What I’m Writing: Whispers of the Ice (The Beacon Campaigns, Book 4)
What I’m Reading: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo—and it is just so, so good.
What I’m Loving: Several YouTube channels, which I’ll talk briefly about below.

WIP Excerpt

He expected the girl to panic, and plead for her life. Most of them did. It didn’t save them one way or another, but most of them did. And this one, so young, so girlish, so very very naive—if anyone was going to fall to their knees and blubber and beg, surely it would be her.

She didn’t, though. Oh, she was afraid, certainly she was afraid. She had paled underneath her lady’s tan, her heart fluttering so fast that Tol could see it thundering in her breast. Her eyes were wide and wet. When she spoke, her voice was small as a sparrow. But she did not beg.

“What did I do wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing,” Tol said.

“There must be something.”


“Then why?”

Tol shrugged. “Does it matter?”

“It does to me.”

“It won’t for long.”

First, a writing update:

September was the breakout month for my work-in-progress.

By this, I mean that I had finally wailed and gnashed my teeth enough that I was willing to admit that I needed help; so I stitched together everything I’d written for Whispers of the Ice, put in placeholder notes for everything that still needed to be added (spoiler: it was a lot), and gave the document to my husband.

A lot of writers choose to keep their first drafts to themselves—and hey, you do you, whatever makes you happy—but I don’t. Graeme sees the story in a linear progression, while I jump all over and write whatever I can get out of my head, whenever I can get it out of my head. This is great, except: well, sometimes the problems that I am trying to solve are way too spoilery for me to discuss with him, and though he tries his best, there’s just no way for him to offer practical solutions if he doesn’t know where I am going. So eventually I hand him a Frankenbook. Now I am back on track, with plans and goals and enthusiasm that comes crashing in one day and then disappears in the middle of the night but hey, at this point I’ll take it. Forward progress is forward progress is forward progress, no matter how it happens.

And yes, if you pay close attention you will see that I have jumped back to focusing on just the one book, rather than trying to juggle both series at literally the same time. Turns out that trying to hold two disparate universes in the forefront of my head at once is detrimental to the quality of my work (such a shocker, I know). On the other hand, with the breakthrough I’ve had on my WIP, this means that I am back to my usual power-writing method, so it really won’t be that long before I’m able to return to my superheroes.

Recently, I’ve gotten really sucked into watching YouTube videos that break down the techniques of visual storytelling through film and comics: Every Frame a Painting, Channel Criswell, Now You See It, Strip Panel Naked.

You guys, I cannot even begin to tell you how beneficial these have been to my writing. I realize that it may sound nonsensical—trying to apply visual storytelling methods to the written word—but studying a different form of storytelling has gotten me to think about stories in ways that I’d never considered before. Plus, it turns out that there’s actually a lot of tricks and tips that can easily be applied to prose as well as movies and comics, and I’m trying to craft some blog posts that delve into that in greater detail, but for now, if you’re a writer, just… do yourself a favor, and check these channels out. And if you’re not a writer, check these channels out anyway, because this stuff is seriously just so cool, and you’d never realize the kinds of things that are happening in your favorite movies. Art, in all its forms, is the closest thing that we will ever get to magic. So, yeah. Watch the videos, and be dazzled.