Listening to my Inner Writer

You would think after twenty years of writing, I would learn this simple lesson: Listen to your Intuition, your inner writer knows what it is doing. But apparently I haven’t, or maybe I should say, that it is harder than I thought to listen to the whispering voice that is telling me that I have to do something differently with the story.

the_warlords_daughter_1_webShortly after finishing The Warlord’s Daughter in January, that small niggling that something was off in the story intensified. As I worked through the scenes of The Scout’s Captive, that feeling grew stronger. By the first week of February, the niggling that something was off had become a shout to “Stop!”

Unlike last time, where that inner voice was telling me that there was something wrong with plot of the story, this time it was making a suggestion that I completely ignored. Why? Because I’m frugal with money and I didn’t want to waste paper or ink printing off everything.

So I had this burning desire to write the next part of the story and every time I sat down to do it I totally froze up. My inner writer was refuses to let me go any farther until I paid attention to it. Which is why I took the time to print out all the books, spent the last five days not writing so I could reassess the elements and structure of my stories, and making any structural changes. I got the idea for this from Twin Creatives.

I might have lost a few days of adding new words to the books by debating the merit of every scene I’d written or that I planned to write in all five books, but in the end it was worth the time I took away from writing.

the_scouts_captive_2_webThe story structure really needed to be assessed because there were more than a few scenes that needed to be moved, added, deleted or merged. There was an entire section of scenes in books four and five that needed to be moved, merged, and deleted that made me glad that I hadn’t started writing them.

The unexpected changes that I made helped tighten and improve the story plot of each book, and reading through a hard copy of the stories also helped me understand the main plot of each book better. However, the changes to The Warlord’s Daughter shortened the books significantly, but I prefer a shorter story that moves the story along then a longer one brimming with filler scenes that don’t progress the plot. The Scout’s Captive, The Rebel Queen, and The Empty Throne gained quite a few scenes that enhance the plots of each story instead of taking away from them.

One change that I really didn’t expect was that I realization that the order of The Rebel Queen and The Empty Throne may have to be switched, but I’m going to wait until I’m a little further along before making that determination. I believe the only book that didn’t change much was The Lost Heir.

The small drawback won’t affect my goal to finish writing all five books in The Queen’s Rebellion Series this year. If anything it will help me finish them before their deadlines and get them ready to be published next year.

Wishing you all the best this February,

One Book Down, 4 Left to Go!

When I wrote the Welcome to 2017! post I mentioned that I thought that I’d have to extend The Warlord’s Daughter to 100,000 to finish the story. I figured that it would take me another week to do this, but the second I started the new scenes everything went downhill. I ran headlong into a big problem: I really wasn’t happy with the results.

Okay, so that is putting it lightly. I hated the new scenes. They felt all wrong. I think I scrapped the first scene I worked on twice, possible three times before I took a step back to really think through the scene and what I wanted it to do for the story. While outwardly, The Warlord’s Daughter seemed to need it, it really didn’t. All I really needed was to add a few lines to a scene I already had in the book and done!

The second scene I wanted to going to add was more needful, but I was having trouble with it because it’s from a secondary characters point of view and I knew it was going to open a small subplot thread that I couldn’t close without returning to the characters point of view again. The solution was once easier then I thought it would be. The scene ended up turning out better than I thought it was going to.

I scrapped the entire third scene as it would be similar to a scene I wrote for book 2.

Writing the end scene became a problem that has kept me from being done with The Warlord’s Daughter already. Strangely, the perfect solution to my problem occurred the day I watching my girls crash and burn on the sled for the umpteenth time. Not sure why watching them was necessary for my creative brain to realize that I splitting a scene in half and rewriting it a bit would work very nicely.

I finished The Warlord’s Daughter today!

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This scene was one of those that makes a perfect ending. I had moved it from the front of The Scout’s Captive to end The Warlord’s Daughter a few weeks back. Now I have taken the first part of the scene and made it the end of book 1. The rest of the scene can go back to the beginning of The Scout’s Captive.

It was a simple solution with an easy fix that worked out so much better than what I had been attempting to do with the end of The Warlord’s Daughter. I couldn’t believe how much better the end of the story worked out. It tied up all the threads while not leaving the story on too big a cliffhanger (it really couldn’t be helped) or giving away the next book in the series.

So now I’m off to pick up my reward for finishing The Warlord’s Daughter ahead of schedule before starting The Scout’s Captive.

My Reward: Miracle Morning for Writers

What is that? you ask. Well, The Miracle Morning for Writers is:

Need to find more time to write–without sacrificing the important things? Looking to consistently discover great book ideas? Wish you could generate a steady income from your words…or increase what you already make?

The solution to these questions is to change what you do first thing in the morning. And that’s why you should read The Miracle Morning for Writers: How to Build a Writing Ritual That Increases Your Impact and Income (Before 8AM).

The Miracle Morning for Writers combines Hal Elrod’s global phenomenon with Steve Scott’s proven writing habit techniques (which helped him get on the Wall Street Journal bestsellers list). You learn how to take charge of your morning and maximize “the rest of the day” for your writing efforts.

Here’s what you’ll discover in The Miracle Morning for Writers:

  • How a morning routine can change every area of your life (Including your health, happiness, finances and relationships).
  • The proven strategy for “finding the time” to write–even if you have a full-time job.
  • Our method for selling lots of books (and the 8-step process to build it).
  • Steve’s favorite app for tracking your great ideas and researching your next book.
  • Hal’s process for overcoming the limiting beliefs that hold you back from success.
  • “Flow state” and how it can forever eradicate writer’s block.

You will also learn:

  • 4 business models perfect for writers, how to get started, and which one we recommend.
  • The 10-step process for publishing a book that readers love.
  • 6 tools for improving your writing skills.
  • 2 techniques for doubling (even tripling) your daily word count total.
  • How to find the “80/20” of your book-based business.
    The Miracle Morning for Writers is your key to building a writing habit that will increase both your income and the value you provide to the world.

The Covers for The Queen’s Rebellion Revealed

My girls’ school was canceled for today. Yay! Oh, Hell…

Due to my girls being home all day and hubby home by noon, I’m not really expecting to get a lot of writing down later today. So I’m writing as much as I can this morning in the hopes of finishing The Warlord’s Daughter today. I’m so close to the end and I really want to start the next book in the series.

So why am I writing a blog post? Well, I’m not. I took a small break from an hour-long writing session to look through my list of unpublished posts to make a game plan for later today and realized that I hadn’t posted my cover reveal for The Queen’s Rebellion Series before the Welcome to 2017! post where they were featured. So not cool! 😦

Now I’m only writing an introduction to this post and publishing it. So even though it’s a little late in coming, here are the covers for The Queen’s Rebellion and descriptions for the series of books based on the life and adventures of the Lady Laramina Khynal and her husband Lord Cynel Maelti.

The Warlord’s Daughter, Book 1

the_warlords_daughter_1_webWhen Warlord Darton Khynal accepted the mission to end the bandit threat and train the next recruits for the Baryano army, he accept, but his reasons have nothing to do with career advancement and everything to do with his daughter. The Lady Laramina Khynal has come of age and the power flowing through her veins is becoming stronger and harder to hide. It’s only a matter of time before she is discovered and enslaved by the Council, undoing everything Darton has done to protect her. Forced to play a dangerous game with Laramina’s future, Darton accepts the Council decreed marriage between Lord Nyden Farlon and Laramina, a union that could have terrible consequences for everyone, if he allows it to take place.

The Scout’s Captive, Book 2

the_scouts_captive_2_webCondemned to death and hunted by Baryano for being Nyfeli, Cynel joined a rebellion he didn’t believe in for three meals a day, a warm place to sleep, and a chance to survive. He become a legend among the Rebels as a lethal warrior without mercy. But the ruthless Cynel is ill-prepared for the Lady Laramina Khynal, the woman who saved his life and whose life he swore to protect, for she is far more dangerous than any foe he’s faced. She is the one woman he cannot have, and the only one he wants.

Dodging Council Soldiers scouring the land for her, Laramina must make a terrible decision. Will she let events play out and willingly go with the men who abducted her? Or will she attempt to save the ones she loves by escaping from the man she is coming to love and return to marry the disgusting Lord Nyden Farlon?

The Lost Heir, Book 3

the_lost_heir_3_webCynel has always played his part, be it servant boy, thief, warrior, scout, or killer. Now he’s being asked to play the part of Laramina’s husband or protector until the Rebel leaders are ready announce the return of the Lost Heir, the only hope they have of rallying those who hate the current state of politics to their dying cause. They will do anything to gain and hold the advantage, including end the relationship between the Lost Heir and a Nyfeli killer.

Rocked by the truth about her heritage, the Lady Laramina Khynal doesn’t want the responsibility of ruling the three races. She doesn’t want the power to start a war. She doesn’t want the man she loves to hand her over to the Kydeloi Prince she’s been promised to since she was four years old. She doesn’t want the destiny chosen for her if it means losing Cynel. But to stay together, they will risk everything and defy the most powerful people in the land.

The Empty Throne, Book 4

the_empty_throne_4_webBetrothed to a man she despises, married to a rebel she’s grown to love, and promised to a prince she’s never met, the Lady Laramina Khynal is tired of being other people’s puppet, she’s ready to make her own choices. And while falling into the hands of the Council Soldiers searching for her wasn’t the best choice, she would do it again to protect the Rebels she has come to love. She just didn’t plan on Lord Nyden Farlon presences or his demands to finish what they started so he can seal his claim to the Empty Throne.

Determined to save his wife from the clutches of the Council, Cynel and a few loyal warriors cross into Baryano territory to infiltrate the heart of the Council’s City. Their plan is simple: abduct the Lost Heir before the Council can claim control of the Empty Throne through her. But they didn’t plan on being captured by the enemy or finding a land in turmoil. They didn’t plan on Laramina.

The Rebel Queen, Book 5

the_rebel_queen_5_webThe fate of the Lady Laramina Khynal has always been precarious and uncertain, resting in the hands of those who care not for her happiness but only their own ambitions. Angry and determined to bring an end to the Council’s rule, she must decided if she will become the weapon other’s will wield or if she will take her newfound power and forge her own destiny with the man she loves.


Now I really must get back to writing this next scene. Cynel has just done something and I’m not sure that Mina will be able to forgive him so readily for it. I really need to see what comes next.

Wishing you the best weekend this week,

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Welcome to 2017!

I hope your holiday break was as fun and productive as mine. I spent most of my free time working on finishing The Warlord’s Daughter (both productive and fun), putting together puzzles with my girls (possibly not so productive but it was really fun), working on my latest stitching project (more meditative), and spending quality time with my family (both productive and fun).

Now that our girls are back to school it’s time for me to buckle down for some heavy writing sessions this month. But first, I wanted to give you all a preview of what I’m doing in 2017.

~ Reading 55 Books in 2017 ~

I made the goal to read 50 fiction books and 5 non-fiction books this year. I’ll be making a monthly post about the books I read that month on my blog.  I wish I could say that I picked them all out ahead of time, but since I don’t know what each week will bring I thought the better plan would be to pick them out as I went along. The fiction will be a mix of novels, novellas, and short stories.


~ Writing 5 Books in 2017 ~

When I posted my writing goals for 2017 in December I mentioned that I wanted to finish writing 5 books in 2017. Those books include the entire The Queen’s Rebellion Series. They are: The Warlord’s Daughter (#1), The Scout’s Captive (#2), The Lost Heir (#3), The Empty Throne (#4), and The Rebel Queen (#5). This is where most of my focus will be for the next 12 months. My hope is to have all 5 book written, edited, and on pre-order so that I can publish them throughout 2018.

To accomplish this I had to rethink my entire writing game plan. I’m going to have to be focused, organized, and disciplined in my writing. Which is code for “stop goofing around on Pinterest and playing Solitaire or Sudoku on the computer during writing time, Stephannie!”

So I started 2017 by erasing all the games from my computer, weaning myself off Pinterest (started this in December), downloading the new version of the Cold Turkey app (December 31st), and making my writing schedule for 2017. While I don’t want to push myself too hard and burn out, I also like to aim for the moon, maybe then I can land among the stars (LOL). So while I made my goals attainable, I decided to challenge myself with an added bonus to inspire me. If I finish these 5 books before my scheduled deadline then I get a prize. Incentives are really great for people like me. 😀

I will be writing a post at the beginning of each month to let you all know where I am in my goals.  This is where I am so far in the books…

The Warlord’s Daughter (Book 1)

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Click on the picture to read the description

I was about 70,000 words into this book in December 2016. My word goal for the book started out at 85,000 but I as I reached my goal I realized that the story wasn’t done so I changed my word goal for the books to a 100,000. During the holiday season, I started on the complete overhaul of the scenes in The Warlord’s Daughter and even got around to writing some new scenes that I needed.

As of January 1st, I have around 93,000 words done and about 8,000 to go. I should be done with this book before my deadline.

Deadline: February 1st
Status so far: 92,974 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Buy Miracle Morning for Writers. I love the idea behind the Miracle Morning Routine, however, what I learned about it didn’t mesh with my kinda chaotic schedule. I stumbled upon one for writers and figured it would be a good incentive to work

The Scout’s Captive (Book 2)

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Click on the picture to read the description

I’m not as far along in this book as some of the others, but mostly because I took more than half this book away to create The Warlord’s Daughter.

This book will take more fleshing out as most of the big scenes are already written, although I have a few ideas for new scenes that I will be adding.

Deadline: April 1st
Status so far: 32,755 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Buy that Tibetan Singing Bowl I’ve been eyeing for the last two years to add to my meditation collection.

The Lost Heir (Book 3)

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Click picture to read the description

This one should pretty much write itself as I know where this book is going and as with The Scout’s Captive all the big scenes are written. Side Note: If I finish The Warlord’s Daughter and The Scout’s Captive early, the deadline for this book will shift to compensate. It wouldn’t be much of a challenge if I had an extra month to three months to finish this book.

Deadline: June 1st 2017
Status so far: 50,905 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Buy three books from my wishlist.

The Empty Throne (Book 4)

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Click on the picture to read the description

This is one of those books that I don’t have much done on. The scenes in this book are where I stopped because I had written myself into a corner and needed to figure out some plot holes. I have a better idea where the books are going so I’m hoping by the time I get to writing it it will go fast.

Side Note: Even if I’m ahead on my book writing goals the deadlines I will probably not change the deadlines for The Empty Throne or The Rebel Queen. I going to be writing these books during the Summer and Fall months when my girls are out of school and there is a lot going on around the Ranch. I’m pushing it with the deadlines I have already.

Deadline: September 1st 2017
Status so far: 3,233 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Wacom Digital Graphics Tablet. I’m not sure what model as the one on my wishlist is now years old and out of day. I have to do some research.

The Rebel Queen (Book 5)

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Click on the picture to read the description

I have a vague notion of where this book is going but other than the opening chapter that refused to go away, I have nothing else written. I’m hoping to have several ideas for scenes ready by the time I write this book.

Deadline: December 31st 2017
Status so far: 9,167 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Buy a new tablet as my old one died at the end of 2016. Yeah, I know. Why am I waiting a whole year? Because I still have a Kindle I can read my books on for the moment.


Wishing you all the best for the New Year!

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{Writing Journal} Day 36: Writing The Rebel’s Bride

While I’m not back from my break, I really felt the urge to write this morning. Maybe it was because I was up at 2am with hubby. Or maybe I was missing my story a little. Either way, I ended up with 1,857 and a great feeling of accomplishment.

Total Word Count for Today: 1,857

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Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version. I’d post more but the scenes I worked on have too many spoilers.

But it was the natural weapons of the Nyfeli that were his most stark difference. The black tipped spines lay flat against his forearms and back, prominent reminders of what he really was. Cynel was one of the Nyfeli, a race that was the bane and fear of nations, and for good reason. They were fierce protectors of their clans, ruthless warriors in battle, and wielders of magic. They were ruthless and powerful predators of their world, considered feral animals by most. Cynel was no exception.

And yet, Mina had done the impossible. She’d done what Kiptal had failed to do. She’d gained Cynel’s trust, and he’d shared with her the truth of who he was. It hardened Kiptal resolve further. He would do everything in his power to keep them safe from the storm moving their way.