Chapter Outlines: Part II

Hello,

Very excited that I have started the final coursework for my M.A, and that my final project requires me to write a 30-page polished, publish-ready manuscript, which, hopefully, means that the final manuscript will follow shortly after. For now, (and I apologize for the delay) here is the second half of my rough chapter outlines. I’ll be posting some new and revised book chapters soon as well. I’ve been playing with some new ideas, and I am excited to keep sharing and receiving feedback!

Please feel free to post any comments or questions, and also follow my blog and Twitter account (@Kimberly_Strow) for the most recent updates! Thank you!

Chapter 11: Emmelie is acting oddly distant from Brishen. She seemed nervous and frightened, and Brishen believes that he is to blame, but he doesn’t want to confront her about the issue.

Chapter 12: The students continue to practice and test their powers and skills, and Brishen and Emmelie develop particular proficiencies.

Chapter 13: Reports of several random murders in the center of the city make headlines. Brishen fears that les Mieux is to blame.

Chapter 14: There is an attempted break-in at the school, and Brishen no longer feels safe. He travels home to discuss recent events with his mother.

Chapter 15: Brishen’s mother reluctantly tells him about the society and how the previous leader’s son has taken control, attempting to recruit all those with ties to the society’s history. She fears that their family is in danger.

Chapter 16: Rather than returning to school, Brishen remains in the city to attempt to uncover more information, and discovers a plot to make public the society’s existence through a demonstration of power. Brishen plans to attend the planned event.

Chapter 17: While attending les Mieux’s event, there is a riot-like occurrence where several fires are set and people are publicly executed. Brishen narrowly escapes before witnessing Emmelie’s father take part in les Mieux’s demonstration of power.

Chapter 18: Brishen’s mother gets him back to school, where a lockdown has been put into place to protect the students. Students question Brishen about what he saw, but he will not discuss it with anyone.

Chapter 19: Emmelie opens up to Brishen about her past, and he recounts the events he witnessed, but does not mention that Emmelie’s father was present. Emmelie explains that she does not believe that her father killed her mother. At the end of the night, they share a kiss in front of the fireplace.

Chapter 20: Brishen and Emmelie’s skills are decided and they are presented with their symbols.

Chapter 21 – Brishen’s father returns to take Brishen away o try to keep him safe and to convince him to join the resistance. Emmelie finds out and expresses her desire to join them.

Chapter Outlines: Part I

Hi all,

Part of my reasoning for going back to school to pursue my Masters degree was to motivate myself to continue writing. Part of my assignment last week was to write a chapter outline or synopsis of my book – something that, for some reason, after all these years of writing, I still haven’t done. This assignment forced me to sit down and actually layout the story in some sort of organized, chronological way that I actually found fairly easy, which I hadn’t expected. I feel like the most difficult part of writing is just getting the plot all figured out so that it makes sense. I’ve tried to make some sense of this idea I have, and wrote these chapter outlines which I figured I would share. As they’re rather long, I’ve posted the prelude and first ten chapter outlines for now, and may post the rest later. Please feel free to ask any questions or post any feedback in the comments! It would be greatly appreciated!

As always, please follow my blog for more updates, and to receive notifications of the most recent posts, please follow me on Twitter @Kimberly_Strow.

Prelude: Readers meet Brishen Everard and Emmelie Mooncres, two sixteen-year old students at Champ de Neige Academy. The prelude takes place one year prior to the events which occur at the beginning of Chapter 1. Emmelie questions Brishen about a dark event which he has witnessed which may or may not have involved Emmelie’s mysterious and possibly murderous father.

Chapter 1: Taking place 10 months prior to the prelude, Champ’s students are being dropped off at school by their parents. Brishen observes Emmelie’s awkward and tense interactions with her father; an accused murder who has rarely left their manor since the death of Emmelie’s mother fifteen years prior.

Chapter 2: As students begin their classes during a new semester, they begin to practice magical skills to discover their special talents. Students learn that they will be designated a symbol which will represent their unique ability.

Chapter 3: Brishen receives a mysterious letter warning him that he is in danger, and that certain dangerous people may come looking for him. The author advises him to remain vigilant, and will provide more information at a later date.

Chapter 4: There are whisperings through the school, mostly amongst the students from wealthier families, that a secret government incident has occurred that could lead to a dramatic change in French history and current policies.

Chapter 5: Brishen begins to take the unknown author’s warning seriously, and shares the letter with his friends Gemma and Lochlan. Lochlan explains that the students were talking about les Mieux gens, a secret society which has controlled the government for over 200 years. It is rumored that the long-standing leader has died, and that there is a power struggle for his replacement.

Chapter 6: Brishen attempts to research les Mieux, but finds very little information. The school has blocked most information from the students, but Brishen finds documented odd historical occurrences which could be linked to the secret society.

Chapter 7: Brishen receives another letter from an anonymous sender which warns him against researching any further for it may bring him unwanted attention, and that he may be being watched. The letter also asks Brishen to meet the unknown author at a particular time and place. The letter includes a picture of Brishen as a baby with his mother and father. Brishen’s father is thought to have abandoned his family when Brishen was very young.

Chapter 8: Brishen agrees to meet the author, and discovers that it is his father. His father explains that he was a member of les Mieux, but that he needed to go into hiding after he betrayed the society. He says that the new leader wishes to destroy all those with links to the group and those with the power to overcome them.

Chapter 9: Brishen and Emmelie start to become friends, as their school work and extracurricular activities have allowed them to spend time together often. Brishen, along with Gemma and Lochlan, visit Mooncres Manor where they learn more about Emmelie’s tragic past, and about her mother’s life.

Chapter 10: Brishen, believing that he can trust Emmelie, shares the information from his father. Emmelie is hesitant to discuss the topic, and Brishen feels that he has been too forward with her.

Overview of Novel

Happy Friday, everyone!

I’ve been very involved in producing a mock marketing plan and book proposal for my novel this week in my course. I have shared some drafted chapters and outlines on my old blog, as well as some quotes here, but I realized that I haven’t really provided an overview of the novel.

My novel, entitled The Better People, is a nonfiction fantasy novel which focuses on a long-standing furtive French society and two young protagonists’ destined roles in the numinous society’s ultimate influence over the government. The novel explores the bonds which bind close relations in times of great threats and passions as the characters must make the choice to follow their selfless pre-determined path for the greater good or conceal their unique abilities to remain protected.

This novel  adapts the traditional concept of a hero and modifies the definition and perception of a hero. The protagonist, Brishen, is not a hero in the sense that he has unique superpowers like Super Man, or that he has saved a life or performed any particularly valiant deeds. His story is developed around the concept of a hero who must make a choice; whether he will be selfish, choosing to shield his gifts in order to protect himself and those he loves while hiding from his destiny, or whether he will be selfless, choosing to forfeit his choices and freedoms including the safety of his loved ones in order to defend others.  The ultimately goal is to publish this story as a trilogy or series which will focus on the profound and unique bonds of family, friends, and romantic relationships in the center of an ancient French society which both unites and divides them. This novel’s plot will also be intertwined with real French history, dating back to the 1700s beginning of the French Revolution to the present day.

I will continue to post new outlines and chapter drafts, and additional details regarding the book! I am no where near close to having a completed manuscript, yet alone to publishing, though I hope you are interested in the story, and will check back frequently for updates!

To receive notifications of updates, please follow my blog and Twitter account (@Kimberly_Strow)!

Update & Publishing

Hi all,

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. No excuses, but I’ve been rather busy. I am planning to post a good bit of new content this month, so please stop by often to check it out, or follow me on Twitter (Kimberly_Strow) to be notified of new posts!

I want to briefly discuss publishing as it has been a topic I’ve been examining for the past several weeks in my graduate course. This week, we are discussing the benefits of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing, and which option would work best for our manuscripts.

Publishing has always been, and will always be my goal; whether I publish one copy to have and to hold or hundreds of copies for readers to purchase an enjoy, as long as I reach that goal. I’m not in it for the money, and I think that that’s important because, for me, its more about the accomplishment of actually finishing a manuscript that I can be proud of, and sharing my story with whoever is willing to read it.

I definitely want to use this blog, as well as my social media accounts and various other sites to develop my platform as a writer to remain active in the literary world to receive constructive feedback, to share ideas, and to promote my work

I’ve been toying with the idea of self-publishing my novel, and having developed a better understanding of the industry through my course, I still find self-publishing to be a fitting option for me as a writer. There are heated debates as to which is better, traditional publishing or self-publishing, but it really comes down to the author and his/her personal choice. It’s important to have a solid foundation for a novel; decide on your target audience and write for that audience, decide what you ultimately hope to accomplish with the publication of the novel, develop a writers platform, and develop a plan for how you will publish and market your novel. Do your research and make an educated decision by reading articles which provide unbiased details on both sides of the publishing spectrum. I’ll share a few links below which were part of our required readings for our current module. I found these to be the most helpful in deciding which publishing strategy would work best for me. Also, there is always a hybrid model, or the option to change and adapt your plan, as the punishing industry is an ever-changing world in which you must always adapt.

Thank you for reading, and please feel free to discuss your opinions or share your publishing experiences in the comments! Also, like and subscribe here and follow on Twitter!

25 Things to Know About Self-Publishing

Traditional VS. Self Publishing

“The Freedom of Being Free.”

Bound to limbs

By veins without bones

I am lucky enough

To have the pleasure of

Greeting the sun and

Saying goodnight

Others, shadowed

Only enough life

To be alive

To absorb the light

Through every pigment

They will see the sun

In time

As it grows too cold and tired

And its light won’t stretch so far

And they will feel the chill

Of death

Beginning to cripple their life

Deceiving at first

A burst of vibrant red

Or gold

Alive with warmth in fading light

Until my veins run dry

Anxious, hopeless, finally released

From binding limbs

Holding my breath

Often delicately, like a dream

We will drift

Sometimes in a whirl of confusion

And terror, never knowing

When the wind will break its hold

Subside, and let us rest

Never knowing where we’ll land

Until we’ve fully fallen

With less of us to repress the sun

Through limbs, I still see the light

So far, so cold

Crumbling into myself

Submitting to the freedom

Of being free.

Motivational Monday

Hey! For a quick little update on this Motivational Monday, I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who have taken the time to read and/or like/comment/subscribe to my posts! It means a lot to me that people can not only read my posts, but also relate to them. WordPress is definitely not the only blog site online, and there are so many outlets that it’s often difficult to get noticed. The theme for this post is focus – something that we must maintain in order to be successful.

I am likely one of the least qualified people to talk about motivation or success in general, though I know what motivates me, and that’s all that I can go by, and hope that it will motivate anyone else to reevaluate their personal and professional focus. I wanted to become a teacher so that I could inspire my students to achieve, and for that same reason, I want to reach out to others and hope to ignite a spark in them as well.

On this Motivational Monday, no matter what your profession, side-job, hobby, etc., reevaluate your focus and ask yourself why you’re doing something. Often, being reminded of the “why” can motivate you to continue, and never stop.

Please continue to like, comment, and follow, and also follow my Twitter @Kimberly_Strow for updates! Feel free to promote your blog in the comments as well, or give me a shout out on Twitter for retweet 🙂

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“I Should Have Been Better.”

Je l’aurais été mieux

I’ve been peeking through cracks

In the floorboards at the top of the house

In search of souls lingering

Through long abandoned rooms.

At the top of the stairs

Floral pinks and delicate cushions

Seated within the window casing

She overlooked the ivy

And the dew.

Her secrets never buried

Not even below the stone

Shaded by the largest oak

On the estate.

When I collect the courage

To meet your eyes

I am distraught by the depths

Your secrets possess.

Unwillingly, I recoil

Defeated

Humiliated by the man

I could not be for the both of you.

I should I have been better.

She needed to feel safe

A brave, honorable husband

She went off on her own

Returned to me limp,

Beautiful and bloodied.

You needed to be strong

For your own sake, never mine

In no way illustrating

You yearned for my company

After that night.

Je l’aurais été mieux

But you’ll be so much better

Once I surrender the illusion

That I was ever good enough,

For either one of you.