Witch Queen Cover Image

So, since the last post, I’ve spent a lot of time working on Witch Queen. I’ve actually added just around 9000 words (roughly 27 pages) to it, and I’m fairly happy with it thus far. It’s really my goal to have this finished, at least by the end of NaNo this year. I might actually make finishing it my NaNo goal, instead of working on something totally new this time.

I really, really don’t need to start any new stories.

Anyway, that’s kept me quite busy. 9000 words in a week is by far not a record for me by any means, but it’s still more than I’ve written on a daily basis since November. Following an already finished outline helps.

Last night though, I spent some time on Createspace, which is who I intend to use to create the book, since it’s usually who I see recommended on the Nano forums, and they’re the ones who offer the proof copy if you meet the goal of 50000 words.

The Witch Queen's War Cover

The Witch Queen’s War Cover

I’d already spent a little bit of time on their site sometime back, but I really spent some time working on it last night. I’ve got a potential cover up and going, which is over on the right of the page. It’s also kind of one of the main points of the post, since I’m actually rather pleased with the way it’s come out so far. It’ll have to be edited a bit to allow for the spine width, but that won’t be possible until I’m finished writing and have a total page count. So it’ll change, but I’m going to stick with this overall design. I really do like it, actually.

The image definitely has to be opened for the summary on the back to be clear. I had to edit it a little bit, since it was a little bit to long, and not very legible.

Again, there’s my problem with summarizing.

The image on the front is a manipulate photo, courtesy of one of my aunts, from one of her trips to Ireland.

I’ve created a new page up in the header that’ll be used for the projects that I’m currently working on, and once I have that set up a little better, I’ll definitely add a larger version of the cover to that. Hopefully, that page will also help get rid of some of the clutter over in my sidebar, maybe. We’ll see.

I also might start posting a few excerpts from this one. I think I may have posted some way back when I first started this blog, but I can’t remember. If I did, anything that gets posted now will be a highly edited version.

Cheers!

Mayuuya

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Editing Weirdness

This is so very random, but I just have to say something about it while it’s on my mind.

Apparently, when editing, some pages require more attention than others. Case in point:

15 - 1

Pg. 27

Some pages look like this. The corrections are in purple, this time. I don’t like to use red. Reminds me too much of high school. I apologize for the quality of the pictures. The lighting in the library right now is… interesting. I suppose they don’t think people will be taking a lot of pictures of what they’re working on.

Anyway. This is one of the pages of Witch Queen that I just got finished rereading, and this is what came of it. Strike outs everywhere and ten million things rewritten and changed.

And yes, when there’s this much and more, it becomes a bit of a challenge to figure out what correction I wanted to go where.

15 - 2

Pg. 28

So that was page… 27. Page 27. Then here’s page 28: There’s hardly anything there. A few words, and even then, I think I really just kind of swapped words out. I don’t really think I added anything new to it at all. These pages are literally back to back, no pages between them.

I question myself a lot, but apparently some pages just seem to come out better than others.

Does anyone else have this happen to them. Sections that sound really, really good, and then, like the very next section, you read it and wonder if you forgot the most basic rules of your native language?

Or is this just another weird, nitpicky thing that I do to myself because I’m apparently some type of masochist?

Cheers!

Mayuuya

NaNo World Building: Notes on Magic

So, the Biology Exam From Hell is already graded. I made a 106. Pretty sure my jaw is still on the floor somewhere. I didn’t even know there were extra points on the test. I never even passed a Bio test the first time I tried to take the class.

Anyway, on to NaNo. Still not sure if switching my NaNo project at the last minute was a good idea, but I think I’ll get a little bit farther with this plot than I would the first one. Still working on some of the characters, but I’ve got most of the major ones down.

This is what I’ve spent the past hour or so working on: Magic in the World of the Witch Queen’s War. This isn’t everything, but I feel like it’s a pretty good start. I’ll be doing a few more things like this in the next few days. Things like theology/religion, military/politics and the like. This is my first real experience with world building, so it’s by no means perfect.

Magic in The Witch Queen’s War

Types of Magic

Magic is split into two “types”.

        White magic: Most common type of magic. Fairly common throughout the setting. Involves potion making, some mastery over elements, and healing. Training in defensive abilities such as barriers is also common. Rarer abilities include shape shifting. All 10 Court Mages are white mages. 

        Black magic: rarer type of magic. It is believed that for every 500 white mages born, only 5 black mages are born. In addition to the abilities of white magic, black magic includes psychic abilities such as telepathy and limited mind-control. Even most white mages are weary of black mages.

Training

        Mages are trained in the capital at Anse Keep, a large castle close to the shores of Lake Anse on the outskirts of the city. They are mentored largely by a single senior Mage, though occasionally train in groups. Family is allowed, and encouraged, to visit on the weekends.
Mages remain an apprentice for an average of two years before testing. After apprenticeship  mages spend a minimum of two years studying advanced applications of magic. Many specialize in either a single element type or healing.

        Anse Keep trains in only “white magic” arts. Black mages are trained, but never in their mental/psychic abilities. Many black mages are viewed with suspicion by their peers, and often their seniors, as well.

        Anse Keep is over seen by a Headmaster/ Headmistress chosen from among the ranks of the Court Mages.

Use in the World

        After they complete a minimum of four years of training under a mentor, a mage is free to pursue their own interests. Many mages continue their training and take on apprentices outside of the keep. Some run apothecary’s, specializing in the creation of various potions and herbs.

        At any given time, the Royal Army employs numerous mages, both as offensive warriors and healers. Defensively trained mages are also employed to help fortify defensive and positions. The Navy has also been known to employ elemental mages in order to bring down enemy ships. The Royal Mounted Cavalry also utilizes mages, though mainly as healers.

        The Palace Guard includes mages in their ranks. A gifted team of healers is always on hand within the palace and the monarch’s entourage always includes at least one, usually two, healers. The Guard has also been known to use shapeshifters to aid in espionage activities.

The Court Mages

The Court Mages are an elite group of 10 mages tasked with various positions, delegated by the Monarch. Positions include: Oversight of Royal Healers, Adviser to Her Majesty, Adviser to the Palace Guard, Adviser to the Royal Navy, Adviser to the Royal Army, Headmaster/Headmistress of Anse Keep. Three other mages are appointed to the 10, serving as general advisers  All Court Mages are white mages.

        Court Mages are appointed by the monarch, usually on the recommendations of other Mages. Age has no bearing on position: Skill level, past deeds, and political savvy are major factors.

Black Magic and Demons

       One reason that black mages are regarded with weariness, beyond fears of mind-control, is their apparent ability to attract demons. Demons, with their own psychic abilities, are drawn to the idea of humans with similar abilities.

        Demons must be invited into the physical world, so many appear to targets in their dreams, when the line between the physical world and the Abyss is blurred. Demons lure their targets with promises of power (stronger telepathy, clairvoyance, even the ability to control another person’s physical form) in return for a foothold into the physical world. Agreeing allows the demon into the mage’s mind. As the mage relies more and more on the power of the demon, more of the mages mind is given up to the demon, until the mage has given up all sanity to the demon. If left unchallenged, the demon can fully take control of the mages physical form.

Exorcism

        If a mage is found to have entered a deal with a demon, an exorcism becomes the last line of defense. Many humans are uncertain as to the true nature of an exorcism, having never seen on, usually basing everything they know no rumors and hear-say. Priestesses of The Holy Mother perform the exorcism through prayer.

        While the demon is often driven from its host, no exorcism is ever completely successful. The strain of having a demon invade their thoughts often leaves the mages minds shattered. Exorcism also has a high chance of rendering a mages powers unusable, though whether this is caused by the demon’s magic, or the ritual itself is unknown.

        Many mages who survive exorcisms have taken their own lives. Legends say that it is these broken souls who become new demons in the Abyss.

New National Novel Writing Month Project

So, the Biology Exam From Hell is over and done with, and now I can look ahead to November and work on fleshing out new characters.

Yeah, I decided to go with a new project. I had one all planned out at the beginning of this month, and will probably still work on it, but I’ve decided to make this one my main goal for the month.

This story has its roots in a project I originally started for CampNaNo, in June of last year, but ultimately scrapped due to time and lack of interest. After retooling the setting a bit, I’ve decided I’m going to use the characters in this new setting, since they never went anywhere last time.

This is only the second time I’ve really dipped into the Fantasy genre, but I enjoyed it last year. But I think this year’s novel will have a stronger plot. I liked the characters from last year, and the setting was good, but it wasn’t the tightest plot.

Okay, so it had a pretty loose plot.

Anyway, on to this year’s summary:

“A debt paid with blood… Humanity for power…”

Image

Cover Image

War is threatening the Kingdom of Inverna.

The quick-tempered third child of the beloved Queen Caoimhe, Lady Eirian cared nothing for the royal court, preferring to devote her time to archery, magic, and the healing arts. At seventeen, with a cunning mind and a quick tongue, some wished to see Eirian as the Queen’s successor, rather than her sister the Crown Princess Gwenlyn.

But Eirian’s powers earned her few friends. 

She is a Black Mage, feared for her abilities to control not only elements and healing like other mages, but minds and bodies, as well. It is not an unfounded fear: many Black Mages have sacrificed their blood to demons, giving mind, soul, and sanity in exchange for power.

Years later, while tending to bureaucratic affairs in her families Province of Blackwater, Eirian is called home when Gwenlyn, now Queen, falls ill to a sickness no Healer can cure. To make matters worse, old enemies see the Queen’s sickness as the perfect time to launch an attack.

With the kingdom on the verge of war and her sister’s health deteriorating, Eirian must navigate the poisonous waters of the Royal Court and find a cure for her estranged sister, all while attempting to stem the tide of war and avoiding the whispers of those suspicious of her powers. 

With the weight of a kingdom pressing down on her shoulders, Eirian’s resolve weakens. A demon’s power becomes a tempting promise.

Can she survive the trials on her own? Or will she succumb to the burdens of her position and give in to the demon’s offers?

Not too bad, at the moment, but I’ll probably go in and do some editing on it before the month is all said and done.

NaNo Countdown: 7 days

Cheers,

Mayuuya (Chelsea)

They Just Won’t Go Away

Originally posted on September 24th, 2013

Has anyone ever created characters that you just can’t let go?

My first year of NaNo was my first foray into novel-length writing. I came up with to lead characters, strong-willed, emotional Luciana, and reserved, level-headed Delaney, the main characters of my novel Curse of Ancient. They started out with relatively set personalities that didn’t change much throughout the story. I finished the novel, and beat the 50,000 word count goal. I liked the story. I liked the ending. And for me? That’s saying a lot.

Two months later, when I was beginning the editing process, a virus made my way into my old laptop. Everything had to be wiped. I had been able to print out probably about 80% of my novel, but I lost my ending. To say it was discouraging is a bit of an understatement. So I put the novel aside. I started on a different novel that November, and beat the goal, but never finished the story. I loved the characters I had created, but it just didn’t feel the same.

So I started editing a few of the chapters of Curse of Ancient. Just a few pages at a time, and it reminded me how much I loved those characters.

That’s the way it’s gone for the past two years. I’ll put the novel aside, work on a different project, but I’ll always come back to Luciana and Delaney. When I got stuck on last year’s NaNo, I pretty much scrapped the entire story and went back to writing shorts about my two other characters. And by this point, they had changed. They’re still the same characters, but so much better. There’s depth to their personalities now.

I’m so glad that I didn’t just forget about these characters. I don’t know that I’ll ever go back and rewrite the end to their original story, but I’m certainly not done writing with them. Rediscovering these characters and how great they are has been one of my favorite parts of writing so far. It makes me curious if anyone has ever had a similar experience with characters that they’ve written?

Cheers!

Mayuuya (Chelsea)