Progress Update - Goodness, Where Do I Start? - CookieBreak Skip to content

Progress Update – Goodness, Where Do I Start?

I’ve got quite a few things I want to mention this week. I’ve got a vote (sort of), a question for you all, and of course an excerpt!

But before I dive into any of that –

Earlier this week CookieBreak reached 100 followers. 100 genuine followers, who I didn’t bribe or beg or bought with chocolate to be here. 100 people who actually want to be here!

surprised cat

I can’t believe there are so many people who are interested in what I have to say! And I definitely can’t believe that some of you beautiful 100 people are excited for my book, too!!

Thank you SO much to all of you here. You all mean a lot to me and it’s because of you that I’m so committed to working my butt off over the coming weeks <3

But enough of the cheesy stuff, no?

Let’s move on to actual book-related news.

Thanks to everyone who offered me their sympathy about my new medication. I’m feeling much better by now and will catch up with some of the things I was too tired to include last week πŸ™‚

This week I made a start on editing the entire draft for a second time? Third time? How do people know? I thought I’d be all right to just do it all on screen, but the newly added chapters needed a bit more work than that so I printed just those for a more thorough edit.

This is how it went:

editing progress 2

See all that red? But at least I didn’t cut the prologue again, so that’s a good start. Right? Right.

I’m trying to accept that short chapters are perfectly fine, and not stress about them needing to be longer. When I started writing again I thought that chapters had to be a certain length to be any good. I have no idea why that belief started but it’s hard to get it out now that it’s there. The series I’m reading right now – which I love – has a lot of very short chapters which is reassuring. I can’t say I ever read a book and thought ‘Huh, I wish this chapter had been longer’ so that’s reassuring, too.

Now, as you’ll have seen yesterday, I was interviewed! (if you missed it and would like to read the interview, have a look here) I was going to tell you, I swear I was, but Mercedes was so quick I never got the chance! I answered the questions on Wednesday and woke up on Thursday to the interview being posted, so, you see, there was no time πŸ™‚

It does give me a chance to mention that I’ve got another two interviews coming, though! I don’t know yet when they’ll be posted but I’ll keep you updated πŸ™‚ If any of you know of someone doing interviews let me know – there’s always room for one more!

mascot 6
It’s hard to edit when there’s a cat sitting on your draft. Yes, we’re back to that.

Now, onto my question and the (sort of) vote!

As you know the trilogy as a whole will be called Relics of Ar’Zac. Unless…. Well, I’ve done a lot of thinking this week (basically a bit of self-doubt has been settling in and I’m questioning everything about this writing thing) and now suddenly there are two options! So, which one do you, as my readers, prefer? Relics of Ar’Zac or Ruins of Ar’Zac? Let me know in the comments, I’ll keep a tally πŸ˜‰

My question was for those of you who write and use Instagram. Would you say that it’s a good platform for writers? Is a good marketing tool? I asked on twitter and on facebook earlier this week and had mixed responses, so I’m holding out for now. I don’t want to rush into anything extra to do every day if it’s not worth it.

But let’s wrap this up. I’ve kept you for long enough this morning, and you probably want a tea or a coffee by now. Next week I’ve got another trial short for you – like Bray’s story, but it’s one which has bugged me for longer. Keep your eyes out for it! πŸ™‚

But right now let’s move onto the excerpt.Β Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Fire. Everything around her was on fire. The hot sizzling of the flames devouring everything in their path did nothing to drown the screams of the injured. Rachael herself had hurt her leg in the fall. Careful not to make it worse she got up, putting as much weight on the bone as she could bear. She could stand, even if the pain sent white hot aches throughout her leg and up her body. At least it did not seem to be broken.

Relieved at the small victory, her eyes quickly searched the area. She couldn’t see anyone past the flames, never mind within their vicious circle. How was she supposed to get out now? If she as much as touched the fire she would burn to ashes, she was sure of it.

Looking around for something she might be able to use, she found nothing. There was no sign of Cale anywhere, either, or the other Sparrows. It would seem that Aeron’s plan had worked – she really was cut off from the rest.

β€œHow does it feel to be helpless?”


All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

The gifs came from Giphy

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrowβ€˜s progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

Published inProgress UpdatesUncategorized


  1. Loved the excerpt!

    Firstly, I do use instagram, but probably not to its potential. I just post pictures of my life, much like I do on Facebook. I’m happy with that as I like to follow people who seem genuine if that makes sense? I like to see a bit about them other than just writing. I should use instagram a litle more, but it always slips my mind. Pinterest, however, is my thang!! haha

    Secondly, I like Relics of Ar’Zac for no other reason than I like the ring to it πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the second/ third edit!

    • Thank you!

      That’s what I’d do with Instagram as well. A fellow writer pointed out on twitter that it’s a good way of showing behind-the-scenes stuff, and show the writer on a more personal level. I do so love behind-the-scenes stuff! So if I was to get it I’d use it mostly for book promo and cat pictures πŸ˜› Now Pinterest I should use more often!! πŸ˜€ There just never seems to be time at the moment!

      Liking the ring of it is a very good reason, thank you πŸ™‚

  2. kay kay

    Happy 100! That’s so exciting. πŸ™‚
    It took me a while to accept different chapter lengths too. If you stop looking at the grand scale of the book (or word counts) and just read through your story, it’s easier to find where your chapters should divide. But then again there’s no right or wrong answers. At worst, the divide will be awkward, and a beta reader can usually spot that.
    Congrats on the interviews! Those sound quite exciting, though perhaps a little intimidating. How did you feel about the first one?

    As for the title, I’m still for Relics of Ar’Zac. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been that way so long so it feels more natural or because it just has a better ring to it. Though I do personally prefer relics to ruins; it’s more specific and more interesting. Relics draws images of pretty old-fashioned goblets, old tomes, old statues/art, etc. Ruins draws images of dust and dirt and crumbling stone.
    I am actually having tea right now. Lol. Excited for the next story! Is it going to be posted daily in parts again?

    Wonderful excerpt as always. Such beautiful description and very intense! Good luck with editing. Seems like it’s coming along well. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you!! It IS exciting!

      They’re not intimidating at all, although I felt the same way with the first one. The one Mercedes did isn’t the first one I did, it’s just the first one to get published πŸ™‚ I noticed some bloggers were offering author interviews on twitter so I thought I’d try it πŸ™‚ It’s a good way to promote your book, if nothing else!

      You make a great point of relics being more specific and ruins usually being dusty. Relics simply sounding better is a good reason, too. Since it’s part of the title I want it to be easy to remember, so it having a nice ring to it definitely helps!

      Yes, it will be posted in the same way. Part One will be out on Tuesday, Part Two on Wednesday and the final part will be on Thursday πŸ™‚

      I wasn’t so sure about how the edit was going yesterday but it went better this morning, so I feel like I’m making good progress again. Thank you, I’m glad you liked the excerpt! πŸ™‚

      • kay kay

        That’s great. Glad you took the initiative. It is good promotion for you, especially with Rise of the Sparrows just around the corner. πŸ™‚
        Excited for the short stories! I’ve been considering doing something like that on my blog. If inspiration strikes me.
        Hurray for progress! Can’t wait for the next update. πŸ™‚

  3. Congratulations on the followers!

    That’s a great excerpt too πŸ™‚ Personally I think relics has a better sound to it, it’s more concrete and alluring, it holds more mystery.

    As to chapter length mine run from 800 – 1400 words, sometimes we just write shorter chapters, which can be great for a nice quick-pace πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the editing and have a great weekend. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! I think I prefer Relics myself, but then I’ve used that for months now and I might just be used to it. It’s hard to know if I’m just biased! Thank you for your input.

      My chapters are similar in length πŸ™‚ Usually they are around four or five pages long (A5) but the book I’m reading now had a chapter which was just over one page, and it didn’t bother me. Quick-paced chapters are exactly what they are perfect for!

      Thank you, a great weekend to you, too πŸ™‚

  4. I think “Relics” too. It gives the idea that something has survived the ruins, without having to mention the ruins… if that makes sense and ties in with the story! πŸ™‚

  5. Glad to hear the meds are settling down; it’s always a difficult time adjusting (sometimes because you don’t know your adjusting, until some points out you’ve ‘quite different’ this week.

    Anyway, congratulations on reaching 100, your blogs must be connecting across a wide readership and that’s good ; it will be a promising platform for your book.

    Yep! That looks like a typical edit/re-edit/re-re-edit, and chapters are funny things they sometimes take on a life of their own, I think the best strategy is to end one when you feel that part of the narrative has come to its natural end.

    I’m going with ‘Ruins’, only because ruins have always fascinated me, as to what the building looked like in its prime and who lived within it, then why it became a ruin. But everyone else has made good points , so what do I know?

    All the best with your novel, keep on keeping on.

    • No, I agree, that’s why I considered changing it! Ruins have always fascinated me, too, and in this particular case it refers to the ruins of a long gone civilisation the people in my book know very little about! Some of those ruins are going to play a vital part in Book 2 and Book 3, but so will the relics. Both fit, so I wasn’t sure but asking here has helped a lot πŸ™‚ Thanks for your input, I understand your reasoning perfectly!

      My chapters have taken on a life of their own a lot, to the extent where the entire story has evolved into something I didn’t expect. It’s great when that happens but it definitely prolongs the edit as well. Not that I mind, it’s all exciting πŸ™‚

      • Glad to have been of help. I’m a fan of stories that have the element you’re working with, so looking forward to reading the whole.
        My work never goes where I intended it to go. Characters start putting their own ideas in, and folk not directly involved in the books-like remote but powerful rulers make some decision off page without consulting me. I’ve talked to them most sternly about it, but no one listens.
        Anyway all the best with your work


  6. Congratulations again one the 100 follows! It’s so exciting πŸ™‚ And very well deserved.

    I have to say that I often have a similar problem when considering my chapter length, worrying if it’s too long or too short. I think it’s important to see the chapter as a small story in itself with a purpose. As long as it has a clear goal and some sort of conclusion is reached by the end of it, then length shouldn’t really matter πŸ™‚

    I love the word relic, so I’d definitely put my vote towards that, though at the end of the day it’s your book and your opinion that matters the most. Choose the title that speaks to you!

    As I have no experience whatsoever on Instagram, I’ll keep quiet on that matter πŸ˜‰

    Best of luck with the rest of your editing. I love this excerpt, and I can’t wait to read the rest of this story.

    In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the next short.

    • I completely agree, every chapter should have its own purpose. If it doesn’t add anything to the greater picture, it needs to go. I’d like to think that I’ve cut ruthlessly, but I’ll let my beta readers be the judge of that ^^

      Relic seems to have won hands down!

      Thank you, the editing is getting there now and I’m hoping to have it ready for the beta read by the end of next week. There’s a lot left to do before that, though, so I’m investing most of my free time into the edit.

  7. The big 1-0-0-!-!-! Awesome! πŸ™‚

    Relic or Ruins? And they both fit?

    So why not both?

    The first book could be Relics of Ar’Zac, the second could be Ruins of Ar’Zac, and the third can be another ‘R’ word that fits. They each could be like a subtitle for the Ar’Zac series.

    It’s like I say: Love both dresses? Then wear them both, just on different occasions. πŸ˜‰

    That was a totally weird saying coming from a guy, wasn’t it? Haha.

    • They do both fit! But I can’t use both so well since it’s the title for the entire series, rather than just for one book πŸ™‚ Unless I use Ruins of Ar’Zac for the final book… I could do that πŸ˜‰ I’ll write it down as a potential title πŸ™‚ Thank you, Gabriel! I do like the dress comparison πŸ˜‰ It’s not weird at all! You don’t need to wear dresses yourself to know about their uses – and I won’t judge if you do wear them! πŸ™‚

      • If I ever decide to wear dresses, it’s good to know that you won’t be judging me. Haha. πŸ˜‰

  8. Wow look at you go! 100 is an amazing accomplishment! I would never need bribing to read your posts but I would never say no to chocolate … But the cat pics and things suffice πŸ˜‰

    I like the sound Relics and Ruins. I think both have weight behind them but Relics is my favourite. Ruins seems a little darker but it also depends what you are aiming for πŸ™‚

    Loved the update and the excerpt. Very intriguing and making me impatient to read the book :p

    I don’t use Instagram but never seen it as a tool to use for writing but then again never seen it used as one before. If you posted Instagram links on your Twitter then I think it could work as I know I would look πŸ™‚

    Really can’t wait to read more about your updates πŸ™‚

    • Thank you!! If we ever meet up in person I’ll consider buying you a twix πŸ˜›

      I am aiming for dark but I’d like to think that the story itself will get that across, and as the books get darker over time I think I might use Ruins for the last book, maybe. Thank you for your input!

      I’m so glad to hear it ^^ Do consider being a beta reader! πŸ˜‰

      That’s a good point, I know a lot of people link their Instagram with twitter. I certainly can’t rob you guys of additional cat pictures! πŸ˜‰

      Thank you, expect a big update this week or next.

      • I will hold you to that twix :p
        That sounds like a good way to do things πŸ™‚
        I will keep my eyes alert for the beta reading πŸ˜‰
        Cat pictures are always amazing!
        I will look forward to the update πŸ™‚

        • Noted! πŸ˜›
          Thank you. I think I’m getting there but it’s hard to tell!

  9. Congrats on 100 followers. πŸ™‚ I’m the same. I think my short chapters should be longer. I have extended some of them only because I came up with more content. But I don’t force anything because its not so much the length of the book or chapter its the content. Great excerpt. Ruins seems kind of dark and interesting but I think Relics sounds nicer.

    • Thank you. I’m getting less worried about my chapter length now, asking you guys for input was a good idea ^^ If you’re unsure read over the other comments here, they’ve offered great insights!
      Thank you, Relics has won by a landslide! I might use Ruins for the final book, but that’s still such a long way off that I won’t commit to anything.

  10. Congratulations on reaching 100 followers!!! That is an amazing achievement and should be celebrated πŸ˜€
    Editing is a beast but it seems as though you are making great progress and I wish you nothing but the smoothest process. And its great to see you’re receiving a ton of help from your mascot πŸ˜›
    And as everyone else has seemed to already say: I find size does not matter…when it comes to chapter length πŸ˜‰
    Every time I read an excerpt from your work, I get more and more excited for it. The anticipation is sky high for me at this point πŸ˜€
    I know writers use instagram for their writing but I’m not sure what the benefits are. I have an IG account but its filled mainly with pictures of my cat…shocker, I know.
    Thanks for sharing your update with us! They are always so much us to read! Good luck with everything!

    • It’s a beast all right!! You wouldn’t believe the amount of editing I’ve been doing these past few weeks. I can’t wait to be done with it and start plotting again! The mascot is trying but she gets in the way a lot. She’s adorable but it’s hard to write when she’s sitting on your hand!
      Thank you, I think I’ve come to terms with having some pretty short chapters. I have yet to read a book where short chapters bother me, so I’ll try not to worry πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much!! You do know how to flatter me! πŸ˜€ I just hope you won’t be so thrilled for the book that the real thing can’t live up to your expectations!
      That’s what I’d use my IG for – or would have used it for, I’ve decided against it now πŸ™‚ I’ve got enough to keep up with as it is!

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