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I had big results on NSR this morning and lunch, which is really good because the next few sections are going to be BRAND NEW.  *groans*  Cut, paste, and polish is ever so much easier.

  • NSR:  3548 words in revision.
  • SFR:  tons of research tonight, trying to figure out the hero.  No wonder I had problems; I had him allllll wrong.  Turns out I should have cast him as Ken Watanabe.  This image (ETA:  broke old link; try this one instead) is PERFECT, even down to his clothes, although I won’t be using the geisha aspect at all.   
  • SFR:  Then I spent all night sorting through the various dynasties of China until I finally found inspiration in Empress Wu.  From there, the pieces I needed for the hero fell into place.  He’s not based on a real person, exactly, but I found Li Xian’s story very intriguing.  From there, I did a little more research on the Imperial Dragon and the Forbidden City (although it wasn’t built until the Ming Dynasty).
  • SFR:  So then I had a good idea of the hero’s background.  But what were his GOALS and specifically, how did that mess up the heroine’s?  I already had her nailed pretty well, and while I love the world and her story, it wasn’t a romance.  Not yet.  So then I did some doodling on paper and “worst case” scenarios until again, the pieces finally fell into place.  I’m still working through his backstory, but I think I have almost enough to begin plotting the main story!  The hardest part will be deciding where to start.  I have a very clear image in my head of an opening scene that is dramatic and kickass from the start — but I don’t know if it’s truly the right starting place.  The heroine and hero would have already met beforehand, and I don’t like to treat all that like history or flashback.  *shudder*  But I’m also targeting this first story in the world shorter, say 20-30K, so having the first meet over and done with might give me more room for story and worldbuilding, which I like very much indeed.

I’ve been referring to this idea as SFR, but that’s merely the genre, sort of *smirk, and no, I can’t say more*, and not the title.  I think it’s safe to say that the working title will be “Seven Crows.”  Anyone recognize the reference?  Let’s just say the premise of the story will involve SECRETS.  And yes, the crow is significant.  It drove me to pick the heroine’s name as Morgan or Morganna, I haven’t decided which, with a nod to Morrighan.

Snippet:  I haven’t done one in a while, so I thought I’d share a short bit from NSR.   This is Ruin and Jaid talking, the hero and heroine of the story.

“First, they must gain a human priest,” Ruin said.


“They killed me because I refused to help them.”

“Who can they get in our world?”

Staring at her, he didn’t say anything, his mouth flat and hard.

Black spots floated into her vision.  Her voice squeaked.  “Me?”

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I really didn’t think it would be possible for me to get caught up today, but I made every single one of my goals. 

My goals for last week were:

  1. Revise 10K of NSR.  Result:  10,304, thanks to 5,421 today.
  2. Revise short story for antho call.  Result:  fixed the last niggling issue and tightened.  It’s ready to submit.
  3. Initial research and worldbuilding for SFR complete enough to move on to characters.  Result:  This story is going to have a very mannered feel, but in a twisted, near-spoof sort of way that I adore.  (As long as I don’t let it get too cheesy.)  I have most of the heroine’s background figured out, as well as her father’s.  I have all the main characters named except the hero.  He’s still a big fat question mark.

Goals for this week:

  1. Submit the short story to the antho, which requires a query and a “new” bio because I think I’ll be submitting this under a different pen name.
  2. Revise another 10K of NSR.
  3. FInalize characters for the SFR.  Specifically, name the hero and figure out his goals and background.  How is he in opposition to the heroine’s goal?
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After a miserable night of sleeping (not the coughing so much — just couldn’t get and stay asleep — and I had HORRIBLE dreams), I woke up to Littlest Monster’s fever.  She’d complained of headache and sore throat the day before.  All parents of school-aged kids are probably whispering “strep!” and you’d be right. 

Meanwhile tonight Middle Monster also began running a temp.  She doesn’t have a sore throat though, and since she had her tonsils out last year, I don’t think it’s strep.

And of course, I’m still coughing and coughing and coughing, although my voice is better.  So I took Bethanie’s recommendation and bought some Airbourne tonight, as well as a general vitamin.  I got out of the habit of taking anything, which certainly hasn’t helped my immunity.  I’m determined to get over this thing!

I didn’t write until 10:30 tonight, but I did accomplish the following:

  • NSR:  revised next section, 1528 words.
  • NSR:  jotted notes for next (new) section in Quinn’s POV.  Will attempt that tomorrow.

I’m running behind on the revision.  I scheduled myself 10K a week, so I need to get 5K done by Monday.  With all the sick monsters, I don’t know if that’ll happen.

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  • NSR: Reworked the opening scene into Ruin’s POV.  Tough.  I actually ended up with negative words today, but it was a good change.
  • SFR:  brainstormed while sitting through basketball practice.  Got some good backstory for the heroine, but I have no character names yet.
  • Participated in Drollerie Chat tonight.  Sorry, I forgot to advertise it here!

And to prove that I’m really REALLY insane, I think I’ll be writing something new in the Blood and Shadows world to giveaway.  By 3/8 for E-Book Week.  *dies*

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  • NSR:  next scene revised; 1373 words
  • Read first three chapters of Debra Dixon’s GMC over lunch.
  • NSR:  Began making notes on how to revise the opening.
  • SFR:  watched The Crow for inspiration, tone, etc.
  • SFR:  researched nanotechnology and autosomal recessive inheritance.  Jotted tons of worldbuilding notes and major backstory.
  • Received two new research books via Amazon today thanks to rec’s by Jenna.  Should make the other possible new novella in March/April very, very interesting!

SFR is the “bright shiny” I mentioned in Dec.  SFR=science fiction romance, series/titles unknown.  Brand new world.  Tons of cool stuff.  Lots of research and planning.  I plan to get multiple projects out of this world, timing TBD.

NSR = Mayan Fantasy

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Changing It Up

I’m going to experiment with how I post for awhile.  I was using “RX Day xx” before, but quite honestly, this year is going to be craaaaazy.  I won’t be working on only one project at a time, at least not for more than a couple of days at a time.  I just have too much to do.

For instance, things I’ve worked on in the past week that I didn’t mention much here if at all:  an entire hardcopy pass of The Road to Shanhasson before Deena begins ripping it apart (400+ pages); a full critique/read for a friend; worldbuilding for the next project; research for the next project; detailed prep and GMC work for the Mayan story as well as revisions.

It keeps me accountable, and right now, I need that.

So on working days, I’ll record progress similar to what I did for NaNo, but it will be across multiple projects.  I’ll try to mix it up with detailed posts on writing, reading, movies, TV, etc. so it’s not a boring progress report, too.  If things do get too boring, I reserve the right to dump this method and try something else.  :mrgreen:

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Twas the Night Before Story

Twas the night before Story, when all through my head
Not a character was stirring, not even a Fred.
The worldbuilding and rules I had already begun,
In the hopes that my character would soon to me come.
The photos were nestled all snug on my board,
While I knew how he looked, he still made me bored.
No hero to journey, and me without plot,
My Story was doomed to molder and rot.
When in my head there arose such a clatter
I sprang to my keyboard to record the sudden chatter.
In my scrapbook bible I wrote in a flash,
A few mannerisms I kept in my stash.
Like tugging his hair when lost deep in thought,
Or his palm rolling to and fro an ivory rahke.
When, what in my wondering mind should appear,
But shades of people, real people, my dear!
Key phrases only he would ever say,
A silver ring he wears night and day. 
A dark, dark secret held close to his heart,
The ratty blue shirt from which he refused to part.
With quirks and flaws, so interesting to see
How such little things were obviously the key.
More lively than cardboard, my character breathed,
Rounded and rich, I swore he would bleed.
And then in a twinkling, I heard a new voice,
His clear words to listen I simply had no choice.
Defining moments from my hero’s past,
Darkest secrets he shared with me at last.
Friends and family, and his enemies, too,
All his troubles and fears were mine to review.
How many times he had fallen in love,
What gods he honored in the heavens above.
His hopes–how they shone! His fears, how dread!
His secrets were like ghosts from which he fled!
His heart lay shattered like fragile spun glass.
No matter his goals, his past ne’er surpassed.
And now I knew the path I should set,
How best my hero to torment and fret.
His arc I saw like a gleaming thread,
A steep, dark ravine I would send him to tread.
The darkest moment, his innermost fears to face.
The elixir to lure him through this dangerous race.
His character scrapbook and his hero’s journey,
Soon gave me the framework for his grand story.
I spoke not a word but went straight to work,
And began plotting without a single shirk,
And laying the journey over ten even blocks,
And at my hero I threw bigger rocks.
I opened up Word, to my scrapbook a look,
And away my Story flew like all really good books.
But I exclaimed, ere I typed chapter one,
“Remember character is plot, and well you’ve begun.”