A Little Late for an Update!

Well, it has been almost 18 months since I last gave an update here. I spent the majority of that time finishing up grad school, which I did this summer. Woohoo! So, sadly to say, the book had to take a back seat.

But now I’m back, and I’ve been writing more than ever. I think I’ve added more new content in the last few months than I’ve added in the last several years. I’m having to rewrite the entire beginning because, well, little Marie couldn’t quite conceptualize a good story in the beginning. But as I’ve been working and brainstorming, I’ve changed things that I think will make the story much more what I originally wanted it to be. I’m anticipating a title change, so when I settle on that, you’ll be the first to know!

The series will discuss what it means to be a family and how to live with mental illness. And you may think, “But wait, Marie, I thought you were writing high fantasy?!” I am! Who says fantasy can’t speak to real-life struggles? I think that’s what makes the best fiction. Because fantasy people are still just people.

I hope you stick around for the ride. I’m having a blast realizing this dream of mine, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

My goal is to have a complete first draft by summertime so I can do my first round of edits and send it off to beta readers before the end of 2021. I would love to have a spring 2022 release if possible, if not sooner. But we’ll see how that goes. As for now, I just need to keep trucking along to get this first draft finished. Can’t do anything until that happens!

Thanks for all the love and support!


TFW Your Standalone Novel Evolves into a 5-Part Series

Hello, fantasy friends!

It has been a while since I wrote anything here, but all is not lost! I have finally made progress on The Elven Dilemma, and I have exciting news! What once was a standalone book has turned into a five-book series! My post about being a Middle-Earth Dwarf made me realize that I had more material than I could cover in a single book, so I have decided to break it into sections.

My struggle is that I’m not sure how to number/categorize the books. The way they are designed, none of the first three need to be read in any particular order, so numbering them 1, 2, 3 doesn’t really work. Any thoughts? I’ve considered A, B, and C, but it just doesn’t give the effect that I want. I could create my own kind of numbering or symbol system, but books four and five do need to be read in order. I’m truly at a loss and would welcome any insight. Thankfully I am still working on book 1, so I have time to figure out the numbering for the rest. I’ve decided on a series name, and I have working titles for books 2, 3, and 5, but they are a secret for now (cue sinister giggle).

In other news, I have continued transcribing the hand-written copy of The Elven Dilemma. Apparently I never mentioned that I began handwriting The Elven Dilemma circa 2007. When Borders was still around, my best friend and I loved browsing the bargain books section. There we would find sketchbooks and journals, and one day I found the infamous sketch journal. This journal had lined pages on the right side and blank pages for sketching on the left side. They are (were) massive and hardbound and everything I never knew I needed. Stupid me only bought one, and I have yet to find another of its kind from any other retailer, physical or online.

© 2018 Robert Hallowell

After losing at least one version of this novel to a computer virus, I vowed to hand write it for fear of losing it again and not being able to retrieve it. I filled the last page of that sketch journal back in September and decided to start typing the novel from then on since I couldn’t find a matching book to continue handwriting in. Since beginning to type my novel, I have typed 29k words, which, I know, does not seem like much considering I started typing it 7 months ago. But with life the way it is, I’m happy for and proud of those 29k words.

A few months ago, I found myself in a rut (I wrote about it! You should check out that blog as well!) and I couldn’t come up with any words to write, so my husband suggested that I start transcribing the handwritten material so I can join the two files at some point. Well, I did just that, and this weekend I hit almost 15k words that I’ve transcribed (and revised as I went along). The crazy thing is that I did a rough estimate of the number of words in that book before the first of the year, and based on word counts from several random pages and the number of pages in the book, I assumed that I would have between 35 and 40k words in there. Surprise! I’m not even 1/4 of the way through this book, and I have already reached 15k, so if my math is correct, there should be around 60k handwritten words in my sketch journal (not to mention the fact that the entire first half needs to be rewritten because 2007 Marie was still quite naïve and smooshed too much into too few pages).

In all, it’s looking like this novel is going to be close to or over 100k words, which is a lot for a YA novel. However, I plan on hiring an editor, who will likely trim that word count for me! I am teeming with excitement about everything surrounding The Elven Dilemma, and I can’t wait to continue sharing this journey with you all!