Break time is over

I took a break from here for a very long time. When I say long time, it has probably been very close if not more than a year since the last time I looked at my blog. Why though?

It was time for a break. It was time to step away from all the problems I was having with life and just find where I was happy again. I found that. I quit my job as a social media PR specialist, and my side job as a nanny, stopped taking on freelance projects and even, for a good bit of time, stopped writing completely. I did not touch my blog, my stories or any social media sites and I must say, it was liberating beyond belief. Pressure destroyed my passion for writing, expectations killed my creativity and being part of an organization that cared little for individualism and free thinking turned me into just another robot on the other side of a computer for company after company, tasked with nothing but smashing long complicated thoughts into 100 characters or less, displaying no personality, but made to interact with companies clients, while pretending to care about what I was saying.

For more than 4 years I lived in that world, I hid behind a computer and slowly let my passion for words wither away until opening my laptop was a chore, no longer a joy, until waking up each day was nearly impossible because getting out of bed meant that it was time to go back to the computer. I would stare non stop at the screen on some days, willing myself to write, to put words on the page, to reconnect with the characters I had loved my entire life, but to no avail, my mind had locked itself up tight, unwillingly to tell my fingers what to do as it had for so long.

That is when I did it. I closed the computer, I turned off the notifications and I quit everything. I was angry, sad, unhappy and mostly, lost. I had watched as my love of PR work degraded into nothing but hatred and resentment. Stepping away from it all was probably the best decision I had ever made. Though it strained my fiance and I when I was no longer making as much money as I had been, our relationship grew stronger because I was no longer angry each day, I was no longer stressed over four different jobs with different demands.

Soon I found a job that though did not pay great, I was much happier at, and though it was not an easy few months, in just a short 14 months I went from entry level to manager and I love each and every day. About three months ago, I started writing again. One night, I was laying in bed, my fiance working overtime and my brain nearly exploded, words started spewing from my mind and before I knew it, I had an entire plot line roughed out and have been working to fill in the holes and adding and removing what needs to be.

It was liberating to walk away from everything, though I was afraid of what it meant for my family and our livelihood, it was something I had to do, it was something that would have led to a break down of my entire world if I had not done it. I lost the love I had for writing, I lost the creativity that I had used my entire life, but now, I feel it flowing through me again, I feel with each stroke of the keys, each time I open my lap top or iPad, each time I jot down little notes at work when inspiration strikes.

When I walked away from my blog and my writing, I have to be honest, I had no intention of ever returning, but here I am preparing to start baring my soul once more, only this time, it is on my terms, not because my boss told me I had to have a blog, there is no forcing words onto the page out of fear.

Now, there is only words, my thoughts, my passions and my creativity.

~SKG

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Being Silent….

I read an interesting blog today, about how being a silent reader constrains the ability to gain traction in the blogosphere. It got me thinking, why am I so silent on here? I post frequent enough, I read enough and always give likes to posts that I enjoy, but very very very rarely do I ever stop and take the time to leave a comment, and thus have put myself into the category of silent reader, but as the writer of this other post asserts, did I unintentionally constrain myself by not becoming talkative on other blogs?

The answer to this is simply, yes, I did. Just maybe not for the same reasons that are pointed out by this other blogger. Working as a social media specialist for several companies (yay freelance work!) I write anywhere from 7-10 blogs a day for companies while at the same time responding to messages and comments and likes on those blogs. At the end of the day, I get to my own blog and find myself not only slightly unmotivated to write, but also completely overwhelmed by the amount of engagement I dealt with throughout the day and instead of engaging my readers as well as my fellow readers of blogs I follow, I casually scroll through reading posts that, though I find interesting, I am out of energy and commitment to blogging to write comments.

This of course does very unintentionally put huge constrains on myself as a blogger (at least, for my personal blog, my clients are set for life on engagement). The blogger of this post also pointed out that he (along with countless others) were very late to the blogging party and have thus found themselves in a sort of limbo, or in his terms, the cool kid tables and the not so cool kid tables have already been established. Where do you and I fit into this then? The people who enjoy reading blogs but decide writing comments is just not for them or do not have the time, or maybe you just don’t have anything to say really on the subject even though you did enjoy the post.

Limbo, that is where it puts us until we unequivocally make a change in our mindset to not allow ourselves to be labeled. I do not see myself as in limbo as to what table I will sit at, I see myself sitting down and starting my own table, of those who just recreationally enjoy writing blogs, reading blogs but not having to pressure ourselves into engaging other bloggers if we do not feel the need to. Of course, this does put us at a huge disadvantage when it comes to gaining followers and likes, because what better what to get noticed then to post comments to attract that blogger to you, and anyone else who reads and enjoys the comments may come along as well.

Do I need to break the mold to be a great blogger? No, not really. Does what I write need to be the most originaly in the world? Not at all. Do I need to comment on every single blog I read to start more of a follow? Possibly. Maybe not every blog I read, but I think it is time that I get up the energy to not only engage readers on my clients blogs, but on my blog as well. To do this, I’ve decided to not put off my own blogging until the end of the day anymore, from now on, my blog will be the first thing I do every morning. Whether this means writing a new post and engaging in comments on the blogs I follow or just the later of the two, I do plan to engage a little more for my own personal blog.

This does not mean that I will be commenting on every blog I read. That is WAY too many comments even for someone who blogs for companies professionally and responds to every comment (even if it is just a generic Thank you for commenting). It does mean that a few comments on blogs that I find really interesting is needed though. No one should feel forced to comment, no one should ever feel forced to do anything really, but if you like the post, leave a quick comment not just a generic like. If you enjoy the post give that person a follow also, I know I always follow back when I gain a new follower and I usually find that their blog extremely enjoyable for me.

Well, time to switch into professional blogger mode, hope you all read this and take the steps needed to stop being the silent reader and make your own voice heard and seen a bit more.

 

~SKG

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The dark side of this process and a little advice for those thinking of trying…

If it isn’t obvious by previous posts, I have been in the process of looking for an agent for my novel. A couple rejections and some possible interest has been received until today. I understand rejection, I understand the competitiveness of the industry. I understand it all. What I will never understand is the snobbishness and the blatant rudeness that seems to plague the world in every industry.

Today I received the most rude and snobbish rejection I think I have received in any industry I have ever been in. I will not divulge names or agencies as I believe it is in bad practice, a belief I almost destroyed today after reading this email. The basis of the email was a rejection, which is not much to be bothered by, but the condescending tone and word usage nearly sent me over the edge. I am a respect driven individual. I will always show respect to those who deserve and show me the same respect. This agent though obviously does not subscribe to the same practice.

I was told by this agent that my query letter was extemporaneous and I needed to spend time looking at sample queries. For those of you who do not know the word extemporaneous, it means that it was done with little preparation or forethought. First, let’s start at just the word use. I have a very large vocabulary. This is from spending hours looking in thesauruses for different words to use in my novels other than the basics, it is also from the intense studying I did three years ago when I took the GRE to enter graduate school. A consequence of this is I am often told that I sometimes come off as condescending or snobbish as I will use large words that many do not know the meaning of. It is unintentional on my part, it is just the language I am used to using in my everyday life and academic writings. I found myself in my friends shoes today when I read this email. I know what extemporaneous means, but the tone of the email was what made the word sound more like a cruel and humiliating laugh rather than a simple, “this letter needed some more work for me.”

Does this person think I did not spend hours upon hours looking over sample letters, reading blogs and websites and each submission page of agents to make sure that the information contained in the letter was not exactly what was asked for? I followed guidelines, I put the information that the agency asked for and I receive a response saying that I threw together a letter with no thought or preparation. I spend hours on my query letters. Maybe it is a personal thing with me, but I saw this as a huge disrespect to me. Would someone really think I would be so careless with something so important to me that I would send out a letter without thought? That I would slap together some sentences and not care?

The disrespect and condescending tone of this email nearly pushed me over the edge. For an hour after receiving it the small, ill tempered and irrational part of me screamed to write a scathing response email. I wanted to rip this agent apart, I wanted to educate her on how to treat someone who wanted for nothing but to chase their own passion. Luckily, I am not the ill tempered and irrational girl I used to be. Five years ago I would have sent a response email with no problem. Now though, I stopped and told myself that I would regret it.

Why would I regret letting out the frustration and anger and disrespect I immediately felt upon reading this email? This questions brings me to the second part of this post. Some advice on what I have learned so far in this process.

1. Don’t write a generic “Dear Agent” query letter and assume you can send it out to every agent. I read blogs and looked at samples and still find myself having to rewrite every time I want to send to a new agent. If it is generic, they will know! They are agents and they read for a living! They know when you are being generic and when you have actually taken the time to write a specific letter to them. Does this mean you have to spend hours each time you want to send a letter? Probably not. It means you need to read the submission guidelines for each agent and make sure that your letter meets their requirements.

2. Don’t send a letter that you are not 100% ready to send. If it doesn’t feel right yet, don’t send it! There isn’t a deadline on this. Don’t send it just to get it out there, if you do this then you knock that agent off the list of people you can submit to later after you are 100% happy with your letter.

3. Read sample query letters. Most agencies will have links to sample query letters they like. These letters will literally tell you what to write in yours. They wouldn’t link you to them, if they didn’t like them or they weren’t successful queries to their own agency.

4. Don’t be ill-tempered and irrational. The world is full of those snobbish, rude and disrespectful people. No matter what industry you are in or deal with, there will be those people. The problem is, you have no idea who that person knows. If I had sent a response today like my temper had wanted me to, I could have ruined any chance I have at finding an agent. Sending that one email to one agent could mean much more than just ripping apart one person verbally, it could have been viewed has me thinking I do not care about the opinions of people in the industry I wish to be part of, or that I think I am better than they are in some way.

Even though I have had this one bad email, all others have been respectful, nice and encouraging. Which I guess is my last piece of advice, don’t be discouraged. If it doesn’t work out, you can self publish and still get your story out there. Keep writing and keep trying.

 

~SKG~

write, write, write…. wait, what I am writing for???

No, seriously, what am I writing for? Sometimes this process is just exhausting. I get told my project is strong and that it could go far, but that it’s not for them. What does that mean??????? I take it to mean, I don’t like it, so leave me alone….

So, rejection sucks, I know this and it hasn’t got me down completely, but come on, how does this work really? I have a book, that I literally conceived when I was just 5 years old. It’s my passion, it has kind of kept me sane in times of insanity in my life and I finally finished it. 80,000 words of pure imagination. I guess I can’t be mad, I knew that the odds of finding an agent and being published were pretty slim. It wasn’t like I wasn’t prepared to be told no. But it doesn’t make it any easier.

I probably didn’t write for a whole four days after the first rejection. I swear it felt like I got hit with a ton of bricks, part of me was like, “Okay, that was fun, time to focus on real life again.” But then the majority of me was like ‘SCREW THIS SHIT! I WORKED FAR TOO HARD TO JUST GIVE UP!” The voice that said screw you won out and I push on with my dream of being a published author. To the point where I started the second book in the series. I have 20,000 more words of pure imagination that have flowed from my mind. It is such an amazing release of energy and creativity for me. I can stay up until 3am just writing and rewriting and rewriting until I think it is perfect.

So, the other day when I got another rejection I thought about this further. What am I writing for? Then it hit me, I’m not writing this for an agent, I’m not writing this for a publisher, I’m not writing for the millions of people who I wish could read this story. I am writing for me. I didn’t write this story twenty years ago for anyone else, I wrote it for me. I wrote it because in my head was this crazy story about a girl who found out her life was some kind of twisted fairy tale. She is powerful, yet weak, loving but guarded. She is pushed further and further and further until she breaks and has to decide between the easy and the difficult paths in life. I guess she is what I feel every girl should be. She is looked at as this super womanesque person because she has the power to free those who are imprisoned, she can save those who are about to perish and she is the one everybody looks to to solve every problem in her kingdom. She fails quite often, but she succeeds occasionally also, she makes wrong decisions most of the time, but she usually gets it right in the end. Overall, Ariana is the perfect girl, not in the sense that she does everything right and does it while looking perfect and always succeeds. But in the sense that when she falls, she gets back up and keeps going, that when she makes a wrong decision she apologizes and makes it right, that when it comes down to the end she would rather save those who have attacked her instead of destroying them. That makes Ariana the perfect girl in my head and that is why I have written her story even if no one will really get to read it.

I’ve decided to give you all a taste of this story. This is the opening of the story and just the beginning of Ariana’s journey. I am always open to comments when they are constructive, don’t be mean, don’t be rude but be constructive and up lifting.

 

The Other Side:

I have had the same dream since I was a child. There is barely a night I can remember that I didn’t dream of being carried through the woods by a strange woman. It was an odd dream, I was clearly a baby or small child, cradled in the arms of a woman with kind, dull gray eyes. The woman ran swiftly through the thick trees, though I could not recall a time when I had been in a forest this thick. I stared up at the woman as she ducked behind a tree and hid us in-between two prickly bushes. I could feel her arms shaking with terror as she held me tight to her chest. Her head snapped to the left as the sound of numerous other foot steps echoed off the trees.

After three others ran past where the woman was hidden with me in her arms, she took off at a sprint again, but this time ran perpendicular to our original path, before turning sharply into a thick line of trees that almost completely hid a large clearing from view. The woman paused again, and watched the clearing, counting softly to herself, on the count of one hundred, she took off straight across the clearing to a rock wall. Once at the wall, she felt her way through the vines that covered the rocks until her arm slipped through a small opening.

She held me closer to her and side stepped into the opening, it was cold and she paused only long enough to pull the blankets I was nestled in tighter around me. Soon the small cave opened up and directly in front of us was a jagged opening filled with a bright light. She stood for a moment just staring at the wall before holding me up in front of her. Her smiled made small wrinkles form in the corners of her eyes and the gray eyes glossed over as tears began to form.

“I am sorry I must do this, but I hope you will understand one day that I did not have a choice. You will be safe on the other side.”

The woman planted a gentle kiss on my forehead before stepping forward into the bright light.

I jolted awake from the familiar dream. I was breathing heavily as always and shivering, even though my room was always a little too hot for comfort. The alarm clock next to my bed was buzzing loudly, I rolled over and slammed my hand down on the snooze button and rolled over to my back. I stared at the ceiling, willing my heart beat to slow, until my alarm went off again. I turned it off and crawled off from under the blanket. I hadn’t been sleeping well lately, and my body was growing stiff from the lack of rest. I was only seventeen, but I felt like I was eighty some mornings.

It’s been a while….

That is just not referring to my little hiatus from blog writing. It is referring to a lot of aspects of my life. My writings, my career, my friends. It has all slipped through the cracks over the last month or two. Today was the first day that I had the time and energy to dedicate a full work day (roughly 8-10hrs) to my still budding web design and social media marketing business. A friend of mine needed a new website built for his carpet cleaning and commercial office cleaning business, and though I have been slowly putting it together over the last two weeks, I have just not had time or energy to fully devote time to it. While working today I took a fifteen minute break to contemplate what happened over the last two months and why I let it happen. 

My writings. By writings I mean everything from the continued editing of my fiction novel, my blog and the ongoing process of attempting to get a book deal for the novel. What happened? I actually quite my nanny job so I had more time to focus (well, okay I quit because the parents were bat shit crazy) and I have found that since quitting I have done less work than I did when I had 12 hours of my life taken away from me each day by my nanny job and then probably another 3 or 4 by my web business. No progress has been made, no query letters have been sent, no editing has been done. Where did my grand goal of trying to get some kind of a book deal within the next year go? What happened to me?

My budding career is hit and miss lately. I have been on a roll having project after project, but nothing really too steady. Mostly it is websites, which I LOVE doing because it is fun, it is different every time and well, let’s be honest it makes me the most money. Nothing too steady though that I can depend on day after day, month to month though. The only person I have to blame for this is myself. I have slacked so bad on marketing my marketing abilities. Redundant huh? Part of that is my blog. As much as I am sure you all love reading all the thoughts that are in my head, the blog is part of marketing my abilities as a writer for freelance writing jobs. I tell every client that they should be posting minimum 1 post every 10 days or so and I can not even get myself to post that often.

My friends are a whole different can of worms. Unlike the other two things I have let slide, I am fully aware of the almost sole reason I have kind of pushed them all to the side. I canceled my wedding. Nobody freak out, I am still engaged and super happy with my fiancé and can’t wait to be a Mrs.! but, things (that will be detailed in a moment) happened and my family could no longer afford the insane cost of a wedding. My four best friends and I had gone dress shopping (yes, I had my princess moment and cried when I put on the dress), they had looked for brides maids dresses, I had found a venue, my friend who is a DJ had agreed to do my wedding for just travel expenses. It was all planned and then BOOM! reality check. Life just is not nice when it comes to this type of thing is it?

So, I guess it’s time for the explanation of my life crumbling out from under me for months. It started the first week of May. I lost my grandmother, the only grandparent I ever had. She fought for as long as she could, but with already life threatening health problems, her diagnosis of rare and aggressive lung cancer and 8 weeks to live was still hard to handle. I will never forget the phone call. It was a Sunday, my fiancé and I were having a lazy day and my dog Hades was acting odd. He was extra snuggly and would not leave my side, Hades is normally a very lackadaisical dog. He will occasionally get up and remind you to scratch behind his ears, but on this day, he was in my lap refusing to let me out of his sight all day. The call came early afternoon. My phone rang and I went into my bedroom, as my phone was on the charger, and saw it was my mother. My heart immediately skipped a beat as I answered. I heard it in her voice as I heard her say “Sara…” She really did not need to keep talking. I collapsed right there. I had rug burn where my knees hit the floor. The first thing I felt was Hades nudging me to make sure I knew he was right there for me. After a few moments, and saying goodbye to my mother, I pushed myself up to face my fiancé. His mother passed away a few years ago from the same thing and he knew the look on my face and immediately jumped up to hug me. This was the beginning of two weeks of on and off grief and the end of my wedding plans. As I let my life spiral momentarily out of control in the wake of my grief, my mother and my aunt dealt with the cold truth that is burying your loved one. The only thing that is even more insanely expensive for no reason than a wedding is a funeral and burial. Except that now we were being screwed by an insurance company in the process. Over $15,000 later, we are fighting an insurance company that only wants to give us $200 for it all. Losing my wedding would not usually cause me so much grief, but the last thing my grandmother said to me, the last time I saw her (a week before she passed) was to keep planning my beautiful wedding and that when I walked down the isle she would be with me. It was not so much about losing my dream wedding as it was I felt like I let my grandmother down in some way by giving up the wedding plans. It is pain I still feel, I don’t think I will ever stop feeling as I am still crying about those words at this very moment.

The other reason my life has slowly gotten away from me? Moving. FUCK. MOVING. Please excuse my language as I typically don’t write in a profane manner (I do enough swearing when I talk, it does not need to spill over into my writing), but fuck moving. We started our house search about two months before the end of our lease. This was about the same time last year that we began our search, so we did not think much of it until any place that we liked REFUSED to hold the house for more than two weeks. Seriously? I had my last home on hold a month before we moved in and NOW these jerk faced property managers want no more than a two week hold? FINE. Have your two week hold. We lost two places we liked because of that stupid policy. We lost the place of our dreams because they property managers did not like our application as much as they liked someone else’s and without so much as an email to me or my realtor about it either. Memorial day rolls around, at 7am I got a property search notification and the house was PERFECT. It was in the neighborhood we wanted, it is less than five miles from my fiancés’ job and we moved so fast that no one else had a chance to even look at it before our application was in. We got them to extend the damn 2 week hold so we had a few extra days and everything was moving along wonderfully.

Once everything got moved is where my lovely career was derailed slightly. My office is where all the boxes of stuff we did not know what to do with were put. My office is literally just a pile of boxes. It is hard to work when you have no where to work. I despise mixing my spaces. My bedroom is where I relax, watch netflix, play video games and sleep. My living room is where I watch television, play with my dogs and entertain. My dinning room is where I eat meals. WHERE THE HELL AM I SUPPOSE TO WORK WHEN MY OFFICE IS JUST A PILE OF BOXES?????? Yes, that sentence really did deserve all caps. I have been sitting in literally the same chair all day in my living room using a large ottoman as a desk space to build an entire website.

So here I am, at the end of my work day, making my first attempts at getting back on course after my two month detour. First of all, I AM A WRITER! have articles you need written? I CAN DO THAT! No really, I have degrees in communications, I went to graduate school. I even presented papers at regional and national conferences. I know what I am doing! I do websites! Websites are fun! I do not have to be in your area to help you out! I am great with phone meetings, I LOVE google hangouts and Skype which allow me to screen share so we can be on the same page when going over the site! Contact me (hence the whole contact page thing in the menu up top!) No seriously, do it! I am cheaper than most firms you will talk to since I am freelance! I also do social media marketing. I am awesome with business pages on Facebook and twitter I can turn $100 of your advertising money into 150+ likes and follows in less than a month (no guarantees but that is the average I have achieved!). And again, I’m cheaper than any reputable firm!

Step two, I am going to go write and edit and figure out my next move in becoming a published author. Going along with that, if any of you have ties to agents or publishers or are published, leave me a comment or contact me through my contact page because I would LOVE some advice on what to do next and how I can up my chances of getting a book deal. Would love it! 

Step three, tell my friend what happened and accept the sympathetic looks and talk I will have to go through when I tell them that I lost my grandmother, I lost my wedding and I was too afraid of how many tears I would spill telling them that I waited two months to say it. 

Thanks for reading my ramblings. Hopefully I will stick to my ten day timeline and have some more to write about in ten days or less!!

~S~

Completion

It’s a weird thing when you complete something you have worked on for years. That moment when you type the final word of a story you imagined for the first time when you were barely six years old. It is bittersweet though. What do I work on now? For twenty years I have imagined a world beyond what I lived in and just over the past few years have I taken to really spending time writing it down. Tonight I typed the final word and it was amazing. To finally get the first part of the story down and complete was great. The next steps ahead are what terrifies me though. What if I just spent years writing out nearly 77,000 words just to find out I suck as a writer and that no one will ever read my story? What if I spent all this time just to be rejected by agents and publishers and be stuck with a manuscript that will never see the light of day. 

I guess that is why this is so bitter sweet for me. I love my story, I love the world I created and the plot and the characters, but I imagined them, so of course I love them. How do I make other people fall in love with them also? Especially since some agents do not even want a sample, they just want a summary. How do you make someone understand the progression and growth and depth of your characters and your story when all they want is a 1000 word summary and then if they want to read more they will ask for it. Pouring your heart and soul into something and then having to sell it like some sleezy used car salesman just so you can get the full manuscript read is counterintutitve to my nature. I hate forcing things on others, but I feel if I do not force it that it may not happen. The agents that ask for a sample I feel more comfortable with. I like knowing that they will at least get to read part of the story before they reject it or ask for more. It seems a more natural, though I would say ten pages is a little on the low side to really get a feel for the book. I typically say twenty five pages is when I decide if I like or dislike what I am currently reading. Twenty five may be too much or agents to read every time they receive a submission

They other part of the submission process I find annoying is that some agents say they will not even respond if they do not wish to read the manuscript in its entirity. I understand that not every submission is good enough yet, or is a good idea, but to not even take the time to write a simple email and say that you are not interested seems rude in a way. Someone has put time and effort into their submission, could you not spend a few moments to write a stock response that tells the submitter that though you appreciate them submitting you are not interested at this time? Otherwise they could sit there for 6-8 weeks just wanting a response. I would rather receive a letter saying an agent was uninterested than never hear back at all. 

The sweet side to all of this is that after twenty years the first story I ever wrote is at its full potential. Not only is it at its full potential, it has a sequel that needs to be written. Though the first book has been completed, there is a second and possibly more if I leave enough open ends. I even left room for a prequel if I feel like moving backward in time within my world. I have so many options that I am excited for where to move next. I have the second book in my head, and there will most likely be a third. I can’t see myself drawing the story out much further. I was never one to enjoy series’ that continued long after they should have ended. 

I have a road ahead of me when it comes to the publishing process, but I also have a road ahead of me to work on other aspects of my story. Both roads are equally exciting, and luckily I can travel both at the same time. 

A 15,000 word week

With only about another 40,000 words to write for my novel at the beginning of last week, I was surprised to look at the word count yesterday to realize that I had managed to write 15,000 words last week alone. It is pretty rare that I have enough time and enough focus to get that much work done. Something last week clicked though and it all started when I took the time to write out the full character plots.

When you write a story with a lot of charcters and character twists and about characters who have more depth than 90% of the people you have met in real life, it can be really confusing. I have a list of 7 main characters. These are the characters that the story focuses on and revolves around. If you take any one of these characters out of the story it will dramatically change the entire story line. I had been putting off doing this step because I had not made all the final decisions about my characters. I hate feeling like I am committed to a character story line when all I want to do is write a story that is organically flowing from my mind as I write.

The whole process took me under an hour to do. I simply started by listing the characters who I thought could not be taken out of the story without having to rewrite the entire story. I then wrote about that character up to the point in the story I had completed. After this step, I simply continued with how I wanted my characters to end the story. The different twists and turn each character would take, the secrets that each character held and if those secrets would be revealed by the end of the book. It was like a million lightbulbs were turned on inside my head at the same time. I could not even remember writing as much as I did that week. I know I had written about how much I hated outlining chapters in my Writers Block post. I still hate the idea of outlining so much that I have restricted my own creativity, but there was something about putting all my ideas about the characters on paper that opened my mind to the point where I wrote without effort for hours upon hours each day. 

With my story nearing completion, I am also looking to the next phase, finding an agent. As my research into different agencies has shown me that each has varying submission processes, most do require not only a synopsis of the story, but also a character description list. Taking the time to write these descriptions then became beneficial twice, it helped push my story to the next level and past two-thirds of the way done and put me one step ahead in trying to find an agent hopefully.