It’s coming up for two months since I started posting chapters of ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ on Wattpad (previous posts here and here), so this seems like a good time for an update. First, some stats. Chapters posted: 27 Followers: 27 Reads: 543 (each person reading one chapter counts as one read) Votes: 102 Comments: 97 I post one new chapter a week, usually on a Friday morning. At the current rate of progress, I should reach the last chapter at the end of January.
Month: June 2014
A few weeks back I signed up for Bookvetter, a site which allows authors to peer-review each other’s completed novels and achieve a degree of approval which then connects to book bloggers. I said at the time that I liked the idea of it, and I still do, but I’m not sure how well it’s working at the moment. Here’s how it’s supposed to work. Authors post their own completed novel for review, selecting the number of reviews they wish to receive. They then have to review the same number of books in return before they can see any reviews posted for their own work. To achieve ‘vetted’ status takes at least six reviews of your work which agree that it is of publishable quality. Which means you have to complete six reviews of other authors’ work. At least. It’s a long process.
I’ve had a number of beta readers report back to me, and I’m now running through ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ one more time, incorporating final edits. I had a weekend away recently, which allowed me to read the whole book through from beginning to end, so I have my own notes on changes I want to make, as well. Some of them are easy: typos, repetition, adding in a little foreshadowing, tightening descriptions. But some are less easy. Here are a few problems that have come up: 1) Your main character is too passive. Well, yes, she is a timid, meek character, who does what she’s told and doesn’t exhibit much agency initially. That is very much in her nature, and, to be honest, if she had even an ounce of assertiveness in her, she’d have put her foot down in chapter 3 or 4, told her two men how […]
If you read my previous post on cover art, you’ll know that I decided to pay the professionals to design something for me, since my artistic skills are non-existent. I found some pre-made artwork that captured something of the feel I was hoping for, so I was able to pass that along to the designer as a starting point. The beauty of custom cover art is that you can ask for whatever imagery or symbolism you want. I knew I wanted to capture the vastness of the plains – that big sky effect. I also suggested using pampas grass heads to represent the sort of grasses growing there. I asked for a fantasy-style font, and maybe some glowing letters, since that plays a part in the plot.
‘The Plains of Kallanash’ is written with just two point-of-view characters, Mia and Hurst, so everything that happens is seen through the eyes of one or the other of those two. Nevertheless, there are other characters who have a significant impact on the story, whose actions and feelings and ideas resonate throughout the book. Some of them, like Tella, will always remain mysterious. Some, like Hurst’s Companions and family, are fairly transparent, so don’t need elaboration. And then there’s Jonnor. As the lead husband in the marriage, Jonnor has a very big impact on both Mia and Hurst, and sometimes his actions seem contradictory or unusually volatile. One such occasion is after his first interview at the Ring. Before this, he is openly hostile towards Hurst, but afterwards he makes some effort to reach out to him. This scene explains some of this. It is also written from Jonnor’s point-of-view, […]