I’m Back! (Hiatus Wrap-Up + Battle Song Ending Thoughts + Blogging Plans)

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Hello all! I’m back earlier than I thought I would be because…I finished the first draft of Battle Song

Here are some stats on Battle Song, just for fun! It has:

  • 89,016 words
  • 41 chapters + an epilogue
  • 1 POV character (1st person, past tense)
  • 24 named characters
  • 202 document pages

It was quite the adventure! There were some really dramatic scenes as I reached the end…those were fun to write! Everything started coming together and I had to reference lots of earlier scenes as I pulled everything together. I don’t think I did it perfectly, but I think I did it well enough (for the first draft, anyway)!

So…what are my writing plans now?

Well, I’m letting Battle Song sit for a little while before I come back to it and start revising (which will give my alpha readers a chance to look over it). I think I’ll leave it for a month or two.

Here’s what my main writing-related goals will be during this period:

  1. Start blogging consistently and with a plan.
  2. Decide what my next novel will be.
  3. Outline my next novel.
  4. Outline and begin writing a middle grade novel for my younger brother on the side.

And then I’ll come back and begin the adventure of revising! Which…I’ve never done before. (That’s why it’ll be an adventure. Well, there’s a first time for everything!)

Speaking of the first point, about blogging…I have some ideas. I’m still figuring out the exact plan, and I’ll probably end up experimenting with different posts.

But for now, my ideas are:

  • monthly mini book reviews post
  • writing updates (not sure in what form)
  • writing advice posts
  • possibly book reviews
  • little writing snippets from my life
  • and a monthly post that is currently secret.

We’ll see how these ideas work out. I’m going to be posting twice a week. In the past, I posted on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but once college starts, those days might change depending on how busy I am.

Oh, and just for fun, I wanted to record, after the first draft, what I think are the best things in Battle Song and what things will most need to be revised. Then when I start revising, I want to see if my opinion has changed.

So here’s my top three best things:

  1. Amrya’s conflicting emotions
  2. Plot reveals (hopefully!)
  3. The book’s overall enjoyable-ness

And the three things I think I’ll need to do the most during revision:

  1. Develop Rhys’s and Malena’s characters
  2. Clarify Amrya’s character arc
  3. Add more description

So that will be fun to come back to in a month or two, when I start revising!


let’s talk!

I’m curious about what all of you writers do after you finish a first draft. How long do you let a novel sit between the first draft and revision? How many people do you have alpha read vs. beta read? Do you ask them to look for different things?

And on the subject of my blogging, what posts are you most/least excited for?

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Mid-Hiatus Update (After 2 Months)

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Did anyone see the lunar eclipse? I wish I could’ve!

Well, hello, all! I just wanted to give you an update on how Battle Song and other things have progressed during this past month.

As a reminder, I’m on hiatus until I finish Battle Song because I’ve decided that is the “one thing” for me to work on right now writing-wise. It’s been two months now since I officially left on hiatus, so here’s another update post!


I haven’t been writing as much this month as I did last month. And it’s mostly because I got a full-time job! Which is awesome, but it takes up a lot of time, so I haven’t had as much time to write.

Also, I feel like I’m always tired whenever I write, and so the writing is very first-draft-y. Which is okay…but sometimes it’s not very enjoyable to write that way: you know you’re at least writing, but it doesn’t really feel like you’re writing. If that makes sense.

Anyway, last post Battle Song was at 56,381 words. It is now at 72,683 words. So, I wrote 16,302 words this month. Which isn’t a lot (about half of what I wrote the month before), but at least it’s something!

I still think I’ll finish Battle Song in another month, or at least by the end of August. Why? Well, I think I finally finished the middle part of my outline, which was a little more fluid than the beginning/ending of the outline. Now I’m at the end of my novel, which is much more outlined. So I think I won’t have to worry about adding/rearranging any more scenes from here on out, which will hopefully help me write faster. (I say this as I add another scene idea to my outline…oops.)

Also, I made the decision to start reading better books that I can actually take something from, rather than cliche, run-of-the-mill books that distract me from my real life. I’m trying to read the LDS Institute selections from the Old Testament in 3 months. I want to read more capital-L Literature and more non-fiction books…I want to learn more!

Anyway, I know this is a short post, but when I come back I will hopefully have some good posts ready to bring to you!


Leave a comment below!

What have you been up to this month? Do you sometimes read books that you wish you hadn’t spent the time on? What books are you glad you spent the time on? And what’s your favorite classic novel or other piece of capital-L Literature?

Mid-Hiatus Update (After 1 Month)

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Hey readers!

I’m just popping in to give you a quick update on how my hiatus/writing has been going.

If you read my last post (my hiatus post) you’ll know that I’m on hiatus until I finish Battle Song because I’ve determined that’s the “one thing” (the most important thing) I need to do writing-wise.

Tomorrow it will have been one month since that post, so I wanted to give you some updates.

So how is the writing going?

It’s been going well! I haven’t written every day, but I have written a majority of the days in that month. Barely, haha. 16 out of 30. And I have definitely made progress.

Last month, Battle Song was 27,686 words long. Now it is 56,381. So not only did I pass the 50K mark (which is exciting!), but I also wrote 28,695 words this month. Okay, not as good as a NaNoWriMo, but still good!

I’ve been trying to write an hour every day, though occasionally it goes longer. It’s a lot easier now that it’s the summer! Yesterday I probably wrote for two hours, though I’m not certain.

Best of all, once I start writing, I usually get into it pretty quickly. Why is that? Well, here are the reasons I think.

  1. My outline! It’s seriously a life saver. It’s so nice to not have to wonder what to write next. Of course, a few little things change now and then, but instead of taking time to think of what comes next, I’m able to spend that time writing.
  2. My writing log. I’m not really sure why this is so helpful to me. Basically all I do is make a daily log of how much I wrote, how long it took me, and my writing speed in words per minute. It’s not really that I want to challenge myself because most of the time I don’t care about how fast I write (though I am getting faster). I think it’s just oddly rewarding to write down what I’ve written and calculate the speed.

Plus, I’m getting into some exciting stuff! In my Battle Song Q&A post, I mentioned the scenes I was most excited to write. Well, I’m on the first one of those right now, scenes 37-38! And it is exciting and fun to start revealing some new things.

But my overall feeling is: I want to be done with this draft! Not because I dislike writing in it (actually, I quite like it), but I want it to be done so that other people can read it! So they can compliment me? Probably. But it’s every author’s purpose to have their book be read by someone, isn’t it?

Probably just my family/friends will read this draft, once I’m done. And then there will be revisions. But…that’s still a long way off! Which leads me to the next part of this post.

Do you know when you’ll be back?

Well…not really. I’m still hoping to finish Battle Song by the end of summer, so hopefully by the end of August!

But this month I wrote about 28K. Assuming I write that much next month (which I’m not sure I will, considering I have two week-long vacations planned, that would bring me to about 85K. Another month would be 112K. I’m not sure if Battle Song will be quite that long, but it’s probably safe to assume I’ll finish sometime around the end of August.

That means I should be back, blogging again, near the beginning of September.

I’ll try to have another hiatus update post next month and see if I have a clearer idea on how close I am to finishing Battle Song. (I’m kind of hoping I’ll speed up the closer I get to the end, heh.)


So, to sum up this post, the writing is going well, and I should be back in September if all goes well.

Talk with me!

How has this past month gone for you? Have you been working on writing projects? If so, what are they and how are they going? What is the best thing you’ve gotten to do this summer, and what are you most excited for with the rest of it?

Why I’ve Been Gone and Why I’ll Continue to Be

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Hello, all my lovely readers! First of all, this is not a goodbye post. I will come back! Rather, it’s a summary of what I’ve been doing these past few months, an announcement of the continuation of my hiatus from my blog, and the reasoning why.

What have I been doing?

The last time I posted was January 22nd. I’d finished my Snowflake Method outline for Battle Song and had written about 10k in the first draft (though I did mention that I was having difficulties forcing myself to write). And then–poof!–I disappeared.

I wrote fairly consistently in Battle Song through the first week of February, and then I wrote only sporadically through part of March. I probably added 5k-8k more words to what I had before. I just didn’t feel very motivated to continue–especially as I didn’t feel like scenes were turning out the way I wanted them to.

So…I stopped writing.

Then I went on choir tour in March, and I started writing a novella. If you’re interested in the whole story behind it, you can read this next part; if not, just skip ahead.

((Remember the Iris novella that I did two spotlights on? Iris’s daughter, Aleria, came from a novel that a friend and I wrote together. That friend was with me on choir tour…so I decided that I wanted to write her a story about some of our other characters…which of course grew longer and longer.

((If you’re interested in how the stories connect…in the novel we wrote, Aleria (daughter of Iris) meets this guy named Ryder. He was adopted when he was a baby by a different family. That family had a daughter named Sophie. She died when she was a young girl…but this novella explores what would have happened to her if she hadn’t died.

((So it’s not even real, which is depressing because it’s adorable.))

Okay, back to the story of what I’ve been doing. So, I know a couple of girls at church who also like to write and we started this writing club where we set goals. Anyway, in April, we decided that if we all finished our goals by our next meeting (the first Friday in May), we would get to have a potstickers party.

So I guess I have potstickers to credit for helping me write in Battle Song again. You see, I made this goal that I would finish writing the novella and write three scenes in Battle Song in that month. And I had to do that so that we could get potstickers.

So with potstickers in mind, I kept working on the novella…and it kept getting longer! My stories have a tendency to do it. But I needed to finish by the next meeting…so as I neared the end of that time, I was pretty much writing every day.

When I finished the novella (at 31,026 words–Iris had 24K), I only had two days to write three scenes in Battle Song, but I did it! (For the potstickers, of course.) (Except our meeting has been postponed twice since then, so will I ever get my potstickers? Who knows.)

Since then, I’ve actually been excited about writing in Battle Song, and I’ve written fairly consistently, trying to write about an hour every day. I usually end up writing 4 days a week.

I started keeping a writing log where I keep track of how many words I write in how much time…and then I calculate my average words per minute…usually between 18 and 22. Which ends up being around 1K an hour. I don’t know why it’s so fun to calculate my writing speed…but it is!

Anyway, long story short, I’ve been writing consistently in Battle Song and it currently has a total of 27,686 words.

Other than that, school is out (!!) and I figured out where I’m going to college and I’ve had a lot of choir concerts!


Wait…so you’re still on hiatus?

In short, yes.

This could turn into another long story, but that’s okay. Basically, I’ve decided that I won’t be blogging until I finish drafting Battle Song. I may do the occasional update on writing stuff, but I won’t really be here.

The reasoning behind this? Well…the other day, I was looking through my dad’s kindle and saw the book The One Thing by Gary Keller. And since I didn’t have anything else to do (we weren’t at home, so there really wasn’t much I could do), I started reading it.

It’s actually a book about how to be successful as a business, but…I thought it was interesting and applicable, nonetheless. One of the parts I found most interesting talked about balance and how it’s not always a good thing.

Basically, the idea was you try to balance your life, relationships, etc. but with work-related things, sometimes you have to throw yourself off-balance and completely pursue “the one thing”.

“The one thing”, according to the book, is the thing that is most important, the thing that will make everything else unnecessary or easier to accomplish. I’ve decided, that for me, right now, the one thing” is to finish Battle Song.

And instead of trying to divide my time between blogging and writing, I want to just write, and then come back when I’m done…when I can adequately focus on blogging well.


What will your blog look like when you get back?

I’m not entirely sure yet, but my hope is to post more consistently for sure. I want to really put some effort into my blog and think about what I’m writing.

I have had some post ideas that I’m excited for…there’s this blog series that could be fabulous (we’ll see) that has to do with short stories and possibly some world building posts. Hopefully, more ideas will come as I write Battle Song so I’ll have a whole plethora to choose from when I come back.

If you have any ideas, feel free to tell me!


A short thank you note

Also, I want to thank you all for your support…even though I am crazy and disappear all the time and have these really long rambling posts…you guys still read and comment! I’m so happy that I have made such great friends with my blog who are so kind to me.


Let’s talk, shall we?

What have you been up to in the time that I’ve disappeared? Tell me all about how life is going! What writing projects are you working on?

Do you agree that being off-balance is sometimes necessary, and in what aspects of life? What “one thing” could you work on?

And also, tell me if you want a spotlight or two from the novella about Sophie that I wrote! If you do, I can post those in the next few weeks since it really won’t take too much trouble. And if you have post ideas for when I come back…I’m definitely open to suggestions!

5 Random Updates

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I should make all my headers like this…it took me about three minutes. Then again, it’s rather uncreative. But it works in a pinch when you’re tired and want to go to bed.

Well, some of them are random, anyway. They’re less random and more rambly. I should’ve called it 5 Rambly Updates. So, I don’t know what to post about but I decided I should probably post before I leave on hiatus for a little bit.

So randomness/ramblyness (rambliness?) ensues.

#1: Update on Blogging & Hiatus

Okay, this isn’t random, really. But I’m going to be gone next week. *nods* And maybe longer than that because I don’t know what to blog about if I’m not writing regularly. And I haven’t been writing regularly. *hides in shame*

Also, I now have over 100 followers! Thank you, everyone, for reading. It means a lot that you read and (hopefully?) enjoy my blog!

#2: Update on Life

I’ve been thinking a lot about college and stuff and whyyy does it cost so much? Some days it seems so far away and I’m like, “Oh, I’ll just not worry about it,” and other days I’m so overwhelmed and I feel like I’ll never be ready. (I spend a lot of time between two conflicting emotions like that.)

I also don’t want to think about school, so I haven’t started my summer homework. And I have been procrastinating a lot recently. It’s a problem.

I read around 20 books in June…some have yet to see the light of a goodreads review, though. But I’m working on that. Actually, I’m reading rather than writing reviews. Probably not a good thing, but I’ll get around to them sometime.

#3: Update on Self Growth

Hm. Hopefully I’m not getting any taller, but I think I am getting better as a person. More or less. I don’t really know. I’ve been praying to have more charity, and it’s helped, but then I also have days where I get frustrated and take it out on everyone around me.

And I complain way too much. Any ideas? Say two things positive after every complaint?

#4: Update on Musicality

After all, this blog is called The Music of Words. So, what musicking have I been up to? Not much. I’ve been taking voice lessons but I haven’t practiced much since my last one…eep. So I know my voice is probably getting worse as I sit here, not singing.

But I’ve been playing the piano recently, not practicing, but at least playing. Mostly as a form of escapism from the world. I can’t escape through singing…it’s too much of me, I think. I know people hear it and they hear me. But when I play the piano, they hear the music and I hear the music, and I don’t have to worry about improving my voice or how I breathe or that I miss a few notes. I just play.

#5: Update on Writing

*sigh*

Yep, that’s a pretty good description on it’s own. Lots of sighing. Lots of glaring at myself in the mirror (and at my characters if I feel like it). Basically, I haven’t been writing much even though I’ve had time to, and that just makes me feel all guilty inside. Grrrrr.

Plus, Camp NaNo? Ha! Especially since I’m going on hiatus. I’m going to lose again. And it’s because I’m too lazy to write.

But I have made some progress on Battle Song! I’m at a grand total of 8,570 words so far and I’m having a lot of fun exploring the world and some of the magic of the world. (The mers can do magical stuff through singing, which is so fun to play around with. And traumatize Amrya with.)

I want to talk to you about it! Though I’m not entirely sure what to talk about…what do you want to hear about? Characters? Plot? Setting? A Spotlight with an excerpt or snippets? What I’m struggling with? I don’t know, you tell me what you want to hear. I’ll try to oblige, unless inspiration suddenly strikes…


Alrighty, there’s my updates & basically my tired, late night version of a monthly wrap-up post. (What happened to the Dares? I don’t know. I would still like to do them, but the posts took a long time to write, and I never seemed to accomplish much.)

Anyway, how have you been? Any updates you want to share with me? Tell me how your writing is going or what thoughts have been on your mind lately during life. Do you play an instrument or sing? How do you feel about music?

Why I Disappeared + My New Writing Project

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So you may have noticed that I disappeared from the blogosphere.

I mean, it was just a slight disappearance that took up, yeah, about the whole month of April. Eek.

And I know what you’re all wondering: Why did you leave us with no warning? We’ve all been suffering without your fabulous blog posts! Don’t leave us anymore!!

Or something of the sort.

Well, there wasn’t a huge reason why I disappeared…mainly just a culmination of lots of little things that led to me not posting and only commenting on a few blog posts throughout the month.

Here’s some of the reasons:

  • I totally failed Camp NaNo. I don’t know how this affected me, but about the time I stopped writing in my novel, I stopped checking my blog as much. I stopped writing because I got to a point where I didn’t know how to write anything I liked (which I’m still struggling with, a bit).
  • The post I was working on was taking a long time to put together. Like, it was taking longer than my Dares posts do! It’ll still be coming to you, at some point, but I’m only about halfway through it at the moment. (For a sneak peek, it’s about positivity!)
  • Life was busy. Between school nearing the end of the year, choir festival, composing a choral song, reading lots of books, and procrastinating a lot, there just wasn’t any time. (Okay, I had some time. But not a lot.)
  • And…yep. I’m sorry for leaving you without your favorite blog.

But I’m back now, and hopefully for quite a while as well!



And now for more exciting things… I’m working on a new writing project!

Well, “new” might not be the correct terminology. I actually started this project two years ago, during April Camp NaNoWriMo, so it’s actually quite old. But I haven’t worked on it for a very long time, so right now I want to finish it! (Remember, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to finish writing three novels.)

It’s called The Blade (or, at least, that’s what it’s called for now), and despite there being a lot of fighting and war and stuff like that, it’s really about the internal struggles of a girl named Riven, trying to figure out who she is.

It also involves:

  • A sword-fighting teacher who doubles as an counselor
  • A boy with a crooked smile and great letter-writing skills
  • A sash
  • A loyal horse (or two)
  • A desert-y setting with canyons and red rocks
  • A mysterious man in black (yep, like Princess Bride)
  • A magic-less fantasy
  • A war
  • And a lot of heartbreak

And I know you’re dying for an excerpt now, so I tried to find something non-spoiler-y but still something I loved. So here’s this:

“Sometimes Malik sings to me when I can’t fall asleep,” said James, leaning up against the rock.

I stared. This Malik was sounding stranger and stranger. What sort of man would sing a little boy a lullaby to help him sleep? Well, perhaps the same kind who would take a whiplash for him. The kind of man who would love…so why would he be with the Bleeding Sun? “He sings to you?”

James nodded.

“What does he sing?”

“I can’t really remember all of it,” he said softly, a faint blush of embarrassment rising to his cheeks. Perhaps he didn’t want to have me intrude on this memory. Or maybe he just didn’t like singing.

“What’s the song about?”

James drew his finger through the red sand for a few moments before answering. “It’s about falling asleep and dreaming of a castle, and a princess.”



talk to me!

Did you miss me terribly? (Actually, don’t answer that, I know you did.) Did you write any awesome posts that I didn’t read/comment on & should? What was the best/worst part of April for you? How did Camp NaNo go for you? You must tell me everything I missed! And what do you think of my new project? Are you excited to learn more about it?