Update on The Wizard of Suomen

My editor (Facets Fiction Editing) returned her edits and suggestions to me several weeks ago. She was very positive about the story, and her suggestions were very helpful! Draft 5 was my working through these, and although there were no major structural changes to be made, it is definitely a stronger story now. She also did a copyedit for me, and helped me fix a number of small grammatical issues. (I have to improve my use of commas and em-dashes. >.>)

One of my other beta readers has been kind enough to do a final proof-read for me on a paper copy, and I am going to read through the same paper copy myself one last time, because I am feeling paranoid about everything right now. There will be some last minor adjustments to make, but the story is largely done.

So, that means it’s time to look at the next steps.

I am still very interested in self-publishing this story, and have been doing some research about this. I found the book Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should by David Gaughran very helpful in this regard. Not only does he lay out a clear path of the steps you need to go through to do a good job of self-publishing a book, but he also gives a very interesting overview of the history of the publishing industry, Amazon, and e-books, and how these have affected the publishing landscape over the last decade. (I, at least, found this very interesting, and learned many things that I didn’t know.)

My immediate next steps then are getting cover art (I’m looking at some options for this), and formatting the text as an actual e-book. Gaughran recommended Guido Henkel’s Take pride in your eBook formatting tutorial (free), which was very helpful. I also chose to purchase Henkel’s book, Zen of eBook Formatting, which is an expanded and updated version of the tutorial linked above. I am definitely glad that I bought the full book, but if you are putting together a book with a simple format, then the tutorial would probably be sufficient guidance. There were sections of the book that I skimmed, because they described formatting for things that I don’t need to do for my book, but I am glad to know that I have a resource for those things if I need it. Having read the basics twice now, and knowing that I have the book immediately on hand as a reference, I feel confident that I can do this part of the process myself.

I think those are the big things for now! There will be some other minor steps that I may talk about here as I do them, but for now the final editing, cover art, and formatting are my main concerns.

Other writing projects are still in progress. I have backstories for some of the TWoS characters that I’m planning to publish separately as a sort of prequel, and I have started the draft of my other (bigger) fantasy series. I have done a little bit of planning for the TWoS sequel, but that will be out a little ways yet. And it’s possible that I might even finish a short story or two somewhere along the way here. ^_^;;

I’ll continue to post some updates here as I go along. I will be looking for some people to give Advance Reader Copies to, at some point, and I’ll post about that here as well!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me on this project thus far! I’ve learned a lot and it’s really been a lot of fun bringing this world and these characters to life.

~Ethelinda

Rough drafts

As I’m working on book one of the Epic Fantasy Series, I’m trying out the concept of a really rough draft: leaving out names of places and people if I haven’t figured out what they are yet, writing notes to myself as reminders, and just throwing in mini-outlines at certain points if I don’t quite know what’s going to happen in a particular scene yet. This is a different method for a first draft than I’ve tried before, and it’s quite freeing! Rather than get hung up on the details at this stage, I can let the story flow for now, with the reassurance that I’ll go back later and fill in/fix up the things that I’m passing over at the moment.

It does leave me with some (to me, at least) semi-humorous bits here and there, such as:

“…and targeted at the ears of the horses. [is this even a thing? Are horse ears sensitive? As per that one tumblr post, seems like yes, but should look into this]…”

And:

“-C very emotional about losing drum

-they feed him, get him settled for the night?? What time of day even is it.”

(I think it’s late afternoon, actually, but I’ll work it out for sure later. XD)

~Ethelinda

Draft 4 done!

Drafts three and four of The Wizard of Suomen are finished!

Draft three was a line-edit on paper, because it’s easier for me to catch some mistakes that way. I got that done and the edits transferred back to my electronic copy at 12:31AM on February 7, 2016, with the story at 157,594 words, 329 pages in Word.

I finished the fourth draft two nights ago, at 11:00PM on July 26, 2016. As of now, the story stands at 157,228 words, 328 pages in Word.

And, as of Wednesday, I have sent it to my editor! I will be working with Gina Hilse of Facets Fiction Editing. I won’t be doing any further work on it until I get her feedback. Undoubtedly there is still a lot of room for improvement, but I’m looking forward to putting the best possible version of this story out there as a finished product!

In the meantime, I’m going to do some planning on bigger projects, and hopefully get some other short things written (though given my current pace, I make no specific promises. >.>)

~Ethelinda

Series Intro: im/mortal

This is going to be a series of short stories and novellas that I intend to work on in and amongst other things for the foreseeable future, and that I plan to someday collect into an anthology of sorts.

As a reader of fiction and especially fantasy, I have over the years developed an interest in stories that portray relationships between humans/mortal beings and immortal beings of various sorts. This series will be me as a writer exploring various permutations of this idea. My goal is that there will be a lot of variation between the stories in length and tone, since the imbalances of lifespan and (often) power between a mortal and an immortal being lead to a wide variety of different outcomes: some happy and some sad, some good and some bad, some dark and some light.

Most, if not all, of the stories will have a song that I associate with them, and I’ll link to it at the end of the story. In some cases, I’m finding that a song is direct inspiration for a particular story, but in other cases the story is already in my mind and the song serves more as mood music. I’ll also say here that for the most part, these stories will each take place in a separate “universe,” and the reader can safely assume that they are not related to each other unless I indicate otherwise.

I’ll post many of the stories in full here on my website, though for at least some I will post only an excerpt, and the full story will be included in the final anthology. I can’t say right now exactly how many stories there will be in total; I have ideas for at least fifteen, with seven of those being more solid. One story is written and edited, and I am in the middle of a first draft of the second story.

The first story will be posted sometime this week!

As always, please don’t hesitate if you have comments or questions for me.

~Ethelinda

2015-2017 Reading Challenge

(Because it’s highly unlikely that I’ll get through all of these this year.[ETA:Or in two years, apparently. >.>]) Here’s my list of books to read for the Reading Challenge. Almost all books that I haven’t read before, with a mix of some that were already on my “to read” list and some that I had never heard of before I looked them up. Will cross them off as I finish them, and I’ll also try and write up a bit of a review for each one.

A book with more than 500 pages: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty

A classic romance: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A book that became a movie: Shogun by James Clavell

A book published this year: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (Review here)

A book with a number in the title: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

A book written by someone under 30: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A book with nonhuman characters: The Orc of Many Questions by Shane Michael Murray

A funny book: Next of Kin by Eric Frank Russell (Going to cheat a little bit on this one because I really want to reread it.)

A book by a female author: Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

A mystery or thriller: Living Proof by Kira Peikoff

A book with a one-word title: Runemarks by Joanne Harris

A book of short stories: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

A book set in a different country: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

A nonfiction book: Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin (Review here)

A popular author’s first book: Jonah’s Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston

A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet: League of Dragons by Naomi Novik

A book a friend recommended: The Martian by Andy Weir (Review here)

A Pulitzer Prize-winning book: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

A book based on a true story: Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

A book at the bottom of your to-read list: Prudence by Gail Carriger

A book your mom loves: Hard Magic by Larry Correia

A book that scares you: — (Hard to know ahead of time.)

A book more than 100 years old: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

A book based entirely on its cover: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

A memoir: Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A book you can finish in a day: Viscountess by Taversia

A book with antonyms in the title: Bittersweet by Nevada Barr

A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit: The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan

A book that came out the year you were born: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

A book with bad reviews: Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson (Review here)

A trilogy: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A book from your childhood: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Also cheating a little on this one, because it’s high time I reread these.)

A book with a love triangle: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

A book set in the future: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

A book set in high school: The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

A book with a color in the title: The Last Kashmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly

A book that made you cry: A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40 by William R. Trotter

A book with magic: The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe

A graphic novel: Princess Retribution by Elaine Tipping (Review here)

A book by an author you’ve never read before: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

A book you own but have never read: Emma by Jane Austen

A book that takes place in your hometown: Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson

A book that was originally written in a different language: The Kalevala

A book set during Christmas: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

A book written by an author with your same initials: Is Sex Necessary? or Why You Feel the Way You Do by E. B. White and James Thurber

A play: Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee

A banned book: The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

A book based on or turned into a TV show: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A book you started but never finished: We the Living by Ayn Rand

Second draft progress

The second draft of The Wizard of Suomen is coming along!

I’ll give a fuller update after the epilogue gets posted, but I realized that I’ve been kind of quiet lately outside of actual story posts. I did some more background world-building and got those things straightened out in my head and written down, and since then I’ve been working pretty steadily on actual second-draft edits to the story. I’m most of the way through Part 1.

~Ethelinda