So, it’s Pitch Wars time! I’ve decided to enter my WIP because I believe I’ve revised this manuscript to the moon and back, and I’d love to make it all the way to Pluto (still a planet in both my heart, and my MC’s). I am also here for the community, and people have been all kinds of wonderful and helpful. I’m excited to submit, but I’ve also been loving the support and reading about my fellow hopefuls!
About my WIP
My novel, Eldora, is a YA Sci-Fi Fantasy about a teenage girl who is not at all excited to be part of a great adventure. Eldora thinks she’s too young for all the demands the universe seems to have for her. She’s not too keen on helping out the saggy aliens that abduct her from Earth, nor the arrangement they try to force her into after that. Eldora has no desire to risk her life for people she’s never met before. Even when The Fated–the organization that abducted her–tells her she’s the mortal reincarnation of the universe. Especially when they treat her like an object.
She’s something called the Essence. Powers include understanding all languages and sensing when something alive is close to her. One day she hopes she’ll be able to fly, or shoot lasers out of her eyes. Y’know, stuff she could actually use to protect herself. Or even aid her escape from The Fated.
When she escapes her abductors and explores the universe, she travels through jungles, deserts and ship hangars. Eldora sees worlds and meets people that make her understand what she endangered when she chose to run. She laughs at the funny, screams at the unfamiliar and occasionally stabs both with her sword.
Eldora’s not perfect. She’ll be the first person to say it. In fact, she struggles throughout the entire story with her warring selfishness and empathy for others. But she puts value on herself, even when those around her say she isn’t more than a bargaining tool. She’s sarcastic, slippery and uses humor to cope with constant danger. Eldora isn’t completely confident in what she’s doing, but she’s not going to let that stop her from fighting for herself.
- My name is Magali Blasdell
- My initials are M.A.P.B. Hence, M.A.P. as a pen name
- I’m getting ahead of myself with the pen name
- I’m the youngest of two
- Studying English in college
- Have just finished my second novel-length project (eep!)
- It may be a mess, but it’s my mess
- Lo-Fi music is an absolute gift
- I can fly in my dreams
- If I nap, my mind makes sure I have to run for my life
- 🇵🇷 w/a dash of unknown European origin
- I once made a music video where I cropped pictures of hedgehogs and put them into family photos
I came up with this story while I sat in my bed the summer before my senior year of high school. A challenge to myself. Write a novel. Prove to yourself you can pursue writing seriously, and stop dishing it aside like all the other hobbies you’ve had in your life. I was applying to colleges, prepping for the ACT’s (a way to test kids on their “intelligence” but just really singles out who can focus for a solid three hours while sitting in a classroom) and spent time wondering if all of it was really worth it. But I know that my senior year felt wonderful because I knocked out the first draft of my book. Then another. And another. And another, another. Then a blog post about how I “finished” editing my first manuscript. Hah! Try four more drafts, skipper. But for the first time, a hobby felt like something I could do every day, something that made my chest feel full. That tingling feeling in your cheeks when you’re smiling unconsciously was all the more familiar. So, when I wrote about a sweaty teenage girl who was perfectly content in Nevada, and ripped it all away from her, she returned the favor. Eldora ripped away my complacency and gave me purpose beyond studying.
- I try to guess the breed(s) of all dogs who walk by me
- My five-year plan is to move into my sister’s attic and occasionally come down for Cheerios
- Brooklyn 99 is ridiculous and that’s why I love it
- I’m currently reading Six of Crows for the first time
- One time I met Mike Ditka (led the Bears to the Super Bowl) and complemented him solely on his acting in Kicking and Screaming, a children’s movie about little league soccer
Thank you for stopping by, and best of luck to us all, mentors and mentees and otherwise! May we find good people to share ourselves with.
This time last year I had started writing a story. A vague dream of mine has always been to be a writer, sure. But a novelist? That was new. It felt right, though. So I tip-tapped my way through the school year, until April 2017 hit, and I typed two very important words:
That was it. 53,318 words of a completed story, from beginning to end. For the first time in my life, it felt like I had the drive I’d need to become a big-boy author. I love my characters, the story felt true, and even when I wanted to give up, I surged forward! Because of this, I reaped the reward of completing a sci-fi/fantasy YA novel. A very important question occurred to me, then and there. What’s next? Sure, I’d read Stephen King’s On Writing (highly recommend it, puts writing wonders into words) but waiting a whole month to look at the manuscript seemed like way too long.
And it was.
I had to distract myself through other means of writing. I got into a new TV show, started making bullet points for other short story and novel ideas. Still, the book was itching at the back of my mind. I had to do something, anything! After two weeks of waiting, I gave in and started editing.
What I did first was read through the entire story and comment on the major errors I saw immediately. Whether it was the grammar or plot holes, I wrote down a big “WTF” in the margins then forged forward, not looking too long at the mistakes. This is key. I found that obsessing over certain parts while still trying to look over the story as a whole was counterproductive to the entire process. The flow of the sentences was cringe-worthy, and it pained me to move past them without immediate correction. I know what you’re thinking: MAP, that’s super obvious. I thought so too. But my heart was firmly against my mind on this one, as if someone was going to sneak up and read my story before it was ready, see that scene, and proceed to shit all over it before I had a chance to bring it to the final form.
This, of course, did not happen. No one will see it if you don’t want them to.
Secondly, I marked down the plot holes in a separate journal, then went back and fixed those glaring errors. There’s no point in fixing a chapter grammatically if you end up taking it out because the plot’s direction has changed.
Thirdly, and fourthly, grammar! Grammar is one of my greatest weaknesses in the fact that I hate conforming to it. Many years of writing have been spent avoiding these types of corrections. Not very conducive to success. I should also mention that I include sentence fluidity in the grammar section, because I have an addiction to creating long, complicated sentences that don’t make sense to anyone but me. So fixing them is a problem of grammar, as well. In my head at the very least.
Fast forward to September, and now, I have completed the edits brought to me by wonderful beta readers. This was edit number five. Beta readers, to me, were essential and so important to making the story stronger.
At this point, I feel like the manuscript is “done”, which I’ve heard is the point where you should be ready to query, and have agents tear a new one in your story! Is it weird that I’m excited for a professional to take the time to do so? Means they think it’s worth the critique.
In conclusion, writing a book is disheartening, thrilling, fulfilling and frightening all at once. But once you finish one? You’re finally not one of the millions who says “i’m writing a novel”, but you’re someone who says “I wrote one”. Concretely impressive instead of doubt-inducing is a great mile marker to pass in one’s life. Some people never get there, be proud if you do.
This is a mostly informal first post that finds me taking on a new form of sharing my work. Not for any monetary gain, just for schnitzel and giggles (that’s the phrase, right?). Anyhow, as anyone knows, the first blank slate is the most intimidating. So here’s me, filling that vast white field with somewhat of a sort of off-grey color. If you’re here, welcome! I hope to provide some sort of momentary bliss before you dive into another person’s world. Enjoy.
With An Undetermined Regard,