Chatting · Monthly Goals

November Goals 2022

Hello. Sorry this post is a little late, but hey, it’s finals season. Congratulations to everyone who survived NaNo, regardless of whether or not you won! It’s a crazy month with a high bar and I’m proud of anyone who attempted the challenge all the same. As we head into the hecticness of the holidays, be sure to take it easy on yourself, and enjoy the time with your families. I’m wrapping up my semester, and now that I have a job locked down for after graduation, I had to buckle down to catch up on all the work I’d been neglecting in pursuit of the job search, both for classes and clubs. But I still took advantage of my extra free time, so let’s see what I was able to accomplish!

WON – 5/9 GOALS

Make author stickers for inventory and set up shop – hurrah just in time for holiday merchandizing. Forgive this shameless plug.

[Image Description: three photos of the six different stickers available at the ko-fi shop. 

First sticker: A cartoon hand holding a detailed handgun that is still smoking. The font says, "Checkov's Gun Leaves No Survivors" in black font with a background of blood spatters behind it.

Second sticker: A stack of five books with vibrant covers, and on their spines the stack reads "add it to the T B R." The books are orange, then yellow, green, blue, and red. The background is purple.

The third sticker is a screenshot of a web browser with a purple background. The search engine is called "Forbidden Knowledge" and in the search bar it says, "It's for 'research' I swear . . ." There are five open background tabs with different searches. Preserving mummies in space. Is embalming fluid flammable? Can you survive an autopsy? What if you microwave lava? How to build a trebuchet.

The fourth sticker is of a glowing white cutlace sword surrounded by black swirls that almost resemble lightning. The background is of a night sky. The sticker doesn't have any font, but in the shop it's called "A Well Armed Author"

They’re live! Do you need to do some holiday shopping for your favorite writer? Need an answer to give to relatives asking for a wishlist? Just finished NaNoWriMo and want to get yourself a treat to celebrate winning and/or surviving? All these stickers are $2-$3 with some discount options available for the ones that didn’t turn out quite perfectly, and shipping is free. Every sticker is designed and hand-made by me! Grab yours here!

Any money I make from this little endeavor will go towards paying the rent for my website, and contributing towards my publishing fund to pay illustrators and editors. WordPress just upcharged the price of domains form $8 a year to $19 a year and the price of my plan went from $4 to $8 to $15 a month in the past year, so any little bit helps! This also means I can turn off WordAds because in the whole six months I had them turned on, I made a grand total of 55 cents. ~yaaaaaaaayyy~ Nobody likes ads so we’re not doing that nonsense anymore! Buying a few stickers will keep this site running for a whole month, so if you want an easy way to support what I do here and also get some neat art out of it, this is the way to go. I’ll be adding lots more designs in the coming months too, so let me know if you have any requests!

Finish editing Runaways during NaNo – For context, I impulsively decided to do NaNoWriMo on the first day of the month with absolutely 0 prep and after not having touched a word document in over 6 months with the singular goal to start writing again. I was tackling the 3rd draft of Runaways, which meant my wordcount was all kinds of wonky, and a combination of school obligations and travel meant that I didn’t come anywhere near hitting my mini-goal of 30K, much less the true 50K that’s customary for this challenge.

However, in the midst of this, I’ve totally re-plotted the 2nd half the story, added two POVs and outlined two weeks of down-time in which character development, exposition, and training occur. This book was never going to be finished this month, but I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve made regardless. Counting on winter break to get caught up!

Drawing/embroidery for patch jacket/dice bag/free space for other misc. Creative Nonsense. – I had a few back-burner projects in various stages of half-completion going into this month that I wanted to make progress on, so this was a “free space” goal if I managed to do anything for these mini arts. I made another patch for my jacket, in the logo of my favorite band, The Amazing Devil.

I also finished this drawing, which is called “I AM CREATON BOTH HAUNTED AND HOLY” inspired by the song Creature by Half Alive. After laying out the poses and basic values, I decided to record the coloring process so I could put together this time lapse.

This is my first time using the video block so in case that doesn’t work, here’s the final artwork!

Stay up to date with fanfic and archive PMs – I talked a bit last month about the preservation of digital history, specifically messages with friends on dying sites, and how I wanted to create a backup of them for my personal reference. I’ve been slowly working on this project but there are hundreds of thousands of words of correspondance in my old fanfiction.net accoung and so it’s been a slow process. This one gets partial credit!

Blog, IG, Pinterest scheduling – I hope you all didn’t mind the self indulgent sharing of my various side projects from November. Thank you for sticking around nonetheless!

Stay up to date with Goodreads and reviews – LOL what’s “reading” during midterms??

Attend at least one NaNoWriMo write in – I did, and I met a new friend! She’s a grad student at my uni, and we’re gonna keep meeting up to write throughout the end of the school year!

Read and reply to inkling stories – Oh my goodness, there are so many. In case you missed it, The Inklings Challenge is a month-long writing event for Christian authors of fantasy and science fiction, inspired by a real challenge attempted by the original Inklings writing group. For this tumblr challenge, participants were randomly sorted into one of three groups, with each assigned to a different type of speculative fiction story inspired by their namesake. You can read my story, “To Light and to Guard” on this website here. I’ve been trying to go through the archive blog and catch up, but it’s a slow process because of the sheer number. This is the best problem to have, in my opinion.

Clear out Tumblr drafts – To be fair most of these drafts are inklings stories I saved so I wouldn’t lose them, but to get to all the other tag games, I had to get through the inklings stories first. We’re getting there!


Thanks for reading! What are you working on this month? I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void. If I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip or buying stickers on my Kofi. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

Misc. Creative Projects

“Who are you?”

Hello dear readers! Today I’m sharing another diversion from the usual writing excerpts to share a webcomic I drew! These characters come from a tabletop roleplaying game I do with some of my closest friends, set in the world of Avatar the Last Airbender. The story takes place about 5 years after the end of the series, in a newly formed Republic City. Our characters all came to the city to attend the new school there, to learn diplomacy and foster positive relationships between the nations. Nice idea in concept. In reality, the bad blood never dried, and a terrorist group tried to sabotage the opening festival. Our characters found the plot and helped intervene to prevent most of the damage, but couldn’t find and diffuse all the bombs before they went off. In the aftermath, Seraphine’s cousin died. His cousin’s twin sister, Asira, went mad with lust for revenge, to the point of hurting anyone who tried to get in her way, including civilians and classmates, which landed her in jail until she could calm down and process her grief.

Unfortunately, Asira had other ideas, learned how to self-combust, and went onto be an arc villain. This scene takes place shortly before she broke out of jail, when we were still trying to help her recover. Seraphine – the girl dressed in grey – is a firebender, and Asira’s cousin. She belongs to my friend Sarina. Asira herself is an npc, and our DM is my friend Theele. My character is the airbender in the back, named Sora. I had a conversation with Asira as well, in the second half of this scene, but I had to stop illustrating here for the sake of time. I originally drew this comic as a birthday gift for Sarina, and wanted to share it here as well, now that it’s done!

Figuring out how to illustrate a comic and handle the workflow of the sketching, panel layout, inking, flat colors, and lighting for each shot was a huge learning curve. I’m sure I could have been far more efficient with this if I had chosen a different method of rendering that didn’t require me to blend every layer individually, or used more copy-paste to transfer details from one panel to another. You can see how the quality drifts between pages as I both learned a better process and lost my patience haha. Rendering the effects of the spectral flames was also a fun challenge, because neither Seraphine nor Asira can really see them. During this scene, Sora used her spirit-seeing ability to watch Seraphine’s aura and monitor her emotions, to make sure she wasn’t growing too volatile, which is what the various wisps of fire and particle effects are meant to represent. I had a lot of fun drawing this comic all the same, and there are so many other moments I’d love to bring to life in the future.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the story, even though it was out of context. Let me know if you’d be interested in hearing any more DnD stories in the future! I’ve been in a half dozen campaigns and there are many more antics to share. Also feel free to leave recommendations for post topics! I’m looking to fill up my queue for the coming months and I want to hear what you want to see me cover. If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing (and other creative endeavors) by leaving me a tip on my Kofi or donating using the secure box below. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

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Chatting · Misc. Creative Projects

The Making of a Mistcloak, part 2: Creating and Community

There comes a time in the life of any maker that one has more good encouragement than good sense. These moments, when enthusiastic friends push you to do the wild, half-planned idea, far outside of your comfort zone – these are the projects that one remembers most fondly. If you’ve noticed me taking a bit of a detour from my usual writing fare, I hope these tangents don’t deter you from coming with me on this creative journey. Seldom does fiction occur in a vacuum, unaffected by the author’s other interests, and seldom does Making Stuff occur in a vacuum, devoid of influence from other creative friends. Your life becomes more interesting as you become more well-rounded, and I’m a firm believer that the same goes for your fictional worlds.

Is this a lengthy excuse for inflicting you with my latest fan project? Yes. Yes, it is. But this is my slice of the internet and I’ve spent altogether too much time and money on this project not to show it off literally everywhere. There’s a moral in here somewhere, I swear, but in an age of ~Careful Branding~ and ~Targeted Marketing~ I hope it’s more fun to read this blog when it’s just me. Some nerd. Enthusiastically and unashamedly rambling about my self-indulgent hobbies for whoever cares enough to listen. Somehow, doing just that helped me to find all the lovely people who worked on this project with me ❤

Continue reading “The Making of a Mistcloak, part 2: Creating and Community”
Chatting · Reading Recs

Making of a Mistcloak, part 1: Why Vin?

I owe a lot to Brandon Sanderson. In the summer of 2020, I was three years deep into the worst reading-slump of my life, struggling with anxiety and depression thanks to a combination of university stress, the pandemic, a full-time laboratory job, and living away from home in a strange dead city. My writing was struggling due to lack of time and input to fill up my creative well. I don’t remember a lot of that spring, except that it felt like my head was constantly full of mist.

I had no idea how much my life would change when I picked up an audiobook of The Way of Kings to help pass the hours doing tedious sample prep. The story of my writing community starts here, two years ago, since it was the same summer I started this website. I owe my eternal thanks to Quinn Siarven for both the excellent book recommendation and moral support for the past several years ❤ Kaladin’s ideals got me through that year, and the next, and the next, as I fell deeper into the Cosmere:

I picked up the audiobook of The Final Empire this past summer, at another lab job, doing boring sample prep again, and immediately grew attached to Vin’s character. I wish I had picked up this book in high school, because I relate to this awkward, intense teen altogether too much. Reading about her struggles was like reading about my slightly younger self, and I want to scoop her up in a hug. It also shocked me just how many of my OCs are incredibly similar to Vin, carrying paranoia, too much trauma, great skill, and grander callings on their young shoulders.

Beyond that, The Final Empire is also just so much fun?? As much as post-apocalyptic hell-scapes can be fun, that is. Kelsier brings such an entertaining energy to the page, and his beacon of hope resonated with those deeper themes that have always been the source of my love for these series. The “learning to fly” scenes are always my favorite, since I’ve been a little kid I’ve always dreamed of taking off into the wild blue yonder and leaving my problems behind, and there’s no small part of wish fulfillment in this costume bringing me a little closer to launching myself into the sky. The dynamics with the rest of the crew are so wholesome, and Sazed was my favorite by far.

You can’t talk about a Sanderson book without touching on the magic systems and worldbuilding. The planet of Scadriel works on three sets of rules: Allomancy, Feurochemy, and Hemalurgy, all of which play crucial roles in the plot and weave together with the characters to tie them into a prophecy much bigger than themselves. It’s an intricately crafted world full of history as multifaceted as our own world. I loved how many religions are described, because that’s a part of worldbuilding that I often see glossed over, but personally find very interesting, and the discussions of faith and hope are intrinsically woven into the character’s arcs in a way that feels fundamentally natural to how we as humans constantly wonder about why we’re here.

“The right belief is like a good cloak, I think. If it fits you well, it keeps you warm and safe. The wrong fit however, can suffocate.”

“But you can’t kill me, Lord Tyrant. I represent that one thing you’ve never been able to kill, no matter how hard you try. I am hope.”

“Our belief is often strongest when it should be weakest. That is the nature of hope.”

It goes without saying that I wholeheartedly recommend these books, and I was thrilled to take on a cosplay for Vin. In the future, I’d love to cover other characters from Sanderson’s worlds – perhaps Veil or Vivenna will be up on the list! What’s your favorite Cosmere book? As much as I love the Mistborn trilogy, I have a soft spot for Words of Radiance and how the relationships between Kaladin, the Kholinars, and Shallan all grow and evolve. Maybe I’ll actually get caught up on Sanderson’s books by the time Stormlight 5 comes out, and I’m looking forward to the secret novels next year!

Next week I’ll be sharing the full process of creating the cloak and how the community I’ve found at school helped me finish such a large project, so check back for that! As always, I am open to suggestion if you have a topic you’d like to see covered! If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing (and other creative endeavors) by leaving me a tip on my Kofi or donating using the secure box below. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

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Chatting · Monthly Goals

October goals

Hello everyone and welcome back to another life update. My biggest update this month actually has nothing to do with my writing projects: I secured a job for post-graduation! I sunk so much time in submitting dozens of applications, spending my afternoons interviewing over zoom, travelling to work sites, and travelling to conferences, but it’s finally paid off. The job market is hypercompetitive right now, as the US is heading into/already in a recession, and companies are slashing hiring budgets, so I needed to make sure I had an offer on the table before I could focus on anything else this year. Now that I have that security, I can drop all of that networking to focus on school and writing!

Last month, I also announced a temporary hiatus for my major writing projects. In reality, these have been on an unofficial hiatus since June because of a combination of burnout, needing distance from the stories in order to edit, and lack of time as I pursued job hunting. I still have final exams coming up, and I want to prioritize spending time with my friends in my coveted free time, but I’m calling the hiatus on Runaways off, as I’m returning to Draft 3 for NaNoWriMo. After taking such a long break from a story, having external motivation to get excited about it again can help overcome the activation energy barrier it takes to get started again. I’m hoping to finish the draft by the end of the semester so I can print off the manuscript using my school account! But that’s enough scheming – I’ll update you on that project in December. For now, let’s go over what I got done this past month, despite the hiatus.

Won by 1 point – 5/8 Goals Completed

Write short story and cross post to blog for the Inklings Challenge: If you’re unfamiliar, The Inklings Challenge is a month-long writing event for Christian authors of fantasy and science fiction, inspired by a real challenge attempted by the original Inklings writing group. For this tumblr challenge, participants were randomly sorted into one of three groups, with each assigned to a different type of speculative fiction story inspired by their namesake. I was in the Chesterton group, so I chose the prompt “Intrusive Fantasy”: Stories where the fantastical elements intrude into the real world. There was also a prompt list of seven Christian images to incorporate into the themes of our stories. If you’d like to read more about the challenge, and read the other submissions, you can find all relevant links on the tumblr blog that is hosting the challenge! If you missed my story, “To Light and To Guard” is available here.

Sort out Reedsy Discovery and update reviews on all book sites: I’ve talked about Reedsy before when listing writing resources, but if you haven’t heard of them: it’s a site full of writing and publishing advice that hosts a database of vetted professional editors, proofreaders, cover designers, and marketers so that indie authors can easily find the right person to hire when they’re preparing their book for publication, and those professionals can find easily find clients. They also have courses and webinars, an entire suite of tools that are free to use, short story competitions, and Discovery, which is a book review database similar to Goodreads. Anyone can sign up and import their library, but I’m trying to get approved as an official reviewer, which is a slow process. I also have tons of reviews to publish across Goodreads, BookBub, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Storygraph, but I ran out of time this month to write them, or read anything new.

Blog and IG scheduling: Hurrah, another month come and gone without falling off the face of the earth!

Archive FF.net PMs and reviews before it goes down: Ok, to clarify, fanfiction.net is not going down immediately. The fictonpress twitter updated after a year of radio silence, saying they plan to fix things and keep the site running, at least for now. There was a scare earlier in the month though, that the entire thing might crash and burn soon, and so a mass recovery effort was made (by other people) to back up the contents of the site so it wouldn’t be lost to the void of the internet. Fanfiction.net is unique in that there’s no way to copy/paste the contents of a story from the web, and so it must either be backed up to other sites by the author who has access to original document, or it must be typed out word by word by readers. There are also fan-binding communities who make physical hardcover copies of fanfiction, which is an incredible labor of love I’d like to learn one day. Additionally, there are tens of thousands of words in private messages and reviews that could be lost – which breaks my heart. Books can be reprinted as long as one remaining copy exists. Burning a box of letters means that correspondence can’t be retrieved ever again. I was in the midst of midterms when the information came out, and without the imminent demise of the site looming, I felt comfortable procrastinating this a little while longer while I had job applications to do. This is still high on the to-do list now that I have a little more time.

Draw gifts: I have several writer friends with birthdays in October and so I did OC illustrations for all of them!

Finish ATLA comic: This was technically a gift for my friend whose birthday was in August, but I vastly underestimated the amount of time and work that drawing a whole comic would take, and so I was determined to finish it this month. I might post this in a later post because it was a lot of work and I want to brag.

Make Vin Cosplay for Halloween: If you’re on tumblr or instagram you probably saw the reveal for this already, but there’s too much to show here, so a full “Making-of…” breakdown is coming in a later post!

Make author stickers for inventory: I spent most of my time at work sewing instead of printing stickers, but these are coming soon!


Thanks for reading! What are you working on this month? I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void. If I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip on my Kofi or donating using the secure box below. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

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Chatting · Reading Recs

Horror for Halloween: House of Hollow

Happy Halloween! This month I wanted to share a horror-fantasy reading-rec, and this is a book I’ve wanted to cover since I read it last year in one sitting the night before an exam. House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland is a thrilling combination of fantastical and terrifying and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a creepy autumn read, or looking to improve the mood and ambience of their prose!

Warnings ahead for suicide, manipulation, body horror, and general discussions of death and horrific topics, so if that bothers you, reader discretion is advised. This book is written for a YA audience.

Continue reading “Horror for Halloween: House of Hollow”
Short Stories

To Light and to Guard

This story is my entry to The Inklings Challenge 2022. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a month-long writing event for Christian authors of fantasy and science fiction, inspired by a real challenge attempted by the original Inklings writing group. For this tumblr challenge, participants were randomly sorted into one of three groups, with each assigned to a different type of speculative fiction story inspired by their namesake. I was in the Chesterton group, so I chose the prompt “Intrusive Fantasy”: Stories where the fantastical elements intrude into the real world. There was also a prompt list of seven Christian images to incorporate into the themes of our stories. If you’d like to read more about the challenge, and read the other submissions, you can find all relevant links on the tumblr blog that is hosting the challenge!


Marcia squinted into the fog and cursed the night. Roiling storm clouds obscured the clear light of the full moon, casting shimmering beams and warping shadows over the bog. Wind whipped her short, straight hair across her face. It stuck in the corners of her mouth whenever she took a panting breath and flicked into her stinging eyes. For the dozenth time in half as many minutes, she swiped it behind her ears, frustratingly aware that it was a futile effort. The sky hadn’t opened into a downpour yet, but the freezing mist clung to her clothes, her clammy hands, her eyelashes. Any other night, she could hear frogs croaking, birds crying, and the water rippling as turtles breached, but now, only the howling gale filled her ears. She gritted her teeth and stomped forward aimlessly.

This was all Conner’s fault.

Continue reading “To Light and to Guard”
Chatting · Writing Advice

The Blurry Line: Between the Developmental and the Copy Edits

Line editing is an often misunderstood and surprisingly nebulous stage of the writing process. To make sure we’re all on the same page in terms of vocabulary, I’ve copied a common definition:

A line editor is attentive to the writer’s individual style (for that reason, the job is sometimes called stylistic editing) A line editor works line-by-line, tightening up sentence structure so the language is sharp and clear. They look closely at how a writer’s word choice and syntax contribute to the tone or emotion of a piece of writing. Finally, a line editor is concerned with the overall pacing and logical flow of a piece… Where line editors are concerned primarily with questions of style, copy editors are concerned with mechanics.

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-line-editing

This description makes the process sound nice and linear. In fact, I fell into the same pattern when I wrote my earlier post on the complete start-to-end editing process for a manuscript, placing it after the beta-read, and before a professional copy edit. I thought of it as a dividing line between the unwieldy draft and the polished manuscript. I also wrote that post before I’d actually completed those editing stages on Storge. The information is still useful, albeit generic, and not pulled from personal experience. That’s why today I want to do a deep dive on just this one step, to clarify some of my older points and elaborate with my experience in editing Runaways.

The first thing to remember is that writers never obey definitions. After all, you have to know the rules so you can break them! The line editing stage is extremely nebulous at best. How long it takes and how many rounds you complete largely depends on the style and quality of your previous developmental edits, how long you’ve had to develop your writing style, if you’re comfortable in the mood and tone of the story you’re trying to tell, and your personality. Some people pay closer attention to details, others are impatient to fix issues as they arise and bounce between steps as needed. Both are totally valid ways to write.

When preparing a book to share with beta readers, eventually you reach a threshold where you have to decide “this is good enough.” In most cases, sharing the draft with readers means they will comment on the high-level issues with the story: all elements that fall under the developmental edit. Meticulously editing for style and tone could be a complete waste of time if your readers end up recommending that entire chapters need to be rewritten, reordered, or scrapped. However, if the prose is not polished enough, the clunky writing may be enough to distract the reader from the larger issues they should be focusing on, and diminish their enjoyment of the book as a whole. Most beta reader feedback is a combination of the two types, and so all the edits in between rounds of feedback become a combination of developmental and line editing. Once you get to a certain point in the story, the changes you need to make to things like the character arc or to clarify world-building are less in the form of scrapping-and-rewriting whole scenes, and more making subtle tweaks to word choice and sentence structure to convey a certain tone properly.

For a Runaways example, when Cecelia disappears in chapter 1, I wanted to portray the Teagan parents as good folks who are worried about their missing daughter, but trying to keep calm so they can find her, and keep Hannah from panicking. Most of my feedback said that the parents seemed too callous and unconcerned because a few lines of dialogue just hit off target. While that plot-point hasn’t changed, I altered the sentence-level structure so that Hannah perceives how her parents really feel and it adds to the growing tension of the inciting incident. Other scenes need to be rewritten completely in order to fix the pacing, such as the sequence of introducing Hannah to the Seelie Court. Some scenes are fine as they, but contain some clunky sentences, which my wonderful reader, Arva Bake, highlighted in yellow. This flagged the problem lines without changing the feedback on the story. Green highlight also told me where my delivery had an excellent impact, and red markup showed inconsistencies.

As I write the next draft, I’ll work my way through the feedback from the developmental to the line edits, before doing another round and starting the process again. In each new draft, my final step is to go through the prose with a fine-toothed comb and make the writing as clear and engaging as possible. This includes doing grammar and punctuation checks, which fall under the purview of a copy-edit. This is why I now refer to line edits as the blurry line between stages of the process. Resolving one issue often bleeds into polishing that section in other ways as well, and it’s impossible to draw a clean differentiation between them when you are doing edits yourself.

When both you and your beta readers are satisfied with the manuscript, then it is time to hire a professional editor, or several. When employing a professional, the distinctions between developmental, line, and copy editing DO matter. There’s often a significant difference in price tag for more intensive edits, and it’s recommended that you hire different people for each stage, to get fresh sets of eyes on the story with every change in focus. Understanding the difference between the three is important when discussing these terms in industry, and they provide us as authors with a helpful vocabulary to describe what elements of the story we’re focusing on when we self-edit. I hope this was a helpful guide for you!

If you found this post useful, please let me know what you think! Do you have any other questions about the editing process that I can answer? Next week, I’ll be travelling for a school conference, but I’m hoping to put up a short story for the Inklings Challenge! If the post is a few days late, that might be why. Catch me scribbling away on the plane while I don’t have any internet to distract me. If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip on my Kofi or donating using the secure box below. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!

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Chatting · Writing Advice

My Beta Reader Experience

Last week, I announced that I’m putting my novels on hiatus for the semester. In case you missed that post, I’ll recap here: I know this will delay my publishing goals significantly, as I wanted to release Runaways shortly after graduation, but I think ultimately this is the better choice for my mental health and the quality of the writing.

For one, I need more distance from the story before I can edit with a clear head, and without the self-imposed pressure to rush, I’ll do a better job of cleaning it up. I also need money to pay illustrators and editors, and if I can save up for a year with my Real Life Adult Engineering Job, I’ll be able to afford more detailed and a larger quantity of illustrations, as well as several rounds of rigorous editing. Additionally, I need to focus this semester on getting good grades, applications, and networking, so I can find a Real Life Adult Engineering Job, and that’s eating a significant portion of my time. With what little free time I have left, I want to spend it with my friends before we all scatter to the winds in May.

But I figured this is a good time as any to go over my beta reading process in the hopes that you can learn from my experience! If you missed it, I’ve also put together a post about my full editing process, but today and next week’s post will do a deeper dive into the steps. A beta reader is someone who’s not familiar with the story who volunteers to give you their honest opinion of the draft. While your critique partners, alpha readers, or Designated Writer Friends might already know all the plot twists (or helped you come up with the plot twists), generally speaking beta readers go in with the basic knowledge any reader would have if they picked it up at the library. They don’t have to be writers. In fact, it might be better to have some who aren’t writers and won’t be looking for the behind-the-scenes craft. Here’s how I went about this step of the writing process:

Continue reading “My Beta Reader Experience”
Chatting · Monthly Goals

September Goals and MERCH UPDATE

I forgot there was an extra Friday in the month, whooooops. My bad. HAPPY OCTOBER, IT’S SPOOKY SEASON!

In all seriousness, I’m home this weekend to celebrate my brother’s Eagle Scout, so everybody better leave him lots of congratulations in the comments. I’ve been scrambling to get my work done around the travel plans, and while I started this draft, I completely missed adding it to my queue. But all the same, this was a hectic month. Fall semester of my Senior Year includes several project-based classes, running most of my clubs, doing undergrad research, working at the school makerspace, and hanging out with my friends. It’s been a ton of fun, and I’m determined to make the most of it, much to the chagrin of my sleep schedule. So before time gets away from me again, let’s go over some cool announcements!

Merch Update!

I recently started a new job at the maker-space at my school, which means I have FREE and totally UNLIMITED access to all sorts of neat machines, including 3D printers, a laser cutter, a waterjet, t-shirt printers, and a sticker maker.

In short, I’ve gone mad with power.

Continue reading “September Goals and MERCH UPDATE”