Category Archives: Writing Tools

Call of Elespen is On the Way!

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Call of Elespen is On the Way!

Quick update, and then I’m back to writing!

First, I’m excited to share the cover for my fellow indie author, Christina McMullen’s upcoming book, The Princess Rebellion, which she revealed this week! I had a lot of fun painting it, and I love the text treatment she used. To read more about the cover and her upcoming release on her blog, just click here.

Princess Rebellion Kindle Cover with xach


Call of Elespen is on the way.

Elespen Teaser

Release day might be the end of November, it might be the beginning of December, but I promise book five is coming. I could tell you all the reasons why it’s not quite ready yet, but I don’t want to bore you with the craziness that is my life, so instead I’ll offer you some fun little tidbits about my process as I get through this draft.

I use Scrivener to write my drafts. I love it because of its organizational capabilities and its high level of customization. I also love that I can easily switch between my PC and iPad to write.  Here’s a screenshot of the beginning of my manuscript. As you can see, I color code my chapters: sky blue for Azi, desert yellow for Tib, and Sorcerous red for Celli.

Elespen Draft

I listen to great music while I’m writing, too. Each of my main characters has an anthem, and there are certain artists who really speak to me when I’m trying to get into someone’s head.

For Azi, it’s Aurora:

For Tib, it’s usually Black Keys:

For Celli, it’s Sia:

Actually, that video is so Celli it gives me chills every time!

I have the cover for Call of Elespen ready to go, but I’m holding onto it so I can announce the release date and reveal the cover at the same time. I’m chomping at the bit, though, and as excited to share this conclusion with you as I hope you are to read it. It’s going to be epic! Check back for updates in the next week or so, or subscribe to my email list for all the latest news, and maybe a sneak peek! 

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Writing and Musical Inspiration: Celli

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Writing and Musical Inspiration: Celli

Celli is one of my more tragic characters. Lured in by Sorcerers and twisted to their ways, she quickly became a thrall and plaything for Quenson, who proved to be a powerful and cruel master. Celli’s tale is deep and moving, and I’ll leave it at that because I really want you to read it for yourself.

Sometimes, I find a piece of music which captures a character perfectly. This piece, called Il bell’Antonio, Tema III is the most perfect soundtrack for Celli’s fall into darkness, especially around 4:54 when the notes start to get scratchy and uncomfortable. I hope you listen to it through until the end, and it inspires you as much as it did me.

 

Alternatives to “Say”

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Alternatives to “Say”

I’ve had a few of these charts floating around in my bookmarks for a while, but none of them were organized in a way I would have liked, and all of them listed the words in past tense.

In an effort to maintain my sanity, I decided to compile them into one big list and categorize them according to the mood they set.

I’m offering this reference to my fellow writers who are looking for a different way to say “says” or “said.” You can download it in either .jpg form or a printable .pdf that you can print. Use it and share it freely, but please don’t offer it for sale.

Enjoy!

Alternatives-to-Say

Alternatives to ‘Says’ – Sheet1 (4)