Succumb 

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Grasping his cold hand, 

Kissing his thin face,

Pressing against his hard bones, 

Whispering into his exposed chest, 

“Take me.” 

“But it’s not your time,” 

Says the voice of Death. 


Just a small piece that I found in one of my notebooks. 

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Update and Catch Up

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Hey everyone, as you can tell my 2 blogs a week goal isn’t going so well, so I’m going to be playing catch up. My blog post “Create Chapters, They Said. It’ll Be Fun. They Said” and this post will count for the 2 posts for the first week of October. Additionally I will be trying my hardest to write 5 more to make up for the month of September. 

Between the 7th and 14th of October I will be making a post a day to catch up for September and stay updated on the October posts. After the 14th (if I don’t miss a day) hopefully I will be returning to my 2 posts per week. 

Moving onto the update. I am close to finishing my outline. It will hopefully only take a few days of concentrated work to finish it. With my work schedule I am hoping by the end of October I will have the outline done and I can start the actually writing. 

As for my goals. I have a doctors appointment made so there will be one things crossed off my list soon. 

Forgive any grammatical errors or typos. I’ve been doing today’s posts on my phone. 

Thanks for reading, 

– Lalia LaRose 

Create Chapters, They Said. It’d be Fun They Said. 

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 Hello everyone. 

As most of you know chapters are sections we use to divide a book into more readable parts. Every chapter is going to be different from the next, but every chapter should have a few essential parts. 

  1. Beginning, middle, and end.
  2. At least one major plot point. 
  3. A change in emotion or urgency. 

Keep in mind that chapters are flexible. They can be as short or as long as you need them to be and can contain whatever information you want in them. 

Outline and creating chapters doesn’t seem difficult when you break it down like this, but once you start the outlining process it becomes harder. One of the most difficult tasks I’ve found is trying to find the best plot arrangement for chapters. There are many, many different ways to arrange your chapters. The endless possibilities make it hard to come up with a decision. 

Here’s my tip to make it a little easier. Follow your gut. Do what you think is the best and remember it can be changed later! 

There’s some debate whether you should create your chapter before or after you write your first draft. It truly depends on the writer, but I would suggest giving both a try. You won’t know what works best for you until you try different options. 

There is another option as well; creating the chapters as you go. This used to be my process and I will tell you this: if you do it right it can work out great. If you keep track of your chapters in your outline as you go and review the chapter before moving on, then it can be the right process for you. However, if not done correctly it can leave you with mess of half baked chapters and weak transitions. 

It may not seem important, but transitions can mean the difference between a reader putting your book down for the night or forcing them to pull an all night to finish the book. Here are some tips for creating strong transitions: 

– having a strong emotion present will help motivate the reader to keep reading. 

– having a question, twist, choice, or something unknown present can coax your reader to read the next chapter. 

– sometimes a huge reveal works for a transition as well. “Tim, I’m not your father.” This suspense will push the reader to read ‘just one more chapter’. 

– don’t force the transition. If it’s not a good place for a transition, then find a different place. Readers can tell when you’re forcing the transition and it comes off as trick and can disappoint the reader. 

– sometimes the smallest choices can create the best chapter transitions. 

For example: early on in my work in progress my character has to decide whether to travel with another character (who has saved her life twice, but is an assassin whom she barely knows and doesn’t trust) or to try and make it on her own. The chapter transition is when the other character asks my main character is she’s coming with him or not. The chapter ends and the next one begins with her decision. 

It’s a small decision but can have huge consequences. Sometimes those are the best places to put your translations. Not every chapter transition needs to during high emotional scenes. 

– Don’t make every chapter transition similar. It will become predictable and boring for the reader. 

Chapters are extremely important for any novel, which means they can be extremely difficult to get right. It can be infuriating at times when you can’t figure out the best way to arrange your chapter, but don’t forget you can ask for help. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can be the best help you can get. 

Trust your instincts. you know what’s best for your novel! 

Thank you for reading, 

Lalia LaRose 

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

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