In which I continue to Learn New Things

It is a well-documented fact that I am currently doing a rewrite of SHARDS.

This is new territory for me. Finishing the thing was new territory for me, too. The only thing I’ve ever finished previously was my 2007 NaNo (approximately half of which was comprised of ADD SCENE HERE); my computer is a veritable graveyard of partly-finished works.

SHARDS actually dates all the way back to 8th grade, when 14-year-old Stephanie decided that if J.R.R. Tolkien could craft an elaborate and realistic world (I was in my Lord of the Ringsphase back then), well, then SO COULD I.

14-year-old Stephanie wouldn’t recognize the story that I have here, nine years later. I think 14-year-old Stephanie’s mind would be blown by what this has turned into. And she sure would be laughing if she realized where I’d be heading with this.

I think the awesome thing about this whole writing thing is that there’s always something new to learn. Right now, it’s how to revise things. When I typed END OF BOOK ONEat the end of that Word document at the end of January, I had to sit and watch TV shows on Hulu to keep from getting overwhelmed at the thought of HOW MUCH WORK is still ahead of me.

But then again, you don’t solve problems by looking at EVERYTHING AT ONCE. So I broke it down into the pieces I really need to work on: plot, character development, setting, sentence structure and word choice. And so, I’m focusing on one thing at a time. This go-around, it’s plot.

Guys, I’m actually outlining this thing. What is this?

Last week was pretty crazy (read: I spent every moment I wasn’t asleep or at work reading Insurgent), so I didn’t get a whole lot done, but I’m looking forward to tackling this thing in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a taste of what I’ve got so far.


The thing I remember most about the day my life changed is the heat.It shimmered through the temple windows in waves, settling over my shoulders like a shawl. Not even a breeze stirred inside the cavernous marble chamber to loosen the strands of my brown hair plastered to my forehead.

I hissed as my mother jabbed me with her fan. “Pay attention!” she whispered.

All around me, the congregation – women and children, since the men went to a separate service in the evening – were lowering to the floor, settling on their knees. I followed suit so quickly, I almost fell over onto the old woman next to me, most likely drawing more attention to myself than I had by daydreaming.

And then, it was silent, not even the priestess’s droning voice rising above the heads of the congregation. What should I pray for today, I wondered?

I looked around through mostly-closed eyelids. As far as my eyes could see, heads were bowed, covered by lace scarves; hands were on knees; a few lips were moving silently, but most mouths were firmly shut.

My mother shifted next to me, almost as though she knew I were being disobedient. I swiftly squeezed my eyes shut and cast a thought upward to Stella, Lady of Light, Please, put an end to the monotony.

If only I’d known.

3344 / 50000 words. 7% done!