Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I had an awesome day yesterday hang out and catching up with my writing buddy Sue (aka J T Webster). As always by the time she left I was burning to get back into editing and generally polishing Tremorgan's Gift.

Not only did Sue inspire me but she brought with her the first half of my MS which she has kindly been editing for me. Thank you so much Sue, you're a gem!

I've got a few ideas to add to the first chapter which I'm excited about. I'm going to add a bit more carnage and a few more thoughts from Tremorgan that will hopefully help set the scene a bit more.

But I need some advice....

Please note: Tremorgan's Gift is a YA fantasy novel which starts by dropping you right into the chaos of a castle under attack.

What I'm struggling with is how to tell you who "I" am before the carnage starts. Do you need to know my name for instance? Or is it enough to know I'm a princess?

Another question is: Do you need to know where I am any more specifically than that I'm in a castle? Do you need to know where the castle is? ie: what country and where in that country? or is it okay to let you discover this a little later?

And if you do need to know where "I" am how can I tell you this without destroying the pace of the action unfolding at the beginning?

What do you think????????

On the plus side, transferring the book into first person is turning out to be relatively easy since the story is so much in Tremorgan's head anyway. I've adjusted chapters 1 and 2 and they read so much more smoothly already. I'm really pleased.


  1. As to the castle (and the rest) imagine your first day in a new workplace... or a new town. When I first came to Dunedin the centre of town (as far as I was concerned) was the botanical gardens. Everywhere else was arranged in my head according to how I would get there from the bridge at the end of castle street. It was like I had been teleported there and left to learn the town as best I could.

    Now imagine you are the reader of this book and have been teleported into the castle in the middle of the battle. Nobody has time to sit down and tell you about the place right now, much less give you the guided tour. So yeah... the fact that you are in a castle should be enough. You'll get glimpses of the surrounding countryside as you run around trying not to get killed, maybe you'll here the name of the country if somebody cries it as a battle call...

    and then at the after-party, when the action slows for a time, you can be fed more information...

  2. I agree with Tim. That she is in a castle is enough. When she calls the King 'father' then we know she's a princess, and on it goes. Very little if anything needs to be told by Tremorgan to us - it will just come out of the action.

    Love the picture - that is actually as I picture Augmere Castle.

  3. Thanks guys. This was my gut feeling and is pretty much what I have done thus far. I was just unsure if I was on the right track with it or not. Self doubt and all that. ;)

  4. Brillaint advice. If it's her POV, those subtle clues are the ones the reader will pick up. I've just been editing a section of Birthright and it's Rosie's POV and I wrote 'her father' and then went back and wrote 'Da' cos this is her voice and that is what she would say.

    Keep going my friend and yay for Sue (*TK waves*) for her critique.