All the content advisories for my book!

I finally figured out the content advisories for my book and it turns out there are a lot. But what did you expect? It’s high fantasy.

Recently I learned some literary agents want trigger warnings (content warnings, content advisories, whatever your favourite term is) in the query letters they receive. This was a new idea to me, but I want to do what I can to make agents happy.

So what are the trigger warnings for the manuscript I’m querying?

More fundamentally, what kinds of things do people want to be warned about. Did you know there are lists of possible trigger warnings?

This was starting to get fun. I skimmed the list given in the link, which looked pretty comprehensive, and realised I was about to learn some new words.

What is ‘amisia’? Not even my dictionary knows.

Continue reading “All the content advisories for my book!”

One- and two-star reviews of my book

To celebrate literature, I wrote a collection of one-star and two-star reviews of my unpublished adult fantasy novel. Please enjoy.

I wrote and edited a whole book, which I’m now querying (looking for an agent to represent me to publishers).

No, it’s not out yet, and no, it doesn’t have reviews. But everyone on Twitter is writing one-star reviews of their own books, so I thought I’d join the fun.

Here’s a moodboard I made for it. You’ll have to excuse my lack of artistic talent, because, you know, dragons.

Dragons and stuff, oh my!
Continue reading “One- and two-star reviews of my book”

Drafting and revising a novel, the illustrated version

I draft and revise a novel the way I draw a horse (or the way I would draw a horse if I could draw horses). Here is my illustrated process.

I’m a planner, though I’m terrible at planning. As I draft the first terrible draft of my new WIP, I have to keep reminding myself that all a first draft has to do is exist.

I’m not always very convincing, even to myself. But they do say pictures are more convincing than words. (Or was that chocolate?) In any case, I decided to draw some pictures to better convince myself.

My first draft can be ugly. Like this horse.

A very bad line drawing of a horse. I mean, there are legs pointing everywhere.
First draft horse. It’s clearly a horse. It has a head, four legs, and a tail.
Continue reading “Drafting and revising a novel, the illustrated version”

How to write fast(er)

I read three books on writing faster and cherry picked techniques from them to try to increase my drafting output. Here’s how it’s going so far.

Public service announcement: I don’t write writing advice blog posts. If anything sounds like a writing advice blog post, it isn’t. It’s just me mulling over something that worked for me or something I’m trying. This may be such a post.

Six days ago, when I felt like I was going in circles trying to plan my new novel, I decided to throw in the towel and just start writing it. It’s been some time since I drafted, so I expected to be a little rusty. It could have been worse, except I seem to have forgotten how to write in conflict even when I have it all lined up and ready to go, and I’ve forgotten that description even exists.

But those are problems for a revision to fix.

Right now I want to get the bones of my story down so I have something to edit. And as quickly as possible because, you know, I’m impatient. My last first draft, which I believe came in at about 140k words, took me three months. That was fine, but wouldn’t it be fun if I could write this one faster? Then I could get more quickly to the real work of bringing the story to life.

Continue reading “How to write fast(er)”

How logical does a fantasy system of magic have to be?

In worldbuilding for a new fantasy world that is thick with magic, I ask myself how much sense a fantasy system of magic has to make. And contemplate the nature of the human soul.

I’m worldbuilding for my new fantasy novel, and an important part of that is figuring out the universe’s system of magic. I’m trying something a bit different in this story, with a universe that’s less earth-like and more magical.

We’re talking isolated settlements floating over a void through which people must travel to move between them, venomous tree octopuses, and magical orbs exuded by a leviathan of the deep void. You want magic? It drips from every tree.

The problem is, it’s really hard to come up with a unified concept of magic that explains all the weird magic stuff in this universe. I know magic is allowed to be mysterious and, well, magical, but I’ve always preferred magic systems that have a certain logic to them, even if the logic includes a few leaps of possibility.

Continue reading “How logical does a fantasy system of magic have to be?”