Daily Writing Check-in: March 3, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 36 minutes finishing item #2 in my current writing goals list, and starting on #3.

Finishing #2 entailed finishing the outline for “Unexpectedly.” There are 4 character arcs for this book that I am outlining individually from each other:

Today I finished Evan’s section, and completely outlined Acronis’s and Rusalki’s. I also hit on an idea for how to start the entire novel, showing the connection between all 4 characters right away, before the narrator, Drear, splits off their stories. I still don’t know for sure if I want the stories to be told simultaneously or linearly, but I’m pretty excited to have the starting point.

Upon realizing that I’m progressing through my list of long-term writing goals much more quickly than I anticipated, I decided to start keeping track of how long each one took as I move on to #3. (This is a count of actual days worked, so not counting days where I skipped working on writing, or worked on something else.)

1. Outline “Outcast” – Time spent: 12 days

2. Outline “Unexpectedly” – Time spent: 7 days

3. Re-outline “The Seeger Book” – I wrote the first draft of this for NaNoWriMo in 2015. It was the 2nd book I wrote that month, and came in at 43,672 words. It is a murder-mystery, and only the 2nd one I have ever attempted (the 1st murder-mystery I ever wrote was earlier that month, and it really fell flat). It needs some overhauling and almost an entire mid-section, because I jumped from somewhere in the middle to the climax when the end of the month neared and I realized I was out of time to figure out the rest of the plot. I also think I need to re-think the suspects, clues, etc. of the mystery aspect.

4. Re-outline “Vin”

5. Re-outline “Protector”

I do expect #3 to take considerably longer than the other 2. The first draft was not very well planned, so I have a lot of work ahead of me to figure out how the story even needs to go. I’m starting with reading the first draft to remember all of my ideas. Unfortunately, it is still in full NaNo-form, because I didn’t touch it at all afterwards.

Sometimes I’ll spend the first few weeks after November ends doing a quick clean-up of what I wrote–mostly removing things I marked as NaNo fodder and at least doing a quick spell check. This is usually better to do while the story is still fresh, and then it’s good to let it sit for some time.

So I’ve already done a quick spell-check, and I’ll remove the NaNo fodder as I read.

Daily Writing Check-in: February 12, 2019

Words/Time: 1 hour, 7 minutes, half again spent working on the outline for “Outcast” and half spent beginning a work on a series of posts for my Facebook author page.

Working on the outline brought up a question about whether or not Drear, the narrator of all of the Pithea books, would be around in this story at all or not. In the original version, he wasn’t really involved, but wasn’t far away either. But I thought I remembered writing in the first draft of “Vin” that Drear had been gone for several months, visiting his parents’ home country. I checked out my timeline to see how far apart “Outcast” and “Vin” are, and then made the mistake of bringing up the first draft of “Vin” to see what exactly I said about Drear in that story.

Granted, nothing is set in stone, so I can decide right now what I want to do with him, but I wanted to see what I’d thought before. Then I kept reading…because I really like that story. Even if it does need re-written because most of it is just the characters retelling events from the other stories.

I want to get this Facebook post series that I have planned going soon, so tomorrow may be mostly spent doing that. I’ll admit part of me feels strange for counting this as writing work, but I’m doing character studies for it, so that helps. Plus, this is my daily challenge, so it counts if I say it counts!


The Pithea Series

Go here for an explanation for this post.


This book introduces the island country of Pithea and its citizens’ dependency on Power, as well as their eternal struggle against the Madness. Our narrator, Drear, tells us about his friend Missy and his brother, Naolin, as they attempt to find their places in society, but are met with the harsh realities of life in a series of unlikely events, menacing villains, and both triumph and tragedy. (For a full synopsis, go here.)

Current status: Available for purchase!

Pithea cover, Kindle


In this book, Drear introduces us to some people who are important to future events, and shows us how they are connected. Natos Morano has been a member of a band of mercenaries known as the Class of Morano since birth. He is faced with a personal crisis, as a woman he’s never met tells him that he is not meant for this life, and forces him to choose between the only family he’s ever known, and his true family that is long gone.

Remiel Azrael finds himself caught between family and his own morality as he attempts to help a woman who is in desperate need. But when her situation turns out to be more dangerous than he realized, he faces a crisis of his own, and is forced to face his demons.

Current status: New outline finished, second draft currently in progress


“Pursuit of Power”

Drear introduces us to Alexander Surett, a driven man with a tendency toward obsession if given the right target. In this first book of the trilogy, Alexander’s drive to find out about questionable circumstances surrounding his dad’s death leads him to ignore some of the region’s highest laws, which regulate Power usage. In doing so, he attracts the attention of the leader of the Class of Morano, who wants to recruit him. When he refuses, she takes it personally, and he has to set aside his search for answers about his dad’s death to try to stop this madwoman. The result is all-out war.

Current status: Draft 3 completed, structural changes ahead

Pursuit of Power

“Unexpectedly” *

The small island nation of Pithea has been at peace with its neighbors for hundreds of years. However, when a destructive force rises up from within, the rest of the country has to decide whether to choose sides or remain neutral. What follows is a civil war with a high body count. In this book, Drear tells us about some of the men and women who fought in the battle, on both sides, and the effect the battle had on their lives afterward.

Current status: Outline finished, first draft pending


“The Seeger Book”

Jonathan has been given an amazing gift in the form of exclusive access to a highly desired instruction manual written by a master blade smith. When it comes to light that someone has been making copies of the priceless book, tensions rise between Jonathan and the friend who owns the book. The mystery deepens with the death of someone involves, and Jonathan becomes the prime suspect. Drear shares this tale of intrigue in which no one is who they seem to be, and years of trust will be shattered.

Current status: New outline completed for re-draft

The Seeger Book


There was a time when Missy was plagued by mysterious men who seemed to wish her harm. They spoke to her as if they knew her, and seemed to be connected in some way, but she had no idea how. In this culmination of smaller events from previous books, Drear tells us of the shocking events around the revelation of the mystery that these men created around themselves. He shares glimpses into the mind of a dark, twisted, lost soul, and the final outcome won’t be what anyone expected.

Current status: New outline completed for re-draft


“Protector” *

Drear takes us outside of Pithea and the union of nations it belongs to for the first time. Altmoor is a country that has never even heard of the Power, and certainly does not use it in any way. Altmoor and its king are entrenched in a centuries-long war with their northern neighbor, but suddenly learn that there is much more to fear than a mere border feud. When a single man wreaks havoc on the entire region with a sorcery that they cannot combat with swords and bows, it draws the attention of powerful people in Pithea who offer to help, but also open their eyes to a whole new world.

Current status: First draft done, at least first half will need rewritten (purpose of story changed by the end of the book)



The king of Altmoor has the daunting task of trying to bring peace to his region while rooting out the rogue faction that has kept the war going for hundreds of years. Even more difficult will be convincing his people–and himself–that their long-time enemy may not be the devils they always thought.

Current status: First draft finished

*All titles are subject to change up to publication, but this is specifically a working title.

A Monday Moment: Growing Closer

The following is the main character of “Pursuit of Power,” Alexander, musing about his relationship with Leahna, the secondary main character. The musing is directed at Drear Dark, the narrator of this series of books, years after the events in the book would have happened.

I’m not sure I could tell you when Leahna and I started to become closer. I know you’re looking for accuracy and details for these accounts you’re compiling, but I’m not sure I can be very specific on this one. I’d like to say that’s because our friendship just grew so smoothly it’s hard to find the point where we became as close as we were by the time I met you. But the truth is, it’s probably just because I was so wrapped up in my own stuff, I didn’t pay that much attention. In fact, for a while, it was almost as if we were both avoiding becoming friends at all.

When we first met, we both kept our relationship professional, almost to an extreme. I was only intent on practicing my Power use, and on not giving her a reason to decide she didn’t want to train with me any more. I was paranoid about that a lot, after some time of running through Clerics. If it hadn’t been for my mom, I’m not sure we would have ever started to feel more like friends than training partners.

I will say that I probably faked familiarity for a while. Not on purpose, really, but I think part of me felt that if I made her feel a sense of loyalty to me, out of friendship, then she would choose to continue training with me, despite being very busy at the time. When you write about this, make sure you include that I felt terrible later for the way I treated her. Pretending to be her friend, all the while lying to her.

In fact, when I finally told her the truth, that’s probably when things changed at least a little bit. Well, and because of what happened shortly after that. You know how tragedy can put things into perspective? We certainly had our share of that.

It was probably when she started calling me “Lex.” If you know Leahna at all, and I guess you do, you know that she is very polite, even formal. My mom’s the only one who ever called me “Lex,” but there was a point that I first noticed Leahna was referring to me by that nickname. It was while we were in the desert. I’m pretty sure she’d been using it for longer than when I first realized it. It felt natural, not weird like I would have expected it to, out of her mouth. So I guess that’s about it, the answer to your question–sometime between me telling her the truth and our time in the desert. That’s when we became best friends.

Daily Challenge Check-in: September 14, 2015

Words/Time: 40 minutes, half of which was revising “Pithea.” I further streamlined Missy and Drear’s conversation and stopped at the beginning of last big scene, which contains the climax and other major things.

I started my writing time again doing some of the activities in my second post of NaNo prep activities. I fell behind in my own assignment, because I’ve had sporadic time to work on this lately. Our 5-year-old is in an awful “fight bedtime” phase right now, which narrows my normal evening writing time by a lot. Plus I still have revising work I need to be doing.

Daily Challenge Check-in: September 13, 2015

Words/Time: 35 minutes, 20 of which was revising “Pithea.” The initial discussion between Missy and Drear makes more sense now, since before it was written as if Missy had been gone for 8 hours, when it was really more like 1.5.

I started my writing time doing one of the activities in my second post of NaNo prep activities. I only did the one because I knew my writing time was limited and I needed to get some revision in. I wrote a good bit for it though, and my hand started hurting quickly. It does that when I write by hand now…guess I’m not used to it enough anymore.

Daily Challenge Check-in: June 10, 2015

Words/Time: 30 minutes finishing the introduction of Drear, the narrator of “Pithea.” I then added that to my story blog, Made in Pithea, and proceeded to make the first post. Granted, that first post was mostly a copy & paste of the introduction to “Pithea,” but it still took some time to get ready and post. I’m happy I’ve been able to find some light work to do during this busy week, and come Monday, it’ll be back to actual revision.

Daily Challenge Check-in: June 9, 2015

Words/Time: 20ish minutes working on a character profile for a new blog I’m setting up. I’m going to split things related to writing as a whole (my daily challenge check-ins, new group of “Write Every Day” posts, NaNo-related things) or my personal posts apart from posts about my story–the world, characters, plots, etc. I’m moving all of the latter to a blog called “Made in Pithea.” I’m working on getting it up with some pages of information (mostly about the narrator, whose voice I will use for most, if not all, of the posts and about the world I have created) and at least one beginning post. Then I will slowly introduce more characters, explain more of the world, and maybe drop some actual story now and then. I’m kind of excited, yet acutely aware that I’m a major novice at design, so the blog will be very plain. I actually have an idea for a sort of main image for Pithea (both the country and the book), but I’m just not a graphic artist of any kind. So that’s still a faraway dream. Anyway, yay, I got stuff done! Now I need to sleep for another early morning.

NaNoWriMo Day 26

The Words: 2947 written today. I realized at the exact right time today that the weekly virtual write-in was starting. For the first few weeks, I was gone every Wednesday, and the weeks after that, I just kept forgetting. I got lucky today and joined in. I wrote 1900 during that, and the rest in the evening. I haven’t watched the videos for the other virtual write-ins, but I have to admit, the prompts weren’t the most helpful today. I know you don’t have to write with the prompts, but they intrigued me, so I did. Things like: What is your protaganist’s ideal ending? What would your antagonist be doing if they didn’t have anybody thwarting them, and if all their plans succeeded? I couldn’t help but want to explore those questions. But I’m close to the end of my novel, and just need to finish this battle scene!

The Story: I realized today that I forgot about the narrator this story is supposed to be have, and have written the entire book without him. Overall, that won’t make a huge difference, because the narrator is only in a small part of the book himself, so it will still mostly read as third-person. But this is still something I will have to remember during my early revising. And today’s writing is when he showed up in the story himself.

Total word count: 96,753

day 26