Tag Archives: Soulfire

An old (er) plot bunny that is nipping at my heels. It’s about a reincarnated Fae who must find her one true love or….else. ;)

Writing theme songs

All of my projects have at least one theme song attached to them, be it the whole book or an aspect of it.  I thought it might be interesting to list what they are and why.

Pirouette – all drafts (3rd draft in progress now):
 “Space Dye Vest” by Dream Theater.  I used this as Alisia and Lucien’s main “fighting” song.  It’s sad and torturous, and it brings up all kinds of heart-wrenching images in my head.  It just seemed perfect.

“Walk in the Shadows” by Queensryche – Raelan and Alisia’s theme.  In the last third of the book, [something spoilery happens] and for a time, Alisia and Raelan (who’s the villain) are….aligned.  This song, which talks about walking on the dark side of life, giving ino the darkness, fits the feeling of those scenes perfectly.

“The Killing Words” by Queensryche – Alisia and Lucien’s theme.  Just screams tragic, love, betrayal, heartbreaking stuff.  Sniff.

Flamebound (currently in revision):
“Take Hold of the Flame” by Queensryche.  The entire story is based on the song — or rather, my interpretation of it.  So many things tie to the world and story.

Survivor (recently finished first draft):
Operation: Mindcrime by Queensryche.  Yes, the entire album.  The book pretty much wrote itself to this awesome, magnificent album.  Since alot of the themes ran parallel to my story, it was almost eerie how the entire thing seemed like a metaphor for Survivor.  Some of it, like the brainwashing and mind control, were literal.

“Eyes of a Stranger” by Queensryche (on Operation:Mindcrime) – Amber’s theme.  Amber is the main character, and as she goes through some painful, traumatic stuff, she’s kind of transformed….and thus truly has the “eyes of a stranger.”

Requiem in Blue (2007 project)
“The Hands” by Queensryche – Meredith’s theme.  Meredith, the main character, is saved by someone.  “The Hands” makes me think of that, and salvation in general.

“Suite Sister Mary” by Queensryche – Some of the story was inspired by this song.  Especially one part about two people joining together to “make it through the night.”

Broken (currently in progress):
“Broken” by Lifehouse.  Also the why of the title, at least for now.  The song talks about being broken, and Amara, the main character, and the antagonist are both broken in a sense.

“Unbreakable” by Fireflight.  New band that I just discovered.  Totally Amara’s theme.  I realize that the songs seem contradictory, but it works, I swear!

Eowyn (perc’ing project for future):
“Ordinary World” by Duran Duran.  Theme of the book.  Because we’re dealing with quantum mechanics and alternate universes, and a “home” universe, it seems appropriate.

MindBound (future project):
“Lightning Field” by the Sneaker Pimps.  I saw a video of it and HAD to have the song, even though I’m not into that type of music.  Went on a wild goose chase and finally just today got ahold of it.  It’s THAT close to what this story is to me.  It (the story) has to do with an empath and pain and brainwashing, and the song is so perfect.  First words are “Strike me down…”  Can we say perfect?  Literal or figurative, it works. 

Soulfire (The Nano That Never Was):
“Lady Strange by Def Leppard.  Liana’s theme.  She’s the main character, and she isn’t exactly human and has non-human goals and wishes and such.  She’s a bit offbeat in her own way.

“Baba O’Riley” by The Who.  Book’s theme.  Completely encapsulates the dystopic future-Earth setting and the insidious reach of the New Regime.

Hereafter (Nano ’08):
“Women” by Def Leppard.  For no other reason than it gave me some compelling images inside my head, and somehow spawned plotty things.  This one I don’t really understand, but don’t question it, either.

At the moment, that’s all I can think of.  Will add more if I remember anything.

2009 in review and 2010 goals

This year hasn’t been the best as far as emotional stuff is concerned.  The family drama that started in mid-October is still ongoing, and kind of derailed me a bit.  But, I persevere!

As far as productivity goes, I did very well.  I started and finished Pirouette’s five One-Pass Revision, got it out to critters, and have been rewriting the draft, implementing suggestions, cutting, adding, and hopefully making it better.  I’m almost halfway through the draft.  I hope to be done with it early next year.

It’s taken me longer than anticipated, which is okay, but sort of screwed up my schedule.  But it is really okay, b/c I’ll take however long it takes to make it submission-worthy.  As such, no query letters were sent.  I’ve decided to wait till the draft is done and critted.  The story, while essentially the same, has been morphing in interesting ways.  Hopefully in good ways.

Flamebound is on its way towards being totally revised, using Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class.  I have high hopes for this.  I want to get Flamebound revised, critted, and submitted somewhere next year.  I can do this.

I planned on participating in Nanowrimo and writing a new novel.  Unfortunately, life had different plans.  Two days in I ended up quitting.  The book was to be Soulfire.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the timing just wasn’t right on this one.

I finished Survivor, which was a HUGE goal.   I hope to rewrite it in the next few years (depending on if I sell something, etc).

I don’t think I broke 100k on new words, but that, too, is okay.  Because I said I’d do some serious editing and finishing unfinished projects, which I accomplished.

I submitted my poetry chapbook, Life as a Moving Target, to a publisher.  Did not bite, but that’s okay.  I might try again next year.

For next year, I have a few more projects besides Pirouette the Third and Flamebound.  I have Unforgiven, which is a personal challenge to myself for various reasons.  I also have MindBound, the next book set in the Flamebound world.  And I’m seriously considering pulling out Darkweaver and starting work on it.  And then there’s Pirouette book 2 (Blood Dance). Ambitious, I know, but want to aim high.

I think the biggest goal for 2010 is to get something submitted somewhere, be it Flamebound, Pirouette the Third, or something else entirely.  I need to start moving forward with my goal of getting published.  I’ve been working like a madwoman, but I need to focus on that more.  So, hopefully I can do something about that next year.

So, to all, Happy New Year (a few days early!) and reach for the stars.

Back to Pirouette the Third.

I tried, I really did, but the timing just isn’t right for Soulfire.  I’d suspected it, and fought it, but there it is.  So, it’s official.  I’m switching back to Pirouette the Third for the rest of the year.

A few days ago, I realized that I was blocked.  And I was in denial.  So I listened to Holly Lisle’s Beating Writer’s Block audio book and did a few of the exercises.  I discovered a couple of things.  1) That the timing was all wrong. 2) I was, deep down inside, pressuring myself too much to produce.  3) I felt guilty for putting Pirouette the Third aside, even though I’d convinced myself that I needed a break.  And 4) I’d made some changes to Soulfire early on and my muse was fighting them.  But when I tried to work on it without those changes, I couldn’t do it.  I was stuck.  But I seemed okay to work on Pirouette the Third, so heck, I’ll take anything I can get at this point, as long as it’s not nothing.

Yeah, seems I can pressure myself without even realizing it.  And in the wake of the family drama, I need to be gentle to myself.  I’m not a writing machine.  I can produce.  But I can’t force something to come just to say that I’ve done it, or to win Nanowrimo.  I need time to heal.  If that means that Soulfire has to be put aside, then so be it.  I considered taking a 2-week break from writing, but decided to give it a shot.  It’s working so far.  Slowly.  Yesterday I wrote 288 words, and today I wrote 519.  No. Pressure.

Unforgiven is still niggling at me.  I have no idea what to do with it.  I don’t want to overdo things, but the idea is really compelling.  Part of the problem is that I have an inciting incident and a vague idea of a few things, but nothing really definite.  That’s never stopped me before (remember Requiem in Blue?) but this one, since it’s somewhat a new genre for me (thriller), and it’s personal, needs special attention.  So I guess we’ll see.

I feel good about the decisions I’ve made, almost at peace.  And right now, peace is a commodity.  Maybe by the end of the year I’ll have had made good progress on Pirouette the Third and maybe can start submitting it.  No pressure, of course.  Just would be nice.

Going to also be working more on my website.  I need to get at least the Writer side completed.  Stay tuned.


Been meaning to get back here and post, but time has been a slippery thing as of late.

Nanowrimo isn’t going too well for me so far.  I’m at 6k, when I should be at 20k.  😦  On day 2 I made the decision to not worry about making 50k.  I’ve been under alot of stress at work, and been having migraines and wrist problems.

And my family’s in crisis right now.  Can’t really get into it for privacy reasons, but basically someone very close to my heart betrayed us (not the beloved!). Someone who I never thought would ever do something so …..awful.  Family has always been important to all of us, and well….I just don’t know.

Been mostly numb, although I’ve had a grand total of two meltdowns, one at work which really sucked.  I’m coping. I’m trying to make sense of this, trying to handle it best I can, and not go crazy.  It’s been a struggle as of late.  The ones left standing and the beloved have been great, and I am damn grateful for that.  We are lucky to have each other.  And I take comfrort in knowing that at least that will never change.

So…..writing and Nanowrimo haven’t been at the top of my list.  I stopped writing for 4 days immediately following the inciting incident, but felt the urge and started writing again.  Was okay till Nano day 2, and it all broke down.  I feel broken.  I feel as if a critical part of me has gone away, and it won’t be coming back.  Grief?  Not really.  Strangely.  I’m mad more than sad at the moment.  I haven’t spoken to this individual since the incident, and I’m not sure when — if ever — I will.  There are just some lines you just don’t cross, EVER.

Of course, as if I needed more ideas, the muse twists this up and hands me an intriguing — very intriguing — idea.  Loosely based on the incident, but beyond that, pure fiction.  I’m thinking paranormal or horror.  It’s tentatively called Unforgiven (yes, a nod to Metallica) and I might just handwrite the damned thing.  Been meaning to try that method, but always thought it would waste time.  I just read an article about how writers write and guess what?  Most of them draft by hand!  I was surprised, especially in today’s day and age, but whatever works, right?

Just for the record, I almost decided to put Soulfire on the back burner.  Why?  It just wasn’t gelling, until last night.  Now I’m good with it, after a great writing night, if only the wrist would cooperate.

I’ve also been poking at Pirouette the Third  in the middle of all this.  It’s been coming along.

So that’s the lowdown.  Wish I had better things to say.

A quote: The heart remembers what the mind tries so much to forget.  Might be the first line of Unforgiven.  I don’t know.

Slow progress.

Making very slow progress on Pirouette the Third.  I’ve been ripping it apart, deleting scenes or condensing them, and rewriting others.  I’ve got it down to 117k which is really cool.

I’m focusing on Alisia and Lucien’s relationship arc, as well as the subplot.  I realized that I may not have been as brutal as I should have been when I did the One Pass Revision.  I also found out some big flaws (thanks to my critiquers) that needed fixing.  But that’s okay, because I want it to be stronger, and it will be when I’m done.

I like what I’m getting.

Although sometimes it feels like I’m juggling three balls.

As for Soulfire, got a tentative plot in mind and things are starting to gel.  I’m very happy about that.  I have a possible first line, and the theme song.  And a 73-song playlist.  The theme song is Baba O’Riley by The Who.  I realized that it could be a metaphor for the future dystopic Earth I’m creating.  That really made my day.

Nanowrimo in 19 days.  I can’t wait.

Also did a major overhaul on my website yet again.  This version is simpler and cleaner, and I love it.  Check it out at http://www.erinkendall.com.  Most of the links aren’t live yet, however.  The Writer link is.

And lastly, I’m beginning to have problems with my wrist again.  So it looks like I’ll be voice reccing Nano again.  Was hoping to avoid that, but hey, I’m glad it’s possible.  I still have a good chance of getting 50k that way.

So that’s what’s going on. 

Nineteen. Days.

A tale of 3 stories.

I’ve just waged war with my muse on 3 (count them, 3!) stories.

But let me start at the beginning.

Chapter 2 of Pirouette the Third nearly killed me.  I couldn’t seem to want to write.  I was scared that I was going to fuck it up.  Even though this is draft 3, of possibly many more, and that I  wanted to make good progress on it before Nanowrimo.  So…..I’d decided to take a week break off of it to clear my head.  That week ends Tuesday.

So that’s story #1.  I’m still getting ideas and I’m still thinking about it, but I’m trying not to bludgeon myself to death over it.  It’s a draft.  Just like the first two.  I’m still learning.  And I’m committed to making this the best it can be and start querying agents with it.  So….whatever needs to happen to make that possible, I’m all for it.

One week.

Then, I get hit, yet again, with the idea for the novella I Wake Up Alone.  Yeah, I’d filed it away under To Be Done Sometime in the Next Decade, made its folder, jotted down a few notes, and called it good.

Then the idea of time travel hit me, and as these things often do, it melded into something far more interesting.  And quite possibly more tragic.  Then I realized that I couldn’t do another Time Traveler’s Wife.  But before that lovely epiphany, I was knee-deep in a war with my muse.  She wants me to write this damn thing, like right NOW, before Nano, and submit it.  Okaaaaaaaay.  Never mind that it’s just half-formed in my head and hello, it’s too similar to Time Traveler’s Wife.  I decided a few nights ago to stop obcessing and come up with something more unique, or a unique form of time travel, or something.

So far, we’re doing okay on that front.  I think about it, but I’m not obcessing.  And I really like the time travel element. 

Story #3: Soulfire.  More nebulousness in my head.  Knew the basics, but not the plot.  Did some navel-gazing and brainstorming and have arrived at a rough outline.  Today, whilst in the shower, Liana started talking to me in the form of journal entries.  So I raced to the puter to type up the notes.  My next thing is to write out some of these journal entries in her voice.  It’s pre-work, so it works for Nano.  And with what I got today, I CAN’T wait to write this book.

But for about a week, I was cycling between these 3, trying to figure out what would get me the most bang for my buck, so to speak, and what to put on the back burner, and what the hell to do with Pirouette the Third.  I’ll tell you, it’s these times that make being a writer tough.  Decisions, so many decisions!  And this is just new stuff.  None of the old stuff that’s been patiently waiting like Darkweaver, Surrender, or What Lies Beneath.  All totally shiny in their own ways, but languishing.  Hopefully next year I can work on at least one of them.

So that’s the deal.  I came in with 3 stories and landed up with 1.  Well, 2 if you count Pirouette the Third.  And my eye is firmly set on publication, so I’m still heading in that direction.  Fun stuff.

Tricking the muse.

For the past 2 weeks, I’d been blocked on the climax of Survivor.  I was crawling along, writing maybe 100-200 words a day if that, and it ws painfully slow and difficult.  Something wasn’t gelling.  All of my ideas about what could happen seemed stupid or cliche.  Usually, I’d plow on through, but this time, I took a step back and looked at it in a different way.

There was a barrier keeping me from my muse–or, maybe a barrier keeping me from  my muse’s knowledge.  We talked.  She whispered stuff in my ears.  In the shower, we brainstormed.  But nothing fucking gelled.

At the end of those 2 weeks, I was desperate.  Scared, b/c I couldn’t remember being this blocked.  Testy b/c writing sucked.  And, sleep deprived, due to a new medication.  I’d love to blame it, but I think it might have been a contributing factor, but not the cause.  Anyhoo, drastic action needed to be taken, or I’d stuff the whole thing in a drawer and forget about it.  And after 5 years of working on this puppy, there was no way I was going to abandon it that easily.

Soooooo I remembered something from somewhere (clear as mud, huh?) that said that switching to Notepad makes the writing seem not as serious.  It’s not a Great American Novel.  It’s just fun.  Playing. 

So that was my first step: I switched to Notepad.  I used to use it for poetry drafts, so maybe that connection has always been there. 

Then I thought, hmmmm.  I need to change something about this, to further trick the muse into thinking it was playtime.  I decided to use a POV I use rarely for protagonists AND present tense, which is a bit awkward, but what the hell?  I was desperate for something, anything.

Put on Queensyche on the iPod and went to town.

And….it worked beautifully.  It worked so beautifully that after I was done (in less than an hour), I sat there wondering if I’d dreampt it all.  And didn’t remember writing it all.  It just….poured out of me.  It was as if the story was already there, waiting for me, waiting for something to let it come to the surface.  It was fantastic.

I’m convinced that if I hadn’t done that, many of the cool things I came up with on the spot wouldn’t have come, or maybe would have taken longer to come.  The muse is a funny thing.  Our communication is usually really good, but something just wasn’t right.  And by removing the indicators that it was Serious Fiction, my muse thought she could come out and play. And play she did!

It did take an edit pass to clean up the typos, change the POV, and change the tense.  I ended up adding about 100 words to it in details and such.  It’s not perfect, but it’s words I didn’t have before, and that was good.  Very good.

I highly recommend this.  I don’t know if it will work all the time, but it’s definitely worth a shot.

Also, I wrote a prologue/backstory thing for Soulfire.  Liana, the protagonist, has been whispering to me for a week.  I wanted to get it down before it disappeared.

Soulfire is my next new project, after I’m done with Survivor and Pirouette the Third.  You hear that, muse?  Focus, focus, focus.

Lady Strange.

It’s a song byDef Leppard, off of their High ‘n’ Dry album (loooong time ago), and I’ve had it in my head all evening.

In connection with Soulfire, which is still simmering in my head.

It’ll be awhile before I can get to it, but that’s okay.

I think Survivor has the potential to be done within a week or so, if I hit it hard.  The wrist has been giving me issues, so that may slow me down some.  After that, it’s Pirouette the Third.  I’m letting that simmer as well. Less than five months to go and I’ve made really good progress.

*pats self on back*

Pantsing it. And an update.

That’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks with Survivor — I know exactly where I want to end up, but I’m taking a few little detours and letting my muse play a bit.  It’s been interesting, to say the least.  I made yet another complication to the main character’s recovery.  I don’t know alot about deprogramming someone who’s been brainwashed, but between my own research and a friend’s help, I have an idea, and that’s enough for now.  Because the condition is fictional, loosely based on a real one, I think I can improvise a bit with it.

I’m very close to the end.  I don’t think I can get it finished before the wedding, but after I get back from my honeymoon, I think I have a good chance of doing it then. 

Also, I’m bringing Flamebound with me on vacay, in case I have some time to write.  I doubt that will happen, but hey — you just never know.  And I can’t imagine not writing for a whole week.  😦  I need to do something, even if it’s another read through and making comments.  Got to feel productive.

Flamebound will be undergoing yet another rewrite.  I’m still targeting it to Nocturne Bites, and if the changes I plan on making work, it might end up the right wordcount for them (15k).  If not, there are other e-publishers that take novellas.

What else?  I’m starting to get nervous about the wedding.  Not so much “what am I doing?!” nerves, more like anxiety that something’s going to go wrong.  I just want a smooth day.  It doesn’t need to be perfect, but I want it to be a close to perfect as possible.

Also considering my next big project.  I have something in mind and what publisher I will be targeting.  It’s Soulfire, of course.  I’m pretty excited about that.

Pirouette is being critted by 6 people.  I hope to have the crits back within the next few months so if there are changes needed, I can make them and get it out the door.  Very exciting to be this close.

Okay, well I probably won’t be back till after the honeymoon.  So, wish me luck and I’ll see you on the other side.