Thinking About Outlines

I used to be a discovery writer.

When I first started writing 10+ years ago, I was definitely a discovery writer. I have notebooks and notebooks of discovery written stories in a tote in my bedroom. For quite a while, these stories had no structure. These were my characters having adventures, being kidnapped, being tortured (by me– in all seriousness, pretty much all of my characters should’ve died with what I put them through), falling in love, having kids, dying, coming back from the dead, having arguments with family members who tried to kill them…

I’m not sure when I started to integrate some structure. It was instinctive, I think, because I don’t remember ever thinking “oh, something really bad needs to happen almost at the end, where it seems like there is no hope for the main character”. But as I think about this and my past stories, at some point, they did gain low points. They gained inciting incidents. They must have gained character choice at some point, though also subconsciously.

There are very few of those old stories I would go back to. I can think of one, off the top of my head, that I would like to rewrite someday. It was basically four kids find out that two of the village elders are plotting to take over the world and none of the adults believe that, so the kids take it upon themselves to stop the elders. It was a quest. I loved it. I wouldn’t mind revamping it.

These days, I’m having trouble writing. I’m not sure what it is, but I haven’t been able to write a novel since October, when I finished Magic Teacups. It’s not for lack of trying. I’ve started and scrapped several novels. Which I’d like to think is not a problem. Starting and scrapping has always been part of my process. If I’m not interested enough to write more than the number 1 at the top of the page, I shouldn’t write the story. (I have notebook pages that are completely blank except the number 1 at the top of the page.)

But lately, I’m a bit discouraged. There has been a lot of starting and scrapping.

But why? What happened? What do I need to actually get going with a story?

I’m trying to figure that out. Connect the dots between all these scrapped stories and figure out what is missing.

I need certain bits of story.

  1. I need more than just a plot bunny. I need to have more than “Oh that’s a cool idea!”. Because I have more plot bunnies than I do fleshed out stories. Not just novels, either. Short stories 100% apply here, too.
  2. I need to know what happens in between the Choice and the Midpoint. This is a part I keep finding myself struggling with. This is usually when the characters are just beginning their quest and things are just moving right along, but nothing horribly serious has happened yet, all the while working toward the Midpoint when things really do get serious and play time is over. I think too many times, I accidentally imagine a five-minute movie montage when I need to be imagining about 5-10 chapters for a book. I mean, lets face it, watching the Fellowship trek through snowy mountains on screen, doing nothing but trekking, is much more interesting on screen than it is on page. So, how do I fix this? I have goals (plots and subplots) for them to be working toward that can be broken down into steps. If our goal is to get to someplace, then we need chapters of them getting ready to go and then going through several places to get to the final destination.
  3. I need to know how the book starts. This used to not be such a problem. I need to be okay with false starts again.
  4. I need to be okay with discovery writing. I’ve lost my taste for discovery writing. I don’t like outlining every bit of a story, but I need to either go to that extreme and stick with it or I need to make myself not panic when I don’t know what’s going on. I think I may have locked myself into a perfectionist and comparison cycle, thinking this has to be perfect and all the while noting how much faster everyone is writing and how awesome their stories sound and thinking I need to be fast and perfect at the same time… this way lies madness. Don’t come any closer.
  5. I need to have emotional beats I’m looking forward to and can write toward. This is more than just the Choice, the Midpoint, the Low Point, though it certainly does include those things. These are my cookie scenes. The ones I spend the whole time I’m writing looking forward to. I think this is the most important thing. One of my favorite parts of storytelling is being excited about the things my characters are doing and the things I do to them. I love conflict. I love kissing scenes. I love injuring my characters. I love playful bickering between characters. I love emotions. I want my characters to be happy, sad, angry, in love, etc, etc, etc. The newest episode of Writing Excuses (12.22– Hybrid Outlining and Discovery Writing) helped me realize that I need these beats. (And this is a really good episode on outlining, so you should definitely listen to it.)

I don’t think I can use any one of these things as a complete fix-everything. A lot of this is finding my imagination and my willingness to chase it again. What is not that is learning how to plan effectively. Most of this is allowing myself to take time. Time to discover. Time to write. Time to figure out characters and plot.

Any thoughts, reader-peeps?

Kate out.



Perfect Date, Round Two– Hunter Jackson

Hi, reader-peeps!

A few Twitter friends and I came up with the idea to do a few Valentine’s Day posts with our characters. Keep an eye out for another post in a few days!

I’m doing another Perfect Date post. This time, I’m doing a character from LASER, an old project.



I actually have a picture this time.


Hunter Xavier Jackson.

Hunter: Did you have to put my middle name in that?

You’re the one who wanted to do this.

Hunter: Point. Just… don’t make this worse.

How does he look? Eyes, hair, any tattoos or scars. What’s his style?

Hunter is 5’11”, with dark hair and his eyes are blue, but so dark that they look black. He has a bunch of scars, but they are small and mostly insignificant scratches from animal claws.

His style is casual, but he has been known to rock a leather jacket every now and then.

Hunter: And I look good in it!

What kind of music? What kind of food?

Hunter: These days, I like Twenty-One Pilots. I don’t listen to much else.

As for food, his favorite is cheeseburgers, hold the onions. But he’ll eat anything.

Hunter: Except onions.

What’s his family like?

Hunter: Do I have to answer this question?

Hunter’s family is… broken. His older sister is dead. His parents are divorced. His dad is an extreme activist.

Hunter: My grandma is okay, though. She’s nice.

Why he would be a great date?

Hunter wants his girl to have a good time. He’s also willing to protect her at all costs.

Hunter: *cough* Not that there would be a need for protection on a date…


Things he values:

Loyalty. Hunter is loyal to the very core. No cheating here. He’ll start an apocalypse for you.

Hunter: Katie, do you think apocalypse is the right word to use here…?

What he would do for a first date?

Hunter would take you out to dinner. And then he’d take you stargazing.

Hunter: There’s are mountains where I live and we would go to the top of one and drink hot chocolate and just watch the stars for hours.

Looking for long term relationship or just a quick date?

Hunter looks for long term.

We’ve had our pros, what are the cons?

As we said earlier, Hunter is very loyal. But it’s loyalty to a fault.

Hunter: That’s in the past.


also, he’s a werewolf

Hunter: MOVING ON.

flowers , chocolate, or promises he doesn’t intend to keep?

Flowers and chocolate and whatever else will make his girl happy.

Hunter: Absolutely!


And that’s Hunter! And if Hunter or Cloud isn’t right for you, check out the Perfect Dates Kate, Wendy, Olivia, and Jameson advertised!

And feel free to take this tag and do it yourself! Just use the banner and leave a link to your post in the comments!

~Kate out!

Perfect Date Tag– Matthew Cloud

Hi, reader-peeps!

I have a special post today.

A few Twitter friends and I came up with the idea to do a few Valentine’s Day posts with our characters. Keep an eye out for another post in a few days!

Today I’m doing a Perfect Date post, advertising why this character would be such a good date. This character is from my WIP, Dragon Races.




Matthew Cole Cloud. He goes by Cloud or occasionally Matt or Matthew.

How does he look? Eyes, hair, any tattoos or scars. What’s his style?

Cloud is 23 and he’s 6’1″.  He has messy blond hair, blue eyes, and he has a couple of burn scars because he is a dragon racer. His style is casual– jeans, baseball shirt, sneakers, though he would dress up a little for a date.

What kind of music? What kind of food?

Cloud likes just about any kind of music, but he is secretly a huge fan of musicals. His favorite is Hamilton.

Cloud doesn’t have a favorite food. He’ll eat about anything.

What’s his family like?

Cloud’s family is… dead. His mom died when he was little. His dad remarried and then he died later. And then Cloud’s step-mom was bad. It was a Cinderella-story, really, without the fairy godmother.

Why he would be a great date?

Despite the fact that Cloud is a bit egotistic at times, he is really sweet and would want to make sure his date was always happy.

Things he values:

Time. He doesn’t want to waste a minute of his life and wants to live to the fullest. He also values honesty.

What he would do for a first date?

Going out for a coffee or lunch is his idea of a good first date. It’s a safe, no pressure thing that doesn’t even have to be called a date.

Looking for long term relationship or just a quick date?

Cloud wants long term relationship, but doesn’t want to commit until he knows his date well. He doesn’t want to make the same mistake his dad did when he married Cloud’s step-mom but hardly knew her.

We’ve had our pros, what are the cons?

Cloud milks his Cinderella backstory for all the fame he can. He is constantly in media, including tabloids. If you date him, you’d be in the media, too.

Flowers , chocolate, or promises he doesn’t intend to keep?

Flowers to start. Chocolate would come later in the relationship. And promises wouldn’t be made at all– Cloud knows that promises can’t always be kept, but he wants to do everything he can to be truthful and honorable.

I have no photo of Cloud, but I have a cute song and if Cloud could write songs, he’d write a similar one.

And that’s Cloud. What do you think? Good date? If you want to do this tag, please do! Use the banner and comment with a link to your post!

~Kate out


Free Thoughts on The Continental Congress

I’m entirely kidding, by the way. And now I’ve got Farmer Refuted going through my head…

Image result for hamilton farmer refuted samuel seabury gif
Hear ye!

Hi, reader-peeps.

It’s been quiet here for over a week, as I’m sure you’re aware.

Today, I’d like to talk about beginnings. And NaNoWriMo.

The story I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2011 was a lot of beginnings.

It was my first NaNoWriMo.

It was my first urban fantasy.

It was the first thing of mine that really got critiqued.

In a way, this story helped me become friends with two of my best friends.

It was one of the first things of mine that my mom read. Definitely the first “novel”.

This story was going to be a series of five books. It had my first “story playlist”. It eventually led to me writing LASER, a prequel about the MC’s mother.

The Curse Fulfilled was a lot of firsts and beginnings. And I am still very attached to that novel. I get sentimental about it every now and then and wonder if I should check on it and ask if it wants to get coffee and talk sometime and maybe talk about getting a rewrite.

Image result for adele hello from the other side gif

I’m not giving up on Drake, the main character of TCF.

But I don’t think I’m ready to go back. Not yet.

For one thing, I don’t actually know what Drake’s story is. Writing LASER, author fanfic it may be, changed things.

For another, I don’t think I’m quite ready to look at his story and acknowledge what didn’t work so I can figure out what will.

If we include LASER, I’ve been working on Drake for 5 years.

That is a long time. And like I said when I finished LASER and decided not to query with it, I need some distance from it. From Drake and his family and friends and problems.

I am not giving up on Drake. I don’t know when I’m going back, but I am not giving up on him.

On that note, the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program site got a makeover! They’ve been talking about it for YEARS and the site looks awesome and if I weren’t 25 and well out of high school, I would totally make a new account. If you are still in high school or at least under the age of 20, you should go sign up.

Moving on to NaNoWriMo things, this year, I may revert back to high fantasy. At least in world-building terms. I have one idea I’m currently plotting but no promises, as this is the third potential next novel since I finished Magic Teacups a week and a half ago. (Ta-da! There’s the title! 😉 )

No matter what the novel is, I want to try to focus on characters– their emotions and their arcs and what they’re thinking and doing. This is an area that needs some work and I’m going to work on it.

I don’t know that I will aim for 50K. I know it’s possible for me to write 50K in a month, but I also know that it’s not very allowing of time to work through story problems. Plus, my other grandmother is coming (YAY I LOVE GRANDMA) in November (like two weeks) and I want to spend time with her.

One last thing. You know how last year, my NaNoWriMo theme on the blog was kind of Frozen/Elsa? I think I’ve decided on a the “theme” for this year’s NaNo posts…

Image result for jack sparrow gifs

Kate out.

The Writing Journals– The End of All Things

Welcome to my series, The Writing Journals.

A companion series to The Editing Diaries, The Writing Journals is me talking about writing and complaining about writing and mostly giving general updates on how it’s going as I write this first draft. I don’t plan to talk much about the actual story I’m writing, as I try not to share all my excitement now and here, but instead pouring it into the story. So, no spoilers, sweetie. Now run.


Hi, reader-peeps.

Image result for lord of the rings gif it's over

Yeah. The first draft of my new novel is done.



That is all.

Kate out.

The Writing Journals– Trying To Write Like I’m Running Out of Time

Welcome to my series, The Writing Journals.

A companion series to The Editing Diaries, The Writing Journals is me talking about writing and complaining about writing and mostly giving general updates on how it’s going as I write this first draft. I don’t plan to talk much about the actual story I’m writing, as I try not to share all my excitement now and here, but instead pouring it into the story. So, no spoilers, sweetie. Now run.


Hi, reader-peeps.

So. The writing is going really well. I’m just over 21K and while I’m not making fabulous progress, I am making progress.

Part of making progress is learning to just write and enjoy the process and don’t worry about how long it’s going to take.

I mean, I don’t want to spend a huge amount of time finishing up this first draft. I’ve been working on it since late July/early August. But three or four months isn’t that long of a time to write a first draft.

Yeah, you hear of writers all over the place writing a first draft in a month, a few weeks, a few days even. But last time I tried to write a novel in a month, I succeeded in writing 50k, but also writing something I have no desire to go back and edit.

I want to enjoy editing. I want to love a story so much that I can’t help but edit it so I can share it with other people.

It’s hard to love a story when I’m writing at 88 miles per hour.

Image result for doc brown back to the future gasp gif

I love that I have so many friends that can write so fast. That’s more chances that I get to read the awesome stories you write. You’re always working on something, always turning out something new and I wonder how on earth you’re doing it.

I also have many friends who write large word counts.

I also have friends whose novels don’t seem to need that much editing…

Sometimes, all three of these things coincide. A quickly written novel that is huge and doesn’t seem to need a bunch of editing.

Yes, yes, I’m naive.

All this to say that it doesn’t matter how long it takes to finish any draft. You are not running out of time. You are still young, especially by publishing standard. Writing doesn’t have an age or a time limit. Does it feel like that sometimes? Absolutely. But you know what? Feeling something doesn’t make it true.

Take your time and do it right. Write this story so it’s something you love and something you know is good. Don’t compare your productivity to the productivity of others.

You do not have to be Alexander Hamilton, writing like you are running out of time.

You also don’t need to worry about word count.

I have written 21K of this story. I’ve written the Midpoint. So this book should end up around 40K-ish. Which is not the 50K I was shooting for. Better still, I have figured out the rest of the story (except post-Climax) and I’m not sure if I can stretch this for 20K more.

But you know what?


This is a first draft. If you decide to edit it, you can add detail and whatnot to get a higher word count.

Just tell the story.

With that, I close. I have to finish this story. And I have to do it right. (You may not hear from me here for a couple weeks while I finish this, by the way.)

Kate out.

The Writing Journals– A Journey in the Dark

Welcome to my series, The Writing Journals.

A companion series to The Editing Diaries, The Writing Journals is me talking about writing and complaining about writing and mostly giving general updates on how it’s going as I write this first draft. I don’t plan to talk much about the actual story I’m writing, as I try not to share all my excitement now and here, but instead pouring it into the story. So, no spoilers, sweetie. Now run.


(Today being one of my favorite holidays (it’s Hobbit Day!!!), I wanted to incorporate hobbits and LOTR into the post somehow. Second breakfast for those who get the references! There are 5, not including gifs or videos. See how many you can find!)

Image result for great where are we going lord of the rings gif

Hi, reader-peeps!

Writing this novel has had it’s ups and downs, more ups though recently, which is nice.

I’ve dropped out of the Pacemaker regime. The thing about me and daily goals is that, as long as I’m on time or ahead, I can work just fine. But if I fall behind and falling behind was actually a necessary thing to do– I fall behind especially when I’m stuck– then the plan doesn’t do really anything except stress me out.

This is why NaNo tends to be too stressful. Not only can I not usually write 50K in such a short time, but NaNo also leaves no room to work through problems. And writing should not be stressful. It should be merry.

Perhaps the worst problems for writing happen in between  The Choice and the Midpoint. We know what the story is; the character has made the choice to carry the Ring to Mordor. The Midpoint is the middle of the story when we know the main character has to make another choice, moves from reaction to action, we start getting answers, and it’s almost like a miniature Low Point. Hey, we may even have brilliant ideas for what’s going to happen at the low point, when all the bad things we set up crash down and all seems lost.

But what about what happens after the character has decided to have a story but we aren’t to the midpoint yet?

Image result for great where are we going lord of the rings gif

I have gotten stuck before at this point. I have put at least one novel aside because of this problem (anyone remember Short Circuited?). And with this novel, the challenge of getting through this spot was harder.

Sometimes, you can add another plot line and that will help. And I really didn’t have another plot line that I wanted to add. Anything would have to be added to the rest of the story and nothing really excited me enough.

So I had to fill the hole with ways my MC was carrying out her choice. I already had a few things figured out but I didn’t think I could stretch those things as far as I needed. Those things would be stretched too thin, like butter over too much bread. Also, I’m a bare bones writer.

This is when my critique partners are amazing. I sent a message to my Samwise, Lily J. She knows the most about this story at this point (besides me, obviously). I told her what I was planning and asked if she had any ideas for other things that needed to be done.

She had a great idea and all the sudden, ideas started flowing and I’m not stuck anymore. I’ve figured out the things I’m going to write before the Midpoint.

And that’s how the past couple weeks of writing have gone. I still plan to be done by sometime in mid-October, but I did find out that my Grandma is going to be here from the 6th to the 20th. So… we’ll see.

If you want more hobbit-y fun to celebrate Hobbit Day, watch this video:

Also, check out my post from a couple years ago about Sam Gamgee.

Happy Hobbit Day!!!

Kate out.


Beautiful People– One Last Post for LASER

Hi, reader-peeps.

As the title suggests, this is the last time I will be posting a LASER post. At least for the foreseeable future. For right now, I am considering LASER a story for myself. Something like fan fiction of characters I didn’t know very well from another story. And if nothing else, it helped me figure out who those characters are so if I ever want to write them again (or their children, more likely), I know who they are.

All that being said, I said in the last Beautiful People tag post, I wanted to do this tag with two more characters from LASER, who never got a spotlight in this tag on their own: Gavin MacBay and Elden Carp.


Let’s start with Gavin.

He is Riley’s boyfriend and comes from a very superstitious family.

I do not have an accurate picture of him.

How did you come up with this character?

Gavin really just appeared. For that matter, so did Riley. I knew I wanted my MC Isabella to have a best friend and that was Riley. I knew Riley had a boyfriend. That was Gavin.

Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?

No. I don’t think so.

Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?

Gavin used to build Rube Goldberg contraptions when he was a kid.

List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.

Gavin is honestly a pretty calm person in general. But someone endangering his family or friends would make him angry to say the least. Someone acting stupidly also angers him.

What is their favourite type of weather? Least favorite?

Sunshine is his favorite (hot enough to going swimming is the best). Least favorite is below 0 degrees.

What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?

I’m not going to even try to figure out MBTI.

I am 98% sure Gavin is Gryffindor. He’s also the only character in LASER that I have sorted as Gryffindor. (I haven’t sorted absolutely all of them, though.)

Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?

Gavin worries about the present, not the future.

What is their favourite thing to drink?


What is their favourite color? Least favorite?

Green! Least favorite would probably be burgundy.

What is a book that changed their life?

Gavin, what books have you actually read? 

I don’t know. I’ll think about this.


Now for Mr. Carp.

Elden Carp is the weapons teacher at LASER. He’s an elf– think like Legolas, not Santa’s elves.

Once again, I have no picture. NO WAIT HOLD ON.

Haldir. He stayed in Lothlorien. Really.:


How did you come up with this character?

Mr. Carp was also made up on the spot. LASER needed a weapons teacher.

Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?

Again, no.

Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?

Pride goes before a fall. But he very good with all weapons.

List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.

Mr. Carp does not lose his temper. Ever. It’s like he’s not human… oh wait.

What is their favourite type of weather? Least favorite?

Mr. Carp loves the rain. Thunder and lightning are glorious.

Hurricanes are not glorious.

What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?

You know what? I’m going to say that Elden is Gryffindor, too. He could also be Ravenclaw, but I really think he’s more Gryffindor.

Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?

Mr. Carp worries about present problems but it’s not really worrying as much as it is thinking about them in order that they might be dealt with properly. He doesn’t worry. Ever. It’s like he’s not human… oh wait.

What is their favourite thing to drink?

House Ruby.  "We drink milk!":

What is their favourite color? Least favorite?


He can’t stand yellow.

What is a book that changed their life?

War and Peace by Tolstoy. He started devouring the classics ravenously after that.


And that’s it! I hope you guys enjoyed this. Hopefully soon I’ll be ready to share more about my new story and we can do fun things with that.

Kate out.


The Writing Journals– Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

Welcome to my series, The Writing Journals.

A companion series to The Editing Diaries, The Writing Journals is me talking about writing and complaining about writing and mostly giving general updates on how it’s going as I write this first draft. I don’t plan to talk much about the actual story I’m writing, as I try not to share all my excitement now and here, but instead pouring it into the story. So, no spoilers, sweetie. Now run.


Okay, the title is a bit misleading. I am not going to start at the very beginning. That would involve telling you about the original plot bunny and how I got from that to the story I have now. Which would involve me telling you about the story and I just got done writing that disclaimer. So, no.

Let’s talk about plotting, instead.

Plotting? I thought you were a pantser, Katie?

That… is an interesting point.

It’s been a very long time since I was a complete pantser. Several years, at least. I’m not entirely sure I can pinpoint the story when I started making lists of things I wanted to happen. I do know that by the time I was writing TCF (LASER‘s predecessor) five years ago, I was making lists of what happened in order of when it happened.

I don’t think I can call myself a pantser. In fact, when I try to “pants”, my characters ramble and do stuff like make me their older sister. Looking at you, Nick Elliot.

But I can’t call myself a plotter, either. Plotter implies that I have everything planned out. I don’t. Plotting and outlining chokes me. I feel too constrained.

I am both plotter and panster. I do not outline the entire story before I start. Once I have enough to work with, it’s full steam ahead. Sometimes, it’s full steam ahead before that, but that usually results in backtracking and discouragement and evaluating if I actually want to write this story and reminding myself that it sometimes takes a few false starts.

But once I get started, magic happens. I start thinking of awesome scenes. I start filling in blanks. I start planning ways that my characters are going to get injured. *cough* Sorry, Ben.  I find the things I’m excited about writing. I find the plot twists that are going to knock people’s socks off. I find magic M&M cookies. (We’ll get to those in a minute.)
I’ve talked before on how I outline scenes. Sometimes, my mind will get a bit scrambled and I get overwhelmed, so I take a minute and write a mini-outline of the scene, including any bits I need to remember (Like include the foreshadowing or something). That usually knocks things loose for me and I’m able to write.

Sometimes, though, I still can’t get the scene out.

Sometimes, this is pure laziness. This is part of the reason I started using Pacemaker and Habitica to get it done. Pacemaker works kind of like the NaNoWriMo stats, where you get so much done and it tells you how much you need to write the next day. Only with Pacemaker, you can choose to not write certain days of the week and such and it still gets you through. You also don’t have to write a consistent number or an overwhelming amount in one month. (I’m not getting paid to advertise or anything– I just adore this program.)

When it’s laziness, another thing that helps most of the time is a word war. But with school starting back up, a lot of my word war peeps are… well, back at school.

Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet, stop worrying about what your internal editor thinks (lock her in a closet), and write.

What do you do if you still can’t find the words?

Look for magic M&M cookies.

These look a bit messy… but it is a first draft, yes?

This is a mixing of two metaphors by Susan Dennard and Patricia C. Wrede.

Susan Dennard’s post talks about finding the magical cookies in a scene and really the whole story, magical cookies being the things you’re excited about in a scene. She also says that every scene should be a magical cookie scene or it needs to go.

Patricia Wrede’s post talks about how there’s no such thing as a perfect hook to get reader’s stuck through the end of the book and instead, you should be leaving a trail of M&M’s for them to follow.

Now, one of these is obviously about writing for yourself and the other is about writing for readers. BUT. Emotions of authors come through writing. And that includes boredom. Readers can tell that you were bored while writing a scene. SO. What do you do?

Make magic M&M cookies. Find the reason you are excited about this scene and find the reason readers will want to keep reading. If those are the same reasons, then great!

So. Let’s say you’ve done all this and you are, for whatever reason, still stuck. What do you do?

Jump ahead. Skip whatever it is you’re stuck on and move ahead.

Don’t look at me like that.

Seriously, write yourself a note. Like this:

skip ahead

There is nothing wrong with skipping ahead. I’ve already done it and I’m only on Chapter 4 and less than 6K in. And here’s the thing with skipping ahead. Most of the time, I fill in the gaps before it gets to alpha-readers. Most of the gaps. Did I fill in all the gaps in LASER, alphas? I know I did eventually…

So. That’s my post on plotting. I think I’ll call myself a discovery plotter– I plot a bit, write a bit, panic, plot, write, OH MY WORD PROCESSOR THAT IS A FABULOUS PLOT BUNNY, WHAT IF THIS HAPPENS, write, OH MY POOR CHARACTERS I’M SO NOT SORRY, write…  and the cycle just keeps going.

Kate out.

The Editing Diaries–All the Force of a Great Typhoon (or The End?)

Welcome to my series, The Editing Diaries!

In a nutshell, I’m editing my story LASER and bringing you guys along for the ride. I want you to see how my process for editing novels works (and maybe I’ll figure out my process with you). So, buckle your seatbelts, we’re going on a trip!


Hi, reader-peeps.

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Imma feed you all. You get porridge! And it’s HAPPY TO SEE YOU!

I’ve said a few times that I have been writing for over ten years. I realized recently that that particular statement is not the entire truth. While it is true that I do indeed consider the beginning of my writing journey to be in about 2004, I have been only writing with writing craft in mind for 3 years.

That’s right. THREE years.

I learned how to critique in about July of 2013. I was a beta-reader for the first time in August of 2013. I “edited” a story over the course of the next 9 months. I have finished two first drafts since August of 2014.

Wait, how many?



The Number After One.

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Is this a bad thing, Katie?

No. Of course not. It’s actually a good thing.

It’s just not a lot.

Hemingway is credited with a quote that says “We are all apprentices in a craft in which we will never be masters.” (I may have mangled that a bit…). When you’re a writer, you don’t stop learning. But there are different levels of experience.

And I’m not sure that I am at the level I thought I was. I thought I was ready to query. Or thought that LASER was almost ready. At least one of those things is not true. LASER is going to need more work. I could probably use some more teaching myself.

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What are you saying, Katherine?

I’m putting LASER aside for now.

I don’t know how long that’s going to be. Could be a few months. Could be a few years. Could be forever. Or it could be just a few months.

This is the end of The Editing Diaries. Or at least it’s going on hiatus for a while. Mainly because I don’t have anything to edit (or anything that I want to edit).

What’s the plan then?

I’m going to write. Just write. Nothing LASER- related. Maybe the next novel will be something that I can work into getting it ready for publication. Or the one after. Or some novels down the road. But right now, I’m just going to write. Just focus on telling a story and having fun. The thing about writing is that you get better by doing it. Will I ever be a perfect writer? No. But can I come close? I hope so.

Mastering The Art of Flying

So, I’m going to write and have fun and maybe lock my internal editor out of the metaphorical house because she’s being a bit annoying.

Is this the last you’ll hear of LASER? I doubt it. I still have a few characters who never got to be interviewed with the Beautiful People tag. And one day, maybe I’ll take LASER out of it’s document and salvage the good stuff and throw out the dross and continue to make it lovely. Or I’ll just hide it away.

To all the people who beta-read or are still beta-reading, thank you. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, even now; your notes are helping me figure out what I still need to work on. Hopefully, next time, I’ll be able to send you a story that doesn’t need quite so much work.

To my precious alphas, thank you for the encouragement to keep writing in spite of all this and for being the shoulders I cry on when writing is hard. You guys are the best of friends and I thank God for each of you.

Disney -

And now…

Death or Story!

Mulan training as ping. *knife hand* *duck* *spinning outside crescent kick*