I don’t know about you but January always feels like the LONGEST month. I mean five Mondays just seems excessive, right?
But despite the dragging, I stuck to my goals and made some serious headway on a few. Others got somewhat derailed, and I got bronchitis… But hey, I am choosing to focus on the positive!
We hosted our very first #CheerChat with Writer’s Cheer – a hashtag created to provide a space where writers can celebrate their successes with each other. I saw an energy healer which was FASCINATING and a really eye-opening experience. I read a fantastic book for my internship with Entangled that I can’t wait to hopefully follow through the publishing process.
All in all, not bad. But let’s dive into the specifics and share what I did in the reading and writing world to kick off 2018!
What I Read
GRAND TOTAL: 4
The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
What I Wrote
After completing revisions on 700 Main, I needed something to occupy my time while waiting for responses from agents (there’s still six out there!). I had a hard time deciding whether to pursue a new project or go back and totally rewrite my first novel. For now – and I reserve the right to change my mind – I’ve decided to dive into my new New Orleans based-WIP.
January was for characters. Lots of writers tend to start with plot, but I like to have at least an idea of who I am working with. Then I can develop plot points that torture those specific people based on their personality, background, and emotional wound. Yes, writers are evil.
I took personality tests, searched Pinterest for photos, combed through Kristen Kieffer’s workbook, and answered silly questionnaires. But my main goal was to create a main character who was absolutely nothing like me. That’s been a challenge of mine, and both my past MCs have eerily resembled my own personality traits and flaws. So it took a little longer to get to know her this time, but I can say with certainty that Jessa is nothing like me. She’s bold but reckless, observant but insensitive. You guys are gonna love her.
February is going to be all about plot. This week I started James Patterson’s Master Class (full review to come when I finish) and the main assignment is to create a chapter by chapter outline. Between all the research I’ve done and the Pre-Write Project I am completing now, I think I’ll be able to get a chunk of that done this month. We’ll see…
As far as reading goes, I am already behind on my TBR list (to no one’s surprise) but here’s my books for February:
- Honeymoon by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
- Circe by Madeline Miller
- Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
- The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
How did everyone else’s first month of the new year go?
4 thoughts on “Monthly Recap: January 2018”
Characters are always where I start too. I mean seriously, plot is the last thing I get to haha
I feel ya! I think either way works, but for me, the plot points are totally dependent on the characters involved
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My goodreads goal is to read 50 books, and after I posted that I got scared that I was being overly ambitious, so I’ve been a reading madwoman, every spare moment. In January I finished four books I had started in 2017 – SWIMMING TO ANTARCTICA by Lynne Cox (LOVED IT – but I love memoir about extreme people), THE ART OF MEMOIR by Mary Karr (homework – pretty writing, learned a few things), WISHIN’ AND HOPIN’ by Wally Lamb (my ALL time favorite writer so this was a holiday treat), and MOMENTS OF SEEING by Katrina Kenison (lyrical, mom writing I love). Then I read EMILY ALONE by Stewart O’Nan (great writing), HAPPINESS by Heather Harpham (my favorite book to date for 2018), RESCUING PENNY JANE by Amy Sutherland (because I have a dog memoir coming out in August, hers intimidates me now, though), OFF THE LEASH by Matthew Gilbert (same reason as Penny, but meh on this one) and THE HORSES OF PROUD SPIRIT by Melanie Sue Bowles (because I’ve recently gotten to know Melanie and she rocks). Pretty safe to say I’m gonna meet my goal.
As far as writing, I’m currently meandering around in my WIP and reading your post made me realize I probably need to go back and spend a little more time with my characters. I think I don’t know them well enough. Other than that all my writing time is focused on launching my summer release.
Probably more than you wanted to know – but you asked!
Wow sounds like you are killing it! That’s a lot of books in one month. I am going to have to check a few of those out.
My favorite place to start with characters is personality testing. So once I have a general idea of the character, I take an abbreviated version of the Myers-Briggs test. It can give a lot more insight into their strengths/weaknesses, motivating factors and how they act in relationships.
And congrats on your upcoming release!