Tag Archives: The Wishing Blade series

Thoughts on Writing – Writing a Rough Draft, One Character at a Time

I recently finished the main draft for book three of The Wishing Blade series (the main draft, in this case, being a little bit more polished than a rough draft, but not quite ready for beta-readers). The process I took for writing this one was a bit different than some of my other books, so I thought I would take a moment to discuss the process.

Normally,  when I write, I write semi-chronologically… for the whole plot. I may skip around at times to write scenes that I feel particularly enthused about, or to bypass scenes that are giving me difficulty until the rest of the rough draft has been written, but I write in plot order.

This time, however, I focused on writing one point of view at a time. The third book (currently untitled) has four points of view, compared to the two in Magic’s Stealing (Toranih, with a few short scenes from Shevanlagiy), the three in The Shadow War (Daernan, Toranih, a few scenes with Shevanlagiy… and technically there’s four POVs because there’s a single scene with Siklana). Distant Horizon and Glitch each have only one point of view (Jenna and Tim, respectively). There’s also Little One, which has three primary points of view and several brief scenes with a bunch of other characters, but I was jumping all over the place when writing that one.

General consensus?

The process for writing each book is going to be different.

That’s okay. Some books are harder, some are easier.

But let’s take a closer look at my most recent experiment… writing one point of view at a time. While I haven’t sent book three out to beta-readers yet, and there may be other advantages and pitfalls that I’ve missed, I have already noticed a few key aspects of the process.

Advantages:

  1. Character goals and motivations are easier to keep track of.
    • Since you’re writing one point of view all at once, you aren’t distracted by the other characters’ motivations. You’re focusing entirely on one character and what that one character wants. Thus…
  2. Character arcs are smoother.
    • Their emotions are easier to follow. You can see when their emotions are shifting, and they aren’t reacting to what the previous point of view character was feeling. It’s easier to isolate them, thus…
  3. This allows you to clearly see what major players are doing.
    • Each character feels more fleshed out because he has his own wants and needs, and is acting with an individual character arc.

However, this particular character-oriented process comes with a few pitfalls.

Disadvantages:

  1. Occasional lapses in timeline.
    • When you’re writing these different characters, you may find that something that needs to happen in the morning happens in the afternoon, or days before or after an event should occur. Having a general outline that shows what each character should be doing, and when, can help alleviate this issue, as can leaving some time frames in which the events’ timing is not solidified to one point on the plot. I was pleasantly surprised at how all four POVs managed to come together for book three… and that was probably because I had a rough outline, which I wrote after one character’s POV was already completely written.
  2. Story flow may not be as smooth.
    • When writing the plot in a linear fashion, it may be easier to see the ups and downs for the reader, not just the character. You may run into problems where the scenes are jarring, with one character coming out of an extremely tense situation into a scene where other characters are in absolute calm. To counter this phenomenon, you may want to look for moments of irony. If one character believes one thing and the opposite is true, this may work in your favor. You can also play with parallels, in which we see how events are lining up between characters more than they know. You can place alternating POVs in such a way as to create moments of tension, in which one of the characters has discovered a great danger to another character (or is the great danger), and we know that the character’s POV that we just shifted into is under a threat they don’t suspect.
  3. Story plot might be forgotten.
    • When focusing on the character, rather than the plot, you may find that the characters have decided to go an entirely different direction than you had planned. This can be good… it provides twists the reader might not expect, but it can also be bad… (On hearing my plans for the plot of book three, my husband asked, “But where’s the Shadow War?” Needless to say, I’ve made a few notes which will need to be addressed in the next round of revisions). You may find that the external plot has shifted away from what your reader expects to read. This can sometimes be prevented by having an outline, or it can be adjusted scene-by-scene once you have the rough draft written.
  4. Your story might get bogged down with subplots.
    • You may find that writing all of the scenes from a single point of view means that you place more importance on a character than you necessarily should. These subplots decide to take over the story and run away like the horses of a wagon in a gold heist… (sorry… my mind is stuck on “frontier” and “mining” at the moment). Once you place them in the story with the other characters’ POVs, you might quickly realize which scenes are bogging down the plot and which ones need to be moved. Beta-readers may also be helpful here, if you’re having a hard time picking out the problem spots.

Overall, though, I found doing each character arc individually to be an effective method for writing multiple points of views when each of the points of views were largely separate from the other. The characters are contributing to the main plot, but what they do doesn’t directly affect the others… yet. Still, readers can see that a larger scheme is unfolding, and what each of the characters are learning should create tension for the other characters, especially as the web of the plot slowly weaves them back together.

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

Have you ever tried writing a story from each individual point of view before placing everything together into one, mostly-cohesive draft?

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Infinitas Publishing Status Report

Time for a status report! Now that the move to Michigan is mostly complete (and I’ve finally gotten my car back after a run-in with the local wildlife), we’re slowly getting back into the groove of things. Still got a few things to take care of before we’re all settled in, but things are finally getting back to normal. 🙂

DH Divider

Glitch: I’ve completed the major edits, handed the manuscript to Isaac to check over, and have been working on his changes. Due to the structure of the story, we’re actually considering breaking it into three individual stories, each around 35,000 to 45,000 words long. They’ll rely heavily on being read in order, but should each have their own beginning, middle, and end. I’ve sent the first part to a beta-reader to see what she thinks. If we do split the story into three parts, we’ll most likely release each part around two-three weeks apart, so readers won’t have to wait long to read each book. With luck, we’ll be moving forward with this project sooner rather than later.

Fractured Skies: I’ve made the second round of major edits based on Isaac’s feedback from a year or two ago, and now I’ve handed it back to him to look through. It needs a bit of work in order to match it to the style and tone of Distant Horizon. But this one is certainly in progress.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold.

Book 3 of The Wishing Blade Series: Working on plotting. Once Fractured Skies is out to beta-readers, I plan to start editing what I already have written of this manuscript, then write the other half of the book.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Finished one formatting project, now working on book covers. Not much new here.

Game Development: Trying to work out the kinks in a fantasy-based civilization building game. We have a few ideas, but we’ll need to test-play them.

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 I hope you enjoyed this post! 🙂

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Infinitas Publishing Status Report

Time for another status report! 😀

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Stealth Con: Isaac and I had our books and games at this year’s Stealth Con, a two day event at UCM. We had a vendor’s booth upstairs in the vending room, and we had our games available to play downstairs. This is the first time we had Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel available to sell, as well as its expansion. Though we didn’t sell much of our inventory (3 Magic’s Stealing, 2 Shadow War, 1 “Stone and String,” 1 Distant Horizon, 1 Cloth Phalanx Board, and 2 specialty dice), having the vendor booth did allow us to point interested visitors toward the gaming area. Plus, we got a chance to meet other authors who were at the convention, and visit with the people who had come to look around.

Infinitas Publishing - Stealth Con 2017

Vendor Room Setup for Infinitas Publishing – Stealth Con 2017

We switched up the organization of the table on the second day, to allow different products to shine (put Battle Decks and Phalanx on the ends of the table, and the books in the center).

We also debuted our upcoming game, The Legends of Cirena. For those of you who tried out our games in the gaming area, thank you!

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End of the Day in the Gaming area on Saturday – Stealth Con 2017

The Shadow War: The Shadow War is now available! It’s the second book in the series, available in both ebook and print. It took a month longer than I planned before release, but I’m much happier with the outcome. Soon I’ll be working on the third book of The Wishing Blade series, and I’ve already got quite a bit outlined,.Parts of Toranih’s POV have also been written.

The Legends of Cirena: This game is still in beta, but Isaac has been hard at work developing what will be game-changing expansions and making sure everything in the game works well together. It’s a role-play/adventure board game where you create the map from a deck of cards you draw as you explore… encountering adventures and collecting treasures! It’s also loosely based on the world of The Wishing Blade series.

The Multiverse Chronicles: Still on the back burner, but not forgotten.

Glitch: This is a spin-off of Distant Horizon, and it’s my current writing project. I’m about halfway through the initial reading to see what needs revision, and I have another round of edits I make before I hand this over to Isaac. After that, I expect that there will be substantial revisions, because that’s how this process usually works. But I’m looking forward to getting this one out there, because it delves more into the Camaraderie’s side of things. 😉

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Life as usual, except that I’m going to be making my formatting services available soon.

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Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with our latest book releases and promotions, sign up for our Infinitas Publishing Newsletter!

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I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

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Thoughts on Publishing – Infinitas Publishing Status Report

Hello there! I’ve been super quiet for the past month, but don’t worry, that just means there are plans in progress! (And holidays… that took up a bit of blogging time, too).

So,  here’s the latest news, plus a bit of catch up on the previous month. I’ll keep it short, since I’ve got to get back to editing The Shadow War.

UCM Holiday Market (November 2016): This event went well. We sold a few of our Phalanx boards and a couple of books. It’s a local, one-day event that took place at the University of Central Missouri. It’s a lot of fun, and best of all, the booths are free. A current faculty/staff/student has to sponsor the booth, though, and since Isaac and I have both graduated, we want to give a shout out to Scott for sponsoring us. Thank you! 🙂

Distant Horizon: Distant Horizon has been gathering quite a few good reviews over at Goodreads. Thank you to everyone who has read the book and reviewed it. 🙂

Glitch: This is a spin-off novel from Distant Horizon (it follows Tim as he deals with the Legion Spore… a vessel made from a merging of shapeshifters and technology). Glitch is in the editing phase–tightening up the prose, fixing continuity from the earlier drafts of Distant Horizon… etc. It’s on temporary hold while I finish up The Shadow War.

The Shadow War: Isaac finished reading the The Shadow War and found several plot holes and mix-matched motivations I thought I’d fixed, plus pointed out issues that weren’t flowing along with the plot as I had described it to him. So I went back through and did some major edits, tweaking character motivation and reworking the ending. This is the main reason I haven’t been very active on the blog lately. I’m still making a few changes to the last chapters, but it feels considerably stronger than before. Overall, I’m pleased with how it’s coming along.

The downside of this is that I may be pushing back the ebook pre-orders to mid-March. I’m going to see where I’m at in my edits by the end of this weekend, and then I plan to post an update as to what the updated release date will be. I’ve been debating on whether to keep to the original date or push it back, and as much as I want to release on the original date, I’d rather wait a few more weeks and have time to do the fine-tuning and proofreading that will make for a smoother reading experience. The Shadow War is my major writing/editing focus at the moment.

Stone and String: Stone and String is now available on multiple platforms, so you aren’t stuck reading it on Kindle if you prefer a different format. Enjoy!

The Multiverse Chronicles: Trials of Blood and Steel: Still on hold, but I’m planning on returning to edits once The Shadow War is complete. I’d like to edit one episode a week until all of the remaining episodes have gone through a basic polish, and then I’ll send them to our beta-reader before continuing the release of the series online. In the meantime, the first fifteen episodes are up.

Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel: Isaac and I have been working towards a special edition of the game that we can have available at local events and conventions. We’ve started moving forward with that project, and we’ve got a surprise planned for that as well. I’m really excited about it, and I look forward to revealing more about that as we get closer to Stealth Con.

WIP Game: Isaac has been hard at work creating the art for a prototype version of our next game we plan to release. It’s still in the beta-phase, however. More information on that once we’ve ironed out a few more of the details.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration:  Working on finalizing a book cover before creating a proof for another.

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with our latest book releases and promotions, sign up for our Infinitas Publishing Newsletter!

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Now… back to editing The Shadow War!

That’s all for now, and I hope you enjoyed this post! 🙂

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Thoughts on Publishing – Infinitas Publishing Status Report

A month has passed since our last status report, so here’s the update!

The Shadow War: Currently being read by beta-readers. There’s a few edits I need to make based on the rough draft for the third book of The Wishing Blade series, but we’ll see how that goes. I’m working on that book for Camp NaNoWriMo, and I hope to have a rough draft for both the third and fourth books before releasing the second one, that way I can make sure the plot is smooth. I’ve also been developing the Cantingen word magic language for the books, which has been both distracting and fun.

The Multiverse Chronicles: Trials of Blood and Steel: Currently on an unofficial hiatus. The first fifteen episodes are available, but Isaac and I are working through some plot issues, and the last half of the episodes still need editing. A few episodes need additional scenes written. We plan to come back to this project later, but since there seems to be a lack of interest from readers regarding Trials of Blood and Steel, we’re focusing our energy on other projects. That being said, if you read and enjoy it, please let us know.

Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel: Nothing new here, for the same reasons as above. Game development takes a lot of time, and since there doesn’t seem to be a sustained interest in the game, we’re focusing on other projects.

The Dapper Pigeon: I’m still posting to our steampunk curation twitter account, and every once in a while I’ll post about the Trials of Blood and Steel episodes and games. Check it out if you’re interested in steampunk stuff. 🙂

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Currently working on one formatting project and doing minor tweaks to another project. Continuing work on book covers.

Beta-Reading: Making progress! I’m aiming on reading at least a chapter a day.

Distant Horizon: Finished making notes about editing on the paper manuscript, and I’m now inputting those notes into the computer. Afterwards, I’m hoping to send it to a beta reader. I also did a few more edits on the prospective book cover.

Video Blogging: I still need to finish reading the last four chapters of Magic’s Stealing. I’m also considering reading/singing bits of the Cantingen language I’m creating, but I’m not sure about that. Anyone interested in hearing how the language sounds as it gets developed?

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl ~

Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with our latest book releases and promotions, sign up for our Infinitas Publishing Newsletter! (Which might include an upcoming sneak peak at the current Distant Horizon cover before I reveal the cover here) 😉

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl ~

SBibb - Magic's Stealing Cover

Also, Magic’s Stealing is currently half-price at Smashwords when you use the coupon code: SSW50 at checkout. The offer is only available at Smashwords, and should be valid through the month of July. If you haven’t picked it up yet, now’s the time to do so! 🙂

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Thoughts on Publishing – Infinitas Publishing Status Report

Wow, hard to believe it’s time for another status report. Time sure does fly. Anyway, here’s what we’re up to with Infinitas Publishing. 🙂

The Shadow War: So… I’ve got a lot of plotting done for this (actually, I’m more-or-less working on the first set of edits), and a lot of plotting for the next two novellas after this (including a character that I am really looking forward to introducing), but not a lot of editing or writing. I’m hoping that I can make headway on this project in April. I’m tempted to try Camp NaNoWriMo to see if I can get the rough draft of the next book ready, but I know I’ve got a bunch of stuff I need to complete first.

As a side note, I’m testing marketing Magic’s Stealing as an upper middle-grade, lower young adult novella. We’ll see how that goes, and if it makes a difference than marketing it strictly as YA.

The Multiverse Chronicles: Trials of Blood and Steel: We’re currently on episode 9 and moving forward. We’ll need to make polishing edits on more episodes soon so that our beta reader has a chance to look them over. We’re debating doing one season a year, rather than trying to do one season every six-eight months. That way we have a little more time to prepare the second season and have the Battle Decks equivalent ready at the same time.

Phalanx: Isaac’s hard at work getting ready for the release of our latest game, Phalanx. It’s a board game that combines ideas from Tetris, chess, and the luck of the draw of various card games. You move your pieces across the board with the intent of capturing your opponent’s city-state. There are three versions of the game: the board game, which we will sell on our shop page on The Game Crafter site; wooden boards, which are carved by Aaron at Snyder’s Garden, a local woodcrafter; and game bags that Isaac sewed together, both of which we’ll sell at local events.

Speaking of which…

Old Drum Days Festival!  We got our Missouri sales tax licence and our Paypal Here this week (so we can accept credit cards) and we’re going to be selling Phalanx and Magic’s Stealing while we’re there. As a bonus, any of the Phalanx games we sell there will come with a set of “Friendly Game” cards, a special promo card for Battle Decks that are exclusive to the Phalanx games.

Old Drum Days Festival is on April 9th, at the old court house in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel: We’re currently testing out possible card options for the deck building expansions, and having fun deciding which ones to include first.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Still working on book covers. Still working on formatting. Yep. It’s a never-ending cycle.

Beta-Reading: We’ve gotten the latest draft of the book I’m beta-reading from the author, and we need to get started making notes.

Distant Horizon: Isaac and I have found a proofreader, and once we get notes back, we’ll make our edits and move forward with preparing to release this novel soon (which means a cover is coming soon, too!).

Video Blogging: I recently uploaded Chapter 16 of my reading for Magic’s Stealing, and I’ve been showing a lot of sneak peeks of the upcoming Phalanx game in the previous couple blog posts.

That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

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