How it’s going (and future plans)

Writing is going well overall. A few beta readers have started to read and comment on part 1 of Delphinium’s beta. Mostly it’s small grammar errors so I’m relieved (thought it would be ripped to shreds). I’ve been slacking some on writing part 2, but mostly I’m still happy to have the first part done. Also I am absolute pants at commas.
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When I do find myself working on part 2 there’s a lot more cutting and moving around than I had thought. Even if I do write I end up with less words then when I started, so that’s a bummer. Kinda glad I didn’t make a hard deadline. I don’t know if it’ll be done by September 12th, but whenever I do finish it, then I will make a real pre-order and let my betas at it. It should still be done this year though, just maybe not by Halloween. I’m not letting myself fall back off the wagon though.
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Thankfully the scenes that didn’t work or make sense there did make sense in book 3, so I have a head-start there and the writing isn’t going into a trash pile.
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… I may have to do one last edit of Delphinium as a whole once the second beta is done. Read it all the way through by myself. If I want fresher eyes I may need to wait a few days or a week to do this.
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(I did have Larkspur kinda-edited, but it was way shorter, and I did not really need to mess with the draft too much overall. This is oh, seven-ish times as long, and way more complicated. So something changed in chapter 3 needs me to then edit chapters 7, 8 and 25).
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Good news though, so far it’s been really liked! ❤
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And here’s some small tidbits.
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Larkspur’s story took place over 8 days (Prima 14th – Prima 23rd 11831)
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Delphinium takes place over 4 months (Prima 29th – Agostis 4th 11831)
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Aconitella, book 3, is plotted for a year and a half. Consolida, book 4, will be three years.
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The first book in the second series in Clandestina (The Quadrille Series) is plotted for 10 years. Books 2, 3, and 4 in that set are a bit shorter, taking place over almost 4, 5, and a bit over 5 years respectfully.
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The *third* series has books that span 5 years, 7 and a half, almost 12, and almost 6 years.
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The 4th series has not yet been entirely plotted time-wise (just book 1, which will be almost 5 years), but will likely also take place over 20ish years.
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So that’s a 90 year span, give or take.
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There is a 5th series that takes place before The Larkspur Series and involves Pierre’s père, Félicien, and his life, so if I’m adding that in, it’ll be a 175 years (he does live in Faery for 60 years after all).
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So that’s… 20 books. Plus a few stand-alones that I have in mind. Let’s go with 25 books 😛
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Not to mention my other realms! This is all about the necrocræft practitioners (and fée) of Clandestina. There’s also the werewolves and ringian of Astrarctia; the dreamers of Ibella; the wizards, dragons, and nymphs of Dracæna; the vampires and hunters of Italaviana; the swan-folk of Cygnorum; the tenebellae of Noctua; the sirens of Illumidens, the magicians of Epeira; the vher of Yilandi; the valkyries of Roseliande; the angels of Daucus…
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Plus the dozens of other realms I have where I just know the name, maybe a small spark of an idea, and limitless possibilities.
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I think I just inspired the hell out of myself. This is 14 years of daydreaming, plotting, planning, working. Half my life has been spent on this world. Now I want, need, to spend the rest of my life writing it all out.
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It would be my greatest wish and pleasure to do successfully and for you all to happily enjoy.
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Now I’m off to do more of that writing ❤
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~ Victoria

I SENT IT!

Chapters 1-14, the first 40% or so of Delphinium, has been sent to my betas!!!

NEW GOAL TIME!
 
Part II of Delphinium will aim to be ~70,000. I have 24 chapters, I like my chapters around 3K. I assume some will go over, others under, and some may combine or cease to exist entirely lowing the wordcount some.
 
I am taking a vacation (once the damn thing’s approved) end of August/start of September. I hope it’ll be approved *grumble*
 
But I can decide that’s my end date to get out part 2 to my betas.
 
So, by September 12th, I will try and get chapters 15 – 38 done. That gives me a daily wordcount of … 1015 words (already have 26.3K written). Very doable really. I did 3K today between worrying, procrastinating, and drinking waaay too much caffeine.
 
Then I have the rest of September for that to be beta’d, me to get it back, stick parts 1 and 2 together, and then pick a day in October to release!
 
This is, as the first one was, written in pencil not blood. Much of it depends on said betas, whether my vacation happens, if I get hit by a bus, or how life decides to mess with me again. But it’s possible, and a pretty reasonable goal.
So it’s my aim for now.
(And yes, I am still under the effects of that lovely lovely caffeine).

Delphinium Schedule (written in pencil, not blood).

I’m aiming to send the Part 1 Beta out to the beta readers on August 1st. That will give me two more ‘weekends’ with how I my work-week is planned out, and makes it reasonable but not ‘I can put this off forever.’

Tonight I’ll finish up chapters 11, 12, and 13, with tomorrow hopefully getting 14 and 15 done, though they still have a lot more writing involved than just the edits in 11-13. 16-21 during the week and that second ‘weekend’ of mine.

August and September will be finishing up Part 2, sending that to betas, doing my own look-over of Part 1 (and then 2) after the betas, with it all being wrapped up and Delphinium being released sometime in October.

I really want to put up a pre-order… but I also know that that might be a bad idea. So instead I’m posting about it here publicly for some accountability without it being the end-all-be-all when Life decides to give me the finger again.

Now back to that last scene in Chapter 11 so I can get to spiffing up 12. 13 is over wordcount so that’s nice, because I don’t think I can stretch 11 and 12 without it feeling forced. It should even out about right though.

 

Where I am with Delphinium

Delphinium is about 80% finished. I have most of it written out, I just need to connect the last pieces together and have it make sense. A few new characters keep popping in here and there as well, so I have to manage how I introduce them and if they get any significant page-time. Also trying to juggle a few new points of view, but I think those will really only be significantly implemented in book 3. For now it’s by far mostly Pierre, Lizzy, and then a few other characters getting a ‘cameo’ scene.

Delphinium has 38 chapters. Part 1 consists of chapters 1-21, and is 90% done. Chapters 1-10 are ready to be sent to betas. I’m fixing up / adding onto chapters 11-21 and when that’s done I’ll send it out to said betas. I thought about sending out 1-10 already, but splitting it into 1/4ths just seemed like too much even for me.

Chapters 22-38 are less done, but still have everything plotted out already. I know where it’s all going, the end, and it wraps up nicely with no major cliffhanger. I’ll get on writing more in those chapters after I send the first half out to be read.

Oh, and the total wordcount will be around 110,000 words (each chapter is going to be about 3000 words, but lengths vary). For comparison Larkspur was only 15,000. I want to make this book the best it can be, and really showcase my writing and the realm of Clandestina in a way that Larkspur only hinted at. Honestly there’s so much I didn’t know about Clandestina or my characters when I was writing Larkspur, much of this is a surprise and an exploration of the world for me as for you.

I thought about putting it up for pre-order again. It just hit me that it’s been a year since I put it up for pre-order the first time. A lot has happened to me in that time, a lot has changed for me, and with my writing and the story. I just found a new character and his family last week even! But I realized that while the pre-order copies sold were awesome and the pressure helped me a bit, it did not pan out well last time. And the last thing I want it to tempt fate and try it again only to have it all go bananas.

So instead I’m making myself accountable by writing this and being open.

 

By any other name

Usually I dislike how short Larkspur is. It is the main issue most have with the story if you look at the reviews. Today, though I’m quite glad because the more I work on Delphinium, the more history and information there is to deal with. And I cannot stand needing to rewrite and tweak so that everything fits continuity. This way  I am mostly allowed to insert all of this information into the second book and have it make more sense (I think all of my Scenes from Clandestina can stay as they are, but I’ll look into those right after I post this).

Now let me try and explain why I am now dealing with all of this extra stuff:
I named Félicien’s parents. Not his adoptive parents, who raise him after he is in Faery (they already have names), but his birth-parents. I had written a Scene a few days ago (it didn’t turn out very well so it isn’t up) but I only mentioned ‘The Duchesse’ because Félicien’s mother did not have a name. Without a name she was a figment, a reference, something to mention but not expand upon.

The moment I name a character they become infinitely more important and real. They gain an appearance and a temperament and a history–all from a name. And changing the name can change appearance and temperament and history, so sometimes I go through several names and iterations before everything clicks into place (I had that happen a few weeks ago actually).

The Duchesse could just be an old woman who lost her son, who stepped aside from governing and let the steward run things because of her grief. Duchesse Cunégonde of Piques, though, forced the fée Margrave to return to Faery and demanded her son’s return, and banished him when that did not happen. She stepped aside from governing out of grief yet did not shut herself away, but planned revenge. She is the reason the fée are no longer trusted or liked in Piques, the reason for the fine cutlery being cold iron, the reason that ironically her own son and then grandson have problems when they return to Piques and are seen as fay.

Now to find out how Félicien’s father acted…

(For a story where the fairies were supposed to be a minor reference they have almost overtaken the necromancy in which fantastical aspect is the most prominent in the realm).

So, overall, I am happy Larkspur is short and sweet and dark. It lets me work on Delphinium and make plans for a whole new set of books. I do believe Félicien’s life will eventually be chronicled as well, and feature both sets of his parents.

Where I’ve been

I have had a lot of life altering events happen to me this past year or so. It has both given me a great fervor for writing, and then crushed it. I think it’s finally coming back.

A year ago I began my first real adult job. Two, actually. Shortly after one of them went from part-time to full time. I was not ready for the amount of work and time that that would consume. At the same time I had put up Delphinium for pre-order. I was excited and so ready to release the second book, and the pre-orders were coming in well, and it was amazing. As much as I would have loved to finally release it, work took my energy.

This ended in me having to cancel the pre-order. That was the first blow. The fact that I had disappointed people again just made me retreat. I stopped sending my newsletter and stopped writing. Autumn makes my depression flare up so the more time it was taking me to get back to it, the more it was slipping away. I felt like a failure.

Then in late November my boyfriend of eleven years broke up with me. I don’t want to go into too many details, but the last three and a half months have had me trying to deal with that. I am still dealing with it.

So I have not been in a good place.

Today is March 8th. A year ago exactly I got my first check at work. It is also Pierre’s birthday if we’re translating the calendar. Today I realized that as much as I have gone through and am dealing with, I still have my writing. I have my characters. I have had Pierre longer than my ex, and many more characters before and after him. And they are *mine* and no one else’s, and no one can take them away from me. No one can take my world, my imagination, my writing. Except for me. And I had locked it up because I was sad and afraid.

I’ve unlocked the door. It’s still going to take me a while to fling it open, but I’m peering through the crack, and I like what I see. So I’ll try and open it a little more each day- write a few paragraphs, work on some charts, get back to my newsletter and blog.

– Victoria