‘Tis the Season

20141203_165558I have been working non stop since August. Or maybe July, I dunno. While the blog hasn’t been the most active, I have been diving head first with little to no breaks with all other things writing. Editing old novels, cleaning up a couple newer ones, rereleasing ebooks and setting up paperbacks, it’s all been hectic on it’s own. Throw NaNoWriMo in the mix and you can kind of see why one wouldn’t come up for air for a while.

After I finished my fifty thousand word goal (woot!) I got hit with a fantasy novel idea which I had to write before I took a break from anything. Okay, it wasn’t the idea, per se, as it was reading the synopsis for the abandoned NaNo project of 2013 and thinking “Damn that’s a good sounding book.” So three weeks and nearly seventy–five thousand words later I finished that project too. Oh, yeah, which reminds me, I will be releasing that series as a different author sometime in the next year. More to come on that later.

So as it stands I am more than up to date on everything I needed to do. Unscripted Transformations, the final book needing rerelease is back in ebook form, and Paperback is on schedule for it’s end of January release. There’s even a giveaway on Goodreads, so check that out.

Which leaves me feeling restless. But relaxed. This is the best time of year to catch up on the books I’ve neglected, the shows I’ve skipped for a couple extra hours of writing, and best of all is spending time with my hubby and son.

So until the new year, all. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

How do you spend the last weeks of the year?

NaNoWriMo and the toddler

Last year I shouldn’t have complained. Writing with a baby? Easy peasy in hindsight. Two nap times and can be totally preoccupied with toys on the floor. So what if I was tired from the 2 am feedings and the 6 am wake up call, I HAD IT MADE! This year Lil bug is much more demanding. And exhausting. Sure he sleeps a solid 11 hours, but during the day he is a ball of energy who must dance, play blocks, run around outside, ect. So all that nay saying I did last year? I take it all back. My best work does not happen at 6 am,  trying to write to kids songs to attempt to finish my nap time work is difficult. But hey, I’m  getting through it.
My word count is awesome. Not to brag, because if I didn’t have an awesome hubby, and NaNoWriMo didn’t start on a weekend, I wouldn’t have one.
So how do others do this, I wonder?
No seriously, how are all the other writers doing? Not a nanowrimo – er?  How do you keep up with toddler demands and writing life?
In the mean time, I have a castle to build and a song about Unicorns to listen to.

I’m going to be brave: sharing my NaNoWriMo W.I.P.

I love NaNoWrimo. I love the concept, the challenge, the comradery, all of it. This year will be my fourth, and if I’m lucky my third win. Each year I try to find a reason to keep myself motivated, to finish the piece that I started, or at least get to the fifty-thousand word mark. November is also almost always a hectic time of year for me. With all our family living away from us I usually need to have all my Christmas preparations finished by the end of November, normally the time we travel, or in this case have visitors. I have a toddler, which limits writing time and energy. It gets hard.

So this year to motivate myself to finish I will be releasing the Work in progress on Smashwords. They’re offering us NaNo peeps a chance to “publish” the work, publicly showing how far we’ve come as well as sharing what we have on the go.

Yes, there are many places one could put up their story, Wattpad for example, but since I’m already on Smashwords at least once a day to check things out I figured this is the best place to maybe gain some readership and have other people see my word count.

I’m quite excited for this, but also nervous. I hope my plan doesn’t back fire in anyway.

How about you? Would you share a work in progress with the world, NaNoWriMo or not?

The evolution of a novel

I don’t know if I will ever stop talking about An Altered Ending. Maybe that’s a good thing, I dunno, but I do know this: It’s coming back out, and I’ve never been prouder of it.

Why? Because it’s finally the story I wanted to tell.

I originally started writing Altered January 2010. It had been in the incubator for four months with roughly five or six false starts and stops. While Ellen had always been who she is as we know her now: A young twenty something a little lost in life, raised by her single mother, and had a vegetarian diet, those around her had not. Claire, Angela, and Liam were all there in name alone, all of them having shaped and morphed into their final incarnations with each new attempt. And Simon, oh Simon, sexy professor that he is, hadn’t even been conceived until I started writing the first draft. Up until then Ellen’s love interest was a young, blond man from her past. His name was Aaron in every single start, though I never really figured out what he was about. Simon came into the picture when I started thinking of Ellen turning to an old, trusted professor for advice, and all of a sudden I could see her falling in love with him.

The version originally published by Girlebooks back in 2012 wasn’t that different from the first draft. While originally there was zero touching between Ellen and Simon in the past, it became impossible for that to make sense to me. But that wasn’t the only thing that bothered me about it, I just could never quite put my finger on why. By the time I started writing How We BeganAn Altered Ending was already in the process of being published. I already learned a lot more about writing, as well as me as a writer, so I knew the first draft of How was horribly flawed despite it being a nearly direct link to it’s inspiration.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where I really learned how badly thought out some of Altered was. My hands were tied, however, and I had no real way of fixing it. Not without, as I thought, writing a whole new story.

I didn’t like this idea. Okay, that’s a lie, I loved it. But only partly. While I made it a good chunk into the whole new version there was always something off about it. There were scenes I loved and will eventually find a home somewhere, but it felt like a lie. This wasn’t really them, this was Ellen, Simon, and crew playing make believe in another world.

Just as I was lost (as I always get when I’m faced with major writer’s block and lack of direction) Girlebooks ceased their author program and I was given back my books.

And here we are, months later, and Altered is the story I want it to be after a few simple changes.

Now, seeing as how this is already a long post, I will try to keep the rest brief.

What changed from the original version? A lot, and yet not much at all. It’s five years later instead of six, everything that happens plot wise follows the same line it did previously, it’s mostly in the gap between How We Began and An Altered Ending  that’s changed. In fact, here’s the main differences in point form:

  • Ellen’s mother has not been sick this whole time. While people can recover from Stage four cancer, it’s highly unlikely. Instead of her being sick from the time Ellen left university, she has only been knowingly sick of a couple of years. This effects other things, of course. Like:
  • Ellen and Simon stopped talking for another reason. I won’t get into details, but neither actually abandoned the other in anyway. In fact, they were headed in the right trajectory for a while.
  • Donovan is a much more prominent characterHere’s the thing: I loved Donovan. From the moment he was created I wanted him to have his own story. He still might, but he now plays a bigger part in Ellen’s past. The past without Simon.
  • DialogueSome conversations have changed. This is simply because past events, as well as some current ones, have changed as well.
  • Scenes have been cut. It’s all part of editing, and if I didn’t feel the scene was needed it was hacked. On that note, some chapters have been split apart to make them a touch shorter.

I am immensely proud of how this version has turned out. There are no more voices in my head questioning what could have been different. It’s a tremendous relief, and while I love these characters I’m glad to put them to bed once and for all. As I said, some secondary character may get his own story, much in the same vein that Eddie got his, but that won’t be confirmed for a while yet.

If you had read the old version, or purchased it and have yet to read it, e-mail me at megantrennett-at-hotmail-dot-ca with the file attached and I will send you the update FOR FREE! 

Why “Shipping” is so important.

It’s a term I hadn’t actually come across until a couple years ago, but I’ve been doing it my whole life: Shipping. As in rooting for a relationship in a book, television, movies, ect. It’s in every fandom across the web. My earliest “ship” was Link and Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda. It’s likely what drove my five year old self, who sort of idolized the princess and thought Link was goofy and charming, to have such a passion for a story that my current self knows inside out. Actually, I can carry on conversations about their fictional world and history than I can of my actual country.

But it’s important that fans have that drive, especially in chick-lit. If fans aren’t rooting for a specific relationship to happen, then they aren’t really connecting. Not that all chick-lit is romance based, but a lot of it is. And since shipping isn’t limited to romance (bromances and bffs), even the chick-lit based in friendships need to “shippers”. While many people wanted Rachel to end up with Dex in Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, there was a small percentage who wanted her to stay true to BFF Darcy. It’s what drives you through the story, to see who Rachel chooses. It’s the same with all works of fiction that involves relationships. If you don’t have that, then the reader isn’t going to be interested.

While I may not be an expert, I can say this is the most likely way to tell if you’re going to have readers turning pages to find out if they get their wish: shipping your own characters. Yep, if you don’t have a burning desire to see your love interests or future friends together (even if you know they won’t), then why would your readers? It will come across in your writing, causing the reader to become more involved with your characters lives.

But then again, I’m not an expert, so maybe not. All I know is that twenty-three years later I still get excited for that almost kiss, or even the hint of an ever after, every time I finish a Legend of Zelda game.

Everbody’s working for the weekend

It’s a topic my husband and I have discussed often: would we still work if we won the lottery. My answer is always yes, but my work isn’t exactly a daily grind. In fact, there’s a huge chunk of my family that don’t believe I work at all. Writing requires little effort, as does child care, apparently. But I digress.

Yes, I would still work. I’d just get to work more often, at a much more enthusiastic pace. I won’t be struggling to edit with the copious amount of fatigue that comes with chasing and entertaining a toddler all day. If money was no option, and we could live anywhere, we’d be back in our home province where there would be a line of family to babysit the munchkin that they currently don’t get to see that often. While my husband would toil away part time in the gamer store he half dreams of opening, I would spend my days with my characters. Not everyday, of course. A mental health day would be needed so I could spend time with my two favorite boys and not worry about the stuff I should be getting done.

Ah, to dream. But alas, I must continue on with the 88 hour work week until such a day comes that I become the main bread winner (hahahaha) or those seven magic numbers get called in our favor.