On "Meet the Characters: Luka"
(Plus about 20 more comments on the Luka post, and another 15 on other posts, old and new, up to as recently as two days ago.)
On "Meet the Characters: Luka"
This is the first time I've ever done a blog hop. A blog hop is basically a way for readers to discover new authors.
Thanks to Nadine Ducca for inviting me to participate. You can click on her name to learn more about her work.
In this blog hop, I will answer some questions about my upcoming book, Aundes Aura.
Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions.
What is the title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
One morning after I woke up, I was lying with my eyes closed and a vision came into my mind of a girl in a cave and a huge flash of light. It was accompanied by the title Aundes Aura. Everything grew from there.
What genre does your book come under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Since watching Game of Thrones, I've considered Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) for Saera, but that's about it.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I don't have one for Aundes Aura, although I do have one for the next title I'm working on -- Three Bridges.
Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Aundes Aura is going to be self-published later this year.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Too long -- it was two years and a few months for the real first draft, but there was a version of it even a few months before then, until I scrapped that and restarted (thankfully).
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Inheritance Cycle, but lengthwise it's on the other side of the spectrum.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Nothing other than the fact that I've always written, always wanted to be a published author, and always wanted to turn writing my books into my job. It's my first full-length novel, so it's a gigantic step for me.
What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
The first page should do it, right?
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Who's next on the blog hop?
Next Wednesday we'll see:
Anastasia Leach at Worlds Out Of Words
Fellow author Nadine Ducca will soon be releasing her book, "Serving Time"!
As part of her blog hop, yesterday John Kang interviewed one of her characters, Eneld, here.
Today I'll be giving you a sneak peek into "Serving Time". So without any further ado, here it is!
Finally! This is the longest chapter I've ever written, weighing in at 6,400 words! I just had so much to get through, and I had to get through all of it.
Cool fact: the last 2,000 words were written in the last two nights. It looks like my writing speed's increasing.
Since finishing my second draft, I've made little to no changes to my manuscript. Despite this, my editor is scheduled for next week, and this is a wonderful thing. I have time to go through and make any changes that stick out to me, but whatever the outcome . . . this is a date, and things are going to get done. My editor's suggestions will be a roadmap that I can follow, one to the next, crossing things off my list. The time's getting close when I say, this is the best I can do, and move on to new projects for good.
But I'm nervous.
I've been planning Three Bridges almost daily now, but last night I missed it. Why? I got side-tracked by another project I suddenly decided to do. So tonight I'm going to get back to it, and at least get a couple of paragraphs down.
As for now, here's the video of my Viva La Vida cover.
In my post yesterday I mentioned writing and publishing a novella as one of my resolutions. The truth is that I've been planning out the book for a few days now. This is my first ever time using the Snowflake Method. It's intense, and I'm only halfway through it. I've never planned anything out so carefully.
The working title -- and possible final title -- is Three Bridges, a project I mentioned a long while back.
My friend was kind enough to sketch some of my characters for me. Here's one of them.
Brief Background: He has lived with a clan his whole life, until he is exiled for committing a particular sin. He had friends he used to climb trees with, Marta, Deen and Tarren. He believes in the Trinity of gods -- Prius, Sundus and Tristus. The clan is his entire family – the adults are responsible for every child, and the children are all brothers and sisters. When he’s exiled, his motivation is to find his place in an unfamiliar world, and acceptance.
How do you spell it?
Answer: The 31st of December is called New Year's Eve.
Why?: The 31st of December is the day before the new year. Therefore it's the eve OF the New Year. That OF denotes possession. The New Year "owns" that eve, and that's why there's an apostrophe.
Answer: The 1st of January is called New Year's Day.
Why?: It's the first day OF the New Year. That OF denotes possession. The New Year "owns" that day, and that's why there's an apostrophe.
1. Make the changes to Aundes Aura that will be suggested by the editor.
1. i. Publish Aundes Aura.
2. Write and publish a novella/novelette.
3. Pass my Advanced Diploma of Music.
4. Not let take-away or other food put me over my weight threshold.
(I'm not going to tell you what that threshold is, because I'm skinny and you might tell me that I don't need to watch my weight. But I like being skinny and I want to keep it that way.)
Got any writing resolutions?
Two days ago when I finished the second draft of Aundes Aura, I didn't know what to do next. How would I approach the next round? How much do I really need to change, anyway? What if it's good how it is?
With the previous suggestions from people on Critique Circle to get a beta reader, plus two more suggestions after my blog post, I've decided to have my friend beta read it for me. I've tried reading friends' work before and haven't got to the end, so I don't have high hopes for this, but I'm moderately confident in it.
Later down the track, I may find some people on Critique Circle or Kindleboards to swap beta reads with. In any case, my editor is scheduled for February, so the book will be going to her then. Her suggestions will be the last changes I make.
Yes, I've been working moderately hard and have managed to get through the first round of edits on Aundes Aura!
Now I find myself at a loss as to what to do next. As I go through the next draft, what should I be focusing on? I've cut all that needed to be cut, and I've done a lot of tightening, especially in the first ten chapters (they needed it more). I've filled out all those pesky square brackets that held the place for transitions to be written.
Aundes Aura is currently 57,590 words. But what do I do next?
My current thought is to add more description, some appropriate character introspection . . . I don't know.
Since it's looking in pretty good shape, one suggestion from some Critique Circle friends was to give it to some beta readers. I could do both -- but with the edits, I'm just not sure where I'm supposed to go from here.
Either way, here's my secret. I've acquired an editor! She'll be editing the book in late February. Whatever the book's state, she'll be getting it then, and her changes are the last ones I plan/hope to make. Until then, my friend wanted to look at it after this round was done, so that's where I'll start.
It's very motivational to know someone's working when you should be. It makes me work.
Since my last post on Thursday, I've revised another three chapters. On Friday I took a break, but on Saturday I jumped back in and revised two chapters, eating through another one today.
This is partly thanks to my new Twitter buds, @johannaharness and @JCRosen. They participate almost every night in #amwriting "sprints", which include editing. They go for a whole hour, where on my own I usually just do a 1/2 hour.
One great thing about this editing is that I'm certain I'm not skimping on it. What I'm actually doing is being time-effective. Not only am I actually progressing with it, but this approach means that I'm really focusing on what matters at this point: removing the big-picture stuff. Those internal monologues that make me say to my MC, "Dude . . . you're an IDIOT!" Gone. If not gone, then re-worded to something that isn't glaringly obvious, melodramatic, stated in the last page, stated a few chapters ago, clearly stated near the start of the book, or out of character.
So I'm an over-explainer. Which is just perfect because I'm also a sparse writer.
But it's all good! This is what revision is about, and I'm making my book way better! In fact, you should see the last chapter. I didn't need to do much at all to it, but what I did do made it better.
I predict less vicious cutting in the coming chapters, as this is the point where I stopped writing certain subplots, and all the characters to be deleted now have been.
Now, I want to put this progress into perspective.
It took me 8 months to edit 9 chapters.
It's taken me 4 days to edit 5 chapters.
Oh, but I was studying during those 8 months. You know what? No! I now know that half an hour can take me through half a chapter. An hour can get me through almost a whole chapter. And if I'm tired out during the week, I can get through at least 4 chapters on the weekend.
It used to take me hours to get through one chapter. Why?
1. I was focusing on the wrong thing.
2. I wasn't focused!
MY CURRENT GOAL: Get through this round of revision (big-picture) by Saturday!
Once that's done, I'll be going through and seeing where I can deepen things, raise the stakes or make things more challenging, which will take a little more time.
However, those should be as approachable as this big-picture pass has been, since there won't be instances left and right, but only perhaps a few scenes every couple of chapters.
I'm so proud to announce that tonight I powered through the editing of 2 chapters! Even wilder, this was in the space of three 30 minute sessions.
About a week ago I discovered "sprints" on Twitter, where someone initiates it and then whoever wants to join in writes or edits for an hour and comes back with their results.
I procrastinated from editing for hours today, until it was almost midnight. Finally I decided to do one of these sprints by myself, announcing it on Twitter for the fun of it. I was surprised to get through 8/13 pages. I thought, hey, if I do another one at the start of the next hour, I should be able to finish it. I did, and because I had time left, I started on the next chapter, getting through 6/12 pages. After another hour or so of procrastination, I set the 30min timer again and finished the chapter.
Now, to be fair, in these sessions I mostly read/skimmed over the work and put markers for paragraphs or sections that needed to be removed, with just a few changes to wording. But I also managed to catch an inconsistency, one perk of doing quick editing.
I think this is helping me with big-picture editing, which will play a big part for me as once I'm through this draft, I'll be going through and adding things — one or two chapters, and maybe a scene here and there. I think it's good that I've done the cutting and line-editing of the earlier chapters, because they needed it, but now I can actually get to the end of these edits soon enough so I have plenty of time to add in the things I want and double-check the tightening.
I'm sure the 30 minute sprints will help me get through the other kinds of edits as well.
Especially since this month my friend and I are going to be doing productivity sessions. Which are basically when we both sit down and work on just our projects for an hour, and later, another hour, etc.
Just the fact that I know now I can get to the end soon, just having removed what needs to be cut, gives me ridiculous amounts of hope and excitement about what comes after as that's when I get to start creating again — exploring the less explored areas, searching for any chapters that could possibly be added, and as I've read recently as a tool for adding to the plot:
Finding a place where the characters overcame their obstacle too easily (or it could have been harder) and then making it harder for them and raising the stakes.
My simple interpretation of this was, Find somewhere they succeeded and make them fail.
I have some exciting news on the way. (Exciting for me, anyway, and if you might read the book at some point, it's good news for you.) For now, I can safely say that Aundes Aura will be released in 2013.
Two days ago I revised Chapter Eight.
Today I revised Chapter Nine.
It's a lot of work and I'm less than halfway. I really need to schedule a block of time every day to get me through this more quickly.
The word count's below 62,000 words, and I still have 12 more chapters to revise. :( I'm going to need some master plan to turn this into a real book.
I was really hoping to send this to the content editor after this draft, but should I expand on some ideas first? Maybe if I send this version to her she can help me bring out some subplots and make it full-length.
It's better, but it's just getting too short! Here's hoping the second half needs more rewording than big chunk-cutting.
Unfortunately I can't focus on writing right now, as I still have a month left of my Certificate IV in Music.
Anyway, just thought I'd show off this little song I recorded for my Original Music and Covers channel on Youtube. "20 Good Reasons" by Thirsty Merc.
- A Look Back
- A Magical World
- A. Deviation
- Aundes Aura
- Aundes Aura Music
- Blog Related
- Character Interviews
- Every Thousand Words
- Fantasy World Building
- From Plan to Paper
- I Can't Draw
- Maechre Aura
- MIP (Maps in Progress)
- Motivation and Momentum
- My Life In Writing
- Novel Progress Updates
- On Writing
- Print Preview
- Revising and Editing
- Sample Sunday
- Short Stories
- Spontaneous Linkage
- Statistics Day
- Symptoms of a Sleep-Deprived Author
- That Fifth Glyph
- The Válkia Chronicles
- Three Bridges
- Válkian History
- Word Count
- Writer's Block
- Writers' Tools
- Writing Challenges
- ▼ 2013 (8)
- ► 2012 (22)
- ► 2011 (87)
- ► 2010 (103)