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

I’m still here

I sort of fell off the map after I cancelled Delphinium’s pre-order. I’d just started working full time at my new job, which contributed to the cancellation, and I needed to adjust. But more than that I was ashamed that I had to cancel. I have been promising Delphinium ‘soon’ for years now. Many people are waiting for it. I was so close to finishing, and I thought I’d finally found a way with the pre-order and a solid deadline, and having to stop that just shoved me into a funk that I couldn’t shake.

Instead of finishing everything up asap I stopped writing. Looking at the manuscript made me feel ill. I dreaded opening it, re-reading it, adding anything– It only reminded me of how I’d failed yet again. How I was disappointing so many people. So I ignored it entirely.

Yesterday someone pointed out to me that I hadn’t been writing. I snapped back that maybe I’d stop being a writer. I realized as soon as I said it that I didn’t want that. I loved to write and worldbuild and I missed it. We talked a while and whatever weight was on my soul seemed to ease. I can look at Delphinium again, and while I still feel apprehensive, it isn’t the dread it was before.

So, I just wanted to say to everyone that I’m back, and once more I’m sorry for the mess that is my writing my second book.

I’m sorry

Life has gotten hard the last few weeks. A lot has been happening and my time and energy have just disappeared. I have unfortunately cancelled the pre-order for Delphinium. It will not be finished for the, already delayed, September 30th release. I am so very sorry. I will continue to work on it and it will be out as soon as possible. I am especially sorry to the 41 people who have pre-ordered it. I wish I could have done this differently.

  • Victoria

Delphinium beta

I’m almost finished with Part 1 of Delphinium’s Beta Copy! I’ll need to stay up tonight to get it all like I want it, but I’ll be sending it to my betas before I go to sleep. I’ll finish Part 2 in the upcoming two or three weeks and then edit part 1 again as they look over part 2. Finally I’ll wrap that up and put it all together as the final manuscript on Amazon
It’s going to end up being around 100,000 words in length (Larkspur is only about 15,000 words. For another comparison it’ll be about the length of Prisoner of Azkaban). I was hoping for a bit more, but scenes got cut or rearranged, and I’m sure more of that will happen with even more editing. But I think it’s going to end up as a great sequel. We’re at 38 pre-orders and think that that we still have time to hit 50.
After release I’ll return to posting here more often, Scenes and worldbuilding stuff included. I’ll also start working on Book 3 and the first book in another series.