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Writing Process Blog Hop

  • Posted on July 8, 2016 at 9:29 pm

Natasha Duncan-Drake has an interesting blog-hop going on which Chris Votey tagged me in. His most recent (and best, if I do say so myself) work, the Daygar Legacy, is an amazingly well-researched and well-written vampire romp through medieval europe. Definitely take a look. This is an interesting prompt as it is geared towards the how and why of the writing process, as individuals find it. The worst part of it, I think, is going to be finding two to three people to tag! Wish me luck!

Rules:

  1. Introduce who referred the blog tour to you
  2. Answer the following 4 questions:
    1. What am I working on?
    2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
    3. Why do I write what I do?
    4. How does my writing process work?
  3. Introduce the people you’re passing this on to (3 – 4 people if possible who will then post a week later)

Well, let’s get started.

  1. As I stated above, I was referred by Chris Votey, who runs the wonderful blog Madness of a Modern Writer. He and I met via twitter, after I finished my first ever NaNoWriMo and got full of myself, thinking I could be a professional writer! He’s become a mentor and a very good friend to me, although our politics differ quite a bit. He’s pushed me to great heights in my writing and in the way I look at the world, and I honestly adore him. Check out his books Terran Psychosis and Scraping By, if you really want a good can’t-put-this-down read!
  2. Four questions
    1. I’m working on a lot right now, but with my current creativity block, it’s all a bit on pause. But the major projects are:
      1. The Kurylian Saga, an epic fantasy series with a male poc main character who has to learn how to forgive his most hated foe when they’re forced to work together;
      2. A Greater Love, a regency-era-set asexual romance novel that takes a lot of it’s plot from tribulations from my own life.
      3. an unnamed short story set in the victorian era, which so far is a romance between a human serial killer and a rakshasa.
    2. To answer this question, i have to explain the very first actual story I ever wrote. You see, when I wrote it, there wasn’t really a genre for ‘the villain is the protagonist’. It just hadn’t been invented yet, really. So the fact that the first story I ever wrote featured an all powerful witch brought down to the power of a child and forced to relive her life so that she might learn the error of her ways means that I was already thinking ahead of the bell curve. I have always tried to be different, to understand other’s minds, to think outside of my own. So I think my work is different only in that I MAKE it different. I make it more inclusive, more daring, more open than others that I could name.
    3. The why of it is closely tied into who I am as a person. I’ve never really liked being me. Even in my earliest fantasies, my earliest daydreams, I was always someone else. So of course, when I get the chance, I’m going to make the main characters as different from myself as possible. Beyond that, however, is the fact that I’m always seeking the ways to see how others are JUST LIKE ME too. Perspective has always been a driving force in my life. Everyone has their own perspective, and I think that’s why I write what I do.
    4. My writing process is a bit hit and miss. Most of the time I start writing just before I have to go to bed. Procrastination at it’s finest. Of course, there’s a fine tradition of authors writing while laying down in bed, but I don’t usually lay down when I’m writing. I sit up, in my bed, on my computer, and open Scrivener. In scrivener, I pick up where I left off and start writing the next scene. I always do this, too, I always write linearly, despite having a program that lets me pick and choose. It makes it fit better in my head. I usually manage anywhere from 25 words to an entire 5000 in one sitting. During NaNoWriMo it can be even more.
  3. I tag Tunafax, who writes some of the most amazing fanfiction I’ve ever read! She’s writing a story right now called Witcher that makes some old fairy tales look tame. It’s a beautiful, gothic tale of wishes made and lives saved, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
    1. Kudalyn was recommended to me by Tunafax, and she’s got an amazing repertoire of stories! Not only that, she’s adept at writing a drabble from a picture source. One of her favorite stories, Summoning Slifer, is a very nice look into a very not-human mind.
    2. Another amazing writer, Ashe, does an amazing job with description, levels even I aim to achieve. Her story The Living Daylights is amazing.
    3. And then there’s Ariasune (Alias for short) who should absolutely join us! Her work Akhet has that lovely touch of humor and tenacity that made me love Good Omens so very, very much. Definitely give her a read!
    4. And not tagged, specifically, but in a post that I took real interest in, Nana posted her writing process in EPIC detail.
    5. The person who tagged Nana made some good points in theirs as well. Empress, as she calls herself, has some lovely insights into the writerly mind.

I hope the three I’ve tagged have as much fun writing this out as I did, and will spread the love! You can read Ashe’s response to the tag here.

Bruises and Broken Bones

  • Posted on May 29, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Five minutes late, but at least Kaimi had managed to stop by starbucks. That was worth it at least. The mocha frappe with an extra shot of caramel was perfect on her tongue, the walk from her car to the front door of the office completely taken up by fumbling through her purse for the keys to the door. It was only when she dropped said pure and nearly spilled said frappe that she noticed the man camped out in front of her door.

Well, not literally camped out, he’d clearly been there for maybe ten minutes, at most. His dark hair pulled up into spikes only possible with copious amounts of gel proved he’d visited a bathroom at least an hour or two ago. The half-carefree smile he gave her when he knelt to pick up her purse, and the few odd pens and tictacs that had spilled out lit up his brown eyes. Her mental image of this man was a large puppy, something brown, with floppy ears.

“Thanks.” She answered, giving her business-woman smile, “Clumsy, you know? Thanks, if you could just hold that, that’d be-” She turned, opening the door with a deft turn of the key in the industrial lock and pushing at it with her hip. “C’mon in.” He was there for a reason, after all. He couldn’t have mistaken her office for anything else, what with “Rowe Detective Agency – We find SoulMates, or your money back!” emblazoned across the glass in the same dark blue as a policeman’s uniform.

“No problem.” The man answered, following her into the waiting room, six chairs, all of different fabrics and shapes, set semi-circle around the desk where no real receptionist had ever sat. Someday, Kaimi promised herself. Someday. “Nice place you have here.”

“Thanks! We like it, anyway. Here, I’ll take that.” She took her purse back, and the man shuffled his foot, shifting nervously from one leg to the next. The tanktop he was wearing showed off the absolutely massive amount of orange bruises he wore across his skin. Ah, one of those. She would have sighed, if this had been a year ago, when she first opened this agency. Now, she just hoped she could find this guy’s soul mate before the worst happened.

“So…I don’t suppose you know why I’m here?” The man asked, hopeful, obviously, to get the conversation started. Kaimi strode towards her desk, the one with the cute little money-plant on it, a gift from her hawaiian mother. “You’ve got really good reviews online, so I hoped…”

“You hoped we could find whoever is putting bruises on your soulmate, and maybe let you play hero to get the poor thing out of there?” She asked, pulling out some forms from her desk drawer, and settling into her seat. The first visit was almost always mainly paperwork and interviewing the client anyway, but she hoped to get this done with before her ten o’clock showed up. Two hours would be pushing it on this.

“No!” The man cried, earnest. Kaimi could see a flicker of upset behind his eyes, so he DID want to get his mate out of there, but- “I just… I want to meet them. I want to get them out of wherever they are…No matter how it has to happen. I just want them safe.”

It was something she heard a lot from people like this. The ones with the scars and bruising from their soulmates. It wasn’t an easy Sign to bear, she was sure, seeing how the other was hurt. Her own Signs were so much easier to deal with. She smiled, nodding, her eye tracing what looked like fingerprints in orange around the tan throat in front of her. Whoever this Mate was, they were in some serious trouble.

“Don’t worry. We’ll do everything in our power to find them. That’s what we’re here for, after all.” She offered, her voice comforting from experience. The man relaxed in front of her, although his fingers still played with the hem of his shirt. “Now, have you done any searching on your own? Any possible leads you have for us? Any other Signs, maybe?”

Sometimes Signs came in groups. Often, the Bruises would come with the String too, but it didn’t look like that was the case with this one, or he would have found the Mate already. First Words would be difficult, a Timer would be useful, but only if they were tied to this Mate. If they were tied to some other Mate, they’d do no good. Kaimi’s fingers found the line of words on her inner wrist, and rubbed at them, absently.

The man shook his head, “No, no other Signs, just this one. I…I went to a doctor once, and he said that the bruising is similar to something he’s seen on professional athletes in martial arts, or… or in thugs.”

“I see. Do you mind if we take pictures of the bruising? Just to compare, of course.” She asked, sliding a consent form right across the table to him. “We take pictures of all Signs, for our records, and also to help us find your Mate without having to drag you along to every interview.”

“Oh… Oh, uh, yeah, that’s fine.” He answered, blinking those puppy-brown-eyes at her slowly, like he doesn’t understand. Kaimi nods, and points out the line he needs to sign. He takes the hint, and scribbles out a name that starts with a G. “Oh. Uh, I hit eighteen in two weeks… so if I Dream, I’ll let you know…”

“Perfect. A Dream will give us a lot of information, just… make sure to take note of the address, or landmarks around you, and we’ll be able to find them from there. Or, if nothing else, leave them a note, and they may find you.” She coached, a speech she’s given a hundred times, and one that sits on pretty much every ‘how to find your soulmate’ diy website ever. “Here’s a survey, please answer it completely truthfully, that way we can try to narrow down as much information as possible.”

She’d taken the survey herself a long time ago, so she knew the questions he was most likely to pause over. The “is the world black and white” question, the “Any birthmarks” question, the “Exact date and time of birth” question, especially tended to throw people off. While he fiddled on his phone, most likely texting his mom to find out, she picked up her coffee, sipped it, and headed for the coffee machine. Setting a new cup of coffee in front of him, along with a pack of those sandwich cracker snacks that Marshall insisted they keep around for their clients, Kaimi returned to the other side of her desk, opening up her laptop there, and listening to the satisfying Dell sound as it powered up.


 

This is a snippet written because I saw a post on Tumblr about scars and bruises appearing on a soulmate. It’s part of what will eventually be my Kaimi Rowe Series, which I’ve decided will be about various ways of finding your soulmate! Look forward to it!

Researching Mystery

  • Posted on August 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Today, I have a guest blog published over on Cindy Grigg’s website. We’ve swapped guestblogs, and her post, 9 ways to fix your Stereotyped Character is informative and fun to read! Go take a look at it! Also, take a look at the article, Researching mystery which you can find here:

If you’re curious, here’s the first two paragraphs of the article, for your perusal.

To begin with, I’m not normally a mystery author. To be specific, when I was younger, I only ever wrote fantasy novels, or romance. Now, however, I’m trying my hand at mystery novels, which means quite a bit of strife. I have a natural instinct when it comes to fantasy, so I find it easy to fall into. With Romance, I have my years as a fanfiction writer and fandom roleplayer to fall back on, which can both enhance and detract from my writing. (No one likes reading author’s notes, I’ve since learned.)

I came to mystery as a genre because I love the tense atmosphere. Maybe it’s less mystery and more suspense that I enjoy. But recently, I’ve found that I want a challenge. And the best way to challenge yourself is to write something you’ve never in a million years written before. But how can you write something you’ve never written before? How can you make sure that you don’t slip back into writing what you know? And worst of all, how do you manage to make it a GOOD manuscript when you know nothing about your genre?

Read More

New: Weekly Updates!

  • Posted on July 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm

As a dedication to my new career (upcoming) as an author, I’ve decided to do something I’ve seen some of my very favorite fanfiction authors do. It’s a little unorthodox, but at this point, I think that strange might just work for me. Also, it’s a little motivating to have to answer to all of you for a lack of growth in my word counts. Or, at least, I hope it will be!

Thanks to CelynBrum for this idea, by the by. Her fanfictions have made it to novel-lengths, and are enjoyed by thousands of tumblrites, and really, I cannot imagine a better person to follow in the footsteps of. Well, okay, a few (coughneilgaimancough), but who’s counting?

WORD COUNTS

Kurylian Saga: The Sorcerer and The Swordsman – Second Draft – WC: 130,555

Kaimi Rowe Series: Seeker Born – First draft – WC: 15,269

BLOG POSTS – 4

Writing Process Workshop

Finding your Niche in 3 Easy Steps

26 Questions No One Should Answer

The Lost Art of the Mary Sue

WEEKLY WORD COUNT GOALS

This week: 2500 words (A slow start, but I’m recovering from major Writer’s Block.)

The Lost Art of the Mary Sue

  • Posted on July 19, 2014 at 1:12 am

In case you do not know what a Mary Sue is, think immediately of Bella Swan from Twilight. Think of the main character from 50 shades of gray. Think of all those odd characters that everyone loves for no reason, and who gets what she wants, no matter what. The Mary Sue is a staple of bad fiction, and worse, bad fan-fiction, and have always been so.

But why? What is it about a Mary Sue that attracts preteen girls like flies? Why do they so desperately cling to her coattails the way everyone in her universe does? What is it about her sparkling opalescent eyes that draws in those who are just on the cusp of puberty?

Wish. Fulfillment.

Pure and simple, we flock to Mary Sues because they offer us something that we will never, ever see in real life. Absolute. Total. Acceptance. Even the Mary Sue’s faults are celebrated in-universe, in such a way that she is essentially a GOD. Even the bad things that happen to her eventually lead to amazing, wonderful things. Like the main love interest losing his shirt while comforting her. Y’know. Typical.

So, what makes us grow out of this entirely selfish wish fulfillment stage and seek out more realistic muses with which to satisfy our need to be someone else? Why, as adults, do we find it absolutely irreprehensible to admit that we ever liked bad fanfiction like My Immortal, that we ever read all of the twilight books cover to cover and wanted so badly to be Bella Swan? (I’d like it on the record I only read one and a HALF of the books, thank you.)

Perhaps it’s a case of I’m-to-old-for-this. Perhaps it’s a case of residual embarrassment. Perhaps we no longer want to admit that we have basic wants. We WANT people to like us unconditionally. We WANT to have the attractive mate of our dreams. We WANT the universe to revolve around us. No one can deny this. Humans are selfish creatures.

So, I say, there is no shame in the residual guilty pleasure we all receive from the pinnacle Mary Sue. Embrace it. Love it. And just remember, no one is EVER going to be as AMAZING as she is. EVER.

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