Archive | October, 2017

NANOWRIMO and an Apology

31 Oct

So I fell off the bandwagon for the WIP Joy for October. If you follow me on FB, you’ll note that I was posting pictures for Inktober as well. And then, a sudden… full stop.

I used to draw quite a bit – I never got good at inking, and I attempted to ink my work and it… wasn’t good. But I didn’t think the pencils were particularly good, either. I figured I’d keep at it and get inspired at Winnipeg’s C4 Comic Con. Didn’t really feel it this year, which is surprising, because I didn’t have to rush off to work (though not for lack of offers, hah!) so yeah – I’m making it a thing to keep drawing. I’ve been drawing more than I’ve been writing lately, and I figured it wouldn’t be a terrible thing as NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.

Writing wise I was patting myself on the back for being around 90k, but I’m thinking I’m cutting a major thing out of the book. In a nutshell, in book I introduced the idea of a character being able to see possibilities of the future, however jarbled and moldable. This idea carried over to book 2, and I came up with the idea about the past catching up with a character, and not being able to outrun it. This was also in the planning when I had one major plot going, but for whatever reason, I’m running an A plot and a B plot simultaneously, so adding segments of a character’s past that seem to have no connection at first sounds artsy fun, but my goal right now is to keep the word count from looking too intimidating, plus this book has been way more fun to write then others in the series.

So yeah – I’ve been around 96k for about a week but my guess is that’ll drop down to at least 70k, because I wrote a good chunk of the past. As for what I’m doing for my NaNo, I’m leaning towards science fiction. I’m a pantser, honestly I’m tempted to be workign on two books at once, writing 1k daily on the current project and 1k on a new project. I also set myself up some end-of-the-year goals that I have to hit if I want to travel in the new year. I’m behind, eeee.


WIP Day 7

7 Oct

A writing tip that has helped you!

This is about catching the mistakes on the page in terms of sentence clarity. Microediting, not macro (content).

When you do revisions, the best thing to catch the microediting mistakes is to give the prose time so you’re not staring at something you are already extremely familiar with. Unfortunately, we’ve all had things that were due and you don’t have the luxury of time.

The best best way to edit your own work is to change the format. Change the size, font, or print it out. Honestly, all of those plus using a printed copy someone else has scribbled on is my preferred method. This usually helps me catch repetitions or things that I thought were taken out but left behind.

An additional step is to read a paragraph backwards. This sounds awkward, so here’s an example:


From “The Drawing of the Three” by Steven King:

Nerves, the great oracle and eminent junkie assured him. Just nerves. All part of the cool turkey experience, little brother.

If I were to check it for context, take that paragraph and read the sentences line by line, bottom up:

All part of the cool turkey experience, little brother.

Just nerves.

Nerves, the great oracle and eminent junkie assured him.

What this does is allows me to go sentence by sentence, and ensure that there is clarity. It doesn’t help when there are pronouns and you might need to clarify, but if the sentence doesn’t make sense by itself, it’s worth considering revision.


How about you, how do you check your sentences for clarity?

WIP Day 6

6 Oct

One’s on Twitter and the other is on FB. I’m probably doing this wrong. Oh well.

#FF: awesome #WIPjoy-er’s to follow!

Bethany A. Jennings –

She made this challenge

Celesta Thiessan

The one I got this from

Oct WIP Day 5

5 Oct

Ask a question other writers may be able to help with!

I hope this doesn’t come across as arrogant.

My question is about etiquette across genres. I know romance novels get a lot of disrespect, and a good reason why is when unhealthy character relationships get portrayed. I get that it can be a fantasy and one shouldn’t mistake what happens in certain texts with real life wants. And for the record, I’ve read extremely well written romances that are on par with “literature” at least in terms of prose quality.

Often, when individuals who are unfamiliar with genre in a writing group, they tend to say, “I don’t read X” as if everything was written in another language. I get that certain writing rules can be ignored if it’s common in that subgenre,  Is there a way to bridge this gap? I mean, I get it when someone says, “I know nothing of 16th century French Politics, you got me” if I was a fact checker, this would be problematic, but for the average writing-feedback, is there a way to have a respectful conversation, admit when giving feedback “Well, I happen to know next to nothing about X, but I liked the drama. I didn’t like character Y, I thought she was a cliche faux action girl and you weren’t going for subversion.”

This applies to the reviews as well, but is there a way to bridge the conversation? Let’s put it this way: I’m a hardass reviewer. I’m extremely sure I’ve pissed people off while I go on a tangent nobody else probably cares about. It’s not about disrespecting the writer, so much as talking about the idea the book tried to portray. Can we make this less about my fragile ego, and more about the theme?

If that one is too hard, any advice for working with editors, especially if you have someone who is dallying in your prose and you’re being a diva, especially if you don’t want to be a diva?


Oct WIP Day 4

5 Oct

A Line that Expresses your Theme


I couldn’t do it in a line. Here’s a small snippet of dialogue, which will be rewritten about a dozen times if not cut altogether.


“I don’t care about fancy palaces and jewels if this is what it costs you,” Iona said. “Don’t you see? This is another cross-road. We can leave – you and I, right now. We can escape to some place where Lecancia and the others will never find us. They care about castles and kings – why would they bother us anymore?”

“You don’t understand,” Radij said. “If I betray Lecancia, she will take what power I have away. She might kill me, or she might leave me for someone else.”

“There has to be a way – those northerners. They kill mages, don’t they?”

“Lesser acolytes.”


She said the archmage’s name as if that was all the proof she needed. “Yorun had taxed himself fighting other mages, Iona. The vermin exploited him in a moment of weakness, nothing more.”

Oct WIP Day 3

4 Oct

What’s your favourite place/way to share your writing online?


Besides this blog?

I like goodreads as a general place to talk about books, but I’m not nuts about their review policy as it pertains to those who are posting negative without reading a book (for the record, your review, however you want to do it, is your review. I don’t care). I like facebook because I feel like I can chat with people casually, but on this platform I usually proofread it and think about it, so the content is a little bit more sophisticated. I used to be all over the place with livejournal, but I’m not posting to my old account anymore.

I’m contemplating discussing books like I have movies on this blog in the future. For when it’s not so much a review, but my thoughts on it. I like to keep reviews as well, reviews – whereas I can spend a heck of a lot of time discussing a book’s theme or idea, so you might start to see this in the future.

As for talking about writing – I think I’m getting a little better at talking about books that are coming up. I think there’s still a lot I need to learn in terms of marketing, but I’ll get there.

Oct WIP Day 2

3 Oct

Tell us about YOU!

I mostly write science fiction and fantasy, having fallen in love with adventure stories from a young age. I can’t remember when I started writing, but I do know I finished my first “novel” the summer I was fourteen. It was terrible but meh, I wouldn’t call myself a natural by any stretch but I kept at it. I finished my first series by the time I graduated high school, knew being creative wasn’t enough, and wouldn’t say I have a writing schedule but I’m the sort of person if I don’t set a deadline I will keep tweaking something for a long time. I have two novels under contract with Champagne books at this time, my best guess is 2018 for both.

I’ve been a Manitoba paramedic for the last five years, three of which with Southern Health. I got my paramedic license the same week I got the contract for Tower of Obsidian, which was my first novel under contract. I’ve sold shorts to various anthologies and try to read a good variety of everything.


Me on Goodreads

Tower of Obsidian at Amazon

Champagne Books

2 Oct


Okay – so I like daily challenges, and this looks like fun – even if it’s meant for twitter and I’m not sure what #6 is asking me to do, but I have the better part of a week to figure it out. Post if you’re doing this or something like it, it’ll be fun.


Introduce your WIP!

I’m currently just shy of 90k of the sequel to the book I sold last year to Champagne. This is probably not the final title, but Merciful Knife follows about a month after Witchslayer’s Scion ends. No spoilers; it’s a swashbuckling sword and sorcery adventure, and it’s a lot of fun because I’m not spending a lot of time reintroducing ideas so lots of action and banter thus far.  I’m also pulling a GRRM and currently have things written in that word count I know aren’t going to make the book, possibly going into something else (novella? Short?) but fleshing out what I know has to happen in the timeline. If we’re to count how far I am in the “caught up” (bridging between scenes) It’s about 62k for the sequences I’ve patched together. I’m hoping that I get this title shorter then others in the series, WS is about 130k and the main series, book 1 is about 160k. Daunting for any other genre but fantasy, right?


The goal is to get enough of a working draft that I can do a nano in November that I can swap without concern, and then have a buffer between projects.