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Good news and bad news

Hi everyone. I have good news and bad news about the Broken Destiny series. I’ll start with the bad news: you’re going to have to wait longer than anticipated for The Sweetest Burn, book two in the series (these are the Ivy and Adrian books, for those of you who refer to the series by its characters.) My agent informed me late last week that my publisher decided to push back The Sweetest Burn’s release to June 2017. This delay has nothing to do with editorial issues, production issues, deadlines, my mother’s recent death, or anything like that, and the reason why it’s being pushed back brings us to the good news portion of this post:

The third and final book in the Broken Destiny series, tentatively titled The Brightest Embers, will release in July 2017, only one month after the new release date for The Sweetest Burn. The reason my publisher moved The Sweetest Burn was in order to do back-to-back releases on the series, which affords them greater marketing opportunities and availability with book stores and other retailers. They are also doing a special re-release of the first book, The Beautiful Ashes, with extra bonus material in late spring of 2017 to lead into the back-to-back release of the second and third books.

So, while I know this disappoints many of you and I am so sorry about that, I can assure you that it’s being done with good intentions on my publisher’s part. In addition to the greater promotional opportunities, this also gives readers the ability to find out how Ivy and Adrian’s story ends without hardly any wait between books two and three. This extended rearrangement of release dates isn’t without precedence, either: my BBF and #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews had her Hidden Legacy series bumped from 2016 to 2017 for similar reasons, and I’ve seen it happen on occasion with other authors, too.

Some of you might be wondering, what will happen to my pre-order of The Sweetest Burn?

The book should remain on pre-order when retailers’ systems update and the release date changes. If you choose to cancel your pre-order, there shouldn’t be any refund issues because most retailers don’t charge for a book until they actually ship it, either by snail mail or digital delivery.

Some of you might be wondering, how can the publisher do this?

There is a clause in traditional publishing contracts that gives the publisher the right to determine the release date of all books they acquire. Often, this clause give the publisher eighteen months (although I’ve seen up to twenty-four) after a manuscript is formally accepted to publish the book, so my publisher is within their contractual rights to move the release date.

Some of you might be wondering, can’t you just refuse to let them?

No, for the reasons listed above. Besides, as I said, my publisher is trying to do their best by the series with this change and I appreciate their efforts toward that end. I also understand how frustrating it is for readers who thought they’d get to read The Sweetest Burn this April, and are now finding out that they have to wait over a year. Again, I am truly sorry for the extended wait and I so appreciate you sticking with Ivy and Adrian (and me! :)) throughout all this. I hope that getting the conclusion to Ivy and Adrian’s story with the back-to-back releases in summer 2017 will help make up for the wait. Also, my publisher will be doing some special consolation promos soon, and while I have to stay mum about them now, I’ll let you know once they’re live.

If you have any questions that I didn’t address, please ask them below. Thank you.

Mirrored from Frost Light.

Charged

I was so flattered to be included in the multi-blog reveal of bestselling author Jay Crownover’s newest release, Charged. Check out the smokin’ hot cover below along with a message from Jay, and I will admit to fangirling when I saw that she knew who *I* was, lol.

Charged optimaized coverFrom Jay: “When Jeaniene Frost agrees to do you a huge favor by sharing your cover, you forget your name, let alone anything interesting to say about yourself. Eventually you get it together and try to play it cool because you know you’ll see her at an event or a convention in the near future, and you don’t want to make a fool out of yourself! So, with that said, I’m Jay Crownover and I write contemporary romance that’s a little edgy, pretty tatted up and features characters with a lot of heart, plenty of heat and a whole bucket load of history. Most of my stories take place in Denver Colorado where I’m from…well, just south of Denver in Colorado Springs but close enough. GO BRONCOS!!!! It’s a beautiful place filled with wonderful people, and I’m so honored and thrilled that I get to fill the pages with nothing but love for my hometown. Charged is the second book in my Saints of Denver series that revolves around my most “opposites attract” couple to date. I hope readers have as much fun reading these two unlikely lovers as I had writing them.”

Well, folks, I know what I’ll be pre-ordering ;). To reserve YOUR copy of Charged, go here. Charged: Saints of Denver

Mirrored from Frost Light.

Audio coverAudio readers, the audio version of Outtakes From The Grave is available! Get yours at Downpour.com, Audible.com or your favorite audio retailer.

As you can see, the audio cover for Outtakes is different from the ebook cover, but I think that my audio publisher chose a great model and background image. Now, many of you have been asking me if Outtakes will also be available in foreign language editions. Nothing is definite yet, but we’re in talks with a couple different countries right now, so I hope to have some news for you soon about that. It is available now in paperback as well, for those of you who prefer that format. Outtakes From The Grave (Night Huntress) (Volume 8)

Next up is Into The Fire, the fourth and final novel in the Night Prince series. A reader alerted me the other day that a pre-order link was up on Amazon (yes, readers usually find these things before me :)). However, there was some confusion because the link was for a hardcover edition. Let me be clear: there hasn’t been a change in format for Into The Fire. The mass market paperback will be the format sold in book stores, just like all the other books in the Night Prince series (and of course, Into The Fire will also be out in ebook and audio.)  However, for this release, my publisher is doing a special hardcover edition of Into The Fire for libraries, and for some unknown reason, the hardcover library edition went live for pre-orders before the other formats.  So, that’s why you currently only see a hardcover edition available for pre-order under Into The Fire. Yes, if you prefer a hardcover over a mass market paperback, you can order yours in that format, but the mass market and other formats will be available for pre-order soon. Once they are, I’ll post the links on my website. For now, I’m not linking to the pre-order page because only the hardcover option is available, and I don’t want readers who didn’t see this post to get confused about whether the book was releasing in hardcover versus mass market.

That’s it from me for now. Have a great week, everyone!

Mirrored from Frost Light.

Help Ilona Andrews

[This post is written with tongue firmly in cheek.]

As many of you know, all-around fabulous person Ilona Andrews has been my friend since way back before her Kate Daniels series was even published, let alone hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. However, my dear friend has a serious flaw: she will not admit that possums – even baby possums! – are cute (I’ll wait while all of you recover from your collective faint ;)) I am trying to show Ilona the error of her ways because I believe that no one is past the point of possum redemption (hee!). Here are just a few possum pics toward that endeavor. If you have cute possum pics of your own, please Tweet them to Ilona at her Twitter page here.

possums3possums 1

 

 

 

 
possums5possums2

Mirrored from Frost Light.

Victim blaming

Note: This post has nothing to do with my books or professional news. Skip if you only want business updates. Also, trigger warning for crimes against children and rape culture.

ETA: In the interim since this post went up, KMM released a statement on her Facebook page apologizing for her prior post (which I reference below) and saying that she will no longer be working with Phil Gigante. To avoid confusion over what is current and what is not, I have stricken through parts of the post below that are no longer relevant.

Also in the interim, several readers have accused me of personally bashing KMM by referencing the comments made in her now-deleted post, but that was never my intent. I also do not have a secret agenda to harm her release (another accusation I've seen.) I did, however, use the comments in her post as a springboard to discuss an issue I unfortunately have experience with and have talked about before: victim blaming. Sadly, victim blaming is not only limited to this incident with Phil Gigante. Instead, it's prevalent in the society I live in and in societies worldwide. 

I wrestled for two days about posting anything to do with the Phil Gigante scandal because frankly, I was being cowardly. I’ve had a rough month already with my mother’s unexpected passing, so I didn’t want to deal with more stress, and posts like this always generate controversy. However, every time someone else posted about it, I felt convicted over my silence because of what’s in my own past.

As I blogged about a while ago, a teenage neighbor attempted to molest me when I was eight years old. For many reasons, I wasn’t able to talk about what happened. When I eventually did, first privately to friends and family, then much later in two different public posts on my blog, most of the people who responded were compassionate. Some shared their own stories of abuse. But a few were outright dismissive or even defensive of the perpetrator’s actions. Things like “He couldn’t help himself” or “Boys will be boys” or “What do you expect with this oversexualized culture?” were said, thus shifting the blame from perpetrator onto anyone except himself.

That’s why I couldn’t stay quiet or mind my own business about this. For background, a couple days ago I read Bibliodaze’s post about Karen Marie Moning and some commenters on her Facebook page defending Moning’s choice to continue using Phil Gigante as her audio book narrator [ETA: as per above, KMM has since apologized and will not be using Gigante for her audio books] after other readers objected because Gigante has been convicted of accosting a child for immoral purposes as well as possession of child sexually abusive material 1 . I am not claiming to know all the details of the case, but I do know that Gigante plead guilty and was sentenced in a court of law. By pleading guilty, Gigante waived his right to appeal. If there were mitigating “facts” proving his innocence, I can’t imagine why he/his attorney wouldn’t have presented them, or why they would have nixed any chance they had at presenting them later at an appeal, but that’s just speculation on my part.

KMM is free to believe that her friend is innocent and there’s been a miscarriage of justice. She’s also free to keep Gigante on as her audio book narrator. [this is not longer the case] Readers are free to keep listening to books narrated by Gigante because they separate the art from the artist (none of this is me attempting to be grandiose because no one needs my permission for anything; this is me simply stating the same facts that others blogging about this have also stated.) What many people have a problem with, myself included, is the victim-blaming in the comment thread of KMM's post, which inferred that the fourteen-year-old girl was more responsible for the illegal actions of the forty-nine-year-old Gigante than Gigante was. ETA: There is more victim blaming in the comment section of KMM's apology post, though to be clear, not by KMM herself.]

That notion is pure and utter crap. If I commit a crime, *I* commit a crime. I might feel like I have a lot of good reasons for committing said crime (for example, all the times I go over the speed limit because hey, I’m just keeping up with traffic!) but the blame starts and stops with me. This is widely accepted in almost every crime except sex-related crimes. For example, if someone steals my car, I am not chided by police or the public in general for practically ‘begging’ for it to be stolen by driving it ‘all over town’ or letting ‘others’ drive it, too. No, instead I file a police report without any hassle or side-eying. If the thief is caught, they'll be prosecuted, and all of the “But Your Honor, that car had its top down and the keys were in it! What was I supposed to do, I’m only human?!” won’t be considered an acceptable defense (just watch Bait Car on TV if you doubt this.)

Yet in sex-related crimes, the victim almost always goes on trial, either in real court or the court of public opinion, for what she (or he) was wearing, doing, drinking, saying, what she’s done before and/or with whom, etc., ad nauseum, etc., with the dark undercurrent being, if she did A or B, or especially A AND B, then the guy isn’t guilty because she brought it on herself. That’s what infuriates me, and it’s what I saw inferred in some comments on KMM’s prior post ETA: and on the comment section of her subsequent apology post. Victim blaming is what keeps many, many children and adults from reporting these type of crimes, thus creating an atmosphere where their perpetrators have a greater chance of striking again, and I'd rather make it harder for perpetrators, not easier.

I fervently hope that the young girl at the center of this isn’t following any of what happened over the past few days, but if she is, I would tell her that she is NOT to blame for the illegal actions of a grown man over three times her age. I would tell her not to listen to anyone who inferred otherwise, and I would tell her to be strong because brighter days are ahead.

But again, I hope she’s nowhere near this mess to know that I’m rooting for her.

 

 

1 Source: http://www.shorelinemedia.net/ludington_daily_news/news/local/phil-gigante-pleads-guilty-to-accosting-a-child-for-immoral/article_502116d2-71d4-11e5-a921-8b0e8f496b4a.html#.Vp2TfdoHX0g.twitter

Other posts about this: http://redhotbooks.com/2016/01/where-is-the-feverborn-review-there-isnt-one.html?utm_content=buffer47664&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer and http://jennytrout.com/?p=10022

 

Victim blaming and Phil Gigante

Note: This post has nothing to do with my books or professional news. Skip if you only want business updates. Also, trigger warning for crimes against children and rape culture.

ETA: In the interim since this post went up, KMM released a statement on her Facebook page apologizing for her prior post (which I reference below) and saying that she will no longer be working with Phil Gigante. To avoid confusion over what is current and what is not, I have stricken through parts of the post below that are no longer relevant.

Also in the interim, several readers have accused me of personally bashing KMM by referencing the comments made in her now-deleted post, but that was never my intent. I also do not have a secret agenda to harm her release (another accusation I’ve seen.) I did, however, use the comments in her post as a springboard to discuss an issue I unfortunately have experience with and have talked about before: victim blaming. Sadly, victim blaming is not only limited to this incident with Phil Gigante. Instead, it’s prevalent in the society I live in and in societies worldwide. 

I wrestled for two days about posting anything to do with the Phil Gigante scandal because frankly, I was being cowardly. I’ve had a rough month already with my mother’s unexpected passing, so I didn’t want to deal with more stress, and posts like this always generate controversy. However, every time someone else posted about it, I felt convicted over my silence because of what’s in my own past.

As I blogged about a while ago, a teenage neighbor attempted to molest me when I was eight years old. For many reasons, I wasn’t able to talk about what happened. When I eventually did, first privately to friends and family, then much later in two different public posts on my blog, most of the people who responded were compassionate. Some shared their own stories of abuse. But a few were outright dismissive or even defensive of the perpetrator’s actions. Things like “He couldn’t help himself” or “Boys will be boys” or “What do you expect with this oversexualized culture?” were said, thus shifting the blame from perpetrator onto anyone except himself.

That’s why I couldn’t stay quiet or mind my own business about this. For background, a couple days ago I read Bibliodaze’s post about Karen Marie Moning and some commenters on her Facebook page defending Moning’s choice to continue using Phil Gigante as her audio book narrator [ETA: as per above, KMM has since apologized and will not be using Gigante for her audio books] after other readers objected because Gigante has been convicted of accosting a child for immoral purposes as well as possession of child sexually abusive material 1 . I am not claiming to know all the details of the case, but I do know that Gigante plead guilty and was sentenced in a court of law. By pleading guilty, Gigante waived his right to appeal. If there were mitigating “facts” proving his innocence, I can’t imagine why he/his attorney wouldn’t have presented them, or why they would have nixed any chance they had at presenting them later at an appeal, but that’s just speculation on my part.

KMM is free to believe that her friend is innocent and there’s been a miscarriage of justice. She’s also free to keep Gigante on as her audio book narrator. [this is not longer the case] Readers are free to keep listening to books narrated by Gigante because they separate the art from the artist (none of this is me attempting to be grandiose because no one needs my permission for anything; this is me simply stating the same facts that others blogging about this have also stated.) What many people have a problem with, myself included, is the victim-blaming in the comment thread of KMM’s post, which inferred that the fourteen-year-old girl was more responsible for the illegal actions of the forty-nine-year-old Gigante than Gigante was. ETA: There is more victim blaming in the comment section of KMM’s apology post, though to be clear, not by KMM herself.]

That notion is pure and utter crap. If I commit a crime, *I* commit a crime. I might feel like I have a lot of good reasons for committing said crime (for example, all the times I go over the speed limit because hey, I’m just keeping up with traffic!) but the blame starts and stops with me. This is widely accepted in almost every crime except sex-related crimes. For example, if someone steals my car, I am not chided by police or the public in general for practically ‘begging’ for it to be stolen by driving it ‘all over town’ or letting ‘others’ drive it, too. No, instead I file a police report without any hassle or side-eying. If the thief is caught, they’ll be prosecuted, and all of the “But Your Honor, that car had its top down and the keys were in it! What was I supposed to do, I’m only human?!” won’t be considered an acceptable defense (just watch Bait Car on TV if you doubt this.)

Yet in sex-related crimes, the victim almost always goes on trial, either in real court or the court of public opinion, for what she (or he) was wearing, doing, drinking, saying, what she’s done before and/or with whom, etc., ad nauseum, etc., with the dark undercurrent being, if she did A or B, or especially A AND B, then the guy isn’t guilty because she brought it on herself. That’s what infuriates me, and it’s what I saw inferred in some comments on KMM’s prior post ETA: and on the comment section of her subsequent apology post. Victim blaming is what keeps many, many children and adults from reporting these type of crimes, thus creating an atmosphere where their perpetrators have a greater chance of striking again, and I’d rather make it harder for perpetrators, not easier.

I fervently hope that the young girl at the center of this isn’t following any of what happened over the past few days, but if she is, I would tell her that she is NOT to blame for the illegal actions of a grown man over three times her age. I would tell her not to listen to anyone who inferred otherwise, and I would tell her to be strong because brighter days are ahead.

But again, I hope she’s nowhere near this mess to know that I’m rooting for her.

 

 

1 Source: http://www.shorelinemedia.net/ludington_daily_news/news/local/phil-gigante-pleads-guilty-to-accosting-a-child-for-immoral/article_502116d2-71d4-11e5-a921-8b0e8f496b4a.html#.Vp2TfdoHX0g.twitter

Other posts about this: http://redhotbooks.com/2016/01/where-is-the-feverborn-review-there-isnt-one.html?utm_content=buffer47664&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer and http://jennytrout.com/?p=10022

 

Mirrored from Frost Light.

Updates

As some of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter know, my mother died unexpectedly right before New Year's Eve. For everyone who left a supportive comment and/or their condolences, thank you. They meant a lot to me. Over the past two weeks, I've been reminded of the last line from the poem Footprints: "it was then that I carried you." I know that me and my family have been carried through this sorrowful time, and we are grateful to God for that.

I left town to attend the funeral and make other arrangements, so I've been away until last night. Because of this, the contest winners from two weeks ago didn't get their books. My apologies for that, and the books will be mailed out this week. I'm also behind on emails and other messages sent through my social media accounts, so apologies for that as well. I will try to get caught up this week.

I'm closing this post with a picture of my parents from several years ago. At the time, they both worked for the same hospital. When the holidays came around, they volunteered to play Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus to entertain young patients and other children at hospital-sponsored events. My mother and father were together for a total of fifty years (including dating), and if my dad and the rest of our family would've had our way, they would've been together for another fifty.

M and D pic

Holiday 2 contest winners!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered Holiday Giveaway 2 last week! Once again, winners were selected at random, and as I stated before, I used to post full names when listing winners, but some winners let me know that they were uncomfortable with that. So now, I’m only listing first names and (where available) the initial of their last name. However, all winners have been contacted via email, so if you entered and you see your first name below, check your email :).

The winners of a signed Arc (advance reading copy) of The Sweetest Burn, book two in the Broken Destiny series, are:

Ginna W., Alexisa N., Karin A., Barbara S., Shannon P., Raven C., Carmel B., Jocelyn B., Emily S., and Jennifer (blog initials TBN).

And the Grand Prize winner who will receive a signed Arc (advance reading copy) of The Sweetest Burn, book two in the Broken Destiny series, AND a $150.00 electronic Amazon gift card is:

Jill F.

Congrats, all! To everyone else (over seven hundred of you!) thanks so much for entering, and I wish you better luck next time. There WILL be a next time, too, so stay tuned.

Outtakes-from-the-Grave_final_new-composition smallerSwitching topics, thanks so much to everyone who helped me celebrate the release of Outtakes From The Grave last week! Whether you told a friend, Retweeted, “shared” it on Facebook, or left a review, I so appreciate you taking the time to help spread the word about Cat and Bones’s deleted/alternate adventures :). If you’re not familiar with Outtakes From The Grave, you can learn more here or order Outtakes from the Grave (Night Huntress Book 8) here. Print version now available. Audio coming in February.

That’s it for me for now. Hope all of you are enjoying what’s left of 2015!

Mirrored from Frost Light.

Before I get to the winners from last week and the new giveaway, please allow me a moment of shameless self-promotion. Outtakes From The Grave, Night Huntress 8.5, is now available!

Outtakes from the Grave_final_new compositionIndulge your love of paranormal super couple Cat and Bones with this ultimate “director’s cut” collection of deleted scenes and alternate versions from the first four novels in the Night Huntress series, complete with author commentary on each selection. Includes: the original beginnings of Halfway To The GraveOne Foot In The GraveAt Grave’s End and Destined For An Early Grave;  a chapter written in Bones’s point of view; alternate versions of sections of Halfway To The GraveOne Foot In The Grave, and Destined For An Early Grave; the “white wedding” scene between Cat and Bones that never made it into the final books, several deleted love scenes …. and much more!

Special holiday price of $2.99 in ebook from December 22nd though January 5th. After that, the price will be $3.99 for ebooks. Get your copy of Outtakes from the Grave (Night Huntress Book 8) in ebook now. Print edition will be available in the next day or so. Audio edition release is scheduled for February.

And now, thanks so much to everyone who entered Holiday Giveaway 1 last week! Of course I couldn't choose between you, so Randomizer came to the rescue and pulled out 18 numbers for the 18 winners. In previous contests, I've posted people's full names when listing winners, but some winners let me know that they were uncomfortable with that. So now, I'm only listing first names and (where available) the initial of their last name. However, all winners have been contacted via email, so if you entered and you see your first name below, check your email :).

Here are the 15 winners of a free ebook download of Once Burned, book one in the Night Prince series:

Cecelia R, Alecia G, Carolina M, Rebecca C, Angela, Jeff P, Marion K, Tammy, Chastity M, Bethany C, Erica L, Magdalena E, Sanya M, Traci L, and Charita C.

And here are the 3 winners who will each receive a $25.00 electronic Amazon gift card:

Melissa Y, Danielle D, and Yesenia D.

Congrats, all! To everyone else, I'm sorry you didn't win, but now you have a second chance! Here's what's up for grabs for Holiday Giveaway#2:

The Sweetest Burn_cover10 winners will receive a signed Arc (advance reading copy) of The Sweetest Burn, book two in the Broken Destiny series. This part of the contest is open to international readers. If you're not familiar with the book, here's the description.
Conquering a supernatural realm turned out to be easier than getting over a broken heart. But her initial victory has made Ivy a target for revenge, forcing her to reunite with the dangerous – and dangerously sexy – Adrian. Ivy isn’t sure which will be harder: finding the hallowed weapon that will repair the crumbling walls between demon and human realms, or resisting Adrian, who’s decided that come hell or high water, he will make Ivy his.

 .

At first, Adrian tried to resist his feelings for Ivy. Now, determined to break the curse that dooms their love, he’s vowed to save her and to have her. If only he can persuade her to forgive his past sins.  But defying destiny—and surrendering to the smoldering desire between them —will bring consequences and sacrifices they never imagined…

.

candy_canes_noto_email_us-main._CB320394997_1 Grand Prize winner will receive a signed Arc (advance reading copy) of The Sweetest Burn, book two in the Broken Destiny series, AND a $150.00 Amazon electronic gift card. This part of the contest is open to US readers only.

 .

As stated before, all winners will be chosen by Randomizer. To enter, please follow the rules below:

1. Send an email to  jeanieneprizes AT gmail DOT com.  (obviously replace the “AT” with an “@” and the “DOT” with a “.” in your email.)

2. Make sure to include your name and the email address you want to be contacted at if you win, if it’s not the email you’re sending your entry from.

3. You can only enter ONCE. Duplicate entries will be deleted.

4. Contest starts NOW and ends Sunday, December 27th at 11:59pm EST. Winners will be announced the following day on my website blog.

Good luck, everyone!

 

Outtakes, Nola brunch, and Dear New Writers

Before I get to the subject line of this post, I wanted to let everyone know that the new Crescent City Brunch tickets are now available for sale to the public. So, if you want to see me plus two dozen other bestselling authors in New Orleans next year, go here to get your tickets.

Also, if you’re a BLOGGER who has previously reviewed the Night Huntress series and you want an eArc of the upcoming Outtakes From The Grave, please contact me at frostlight1 AT yahoo DOT com (obviously replace the AT with an @ and the DOT with a . in your email.) I only have 20 eArcs to give out, so I can’t guarantee that everyone who asks for one will get one, but I’d like to give everyone a chance to ask. Important Note: this is for bloggers/reviewers only, and if you haven’t read the first four books in the Night Huntress series, don’t request an Arc because Outtakes From The Grave won’t make any sense to you. For more information on Outtakes, go here. Readers, please don’t reply to this offer because I will hold another giveaway for you later, promise. However, this one is for pre-publication review purposes only, so that’s why it’s only for bloggers or review sites.

And now, to the subject line of my post. I get asked a lot about writing, my process, and publishing, and to cover those topics, I have a bunch of posts here. However, in the past few months, I’ve been getting a similar question from young writers, and I wanted to post a summary of my reply because it applies to writers of any age.

Here’s a paraphrase of the question: “I’m just starting a book and I want to know if what I’ve got so far is any good, so can you read it or recommend a critique group for me so someone else can give me an opinion?”

Now, before I get to my answer, let me preface it by saying there is no “one size fits all” approach to writing. If anyone tells you “You have to write THIS way or you’re doing it wrong!” politely thank them and then do whatever works for you. Some people must plot extensively to finish a book, complete with character boards and detailed outlines for every chapter. That is their “right” way. But some people don’t plot at all and they know very little about their characters when they start a book. That is their “right” way. Some people *raises hand* are a mix between the two, where they know some general plot points before they write and they have some idea about the characters, but most of the story comes to them during writing, not before writing. That’s my “right” way and other people’s right way. So, whatever your method is, it’s right if it works for you. That’s why I encourage people to take my advice below with a grain of salt because some writers, guaranteed, won’t fit this mold.

My answer: At this early stage in your novel, especially if this is the first novel you’re attempting to write, I wouldn’t recommend that ANYONE look at your book. Contrary to what some people think, it is very hard to finish a novel. Ideas are easy to come by, but taking one of those and sticking to it for the length of a coherent plot with believable characters is much easier said than done. So, first, I applaud you for starting your novel and being determined to finish it. This goes double if you’re in your teens. I didn’t start seriously writing until I turned 30, so all of you young writers are way ahead of where I was when I began to seriously attempt a book.

However, one thing I’ve found after writing over a dozen novels is that getting a critical opinion very early in the process such as before you’re even half done with a book) can sometimes kill your progress with your story. After all, you can fix all of your errors later, but right now, I want to encourage you to keep writing until you are finished with your story, or close to it. Also, if for some reason you don’t end up finishing this particular book, don’t get discouraged. I was over 60K words into a time-travel romance when I got the idea for Halfway To The Grave, so I stopped working on my other book and started writing about Cat and Bones instead. Needless to say, I’m glad that I did *wink*.

That’s why I would discourage you from looking for critical opinions at this point and instead encourage you to keep writing! Furthermore, you might change a lot of things in your book between now and when you finally finish, so don’t worry about spending a lot of time on polishing early chapters. They may or may not even make it into the final version of your story. Again, for reference, let me mention Halfway to the Grave. The beginning you read in the published version was actually Chapter Four in my original version, so I ended up deleting the first three chapters during one of my many revisions on the book. In fact, I end up cutting most of my beginnings after I write them, but until I’m done with the book, I usually don’t realize what is good enough to stay and what has to go. That’s why I say that getting critical opinions this early so that you can polish and edit chapters that might end up getting deleted later on can be a frustrating waste of time (and a good way to get discouraged about writing in general.)

So, in summary, don’t worry about fixing your book yet. Instead, have fun writing it. This is your chance to make a story exactly the way you’d want to read it (oh, if we only had that control in real life! Lol.) Experiment by trying different writing methods to see which results in the most productivity for you, such as plotting versus organic writing. There will be plenty of time later for polishing your story into the best version that it can be. Good luck to you, new writer, and most importantly, happy writing! :).

Mirrored from Frost Light.