Category Archives: writing

Writing update!

It’s been a while since I shared my progress on my novel! I finished my draft in August and took some time off before revising. And to be honest, when you do a thing for two years and you finish the thing, it kind of messes with you and so I had to spend some time sorting myself out. As an aspiring author, you’re goal is to finish the story. It’s different for everyone but the message is to don’t give up. But when you finish, it’s like, now what? 🤷🏽‍♀️.

I had to spend some time rethinking what I wanted for my story and how I could fix it. It’s not easy because when you finish a draft (that took two years to write), it’s hard accepting that there’s still a lot of work to do.

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Once I came to terms with the fact that I needed to revise (because a part of your brain wants to be done with the thing), I took out a new notebook (because any reason to use a new notebook is the bee’s knees) and did a brain dump of all the things I wanted for this story. I spent some time hemming and hawing at the audacity of my demands (if I were the drinking type, copious amounts would have been consumed) and when I decided it was time to get down to business (read: talk myself down from the very high ledge I put my self on), I began to systematically break down my wishlist for this book into actionable tasks.

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Basically, I Hermioned the hell out of what needed to be done.

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I printed index cards summaries of each chapter (compliments of Scrivener’s index card feature), then I created an index/list in my notebook with each chapter, noting the Acts and Climax points in the story and now I’m book mapping my story–a developmental editing strategy to show where themes and other details show up in the story for consistency and pacing.

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If your eyes are crossing at this point, it all means I’m kicking ass on this revision.

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I’m actually excited for October (and not just because it’s my birthday month and Halloween 😜), but the light at the tunnel does not seem so far away now. I’m setting a goal to be done with revisions by the end of this month!

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Anyone else get excited about doing things that involve notebooks and lists? 🤓 Also, I was recently sorted into Ravenclaw (surprising I know), so when this Luna with the Gryffindor mask (which was where I had been previously sorted), it’s become like my mascot while I work on this book–Hermione inspires me to get things done, but Luna reminds me that there is also wisdom in taking time in the process too.

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Monday Inspiration!

Happy Monday! I want to spread some inspiration because Monday. 😩 .

I’m so grateful to have found this community not just for the fact we’re all readers, but also for how creative everyone is! From candles, bookmarks, to temporary bookish tattoos–I love how people express their enthusiasm for the books we enjoy.

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If you don’t know this about me, I’m a notebook addict! Creamy, thick paper that stands up to fountain pens? Gorgeous graph lines? A5 size? You are speaking my language! And if the cover has some type of bookish and/or writing design on the cover? Dead. I can not even handle it!

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Do you guys know Hafsah? @hafsahfaizal She’s got a gorgeous feed and is the owner of Icey Designs. She’s got some gorgeous bookish candles and also notebooks! I had my eye on this particular notebook because as a writer, the quote speaks to me! My very dear friend and #booktwin Amy @ladyofthelibrary got it for me as a gift and I nearly cried because it was a surprise and it arrived at one of those times I was frustrated with writing my book!

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Where am I going with this? If you don’t follow Hafsah on Twitter, you should remedy that situation immediately! She announced after years of writing her Arabian Fantasy book, she found an agent! I’m so thrilled for her and excited for her book! If you visit her Twitter, you can see her book aesthetics and friends, it’s amazing! Also, check out her “The Obligatory ‘How I Got my Agent Post’ ” at her blog, iceybooks.com. It’s so inspiring and gives me hope.

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Hafsah, I’m so excited for you and I can’t wait to add your book to my shelves! Congratulations! 🎉🎉🎉

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Happy Canada Day! (Canadian Authors)

A year ago I finished a creative writing program online through The Writer’s Studio @twssfu at Simon Frasier University in Canada @cs_sfu. I had just started my journey as a writer and being accepted into the program was an exciting opportunity. I became part of a talented and creative group that our mentor June Hutton dubbed the Fictionistas. I also had the privilege of working with Eileen Cook, Claudia Cornwall, Fiona Tinwei Lam, and director Wayde Compton. They were all so generous and gracious sharing their experiences as published authors..

Now a year after finishing the program, I’m working on the end of my manuscript and getting ready to submit chapters to alpha readers to undergo the revision process. Once the revision process is complete, the second draft will go to beta readers and once the revision process is finished for that, I’ll begin the query process. I hope to begin querying by fall/winter this year. Ambitious? Oh yes! August will be the two year anniversary since I started writing this story. I’m ready to finish this!

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Happy Canada day to my Canadian friends, to my mentors at The Writer’s Studio, and my writing sisters the Fictionistas! I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday. 

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Update: Writing, Reading, and Moana

Hello!! Happy Sunday! If you’re in the US, I hope you’re having a fantastic holiday in observance of Memorial Day Monday. .

I’ve been spending time writing and reading this past week in an effort to end May with a strong finish to my reading and writing goals. If you watched my Story, you saw the fantastic reading month I had! I’ll do a wrap-up post next week. For novel writing, I’m in the last climatic scene of my story and it’s both exciting and emotional at the same time. I had to pause to do some research for the scene, but I’m optimistic about finishing my novel before the summer! 

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On my Story, I also posted about making a Moana costume for a princess party I went to last night. I’ve never made a costume before and I nearly broke down! 😆 But I’m happy with how it turned out and shared it on my Story. Swipe to the left if you want to see. ☺️

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Pictured below are the skirt and top I made and also the research books I’m using for my novel. My book is a fantasy inspired by ancient Filipino culture and my main character is a warrior princess who talks to trees because of her connection to a diwata (Filipino version of fairy/fae). Moana inspires me too because her story gives me hope that mine will be accepted too! 

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How are you? What are you reading? How’s your weekend going?

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February Writing and Reading Wrap-up

How are you all doing? I can’t believe it’s already March! Seriously. Where is this year going? Didn’t we just celebrate the new year? Anyway, I hope you’re all doing well and that you’ve read some fantastic books and have continued to be awesome..

If you’re thinking, “It’s been a while since Jenn posted”, you’d be correct! It’s been nearly a month actually! But, I have been posting regularly on my Story, so if you have been watching them, then you’ve seen that I’ve been busy at work with my WIP and I’ve been reading books too. Long story short, I finally decided to just get out of my own way and just write. I had been stuck for a couple of months and when I decided that I was just going to sit in front of my laptop and just write whatever came to mind, low and behold, my story came out! Like I could not type fast enough to get it all out. .

The quick and the dirty: My February word count was 50+k words. My reading stats during the month: 6 novels and 4 manga series. .

I wish I could say that I finished my draft, but I didn’t. I’m actually really close. March is going to be my month to finish it. At least, that’s my goal. Reading wise this month, I’m involved in four buddy reads and I’m also reading a few other novels on my own.

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I can’t say that I’ll be back to regular posting. I wish I could! I do miss it, but I’m really committed to finishing my draft. So, I will post here and there. Mostly about my writing progress and also about what I’m reading. I will be posting regularly on my Story, so keep an eye out for those to see what I’m up to. I also check my DMs regularly, so if you want to just drop a message and chat, don’t hesitate! If you’d also like to follow my personal account, you can find me at @jennsantucci10. .

Books I read last month were The Son of Neptune, Lady Midnight, All the Light we Cannot See, Prince of Thorns, The Thirteenth Tale, and Furthermore. What did you guys read? What was your favorite read of last month?

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My awesome mug was from a giveaway I won from @notthepathtonarnia. Pen bag is from @lunabluebags. My discbound notebook is from the TUL system at Office Depot.

Nanoprompt Challenge: What if?

For #disneypotterchallenge, I most relate to this Disney princess…Moana! I am SO ready for this movie, friends! For many reasons, this movie means so much to me. First, it looks like it’s going to be an awesome movie! Also, Moana will be the first Disney princess to represent Pacific Islanders! And, it speaks to me on a creative level too! .

Here’s wikipedia’s summary for Moana:

On a mystic island in Polynesia, the young daughter of the chief of the tribe, Moana from Motunui Island, is a girl chosen by the ocean to reunite the heart of Tehiti. She sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod and hopes to save her people.

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Awesome, right? I feel like it’s paving the way for my own WIP. I have to admit, I’m anxious about my story because it’s quite unique in the sense that it’s a fantasy inspired by ancient Filipino culture. European/Medieval fantasy has been the norm for so long, it’s tough breaking into the market with something new. The fact that Disney is taking a chance on a story like Moana speaks volumes, but also gives me hope that there is an audience for my story too. 

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For #nanopromptchallenge, What if? My WIP is inspired by the Philippine folktale Maria of Makling Mountain. Maria was a diwata, a forest spirit of Makling Mountain, who came down to a village. There she met a mortal man and fell in love. She had hoped to marry the mortal man, but instead, he married a mortal woman. Because her heart was broken, Maria returned to Makling Mountain. To this day, the mountain range resembles the profile of a woman lying on her back. WHAT IF Maria was actually used to win a war? What if she was banished and imprisoned in the mountain? What if it turned out Maria had a daughter who was half human, half diwata? This is just part of what my WIP is about. (This stuff is pretty good and I haven’t even gotten to the really good part yet. 😆) When my story gets published (BECAUSE DAMN IT. IT WILL.), I hope you give it a chance!

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Featured in this post is the Target Exclusive Funko Pop Moana. Two of my research books for my WIP. An original watercolor bookmark “Spirit Forest” by the extremely talented Tahira @tjlubrano. 

Nano/Book Challenge: Author/Book that inspired you 

Friends. This book. THIS BOOK. It’s going down as one of my favorites of 2016. I knew I’d enjoy it because Maggie Steifvater @maggie_stiefvater, but I’d forgotten how much she owns me with her words. I loved The Raven Cycle, but this little story just had that magical quality like TRC, but a little something more too..

For #inkinthebooknovember Book/Author who inspires you, THIS. Just wow. You know how TRC had that voice—a bit knowing with a dash of dry humor and a pinch of the magic of Glendower? Absolutely loved that voice. It was like listening to an old friend over a cup of tea. This one was a little more intimate, a little more humble with a heaping dose of the magic of the island of Thisby and its mythical sea horse creatures, the cappal usice. This voice was haunting—she was that storyteller in your family that always had you sitting up in your seat, unblinking and when it was over, that magic stayed with you for a few days. If you can’t tell, I adored this book! I also admire Maggie Stiefvater’s skill at weaving real life with myth, making for a magical world that leaves the reader wishing for a bit of that magic in their life. (Not going to lie, I did wish I lived on a ley line after reading TRC and after reading this, I wished for a cappal usice to come out of the sea, but it would probably kill me.) 

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For #lilbookishnovember Fancy Fonts, I had to include this Raven Boys inspired bookmark from a previous Owlcrate @owlcrate. (I believe it was designed by @eviebookish.) It has the quote about Blue Sargent: “She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.” I think this quote also describes Puck Connelly so well too! 

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If you’ve been thinking about reading this, move it up your TBR! It’s also the perfect time to read it because the Scorpio races are in November! Perfect for this time of year.

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#bookandcandle #maggiestiefvater #thescorpioraces #seankendrickisbae #puckandsean #yafantasy #scholasticinc #owlcrate #eviebookish