Lena Brassard

Lena Brassard

We Interrupt Your Scheduled Program with This Unimportant Announcement

The fantasy romance is on hold for a minute while I play the “no, really, a serial is a viable option” game again. I don’t quite have to start from scratch with that story, but it’s also not what you could call “finished” with a straight face, so I have some work to do before the platform opens up. Even if I can’t get the whole first arc of the story reader-ready by opening day, I’d like at least half of it immediately available and the rest needing just a prose polish so it can roll out in a timely fashion. My typical “realize on the last page I need to add something crucial to the first page to make the ending work” process isn’t going to serve me well in a scenario where the first page is already out in the world, so I need to exist at all points in time and know everything all at once to pull this off. 😬

So I’m off to hyperfocus on ghosts for a bit.

More information as I get it.

KotSQ: Revision Update #4

Progress bar showing 39 of 240 pages revisedI wanted to be here 10 days ago, but I’m in a high-stress situation that vacuums up most of the mental energy this job requires. Nevertheless, the first act is done (for this round of revision). Between cuts and additions, 39 pages of Old Draft is now 48 pages of New Draft.

I talked a little about my typical naming process last time (“pinch of column A, pinch of column B, smoosh ’em together”). When that yields inadequate results, I use a trick from my merch tie-in gig: take a pinch of various words that apply to what’s being named and smoosh ’em together. Thus, we have the Thoulo Ring (the outer lower ring of a terraced city), the Eashotin Temple (on the eastern shore on a mount[a]in), Thanlarek (a person with thin lips and angular cheeks), and Saupi (the theater troupe that fed Heroine a sausage pie for breakfast). The results aren’t pretty, but they get me over naming hurdles that would otherwise bring me to a dead stop.Read more“KotSQ: Revision Update #4”

KotSQ: Revision Update #3

Progress bar showing 5% complete for 13 of 240 pagesI’m going to take a picture of a progress bar and post that when I update because I can tell you right now I will not log in every day to keep a current total in the sidebar. Rather than guess a target number of pages/words that will be impossible to hit precisely, I’m using the known quantity of 240 rough draft pages and counting progress by checking off each page as it’s “done.” A page might shrink to half a page or grow to three pages in the next draft, but I can reliably measure when everything on one rough page has been addressed.

Before I started the fresh draft, I did a search-and-replace of names for three principal characters (yes, I put on my big-girl pants and changed them) in the rough draft so I don’t have to remember to change them a million times in the new draft. Moment of silence for the poor souls in bygone eras who had to do this manually.

Read more“KotSQ: Revision Update #3”

KotSQ: Revision Update #2

This stretch was all building my to-do list.

Why not just dive in on page 1 and start fixing things? Because if I spend time perfecting page 1 and then figure out on page 237 the story would be better if the whole first scene was deleted, I wasted time putting a lot of bows on trash. (This is the same reason I don’t bother with complete sentences, much less pretty ones, in the first draft. It would have been much more painful to toss the entire first act several months into the writing process if it had looked more like finished copy, and holding onto it would have been a disaster.) It’s much more efficient to build the to-do list and find all the things I don’t need to waste time on before I start doing the necessary work.

Read more“KotSQ: Revision Update #2”

KotSQ: Revision Update #1

It’s been almost three years since I finished a crap draft of a personal project. That one got ditched mid-revision because the “men are the absolute worst” was a little overpowering for a M/F romance… so much so that I realized I can’t write romance set in the “real” world anymore because I no longer believe that world is redeemable. In order to keep the full extent of my real-world cynicism off the page, I needed a different world, one where I don’t have to pretend insurmountable obstacles to a hopeful future don’t exist, one where I can write a history that creates surmountable obstacles so a hopeful future is achievable.

Surmountable obstacles for me include dragons, curses, undead bitey things, and evil murder mentors.

Read more“KotSQ: Revision Update #1”