Tag Archive: eidetic

Writing Projects

Right. So. Been having a tiny bit of trouble with the writing lately, as I have mentioned. Flash fiction challenges are going some way to getting me back into the swing of things, however, flash fiction is not my novels, and I probably should be working on those.

In the continuing interests of picking back up writing in a proper fashion, I am going to list (read: ramble on a bit) about my current writing projects, which are all my novel projects. I do this in the hope that actually listing out what I could be working on will help my brain to transition back onto working on them. That, and given that I have quite a few projects on the go, this isn’t a terrible thing to do from an organising point of view either.



1st Draft – Completed.

Story has been split into 3 parts (It might turn out to be a trilogy, it is getting to that length)

2nd Draft – Part 1 Completed. Part 2 Started. Part 3 As yet untouched.

So, Archmage. It’s a beast of a thing at the moment, and I did a lot of work on it during the first couple of months of the year, but then I finished re-writing the first part, and sort of never got into the swing of re-writing the second. Well, there’s like 5,000 words in there. What I think I need is to find a suitable beta reader (or poke my beta reader into actually reading the first part) and then so some blocking out of what happens in scenes and then tweak them so rather than just editing each chapter as I come to it, I edit the higher level structures of the book. I’m pretty sure Part 1 is going to need another re-write, so that seems like the sensible idea. It’s just hard since I’m a pantser, not a planner, but the story will be better for it.


black wingsBlack Dawn

1st Draft – So terrible it was abandoned

1st Draft (Take 2) – Started

So Black Dawn was the novel I wrote for my first ever NaNoWriMo. I’ve learnt a lot since then, and I can safely say that what I wrote back in, 2011 (man, old feeling) is a pile of crap. But, the characters were there, and the setting had something, so it went into the drawer for a while, and now I’ve got a shiny new plot and setting tweaks and I think it can work now, I just need to write it. I’m, let’s see, a couple of chapters into starting this. It’s been a very on off sort of project.



1st Draft – In Progress

This was last years (2015) NaNoWriMo project. And it was going well, I got to 75K words, it wasn’t too hard to write. Except, then November finished, and I haven’t even really looked at it since. Not entirely sure why, but, I think I started to see holes. I know what I want to happen in the second half/ending, but, there’s a few holes between where I got up to and that point, and I’m not sure if it’s a satisfying story, and I just seemed to lose the point of it a little. I’m certain that actually it’s not as bad as I think it is, and there is life in the novel, I probably just need to re-read it, and then think about the plot in a little more depth before I continue writing it.


MechanicaMechanica Awakening

1st Draft – Completed

1st Edit – In Progress

Another NaNoWriMo book. To be fair, I do a lot of writing in NaNo, it’s only this year that I have seriously started to concentrate on stuff outside of that month, from editing to new material. This one, I wrote the first draft and it’s the first one where I feel like the 1st draft isn’t going to be a million miles from the last draft. It felt complete, rounded, and sure it needs some editing, but the story is there. (Personally, I have a distinction: Re-writing is when there are still plot holes and major writing left to do; Editing is for when the story is there and only minor tweaks need to happen. Mostly at the moment I am re-writing rather than editing, but, that’s because I know most of my stories aren’t finished yet) I did start, was working on it last summer, but again, fallen on a back burner a little bit. I was also doing this editing by hand, which was probably a mistake. I think it’d be easy enough to pick up again.


fantasy-pharmacyQuiet Poison

1st Draft – In Progress

One of the few novels I have not written in NaNo. Actually, I only had the idea for this one at the start of the year, so it’s the newest idea that’s actually been written down. It’s going in scenes at the moment. So I find a bit of the book I want to write, write that particular scene, and then when I’ve got enough of them I’ll work out how to string them all together. It’s a very fun project, with intrigue, assassins, relationships, death, and an awesome setting I’ve been crafting with my sounding board. He’s great. This is the one I should be writing, or at least the one I feel I should be writing, because there’s a kickstarter I backed where you can have your words printed on a scarf and this is the project that might actually come in under the limit of 40K (I’m a fantasy writer, novels run long for me typically) but I do actually have to write it up to that much. It’s on about 25K at the moment.



Draft – ???

Bit of an odd project this one. It’s the first novel I ever wrote, when I was 14. It was, complete trash, as might be expected of a first ever novel attempt, let alone one written at a young age. But, the main character never went away. There’s, well, there’s ideas and scenes, but nothing that I would call a solid plot, so it’s hard to count this as anything resembling an active project, but she’s always there, in the back of my brain.


And that’s it for active projects. Or, you know, projects on the backburner. I have a lot of other ideas for novels (Court of Ice, Firebird, Shapechangers) and other projects that keep me writing but aren’t novels (mainly fanfiction type things, or me fluff writing about my characters in various games. Werewolf, princess, D&D). It’s been good to remind myself of them. Maybe now I can actually go and write something on one of them.

So, now that I’ve finished with the 100 theme challenge, I find myself at a bit of a loss for go to posts when I notice I haven’t posted anything in a while. Bear with me for a little while whilst I work out what kind of things to post up on here and work out some sort of schedule for it all. And yes, I will be trying for more dragons on Thursdays.

What have I been up to with my time? Still trying to get through more books for reading. Slow but steady is how I would describe that, but getting there. Yellow book is now done and finished, so green is next on the list. And after those three, I’ve got several more on the list to read. Deciding what to read next is often as hard as finding the time to sit down and read them!

Mostly, I have been working on two things. 1 – My Master’s degree. This is not what this blog is about, but I am just going to say that I am loving my database module. 2 – Writing


Yes, I have a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are awesome.

At the start of the year I signed up to a 365K club. This means that I have signed up to write 1,000 every day, or, as it more usually goes with these things, 365,000 words in the year because some days you write more, some less, but it all averages out. There are quite a few of us in the club, which is a sub-section of a bigger writing group and is internet based which is highly convenient, and we have chats, motivations, question times, it’s all a big support group for writers, and I have to say, it is excellent.

And signing up for this challenge, to really push myself and get that daily habit of writing, is probably one of my better decisions. If you look on my spreadsheets, you can see that so far I haven’t missed a day. Sure, one day I only wrote 27 words, but that’s still two more sentences than I had at the start of the day. Right now I am approximately a day behind, so less than 1,000 words behind my target. And that is counting today, which means that I still have the rest of this afternoon and this evening to catch up on that. And, overall, I’ve written ~72,000 words since Jan 1st. Some new stuff, some editing stuff, but the point is I am writing. Last year, I basically only wrote when it came around to NaNo, so this? This is a HUGE improvement, and I’m loving it.

What am I working on? I’m the kind of person who likes to have several projects on the go at once, so, currently I am working on:

  • Archmage – This is my epic (Maybe a trilogy? It’s certainly looking long enough for that) fantasy novel that I am currently editing. It’s developing along quite nicely, although part 2 is going to need a major overhaul, and part 3 definitely needs work. It’s probably more like re-working it than it is editing, since there’s tons of plot holes to fill, arcs to develop, characters to delete or add, all the high level stuff. It’s fun, but it is a lot of hard work. The blurb for the book(s?) is that in a world where magic is regulated and structured, an underage girl bursts onto the scene with magic, wild magic, unlike anything that’s ever been seen before. Can Rana prove that her magic is just as valid as the old ways, or will society always treat her as an outcast?
  • Quiet Poison – This is relatively new. I had the idea late Jan/early Feb, and it has been so insistent and prominent in my mind, that I’ve been writing it out. It’s a story about a new guild of assassins, trying to carve out their territory against the bigger, more established guild. Lots of politics, intrigue, assassinations (of course), and all sorts of seedy underground things. Magic is around in the setting, but very much in the background. It’s a break apart from my usual genre, but I am loving the characters and what they are getting up to, and it’s quite nice to write something down and dirty, as it were.


Those two are my active projects. But I certainly have others which may or may not come up:

  • Black Dawn – This is novel I wrote for the first year I ever participated in NaNoWriMo. It is, in a word, terrible. So, I’ve given it a shiny new plot, and it’s sitting there with it’s first chapter salvaged, looking at me, biding it’s time, just waiting until the time is right to spring back into my head and get written. It’s there, I’m not ignoring it, but at the moment other novels are in front of it. Basic premise: Angels and Demons have been warring since time immemorial, with Earth as the battle ground, seeded with their human descendants, the Cambions and the Nephilim. However, a threat is rising, one they wish to stop before it ever happens, and it might just be enough to make them forget about their own war. Unless the threat is already more than just a threat, and she’s been waiting to wage her own war on them.
  • Mechanica Awkaening – This really is a book that just needs editing. I really think it’s the cleanest first draft I’ve ever written, and I was working on it last summer. But, like most ideas, it’s hit a bit of a lull, and whilst it’s still there and I’m not ignoring it, other things are in front. But it really doesn’t need as much as any of my other projects. So maybe it’ll come round soon. this is the one about Rose, who can talk to machine spirits, and her family trying to prevent another civil war.
  • Eidetic – Still working on the first draft. Sad to say, I haven’t actually touched it since NaNo last year. I just, got a bit stuck. I think I can get unstuck, but I do need to sit down and have a think through and work out where it’s going. Still got, I would say, about a third of it to write? Labyrinths and ancient magic and trying to get away from a society that doesn’t let Sage be the person she is because she’s a women. Need to work on it.
  • Other Ideas – There’s a few of them hanging around. Old ones, new ones. ones that still need time to brew whilst they work themselves out. Willow is an old one, actually she’s the MC from the first ever novel I wrote (novel as opposed to short story, fan-fiction, etc) which, again, is terrible, but she’s not. She just needs the right plot and setting, and I’m getting closer to that. Very slowly. Firebird is a new one, lots of aztec/shaman magic crossed with vampire hunters. It’s a good idea, but it need ‘brewing time’ as it were. There’s a fan-fiction in my head as well, which I might write when I really want to indulge myself.

There is never just one project. But that’s how I work. And I do like flitting about, it’s just how my brain works. They’ll all get there in the end, as long as I am working on one of them, then that’s a step towards the goal of being an author.

Sage was just gaining a lead on him, earth pounding beneath her feet as she aimed for the entrance. She could hear the second pair of feet behind her, but not getting any closer.

Suddenly, a new sound, hooves. She bite her tongue, putting on an extra burst of speed as she tried to get to the entrance. Not far now, maybe fifty feet or so. Twenty. Ten.

Something grabbed her cloak, but she was ready for that, her brooch already loosened so she could slip it off. She still lost her footing, sliding the last few feet to the entrance.

Her fingers touched the stone archway, and she spoke a word.

A blinding flash of light cracked around her, blinding her pursuers, and when they opened her eyes, she was no longer there.

Instead, she was three countries away, plunging into the dark evergreen boughs of a different labyrinth. She didn’t know what they would make of the apportation, whether they would see it for what it was, or attribute it to something entirely different. True, she could think about all the possibilities, but right at this moment she could feel the stress pumping through her body, and all she wanted to think of was her home.

It took her hours to get through to the clearing, even after taking every single short cut that she knew. However, she had never felt more glad to she her little shack, a bit battered in all the rain that had been happening lately, but still study.

She took the pot out from where it had been bobbing in the water butt, brushed the curtain aside, and struck a small fire in her pit. Soon, the entirety of the tiny house was warming teaup, and the pot nearly at the point of bubbling. Adding in her own blend of crushed leaves, the tea brewed, and she settled down in her nest with the steaming mug cupped between her hands.

A gentle rain started outside, pattering on the roof. Sage was pleased that it had waited until now, but reached out to push the curtain behind a hook, so that she could watch the raindrops splattering against the ground and leaves.

The sound of rain, steaming tea in her hands, and the anticipation of a new book squirrelled away in her bag. So could finally feel the tension ease out of her shoulders, and relaxation setting in.

December Recovery

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to recover after November. There was probably some minor burning out going on, I did have a lot going on. But now I have dropped some responsibilities, I’ve got two assignments for my Master’s degree handed in, and I’m not pressuring myself into writing extraordinary amounts every day.

Admittedly, today is the first day I’ve written since November, hence why I suspect that there was some minor burnout going on. And there was a tiny bit of neglecting the blog, but as evidenced by these posts, that is over, and I am slowly hacking away at those words. Eidetic isn’t finished, so I am still going to be working on that, but I am not limiting myself to it either. Archmage and Mechanica Awakening are in editing, and I am not making as much progress on them as I should be. I also have a couple of ideas that didn’t make it as my NaNoWriMo novel this year, so I’ll probably have several projects on the go at the same time.

So, in an effort to help with this, I’ve signed up to a 365K club in one of my writing groups. Write 1,000 words every day, or 365,000 over the course of a year. Although since next year is a leap year, we get an extra day. Perhaps this is a bad idea, but I do like goals, and I work better with stuff like this, and 1,000 words a day is very doable for me. Sustainability? Well I’m hoping that it is. Even if I don’t get 1,000K every single day, I hope that I write something each day, even just a bit. Because I have a seeming inability to develop consistent habits, and I do need to write more.

Christmas is fast approaching, and although there’s social stuff going on, I’ve managed to get a week and a half off work between Christmas Eve and 4th Jan. I’m probably going to devote that time to reading, since I have a large to read pile, and haven’t managed to find a lot of time for it recently. Of course, that will be interspersed with other activities, such as gaming and writing and coursework. But you should get an update on my reading for the year before the New Year.


The only other news is that I went to see a midnight (well, half past midnight) screening of Star Wars: the Force Awakens. By the dragons it was a good film. And you should definitely go see it.

So I’m catching up with myself, definitely happier than I was in November, and I’ll be pecking away with all my projects, and I will keep you lovely readers informed about them both in the final weeks of this year and the new one.

85 – Spiral

“Seven. It’s all about the number seven.”

“But there are six labyrinths.”

Sage pulled a piece of paper towards her, dipped the quill and started to sketch out the continent. “The number six represents to sum of all humanity, man and women, heavens and earth, fire and water, it’s balance. Seven means that you add in the soul, so as well as everything material, you also represent the spiritual.”

“There’s that much meaning behind numbers?”

“There were for the progenitors,” Sage’s hand flicked the ink over the pages, the land now recognisable, as she drew in symbols for each of the labyrinths, “They didn’t build these on a whim you know, there are reasons and meaning behind almost everything that they did, even if they are not obvious.”

“And is that what you’ve been doing? In labyrinths for all these years? Looking for the mearnings?”

“Technically, they’re mazes.”

Reagan rolled his eyes, “We are all aware of that. However, we are not all aware of a seventh labyrinth. Maze. Whatever, how on this earth could there be an unknown labyrinth?”

“Remember what I said about the numbers, humanity and spirituality,” Sage drew in the last symbol for the seventh labyrinth, in the middle of a continent, and then drew in a dotted line between all of them, “heaven and earth.”

She held up the drawing so that Reagan could see.

“A spiral. The labyrinths make a spiral.”

“But you wouldn’t think it, unless you knew about that seventh labyrinth, the one that represents-”

“Earth. It’s underground, isn’t it?”

Sage gave a rare smile, “Maybe you scholars aren’t all as idiotic as you seem.”

78 – Drink

Keaton was moving slower than before, shuffling even. Sage stopped at the turn, and leaned on her stick, looking at the drooping prince. He didn’t notice that she had stopped until his head almost collided with her stomach.

“I can’t go on, not without some water,” his voice was raspy, tongue darting continuously over his lips.

Sage spent a moment more looking down at him, “We’ll make camp for the night here. There’s no traps for at least ten yards in either direction of the corner.”

“What about water?”

“If you drank all of your canteen, then there is none.”

The prince sat down heavily, legs skewed as he sank back against the thick bushes of the labyrinths walls. “Two days in here and already I’m dying.”

“Just go to sleep.”

Keaton’s eyes narrowed, almost glaring at Sage as she took out her own roll and cloak, and started busying herself with some trail rations and other bits.

Clumsy fingers pulled his own roll from his backpack, and he fell back on it, cloak not quite covering him until he curled up underneath it. The weakest cough he had ever heard came out from his throat, one hand covering his skin as the air pushed over the dry interior. Grumbling, he rolled over so he didn’t have to look at the heartless person. He was sure that she had some water left in her canteen.

Morning woke him with a drop of dew on his cheek. Keaton’s mouth sprang open, rough tongue darting out in the vain hope of catching it. The cold air caught in his throat, and a series of rasping coughs tore up his throat, sending him bolt upright, arms wrapping round his chest, pulling tight.

“You really don’t get along well with mornings, do you?”

Keaton glowered up at her, eyes watering as he continued to cough. Sage reached up and pulled a skin off a line strung above them he hadn’t noticed.


When his coughs had subsided, he reached out a hand to take the neck of the bag, and peered inside. Crystal clear water glinted at him. Keaton sacrificed breathing as he gulped the drink down, throat bobbing up and down furiously as the dry skin finally got some relief.

“You know that you’ll give yourself a stomach ache drinking that fast, right?”

Only when he had drained the skin dry did he take gasp in a lungful of air. “Maybe if I had had water last night, I wouldn’t have needed to.”

“You seem to forget; we’re in a maze now. There are no taps, no streams, no active sources of water. Each night I set up a series of bags designed to catch the morning dew, and that is our water for the day. Learn to ration what you have, or go to bed thirsty each night.”

“You will write a letter to your father, it will say-”

“I can’t.”

“Do not try to fool me, I am aware you are literate.”

“And I am aware that you are aware. I can’t write a letter to my father.”

“You put a pen to paper and write what I dictate.”

“And pray tell, where will I be sending this letter to?”

Korvo stopped and looked down at the young women. She was sitting straight up in a chair, her grey eyes still fixed on him as they ever had been when he’d been pacing.

“To him, your father.”

“I have no address for him.”

“He has been sending letters to you for years.”

“You’re in the intelligence service, you should know that those letters never arrived. Even then, I severely doubt there would be a return address contained within. They may not be smart, but even they know that they are in hiding, and writing down ones address whilst in hiding is a bad idea, and leads to changing that address with all haste.”

Korvo stroked his goatee as he considered this new information. “What about old places?”

“You’re information is almost certainly more up to date than mine, so you tell me, do they inhabit any of their old buildings?”

His nose twitched, and he went back to pacing, and the grey eyes followed him still. He then opened his mouth, but was cut off before he’d even begun.

pegasus pencil drawing“And no, I can’t predict where he might be. He abandoned me and my mother before I was even ten years of age, and even before then, he was too busy teaching his sons the way of rebelling to make himself that known to me. I can’t summon an address for him anymore than I can make the pegasus fly when it’s cloudy.”

“A pegasus won’t fly when it’s cloudy?”

“Were you even listening to the rest of the sentence?”

Sage raised an eyebrow at him. “Dump it.”

Keaton frowned at her. “What?”

“The armour. Get rid of it.”

“What? We’re going into a labyrinth.”

“It’s a Maze. And yes, you are going to take your armour off.”

“And what about the traps? The things that are going to kill us?”

“Armour will not stop them well enough to make it worth it, and wearing the armour will slow you down. To navigate the maze you need to pay attention, and then, if you screw up, be very, very quick on your feet. Drop the armour.”

Keaton frowned, and then started to unbuckle his armous, shaking off the chainmail. “You know, I think that’s the most you’ve ever said to me.”

Sage waited until he had divested himself of all his armour, and then set off into the Maze. “Keep close, step where I step.”

The first part of the maze was memorised, and she had no trouble at all setting the pace, stepping through familiar paces.

Keaton was keeping up behind her, she heard him try to start several half sentences, but it was the click and the intake of breath that alerted her.

Her memory clicked into place and she spun, catching his arm and dragging him down as a spear shot out from the side of the wall, clipping the hairs off the back of Keaton’s neck.

Keaton himself was shocked. And looked back as the spear slid back into the wall.

“And this is why you dumped the armour. Eyes sharp, ears sharp, feet even sharper. There’s danger ahead.”

54 – Tower

Emperor Cassius looked down at her, and she looked back. There was no deference in her gaze, curiosity in his, as they surveyed each other.

He settled back into his throne, resting on one arm, puzzling over the girl and the conundrum that she posed. Sage could see it on his face as clearly as if he had spoken it. Here she was, related to the most notorious activists of the rebellion, and yet she was clearly nothing like them.

He flicked his fingers out. “Take her to the dungeon for now.”

The manacles clanked as the two guards on either side of her escorted her out of the throne room. She walked with them, all the resistance that she had shown in avoiding capture gone now that she was in the palace. The emperor was a fascinating man.

It was only when they began to climb a set of stairs instead of descending them that Sage grew suspicious. She threw a glance out of a window, and indeed they were climbing up higher. She looked at the back of the third guard who was leading them, but said nothing.

They continued up more stairs, narrow enough that they had to let go of her arms and have one in front and one behind, twitching nervously as they went.

At the top of the stairs was a small room, with three doors leading off from it. The lead guard took out a ring of keys and unlocked the middle door, before the guards ushered her through.

Sage looked around in mild surprise as she took in the bed, the desk, the tiny but separate chamber for the necessity.

6830f3806568ac23286eb399b1dde96d“I hate to state the obvious, but this is not a dungeon.” She said.

The lead guard came over, and took out another set of keys. Motioning for her to give him her hands, he unlocked the manacles as he answered. “This is the tower, you’ll be staying here until his Imperial Majesty decides otherwise.”

The manacles clanked off, and Sage unconsciously rubbed her wrists. “The Tower, primarily used for prisoners of noble birth, and yet in public he said dungeons. What a clever misdirection.”

“Food will be brought in three time a day. If you have a need for blankets or other necessities, knock on the door and ask the guard.” The head guard said, as the three men who had accompanied her left the room, and the heavy door swung shut. The click was more than audible as it was locked behind the guard, and if there were any last minute orders, it was too thick for her to hear through.

She looked around the tower room. If she had known that imprisonment would be this well appointed, she might not had tried to run away with quite so much effort.

How many times had she walked past this door? And all this time, inside, was the final piece of the puzzle that she needed.

Engraved onto the wall, perhaps placed there after a raid on a labyrinth, or maybe it was an original part of the castle, was the royal family’s motto. In the old language.

Of course most people wouldn’t recognise it for what it was, the ancient language drew very little comparison to the modern alphabet that they currently used, but it was all there, in amongst the crest and birds and stags.

Her thoughts were like lightning, jumping from connection to connection as she worked out meanings and inflection, tenses and grammar. She brought forth from her memory picture of the engravings from various artefacts, the words slotting into place and forming complete translations.

She was unaware of her lips curling up into a smile for the first time in years.

The wall twisted in front of her, and she reluctantly snapped out of her thought process to find her arm being pulled and twisted, clasped in the meaty hand of her guard.

Mind Thoughts“Excuse me, that is highly unnecessary.”

The guard looked back at her, and blinked. “You back on earth now then?”


“Unresponsive you were. Lost in thought”

Sage pulled her arm back from the man, and straightened her skirt down. “I was hardly lost. Deep in thought is the correct term.”

The guard sniffed, and then pushed her in front of him, back towards her tower.

C'est La Vee

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