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My Final Fantasy

  Posted by DebsBlueRoses in The Writer Ambitious, 02 September 2014 · 11 views

So I had this thought the other day about my book.

If you've followed me since whatever Post 1 was (I think my first attempt at submitting a not-ready fantasy novel), you know my fantasy WIP--formerly Save the Queen, currently The Crystal Bearer--is a book I wrote based on the Final Fantasy franchise. From character names, to themes, to nuances, I molded my story because I wanted to write a Final Fantasy novel. This is why I called it Save the Queen, a popular weapon used throughout the games. I only changed it because the title didn't make sense.

In early queries, I mentioned that I wrote it based on Final Fantasy and was told not to in critiques, because agents might not know what it is. I'm beginning to ponder if I want to leave out that tidbit that is the main reason I wrote the book in the first place, and would I want an agent who can't share a nearly (or totally) obsessive love for Final Fantasy with me? It really takes over about 20% of my life. Some people obsess over J.K. Rowling. I obsess over FF.

So a few things have crossed my mind about this story, one that I think I shared somewhere on here:

1) Write a screenplay for the story. My first major was Writing for Film/Television after all, and I know I could do it if I took the time.

2) Make it a graphic novel. So many scenes I see in my head would work so well in this format, and I think it could work.

3) Try to find the current producers of Final Fantasy to see if an original novel would interest them. They produced two movies after all, and there are novels, novellas, webcomics, manga based on the games that are already out, and an original anime (which I need to search for and watch).

#3 is the one that I thought hard about the other day. It was actually my original goal for this particular story, and I think I'd like to work toward it. If I have a chance at doing this, I know I'll need to change the title again because right after I finished the first draft, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers came out and jacked up my spirit

Fortunately, I know what it would be: Final Fantasy: Remnant.

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Author Kim Rendfeld On Leaving Your Debut Behind & The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar Giveaway

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 02 September 2014 · 18 views

Welcome to another of my fabulous acronym-based interviews. The second novel is no easy feat, and with that in mind I put together a series of questions for debuts who are tackling the second obstacle in their career path. I call it the SNOB - Second Novel Omnipresent Blues. Whether you’re under contract or trying to snag another deal, you’re a professional now, with the pressures of a published novelist compounded with the still-present nagging self-doubt of the noobie.<br /><br />Today's guest for the SNOB is&nbsp;Kim Rendfeld, who has a lifelong fascination with fairy tales and legends, which set her on her quest to write <i>The Cross and the Dragon, </i>her debut novel.&nbsp;She grew up in New Jersey and attended Indiana University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English, with a minor in French. In 2007 she joined the marketing and communications team at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She gets paid to agonize over commas and hyphens, along with suggesting ways to improve writing, and thoroughly enjoys it.<br /><br />Her second novel, <i>The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar</i> is set in the wake of Charlemagne in the year 772.&nbsp;Set against a backdrop of historic events, including the destruction of the Irminsul, it explores faith, friendship, and justice. This companion to Kim Rendfeld’s acclaimed <i>The Cross and the Dragon</i> tells the story of an ordinary family in extraordinary circumstances. You can read the first few chapters of both Kim's books on <a href="http://kimrendfeld.com/" target="_blank">her site</a> for free!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xh3M28n1E-o/VAUybEo8AUI/AAAAAAAACqY/y-sMOuRFcpo/s1600/Ashes%2BTour%2BGraphic.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xh3M28n1E-o/VAUybEo8AUI/AAAAAAAACqY/y-sMOuRFcpo/s1600/Ashes%2BTour%2BGraphic.jpg" height="200" width="400" /></a></div><br /><b>Is it hard to leave behind the first novel and focus on the second?</b><br /><br /><i>Everyone has their own way to decide on when to start book No. 2. Whenever I finish writing a manuscript, I go through a form of grief, one that can be remedied only by starting on another book. So The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar was the only way I could cope with leaving The Cross and the Dragon behind. Working on another project also took some of the anxiety out the query process. It gave me something else to concentrate on besides all those rejections.</i><br /><br /><b>At what point do you start diverting your energies from promoting your debut and writing / polishing / editing your second</b>?<br /><br /><i>It took so long to get Cross and Dragon published that I had gone through three major drafts of Ashes and started on a third manuscript. Still, once my debut was published, I focused on promotion for three months. Then I realized promotion is never really done, and I simply needed to get back to the manuscript.</i><br /><br /><b>Your first book landed an agent and an editor, and hopefully some fans. Who are you writing the second one for? Them, or yourself?</b><br /><br /><i>I don’t have a particular audience in mind when I’m writing fiction. I’m mainly focused on telling a good story with characters who are true to their time – the early Middle Ages in this case – but still appealing and relatable to modern readers. Even with book No. 3 (tentatively titled Lady Queen Fastrada), my first priority is the story.</i><br /><br /><b>Is there a new balance of time management to address once you’re a professional author?</b><br /><br /><i>I was busy even before publication – a full-time job, a blog, a social media presence, and oh yes, my novel. In addition, I enjoy gardening and do some volunteer work at my local library. So time management feels like a juggling act. Each night and weekend, I must ask myself what gets priority: a blog post, publicity, my work in progress, critique of a friend’s work. In other words, what do I put off for another night? Sometimes the answer is deadline driven. My crutch is my handwritten lists. Note the plural.</i><br /><br /><b>What did you do differently the second time around, with the perspective of a published author?</b><br /><br /><i>I wrote most of the second manuscript while I was still unpublished, so the writing process wasn’t that different. However, one thing I got to skip in this go-around was the query process, and that is liberating. Of course, Fireship Press needed to review the finished manuscript before making an offer, but to have a publisher truly interested in your work is a great feeling and a boost in confidence. It allowed me to focus on polishing the manuscript rather than agonizing over a cover letter.</i><br /><br /><i>On the publishing and promotion side, there was a four-month wait between sending the finished book to the printer and releasing it for sale. The reason was to allow time to arrange the virtual book tour and other publicity. I am very grateful to Fireship Press for believing in my work to make such an investment. I didn’t mind the wait. In fact, it gave me time to write guest posts, work on novel No. 3, even take a vacation or two to see family.</i><br /><i><br /></i> Enter to win a copy of <i>The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar</i> below!<br /><br /><a class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b73/" id="rc-2071810b73" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script>

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The Most Dastardly Plans Begin With Intentions of Sweetness

  Posted by Professor VJ Duke in The Punchy Lands!, 02 September 2014 · 7 views

“So you see, P.VJ,” Dr. Zauberer said as he stood from the desk he’d been sitting at. “The most dastardly plans begin with intentions of sweetness.”

I shook my head. “Seems like something is wrong somewhere. And that something somewhere seems close to your proximity, interestingly enough.”

Dr. Zauberer made a face. It was a face of confusion and disdain, I think. But those things can be hard to tell.

“I’ll give you an example,” Dr. Zauberer continued. Then he did something incredibly awkward. (He does incredibly awkward things all the time, you know.)

Dr. Zauberer was playing with a pen while he was having speaks—a thing all doctors seem to do, even the fake ones—when he spun it a bit too quickly. It popped into the air, hit him in the forehead and landed on top of his hand, which was resting on the desk.

He covered his hand quickly with his other hand, and continued:

“The example is this. Suppose I was a farmer—”

“But you never were.” I knew this.

Dr. Zauberer was flustered. “Of course I never was! Let’s just suppose… I was a farmer. And I had to go feed the llama named Jack in the pasture in the back.”

“Did you just come up with that?”

“P.VJ,” Dr. Zauberer said, tapping his fingers upon the table, “please quit interrupting. Now suppose after realizing that I had to feed the llama named Jack in the pasture in the back, I decided to do it.”

I nodded. “A good decision.”

“Yes. So, suppose I went outside with some food in order to feed the llama named Jack in the pasture in the back, and when I got out there I decided, ‘Boy would it be fun to spook him instead.’ And suppose further that that’s exactly what I did. Instead of feeding the llama named Jack in the pasture in the back, I threw his food in the air, which spooks him, and he went off running. That, sir, is how the most dastardly plans begin with intentions of sweetness.”

The professor was dumfounded—nay, gardoobled!

“Umm…” I began. And it’s really a horrid way to begin.

Dr. Zauberer was smiling broadly. You see, he believed he had proved his point.

And maybe he had.

Do you think he had, PF? I’m not sure.




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Haikyu!! Anime Fangirl Gushing

  Posted by Sakura Eries in Sakura Eries' Blog: Keeping It In Canon …mostly, 01 September 2014 · 10 views

While I am a cosplay enthusiast, my miserly nature strictly limits my cosplay-related purchases. However, the instant I came across Haikyu!!, which began simulcasting on Crunchyroll last spring, Karasuno High School uniforms fell into the “must have” category. And now, both my husband and I can show our spirit for the Karasuno volleyball team in our latest outfits.

Haikyu uniform

My husband is a near exact physical match for Captain Daichi, but he insisted on Kageyama’s Number 9

For those unfamiliar with Haikyu!!, it’s a sports anime centered on a high school volleyball team. The story follows two freshmen: Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama. Hinata is the eager raw talent who couldn’t truly play the sport due to the absence of a boys team at his middle school. Kageyama, on the other hand, is a seasoned and genius player, but his high-handed attitude cost him the respect of his middle school teammates and a championship victory. The two wind up at Karasuno High School, and though they start as rivals, they learn how to work with one another and, more importantly, what it means to be a team.

Although the fall anime lineup remains to be revealed, I’m fairly certain that Haikyu!! will be my favorite anime of 2014. This is fairly unusual for me since my taste leans heavily toward shojo, fantasy, and historical, and Haikyu!! is none of these. However, even if you’re not into the sports genre, even if you dislike volleyball in real life (like me), even if you’re not really into anime, give Haikyu!! a chance. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it sucks you in.

For one, the cast is immediately relatable. Whether it’s Hinata’s nerves sending him running to the bathroom or discouraged ace Asahi’s reluctance to return to the sport, you definitely get where they’re coming from.

Haikyu jersey (621x593)

My Karasuno Volleyball Team jacket!

For another, the pacing is excellent. Volleyball requires a large group of people, but characters get introduced in a way that really establishes their personalities and how they connect with the rest of the team. The show also makes volleyball rules, strategies, and tactics comprehensible for the uninitiated. At times, explanations border on info dump, especially with faculty advisor Takeda-sensei referencing a “how to” guide for volleyball during practice. However, if you don’t know your wing spiker from your float serve, it’s quite helpful.

Another huge plus is that I can recommend Haikyu!! to viewers of all ages. The subtitles do include a few cuss words (though I think that’s more of a reflection of Crunchyroll’s translation choices than the content), but there are no giants eating people, no end-of-the-world devastation, no fan service. Yes, there is the one cute girl whom a third of the team is crushing on, but she is NOT a panty-flashing airhead, her breasts aren’t the size of watermelons, and she’s not a wacko sadist who can’t cook. What you get instead is an overwhelmingly positive vibe from a bunch of boys, each with his quirks, strengths, and weaknesses, as they go through ups and downs yet strive to bring out their best in the game. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I fell in love with a cast like this. Even among Karasuno’s rivals, no one is truly hateful, and several are worthy of their own fan followings.

And while Team Karasuno’s goal of winning the Nationals is what drives the plot, there’s plenty of humor to be had. Between ill-aimed balls, snarky potshots, and hilarious visual metaphors (my all-time favorite is Kageyama holding the Hinata bazooka), Haikyu!! manages to be fun and inspiring and gripping all at once. Add to that cool character designs, excellent action sequences on the court, catchy opening and closing themes, and you’ve got one gem of an anime.

So check it out! Even if you don’t have a Crunchyroll subscription, you can watch the with-commercial version for free. And perhaps you’ll find yourself joining me among the ranks of the Haikyu!! cosplayers.




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New Excerpt from KISSES AND LIES

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 01 September 2014 · 13 views

It's been a crazy weekend. This is normally out on Saturday, but I just didn't get it done. Sorry to anyone out there who looks for my blog each weekend.

I thought I would showcase another excerpt from the second of my novels, Kisses and Lies. One of the things I enjoyed about writing this book is that for about the first 2/3 of it, the chapters alternate between my protagonist's narration and a third person narrative from the point of view of a young man named Happy Hillman, who decides to strike out on his own with help from his parents. The only condition--a condition that is Happy's, not his parents'--is that he the money they give him is his inheritance and they no longer have to treat him as their child. Happy makes his way to New York City and finds out that life on his own is not quite what he'd hoped it would be. This scene is his first encounter with the harsh realities of city life.



The rest of the trip had gone by uneventfully. The car had run flawlessly. He’d done some research and knew where he was going to stay, though the neighborhood was a bit scarier than it seemed online. Finding a parking space about half a block down on 42nd Street, he locked the doors and walked quickly to the entrance of what had been described on a website as a historic hotel, but he could only describe it as a flophouse. The sign, which doubled as an ad for a popular cola, was badly chipped and dented, from what appeared to be ricocheting bullets. A knot formed in his stomach and he very nearly turned around, but he steeled himself to walk in. He was tired, he told himself. It wouldn’t be so bad inside and things would look better after a good night’s rest.
He was mistaken. It did look so bad inside. Maybe worse. The dozen steps up from the open entryway to the front doors looked to have been white once, though that was a guess, as they were hidden under decades of city grime, along with occasional dark semi-circular blotches, undoubtedly from vomit and/or urine. At the top landing were two doors that had, a long time ago, been clear glass. Below the handle on the left door was a hand-written sign declaring that no visitors were allowed. Painted on the wall just inside was an arrow above the word “Office.” To the right of that was a large sign painted in white letters on a red background. It said, “Fire Command Center in Office.” He had no idea what that meant, nor did he think he wanted to.
At the front desk, with an overwhelming sense of panic, he found his money was not stashed in his inside jacket pocket as he remembered. Thinking about it for a few seconds, he remembered deciding his jacket was not a safe permanent hiding place. He could absently leave it hanging on the back of a seat or it could be accidentally taken. So he had taken a few hundred out and locked the rest safely in the glove box of his car. He would take it out when he went out to get his luggage.
Paying for the week, he was given a key—an actual key, not a key card. It was attached on a ring to a credit card sized laminated tag with his room number hand written on it in permanent marker. His room was on the second floor at the top of the landing, beside the non-functioning ice machine and the empty, unplugged vending machines. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about people waking him up by coming to the machines in the night. But upon entering his room, he realized that people waking him at night was not likely to be an issue. He found it unimaginable that he would ever fall asleep. All the run-down roach motels he’d seen in movies could not prepare him for the gut-turning reality that was room 201. The only thing more startling than the peeling, yellowed wallpaper; the sagging bed (complete with a threadbare spread covered with cigarette burns); and carpet that was once who-knows-what color, but was now somewhere between brown and black; was the nostril-blistering stench, which seemed most likely to come from two parts urine, one part cigarettes, and at least a part or two of alcohol-laden vomit. He tried to breathe through his mouth, but was alarmed to find that this coated his tongue with the almost literally palpable odor, so he decided smelling his new home was less objectionable than tasting it.

Afraid to leave his luggage in the car too long, he went back downstairs and out to where he parked. His mind was awash with fear. How was he going to live, let alone make it on his own here? The hotel alone might kill him with rat or flea bites or some exotic disease on the floor or bed. If he somehow managed to survive the microbes, what were the chances he wouldn’t catch a stray bullet or get killed by a mugger? His face flushed with shame. In his befuddled contemplation, he realized he must have passed his car, as he had just crossed to the next block. He scanned down the street to where he felt certain he had parked. Wasn’t it right behind the rusting old heap with the flat tire and broken back window? Had he turned the wrong way when he exited the building? He didn’t think so, but he had to check, so he ran down the street to the same point in the opposite block. Nothing. He went another block. Still not there. So he ran back and went another block in the way he had initially gone. A hot lump grew so rapidly in the pit of his stomach that he half expected to look down to find the contents gushing out his navel and burning through his shirt. Pulling out his wallet, he counted out the money he had left. Ninety dollars. He had been in the city exactly long enough to check into a hotel and his car, along with almost $25,000, had been stolen. 


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From: Chapter entitled Perfect Pawn

Posted by AFord in AFord's Blog, 01 September 2014 · 20 views
antagonist, villian, betrayal and 4 more...

Hi there, folks!

Please read the following blurb from my WIP, a thriller genre, where the Antagonist is meeting in an undisclosed location with his sinister henchman, and determine if the scene easily draws the reader into the action. Thank you in advance for any feedback, appreciate your time:

"The aroma of pipe smoke filled the small study. In between several more long puffs, Langley Phelps, a relic from the height of the Cold War era, size up his protégé seated directly across from him. The aging spymaster rises from his brown leather recliner, toss several pages of loose leaf handwritten notes into the crackling fireplace set ablaze before him, before turning around to affix his steely gray eyes upon his associate, inquiring, "Where's the gun, Stone?"

Brad Stone, nursing a second glass of vintage cognac, sat his drink aside to give the pointed question his full and undivided attention. In a matter-of-fact-tone, much to the delight of his impressed mentor standing there before him, he desribes how he had broken it down in several pieces akin to the main character of Godfather fame, then tossed each remnant several miles apart into the murky depths of the Potomac River on a "fishing" outing. Raising his own glass akin to making a toast, Phelps, with a sly smirk playing across his rugged face, said, 'Well done, Stone, well done"





Source: Chapter entitled Perfect Pawn

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CROWN OF ICE COUNTDOWN — Day 9: T is for Thyra

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 01 September 2014 · 12 views

Day 9 of the CROWN OF ICE publication countdown brings us to — T is for Thyra. Thyra Winther is the protagonist of CROWN OF ICE. She’s brilliant, tough, and, above all, a survivor. She’s also a deeply damaged individual who hasn’t known love since her parents died when she was a young child. Thyra […]

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The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light Book Trailer and Giveaway!

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 01 September 2014 · 18 views

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light



 In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.


The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watcher’s Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions




About the Author


"My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles! Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures."
-Deirdra Eden

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra's websiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Pinterest.


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The Hogwarts Express Leaves Today!

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 01 September 2014 · 54 views


It's September 1st, and all you Harry Potter fans (so, basically everyone in the world) know what this means: IT'S TIME TO GO TO HOGWARTS!!!!!!

The train leaves at 11 o'clock precisely. I'll be on it and you guys should be too (unless you're Muggles).

I LOVE HOGWARTS.

Is it weird that I love a 'fictional' place more than I love some real-life places I've visited? How could something created and a place I've never been to feel like home? I've been thinking about it and it's just weird; how can readers connect so much to the written word that it feels more real than some aspects of life itself?

This happens with the best books, and there aren't a shortage of them. In fact, I think that's the reason we read: to escape into a world. The better the world is, the more we can escape into it, and the better the book is.

JK Rowling said, on the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere, that "Whether you come back by page or by the big screen,Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." The thing is, that quote is so true because Hogwarts feels like home.

Why?

Because along with Harry, we experience the process of finding a home? We are new to the world and so is Harry, and thus we're both immersed into the world and find homes at Hogwarts?

Maybe it's because that's where Harry experiences so much. It's where he grows and learns and goes through incredibly tough times and also great times. Basically, it's home. And the fact that the series centers around this castle that is so detailed and thought-out makes it a home for us. More than that, it's because Hogwarts is Harry's escape, it is also our escape from the real world. Through the third person limited POV, JK Rowling did all this. Is it as technical as that?

Probably. But when it boils down to it, home never feels technical. It's a passion and an emotion. It's why we read.

What do you look for in a book? Why do you read? In what book do you find home?

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5 Tips to Trim your Writing

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 01 September 2014 · 11 views

by Jemi Fraser

Many beginning writers end up with enormous word counts. (If you want to check out my story, it's over on my blog today).

Trimming Tip #1 -- Adjectives & Adverbs

Cut. Cut. Cut. Sure you need a few adjectives, and sometimes they enhance your prose, but be careful! I'm not an especially visual person or writer, but I was floored when I first learned this tip and realized how many adjectives I had in my draft. Nearly every sentence was sprinkled with writerly words that screamed AMATEUR!

Ditto the above advice for adverbs. It's a little easier to edit for these though. Use that handy-dandy Find tool (CTRL F) and search for 'ly'. We all know not all adverbs end in ly, but many do, and this tool makes it easy to spot them. It also takes you out of the flow of reading the story, which is very important when editing. Often replacing your verb/adverb combination with a stronger/more explicit verb makes your sentence stronger.

Trimming Tip #2 -- Cutting Scenes

Whole scenes. As you're editing, ask yourself about the purpose of the scene. If it's not moving the story along, not increasing the tension or the conflict or the stakes, bring out the sword and slash away. Painful, yes, but maybe you can keep some of them as bonus content for visitors to your website. (Make sure the quality is high, after all, there's a reason you're cutting in the first place!)

Trimming Tip #3 -- Filler Words

We all have them. Some of them are more obvious than others. Once I feel pretty good about a draft, I dump my story into Wordle and eliminate all the proper nouns (right click then delete). The bigger the word, the more times it appears. Then use that CTRL F tool to help you find and eliminate as many as you can.

Some words that often appear as fillers:

just, suddenly, again, eyes, look/looked/looks, seemed/seems, feels/felt, smiles/smiled, really, very, maybe, quite, started to...

Trimming Tip #4 -- Qualifiers

Eliminating words and phrases like 'a bit', 'a little', 'sort of', 'seemed to' 'felt like', can all make your writing stronger and, as an added bonus, make your characters less wishy-washy at the same time. If someone's mad, let him/her be all the way mad!

Trimming Tip #5 -- Echoes

This is my Achilles' heel. As the self-proclaimed Queen of Redundancies, I've literally cut thousands of words by eliminating phrases and sentences where I'm repeating information already provided. Trust your readers not to be idiots, they'll get it the first time. (<-- Which is a great example of a sentence including an echo!)

Trimming the fat out of that draft will do nothing but enhance your story. Don't be afraid of that delete key. If it helps, imagine Legolas or Aragorn at your side, sword in hand, as you slash your way to a stronger story!

Do you enjoy the Slash 'n' Burn rounds of editing?

Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of contemporary romance. She blogs  and tweets while searching for those HEAs.

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Holy Word Count!

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 01 September 2014 · 25 views

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about how to make your writing leaner. I know from experience how daunting that can be, but that experience has made me a much stronger writer today.

Probably 6 years ago or so, I decided to write a novel. I knew nothing. NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.

But I had read a whole slew (or six slews) of novels, so I wasn't in the least bit daunted.

The story ended up at over 170 000 words.

Yup, you read that right.

Then I stumbled upon Agent Query Connect and started to learn what writing a novel was all about. I learned a lot. Backstory, dialogue tags, strong verbs instead of verb/adverb combinations, echoes, tension, conflict, character arcs...

So I revised. And revised again a couple of (dozen) times.

Eventually, the story was down to 81 000. Less than half. And it was SO much better!

But I wouldn't trade the experience of writing that story in all its over-padded glory for anything. It will always have a safe place in my hard drive. I learned more from writing that story ... and revising that story ... than I could have from a dozen classes.

How about you? Any fond memories of your first serious attempt at writing?

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Crash

  Posted by mlebleek in Bleeker Street, 31 August 2014 · 29 views

Last week I was about to write a nice blog about editing but then the unthinkable happened…my computer crashed. Crash is a nice way to put it. It was more like my three-year-old spilled milk on the couch and it leaked under my computer (without me realizing it), then seeped through the bottom of the computer and into every electronic nook and cranny inside. Yeah. It’s totally broken. When we discussed the situation my husband said, “Well, you need a computer. You are a writer, it’s kind of an important part of your job.”

 

Ah, I love it when he says romantic things like that. Seriously, I loved it. And he’s right. Just like a carpenter needs his tool box full of tools or a photographer her camera–I need a computer to complete so many aspects of my job. The one good thing about loss, even temporary loss, is that it tends to teach you to appreciate thing better.  And I do appreciate my computer now. I do, I really, really I do. 

 

Without a computer I:

Missed a deadline. Well, it wasn’t really a deadline but it was a request from my editor that I had to put off until I could find a working computer. Though she was super understanding, it was still pretty embarrassing. And when I DID find a computer to use, I couldn’t attach the file she needed so I had to type it into the body of the email. I’m still cringing thinking about how many errors were in that transcription. *shudder*

Couldn’t blog. I know you all missed me. It’s not that I think you all can’t live a week without a blog post but I had just finished a massive edit of FRAGMENTS and I wanted to share what I’d learned from it. It’s a rare experience for me to just KNOW what I’m going to blog about so I was sad to miss that opportunity (errrr- or postpone it to my next post)

Couldn’t connect. This was hard. I did have my phone so I could check social media and emails but a cell phone screen is just not my medium. I can never seem to type the words correctly the first time and auto correct always makes me say something silly or vulgar instead. Maybe it’s because I’m from the generation BEFORE the texting generation but I’m not very good at the pecking at a screen thing. Also, I have a wonderful group of online supporters that I was suddenly cut off from. I consider them my coworkers and it was lonely working in an empty office.

Was a horrible critique partner. I have three CP’s that I’m currently working with. They have wonderful projects that I enjoy reading and discussing with them but without a computer I had no way to do either! I feel horrible guilt over the lack of help I’ve given these fine individuals in the past few weeks (ok- I was also AWOL while I edited). Writers help writers. It’s what we do. I love it and I’m so eager to get back to this rewarding process. I had a writer friend send me this blog about why writers don’t compete (Seth’s Blog). It’s a good read!

Struggled with research. When I was a kid my parents bought us the World….well the World Book Encyclopedia. They had a red faux leather binding with gold lettering and my parents even went fancy and got the ones with gold leaf on the edges of the pages. They were beautiful and looked pretty impressive on our family room bookshelf. It was great to have these resource books in our home for school projects or just plain curiosity. But it wasn’t just us kids that enjoyed those books. I’d often find my dad sitting in a random corner of the house quietly reading from one of the scarlet volumes. As a result my dad is a great source of knowledge even outside his scientific expertise. I think I’ve inherited this thirst for random knowledge. Thankfully, during my youth, the internet was invented. Then SEARCH ENGINES were invented. I’m no longer limited to the finite information inside of the World Book. I can type in just about anything and, with a little bit of fact checking, learn about almost anything my brain is hungering to know more about. Okay- enough back story. Lately many of my searches have been writing/story related. I don’t limit my research to the internet but it is for sure the first place I turn. I’ve really missed having that instant answer to my research questions (and random stupid questions I still google).

Couldn’t write. It’s not that I was blocked, it was that I didn’t have a place to put my “brain vomit” (as I like to call first drafts). I know,  I KNOW– pen to paper never hurt anyone and I do love just scrawling out ideas in a notebook but that is not the place for the first draft of Chapter 17. Maybe some people can write in a notebook and then type it all into the computer but I always feel like when the time to input the handwritten material into the computer, I’m basically writing it all over again. Between double thinking word choice and phrases, I also question basic grammar and punctuation. It basically kills my creative process. I handwrite ideas anytime I get them. I handwrite poetry (yes, I write poetry…poorly…but I write it). I handwrite LISTS for everything…so many lists. But, for some reason, my brain doesn’t like me to handwrite fiction. After spending a chunk of time editing and then this time with out a computer…I’m having some major writing withdrawals. I’m so ready to get up and typing again!

Now that the computer is here I have so many things on my “to do” list but I’m sincerely excited about nearly every single one of them. Writing this blog post was one of the items that I can gleefully check off now. So, pat your computer, say thank you to Al Gore (for inventing the internet-duh) and don’t wait for absence to make your heart grow fonder. Take it from me: You are fond. Very very fond. 




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Vague Plot and/or Stakes in Query

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 31 August 2014 · 34 views





As soon the feedback letters will start going out, I wanted to expand on some of the issues I saw in Pitchwars on a larger scale. Give a little more reasoning behind my decisions. I want to first remind everyone that this is my opinion only and is totally subjective to how I made choices for Pitchwars. I had over seventy entries and could only take one and a half. I was forced by circumstances to look for reasons to say no.

By far the most numerous tag I put on entries was vague stakes and plot in the query letter. And I saw quite a bit of talk about this subject on twitter also. What is vague stakes? Why does it hurt your chances? Let’s see if I can fumble my way to an explanation. (I’ll use my own query letters as examples.)

To me the term vague stakes or plot means putting cliché terms in place of specific details about the story. Cliché terms like dangerous situation, family secret, dark troubles, deadly danger and so on. That tells me something is happening, but really leaves me groping for what.  It was like having parts of a puzzle, but being left to fill them in myself.

For example—pulled off the top of my head: John must find the dark secret or face everlasting doom.  That leaves me going, ‘What secret? What doom?’ It tells me little about what John must actually do or face. Not enough of the puzzle has been filled in.

Now I’ll use my query letter for Kindar’s Cure and take out the details.

Princess Kindar of Anost dreams of playing the hero and succeeding to her mother’s throne. But dreams are for fools. Reality involves two healthy sisters and her own sickness. When her elder sister is murdered, Kindar is in a deadly situation.
    
But she’s tough.  A novice wizard, Maladonis Bin, approaches with a vision that could help her. As choices go, a charming bootlicker that trips over his own feet isn’t the best option, but beggars can’t be choosers. Kindar escapes with Mal and several longtime attendants only to have her eyes opened that her country faces dark times.

As Mal urges her toward his visions, suddenly, an ally turns traitor, delivering Kindar to a rebel army. With danger getting closer, she must escape the army and move forward with Mal or let her country down.

Here you can sort of see what’s happening, but it’s all very vague. What visions? What dark times? The stakes involve a vague danger and letting her country down. Letting it down how? I think you can see that, without details, this query gives just the barest idea of the story. It's too much like a puzzle with missing pieces.

Now here is the same query with the details back in it:


Princess Kindar of Anost dreams of playing the hero and succeeding to her mother’s throne. (character motivation) But dreams are for fools. Reality involves two healthy sisters and a wasting disease of suffocating cough that’s killing her by inches. (what’s stopping her.) When her elder sister is murdered, the blame falls on Kindar, putting her head on the chopping block. (more what’s stopping her.)
    
No one who survives eighteen years of choke lung lacks determination.  A novice wizard, Maladonis Bin, approaches with a vision—a cure in a barren land of volcanic fumes. As choices go, a charming bootlicker that trips over his own feet isn’t the best option, but beggars can’t be choosers. Kindar escapes with Mal and several longtime attendants only to have her eyes opened that her country faces dark times.

Her mother’s decision to close the prosperous mines spurs poverty and joblessness, inciting rebellion and opening Anost to foreign invasion. As Mal urges her toward a cure that will prove his visions, suddenly, an ally turns traitor, delivering Kindar to a rebel army, who have their own plans for a sickly princess. (setup and specific details of plot)

With the killer poised to strike again, the rebels bearing down, and the country falling apart, she must weigh her personal hunt for a cure against saving her people. (the choice she faces.)


Not perfect, but you’ll notice the query doesn’t tell the ending. Instead it leaves us with the CHOICE the main character must make.

Many times I hear that the stakes are left vague in a query to avoid giving away the ending. But the stakes are not the ending! Repeat: The stakes are not the ending. 

What the main character does about the stakes is the ending. The CHOICE the main character makes, the DIRECTION he/she goes--that is ending! You want to leave the reader with a clear vision of what sort of choice is forced upon your character. What bad thing will happen if she/he gets it wrong? What good result can come if it's done right?

By leaving the stakes or plot vague, you take away what is unique about your story. It makes it much harder to entice a reader into wanting to know more.

So many times I hear, but I don't want to spoil the surprise twist inside the story by giving it away in the query. But if the query doesn't entice, will the agent ever read the story? 

Another example from my own queries. In my YA dystopian there is a pretty big surprise. The main character is a rabbit. You'd think I'd want to save that. But I didn't. It was the unique thing about my story. Here is that query:


Seventeen-year-old Little Bit hates the magic anklet fastened on her by so-called friend, Garrett. It keeps her on the farm—keeps her from knowing why cows outnumber humans. Nothing gets out. Not even birds can flee Garrett’s enchanted prison.(all what's stopping her.) With no idea of the outside world, Little Bit wants freedom from the chains trapping her and to understand her past. (her motivation) Unfortunately, Garrett is about as forthcoming as the inanimate gold around her ankle. (what's stopping her.)

Confused by her feelings of exasperation and affection for Garrett, Little Bit escapes into a world corrupted by dark magic and scorched by the sun. Twelve years ago, a supernova devastated the Earth, making the sun lethal and awakening long dormant magic. Traveling by night, she seeks answers about herself, but finds mutated beetles and mega-sized possums. Worse, a nursery rhyming cannibal skulks in the shadows as she follows rumors to a human colony in New Chicago.

But she’s learned only half the story—she’s not human. A lonely Garrett transformed his pet rabbit into a girl. Now only the renewal of Garrett’s spell keeps her on two legs instead of four. (plot setup)  She’ll have to accept Garrett’s chains or lose her humanity forever, unless the sun’s deadly rays awakens magic within her. (choices- accept Garrett controlling her, be a rabbit, or find another way.)


My opinion is that it is better to give away more about the story in hopes of enticing. Generic stakes and plot do not keep people reading. Specific details help your query rather than hurt it.

I'm not saying it's easy. Deciding what specific details to add is very difficult. You don't want to sound like a synopsis, which means you walk a fine line. To me, however, it's worth it.

Having specific plot details and stakes does three things. 1. helps to avoid confusion and feeling like pieces of the story are missing. 2. showcases what is unique about your story. 3. lets readers get a deeper insight into the choice the main character must make and a stronger sense of character personality.

In my Pitchwars search, I always read both the query and the first chapter. The query is obviously not a deal breaker. Very strong first pages can make the difference. But that may not always be the case. Some  agents don't read samples if they don't like the query. You want your query to be as strong as possible. 

So how about it? Do you agree or disagree? Feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments.



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Spin the Bottle and Win!

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 30 August 2014 · 29 views

<div id="attachment_863" style="width: 149px" class="wp-caption alignleft"><a href="http://www.jeanoram....dDreams944K.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-863" src="http://www.jeanoram.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/LoveAndDreams944K-200x300.jpg" alt="Love and Dreams: Book 2 in the Summer Sisters series by Jean Oram" width="139" height="209" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Love and Dreams: Book 2 in the Summer Sisters series by Jean Oram</p></div>
<p>We’re partying to celebrate the launch of <a title="Summer Sisters" href="http://www.jeanoram....summer-sisters/"><em>Love and Dreams</em>,</a> the second book in the Summer Sisters series, as well as the 99 cent box set, <a title="Hot Summer Love box set–Make Summer Last" href="http://www.jeanoram.com/books/hot-summer-love-box-set/"><em>Hot Summer Love</em> </a>which includes full-length novels by me–<em>Love and Rumors</em>, Cali MacKay–<em>One Sweet Summer</em>, Evelyn Adams–<em>Feels Like Home</em>, Julie Farrell–<em>Romancing the Real You</em>, and Jax Cassidy–<em>Brush with Desire.</em></p>
<h3>Play Spin the Bottle and WIN!</h3>
<p>Today, I am hosting giveaways including a game of Spin the Bottle! Want to play? Spin the wheel to find out who you are kissing and then pop over to the<a title="Here's a direct link back to the giveaway!" href="https://www.facebook...nt_mall_comment" target="_blank"> Facebook party</a> and tell me who you got!</p>
<p><iframe src="http://wheeldecide.c...col=&#38;width=" width="500" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p>
<p>You could be kissing:</p>
<ul>
<li>Oz from <em>Champagne and Lemon Drops</em></li>
<li>Nash from <em>Champagne and Lemon Drops</em></li>
<li>Frankie from <em>Whiskey and Gumdrops</em></li>
<li>Rob from<em> Rum and Raindrops</em></li>
<li>Finian from <em>Love and Rumors</em></li>
<li>Connor for <em>Love and Dreams</em></li>
</ul>
<p>And you could be winning:</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div id="attachment_875" style="width: 235px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="http://www.jeanoram....09420553361.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-875" src="http://www.jeanoram.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/IMG_6297-e1409420553361-225x300.jpg" alt="Giveaway by author Jean Oram" width="225" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Win this!</p></div>
<p>A signed paperback of <em>Champagne and Lemon Drops</em> as well as a <em>Love and Dreams</em> keychain! Open internationally.</p>
<p>Got your man? The one you’re kissing? <a title="Direct link back to the giveaway post at the Hot Summer Love Weekend party" href="https://www.facebook...nt_mall_comment" target="_blank">Come by the party and tell me who in the Spin the Bottle Giveaway post for your chance to win.</a></p>
<div id="attachment_876" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a title="Hot Summer Love Weekend mega party of goodness" href="https://www.facebook...33642866737301/" target="_blank"><img class="size-medium wp-image-876" src="http://www.jeanoram.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/PartyBanner-300x111.jpg" alt="Hot Summer Love box set party" width="300" height="111" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Join the party!</p></div>
<p><span style="color: #ff00ff;"><strong>*** While you’re here, stay in touch for more Jean Oram books and fun! Subscribe to my free newsletter: <a title="Newsletter of fun and romance" href="www.jeanoram.com/signup" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff00ff;">www.jeanoram.com/signup</span></a>.</strong></span></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ </strong></p>
<p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.jeanoram....pin-bottle-win/">Spin the Bottle and Win!</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.jeanoram.com">Jean Oram</a>.</p>

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FIRST FIVE FRENZY with Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Chasing The Crazies , 29 August 2014 · 31 views

      If you’re like me, you toil for hours editing and fine-tuning the first pages of your manuscript. You look at the first lines to make sure they are compelling and tight.  You examine the next few paragraphs, hoping your MC’s voice is already taking hold of the reader.   The First Five Frenzy […]

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Little Bird, Broken Monster: Why my main character is a foster kid

Posted by Selene Bell in Confessions of a Binge Reader, 27 August 2014 · 34 views

The main character in Little Bird, Broken Monster, the novel I’m querying, has an obsession with crime statistics. (The Bureau of Justice Statistics is her favorite government agency.) It’s part method to avoid trouble, part distraction so 17-year-old Wren Butler doesn’t have to think about her own life. She’s a foster kid who, at the start, sees a future of nothing more than menial jobs and poverty. It’s a future awaiting thousands of real foster kids in this country today.

As Wren could tell you, by the age 24, only 6 percent of foster kids get any kind of college degree, but 34 percent have been arrested. And the most recent data available say there were almost 400,000 foster kids in the U.S. as of 2012, so the issue is significant. Despite the Great Recession and the whole batch of college graduates who couldn’t immediately find work, a good education and a degree are still the best ticket to the middle class—and all the luxuries and security that affords.

Of course, numbers are just numbers and it can be hard to see real people in them. That’s one of the reasons I created Wren. The transition from teenager to adult is critical for foster kids. Those who do consider college can find the enrollment process and starting at a huge professional institution to be so intimidating that they give up. My novel obliquely deals with Wren’s insecurities about things most new college students don’t give a second thought to, or that their parents take care of. So I was pleased to find an article written for my newspaper’s Faith & Values section about a Christian college that offers four-year scholarships for foster kids.

The teen who starts the article has been a foster kid with stints of homelessness. The first time she attended a church service on campus and saw all the other students, this was her reaction: “I thought I didn’t have what they had,” she says in the story. “I thought, ‘I’m struggling already. I can’t afford school and to work at the same time.’ ”

Thomas White, the president of Cedarville University, established the scholarship. He has a 9-year-old adopted daughter and said the idea came to him as he looked at Ohio’s foster-care registry and wondered what would happen to the older teenagers. “Who’s going to demonstrate love to them and say they have value and purpose to God and have value and purpose to us?” he asked. “It’s just a way to give back to the community.”

And to change these teens’ lives. The young women in this article clearly had difficult childhoods, if you can call them childhoods at all, and now they have a chance to build something more from their lives, one that I hope comes with extra support. Just giving a kid the money to do something doesn’t mean they can figure out the rest by themselves, especially if they’ve never had a good, close-up view of someone else accomplishing such a feat.

I suspect lots of foster kids don’t have that kind of role model. (See Wren’s 6 percent-34 percent statistic.) I’m not sure the foster system or high schools, though well intentioned, provide it. In fact, many public schools in the city I live in are failing their students, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume the majority of foster kids attend public schools. The state of education in this country, especially for poor kids in urban areas, is sad. And the result of that, I believe, is a class of people who will struggle their whole lives to get ahead. For foster kids, who start life with the least stable families and support systems, that just intensifies the tragedy. It breaks my heart to know kids out there will never get the opportunity my daughter will.

So, cheers to Cedarville University. I hope there are other universities that do this, so it’s not only the religious foster kids who can hope for this kind of opportunity.

www.selene-bell.com

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Kevin Love introduced by Cavaliers

Posted by Monicoo in Monicoo's Blog, 26 August 2014 · 25 views

Kevin Love introduced by Cavaliers When Kevin Love's phone rang shortly after he learned LeBron James was signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his own future became clear.

Love made it known to the Minnesota Timberwolves after his conversation with James last month that Cleveland was where he wanted to be traded. That allowed the Cavs to make a strong trade offer that included Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 first-round pick, and soon a deal was struck.

"LeBron signed to come back, and a few hours later he called me and I said 'I'm in,'" Love said Tuesday at a news conference. "That had a lot to do with my decision. It means a lot to be a part of this organization. ... Everything in my entire life for the last six years had led me up to this opportunity."

Love expressed to the Wolves in June that he wanted to be traded or he would leave as a free agent next summer. That eventually forced the Wolves to make the deal with the Cavs that was finalized last week.

But Love said Tuesday he currently has no plans to sign an extension with the Cavs. Love signed a four-year, $61 million extension in 2012, but the 2016-17 season, worth $16.7 million, is a player option. Love is also not planning to pick up that option and will play out the final year of his contract with the Cavs.

Love did say he plans to be with the team long term.

"[An extension] hasn't been talked about," Love said. "I'm committed to this team and committed long term to the end goal, which is to win a championship."

It is a risk the Cavs were willing to take. They had been after Love aggressively for months and made it a major priority after James urged them to sweeten trade offers after he signed last month.

"This is culmination of a year and a half of conversations to trade for [Love]," Cavs general manager David Griffin said. "This is a player that, quite frankly, fits us as well as any player could have. LeBron makes a great deal of these things possible by his presence alone. That piece had a great deal to do with Kevin's comfort with joining us. Hopefully we'll [have] him for a very long time."

Love will wear No. 0 for the Cavs. His No. 42, which he wore with the Wolves and at UCLA, is Nate Thurmond's and retired in Cleveland. Love said he reached out to Thurmond, who cleared him to wear the number again, but Love decided to go with No. 0 as an honor to the first number he wore as a kid and because of his home state of Oregon.

"I thought this was a chance to start fresh," Love said, "to pick a new number that would suit me."

As for how he will mesh with his new coach David Blatt and how he would fit into the Cavs' new offensive and defensive systems, he left all that for later. But after not making the playoffs for the first six seasons of his career and never playing alongside an All-Star, Love said he is looking forward to the season.

"We know LeBron is the focal point," Love said. "But we have a lot of damn good players."

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New Author Event: Word of Art September 5

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 26 August 2014 · 32 views

I am excited to be one of the writers chosen to participate in the InPrint Word of Art Event on Friday, September 5 from 4-8 pm in Rockford IL. For those of you unfamiliar, Word of Art is a collaboration … Continue reading

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Feelings from the Heart, No More

Posted by Marzie Malfoy in Slytherin House Poetry Reading, 25 August 2014 · 24 views
slytherin, original works, heart and 3 more...

The mind kept in captivity,
Denied the freedom of life.
Crevasses from where you can dig
My heart from.

My disposition,
Thrown into the ditch.
Surviving not
Because of the witch.

Heart and mind,
Creating the fissure.
Apathetic they are altered.
In maturity,

they become callous.


Building the lacuna
Of the dungeons,
I awake no more.
My heart...

No more.



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Saturday Situations

Posted by MelGrinder89 in Writing woes and wants, 23 August 2014 · 60 views

I'm going to try to post a blog once a week. Maybe I'll look for a website to make a blog and put the link on here.
Any suggestions on what website I should use?

I want to write, but unfortunately, household chores are calling to be done. Then I have a bunch of back to school paperwork that needs filled out before I can sit and write.

And as far as writing goes, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I have a story that I need go through and edit and rework a bit. Once it's finished, I can start querying.

Sadly, my brains not working in that way right now. I've had a story stuck in my head for awhile now. I finally got it into a story that I can write. It encompasses my love for drama, horror, romance, mermaids, vampires, fairies, angels, and Gods. Wow that's a lot lol. For the first time I'm not outlining, I'm getting a quick idea down for every book that's going to be in the series and then writing it. I started writing the first book, now I'm almost 30K words into it. Which I'm actually very proud of. Haha!

I got that far and I didn't have any outlines. Just a rough idea. Along the way more ideas kept coming that I needed to jot down, and the journal I was writing it all down in is breaking! :( I've had to tape the pages just to keep them all in this journal. I need to type it all into the computer so I don't loose anything. Then I'll probably get a new binder one of these weeks and keep all of my notes and everything in it. So that way when I'm not on my computer and I get an idea, I can quickly jot it down and see where it will fit into the series.

I had only meant for a few books, now it's turned into something a lot lot more than that. >_< Not sure how to work with that, but at least the first book can be considered a stand alone. I leave enough unresolved for a second book, but there's an actual end to that story. Most of the stories are based ever so many years after the previous one. Some continue directly after the last one.
At least that's the plan. I had only meant for like 3-6 books. Before I knew it, there was a grand total of 18 planned books. I may not have that many, but that's the way the story is looking right now.

*sigh* Oh well. Merdemonel promises to be something I can enjoy. Even if people don't read it.

Merdemonel is a story about a young woman. Demelza (Demi for short) was born a Goddess, daughter of the God of Air (generally has the appearance of an angel) and the Goddess of the Sea (generally has the appearance of a mermaid). Her true form was that of a merangel. Half mermaid, half angel. She was the first pure Goddess ever born. The rest were all born between a union of humans or other humanoid creatures and were demigods. Demelza was born a pure Goddess, and prophecies said she would be the most powerful of them all. As her mother was the most beautiful, she was also going to be exceptionally beautiful.

Even while pregnant, evil targeted the Goddess of the Sea in hopes of killing the child before she was born. After her birth, the attempts were even worse. In an attempt to save her life, so she could grow and not have to worry about evil pursuing her, the Gods turned her human and sent her to Earth so she could grow into an adult without living in fear everyday of her life. They agreed they would check back when she was an adult, but otherwise let her be.

Twenty years later when they checked, she was married and happy with her life, so they let her be again. Content to let her live as a human and not have her join their ranks. So long as she was happy. When she turns twenty-four, the evil catches up with her. Almost a year after her husbands tragic death, Demi is lured into a trap by one of the Circle of Six. A cult of demons with only two goals, destroy the Gods and get more power. If they were to possess her and gain her power, their goals would be met.

To save her sister, her friends, and her daughter (who thankfully was not in the trap but somewhere safe) Demi sacrifices herself to the Demon. Three weeks later, the Demon is slayed by the God of Death himself, and Demi is revived into the Goddess she was always meant to be, but with one huge difference. Because of the three weeks the demon spent trying to possess her, Demi absorbed several demonic powers and demonic tendencies. Because of this, she was now mermaid, demon, and angel.

The Gods gave her the title of Merdemonel. After declaring her unwillingness to join their ranks just yet, Demi returns to Earth to finish raising her daughter. Upon reaching adulthood her daughter could decided to embrace her demigoddess nature, or remain human. Demi would make her decision when, and only when, her daughter had reached hers.

That's the idea for the first book, and the start of the series.

And now my dishes are dry, so I better get my procrastinating butt back in the kitchen and finish doing them.

Washing dishes by hand isn't so bad. It's doing laundry by hand that really really really really really ticks me off. Laundry Matt? You suggest. Not unless I want to pay $20 or more a week!

At least this time I wasn't ranting a whole whole lot about the domesticating chores I have.

Can't promise the same for next time. ;) Thanks for taking the time to read this blog till the end. If you have any, please leave comments or questions, and I will be more than happy to answer.



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