Talking Alice in the Prison of Hearts, NanoWrimo, Writing with ADHD, and the Realities of Writing Full Time

Otherwise known as a very long, overly detailed post about my processes and me speaking just a little bit about how it actually is being a fulltime writer.

Hello, it’s me, Bethany Anne Lovejoy. You might have forgotten about me in the time since I’ve been away, but here’s a few notes about me:

  • I prefer to be called Bethany or Bethany Anne when not called B. A. because I just don’t feel like the name Beth suits me. I also can’t pronounce my THs so that might be part of it.
  • I gave in to the mobs and made a tiktok. I will post once my stress acne clears up because I am young and my skin still behaves like a teenager. You can find said tiktok here. It makes me very very nervous.
  • I have ADHD. Like genuine, medicated ADHD, and anxiety. This is the only truly relevant piece of information in this list, and you’ll find out why later. But first…. cover reveals.

Alice in the Prison of Hearts

Coming April 30th.

I’ll be posting the preorder soon, because I really don’t know how to sum up this one, and my god do I want to shrink that crown, but to sum up what’s going on in this book: A King of Cards is Crowned, two people die, there’s kissing, Thomas Caard is walking about, we get more women with swords and… Bad things happen to Kaeden Hart.

Very, very bad things happen to Kaeden Hart.

What a teaser, am I right?

If you haven’t been keeping up with the series, you can catch up down below on Kindle unlimited, and get lots of new information by following this blog! I post lots of free stuff! Like free shorts and an exclusive prologue that will be hosted for free on this site for only a month before a series supplement (composed of other free shorts) goes up on amazon.com for free! Yay!

I’ll also be posting a free exclusive teaser for Hearts before the book launches somewhere on this website and talking giveaways/Peter Pan in the future… but that’s not what you’re here for, is it?

It’s Nanotime, baby!

It’s been a two book month for me, which has been double the stress, but after plotting and unplotting whole books over and over again this month at two in the morning, I’ve been steadily chugging along and have about… I think 87,000 words on the draft for the magical university thing?

I though I had names for everything but the school, but then it turned out that nope, I do not.

Quinn Averelle’s name has stayed the same, but someone had to point out to me that my pointed tribute to the world’s greatest princess (Diana) was already a name being used in another magical book series, A Discovery of Witches, which I immediately put on my to read list because magic.

I also ran into another issue, which is a me specific one: I want to write my book in England, but my god do I have an American audience.

Believe it or not, the Alice books actually have a British sensitivity reader; My mother, who reads all of my books before you do and helps me write a book a month. Sometimes because of her British terms and wordings stay in the books, other times because of readers, I change terms to their Americanized kin or just say whatever and push it out. This annoys real British people, and English spellings annoy real Americans– it’s a thing with my books, I get the occasional warning for spellings because mentally I can’t tell the difference.

So, I’m kind of here like, “do I want another series set in England when it’s always such a pain in the butt?” Big questions, I know.

I also set about outlining the whole book series and trying to compact it more, bringing it down to a hopeful four books instead of seven, which I’m working on making three because look me in the eyes kids; business decisions. If I ever give a big post on the financial side, I’ll explain it, but all you need to know is that your bountiful kindle unlimited money does not fund an overly lush lifestyle. In fact, being a writer sucks. Please see the graphic below to find out why.

My god I hate tiktok

But anyway, I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid, and I am now, so, yay me.

Me whenever I write a sequel, or interact with people, or have to pitch a new idea.

But here I am, writing books and doing things.

So how, you ask, am I doing this?

Time management with B. A. Lovejoy

Warning: I have ADHD

For some reason I always get so nervous showing this, mainly because I’m sure this isn’t neurotypical behavior, but it works for me.

So, with no further ado, after I listened to the Chiquita video three times and had a good tear up, here is how I manage to write my books.

It’s a system.

Okay, stay with me, because this probably looks like the scribblings of a crazy person, and I have really bad handwriting.

Here’s what you need to know:
The small notebook is topics, and the large notebook is sprints. I work on a modified pomodoro.

See, adhd means that I strive on both variety and rigid normality, so I had to come up with a system that worked with that. I write three different things this month, a ghost written project for a commissioner, the Alice books (blue), and right now? A second series (pink). Dividing my time is, however, not something that I’m good at. So, in a shocking moment of professionalism towards the beginning of my career; I got a random number generator, set it between one and nine, and then did an alternating pattern– main for my main body of work, and then ghost for my ghost written works. I’ve gone through about twenty pages of this, and when I have to double time on main projects, I flip a coin heads or tails to decide what will be written during those large chunks.

Which sounds crazy but hey, it works. That’s how I decide the topics for my sprints.

Then, I head on over to my larger notebook.

Funfact: did you know that the human brain can only concentrate for an hour and a half?

I’m not sure if that’s actually true, but I read it somewhere, so…

I’ve found that I write my best when I’m feeling fresh, and I feel fresh when I work in chunks of up to an hour… Soooo, all of those times are sprints. (Hell, I’m writing this blog post on a sprint). The sprints are also generated randomly with a chance of it being 20 min, 30 min, 40 min, or 1hr.

Now, you might just say, “wow, she writes for only twenty minutes a day some days?” Incorrect. I work for eight hours a day to provide myself with some structure, and I sprint on and off with twenty minute breaks inbetween sets. During those breaks, I read.

I’ve found that the best authors are the well read ones.

I tend to read in my genre because it really helps me remember trope conventions and also want to keep writing. My favorite authors and the people I feel most inspired by are Charlie Holmberg, Shannon Hale, Erin Morgenstern, Diane Wynne (who I did not read before writing the chronicles of Whynne!), Roald Dahl, and Philip Pullman.

These all seem like very fancy names for me to list off when I essentially write glorified Alice in Wonderland fanfiction, but consider this: I don’t just read them.

I read people who make me laugh, people who make me cry, horror, and so on– I read bad books start to finish and put down good books that are too uppity and full of themselves. Remember: I don’t write to say something or because I feel like god’s gift to the world; I’m an entertainer. I jingle my little bells.

A fun fact of writing is this: Not everything needs to be high art. You can just have fun and be done with it.

Remembering that is my key to pulling myself out of the depths of burnout.

Alright so we have… whatever that is. Let’s talk plotting.

Guys, I’m almost considered organized when it comes to plotting. Case and point?

I love gel pens.

No one can understand because I have awful handwriting, but I outline every single chapter of every single book, and plot whole series like this. More often than not, I veer off track, but my god is this efficient. This way, if I’ve ever lost I can pop back into the notebook and see where I’m meant to be.

And in case you’re wondering what I do when I’m on the go and plotting, let me introduce you to pluot, which is my favorite barebones app for plotting. I use literally none of the features but scenes and then proceed to dictate plot points into my phone in the dark corners of bathrooms.

I’m an inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration…

If you’re looking to start reading, my kissing books are on sale, guys.

I had to look and see which one was on sale, guys, but if you’re in the uk or willing to go to UK amazon right now, it’s Alice in the Land of Clovers.

This is the first book in my Alice retelling and again, I love this series, it’s my whole life right now.

I have no idea what I’ll talk about next time, but it’ll sure as hell be nano, so…

Until then…

One thought on “Talking Alice in the Prison of Hearts, NanoWrimo, Writing with ADHD, and the Realities of Writing Full Time

  1. I’m interested in the way you plot out your stories and this app plot you are talking about. My dream is to be a writer and I absolutely love reading. I will check out your books because you seem to be a writer in a genre I adore. Check out my site…www.voicespastpresentandfuture.com.. I hope to stay in touch with you and learn how you manage all this because I am a struggling writer.

    Liked by 1 person

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