Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

Ciao, amici! How was your week? If you read my Tuesday post, you know I had a release—one I wasn’t expecting and had to hurry to prepare for (The Scout). But that actually wasn’t my biggest accomplishment in the last seven days.

That honor goes to Astral Conspiracy Series Book Two. (I’ll be revealing the title and cover in a month or two, so stay tuned for that.) I wrapped up the final edits on ACS2 yesterday afternoon. (Pop the bubbly!) It’s now in pre-production, getting formatted and having blurbs written and marketing materials prepared. Yesterday was a huge weight off my shoulders.

You’d think, as an editor, I’d find revisions easy. This final one was. My editor suggested few corrections. Mostly word echoes and clunky constructions (and one sentence that neither of us could even figure out what I meant—oops!). But it was that second revision that nearly drove me to drink. And not celebratory champagne, but the hard stuff to drown my sorrows. Which brings me to today’s quote by an unknown author.

That second draft will not kill you.
It may kill some of your characters.
(Odds of this happening go up exponentially

if you write murder mysteries.)
But it will absolutely, positively, pinky swear
not kill you.

I’ll admit, there were times I thought that draft would do me in. I may have shed a frustrated tear at three in the morning. I know I ate more chocolate than I should have. (Too bad I didn’t have chocolate covered coffee beans—on second thought, maybe that’s a good thing.) And I definitely will NEVER again write out of sequence then rearrange scenes later. (You people who do that are insane. And I am in awe of your ability to do it.)

That second revision did not kill me. My final edit was a breeze, and it’s over. Now, happily, I’m well into Astral Conspiracy Series 3. And boy, do I have surprises in store for my readers!

I hope you had an easy week. If you want to share your writing, revising, polishing stories with us, we’d love to hear them.

And now, this week’s writing links:

Posts by me, about my work, or at sites I contribute to:


Story Empire

Posts by others in the industry:

To make you smile:

And when you’re done with these links, don’t forget to check out the sidebar, where you’ll find more links to some of my favorite sites.

Have a great weekend! Arrivederci!

73 thoughts on “Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

  1. Love the quote! Especially love the addendum about murder mysteries snicker. Yep, I can relate. I’ve killed off a few characters in later drafts. But they deserved it. Really! I like the easy revisions … until I send them to beta readers or my critique group and find out the “easy” wasn’t exactly correct 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been killing a lot of characters lately, some of whom deserve it, others… well, their sacrifices were necessary.

      I’ll never have a revision as difficult as this last one. Never again. I like easy (who doesn’t?) so I’m sticking with working in my comfort zone.

      Liked by 1 person

    • As I write darker and darker genres, I’m learning to get less and less attached. But early in my career I used to cry at character deaths. (Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I still do.)


  2. I need to move anywhere that sells chocolate coated coffee beans! Eeek, run … save yourselves! It’s a marvelous feeling when the muse kicks into hyperdrive! Congratulations, Staci! This is an awesome accomplishment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My son works part time at a chocolate shop, so I can get them anytime I ask. Which I never do, because my hips don’t need the extra strain. But when I see them in the store, I think it’s destiny and buy a bag. I sure could have used them during that last revision!

      Thanks, Soooz.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you survived your edits! They can be a challenge sometimes. Sounds like yours were more joy than usual:) I’m sitting down to work on rewrites today, but I got lucky. My critique partner let me off easy this time. Not always the case:) I read your short story THE SCOUT last night and loved it! Makes me ready to start the next book in the series. Good to hear it’s in pre-production now. (I shared this on my author Facebook page. I know friends who can relate to it).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The revisions were a nightmare; the edits a breeze. I don’t want to go through that again, so I’m back to writing chronologically and not deviating.

      Thanks for the kind words about The Scout and for sharing on FB. I finished my ARC of your latest Jazzi mystery, and it’s my favorite so far. (Still swooning over Ansel.)


  4. Congratulations on finishing your edits!

    I don’t have the knack for writing out of sequence. I’ve known several writers who swear by it, but I’d make a hot mess of it.

    You are really on a roll with your Astral Conspiracy series. I can’t wait for the next release. The Scout is a nice treat to hold everyone over until book 2. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mae.

      I’m with you—I know writers who work this way and love it, but I can’t do it. Especially with so many POVs to juggle. Book three is going smoothly, and book two has been put to bed. I can’t wait for the release in a few months.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anyone who thinks writing a book is easy has obviously not done it. It’s a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. I love the quote and happy you pushed through the edits. I agree with you about writing out of sequence. My mind doesn’t work that way. Congrats on finishing and on the new release this week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know how people do it. I need that logical progression for transitions and details and breadcrumbs. It took me so much longer to properly fix the flow and plant the clues than if I had just taken the time to work out my problems as I came to them.

      Thanks, Jan.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have a problem finishing. I start and then something else pops in my already crammed full to exploding head. So I start another project. If I buckle down, I could have quite a few novels ready to publish. LOL

    As for writing in sequence, I stray. I don’t need to write in any particular order. My brain just works that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always hate mine around the 25% and 75% points. And I often consider them trash-worthy at 95%. But (once I figure out the opening) I always love the beginning, the midpoint, and the end. And because I write series, loving the end of one book makes it easier to love the beginning of the next.

      You’d think the three dark points would be where I was most engaged, but those are usually the hardest parts for me to write.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m in awe of your production level, Staci! Love how neither of you could figure out what the sentence meant. I put notes in my phone about things to add to the story, and I’ve come across several that left me puzzled as to what I meant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The funniest part? Adding one three-letter word made the sentence crystalize. Without it, though, it was rubbish. And nonsensical. I’m glad I finally figured it out. I usually have a few cut and paste errors and a couple missing sentence endings, too. (Which is proof even an editor needs an editor.)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, I’m insane! LOL. Love the quote and I know what you mean about second drafts being the death of you. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Congrats on the new release and finishing the second Astral book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This last revision was the hardest I’ve ever done. I think the edit was the easiest, though, so I suppose it was worth it. Still… whew! 🤪

      I do think I might end the day with a cocktail, though. It’s been a long week. 🍸

      Liked by 1 person

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