Tag Archive: quiet poison

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.

Scene – Spying

Sheng took another sip of his hot sake, as the person he had invited to join him finally arrived and slipped into the other seat.

“Apologies, guild business cropped up.”

“Doesn’t it always,” Sheng signalled the waiter and bade him bring another another bottle of the sake. It was ridiculously busy tonight, but he didn’t have to wait long, and he tipped the waiter for his consideration.

“So, you said you’ve made progress?”

“Look behind me, over at the plaza,” Sheng had chosen this spot on the balcony very carefully, so that his back was to the crowd, but the table had a very good vantage point over the celebration below, “Young man, in the bright blue, towards the centre of the dance circle.”

Zhu peered over the edge, without appearing to move, “Short hair?”

“That’s the one. I believe that is number Four.”

He gave another critical eye, whilst sipping at the rice wine, “I’ll never get used to how young they can get.”

“He’s not the youngest.”

Zhu passed him a glance, “No?”

“No. Girl in green, the rather short cheongsam. Should be near to the boy.”

Sheng could see him casting his eyes around, widening slightly when they found her, “That is a particularly short skirt.”

“Delightful, isn’t it? I am rather certain that she is also a member of the twelve, currently the youngest. Seven, if my investigations are correct.”

“Do you know how young?”

“Second year.”

“Of her third cycle?” Zhu passed a hand across his short beard, “That is young. Speciality?”

“Poisoner, with a delightful backstory of incomplete oiran training.”

Zhu raised an eyebrow at him.

“I’m still finding out all the details, but I have one detail that makes her particularly interesting to, well, I would say us, but it is more important to me personally, although I am hoping you will see the opportunities it presents.”

“And this detail would be?”

“Romantic involvement with my cousin.”

He leaned on the railing of the balcony, looking down at the crowd below, presumably focusing in on one particular person, “Now that could be an intriguing possibility.”

“If I could confirm it, it would be.”

“You called me out for a rumour?”

“I would call it a strong possibility. You asked to be kept abreast of my little project, so I am informing you of progress. Besides, I thought that you might be glad for an hours escape from the confines of the guild? Relax, drink, I’ll pick up the tab.”

He didn’t look entirely pleased, but he did lean back in his chair and take a lingering sip of the sake. The sounds of the celebration were drifting up from the crowd below, and there was bubbling conversation from the tavern behind them. Zhu seemed to relax as he got further down the bottle, and Sheng was calling for more when Zhu frowned and leaned forward.

“Something wrong?”

He nodded down to the crowd, “Talk of a mogwai, and it shall appear.”

Sheng couldn’t help himself, he turned around and looked at the crowd.

“On the edge, by the stalls, dark red tunic.”

“I see him,” Sheng’s eye were fixed on his cousin, who was leaning against a wall, half in and out of the shadows, watching the centre of the celebration. The continued to be fixed on him as he moved, disappearing between building, only to reappear a street over, making for the large pond that was a feature of the town.

Sheng frowned as he ducked beneath the bridge that spanned the pond, and stopped. It didn’t last long, and a smile broke over his face as he saw his cousin reach out and take the girl’s hand, drawing her in close and wrapping an arm around her back.

“I believe you have your proof.” Zhu said.

Sheng tried to control his smile, but it was hard to contain as he watched his cousin lean down and kiss her. Two lovers meeting in the privacy of the shadows, or so they thought.

He turned back to the table, and raised his bottle, “To plans slowly coming together.”

Zhu tapped his bottle against Sheng’s, and they both drank deeply.

“I need to get back to the guild, coming?”

“No, I think I want to enjoy the festivities a little more.”

Leaving the empty bottle on the table, Zhu got up, making his way out of the tavern, as Sheng moved seats, taking the one that allowed him to look out over the town, including the two people he was most interested in, under the shadow of the bridge.

He still had one arm wrapped around her, but the other one was handing her a box, wrapped with red ribbon. It might be more serious that he thought, his cousin had never been one for gifts before.

From this distance he couldn’t see what it was, but when she raised her hands to her hair, and then shook it out, he surmised it was some sort of hair ornament. She seemed pleased with it, they were kissing again.

Sheng continued to watch as they spent several more minutes with each other, before she turned to leave. He leant against the frame supporting the bridge, and watched her as she walked away.

Taking the bottle off his table, Sheng raised it once again, to the man below, “To your downfall, cousin.”


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.

She held the delicate glass tube over the flame, watching as the dark liquid slowly cleared into a murky grey, then, just as it was about to turn clear: thump.

The vibration knocked the flame off balance, the wax from the candle splashing over her workbench, and the liquid went dark again. Seven looked at the wall as another thump vibrated the room, her eyes flat and unimpressed.

Sliding the vial into her wooden rack, she got up, skirt swishing around the door as she stepped into the residence, and followed the intermittent vibrations. Standing in the doorway she cast an eye over the room, and then crossed her arms.

Six slammed into the side of the room, quickly followed by Three’s foot, only just skimming the side of his face as he rolled out of the way. Shrugging her off, he bull-rushed Ten, who had been attempting to sneak up on him, another thud running through room.

Three landed lightly by the door, “Seven, come to join in?”

“No, I came to see what’s causing the building to shake itself apart.”

Another shudder ran through the room as Six landed an enormous fist into the floor.

“You might want to think about a different venue, this room appears to be some sort of reverberation point.”

“This was more of a spontaneous event.”

Seven cast an eye into the room where five of the twelve were currently engaging each other, “That I could have guessed. Six?”

“Six. Don’t worry, I’ll end it,” and she leapt back into the fray.

Seven moved to a different part of the building, and came back with a tray of cups and a steaming pot of tea. Six was still trying to beat Ten and Eight off, but Three had him in a headlock as Seven fixed him with a gaze.

“Fine, I yield,” he gasped in air as they let him out, “still could of won.”

“Sure you could have done,” Three accepted a cup of steaming tea as Seven poured them out, eyeing it suspiciously, “There’s nothing in this, right?”

“There’s hot water and a nice selection of dried tea leaves that have infused it.”

“You know what I mean.”

“Am I really likely to drug something that I myself am going to drink?” Seven handed out cups to the others, before taking one herself, “Yung sing.”

“Yung sing,” the other chorused, before they all drunk as one.

Seven drained her cup, but didn’t swallow, counting down from ten. At zero, there were a number of thunks and china smashes, as her fellows slumped to the floor. Spitting out her tea back into her cup, she turned on her heel, leaving them where they were.

Finally, some peace and solitude.


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I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.