Tag Archives: writing

Infinitas Publishing – Status Report

July flew by quickly, and now it’s time for the monthly Infinitas Publishing status report!

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The Glitch Saga: The Complete Collection - Ebook

Glitch: Everything in the The Glitch Saga is now complete! All the individual books are now available at online retailers, including the compilation ebook (more on that in this blog post).

Fractured Skies: (Book 2 of the Distant Horizon series). I ended up needing to send this through another round of beta-readers since the previous round had other things come up and weren’t able to complete the reading.

However, based on feedback from this round, it looks like Isaac and I might be about ready to move into the read-aloud proofing stage. We’ll see in a couple weeks, once the rest of the feedback comes in.

We’ve also got a work-in-progress blurb written. Yay!

Lily’s Story: (Distant Horizon series spin-off novel) Err… this did not get completed in time for Camp NaNoWriMo. (Having a road trip and working on another project slowed down the momentum on this). I have 8,800 words written thus far, and Isaac has provided feedback on the current rough draft. I’m hoping to get back to working on this project at the end of August.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold.

Little One: On hold.

Magebane: (Book Three of The Wishing Blade series) Beta-readers have looked over the latest version of Magebane and provided notes. There are a few pacing issues to clear up, but it looks like it won’t be too long before I’ll be able to move to the read-aloud proofing stage. We’ll see what happens after the next round of edits/revisions.

The Wishing Blade – Book 4: (Title to be determined) I’ve started a plot outline for this book. It’s not complete, but I’ve got a pretty good idea of where this is going.

Stone and String 3 (and assorted Wishing Blade short stories/novellas): I inadvertently managed to spend most of my writing time last month working on a story that I haven’t yet named and I’ve been avoiding saying the name of the main character due to spoilers.

But suffice it to say that I completed a rough draft last night at 35,800 words. (Which means that, unedited, it’s about the same length as Magic’s Stealing. Whew. The main character had a lot on his mind).

Anyway, it’s technically a prequel to Magic’s Stealing, but it’s intended to be read after Magebane due to spoilers. Despite that, it should be able to be read as a stand-alone novella for those who want to jump right in.

In the meantime, I’ve continued plotting the story that takes place (chronologically) after that one but is meant to be read before Stone and String 3, and I’ve also been plotting Stone and String 3.

“MOG”: (I’ll reveal what title the acronym stands for in a future blog post). I’ve finished revisions on the first quarter of this story and intend to tackle the rest of it this month. It’s been sitting on my hard-drive for a while, and I’ve been wanting to work on it but haven’t yet had a chance. Now I’m working on revisions so that Isaac can look through them before I move on to the rough draft of the next book. This is a series that I hope to have at least the first three books written before release… so I’m not sure when this is going to be coming out.

In case your curious, what I’ll reveal about it thus far is that it’s a science fiction space story. Lots of exploration and intrigue.

Cyberpunk / Dystopian Snow White Story: On hold.

Game Design: On hold.

Marketing: Started working on doing newsletter swaps with other authors.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Finished a book cover/formatting project.

LitRPG / GameLit Story: First complete round of revisions and editing done. It’s now out to beta-readers. I still need to figure out a tagline.

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

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Infinitas Publishing – Status Report

It’s time for another monthly Infinitas Publishing status report!

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The Glitch Saga Print Editions

Glitch: The paperback editions of the Glitch series is here! Whispers in the Code, Ghost of a Memory, and Spirits of a Glitch are all available as both ebooks and as paperbacks.

Not only that, but Isaac and I have released the complete ebook box set with all three books in one. Right now The Glitch Saga: The Complete Collection is available on Amazon and Smashwords, but should be available at other online retailers soon.

Fractured Skies: (Book 2 of the Distant Horizon series). Currently out to beta-readers. I’m hoping to have feedback by mid July.

Distant Horizon - Paperback Edition

Distant Horizon: The updated paperback edition is now available!

Lily’s Story: (Distant Horizon series spin-off novel) I started writing the rough draft yesterday. Goal is to complete the rough draft by the end of July as a part of Camp NaNoWriMo.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold. Created a book cover proof for a possible cover to use once this is complete.

Little One: On hold, but I have Isaac’s notes. Next step is revisions.

Magebane: (Book Three of The Wishing Blade series) Now that Fractured Skies is out to beta-readers, this is my next big project for revisions. Hoping to have those completed and have it back out to beta-readers by the end of the month.

Wind and Words - Paperback EditionWind and Words: (Book 2 of Stone and String). The paperback editions for both Wind and Words and Stone and String are now available!

Stone and String 3 (and assorted Wishing Blade short stories): Still plotting these, though I’m hoping to work on creating a rough draft once Magebane is out to beta-readers.

Cyberpunk / Dystopian Snow White Story: On hold.

Game Design: On hold.

Marketing: Mostly working on our newsletters. I’ve also been doing a “Weekly Book Promotion” highlight on my blog featuring various ebook giveaways.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Finished one book cover and made progress on another formatting/cover art project.

LitRPG / GameLit Story: Rough draft complete at 75,000 words! Still need to make some tweaks to the beginning setup and part of the game system, but the main thing now is to complete revisions and send it out to beta-readers. That, and figure out a tagline.

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One last thing before I conclude this post. Is there anything you would like to see more of on this blog? If so, let me know in the comments below. 🙂

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

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Infinitas Publishing – Status Report

Yipes… is it really that time again? Well then, I guess it’s time for the monthly Infinitas Publishing status report! An unexpected event at the beginning of the month (May) shifted some of our original plans off schedule, but now we’re mostly back on track.

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Glitch: The proof copies of the Glitch saga print editions are on order. Finally got the formatting done. All that’s left is to receive the copies, check for any issues and make sure the covers look correct, and then approve them for sale.

Once that’s complete, I intend to create an ebook “box” set with the complete mini-series.

Fractured Skies: (Book 2 of the Distant Horizon series). I’m about halfway through the current round of revisions on Fractured Skies. Removed one of the subplots and I’m primarily trying to tighten it up before sending it out to the next round of beta-readers.

The ebook cover is officially complete.

Distant Horizon: Waiting for the proof copy to arrive of the updated print edition.

Lily’s Story: (Distant Horizon series spin-off novel) Isaac and I figured out a rough outline. Still need to make a formal outline, but the majority of the ideas are now in place. Next step is to tighten up the outline and write the rough draft. I’m thinking this might be a July project, but we’ll see.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold. That being said, I did manage to finish editing another episode. Still a few episodes remain to be edited before this project is ready to come back to the front of the projects list.

Little One: Isaac has read through my current draft of Little One and given me notes. It’ll be a little bit before I start revisions (I need to finish editing Fractured Skies and Magebane first) but now that I have notes, I can move this up on my to-do list.

Magebane: (Book Three of The Wishing Blade series) Once I’ve finished revisions for Fractured Skies, this is next on my list. After I finish those revisions, it will need to go out to another round of beta-readers. It’s also clear that Magebane relies heavily on the first two books, and will not read as a stand-alone.

Wind and Words: (Book 2 of Stone and String). Complete! The ebook edition of Wind and Words is now available, and I’m currently waiting for the proof copy of the print edition to arrive. I intend to make both the print edition for Wind and Words and “Stone and String” available on Amazon (as well as in person, when possible).

Stone and String 3 (and assorted Wishing Blade short stories): Currently plotting this and two short stories (or novellas… we’ll see) prior to this one. Working on creating the immortals’ fictional language so I can create the Ancient Cirenan language (more on that in this blog post), which should have at least a small feature in these stories.

Plus, I have an idea for a short story set in the snowy region of Reveratch, north of Cirena. Not sure when these will get written, but I’m in the pre-writing stages of development.

Cyberpunk / Dystopian Snow White Story: On hold.

Game Design: On hold… though Isaac and I have been fun playing an “epic” version of our Legends of Cirena mini role-play game. All tiles, all expansions, all bosses, and a few story-line style quests. It’ll be a while before this is complete enough to release to the public, but hey, we’ve been having fun with its potential.

Marketing: Got to participate in a Facebook launch party for Michael W. Huard’s Sisters of the Dawn’s Early Light with several other authors. That was fun. Did a couple giveaways there. Also, I’ve been including a lot of behind-the-scenes details in my newsletters, so if you want to stay up-to-date, don’t forget to sign up for them (details on the sidebar).

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Now that formatting the books for Infinitas Publishing is complete, I have a formatting project I’m currently working on, plus a couple book covers slated to complete in the next month for other authors.

LitRPG / GameLit Story: While I had hoped to get the rough draft completed, that didn’t happen. However, I’ve been working through a round of revisions on the second portion of the story, and I have an idea for how to complete the climax and resolution (which wasn’t what I originally thought it was). Also, I have a cover completed and a blurb, which is a plus. Also, I have the title. Just need to finish the actual story so I can send it out to beta-readers and figure out a catchy tagline.

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I kind of feel like I might be missing something, but that’s all I can think of for now. I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

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Infinitas Publishing – Status Report

And it’s been another month! Busy… (especially with a seemingly random case of an allergic reaction at the beginning of the month — nothing too major, but still not sure what caused it), but progress has been made!

Meanwhile, the snow is almost gone, despite the piles of snow here and there. I’m sad to see it go, but having warm weather is nice. Back to walking without heavy winter coats!

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Glitch: I had intended to get the print versions formatted by the end of the month, but that didn’t quite happen. The interior formatting for Whispers in the Code is just about complete (I’m working on finalizing it), and once that’s done, formatting Ghost of a Memory and Spirits of a Glitch should be a bit simpler since most of the major pieces have been put in place. Once the interior formats are complete, I’ll need to create the print-edition covers. With luck, I’ll have the print versions approved by the end of May.

After that, my next step will be putting together an ebook “box set” with all three books for those who prefer to have the complete series in one ebook file.

Fractured Skies: (Book 2 of the Distant Horizon series). I should be getting feedback from my beta-reader soon, and then I’ll start on the next round of revisions. After that, Isaac and I will assess whether we’re ready to move on to finalizing the book or whether it needs to go out to another set of beta-readers.

In other news, I’ve pretty much finalized the ebook cover, so I’ll be revealing that soon. 🙂

Distant Horizon: The updated print edition is almost complete. There’s still a couple tweaks to be made to the interior file, and I’ll need to finish the print edition of the cover, but it’s almost ready for ordering a proof copy.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold, though I’ve got a few ideas for how we may want to proceed with this once we finish edits to the remaining episodes.

Little One: On hold.

Book Three of The Wishing Blade series: I have a title! Presenting: Magebane.

Isaac is the one who came up with the title, and given the large role that charlago/magebane plays in the book, I think it’s fitting.

This project took up most of my month with revisions, re-reading the first two books to find missing plot points, and then doing another round of revisions to fix revision smudge. Anyway, I sent it out to beta-readers a few days ago.

The other good news is that I’m starting to get an idea of how to tie everything together in the next book.

Wind and Words: (Book 2 of Stone and String). Waiting for Isaac to look over this now that his school year is wrapping up. Hopefully I’ll have more news on this soon. Also, I’ve started plotting the third book in this series, though I haven’t outlined it yet.

Cyberpunk / Dystopian Snow White Story: Kinda-sorta on hold? I haven’t touched the related short story yet, and I’m wanting to move on to revising this, but I also have Fractured Skies in queue… so it depends on how smoothly revising that one goes as to how soon I get back to this.

Marketing: Continuing with the newsletters (if you want more frequent updates, behind-the-scenes info, and sneak peeks about our worlds, check out the sidebar). I’m hoping to get involved with fairs/craft shows again this year, but we’ll see how timing/money pans out.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Finished one book cover, have another book cover coming up, and have a formatting job to complete.

LitRPG / GameLit Story: Didn’t make quite as much progress with this as I’d hoped (I’d wanted to finish the rough draft this month, but Magebane took more time to revise than I expected). Anyway, it’s now sitting at 64,000 words, and I think I finally figured out how to end it for a satisfying conclusion, at least for the first book.

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

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Infinitas Publishing – Status Report

Another month has passed. Not quite as much done this month, but that’s in part due to taking care of things like taxes and going on a trip to Missouri for Spring Break (visiting family, friends, and enjoying the anime convention my husband and I like going to).

We still have snow. It’s now a mixture of snow and ice, due to yesterday’s warmer day, but the snow still triumphed! It’s spitting snow now. 🙂

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Glitch: Whispers in the Code and Ghost of a Memory are both now available, and Spirits of a Glitch releases this Saturday! That means the mini-series will be complete!

With those books published, my next step with the Glitch Saga will be to create the print editions. With luck, I’ll have that done in April. But I still need to create the wrap-around covers and format the interior for print, as well as order proof copies, so I’m not setting any release date for the print editions just yet.

Fractured Skies: (Book 2 of the Distant Horizon series). I finished the latest round of edits and revisions a couple days ago, and I’ve sent it out to the next beta-reader. Depending on their feedback, this one might end up with another reader before it’s finished, or it might move on to the read-aloud stage. We’ll see. I feel like all the story elements are in place now, but there may be some pacing issues that still need to be resolved (especially since it’s currently sitting at 161,000 words).

Distant Horizon: When I create the print editions for the Glitch Saga, I also intend to update the print edition of Distant Horizon so that it has the new cover.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold.

Little One: On hold.

Book Three of The Wishing Blade series: This is my next big project. With the Glitch Saga complete and Fractured Skies out to beta-readers, I am now set to tackle Isaac’s notes and wrangle this one into a cohesive book. Oh… and I might finally have a title for it. Keep an eye out for news about that. 🙂

Wind and Words: (Book 2 of Stone and String). Out to beta-readers. After I get their feedback, I’m going to do one final pass and then hand it over to Isaac.

Cyberpunk / Dystopian Snow White Story: I’ve gotten feedback from beta-readers, so I’m ready to start work on this. It’s in the queue after I finish edits on book three of The Wishing Blade series. In the meantime, I still need to revise the related short story.

At the moment, I think these will stand alone, but I have ideas of what else I can do in this world if readers show interest.

Warrensburg Readers World Book Signing - March 2018

Marketing: While in Missouri, we stopped by the Warrensburg Reader’s World and did a semi-impromptu book signing (Thanks for having us, Sai! 😀 ). I think it went well. 🙂

In the meantime, I’m continuing to build our newsletters, and I’ve been releasing the Distant Horizon Universe and The Wishing Blade Universe newsletters every other week (I end up writing one newsletter a week).

 

Check out the top of this blog’s side bar for the updated newsletter section. It now has links for all three newsletters.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Finished creating a banner related to the logo I created earlier.

LitRPG / GameLit Story: Got beta-reader feedback on the first 44,000 words, and I’ve decided to go ahead and make it a full-length novel. It’s currently sitting at 48,000 words. Slow going, especially with all the other projects I’ve been trying to finish, but I’m thinking about making it my CampNaNo project.

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

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Infinitas Publishing – Status Report

Well, this month sure flew by fast. But it’s been productive (aside from both me and Isaac catching a cold). At least, as productive as a launch month tends to be, while still figuring out the loops and holes that come with a launch.

Also, there is snow. There is a lot of snow. Really fluffy, pretty snow. A lot of it.

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Glitch: Whispers in the Code is now available! (You can download it for free if you sign up for the Distant Horizon Universe newsletter). In the meantime, Ghost of a Memory just released on Monday, and the third book (previously titled For We Are Many) now has its official name, Spirits of a Glitch. We hope to release it in mid-to-late March.

Isaac and I are progressing through the read-aloud phase of Spirits of a Glitch, and then I’ll format it, proofread it, and then upload it for pre-order. I also need to do the final touches on the cover.

Fractured Skies: (Book 2 of the Distant Horizon series). I’ve gotten notes back from my beta-reader, and I’m now in the process of editing. Then it will go out to another beta-reader.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold.

Little One: On hold.

Book Three of The Wishing Blade series: I need to review Isaac’s notes and then begin revisions. Hopefully this will start after The Glitch Saga is complete.

Wind and Words: (Book 2 of Stone and String). Got feedback from my beta-reader. I finished a round of minor edits, and then I sent it out to another beta-reader. Next, after I’ve made those revisions, I’ll hand it to Isaac to look over with developmental notes.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Got a book cover done and created a flier / finished a logo.

Game Development: On hold while Isaac works on obtaining his PhD.

Marketing: Increased newsletter subscriber count by taking part in several giveaways on BookFunnel and InstaFreebie. I’m going to do at least one more month of BookFunnel, and then we’ll see if the newsletter translates into sales or not. Depending on the results will determine whether I try using InstaFreebie and/or BookFunnel giveaways as a long-term plan.

If you want to sign up for the Distant Horizon Universe newsletter (and download Whispers in the Code for free), click here.

If you want to sign up for the Wishing Blade Universe newsletter (and download “Stone and String” for free), click here.

If you just want to be informed of new releases and events, sign up for the Infinitas Publishing newsletter by clicking here.

Cyberpunk / Dystopian Snow White Story: I hadn’t planned on making progress with this, but since I haven’t had a chance to look at the notes for the third Wishing Blade series book, this sort of got shuffled upward on my to-do list. I’ve finished the first pass of revisions and it’s now out to beta-readers.

I still need to make revisions to a related short story, and then that can go out to beta-readers, too.

In the meantime, I created a proof for a potential cover for the main story, and I’ve been developing ideas for a possible continuation of the story into a series.

LitRPG / GameLit Story: Slowly making progress on this. I got feedback back from a beta-reader who read the first 20,000 words and confirmed it is going in the right direction (once a few tweaks are made), so I’m continuing to write this. It’s slow going since it’s a side project and the other projects take precedence… and because working game mechanics into the story means it takes me a little longer than usual to write the rough draft. I want to get the mechanics right the first time… rather than having a cascading effect of failures if I mess up the stats early on.

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

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Thoughts on Writing – Outlining Challenge (Cyberpunk Snow White)

Warning: This is a really long post. But I wanted to include everything in one place rather than trying to split it up.

A while back, in the November Infinitas Publishing status report, I mentioned that, for my NaNoWriMo project, I had a goal of reaching 50,000-65,000 words in 12 days, writing in a world I hadn’t written before. I achieved that goal (completed at 50,316 words), and today I want to go a little more in depth about that progress.

(I’d been meaning to get this blog written for a while, but as you can probably tell, it’s been a hectic couple of months).

A Bit of Background

I have used loose outlines before, but I haven’t really tried a heavy-duty outline for a world I haven’t written in. My most detailed outline was for Messenger of Gaia (rough draft completed, but not yet edited), a novel that clocked in at 77,000 words and was written during Camp NaNo. That one, however, was based on a role-play that my husband ran, so I already knew the basic story and how everything fit together, and I put together a summary outline that reminded me of each scene. This was the process I wanted to emulate, but I wanted to try it with a completely new story.

The New Project

I’ve had an idea percolating in my head for a while regarding a fairy tale retelling in space, but as the time came closer to November, I wanted to figure out how that world got to where it was, so I could better set up the factions and character motivations. The result ended up being a completely different, cyberpunk fairy tale… a retelling of “Snow White,” but from the point of view of the huntsman (or, in this case, the huntress).

There are a few books I credit with how I developed the outline for this project (Click the links to see my Goodreads reviews of the books):

Janice Hardy’s Planning Your Novel, which helped me develop the Three Act Structure for this story, and further developing the main characters.

Libbie Hawker’s Gotta Read It!, a short ebook explaining pitches, which is excellent for crafting the basic concept of your novel so that you can keep it on task when developing an outline.

Libbie Hawker’s Take Off Your Pants, which further explains concepts from Gotta Read It! and gives another form of outline to work from, as well as explains the idea of the “ally” character, and puts a strong emphasis on the greatest weakness of your main character. It is this “greatest weakness” aspect that I found to be extremely helpful when crafting the outline for this particular story.

Developing the Main Characters (Using the Take Off Your Pants Method)

To start with, I tried to develop a sense of the main character. (Note that this is just my initial concept, and I changed some of the main pieces once I started outlining.) While writing this, I made notes to myself of anything I would want to check or explore later, and at this point, I haven’t actually named the Huntress or the Queen (other than knowing her last name will be Konigin).

The main character is Huntress, a loyal bounty hunter for Konigin Corp. She sees the advantage of a nanite-enhanced society, especially since her parents were killed when a plague spread through the metropolis and killed both her parents at a young age. She was taken in by Konigin Corp, who provided funds to take in the numerous children left homeless. (Why were healthy adults targeted?) However, as one of the most loyal to the company, she is privy to information that others are not. She knows that the plague was the result of another company (ZiTech–check to see if that name already exists) messing with a virus and accidentally infecting their scientists with a dormant virus, which then spread. Konigin Corp stopped it from being a worse disaster, but she understands how a balance between nature and science is necessary for their survival. She hopes to gain a say in company matters (and the increasing tensions between progressionists and technologists) by getting closer to Queen.

Looking back at this, after having written the rough draft, I can already say that the plague of the past plays a much smaller role, and only warrants a brief mention. It may end up being cut altogether if I find a stronger explanation of her backstory. The important part was that the main character sees the “queen” as a mother figure, but also understands the concept of balance between nature and technology.

Per Take Off Your Pants, I also jotted down the external goal of the main character.

Do favors for Queen in order to gain more power for herself (become the Queen’s ear), so she can rise in the ranks of Konigin Corp and eventually influence internal company politics and avoid some of their “nastier” practices.

Next, I have the Antagonist listed. (Note: the order I’m talking about these elements is not necessarily the order of development that I came up with the ideas, just how they’re presented in the long run. I highly recommend reading Take Off Your Pants for more details about how to develop each of these elements.)

Queen – the founder of Konigin Corp.  Vain, she sees beauty as the ultimate sign of perfection and healthiness. She uses nanites to enhance her beauty, and is furious that Snow maintains her beauty without any augmentation. Augmentation and uplifts (sapient animals… check to see if I can use that term) are the only way she sees humanity surviving against the constant threat of war, environmental disaster, and disease. She wants all her “daughters” (company workers) to be augmented.

Snow –  Queen’s half-daughter. Her father broke up with Queen when she insisted on augmenting their child shortly after birth. After the divorce, Snow was raised to see augmentations as a danger to humanity. (Progressionist Lobbyists). Technologists threaten to remove everything that makes them human and upset the natural order of things. She is a favorite ambassador candidate of The Society for Natural Progression, (The SNP, or Natural Progressionists). She has a beautiful singing voice, and is known for her sheer (natural) beauty.

I’ve included both of these characters as antagonists, though which one is the primary antagonists switches as the story progresses.

Then, per the Take Off Your Pants method, I wrote a basic concept of what The End should be.

Huntress must betray Queen’s loyalty and reveal Queen’s secret practices and upset the line of power she’s fought so long to control, thus allowing Snow to assume the corporate throne. She gains Snow’s love, and Snow’s ear. She is able to act as a voice of reason, suggesting they allow Queen to leave Earth for a colony planet with her uplifted army, rather than executing her for her crimes.

This is what I originally envisioned. However, by the time I finished writing out a fleshed out outline, the ending was very different.

The Queen never leaves for a colony planet. She has a different (ironic) fate, though we do see the Huntress try at the very last to give her a chance to redeem herself. Also, whether or not Snow and Huntress actually get together is left vague (Due to some of the atrocities that Huntress commits in the Queen’s name, I haven’t decided if Snow would ever truly feel comfortable around Huntress), though it is clear that Snow now respects Huntress, and there is a chance for a happily ever after. (Because me trying to write a romance? Well… it looks like that challenge has not yet been successful).

Lastly, I decided on these three pieces of information to keep in mind while developing the outline:

Flaw: The huntress is loyal to Queen, even when Queen is obviously in the wrong.

Ally: An uplifted wolf? A hunter for a different corporation (Something??? Inc.), he represents balance between the technologists and the progressionists.

Theme: Balance is important (All things in moderation)

Once this was complete, I diverged a bit from the Take Off Your Pants method and started first with creating an outline from the Three Act structure, so that I could easily see the overall arc of the story.

Now, this is not the final story. I did make a few changes as I created the outline and progressed with the rough draft, so I don’t mind sharing this (since it’s not exactly as spoilery as you might expect).

Opening Scene: Huntress is fulfilling a contract, dragging in a progressionist. She suspects the man is innocent, but turns her back on him and his being experimented on due to her loyalty to Queen.

Inciting Incident: Queen learns that Snow has just been voted the most beautiful, despite her daughters all being healthy and gorgeous (and augmented). Queen orders Huntress to leave Snow with a scar that can only be fixed if she accepts augmentation.

Act One Problem: Snow reveals herself to camera with scar, refuses to get the augmentation, and people still see her as beautiful (she has poise and determination). Queen furious.

 

Act Two Choice: Huntress seeks way to bridge gap because she realizes she’s falling in love with Snow, but wants to remain loyal to Queen, who raised her. She has secret meeting with Snow, and begins to investigate Konigin Corp’s secret practices (mind-wipe tech, to be used on criminals).

Midpoint Reversal: Queen orders Snow to be killed, and for her lungs and liver to be removed, so she can regrow a version of Snow for her own purposes, a daughter she can train as her own. Huntress suspects that Queen is going too far, but following her orders is the only way to rise in power. (She attempts to bend Queen’s ear, but it fails).

Act Two Problem (Dark Moment):  She tries to kill Snow, but fails when she hears Snow’s singing voice and her passion for her philosophy. Huntress questions if she’s as loyal as she should be (and if that’s even a good thing)

 

Act Three Plan: Plans to face Queen and try to convince her to give up her secret experiments and help her bridge gap… which she has the power to do. She argues with Snow for Queen’s exile, rather than execution, which Snow reluctantly agrees they can try.

Climax:. Queen refuses and sends her hordes of uplifted/augmented armies to attack Huntress and Snow’s men.

Resolution: Huntress reveals to the armies the treacheries Queen has caused, but instead of working with her, they turn against Queen and kill her (using the mind-wiping tech Huntress discovers earlier). Though disappointed, she is able to be with Snow, and argue for some measure of balance, and she is appointed as the new leader of Konigin Corp.

Next, I took my three act structure and filled in the gaps with a short description of every scene that was intended to take place in the story.

At times, I ended up adding new scene while writing the rough draft, because something would feel natural or because I felt like something was missing, but this is what I referenced whenever I continued writing the rough draft.

These are my notes from Act I. (Note: Verdi is the Huntress, and words in all caps were stand-ins until I came up with name for them.)

*Verdi stalks a man from the shadows. He is passing information to another informant… at least, that’s what she’s been told. She suspects he is just trying to get extra food, since food is scarce. But before he can complete his contract, we see her attack the other man using some kind of modified weapon tech, and then capture the innocent man. She will do her duty to Miss Konigin.

*Verdi drops off man at an underground station. Heavily modified workers take him in. He begs her to let her go, screaming that all this is unnatural, but she ignores him. (Complains he’s not accepting the gift Konigin has given them). As she heads down a secret labrynth of halls, she overhears a pair of scientists discussing the miner-protocol mind wipe, and she hurries past the area where she knows special bodies are being grown/built for the mining procedures. This is a necessary part of Miss Konigin’s plans. For now, anyway.

*Queen is pleased with Verdi’s progress. Invites Verdi to one of the company meetings as her personal bodyguard. Verdi is delighted. This is one of the few times she’s been invited in directly. If the other corporate leaders get used to seeing her, maybe they’ll begin accepting her thoughts and opinions.

*However, when one of them suggests stepping up the capture of SNP members, she is immediately shushed when she tries to point out that capturing innocent people is liable to hurt them. She is chastised. Perhaps it is for the best. Konigin knew what was best when the SOMETHING plague went around, anyway.

*Standing guard within Konigin’s personal quarters (which she is familiar with, and has memories from as a child), Konigin reminds her of just how important technology is to them. How they mustn’t give in to the lure of a natural, Darwinian “only the strongest survive world.” Besides… this world is so much more beautiful. Verdi is beautiful, and Konigin seems very pleased with her. Verdi agrees, though she thinks Miss Konigin is the most beautiful of all. Konigin laughs, good-natured, and says they shall see tonight, when the results of a  POPULAR MAGAZINE comes in with the votes of the people. She suggests “that one of her other “daughters” (her company workers… all “beautiful”) may manage to beat her out this time.

*They are eating dinner with distinguished guests. Verdi stands watch in the corner. Konigin is horrified when the newscaster reports that  SNP candidate, Maria Snow, has been voted the fairest of them all by the people. Verdi is stunned, because she thinks Maria is indeed very beautiful, but Konigin storms out of the room, ranting about the blindness of the people.

*Verdi hurries to follow her, afraid she might do something rash. But, in the silence of her private quarters, Konigin gives her a new mission. She must leave Snow with a scar that can only be fixed if she accepts the augmentation of Konigin’s nanites. She gives Verdi some kind of acid weapon and orders her to leave that night, and not return until the deed is done.

And that’s the first act. My total outline was 3,200 words.

Finally, here is a scene that was spawned from that outline. In specific, it’s the one where the Queen invites Verdi to a board meeting. (Note: This is the rough draft, unedited.)

A soft buzzer sounds from the door. I pause in the middle of stretching. “Agnes?”

President Konigen is here to see you. Should I let her enter?

My eyes widen, and I quickly straighten the black robes I’m wearing. I should have worn something a little more colorful. Black is striking, but there are more beautiful options in my wardrobe. “Of course! Please, let her in.”

As you wish, Veridian.

I smile brightly as the door lock whirs and then the door swings open. President Konigen stands in the doorway, poised with her chin up and her shoulders back, and she is, as always, gorgeous. Her long, wavy black hair has been pinned back at the nape of her neck, likely with a gold barrette. Her skin is pale, almost white, her lips as red as cherries, her cheeks rosy. Her eyes are a bright blue. She wears no makeup, but she doesn’t need to. That’s what she has technology for.

I quickly bow at the waist, and gesture for her to enter. “To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”

President Konigen comes in and laughs, her eyes twinkling. “You don’t have to have such formalities around me, Verdi.”

I pop back up, self-conscious. “I know, but you deserve them.”

She chuckles and shakes her head, amused. “Always so polite.” She sits on the edge of my bed, still poised gracefully.

“That’s how you raised me,” I say, my heart skipping a beat. She’s not my biological mother, but she took me in as a child when one of ZiTech’s products took a downhill spiral and went from a well-planned product to a deadly virus. Konigen managed to find a cure, but not before the damage was done. That’s why the lower city is so sparse. There used to be more people living there. Though the virus is no longer contagious, few want to visit the area.

But Konigen had recently lost her own daughter, so she took a few of the orphans in and raised them herself. She made sure we were healthy. She ensured we were beautiful.

She smiles at me. “Then I must have done well.”

Heat rushes to my cheeks. Everything I do, I do for her. I owe her my life. If it wasn’t for her, I might be living in the streets, unaugmented, afraid of technology just because of one company’s mistake. Or I might not even be alive. I might never have received the vaccination which prevented further outbreaks.

“Thank you, President Konigen.”

Though I long to call her mother, and though she raised me as her own, I don’t dare call her such. She’s more than that, and I can’t delude myself into thinking that she is as base as the people who died on me, the people who refused to augment themselves against the virus. She is… President.

President Konigen straightens her knee-length skirt—a lovely forest green that shimmers under my bright bedroom lights. “Verdi, I just wanted to say how proud I am of your recent accomplishments. You have brought in far more of my corporation’s threats than any of the other huntresses, and I hope to see your work continue.”

I puff out my chest with pride. “Thank you, President Konigen.”

She claps her hands together, then presses the tips of her fingers to her rosy lips. “As a reward, I would like you to accompany me to tonight’s board meeting. We will be discussing the future of Konigen Corp’s operations, and hearing tonight’s matters might benefit you going forward.”

My jaw drops. “Seriously?” She’s never invited me to one of the meetings before. I’ve stood outside the room, keeping watch, but she’s always had a senior hunter or huntress accompany her within the room. It’s a critical job. If one of the members turns out to be a traitor, we have to be ready at a moment’s notice to protect her. “I’d love to! Yes, thank you.” I bow again.

Beyond the honor of being to the meetings, if the other board members get accustomed to seeing me with President Konigen, they’ll begin to trust me. I’ll have their ear. Maybe, finally, it’s not just what I do that will be important to them. What I say will be important to them, too.

“Good.” President Konigen nods curtly. “Be ready in half an hour, and make sure you’re wearing your finest. Let’s make a good impression on them with your debut, shall we?”

“Yes, President.” I smile, my stomach doing back-flips. I have to decide what to wear…

It needs to be practical, but stylish. Strong, but not scary.

Beautiful?

Always.

All that’s left is the regular editing and revising process, which might be a while since I have several other projects ahead of this one.

* * *

I hope that this helps explain a bit more of my process, and is helpful to those of you considering writing from an outline.

Have you tried creating a detailed outline for your stories? If so, how did it go?

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