RANDOMS by Jena: Jena’s Adventure in Writing a Novel: Part II

Back on January 19th, I confessed to all of you that I am an aspiring writer.  At that point, I gave you a little bit of back story on how I got started.  If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, click here to do so.  I will wait……

*queue elevator music*

You’re back!  Ok, on with Part II of Jena’s Adventures in Writing a Novel!


I got all the tools I mentioned in the first post – laptop, Kindle Fire, and Scrivener.  All three are fabulous too!  Here and there I have started retyping out the scenes I want to rob from the old book to put into the new and I started brainstorming ideas on how I want me “new” novel to come together. 

First things first – I hate retyping something I know I poured HOURS into.  So that didn’t last terribly long before I started chatting with my friend and resident office queen Randi about how much I hate retyping it.  She said “why don’t you just pdf it and convert it to a Word document?”  Well, because that would be simple and why the hell would I do anything the simple and easy way???  Duh. 

I explained to her that I had no clue how to do that so she has offered to help me try.  She’s going to take one page and try to convert it for me.  If it works, fantastic.  If not, well, it was worth a try, right? 

In the meantime, I am still working on grabbing scenes that are my favorites, retyping away and tweaking as I go.  It’s a long process but hopefully the pdf to Word conversion works and I can stop this madness!

Since I am looking at this as a serious project again, I find myself thinking about how I want the book to flow on a regular basis.  One thing I noticed when I started doing the retype is that I have a problem.  The one thing that completely and totally irks me about reading books is something I was guilty of myself!  I had written scenes that felt too rushed or events that are conveniently placed for the sake of uncovering a puzzle piece that my characters need to proceed.  This is something that I bitch about on a regular basis and I had done it!  Not good. 

With that little revelation floating around in my cerebral juices, I started brainstorming on how I want my book to go.  I need it to flow more organically.  To go from Point A to Point C without skipping Point B.  I can do this.  I know I can.  The problem is the ideas are there but I am having trouble accessing them.  I know how I want the book to feel but it’s just not coming out when I sit in front of a computer screen.  I get bits and pieces but not the whole thing.  Like watching a TV station that is on but there’s so much static that you never get the full, clear picture.  Frustrating as shit, right?  Then yesterday, the whole thing changed. 

I was at work, sitting at my desk, flipping through my iPod for something to listen to.  I have mentioned in the past that on top of being a book hound, I am a certified music whore.  I LOVE MUSIC.  I listen to everything from hip hop to classical to nu metal.  As well as every little thing in between.  I basically only have no tolerance for country.  Well, no no tolerance but very, very little.  One day, I can listen to Five Finger Death Punch, then Seether, then Rihanna, then Ludacris, then Puddle of Mudd, then The White Stripes, Hot Hot Heat, The Twilight Score.  My music taste is all over the place.  This isn’t a bad thing and I think it makes me a pretty well rounded person.  Just stay the hell away from me with the cowboy boots.  It’s not my thing. 

So, I am flipping though my iPod and decided that I wanted to listen to something I haven’t’ listened to in a long time.  I start scrolling and see Disturbed.  Ahhh Disturbed.  A band that I love so much that I have gone to see them 3 times in concert, one of which I paid an OBNOXIOUS amount of money on the tickets from a ticket shark because they were sold out from the arena.  Disturbed was a main staple in my life for a long time.  I jump to their album Believe and hit play.  Track after track, I got lost in the music, memories sprouting up all over the place.  Then I hit the track Breathe and it was like getting gently slapped upside the head with a 2”x4” wrapped in velvet! 

Back when I started writing my still untitled novel, I was up to my eyebrows in what is deemed by some as nu metal.  I love the feeling and I love the sound.  If you’d like a prime example of what nu metal it, hit up iTunes and purchase the soundtrack for the movie Queen of the Damned.  Disturbed, Wayne Static, Deftones, Godhead, Earshot, Dry Cell as well as some original tracks written by Jonathan Davis of Korn (a musical GENIUS) just for the movie and performed by Dave Draiman (of Disturbed), Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park), Wayne Static (of Static X), Jay Gordon (of Orgy) and Marilyn Manson.  It’s an INCREDIBLE soundtrack filled with some of the best talent of the genre. 

I went through a period in my life when all I did was listen to this type of music and all of those sounds were the soundtrack to my novel.  Breathe came over my ear buds and I suddenly remembered on of the pieces to my book that stood as a major inspiration in the story.  Onyx.  Onyx is one of my {many} dreams.  A bar where they solely play rock music.  Chances are, if you walked into Onyx, there would be a lot of people wearing black and a good amount of them wearing leather.  It’s dark.  It’s industrial.  It’s edgy.  It’s sexy.  It’s very metal.  In an attempt to live vicariously through my main character, I made her the bar tender at Onyx.  She’s a bad ass and she needed to work at a bad ass establishment.

As the song played, I was flooded with ideas!!  I felt like Bradley Cooper’s character in Limitless.  


My characters started informing me that I was a dumbass and had wandered way off track!  I started jotting notes and getting ideas for which direction my book is going to take.  Fearing that I had been exposed to too many sparkly vampires, I was afraid that I was going to lose the edge that I originally wanted my book to have.  It’s not a love story.  Well, it sort of is but it’s not the stuff of ‘Must Love Dogs’ and ‘Never Been Kissed’.  There’s witches, demons, vampires, guns, violence, the occasional punch in the suck hole and if all goes as planned, there will eventually be a cross over in which my character gets to meet Ruby/Scarlet from Amber Lynn Natusch’s Caged series.  There’s been talk of a collaborative effort.  I just have to make it through that one first. 

Due to yesterday’s soundtrack revelation and the subsequent flowy brain juices, I am clinging to my iPod today!  So far today, I have listened to several fantastic albums including ‘Around the Fur’ by the Deftones, Golden Age of Grotesque by Manson, Korn’s first Self Titled album, Disturbed’s ‘Believe’, and Tool’s Aenima.  I have a notebook that I am furiously scribbling in between cases (yes, I am still actually working!)

So that’s my check-in of sorts.  I hope that the next time we talk about my adventure in writing a novel, I can say I have a whole lot more accomplished.  I am going to try the pdf-to-word thing today.  Cross your crossables that it works!

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  1. How is it we just met this year, that’s what I want to know…

    1. I have no clue how we’ve never met before. lol

  2. Oh, and if you get ideas just write them down, I can’t tell you how many .txt files I have with like, 3 lines in them…

    1. Oh yes! I have notebooks everywhere! lol

  3. Ginny, why are you every where I am at the same time????
    God luck with the pdf to word thingy, Jena

    1. It’s not a coincidence. I stalk you.

  4. UPDATE!!!! The pdf-to-word conversion worked!!! 🙂 I just have to scan all the pages and convert them later today. 😀

  5. p.s. still dying to know what the book is about. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…

    1. You dirty, dirty girl. lol I will. Now that I have successfully turned it into a word doc, I will start sending you pieces as I get it edited. 🙂

  6. […] CLICK THE TITLE TO READ THE PREVIOUS POSTS: Jena’s Adventure in Writing a Novel: Part I Jena’s Adventure in Writing a Novel: Part II […]

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