inverarity: (Constance Pritchard)
I know, folks, I know. I'm getting more people asking me in slightly worried tones if I'm really going to finish book five (let alone the series). And how I said I'd be done last year, then that I'd be done this year.

It's been a rough year. I just don't have the writing time I used to. But I am still writing. I even want to get around to writing other things besides AQ. That hasn't happened either, lately.

But, however slowly, progress is being made. I hope you all will still be around when I finally get to the end.

I just finished chapter 30, at 152K words.

[livejournal.com profile] cactuscommando has finished his splendid series of AQ fan art. And he's promised to make an AQATWA cover to match the others he did, when I have finally finished a rough draft.


Constance Pritchard
by cactusfantastico on deviantART


Forbearance Pritchard
by cactusfantastico on deviantART


Lineup
by cactusfantastico on deviantART
inverarity: (Alexandra Quick)
So I have a confession to make: my writing output for the past few months has been... slim. Minimal. One might even say, practically zero.

I've spent lots of time thinking about writing, but not a lot of writing has actually happened.

There have been reasons for that, some good, some bad, but reasons don't get words on the page. And I've been missing the writing and yes, I do want to finish the damn book! As well as other things.

So anyway, I wrote 1400 words tonight and finished Chapter 28. This is going to need some serious, serious rewriting and editing when I finish, but I remembered where I was going and now I'm just taking off in that direction and trying not to let the hobgoblins that demand revision and polish slow me down.

So, current word count is 145,096. We're back...

And here's some morale-boosting fan art.


David Washington
by cactusfantastico on deviantART


Troublesome
by cactusfantastico on deviantART
inverarity: (Alexandra Quick)
You'd think I'd get more writing done on a snow day. I suck.

I am up to 140K words now, which those of you who are counting will realize is only 2000 words in the last three weeks. Yes, I suck.

Okay, it's one of those mushy middle transitory chapters where I am not sure how to push through and make interesting things happen without being boring along the way. But I seem to have made progress in the last couple of days; as usual, it comes from deviating from my weak-ass outline and writing dialog as I go along and realizing a new subplot has emerged.

Alexandra has been trying to be good. But now she's back to saying "Fuck it, Ima do what I want."

The more interesting things always seem to happen when Alexandra is off her leash. Go figure.

So, we have an awesome new illustration by [livejournal.com profile] cactuscommando — Alexandra, if she lives to be 20:


Visiting Home
by cactusfantastico on deviantART

And two more character illustrations:


Innocence Pritchard
by cactusfantastico on deviantART


Mary Shirtliffe
by cactusfantastico on deviantART
inverarity: (Alexandra Quick)
To finish this damn book. And some OF on the side.

27 chapters and 138K words so far. The pieces are actually kind of fitting together now — at least I kind of know where I'm going — but individual chapters are big messes of dialog and characters muddling about. I've introduced a bunch of new characters who are kind of interesting (to me) but have no real long-term utility, and meanwhile I don't know how to keep Alexandra's friends from spending most of the book sidelined.

But thank you to everyone who is still reading and still waiting for me to finish this project. My "fanbase" is small even by fan fiction standards and insignificant compared to that of a real author, but the occasional reviews and comments and people arguing over whether or not Diana Grimm is evil are enough to keep me going. Yes, I admit it, I probably wouldn't continue if I were writing only for myself. I don't need to be famous, I don't need to be a BNF, but I do need an audience. So thank you.

2013 was not a terrible year for me, but I've had better. I get the impression that's true for a lot of folks. So may 2014 be better for all. Even Diana Grimm.


Diana Grimm
by ~cactusfantastico on deviantART
inverarity: (Anna Chu)
I feel like I am wandering in a desert, trying to find the way out of this plotless wasteland. There are many new characters and much dialog, but the story is spinning its wheels.

Not doing such a great job at writing undistracted, without constantly succumbing to the temptation of the Internets. So I've only been managing an average of at best 500 words a day. Current word count is almost 135K words.

However, here are two new illustrations from [livejournal.com profile] cactuscommando to enjoy. No one else has ever drawn Maximilian before, so it's nice to have a non-Poser image of him, and I particularly like Anna, who is indeed adorable.


Maximilian King
by ~cactusfantastico on deviantART


Anna Chu
by ~cactusfantastico on deviantART
inverarity: (Alexandra Quick)
So I have a bunch of new characters all being introduced in one chapter. I feel like I'm writing The Hunger Games. (No, that's not a hint about the plot.) I remember a comment I got a lot about Hogwarts Houses Divided was that I dropped so many characters into the story that people had trouble keeping the names straight at first, though most readers apparently got them sorted out eventually. Still, I may have to eliminate a few characters when I go back and revise. Assuming I don't eliminate entire swaths of the book, since I'm still in that meandering "I know where I want to go, but right now I'm just winging it" phase.

There are a lot of big events and new developments in AQATWA, but the connective tissue that will hold it all together as a coherent book isn't there yet.

However, you may surmise that at least I am writing again. I never really stopped, but progress has been dragging for a while.

Current word count is 131K words. I still predict this is going to be the longest of the AQ books yet.

And now, one of the best illustrations I've seen of Alexandra, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] cactuscommando, and another one of Dean Grimm! Click the links to go check out the full-size versions on the artist's DeviantArt page.


Alexandra Quick
by ~cactusfantastico on deviantART


Lilith Grimm
by ~cactusfantastico on deviantART


Abraham Thorn
by ~cactusfantastico on deviantART
inverarity: (inverarity)
So, as those of you who laugh at my Poser art know, I suck at graphic design. For example, the art I had done for Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above is lovely, but the font I smeared across it for the title really does not work. I can tell by looking at it that it's poor design — I just don't have any design skills.

Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above

Compare with the cover that Pierre Raveneau (asahisuperdry on DeviantArt) made for me:

Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle

Much cleaner and crisper. It would be great for a PDF or print copy, though perhaps a little too dark for the small, high-contrast images favored nowadays by ebook publishers.

Now, check these out, sent to me by [livejournal.com profile] cactuscommando. They are perfect for ebook covers. If I were actually "publishing" the Alexandra Quick books, these would look great online.

Alexandra Quick and the Thorn CircleAlexandra Quick and the Lands BelowAlexandra Quick and the Deathly RegimentAlexandra Quick and the Stars Above


Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] cactuscommando! When I get around to releasing a new version of the ebooks, I may use these as the ebook thumbnails, with the original cover art as title plates.

Finally, people have been asking me for years to do a sequel to Hogwarts Houses Divided, and I've been saying "Yeah, yeah, someday." Well, don't get your hopes up — "someday" is still lost in the fog of an uncertain future. However, [livejournal.com profile] tmonacelli has written his own fanfic of my fanfic, and you can find it here: Teddy Lupin and the Philosopher's Stone. Enjoy!
inverarity: (raven)
Nice fan composition by [livejournal.com profile] zephyranthia here. Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] zephyranthia!


Who are you people? Why are you here?



I have about 140 people who have friended me right now. I don't know most of you at all. This is fine — as I say in my user info, there is no need to ask permission to friend or defriend me, and I have yet to ever post anything f-locked. I usually check out the LJs of people who have friended me now and then, but I don't usually friend back unless I actually know you. (For some arbitrary Internet value of "know.")

But I do wonder who y'all are. I know some of the folks who have friended me have almost certainly abandoned LiveJournal long since. But I'd guess there are least a few dozen of you who are still reading my entries but have never commented here. You are not required to, of course. But if you would indulge my idle curiosity by answering this poll, I'd really appreciate it. (Yes, I did a similar poll some time back.)

The other questions are because now and then I think I might like to start blogging about more than writing and book reviews and fan stuff, but then I decide the time and mental energy it would take to mostly say stuff other people say better, and ban idiots, would aggravate me. One or two trolls can be enormously draining. Hence there is a trade-off between being quiet and unbothered or having a more active commentariat and periodic flamewars.

Lastly, LiveJournal seems to be in a death spiral. More and more people talk about abandoning it. I confess I am not entirely sure why, since it's still just as free and functional as every other blogging network out there, and I'm sorry but tumblr and twitter just confuse me. But who can fathom the ways of the Internet, which decides that Myspace shall become So Last Decade while Facebook shall prosper? So when I ponder the possibility of doing more "blogging," I also ponder the possibility of moving off of LiveJournal.

I probably won't do any of those things, because I'm lazy and it would be time I'm not spending on writing. But please answer my poll anyway!

[Poll #1887616]
inverarity: (Larry)
Check out this awesomeness!

alexandra_quick_and_the_thorn_circle_by_asahisuperdry

Is that not a beautiful piece of art? Yes, it's totally going on the cover of the next edition of the ebook.

Courtesy of Pierre Raveneau, asahisuperdry on DeviantArt

Chapter 20 — Larry's Wager.

In which Alexandra and Larry can't stay away from each other, and David continues to put his foot in his mouth around Ozarkers. )
inverarity: (Alexandra@13)
Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above is currently just under 252K words, and 40 chapters. I have done my first editing pass all the way up to chapter 38, and my betas are right behind me.

Once all chapters are edited/betaed, I will go through with the list of Things That Need to be Fixed and fix them.

So far, we haven't identified any great big gaping plot holes or serious structural issues. There are some things that need to be fixed (and one subplot in particular that one beta likes and the other doesn't), but nothing that has me rewriting half the book.

I write fic! That isn't AQ! )

Lastly, my latest commissioned character illustration:

Lilith and Diana Grimm )
inverarity: (Alexandra@13)
Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above is currently just under 252K words, and 40 chapters. I have done my first editing pass all the way up to chapter 38, and my betas are right behind me.

Once all chapters are edited/betaed, I will go through with the list of Things That Need to be Fixed and fix them.

So far, we haven't identified any great big gaping plot holes or serious structural issues. There are some things that need to be fixed (and one subplot in particular that one beta likes and the other doesn't), but nothing that has me rewriting half the book.

I write fic! That isn't AQ! )

Lastly, my latest commissioned character illustration:

Lilith and Diana Grimm )
inverarity: (Alexandra Quick)
So I am thinking of commissioning some more character illustrations, but this time of the secondary characters. AQ fans, vote for the character you would most like to see drawn by someone who's not me.

[Poll #1779152]
inverarity: (Alexandra Quick)
So I am thinking of commissioning some more character illustrations, but this time of the secondary characters. AQ fans, vote for the character you would most like to see drawn by someone who's not me.

[Poll #1779152]

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