Tag Archives: Holly Lisle

One of my favorite authors of all time.

Revision complete!

Last night, I finished the One Pass Revision.  It was a great feeling to have plowed through the entire manuscript and made it better, closer to my vision of the story.  My writing partner, C, asked if it hurt to cut parts of it.  I told her that yeah — at first, it did hurt.  All those words.  All the lovely descriptions, the great dialogue, the emotions.  But early on I recalled that Holly Lisle said that a scene must move the story forward, contain conflict, characters we care about.  So…held against that, a great many scenes made it to the chopping block.  I had a lot of extraneous stuff.  I had put it in there as I went, thinking it might be good, but no.  Some of it had to go.  And with that knowledge, I’d freed myself to do what needed to be done.

My final answer?  Exhilarating.  It felt wonderful.  It felt good to be making the book tighter, better, closer to publishable.  I’m completely jazzed about this.  I haven’t been this excited in a really long time.

So today I’m taking off from Pirouette.  I might just catch up on stuff I’d neglected, or work on Hereafter.  Or, quite possibly, not write at all.  I finished a day early, and could use a day off.  It’s been intense, and I need to recharge the batteries.

So what’s the next step?  Reading through the manuscript, double checking my decisions on scenes, expanding where its needed, condensing if it needs it.  I have a few major, global changes I need to implement before I do the type in.  Alot of things occurred to me late in the process.  Like, for an example, towards the end I missed something very important to the overall story.  It needs to be in there.  Not going to say what, as it’s a spoiler and I don’t want to spoil anyone who might want to read it, or read it on the shelves (optimism, optimism!).  😉  So I have to figure out how that’s going to work and also where and when these things should be added.  Shouldn’t be too difficult once I make some decisions.

Just did some quick math.  The first draft was 399,915 words (!).  Iiieeeeee.  Yeah, I’m verbose.  I ended up cutting alot, and rewriting it from scratch.  That came in at 192,000 words.  Still too long, but about half as long, give or take.  I don’t have a new tally on what I rewrote in revision yet, but if you add the final counts of both drafts together, you get…  591,915 words.  *faints*  Half a million.  Four years.  That’s alot of work.  But I believe in the story, now more than ever, and I will see it to completion and hopefully publication.

So I’m one step closer to making my dream a reality.  It’s been an exhilerating experience so far.

On the Revision

I’m 114 pages in, and I’m loving it.  There is a kind of freedom that comes with this — the freedom to change.  Nothing is truly set in stone anymore.

So as I’ve been ripping my manuscript apart, cutting things, adding things, planning things, I’ve been keeping my eye on the prize: the finish line.  And a novel that will be one step closer to submittable.

Twenty pages a day (roughly 2 chapters) has been my goal.  I started on Jan 1st, to hopefully give me good luck (I’m very superstitious about numbers, and the Ace in Tarot is usually a positive, very new thing, so it worked) and I haven’t stopped since.  Every night, I print off 20 ages and I slice ’em and dice ’em and pray.

Part of me worries that these changes I’m making are not for the best.  But, I really don’t think that’s the case.  I  feel positive and empowered and renewed and happy.  I always thought Revision would be a sloggy, torturous process.  It’s not.  It’s actually alot of fun.

As mentioned before, I’m using Holly Lisle’s One-Pass Revision process.  I feel that this is a great method and I wanted to give it a shot.  I believe that using this process will help make the novel better than if I’d done something else.  I feel it.  Much how I feel like I’m getting closer to my goal.

So the next 20 pages await me.  Imma gonna fly.

2008 in Review

Happy New Year to everyone.  I thought I’d reflect back on this year and talk about what I accomplished. 

The biggie of the year was finishing the Pirouette Rewrite on June 14th, which made it just under a year since I started it.  I managed to do that amid severe tendonitis, back-to-back surgeries (parents, not me, but still), learning and training and using voice recognition, and health issues.  For me, finishing it in 11 months was a bit of a miracle.  Starting tomorrow, I will be revising and polishing it.

I wrote just under 50k new words on Survivor.  I’d wanted to finish the first draft, but that didn’t happen.  Even so, Survivor is getting very close to the end.  My second priority in the new year is to finish it, give it the attention it deserves.  It’s been languishing waaay too long.

I wrote (and rewrote) Flamebound, the novella.  It, too, needs a revision and polish.  I hope to get that out the door in the new year, too.

I started my first contemporary romance, Like Summer, based on a short story I wrote many moons ago.  It’s on hold at the moment, because I’m not sure if contemporary romance is my thing.  We’ll see. 

I participated in NaNoWriMo, even though I didn’t plan on it, and ended with 54k.  And attempted to write a comedy, but being me, that just ain’t happening, but the book is quite unique and dark.  Just like me.  😉  It’s kind of my experimental draft for an e-course I’ve been in since July.  It’s called “How to Think Sideways” given by the talented and wonderful Holly Lisle.  What a course!!!!!  It’s funny, I’d worked up a few ideas for the course and had one set to go…..and then the one for Hereafter hit me upside the head after a stressful day at work.  It turned out waaay different than I could have imagined, and that’s okay, because damn it, I like surprises.

I beat my previous writing record for one week.  The record was 12,000, and I wrote it while on vacation using my Alphasmart Dana.  This year, I had to stay home due to severe burstitis, and I ended up with 17k.  I also pretty much began and finished Flamebound’s first draft that week.

I survived severe tendonitis and severe burstitis, both of which threatened to screw with my writing.  Not so.  I managed to produce despite all of that, and I’m damn proud of that.

Lastly, I’m finishing out the year with approximately 290k.  Could have made 300k, but this month has been rough for me in terms of time and motivation (yes, even I am sometimes unproductive.  Go fig).  But 290k is spectacular!!!!  Especially considering everything that happened this year.

Oh, and I moved into an apartment with my fiance.  That was another thing that halted the writing (and caused the burstitis, grrrr). 

I critted a few great novels, and I’m working on a few more. 

I discovered the shininess that is the band Nightwish, and I LOVE them.  And I’m still in love with Queensryche, fyi.

So alot has happened.  Alot has gotten done.  I’ve survived some big challenges, and I thank God for my intense drive to succeed and my motivation.  That’s one thing that I have that lot of people don’t: I’m driven to the point of obcession.  I have to do well, if not be the best.  I have to make my dreams reality.  Because if I don’t, what is life really worth?  Sure, I have family and friends and a wonderful fiance, but I would always wonder what if?  And yearn for what I didn’t have, what I didn’t try to attain.  I can’t imagine going through life never reaching for my dreams, never accomplishing anything of value.  It just isn’t in my makeup.

True immortality: writing.  I hope to God that I will get published and have my writing read by generations of people for many years to come.  If I keep working hard, it will be a reality.

See ya on the other side.

Status update

Just wanted to talk about my progress.  It’s been going pretty well.  I finished the first edit of the Pirouette Rewrite and have made notes.  Cut a few scenes and have a few more that might be on the chopping block.  I’ll have to see.

I’m using Holly Lisle’s One Pass Revision process, a first for me, and I’m a bit nervous.  This is my very first actual revision.  And this story is dear to my heart.  I want to do it justice.

One thing I noticed was that I’d forgotten some of the nuances and scenes.  Which is good, because it means that I had enough time to get enough distance.  They say that you should leave it long enough so it feels new.  And it did.  I’m also blown away by some of it — I automatically assume my first drafts stink (I’m very hard on myself), and this just proves that I don’t suck.  There are always issues, yea, I’m not perfect, but it’s better than I thought.  And that feels good.

Flamebound is back in action and I’m going to finish it either tonight or tomorrow.

Hereafter is on hold at the moment.  I might write it concurrently with the Revision, if the Revision doesn’t devour me whole.

I also made some notes on Blood Dance, Pirouette’s sequel.  It’s going to be good

So that’s where I’m at right now.  Things are going wonderfully, and I feel good about next year.

Progress progresses.

Been working steady on Survivor and am up to 7k new words.  Not bad, for a book I haven’t looked at in over a year, and with a million plot threads to interweave to boot.

It’s coming slowly.  I figure it would be for awhile, while I got my bearings.  Diving feetfirst into Laura’s world wasn’t the most comfy way to start — but if I got tangled up in details, I’d never get there.

I’ve issued myself a challenge: finish this damned thing THIS YEAR.  It’s been 4 years since I started it, and it has haunted me for about that long.  Pirouette is in stasis right now, awaiting its One Pass Revision (method developed by Holly Lisle that I’ll be trying out).  I set a tentative start date for it to begin on July 14th, exactly a month after I finished the book.  We’ll see how I feel as that day comes closer.  I know that currently, I’m not ready to begin, and it’s not Survivor.  It’s just the distance I need.  I’ve thought a bit about it here and there, but for the most part, I’ve not thought about it much at all.  To give myself distance and objectivity.  So if I’m not ready come July 14th, that’s ok.  I’ll give it some more time.  I still want to finish that and get it critted/beta’ed/polished AND send it out by the end of the year.  If I work hard, and fast, and get good feedback, I believe that’s still possible.  We shall see.

This year is shaping up to be pretty productive so far.

On the indexing front…I’ve been taking a break from it to assess what to do next.  Last time I worked on it, I broke my brain.  😦    So….I waffled a bit, thinking of scrapping it, thinking that I just wasn’t getting it, and then I had a revelation.  I think I understand it now.  Why I faltered, why I was so confused.  I still want to try, b/c I’m not a quitter, but I needed that distance, too.  Desparately.  

So sometime soon, after I move most likely, unless I have some dead time coming, I’ll take another crack at that practice index and see if I can make it happen.  If not, then maybe I’m just not cut out for it.  But we’ll see.  Perhaps I will surprise myself.

Wedding plans progressing nicely.  I just chose –and bought–my wedding dress.  It’s funny, but when I pictured myself in a wedding dress, it wasn’t the one I ultimately picked.  It’s similar, but it took me by surprise.  The dress is beautiful, perfect in every way, and is just amazing.  Everyone I talked to said that you just know when you find The Dress — and I did.  I could envision myself walking down the aisle in it.  And I’m happy about it.  It’s perfect.

Photographer, reception hall, and the chapel are all booked.  Now we’re dealing with the fun of apartment hunting — hit some snags — but I’m confident that things will work out.  Very confident, for no apparent reason, just that  I am.  I believe it, not just superficially, but with everything I have.  Much how I believe that I’ll be published.  I can’t prove it, or tell the future, or anything — but I just know.  I also know when.  Well, approximately.  My powers only go so far.  😉  *winks*

So look for snippets and more progress from mine own hands soon.

Plotbunnies, Inc.

My writing partner and I were brainstorming a new book idea, and I thought I would talk about my brainstorming process in the hopes that maybe someone out there would find it useful in some manner.

There are a few things I regularly use for plot ideas:

1) Conversations.  Any and all.  Often, it will be a nondescript, non-writerly type of convo, but something said will spark an idea.  For instance, recently a friend of the beloved’s parents was talking about live TB germs still hanging around someplace.  Scary huh?  So then I wondered what would happen if someone came into contact with them, and then others came in contact with him, and so on.   It’s still fermenting, but the wick has been lit.  😀 

2) News.  Not usually the local news, either, although occasionally I’ll find something intriguing.  Nope, I’m talking about world news and the Peculiar Postings on MSN.  A plot element from What Lies Beneath came from a story about a boy who’d drowned.  Sometimes health or science news also gets the gears going, too.

3) Science.  On Thursday I discovered Discover Magazine.  Found some very interesting information on the sleep cycle (which is always interesting, after having almost been diagnosed with narcolepsy), minimally-conscious states (not a vegatative and not a coma –a cross between the two), and some intriguing news on memories (another passion of mine — memory in some way or another always creeps into my books).  Just from persuing the headlines and reading articles that looked interesting.  I should have been a scientist, I swear.

4) Dreams.  I have very vivid, very unusual dreams that I can usually remember in graphic detail.  It could be that I’ve trained myself to ponder things unconsciously, or maybe it’s my meds (a certain medication is known for inducing vivid dreams and nightmares).  I have at least 3 plotbunnies connected to dreams, and other plot elements that came from a dream.  If you find you can’t remember your dreams, tell yourself as you’re drifting off that you will remember.  Be prepared to jot down anything upon wakening.  Dreams tend to dissolve the more awake you become.  I try to latch on to something and more or less “memorize” it before it vanishes.  Those few minutes upon waking are the most critical.

Another thing I do is ponder any issues I’m having with a novel as I’m drifting off, which insures that I will dream about it.  Recently, a tiny part of a dream spawned the sequel idea for Pirouette.

5) Juxaposing two or more very different ideas.  I purposely look for strange or contradictory ideas to combine for novels.  I take what I mine from other sources and work it out in my mind, asking myself “what if?” questions.  The entire concept of Requiem in Blue was built this way: combining cyborgs, underwater, and mind control.  Same with What Lies Beneath — empathy, insanity, and dolphins.

6) Other books.  Books inspire me.  I don’t ever copy; rather, I twist and bend the core idea (sometimes juxaposing stuff as above) to come up with my own spin on it.  This I disocvered from Holly Lisle’s workshop: How to Steal Ideas Ethically (or some such.  Can’t remember the exact title).  Requiem in Blue was originally one of these.  I read Starfish by Peter Watts and fell in love.  What I liked the best was the underwater millieu and how the people were modified to live in deep sea.  I took that, and ran with it.  If you hadn’t known this ahead of time, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell: the plot, combined with the mind control, is completely and entirely different, as are the circumstances as to why these people are living deep in the sea.  The only resemblance to Starfish now is the core idea that sparked it. 

Same thing with Holly Lisle’s Talyn.  If you haven’t read it, go read it NOW.  It is awesome, thrilling, terrifying, and beautiful all at once.  Well, the idea of enemies joining together (and a few other things too — don’t want to spoil it) intrigued me.   What Lies Beneath has elements similar to that, in the romance end of it.  But the similarity ends right there.

7) Song lyrics.  Now, I have what I call “movie images” appear in my head as I’m listening to music, pretty much without any conscious control.  I’ve always done this, even as a kid, and it helps me brainstorm and get new ideas.  But some lyrics will actually inspire plots as well as the imagery.  Queensryche’s “Suite Sister Mary” became the template upon which I plotted (ok, semi-plotted) Requiem in Blue.  “Silent Lucidity,” also by Queensryche,  inspired a VR plotbunny very recently.  A song by the band Creed inspired an alternate reality romance plotbunny I’ve had for gosh, years.  Queensyche’s “The Hands” inspired parts of Requiem in Blue (it’s also the protagonist’s theme song).  It’s really amazing what cool things happen with music.

I also use music to help me write.  Oftentimes if I’m stuck, I’ll just close my eyes and let it do its work.  Usually, it’s enough to get me moving again, and that’s what counts.

8) Real-life events.  There are a few novels that started out purely as semi-autobiographical, as a way to make sense of something that had happened to me.  Usually, they grow beyond that, and take another form, but that’s how some of them start.  One such novel, “Transparent Eyes,” started out as a way to get back at someone (fictionally)  who’d hurt me.  TE grew beyond that, and is now Footsteps of Ghosts.  The original elements are completely gone, and it’s a story in its own right.

Take caution when plucking things from your own life — there’s always the chance of lawsuits.  Granted, the law can be a bit ambigious, but it’s always good to hide any real-life stuff behind a good fictional situation. 

Another old plotbunny is a multi-generational family story that I’ve been meaning to write, to help cope with some of my own personal issues.  It’ll be fantasy or sci-fi, most likely.

And, Dagmar, another plotbunny, came from my grandparents’ love story.  War romance, Irish heritage.  The rest is completely different, but that was the inspiration.

Once I get the kernel of the idea, I let it perculate.  I have a good memory so that’s not hard, even with multiple ideas (although I have been writing them down as of late).  I always ask myself “what if?” questions, and try to tighten the screws on the poor characters.  Torture, that’s the name of the game.  I’m evil, LOL.

Sometimes I use Tarot cards, using them to answer those “what if?” questions.  I’ve come up with some awesome ideas that way.

So now you know my process.  It works very well for me.  And it’s basically just being aware of things, and always looking at different perspectives.  The belief that anything can result in a story idea helps.  😉  And perhaps that’s why I have so many…..because I see them everywhere.  I don’t think I will ever run out of ideas.

Hopefully this helped you in some way!

Friday Snippet: Pirouette Rewrite

Here’s today’s offering.  Kind of sad.

Warning: explicit language and raw rough draftage.

Sleep was a dreamless thing, as elusive as a shadow, as unreachable as the moon.  I floated in liquid darkness, tossed about like a wave caught in the sea, looking for light and not finding it.


The dream that found me lit up the landscape of the Varshella: my fog-world.


The vaguely Faerie form glowed from within.  Its wings stretched out to double its arm-span.  They, strangely enough, bore the sidhe royal wing markings.


That’s when a shiver passed through me; when my internal alarms shrieked for me to pause, take it all in.




She – I could tell now from the long white gown she wore – floated towards me.  Her eyes – eyes that looked suspiciously like mine, except they were darker, almost a jade green – met mine, and she shrieked at my mind.


Naturally, it scared the crap out of me.


My heart pounded; my palms were wet.  My mind was telling me to run, but my heart had other ideas.


I moved forward slowly, holding my hands up to show that I meant no harm. 


As she came closer, I noticed that she was, actually, new dead.  A halfling.  She was more solid than most halflings, which puzzled me. 


What my brain put together slammed into me with all the elegance of a two-ton weight.  To the head.


She was one of my own.


I couldn’t do the Death Dance here, so I had to warm up to the idea of not shielding.  Not a smart move, as this sidhe-royal could be a demon or dark entity in disguise.  It could be anything. 


I should just leave, I thought, watching as the sidhe-royal floated almost close enough to touch.


But that wasn’t the way things would play out now, would they?  Honestly – I can be a real dumb ass.  I took risks on a daily basis, risks that could very well get me killed.  Why?  Usually, it’s in the name of helping the dead.  Usually.


So why couldn’t I bring myself to leave?  Leaving was simple.  Well, the act was.  Doing it was another thing altogether.


Get it together, Alisia.  She’s too close—


Alisia?  I’d know her voice any damn where.  Grandma!


She reached out to touch me, leaving a cold draft in her wake.  She grasped my hand, and it felt like holding ice cubes.  She was certainly not the normal case.  Halflings couldn’t touch anyone or anything without passing through.  It just never happened.  Until now.


 I opened my mouth to speak, then promptly closed it.  Grandma?  That you?


Grandma nodded in her regal way.  Something has happened to me, childe.  I was captured and then – Her face blanked out, smoothed down like a piece of parchment.  Her eyes deadened; the life extinguished.  My heart ached for her.


 I squeezed her frigid hand.  Grandma?


She blinked at me.  Where am I?  Who are you?


Friday Snippet: Pirouette (the Rewrite)

It’s that time again!  It’s amazing at how quickly time flies.  My offering today is a revised scene from Chapter 2 — the first time we meet Lucien, Alisia’s love interest (well, one of them anyways).  Lucien visits his Prophetess where he learns of some intriguing news. 

And to update briefly: I hit 8,262 words last night.  Yeppers, it’s going slower than I’d planned, but I’m finally (somewhat) free of my Internal Bitch  Editor and it’s flowing better.  My first official rewrite, what can I say?  Live and learn. 

Alrighty, so here it is.  Everything is naked, raw first draft (that’s an image, huh?) and as such may not be perfect.  S’ok.

The Gatekeeper bowed again.  “I will inform the Prophetess of your arrival, High Lord.”  And he was gone in a swish of fabric.  Lucien walked up to the candelabra and withdrew his House Candle.  Head bowed, he knelt.

“Great Lady, Dark Mother, She Who Answers to the Varshella, hear me this night as I beseech thy childe Prophetess Nyna for guidance.  Has the Varshella sent my dream to me for a purpose?  I feel that this is very important, something that can change the very fabric of our world.” He stood, replacing the candle, the heat warm on his cold flesh.  “Thank you, Kind Lady of the Varshella, and hear my prayer.”

As he walked back to the altar, he unsheathed the ritual dagger at his side, watching the candlelight glint in the metal, then setting it down on the shiny antique satin coverlet. 

She would answer him.  She had to – the bond compelled her.  He needed to know what this meant, and why he felt it so strongly.

Lucien didn’t consider himself to be an intuitive sort, so he dismissed the stirrings of his gut more often than not.  But tonight, as the moon reached down with silvery hands and bathed Her people in her light, he felt it stronger.  Strong enough to twist his gut and rip him from sleep. 

Strong intuition was an effect of his vitae – life magic.  The same magic he shared with his enemies, the Fae.

The rustle of fabric drew his eyes upward.  Prophetess Nyna stood at the front of the altar, her simple robes pooling around her on the floor.  They were white, lined with light blue, Resanna’s color.  She wore a veil over her head that covered her long warrior’s braid.  It flowed down her back, coming to rest just beyond her feet. 

She knelt gracefully, bowing her head over folded hands.  The markings of her position flashed as she reached out to touch him.  “High Lord Lucien,” she said, her voice deep and resonant, like a musical instrument.  He had always loved hearing her speak.  “How lovely to see you this night.”

Lucien bowed, even though she couldn’t see him.  Prophetesses were born without eyes.  It was through the othersight that they could divine the future.  Every child born this way was destined to become one -and considered it the highest honor to serve the House. 

“My the Great Lady’s blessings be with you this night, Prophetess.” 

She chuckled, a sound like the ring of bells.  “I know why you seek counsel with me this night.  There is no need for formalities.”

Lucien nodded, his mouth gone dry with fear.  He suddenly wasn’t so sure he needed to know.

But Nyna made that choice for him.  “You are most distressed, my Lord.  How my I be of assistance?”  Her cold hands enveloped his.  “How may I ease your suffering?”

“We need to speak freely, Prophetess.”  Gritting his teeth, he let go of Nyna’s hands and paused before picking up his dagger.  He swallowed past the lump in his throat, and brought the blade across his left wrist.  Always left, as it was closest to his heart.  As his blood spilled, he held his wrist over the chalice. 

His heart pounded a quiet rhythm, as if waiting for Nyna’s declaration. 

“I give sacrifice to you, Prophetess Nyna of Vayelos House.  May my blood bring you sustenance, my gift to you.”  He gently pushed the chalice into Nyna’s waiting hand.

She took a dainty sip from it, setting it down immediately.  She smiled, flashing the barest hint of fangs.  “Let us commune, my Lord and warrior.”

Lucien didn’t hesitate.  He threw himself at her bared neck, drinking as if he could drown himself in her blood.  And it was a fitting analogy, given his state of mind. 

The blood exchange was a ritual to keep the blood bond between them strong and intact.  It was also his show of dominance as the Buli of his House.

He tenderly dabbed at the wound with specially made silk before returning to his place.

Nyna arched an eyebrow.  “What transpired in this dream?”

Frowning, Lucien mentally ran through the images, only to find them hazy and formless, when before they’d been crisp and clear.  “The images have faded from my memory.”

Nyna didn’t speak for the space of several thundering heartbeats.  Lucien was beginning to think that something was terribly wrong.  He never forgot his dreams, not until now.  .

Nyna let out a soft sigh, almost a moan.  “Danger stalks the House this night.”  She paused as Lucien sucked in a breath.  Her hands found his and he was comforted by it.  “The ones involved will pay a horrible price.”

Lucien ground his teeth.  The Fae.  Since the Divergence, they’d been fighting, killing, and crippling each other, round and round and round, with no end in sight.  It was just too much.  First the dream, now this.  He wasn’t sure he’d ever feel safe.  Desperate for a subject change, he asked, “Have you anything to impart to me?” He let his breath out, the tension and anxiety receding just a bit.

Nyna’s lips quirked in a smile.  “As a matter of fact, I do, my Lord.”  She idly ran her fingers over the embossed edges of the chalice.  “I had a vision, my Lord, of a woman.”

Lucien arched a brow.  “A woman?  Of the Blood?”

Nyna shook her head, sending her warrior’s braid twitching underneath her veil.  “No, she’s not of the Blood.  She’s…. human.”  Her words were tinged with bafflement.  She flicked a wrist in his direction.  “But she’ll be important to you, specifically, and the House.”

Lucien couldn’t quite believe it.  “How could a human help us?” 

Nyna shrugged, an elegant gesture.  “I do not know, except that she is one of us and not, one who is pivotal to ending the war between the Gifted Races.

Lucien met her eyeless sockets, out of pure habit, and nodded.  “I know that you are right.  I just don’t understand.”

“Prophecy is a very hazy, indistinct thing, my Lord.  I only know what is shown to me.”  She spread her hands.  “I am here to serve.” 

Not dead, just busy.

Very.  My beloved fiance and I went camping the 3rd week in June, and the prior two weeks were taken up by Planning and More Planning and then Shopping.  It was a lovely, kick-ass time, got lots of pics, caught 3 fish, actually ate some fresh-cooked perch, and wrote ALOT.  Massive…12,000.  Yeah.  Can hardly believe it myself.  If only I could do that daily…

Yeppers, I am officially engaged.  The beloved proposed on Wed, June 27th which was a complete and utter surprise.  But not a shock.  He’d planned on doing it in December but couldn’t wait.  Such a wonderful guy I’m marrying!  We’ve set a tentative date of June 27, 2009, which will give us enough time to do what we need to do, get me moved in, and not have to rush planning the wedding. 

On writing.  Been doing mostly character prework for the Pirouette Rewrite of Doom.  I’m nearly done with Alisia, and will start on Lucien tonight or tomorrow.  I used Holly Lisle’s Create a Character Clinic which I highly recommend.  Even if you’re good a character creation, it still can give you some kick-ass insights, stuff you haven’t thought of before.  Case in point: Alisia’s dance partner, Adam.  From the get-go, they’ve had chemistry, and I (literally) danced around it, not letting it go anywhere because of Lucien (stoopid reasoning, I know).  I read the first few scenes today and it dawned on me: Adam should be a factor in this complicated equation of a story.  And…using Holly’s cool techniques, I also “discovered” a human lover that apparently my dear Alisia has been keeping under wraps.  Oh my.  It will be very interesting to see how this works on the page.

Been figuring and re-figuring the magic.  Suffice to say that it’s tighter, more logical, and very unique.  I have since added things and subtracted others.  Added more today in fact.

I’m changing Alisia’s …place…in the world again.  She’ll be unique, which was the point, but it will be due to the will of the world.  The Otherworld.  The secret slayer-society that shows up in Dance of the Obsidian has also changed…although they still slay.  And now there’s a sort of Council that polices the otherworldly peoples.  Alisia and her arch-nemesis have something in common, having to do with this Council, and that makes them uneasy allies.

 All from a book on character creation.  I’m telling you, it works. 

Oh! And I also found out a bunch of things that Alisia neglected to tell me the first time.  *wags finger*  Bad girl.  Bad, bad girl.  She’ll be a tortured soul, but she will rise above it to become something of a legend.  Muuahhh.

On other projectos: Requiem in Blue is swimming right along, with some kick-ass revelations while at camp.  I wrote 7.5k of that alone while on vacay.

Survivor is going slightly slower, but I can’t say I’m surprised.  It’s been tough, but that’s the subject matter– it’s not exactly warm-and-fuzzy material.  And this particular scene I am banging my head over is a doozie — it’s just the crux of the ending, is all.  No biggie, right?


So that’s in the works.

Indexing: got about half of my practice book indexed.  It’s been really interesting, and I can’t wait to see if I totally botched it or if I might be on to something.  That’s the only problem with correspondence courses — no real feedback or anything.  Just sorta flying blind.  But I have Plans.  Always.  *she says with shifty eyes*

So, I think that’s it.  I’ll try to get back more regularly.  Just fell into a black hole.  I’m out, alive, and I’m damned happy.

Life is good.

Requiem is *gasp* plotted. And, more ideas.

Ok, maybe not plotted exactly, but I had a cool new idea for the beginning that made more sense to me.  I started out with the characters in their natural environment.  Which is fine.  But at that time I had really no real direction.  I just started writing, and kept writing, up until now.

Today I did a little bit of a rethink on it.  Who were the real villains?  What’s the true nature of their situation?  Could they be totally mind-controlled to the point where they have no memory whatsoever of their experiences as Sentinels?  Who are they outside of the Globe?

And so on.

So, now I have a clearer direction, and some answers to those questions.  I wrote out as much as I could, in broad strokes — I’m saving the details for my muse.  It’s pretty much the same as before, with a few slight changes.  Nothing that requires any real rewriting.  I will, however, attempt to write that crucial first scene tonight.

It feels right, you know?  Like perhaps my muse has been keeping this from me, but has been throwing me hints all along.  And I finally got it, but it feels as if I knew this all along.  Pretty cool, this muse stuff.

So that’s the lowdown on Requiem.  Very excited.

I also want to drop off a few miscellaneous thoughts on What Lies Beneath, one of my more active plot bunnies.    While perusing the MSN Peculiar Postings today (I regularly mine them for story ideas), I found one article about someone who’d drowned trying to retrieve something from the river –I can’t really remember the deets.  But, naturally, this took my mind in some dangerously twisted directions.  Drowning.  Pominently figured.  Maybe even as the main conflict.  Drowning someone, or someones.  Yeah, I like that.

Second — a man who’d dug his own “underground bunker” in which he’s been living in for 6 years.  So, we have an underground living area, a small one, and we’ll just say for excitement sake, underwater.  Hmmmm.  I can hear the wheels turning….

Here’s where I am applying what I read in Holly Lisle’s Create a Plot Clinic.  There’s a section in there about taking stuff that strikes you — photographs, newspaper articles, etc, and using them in your plots.  I was going to do this with my Cosmo magazines, but I was derailed by the peculiar postings.  I’ve found alot of cool stuff in there.  Anyhoo, these two ideas are nebulous, but I’ll put the muse to work on them.  Maybe they will turn out to be really cool.