The First Week of Writing Warfare + Snippets. You Knew You Couldn’t Escape Them.

I suggest you buckle up if you wanna come on this ride. >:)

Most of you probably know this, but I’m writing a series of historical romance epics called Warfare, set in a slight re-imagination of the Tokugawa period in Japan.

I’ve written the first two books, but that’s before I discovered what every writer should know about: plot structure, theme, and character arcs.


I’m as dumb as they come, guys.

looks like I still have to change Madison Lorfing to my pseudonym.

Since August, I’ve been re-outlining and re-structuring the first book of the series, and on January 1st of this year, I began writing the 4th draft, which is a complete and total revision.


Day 1

January 1, 2018

“Whatever you’re thinking, stop thinking it.”

Daily Word Count: 3016
Total Word Count: 3016

After a prayer of dedication over my book, I hit the ground running.

Just kidding.

The first day was hard. I didn’t like the first two scenes in my outline. I was able to finish 1 ½ scenes though, and when editing the next day, I found they weren’t half as bad as I thought.

  • My scene word count goal is 2.2k each, but I’m not worried about how short the first two scenes are—I have some coming up later in the outline that will way exceed that mark. >:)
  • It took me about 2 ½ hours to get 3k down, which made me frustrated. I struggled a lot with the natural flow of my writing.
  • And I found I really, really love the writer sin of info-dumping, ’cause I worked super hard on my research and perfectly smoothed out what I had to change about the time period and I want the readers to knowww.

“No!” Tori grabs my clothing and curls her fist around it, bringing me closer to her face. “You listen to me, Ari Kireina.”

“Mhm.” I gently wiggle my fingers under hers and pry her hand off my gi. “I’m listening without the fist.”

Regardless of any of my problems, I have another bigger problem called slight narcissism which enables me to be totally in love with all of my stuff despite flaws, most of which I ignore. >:D

Day 2

January 2, 2018

What would it feel like, having a woman trust and adore you?

Daily Word Count: 2257
Total Word Count: 5273

I’m now in the habit of editing a little as I go instead of being the mad-rush sprinter I grew to be in 2017.

Then the day after, I do a little writing warm-up: editing the previous writing session’s words more thoroughly, sending it off to alphas, and if I can remember, praying before diving in. XD

Chapter 2 is also in Hinoki’s POV, which I did a little fist-pumping-celebratory-dance at. Hinoki is my other main character, the impact character, second sidekick, and love interest.

His POV is also much easier than Ari’s (my main character). I think that’s because I based Ari’s personality off of mine back in 2016, only I refined her during outlining in 2017, so I have to keep my confident little mic-drop thoughts out of the draft and replace them with her self-doubty ones.

But with Hinoki, it’s so much easier.

I fill my lungs with the air of the humid afternoon and slap Sataru’s shoulder. “You need a minute to pull yourself together or can we get a team together and head out now?”

Sataru hardens his gaze. “My father raised a man, not an emotional wreck.”

“Hey!” A more feminine voice steps up beside him. Yimata Tairan folds her arms. “I heard that.”

Sataru doesn’t pay his female kantai comrade a glance. “I wasn’t talking about you, woman.”

Day 3

January 3, 2018

When I open them, Hinoki has knelt in front of me. He tries to hide a small smirk as he tips my chin up with his finger. “If your master has sent these kinds of incapable assassins to kill the advisors, I have to ask—is this a joke?”

Daily Word Count: 1861
Total Word Count: 7134

Today was way better than the past two! I was able to write a little faster and get the flow down better. I think I’ll have nailed it by the end of the week.

The fight scene wasn’t as well outlined as I would’ve liked it to be, but Hinoki and Ari met for some heated combat. It’s what made me love the first draft of Warfare so much; rivalry. >:D

The flat end of his katana smashes against my right wrist, and the impact of the blow opens my hand. My sword splashes into the mud, and I find myself with the cold steel of Hinoki’s blade up against my throat.

I’m going to die. I’m going to wake up in hell.

Hinoki backs me to a tree, then grasps my clothing and presses me against it. Gasping, he pulls a hand through his soaked hair and softens his glare. “I thought you would surrender sooner.”

I pant for air and tremble with pain and the cold of an unusually cool rainstorm. “I didn’t think you had a fair fight in mind.”

“Then you know nothing about honor.” Hinoki almost pulls me away from the tree, but when I clasp a hand over the sword wound streaked down my arm to keep it from bleeding more, he presses me against the bark with extra force. “The look in your eyes tells me you’re not beaten.”

That’s probably because she’s not.

Day 4

January 4, 2018

Tori glances down at me through strings of wet hair plastered against her face with blood, sweat, and rain. “The samurai fight like demons.”

Daily Word Count: 1996
Total Word Count: 9130

My knee hits the roof of the nearest building to Nijo Castle, the headquarters of the Tokugawa family. I lower down in a crouch, reaching behind my neck to run my fingers along the hilt of my katana again.

So this is Edo, capital of Japan.

Yes, I know Tokyo is the capital of Japan. But I’ll have you know I have a thirty-thousand word document of my own research that proves I’m not a dummy. >:) (Never mind the fact I have a lot of other proof that proves I am. >:( ) Tokyo was called Edo in the 1680s.

In one of my research books, I found the below picture that I had in my mind while I wrote the first snippet (under “Day 4”):

picture from Ninja by Adrienne Lee

^ The imagery in the scene is a lot like this, except in the actual chapter, the house they were looking at was Nijo Castle (the Tokyo Imperial Palace back then), which was surrounded by a moat, so that the stone mound under it was halfway underwater.

If you ever have a question about ninja, samurai, or what life was like in the Tokugawa / Edo period of Japan, I did hours upon hours of research and I’m friendlier than Wikipedia. ?

Day 5

January 5, 2018

A smoke bomb and a confused mob of guards later, we’re in.

Daily Word Count: 1776
Total Word Count: 10,906

Yes, they had smoke bombs back then. Research, remember? *waggles finger*

One by one, Tori sneaks up behind the two guards and claps her gloved hand over their mouths. Then she pulls back her dagger from the job and flicks off the excess scarlet as the two men hit the floor.

I cross the hall and hiss through my mask. “You had to kill them? Really?”

Tori flips her braid over her shoulder again and shrugs. “Just a little more practice before the advisor’s turn.”

A grasp around the sword wound on my arm brings me to the present moment, and I fight to keep from being pulled back while crying out in pain. I clutch Masatoshi’s neck with a trembling hand, digging my fingers into his throat, and touch the blade of my shaking katana to his skin with another.

Day 6

January 6, 2018

Masatoshi turns to me with a final question. “What are you?”

Daily Word Count: 1921
Total Word Count: 12,827


Seishin exhales quickly and begins striding down the hall. “Take a walk with me.” I join his side, and he continues. “The assassins you encountered in the forest made it to Nijo.”

“What?” The news drops heavy on my chest. “I was sure we dealt such blows they would never have made it there.”

I cringe, closing my eyes. Leaving this world of pain would feel so relieving. But God knows I am hardly the right man for the job.

Ahh, Hinoki’s POV again. The words came so easily.

The prisoner grunts and fills his lungs with a pained breath. “If you want a clean execution, you might not want to leave these bars.”

 Just kidding, we’re back to Ari’s POV.

And that’s my first week of writing Warfare! I took a break on Sunday so I could get some blogging done (don’t think I can handle 3 blogs at once? Sit back and watch. ?).

Week 1 Overview (and additional snippets):

  • My writing came slower than molasses. Even though it’s producing the best writing of my life instead of my usual 4k an hour of trash, the amount of time required to write quantity over quality ate into nearly all my free time and left me beyond frustrated and super stressed.
  • Because of that, I began to dread my writing time instead of crave it.

The prisoner laughs hoarsely. “I’m Rohan Haduson. The assassin of Tokugawa Ietsuna was my sidekick. Though apparently, he stole my moment of glory… and my escape.”

  • My alphas were not only super encouraging, they were extremely helpful. With what they told me they did and didn’t like about the previous chapter, I had in mind to improve as I wrote the next one. You guys know who you are; thank you! <3

A hand flies to my shoulder to keep me from taking a step, and I grit my teeth to keep a gasp from escaping. I glance at the hand on my shoulder and relax when I see shuko gloves.

  • My writing soundtrack is almost entirely made up of instrumentals to a ton of NF‘s songs. I posted this post lamenting over the fact NF had all these songs that set the mood of my book… with lightning-fast lyrics I had to combat. But then I discovered people made instrumental covers of his songs on YouTube and it was Heaven on earth.

Perhaps I can get out of helping the murder but still watch their backs.

  • I struggled the most with character voice; my two POV characters think the same way, they just have different thoughts. Which I realize makes no sense.

What I’ve Learned and Will Do for Next Week:

  • My writing time took up over half of my free time in the day, but there’s no way I’m slowing it down, so I’m going to wake up at 4 each morning and knock out as much as I can before starting my day. >:)

I run my hands along the floor where the cell bars are ground into the dirt, save for the door. “And what are you here for?”

I have this weird problem where, no matter how early I wake up or what lack of sleep I had the night previous, I can’t fall asleep for hours (which leaves me tired and nauseous during the morning but alert at nights).

Like, I pulled an all-nighter on Friday and still had trouble falling asleep Saturday night. I had so much energy, I was dancing while brushing my teeth. So I’m hoping getting up early with inadequate amounts of sleep night after night to write will leave me so exhausted at nights that I fall asleep earlier.

What can I say? My body likes to stay up to the next stages of night to warn them I’m coming. ?

He swings his sword at half his strength, and I catch it with all of mine. My arms tremble as I keep his blade from reaching my face. I can’t win against a skilled swordsman.

  • I’m going to work harder on getting my characters’ individual voices down. Hinoki’s voice is coming along pretty well and I’m really pleased with it, but Ari’s needs to be smacked upside the head. Which I’ll totally do, have no doubt about it. As you know, I believe in writing undefeated. >:D

Overall, a mediocre start to writing Warfare Book I. The best weeks are yet to come! I think my early-morning writing in week 2 will help a lot.

Tell me your opinion! Based on the snippets, do you think you’d be interested in my book? What kind of progress have you made on your WIP, if you have one?

I don’t know if I’ll do another weekly recap like this one for the second week—depends on how this post does. It was long.

But narcissist me liked it. >:)

[polldaddy poll=”9912289″]


By | 2018-01-07T22:45:31-05:00 January 8th, 2018|Warfare, Writing|87 Comments

About the Author:

Hey! I'm Madi, a blogger, writer, doll collector, & minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can learn more about me by clicking here and more about this blog by clicking here.


  1. Chloë January 8, 2018 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Great job, Madi! It looks like you had a very productive week! I’m halfway into the second chapter of Starless. 😉

  2. AGs in Alaska January 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    I loved the snippets! I totally want to read your novels when they come out. How did you do the covers on them? They look really professional!

    • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      Aww, thank you SO much! I made the covers in PhotoScape X. I’m so glad you like them! <3

  3. Anna|From a Doll's Perspective January 8, 2018 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    FOUR AM?!?!? ????

  4. Clara January 8, 2018 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    This was an awesome post, Madi! I enjoyed reading all of your snippets and I can’t wait for more. 😀

    -Clara <3

  5. ?Hope? @agdolldreams January 8, 2018 at 12:47 pm - Reply


    • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      HEHE SNIPPETS. Oh my gosh, I KNOW RIGHT. I hope your brain feels better soon! XD I haven’t even started in my math yet… help. ?

      • ?Hope? @agdolldreams January 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm - Reply

        Ok, I read it now! My brain is officially feeling worse after that. JK XD Keep up the progress, Madi!!!! You’re doing great! Me… not so much…

        • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 3:42 pm - Reply

          XDDD I should hope not! XD Thank you SO much, Hope! Aw, don’t worry, I think you’re doing awesome!

          • ?Hope? @agdolldreams January 8, 2018 at 3:45 pm - Reply

            XD Aw, Thanks, but I haven’t touched my fanfiction novel since before Christmas, and I ended up starting a different one but actually writing in the middle then skipping around to different parts… let’s just say I’m writing a ton of crazy stuff right now XD oh well, at least I’m having fun, that’s what counts!

            • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 4:03 pm - Reply

              Haha, I’ve done that with so many stories! And admittedly still do. I have like three different Warfare short stories that have crazy structure that I’m just having fun with, so I feel ya! XD

              • ?Hope? @agdolldreams January 8, 2018 at 4:25 pm - Reply

                Haha! Good to know I’m not the only one! Someday, though, I wanna get serious and stick with one and actually finish it. XD

                • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

                  I have a writing post coming up soon on how to stay motivated for your stories that might help! XD

  6. Kendall January 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Awesome, Madi! It is so exciting to see your books come to life!! I, on the other hand, am part-way through the fifth chapter of my latest WIP Search. Same problem… the guy’s POV is easier than the girl’s. XD

    • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Kendall!! OOH, I love that title. Arg, I know, right? XD

      • Kendall January 8, 2018 at 9:10 pm - Reply

        Thank you!! Yes!!

  7. Julia January 8, 2018 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Loved this post! And please, keep shoving the snippets down our esophaguses! ?

    • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Thank you SO much! Aww, I’m so glad you liked them! ?

  8. meandmydogsblog January 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Your doing GREAT Madi!! Keep it up!!!

    PS: LOVED the post, and I cant wait till you release your book!! I will be your first customer!! 😉


    • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      Thank you SOO much, M&M! <3

      P.S. AWW!! That means so much! You're the sweetest!

  9. Amie January 8, 2018 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I’m finishing up my vote. I ran out of room on other! Lol. Anyway, back to what I was saying. I’d never be able to put this book down until I was finished with it.

    • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Sorry you ran out of room! I wish they’d let you type an unlimited-word answer. XDD

      Answer to your vote: In regards to the violence, the recommended age range for my book will probably be 11-13+, but there is nothing grotesque, as I believe in creating moral fiction. My book is set in the time of feudal Japan, so fighting was a part of everyday life, but I don’t go into any extreme details of showing the violence.

      Aww, thank you SO much! That means so much! I’m super glad you like it. <3

      • Amie January 8, 2018 at 4:07 pm - Reply

        Okay, sounds great! When is it going to be published? Lol, anyway, Tom is for a Del interview on your other blog.

        • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm - Reply

          I actually don’t know! I’m going to pray about it and submit it to different publishers once it’s ready for publication and see where God takes it. Exciting. XD Does Tom want to interview Del?

          • Amie January 8, 2018 at 4:45 pm - Reply

            Tom: I will only interview Del if she interviews me. How about it, Del? Make sure you answer, not that dull Madi.

            Excuse Tom, please!

            • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm - Reply

              Delaney: Now that depends. Where will the interview take place?

              • Amie January 8, 2018 at 4:48 pm - Reply

                Tom: Well, I guess if you mean how, we can hack into Amie and Madi’s email. If you mean which blog, I’ll interview you on my blog and you can interview me on yours.

                • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 4:49 pm - Reply

                  Delaney: Why, that’s such a great idea. Lez do it!

                  • Amie January 9, 2018 at 10:36 am - Reply

                    Tom: Good, I knew you would see the good part of it. Do you want to interview me first or do you want me to interview you?

                    • Madison Grace January 9, 2018 at 6:29 pm

                      Del: It’s whatever. But how many questions should we ask each other?

                    • Amie January 10, 2018 at 9:22 am

                      Tom: I don’t know. Make them be weird. And, yeah. I guess I’ll go first to show you what a real AWESOME Q&A is like.

  10. Lydia P. January 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Awesome post, so excited to hear more about Warfare!
    I have the same problem with falling asleep!
    -Lydia P.

    • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      Aww, thank you SO much, Lydia! And phew, I’m glad I’m not the only one! Actually, wait, that sounded mean. I’m not glad you have sleeping problems. XD

      • Lydia P. January 8, 2018 at 10:57 pm - Reply

        Oh my gosh that’s so something I would say ?. Only in my case it’s because I have no social skills ?. Which is probably we my latest story idea involves involuntary romance…oops.
        -Lydia P.

        • Madison Grace January 9, 2018 at 6:28 pm - Reply

          ?? Haha, I know, right? The romance in the first draft of Warfare just HAPPENED.

      • Lydia P. January 8, 2018 at 10:59 pm - Reply

        Well shoot, I just thought about my last comment and realized I did the exact thing I was saying I would.? I promise I didn’t mean that you didn’t have any social skills! WHEN WILL I LEARN TO THINK BEFORE I SPEAK!

        • Madison Grace January 9, 2018 at 6:28 pm - Reply

          Haha, no worries! I didn’t think that at all! Although I literally have no social skills whatsoever. ?

  11. blackiesunshine January 8, 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I have had a ton of fun alpha reading your book so far! I’m glad to know I haven’t been a nuisiance XD Keep us posted!
    And that gif is pure gold. Pure gold of the purest form.

    • Madison Grace January 8, 2018 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      I’ve had a ton of fun reading all your comments! They’re SO helpful! You’re not a nuisance in the least. XDD

      HAHA, thank you so much. XD

  12. The AG Homeschooler January 8, 2018 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    I want to read your book!! ? It sounds AWESOME!! And yes, please do a recap next week! (If possible. ?)
    I also have a WIP. And since I like talking about myself, I’ll give you the introduction. *laughs maniacally* (The introduction is actually all I’ve written so far. I just started actually writing it today. I’ve been working on character development.) Here it is:
    Thirteen. An interesting and presumably unlucky number. But things can change. After all, they did for Seraphina Kingsley. That does not mean her life was perfect. Quite the opposite, actually. It all started with something horrible. Something so horrible in fact, it must be told from the beginning in order for you to understand. The date was September twenty fourth. It just so happened to be Seraphina’s thirteenth birthday.
    Please excuse my need to tell everyone about my story. ?? I REALLY like to talk… ?

    • Madison Grace January 9, 2018 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      Aww, thank you SO much! That means so much! 😀

      *laughs maniacally* I love talking about myself and my stories, too! >:D

      That introduction sounds AWESOME! I especially love the first two sentences. Best of luck with your character development! I did not enjoy it that much. XDD

      • The AG Homeschooler January 10, 2018 at 4:32 pm - Reply

        You’re welcome!
        Oh, good, I’m not alone. ?
        Thank you so much!! Thank you again! I don’t mind character development TOO much. But I definitely like writing better! ? Sorry you didn’t like it, but at least you can write now! ?

        • Madison Grace January 12, 2018 at 7:40 pm - Reply

          ?? You’re welcome! Yep, at least I can writ not! XD

  13. Kirstyn January 8, 2018 at 6:49 pm - Reply


    Seriously. It’s awesome.

    • Madison Grace January 9, 2018 at 6:17 pm - Reply

      AHH oh my goodness, thank you SO much! 😀

      • Kirstyn January 9, 2018 at 6:54 pm - Reply

        No problemo, my fellow novelist friend. 😉


        Yes, I’m crazy.

        • Madison Grace January 12, 2018 at 7:07 pm - Reply

          The next beta reader signip is in May, for book I, if I get it finished on time! I hope you can beta read it!

  14. olivehiddenhollow January 8, 2018 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    duuuude, that is an AWESOME picture. I think I shall steal it.
    hey, you write much faster than me. 😛 keep it up!
    your sleeping habits make no sense. -_- I’ve made it a habit to get up at 6:00am, but I’ve been struggling since late november, and i’ll keep struggling until spring, because its so cold and dark, my body keeps telling me that ‘now is not a good time to wake, sleep!’ and my mind is too groggy to disobey. XD in the spring, summer, and early fall its super easy. 😛
    Most crazily, ~Olive

    • Madison Grace January 9, 2018 at 6:25 pm - Reply


      Haha, thank you so much!

      Right? -_- I told my parents and we’re actually gonna go buy melatonin now to help me sleep. ?

      Back when my sleep schedule was regular, that’s how I was, too! I’d get up whenever it was light outside. XD

      “my mind is too groggy to disobey” ??

  15. Rose January 8, 2018 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Yay! It’s so cool that you’re finally re-writing! I can’t wait to read your novels so please keep posting updates!

    • Madison Grace January 9, 2018 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      Thank you sooo much, Rose! Awww, that means so much to me! You’re the sweetest! <3

  16. Diamond January 8, 2018 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Ok, so I really do not care for ninjas. It just doesn’t interest me. Yet, I always love to read your Warfare snippets! I hope you end up publishing it because even though I have no internet in ninjas, I REALLY want to read your book(s)!
    Good job! You’ve been doing a lot of work. Don’t worry about your word count. If you ever start to think your pacing is a bit slow, look up famous authors’ daily word count. It shocked me to know how small they were.

    • Madison Grace January 9, 2018 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Awww, thank you so much! It’s very rare for someone’s writing to make someone not interested in the subject interested in the book (it’s only happened to me once ?), so that means so much to me! Ooh, I think I will! I’m now super curious about famous authors’ word count. ?

  17. Kirstyn January 9, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    What’s a pseudonym?

    This is probably something I should already know and because I don’t I’m an idiot, isn’t it?

    • Madison Grace January 12, 2018 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      No worries, I didn’t know what it was for a while either! ? It’s a fancy-shmancy word for “pen name”. Authors write under pseudonyms sometimes if they don’t want to use their real names or wanna be cool with a different name. I think Madison Grace will be my pseudonym, because although Madison Lorfing sounds more mature, it would be confusing once I get married. But you probably already know that so why am I repeating myself. XD

      • kirstyntodd January 21, 2018 at 3:20 pm - Reply

        OHHH okay. 😉 You know, now that I think about it, I might use Kirstyn Angela instead of Kirstyn Todd for that reason. Hmm…

        • Madison Grace January 24, 2018 at 6:37 pm - Reply

          I for one think Kirstyn Angela would be a beautiful pseudonym! 😉

          • kirstyntodd February 1, 2018 at 1:22 pm - Reply

            AWW SHANK YOU!!

  18. daisypaquet January 9, 2018 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    I’m so excited for beta-reading signups I may have a heart attack right now reading your excerpts!!(!!!)

  19. Blue January 12, 2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Look, you’re already so far! I’m only 12K into my project because I had to scrap a bunch because I didn’t research aphasia at all! So you’re not the only stupid one!:P

  20. EnniMorgan January 13, 2018 at 10:28 am - Reply

    AHH THOSE BEAUTIFUL SNIIIIPPETS. You, are a very dedicated person and that, is amazing. XD

  21. Zielle February 1, 2018 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    You are so dedicated to this, Madi! This is amazing! I NEED TO FIND OUT MORE AND HINOKI AND ARI ARE AWESOME TOGETHER. I’M ALREADY IN LOVE WITH THIS!!!

    • Madison Grace February 2, 2018 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      Aww, thank you SO much, Zielle! HEHEHE THANK YOU SO MUCH THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!

  22. […] This epic writing post […]

  23. silverfoxstudios April 19, 2018 at 1:40 am - Reply

    I can completely relate to not being able to sleep. It’s almost 11:00 pm and I have to wake up at 6 tomorrow. This is what happens when I can’t sleep. I’ll go to school saying I’m tired, and then start acting crazy in afternoon, and stay up till the break of dawn that night.
    Life of a writer. 🙂

    • Madison Grace April 23, 2018 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      I can relate perfectly. You took the words right outta my mouth!

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