Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Ankulen - Chapter 1

This is a story that I began working on about the same time I started working on Sew, It's a Quest.  It began as a play that my younger cousin and I were going to perform together. I was to play Jen, and he was going to play Chris. Tisha was added later when V asked if she could join us. Eventually the play fizzled out, as I could not come up with a good plot that we could easily perform. Eventually, we just gave up.

However, the idea of the story continued to stick around and mull in my head until I had finally come up with a good plot, and decided to turn it into a book. I'm almost finished with the rough draft and so ....

(Drum roll please!)

Here's the first chapter! Enjoy!

1: This Morning

  I stare at this page, unsure if I should commit to it the words that threaten to flow from my pen. It all seems too strange, too fantastic, yet it happened. It really happened. I realize it is too late, for I have already started to write.
  My name is Jenifer. Jenifer Marie Brown. People used to call me Jenny, when I was younger, but now that I’m older, now that I’m fifteen, most people call me Jen.
  My name sounds so normal … yet I know I’m not normal, not after what happened.  I’ve been told to write it down, that that is my job, my duty, my place in life. It was so that I could write it down that I went through this. Therefore, I will write it down.
  The words flow so easily, they didn’t always. It seems such a short while ago they didn’t. I can hardly believe it. I feel as though I have stepped into a dream. In a way, I have. In another way, I have finally woken up.
  I will begin my story not at the beginning, but when I finally woke up, or fell asleep – I shall let my readers decide. Could it be that it was only this morning? The calendar says so, but it seems to me as though it had been weeks and weeks and weeks … or at least days and days and days.
  I was sitting at the base of a tree beside the creek that cuts through the woods behind my house. Propped against my knees was a spiral note book – the one I’m writing in now – and in my hand was a red mechanical pencil – the one I’m writing with now. I could hear Letitia singing not far away. Letitia was my adopted sister, and, I will admit, I was jealous of her.
  She was perfectly beautiful – alabaster skin despite how much time she spent in the sun, big blue eyes, golden hair that fell in perfect waves almost to her feet. Compare that to me – I have frizzy brown hair that tangles something awful, too many freckles to count, and my blue eyes (which are nowhere near the size of hers) are hidden behind a thick pair of glasses. Add to that the fact that she had a perfect singing voice and I only croaked … well … you can see why I was jealous.
  So, there I was, sitting by the side of the creek with a notebook in my lap, a pencil in my hand, and I was jealous. That’s where I’m starting.
  Did I mention that I was frustrated?
  Well, I was. You see, there wasn’t a single word in that notebook, and would you like to know why? Because I had absolutely no idea what to write. If I had had my way, I would not have been there with a notebook in my lap and a pencil in my hand. I would have been examining leaves or something. But I did not have my way. My mother, who homeschooled Tisha (We called Letitia Tisha.) and I, had assigned a story for me to write. She didn’t care what I wrote, as long as I wrote something.
  Although she hadn’t appreciated it the one time I had done this assignment by writing “I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write …” over and over and over. (I must have written it at least a thousand times, each time on a new line of the page, and sometimes in cursive.). She had wanted me to write some sort of story.
  “You used to have the most amazing imagination,” she said, “back when you were seven. But now …”
It was true, when I was seven I had had my imagination – back before Chris disappeared.
  Who was Chris? Christofer had been my adopted brother, about a year older than me. He and I would make up some of the most amazing stories all day long. It wasn’t just him; I know that for sure, because I would make up stories before we adopted him. In fact, he had only been with us a few weeks before he disappeared.
  How he disappeared, or why, no one knew. Why I lost access to my amazing imagination, no one knew either. I vaguely remembered fighting with him shortly before he disappeared, but I couldn’t remember why we were fighting.
  So there I sat, on the side of the creek, and I will, at last, stop making false starts and actually tell the story. I sat there, staring at the page – with its deceptively innocent whiteness, with its blue lines that reminded me of prison bars. I stared feeling trapped – scared, almost.
  Why could I no longer access my once-brilliant imagination? I did not know.
  I shut the note book to gaze at the picture I had pinned to the cover – a picture taken eight years before, just after we had adopted Chris. It was of Chris and me playing beside this very creek. I had pinned this picture to the front of my notebook as a desperate inspiration trick.
  “Chris,” I muttered, staring at the picture, “I don’t know where you are, or what happened to you – but I wish you would come back and tell me what you did with my imagination. I’m convinced you stole it.” Then I opened the notebook and resumed my attempt at writing a story, with no more inspiration than before. I could hear Tisha getting closer as she sang. It was a pretty enough song – and I’m pretty sure she was making it up, as I had never heard it before, and she made up most of the songs she sang.
  That was another thing I was jealous of her about – she could make up songs, I couldn’t make up anything. I frowned at the page.
  “It’s a stupid assignment,” I told the page, feeling stupid for talking to an inanimate piece of paper. “I wish Mom would realize that trying to get me to get my imagination back is like … like making a dog climb a tree.” I felt stupid for that comparison, but I didn’t have enough imagination to come up with a better one.
  “Why’s that?” said a voice, that of a young boy.
  I looked up to see a young boy standing in the middle of the creek. He was dressed like Robin Hood, complete with a felt hat with a yellow feather in it. In his hand was a sword, a sharp looking sword, and strapped to his back was a bow and a quiver full of arrows – all of which looked plenty sharp as well. Honestly, I thought to myself, what was his mother thinking letting a kid his age, he looked no older than ten, loose with a sharp sword and sharp arrows. He could hurt someone – such as himself.
  The second thought that occurred to me was, what was he doing in our creek? Actually, by the time that thought occurred to me, he was out of the creek, but that was beside the point. What was he doing in our creek?
  “Does your mother know where you are?” I asked, trying to sum up all of my questions in one.
  He cocked his head to the side, as if in thought. “I don’t think I have a mother,” he said after a while, as he slid the sword into a sheath hung on his belt.
  I raised an eyebrow. “Of course you have a mother. Everyone has a mother.”
  “Not me,” said the boy. “I’m looking for Jenny,” he then said, as I looked for an answer through my confusion. “Do you know where she is?”
  “Jenny?” said I, frowning, my confusion growing. “Jenny who?”
  “Jenifer Marie Brown,” said the boy. “Do you know where I could find her? She’s our only hope.”
  I cocked my head at him. “I think that would be me,” I said, then I frowned. “Why am I your only hope?”
  He stared at me for a second searching for I knew not what. Finally he nodded. “Yes, you’re Jenny – Oh, I hadn’t realized it had been so long.” He suddenly doffed his cap with an elegant bow – far more elegant than one would expect of a boy of no more than ten. “Sir Christofer at your service, milady,” he said formally.
My heart stopped beating for a second, and I shut my notebook with a surprised snap. Him? Chris? But he was too young. Chris had been a full year older than me, so he should have been at least sixteen.
  I glanced down, trying to gather my thoughts, and noticed the picture pinned to the notebook. True, they wore different clothes, but the brown hair was the same, the mischievous brown eyes were the same, the freckles were mostly the same – this Chris seemed to have a few more.
  “Chris …” I muttered. “How?”
  “I’m sorry, Jenny –,” he began, looking nervous, as if he were scared of me.
  “Jen,” I interrupted, rolling my eyes. “I’m not a little kid anymore. It’s Jen.”
  “Very well, then, Jen,” said Chris, “I know you didn’t want me to come out again – and that you promised never to come back in yourself – but it’s been horrible since you left! Everything’s going dark and dingy … time doesn’t seem to work at all anymore … and everyone is hiding, lest … it gets you. I know you didn’t want me to get back out again, and at first, I wasn’t going to, but everyone said I was the only one who had the least hope of reaching you again, and since it was an emergency, and I’m the hero and all that, I just had to come. I’ve been looking for oh so long, and have only just found a way out.”
  I frowned. “You just made as much sense as … as a square bowling ball.”
  The sound of Tisha singing could have been heard all this time, but it suddenly stopped. “Chris!” her clear voice suddenly exclaimed, and she suddenly came rushing up and threw her arms around the boy. He, surprisingly, did not seem annoyed. She drew back and sat back on her heels. “Chris,” she said, “how did you get out? She locked you in!”
  “Who’s she?” I asked.
  “You’re she,” said Tisha, turning to me. As I tried to figure out what she meant, she continued. “Not only that, she made herself forget – completely! I don’t know what she did with the Ankulen –.”
  “The what?” said I, cutting her off.
  “The Ankulen,” said Tisha, looking down so that her face was unreadable. “Your Ankulen.”
  “And what’s that?” asked I.
  “The golden bracelet you always wore – what you used to control us, and everything else – what you used to get in and out,” explained Chris.
  I shook my head, not able to remember any golden bracelet that I “always wore.” Especially not one that I used to control people.
  “See,” said Tisha, noticing my shaking head. “She doesn’t even remember the Ankulen. She’s forgotten everything.”
  “She remembered me,” said Chris, an edge of hope in his voice.
  “Not properly,” said Tisha, and I could see that the edge of hope that I had heard was dashed. “She remembers you as you claimed to be when you got out – as her adopted brother who made up stories with her, then disappeared. She doesn’t even know why you disappeared. Doesn’t know it was because she locked you in.”
  “In?” voiced I, noticing that the words “in” and “out” were being used a lot. “In where?”
  “In your imagination,” said Tisha, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. “That’s where Chris and I came from. We’re yours. I couldn’t tell you this before, though … but with Chris here, I kind of have to.”
  “My imagination?” asked I, skeptical. Well, wouldn’t you be skeptical if you suddenly get told by someone that they are complete products of your imagination? “I don’t have any imagination.”
  “Yes, you do,” contradicted Tisha. “You have an amazing imagination – and you have an Ankulen, which allows you to bring it to life. You’ve just locked yourself out of it.”
  “And it’s dying,” continued Chris. “You have to come back, Jen, you have to! Please? Fair Maiden Letitia and I are sorry for getting out! We just wanted …”
  My skeptical expression apparently stopped him in his tracks, because he stopped talking. I have to admit, though, I almost laughed at him calling Tisha, “Fair Maiden Letitia.”
  “She can’t get back in without the Ankulen,” said Tisha. “And she doesn’t have it, and obviously doesn’t know where it is.” She looked at the ground for a few minutes. “Do you think it might be in your jewelry box, Jen?”
  I shrugged. “Don’t think I remember ever seeing a golden bracelet that controls people in there,” I said. “However, you’re welcome to look. I’m locked outside until this notebooks at least show signs of a story, so I can’t look myself. Just don’t steal anything.”
  Tisha stood up. “If what Chris and I plan to do works,” she said, “you should get your imagination back. Just … please don’t be too mad at us when you do? Please?”
  Chris echoed her “please?”
  I rolled my eyes. “I’ll make no promises until I figure out what, exactly, I’m supposed to be mad at you for. Right now, I’m thinking about being mad at you for keeping bringing it up.”
  “Very well, then, Jen,” said Tisha. Then she turned and started running, her long, golden hair streaming in the wind.

Sneak Peek at the working Cover art!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tips From a Young Writer - Characters with Minds of Their Own

So you're writing along. You've got a great, and I mean GREAT plot planned. The hero is just about to swoop down and ...

Swoop down and ...

Um ... cue the hero! Where'd he go?

He's still arguing with his sidekick over how dangerous it is to swing on vines? But they were supposed to already have resolved that issue! Oh, great ...

Sometimes, your characters just don't want to cooperate with you. You want them to say one thing, they say another. You have a character planed to be outgoing, they turn out shy. Your character decides that the surprise party you're throwing him is a complete bore. What did you do wrong?


Yep. I said nothing. You did absolutely nothing wrong. In fact, you can congratulate yourself. You made a character with a mind of his or her own! Your character is no longer just words on paper and vague ideas ... but a person. And let me let you in on a little secret - those are the characters that your readers will most likely connect with and enjoy reading about.

Of course, you may have a few questions. How can a character have a mind of their own? Aren't they just people you made up? Yes, you have a point. You did make them up, and they are subject to your whims and crazy ideas. However, you have given them enough of a personality, or some quirk that make you feel as though you know your character. When this happens, you'll know what they'd do in a given situation ... that you may end up ruining your planned plot.

What happens if you had a plot planned, and your character is ruining it? You have three options.
 1. You can verbally force them to do it. Just write it in. Have no consideration for your character's feelings and completely ruin his uniqueness. The problem with this situation is that it will look forced to your readers.
 2. You can let them do what they want to do and see where this takes you. This option can be fun, but it can also be scary, too. It is not for control freaks!
 3. You can use setting/other characters/random giant birds out of nowhere to force your character to do it against his will. Just as long as his reaction to this is completely in character, and the method you use to force him into doing what you want him to do is not illogical.

If worse comes to worst, you can also try tweaking their personality, but that only works in the early stages of their development.

Now don't think that just because you have lost complete control over your character that it means that you have completely lost control. You still get to decide whether he wins or looses, and what sort of plot twists you throw at him. He just now has the ability to throw some plot twists at you!

Actually Finishing Something In July 3

Round Three of the Actually Finishing Something in July Challenge hosted by Katie. I am doing a personal edit for Do You Take This Quest?

You’ve little less than a week left in the challenge. Now that the end is in sight, do you think you’ll finish your goal?

Actually, I'm not sure. I've done quite a bit of editing, though, and the story looks tons better already. Or, at least, I think it does ... 

For me, the last week and a half has been so chaotic that I’ve hardly had the time to sit down, let alone write. How have you balanced life’s craziness with your writing goals? Late night writing? Scribbling down a few lines while waiting in the grocery check-out line?

Actually ... I'm not sure ... but there have been days that I have pulled up the document, but when I close it at the end of the day, I don't have to save it because I didn't change it at all.

Have your written mostly in computer programs such as Word, or do you prefer scribbling in notebooks?

This story was written in Word. I like doing both, though. I'll often do a initial writing to get the feel of a story in a notebook, then rewrite it on my computer.

Have any new characters jumped into your story? If so, tell us about them!

Not this month ... although I did discover that Mordreth is Arthur's uncle! And I did find a character that I had lost ... I mean, I changed scenes, and when I got back ... I couldn't find him! I had to call in my mom to help. She found him. He'd been standing there the whole time. He just ... was being very quiet.

Share a snippet of your recent writing.

Robin whirled back around, her mouth formed into an angry ‘o’ that threatened a snappy retort. Then her eyes met with those of Eric’s, and she calmed visibly. “That would be nice,” she said in a somewhat polite voice. “Could you please tell me where he is?”
“Well, based on where Rosamond fell asleep and the fact that they will likely now seek out her parents, they should be somewhere in …” Madeleine considered for a second, then said, “Well, why don’t you just follow me?”
From Chapter 6 "To Stay or not To Stay"

Sometimes the most mundane, simple of things can spark one’s creativity. Have you come across anything, simple yet special, in your daily life, inspiring you to write?

I'm not sure ... I probably have, but I can't call anything off the top of my head right now.

Any pictures, images inspiring bits of your story?

Here's a working Cover Art:

Introduce us to the antagonist in your story and tell us his favorite dessert.

Mordreth. He's Arthur's uncle ... currently I'm calling him the vizier ... but that may change. Anyways, he's only in the first two chapters of Do You Take This Quest? He'll be more prominent in book 3. His favorite dessert ... um ... cake? I don't know!

Pick, from all of your July writing, your favorite three lines said by your characters.

“Now can we have friendly introductions?”
- Madeleine. This happens to be the third time she's asked.

- again, Madeleine. Thyme is actually a crucial part of the plot.

“Uh, hello, Robin,” 
- Robert, Robin's twin brother.

Any advice for your fellow writers as we reach the final stretch of this challenge?  

Just ... Keep ... Typing!
Or scribbling in your notebook if that's what you prefer.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Green Bean Spaghetti

This actually began as a joke between my sister and I. Whenever she comes across something impossible she says "Green Bean Spaghetti."

So to prove to her that the impossible is always possible, I made her some Green Bean Spaghetti!

Green Beans (as much as you want)
Sauce from regular Spaghetti

Prepare Sauce the same way as for Regular Spaghetti. When the sauce is ready, add the green beans. Let them get warm.


Via Pinterst
9. Because Stardrana is only half-Hidden, she doesn't have any scale armor. Instead, she wears leather.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Memory Monday - But Without Faith ...

I've gone to Sunday School pretty much every Sunday of my life. I've only missed a few Sundays when I was sick.

Now, for a while me and my younger sister, V, were in two different classes, I a class up from her. Now, in her class, there was a girl named Faith.

One Sunday Faith and her older sister, who was in my class, weren't able to make it to church that day. I think they had gone on vacation to visit their relatives. No big deal.

Now, after my class had let out, I eventually realized that, while I was seeing some of the other kids in V's class, I wasn't seeing V.

So I did the normal big-sisterly thing, and went to investigate.

I found that she was struggling over her weekly memory verse, which is something that her teacher placed greater importance on than mine.

So I did the normal big-sisterly thing, and went over to help her with it.

I took one look at the verse and started laughing. It was Hebrews 11:6. Well, actually, it was only the first part.

"Mrs. J," I said, "We can't please God today, Faith's not here!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tips From a Young Writer - Editing.

Writing is fun. You get to control people into doing what you want them to do (sort of ... sometimes they don't quite agree with your schemes.) and sometimes build an entire world - just by tapping keys on your keyboard or scribbling in your notebook.

Soon you finally have finished your story. Your hero has married the heroine (or, at least, they are now engaged) the villain is dead (or at least in prison) and the world has been saved. Then you read it all over again, intending to revel in the brilliance that has spilled out of your fingers and onto your notebook/computer screen.

And it's horrid.

Did your villain really put on a pair of dirty Rocks? The proposal scene between hero and heroine is completely sappy and/or cheesy. You never did figure out what happened after the villain trapped the hero's younger sister on that island ... in fact, you completely forgot that your hero had had a sister!

Somehow, the words you see on the paper/computer screen is nothing like the words you remember spilling out of your fingers.

So what do you do? Do you crawl into bed, pull the blanket over your head, and decide that you will never write again, if all you can write is this horrid mess? Surely a good author wouldn't have made these horrid mistakes!

Let me let you in on a little secret. Every writer makes mistakes. Every book starts out horrid. Even the greatest books in the world have gone through the horrid stage called first draft. You're not alone. Welcome to the world of editing.

Editing? You ask. Did you just say editing? Yes I just said editing. And, I agree, editing is not fun. Editing means reading over all your mistakes and wracking your brain over how to fix them. Sometimes your attempts at fixing the mistakes will only make them worse.

So how do you go about this dreadful task called editing?

Well, the first step is to defamiliarize yourself with your story. You have just spent however long it took to write your book eating/drinking/breathing your story. It's part of you. You know it like the back of your hand, and knowing that it's flawed and horrid hurts. Trying to change things will just make it hurt more. If you don't defamiliarize yourself with it, you'll end up with a headache the size of the moon.

So how do you defamiliarize yourself with your story? It's simple. Put your story in a time capsule and don't touch it for at least one or two months. The longer and worse your story, the longer you need to ignore it. During this time, try to return to normal life. Hang out with your real friends, do puzzles, eat popcorn, learn to knit ... If you have to write, work on a completely different book. I have about thirty or so stories that I rotate working on, both on the computer and in notebooks. In fact, working on a different story is a good idea, as it will keep you mind off the story you're trying to ignore.

When you have sufficiently ignored your story, reread it. However, pretend that you didn't write it. Read it as if you have no idea what's going to happen. When you have finished, call up your inner editor. Everyone has one. Mine is named Sandra Elizabeth. With his or her help, read it again, but this time changing anything that didn't make sense ... such as changing those rocks that your villain is wearing back into socks ... if you haven't already.

There will be some scenes that you will have to completely rewrite. Don't fret! this is completely normal. Just take a deep breath and plunge in.

When you have rewritten and edited everything you can, find some people that will be completely honest with you, but with whom critique will not destroy your relationship of mutual trust. Have them read it and point out anything that did not make sense to them, and suggest ideas to make it better.

Now, that's all I have to say on that topic. If you have opinions, feel free to add them! If you have a request for me to write on, feel free to leave a comment with that!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Actually Finishing Something in July 2

Round two of the Actually Finishing Something in July Challenge hosted by Katie.

My goal was to do a personal edit of Do You Take This Quest?

Be truthful. How has the first week-and-a-half of your personal writing challenge progressed?

Well, I haven't been able spend as much time editing as I would have liked, but I at least got some editing done.

Did you reach your weekly goal or wordcount?

I didn't really have a goal, but I did fix a slew of awkward wordings, and I have halfway gotten through this one scene that needs a complete rewriting.

Are you finding it easier to work with a goal in mind? Or does it make you nervous and even less inclined to get the work done?

I do work better when there is a challenge. I've actually been able to keep myself out of my other in-progress stories that would otherwise distract me. Mostly.

Did you do most of your writing in the morning, afternoon, or evening? When do you like to write?

Evening. I'm a night owl. It's also when all my younger siblings have gone to bed and I can concentrate better, and talk to my mom over plot issues.

What music has been inspiring you to write?

I don't listen to music while writing very often. Sometimes I put in some Mozart, though, and sometimes my younger siblings have some sort of singalong movie going.

Share a snippet of your writing!

Suddenly, there was a yelp, Madeleine recognized it at once as belonging to Robin and turned to run so she could investigate. However, instead of running, she fell over. The only reason she didn’t fall flat on her face was that Samson managed to catch her.
“Are you all right, Maddie?” asked Samson, helping her up.
She felt her cheeks grow warm. “Yes, I’m fine,” she said, then smiled ruefully. “I just forgot that I have to move my feet in order to go anywhere.” Then she ran after the yelp, this time remembering to move her feet. Samson wasn’t far behind.

- From Chapter 4 "AWAKE!!"

Share your favorite "Ah-HA!" writing moment. Have you written anything that made you sit back and think, "Okay, this is awesome," during the last week and half?

No, haven't had any of those this week.

Any problem spots, scenes that are proving hard to work, or characters giving you grief? If so, how did you overcome these obstacles?

Yes, the scene that needs a complete rewriting. Robin's giving me issues. No, I haven't figured it out yet.

Share your favorite line said by a character during this week-and-a-half of writing.

“Share chase?” 
That's Doranna. If you've read Sew, It's a Quest, you'll understand. What she meant was stair case.

How are you going to move forward in this challenge? It's been little more than a week-and-a-half since the start (July 4th). Are you changing your wordcount or page goal for this coming week?

I'll continue plowing, just as I have been doing ... no changes to my goal, just get these troublesome scenes that need rewriting rewritten, and remove all of the awkward wordings.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

After the Rain by Mary Pope Osborne

This a Book Report I wrote in third or forth grade. I wrote with calligraphy markers!

This book is writon diary stilly (style). It had 4 main caritors Virginia, who is the diary writer, Pa, Jud, and Jane Ellen, who has a baby at the end of the book. In the book Virginia who is 10 works as a housekeeper for a lady called Mrs. Poker. At whom's house she begens to envy Mrs. Poker's Grandchildren.

The report looked longer on wide ruled paper and in calligraphy markers ....

Tips From a Young Writer - Changes

So you're writing along, you've got a good story line, your characters are being (mostly) cooperative ... only, you've decided that maybe the story would be better if you gave Sadie a dog instead of a cat ... or if Jack were a Jill instead ... or maybe you have a few too many characters and need to get rid of a few ... or maybe the story would sound better in first person ...

In other words ... you need to make a change or two.

This is a perfectly legal thing to do. Your book is your book, and you can do whatever you want to it. Although, I will warn you, some of your characters may resent some of your changes, especially if you decide to get rid of, say, a close friend, or a close sibling, their love interest ... or them. However, your story is yours to change, and they can't really do a thing about it.

However ... if you do decide to make a change, you'll need to go through and make sure that your story is consistent with the change. If you turned Jack into Jill, make sure you not only go through and make sure that you have changed the name every time you mentioned him, you also change all of the him's, he's and his's into her's, she's and hers's. If you change Sadie's cat into a dog, you need to make sure that you have her dog chase cats and cars, rather than sit in laps and purr. If you get rid of a character, you need to make sure that you remove all mentions of that character, and that another character takes care of everything that the character you got rid of was supposed to do. If you don't make sure that the change is made consistent, your readers WILL notice. Trust me, readers do that sort of thing.

If your change is big enough, you may want to start completely over. Get a new notebook, or a new computer document, and start over. This is probably the better option if you got rid of more than one or two character, changed the person, or made a major change to the main character, or added a new character who is needed to be there from the very beginning.

Now, if you have a character who is unhappy with the change, you'll have to tread carefully. They will probably be very resentful in your continued writing, and possibly uncooperative. Be nice to them, and see what you can do about giving them something to make up for the inconvenience you made them.

Now, that's all I have to say on that topic. You can make changes, big changes, but make sure you keep them consistent. If you have any opinions on this topic, feel free to comment, and if you have a request for me to write on, you can leave a comment with that request.


"Saffron's Big Plan" and "The Prior Quest" are FREE today ONLY!!!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Actually Finishing Something In July 1

Thanks to the fact that a fellow participant added Sew, It's a Quest to her to-read shelf on Goodreads, I found this challenge today and decided to participate. It is sponsored by a girl named Katie on her Blog. The challenge is to actually finish a writing Goal in July. 

What is your writing goal?

I'm going to do a personal edit for Do You Take This Quest. My mother read it the other day and said it needed serious work before she could even begin to help me with it.

Tell us about this project. Give us a small synopsis.

This is the sequel to Sew, It's a Quest, and if you've read Sew, you probably have a good idea what it's going to be about. Here's what I've currently got to go on the back cover:

Arthur's throne has been filled by a man called Mordreth since Arthur's parents were lost at sea. Now that Arthur has passed his eighteenth birthday, he ought to assumed the throne by now. But Mordreth refuses to admit that Arthur is now of age.

It looks as though Arthur is going to have to fight for his throne ... but all his friends in the world consist of his two servants and an old man he knows little of, even though he's known him almost since his parents died. So, the old man decides to take matters into his own hands, and get young Arthur to a nearby castle where a wedding is being held for a fellow prince, so Arthur can get himself some allies.

Meanwhile, all is not right at the wedding. The groom has disappeared, and the bride has decided to not come. Where is the groom? Well, he's gone off and decided to marry another girl ... however, she's being stubborn, and won't leave her twin brother, who's disappeared into a tangled forest in search of a bride of his own.

How long have you been working on this project?

I think I decided on the plot for this book about a year ago.

Introduce us to three of your favorite characters in this project.

Robin: Well, If you've read Sew, you've already met her. She's the main character of that book. She's a princess and the best swordsman in the world due to a Fairy Godmother mess up with her twin brother.

Madeleine: Robin's great-aunt. Much of the book is told from her point of view. She's an artist, and actually looks younger than Robin due to the fact that she was asleep with Sleeping Beauty.

Arthur: The Prince of Briton. Most of the parts that aren't from Madeleine's point of view are from his. His regent, Vizier Mordreth, wants him dead.

How often do you intend to write in order to reach this goal by August first?

Whenever possible.

How will you make your characters behave long enough to finish this goal?

Madeleine's cooperative for the most part, and she's really good at talking the rest into behaving. If she fails, I can always use threats.

Go to page 16 (or 6, 26, or 66!) of your writing project. Pick your favorite line or snippet on the page.

A line by Robin's dad on page 16:
“Yes,” said the king, an amused smile touching the corners of his mouth as he stroked his beard. “The poor world. Do you think it will ever forgive us for loosing Robin on it?”

Tea or coffee?

Yuck and double yuck.

I'll drink Water thank-you.

.... I may tell you of my tea and coffee hatred later.

Update For Saffron's Big Plan and Other Stories

The Kindle Version of Saffron's Big Plan and Other Stories is now $2.99.

However, you can now buy the four stories individually for 99 cents each.

 Saffron's Big Plan (The Adventures of Princess Saffron)
 Tears, Frogs, and Laughter.
 The Derao
 The Prior Quest (A Bookania Short Story)

Also, today only, Tears, Frogs and Laughter, and The Derao are free!

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