My Creative Writing Process

We’ve talked a lot about the creative writing process this month so I thought I would share my creative writing process.

My Creative Writing Process | Creative Writing | Writing | Writing Tips | Novel Writing | RachelPoli.com

Outlining

I go back and forth with my outlining process. Sometimes I outline before but sometimes I outline during. I used to always summarize what I wanted to happen in each chapter and then it would change during the writing process of the first draft.

Now I usually outline just the basics. Plot points I’d like to happen, random ideas, a list of characters and places, and the like. While I write my first draft, I summarize each chapter. This makes the editing process so much easier for me in the long run.

Writing

I give myself about a month to write the first draft. This is all thanks to NaNoWriMo. Some people don’t agree with it, but I believe that the first draft is just you telling yourself the story. If it’s a bunch of gibberish, at least you got the bare bones down. So I typically spend about 30 days writing 2,000 words a day to get the first draft done. Then the real writing begins.

RevisingEditing

I’ll admit… until I just did the research for this month’s blog posts, I though revision and editing were one in the same. So I guess I should take a look at how I do things.

Still, I’ve gotten into a good routine with my editing. I’ve been using the rainbow editing method for the last few drafts of my various manuscripts and it’s been working really well for me. It helps me zero-in on certain aspects I need to focus on. Editing is not as difficult as it used to be for me.

Publishing

Yeah, I’m still figuring this one out.

What’s your writing process look like? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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WIP Wednesday [September 2018]

September has pretty much come and gone in the blink of an eye. Sure, we still have a week or so left of the month, but it’s going to officially be fall sooner rather than later. So, here’s what I’ve been working on this month.

WIP Wednesday September 2018 | Work in Progress | Creative Writing | Writing | Novels | RachelPoli.com

George Florence & The Perfect Alibi

This is still a thing. I’m currently still in the editing stages but I’m trying to come up with a schedule so I’m able to fully complete it by a certain deadline. I’m not quite sure when that deadline will be just yet though. So far so good though. I don’t have too much to say on it other than that it’s going well. Slow, but well.

Patreon Project

This is still a thing as well. My current round of editing is almost done. I’ll be announcing this project in full soon. By soon, I mean next week. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning about it now, you can check out my Patreon page.

Overall, I’m still trying to balance my time between writing and blogging and everything else. I’m hoping, come October, I’ll be in the better routine and have a better idea of my goals with these projects.

What projects are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Sabbath By Yecheilyah Ysrayl [I Am Soul Blog Tour – Guest Post]

It’s my pleasure to welcome Yecheilyah Ysrayl to my blog for the I Am Soul Blog Tour!

I am Soul by Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Poetry | Blog Tour | Blogging | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I just wanna turn off my brain.
Not completely, just enough to gather my breath
and lay it at the head of the bed.
A temporary moment to which renewal finds itself,
Back to my pillow
to which I may die,
And in the same second be reborn.
I want my eyes to bow in submission to my bones,
And my soul to fall slowly to the contours of this mattress.
And for a second pretend that the world has dissolved around me.
For a second, for just a moment, let me lay my body
at the foot of sleep’s doorstep,
Pretend to swim with the clouds,
And at the same moment,
taste of rejuvenation’s delicacies.

About Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Yecheilyah Ysrayl | I Am Soul Author | Blog Tour | Book Blogger | Blogging | RachelPoli.comYecheilyah (e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet and lives in Marietta, GA with her wonderful husband. She has been writing poetry since she was twelve years old and joined the UMOJA Poetry Society in High School where she learned to perfect her craft. In 2010, at 23 years-old, Yecheilyah published her first collection of poetry and in 2014, founded Literary Korner Publishing and The PBS blog where she enjoys helping other authors through her blog interviews and book reviews. The PBS Blog has been named among Reedsy’s Best Book Review blogs of 2017 and 2018 and has helped many authors in their writing journey. I am Soul is her fourth collection of poetry.

Fun Facts about Yecheilyah:

  • She loves to laugh, and her favorite comedy TV show is Blackish
  • She is originally from Chicago, IL
  • She’s been married to her husband 8 years, together for 11 years
  • She believes eggs makes everything better
  • She is a twin
  • She is addicted to reading and new notebooks
  • Her favorite desert is ice cream

Author Website | Blog | AmazonAmazon Author Central | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

I am Soul is now available on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Scribd. Click Here to choose your retailer.

Greenbriar Mall
The Medu Bookstore
2841 Greenbriar Pkwy SW
Atlanta, GA 30331

I am Soul Blog Tour | Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Poetry | Blogging | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Have you read I Am Soul yet? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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The Creative Writing Process: Publishing Your Novel

Here we are. The final stage of the creative writing process. Publishing your novel.

We’ve outlined, written the first draft, revised, and edited… now it’s time to talk about publishing. Which, admittedly, is something I don’t know a whole lot about. So writing this post should be fun.

The Creative Writing Process Publishing Your Novel | Creative Writing | Writing Tips | Publishing Advice | Self-Publishing | RachelPoli.com

The Various Methods of Publishing.

Publishing isn’t easy. It can be a long process and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. With that said, I don’t know much about publishing in any sense. However, I’ve done a little research for myself though I’m still learning. This is just a bare minimum of the basics.

Traditional Publishing. This, in my opinion, is the hardest to get into. You need a lot of approval in order to do this. You need to query your book to many publishers before one decides to take you on. Most of the time, you’d query to an agent first. They’ll help sell your book to a publishing company. However, that’s just an extra step that can take just as long. With traditional publishing, you have a whole team working on your book. Which is definitely nice for you if you want to solely focus on writing the next book.

Self-Publishing. Similar to traditional publishing except you don’t need anyone’s approval other than your own. However, there’s no team working on your book unless you hire them yourself. On the other hand, you make all the decisions which is a nice freedom to have. Some people self-publish just to share their work and not necessarily use it as income as well. Some people see just having their book in the world a “success” rather than “selling” their book as a success. Self-publishing makes it easy to do that.

Wattpad. There are many websites that cater to creative writing. Wattpad is just one of the many that do. You’re not making money from your words, but you’re sharing your stories with the world and that’s just as wonderful. We all write for fun though some people prefer to publish right away on a place like Wattpad and get immediate response from their readers through the comments. I’ve seen some people get picked up by agents through these sites. I’ve also seen people use their audience as beta readers then take the story down, fix it up, and self-publish it.

Blog. So many people have blogs now and use that as a creative outlet to share their stories with the world. It’s similar to Wattpad, except it’s all you and you’re choosing what to put on the blog and when. Plus, all the audience is reading just your work and not browsing a database of all these other writers where they might see your name.

I wasn’t kidding when I said here’s the bare minimum of the basics… if you could call this basics. But there you have it. Once you decide on a goal for yourself and your writing, it’ll be that much easier to decide which publishing route to take.

If you’re published, what method did you use? If you’re planning to publish in the future, what route are you thinking of taking? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Short Story Sunday 230: Vision

Short Story: Vision | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

“Tell me what you see now.” Scarlett said.

Isaac shrugged. He had one hand covering his right eye and he was supposed to read the fourth to last row of letters on the seeing chart that hung upon the wall on the other side of the door. “You know, this would be a lot easier if you just let me look with both eyes.”

Scarlett cracked a smile. “Yeah, that’s not exactly how this works.”

Isaac groaned. He narrowed his left eye trying to see well, but the letters in the row weren’t getting any less blurry.

“Try reading the sixth line from the bottom instead of the fourth.” Scarlett suggested.

“Sure,” Isaac took a step forward.

“Hey,” Scarlett said catching him immediately. “Step back.”

Isaac obeyed taking a step back but didn’t reply as though he had done nothing wrong.

“Read the letters to me.” Scarlett ordered again. Her tone was calm and gentle though it was obvious to Isaac she was getting a little impatient. It wasn’t his fault she was making him close one eye and stay ridiculously far away from the chart.

Isaac groaned. She probably already had it written down in her chart that he was blind. She was probably making him continue just to get a kick out of it.

“Okay, this isn’t working. Try covering your other eye.” Scarlett said.

“Well, now this is much worse.”

Scarlett looked up from jotting something down on the clipboard. She sighed when she noticed Isaac had both his eyes covered. “Stop being a smart-guy, Isaac. You know what I meant.”

Issac uncovered both his eyes and grinned at his eye doctor. “Yeah, but it was funny, right?”

“Cover your left eye and read the sixth row from the bottom.” Scarlett repeated unfazed by Issac’s antics.

Issac did so and wrinkled his face in disgust. “This is worse… my right eye is all blurry. How do you expect me to see anything better than I did with my left eye?”

Scarlett let out a sigh. “Your eye is just adjusting to the light again Issac. Give it a minute.”

Issac nodded and silence filled the room for a little bit. He remained in his spot, his hand still covering his left eye. Scarlett watched him, waiting. Expecting him to be begin but he didn’t seem like he was going to anytime soon.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I’m letting my eye adjust.”

“Issac.”

“Alright, alright…” Issac sighed.

More silence.

“You can’t read the chart, can you?” Scarlett finally concluded.

“Nope.” Issac said quickly.

“Can you at least read the first time?” she wondered exasperated.

Issac uncovered his left eye and squinted. Scarlett let that one slide despite him still needing to cover an eye.

“A, B, C, D, E, F, G.” Issac beamed. He turned to Scarlett and nodded with a large grin.

Scarlett let out an annoyed sigh. “There are only six letters on the top row.”

“Oh,” Issac turned his attention back to the chart. He tilted his head as though that would help him read it better.

“Okay, I think you need some glasses.” Scarlett finally declared.

“What? Why?”

“You can’t see.”

“I can see in front of me.” Issac protested. “Why do I need to see things far away? If you want to see something that’s far away then just walk up to it. Unless you’re at the zoo, then you should stay away… so probably just don’t go to the zoo at all.”

Scarlett pinched the bridge of her nose. “Issac, how did you get here today?”

“I drove,”

“And how was that?”

“I hit two curbs and took up two parking spaces. Why?”

Scarlett sighed exasperated. “This is why you need to have the ability to see far away.”

“But–”

“I don’t want to hear it. If you don’t get glasses today, I’m going to call your mother to come pick you up.”

Issac folded his arms across his chest and pouted. “This is stupid.”

“Well,” Scarlett couldn’t help but smirk, “this is what happens when you don’t come for an eye exam in seven years.”

Words: 687

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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It Takes A Coven (Witch City Mystery 6) By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: It Takes A Coven (Mystery City Mystery 6) by Carol J. Perry | Reading | Cozy Mystery | Paranormal | Books | Book Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I received a free paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

There’s a new witch-hunt in Salem, Massachusetts . . .

When Lee Barrett joins a former student’s bridal party as maid of honor, she expects cake tastings and dress fittings. But wedding planning becomes more peculiar than Lee’s scrying talents could ever predict. There’s a magical baker, a best man with a checkered past, and a talking crow named Poe as the ring bearer. There’s also a kindly old man dead under his apple tree—one of a series of unexplained deaths hanging over the Wiccan community . . .

With witches dropping dead before they even come out of the proverbial broom closet, Lee’s best friend, River, fears she might have somehow unleashed a terrible curse on the city. Now, aided by Poe and her clairvoyant cat, Lee sets out to investigate. Are lives being claimed by vengeful supernatural forces—or by something more shocking? She soon discovers, casting light on the wicked truth can be one killer commitment . . .

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I think this cover is my favorite of the series so far. As usual, a lot of key elements from the plot are on the cover and the purple colors really make it stand out.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read the first five books, enjoyed them all, and now have moved onto the sixth.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Some of the witches in town have been dying all within in a short time span between one another. Lee doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence and River is worried she may have had something to do with it unintentionally. As always, Lee gets on the case with the help of Pete, her detective boyfriend, and her Aunt Ibby.

I really enjoyed how this particular plot put a spin on the witches in town. Yes, it’s a paranormal mystery set in Salem, Massachusetts where witches are everywhere, but I thought it was cool that the witches were dying – though not in the sense you would think from your history textbooks.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

As always, it was great to revisit Lee, Pete, Aunt Ibby, and River. River especially since she seemed to have a little bit of a bigger part in this one. Each character is well rounded and they all fit perfectly together within the setting and plot.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The author has a great writing style where the words are easy to read, the mystery is easy to follow, and you easily get attached to the characters. It’s a fairly chunky book but it’s one you can’t put down.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

While this can be read as a standalone, I’d recommend reading the series in order to get a good sense of the characters. However, if you’re looking to get your feet wet with the series and happen to come across this one, just get it and give it a go.

It Takes a Cover (Witch City Mystery 6) by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Actually they met in a graveyard, but that’s another story.” -Carol J. Perry, It Takes A Coven

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Check out my book reviews for book one and book two of this series.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Time To Write: Random Words 11 [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a sentence starter. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now onto this week’s writing prompt:

Creative Writing Prompt | Random Words Prompt | Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Writing Ideas | RachelPoli.com

Write a story incorporating the three words above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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The Creative Writing Process: Editing Your Novel

Ah, editing your novel. This is the moment some people live for and other people dread. After you revise your novel, it’s time to write the next draft. Compile it all together again so it looks nice and pretty. Then you can tear it a part again!

Editing your novel isn’t an easy task and there’s no telling how many drafts you’ll need in order to edit the book to be as perfect as it can be.

The Creative Writing Process Editing Your Novel | Revision | Editing | Novel Writing | Writing Tips | RachelPoli.com

The different types of editing your novel.

If editing were easy, it wouldn’t take nearly as long to get a book out onto shelves. There are many different kinds of editing to do for your manuscript and can happen at different stages as well. Not to mention, at some point along the way, you’re going to want to hire a professional editor to look it over as well. Plus maybe beta readers and proofreading and… you get the picture.

Developmental Editing. This type of editing is the big one where you look at character development, the overall plot, dialogue, pacing, and more. I find this one takes the longest and is the hardest. There may be a lot of things you need to change. Sometimes you change something only to change it back or have to change something else as well. It can get messy, but will be worth it.

Line Editing. This is what it sounds like. You’re editing line by line reading each sentence individually. Is it needed? Does it aid the plot, character, or setting? If it doesn’t, maybe take it out.

Proofreading. This should always be done last. Once the story is good to go, no plot holes, no messy characters, proofreading should be done. This is looking for simple spelling and grammar mistakes, typos, making sure the tense stays true throughout, and more.

There’s a lot more that goes into editing and there are many different ways to go about it. It will take a while to get into a groove with it, but you’ll soon find a rhythm.

How do you tackle editing your novel? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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The Creative Writing Process: Revising Your Novel

For a long time I thought revising and editing were one in the same. I thought revision was a fancier term for editing. I guess, in a way, revising your novel is editing. However, it can be a lot more in-depth than editing – even though there’s a lot of different forms of editing.

Let’s just lay it all out now – writing a novel is confusing, guys.

The Creative Writing Process Revising Your Novel | Revision Process | Editing | Novel Writing | Writing Tips | RachelPoli.com

Revising your novel.

This is something that’s great to do after writing the first draft. The first draft is usually (always) a mess and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. You get new ideas and improve some old ideas while writing the first draft as well. The revision process helps with all of that.

I’ve heard of the A.R.R.R. method (it actually sounds like an author name or pen name). While this is all something that you can do in the various editing stages, this method will truly help in revising your novel and dig deep into the story and structure.

Add. You can add words – scenes, new/different characters, places, etc. There are many different word lengths of a story that classifies it as a short story, novella, novel, and more. A novel is typically between 60,000 – 100,000 words (though it varies depending on genre, audience, and just who you ask in general). If you don’t have enough words, maybe there’s something missing in your story. Or, maybe it’s just not meant to be a novel. Experiment with it.

Remove. The opposite of adding words, of course. There may be a lot of filler that you’re able to cut out. If certain scenes are drowning on too long, you can cut them down and make them more precise so not to bore your readers with too many unneeded details.

Replace. When you remove something, can you replace it with something else? Do you need to replace it with something else or is it fine to just go away? You can replace certain vocabulary words as well to make a description stronger.

Rearrange. This is the one that I think I use the most. There’s a lot to play around with in a novel. Some scenes don’t exactly fit where you originally put them. Sometimes a whole chapter can be moved to earlier or later in the book. There’s a conversation between my two protagonists on page 80 and I decided that conversation would be better suited as an ending to the book. It sounds weird, but sometimes rearranging it helps bring new (and better) ideas to light. Revising your novel is like a puzzle.

What are some things you do when you revise? Do you use the A.R.R.R. method or just go with it? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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The Creative Writing Process: Writing The First Draft

Yesterday I mentioned outlining in the process of writing. The next step in the creative writing process would be, of course, writing the first draft.

Which, can be easy to some but isn’t so easy to others.

The Creative Writing Process Writing The First Draft | Creative Writing | Novel Writing | Writing Tips | RachelPoli.com

When it comes to writing the first draft.

Personally, I always found that writing the first draft was the easiest draft to write. You’re only telling yourself the story, after all. You and your characters are getting to know each other.

I think I find it the easiest because it’s the least stressful. You’re finding your own voice and tone of the story. You’re discovering the best way to convey the message and theme to your future readers.

There’s no need to worry too much about word count or even the structure of the novel. If you want to write notes to yourself in between scenes, go for it. If you don’t have a name for a person or place, use the first one that comes to your mind and bold it to remind yourself to change it later.

There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to writing the first draft though I know some people who don’t see it that way. They get stressed out because they want to have less editing later.

I’ll admit, I don’t care too much for editing either (mostly because I just want the story to be done) but I appreciate it a lot more now than I used to. It’s satisfying in a way.

Honestly, this is why I usually use NaNoWriMo to write the first drafts of my novels. I get the skeleton down and I finish it in a timely manner so I can spend a good chunk of my time editing. Before NaNo it would take me a few months to write a first draft. Now I just get it out of the way and figure out the basic story line. It helps a lot, for me, anyway.

How do you typically go about writing the first draft? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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