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  • Posted on June 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm

 

Welcome to the Work In Progress Tag! I was tagged by the adoring and adorable Briana Herr, who was kind enough to inform our whole discord server about the tag! For this tag, I’m going to focus on my mostly complete WIP, rather than the ones I keep starting to avoid Writer’s Block. XD

Without further ado!

1) What is your working title?

“A Knight of Kuryle”, which is supposed to refer to the main character Dirk’s position once he has accepted his fate.

 

2) where did the idea come from?

I had a dream, a long, long time ago, about a sorcerer and a swordsman. The sorcerer was the enemy of the swordsman, but when the swordsman ran him through, he collapsed into the swordsman’s arms and breathed out, “You never could protect me, could you?”

I fell in love with the dynamic, and with the pair, and so that’s how Dirk and Yumil/Kier were born.

 

3) what Genre would your book fall into?

I like to think Epic fantasy, since it follows more than one character’s journey through a fantasy world. But it’s probably just straight fantasy. XD

 

4) what actors would you choose to play in your movie rendition?

I really don’t think about actors for my characters, if only because it’d be very difficult to choose them, and because by the time I choose them, they don’t look the way I need them to for the character. Plus, I don’t think there’s a man alive pretty enough to match my mental image of Yumil/Kier

 

5) what is the one sentence synopsis for your WIP?

For the first novel: When his village is destroyed by an unknown mage, Dirk goes looking for justice, and finds something so unexpected that it throws his worldview out of place.

For the series: An ancient grudge sets into motion the necessary components to end the world, or bring it back into balance, and it’s up to one family to choose which.

 

6) Will you self-publish or be represented by an agency?

I’m planning to self-publish, although I wouldn’t say no to an agency if they wanted to represent me.

 

7) how long did it take you to write your first draft?

About a month. I was doing nanowrimo and had nothing else to do but write, so I literally ended up writing 250k words and finished it. Then I had to cut it down into smaller books, and I still haven’t finished the first draft of the smaller book. XD

 

8) what other books would you compare this story too?

Probably a combination of the Inheritance Cycle, Dragon Blood by Patricia Briggs, and Lord of the Rings. Sort of. Very, very loosely.

 

9) who or what inspired you to write this book?

When I first wrote the first draft, I was inspired by my then boyfriend, Wesley Pruett. As I went on to editing and eventually breaking up the story into smaller books, however, I found that my inspiration and help came from my mentor, Chris Votey. He’s been invaluable for helping me through all the crags and crannies of writing, and I wouldn’t have made it this far without him.

 

10) what else about your book that might pique readers interest?

Well, the main characters are almost all tumblr-worthy. Dirk is an asexual black man, and Yumil is a genderfluid homosexual. Their adoptive son, Jorgan, later in life goes on to be the savior of the world. So there’s that. XD

 

There you have it, my WIP, which I haven’t touched in several months. This blogpost, however, has rekindled my love for it, and I think I’ll be starting editing again. So thanks so much for sticking around and reading this! Post your information down below, and I’ll tag you in it, so that you can gush about your WIP too!

IWSG – 03/01/17

  • Posted on March 1, 2017 at 12:15 am

There’s a lovely group of people who listen to my woes and comfort me every month, and this month I have the honor of giving back by co-hosting the lovely Insecure Writer’s Support Group. If you don’t know about this group or are relatively new, here’s how it works:

  1. Click on the picture
  2. Sign up
  3. Post a post every first Wednesday about your struggles as a writer, your triumphs as an author, and any encouragement you have to give others. (prompts are provided, most times.)
  4. Go and read about other’s struggles and comment with support!

When I was fourteen years old, I had a dream. To this day the only thing I can remember about the dream was that there was a sorcerer and a swordsman, and the swordsman ran the sorcerer through with his sword. He caught the dying sorcerer, and the sorcerer said to him, “You never could save me.”

That’s how two of the main characters of the Kurylian Saga were born. Others came afterward, but Yumil and Dirk were the ones who stuck around the most. I drew comics of them, I wrote short stories to myself. I even considered making a full-blown manga out of their adventure.

In the end, I settled on a book, and with the encouragement of my then-boyfriend, in 2013, I wrote the first draft of the Kurylian saga. The characters were wonky, the settings were forgettable, and the action was… well… inactive. I met my mentor, Chris Votey, and began work on the second draft. And then the third. And then I put it away for almost a full year, while I was homeless and running around my town trying to get my feet back under me.

Most recently, I’ve been struggling with a feeling of dejection. That the story I was telling was either not good enough, or that I, as a writer, didn’t have the skill to tell it. I absolutely drove myself mad over it to the point where I considered whether or not to scrap the book entirely and just move on.

I tried to do just that. I opened rough draft after rough draft. I tried different genres. I tried everything. But I always came back to Dirk and Yumil. The two of them needed their story told, and my fourteen-year-old-self was still in love with the way their world worked.

So I went to Chris and I asked him for help. As always, he gave me lovely lessons on world building, and how to use what I was learning in college in my writing. Then he set me the challenge of writing short fiction. Just real quick 500-750 word drabbles centered around one of the other characters in the story named Eamon.

Doing this unlocked something in me, and I found myself starting to get excited about the book again.

However, those doubts started niggling again. I couldn’t possibly be writing this right. I was obviously doing something wrong. Why was Eamon acting this way, when I had thought she was a more simple character?!

Chris came to me again and offered me the chance to analyze Dirk and Eamon, to see how they really ticked. I jumped on it, thinking that, as always, Chris must have some kind of reasoning behind it. And to be honest, I’m not the greatest at Character Profiling. Or world building. Or prose. Or, well you get the drift.

The first thing we did was sit down over voice chat, and he started asking me questions. I was instructed to answer the question three times. Once for Dirk, Once for Eamon, and Once for myself. I recognized the questions as being similar to an MBTI test I took and abandoned halfway through a long time ago.

For those who don’t know, MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is a psychological profiling system. It’s become very fashionable lately to know what your MBTI is on Tumblr, so I’ve kind of been rolling my eyes at it as any kind of diagnostic tool. However, Chris is on the verge of something wonderful, so I went along with it.

Going through the questions made me think about things I’d never considered before. Was Eamon organized? Did Dirk like being in the center of crowds? Did either of them enjoy spending time outdoors or indoors more? The questions were thorough and difficult to answer.

Over the course of the questions, however, the two of them started to form more solidly in my head. These were real people I was talking about suddenly. Not characters in my mind, but people I knew more intimately (apparently) than I knew myself!

It got me to thinking, however, about the characters and how they were and what they were doing. I started asking myself questions about my other characters, like Yumil and Jorgan and Anelace. Were any of them wallflowers? Did any of them answer emails promptly? It made me feel more connected to the story, which suddenly made me want to write more on this behemoth that had already taken up four years of my life.

And then, a few days later, Chris said he had the results. And when we went over them, something amazing happened. It was more than just a confirmation of who the characters were. It was like Chris was reading to me a manual on the characters that I had dreamt up, loved, and written for years. They came alive on the paper, and their actions suddenly made SENSE.

Dirk adopted Jorgan because his emotions thrive on love and care, and children are love and care incarnate. Eamon feels pressure to be like her father because it’s difficult for her to be original because of her personality. Everything made sense. I wasn’t crazy. These characters really were like real live people.

More than anything, by getting to know these characters, by learning how they think, how they feel, and what their rich inner lives were like, I knew that I was doing the right thing. That I was the writer to tell their story. After all, if I could make a complex character that fit into a personality profile used by psychiatrists, how could I possibly be doing my story injustice? I hadn’t known that these profiles existed when I made Dirk. So I wasn’t copying.

I had known Chris was doing research on personality typing for character creation, and he had mentioned MBTI types as well as astrology. Now I couldn’t help but wonder if his research for that project was what he used to help me. He confirmed it, of course, when I asked him. I felt so privileged that he would share such a thing with me.

I was so giddy with elation I rushed out of our voice chat, leaving poor Chris behind,  just to write all of this down. So let me tell you, fellow writers. If you are lacking motivation, or if you feel like you aren’t good enough… Sit down with your characters. Get to know them. Learn their inner lives. Do these things, and you’ll find that you ARE a writer, you are a good one, and you can do this.

After all, they chose you to tell their story.

So get out there, and tell it.

By the way, the test Chris recommended I use to find out the other characters MBTI profiles is right HERE, so feel free to use it! I also recommend THIS WEBSITE for getting to know each MBTI type.

As an aside, next month I will be joining the Blogging A to Z Challenge, co-hosted by IWSG’s Alex Cavenaugh! Follow me now for awesome articles every day in april!

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Weekly Writing Update – 06/11/15

  • Posted on June 11, 2015 at 7:28 am

I’m so close, guys, I can feel it! Unfortunately, i had to add in a whole new element with the Knight of Kuryle book, which is testing my limits aMAZINGLY. Who knew I was so bad at dialogue?! But I’m doing my best to get it in there, because it’s SO important.

Word Counts: 

First Book of the Kurylian Saga: 1.5 sections rewritten –

  1. Knight of Kuryle – 18,604 words – roughly half rewritten.

Kaimi Rowe Series: Seeker Born – Rough Draft – Restarted w/new concept

  1. Snippet can be seen in Bruises and Broken Bones

An Asexual’s Guide to Dating – Outlined – one section handwritten

Blog Posts:

IWSG – Security

Books Read

None finished this week, sadly. Would love to see some reccomendations for this one!

Goals 

Finish rewriting Knight of Kuryle

Two more blog posts for this blog this week!

Read all of Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer

Start Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell

Favorite Books

  • Posted on May 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Dirk

  •  The Tales of Sir Duodect, transcribed by Priest Bodelaire – An accounting of the great hero, his triumphs, and his vendetta against the BoneMan.
  • An Unabridged History of Sorciere by Danika Bleuwig. – A thick tome that describe the wars and politics of the countries that make up the continent of Sorciere, Kuryle, Shea, Durdil, and Thosfig.
  • Is Donato by Drata Imrun – A definition of how a prince is meant to behave, look, rule, and function in society in order to find peace within himself and peace with his people, written by a Durdilian noblewoman.

Yumil

  • Is Donato by Drata Imrun
  • An untitled black leather volume written by their master
  • Irveine’ The Beast Wife – A novel written by a Kurylian noblewoman. A young princess is cursed to be a hideous beast, until the day she can earn someone’s love.
  • A Treatise on Proper Gardening by Intir Lakayma – A Shaean gardener’s manual, which describes many way to cultivate plants and herbs in arid and often non-inviting locales.

Jorgan – Cannot read yet, however, he enjoy listening to others read, and looking at illuminations in the books.

Eamon

  • Is Donato by Drata Imrun
  • A Priest-Queen’s Role,  Translated by -ridiculously long list of names- -A book of poetic retellings of the history of Kuryle, based around it’s many Priest-Queens.
  • And She Broke by LaVire – LaVire is a penname for the most scandalous novelist in the continent. Her books end up everywhere, and they are filled with infamous descriptions of liaisons between women with almost no men present.

Lette

  • Irveine’s The Beast Wife
  • Irveine’s The Blackbird – Princess Ondine is turned daily into a crow, and during the night, she is kept like a queen by a sorcerer whom loves her obsessively. She meets her true love, and they escape together into the night, the sorcerer hot on their heels.
  • A Priest-Queen’s Role

Anelace

  • Is Donato by Drata Imrun
  • Durdilian History – Seven volumes compiled by numerous scholars and wise men.
  • The Book of Omens by Lady Andess do Extavir – the almanac by which Durdilian nobles follow to a tee, said to give good luck when followed, and horrible disaster when ignored. The book is reprinted every year with new information.

Espin

First Light

  • Posted on October 17, 2014 at 12:29 am

Memory is a fickle thing, inherently wrong, yet personal in the greatest of ways. All of our memories are biased, based upon information our mind stores and corrupts. Stories we tell ourselves become memories, despite never happening. Things that happened turn out a different way when we think back on them.

Most personal to us all, and most telling of whom we will become, is our very first memory. The first bit of light our mind stores away for us in the world. These memories hide from us, little snippets of time. And then, like magic, a scent, or a sound, the touch of a familiar fabric, or the hum of a certain frequency reminds us, and it comes crashing back like nothing was ever missing at all.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The prickly poking of hay. The scent of his mother, soft and creamy like milk just warmed up, and the sound of his father’s quiet voice. Later, Dirk would learn that the conversation was their first discussion about whether they should go back home to Thosfig, back to their tribe. His nose itched, and he rubbed his little fingers against it to make it go away.Noticing how sharp his little fingernails were, he curled them into his palms. Crickets chirped somewhere, and he could hear crackling, like fire. His eyes felt heavy, and he didn’t want to sleep.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Pain. Yumil remembered pain first. A too-tight grip of an adult hand around a small wrist. The red of lines cut into child-soft skin by fingernails dyed with pigment from berries.  Yumil remembers looking up at her, her tawny hair shining in the sunlight. She is beautiful, and frightful. She calls him a bad boy,voice hissing. Yumil feels his stomach twist and clench, fear climbing inside. She is angry, and to Yumil it’s as if she has always been angry and will always be angry. He finds anger burning inside himself to match, hot and terrifyingly close to tears.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

She can’t remember the words anymore, but Eamon remembers the soft feeling of her mother’s chest. Her cheek fits against it perfectly. She remembers the hard push of her sister’s knee against her own leg, and the laugh in her mother’s voice. She recalls the lines of her sister’s hand and how it felt to rub her thumb along them until Lette shrieked with laughter, like it had tickled her. Eamon remembers how warm she felt, wrapped up in the two of them. A mix of flowers and cool water always brings this memory to her mind, and she smiles.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Grass tickling her nose, and a small round bug crawling along between the blades. Red like string scattering across her vision, as she was lifted from the earth. Her hand still reaching out for the little black bug, bigger hands tight against her ribs They squeezed a little painfully, but only enough to make her whine in the back of her throat. A murmur of her name, and Lette looks up. Her father’s green eyes smile down at her like the water of a murky lake. She smiles back, and giggles. His hand, scratchy with callouses, brushes back her hair.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Blurs moving past him, dark things swimming around the edges of his vision. Espin remembers crying, crying so loud and so long that he was sure no one heard him. He remembers unpleasant smells, something he later knows is the smell of sickness and waste. He remembers the crying making it worse, stopping his nose and how panicked he felt. A cool hand on his forehead was all that kept him awake, and he cried, and cried. Sleep would be kinder. His stomach lurched, and he felt hotness sear his throat and splash out his lips. Nothing eases his pain.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Her big brother’s back, warm and strong. Anelace was tied to it, she could feel the soft cloth against the back of her neck, feel the bounce of his step as he walked. He talked to her, telling her stories, and she burbled back to him. Her fingers found his coarse woven dreads, tugging for attention. She remembers how he smelt like sunshine and camels. He was so big, and strong, he carried her like she was smaller than an ant, and it made her feel small and she thought he must be the most powerful thing in the world.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

She was always angry. So angry. His mother was angry at him, yelling and screaming, and Jorgan hated yelling. He wanted to hide and forget. It made him cry, which made her so much angrier. She called him hurtful things he can’t remember later, things that might be true. Her palm struck his cheek, and his world went spinning. Pain blossomed in his jaw, his teeth rattling, as he toppled over. His cries came louder. The snap of a belt made his chest squeeze, and fear silenced him. His father’s footsteps, shaky and unstable, curled him into a tight ball.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

What glimpse does this first light give?

photo courtesy of flickr.com

Greener Pastures (for Goats)

  • Posted on April 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm

“Goats? You brought me here-” The pale sorcerer swept hands out and used them to indicate the expanse of green grass and hills, “To show me goats.”

Dirk gave a bit of a sigh, and smiled, ruefully. Even on good days, Yumil was still judgemental and easily annoyed. It surely didn’t help that one of the little bastards had decided to chew on that long black hair either. The Knight rescued the lock from it’s unwelcome attendant, and settled his arm around Yumil’s shoulder. It seemed to settle his partner, and that was always welcome. Yumil had a firey temper, and a love of elemental magic powerful enough to blow up small mountains. Dirk would be lucky to escape if this turned south.

“No. I brought you here to give you a gift, and to get away from the capital for a bit. We’ve been working hard, and…” Dirk swallowed, unsure if he should really give this bit away, knowing how Yumil was with this sort of thing. “And I wanted to spend some time with you.”

The stare he got was incredulous. Golden eyes searched him over for any sign that he was lying, any  indicator that he was setting up some cruel trick. He wished he could take that sort of fear away from Yumil, but after so many long years in servitude, the mage was too long used to it. Yumil was born into torment, and everyone thereafter just let the sorcerer down, one way or another. It was tragic, and Dirk ached to fix it. So, instead of letting Yumil stew in such feelings, he pulled out the package. He’d had to ask several of his acquaintances for help, including the Priest-Queen herself, and while Lishtair had been busy, she had offered invaluable advice to this end. He was hopeful that it would suit Yumil’s tastes.

Slender hands took the package, and unwrapped the linen inside from it’s soft yellow paper. The ribbon, a bright crimson, disappeared, and Dirk had no doubt he would see it in Jorgan’s hair, at some point soon. Dark eyebrows quirked, and fingers unfolded the cloth. The sharp gasp of breath felt like a treat to the knight, as Yumil realised what it was.

“This… This is beautiful…” The sorcerer held the dress up against the thin body, and smiled a small, wibbly smile. “Why would you…”

“Because I saw it, and thought you’d look amazing in it.” Dirk answered, giving an unaffected shrug. It was easy to get out, considering how many times he’d practiced it in the mirror. Truthfully, he’d hunted for that dress for weeks, along with Eamon and her partner, Anelace helping. Those girls were a lifesaver. The ruffles at the chest and sleeves would look perfect, and lend femininity to what little masculinity was clinging to Yumil. The long flowing skirt would help add to the mage’s hips. It was perfect, and in a shade of light lavender that would look beautiful on his skin. Dirk was proud of himself for this.

At least, he was, until Yumil teared up, sniffling. He watched as the darkest mage of the century held a dress to a thin, sobbing chest, and cried. Unsure what he’d done wrong, he swallowed, and wrapped his arm around Yumil once again. “Come now, look, you’re scaring away the goats.”

Indeed, the goats were wandering off, towards somewhere else, some other greener pasture, and when Yumil looked up, and smiled at Dirk, the thosfigian man thought perhaps, they were too.

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