Tag Archives: Forgotten Star

8/15 Update

Update, no not much progress…

Work/family has required more of my time and energy this week, so the writing is slow at the moment. However, I did have a brainstorm on how to edit chapter two. I need to add the full argument, but I need a scene before that, showing how compassionate Korin can be, to round him out a bit. Without knowing that, his anger is going to get on anyone’s nerves, mine included.


8/2 Progress

Forgotten Star: made some decisions about Korin and his role, and will be making some subtle changes. (However I really need to get working on chapter 2 already.)

Winter Warrior: worldbuilding went really well. The extensive mapping has led me to nation relations issues (yay conflict) as well as some history. I’ve planned the species that habitat each nation with the intent of not filling the world up with humans who rule over everyone else, and I think I’ve done it. Now, for the nitty gritty of each nation and their people who have to appear in this novel.

I also wrote the first line for WW, giving my MC a voice, but strangely it was in the first person. I don’t know if I really want to write an entire novel in first person. So, that’s something else I have to decide in the next few weeks. The line:

No matter what the healers claim, some wounds do not fade with time–they fester. Yet despite knowing this, I step once more into the arena, very much like the one that destroyed my life.

7/25 Progress

Forgotten Star: realized chapter 2 was off, because I started it at the end of an argument between Korin and his father. I’m going to add the argument, I think that’ll show their issues better than Korin’s running off and sulking (even though he’s right).

MS Word: still stinky. Managed to convert the unstable document to a .txt, and then break it up into three .doc files. Now I’ve got to reformat 560 pages of text, including line breaks and indentations that were lost in the original document. At least the haunted page breaks disappeared.

Whispers (the collaboration/for fun project): added to a scene my partner wrote. Wanted to work on the next scene, but I had to resolve the Word issues.

7/24 Progress

Worked on the web page a bit, getting closer to my desired content.

Analyzing Chapter 2 of FS, something is missing, but I don’t yet know what. I’m introducing Korin and his story question, but it doesn’t feel like a complete scene. I need something more compelling? We’ll see. I’ll reread it one more time tonight and see what hits me.

7/12 Progress

Whispers (fun project, not on goals list): opening written, shared with partner.

Forgotten Star: (1) Chapter 1 Scene 2 edited at 888 words. (2) Revamped chapter organization; scene 3 has been moved to the start of chapter 3, therefore (3) Chapter 1 edit is complete (and posted to SG for crit).

7/11 Progress

Forgotten Star — Chapter 1, Scene 1: 1213 words edited (7 pages). Scene complete. Venian is more frightening now. [1/3 scenes]

A Few Words Tonight

I worked on Dragon’s Bard over lunch (which really should be “Dragons’ Bard’ now), and worked out what needs to change in the edit.

This evening I added 2,067 words to Forgotten Star and completed chapter D. I’m ready to edit!


The new name works. And I do feel the character changing a bit with the name, but not drastically. It might even help flesh her out a bit more.

I finished up Chapter B over lunch today, and outlined what needs to happen next. I have material for possibly three more chapters, and it’s leaning heavily on threat and romance, so I have to decide if this is the direction I truly want to take. The only way to find out is to write it, and see how it feels.

In the meantime, I’m planning on starting the edit this weekend, regardless if the first chapters aren’t complete enough.

The Naming

Okay, here it is. It’s unedited, so forgive any blunders. The sole purpose of this piece is to name the child and likely it will never appear in the novel itself.

Dego Whitewolf helped his wife down the steps of the healer’s cottage, steps designed for protection from flooding, steps that hindered the pregnant woman.

“I’m keeping you from your work,” Veisa said between huffs.

“The king will do fine without me, I’m here as long as you need me.” The exertion of her never ending pregnancy was taking a toll, and Dego wished the child would make its appearance already. The intense summer heat didn’t help, nor the drought that dried the nearby streams. It was a long walk to cooling water, but they made the walk together every morning, and hung about the watering hole as long as they could.

“It’s pretty out here,” Veisa said, her mind distant.

“I thought it best for you to relax these last few days.”

She laughed then, a knowing laugh, and he smiled. “That’s just a side effect. You wanted a natural environment for the naming, didn’t you?”

At least she wasn’t angry. “Tradition says I cannot create the name in advance, but it says nothing about manipulating circumstances to help widen my choices.”

Veisa stopped for breath, one hand on her swollen belly. “The right name will come to you,” she said when she recovered. “I believe in you.”

Dego encouraged her forward, the watering hole wasn’t far, but his thoughts lingered on the name. His father named him Whitewolf after the great wolf that heralded his birth thirty years ago. It was a promising, honorable name and he was proud of his father’s choice. It lent him strength in difficult times, though it failed him now; worse it intimidated him.

There was little in the city to adequately name his child. The king’s own sons were named ‘Windstorm’ and ‘Ravenwing’ simply because there was little enough happening. Veisa’s name ‘Starshine’ was lovely, and truly matched the shine of her eyes when she smiled. It was here in the forest her mother had given birth to her, in the healer’s cottage in the clearing where the stars shone down to lighten her birth. This is what prompted his idea to take Veisa here.

The day passed slowly for husband and wife as they awaited their child’s birth, an the heat wore on. The forest remained parched and the trees wilted with them. Where was the rain? Veisa needed relief, if not in birthing this child, then at least in comfort.

Another two days passed, grating on their nerves when Veisa cried out. They had just reached the watering hole, the longest walk by far.

Dego panicked. “What’s wrong?”

Veisa held her belly, and beneath her strong hands he saw the belly shift. She moaned and swayed. Dego eased her to the ground. “Veisa?”

She laughed painfully. “I have my name ready for her, do you?”

“Her?” Dego’s mind whirled. What was going on?

“I dreamt last night she would be born today. She, Dego, and that she’ll be a strong healer when she grows up. I thought it a dream, but–” she cried out again, “–no dream. Fetch Marianas, quickly.”

The last thing he wanted to do was leave his wife alone, but he could not carry her, nor would she allow him in her condition. He sprinted back toward the cottage, but the healer met him halfway.

“Relax,” she told him as she strode along, satchel over her shoulder. “I saw her this morning, I had a feeling the child would come today.”

For all she told him to relax, his heart pounded. Labor took most of the day, and Dego felt useless. He could not spare his wife the pain, though Marianas did, somewhat. The pain was necessary, she claimed, lecturing about good pain and bad pain gauging the baby’s progress. Pain was simply pain, and it wore on for Veisa.

Over her cries he heard the distant roll of thunder, and through the settling dusk saw the bright flashes of lightning. He knew the forest wasn’t the safest place during a violent storm, and he silently urged the child to come forth. Raindrops fell as Veisa pushed the child out, mixing with the tears on her face. She settled down in relief as the child wailed into the night, announcing her arrival.

“Nerissa,” the mother whispered.

Dego took the child, cleansed by rain, the same rain which cooled her mother, and would heal the withered forest. Veisa dreamt of a healer, but Dego could see nothing beyond the scrunched pink face that warmed his heart. He prayed his choice would honor her. “Rain, my daughter. Your name is Nerissa Rain. Carry it with pride.”


I’ve been working on the new chapters for Forgotten Star and it’s been tough. This time, I’m really ready for the edit. I’m seeing everything that needs to be fixed, including renaming several characters. Renaming a character I’ve known for 10 years is difficult. I haven’t had the same friends for ten years. The trouble is, each time I come up with a name I like, there’s already a character in the novel with too similiar a name. So then I have to choose who to rename, and then that will domino into another name issue.

I’m wondering if I have too many characters in this novel. I do have a lot, but they exist in different tiers of importance. This tier will shuffle for the second and third book in the series, so I have to be careful who the main characters will be for each one so I don’t end up with “Aaron and Arianna” or “Talana and Tarin”, which is the trouble I’m experiencing.

I don’t like using place holder names, they take just as much getting used to as the character’s real name, so why go through it twice? I’ve also figured out in my writing that a name can influence a characters personality.

Part of me fears I’m putting way too much emphasis on this, but the other part of me says it’s going to be less painful now than to do it when I have a looming book contract with deadlines.

I’ve further complicated the issue in this particular world by giving the naming structure some culture. The mother names the child with their public name, and the father names the child with the birth name. The birth name cannot be planned or created in advance, it has to reflect some incident with the birth itself. To celebrate birth, there are no birthday celebrations. In the spring there is a naming day celebration when everyone gathers toegher and celebrates and tells their birth story and their birth name. The importance of the birthname is to instill some importance upon the child of where they came from and where they can go.

Some examples:

Dego Whitewolf was born in his mother’s cottage, where outside there was a serenade of wolves howling to the moon. The honor of being greeted by wolves is important in Dego’s life becuase he has the magic of sensing animals.

Seth Windstorm was born during a tropical storm.

Eldar Wintermoon was born during the coldest night of the year, and strangely died on the coldest night much later in his life.

One man believed his daughter wasn’t truly his cursed her with a delicate name to keep her from growing into a strong woman.

One of the main characters’ birth name is Nightsword because his mother gave birth during an attack by (evil) beasts deep in the night. His mother ultimiately died because of the attack. Several men were injured protecting the mother. The father named the son Nightsword because he survived, and for the hope that he would someday cut down these beasts. And somehow, this child has grown into an aggressive man, strong in his beliefs with a temper as quick and sharp.

The island they live on only has about a thousand people living on it, so the naming conventions are workable. It might sound silly to you, but this is my world, my island, and my names. And apparently, my main issue right now. But I’ll work through it. Sooner or later!

Editing, Editing, Editing

The Crossing has been edited, I am happy to say. I think it’s really improved now. I may have to touch up a little here and there, but the plot is sound. It was hard to keep everything to “just the short story” as this is the short that sparked Winter Warrior.

Additionally, Valora doesn’t work for Korin’s twin in Forgotten Star. I have to go at it again.

Writing Update

Winter Warrior: I made the right decision to worldbuild Winter Warrior. Ideas on this world, the characters, and their goals/obstacles have started flowing.

Forgotten Star: I also realized in reviewing Forgotten Star that some character names need to change. Too many K names for prominent characters in the story. Crystal and Korin work well together because the sound is pleasing but the words are visually different. Korin’s twin Katlana is going to be renamed and I’m using the name Katlana for a character in Winter Warrior.

The Crossing: The short story edit is going better. I’ve decided to try another method and it seems to be helping. Previously I was printing, marking up the printed copy, then inputting changes. That’s really duplciate work. I’m trying to edit right into the word document using the track changes feature, which I don’t have much experience using. I used it last night, and made it through a severe edit with only a little elbow grease. Of course, it took me an hour to edit a single page, but it’s much better than it was before.

Critiquing: I’ve read all the material (backstory and current chapter) for Myrddin’s crit. A lot has happened and I’m not sure I have a good feel for his writing style yet, but I’ll muddle through. I see some places where I think I can help, so at the very least he’ll get something from me.

Forgotten Star, Not Forgotten

The new chapter one (affectionately called Chapter “A”) is complete today. It took a while to get through, what with life (baby, eye surgery, etc). I’ve recently started reading Elizabeth Haydon and she reminded me why I love writing, hence the push to finish this chapter.

It’s easy to forget these things when Life gets crazy. That is the role of Life, and why we struggle to make time for the things we love.

Spoiler from Chapter “A”:

Crystal felt strange suddenly, and dropped the smile. “It’s quiet.”

“Too quiet,” Jaylon agreed. “Mount up, we’re not waiting for the hunters.” He turned to retrieve her mare, and in that instant the shadow leapt onto her, the stench from its massive jaws terrifying her to stillness even as it sunk its teeth into her outstretched arms.


It took me a little while to find my way, but I finally I reached the point where I was ready and my body and mind were able to take me there.

I ditched the small projects as they didn’t require a full committment from my writing mind. I enjoy short stories, but they have always been more difficult for me than novels. No, novels are my first love and always will be. If I’m going to work on something after a long day of work, baby, and chores, then it has to be something I truly love and am willing to lose sleep over.

Forgotten Star has risen from the ashes (gathered dust) of my filing cabinet for a fourth (and final!) edit. Using resources I’ve gathered over the years, I’ve prepped myself for editing and my sleeves are rolled up. I’m going to be posting here with my progress on it, which may not be the most exciting thing but it’ll help me track where I’ve gone off the deep end. (Speaking of which, it IS 3am here).

My first issue came up in the edit prep. My notes are gathered; outlines, character profiles, and manuscript are all cleanly printed and ready for markup; notebook ready for notes, and I found myself stuck on a simple exercise trying to identify my theme. Faith, yes, that’s it, but there’s more, so much more, but I just couldn’t nail it down. I needed help.

I logged onto my favorite writing locale www.fmwriters.com and searched for posts subjected “theme” and came up with oh, about 150 threads. I pulled one at random (yes, it was near the top of the list) that one of our authors started. She tends to start good discussion threads, so I figured it might clue me in to what I was missing. (Not so random anymore, huh?) Well, as I read her question about writing with or without your theme in mind, I noticed something odd at the bottom of the posters list: my name. I posted about Forgotten Star.

“Faith”, I wrote, “in yourself, in your deity, in your loved ones. Troubles pile up when any of these three are denied by the main characters, but when they truly believe in themselves, come to believe in their diety, and their families finally trust them and their judgement – things begin to improve. “

Strangely, this theme is an issue I’ve been facing with my writing. I shied away when it became difficult, falling back on “I’m tired” or “the baby needs me”, and while I do need my sleep (she’s still only 7 months old), I need my writing as well. Not only has it haunted me with ideas since I stopped writing actively, it’s riddled me with guilt. To have this thing that brings me so much joy and deny it, is a waste.

I’m done wasting my gift, my joy. There’s room in my life for family, work, and writing. I’ve regained my faith in myself and the improvements are right before me.