware there’s a product, and that they should try it. No selling means no sales means pretty much what I’ve been doing with myself for the last decade. So, maybe this position will give me some tools and help with my writing gig?

Maybe?

I wrote the Black Moment, guys. Do you know what that is? In romance, it’s the part when the couple hit their iceberg, their emotional climax. It’s kind of the part when it seems like all hope is lost for the relationship. I wrote it and barely past it. Know what that means? I’m in the homestretch! I have a vague idea of the next few things that need to happen to bring the book to an end—first draft of rewrite almost done baby!

This is very exciting. It would be more so if I could refer to it by the title, but by the way it’s going, I won’t know until I’ve written the last word. And I still think my muse is going to hold onto it a little longer. Which is fine. It’s all good. I’m just happy the story is falling out of me, because I slowed down there for a little while, and it always makes me nervous when I only manage to squeeze out a few sentences a night. But this past weekend I wrote like a madwoman and I’m really excited for this!

I’m excited with the new direction it’s going.

Like the first storyline, this revised one will be long. Of course, we always trim in editing, so I’m hoping to shave off a bunch. But I think this will be better. Much better.

Okay, so, NEXT week is the big week at work. Every day is a BIG day for writing Untitled and hopefully soon, I’ll share the good news that I’m 1) still employed and 2) onto my second draft and 3) I’ve titled the damn thing (but don’t hold your breath)

Here’s to a fabulous week!

~ Lady Caitlin

Not Too Shabby #IWSG

Yep. I did it. I forgot to post on the first Wednesday of the year. Good job, me! I’d say that’s going to set the tone for the rest of the year, but it’s all good. It happens. Sometimes we wake up thinking it’s Tuesday when it’s really Humpday because unemployment, much like the insanity caused by it, messes with our heads. Also, sometimes I put on my shirt inside out and don’t realize until I’ve gone into stores. Nobody’s perfect.

I’d actually been planning on writing a belated honeymoon post when I realized the month that we’re in, and, like, the whole new year thing. It’s not only the first post of the year, but the first IWSG post, which makes me feel like a total loser butt-face since I missed it. (I try not to miss those posts). BUT I’m here, a day late, with my belated honeymoon post pending somewhere in the background for later reveal. It’s all good. My shirt is on correctly and I’ve got an interview on Monday. Not too shabby.

IWSG optional question:

Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throw you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

Here’s the list:

POOR grammar. If you miss a couple of commas, psshh—whatever. I don’t care. But, if I’m tripping over every few sentences, it plucks me right out of the story and nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

ANNOYING protagonists who don’t improve or learn. I don’t love everything about every protagonist. I shouldn’t. But if that MC makes stupid mistake over and over/is annoying me beyond all living hell—I just, I can’t. And I won’t. So, I don’t.

BORING stories. Look, they’re not all action packed. I get it. But if I’d rather empty the dishwasher or fold a stack of clothes or file for unemployment, then, I’m sorry. It’s not my cup of tea and I just ain’t gonna happen. (And it doesn’t).

I believe these are my top reasons for putting down a book. I try not to, but, if it falls in one of these three categories—I’m sorry. We just weren’t meant to be.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

(Writing this post-attack on the Capitol, let’s bring that positivity we talked about in 2021. Remember, we’re stronger together.)

~ Lady Caitlin Signing Off

Calling All BETAS – Assistance Needed

Guys. I still don’t have a working title. Still. This has never happened.

I have titles for books I haven’t written yet, and I’ve been working on this monster since May so…where the heck is it? Why hasn’t it come to me? GUYS.

This is all very strange. Like my blog, the title usually comes from a sentence in the post, and it’s usually the same with my books. I’ll literally write it out and be like, aha! There it is! Title achieved, bitches. But I’ve gone through like 4 drafts of this thing, and it still hasn’t hit me. Like, at all. Which wouldn’t be disconcerting to me except IT’S ACTUALLY REALLY DISCONCERTING TO ME.

Titles typically correspond to the central character or plot or place, and I’ve gone over their names and the conflict and setting a bunch of times and nothing fits. Nothing even comes close to sounding right. They all sound dopey and forced and I don’t even have working titles to throw together a poll and get some feedback. I literally have nothing.

*nothing*

What does this mean? Do I not truly know what my book is about? That can’t be it. I’m calling on the Gods of writing to assist in this weird new obstacle. How do I overcome it? Do I let Betas make suggestions? Do I keep it (kind of) boring to just the lead character names? What?

That’s the other thing. Although I have—and let me re-emphasize—no working title, I’m nearly ready for other people to look at it. This, by the way, is the scariest part, so just know I’m inwardly hyperventilating as I throw this request into the void-o-sphere. I am now accepting any readers interested who want to take a look at what I’ve got and let me know how to make it better. Help me find plot holes and anything I might’ve missed. Maybe I overuse a term? I do that. Just looking for some feedback, so if you’re not in the market to steal my work, and this sounds like something you want to read, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Also, maybe you can tell me what my title is? That would be great.

No Working Title includes: alpha male, enemies to lovers, mobsters & vigilantes

Quick blurb: Desperate to leave her crime-ridden hometown, Lilah ends up contacting a local vigilante organization after a friend’s mom is put in the hospital. But when Nik, one of its members, continues to recruit Lilah for assignments, her interest in leaving sways.

This is a high-heat, romantic suspense clocking in at 122K words. Yeah. It’s huge. (That’s what she said.)

Anyway, if this sounds like something you’re interested in, send me an email (Cgcoppolawrites@gmail.com) and we’ll go from there. Yay!

Well, that’s all I’ve got this week. I’m still working on that honeymoon post and will have it up probably sometime in the future. Until then – enjoy your week however you are celebrating it! Happy holidays!

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

IWSG Feeling Insecure

Last week brought a lot of tears, and when I’m ugly-sobbing, my brain’s creative functions turn off. It’s like a door slammed shut into the writing/art world, and it’s probably good I don’t visit, because it’s all overcast and murky, and anytime I Chuck Norris the door and *force* myself to go in when I’m not ready, I produce crap. Not first-draft crap. Just nonsensical nonsense, and I end up feeling worse. So, Batman and I binged through a healthy combo of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon instead. I feel a little better.

There were a lot of wedding discussions, and I think I’m going to make that a separate post…at some point when I feel up to writing it. Besides, this is not only the first day of the month, but also IWSG day, so, I’m going to boomerang back to writing.

Obviously, again, last week, I didn’t get a lot done. I wanted to write a post, but the Chuck Norris in me couldn’t kick down the door to personal writing, and I’m surprised I was able to sneak past it to work on my no-name story as much as I did (which was very little). At this point, I’m convinced it’s just for me because it still doesn’t feel…special. Which is fine, because I don’t feel special as a writer. I guess I’m feeling a little insecure ☹

This year is throwing me all over the place, so I’m not even thinking of writing in the long-term, business-way, like I should be. Right now, it’s just cathartic. I’m writing because I want to. Because it’s makes me happy and lets me breathe again, even if it never sees the light of day, or brings any amount of money (like most of my published writing), it’s a soul-necessity. This is obviously something I’ll have to move past, but for right now, it’s the pace I’m going – and I’m good with that.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

IWSG – Sexy Side Piece

The good news is I’ve been writing. The bad news is it’s not RTD. I know; I’m disappointing my handful of fans everywhere, but when I sit down to write, my new, no-name story is the document I pull up first. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been writing RTD for well over a year and I need a break, but I feel guilty for cheating on it with this sexy side piece. And it is sexy. It’s a contemporary romance, and now that I’m on my second draft, and I added a backstory and goal to my protagonist, because she had neither on the first go-round. Which means this story is gaining some serious substance.

I think it was all the battle scenes from RTD. I *hate* writing battle scenes. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know this about me. I hate them. I hate them, I hate them, I HATE THEM, but they’re littered in my Arizal Wars series because it’s a sci-fi adventure, and the last book is literally an ongoing invasion. They’re kind of unavoidable. I’m told I write battle scenes well, but unlike dialogue—which is my favorite thing to write in case you’re keeping score—I have to go over every paragraph like a *thousand* times because there is so much movement that needs to happen simultaneously. That’s the issue. You’re not just painting one picture. You’re painting multiple pictures at the same time, and keeping them separate but interwoven so the reader has a clear image while you’re losing your ever-loving mind trying to remember what the hell your characters are doing. This is why writers drink. Or partake in whatever mind-numbing substance helps them get through this. Sometimes it’s chocolate. Most times it’s wine. All the time, it’s something.

So, I’ve taken a small break from RTD to write some witty, flirtatious banter because honestly, I’ve missed it. I did the same thing between books 4 and 5 when I wrote my Better Than This series. I just need a friggin break from guns and whips and darts and death so I can write a little romance, which is pretty much done in the Arizal Wars series (spoiler alert!). Also, I watched some stuff on Netflix and read a Jennifer Armentrout book, so God/the Universe was pointing me in this direction. I just feel a bit guilty.

BUT writing is writing. Work is still getting done, so I can’t beat myself up too much. There. Confession over.

Onto the IWSG Option Question:

Writers have secrets. What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

Hmm…I feel like this is a trick question. I can’t even think of any secrets I have, honestly, writing or otherwise. But, if it’s something that my handful of readers would never know about me based on my writing, I guess it’s that I’m not as brave as my characters? I like throwing them into situations I could never handle myself, or handle with any amount of dignity. But I think a lot of writers do that—put their characters face to face with their own inner demons as a way to work through them? I can’t really imagine what else my readers would never know about me having read my work. Maybe that I was super bad dresser growing up? Let’s go with that one, because all my heroines are dressed way cuter than I ever was. Even now.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

P.S. And on a personal side note, my heart goes out to everyone right now – everyone suffering, but fighting to make this world a better place. We need you. We love you. We stand with you.