Sparks' Notes: Weekly(ish) Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks

Episode 39: Writing Process, Smashed Goals, and Book Covers, Oh My!

May 02, 2022 Lindsey Sparks, Lindsey Fairleigh Season 1 Episode 39
Sparks' Notes: Weekly(ish) Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks
Episode 39: Writing Process, Smashed Goals, and Book Covers, Oh My!
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 live in my Discord on Sunday, 5/1/2022, and I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you.

Echo in Time (free ebook through all retailers)
After The Ending (free ebook through all retailers)
Starter Library for newsletter subscribers (ebooks and audiobooks of my series starters, and more!)

Revising: Blood of the Broken (Atlantis Legacy, book 5)

Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas
Echo in Time by me (for Read By The Author)

Snowfall (season 3)
Sanditon (season 2)
The Witcher (season 1)

Finishing the flesh draft of Blood of the Broken!!!
Final version of the new Legacy of the Lost cover

Cover impatience!

Blood of the Broken

does a shock wave travel at the speed of sound
how long to run up ten/thirty flights of stairs
jerry rig (jury rig)

Revise chapters 1-17 of Blood of the Broken

Revisiting the beginning of Blood of the Broken for revisions.


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Hi there. I'm. I'm Lindsey Sparks, author of books that include hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly author's notes podcast. Today is Sunday, May 1st, and I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you. Okay. First of all, uh, current freebies. There's still Echo in Time and After The Ending through all the ebook retailers. And then, uh, for newsletter subscribers, you get the starter library. Which includes a bunch of e-books, including most of my series starters and also, um, Echo in Time, Ink Witch, and, Legacy of the Lost in audio. So that's cool. Um, And if you're not already a subscriber, the link is in the show notes. Um, my current work in progress is still Blood of the Broken. However, there is a change and that change is that I finished this draft, the flesh draft. So, my first draft is always the skeleton draft, which is usually dictated. But sometimes, depending on what my children are allowing me to do, um, so basically if they're like being really noisy, or if they need to like be in here in my office with me, it's really hard for me to dictate. So then I am typing the skeleton draft, but that is in the format of a screenplay. Not like a well-written screenplay, just in the sense that it's just action. Chunks of action paragraphs, like he walks over here. He does this. He, like, picks his nose, whatever he does. Um, and then, um, the character's name and the the things that they

say, so it would be like:

Hades. What are you talking about? Cora. I don't know. Hades. You're really pretty. You know, like, all that stuff. Anyway. So that is my skeleton draft. That's my first draft. My second draft is the one I just finished, which is my flesh draft. And that is where I, um, add in all of the emotion and description and I turn it into something that looks a lot like a book. So novelization. And, uh, now I'm, uh, I am tomorrow. or today when this podcast goes out, so on Monday. Monday, um, I am starting. Uh, The third draft of this book, which is the draft when it really starts to, um, get pretty. so. So I'm going to go back. Starting at chapter one and just go straight through it. I made a bunch of notes in my- I always have like a bible. I have story bibles for each of my worlds. Uh, or for each of my series, not for each of my worlds. Because that would get too complicated because there's multiple series, different worlds, but for each of my series. I have a story bible, which is basically a spreadsheet in Google drive that has a bunch of different tabs, like a gazillion tabs at the bottom. Um, and there's an outline for each book. There's a series outline. There's all the, each there's. As a tab for anything that I might need notes for us to like certain terms that are specific to that series or locations or characters and descriptions about them, all that kind of stuff. Um, but, in the outline for this book in the Atlantis Legacy story Bible. I made lots of notes, um, for each chapter of things that I need to add in. So that's how I make sure that like, as I'm writing through on the, as I'm doing the flesh draft, so draft two, I'm making notes about earlier chapters that I've already done and I'm already done with, for draft two, and, um, but things that I need to add back in. So like, let's say that there's something that I want to add some foreshadowing about. About or that I need to mention so that it's not like the first time that it shows up. But it's going to be important. So then I'll make a note like, mentioned like that, I don't know, that they have this certain kind of gun or. Or that this is a weakness of the psychics or something like that. I have to mention that like way earlier. So I have tons of notes like that. So that it is one of the, that, and then adding, uh, beefing up a lot of the. Description and beefing up a lot of the emotions and the reactions. And the like, physical ways that are my descriptions of what people are doing with their bodies to demonstrate their emotions. Um, that's a lot of what happens in this draft three, um, as well as addressing those notes that I have made for myself in the outline. Um, I will tell you that, uh, the final book or the final version of draft two has 35 chapters. I don't anticipate that changing. Um, and it's something like 53,000 words. So that's probably gonna beef up quite a bit. The shortest of the Atlantis Legacy books is Dreams of the Damned, which I think is 64,000 words. I think this one is probably going to end up being longer, a little bit longer. Um, But it's not going to be like, the longest book in the series. I can't imagine that happening. Um, however, I will say it is. It's a very mighty book. It is, um, concentrate. There's a lot of stuff that happens very intensely. So, I really love this story. I like steamrolled through the final third of it, because I was so sucked into it. I feel like so many things that, um, that the first four books were just like building towards have happened in this book. Um, especially relationships wise and also just, um, setting the platform for the final book and how they're going to address this greater situation that is impacting the fate of the universe, um, and the Tsakali and all of that stuff. So I'm very excited, um, about how this, this draft turned out. And I'm very excited about diving, going back to the beginning and diving into, um, this draft from chapter one. To turn it into draft three. And I don't have a cool name for that one. Like I have skeleton draft and flesh draft. So I feel like I need to come up with a. A cooler name for draft three. Beyond a draft three. Yeah, so, uh, after I finish draft three, then it goes to my beta readers, which I, um, I can't, I can't remember how many I have for this now, cause I know I had one that's dropped off from earlier in the series. So I want to say I have four beta readers. And it's a very small select team, um, of people who've been with me for a very long time. And, uh, I know the type of feedback that they're going to give me. Um, so I can anticipate their. They all have different types of things that they focus on. And it's really nice to, um, to have people who are kind of like their expertise is lie in different areas so I can get different perspectives. Uh, yeah. Let's see here I am currently still reading the same two books.

So Crescent City:

House of Sky and Breath. I'm just a couple hours left on the audio book, um, by Sarah J Maas, and then Echo in Time, uh, which is my book, um, I am reading for a Read By The Author, the podcast and YouTube show. And I think we, so that is episode 14, I want to say that I just recorded, and then I think that there's going to be two more episodes after that. So three more episodes yet to air, and, uh, I am, I'm undecided about what I want to do next with Read By The Author, whether I want to do. I feel like I'm leaning toward one way, but I'll probably do a poll in my reader group to see what people think. I, so I already have an author friend who is lined up to do, uh, like a season 1.5, which is going to be for her, one of her novellas that she has read and recorded. So that's going to go up, um, before my next one. But I think I'm probably. Going to continue. I'm on the fence between continuing with, the Echo Trilogy, and just reading my way through that, or going to Ink Witch, which was the first, the next first book, first book in the next series in this world. Um, the Kat Dubois Chronicles, and I am undecided, but I feel, maybe, I'm already a little bit decided. So my desire, which, um, I mean, I guess it's my show, I can do what I want. Although I do want it to be appealing to my readers. My desire is to just continue through the Echo Trilogy. And in my head, my brain enjoys, um, chronological movement through a story. Which is, doesn't make sense, because it's time-travel so they're not chronological, but they are chronological with, to the character who you're following. Um, they're just the anchor in the timeline. Um, anyway. Tangent. Uh, I probably am just going to hop straight to Resonance is my thought. So I'll do Resonance probably, and then just work my way through the Echo Trilogy, and then into the Kat Dubois Chronicles. So I'm just keep on going, just reading through my stories. Anyway. Yeah. So, uh, I am watching still Snowfall with my husband. We just started season three, and I am learning. I didn't expect to enjoy the show as much as I am, and I'm learning so much about how, um, crack started in the United States. I mean, and it's really interesting. And there's a lot of stuff that I didn't realize, or maybe. Maybe I had like, learned about it and for forgot about, or just shoved to the back of my brain, about government involvement and stuff like that. But I, as always when I'm interested in a show, I started like Googling all about it. So I've definitely been learning lots of, lots of interesting things. Interesting and disturbing things about the rise of crack in the United States in the eighties. Uh, and also, uh, I just finished Sanditon, um, season two, uh, the finale. Which was, I thought it was epic. I mean, There's. There's going to be a season 3 already announced it. They even showed some clips. So that was nice. Um, but, yeah, it was, I feel like I know where season three is going to go. I'm sure most people do. If there was like one big thing that I called from very early on, feeling very pleased with myself about. That I predicted it. So, highly recommended Sanditon if you like period dramas, anything jane Austeny. Definitely. Definitely recommend. Uh, and then I also just started The Witcher, rewatching The Witcher season one, um, for multiple reasons. One is that I need to. I need the full series recap before I. Watch season two. Uh, and I, uh, LP and I are starting season two of the No Shelf Control Podcast. We're recording that in a couple of weeks. And, um, we are going to be discussing The Witcher: The Last Wish, the book and also The Witcher season one, the show. So we're switching up the format of the podcast a little bit there um, for many of the episodes just be the two of us discussing books and shows that we like, that had been adapted to shows, uh, and the comparisons between the two. Basically. Um, yeah, so, uh, my high this week was definitely finishing the flesh draft of Blood of the Broken. I. As I said, I just am so sucked into the story right now. I'm at that point with the playlist. I'm where, like, the songs represent certain scenes in my brain. And so like I just listened through the playlist. And it's like, I'm. It's just like dredging up these scenes and I'm seeing the story playing out in my head. Um, and I feel like that is really helpful for me for like in all the little tidbits that I'm going to be adding in, in draft three and just like really like amping up the emotional, um, impact of everything and also the, um, visual descriptions and not just visual descriptions. Just the descriptions to help make it feel like the reader is really they're experiencing this with Cora. And. And also I received the final version of the new Legacy of the Lost cover. So I think I've talked about this before, but I am redoing all of the covers for the Atlantis Legacy series. I will not be releasing these covers or books with these covers until the sixth and final book is out next year. But I wanted to get them all done ahead of time so that I can do them all at once after book six is out. Um, but I'm not going to swap out the covers until people who want to have a matching set, can get a matching set of all six covers of the original covers. and. And. I would say like, maybe that's my low is that I can't share it because I really love it. I really want to share it. But I am excited. So now I've got five more covers to go through with, um, the designers who are doing, uh, the, the new design, the recovering of these books. So, um, last week's obsession was definitely Blood of the Broken, um, yeah. I'm just like totally in the part of this book or the part of writing this book and revising this book where it is just, uh, like an overlay in my life. I'll just be like pushing my kid on the swing, and in my, in my head, I am seeing something else. I am watching a scene play out from a book, um, as I'm falling asleep at night. I am seeing scenes playing out in my head. Uh, yeah. It's, I've mentioned this before. It is like a really, really strange feeling. But I genuinely love it. It. It's like full immersion into the story. Um, okay. So I did have some fun Google search history, things from this last week. Um, one. They all relate to the book. For the manuscript that I was working on.

Um, so the first one is:

does a shockwave travel at the speed of sound. Um, so this is one of those like physics things that I don't know, and, um, the internet was not like super duper clear on. Uh, but I think I haven't figured out. Um, I'm basically trying to set up the order of events between like, seeing an explosion and feeling the explosion and hearing the explosion. Um, so I think I got it figured out, which is that you would feel it and hear it at the same time, you would see it first and then feel, hear, shockwave and sound at the same time is what the internet seems to. I've told me. Um, however, if you know a lot about like physics and stuff, and I feel like telling me that I'm wrong, I am all ears, and would, um, appreciate hearing how that all works. One, the next search term, uh, is how long to run up 10 flights of stairs and also how long to run up 30 flights of stairs. So. So there is a situation at the end of this book, that includes, um, Being upstairs, and how long that takes to get up many flights of stairs. Uh, And, uh, that's all I'm gonna say about that, but, uh, well, it's not all I'm going to say about that, because, it, I was like, I don't know. I'm not going to go like run up and down my stairs 10 times. It wouldn't even be accurate, because I would be going up and down at the same, like I would I need to just be like constantly going up. I feel like I would be dying after like five floors, so, uh, hours for me, I think. I don't know. Um, so I ended going with a few minutes, I think, Um, the last one. This was the last term, uh, is one that I stuck on this list, uh, for this week, because this was one of those ones where there's like certain things that you don't think about very often. Uh, in daily life. As. Or use really necessarily. Um, but there's some words where you're like, god, I feel like this is a really like, this is a term that could maybe have like a disturbing or potentially inappropriate, like, origin. And I was like, I don't really want to, I try hard not to include things that are disrespectful to other cultures and my books. Um, to just be overall respectful. This term I was, I don't know where it comes from. So the term is, that I looked up was jerry rig, like, um, kind of doing a makeshift version, like let's say you wanted to Jerry rig a bomb. Um, and it did not, according to the internet, um, in Merriam Webster dictionary. Uh, it didn't look like it had a harmful origin. Um, it actually comes from sailing boats, it's a nautical term, um, which, uh, and jerry rig is not even technically the right term. It's jury rig is the appropriate term. So you jury rig something, which I didn't realize. Um, maybe so regionalism switching it to jerry rig kind of like kitty corner versus catty corner. I say kitty corner. But I think it's technically supposed to be catty corner. I don't know. Again, regionalism. So my big goal last week was to finish the draft, which was going to be about 10 chapters. I think it ended up being 11 chapters. Um, and I did it. Yay. Yay. Go me. I'm always so much better at hitting my goals at the end, because I feel like that's when the snowball is really rolling, um, of the story. If that makes any sense at all? And then my goal for this week is. Is to get, I want to get hat to halfway through the third draft. So through revising, cause I have two weeks allotted for revising before I'm going to hand it over to my beta readers. So, there's 35 chapters, then we would be looking at 17, revising to 17. Chapter 17 or 18, I would be happy with 17 because some of the earlier chapters are a little bit longer than some of the later chapters when the pace of the story is going really, really fast. So, the goal is to revise through chapter 17 this week. And, uh, this week I'm looking forward to these revisions. I'm really looking forward to going back. I love revising. Revising is my favorite part. So I love, um, this round. So going from flesh draft to third draft. And I love, um, my read out loud revisions. Uh, where I'm really like doing the, like smoothing out the language and making sure everything flows really well. Uh, so I am really looking forward to revisiting the beginning of the book, which I don't really remember what happens at the beginning of the book. So I'm really excited about revisiting the beginning of the book, and I'm starting the journey all over again. So, yeah, I think that is it for me this week. So, uh, thank you so much for listening, and I will be back next week to ramble some more. Until then, happy reading!