A Wednesday in December

Hello my fellow WIPpeteers, it seems we have reached the last real Wednesday of the year. Sad, I know. But in more cheery news, I’m packed and ready to go (mostly), paperwork is all sorted etc. Yay!

I’ve finally had a chance to really get back into reading since I finished exams and earlier this week I started reading The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson. It is amazing. Her writing has really opened eyes as to what it means to show rather than tell. I devoured the next book in the series in 24 hours, something I haven’t done since the sixth Harry Potter book.

As it is my last WIPpet Wednesday post for the year, I’m going to share something from the second to last chapter of Queen of Hearts, that is, Chapter 29 (17+12). Kara’s declaration. That’s all I can tell you without it being spoilery. :)

My first lullaby was arrow-song.

You can see what I’m up to on my adventures on my new travel blog and I’ll be back for WIPpets in 2016! Don’t miss my last post for the year on Sunday. :)


It’s Starting to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

Greetings my Wednesday blogging buddies! I hope you’re all feeling amazing, productive and not too stressed in the lead up to the holiday season/end of the year. (Are we that close already?? Where did the last five months go??) As you may have noticed, I’ve been a little absent since the end of NaNoWriMo. I decided to take a week off from everything to recharge and recover from having my wisdom teeth out (it went well and thanks to all the lovely people who sent me their well wishes. You guys are the best :) ) Yesterday, I started finalising the edits for Queen of Hearts before I send it out to those who volunteered to read it. It’s a tad daunting being at this stage of the process but I’m really looking forward to the next steps. I’ve also been busy packing for my overseas adventure. I’ll be studying in Edinburgh for six months and I am so so so so excited (and yes, to all those sharp eyed WIPpeteers, that’s the same uni/time frame as fellow WIPpeteer Rachel). I’m planning to start a travel blog while I’m overseas so I’ve been doing some research on that as well. So, in summary, ROW80 goals are progressing as I’d like them to although I would have liked to participate in WIPpet Wednesday last week. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

Speaking of, here is today’s WIPpet Wednesday contribution. As always, it’s hosted by the amazing K.L. Schwengel and you can check in on the other WIPpeteers here. Today’s excerpt is a sort of continuation from this scene from Queen of Hearts where we saw Patrun, working in the heat of Inbaas, find a letter with a purple seal. This letter eventually ends up in the hands of Semaia (Mai) who passes it to her brother Anjez. This is actually one of the few scenes where we get to see life in neighbouring Bashraan rather than Kara’s native Fariel. Enjoy. :)

The guards let Semaia pass without question and she hurried through the warren of courtyards and chambers to find Anjez. When she entered his room, she found him seated at his desk, pouring over a scroll in a foreign script.

He looked up and smiled, “Greetings, sister.”

“Greetings, brother,” she leant down and placed a kiss on his forehead, “I have news.”

“News?” he rolled up the scroll.

“From our friends in the west.”

“I see,” he lowered his voice, “What news?”

She passed him the now crumpled letter.

He unfolded it and read:

To His Serene Highness, Anjez, Prince of Bashraan and all its associated realms,

I write to warn you of an Haelean plot to gain by subterfuge the throne of Fariel. It is believed that this plot includes but is by no means limited to the murder of His Gracious Highness, Brythorn, Prince of Fariel and all its associated realms. In accordance with the treaty signed in Inbaas, born witness to by men and gods, I call you to the aid of your ally, the Kingdom of Fariel.

Further news to be delivered as it occurs. When the Haeleans threaten military action, you will be the first to know.

As always, your friend and ally, Her Gracious Highness, Karavere, Princess of Fariel and Duchess of Kandar.

“What does it say?” Mai asked, peering over his shoulder.

“It’s from Kara. She’s called to Bashraan for aid.”

“Then we must answer.” Mai replied.

“Indeed,” he nodded grimly, “we must.”

The Sweet Taste of Success


November 30th. The last day of November. That last day of NaNoWriMo. This past month has gone so incredibly fast, no doubt in part thanks to the craziness of NaNo. I’m pleased to say that this year, my second year participating, I met all my goals and reached 50,000 words. If I’m honest, that count isn’t all new words, it’s sometimes rewrites and edits as well. Nevertheless, I’ve won by my own standards and that’s what counts. Next year, though, I certainly aim to write 50,000 fresh new words in a month.

As for editing, I finished edits for Queen of Hearts and started properly looking for betas. (If you’re interested in becoming a beta for me, scroll down for a synopsis.) I can’t believe how quickly I finished this round of edits although there are still many more to go. Nevertheless, I felt quite emotional when I reached the end of the manuscript. I feel that it’s finally at a stage where it’s ready to be consumed (and torn apart) by people and it feels amazing to know that I’m progressing on the writing journey. December, I think, will be a time to sit back and consolidate the edits and work on some other, smaller projects while I wait for feedback. And prepare for Christmas and exchange, of course. :)

This will also be my last update for a week or so (I’m having my wisdom teeth out on Wednesday) so happy post-NaNo/December. :)


Synopsis Queen of Hearts

Genre: Adventure/Fantasy

Daughter of Kings follows the story of Karavere as she overcomes her brother’s death and led her country’s army against the invading forces of the nearby empire. Set among the political intrigues of a court ruled by a weak king and the muddy tents of an army camp, Daughter of Kings is an action-packed, emotional coming of age novel.


When Kara defies her father and frees two slaves, she sets in motion a series of events that threaten to overhaul the very fabric of her society. And with a large empire looming in the north, poised to conquer everything in their path, Kara must face many choices, both for herself and her country. But will she choose between what is right and what is necessary? As Kara leads her people to war in the north, she must learn to juggle her responsibilities as a commander and the political web of the distant capital if she is to remain alive. Luckily, she has a strong group of friends to support and protect her, even to the end.

So there you have it, the synopsis of Queen of Hearts. Apologies if it’s sort of terrible and off point. If you are interested in beta-ing (is that even a verb?) then please shoot me an email at aebrowne.ink AT gmail DOT com with your availability, strengths etc. :) I hope to have the document ready to send by the end of the week. :)

Make Them Move

Originally posted on My Writerly Obsession:

For the last few months I have been interning at Entangled Publishing. It has been such a cool experience. If you want to get into the publishing business in any sort of way, I would recommend trying to find an internship. I feel like it’s the best way to see what it takes to be published and common mistakes authors tend to make so that you could avoid them in your own work.

As I read more and more submissions, I find that one of the most common problems is that authors don’t make the characters move. There is a lot of dialogue and internal thoughts but nothing is happening. And after reading about fifty or so pages of this, I am about ready to throw the book at the wall. I know in real life people do a lot of sitting around and talking but in a book it…

View original 498 more words

Merry Wednesday.

Update time again! Despite my consistently weak intros to my posts and regular complaints about Wednesday, I do actually enjoy both sharing my own progress with you all and reading everyone’s excerpts. :)

So, progress. Writing is going well and I’ve surpassed my previous NaNo record by about 10,000 words which I’m super happy with. Although I’m a bit behind at the moment, I still think finishing on 50,000 is well within reach. Editing on Queen of Hearts is ahead of schedule (still looking for interested betas). Language creation has been on a small hiatus for a while but I’m not really too fussed about that. And in more practical measures, I’ve almost done everything I need to do before I head to the UK at the end of December. :)

WIPpet TIME :D As usual WIPpet Wedensday is hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel and you can check in on the other WIPpeteers here.

Today’s excerpt is from Chapter 26 (so far unedited) of Queen of Hearts. A scene from the lead up to the last major battle of Kara’s war.

High in the pass, three hundred archers wait, cursing the droughts tugging at their hair, seeping beneath layers of clothing and sabotaging their bowstrings. It was bad enough keeping the weapons strung for hours on end without the cold too but what could they do? The lords had told them to keep their bows strung and so strung they would stay. After all, what do lords know of a common man’s weapons? Little and less. The archers mutter to themselves and their captains hush them with stern faces. They wait to turn snow to red slush.

Sneaky Scheduled Post

I don’t know if you’ve noticed by now but titles are REALLY not my strong point. As the above (highly witty and clever) title says, this post was scheduled. I am writing to you from the past. Oooooo spooooky…

As it’s Wednesday, I owe you guys a ROW80 update and a snippet from my WIPpet (poetry right there, folks:P)

We’ll start with the ROW80 /NaNo-y stuff. All current ROW80 goals are on track. Yep, on track, not trampled beneath the feet of a dozen horses. Huzzah! During NaNo, I hoped to edit chapters 10-20 of Queen of Hearts (one every three days). I am very happy to say that by the end of tonight (Tuesday), I’ll have completed preliminary edits of all these chapters approximately a week and a half early. I might even have time to do some rewrites before the end of the month. NaNo word count is also pretty decent at the moment. I caught up yesterday after a week under that little grey bar so I’m quite pleased although I’ll be away for a few days (hence scheduled post) with little opportunity to write. I’m hoping to hit a few thousand by the end of tonight so I’ll be well ahead. In two more days time, I’ll have beaten my previous NaNo best from last year which is also super exciting. I know I started out as a skeptic of NaNo but I now really believe in its powers to motivate me. If only there was something that ran all year so I could keep track of my goals. One productive month a year just won’t cut it. :P

Onto the WIPpet hosted by K.L. Schwengel. (You can find the other WIPpeteers here).

An excerpt from page 30 (19+11) of the 3rd section of edits (chaps 14-20). Kara’s army is holed up in the city of Adelin which sits at the foot of a mountain range. In front of the city stretch great grass plains. Assembled upon the plain is the Haelean army (basically Romans, if I’m honest). They’ve cut off supplies and are waiting until the city starves or surrenders, catapulting missiles over the walls to hurry the decision. Kara’s having a small freak out but a conversation with her old friend helps her regain her composure. This scene takes place atop the battlements between Kara and her friend Alexandru (have you met him yet? he’s pretty cool)

“Kara,” Alexandru said, “the king is a skilled tactician and, if half the things Tiemil has told me over the years are true, you have overheard enough of his private war councils to have a fair idea of what to do.”

Karavere sighed, “Maybe you’re right.”

“I’m always right.” Alexandru teased.

She slapped at him playfully, relieved to have sense spoken. “Don’t bet on it, Dru.”

“So,” he paused expectantly, “what will you do?”

Kara thought for a moment, “Bring the men inside the wall. Find a way to get supplies in, maybe through the east side of the city. Push the people against the walls; they do not seem to be trying to break them down.”

“They want the city for themselves. They need it one piece.” Another missile sailed over their heads and smashed with surprising accuracy into the roof of the city library, “Or, at least, as few pieces and necessary.”

Kara followed the arc of the missile, frowning at the dust cloud that billowed at its landing, “Tonight, I’ll send out a team to destroy the catapults.”

“You should have done that three nights ago.” Alexandru observed.

“I know.” Kara smiled, “Thank you. And don’t die on me, Dru, I need your advice more often than I care to admit.”

So there you have it. :) Also I’m super happy to announce I’ve hit 300 followers so thank you all for sticking with me, even if I sometimes make no sense. :P

Also, congratulations if you’ve made it this far down! As I mentioned in my last post, I’ll soon be looking for beta readers for Queen of Hearts (in around mid-December).  If you’re interested in beta-ing (is that a verb?) let me know in the comments or send me an email at aebrowne.ink (at) gmail (dot) com <– remove spaces and replace with necessary symbols :) I’ll send a synopsis to those who express interest so you can better decide whether it’s something you’d be willing to do. :)

An Open Letter to Writers of Any Creed: November Updates

Weekend’s greetings, friends,

Today is Sunday and so it’s time for another ROW80 update but I thought I’d do something a little different today. Rather than a list of subheadings with a few notes underneath, I’ll give you a more in depth update on everything. Yep, that’s right, get excited. :P

So it’s over half way through November and NaNoWriMo. Originally skeptical, I am now a believer in NaNo’s power to motivate. Meeting the daily target is irrelevant, with NaNo at least I am doing something other than scrolling through countless blogs and ignoring the actual process of writing. At the half way point, a word count of 25,000 words is expected. I just reached that today and am super pleased with myself. Even though I’m a little behind word count wise, I’ve kept up with my goals for a lot longer this year than last. I also feel like I’ve made real progress.

In the last week alone, I’ve done preliminary edits on four chapters of Queen of Hearts and I’m on track to be finished edits by mid December so I can pass it onto my betas and I’m super excited to be at this stage of the process. As for actually writing, I’ve been steadily progressing with that although it has taken me a few days after the move to get back into the swing of things. On Friday, faced with two days without access to my computer, I reverted to old school hand writing for Rebellion Rising. Until that point, none of the previous RR drafting had been handwritten. It made a nice change and looks so pretty (yes, I’m biased) although I still haven’t typed it up.

Even more excitingly, I’ve been having ideas for stories in other genres (that is, not old timey fantasy) that I’m really looking forward to exploring further once NaNo is over. They’re sort of more sci-fi/dystopian which I’ve never really explored in my writing before. I can’t reveal too much at the moment but be sure to look out for updates as those projects get underway. :)

So that’s how my week has been progressing so far. Hopefully you have been equally as productive and successful with your own goals. If you want to take a closer look at my NaNo stats you can find them here. And if you’re interested in beta-ing (is that a verb?) my manuscript, Queen of Heartslet me know in the comments or send me an email at aebrowne.ink (at) gmail (dot) com <– remove spaces and replace with necessary symbols :) I’ll send a synopsis to those who express interest so you can better decide whether it’s something you’d be willing to do. :)

Best wishes,


Time is of the Essence

This is my motto at the moment. November is always a super busy month, I think for most people. Wednesday has come around without warning AGAIN which is perhaps not unusual considering there are only seven days to choose from. Anyway. Wednesday’s require me to talk about two exciting things, ROW80 and WIPpet Wednesday. I know I’ve probably said this before and I’ll say it again but I love these two writey things. They keep me motivated and have helped me discover so many other amazing writers and bloggers.

We’ll start with the ROW80 update which you can find out more about (hey, that rhymes!) here.

Edit Queen of Hearts

Finished preliminary edits on chapters 11 and 12 since Sunday which I’m quite pleased with.

Social Media

Met all my targets.


NaNo definitely helps with this goal however Sunday/Monday/Tuesday were pretty much a write off due to packing and moving and all those fun things. That said, I have managed to push through a road block on Rebellion Rising and add some content to that. It’s been really fun to interact with these characters again.

University Stuff



You may have noticed this little goal disappeared from the last few updates but I can happily report that as of this week, it is well and truly back on track. Now I just have to stay away from the chocolate.


And now onto WIPpet Wednesday, hosted by K.L. Schwengel. (You can find the other WIPpeteers here). Today, we’re back with some old friends from Queen of Hearts. Tiemil, Kara’s fun loving cousin is sneaking through the darkened streets of Bridam on his way to rescue Kara when he comes across a patrol of guards. And oh, did I mention, he’s technically a traitor and there’s a curfew in place. 12 lines for the 12th. :)

Sending a quick prayer to Enar, god of tricks, Tiemil stumbled from the shadows, hoping he looked disheveled enough from his long ride to support his ruse.

“Halt! Who goes there?” a guard demanded.

“Itz mee!” Tiemil threw his arms in the air and spinning.

One of the guards rolled his eyes, “Just some drunk.”

“Could do with a bit more drink myself. It’s as cold as a hag’s tits out here.” another complained.

“It’s past curfew,” said the first, “You should be in bed.”

“I wash.” Tiemil swayed, grinning like a maniac.

“Then return there, good man, and I won’t have any reason to lock you in the stocks.”


Sunday Arvo Update

Hello again. It’s that time of the week, Sunday ROW80 update time. The weather outside is beautiful and sunny, not too hot and not too cold, and honestly, I’d rather be out there than inside packing. Which is what I’m doing. At this point of the round, I’m feeling quite comfortable with everything. Here’s the details:

Edit Queen of Hearts

Progress has been going well with this. :)

Social Media

Met all my targets.


As you probably know, I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo so I’ve actually had the motivation to write. I’ve been meeting my targets every day and am currently a day a head which is handy as I won’t have time to write much today. I’m heading home tomorrow so I have to pack my dorm room. It baffles me how I accumulated so much stuff in such a small room!

University Stuff

Finished!!!! :D I have one essay I have to hand in tomorrow but it’s done. I’m officially free until January when I start classes half way around the world in Edinburgh. Super excited!


So yeah, that’s my update. Hope you’ve all had a very productive round. :)

Brain Lapses + Twitter = Fun for All

Hello, hello. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or don’t frequent writing blogs/sites very often, you’ll be aware that it is National Novel Writing Month, commonly known as NaNoWriMo or OhGodWhyDidISignUpForThisAgain? For those of you wondering how I’ve been coping, here is a brief look at some of the typos (or ypos) I’ve made so far:


Yep, it’s been a fun ride. So far I’m on track with NaNo and until about ten minutes ago my editing has been steaming ahead however, if you count the amount of words I’ve had to retype due to heinous typing errors then I’ve probably already passed the 20,000 word mark. :P

However, if you’ve been doing NaNo and you’re feeling a hint of despair*, check out this post.

As it is indeed Wednesday (yes, really), I’ll do a brief ROW80 update and a WIPpet excerpt. Aren’t you guys lucky? :P

Edit Queen of Hearts

Woosh! The sound progress makes as it sails by, taking me on a sweet ride of achievement. Wish may soon crash. We’ll see.

Social Media

Sah social this week.


MANY WORDS! Alongside my editing, I’ve been doing A LOT of rewriting. Much of my NaNo count so far is rewrites. But fun times and new scenes and exciting things.


Le WIPpet (French for ‘the WIPpet’)

This is a new scene I wrote for Queen of Hearts yesterday. Let me know what you think. :) Related to the date because it was written yesterday and yesterday comes before today and because maths. You can find the other amazing WIPpeteers here. :)

Patrun Hodsun wiped the sweat from his brow. Although it was only mid spring, the heat in Inbaas was already unbearable. A light breeze wound its way around the cloth curtains separating his office from the courtyard beyond, bringing the scent of hawthorn blossom. A knock sounded on the door at the far side of the room. Patrun looked up from his papers.

Zevlis!” Patrun called.

The door opened. A young boy came in, his arms loaded with papers. Patrun gestured to the far end of the desk and the boy obediently put down his cargo. He waited.

“What?” Patrun asked.

The boy rubbed his fingers together. Patrun sighed. Extracting a coin from the purse at his belt, he flicked it at the boy. The boy snatched the coin from the air and scurried off.

He turned back to the missive he had been reading but a spec of colour caught his eye. Hidden amongst the pile of papers, a blob of purple. Patrun reached over, pulling the letter from the pile. The king’s seal was pressed into the wax. He turned it over in his hands and frowned. Opened, then hastily resealed, as always. He re-broke the seal and scanned the contents of the letter.

He stood, knocking the pile of papers off the desk, and shoved the message into his tunic pocket. He hurried to the door.


*this took me seven attempts to spell correctly, my brain wanted it to read despaoir. Thank you, brain.