Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Character Probation

Today, I took Clara off of probation. There is no doubt in my mind that she belongs in this story. She is absolutely perfect for Jak, and she has some other important roles to play. And I found an actress who looks like her (after Quinny edited her eyes to be the right color -- thanks Quinny!) Behold, Rooney Mara (no, I've never seen any of her movies.)

So, good news for Clara. Unfortunately, there's bad news for someone else. Niron is officially on probation. 

I just don't feel like his character is relevant. I wanted an elf in their group, and I wanted another guy character; I wanted Maurelle to have a friend, and I just thought Niron existed. But every scene I write, I forget Niron's supposed to be there and have to have him pop in with a line or two to remind the reader he exists. I just don't care about him, and I don't feel like the story does, either. I feel bad. Maybe he was there. But, so far as I can tell, he hasn't done anything relevant enough to stay. And his presence makes Clara's less relevant (for spoilery reasons.) 

I'll give Niron a little while longer, but he may randomly disappear from the story... First drafts are fun, 'cause I can do things like that. 

Honestly, it would be a relief to chop Niron. I never did like him. I can't even put my finger on why. I mean, sure, he's a bit of a snob and a coward -- he's basically the Peter Pettigrew of my story -- but that doesn't mean he's not interesting. He has a cool backstory, a complicated family dynamic, and plays an interesting part in my group of heroes. But I just don't like him. I find him boring and obnoxious. And those aren't good character traits. So he's been led to the chopping block, and has one last chance to plead for his miserable existence. 

Progress on Magicland is going well, but I really need to pick up the pace. I am going to finish this book by September. Having a hard deadline that I hold myself to really does wonders for my writing. I'm pressing forward and figuring stuff out (ok, at the moment I have NO idea what's going on, but I trust my charries.) 

I've been developing David as a character, and I'm really excited about him. He's a great hero, and an adorable love interest. So many ships! Yay! 

I guess I should go get back to working towards that deadline... or I guess I could sleep, since it is two in the morning. Haha, that's funny. I'm going to go watch Victorious

Love and sparkles!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Who Needs Sleep?

I'm blaming Anne Shirley for this one. I'm reading Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery, and in it Anne talks about how, when she's lying in bed late at night, she likes to imagine herself being all sorts of different things. She imagines herself as a prima donna, or a Red Cross nurse, or, once, a queen. And I think to myself, "That would be fun."
So, tonight, when I lay down to go to sleep, I try to imagine myself as a queen.

I see a throne room, lined with anxiously waiting people. And a young, pale girl, probably about fourteen (not me, we see,) trembles down the aisle.
"She's so young," someone says, to be hushed by her neighbor.
"Mama, she looks sad," says a child.
The girl holds her head up high. She mustn't let them see how frightened she is. The war that killed her parents still wages on, and she must lead the people. It is her duty.
She kneels before the man with the crown. He says some words, not heard by any, and places it on her head. She writhes in agony and falls to the ground.
A man emerges from the crowd.
"So will fall your kingdom!" he cries.
Little does he know that the newly-made queen is friends with fairies. Her shaking hand uncaps a bottle of incandescent liquid, like molten diamonds, and downs it without anyone seeing. She gets strongly to her feet.
"You cannot defeat us. Guards, seize this traitor!"
The man is seized.
"Take him to the dungeons!"
He laughs. Then he slumps and foam flecks his lips. The queen bows her head.
"Take him to the tombs," she amends.
The traitor is dragged away. The queen picks up her crown and wipes the poison from it with her handkerchief. Then she places it on her head.
"So we will win this war," she says.
At the back of the room, a dark haired young man begins to clap. Soon, the room echoes with cheers for the new queen.

Yup, this is what happened in my head. And I had to wake myself up to write it down. It isn't much yet. This scene would obviously be written very differently. And perhaps it isn't as unique of a story as my two-o'clock-in-the-morning brain thinks it is. But, as always, very distinct characters have come to me and I look forward to getting to know them.

But now I really need to be asleep! What's more, if I'm going to be focusing on a story, it should be Magicland. Not to mention, I have Codswallop and that one fairy story in the queue. But this story comes up, all sparkly and exciting, and suddenly I want to shift my focus. Well, tough luck, me. Focus is the only way I'm going to get my novel finished.

So, yeah, this isn't really a very relevant (or coherent) story. I shouldn't blog at two a.m. But I did have to get down the idea. Hopefully you enjoyed it. This story is at the bottom of the pile, but I like to think someday it will be written. If only because of the adorable love story ^_^

Sleep is for turtles! (But it might also be good for Kat!es.) 

Sleep well, my lovelies. 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday - Carson's School for the Future

            He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching at Carson’s School for the Future. It was an overwhelming sensation; being surprised. It hadn’t happened in so long. Once he’d been surprised every day. Students came to class with green skin and tails. Things exploded in the back of the classroom. Once, a demon rose out of a student’s bag, only to be defeated by a unicorn summoned by another. Now he was used to it.
            But today, each student was sitting demurely in their desks. They were doing their assignments in absolute silence.
            Something was terribly wrong.


Today's Novel Idea Prompted by: "He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching.” Courtesy of WonHundred Word Wednesday! Read the other responses: 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday - Home

So... it's not Wednesday. Not even close. It's four o'clock on a Sunday morning. But I didn't get my WonHundred Word Wednesday post written this week, and now I can't sleep, so I thought it would be a good time to write it. So... thus. WonHundred Word Wednesday post, only a few days late. 

            In all the years I’ve lived here, I never once called this place my home. So why is it so hard to leave?
            I look down on the pristine city, its towers shining in the sunlight. A prison. Beautiful, yes, but not a place where a man can be free.
            Ahead of me lies uncertainty. No doubt there will be dangers. But I’ve fought all my life for this. To get away. To be free.
            But everything I am or ever was is inside that city.
            I look over my shoulder at freedom. Then I start back towards my home.


Today's Novel Idea Prompted by: "In all the years I’ve lived here, I never once called this place my home.” Courtesy of WonHundred Word Wednesday! Read the other responses: 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Stolen Child

Come away, O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

                                    The Stolen Child, W. B. Yeats

I came across this poem yesterday, and I think it perfectly describes the plot of Wednesday's piece! Or, at least, my villain's motivation. "For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."

This was just a WonHundred Word Wednesday post that I wrote at the last minute. It wasn't intended to be some big thing. But ideas for this story keep pouring in, and I'm loving every bit of it. It's hard to say why some stories catch on and others don't. But this one wants to be a novel when it grows up. 

Of course, a lot changes in a story between when it's just a few ideas sketched down in prose form and when it becomes a novel. I think Ellie may have a brother who was carried away to Fairyland. I'm excited to see how the whole thing develops. 

But, I need to focus on Magicland right now if I'm going to finish it by September. This fairy story has to wait in line with Codswallop and the others. I've always got a million stories that want to be written, but focus is what leads to finished novels. 

And I'm really excited about the direction Magicland is taking. My friend Quinlyn and I have been working on characters together, and we sort of broke Clara last night. But it occurs to me that Clara was already broken. So I'm going to emphasize that more within the story. And I have some other great ideas that I probably shouldn't spoil, since I like to think that all the people who read my blog (all four of you; I love you guys!) would also read my novel. 

Let it suffice to say, therefore, that I am making progress, though I haven't done a lot of writing in the past few days (at least, not in Magicland.) I'm stuck on Chapter 8 again. Chapter 8 is the chapter that gave me the most trouble in The Witch's Key. It's becoming a theme. I think I might start skipping Chapter 8 the way hospitals skip the 13th floor. It could be my signature thing... you know, along with adding a personification of death into every story. 

Le gasp! I don't have a personification of death in Magicland! This needs to be rectified. Guess I have some brainstorming to do. I'll get right on that (i.e. watch Leverage.) 


Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.