The Monsters Are Free – WIP No. 1 – Isto

Here it is. I’m finally getting around to writing about my WIPs. I’ve divided them into three categories: Origination Stories, Niniers, and Cera Chronicles.


Color Key:
Green – Production ready
Aqua – High Priority
Blue – Medium Priority
Purple – Low Priority

Today’s featured WIP is Isto, book 2 of the Niniers.

Each of the Niniers novels follows an idea:
Book 1 – Discovery
Book 2 – Consequences
Book 3 – Revenge
Book 4 – Recovery

If you haven’t read Thanmir War then the following information may come as a spoiler. To safeguard any spoiler haters, I’ve used spoiler tags.

Tag Line and POVs (Click to Show)

Working Tag Line: He saved his wife. Now he has to save the world from his wife.

POVs (plus Male and Female Character Archetype):

Derek (Main Character) – The Woman’s Man
MaTisha – The King
Cameron – The Business Man
LaTonya – The Amazon

Perspective: Third Person Limited

I even busted out my sketchpad for you.

I even busted out my sketchpad for you.

Istos are monsters introduced in Thanmir War. Some people consider them superstitions or stories intended to frighten children. They are blamed for many things, including livestock deaths and unexplained murders. There’s a misconception that they are the vengeful dead, returned to terrorize the living. That’s not true. But the tales did get something right.

They can’t be killed.

There’s a distinction in my mind between eternal and immortal. The elementals are eternal. They won’t die, unless they’re killed—but they can be killed. The istos are truly immortal. They are energy. They can’t be created or destroyed. But they are ever-thirsty for their missing half.

In Isto, the main character faces the consequence of decisions made in Book 1.

Thanmir War Ending Decision (Click to Show)

Derek used the niniers to steal the Drethamir’s power and bring MaTisha back to life. Doing so threw off the balance between dark and light, illusion and reality, death (Miasho) and life (Drethamir). That imbalance sets off a series of events, including: an illness plaguing anyone stemming from both powers, monsters breaking free of the “in between” and hunting down the opposite power, and a breach in security, which allows the elemental fugitives to escape the mines where they had been imprisoned.

Derek must find a way to save himself from the illness before he dies and takes the world with him. MaTisha combats her desire to feed off of and kill Miasho upholders, including Nicholas, her former guardian. LaTonya’s guardians were killed by the Miasho istos, and she’ll stop at nothing to get her revenge. Cameron faces treason and banishment, while inheriting powers from his real mother—a woman who wasn’t his father’s wife.

The sketch is actually of MaTisha.

Research required: Jewish mythology, Physics

Major Questions Asked: Why would monsters choose to kill a certain group of people? How do you restore balance to a world? How was I going to get my characters out to a set of islands they didn’t know about?

Chapter 1 Opening Line: Everyone he loved ended up dead.

Isto by Loni Townsend on Grooveshark

There’s a lot more I could say about my WIP, but I’m not sure how much information is too much. I had a panic-inducing change in Thanmir War, which led to major rewrites in Isto. I still haven’t fully recovered. Slowly, but surely, I am gaining ground.

Do you like to read series? How many projects can you work on at one time? Is there any information you’re curious about?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

35 thoughts on “The Monsters Are Free – WIP No. 1 – Isto

  1. Just when I think I’m getting good at planning and outlining, someone comes along and blows me away.
    Hope you get your characters to that island.

    • They’ll wind up there. Just gotta make it believable. πŸ˜‰

  2. I pretty much only read series, and I LOVE monsters that can’t be killed. They’re so much scarier. Let’s see, how many projects am I working on right now? Um…just writing? I’ve got about 20 in various stages of completion, but two I’m actively pushing forward.

    • I saw your post about the long haul. I’m looking forward to Soulless.

  3. Holy cow! I wish I could outline like you do, but I think I would pull my hair out. My outlining is just a list of events, scenes and conversation I need to write. When I write them, I cross them off. haha I haven’t had the chance to read Thanmir War, but now I really want to! πŸ˜€

    • I usually list out a bunch of words/phrases that encompass a section. But really, I write in random order with whatever scenes pop into my head. Not as organized as I may seem. πŸ™‚

  4. Ok, I didn’t read much of this post, because Thanmir War is on my list and I don’t want to read spoilers!!! I read the beginning, though, and I am IN LOVE with your flow chart. It elevates outlining to an art form, and you know outlines are near and dear to my organized little heart πŸ˜‰

  5. I need to plan my stuff out more like this. I’m always juggling stuff around instead of deciding when it’s most efficient to do them.

    • Juggling stuff… Actually, that’s why I have multiple high priorities.

  6. Wow, you’re organized. I’m lucky if I can find the latest notebook I’ve been working in. And I love the idea about the creatures being relegated myth, and yet are real. Those make the best kinds of stories. πŸ™‚

    • I figure, some people believe in ghosts while others don’t. Why would a made-up world behave any differently?

  7. Um, wow, I thought I was organized. But you are amazing.

    Monsters that can’t be killed. So scary. Now I’m going to be thinking about them all day. And I’ll probably have nightmares tonight. But that’s okay–the daydreams are totally worth it. πŸ™‚

  8. That sounds akin to the OCD attack I had about my WIP. I’m still trying to recover… My two main characters started out apart. So, I was getting to the point where the storylines were about to merge and I realized Ch#2 was 3 days ahead of ch#1. To make a long story short, I ended up splitting my manuscript in 2 – each only covering chapters for one character. Then I did surgery on them both to get them on the same day, which also meant writing more chapters for ch#1. Then because I’m OCD about it, I had to alternate the two character chapters completely symmetrical because I couldn’t think otherwise. Now it’s back in one piece, but I’m having trouble getting the end written. Which is dumb because there’s not much left to write. I need a whack in the head.

    Ooo. My new series has monsters too. We must be on the same brain wave. πŸ™‚

    • Oh yes, I freaked out. I’m better now, and trudging ahead with the changes. *sigh*

  9. Gah! Jack is high priority!
    Crap. On it…

    • Hahaha, no worries. πŸ™‚ This World Bites and Isto are higher than Jack.

      You should focus on writing that next historical western romance. πŸ˜‰

  10. I love series. I usually try to edit one project while writing the next, but when I get closer to publishing time, the writing often falls off. So right now I’m trying to get back on the writing horse … after I finish my revamped outline, of course. πŸ™‚

    • Publishing takes a lot of brain power. It’s pretty hard to focus on other projects when it’s publishing time.

      Is your next project a sequel to Reborn?

  11. Wow. You have color coding! I’m not nearly that organized. I need to be!

    • The colors help me pretend there’s a party going on. Reminds me this is fun…right?

  12. Emma Adams

    Sounds like you’re working on some really intriguing projects!

    I usually only work on one draft at a time, but I plan and edit other projects in my free time. I don’t tend to have more than two on the go, unless I’m being particularly productive!

    • I don’t have the focus or attention span to stay situated on one project at a time, so I hop around to keep the creative juices bubbling.

  13. So cool to get to read about all these details. The monsters sound fantastic, tho they can stay safely in your pages, thanks. πŸ˜‰ And the sketch was neat, I sometimes think about sketching my characters, but I’m not too good at it.

    • When I sketch, I can either do bodies or faces… but I can’t do faces on bodies. Really quite annoying actually.

  14. Wow, this is a good plan of an outline. I never tried something like that, I think. It would be useful.
    How do you restore balance to a world? Maybe you should include some philosophic reading to your research. I’m currently reading the Dalai Lama. One word: Compassion. You may find it useful. πŸ™‚

    • You know what, I am going to start doing some philosophic research now. Thanks for the suggestion!

  15. All of mine stays in my head and yeah I can have many on the go as I put things to bed

    • Most of the ideas stay grounded inside. That seems to be where the monsters like to hide.

  16. very organized! and i like the sound of it. i love finding a good series – then there’s more to read!

    i concentrate on one wip at a time, but when it’s with my cp or editor, i work on other stuff – always something to write!

  17. My head spins just looking at your project graphic! I’m more of a monogomist when it comes to working on things—I might have one little fling going on the side, but most of my attention goes to the central project. But maybe if I was as organized as you…

  18. Whoo! What a mess that looks. This is why I love series! You get a familiar world and familiar characters, then new characters/situations come along and … more fun!
    But I do prefer to own the entire series before I start reading it. Waiting can be a pain at times.

    And apparently working on projects is like my juggling skills: I can do two, anymore and I drop ’em all. ^_^

  19. I am shamed. My idea of organisation is separate notebooks for each project! How on earth do you do it!
    But I’m with you on having different projects going at the same time, even if its just a poem to tinker with to keep the creative juices flowing.
    I am in awe. Great sketch by the way. πŸ™‚

  20. […] week, I brought up the first of my WIPs, Isto from the Ninier series. This week, I bring you a character whom some of you have already met: […]

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