#SATurdate: Penned Con, Descendants of the Sun, Snow Like Ashes, & Paperbacks

24 Sep

What I’m Writing:

I’m 52,291 words into Bad Bloods: July Thunder! I was sort of—maybe—kind of hoping to keep this book under 120,000 words, but it looks like it will be just as long as the first two installments at this point. It’s kind of funny not knowing if it will be one book or two, but I’ll keep everyone updated! In the meantime, check out the Pinterest board.

What I’m Publishing:

Bad Bloods: November Snow is now available as a paperback! (Woot!) For those of you wanting signed copies, I will offer those this next week once I get back from Penned Con. That’s right. I’m at Penned Con in St. Louis RIGHT NOW. So, if you’re near me, stop on by and say hi. I’m sharing a booth with the lovely and talented Natasha Hanova. (And we have candy.)

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

What I’m Reading:

Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes

I finished The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele! Adventurous and super fun, The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele tells the story of what happens when a prince and two comrades from another dimension—a warring dimension full of scary, evil creatures called wraths—fall into modern LA and meets Liv, a foster kid on the run. Chaos ensues. I loved the humor in this book. I really enjoyed seeing our modern world from the viewpoint of Cedric (the prince from a more-or-less Medieval-type society). The descriptions were on point—enough to tell the reader what it was he was talking about, while keeping it mysterious to himself. I really enjoyed that, and his conflicting ideals between his old world and the new one he found himself in. Liv was also a badass, at least in regards to personality. I loved how real she felt, and I enjoyed her friendship with Shannon. (Hey! There’s a Shannon in this book. That’s another plus.) The letdowns mainly focus on disappointments rather than anything necessarily bad about the book. Based on marketing and the first couple of pages, I thought we’d see more of Caelum (the other world), but we only see the one chapter at the beginning. That being said, it leaves on QUITE the cliffhanger, hinting to seeing more of the world next time, and I am hoping to get my hands on the sequel soon. Also, the book relies heavily on tropes, which isn’t a bad thing if you love them. BUT I will say this: I LOVE that the love triangle is two girls and one boy rather than the other way around. Overall, though, it felt more like a “part one” than a “book one.” I still recommend it to YA Fantasy readers, especially for those who enjoy Urban Fantasy and Light Fantasy. Recommended to YA readers of light, urban fantasy. Favorite Quote: Maybe hell is just a myth we ascribe to worlds we cannot imagine.

In other news, I FINALLY began Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. How has it taken me this long? UGH. I’ll never know.

What I’m Listening To:

What I’m Watching:

Descendants of the Sun is my latest K-Drama obsession, and I love it. Seriously, I’ve cried so hard during this show, it’s stupid. It follows a female doctor and a male solider as they get to know each other on various landscapes during numerous issues. They have a lot of moral conversations about life, and the life lost around them is heart-breaking! Definitely watch this right meow. It’s on Netflix.

Descendants of the Sun

Descendants of the Sun

I also watched Amazon’s Original Fleabag, and I LOVED it. This one is about a 20-something girl dealing with the death of her best friend while trying to survive in the big city. It’s tragically sad and hilariously funny. Check them both out.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

No baking for me this week! I’m on the road, eating Halloween candy at my booth at Penned Con. Come grab some Airheads or Snickers.

What I’m Wearing:

Penned Con 2016

Penned Con 2016

Despite my non-Pikachu picture, I am wearing my Pikachu hat at Penned Con. Because nothing says “I’m an author” like all the nerdy clothes I’ve been dying to wear.

What I’m Wanting:

As I’m writing this, pasta—because I’m starving.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Honestly, this is the first week where I wasn’t writing down my dreams, so I got nothing.

What Else Is Going On:

Okay. One more time. I am at Penned Con in St. Louis RIGHT NOW, so come on out, say hello, and read awesome books.

~SAT

#WW Penned Con St. Louis & Natasha Hanova Interview!

21 Sep

As you’re reading this, I’m probably packing books and trinkets and other wonderful goodies for Penned Con St. Louis! Last year, I attended this awesome convention as a reader, and I’m ecstatic to be attending this year as an author! Penned Con is on September 23 & 24 in St. Louis, Missouri, and I will be signing books, taking pictures, and just having a ton of fun with readers. (Click the link for tickets and more info.) I hope to see you there.

Natasha Hanova

Natasha Hanova

On top of that, I’ll be sharing a booth with the wonderful and talented Natasha Hanova, so come check us out. We are on our way!

So, today, I’m breaking a blogging rule of mine and featuring an interview with this awesome lady!

Please welcome YA author Natasha Hanova! (Also, if you visit her website today, you can read my interview! Click here.)

Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you? What do you write?

Hello Shannon! Thanks for having me on your blog. My name is Natasha Hanova. #Whovian. #WalkingDead #GimmeAllTheChocolate. I enjoy reading and writing paranormal, dark fantasy, and dystopian books with romance.

What do you love most about reading?

I love how books take me to new places I’ve never been or show me different aspects of a place I’m familiar with. As a writer, I pay particular attention to the methods other authors use to draw me into their book, whether its voice, style, character, plot. I read for enjoyment, and at the same time, I’m learning to hone my craft.

What do you love most about writing?

Quieting the voices? JK. When I write, I sit down with my laptop, a bag of M&Ms (we’re not discussing which size), and my headphones. One of my favorite parts of writing is getting so deep into the zone that I stop hearing the music, forget to munch on M&Ms, and fall into the fictional world on my screen. When my characters are talking and moving so fast, my fingers can hardly keep up with their pace. When the scene is so vivid, I can smell the crisp air, taste the pine, and touch dried leaves, and hear them crunch the setting. There’s little else that compares to that kind of joy.

What do you love most about publishing?

I like connecting with readers. I’m not going to lie, cover reveals are also exciting.

What are you currently working on?

I have a Young Adult Paranormal that’s Classic Snow White meets Buffy that I’m shopping around. I’m also currently working on an adult horror that’s dark, with sparks of light, and of course a touch of romance.

Any advice for writers out there?

Ever hear the saying, “There is no try, just do.” I think the same thing applies to writing a book. Set attainable goals. Find accountability partners, if you need to and just write. Even one sentence a day is progress.

Edge of Truth by Natasha Hanova

Edge of Truth by Natasha Hanova

What are you looking forward to at Penned Con?

This is my first time going to Penned Con, though I know a few of the other authors attending. I’m looking forward to sharing a Table 35 with you.  I may or may not have chocolate available. I also can’t wait to meet all the people.

And since we’re talking about traveling, what is your favorite city/trip you’ve been on?

This summer, I went to Finland/Norway with my husband. I’d have to say that was in my Top 3 favorite trips. Beautiful country-side. Delicious food. Serene writing places.

Shout out to three books you love!

Argh! Only three. Man, okay. In no particular order, Touching Fate by Brenda Drake, The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole (Yes, I’m aware that’s more than one book), and Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Shameless plug time! What book of yours should we check out?

Edge of Truth. A recent reviewer described it like this: “[Edge of Truth] is about a girl who can LITERALLY make the earth quake. X-Men meets Divergent.”

Thanks again for having me.

Social Media Links

Website   *   Twitter   *   Goodreads   *   Facebook   *   Pinterest

Book Links

Amazon     *     Barnes & Noble     *     iBooks     *     Books-A-Million

Come out to St. Louis this weekend to hang out with us!

Read my interview on Natasha Hanova’s website here.

~SAT

November Snow Paperback Release & Sequel Sneak Peeks!

19 Sep

Today’s post is short and sweet.

The paperback of Bad Bloods: November Snow released!

So, who wants some sneak peeks?😀

Bad Bloods: November Snow Paperback Release

Bad Bloods: November Snow Paperback Release

Bad Bloods: November Rain is FREE

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Bad Bloods: November Snow

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Free Bad Bloods Prequel: Wattpad

What are the latest readers saying?

“A powerful work of art. In November Rain, Thompson invites us into a world of secrecy, murder, and unlikely friendships that are bound to make your head spin with wonder.” – Lena May Books, November Rain

“I bawled like a baby at the end of this book. I highly recommend this story to all to read and enjoy!!” – Black Words, White Pages, November Snow

So what happens after Bad Bloods: November Snow?

July Thunder!

The sequel is underway! I’m working really hard, despite hitting a bit of a snag, and I released the first sneak peek of July Thunder’s very first chapter, told by Violet herself. For those of you who need a little reminder, Violet was a bad blood from the Northern Flock, she was the shadow from Shadow Alley, and now, she is a protagonist. The other protagonist will be a brand-new character named Caleb. I am so looking forward to readers seeing how he connects with the first book. (There are hints throughout November Rain and Snow. *hint hint*)

Check out the July Thunder/Lightning Pinterest Board!

This is a first look at brand-new cast members, as well as old ones, and the sunken bay, where most of the sequel will take place. The sunken bay is in Eastern Vendona. Niki from the Southern Flock originated from there (which you can read about on the Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad) as did a few other bad blood characters. Other important origin stories you should pay attention to? Ami. She was in the Southern Flock, and she will play a significant role in July Thunder/Lightning. But that’s all I’ll say for now! This board isn’t complete, so keep your eyes on it for additions.

July Thunder Pinterest Board Sneak Peek! See more photos at the link!

July Thunder Pinterest Board Sneak Peek! See more photos at the link!

And finally, the preview of July Thunder/Lighting!

This excerpt is from Violet’s perspective on July 1, 2090.

“Are you afraid of Caleb?” Daniel asked.

Levi tossed his head back and laughed. “Afraid?” he repeated. “Of course I’m afraid. But I ain’t here ‘cause I’m scared of him.” Levi dropped into the water with a dramatic splash. When he resurfaced, his glowing skin scorched an eerie glow across his eyes. “I’m here ‘cause I’m scared for him.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I snapped.

Levi’s eyes met mine. “The sea?” he asked, and to make a point, he dragged his fingers through the water. “She talks to me.”

“Well, isn’t that sweet?” I mocked, but Levi’s expression only darkened.

“She’s far from sweet, sweetheart,” he said. “She’s gonna kill us.”

“What are you talking about?” Daniel growled, but Levi smirked at his tone, like a sailor to a siren.

“Caleb didn’t tell you?” he asked, then touched the water again. “We’re all gonna drown.”

P.S. I released a longer excerpt via my newsletter. If you missed it, sign up today. More sneak peeks will release in the future. (I won’t ever give your information away, and I send one newsletter a month – if that.)

Thanks for reading!

Bad Bloods: November Rain is FREE

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Bad Bloods: November Snow

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Free Bad Bloods Prequel: Wattpad

~SAT

#SATurdate: Pumpkin Spice Lattes, The Marked Girl, One Mississippi & Violins

17 Sep

What I’m Writing:

So this week I totally fell in love with Lindsey Sterling, an American violinist who blew me away. (I put her music in my music section, so check her out.) But this reminded me of a fact that will come up in Bad Bloods, so here it goes: Everyone thinks I named the walled-in city of Bad Bloods “Vendona” because of Romeo and Juliet’s Verona, but in all honesty, I got the name from my favorite violinist, Vanessa-Mae. Though it’s not “technically” said I kept hearing it at the ten-second moment in her song, Destiny. Check it out! Tell me if you can hear it, too. This is also why I’m SUPER excited about Bad Bloods: July Thunder. It’s very musical, and there will be violins!

This week’s #1lineWed preview was socks, and no lie, I was AMAZED I actually had a line in Bad Bloods: July Thunder that mentioned socks. There’s just some things we forget about, right? Well, not Hanna. She’s the character described in this preview.

What I’m Publishing:

I am working with Barnes & Noble again to set up a Bad Bloods book signing tour! I will host writing panels and more, so keep an eye out for that. Also, the Bad Bloods: November Snow paperback releases September 19—this upcoming Monday—and I will be releasing sneak peeks of the sequel through my newsletter and right here on www.ShannonAThompson.com. In other news, though, I am discontinuing the Bad Bloods prequel for now, so I can concentrate on future books, but don’t be surprised if I post new prequel stories randomly. (I will announce them if I do.)

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

What I’m Reading:

I’m currently reading The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele! It’s so good! Cute, fun, exciting, and super scary at times. I’ll include a picture next week when I post my review.❤

What I’m Listening To:

This is the violinist I mentioned above!

What I’m Watching:

One Mississippi finally released. It’s an Amazon Original I’ve been waiting for since the pilot, and I LOVED it. That being said, it’s rather dark humor and dry, but…that’s my type of humor. I definitely recommend this show if you enjoy that type of cynical honesty.

One Mississippi

One Mississippi

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

css29pmuaaepnb8-jpg-largePumpkin spice latte! I just HAD to do it. That and peanut butter and chocolate chip pinwheel cookies. For those of you who actually look at the recipe, you might notice I didn’t bother with the swirling part. In all honest, I did…but I ran out of wax paper, and I nearly ruined my entire kitchen. So normal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies happened. I tend to use chunky peanut butter instead of creamy, too. They are awesome!

What I’m Wearing:

My Jayhawk t-shirts from my KU college days. Why? See “What Else Is Going On” below.

What I’m Wanting:

For Penned Con to get here already! I’m one week away and dying from excitement.

Penned Con St. Louis 2016

Penned Con St. Louis 2016

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Apparently, my profession was ghost-hunting, but this was not by choice. (I suppose this society chose your jobs for you.) But there were reports of ghosts out in this field, and I had to walk out there in the dark until I could find something. Basically, it was me walking through the woods expecting something to get me for what felt like forever. No jumpy surprises. For once.

What Else Is Going On:

Cocoa Cloud from La Prima Tazza

Cocoa Cloud from La Prima Tazza

For the first time in almost four years, I returned to my good ol’ college town of Lawrence, Kansas. I made a day trip out of it, and it was a blast. I got to eat cream cheese pineapple pizza at Pizza Shuttle (trust me, it’s awesome), drink a Cocoa Cloud from La Prima Tazza, and eat cereal from Java Break’s 24-Hour Cereal Bar. If you’re in Lawrence, I’m telling you, these are the places to be.

Today is also my big brother’s birthday, so…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRUGORY.

~SAT

#WW Help! My Female Character Is Flat

14 Sep

I’m guilty! Oh, so guilty.

While writing my latest manuscript for my publisher, I hit a snag 38,000 words in, and could not—for the life of me—figure out what was wrong with it. Then, I realized what happened.

My female protagonist was flat.

Allow me to back track for a little bit.

I never used to have this problem. When I first set out to write books, I honestly feel like I was a better writer than I am now. At least, in regards to the first draft. I would simply let my work be what it needed to be. Now, I’m bombarded with so many rules and expectations (some awesome, some not-so-awesome) that I end up worrying about what I should be writing instead of worrying about what my book actually is, who my characters truly are, and how things will happen naturally.

Example? Well, let’s go back to where I started. My flat female character. Why was she flat? Because she wasn’t flawed. So, why wasn’t she flawed? Because I was afraid. I kept thinking about all the things readers want (and don’t want) a female character to be. Tough but not too tough. Girly but not too girly. A good friend, a completely independent lover, a strong-minded leader, a determined dreamer, and someone who never faints from total exhaustion from all that perfect-ness.

I take issue with too much expectation, especially in young adult fiction where characters are coming of age and still trying to figure out who they are, what they want, and how they’re going to achieve it. But I get it. I do. As a reader myself, I know readers are harder on female characters, because the world is harder on females in general. I have my moments, too! It’s ingrained into us, after all. But I hadn’t realized how much it was affecting books until my paranormal romance trilogy released last year. Spoiler warning now, I was shocked that my male protagonist could take a two-ton car, throw a hissy fit, and crash it at 100 mph without so much as a blink of judgment, while my female character was called all kinds of nasty names because she went underage drinking with her friends and got into some trouble. Personally, I think his choice was much more destructive considering how he could’ve killed someone else—or an entire car full of innocent people—while her reckless decision really only put herself in danger. (And she was with friends she should’ve been able to trust.) All that aside, though, only one of them was judged. And she was judged harshly. (Shameless plug: I’m talking about Seconds Before Sunrise.)

As much as I wish I could say this didn’t affect me, I think it did.

Now, when I approach my female characters, I’m hesitant to let them make any mistakes at all. I’m afraid to let them cry (because they’ll be deemed whiny), but I never hesitate to let my male characters cry (because when they cry, they are somehow seen as deep and approachable and need to be comforted).

It’s extremely frustrating, because I am also a female, and I know these judgments extend far beyond the pages of my books. It’s also why I fight my own fears to keep my female characters round. In a world that is constantly trying to flatten female characters, I will fight to keep them round. I will even fight myself—my own misconceptions and…well, flaws.

Before, I held myself back, and therefore, I held my female character back, and I apologize for that.

She is not someone I should hold back. She is strong and weak and happy and sad. She’s dealing with trauma and dreaming about the future and falling in and out of what she thinks might be love (but she isn’t sure), and she is reckless for all kinds of reasons. She also cares deeply about those around her…and sometimes she forgets to care about herself, too. But she will do her best and she will make mistakes, and the combination of both is what matters, because that is who she is.

I will not worry whether or not readers will hate or love or judge her, because she is her, and that is who she is supposed to be. And this is her story to tell, not mine.

~SAT

#SATurdate: Sequel Sneak Peeks, The Light Between Oceans, Rook, & Cupcakes.

10 Sep

What I’m Writing:

Bad Bloods: July Thunder Sneak Peek

Bad Bloods: July Thunder Sneak Peek

I’m back on the Bad Bloods train with a brand-new outline and a continued plan after getting stuck in writing quicksand 38,000 words in. I actually have an article about WHAT was wrong with it coming out on Wednesday, so look out for that. It has something to do with my female lead—Violet—and I’m really excited she’s telling the first chapter. In fact, I released the first-ever sneak peek of July Thunder! The picture is to the right, but since it’s hard to read, you can read it below. (Be sure to read the “What I’m Publishing” section, because more sneak peeks are coming.) I’m officially 24,549 into the new version.

July 1, 2090

Violet

I’d learned two rules since President Henderson declared bad bloods the right to live again.

  1. Freedom came with rules attached.
  2. Breaking rules was in my blood.

Rebelling was how I survived, after all. And nothing screamed rebellion more than the color black.

I put my best black boot forward to make my entrance at Western Elementary. As I stepped out of the shadows into the halls, I changed from a ghost to a girl. The same girl that gave Shadow Alley its name. The same girl that lived on the streets, then lived in the Northern Flock, then survived them both. And now, that girl was expected to be anyone but herself.

My name was Violet Wilson, and I was a citizen now.

This isn’t to say this will be the final opening, but I thought I’d keep you updated as I move along. I’m also going to start sharing #1lineWed from July Thunder! This week’s preview was school.

What I’m Publishing:

The Seconds Before Sunrise paperback is back up! And it's 20% off.

The Seconds Before Sunrise paperback is back up! And it’s 20% off.

So here’s the deal. The paperback release of Bad Bloods: November Snow is September 19. I keep thinking about how to celebrate this the right way, and I finally settled on more sneak peeks of July Thunder, since it’s taking me longer to write than I hoped. So sign up for my newsletter and be sure to visit my blog on September 19 to see more excerpts, an inspirational Pinterest board, and more!

Also, speaking of paperbacks, I know a lot of you have been trying to order the paperback of Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy! Thanks for reading and making the book sell out! My publisher fixed the issue, and now, the paperback of Seconds Before Sunrise is back in stock everywhere! (And it’s only $7.00, which is 20% off the usual price.)

This week, I also got more news on Penned Con! Author Natasha Hanova and I will be at booth 35 in the Breckenridge Ballroom during Penned Con St. Louis on September 23 & 24. Here is the complete map of booths. Come out and see us!

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

What I’m Reading:

Rook by Sharon Cameron

Rook by Sharon Cameron

I finished Rook by Sharon Cameron! A homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel, Rook is sophisticated, intimate, and philosophical. It is reminiscent of the French Revolution and all the tension that comes along with it, but it doesn’t take place during the French Revolution. Instead, it takes place in the far-off future set back to the Dark Ages after a world disaster and reconstruction. What would happen to us after a polar shift and how would life continue on? Well, that’s what type of world Rook by Sharon Cameron takes place in. It’s definitely a book to remember. It’s unique, lively, and treacherous. For those of you looking for an awesome, intimate standalone, read this book right meow. Recommend to those looking for a satisfying standalone, reminiscent of the French Revolution, homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel, romantic, mysterious, past a dystopian time, vivid descriptions, romantic. Strong female lead. Humorous philosophy. Betrayal and religion. Favorite Quote: “To be eclipsed by you, Miss Bellamy, could only be an honor.” Read my full four-star review by clicking here.

I also started The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele.

What I’m Listening To:

What I’m Watching: 

I saw The Light Between Oceans over Labor Day weekend, and it was beautiful! The cinematography was astounding. So beautiful and breath-taking. And the story will tear your heart apart. One thing I thought I loved the most about this movie was how much I didn’t like the characters (like, not at all), but I still sympathized with them, and I was still moved by their story. I think that’s really rare, to be able to get an audience to love the story, even though the characters make terrible, selfish decisions. Seriously, go see it. If not for the story, for the oceanic scenes captured. It’s brilliant. 

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

My oven finally got fixed, so I baked cupcakes! I made banana chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream icing. They were amazing. (And I’m afraid of how many more sweets I’m going to eat now that my oven is fixed and I have new recipe cookbooks.)

What I’m Wearing:

My Sailor Moon sweater! I need some extra pep in my step.

What I’m Wanting:

Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series is being made into a TV series?!? I mean, yes! I cannot wait. You can read my five-star review of Throne of Glass here. Read this article about the TV show right here. It’ll be on Hulu and called Queen of Shadows.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So, I have no idea what type of society this dream took place in, but it was very desert-like, and a band of masked kids commit all these Robin Hood type crimes. Naturally, the government is chasing them, but the child telling the dream is a little genius, and he chases them down during one of their crimes. Though, he happens to stumble upon a dying one first. (Shot. By the government.) The kid stays with the dying one until he’s gone, then climbs a series of wooden ladders to the lair. When he finds them, they decide to let him stay, but he realizes he’s number 72. And there’s only 13 in this room. All of the others have passed. But he wants to be a part of this group, because he believes in their cause. (What their cause is, I have no clue. Yay, dreams plot holes!) But after the first night, a chick shows up, and she’s apparently one of the originals who left on her own accord. But now she’s back, and drama ensues. Then, I woke up. Potential book idea? Maybe. This is the type of dream I’d probably base a novel off of (once I fill in plot holes, of course), but it was quite fun!

What Else Is Going On:

I slept through a 5.3 magnitude earthquake this week! No joke. I’m a bit infamous for sleeping through strange things. In the 90’s, I slept through a Packers game in Lambeau Field. In Puerto Rico, I fell asleep in a rooftop hot tub. What can I say? I’m just staying true to my reputation.

~SAT

#WW Writing Quicksand

7 Sep

Writing quicksand is a term I like to use to describe when writing is doing more damage than good. You know, the more you move, the faster you sink? It can happen in writing, too. Of course, writers should write all time. Whenever they can, really. But sometimes, it’s best to walk away for a little while, too, especially in regards to specific projects.

I found myself in writing quicksand the other day.

While working on a certain sequel, I hit a snag, but I didn’t back down. I pulled out my Sticky Notes. I displayed my plan. I switched it up. I rewrote Chapter One, and then, I edited Chapter Two and Three. From there, I redesigned a few characters…and then, I face-planted.

It was all wrong. Everything was worse. The “issues” I thought I was fixing were only multiplying in numbers.

I tore it all down, and I stubbornly tried again…and again…and again.

And every time, I only sank further into despair.

Writing quicksand.

But sand is so pretty, right? Wrong.

But sand is so pretty, right? Wrong.

It’s a dangerous trap, and when you’re stuck in it, you can start doubting everything you’ve ever written—in the past, in the current, and even in the future. You can start thinking every project is silly or useless or mundane. But then, you tell yourself it’s just writer’s block, and you try to power your way through it…only to hurt the project again.

It’s okay to walk away.

It’s okay to take a break for a little while and clear your head elsewhere.

Personally, when I realize I’m in writing quicksand, I put the laptop away, find an awesome read, and try to write something else completely unrelated to anything else I’ve worked on recently. I listen to a podcast, I research some history, I challenge myself with some ridiculously hard crosswords. (I still need a 10-letter word for Koussevitzky’s wardrobe.) But taking a break lets me enjoy writing without the deadlines or pressure or worries that come along with any writer’s career. And sure enough, within a day or two, I was back on dry land.

My project even continued forward.

One article I LOVE LOVE LOVE is When to Put the Baby (Your Book) to Bed by Stacey Lee on Publishing Crawl. (If you haven’t read Stacey Lee’s YA historical novel, Outrun the Moon, do so now. It’s amazing. Here’s my 5-star review.) But her article about when to walk away from a manuscript is a fantastic, honest read about how to know when to give up. (And why it’s okay.)

For now, I’m continuing forward with the project I sunk into the quicksand with, but there has been numerous books I had to walk away from, too, and that’s okay.

As long as you keep writing—and keep trying—all the adventures are worth it, even the ones with quicksand.

~SAT

 

 

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