The Beginning of the Process – The Sword of Justice

I’ve just finished the first read through of the manuscript for the Sword of Justice.

My first impressions?

The concept is solid. A little reworking is necessary, but the general plot itself is solid. This means I can give it the go ahead to continue editing it, and after my faithful beta readers have had a chance to read it, it can be published!

I already have a fantastic idea for a cover and I can’t wait to start working on it.

I’ll give you all more tidbits as I work. Talk to you all very soon!

A Month Later

Yes, It’s been a month since the last time that I’ve posted here. That would be because I was working on other projects. But I’m putting those on hold while I shift back to focussing on writing and editing.
If you scroll back to the last couple of posts, you’ll know that I am currently editing “The Sword of Justice”
I’ll be working on this throughout the months of November and December, if you want more information about this and similar updates, I would recommend signing up for my newsletter.
November is Nanowrimo, which for most people means, time to write novels! I will be taking part, but like everything else, I won’t be doing things the regular way that everyone else is. I’m going to be using Nanowrimo, to help work on scheduling dedicated time in the day for writing and/or editing. That way, I’m hoping that I can just continue after November having that built in that habit. I already do this with comics I now just need to be able to do this reliably with editing and writing.
Now that I’ve done the housecleaning as they say, I feel the need to add something fun to this post, because you guys are here to read…or at least I hope that’s what you are here for….
I’m going to plunk in the passage from “The Sword of Justice” that drew me in and made me decide to work on this novel next:

Tregashin was a large city, as befitted the capital of a nation. It was also a busy place, even dangerous in some areas.   The Inn of Hero’s Desire was close enough to the waterfront to be  a little unsafe, but far enough away that the truly dangerous  people were unlikely to be found there.  On an evening in spring, Dharmen the Wizard found himself  seated alone at a table in that inn, waiting for his supper, his  back to the wall, watching what was happening all around. He was  a youngish man for a Wizard, his brown hair greying slightly at  the temples, a few white hairs in his beard. His nose was small  and slightly upturned, his face broad, and he seemed almost a  comical figure until one looked at his eyes. The eyes were  hazel-coloured, with something in them which said that they had  seen terrible things and felt little fear for mere Men.

  There was a man across the room, a large man who looked like  a labourer on the docks, who was buying ale for everyone, though  he himself consumed little. Dharmen had been watching him and  noticing that as the evening went on he appeared to get drunker  and drunker. He was probably a spy, Dharmen decided, but it was  difficult to say who he would be a spy for. He could find out,  Dharmen was sure, but the risk of drawing unwanted attention to himself made it not worthwhile.  He dropped his left hand casually to the large pouch at his  belt, then brought the hand up again, clutching a thin wrist.

  The wrist was connected on one side to a grubby hand clutching a  small but very sharp knife, and on the other side to a skinny  gangling youth, whose hair would have been blonde had it been  clean. His face was thin his nose prominent, and in his eyes  arrogance warred with fear.

  Dharmen looked at him. “Sit down.”

  He released the wrist, and the boy sat down. As he did so,  the expression on his face became one of fear, for sitting down  was one thing which he had no wish to do.

Dharmen smiled. “Yes,  I am a Wizard. And no, you need have no fear of what I might  change you into. I doubt if I will even turn you over to the  Watch; seeing you safely locked up, with your crime witnessed,  and all would require more time than I can spare.

  “But can I turn you loose?” he continued, as though musing  to himself. “What choice do I make, when even not to choose is a  choice in itself?”  He sighed, “So. I will take you along with me, hire you as  my apprentice and servant. What do you say to that? With me,  while you may not always be comfortable, I will promise that when  I have food, so will you.”

Reading

This is what a manuscript looks like when it has been typed out on a typewriter. I think that by this time my dad had switched over to an electric typewriter.

Also? I have just learned the hard way, not to simply pull a manuscript out willy-nilly as I may have just disturbed an order that it was in.

I’m now beginning to wonder if the Avantir series is the “Sword series” and I’m just butchering the name?

I’m going to have to pull out the rest of the manuscripts to find out.

Either way, I’m having a lot of fun reading, organising and eventually publishing them for people to read.

Quandries and Quagmires

What are you looking at?

Aside from the sword, you see before you two manuscripts. From the description of the file, I am assuming that these are the same story. One was written in 1981 and the other in 1982.

What is interesting is the title, The Guardian of the Sword. I am already reading a manuscript called The Sword of Justice and now I have to wonder if they are related. If they are, does this come before or after? Is this even part of the series? The only way to find out is to read it after I finish the other manuscript but I am very curious.

For those of you who are wondering about what the Sword of Justice story is about, the most vague description is that it’s about a wizard and his apprentice who must unite the wizard council to stop a tyrant who is plotting to take over the kingdom. Super vague but don’t worry! I’ll get more detailed once I start cursory edits on it.

Also, I’d like to apologise to my assistant who suggested I triage all of the manuscripts before I work on them. You make a good point, except that I really am enthralled by this series and therefore I feel that I really need to work on this series. Yay goals and directions!

That Occasional Introduction that You Need to Make

So, in the off chance that you are just meeting/landing on this site, let me explain a little bit about myself and what’s going on here.

So, my name is Beth Wagner, I am an editor, writer, comic creator and artist. This website is dedicated to my father and his writing, as well as talking about my journey as I publish the novels that he wasn’t able to in his lifetime.

I not only talk about his writing and announce my progress, I also talk about some of his interests as I remember that also interest me.

I am not him but I want to build the kind of community that he would have been able to build had he lived long enough to do so.

He currently has two novels which have been released to the ebook market. Railroad Rising is his first book and his newest release which is The Search for the Unicorns.

If you want sneakpeaks on what I’m doing then please subscribe to my newsletter!

A Personal Update

As I am editing the final proof for the Amazon print copy of The Search for the Unicorns I’m having a moment to reflect on the author, my dad.

Unlike many publishers, I have an emotional attachment to the author and his work because he was my dad, but not only that. As I read over the manuscripts I remember at what stage in his life he was and where I was.

In 1987, I would have been in grade 6 going into grade 7. I also can’t help but think that the main character Carla, had bits of me in there, no matter how small. It is very much a coming of age story and discovering who you are as a person. This is something that I was beginning to explore at that age. So interesting point there.

Which makes me think about his target audience. Was I his target audience? It wouldn’t be that hard to imagine for me as I grew up hearing him tell me stories, sometimes made up sometimes they were from books. Sometimes the lines blurred. I didn’t realise for the longest time that parents simply didn’t just make up stories to tell their kids so that they would fall asleep.

Which brings me to why I’m self-publishing his books. I’m self-publishing all of his novels that I can, mostly for myself and also for his memory. Is it at all about sales? No, it’s about putting out stories that should be out there on shelves and in homes of people. But even if no one buys a single copy of any of these books, as long as I’ve marketed them and have made them as accessible as possible, I’ll have done what I perceive as my job.

Having said that, there are things that I can do that a traditional publisher wouldn’t and couldn’t do. Like a series of pictures based on scenes from the book and like hand leather-bound limited editions of the book. These are the next projects that I will be working on, along with the next manuscript of course.

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The Search For The Unicorns – The search for the books

So a little update on what’s going on. I am currently uploading things and formatting everything.

Technically, the book is available for Kindle, HOWEVER, it has serious formatting issues and I have to fix them, so I will be doing this in the next few days. So if you happen to see anything, please do not buy anything yet. I am learning the ins and outs of uploading files to Amazon, (which is not at all like uploading comics, let me tell you).

For good the news, I just sent away for proofs for the paperback edition of the book, that’s going to take 2 to 3 weeks (barring any issues in customs) to get to me, then I will be reviewing it, likely crying and then making any last minute adjustments.

On a bright note? I am learning what order I have to do this process in and how long everything takes, which is why this book was my practise book. Not to worry, in a year or so I will go back and fix the silly little mistakes I made here as I will have learned more about editing and publishing .

Thanks for listening! I will keep everyone updated as I work on getting everything set to go.

Trying to Find My Way

Most people would take that title to mean that I am a lost soul. Perhaps I am.

But more immediately, I am trying to get an idea of the world that The Search for the Unicorns is set in. I wanted to be able to describe a bit more of the world in the book to help the readers.

The first thing I have to do is to see if he created a map of this world or if I need to create my own. I know that he kept everything in the story fairly vague which is nice because it allows the reader to imagine themselves in the story more. However, I want to add a little description. Just a little. I also want to know where the characters are going. Are they in a forest? Are they in the mountains? Where are they?!

A quick search tells me that he didn’t create a map for this world. What does that mean for me? It means that I am going to take tonight to create a vague map of the world. I am not a cartographer and my sense of direct is terrible. Here goes nothing