Sunday, July 21, 2013

"High ho, Silver! Away!" "Don't ever say that again."

 I was going to post something evilish today but I changed my mind when I realized I need to do something of a writing update since I've not done one in awhile. Evilness for later.

 Thursday I finished Abolished Impracticality. Now it is in the process of being sent to a few of my beta readers. Once they go over it I shall be making changes myself. At this point I want other eyes to read over it even though it is a rough draft still. I plan to read book one before starting on book two, in the hopes I can catch any inconsistencies. I am hoping that, between myself and my beta readers, we will be able to catch most everything.
 I am going with just beta readers for this book. When I did book one I hired an editor, but wasn't really satisfied. There just seemed a lot of things that weren't caught that I later found on my own. For A Stretch of Loyalty I sent it to readers instead and a lot more things were noticed. At this moment, it seems as if they have been finding more things.

 I am also still working on The Broken Blade and getting ready to edit book two in the Loyalty Trilogy. (To do that book two I must first read over the original draft as I don't really remember what happened in it. That part of the editing stage I'm not really cringing over. Any excuse to read.)

 I am also hoping to get started on the cover for Abolished Impracticality and start thinking up cover ideas for Loyalties second book as I don't even know what I want for that one. Also, once it is edited, I am hoping to pull out another already written draft to prepare for publication next - I am just trying to decide which one.

 So, all of that has been keeping me very busy. 
 (Side note. I already have all of the Haphazardly books written. The last two need a good bit of polishing up - and as I've mentioned once before, there might be a need to write another. I am going to see what happens after I go over book three.)

 However, I have been having a great deal of fun with The Broken Blade. I always knew I would love that book - it has swords and a quest, something I've been waning to write for ages. But after reading certain fantasy books and watching certain movies and allowing certain ideas to bounce around in my head, the quest got even more exciting and the world grew. It has been a lot of fun and I've gotten to know the characters even better. Also, the slowness in book one has been redeemed, and I now kind of know what happens. (Kind of. The characters still don't plan to tell me everything. It would ruin their fun.)

 I'm also still working on the book I am co-authoring with my friend Kendra. It has been a lot of fun working out the story with her, and even more fun writing it. (After all, it is a king story. I never tire of writing those.)

 Now, to the biggest part of my news and some advice I shall be asking.

 As all of you know, for Haphazardly Implausible, my dear friend Clair did the honour of drawing pictures which appeared in the book. 
 Those of you who have been around for awhile might remember how book two was scheduled to come out in June but got moved to a later date. (Clair lived in Africa but has just moved to the States so she can attend college. Her move took place around the time of the book's release and she doubted she would have time to draw pictures and move. The plan was to release it later and see if she might have time later, though she warned me she might not be able to manage at all.)
 Therefore, we moved the date back and I released A Stretch of Loyalty instead.
 Since that time Clair has made it to the States - and we've been planning all of the insanity we can now release on the world since we live in the same country now. However, because of all she has going on now, she will not be able to do pictures. And, as much as I love her art work and the pictures she did for book one, I think it would be a bit rotten to wear my friend out with more work. (I don't have many friends and I like to keep the few I do have in the best health possible so we can wreck havoc when the time comes.)

 In short, I am at this moment tossing around various ideas of where to go from here. And I would like some input, since all of you are the ones who will be reading the book. I do have some leads on some other very talented artists who I am considering contacting.
 The thing with getting someone else though is that the style will be a bit different. So, right now, what is being decided is, do I look for someone new or skip pictures all together? (Myself, I love pictures in books even though I'm considered an adult. I don't like long descriptions and visual aid is wonderful with my dyslexia. But...well, you know. Maybe not everyone feels this way. Maybe they don't like pictures in books.)
 Basically, I'm just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on all of this. Were you in my shoes, which would you pick? As a reader, which would you like more? (Any voiced thoughts are most welcome as I sort of need to decide rather quickly one way or the other.)

 Another thing with book two is my trailer actors kind new jobs? (Kind of hard to keep actors when one cannot pay them.) I have considered doing a trailer like I did for A Stretch of Loyalty, or looking for new actors. Thoughts on this as well? (Not that this is a huge issue. The trailer is more for fun for me and for all of you who enjoy them. It isn't as if I can't publish without a trailer. Now the cover, that is another matter all together.)

 Now, to other issues. This with The Broken Blade. I have been looking for a program or something I can use to create a map. I think it would be very helpful to have one while I write. But, being me and lacking internet skills, I've not been able to find anything helpful.) I was wondering if any of you knew where I might find a site to create a map, or where I might find a person to do so, or if anyone of you knew how to make them? (I know in some of your books I've read I've found maps. Did you draw them yourselves or do you have a program or a geographer locked in your closet I might borrow?)

 So there you have it. My writing life summed up. Now I am going to post this and maybe read some more. (Speaking of which, quick update on how my posts will be working from now on. I was planning on just posting Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But I changed my mind. I will post writing updates and my other randomness on those days and book and movie reviews on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)

 Quote is from The Lone Ranger movie, one I have mixed thoughts on, though this line was funny.




  1. Images would be a different style, but it would add continuity to the books. Maybe you could have different artists for all of them?

  2. I think that if you got a new artist, that would be fine. It would add something different to set each book in a different style–kind like how the WondLa books have their images based in different colors.
    I'm fairly certain any maps I've ever seen were hand-drawn, or drawn in some other fashion. I've never done one myself, so I'm afraid I'm not much of a help!

  3. Oooh, I might be able to help you with your map-making quest. I feel like I've stumbled across a fantasy world-building website or something, and I'm going to do everything in my power to find it for you.

    If that doesn't work out, I think it drawing it by hand works just fine. I always think of the maps in The Lord of the Rings, and they're so whimsical and awesome and I think you could totally get away with something like that.

    Good luck! I hope you find some willing actors :)


    Okay, this page has a lot of links to free software you can use for world-building. Not all of it will suit your needs, but I think there are a couple of map-making ones that might be helpful. I think Terragen and World Machine sound most like what you're looking for. Hope this helps!

  5. I think that once you start a series with drawings... you can never go back. So, even if it means finding a different illustrator, get drawings in that book!

  6. I'm sorry, but I have no advice for either your map or illustration problem, though I can sympathize with both. But if you do find a good map making program ... I need one too. I REALLY need to draw a map for Bookania. And I can sympathize with your illustrator problems. The friend who drew Take's cover art moved out of state a few weeks ago, and doesn't really talk much on-line ... so.

    Good work on all of your writing! I'm eager to hear more about Broken Blade, and to read Abolished Practicality. And plotting with you has been such fun too. I can't wait to read the big reveal in your next chapter!

  7. I would be the worst person *Ever* to prof-read or edit. I literally just read over mistakes and VERY rarely notice them. I actually get sort of excited when I find a typo's in books. It's like finding a needle in a haystack for me.
    I also have a problem reading signs. Mainly that I don't. It's a source of great annoyance or embarrassment (depending on the situation) to my sisters. When a few of my sisters and I were in Scotland a few years back, I actually stood RIGHT IN FRONT of a 'No Camera's Allowed' sign, calmly clicking away. *Shrugs* We have some nice pictures we shouldn't have.

    Anyway, I rambled. I apologize. :D

    As for Illustrations and Maps. Hmmm. I always like it when a book has a few illustrations. Even if they're just for Chapter Headers. I think they add a nice touch.
    Maps...I have really nothing helpful to give on that one. Maybe the illustrator could come up with something for that too? I don't know.

    God Bless!

  8. My husband just found this last night: (it's free) and there are some tutorials on how to use it (if you type "autorealm" into google the tutorials are near the top of the list)

    Anyway, not sure if that's the sort of thing you're looking for, and we haven't played with it a ton... but it seems super easy to use.

    The other thing we've been contemplating is getting one of those sketch pad things that you attach to your computer so you can "draw" maps on the computer with some software... but that can get pricy.

    As for your other questions... I like pictures, but don't need them... so I'm not helpful with that.

    I think with editing the main thing is to have multiple sets of eyes looking at it.

  9. pictures in a book can be great fun! I love finding those things, I find it sad that Grown up books never have them!

    I wish I could buy all your books, they all sound so magical and adventurous and dangerous! They don't sound like the 'Epic" books of today which are about stupid things.

    I am pretty good at spotting typo's in books unless I'm tired. Then I just skim over them.

    Greetings from California!

  10. In regards to your comment on my blog: the idea of getting other authors to read/comment on my book is very interesting. How did you go about that? How did you find out where you could contact them, and what did you generally say in your letter to them? I have a few ideas of who I would contact, but not the first clue as to how to go about contacting them.

  11. You sound incredibly busy! I sometimes think I'm busy, but then I read what other people are doing and think, "I'm not busy at all!"

    I do like pictures. I love drawing pictures for my characters, and I like having pictures in books, because there's something about a PICTURE that just makes a character that much more alive. I would totally see if you can find someone to draw some for your new book. :)

    Regarding your map issue: I love world building. If I have a fault in my writing, it's that I dream too big, and take too much time making my worlds authentic. That being said, I tend to look up a lot of fantasy websites, world building stuff like that, and I find that, on the whole, it's harder for me to make a map online than it is to draw one by hand. For some reason, the structure of online rules makes it hard for my creativity to come out. You might be different. You might find such rigidity appealing. There is a place - - that offers quite lovely programs for map making. However, I don't think any of these are free. The maps are lovely, though. You might find it interesting.

    I also draw maps. I'm not sure if this appeals to you or not, but I have drawn maps for several of my different stories, and not to sound proud or anything but I think they're quite nice. I can send you a sample map, if you'd like. :)

    You should come out in the fall, and we can watch Lord of the Rings together. Wouldn't that be fun? I wonder how much a plane ticket would cost. :D


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