Autumn Quarterly Goals

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Hey everyone, so this quarter is going to be a bit different. I’ve decided to try something knew when it comes to my list of goals. I’m going to make a list of 10 main goals I want to achieve 100%. Then I will also have a bonus list of 5 side goals that won’t be a main focus, but can still get done.

Main Goals:

  1. Get a check up!
  2. Write 2 blogs a week.
  3. Make a budget.
  4. Follow the budget.
  5. Finish in-depth LQoT outline.
  6. Start rewrite.
  7. Improve marketing. (ask for help if need be)
  8. Do at least 1 productive thing a day.
  9. Allow time for fun.
  10. Above all else, self-care.

Bonus Goals:

  1. Keep making art.
  2. Pay off my credit.
  3. Read at least 2 books.
  4. Try to make bed everyday.
  5. Enjoy the holidays.

This time around I have added in more general life goals that I want to carry through not only this quarter but for life. Number 5 on my bonus list is not an easy goal, no matter how it seems. Since losing my sister in April my family and I are going through a lot of first’s without her. This will be our first Thanksgiving without her.

Sorry for the delay and thank you for reading,

Lalia LaRose

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Summer Quarterly Goals REVIEW

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It’s been almost two weeks since September started and so it’s about time I get this done. I will be counting half marks for some of these since I did get a least half of the goal completed.

  1. Make a schedule. Completed, but fell apart after my grandma’s death. .5
  2. Go for check up. Failed. 0
  3. Read some books. I’ve start a couple of books, but haven’t finished them. 0
  4. Write some poetry. Failed. 0
  5. Finish second draft of novel. Sort of completed. 
  6. Prepare and post excerpt from novel. Completed. 1
  7. Make basic outline for future novels. Did not get to it. 0
  8. Write three blogs per week. Started strong then fell apart. .5
  9. Do some art. Completed! 1
  10. Research how to improve marketing. Completed. 1
  11. Improve marketing. Completed, for the most part. Just need consistency. .5
  12. Prep for LQoT rewrite. Half way. .5
  13. Budget for summer. Failed. 0
  14. Don’t over stress. Completed. 1
  15. Have some fun. Completed. 1

So here are the results: 7/15

I did not accomplish half or more than half the goals. I was just shy of halfway. It is what it is and I just need to try harder this next quarter.

Thanks for reading,

– Lalia LaRose

The Important but Dreadful Process of Rewriting a Manuscript

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Hey everyone sorry for the wait had workshops and meetings this week. Lets jump right into it shall we?

Any writer knows how difficult it is to write a book, especially your first one. The pre-writing, writing, and editing seem to swallow your life. Once you think you’ve finished your first draft you are left the daunting task of revising and editing your manuscript. How do you turn your beloved book baby into an objective piece of work that needs to be torn apart? I don’t have the answer. I would have the answer if I had a solid cohesive manuscript as a foundation to start revising.

When I finished my first draft and went through my cool-down phase I was excited to tackle the task. However, when I read over my manuscript I realized that what I had written was not what I wanted my novel to be. It was so far from my actual vision that revising and editing would be useless.

Let me explain what my vision was: I wanted a semi-dark, immersive, and intriguing tale of a young woman losing herself in a fantasy world, but all the while finding her true self. I wanted fighting, lovemaking, and raw emotion. I wanted something mature, but relatable to a new adult. I wanted an epic story of truth, love, and badassery.

What I got was a feeble protagonist, overshadowed secondary characters, and a basic villain. I got a fluffy story of a girl overthrowing an evil king with help of her friends. I got a two-dimensional fantasy world with two-dimensional characters and a predictable plot. What I got was a watered down and sweetened version of the novel I truly wanted.

You might as how I strayed so far from my vision? I asked myself that too. The most likely culprit was my weak outline. A basic outline makes a basic story. However, the outline isn’t the only suspect. Lack of self-confidence was another contributing factor. My lack of confidence bled into the pages making a weak story. I was also afraid of getting lost in a complicated and complex story, which made me simplify. That was a mistake. I could go on listing the problems with my manuscript, but I thought you’ve got the point.

Once I realized how shitty my first draft was, I knew there was no point in revising it. The revision and editing process would take too much time and effort. I had to restart from scratch. Of course, I didn’t destroy my manuscript. There were still some hidden gems left in it that I can mine for.

So here are some tips for you to make sure you get your manuscript right the first time:

  1. Make a badass and thorough outline. Weak outlines make weak manuscripts.
  2. Make a concrete concept. The more solid your ideas the stronger your manuscript will be. Whether it’s world building or character birthing.
  3. Looks for advice from successful authors. Blogs, books, and online articles with this advice are everywhere.
  4. Take advice with a grain of salt. You need to trust your own instincts above all else. Take advice where you think you need it, but don’t forget that you are just as competent and driven as any successful author.
  5. Brainstorm and don’t ignore ideas. Some of the best ideas seem stupid. Sometimes you just need to manipulate a ‘stupid’ idea to turn into a great one!
  6. Write down EVERYTHING! You don’t want to forget your ideas, whether they’re stupid or not.
  7. Invest in notebooks and sketchbooks. Notebooks are a great place to store your ideas. The greatest thing about them is that they don’t need charging. Sketchbooks are great as well, especially when you do concept art. (Here’s a blog I wrote on using art to improve your novel: )
  8. Write boldly and write freely. Don’t ever hold yourself back and never let anyone else hold you back. Be confident in your abilities and in your ideas.
  9. Write to entertain. If you can entertain yourself and others with your writing, then you’re doing something right!
  10. Be yourself. Find your style. Use your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses. Always improve, but never lose your spark. Be true to yourself and your words will flow from your heart to the page.

How does one go about rewriting their manuscript? There’s no real answer to that, at least not from what I’ve found on the Internet. Think back to when you start the pre-writing and writing stages for your current sad manuscript. It’s like that, but different. The basic steps are the same, but they’ve been changed and amended to create a better manuscript. There are three stages to rewriting your manuscript:

  1. Reflection
  2. Pre-Writing
  3. Writing

 

  1. Reflection:

This is when you reflect on your process of writing your first manuscript and analyze the manuscript itself. You need to identify the issues with your manuscript and the process you used. You should list all the issues and mistakes you find. Now brainstorm ways of improving your process. Research how to avoid the issues you’ve found in your first draft. Find techniques and advice that work for you. This is how you learn from your mistakes to improve your writing. Remember there is no one way to do something.

This is also when you find the things you did right. You need to find what you liked during the process and in your writing so you can carry it over to the new process and manuscript you’re going to build. Not every manuscript is the same and so the process may change every time you write a new book.

  1. Pre-Writing:

You should know about this step already. This is where you brainstorm, write your in-depth outline, world-build, and create three-dimensional relatable characters. This is when you do all your research and idea building. Notebooks and sketchbooks are useful during this step. Anything that needs to happen before you start actually writing the new -and hopefully improved- manuscript needs to happen here. Implement the changes from the Reflection stage.

  1. Writing:

We all know this step. This is when you sit down and start writing the narrative that will become your book. Implement the techniques and advice that you found during the Reflection stage. This is when you write boldly and freely, while also following -and sometimes diverging from- your thorough outline. For me, this is when my soul sings. This is my favourite part of the whole process.

 

From here the normal writing process continues: revising, editing, betas, and so one. Let’s just hope that none of us has to go back and do a second rewrite.

 

Thanks for reading,

Lalia LaRose

 

 

 

Ferx

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The capital of Ferx is located in the mountains of Bormons and is known to be a mighty fortress that towers over the peak of the mountain that it is built on. Here is the story of its creation:

The fortress of Ferx was built with the aide of dragons. The first Lord of Bormons, Hareld Ferx, demanded a permanent abode, unlike the nomads of Bormons. He offered jewels and gold to those who would help him build his great home, but the nomadic people of Bormons did not rely on riches to live.

Enticed by the reward, three dragons came to Lord Hareld. Among them was the Iron Dragon. Hareld made a pact with the dragons and shortly after construction began. To build the great fortress he envisioned Lord Hareld would need to use the strongest steel.

The dragons used their own scales and infused them with steel that they created with dragon fire, thus Dragon Steel was created. Dragon Steel made walls so strong and so high that they towered over mountain peaks. It took Lord Herald and the dragons six years to complete the fortress of Ferx.

When the dragons demanded their payment the Lord of Bormons retreated into his fortress and refused to pay. The enraged dragons surrounded Ferx and bathed the fortress in dragon fire. The fortress forged by the dragons withstood the attack and the Lord was unharmed. One of the three dragons flew home and vowed never to help a human again.

The two dragons that remained scared away any who approached the great fortress. The Iron Dragon was known to eat many who wandered too close to Ferx. One day a beautiful woman approached the fortress and begged for them to let her pass, for the woman was with child and needed shelter. To the Iron Dragon’s disapproval, his young companion let the woman pass, but only if she swore to deliver Lord Ferx to them.

Agreeing to the terms, the woman was permitted entrance into the fortress. The two dragons waited many nights for the woman to keep her promise. Until one day the dragons heard a terrible cry and a babe was thrown from the fortress. The young dragon caught the infant and hid it from the Iron Dragon.

Only a few nights later the gates of Ferx opened. The woman pushed Lord Herald to the dragons. The young dragon left the Lord and took the mother, with her baby. They flew away leaving the lord at the mercy of the Iron Dragon. The dragon told Herald, “Give me all your riches and I will spare your life.” The shaking lord agreed and in the time of two nights he emptied his fortress of all his treasure. He presented his fortune to the Iron Dragon.

“I will take that which was promised to me ten years ago,” Said the Iron Dragon, “And pay you back with the same treachery you’ve shown me.”

The dragon’s jaws opened with a roar, before he ate Lord Hareld whole. The deceitful Lord met the fiery acid of the dragon’s stomach and melted into nothing. The Iron Dragon took his riches and retreated home, leaving Ferx empty.

Thank you for reading,

Lalia LaRose

Welcome to Terrivea

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Welcome to Terrivea a country made up of five lands: Bormons, Sylvespa, Lamaust, Avortium, and Medirus.

Astar is the capital of Terrivea. The royal palace and the portal both reside here.

Bormons is known for being a mountainous region with nomadic people. The capital of Bormons is the fortress of Ferx.

Sylvespa is a heavily forested region where the villages are secluded. Aurbor is the capital of Sylvespa.

Lamaust is known for the swamps that cover over half the land, along with the stand-offish Tree People. The capital of the wetlands is Demros.

Avortium resides in the Great Desert of Nalia, where the Brotherhood of Solani is the hand of justice. Sabucas is the urban centre of this arid land.

Medirus is the centre of the country and is blanketed by fields. Castilla is the capital and is the heart of the military.

This is Terrivea the main setting for my book The Last Queen of Terrivea. I plan to upload posts with more details about the lands and capitals of Terrivea, along with the people who live there.

Thank you for reading,

– Lalia LaRose 

Using Pain and Pleasure to Keep Your Readers Engaged

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There are two main types of emotions: positive and negative. Essentially pain and pleasure represent these two measures of emotion. In almost any art form pain and pleasure are used to emotionally speak to the audience. As writers we have to take our readers through an emotional journey through our storytelling. Any emotional experience includes pain and pleasure.

Example 1: I experienced pain after the death of my sister.

Example 2: I experienced pleasure after finding a boyfriend.

Two difference experiences, right? Both of these examples happened in my life at the same time. Actually, the day that my boyfriend and I were supposed to go on our first date was when I found out about my sister’s death. I’m not just rambling on about my life here; I have a point. Pain and pleasure exist simultaneously. Every individual experiences pain and pleasure throughout their lives, so do our characters.

It’s our job as writers to constantly fluctuate the levels of pain and pleasure that our characters experiences, which then translate to the emotions our readers experience as well.  A death of a character can bring your readers either pain or pleasure. I’ll be using events from The Game of Thrones as examples. (Spoiler Alerts!)

Pain Example: The death of Ned Stark.

Pleasure Example: The death of Joffrey Lannister.

Every single plot point in your novel has a different measure of pain and pleasure. Everything that happens to your characters should produce an emotional response in your audience. Just like how the Red Wedding and the Battle of the Bastards illicit emotions in fans of The Game of Thrones.

Pain and pleasure are natural results of any situation, but as a writer we must carefully calculate how we control these emotions. The emotions must must always be changing, but in a natural way. We cannot over exaggerate or under estimate the use of emotions in our writing. 

Here’s my advice: when crafting your story follow the pain and follow the pleasure. What brings you pain or pleasure as the writer will also bring the same emotion to your audience. But remember: always do so for a good purpose. Killing a character just for the sake of giving the reader a painful experience is not wise and not advisable. 

I wish you all happy writing.

Thank you for reading, 

 Lalia LaRose

Quick Update and Apologies 

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Hey everyone, 

I’ll start with the apologies: I’m sorry for a lack of posts. After making my schedule I was doing good with making regular posts, until I got a call from my mom. My grandma passed away. I don’t want to use this as an excuse. My grandmothers death isn’t the reason why I can’t seem to keep myself on a strict schedule. It’s me. Once something, anything, breaks my flow I always have a hard time catching up or getting back into the flow again. So for this, I am sorry. I can’t promise that this won’t happen again, but I am hoping to get myself back into a flow for the rest of the summer. 

Updates: I am working on an in-depth scene-by-scene outline for my rewrite of The Last Queen of Terrivea. After I finish this I will start my rewrite. 

Also, I have found a new job position for the fall. I’m excited and relieved to know I have work lined up for the next school year. 

In regard for future blog posts: I am hoping to make 2 posts a week. I’m not going to try and restrict what days I post, since it would seem I have a hard time with schedules and deadlines. The goal is to post twice a week for the remainder of August.

In September I may have to reduce to 1 post a week if work keeps me too busy, along with the rewrite. 

That’s all for now. Thank you for you patience and your understanding. 

Thank you for reading, 

Lalia LaRose