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Boarders writing a novel

Derfel Cadarn

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I can't find the earlier thread so made a new one. Please merge if there is one.


So, currently working on The Blood Hour, book 1 of The Bone King, a fantasy series following a small band of adventurers. (The published Thorns of a Black Rose is the prelude to that series). It's set in our world but tens of thousands of years in the future, where the tech level is pretty much iron age, albeit trade is more extensive. It starts in 'north Africa'. Below is a rough 'blurb' into to hopefully make it sound cool ;)

The city of Mask, ancient and unforgiving, ruled by the Cult of Hrek. It's about to have an eventful week.

The Assassin: Young, formidable and on a mission of vengeance, she intends to kill the Archpriest of Hrek, planning possibly the most audacious assassination in the history of the world.

The Sellsword: Newly arrived in Mask from the northern continent of Keram, across the Darish Sea, he turns to his usual pastimes of drinking and gambling. But he is cursed, his soul traded for unholy powers.

The Gladiator: Hailing from the tall mountains and lush forests of northern Keram, he dreams of vengeance against those who betrayed him and his clan. But he is half a world away from his homeland, and must first win his freedom.

The Magicker: Years have passed since her last visit to Mask, and now she has returned, seeking companions to join her quest to save the world. She seeks the bravest and boldest; instead she must make do with a trio of outcasts eager to flee a city that wants them dead.

The Ranger: His days as ranger leading caravans across the desert are nearing an end as a greater responsibility looms. But an old friend hires him for one last big job, to lead her and her companions across desert and jungle, to the tomb of the Bone King, necromancer of dark legend.


Also plotting out books 3 and 4 of my Sooty Feathers series of gothic urban fantasy with a view to starting book 3 by the start of next year.

I'm also plotting out an adventure novel, sort of Tomb Raider meets Clive Cussler. The basic plot is freelance advernturer, Ash, is hired by a very rich couple needing an old and very rare bottle of wine in order join a very private club. The problem is, the wine must be drinkable, leading the adventurer and her friends to the bottom of the sea, to the world's most infamous shipwreck. The first problem, that is; unknown to Ash, she is not the only one tasked to find the wine, and her competition don't play by any rules.

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I'm still working on my poor little things. I've become a bit stuck at around the 75% mark of my current MS, and I'm struggling to finish it. I have a million new shiny ideas that seems soooo much better than this pile of crap...but I suppose I ought to just finish it anyway and see.

On the business side, I've decided to pause querying for a while. I know publishing business is still going on, but I've seen a drop in agent responses and I know my own professional productivity has been quite low at this time, so I think it's best to hold off for a little while longer. I'm about 50% of the way through my query list for this one. Not getting the best response rate, but I'm not sure where to improve it at this point, so I'll probably continue on with my current submission package for at least another 10 agents.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wouldn't normally share a rejection notice, but this one actually made me smile. For context, it's a magazine's rejection of my genderflipped 1930s Chicago Bluebeard-retelling:


The piece moves along smoothly, but the premise didn't really hold together for me. Why do all the husbands look? Why does she have to kill them for it? Why is the key so easy to find? Why is it dripping blood? Why is important who's Italian?

 It's Bluebeard, mate.

Edited by The Marquis de Leech
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Haven't written in earnest for months. I've read (listened to audiobooks) plenty and that's always prompting me to imagine my own world more. But nothing concrete has been penned and that's really the biggest thing I need to do.

Working from home has had the opposite effect of what I expected and I truly do link it to the removal of true mental downtime that I had driving to and from work. Now, every moment is busier and more full of life. It's been great spending more time with my family getting more done around the house. It's been terrible for writing.

Edited by Ser Not Appearing
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On 9/18/2020 at 11:02 AM, The Grey Wolf said:

@Ser Not Appearing

I don't know if this will help but here's some advice a teacher once gave me: "If you write only 250 words a day, not 500 or a 1000, just 250, then by day 365 you'll have a full-length novel".

This is true. I don't know why I haven't been writing, really. I want to and I enjoy it when I do it and I even have things that I know I want to write about. But I don't.

I will tonight, though. At least 250 words.

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Confinement did me in and I've been battling depression for the last few months with little success.

On a more positive note, after a 12-year hiatus, I've resumed writing. The amount of ideas swirling around in my head had become such that I simply couldn't help it anymore. I've known what my next story would be for about a decade, but something always forced me to hold back. Confinement gave me an excuse to sit down and work on it, and on March 15th (3 days following the start of the confinement here in Québec) I finally did.

It was as if a part of me came back to life. Seriously, writing is the only thing that kept me sane these last few months. Moreover, the story is progressing at a pace that is a little frightening. I don't know if it's because I've had these ideas and concepts and characters in my mind for years and years, but in a little over 6 months I wrote 465 manuscript pages which amount to nearly 130,000 words! It's absolutely crazy!

Working title was Laman's Folly from the get-go, but it's now The Evil That Men Do.

It's Glen Cook's The Black Company meets Steven Erikson's The Bridgeburners meets GRRM's A Game of Thrones.

Haven't told my agent yet. I figure he's looking forward to the next Tad Williams and Patrick Rothfuss manuscripts! But this is shaping up to be my best work yet, so I'll definitely send it to him once it's done.

Keep writing, all of you! ;)

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I'm about finished with the first draft of my latest novel. This was last year's NaNo project--50k in 1 month and then 10 months for the next 30k...oops. Problem is I think it kind of sucks and that's pretty demotivating. But my boyfriend is reading the draft now so I have to finish or he'll be upset at not getting an ending! I think there's only about 2-3 chapters left.

@Lord Patrek, I'm curious how you took a 12 year hiatus and still have an agent on call?? Impressive! I know that feeling of writing again after a long break, good luck with the new story!

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22 minutes ago, Starkess said:


@Lord Patrek, I'm curious how you took a 12 year hiatus and still have an agent on call?? Impressive! I know that feeling of writing again after a long break, good luck with the new story!

Not exactly on call.

But we never officially parted ways in the meantime, so I figure he will want to look at the manuscript when it's done.


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@Lord Patrek @Starkess

Good luck to the both of you! (My anthology has hit a snag but we'll see how things progress over these last few months. Hating how Microsoft forces you to be logged into an MS account (and online once a month) just to use a Word doc. Ugh. I prefer the old days of Office 7 and 10 so much.)

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