Updates All Round

Look at me being efficient and posting and stuff. :) It’s very late right now. I should be sleeping. I think my brain is a cat. Here is my ROW80 update, and following that, an exciting WIPpet because it is Wednesday (just).

You can find fellow ROW80 people here.

Edit Queen of Hearts

Progress made, finally! I’ve said this before and I’ll no doubt say it again but I cannot thank my two betas enough. They pointed out the things I regularly do wrong and have shown me ways to fix them. =best

Write

Essays. That counts as writing, right? Feeling inspired but have not actually written anything yet (apart from sections added in during edits)

Blog

I haven’t posted twice a week for a fortnight or so now but I’m relatively content. Also, American friends, is it true that you don’t use the word fortnight???

Create

This seems to be the goal that one way or another I always work on. :) This week saw grammatical developments in what I’m going to call ‘Common’ and the addition of some new words and concepts to Farilien. Much excitement :D

Okay, now onto the WIPpet! As always, you can join the madness here. I know I always give slightly dodgy excuses for lack of context but this section doesn’t really need context. Math goes something like this (27+8)x(27+8)=70 (+1 because I’m nice) Words. Wordy words. Also, bonus points to anyone who catches my literary reference/allusion in this snippet. :D Please forgive the slightly weird phrasing of the last sentence…

Dawn spread rosy fingers above the imposing mountain peaks behind the city, casting an eerie glow on the remains of the Haelean camp. The cavalry stood untested at the gates, horses nervous with the smell of blood in the air. The fields beyond the river where only a day ago, the Haelean army squatted with the confidence of one who sees their victory assured, the ruins of tents and lives smouldered.

Meow.

Everything’s happening! WIPpet and ROW80 (And a reward!)

I have once again realised that it has been a good long while since my last post. Sorry about that. So to make up for my absence I’ll be combing a WIPpet Wednesday post and a ROW80 post.

We’ll start with the ROW80  but feel free to scroll down if you’re only here for the WIPpet :)

Edit Queen of Hearts

My focus since my last post has been less on actual word editing and more on checking consistency, making sure characters don’t pop up where they shouldn’t be, that kind of thing.

Write

Again, mostly ideas and plans rather than actual stories but I’ve been writing assignments so that’s something.

Blog

This is my first post in two weeks so…

Create

I had to do some research on Proto-Indo-European languages for a class assignment which made it really hard to focus on the task at hand because it set my language creating synapses firing. Created some more words for my common tongue and have been thinking through the syntax quite a bit.

Okay, onto WIPpet!

From Chapter 20, what amounted on my computer to about 2 and a half pages. So don’t say I never give you anything :P Although to be fair, this is quite unedited and I had to remove a reference to a person who couldn’t possibly be there. Oops.

Context: I don’t know where to start honestly. Basically, during the winter the army was dismissed and retreated from the battlefield for a while and during this time Kara, along with her numerous companions and the Bashraani prince and princess we met earlier (Anjez and Mai respectively), is holding court in the castle of a loyal northern lord. The empire sends some ambassadors to offer an ultimatum and bring with them a gift, the head of the young envoy Patrun who accompanied Kara et al to Bashraan and was recently reassigned to the embassy in the nearest imperial town on the other side of the border. So yeah, head in a box.

Kara marched from the audience chamber, her anger written in the stiff set of her shoulders and reflected in the frightened faces of those who stood in her way. Her Ladies and cousin Tiemil followed, with Markey bringing up the rear. As she strode through the dim corridors and stairwells, Kara’s Ladies scurried to keep up, ruing the ridiculous court dresses which hampered their speed. Kara, however, had unpicked the stitches holding the panels of the skirt together up to the knees, relying on the hang of the fabric to protect her modesty during the audiences today. With this advantage, only Markey and Tiemil could keep pace. Kara threw open the door to her chambers, startling Lyea to her feet. Placing a hand on either side of the doorway, Kara braced herself against the frame, waiting for her companions’ arrival.  Markey soon caught up, Tiemil on his heels. Kara ignored them until the others caught up a moment later, out of breath. Meg looked about to faint.

Kara turned to look over her shoulder at Anotis, “Call the council.” she commanded before entering the room. She allowed Teimil and Eriden to follow her before firmly closing the door on the others’ startled faces.

“Where the Everwinter have you been?” Kara snapped at Anjez, sitting by the cold fireplace surrounded by papers.

“Busy.” Anjez defended as he stood. He noticed the grim looks on their faces, “What happened?”

“They killed Patrun.” Kara replied, her voice hollow.

“The envoy?” he gasped, eyes wide.

Kara nodded as she sank onto an over-cushioned couch.

Anjez’s first thought was of his sister, “And Mai?”

Kara stared blankly at the carpet, “She’s…she’s upset.”

Tiemil settled on the couch. Anjez was too fired up to sit. With their frenzied pacing, he and Eriden together would wear a track in the old Gabonese carpet.

“So what is your grand plan then?” Tiemil asked.

“Plan?” Kara replied.

“For vengeance!” Anjez said.

“I have a few ideas.” Eriden muttered as she continued to pace.

“I don’t know.” Kara answered honestly, “I’m hoping the council will advise me.”

“Those old farts? They will try to scare you into caution.” Tiemil replied sceptically.

“Those old farts have spent longer on this earth than either you or I. And perhaps caution is what we need just now.” Kara snapped.

“Perhaps you are right,” Tiemil submitted, “Will you stop that?” he irritability directed his question at Eriden who had been pacing around the room since she entered it. The only response he received was a glare. “Fine then. I’m going to find Mai.” he humphed as he stood to leave.

“No, I am!” Anjez shot.

Kara stood to block them, “Neither of you are going anywhere near her.”

“She is my sister!”

“She is alone in her grief!” Tiemil argued.

“Yes, for now she is, but I will go to her, not you. She has just had her lover’s head returned to her in a box. Now is not the time to try your amorous advances, Tee. She will come to you when she is ready or not at all. And Anjez,” she laid a gentle hand on his arm, “There are some things best said between friends.”

 

To finish, I’ll just leave this here :D

Sunday is like Monday, only better.

This is an intro to my post. Hello. This is my blog post. Hello. Topic: ROW80 update. Mood: potentially insane.

Edit Queen of Hearts

Editing…editing…I’ve thought about editing. I’ve planned which bits I want to edit. But honestly? Since last week I’ve worked on one scene. Because this is the first week back at uni for me, I’ve been focusing on classes and readings at the expense of editing time.

Write

Wrote the beginning of a  draft for a short story on an idea I’ve been tinkering with for a while. Hoping that this process will help me nut out the motivations of a few of the characters.

Blog

I’m pretty pleased with myself on this account because so far, I’ve been consistently publishing two posts a week, one for ROW80 and one for WIPpet Wednesdays. I’ve also been trying to get to as many blogs as I can and comment but if I haven’t made it your blog yet, I’m sorry, I’ll be there soon. We can have tea and scones. It’ll be cute. :)

Create

As I’ve been spending a lot of time working on a friend’s language, I haven’t really touched my main one for a few weeks because I don’t want to accidentally overlap them. Instead, I’ve been focusing on a sort of Common Tongue used by the empire and its constituent countries. I figured it had to be super simple so that is easy to learn and once learnt, the people won’t want to re-assume their own native tongues because they would seem way to complex. Sneaky empire language spreading tactics. :) Basically, it’s really heavily based on Old English in its sounds and basic verb forms but does not contain any case, any person markers, minimal tense changes and a lot of nominalisation so you really only need a few hundred words to get by. As I said, the point is that it’s super easy to learn so if you’re willing to be a guinea pig for me, I’d love to test it out on you. :)

The Pirate Code: Sometimes Guidelines Are Worth Following

Hello hello. Wednesday is a busy day. Busy busy. Classes started back at uni this week and so far I’ve only had three of my four classes but they are all really exciting and interesting. :D I’m really looking forward to the rest of semester, which is not something I’ve wholeheartedly said before so that’s something.

For those of you interested in what else I’ve been up to, especially in relation to writing etc, you can read my latest ROW80 contribution.

You will be excited to know that this week, I used a little creativity with my WIPpet math and managed to find something to share with you that a) I haven’t shown you before, b) doesn’t contain spoilers and c) follows the WIPpet rules (which, if we’re honest, are more a set of guidelines :P).

The math is as follows: 30 (for the day) – 7 (for the month) = 23 = chapter 23 from Queen of Hearts. In my draft, the title of this chapter has a love heart next to it because what follows this snippet is one of my favourite scenes. :) Context: who needs it? As the following excerpt is also the first lines of the chapter, feedback is appreciated. :)

Some travel advice, for free; never travel in Bashraan during a Succession. Blood floods through the streets and those who shed it do not give a damn where it comes from.

As always, you can join us here, or just use this handy linky tool to quietly stalk our profiles, whichever. :)

 

Three weeks in. Or is it four? A Tale of ROW80.

So a few weeks have passed since the beginning of ROW80 although I’ve kind of lost track of how many exactly. As for my goals, they are progressing as predicted. The ones I knew I’d be able to meet, I’ve met and the ones I knew I’d struggle with I’ve so far ignored. Which is potentially an issue but not a huge one.

Edit Queen of Hearts

I’ve managed to edit and rewrite the first three chapters according to the feedback provided by my betas. This feedback has helped so much because it has allowed me to pinpoint the areas that I consistently fall down on and so I can target my energies. I’ve been experimenting with changing scene POV where I can, just to break it up a bit because originally, it was all in Kara’s POV and even I was getting sick of that. I also did a very exciting thing – I cut a scene that I liked but which did absolutely nothing for character or plot. I think the reason its stayed in there so long is because it was the initial opening scene and pretty much the evolution of the first thing I ever wrote for Queen of Hearts. But now it is where it belongs, in the scrap heap.

Write

I’ve come up with a few more ideas for short stories and have been considering what I want to work on for NaNoWriMo. At this stage, I don’t think I’ll be starting anything new. Instead, I’ll be revamping or finishing one of my previous works, just because I already have those fermenting in my mind.

Blog

Second blog post this week. Goal – scored!

Create

While I haven’t done any work on my own language, I met up with a friend on Monday who wanted help creating a language for his world. It was actually a lot more fun brainstorming and creating with someone else and I’m pretty proud of what we achieved in about five or so hours. He also gave me some really good advice for characters in Queen of Hearts so overall, a very productive day. :)

Wednesday WIPpet

So last week I posted a totally irrelevant one-liner and I think that for the next few weeks while I’m editing, I’ll continue to do the same. As always, you are welcome to join us here. Like last week’s offering to the WIPpet gods, this one liner is currently a stand alone thing. :)

Freedom is not about the cages we see, it’s about the cages we cannot see, those of our own making.

Look out for ROW80 update on Sunday :)

On a ROWl: A Terrible Pun

First of all, thank you to everyone who read and commented on my WIPpet Wednesday post. I was pleasantly surprised that it had the most traffic of any post in a long time considering it totaled about 100 words and contained only one line of prose. Made me happy :)

Anyway, onto the real business…

So, it’s Sunday which means I’ve been working on my ROW80 goals for two weeks now. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been attending every check-in, mostly because my work tends to be sporadic and so I post an update after my most productive part of the week but as I haven’t posted an update for a week and a half I have a decent amount of progress to report which is exciting. :)

Edit Queen of Hearts

I received the edits from my betas and have been going through and applying their suggestions to the first seven chapters. I’m still not totally happy with these yet and I’ve uncovered a few annoying plot holes that I need to work out but in terms of progress, I’m happy.

I also bought a self-edit book which I intend to write a review of eventually and which I’m hoping will help me with my edits. The best part about the betas is that they’ve pinpointed some things I need to work on that I was having trouble pick up myself.

Write

Not anything actually done on this front but I’ve come up with a few ideas and written down about 200 words worth of random unconnected quotes. I’ve also started looking at NaNoWriMo ideas. A little early, I know, but I want to be properly prepared this time around.

Blog

This post + Wednesday’s post = 2

2 blog posts = success :)

Create

I designed a basic script but apart from that its on standby at the moment. I have an exam for Ancient Greek on Monday and I’m confused enough about it already without mixing in my own language at the same time. That said, the topic is always at the back of my mind and I look forward to returning to it.

Fraud on Wednesday

I’m afraid to say that despite having copious tales in the works, I don’t have anything ready to share with you today from my works in progress. What I have instead is a one liner I found in my notebook. It has absolutely nothing to do with today’s date or in fact anything at all but I like it. :)

As for ROW80, I’ll be making my check-in on Sunday.

It starts with burning books and ends with burning men.

ROW80 and WIPpet: A Tale of Acronyms

Hi everyone! If you saw my blog post on Monday you’ll know that I am officially returned from my exam induced hiatus and have put my name down for the current round of ROW80. That means that as well as a WIPpet for you today I also have a quick ROW80 update:

Edits

Read over Queen of Hearts draft. Laughed at amount of typos. Although to be fair, today’s WIPpet was edited(ish) today so that’s something.

Write

I’ve jotted down a few quotes and ideas in my notebook. That’s about it/

Blog

This. This is blogging. Yay.

Create

No progress in the last couple f days but hope to work on it over the weekend.

And now, onto the fun bit – WIPpet Wednesday  hosted as always by K.L. Schwengel. Unable to find something that correlated to the date I decided to take a chunk from Queen of Hearts that I liked and do a quick edit so this excerpt relates to the date because I edited it today and because math. When I was editing I was trying to focus on showing rather than telling and incorporating the senses into the piece without it being too clunky. Any feedback in this department would be appreciated. :)

Context: Things are happening. Murder! Mayhem! Plots! Plots everywhere!

Smoke hung over the city, trapped by low temperatures and intrigue.  Eriden wished for less of both. As she wound her way through the predawn streets to the tune of trickling sewerage and distant screams, Eriden could not shake the feeling of unease settled about her shoulders like a winter mantle. She arrived at the Guild House and was met not by the usual doorman but by Alyan’s protégé. He smiled a greeting but she ignored him, following him in silence to Alyan’s office on the first floor. They had slept together once, she and Bren, when they were both young and foolish and drunk on sweet wine after a kill. Not that that meant anything now.

Every instinct told her to run. When they entered the office, Alyan was standing behind the expensive desk, a frown crinkling his gruff features.

“Close the door.” Alyan snapped.

Eriden did as she was told and waited to be invited to sit. No such invitation was forthcoming.

“Are you getting soft, girl?” he demanded.

“Don’t speak in riddles, Alyan.” She’d slept with him too, when she was old enough to have known better. She had blamed it on heart’s folly and tried to forget his kisses.

“The royal brat. She should be dead. Or have you forgotten?”

“I have a very good memory, Alyan.”

“Then why, by Nare, is she still alive?”

“I didn’t take you for a religious man.”

In his corner, Bren quirked a smile.

The Guild Master ignored her jibe, “When a client pays for a job to be done, they expect it to be done.”

“Feeling pressured by the nobility? That’s not like you,” Eriden’s brow furrowed in thought, “They have something on you, don’t they? Duke Hallten knows something about you that could jeopardise you.”

“Who ordered the hit is of no consequence.”

“Oh, I disagree. This job is personal.”

“The client-”

“Hallten.”

“Fine, yes, Hallten, asked for you in particular.”

“Then he’s an idiot.” Eriden replied, crossing her arms across her chest.

“As long as he pays, I don’t care what sort of fool he is. So I’ll ask you again, why isn’t the brat dead?”

“I’m biding my time.”

“To what end?”

“To gain her trust.”

“What use is the trust of a dead woman?”

“And to ensure that when I do complete my task, no blame will fall on me.”

“Blame is an assassin’s game, Eriden.”

“I won’t hang for it. If the duke wants her dead, and by my hand, then he must learn patience.”

“If Karavere is not finished with by summers end, I’ll send Bren after you. He can finish the job if you won’t. And you along with it.”

Eriden faltered, dread swirling around her chest. She turned on Bren “How much did he promise to pay you?”

“A vast sum,” Bren replied, leaning against the book case, “I refused it, of course.” He smiled, “Some marks are just for fun.”

Return of the Blogger: ROW80 initiation

I’ve been gone from here for a while now. That is partly due to exams and partly due to other things as well which I won’t go into detail here. In the time I’ve been absent I’ve done an abysmally non-existent amount of writing and while I should feel some level of guilt, I don’t. The thing is, as much as I love writing and despite the emotional investment I have in my characters and stories I have never been the sort to sit down and over the period of a few months, write a novel. I write in snippets; I might have a good day or week or even month but then I’ll save the document and it will sit there untouched for six months or more. This fact has made me question a lot of things, including whether or not I am serious about this writing thing, whether I really am aiming to be a published author or whether I’m using writing as a procrastination tool. I think the answer is a mixture of both really. I do really want to be a published author but I don’t think I’m ready to be heading down that path just yet. Despite this blog being initially a place to document the journey from manuscript to publication, I know that right now, my writing isn’t ready and I’m not ready. And that’s ok. So for now, yes, writing may just be a hobby, a way to procrastinate, something I do every now and then rather than every day but I don’t mind. My worst fear, I suppose, is that were I to take this whole writing gig too seriously, I would grow to hate it. I don’t deal well with structure and boundaries, with cage like deadlines and expectations that I do something a certain way. This is the moment when I stop writing the way I’ve been told, the way others write, and begin to explore my own style. I’ve done copious amounts of research while I’ve not been writing but now it is time to forge my own path.

With that in mind, I’ve put my name down for this cycle of ROW80. (You can find out more about ROW80 on their blog.) This was really a spur of the moment decision but we’ll see how it goes. I’m not going to promise you the earth, I won’t be able to make two posts a week about this and my goals will be long term rather than weekly or daily.

So here goes:

Edit Queen of Hearts

It currently stands at about 30 chapters. I doubt I’ll finish edits within this cycle but I hope to edit a chapter a week. By the end of this week I should have the feedback from my betas who were kind enough to review the first seven chapters for me so that will hopefully lead to some major overhauls where appropriate.

Write

At least brainstorm and plan if not write a short story (between 1500-3000 words) every month so by the end of the cycle I should have three done.

Blog

Twice a week when I can, no guilt when I can’t.

Create

While I’ve been on hiatus I’ve been dabbling in language creation, taking the mess of language I’d already created and adding structure to it. I hope to write a post about it in the next few weeks because I find it fascinating and I would love to share it with you.