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Latest Review: “Impressive and engaging”

With review titles like that, I really wish I had this thing finished! It drives me forward, that’s for sure.

“Thanks for the chance to read your story I loved it. I don’t really pick up a lot of fantasy books but to be honest, for me, you don’t delve too deep into the fantasy side – so far as i’ve read anyway – and having read this extract I love to know more about this fantasy world and what happens in it. You certainly got me hooked.”

There was more, including a couple of tips for improvement, but I won’t brag, too much… Can’t dwell on these – got to get stuck in with forward progress. Right… once the bubba is asleep and my brain awake.

You just acquired a magic wand. What will you use it for?

This is a random Next Post Suggestion from WordPress. Well, I could wave it and make peace on Earth, I guess… But, that might require the wiping out all of Human-kind… and Chimps (they go to war, too, you know)… and pretty much any animal that eats (no, I will not discount herbivores… plants have feelings, too, you know). OK, so that’s out.

I really don’t know. A little money would be nice. I don’t need to get greedy. Just enough to allow me to earn my own way without too much struggle – although we know that some struggle is character-building. Necessity is the mother of creativity, and all that. Actually… why don’t I just wave it and give myself the tablet that I want. Then, that leaves me still hungry enough to get working on making a little pocket money with a few illustrations… no, it wouldn’t happen overnight, but I’d get there… probably about the time that our smaller loans are paid off and stop eating our money, anyway… but, that just means we’d feel the weight lifted even higher. It would be awesome.

Of course, more money would let me pay off the mortgage and student loan, help out a few mates

Read more…You just acquired a magic wand. What will you use it for?

New Chapter 1…

… Chapter 2 coming.


Yes, I am doing a fairly major re-write. Not changing anything fundamental. The plot still stands. But, I wanted to add more detail to the setting and general description, and I think I have done that. And, I decided to give Llewella better motivation to get out of Cheer. Also, I finally came up with a way to keep Llewella’s gender a secret from Jonas and Alvaro a little bit longer – don’t worry, they will find out early enough not to change the story greatly. This was what I had planned originally. I was always a bit disappointed in myself for letting it be revealed so early. Thank Deadwood for the remedy.

Exploring Description and Setting

What do you think?

It was the damned knife.
The main street of Cheer hummed with the hustle and bustle of the monthly market day. This was one of the few times when the people of Cheer truly mingled. Women displaying their curves with cinched in waists below elegant necklines, and men in pressed shirts and trousers held up with suspenders and decorated with a pocket watch, shared the street with men and women too late to make their fortune. The dominant colour was brown, with splashes of red, blue or yellow marking a lady of class, or girl prospecting for a trick.
A woman looked up from her knitting to smile and nod at passing ladies and gentlemen who perused her collection of crafts ranging from scarves to glass decorations and various items of jewellery.
A merchant’s voice cut across the crowd, inviting visitors to try his spiced meats, inspired by his home country’s regular fare. The mouthwatering aromas brought people from the other end of the street into the throng surrounding his sizzling offerings.
Llewella was invisible amongst the finery and silent amongst the propositioning. In a ruddy white shirt and russet trousers she slid by unnoticed, slipping a fine gold watch deep into her pocket. And then she saw it. The beautifully carved bone handle.
Her eyes trailed the handle everywhere it went. Her feet followed. The rest of her body entwining its way between people and stalls. The hip and thigh stopped. Two more stealthy steps, and Llewella stopped, too. Her hand twitched. Finely-honed muscles tensed. She stepped in close. If she allowed herself to breathe, he might have known she was there. But she didn’t.

The Synopsis: The Power Is In Your Hands

As previously mentioned, I signed on to YouWriteOn recently, and it has been proving to be highly beneficial. Not only am I getting some very helpful reviews, but it has forced me to really think about my story, inside and out. In order to receive reviews, I had to upload the first 5000-7000 words of my story. Well, that isn’t even a full two chapters, so it’s not an overly clear picture for these readers. But, there is a place to put your synopsis, so I thought to myself “I should write one”. And I went and looked at how to do so, and suddenly, in order to complete that task, I found myself needing to know the plan for my book in its absolute entirety.

Now, don’t think I’ve been fumbling totally in the dark here. I’ve known, approximately, how I wanted this all to end for a long time now. But, I did have some issues with exactly how to get there. And a few details that I had planned to include… well, do they still need to be there? Can I include my pet ideas without convoluting the story too much? Writing the synopsis has really got me thinking about these things. And, you know what? Those last couple of chapters that left me with a bit of writer’s block are going to have to be re-written. Simple as that. There are just things going on there that are messing up my overall image for the story. So, dear readers (all two of you) I hope you don’t mind, but it is all in the name of coming away with a better final product. I, of course, will let you know when the new version is up.

The Full History

Novel-writing is a hugely involved process, by the way.

Today, I have been working on nutting out some of the finer details of my story. I mean, I’ve been able to draw out a readable tale so far, with a view of the ending I intend to reach, but I keep thinking of ways to improve it, and I decided that I needed to work on knowing the motivations of my characters (all of them) and nations inside and out. On the road to achieving this, I have been working on a spreadsheet.

Here is part of it (the part that occurs before the novel begins):

I am finding that as I develop my ideas, my story is growing up – maturing – at about the same rate as my writing education level. Basically, this story is getting more and more interesting…

346 words today…

… thanks to hubby’s hockey practice tonight.

Baby J is transitioning from two to one day sleep, making my day a little more stressful and hectic than it has been in a while. Once we get ourselves sorted, I’m sure it won’t be so bad, but I will be a little shorter on writing time. Ah well, them’s the breaks.

So, two days ago I deleted 194 words. All from the first two chapters, improving them greatly. See, more words doesn’t mean a better piece of writing. Yesterday I added a total off… 1 word. Yeah. It happens.

Most of today’s words will appear in Chapter 3. Yep, I am finally working on one of the scenes I have been wanting to add for a while now. It is slow going. With all the reviewing I’ve been doing lately, I find myself editing heavily even as I type. Each sentence is reviewed as I construct it for the first time. And then it is reread in light of the sentence(s) that follow, and sometimes I can then rewrite again, condensing those sentences into one more well-written one. (Not perfect. Hopefully that will come.) I suppose it is a good thing, but it does disrupt the creative flow a tad. Never mind. I have the story outline noted down, and basic ideas for these scenes noted as well, so creative flow doesn’t always have to be in abundance to make some progress.

Tomorrow we shall see what comes of dropping the morning sleep for a 10.75month-old bubba. Will I find time to write and/or review? I certainly will endeavour to.

Total: 57,099 words. Not too shabby.

Reviews and improvements

I haven’t made any great progress on the overall forward thrust of my story in the last couple of days. However, I did sign up to a website called “You Write On” where you can post the opening chapters of your book (5000-7000 words of them, anyway) and you get reviewed by other writers, and eventually can earn the right to be reviewed by actual agents/editors! Yes, sir!

So, up went Chapter 1 plus most of Chapter 2. And I have received three reviews now. I have also tightened up these two chapters considerably – partly to get as much of the story up within the word count as possible and partly because of the reviews I have received. I will update those chapters shortly. Anyway, to help me carry on writing, I am going to share the positive comments here (there aren’t negative ones, as such, just suggested alterations – which I will consider making as more reviews come in).

Here goes:

“Hi Deb, great pace, good action. strong characters. i read without stopping… great storyline. cheers”

“This was an interesting read and quite well written. The short introductory paragraph of description was bright and not drawn out. I like in introduction of “swiped three purses” as a sudden revelation to draw attention to the main character… There’s not much more I can say about these chapters except one feels sure Llewella will have many adventures.
Good Luck, Deb”

“I think the story has lots of potential and you have introduced a few interesting characters and also set the scene for adventure to come…”

Back Into It

After a quiet month, I am finally back into making progress. I had a wee crisis of self-esteem as far as the writing of my story goes, but I think I have managed to work my way through it. What can I say? While I have the confidence to believe that I can write a good story, sometimes I have doubts as to whether this one is it. And yet, I still love it. And I’ve come this far, so I really would like to see it through to the end.

Yesterday’s total: 583 words

Today’s total: 198

Current total: 56,599

We’ll get there…