Birth of a Plot Bunny

So, there I was, minding my own business, reading stuff on FaceBook, when I came across an article about a wand maker in England who had been quoted as saying he wouldn’t sell his wands to Harry Potter fans because they are tools, not toys.

Now, I had read an article about this a week or so ago, but suddenly when I was reading this one something clicked and a plot bunny was born.

Well, maybe only conceived; it’s not a full sized plot bunny yet, just the barest hint of an idea.

How bare of a hint?

Well, I don’t have any characters, nor do I have a setting. Is it modern times? Fantasy world?

What do I have?

One very brief scene. Like ten-seconds-out-of-the-whole-story brief.

Fortunately, it’s not nagging at me too much.  Yet.

But I’ll probably kick it around in my head now and then to see what becomes of it.

Because, you know, I need more projects.

 

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Sunday Snippet August 21, 2016

Posting from Book 8 of The Academy of the Accord series this month.  Terhesh is a Wyverian, a race that looks rather like a human/dragon hybrid: they have wings, a tail, scales instead of skin, and talons on their toes.  He is roughly fifteen years old.

Picking up from last week’s snippet.  Terhesh is surrounded by four cadets with drawn swords, and has drawn his own in response.

 

“What is going on here?”

A new voice cut through the night and all four cadets stepped back and came to attention as a tall bearded blond man approached them.  He wore the robes of a Master, but there was a sword at his hip and he moved with the sure easy grace of a warrior.  At his side was another cadet;  he was smaller than the others but he pushed through their ring to stand at Terhesh’s side, one hand resting casually on the hilt of his sword, his body relaxed and at ease, but poised and alert.

“Master Yhonshel,” one said.  “It was going to attack us.  You saw it, it drew its sword.”

“That’s enough.”

The cadets flinched at the anger in the man’s voice.  “D’temmar, report.”

“Sir.  We were on curfew patrol when we saw… this.”  The cadet gestured toward Terhesh and Radenth.  “They seemed to be struggling and then the warrior went down.  He appears weak, as if injured, but we don’t know what it did to him.”

Terhesh could see the Master’s jaw tighten in anger and he trembled, despair colder than the early spring night clutching him.  The cadet standing beside him touched his arm in gentle reassurance, and Terhesh looked at him, startled as much by the touch as by the feelings of protectiveness that swept through him, but the cadet’s gaze was focused on the Master he had come with, as if waiting for a cue.

“I said that was enough.”  The Master’s voice was sharp, but quiet.  “The four of you will wait here until Commander Marsden comes for you.  You will not move or speak until he does.”  One cadet opened his mouth to protest, but no sound came out.  Another tried to back away but found himself rooted to the spot.  “Be aware,” the Master continued, his voice deathly soft, “that your swords will likely be broken and the four of you confined to the stockade.”

 

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 8-20-2016

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Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

Posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision and which I’m hoping to publish later this month.  (Those of you who participate in Sunday Snippets may remember parts of this.)

There may or may not be some creative punctuation involved in the following text.

She was still smiling as she settled her craft into the lot next to the building and powered down.  When she opened the door and stepped out she was immediately grabbed.

“Lady, you are just on the brink of losing it,” Belyn said. “I’m thinking we should skip dinner and just go to my place – I have a bottle of white wine chilling for you and your room is all ready and waiting and stocked with tissues.”

She laughed and hugged him. “Oh, no.  You promised me dinner at Curtey’s.  Besides, I know you want to flirt with Robus.  Are you making any headway with him?”

Belyn made a face as he took her arm to escort her into the restaurant. “I’m over him. He’s all looks, no substance.”

“Who’s the current heart throb?”

“There isn’t one. I’ve given up.”

Taliya snorted.  “Sworn off men?”

“Love.”  He flashed her a grin.  “But I’ll be over it by next week.”

Taliya laughed.  Belyn’s buoyant nature was healing and infectious, and something resembling a sense of normalcy returned – as long as she didn’t let her mind stray to the events that had led her here.

And Belyn didn’t let it stray. Despite his clowning, he was attentive and sensitive, and every time her thoughts drifted he brought her back to the present, somehow managing to get her through dinner with her dignity intact.

 

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Due To Circumstances Beyond My Control…

Sometimes, life just gets in the way.

I had huge writing goals for this month:

Onyx Sun:
finish the revisions
find a cover artist
write a blurb
format the novel
release it

Academy of the Accord:
finish entering changes to Book 4
enter changes to Book 5
MAYBE edit Book 6 (first round paper edits)
try to get books 1 through 4 (maybe 5) in the concordance

Other:
rough draft outlines for two sequels to Song and Sword (and a prequel)
write at least 100 words a day in an existing WiP

I might finish entering the changes to Book 4 of The Academy of the Accord, but nothing else related to that series is going to happen.

And there’s a slim (very slim) chance that I’ll finish the paper version of the revisions to Onyx Sun, although I’m not entirely certain that I’ll get them entered into Word, so no way is it coming out this month.  I think I’ll shoot for October; September would be awesome, but it’s unlikely. (Current situation isn’t going to resolve until midway through next month.)  I do have a few versions of a blurb for it, though, so I might settle on one before the month is out.

I have been doing the hundred words a day, so there is that at least.

Anyhow, the tl;dr version: it’s over halfway through the month, and over half of my goals for August are not going to be reached.

The things that I want/need to do for my personal goals keep getting pushed to the back burner.  Or rather, I feel guilty for taking “me” time so I’m sort of sneaking it in on breaks from the cleaning and decluttering chores.  The reason for the delay is a positive one, but frustrating nonetheless, and I am increasingly feeling like I don’t have any time for the stuff I want to do.

On the other hand, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s dim and flickering, but I do catch a glimpse of it now and then.

 

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Wednesday Words #86 (8/17/2016)

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:

“Angry?  You ate all my cereal and faked your death for three years! I have a right to be angry!”

(Prompt tweaked from prompts found on FaceBook.)

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

 

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Never, Never Project

I had a college roommate who was tatting a tablecloth.  She called it her “never never project” because she was “never never going to get it finished.”  I’m beginning to feel like that with the Other Mages trilogy.

About halfway through October 2008 I decided that I was going to do NaNoWriMo. I’d been thinking about it for a couple years but for some reason I suddenly decided that now was the time.

So, on November 1st I started writing. I had a vague idea and no outline, but I had a lot of fun and I hit 50,000 words and wrapped up the story.

(Well, to be honest, I thought I was done with the story way before I hit 50K but since I didn’t think I could pull of a 10,000 word celebration orgy I kept writing and got an ending that really wrapped up the story.)

A few things happened that November.

One, I got hooked on NaNoWriMo.  As in totally addicted. I remember reaching the goal and finishing the novel and just staring at my computer screen, thinking, “I did it. I wrote a book. Wow.” which was immediately followed by, “It’s all over until next November.” (My roommate’s response to that was “No one said you can’t write the other eleven months of the year.”)

Two, I got hooked on novel writing.  My roommate was right – I didn’t have to wait for NaNoWriMo to write, so write I did.

Three, I learned what happens when you don’t have an outline.  (One character who was supposed to play a very minor role became very important.  Not too bad of a change, right?  Except about 2/3 of the way through she had a complete change of alignment that was great for the plot but not so great for the future editing.)  And there are plot holes you could fly an Air Force squadron through.

And, four, about midway through writing it I realized that it was actually book three of a trilogy.

So instead of trying to fix the mess that Xooshemi (don’t worry, her name is going to be changed) made of things, I decided to write the other two books first.  Book One didn’t present many problems but Book Two is making me want to tear my hair out.

For one thing, I never outlined it. I have a vague idea of where it needs to go but I don’t have a clear end scene.  And somehow the focus has shifted from Katheri to Trebor and Sidden when the book is supposed to be about Katheri coming into her power.

And the whole Trebor and Sidden thing is going to royally muck up Book Three.  Maybe.  I might have found a way to keep it and skirt a plot hole.

But I’m still having trouble with where it needs to end up.  And without knowing that I have no idea how to get there.  So I think I’ll put it away again for a while and see if my subconscious can figure out a solution while I’m working on something else.

Maybe I’ll work on writing a new version of a scene in the Trilogy Without a Name.  (It’s actually the original version that I had planned before the plot hijackers main characters took a detour.)

But I will get back to The Other Mages, and it will see the light of day.

Some year.

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Sunday Snippet August 14, 2016

Posting from Book 8 of The Academy of the Accord series this month.  Terhesh is a Wyverian, a race that looks rather like a human/dragon hybrid: they have wings, a tail, scales instead of skin, and talons on their toes.  He is roughly fifteen years old.

Picking up from last week.  Radenth has collapsed and Terhesh is trying to get him back on his feet.

 

“Halt!  Who enters?” 

Terhesh looked up at the sound of the voice, hope flaring.  Someone was coming.  Help was coming.

Four cadets approached, each resting a hand on his sword, and for a moment he felt a surge of fear, but Captain Radenth had said that this would be a safe place, that it would not be like Arcane Academy.

“Please,” he said, “He has been ill.  He needs a Healer.”

“Great.  Another freak,” one muttered and the other three stepped away from him, surrounding Terhesh and Radenth, and Terhesh tensed.

“What’s it got?”

“A human warrior,” another replied. 

“What did you do to him, freak?”

“Nothing.  Please. I told you.  He has been ill.  He needs a Healer.”  Slowly Terhesh rose, his eyes flaring, his wings half extended.

“Yeah?  Well, there’s an Apothecary in the village.  This is a school for wizards and warriors.”

“I know,” Terhesh replied struggling to stay calm.  “Captain Radenth said we should come here.”

“There’s no Captain Radenth at this school,” one said.  “So I suggest you go back where you came from.”

“He needs a Healer,” Terhesh repeated.  “Please.  If you will not believe me, look at him. Help him.  Or talk to your own Captains and Commander.  Captain Radenth wrote to them.”

“We don’t need to check with them to get rid of trash,” one sneered.  He stepped forward, drawing his sword and the others followed suit.  Terhesh responded by drawing his own, dropping into a defensive stance, even knowing that he could not prevail against the four of them.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 8-13-2016

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Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

Posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision and which I’m hoping to publish later this month.  (Those of you who participate in Sunday Snippets may remember parts of this.)

Taliya has left her mother’s house and has called Belyn, one of her best friends, to let him know what has been happening.

There may or may not be some creative punctuation involved in the following text.

 “What are you going to do now?” he asked.

“I don’t know yet, Bel. I just left the house.”

“Well the first thing you’re doing is meeting me at Curtey’s.  You need a drink and food, and probably more drink than food.”

Taliya laughed in spite of everything.  Belyn was hard to say no to and Curtey’s was one of her favorite restaurants, which he well knew.

“All right,” she agreed. “I’ll meet you for dinner.  But no alcohol.  I need to stay in control.”

“Honey, what you need right now is to let go of that control and just… let go.”

She felt tears welling in her eyes.  “Not yet, Bel.  I know I need to, but just… not yet.”

“All right.  Tonight, after dinner, at my place.”

“Your place?”

“You do need a place to stay, don’t you?”

“Belyn, no.  I can’t.”

“Of course you can.  I won’t take no for an answer.  See you at Curtey’s.”

Belyn cut the connection before she could reply and she laughed, shaking her head.  She had known Belyn Weaver her entire life and she never had been able to say no to him and make it stick.

 

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When Will I Ever Learn?

Okay, so yesterday I was chugging along entering changes into Word from the first round paper edits of Book Four of The Academy of the Accord.  I had 22 pages left to go, when I found this green sticky note:

See “rest of note” and combine

Um, sure.  What rest of note?

Oh, wait. There’s another green sticky note flagging a page later on.  Maybe…?

Yep.  It says:

rest of note

*sigh*

What made me think that leaving it like that instead of having it all neatly ready to type up would be a good idea?

So, instead of possibly finishing entering the edits before work, I ground to a halt to try to figure out what I was planning to do with the note.

Seriously, self.  Why?

Anyhow, I took the offending pages to work with me to see if I could sort out the mess on my break and, nope. For the life of me I still can’t figure out what I meant for me to do there.

So it’s looking like both “notes” are getting redone entirely.  (Their purpose is to implicate someone in a plot, hint at a larger plot, and tie into the overarching plot of the series.)

It’s also looking like Book 4 is going to need another going over before it goes to a beta reader. I’ve noticed several places where I need to show instead of tell. Why I didn’t catch them in the paper edit is beyond me, although I think it might be attributable to fatigue.  The places that are more telling than showing are later on in the manuscript, when I was tired writing it and even more tired editing it.

So I think when I finish entering the changes I’ll go through and write the scenes that I glossed over before calling it ready for beta.

Meanwhile, the release of the series seems to be getting farther and farther away.

And Onyx Sun is glaring at me because it feels ignored.

And I still can’t leave myself notes that will make sense when I read them.

 

 

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Wednesday Words #85 (8/10/2016)

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:

ww 8-10

(Click for larger image.)

(Found on FaceBook.)

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

 

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