Writing Update: February 2016

(It feels so weird to not have a No Angels section of this anymore! I suppose I’ll adjust.)

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My monthly progress with this one has been halting, mostly due to essays and midterms. That being said, I’ve written 13k thus far and plan to be at 15k by the end of the month. It’s still wildly fun to write, but the fact that school has been getting in the way had been less than satisfying. I’ve also missed the previous two writing-treat-weekend sessions because of life’s hiccups. It’ll be nice to feel on-track again!

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Still subbing. Still no response. *Bangs head on desk.* Waiting is just part of the game!

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Again, this one is still out with no response. I’ve been toying with the idea of reworking it a little since my writing has developed over the years and I want to bring it up to par, so next time it comes back that’ll be what I do!

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Ah yes, my sci-fi/horror short. It’s decided to take a very different, more compelling turn from what I originally intended, one that makes for lots of morally-gray areas. (A definite plus!) Again, this one feels halting in its progress, but that’s just how this month is going I suppose. I can tinker with the flow once I have a finished draft!

How is your month going? Are you working on any projects or goals? Comment below!

Writing Update: January 2016

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At long last, The Final Advent has been published! This brings the No Angels trilogy to a close, which is a bittersweet moment for me. (There’ll be an entire blog post on this later.) This is a huge accomplishment for me, and is a promising way to start off the new year!

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I’ve finally started drafting The Immortal! I plan for the first draft to clock in around 70k, and have already knocked out 6k. To be honest, while first drafts famously suck, I am having a LOT of fun writing it! I hope you guys will like reading it just as much. ;)

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The Stolen Sun

Still subbing away on this one! It’s at Tor right now, a place that can take months to respond, but hey, we’ve all gotta play the game at one time or another, am I right?

Where Gold is Born

Yep, this piece has already been published. I know. But! Since the previous place didn’t have exclusive rights over it (the window for their rights have since expired), I’m trying to squeeze another credit out of this one by subbing it as a reprint.

Heartless (WIP title)

My current sci-fi/horror piece! To be honest, drafting this one is . . . laborious. I feel like the story is quite literally dying under my fingers with each sentence, but that’s also how I used to feel about TSS, and look where that is now! I’m holding out hope for this one. I’m aiming for 6k for the first draft, and am at about 2k as it stands.

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Stay tuned, everyone! What progress have you been making on your goals?

THE FINAL ADVENT Release!

After years of drafting, editing, rewriting, and (of course) more editing, THE FINAL ADVENT has officially been published! Go pick up your copy today of the final installment in the NO ANGELS trilogy, where action, adventure, and intrigue abound. (Only available in eBook format for the time being. It should be available in paperback soon!)

Also, for those of you on Goodreads, add it to your list here!

Getting to this point has been such an incredibly long, toiling, and rewarding journey. Without the support of all those I know and love, never in my wildest dreams would this have been possible. Each and every one of you–yes, YOU reading this right now–have been invaluable to me, whether you’re aware of it or not. I’ll cut the sentiments short for now (that’s for a whole different post), but be warned: they’re coming for you!

Thank you so much for following me on my adventures thus far. With the No Angels trilogy wrapped up, it’s time that we take the next steps out into an even bigger, if mysterious, world.

Until next time!

What’s Changed in NO ANGELS

As with all long projects, No Angels has had a multitude of alterations made to it. While the bare-bone structure has largely stayed the same, that’s about it. Below are just a few of the most memorable changes that’ve been made to the series over the years.

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Riven used to be little more than a comic relief character. His name was Bobby. (And no, I’m not kidding.)

For a time, Liz was actually supposed to end up with Mark. I’d liked the idea of the non-special, normal friend getting the girl, but as Riven’s character developed, Mark got cut out of the picture. Muggle.

There were originally four books. Count ’em. The extra (and initially second) book took place in the Australian outback because, as a kid, I was obsessed with the deadly variety of creatures the continent hosts. I deemed it extraneous pretty early on.

Originally Guards who’d been brought back to life existed only in animal form, but I’d found that didn’t work into the mechanics of the story as well.

Liz’s primary weapon used to be a flame-arrowed bow. She also used to have power over stone/earth, but I thought that was getting a bit too Avatar: The Last Airbender-y so I gave those powers to a different race, the Viri Lapideus.

Liz’s last name was originally Crenshath. She had about 10 last names before I finally just picked one.

Liz initially had another best friend in addition to Mark: Josie. In the end, she betrayed Liz by trading confidential information to Jakeus in exchange for him not attacking her when his plans came to fruition. She didn’t serve much of a purpose in the story overall, though, so out she went!

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Did any of these surprise you? Did you see some of them coming? Comment below!

 

Back and Better Than Ever: Key of Amatahns (#1)

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Do you like fantasy? Action? Adventure? (Of course you do!) In that case, Elisabeth Wheatley’s The Key of Amatahns is right up your alley, and I’ve got some good news for you. Not only does it have a gorgeous new cover, it’s also re-edited and more wondrous than ever.

“In a land where those with magic are esteemed and revered, Janir guards a secret that would send her to the headsman’s block at a word. As one of the reviled Argetallams, she has the power to destroy enchantments and steal others’ magic—an ability that has caused bloodshed for generations.

Raised as the illegitimate daughter of an influential lord, she was determined to turn her back on her heritage, but when her power manifests, leaving a nobleman dead, she has no choice but to flee her adoptive home. In exile with the help of a fearless young enchanter and an elf sworn to protect her, she finds herself entangled in a quest to hide an ancient artifact from the kingdom’s enemies.

But they are not the only ones after the relic and soon their paths cross with a rival from Janir’s distant childhood. With no hope of help or rescue, the fate of nations will depend on a fifteen year old girl and her mastery of powers she doesn’t understand.”Goodreads

I wanted to get in Wheatley’s head and pick her brain regarding her editing process. Every author has different goals and approaches, so read below to find out hers!

  1. What made you decide to re-edit The Key of Amatahns?
When I started wanting to shield the book’s very existence from the world, I realized I had to do something. There’s always things I want to change post publication (in every single thing I’ve published ever), but not as badly as this. And because I’m self-published now, I could do so something about it. Ha!
  1. What sort of changes did you make this time around?
There were lots of changes. LOTS. The basic storyline is still the same, but a few characters were cut and other characters who were originally killed off were spared long enough to fulfill their parts (and then I killed them all over again). There were some forms of address that were changed, plenty of scenes that were completely rewritten, and details of the world that were overhauled.
One thing that was very important to me in the rewriting process was to show a more balanced distribution of bad and good between the Brevian/Stlavish “sides.” I aimed for that before, but I tried even harder this time around.
  1. I’ve noticed TKoA has a gorgeous new cover! What led you to seek that out and will any of your other books be getting new covers?
TKoA was given a facelift for the same reason I carved out a new book—I wanted to be proud of it. The old one just sort of felt blah and I wanted something ooh. And yes! I have actually picked out the model and images for the rest of the series and we should be getting matching new faces for them, too, as well as the future installments!
  1. What process did you use to edit TKoA this time, and (considering it was released once before) was it any different from how you’ve edited books in the past?
Actually, it wasn’t that different from how I usually edit a first draft. I opened it up and read through, fighting back the urge to vomit as I went and making up a laundry list of things that would be mercilessly altered. I had plenty of moments where I wanted to shoot my computer, my manuscript, or perhaps myself, but we got through (computer, manuscript, and all) and I think it was definitely worth it.
  1. What was it like re-editing TKoA? Nostalgic? Frustrating beyond belief? Something else?
Most of re-editing involved me sitting before my computer and screeching to the heavens in a mournful wail. “What was I thinking?” echoed frequently from my room during this process. In some ways, it was nostalgic as I recalled what had been going on in my life as I had originally written this or that, but the warm fuzzy feelings were usually short lived. For the most part, I was trying to figure out how 15-year-old me could have thought that thing was ready to meet planet Earth.
  1. As someone who is also re-editing an already released novel, I’ve had to come to the realization that a book will never really be “done,” but that we as authors will have to concede at some point and say we’re finished with it. On this project, how and when did you decide on that point for yourself and how do you feel?
The “give it up” point for me was hard to reach. I gave myself a deadline of January, but didn’t let go of the story and hit publish until halfway through March. I wrestled with this and tussled with that, but in the end, I had no choice but to let it go after the third overhaul. I was going to go crazy if I didn’t and my family had been through enough tribulation and wailing as it was.
I’d like to thank Ms. Wheatley for her time, (and for her highly enjoyable series). Go check out Key of Amatahns now!
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To find Elisabeth Wheatley at her respective sites, follow the links below!

Writing in 2014: My Year in Review

I have to be honest, 2014 was an extremely trying and difficult year for me. So, it was difficult to get myself up and writing. But I also didn’t recognize just how much I’d accomplished this year either until I sat back and started reflecting!

Without further ado, here’s a compilation of everything I’ve accomplished this year.

No Angels

I finished re-editing No Angels; cutting out no less than 14,000 words, adding in scenes, cutting scenes, etc.

This monster weighs nearly two pounds!

This monster weighs nearly two pounds!

Afterwards I reformatted the novel in both eBook and paperback form and held a giveaway to celebrate its release!

Collapsed Cathedrals

This one wasn’t a huge priority, but I still felt it needed tending to. Long story short, Gaiman’s Law got the better of me, and, since I couldn’t bear the idea of there being potential typos in my book (unavoidable as it may be), I gave it another read through and uploaded the edited version.

The Final Advent

I’ve been making progress on editing TFA and getting beta edits done. Also, I’ve made a lot of headway in creating the cover. Nearly done, too! This one will definitely be released in the earlier half of 2015.

The Stolen Sun

I wrote The Stolen Sun, edited it multiple times with the help of many an amazing beta (shout out to Intisar Khanani & Elisabeth Wheatley!), and have been submitting it to quite a few places! No bites yet, but my fingers remain crossed.

Where Gold is Born

This piece finally got picked up for publication by the Sagebrush Review! Volume 9 is actually out now, if you want to pick yourself up a copy ;)

The Immortal and The Cradle 

The Immortal and The Cradle became significantly more fleshed out versions of themselves than they ever were. I fleshed out the outline for The Cradle, and even though I’m still not totally satisfied with it, progress is progress. The Immortal took on a whole new life, the plot getting fully brought to life, characters created and given backstories and personalities, have conducted mountains of research, and so on. The Immortal has been itching to burst out of my fingertips, and will likely be my central writing-focus of 2015.

Silverhart

I’ve done little bits of work on this one, creating the world, developing some story arcs, and building up the mythology and world rules. This story is HUGE though, (at least 5 books), so it’ll probably be at least 5 more years before I start actually writing.

So, there’s you have it! My writing progress of 2014. How did this year go for you in terms of accomplishments, writing related or not?

Also, I want to tag Elisabeth Wheatley and Intisar Khanani to do a post similar to this as well! How did y’alls year go in terms of writing?

Have a great rest of your year, everyone!