Tag Archives: writing tips

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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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Thoughts on Writing – Developing a Fictional Language – The Immortals’ Language (Choosing the Sounds)

With Wind and Words now complete, I’ve been thinking about the next story in the series (along with a short story set in Reveratch, a completely different region of Cirena).

One thing I’ve determined is that Ancient Cirenan needs to play a role in the story. The problem?

I’ve developed the Cantingen language, and a few odds and end words from Cirenan, but nothing extensive.

Making matters more complicated, Cirenan is supposed to be something like English… a mixture of languages that isn’t entirely consistent. This means that, whereas I can easily create a new Cantingen word when I need one (I even have a list of words that fit the language but don’t yet have meanings, specifically for this purpose), I can’t do that for Cirenan. At least… not on the scale that I’m going to need for the next story. Not until I have an idea of what languages are going to influence it.

As such, I’ve been thinking about the different languages which will influence Cirenan.

There are three that I can think of in particular:

  1. Cantingen – (This is one of the original languages of that world, though it wasn’t as consistent in ancient times as it is at the point where The Wishing Blade series picks up. More prevalent on the southern coasts.)
  2. Immortal – (The language of the humanoid wolves and bears which inhabit the immortal realm. There would be several variations of this dialect depending on the region and what kind of creatures are using it, but the primary one that will influence Cirenan is the variation based on the wolves. More prevalent in the northern and western regions)
  3. Litkanston – (This is the language that developed in the southern regions of Cirena. I haven’t explored this one yet).

Thankfully, I already have a pretty good handle on the Cantingen language, since it’s the basis for word magic (and featured prominently in the Stone and String series).

Now, thanks to developing some of the details regarding Reveratch, which sits on Cirena’s northern border and shares space with the Immortal Realm, I’ve started looking more in depth at the language of the immortals. I haven’t come up with an official name for it, so, for now, I’ll simply call it the immortal language. (Sorry… all my creativity is currently being directed to developing the language, not naming it).

The first thing I did was try to consider what things were important to the immortals, and which immortals would be represented.

The immortal realm is fluid, meaning that different places are not always next to each other at the same time. Oral storytelling to preserve memories (and thus, how to get from one place or another), is important. My focus is primarily on the wolves, who share a similar language with the bears (Bears are important to Reveratch). The wolves’ belief system is also a bit different from that of the Cantingen people, and varies from group to group. In general, though, they do not worship Madia/Madiya (and some may even see her as an affront to Karewalin), and while they see Listhant-Nsasrar as a creator, he is not the only creator of their realm.

That is what I started with, though those details may change as I continue to develop their world.

Ultimately, for creating the sound of the language, I started with the main “immortal” name I already had: Nsasrar. Anything I constructed for this language needed to be able to accommodate his name.

So I moved on to deciding which sounds I wanted to keep, and the representations using the English alphabet for each.

I got a bit of inspiration from looking at one of the Inuit languages, in that (at least according to the article I was reading), you could signify a short vowel by only using one, and a long vowel if there were two of the same vowels. (I could totally be wrong about this, though, and I need to dive back into the realm of internet research to find that article again).

I ended up with this for the immortals’ language:

  • i (sick)
  • ii (eye)
  • a (sack)
  • aa (aid)
  • e (bed)
  • ee (weed)
  • o (soap)
  • uu (moon)

There is also “u” (uh). However, it is only shown before a consonant, or if to represent its occurance after the “uu” sound.

The reason for this is that a single consonant, by itself, will automatically have the “uh” sound added (though it is not emphasized).

For example, Nsasrar sounds like “Nuh-sas-rar.”

(Eventually I need to relearn IPA so I can use a more specific way of designating sounds).

I also determined that an apostrophe will break apart words, indicating when a sound should stop.

For example, “amaa’a” is pronounced “ah-may-ah,” with a bit of a harder stop between “may” and the second “ah.” The second “ah” recieves more emphasis that it would if it had not been seperated. (Also, this way we can see that amaa’a should be pronounced “ah-may-ah” instead of “ah-mah-ay.”

This is different from the Cantingen language, which uses the apostrophe to designate “of” and has a hard “c” sound.

For example:

shodo’charl (stone of passage) is pronounced “show-doh-kuh-charl”

These are differences I’ll have to remember as I swap back and forth between working on the different languages.

Next I decided on the consonants for the immortal language, and I specifically wanted ones that I could picture being growled, barked, or yapped (with a little room for imagination).

This was my resulting list:

  • c
  • ch
  • cr
  • d
  • dr
  • g
  • h
  • l
  • m
  • n
  • r
  • s
  • v
  • vr
  • w
  • y

There is one other consonant: “q” (sounds like: “kwuh”) but it is specifically reserved to mean “I.”

Now, those may change as I develop the language, but that’s my starting guide for developing words.

I’ve already made a few determinations about the organization of sentences, how words change when paired with other words, and a starting point for the indication of tense and interrogatives, but those are still very much in development.

For now, I’ll leave you with a few of the words and a sentence I’ve translated thus far.

I – q – (kwuh)

drink – dramer – (drahm-air)

cold – uuanuu – (oo-ahn-oo)

milk – novo (no-voh)

quickly – vree – (vree)

I drink cold milk quickly.

translates to:

Dramvreeq novauuanuu.

* * *

If this interests you, let me know, and I may go into more detail about how I’m actually trying to put the sentences together later. 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!

* * *

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.

* * *

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

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Thoughts on Writing and Publishing – Help Me Help You

Hey, everybody!

I haven’t been posting a whole lot of writing-oriented posts on my blog lately, since I was in the middle of releasing the Glitch saga, but I know a lot of you out there are writers and are interested in improving your writing or publishing process.

So I have two questions I’d like to ask you. 🙂

  1. What would you like to know more about the writing process?
  2.  What would you like to know more about publishing?

Comment below, and I’ll see about covering those topics a bit more in the future (or point you to where someone has done it better than I can). 🙂

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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. 🙂

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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

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Thoughts on Writing – Flash Fiction – “Unicorn”

I recently met Charli Mills, a local author who introduced me to her website, Carrot Ranch. There, a community of writers respond to weekly prompts for flash fiction, which, for their purposes, is fiction with an exact count of 99 words.

This week’s prompt is “Unicorn.” I very much enjoyed researching the mythology of unicorns when I was in junior high and high school, so I decided to take part in the fun. First, with a darker variant on the idea of the unicorn, which was inspired by stories in which the unicorn was used in courts to determine if a criminal was guilty or not. (You can blame these stories for the version of the chesnathé mentioned in The Shadow War, a brutal, bulky, immortal equine who tends to pass judgment on “lower beings.”) Second, I also wrote a lighter variant (following a more European story).

Enjoy. 🙂

* * *

“Judgement”

His curved horn meets with flesh and another criminal meets his fate. A sinner. A thief. No more shall he steal. The crowd roars their approval. The unicorn raises his bulky head and swings it side to side like a bull. They cheer for him and his judgment.

He flicks his tail, slender like a cow’s, with a tuft of brown hair at the end. The rest of his fur is black. His horn is tri-colored. Black at the base, cinnamon in the middle, and red on top. Stained red… it would be brown, but the blood never dries.

* * *

“Captured”

Her fingers pass through the creature’s mane, which is silky white, like threads dipped in the morning dew. He is in chains. She slides her fingers under the delicate silver.

“You will be free.”

His ears swivel, listening. She strokes the damp fur of his neck. He breathes hard from the chase.

“Do not worry. I will return.”

She disappears, her slippers padding through the rain-flushed grass. When she returns, her gossamer gown whispering around her calves, the unicorn raises his head. His blue eyes regard her, pleading.

She reveals a pair of wire cutters and smiles. “Be free.”

* * *

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to participate, head over to Carrot Ranch for their Feb 22nd prompt. 🙂

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