How freaky, it’s exactly 2 months since my last update! I didn’t realise until I logged in specifically to write this update. So, I think in my last update, I mentioned having my finals and deciding to focus on my new project that’s loosely based off Glass Dragons. My finals are now over from exactly two weeks today!
Unfortunately, final-year university exams and writing don’t mix too well together so it’s only really been in these past two weeks that I’ve properly got down to business. Overall, this year has been really hectic for me – online and offline (with so much coursework etc through the year) so it’s little wonder I’ve managed to fit much writing in. I managed to make a good start on Jade Blood (the new project btw – previously Bound By Jade. I think this title fits a lot better and I’m now attached to Jade Blood) but I got stuck around about the 25k mark in March and even when I tried to push myself past that, it just wasn’t working out. I tried rewriting it twice. Still no luck. End up turning to my best friend Aimee (https://authoraimeeking.wordpress.com/ – author of ‘Defiant’ from wattpad, most of you probably already know her and her work) with my mess of a plot, complaining that I’ve lost my plot and my Shao. OFC, she tells me to go find them and helps fix my messy ideas into ACTUAL BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!! (not one big rambling rabbit hole tangent spree). Began rewriting again (while exams were on, more copying back out into notebook as break) AND BOOM GUESS WHO’S SOARING?
Now, two weeks later, I have managed to go from 25k to 50k and that’s even with a few days at the start of fixing problems in the first quarter. There’s no way I’d have reached this so quickly if I wasn’t word marathoning to 100k with Aimee and turning our silly game into ACTUAL PRODUCTIVITY. I’m not sure I’ll be able to reach the finish line quite at this same speed, but I’ll damn well try to get my first and second draft down before I go back to uni in October for my masters.
So, lesson to be had from this story – FIND YOURSELF A WRITING BUDDY AND HUG SAID WRITING BUDDY!!! There’s no substitute to having someone to hold you accountable to your daily writing goals and to tell you off for moping around instead of fixing your sh*t and getting down to business.
Also while on the subject of daily writing goals, go and download ‘writeometer’ for your phone. Like, now. It’s lifechanging. I’ve used it a few times before and it definitely has kept me focused, but I think my mistake was setting it to 1000 or 1500. I can definitely pump these out fairly consistently, but when I start getting tired / run into hard scenes / get lazy, it’s really hard to stay on track. However, if you set it to 500, something magic happens. You end up thinking, “Oh, it’s only 500 words – I can do that” VS. “1k PLEASE NO, I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!” So, strangely enough, setting it to 500 words compared to 1k words seems to make you write more (for me and Aimee anyway). It also has all kinds of fancy stats and charts to keep you motivated. Definitely recommend it to anyone out there who’s looking to crack down on their word count goals.
Now, for any of my old Glass Dragons readers out there, I have another scene to share in this month’s update. Of course, the disclaimer is that anything and everything could change seeing that this is a first, unfinished draft. But for now, here it is.
JADE BLOOD SNIPPET #3
It was late by the time I returned to the Hall of Wisdom. The sun had already disappeared beneath the clouds and the sky had already turned an inky blue. After drinking wine all afternoon, I almost tripped over the uneven stones on my way back. At least, thanks to the evening breeze, my senses were mostly still awake.
A figure stood on the bridge outside the hall – exactly where Bai Lihua once had. I rubbed at my eyes, wondering if it was only my imagination. But even as I drew nearer, the figure did not disappear. Maybe it was Bai Lihua who had already come to scold me for the trial’s outcome. Except, it turned out to not be her at all and instead my lousy excuse for a master, Li Shao.
He didn’t turn, even as I came to a stop beside him, and he only stared down into the trickling water beneath. How strange it was to find him standing around out here: an activity he would surely see as a waste of time.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, frowning at him.
“Waiting for you to return.”
“Waiting for me to return?” I echoed. That was even stranger than him simply standing around for no reason at all.
“Then you were waiting here all day?” If I had known, then I surely would have walked back slower. He deserved to stand out here, reflecting on his mistakes. If only I had kept him waiting even longer.
“Of course not. I merely assumed that you would return by dark.”
“I see,” I said with a nod.
He said nothing else, not even when I coughed. He still didn’t turn to look at me, either.
“Why were you waiting for me?” I demanded.
“To talk about what?”
“There are several matters which we must discuss.”
“Which are…?” I asked, peering at him. Yet he still did not respond. Not even a long while later. I folded my arms and huffed. If he couldn’t be bothered to talk to me, then I couldn’t be bothered to talk to him either. Except, hadn’t I sworn back in the trial that I would surely give him a piece of my mind? I rubbed at my temple. Maybe I would wait until tomorrow morning, when I had more energy, to scold him. I gave him a shrug and continued over the bridge, towards the hall’s entrance. It was finally then that Li Shao chose to speak.
“Yulan,” he called after me. I stopped in my tracks and turned back around, raising an eyebrow at him. “It was never my intention.”
I blinked at him, wondering what he was babbling about now. I was the one who had been drinking wine all afternoon, and not him. Maybe I had misheard him. “What was never your intention?” I asked, giving a yawn and stretching out my arms.
“I never intended to kiss you. I mean, to try to kiss you. And proposing. I never meant that either.”
“Oh?” I said, tilting my head and placing my hands on my hips. “You suddenly remembered that, did you? Regardless of whether it was your intention or not, you still did it all the same. Therefore, you must apologise to me and ask for forgiveness.”
He opened his mouth and then closed it again, his brow furrowing.
“Li Shao,” I said, tapping my foot, “I’m waiting.”
“Sorry,” he finally grumbled, not even bothering to look me in the eye.
What a pitiful attempt at an apology. I doubted he had often apologised to anyone, but that was no excuse for how awful it was. I shook my head at him and then leant nearer, gesturing towards my ear. “What was that? I didn’t quite catch it. Speak louder next time.”
He gritted his teeth. “Trying to kiss you.”
“Proposing to you.”
“And what is it you ask from me?”
I frowned, studying him for a moment and then gave a nod. “Then I will take your apology into consideration. However, there is a third matter that you should be sorry about.”
“What third matter?” he asked, his shoulders stiffening. “What else happened while I was under the potion that I don’t know about?”
“You weren’t under the potion for this matter,” I said, wagging my finger at him. “Li Shao, don’t think you can blame the potion for all of your mistakes.”
His eyes narrowed. “What are you talking about? Spit it out already.”
“At the trial, you clearly knew that I couldn’t have been the one who used the potion on you. And yet, you didn’t speak on my behalf and were instead waiting to let me, an innocent, be convicted of those ridiculous charges. Even if I can find it within me to forgive you for your first two offences, I cannot forgive this third mistake. So, I would like to know exactly what you have to say for yourself.”
“I spoke on your behalf, or did you fail to pay attention?”
“You only spoke up at the very end – when there was already considerable evidence in my favour! I don’t believe for even a moment that that you would have still spoken up had this not been the case. You were very clearly waiting for me to be found guilty, even knowing that I was innocent!”
He stared at me, shaking his head. “Is that what you think of me, Yulan? That I would let my own disciple be exiled for no reason at all?”
I paused, pressing my lips together as I thought. “You really don’t want to get rid of me?”
“No,” he said, his tone not quite as sharp as usual.
“Then tell me why you didn’t speak up earlier.”
“What purpose would it have served? You were already handling your trial considerably well without my help. I was merely curious as to what course it would take without my involvement.”
“Wait. Did you just say I handled the trial well?”
“Indeed,” he said, the corners of his lips twitching. Whether it was supposed to be a smile or a smirk, I could not tell. I blinked at him. That was the first praise that he had ever given me. How strange it was that it hadn’t come with an insult. Perhaps Bai Lihua had put him under another enchantment.
I squinted at his face for a long moment until he turned around and started back to the Hall of Wisdom. I stared at the dragon embroidered onto his jade robes as he disappeared. Seeing that he hadn’t just tried to kiss me or propose, it didn’t seem like he was under any sort of spell. And if he wasn’t then maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t as nearly horrible as I had always believed him to be.
Also, some aesthetics I made and posted on instagram that you might not have seen if you don’t follow me over there:
(*whisper* Any of you c-drama fans out there watching Legend of Fuyao already? I know I am. 10/10 ALREADY!)