Happy 2022! I hope you’re getting this year off to as best a start as you can, despite the pandemic.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to my website, you’re probably wondering, What the heck? Yes, it’s had a makeover! This actually happened at the end of November. 2021 presented me with some challenges, and in the end, I decided to pivot from yarn dyeing to focusing on my writing. The yarn shop is still up and still has skeins in it for sale, but for the time being I’ll be stepping back from dyeing unless I happen to have some spare time and feel in the mood for it.
I am trying my best to remain positive for the new year. I spent Christmas with my family, except my husband. Mat is still in the UK waiting for his immigration application to be processed. It’s been over two and a half years since I last saw him in person. Thank goodness for Discord, which allows us to easily stay connected! Still, it’s hard to not be together. All our limbs are crossed that he will get his approval to immigrate soon. In addition to keeping positive about this, in 2022 I’m also looking forward to more writing, building up my author platform, doing more beta reading, and also getting back into art.
TFS Chapter One Anniversary
Today marks one year since I posted the first chapter of The First Sin for AOS members to read. I’m excited to mark this date because All Our Sins sat on the back burner for a decade, but now I’m a whole year in to getting words on paper. In 2019 and 2020 I really threw myself back into redeveloping the story. Originally it was supposed to be one book, but then, to explain why certain things are going to be the way they are in that one book, I had to come up with some new ideas. Out of that, TFS was born. (Another book, second in the series, called Sins Beyond Redemption, was also born.)
When I first started writing TFS, I was convinced it would be a “short” prequel, maybe 80K words. In 2021 I completed eight chapters and wrote almost 60K words…but am only roughly 25% of the way through according to my outline. Eep! The implications of this are a bit staggering—if each of the next three quarters of the book are like this, it will be almost 250K words long! However, now that I’ve gotten to this point, I feel like the rest of the book will probably (hopefully?) go more quickly. Time will tell.
Never Stop Learning the Craft
I’ve really enjoyed writing TFS so far. There have been a few surprises along the way, things I never anticipated appearing in the book that have made the story richer and darker. I only hope I’m doing the characters justice. To that end, I invested in a series of books:
- The Conflict Thesaurus
- The Emotion Thesaurus
- The Emotional Wound Thesaurus
- The Negative Trait Thesaurus
- The Positive Trait Thesaurus
These have proven to be fantastic resources, and I recommend them to any fiction writer. Using the Emotional Wound Thesaurus, I took the time to plot out all the traumas that occur in the first 25% of TFS (I won’t lie…there’s…a lot), as well as to figure out past traumas, to find out how my characters would be impacted by their experiences. The Positive and Negative Trait books have also been super useful in helping me choose strengths and weaknesses for each MC. The Emotion Thesaurus will be incredibly useful to help with showing emotions rather than telling them. I still need to explore the Conflict Thesaurus.
There are more books in this series that I haven’t picked up yet, and the Conflict Thesaurus is only Volume One. I will say that I kind of overwhelmed myself by getting these five all at once, but once I settled on a specific task I wanted to complete with them, it became a lot easier to get into them. These books also have downloadable resources to help with some of the exercises.
I know I sound like a commercial, but I believe it’s very important for writers to continuously study the craft of writing to improve. We can’t do that if we don’t invest in our own education. The problem is that some of the advice we all tell each other (like “show, don’t tell”) can sometimes seem nebulous. We all “know” what “show, don’t tell” means but coming up with the substance of how to show the things we want to show is sometimes really difficult. These books help fill that gap.
For 2022, Chapter Nine of TFS is already posted. I tried really hard to get this chapter done before year-end, especially since it involves a couple of turning points for the characters, but I’ll take having it done for the start of the year as a consolation prize. The next big goal is to get to the end of Chapter Ten! Not just because “it’s the next chapter”, but also because I had ten chapters of my last attempt at this story before it got shoved to the back burner. Getting to that number again will feel very good, and then surpassing it as I keep on going will feel even better!
If you like my content, please consider supporting me on Ko-Fi. Your support will help offset costs related to keeping this website up, as well as other expenses related to the eventual publication of the AOS books. If you choose the AOS Member tier, you’ll be able to see exclusive behind-the-scenes content not available to anyone else, including early releases of art and worldbuilding articles. Additionally, you’ll get special access to the draft chapters of TFS and can earn free copies of the final publication copy!