Unfortunately, there is not much to report in terms of progress on my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky. I have learned the hard way that it’s HARD to get into a good writing routine while studying for exams, editing another WIP and subsequently going overseas (learn more later). I only wrote one more chapter of the third draft during June, and while this at first feels discouraging, I’m now almost 25% done! And, most importantly, I’m super happy with the way the writing itself is turning out. I need to some pretty significant scene re-ordering to improve the flow of the story, but it’s getting there! You can read Chapter 1 here.
STATUS: writing draft #3
WORD COUNT: 21,500 / 90,000 (24%)
One of the reasons my progress on Holding Up the Sky was so poor is that I spent the month of June editing the first draft of Old Blood, which kick-starts my WIP fantasy series. Using three different coloured pens (red for story/plot, blue for world-building aspects and green for writing style), I went through the manuscript page by page and determined what needs to stay, what needs to go, and what still needs to be added. Now I have a few decisions to make and world-building aspects to sort out, and then I’ll be ready to make a start on the second draft! I’m not setting a particular deadline at the moment, but keep an ear out for more news! You can read a special excerpt here.
STATUS: conducting first-round edits
WORD COUNT: 166,000
NEW BLOG POSTS
BOOKS I READ
Would you trade your soul mate for your soul? Emma has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run, but how can she when their family is beset by enemies on all sides?
MY THOUGHTS: It took me a shamefully long time to get to this book (it had been on my TBR for, like, over a year), but it did NOT disappoint. That ending, though? No. Just no. WHY?! Also, I very much adore Kit and Ty and their beautiful little friendship/whatever is going on there.
GENRE: paranormal| YA
SERIES: The Dark Artifices #2
Maximoff Hale is a force of nature. Born into one of the most famous families in the country, his celebrity status began at birth. When he’s assigned a new 24/7 bodyguard, he comes face-to-face with the worst case scenario: Farrow Keene, known for “going rogue” in the security team…and his secret childhood crush.
MY THOUGHTS: When I began this one, I was expecting yet another story about a spoiled, self-centred celebrity with vices coming out the ear. SO NOT THE CASE! Moffy is one of the most selfless and giving characters I have ever read about and I am DESPERATE for him to get his HEA.
GENRE: contemporary| LGBT
SERIES: Like Us #1
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, there are no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom…until he meets Mormon prodigy Sebastian Brother.
MY THOUGHTS: I loved Tanner. I loved Sebastian. I loved them together. Not sure about Autumn and that whole business, but I adored this book! I really appreciated the presentation of the LDS Church, showing both pros and cons without demonising anyone. We need more books like this!
GENRE: contemporary | YA | LGBT
SERIES: (stand alone)
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a daring heist, but now they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, they must pull together to rescue one of their own…and root out enemies old and new in a cunning scheme that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
MY THOUGHTS: The mind of Kaz Brekker truly frightens me. How the HELL he concocted that mad scheme that left my guessing until the end, I have no idea, but it had me on the edge of my seat. I definitely need MORE MORE MORE about these characters!
GENRE: high fantasy | YA
SERIES: Six of Crows #2
Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play, but he is too scared to stand up to her, or tell her his true passion is composing music of his own. When Beck meets August, he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But does he dare reach for it?
MY THOUGHTS: I read this in just under four hours. That says something, right? All the characters were so multi-dimensional, even the hated mother, and the writing? OH GOD THE WRITING! Just perfect ❤
GENRE: contemporary | YA
SERIES: (stand alone)
Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, fast, has a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as the Butcher. But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One is an acquaintance from his old life, and if he remembers who Neil is, it could very well get him killed.
MY THOUGHTS: This is the type of book I live for! A ragtag bunch of down-and-outers from broken homes that fight like anyone’s business but come together for a joint cause. Most of the time. I must admit I laughed when Seth punched Kevin during their first game.
GENRE: contemporary | NA
SERIES: All For the Game #1
The PSU Foxes are a fractured mess, but their latest disaster may be the miracle they’ve always needed to come together as a team. Outside forces are readying to tear them apart: Riko and his Ravens will stop at nothing to get Kevin back and tear Neil’s life apart…and the questionably sane Andrew may be the only one who can protect them.
MY THOUGHTS: So, it may or may not have been 6am when I finished this one. And no, that wasn’t after waking up at 5. I was ADDICTED from start to finish, and despite all the tragic occurrences I felt so PROUD to see the Foxes finally coming together!
GENRE: contemporary | NA
SERIES: All For the Game #2
Neil Josten is out of time, but with his death right around the corner he’s got more reasons than ever to live. Neil should know better than to get involved with anyone this close to the end, but Andrew’s never been the easiest person to walk away from. And since the monsters are already closing in, this may be his only chance.
MY THOUGHTS: Gah! Neil and Andrew were EVERYTHING! I totally wasn’t sure about Andrew in The Foxhole Court, but now? Holy crap. This book in general was the showdown to end all showdowns and I am now dying because it’s OVER and I don’t know what to do 😥
GENRE: contemporary | NA | LGBT
SERIES: All For the Game #3
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
Firstly, I apologise to those who haven’t read this trilogy and are probably wondering why on earth I’d choose this seemingly boring line as my Quote of the Month. But THIS QUOTE IS EVERYTHING!!! I don’t think I have ever, in my life, had such a sudden and violently emotional reaction to a moment in a book. It was probably around 4:30am, and between one moment and the next I was choking trying to hold back hysterical laughs and sobs so I didn’t wake my family.
The line in question occurs at 98% in the final book of a HELLACIOUS series, during the final half of THE game (you know the one), when the team is pushed to its limit and it’s not enough. MC Neil, who has been through so much and trained so hard for a year in his position as a “striker”, is forced to adopt his childhood position in defence because he is the only one fast enough to keep up with the opposing team’s striker: the antagonist, Riko (a.k.a. Evil Incarnate).
For those who’ve read the series, you understand the significance of this, especially since the person who suggests it is Andrew. For those who haven’t, READ IT ALREADY!!!!
LIFE IN GENERAL
June is exam month, so much of the last four and a bit weeks has involved studying for and sitting my semester one exams. All going well, I should now only have two more exam periods to get through before I am DONE. Other key highlights for June 2018 are:
- finishing exams. Did I say finishing exams?
- participating (sporadically) in #AuthorConfession on Twitter for the first time and having stacks of fun doing it
- seeing Incredibles 2 with my friends and appreciating the throwback to my childhood
- embarking on My Grand Tour of Europe, which I will certainly blog more about in the coming weeks!
What progress did you make with your writing this month? Did you read any good books? Tell me about your highlights and favourite quotes!