Forsaken

Step One

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Tabs_EekSo if you haven’t been keeping tabs on my Twitter feed or page on Facebook, I finished what I’m calling “Step One” of my editing process. Well, the editing process for The Forsaken. I’ve read/heard that the editing process varies book by book, and at the moment I’m inclined to believe it. Anyway.

Step One, for me, this time, was REplotting, alternatively, replanning.

Sometimes, over the course of writing a novel, certain things change. In the course of The Forsaken there was very little that DIDN’T change. Most characters stayed about the same, though motivations and means may have. Characters crawled out of the woodwork that I didn’t know about before, and other little things that changed what happened up front. So I had to do a complete overhaul of the plot.

That’s done. My scene count it at 80, MANY of them new, or needing to be rewritten. I’ve updated the counter at the top right to reflect that. Right now it’s set at zero, until I figure out how many scenes are being kept as is.

So I guess I can leave you with a lesson I’ve learned. Don’t be afraid of change. Change happens. Maybe you’ve got the story wrong, or characters aren’t being totally honest with you. It happens. If it happens in the middle of a draft, make a note of it and carry on. Don’t go back and change to respond to that, just write on as if it’s already happened. Yes, this means that characters drop off the face of the earth and others react to things that have never happened but draft one and two and three all the way up to the one before line editing are made for mistakes. That’s what they are for. They’re there to for you to get it written, before getting it right.

Have you noticed any oft-repeated cliches coming true over the course of your own writing? Or the flip side, have you noticed any cliches that are obviously false?

Short Snippet Sunday – Shadows Fall – 2

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My self control is great today! Managed to get this post up before passing out in bed. Go me!

In case y’all haven’t noticed, I added links to my Twitter, e-mail, and my Facebook author page. You should follow me, “like” me and can email me anything. If I like it enough, I may even post it on my blog. If I get some writing/book related questions, I will probably do a FAQ page as well as answer them in a blog post! I look forward to hearing more from you guys. Spread the word! *ahem*

Twitch, Crow and she took a sling each and the knife she shoved through her belt. It wasn’t easy to hunt with stones from slings, but no one had managed any success in making a bow yet. They made due. In no time at all, they had bagged three squirrels and a bird that Crow had caught on a lucky throw. Spotting the nest a little ways away, Sparrow quickly scaled the tree and liberated the three eggs there.

“You should be ashamed, Crow. Killing family like that,” Twitch gave him a friendly nudge with his bare foot.

It’s not much, but it’s a glimpse into what their “normal” routine would be before it all goes to hell. I actually spend a lot more time developing that in Shadows Fall than I do in The Forsaken. The first three scenes in Shadows Fall are normal, then in the last scene shit goes down. But in The Forsaken shit happens right away. You get half a scene of “normal”.

Do you prefer a quick start to the conflict, or more drawn out when reading?

My Week in Review

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Thanks to K.R. Green for this idea!

This will normally be posted on Friday’s but I slacked yesterday, and until I find or are suggested a better title, this will be it. BUT! Onto the review.

As you all know, I’m editing The Forsaken (Mortality Book 1).I’ve drawn a map, gotten a few new chapters planned out and learned a thing or two.

One- Devin and Damon got across the map too fast. I didn’t realize how far away they were until I drew the map, but damn. I had to draw that out. Which is great, considering I’m lengthening the novel.

Two- Never forget what’s going on in the background. I had almost completely forgotten about the antagonist (who remains almost completely hidden until book two), until I reached a point where I knew I had to throw something else at them, but didn’t know what. Then it was like “duh, he hasn’t killed her and isn’t going to stop trying.”

My tip?

Don’t forget about what’s going on behind the scenes, even if the readers don’t necessarily see it, something is still happening and it may just affect what the readers do see.

I haven’t gotten any of the new scenes written yet, and there’s quite a few of them. Once I have a count, I’ll update that bar on the right hand corner with the correct number (of scenes or chapters, I haven’t decided yet) and keep you guys updated weekly.

Look forward to the Snippet tomorrow!

Again, if there is anything, anything, you guys would like to see on the site, throw it out there. I’m always listening and always open.

Editing is Hard

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It’s kind of like bashing your head against a brick wall.

Until you know what you’re doing.

Well, that’s what I assume anyway, as I still haven’t quite found a way that works for me. My hard times may have something to do with the fact that I was a LOT younger while writing most of it, and I didn’t know how to stick to one view point. Nor did I know what a scene was. Or a chapter. Apparently.

Adding to the frustrating factor is that so much of the behind the scenes has changed, therein changing what actually happens. Some characters don’t exist anymore, others play a MUCH larger role than they had entered with and it’s just a big mess at the moment.

Also factoring into this, is the fact that my writer-brain is rebelling against all attempts at fiction on the computer. I can’t write anything new, unless I do it by hand. And also editing kind of stops at opening a new scene and staring at the blinking cursor.

So with my new (free) printer at hand, full of ink and an empty three-ring binder, I hope to beat this editing block so I can get The Cursed to beta’s and get it to my Editor by October. Fingers crossed.

Wish me luck!

Big Changes

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Okay, so I hinted at this on Twitter practically a month ago, but I’ve been putting off the blog post for God only knows why. Seriously, I don’t know. But here it is.

Mortality is no longer titled Mortality. It’s called The Cursed. 

I still plan on the trilogy being called the Mortality Trilogy, but book one can’t be Mortality. It’s for one simple reason. Starting with Mortality I had no naming convention for books 2 and 3. With The Cursed, book 2 is The Forgotten and book 3 is The Fallen. If any of you come up with a F-word that goes along what ‘cursed’ means, go ahead and throw it in the comments and I’ll take it into consideration for a different title for book one. It would be awesome, but I’m coming up blank.

Oh yes, and Shadows and Lies is also being retitled. It’s now called Shadows Fall. It flows and sounds a lot better than Shadows and Lies though I don’t have books 2 and 3 or that trilogy titled, yet. I’ll keep you in the loop.

Give It A Rest

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[APOLOGY: I am so sorry I have not yet gotten up the interview K.R. Green and I did with S.M. Boyce. If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed I tried right before bed, but I didn’t want to screw it up. My schedule is so wonky right now… I feel like I’m sleeping more than ever but I’m more tired every day than I have ever been. Doctor’s Appointment tomorrow morning, as well, so I don’t know when I’ll get that video ready and up. Hopefully by the end of the week!]

This is a post about editing.

I don’t remember exactly when I finished Mortality. I think it was around December. But as soon as I typed the last words, I wanted to jump straight into editing. I was so in love with what I saw that the book could be. So I did. I jumped right in. Wrote a single scene of prologue, and then stopped.

If I’m right, and it was December, I’ve been stopped for four months. I haven’t done a thing. I’ve looked at it. I’ve re-read it many times. But I haven’t done any editing. Until Sunday. I was talking on Skype with K.R. Green (pre-interview) and she kinda got me back to it. I’ve got two new scene’s started. They’re not finished yet, but they’re started. And it’s going pretty smooth.

My point is. Some writers go back and edit straight away. They can’t let a book sit. I thought I couldn’t. I had so many grand plans for the rewrite and I didn’t want to forget a single one of them. I wanted it all done right now.

But, I think, when I went to go actually edit, I was afraid of making it worse. I know it’s bad right now. Oh it’s so bad. But you know what? It’s a first draft. It’s OKAY for it to be shit. The second one is probably going to be shit, too. But hopefully a smaller pile. Or perhaps a little less rank.

If you are new to the writing game, and have a first draft under your belt. Go ahead. Edit right away if you think that’s the person you are. This was my first finished draft of any long piece of work. I thought I was that type. Don’t be discouraged if it turns out you’re not. Go ahead and set it aside for a few months. Maybe work on something else. But get back to it.

Don’t let it sit aside indefinitely.

Characters on Couches (1)

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Preliminary cover for Mortality

 

Today, if you did not read yesterday, I am taking part in something called Characters on Couches. It is hosted by the lovely, and perhaps insane, Murphy. *snerk* “perhaps”, I’m funny.

ANYWAY, if you follow that link it will take you to her blog which you should totally check out, you know, once you’ve finished reading here.

Enjoy.

 

Characters on Couches #1
Damon and Nicholai
Here we go. I’ve never done this before, so it will be an experience. But then again, neither have they. I have called in two of the men from Mortality, Damon and Nicholai, both vampires, and both fighting on the same side. Nicholai has an animosity towards Damon that is more than just jealousy, and we are gathering here today to find out just what that reason is.
Damon arrives first, punctual, as usual. He wears black pants, tight, but loose enough to allow movement. His blue shirt just barely shows through the gap in his long coat. I don’t know why he bothers with the coat, we both know he can’t feel the cold. His black hair hangs almost to his shoulders and no matter how pristine the rest of him is, it’s in perpetually disarray. It doesn’t help that he runs his hands through it constantly, as now.
“Come in, come in, please sit.”
His deep blue eyes turn to me, and even as his author a feel a tingle to my fingertips.
“So this is the real world, then?” He does finally sit, back straight, hands palm-upward in his lap. He wasn’t allowed weapons, though he seems quite comfortable without them.
I laugh, sitting on the desk I fashioned for myself, instead of behind it. “It’s my world, if that’s what you mean.”
I decided I’d go with a sort of business-like attire. Keep things professional. But I detest skirts and so am wearing a nice, dark gray suit. My hair is pulled back into a neat pony tail, keeping it out of my face and keeping with the professional motif. The time ticks by as we wait for Nicholai. My foot taps of its own volition, and out of nowhere the song “Some Nights” by FUN begins playing.
Damon quirks an eyebrow slightly as he looks at me, and I can see why Devin would fall for him, even if she didn’t have a choice. I can feel my cheeks redden as, even though this is my world, I put the music back in my head. Just as the silence is beginning to get awkward, at least for me, the door bursts open, slamming against the wall.
“What in the nine hells is going on? Where are we?” Nicholai.
Perhaps at one time he was considered handsome. His hair is short and blond, his eyes are a brilliant, bright green, and his muscles are large and well defined, while Damon is more lean. However, any good looks he may have had are destroyed by the sneer that is pasted on his face.
Damon sighs. “We are in the world of our authour, Nicholai, please try to keep up.”
He is nothing if not polite, though Nicholai sees the hidden insult. It’s cleverly done, if I do say so, but I clear my throat. Arguments like this will get us nowhere.
“Now, do you both know why you are here?” I look to Damon and then to Nicholai, who stands far too close for my liking. “Please, sit, Nicholai, I can’t stand people who tower over me.”
Nicholai does what I asked, sprawling in a seat he scrapes against the floor, pushing it farther away from Damon’s. Damon watches with a bemused little smirk, I swear he knows how good looking he is, but the look disappears before Nicholai can catch sight of it. He looks directly at me, or through me (I’m not so sure), as he answers.
“You have not informed us of what it is you wish, though as it is only the two of us, I can guess.”
I nod, motioning for him to continue.

 

“I wish it to be understood that I bear no animosity toward Nicholai, he has disliked me from the moment we recruited him.”
I swear, I love the sound of his voice.
“And how did you recruit him?”
“His was an abnormal case, you see, normally they come to us. But twenty-eight years ago-. Surely you know this.” His head tilts to the side curiously.
Nicholai continues, not waiting for my confirmation or denial of knowledge. “Twenty-eight years, seven months and three days ago, they saved me from a Hunter.”
“Alright. I’m confused. Why did their saving you make you hate him?”
“I could have handled myself quite well without them butting in,” he shoves his chair back and stands, facing Damon. “You have your precious Devin now, but what about me?”
He’s yelling, but Damon just sits there looking up at him, letting it wash over him.
“You kill the Huntress “accidentally,”” he actually makes the air quotes and I fight the urge to giggle. I never giggle. “and then put in my mind this grand plan to become mortal. What kind of sick game is that?”
Damon still doesn’t say anything, so I ask. “What was this Huntress to you?”
He rounds on me, and if looks could kill, well, his story would never be told. His voice grows quiet, but no less angry. “She was my Soul Mate.”
Damon lets out a small moue of surprise, as I let out a similar squeak. It’s a quite unbecoming sound to make.
Nicholai turns away from me, not looking at Damon as he heads for the door. “I will never forgive him.”
As the door swings shut, Damon looks like if he could, he’d be sick. He can’t go green around the gills, or turn pale, but I recognize that look on his face. It’s the look of someone holding down bile, or holding back tears. But then again, he can’t cry either. He slumps now, the only time even I have ever seen him lose his composure. He cradles his head in his hands and speaks to the floor.
“I had no idea.” At first, I don’t think he’s going to say anymore, but before I can go and comfort him, he continues.
“Normally we try to explain things, set them on the trail of others, some of Damian’s crew perhaps. But she refused to listen. Even then we try to spare them, perhaps knock them out and leave them some place harmless.” He takes a deep breath. “I messed up. I let myself succumb to the Ahrin, and when I returned, well, that werewolf got off easy.”
He stands now, and gives me a sad smile. Like the metaphors I use far too often, it makes my heart ache.
“That is all you wished, correct?”
“Uhm, yes.” As he walks toward the door, I remember what I forgot. “Oh! If you could please tell the girls that I will be seeing them next week?”
His back goes rigid. He stops with his hand on the handle. He slowly turns toward me. “What girls?”
“You know. Helena, Hope, and Dev-.” Before I can finish her name, I can’t breathe.
I’m off the desk and Damon has pinned me by my throat to the wall behind. His eyes are mostly black, though I can tell his fighting the Ahrin. “You are not putting her in a room with the two of them.”
I manage a smirk despite the fact I can’t breathe. As I look at him, the arm pinning me to the wall begins to move of it’s own- well, my own- volition. It’s a battle of wills, and I, as his author, am going to win. His arm is at his side, and I can breathe again.
“You cannot tell me what to do, Damon Fa’erha.” His eyes narrow in surprise. “Yes, I know your true name Mr. Damncry. Now, you will either tell the girls or you won’t. That’s up to you. But I will be seeing them.”
I slip out from around him and pick up my clipboard and pencil.
“Have a good day.” He bows slightly before gliding through the door.
Once he’s gone I throw myself into the unused plush chair behind my desk and finally let out the sigh/giggle suppressed the entire time.
“I take it you enjoyed that?”
The closet door opens and Hilia stepped out. Her almost lemon-yellow hair is loose but for two thin braids that circle the crown of her head. It looks quite lovely. Her sharp green eyes seem to look through me as she looks at me, however, and goose bumps raise on my arms.
“I did. So what do you think?”
Hilia shakes her head, taking a seat in the chair Damon had used. She taps her chin with her thin, perfectly-manicured fingers. “I know Damon’s mind better than he does, and he did not lie. Nicholai, however…”
She trails off.
“Was he lying?”
“Oh no, no, you misunderstand me. I am quite certain he was telling the truth. I do not believe he wishes to become mortal again, however. I believe he sees his existence as penitence for letting the girl he spoke of die.” Hilia’s eyes are distant as she glances at the other chair.
“Really?”
Hilia shakes her head slightly. “I cannot be sure without actually seeing into his mind. But I am quite sure.”
“Damn… Never would have guessed. He always did seem like he enjoyed being a vampire.”
“Oh no, he does not enjoy it. I do not believe any hates it so much as he. He feels he deserves it. He deserves it because for all his strength, he could not save the one he loved.” Hilia stands now and tips her head to me. She leaves without another word.
Setting my clipboard and pencil on the desk, I realize I forgot to take notes. Damn.