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Writing Update: Project Hellion

Hey everyone! So, I thought I would give an update this week on my writing and what I've been up to writing-wise since the beginning of this year. I feel like a lot has happened since January 2018, especially when it comes to my writing. After finishing revisions on Silver, I decided to take a break on that trilogy (which makes me sad but I promised myself I would definitely get back to those books as soon as the big revisions on Project Hellion are complete), so that I could work more or less exclusively on the sequel to Weapon Icean. This book was my nanowrimo novel for 2016 and 2017 and I spent most of 2017 working and reworking on this book until it all finally fit together. I think this is the longest I've ever worked on a book, which just goes to show how incredibly fast I can be and how incredibly impatient I can be. But if 2017 taught me anything, it was to be patient, especially when it comes to my writing.

Anyways, so, I was calling the sequel Project Khione for the longest time. It fit all the earlier drafts, but after writing my 2017 nanowrimo version of the story and then spending all of January revising it, I realized that title didn't really fit the book anymore. But I still need a project-something in the book and came up with Project Hellion! It's a big deal in the book and it just fit really well, so that's the title! I know most authors have big title reveals and stuff, but I guess I'm not really doing that, so here's my title reveal. Project Hellion. Look for it later this year. I'm also working on the back-cover blurb and I'm hoping that will be revised and complete soon so that I can share a little piece of what the story is about with all of you!

Honestly, I was in a pretty discouraging place with this story last year. At the beginning of 2017 I had gone through one version of the story after another, desperately trying to figure out how I wanted to end or continue Delphi's story and what the story was even going to be about. I got to the point where I was just frustrated and sick of the story and needed a major break, so I gave myself the time to step away and do something else. To focus on something else. I focused on Of Magic and Mayhem and then Golden and Silver later in the year. I think I needed that. My writing-craft wasn't advanced enough to write Project Hellion at the beginning of 2017. Project Hellion required something more of me as a writer that I didn't have yet. Writing those short stories for Of Magic and Mayhem and then writing Golden and Silver, taught me the things I needed to do Project Hellion justice. All three of those books advanced my writing and made me a stronger writer and I'm really proud of how Project Hellion is turning out. I feel like it is some of my strongest writing and that's because I let myself step back and just leave the book alone and not obsess over it or rush it. I spent all of December working on Silver and decided that I was going to spend as much time as I needed on Project Hellion starting in January. All of January I've been through like six drafts, I think. Working and reworking the story. I practically rewrote the entire book during the second draft cuz my first drafts tend to be complete messes and all over the place with the story. I've changed and rewrote and switched up scenes. I've spent hours on character and thinking about how best to develop the theme and make this book as strong as it can be.

Now, I'm in the middle of doing something that I have never had the patience to do before. For a lot of my books I've always printed them out thinking, oh yeah I'm going to do this! I hear all these authors and writing saying how good it is to print out your book and go through it with pen and paper, I'm going to do that! A few chapters in my patience is gone and I just can't do it. Until Project Hellion. I've spent almost this entire month of February going through Project Hellion on paper with a pen and revising. It's amazing! I've noticed so many grammar problems, small inconsistencies and plot problems that I wouldn't have noticed on my computer. Now, when it comes time to plug all of the changes back into my computer... that'll be hard for me, but I think, after going through it all on paper, I'll have the patience to put it all into Word again. Even if I don't, I'll still have to make the time and the patience to do it because my book will be better off for it. So yeah, I've really enjoyed reading over Project Hellion. I've actually caught myself not wanting to stop reading it because I haven't like gone through the whole story since I wrote and rewrote the first and second draft! I really, really hope that all the readers who get this book, enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed working on it and reading it.

After I finish this next round of revisions of putting all my changes back into my computer, I'm going to see if I can find some beta readers. I know I have at least two or three people who will read through it and give me solid feedback, so that's good, and I'm hoping to maybe find some others. To be honest, I've never really had beta readers... but I feel like I'm more connected in the writing community now to where I can find people to help me make my book better. I also want my book to be read by several people before I publish it, so that I can change things and make it better and I refuse to publish it until that happens. So yeah, that's what I've been doing the last two months, more or less tirelessly working on Project Hellion. Writing has really taken up a lot of my time and I know some people (non-writers) may not understand how you can find so much joy and excitement and purpose in your life just by sitting at a desk and writing day in and day out, but I've had the best time. I love having a project to work on and make better and to create worlds and characters. It's the best thing in the world and I'm so excited to share this story with all of you. I've worked so hard on it and I really hope people will enjoy it! As someone who sometimes struggles with feeling like I have any purpose in my life, like I'm not doing anything or fulfilling anything, writing has really helped me with that. Writing makes me feel like I'm working toward something and making a difference and it just gives me purpose, which helps me to be a healthier person.

As much as I love Project Hellion, I'm kind of excited for when I can take a break from it or finish it, so I can get back to my Renee and Zayde. I miss them and I think about Golden a lot and how eager I am to get back to work on that story. While writing Project Hellion, I've also sort of gotten back into the fairytale phase... I read Snow and Rose and then The Problim Children, which is magical in it's own right, and now I'm rereading the Sisters Grimm series and after I finish rereading that series, I'm going to buy The Hazel Woods cuz that book sounds amazing! So, in my free time I've sort of been dabbling in several different little writing projects. I haven't really finished any of them and I'm not really taking any of them too seriously. They're most just to let me continue to practice my writing and stretch my imagination a bit as I work on Project Hellion. I was working on a sci-fi alien story with Area 51 and conspiracies, but now I have the fairytale feels and I've been dabbling in a few different versions and ideas of a Peter Pan/Pied Piper retelling. One is middle grade and the other idea is Young Adult so I'm just sort of letting myself explore a bit and see if I find something that really sticks.

So yeah, that's what I've been doing. Lots of Project Hellion and bits and pieces of stories scattered all over the place. My poor flashdrive has so many unfinished stories and beginnings of stories right now, it's crazy, but also awesome. I hope the last two months have been exciting and fun and that your writing has been productive and fun and purposeful as much as mine has. I'll post the back-cover blurb of Project Hellion up here as soon as it's ready and I'm excited to continue this journey of publishing my first ever sequel!

Have a great rest of the week and thanks for coming to my blog and reading! I hope you've enjoyed it and find encouragement on here!

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