Monthly Archives: January 2016

Sunday Snippet January 17, 2016

Skipping ahead a bit in Book One of the Academy of the Accord series.  Marsden has reached the town of Claimach to rescue Vinadi, a wizard who was stranded there when his escort (Rodak) was killed in a bar fight.

Vinadi has been kept locked in a room in the loft of a barn.  I’m picking up with Marsden finding him.

 

The air in the barn loft was hot and heavy, and what little breeze managed to find its way through the gaps between the boards only served to stir up the dust and make it seem even hotter, and Marsden felt sick as he slid the key into the heavy padlock, afraid of what he would find beyond the door.

A wall of heat met him, bringing with it the stench of human waste and unwashed body, but Marsden barely noticed.  It was the figure in the center of the room that held his attention.

The wizard was on his side, gagged and blindfolded, his arms and hands bound behind his back at the wrist and elbow, other ropes securing his knees and ankles. The grey robes that marked him as Journeyman were torn, revealing bruises that ranged from the yellowish green of almost healed to the red and purple of recently inflicted.  He made no effort to move, gave no indication that he was even aware of the warrior’s presence, and Marsden choked on a wave of fear. Had he arrived too late? Was he only in time to rescue a corpse?

 

 

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 1-16-2016

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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.

Continuing from Disturbed Magic (until or unless a better title comes along) and picking up from last week’s post, in which a group of half a dozen guards from a merchant caravan were harassing a woman in an alley.

This is a rough draft that’s not currently being worked on, so all the usual warnings apply, and then some.

 

The men finally tired of their game and one of them knocked the blade from her hand, and grasped her wrist, pulling her to him as she cried out in pain and sobbed, struggling.

“Let her go.”  The words were out of Kel’s mouth with no regard for the odds and all six men turned to see who was interrupting their fun.  Seeing Kel standing alone in the alley, they burst into laughter, and Kel smiled.  Sometimes being small was an advantage – they were seriously underestimating the danger they were in.

“Who’s going to make us?” one of them asked, evidently deciding to humor the slight figure facing them.

 

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Half a Plot Bunny

…is better than no plot bunny.

I think.

A few days ago a friend and I were chatting on FB (Hi, Dani!) and a plot bunny hopped into the conversation.  So of course, both of us being writers, we tried to push it off on each other.

It’s not really a plot bunny, though.  More like half a plot bunny.

But what do you do with half a plot bunny?

Well, I don’t know what she’s doing with hers, but I’m putting mine with another half of a plot bunny.

And, no:  writers have a special kind of math in which two plot bunny halves do not necessarily make a whole.

Let me explain.

I had a story idea.

Well, sort of a story idea.

What I actually had were a couple main characters and a few minor ones.  And a building that they live in. And sort of an idea of what they do. (They’re kind of like Jedis, only different.)

Then I grafted on the new half of a plot bunny and got some added depth involving… I’m not sure what to call it. Finding a soulmate? Your other you? I’ll need to define it more closely eventually, but for now, it’s there, hovering over the story and trying to find a piece of plot to wrap itself around.

So I have a bit of world building but no story, no plot.

That will come as I get to know the characters more, get some back story on them.

More world building will come along with it because right now, other than the one building, there isn’t much. I’m not even exactly sure what to call what the not-Jedis do.

But I’m in no rush.  I have plenty of full grown bunnies to work with, not to mention way more works in progress than any one writer should have.  And let’s not forget The Academy of the Accord – I’m still about halfway through entering the changes for Book One, book Two is done with the first round paper edits, and I’ve started them on Book Three.

I just wish the half bunnies weren’t so persistent.

 

 

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Wednesday Words #55 (1/13/16)

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 game of hopscotch
a wild animal
a beach

 

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

 

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Weekends

I’m giving up on weekends.

Okay, so I can’t really take them out of the calendar or anything, but I’m going to have to reconcile myself to the fact that I don’t get anything accomplished on Saturday and Sunday.

For one thing, I work weekends. This by itself would not be a problem, at least, no more of a problem than working on weekdays, but (as you’ve no doubt noticed) I now participate in two blog hops on weekends.  I try to keep up with them as people post (so I’m not trying to finish them at the end of the week) so that kind of puts just about everything else on hold.

Remember that fifty word paragraph I was having trouble with in Friday’s post? Well, I rewrote it Friday night and tried to type it into Word on Saturday.  It took over an hour because I didn’t want to fall behind on the blog hop.

On a brighter note, I had a really good night of doing paper edits on Saturday, and I’m almost done with the first round on Book Two of The Academy of the Accord.

But, yeah, I’m going to have to lower my expectations of productivity on Saturday and Sunday – and probably most of Monday, too.

This wouldn’t be so bad if I could count on making up lost time on my days off, but I’m afraid I’ve been slacking then, too.  Sometimes it seems that the more time I have to do something the longer it takes me to do it, and I’m actually more productive on work days.

No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to start working seven days a week. I need my weekends – even if they aren’t the same as everyone else’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet January 10, 2016

Continuing with Book One of the Academy of the Accord series, which is about halfway through the first round of edits (with probably two more rounds (at least!) to go.  Picking up from where I left off last week.

The last line from last week’s snippet:
“There’s a wizard stranded out in Claimach.  His escort got killed in a fight and he needs a warrior.”

 

“What kind of fight?”   “Who was it?”   “Who’s the wizard?” 

The questions all pelted him at once but he shook his head.  “Wizard’s name is Vinadi. I don’t know any more than that.”

“Rodak was with him,” someone said.  “He’s a tough fighter.”

“Any takers?” Ulav asked, his piercing gaze traveling the room.  The warriors looked at each other, avoiding his gaze. 

“Right,” a man with pale blond hair replied. “We’re all just dying to risk our necks for some worthless wizard that’s already gotten one warrior killed.  Or maybe I should take it — I’ll bet he did something to violate the Accord and that’s what got Rodak killed. He probably even killed him. Let him rot there for a day or two while I think it over.”

“I’ll take it,” Marsden said, casting a disgusted look at the speaker.

“You sure, son? You just got in.”

“I’m sure.”

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 1-9-2016

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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.

 

Continuing from Disturbed Magic (until or unless a better title comes along) but skipping ahead a bit from last week’s post.

This is a rough draft that’s not currently being worked on, so all the usual warnings apply, and then some.

Denied the hoped-for job with merchant caravan (“You’re too young and too small,” the man had said.   “Come back when you’ve grown a bit.”) Kel is returning to the barracks of the Free Swords…

 

“Stop it! Please!” The words choked off in a scream and Kel turned toward the sound.  No one else seemed to be paying any attention to the disturbance; it was apparently normal and accepted – or at least expected – behavior from Caravaners, but Kel was oath-bound to respond.

The scream came again, this time accompanied by sobs and Kel followed the sound behind a cluster of tents and booths and into an alley.

Half a dozen men were gathered around a small woman, laughing as they made grabs for her and she slashed at them with a dagger in a desperate attempt to keep them at bay.  No one had lost any blood yet, nor were they likely to, Kel thought; the woman was no fighter – her stance was all wrong and the only thing right about her grip on the dagger was that her hand was on the hilt and not the blade.  Still, she was fighting rather than giving up and Kel couldn’t help but admire her spirit.

 

 

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Roadblock: Construction Zone Ahead

So, I’ve been zipping along entering the changes of the first round of edits for Book One of the Academy of the Accord series, and according to the page count I’m nearly half way through.  (It really helps the motivation to know that there is someone waiting to read it.)

And then, there it was.

No warning.

Just a sudden stop.

Nothing all that major, just enough of a snag to make me lose momentum.

(And it’s extra annoying because it’s one of those things that I should have fixed in the paper edit and didn’t so now I have to.)

What kind of snag?

Vinadi’s last name.

(I’ll need one for Marsden, too, before this is done, but for now, I need Vinadi’s for the note they found.)

I mean, I can’t send this mess to my beta reader:

Members of the House of [*V] must be destroyed. If you are loyal to the House of [*BB] you will not rest until all traces of them have been removed from the world.  Destroy House [*V] and all that it has built and you will be rewarded beyond measure.”

[*V] refers to Vinadi, of course, and [*BB] refers to “Big Bad” (the villain behind it all).

Actually, the whole thing really needs to be redone, based on events in later books that changed a few things.

Come to think of it, there are other large chunks coming up that are also going to be headache-inducing.

But that’s a later worry.

Today’s “editing” project is going to be rewriting that note so that it fits with reality.  Who would have thought that fifty words could cause so much trouble?

Pass the Excedrin…

And buy stock in it.

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Wednesday Words #54 (1/6/16)

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 king
a snowstorm
a goal

 

 

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

 

 

 

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So Far, So Good

I know it’s too early in the year to pat myself on the back, but so far I’ve written something in my current novel every day. Okay, so I think my total so far is around 120 words, but they are 120 words that weren’t there on December 31st.

And I’ve been editing.

I finished the first round of paper edits of the first book of The Academy of the Accord series, which is not really all that impressive – there wasn’t that much of it left to do.  Hopefully I’ll be able to make a pretty good dent in entering the changes in Word over the next couple of days while I’m off.

(Paper edits:  I print a completed first draft and do the edits on paper. It’s easier for me to “see” scenes that need to be moved or deleted if I have physical pages to flip through.)

Currently I’m working on the first round of paper edits of the second book, and am making really good progress – so much so that I’m wondering if it’s too much to hope for to have both books One and Two ready for a reprint for a second round by the middle of the month. (Probably, but I can dream, right?)  I’m actually beginning to believe that I might be able to get this series ready for a 2017 release after all! (Yeah, yeah. It’s only January 4th. Don’t get excited — we’ll see how I feel about it in August.)

Then, of course, I need titles for all twelve books, but that’s a whole other long sad story.

On a brighter note, my attempt to organize my projects is going well.

Maybe too well.

So far I have nearly 50 index cards with stories on them.  Some are just plot bunnies or vague ideas, but still… And there are at least three others that I don’t have a good way to label a card for yet, and I’m sure there are many others that are just waiting to remind me that they exist.

(No wonder it gets so crowded in my head!)

I need to come up with categories so I can color code them. I’m thinking WiP (Works in Progress), MiE (Manuscripts in Editing), and S&E (Starts and Ideas).  But I need to make a distinction between “WiP” and “Start” – how much writing constitutes a WiP as opposed to a start?

And how much juggling can one person do with professional intervention?

 

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