Monday, June 28, 2010

Word Count Fail

Sometimes I miss a day of word count—I always do double the next day to make up for it.

This time I missed three days. In a row. FAIL.

Sure, I have excuses. Work is swamping me (especially with this Dell account), and I moved into a new apartment this weekend, but still. I usually do more than minimum word count anyway, so I miss out on a lot of writing when I miss days.

I’ve made up for one of the three days so far. Sigh. I may just excuse the other days and move on with my life. I seem to have an excess of stressors lately. :O

In the meantime, I’ve put Servant of a Dark God aside to read Nathan’s Paradise Seekers. I have to make comments on post-it notes, so I may reserve my usually snippets of commentary many of my writer friends are used to, ha. Then I’ll finish John Brown so I can get to Mr. Monster by Dan Wells, which I’m actually really excited for. It’s nice to be excited for a book, once in a while.

Excerpt of the day:

Esrov touched his chin, thinking. When his clear eyes met hers, they still glowed with skepticism. “But that doesn’t make sense.”
She frowned. “Why not?”
“Because there’s only the Raimos, Ranny,” he said, tone delicate and careful. “You’ve seen it.”
Ranny rolled her eyes. “There are so many different beliefs in this world. Raima isn’t the only true one.”
“But have you seen the Duogods?” he asked, turning towards a portrait of Nowaditt.
She hesitated, but answered truthfully. “No, I haven’t. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”
“Does Duoshin teach of other gods, besides these?” He gestured to the walls of the entrance hall.
“Then by believing in other religions, aren’t you denying this one?”
“Of course not,” she countered, chest tightening. “But truth can be in more than one place. Father Alrith and Brother Cleff are proof enough that the Duogods exist, not the mention the countless people who pray to them and are guided by them. So, if Duoshin is true, and Raima is true, then Xuism must be true. Saerbollism must be true. Taratarism must be—”
“I’m sorry,” he said, so quiet she barely heard him. He offered a small, sad smile. “I didn’t mean to offend you, Ranny. This . . .” he paused, struggling for words, “. . . is all very close to me, as you can imagine. I’m just trying to understand . . . what I am.”

The Raimos, Chapter 17

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Single or Multiple Books?

This blog post got me thinking. Fantasy authors almost always publish in series. Trilogies are the big thing.

But, I admit, I’m a single-book writer. I always wonder, “If I were to write a sequel to this, how would I do it?”, but I never think in multiple books. Perhaps that’s why, lately, I only want to read single books, too. (Just another thing that over-narrows my selection of novels to enjoy during work.*)

So, judging on this agent’s blog post, will my affinity for stand-alones hurt me in the publishing world? Guess I’ll have to wait until her post on them to find out . . .

Excerpt of the day:

What lies within your heart
little boy?
Captured light without a name;
the bearing of your family’s shame.

The Raimos, chapter 16

* After giving up on The Name of the Wind, I’ve started Servant of a Dark God by John Brown. It’s . . . different. But I’m still reading it, so that says something. I really want to read Mr. Monster, by Dan Wells, but due to lack of funds I have to borrow it from a friend who lives in Provo and I’ve yet to venture down there . . .

Monday, June 21, 2010

Side Projects

Side projects for revenue? What?

Currently working on a villanelle and possibly two short stories. You know, because I have so much free time.

But I’m poor. And I could use the practice. And screw money, I’d like to earn some credentials, even if they’re with smaller magazines. Short stories are really hard for me, as a few of my friends know. Actually, I’m decent with general fiction—won awards for it before—but as soon as I put a fantasy or sci-fi twist to anything, it tends to suck. Which is a problem.

I think I have some interesting ideas this time around. Just have to do that whole turn-it-into-plot thing.

Excerpt of the day:

A figure of all white took up the center of another wall. He had the shape of a man, but no definition whatsoever—not even the outline of a face or chin. Streaks of white, silver, and gold radiated from his person, and at his feet bloomed flowers Esrov didn’t recognize. Far from the person, near the corner of the wall, stretched rolling mountains lush with green. Silhouettes of birds hovered in the sky, and trees blanketed the valley.
“What is all this?” Esrov asked.
“The greatest Duoshin chapel in Paradis,” Ranny said, light and airy.
“But these pictures?”
She gestured to the mosaic of the planet. “The woman is Miatowene, the goddess of life. The man is Nowaditt, the god of death. Together they made the world and everything in it, even you and me. Two gods who work with one purpose, to give, guide, and take life.”

The Raimos, chapter 16

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Changing Setting and the Unknown Word Count

Now on chapter 16 of TR. Chapters for this story are turning out a lot like they did for TOS—they’re shorter, and there’s going to be a lot more of them. I’m really still at the beginning of the story. Chapter 16 in CSH was nearly the end. Funny how that works out.

Getting ready to introduce new characters and a new religion—need to reread my notes before I dive in too far. I’m also discovery-writing my priests, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully I don’t fail at this new setting/plot/characters/etc. Wee.

What’s my word count so far? No clue. I can guess…. Maybe 40,000? Weird as it sounds, I don’t add up my word count until the book is finished. I like it to be a surprise. I keep each chapter in a separate document so Word doesn’t give it away.

How many words will the MS be when it’s done? Your guess is as good as mine.

Quote of the day:

“I think reincarnation is possible. Even wonderful,” she explained, sitting on the edge of a crate. “Think of it—you’d never die, not really. And you’d experience so much more than if you lived one life. But there’s also heaven. A lot of religions teach of a heaven, like Duoshin.”
“But with heaven comes hell, right?” Todorov countered.
“Often, yes. But there’s also the stars. The Saerbollists believe—”
“That’s okay,” Todorov interrupted, holding up his hands. “I think I’ve had enough world religion for one day. You don’t make much sense, Ran.”
She twisted the end of her ponytail around her index finger. “I think it makes perfect sense.”

The Raimos, Chapter 15

Monday, June 14, 2010

Name Hunting: Todorov

Todorov is a seventeen-year-old boy (or man, depending on who you ask) who fills the role of “protagonist’s best friend” in my current project, The Raimos. He will be, hopefully, the comic relief for the story.

Funny enough, I got his name from a textbook.

Not only did I incorporate Tzvetan Todorov’s name into my story, but I based part of my culture off of it. Most of my male Rothians have names that end in “ov.”*

*Esrov, Yulov, Maov, and Gorgov, to name a few.

Friday, June 11, 2010


It only occurred to me a year or so ago that religion is crucial to the creation of culture. (Case and point, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.)

I don’t think a story has to have religion to be good, but it’s something to consider. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series steers away from religious beliefs—I think Bella mentions in some clause somewhere that she’s never believed in it, and that’s that. The books are successful, no religion necessary. There are a handful of epic and heroic fantasy novels that don’t dwell in religion either. (Call to readers: posts ones you know of in comments for fun-times’ sake.)

Anyway, religion has become larger and larger in my writing as it’s progressed. I remember, in the planning process of TR, coming up with a central plot feature and being surprised that it was entirely religious. (Of course, when you come up with story ideas whilst sitting in church, that’s bound to happen.)

A lot of writers insert their beliefs and moral code into what they write, whether they intend to or not. I don’t. At least, I don’t think I do. For me, fantasy is something entirely different from my actual life. As far as I know, I’ve never preached in my books. But, as I get deeper into TR, I find my characters soul-searching (literally) more than I thought they would. At the end of chapter 13, I think, “Huh, isn’t that interesting. More work for me, as now I have to keep this up.”

Quote a la Day:

“I think . . .” Esrov hesitated, starting up the same path Ranny had, “I think it’s my soul.”
“Soul?” Todorov asked. “Do we have souls?”
“Shouldn’t we?” he countered, staring at his feet. “What else makes us live the way we do, makes us more than just another animal in the woods?”
Todorov shrugged. “Brains, I guess. I don’t know, I guess I never thought about it. I mean, if we have something more than that, then . . .” He paused, rubbing his head. “Goads, I don’t know. I hate this philosophical stuff.”


Who could know the sorts of things
That make a body whole?
But when I cut into my skin,
I cannot see a soul.

-The Raimos, Chapter 13

Monday, June 7, 2010


What’s your take on poetry?

I used to hate poetry that didn’t rhyme. A few high school creative writing classes later, I hated poetry with end rhymes and meters. After a semester of British History, I decided Tennyson was the bomb and amended my ways. (Though I still despise rhymed poetry without a meter. I’d rather listen to nails on a chalkboard than read a stanza of that. Sigh.)

That being said, my own poetry isn’t superb. Far from it. DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A POET.

Unfortunately, my protagonist is.

I’ve written for a poet once before, if RPGs count. His name was Lentus, he had a fake right hand, and he was very nice to people, especially small children. But he doesn’t matter.*

Anyway, the point I’m making is that random bits of poetry are incorporated into my novel to reflect the thoughts and angst of my main character, Esrov. I don’t think they’re terrible, but yes, they’ll need revision just like everything else. I have a friend who is an amazing poet—I plan to have her look over them once my first draft is finished.

So, since I’m on the subject, today’s quote will be the last poem I wrote. (Feel free to critique.)

The weight within the parcel

equates the weight of god

worn upon your shoulders

forward feet will trod

and when the knees are weary

the spine twisted with ache

God’s weight will weigh upon you

and your body break.**

-The Raimos, Chapter 11


*I actually incorporated him briefly into my first completed novel (The Oracle Seals), but if I ever revise the rough draft, he’s being scrapped. He had no point being there to begin with.

**Meter will be fixed someday.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Layout Change

Per comment, I've changed up the layout of my blog. And while my publication class is still yelling at me in the back of my mind (Black on white is optimum contrast! How dare you!), I actually really like this layout. Hopefully this is better than the obtrusive notebook lines. :D

Random: 1,300 word count today.

Quote of the day*:

She nodded, then caught the meaning behind his question. “Take with you? What do you mean? You’re leaving?”

His countenance fell. “I am, as soon as possible.”

-The Raimos, Chapter 10

EDIT: Having problems with comment box. Will fix soon.

*Stolen from Nathan.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Touch More Fondness

Last couple of days I haven’t hated TR as much*. This is a good sign. I think I’m finally getting to the meat of the story, and I’m starting to work with more characters. Next chapter I’ll finally bring all four of my main characters together for the first time, and I’m looking forward to it.

I randomly gave my central female character the habit of humming in a recent chapter; today when I went back to find out what I’d named her horse, I found that she’d been randomly humming in the scene that introduces her as well—I’d completely forgotten. I love it when character quirks come out like that—completely unintentional.

I don’t think any of my characters are solid yet, but they’re getting there, and that’s part of what’s making the story easier to write. I think I’ll have quite the load of revisions to do for this story, though. Of course, I’ll always have a load of revisions, eh?

Also, I’m hoping TR will be the first novel where I don’t switch POV mid-chapter. We’ll see how long that holds up.

*In case I didn’t mention it, I’ve been in thisstorysucks mode for a little while.