Stephanie Witter is a French dreamer. She started English at three and fell in love with the language. Always with a book - or two - close by, she soon started reading in English when she couldn't wait to see Harry Potter translated in French. After a while, reading wasn't enough and she started writing young adult and new adult contemporary novels always filled with drama. Now she hopes to translate English novels in her mother tongue as her everyday job. By My Side is her debut novel.
How to Handle Pressure: Writing Under Deadlines
As a newbie, writing under a deadline is very new. Pressure is something ever present because I'm always afraid that my story is not good enough, not emotional or funny enough, and that's quite difficult to deal with.
And yet, deadlines are very needed even if they bring a new level of pressure. I need them to finish the first drafts or else I'm going to procrastinate ad vitam eternam. When you have a deadline, you're a lucky writer because it means that you have a publisher and/or readers waiting for your story. It's an amazing way to boost me!
But the pressure can be difficult to take at time when I struggle with day to day life, writing, family and so on. When I'm working on four hours sleep for weeks, it's very difficult and that's when I have to find ways to handle this pressure of the deadline looming over.
First of all, I try to write over 2000 words if it's a first draft or work on one chapter every two days if I'm editing my story. A weekly or daily goal helps me and I feel more at ease that way. Then, I believe that finishing on time is not impossible.
Also, that's when my beta readers are of a great help. These ladies believe in me and when the pressure is too much and I don't think I'm going to go through with a story, they cheer me relentlessly. They are the best cure against pressure!
And there's also the part where I dream about the actual book. At night when my brain won't shut down for me to fall asleep, I imagine my story out there with a pretty cover. Writing is a passion and the power of the mind is impressive.
Pressure can be a good or a bad thing, it depends how you handle it. I decided to handle it by pushing through while always keeping in mind that writing is a passion first and foremost. And without some kind of pressure, I think I wouldn't be so proud once a new story is ready to be read.
Due to some shocking scenes, this novel is not intended for readers under 18.
Skye followed her long time boyfriend to Seattle for their first year of college, but he dumped her after only a week. The relationship brought only pain and destruction in Skye's life, and yet, she can't bring herself to open up and live her life.
"What if I am already broken into pieces?"
She hates to be touched, hiding under her oversized shirts and behind her wild frizzy hair. Even her bubbly roommate can't reach her. And yet ...
"I'm the guy who knows how you can hurt so much that your insides feel like they're cut and bleeding."
The tall, handsome, and tattooed TA in her psychology class changes everything when he literally collides with her and confronts her. For the first time in a long time, she wants to try and open up to this guy whose dark, intense eyes can't hide his own pain despite his dazzling smile getting to her.
However, just when she's starting to live again, her ex-boyfriend comes back, breaking her time and time again, making it all the more complicated.
She wants to fight for herself and for this building thing with the TA, even when he pushes her away, but can two broken people patch each other up?
"I never thought colliding with someone could change lives, but it is possible."
(The first meeting)
Without paying attention to my surroundings, I turn to my left to walk toward the row closer to the door where a seat is available. I take a step and collide with a hard body, almost toppling me over on the ground for the second time in less than an hour. A strong hand grips me firmly by the forearm. My body stiffens and my breath catches in my throat. It’s as if I can’t move besides yanking my arm free without looking up to see who I collided with.
“Are you all right?” he asks me in a deep and calm voice.
My eyes wander from my red Converse to his dark boots. I have to calm down. I’m being ridiculous. Calm down. I take a deep breath and look up slowly. Long, muscled legs in beat up dark blue jeans, an old black leather jacket open over a dark grey V-neck sweater that showcases an impressive tall body with broad shoulders and finally, longish and messy black hair, perfect straight nose, full lips, high cheekbones and expressive soft dark eyes that lock with my bluish-greyish ones. He looks older with his goatee perfectly trimmed. A perfect hot mess many girls would say. I’m just intimidated by this stranger, though.
“I’m fine,” I reply, my voice even. I push away some of my untamed locks and curse my auburn frizzy hair that is always all over the place.