Sunday, April 20, 2014

Writing Diary: Week 9

Three weeks until ANTITYPE. Three months until PROTOTYPE.
THREE.
I'm starting to get a little excited.

And because I'm getting a little excited, I've decided to have more giveaways, and more prizes. So come back Thursday (and then come back the following Thursday!) for back to back raffles. I have hardcovers of ARCHETYPE lying around, galleys of PROTOTYPE taking up space, T-shirts, tote bags... ALL THE STUFF. You know you want it.
Alright, so. The updates!
They're big.
BIG.
Adult Scifi: 30,321! That's what...? 4 1/2K over last week? Roughly? *insert more happy dancing* So yeah. I'm on a roll. AND, I had a super HUZZAH moment this week for a shocking twist that won't effect a single thing I've written or plan to write until the very end. I love it when that happens, ya'll.
Fave Lines:
“Ms. Bennett?”
Ethan’s voice, a good five steps to my left, startled me. Despite the contrast of his pale skin to the entirely black ensemble, from his open-necked button-down shirt to his polished-to-a-shine shoes, he looked incredibly overwhelming today.
I’d been so lost inside my own mind that I hadn’t noticed everyone leaving. Men veered around me, careful not to touch, as if I were a sharp stone jutting free of a violent rapid. Maybe because I was shaking.
Pull it together, Leighgirl.
Ethan strode over as if with purpose, never taking his eyes off me, never giving the throng trying to pass us a second glance. They moved around him without question. Maybe he was as sharp a stone as I. Prepared to slice open the skin of anyone passing too close.
YA Scifi: 30,641. YEP. That's 3K +. I'm at this point where I sorta want to kick myself for writing 2 novels at once, because I could be 2/3 done with 1. BUT. The 2nd is nice to have for the moments when I get stumped on scenes. This one had a ridiculous chapter Sunday through most of Wednesday, that I knew needed to change, but didn't have a clue how. So I worked on the other novel until the HUZZAH moment happened Wednesday night.
(It's the 3rd novel I've been plotting on the side that would be just DUMB to attempt right now, yeah? Tell me that would be dumb and I'll believe you. Sigh. My muse, I swear.)
Fave Lines:
He looks dead as they wheel him into surgery with me close on their white, padded heels. They shout over my questions, my cries, my pleas for mercy. Can’t they see? He’s dying there and I’m dying here. The irony of my very own suffering going unnoticed in a place of healing. What remains of my innocence bleeds out all over this vinyl floor. Maybe they can’t see my blood though all of his. There’s so much. So, so much.
The hospital staff forces me to stop outside the sliding doors leading to the surgical wing. Red paint bars the way with the words STAFF ONLY stamped across the glass.
My footsteps falter backward as my aching heart heaves toward him, and like that, I’m broken in two. Leave, wait. Laugh, weep. Live, wither.
That one gives me chills. Just sayin'.
See you Thursday!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Writing Diary: Week 8


Another week just flew by me. Work was hectic, my brain felt half-asleep 90% of the time, and I lost a day to a good binge read. (Not really a loss, because great books never are.) But I did get some writing in. I wouldn't call it an entirely successful week, but...there was progress. 

Adult Scifi: 25,563. So. I hit a very intense scene in this one last week, and it blindsided me a little bit. I needed to show a couple things in particular, and they hit my heroine on such a personal level that she sort of entered the darkest part of her mind. Which means I entered the darkest part of my mind. Once this draft is fleshed out... TEARS. I just know it. 

Fave Lines:
I expected to find one of the girls struggling against an attacker, and blood everywhere. What I found chilled me further to my core. Charlotte, her blond hair stringy and damp with sweat, red-faced, and backed against a wall halfway down the stairs. Rivers of tears snaked down her cheeks from darting eyes. Benjamin kept trying to reach out for her, but this only made her scream more. The other two girls clung to each other at the top of the stairs. 
Ethan took the steps two at a time, clearly not thinking, only to find his presence made matters worse. Charlotte lunged to her feet and nearly threw herself over the banister. The men had her caged in, trying to calm her, and I saw her breaking more and more the longer they stood there. Couldn’t they see the volatile soul under her delicate skin? The fissures lengthening, widening, groaning. The steam escaping in a hiss. She’d explode and take us all with her.
YA Scifi: 26,905. This. THIS. Okay, so this WiP has been giving me fits the past couple weeks. I've been slogging through the pinch point, which shouldn't be taking as long as it has, but I made a skewed turn (as opposed to a wrong one, because it wasn't necessarily the wrong direction) somewhere on top of how I had no idea in hell how I was going to get my heroine and hero out of this pinch. My original plan was too similar to another scene so I had to make some last minute adjustments. So I've straightened out the skewed version, and just this morning finally got the HUZZAH moment I've been waiting for. Today, I'll write my way out of this pinch and take off running. YAY. Because I'm madly in love with this book and can't wait to finish it. (We'll see if the feeling lasts lol.) 

Fave Lines:
“Get on.” 
Just the words I’ve been dying to hear. Come on, hero, you can do better than that. “If you’re looking for some kind of life debt in return for saving my ass, you should have left me dangling.” 
“Are you always this difficult? I’m trying to save your life.” 
You and everybody else—sort of—including me. “You don’t even know me.” 
“I know more about you than you know yourself.” 
I highly doubt that, because if that were true, he wouldn’t be here right now. Heroes rescue damsels, and I’m definitely not that. What I am is a survivor, a heroine in her own right, a slayer of demons, and a shark. I’m everything he’s not, and then some.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Writing Diary: Week 7

As I sit to write this post, I have to ask myself, Did I write anything? I know I did. Some. The week is sort of a blur, but let's see what I did.

Adult Scifi: 20,808, and I'm one big scene from the end of the first act. I actually did a read-through of this one to refresh some details, tweaked a couple small things... But it's good stuff! I'm pretty happy with how this is turning out.

Fave Lines: (Setting: A cafe table; new acquaintance Tara & Leigh drinking coffee)

"You’re obviously our kind of people.”
For the first time all day she had my attention. “And what, pray tell, is ‘our kind of people'?”
“The kind that doesn’t swallow the bullshit party line.”
You’re integral to the survival of our race, no matter your function in life. Yes, I knew that party line, and wanted to carve it out of my memory with a serrated blade. Behave. Obey. Listen. Be silent. Reflect. Conform. And by heavens, don’t stray too far into thinking for yourself territory. These things were only the beginning of our “lessons.”
My spoon scraped the ceramic bottom of my cup, while I focused on the pale brown liquid spinning in a lazy circle. “Meet a lot of pod women, do you?”
“More than you think. You’re in the north, honey. The centers up this way don’t fuck around. You walk out those doors believing everything they tell you, one way or the extreme other.”


YA SciFi: 25,706, and I'm right in the middle of the first pinch point. The bad guy's about to strike. Whoop! Is it weird that these are my favorite parts? ;-) And side note: I love my main character in this. For all the reasons.

Fave Lines: (Setting: Ian and Sloan are standing on a tree trunk over water and he's just led her across it with her eyes closed.)

When we stop, Ian’s breath brushes past my ear. “Feel that?”
“Feel what?”
“The rest of us call it trust.”
I open my eyes just as he’s leaning away. He isn’t smiling. Maybe he’s waiting for me to explode. I sort of feel like I should, because what he’s doing is a form of manipulation. Is this how he thinks he’ll get me to talk? A crash course in setting aside my trust issues?
“I understand what you’re going through,” he tells me. “Probably better than most. You’ve got no reason to let me in, but you can’t keep pushing everyone away. It’s no way to live.”
I live just fine consulting with myself. Most times, I even give myself good advice. And while Ian’s methods are admirable, maybe a little annoying, he’s failed. He just doesn’t know it yet.
“Close your eyes,” I tell him.
His lids narrow. He senses a trap. He’s got good instincts. If only he’d listen to them. The second his eyes close, I wrap both hands around his side and shove hard to the right. He isn’t expecting it, and he falls almost too easily into the water.
Ian springs up a moment later, gasping and swiping down his face to clear his eyes. “What was that for?”
I bend down and sit on a heel. “A lesson in trust. Don’t.”


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April #PROTOTYPE Raffle

April already?! 

We're just shy of 4 months until PROTOTYPE releases, and I'm as excited as the rest of you! Almost as excited as the eBook novella release of ANTITYPE on May 13th. (Use that $2 eBook settlement money and get it for $1.99. It'll be totally worth it, I swear!)

So, since it's April 1st, it's time to give away another signed copy of PROTOTYPE! I'm excited about this because I get to introduce another new character! Last month, I introduced the funny little man, Dr. Phillip Malcolm, who has an entire warm corner in my heart. 

I have two other new characters who showed up as a set, and were very much a surprise to me. They took over every scene I put them in and added both jokes and tears. One in particular grew right before my eyes. So much so, that I was midway through writing this novel when I decided Nicoleigh (Leigh, pronounced LEE) Bennett needs her own story. Someday. *wink wink*




Until that day, I give you a glimpse of Leigh Bennett:


The woman folds her arms over the table and leans forward, sharp eyes holding my gaze. “’Tis some visitor tapping at my chamber door,’” she says. 
I recognize the line instantly. My Edgar Allan Poe fascination is fairly recent, and “The Raven” is one of my favorites. Peter gave me a new appreciation for classic literature that She never had. “‘Only this and nothing more,’” I finish.
Her smile widens and she exchanges a look with the man beside her. She then reaches across the table for a handshake. “I’m Nicoleigh Bennett. You used to call me Leigh.” 
The guy next to her snorts. “That’s not what she used to call you.” 
Dr. Malcolm turns to face the four of us, eyes alert, his entire body nearly vibrating with excitement. “This is a perfect display of establishing dominance in a social group. Typically, in this day and age, it would be between two males given the fact that there are so few females to fight over. You see, with her choice of mates, the female doesn’t have to show her feathers, so to speak, when meeting another female. I find it interesting that the two of you—” 
“Yes, Doc P. So interesting,” Leigh says, smirking at me.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Writing Diary: Week 6

One thing before I get started with the updates: The ARCHETYPE eBook sale was extended through the 1st! So you have a few more days to steal that book for $2.99.

And speaking of the 1st, return here for the new PROTOTYPE raffle. It begins at midnight.

All right. Updates, which is really the singular update. I opened one a few times but came up empty for the most part. I might have typed a few words and beefed up the text, but it's hardly worth mentioning. The other novel, on the other hand... I must have beat my own record last Sunday. I added just a little over 4K to it. I ended up completely empty of creativity the next day, but I couldn't even bring myself to care. I've since added another 2-3K or so after beefing up every scene from page 1 on, and have some really great things going on.

Here are the current word counts.

Adult SciFi: 18,189. A whole 3 words difference. Shameful, I know.

YA SciFi: 21,392! 14,704 last week, yo. I have officially reached the end of the first plot point, and I'm staring down that long, long, long middle. BUT, I'm okay, because I also have my plot board and all the plans laid out. I've never felt so at ease while staring down the beast of the dragging middle.

Fave Lines:
The jostling truck makes my body sway. With my eyes closed, head brushing the headrest, I almost believe this is normal. The act of stealing what doesn’t belong to me. There’s a sort of peace in that, even though, deep down, I know how wrong it is. No matter the reasons, I’m still trying to acclimate to who I’ve become in the mirror. Behind the barrier of my eyelids, Former Me skips in bright-colored dresses and wears pigtails. She laughs at stupid things and dreams of stupider things. Then in storms Present Me with her black clothes and black boots and black heart, tainted and resentful and brimming in real-world truth. Life is an inflexible game of take and take some more, and hope is a waste of precious resources.