One of my main goals for the current revision of SoR is to give my protagonist, Jhayni, more agency. In previous versions, bad things just happened to her. She tumbled willy-nilly from bad to worse. Her reactions were instinctive, not volitional. This time around, I want Jhayni to dig her heels in and make choices and deal with the consequences. Instead of sitting around waiting for the Bad Guys to come get her, I want her to go breach their stronghold for what she wants. Instead of spending most of Part One refusing to acknowledge the magical nature of her artifact, I want her to use it–with terrible results. I want her to do things, and make mistakes, and live with them.

I need to import the go-getter Jhayni from Part Two (or at least her younger self :D) into Part One. Which means all of the scenes I have left to revise need massive restructuring. I’m at a point in the story where Jhayni is without work, without a home, has been betrayed by a friend, and is being hunted by two different groups of Baddies. In the previous version, she goes hides in the library until someone finds her and drags her off to the palace.

My improved Jhayni wouldn’t do anything so lame.

So, What Would Jhayni Do?

I’m off to ponder that some more.

Sir I. helps me revise

What are you doing, Mommy?

Writing my book.

What chapter are you on?

Mm, eight, I think.

*reading over my shoulder* Something brushed against…. a house!

No, not a house.

*rustles paper* What’s this?

It’s a map of my city. PLEASE don’t lose it.

What’s this? And that? And, oh, this says “shops!”

It’s a road called King’s Way. PLEASE be careful.

What’s your books about, Mommy? Is it about six hundred marchers, marching across the sea??

No, it is most definitely NOT about that.


Last night, I spent a long time mentally rearranging  the remaining scenes in Part One. Today I noticed a set of scene cards I’d tucked into my revision folder the last time I’d worked on SoR (many moons ago). When I flipped through them, I found that I had already done the work of arranging scenes for maximum benefit back then. Doh! This is one reason why I shouldn’t wait so long between iterations!

On the plus side, my handy dandy index cards tell me I have only seven more scenes to go for Part One. Left Brain likes marking progress by scenes so much better than by by page numbers.

wheels and walls

Oh, the things that keep me awake at night. Is it a wall, or a fort? Are there six forts to an isle, or twelve? How many wheels would you pay for a bag of rice or a month’s rent? How many isles does your average Jane (or Jhayni, in this case, heh) earn in a year? And how many stars is a million bucks?

In case you’re completely lost, I’m trying to figure out my world’s money. :D

Next up in the All-Consuming Pursuit of Worldbuilding Things Trivial: time! Bells or notes? How many days in a week? How many weeks in a month? How many months in a year? And what are they called?!

You never knew revising could be this fun, did you?

recovery and revision

I have been shamefully neglecting this blog. My apologies. What with sickness running rampant through my home, the revision of Season of Rains turning my brain to mush, and my heroic attempts to finish the gargantuan A Suitable Boy in a timely manner, blogging has taken a backseat (or sent to hide in the trunk). I’ll be back later this week with revision woes aplenty, a reading roundup and an offering from Sir I. Maybe even some links.

How are you?

mid-week ramblings

Got over 3K words on the new book. Can I just say that the romance in this story is going to be SO much fun to write?

I still get a warm fuzzy contented feeling when I think back on Saturday. D. took the older kids and went out the entire morning and early afternoon. Left to ourselves, the baby and I played, puttered around, wrote (well, I did that and A. offered moral support), had lunch, rested. It was great (and most of my wordage is from that morning).

I wish I had bought that secondhand piano when I had the chance. Ah well, there will be other pianos.

Can I say that synopses are darn hard to write? Yes? Okay:

Synopses. Are. Darn. Hard. To. Write!

I just reached the how-to-revise portion of How to Think Sideways course. I’m totally psyched! SoR needs major work and if I can fix it in just one more pass-through, I’ll be a happy camper.

Speaking of SoR, I have way too many irons in the fire. Kai’s book to write. SoR to revsie and submit. Several shorts waiting to have something done to (and with) them.

I need a plan.

No, make that A Plan. A Big Plan. With lists, deadlines and spreadsheets!

How’s your week going?

challenge: complete

The Stories

  • Xenobiologist
  • Broken (an Elinor story)
  • Exposure
  • Beauty & Beast retelling (unnamed, because I suck at names :P)

The Wordcounts

  • 4410
  • 6244
  • 1637
  • 3510

Written in collaboration with Angst & Whining, hot chocolate, and the album The Better Life by 3 Doors Down.

Not a bad end to the year. Working on Kai’s book begins in earnest now.

the Plan

I love Plans! And now I have one!

So, here is my writing Plan for the rest of the year:

  • Write short stories. These may or may not include: an Elinor story; a story set in the Out of Shape world; a retelling of Beauty and the Beast; something to submit to Beneath Ceaseless Skies; the story I came up with while drawing a wall with lots and lots of bricks, the Captive Xenobiologist who has been begging me to rescue her soon, please, okay? thanks; something else entirely.
  • Playful, low-key planning of Kai’s book. (Maybe I can even come up with a title. That would rock.)
  • AND, if my beta readers get back to me soon-ish: If their edits are light, I will happily re-revise Season of Rains before sending it to my second-round betas; if the comments are more along the lines of “this is broken like a very broken thing”, then I will spork my eyes, throw myself a pity party, and sulk for several days. And re-revise next year.


SoR progress: 249/249 pages.

So, this revision is done and sent to two trusty beta readers. There are still some minor details I need to take care of (fixing the astrological system, coming up with an alternate to rather lame minor plot point, for examples) but I’d rather hold off on the cosmetic parts until I find out whether or not I need to do heart surgery on this thing.

I’ve had a case of the blahs all week. They started Sunday, so I’m blaming the time change. That, and too much cheap Halloween candy, the week-long misery of my runny-nosed runny-eyed daughter and the fact we’ve been cooped up because of it. But the weekend is in sight and I’m feeling a lot more chipper this afternoon. Now if only I can get excited about one of the many writing projects on to my platter…

Start a novel or write a short story? Decisions, decisions.

making stuff up

One of the cool things about my protagonist Jhayni in Season of Rains is that she’s a (an?) historian. This means that I get to make up all kinds of artifacts, sub-cultures, texts, dynasties, legends and colorful anecdotes about historical characters of her world.

And oh boy, did I ever do so, with joyful abandon.

There are Malekine characters and Ameate caves. There’s the Cyrene period, the Taumad dynasty, the Hibrean culture. There are documents succinctly known as “The Saphis Text” and ones with Stupid Long Titles like An Account of the Province Scalos in the Seventh Year of the Reign of King Saleem, and the Twelfth Year of the Governor Carados: Population, Agricultural Yield, and Mining Production. Scholars accuse each other of Darianism (whatever that is), turn up their noses at Coran “scholarship” and quibble over the merits of various academic journals. Ancient vases and tapestries abound.

No, I’m not at all having fun making stuff up. Why do you ask? *grin*

SoR rev. 2 progress: 151/245 pages <– Less than a hundred pages to go!

We are entertaining this weekend (how grand that sounds!), so I will be busy cleaning house and cooking food. Dunno if I’ll make much progress but it’ll be nice to get another 20 or so pages done.

and the “Duh, dude” Award goes to…

… this little gem:

Jhayni awoke, thrashing in the sweaty tangled sheets like a panicked swimmer in water.

In water, as opposed to, say, Jell-O. Or lava. Or orange juice. *headdesk*

Progress: 137/244 pages