Pride Prince George

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Hello everyone!

Just this weekend, I was able to attend Prince George Pride! I had an author booth at the festival, which I thought was fun. I saw a lot of people I know in the community, and it was great to see everyone out in celebration and resistance.

I think my time at the Pride festival was moderately successful. I sold a few books of mine, including a copy of Geek Out, which is a collection of trans romances. I’m going to try and get more involved in my own community, which will be fun. Up until recently, I have only ever participated as a queer author in online communities. I think Prince George needs to know that our city has queer writers and that we are writing queer lit.

I had the interesting experience of meeting lots of queer youth who had no idea that there were queer romances out there. They also had no idea that their voices could be heard, and that their own stories could be put out there in the world, too.

So, to those of you in Prince George, please feel free to chat with me. I’d love to connect with more queer writers in the community. I think at some point I will establish a queer writing club as well, to connect writers together.

I’ve done a lot of activism, but I think it’s time to join my online presence with my actual physical presence on the ground. After all, I’ve been dividing my time and presence between two places, and now it will be one. 

So welcome new followers! I will try and keep in touch with everyone! And if I can establish a queer creators community, that would also be great!

Happy Pride!

LGBT WIP

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Hey everyone, long time no see!

I’m just writing in to tell you about the #LGBTWIP tag going on via Twitter this month. A lot of LGBTQ authors are responding to this tweet to talk about their latest WIP. I guess I’m band-wagoning onto the idea, because here I am.

So one of my WIP is about agender plant-aliens who are meeting humans in order to do a trade deal. The story goes that they are trying to make a trade, with a secondary goal of making an alliance, but then a radical xenophobic group gets involved and tries to mess up the tentative agreement. My MC is a scientist who does a lot of her own experiments on herself. She is a biotech engineer who is working on making their species more hardy in order to survive longer, healthier lives. Because of her work, she is added to a diplomatic team that includes her “mother,” the main diplomat and negotiator. 

The premise came from a very famous Tumblr post about how aliens might see humans as the scariest ones in the universe and not the other way around. My plant-aliens are very peaceful people who worship nature and the balance of life. Meeting war-like and aggressive humans is a bit of a culture-shock for them.

Anyway, a lot of the plot is yet undecided, and there’s a lot of work to be done on it. 

If any of you are wondering about my Across Borders rewrite, I haven’t exactly worked on it in a while, mostly because of grad school. 

I’m also working on a free read on Wattpad called Text Me. Feel free to check that one out, since it’s free. Notice I’m using the word “free” a lot? Yeah, it’s free. It’s not finished yet, but I’ve been updating it fairly regularly.

Anyway, hopefully I will finish my thesis fairly soonish and I will be able to write again. 

I keep saying that, but “soon” is a relative term.

Anyway, drop into the comments if you have anything to chat about!

Ttyl

Rewriting Part 1

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I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on rewriting, as this is my first project to be rewritten, but bear with me, my friends, and we’ll get through this thing together.

The first thing I had to do was reread the original novella. It didn’t take long, as it was only 26k words. It was interesting in some ways, because it was almost like reading something that someone else had written. It’s been so long, that I’d forgotten some of the details, and it was like reading it anew.

The next step for me was to decide what I wanted to keep. I made a sort of list in order to make sure I didn’t forget. It went like this:

  1. Characters. Almost all of them, obviously my two main characters, plus Mai-hua (my main character’s foster sister), her brother Jie-kang, the Emperor, Elder Breena, the Huo-long prince, etc.
  2. Premise. The two nations of the Shui-long and the Ceffyl Dwr are at war. Mai-hua wants to put an end to the war.
  3. World-building. What I had, I decided to keep. Both the Shui-long and the Ceffyl Dwr are somewhat amphibious beings that live on both land and water. There are five dragon nations.
  4. Tone/mood
  5. Some scenes from the original story.

Then, I decided what I wanted to revise. Another list. Can you tell that I like lists? I’m generally not a very organized person, so lists are good for me.

  1. Character roles: In the original story, Xin-jian didn’t know Mai-hua’s plans to make peace with the Ceffyl Dwr and only found out when she nearly died. In this story, I made them both a part of the plot, and made it so that Jie-kang’s entrance into the story is also rewritten, because in the original, he is only very briefly mentioned.
  2. Narrative arc: the whole story changes, with the exception of a few scenes that I think I will keep. Some scenes I want to keep, but am not sure how to fit them in to the new narrative arc.
  3. World-building: needs a vast amount of improvement. The original had a facade of world-building, but wouldn’t hold up under pressure or a more detailed examination.
  4. Length: this story needs much more room. It will probably span at least two novels.

There you have it. As I go on, I will definitely let you know more of what’s happening with that. Also, if I finally finish my dev edits, you will be the second to know (the first being my publishers/editors).

Thanks for tuning in!

Across Borders Take Two

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THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOL’S DAY JOKE

Hello all,

I have yet to finish my dev edits. Such is my shame. However, I am starting yet another project, which some of you may have already read about in previous posts.

I am going to do a complete rewrite of Across Borders, which is the first novella that I ever wrote for Less Than Three Press as part of The Bestiary collection. It’s since gone out of print, and I thought it would be cool to revamp it and resub it to the same publisher. For some reason, it was a fairly popular novella, even if it didn’t get the same ratings as some of my other work. 

Here’s what it looked like on its first go around:

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This cover was done back in 2012. Back then (in the olden days), Less Than Three Press didn’t do separate covers for every novella, so every novella in The Bestiary volume 4 had the same cover. Some of you probably remember, even! I was fresh out of my BA, and was ready for anything. Ah, my youthful idealism. 

Anyway. That’s the first cover art I ever received, and I can tell you that I was thrilled with it. Nowadays, LT3 has all sorts of lovely cover art and talented artists. We’re spoiled, really. But as a newbie author, I was happy with it. You can even see the little kelpie symbol in the top corners. 

I still do like my first published work, the original Across Borders, which was a romance between warriors of two warring states, but it is, admittedly, a juvenile work. One thing I can improve on in the story I want to write is world-building as well as narrative story arc. I’m looking forward to it.

These are my characters Xin-jian and Tiernan. The art was done by V. Rios for the 2012 publication.

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My characters from Across Borders

As you can see, the two of them are shifters, one is a Chinese dragon shifter, and the other a kelpie. As a few of you probably realize, Celtic Ireland/Wales/Scotland is pretty far away from China. I also didn’t really think of time periods/historical accuracy. I just wanted to tell the story of two people who are from vastly different cultures falling in love. I think it’s the love story that carried it, because the story-telling needed improvement.

Not to say that I wasn’t a good writer in 2012. My action scenes are pretty epic, and continue to be one of my stronger points to this day. 

The long and the short of it is that I think the story I want to tell needs to be fleshed out more. I’ve already outlined what is probably going to be two novels, and it’s turning out a lot different than the first one. But the core remains, that is, the love story between two cultures is still there.

I will keep you all updated! I’m doing the first rewrite I’ll ever do, and it should be a fun journey for me. I’ll probably release another blog post on rewrites soon!

Until then!

Dev edits

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Hello everyone,

My dev edits are currently driving me up the wall. Dev edits, or developmental edits, are supposed to help you with the structural aspects of the story you are trying to tell. My story, Yaliana, is a sci-fi lesbian romance. I love this story, but right now, it’s making me crazy.

First of all, I have an issue of nomenclature. I am talking about a different planet with different animals and plants. They are not really named, and my editor tells me that I need to come up with a system of naming these things. The main problem is that these characters have no frame of reference for these animals and plants. My characters have never lived on earth, and most of these animals are dangerous, so my characters’ main concern is not calling them by a name, but rather, staying alive.

Secondly, I have a character who I created who contradicts himself with his actions and words, and this was not done on purpose. I have to rewrite dialogue and different scenes in order to make him more consistent.

Thirdly, I have two stubborn characters who need to either show or reflect on their feelings for one another more openly. Right now, most of the story is focused on the action, whereas romance readers are concerned with the relationship. I need to get them to talk more to each other and more to themselves about their developing love story.

Those are my three problems, and as you can see, they are rather extensive and systemic problems. I’m pretty sure that I can fix them, but it requires a lot of time and energy. Dev edits are really important for worldbuilding, especially in sci-fi and fantasy worlds. I hope to ensure that my novella makes sense by the time I finish.

Still working on it!

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I didn’t get my dev edits done by the 19th. 

But such is my life. I’ve been writing my thesis and marking for an engineering class, which I am finding extremely challenging. Good news first: I have finished the first draft of my thesis. It is done, and now all I need to do is revisions. Bad news: marking is taking up all of my time, and March is probably a write-off in terms of getting any revisions done. 

What does this mean for writing?

I get nothing done for writing for a very long time. Perhaps not even until summer. This makes me very sad, but there is nothing that I can do about it. Hopefully one day, I will be working less on my schooling and more on my writing. It would be nice, at least. 

My dev edits might take a while to figure out. Some of the things that need fixing are structural things, which means very carefully revising some sections so that the world makes sense again. I’ll talk more about dev edits later in more detail.

I accidentally started writing something new. It’s supposed to be a short story with no worldbuilding. It’s a contemporary story set in my hometown, so it’s more of an ode to where I grew up than anything else. I hope that I can get across to my audience what Prince George is like. I don’t know whether I will publish this novella or not. I guess I’ll ask beta readers about it.

Ace aro dragon story is still stalled.  Who knows when I’ll get back to that one. 

One day I’ll do a poll and see what people think I should actually finish and submit to a publisher.

I guess we’ll see what the future holds. Right now it’s not really clear.

Winter is coming…

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Hello everyone,

So I’m updating my blog even though I have accomplished pretty much nothing writing-wise. I’ve finished two chapters of my thesis for my English MA, but I haven’t finished editing Yaliana even though it’s been since August that I was supposed to have finished them. 

I have a new Tumblr blog? I just created it after sadly deleting my fandom blog. If you want to go follow me on Tumblr, you can find me at alex-powell-author

I’m working on trying to finish the Yaliana edits today and tomorrow. Sorry to my Less Than Three Press people who are working on edits and wanted them back ages ago. I hope I can finish them soon.

As for my depression, it’s had its ups and downs. I was basically useless the entire summer because of fatigue, but hopefully I can finish some projects.

I hope everyone is getting their own projects done! Good luck!