Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Temporary Files

There you are, minding your own business, and WHAM! You've got not just an idea, but you've got dialogue and a scene running through your brain--you have no idea who the characters are (or maybe they are the ones you always write about), but this scene isn't part of whatever it is you're working on right now. Or maybe it is and you're not sure where the heck it fits.

Ah! Make a new file. But... what do you call it? And when will you ever get around to deciding where it might go?


I've got a few of these. I also have a WORK BOOK, but it's different for different things.

A temporary file will allow you to write something down and you don't need to worry about where you're going to place it. It also gives you the ease of mind so that you can write and not worry about where you need it right then.

Panic not, you make up your file. When ever I have a new scene, either in my head, or I've been scribbling it down on paper, I can go and start typing away.

Then, when you're ready to slap a new scene up, go up to your menu bar, click INSERT, and the first thing on the drop-down menu is  "Manual Break" when you hit on this a window comes up and you get a couple of choices. Choose "Page Break" so that the next thing you write is separate. But, of course if you want to continue with where you left off, you just keep on typing.

And then put it up on your desktop for easy access.

Just one of my many suggestions, if you don't do this already.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Like Screaming Children Vying for Attention

I'm sitting at the kitchen table, perhaps having a glass of wine in the evening with my husband, and the quiet moment steals over me and there I am, thinking again of the scene.The words in my head come. Then the scene fleshes out. I'm staring, not seeing anything but the scene... voices in my head...

This ever happens to you, then you know what I'm talking about.

And there isn't just one scene, or only one book. There are other scenes and other books and other stories... choosing which ones to write, or allow my mind to ponder, it has become like screaming children vying for my aattentions. Each one is different. Each one has different needs. Each one is further along (older) than the other.

So, it has become somewhat like I am a parent, raising children when I work on my various stories and books. Choosing just one is difficult because you love them all equally.


I have a number of shorter pieces--not exactly short stories, as some are long enough to be novellas, or something--which are in my drawer. So, I've taken one out and am working on this one. It is a horror story. I'd like to place it and I know who I will try with it. Dark Moon Horror takes novellas and novelettes. I've already made contact and had one short story and now a poem accepted by them, I think the next step would be to try a novella or such and that could be published with them. They only take horror. They take nothing else. The editor, Lori Michele Branson for the publication, has swept up both with eager arms.

So, I've got a short horror going in my head (I have it written, but will rewrite it). I still want to go back to another short horror piece I had begun as well. Then there is the mystery I've begun.

And let us not forget I've got the Sabrina Strong Series #3 &#4 books that I'm working on simultaneously.

Yes, my children. All in good time... all in good time.

How many projects do you work on at the same time, or have in various degrees of drafts?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Holding a lightning rod in my fingers... well sorta

I've held the scene in my head for over a week now. Revised it, considered how it should be written--in first person? No. In third person? I don't want to be in any one's head, really, but maybe the more I work with it the more it will lean in that direction.
But you may wonder why not in first person--as in from Sabrina's POV?

Because she isn't there at the onset of the beginning of this scene. I'm doing a little something different, where I'm switching POV completely--going from first person to third, depending upon whose eyes I'm showing the scene through.

You see, I began writing the fourth novel and realized I couldn't write this one without going into other character's heads. It was the only way to tell it. So, possibly my fifth novel will borrow this sort of POV switch. At least in the beginning. I don't know what will happen once I'm past the first chapter. But I love the control I have when I write. As the writer you can do anything, within reason, and your readers should, hopefully, accept it if you do it well. I remember reading a book by Sunny, called "Lucina, Darkly" and found that she had switched POV completely from third person to first, from one chapter to the next. I'd never seen this done before. It took me a few confusing moments to understand what happened. It was almost like someone had pulled the rug from beneath me. But once I got used to the idea, I was fine with it.

It was brilliant, I thought. I also thought, maybe someday I should try that. So... that's what I've done. I plan on an author's note to readers in the beginning, however so that I'm not throwing something at them that they aren't used to.

At any rate, since I wasn't able to hold that scene in my head any longer, and it wanted out of me (you know the feeling, I'm sure), I went to my temporary file where I tinker, and put it down. Before I knew it--4 pages of the scene emerged. Then, today I've worked into page 5. I've now got it into it's own file for Crescendo. So, it's official. Yes. I've begun the fifth book with a 3rd about to be sent to publisher at some point late winter, early spring.

Is it hard to hold a scene in your head, but you wait until you've nurtured it some? Or do you begin writing something as soon as you've thought of it?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Drafty Drafts & Precarious Situations

Sorry, sometimes my brain can't come up with a suitable title, but maybe this one works.

So, you know how it is. Working along in a WIP, that you've been going through it seems like forEVER. I'm trying to catch some weak passages, or weak phrases that need to go. It's easy to write 'I looked', or 'I felt', when you might want to reconsider what it is you're trying to say.

I've been working through some areas that needed to be cleaned up. I had one place where I'd written: I felt Drachen's breath on my neck. I cleared out I felt and here is how it reads now:
Drachen's breath feathered against my neck. His large, dreamy eyes lingered on the pulse there.

In this third book, Sabrina finds herself in tight confines with Drachen, Jett's cousin--who is with a newly becoming vampire. I've been thrusting the two together, teasing readers with their situation.

In this passage you don't know that their coach just took a spill. They're on a snowy mountain road, and the coach could easily slide off the side of the cliff. I thought to compound the situation where she's having to deal with both, a life altering situation and a life or death situation would hold suspense for the readers. The question posed is which is more dangerous? The vampire, or the precarious place the carriage is in.
Here's a peek at the scene...

We hit a bump. Aljehambra made a half-scream, then went into a full scream as the coach lurched horribly, and then tipped as a grind of steel filled my ears, and men's voices outside shouting something. But it was too late. I saw a body sail past the window as the diligence leaned precariously, then Drachen's body crashed into mine. I heard his startled cry. Horses screamed as the whole thing toppled over on its side. My shoulder was crushed against the side of the coach, and Drachen's weight pressed against my other side smashing me more; it was as though a log had fallen on me. The feeling of being trapped and unable to stop things that were in motion threw me into a panic. Ali's screams punctuated the moment of terror. I wanted to tell her to quit screaming, but couldn't because my own situation called for a scream, but it wouldn't come. The air suddenly forced out of my lungs as we landed with such a hard crash I was certain that something was broken—an arm, a clavicle, perhaps—the pain overriding every other sense—as well as clear thought.  
CAVEAT: I'm still working on this scene. But I think it's coming along. I need to get rid of a few repeated words, like snow, but I'll get to it.
If you feel the need to comment, fine. If not, just enjoy.
Something cold hit me in the face and added insult to my various injuries. Confused initially, I thought the glass in the window had broken and cut me. Why was I feeling a cold splash, instead of warm liquid?
Then all motion stopped when I realized what it was that had hit me: cold snow pressed into my face while I was squashed against the side of the coach. I realized the window hadn't broken because it had been down. Now Drachen was on top of me, both of us in awkward positions and I was unable to move because of him pinning me. I realized the coach had stopped sliding.
Now that things had stopped moving, Drachen rolled off me, and his strong arms turned me so that I was now on my back looking up at him. I heard Aljehambra's soft whimpers, and Joha asking her the same thing Drachen asked me.
Are you alright?” We were both lying side by side on cold snow. I realized snow had poured into the window, and we were half covered in it. If it were not for the warm cloak around me, I'd have been much colder than I was.
I don't know.” I had to move my arms to see. Nothing seemed broken, but I was sore. “I think so.” I spat snow and hair out of my mouth and Drachen helped brush it out of my face. “Maybe my shoulders are bruised a little.”
Ali? Joha?”
We're still alive,” Joha said.
Aljehambra began crying fitfully.
Quiet, Ali!” Joha said to her and she quieted.
The carriage shifted, then budged a few inches. The sliding sound beneath us hammered into the forefront our precarious situation. Mine and Aljehambra's gasp filled the carriage.
Don't anyone move!”
I froze with Drachen holding me close. His body fully against mine, I found my face inches from his, his glimmering gaze wandered my features. His gaze stopped at my lips, a brow arched as though the idea of kissing me fully on the lips was overriding the whole idea that we were in a precarious situation, in a life and death situation. It were as if we were alone somewhere else entirely, and I felt his aura and vampire thrall entice me. I held my breath as the sliding carriage stopped, but who knew for how long.
I won't,” Drachen said in a low whisper in answer to Joha's edict. A smile tipped his lips ever so slightly as he gently stroked my hair, his fingers moved downward to tease the flesh along the column of my neck. I let out my held breath very slowly as I felt myself succumb to his vampire charms—he was getting to me in a big way. A ripple of alarm—more so than when the coach had tipped—shuddered through me. Crapola, what happened to my ring?
How's Sabrina?” Joha asked.
I'm fine,” I said stiffly. Drachen's breath feathered against my neck. His large, dreamy eyes lingered on the pulse there.
Don't even think about it,” I warned, pulling my right hand from the awkward position between us and pressed the hand against his chest.
What? Kiss you?”
Right.” I glanced away, realizing that he was pulling a thrall on me. I realized my gloves were on both hands (for warmth), and that's why I couldn't stop him. His aura was stronger than it had been last night. Possibly after having fed on blood he may have become stronger in a vampire way as he morphed from human to vampire. However, he would have to hold my eyes in order to keep me in his thrall, but he didn't seem to know this. Or, rather, I knew this before he could really pull on my desires.
A noise above us made me start. Drachen looked up. The door, which was facing up toward the sky, opened and someone peered down at us. It was one of the coachmen from Drakulya's coach. “Everyone alright?” he had a strange accent.
We all answered that we were alright.
I hit my head,” Ali complained.
Joha poo-pooed her fussing. “You've had worse scrapes, I think. Remember when you fell off the garden wall when you were ten? Everyone thought you were going to die.”
This is worse!” she cried stubbornly.
Come, then. Women first,” the man said. I let Ali go first since this had upset her so.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I've got a little problem trying to make sure what I've said about the relationships between people in my WIP sounds right. But I need to have any of you to read this through and tell me if it makes sense.

Before I do that I have to explain that the characters in this (aside from Sabrina, who is human), are vampires who marry human women and have off-spring. Thus, when a wife dies, another will take her place, or a lover, whatever.

Here in this scene I have Sabrina and Drachen. Drachen is explaining how he is related to his cousins, Jett and Joha.

FYI: Gretchen is Jett and Joha's mother. Their father is Drakulya--who is hundreds of years old, and is now married to Gretchen.

Drachen's sister's name is Ali. Their father's name is Mehnea.

Got it? This is very complicated, and so it won't surprise me if you're all itching your head right now. But here goes...

SABRINA: "...I see that Mihnea was your father. Sixty-five years ago Mihnea was born to Drakulya, and he eventually married Ivory who died. He then married Contessa, and they had children. But you and Ali are his youngest children...? Somehow that doesn't sound right."

DRACHEN: "Actually it's a bit more complicated. We are half brother and sister to Jett and Joha, and we are also their aunt and uncle."

SABRINA: "You're right. That is complicated."

DRACHEN: "Mihnea, our father, became a vampire much like I am becoming one at about the same age. Contessa is Gretchen's sister who he married after Ivory died at age eighty-three. Gretchen, being Jett and Joha's mother, made us more than merely cousins."

Okay, if anyone out there is still confused, let me know. If I don't get this right I may have to simply chuck it.

Thanks in advance!