Tag: Girl of the Rumours (page 1 of 2)

A Girl of Rumours snippet

Hey people,

I’m still working my way towards my Camp NaNoWriMo goal. 6 hours to go. I’ll make it. Somehow. Just have to not get distracted by everyone’s pictures from Realm Makers. Or by next months sewing project.

Anyway, I haven’t got a normal blog post. I’ve got ideas simmering, but not time to write them. Some deep stuff. Possibly a super short story I started writing last night. So instead I have a little snippet from what I’m editing at the moment. It needs a lot more work, especially on Joane’s appearance, but I still like it. Enjoy.

 

After a very long minute there was a noise of footsteps from the left. A dark, lithe girl stepped out of the shadows and strode over to them. She looked Aydel up and down with cold, piercing, green eyes.
She turned to Nylf. “So, this is the famed girl of the rumours. She looks like nothing more than a careless rich girl.” He tone was scornful and Aydel took a step backwards.
“She’s more than she looks, Joane,” Nylf said, “She put a knife to my throat and fought her way free of some thugs at the fair. And if you give her a bit of training we’ll have someone worthwhile on our hands.”
Joane’s lip curled. “I’ve heard about that and the rest of your activities that day. You were sloppy and were lucky not to be caught. And it’s Lady Joane to you.” She swiveled round and faced Aydel, hands on her hips. “So Adlayda, welcome to Nowhere. I am Lady Joane. I’m sure ya’ve heard of me.”
Aydel hadn’t, and she didn’t care for the girl’s manner of speaking. “If you want me to answer you, call me Lady Aydel. And what made you a lady? You don’t even look like one. Ladies don’t wear pants.”
“They do when I say so. I’m in charge here. You’ll find your skirts a nuisance, Adlayda and wish you hadn’t said that.”
She turned abruptly and stomped off.

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.

    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.

    Books as Rooms Challenge

    Hello friends,

    Hope Ann tagged me for a writing challenge that Writefury started. I had said someone might tag me and this looks like a very fun one.

    I, not paying attention, went and made my own tag graphic.

    Rules:

    1. Link back to Writefury and the person who tagged you. 
    2. Write 3 of your own books as rooms. They can be finished, works in progress, or even just ideas, but they have to be your own. 
    3. Write 1 of your favorite books to read as a room. 
    4. Tag 5 other people.

    At least, that’s the basic idea. It seems that these are actually guidelines, more than the way it must be done. But I´ll try to follow it anyway.

    My Books:

    Girl of the Rumours

    An old, low broken down room of wood and stone. There are cloth wall hangings that may have been bright jewel tones once, but are now dingy and torn. A single oil lamps burns brightly on a table in the center of the room, illuminating a jeweled knife and a silver necklace. Sacks sit in the shadows of one corner, low bench seats in another. And around the window openings, vines are creeping in.


    Lady of Courage

    An enormous paneled room with a vaulted ceiling and a set of ornate, curving staircases opening onto a platform at one end. In the centre of the carpeted floor is a massive oval table surrounded by silk upholstered chairs. The table is covered by maps, papers and writing implements, with small lit globes at intervals. The rest of the room is occupied with small clusters of chairs and a few small tables. Along the walls are curtained alcoves and door ways with magnificent paintings hung in between them. At the opposite end to the stairs is an gigantic clock.

    A Maretegna Mystery (something I may write one day; this is not the title)

    A small room with wooden slat walls. At one end is a kitchen with neatly stacked dishes, bins of food in a corner and a brightly burning fire with an pot bubbling away over it. At the other end is a table with odds and ends laid out over it along with small neatly written notes. Chairs sit askew around it and underneath a doll rests against a crude wooden horse.

    Not My Book:

    The Victor by Patricia St. John
    A dark, one-room hut with a dim oil lamp sitting on the floor. To one side there is a sleeping mat, to the other a fishing net. A few bloody shards of pottery lie scattered around.
    And now I tag people. this is when I wish I had more blogging friends. So I’ll tag some people who don’t know me so well, along with a few who do.

    Victoria Grace Howell

    And if I forgot anyone and you want to do it, please consider yourselves tagged.

    Beautiful People: Wil is NOT a knight

    It’s this time of the month again. Beautiful People with Cait and Skye. If you want to check out what other people have done click on the picture.

    Today I’m telling you about Wil from Girl of the Rumours. He is often called Blue Wil, to distinguish him from anyone else who might have that name. Other names are Sir Wil and Preacher Wil. He says they’re both wrong. He is certainly not a knight And his full name might be Wilothi, a name my little brother helped me invent, which once belonged to another character.

    Now onto the questions.


    How did you come up with this character?

    I thought Nylf needed a friend, a sidekick of sorts. I filled in a few basics, Took a leftover first name from one place and a last name from another. decided to give him the colour blue as a reference to Will Scarlet. (Robin Hood is also where Arthen Stute’s last name came from, though it initially belonged to someone else.) And then my subconscious took over and came up with a fascinating backstory, He doesn’t even like Nylf anymore. I don’t even remember how it happened.

    Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?
    Probably yes. When you live out in the jungle with no fixed occupation and others relying on you, sometimes you have to go hungry. And a likely food would be a tapeti (rabbit).

    Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?
    He’s good at hunting, the roundup and making shoes.

    List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.
    Wil doesn’t tend to lose his temper. But if someone repeatably did something he’d asked them not to he would. Also if someone did something Wil thought was completely unjust and claimed the problem was with Wil’s moral code, well I’m glad I wasn’t around that day. And he has a tendency to beat himself up over what he should have done.

    What is their favourite type of weather? Least favorite?
    Cloudy days are good. Torrential rain is bad.

    What is their MBTI personality?
    I’m not quite sure. Wil is trying to ignore bits of his life and not get involved with other people though that would be more natural to him. Right now I’m thinking ISTJ. It fits with the even temper. Yesterday I said ISTP, and a few days before I was considering the possibility of him being an INFJ.

    Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?
    Probably present problems. Wil isn’t a worrier in general.

    What is their favourite thing to drink?
    Chocolate? I haven’t thought about drinks at all in my world building.

    What is their favourite color? Least favorite?
    Favourite is blue. He has gotten his nickname for a reason. And he has a distaste for yellow and black together. And the colour white. It’s impractical and shows up dirt, or blood far too well.
    What is a book that changed their life?
    The Bible. But that’s a long story. Even I don’t know it all.
    Now it’s just so happens that it’s my birthday today. So I’ll be nice and share a snippet. In fact the first bit with Wil in it.

      “Listen,” Wil leaned forward and a beam of light fell across gold brown hair. “Mirfwoods isn’t a good place for young ladies to be around, Lass Aydel. If what Nylf has told you is true you should find someone of good status who can take you to Verlis. I-” He hesitated a moment. “Elind and I would even take you to Noble Linsti if you want.”
      “Noble Linsti!” Aydel spat out. “Are you mad? He’s the last person I could trust. Arthen and my parents are working for him. He doesn’t care about any of you. All he wants is  an opportunity to gain power over Verlis.”
      Wil frowned. “Perhaps he doesn’t care as much as he should but I’m sure it isn’t as bad as all that. He is honour bound as a noble, to help another noble’s daughter. Nylf and the sort who you’d find hanging around Mirfwoods, don’t have that honour. They’ll do what is to their advantage. It might be to yours, it might not.”
      “So you don’t trust him.” Aydel glared across at Wil. “Well I don’t trust you, so that makes two of us. But despite that fact I will still allow you to escort me to Mirfwoods if you will.”
      “And if I won’t?”
      “Then I’ll ask around and find it myself. I’m resourceful. But I would be much happier to have someone else who Nylf must trust at least a little.”
      Wil sighed. “Very well, Elind and I will take you there, Lady Adlayda.” He gave a deep bow.

     Don’t forget you can make guesses in my character name perception game until the end of the month. I’d appreciate getting as much feedback as possible.

    Also I’m wondering if anyone noticed what fact about Wil I left out.

    August Wrap-up and Future Plans

    I’ve never actually done a wrap up post except for when I’ve done Camp NaNo. I may never do one again. But this time I am.

    My writing has been quite slow this month, but I’ve made a bit of progress. Girl of the Rumours is now sitting on 42,000 and has somewhere around a third to go. I’m not quite sure about the pacing yet. so that could change things. My goal is to roughly finish this draft by the end of the month, so that I can prepare for NaNoWriMo the next month. As for how that will go, I really have no idea.

    This month I took the bold step of giving my first chapter to a couple of writer friends for feedback. It was mostly encouraging. One person found my main character a bit annoying and immature, which I was afraid of, so I know I need to do some fixing there. The other reader seemed to connect with her fairly well though. And I now know a few other ways I need to tweak my characters to make them across right.

    The marking are hardly visible to the camera.

    One of the best parts was actually getting mailed  a printed copy of the chapter covered with red pen marks. Calling that good might sound strange, but it really was. Firstly, some of the marking were really positive. Secondly, I knew it was far from perfect and I got to see what improvements another pair of eyes can make. I’m less worried about it being badly written, editing will improve it. And there wasn’t really a huge number of marks. Just looking at it again I can see other improvements.

    There’s a chance I’ll be looking for beta readers in February. But that really depends on how much time I spend on other projects. I had hoped to have Lady of Courage at least half written by now, but I hadn’t planned on doing all these rewrites. And my NaNoWriMo project could flow on into December if it goes well, but isn’t short.

    Now that come to the question of what I’m doing for NaNoWriMo. Joane, from Girl of the Rumours, had caught my attention so much I decided I needed a sequel to continue her story. Once I got that idea into my head, I came up with other reasons a sequel is needed. So that’s what I’m hoping to do and that’s why I’ve had to do these rewrites. It’s hard to write a sequel if the first book hasn’t got a certain ending.

    Another thing that might slow my writing down is my sewing. I’m making a fancy dress which I’ll be wearing to a couple of weddings. It’s been really fun so far. Over the last couple of weeks I drafted a pattern and sewed up a test in cheap fabric. (Though both it and the dress fabric were actually gifts.) Then on Friday I dyed my fabric to change the dreadful salmony pink, to a pretty lavender. That was fun and a bit smelly. And yesterday I cut it all out and did the same from a purple sheet for a underlining. And that’s enough because this isn’t a sewing blog.

    Lastly I’m participating in a challenge all September. Read no fiction. That should give me more writing time, and more time to read the kind of serious books I get a lot of ideas from. I’ll let you know how that goes. It might help me refocus on what’s really important.

    God bless you all and you have an amazing week

    Beautiful People: Nylf the Slightly Handsome

    So, I had trouble choosing a character for Beautiful People this time. Probably because it was external beauty or lack thereof, that it focuses on this month. I’ve already done most of the characters that are that significant. So I thought I’d do the character who goes by Nylf, despite the fact his looks aren’t that important.

    As I begun, I realized I’ve never done Aydel, my heroine and that it would work well for her, but the character development is good for Nylf. Even though it’s mostly externals, He’s a very important character, but sometimes a little awkward to explain. This way I don’t need to worry about keeping secrets.


    Give a brief overview of their looks. 

    Straight dirt coloured hair, it’s short to begin with but he doesn’t really cut it over the course of the book. He does keep it tidy and shave though. Quite pale skin, though it is reddened by sun and wind, greenish-brown eyes. He has a open, friendly, teasing look about him. And he’s young, early twenties.

    Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.

    Skin and hair contrast ought to be higher.

    ‘As they came into sight, their voices died away. Probably realizing there was a chance they could be heard. They weren’t dressed in the usual soldier uniforms but soft forest colours instead. One was tall with hair slightly darker than hers in stark contrast to his pale face. Even paler than Leisa’s. 


    What is the first thing people might notice about them?

    That’s he’s very quiet and good at blending in. And that they should have seen him before. Other than the fact he’s rather good at sneaking up and vanishing, it would probably be his height and his easy way of standing. And probably the hair/skin contrast.

    What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)

    He’s actually pretty ordinary. No scars in places that are regularly visible, His ears do stick out a little though and he’s got common, random skin imperfections.

    How tall are they? What is their build?

    Pretty tall, a little over 6′. He’s got a long distance runner’s build.(’cause he actually is a long distance runner) So not overly muscular.

    What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?

    He tends to stand in a lazy yet controlled manner. He walks and runs quite purposefully unless he doesn’t want to be seen in which case he kind of slinks along quietly.

    Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?

    He’d actually kind of look rather like that picture, slightly dishevelled. Clothes would be shirt, trousers and possibly a vest and/or wide belt. It depends on exactly how lazy he’s feeling and who is around.

    Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?

    He always has a knife or two about him and a small leather satchel. A rope hung from his belt or over his shoulder is common.

    Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!

    No. Because of his manners and actions, yes, but not his looks.

    Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?

    Perhaps he’d like to be more handsome. But also more ordinary. Being pale with dark hair can stand out at times. And if you could change his appearance more dramatically, he could be a completely different person. That could be useful, since a few too many people know him.

    And that is that.

    Beautiful People: Wil

    It’s time for the Beautiful People link up again. This time I’m going to interview Wil. He’s made an appearance  before, here, for Kendra’s Character encounters. That was quite a while ago though, and there’s more to Wil than you can get out of one appearance. In fact you’ll have to read the book when it’s finished. So without further ado, here’s the interview.


    “Okay Wil, it’s your turn to be interviewed for my readers.”

    He sighs, “Do I have to do this, mi’lady? I know I’m not the main character and I’d rather not tell everyone my secrets.

    “Yes, we’re doing this. Despite the fact you’re not the focus of the story, you are one of my favourite characters. Anyway I won’t tell Aydel, and I really doubt that the questions are about the stuff you don’t want her to know”

    “Who said Aydel was the one I’m keeping secrets from. It’s Mim, you know that.”


    “Alright, Mim then, if you insist. I won’t be telling anyone else in the book your answers. Now ont to the questions. Do you want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?”
    “Must I answer that?”

    “Yes.”
    “Well then I really don’t know. I’m not sure that I’d be any good. Women are hard to understand and easy to hurt. I don’t wish someone like me on them.”


    “What is your weapon of choice?”
    “I prefer the staff and the lasso. Blades can be too deadly, and are messy either way.”

    “What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone else, and why did you do it?”
    “Not saying.”

    “Well, I will then. It’s taking care of Elind and Mim. You tell them why.”
    “They needed me and no one else did.”

    “Have you ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?”
    “I have. I probably shouldn’t have, but he was being foolish and had hurt someone.”

    “I’m not going to bother asking you to tell them who ‘he’ is. Are you a rule-follower or a rebel?”
    “Neither. I don’t conform societally, but neither do I try to change the rules. Laws exist for a good reason. Armed rebellion is wrong.”

    “Are you organized or messy?”
    “Usually organized.”

    “What makes you feel loved, and who was the last person to make you feel that way?”
    “Come on, you can’t really expect me to answer that question.”

    “But I do.”
    “Well if you substitute valued for loved it would be easier. I like it when people actually listen, when they’re interested in what I say. Most people just don’t get the point and I wonder why I bother.”
    “What do you eat for breakfast?”
    “About the same as everyone else.”
    “Have you ever lost someone close to you? What happened?”
    Will grins.

    “Therin decided to go exploring on his own. It took me a couple of hours to find him. He’d fallen in a stream and gotten all wet.”
    “You know that wasn’t what I meant.”
    “Well it’s the only answer you’re getting.”
    “What’s your treat of choice?”
    “Silence. people talk too much.”

    “We both know that’s not entirely true. But that’s the end of the questions so I’ll leave you alone now.”

    Just so you know Wil has a fairly low opinion of himself, and he wasn’t in the best spirits at the time of this interview. In fact he probably never will be in an interview. I know too much and questions can be awkward. Someday I’ll have to post a snippet with him being his cheerful, courteous self.

    So what do you all think of the gallant knight of my story? (Not that Wil is an actual knight, in fact he is quite insistent on that fact.) But that’s a part he plays in my mind. 

    9 Ways my Beliefs, Interests and Personality Try to Affect my Writing

    I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now. This is not necessarily about the ways my beliefs should be affecting my writing, but just about small things. Little unnecessary things that are sometimes good, but sometimes annoying. It fits in well with a Writing Excuses podcast of a few weeks ago about examining unconscious biases.

    Many of them are actually somewhat important beliefs but might not actually benefit from the way they come through in my story. To make a point, bad examples are important as well good ones. Other points might actually just be tendencies I have for other reasons.

    1. I have trouble making my main characters bad
    2. To be exact, I’m not right stories about people who you could call villains, but I do want them to be flawed. But with some of the flaws I shrink back and think that I’m making them into a person who isn’t nice enough. Of course that might actually be a legitimate concern, I don’t want my characters to be unlikeable. But that doesn’t mean that Natalia has to be the perfect sister. Especially if the story is partly about the fact she isn’t the best sister.

    3. I prefer to show the society I like
    4. Lady of Courage was intended to be set in a very feministic society. But I don’t like feministic societies, so despite the fact I was trying to show some of the problems in one, it keeps creeping towards being more equally governed. I think I’ve found a balance I’m comfortable with now and a good reason for many of the people in power to be women. There was this very terrible war about 20 years before… But I’m not here to explain my backstory, that’ll have to come some other time, when I’m actually working on the story.

    5. I try to invent food I consider healthy
    6. This one is slightly ridiculous, since I still haven’t figured out diet and nutrition stuff for myself and the lifestyle and amount of physical labour of my characters is somewhat different to my own. I was going to give them beans as the main staple instead of a grain. Fortunately I did some research and realized that every civilization has a grain or other starch as a main staple. But my characters still won’t be getting much sugar.

    7. I write minimal romance
    8. I’m not actually sure why this is, but I cringe from to much focus on romance. I value the commitment side of relationships over the emotion side.
      Lady of courage has a major focus on Natalia needing to marry someone. But it’s not so much a story about love as it is about respect and working together. The romance might come in more when I actually write it, but it might not. In Girl of the Rumours one of the relationships have very strong parental involvement. And it’s barely at a subplot level.
      I may also being avoiding it since I have no experience and therefore little skill. If I were to write any more romance it would probably be terrible.
      .

    9. My characters tend to be private about their feelings
    10. This one is simple. I’m private about my feelings, and if I let my characters spill a lot out I feel uncomfortable. But I know I need to do it sometimes. Not everyone is like me.

    11. Clothing is practical and modest
    12. I tend to design clothing for my characters (the female ones) that I would wear myself. And I think about the technicalities of how it’s made and where the material comes from. So I have nothing overly fancy or complex. It’s still pretty I think. but very practical. That’s something else I need to talk about in more detail someday.

    13. There is always a chivalrous young man who doesn’t talk to girls much
    14. Always doesn’t mean much considering the little I’ve written, bit does seem to happen. It’s probably based more on observation than beliefs though. But I must have a character of that sort. And since the heroine isn’t much like me she finds him annoying. And because she is like me she wishes he wasn’t so withdrawn. But unlike me she tries to talk to him, that’s why she will find him annoying.

    15. Fathers are important
    16. At one time Aydel didn’t have a father at all, but it didn’t feel right. So she has a father though he isn’t around as much as I would like. I wish I could have him their more but the story wouldn’t work. And in both Lady of Courage an the other book that I never actually wrote, my MC’s father had died, but she’d had an amazing stepfather for most of her life. Natalia’s father wasn’t supposed to be quite to wonderful but I couldn’t help it. He’s got to be a good man, even with the faults he has.

    17. Parents are wise
    18. Woe to any of my characters who don’t listen to their parents. Even when they might be wrong about some things their advice is usually good. But it usually takes my characters, especially Aydel, quite a while to figure that out.

    And that is that. For a bit I thought this list was going to be too short but more ideas keep popping up. Now I had better click the publish button because I’m behind on my word count and spent the bits of yesterday when I wasn’t working or procrastinating, writing fiction not blog posts.

    Beautiful People: Mim’s Childhood

    Hi everyone,

    This is a rather rushed post because I just got back from an amazing camp last night and almost forgot about my blog.

    I’m doing Beautiful People again, this time about a sweet red-haired brigand girl named Mim.

    What is her first childhood memory?

      The time her half-sister Elind arrived in tears and started living with them permanently.

    What were their best and worst childhood experiences?

      She has fond memories of harvest feast in the town where being poor didn’t matter. And also the time when she was given a new dress. The worst time would be just after her mother and uncle died of the coughing sickness. She and Elind almost starved before Elind finally gave in and married.
    What was their childhood home like?

      A ramshackle cottage on the outskirts of the town of Jarrah. it was a dirty noisy place, often dangerous too.
    What’s something that scared them as child?
      The men that her uncle would hang around with.
    Who did they look up to most?
      Her mother. She was a wonderful woman who always made things come out alright and kept Mim safe.  She wouldn’t let people impose on her.
    Favourite and least favourite childhood foods? 
      Favourite food is pies; least favourite is watery soup. 
     
    If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?
      She would have had a father.
    What kind of child were they? 
      She was very wild adventurous and warm-hearted. Making friends, but scaring their mothers.
    What was her relationship to their parents and siblings like?
      She loved and then missed her mother, feared her uncle and never knew her father. Elind was almost a second mother, but she saw her as being weaker than her own mother. Her other half sister was someone she barely knew existed and never wanted to meet.
    What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
      She hoped to become a maid and work herself into a better life. She became a brigand instead.
    And that’s the basics of Mim. If you ask me any questions in the comments I’ll answer them for you.
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