Category: Writing (page 1 of 4)

Beautifully Messy Writing Process

This month the Beautiful People is author oriented. Which means you get to read about me instead of my characters.

 

Or more accurately you’ll read about my writing process. And my writing progress really isn’t beautiful. It’s much more of a mess.

 

How do you decide which project to work on?

A mixture of what’s running through my head and what fits my goals. At the moment I’m not feeling hugely motivated on any project, but I’m determined to get Girl of the Rumours into a readable shape.

How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

Months. Not that I’ have finished, finished things. I’ve completed drafts, but they always took months.

Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

Not really, but I tend to listen to music. Instrumental orchestral stuff mostly. Lately I’ve been going for Celtic music.

What time of day do you write best?

Perhaps evening. That might just be because I’m running out of time in the day. Sometimes starting early is great.

Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

Not really. I used the ‘I Write Like’ website and for Girl of the Rumours, it said I write like Agatha Christie. But that was only a few chapters. I haven’t found a consistent style yet.

Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I started writing becuase I had a story to tell and realized it could be done. I keep going because I enjoy it, I don’t want to be a quitter and God doesn’t seem to be directing me away from it.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

Hard means it’s a scene that drags. Or has difficult emotions. Conflict with parents is something I find both hard to write and hard to read. The scene is was working on yesterday fit’s into all of that. Probably a bunch more scenes do. It’s all a bit of a blur months later.

Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

I don’t feel all that ready for any of my projects. But honestly, I wan tot get more experienced before I get back to Lady of Courage (which has a new name coming along sometime). I felt when I was first wriitng it that the political intrigue was beyond me, and it’s got a lot of gaps. I also want to attempt a serial on the blog, but haven’t had the time to figure it out.

What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I put this for my goal on the Holy Worlds forum.

I’m afraid to make to many big goals, because so many thing could happen in a year to derail them. Also I just started planning out a new project that’s going to slow things down.
That said, I want to get Girl of the Rumours into the hands of a few critiquers by August. If I really focus on my editing I could have it sooner, but I want tot get other things moving along too. The first draft of Lady of Courage should be finished end of next month at the latest.

I don’t know if I’ve really finished  Lady of Courage, but I’ve done as much as I’m going to. Girl of the Rumours won’t be ready for critiquers in August unless I only give them the first part. I still hope to have it mostly by mid September. And the new project is coming along.

Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif

Write. Sigh. Rewrite.

 

Check out the rest of the link up at paperfury.com or furtherupfurtherin.net.

 

Beautiful People: Cassia


The year is 1776; the world is a different one. I am sitting in a dim room that feels like an attic, though it’s hard to be certain. You are sitting with me, though not actually there. You’re more inside my head than anywhere else. Neither of us are exactly sure how we got here, but we know why. There’s one another person in the room. A blond girl wearing practical clothes and a serious expression is sitting on a low chair in front of me. Her name is Cassia Rerdbin and I’m supposed to be interviewing her. She doesn’t seem surprised or unwilling, but refuses to let me make any record of what we say. That’s what you’re here for, to help me remember.

I’ve been chatting with her for a little while now, but nothing of substance has come up. “Have you travelled much?” I ask her.

Cassia shakes her head. “Not unless you count exploring the streets of Delman travelling.”

“Exploring a city sounds like fun. What’s your favourite place to visit there?”

She leans her hand on her hand meditatively. “The parkland. We have been boating on the river several times and it was so peaceful. Much more natural than the artificially crowdedness of the rest of the city.”

I nod and move on to the next question. “What’s one mistake in your life that you’ve learned from?”

Cassia wrinkles her nose. “Are not you supposed to start with easy questions? If this is how you do an official interview, you’re terrible at it. But I will try to answer. It is hard though. Unless I want to be ungrateful and whine about the opportunities I have been given, I’ve only really made small mistakes.”

I laugh. “Small mistakes are fine Cassia. You can still learn things from them, even if it’s forgetting to set an alarm while cooking.”

“Set an alarm while cooking?” Cassia echoes. “What would you want to do that for?”

“It’s complicated, and would distract me from talking to you,” I offer. I figure it must be a cross cultural miscommunication. Those happen sometimes.

“Oh. Well I made a few dreadful mistakes when I was learning to sew. Sometimes It’s hard to tell the backs and fronts apart. Fortunately, we mostly do alterations.”

“So, you studied sewing here at the school. What else did you study? Any favourites?”

Cassia smiles. “There’s so many amazing things to study and a lot of freedom. I especially enjoyed traditions and law. There’s such a vast array of examples. There is also wonderful art.” She drops her voice almost to a whisper. “It almost makes back to the drawbacks of studying here.”

I’d like to ask her more about those drawbacks, but it’s not on our list and we’ve been discouraged from asking about the school for an undisclosed reason. So, I move onto the next question.

“Did you study plants at all? I’m supposed to ask you about your favourite flower?”

Yes, we both know that could be smoother, but it doesn’t really matter.

“I doubt you know them, but there’s an Erint tree here at the school. It came from Trerike, which is my fatherland. They are very pretty trees too, and the leaves are good for medicine.”

I smile. “Very nice. Trees have a more enduring beauty than flowers. I could dream about them. What about you? Anything particular you dream about at night?”

Cassia looks down and fumbles with her hands. She’s seems rather bothered, I’m surprised. We thought this was an easy question when we discussed it earlier.

“I- I have bad dreams,” Cassia whispers, “I keep dreaming about magic. Something terrible happens and I’m caught in the middle.”

I reach out and squeeze her hand. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.”

“No, it’s alright. You couldn’t have known.”

I nod. “I’ll move onto a cheerful question. What would you choose to eat if you went out for a special meal?”

“Whatever was recommended.” Cassia laughs and shakes her head. “Sorry, I’m not a food person really.”

“That’s fine. What’s one thing you want to do before you die?”

“Move to Trerike. I have wished we lived there since I was 10. I would also like to travel to some famous libraries.”

“You’re a study freak, aren’t you?” I ask.

“I wouldn’t call myself a freak, but I certainly love to study.” Cassia leans back in her chair and sighs. “Learning is my life. I just hope it will not be my death.”

“Any other special talents?”

“Writing is part of academia, but I consider myself reasonably skilled at it. I like presenting an argument.”

“Debating then? Have you ever argued hard enough to make any one cry?” I’m glad to get that opportunity to slip the question in. It could otherwise be rather sensitive.

Cassia shakes her head. “I don’t like open disagreement and debate isn’t my thing. I’d be more likely to cry myself than make someone else cry.”

“You must be a nice person to be around then. This is pretty much the end of the interview. I’d love to stick around, but I don’t have the time. I just need you to confirm the veracity of your answers. Not that you’d lie about them, but it’s a formality.”

Cassia nodded. “I understand formalities. And I promise that was all true. Some say I might be biased in my research, but I would never lie in an interview.”

“Well it was nice meeting you. I have a suspicion I’ll see you again someday, but farewell for now.”

“The same.”

Cassia smiles and the room fades from our view. The white page of my blog appears behind it.

 

~The End

 

This interview is based off the questions from Beautiful People by Cait and Sky. Stop by paperfury.com or furtherupfurtherin.net to see other people talk about or to their characters.

Character Encounters: In which I meet Cassia under a bridge

A short story written for Character Encounters.

Something really strange happened to me while i was travelling back from the Indie E-Con a few months ago.

I was waiting at the bus station for my coach back north. It was the bus stop right on the edge of the city where the river is. Since the bus wasn’t due for another half hour, I wandered down the path by the river. It amazes be how rivers seem the same the world over. The trees, smells and the position of the sun might all be different, but water is water.

When I got to the bridge I stopped and sat under it in the shade. There was another thing that didn’t change. Graffiti covered the bottom of the concrete bridge.  Nothing terribly original, just a few random words I’d rather not repeat.

A girl ran along the path in front of me. She looked my way. “Sorry,” she said, “I didn’t meant to interrupt you.”

“You didn’t interrupt anything.” I stood up feeling puzzled. Sure I’ve had stranger apoligize when I almost run into them in the story, but this was weird.

The young woman looked up at me and a strange expression crossed her face. “I don’t recognize you, but I have a strong feeling that we’ve meant before. You weren’t at that writers conference were you?”

I studied her. She looked very familiar, but I hadn’t seen her at the E-Con. “I was actually, but I don’t think that’s where we met. It was longer ago. at a conference or course.”

“No, I think I’d remember that. But I’ll get my glasses out just in case my sight is playing up.” She rummaged through a handbag and pulled out a pair of tortoise-shell glasses. when she looked up with them on, she shook her head. “Still don’t recognize you.”

But I did recognized her. Or though I did at least. “Vivien? What are you doing here? I thought you were writing your thesis for your honor’s year.”

She took a step back and gave me a puzzled look. “My name’s not Vivien and I don’t expect it ever will be. But this is a weird coincidence. Almost enough to make one think there’s something beyond this world.” She checked her watch. “I’ve got to catch a bus now. Maybe we’ll meet again someday. What is you name by the way? I’m Cassia.”

“Brie. Brie Donning. I write books.” I said stupidly.

Cassia nodded. “Me too. I write on fantasy theory. I’d love it if you could connect with me.” She shoved a card into my hand and ran toward the bus stop.

I dropped back into the seat under the bridge and scanned the card. All it held was her name, Cassia Rerdbin and an email hosted at the Tetra school website. I shoved it into my pocket. I wouldn’t need it. Either this was an elaborate hoax or she was an invention of my imagination and I needed no contact details. I might need to alter her appearance so she didn’t resemble Vivien so much.

 

I had intended to do this last month when we were to meet our character at a Indie E-con actually held in Dallas. Since I was late, I combined it it with this month. The story is actually set in the future. Cassia’s appearance is borrowed from a  real life acquaintance who I would recognize much quicker, glasses or no glasses. Her name is not Vivien.

Beautiful People: Izavee

I started writing a new story this month. It’s the secret project I started planning in January. I hadn’t done much, but a sudden challenge to write a book this month came up. I know I won’t write all of it yet, but it’ll be good to get something done. I have gotten out of the habit of writing large volumes of words.

I’m writing by hand again and I’m up to 17 pages for the month. In my defense, I only started on the 2nd and that was making my scene list. Also I’m preparing to go on holiday. I should be able to get lots done while I’m away from the internet.

It’s also time for the Beautiful People link up by Cait and Skye. I consider using my main character Cassia for the questions, but for various reasons that won’t work well. Instead I’ll tell you about a friend Cassia makes early on in the story. I haven’t got to her introduction yet in writing, so this will be fun. Her name is Izavee Echo eHerian and she’ll be answering the questions for herself.

What’s your favourite book/movie/play/etc.?
I love the stories of Quinrilian the Virtuous, a hero at the end of the Desolation of Darkness. My brother Quinric is named for him which makes the stories even more exciting. We would act them out together.
Is there anything you regret doing?
Of course. Lots of things. One thing I’d be better off without was the memory of meeting some Reika at a dance. I was only twenty-two at the time and shouldn’t have been there, but I’d pleaded to go and Father gave in. One of them pulled out one of their tricks and almost lured me away.

If you were sick or wounded, who would take care of you and how?
Quinric would do what he could, then call for our sister or a lady friend to do what he couldn’t. After that, he’d probably ask Rylen to come over and cheer me up.

Is there an object you can’t bear to part with and why?

I doubt bicycles exist in this world,
but Izavee looks a little like this.

I will never part with my mother’s necklace of service. I’ll get my own soon, but hers is forever more precious. She might have died thirteen years ago, but her influence has helped me as I’ve grown up.
What are 5 ways to win your heart (or friendship)?
Be loyal to the sanctuary. Listen. Don’t tempt me to corruption. Bring me flowers. Don’t sleep in.

What do you usually wear? Describe it top to bottom.
Top to bottom. That would be starting with the hat. I have rather a lot of hats but my favourite is a soft scarlet ekinett with an extra wide brim. I’ll wear a plain dress in any pale colour with a navy or teal jacket over it. And brown ankle shoes with buckles.
What’s you favorite type of weather?

I love warm, dry days. That’s why Zafeíri is my favourite month. It’s usually like that.

What’s the worst fight you’ve ever been in?

Me? In a fight. I never fight. What, it doesn’t have to be physical. Alright then, it was when I turned 25 and Father wanted a big party. I was just starting to realize I wasn’t all that grown up and didn’t want one. He won.

What names or nicknames have you been called throughout your life?

Iza and Vee were pretty common. Rylen calls me Echo. He says I echo the scrolls.

What makes your heart feel alive?

Visiting the sanctuary. And talking with Rylen. Or riding home on a windy day.
And that was Izavee. I hope you enjoyed getting to know her as well as I did. You can ask any questions about her and I’ll answer them if they’re not infringing on secrets.
Don’t forget to check out other Beautiful People at Paper Fury.

5 Factors in Understanding my Characters

I had something completely different planned for my post today, but something went wrong with Blogger and I’ve only got an old version of it. So I’ve had to come up with something new. I’ve been thinking a lot about character motivations and desires lately. It’s one of the most important parts of a good story.

I have found I always need something in common with my characters to be able to write them effectively. I also need something that I don’t agree with to make them interesting. Not that I’m a boring person, but fictional characters need several strong traits instead of dozens of minor ones. And I’m a product of my world, a world my characters don’t inhabit.

With that said here are the essential things I need to relate to my characters.

Ambition. This can be a desire to help people, a theory they want to prove, even something self-centred such as raising their status or taking something they feel is theirs. The nature of the ambition doesn’t entirely affect whether I like the person, but a ‘good’ character must have a strong ambition for something right.

Fears. My characters fears are probably the biggest part of myself I put into them. Fear or being alone, fear of never doing anything useful, fear of public speaking. Well that last one is actually a fear that many of my characters shouldn’t have. I have trouble making my main characters articulate and good with confrontation. I don’t make them fear it though. Maybe I should. Helping them overcome it might prove as useful to me as writing about the other fears is.

Loves. Not all my characters love the things I do. But they must have a passion for something. For Aydel it’s her medicine box and her knives; Joane has her running; Natalia, philanthropy and art; Rhesa and her orphans, Leisa and her cooking and sewing. Well those last two especially are more everyday life for Leisa than passions and they certainly are one I have.

Stupidity. Not the best term for it but all my characters seem to have one thing they cling to stubbornly which probably isn’t true. Some I laughed at other almost make me cry. Either way I can’t stand characters which are wishy-washy on everything or characters who are right about everything. Not that they could be right about everything. I’m not.

Justification. This is especially important for villains. I may completely disagree with everything they do, but I have to understand why they’re doing it. Maybe not fully because some people have a very twisted view of reality, but I usually can get my head around it somewhat eventually. It’s the same with my protagonists. She might do something foolish, but it can’t be blatantly so.

Now since It’s already one o’clock here, I think I should just post this whether there are more factors or not. I hope you enjoyed this little look inside my mind.

Beautiful People: Celino and Cloe

So it’s Link-up time of month again. And time to get back into character questions. In other words, it’s Beautiful People time. And because of a 3rd (or 1st) century bishop (or priest) who may (or may not) have had something to do with marrying people against the emperor’s orders, the theme for February is couples.

Now I have several couples in Lady of Courage. But I can’t talk about Natalia because that’s too complicated, and I’d rather not talk about her friend Eloisa who made a political marriage, so I’m going to talk about Natalia’s parents. Or rather her mother and her step-father. But they’re still both her parents and theirs is a lovely story, if I do say so myself.

Celino Acqui

Now I had better introduce them both properly.

Celino Acqui is a merchant and a veteran of the Third Yallici war. 
Cloe Neroni was raised to occupy a high position and was an assistant to the late Deso of Vecoa and the mother of his heir.
Besides Natalia they have Alexso who is fifteen and Sofia and Teresa who are twelve.

How and why did they meet?

Cloe: Supposedly it was the second time I met Sebastian (my first husband). I was sixteen at the time and very nervous, though excited about the possibility of an engagement. I do however remember him being with Sebastian when he visited me in between then and our wedding.
Celino: I distinctly remember being dancing with her once on the first occasion. Sebastian asked me to help entertain her, then made me promise not to step on her feet.

What were their first impressions of each other?
Celino: I thought that she would be good for Sebastian and make a wonderful Desa for Vecoa when the time came. And I’ll admit I thought she was rather young.

Cloe: When I did properly meet him I was impressed by his devotion to Sebastian. And possibly a little too admiring of his swagger and skill with the sword. He wasn’t so steady and cautious back before the war.If he had been I might have attempted to set him up with one of my friends and then where would we be. 

How would they prove their love for each other?

Celino: Well she listens to me and confides in me.
Cloe: I would have to say the same.

Cloe Neroni

What would be an ideal date?

Cloe: A date for what? The only big occasions to plan are all Natalia’s and I doubt are what you’re asking about. But late spring is preferable.
Is there something they emphatically disagree on?

Cloe: Celino still thinks I wouldn’t have married him if Sebastian hadn’t left a clear letter asking me to let Celino take care of me if he was killed. But though the letter may have played a part, especially in him offering, I couldn’t help but be won around to him.
Celino: And I disagree with that statement. She convinced me of her story years ago. I don’t understand why, but I believe it.

List 5 quirks they know about each other. 


Cloe: Celino doesn’t like going into the city without his big admiral’s hat. Even as a merchant he’s still got that sea blood. Sometimes I think if it weren’t for his commitments he’d been raging off over the sea.
Celino: But you know the war ruined me for seafaring. I’d go if there was a war, but that will be a terrible day.
Cloe: He also hates politics and is very fond of the tapping noise his wooden leg makes. Now what do you have to say about me, dear?
Celino: I have no such awkward things say about you. There’s only your odd preference for Rosan partridge over our native pike.
Cloe: I grew up in Rosa. It’s natural I’m partial to their food.
Celino: But you spent an equal time on the isle of Fazoe.You didn’t have partridges there. And that was where they taught you to cook.
Cloe: And that my dear, is why I have never eaten a badly cooked partridge.

What’s one thing they know about each other that no one else does? (and now you will)
Celino: Cloe almost joined a religious order when she was fifteen and again straight after the war.
Cloe: I’m sure at least one other person knows that. The same with the dreadful secret I have. When he was twenty Celino helped captured an Ayutian ship and almost married a girl on it.
Celino: *raises eyebrows* Did Sebastian tell you that story? And it wasn’t nearly so close as that. Her mother told me to behave or I had better marry her, but there was never anything for her to worry about.

What’s one thing that they keep secret from each other?
I was unable to ask this question so I just went digging around in what I already knew. I don’t think Cloe tells Celino all of her hopes for Natalia and he has never shared a particular secret that Natalia confided in him.
How would their lives be different without each other?
Cloe: I’d be a lonely widow meddling too much in the life of her only child and Celino would be another mad sea captain. And no, that’s not debatable.
Where do they each see this relationship going?
Cloe: Well we’ve been married seventeen years. Let’s see if we can make it to 70.
Celino: I think you mistake your math. I won’t live to be one hundred years old.


I hope you enjoyed that. I haven’t developed them as well as I’d like yet, but I got a bit of banter going.

Yes, I Want to Change the World

There, I said I’d have another post this week. I’m hoping it’ll be a little different to most of the blog posts I’ve seen these last couple of days. January is in every second title. If I was doing that it would be late anyway. It’s February in Australia. Shortest month in the year. So I had better get onto it.

I’m much better at dreaming about the future than keeping records of the past. But mostly just dreaming, no planning. And I’ve been learning that to lead people anywhere you need to know where specifically that is and be able to look back to where you came from. I’m not sure I’m a leader, but as I said in the title, I do want to change the world.

Actually, I’ll rephrase that. I want the world to be changed. I want it to become more conformed to God and I want to be a tool for him to use. Specifically I want to touch people’s hearts and help them to the see the truth. I want to do this through my writing, and with everything else I’m called to.

Maybe it’s not a good idea to state outright what I’m trying to do. People might catch on and avoid my writing, but it helps me to write about it. Besides, one author might change the direction of a few people’s lives, but not the whole culture. There needs to be many of us. I want to be working alongside others. Alongside you. Writer or not, God can use you to make a difference.

How do we do this? What am I specifically doing? I don’t know. The course I did last week strengthened the call I felt to do something. It brought forward some of the issues in our culture that ust be grappled with. I gained a clearer way of thinking about some issues, a completely new understanding of others, and many ideas to incorporate into the worlds of my stories. It gave me a direction for learning more, told me who God was and who I was. But it didn’t tell me what to do or even what to think.

About 1% of my handwritten notes from last week.

At the simplest level, I must be faithful to whatever God has placed in front of me, I must be willing to take opportunities he offers, and most of all I must trust in him and keep close to his teachings whatever I do. After that there are the ideas I have been given for stories, the imagination I have been given, the unique circumstances that give me my particular view of the world (as opposed to all the other unique views). I must use those gifts and I must do it to the best of my ability. Our God is not a God of mediocrity. He does everything perfectly.

I do have a basic plan for what I wish to do with my writing though. I am attempting to shed the light of the gospel on certain circumstances, to provide examples of both good and bad actions, to use the grandeur of a made up story to bring clarity to the simple, but difficult issues of life. I want to reflect the way God made this world to work, and to show the goodness of what God has revealed to us.

I am also trying to show the glory of God in his creation, to evoke a beauty we can forget to notice in the world. The life of a forest over the brilliant depths of a gorge, The sweetness of birds singing by a trickling brook, and the devotion of a mother to a child. I can picture them now, a dark haired  woman looking down on a child in her arms. There is a slight expression of weariness in her face, but such a glowing look of joy as well. The baby sleeps, its little face scrunched up in peace and happiness.

I will also have to show the flip side of that. The horrors of destruction, the anguish of the death of one beloved, the remorse of a wrongly made choice. I cannot show the glories of perfection without contrasting the utter darkness we fallen humans can create. I won’t focus on it, I might not even get a close look, but I cannot try to lessen it, or shut it out. I must be honest.

And that is my plan for changing lives through my writing. It’s probably not the same as yours. You might never write for the public. You might think my ideas are crazy. But please, whatever your thoughts are, always be ready for God to use you. Learn new skills, try to do everything with excellence, be aware of what is going on in the world, most of all keep close to God. And maybe we’ll be changing the world together.

Beautiful Books: Goals and Interruptions

Hello readers, writer, friends and- I don’t think there are enemies reading my blog. If you are, please say hi.

I was starting to write about what writing I’d planned for this month and what was really happening when I remembered the Beautiful Books link-up was waiting for me. Since it is one on goals I’ll try to make it fit together.

What were your writing achievements last year?

I finished the first draft of my first novel, mostly re wrote it, wrote most of a second one, and started brainstorming a sequel. Not entirely in that order. It was a good year.

What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?

Finish Lady of Courage, get Girl of the Rumours reading to critique partners or maybe even beta readers. Probably write its sequel, though that depends on whether it is ready to be written when I have time.
As for this month, I had big goals: I was going to be writing 40,000 words, mostly on Lady of Courage. Anything else including blog post would be counted too. Otherwise my blog won’t happen with a high word count goal. I thought I might do a little bit of outlining on A Brigand, No Longer, but nothing else was expected.

The Secret Story

Then two things happened. First I was given a shiny new idea that get’s better the more I think about it. It’s a secret project I can’t talk about much, but I’m doing world building. And I’m not just mashing up bits from our world though there is a bit of that. I’ve finally veered off into what couldn’t be in our world.

It’s amazing how starting with nothing allows for more consideration of ideals. I’m not making a utopia, but I can put in more of my ideals for life, work education and government. I can actually make a clearer reflection of the truths of our world I believe to be important. I knew that stories allow one to do that before now, but I hadn’t experienced it so fully.

So because of that I haven’t gotten much work done on Lady of Courage. This week I’m forcing myself to get back to work on it.

The second interruption is one that actually has an impact of my word count. I’m going away for a week.  It’s an intensive course on planning one’s life to impact the world. I’ll be writing, but it’s not the stuff I count. So my goal has shrunk.

Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!

I think this means add more details. Girl of the Rumours is still in a fairly rough state, but the only big changes are content added to the middle and  the climax. The rest needs some continuity checking, some serious evaluation and a little polish.

I’m hoping doing that will help me sort out what happens in  A Brigand, No Longer. For it I’ve just got a bunch of ideas that  I’m not sure how they fit in. It’s likely there will be a third book, but the ideas aren’t clear enough.

How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017? 

I haven’t gotten much feedback on my writing so far. I’m hoping the critique process will really help me figure out my weaknesses and strengths. From there I’ll be in a much better place to write.

Describe your general editing process. 
I’ve hardly done enough editing to turn it into a process. For my first book the first edit was when I copied it from note book to computer. There were subtle changes I added as I copied. There were bigger things that happen though out it. When I actually begun that I’d just figured out the main line of the story and had to change the whole beginning to fit it. Then I go back over and tidy things up. I refine my characters.
For my other books it’ll be a little different, because it is already on the computer. But I’ll still be re writing things I’ve thought better of and making other big changes.
On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out? 

Well it’s not quite finished yet. But I’ll put it at 6 overall.
What aspect of your draft needs the most work?
The complex threads. A lot of them were dropped and the subtlety was lost. I’ll need to add them in and tie it all together. Also the political scenes could really do with smoother intrigue.

What do you like the most about your draft? 
The themes of friendship and communication that are coming though. And the sacrificial themes. That’s something I didn’t fully realize until I wrote this.There’s a lot of love and mostly not the romantic kind. I’m also loving the teenaged brother inventor. He’s fun.

What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever? 
More editing. Then some critiquing will have to come, then more edits. Rise and repeat several times. Then I’ll think about querying.

What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?

    Let is sit for a month or two. Then read it over. Don’t think about it too much in between. Work on something else. But do come back. It’s worth it. Also write yourself an ridiculous. encouraging letter that will help you keep on when the editing seems hopeless.
    And that’s that. Except I haven’t shared the new name I have for the larger country Girl of the Rumours takes place in. Verlis is the main setting, but it’s just a province. The whole land is called NéaElefthéri. Ne-a el-ef-THAIR-ree. NéaElefthéri. There is a chance you can talk me into explaining it.
    So do you have any excitng new writing developments? Or just a stubborn unmoving goal to move towards? Tell me about it.

    Beautiful Books: NaNoWriMo Update!!!

    So I started writing this post in the first week of November. Now I’ve finally finished it. I also finished NaNoWriMo for the first time half an hour ago!!!

    So I’m doing the Beautiful Books link up by Cait@Paper Fury and Skye@Further Up and Further In.


    Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

    My mental state is fine. (Read elated and hugging everyone now)I went into NaNo expecting to fail. On Day two I changed my mind. It hasn’t changed back yet. I am almost there now and completely confident I can make it. Now I’m done!!! My novel on the other hand is a mess. The middle came together better than I expected at the start, but there are huge bits I haven’t written and entire plot thread I’ve missed. It’ll probably need to be rewritten in entirety. But I don’t care. Keeping the story in my head is rather pointless.

    What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

    I didn’t start at the beginning, and the beginning I do have I’m not happy with.(and I’ve already written two versions) Further more I’m not 100% sure what bit I wrote first this month. so I’ll share both. 

    This month: The ambassador bowed, showing a bald patch in his greasy black hair.

    Very beginning: However nice it is to be surrounded by sycophants, sometimes a girl just needs the presence of a good strong man. Natalia rose to the tips of her shoes and scanned the milling crowd.


    Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

    Early in the month, Natalia’s half brother Alexos. he’s kind of inspired by my brother and is very adventurous. there’s also a couple of tertiary (I think. My secondary and tertiary characters like to get mixed up) characters, who are fun. A super enthusiastic, irrepressible maid and a mad sea captain.

    Since then I’ve become rather fond of Luca and Lorenzo in particular, but all my character are working their way into my affections.
    What do you love about your novel so far?

    New ideas for what should happen keep coming. I never intended to have all my characters pretending to be someone else, but it happens. (a good number at least)

    Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?
    Nataia, Natlai, Natali, Matali, Natatalai, Naltai, Nalatai; I can’t type my main character’s name, It’s a bit of a nuisance. Natlai is the most common mistake. (When trying to type it wrong it came out right somehow.)
    What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
    I like it when things go really well and pull together in surprising ways, and that happens most in endings. but all of it can be fun.
    What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
    Shelves new yesterday!

    I often, but not always listen to music. Getting a good bit of writing down in the morning is a goal, but I do it later in the day as well, including quite late.

    How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone?
    I don’t tend to share much because my work is full of typos, but being able to talk about the joys and trials is important. And sometimes I just need someone to help me focus. Kendra E. Ardnek has been great with that. She does share it, and that also keeps me from getting too stuck in my own head. And when I felt like procrastinating she was great with that too.

    What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

    Determination and word sprints. Some with Kendra and Erika Mathews, a lot with the lovely people in the Realm Makers Consortium, and a couple with my little brother. I tried using Write or Die a bit, but if either my internet or computer is too slow it doesn’t register my writing quick enough and dies instead.


    What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?
    1. Write something you’re enthusiastic about

    2. Study the craft

    3. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

    And here’s the graph of my monthly wordcount:


    And that is that. What have you all gotten done this month. Tell me, even if it’s small. There’s plenty of achievements other than writing a horrendous 50,124 words.

    InNoWriMo: Change of plans

    *International Novel Writing Month. That’s what it really should be called.

    Hello everyone,

    I know I had promised more world building for Verlis, but it turns out I’m not actually going to write A Brigand, No Longer for NaNoWriMo. You see, in that book there will be a war. A war that turns offensive and might involve fully conquering the other country and setting up a new government. And I’m not quite sure of the ethics of that. Something is necessary, but I don’t know how it should be carried out.

    Between that problem and generally not being very certain where the book should go, I think I need to let it sit. I’m not ready and though I doubt I’ll hit 50,000 words even if I know exactly what I am going to write, I don’t want this to be a waste. So I’m writing something else.

    In fact I’m going rebel and continuing Lady of Courage which I started in April. I’m really looking forward to working on this again. I thought I’d go through some of the Beautiful Books questions again.

    What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

    It was actually inspired by a couple of review of the movie Brave. It’s not going to be much like it, but that’s were the seed of the idea came from.

    Describe what your novel is about!

    It’s a gearpunkish, political fantasy/alternative history about a girl who inherits the throne and must marry. Only there aren’t any eligible and capable men around. Except that guy who trying to take over the whole region and is a just a generally nasty person. Or maybe that person, but the council doesn’t like him. Or that guy, wait, why did he just die? And where are all the ships vanishing to?

    What is your book’s aesthetic?

    Despite my lighthearted description, this book is actually more tragedy than comedy and will make people cry. Maybe even me.

    It’s very brown,  there’s a lot of a light dusty brown and smaller amounts of mahogany. Also deep reds, greens and blues. And touches of black and silver.

    Introduce us to each of your characters!

    There’s a lot, and I did introduce some of them back in this post. So I’ll just give a couple.

    Natalia Rizzetti is basically a princess. She grew up expecting to rule sometime in the future, and has a keen interest in whats going in politics. She’s the center of the social events of the nobility, but feels somewhat alone. These people don’t really like her, they’re just courtiers and flatterers. I think she’s an ESTJ, so very dutiful and good at organizing people.

    Rheas Masi is a poor girl who is part of a charity group. Her role is picking up gift and gettinhg the rights to distribute the handouts of the nobles. She has a heart for orphans and tries to get them good jobs as servants. When Natalia sees her being harassed by a man in the market place one day and asks her to become her maid, she’s a bit scared, but takes this great opportunity.

    Alexso Acqui is Natalia’s half brother. He wants to be and inventor and explorer. he also wants to prove that he’s not a foolish boy, but can be a bit irresponsible and impulsive.

    What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

    I love the worldbuilding and the complex political situations. I’m also looking forward to discovering how it all turns out in the end. I didn’t start with a particular husband in mind for Natalia, and though I think I know now, it could turn out differently. I might decide to let her be happy.

    List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

    They have sky rails and factories.

    It’s inspired by Venice and other Italian, maritime, city-states.

    I’m borrowing women’s fashion from India. (Maybe men’s too. Also kurtas and kirtles aren’t all that different, so it’s got medieval elements too.)

    What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

    She wants to stop too much political power falling into the wrong hands. This means marrying in the next few months. But she also wants to find a truly good man to rule beside her. And there aren’t many of those. Also someone is sinking their ships and her suitors are being killed off if she pays them too much attention.

    How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

    She must learn to trust and respect men and realize that people can’t be perfect. Also that she really does need to let those around her help.

    What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

    Men need the respect of women, even when they don’t deserve it. We must build one another up and allow opportunities for growth  rather than belittling one another. Neither men nor women can make it alone.

    I’m really not sure how I want people to feel. I’m not even sure how I feel about the expected ending. But I do wait to inspire hope, courage, love and grace.

    Older posts

    © 2017 Reality Reflected

    Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑