Friday, April 26, 2019

Phase 1: Complete.

Editing my novel. An Update.

To my dearest friends and followers,

Today I just want to give you an update about the progress on my book so far. In the grand scheme of things, I probably haven't gotten much done, but hey, I'm celebrating every small victory!!

I began 3 weeks ago with a printed manuscript of my novel from a friend and fellow author. I had mailed a copy of Beyond The Veil to him near the end of 2017. Within a few months, he had returned it to me with several sticky notes attached and many words throughout the manuscript were highlighted in pink. I was super grateful that he had taken the time to proofread it for me!!
I just finished going through it, reading only the small sections of the story near where the highlighted words are. I went through the document on my computer and fixed those errors, but also found several others that were not highlighted. There are probably still plenty more that were missed. Funny how it's so easy to miss things like that...

Needless to say, I'm pretty happy that I'm finished with the first go-over of my story!! I've just barely started the second phase 2. I'll be doing basically the same thing as phase 1, but from an edited copy from an indie publisher. They only edited the first half of the story, and that first half only made it through phase 1 of 3 phases. So, it's incomplete and it's a bit difficult to go through, but I'm working on it. XD
I'm hoping this step lasts 3 weeks to a month, like the first. Here's to shooting for the end of May...

After that, I will be able to go through the book a third time with only my own edits to make. It really is helpful to have the edits from other people, but like everything, it has it's drawbacks. The changes made, or suggested changes to be made, are mostly objective changes. Changes like repeating myself, or using the same word too many times in a sentence, or it's instead of its, etc. were made.
In phase 3, I'll be making changes that I want to. I want to know the purpose of why I wrote something into the story and expound on it if need be.

What I haven't decided is, do I continue to revise the document I am already working on? OR do I print the manuscript when I'm ready for the third step and retype the story with the manuscript as a reference?
Part of me is like, YES! that is the way to go, it'll make it easier to see what I want to fix and type it out on a blank canvas rather than to have a mess of words to try to work with.
BUT a part of me is also like, NO. I don't want to take the time to type out the entire story. That's a lot of work, ya know??
It would be great if I get phase 3 finished within 3 months or so, putting me at the end of August. After that, hopefully it needs to be polished only a little before I feel ready to think about publishing.
The main thing is not rushing. I want to get the editing done, but I don't want to do it with a goal in mind and feel rushed the entire time and then possibly publish something I'm not happy with. After all, I am writing the story I want to read...

I'd love to hear some feedback from you or if you have some tips on editing, please let me know in the comments. Thank you for stopping by to check out the update!! I look forward to keeping you up to date with the progress.

Yours truly,

Friday, April 19, 2019

The History Of Edward V.

Looking into the characters from Beyond The Veil.

To my dearest friends and followers,

It's difficult to say exactly when it began, but I've been an enthusiast of medieval England for at least 13 years. When I wrote the story of Hollyhocks back then, it was a fantasy story that took place in a medieval-like setting. When I decided to rewrite the story of Hollyhocks (Beyond the Veil), I really wanted to combine the story with actual events, and my favorite historical figure, Edward V. I know historians don't all agree on when exactly the Middle Ages was, but I'm going with the end of the 400's to the end of the 1400's. Therefore, I confidently say that my book takes place during the end of the medieval period in England.
Because I became so interested in Edward V's story at a pretty young age (thanks to the set of encyclopedias we had and John Everett Millais's painting The Princes In The Tower [1878]), I tend to forget that a lot of people I've talked to about my book have no idea who Edward V is. I mean, I don't either, not really. Here's a brief telling of what I do know that should help you understand more of the events going on in my book...

Edward IV (April 28th, 1442-April 9th, 1483) was married to Elizabeth Woodville (born in 1437) from 1464-1483. They had 10 children together, 7 of whom were still living at the time of their father's death.

+Elizabeth of York
Mary of York (deceased before 1483)
+Cecily of York
+Edward (later Edward V)
Margaret of York (deceased before 1483)
+Richard of Shrewsbury
+Anne of York
George Plantagenet (deceased before 1483)
+Catherine of York
+Bridget of York

Edward IV died in April of 1483, leaving the throne to his eldest son, Edward, who was just 12 years old at the time. Edward V was in Ludlow Castle when news arrived of his father's death. In May of the same year, Edward V made the journey from Ludlow to London. He had an escort of 2,000 men, including Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers (Lord Rivers), who was Edward V's uncle, brother to his mother. Edward V was reportedly very close to Lord Rivers.
On the way, the party was met by Richard of Gloucester, named Lord Protecter of the Realm after the death of his brother, Edward IV. He insisted on accompanying his nephew the rest of the way to London, dismissing the 2,000 men and having Lord Rivers, amongst several others, arrested.

On May 19th 1483, Edward V arrived in London where he awaited his coronation in the Tower of London (a castle and mighty fortress consisting of 21 towers). On June 16th, Richard of Shrewsbury joined his brother at the Tower after being forcibly taken from his mother, Elizabeth Woodville, at Westminster Abbey. He was 9 years old.

On Sunday, June 24th, Edward V's coronation was going to be held. Instead, on June 22nd, Parliament declared all of the children of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville to be illegitimate. On June 25th, the Assembly declare Richard of Gloucester, Lord Protector of the Realm, to be the legitimate king. On the same day, Lord Rivers and the others are beheaded at Pontefract Castle in West Yorkshire, England. Richard's coronation was on June 26th, making him Richard III.

Edward V and his brother Richard were moved from their lodgings in the Tower to the Garden Tower (named the Bloody Tower in the 1500's).

Some historians say that the children had no idea of what really was going on or what Richard's intent was. Were they simply moved to the Garden Tower, or imprisoned in it?
I believe they knew what was going on. It is reported that Edward V went to the chapel within the Tower of London to pray every day as the end of summer drew near. Maybe he feared for his life and the life of his little brother?

After the summer of 1483, Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury were never seen again. It is commonly believed that Richard III had them killed within the Garden Tower.

In 1674, nearly 200 years later, two human skeletons were found under a staircase in the White Tower. The bones were believed to belong to the princes in the tower, and after having them examined, Charles II ordered them to be buried in Westminster Abbey.

Man, I should have been a history teacher...

I don't really know much about Edward V. All I know are facts that certain events happened. I don't know what kind of a person he was. I read somewhere that he was extremely smart. But what was he good at? What did he enjoy doing? Was he close to his siblings? Was he a nice kid? Was he funny? Was he quiet? Was he stubborn? I have no idea. His story is fascinating, yet tragic. Why was he never seen again? Was he scared? Was he even murdered...? I've been really excited as I've been editing my book and reading about him again and the world I created for him. Maybe his life was like that...

Yours truly,

Friday, April 12, 2019

Editing: Setting A Goal.

Taking The Necessary Steps.

Write down everything that happens in the story,
and then in your second draft,
make it look like you knew what you were doing all along.
~ Neil Gaiman

To my dearest friends and followers,

Last week I shared that I am starting to edit my novel, Beyond The Veil. This week I worked on several things to help me with that!! I'm not trying to give advice because I have no idea what I'm doing, but I do want to share those steps with you.

I asked several fellow writers over social media if they were editing/had edited their book and if they had any helpful tips to share. What I got out of their answers is to just make your writing the best it can be!! Boom. Simple. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I'll be done in no time, right?? Ha, I wish.
That kind of goes without saying. The question is, how? What do I look for? How can my book be the best it can be?
Basically, what I've been focusing on this week is what I need in order to edit, without actually starting the editing process. No, I am not procrastinating. I am being efficient in the best way I know how with what works for me. I'm working on getting things set up so I feel like I have goals instead of trying to get things done in the dark.

First thing is the notebook. When I was writing the story, I made a notebook for it. All of my scattered thoughts, drawings, research, ideas, and doodles go into that notebook, as long as it relates to the story. I didn't go anywhere without it. When I have an idea that I need to write down so I don't forget, it goes in the notebook. I am not one to use notes on my phone. It would take me forever to use the app, I would never look at it after that and I'd forget about it. I need physical paper with me.
So I made a new notebook as I go over the story again. New ideas, new thoughts, new drawings, it will all go in the notebook. And I won't go anywhere without it. You never know when the muses will start singing.

Next, I have been writing down things I am already aware of that need fixing, such as expounding on a few points in the book, and trying to make my point more clear in others. I also wrote down several objective points, such as making sure I'm really checking for spelling and grammatical errors.

Another thing I want to focus on more is my characters. I think that's the biggest thing I have ahead of me. I've been asking myself the question, "What is their purpose? What is the purpose of each character? Is that clear in the story?" This story definitely has the most fleshed out characters I've ever written about, but there's still a lot of room for improvement. While I feel like some are very likable and that the reader gets to know them well, others didn't quite have their story told in the way that they deserve.

One thing I've also been working on is quickly drawing several characters from the story and writing the first thing that comes to mind when I think of them. Not all of them are major characters, but they are the most interesting in my opinion. I shared those drawings at the bottom of this post. XD

I'm really open to hearing from any of you, if you have written anything or edited anything or ever done anything creative, on how that process was for you, and any tips you may have or any resources you found helpful. I've seriously never really edited any of my stories before, so I feel like I don't have much to share, but I really want to keep you guys informed as best as I can. As always, thank you for reading!!

Yours truly,

Friday, April 5, 2019

Going Back: The Purpose.

Taking Editing Seriously.

To my dearest friends and followers,

As most of you are likely already aware, over the course of the last five weeks, I shared the novella I wrote nearly 11 years ago with you. I had a lot of fun revisiting an old story and seeing how far I've come since then. I'm SUPER excited this week to share what I've been up to, regarding my current novel, Beyond The Veil!!

So, I know it's been a while since I've had anything to update you about my novel. For those of you who are new here, the purpose of this blog was so I could talk about Beyond The Veil (I feel like I'm finding that purpose again). I was still writing it, so I shared things like, how, when, and why I began writing the story, what it was about, who the characters were, etc. I want to revisit some of those things in the near future, but today, I mainly just want to say that I'm going to begin seriously editing the book until it's finished!! AHHH!!

I want to share a quick synopsis for my book for the sake of all of you who may not remember my book or simply don't know about it:

The Forest was her home.
It was filled with secrets and magic, tree spirits and a mysterious unicorn. 
What more of an adventure could she possibly ask for?

Hollyhocks views the world the way she wants it to be: good and filled with beauty. With a deep fascination for the humans, she and her closest friends venture beyond the veil to be a part of their world. Perhaps by chance, she meets and befriends young Edward V and experiences a joy and a sadness beyond any of her expectations. Will Hollyhocks succumb to the darkness, or will she rise up, stronger than she was before? After all, what can one small fairy do in a world so big?

Ok. So. This book has been a long process. I finished writing it in January 2017 (Holy smokes, that seems like forever ago!!). I'll be honest, in the past, I write a story, I say I need to edit it, I don't edit it, I put it away, I write another story, I say I need to edit it, I don't...are you seeing a pattern here?
I knew I didn't want to do that with Beyond The Veil though. I think it's a great story. I love my characters so much. It's the best thing I've written. I want to publish it. Buuut, I'm a long way away from doing that. 
Several years ago, I met with an author who gave me some great advice. She said, after I write something, to let it sit for about a year. Let the story fade from my mind, and when I pull it back out, I can see the story for what it is instead of what I want it to say. Then the time is right to edit it. I put my book away for well over a year (oops), and I just pulled it back out. I printed the entire manuscript and can I just say, it feels amazing to hold it in my hands after all this time!! I managed to read a few sentences on the pages as the printer spit them out, it made me so happy. XD

I did sort of do a super rough first go-over of the story, fixing mainly objective errors, with the help of author Gus Kenny and indie publishers Rowanvale Books. I'm ready for this challenge though to edit my book. I feel like things have slowed down and I have time. I don't really want to set a firm goal because I don't want to rush the process, but here's to hoping I finish before the year is over!! Any advice from other writers/artists is extremely welcome!! Thank you so much for reading, I look forward to sharing more about my story soon!!

Yours truly,