Victoria is like a ball of yarn…but made of stress and words instead of string.

Oh dear, lovelies. I failed a little at blogging.

It’s just, things got so exciting here, what with the new book deals being announced, and then the cover of THE ARCHIVED being revealed, and then BEA, and ALA (I wasn’t there, but some ARCs of TA were), and I had all these things I could share with you!

But then those things ended and I had to go back to, you know, the writing and editing of books. Which I LOVE, but it’s not always the easiest thing to blog about. For one thing, if I’m blogging about writing/editing, then I’m not DOING it, and with my current deadlines, that’s problematic. Even though January feels too far away (I just want to be able to share TA with you), there are simultaneous not enough hours in a day.

I’m so, so happy to HAVE WORK, but I also have to learn to admit that I, well, HAVE WORK.

And that work is consuming about 98% of my mental faculties right now. I’ve been in and out of edits on my first adult book, VICIOUS, and drafting the sequel to THE ARCHIVED, and I have So Many Feels about both books that working on them, while exhilarating, has also been really emotionally taxing. There are also two other stories in the back of my mind, feeding off the 2% that’s left of me.

I struggled early on with the Archived sequel, and had to stop for a couple weeks and make sure I REALLY understood all of my characters and what they wanted before moving forward. So often when we draft, we get caught up in the action and think we’ll just figure out those pesky motivations later, but let me tell you, as someone who has done that, and witnessed the ripple effect of desire–action–reaction…

IT IS WORTH FIGURING IT OUT BEFOREHAND.

It was the best decision I could have made because the answers to the questions I asked myself DID change the plot of the book in major and exciting ways, and now I can hopefully stitch it together in a better way and safe myself the pain of ripping out ALL the seams later. But as invaluable as that pause was, it was still a pause, and now I’ve got to spend a lot of time with my book, just the two of us, and get the story out of my head and onto paper.

On that note, I will say (and I know it’s opposite for many other writers) that the early stages of drafting are SERIOUSLY MY FREAKING KRYPTONITE.

I love coming up with an idea, but holy cats do I hate realizing the first 50-100 pages, and I think the reason I hate it so is because too much of the story is living in my head, and not enough of it is living on paper. And as long as there is more in my head than on paper, I feel like I have to keep the story aloft at the front of my thoughts, and I’m so scared of dropping pieces, or taking my eye off it for even a moment and it all just STRESSES ME OUT.

It doesn’t matter how many notes I make, how many thoughts I jot down, how well I know what happens, the stress doesn’t start to ebb until I’m at least halfway through the draft. Then the balance tips and I’m like WHEEEEEEEEE. And then it’s time for the second draft, and that one is my favorite because the pieces are there, and I can build on them as needed, and make it look all lovely. And of course I’m in that evil zone right now, so not feeling terribly happy or sane and just want the world to stop until I can get more of this book out of my head and onto paper.

I’ve also been stressed because I very, very much wanted to apply to graduate school this fall. I spent the first third of this year figuring out my course of study, doing tons of research into programs, and finally felt like I had a direction. But with my current schedule, it’s not going to happen. I had to make the decision to delay the applications for another year, and as ecstatic as I am to be this busy with publishing, it was still a very, very hard call. In the end, I didn’t want to impede/take away from this incredible journey, which I feel like is just beginning, and is full of so much mystery and adventure.

But it’s strange.

I feel like there is this other me on this other path that went to graduate school, and if I close my eyes I can see her, and I wonder if she closes her eyes and thinks of the part of her that wanted to be an author. Maybe that sounds crazy but I can see myself on both paths and it leads to this often-frustrating feeling of being on the wrong one, no matter which I choose. That other Victoria is like a ghost in my life, a shadow at the edges of my sight.

On another, equally existential note, my 25th birthday is this Saturday.

Birthdays are stressful. Really the best part about them is cake, and let’s be honest I eat cake at least once a week, so…I will say that SO much has happened since my last birthday, and it’s kind of exciting so long as I think about it like that and not like OMG I’M GETTING OLDER WTF WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?

WARNING: On my birthday I’ll be posting a “Ways to help celebrate V’s 25th birthday” and it will include things like “Vote for THE ARCHIVED on a pretty covers list on Goodreads” and other heinously self-serving stuff but hey it’s a quarter-century birthday complete with a quarter-life-crisis so there you go :p

And then the week after my birthday I’M GOING TO BE AT SAN DIEGO COMIC CON, and I just can’t really process that right now so I won’t. But you should come see me!! And, you know, the cast of Vampire Diaries, Dexter, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, etc. etc. BUT ALSO ME! I’m mostly hanging out (birthday present to self) but will be jumping in on an EPIC SIGNING. Details on the Appearances page.

Other things, in brief.

I watched Misfits and all I can say is WHY DIDN’T I FIND THIS SHOW BEFORE?! NATHAN AND SIMON.

I had a dream in which Neil Gaiman and I had tea in the woods and talked about villainy. So I told him about it on Twitter. And he tweeted back. And than I did what I always do when Neil Gaiman tweets back at me. I sat down on the floor.

Rachel Hawkins and I spent the better portion of a text chat trying to figure out the female equivalent of the word BROMANCE. Our favorite: WOMANCE.

I had a moment in an airport last week where I had a layover, and was so caught up in a bout of wanderlust while walking the terminal that I almost chose a city, changed my ticket, and went on an adventure. It took everything in me to resist. Is this what maturity looks like? God I hope not.

A reminder. There is now a page for you to Request an ARC of The Archived. It’s on this blog. Scavenger hunt!

I went home for a week, and while I was there, I fed carrots to an alpaca. As you do.

All right, lovelies, I’m off to write a book, or at least a small portion of one. I’ll be back on Saturday, but in the meantime, bear with me. I’m trying!

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6 thoughts on “Victoria is like a ball of yarn…but made of stress and words instead of string.

  1. Leigh Caroline says:

    In semiorder: You can do it!!!
    I know that feeling, re TAKE ALL THE PATHS! Best thing you can do is take the best path for the time being, and realize there are paths that connect the paths if you need to branch it later.
    Happy early birthday!! I loved 25 (I’m only 29, but your amazingness makes me feel old, lol!).
    I would faint if Neil Gaiman talked to me. Or just stare in shock, awe, and be rendered speechless.
    Love it.
    Still am tempted mid travel by the listing of places announced in the airport. Never have given in and changed my itinerary, but oh, the temptation never goes away.
    Also, aww that alpaca looks soft!
    And have a million hugs to go with all that. Relax. Write first, everything else secondary to that.

  2. Kenzie says:

    Happy almost birthday, V! This next year is going to be great for you.

    I’m sorry that you hadn’t found Misfits before because it is just the best show ever. Look at it this way, you’ve had less time to yell at the universe for not having new episodes to watch immediately.

    I really liked Sormance when Sarah Rees Brennan was discussing the feminine bromance, but womance might be even better! I’ll just use both for now.

    Now, as much as I love commenting on your posts, I must go find the request page.

    *hands over tea and cake-pops so that you can relax*

  3. The last part of a book, followed by the first revision is my kryptonite. Seriously. Trying to tie up the loose ends that I have created = a cruddy good time.

    Maybe I’ll see you at Comic-con!

    Can’t wait to read TA. Loved TNW.

    Shelley

  4. Rachel says:

    Happy early birthday! You ought to have extra-special cake, or something. Cake with Lexi and Cole/William and Mac on it, and dark swirls creeping up the sides like tree-branches. Cake locked in a locked ebony box that requires an elaborate set of keys in order to open it. Anyway…

    I think that it’s naturally difficult to talk about things that *really, really* matter to us, and (at least for me) this bleeds over into ALL THE WORDS. Beginning something new is terrifying, even if (speaking from my circumstances) no one ever reads it, precisely because it matters so very much. At any rate, though, your awesomeness in not only getting past that kryptonite but then producing something that is also made of Incredible Awesome is greatly appreciate by us readers.

    And I wish that I could come to Comic Con if only to give you cookies and partake in this epic signing. Because it would be epic.

    And those alpacas are adorable. I want to hug one.

  5. Dreams*Link says:

    Hi, Mrs. Schwab.

    My name is Diana Gavrila and I’m from Romania.
    The reason I am disturbing you is for asking you a big request. Since the day I found your site and your books I wanted to talk to you about the possibility of an interview for the readers of my blog (fantasy-link.blogspot.com).
    I am sure they are as curious as I am to find out about you and your work. I would be honored and really happy if you accepted.

    I hope hearing from you soon. Thank you for your time.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Diana Gavrila
    fantasy-link.blogspot.com

  6. Enjoy your time off. I’ll miss your posts, and hope very much you’ll be back!
    Adult add treatment nyc

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