Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A New Title

I am nearing the halfway point in my revamp of The Ultimate Evil. I hadn't been able to write for several days because I had to work on my final exam of my Interior Decorator Career Diploma. Now it's done and I'm writing again at full speed! :)

You know me, I'm a planner. I like to plan for what could happen. So, for those who don't know, I have decided to query Khaladin till I have literally exhausted all options. If Khaladin does not sell and I am finished with The Ultimate Evil, I am probably going to query it again.

Now, you can query agents about the same project again if you have done a major overhaul in your story. Well, that's what I'm doing. But I've also heard that changing the title can help when re-querying as well. So, I want to find a new title for The Ultimate Evil.

Here's what I have so far:

The Dark One King
The Evil King
The Dark King
The Morlaya King
A Son of Darkness
The Master of Fear
The Backbone of Hate
The Heart and the Horn
The Devil's Disguise
The Demon Unicorn
Terror of Nightmares
As you can tell, I still want to name this story after Arvil. Without him, there'd be no story!
I am only looking for a title for when I re-query these agents. If I do and none of them bite, I will revert back to The Ultimate Evil when querying agents to whom I have never sent this project.
So, what do you think of those titles? Which ones do you like? Are there any more you would like to suggest? I'm open and all ears! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


That's the one thing a writer cannot live without. One way or another, all of our stories are influenced by something. It doesn't matter if we are inspired by a true event, another book, or even the way the clouds look in the sky. What matters is that we are inspired.

Today, I thought I would share a bit of inspiration for one of my stories with you. The story is Khaladin. The inspiration is the movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

I was not inspired so much by storyline from Spirit as I was with just the horse himself. I saw more of how a horse reacts and moves. Naturally a unicorn would do the same. It helped me get a better visual both in my head and on paper.

Here's a video of Spirit. The song being played is a dance version of the song, The Last Unicorn. Fitting, since this movie inspired me and Khaladin is a unicorn.

Oh, watch the 1:34 mark. Spirit pretends he's a pegasus. I love it! :D


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Do You Have Trouble Speed Writing?

On some days, I do. But I was referred to a speed writing website by author Jim Denney, who has published such books as Quit Your Day Job! and the story of Star Trek actress Grace Lee Whitney, The Longest Trek. You can find more books by him by visiting his website, www.denneybooks.com.

I tried out this site (which is 100% free) and loved it! You type in the amount of words you want to write and select your time limit (from 10 minutes to two hours) and click the Write! button. You can also set your difficulty mode. The first is gentle and when you haven't written in a while, it gently prods you to go on. Or you can set the evil mode, which plays an annoying sound if you cease to write for too long. This is the mode I use and prefer (although some of their "evil" sounds are a mistake for me, because they just make me laugh, which makes me lose time. Once it played "Mmm Bop" by Hanson. Yes, I love that song and instead of writing I was singing along. I'm such a dork!). Or, if you want something even more difficult, set it to Kamikaze mode and if you fail to write, your writing will undo itself! Pfft! Gone!

I love this site. I think it's great and you should try it. Here's the link:


Happy (speed) writing! :D

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why The Revamp?

I just recently read a book that said if you don't condense your book in your revision, then you are doing something wrong.

So why am I doing a revamp of The Ultimate Evil that's clearly making the story much longer?

Simple: It needs it.

The Ultimate Evil, I believe, has the potential to be a great story. It was good in the old version but the reason I'm revamping is to flesh out the story and edit those iffy parts that every story has, whether it's to keep or chuck them.

With this new version of my fantasy, I also have to re-work the query. Heck, I had to do that anyway because my query, which I thought was good, turned out to be crap. And with new plot twists, I have to focus on different things than I used to. But I have to say, writing a query for this story is hard. Khaladin and Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space!'s queries were easier. I guess it's because they don't have as many twists and turns as The Ultimate Evil does.

Another thing. I normally keep you all updated on my word count progress, whether it increases or shortens. Well, I'm now going to hold you in suspense. I will not post The Ultimate Evil's word count again until it is finished.

Happy writing! :D

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Example

Some of my friends who read The Ultimate Evil in its entirety have wondered what I am doing to this poor story that I have been working on for so long. Well, here is an example. Below is the original opening paragraph for The Ultimate Evil.

A good king had ruled Validor not that long ago. He had lost his wife to disease shortly after his daughter’s birth, but did not let his grieving affect his ability to rule the country with compassion and grace. He was a kind man who had been very skilled with the sword, and though ruling Validor had demanded most of his time, he always found enough hours in the day to spend time with his only daughter and heir, Aduan. She was a very beautiful and skilled girl, one of the few women who could expertly wield a sword.

It's good, decent even, but this is not great. I have expanded upon this paragraph and turned it into the opening chapter called, "The Princess and the King". This is that chapter:


Taon stood on one of the many balconies in Validor’s castle, overlooking the lush green grounds, a soft wind pulling gently at his shoulder length hair. The vizier’s ever-watchful eye lay on his close friend, King Dorvon and his only daughter, Princess Aduan, as their swords clashed. Sword fighting was a pastime both father and daughter had enjoyed for many years now.

She truly has grown even more beautiful than her mother was, Taon reflected as he watched the seventeen year old. The Queen’s life had been lost to disease shortly after Aduan’s birth and the girl had grown up, never knowing her mother. The King had taken his wife’s death hard, but had not let his grieving mar his ability to rule his land with compassion and grace.

Taon became aware that someone had stepped up beside him and saw that it was Yeugh, a skilled knight and captain of Validor’s army. The soldier gazed at the Royal Family below and nodded his head. “Aduan’s skill is improving.”

“Quite,” he agreed, “but she had the best instructor. His Majesty is the most skilled swordsman in our land.”

“With that I must agree.”

The two men fell silent as they watched the battle commence. For years the fights had not been evenly matched, but now it seemed that this one was. Aduan was just as quick as her father, just as wary and watchful. Then, to Taon’s great surprise, Aduan succeeded in forcing her father’s sword from his hand. Her sword pointed at his throat, she removed her helmet, revealing her sweat drenched bronze hair.

“Do you yield?” she asked.

Dorvon’s kind face crinkled up in a smile and he laughed. “Well done, Aduan. Well done!” He looked up at Taon. “Wasn’t that something, my friend?”

“Indeed, my lord,” Taon called back, knowing full well the king had not allowed his daughter to win. She had rightfully earned it. “Neither Yeugh or myself has managed to best you.”

Dorvon grinned at his daughter and wrapped her in a hug. “Not only do I have the prettiest daughter in the land,” Taon heard him say, “but the best swordswoman as well.”

“I never expected that of Aduan,” Yeugh said. “She has always cared more of her appearance than anything else. Why would she strive so hard to beat her father?”

“Because she wishes to please him,” the vizier answered. “He is the only person she truly cares about.”

Yeugh sighed and shook his head as he watched the Royals depart the grounds and walk into the castle. “She still has much to learn before she can assume the throne.”

“There is still time, Sir Yeugh,” he assured him. “Time for Aduan to learn all she needs. Besides, she will not undertake the throne until the King deems her ready. That is the law of our land.”

“Aduan is spoiled.” Yeugh always spoke bluntly. “Everyone in Validor knows it. Everyone, that is, except for her father.”

Taon looked away to gaze once again at the lush green land before him. Yeugh was right. Dorvon did not see the coldness in Aduan’s heart because it was never displayed before him.

“I’m only thinking of the good of our country,” Yeugh continued. “Things do happen and we do have enemies out there.”

At his words, Taon found himself involuntary gazing into the West. Yes, enemies did lay in wait and one in particular had for centuries with the promise that one day he would return.

How much longer would he continue to only linger?

“Taon, don’t pay any attention to me,” Yeugh said, leaning up against the stone railing. “Right now we really do not have anything to worry about. Everything is going well for Validor, wouldn’t you agree?”

He nodded, turning back to him, carefully banishing any concern and fear that may have been present on his features. “Yes, I do agree.”

They did not know that the words were a bad omen.

I think it's much better. Of course, this is only the first draft. Once the revamp is done, I'm going to read it through once more to clean it up a little bit, then I'm going to be done because then it will be the epic I always saw it as....which makes me one happy camper! :D

Oh, feel free to crit and comment on this. If you do decide to crit, please note that I love honest opinions, so you can tell me anything you want. All help is always appreciated! :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Revamp In Progress!

Some of my regulars will know that I have been working for a long time on a story called The Ultimate Evil, a high fantasy young adult novel. Several of you know that I was planning on revamping it.

Well, this is where the planning stops and the action begins!

I have begun my revamp of The Ultimate Evil. I'm super excited! It doesn't even begin the same way anymore. The original beginning paragraphs were kinda boring and now I'm going to change all that. The story is going to be longer, more dramatic, more desperate, and a MUCH more exciting read! I have no plans for how long it will get. Right now it's sitting pretty at 55,000 words and I gather it will exceed that now, but I don't know by how much. I have learned not to stress over length. If your story is good, then length doesn't matter.

Literary Update: The Ultimate Evil was completely rejected by all 17 agents I sent it to. Are you surprised? I'm not. Also, I just recieved another rejection letter for Khaladin. Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! has still not been submitted to any agencies. Still focused on Khaladin.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A New Experience

I'm about to undertake one.

One of my good friends and I have decided to write a book together.


Some of you might remember that I mentioned a story I had begun work on called A Moment In Time. Well, my friend, come to find out, had a story idea that was similar, so we have decided to pool our stories and talents for one fantastic (we hope!) novel!

It will be a young adult science fiction. Can't say much more than that, but I am SUPER excited! Wish us luck! We're both excited about starting this as soon as we can. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Encouraging Words

My BFF just finished reading The Ultimate Evil and she loved it!

My friend offered a lot of encouraging words. She said that she loved my ending because I brought it to a complete closure, no cliffhangers. She found comic relief in the story (and some that I didn't even know was there, which was fun to discover!) and I even scared her at one point with Arvil. She knows that poetry is not my strong point, but she said that the two poems in my story are good.

On a scale of 1 to 10, she placed my book 7-8. She said it wasn't the best book she has ever read (obviously) but that if it were on the shelf she would buy it and recommend it to friends.

One thing my friend has always said is that she thinks The Ultimate Evil would make a great movie. What a compliment! She also loved the emotion I had in my story, saying I am an emotional person which makes me an emotional writer, and it shows.

I was completely flattered. I told her that for her to love the story this much, publication or not, I've done my job.

"But I so want to see you published, Madison!"

Me too, my friend. Me too. :D

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bubbles, Bubbles, But Not A Drop To Drink....Yet

Remember that line from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Well, I've adapted it to describe my current writing crisis.

"Stories, stories, but not a one to write....yet."

In simple terms, I have a ton of ideas, but I haven't found one to buckle down with yet. I've been talking to friends and family about my series, The Unicorn Queen, and some questions about several of the plots are being raised. Obviously, I have more work to do than I thought.

I also came up with two more story ideas this week. One is a young adult science fiction called, A Moment In Time. Yes, for those wondering, it is a time travel story. It's time travel with adventure, action, and a dash of romance.

Got that? A dash. I don't like to be overly romantic....at least at this point in my life. :)

I've also got another young adult story idea and this one is probably going to shock you. Why?

Drumroll, please.

It's not science fiction or fantasy.

Yep, it's not genre fiction. The title is The Babysitting Adventures of Beverly Jenkins. I REALLY like this story so far! Maybe it will be the next one to work on. In this field, you never know.....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Blog Worth Reading

It is called Everyday Miracles.

This blog doesn't have anything to do with writing, per say, but the writing style is great. This is my writing friend's blog...the one I met with the other day. A few of you may have read that post.

My friend and I are Christians and his blog is about his study through the Bible and what it means to him. Even if you are not a Christian, I urge you to visit, because he does have a way with words....one that I think we as writers can learn from. And if you are a Christian, then you are in for a real treat! :D

The blog is http://wats-the-word.blogspot.com. My friend has a weird way of spelling, but hey, that's just how he is.

Oh, and if you do read and like it, feel free to follow. He doesn't update too often, but when he does, it's great!

Don't be shy! Check it out! :D

Monday, March 2, 2009

Queen Sapphire and Her Friends

Since I was having a hard time writing The Unicorn Queen, I decided to make some more drawings of the characters and share them with you. This first one is Sapphire, wearing her Badge of Majesty, given to her by the former Queen, Midnight Star.

I have a question about the Badge of Majesty. Would you say it is a necklace or a breastplate? When I said breastplate in my sample chapter, someone on AW said that it creates a confusing image when I say it lifted off her shoulders. So, what do you think?

This is Ruby, Sapphire's older sister. She was also in the group Midnight Star was training to see who would become the next ruler and Ruby is not jealous that Sapphire was chosen over her. She always does her best to help her sister in any way she can. Both she and Sapphire are first introduced in the first story, The New Queen's Challenge.

Here is Levan. He is a castle guard and becomes great friends with Sapphire. I don't really know a lot about his character yet, but I do know that he would do anything to protect Sapphire, even if it meant laying down his own life. Levan is introduced in Book Two: A Silent Killer.

Last but certainly not least is Kila. She is a very sweet unicorn, quiet and controlled, but is a wonderful fighter. She is eternally loyal to Sapphire because the Queen saved her life. Kila considers Sapphire her best friend. Readers will meet Kila in the third adventure, The Marred Unicorn.