Stuck and Distracted #IWSG

The first Wednesday of each month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day, and today is that day. I haven’t blogged in a while. Not that I don’t have much to say, but I’ve been too distracted to write it down. I pushed myself hard in the realm of exercise and am pleased to say I’ve made progress. Not only did I complete the Colonel’s Challenge at work:

I’ve also made good progress toward my goal of losing 30 lbs this year.

But my writing has stalled out. (Insecure writer here.) I’m trying to finish Murder Most Fowl, but I can’t seem to find my way to the end. I know where I need to get to, but I can’t connect the dots. It doesn’t help that digital painting has stolen a lot of my attention.

Last year, I put a focus on improving my digital painting. I’m not a pro in any way, but I have gotten better. As I tried to force myself to work on the Cera Chronicles, the idea wriggled into my brain that maybe, just maybe, I could digitally paint my own covers. It took a few false starts, and I tossed out several versions, but finally I made a picture I liked, that I felt might actually be good enough to grace a cover.

If you have any critical feedback, please shout it out. Seriously. I’m still learning, still improving, and I can’t recognize where my work falls short. I suppose it’s the same with writing. That’s why we have critique partners and beta readers, right?

IWSG Question of the Month – Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

Aren’t all characters heroes of their own story? They are in my head. Sure, they might be sadistic murderous fiends, but they were justified in their actions. At least, that’s what they believe. Therefore, I’m going to have to say I write best from the protagonist’s POV, since they’re all protagonists if I’m telling their story.

Got any critical feedback for the cover? What perspective do you like writing from? How are your goals going so far?

About Insecure Writer’s Support Group
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You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

38 thoughts on “Stuck and Distracted #IWSG

  1. Congratulations on your weight loss. That does take a lot of energy and the right mindset to accomplish. Very proud of you. You’ll get around to writing your story. Right now concentrate on your goals and your painting. Not familiar with digital painting. I’ll google it.
    JQ Rose

  2. I like the cover. Nice job.

    Yeah, I’m with you on the “all perspective characters are heroes”, at least in their minds πŸ˜‰

  3. Tonja Drecker

    Good for you for hitting the exercise goals! I’m going to sit in my chair and wish I had enough real desire to do the same. (Call me lazy πŸ™‚ ) I love your words about the heroesβ€”it’s so true.

  4. Christine Rains

    Awesome work with your exercise goals! I’ve fumbled with mine, and now spring break is next week… So busy! Awesome cover. You got the glow reflecting just right. That’s really hard to do.

  5. I like the new style for the cover.
    Awesome you finished the challenge.

  6. The cover looks nice. What is the genre? The earth with teeth makes me think it might have a bit of a horror vibe.

    • It’s humor fantasy, but one of my beta readers did call it horror because it has zombies and other monsters in it!

  7. I love the earth with the teeth! It’s creepy and fun at the same time. πŸ™‚

  8. The cover looks great – love the bright color choices! Love your answer about all protagonists being their own hero’s. True story!

    Congrats on all the progress in your weight loss! It sounds like you’ve got a good start on the year πŸ™‚

  9. Congratulations on improving your health and fitness by meeting the work challenge and losing weight, Loni! These are not easy things to accomplish! Love the title and cover of your book! Like you, I am a caffeinated critter, and I laughed when I read that in your subtitle. Sometimes taking a break from a knotty problem in your writing can help you come up with a solution. Good luck as you pursue your goals!

  10. I find the idea of villains being heroes in their own way. They think their actions are justified, they’re for their own idea of a greater good, even if we would think it’s not such a great good. I really like the cover!

  11. Anna

    I’m not much of a critter when it comes to your cover, BECAUSE I love it! Nice work.

    On another note. Treat your ending like you treat your cover art. False starts means try, try, again. You can do this. And if that doesn’t work, write the ending and work backwards to where you stalled out. No matter what you do, get some words down. Edit it later. There will be something you can save. I know it. πŸ™‚

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  12. Boo-yah on the Colonel’s challenge! At the end of January, I hit my goal of 1 year with 7000+ steps a day.

    I like the artwork. (I take it the story has humor?) One suggestion – your name needs to be bigger. Look at best-selling books by big publishers. The author’s name is always as big if not bigger than the title.

  13. Congrats on the exercise and weight loss progress! And I love the new cover!
    I kinda feel the same way about getting to the end of my book. I know what happens in the end but I’m definitely missing something on how my characters get there. I’m hoping to figure it out soon because I’m almost there!

  14. That’s great that you are exercising so much and making your goals. I’m trying to exercise more too. Have faith that you’ll figure out how to finish your story. And love your new cover!

  15. I love the colors in the cover. I’m far from an expert in this field, but I agree with Diane’s suggestion of maybe making your name bigger.

    Hooray for making progress on your fitness goals! That’s serious dedication. My fitness goals are never more elaborate than “walk.”

  16. You are so right! They are all protag in their own heads! Maybe that’s why it was a hard question for me to answer.

  17. I’m envious of your exercise and weight loss progress. Love the cover image!

    I alternate between hero and heroine in my romances. Of those two, I like writing from the hero’s perspective. I struggle to write good villains who don’t seem cliche. It’s one of the things I’m trying to improve.

  18. I like the cover, but I’m not sure it projects what the genre is. You mention humor fantasy above, and while I pick up on the humor part of it, I’m not quite there on the fantasy part. Without a few hints, this could be a romantic comedy for all I know. Is the woman shown on the cover the heroine? Does she have anything special about her? Is she a zombie?

    A lot of urban fantasies show the main character kind of surrounded by an aura to let us know there’s magic involved, for instance. What do other books in your genre do on their covers?

    Just my two cents.

    • Is the woman shown on the cover the heroine? Yeah, that is Cera of the Cera Chronicles.

      Does she have anything special about her? Well, she’s an elemental, so she doesn’t have pupils and her eyes glow. She can also command fire and water, though I couldn’t think of any way to add that without muddling the image.

      Is she a zombie? Nope, but she does face off with a few. πŸ™‚

      What do other books in your genre do on their covers? Admittedly, the first ones that come to mind are Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchett, and their books have iconic imagery such as vampire teeth or wizard hats (neither of which apply to Cera). Darn fantasy that deviates from traditional design! It doesn’t help that the sub-genre for this series changes with each book. This World Bites is supposed to be Urban Fantasy tropes. Murder Most Fowl is going to be cattle punk.

      I’ll see if I can come up with a “bracelet” idea of intertwining Cera’s two elements around her wrist to help empathize the fantasy bit. One hand should be visible in all the different cover ideas I have for the series.

  19. Congratulation on the health goals. That’s an excellent basis for a more productive life in general, yes? So — it all works together.
    Yep, love those *self-justified* murderous sadistic fiends πŸ˜‰

  20. I do like the cover. I like how you’re checking off your goals. My writing is less productive too, but that’s my own fault. My two rescue pups I adopted are slowing me down. I love them though and wouldn’t trade them for anything. Your answer to the question is spot on. Happy IWSG Day πŸ™‚

  21. It’s awesome that your cover skills are coming along. My only suggestion is that it might be fitting to move some of the text around. It’s all bunched at the bottom. I’ve been doing okay with my writing goals, but the one friend I was emailing for accountability bailed on me. Then the other woman who started a small FB group for the same purpose suddenly passed away. That being said, I’m probably going to have to start my own accountability group soon because it really does help keep me on track.

  22. Congrats on the fitness goals! That’s got to give you a high.

    I love your creepy-licous cover. Humor/fantasy/horror is right up my alley.

  23. Yes, I agree. Villains are the heroes in their own stories. I love those bad guys and girls. They fascinate me and I love to write them and read about them. Glad you do as well.

  24. Ah-mazing! Your exercise goals are on point! Go you! I hope you’re proud of yourself. It’s not an easy task to achieve. I like your cover. After reading your comment about your main character above, I say leave her as is. My only suggestion and this is because I like her so much, is to make her the star of the cover, if that makes sense? I love her face, her eyes, her hair, etc. and I also like the world with teeth. Is there a way to move them over a bit or make the hand smaller or shift the perspective? I know, so picky, but it’s only because I really like her intensity that’s not intense. I really hope you understand what I’m trying to say here. I’m the worst. πŸ™‚

    • I don’t think I can change the perspective, since that’d require redrawing things. I can move it left or right, or zoom out to show more of the picture. This is the whole picture:

      Whole Image

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Love it. This is so Cera.

  25. I love the cover. Beautiful. Love the expression on her face. You are so talented. What an awesome job.

  26. Sarah Brentyn

    Congrats on your exercise goals. πŸ™‚ Sorry you’re stuck and distracted. I’ve just started a writing goal this month (a *really* small one) and am not doing well already. *sigh*

    I LOVE the cover. It’s perfect. She’s perfect. The only thing now (just to add to your distraction) is that it would be nice to have the first cover match this one. The first cover image and layout are perfect but if you could draw it… Sorry. I’ll leave now.

    • Sarah Brentyn

      I need a nap. Sorry. I love the cover and, yes, I see that, obviously, this would be for the first cover. *sigh* Got caught up in your MMF talk here. Replacing the first cover with this and continuing the series with your drawings? A mega YES from me.

  27. Jennifer Lee Hawes

    I can’t imagine my life without exercise. My elliptical gets a workout almost everyday. It’s where plots holes get fixed and character arcs develop! Congrats on creating such a great cover:)

  28. Great cover, and totally agree that villains tend to see themselves as the hero of their own story.

  29. I like your cover! Congrats on making progress with your weight loss and exercise goals! Hopefully that progress and your digital painting can help spark the creativity you need to finish your book πŸ™‚

  30. Elizabeth Seckman

    Having read the story, I think the picture is perfect. It’s got that bit of humor and she is haughty and intriguing. I don’t think you have any blinders on at all- that’s a job well done!!!

  31. I love the cover. It is creative.

    I write characters that are shades of gray, in a not so perfect world. I guess I write better from the Antagonist.

  32. Congrats on your challenge progress. A lot of dedication and focus needed there.

    I’m no expert, but I think your cover is great. Clever and funny!

  33. I really love the cover. You so rarely see original artwork on covers these days. Sorry I can’t give you more critical feedback!

    My goals are okay. Haven’t started my fitness ones yet, so thanks for the inspiration. Really have to get off my butt. Wish there were more hours in the day.

    Congrats on hitting yours out of the park!

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