Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Post-Book Report + My Auction Item

Hi! I am so happy to announce that my auction item for All4Alabama is up! It's a FULL MANUSCRIPT critique, and if that's not enough to get you bidding I threw in a commissioned drawing as well! What I love about All4Alabama is that they are focusing on the smaller communities that may not get the attention or help that the bigger cities will. I think that's awesome, and I hope my item will contribute. So go bid. I promise an awesome crit:)

In other news, I finished writing a book last night! House of Ivy and Sorrow has officially come to an end (you know, minus the months of editing ahead of me).

*cue awkward dancing*

I love finishing a first draft—the accomplishment never gets old, probably because writing a story is ALWAYS hard. It's one of my favorite things about writing. I can never get bored because it's always a challenge.

So I'm celebrating by doing very exciting things. Like washing the dishes that piled up while I was writing all day yesterday. And making soup, because it's rainy and the day just screams for spicy Italian sausage and lentil soup.

But maybe you want to know some stats? I like stats. I find it interesting to know how other people write, so maybe you do, too.

Current Title: House of Ivy and Sorrow

My 13th finished novel (as in 1st draft done)

Date Started: February 20, 2011

Date Finished: May 17, 2011 (Just a little under 3 months. I've found that 3 months is a comfortable pace for me while drafting. Which is probably fast for most people, but I will say that I spend double to triple that time in editing.)

Word Count: 78,507 (My longest in about two and a half years)

Pages: 290

Chapters: 48 (I apparently was on a short chapter spree. I love short chapters, personally. When I read, I always look ahead and if the next chapter is short I think, "Oh, I can do one more..." Twenty chapters later I realize I was supposed to make dinner an hour ago, hehe.)

As for what this book is about, I'm keeping it fairly close to my chest right now. But I'll share some of my love list:

• Old houses with personalities of their own

• Gritty, morbid magic that demands a payment

• Pudding

• Good, wholesome farmer boy

• Friendship deeper than blood

• Aching for a loved one dead too soon

• Reforging family

• Willow trees

• First love, first kisses, and sharing a swing

• Choosing to control the darkness or to be controlled by it

• Mystery villains, who enjoy being horrible


  1. Congratulations! Sounds like a winner to me.

    I hope people bid on your item!! My husband went with a group of volunteers to AL and saw the destruction firsthand. I put up pictures on my blog. It's unbelievable the devastation that took place.

    Also, the soup sounds delicious. If it's not too much trouble, where can I find the recipe?

  2. Love your love list! Especially the bullet points that start Good, Friendship, and Aching.

    Also, big fat ditto:

    "I love short chapters, personally. When I read, I always look ahead and if the next chapter is short I think, "Oh, I can do one more..." Twenty chapters later I realize I was supposed to make dinner an hour ago, hehe."

    Minus the dinner part, since Andy is the cook and I am the eater.

    YAY for HOUSE OF IVY AND SORROW! I love the title and I'd be lying if I said I didn't once imagine the cover sitting on a B&N bookshelf. ;)

  3. Nicole, the recipe is mine. I tend to make up recipes like that:) And the pictures are unreal, aren't they? I really hope people bid too!

  4. Congratulations on finishing the first draft! Great shared list. :) I also enjoy short chapters for the same reason.

  5. Congratulations on finishing! Such a great feeling. Your book sounds fantastic and creepy! Old houses are always creepy to me. And gritty magic? Awesome. :)

  6. Congratulations! I love short chapters.

  7. Congrats on finishing! *confetti*

    (I love that you tucked pudding away in your list there with all those depressing things :-P )

  8. congrats! Pudding and wholesome farmer boys? YES PLEASE.

  9. YAY! YOU FINISHED!!!!! I am so excited for you! Hope to read it one day. ;)

  10. Sounds awesome! Congrats on finishing the draft. I always think a page in need of edits is better than a blank page!

  11. To add my voice to everyone else's, congratulations! Typing that last word is a really satisfying feeling. I love the name of it; it produces such a sense of the atmosphere of the book that I don't find the single-word titles that are currently the trend usually do.

    I can really relate to your writing timeline - it takes me about 3 months to finish a first draft, too, and then at least a couple of months on revisions after a month to percolate. I have such a hard time staying away from my WIP, sucked into the world as I am, that I'd have to be really busy to /not/ finish the draft in 3 months! Thirteen's always been my favourite/lucky number - hopefully it'll be yours, too!

  12. Sounds awesome! I'm thinking of choregraphing a Just-Finished-A-Book-Totally-Awkward-Dance Routine. I'll send you a link so you can follow along when you finish your next book.

  13. Congrats on finishing your draft. I'm impressed with how fast you did it.

  14. *morbid magic* in your Thirteenth book!

    Interesting way that worked out...

    Congratulations on finishing!


  15. So I'm not the only one who counts the pages of the next chapter and figures that can be read, whilst idling away time that ought to be used in more practical matters?

  16. You rock! The books sounds delicious and creepy and fabulous!

  17. This sounds really good. Yay for finishing your first draft!

  18. Your book sounds GREAT, Natalie. And 13 first drafts is amazing. The soup does sound good, but when I first read through (obviously reading too fast) I was trying to figure out why you made spicy italian sausage and lentil soap.

  19. Congrats on finishing your draft! I love short chapters too. They are responsible for many a post 2am reading night for me. Based on your list House of Ivy and Sorrow sounds awesome.

    I also wanted to say that you are so sweet to donate such a generous prize for the the auction. So many people are bidding and I know it will raise a ton of money to help out the people in Alabama who lost everything in the tornadoes. I only wish I was rich enough to outbid everyone.

  20. Yay, congratulations! Your love list sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing your stats.

  21. Congrats! I'm betting this is going to be "The One" for you. The title is killer, and you had me drooling at "Gritty, morbid magic that demands a payment." My cup of tea. ;) Good luck! I know as writers we're generally not supposed to make publication our main goal, but man, I hope this sells!! And not JUST so I get to read it. Also because you are awesome and you deserve it. Luck and hugs!

  22. Congratulations on your finished draft! Here's hoping edits are quick and painless.


  23. I love the details you've given of this book and the excerpt you posted earlier. I really want to read it! Good luck!