Update: Shining Armor cover, Changed approach to revision

By JamesDeMers | Pixabay

How are you doing today? The leaves are changing color where I am, and the weather can’t seem to decide if it wants to be summer or fall. This morning, it’s nearly freezing out, but tomorrow I could wake up sweating!

Overall though, the days feel calmer. I got back into working on the new Shining Armor cover this week. Improved the “flames.” Should be finished next week.

The biggest change this week is that I finally broke down and moved my revision, in pieces, to a different app, one that allows me to edit on my phone in a way that works for me. Which means I actually worked on revising the rest of Trial of the Ornic #2 this past week! Very happy.

I’m getting to the midpoint of the write-in (where I add and delete words to a separate draft). Once that’s finished, I type the changes into the main copy.

Still thinking through what I want to do from there.

I hope all of you who celebrate it have a great Thanksgiving this next week. And I hope those of you who don’t celebrate it have a week you can be thankful for, with many more to come.

Quick Update: Revision Progress for Trial of the Ornic #2, Shining Armor cover

Just so everyone knows, I’m about a quarter of the way through the revision of the last part of Trial of the Ornic #2. I hope to have the whole thing finished and published before early December, but more realistically, I’m looking at a January or February release. Will update as I can.

Redoing the cover for Shining Armor and Lady Fair to be just a little more genre-specific. Trying to remember how to make decent flames!

More as soon as I can. Happy reading! 📚

Update; Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

compass finding direction laid on a map

This week I’m trying to catch up on a number of things, like, you know, writing fiction. In order to improve my skills/technique, I’m upping the amount of flash fiction I write. Not to mention, finishing a story in a couple of days gives a greater sense of accomplishment right now than trying to put together a novel.

Talking of which…

Puck’s Call is the first book I’ve ever tried writing to market. It’s also shown me my skills aren’t as strong as I thought when it comes to writing something readers might like.

I mean, I like the genre. Some of my favorite books are fantasy romances. And even though it looks like this might morph into Urban Fantasy, I like that, too.

But this book is not nearly what it needs to be. And I’m not sure I have the time to make extensive repairs.

So, for now (and this may change on a dime), I’m switching back to the Trial of the Ornic series. My goal is to have the second volume revised by mid-July.

I’m also working on redesigning the covers for Shining Armor and Lady Fair.

(If you’ve read the books, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what genre they’re in. I think Urban Fantasy, but I’m not sure.)

Finally, the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale is coming up. It runs from July 1-31 and I plan on at least discounting some of my books. A couple might even end up free.

I’ll post a link and more info the closer we get to the sale.

Thank you for reading! If you’d like to share your thoughts fantasy genres or how you’d like me to approach Smashwords’s sale, or have any questions about it, please leave a comment below.

Taming Demons for Beginners (The Guild Codex: Demonized #1) by Annette Marie

Summary

Robin doesn’t want to live with her unfriendly uncle and his even more unfriendly family. But after her parents’ death, she wants just one thing: her mother’s grimoire. And she’s sure her uncle is hiding it from her. So, she goes looking.

And finds a demon. A demon trapped by her uncle.

She’s not supposed to talk to it. But she does. She’s not supposed to help it. But she does. And when her uncle’s client comes for his demon, that’s when the real danger begins.                                                                     

Review

Marvelous fun and full of action, Robin and the demon, Zylas, are opposites who manage to fit perfectly together. Robin, a shy, passive, bookworm, is incredibly sweet as she tries to find a way to navigate conflict with her uncle in peaceful, assertive ways…and fails. But she keeps trying to improve, and between that and her determination to get what her mother intended her to have, Robin is a fantastic heroine.

Zylas is the exact opposite. Fiercely intelligent, willing to do anything to survive, and more than willing to fight to the death if necessary, Zylas is also wonderfully protective of Robin with a unique, consistently logical, worldview. The two of them make for a great couple, with each learning, not only about the other’s world, but also how to navigate different relationships while still staying themselves. Lots of action while they do it, too, because it turns out Robin isn’t the only one looking for her mother’s grimoire. A great read!

Android Alternatives to Scrivener’s Notecards

Writing notes on paper
Photo by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

I love Scrivener. Love it. But I don’t use it. Why? Two reasons. First, Literature & Latte the company behind Scrivener, doesn’t have a Linux version. Second, a lot of my writing these days, at least in draft form, happens on my phone. And it’s an Android, which does not yet have a Scrivener version.

So, I found alternatives. Especially for Scrivener’s beautiful notecard outline.

Hard to do, but possible. Here’s what I’ve found so far, starting with the most recent.

Hello Trello?

This is the most recent approach I’ve found and it works surprisingly well.

Trello is actually a project management site/app. You create a board, which then has lists on it, and cards inside the lists. Cards can have descriptions, checklists, etc. I signed up some time ago, hoping it would help me manage my publishing schedule.

And then found a different system and forgot about Trello.

But I started using it again due to this writer’s wonderful article on using it to outline her novel.

How one woman does it

From what I can see, the article’s author, Anna-Maria Ninnas, creates a board for the chapter of her novel, then creates lists of various sorts on the board. Some of them are for brainstorming plot. Some of them are for threading plots together. All of them involve Trello’s ability to move cards around, even between lists.

After trying it out, I found the trick is to make sure you use the headlines as if you were writing on a notecard. Detailed information you don’t need up front can go in the description, but you won’t be able to see it.

Quick, simple, to the point. Nice.

Other possibilities

If that doesn’t work for you, or you want something extremely close to Scrivener, but don’t care how the outline actually looks, I recommend Novelist.

Novelist is the closest thing I’ve found to Scrivener for Android. It’s extremely flexible, with a way to back up via Google Drive, and sync using Write on Web.

It also has a scene outline feature that allows you to move scenes you’re writing from one place to another.

That’s how I created the outline for my most recent projects, including Puck’s Call (which is still being revised, more later).

If you want to download the app, you can find it here:

Link to Novelist at the Play Store

There is, of course, the old-fashioned way: just use index cards. It’s the most flexible of all. Not quite as portable, though. YMMV.

The important thing, though, is to know if you need an outline, and then find something that allows you to at least have an idea where you’re heading. Even if you scrap it, your mind will say, “Ah, this is important,” and start working out all the issues as you write. That’s been my experience.

What about you? If you write, how do you outline? Let me know in the comments below!

Heir to the Shadows (The Black Jewels #2) by Anne Bishop

Summary

Jaenelle, still healing from her devastating experience, must learn how to form a court she’s doesn’t even want. Backed by Saetan, who treats her as his own daughter, and her new servant/friend, Lucivar, she faces down evil Queens, corrupt courts, and herself. All while waiting for her consort Daemon, who, unbeknownst to her, is healing from his own awful wounds.

Review

Heir to the Shadows, though less about the romance than the first book, is a wonderful exploration of magic and power in a corrupt world needing redemption. Daemon is temporarily moved out of the plot early on, and in a way that should cause some wonderful conflict later. In his place, Jaenelle becomes friends with Lucivar who pledges himself to her as her servant. He’s absolutely wonderful in his devotion and is able to help Jaenelle navigate the threats around her better than anyone else currently near her. Fantastic.

Those who are looking for a continuation of the romance between Daemon and Jaenelle won’t find it here. They’re both very much in need of growth and healing. Not to mention, their separation allows Jaenelle to come into her own, both as queen and an adult.

This is a wonderful look at a powerful woman who has to figure out how to get others to accept that power while forming alliances that make sense and are for the good of all without abusing the power she was given.

That, plus an astounding plot twist, make for a very satisfying book. Though it’s still very dark, I highly recommend it.

Have you read this book, or just think it sounds interesting? Let me know in the comments!

Medieval Hair Taping, Without Elastic! #elasticless (Plus Small Writing Update)

I don’t usually post videos, but this was so fascinating from a historical standpoint and a practical standpoint. I have been trying to figure out a way to avoid hairbands for the sake of my hair, and this looks like a really good (and pretty!) alternative.

(Also, sorry if this just shows up as a link. Not something I can control right now. Soon, though. Soon.)

https://youtu.be/dpT86z93Ec8

Just a general update this week. I’ve started the revision of Puck’s Call. And I’m back to writing short stories and flash fiction. In fact, I’m sending one out to a market tonight.

That’s it for now. See you next week!

What about you? What are your thoughts on how women wore their hair without elastics? Also, do you prefer hair up or down (doesn’t have to apply to your own)?