Tag: Author

I write many things

WIP news

As promised, I’ll give a long overdue update on my novel. Where do I even begin!!??

Seraphim is the title of book one, book one of the Trials of the Outborn duology.

You read that right!! Duology. Yup. No trilogy here. The choice came as I began examining the novel and discovered there’s more here. But I couldn’t go any earlier in the story than I already had. Not for it to make sense anyways. And that there’s only enough of this story for another book. So. Duology it is!!

The story has taken me and my characters on a wild and crazy ride. Many things have changed. The major plot of the book has changed. Crazy decisions were made and here we are, I’m 12 chapters in to revisions, with 41 chapters total. Things are amazing and crazy and I love the way it’s headed now.

My characters needed this change. They needed me to give them this opportunity to fully share their hearts and souls. So that’s what I’m trying to accomplish.

I hope you all are staying healthy and safe. Drink your water and be sure to tune back in for more updates soon!!

Hiatus

Hello strangers and whom ever is still following my blog!! I appreciate you all sticking around. And don’t blame ya if you didn’t! The impromptu hiatus came as a result of burn out, imposter syndrome and life.

Sometimes things just get overwhelming. As a sensitive person, feeling energy of others, managing my own mental health… things can get out of hand. And fast! And that’s what happened.

I lost sight of balance. I forgot hot or cope and manage life and myself. So things fell off the to-do list. Which means this blog went quiet.

It’s life. Just how it is. I’m going to try to slowly come back here and there. I won’t make any promises. But I’m going to make an effort to be here.

In the next week I’ll share an update on my novel and where I’m at with it. Yes, I’ve been chugging along on it this whole time. No. I’m not done. And I’ll explain more in another post.

Thanks again for reading! If you enjoy an unapologetic, raw and real writer documenting her journey through life and this world- be sure to subscribe and follow along!

Oh and ps. Drink the water! 💋

Editing the First Draft

The first draft. Red pen at the ready.

Happy Monday beautiful people!! I hope you all are doing amazing and hanging in there. A lot of the United States is experiencing weird weather and all sorts of things going on.

I missed the last two weeks, life just got in the way. It happens. I could beat myself up over it but honestly, why? This isn’t a bigger priority over my other responsibilities. So meh. 😜

First draft edits began a week ago or so, and phew! Let me say that damn this is the hard part. I am not loving it. Finding my rhythm and method has taken a lot of painful hours of me staring at my computer and printed manuscript wondering what the hell do I do next? It’s sucked. Totally sucked. BUT! I found an amazing asset, an amazing tool….

ProWriting Aid!

ProWriting Aid is INCREDIBLE! This post is not at all affiliated with the program. It’s amazing for any and all writers of all kinds of skill sets. Not just novel writers. You upload your work, I suggest doing chapter by chapter- it goes faster. And it scans and analyzes the entire chapter. It looks at everything. Adverbs. Grammar issues. Pacing. Spelling. Sentence structure. Sticky sentences. Repeated words. The list goes on and on!! YOU NEED THIS APP!

My biggest hurtle in editing was not knowing where my weak points were in my work. This took the guess work out and showed them all to me. Heck yea!!

So. I am excited about editing now. Fixing plot hole and strengthening the story. Then addressing these things in ProWriter Aid… which is a free plugin attachment available for download using Chrome. With a Premium account for a yearly fee. And it honestly was not that expensive! You should check it out!

I hope this might’ve been some help to you. That’s all I’ve got for ya. Next week I’ll be sharing some thoughts on this book series I read in a little over a week. The first books I’ve read in over 4 years… gasp! I know!!!! Okay. Have fun! Drink water! Grab some sunshine and smile!! It helps!!

Sharing your WIP

Hello beautiful people! I hope you all are safe and healthy on this fine June day. Let me cut right to the chase- do you overshare your work in progress on social media?

What’s too much? 

Many authors are on Instagram, it’s a great place to promote, market and establish yourself as an author and share your work. So it’s a no brainer there’s a lot there. There’s just this common trend that has caught my eye and I myself have been guilty of it as well, over sharing. Or what I consider over sharing in my opinion.

Last week I discussed the prompt usage and the nuances of being part of such prompt communities. And I’m going to take it another step further. I think many authors are sharing way too much about their WIPs online.

HEAR ME OUT!

For instance, there are a few days during the week that encourage snippet sharing. I have done this. And still might share a quote or something here and there. However, if you share 7 paragraphs each snippet, and there’s 52 weeks a year- unless your book is incredibly long- you’re sharing at least one snippet from each chapter… if not more. What are readers paying for? And are you ruining certain surprises for them?

I don’t know about you, but I love discovering the story as I read. I love learning the characters and the history as I read. It’s why I love to read. How much are we ruining for the reader when we share all these things online?

I’m not saying don’t promote your book, your story.. I’m not saying not to… but I am saying is be mindful. I went through and removed almost everything about my characters and story off my Instagram page. You see very little now. You will find dark poetry, personal stories of my battle with ptsd and therapy. You’ll find my highs and lows with writing, you’ll see my love of nature and photography. You’ll see a lot of me! And that’s what I want readers to love. I want readers to fall for me! Not just my stories.

Just some food for thought. Chew on it. Let it rest on your tongue a bit and get the full flavor. You can spit it out and shake your head or swallow it and adjust your approach. Do what you feel is right and what you’re comfortable with always. This is just my opinion and my thoughts on these things.

Drink your water and get some sun. Have an amazing day and keep plugging ahead on your dreams!

Unpopular Opinion

Before I get started let me say this, I am not knocking anyone or bashing the practice of using prompts… I use them all the time on my other social media outlets. I save them for blog post ideas. With that said, there are some things I have noticed that I wanted to simply voice for discussion and thought provoking purposes as I’ve recently pulled away from the prompts and certain things became noticeable.

Being on Instagram and amongst fellow writers, poets and other authors in various stages of the journey is helpful, interesting and often enlightening. But there is a flip side to all that too and further down I’ll explain.

Many use prompts for posts created by various members of the community. Many do not. Once again, I’ll reiterate my sentiments before, there is nothing wrong with either or. This is just my thoughts on it all. To each their own. And I use them too. However, I find pitfalls to both approaches but more recently in using them.

Let me explain!! 

The use of the prompts gives authors and writers a no brainer approach to what to post during the journey- it helps. It takes the guess work out of “I haven’t published yet, but what do I share?” I totally get it. And am in the same boat. I’ve used many prompts for this reason. It’s hard to know what to reveal in order to create interest in the story you’re working on. Here’s the kicker though, I feel as though it’s a crutch in some ways. And often results in over sharing. It starts to feel like a clique, you do every prompt and use the hashtags to go with them and soon the people sharing the same things find you and you are in this little group. That’s great- support is great. But what about those that don’t participate in the prompts or use those hashtags? Are they less worthy of the support? I find that many won’t give your content a second glance if you don’t use the hashtags or prompts. That’s my personal opinion and experience. I guess the question is what are you there on Instagram for?

Some may be there just to share their process, whilst promoting their story. Some are there to promote themselves while trickling in their story and work in progress. And there are I’m sure a million other reasons. The prompts however begin to feel like a constant marketing campaign with little focus on the actual author and just on the process or story. I find this flawed.

Now of course some will say well if you don’t use the hashtags they can’t find you… blah blah blah…. I don’t buy it. Call me crazy but many don’t give you the time of day unless you subscribe to their monthly prompts. Harsh truths. Like I said. Unpopular opinion.

Let’s look at this a different way, I’ve researched a lot on what makes a successful author brand and social media account. I love research. Maybe too much. You know what though, the research is almost unanimous that authors should be sharing more of their lives outside of being an author. Why? Because readers want to know the writer! They don’t care where you are in the journey. Some might. Most don’t. You know who does care- other writers- because we don’t want to feel alone on this crazy road. It feeds the ego when we can share our word counts and progress, I’m not saying don’t celebrate the wins, but the constant focus on win to win to win is exhausting. And sets an unprecedented pace. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking to appeal to other writers. I want readers. Other people. Research also showed that you should be sharing other topics, what you hold close to your heart. Now, many authors I follow do this. They don’t do any prompts. They share their lives. There might be updates on their writing journey. But they share their adventures, their struggles with illness, their family, their other passions. And you know what… they’re selling books like hot cakes. See, I observe a lot. I watch people. Habits and notice trends. Of course it is helpful to have the support of other writers! We need to be lifting each other up!! Why don’t we celebrate the non writer material? Why don’t we celebrate the entire person? Not just the craft? And why doesn’t that extend to the writers that don’t use the daily prompts?

There’s some benefit to watching and learning how others approach the craft of writing. Of course there is! And again, I use prompts here and there and also go rogue too. I get more followers from the rogue posts. I reach more people with the rogue posts. Interesting isn’t it? I find the writers that share odd and unusual things about their lives more interesting. I want to hear about their adventures and life. Because they are people like me. I don’t want my entire feed being craft posts, I ask myself all the time if a reader came across my profile what would they see? I hope they’d see a woman, a mother, a spiritual person, a nature lover, a writer, an artist, a passionate woman, a woman who struggles in mental health and so much more… I hope they don’t just see me as a writer. I am so much more than that.

To wrap this up, I will once again say, I am not bashing or discrediting those that do prompts. I do them sometimes too. If that’s what you want to post, what your focus is on, that’s great. To each their own. I am merely sharing my thoughts on the subject. And if that means I speak about topics with an unpopular opinion, than so be it.

Well, this it is with surreal excitement that I can say I’ve finished the first draft of Seraphim, book one of Trials of the Outborn series.

LIKE WHAT!!??

I set that goal for myself a few days ago, the end of this particular path in sight, the light at the end of the tunnel could be seen blinking it’s beautiful sparks at me. And I arrived at the clearing and am currently basking in the glow of this new light. The writing journey is a series of these paths, each one unique to the writer of course but to the story, to the genre and to the moment, so many variables. For me, this path consisted of a fiery beginning when the story came to light. When Emric came to me in a dream like place and opened my eyes to this love that could survive centuries. I traveled along the road with Emric, seemingly easy, paved and well laid out until the road quickly turned to gravel and shortly after to quicksand. Swallowing me whole, I remained lost in this place, circling about and wondering where to turn, how to change the scene, where would help come from and if it would ever find me. The story stalled. And I wept, I cringed and had to put it down. Laying myself within the clutches of burn out and quicksand, up was down, and down was up, no left or right just spinning in thought.

Until a slippery moment surfaced and life was breathed deep into my lungs finally. The sand was coughed out and cleared, the trees parted and I saw a tiny foot path, just wide enough for me to explore. It was slick with uncertainty and still I pressed on, driven by a force that refused to led up. That was when I wrote my novella, a spin off, a prequel to Seraphim. Unknowing it was the fuel I needed to jump back in and travel again alongside Emric. And with the words of a dear friend, I dove into the depths of this trail, mostly submerged, waist deep in muck and gruel. Still, the voices of my characters pushed me through. The support of my friends made me keep going. Holding me accountable, providing room to vent and breathe and scream when the trial seemed hopeless. Still I kept going.

I’m so glad that I’ve come through, the path changed again, become dry and lighter, easier to travel along. It became a race to the finish line. Distractions arose and tried to stop me. But I continued. And here I am. On the other side of that path. The meadow here of flowers and butterflies has me resting and catching my breath. I’ll lay here for a bit I think.

The next path is unknown, uncharted territory. But I’m preparing my maps, preparing my tools and weaponry. I will face the awaiting trail in earnest. Here’s to the editing process!

I will keep you posted in my progress. The goal is to post every Sunday. At the least. I do hope you are enjoying your day and getting sleep. Drink your water. And breathe some fresh air! It’ll help your soul. I promise. Till next time. 🕯

Novel update!

The last time I wrote about my novel it was called The Fractured Veil. Well that’s changed. A lot has happened since then. And it’s for the best!

The Fractured Veil is still alive and well. Emric and Arryn are still on their journey. Not much has changed as far as the content goes. But the title has changed. And I have a series name!! This is when you all gasp!

The Fractured Veil is now simply Seraphim, book one of Trials of the Outborn.

It took me spending a few months developing a book from the point of view of Arryn, prior to when Seraphim occurs to realize I needed to revisit and finish that book first. So. That’s what I did. After a few betas read the book, I determined that while it wasn’t a waste of time. It certainly took a bit longer for me to get back into the novel than I would’ve liked.

The first draft is nearly done, and then the revisions and edits are to follow. It’s an exciting and stressful time. I hope you enjoy hearing more behind the scenes and if you want more head on over to my Instagram. Thanks again and happy reading!

It’s been a while!!! HI!!

Well hello there, I apologize for my absence but I really don’t have any excuse. Life is life and sometimes things fall off the radar as more important things come into focus. That’s just how life works. Being a busy mom of a non stop toddler, writing my own trilogy and running a small business doing book covers and formatting them, the blog kind of slipped off. Not that I didn’t want to come here and share what I’ve been up to but honestly, it just never happened. Ahh well!

So what have I been up to…? Well! I wrote a book, a novella, and was super excited for it!! Still am! However, this book was more of a prequel to the series I was working on and tabled last year… after sending it to a handful of beta readers I realized I couldn’t release this before book one of the trilogy. Soooooo. I turned my attentions to the novel. Where I rewrote most of it. And am nearly finished with it. It’s been a wild ride!! And I’m excited to share more of the characters. If you’re familiar with The Fractured Veil then you know a lot already. I’ll follow this blog up with a special post for the trilogy title and book ones title.

If you’re just joining don’t worry! I’ll have lots to share and plan on being here on a regular basis. Thanks again for sticking around and if you’re just joining. Thanks for reading!!!

Remember to breathe, get some fresh air and drink your water today!

Hi New Faces!!

Morning everyone!! (It’s Sunday morning for me.) or afternoon, evening… depending on where you are. Hope it’s been good to you so far! I wanted to say hello to many of you that have come by after my post on Instagram! Thank you all so much for checking it out!!

I started this blog/website originally a year ago, it didn’t go far, I got overwhelmed and couldn’t keep it up. So it went dormant. And now, I feel much more prepared to balance this and my other social media pages. I’m so excited to see where this goes!!

If there’s anything weird, confusing about the page please let me know!! Haha, I am no pro at this and there are always things that seems to not work how I’d like or weirdness that I might miss. So please, if you have constructive feedback on anything that is off, or anything you’d like to see here. Please don’t hesitate to comment!! I truly want to give as much as I can of myself here and give you content that you enjoy reading!

Sunday’s are my usual days to post, there may be a poetry or random thought post in the middle of the week too. Ya just never know!!!

I’ve been in a writing slump for some time now and that’s okay, ebb and flow, sometimes the writing comes in floods. And other times it’s a darn drought! I know enough of my self though that when I’m creative elsewhere, if I’m working with clients and creating for their books. My creative juice is flowing for them. And that is completely okay!! I am actually honored to give them that part of me.

I am also embarking on a new book project of my own, handwritten, completely designed by myself. I’ll include an example of what it might look like… to give ya a taste.

Coming soon!!

This is merely a morsel of what’s to come! Let me know what you think!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead, stay safe out there and drink your water!! (I say it as a reminder more for me than you but still!!)

Secret

I made this collage.

As promised here is my latest poem.


Regrettable.

Sentiments cast down from heavenly notes, timbre sounds and reckoning blasts to earths unfound, struck, slapped, slammed to the ground, shattered, broken, shards all around,

Forgettable.

Pieces of me, discarded and thrown into the sea, drown my dreams, when once empty fill completely, sink and drink me, make believe, fantasy, memory feelings escape me,

Uncomfortable.

Persecute the red thief, heart bled into sleeves, ceramic tomb of bubble bath grieves, as she leaves preach your martyr beatings, confess systolic weaving needs, then leave,

Typical.


You can find more on my Instagram Tilly.mcgill.firefly