Top 5 Books on my To-Read List

Top5OnMyToReadList

My reading list grows by the day, mainly because of my slow reading speed, but here are my top 5 for this year.

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
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    I’ll admit: this is a book I only heard of because a good friend of mine, Stef, loved it. The cover is eye-catching, although the title doesn’t seem to give anything away.
  2. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
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    Again, one that caught my eye by cover alone. I have no idea what it’s about but, darn, is it beautiful. I’m in the majority of “judging a book by its cover” for sure.
  3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
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    Okay, so this came as a word-of-mouth from a lot of my Wattpad friends and readers. Then I saw the selling line of “What if Cinderella was an assassin and went to the ball not to dance with the prince, but to kill him?” The line certainly caught my attention, but not in a good way — my immediate answer was “Well, doesn’t sound much like a Cinderella retelling then, unless you still have the horrible step-family and fairy godmother” (read the published blurb — doesn’t sound like it does). But I heard raving things, so I’m going to check it out.
  4. The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
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    I really enjoyed Holmberg’s The Paper Magician trilogy with its steampunk feel and magic system, (reviewed here) so I was excited to hear there was a spinoff set in the same world. Eagerly awaiting my own copy!
  5. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
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    I’d read The Rithmatist by Sanderson before and, man, what a world. I loved it. Exciting, immersive, and left me breathless after I’d raced through the entire book (*spoilers* disappointed the MC didn’t succeed but never mind! *end spoilers*). I got a copy of this from the library and this brick is sitting on my nightstand right now.

What are your to-reads this year? Any recommendations?

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Wattpad Block Party Winter 2018

Wattpad Block Party Banner

As mentioned in a previous post, I shall be guest-posting in Kelly Anne Blount‘s Wattpad Block Party Winter 2018. After hearing suggestions from all my readers, I’ve decided to talk about fantasy story plotting, specifically regarding Rune Mage, including magic lore, character building, motivations, and the actual plotting process.

It’ll be heavily condensed, because there’s only so much I can squeeze into a single post! There are plenty of books published on a single topic alone.

Other suggestions from readers have included:

As promised before, I’ll work my way through these in blog posts. The alternative endings will likely take some time, because I only ever really plot for a single ending.

Be on the lookout for my post on plotting fantasy stories! We launch in February!

New Year’s Resolution

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Happy 2018! Wishing you all a safe, happy, and successful new year. I thought I’d start the year with a short list of resolutions. Although I’m not one for using new year’s specifically for resolutions — I’d rather have short goals throughout the year — it won’t hurt to make a grand end point, right?

  1. Finish Firestarter, my Asian Fantasy YA novella, and rewrite it (possibly as a full novel)
  2. Finish rewrite of Rune Mage, my high fantasy mass-sacrifice novel.
  3. Read more! My reading motivation has dropped down to zero.
  4. Pass my clinical exam retake in May.
  5. Brew at least one of the plot bunnies that have attacked me during my late night musings of my WIP. Either a full-length Asian Fantasy or Western Science Fiction — yet undecided

What are your new year’s resolutions? Share them here!

Need Your Help! Wattpad Block Party February 2018

Wattpad Block Party Banner

Exciting news! I am proud to announce I will be participating in Kelly Anne Blount‘s biannual all-star Wattpad Block Party, coming to you in February 2018! Each member will contribute one chapter to her book of fun, alongside giveaways, shout-outs, and other fun prizes! This begs a question from me to you, my readers.

What do you want me to write about?

Options include (but aren’t limited to): reading, writing, blogging, Wattpad, character interviews, sneak peeks at new projects, alternate endings, 10 Reasons to Read *My book title*, storyboard creation, deleted scenes, spin-offs…

I was thinking of talking about how I plot my fantasy stories, focusing on Rune Mage (which has had the most detailed plotting by far). I don’t have any new projects to do a reveal for, because I already have two WIPs currently, but I’m open to suggestions!

Suggestions from readers so far have included:

  1. Alternate ending to Seeker: Demon Killers
  2. Character interview with Ari from March City
  3. Alternate ending to Windcaster

The options not used for the block party I’ll likely post on here instead, so suggest away!

NaNoWriMo 2017: Week 1

marchcity2NaNoWriMo 2017 has officially kicked off! I have a loaded schedule this month, so I’m not sure how much I can actually get done, with two friends visiting separately from the other side of the world and six days’ exams at the end (and I still need to study for it!) but we’ll see.

March City: The Rebellion of the Gifted sees Ari breaking out of the simulated reality that was March City and struggling to cope with the real world, devoid of the technology she was used to, with a new enemy on the horizon and allies she could not trust.

Day 1 results are…IMG_8797

Chapter 1 is out on Wattpad; for earlier updates, check it out on RadishFiction.

What to do After Finishing a First Draft

After Finishing Your Novel

On 27th July 2017, Rune Mage was finished at 199k words after NaNoWriMo 2016 and two lots of Camp NaNoWriMo 2017.

Then I hit a wall. What now?

I had several plot bunnies boiling for the past few months and was too happy to jump straight into a different project, but I knew this was always my pattern ever since I started writing. Once I finished a story, it would be stowed away forever, not to be touched for years. Since I discovered Wattpad, I would get occasional commenters picking up on old plot holes, spelling/grammar errors, and general areas that could be better improved. I made a point of reading through the whole of Rune Mage again, now that I knew the ending, and added in red herrings, foreshadowing, and refined the lore now I learnt the true extent and limitations of the magic.

And, you know what? It was worth it. There were areas that didn’t add up to the ending (it had been eight months since the beginning, after all), characters who became more solid as the time went on, so conversations didn’t match up to their true nature from the beginning, and a few red herrings spiced things up.

It was also cringeworthy picking up on my typos or see where I’d been distracted and mis-typed, but nevermind.

Rune Mage is now edited at the time of writing this. I spent a whole month reading back and reliving the story, and tidying up after myself. I have a bad habit of being exceedingly under-critical of my own work, so I have a good feeling it’ll be at least a year if not more I want to rewrite.

What do you do after finishing a first draft?

Cover Reveal for NaNoWriMo2017 and the Next Project

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NaNoWriMo2017 draws near, as does the start of my second project. As promised, the cover reveal for my sequel to 2014’s NaNoWriMo, a science fiction-fantasy combining the ethics of simulated reality, human experimentation, and doing The Greater Good.

Welcome to March City: The Rebellion of the Gifted.

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