Tag: Checkmate

Plot Twist! A Writing Update

Plot Twist! A Writing Update

Good morning, friends!

Just like a good book, life has unexpected turns and “plot twists.” And recently, I had one of my own.

After much prayer and thought, I have decided to lay off working on Checkmate for a while.

Let me explain why:

When I first started writing CM, I had very little knowledge of writing. I was arrogant and rejected a lot of the advice that I received. I wanted to do it my way, so I did.

They said don’t write fantasy for your first book. I wrote fantasy.

They said don’t have more than one POV for your first book. I had four.

They said outline, it will make it easier. I scribbled out an outline to say I did it, then threw it out the window.

While I don’t regret writing fantasy, I do wish I had stuck to one POV and spent more time plotting. I took on too much for my first attempt at a longer project.

One of the main flaws in my thinking was this: “Because I’ve read so many books and seen so many movies over the years, I don’t need to study plotting.”

Wrong.

Some of my friends can testify to me saying that to them. But as I started editing CM and looking at it from a critical perspective, I started to notice the flaws.

Because I hadn’t plotted, the storyline isn’t correct. And I also realized I had the wrong main character all along. I had never connected to the supposed main character, but really liked a secondary character. It turns out that the secondary character is the actual hero of the story.

While I’m sure that at some point I’ll be able to fix the problems with CM, I can’t do it right now. And there’s a point where trying to fix it will just make the issues worse, much like trying to untangle a pile of yarn—the more frustrated you get, the tighter the knots become.

I haven’t spent as much time as I should have studying the craft and learning about writing. There’s a lot of things I don’t know and a lot of things that I need to practice before I would try to implement them into CM.

I’ve been working on CM for two years. And I love every second I poured into writing it.

I’ve learned a lot and had tons of fun creating characters, crafting plot twists, and just simply writing. I learned how to write consistently, how to write when I don’t feel like it, how to bounce back from burnout, and many other valuable lessons.

While I’m really sad about giving up CM, I know taking a break will make me a stronger writer. In a few months, I plan on re-evaluating and see if my thoughts are still the same.

 

So, what will I be writing now?

Well, ever since I started this blog, it’s taken a backseat to CM. It’s time to invest more time and energy into writing posts. I’m tired of scrambling to write posts Friday so they can go up on Saturday.

But no more.

I’m working on a “vision statement” for blogging, to help me hone my focus and serve you all better!

Nonfiction writing is going to become more of a priority for me. I’m hoping to guest post more often and maybe get published on theReb again!

I’m also going to start brainstorming a new novel idea to practice on. I want to work on something without any tangles already in it so I can get better at writing. Then I can take what I learn and apply it to future novels, or maybe even CM!

I’m certainly not going to stop writing!

 

I hope you continue to walk this writing journey with me, plot twists and all!

 

 

Where’s Glendale?

This will be the final “Where’s Glendale?” post. Since he’s from CM, Glendale is also going on break. But this part of my blog isn’t leaving! In a couple weeks, there will be a new “blog mascot” up to the same antics as Glendale.

 

Glendale's "Glowing Away" Party
After a library program, there were a few tiny glow sticks left over. So I brought them home for Glendale, who decided to have a “lightsaber” duel with Yoda.

 

Big News+Sneak Peek into Checkmate!

Big News+Sneak Peek into Checkmate!

On June 22, 2019, I officially graduated high school.

I’ve been homeschooled since kindergarten, so this is a big change for me.

Allison Grace Graduates

You might be wondering, “What’s next? Are you going to college? Getting a job?”

Well, my plan is to get a part-time job and focus on more writing. I’m really hoping there will be an opening at my local library when I start applying places.

Don’t worry, my blog isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I’m working on honing the vision and purpose of this blog. (Something I learned about at the 2019 YDubs Conference.) I’ll be posting more about this in a few weeks.

 

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

The Sneak Peak Into Checkmate!

For those of you who don’t know, Checkmate is my YA fantasy novel that I’ve been working on for just over two years. You can read more about it here.

Last Thursday, I finished the third draft!

*cue confetti*

Before upcoming edits, the word count stands at 83,421. That’s 249 Word doc pages (8″x11″).

I’m pretty happy with how this draft came out. It’s a million times better than the previous one. My family still teases me about the ending of Draft 2.

To celebrate, I tried very hard to find some non-spoiler snippets to share with you. Enjoy!

 


He stared at the bodies for a minute, moisture welling in his eyes and a lump creeping up his throat. He swallowed hard as he knelt beside his mother.

He ran a hand gently over her flaxen hair as he had done many a time as a child, brushing it away from her face. A tear slipped unchecked down his cheek. She always had a smile for him, no matter what. Her blue eyes would twinkle and her lips quirk in the most delightful way that made everything seem okay. But now her eyes were closed and her pale lips slightly parted, as if she were sleeping.

He squeezed his eyes shut for a second, pressing his fingers to the bridge of his nose again. Then he reached for her right hand and carefully removed the white opal ring she always wore. Apa had given it to her one year on their anniversary. She never took it off except on wash days. Then she wore it on a chain around her neck until the clothes were on the lines and the dirty water dumped.

He held it tightly in his hand, the gold fittings that held the stone digging into his palm.

***

“You hungry? I haven’t eaten dinner yet.”

Aris smiled. Leave it to Trev to think of food.

***

“We have gathered here to celebrate another year of peace. But, alas, Avendor is not at rest. Rebels attack and burn our villages. They kill innocent children.”

The crowd murmured. Kare grabbed the hilt of his sword. Liar.

“I have reason to believe that rebels are here, right now.”

Everyone gasped, then stared at each other, as if their neighbor’s mask hid a killer.

“Rest assured,” Dargrin said, raising his voice and motioning for silence with a hand, “there will be no incidents tonight. My men are prepared for any attack the rebels might have planned.” His gaze swept over the crowd and lingered on Kare for a second.

***

One word echoed above them all.

Run.

***

Brenson reached for his cloak, but it wasn’t there. Strange.

Then he noticed what the horse was eating.

“Give that back!” He snatched his black cloak away and eyed the gaping hole. “I have a mind to leave you alone over here.” He waved the fabric in front of the horse’s nose.

The stallion tried to eat it again.

***

So, why did you come? 

Because they needed hope. 

It hurt to admit it, even silently to himself. He was living a lie, pretending to be someone he was not. He was no king. He never would be.


Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale learns piano
Inspired by the music at the YDubs Conference, Glendale has decided to take up piano.

 

Glendale playing piano
Though I’ve never seen it done this way before.