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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Battle Blues

Despite some friendly support from a few, I still think my battle scenes suck.

Rather, I know they do.

PSH.

I’ll have to have beta readers comb them and help me out. I should enroll in some martial arts classes to give me better frame of mind. I need to read more violence.

Actually, I read a Mistborn fight scene just the other day (out loud to Husband, who was driving) and got really bored with it, lol. Maybe because I was reading out loud, but I was like OKAY WITH THE COINS ALREADY.

I don’t think I got tired with it the first time. As it stands, Mistborn is still my favorite series of all time. It’s funny when Husband starts ranting about the Koloss, and I think, “I KNOW ALL THEIR SECRETS.”

Anyway. I have two chapters and an epilogue left, but those two chapters are hideously long and, of course, full of terrible fight scenes. Hurray.

Now accepting beta readers—preferably people I know in person. (No offense.) May have to stalk and bribe until I get said persons to commit to reading my currently 109K novel with crappy battles.


Excerpt of the day:

He moved so fast he blurred. Flad had seen movements like that before—small bursts of speed granted only by spellquick. But if Vi Lar had speed, certainly he would have used it by now.
Unless he only has it in one foot, like Lottie, he thought, clenching his teeth as the battle ground continued to shake. He recalled Pasha’s explanations to him, how Vi Lar’s spellmarks came from the skin-grafts of unwilling donors.
Flad suddenly felt sick.
Lottie has spellquick. If Vi Lar needs a second, he could take it from her.
And I left her alone.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Freelancing

Every now and then I get emails from my old capstone editing professor about jobs and internships that have crossed his desk. I usually brush them aside, but today I decided to jump on one.

Basically someone, who was referred to said professor, is looking for an editor to go over his manuscript for a fantasy novel. He's on a budget and is offering $1 a page. My professor told him that's very low for copyeditors, but sent out the email. I saw it, thought about it, and for once, replied. Why now? One word: WorldCon.

If I did take the dollar a page (and it depends on how much editing this guy wants done), and he has a 300 page manuscript, I make $300. Which means only $40 more to finish paying for my WorldCon expenses, which I estimated to be $500. ($160 of which I already paid to get my registration.) It would be nice to make the money on the side instead of saving little tidbits from me and husband's budget every month. Considering the fact I never attend cons because of finances, this could be a golden opportunity.

Hopefully I'll hear back and get the job. My first freelance. Crazy.


Excerpt of the day:

She raised her bow and took the shot. The arrow dug into the man’s back. He gasped and fell forward, dying quickly. His torch dropped to the black floor.
Flad dropped from the ceiling, startling her. “Are you nuts?” he whispered, green eyes darting between her and the fallen man.
“One less to fight!”
“He didn’t
see us, Eliarmy,” Flad said, snatching the torch and shoving it into her hand. “Where are we going to put the body?”
Pasha suddenly felt lighthead.
Ten years of military training and I didn’t even think of that.
CSH, chapter 19

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saving the Leading Edge

The scoop on what’s happening with Leading Edge Magazine, as told by Dan Wells. Please read!


Excerpt of the Day:

Flad had a hard time spotting her at first, with the sun behind her. Pasha dismounted and stood in front of the large creature, its body shading her. The seabat’s face looked far more menacing than Dunk’s—large fangs peaked over its leathery lips, and its eyes shone a deep red. A blackshooter: the only seabats that could outfly a longears.
CSH, chapter 18

Friday, September 24, 2010

Technology: The Dream Sucker

My new goal: Get published before ebooks take over the world.

There’s something genuine about holding an actual book in your hands, you know? When I get published, whether it be next year or when I’m 75, I want to be able to hold my book in my hands, not just open a file on a Kindle. I want to see the cover, feel the pages, turn the pages, and stain the pages with the burrito I was eating at lunch while looking them over.

I don’t care about money. Really, I don’t. I’d write and publish for free for the rest of my life. I just want to be able to hold my book, in book-form, in my hands, and know that some random person in some random place is also holding my book. And hopefully not giving it a bad review.

Sometimes technology makes me sad.


Excerpt of the day:

Pasha’s commander in the Eliarmy, Locke, appeared beside the archer. “We’ve counted twenty dead, thirteen missing,” he said in a stern, hollow voice. His face pulled together, disturbed.

Damnit, she thought. Thirty-three. We barely have a military anymore.
CSH, chapter 18

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flashback...ish

I did a lot of writing last night. I’m revamping a scene where my protagonist is in some dank underground dungeon. I planned to add in just enough retrospect to make his novel-long revenge plot against another side character make sense,* and I just ended up unofficial flashbacking and telling the whole freaking story.

Given I’m not done writing this scene, but I’m close. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to put all that in there, or if I should keep it to a brief flash of memory. Meh. Beta readers, anyone?

But I’m enjoying these scenes, which is good! They’re sucking my brain back into the heart of the story, so TWS planning has been very light. I mean, how can you focus on lunar-cycle shapeshifters when you have intimacy-fearing circus-boy terrorists to play with?


Excerpt of the day:**

“Of course I don’t understand!” She grabbed his wrist, her grip cool and surprisingly tight. “Ever since I met you, you’ve been alone. You train alone. You sleep alone. You plan and fight and cry alone. You won’t even let people touch you.” She released his wrist, withdrawing her hand. “When will you wake up and realize that you’re wrong? You’re not alone, Flad. But you shut me and the others out. You—”

“Where is this coming from?” Flad asked, standing. “Hollows, Lod, where are you getting all of this drama?”

CSH, chapter 17



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*About half of my alpha readers didn’t understand the motives behind it, so I had to make it more obvious in this draft.

**Loved editing this scene.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Progression. It Tastes Good.

I’ve written 1,400 words today. Written, not revised. Added two scenes to the start of a chapter, then played musical chairs with a few others. (Don’t know if it worked—have to read through them all still.) But that word count is really good, for me. While my friends pull in 4k a day, my required word count for drafts is 500. So an eighth that. Which is pathetic. But as long as I get the work done and the books finished, all is well.

I think revising is easier than drafting. I think most people disagree with me. What’s your opinion?

Also, my new glasses rock.



Excerpt of the day:

Vi Lar selected a scapel from the prepared tools and held it to his shoulder. After a moment of study, he pierced the sharp point into his skin, grunting deep in his throat from the pain. He moved quickly, cutting towards his collar, then down towards his breast. Blood flowed freely from the wound, staining his dark skin. His eyes watered as he forced the scapel up and over, slicing a diamond-shaped section of skin the size of his palm.
CSH, chapter 17

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vi Lar Eats Your Babies

…but not really.

Finished my second Vi Lar POV chapter over the weekend—turned out a lot longer than I thought it would. (Like, four pages. Big deal.) I’m quite satisfied with it, too. He adds a certain flavor to the story, you know? I’m glad I decided to give him more air-time.

Meanwhile all my writing group friends are getting their finals back from Sanderson. ;_; I am jealous.

On a plus side, my new pink spectacles should be arriving in the mail today. Here’s hoping the prescription is legit.

Also, I have SO MANY ‘d contractions in this story it makes me sick. I have destroyed most of them.


Excerpt of the day:

Flad stopped hearing her. A dark, bitter feeling ran through his veins. He clenched his teeth together, glowering as Thrip purchased the second ball and handed it to the child, running the tip of his finger over the length of her nose, resting his palm on her shoulder. He smiled, the sort of smile that only shows in the mouth. Flad knew that smile. He had seen it before.
CSH, chapter 15

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bumpin' the K

I’m half way through CSH revisions. As of right now, I’ve boosted my word count from 98K to 105K. I’m hoping to reach 110K.

The first draft was 91K. So I’ve added some crap since then.

Also finished the backstory and base personality for Teague. Hurray.

And… I will get back to TR. Someday.

Yay for short blog posts.


Excerpt of the day;

He thought of the three boys from the slums, the way their eyes lit when they heard of Soul Heiress. He imagined their bodies, bloodied and torn, being chucked into a mass grave with common criminals. His fault. Why did fate play such cruel tricks on him?
CSH, chapter 13

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Acceptance Letter and Auditions

I got my first acceptance letter yesterday. :D

Given it’s for a poem and for a semi-professional school journal (The Leading Edge*), but it’s still a tiny step up the publishing ladder. I can put that in a cover letter for a real publisher, right? Just not mention it’s a poem?

I don’t even do poetry. So it’s kind of ironic. But nice. I get $10 from it, lol.

In other news, I took Writing Excuses’s character-quirk episode to heart and am doing “auditions” for Teague, the main character in TWS, which I will start writing in January for Sanderson’s class. I kind of want her full name to be Teegree, but I like the spelling of “Teague,” and “Teagueree” looks retarded. But so does “Teeg,” to a lesser extent. I think.

Anyway. That $10 can go towards my WorldCon fund.


Excerpt of the day:

Flad heard the loud patter of unshod feet before three men ran before him in the road, blocking his way. Upon a second look, he saw they were boys—their oldest couldn’t have been more than seventeen, though all stood several inches taller than he did.

“There’s a toll t’walk our street,” the oldest said, puffing up his chest.

Flad smirked.
Cute. “I’ll walk the other way, then,” he said, turning. He only took a few steps before the trio circled around him, blocking his new direction as well.

“There’s a toll for walkin’
anywhere,” the boy amended.




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*Yes, the one I used to edit for. But I got in on my own merits, thank you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

KILL THE SYSTEM!

So I started a massive brainstorm for the magic system for TWS (The Weir Story), and an hour or so later I end up so frustrated I can barely see straight. Like, real anger. I am WAY to invested in this.

One question. I had ONE question to solve, but it led to another question, then another, then a fallacy, then maybe-I-shouldn’t-do-it-this-way, to scrapping half the system, the resurrecting it, then MAYBE THIS WHOLE THINGS SUCKS and I metaphorically threw it across the room. Then lit it on fire.

Someday I would like to have a magic system I don’t feel the need to logically explain. That would be wonderful.

Meanwhile I have to force myself not to think about this and come back to it when I find my sanity. Because really, I could choke a puppy right now.

And I LOVE puppies.

Excerpt of the day:

“You kidnapped a soldier!” Flad spat. “Are you mad? They’ll track us down!”

Blur rolled his eyes. “He doesn’t know where he is. Isn’t that right?”

The Bland soldier groaned. His eyes and lips had swollen twice the normal size.

CSH, chapter 11

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Named Her Molly.

I revised 2,200 words today! True, I didn’t write them from scratch, but that still counts for something. Hurray for character speculation and potential romance!

Finished Vi Lar Battle #1 over the weekend, fortunately. I love having lounge time. So relaxed. And I got a new PINK jump drive named Molly. She’s an 8GB. I am happy.

Still no final from Sanderson. Only 1/6 of the way through his book, about. Must read faster.


Excerpt of the day:

Thrip said, “The dog was one of them. A rebel. Flad was retrieving a fallen comrade.” He laughed, getting a hard glare from Pasha in return. “It’s ironic. Insults like ‘those rebel dogs’ is a bit funny, now.”
CSH, chapter 11

Friday, September 10, 2010

Auditing in January

Spent lots of time on a scene at the front of chapter 10, which was formally chapter 9. Had to rehash a conflict with a side character in order to keep la protagonist in a more sympathetic light. I was a little whiny about it, not gonna lie. Not because I liked the scene before, but because I’m lazy.

Definitely want to take Sanderson’s writing class again in January, only this time as an auditor, not a student. Some old friends will be in there too. It’s time I start learning how to put my foot in the door, dangit.

Still putting off Vi Lar’s big fight. Will do this weekend. I have a computer headache right now. :/



Excerpt of the day:
Blur smiled, though Flad had learned a long time ago that such an action didn’t always entail glee. “How long have you been with us, Flad? Ten, eleven years? I have seniority over you in both age and time, and yet you always seem to call the shots.”

Flad shrugged. “Can’t help that I’m Jeht’s favorite.” He saw Lottie approaching from the corner of his eye, but didn’t dare move his gaze from the juggler.

“Ah, is that the case, then,” Blur said, rolling his diabolo over its string. He tossed it into the air and caught it again. “Why is that, Flad? Because you’re his special project? The one he picked up off the street? How exactly did a fancy boy like you wind up an urchin in the first place?”

CSH, chapter 10

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Okay, poll time.

Okay. City-state in the middle of mountains with very little trading or communication with the outside world.

What is this place called?

A. Daphren
B. Bacree
C. Something else


Please vote. :D Y'all are awesome.


Excerpt of the day:

“What news?” his master’s low voice asked, head still bowed.
Ya Nam swallowed and dropped to one knee. “M-Master,” he said in Fy├╝en, “We have failed you. The spellshielder remains in the palace. Please, forgive us.”
“So Lem?”
“Dead, Master.”
“Ya Jeh?”
“Also dead, Master.”
“I see. What of Hi Fet?”
“Presumed dead, Master. None of them returned to our rendezvous. I waited many hours, but they did not show.”

CSH, chapter 9

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Naming Geography

Wow. Naming stuff sucks.

I’m letting myself play around with maps and geography for the next book—something to do in between revisions. (First Vi Lar chapter! I’ll probably write it tomorrow.) But I’m looking at this map and thinking, “I have to name these ranges. And all these mountains, individually. And this river. And this continent, and this country, and this city, and this city-state.”

So I stopped doodling to post something, because for some reason naming everything does not sound tasty right now.

Of course, I have a huge list of names that I keep on the jump drive, but most of those are people names, not mountain names. (Not that I won’t still use them as such.) Hurray….

So yeah, going for an overly-mountained setting with zero travel possibilities. In TOS they traveled everywhere. There’s a bit of travel in TR too, from the tundra to the cultivated desert. CSH takes place in a tropical climate. Wanting to avoid the standard forest, I’m sticking my next story in the middle of mountain mania. We’ll see how that works out.

P.S. I’m officially registered for WorldCon! One year to prep. :D

Excerpt of the day:
“I still remember the first time I came here, when I got this mark,” Lialis said, opening his palm and staring at the protective glove that hid it. “Everyone in town gossiped about how the recruiters were coming to Sydus. All the boys were excited. We dreamed of adventures in the Magiarmy. Our mothers were terrified, of course.”

“You’re Sytian?” Pasha asked. “I didn’t know that.”

He nodded. “Sydus is as much a part of Sollaris as the other islands, even if it’s overrun by rebels and terrorists.”

CSH, chapter 8

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WorldCon: Yes, Please.

I have the best husband ever. Just saying.

Finished editing chapter 7 of CSH, which is freaking long. Longer than I remember it being. Onto chapter 8. Then the new chapter I have to write. Then revising a really long battle scene. Whoopee!

So I’ve pretty much committed myself to going to WorldCon. Have a lot of money to save, but I have a year, I can do it. And my before-mentioned wonderful husband supports it. I’m going to talk the grit of it all with him tonight and see how it all goes. Fortunately I have a mini support group of fellow Sanderson-students who I can leech onto.

Meanwhile I have to figure out how to approach agents. It’d be a lot easier if I were a vampire. (Apparently.)

Excerpt of the day:
The glove over Lialis’s left hand exploded and fire shot forth from his palm. The flames spilled over the floor and licked the ceiling, engulfing all three attackers in a blinding orange light. Ki Han screamed in agony as his skin boiled and popped in the intense heat. Lialis turned his eyes from the brilliance of the light and intensified the blast, converting the entire landing into a massive inferno. His fingers contorted like hungry roots, and after less than half a minute, the fire died and Lialis bent over, gasping.
CSH, chapter 7


P.S. I found out certain said friends have gotten their finals back from Sanderson. Now I'll be glued to Gmail hoping mine appears, too. :O

Thursday, September 2, 2010

WorldCon, among Other Things

Is there such a thing as an urban adult fantasy? If so, please post titles.

Also, found out WorldCon is in Reno next year! RENO! That’s so close. I can drive there. And WorldCon is the con of cons. This is exciting news!

Then again, I looked at the site and membership is about $200 a person… which is a lot, in case you guys didn’t know. If my husband came with me, it’d be $400 to attend, not including hotel costs and such. As always, money holds me back—it’s the biggest reason I’ve never gone to a convention outside of LTUE and CONduit.*

Guess we’ll see what happens. WorldCon won’t be this close for a long time, methinks. But I’m one of the most frugal people I know…

Meanwhile came up with some cool stuff for the magic system for the next book, which I will refer to as “The Weir Book” for the time being.**

Excerpt of the day:

If the light hit it just right, she could see how it differed from the other columns. Its stone was a little paler, a little newer. That pillar told a story of victory over unexpected war. It told the character of Lialis Valindette, the man who would be the greatest swordsman in Sollaris had he not lost his right arm.
CSH, chapter 6




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*I even cringe over Conduit, which is about $50 and doesn’t require me staying in a hotel.

**The protagonist of which is starting to look like a mix between Kellie Pickler and Hayley Hasselhoff.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Timeline Fail

Found a problem that wasn’t pointed out to me by alpha readers (jk) yesterday—one character has a month-long time gap and the other one doesn’t. Oi. And the scenes following have a lot of important information that has to be given in a certain order, so playing musical chairs with them wasn’t possible. I could try to rewrite it, but I wasn’t sure how.

However, I have to have the time gap, otherwise one character will be incapable of walking for several chapters, and I kind of need him to. So, after muchos pondering, I realized I could solve the problem by adding in an extra scene to bridge the gap for the character who didn’t initially have it. I’ll have to tweak some other following scenes, but I think I pulled it off. Plus I got to do some extra characterization for Pasha, which she kind of needs for this part of the book. Win win? We’ll see.

Meanwhile I’m kind of learning Wikipad but can’t brainstorm the next story long enough to make any decent entries to it.

Side note: Sanderson makes me want to create crazy magic systems. I mean come on—controlling the center of gravity? That’s awesome.



Excerpt of the day:

It still had an old-town feel to it—small buildings, green and yellow brickwork, cobblestone roads. The wooden signs that hung from the eaves of storehouses were wooden and cracked, but freshly painted. Pasha walked down the street, glancing around each corner she passed. Would such a place have decent seabats to rent? Perhaps she’d luck out and find a stationed soldier. She could avoid working through the citizens that way.
CSH, chapter 5