18 Three leaves blowing in the breeze


Kahle: Welcome to loose-leaf a multi-author writing journal where we talk goals, the ups and downs of writing and where we try to warn you off our greatest pitfalls. We'll keep it short because you don't have much time and we'd rather be writing. Hey, I'm kale and I am a fantasy writer. 

Charity: Hi, I'm charity. I write science fiction and contemporary romance.

Hillary: I'm Hillary. I write romance and right now that's all.

All: Oh, 

Charity: well, it's good to be back and glad to have everybody here. It's so much more fun when we can see each other. And I don't know. 

Hillary: It's good to, good to be back. 

Charity: Well, Hillary and I were laughing, we were saying, I know that we said you would probably only be with us once a month, but we miss you when you're not here.

So we 

All: keep being like, come back. 

Charity: Well, let's just jump right in anybody feel like they want to go first with, are your

All: goals? 

Kahle: Oh, goals are, um, going 

All: well. . 

Kahle: So the last goal that I believe I spoke about was actually you're gonna be using the beat seat. Yeah. Um, okay. So something that, uh, it's, this has been such a cool discovery process for me.

Like literally just the past, like month that we've been doing this, um, just the simple, like going over a beat sheet. Helped me this week to develop a story for a side character that I had given a goal and talking about his story or writing about his story has revolutionized the whole concept of his character, his influence in the story.

And with one little like. Prompts from the beat sheet made it so like a huge swath of lore and the story has now changed. Like something really important happened because of that. Um, 

Charity: that's so great. Is this Bruce? 

Kahle: This is Bruce. Yeah. Bruce, Bruce. Um, you're fine. You're fine. So what, what I was doing was I was trying to think of like, what are my four major beats.

What point do I have? Well, okay. First I started. All right. So here's where he is. And I was like, but that's not a starting point. That's not a starting point for a character. This is more of a, a mid point is kind of where I figured out. Oh my gosh. Okay. And then I was like, but it's really not even the mid point it's before that.

Charity: But I love how you say, just writing his story is helping you see the big picture, not just his story. It's really cool. 

Kahle: It's 

Hillary: been really fun. I just love your character names. I wouldn't read it just to find out whoever went 

Kahle: well. I, uh, man, it's just so cool. I was able to find a starting point for the character.

I've decided on the mid point. Um, Honestly, there are like three different black moments throughout his story though. And it's like, I'm not gonna, I know that, you know, beat sheets, aren't gospel they're meant to 

Charity: inspire 

Hillary: well, and there have to be ups and downs throughout eventually going to be one that is like the big one.

And that's really what defines cause they do have an ultimate goal and hopefully they're all our pitfalls that are going to knock them over and create these black moments on their way to it. They have to feel like they're not going to get there. Right? Yeah. But then you hit that big one and it's like, Oh my gosh, the world just fell apart.

This is the ultimate worst. This is the actual opposite of what they had been shooting for. And that's your big, your big thing at the end? 

Charity: Lots of dark moments leading to that. Black black and there's no going forward, but somehow, but somehow we, they get, 

All: so 

Hillary: they find the tiny thread of light in here.

They come climbing up the mountain, carrying all their companions with them on their back. 

Kahle: You need to decide on is the ending point. I intend for this story to end. Not at the point where he enters the story Oh, for the men. But to get us to understand where he's at, when once he enters. So it's not going to be like, and then you see the main character from the other book coming up, it's going to be like, and then it's just legitimately crucial arrives at the place for the first time where he will have been living for a while, once the main character meets him.

All: So, yeah. It's awesome. 

Kahle: It'll leave it, uh, up in the air to still be discovered. But after his entrance into the story, something like that could be released because you'll know all that stuff already, like you'll know some of the important things. And then you'll learn more things that Bruce knows. But the main characters don't know, we're very 

Hillary: excited for you.

Charity: it's just exciting to see someone who's been on this journey. Get excited about it again and start making progress. Because, I mean, I think, I mean, Hillary and I have both been there where we wanted to do it, but it just dragged and you just don't think you're ever going to do it. So it's exciting to revisit that point in our, our past and see you get excited and start moving forward again.

Hillary: I don't know for me, I just think it sounds like a really cool story. I don't actually like that part of the journey. So I'm sad for you that you're there, but you're pushing through. Great. 

Kahle: It's fun. It's an exploration. It's not the easiest because filtering through ideas is so difficult and being like it's terrible.

Hillary: Yeah. Well, that's one of the hardest things for me. It's like, I feel like when I'm writing a story, um, I can write a draft. No problem. Because the draft, I feel like it doesn't even matter. Like you get through the draft and you're like, okay, now we go fix it. And fixing it is the hard part, because then you have to take all these random words that you put down and make a mean something, and I'll look at it and I'll be like, okay, well, this is what I put.

And this is kind of where I had us ending up. But. Really to make this right. What makes it right? And then all of a sudden, your options spread out in front of you and having to choose that and make those final decisions is super scary because I'm like, well, this would be good, but what's the right thing.

What's going to make this a really great story. What's going to really build this up and be what everybody wants to hear, because I want it to be right. I want people to love it. And so that's, that's scary. The options are scary. Yeah. But that's, I guess it leads to what I did want to talk 

All: about today. Go for Hillary 

Hillary: to ropes.

Barely. That's exactly. What's on my mind. 

Charity: Well, why don't you explain to them why it's 

Hillary: on your mind? Okay. Well, in terms of my goals for this week, I was supposed to, um, I don't actually remember what my goals were. I think I was supposed to work on revising my story that was already published. Which I did, and I was fine with the story.

And then I realized I made a couple of big mistakes. One when I published it, two of the chapters were swapped. That was really bad. So I fixed that. Yeah, for real. So I fixed that, but then I was going over it with an editor who I had kind of sent it too late. And we were looking at some of the things and there's some stuff that I really wanted to address.

And one of them. As I was looking at it and trying to publish it, I went to some classes and romance classes. Cause it's good to can take classes. We love to learn things, keep going. Um, I listened to this one about tropes and I was starting to look it back at my story. And I'm like, I don't even know what tropes these really speak to because I had chosen some tropes and they were good tropes and they're tropes people enjoy and they tend to do well.

But like, as I was trying to write my blurb. I knew I hadn't done a good job of writing to the tropes because I couldn't write my blurb. Yeah. It was not coming out. I'm like all the things that happened, I'm like, but this isn't actually what I did it's to do with what I'm trying to say. The book is about.

So it became this big problem for me. And I realized, okay, I have some revising I need to do. And then I'm going to do another re-publish for, in terms of my goals. I did work on my, um, I did work on my book this week, so that was good. I finished, I worked on a website for an author friend and I did work on some of my.

Non author projects as well. So I've been all over the board this week, but I did manage to get some of that done. So, 

Charity: and we'll come back. Cause I, I do want to talk a little bit more about tropes and how we can use those without becoming cliche. Cause I do think that's an. Very 

Hillary: important and ended up in this very sad spot 

Charity: right now

All: where you're 

Hillary: like, let's go cry together.

Charity: Oh my goodness. Uh, well my biggest goal was I had to finish the revisions of. The Christmas dance. I was like, what's the stupid story called

All: books. 

Hillary: The stupid story, the one that I need, 

All: I don't want to have been working on too long. 

Charity: Don't hate it. It's the surprise story that I forgot about. And so I had to write it in a rush and, and, and she's doing a great 

All: job. I don't know about you doesn't work this story cause it's a romance. And I had my heart set on science.

Fix it again. Sorry, but it's. Yeah. Anyway, 

Charity: so, uh, I'm kinda the opposite of Hillary. I hate the drafting process and I think I'm still in this mindset because I forgot about it. And I had to draft it super fast and revise it super fast. I mean, a month and a half is very fast for me. I'm a very slow writer and I don't like having to rush things because I like to think.

Thinks things through. And I think that's why I go back and forth between stories. But, uh, for me, I hate the draft because I'm a perfectionist and I can see the scene in my head and I know it's not going to come on the paper the way I see it. And I know the draft is going to be awful. And even though I tell myself, it's okay, I'm going to fix it.

It is hard for me to get the first thing down there. I hate it, but I love the revising process. I love going back, looking at the whole thing and going, okay, there's stuff there. I can salvage. I like. Looking at it afterward. 

Hillary: I like revising other people's work. I'm like throw my opinions all over the place and it's great.

Then they have to figure 

Charity: it out. Yeah. Yeah. So, but I did that. I finished the rewrite. Um, I actually have turned it in. Yeah. It's not perfect. And there are probably some tweaks that I'll make so that when I get it back the rights back in three months, I'll be able to put out exactly what I want to put out, but it's, it's good.

It's clean enough. It's well edited. It's, it's mostly consistent. There's just one or two little tweaks that I would make to some of the emotional journey toward the end of the end of the story. So. It's there and I'm glad that it's done. I want to move into science fiction. And so, so, so that's my main 

Hillary: thing is I think that's, um, a spot with no matter what you're doing, eventually you have to say, okay, it's done.

Yeah. I was a seamstress before I was a writer. And one of my favorite quotes is the, you hit a point where one more sequin will ruin the dress and, um, You just, you really do. You have to kind of, you work on something and you work on something and you change it. You try to make it as wonderful and as beautiful as possible.

But eventually you do have to say, you know what we're done. This is good. This is beautiful. Yeah. Take this and love it. 

Charity: And it's interesting. Cause that made me think of something you said earlier that I wanted to come up comment on and I didn't, uh, you were talking about how you want it to, you know, when you're drafting, drafting is easy, but the revising is hard cause you want it to be right and you want everyone to love it.

But there has to come a point where you remember. Not everybody's gonna love this and that's okay. 

All: That hurts my heart. I know it does. I know it does well, you know, 

Charity: but that's just the way it is not everybody, 

Hillary: but I know it's true. Logically. I know that's true, but I think I'm still in that place. Where I'm still, I mean, I've only got two books out now.

I'm still in the beginning of this journey I've written before, but I'm, I really am just in the beginning of my journey and I'm still figuring this out emotionally. I feel like too logically. I keep learning. I keep doing all sorts of great stuff. I can do good things, but. Emotionally. Um, Oh, and I'm really good at taking critiques too.

Somebody can bash my stuff apart and I'm like, you know what? You're right. It's bad. But I it's because I do, I don't mind going back in there. I know it's ready to fix. I know there's stuff to fix. And I like having feedback to where I can start working on something, but it's an interesting, uh, emotionally, I'm still figuring out how to, uh, Let go of the idea that I'm not going to be able to write the Epic novel every time I write a romance.

Oh yeah, we all. And that's, I kind of talked about this before, just with you guys in general. My heart is really in an Epic fantasy Nya. I really, really love that. That's if I'm going to have a favorite book, it's going to be something like that. I mean, I love all the Harry potters. I love Twilight. I know that's not an Epic fantasy, but Oh, that's okay.

Charity: love, 

All: I don't even know if the 

Charity: microphone

Hillary: picked up. That 

All: was funny. Okay, 

Hillary: thanks guys. But I love Lord of the rings and I love all these really big Epic stories. And that is kind of what I want to write. And I think eventually I will, but it's hard. And I guess really, even with those, I'm not, everybody's going to love it.

Yeah. And you just, in your head, you feel like you're writing this thing that everybody's going to die over. It's going to be so great. And to let go of that and say, you know what, this is what the story needs to be. This is what, um, Is, this is what I can do, and this is good. And sometimes it is it's good enough, but I think there again, what helps you do that is the tropes.

Yeah, because if all you're trying to do is find out what's. So perfect. And so right. It's hard to figure that out, but if you have the tropes and you know, the tropes, then you say, this is what happens next and how do my characters make that happen? How does it happen for them? 

Charity: And how did they make it different?

Like it's following the 

Hillary: path, but it's put in their own way. Yeah. 

Charity: Yeah. How do they dance down that path? You know, did they March, did they jog? Do they 

Hillary: stop? You know, Or you have some kind of sheet that you followed that talks about it as a dance. And I think it's just so funny because 

All: I don't follow that yet, but you keep talking about it.

Like they're dancing. I'm like go to the last three or four conversations we've had, they've been dancing 

Charity: and I'm like, that's because my 

All: story has dancing in it. That's what

Charity: that's a good visual way of imagining if the trope is the path and this is what people expect, but they were characters 

All: be. 

Kahle: I think my, my characters probably Bernie

Charity: Okay. What, what are our new goals? Do you want to, we'll just go back around the circle. Kale. What, what are your new goals for the next week? 

Kahle: I think my goal is just going to be a continuation of the last I need to finish. Writing you, if you got to peek at my notes, I literally just have notes under the starting point.

And then it turned into a world or building session. So I needed to like, just sit down and be like, all right, just write the dang story so you can figure out what actually needs to happen. 

Charity: But world building's important too. That's a whole podcast by itself. That's 

Kahle: a 

All: series 

Charity: of podcasts. 

Hillary: I listened to that one.


Charity: Yeah. We'll we'll, we'll have to put that one on the back burner. Yeah. Bring that back. Maybe during our nano month. We'll we'll talk about some more. Okay. 

Hillary: I feel like I've been untrue to my romance today. 

Charity: China me too, but that's okay. 

Hillary: It makes me sad because I'm probably going to go home and sit down and watch a bunch of hallmark movies.

Charity: physicians are so much bigger and I think it's easy to downplay one genre. When we really shouldn't. I, you know, you're right, because it is such a huge. You know, it's this thing that people love. 

Hillary: Yeah. It's something that emotionally we go looking for and it fills, it fills you. It gives you those happy feelings.

I mean, this is important. This is like mine. I decided one time, my ultimate goal in life is to be happy. I mean, yeah. There's all these things that we can do to get there. But that is my goal. I just want to be happy. And that's one of those things that like when life is crazy and life is hard, it can make you happy.

And you just find these books that feed you and fill you and go with it. So, anyway, sorry, romance. I love you. 

Charity: Fun. Cause then when life is good and you are happy, then you can dig into something like a high fantasy where you're on this quest in life. Part of all these horrible things, but you can handle it better cause your, your actual life is happy, you know?

And. And maybe that's the thing. Maybe that's where I'm at. I'm happy right now. So I want to get into my science fiction and blow things up.

All: I don't get to kill people in romance. Like


Charity: that out.

All: I guess you could tell people are romance. It's just not the same 

Hillary: thing as romantic 

All: suspense. Or just sad or just it doesn't sell. That's why we bringing 

Kahle: you all the genres.

All: With dragons

Oh my goodness. 

Charity: And an alien detective, 

Hillary: somebody is going to write that story. Oh goodness. But it will not be straight romance 

Charity: and it won't be me 

Hillary: sad day journey. 

Kahle: I have this idea of a Christmas scifi romance now. 

All: That's 

Hillary: awesome. So, anyway, I didn't say what my goals were. Um, my goals this week are to keep revising.

I need to revise that story. Uh, and, uh, if you want to know my real goals are, I also have to get through with my nativity Noelle cost, you know, and making a bunch of costumes for Christmas in October. Yeah. It's going to take a lot of my time, so I will not be revising very much, but. 

Charity: A little bit a day will get you so much closer.

I hope so. I hope so. Yeah. So I guess my goal will be to re to revise that other short Christmas story, because I needed to finish it before November. This isn't 

Hillary: the one you don't like, what's this one and we call this one. 

Charity: So I like Val's story. The Christmas dance. I like, uh, the Christmas proposal. I ha. I should love because it's the end of Carrie and Eric story.

They finally get their happily ever after. But for some reason, it's just, you're pulling teeth right now. It's pulling teeth and, uh, I, uh, beta reader did a wonderful, wonderful job reading. It sent me three pages of notes on how psychologically dysfunctional. I was like, Oh, my 

All: gosh. She's right

in my head. There's the people who were writing her psychologically dysfunctional part of them. That's me. Exactly. I thought it was perfectly,

I think about critiques when people say, I really don't like this character because 

Charity: of blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, 

All: That was, that was totally me. That was 

Charity: my experience that I tagged onto that character. But yeah. So, um, yeah, but she was right and, and, you know, and I can step back and look at it and go she's right.

And I have reasons for the behavior, but it wasn't coming out in the writing. So I just have to go make a couple of tweaks. Some of the behavior will disappear because it is romance. And if I'm writing toward the trope, I know they want it happy. They don't want too much, you know, just a tiny bit of emotional baggage, not too much baggage.

And so I'll have to kind of clean up and. Sugarcoat a few things, uh, which I think always rubs me wrong, but it's the right thing to do for the genre. 

Hillary: Well, I think two that allows more people to access some of those challenges, which so it's not always a bad thing. Right. Um, it allows people to get in there and kind of get a taste of what's going on.

And then they're able to have a little more compassion, a little more sympathy to people who are struggling. So it's not always bad, but.

Charity: But do you want them to like your characters? 

Hillary: Do they 

Charity: need to be likable and not? Wow. She's abusive or like she is. Oh, Hmm. She kind of is, we need to make her nicer. It's okay.

You know, she's in pain, but then once 

Hillary: they tell you that you can't unsee it. And so it'd be like, okay, I want to like my character, 

All: right. We have to fix 

Charity: that. So things to look forward to kale,

it was interesting because we had a lot of stuff going on in writer's group this week. And we had a new member come in. No fun. And, uh, she is a senior in high school, so she's, you know, really at the beginning and I'm excited for her for actually getting in and doing stuff. And she has a completed draft already and she brought something and was brave enough to share it with us.

Um, and lots of advice was given and some of it I didn't agree with. And so it was very interesting watching her. We were on zoom and I could see her face. I was like, Oh, you know, how is she taking this? Cause I don't know how much hard critique she's received yet. And in the end, I finally just said, and so this is mostly for you, kale and anybody else that's about to get their first critique or sometime in the future is you can listen to it all, but in the end, it's your story.

And you don't have to agree with what people tell you. And so that's kind of been on my mind ever since that day is that, you know, when I first started writing. I had lots of people tell me stuff. And I tried to change every single thing to match what they were telling me. And I ruined my story. It ended up not being my story.

So when it comes time, I mean, and hopefully you figure that out too. Hillary, if someone says, I think you should do this. And you're like, Hmm, no. Yeah. It's okay to say no, it's my story. And thanks for the feedback, but I'm going to go this way. And so I hope that's something that. Yeah. I don't have any problem with 

Hillary: that, but yeah, which is good.

It's something that people 

Charity: definitely do. That's nice people though.

nice. People struggle with, we want 

All: everybody to be happy and we're like, okay, I'll change that. Okay. 

Charity: I'll teach it. Okay. It's okay. To not change. You're a big thing. So, uh, and I think that's where, you know, Doing your beats and figuring out what it is you want before. And 

Hillary: that was the other thing. The beats I won on one of my goals is I'm going to put my revision into a beat sheet and make sure that it's actually meeting where it's supposed to, because I started

because I started in a beat sheet, but obviously I didn't write to the tropes correctly. So I'm putting it in the beat sheet again and saying, okay, if I'm writing to the tropes, what needs to happen? And we're going to win.

All: Okay. 

Charity: Any other things you guys want to talk about before? We I'm pretty good. Okay. So I will bring up because we didn't quite get to talk face to face, but you had mentioned in your, your, uh, Dial in report last week that you were going to do nano Remo. Oh yeah. So I don't know if you heard we're going to do it with you.

Hillary: it's like, I just started thinking about it. I'm like, you know, I could write this story and November and all to get ahead of 

All: the game. There you go. Sounds good. Also I 

Hillary: realized the other day, I'm actually going to have a ride here to retreat in November, so nice. 

Charity: It's going to be perfect. That will be awesome.

That'll be great. Oh, well in that 

Hillary: week. 

Charity: So, so, so we're here 

All: to 

Charity: back you up. We'll we'll, we'll a text or something. Hey, do you get your 1700 words? I 

Hillary: went up there to sign up and I know I signed up years ago, but for some reason it doesn't, I actually, when I went in and like had me, but I'm apparently just Hilary Sperry, super boring.

And, um, Then I went back in to look at it's like, it says, I signed up this year. And so I'm like, I don't, I didn't ever put in a username this year. Like just picked one for me, I guess. And it lost all of my history, so, Oh no, it's under some user name somewhere. Probably. I don't remember. 

Charity: Yeah. That's okay.

Well, and kale brought up a valid point that when we were talking about it before, we may not have mentioned where other people can go to sign up for NaNoWriMo. Cause he didn't know there was a website. I was like, Oh, sorry. Okay.

so there is a website nano ramo.org. So, uh, we'll, we'll put that link, but you can sign up and you can participate in all the forums. You can join a region. Um, I have done that in the past. I actually like years ago, I was actually the liaison, which is basically you're the head cheerleader for your area.

And it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. Um, 

Hillary: that's good. 

Charity: love fun. But, you know, in the later years I've just found it was too much distraction for me. So I don't necessarily do all that, but I do

Hillary: well, what I really want her to get to, and I keep hoping, she's going to say is that you started a page for our loose-leaf. 

Charity: I did I did. I started a group. 

Hillary: We can have loosely 

Charity: friends and w and that'll be our own private little forum, and we can cheer each other on. And, uh, I will put a link to that down there too.

So if you get on and then we will, uh, have our own little group. We can get 

All: sleeves can get together and not be so loosening

Charity: but we can encourage each other and there'll be a flurry. There'll be a windstorm of Lee Hughes to be filed.

All: Okay. 

Charity: But yeah, so, so, um, Links down in there. And, uh, last thing I want to bring up is I did add last week. I don't know if you saw kale, a link to your SoundCloud feed with your songs from a song every day of the week. How's 

Kahle: that going? It's going well, I need to write three songs today. Um, just to 

Hillary: catch up, but I just gotta write 

Charity: three songs.

Kahle: I mean, they're there. They're not full length songs at all. Like I listened to a couple. 

Charity: Yeah. Oh, thank you. That was pretty fun. People can't see my thumbs up. 

Kahle: Check it out. Well, uh, yeah, this week I had a really good experience doing that. Um, I was going, I came out here to write and uh, like write a song and I was, I was like, okay, what am I going to do?

What am I going to do? And I was like, It gets harder probably. And I got distracted. I was still leading some old emails and I found an email three emails from my dad in 2017. And they were, it was a forwarded message from my uncle, Joe. Um, and it had dozens and dozens of pictures of my grandmother. Oh, wow.

Okay. She passed away in the seventies, so I never met her. Uh, those served as the inspiration for one of the songs this week. And it was really cool. You know, I want to do more with that. You do as much as you can with a night to write a song. So it's like a minute and 22 seconds of what will hopefully become more of a song.

Charity: It's a story. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah, that's cool. That's cool. That's really fun. So you play the instruments and the singing? Yeah. Okay. Because I wasn't sure what this was. That's awesome. Yeah. Okay. You'll have to check it out. Okay. I know. Isn't it great with all his limited time? He's, he's fitting this stuff in there, so we have no excuse.


Kahle: so can you guys that's right. 

All: And so can you. 

Hillary: Keep writing or start writing.

All: Okay. 

Charity: Hi, this is charity. Do you, do you want us to say, well, we write. I don't know. Or are we just going to say  fantasy? He writes 

All: because you 

Hillary: haven't published doesn't mean you don't like our 

Charity: writer. You are a writer, 

Hillary: as we said. So 

Charity: if you write you're a writer, it's true. Okay. So do we want to just say our name or do we want to say what our is?

I don't care. I think it's real 

All: quick. Okay. Yeah. Thank you for inviting me. 

Hillary: Thank you for inviting us to 

Kahle: your garage. Welcome to the garage listeners. 

All: Thank you for not like running away screaming.


Charity: We forgot to tell kale how we're going to. 

Hillary: We loved your closing tag. I don't know if you heard, we did it on the last episode where you were like keep writing and if you're not writing start 

Charity: writing. So we thought we'd have one person say, keep writing and then all of us together would say, or cue or start writing.

So who wants to do it this week? 

Hillary: Keep writing or start 

All: writing. 


Charity Bradford. 

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