Tag Archives: paranormal

Sunday Snippet, August 12, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

Skipping ahead a bit from last week. Cara has reached her grandmother’s house (after a few wrong turns).

 

She stepped out of the car and pocketed the keys, taking a deep breath of the evening air and savoring the scent of freshly cut grass. A few birds squabbled in the hedge that surrounded the property and a gentle breeze rustled the leaves and brushed her hair, soothing her.

“I see you made it. Any trouble?”

Jacob’s now familiar voice was closer than she had expected and she jumped, startled.

“Not after I turned the wrong way three times.”

He chuckled, his blue eyes crinkling in his weathered face. “You did well finding it at all after all this time.” He sobered, his gaze sharpening as he studied her. “Any other trouble?”

“I… was delayed leaving the Starlight. The town mayor came to meet me.”

“Jonas.”

She nodded. There was a note of barely concealed contempt in the man’s voice and she shared the sentiment.

“The desk clerk called to tell him I was there.”

“Of course he did. Jonas owns the place. Come on, let’s get your luggage and drop it off in the house and then you can come on over to my place for some supper before you turn in. You look about ready to drop.”

 

Tentative Blurb:

When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.

But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand

 

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Sunday Snippet, August 5, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft.

I’m picking up from last week. Cara met the town mayor while checking out of the hotel and he asked her out for dinner.

“I’m not sure how long I’m going to be in town,” she replied. “I just came for the funeral and then I’ll be going back to Tulsa.”

He nodded. “We’ll be sorry to see you go. If you need any help at all, don’t hesitate to call me.” He handed her a business card. “If you decide to sell the house and business I’m sure I can find a buyer.”

“Sell…?” She looked up from the card, confused.

“You don’t know? Your grandmother left everything to you. Apparently she never took into consideration the fact that you might have a life elsewhere.”

Something in his tone rankled, reminding her too much of her mother’s attitude toward her grandmother, but she forced herself to remain polite. 

 

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Sunday Snippet, July 29, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

I’m picking up a bit from last week — Cara is at the front desk, checking out of the motel.

 

The door opened and another man entered. He was tall, well-built, with dark hair and dark eyes, and too well-dressed to be a patron.  

“Miss Hawthorne?”

“Yes?”

“I’m Jonas Blackthorn, the town mayor. I’d heard you were here and wanted to extend my condolences, and offer to assist you in any way I could.”

“Thank you, Mr. Blackthorn.” Cara forced a smile around her instant dislike for the man. “News travels fast here.”

“I called him,” Bryan said. “I figured he’d want to know you were here.”

“Indeed I did. I didn’t even know you were coming. Perhaps after things have settled we can go for dinner?”

 

Tentative Blurb:

When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.

But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand

 

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Sunday Snippet, July 22, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

I’m picking up from last week.

The room was moderately clean – if you didn’t look in the bathroom – and briefly Cara considered returning the key and driving another half hour to Clairville, a slightly larger town with better accommodations. Instead, she pulled her phone out of her pocket and called Jacob.

“I’m here,” she said when he answered.

“Where are you?”

“I have a room at the Starlight Inn, number 106.”

“Get out of there,” he said tersely. Something in his voice sent a chill tingling through her spine. “There’s a whole house here for you where you’ll be a lot more comfortable,” he added more gently. “And a lot safer.”

“All right.” The relief in her voice surprised her. “To tell you the truth, I’m not feeling too comfortable with this place.”

“As well you shouldn’t. Do you need directions? I know you were just a little thing when you left here.”

“I think I can find it. I remember it being on a hill just outside of town.”

“It’s still there,” he said dryly, and she smiled at the humor.

 

 

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Sunday Snippet, July 15, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

I’m picking up from last week, with Cara checking into a somewhat unsavory motel.

 

“I’d like a room, please.”

“How long do you need it for?”

“I don’t know. Maybe a week, maybe just tonight.”

“You alone?”

“I’m here for my grandmother’s funeral.”

“Grandmother’s funeral?”He seemed confused for a moment as he reoriented his opinion of her. “Belle Hawthorne?”

She nodded. “I’m Cara Hawthorne.”

He handed her a key, his demeanor changing. “The room on the end. I’ll make sure not to put anyone in the room next to you so you won’t be disturbed.”

“Thank you.” She pulled her wallet out of her purse and handed him her credit card but he waved it off.

“No charge for you. Your grandmother was loved by just about everyone in town. We’re all grieving with you.”

 

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Sunday Snippet, July 8, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

She had expected the town to look different, somehow, but as she drove down the main street she felt as if she had never left. The buildings were still the same, as were most of the businesses. She almost stopped to see if Rex’s Drugs still had its soda fountain, but she was tired and wanted to get settled and call Jacob to let him know she was there.

The Starlight Inn was seedier than her memory painted it. To a seven year old it had been a place of mystery; now it was just a run down motel that saw very little business other than an occasional tryst, teenagers getting drunk, and the overflow of alumni and families from the university in another town on homecoming weekend.

The inside was even bleaker and less inviting than the exterior and Cara reminded herself that she was only here for a little while as she tried not to identify the odors that assaulted her.

“Can I help you?”

The man eyed her up in a way that made her grateful for the self defense and martial arts classes she’d taken.

 

Tentative Blurb:

When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.

But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand.

 

 

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Sunday Snippet, July 1, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

I’m picking up from last week

“None of it was your fault.” Somehow Jacob seemed to understand what she meant.

“But I was too late. I – I wrote her a letter, but I should have–”

“She got it,” he said, his voice pure comfort for her soul. “She was so thrilled. She told everyone that you were coming home.”

“But I was too late…”    

“No. It’s not too late. Come home, Cara. We’ll hold off on the funeral until you can come home.”

Home.

Somehow, her grandmother’s house had always been home; no matter where she had lived, every dream that had involved “home” had been set there.

“I–” A thousand thoughts exploded in her mind but her voice was clear and certain. “I’ll be there.”

Her boss and her mother would not be happy, but she didn’t care. She needed to go home.

 

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Sunday Snippet, June 24, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. I think finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

Picking up from last week.

“I’m sorry. Yes. I’m here. And it’s Cara. I do remember you, Mr. Wylde.”

Even as she spoke part of her mind registered the fact that he had said that he “was” a friend of her grandmother’s. “Was” not “am” and something caught in her throat and sucked all the moisture from it.

“I don’t know how to tell you this, but your grandmother…”

“She died, didn’t she?”

“Yes.” 

He didn’t sound surprised that she knew.

“I – I’ve been dreaming about her.” She didn’t know why she was telling him this.  “I mailed her a letter…” Unexpected tears welled up in her eyes.  

“She passed through the Veil last night. It was… unexpected.”

“I’m sorry.”

The nearly hysterical edge to her voice made the words more an apology than an expression of sympathy.

(Yes, I know that “unexpected” occurs too close together. It’s a rough draft; I’ll fix it in edits but right now I can’t seem to come up with a better word in either spot.)

 

Tentative Blurb:

When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.

But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand.

.

 

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World Building — Background Info

First of all, let’s define world building. The way I see it there are two different aspects.

One is the creation of the world, the background information, etc.

The other is showing it to the reader.

Let’s start with the creation of the world and background information. We’ll come back to showing it to the reader another time.

As I mentioned on Monday, I tend to do more world building for things set in the “real” world, like the novel I’m going to be trying to finish during Camp NaNoWriMo next month. You would think that I would do more of it with my more fantasy oriented stuff. I mean, after all, I’m creating a whole world from scratch for that. But no one can actually fact check a world I create, so there’s less research involved.

For instance, this book is set in a small town in Pennsylvania because… Well, because I know small towns in Pennsylvania. I grew up in them and I live in one now. My main character, Cara, is a lawyer, and at the start of the book she lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Why? Because Oklahoma and Pennsylvania have a reciprocal agreement about law licenses so she doesn’t have to take the bar exam again to practice in Pennsylvania. Before I decided on where she lived, I Googled for information about lawyers practicing in more than one state and found the Oklahoma thing. (The fact that I know someone in Tulsa that I can pester with questions helped cement the choice.)

And having never dealt with arranging a funeral or cremation, or settling an estate/inheritance, my search history is a little… interesting… at the moment.

Most of the paranormal stuff in the book comes from general background knowledge that I already have. Some of it came from asking questions in a Face Book group I’m in (my knowledge of herbs can be a little lacking) which actually prompted some people to experiment with different herbal incense combinations.

(I’ll be turning to them again soon with some questions about the Fey and agreements with them.)

For something more strictly and fully in the fantasy genre I wouldn’t need to do all of that.

So what do you need to do for stories that lie outside the “real” world?

Well, there’s a lot more naming involved. Planets (for science fiction), countries, oceans, towns, rivers, etc.

And maps. For fantasy especially you should have a map. (Says the writer with about seventeen thousand notes in various places in her series to “draw a map” or “a map would be nice” or “check the map if you ever get around to drawing one.”)  Now, this doesn’t have to be a really pretty map that you would show to someone else. It just has to be something that shows the relative positions of towns in relation to each other and any major geographic features so that when you have your characters travel from Town A to City B they go in the same direction every time.

And it’s probably a good idea to make the map as you go – or even before hand – instead of getting stuck where I am now with my series. I have a rough idea where most stuff is but there are one or two things that don’t want to fit in. For instance, the Fortress is east and south of the Academy. And there’s a town that is south and west of the Academy. And that’s fine. Except it makes the town too far from the Fortress. (Well, it makes it farther away than I want it to be.)

But that’s okay. I can work around that. My real problem lies with a couple forests that need to be… somewhere. Somewhere south of the Academy, but east of that town, but not near the Fortress.

So, yeah. I really should draw a map.

Another thing about non-reality based writing is government and religion. Not something you have to think about for books set in our world, but for fantasy and science fiction?

And those are both things that I tend to gloss over, usually falling back on a traditional monarchy and not mentioning religion (or even government) unless it becomes an issue in the book. (Or is central to it, like a couple of trilogies that I’m ignoring, one of which probably wouldn’t take too much to finish…)

And I think I’ve rambled long enough for one blog post. On Monday we’ll tackle some other aspect of world-building.

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World Building, Sort Of

Since I touched on world building on Friday I thought I’d write a bit more about it for today.

There’s just one small problem…

I don’t know what to say about it.

When I write something that is science fiction or strictly fantasy I tend to make things up as I go, which leads to some interesting problems, so it’s a bad habit that I should probably try to break.

When I’m writing something that is more along the lines of paranormal or urban fantasy I actually do a lot more research than I do for SF&F.

Why?

Because people can fact-check it and I don’t want to look like I was making it up as I went.

So, anyhow, there are some questions I want to tackle on this subject:

Why is world building important?

How much is too much?

How little is not enough?

But I’m not going to tackle them today. It’s way too hot and my brain has melted and my body is in process of doing the same.

I’m on night shift this week so I’ll write about them when I’m in air conditioning.

 

 

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