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Babs
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Posted By Babs

I am so pleased to have a good team of proofreaders going through Master Shǒuwèi Book One Echoes of the past. One of them pointed out yesterday  I had not put in any descriptions of the main characters in the opening pages.

So we worked together to add them in at the right moment. It is something I completely forgotten to do, when I was writing the story. I just work hard on getting their individual personalities across better to the reader. Thankfully with the proofreader’s awesome help they are now in and she was fine with me tweaking them to fit better with character. After all I have been creating them now for nearly 22 years. My that is a long time giggle.

I was also pleased to hear all of them are enjoying it, even when they are 90 pages in. I have tried to keep this one gripping from start to finish. I cannot wait to see which ending they all chose and which cover they go with. Hopefully it will be all sorted before this month is out, but I am considering to say it might be February before I publish it, mainly because I would like to be as perfect as posable to my proofreaders and myself’s capabilities as not of us are professionals.

My editor has already done his job as consistency checker and removing parts where I have repeated myself. He is, however, going through it one more time to make sure there is nothing he has missed with it being such a big novel, at the moment with two different endings 232 pages, 73,786 words. So far it is the biggest novel I have written.

 
Posted By Babs

What a year it has been, because of lockdown my diehard fans were able to sit down and read Part one from cover to cover and because of their awesome feedback I went on a writing course to improve myself and gain back the skills I had forgotten. 21 years is a long time to slip in to bad habits that actually hinder my work instead of making it better.

The new proofreaders have also been just awesome, they really helped me to come up with more ways to express the characters moods and attitudes, as well as putting scenes across to the readers better. They also open my eyes to new ways of thinking and really helped to broaden my potential as a dyslexic writer.

 

This is why I have written an alternative version of Master Guardian part one, because I really want to show off the skills I have gained this year and to also show I do have real potential in becoming a good writer. I know I will never be amazing or that well known or a best seller. Saying this, I know I have a good fan base, it may be small, but it is still a good and 270 is an amazing achievement when I write unconventional fantasy stories, that are based around Chinese and Japanese culture and folklore. I would say some fans have also noticed it is also influenced by Anime and Buddha’s teachings.

 

I have to agree both have had a been impact on my style. But I always say my biggest influence, my inspiration is Kisaki. His music is always playing when I am working, yes it is always the same albums over and over again. It does not bother me, because I love and enjoy his amazing work and talent. Sometimes I will put on my favourite vocalist Riku's solo work, because I have to say it fits great with some of the characters attitude and also I love his voice. My hope is to meet them one day and tell them this in person. Especially Kisaki, 21 years ago his music really helped me to get out of a dark place and gave me the lift I needed to become a writer and thus Guardian was born.

 

Going back to the alternative version, the title has changed it is now, ‘Master Shǒuwèi Book One Echoes of the past’. The reason for the name change, is because it was never meant to be Guardian. Shǒuwèi (守衛) is Guard. Guardian is Jiānhùrén (監護人), no one calls him this. Also this reflects on the awful editor I once had, who never understood my work and did not like to lean his real name and this is why he changed it to Guardian. This is another reason I would like to get rid of it. The Chinese fans have also said it is confusing to have both for one person. Now that has been all sorted, it has gone to the proofreaders to see what they make of it. I cannot wait, I am all anxious to hear what they have to say about it.

 
Posted By Babs

This morning I was having fun with one of my diehard Jfans, who came bouncing on to Skype expressing ニックネーム! Nicknames! That is what is missing from the current Part One. This would help to distinguish the characters.
He was over the moon to hear; this is one thing I am making sure I do in the alternative version. I have been coming up with cute nicknames and pet names.
One thing we both agreed on is there needs to be more of a brotherly bond between Darkness and Celestial. Things like teasing each other and competing with one another with regards to their abilities. Also have Guardian being just as bad as them, or have him out doing them with him being the son of an Obscure Arts Master.
I have already started putting this in to the story. I must add, I have not gone overboard. It is just in certain situations where I think it would be nice to have them rubbing off each other, or pushing each other buttons.

My Jfan was also pleased to hear I had given Gādo’s (Guard) father a girls name and cannot wait to get to know him better in this story. 
He was also agreeing I use says and replies for too much. I was showing him what I have printed off a sheet on other ways to say said and one on ask. I also told him the writing course I am on, gives you links to helpful sights like, English study here. I have seen it popping up in posts on the writing group I am part of on Facebook.
He understands when I am writing, I do not think about it I just keep using the same thing. But now I am taking a moment and trying to put in different word that really expresses the characters mood. As a result I hope to produce a better story.


There is one thing I have been really making sure I do is jot down all the Chinese and Japanese I have in the story in a notebook along with translation. That way it saves the translation being lost in editing and two it saves me a lot of time having to find it again. Or I forget to put it in along side the text. I also been having other characters hinting subtitles which prompts Darkness to translate what his dear friend and host are saying.
My Jfan I have also agreed Celest should call Gādo, Young Master Wakai masutā or 坊っちゃん bocchan because they are all anime buffs giggle.

 

My editor, bless him, has been taking a moment to check in to make sure I have been keeping notes on what has happened so far in the story. That why I won’t end up repeating myself or leaving a crustal scene out. He also said the writing course was helping. What he has read of it so far it is more fleshy and the relationship between the characters is a lot better, sounding more natural and family. This is awesome to hear when I am so close to completing the alternative version. It will then be off to the proofreaders to be checked before being handed over to the diehard fans.

All that is left to do is come up with another cover and a more gipping blurb.

This also brought to mind a few weeks ago another Jfan kindly pointed out right at the beginning, the wind is blowing around the Manor, would the Soul Drinkers really hear another tapping, scratching sound over the noise of the West tower which creeks and maons in the storng wing bowing around it.

Thinking about it, no, they would just dismiss it as another background noise and carry on with what they were doing.

Also they have been living in a haunted house since the 1500’s.

The Jfan was thinking the same thing and said it makes it little disappointing, she was expecting something more dramatic with Raven being listed as one of the most haunted places in Yorkshire.

We worked together to come up with a better scene that might make the hairs on the backs of peoples necks stand up giggle. We even got Darkness really moaning and swearing because of what Soul (main ghost) sometimes does within the manor.

 
Posted By Babs

 The alternative version of Master Guardian Part One is coming along great. It has been great fun bringing in Shǒuwèi’s father a lot sooner. I also realised I need to sort out his short story, Mysterious Towers, so you the readers, get a better idea of who he is and his capabilities. This now puts the side stories, I have planed up to three. It might become more before I have finished.

I have received help from a Chinese fan who has kindly been finding the oddest jewellery she can find. This came about after we were chatting about Shǒuwèi’s father, with him being an expert in the obscure arts. We both agreed he needs to wear jewellery to match. So we have both been looking on Wish.com and found some really interesting and strange rings and necklaces. This way it kept the cost down and we got a lot more, than say from Amazon. I know they will take longer to come from Wish, which is no problem as there is no rush. Also I can always add in a more detailed description once I have the items in my hands.

Also down the line, if a fan likes the sound of an item of jewellery, I can inform them where it came from either wish or me as I have been making Shǒuwèi’s father earrings.

To finish off, the gaming chair I received as a gift on my birthday has really turned my life around. It is so comfy, well since I added a nice seat cushion, because I found the seat itself was a little hard. It is nice to finally have good back and shoulder support.

This led me to use the money I had saved up for one on, a hight adjustable desk, a mouse (yet to arrive), an RGB desk mat and a lovely foot rest. I am now in the most comfortable writing position, I have ever been in my 21 years of writing. It really is amazing what just one item can do to change you from a crapped writing position to something which is unbelievable to be completely pain free and happy to write all day. I have noticed it also has had a big impact on my writing, since I have been able to concentrate better, which is a nice bonus.

 
Posted By Babs

A lot has been happening since I launched Samurai and the butterfly. I have updated, the following stories, A hidden secret and A chance encounter.

Hopefully now they flow and fit better with the rest of the series.

Since some diehard fans gave me feedback on Master Guardian Part One, they kindly highlighted some issues, where I was repeating myself and they felt some scenes where unnecessary, because they did not really help to drive the story along.

This has gave me the impulse to write an alternative version, in which I have Isabel looking around the manor whilst May cleans.

This will help to give more insight in to the manor, and the family through portraits and how they ended up at Raven.

This also sparked the idea of doing side stories, to explain Guardian’s connection with Ellwood family because he only really got to know them from 1500 after he moved to Raven Manor. The second one is based around Hisashi’s faithful companion Kiyoshi.

 

The fans made very good point, in the current version the only time they use spells is in the Ram Inn scene with Agito and another thing was why have they got cars when they can portal. So now all the gods are doing this and the cars have now switched to the mortal side of the family. There is also a message incantation table in the quiet room along side the computer desk.

 

Instead of having Límíng wù losing a baby and the third-in-command causing trouble, it has been changed to a devastating earthquake this is why Límíng is in China and the third-in-command is the Dreamer from A chance encounter.

 

The last change was to introduce Guardian’s biological father, the reason for this, is because one, I was just going to have him appear in part two. This would have been just awful and made the scene long to explain who he is. The other reason is, his involvement in the Ellwood story.

Speaking of these side stories, I am planning on putting them at the back, yes it will make the novel quite large, but in the long run, you the fans, will only be paying out for one book and not three. However, if it does turn out to be too big, I will make it so the side stories are still together as a collection.