All posts filed under: Shadow Dawn Updates & Extracts

Shadow Dawn – Extract

Sweat was running into Tara’s eyes and she could hear her breath coming in ragged pants, but she met Talis’ next blow without wavering. The staves cracked together like trees trunks splitting and she forced the new recruit back a step. Despite her lack of training, the girl seemed to be keeping up. She watched Tara with sharp green eyes and ignored the stray ebony curls dancing in front of her eyes from her bun. She aimed another sharp jab at Tara’s chest and the princess parried it easily. The girl was tiring, leaving herself open to basic, amateur tactics. Tara took the opportunity. She aimed high but at the last second twisted, the soft grass giving beneath her boots as she swept her stave towards Talis’ anke. Oak met oak and the taste of copper exploded across Tara’s tongue as Talis moved like lightening to block the attack and throw one of her own before Tara’s brain could catch up with itself. Staggering back Tara grinned. She liked this girl a lot she decided. …

Shadow Dawn – Wading Through The Middle Ground

I’ve heard it said that middle of a book is the hardest bit to write and right about now, that seems pretty accurate. In fact it’s pretty flipping complicated That said, I am making progress on my novel and the real reason why I haven’t been making more is because I haven’t been sitting down to write it very much. Instead I’ve gone off to watch T.V, browse the internet, play computer games or as I’m doing now, write blog posts instead. The main problem is that I’m too distracted my new shiny ideas for stories and poems. I end up chasing those brain bubbles instead of focusing on the complicated mess that is the middle of my story and because of that, the middle hasn’t really been written yet. I have the beginning, I have the end, I just need the middle. What’s annoying is that the middle should be really good! There are lots of conflict points that can come into play, but whenever I sit down to write it I realise that …

Just Keep Writing: Redrafting Even If It Kills Me

The last few weeks haven’t been the most productive when it comes to getting through the re-draft of Darkened Daughter/Dawn Shadows. It probably doesn’t help that I keep referring to the book as Darkened Daughter despite the fact that I changed the name to Dawn Shadows a month and a bit back. Despite all of this I feel that I might have actually turned a corner with the re-draft this weekend. The word count is currently sat around 58,734 words with nineteen chapters written for the current redraft. The original draft was about 52,000 words and this one will be closer to 100,000 when it’s done. Weirdly, a lot of the new draft wasn’t in the first draft to begin with. Huge chunks of those first 52,000 words got cut out and a lot of fresh writing added it. However, the book has benefited from that and reading it back I feel less like I want to hurl it out of the nearest window or onto the fire. Don’t get me wrong, there are still …

Second Drafts, Conundrum Chapters and Troublesome Titles

The darkness in the tunnels below Turnkay’s Keep was complete and even with her heightened sense, Ilia was struggling to find her way. Above her the storm was still battering at the walls and even deep in the tunnels she could hear the whistling of stray winds whispering towards her. She felt the hairs on her arms rising as she shuffled forward, sliding one foot in front of the other carefully, never taking her hand from the wall. She felt the condensation clinging to her fingers, cold and wet, coating her skin and making her bones ache as the feeling leeched from her nerves. The sensible voice in the back of her head told her that the safe thing to do would be to turn around and go back to Tara and the guards, to leave well enough alone whatever magic was brewing in the bowels of the Witch Moors. She blotted out the sensible voice and focused on the pull. It was faint now. During the battle it had called to her like a …

Earworm – The Daily Post Daily Prompt

Write. Just write. That’s the quote that’s been stuck in my head this week and pretty much every week since I heard it. I’m not even sure where I heard it to begin with, it’s just there now, bouncing around in the dusty corners of my brain like a demented bouncy ball that won’t leave me alone. I’ve been working on Darkened Daughter in its many forms since secondary school. I’ve been trying to write it for roughly eight years and it has only been in the last six months that I’ve managed to sit down and hammer out an actual draft and an actual plot-line. I suppose in some ways Darkened Daughter became an Earworm for me. It burrowed into my brain and stayed there. Characters decided to pop out of the synapses and jitterbug across my frontal lobe until I paid them attention and put them onto the page instead. No matter what other story ideas came my way, Darkened Daughter was always there, lurking in the grey matter. In the last six …

Novel Update

This week has not been easy for me and I would like to open this post by thanking everyone who commented on Tuesday night’s post. Your condolences and thoughts meant a lot and it was wonderful to receive such a level of support. Moving on from my personal issues, let’s talk about Darkened Daughter and my utter uselessness at keeping up with Deadlines. I was going to attempt Nanowrimo this month to see if that would encourage me to get the second draft completely written by the end of November but clearly that plan fell through the floor. Simply put, I’ve barely written all month. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I don’t know what I’m supposed to be writing. Anyway, I’m trying to be proactive and this evening I’m working on the first chunk of the book which is Tara’s infiltration of Turnkay’s Keep in the Witch Moors. At the moment the main aspect missing from Darkened Daughter is character development so that is what I’m trying to resolve. In …

All This Fence Sitting Is Giving Me Splinters

I woke up this morning not feeling utterly destroyed, as I rightly should have seeing as my partner’s sister in law and I demolished three bottles of wine between us last night, so I’m counting today as a win. Today is also the start of Nanowrimo, a competition that I adore and try to take part in most years. This year however, I’m not so sure. Darkened Daughter is currently lurking around the 53,000 word mark. Now I could decided to partake in Nanowrimo and write another 50,000 words to go on top, giving me 100,000 to play around with later. Or I could ignore the event all together and just write the rest of Darkened Daughter or as is the current case, leave it sitting on my desk where it glares at me in neatly spaces lines demanding to be given attention. I’m on the fence. Nanowrimo is great for giving writers that push to get stuff down on paper, but can I really go into it knowing that most of the book is …

First Draft Done… Sort Of

So I’ve managed to do it! I’ve completed a first draft of a novel for the first time in my life. Whoohoo! Lets throw a party. Okay, let’s not throw a party just yet, the hard bit is just around the corner. Yes, I have 52,000 words of writing that sort of follows a plot line and gets my characters from where I wanted them at the start of the book to where I wanted them at the end of the book. Yes, all my characters have appeared in that 52,000 words. Yes, most of the major events have been included. NO. The last chapter has not been written. The character development has as much meat on it as an emancipated stick-man. Most of the characters barely do anything except those major scenes and the rest seems a lot like fluff without much relevance. Result: Redrafting is needed in abundance. But on the bright side. I’ve written 52,000 words so I have something to work with. Maybe I will throw myself a small party. I …

Oh Look. I’ve Run Out Of Rope… Drat.

I Just wrote myself off a cliff. Well sort of. Darkened Daughter is now 500 words away from the halfway point and I thought I knew what was going to happen in every chapter between now and the end. Apparently this was not true. I did not know what was going to happen, because my sneaky little brain decided to derail things and throw up a new event that now means one of my character will be out of commission for a couple of chapters. This mean I can’t write chapters eighteen and nineteen as planned, because it simply won’t make sense.  Replanning is now required. Of course I knew that this would happen. It always does when I try to write something. I’m also aware that every single chapter I’ve written so far is too short for its content, bar one that is just short full stop but somehow works. Redrafting will probably have this novel reaching far beyond its 80,000 word target, but I’m not going to say that’s a bad thing because …

Darkened Daughter Update

Today all I could think about was writing, but then I got home and suddenly all that motivation decided it would rather talk to me later and right now there was a really good episode of Star Gate on so it should watch that instead. I’m bad at that. I’m bad for telling myself that something I was really motivated about just an hour before could be done just as well tomorrow and really, right now the sofa/bed/chair is damn, flipping comfy. I’m getting better though. See tonight I sat down, [after Star Gate] and wrote another 600 words of Darkened daughter and over the last week and bit I’ve written close to 12,000 words of the first draft. I’m a quarter of the way through and I now how a fully mapped out plan of where my characters, and more importantly my plot line, are going. Don’t get me wrong, it sucks. It sucks a lot. I’m going to have to go back and tear it limb from limb to try and work out …