A Bit of Me, Overworld, Updates, Writing

NaNo 2017

Oh, look, it’s November again, which must mean NaNoWriMo is back!

I haven’t had a lot of success with forward planning this year, so I’m not at all sure how well this is going to go, but I shall make an attempt anyway. By now I had hoped to have finished Burning Sky (Dragonlands #4), leaving me free to launch into Aquila’s War (Wingborn #5). Alas, this hasn’t happened. Although I’ve been inching along with Sky, I’ve been struggling to get the plot to the point where I’m free to let loose and run away with it. Mostly because I haven’t had the time or been in the right head space to simply sit back and think about it all. As for AW, while I know where I wanted it to go and what’s vaguely going to happen, details have yet to emerge.

At least that’s where I was with it all last weekend, when I decided to put Sky aside for now and focus on AW instead. Then a new plot idea started jumping up and down for Sky, although I’m not sure yet how I can get to it from where I left things in Chapter 7. Now, after reading through Wingborn #4, ideas for AW are busily poking at my brain, and I also have a long abandoned book waving fresh ideas from the dusty archives. All of which leaves me in something of a quandary.

So this year’s NaNo attempt isn’t to write 50K words of a novel. It’s to write as many words as possible on two, possibly three books, and hope I might actually finish one of them. 50,000 words would be good, even more would be great, but I’m making no promises and setting no targets. I have them in my head, but I’m only counting the things that I actually get done. Hopefully that way I won’t jinx myself and ruin it all.

Updates to come as and when I have anything of worth to report.

For now…

Aquila’s War Prologue + 1/2 Ch 1

Riders filled the northern horizon.

Prologue, 1st line

Overall – 2489 words

Here’s hoping tomorrow goes as well. Although I do have the dentist, so I’m definitely not making any promises.

Good luck to all who are also taking part!


A Bit of Me, Overworld, Updates, Writing

NaNo Report: Final Thoughts

Well, I did it. Cloud Cursed was wrapped up by Day 19, which left me free all last week to pursue other things. In the meantime I also managed to pass 10,000 words on A Courtship of Dragons, taking my November total over 100,000.

So what has NaNo taught me this year? Not a lot really, since I’ve always been lucky enough to be able to throw a lot of words out if I have a chance to put in the effort. It’s still nice to know I can complete a challenge when I set one, though.

Am I glad I did it? Yep, because now I’m one book deeper into the Dragonlands series and have plenty of ideas to keep carrying me forward. This book also brought out the overarching plotline and coalesced a few nebulous ideas, which is always nice. I don’t know how concrete they’ll prove to be going forward (spontaneous dragons and all), but having the daily word count chasing me meant I kept writing when I might otherwise have taken a few days out to think things over and lost the momentum.

I also didn’t go completely crazy over the last few days. Well, relatively speaking. I wrote as much from Day 13-19 as I’d written up to that point, doubling my word count in a week. But this isn’t unheard of for me when I get my teeth into something, and I didn’t have any 10,000+ days, so I didn’t lose my head completely. Which I’d count as a success judging by my output in previous NaNo attempts.

Overall I’d call this a success. I hit my goals and didn’t keel over from exhaustion or pressure. I started and finished the book I wanted to and also managed to start something else along the way, regardless of world events, boiler breakdowns and other unexpected drains on my time, energy and brain space.

So thanks, NaNo 2016. You were tough, but we made it and maybe I’ll play properly next year.

To finish, here’s the final Snippet List of Progress:

Cloud Cursed Ch 19

ANHARDYNE WAS FED up of stairs. For creatures who could transform into thirty to forty foot beast and fly every which way they pleased, dragons built far too many stairs.

– Anhardyne, Chapter 19

Something long and smooth brushed over his wings and Estenarven spun, snarling.

– Estenarven, Chapter 19

Day 17 – 4942 words
Overall – 73,234 words

Cloud Cursed Ch 20+21

Without a word, Khennik assumed his dragon shape and curled his longer form around the front half of Estenarven, covering the young dragon with a shimmering bronze and gold wing.

– Khennik, Chapter 20

“We rarely get what we deserve,” Goryal said gently. “Although sometimes, if we are lucky enough, we get what we need.” They opened their clasped hands and the scent of tea filled the air. “Drink?”

– Goryal, Chapter 21

Day 18 – 7804 words
Overall – 81,038 words

Cloud Cursed Ch 22 – 25

“Have faith in yourself. Trust your strength. We are with you.”

– Khennik, Chapter 22

Maegla, it was beautiful.

– Nera, Chapter 23

Tempting though it was to tell the elder to buzz off – rainbow sparkles optional – they were still a powerful, influential dragon and she didn’t think either her captain or the ambassador would be pleased if she somehow offended Goryal. Not that Goryal was easy to offend, but it would be just her luck if she managed it nevertheless.

– Anhardyne, Chapter 24

“What happens now?”

– Reglian, Chapter 25

Day 19 – 8880 words
Overall – 89,218 words


Now that that’s over with, I suppose I should return to working on Storm Rising and get that ready for release in the new year. I would much rather get working on book 4 (Burning Sands), but if I just keep writing without releasing things I think people might get fed up of hearing me talking about them.

So next on the list will be Storm Rising edits. Rift Riders has about nine more weeks of scheduled updates to go, then I’ll be prepping that one for release too before deciding what to do about book 3 in both series. Woven in amongst all of this I’ll also continue to work on A Courtship of Dragons, because there will never be too much fluffy dragon romance in the world and writing Esten and Mastekh is pure brain candy for me.

All in all, business as usual. Much writing has been done, too much editing remains and books will appear as and when I can get them ready.

Farewell, November, thanks for the words. To my fellow NaNo participants out there, congratulations! I hope you made it to the end, or if not, then you’re at least happy with what you achieve. If (again) not, well, I guess there’s always next year. I’ll see you then.

In the meantime, take care, my lovelies!

A Bit of Me, Overworld, Updates, Writing

NaNo Report, Part 3

Things have really started picking up, plot-wise and with the word count, over the last few days. Which is good, because thanks to the boiler breakdown last week and the three days of repairs, my writing schedule was rather disrupted.

I’ve also found out that next week is going to be a bit of a mess writing-wise too. Why does this only ever happen in my NaNo years? In the non-NaNo years November is dull and empty, but as soon as I commit to something, quick, quick, we demand your time elsewhere! This isn’t really a complaint, just a general expression of bafflement.

Anyway, I’m hoping to get the book finished this week. I’m not sure if I’ll quite manage it, depends on how much brain power I have left and how many random directions my spontaneous dragons can erupt in. I can always tell when I’m getting worn out, though, because my characters start to swear a lot. Normally I only let them swear to make a dramatic point, but the f-word is creeping in all over the place lately. This usually shows I’m too busy (or lazy) to think of something better, but at the moment I just sort of stare blankly at the screen for a few minutes, then shrug and move on. So that’ll be fun to edit later.

I’m also having more trouble picking snippets to share without spoilers. Then again, I’m also struggling to figure out if they’re actually spoilers or not when no one knows anything else leading up to this point over the last two books. I’m trying to avoid them nonetheless.

Now all I have to do is gather up all my trailing threads and try to weave them into a coherent ending. In three days. Wish me luck!

Oh, and because of all the above blathering, I haven’t had much time to spare for Courtship. I’ll try and squeeze a few lines out tomorrow, but I’d kind of like to get Cloud Cursed over and done while I have time. Then I’ll have more time to play. I’m looking forward to it. (Although I’m now full of ideas for Book 4 and would love to write that straight after this. I should probably edit No.2 and release it first. Being an indie author is no fun sometimes ;)

In the meantime, here’s the Snippet List of Progress!

Lost to the continuing Saga of the Boiler.

Cloud Cursed Ch 12

It wasn’t funny and it wasn’t clever. Someone could get hurt – and probably would once Khennik finally tracked down those responsible.

– Khennik, Chapter 12

Day 12 – 3468
Overall – 45, 001

Catching up on other things.

Cloud Cursed Ch 13+14

“Shut up and hand me that naked dragon.”

– *Spoilers* (It’s probably not, I’m just mean), Chapter 13

“You Riders do make life interesting.”

– Korija, Chapter 14

Day 14 – 6538 words
Overall – 51, 539 words

Cloud Cursed Ch 15+16

It was all Estenarven’s fault.

– Khennik, Chapter 15

He used to play with the hummingbirds when he was a dragonling, creeping through the lush forest groves, enchanted by their jewel-bright feathers and their tiny forms. They had been beautiful, so beautiful.

– Mastekh, Chapter 16

Day 15 – 8151 words
Overall – 59,690 words

Cloud Cursed Ch 17+18

Footwear was a serious liability.

– Khennik, Chapter 17

“Ow,” the Rider complained, squirming against his grip. “I was only joking. Gods, you dragons have no sense of humour.”

– Vish, Chapter 18

Day 16 – 8602 words
Overall – 68,292 words

68292 / 80000 words. 85% done!

So close now!

At least, I hope I am, because with where everything ended today I could either wrap the whole thing up in another three chapters, or it could be double that and more. I’m hoping to land somewhere in the middle, but I guess I will have to wait and see.

To all my fellow NaNo participants, hope you’re still on tracking and kicking your word count where it, uh, counts.

And to everyone else, I hope all is well or as good as can be expected.

Take care, my lovelies!

A Bit of Me, Overworld, Updates, Writing

NaNo Report, Part 2

I’m not sure this whole catch up with NaNo on a Wednesday thing is going to work. Thus far I’m not doing too well at it, but as long as I’m still writing I guess that’s the important thing. I would say I’ll move this to Thursday now, but if I do something else will break or explode or just happen along to distr-

Oh look, the kraken is picking up its squidlings from school!

Never mind.

Anyway, this week in the NaNo tally, things have been chugging along quite nicely. All the plots I had for this book have gone missing and I’ve gone off in another weird direction. I’m sort of hoping one or two of them might come back, but not confident. My dragons are spontaneous and resent forward planning.

I’m kicking the word count where it matters though, which is nice. Especially since all my plans yesterday went out the window. Not that I’m complaining, because in the scheme of everything, my NaNo goals are not important. But since my boiler is still broken and I spent most of today waiting for the engineer to come fix it (he’s here now), I caught up on my word count and Cloud Cursed at least is back on track. As far as I know, but see spontaneous dragons for why this may not be true.

I also have something extra to share, but I’ll talk about that at the end of the post.

Now onto the Weekly Progress-O-Meter of Snippets (no spoilers)!

Cloud Cursed Ch 5+6

“There are others here that are not so friendly towards my Clan.”
“That’s because your Clan is populated by idiots.”

– Leasang, Chapter 5

“I’m so pleased you picked such a comfortable spot. Wouldn’t it be terrible to find somewhere where there weren’t barbs and shards sticking in my feet? No, no, don’t get off, I can bear your weight just fine.”

– Teka, Chapter 5

Day 4 – 6763 words
Overall – 21,001 words


Nothing. My weekend was gobbled up by other things.

Cloud Cursed Ch 7

“Father Sun, this trip was making him lose his mind. This was why he didn’t have friends.”

– Khennik, Chapter 7

Day 7 – 4888 words
Overall – 25, 889 words

Cloud Cursed Ch 8

“We will never be friends, you and I.”

– Khennik, Chapter 8

Day 8 – 4618 words
Overall – 30, 507 words

Cloud Cursed Ch 9

“Ready?” Nera asked.
He grinned. “Ready.”
The lieutenant gave a sharp whistle, waving her arm to get her flurry lined up behind her, and grinned back. “Then let’s go!”

Estenarven, Chapter 9

Day 9 – 2986 words
Overall – 33, 495 words

Cloud Cursed Ch 10+11

“I’m really not sure about this, Tek,” she admitted, leaning forward to smooth a hand down her bonded’s neck.

Nera, Chapter 10

“I bloody hate ancient second-generation runes. And poetry. Why did they always use poetry? Father Sun, it might as well be gibberish.”

Khennik, Chapter 11

Day 10 – 8038 words
Overall – 41, 533 words

41533 / 80000 words. 52% done!

Woo – and if I may be so bold as to add – hoo!

Now, on to the non-NaNo Thing that has grown out of hazy idea I had bumbling around in the back of my brain, but mostly as a response to everything that’s going on right now.

I had considered making it a novella, however, instead it looks like it might turn into something else. I don’t know how long it will be, I don’t really know where it’s going. All I know is that it’ll be a completely fluffy piece of M/M dragon romance told scene by scene.

I wrote the first one today. I’ll write the second one tomorrow. I’ll try and write a little more every day and post it around the Rift and NaNo updates. So look out on Saturday for the first scene – perhaps even the first two scenes. I would say three, but that’ll be a fine way to ensure I never write anything on it again.

It’s called A Courtship of Dragons and it’s from the Dragonlands series, fitting neatly in between the end of Blazing Dawn and the start of Storm Rising. It’s about Mastekh and Estenarven, in case you were wondering and hadn’t quite guessed yet. It will probably also contain Rift Riders, miryhls and other sundry characters, since it’s all one Overworld.

I guess I’ll find out as I go along.

There was a flower on his bed.

Mastekh, Scene 1

No, you’re not getting any more. It’s less than 300 words long at the moment. Come back on Saturday.

In the meantime, love and good thoughts and hope and support to you all.

A Bit of Me, Overworld, Updates, Writing

NaNo Report, Part 1

So November is here and NaNo has begun, but rather than spam everyone with daily updates on my progress, I thought I’d go for weekly instead. Since this month ends on a Wednesday, I figured a Wednesday update would work best. However, since I had something else to post yesterday, I’m doing it on Thursday. Which is a great start! Um…

Anyway, it’s Day 3 and, since I get up early and write in the morning, my count for the day is in. It’s going quite well so far. Cloud Cursed is taking shape and an idea pounced on me yesterday that may or may not turn into a major plot point. Not sure I could make it work, but if I can, it could be interesting.

So, progress so far (with daily snippets – no spoilers):

Cloud Cursed Ch 1

Clearly he was having a mid-century crisis. Well, he was more than seven hundred years old. It was bound to hit him sooner or later.

Khennik, Chapter 1

Overall – 4295 words

Cloud Cursed Ch 2+3

“It always starts in the library.”

Estenarven, Chapter 2

Day 2 – 4774 words
Overall – 9069 words

Cloud Cursed Ch 4

He’d never done so much thinking in his life and, quite frankly, he was exhausted.

Estenarven, Chapter 4

Day 3 – 5169 words
Overall – 14,238 words

14238 / 80000 words. 18% done!

So far so good. I’m slowly increasing my count every day, but I’m still feeling my way into the book so it should go up even more when I know where it’s all going. For the moment, though, I’m happy with it. I’m hoping to get it over 20,000 by the weekend. We shall see.

To all my fellow NaNo participants out there, hope it’s going as well for you.

Merry Thursday, everybody!


Anyone for NaNo?

Gidleigh Common, Oct 2nd 2016

Yup, it’s almost that time of year again. With November only a week away, who’s giving NaNoWriMo a go?


Now that Storm Rising is finished – and after a read-through, not needing as much work as I’d feared – I plan to tackle the third Dragonlands book, Cloud Cursed. Mostly because I need to get as far through this series as possible so I can make sure the spoilers that show up in Wingborn #3 are actually true. (Hopefully by the time I get there, I should have written up to DL5, even if I won’t have released them all yet.)

Of course, best laid plans and all that, so take the above paragraph with a pinch of salt.

I have a strange relationship with NaNo and have never officially taken part. Mostly because I already know I can write a novel in a month if I push myself. Also because the one time I tried it, I found out the last week of November would be lost to family commitments, so I sort of went overboard and got over-competitive with myself and ended up three weeks in with an 85k+ MG novel that wasn’t even finished yet – and a massive headache.

So… this could be interesting.

As things stand, I know a fair bit about where I want this book to head – which is a first for this series – but I’m sure there are many surprises and plot twists just waiting to spring themselves on me. Because that’s what always happens.

I can’t quite decide whether I’ll actually sign up properly or not. On the one hand, yay, connecting with other writey people! On the other hand, eep, connecting with other writey people. I’ll keep thinking about it.

But enough about me – Who else is accepting the challenge this year?

Do you have plans? A strategy? Are you just going to wing it? Do you do it properly or are you are shady lurker like me? Or do you prefer never to think of those four letters together except in very, very small ways?


Quick Update

Sister of Icarus is finished! First draft, anyway. I already know certain places where I need to change things or explain more, but I don’t care.

First draft is done!

Now I can go play with Tobi and Faron for a bit, riding around waving a sword and making pretty swirls with magic. Yay!

(More Good Company tomorrow, for anyone who’s interested. And thanks to Sisters, my current NaNo total is 16K. Whoo!)

(Oh, and I took Be With Me down from Amazon, because it wasn’t price matching and it was annoying me. I might put it up again some time, but it’s always been free on Smashwords.)

Free Fiction, Mages of Wrystan, Writing

Good Company: Part One

This is my unofficial NaNo story for this year. It’s a traditional fantasy tale with a M/M romance between a healer student and a squire. Unlike my Aekhartain stories, this takes place in a different world, and although it’s knights and magic, in time period terms it’s about 18th-19th century.

I’ve been writing this in bits and pieces for a few years, but I want to finally get it finished. So, if you are reading this and you want more, leave me a comment to show that you want me to continue. I love these characters, so I have no perspective on them. It doesn’t have to be a long comment or a detailed critique, just a word or two will do. As I say, I’ve been writing this for a few years, so I need to know if it’s actually worth finishing or not.

Good Company is a temporary title, which might change before I finish this. Mostly I know it as Tobi+Ry, but I need to stop thinking of it like that.

And with that out of the way, have the first part in which a squire and a healer mage meet up once more…

Continue reading “Good Company: Part One”