Quick update 

So I won’t have internet again until tomorrow. I finished editing Clara and Claire, and I’m sending it off to my editor this weekend. 
I planned on posting my “Editing at Home: Day 4” update today, but without Internet I’m posting this from my phone. (Again such a cool feature it blows my mind). And I didn’t want to skip over anything, so I will post the official and final editing update tomorrow or Sunday at the latest. I can’t wait. Just when I thought this book couldn’t change anymore, it did!

Thanks for your patience and understanding! 

Lindsey Richardson 

Editing at home: Day Three

day3-2Day three. (Technically day four because it’s 2am, but hey, who’s counting?)

Today has been overwhelming. My brain decided halfway through editing to change up a scene in one of the later chapters, and it’s a pretty huge change. It’s the kind of change where for the rest of the day you’re writing it out instead of going over what’s already there in front of you. That’s how I ended up at what’s now a 100k total novel. Scary!

But in all fairness I don’t regret it. I spent a lot of time on this today, and I’m feeling good about it. It’s something I’m excited for. I have a little more to add onto the beginning of chapter 26, but after that I think I’ll be golden.

So as of right now I’m on chapter 26 out of 37 total chapters. I’m really hoping I can finish 11 whole chapters tomorrow. It’s not going to be an easy day, since I also have to finish packing up the rest of the house. I’m just not sure how busy I’ll be Saturday with moving and getting the cats settled, so I’d rather just finish everything tomorrow and be done with it. We’ll see how it goes.

The only reason I’m stopping tonight is because of how late it is, and I’m feeling braindead. I just don’t have the energy right now. Tomorrow morning (this morning) I plan on starting early, and I’ll have coffee, so it’s really promising. I can’t guarantee anything, but before the end of Friday you’ll know if I got everything done or not. *panic mode activated*

Today’s post is really short in comparison to my last two, but I promise tomorrow (especially if I finish) I’ll have more to talk about because then it’ll be one less thing off my plate. And it’ll mean we’re moving even closer to publication, which always leaves me feeling excited!

Hope to hear from you guys tomorrow on my final day of vacation (aka free editing time). Definitely send good vibes your way if you’re in the middle of writing or editing! It’s a crazy time of the year. Here’s to hoping it all works out.

Lindsey Richardson

Editing at home: Day Two

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Day two of editing has officially ended for me. I almost quit a little earlier than last night, but it was raining tonight, so I decided to keep going. Today has been a really busy but productive day.

As of right now where I’m leaving off for the night I’m on chapter 19. Keep in mind, there’s 37 chapters in total. So I still have a lot to do, but I accomplished more today than I expected. Tomorrow it looks like I’m definitely going to need to work just as hard (if not more), and then Friday finish up and do one last final skim through. I don’t think I’ll have the time this weekend to edit more, so I really want Friday to be my final day, and then send it to my editor Friday night or sometime Saturday.

The editing I’m doing right now (and for the rest of the week) is the hardest part of editing. It’s the kind where at first you’re like “yes, I’m doing this!” and then that turns into “is this over yet?!” It’s frustrating and somewhat exciting all at once.

I’ve been working on a lot of rewriting of scenes and some paragraphs. It’s amazing how your betas can understand exactly what you wanted to say in a scene, even if you didn’t get there entirely the first time around. So I rewrote the beginning of one chapter to make it more emotional, and then for the rest of the day I’ve been reading through and working with character dialogue too.

If anything this process makes it interesting to see just how much my writing has changed over the years. Even over the (almost) year I’ve been working on this book. Clara and Claire has been through so many changes, but they’re all for the better. And this point I’m polishing up the plot and the characters to make sure this is as ready as it’ll ever be for my editor.

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat I’ve been posting a lot of pictures and videos of my progress. Sometimes it’s just easier to get the point across in pictures than words. And it makes me feel more obligated to keep working when I’m sharing it with you guys.

I thought I was going to have more to say in this post, but it is late, and I think I’ll have more to share tomorrow. To be honest I almost skipped this post entirely, but I didn’t want to skip out on the opportunity to document the day (and share the experience with you, of course).

But if you’re a curious writer or reader, like me, here’s some of what I’ve been thinking while editing today:

  • how did my paragraphs end up being so long? (I don’t remember having this issue in the past… must be something new I’ve picked up)
  • lots of semi-colons… more than I remember (again, where did this come from?!)
  • the cats fight/play a lot when I edit…
  • *deletes whole sentence and writes up entirely new one*
  • *plays music quietly in the background to not lose sanity*
  • “I’ll save that for tomorrow.”

Thanks again if you’ve been stopping by for the updates, and if you’re a writer who’s also editing, feel free to copy my strategy and share the process on your blog. I love sharing this with you guys, so you know exactly what’s going into the book.

Until tomorrow…!

Lindsey Richardson

P.S. I think this is a new record: 2 posts all in one day (yeah it’s technically past midnight here, but shh…)!

Cursed With Power 4 year anniversary

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September 7th holds so much importance to me. Every year on this date I wake up and am blown away by the facts in front of me. This is all real, and it’s not just a dream anymore.

Since this is my first time talking about Cursed With Power on this new blog I wanted to talk about journey that brought me to where I am today. Some of you might have heard it before, but there’s always details I left out before, and I’m also talking about the future of my writing. Thank you in advance for reading what might end up being a long post.

The idea for Cursed With Power first came to me in the summer of 2010. This was during a time period where I literally could not find a book idea to stick with. I tried out so many different plots, characters, and none of them lasted. Many ended up on Inkpop (a writing website where you can share your story online for others to read), but in the end none of them last more than a few chapters.

Celestria’s story, though, was different. Right away from the beginning I was determined to write the story. I put aside everything else I had been working on. Those novels didn’t capture me in the way Celestria’s did. I like to refer to CWP as “Celestria’s story” a lot because it really feels like her story. She might not be real, but after all the years I dedicated to her and the story that she narrated, she’s as real as any fictional character can get.

Despite all the praise I give Celestria, she was not always the perfect character. Actually for the longest time when I first started this book she and I did not get along. I could not figure out her character for the longest time. (I think I talked about it sometimes on my old blog…) It was pretty rough for awhile, and I’m not sure at exactly what point I finally figured out her character.

Keep in mind I did all of this while in high school. That all plays a part in this too, because in my senior year (class of 2012!) I enrolled in a G/T independent research class. And my independent research became my book. I researched everything I could about Transylvania –the setting of CWP–in the 1500s. It wasn’t easy, and sometimes even my teacher was at a loss of where we could look. But eventually I found more of the material I was looking for, and it was in this class that I then started rewriting Cursed With Power. This was the major rewrite, though I can’t say if this was the last.

In the very, very early versions of CWP Alaire Sencler was no more than a minor character. Leal Irvine actually ended up having more of a role than Alaire. And during this major rewrite I did it switched. Alaire’s potential became clear to me, and thus he ended up joining Celestria in her journey.

Fast forward through countless rejections. I continued editing and rewriting every time sometime told me “eh, it’s not for me.” It wasn’t until nearing my graduation that I finally received an acceptance letter and learned my book would finally be getting published *insert screams of joy here*. And then it wasn’t until another 9 months that the book was released (due to one last major edit [with the help of my editor] and interior and cover design).

Four years is a long time. So much has changed since I was an 18 year old with my first book published. I’m married now, soon to be moving to an entirely different state, and we have three cats who run around and keep me busy. I work full time and write. My writing career didn’t officially start until Cursed With Power was published, but since then I’ve only set my goals even higher.

I’m 22 now with four books published. My fifth book, Clara and Claire, is something entirely new and separate from the Magicians series, and that’ll be releasing (hopefully) before the end of 2016. Every year since CWP I’ve released a book. And the Magicians series and Clara and Claire are only the beginning. I have so many plans for the future, so many stories I want to write, and I’m going to be sharing every moment of it with you.

Now I know this post was long, but I write a post up every year on this day as a reminder. Dreams don’t always have to be dreams. Follow them and be passionate about what you love. If you take anything away from this, don’t give up.

Thank you to everyone who supports my writing. I’ve been writing since I was 12, and I love that now I have people to share the experience with.

(Reminder, I’ll be posting again later tonight about editing day 2.)

Lindsey Richardson

Haven’t read Cursed With Power or the complete Magicians series? Don’t worry, the entire series is available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon (and everywhere else online where books are sold). Find all my books on my Amazon author page

Editing at home: Day One

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I’m calling this my DIY editing retreat. A whole week off from work to focus solely on Clara and Claire. With a clear goal set in my head (and down on paper somewhere too), I’m determined to finish everything this week. One lesson that’s perhaps the hardest one to learn is that you can’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. It leads to disappointment and madness. So fortunately I looked over everything my betas gave me, and I realized this is a goal I can realistically accomplish. No slacking, no excuses, and with the right amount of coffee, I’m set by the early AM to get started.

Last night I started working on edits, but today was my first full day of editing. So I’m calling this day one. And for anyone who’s interested in the process or what goes on behind the scenes, I wanted to share it with you.

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Today was all about paragraphs, grammar, cutting unnecessary details, etc. All that kind of stuff that naturally comes with editing. It’s the stuff I didn’t catch when I did my own edits and rewriting, and thankfully I had awesome betas who were able to point it out to me. Keep in mind this book is at 97k words total (give or take), so there’s a lot of book to go through and edit. And I decided to get this out of the way first because it’s easy to fix, and it’s just as important as anything plot related or character related that has to be addressed.

This afternoon I took a break from editing, but tonight I’m right back at it again. I’m only taking a short break right now to write up this post. But for the remainder of tonight, and leading into tomorrow, I’m going to be focusing on everything else. The questions, suggestions, any uncertainties, etc. Anything with characters, dialogue, or specific scenes/chapters I want to address (and fix).

In the picture up above I tried to show a little glimpse into the journal I’m using. (Shoutout to Kate Spade for making a pretty and useful journal that I’ve been using since almost the beginning of this novel.) Since we don’t have a printer at home, I wrote everything important that my betas mentioned that I want to either fix, rework, delete, or strengthen.  It took up several pages, and now the remainder of the pages I’m just working out different ideas for certain parts that have to be reworked or any questions that were left unanswered.

No one said this was going to be done in a day, and sadly with editing it feels like it’s never over. But I feel like I made a huge amount of progress today. Knowing that now I can just read through the entire book and focus directly on certain scenes, characters, or paragraphs is a relief. Some of these bigger reworks I’m doing (in terms of with a character or scene) I might be sharing later on this week or next, so I can share my own advice on how I worked through it. I’ve been reading up a lot lately on editing posts, so if you have any good ones on your blog (or someone else’s), link them in the comments.

Tomorrow is definitely going to be a more challenging day. Grammar and rewording sentences is a lot easier than answering questions that even I might have skipped over the first, second, and third time around. But I’m hopeful, and at the end all of this work is going to pay off.

I read something that really stood out to me yesterday on a writer’s blog. When you receive the feedback from your betas, you have to ask yourself a very important question. If you’re debating on whether to use a suggestion (or answer a question) from a beta, is it because you believe it’s already been resolved or are you trying to avoid extra work? This wasn’t the exact wording on the blog obviously, but that’s the summary of it (from the best that I can remember). And it just left me thinking that you can’t be afraid of the extra work in editing. Editing isn’t meant to be easy. Some parts are, but the challenging parts are what will make the book later on either stand or fall.

I’ll post again with day two’s progress tomorrow. I think we’re in for two posts tomorrow, seeing as tomorrow is Cursed With Power‘s publication anniversary. Can you believe it’s been four years already? I’ll be sharing the whole story and more tomorrow –expect that post probably earlier in the morning, and the editing post later at night.

Lindsey Richardson

End of August

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August seems to have flown past me in a matter of days. So much has happened this month, and even more is awaiting in the months to come. With the end of one month coming and the start of a new month I like to share what’s ahead in the grand scheme of everything.

Today being the last day of August also means it is the deadline for my beta readers. I’ve heard from almost all of them by now. And I still have a strong sense of what needs to be worked on. All this feedback from my beta readers is actually leaving me excited for the work ahead of me because everything is fixable.

Next week I’m dedicating my time to Clara and Claire. By then I will have all the feedback from my beta readers organized and ready and know where to start. My intentions are to finish everything that I feel needs to be fixed by the end of next week and then send the book off to my editor. My editor is the last person who’s going to read through the entire book and tell me anything that I or the beta readers have fixed. Then based on her suggestions, I go through one more time to ensure it is ready for publication. Only once she has given me feedback can I then plan the date for publication (and get everything set up).

September is definitely an important month, and next week I’ll be pushing myself to get everything done on my side so I can get this to my editor at the time I’ve planned. These last few weeks I had a nice break from writing/editing, but I’m definitely ready to get back into it. I love this story and the characters, and I’m eager to make sure the story is solid and ready for the world to read. All this extra work is going to make the wait worth it!

As for on the blog, in September I plan to be share the next steps in this process with you. I’ll share about what’s being fixed in the book (if not specifically, just overall talk on the subject of it) and share my progress as I go. Since I won’t be rewriting the entire novel again I won’t be using Wordly to track my word count or anything like that. But I’ll try to give you an idea of how far I am with chapter numbers (or page numbers). I haven’t decided exactly yet, but I’ll figure it all out before the start of next week!

Though I’m focusing strongly on my book next week, I’ll also need to take breaks now and then. If you know any good motivation/focus songs, leave them in the comments (I’ll give them a listen)! And I was thinking about possibly doing a short live video segment on my author Facebook page. If you’d like me to host a live video and answer questions about writing, publishing, or any of my books (published, WIPs, future and past) let me know. I’m only going to do the live video if people express an interest. If not I’ll save it for another time.

Looks like a busy month awaits me! Wish me luck, and let me know in the comments what you’re working on for September. I can’t wait to share more in the coming days!

Lindsey Richardson

Weekly Update

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I want to try every week (or at least the majority of the weeks) to give an update on what’s happening as far as my current projects and upcoming news. It also seems like the perfect time to do so with August’s end quickly approaching.

By August 31st I’m expecting to have (or at least most) feedback from my beta readers. Some have told me they’re finishing within the next few days, so it’s not much longer of a wait now. I am itching to get back to work, and once I have all the material back I can give you an idea of just how much (or little) work is ahead of me. I already have a lot set up at home, so I can start immediately. My plan is to try and dedicate perhaps an entire week (especially if it looks like a lot) to this process, so I can get things moving for publication. Remember, after beta readers the book is going to my editor and then will be ready for publication.

For those of you who haven’t heard, my husband and I are in the process of moving! I’ve been spending the majority of my time packing and enjoying the time we have left in our condo. We’re going to be making a large move all the way to Texas, but I’m eager to see what journeys await us there. I’ve also heard moving does wonders for your creativity, so who knows what new stories I’ll be eager to write once we settle down.

And last but not least, I’ve been writing down ideas for my next novel. I don’t want to start writing it until Clara and Claire is ready for publication (or at least in my editor’s hands). But I’ve definitely been spending time and preparing myself for the next adventure. I won’t be revealing the official title and more information about my next novel until after Clara and Claire‘s release. But trust me it’ll be well worth the wait!

I’m eager for this week to fly by so I can start working on my book again, but at the same time I don’t think August has felt long at all. These months are going way too quickly for me. At least we have a lot to look forward to in the next several months.

Lindsey Richardson