The Waiting Game

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You’ve finished your book. You’ve edited until your eyes bled (then edited again). You’ve built a small but manageable marketing platform. You’ve networked, advertised, revised, and lost countless hours of sleep preparing the best query package you can.

You’ve spent hours, days, and even weeks researching your specific publishing demographic. You’ve handpicked a few dozen literary agents and small publishers who specialize in your genre. You’ve taken the time to read what they’ve read, support authors they promote, and generally get acquainted with them– long before you ever dare to write their name in your introductory line, ‘Dear Ms. or Mr. Agent Person’.

The rejections come in quick. Some are brusk and rude, and you’re slightly insulted after spending so much time trying to get to know them before you pestered them with two-decades worth of hard work. You wonder why they would reject you so swiftly and spend yet more hours, days, and weeks pouring over your work to glean what in the world could be so bloody wrong with it that it deserved such an offhand dismissal.

You get depressed. You feel like a failure. That twenty years of your life, might as well have been spent journaling. No one will ever be interested in your work, if a professional such as ‘SO AND SO’ doesn’t find anything marketable in it. You wonder why you stopped drinking, and take to watching Investigation Discovery in your pajamas in your spare time. Soon, you’re eating crackers upside-down on your couch and weeping into your twentieth can of LaCroix. You’re a joke; a middle-aged wannabe with no life and zero talent.

Then, the requests for manuscript roll in. There are more than you hoped for at first, when you were still capable of ‘pre-rejection’ rationale. A tiny glimmer of hope pierces your hazy, self-pity bubble. You start to wash your hair and drink actual fluids again. It’s going to be okay. SOMEONE thinks your work is worthwhile. Just be careful… don’t get cocky. Don’t get excited. Be cool. BE ZEN. They may yet tell you you’re a hack.

The second round of rejections comes in, and you weather it better this time. You’ve had one acceptance letter, but the terms were terrible and you’re not going out like that, son! That glimmer of hope is flickering but constant, in a distant, very Great Gatsby sort of way. Through the fog of self-doubt, your potential career flashes green over a wide expanse of cold water. It’s steady, but faint.

You wait… and wait.

You take terrible part-time jobs to keep the lights on while you wait. You opt not to query additional publishers and agents, until you’ve heard from the first round– because as every agent and small publisher will tell you– they’re going to take their time and if you’re serious about them, they expect you to be patient. So you wait some more. The bills stack up and you’re working forty hours a week, while trying to squeeze in time to write your sequels. You remind yourself that you were going to have to wait it out and in the end, might have to self-publish just to keep food in your fridge. You’re prepared, but the green light is still flashing on that far dock… and you know you’d be better served waiting it out. Months drag by and you’re still in limbo, wondering why you ever thought you could do this in the first place?

You read self-help articles. Positivity articles. You follow hordes of talented, recently published authors, who inspire you to keep going. You go to work. You come home and work. You get up early, and go to bed late. You hit ‘ignore’ on any random phone calls… you know who they are and you have nothing to give them. You’re tapped-out, stretched thin– a tearing canvas, drawn far too tight over its frame. You’re worried you’re going to be stuck chasing that far green light for eternity; a lifetime spent serving others, while your one passion withers on the vine. Who even are you? Do you know anymore? Did you ever?

You wait… and wait…

… and wait some more.

 

(Image copyright@www.lanaemichelle.com)

 

 

 

 

TSOM Update, 7/26/18

SOM_PROMO_v3(Check out this swanky new promo, by the talented @Musefactory6)

Hey there, cats and kittens!

The Sons Of Mil is fully completed, edited, and currently being solicited to small publishing houses. After taking nearly twenty years of my life to write– I felt it deserved its day in court. It’s my hope that it will be picked up by a boutique publisher and generate a modest following, and toward that goal, I am postponing pre-release until it’s been properly reviewed. Fingers crossed, ya’ll. I have not ruled out the possibility of self-publishing (nor do I think it’s the ‘less valid’ option), but I feel TSOM could only benefit from the influence of experienced and knowledgeable professionals. While TSOM is being read and (gulp) evaluated, I will do my utmost to keep everyone in the loop.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter on this website– folks who do will automatically earn points redeemable for promo goodies listed in my ‘SHOP’ drop-down (promo kits may include limited edition bookmarks, maps, and magnets, as part of TSOM’s pre-release campaign. TBA soon!). Remember you are welcome to read the first chapter anytime under the ‘READ’ drop-down in the menu.

If you are a literary, fiction, or fantasy blogger, and would be interested in reviewing TSOM for its future pre-release, please email me anytime!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

-LaNae Riviere

*The Sons Of Mil: Book One of the Innisfail Cycle, Copyright@LMRIVIERE.COM

**No unauthorized sampling, sharing, or sales- shall be permitted, and any evidence of such, may be subject to legal action.

 

True South

MadBch11w

Hello! I know it’s been a while, but a great many things have happened in my personal life in the past few months. I am recently divorced, have sold my house, moved across the country, and am now starting over in a new(ish) city. I have finished The Sons Of Mil and its arduous editing process (thank jeebus), and am now actively seeking representation for it. I’m also working to rebuild my photography business here in my new(ish) state, and shopping around for galleries to feature my work. Needless to say– I’ve been crazy busy! Haha.

Now that things have calmed down a little, (did I mention The Sons Of Mil is totally DONE???) I’ll be getting ready to properly launch the Innisfail Cycle series, and starting the editing process for Book Two: The Children Of Danu. If you’d like regular updates about this process, please follow this website and subscribe to my mailing list. Any and all announcements will be made here first.

Also, if you are interested in following my photography, please go to My Photo Website and subscribe to my newsletter. Additionally, my Landscape Photography is also up for sale! Looking for an original book cover or sleeve for your novel or website? Message me for details. I sell digital prints.

As if I needed more stuff to do (but I AM a total workaholic, so…), I will be launching editing services from this website soon. Developmental and Line Editing services will be announced and advertised within the next few weeks. If you are interested in delving into the structure and pace of your story for thematic flow and clarity, email me here at your convenience or feel free to DM me on My Twitter account. If you are looking for a copyeditor (please refer to my former post, ‘On Editing’ to differentiate between these services), I know several fantastic folks who charge fair prices– and can point you in the right direction.

Anyhoo, all caught up? I hope so;) Don’t forget that I am on Facebook, and Instagram too!

Catch ya later!

— LaNae

 

 

Sunday Writing Motivation…

Don’t let that cursor beat you! I find nothing helps to defeat the evil ole writer’sblock quite like nature. Get outdoors; take a walk, strap on all of your snow-gear and go sledding, drive out of town and watch the sun set somewhere beautiful. Unwinding in the great outdoors is my go-to motivation.

So, in this image…is it warm or cold, wet or dry, what does the air taste like, can you feel the wind on your face or at your back, do the waves sluice gently over pebbles, or rock lightly against the girder? Can you smell the ice, or the sun baking into the sand? How would you describe this blue?- turquoise or cerulean? Teal, or aquamarine? Is it brilliant and multifaceted like a gem, or polished like stone? Can you hear gulls calling, or just the crush of your boots in the sand?

Now go! Write what you feel!

*Was this article helpful? Let the author know in the comments below!

Image copyright: Turquoise2017

Sunday Writing Motivation…

Drop, and give me 200…

If you’re like me, you suffer from frequent bouts of the dreaded Writer’s Block. If I can get in two full flowing days of writing each week, I’m crushing it! Most days, I stare at the cursor blinking on my screen, wishing there was a magic potion that could unlock all of the words stuffed inside my noggin (whiskey and wine doesn’t count).

Alas, there is no such elixir. Writer’s Block, like all other annoying impediments to creativity, can’t be willed away. It takes its own time. Sometimes you’re simply distracted. Sometimes you’re anxious about a deadline, or you have non-related work piling up on your counter. Whatever the case may be, in my experience, a change of scenery is the only thing that helps me slay the fearsome Block.

When I can’t escape to the outdoors to press the reset button, I read, I walk…I lurk Landscape Photography communities for that flash of inspiration. I know, I know…I cheat a bit here, because I am a landscape photographer and am naturally predisposed to find inspiration in nature, BUT I contend that it can work for you too, if you let it.

Start with this photograph. Is the sun bright or occluded? Does the air smell of pine, salt, autumn leaves, wet mossy stone, or wild grass? Is it warm or cold? Do you hear birds or insects chirping in the distance, or does the roar of rushing water drown everything else out?

Write it down.

Feel better yet?

Google, 500px, Facebook, Twitter and of course Instagram all have vibrant landscape photography communities. They are my oasis, in times of need. Find an image that moves something inside of you, and write what you feel! Hope this helps!

Have your own foolproof cure for the Loathsome Block? Tell me about it!

Image copyright: Laughing Whitefish Falls

Do you find this blog helpful? Let the author know! Leave a comment below!

#writing, #motivation, #landscape, #photography, #iartg, #tools, #tips, #visual, #aid, #write, #editing, #author, #blog, #books, #fiction, #creativity, #inspiration

Free Phone Wallpaper! (Happy Holidays!)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Have a free phone wallpaper! Yup, I took this. I wear two big ole hats; sometimes interchangeably. What can I say? I have two passions in life…and both are pretty fun!

My photography is available on My Photo Website, and yes, I sell prints! Canvas, framed art and digital files. There is a functional store on my site as well, so if you have a hard person to buy for- I’ve got some ideas for you!

To browse my catalog- My Instagram

Make sure to follow my blog for news, updates, writing samples and  more freebies!

New Social Media Sites:

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Pinterest

Stumble Upon

I have some exclusive content coming to this site soon! Keep an eye out!

– L.M. Riviere UP1717w

Image copyright: Au Train Falls, 2017

The Process…

 

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Writing is not easy. 

Remember that old adage, ‘if it was easy, everyone would do it’? Well, I take issue with that statement. It…just…ain’t…true. Working to complete a manuscript is one of the most challenging, time-consuming, nerve-wracking and socially isolating experiences, a person can willingly put themselves through. I contend, if it was easy, a lot of folks still wouldn’t do it. Most people I know, don’t have that kind of time…most people I know, have lives.

Into my book, ‘The Sons of Mil’, I’ve poured hundreds of hours. I can go days without speaking to another human being and sometimes, even longer than that. My neighbors will periodically knock on the door, just to make sure I’m not dead. Writing this book, has been an incredibly rewarding experience but it has also been lonely, stressful and restrictive. I’m an outdoorsy gal. I’m a landscape photographer, an avid hiker, runner and watersports enthusiast. To complete this manuscript, I’ve had to push everything else I enjoy to the side…and so might you, if you’re aiming to publish in the near future.

If you’re a writer getting serious about your own work, you know how it is. You wear the same clothes for an indeterminable amount of days. You wash your hair less and less. You have to forgo movies, books, your favorite shows and social outings with friends. You become a sad parody of the fun-loving extrovert you used to be. A hermit in old band tee-shirts, flannel and sweat-pants. The sun, seems a vague, hypothetical entity…

If you can relate, I dub thee ‘an artist’. Writing is not a dash n’grab affair. It’s a process. A long, lonesome trek you take in your pajamas. As with any journey, you invariably want it to end someday, don’t you? You want to go outside and experience the world again…Netflix is calling…you have a whole shelf full of books you’ve been dying to read…you want to be a person again, by god! Well, relax. My fuzzy slippers and I have suffered through the wrong way through this stuff, to bring you a better one. How do you shave some time and pints of Haagen Daas out of your creative experience? I’ll tell you how; nail down your process.

1. GET ORGANIZED– I can’t tell you how many years I wasted writing incomplete chapters. I’d start one, write what I thought was a clever scene, then dump it for four months. Into my ‘to do’ pile of junk, it would go. Note: DON’T DO THIS.

Always…I repeat, ALWAYS; nail down your story first! Set up your general scenario, character lists, chapters logs (more on this below), themes and a get general idea of word count and length before you get to writing the story. Why do all of this first? Let me put it in photographic terms…know what you want to include in your frame before you shoot. Free-flow and zeitgeist writing can be a blast. They can also be rewarding and beneficial to an author. However, only .4% of the successful writers you’ve ever heard of manage to write whole books and serials this way. The rest of us, need a road map.

How do you get going? Well, start with the theme. What do you want to say? Where does it take place? Who lives there? Who are your characters? What do they love, hate or want to do? Are they good guys or bad guys? What challenges do they face? How can they grow in this world you’ve created?

How many chapters you think it will take to work through your characters’ issues? How long do you think it will take for your protagonist to get from point A. to point B. in your story?

How do I figure all of this out? Old school. Grab a large white poster board. On one side, write your central theme and the characters and places you plan to explore. Use bubbles, graphs, whatever works for you. On the other side, starting with Chapter One; mark down your theme, your protagonist/antagonist; where they are, what they’re doing and what they want at the moment, in this world you’re creating. Include any pertinent details, like a timeline and any challenges that arise for those characters, within that chapter. Once you manage all of this, congratulate yourself. You now have a basic outline to work with!

When you figure out where you want to go from the first chapter, repeat the process with the second, the third…you get the idea! Now an added trick I’ve taught myself to keep from rambling on in my text; I set a word count limit for each chapter. That way, when I’m free-writing; I can differentiate between pertinent and impertinent details. Also, try to drill story structure into your outline. Every story has a ‘Beginning, A Middle and an End‘. This is fiction law, no matter what the Tarantinos of the world have to say about it. Nail these tips down, and see how fast your story comes together. Try it. What do you have to lose?

 

2. MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY– I am the ABSOLUTE WORST at managing my time wisely, so believe me when I say this statement is not coming from a place of judgment. Rather the opposite…it’s coming from a fountain bubbling with sympathy. I get it. We’re all busy little bees. We have jobs to get to. Groceries that need buying. Laundry that needs washing. Kids that need raising. Spouses that need attention.

The world is a frenetic place and it’s not about to stop twirling, just because you have a story burning in your gut that needs to be told. I get it. Every author the world over, gets it. Still, in order to make your dreams come true- you have to figure out a way to make your work a priority. This is an imperative. No matter how many hours I’ve spent crying in the shower in frustration; I’ve as yet been unable to master writing stories in my sleep.

I don’t have a bulletproof blanket solution for everyone here, because I am as guilty as the next procrastinator. However, I have come up with a few Writing Hacks to make it all a little less horrible.

  1. Write On A Schedule, in which you can be alone and get some work done. Literally. I set my alarm for 8am, every morning and drag my butt out of bed to the coffeemaker. The house is quiet. Other humans and animals are still asleep. The phone does not ring. Basically, no distractions. Whatever time of day suits you best, is up to you…but STICK TO IT. I would like to tell you that all authors are inspired every time they sit down at the computer… but that would be a big fat lie. I had to teach myself to write, even when I didn’t feel ‘ready’ to. After a while, your brain will rewire itself to accommodate you. I promise. I look at it this way, all habits need time to establish, and writing is no different.
  2. Set A Time Limit. Only have an hour before work? Write for 30. You get the idea.
  3. Stephen King That Sh*t. The master himself makes it an IMPERATIVE to write at least 1k words a day. Writers Write. If you’ve only got 500 words in you a day…so be it. The important thing is to add those up at the end of every week and marvel at the progress you’ve made. You won’t get anywhere by TALKING about writing. Trust me, I’ve tried.
  4. Baby Steps. Don’t stress out if you get behind. We’re all human here. Things happen. The important thing is to never stop trying. Had a bad day? Start fresh tomorrow. Don’t let one rotten string of events, prevent you from sticking to your routine.

 

3. EDIT LATER, FOR CRIPES’ SAKE! This is the most important advice I can offer any new writer. DO NOT EDIT UNTIL YOU ARE DONE WITH THE FIRST DRAFT. I am also an editor and I can’t tell you how many chapters I’ve had to chuck into the bin, because I couldn’t get past a wonky sentence or paragraph. Let it go for now! Get your story down and rounded out, BEFORE you start picking it apart. If you’ve already established your story map, your characters and your themes…you have a general idea how long the story will be, what twists you want to include, the arcs you want to explore…AND YOU HAVE AN ENDING, CLEARLY IN MIND. Once you get there, by golly, you have a draft ready for editing. Not before. Not in the middle. AFTER.

4. READ, READ, READ. Once you have a draft, read the whole thing BEFORE you edit…then read it again. Take notes. Read it a third time. Take notes. Go and read something else. In fact read as many books as you can digest in a short period of time. Take notes. THEN READ YOUR STORY AGAIN.

After you’ve practically memorized every chapter….you’re ready to edit the bejesus out of this sucker, aren’t you? You have a clearly defined plot. Established characters. Rounded themes. General word count and length. THIS is when you should sit down and edit. When you’re really, truly, not foolin’ READY to.

Editing, like writing, is its own process. If you start too soon, you can lose a grip on the point you were trying to make. If you start in the middle, you’ll find yourself prematurely trying to course-correct. Editing is a polish to be applied ONLY when your story is complete; when it’s vivid and fleshed out. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by editing before you’re finished.

I spent FAR more time editing than I do writing; and FAR LESS time editing than I do reading and taking notes. Why? Because in fiction, the way you say a thing, tends to be far less important than what you are actually saying. Develop your story first. Tell it in the best possible way you can. Love your characters. Make your dialogue sing. Give your story a unique, functional voice…THEN sit down and pick it to pieces. Remember, no one will want to read your story, if you don’t enjoy reading it first.

 

Are you writing a novel? A short-story? A graphic novel? Tell me about your process! I want to hear from you. Discuss your thoughts on the creative process in the comments or sign up for my newsletter below!

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Image Copyright: My Photo Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello!

Hi! I am the author of ‘The Sons of Mil’; book one of ‘The Innisfail Cycle’. I am currently gearing up to publish in January of 2018 (tentatively).

On this site, I’ll share writing and marketing tips on my blog, as well as periodical samples of my work. Don’t be shy! I’d love to chat with you! All readers, writers, editors and dreamers, welcome!

Supplementary materials for ‘The Sons of Mil’, will be available for purchase in an upcoming store on this page; i.e., maps, bookmarks, posters, and digital files. E-Book readers will be offered special discount codes, for items included in all Hardcover sales (maps, glossaries, etc.). Thanks!

 

*All images, titles, text, video and audio files are subject to copyright.

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