AFTER Chapter 51


Oh, hi there.


I need something to cheer me up today, and I figured since I took an extended break from the literary juggernaut that is AFTER I would come back to it with fresh eyes, a fresh perspective, and fresh 1D songs stuck in my head. All I know (at the end of the day) is that we left off on chapter 50 and that’s about it. Though I’m sure the riveting storyline will just come racing back to me at the pace of a Harry Styles-narrated story.

Let’s begin. Continue Reading

NaNoWriMo Day 4

NaNoWriMo on

NaNoWriMo Day 5: I changed everything…

The book. The blurb. The entirety of what I am writing for NaNo…

For some reason every time I sit down to write Matrimony Inc I get stuck almost immediately. Maybe I’m just not in the right mental space right now to write a book of that kind? I’m not sure. Rather than bang my head against the wall trying to figure out how to write that book, I started writing something that was giving me a lot more inspiration, and I’ve made some progress! I’ll have a full update tomorrow for Day 5’s blog post.

NaNoWriMo Day 2

NaNoWriMo on

#NaNoWriMo Word Count: 353/50,000

I woke up this morning after a full 12 hours of sleep, and I think my internal clock is finally reset. There were far too many nights of going to bed at 4am, waking up at 9am, taking naps in the afternoon and doing it all over again. I don’t typically like to sleep too much because I often feel as if I’m literally wasting time, but hopefully my internal clock has righted itself and all will be fine.

Unfortunately I didn’t get much done in the way of writing yesterday, but have mapped out a general idea of where Matrimony Inc is going. If I could map it out chapter by chapter I would feel better about it. I’m a few hundred words into the manuscript now but it’s not gelling quite yet.

Later in the day…

I don’t know what kind of sorcery is at play, but I wrote several thousand words today and it was glorious. Too bad it was in Heartlines and not the book I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. I think the problem I’m having is that I like to write stories linearly, and I don’t have a great, strong opening for Matrimony Inc. However, I did have one thought about how to potentially lay out the entire story, so that might be something to work with.

I still need to work on an outline. In addition to only writing linearly, I can only write when inspired. So those people who tell you to just sit down and write and edit out the crap later? I can’t do that. I have to have something to go on, otherwise I’m just staring at a blank screen with a blank mind and no clue where to go.

So, not a lot of words written yet. I need to do an average of about 1,667 in order to successfully write 50k, and I’m way behind on that now (though I wrote that and more in another story today). There’s always tomorrow!


NaNoWriMo Day 1

NaNoWriMo on

#NaNoWriMo Begins!

For the month of November, my unemployment might be a bit of a blessing. If you aren’t familiar with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) let me give you a crash course: write a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November. To put that into context of books I’ve already written, it is about the length of the last Bidden book. Or maybe the last few ones. But shorter than Zoe Thanatos. In order to accomplish writing 50,000 words in 30 days I would have to write an average of 1,666 words each and every day. This is totally accomplishable. On a good writing day I can crank out 3,000-4,000 words. On the rare and exceptional writing day I can crank out a good 10,000. I’m not expecting to write that many in one day, but who knows? It could happen.

The story I am writing is called Matrimony Inc, and is one I have had brewing in my mind for several years now, even way back before I published my first book. In fact I think this story idea goes back 6-8 years back when I was an undergrad in college. Here is a little taste of the synopsis:

Welcome to Santa Bella, a sprawling coastal community a leisurely drive north of Los Angeles, where one family has cornered the market on everything wedding related – from the first date through the final will and testament.

At the helm of Matrimony Inc is the Winningham family and its hierarchy of over-achieving members, starting with Alfred Winningham (the First) and his doting wife Alice, who started from the ground up as Winningham Weddings, a prestigious wedding planning service that is today the hub of operations of Matrimony Inc.

With every generation the family business has grown. Alfred and Alice’s daughter Alyssa took over operations of the business when she graduated with her MBA, and their son, Alfred “Fred” Winningham (the Second) expanded the business to include Family and Estate Planning law. Realizing the potential to grow Matrimony Inc into the social media age, Fred’s son, Alfred “Alfie” Winningham (the Third) – a programmer fresh out of Berkeley – has created and launched Matr, a dating app for lovelorn singles looking for their soul mate.

Three generations of Winninghams working together, but it’s Alfie whom Alfred is eyeing to take the company into the future, starting with the acquisition of a small wedding planning agency that is the company’s only real competition in the market.

Violet Whitehall has been dreaming of her wedding for as long as she can remember, which is probably why she fast becoming the most sought-after wedding planner in Santa Bella. Violet is obsessed with weddings, and having flawless taste doesn’t hurt. She started planning weddings for her college girlfriends while studying business at a local state college, and with her growing list of friends, acquaintances, and preferred vendors, Violet took her degree, her obsessions, and a small bank loan to start Whitehall Weddings.

Whitehall Weddings was the modern day Winningham Weddings without the pretention and corporate feel of Matrimony Inc, and brides flocked to Violet to have her orchestrate their perfect day, all while making notes about her own perfect day (just in case).

That’s the basis of it now. I still have a bit more to flesh out, but that will come in time as I start writing the story.

I first signed up to participate in NaNo in 2013, but that same month I started a new job and my plans were derailed. In 2014 I just didn’t have the time to write a 50k book. This year however, I am going at it with every intention of finishing and writing a great book! I’m still finishing up Heartlines and I think I may push back Tasting Rielle to December just to give myself some time. But I am excited and I look forward to sharing the process here on my blog (and on Twitter and Snapchat). Each day I will update my word count and general progress.

Here’s to 50k!

Follow me on Snapchat (crystalwrites) for daily updates about my writing progress, and be sure to follow me on Twitter (@CrystalCierlak) and Like my author page on Facebook. Whew! That’s a lot of social media.