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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

It’s hot and humid here, which is not normal. So, a good day to let everything else go and just stay in front of the computer. And, unlike the last few days, the words are flowing pretty well.

So, I’m spending my writing time working on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING and I’ve very nearly finished that chapter that I was briefly stuck on a few days ago.

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Because, sometimes you have to just grab a handle and stay on the roller coaster as long as it keeps moving.

I’m approaching the midpoint, which should be interesting, though there are a few chapters to get through before then. And, in one of them, my weasel of an antagonist is going to get taken down a peg or two–which will set him up to want a bit of revenge. That hasn’t been what he’s been playing for up until now. But . . . things change.

Don’t forget to enter the audiobook giveaway. Someone will win an audiobook of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. Or one of the other eight audiobooks. Some lucky someone will win all nine.

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Do it now, before you forget. 🙂

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I’ve been making good progress on the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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And new ideas have been flowing. Some that needed to happen earlier, but were mainly just additions. And some that needed to come a bit later.

Now this first draft isn’t, quite, in parts. In the first place, I’d written this story–from the point of view of the wrong main character–a couple of years ago. I’ve completely re-imagined it since then. In the second place, I’ve struggled with the first third or so of the re-imagined story for months until I finally broke off the early relationship of the brothers into a prequel novella–BECOME: BROTHERS.

Brothers

In the third place, I took a short break from this story after I published the novella and while I was working on taking many of my books and stories to wide distribution. So, now I’m going through what I already had to re-familiarize myself with it so I don’t end up with a bunch of consistency problems to weed out–and, of course, doing a few revisions as I go. And I’ve been getting new ideas that will make the story stronger.

Of course, the way my creative process works, at least some of this would have happened even if I were an outliner. I might have avoided trying to shoehorn the early story of the brothers into this book, but I would still be getting newer and better ideas as I write. That’s just how my muse works. Which is one of the main reasons I’m not an outliner.

So, now I’ve come to a place where I need to add a short scene. It needn’t be very long–in fact, it probably shouldn’t be very long. It’s just something that needs to point out a problem my main character isn’t aware of, yet. Not that he’s going to realize until much later exactly what that problem has to do with him, but it’s a seed I need to sow now so that the readers will, hopefully, see it coming when he does figure it out.

And so now, I have to figure out exactly where to fit this little scene in. Hmm.

 

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After a few weeks tending to other things, I’ve finally gotten back into the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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And, like magic, the ideas are starting to flow. I wrote that new chapter.

And I broke down and made changes to those two chapters I was trying not to revise quite yet–because I don’t want to get into revision mode when what I’m supposed to be doing is writing the first draft. Those are two totally different and inconsistent parts of the writing process. But there were some things that were just going to niggle at me until I fixed them. Or, at least, fixed them for now.

I’ve also blocked in another chapter that I’ve decided I need, as well as two new scenes. One is in a chapter coming up soon. The one I just blocked in needs to take place in the chapter I’ve already gone through. I’m going to try to hold off on that because I still try to hold to keeping a first draft moving only forward. (Making notes about something I want to add or change is permissible, though.)

On the whole, what these new chapters and scenes will do is get the main and secondary conflicts front and center earlier. And, hopefully, hint at some of the difficulties and consequences to come. I can only say hopefully because, obviously, I haven’t written them yet.

But the important thing is that I can feel the creative juices moving, like sap in the spring, and preparing to make this story stronger and more exciting. And that, of course, helps to excite me about writing it.

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Today is the seventeenth Father’s Day since Dad died in October 1999.

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My father.

Fiftieth Anniversary

(Yeah, that’s me with my eyes closed. It’s really hard to get a picture of me with my eyes open for some reason. That was my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary, btw. Yes, they were married in December, hence the wreaths in the background. And, yeah, if a couple of my stories have tall male protagonists with short, fiery love interests, well, you might be looking at part of the reason for that right there. 🙂 )

I was outside earlier (despite the heat wave) using a gardening tool of Dad’s–one he adapted for the purpose. I’m pretty sure it started out as a hoe, but Dad straightened it out and turned it into a long-handled scraper. It’s the perfect tool for scraping weeds out of my decomposed granite driveway (where they’re impossible to pull out because the ground is too compacted). Which is what Dad used it for. (It also makes a pretty decent lever for lifting stepping stones that have gotten well set into my adobe clay soil.)

His generation did a lot of that. If you needed a tool, you didn’t just run down and buy a new one. First you looked around at what you already had to see if there was something you could use or adapt to the purpose. I need to think like that more often.

Thinking of you today, Dad.

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All authors suffer from this disorder to one degree or another. Other people wonder how we get the ideas for our stories. The truth is: When you’re a writer–and actually writing–ideas fall all around you like rain. It’s more an issue of sorting out the good ones.

And, usually, when that happens, we’re able to just jot down the idea, file it away, and keep going. Those ideas aren’t quite ripe yet, anyway. They’re just the seeds of stories. But, then, sometimes–and usually without warning–two or three of those ideas come together. And that’s something else altogether. That’s a story.

And a new story is always more exciting than an old one. It’s a New Shiny Object and we’re all, every one of us, magpies.

That happened to me this week. The story in question is a new sub-genre for me–a fairy tale retelling. Specifically, Cinderella. But with an entirely different motivation for the stepmother. What collided with this germ was the idea of a thriller-ish twist to what happens–or is supposed to happen–at midnight. And the half-ripe idea I already had that this story could fit into the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING,

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although with different protagonists, and continue the greater arc of the jeopardy facing Far Terra. I always thought that story had the potential for a weird sort of series featuring different protagonists in each book, with the previous heroes turning up as side characters or mentors.

I’ve only just started a new epic fantasy series with BECOME: BROTHERS

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and I really, really need to keep my head in that story. But, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m having some motivation issues with that. Plus, I need to be working on research for taking my books wide over the next month or two.

And then along comes this New Shiny Object. I’ve jotted down the ideas, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to beat this one off with a stick.

 

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Become: Brothers is now available for pre-order at only $0.99. Release date May 12.

Brothers

Two half-brothers born a day apart.

First born, Gaian is the son of the king and a goddess. His more-than-human strength seems a poor exchange for the support of a flesh-and-blood mother as he struggles to be worthy of Becoming a god himself. Or just struggles to rise above the machinations of the queen.

A single day younger, Benar is the son of the king and queen. Like his mother, he refuses to believe the story of Gaian’s birth. He struggles to fulfill his mother’s wishes by proving himself to be his father’s true heir. But frustration and guile prove to be poor weapons against Gaian’s unnatural strength.

Until a coming-of-age trial forces them either to cooperate—and become brothers in truth—or else one of them may not survive the trial.

Inspired the legend of Hercules.

Now, back to Become: To Catch the Lightning.

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(See how those covers go together. 🙂 )

 

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Brothers

Not mine. 😉

If you’ve read this blog recently, you know the story I’m currently writing, BECOME, is based, loosely, on the Hercules myth/legend.

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Now, in Greek mythology (not what Disney did with it), Hercules had a half-brother, Iphicles.  Hercules was the son of Zeus, King of the Gods, but Iphicles was the son of a mortal king, Amphitrion. The legend doesn’t say much about Iphicles except that he was the father of Herc’s charioteer.

But there’s a lot of story material to be mined in that relationship. Imagine being Hercules’s brother. He could be a great athlete or warrior or whatever–hero material in his own right–but he’d never get out of Herc’s shadow. It’s just not possible. He could try to be a rival to Herc, but that’s doomed to fail and if he’s at all intelligent he’s bound to figure that out eventually. So, he’s pretty much relegated to the role of sidekick. Unless . . . .

So I’ve given my main character a brother, too. Actually, more than one, but one in particular who is almost the same age. It’s not that brother’s story, but he’s an important character. His actions and reactions as various opportunities open up, only to fall to his brother–again–will play a pretty major role in the story.

Only, as I’m going along with this story, I’ve decided that I don’t want him to be the instigator of trouble. He’s got a younger full brother (also half-brother to the main character) who was always part of the story. And now I think that kid brother needs to be amped up to play a larger role in stoking his older brothers half-buried resentments.

Eventually, that’ll mean making some revisions in the part of the story I’ve already written to give that third brother a larger role. But that’s for the revisions. For now, I’ll just make a note and keep on writing.

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