1. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    FireHeart Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by BlitzGirl, Jun 4, 2018.

    This is new for me, but I figure it will be a good way to keep track of my progress and hopefully encourage me to see this story through to the end. This is the furthest I have gotten through any of my original stories, so I want to focus solely on it, if possible. Now for some basic information about my story:

    Title: "FireHeart"
    Genre: Fantasy (might be YA due to MC's age)
    PoV: 1st-person
    Plot Blurb: "Nine-year-old Kaina was always afraid of fire. But when she is taken from her home to become a priestess in service of the godlike Phoenix, her life is forever changed. As she grows into adulthood, Kaina is forced to face an unwanted destiny, filled with spiritual crises, civil war, and political intrigue . . . with the fate of Ralos in her hands."

    I will put the progress of all chapters into a single post and update as I go. Only chapters that have been typed will have word counts, and I will indicate which draft each chapter is on. The first draft is hand-written in notebooks, second draft is the first time a chapter has been typed up.
     
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  2. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    CHAPTER PROGRESS
    NOTE: "Complete" status does not mean it is the final draft. It means that the indicated draft is finished.

    Chapter 1
    Title:
    "The Visit"
    Draft #: 3 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 5,002

    Chapter 2
    Title:
    "The Journey"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 2,794

    Chapter 3
    Title:
    "The First Day"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 3,197

    Chapter 4
    Title:
    "New Friends"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 3,351

    Chapter 5
    Title:
    "The Vision"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 2,657

    Chapter 6
    Title:
    "Resolutions"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 2,846

    Chapter 7
    Title:
    "The Last Days"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 3,569

    Chapter 8
    Title:
    "The Attack"
    Draft #: 3 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 2,455

    Chapter 9
    Title:
    "The Road to Emalfir"
    Draft #: 3 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 3,419

    Chapter 10
    Title:
    "Arrival"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 2,382

    Chapter 11
    Title:
    "The Temple of Remmus"
    Draft #: 3 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 3,609

    Chapter 12
    Title:
    "Many Encounters"
    Draft #: 3 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 4,438

    Chapter 13
    Title:
    "Reunion"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 2,725

    Chapter 14
    Title:
    "Phoenix-Fire"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 5,061

    Chapter 15
    Title:
    "Revelation"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 4,640

    Chapter 16
    Title:
    "The Climb"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: 3,615

    Chapter 17
    Title:
    "Erif"
    Draft #: 2 (typed)
    Status: In-Progress
    Word Count: 997

    Chapter 18
    Title:
    ??
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 19
    Title:
    ??
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 20
    Title:
    ??
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 21
    Title:
    ??
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 22
    Title:
    ??
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 23
    Title:
    ??
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 24
    Title:
    ??
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 25
    Title:
    ??
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 26
    Title:
    ??
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 27
    Title:
    "The Fire"
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 28
    Title:
    "Captivity"
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 29
    Title:
    "Freedom"
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 30
    Title:
    "Return to Emalfir"
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: Complete
    Word Count: TBD

    Chapter 31
    Title:
    "Trial by Fire" (temp title)
    Draft #: 1 (handwritten)
    Status: In-Progress
    Word Count: TBD
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 6:00 PM
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  3. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    6/8/2018 Update: Finished writing the first draft of Chapter 26 in my notebook (wrote 9 pages; notebook is 5"x8" Piccadilly Medium ruled notebook, for context). Chapter 27 will be entitled "The Fire", and I will change the title of Chapter 26 later once I've come up with an appropriate idea.

    I also will update the above chapter list post once I have gained the ability in these forums to update posts at will, which should be by next week.
     
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  4. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    6/12/2018 Update: I have been writing more in Chapter 27 and just got to a really intense scene that has some important ramifications. Kaina's best friend has been expelled from the temple (don't want to give spoilers right now), and she finally fought back against a bully...with some unintended consequences!

    I also have gone back to my typed drafts of chapters 8-13 and made some adjustments, even adding new scenes here-and-there. But until I can go edit my chapter progress post, the old word counts will remain for now. I also typed a bit more of Chapter 14, which I hope to upload to Fiction Press this week. I keep thinking about adding more scenes to the previous chapters, but a part of me worries that it will just over-complicate the way I have the chapters set up. I can always delve into it more when I get to the third draft, I suppose! For now, all that matters is that I get this story written while I'm still passionate about it, and I can clean it all up later. ;)
     
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  5. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    6/14/2018 Update: Now that I have the ability to edit my posts in this forum, I have changed the draft #s and word counts of several chapters, as well as adding Chapter 27 to the list (which is still in-progress). I'm considering any instance of making notable changes as being an entirely new draft. Some chapters gained word count, others lost a bit. It's all part of the process of trying to refine the writing I have.

    I should also note that I only work on my first (handwritten) draft while at work. I have a desk job, and writing helps keep me busy when there's not much going on. I also tend to feel the most motivated to hand-write while at my job. Typing only happens at home, as that's where my laptop is and that's also where I can focus better on that aspect of writing the story. However, I am lucky if I can do typing on weekends, as I tend to not feel in the mood to type when I get home from work. I really need to work on that...

    Oh, also! I changed how Chapter 1 starts, removing the small flashback intro and making the first words of the chapter have more punch. I am really happy with what I did, though I know it can always use more work.
     
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  6. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    6/16/2018 Update: Chapter 14 is now typed! I focused hard on adding more scenes to this chapter, having character interactions meant to show their anxiety about the upcoming initiation ceremony. I even found an opportunity to throw something in that teases a relationship that will occur later, hinting that two characters actually are attracted to each other. I also ended the chapter at an earlier point than the handwritten draft did. The scenes that I left out will instead be the beginning of chapter 15, which I hope to type up this weekend (or at least get far enough into to feel accomplished).

    The end of chapter 14 signifies a big change in events for the rest of the story, altering the MC's, Kaina's, fate from there on out.
     
  7. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    6/20/2018 Update: Finished the first draft of Chapter 27. Had some important things occur, but then improvised the last stretch of the chapter. I am unsure what exactly is going to happen in chapter 28, but it's got to be something that's going to snap Kaina out of the depressed, self-loathing state she is currently in.
     
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  8. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    Continuing to work on chapter 28, which is completely improvised. I wasn't even planning on this event happening. But I know how I will want it resolved, and I know that it has to reveal important information to Kaina that's relevant to the bigger conspiracy going on. I just don't know how far I want to take this. She's captured by guys who may or may not have been involved in the attack on the temple she had first trained at. I mean, they are from the same group, but I don't know if all four men were directly involved. I don't even know where they are taking her or what they plan to do. I just know that I don't want anything to be taken to the extreme, such as having rape be involved, since that's not necessary. I just have written myself into a corner, even though I can see the potential of this series of events. I don't regret starting it, I just need to figure out how to develop it.

    Curse you, writer's block! :mad:
     
  9. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    Need to write this down for my own reference. I have several plot threads that are going on, and I need to make sure that each gets equal coverage. I'm worried that more important plot threads are being a bit forgotten by current things going on.

    In no particular order:

    1. Kaina coming to grips with her destiny. She is the "Speaker", an individual who has the ability to understand the Phoenix, and therefore acts as an intermediary. Fire can't hurt her, and she's just realizing that she has the ability to produce fire herself. But the problem is, she is afraid of fire, always has been. She also just wants to remain a normal priestess. This is a constant battle going on inside of her.
    2. The thread that included Kaina's relationship with her best friend, Sari, is now finished, meaning that the thread about her relationship with a boy named Teran is going to regain some importance. In order for Kaina to interact with Teran, she needs to spend time in the city streets, so I need to keep finding excuses for her to leave the temple grounds. Their relationship is going to end in romance, I know that much, and Teran will become an important character in the final stretch of the story.
    3. The big conspiracy! This is what most of the story's plot hinges upon, and is interconnected with the Speaker plot mentioned above. Essentially, the temple that Kaina and her friends had first trained at was attacked, burned to the ground. No one has attacked a temple in a long time. Priestesses are supposed to be a protected class. So this is something that's big and scary and confusing to everyone. They go to the capital and try to ask the king, Sarif, for assistance. And when Kaina finds out that she is a Speaker, she is tasked with trying to investigate the mystery. But it's not only that. There are also heretics in the capital who believe that the Phoenix isn't a god and that their religion is false. Kaina and others view this as being tied to the attack. Who else would attack a temple but someone who doesn't believe that their religion is important? Worst comes to worst when Kaina meets the captain of the city guard, Belan, and recognizes his voice from the night of the attack. But she can't convict him of the crime, as he is on good terms with the king. And now, she is starting to realize that the queen's, Anaka's, ongoing illness and miscarriages might be manufactured. So, is someone poisoning the queen to prevent an heir to the throne, to then make Sarif believe that the Phoenix is cursing his family...? And therefore making a movement against Remmusism (the religion) gain strength...? It's all very complicated, but the different pieces are there; I just need to figure out how to make them play out in a believable manner.
     
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  10. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    6/28/2018 Update: After a break of several days, I finally finished writing the first draft of chapter 28. Kaina is currently held captive, and I will have her somehow escape in the next chapter. I was considering making chapter 28 longer, but for now I am splitting the event up into two chapters. I can always change things once I get to typing.
     
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  11. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    6/29/2018 Update: Working on chapter 29, now, though I still wonder if it should be combined with chapter 28. Kaina has been interrogated during this chapter but has now received unlooked-for help. I don't want it to seem like she can only be rescued by men, which is why I tried to make this whole capture thing be heavily weighed against her. I also believe in making my main characters as believable as possible, and not everyone is going to be able to miraculously find a way to save themselves in every situation. But the fact is, she will emerge from all of these tense situations a stronger person and more engaged with her destiny. She just needs to go through the darkest darkness before she can see the dawn! If she learns nothing from these experiences, then she's failed. That's my thought process, at least.
     
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  12. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    6/30/2018 Update: Finally finished typing chapter 15, and I gave it a new title, as well as splitting the end of the first draft off, making that become the beginning of chapter 16 (which now has chapter 15's original title). By this point, I can tell that the number of chapters will be different so far in the typed draft, as I am changing many things. Adding completely new scenes has altered the pacing somewhat.

    And I am now glad to discover that chapters 1-15, typed, have totaled 60k words! At this rate, even after I do further editing, I am not worried about my story not reaching "novel" status, as far as word count goes.
     
  13. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    7/1/2018 Update: I continued typing on the weekend, and realized that the way I chopped up the end of chapter 15 and the beginning of chapter 16 yesterday was not the best idea. Although it gives the end of chapter 15 more punch, it then screws up the pacing/focus of chapter 16. Therefore, I am considering putting the original ending of chapter 15 back where it belongs. I can keep the titles of these two chapters the way they are without any conflict, even if it means that I won't be able to entitle chapter 16 other possible names.

    Basically, chapter 16 is currently entitled "Speaker", because this is the chapter after Kaina finds out what she is, has to come to grips with it, and will be visiting the Phoenix atop his mountain in order to have her new title confirmed. If the chapter focused solely on her journey to the Phoenix, then possible titles to choose from would be "The Climb", "The Eyrie", or "Erif". But...I upped the timeline of this bit, and will be having Kaina ascend the Eyrie in this chapter, doing so the following morning instead of a whole day later. That would help increase Kaina's apprehension and the sense of urgency from everyone else. I am considering making chapter 16 end right when she reaches the summit and lays eyes upon Erif, the Phoenix, but we shall see how it ends up. I won't be typing anything until the weekend, as is my normal procedure. For now, I will use this week to think about it as well as continuing work on my hand-written first draft.
     
  14. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    Thinking out loud here: I am considering changing how this one part of chapter 29 plays out. Currently I have Erif swooping in and killing the attackers as Kaina is escaping, but now I'm thinking it would be better if not all are killed, and one of the men is taken back to the capital as a prisoner to be interrogated. That would result in more information being revealed, and I would want Kaina to be present during his questioning, whenever that happens.

    I am also considering moving a scene that involves Teran, the boy Kaina's age, to an earlier point, maybe even within the next chapter or two instead of being later. Often in fantasy movies and shows I've watched there is a scene where the male character takes the female character on a magical ride that results in the two feeling closer to each other (Aladdin, How to Train Your Dragon, and Avatar: The Last Airbender are a few good examples of this). And I think it would be fun to flip that idea on its head and switch the roles! Have Teran be a bit freaked out by Kaina's invitation to ride with her on the Phoenix's back and show him the view of the city from the top of the Eyrie. The scene as I have been viewing it in my head is just too cute to pass up! Hell, Kaina had once thought it would be nice to show her best friend (and first romantic interest), Sari, the view someday...but that never came to fruition since Sari has now been excommunicated and sent back home. And besides, it would be in-character for Kaina to do something like this, as she would want to do something to make herself not feel so alone in her current position. If she can share with others the things she has seen and done, then that would go a long way to easing her anxiety. Even if it technically would be forbidden, as only the Speaker, the Phoenix King (or Queen), and High Headmistress of the temple have permission to climb the Eyrie. But many rules are meant to be broken in this story.
     
  15. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Senior Member

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    I like the gender-flipped magical ride idea. :D
     
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  16. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    Hah, glad to hear it! I'm hoping to make it pretty cute, maybe making Teran, the boy, be really awkward about it while Kaina can't help but laugh to herself about his reactions. It definitely will be a nice scene of levity, which the story really is going to need since it's just been getting darker and more serious over the last few chapters...
     
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  17. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    7/4/2018 Update: Finished typing up Chapter 16 and changed its title! Now things start to get more exciting/interesting from this point on!
     
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  18. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    7/5/2018 Update: Rough draft of Chapter 29 is now finished. It currently is a bit short, but it begins and ends at the points I wanted it to begin and end, so I can always flesh out the middle more once I get to typing it.

    I am unsure at this moment what Chapter 30 will be entitled, but it will involve Kaina having to explain herself to the Phoenix, and him offering to help her learn how to control her gift of fire. She's still afraid of fire (I know from first hand experience that phobias, even my fear of spiders, are hard to break even after frequent exposure to the source of the fear), but knowing that she can use this power to heal (as well as hurt) may give her the peace of mind she needs. She can't ignore this power forever. She's already accidentally hurt one person and killed another, so she is still very much traumatized by it. Erif will have to be a gentle teacher. She also will need to allow her psychological wounds to heal after being held prisoner for two days, tortured, and almost raped ("almost", because her attacker is killed by her rescuers who tracked her down).

    This may be the point in time where I have Kaina meet Teran again, as he's been out of the story for a while, now. Probably not in Chapter 30, but soon.
     
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  19. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    7/6/2018 Update: I am currently having Kaina return to the city's streets after having escaped her imprisonment, but am debating whether or not to have more happen before she arrives at the temple. I almost want to bring Teran back in now, but it would end up feeling like too much of a cop-out. So far, they've only ever met by pure accident, or coincidence (whichever way you want to view it). But even if I do not bring him into this chapter, I still will have to have them meet again anyway, but I need to do so without it being another chance encounter. And if they don't meet for a while, I still need to decide if anything should happen before Kaina gets to the temple to recuperate.

    Just thinking out loud here. :/ And at least proving that I've been writing!
     
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  20. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    I was able to work on typing Chapter 17 over the weekend, but I sadly wasn't able to finish it. As usual, I changed the point at which the chapter began and added new and different dialogue. This is the chapter where Kaina finally gets to meet Erif, the Phoenix, face-to-face. I haven't decided yet on what else I will add or remove.

    I also am still in the process of figuring out what should happen in Chapter 30. Kaina returned to the temple and is definitely going to be berated for running away and being gone for days, but perhaps the High Headmistress' tone will change when she hears that Kaina had been kidnapped and held prisoner by the group of men responsible for the attack on Kaina's previous temple. But what else will happen out of this, I don't yet know. The next big thing that will be focused on will be Kaina being trained by Erif to control her powers, and that very well could be a chapter of its own.
     
  21. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    7/10/2018 Update: Plugging away at Chapter 30 and, thanks to a thread I created asking for help, I now know what I'm going to do next, especially as it relates to the form of punishment Kaina will be experiencing after all that she's done.

    Erif knows that Kaina has struggled with her power to produce fire, having accidentally hurt her friend and inadvertently killed another priestess. It seems to appear during moments of high emotion or as a means of self-defense, but it is not a guarantee. Therefore, it makes Kaina a liability, a potential danger to others. Therefore, the high headmistress is allowing Kaina to train with Erif atop the Eyrie, but she will not be allowed to return to the temple until she has gotten her power under control. Once she returns, then she might be redeemed, unless she still has to do some manual duties around the temple to prove she's learned her lessons.

    But, in order for Kaina to bring this power under control, she must first overcome her fear of fire. Erif will also help her with that. As Speaker, Kaina cannot be hurt by fire, but that doesn't take away the fear aspect she experiences. All of this training will probably take place over the course of an entire chapter, but I shall see what ends up happening! I'm now happy to know that I've at least figured out this next segment, and then later I can try to problem-solve the issue of a) having Kaina move on from losing Sari, b) kindle a romantic relationship with Teran, meaning she has to have opportunities to see him more regularly, and c) figure out more about the ongoing conspiracy, including discovering that the queen is in fact being poisoned by people within the palace. So many puzzle pieces I need to fit together!
     
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  22. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    7/11/2018 Update: Finished writing Chapter 30. Not sure if I had everything happen in the chapter that I want to happen, but at least I got the story moving on to the next stage. I can worry about making things neater when I move on to the second draft.

    I now get to start Chapter 31 (don't yet know what I will entitle it, but something to do with training and maybe fire). This is where Kaina has to overcome her fears and train with the Phoenix to control her new power. I'm thinking that the entire chapter will take place during this segment, and will end once her training is complete.
     
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  23. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Senior Member

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    I think it's cool that you're doing a second-love situation. I always wanted to see more of that in YA.
     
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  24. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Member

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    I'd be quite surprised if there isn't more of that in YA fiction. Life as a teenager can be complicated, to say the least.
     
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  25. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    The detail on your chapter editing outline plan... thingy... is phenomenal. Notes on my chapters usually consist of the word "EDIT" capitalized, and nothing else.
     
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