Tag Archives: Pirouette 1.0

My magnum opus. A dark fantasy about a ballerina turned vampire, fate, and a centuries-long war. This is the first draft. It is about to undergo major reconstructive surgery.

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?

Wrong.

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.

I dream in infrared.

Well, not really, but I had a really bizarre, yet insightful dream about the Pirouette Rewrite.  Apparently my muse has been working overtime, while I wasn’t paying attention, because she handed me something really important for the ending.  Something that will be really good.

But first, the dream.  I was in this restaurant-like place and I fell asleep, and was dreaming (dream within a dream, how trippy!) that I was working on the Rewrite of Doom, and I thought of the ending, and was writing it.  Not gonna get into it here, b/c it’s a spoiler, but it’s a really good thing.  It ties in perfectly with not only the whole thing, but the basis of it — Alisia’s need to dance, and her ultimate undoing.  It also ties in an element from Pirouette 1.0 that I got rid of due to well….not fitting.  True, it didn’t fit the exact place, but it fits in the Rewrite as part of the end.  The freaky part is, I not only remembered this upon waking, but I see it as utter brilliance.  So, thank you, muse.

Two of my exes and my current beloved were also in attendence, but I don’t recall what they did or why they were there.  Weird.

S.L. Viehl had an idea for figuring out your story.  It involves asking your main character three questions:

1) Who are you?
2) What do you want?
3) What’s the worst thing I can do to you?

For Pirouette (Rewrite), the answers would be:

1) Who are you?  I’m Alisia, and I’m heir to the Faerie throne.  I am also a necromancer, having a rare power to control the dead and vampires (since they aren’t dead in my books).

2) What do you want?  To live in peace and safety outside of Faerie, and also to be able to dance, silence the ghosts.

3) What’s the worst thing I can do to you? Force me back to Faerie, back to possible danger and death; also, take away my ability to dance.  Permanently.

She loses her ability to dance early on, but later, this element will be revisited.

Also, let me just say that sometimes computers suck.  I spent my entire afternoon troubleshooting what I thought was a video card/motherboard/possible virus issue that made my puter unusable, only to find out that somehow, gremlins were pulling my leg. 

I was not amused.

We now return to your regularly scheduled life.

Let’s hear it for cooperative muses! Or, the power of cards.

*cheerleader pom-poms waving around*

 My muse and I have been at a stalemate for the past few days.  She’s been giving me some awesome ideas, but whenever I tried to get more detail, she’d stonewall me.  Yesterday she showed me an awesome, kick-ass of a prologue and yet she refused to tell me the specifics on the magic –and I needed that to write the scene.  *Dr. Evil voice* “Throw me a bone, will ya?  I’m the boss.  Need the info.” (I love that line).

Yeah.  So today, after much musing (heh) over this particular bump in the road, I pulled up Holly Lisle’s Create a Plot Clinic.  I needed more scenes — I had a few in mind already — so I figured now would be a great time to try for both.  I used a tool in there that involves using Tarot cards (or any type of picture-oriented cards, for the non-Tarot folks out there) to help communicate with your muse — in images, not words.  So I followed the excercise.  It’s basically taking your character and asking questions, using the cards as prompts for brainstorming.  I’ve done this in the past, but using Tarot meanings, and my own meanings from over 10 years of reading the cards.  But, I have never used the images themselves to do this.

And being the eccentric chick I am, I tried a hard question.  Instead of using a troublesome character, I used the demons’ magic system as the troublesome character (hell, I’ve used the plot itself as the focus in the past…with good results), just to see where that would take me.

Using the Rohrig Tarot, a beautiful, very abstract yet dark deck (that immediately screamed pick me! pick me! when I thought about which of my 30+ decks to use…), I did the reading, except I virtually ignored the Tarot meanings, as instructed, which was tough, which is what Holly said.  You can take the reader out of Tarot, but you can’t take the Tarot out of the reader……

So now, thanks to Holly Lisle, I have a very good idea about the magic system.  I’ve found out that it involves use of a special magically-infused object, handed down through generations, and that the mind of the victim is virtually obliterated…..with images hitting them like raindrops.  The muse says that this is REALLY important, and I’m not clear on precisely how, but I trust her on this one.

I learned other things too, but that would be spoiling things.  All I gotta say is….poor Alisia.  I put her through the wringer in Pirouette 1.0, but this — this is almost akin to death.  It’s not, not by a long shot — she won’t die (so, Chris, if you’re reading this — it’s ok, I promise) , but it will involve a very magical, very messy death of sorts. 

But man.  What a story.  I think it is finally coming together. 🙂  All from a few questions and a Tarot deck.  Trust me, this book of Holly’s really works.  I command thee to go forth and buy it.  Immediately.  You won’t be disappointed.

In other news…I’ve moved the start date for the Rewrite of Doom to July 1st.  Mainly because I have a few other projects competing for attention (*cough indexing cough* *cough darkroom cough*) and I want to give myself as long as I need to do all the necessary pre-work.  I want this draft to be as smooth as possible — no tangents, no weird shit, just what’s in the outline.  I will allow myself time to meander — I have to or else I’ll get stir-crazy — but — I will consider these meanderings more carefully then I did before.  I will not write another 400k draft.  I’m capping it at 120k, which is a bit too long, but still acceptable.  Writing 1k a day will take me approximately 4 months.  I haven’t written any first draft material in forever.  I am getting twitchy, so this week I might take some time and tackle either Survivor or Requiem in Blue

Not much else going on, except that I took some kick-ass pics of my sister’s flowers in her backyard with my new camera.  I’m ecstatic.

Now, it is time for bed.  Me tired.

On magic.

Yeah.  Magic.

So what have I been up to lately?  Thinking.  Alot.  About. Pirouette.  I have a lot of the kinks worked out, and the muse is actually cooperating (go Muse!) so I actually have something to show for 2-3 days of no writing and thinking.  Let’s hear it for deep thinking.

Okay, all silliness aside, I think I’ve got it figured out.  Got a new type of demon, a Big Bad Demon, who’s hell-bent (no pun intended) on ruling the world.  Well, at least the alternate world where the otherworldly folks live.  And maybe ours, too.

I have a neat twist, which I’m not divulging, and a neat climax.  As with all of my books, it’s subject to change and prolly will.   I also have a few themes figured out, too: Love redeems, and Alisia’s personal theme: silencing the ghosts.  But what she silences and how are two very different things.  😉

What else?  Worked on the Plot of Doom after lunch.  Missed a few things, but got the bones.  Just need the meat.  Lots of it.  Will be going back to Create a Plot Clinic to see what the muse has for me. 

And the magic rules….are coming together.  It’s always been said that you need to have limits and consequences for your magic, that it’s not just a fancy plot device.  I was guilty of that a bit in Pirouette 1.0.  Now, I’m giving my folks limits.  Some of the magic has limits built in, but what about the new magic?  It needs limits, and it should be affected by death magic, as it involves the death of ….something.  Not tellin.’  😉  And overflow.  Yes, in my world, you can have too much magic.  Or not enough.  This is alot of fun.  It’s going to create a richer world I think, and nice conflict, especially when magic-things go wrong.

Yes.

I’m happy.  I’m always happiest when I’m weaving words, inhabiting my world for a short time.  It makes life so much more than what it is…..I have this world of my own.  And it rocks.  And I love Alisia and Lucien.  They’re my supercouple.  Kind of like Terry Goodkind’s Richard and Kahlan (now there’s an awesome couple, because their love endures EVERYTHING imaginable — if I can do something remotely like this, I’d be delighted).  Goodkind rocks.  He actually inspired me to start writing fantasy and weaving fantasy elements into my horror/vamp books.  Darkweaver is the result of those attempts.

Anyhoo, I’m off to go weave some more.  Also I have another blog, a “virtual notebook” as it were.  It’s primarily private, but I will post things there publically from time to time.  Mostly plot stuff, language stuff, worldbuilding…..just so it’s in one place and somewhere besides on my hard drive or scribbled on paper.  I’m paranoid that way.  Anyhoo, check in from time to time, you might find something cool.

 It’s called Flogging the Muse.  How appropriate, huh? 

…and an update.

Didn’t wanna mix these two, so here’s my second post.   The worldbuilding is coming along swimmingly.  Sometimes it feels like I’m swimming upstream, but it’s happening.  I’m still changing things around.  Finally settled on a mark of the Goddess Morrighan (the celtic goddess of war and fury) which, I shit you not, I actually drew myself.  Being that my drawing skills are practically nil, I’m proud of that.  It’s basically a scythe (Grim Reaper style, except reduced to one continuous line with no detail) intersected by half a moon.  Because Alisia has death magic, and it’s governed by the moon….it seemed logical.

Now I’m working on the villian’s magic.  I’ve changed his magic so many times, it’s ridiculous.  Nothing seemed right, you know?  So I keep trying to hit upon that special thing that gives me chills.  Today it’s souls.  Tomorrow, it might be different.  I like the soul thing though so I will be exploring that further.

This weekend there’s an edit marathon at Forward Motion, so I’ll be doing some editing.  Yay.

And lastly, an old project reared its head today. I was idly going through my Palm doc files, and ran across my first Nano ever, and my first finished novel, The Sacrifice.  My, that draft sucked, but I took part of it and made it Darkweaver.  And the rest is now what is known as Surrender.  It was in the writing queue before Pirouette took over, but it sorta fell by the wayside.  Sacrifice has undergone many changes, including my first attempt at dark fantasy, Eternal Dance.  Brilliant, I think.  😉  Anyhoo, I am now officially itching to work on that project again.  Who knows when though!  I’m “booked” till the end of the year.  But it will go in the plotbunny file, and maybe I can resurrect it in time.  Some cool worldbuilding elements came to me so I will probably poke at it from time to time.  But….it must stay on the side.  Waaaaaay off.  Cuz you know, I got three others that are patiently waiting for their turn in the spotlight……

Vamps, necromancers, and Fae oh my!

Some big changes are happening for the Pirouette Rewrite.  I have been brainstorming, along with the help of some writer friends, ways to make my world –and its creatures–more unique.  Naturally, it’s been said since the dawn of time that there’s no such thing as being totally unique — that everything has been done before.  But I beg to differ.  I think a writer can, if she stretches her wings a bit, come up with something more unique, if not completely unique.

For instance, I mixed two races together and gave them similar magic.  While that’s not totally unique, I know (from careful research) that this mix hasn’t been done much out there.  The magic system is very different, again, not something I see everywhere.  I’ve used some different elements to make the magic system more different.  Hopefully, it will be good.

I tend to mix and match different ideas anyway, hoping to come up with a combination that’s completely new and exciting.  Take Requiem in Blue, for an example.  It’s not your average cyberpunk dystopic thing.  It has the added element of mind control, which is a fun thing to explore (only ficticiously, naturally).  I think the two in combination make Requiem that much more unique.

 Naturally, all things require a complete rebuild for worldbuilding, class system, etc, as well as the story itself.  Alot of the original (and proposed new plot before these changes) will need to be redone.  Luckily, I haven’t started the Rewrite yet, so everything can be in flux.  You’re probably wondering why I’d put myself through this.  Why not just roll with the Rewrite as is?  Why tinker?  Well….that’s the thing.  Alot of my decisions happened on the fly (as evidenced by the 400k manuscript) and alot of them weren’t consistent with the worldbuilding, or introduced new elements that just would not work.  Well, you ask, why not make it work?  Simple.  Because then the story would suffer.

In fantasy and sci-fi, especially, the worldbuilding needs to be top notch.  I can’t just decide one day that this magic, or element, has to go because it’s inconvenient.  It’s will undermine the story.  It’s like trying to mess with the physics of our world.  People don’t fly, right?  They don’t have wings.  If people could fly, our world would be much different, right?  And it would change everything.

Same thing with fictional worlds.  You don’t break your rules just because.  I did alot of that.  Telempathy was my answer for everything — that was the vampires’ major magic ability.  Something went wrong?  Use telempathy.  Alisia’s in a bind and can’t get out –use telempathy.  In my defense, I did make it possible to lose telempathy for awhile (“burning it out”) to impose limitations (another important thing in fictional magic systems) but even that got old and repetitive.  So I needed something new.  Something more logical and with limits.  This new magic system does all of that.  It’s governed by the lunar cycle and location — i.e. where the vamp or Fae is — either on our Earth or in there own parallel world.  It’s kind of like Faerie, where their magic is stronger in the parallel world vs. Earth. I still need a new name for Earth, too –a name that the magical races would use to describe us.

So I believe all of these changes are going to make it stronger.  I can feel it.  I can tell by the why my heart pounds when I think about it.  It’s so cool.  I really owe a debt of gratitude to the one friend who made this possible (she will know who she is, if she ever reads this) because while I came up with alot of it on my own, she was the catalyst for something big and major.  And I will always been grateful for that.

So I prolly won’t be able to start the Rewrite in June, unless I hit it hard this month, which was what I was supposed to do.  The edit isn’t done yet –but is close –and I do want to finish it in case I missed anything.  I still need to do another read-through to make notes on everything to change or keep, and use that along with all my new stuff to build the plot.  For all of this work, I will be using Holly Lisle’s Create a Character Clinic, Create a Culture Clinic, and Create a Plot Clinic.  I cannot recommend this books enough — they are out really really cool.  I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to use them, for real, and this is it.  I want this to work, and give it the best chance it has to succeed.  It’s my magnum opus, and I love it dearly.  And would love to see it in a bookstore one of these days.

So that’s what’s doing in my world. 

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.

Hypergraphia

I encountered this peculiar condition on another forum that I frequent, April Fools.  Hypergraphia is the compulsive need to write…basically.  I find this not only fascinating, but extraordinary.

I don’t think I have this, even though I am pretty obcessive-compulsive about writing.  I mean, I pretty much write all the time whether it’s in my head (when writing is not possible or appropriate) or on paper.  I am always making notes, constantly, so I won’t forget anything.  Hey, I’m 31, and my memory is starting to slip.  I also spend alot of time thinking about plots, plot bunnies, directions of my stories, dialogue, and visuals.  If I were to put a timeframe on it, I’d say that I spend about 90% of my waking hours doing something related to writing.

And then there’s the actual writing itself.  Well, I used to write each and every day, whether I wanted to or not.  This went on from November 2005 (NanoWriMo) up till I finished the first draft of Pirouette on Dec. 27, 2006.  Yes, I do remember that, as it was a milestone.  Pirouette, by the way, weighed in at a whopping 399, 915 words.  Less than 100 words shy of 400k.  ‘Scuse me while I faint.

Anyhoo, I’d gotten into this rhythm and routine so much that when I decided to take 2 weeks off writing, I was at total lose ends.  I had no idea what to do with myself.  I ended up working on something else (Lord knows I can’t even recall what it was now…) and thought alot about the edits, rewrite, and all that other stuff that I think about.

So now I’m not writing daily.  I’m editing, but even that’s not daily.  I started Requiem in Blue for the sole purpose of not going nuts during this period.  Why?  Because I literally feel twitchy when I haven’t written.  It’s like an out-of-sorts, Twilight Zone kind of feeling.  And the words are threatening to drown me.  They bleed into my life, as thoughts, character voices, etc, and even into my dreams.  Yeah.  So to relieve that…feeling…I write new words.  Not editing.  New words.  First draft stuff.  Requiem is not only a project just for that, but it’s experimental in that I am not pursuing publication with it.  Well, I tell myself that.  I might eventually, if it flies.  Anyhoo, that’s the deal. 

Some people have mentioned that it sucks to take something like creativity and prolific writing and apply a psychological label to it.  To me, it demystifies it — writing is an artform, a gift, and thus to me is meant to be mysterious.  Who knows where my ideas come from?  Who knows what cool new plot twist I’ll dream up tomorrow?  Who knows where Alisia came from, or Lucien, or my truly evil characters like the Bossman?  Is it merely a compulsion, like gambling, or porn, or is it more mystical?

I take mystical any day of the week.  It might sound bizarre, but I almost feel special.  Like God picked me (among others) to impart my words, my wisdom, my creation to the world, something so rare and so pure that I can’t imagine trying to live without it.  Actually, I would prolly go truly insane.  Because writing does something, nurtures me, in ways I can’t comprehend.  It brings me back to center.  It reminds me to be humble, that life is not a sum collection of events, but a journey — no matter what the destination.  Writing itself is a journey in that in every step, you put your heart and soul into it, and you keep walking, walking, towards that elusive thing — publication, a perfect final draft, etc– knowing full well that you may never make it there, but you believe with everything in your being that you will make it there.  You will make this happen.  It’s really the only way to fly.

 So.  I might have hypergraphia.  I might not.  But you know what?  Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

That that, Sigmund Freud.

muse-1, Erin-0

And so the game continues.  Today I got alot of work done on various projects.  The big one is on Requiem, a solid 1,953 words.  That’s more like it.  I knew I had it in me.  That was a fun scene.  Poor Meredith.  She’s gonna flip out when she discovers what her master did to her. 

I also wrote down a new version of the Prophecy for Pirouette.  The first prophecy was well, not cool.  It hit a few of the things I wanted it to hit, but not enough.  Naturally, I needed to see the scope of the book (and the Final Battle) before coming up with something better. So I did.  I think Prophecy 2.0 rocks.  I may even turn it into a poem.  I’m not sure.  But I need that for the second scene of the rewrite, where our male lead learns of his destiny — and the mysterious woman who’s about to be interwined in it.  Fun, fun, fun.

And then there are the haiku.  Haiku that I wrote specifically for Pirouette.  They came out really cool. 

Overall, I am doing alot better.  Work wasn’t bad at all.  Not the pressure cooker it’s been all week.  That makes me very happy.  I also got alot done today, even with a surprise visit from our boss.  Yikes.  Sometimes I have no idea what to say to the guy.  He’s got a weird sense of humor, but he’s always been nice to me (except when he’s not releasing orders from credit hold for reasons I can’t figure out) so s’ok.

Next on the to-do list is darkroom.  But first, the wrists need a serious break.