The book is done

…well, the first one.

Fingertip sketch - greenIt’s been four years – almost to the day – since I sat at my keyboard and began bringing Tildy to life.

Four years since my finger drew this simple sketch on my phone to imagine what it would be like to see a girl with wings.

I had few goals, and some quantitative ones were unmet. I more than doubled my target word count and it’s taken twice as long to complete as I wanted. But these are less relevant to me than my true storytelling desire: to deliver a tale filled with wonder, discovery, and adventure.

And I think I did it. I really do.

So, Tildy Silverleaf and the Starfall Omen is complete. No more tweaking. No more read-throughs. It’s locked (at least until I start working with some literary pros who are willing to help me publish it – but we’ll let 2020 Mike work on that). I’ll try not to lie awake picturing all the typos I’ve missed.

For now, the completion is a nice Christmas present to myself. But even though we’re in the middle of the holiday season, there’s no rest for your friendly neighborhood writer, is there? The next month will be spent researching agents and working on queries.

And turning my focus to Tildy’s lost brother, Samor.

It’s going to be strange not being with her every day, though I’m excited to explore the northern reaches of Empyrelia with him.

Hers is a world of solitude, hidden away in a garden as likely to kill people as feed them. Things we might call magic are commonplace and she doesn’t really think twice about them. She knows she was lost in the wilderness and adopted by a witch with a reputation darker than the shadows beneath the trees of their haunted forest, but she knows nothing of her own past.

Conversely, he lives in a fortress, surrounded by Humans and other peoples of astounding array. He speaks Dragonroar and spars with an Ogre. Despite living at the edge of the lands known as the Frozen Blight, his is a world filled with life and noise. His is a more privileged upbringing, given that his father is the steward trying to keep Empyrelia stable after the fall of the king. He doesn’t know that his father’s sadness and his mother’s spite come from the fact that they are raising him in their dead son’s name. Similar to his sister Tildy, Samor is being raised in secret; however, he is being groomed to recover the crown that was lost when their parents were killed.

The ability to look at a world from two different points of view is one of the primary reasons I made them twins. I wanted to be able to compare and contrast important cultural norms or their reactions to interesting situations, while also showing how similar two people could be despite vastly different upbringings.

More importantly, perhaps, I thought I had another really good story to tell: Samor and the Warlock of Nevermore.

Thanks for joining me on this journey, whether this is your first day here or your fortieth! If you’re enjoying this peek behind the writer’s curtain, hit the subscribe button or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

And if you’re a fan of Tildy, don’t worry: she will return in the Dungeon of the Dreadwyrm.

Mike


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© Michael Wallevand, December 2019

Author’s Journal – 12-03-19

On Writing

In his book On Writing (which I highly recommend), Stephen King talks about a question he’s often asked. I’m going from memory, but the gist of it is this:

Question: How many days a week do you write?

King: Every day, except holidays and my birthday (btw, that’s a lie because I write those days, too – but no one would believe it).

And while I’m nowhere as dedicated as King, yeah, I write on those days, too. Here’s what happened over my Thanksgiving vacation.


1. I finished up some editing and the last of my punch list items. The punch list was a series of questions I had around consistency, timing, and other details I’d lost track of. The editing centered around plot holes or other things I discovered during my complete read-through.

I’m down to one last fix, and then the draft is final. I spent a few hours on that last item and I think I’ve nearly conquered the problem I identified. Continue reading

A Good Word Is Hard To Find

fun fact - the word setI’m an English major and a writer, which means there’s a notebook on a dusty bookshelf in the attic of my brain that is set aside for fun words. It also means I just wrote a long sentence instead of saying “I collect words.” We’ll delve into that compulsion in a future post.

I was listening to an online session yesterday and one of the presenters used an interesting word I hadn’t heard before. She used it twice, before finally defining it for us with an apology that she had to look it up, too.

What is the word? I couldn’t tell, which meant it was complex, rather difficult to say, esoteric, and oh so tantalizing.

In her context, it meant temporarily joining another team at work to complete a project. She still technically worked for the same manager, but all her duties were tied to this second team.

Since I love words (did I establish that?) and since I couldn’t spell it to write it down, I thought to Google it by the definition this morning.

Easier said than done. Continue reading