Archive for the 'drafting' Category
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
I have a post up at Magical Words today talking about Heroes and Anti-Heroes. It’s a fascinating topic for me and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
The end of the block was today and I gave my final. New block starts on Monday. I have some grading to do and I’ll be having lunch with the girls tomorrow. And of course, prepping next course. Kids start soccer this weekend and hopefully it will warm up enough to go out walking.
Made progress on the WIP while giving the final. Have a really cool idea of how the magic works. It’s pretty damned awesome. But my main character still isn’t enough. I need to tinker with her.
Thanks for the good wishes on my father. It’s a waiting until news game now. Except he’s said he isn’t interested in open heart surgery. We’ll see once we get solid data from inside his heart. That won’t be until probably June because they have some plans for before that and the doc things it’s okay. They put him on an anti-coagulant and since he’s gimpy, he doesn’t rev his heart up much.
I need to figure out something cool to make for dinner tomorrow night. I should find a cool recipe for something. I’d also like to bake some bread this weekend.
Saturday, March 16th, 2013
The purple I put in my hair is not holding. That means my hair is too healthy. Dammit. So I have to do a bit of bleaching apparently. The color is also oddly darker than usual, so maybe the bleach will brighten it up.
I finished prepping my class for Monday. I’m happy about that. Of course my son brought home his book that they’ve been reading at school and wants me to read and catch up. Not that hard, but I’ve a ton of stuff to do.
What’s the difference between antique/vintage and old/outdated? I went into the son of a friend’s house that he’d just bought and the former owner had left behind a metal avocado green breadbox. It’s atrocious. But I don’t recognize antique/vintage vs. old and crappy. This could have been. In fact there’s a lot of old stuff that I find crappy, and some I like. Is it the same thing as weeds? One person’s weed is another’s garden flower?
I’m trying to start work on a new proposal and I have so many pieces but they are still whirling around and not settling down. I need something else, but I’m not sure what. I think I’ll just jump in and explore and see. One of my issues is that I haven’t figured out the setting. I want to set it in the south. I’m thinking maybe not far from Asheville. Or maybe northeastern Georgia or southeastern Tennessee. The trouble is, the research. Google Earth is my friend, as is the net and books and tourist brochures, but I still would like to have eyes on the ground. The chances of me getting to go look around aren’t excellent at this point. I’m looking for a place that’s fairly rural, but within 1-2 hours of a larger city (of maybe 50-100K or more). I’m needing hill/mountain country with trees and rivers. I’m thinking Smokey Mountains. Anybody got ideas?
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
I forgot to mention I have a post up on Magical Words today about writing a series and trilogy and how to plan them out.
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Wow, you all made that a really difficult contest. I had a tough time picking a winner, but I decided on Ken because I loved the story and it totally made me think about those summers nights when I was a kid. Those perfect summer moments. So shoot me your email Ken!
In other news, someone came to look at our house yesterday, which is largely why I wasn’t posting here yesterday. No idea how it went really. I’m trying really hard not to get my hopes up and forget they even looked. Need to preserve my sanity. Oh hush. Yes there is something there to preserve.
I heard from my agent on my sample pages. She likes them, but also had suggestions for revision. Now I knew there would be revision suggestions and they are good. But the little kid inside always wants a gold star and some confetti and a hearty “it’s perfect! It’s going to be the best thing EVER!” Sigh. Yeah. Reality never matches that particular fantasy for anyone, and if it does, chances are they’re from Nigeria and want me to give them my bank account numbers, passwords, social security number, and possibly plasma. Anyhow, that means digging in on revision and I’m looking forward to that.
Are your reading Moon Called? Because Discussion happens here on Saturday!!!!
I had this weird dream last night that involved a big skyscraper hotel with some sort of day spa and was also situated in the middle of an amusement park. I’m terrified of heights, so I don’t do roller coasters and gravity drops and so on. At one point in this dream, I’m at the day spa pool with my dogs and for some reason they let me bring them into the pool, so long as I stayed in this little shallow scalloped out pool of our own, which frankly was pretty cool. A bit later, I’ve got some reason to go up to my room without the dogs, so I go get on the elevator. Only the elevator doesn’t go up and down in a traditional way, it is a roller coaster car that goes through a bunch of curves, rolls, hills and so on in order to get to any floor. Except I didn’t know that until we’re going through the first wild turn and down into the first hill. Yeah. Maybe it was a nightmare.
And sticking with that scary theme, I want to leave you with this TERRIFYING idea of fun. A huge (read insane) rope swing. Watching makes me want to throw up. I’m sure some of you are thinking, Cool! Where can I sign up? Now which one of us is insane?
Monday, February 18th, 2013
Last night I was going to bed and then suddenly had a burst of energy and creativity, and stayed up til 3 a.m. to finish the chapter on the WIP I was working on. It was a little bit difficult because this chapter had magic and ritual in it. I knew the magic and new the movements of the ritual, but not the words. I’m not good at ritual words. They need to have heft and weight, plus mystery and mysticism. I don’t want rhyme necessarily, but I do like rhythm and assonance and alliteration. I always feel that mine are too much like: Hey magic! Do your thing and heal! (If it’s a healing spell.)
This is one of the ritual speeches I arrived at:
Spirit twine mind and heart,
Sing the blood,
Stitch the bones,
Wake the breath inside this husk.
Spirit bind sweat and sinew,
Sing the marrow,
Stitch the flesh.
Muster life inside this shell,
Bloom once more among the living.
I think it works for what’s happening. I’m hoping it all ties together in the end. Right now I’m polishing, and trying to get it ready to send to my agent. Again, this is just the bit for submitting to publishers. It’s about 125 pages long.
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
I admit that it’s been a hard day. I had a bit of a meltdown actually. The culprit is Valentine’s day. But not in the way that you might thing. My husband and I don’t usually do much for V day. But we’ve been apart for a really long time and it just hit hard today. I wanted to hold hands and snuggle up and it hurt a lot that I couldn’t. It was tough. I really feel done with this, but I can’t be. So I have to keep keeping on and I can’t melt down anymore. I’m mom. I’ve got to keep it together. I hate being an adult.
As I mentioned yesterday, I had to start a new chapter on the WIP, one that introduced a new character. I thought you might like to see what I’ve done so far, keeping in mind that it’s pretty rough:
Chisriya watched Carys limp away. She still wasn’t used to his new appearance, though it had been two years and she’d seen him several times in the new body. A body that had been ravaged. Ugly red slashes ran down his left buttock and thigh. More lashed his shoulder. His one eye would never see properly again.
She turned away. Bodies were ephemeral; souls were forever. Should his body die, Carys’s soul would still exist. Knowing him, he would probably haunt her. She flicked a glance at the rainbow gossamer spirits hovering in the air and swirling around her. He would not be the only one. It was the price of being a Soul Mage; it was the price of being one of the few surviving free Soul Mages.
Her jaw clenched and she forced herself to relax, her expression smoothing. She turned her attention at the waiting women.
Read the rest of this entry »
Sunday, January 27th, 2013
From what I’m working on now. I don’t know if I will like it down the road, but I like it now.
Teeth dug into his jaw and cheekbones. Hot, fetid breath filled his mouth and nostrils. Above his left temple two pin-sharp venom fangs pressed into his skin. Carys waited for hilket’s jaws to snap shut, waited for the bones of his face to squeeze and shatter, for venom to send his body into paroxyms. Blood thundered in his veins, as he anticipated the hilket’s claws ripping away his armor and slicing open his stomach to let his intestines spill out onto the ground.
The animal panted, but otherwise remained frozen. Its rough tongue pressed against Carys’s cheek and chin.
Rain fell, sluicing over them both, pattering loudly in the leaves and on the ground. Everything fell away until they seemed alone on an island suspended in time. The female hilket had gone silent. Nor was there any sound from Kydrian. Carys and the male hilket were statues in a ruined graveyard. Enemies captured in stone, forgotten and forever doomed to this sculpted moment of terror and pain. Or so it felt.
Saturday, January 26th, 2013
One perennial piece of writing advice that I give is to read your works aloud. Hear the words, hear the rhythms, hear the alliteration and assonance, and the poetry of the language. Listen for choppiness and disjointed thoughts, for the clumsiness of language and the way sentences can draw out and become exhausting to read. It is a tremendously useful piece of advice.
So why do I so rarely follow it?
I know, it’s stupid. I was reading my work aloud tonight because I’m struggling a bit with this scene and have managed to get further through it. The happy surprise was that I liked it and it worked. But there was something missing and I filled in. But truly, it is an exceptional tool and I must not forget it. I don’t know why I do. It really is simple. I think it’s a time thing maybe. That I feel like it’s a waste. Or maybe it’s very strange to hear my own voice saying my words out loud. A weird embarrassment that is silly, since no one else can hear me read.
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
I haven’t talked about writing much lately. I think it’s been because I’ve been stewing about a scene. It’s still stewing, but I had some thoughts today. I was reading from Don Maass’ 20th Century Fiction. There’s some really good stuff in there and some stuff that probably won’t work for me, but it definitely has inspires me to think in some different directions. Some things are pretty obvious and makes me smack my head and think, what kind of mental reject am I?
Specifically, I was reading a passage where he was talking about how your main character should have two competing desires that collide at some point. The desires have to be mutually exclusive–if one wins out, the other fails. A for instance would be Aragorn in the LOTR (cuz I just watched it again). He doesn’t want to be king. He wants to keep his life as is and not take on the responsibility of a nation and a people and he doesn’t want to let his potential failings as a king over run him (thinking of Isildur). At the same time, he wants Sauron to be defeated. The trouble is, if he get his way on one, the other can’t be. He pushes off the decision as long as he can. But eventually, he has to decide and gather the ghost army. The point is, he is driven by both desires, and eventually they collide. It gives him an inner conflict that gives rise to most all of his actions, what he says, and what he doesn’t do.
Reading this reminder of inner conflict made me rethink the current character I’m writing. He’s got an inner conflict, but I haven’t spent much time thinking that through or articulating it to myself. I need to, so that I can strengthen his actions and his story line. I can make him more vivid. I also have to think this question of inner conflict for my other major and minor characters. Particularly the minor characters to make them more full and round. It means some work in terms of just stopping and going over my characters again. I thought I articulated a lot of their issues, but this is another way for me to think about them. I think it will strengthen the story.
What are some of your favorite characters with competing inner desires? Are they resolved in a satisfactory way? Are they heroes or villains?
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
From the work in progress:
“You ought to kill this new ambassador,” Olyeron told his father absently as he moved a stone on the merti board. “Soon. Where’s he from?”
Seavik watch his son beneath lowered lids. “Is that opinion or something you’ve seen?”
Yeron lifted his shoulders in a dismissive shrug. “I wouldn’t know. Ask my scribes.” He waved a long fingered hand in the air, his long nails gleaming ebony. All but the nail on his left forefinger. That glistened silver. “I say what I think. Who know how I arrive at it?”
Seavik frowned at the game board. It was always difficult to see Yeron’s strategy. Or more accurately, it was impossible to know if there was a strategy or if his gameplay was a result of his silver born insanity.
He moved a stone, switching it with another and setting that one one an outer corner of the merti. But his mind was only half on the game. He mused over his son’s words. Kill the new ambassador? Why? What would it serve?
“Why does he need to die soon?” he asked, not expecting a real answer. Even in his saner moments, Yeron liked to tie his words into knots and webs.