1. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas

    Marshipan 2020

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by marshipan, Jan 1, 2020.

    Happy New Year! Last year was all about getting started down the path of self publishing. In the end it become a heavy year of learning. This biggest things I achieved was finishing my first full length book (first draft that is) and overall changing my entire mind frame about writing.

    This year I have some concrete goals to start the year with. I'm well on the way with three main projects:

    1. Touch - erotic romance, anticipated 55k standalone. 65% done. Releasing this month. I'm doing the cover, formatting, and editing all myself. Pen Name 2
    2. Luck Duck - paranormal romance 85k. 20% done on second draft. Anticipating a first quarter release. first book in a trilogy. Bought the cover but formatting and editing will be me (getting editing help from my boyfriend as well). Pen Name 1
    3. White Trash Witch - paranormal romance 85k(?). 30% done on second draft. Anticipating first or second quarter release. First book in series. Again, bought the cover and nothing else outsourced. Pen Name 1

    The plan is to work on my paranormal romance pen name this year and see where it leads me. I imagine I'll have side projects through the year but I'll try to maintain focus on these two series I've got started. I hope to get another paranormal romance or two out this year. I think this will be a heavy learning year too!

    I do want and hope to make some money. It's a hard thing for me to quantify when I haven't even really dipped a toe (I made $8 from a short story back in the Spring, then unpublished it). However, I'd like to see some return on money and time spent. That doesn't mean I'll stop if I don't. Though my long term dream is to be able to earn enough money to justify it being my full time thing.
     
  2. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Touch : 42k (7k today!)

    I expect Friday I'll be finished. Maybe Monday the edits will be done.
     
    keysersoze, Richach, LoaDyron and 4 others like this.
  3. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    402
    Location:
    Somewhere deep in the heart of the UK
    I got my fingers crossed for you, Marshi :) Judging by what I read in your old progress thread I'm sure you can do it.
     
    Stormburn and marshipan like this.
  4. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Touch: 46,680

    Done! Woohoo! Started it Saturday night, so this took an incredible five days. I'm going to spend the next couple days editing this then I can officially stamp it for completion. I did leave it open for a sequel if I get a bug up my butt. Doubt I'll do that unless I get interest in it. Which is highly doubtful

    Now, I've had an epiphany about White Trash Witch. This story has really confused me. I've changed it so many freaking times. Even changing genres, doubling word count goals, and etc. Touch has made me remember what I initially wanted White Trash Witch to be. A fun, comedic, sexy story with witches, demons, and a funny little small town in Texas. At the center a girl corrupted by the men that come into her life. Not some deep southern Gothic noir murder mystery that makes tongue in cheek commentary about the destruction of nature....
    I heard this song today and it spoke to me instantly. It helped with the epiphany. So I went ahead and restarted White Trash Witch again. My intention is to write it fast like Touch but spend more time editing afterwords. Can't get away with being sloppy in paranormal romance like you can erotica.

    White Trash Witch: 1,600 today.

    I will be using some scenes I'd already written, but I hadn't done much for the second draft yet so there isn't much to take.
     
  5. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Got Touch edited, formatted, and out there. We shall see what happens but I don't really expect much. I'm pretty happy to have it done.

    Tomorrow I plan to throw myself in White Trash Witch. Been pretty tired lately though... Too much writing and reading. I'll be going back on a reading hiatus while writing White Trash Witch. Reading is the biggest distraction I have and it seemed to really pay off to avoid it while writing Touch. Instead of reading a couple hours before bed, I replaced it with writing. Did amazing things for my daily word counts.
     
  6. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm finally well rested and am feeling human again. My first plan of action is to go through what I had already written with White Trash Witch and scrap what I don't like anymore. Then rework it in the new draft. I won't really be changing the base plot (fantasy/murder). My refocus is on the romance plot, which wasn't well defined yet. I've got a much clearer idea what will be happening with each of the three men in her life from beginning to end of this book. This book will mostly just be introductory for two of the men. Their true identities remaining a mystery the entire time. The third man was a presence already in her life and we shall see his true, dark intentions in this book.

    Despite not writing much the past half week I did come up with plot ideas for the next three books in this series. Which helped me know what I don't have to include in this book and can get to in the other one. I need to remember to relax while I write. I get all these expectations in my head and it makes me hesitate. I am feeling a bit more relaxed after publishing Touch. I was getting really anxious to finish anything so that I could feel like I was really making progress towards my goals.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  7. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Didn't make as much progress yesterday as I hoped. Was very distracted. So, I had 20k written for White Trash Witch Draft 2 that I'm now remodeling a little. About 65% percent through that. I'm hoping to finish up that today. I'd love to be able to get this published in February. I laid a lot of ground work last year and pushing through to get my projects from 2019 done will make me very happy.

    By the way, I'll let y'all know how Touch did after a month. So far the sales are slowly trickling in. Going about what I expected.

    Edited Later: Got what I wanted to done. The word count officially sits at 20,400 currently. Now I can continue writing the plot. Going to try and keep my head down and keep pushing forward. Like most of us, I question myself too dang much. Ugh.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  8. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    WTW: 24,000 (~3.5k today)

    I've reached the flow zone. Things are coming freely. Helped a lot to let go of the plot outline. I'm beginning to think I'm more a pantser when it comes to be go time. I find it easier to make the story character driven that way. I'm still going to reference the plot points I have when I get stuck though.
     
    LoaDyron, Stormburn, SoulFire and 3 others like this.
  9. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    WTW: 25,500

    Was violently ill (heinous food poisoning) but fully recovered now. Hoping to get that flow mode back on track!
     
  10. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    WTW: 32,500

    Playing a little catch up. Except now I feel sick again. Lovely. Just, lovely. If any of you ever see me reaching for something that isn't a saltine then just go ahead and put me out of my misery before I regret the decision.

    In other news, I'm enjoying the way the story is developing. The romance plot isn't as fast paced as I expected but that's fine.
     
  11. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    WTW: 35,300 (~3k)

    Feel like I'm juggling a lot of plots. Hope it all comes together smoothly.
     
  12. LoaDyron

    LoaDyron Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Heya! How are you doing?

    By your journal entry I got curious about your stories. Good luck. :superagree:
     
    Andy_Megumi, marshipan and Alan Aspie like this.
  13. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas

    Well apparently--according to my mom--from the exact second you turn 30 all illnesses take approximately 3x as long to recover from. I think though, I'm finally 100% ...ish. As long as I don't go buckwild double fisting nachos.

    Did nothing yesterday, but the day before--after finishing my writing--I wrote some new chapter summaries for the next five chapters. Now that I'm juggling all the plots I felt I needed a little organization. Still a little unsure where I am in the plot but my guess is 40%. Not quite half way, but definitely headed that way. Which means the story will end up being around the 85-90k mark. Which sounds right to me.

    Also, it's strange. I'll read one story and think wow okay mine is pretty good! Then I'll read another story and think oh wow, mine is a sloppy joe mess. I read a story yesterday that made me feel like mine is sloppy joe. I cannot wait for the day when I've got a few books under my belt and some of these hard to do things become a bit more second nature. Until then I'll keep clopping away at WTW. There really can't be confidence without experience. I'm done constantly questioning myself on WTW. It's developing how it's developing and I'm going to accept that for what it is. For instance, it's not comedic like I expected. It's actually verging horror--haha, talk about opposites. Also, the romance is becoming secondary. This might end up more urban fantasy than paranormal romance. I'm fine with all of this. I think me trying to force this particular story into certain categories is what has been holding me back and having me constantly restarting.

    Today, my only goal is to write a little and get my head back in the story.
     
  14. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    WTW: 41,000 ( almost 6k)

    Wrote a ton yesterday. Also, after rereading a chapter, I realized my writing is subpar. Yikes. I'll have to give significant time to editing and there is really no way around that. I was watching a documentary about romance writers called Love Between The Covers on Amazon Prime, and this one author said her first book took five years, the second took one year, and the third took four months. I have to keep in mind that I'm still just beginning and there's just no way I'm not going to need to edit heavily. My motto for this book is "I'm okay with that". Haha. Just keeping my head down and doing it.

    I wrote a short story last year that I published on Amazon for a few months (then unpublished). I've decided to edit it and put it out on Smashwords under the same pen name as Touch. Mostly I'm doing it to try and drum up more sales for Touch, but also because it's just sitting around doing nothing at the moment. Might as well see if it brings in some cash! This story I'll call Tease. It's about 15k currently and I don't plan to change much in the story but we shall see. I was in a rush to finish it the first time.

    Lastly, I want a side pen name on Amazon. Something where when I get a bug up my butthole to write some cheesy, steamy romance story I can put it up on that pen name and maybe make some money off it. I'm having trouble figuring out what niche I can stick to though. I may not worry about it and just do what strikes my fancy. I know I have recurring themes and it's just about figuring out how to market that as a specific thing I offer. Anyway, I've been thinking about this since Touch and I think I'm ready to buckle down and make this a dedicated side project.
     
  15. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Got Tease edited and republished. I ended up scrapping the original ending and adding about 2k for a new ending, new word count was 17k. Fixed the cover to have my Smashwords pen name. Which was a mild pain in the butt because I used gimp to make that cover in attempt to learn how (I'm normally a photoshop gal). Anyways--Woohoo! I gave it a pretty low price point because Smashwords seems to be fairly random as far as erotica pricing and I figured I'd low ball it. Also, I've figured out my "niche" for Amazon. Haha! Yes! I'm beginning to wonder if my urban fantasy projects are actually more passion projects than money making ventures.... I'm considering my game plan moving forward. What to prioritize and when. Half the week this and half the week that? Weekends for the side project? Also, which do I think has more money making potential!?!?! Oh my, I haven't a clue yet.
     
    Dogberry's Watch and Andy_Megumi like this.
  16. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Location:
    United States
    I truly enjoy reading your process. You are a very hard worker when it comes to writing, and I admire your dedication.
     
    LoaDyron and marshipan like this.
  17. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    That's so nice, dogberry. This past year is the opposite of my normal. I'm generally a professional slack ass, so I'm surprised by my persistence lately!
     
    LoaDyron and Dogberry's Watch like this.
  18. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    I started a story for my new pen name. Okay, so let me break this down. I currently I have three pen names I'm working on in one way or another. Pen name 1: full length urban fantasy novels, Pen name 2: smashwords erotica that would offend Amazon, pen name 3: my new Amazon pen name dedicated to short read novels (40-50k) that feature "forbidden" romance.

    My new pen name is really going to give me a sanity boost while my long fantasy novels keep dragging along. I also think it might be a better marketing choice to have shorter, faster romance centered stories.

    So right now I'm working on the first story for pen name 3. I want to rush a story out and see how it does. Then I'll have a better idea how to split my time between projects. My new story I'll call Her Demon. I plan to finish it within a week and get it published this month. It'll take a little more effort than smashwords to get this penname set up though. I want to at least get a newsletter and Facebook page set up. Also, I'll need to edit better and the cover will require a bit more finesse.

    Her Demon: 5k

    My goal today and all weekend is just to get a fat word count. It's a long weekend though and I'm trying to give the kids more hands on time. Got to balance life and get good sleep.
     
  19. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    So last year I came up with an idea for a gender bender fantasy romance (Boobs or Bust). Classic boy gets turned into a woman, commence confusing but delightful steamy romance. I wrote about 13k for this story and then put it aside to continue forth on my main projects. I think it's time for me to write it and I'm so excited. I'm totally in love with the story. Like I want to rub it all over my skin and whisper things in it's ear. It will work perfect for my new pen name. I know, I know. You want to sue me for whiplash. I really want to write this first though and I'm also finding it easier to write. Her Demon is standing at 10k now. I feel like I'm having trouble plotting. Some more time to think about it will be beneficial. I'll get back to it after Boobs or Bust.

    Boobs or Bust: 15k

    I'm just going to keep my head down and work on this everyday until I finish it. I don't plan or want to switch projects again until finishing this.
     
  20. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Boobs or Bust: 26k

    Just wrote all day yesterday. Don't think I can maintain that. This is shaping up into a really fun story! Also, there's no dang way I can make the cover. I found a potential one. I figured I'll finish writing this then buy a cover and put it up for presale while I edit and format. Lastly, pretty sure this will be over 50k.... Maybe 70... I'm not getting this out this month. Early February for sure though.
     
  21. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    402
    Location:
    Somewhere deep in the heart of the UK
    The title alone makes me think of a cover with boobs bursting out of a bra. :D
    That might be a bit too 1970s tho hehe
     
    Baeraad and marshipan like this.
  22. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Boobs or Bust: 30.5k

    I did not write well today. The scenes are good but the sentences were clunky garbage. Classic I, I, I with a side of uninspired description. I also had to rewrite this one chapter three times until I finally figured it out. I'll scale back tomorrow on writing. Give the brain a breather.

    I figured out the basic plot idea for Her Demon. Well, the new plot. The old one was boring. The new one has mass murder and underground prison fighting.
     
  23. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Boobs or Bust: 35k

    ...I was supposed to take a break today. Oh well, I did write better at least. I felt motivated to write because there was a string of sexy scenes to build up the heat. *Fans self*

    I also finally figured out the final title and worked on the blurb. The blurb is good. I'm quite proud of myself. Now I'm left anxiously eyeing the cover I want and sacrificing chickens to Satan in hopes no one buys it first. I just cannot justify buying another cover before finishing. Especially since I don't actually have any money.

    I've definitely hit half way now. Which jives with my 70k estimate. Maybe I'll be done in another week? I'm excited to start publishing on Amazon soon!

    My smashwords erotica has dropped off. Not sure I'll make much more money. Sitting at $18 now for a 45k novel (Touch) and 17k short (Tease). Which is similar to other people's experiences I've seen. It was fun and helpful in my writing at least. Also means I beat last year's earnings ($8--lol).
     
  24. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Today I need to think. It's the most complicated part of the plot (for me). Where there is a big shift from negative to positive. Where the feelings go from hate to love. Where the main character experiences success and thrives. Where the love interest begins to open themselves up to love and has a better appreciation for others. I need to keep the comedy and ridiculousness but switch it to be positive instead of negative. Oh my god how do I do that last thing?!?! I don't know! Positive ridiculousness? Wait...WAIT. I think I have an idea. Sudden over the top suitors coming out of the woodwork to shower the MC with gifts and such. Yessss. It think this can work. Still, this requires some more thinking and less writing.

    My goal is to finish this book by the end of the month. I've got a more thorough plan in place as far as the book launch now. I've already started to draft the book's page on Amazon, getting the blurb saved, and finessing the keywords so that that is all ready come publish time. I'll have to hold on to the finished book a week or more, instead of rushing it out, in order to get ARC reviews set up. I've got an editing game plan now (I edit first, pass it through grammerly, then boyfriend edits, then I edit a final time). Hopefully that results in some good polishing. I've started to look up and save paid newsletters and I'm going to start joining more facebook groups that I can advertise in. That will likely be the extent of my marketing plan for this book. I figure I can learn and try more things each book. Also think I'll do an immediate paperback option. I didn't realize that paperbacks can go wide (they can be distributed and sold outside of Amazon) even if I'm subscribed to kindle exclusive for the ebook. So I feel inclined to spend an extra $40 to get a paperback cover.
     
  25. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Location:
    Texas
    Boobs or Bust: 40k

    Well, yesterday's full break from writing went well and today I got back into it, knowing what I wanted to happen. I feel like I'm the downward arc of the story now. I mean, I'm done with setting the stages and getting everything in motion. Now it's about bringing things together and then closing it out.

    Today I was inspired by a song. It made me rethink about Luck Duck. Which is the story I actually finished writing the first draft of last year, started on the second draft. And it also needs a LOT of work. It's not horrible, persay, but it's not particularly good either. I've decided on a few big changes that are going to improve it a lot. You know, when I get back around to it sometimes...this year.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice