I’ve got a great guest post for you today from The Last Wish of Sasha Cade author Cheyanne Young, plus your chance to win a copy of her book, as part of the official blog tour. Keep reading for all the details!
I’ve been writing seriously for about ten years. In that time, I’ve tried some writing tips that have worked, and many more that haven’t worked at all. The thing with writing is that you have to try everything, but only embrace what works for you. Now that I’ve been doing this full time for three years, I’ve developed my own little writing cave (some people call it an office…) and here are the things I must have in order to be successful.
- My own space. I can’t work on the couch, the bed, or any other comma area where my husband or kid might show up and interrupt me. I have to be in my office, although I’ll often leave the door open.
- (The dog doesn’t count as an interruption. She’s always hanging out snoozing next to me while I work, and that’s completely fine with me.)
- My Alphasmart Neo 2.0. There are a couple different Alphasmart models, and this one is the best! It’s a cheap writing device that only stores text. No internet, no pictures, no games. Just you, a keyboard, and the text you’ve written. I swear by the Alphasmart because it’s how I am able to quick draft my manuscripts. I will then edit on the computer, but for drafting, there’s nothing better. (You can get an Alphasmart for around $30 on eBay and one set of batteries lasts me about 9 months of daily use.)
- I think I use my first cup of coffee to wake up in the morning, but my second and third cups are purely for sipping slowly while staring at my manuscript and trying to figure out how to make it better.
- When I’m first outlining a novel, I will write every scene/idea/plot device/character on a notecard. I don’t worry about the timeline or the feasibility of it, I just write all the ideas. Then I’ll have a stack of ideas—some good and some not—and I use that stack to find a workable outline. I move around and spread out the cards on the floor until I have arranged them into a pleasing order. Often, just looking at all the ideas written out like that will inspire more ideas or fix plot holes. This is a great way to figure out what you’re going to write before you actually write it.
- A planner. I set goals for myself and stick to them. Sometimes deadlines come in from publishers and you have to stick to it, but most of the time my deadlines are just for me. Every Sunday I sit down with my planner and work out what I’ll be doing for the week, and I set writing goals for each day. Then I make sure I stick to it. This is how I get my manuscripts written in a month or less. (I’ve found it helps to reward yourself with shiny stickers on the days you hit your goal.)
- My favorite books. I like to keep a few of my favorite books around me while I write. That way when I get stuck or I’m just not feeling it, I can pick up a book, read a few pages, and remember why I love books in the first place. It always helps me feel inspired to get back to work.
The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole world — the best friend in the whole world — has died of cancer. Raquel can’t imagine life without her. She’s overwhelmed and brokenhearted.
And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from the afterlife?
In fact, Sasha has planned an elaborate scavenger hunt for Raquel, and when she follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha—and now Raquel—knows.
This boy, Elijah, might be just what Raquel needs to move on from her terrible loss. But can Raquel remain true to herself while also honoring her friend’s final wish?
Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, and collecting nail polish. After nearly a decade of working in engineering, Cheyanne now writes books for young adults. She also runs a bookish Etsy shop.
Cheyanne lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy, and a cat that is most likely plotting to take over the world. Her newest book, The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, releases in 2018.
Cheyanne is represented by Kim Lionetti of BookEnds Literary.
- 9/24/2018- Literary Meanderings– Interview
- 9/25/2018- Dani Reviews Things– Excerpt
- 9/26/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review
- 9/27/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous– Review
- 9/28/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review