Pitch Wars 2018 #BoostMyBio for BLOOD PRINCESS

It’s that time of year again! Pitch Wars submissions are just around the corner, and it’s time to #BoostMyBio!

About Me

Processed with Rookie Cam
Yes, I took a pic with sushi last year, too.

You can find me on Twitter and Instagram at @Adelle_Yeung. (I also did #PWPoePrompts!)

I was a Pitch Wars 2017 mentee. My mentor was the amazing Laurie Dennison, who taught me sooo much last year, and I loved the whole process so much, I’m back for more punishment. I was the YA scavenger hunt winner last year, so if the scavenger hunt is back this year, you definitely wanna do it!

First and foremost, I am writer. It’s my number one passion and that’s never going to change. I write fantasy. I also voice act, play video games, do digital paintings, sew clothes sometimes and maybe do some smaller crafty things. I also love nature and hiking ❤

(Speaking of voice acting, I narrated a short excerpt from Chapter Four of Blood Princess! Listen to it here.)

(Speaking of video games, I made a short RPG spanning the first two chapters of Blood Princess! Check it out here.)

 

I’m a clerical substitute for my local school district, which is an on-call job which means I have plenty of time to write.

I work fast with pretty much everything I do, from walking to typing and especially reading. A lot of my PW ’17 mentees are amazed at how fast I can get through their manuscripts and provide feedback 😉 (It also helps that they’re amazing writers.)

Anyway, enough about me. The real purpose of this post is to show off my YA high fantasy, Blood Princess!

Blood Princess Mockup Cover

In my MS

  • A plus-sized heroine
  • Two ace and one bi POVs
  • A diverse cast
  • Adventure!
  • Non-elemental magic
  • Blood-sucking, breath-stealing ghosts
  • Airships!
  • Interracial, low key romance
  • Some dark stuff that maybe I shouldn’t mention here…

Novel Aesthetics

Act IAct IIAct III

The Pitch

Pitch One

A cursed princess, a ghost herder, and an airship captain join forces to stop a sadistic empress from stealing the powers of a death god.

Pitch Two

When a plus-sized princess discovers she transforms into a bloodthirsty monster every night, she tracks down a fallen death god to exorcise herself and her haunted empire.

What It’s Really About

Adapting to a world that a previous generation screwed over. (Basically what it’s like being a millennial.)

Comp Titles

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Reign the Earth – A fantasy set in a desert without djinn. A princess with a big heart. Sadistic royalty who strive to eradicate something. A whole lot of dark things that should only be whispered instead of screamed.

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns – An evil empress and…stuff I don’t wanna give away 😉

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Children of Blood and Bone – A three-POV diverse high fantasy. A journey to bring something back from the dead. And a love interest’s royal asshole of a parent.

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Princess Mononoke – For a spirit-infested forest and morally ambiguous characters.

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire – A ragtag crew quests to discover a lost myth beneath the ocean!ff9_keyart_1920x1080_v1

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Final Fantasy IX – The first act of Blood Princess is similar to the first act of FFIX. On the celebration of the princess’s birthday, an airship crew kidnaps the princess to save her from her evil mother’s nefarious deeds.

POV Babies

Princess Khalida

The Cursed Princess

Khalida DancesPrincess Khalida wants to eradicate the plague of dead spirits from her empire. On her seventeenth birthday, she finds out her mother has been plumping her up as a sacrifice to a death god. She’s in love with her dancing instructor, Lake, who’s her only friend aside from her nurse, Haripet.

She loves to dance, wants to be friends with everyone, and finds beauty in everything.

Aesthetics Khalida

Lake Acaerius CLXXXII

The Ghost Herder (also known as “the royal wraither”)

Lake Contemplates his ExistenceLake is the royal wraither of the imperial city, Zoahen, which means he uses dance to herd the dead spirits infesting Khalida’s empire. He succeeded his uncle’s position three years ago, with hopes of exploring and finding his place in the world. The only one who makes him feel like he belongs is Khalida, who he adores…in a completely non-romantic way.

He’s vegan and likes animals more than people but will blindly jump off an airship to save someone’s life.

Aesthetics Lake

Viprey Baas

The Airship Captain (undercover as a palace masseuse)

Viprey Eats

Viprey can’t stand injustice and overturns corrupt leaders to give power back to the common folk. She goes undercover in the Zoahen palace to uncover the empress’s evil schemes. When she finds out that the royal wraither, Lake Acaerius, is the only one who knows what the empress is after, she also discovers Khalida’s dark secret: the empress has cursed her own daughter into becoming a bloodthirsty monster.

Outside of her meek massuese persona, Viprey is a sassy, skilled rebel who has an airship of her own and freely spews Brit swears.

Aesthetics Viprey

The Villain

Empress Khandara

The Sadistic Empress

Her Imperial Majesty

Empress Regnant of the Jheffirani Empire. Khandara is ambitious, indulgent, and has no qualms about killing her subjects if it means ensuring a better future for their children. She’ll even sacrifice her daughter if it means the masses can benefit.

Aesthetics Empress Khandara

Closing Word

Pitch Wars 2017 was an amazing experience for me. Around this time last year, I heard all these people saying how amazing the community is, and I’m another voice to add to the chorus, the community is AMAZING. After the agent round last year, many of us felt as if we’d been in literal battle trenches together. (I looove my Pitch Wars class 😭)

However, even if you aren’t chosen as a mentee this year, there a many other places where you can get the support you need, but keep in mind that you get more out of the community the more you put in.

For more visual types:

Also, I hope this goes without saying, but when the mentees are announced this year, please be a good sport about it ❤ Support other hopefuls and congratulate those who get in! A lot of people are watching the contest, and you want to leave a good impression 😊

Pitch Wars is super high energy and fast, so keep the positive energy flowing!

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NaNoWriMo in December!

I couldn’t do NaNoWriMo last month because I was busy trying to promote The Last Winter Moon, so I decided to do it this month with a brand new  standalone book, (WIP title) The House with Two Faces!

I actually started on November 28 (the day before Final Fantasy XV came out) and wrote for a total of 34 days, as of today, the last day of 2016.  And I’m probably going to be a bit more editing later today, but the word count for today is over 1,667 so I’m content with that 🙂

I reached 50,000 words on day 20, and finished the first draft of the book on day 23, for an average of 2,691 words for the first draft.

On the days of editing, I averaged 1,897 words per day.

The lowest word count I wrote for the month was 517 on day 24, right after I finished the first draft.

The most I wrote was yesterday at 7,127 words.  (I’m not even sure how I did it.)

Now for a cool graph!

nanowrimo-2016-graph

And other nerdy statistics.  Yay nerdiness!

Day Date Expected Actual
1 28-Nov-16 1667 4729
2 29-Nov-16 3334 6605
3 30-Nov-16 5001 8569
4 1-Dec-16 6668 9805
5 2-Dec-16 8335 13702
6 3-Dec-16 10002 15812
7 4-Dec-16 11669 16490
8 5-Dec-16 13336 19035
9 6-Dec-16 15003 20895
10 7-Dec-16 16670 22023
11 8-Dec-16 18337 24354
12 9-Dec-16 20004 26603
13 10-Dec-16 21671 30589
14 11-Dec-16 23338 34888
15 12-Dec-16 25005 38899
16 13-Dec-16 26672 41009
17 14-Dec-16 28339 43553
18 15-Dec-16 30006 45865
19 16-Dec-16 31673 48813
20 17-Dec-16 33340 51823
21 18-Dec-16 35007 54945
22 19-Dec-16 36674 59013
23 20-Dec-16 38341 61895
24 21-Dec-16 40008 62412
25 22-Dec-16 41675 64117
26 23-Dec-16 43342 66192
27 24-Dec-16 45009 67331
28 25-Dec-16 46676 69259
29 26-Dec-16 48343 70027
30 27-Dec-16 50000 71600
31 28-Dec-16 50000 72646
32 29-Dec-16 50000 73487
33 30-Dec-16 50000 80614
34 31-Dec-16 50000 82765

I also “drew” some things for research.  Here’s the character concept art I sketched a few weeks ago.  Thinking of making Paula curvier though.  Her figure is too boyish.

cast1

And I made a diagram of the theater/house 🙂 It’s not quite to scale, though.  The doors got bigger toward the end.  Heh heh…

cort-theater

I also did the NERDIEST THING and create the house in the Sims 2 (I got the whole thing free on Origin!).  I couldn’t furnish it right, but hey, the structure is there 😀 (Tip: It’s easier to make a house in the Sims if you have a layout on hand instead of just drawing walls hoping for the best.)

That’s it for now 😀 Back to more editing, I guess >_<

Have a great new year, everyone!! 😀

Why “You’re Beautiful” Almost Didn’t Make it into The Last Winter Moon

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In The Last Winter MoonJayse pulls Michelle — disgruntled from injustice — onto the back of a korelian cat, and they race up the steps of the Arriscylean palace.  He pulls her off and tells her, “You’re beautiful when you’re scared.”  She laughs, and Jayse says, “You’re even more beautiful when you smile.”

This almost didn’t make it into the final book, for reasons similar to changing a line of Dastin’s in An Eclipsing Autumn, which was something like, “Smile for me,” which I thought was so unforgivable that I just had to change it.  (Telling women to smile is a whole ‘nother problem, though.)

I took special care in crafting Michelle and Jayse’s relationship.  When I brought up having second thoughts about this line (“You’re beautiful”) to my friends this past summer, one of them asked me how close Michelle and Jayse’s relationship is to my ideal relationship.  I said that it was pretty close, at least for a sixteen-year-old girl, like Michelle is by the end of her journey.  It was what I would have wanted when I was sixteen.  A life of adventure, danger, and maybe just a little bit of romance, and when it really comes down to it, saving the world is the most important thing, and romance won’t get in the way.

Michelle and Jayse’s relationship is supportive, playful, innocent, and sweet, but never really sexual.  Heck, I was pretty prudish when I was sixteen (same as you see in Michelle’s disgust toward Dreana’s seduction).  I wanted to write a relationship that I would have wanted when I was her age.  I didn’t want to have to force sex into their relationship to make it more realistic, or whatever, because Michelle and Jayse know the stakes of their duties.  They know they can’t just make out all day, forgetting the horrors of the world, because they just want to lie next to each other and stare into each other’s eyes.

When it really comes down to it, I suppose it’s a sort of message to young readers.  Not all romantic relationships have to be physical and sexual.  Don’t give up your duties and ambitions for someone else who’s going to change you and make you forget them.  I wanted to send a nice, healthy message with their relationship, instead of romanticizing something unhealthy and abusive.

Sure, there is physical attraction in their relationship.  You see it all over Michelle’s thoughts when she first meets Jayse.  She even blurts out “Oh my God, you are so hot” the first time they speak.  (I don’t really count this toward any kind of profession of love, because he doesn’t even know what it means :’D And her “you’re hot”s to Gediyon don’t count.)

A few times, Jayse says stuff like, “I didn’t see Goddess Saei, but I don’t need to,” and looks at Michelle, “I suppose the wait was worth it” and “I think you beat me in that competition” (in regards to a silly game they were playing to see who’d show up to dinner the prettiest) and at the end of The Starriest Summer, says, “You look magnificent.”  BUT, he hadn’t said outright that he thinks she’s pretty.

I did this on purpose because I didn’t want their relationship to be based on physical attraction.  He finds her cheerfulness and optimism sweet and adorable.  Once she finds out more and starts to break under the pressure, he’s right there to keep her on her feet. He falls in love with her when they find out how much they have in common with their unwanted responsibilities, and they work together to support each other.

Same with Michelle.  Sure, she’s immediately smitten by him from his looks, but she’s more interested in a friendship with him, and it’s not until after she loses the Prince Imposter that she realizes she might have romantic feelings for Jayse, too.  As her adventure goes on, she also comments less on his looks, and even manages not to freak out and not get a nosebleed when he’s shirtless in An Eclipsing Autumn.  (Also, him being bloody and having nearly died might also have something to do with it…)

And then there’s this scene in The Last Winter Moon.

Hot Spring

She’s just whatever when he’s lying in the hot spring, cleaning himself off, and then when he jumps up to kiss her, she’s like, “Oh… oh this is happening. OH GOD I DON’T THINK I CAN HANDLE.”

Anyway, the point is, I didn’t know if I wanted to keep the line “you’re beautiful” in the final version of the book.  However, my friend said, “It’s already been established that their attraction toward each other isn’t based solely on looks, so saying ‘you’re beautiful’ is just a nice assurance that he thinks so.”

I had thought of changing the line to, “You’re adorable when you’re scared,” but after my friend told me that, I was convinced it wasn’t as impactful.

She then asked me, if Michelle and Jayse have the ideal relationship, then what about Gediyon and Dreana?  And I said, “Oh, they’re adults, they can do whatever the hell they want.”

Also, what’s with Michelle glowing and having white hair and reaching down toward Jayse in the picture at the beginning of the post?  1) Read The Last Winter Moon 😉 2) The scene doesn’t actually happen.  It was just an image in my head that I wanted to illustrate 😀

Guest Post – Don’t Let Romance Hijack the Plot

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Head on over to A New Look on Books for a guest post that I wrote about romancing hijacking the plot!

Here’s an excerpt!

Suddenly, our strong heroine devolves into a blubbering mess. Mutant girl falls for her captor, the princess becomes infatuated with her enemy prince, the genius has the hots for a fellow hacker. She’ll do anything to be with Pretty Boy, even forget her main goal, because Pretty Boy becomes her main goal. She’ll even make out with him amidst gunfire on a battlefield.

Go here for the full post!

Guest Post – Voice Over and Writing

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Another stop for The Cycle of the Six Moons “Name Before the Masses” tour byGoddess Fish Promotions!  I’ve written a guest post over at The Reading Addict.  The topic is how one of my hobbies has enriched my writing.

Here’s an excerpt:

I read paChrono-Trogger-Crono-Diesssages out loud dramatically to myself to make sure that the words convey the emotion I want.

I also grew up with JRPGs.  Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI-IX, Earthbound…  This was before voice acting was common in video games, and I often wondered what the characters would sound like with voices.  In senior year of high school, I finally had the basic technology to give voices to the characters.

Check out the full post here!

Guest Post – Why Video Game Music Is the Best Music to Listen to While Writing

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Today is another stop for The Cycle of the Six Moons “Name Before the Masses” tour by Goddess Fish Promotions!  I’ve written a guest post over at Sharing Links and Wisdom.  If you can’t tell by the appropriately named title, it’s about why  video game music is the best music to listen to while writing.

Here’s an excerpt:

I’m a gamer.  I have been since elementary school.  One important element of video games that I found helped immerse me into a fantasy world was its music.  It’s designed to set the tone, help you concentrate on the task at hand, exemplifies the written dialogue of the characters you encounter, or even makes your heart race during boss battles.

Since I was about ten years old, I’ve used video game music to help set the scene.  Unlike pop songs or ballads, there are no lyrics to distract you, listener and fellow writer, from the words that you want to write.  Here are examples of the kind of music I listen to and the scenes they fit.

Setting up the hometown of your hero before adventure calls him forth?  Try the Outside Island theme from Wind Waker!

Feel the joy and innocence of everyday life?  Feel the peaceful breeze of the ocean?

Check out the full post here!

Guest Post – Storytelling and Food

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Today begins the first stop of The Cycle of the Six Moons “Name Before the Masses” tour by Goddess Fish Promotions!  I’ve written a guest post over at Long and Short Reviews YA.  If you can’t tell by the appropriately named title, it’s about the importance of food in storytelling.

I even made a nifty pie chart about the usage of the five senses!

 

Senses Pie Chart color
Data from The Encyclopedia of Educational Technology

Be sure to check out the rest of the post here!

There’s also a giveaway for a gift card, so…yeah, if that’s any extra incentive…

 

Why I’m Scared of Completing The Cycle of the Six Moons

Barely a month has passed since the release of the second book in the Cycle of the Six Moons trilogy, An Eclipsing Autumn, and already I’ve jumped into the first of many edits for The Last Winter Moon.

Since April began, I put off opening the document containing book three for eleven whole days.  I’m halfway through it as I write this post, and oh my gosh I can’t wait to share it with everyone, but I wanted to take a moment to think about why I’m so terrified of completing it.

Continue reading “Why I’m Scared of Completing The Cycle of the Six Moons”

Outline vs. Actual Book

I’m an outliner. I daydream up a story while I’m lying in bed, unable to sleep ’cause I can’t shut off my thoughts, and when I know that the thoughts in my head are definitely what I want to write, I write ’em down and make an outline. Then I get on to the actual story writing!

I thought it’d be a fun idea to go through my outline of The Starriest Summer and see what deviates from the actual book 😀 I only took screenshots of a few parts.

Continue reading “Outline vs. Actual Book”