Category: DOTD

Maybe the Muse is Here to Stay

I’ve been pretty consistent with the writing the past few weeks. My weekly word count goal has been 10k, and I’ve hit it all but one week out of the last three (and that week I wrote 7k, still not too shabby). I was getting a little off-track with Calder, but I did some brainstorming on Sunday, and I think I have a better grip on where things are going. I haven’t done any more outlining, but I do have a brief synopsis of the rest of the story.

My co-author and I have also started working on the zombie story again. Right now, I’m in the re-reading-because-it’s-been-so-long-I’ve-forgotten-what-we-wrote stage. The story is sitting at around 100k, and it’s all but finished, but it needs a lot of work, I’m not going to lie. We’re currently doing a lot of emailing back and forth about what works and what doesn’t, and I think we’re going to change the whole thing to rotating first-person POV. I’m also going to need someone with some military experience to read over my chapters (while not laughing at what I’m quite sure I got wrong), and give me some feedback. At the very least, killing people/zombies on the page as gruesomely as possible is always entertaining.

I also finally, finally started revising the werewolf story. It’s taken me almost a year to get my head straight enough to revise this story, but I’m so glad I finally got it together. I love this story. I really do. And with my editor’s suggestions, I’m hoping to make it the best I possibly can. And maybe self-publish it…

Too bad I can’t get my “real” life to go so well…

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Cutting Myself a Break

Well. For this week, anyway. Having not made much (or really, any) progress on revisions in the last month, I decided to officially give myself the week off (thereby getting rid of the associated guilt over not revising). I’m moving next weekend, and of course, there are approximately 7,001 things that need to be done before then. So, a hiatus. From revisions, anyway.

I still intend to do a bit of brainstorming and outlining on the DOTD story. Just enough to keep my momentum up, anyway. Apart from that, my plan for the week is to take care of real-life stuff, read a bit, and try not to stress about anything (mainly work). There’s plenty of time for that next week…

Character Introduction: Cacia

I’m supposed to be posting here twice a week. That’s my goal (as of mid-May, anyway). However…I frequently occasionally find it difficult to come up with something to write about.  That makes posting quite a bit more difficult, as you can imagine.  Sadly, I don’t have hours to spend in dreamy contemplation of what to blog about.  In fact, I’m lucky to have 15 minutes to both come up with a topic and compose the blog.  I recently saw a suggestion to blog about your characters and story.   While that would seem blindingly obvious…it never occurred to me before, except to mention them in passing.  But now I’m going to remedy this deplorable lack on my part.  So…

I’d like you to meet Acacia Fauve, or Cacia.  Cacia doesn’t think she’s anything special.  Average height, average build, with brown eyes.  Her only remarkable physical feature–in her mind, anyway–is her dark red hair. She doesn’t like attention, so she keeps it braided all the time. She’s mostly shy, unobtrusive, and trusts very few people. Very, very few. Like, two…She works as an assistant to the “customs” agent in Thule. She is terrified of mages (more on that in a sec). Cacia sees ghosts. All day, everyday. Her best friend is a cat named Damali who also sees ghosts–at least Cacia thinks he does. He’s not a talking cat or anything, just a regular old cat, so he can’t exactly tell her.

Cacia lives in a tiny cubbyhole not far from the shop. She has one other friend besides Damali, a servant named Ben who works in the castle. She doesn’t see him much, but he’s still her friend. She’s about twenty now, but when she was ten, she saw her entire family killed. They were jungle farmers, back when it was safe to live in the jungle, but the Wakaun came out of nowhere one day and killed her family. Cacia isn’t sure how she survived–or why–but the arrival of the Wakaun drove her into the city.

She doesn’t talk about her ability. To anyone. Not even Ben. The yearly feast of Zo–where the priests do a bloodletting on everyone so they can see the ghosts of their ancestors in an offering of power to Anik (a god)–is a nightmare for her. She avoids it, because the bloodletting only makes her power worse, and she doesn’t need any more crazy in her life. She has quite enough, thank you. And speaking of crazy…Cacia avoids the mages at all costs. She thinks they’re crazy, and she knows they’re greedy for power, so she stays far, far away, and is very careful to keep a tight grip on both her power and her emotions. There’s safety in control and calmness, and she likes it that way. At least until she meets Breck and Casanova…

Idea Conundrum

So, I’ve been halfway working on the DOTD story idea lately. By “halfway,” I mean mostly guilt over letting my brainstorming/outlining slide in favor of school and reading. (It’s summer. I can only focus on so many things at a time…) Yesterday was actually a fairly good day. I did a bit of brainstorming and “outlined” my next eight scenes. I like this story idea a lot. I think it will be a lot of fun to write, and it has some bits and pieces I’ve been playing with for a while now (years, actually). I’m loving the characters AND the world. So yes, I’m looking forward to writing it. I just don’t have that much actual time to write it right now.

But…there’s this other idea that kept popping into my head yesterday. It’s one I flirted with briefly for NaNo last year and decided against only because I didn’t have time (there’s that word again) to do the actual prep work to do the story justice. But now it’s rearing its head again. This one’s YA paranormal with Sirens and Spartans and the MC’s voice keeps popping into my head, saying “Pick me! Pick me!”

What to do?

Say Hello to my Little Friend…

I woke up this morning talking to myself. Well, sort of. Before you call for the men in the white coats, let me explain….

You know that state where you’re not quite awake, and you’re not quite asleep? That almost-twilight place? That’s where I was. And I found myself having a conversation with a character in the DOTD story. At least, I think he was a character. If not, then I have a new imaginary friend. His name is Breck…

Honestly, this isn’t the first time I’ve found myself having a conversation with a character. When working on the Witches stories, I frequently have actual arguments with Kahleena. And I spend quite a bit of time giving Julien orders that he promptly ignores. (Seriously, does he have to be such a spoiled prince all the time? You’d think he was running the show.) But this is the first time I’ve had a conversation with someone from the DOTD story. And up until this morning, I had no idea what Breck looked like, so it was like talking to a stranger. He has red hair, by the way. Not Carrot Top red, or anything, just a nice strawberry blond. I was surprised. How many male MCs have red hair (I can think of one: Jamie Fraser in the Outlander books)? And he’s an actor, too. I don’t normally think of them having red hair. Besides that, my female MC in this story has red hair. Fortunately, hers isn’t strawberry blonde, but still, two red-haired characters? I need to have a chat with my Muse…At least he has blue eyes, so he and Acacia aren’t clones of each other or anything. Maybe I can talk him into dyeing his hair?

Yeah, ’cause having a discussion with an imaginary person about changing his hair makes me sound so much saner…

Progress…Not So Much, This Week

Or, really, at all…Okay, so I did get another five phases of the DOTD story outlined. But that’s pretty much it. This week has been a little hectic, between work, appointments, a friend’s birthday party, and packing to go to New Orleans later this week. Oh, and I just realized today (as in, about 5 p.m.), that my summer class starts tomorrow, and not next Monday, like I thought. Oops. It’s a good thing it’s an online class, since I’ll be out of town for five days.

I’m SOOO looking forward to visiting my second home and seeing family and friends. I need a vacation!

Progress…

So, instead of taking my day off to do…nothing, I actually accomplished some things. I’ve been stalling/procrastinating on working on my revision of the faerie story for months now, but I actually finished up one of the HTRYN lessons today and read the next one. Yay!

I also started outlining the new DOTD story. Okay, so by “started outlining” I mean “did a phase outline for the first scene.” But still, it’s progress, and I’m happy. It feels good to make progress. Now I’m off to outline the next five phases and get some much-needed sleep before work tomorrow.

What’s in a Name?

While endings may be my least favorite part of writing, the part I enjoy the most is naming my characters. Weird, I know. But I like coming up with the perfect name for each character, the name that just feels right. And I like names that have an appropriate meaning for that character, too, or at least have a meaning that’s somehow linked to the character. For example, I just finished naming the characters in the new DOTD story. My MC’s name is Acacia Fauve. She’s very standoffish and untrusting, and Acacia (well, Cacia, anyway) means thorny. She was also born in the jungle (which is an important part of the story), and Fauve means “wild and uninhibited.”

What’s your process for naming characters? I make a list of the characters I need names for, with a one- or two-word tag (i.e.: the princess). Then I brainstorm words that are linked to that character. These could be character traits, physical characteristics, or background info (like the jungle thing with Acacia). Then I go to a naming website, (I like BabyNames.com) and use the search function to find names that mean those things.

It’s not an exact science, but it works pretty well. Sometimes it even works after the fact. With my Witches story, I have a king named Vassilus. I have no idea where I got that name, but one day I was looking the name up. Apparently, it’s another form of the name Basil. Which means, yes indeed, king. How’s that for happy coincedence?