Symptoms of a Sleep-Deprived Author: Constant Questioning of the Day of the Week

It's Wednesday.

I know!

So why do you keep asking me what day it is?

I don't know. Why, when you check your watch, if I ask you what time it is you have to check again?

Don't try to turn this back on me!

A Milestone

I can now officially announce that Aundes Aura has passed 10,000 words!

A Metaphysical Poem: The Rain

As an exercise for Literature, we were asked to attempt to describe the rain using metaphors and arranging it into verse, as is done with metaphysical poetry. My conceit for this piece was that rain inspires a writer.

The Rain

If the drenchèd soul is thus turned to grey,

It doth inspire; an ideal ray

Shades of black liken to shades of white,

And they let the soul inspirèd take flight

And into the light the said soul doth fly

Idea returned and not let pass by.

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A Motivational Poem

I randomly decided to write this somewhere on the CC forums. This was a completely improvised poem, and as a non-poet, I'm proud of it. Let me know what you think!

An E'erlasting Day

And so we are here,

A third through the year

We'll strive to aim high,

For the half-point is nigh

And if we do fail,

We'll trod 'round and flail,

(Then) look epically into the sky

But if what does work,

Does continue so

Why continue not,

(But) to meet a new low?

Keep what is good,

Cut what is bad

Make it the best,

That anyone had

Strive for the goal,

Reach a new high

Rest if you must,

But look to the sky

We'll strive to aim high,

For a new day is nigh


An e'erlasting day will not die

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Challenge Failed

Yes, I said I would come back regardless of the outcome, and I nearly ran away, but I am true to my word. Although I didn't reach my goal today, I did write 350 or so words. For tomorrow, I'm going to give myself some space, considering I did write a good few thousand in the past when I didn't have to. Tomorrow I'll aim for 900, and then allow myself to fall back into my 200+ routine.

This is why I try to stick to my 200 words; when I don't it leads to disappointment. The longer I put it off, the more it builds, until I just stop writing because I can't motivate myself to write so many words. But I know I can do 200.

Catch-up Challenge

I haven't written for almost a full week now, and I blame it on homework even though I've had plenty of time to do that and write. Yesterday I planned to write 1,000 words. I wrote zero.

Today I aim to write 1,200+ words. That's 200+ words for every day I missed this week. I am posting this to keep me accountable. Whether or not I reach my goal by the time I go to bed, I will let you know the result.

Every Thousand Words: An Arrangement


Eoin didn't like food, ever we was be around.

Every Thousand Words: An Introduction

I've decided to begin a series of post in which I simply state the word that is the thousandth whenever I write it, each thousand. Then I also give the paragraph for context (with perhaps censoring for evil spoilers).

So, to kick it off, here we go!

~ One Thousand ~
The Word: "be"
The Paragraph:
Saera stopped him. She pulled him around so he was looking directly into her eyes. “Loosen up? When I am safe, that is when I will loosen up. My life is in danger now. Who knows when the Aura will reveal itself next? It could be when I’m training. It could "be" when I’m eating dinner.” Saera let go of Eoin’s shoulders. “You do remember what would happen to me if someone were to discover I have it, don’t you?”

~ Two Thousand ~
The Word: "around"
The Paragraph:
Saera raised her head and turned "around". “What’s he doing here?” she whispered as he crossed the church hall.

~ Three Thousand ~
The Word: "didn't"
The Paragraph:
Eoin stepped out of the trees and back into the field where people were now assembling. Eoin joined Saera at the centre of the group, near the pile of sticks. People who Eoin didn’t know patted him on the back and apologised for his loss. He "didn’t" understand why people so often apologised for things that weren’t their fault. It never made anything better.

~ Four Thousand ~
The Word: "Eoin"
The Paragraph:
When he had gone back upstairs, Eoin examined the room again. Shelves hung around each side of the room, covered with flasks, vials and test tubes of an array of different colours. Strange utensils hung on hooks all over the walls, and "Eoin" couldn’t even imagine what any of them would be used for. He was overwhelmed by the variety of things in the room, things he had never seen before. He wished he could rip them from the walls and experiment with them himself, but just then the alchemist returned.

~ Five Thousand ~
The Word: "like"
The Paragraph:
“It’s just that the majority of people don’t "like" being wet, so the windows up high make them happy.”
“I’m sick of the majority,” said Eoin. “All they do is ruin everything for the minority.”

~ Six Thousand ~
The Word: "ever"
The Paragraph:
Faine walked off, humming a tune Eoin knew well from his childhood. A tune his father used to hum. A shiver ran down Eoin’s spine. He remembered being tucked into bed, humming along with his father before drifting into his dreams. It was the strangest thing to hear the tune now his father was gone. It had only "ever" been him and Eoin who knew it. So how did Faine know it?

~ Seven Thousand ~
The Word: "was"
The Paragraph:
Eoin took a step. He stopped. He looked around his village. Fire was everywhere. No. Not here. Not now. Not his home. But the streets were still filled with people going about their daily lives. They didn’t care. He tried to tell them to leave, that it "was" dangerous here, but no words came. Saera stood next to him. In one hand she held a bow. In the other, a fiery arrow. She said something to him. No sound came from her mouth, but he knew what she had said. "Are you all right?"

~ Eight Thousand ~
The Word: "we"
The Paragraph:
Faine pulled up ahead next to a large rock. When Eoin and Saera had caught up to him, he said, ""We" shall rest here. We didn't get near enough sleep last night."

~ Nine Thousand ~
The Word: "food"
The Paragraph:
Faine scratched his neck. "I need the money to buy "food" and water, and to repair things, and tend to my weapons."

From here on in, every time I pass another thousand word milestone, I will give the word and paragraph under the title "Every Thousand Words".

On Writing: The Editing Process

Disclaimer: The following process was suggested by Marie over at Critique Circle.

Once your novel's first draft is complete, it is essential that you revise it if you want to send it to an agent or publisher and have the best chance of getting picked up. As with a Pringle, this is all much easier if you break it down. Marie has devised five basic steps which you can take to polish it up plot-wise, subplot-wise, genre-wise, character-wise, description-wise, grammar-wise, tous les choses-wise.

Edit for storyline. This is the round where you go through and make sure the plot makes sense and follows through the story. That the subplots wrap up. That you haven't forgotten, lost or dropped anything while working your way through the book. Make as many passes as needed to fix any and all plot issues and oopsies.

Edit for character. Everything from behaviour to appearance. Make sure names are spelled consistently throughout the book. Also, make sure that characters don't mysteriously vanish without concluding their plotline or even more mysteriously reappear after death.

Edit for description. By now things should be getting better, but make sure that you are describing things effectively, using all five senses. Also, this is a good time to make sure physical items don't unexpectedly change colour, shape or location.

Edit for genre elements. For fantasy you might double check on world building. Since you've already done three passes through the novel, things really should be fairly solid but this gives you one more chance to spot a problem.

Edit for grammar, punctuation and spelling. By now you should be able to run through and focus just on the clean up details. If you spot other problems, back up and give the earlier steps another pass. Don't rush things. You're not ready for the polishing up unless you've already fixed the plot. Take your time.

Repeat as needed.

Random Fantasy Title Brainstorm: Mirror.

Shameless Otherly-Promotion:
Marie Dees has an exciting new title being released by Cobblestone. To Have a Warrior

Check it out. Have a look at what other CCers are doing in the Real World!

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Fantasy World Building: Hierarchal System: An Appendix

Catholic:                                      Anglican:

GOD                                             KING
   ^                                                ^
Pope                                            Bishop
   ^                                                ^
Kings                                           Priest
   ^                                                ^
Bishops                                  Peasants/Serfs

Aundes Aura Chapter One (revised and complete): In Queue

Just a quick update to let you all know Aundes Aura is up in queue once more.

When I say revised, that doesn't mean the parts you've already read have changed. I have mostly just moved paragraphs around, but there are an extra 2,000 or so words for you to read!

Here's a recap of the revisions made:

1. I cut the scene with Old Hanne. Instead, Eoin comes up with the idea to take Saera to the church and pray.

2. Added a scene in the church. We discover how churches in Válkia differ from those in our world.

3. Added the scene of the Passing Ceremony, and a scene in the forest which was carried over from my first attempt at the novel.

One of the reasons I am re-posting this chapter is that I would like to see if I can get some extra people interested.

Novel Progress Update

The trio are riding through the forest on their way to the capital city, Parthon.
Word Count Stats:

- Today: 812

- This month: 6,380

- Total Wordage: 9,073

Pringles and Circuits: A Deviation

The first Pringle enters your mouth. You crunch. The Pringle cracks into a number of pieces. You crunch again, and the Pringle breaks down into even more pieces. The flavour takes a moment to hit your tongue, but when it does, it is intense, enticing. You take another Pringle and start again.

Treat your novel like a good Pringle. Break it down into pieces. Work on them individually, and you can make them intense, enticing. Your readers will want to devour them. But with that first Pringle, it takes a while for the flavour to hit. That is your vomit onto the page, your first draft. But when you come back and edit the first time, the flavour hits you. You revise again, your second Pringle, and as you progress through the packet the flavour becomes more and more intense.

A novel is not a straight race track; it is a circuit. You drive until "the end", and then you are back at the start, and it's time to do another lap, and another and another. But there is a time when the race ends, and you must look for the checkered flag. It is not easy to find. You could keep racing forever.

But on your first lap, it is imperative that you keep your momentum. Don't dare to pull in at the pit-stop, or you may be stuck there forever.

A. Deviation.

When your characters make the decisions

I wrote a section where Faine scouts ahead, taking the two horses for a run, and Saera wakes Eoin and pretends that Faine was taken during the night, as well as the two horses they have been travelling with.

Eoin crossed the road to where Saera slept on the grass and Faine slept with his back propped against the rock’s side. When Eoin whispered his name, his eyes shot open. Before Eoin could say anything, Faine nodded, got up and crossed the road.

Eoin lay on his side so his sheath would not disturb his comfort, but it was disturbed regardless by stones and twigs. He shuffled around until he lay once more on his stomach, and drifted to sleep.


Eoin woke at the sun's rising to someone shaking him. He blinked several times, then looked up at Saera with squinted eyes. Her hands were clasped together in front of her and Eoin could see the whites of her knuckles.

"It's Faine," she said. "I don't know where he is. I think he was taken while we were asleep."

Eoin shot up. Faine was neither over the road where he should have been taking watch, nor on this side where he would otherwise have been sleeping. Eoin ran across the road and searched for any signs as to what had happened. He found no prints in the dirt. No disruption of the leaves. No signs of a struggle. Eoin looked up the road in search of a track. He found the trails of two horses leading along the road and around a corner, behind the trees. The horses Eoin, Saera and Faine had taken from the cart had been tied up, but now they were both gone.

“That’s it!” said Eoin. “They’ve taken Faine and the horses. We’ve got no protection and no steeds."

The thing now is, I'm not sure if Saera's really joking, or if Faine's actually been taken. I think, logically in the story world, he could only be taken if first tranquilised. So I feel I should leave it as just Saera joking around. It's a strange scene because it builds tension (I hope; I can never tell) and we believe what Eoin believes, but then Saera laughs and Faine comes back down the road with the horses.

Random Fantasy Title Brainstorm: Footsteps.

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Symptoms of a Sleep-Deprived Author: Known Yet Unknown Spelling

I was reading over my work, when I came across this sentence:

"Nothing stirred but the leaves in the breeze."

And I wondered, "Is that how you spell breeze?"

I went quickly through various incarnations inside my head. Brease. Breaze. Breese. Then I realised it was spelt right.

On Hectic Weekends

This weekend was a hectic one. Leisurely, but full. On Friday I prepared mentally for the Deb which would be taking place on Saturday. I went to bed that night, and then half an hour after waking up in the morning, I left for the Deb. Following a decidedly dull after-party, I didn't return home until 4:00am today. I was tired, so I went to sleep. This morning, half an hour after waking up, I had to drive (on my learner's permit, with my mum in the passenger seat) to Fountain Gate to return the formal attire we had hired. Then we continued to the shopping centre where I bought two books (Magician and Silverthorn, by Raymond E. Feist). We then watched a movie and returned home. Since then I've browsed the internet, eaten dinner and browsed the internet some more.

Perhaps my lack of doing anything constructive in the last hours before my return to school for the week is my way of rebooting after a hectic weekend (it was hectic for me, okay?).


This means that the last two days on which I haven't written, as well as today, means I should be writing 600 words. And I would probably do that.

If it weren't 11:30pm.

I think at the least I could write my 200 words so they don't stack up, and carry the other 400 over to another day.

Aundes Aura: Over 10% Complete

Having passed 8,000 words today, Aundes Aura is officially past the 10% mark!

I've written 5,500 words this month. That's far, far better than my 2,000 in all of March, and we're only half way through April.

*sniffs at success*

On Scheduling

Yes, I am sick and tired (but mostly tired) of staying up late in order to get writing and homework done. I have a horrible habit of getting home after school and not doing anything productive until about 10:30. I've never worked by a schedule before, but I hope this works out for me in the end. My "must-do"s are listed in order of priority, and I hope they will help with my motivation to write.

1. 4:00 - 4:30: Rest

2. 4:30 - 6:30: Homework

3. Homework done: Write

4. Written 200+ words: Any other activities

The other activities can include playing games, Critique Circling, surfing the internet, watching TV, showering, playing music, etc. Doesn't matter whether it's leisure, duties or necessities. The one day the schedule's been in place, it's worked. I wrote part of an essay which I wouldn't have done any on unless I knew I was going to sit down and do some homework at 4:30.

At this point, I know I can't play my new game until I've done some homework and written my words. The desire to play the game is keeping me to my word, and hopefully will continue to do so.

Going back to school always hits hard

I would have blogged yesterday, but I as a couple of you may know, I was up literally all night with no sleep trying to complete much-should've-done homework. Likewise, I was unable to get any writing done on Aundes Aura.

Luckily, I am up to a "good part", so when I sat down today with the intention of writing 200+ for today, as well as 200+ to make up for yesterday, the words came easily. My overall aim was thus for 400+ for the night.

400+ was quite the understatement.

I wrote 719 words in one session. I wrote for 20 minutes using Wod, but apart from that it was all MS Word.

I believe I said I wanted chapter two to be somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 words. If I were to die for going outside that range, I would be quite dead right now. The chapter's current count is 4,423, and it's not quite finished.

Is that too big a leap from Chapter One's 2,800 words?

If you would kindly look at the Aundes Aura progress meter in my sidebar, you will notice it's looking much, much friendlier!

I can't believe it.

I actually wrote 1,000 words on my birthday. In fact, I wrote 1,033 words. What a great gift! (If I do say so myself.) I almost decided to give up on the challenge, but I pushed through.

I thought I would have trouble making chapter two the length I wanted, which was somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 words (I was giving myself a reachable goal). Well... it's not quite finished and it's on 3,704 words already.

Shh, Eoin's sleeping. He just had a dream that Saera destroyed their village. He's about to wake up to a burning cart and... something else that I won't spoil, but you probably know it anyway.

Word Count Stats:

- Tonight: 1,033 words.

- This month: 4,350 words.

- Total: 7,050 words.

Chapter One (Revised and Complete): Posted

I just posted the revised and complete chapter one on Critique Circle. I doubt it will make this coming crit period, but is should make the next.

Birthday Challenge

I'm turning seventeen, and to put some extra icing on the birthday cake, I hereby challenge myself to write another 1,000 words, following the success of my Special Easter Challenge.

I have already written my words for today, so no staying up late. I should do at least part of the challenge in the morning. I will do some while watching my new Lord of the Rings Special Extended Edition Boxset. And I will definitely have Chapter Two done by the end, and will be a ways into Chapter Three.

Another Thousand Down

Just officially announcing that the next thousand is done and I am now past 6,000 words.

While I'm here I will announce the impending completedness of Chapter Two. It is just short of 2,700 words so far, and so should be done in the next couple of days.

I have been in the process of critiquing and Chapter One should come up in the next couple of weeks.

I thank you all for your support.

You know those moments when your character tells you something you didn't know?

This just happened to me. Here is the paragraph:

Faine walked off, humming a tune Eoin knew well from his childhood. A tune his father used to hum. A shiver ran down Eoin's spine. He remembered being tucked into bed, humming along with his father before drifting into his dreams. It was the strangest thing to hear the tune now his father was gone. It had only ever been him and Eoin who knew it. So how did Faine know it?

I love the way Eoin questions everything. It makes things so much clearer to me. Through rhetorical questions, to which the answer is always obvious, I learn so much about the characters and the story.

In this case, I discovered that Eoin and Saera's father had been friends with Faine's father. They both used to hum this tune to their children, and no one else knew it. The siblings and Faine hadn't even met each others' fathers. They may have seen them as young children, but have since forgotten them completely.

Do you ever have these moments of epiphany?

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Idea for another novel: A Prequel

Of course, I won't take action on this Idea from my Dark Corner until Aundes Aura is finished and at least in the revision stage. Back in my first post I mentioned an Idea for a story where a Queen causes a King to fall from grace.

I recently decided, if I could flesh this out, it could be a prequel to Aundes Aura called "Three Bridges" (as Parthon has three bridges). The King was a ruler of Parthon 700 years ago, when it is said the Great War of the Gods took place. He experiences this war.

These are the bare, bare bones: The King of Parthon lives in the castle with his son; his successor to the Throne. The Queen of Meira comes to the city to meet with the King. During her stay, she poisons the prince and frames the King. The people hate him. He leaves the city and lives in the forest nearby, watching it like a friend he can see but can't speak to. By a rule instated by the King, his brother becomes King. At the end of the novel, the city is marched on by Meira. Two of the bridges are destroyed so the city's army cannot flank, and will be easily overrun, and the Meiraan army closes in. There are three Auras in use on both sides. That's why it is the Great War of the Gods.

The King is trying to rebuild his reputation for most of the novel, but when he finally regains his status and his brother is relieved of the Throne (he had been working with the Queen -- death by treason?), the Great War breaks out and the King is forced to act on it (Lead the army? Could this prove his loyalty more?).

Any thoughts on the prequel idea? Is the plot interesting enough?

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Character Interview: Faine

I didn't realise it had been so long since my last character interview. But tonight I met up with Faine at the campsite where the travelling carts have stopped for the night. There wasn't much light, but the stars were bright, so it was all right.

Ryan Sullivan: Where did you grow up?

Faine: I couldn't honestly say I grew up anywhere in particular. I was born in Heath, a town in Duthonne. Since the age of ten I have travelled Válkia with only the aim to survive.

R.S.: I've heard tales of the great champion of the Arena in Parthon. A champion called the Black Eagle. That's you, right?

F.: I didn't come up with the name. The audience did that themselves after my first triumph, and the name has spread. I wear a mask during tournaments, though. If certain people knew my identity... let's just say bad things would happen.

R.S.: The Black Eagle has won the tournament five years running.

F.: I don't seek out glory. The tournament has been my only source of money for the past five years. It's a job.

R.S.: So how did you survive for the seven years before--

F.: I don't want to talk about that.

R.S.: Oh. Uh, let me just find what my next question was. Um, why did you go to Tarne?

F.: Well, I've always wanted to try their venison.

R.S.: Deer meat?

F.: Yes, of course. I've been to Tarne before but haven't hunted there. Recently I heard about the quality of the meat and had to try it myself.

R.S.: Do you usually travel with a group of people in a travelling cart like you are now?

F.: No, I usually ride. I left my horse, Nardéa, at Parthon because I planned to take these carts back.

R.S: So why are you taking carts now?

F.: I'm still travelling for the experience. Sitting in a cart is quite different to sitting on a horse.

R.S.: [Laughs] Of course. Have you met anyone interesting?

F.: Not so much interesting as... distant. A couple of teenagers. They seemed pretty focused on something. I think it was Eoin and Sarah. No, Saera.

R.S.: Eoin? I interviewed him recently. Tell him I said hi.

F.: I'm still getting to know them, but I suppose I could pass it along.

R.S.: Is there anything you would like to add?

F.: No.

R.S.: [Shakes hands] It's been good speaking with you.

To make it easy come and easy go, take it fast and take it slow (Writing Fast or Slow)

Okay, that was truly horrible, but what can I say? I don't write poetry, I write stories. Actually, it reminds me of my early days parodying Harry Potter.

But this post is actually about taking your writing fast or slow.

So basically, I have been writing fast compared to the speed I used to write at (and would still write at if not for Write or Die). When I decided not to use Write or Die for my latest writing session, I realised something that I would like to share.

I'm sure most writers know this, but circumstances in the real world affect how you write your story world.

I think Chapter One kept tense most of the way through (I really hope it was). This wasn't really intended, and sort of came out with the choppiness of my scenes (which I have fixed), and the way it kept moving. I hadn't considered this, but I believe the way Write or Die was keeping me on toes -- I think it was keeping my characters on their toes. And from some of my critiquers' reactions, it kept them on their toes. Which, for the first chapter, is a good thing.

Chapter Two brings much of that tension down until the end of the chapter. Here we get to know characters a bit better: Their motivations; their feelings and memories of the past; how they feel about their place in the world. We meet a new character as well (Faine, and I believe he is much less conspicuous this time around -- just a good guy trying to help).

For my last writing session I opted against Write or Die, in favour of a slower approach. This seemed to work for me. My character was sitting in the cart, and I want the reader to feel, not the dullness, but the true feeling of being in moving cart for the best part of a day.

This was something I don't believe I could achieve with Write or Die, with a guy standing on my heels saying MOVE, MOVE, MOVE! That worked really well for Chapter One, where I wanted to keep the tension up, but when my character's sitting in a cart? No, I don't think so.

So, my suggestion is that when you want to keep the tension up, keep the action up. Keep things moving. And write fast. The conditions in which you are writing will come across within your writing.

If you are writing a slow or meaningful scene, I wouldn't suggest writing quickly. Consider how you can write the scene that would best translate the emotions to your reader, be it excitement, anxiousness, dullness or any other emotion. If your character is stalking a deer through the forest, stalk your words for the perfect sentence. If he is sitting in a cart, sit yourself in the cart. Would you be worrying about your sister's damning light all day in the cart, or would you stop worrying by the fifth hour?

Consider, consider, consider. Am I making you tense?

I think this post feels a little different than most of my others. It was not planned. I came across it when writing and thought, oh, I'll blog about that.

Now for a random excerpt, in which Eoin experiences pins and needles for the first time. Don't judge him. He has been in a cart for a thousand words.
He found himself daydreaming as the day wore on. He stared absently out the windows, barely noticing when the bland scenery changed from sky to trees. The sound of dirt under the cart’s wheels changed to the crunching of leaves and twigs. Little by little, the sun lowered, and Eoin was brought back to the world when the cart stopped. He blinked, and lights danced in front of his eyes. All the passengers were getting out of the cart.

“Come,” said Faine. “No one is allowed to sleep in the cart.” He laughed, and made his way out of the cart, ducking so as not to scrape the roof with his head. When Eoin stood, pain shot through his feet and he fell to the floor. It was like nothing he had ever experienced, a tingling pain that danced around the soles of his feet.

He saw Saera come to the open door. With narrowed eyes, she said, “What happened? The cart looked like it was about to collapse.”

Eoin told her.

“Are you still in pain?” she asked.

It seemed the tingling in Eoin’s feet had subsided. “No, not anymore.”

“Then hurry up and get out of there. They’re locking it up soon.

Fantasy World Building: World History

The history of our world is very important. It is what made us who we are now. Thus, if we want to create an authentic world for our story, we need to have a fair knowledge of its history. Having this knowledge will make your world deeper and richer. Things that happened in the past are related to the things that are happening now. If something bad is happening, it's probably happened before. For example:

Wars: They are happening now, and they have happened plenty of times before. There are various types of wars; they don't all have to be guns or swords. See how present "wars" could relate to the past.

Political War: People of high status fighting over events of the past.

Social War: Aborigines wanted a formal apology for actions taken during the White Australia movement.

War Over Land: The Gaza Strip. Who really had it first? Where else have people fought over land? (The United Kingdom)

Religion: Where did they begin? How have they changed?

                                  > Protestantism
Judaism > Christianity
                                  > Catholicism > Anglicism




(And I believe there are plenty more)

In Aundes Aura, the religion and wars are very related. Válkia used to be one big country, but an island split off from the west, and the north an south adopted differing beliefs based on the gods. The countries then split into three. The north and south now war over who is right about the gods, about which of them are "good" and "evil".

An example of the relation to the story is when the group travel to Tierra, and they find it half-destroyed. This is because the village was making trades with the other country (as it sits on the border), and the Church of Duthonne didn't want them making trades with "non-believers". So what did they do? Attacked it. But the problem is, Tierra's main source of food and other supplies is the villages in Meira.

I know that the Church would go this far. They are so purist that they won't even allow trades with the other country. The fact that they have warred with each other simply due to their beliefs in the past makes it entirely probable that the Church might do something like this -- destroy a village in a brutal attempt to force compliance.

Our own world has a history, and that is what makes it true. If you have some knowledge of the history of your story's world, you can place details in the story that relate to its history, and this can help make the story truer, deeper and richer. More authentic.


I wrote this song after giving up on my resolution to have 60,000 words written on my novel by the end of the year. I'd fallen out of swing and lost all motivation to keep going.

I guess you could say this song is motivational. It's definitely uplifting. The jazzy style is very much a deviation from anything else I have written. It's also far, far better (in both the recording quality and quality in general) than any of my other songs.

See if you can catch the reference to the blog I put in there.

You can also find the video by clicking here.

I hope you like it, and enjoy the chance to see another side of me. Is it weird to know what I look like all of a sudden?

A. Deviation.

Easter Challenge: Success!

I have successfully* written more than 1,000 words for Easter Sunday. My finished total for the day is 1,109 words, and I am the same number of words into Chapter Two. Eoin and Saera are at the Tarne gates, and the travelling carts are about to leave.

This month I have written in total 1,760 words. Nearly 2,000 already.

The novel's word count now sits on 4,450 words, but that count will change a bit soon as I have some revising to do.

*I probably would not have made the 1,000 before 12am if I hadn't had my friend to keep me on track, so some thanks go to him.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone! I hope you enjoyed a day of indulgence.

I set myself a special Easter challenge to write 1,000 words on Aundes Aura today. I'll update you when my challenge is complete.

Outlines for chapters one and two

I have decided to write a full outline of Aundes Aura. Below is what I have down so far. Chapter One is considerably more detailed than Chapter Two because it is already written.

Chapter One:

• Seven years have passed and Eoin and Saera are in the market district, shopping for fruit. Saera stops Eoin; the Aura is coming back. It hasn’t shown up for perhaps two weeks. They flee the market, trying not to draw attention, and hide in an alleyway. They wait there for it to subside.

• They go to the castle and to Saera’s room. They argue how she will be able to go to the Passing ceremony tonight when there will be so many people and the Aura is coming back. Eoin says he knows a way.

• He takes her to the Church and they pray to Elcalades the Giving Father. Eoin finishes his prayer and stands. The reverend enters before Saera finishes her prayers and meets them by the statues. He gives Saera a letter and then leaves, saying he has “other duties to attend to”. Saera reads the letter and tells Eoin that they have to leave tomorrow. Someone saw the Aura at the market earlier and the reverend is allowing them tonight for the Passing ceremony, but then they must leave the village. If the reverend does not alert higher authorities quickly, he will be penalised by death.

• They leave the church and head for the Field of the Passing, leaving through the village gate. Eoin asks how well Saera remembers their mother, who died when they were young. Saera doesn’t remember her at all, but Eoin remembers loving her despite not remembering her face.

• They reach the field early. Eoin goes into the forest to a clearing with a log in the centre where he and his father used to sit and talk for hours once a week after his mother died. He talks to the trees, telling his father that although he had always said to face his fears, Eoin hoped that he wouldn’t think less of him for running away. After all, his father had also told him to look after Saera. Eoin says he forgot his mother, so how will he remember his father? A heart-shaped leaf drops and Eoin takes it and keeps it to remind him of his father.

• Eoin emerges from the forest. Passing ceremony. It ends with the words: “May you take to the gods in eternal peace. Forneth Moris.”

• The casket is then lit and while the smoke rises, Eoin notices someone saying to Saera: “My dear, you look awfully pale.” Saera pretends to cry to give a reason for why they then run away. They walk very briskly until they are out of sight, and then run through the streets of Tarne until they are back in Saera’s room.

Chapter Two:

• It is early morning and Eoin sits in Saera’s room and watches over her as she sleeps. He looks out the window and can still see smoke rising from the Field of the Passing. He thinks about protecting Saera and the danger she is in.

• It comes to nearly sunrise (which usually happens at around the sixth hour in Válkia) and he wakes Saera up. They prepare to leave. The carts depart at the seventh hour.

• The carts stop for the night, an hour past Heath. Eoin and Saera don’t know how to set up their cover and a man named Faine helps them. He shows them the appropriate knots, tying two strings around two trees and then together, and putting the cover over it. He then places rocks at the base of the material, resulting in the now triangular cover.

• They get to know Faine. “So what do you do?” He is cocky in front of Saera (suggesting his feelings towards her), and she is snarky towards him.

• It gets darker and everyone goes to sleep. Eoin has a dream (of which Saera will have an identical one).

• The dream is interrupted by a few people dragging Eoin up from the ground. He and Saera are both being dragged away from the burning carts. Faine steps up and threatens them with a sword. They send their strongest man in to fight Faine, and Faine wounds him gravely. Eoin elbows one of the two people behind him in the stomach and breaks free. He then punches another man who is holding Saera, and they and Faine run and take horses.

• They ride to Parthon. End with Parthon in view.

Do you think this moves too quickly, or at a good, steady pace?

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Chapter One: Complete

Thanks to some constructive utilisation of time, I have finally finished Chapter One. It finished at 2,815 words, and brings the novel so far to 3,342 words. It was very refreshing to write "Chapter Two" in nice bold letters the next page down. I hope the cliffhanger will be effective enough.

When it goes up in queue a few weeks from now (I expect it will be a few weeks, due to the constantly full state of the Fantasy queue and my lack of credits), it will be titled: "Aundes Aura: Chapter One (revised and complete)".

For those of you who critiqued my last post of Chapter One, I thank you. If you decide to critique this version also, then I don't expect you to re-crit anything, only the new stuff.

1. I cut the scene with Old Hanne. Instead, Eoin comes up with the idea to take Saera to the church and pray.
2. Added a scene in the church. We discover how churches in Válkia differ from those in our world.
3. Added the scene of the Passing Ceremony, and a scene in the forest which was carried over from my first attempt at the novel.

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