Sunday Snippet January 25, 2015

This is an excerpt from my current project.  This is a very rough first draft and may or may not have been creatively edited to fit the 10 sentence limit.

This continues from last week.  Traeasyun is speaking.

 

“Nevertheless, there is no use in him being here for this.”  She crossed the room and opened a door: a man in the uniform of the castle guard turned at the sound, his eyes searching the newcomers for some sort of threat as she ushered Ta’elsin out of the room.  “Take him someplace to wait until we have finished, and see to it that his needs are met.”

“Of course,” he said, bowing even as the door snapped shut. Straightening, he turned to Ta’elsin and extended his hand. “My name is Arrek, and I am at your service.”  

“Ta’elsin.”    

“I am pleased to meet you.”

Ta’elsin accepted the proffered hand and took a moment to study the warrior: Arrek’s grip was strong and sure, but it was his eyes that held Ta’elsin: they were dark brown, soft and warm and somehow soothing, and for a moment he wondered…

He shook the thought away and forced himself to focus on reality: he knew that the chance of finding the boy who had rescued him was nearly non existent, and yet he couldn’t help but wonder… and wish.  

He drew a deep breath.  “So, now what?”

 

(The prologue is available on Wattpad if you’d like some background information.)

 

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Did I Say 25K?

Remember on Monday when I said that my current novel (the unnamed second book of an unnamed trilogy) was going to finish up at around 25k?

I was wrong.

I finished it on Tuesday at a little over 21k.

Okay, so I didn’t really finish it.

Well, I sort of finished it.

I wrote the final scene.  And I like it.

But…

It was too easy.  It happened too fast.  I need to go back and add in some drama and excitement and a few near misses.

And I might extend the timeline to a few years instead of a few months, except I’m not sure that would be realistic.

So, I’m going to be re-working the events leading up to the final scene to make it more… meaningful, I guess is the word I want.

I’ve also realized that I was doing more telling than showing, but my main P.O.V. character (Ta’elsin) really isn’t involved at the events at that point.

Which is silly.  I have no problem with writing from Arrek’s P.O. V., especially since Ta’elsin is coming across as really whiny and insecure in this book – something else to fix in the edit/re-write phase.

I’m also toying with the idea of writing a few scenes from the P.O.V. of the still nameless prince, but that leads to the question of how many P.O.V.s is too many?

 

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Wednesday Words #2 1-21-2015

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:
Who? an old woman with a baby carriage
What? a cookie
Where? a city street

When, why,and how are up to you, so have fun!

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

Also, if you have a moment, please help make the prompts better by telling me what kind of prompts you like:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z5K6C7X

Thanks!

 

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Cushions and Padding

You know that 3000 word cushion I built up? I’m glad I have it, even if I may not ever need it.

I usually do my 1K after midnight, before I go to bed.  But Friday night I was really tired so I went to bed before midnight (nearly unheard of!) planning to write before work on Saturday.

Saturday morning, however, I woke up feeling crappier than the words I’d been churning out, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get anything written.  I told myself that it was all right if I didn’t – after all, that’s why I worked to get ahead on word count – so I’d have a cushion in case of a bad day.

(I do the same thing during NaNoWriMo – you never know when life is going to happen.)

(Actually, I do the same thing at work – try to get as much done as I can as early as I can because one little thing can throw my shift out of whack and knock me back an hour or more.  Nursing and writing apparently have more in common than I thought.)

But anyhow, back to Saturday.

Despite feeling like I’d crawled out of the back of a dumpster after an all night bender, I started writing, and managed to get a little over a thousand words added to the novel.  And some of them weren’t even garbage!

So, I didn’t need it, but it was nice to know that my nice comfy cushion was there.

Cushions are nice.

Padding I’m not so sure about.

Right now this novel is coming in way short.  I’m thinking it might hit 25K if I’m lucky.

So now the challenge is to figure out why, and how to fix it.

Part of why is that for some reason I seem to be racing through this, like I’m eager to get to the end.  I’m not sure why that is, except that I have the end scene in mind.  (Maybe I should write it so I can slow down and get to it.)

And part of it is that my outline is sort of disjointed and all over the place instead of nice and organized and orderly.

So, how do I fix it?

Well, there’s always word padding.  But adding words for the sake of adding words never turns out well.

However, I am (as always) severely short on description, so going back and setting some scenes here and there will probably add a thousand or two.  (I think I need to do some writing exercises where all I do is describe settings – that really is one of my biggest downfalls and the thing that I tend to not do.)

And there are places where I’ve left myself notes to go back and insert scenes that will make the current one make sense.  That is directly attributable to the poor outline – I simply forgot to put some things in there.  I’m hoping that they’ll add another 5k or so.

That still is going to make this way too short to be called a novel.

Maybe.

I’m actually kind of eager to start on the edit of this, just to see how it turns out.

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet January 18, 2015

More from the very rough first draft of my current project.  The following excerpt may or may not have been creatively edited to fit the 10 sentence limit, or to at least come close to it.

Skipping ahead from last week — Ta’elsin and Berrebren are in the castle and have been ushered into a room where two men and a woman are waiting for them.  The men are the king (who still needs a name *sigh*), and his brother, Mishelzon.  The woman is the Royal Wizard, Traeasyun.  Introductions complete, Traeasyun speaks first:

 

“Thank you for coming, Berrebren, your expertise will be much appreciated.”  The woman’s voice was smooth, but reminded Ta’elsin of snake slithering across a rock.

“I am honored to have been asked to attend,” Berrebren replied, bowing, “and I hope that I may be of some assistance.”

Her gaze fell on Ta’elsin, dismissing Berrebren from her notice.

“An apprentice, Berrebren?  That’s not like you.”

“A repayment of a debt, Traeasyun.  Sagyl had taken him in but died without finishing his training and I owed him a favor.”

“Has his training been completed?”  Her eyes, one pale blue and the other such a pale green as to appear translucent were fastened speculatively on Ta’elsin.

“Near enough,” Berrebren responded off-handedly.  “He has been taught the arts, but he lacks experience.”

 

(The prologue is available on Wattpad if you’d like some background information.)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s All Crap

Yes, I’ve hit that point.  You know the one:  there you are, plugging away at your masterpiece, and suddenly you realize that everything you’re writing is garbage, nothing but pointless drivel. It doesn’t add to the plot or develop the characters or set the scene or do anything else even remotely useful.

We’ve all been there, right?

So what is a writer to do?

Keep writing, of course.  Write the bad stuff.  Let the garbage sit there on the page. Write more of it.

Why?  I mean, you know that it’s all going to get cut in the edit, so why keep adding to it?

Because eventually you will write yourself out of that spot and the plot will advance and the characters will develop and the setting…  Er, let’s not go there. I suck at scenes and settings.

(Plus, you need to get it out of your system.)

But the point is, keep writing, even the garbage.  Especially the garbage.  Because  when you go back in a few months to edit, you may find that it’s not as bad or as pointless as you are thinking that it is, or you may find a few treasures among the trash.

And if there aren’t, well, then, it’s really cathartic to put a big red X through it when you edit.

And remember: “The first draft of anything is shit.”

Who am I to argue with Hemingway?

 

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Wednesday Words #3 1-14-2015

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:

time: late night in winter
place: a deserted road
event: a one vehicle accident

 

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

 

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Names! (Sort of)

It should come as no surprise that names are one of my worst stumbling blocks.  Actually, probably my number one stumbling block.  I still have Word docs with names like “Kel and Tirza” because I can’t seem to come up with a name for the novel so I named it after the main characters.  (And that file is from November of 2011 – I have even older ones with even more ambiguous titles.)

Names are important and I really struggle to get ones that are just right, that have the right sound and feel.

Right now I am 12,000 words into book two of a trilogy, and I am missing several important names.

Like, oh… I don’t know… a name for the trilogy? A title for book one? A title for book two?  Oh, and the king is still nameless.

But even worse? The Prince, who, while not really a main character is more or less the central focus of the entire trilogy, is still semi-nameless.

Semi-nameless?  How can you be semi-nameless?

Well, it’s simple, really – I can’t decide on a spelling.  (The joys of being a fantasy writer…)

His name is:

Corran
Corrin
Corin
Coren
Corren

I’m leaning mostly toward Corin… I think.   Or maybe Corren.

But for now he’s still [PRINCE] in the manuscripts.

But on a brighter note, as soon as I finish my 1000 words for today I’ll still be 2000 words ahead on my challenge.  And I’m off for the next four days so here’s hoping for some good progress.

And maybe a name or two.

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Sunday Snippet January 11, 2015

This is an excerpt of a work in progress that doesn’t have a real title yet. (The Word doc is called “T&A” for Ta’elsin and Arrek, the main characters, but I gave it a working title of Betrayal for NaNoWriMo and Wattpad purposes.)  This is a very rough first draft and may or may not have been creatively edited to fit the 10 sentence limit.

Skipping ahead a few lines from last week. Berrebren is the first speaker, asking Ta’elsin about the temple.

 

“What were they going to do to you there?”

“They… they were going to burn my eyes out.”  He was shaking and had to force himself to continue as the images flooded back to him.  “I – I remember the hot poker coming toward me and then Sagyl was there and… and he took me away.”  Somehow Ta’elsin could not bring himself to mention the other boy, the one who had helped him escape: that memory he held to himself, too precious to be exposed to Berrebren’s scorn.

Berrebren nodded.  “That explains why you were so scared when you saw the place, then.”  He glanced ahead of them to the castle doors.  “Come on.  I’ll probably be tied up in meetings all day but I’m sure they will make sure you are comfortable.”

 

(The prologue is available on Wattpad if you’d like some background information.)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh, It’s Lovely Weather…

Back to work for me today, after three days off.

So far I’ve been staying on track with my 1K-a-Day challenge.  I’ve been writing a thousand words every day, and when I do today’s 1K (which I’ll do before I go to bed) I’ll actually be two thousand words ahead.

Not bad, if I do say so myself, although I had wanted to be further ahead after my three days off.

(On the other hand, my three days off didn’t go exactly as planned (does anything ever go exactly as planned?) so I’ll be happy with what I’ve got.)

(Well, “happy” might be too strong of a term once it comes time to edit: this last scene was a rather maudlin info dump that’s going to take a lot of cleaning up to be usable – but that’s a worry for another time.)

It’s been really cold (single digit cold, zero degrees cold) for all three days so I’m hoping my car starts this afternoon. I suppose I should leave early enough that if it doesn’t I still have enough time to get to work after AAA comes to jump start me.

(Yes, I do live close enough to walk to work.  No, I do not want to walk home in subzero wind chills.)

Needless to say, with these kinds of temperatures my novel is currently taking place in winter, which brings me to a question.

Does weather play much of a role in your novels?  Do you take into account the seasons?

I’m going to admit that I don’t, as a rule.  Sometimes I use weather as a plot device but not all that often, really.  I mean, I’ve tossed in a hurricane or two, and an occasional thunderstorm, but usually I don’t talk about the weather.

Except for winter.

Winter has great plot potential: blizzards, white out conditions, frost bite, hypothermia, getting lost, snow, sleet, freezing rain, downed trees and branches from the weight of the snow or ice, roofs collapsing, hard to walk through deep snow, easy to fall on ice… And it’s so much easier for the good guys to be tracked if they’re in the wilderness.  Not to mention that the weather may delay them from starting out on a quest or trap them somewhere… Ah, yes, it’s lovely weather!

 

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