Tag Archives: Ghost

The sequel to Survivor that I am fighting the urge to write. It’s dark, twisted, and beautiful. And must be back-burnered for now.

Almost there.

Just wrote the 2nd to last scene of Survivor.  It feels really good and a bit surreal, as it’s been in progress for 5 years.  Five long years.  When I think of Amber’s adventure, it feels a bit bittersweet.  Her story is coming to a close.  The ending I envisioned 5 years ago is not quite what it is now, although it has a bit of a tie to the original.  But alot of it was decided last year on the fly, but that was a good thing.  I think it’s stronger for it.

Unless I sell this thing and get a sequel, this is it.  I might someday try writing Ghost.  Just to see if I can.  Barring any delays or emergencies or hurting wrists, I should finish this book tomorrow.


Writing and rewriting…at the same time.

Ok, before you think I’m crazy, hear me out.  I’ve been working on Survivor since finishing Pirouette on May 21st, and my crazy  muse inssted that I needed to add a new scene into the rewrite file.  In the original, a certain character is introduced in chapter 3 or 4.  My muse says that she should be introduced sooner — like, right away.  And the scene was vivid and so there that I decided to break down and do it.  And, the crazy part is, I’m considering continuing the rewrite with some new ideas I have.

While finishing up the endgame.

Yeppers.  Both.  Simultaneously.  I must be insane.

So there’s that.  Next up is the Flamebound rewrite (ha!) which I might try to sneak in on my vacation.  It seems to be becoming a yearly tradition.  Write while vacationing.  Maybe I can break my current record of 17k in one week.

I’ve got roughly 5k written on the endgame.  It’s been going a bit slow, mainly because I am plotting as I go.  No formal outline, yikes.  But it feels right, so I’m going with it.  And I’m not putting pressure on myself.  I’m 25 days from my wedding (!!!!) and work is nuts, and I finished Pirouette two weeks early and I really don’t want to stress myself out.  So I’ll probably continue like this till after the wedding, after which I’ll kick it up into high gear.

I anticipate about 10k or so to the end.  I’ve been in this place before, but the ending ended up being farther than I thought.  So now, I believe I’m actually there.

I started this book as part of a writing class at Forward Motion 5 years ago.  I kept putting it aside (Pirouette ate my life, quite literally) for other things, thinking it was too complex, too much work, yadda yadda yadda.  Well last year, I decided that enough was enough.  It’s brilliant, at least in my opinion, and there’s a small chance I might split it into 3 books: Stranger, Endgame, and Ghost.  The Survivor trilogy.  I’m not sure how easy or hard it would be to sell that way, but the entire thing is about 225k right now.  I have some ideas on cuts, so we’ll see, but the possibility is there. 

So that’s where I’m at.

Zette Appreciation Day

I wanted to talk about Lazette Gifford, the owner of Forward Motion, the awesome community that I’ve been a member of for 4 years.  She has been very active, even before she took over for Holly Lisle, and has always found the time to help members with things they needed, or to give advice.

I’ve always admired Zette — for both her talent and dedication to her writing.  I am always in awe of her high wordcounts.  She has taught me, time and time again, that you can make time for writing, if it’s important enough to you.  I haven’t had a chance to read any of her fiction (except for the occasional snippet), and I want to change that. 

I was a member of the first session of Zette’s Only A Novel (2YN) class.  It was potentially the most challenging class I ever took on.  But it was a good kind of challenge — the kind that helped me master my craft more, and storytelling, and everything that goes into a finished novel.  It was in that class that my book Survivor was born — and while Survivor is still in progress, I always find myself looking back on the lessons and using the material. 

My best memory of the class, and Zette was when I suffered panic attacks over plotting.  I had plotted a few novels (while writing them) unsuccessfully and was a die-hard organic (note: was).  I couldn’t conceive the notion of actually plotting — it threw me into severe anxiety.  I’m not making this up — I really was freaked out about it.  Part of the class was to plot — in whatever form we deemed best–our novels.  I had to do it.  So I posted a message to Zette mentioning my anxiety. 

Zette, being the very bluntly honest person she is, gave it to me straight:
in order for me to succeed at writing professionally, I needed to be able to plot something.  It is an essential skill to have.  I needed to get over my fear and do it. 

At first I was a bit taken aback — but then, as I thought more about it, I realized that she had a valid point.  My goal is to write professionally, and if I couldn’t put a plot together, and be able to write a good synopsis, I wouldn’t get very far.  And then I realied that plotting wasn’t the problem:  it was me.  My attitude.

So I thought about it some more, and decided to take a crack at it.  I used the Snowflake Method, an awesome way to plot, and came up with a great plot for Survivor.  To my utter disbelief, it flowed well.  The book almost wrote itself, and I found myself going back to my initial plot and tweaking it, and letting it guide me.  One year later, the book was 180k — the longest of any of my novels.  So I was forced to conclude that plotting was actually a very good thing.

To this day I am a die-hard plotter.  While I still feed the organic in me with slight detours, plotting is still the first thing on my list of things to do when I begin a new project.  It has helped me time and time again to stay on track and not meander (not too much).

And I have Zette to thank — because had it not been for her advice, and tough love, I never would have made that critical discovery–and I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.  Some people don’t like to hear the blunt truth — but I am not one of those.  I’m here to learn, to improve, not to play at writing.  I’m serious about it, and being serious means hearing things I might not want to hear.  But it’s all for the greater good, for the writer I will someday be.

I hope someday to be able to do what Zette does — live my life with writing at the forefront.  To be able to reach those high wordcounts, and write novel after novel, and be published, too.  She’s a true inspiration to me as a writer, and I don’t think Survivor, which is one of my most cherished WIPs, would be the book it is today without Zette’s advice and her 2YN course.  I’ve learned so much, and I know I have alot to go, but I know that it will all be worthwhile. 

Zette has embraced the idea of paying forward, the vision of Forward Motion.  She pays forward with her very presence on the boards.  Thank you, Zette, for making a difference in my life.  Know that I appreciate it more than I can ever express. 

And by the way, Survivor now has a sequel.  It’s all plotted and ready to go for when it’s time. 🙂

Thank you. 

For more info on Zette and FM, go to:
Forward Motion: http://www.fmwriters.com
Vision for Writers: http://www.lazette.net/Vision/
Zette’s website: http://www.lazette.net/

Figured Survivor out. *wipes forehead*

I was sweating bullets for awhile, worrying about how to integrate two separate –very good — outlines for the end.  I went over them today and made notes and…..they will fit almost seemlessly.  Go me!

And of course, naturally, Survivor will need its own “rewrite of doom.”  I’m going to work backwards from the scene I wrote this week, connecting it to the existing parts, then try to finish each individual plot thread.  I have quite a few.  *rolling eyes*  My muse just wouldn’t shut up.  She kept adding things.  Luckily, the bulk of it will stay.  There are a few tangents I took that will be going, though.

And the body count?  Currently, it’s at 2.  Paternity of the baby of the MC?  No clue.  It can be one of 3 men, and I’m just not sure which one would be best.  I could, theoretically, leave that unanswered until Ghost.  Must give that more thought.

But it’s finally shaping up!  I’m very excited.  This one’s been in progress for almost 2 years.  I had started it for a class at Forward Motion — where you take novel creation from your idea all the way to submitting the finished book to a publisher.  As I wrote it, I got deeper and deeper into this twisted tangle of a plot (and some very creepy psychological stuff) and fell in love.  But NaNo was approaching, and I wanted to participate, and Pirouette took over, save for a new first scene I wrote mid-last year.  And I’ve been poking at it ever since in between projects.  Now, I’d like for it to take some priority.  I want to finish the first draft, at least, this year.  The rewrite might have to wait, as getting Pirouette out to agent rounds is #1.  But I will fit this in someplace.  It’s just really cool, and I think it could be a very good book.  🙂  At least, I hope!

Also wrote 998 words of Requiem today.  A very creepy scene indeed.  Tomorrow, it’s gonna be working on editing Pirouette and Survivor’s Timeline of Doom.

Survivor news

A few days ago, I wrote a very intense, emotional scene close to the end.  Prior to this, I’d re-outlined the bulk of the ending chapters.  I’m going to kill off two characters.  Both were unexpected, but especially one of the MC’s love interests.  I’m using his death as a catalyst for her to discover…some things (sorry, that would be a spoiler!) about herself.  I think it will be stronger.  I also don’t much care for this character — he’s, well, a jerk.  I made him that way.  He’s a sharp contrast to her other love interest (who survives, by the way).

I added in more of an element that I skimped on from before.  Was going to touch on it; now, it’s becoming more central.  Will it work?  I’m not sure, but I’m trusting my muse on this one.

The evil people get their due, the groundwork for Ghost will be set up, and the MC will have her own HEA.  It’s not a total HEA like in romance novels, but it’s an HEA that is true to her and what she goes through.

And boy, she goes straight to hell–and lives to tell about it.  I still get shivers.

Here’s a short snippet.  With the caveat that this is raw first draft and thus has not been edited at all.

I looked at the strange gravestone as if I’d never seen it before.  I looked around me — the graves surrounding me like silent sentinels.  The wet grass.  The cool breeze.  The sunlight.  Two trees to my left, identical, their branches intertwined as if…

As if they were married.

The name on the gravestone had to be wrong.  He wasn’t dead.  I’d just seen him a few weeks ago.  Yes, that was it.  This was a terrible mistake, someone’s idea of a cruel joke. 

In my lap sat a small bouquet of tulips.  I caressed the petals with a fingertip, realizing with a jolt that I must have brought them here.  For what?  I saw the freshly dug mound, and it hit me, like a physical blow.  All the air rushed out of my lungs.  My heart pounded frantic.  Skipping, jumping.  My thoughts swirled around, making no sense to me whatsoever. I was looking at Brad’s grave.  It wasn’t a mistake.  It was real.  So real I could reach out and–

My fingers grazed the stone.

–touch it. What had happened to him?  And why couldn’t I remember? No matter.  I took a breath, then another. It is real it is real it is real— a mantra, over and over again, sang in my mind.

If I could close my eyes forever….

So appropriate.  So fitting.

I found out that my dad has cancer.  It was caught super-early, thanks to his wonderful doc, and he needs surgery, but it’s looking good.  He doesn’t even need chemo.  I’m still in shock, because we all were convinced it was nothing, but damn — life sure throws you curveballs when you least expect it to.

Dad and I are very close, best friends, actually.  I was okay till I actually hugged him, then I cried.  I’m still scared for him.  I’ve seen too many loved ones pass away.  It’s sad.  But his spirits are good, he is going to fight it, and that’s wonderful to hear.  So if there’s anyone out there reading this, please send up some prayers for him.  He is the most wonderful father, a good man, and I can’t lose him.

I just can’t.

So.  Onward.

In other news, the weather here is most surprising.  We’ve gone from snow (yes, you read that right) to near-perfect spring weather in less than a week.  Very strange.  Know that I’m keeping my eye on it.  I’m starting to worry about global warming and all that.  Coincidentally, in the fictional world of Requiem in Blue, earth has become almost completely immersed in water…due to global warming.  Go figure.

I’m completely and utterly jazzed about Ghost.  I sat down at work during a lull intending to make a few notes so I wouldn’t forget anything.  What I ended up with was a rough, very interesting, very twisted outline.  Lord knows it will mutate, even as I write the draft, but the bare bones are there and rattling, trying to get my attention.  It is going to be amazing.  And twisted.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Edited most of Pirouette part 5.  Took me almost all afternoon.  Most of it, unfortunately, it about to meet the chopping block.  One subplot in particular hurts to let go, but it’s just too involved for the Rewrite (of Doom).  There’s no way I can work it in.  It will however be saved for another book altogether or another book in the series.

I also caught a few issues that I’d forgotten…..plot threads and twists that I, in the course of frantic writing and then taking a breather in December, must pick back up and plug in.  And complete.  I really am proud of myself.  I had some good ideas.  😉  Just gotta prune them and make them work.

I’m waiting anxiously for my materials to arrive for my book indexing venture.  I’m taking a correspondence course that will teach me how to make those handy-dandy things at the back of most reference books.  Apparently it is a freelance market, which I didn’t know.  And with my Journalism degree, and love of books and knowledge, I think I would enjoy it.  So more news on that as we go.

Lastly, I just wanted to say that I feel so lucky to be a writer.  It’s times like these that it truly carries me, helps me cope.  I’ve been jazzed just about all day about Ghost and the Rewrite (of Doom).  Imagine that.  It’s awesome to escape into your own little world, for just a short time.    Sometimes I complain about having so many ideas hitting me all at once, but in reality, I love it.  I love every part of this life.  I love that I will get to do this for the rest of my life –whether or not I go pro.  And you’d better believe it, I will be writing until the last breath leaves my body and my hands are still.  Only then will I stop.

But my words will live forever.

Life is truly an interesting thing.  I was depressed when I started, but now I’m uplifted.  Is it the talk of writing and my projects?  Is it that my Dad will most likely come out of this ok?  Or is it just the fact that I’m alive, that spring is on its way?  I’m not sure.  But maybe I should keep my eyes open just  a little longer.

Survivor’s sequel has a name. Here we go….

Survivor‘s sequel came to me with a singular clarity last night.  The insidious plot of the protagonist is frightening and twisted….and absolutely perfect.  The nice thing is that I can tie in the recovery of Survivor’s protagonist, Amber, which will be a natural continuation of Survivor.  So, without further adieu, I give you the title:


I wanted a one-word intriguing hook of a title for this.  It’s going to seriously rock.  Only issue is, when?  I imagine probably not till 2008 at the earliest.  I’ll have to put it on the back burner.  Survivor really needs to get done first, preferably first-edit passed.

If the muse will let me, that is.

‘Tis good.  I keep trying to remind myself that getting ideas all the time is not a bad thing….right?

On the darkroom front, it’s coming along nicely.  I anticipate a few more weeks and we will be open for business. 

I might take another stab at Survivor tonight, while the juices are flowing.