Meet the squad

Hello again! As promised, this time I’m going to introduce you to the characters of my work in progress, The Fair Queen. You can check out the synopsis here.

I should probably warn you now, if you don’t like spoilers you might not want to read on. I’ve tried to keep out anything major but I never know what others might class as a spoiler for my own work.

Our protagonist is the impulsive and slightly reckless Aria Colling, who is about to turn eighteen, but unlike her genius best friend Jasper, she isn’t heading off to University in the Autumn. Instead, she’s looking down the barrel of a pretty dull life in her hometown of Hartwood, working part time at the local library (I know, dream job, right? Not to Aria), and living in her parents’ bungalow.

Jasper Quinn is Aria’s best friend. They’ve known each other practically since birth, live next door, and were inseparable until Jasper’s parents sent him to the local all-boys grammar school at 11. That’s what you get for being smart, I guess. Jasper knows Aria has been in love with him for years, which is why it was so hard to tell her when they were fourteen that he’s gay. Luckily, nothing has damaged their friendship so far, but maybe going off to University and leaving her behind will be the last straw…

‘Xander’ Alexander is the mysterious black-haired and silver-eyed boy who Aria has started seeing everywhere she goes-even in her dreams. He’s the Crown Prince of one of the Five Kingdoms within the Fair Realm. A Gnome with elemental magic, the ability to control earth. He’s been watching Aria and he believes she is the long-lost daughter of the Salamander King, the subject of a twenty year old prophecy, and he wants to take her to the Fair Realm to reunite her with her father. Xander is very noble and loyal, but the strain of so much expectation and pressure does get to him at times.

Bazyl Demitree is the charming, auburn-haired boy who has also had his eye on Aria. He wants to take her to the Fair Realm and hand her over to the evil Celeste King, presumably for a hefty reward. The gang have to stay one step ahead of Demitree and his men or risk losing Aria to the enemy.

Conroy Rainer, or just Rainer, is the oldest and highest ranking-after Xander, of course. He takes on an advisory role, but ultimately bows to his prince’s wishes. Coming from a small Gnome village, Rainer is quite superstitious and believes the prophecy to be genuine. He trains Aria in secret, hoping to help her become the Fair Queen she was always destined to be and bring about the foretold peace.

Coulter Egan is the cheeky chappy whose good looks get him out of trouble every time. Second oldest of the group and in a relationship with Rainer, he keeps an eye out for them while Rainer trains Aria. A skilled archer and hunter, could there be more to Coulter’s abilities than meets the eye?

Kiefer Alexander, younger brother to Xander, is strong-willed and stubborn. Competitive and determined, he loves to challenge Coulter to hunting competitions. He’s a rebel with a heart of gold who wants justice and peace for the Gnome people.

Quade is the youngest of the group. He’s a sensitive soul who’s always getting teased by the others to get a reaction-usually successfully! His short temper often gets him into trouble.

And there you have it in a nutshell! I hope you feel like you know my characters a little better now, and hopefully can’t wait to see them in action.

I know there are a lot of dudes in the inner circle, but there are some kick-ass female characters in there too! Particularly in the sequel, The Solitary King…

Next time, I’ll let you into the Fair Realm and share a little bit about the elemental magic that my Fair characters possess.

See you then!



Current word count: 56,215

NaNoWriMo 2016

I took part in National Novel Writing Month for the first time this year. I didn’t quite manage to write 50,000 words, but I got to almost 35,000 and that is an achievement in itself!

I didn’t go into it expecting to win. I didn’t even believe I could win, what with work and a busy social life. Now that November is over and I have successfully survived my first attempt at NaNoWriMo I can honestly say that it’s not as difficult as it sounds. I’m sure I could have won if a few unexpected things hadn’t come up and I had been a little bit more focused.

(I will never regret the weekend I spent watching the Harry Potter films and making HP themed food and drink with my sister in law. That Polyjuice Potion cocktail was delicious!)

With the 15,000 words I had already written of my WIP before November started, I’m actually over 50,000 words into my first draft. At this rate, I expect to have my first draft finished by the end of the year. I know Christmas is coming, but I have a couple of weeks off over the festive period and I am really enjoying writing (almost) everyday. So, the one thing I will thank NaNoWriMo for is getting me into a writing habit.

I fell into the trap of editing as I go, but I think I’m going to end up with a pretty solid first draft as a result, rather than a mess of typos and plot holes, so fingers crossed all’s well that end’s well.

Then again, I may end up scrapping every single scene and rewriting the whole thing in the second draft. Who knows!?

NaNo was definitely an eye-opener, and a baptism of fire for me. I only started writing my first novel in the summer, and had outlined pretty well before November, and even written the first couple of chapters. NaNo forced me to outline even further, by listing 30 scenes that I needed to write so that every day I would have something to write about, rather than trying to remember where I was and where I was going. Thank the Better Novel Project for that pearl of wisdom! Christine has created a cheatsheet wth 30 scenes that are essential for every Hero’s Journey structure novel. This came in really handy when I was writing my list. This year, she has also created a cheatsheet with 30 steps for building characters and themes to help you plan and outline your novel and give your story more depth.

I’m really happy about where I am with my WIP now, everything is coming together and it’s starting to feel like a real novel. (Ssh, don’t jinx it!)

I’ll introduce you to my characters in my next post, they’re really coming into their own now and I want to dig even deeper and get to the bottom of who they are. So, we’ll do that next time!

If you took part in NaNo I’d love to hear how it went for you. Tell me about your WIPs!



NaNoWriMo 2016 National Novel Writing Month Lyndsey's Book Blog

My work in progress

I’m about 13,000 words into my first draft of a young adult fantasy novel.

I’ve been writing as much as I can during my spare time, evenings and weekends, and I’m really happy with how my draft is coming along so far. I wish I could write a little faster though, and dedicate more time to it, so I’ve decided to take part in NaNoWriMo this November. (Add me as a Writing Buddy!)

I’m not sure I’ll manage to write 50,000 words in 30 days, but having such an ambitious target and a clear cut deadline will (hopefully) help me to write a good chunk. Maybe even finish my first draft by Christmas! *wishful thinking*

I know that first drafts are always terrible, and it’s in rewriting and editing that the magic happens, but I keep falling into the trap of editing as I go. I need to just get my head down and write until there are at least 80,000 words on the page for me to play with.

I read a good piece of advice on Tumblr yesterday, someone said that rather than editing your draft in the same document and just amending it, you should print it out and start a new document. Completely rewrite it, because that way you are really reading and analysing each line, rather than skimming over your writing and accepting things that are ‘good enough’.

By retyping every line, you’ll end up with a completely different and ultimately superior novel to the one you wrote in your first draft. You’ll play with sentence structure, remove entire paragraphs that become irrelevant, choose your words more carefully.

And let’s face it, you’re a better writer at the end of the first draft than you were at the beginning. So if your first few chapters suck, this way you get to completely rewrite them, and not only are you a more skilled writer now, but you know your characters and plot inside out.

I expect my second draft to take twice as long as my first!

So, let me introduce you to my WIP 🙂

Title: The Fair Queen

I love my title! My original working title was Hart of Jade (awful, I know) but as I plotted and planned this title just came to me. During planning the novel also became a duology, so the sequel will be called The Solitary King.

Protagonist: Aria Colling

Seventeen, looking for adventure and an escape from her daily life in the small rural village of Hartwood. Secretly in love with her gay best friend, Jasper and afraid that she doesn’t belong anywhere.


Aria is a few weeks away from turning eighteen, her best friend Jasper is going away to University at the end of the summer and she’s afraid that she’ll never leave their small town of Hartwood.

Girls have started disappearing, but Aria isn’t concerned, until one night she is kidnapped from her home by a group of strange men.

They tell her she is the daughter of a King, hidden in the human realm as a baby for her own protection. She is in danger because the evil Celeste King has discovered her whereabouts and has sent his men to kill her.

They take her through the veil to the Fair realm, and set off on a journey through the Five Kingdoms to reunite Aria with her true father, the Salamander King, so she can take her rightful place as his heir.

OK, so that’s my WIP, I hope you like the sound of it!

Let me know in the comments, and tell me what you’re working on 🙂



My work in progress Lyndsey's Book Blog