Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Writing Exercises

So after reading David Farland’s newsletter I fully admitted to myself that I never do writing exercises, and I probably should. I keep notebooks of all my ideas, I have a daily word count, but I don’t do writing exercises. And I imagine writing exercises would, you know, make me a better writer.

I always have time when I get home from work to do a writing exercise or two, especially when my husband works late (which, sadly, is happening more and more frequently. Stupid pharmacy). I think I even have a handful of books in the office that talk about writing exercises—I just need to get the gusto (and remember) to do them. Because they’re good for you, right?

To readers: do you do writing exercises? What kind, and how have they helped? Any exercises y’all can suggest will be dually appreciated.

Excerpt of the day:

Goosebumps rose on Teague’s arms. “That . . . doesn’t seem right.”

“I suppose not,” said Tock, “but when it’s so widely-practiced, it doesn’t really matter.” He gestured to the baby in Thade’s arms. “What they do to their children isn’t right, either. Nor is what we do right—kidnapping newborns from their families. Unforunately, morality is in the eye of the beholder, and most people around here don’t like seeing otherwise.”

Weirs, chapter 4

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dark from the Dying

So I found a song (thank you, Pandora) that fits my story really well--like how Ghost Opera by Kamelot fit CSH. The lyrics are great! Unfortunately, doesn't have the song, so I can't add it to my story soundtrack.

But I can still post it here! What do you think?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Question of the Day

Question of the day: How much crap can a newborn take before it shrivels up and dies?

This is something I’ve been pondering over the last 24 hours. I mean, the baby is born, drugged, kidnapped by a giant bird, then dropped thirty feet into what’s basically a hammock. Babies are fragile. I’m wondering if this is plausible, or if the kid would have snapped its neck by now.

I guess that’s what writing groups are for, eh?*

Also, I can’t figure out how one can make a two-page synopsis for an epic/high fantasy.** I mean, take Mistborn for example. Different plot lines, complex magic system, long book—did Sanderson do that in two pages? Or did he get away with five because he’d already been published?

Curse you, publishing standards.

Excerpt of the day:

The creature pulled away from her and her thicket, not coming close enough to hear or smell. Teague didn’t release her breathe until the clicking had faded. Even then she held still, hoping with everything she had the monster wouldn’t come back.
What kind of place is this? She wondered, clutching the infant to her breast.
Part of her didn’t want to know.

Weirs, chapter 3

*Or I could call a doctor, but I have a feeling the conversation would turn to Social Services knocking on my door.

**I consistently get the two confused.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Beta Call

Howdy Beta Readers-

If any of you have just the first few chapters of CSH done, please send them my way! I have some hefty extra revisions to do this week!

Thank you muches,


Friday, November 19, 2010

This is a Post

Man, I really want to write for Thade. But alas, he’s not in this chapter, either.

Also, my protagonist just got really mad, and now she’s running down a mountain in a dress that’s far too large for her.


And basically I have nothing relevant to say, I just want to look important, and some part of me thinks that daily posts promotes that.

Excerpt of the day:

Sahel scoffed. “He hasn’t even found Aro yet.”

“Nor did the Reapers before him,” the Luminus replied simply. “And neither have we. I’m beginning to wonder if our Carnal-cursed friend lives outside the city, hunkered up in the mountains somewhere.”

“Not possible,” replied Sahel. Those around him nodded.

“I don’t know,” the Luminus sighed. “He’s quite the survivor. But one day he too will slip, and perhaps Bacree will be clean once again.”

Weirs, chapter 3

Thursday, November 18, 2010

And now the thing I never delve very far into in anything I’ve ever written: Politics.

Work has kept me very busy this week! Wears me out and slows down writing a bit, but I’m still making my word count—just not kicking its trash like I was last week.

My body has been trying to decide if it wants to get sick again for several days now. I’d rather have it stay in limbo than to make up its mind in such a way that will negatively affect me, however.

I’m stepping into government stuff now, trying to figure out how I can says “This is a legalist plutocracy” without actually saying it. Hmm. Also wondering if my Luminus (aka government leader) sounds too young. He’s 55, after all. And kind of looks like my father-in-law.

Politics, then same baby kidnapping, then chapter 4. Maybe I’ll get there by Monday.

Also, centipede wins.

Excerpt of the day:

Uzelle Javes, Luminus of Bacree, briefly greeted Regals as he walked into the Assembly Hall. He walked with a straight, wooden cane in his right hand, not because he needed it, but because he liked to do so. A silver knob topped the cane, forest motifs carved in minute detail upon it. The cane had been a gift from Regal Daye when Uzelle was voted to the Luminus seat, and while Daye had since passed away, Uzelle never attended an Assembly without it.
Weirs, chapter 3

P.S. This is post 100. I'm awesome.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Le Commission

I finished chapter 1 of Weirs Sunday morning in all its 9k glory (I know, long). But I feel good about it. Chapter 2 is a bit trickier since I have a lot more characters to work with. Hopefully Teague won’t get lost in the hullabaloo. But it’s a rough draft, right? So it’s not THAT big of a deal, right?


Anyway, got my commissioned picture of Teague! It’s not colored, but do note that her hair is platinum blonde. (Or will be by the end of chapter 2.)


Excerpt of the day:

Teague looked down at her dress. It was a little dirty, but still in good condition. She frowned. “What’s wrong with it?”

Tock pulled out a half-loaf of bread from the cupboard and took his seat before the desk, chuckling to himself. “Really? You have no waist in that thing. And it’s not a flattering color.” He took a bite of bread and reopened the book, flipping to a page filled with diagrams and tiny print. “We’ll have to find something new,” he said, mouth half-full. “You look dreadful.”

Weirs, chapter 2

Friday, November 12, 2010

Typo Attack!

I work as an editor, right? So you can imagine my horror and dismay (and gratitude) when my friend Alyssa (beta reader) returned my MS back with roughly one million* typos, doubled words, and misspellings.

Wow. Some of them are quite embarrassing. Guess my editing cap and my writing cap can’t both fit on my head at the same time, hardy har. So if any of my beta readers haven’t started yet (you know who you are), I will send you a less-typo copy of CSH.

Apparently I say “wretch” instead of “wrench” a lot. Characters are puking all over the place. XD

Still have a lot of enthusiasm for my new book. Whee!

Excerpt of the day:

A man on a brown mare led the horse forward, dismounting. Teague watched the scenario play out in her mind. She would ride on the back of his saddle, strapped into place to prevent escape, then be taken to some unknown cell far away from the caravan and any form of safety. Who were these strange men? They would never tell her. They would ask her questions she didn’t know the answers to, then beat her for insolence. They might do other things, terrible things Teague only heard about in tall tales.

And then the sun would set, she would change, and everything her parents spent their lives protecting would be gone.

Weirs, chapter 1

*Slight exaggeration.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Insert Witty Title Here

Word count is still going well! I have high hopes. When I feed this chapter to my writing group in January, I want to ask how well they can picture the setting. I feel that I give some good, concrete details, but I worry I’m not giving enough.

Also, that character sketch of Teague is almost done. I’ll post it on here as soon as my lovely friend finishes it. (She’s good with good prices, you guys should check her out:

Put aside Robin Hobbs to pick up Lion of Senet (Jennifer Fallon), which so far is better.

I think I’m getting sick. Hopefully cold sick and not mono sick. Hopefully weak-sauce cold so I can destroy it with vitamins and will-power. I’ve done it before, I can do it again.*

Excerpt of the day:

“N-no, just . . . on my way home,” she replied, stretching the truth. “But I do have a question—you know the people around here fairly well, correct? Even by name?”

“That I do,” he answered, scratching the side of his nose. “Those in Regal Mathieu’s district, at least. Are you looking for someone?”

“Perhaps,” she paused, “just
inquiring after someone.”

“Very well, inquire away.”

She sucked in a deep breath. “Do you know a man called Aro?”

The patrolman’s composure didn’t change, minus the subtle tension in his neck and the thinning of his lips. His eyes stayed clear. His nostrils didn’t flare, nor did his skin pale or redden. His hands stayed firmly clasped behind his back, but for a moment he seemed much taller than Teague herself. It took all the will power she had not to back away.

Weirs, chapter 1

*Of course, this also lead to the super-cold of Christmas 2008. All those viruses teamed up and walloped** me good.

**Did I use this word right?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Playing Nice with the Protag

I am kicking my word count’s trash.

Also, chapter 1 is going to be really long. But I get to introduce new, awesome characters pretty soon.

Teague and I are getting along so far. This is a good thing.

It’s supposed to snow today. As long as it’s the big, fat, pretty snow, I think I can handle it.

Also sent an email to my friend who I commissioned to do a character sketch for me. She’s super busy, but hopefully I can get a picture of my protagonist before too long. :D

ALL OF YOU SHOULD GO TO WORLDCON. Still looking for a roommate.

Excerpt of the day*:

The man, scratching his mustache, glanced to her. “Yes Miss, what can I do for you?”

“I’m looking for someone. Do you know anyone by the name ‘Aro’?”

A dark expression plastered over the stranger’s features, giving him the same, cold look as the gardener. He grasped Teague’s wrist, almost forcing her to drop the bun, and pulled her uncomfortably close. “What under the Sun do you want with him?”

Teague pulled back, but the man’s grip was iron. “I-I’m sorry?”

“Only one man goes by the name of Aro,” he said lowly, the odor of pickled vegetables on his breath. “Now you tell me what you want with him.”

Weirs, chapter 1


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First Chapter Struggle

Before any more of you ask, yes, I think has affected some of my posts.

Writing is kind of hard. I have to go all establishy setting and such before I get to the action at the end of the chapter and I don’t think I’m really that good at it. My protagonist still feels all new and awkward to me, which helps a ton.

But this is to be expected. Suck it up, Charlie! Get a hold of yourself!

I have pretty much nothing else to say. Except that I’m reading a Robin Hobbs book.

Excerpt of the day (imagine some obscure accent):

Fedrar laughed. “Silver, what else? No one knows these mountains like Bacree. They are so isolated, they jump at the chance to trade with us, you know? We get silver everything for too cheap, then sell it for too much.” He chuckled. “Anything that doesn’t come from mountains or forest they buy for high price. Makes it worth the trip, but only once a year. This pass is hard on the oxen’s feet. Ours too.” He gestured to Teague’s feet.
Weirs, chapter 1

Monday, November 8, 2010

Now Featuring: Weirs

So I finally started Weirs! I finished the very short prologue and started chapter 1. So far I’m excited about it, not stressed or worried. That will come on again later, I’m sure. I’m trying to really watch my prose as it comes out of my fingers. I’m not going to slow myself down self-editing, but I want it to sound good. (Rereading it for an excerpt though makes me realize it really isn’t that great. :/)

In other news, it’s absolutely dreary outside, which depresses me beyond degree.


Excerpt of the day:

A tiny, hungry cry echoed through the now-quiet chamber. A Holy Bright, robed in white satin, crossed the room, the demon child in his arms. The thing’s Gloom form looked harmless, but they had all witnessed the transformation yesterday, on the boy’s first birthday. A monster. A demon. A Weir.
Weirs, prologue

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Terror of the Draft


So I realize I’m just about ready to start writing this story, but I’m . . . well, I’m kind of scared to. Is that weird? I don’t know why. Something about starting this story makes me nervous. Maybe I just want it to be good, and I doubt my skills. Maybe I’m worried I’m forgetting something, and it will come back to bite me later. Maybe I’ve come accustomed to my slacker-writing.* Perhaps I’m just worried, like always, that I won’t be able to pull it off.

Like how I psycho-analyze myself? XD Oh, here’s another one: I didn’t finish The Raimos. What if I don’t finish this one?

Then again, I’ll never finish Weirs if I don’t actually start it. True, this is supposed to be my story for Sanderson’s class in January, but putting it off just to be fresh for that seems kind of stupid to me.

Feel free to post encouragement below. I’m going to see if I can get into the head of my soon-to-be protagonist.

*I’ve done revisions and planning/outlining for the last few months. No word count. No serious work.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Little Something-something (If you know what I mean)

So I have a list of things I need to do in my outline before I can call it complete. (Marked off the one with magic today, yay.) One of these things is the romantic blossoming between two characters in the book. (What is a novel without a little something-something?)

But now I’m thinking I should just let the love-ness blossom on its own. Take opportunities when they arrive. This will help me go at the characters’ pacing, I think. I did this with The Raimos, and though I’ve yet to finish that book,* it worked out a little too well.

Also, when I mentioned “centipede” to my husband yesterday, he cringed in disgust and proceeded to tell me how much he hated them. I think I have my bug.

*Yes, I am a failure.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Spider

So yeah, spiders are overdone. I agree with that… I just didn’t realize it until y’all pointed it out to me. :D

I still like the idea of a spider, but now I’m thinking another creeper bug might be good. I just want it to be poisonous. (Though I have a scene with webbing that I’d have to take out, should I change the bug.)

Suggestions welcome. Should I stick with spider, or should I be more original?

So far my favorite is centipede.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Outlining . . . because that’s what I’m doing right now.

Made some good progress on my outline. Started to read it from start to finish and fill in the holes. Need to have Teague’s plotline good n’ done before I focus on the side plots. I’m doing some mean things to her now, which may or may not include bear traps and giant spiders.* I always forget how much of a challenge writing a story from start to finish is. Maybe because I crapped out on The Raimos, so I haven’t finished a book since January. :O

In random news, I’m making butternut squash soup tonight for the first time ever. I’m very excited. This youtube video makes it look so much fun.

*Note that I despise spiders. It will be interesting writing for one.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Half of this Post is a Footnote.

Well, I’m not as close to finishing this outline as I thought, because I just realized I haven’t interwoven any of my government yet. ;_; Thanks to some brainstorming yesterday, I have most of my protagonist-side done (well, kind of), but not much of the other side. Oi. This is more work than I remember it being. I could write the prologue* and first chapter without hinderance, but I can’t get too much further than that.

*First off, I feel slightly guilty about this prologue. It’s really short, but I kill a baby in it.
Secondly, I honestly don’t need to have a prologue on this book. If I were to cut it, the story carries on just fine, and I believe a lot of people hate prologues. However, it does add an air of intensity to the story right from the get-go. What do you think? Prologue or no prologue? How do you feel about prologues in general?