Writing Journey

Set A Quota, Meet The Quota

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Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t know what to kick start this year of blogging with if not for Zoey’s comment. Aside from my writing journey, Zoey has also asked about my writing process and how my average writing day looks like. Thank you for asking, Zoey! I’m more than happy to answer.

So, let me get right to it. When it comes to book projects, I go by the practice of ‘Set a quota, meet the quota‘. This is how I complete books within a set time frame. How do I go about it exactly? There are two ways.

The first is, A Book In A Month.

When I graduated from university, I spent the first month after graduation writing The Slave Prince. I told myself I would get a job after I was done. I gave myself 20 days to complete the book, and I did so by meeting the quota of one chapter a day.

My chapters for novels are a minimum of 2,500 words (more is welcomed, less is not). Without fail, I sat down in front of my laptop around 10pm every night and wrote until I met the word count. I didn’t go to sleep until I was done. I didn’t give myself an excuse to skip a day (unless it’s the weekend). And there was no such thing as a writer’s block, because I pushed through them. If I had to write a sucky chapter, I did it anyway – I knew I could edit it later. In 20 days, the novel was done.

These days, since having a day job, this isn’t something I can do unless I’m writing something short of a novel. My novellas and novelettes usually follow this A Book In A Month practice because of a shorter word quota, but not my novels. Which brings me to the second route: Two Chapters A Week.

Two Chapters A Week is exactly that. I write two chapters a week, usually on Tuesday and Friday. On Monday, I rough edit the chapter I wrote on the previous Friday. And on Thursday, I rough edit the chapter I wrote on Tuesday. Wednesday is kept empty just in case I haven’t prepped anything for this blog – sort of a last minute thing.

I would set the quota of 2,500 words or more and complete it before I go to bed. This was how I got Trails of the Wind (book one of my work-in-progress trilogy) done. I wrote Trails of the Wind between August to October last year, with a holiday break in Japan in between. Two Chapters A Week gets a novel done in around 3 months.

Again, there’s no such thing as a writer’s block. I MUST write on Tuesdays and Fridays. No excuses – fix horrible chapters later – just keep writing. I know that if I break my pattern, I risk never finishing the book, and that is something I will not do. It’s against my character to start something and not finish it. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t dropped books before – most of the time a result of not having a chapter list.

“What’s a chapter list?” you ask.

As a standard procedure prior to writing any book, no matter which direction I go, I spend a day or two mind-mapping and drafting out a chapter list (a.k.a a skeleton). I create a timeline where I write a few short sentences to describe each chapter. Most of the time, when I start writing, I deviate from the original plan. But I still create a chapter list, because it helps me to keep going. Should I feel lost in the middle of my writing, I can always look back at the chapter list and see if I should incorporate some of the ideas to push the story in the right direction. Since I impose no rule in following the chapter list by heart, it is simply there to keep me accountable – to help me finish the book. And there is no doubt that those short lines have been of great help.

So, there you have it! My writing process and how I go about it.

If you’re curious as to whether I participate in NaNoWriMo, my answer is ‘no’. My writing schedule always happens shortly before or after NaNoWriMo. With all the planning and writing, jumping on board would be too taxing. I also don’t want to hold on to an idea just for the sake of participating in NaNoWriMo. I prefer to write while inspiration is still fresh. Perhaps one day, my schedule will align and I’ll get to participate.

Now how about you? What is writing process like? Is your practice similar or do you have a different procedure? If you don’t have one, feel free to give my ‘Set a quota, meet the quota‘ a shot. It might work for you too 🙂

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I hope this post has been helpful. If there is something you would like me to write about, leave a comment below or send me an email. I’m not a writing prodigy nor do I have ample of experience, but I’m happy to share whatever niblets I own 🙂

Thank you for reading dear reader, and have a wonderful weekend. Oh, and to all who celebrates the Chinese (lunar) New Year, 新年快乐!

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Changing Things Up

chnagingthingsup4,800, yes, 4,800 subscribers! Woo hoo! Just so you know, I’ve never shouted ‘woo hoo’ out loud before… and I probably won’t because it’s a bit strange to do so in front of the computer. So here am I, internally and silently celebrating this new achievement. Come, celebrate with me too 🙂 After all, the number is rather insignificant if not for the the people behind it. Thank you for making that number worth something to me.

I’ve said this many times (saying ‘I’ve said this many times’ have also been said many times), but I’m really thankful for all of you. Your subscription, readership, and support matters a lot to me. I know my words may seem watered down, because I’m posting these ‘thank you’ posts too regularly, but the sincerity is still thick as glue. I really am grateful for your presence. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

Moving on, I have something important to tell you guys.

There is going to be a change to the way I release the rest of the books in The Battle For Oz trilogy. Previously, TBFO was a novelette trilogy that I partnered with an artist. However, due to differing goals between me and the artist, he has decided to pursue other projects instead. BUT that does not mean The Battle For Oz is gone. No way! I promised you guys 3 books and I will now give you 1; The Battle For Oz novel!

The Battle For Oz: Exitium will still be up for download, but it will now be a free teaser for you to taste the story before considering buying the novel. You can download it free here! As for The Battle For Oz novel, even though there will not be an abundance of artwork like in Exitium, I will be converting it into e-pub and mobi formats as well. So now everyone with e-readers can read it too 🙂

Honestly, this is not the change I intended to make, but sometimes you got to work with it. Zaquard is very talented (check out his devianart) but the way we see our trade with The Battle For Oz does not gel. Unfortunately, it has come down to this, but I’m still very excited! I’m hoping to release the full novel May next year, so be sure to keep an eye out for it!

Anyway, for all those that downloaded Exitium, thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed it! I also hope you would be game to read the rest of the novel when it comes out. The plot gets ‘twistier’ than the yellow brick road, I promise 🙂

Well, that is all I have to say for this post. Thank you once again for your subscription and have a great week!

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All 4,500 Of Oz

all4500ofoz All of Oz makes a good team, wait… I mean all of US make a good team. Everyone is important in this team, which means YOU are important. My blog needs a writer and it needs a reader too, and for my blog to keep going, it takes teamwork! So yea, all of us make a good team and I appreciate your teamwork.

Thank you, all 4,500 team players! Thank you so much for your support, encouragement and readership. Thank you for being on my team! I could not have asked for better teammates.feedback_oz

Now speaking of Oz (pun intended)… I hope you guys are enjoying The Battle For Oz: Exitium so far.

If you have not downloaded it, you can do so here, it’s free! But if you have, thank you and I look forward to your feedback.

As you can see, that image (on the right) designed by Zaquard is so pun-y that you HAVE to consider leaving Oz a feedback. You can save Oz too with your comments and thoughts on Exitium! But of course, heroes don’t go home empty handed.

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In return, Oz will pull all the feedback together to create a little album of cute badges just like this one (<—). We won’t edit your feedback if you don’t want to, but we would love to add your thoughts to our collection. I guess you can say, we are thought collectors from Oz. So, make sure you let us know what you think! If you’re relatively new here, you can read the book release post on ways to leave feedback.

Well, that is all for this post. Thank you again for tagging along and backing me up. I hope to go on more great adventures with all of you… and trust me, I have a pretty cool one planned out just for this blog which I can’t wait to start. What is it? Stick around and you’ll find out!

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31st May Is Here

tbfoexitiumThe day has arrived!

Have you been eagerly waiting for the release of The Battle For Oz: Exitium? If yes, you’re awesome but if no, just nod your head and pretend alright 🙂

Exitium CoverThe Battle For Oz is a project that I partnered with Zaquard, the artist who worked along side me artistically, which I completed writing last year. Since it’s completion, Zaquard has drawn up a visually beautiful storm while I worked on improving the content. So today, we are both very excited to release the first book to you!

To not delay any longer, here’s the secret to getting your e-book copy of TBFO: Exitium completely free! Just click… on the… book cover in this post. Wow, what a secret! To download, just fill in your email address and you should be able to get the book immediately. Simple, eh?

All links to The Battle For Oz: Exitium on this blog will lead you to a free download, but if you find a link that is not free, just type ‘free’ into the offer code section. You should get your 100% discount 🙂

Now on to the IMPORTANT PART, which I underlined, capitalized and bolded because it is very important!

Since Exitium is the first book of The Battle For Oz novelette trilogy, the response that we (Zaquard and I) get from this book will determine how we release the other two books and possibly a concept art novel as a fourth book. So it is very, very, very important for us to hear from you.

There are a few ways you can leave us a feedback after you’ve devoured the book.

#1 Goodreads – If you have a Goodreads account, we would appreciate if you leave a rating and a review.

#2 Email – If you don’t have Goodreads and you prefer to take the more personal route, you can send me an email at jeynagrace[at]gmail.com. If you wish to contact Zaquard separately, you can find his information at the back of the e-book.

#3 Facebook – If you don’t have Goodreads and you’re not a fan of emails, you can visit The Battle For Oz fan page and leave us a message or write on our wall.

#4 Comment – Lastly, if you’re not comfortable with any of the above, you can visit the teaser post for Exitium on this blog and leave a comment there.

We really hope to hear from you guys and we will definitely appreciate all the feedback we receive. We also hope you will enjoy the story and look forward to the second book!

Lastly, I just wanna say thank you in advance to everyone who intends to download and read the book. If you love it, do tell your family, friends, neighbours, and even your pets! I bet your pets will love it, after all, there’s a dog in the story… unless… unless you pet is a cat. Then we’re in trouble.

Book Teasers

The Battle For Oz: Exitium

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The court erupted with angry shouts of agreement. They were urging an immediate action to have her banished to the wastelands and they were not backing down. There was nothing she could say or do to convince them otherwise as even her husband did not squeak in her defence. She was done for.

Before the sun could set that day, she was escorted out of the kingdom. A crowd gathered in the streets to bid her farewell, and she had a feeling they would be celebrating once she was gone. That made her even more furious, but she knew her orders for their banishments would only fall on deaf ears.

As she left the happy kingdom behind, most of her feather-skinned guards continued on with her. She told them they could stay and celebrate, but it was more of a threat than a kind offer. Nevertheless, she enjoyed their nervous and silent company.

By the time they reached the black, flat, foul smelling wastelands, her guards found her a large rabbit hole that led to a giant burrow. She wanted to strike them on the head for finding such an unfitting place for her status, but she held her hand back when she found a motherless litter of muttbits curled up among each other.

Muttbits were like dogs, except for their rabbit ears, long whiskers and two sharp front teeth. They were a banished species for their wild and aggressive behaviour. Honestly, she once thought of them revolting but after being able to identify with them, she thought they would make good pets.

She also had an idea… a crazy idea she was not going to let go.

The muttbits were strangely welcoming towards her as she invaded their home, and it was probably because of the raw meat she was feeding them. So while she bonded with her newfound friends, her guards began to make the stinking place liveable. Torches were placed around the dome like burrow and a pile of pillows were stacked up at a corner for her sleepy head. They even sprayed some perfume in the air, hoping to rid the nose scrunching smell.

The burrow itself had a rather high ceiling and plenty of space. It was a suitable place for a home in the wastelands, but she knew she was not staying. How could a royal live in such a God forsaken place? She may be insane as what the court had called her earlier that day, but she was not stupid. This burrow was merely a temporary home until she found a new one; a new palace to be precise.

As she held back her mad urges of reclaiming her throne, she took her time in raising and breeding her muttbits. Two weeks in and she had doubled the number, with half as big as full-grown bears. Her guards were terrified of the muttbits because they would snap violently every time her guards approached them. But when it came to her, they were angels. She was convinced they saw her as their mother, and she soon started calling them her babies.

Once she had raised an army of muttbits, she knew the right time had arrived. She was going to claim the throne and be called queen again. Her muttbits would fight for her and she would regain her power. But she wouldn’t be fighting for the throne of this land, as most people would have expected her to. Instead, she found another land filled with powerful magic she coveted. That land was Oz.

She first learned about Oz from a book in the royal library. It was a place with magical creatures, picturesque mountains, lush forests, and a city built with green glass. Green was not her favourite colour, but jewels were definitely her favourite accessories.

On top of that, there was powerful magic; magic that she could later use to seek revenge on everyone that agreed to have her banished. Oh, wouldn’t that be glorious? she silently asked herself with a smile plastered on her fair face.

With her imaginations floating around her head, she became even more excited. When she could not contain it any longer, she ordered her guards to bring her a small velvet pouch. Of course, no one knew what was in that pouch except her, for if they did she would have been banished much earlier.

The contents of this little pouch were actually stolen from the royal archives, where artefacts of different realms were displayed in glass casings. Weeks before her trial, she snuck into the archives and stole the tail of a winged monkey that was supposedly from Oz. She then had it burnt and mixed with black fairy dust. From the words of different magic books, the powdery substance should take her to Oz, and she was so sure of it.

Rounding up her guards and her muttbits, she placed the small pouch in the centre of the burrow. Everyone was waiting for a special spell of some sort, but instead she ordered, “Burn it!”

The guards who were unfortunate enough to be standing near the torches, pulled the torches out of their holders and walked up to the pouch. As the guards lowered the flames, the pouch immediately caught on fire but nothing expected happened. After a few minutes of nothing, she thought the magic had failed and her chest began to bubble in anger. But when her disappointment was about to burst into fury, a deafening pop startled her angry heart.

The velvet pouch had exploded into a large cloud of dust and the dust began swirling. The air in the burrow was so still that all eyes were locked on the dust in fascination. Unfortunately for the guards in the centre, they only had a brief moment of awe before they were pulled into a rapidly growing tornado. There were screaming and growling, and also a hysterical laughter that was escaping her lips. The magic was working and she couldn’t be happier.

 As the tornado burst through the top of the burrow, it swept everyone off their feet. A few seconds after the outburst of the tornado, it died down quickly and the wastelands returned to its usual silence. The only difference was the big hole in the ground that no one would have ever noticed.

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This is chapter one; a teaser to The Battle For Oz: Exitium.

Exitium is book 1 in my latest novelette trilogy and it would be released at the end of May. It will also be free to download! To get you excited, I have a slideshow below that will introduce you to some of the characters and the contents of the book. Check it out!

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As you can see, the book is filled with awesome illustrations that I myself cannot get enough of 🙂 I hope that you guys would feel the same way too! To know more you can visit the Facebook page, but for now this should be enough to ‘tease’ you with.

***UPDATE: The Battle For Oz trilogy will be combined into a novel. A crowd-funding project was done to make it possible. Visit HERE to find out more!

The Battle For Oz © 2014 – 2015 Jeyna Grace

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2014, Here I Come!

WordPress hires monkeys. Yes, they do. And these monkeys have prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I love reading the annual reports, as I get to look back and see what I have accomplished on my blog throughout the year. On top of that, I like to see which country visits my blog the most. This year, my own country has taken India’s spot in the top three! Honestly, I’m rather surprise.

Comparing from last year, I have 6000 more views and 14 extra countries viewing my blog. Hey, that is a significant improvement 🙂 And lets not forget, I have you guys to thank for.

Anyway, since I’m publishing this to share my joy with you guys, I have a few updates:

#1 I’m working on Raindrops. I will be sending it to be proofread soon, and will be checking on my artist to see when she can send me the cover design. I’m aiming March for its release and I’ll probably put it up for free.

#2 The Battle For Oz: Exitium (book 1) will also be released this year. I will work on the draft in January and February while the artist works on the artworks. Hopefully by June, we can release it.

#3 The Slave Prince is my second novel, which I wrote in January, 2013. I have an artist working on the art since last year, but I haven’t gotten the time to really go through my writing. I’m aiming October – December 2014 for its release, since I have my hands full at the moment.

Yes, I will be releasing 3 books this year and I am excited! I definitely have my work cut out for me. Oh, busy, busy times ahead!

Well, I just wanna end by saying thank you once again. 2013 was great, and part of it was because of you guys. Knowing I’m going somewhere with all your support makes me happy. I’m definitely looking forward to another year of fun and adventure with all of you!

Happy New Year guys!

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Celebrating 2,700

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Hey, if I had money I would fly all of you to Malaysia and throw a party. It would be awkward at first, but I’m sure it would be fun. After all, every single individual that supports me on this blog is worth a celebration. The likes, comments, shares, and the mere presence, makes me write more. I push myself on uninspiring days, I force myself to think outside the box, and I motivate myself to do better by giving my best to all of you. So thank you for just being here. You guys are the best 🙂

Skipping a boring get-to-know me content this round, I thought I should just share a little bit on my newest project. Personally, I have written a lot this year. I wrote my 2nd novel, a novella, a novelette and a picture storybook on top of all the short stories and fan fictions you’ve read on this blog. That… is a lot. BUT when I was approached by an artist to collaborate on a new project, I thought about it a little and decided to do it.

We’ve decided to do 3 novelettes (a novelette trilogy?), which could be mashed together to be a novel if we want to, based on characters and places most people know of. It’s basically a spin off… something I usually do not do, but since the artist pitched the idea, I went with it.

The progress of writing this trilogy has been rather smooth. Book 1 draft is completed and I’m working on Book 2 now. All books would be done by the end of November and the editing starts immediately after. As for the artworks, the artist has drafted some of the art already (one example below). He’s a talented guy and if you wanna see some of his stuff, visit his Deviantart.

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I’m very excited about this project and I hope to share the books with all of you guys when it’s out next year. I’ll also start up a Facebook fanpage later on so both me and the artist can have a platform to promote the books. As for now, I just wanna share my excitement for this project with all of you. After all, what’s the point of writing if no one is reading, right?

Well, enough on this little sharing; the post is already long enough. Thank you all once again for the support, and I hope you guys have an awesome weekend.

(*If you have not downloaded my picture storybook, Magnum Opus, you can do so here for free! Happy reading!)

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A Quick Update!

You’re probably wondering, ‘Another post so fast?’

Well, yes. I have an announcement.

I recently revamped the Bookshop page and added a new book to the shelf! I have compiled a PDF version for Dream World: The Lost Child, and you can purchase it for USD 1.50!

If you would like to support me, and if you have not read The Lost Child, let me assure you that its pretty cool 🙂

I’ve been told by some of the readers, that journeyed with the mini series, that it was a good ride, and I’m sure you would enjoy it too.

Besides, today’s my birthday, what better birthday gift than to purchase one of my works? Haha! Ok, I shouldn’t be using my birthday as a reason, but I hope you would personally give me a shot to impress you 🙂

By the way, today is also Bryan’s birthday. Bryan who? One of the main characters of The Lost Child. Actually, THE lost child to be exact.

If you are skeptical, you can check out the first 3 chapters on The Lost Child page. It would give you a little taste of what the main course will be.

And you know what, since it is December and Christmas is just around the corner, I’m throwing an offer! If you buy The Dreamer at USD 3, you get The Lost Child for free 🙂  I’ll call this the Christmas Bundle! On the bookshop purchasing form, just write Christmas Bundle on the Purchasing Title and I’ll know what to do.

I hope you guys would drop by the bookshop!

While you are at it, I’ll carry on writing more chapters for Dr. Slubgob’s Letters. I was born to write; what better day to do it than today 🙂