Wednesday Words #36 (9/2/15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

(Click for larger image.)

WW 9-2

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

A Writer’s Work Is Never Done

August is over already?

I managed to meet my 1K-a-Day Challenge for the month.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, as I was about 14,000 words behind at one point, but then I found a great group on Facebook that has really helped.  It’s called The Writing Desk  and its sole purpose is to keep you accountable for writing.  From the group’s description:

“The Writing Desk serves to be an anti-procrastination station. Here, everyday members are expected to post their production and together as a team we can cheer one another on. Think of it as a year long NaNo.

“Here, there will be no forum talk (that’s what forums are for), no political debates, no self-promotions, no book reviews, no writing prompts, no videos of cats, no reason to procrastinate. I know it sounds cruel, strict and militant but hey- if you want to procrastinate go to YouTube!”

So, anyhow, even though I caught up on word count, I don’t think I’m going to get Book 7 finished this month.  For one thing, I’m back to a section where I’m patching other stuff together, and that is slow going, as well as confusing.

And for another, I’m not sure exactly what the “end” is. Hopefully I’ll recognize it when I get to it.

But I’m off today, and for the first three days of September, so my new goal is to have it finished before I go back to work, and maybe have the patchwork part of book 6 (there isn’t as much of it) done too.

And be a few thousand words ahead of par.

And update the outline for my NaNoWriMo project, and set up a three ring binder with pocket dividers to hold outlines for future novels:  the NaNoWriMo novel; sequels to Song and Sword, Onyx Sun, and Sanguine; and anything else too insistent to ignore.

And I need to get to work on the revisions for Onyx Sun.  I do have one scene written to add in, and plans for at least one other.

Unfortunately, the scene I wrote spawned an idea for a spin off using a minor character who became very intriguing in that scene, with a back story that really needs exploring, so I suppose I should add that to my outlines binder.

I can’t seem to write fast enough to keep up with the plot tribbles’ breeding habits.

So, to summarize:

I’m revising one novel
writing another
doing first edits on another
and outlining another one — or four or five

And I need to start getting stuff ready for NaNoWriMo — putting up fliers, etc.

And worse? When I’m not looking some more things will sneak onto the list.

It’s never ending.

Never done.

 

3 Comments

Filed under writing

Sunday Snippet August 30, 2015

More from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel currently in third round edits/revisions.

Picking up from last week, in which Belyn mentioned rumors that Swann House was tied to a crime syndicate.

 

“I’ve heard the rumors,” she replied, her dark eyes troubled. “But Maureena kept all the books and was quite… closed-mouthed… about her dealings.  I do know that if Swann is involved it is all her doing – Grandmother fretted about it as well.”

Belyn nodded.  “I know you wouldn’t be involved in something like that, but I do worry that you might get caught up in it just because you’re Maureena’s daughter.”

“I’m not quite sure if I can claim that title anymore or not.”

“She can’t disown you.   The House has to pass to you – there isn’t anyone else of your bloodline.”

“She can always have another.”

Belyn snorted. “I can’t imagine her having given birth the first time, let alone going through it again.  The expense, the pain, the messiness of the whole thing… She probably had hair stylists and cosmeticians there during the process keeping her looking like she just came from a salon.”

 

Next week we get to meet Taliya’s father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Comments

Filed under writing

What’s in a World?

Normally I write fantasy (sometimes science fiction) and they are not set in our modern world, which means I get to create the world pretty much from scratch.

I wish I could tell you that I have a logical systematic approach to world building.

(Actually, I wish I had a logical systematic approach to world building.)

But I can’t, because I don’t.

I tend to be very character-driven when I write, which means that I create the characters, let them talk to each other and interact with each other and just generally do stuff, and the story flows out of that.

And along with the story comes the world that it happens in.

The positive part of this method is that the world doesn’t restrict me in any way, since it’s being created as needed.

However, it does also tend to have some drawbacks. For instance, I find myself with names for places so I end up with things like “[BRY’S HOMETOWN]” scattered through the narrative of the rough draft.  Or, worse: “[HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET FROM WIDNA TO CLAIMACH?]”  Or even worse: “[REALLY NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW THIS WORKS AND STICK WITH IT.]”

So, for my NaNoWriMo novel this year (What? You’re not planning yours yet? It’s only two months away!) I’m actually creating the world in advance, as I do the outline.

This novel is set in the “real” world and in modern times, although in a fictional town.

In a way, this is easier – I don’t have to figure out how things work or how long it takes to get from one place to another, etc.

In another, I’m somewhat limited by the setting.  There are still a lot of elements of fantasy/paranormal in it, but I am caught in the mesh of reality.

I’d like to say that setting it in the modern world requires less world-building, but I’m not finding it to be so.  I may not be creating an entire world, but I am creating an entire fictional small town, and since all of the story is set in this town (as opposed to everything else I’ve written in which the characters wander around quite a bit) I need to make the town be a living breathing thing all its own.

Have you ever stopped and looked at all the things that are in a town?

Streets, stores, restaurants, businesses (like a notary public or insurance agents or car dealerships), bars, churches,  people, parks, schools, playgrounds, fire companies, town government and maintenance, utility companies, police, library…

And then towns – even small ones – have sections with locally known names.

And there are surrounding towns and stuff on the outskirts of towns, and…

And it’s really a lot more involved when you’re creating on a smaller scale (one town/local area) than when you’re creating on a grand scale (an entire world).

So, what’s in a world?

A lot!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Wednesday Words #35 (8/26/15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a classroom
a flash flood
a broken watch

 

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

A New Novel

November is coming

So I was just browsing along on the internet, minding my own business, and out of nowhere I was ambushed by a plot bunny.

And not just any plot bunny.

No, this one was quite insistent and forceful and parked itself in the middle of the road and said, “You shall not pass.”

And the problem was, it was just a baby, just the inkling of an idea, barely a twinkle in the eyes of its parents.

But less than two days later it was full grown and now I’m outlining it and world-building like mad.

For November.

Yes, I have found my NaNoWriMo project and it is purring and nudging me and leaving little pieces of ideas for it everywhere I turn.

It’s going to be a bit different.

It’s going to be set in modern times, for one thing. The last time I tried something set in modern times it turned into one of the biggest disasters ever to hit a computer screen.  (It has potential but it’s still relegated to the “Novels I’m Ignoring” file (yes, that’s a real file on my computer) because it needs an almost complete overhaul, starting with the murderer isn’t really the murderer, and murdered is protecting the real killer.)

For another thing, there’s a female main character.

Onyx Sun’s main character is female, but for the most part my MCs are male.

Ah, yes, the main character…

I’m normally very character driven in my writing, but this is shaping up differently.  I’m getting a better handle on the plot than I am my main character.  I have a name and basic description but no real handle on who she is.

Maybe she doesn’t know who she is either at this point, and is only starting to find herself?

I don’t know, but so far things seem to be happening to her and she’s not in control of much. That’s going to have to change between now and November.

And it will.

Also, this book actually has a title already. (*waits for readers to pick themselves up off the floor and get back into their chairs*)

And… (*readies the smelling salts*) I’ve even started on a blurb for it!

So, yes, I’m excited about this project.  So are some of the friends that I’ve told about it, at least one of whom is betting that I’m not going to be able to wait until November to start writing it.

And I am eager to start.

But I also really want to get these last two books of The Academy of the Accord series finished this year.

Plus, there’s a lot of world building to do yet.  But more on that on Friday.

For now…

Go forth and plot for NaNoWriMo!

 

5 Comments

Filed under writing

Sunday Snippet August 23, 2015

More from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is about to get hit with some revisions, courtesy of beta reader suggestions.

Skipping over some conversation in which Belyn has tried (unsuccessfully) to be the voice of reason.  Belyn is speaking first and changing the subject.

 

“Have you called your father yet?”

“No, not yet.  That’s next on my agenda.  Or maybe I’ll wait until I’ve checked out the ships.”

“There are other dealers, you know; you don’t have to go with Vastyne Byrd.”

She tilted her head curiously.  “Is there something wrong with Vastyne Byrd?”

He shrugged.  “They’re no worse or better than any other dealer, I suppose.  There are rumors that they’re tied to the D’Rannen Syndicate but then there are rumors like that about most businesses, either to the D’Rannen Family or another.” He hesitated for a moment.  “Including the Swann family,” he added softly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under writing

Good News, Bad News

That’s what my writing life has become: a good news/bad news joke.

(Actually, sometimes I think life in general is a joke, but that’s another story.)

Anyhow…

Good news: I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to finish Book 7 of the Academy of the Accord series this month, which only leaves me one book to finish by the end of the year in order to have all of them rough drafted.

Bad news: I’m not going to make my goal for my1K-a-Day Challenge this month unless I write something other than Book 7 of the Academy of the Accord series.  Seriously, patching a book together out of scenes shared with another book (or two, in some cases) and random scenes that I wrote because they needed to be written is far more time consuming than I expected. And while I may have added 5000 words to the story in one day, I actually wrote less than 500 new words. It’s really hard to get into a groove and make any headway when you’re only writing 25 or 50 words at a time to link scenes together.

Good news: I’m just about to a place where I can write a few hundred words, and soon (by the end of today, I hope) I’ll be done with all (or at least most) of the patching.

Bad news: I still don’t think it’s going to be enough to get caught up on my word count goal for the month.

Good news: I have lots of other stuff I can work on for word count if I need to.

Moving on:

Good news: I got Onyx Sun back from a beta reader, and it mostly passed.  The concerns she expressed were, for the most part, not too different than the ones I already had, plus a few things that make sense in my head but apparently don’t in other people’s – which is why I love beta readers.

Bad news: I have a fair amount of tweaking to do and some scenes to add. (I could write those scenes as part of my 31k for this month – and I probably will – but that’s going to be almost as frustrating as the current patchwork project.)

Good news: That tweaking and adding is going to make a better novel and will solve some of the logic problems that have been bugging me.

Bad news: September might turn into October before it gets released.

(I don’t like October releases because then I’m heading directly into NaNoWriMo insanity and don’t have time to promote it.  Of course, I suck at promotion anyhow, so…)

And speaking of NaNoWriMo…

Good news: I think I know what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo in November.

Bad news: It’s something entirely unrelated to any of my current projects. (Which means sequels are on hold. Again.)

And so it goes.

I’m no longer certain if I’m maintaining my sense of humor or losing my grip on reality or even if there’s a difference.

But I’m having fun.

I think.

If your current life was a joke, what kind would it be?

 

3 Comments

Filed under writing

Wednesday Words #34 (8/19/15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a bicycle
a graveyard
a four lane highway

 

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

5 Comments

Filed under writing

Now What?

I have finished the second round of edits on Onyx Sun and it’s now in the hands of some beta readers, so it’s all done and ready to go, right?

Wrong.

There is still a lot of work to be done on it, even before I hear back from them.

For one thing, there’s a cover to commission, which means deciding on a cover artist, which means looking at the work they’ve done and finding someone whose style I like, then hoping they are still doing covers, have the time for a new client, and are within my budget.

Then there’s the front matter.  You know: the copyright notice, work of fiction disclaimer, acknowledgements, special thanks, etc.  That doesn’t really take too long, though – it’s just annoying “busy work.”  (But necessary busy work.)

Then there’s the blurb.

The dreaded blurb.

I’m working on it and so far…

I’m going to be brutally honest here.

It sucks.

The blurb sucks, working on it sucks, revising it sucks.

There are line editors, copy editors, content editors.  There are people who will make covers, who will format the book for you, who will even write reviews if you pay them.

Is there such a thing as a blurb-writer?

If not, could there be?

Yeah, probably not.  Ah, well, it was nice to dream.

So, all of that can be worked on while waiting for feedback from the beta readers.

And once I hear from them it’s good to go, right?

Wrong.

Once I hear from them there will be another round of editing and revising based on their comments.

Then there will be some time for me to sit and stare at it and think about more revisions and tweaks and…

And eventually I’ll have to say “enough is enough” and format it to upload to Amazon and Smashwords.

And if history repeats itself I’ll be feeling miserably tense through the whole process (and backing up each stage in case I screw it up), and my hands will be shaking as I push the upload button.

Someday — maybe by the time I finish the Academy of the Accord series — I won’t be nervous when I send a book out into the world.

Maybe.

 

2 Comments

Filed under writing