Excerpt: A Hundred Pages


These days I really have been procrastinating edits by writing short stories. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them all, but some I am really happy with; I will be sharing excerpts. I don’t know how long all of them will be, and most will probably be serialized. Briony’s story is still in progress, but I already know the exciting direction in which her story will go!


Few things were lovelier than rainy mornings. Briony knew her friends would disagree, but she looked forward to sleeping in while hearing raindrops thumping on the roof, curled up under thick blankets after dreamless sleep.

However, rainy mornings were better on weekends. One look at the clock shattered the magic of the moment; Mom added to the effect when she knocked at the door and called, “Did you stay up late again?”

Briony groaned and glanced at the book on her bedside table. “It was just a hundred pages,” she shouted back, forcing herself into a sitting position. “I promise.”

“That’s what I said all the time.” Mom opened the door and peered at her. She did not look upset, but amused. “I guess I can’t scold you. Just get ready now.”

“I will,” Briony said, smiling sheepishly. “Sorry.”

“Oh, Bry.” Mom heaved a sigh of mock frustration. “Life has a funny way of repeating itself.” She closed the door with a soft smile.

The cold air outside finally caught up to her. Shivering, Briony wrapped herself in one of the blankets and took a moment to ponder how just a hundred pages had somehow turned into two hundred. She ought to have saved the last chapters of her book for the weekend.

It had been such a good book, though. She’d rushed through her math homework in order to start reading again—a first, since she was an avid hater of math.

But Mom said that as long as she got homework done, she would be left to read all she wanted in peace. Briony was fortunate to have a mother who understood her weakness for a good story. Many of the books she read had been inherited from her mother’s childhood library.

Edits & Expectations


I’ve been on hiatus for several weeks now. Yesterday, it took a long time for me to muster the courage to open Serenade and start final edits. Perhaps I was afraid it would need rewriting.

In the past, I could only make my stories better by rewriting entire chapters. This time, it’s not the case. I worked hard to shape it up before the second beta round, apparently with good results!

Once I got to work, I managed to control my impulse to over-edit. I don’t need to rewrite every sentence. Some need deleting, sure, and a word has to be changed here and there. Nothing drastic, though.

skyfall

With three chapters edited, I’ve managed to pick out some quotes that stayed in place throughout the drafting process, like the one above. Sometimes, though, it feels like I’m reading a chapter for the first time.

That hiatus helped. Space is necessary if you want to make progress, once the time  comes to edit. It’s important to see your manuscript with fresh eyes. I’m happy with edits so far, and not scared like I was earlier.

Do you follow a specific routine during the editing process? Is paper necessary for you to spot errors in your manuscript, or do you work better with the flexibility of a Word document? We all go about it differently; I’d love to hear your point of view!

The Autumn Prince Novel: Cover & Excerpt


How are your NaNo novels doing?

I am pleased to say that I have reached 32k and have an end in mind, which is more than I can say for other NaNo projects–indeed, more than I can say for any writing projects at all. Also, my friend Kristia made a beautiful cover that I could finally display on the website!

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I thought I would share an unedited excerpt from the novel. You guys, I am extremely proud of how it’s turning out–proud that I could turn a short story into something more complex, expanding on beloved characters and adding detail to the environment. Thank you for all the support when it was still a serial; it was that support that encouraged me to make it a novel.

Here’s the excerpt. I can’t wait until you can read the whole thing!

Her eyelids fluttered, but she did not yet wake fully. Dreams pulled her back in; she was running in the leaves with a boy her age, his face glowing as he called her name, “Ginny! Ginny, you’ve got to be faster!”

Her eyelids fluttered again and she thought, I know who that is. “Caspar,” she breathed, not a question but a certainty. Dreams tugged at her once more.

She was chasing the little boy because he’d stolen her button doll. “You’ve got better toys!” he taunted her, but she screamed and threw rocks at him until a tall man in a black coat broke them up.

“Your Highness, Lady Genevieve, that’s no way to behave! You’re supposed to be friends.”

“He took my doll!” she screamed.

The man pried her button doll out of young Caspar’s hand and promptly returned it to her. “Your mother will have to talk to you about stealing things, Prince Caspar,” he’d said, to which the boy scowled.

In the waking world, she felt someone touch her hand. “Lady Kelsea,” said a familiar voice, soft as if he feared she would flee like a spooked horse.

But she wouldn’t. Kelsea finally broke away from those dreams, opening her eyes to blink away more tears. She was still on that armchair, and he sat on his knees before her, eyes shiny with grief.

It felt as though the ground were falling beneath her. She couldn’t question that the memories were real; that very button doll now sat on her bedside table at home.

Caspar knelt before her and waited, almost as if expecting her to strike him. Instead she said in a weak voice, almost a croak, “I knew you were familiar.”