Chained to my desk…ROW80 update

Happy Sunday everyone 🙂

I’ve spent the last couple of days beta reading. Plus, I’ve almost finished the books I agreed to review in time for the upcoming tours on Writing Room 101 – so the spotlight section is on target! Before you get all excited about my progress though, I must point out I still haven’t written a post for my character blog Lance Legion. In fact, he’s sulking! This was a weekly target and I haven’t managed to achieve it, so yeah…I’d be sulking too!

My writing goals have taken an interesting turn. I managed to hit my weekly target, but most of it was…I hope you’re sitting down…spent planning. Hard to believe, right? I do have a specific reason though, aside from trying to find a little balance – I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo again. Last time I stuck to my usual pantser ways, but this time I’m going into the adventure with a few new tools under my belt. I actually have a plan, as infinitesimal as it may be, it’s there!

Which leads me to my final set of goals – editing. I’ve been chained to my desk for the past few days (hence the title), because I got the notes back from my first round of betas on The Fifth Watcher. For that reason my focus will be on making revisions over the next few weeks. The feedback is positive, but more than one person didn’t bond with Audrey until the third or fourth chapter and this is not good. I need to change that, and so I’ll be banging my head against my desk until the answer comes to me!

So that’s me. I hope you’ve all had a good week, and look forward to catching up with you soon.


Author: mbarkersimpson

Melissa Barker-Simpson is a multigenre romance author. Her stories are about connection, friendship, and love in all its forms. So whether in a magical setting, an alternative universe, or a world where anything can happen – and often does – there is always an element of romance. Melissa is currently residing in the North of England with her two daughters, and when not writing, is fulfilling her other role as a British Sign Language Interpreter.

31 thoughts on “Chained to my desk…ROW80 update”

      1. Awesome 🙂 I’m going to have to cut it down before it turns into a full length novel and I have to start again! But I’m excited about the project so I’m going to work hard to polish things up!

  1. How do you fix a bonding problem? That comes up often in my writing group. Worse is when readers DISLIKE the character.

    I hope you still blog during NaNoWriMo. Tell us how it’s going!

    1. That’s the million dollar question! Nobody disliked her, but one reader said she’d didn’t particularly like her until half-way through. It’s a mystery to me! She doesn’t do anything differently, so I’m going to review the parts they liked and try to reflect on that. Also, I’m going to add a little more action, have her interact with other characters to see if that does the trick. If you have any other tips, I’d appreciate it!

      Thanks for the support with NaNo. I will still blog and, though I won’t bombard people, I will mention how I’m doing 🙂

      1. I’ve begun collecting snippets from books I read where I (as reader) felt bonded to the main character. Sometimes it’s an emotion, or a reaction–I’m trying to analyze how this particular writer made me want to travel with their character.

        So far, it seems to be simply good writing.

  2. Hi Mel! You’ve made great progress! And I’m glad you decided to do NaNoWriMo as well! I’m getting really excited. I’ve got an idea of what I want the basic plot to be but not much else yet. Good luck!

  3. Best of luck, it will be interesting journey for us all. Man I feel old, not to mention that I have a habit of making typos. You’ve made great progress, passes you a strong cup of coffee. At the moment I am drinking tea, extra strong, it helps with the cravings for a cup of joe.
    They say when in doubt write from the seat of one’s pants. Cue writing 100 words per a second, and at the end of the month, with the final tally uploaded and updated, passes out. anyways Naturally characters have a way of growing on you. Especially when those appear unexpectedly.

    1. I hope it’s a Chuck Norris label, I’m in need of a strong cup of ‘kick-ass’ coffee! I’ve been drinking tea most of the day too 🙂 Thanks for commenting, I look forward to hearing about your progress this week.

      1. Oh yes, indeed. Coffee that has kicking ass spirit is what is needed for writers. I almost made a typo, (licking) now that would be embarrassing. I have a few thoughts, female characters, different tales, of course, I think strength comes in different forms.
        To quote from a movie King Pow enter the fist. “I have come to kiss ass.” Or this one, “I’ve got some ass kicking for you.”
        Happy writing, kick writer’s block in the butt.

      2. Thanks 🙂 I’m going to write a new scene for the novel I’m tweaking – let Audrey kick a little butt and see if that wins the readers over. It’s hard when people find it’s hard to relate to a character, especially if you don’t know the reasons. But I’ll solve the problem. I’m a stubborn sort 🙂

      3. That’s good. I made a slight typo, I typed kiss, of instead of kicked, “I have come to kick ass.” Sounds the groove and muses are working, the light bulb is turned on. 😉
        Ideas comes unexpectedly.

  4. Have fun with NaNo. Sounds like a good respite from the edits and all that.

    Maybe you can try cutting out stuff from the first two or three chapters and see if Audrey becomes any more bond-able. Sometimes there’s just too much stuff for the reader to get through.

    1. That’s a great idea. The information is a little heavy at the beginning, but it’s about alternative universes and I don’t want people to get lost in there! I appreciate the comment 🙂

  5. Hi, Mel! I’m doing NaNo, too – I’m Tammy J Rizzo, there, if you want to add me as a buddy. 🙂 I think you’re already kicking ass, though, with all the projects you’re working on! I admire people who set themselves so many goals and manage to reach them, or even to just get close!

    Well, I need to get some NaNo planning in today, so thanks for the reminder. 🙂 Best of luck to you!

    1. Hi Tammy. Sorry for the delay in replying. For some reason I missed this comment. I’ve been visiting with family so I haven’t been at my computer. I’ll look out for you on NaNo – it would be great to share the journey with you. Thanks for your lovely comments. I really appreciate the support 🙂

  6. Most of my words last week also went into planning for NaNo! I think you did well being so productive!! *pom poms*

    I’m doing NaNo too (as you may have guessed), and I’m RachelAlsoWrites there as well if you want to be buddies!

    I’ll be back on Wednesday to see how everything is going! 🙂 I might even bring chocolate!

  7. Great week! =D

    My suggestion for Audrey is to look again at her backstory, especially her goal, motivation, and personal conflict. Do these arouse an emotional response? If they do, people will go in wanting her to succeed, and then she can grow on them faster. If not, spending some time with her might help get deeper into her psyche…

    I’m four scenes from having my NaNo planned, and I’ve got one troublesome tooth less to get in the way. Also, on a side note, my new dentist, who is the son of the dentist I had as a teen, is a Voyager fan, and I think I’ve convinced him to give Enterprise a whirl (he likes how T’Pol wears a uniform – but then, most everyone does!).

    I’m guessing you can imagine how happy that makes me!

    If you want to connect at NaNo, I am Cthia there. ❤

    1. I can imagine it very well 😉 And what a cool dentist he seems to be! Yay, on the tooth by the way. I’m glad it’s not bothering you anymore. Thanks for your NaNo (handle?) – or whatever it’s called! I’ll connect with you when I log in later. It will be great to share the journey with you.

      Thanks also for the advice about Audrey. I will go back through it and reflect on what’s missing – I’m wondering if there is just too much going on.

      Catch up with you soon 🙂

      1. My early drafts are crawling with exposition. It’s still part of the way I go from open-ended plotting to finished rough draft. Maybe it won’t always be, I used to do it more, and with less awareness. But, for now, I do it, and most of it could go if I work out what’s “just enough” backstory to reveal to get the character worming their way into the reader’s emotions…

        Good luck with Audrey, and see you in the NaNosphere! =D

  8. I really enjoy beta reading. One of my critique partners just sent me the first part of her manuscript and I’m excited to read it and give her feedback. It’s so great to be able to help fellow writers make their stories shine.

    Good luck with your revisions and your NaNo attempt. I used to be a pantser but these days I’m doing more plotting than I used to–not a lot, but some. I think the blending of pantser and plotter is working out well for me. I’m still surprised by my stories, but not as lost in my first drafts.

    Have a great week!

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