Sparks' Notes: Weekly Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks

Episode 28: Outlining, TikTok, and Reading Out Loud, Oh My! (includes chapter 1 of Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars)

February 14, 2022 Lindsey Sparks, Lindsey Fairleigh Season 1 Episode 28
Sparks' Notes: Weekly Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks
Episode 28: Outlining, TikTok, and Reading Out Loud, Oh My! (includes chapter 1 of Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars)
Show Notes Transcript

Hi there! I'm Lindsey Sparks, author of books featuring hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly author's notes podcast! This episode was recorded on Monday, 2/14/2022, and I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you.

NOTE: I read chapter 1 of Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars at the end of the episode.

Echo in Time
Starter Library for newsletter subscribers

With editor: Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars (Fateless Trilogy, book 1)
Outlining: Blood of the Broken (Atlantis Legacy, book 5)

Echo in Time by me (for Read By The Author)
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout (audiobook)


Muse strikes

TikTok (as a creator)

SoSaFS description
Reach midpoint in Blood of the Broken

finishing the TikTok course
starting my Strengths for Writers course

JOIN MY READER GROUP: Lindsey's Lovely Readers



TIKTOK: @authorlindseysparks
INSTAGRAM: @authorlindseysparks

Hi there. I'm Lindsey Sparks, author of books that include hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly author's notes podcast. Today is Monday, February 14th, Happy Valentine's day, and I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you. So as always. The free books that I have out right now are echo and time, which is free in audio book or audio book and ebook everywhere. And then a. My. Through my starter library for my subscribers. You can get all of my firsts-in-series, well, not, not all of them- you can't get Allworld Online, but you can get all the others. So Ink Witch, Echo in Time, Legacy of the Lost, After The Ending. Am I missing any? You can also get Sacrifice of the Sinners and Resonance, which are two newsletter exclusive novellas in ebook. Okay. So my current. Works in progress. I'm hoping to do my like update parts pretty quickly because. I'm going to read the first chapter of a Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars at the end of this. So, let's go through the updates and then we can get to the reading. Okay, so a Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars is still with my editor and it will be, I think until the end of the month. She's got it which is great because I am working on the next book, not in that series, but the next book on my, you know my to-do list. Um, so right now, I have finished outlining Blood of the Broken, the fifth book in the Atlantis Legacy. Oh my God, I'm really excited about this book. It's funny, because transitioning away from the Fateless trilogy and Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars has, has been really difficult, um, or. Genuinely love that. I love the echo world so much, and I love that story of Tarset and Atum, and where it's going and it's, it's so dark and sexy and Egypt, I mean, So I love that, but. Oh man. So like, I re-read I re-read Legacy of the Lost. And then I re-read, which was the first. Book in the Atlantis Legacy. And then I re-read, um, Song of the Soulless, which. This is the fourth book in the Atlantis Legacy. And I skimmed the ones in between just to get updated on some of the stuff or remind myself of some of the important things that I needed to touch on in Blood of the Broken, which is the fifth book in the Atlantis Legacy. Um, and it picks up. Immediately after Song of the Soulless. And Song of the Soulless had a very. Thing. That happened, just like heart stab, um, At near the end and that thing is directly driving what happens in this book and kind of this like overall story arc for the final two books of the series, books five and six. So, I. Aye. Um, I'm really excited about this book and where it's going, and I'm. I just like. It's so hard for me not to just blab out all the spoilers because it's going to be so fun. Um, and also, I'm sorry, there's gonna be another. You're stabbing the heart twisted around. 'cause I can't help myself. So. Evil author moment, but more on that later. Um, what am I reading? Reading right now. I am currently reading Echo in Time, still for Read By The Author. I'm thinking we're still on. Chapter. After 19 or whatever we were on, whatever I said we were on last week, I haven't done any more of that. But I will, when I reach a nice breaking point or when I have some extra time. Um, but I have enough. Recorded now. To last a month or two for. I Read By The Author. So that's good. And if you haven't already checked out that podcast or YouTube show, depending on where you consume this... definitely give it a listen or a watch. Um, it's really fun. It's me reading Echo in Time. So you get to hear the book like I heard it or how I intended it. And also you get to see my flubs and my attempts at accents. Which are not always successful. Let's just say that. Okay. I am also still listening to A Kingdom of flesh and Fire by Jennifer L Armentrout. Um, narrated by. Stina Nielsen, which is an excellent performance of a very fun book. Um, I'm slowing down a lot just because I'm in the creation phase. And I don't always have enough brain space to switch from someone else's fictional world back into my fictional world. So I have to really be disengaged at the end of my day to continue with my audio book at this point. So. It's just because. Of the creation phase that I'm in. It's not anything about the book. But I'm really enjoying that still. We are watching billion. I think we just started season three, so it was still super fun. Very twisty. Half the stuff, I don't know what they're talking about. Like, with the financial world. I'm not, that's not my expertise at all. So you. That's fun. But I feel like I learned some stuff. Maybe I don't. No. Like I have no idea what a short is and those seem to be a big deal. My husband and I were trying to figure out like, Making up what a short is. Um, Pretty sure we. We're not even close, but I'm not ambitious enough to look it up, which I know is like the minimum minimal effort. So, yeah. My high this week I'm even thinking about this just makes me smile. I mean, I ha there is a huge high that I can't. Can't share yet, and hopefully next week, I'll be able to share it, or I will promise I will share it as soon. Soon as I possibly can. Um, I just cannot yet. However, Ever there is a high. Another high. That is the one that gives me all the warm fuzzies, which is. I feel like there's. There's a point in every story that I am creating when I. I just feel it I'm just like, I start like vibing with it and it. It just it's like resonating with my soul or whatever. My like self-energy is, and. Like I'm having some serious Mo muse strikes. Right now, like my muse is tapped in and funneling. Scenes into my head and I am feeling it. And it is in the like, I know I mentioned this with song of scabs and fallen stars. Like I am. I'm in the, seeing these scenes overlaying over the real world. Phase, and it is just so energizing and Vibra. Vibrant. And I can feel myself entering that manic creative phase, um, which. Which I mean, maybe it's not the most healthy thing. But it. It really helps me with my stories. So, I'm really, I'm just like really. Coasting on this muse energy and all the vibrancy and electricity from these. Muse strikes for Blood of. the Broken, which is just going to have so many. Mm, yummy tasty parts of. This book. So I'm really excited about that. Um, I couldn't think of any lows for this week, so. I don't have anything there. Again, no funny. Any Google searches. But, now that I'm done with my outline, and I am actually starting the skeleton draft this week. Week, I will, which is my dictation draft, I will probably maybe. Maybe have some stuff. The Google searches may not come up until I get to the. The next draft, which is when I turned my, if you're new to me, you probably have no idea. About my like super weird process, which is I dictate the first draft. And I do it in a very rough screenplay format. So it's just. Just me describing. The like scene and. The actions of the characters, very minimal scene and actions of the characters like Cora walked to the bridge. And sat on the chair next to Hades, that kind of thing. And then the actual dialogue of the characters.

So it would say like, Hades:

and then what he says, so no, like blah-blah-blah said or anything like that. So, That works out really well with me dictating. Um, so I can just speak that part out loud. Really easily. And then I I Tran the next revision phase for me is when I transform that into a novel format. And that's when it really bulks up. On the length and the word count in. It usually at least doubles at that point in, um, how long the book is. And so that is when I'm probably going to be doing all of the Google. The searches and looking for words and actual facts, checking myself. However I do. Not think this one's going to be as intensive as Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars was just because. I was the Egypt stuff is a lot, ancient Egypt. That's a lot of research that goes into that part for that world, the Echo World. If you've been following. Going along with the Atlantis Legacy, you know, that there. They're in space now. Um, So while it is still. Based on a Greek mythology. Mythology and Hades and Persephone and all of that stuff, I don't have to focus so much on a lot of the earth history, because there. Not there anymore. So. I have a lot more freedom and At that Reduces my research. Time. So yeah. But I could always be like, I mean, I know in the last one I had to Google about like, Bodies decaying and space and that kind of thing, which they don't. Ugh. Okay. So. Last. Weeks obsession was because I'm in a course for authors for this right. Now, which was TikTok as a creator. And it was funny, like I was spending so much. Time creating TikToks that I wasn't consuming as much. TikToks that I had been, um, it's very addictive. I got to say that But I feel like I'm really starting to understand the platform and I'm understanding how I can use it as an author to reach the. The right readers. by that, I mean, the people who would actually really enjoy my stories and my characters and who I could connect. With and for, you know, who, who I can bring into my reader community. Um, my heater just turned on. I hope that's not too loud. But it's really cold in here. So I have my sweater on. Okay. So, um, that, so that was definitely, I spent a lot of time, a lot of time on TikTok. This week. Um, Or this last week. And then, so last week I had several goals. I did not. Not to get all of them. But I. I would say. I give myself a 50%, which means like an F right. Um, But let's think about it in terms of like, Just more positively. I have a. Half full cup. It doesn't even make any sense. Um, Okay. So, I did not figure. So my first goal was to figure out my Song Scarabs and Fallen Stars, art project. I did not figure that out. I don't know what I'm going to do with that, honestly. I'll have to think about it more. It's going to be a little time intensive. And I do not know if I'm going to have. Have that time, but mostly we'll see how long, the skeleton draft takes for blood or the broken it cook. Could go a lot faster. I feel like I'm thinking in terms of Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars, which is really long book and. Blood of the Broken is not going to be that long. So. In terms of my. Timeline production timeline. I still have to switch my brain out. Out of exceptionally long book mode into just normal. Length book mode. Okay. Another goal from last. Last week it was to do also the Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars description. That was my other failure. I didn't, I did not do that. And so that is moving into my goal for this week. I need to do that. My more successful goals, so complete. TikTok course, I set that goal out not realizing that the course is more like two weeks. Um, so it is still going. However I have successfully. Really, met each day's homework assignment. So I feel good about that and like, I said, I feel like I'm really learning. The platform just went through a big update in the middle of the course, which kind of, handy. Handicapped, some of our efforts in learning and our ability to measure the effects of what we're doing. But that's okay. I feel like I still feel like I am learning a lot. And I do see improvements on the people that I'm reaching. And connecting with. And, I had a lot of people tell me on TikTok, they bought my books. So I think that's great to me. That is a huge success, and of course I'm not just trying to get people to buy my books. I'm trying to find the people who are going to love my books so that I can connect with them and to bring them into my story worlds. And then the other one is the other goal from last week was to outline Blood of the Broken, which I did am. And I'm so excited and happy about it, and I'm really excited to share this. The story and I think you guys who are fans of Atlantis Legacy are really gonna love this one. A lot. Let's just say that. And so. So my two big, I have two big goals for this week. Well, I guess there's three goals. I didn't write one of them down. So actually finishing the TikTok course this week. It actually does finish this week. So that I should be able to do easily. Um, I need to do the Song and Scarabs and Fallen Stars description. And I would like to reach the midpoint. Good point in my outline. Of blood. Blood. In the outline of Blood of the Broken. Um, So I want to reach the midpoint. As I'm doing the dictated skeleton. Gelatin draft. That is the place that I would like to get to by next Sunday, or by Sunday, I guess it is cause it's today is Monday. I am looking forward to finishing the TikTok course and not spending so much time. Time every day on that. Um, so that will be really nice. And then I, um, And because apparently I signed up for a bunch of courses. Does that all start at the same time? So I'm starting another author course. This one is called. Strengths for writers, um, with Becca Syme. And that started today. And it is very different from the. TikTok course. So this one is takes the Clifton strengths which. Has a, like a personality strengths assessment you can take. It looks at your results from that, and then helps you apply that to. Your work as a writer and author. So I'm really excited about. Finding ways to use my very limited time to be more. Efficient in creativity. And business and, and all that good stuff. So. Oh, and I'm excited. About dictating, um, the skeleton draft and just diving into this story because it is going to be such a roller coaster and I'm so excited. Okay. So. On that note. Let us dive into. The first chapter. I am going to read the first chapter of Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars for you. Right now. One. These are dark times. I said, resting my elbows on the table. And leaning in closer to the microphone to add my personal commentary to the prescribed. broadcast. I had just read aloud. Trust me. I know. There are literal gods attacking our world. But we are all in this together. At sunrise. And sunset every day for the past week, I emerged from my Sahara and Heidi. The whole to broadcast a daily public service announcement. Updating both humans and immortals on the current state of the war. I delivered the message. Don't give up, we're working on it and things will get better. Because the world knew me. Trusted me. He loved me. I was Tarsi Tiff, the chart topping singer songwriter beloved by. All. Well, not all. One only needed to check out my social media to see that. I. I know how hard this is. I really do. I told listeners. I, um, thank breathy. Laugh, caressed. The microphone. Well, I've been working on something for you all. I crossed my ankles under my folding chair and sat a little straighter. After a small smile curving my lips. A new song. Just for you. Desert breeze flooded the canvas flap, covering the doorway of the broadcast tent. The tiny hairs on my arms. And the back of my neck stood on end. And I shivered despite the sweltering. Desert heat. A glance to one side then peaked over my other shoulder, making sure I was still alone. I. I hope this will remind you to stay strong, to never give up. We will. We'll get through this and we will get through it together. I cleared my throat and inhaled filling my lungs in preparation to hum. The first notes. It had been ages. Since I last saying for an audience. Okay. Maybe. Maybe it had barely been a week, but I was used to regular doses of the Swedish. Sweetest sound in existence, the roar of a crowd of adoring fans. I missed it. Missed them. I craved the swell of energy that poured into the. I craved the swell of energy that poured onto the stage as a crowds anticipation. Mounted. And the hush that fell right before I started. To sing. The last bastion of social media went. Down three days ago. So I couldn't even rely on virtual adoration. This war had cut me off from my fans from their love. And I was jonesing for a fix. My dad wanted. To me to make these broadcasts quick, say the thing and get back to the safety of the. Oasis. The longer I lingered out in. In the open, the more likely it was that one of my peoples all mighty ancestors. The netjers would detect me. They were like bloodhounds hunting for the. Scent of a nejeret's a mortal soul. But I just wanted to. Sing a song. Surely, my dad couldn't begrudge me that. It was just a song, one little song. No harm ever came from singing a song. I closed. Closed my eyes and released the first string of notes. Brutal pain stabbed into my back and my eyelids flew. Open. I cried out the inhuman sound, strangling the beginning. Of my song as the pain burrowed deeper. Boring through my chest. Chest my lungs seized and the cry gurgled out. Eyes opened wide and mouth gaping. I stared down at my chest and watched the tip of a gleaming iridescence. Eyes opened wide and mouth gaping. I stared down at my chest and watched. The tip of a gleaming iridescent sword blade, sprout from my sternum. My diaphragm, flexed and spasm straining to make my lungs. Work. I felt pressure on the back of my shoulder. Followed by a rush of searing agony as the blade disappeared, yanked free. Free of my body. My vision momentarily, whited out. But then the worst of the pain receded. And I could breathe again. Sort of. My lungs worked in fits and starts the. The first shallow inhale, carried with it. The sensation of drowning. What. The half formed word came out with a gush. Of blood. I coughed sputtering Crimson into the textured. White surface of the folding card table and down the front of my tank top. Drops of blood splattered, the exposed skin of my thighs. Is below the frayed hem of my cutoffs, my grid. My vision grew fuzzy, slowly narrowing my view of the world to a dim. Tunnel. I slumped forward banging my cheekbone against the microphone. It tumbled off the table, hitting the canvas floor with a dull. Thunk. My arms hung limply on either side of my chair as blood. Dribbled from my mouth. It pooled on the table under my cheek. Hot against my chilled skin. The darkness continued to. Close in until it was all I could see. Until it was everything. I felt a lingering sadness that the world would never hear my song. My last song. But. Soon enough, even that faded away. All right, so that. That was exceptionally gory first chapter of Song of Scarabs and Fallen Stars in which the main character dies. Um, but don't worry. There's a whole book that follows. So, obviously her story has not ended. Um, I will be reading chapter two at the end of next week's episode. And yeah, so. Thank you for listening. I will be back next week to ramble some more. And to reach out to her too. And until then happy reading.