Category Archives: Progress Report

One month and twenty-five days ago…

And that’s all we’re saying on how long it’s been since I posted last.

In that time, I’ve accepted a full time job that has cut drastically into my writing time but was necessary against rising financial pressures, started interning for a literary agency, received a full request from an agent, and finished writing a sci-fi novella.

What have you all been up to??

It’s been busy and things don’t show signs of letting up. But I just wanted to pop in and say hi and let you know that I’m not gone, just quiet and actually building up a new website!

Gotta run 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,
Faith  quill-ink

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FUTURE HOPEFUL HAPPENINGS | And a book trailer…

Hi friends!

Hope you had an excellent weekend!

Just coming in with a short post today to lay down my goals for this blog! I think it’s important that I make a schedule and goals to stick to to keep my inspired.

Here is how I’m hoping my blog will develop over the rest of the year…

MONDAYS & WEDNESDAYS:   Book Review

TUESDAYS:  Writing Tips

FRIDAYS:  Week Sum-Up

I’ll leave the rest of the days open for anything that might pop up, but essentially, that’s it! With any luck, it will go into effect tomorrow. I’ll definitely have the book review post ready for Wednesday 🙂


Short post is really short, but let me just end with sharing the book trailer I finally finished for my debut novella ElĂ©onore which is now available on Amazon & CreateSpace 😉

Enjoy!


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

—

Want to connect across social media? You can find me here:

BOOK REVIEW BLOG: booksspringeternal

GOODREADS: Faith Rivens

INSTAGRAM: @faith_therivens

TWITTER: faith_therivens

FACEBOOK: Faith Rivens

She lives đŸ™ŒđŸŸđŸ™ŒđŸŸ… And she broke the fourth wall!

Hi friends!

I refuse to even check when my last post was because I know it’s loooooong ago and the past is behind, the future ahead. And there are many paths to tread… (a slight perversion of Tolkien, but I apologize for nothing 😏 )

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The real reason I’ve been away is because I am both terrible at time management and terrified at returning after long hiatuses because I feel like a fool.

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Apparently today is going to be a LOTR gif kind of day. I’m okay with that. Are you okay with that?

I’m almost terribly embarrassed that I haven’t been putting my effort into this blog. I love the community I found here and I don’t want to lose that. But my mind has been mainly on writing and querying and editing when not struggling through the daily obstacles life throws my way. I know you know what I’m talking about, friends, so I won’t belabor the point.

Because as someone wise once said…

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And I decide to spend the time I have keeping my blog alive (it just might not be here on WordPress, but more on that in a moment).

If you don’t mind, I’ll share a bit of my progress over the last few months. I’ll start with the most exciting first!

I GOT AN ACTUAL AGENT REQUEST FROM A QUERY!!

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This has never happened before, friends. In three plus years of querying Pirate Eyes I never got more than a kind reply telling me not to give up. But one query for my MG fantasy Heritage (which I’ve spent the last two months editing to what I hope is its best) and I got a request to send along 50 pages!!

And who knows what will come of it but after a month of self-doubt and self-loathing, this was the sign I needed that my patience and perseverance is paying off. No official offers been made, and there might not be one, but I’ll take small victories as they come. It’s good for my self-confidence. When I told my sister, she said, “You just broke the fourth wall!” all while flailing about excitedly. And I have a lot to thank her for. She’s the best editor a person can have.

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Sibling love ❀

Apart from that..

I’ve spent the first 16 days of Camp NaNoWriMo writing the first draft of an animated musical. I have one scene left to write today.

I’ve also made the big decision to shelf Pirate Eyes for now, but not forever. Another readthrough led me to realize that there’s still so much potential in this book that I’m missing out on so I’m going to rework the plot over the rest of the year and see if I can’t make it the great story it deserves to be. It’s my passion project (I’ve been working on it for going on twelve years). Why so long? Because Pirate Eyes was a trope when I wrote it, inspired by a 15-year old’s love for Pirates of the Caribbean and prophecy stories. The market isn’t there for it anymore, which doesn’t mean I’m conforming, it just means that I need to find the spin that will make it feel different from other books out there. She deserves to stand out!

I’ve also been busy with my sister editing for clients. It’s exciting to be embracing the freelance editor life, not that I’m fully in it yet. I’m still working a side job while I wait for that to pick up which makes now the perfect opportunity to shamelessly plug out services: INKY SQUID EDITING SERVICES. We edit manuscripts and screenplays and queries. Come check our website for more on our different services: INKY-SQUID.


I think that’s enough for now. Don’t want to inundate you, my friends, with words.

But I’d love to hear from you, hear how you’re all doing. Let me know in the comments.

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Hope to see you around!


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

—

Want to connect across social media? You can find me here:

BOOK REVIEW BLOG: booksspringeternal

GOODREADS: Faith Rivens

INSTAGRAM: @faith_therivens

TWITTER: faith_therivens

FACEBOOK: Faith Rivens

The Editing Life

Hi friends,

I have a few blog posts going but in the midst of Heritage edits, I felt inspired to put those aside and focus on a writer’s best friend/worse enemy: the editing phase!

Yes that dreaded beloved part of the writing process where the magic really happens!

Like a magic trick, the final product – in this case a book –  is revealed as a wondrous whole but the audience doesn’t get to see the work that went into making that illusion real.

There’s a lot to consider when editing a book. There are different stages of editing. A first draft is often a mess of ideas and strings of words (some writers nail it on the first try – they are the exception) and requires rewrites and revisions of characters, subplots, arcs. Once the story is solid (it can take a few edits to get it right), then come the line edits where the focus is on the language conveying the tale, the style of prose, the voice. And then there are the nitty gritty copy edits and proofreads where grammar and syntax and spelling are cleaned up for a final copy.

Right now, I’m somewhere between a developmental and line edit. I’ve been tackling Heritage since early 2016 after writing it for NaNoWriMo in 2015. Since then, I’ve made a lot of big changes, primarily:

  1. Switched from third person to first person
  2. Switched the gender of a character from male to female
  3. Extended a subplot that needed more room to breathe and develop
  4. Removed a whole subplot that slowed the action at the beginning
  5. Basically rewrote it to suit a younger audience. Originally wrote with Young Adults in mind. Now, it is aimed at Middle Grade.

I had thought at this point in my writing process, that Heritage would be ready for my critique partners and editor. But new revelations have thrown a wrench at the best laid plans…

Because it has occurred to me that Heritage should be written in third person POV!

You say now: “But Faith! You spent a whole edit just changing it from third to first. What are you doing to yourself?”

I answer you: “I am doing what must be done to save the story I love.”

Though it’s certainly not as epic as that, this edit feels like I’m taking on an insurmountable obstacles. But I love this story enough to make one last big change and reap the reward at the end.

So that’s where I am, but I wonder if I would be here if I had taken different steps earlier on.

When I first wrote Heritage, I wasn’t thinking enough about audience or POV. I was thinking story, characters, world and theme. Which isn’t a bad thing. My story came out strong enough on the first try because I knew where I was going – even though some things changed during the writing because as much as I plan, I also leave myself open to diverge as inspiration strikes.

What I have learned from this experience is how important is to decide on the voice and POV and audience at the start. It was always something I took for granted. I assumed YA, but I never allowed myself to consider MG. I wrote in third because I struggle with first then changed it because I believed the narrative needed a more intimate voice. But the whimsy I want to capture with it now written as MG means I need a third person narration.

I am glad for this learning curve and proud of it. Ever since Heritage, I’ve taken more care to consider more thoroughly where I want to go with my stories and who I want to reach them with and the proper voice to convey them.

ElĂ©onore and Heralding were published after I’d switched from third to first in Heritage and so I was able to recognize early on that the only way to tell that story was in ElĂ©onore’s voice with all the snark and maternal love she has.

So writing tip for the week, friends! Even if you’re a pantser, don’t overlook the importance of determining voice and audience from the start. It will save you a big headache further down the line. Believe you, me!


Friendly reminder: if you’re looking for an editor to tackle your novel or screenplay, my sister and I offer editing services here: Inky Service 😉

And question for you, friends. What has been your most ‘painful’ edit? Share in the comments and let’s discuss the editing life!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

Want to connect across social media? You can find me here:

BOOK REVIEW BLOG: booksspringeternal

GOODREADS: Faith Rivens

INSTAGRAM: @booksspringeternal & @faith_therivens

TWITTER: faith_therivens

FACEBOOK: Faith Rivens

Mid-Month Check-In | 01.18

Hi friends,

The first half of January is over and done with! The year has just begun and it’s already speeding by!

I hope it’s been a great start to the year for you. It’s been busy here for me, what with things happening beyond my control, but I’ve been staying as productive as possible and trying not to get so stressed. I think it’s working. I certainly have accepted that you have to (forgive the trite saying) roll with the punches.

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In terms of my goals for January, I’m rather pleased with a lot of the progress I’ve made…

  1. Finish my current edit of Heritage – I’m over halfway there, and that’s with more rewriting than I’ve done on a project since Pirate Eyes in August 2016!
  2. Type up the handwritten first draft of Destinies Entwined – I’ve typed up 20k so far but I have at least another 50k to go, so this might not get done, but as long as good chunk is through, I’ll be happy
  3. Launch service with my sister – ACCOMPLISHED. In case you missed last week’s post, we launched our editing service for manuscripts and scripts last week. You can find us at Inky Squid Editing
  4. Post at least three blog posts here to help other writers – The first of these should be posted Friday, so eyes open 🙂
  5. Read 4-5 books – I’ve read four books so far (Wuthering Heights, Howl’s Moving Castle, Keep Her Safe & A Desperate Fortune) – for more on this, check out my new review blog BooksSpringEternal
  6. Watch 5-6 movies – I have accomplished this as of yesterday! My sister and I did a double feature downtown and watched Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water! Both were extraordinary. I also rewatched North & South (the BBC miniseries), Howl’s Moving Castle & Star Wars IV: A New Hope, and we caught The Last Jedi last Friday! Needless to say, it’s been an amazing month in movies thus far!!
  7. Write one short story – Well on the way to this one. I have a story outlined and I’ll be writing it this week and next.
  8. Finish character sketches for secret project with my sister – Finished in the first week!

 

So yes! I’m feeling rather accomplished today 🙂

 


How about you, friends? How is your month going so far? Anything exciting happen? Share in the comments and let’s cheer each other on through the good times and the more difficult!

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May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

That Secret Project with my Sister… not a secret anymore!

Hi friends,

I can’t believe we’re finally here. At this moment.

For the past six months you’ve heard me mention a secret project that I’ve been working on with my sister. Well I can finally tell you what it is.

…….

…….

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We have officially launched an EDITING service for authors and screenwriters! It’s been a dream of ours to pursue a career in the written word. We’re writers first, but editing is a passion of ours too!

If you, or anyone else you know, are looking for an editor, why not come give our website a turn around to see if we might be a good fit for you! We’re offering promotional prices for the first six months.

https://www.inky-squid.com/

Here’s a quick blurb from the site:

Inky Squid is an editing service run by us, Faith and Chelsea, sisters who share a love of storytelling. Readers from a young age, becoming writers was the first logical choice. From there, editing was the next calling to make stories our life’s purpose.

Partners-in-crime, we’re all about collaboration and teamwork.
We look forward to getting to know you and your story!

Our site isn’t just about offering editing services, though. We also have a blog where we’ll be sharing tidbits about the writing and editing process, and a resource page where we link to other helpful websites for writers. Wnd will soon be posting worksheets of our own to further help you in your writing journey

Lots of exciting things coming soon everywhere!

Maybe I’ll see you over there 😉


Stay well, friends! And never stop pursuing your dreams! The road may be long, but the journey is part of what makes it worthwhile.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

2018 | HERE I COME!

Hello friends!

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to 2018! I’ve been slowly reorienting myself to a regular week of balancing work and writing and other life things. It’s been going well so far!

I’m here today to share with you my goals for 2018 and this January specifically. There are a lot of them! But I’m determined to see them done!

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  1. START A REVIEW BLOG
    • Excitingly enough, this is already done! You can find my new book review blog here: BOOKSSPRINGETERNAL
  2. QUERY PIRATE EYES TO AGENTS
    • I had started this process last year, but it led nowhere. Persevere, I say!
  3. EDIT HERITAGE TO A FINAL DRAFT AND QUERY TO AGENTS
    • Though I am querying Pirate Eyes, I believe that Heritage, my beloved MG story, will be the one to earn me representation.
  4. EDIT DESTINIES ENTWINED TO A FINAL DRAFT AND QUERY TO AGENTS
    • My fairytale retelling has become a passion project for me! I finished the first draft in December and I am devoting myself this year to editing it to its best!
  5. FINISH WRITING THE PHANTOM SQUAD AND EDIT IT TO A SECOND OR THIRD DRAFT – HAVE IT IN CP HANDS
    • I’m a quarter into this paranormal Victorian novel and it’s changed in so many ways, even though I had outlined it. That’s my writing life. Plantser all the way.
  6. WRITING A SHORT STORY FOR AN ANTHOLOGY
    • So excited to say that I’ll be supplying a retelling of a French Canadian legend for an anthology due out at the end of next year! I’ll be writing it over the course of this year. It’s supposed to be between 5-7k so it shouldn’t take me long.
  7. WRITE FIRST DRAFT OF MUSICAL SCRIPT
    • Another surprise passion project. Over the last few weeks I’ve been outlining a musical based off a fairy tale. I already have a good grasp on the songs and the story line.
  8. FINISH FIRST DRAFT OF THE DESERT KNIGHT
    • My NaNoWriMo2016 project remains incomplete. I’m nearly halfway through it and I will see it done this year. I still love the story, but I’ll need to rethink a bit of it before I jump into writing it. A project for later this year.
  9. WRITE FIRST DRAFT OF INÌONAOFA #3
    • I am so proud of ElĂ©onore and Heralding and I am excited to write the rest of this planned 5-book series, but I don’t have any expectations of publishing the third book this year. I’ll be working on an outline for most of the year and hopefully finishing a first draft before the end of the year.
  10. EDIT THE BROTHERS DARWIN SCRIPT TO A FINAL DRAFT
    • This script is a family drama (not my usual go-to genre) but it’s one I’ve been working on for eight years off and on and I’m ready to finally get it out to agents this year.
  11. OUTLINE A SCRIPT TO WRITE NEXT YEAR
    • This is a fantasy script Ă  la Lord of the Rings with kickass female leads. I need to do a lot of world-building and organizing of thoughts. I’ll iron out the details as the year goes on.
  12. OUTLINE AND WRITE SPECIAL SECRET PROJECT WITH SISTER
    • I want to say more about this. I can’t yet. But soon. It’s something we’ve been working on for eight years! And it’s one of our proudest works!
  13. PRACTICE THE VIOLIN/PLAY MORE GUITAR – WRITE MORE MUSIC
    • I used to compose a lot, but I’ve let my passion for music fall to the side in the last year. I want to embrace it again.
  14. TRAVEL TO THE UK
    • This would be a big thing ticked off my bucket list.
  15. READ 100 BOOKS
    • I read 120 in 2016 and 117 in 2017, but I have 730 unread books on my shelf, friends. Time to get that number down.
  16. WATCH 60 MOVIES
    • There are so many to be excited about this year. I still haven’t watched The Shape of Water or The Last Jedi. So they’ll be top of my to-watch list. But there’s also Black Panther, Infinity Wars, Annihilation, A Wrinkle in Time, Isle of Dogs, Ocean’s 8, Incredibles 2, Mowgli, Mary Queen of Scots & Fantastic Beasts 2 to look forward to!
  17. LAUNCH SPECIAL SERVICE WITH SISTER
    • Coming VERY SOON!
  18. LIVE HEALTHY (EAT HEALTHY, HEALTHY WEIGHT, BALANCE IN LIFE)
    • I know this is low on the list, but it’s one of my most important goals this year! I need to take better care of myself. We all do!
  19. LEARN A THIRD LANGUAGE (ITALIAN OR JAPANESE)
    • I already know a bit of Italian because it’s my dad’s first language, so I’m hoping to work on it and to start learning Japanese.
  20. PUBLISH MORE BLOG POSTS THAT HELP OTHER WRITERS
    • I am going to get this done this year. I already started drafting a MASTERING series, and there’s the CRAFTING THE SERIES posts I have planned to. I’m devoting myself back to this lovely community. Hope you’ll join me too!
  21. MARKET ELÉONORE AND HERALDING TO WIDER AUDIENCE
    1. Again, this is superbly important for me. I love my Iníonaofa series and I need to see it grow.
  22. SUBMIT AT LEAST SIX SHORT STORIES FOR CONTESTS OR MAGAZINES
    • One every two months. Should be doable!

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Are you still with me? 😉

If you are, here are my specific goals this January:

  1. Finish my current edit of Heritage
  2. Type up the handwritten first draft of Destinies Entwined
  3. Launch service with my sister
  4. Post at least three blog posts here to help other writers
  5. Read 4-5 books
  6. Watch 5-6 movies
  7. Write one short story
  8. Finish character sketches for secret project with my sister

What are your goals this year, friends? And this month? Let me know what you hope to accomplish so I can cheer you on! Whatever your goals, keep believing in yourself and you can achieve them! I know it!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Year End | At the close of one chapter, another begins…

Hi friends,

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, that you were surrounded by family and friends, that you are full of love and hope.

Despite the ugliness of this year, I had a lovely Christmas and subsequent week. It was a quiet one with my family. But it was beautiful in its simplicity.

And now a short musing to end off this year…

On this, the penultimate day of 2017, I am looking to a brighter future, to a more productive 2018, to a more balanced year, a year where I take care of myself, but also give more to others. A year where I learn to be patient and less stressed with my time. A year where I find happiness in the small things, and blessings in the sorrow.

On this, the penultimate day of 2017, I want to take a moment to reach out to you, dear friends, and apologize for my sparse presence here. Thank you for sticking with me through it. Thank you for continuing to support me.

On this, the penultimate day of 2017, I wish to extend to you all and to all those whom you love a very happy New Year full of love and kindness, full of hope and peace, full of possibility and opportunities.

Stay well, dear friends. I’ll see you on the other side 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

HERALDING IS HERE! | Giveaway

Hi friends,

Today’s an exciting day!!

My second book baby is out in the world. I can’t believe it!!

Please pardon the Tangled GIFs, I’m just really excited!!

And I really do have to extend a great thank you to you, my dear friends, for following me on this journey, for encouraging me, for supporting me. It’s been a hard year here at home, but your kind words have made it bearable and have kept me inspired.


Heralding (The Iníonaofa Chronicles Book 2) by [Rivens, Faith]Life was simple for Eléonore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now ElĂ©onore’s life is defined by questions of will


Will her dangerous powers and InĂ­onaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain


ElĂ©onore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.


This book means a lot to me. There are themes in it that are close to my heart. And the characters have become precious darlings to me.

But most of all, this book is a symbol of my perseverance. I want this dream, friends!

Each book is bringing me one step closer to it. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. And I hope that you’ll enjoy this second outing in ElĂ©onore’s world.

I feel like I’m forgetting something…

Oh, right…

GIVEAWAY!!

Want to win a signed copy of ElĂ©onore & Heralding and maybe some other fun swag 🙂

CHECK IT OUT HERE: GIVEAWAY TIME!!

You have until Friday to enter. Good luck!


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Month Ahead | December 2017

Hi friends!

Wow,  it’s been another case of long time no see, hasn’t it?

I can’t begin to tell you how crazy the month of November was. As most of you are aware, I’ve been preparing Heralding for publication. She releases Monday (December 4th)!! Plus I participated in NaNoWriMo and just managed to hit 51k on the 30th. And then life was, well, life.

All that to say, blogging was not at the forefront of my mind this past month. It’s been a difficult 2017 in my family life, but at least I have my health and my creativity and the best sister is the whole wide world!

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I am glad to put November behind me and move into the last month of December (the best month not only because of Christmas, but it’s my birthday and now both my book babies’ birthdays too!!)

Here’s what I have planned this month:

DECEMBER GOALS:

  1. Celebrate Heralding’s release December 4th (hold Giveaway, attend first real book event, etc…)
  2. Finish writing first draft of Destinies Entwined (I’m almost into act 3, so this shouldn’t be a problem)
  3. Finish editing Heritage from YA to MG (I had to put this aside with pressing release dates, but I am excited to finish it this month)
  4. Work on secret project with my sister (one that’s already six years or so in the making)
  5. Launch exciting project with my sister (been preparing for this all year round and it’s just about ready)
  6. Read eleven books (yes, this is crazy)
  7. Watch five movies (already one down. Rewatched Enchanted with my sister last night :))
  8. Fix up blog and prepare for new shiny things in new shiny year (SO MANY THINGS PLANNED!!)




Hope your November wasn’t too stressful!

What are your goals this month, friends? Share with me. I’d love to know.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink