Was this even revised?

I finished the prequel story last week, and since I don’t have the time to start writing something new, I spent Friday and Saturday writing notes about gnomes, shifters and Vampire on my tablet. It was an experiment, to see if I could actually do something writing related on a tablet without getting a headache.  Today, I decided to do something else. And, since  I’m  planning on Editing Daughter of the Dark in February, I decided to read through A Shadow of Love, the sequel.  Which turned out to be such a hot mess, that I had to ask myself if it had been revised at all. If it was revised, I did an crappy job at it.  To be fair,  the plot is rather solid.  Too bad nothing else is…

The draft is at 19000 words, and at the moment, it is more like an  very detailed outline.   That means it should be doable for me to rewrite it before I get Daughter of the Dark back from the editor.  If nothing else, it will be a challenge.  And  I like challenges.





The prequel story is done!

I know. In my previous writing update post I said it would be a novella. Well. I was wrong. I had written 3000 words when I realised I had forgotten one important difference between the outline for Cauldron Bound ( the novella) and Exile ( the Short story), namely that the middle of Cauldron Bound was compressed into ” they travelled and met clans, some hostile.”  While the middle for Exile was more detailed.

I’ll admit that I was a bit relieved, since I had been trying to figure how the story would cover 17 000 words.   I’m happy that I wrote the story, since it gave me  an insight into how Jenny managed to leave Dhurig without being caught.

Now I’ll let it sit for a bit, while I focus on getting Daughter of the Dark  ready for publication.   But rest assured that I have plans for this story.

As a side note:  I’m running out of stories to write in this world. I just have two story ideas left! ( Maybe three, if I can find my notes for the third one…)

My 2014 Re-reading challenge:

I have 200 books marked as unread in Calibre, most of them written by authors that I have wanted to give a try for a long. And yet, none of them spark my interest.

Normally, I would have shrugged it off, and assumed that it would change soon. Except that I have been in a reading slump since October. Which is very frustrating, when you like me used to  read 1 book/ day, if not more.. But then I started to think about why I have been in a reading slump. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the reading slump started roughly around the time I decided to focus on my writing career.

Which made me sit down, and think hard. It is unheard of for me to read as few books as I currently do. I also know that some authors simply cannot read new books and/ or books in the same genre that they are writing in.

And add to the fact that the only books I haven’t DNF’d have been re-reads, I have decided to focus on re-reads this year. I am not sure which books I’ll re-read, but I look forward to browse my library, and pick up old and newer faves that I want to re-read. 🙂

And here I am at Chapter One again

I finished Cauldron Bound on Friday, and then had a CSI Miami marathon the whole weekend.   This morning, I sat down to outline the prequel story I want to write before I get  Daughter of the Dark back from the Editor, sometime in February. ( I’m sending it to her Feb 4, and I suspect a short turn around time.)

I cursed a bit when I realised that the short story didn’t want to be a short story. Nope. Based on the fact that the outline is as long as the one for Cauldron Bound, it want to be a novella.  But! I look forward to write about how Jenny managed to reach  Ahira, one step before the Arch-Priestess men.

Despite the fact that the draft probably will be 10 000 words longer than I expected, I can still finish it before I get the edits back.  After all, I wrote Cauldron Bound in 3 weeks over the holidays, so I should be able finish this draft in a month. ( Yeah. I know, just because I assume this, I’ll hit an unexpected plot snag.)

I’ll probably take a couple of days off, to give Daughter of the dark one last read through before sending it to the editor.

And once this draft is done, the juggling editing and revising part  of 2014 begins.  I’m not keeping a brutal pace ( 750-1300 words is  doable for me) , but I’m definitely keeping a writing/ editing schedule.  And yes, sometimes my brain gibbers, but it seems to have worked for the writing.  So maybe it will work for the editing too!   *exhales* But I am telling myself that it will be worth it in the end.

Oh, and I am giving myself the summer off from deadlines.  Still plan on writing, but no deadlines :).

Done, and reflecting over writer growth

I finished the first draft of Cauldron Born today. It isn’t perfect, but I’m proud of it. Cauldron Born was originally written for an anthology, as a historical fantasy short story featuring undead. Except as I finished the first draft of that story, I knew I had left a lot of the story untold. So I let it sit, with the vague plan of rewriting it, and change the setting to Ireland or the British Isles.

Fast forward, a couple of years. I’m revising the Daughter of the Dark, when I have a lightbulb moments. Set the story during the Clan Wars. Which I decided to do.

And this mental journey is a sign of how I have grown as a writer. When I started writing, setting was set. It was the thing that I couldn’t change, or the story would be gone for me.

To be honest, I’m glad that has changed. Since sometimes, stories need a different setting. And that isn’t the only thing that have changed. When I outlined this story, I outlined it in less than 1 hour. More, I trusted myself to write the portions that I wasn’t sure about. And I succeeded. Granted, this was a straightforward story, and not as complex as some of the stories I’ve written previously.

But I’m happy with it. And I’m especially proud of the fact that I wrote it in 3 weeks, despite the fact it was christmas and New Years. I also feel ready to tackle some of those more complex stories later this year. First on the list is the sequel to The Demonlord’s Escape, previously known as Angel among Demons. .The new title fits beautifully, since a big part of the plot is pulled by Lucifer’s wish to escape from Hell. I’ll probably start writing the Heaven and Hell #2 some time this summer, since I have Cauldron 2 to write first, and also a prequel to Daughter of the Dark. ( Which will hopefully be a short story.)

But now, I’m off to enjoy my weekend off, since I’m not even thinking about writing until Monday.

Slog, slog, slog

Right now, I’m working on Cauldron Born ( or Bound).  And yesterday, I reached the part of   the draft that is an eternal slog.  The inner critic whispers ” This is crap. Shouldn’t you focus on the unfinished YA Fantasy instead?”, while I would like to finish it, I know that I need to finish this draft first.  At the moment, I’ve written almost 8000 words, which means I’m probably roughly half way into the first draft.

The draft is  sparse with almost no description, but that’s OK.  For me, the first draft is more about  getting the bare bones story down on paper.  Yeah there are  probably plot holes that I don’t realise, and the writing is clunky, but that’s what revising is for.

Right now, I’m looking at finish it in mid January.   I’m aiming for 15 000 words, but it might be longer.   But rest assured, when I send it to an editor? It will be longer, since I often add 5-10 000 words in my revisions.  The big exception was Queen of Sind, I added a whopping 20 000 words during revisions.


Another teaser from Daughter of the Dark

I spent yesterday creating a cover for Daughter of the Dark. I am really pleased with how it turned out. Simple, yet it doesn’t scream home made to me. Best of all? All the elements in the stockphoto I found is tied to the plot.

So here comes a tiny snippet from Daughter of the Dark:


I knew that the wool was expensive. Very expensive. The money I would get if I sold a bolt of that wool was enough to feed me and Rhiane for months, maybe even a year if we lived frugally.

Daughter of the Dark should be out in early 2014 :). If someone wants to beta read it, leave a comment, email me or catch me in the war room.

So many plans!

I have been talking about selfpublishing several times, but it has stayed at talking. Not this time around.  I have already settled on which story is going first ( Daughter of the Dark, since it is stand alone), the cover artist I want, and the editor.  I plan to contact the editor later this month, and the cover artist next month.  Why not immediately? Because while they are well within my budget , they want half the fee in advance, and I don’t want a big credit card bill. So I am spreading it out a bit.

And later in 2014?  I introduce you to the Sultanate of Sind. First out is Sherezade, which will probably be retitled to the Sultana of Sind ( or The Queen of Sind)

To tease you, here is the first 200 words from Daughter of the Dark:

Standing in the shadows, I watched the house on the other side of the street. At the surface, the imposing brick house with its walled garden looked like the rest of the houses in this neighborhood. But that was just the surface, beneath the surface I could sense the wards. I knew that if I looked, a rainbow of colors would meet my sight.

I winced in sympathy. Unlike many other realms, this realm’s magic were hidden. In other words, using Elemental magic for spells hurt. A lot. Whoever owned the house had put a lot of effort in the magic defenses. Why? Why would someone ward a residence?

Unease slithered down my spine. Maybe it is the wrong house.

I dug into the pocket of my tunic, and got out the wrinkled paper scrap. I squinted, staring at Toni’s uneven writing.

Loraine Street. I glanced at the street sign. The silver letters gleamed in the moon light.

Yep. That’s here.

I froze when I heard the eeringly familiar howls in the distance.

Musings about pacing

I am 14 000 words in to the type in, right now.  And I really like what I got so far.  But I have also been thinking about the pacing.  Why? Because a lot have happened.  Too much.

So far in this book I have:

* One theft

* One crazed werewolf

* One werewolf/vampyre hybrid
* One engagement

* One murder

*One escaped villain

And I am not even half-way into the plot.   And, I cannot cut any of the plot point, since all of them support a layer of the plot. But, I think I might have  to spread them out a bit… Or maybe not, since that too would change the story.  Oh well. First I have to finish the draft.

Then I can start tearing it apart. For starters, I know I want to make Jenny the maid responsible for cleaning the library containing the more… special books.  Why? Since that way, she wouldn’t add more work for the other maids when she is running around doing other things.