The Big Picture

Sometimes in writing it’s important to take a step back to look at the big picture. This is especially relevant when you’re writing a series.

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I decided to take a step back yesterday and look at the plot as a whole for my trilogy. I wrote down information for each of the three books. By doing this, I allowed myself to see how each story contributes to the trilogy’s overall goal. It helped to get my mind more focused on making sure the things I’m writing ultimately lead towards that.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Happy writing!

Meeting Milestones

Hey Everyone!

Last night when I pressed the yes button on my Commit app, it showed that I have worked on a manuscript 340 days in a row. 😀

So in 25 days (counting today, that is) I will have worked on a manuscript every day for a year!

It’s always great when you reach different milestones to your goals.

For some it’s winning NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words in a month.

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For others, it’s finishing a tough segment of their story.

Back in my first year at university, I had a page that threatened to be the death of me. It was page 197 of Emryld’s original story (yes it frustrated me so much that I still remember the exact page number even though that was 7 years ago).

I’d never written anything that long before and I wanted to get to 200 pages. That was my milestone to reach, but conquering page 197 was not easy.

I think it took me about a week, just to get through that one page because I was struggling so much with it. By pushing through, I passed 200 pages, ending with a manuscript that was over 77,000 words.

Milestones don’t have to be huge. Just like goals, they can be something simple but they will be most effective if they stretch you.

What milestones have you reached recently? I’d love to hear 🙂

 

Introduction to My Characters

Second post for the day!

My friend Anna is an incredible artist and I’ve commissioned her to do pictures of some of my main characters. Since she has finished something for each of my books, it’s time for you all to see them.

Topaas

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From left to right: Rosalyn, Malloria, and Garrett Cameron. Malloria is Topaas’s main character

Sapphyre

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Marcus & Liana, Sapphyre’s two POV characters

Emryld

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Emmeline Rawlins, the main character of Emryld

Elemental – Ice & Elemental – Fire

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Kayna & Elaira Matinsky, the two main characters of the Elemental novels that I’ll work on more once I finish the others

Anna and I have been friends for 13 years and I’ve always loved her art, so I’ve gotten excited when she opened up commissions and I was able to get these done a little at a time.

If you would like to check out more of Anna’s art, visit her blog at

http://artofannastansfield.blogspot.com/

You can also follow her on Tumblr at

http://annasketches.tumblr.com/

I hope you all enjoyed a look at some of my characters!

The Importance of Setting

Setting is crucial to a story and if your story is in the wrong setting it won’t seem to work out as well.

In Topaas, the setting is similar to the countryside of Scotland:

Scotland

Sapphyre takes place on estates like one would find in Regency England.

England

Emryld (book 3) takes place on a ship.

Ship

These settings all play an important role in their subsequent stories, so as I was thinking about my Mirrors trilogy yesterday I wondered what the setting would be. The ideas I had didn’t seem to fit.

Then a new idea came and I’m ready to roll with it. My stories take place in a world parallel to our own so the country that the setting of Mirrors will be based on is Russia with the stories taking place in the cities.

Russia

I’m excited to learn more about Russian culture and see how I can make that a part of the stories 🙂

What fun settings have you found for your stories?

WD

Music & Updates

I know I’ve blogged about music a few times but I have to do it again because of how it’s been affecting me in the past couple days.

My story playlist on iTunes is increasingly growing, in addition to the story playlist of the songs that my friend Andrea shows me for her stories.

It’s great to find the perfect song that relates to a character, their situation, or a song that’s like them talking to another character.

For one example, last night I was role playing with my friend Darlene. She turned on a song, then read the lyrics, and asked if it could be her character’s song to my character. I read the lyrics and it fit.

Then today, I decided to see if I could find a song that related to my character’s feelings towards her character. In looking up an artist whose music often works with this character, I found a song that fit perfectly. I seriously love when that happens.

For your treat, here is one of the recent songs from my story playlist. “We Will Not Grow Old” by Lenka which describes the relationship between my two main characters in Book 3.

Ties

One thing that I am aware of is that stories are often about relationships. This isn’t just with romance novels. Literature is often about the ties that bind us to other people.

Ever since Saturday, after a great brainstorming session with my friend Andrea, I’ve had these scenes in my head for the beginning of Book 3.

That book has troubled me for quite some time because I didn’t know how to start it. Now I know and I’ve started to write it.

How this ties to relationships, my MC is a 10-year-old girl that grows up over the course of the novel and the introduction to her shows how she interacts with her parents. It’s rather cute, if I do say so myself.

How do relationships shape your own stories?

WD

Camp NaNoWriMo

So today marks the beginning of Camp NaNoWriMo and I have some lofty goals that I am shooting for. I’m posting this to keep me accountable. So here goes:

Goal for Camp NaNoWriMo:

  • Finish first draft of Book 1.

Goal for August 1 – October 31

  • Finish first draft of Book 2.

Goal for NaNoWrimo:

  • Write 50,000 words of the first draft of Book 3.

Goal for December:

  • Finish whatever remains of the first draft of Book 3.

Now it’s not going to be easy to do this but I believe that if you give yourself a goal that will stretch you but is possible, you will succeed more than you would have if you didn’t set the goals.

What are your writing goals?

Feel free to share and we can help each other to be accountable.

WD