Tag: wip

My favourite parts of novel writing


So, actually, it turns out that my favourite part of novel writing (aside from the heady feeling when you’re a few chapters in) is revisions. Aka, the moment when I have finally understood why the novel is not working, have made a checklist of everything I need to fix, and am settling down in front of the computer with a cup of tea, and a determination to tick off those checkboxes one by one. Which is, I guess, another way of saying that I vastly prefer knowing where I’m going ^^

I am done with revisions, and have sent novel off to agent (also, the H rocks as a first reader, but we all knew that. We had a bit of a narrow brush when the snakelet attempted to chew the printed manuscript, but we’re good now). Also, I learnt entirely too many things about Belle Epoque etiquette from Baronne de Staffe (my favourite bit: men give way to women because women are vastly superior), and about servant hierarchy in big French households (I was only familiar with that time period through novels written during the era, so I hadn’t quite realised the ubiquitousness of the servant class. It was quite impressive to read up on who did what, and also quite fun to imagine how this would have changed a few decades after that, if WWI hadn’t quite happened the same way).

Anyway. In honour of the sending off of the manuscript, here’s a snippet of later on in the book:

He remembered a cold, cold Hall much like this one; a lieutenant in the red-and-gold of House Draken, telling bewildered boys about the glory of dying for one’s House, for one’s country; and him, standing in the riot of colours streaming from a tall stained-glass window, and struggling to remember the power that had sustained him in Indochina. 

Meanwhile, I’ll go off and grab my missing sleep…

WIP snippet


Because that sentence came fully formed into my brain yesterday afternoon. No idea where it’s all going, though…

In the old days, the phoenix, the phuong hoang, was a sign of peace and prosperity to come; a sign of a just ruler under whom the land would thrive.

But those are the days of the War; of a weak child-Empress, successor to a weak Emperor; the days of burning planets and last-ditch defenses; of moons as red as blood and stars as dark as bile.


(for those who are wondering: I am indeed slowly working on the novel, but right now my brain is a bit frazzled and it’s hard to muster the energy for something long…)

WIP snippet


25k words in. Wow.

She’d never thought they’d lose him–that in one bloody, confused night as the neighbouring House of Hawthorn tore itself apart, he would take his sword and his wings, and walk out of the House he had founded; and never come back, leaving almost nothing behind–a scattering of things he’d infused with his power, a handful of ill-prepared students at the helm of a faltering House; and Selene, his heir by virtue of having been the closest to him.

Snippet from WIP


… because I need to be held accountable for actual word count…

“What is it?” Xavier asked.
Selene raised a hand to silence him–seeking the origin of the magic. Young, and desperate; she’d almost forgotten how that tasted, how bittersweet it all was, that mixture of bewilderment and pain that came just after the Fall.
West–in the ruined blocks that had been the Great Department Stores and the Great Hotels before the war, their names like a litany of what had been lost, the Printemps, the Galeries Lafayette, the Hotel Scribe, the Grand Hotel… West–where still stood the House of Lazarus. And, if she could feel it, so could every other Fallen in the vicinity; and perhaps their pet mages, too, if they had the right artefacts or were pumped-up on dust.
Needless to say, Selene did not approve of dust.
“We don’t have much time,” she told Xavier. “He’s in trouble.”