MONTHLY UPDATE: April 2018

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Third time’s a charm! I hope.

 

Welcome to my April 2018 update post, now the third of its kind. This month has been a struggle from the get-go, battling the university blues while also juggling two jobs and my writing. Somehow, I’ve still managed to finish reading four novels, write/rewrite a poem for ANZAC Day, and develop my Instagram skills. Also, I reached 50 followers on this blog!!! Please read on to find out what I’ve accomplished with my WIPs, and what I chose as my Quote of the Month!

 

 

WRITING PROGRESS

 

Holding Up the Sky

 

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Despite a number of false starts, I’ve finally managed to make some proper progress on the third draft of my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky. This month, I have finalised my plans for a significant restructuring of the story’s first third and completed edits for 3.75 chapters. I may or may not have crossed the line from perfection to perfectionism while doing so, at one time spending a whole half-hour on a 4-line paragraph. As a result, this draft is likely to take longer than I anticipated, but I’m hopeful it will lead to a better end result! You can read Chapter 1 here.

STATUS: writing draft #3

WORD COUNT: 13,500 / 90,000 (15%)

 

 

 

Old Blood (Graceborn #1)

 

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Okay. I admit it. I’m still giddy, on a high, after finishing the first draft of my epic fantasy novel Old Blood last month. For the last 4.5 weeks I have been tinkering with various world-building concepts, namely language development and key historical events. It’s so much fun! Plans for book 2 (nope, you don’t get to know it’s title just yet) are also being fleshed out and shored up. I’d originally planned to commence the (somewhat daunting) editing process mid-May, but have decided to postpone until the bulk of Holding Up the Sky‘s third draft is done. In the meantime, you can read a special excerpt here.

STATUS: completed draft #1

WORD COUNT: 166,000

 

 

 

BOOKS I READ

 

Cloaked in Shadow by Ben Alderson

 

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Zacriah is concerned with two things in life: hunting, and dodging the boy who broke his heart. But both those things become distant concerns when he is drafted into the king’s new legion of shapeshifters, because Zacriah now has a bigger problem: he isn’t a shapeshifter…and his true power must be kept a secret at all costs.

MY THOUGHTS: This book had a number of the elements I love in high fantasy: magic, princes, romance…impending war. Some of the “twists” were a tad predictable and I would have liked a bit more clarity about the types of magic users, but maybe I have to wait for the sequel!

GENRE: high fantasy | YA | LGBT

SERIES: The Dragori #1

 

 

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

 

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Jude and her twin brother Noah couldn’t be any more different. Quiet Noah draws constantly, while daredevil Jude talks enough for both of them, but they are inseparable. Fast forward three years. The twins are barely speaking, and if they can’t find their way back to each other through the lies and betrayal, their relationship may be lost forever.

MY THOUGHTS: One word: Wow. I loved, loved, loved Noah’s POVβ€”the artistic language was just so beautiful! I also enjoyed Jude’s POV, which is a win since 90% of female narrators in YA fiction irritate the hell out of me. An awesome story about family and forgiveness 🌞

GENRE: contemporary | YA | LGBT

SERIES: (stand alone)

 

 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

 

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One cold night, in the most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson meets Will Grayson, and from that moment on, their lives collide and intertwine in ways neither could ever have expected. Fate is hurtling them towards the same crossroads, converging on the extraordinary musical produced by someone who means the world to them both.

MY THOUGHTS: This book was…different. Good different! As different as the two Wills! They both had such different voices, Will Grayson’s so apathetic and will grayson’s so sad and lonely and longing πŸ˜₯ But the one who really made the story? Well. His name is Tiny Cooper.

GENRE: contemporary | YA | LGBT

SERIES: (stand alone)

 

 

Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill

 

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When ten-year-old Daniel Tate vanished from one of California’s most elite communities, he left no trace. Six years later, he resurfaces on a snow street in Vancouver, and his overjoyed family brings him home to a life of luxury he is too traumatised to remember. It’s perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing: he isn’t Daniel Tate.

MY THOUGHTS: Oh my god oh my god oh my god THIS BOOK! I will never be the same again! So creepy and thrilling and utterly, utterly heartbreaking. I must admit the lack of chapters kinda pissed me off…but not as much as that ending. Why, Cristin Terrill, WHY?!

GENRE: contemporary | thriller | YA

SERIES: (stand alone)

 

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

 

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So says Jude to Noah in the final chapter of I’ll Give You the Sun. I chose this quote for a few reasons. One, it captures the type of beautiful language that permeates every page and paragraph of this remarkable book. Two, it touches on so many elements that the story explores: being “different people” depending on who we’re with, making good choices, making mistakes, grief, forgiveness, broken relationships, falling in love, art, growing up,. And three, it really summarises the lessons the twins have learned and the understanding and acceptance they come to by the end of the book πŸ™‚

 

 

LIFE IN GENERAL

 

As I indicated at the start of this post, this month has been a bit of a struggle. SO BUSY. As a result, I made the difficult but long-coming decision to resign from my lifeguard job to focus on uni and work. And writing. Some of my other achievements this month include:

  • saying farewell to a friend of 9 years who is moving overseas πŸ˜₯
  • writing a poem for ANZAC Day
  • taking my parents to see Love, Simon and watching my dad cry!
  • REACHING 50 FOLLOWERS ON THIS BLOG!!!
  • reaching 58 followers on Instagram already! (selection of pics below)

 

 

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What progress did you make with your writing this month? Did you read any good books? What is your Quote of the Month?

 

 

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Rebecca Alasdair

  One thought on “MONTHLY UPDATE: April 2018

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury
    01/05/2018 at 8:41 PM

    *screams softly with you about Daniel Tate* THAT BOOK. I SWEAR. It totally knocked my head in πŸ˜‚and I mean that in a good way but I also kind of wanted to throw it at a wall haaaah *sobs* I also loved Tiny Cooper! I mean forget the Will Graysons, Tiny Cooper was everything.πŸ˜‚And it’s been yeeeears since I read I’ll Give You the Sun but OH MY HEART. I loved that one too.

    congrats on all the writing success for this month too despite being so busy! (Also 166K is a huuuge book omg you powerhouse you!!) I didn’t read many amazing books myself (but Chaos Walking!) but I did finish drafting a new book so I’m pleased about that. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • 01/05/2018 at 9:01 PM

      Thanks Cait!! It’s been a difficult recovery month I think, but it’s also SO MUCH FUN to put aside the writing and just work on the world-building side of things. Kinda makes you feel like a god, creating the world, quite literally writing history. You know how it is.

      Hope you enjoyed Chaos Walking. I’ve only read the first book myself (I loved it, but was also traumatised), but those 10th anniversary additions are so beautiful I just know they’ll end up in my basket next time I’m at the shops…

      Like

  2. barbarabrutt
    01/05/2018 at 11:43 PM

    Ooof! You finished four novels despite being so busy?! Whatever you’re drinking, I’ll have some please! Sounds like you’re living life at a very fast clip and I’m admiring that!

    Congratulations on reaching 50 followers here and on Instagram! That can be difficult to do for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 02/05/2018 at 8:47 AM

      Haha I think I sacrifice sleep time for reading time. When I’m really busy I usually HAVE to read before I go to sleep or my brain just won’t shut off!

      Liked by 1 person

      • barbarabrutt
        02/05/2018 at 9:11 PM

        I totally GET that. Reading gets my mind off my own crazy and on to someone else’s contained crazy. πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

      • 03/05/2018 at 12:43 AM

        Nothing like a good end-of-the-world crisis to take your mind off your own petty troubles!! 😜

        Like

  3. Ari
    02/05/2018 at 1:07 AM

    Great job! Four novels? Wow, I am super jealous! πŸ˜€ Congrats on reaching 50 followers. Nice job on Instagram, I need to get mine more organised and branded…and remember to use it! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • 02/05/2018 at 8:45 AM

      Thank you! And Instagram is kind of addictive, right? So many talented people taking incredible pictures of books…I am constantly in awe!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 06/05/2018 at 4:18 AM

    Oh my gosh I am incredibly impressed with your work ethic and ability to be able to write four novels! That’s amazing. I love writing and have a pretty fleshed out idea for a novel that I am working on currently but I feel like I’m not making that much progress and am kind of overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes. I know I just need to buckle down and actually get some work done but if you have any tips or advice for completing novels, I’d love to hear it!

    Again, congratulations and I wish you the best with completing your edits!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 06/05/2018 at 11:28 AM

      Haha well I just realised how misleading that sentence I wrote sounds (I’ve fixed it now!). I finished reading four novels, and continued to work on my two WIPs. Finishing one isn’t easy that’s for sure, and it comes down to figuring out what works best for you. For me, I can’t finish a book if I don’t have a scene-by-scene plan of what’s going to happen. Then it’s a matter of slogging through to the end. The first time round, don’t worry about quality, just get it done! Then you have something to work with in the editing phase. Best of luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 07/05/2018 at 4:25 AM

        Thanks so much for your advice! And sorry I was confused about the reading vs writing!

        Liked by 1 person

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