Rising Authors Tag

Savannah @ Scattered Scribblings (which is a private blog but a lovely one) tagged me for the Rising Author’s Tag! Thank you so much, Savannah! ❤

Rules

  • Write a post thanking the person who tagged you, include the tag, the 11 questions the person who tagged you asked, your answers, and in reply to the request of a small piece of poetry or writing, write a brief 150 word story
  • Make up 11 new questions
  • Request a brief 150 word story from the people you tagged
  • Tag at least one person and link to their blog

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1. Do you have one character you’ve written that you’re especially attached to? (or a few characters?)

Tare and the Chess Club, and Teague and his siblings and Meridian come to mind… David, Donavin and Bithoa are one of my favorite sets as well, and Duncan, and Ryan, and Varentle… and Bremask and Kenneth… I WILL STOP NOW BEFORE I THINK OF EVERY CHARACTER I’VE EVER WRITTEN AND SEVERAL THAT I HAVEN’T. AHEM. *twitch* (But mainly Tare and Teague right now; I know, it’s shocking and I’m sure you had no idea… *cough*)

2. What book are you reading right now?

I don’t know because I’m writing this ahead of time and scheduling it. XD Probably Emma by Jane Austen though. I’ve been in it awhile and likely will be for another while. It’s kind of long.

3. What was the last book you finished and what did you think of it?

Again, writing ahead… But it was The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones and I have complex thoughts about it, but overall I really surprised myself by loving it. It’s totally different, but… yeah. It does some brilliant things with characters and I think it taught me things. So. Yeah. Interesting. Sometimes I think her books aren’t fiction at all but things about real people because her characters are so real…

4. Have you ever written a full first draft of a book?

I have indeed! …It’s been a long time since I did, though. *stares guiltily at the lists of partially-written manuscripts* Said finished ones were: Quest for a Legend, Far-mark’s Dream, and The Owl of Kedran’s Wood. They all need frightening amounts of editing/rewrites. *cough* And I’m throwing The Rose and the Raven on this list too, even though it’s only a novella.

5. When did you first begin writing (or, more specifically, writing with a purpose of getting published or something along those lines)?

The week before I turned 12. I wrote about that decision here.

6. What is the weirdest writer-ly thing you’ve ever done?

The end of my 2014 NaNo, which I spent at an awesome write-in where we got to stay at a library after closing and type away until midnight (okay, hopefully finishing before then…) and finish our NaNo’s there, and it was the most fun and delightful and crazy thing ever, with some of the most wonderful people I’ve known in my life, and it was just an absolute blast. It’s a highlight of my life. ^_^ (I also tried to do NaNo on a roadtrip then. THAT was weird too.)

7. Which do you prefer, a hardcover book or a paperback?

I love them both, but I do have an extra fondness for hardcovers, I think… But sometimes I can’t decide. *shrug* (*whispers*But hardcoversssss, precioussss…)

8. Which series were you most sad to see end? (or a few series)

I don’t think I’m usually sad about series ends? I don’t usually get there, anyway. XD I’m a notorious series-starter. Ahem.

9. What’s better, pencils or pens?

PENS ALL THE WAY. My pens are my precious friends and I love them so. ❤ (No, I am not, in fact, weird/creepy; hush; why would you think that?)

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10. Is there a special spot where you do most of your writing?

Probably at my desk, I guess, since that’s where my laptop is. I’ve done a lot in my comfy chair across the room, too.

11. What do you do when you get writer’s block?

I spread my arms out passionately and yell “Despair! Anguish! Horror!” and then make shadows and dreadful deafening howls and horrendous, dramatic, violent quantities of green slime everywhere.

. . .

. . . Or, well, I may be mixing that up with what Howl does when he throws a temper tantrum over his hair being ginger. *shrug* It’s easy to mix up.

Ahem.

Anyway, what I actually do about writer’s block is I mope about and feel depressed for a bit and then either resign myself to it and wait for it to go away, or analyze what’s got me stuck and try to fix it, or take a writing hiatus to recharge my creativity.

150 word story 112 word snippet

I tried to find/come up with/write a 150 word story of some kind but I couldn’t manage it. The writer’s block, you understand. Apparently I haven’t green-slimed at it enough to slide it out of the way yet.

I apologize profusely and instead present you with a random snippet from The Invisible Mask which hasn’t happened yet. Enjoy.

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“Did you open it?” Bremask asked.

Kenneth blinked. “What— No! Of course not. What do you take me for?”

Bremask quirked an eyebrow and smiled a wry smile. “Well, if a suspicious person gave me a suspicious letter to give to my suspicious friend, I’d have opened and read it at once.”

Kenneth humphed.

Bremask’s smile stayed and his eyes glinted. “I am only saying it is a good thing to know what you’re passing on.”

“Is there no decency?” Kenneth muttered.

“I wouldn’t really know, now, would I?” Bremask observed somewhat carelessly. Then he patted Kenneth on the shoulder. “You’re a good lad, Kenneth. And I won’t hold it against you.”

How about you, writers in the crowd? Do you have any interesting tidbits with which to answer these questions? Do so in the comments! Or consider yourself tagged and answer them on your blog and leave me a link to it!

Meanwhile I’m a mite writer’s blocked right now, as it should happen, so I think I have some shadows and howls and green slime to get on with . . .

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Writing Update (ALL THE STORIES!)

WritingUpdate

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a real writing update post… I do talk about what’s up with my writing each month in my ishness posts, but that’s not the focus, and I don’t talk about my various stories specifically very often either…

So, since I’m currently rather stuck on my writing, I thought why not do a post about my different stories* and what’s up with them (or not) at the moment?

Pretend we’re sitting at a coffee-shop somewhere, you and I, just chatting, and you asked what’s up with my writing. This post is probably pretty much what I’d say. (Except in person it would be less precise and LOADS longer and have a lot of “ums” and side-tracks and hysterical laughter. But… this post is kinda guilty of all of that too so whatever.)

Here’s a look at the stories I consider my “current” ones, which is a nice round 10. Because obviously that’s only a few out of my oodles. *cough*

*I know most of you probably know all about these, but just for a refresher and/or for newer readers I AM going to recap a little about what they’re about too…

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The Other Half of Everything

What: Part contemporary YA, part world-hopping/”portal” fantasy adventure, with a lot of humor, some brokenness, and a focus on a small group of odd characters, told in first person by a rather unreliable narrator. Also known as TEAGUE AND MERIDIAN ARGUE AND ARE CUTE TOGETHER.

Status: 1,300 words into Chapter 1… with 8,000 words of snippets for later.

I’ve never written a book like this before. Every. single. thing. about it is new. So I don’t know how to go about it. I’m currently flailing around trying to make it work and writing snippets.

I can’t decide if to try to force it to 1) go in order (which would require figuring out the scene in chapter 1 that I’m stuck on), or 2) to write it in snippets, out of order, throughout the book in a semi-organized manner (which would require having an actual plot/outline, which . . . AHAHAHA let me just laugh over here and then go drown in chocolate) or 3) write random snippets whenever I happen to come up with/feel like them (and hope that they actually turn into a coherent book eventually at some point in my life). Option #3 is what I’m doing right now and… erm… my logical side is going “Yeah, let me know how that works out for ya.”

But it’s very tricky for reasons including that the story’s told in first-person, the multiple-locations thing makes it difficult for there to be a “central plot”, and I’m discovering that it’s more about the characters and their relationships, so maybe that’s okay? I’m just not sure what “progress” on this looks like, because it may not look the way progress looks on normal books of mine, which I’m having a hard time dealing with. Having some sort of plot and writing a story from beginning to end (and thereby able to measure how far along I am) is what normally happens. But The Other Half of Everything appears to be anything but normal. …I shouldn’t be surprised, should I. Eheh.

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The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2)

What: Modern fantasy novel, book 2 in my “Tare” Kedran’s Wood series, about the shenanigans of the local Chess Club of Kedran’s Wood going up against mysteries, otherworldly problems, and of course Tare. (Note: I’m also usually thinking about the 6 other stories in this series that I haven’t written…)

Status: 63,000 words in, finished part 1 of 3 (yes, it’s going to be huge; shush), with another 5,000-ish words of snippets for later. Just started part 2.

I’m having a very hard time with the chapter I’m trying to write because DETAILS and TECHNICALITY. How do you make a hero meet a villain for the first time and both get away from it without a) one or both of them dead, or b) one or both of them looking WEAK. *grinds face against concrete wall in frustration* Also what do you do when a scene HAS to happen because you know it does, but you don’t remember what the characters’ reasons for said scene are anymore? Oh yeah, and technical details of trying to figure out how people actually do-or-do-not see other people when there’s chases involving alleys and rooftops and… ugh. My brain is sad. No wonder I’ve been stuck here for so long. O_O

After that, though, it should be pretty smooth sailing until a good ways into Part 2, so there may be hope! (But don’t ask about Part 3. Absolutely under no circumstances WHATSOEVER may Part 3 be mentioned. It is a vast uncharted landscape where all the “big plot things” have seen fit to lurk in lairs, laughing quietly to themselves because I don’t know how things fit together or what happens, and are WAITING TO DEVOUR ME. I tell you, it’s scary over there. WE DO NOT MENTION PART 3.)

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The Invisible Mask

What: I CAN’T EXPLAIN THIS ONE. Mysterious kind of Pride & Prejudice-like but with action and mostly about the guys, sort of thing… except it’s not P&P-like at all but it’s that kind of time-period, ish, maybe-but-not, except in another world, even though it’s not technically a “fantasy world” because there’s nothing fantastical about it… Anyways it has Richard Armitage playing one of the heroes so that’s about all you need to know. 😉

Status: Nearly 20,000 words in (should hit 20 when I fill in the scene missing in the chapter I’m currently in). I hadn’t written on this one in AGES but have a little recently.

Where I’m at with this one is that I still only have very vague notions of plot further on in the story, but enough that I’m now not sure about what I’ve already written. I knew hardly anything when it started out, so I’m not sure the beginning is “right” anymore. Also I have a technical problem with the next scene I need to write, involving hiding places and assassins/spies and not knowing what the badguys’ motives are or what POVs to use. So I’m rather stuck and not sure if I should keep what I have written and press on, or restart (which I don’t want to do).

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Heartseeker

What: Fantasy novel, “original fairytale” type of deal, about a princess who goes on a quest to find the heart of the prince she’s betrothed to, and her adventures along the way with a certain knight who she starts falling in love with kinda-sorta-maybe. Also an awesome shapeshifting bard because #whynot. Started for NaNoWriMo 2014.

Status: 53,000 words into a very messy draft. Currently kind of on hold.

This one’s problematic because, again, I’m not sure about what I’ve written, mostly because I’ve realized I need to go back and add the POV of the knight as well as the princess. Plus other holes and general lack of editing, due to NaNo… All of which makes me squeamish to continue, because I’m like I NEED TO FIX ALL THE PROBLEMMMMS AND MAKE IT SHINY OTHERWISE I CANNOT GO ON *falls dramatically across couch* . . . but I really need to finish it before I can tackle all that, probably. At least I have the rest of it fairly well plotted, but still have some things to sort out, and my characters have been stuck at this one place SO LONG that I feel like they’ll never get out of it…

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Song of a Pirate

What: Novella. Set in a fantasy world with ships and gypsies and selkies and lost memories, through forest, desert, mountain, jungle, islands, and on the high seas. Also *gasp* magical song and pirates. (Bet you never saw that coming.)

Status: 22,000 words in. Hoping it will remain a novella… Also on hold.

I recently figured out a very important thing for the plot later on, so that’s exciting… Mostly it’s suffering from the same problem as The Invisible Mask, which is that there’s so much going on LATER in the story that I feel like I may need to go back and rewrite or at least add stuff in the part I’ve already written… But I don’t want to and don’t know how. I also have a curious love/hate relationship with this novella; one moment I adore it to the depths of my soul, the next moment… the other thing.

I’m excited about what’s going to happen but don’t know how to write it. I feel like the characters are being dreadfully mysterious and not having enough about themselves up-front to be interesting. I also know vague things about the ending, but again, it’s going to be hard and is still rather vague. Then again, it’s only a novella. So perhaps I could just sit down and finish it without too much trouble… Which would be cool. 🙂

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Hairdo Havoc

What: Humorous short story. Basically a conglomeration of whimsical silliness.

Status: 1,200 words. Waiting/on hold.

Basically I have to be in the right dry humorous mood to write this. Plus the story is very vague… I could write the rest of the next scene but I’m afraid of hitting a dead-end if I do that. Then again, a certain character who showed up has definitely made it more interesting for me, so that’s exciting, and it’s only a short story… All the other short stories I’ve written (aside from Darkling Reflections, which was rather long) I wrote in a single day, so… 😉 I’d really like to finish this one, but I’d have to be feeling clever and funny. Guess how often that happens… 😛

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The Silver Forest

What: Fantasy novel retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. With faes. And an evil dragon. And different colored ballgowns. And a prince, soldier, gardener, and dark half-fae fellow. Also a nefarious curse. And long-lost missing people. Not to mention twelve princesses — WHO KNEW, RIGHT? (You said that in Flynn Rider’s voice in your head, didn’t you? I knew it.)

Status: Scrapped the 26,000 words I wrote for NaNo 2015, so I’m back to square one on this one, re-imagining it in a new way. So for now, Unstarted.

I’m super excited for the new things that happened with this (resulting in my Mid-NaNo-Crisis last year), but I’m not sure if I’m totally ready to take it and run with it. Starting this thing again sounds slightly daunting and I want to get it right this time. It’s also very complicated with all the numerous characters and threads and frankly my head hurts just thinking about it, even though I AM excited about it. I think I’ll have to plot it out a bit more and decide to commit to it sometime… BUT I’M REALLY EXCITED TOO BECAUSE EEEEE THIS STORY. 😀

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The Siren and the Skyship

What: Novel. Steampunk Fantasy retelling of The Little Mermaid (though mostly that plot keeps falling into the background since a certain dark character keeps trying to steal the show for himself. *cough*). Basically my excuse to do all the steampunk things and have a strange cast of characters and SKYSHIPSSSS.

Status: Unstarted. Simmering on the backburner.

This is basically a vague retelling which got hijacked by ten gadrillion (okay, okay… like a dozen) fascinating and diverse characters who are going to be so much fun to write… and also an unfortunate lack of linking plot. Though half of me wants to go IT’S A STEAMPUNK STORY. WITH CHARACTERS. AND A DARK GUY. AND A LOOSE FAIRYTALE RETELLING ON THE SIDE WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CENTRAL BUT WHATEVER. LET’S ROLL WITH IT WHO NEEDS PLOT. (But self-control…) (But apparently I really want to write Steampunk fantasy with nutty characters and humor and skyships and don’t really care if there’s a plot? I dunno, guys, I think I’m slipping… Tell me I can’t write it yet. Gaahh.)

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The Library in the Stars

What: Novel, maybe? Fantasy story in space with a dash of time travel and… lots of other weird stuff, combining several previous story ideas of mine. Also many books. Because libraries. Especially magical ones in space.

Status: Unstarted. Also simmering, sorting ideas out.

Oh, goodness, this thing. This sort of happened when about five of my different story ideas decided they have the same “feel” and belong in the same story despite being TOTALLY different, and despite the fact that I still don’t know exactly how they link together… I just think they do and need to discover how… (It’s also distressing when you take a fanfiction idea and tweak it enough to be its own thing, and yet there’s still a part of it that works so much better as fanfiction even though you don’t want it to. Ack. Having a time-traveling machine is just NOT the same as having a TARDIS. It just isn’t, guys. I’ll make it work somehow, but argh.) Basically I’m nowhere near being able to write this thing, but it’s currently one of my favorites all the same and I enjoy working little bits of it together from time to time. (Time to time… Did I mention this one was timey-wimey? *laughs at own joke* …Sorry, I’m writing this late at night. >.>)

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The Princes of Starrellia

What: Fantasy Series. Okay, so sliiiightly cheating on this one, since it’s not a single book, but rather my original epic fantasy series. You may have heard me mentioning the “Starrellian Saga” around here, with titles like “Grey Betrayal”, “Out of the Unknown”, and “Quest for a Legend”… I’m kind of reconstructing the whole thing. Maybe I’ll do a post about it someday. Anyways, at the moment the series is called “The Princes of Starrellia” and has a new book structure and everything.

Status: Being reconstructed. Also mostly a backburner project.

This isn’t very active, but it’s something I mull over here and there. I was having serious problems with the series as a whole for awhile there, and I think I’ve been away from it long enough that I can see it more clearly, and identify the parts I really love and want to expand on instead of just the parts that are “there” for no reason. I’m really excited about reimagining this series because it’s my original and closest to my heart, but I was really young when I started it and I want to give it a chance to shine as it deserves, which means looking at it with a fresh mind. I’m excited about the new structure (if it works) and new titles and just an all-around fresh take, while still being its same old beloved fantasy series. It’s going to be fabulous. And a whole, whole, whole lot of work… (But hey, no one ever said writing a 6-or-7-book fantasy series wasn’t. ;))

***

And there we are. Done, I promise. This was fun! 🙂 For me, anyway.

And also may give you a bit of an idea as to why I’m stuck on all of the stories at the top of my Write-List, either due to not knowing if I should rewrite stuff, or stuck on the current bit, or haziness or general trouble in the plot-at-later-points areas. Past, present, future… it’s all problematic, I tell you. I have some serious writer’s block to get through, guys… *readies pickax*

If anyone has tips on said writer’s block and/or the breaking thereof, believe me, I’m all ears… 😀

But anyway, there’s a bit about where I am in my “main” stories at the moment.

…I’ll just try not to think of the other ones down there below the surface, waiting to re-emerge and demand attention… *balances precariously on raft of words with my ten stories bobbing about me, and shadowy shapes in the depths below…*

(If you made it through this whole post, you deserve a cookie. *hands them out*)

Where Are the Words

horse and the rider

“Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the West, behind the hills into shadow. How did it come to this?”

I haven’t written in 2 months.

Oh, sure, I’ve written oodles of snippets (for several different things, including my Kedran’s Wood books and lots for The Other Half of Everything), and done lots of plotting, and editing, and blog posts, and emails, and letters, and to-do-lists, and… you get the idea.

But 2 months ago was the last time I continued on a story of mine. Right now I’m staring at where my current works-in-progress break off and — there’s nothing.

It’s true I was taking off from writing on purpose, somewhat, to finish some projects, and it’s true I enjoyed the break, somewhat.

But there aren’t any words.

Sometimes I wonder if there will be any more, or if I’ve forgotten how to write — really write.

But I suppose that’s part of what I want anyway: To rediscover writing. If I can. We can hope…

Or… Not exactly writing. But storytelling.

What about you? Do you consider what I just mentioned to be “writing” or do you only count actual-manuscript-words-in-a-linear-fashion as real writing?

Do you have those moments when you don’t know how to start writing that next part of your story — not because you don’t know what to write, but because you don’t know how?

Do you ever have those moments where you just don’t have any words?

How do you deal with it?

writing gandalf

I don’t know, Gandalf, I really don’t.

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