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So my plan as I mentioned in last week’s post didn’t happen. I swear I tried to work on “Sanctuary”, to get it to a point where it’s ready for beta reading but my other work kept calling to me.

On the plus side though it means I’ve finished the first draft of my Young Adult dystopian story so it’s now ready for first round editing. I’ve called it “FTW”, and it’s clocked in at a little over 25,100 words (so to date it’s the longest thing I’ve written) and I’m mostly happy with all of it.

I’m going to let it sit for a few days then I’ll be attacking it with the red pen. When I’ve finished my first draft, I like to print it out for editing. I’ve spent so much time looking at it on screen I become blind to many things, so moving it to paper helps find all those annoying little errors. It also allows me to add notes in the margins for anything that doesn’t make sense, or things I think need to be added or cut.

After that I’ll send it off to my beta reader, who’ll find everything else I missed plus give me lots of great feedback and notes on the story. Then, after making those changes, another read through to make sure it’ll all good, then convert it into an eBook and paperback and send it all off to Amazon. So long story short it’s still several weeks away from being ready for release.

I’ve got a rough design for the cover which I hope portrays the dirty, dystopian world it contains. The idea came from a part of the story where the main character, Echo Fox, is describing the wall that surrounds the boneyard she lives in.

In a previous blog entry I posted the first few paragraphs, which you can read here.

I’m still working on a blurb. First rough attempt is as follows:

“My name is Echo Fox and I’m a scrapper. I live at the bottom of your world, in the place you don’t think about. We call it the boneyard and it’s filled with your waste.”

Echo Fox isn’t your typical sixteen-year-old. She lives in a boneyard, a place where your life can be cut short in a heartbeat.

When her friend Kara is brutally murdered, Echo vows revenge on the people who took it.

Echo is suddenly transported from the lowest place on Earth to where nothing is beyond her reach. In this world beyond her imagination, what she finds could mean the end of her life as well.

Here’s a little extra inside info on FTW. When I was writing it I hadn’t fully decided on the character of Kara if she was to be male or female. While I was writing the first draft the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend kicked off on twitter and I thought ‘You know what, people shouldn’t have to ask for diversity in their characters, writers should just do it’. So that basically solidified it for me and I gave Echo a girlfriend.

So to finish the entry for this week, I’ll leave you with a little more from the story. This is a brief exchange Echo has with Arga, a water vendor inside the boneyard. As always, this is presented in its unedited form so may contain typos, grammatical issues, and is subject to change in the final release.

After a few twists and turns the snap and buzz of the fence disappear into the distance and I find myself at the shack of a water vendor. I’m certain Arga, the woman running the shop, is bonkers but harmless.

“How’s the water today?” I ask.

Arga leans forward over the bucket of water at her feet and sniffs it. She trembles slightly, a sign she’s had nothing to eat for a few days.

She sniffs it again as if to double-check, then clears her throat which means she’s about to put on her posh voice.

“It’s a full-bodied drop, not for the faint of heart. Some heady aromas of,” she pauses and waves her hand over the top, “week-old protein bar if I’m not mistaken.”

Water is a rare commodity outside the walls, or so I’ve been told. Inside the boneyard it’s just as scarce.

Most of it is collected from condensation, or runoff from the garbage piles, which tastes as nice as you might think.

I’m sure Arga’s is primarily garbage juice.

“I’ll trade you a pinch of protein for a sip of your water,” I say.

“Square deal,” she says then dips a small glass jar into the brownish water.

I pinch off a small piece of bar and we swap. She gobbles the bar like it’s food handed to her from the gods themselves.

She closes her eyes to savor the taste and smacks her lips together.

While her eyes are closed, I quietly tip the brown water back into her bucket. Before she looks back, I hold the glass up to my lips.

“Very nice,” I say handing the glass back to her, and then continue on my way.


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