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

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

The Long-Overdue Update

Last August, my grandfather passed away. He had been ill with cancer for some months, but had not told anyone about it, and so by the time it became bad enough that he had to go to the hospital, he had very little time left. He was not in too much pain, and did not suffer for long, which I am very grateful for. He was my last remaining grandparent, and the one that I had been closest to; I was fortunate enough to live with him for six months following my undergrad graduation, doing an internship in the town where he lived. His loss has been very difficult for me, and even now I still struggle with it at times. For a few months immediately afterwards, I did not really feel much like writing or even editing, which is partly why it took me so long to get back to work on TWoS.

On a more positive front, I had more hours at work during the second half of last year, and as of the beginning of 2016, am full-time and even got a small raise. Since I really love my job, this is very exciting! It also allowed me to finally get my own place again (I had been staying with family since the beginning of 2014), but the moving/unpacking process then took up much of November and December, and some time in January. In addition to my full 40-hour week, this hasn’t always left me with a lot of time to write.

So, I have not been nearly as active with my writing over the past several months as I would have liked. I have at least been working on the latest edit of TWoS for the past couple months, which will be the last one before I send it to my editor. Once I have a final draft that I am satisfied with, I’ll be looking more into the self-publishing process (which I’ve put off because I didn’t want to let that research distract me from actually getting the story written!). Depending on how that process goes, and my time/money situation, I would like to have TWoS officially published sometime before the end of 2016.

I do have one more short story in my im/mortal series written, and another in the works. Some other snippets may be forthcoming as well, and I am going to start some planning and drafting of my next larger project once I’m a bit more settled on the TWoS draft.

Thank you again to anyone who has given me support or enjoyed my writing thus far, and know that more is coming. Hopefully soon!

~Ethelinda

TWoS Fun Fact #7

Birds are very important to the Suomilen people, who see them as being blessed by the Winds. They are not tamed or kept as pets, since to cage one is a grave sin. However, it is quite common in Suomen to plant trees or build perches and houses for birds, and to leave out food and water for them.

The Suomilen people rank different kinds of birds into a hierarchy of sorts, with ground birds that can only fly a little bit (such as pheasant or grouse) as Lesser Birds. If it is considered acceptable to hunt and eat any birds, it is the Lesser Birds, and some in Suomen would still consider that a sin. On the other end of the hierarchy are the Great Birds. These are any species that show a true “mastery” of flight (master of the Winds and air), usually meaning great maneuverability and/or the ability to soar through the sky for extended periods of time. The Great Birds include all of the raptor species, as well as gulls and swallows.

~Ethelinda