WIPpet for Wednesday

Hello all! I’m pleased to report that I had an amazing time in England and Wales over the last week though the return to reality was rather harsh. I did do a WIPpet Wednesday post last week as well but I scheduled it and didn’t have the facilities to add it to the link so I’ve put that link up on the linky thing today as well. :) It might be worth taking a look because it leads straight into today’s passage.

Thanks as always to the incredible K.L. Schwengel who hosts these shenanigans and also a huge congratulations to our own Kate Sparkes  who’s celebrating the unveiling of her latest book’s cover! You can find the other WIPeteers (like musketeers but without the hats – sometimes) here. :)

Today’s offering is from SSHK and relates to the date because I wrote it today! Sometimes, I astound myself with my levels of preparedness. Or lack thereof. As I mentioned earlier, it follows on from last week. :)

The ritual formalities over, the six Finders took their seats around the oval table. Fiana remained standing. “Deshral, He who is Flame, the Maker and the Destroyer, Who was and is and will come to be, has spoken. I should not need to remind you that what lies ahead is the most important task in your lives. Every moment of preparation and prayer, every census you have memorised and skill you have learnt, has lead you to this room today.” Fiana paused, her voice softening, “We have waited twenty years for the Flame to speak. Long years. Though it is perhaps unwise to say it, to criticise the gods, the last Four were not kind nor noble. They did more harm than good and in the decades since they died, things have not improved. We are at a turning point for Erelda – you are entrusted with training and shaping the Four whose fates will decide whether this nation falls or triumphs.”

Jahinda’s heart swelled with pride and she sat straighter in her seat but the others did not look quite so comfortable. They doubted. But she knew she was chosen, chosen by the gods for this task. When Memset had called her to Her temple, her family had tried to dissuade her. Jahinda hadn’t listened. And now, everything she’d worked for was in motion.

Welsh Wednesday

Ok, so I’m not in Wales today but I’m on my way there! It’s all very exciting. As always, if you want to find out more about my travel adventures, you can go to my other blog. I’m going to try and keep them separate as much as possible. I’ll admit that the last week, I have rather neglected my WIPs as I had an essay to write and I spent most of my free time developing my languages. However, I did get some time to go over Queen of Hearts,  and do some more edits as well as extend the word count for SSHK.

Today’s WIPpet is some more from SSHK. This scene takes place relatively soon after the last one. WIPpet math = 18 lines according to my word processor + 1 for luck. :) Note: v. unedited.

The mood in the city of Lahiba was electric, the air buzzing the way it does before a summer storm breaks. As Jahinda hurried through the narrow streets and bustling plazas to the palace, she scanned the faces of the cityfolk. Some looked happy – she saw merchants selling their wares at lower rates than the poor trading season warranted and beggars who smiled despite the heat and the stench and the dirt. But not everyone shared the sentiment – cautious folk walked quickly with their heads down and the outright scared were packing their bags and heading for the gates. Though there had been no official announcement, news of the Naming had spread. She arrived at the gates to the palace as the sun was sinking below the horizon, turning the sky turned an eerie red. Dressed in the burnt orange robes of Memset, Goddess of War, and the Finder’s badge pinned over her chest, no one dared challenge her. Once inside the walls, Jahinda hurried along the west portico, her long shadow stalking her movements. Taking an abrupt left up a set of narrow stairs, she emerged into a long corridor. She turned left again, spinning on her heel so her cloak billowed around her, and stopped outside a dark green door, knocking firmly on the old wood.

The door cracked open to reveal a muscled grey haired man in robes the colour of dried blood, “Jahinda, you’re late.”

“Sorry,” Jahinda pushed past him into the room beyond where the other six were already gathered.

Fiana, the grey-haired woman at the head of the long table stood, “The Great God Deshral has spoken three Names.”

“And we are Gods-bound to Find them,” the six Finders chanted the ritual response.


Wednesday Wupdates

As you can tell, I will do almost anything for a title that alliterates sometimes.

In the last fortnight I’ve been really happy with my progress on my works in progress. I’ve been focusing mainly on the project I mentioned last week which we’ll refer to as SSHK for short. Here’s some photographic evidence of my progress! :) Of course, I’ve had other things happening, being on exchange in Scotland and all but you can find out about that on my travel blog. :)

The Grand Plan for Sorcerer Soldier Healer King

The Grand Plan for Sorcerer Soldier Healer King

The math for today’s WIPpet is admittedly a tad arbitrary. It’s the 11th. I wrote these words today. Therefore it’s relevant to the date (and horrendously unedited). Woo.

Ashada started, his rheumy eyes springing open. In the centre of the cavernous room, the Sacred Fire burned brightly. Bright blue flames leapt from the large goblet-shaped plinth, reaching towards the roof.

Ashada fell on his knees before the Flame. Touching his forehead to the marble floor, he began to pray.

“Keeper of the Flame,” a sibilant voice sounded from the fire, “Arise and listen.”

Ashada scrambled to his feet as swiftly as his creaking bones would allow. He fetched the wax tablet which lay beside his chair, his hands shaking. Twenty years he had waited, twenty years for the Fire to speak, for the Four to be named.

“Va mashi, the sorcerer. Kalegos of Lygea. Va lajek, the solider. Maisha of Lahiba. Va jikar, the healer. Itsak of Werari.”

The voice went silent and the blue flames faded back to their normal size. Ashada frowned. The Flame had not named the fourth. It had not named the king.

February Felicitations

Yes, that was a ridiculously obnoxious title but it alliterates. And I like alliteration. :) There was a small clerical error last week where I completely forgot that the day I sat down to write my WIPpet was in fact Thursday, not Wednesday. This new time zone thing means I do have to get my act together a little more. I can no longer afford to whip something up Thursday morning and be content that it’s still Wednesday somewhere. Such is life. Fortunately, I have Tuesdays free of classes so, if I get my act together, I can prepare a lovely little post for you to enjoy. Which is what I’ve done this week.

But before we get to the WIPpet bit, here’s a quick update of what I’ve been up to, writing wise, in the last two weeks. :)

I mentioned I had a new project towards the end of last year and I’ve finally been able to sit down and write character synopses. I needed a while for them to just sit and stew in my head though, before I committed them to paper. I’ve also tried something new (to me, certainly not to the world of writing) and begun a proper plan for this project. yes, you heard right. A plan! Woo! An actual scene by scene plan. I guess miracles do happen. As this is the most I’ve planned for any project before, it will be interesting to see how it affects my writing process.

So, onto the WIPpet! *triumphal horn playing*

As it is the fourth, I’m going to share four words. Yeah, I know, I’m a meanie. But these aren’t just any four words. No. These four words form the working title of my new project and provide as much of a glimpse as you’ll get until I get past the planning stage and actually start writing.

So, here you go. :)

Sorcerer. Soldier. Healer. King.

As always, theories and wild speculation welcome in the comments. :)

World-Building for Writers: Creating a world readers will love

Amelia E. Browne:

A really good check-list for world-building. :)

Originally posted on Denise D. Young:

There’s nothing more exciting—and, often times, overwhelming—than creating a fictional world and populating it with an interesting collection of characters, each with their own agenda. A fully realized, richly detailed fictional world can capture readers’ hearts, minds, and imaginations. The world is full of readers who would eagerly receive their letter of acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, who’d gladly take a stroll through the Shire, who wouldn’t mind flying off to Neverland or entering a world where dragons soar or werewolves roam.

So where do we begin? Here are a few of the exercises I use to get my stories off the ground. (Many thanks to Michelle, whose comment on a previous post inspired this one.) Discovering and creating a fantasy world takes patience and time—with each draft, with each exercise, we dig a little deeper, all in the hopes that readers will one day be…

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Apologies for my wee absence

See what I did there? :P Yes, I am in Scotland (which I feel is sufficient excuse for my lack of posts)! You can read all about my overseas adventures on my travel blog! :D

You are probably here, however, to read about my writing. It is, after all, Wednesday and I owe you for a few weeks. The following is an excerpt from Chapter 21 (though that is more coincidental than deliberate). After the main Farilien base in the north is taken, Kara and Anjez must work out how to retrieve it from enemy hands.

“We know the Haeleans have holed themselves up in the city. It is just a matter of enticing them out.” Kara pointed to the dot on the map, barely visible in the predawn dimness.

“What if we don’t draw them out of the city?” Anjez suggested.

“What do you mean?” Kara ran a hand through her tangled hair, only the force of her will keeping her awake. Neither she nor Anjez had slept.

“What if we let them stay in the city?” Anjez squinted at the map.

“I’m tired, Anjez. Don’t waste my time with stupid suggestions. Why the Everwinter would we want the Haeleans inside the city walls? They would decimate us if we attacked and they have enough supplies to outlast a siege attempt.”

He straightened, bracing his hands on his lower back to alleviate the stiffness, “How important is Adelton? Strategically?”

“While they hold it the Haeleans can access the river.”

He thought for a moment, “Could the river be guarded from there,” he pointed to a line marking a bridge a few miles south of the city, “if the city no longer stood?”

She shrugged, “Probably. But it does stand and likely will for centuries to come.”

“Has the city ever been taken before?” he asked, an idea beginning to form.

“Well, obviously.” She snapped.

“Apart from the obvious?”

“Um,” Kara struggled to recall her lessons, “Twice. Serent Hallten took it in 489 F.A. and it was taken again in 643 F.A. by some Irnemi king.”

Anjez’s mouth curved upwards in a crooked smile, “So it can be done?”

“Yes,” she looked up, “Is that your plan? To try and storm the city? We don’t have the troops, the sheer numbers.”

He shook his head, “Not to storm it, no. My tutor once told me of an invincible city in the East. Many vast armies tested their might against its walls and one after the other, they failed. Then one day, a company of mercenaries, remnants of a southern empire, came upon the city and in one day, they defeated it.”


Bonus points to anyone who can guess which legend this scene draws upon. :)

One Week In

Originally posted on The Definition of Travel:

I’ve now been in Edinburgh just over a week and am at the end of my first week of classes. I have already studied more in the last week than I usually do in the first few weeks of semester because I really want to make sure I stay on top of things. Besides, my classes are super interesting, all something to do with historical linguistics. :D But don’t worry, I have been doing more than just study. I think I’ve maybe only had two nights in the last week and a half where I didn’t have something on, whether it was a quiz night or dinner with friends. This means I’ve been meeting a lot of new people who I will hopefully get to know better as the semester progresses. :)

What I really want to tell you guys about today, though, is the ceilidh. I mentioned that I…

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Settling In

Amelia E. Browne:

The latest post from my travel blog. Woo. :)

Originally posted on The Definition of Travel:

I arrived in Edinburgh on Wednesday and was welcomed by rain and howling winds. After trekking half way across town to fetch my key and learning the true origins of the term luggage, I arrived at my accommodation and began to get settled in. I always underestimate how lovely it is to be staying somewhere long enough that you can afford to unpack your suitcases entirely.

A welcome dinner of haggis for all the visiting students was a great way to meet people. And the haggis wasn’t too bad honestly. As long as you didn’t think about it. Thursday was filled with dull but necessary inductions and information sessions. Tonight, though, there’s a ceilidh on! I’d explain what it is but my understanding is vague so I’ll give you the low-down next time but basically it’s a dance.

Today I had a chance to explore Edinburgh a it more. It’s…

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2015 is going to be a big year for me as I’m spending half of it studying on the other side of the world. Twelve months from now I will have completed my undrgraduate degree. This year is going to require more dedication, more conviction and more courage than ever before so I’ve decided to jump on the resolution bandwagon to help me make 2015 truly great.                                             
Finish editing Queen of Hearts and begin to query it.
Learn and practice the art of the        short story. Enter at least one competition every 3 months.
Finish draft of Rebellion Rising by April/May. This will certainly be a challenge.                  
Write more days than not.
Maintain my blogs with a focus on quality and regular updates.
Achieve a healthy weight.
Finish degree with marks good enough to secure me a place in the honours program.                          
Explore the UK and Europe while I have the chance.

Most of all though, I am determined to challenge myself.