Lena Brassard

Lena Brassard

KotSQ: Revision Update #11

I’m getting impatient and almost added the book description to the Fantasy page. It is… not ready, to put it mildly. I did stick it at the top of the manuscript doc, though, so I have to look at it at least briefly every day upon opening and can noodle with it as inspidesperation1 moves me.2 I instead satisfied my need for administrative progress by uploading the final cover to retailers so it’s at the top of my drafts to greet me when I log in.3

ETA: The Fantasy page is temporarily gone, not because I’ve canned the book but because I can’t have a pre-pub “reveal” if a slightly shabbier version of the cover has been sitting there this entire time and I’ve succumbed to temptation to prematurely post the jacket copy. It’ll be back when the book is more than an empty promise.


Rewrite Status Round 1, showing a progress bar at 52% Complete, 125 of 240 pages125 rough draft pages have become 203 revised pages.4 We can now do the Halfway Hustle! Remember, the pelvic thrust when coming out of the twirl goes toward the right.

The last batch of pages went really fast, and then this batch (same length as the last) screeched to a halt. I had to remind myself again the goal at the moment is not a “perfect” draft. The goal is to clean it up enough that the next pass is less overwhelming, which means any given paragraph is allowed to be garbage if I can’t get my head around it right now. When there aren’t 200,000 other things clamoring for attention, that garbage paragraph might be heard whispering what it needs to get better. Until then, I’m wasting time trying to read its nonexistent lips.

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KotSQ: Revision Update #10

Today I learned “complacent” doesn’t mean what I thought it meant, and though I’m going to blame it on near-universal misuse of the word when people actually mean “complaisant,” I’m painfully embarrassed about every time I’ve used it incorrectly. I knew “complaisant” was a word, but I can’t remember seeing it in… 30 years? And while some dictionaries have caved to the common misuse in secondary definitions, know where they haven’t extended it? Complacency, which people also use incorrectly because they were allowed to get away with “complacent.”


Rewrite Status: Round 1 status bar showing 48%, 114 of 240 pages 114 rough draft pages have become 187 revised pages. You can taste the halfway point from here!

Heroine spends a not-insignificant amount of time in this book in dungeons and caves and, in proper fantasy RPG fashion, the sewer. Not sorry, had to do it once before I die.1 Also in proper fantasy RPG fashion, there’s a maintenance ledge, so being in the sewer doesn’t involve being in the sewage. Even my powerful desire to overtly acknowledge the existence of urban waste management has its limits.

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KotSQ: Revision Update #9

Somebody asked me a while ago why I’m not worried about revealing the whole story to potential readers by doing these posts. I just don’t think “they went to a location and performed an unspecified task” is all that spoilery? In fact, I think anyone who came in search of juicy clues would be peeved by the lack thereof. This is very much about the writing process, not what happens in the story. Half the content of these posts is whining about how much I hate coming up with names, which isn’t exactly “Oh great, now I know there are NAMES, you’ve RUINED IT!” material. I had a 2-page synopsis up for a while as an example of how to write a romance-focused synopsis when the romance is deeply entwined with a fantasy plot a 2-page length limitation doesn’t provide enough space to adequately explain, and that was spoilerific, but I also surrounded it with HERE THERE BE SPOILERS signs and hid it behind a spoiler tag so you’d have to actively participate in the spoilage.

I have a massive, life-impairing anxiety disorder. There are very few things I can’t find a way to worry about. This one’s in the clear. I am confident you could read every single one of these posts and not have substantially more insight into the actual content of the book than what you’d get from reading the book description at point of sale. You will, however, have taken a guided tour of the labyrinthine crime scene that is my brain. Don’t forget to purchase a commemorative tote bag when you exit through the gift shop.

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Death Blossom

Super dark purple bearded iris against a white and gray countertopThe winter here was too mild for the bulbs, and the only iris that’s bothered to put in appearance is this little nihilist. With daylight and overhead lights and a little bit of flash, up close, you can tell she’s extremely dark purple, but under any other conditions, she reads as void black—which is all very cool and goth but also is not anything I ever put in the ground because the whole point of that little bed is to be bright and colorful when I look out the window, and this is the antithesis of that. Either somebody did a drive-by bulb transplant or this one spontaneously decided, “Life is despair. All my friends are dead. I’m dressing for the funeral. Bring me my Evanescence CDs.”

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KotSQ: Revision Update #8

Feeling really good without the voices of millions screaming for attention. Who knew? (I did, because I’m an old who didn’t even have internet in the house until I was 22 and alert enough to track the long-term trajectory. Let’s just say it’s not a coincidence Grave Oversight‘s villain is using it as a tool to accelerate the end of the world.)

Sadly, I didn’t spend so much of my time doomscrolling that I now have extra hours every day in which to blaze through this revision, though dumping that source of mental garbage has made the time I do have a bit more fruitful.

Since earplugs have saved me from the TV and Fuckitol has saved me from social media (do not operate heavy machinery while taking Fuckitol; do not take Fuckitol if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Fuckitol; common side effects of Fuckitol include unfamiliar feelings of serenity and contentment), Book Five has gotten in my face like a drill sergeant to yell, “Now that I have your full attention, word monkey, perhaps you’d like to know where all this is going so you can write toward it!” The note pile grows apace.

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