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Limbo and finding comp titles

Taking this “relaxing” week off (after finishing up Eleanor) is just not happening. I’m feeling a little empty not working those 14-18 hour days. So, I’ve been considering starting a new project, but I know I should stay Eleanor-focused. It will need more work, I know that. It’s just this bloody break. What should I be doing?

I think I should be checking out comparable works in the genre. That’s what I should be doing!

So that’s what I started doing yesterday.

The plan is to come up with a list of comp titles, so when I submit to publishers they know what Eleanor is like. Pretty simple, right? Well, sort of. I need to find books in the “neo-Victorian” subgenre of historical fiction, which I think Eleanor would fall into. I didn’t even know “neo-Victorian”, as a genre, existed until recently.

In my search, I came across something interesting (well, something that I thought was interesting). Did you know Penny Dreadful is a comic book? Based off the TV series. Did you know that?

Yes? Oh, never mind then.

Penny Dreadful comic book

Anyway, I thought it might be a good comp, possibly. Even though it’s a comic. Still, it gives you an idea of the kind of theme, tone, or style that Eleanor is like, right? Well, that’s the point.

The entire “neo-Victorian” genre and culture as a whole, is quite popular today and that popularity is only growing. If we look to fashion, Victorian or steampunk events (I attended one a few years ago, and it was awesome!), films like Hysteria and, of course, the TV show Penny Dreadful (and even Downton Abbey), we can see the influence the Victorian/Edwardian/Gothic has on us today.

Mostly, I’m looking for Victorian/Gothic/Romantic historical fiction, with the same (or similar) language and style you would find from works of that time.

Newt Aliens Mostly looking for neo-Victorian, mostly

I’m also looking at reimaginings of V/G/R works, like Frankenstein, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dickensian works, and so on.

I’m considering adding Going Postal by Terry Pratchett to that list, as Adora Belle Dearheart is an amazingly strong, independent character, and I see shared elements between her and Eleanor. Though, Pratchett is (or sadly, was) a god in the literary world, so choosing him, or his work, as a comp might be a big leap for little ol’ me.

Still, she is kickarse!

Adora Belle Dearheart

In any case, it means me having to read a shitload of books. I have around 16 on my list so far. Don’t worry, that list is growing.

So, what’s coming up?
TeamBeta is reading through Eleanor, and I’m very patiently awaiting their response.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Veruca Salt

So, while that’s happening, I’ll continue looking for comps. I’ll start reading a few, and maybe I’ll get cracking on some of my other projects. A Travesty, for instance, or Wings of Malice.

And then what?
Well, as I have noted, I have an editor in mind for taking on Eleanor. I’m hoping (after TeamBeta has finished looking over my manuscript), to send in a request for her amazing services.

Also, as I mentioned in my previous post, I have been considering a new project (for National Novel Writing Month), and I’m very eager to start it. It is quite different from my usual writings. It’s still historical fiction, but it will deal with themes that I wouldn’t dare explore normally. Even the language itself, will be quite challenging, but I want to challenge myself. It will shock you, trust me, as it shocks me thinking about what exactly I will be writing.

Until then…

I’ll leave you all waiting with bated breath 😉

Eleanor – You’re done!

Oh my god! Eleanor is DONE!!! I can’t believe it.

14922983_611277469032764_517743893_o-1
412 pages edited in 4 weeks! Boo yah!

 

Eleanor word count June 2

Maybe I should have posted a picture of a ‘The End’? Meh.

Hang on…

the end

There we go 😛

It’s quite surreal. I never truly thought this day would come. I’m so used to self-sabotage that I never expected to get a complete manuscript out. A Travesty and Wings of Malice are just two examples of unfinished (and near compete) manuscripts, which I’ve abandoned because of the fear of what’s to come next. One day I’ll come back to them, I’m sure, but for now…

Eleanor is now currently being read by my beta team (TeamBeta). You know who you are! Thank you so much for donating your time and eyeballs. It means a lot to me.

So, what now?
This week, I’m planning on relaxing, which actually means doing other people’s editing, haha! I will also be cat-sitting for someone in the city, so the change of environment will do me wonders, I’m sure. And, although I need to do work, I will try and do some proper relaxing as well, don’t worry. I want to get my mind off Eleanor for a while, and focus on other important things like smooching cats, playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, watching YouTubers play Until Dawn (I know! I’ve watched maybe 10 playthroughs, but every one of them is different and I can’t get enough), catching up on some much-needed reading (still need to finish Vendetta), and sleeping more than 5 hours a night.

However, I’m already thinking about my next project — something I’m considering for National Novel Writing Month, so I might jot down a few ideas (I’ve already started!)

Once my beta team get through Eleanor (and I’ve made any amendments necessary), I’m going to contact an editor I have in mind. Fingers crossed she’ll take on my manuscript. I’m hoping this will all happen before the end of July. I’m setting myself a reasonable deadline for myself this time! (Still can’t believe I edited my manuscript in only 4 weeks!)

What else?
God, I don’t know. As you know, this is all new to me. I suppose I’ll have to really start getting into research mode on publishers. Yep, still looking to publish the ol’ traditional way. There’s one in particular I’ve been looking at. They require a cover letter (as I imagine most publishers do), so that might be something I will work on this week coming as well.

Oh, and the ending?
It was hard choosing from the 5 different endings I had planned (and written), but I think I chose the best possible one. I really do, and that is hard for me to say, given how I usually end my novels. I went with something well off from what I had initially planned. And, I know it’s a pain in the arse to say, but really, I don’t want to ruin anything for you guys. Maybe, in time, I will consider publishing (on this site) my alternative endings, and you can critique each one 😉

Thanks!
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me throughout this massive project — my friends, family, followers, cat, and bunny.

Don’t leave me now!
Stay tuned, because I will be posting more updates on Eleanor as they come. Until then…

Since I’ve been watching so much Until Dawn lately, O’ Death has become a bit of a theme song for this week. I love this song. Have a listen.

I sing it every time.

Bye for now!

Eleanor update – end sort of still in sight

These last two weeks have been so stressful. See, I have a terrible habit of setting myself impossible deadlines. I said to myself, “Self,” I said, “You can edit 400 pages in 4 weeks, easily!” And hey, I probably could have reached my weekly deadlines, if it weren’t for things getting in the way, such as my day job, eating, sleeping… all that stuff. But, you know what? I’m still going to do it. Even if it kills me, I’m going to finish editing all these (now 410!) pages before the end of next week. It’s okay… it’s only 128 pages left.

But, you know, I also have to rewrite one or two scenes, blah, blah, blah.

THEN, onto my beta readers. They’ve been waiting very patiently, so let’s all give them a round of applause! I’ll forward on your cheers to them.

Also, I want to apologise. So many of you were upset you didn’t get an update from me last week regarding Eleanor. I think stress got the best of me, and quite frankly, I was burnt out. I told myself to relax, to just skip one week. Yet, my legions of fans were disappointed, and for that I’m sorry.

By the way, you guys know that I’m only pretending to be really arrogant, right? Cool. Just wanted to be sure you knew.

1nsesl

Right, well, now that that has all been settled, and I’ve regained the love of my adoring fans, I’ll get back to Eleanor.

So, by my calculations, I am roughly 68.78048781% into my edits. I am reasonably happy with that. I tell myself I am reasonably happy with that. Though, I was hoping to have hit 75% by now, as you know. So here we are…

Eleanor word count June

But… if I push on, I can still potentially reach that goal.

So, Cadence, what’s next?
Well, I’ll tell you… what’s next. After my beta readers… have a read, I am going to contact an editor (because let’s face it, I’m not perfect at editing — I get a little semi colon and em dash happy at times) to see if she’d be willing to take on Eleanor. Yes, I have an editor in mind, an amazing editor, so fingers crossed!

In the meantime?
I’ll be looking at traditional publishing. I have a few publishers in mind. It will be a LONG process, I know, but I am willing to take on all the heartache down that road because I really believe in Eleanor. One heartache close in sight — writing a cover letter for submissions.

In the future?
I’m already thinking about my next project. Don’t worry, I will fill you in on all the details as they come. This will likely be a project for National Novel Writing Month, so I will essentially be doing planning, research, and so forth. I do also have two other projects in the works however, as you know — A Travesty (my first novel) and Wings of Malice (my second novel). And, as you know, I kind of abandoned those two novels after hitting a major wall. Once I hit around 80k words I start to get a little lost, and self-sabotagey. I think it comes down to the fear of ‘what’s next?’ But it hasn’t happened with Eleanor. I won’t let it. So, those novels are also candidates for the near future.

Getting sidetracked
One last thing. I seriously can’t stop looking at the cover design for Eleanor. I am in love with it. Phoenix Johnson has done an amazing job, especially as she is new to designing — this was her first paid gig!

Eleanor edited

Join me next week for another exciting instalment of, What’s going on with Cadence and that novel, Eleanor, she keeps talking about? Until then…

Eleanor update – end in sight

I am a quarter way through my final round of edits. And this time, I mean final!

Eleanor has come such a long way in only 6 months. From a small seedling, an idea of a female surgeon in 19thC London (originally titled, A Victorian Surgeon), to novella (after reaching 50,000 words during National Novel Writing Month), Eleanor has now transformed into a novel!

I thought to share a small screenshot of my novel thus far. My only qualm… that damn widow! Please ignore.

Word count

These next few weeks will be tough though. On top of editing, I’ll be house-sitting for a family member, and this means being distracted by an adorable kitten, and mischievous bunny! I don’t know how I’ll make it, but I am determined to get to the end, and have Eleanor sent off to beta readers as soon as possible.

There are, of course, other concerns I need to address. One that has been bothering me to near madness is my blurb.

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It has to be fixed! I have a more recent version, but I think I will wait until after I pass on my manuscript to betas. I’ll need something to do then.

Also, God damn! I can’t stop looking at my wrap-around cover! I can’t thank Phoenix Johnson enough for her awesome work!

A short post this week, I know. I will post more updates as they come however. For now, try and keep your cool. It’s completely understandable, you’re beyond excited, you’ve been waiting so long for Eleanor to be published. That day will come soon, I promise you.

Eleanor update – alphas, betas, publishers

Eleanor is now in the hands of its first reader, and I must say, I am beyond scared has just gone through its first reader, and I am both excited and anxious to go over their notes!

(Now entering deciphering mode)

Eleanor - Si's notes

I now have a lot of ideas on how to change up the story a little, and to fix any inconsistencies I can before I go on to the next step, beta readers. This will hopefully happen either at the end of this month or beginning of the next. It all depends on how much I want to change, really.

My main concerns at this stage are consistency and flow. These are things I won’t be a great judge of — I’ve stared at this manuscript so much, I can’t be sure anymore. It’s one thing to have the story playing over and over in my head, but whether or not I have successfully conveyed it to the reader, that is another thing. So I must pass this burden on to the beta readers. Sorry, guys!

My first reader has assured me that, for the most part, the manuscript is consistent and flows well, with nice pacing (but there are of course issues too). And I am hoping the fact that it took this reader only 5 hours to get through the book is due to it being a good story, not because it was so poor they had to rush through it… ahem. The beta readers will give me a better idea however, as my first reader is surely biased 😉

So what comes next?
After beta readers? I think I’ll be looking at publishers. I have a few in mind. This is all very new to me however, so of course, before I make that plunge, I will do some research.

But you can rest assured that when it comes to the exciting and scary parts, I’ll do my very best to vaguebook the hell out of it! 😉 So make sure you’re following me on facebook and twitter to get the latest news on all the goings-on with Eleanor.

Eleanor edited

Drastic changes to Eleanor, beta readers, and bastard USB sticks!

BREAKING NEWS: I just absolutely hate USB sticks! Well, this particular one that I had been relying on so heavily. It decided it would corrupt itself, or allow itself to be corrupted or, much like The Marquis de Sade’s Justine, its virtuous nature was corrupted by external forces.

I lost roughly 80% of my files, including two novels, Eleanor and Wings of Malice.

Not to worry (I know you were), as I had recently backed up my files onto other external drives. I believe the discrepancy (in word count, and so forth) has been rectified, but this rude awakening has led me to consider using an online cloud thingy. So, I’ve downloaded Dropbox.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, Eleanor is soon to be sent off to beta readers. Hooray! (insert the sounds of celestial beings singing).

Eleanor edited

Well, now. Back to your regular programming.

Just so typical of my indecisive nature, I have a number of alternate endings for Eleanor. And, as you may have guessed, I can’t decide which one I like most.

And so, I will be doing none of them! I have deleted all of these alternate endings, and am starting afresh… with an ending I never thought I would write.

This new ending however, has left me with some complications.

One such complication: Can there be a happily ever after in a tragedy? I think we all know the answer to that. And yet, a tragedy like Romeo and Juliet is commonly referred to as a romance. I cannot think why.

Other complications have meant me having to do something so uncharacteristic of myself, it has shocked not only me, and my partner, but it goes completely against my ethical standpoint. Let’s simply say that, if the vegan community didn’t already hate me, it will now!

I always thought my cruelty-free lifestyle would seamlessly and naturally translate into my work, but I am looking to challenge myself and my readers. I want to write something shocking. This may mean people despising or loving my writing (or being utterly apathetic, who knows?). As long as it evokes a response, a strong emotional response (and a review, wink wink), then I have done my job.

Though I would love to publish all of my endings, I’ve been told that it’s not exactly feasible. That is unfortunate, because I am rather fond of them all. Perhaps I could make Eleanor a Choose Your Own Adventure-style book?

I had also considered putting it up to a vote, but then that may mean revealing the ending… Hmm… I think there is a flaw in that plan. Perhaps instead, a simple, subtle poll?:

Subtle, no?

It is all rather moot though. I have already chosen my ending for Eleanor. Still, if I could publish all 5(?) endings, I would.

In other news… shocking, shocking news… while I have successfully killed off many characters in the past (in a number of my works, and without shedding a single tear), a death scene I recently wrote had me weeping uncontrollably. All in a few lines. Does this make me a master writer? I think so 😉

I shall let you, the reader, be the judge of that however.

(Arrogance mode deactivated).

Born of hallowed love – a work in progress

Born of hallowed love.
Tainted and fated
by prophecy;
a higher purpose she wished
to be unburdened by.

Cursed blood.
The key to salvation,
in death only.

Cursed with age.
The envy of her immortal brethren.

Unwilling to continue a sacrifice,
to fight
to die
for another’s cause
and never her own.

She leads her own crusade
in search of herself

In misery feigned
her devotion to her line
and yet accepted
for there was no other way
no other purpose of her being
than to be as a vessel.

For what is one life,
her life, to the lives of man?

© 2017