Tag Archives: Work in Progress

Unhappy Camper

Well, this hasn’t been going according to plan.

And by “this” I mean “Camp NaNoWriMo” of course.

And by “plan” I mean at least one thousand words a day.

It’s day three and as I write this I have written less than a thousand words.

What happened?

I wish I knew.

Saturday I had every intention (Yeah, yeah, the road to Hell is well-paved. I know) of writing three thousand words.  I managed a little over seven hundred.  (Soraine is being a very uncooperative pirate captain and is trying to do some sort of odd heroic thing that is going to completely mess up other stuff… But maybe I should just scrap the other stuff and let her go and do it.  But anyhow, I digress.)

I did have one hellacious headache all day, though, which didn’t help.

So, Saturday was a bust.

Sunday was even worse – I managed to scrounge up another two hundred words or so, despite the headache that staggered in from Saturday.

And so far today hasn’t been very productive either. I was running errands for a large part of the day, though, so at least I know where some of the time went, unlike the two previous days.

But still… How did I get this far behind already?

I think maybe part of it was the departure from what I had planned. I’m fighting against the natural flow of the characters and story, trying to force it into what I had planned.

Or maybe it’s that I didn’t really have a whole lot planned for this scene, but when it made a 90 degree turn from my expectations I still insisted that it needed to follow along my non-existent planned route.

Either way it seems that the problem is my reluctance to give up control and go with the flow. (Maybe because what I’m writing is an extra scene to a more or less completed (a beta reader wanted more added) novel that I’m trying to finish up?)

At any rate, the solution now seems clear.  Strike through a lot of what I have written (don’t want to lose the word count) and start fresh, letting the characters lead the way.

On Friday I’ll let you know how that works out.

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Families II

 

Way back at the end of March I wrote a blog post on Families.   It’s about the kind you (well, your characters) are born into and how they shape you/your characters.  And I said that my next post would be about the kind of family that you find or create. That didn’t happen because the next post was for Camp NaNoWriMo and for some reason the topic got pushed aside. But seeing as yesterday was Father’s Day I’ve been thinking about families again so here it is, at long last.

I think that most people have someone (or multiple someones) that they consider to be family, even if not related by blood. For instance, my roommate is my best friend and the sister I never had. (And the person I’m most likely to murder, which I’ve been told is the actual definition of a sister.)  My mother even says she has two daughters: one genetic and one generic.

(I also have someone that I think of as a daughter.)

In the Academy of the Accord series, it is noted that families you “find” are often better than those you are born into. It’s also noted that the school feels like a family, mostly because the leaders have formed their own sort of family unit.  Marsden, the Commander of the Garrison, is the father Kordelm never had and the one Wellhym wishes he’d had.  Vinadi, the school’s Headmaster, is viewed in much the same light by Torlew and (especially) Yhonshel, and as a surrogate father by Caristen. (Kordelm and Wellhym are warriors; Vinadi, Torlew and Caristen are wizards, and Yhonshel is both.)

When the “second generation” starts, they all think of Senzu as a daughter. (Her race doesn’t have families as we think of them so she doesn’t think of them as fathers.)

When Draethlen joins the group, he thinks of Marsden as a father. (He doesn’t remember his own family.)  Kordelm and Wellhym think of him as a little brother, and as the other cadets join their family group they (along with Torlew and Caristen) think of all of them as “the boys” – the same way that Vinadi and Marsden think of them.

(Kordelm and Wellhym do, however, refrain from thinking of Marsden as the boy’s grandfather, mostly out of a sense of self-preservation of their pride; both are relatively certain Marsden could probably still “dust the pit” with them in a spar.)

The family that the characters form is unbreakable, unlike the ones some of them were born into.  They share a common bond, not of blood, but of Honor.

In other not-yet-published (or even completed) novels, I also have families that were found, not born. In Book Two of the Other Mages trilogy, Katheri is confused when a visitor helps with the dishes, thinking that it isn’t right for a guest to be put to work like that. Trebor and D’Laron explain to her that Luthen isn’t a guest, he’s family.

Doing the dishes becomes sort of an inside joke then, and when they later send Katheri to the kitchen to do the dishes (so they can talk about things she’s not ready to be involved in yet) she sees it not as being dismissed, but as being accepted.

And after all, isn’t that what family is?  People who accept you as you?

 

 

 

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Plot Bunny Census #1*

I’m not quite sure how the conversation started, but I think we were comparing how many plot bunnies we had, so I started making a list of books in progress or planning, and it’s… well… Let’s just say I’d better discover the Fountain of Youth or a Philosopher’s Stone.

I thought maybe I should lay my shame out here for all to see.

1) Onyx Sun
2) The 12 (or maybe13) books of the Academy of the Accord series
3) The Other Mages trilogy
4) The Betrayal trilogy (desperately ISO a better name)
5) Sequel to Sanguine
6) Sequel to Onyx Sun
7) A spinoff from Onyx Sun (Soraine)
8) A possible spinoff from Onyx Sun (Jad)
9) Two sequels and a prequel to Song and Sword
10) Lost House
11) Sea Witch
12) Dragon’s Tear
13) Paranormal Picnic
14) Hedge House
15) a nameless novel that involves a Minotaur and a Sasquatch
16) Disturbed Magic (which is going to end up being a trilogy)
17) Benn and Rin (needs a name)
18) Fighting Back (needs a new name)
19) Guardians of the Abyss (probably needs a new name)
20) another novel in need of a new name
21) Rainbow Rescue (in need of a new name)
22) SRish (the name makes sense to me, but, yes, it’s in need of a new name)
23) Vishkaya
24) a Demon and Angel story that started as a flash fiction piece
25) genie in a bottle
26) The Sword and the Shield

That’s something like 45 or 46 novels.

I’m 56.

Do the math.

And that’s not counting a bunch of stuff in my “Plot Bunny bag” or in a file called “story starts.”

Now, in all fairness, some of the above are written, or nearly so.

Onyx Sun, for instance, is in revision and should be out this year.

The Academy of the Accord is an editing nightmare but I’m making headway.

The nameless trilogy (Betrayal) is written and just needs to start the editing process.

Hedge House is mostly done.

The first book of Disturbed Magic is done.

Lost House is… maybe a quarter of the way done?  Maybe a third?

The Minotaur and Sasquatch is done, but needs to be expanded.

The Other Mages is… well… we won’t talk about Book Two, okay? I might make it my next year’s project, or tackle it after I get Onyx Sun released.  Book One is done, and Book Three just needs some massive changing but is mostly done, if I could just figure out what Book Two is doing…

The Sword and the Shield is almost done: just a couple more scenes to write, really.  But it needs a massive editing job. (As in, I need to completely write out one character and find another way to advance a relationship that she was unwittingly (and unwillingly) a part of.)

Most of the rest, however, are a few paragraphs to a few chapters in length.

Hmm…

I wonder what would happen if I wrote a sentence or a paragraph in each one every day?

 

*Someday I’ll add the contents of the plot bunny bag and the “story starts” file to the list.

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Camp is Coming

Well, it’s been an interesting week, writing-wise.

I was making pretty good progress on the Elven Bard novel (sequel to Song and Sword) and then…

And then a character showed up that I wasn’t expecting and sort of trashed my scene. I have no idea why she’s there, either, but I know I need to find a way to get that scene back on track – there’s stuff that needs to happen in it that got pushed aside because of her arrival. (I think I just figured out how to fix it.  Work in the other stuff before her presence is announced.)

But anyhow, I kept going to see if I could figure out how her being there was going to play out, and then I realized that the conversation I was writing just plain would not have happened in that setting.

But the conversation is important.  It can work into a sub plot that’s been mentioned (and which will be of more importance in the next book) and it makes use of the above-mentioned character (Inizi, for anyone who is curious) but it has to happen in a different kingdom.  (I hate writing scenes out of order, I really do, but this was an accident.)

So I added a bunch of white space before it and will use it when the characters get to the other kingdom, hopefully some time this month.

Why this month?

Because next month is Camp NaNoWriMo and the cabins are already opening for it.

Yes, I’ll be doing it.  No, I’m not sure if I’m going to commit to 50K for it.  I’ll be doing NaPoWriMo again too, and job stress is really getting to me so I don’t know if I can do 50,000 words of novel, 30 poems, and cope with work.

Anyhow, keeping Camp word count separate from your main Word doc is hard enough without trying to work it in around already existing scenes. And since I do want to work on this during Camp I’d like to get caught up to that scene by the end of the month.

I have a 9k word goal for this month, so we shall see.

Of course, I can always work on something else during Camp. It’s not like I have a scarcity of plot bunnies and started novels. (I think my count currently stands at 40, plus I’m sure I’m missing some.) I’d really like to get the first draft of this book wrapped up this year, though, preferably before November so I can start the next sequel then.

Or I can use Camp to finally complete the current round of revisions to Onyx Sun.  That might be a more productive use of it.  Has anyone ever done that? If so, how do you verify it at the end?

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet February 26, 2017

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they took shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff, only to wake up and discover that they were being watched by an Afiani, a bird-like race that is not known for friendliness toward humans. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone) has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast.

Lirit had just explained that among her people, “Life mates usually are the same sex.  For male and female to nest together for life is very unusual.”

“It’s the opposite in most of our society,” Jorsen said as he knelt to build up the fire for cooking.  “Most people mate for life with the opposite sex.  Same sex partnerships are…not common and are… sometimes looked down on, like there is something wrong with the people involved.  That’s not true, but that’s what some people seem to think.  But Autheren and I are a bonded wizard and Warder pair.  That’s also not very common, but it creates a different sort of relationship, one that pretty much doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.”

She tilted her head curiously.  “Why would anyone else care who you nested with?”

Jorsen laughed. “That’s a good question.  Unfortunately, it’s not one I’ve ever heard a good answer to.”

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet February 19, 2017

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they took shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff, only to wake up and discover that they were being watched by an Afiani, a bird-like race that is not known for friendliness toward humans. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone) has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast and they are trying to get dressed without exposing themselves to her.

(Autheren is currently using a levitation spell to hold a blanket between them and Lirit while they dress.)

 

“You mate for life?”

“Ideally, yes.”  Jorsen tucked his shirt in and hesitated, but belted his sword around his waist.  He was fairly certain that she was no threat to them, but he had Autheren to protect. He gave the wizard’s shoulder a squeeze and nodded, and Autheren let the blanket drop.

Lirit studied the two of them for a moment.  “The two of you are mates?”

Jorsen glanced at Autheren and smiled. “You could say that.” 

She nodded.  “Life mates usually are the same sex.  For male and female to nest together for life is very unusual.”

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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The (Plot) Bunny is Growing

I had no idea what I was going to write about for a blog post today. It’s been a very stressful weekend at work and the creative portion of my brain was hiding. (Can’t say I blame it, and I’m tempted to go hide with it.)

But then I read an article that a friend posted and it triggered all sorts of interesting plot bunnies. I don’t know if I’ll actually write anything based on it, but it might be something that I can work into Paranormal Picnic

(Yeah, it’s trying to turn into something other than a short fun story.)

(And, yeah, I’m trying to tell it that I really don’t have time for another WiP.)

(And, yeah, it’s not listening.)

(And, yeah, I’m losing the battle.)

(And, no, I do not have an addiction to parentheses. Why do you ask?)

So, anyhow…

It’s kind of amazing how one little thing can change the whole tone of your day.

(Well, okay, maybe not the whole tone. I am still dreading going to the evil day job this afternoon, so that hasn’t changed.)

Since I’ve mentioned Paranormal Picnic a time or two now, I thought maybe I should give you a snippet of it.

 

“Dad?  What are you doing here?” 

Maya rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and stared at the scene outside her door.  Her father stood at the grill, smoke rising from around the meat he was turning and an assortment of people she didn’t know were gathered around the picnic table.

“I’m barbecuing ribs, what’s it look like I’m doing?”

“But…” She took a deep breath and decided to ignore the rest of the scene and focus on him.  “Dad,” she said gently. “You’re dead.”

“I know I am.  That doesn’t mean I can’t cook.”

“Well, yes, actually, it does.” 

“No it doesn’t.  Now bring out some plates and silverware.  Everyone’s eager to meet you but don’t worry, no one bites.  Well, Alfred might, I don’t think he’s fed recently, but it won’t hurt, and, oh, hell, you’re my daughter.” He turned toward the table and raised his voice. “Alfred! No feeding from my daughter.”

An older gentleman, lean and well-dressed, nodded and waved off the comment, not really looking up from the chess game he was involved in.  His opponent, however, looked up and laughed.  She was a short stocky woman with reddish brown hair and almond-shaped amber eyes. 

“Dad? Who are all these people and what are they doing here?”

“Having a picnic.  That’s Alfred and Ginny playing chess.  Ginny brought fried chicken, and potato and macaroni salads, would you get them from the fridge?”

“Right.”

“The two little girls playing tag are Dina and Annie. Dina’s the one with the dark hair.  Oh, and don’t worry, Mariposa is keeping an eye on them.”

She followed his gaze and saw a woman perched in the old oak tree, her clawed feet clutching the branch as easily as any bird.  She waved a wing at her in greeting and turned her attention back to the children.

“A harpie?”

“And the girls are ghosts and Ginny’s a werewolf. Alfred’s a vampire in case you hadn’t figured that out.”

“I’m going back to bed until I wake up,” she muttered. “This can’t be real.”

Juice from the meat dripped down onto the coals, splattering and hissing, and the smoke that rose from it carried a scent that made her stomach rumble.

“On the other hand, maybe I’ll just set the table.  If I’m losing my mind I might as well enjoy it.”

“You’re not losing your mind.  And can you grab me a Pepsi?”

Dead people don’t drink Pepsi, she thought. But then, dead people don’t cook ribs, either.

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet February 12, 2017

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they took shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff, only to wake up and discover that they were being watched by an Afiani, a bird-like race that is not known for friendliness toward humans. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone)

has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast and they are trying to get dressed without exposing themselves to her.

(Autheren is currently using a levitation spell to hold a blanket between them and Lirit while they dress.)

 

“I don’t understand,” Lirit said.  “If you never see each other naked, how do you know who to mate with?”

“Who to mate with?”  Jorsen asked, puzzled.

“How do you know who would be… physically pleasing?”

Jorsen was glad that Lirit couldn’t see them; Autheren was turning an alarming shade of red.

“It’s… a bit more complicated than that for humans,” Jorsen replied.  “We choose our mates based on feelings, on if we love someone enough to spend the rest of our lives with them.”  He smiled at Autheren and the apprentice smiled back as a rush of feelings flooded him.

 

 

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at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Back to Work

Well, as of yesterday I am back to work.

At the evil day job, that is.

Having eight days off in a row was wonderful, even if most of them were spent hacking up a lung, but it sure was hard to go back. It always seems like the longer I’m off the harder it is to back.

I need to remember that for writing, too, “the longer I’m off the harder it is to go back.”  Maybe that’s the real wisdom behind the advice to “write every day” — if you skip one day, it’s easy to skip the next, and the next, and the next, and… And then it’s really hard to get started again.

I haven’t been writing much, but I have been plugging away at writing stuff, adding to my current Work in Progress. Maybe not every day, but just about, even if it’s just a few words.

And I also started something new.

(Well, kind of. I’m not sure where it’s going or even if I’m going to turn it into something, but I did start it.  It’s based on a nightmare that a friend had, but I’m turning it into something… well, I have no idea where it’s going, but it is leaning toward being a light, fun piece with some… unusual characters.  The current title is Paranormal Picnic but if I expand it into something longer it will need a new one — I’m pretty sure I can’t write an entire novel set at a picnic.)

I’ve not been doing so well at editing Onyx Sun, sadly. I really need to get back to focusing on that so that I can get it finished so I can focus on The Academy of the Accord.

Ah, yes, The Academy of the Accord.  I had a major realization about it yesterday morning, and not a good one.  I seem to have left two major plot points unresolved in Book Six.  Part of me wants to go back and fix it now, but that would mean swapping out it and Book Seven, so I think I’ll wait until I finish the first round paper edits of Book Seven, then put Book Six back in the hot seat to try to fix those “oopsies.”

(But seriously, though, how could I have read something that many times and not have realized what I’d missed?)

So, yeah.  Back to work.

 

 

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Sunday Snippet February 5, 2017

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they took shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff, only to wake up and discover that they were being watched by an Afiani, a bird-like race that is not known for friendliness toward humans. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone) has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast.

Lirit to join them for breakfast and they are trying to get dressed without exposing themselves to her.

Lirit’s last line from last week:  “You are embarrassed by nakedness?”

“Sometimes.  Especially when in the presence of the opposite sex.”  Jorsen frowned.  “You wear clothes,” he pointed out.

“They are practical,” she shrugged. “But my people are not embarrassed by not wearing them.”  She tilted her head curiously.  “Are you sure you would not be more comfortable if I took them off?”

“No,” Autheren said quickly and Jorsen choked back a laugh.

“We would be more comfortable,” he said, “if you would turn around so we could put ours on.”

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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