Tag: Brigand No Longer

Beautiful NaNoWriMo project

It’s time for the Beautiful Books link up with Cait and Skye. This month I get to introduce my NaNoWriMo project. I’m going to be writing A Brigand, No Longer which is the sequel to Girl of the Rumours. I have talked about it before (see this post), but some of my ideas have changed a little and i’m going about it in a different way.

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

Joane being interesting inspired this book. In particular ongoing conflict between Joane and Elind, back in an imaging of the story where Elind was young. And I may have had the idea for about two years. This time last year, I was expecting to begin writing it very soon.

Describe what your novel is about!

Joane and Aydel adjusting to their new situations. Impending war. The groom being captured just before a wedding. Mayhem. Outlaws running wild. Fathers. Sisters. Lots of spoilers.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

Wide stone streets petering off into dirt paths. Buildings in a mixture of stone, wood and plaster. Plentiful gardens. A river flowing through the town. A dirty tent town for refugees. a tangled forest stretching down from the mountains.

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Joane: Fierce, tomboy, man-hater, intimidating leader, protective, despiser of chiefs, lonely, proud, illiterate.

Aydel: Broken, freedom-lover, comforter, shunned, healer, best sister ever, regretful.

Wil: Noble, cautious, protective, can’t say what he wants, haunted, self-sacrificing, trustworthy.

Ireen: Power-hungry, not a compelling leader, terrifying, clever, perpetual rebel,  hurt.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I’ve done a bit of outlining. Still more to do. And I’ve stocked up on chocolate that is to be doled out at mile stones.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Figuring it out. I have some plans, but I’m really just looking forward to seeing where it goes and what new characters pop up.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

  1. A lot of the book is in a city.
  2. The city is more open than crowded, and is generally cheerful.
  3. Bright, strong colours are the fashion.

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

Joane wants to make the world calm down, but she’s removed herself from her old place of authority and is hopeless in the new situation. Aydel wants her sister happily married, but Arthen has been taken in a raid and Aydel is prohibited from leaving the city.

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

Joane will be less jaded and suspicious. More graceful and capable. Aydel will have found hope again.

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

Right now, I feel that a major theme is new beginnings. Submission and trust will come into play as well. I want people to come away feeling lightened and cheered.

 

That’s that, and you can check out the other entries here or here.

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.

    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.

    The World of the Verlisi: Natural Features

    Peace to you my friends.

    Plotting a story is hard work so I didn’t feel like doing some deep post about writing. Instead I thought I’d share some bits about the world that Girl of the Rumours is set in. I think it’s interesting (otherwise I’d have invented something else) and telling you about it will help me solidify my ideas.

    I’ve already shared the common local greeting, so now I should introduce the world.

    Suppose many, many different things had happened in the past of our world, and that something had happened in South America that depleted the population a lot. Also the geography formed differently. Then in 1343 a group of people from many different nations arrived there and settled the land. My story takes place about 300 years after this arrival. There are many different entities, but the most important to my story is a union of kingdom of many provinces and another nation that separated from it about a hundred years before. That nation is Nalanza, and the most important provinces are Verlis and Amra.

    Geography and climate:

    This is all based loosely off Peru, Ecuador and Paraquay. Imagine mountains, jungle, sweeping plains and waterfalls. It’s still a bit hard to figure out. I should have looked at the geography and then figured out where everything should go, but I got an idea in my head first and it doesn’t really fit. I’ll figure it out somehow. I can tweak it if I want. This is supposed to be fantasy after all.

    I’ll just give the basic of what I do know. The province of Wherm is coastal and a bit on the dry side. Then Verlis is made up of large valleys among mountains. There are plenty of small rivers cutting through and lots of farm land. There is a very long, warm wet season. It mostly dries up in the winter, so that’s the best time to travel if you have any choice. And the dragons are less active in the coldest weather.

    Along one side border the mountains become very tall and very difficult to navigate. And one end is an area of very rough jungle. It runs right up into the big mountains. On the other side of the jungle is Amra. There’s a big river separating the two. Amra is more rugged and mountainous, but still gets about the same rain. Finally over the mountains we have Nalanza. it’s mostly savannah and a bit arid in places.

    Fauna and flora:

    Such eyes. How could they kill such a creature?

    I mentioned dragons above. They’re not your typical, big, fire breathing dragons. These creatures are
    small, and mostly eat bugs and small rodents. They have been know to make off with young poultry as well.

    I also have smallish wild cats inspired by ocelots, but more colourful. They’re a menace when traveling, but it’s illegal to kill them without special permission. They’re not likely to kill you if you have a weapon, but they can give nasty scratches. So rather a lot are killed illegally.

    There are herds of a creature that is somewhere between alpaca and buffalo, which are used for fiber pack animals, and occasionally meat. In Nalanza they have donkeys as well.

    There are myriads of parrots, insects and small mammals including rabbits. In some areas they have various messenger birds. I’m thinking something fiercer than pigeons.

    For plants I have not invented much that is unique. There areyour typical rainforest plants, and for crops they have corn and potatoes and many varieties of beans. There are also many plants used for dyes. Textiles are a big industry in Amra, so these are in high demand.

    I hope you enjoyed this. Next week I’ll be talking about culture, custom, clothing and cities.

    Beautiful Books: A Brigand, No Longer

    It’s the time of the month when I usually do the Beautiful People link up. But it’s also the time of the year when we take a break to talk about books. In particular, books we’re about to start writing.

    This book I’m about to write is tentatively titled A Brigand, No Longer. It’s a sequel to Girl of the Rumours. There may or may not be another book coming after it. I really didn’t want to write a trilogy, but I cannot fit all of my ideas into one more story.


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

    It was probably about a year ago that I came up with an interesting twist to Girl of the Rumours that would leave a couple of characters in a very interesting situation. That twist is not the same anymore. It actually involved a character, who has changed a lot of the course of the first draft (sometimes she was a young woman looking after her brother and sister, now she is their mother). Also there were too many coincidences in the story. Anyway there still seems to be some complex situations, and I wanted more room to play with some themes and relationships.

    Describe what your novel is about!
    Joane, the former lady brigand, is having trouble adjusting to her new circumstances. It’s clear that she was meant to live out in the wilds and most people agree. So when shes hears that her former followers are forming into small warring factions and generally causing trouble, there is a strong urge to run away and get them back into line. But she knows her duty lies elsewhere. And that’s about what I can write from the little I know. It’s vague, but I can’t give away spoilers for the previous book. Many other characters make a return though. And Arthen and Leisa marry.
    What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
    I’m really not sure how to answer this one. I don’t even no how to describe it as a room. But it’s more town than forest. Formal garden terraces, people sewing uniforms, an apothecary shop. A strategy planning map, arrows through windows, making bandages. Mocking laughter, a burning village, a formal dance.

    Introduce us to each of your characters!
    I really can’t do this very much. I’m not yet sure how much to let out about who continues. But I’ll describe Joane and a few fairly minor characters.
    Joane doesn’t smile much, she’d rather stare daggers through you. She can take charge of a room, but is in her element outdoors. Her black curly hair is too short to stay up well and she always has a weapon hidden about her.
    Lady Naida Harly is a small, sprightly old woman. There’s always a twinkle in her eye that says she understands you even when you don’t say a word. But she’s also ready to make you talk about it, and extremely hard to say no to.
    Marcon Keresh is the second son of the Noble of Whern. He’s slight pretentious, means fairly well, but thinks he knows how things should be done. (Also I didn’t know he existed before I started writing this)
    How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
    I fill in things like this, throw random ideas around and try to organize them into something useful. And I’m getting writing books from the library again.
    What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
    Putting Joane into many uncomfortable situations. Letting my characters grow more. Figuring out who Marcon is. Having father-daughter relationships.

    List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
    It takes place in a city much more than the first book.
    There will be some opulent surroundings at times.
    It’s summer, so lots of heat and the early harvest.
    What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
    She’s trying to save her old followers from themselves, and help people survive a war. A new leader among the brigands and a lot of stubbornness and fear all round is making it difficult.

    How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
    I really hope she becomes more humble, trusting and forgiving.

    What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
    One theme is learning to trust, when things seem out of your control. Also learning to obey when when another path makes more sense. And being willing to live with people who ridicule you.
    I want people to feel glad that they read it. And encouraged. Certainly encouraged.

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