Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Once Upon a Neve’s Eve

Well, my faithful, fluffy fans. I have just passed the 30,000 word mark. *Cheering and singing and vigorous pelvic-thrust-dancing*
A little bit of brain marination and I was able to get a few new ideas to throw into the Soulless cookie dough, getting me out of my little slump and back into keyboard pounding. Lots of interesting things have happened in these new 10,000 words, including an encounter with a unicorn, some wand waving, the learning of some new hunting skills, a new Soul-wraith ability explained, and the third member of the main character party, Quintin; his introduction has finally found its correct place. I was so excited with Quin's introduction that I wrote it ages ago. I have now caught up to this part. The character dynamics between the three are going to be delicious.
Here is a tiny excerpt from my newest chapters. I was suddenly required to write a lullaby well known to all children of the Geathan realm. This is what I wrote. Surprisingly, it only took me a few minutes. I really quite like it.
Once upon a Neve’s eve,
A bluebird came to stay...
The sweetest little bluebird,
Your eyes did ever sway...
The cold she was a bitter thief,
Tried to turn sweet bluebird grey,
Go away yon horrid Neve’s eve
Don’t steal my blue away...
The song is supposed to be sung by a parent to their child, and the child is sort of the subject of the rhyme, the bluebird that it speaks of. Neve, you might remember from a previous post, is the Geathan name for winter. Here the parent is asking that the winter not be too harsh and kill their child. I'd noticed that most nursery rhymes are a quite morbid like that, so I wanted to write something similar.
Currently I am at home and as such get very strange looks and many orders to go to bed when I'm writing. See, just lately, my brain has decided that the perfect time to do some writing has been midnight and the early hours of the morning. My parents hate this because I then usually sleep in till midday and they can't get me to do anything around the house. But I'm glad that I am finally getting on with it. I really like writing, but sometimes my brain just doesn't.

I have also been pondering something else lately. The name of this blog. Do you think I should change it? Do you even understand it? The few people I have talked to about my blog haven't seemed to get it at first - I had to explain it to them. And if the consensus is that a change wouldn't be too bad, what would I change it to? I've been trying to come up with witty names that also have a personal and writerly ring to them like 'In Vain I Have Snuggled' already does for me, but have so far come up with nada. Tell me what you reckon, or if you have any ideas for a new name.

The sweetest little bluebird...

Wearing: Shorts and grey tee with a pink tie printed on it.

Eating: Got to go to dinner in about one second. Mum's calling.

Feeling: Good. It's been a good day. Been watching all of the Grimm ^_^

Listening to: Execute - F.O.O.L

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Raver Hath Risen

I was rewatching an episode of one of my favourite new TV shows today. This one is the supernatural crime show, Grimm. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It's sort of a cross between Castle and Once Upon a Time, which are incidentally also among my favourite-est shows EVAR.
Anyhoo. We were at an episode where one of the main characters is pretty much playing a ripoff of the DJ known as deadmau5. This DJ was called Wretched Cat and wore the same kind of deadmau5 mask - but a kitty cat face. So, this rave scene really made me want to listen to dance/electronic musics. Thus my quest began! I now have several new songs to listen to; stuff by Skrillex, Wolfgang Gartner, Zedd, F.O.O.L, Designer Drugs and the Bloody Beetroots. Hopefully these will help get my writing brain into gear.

DJ Retchid Cat droppin' the beatz

Speaking of which, somebody tell me to get off my butt and continue writing this damned thing! I have been so distracted of late. Fishing, parents telling me to get a job, TV, cleaning, shopping, cooking. It seems that I do a way lot less while I'm at university. Because of this lack of writing, I have no new morsels for you to read, so instead I will provide you with some of the notes I have at the end of the current manuscript. They were the beginnings of our main characters Evie and Rook and what their names could have been.

·         Rook                    Smith
·         Cain                     Smithson
·         Remus                  Llewellyn (Welsh) Descendant of Llewellyn (Lion-like).
·         Quill
·         Daniel
·         David
·         Bane
·         Tobin
Rook Llewellyn

Foibles: Tactless. Harsh. Distrusting. Man of few words. Alcoholic. Aimless. Stubborn.
Traits: Heart of gold. Whittler. Singer. Fighter.

·         Isabella                 Miller
·         Skye                      Tiller
·         Lily/Lilliana          Ford
·         Aisha                     Foster
·         Alicia                    Warwick
·         Amelia                  Wray (English) One who came from Wray (isolated place).
·         Elise
·         Eva
·         Evie
Evie Wray

Foibles: Frail. Naive. Stubborn. Klutz. Panicky. Sulky. Short.
Traits: Compassionate. Dancer. Dreamer. Bold.

Feeling: Like headbanging. *raves*

Eating: Not much. Had leftover pizza for tea. It filled me up pretty well.

Wearing: Short denim shorts and my custom made Bad Wolf tee.

Listening to: The Devil's Den by Skrillex and Wolfgang Gartner

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Darts and Discord

Hmhmhm... What to blog about? I definitely can't blog about writing, because absolutely none of that has been done lately. How about I ramble for a bit about what I've been up to? I hear no objections from the audience, so here we go.

I finally got around to unpacking all the gear I brought home from university. It was a lot of gear. My room is a big room, but when it's all piled on the floor, you feel like you need gymnastics training to dance and step around it all. So that took a whole afternoon. I cleaned as I put things away. I'm not sure the underside of my bed has been so clean since the floor was put down for the first time. I was so very, very tired after all that rigmarole. I swear that they should market cleaning as a workout.

Today I had to make my own fun in and around all of the packing for tomorrow's fishing trip. We won't be doing much fishing though, it's more of a snorkel and a picnic. While Mum and Dad weren't looking, I whipped up a bunch of targets in photoshop for my Nerf gun. The artist inside me was appalled at the plainness of these targets in the beginning, so they ended up looking totally awesome. I printed them, cut them out and and laminated them, then stuck them on my cupboard door and have been practicing with my Nerf Maverick. I'm actually not a bad shot with said gun, although it is an air-compressed, foam dart gun, which makes it difficult to get a lot of accuracy. In contrast, I am very, very bad at first person shooter games.

Now, although I haven't been doing a lot of actual writing, ideas for Soulless have still been ticking over in theirthe back of my head. The more I think about and write about these characters, the more I find out about them. Evie, for instance, has become this very beautiful and kind, but very stubborn girl. She refuses to let Rook tell her what to do, and even when she does, she's very cold about it. Rook seems to be a simple man on the outside, well, apart from the whole being a Soul-Wraith thing, but really there is a lot more too him. I have recently been concocting a delicious little back story for him which will help explain why he does what he does.
I have been made aware that conflict is a major part of good stories. I have always had some conflicts planned, but they're pretty much all external forces upon the characters. I need to think more about their internal conflicts, and their grievances with one and other. When characters are rosy and pleasant with each other all the time, a story can get really boring, really fast. Vivid memories come to me of reading about Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter bickering, and then Ron and Harry having fallings out. Discord can really drive a story forwards and also reveal facets of characters not often seen.

So, what kinds of discord have you subjected characters to in the past? Do you cackle gleefully as I do when I prepare all sorts of weird, wonderful and downright nasty surprises for them? Or for those who don't write, do you enjoy reading about a character's struggles with conflict and conundrums and their growth as a person/animal/omnipresent, inter-stellar, flying-spaghetti-monster? Do you have any favourite such characters?

Eating: Delicious cheesecake and a chocolate chip muffin.

Wearing: Yellow shorts and high school senior shirt.

Listening to: Naught.

Feeling: Insipid.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Solid Granite Milestone


Did you hear that? That very solid thud, was the sound of a rather large milestone slipping neatly into place. That was the sound of my exhausted brain looking at the clock at three in the morning and then looking at the dial that tells me exactly how much brain I have transplanted into my computer. That was the sound of 20,000 words. And it shall only be upwards from here dearies. 
I have recently completed the last of my second year at university and now have a three month break in which to loll, eat lollies and uh, loll... and write! Of course! The writing I shall do! The words I shall paste upon the screen! The places I shall take Rook and Evie within this messy space residing in my skull! Oh, yeah, it's messy. It's filthy. Every day I have to carve out whatever song has been stuck in there, and then there are all of these strings of stupid, unrelated words that always require reordering - and the cravings! My brain gives me the weirdest cravings...
I have, uh, been busy packing and then unpacking myself. It was a long trip home from university, so I have not opened that little word document labelled 'Soulless' on my desktop just recently. I do not quite remember what I have just written. It gets that way sometimes. I'll be in a stupor, writing till the wee hours of morning, go to bed, get back up and read what I wrote and be utterly surprised and sucked in by my own story. This also happens with stuff that I've written and haven't read in a long time. My old novel, Sparks, I went back to edit one day and found myself laughing while reading some of the antics I painted in there. I think it's a good sign when you can surprise yourself with your own writing, don't you?
For my fans, Vlaedr in particular who has given me a wonderful shout out on his own blog, here is a weeny bit of these new words.

There were several tracks here. Small, dainty hoof prints lead off to the right. Rook sniffed the air deeply.
“This way,” he growled and began following the tracks. They followed the tracks back around the hill. Evie was just about to complain that they had nearly reached the point at which they had started up the hill from the other side when she saw movement ahead. Rook turned to her and held one claw to his lips. She rolled her eyes but stayed quiet. Rook turned back and lowered his pack to the ground as quietly as he could. Despite her anger at him, she felt her curiosity flare. She had always wondered how Rook caught their meals each night. He made his way silently through the thin trees on the hillside. Evie followed him as quietly as she could. She kicked a small stone accidentally and flinched at the sound. Rook’s ears flicked towards it. He turned and glared at her. He motioned sternly for her to sit, stay and be quiet. She raised her hands in a ‘fine’ gesture and crouched near a bush. Rook turned back and scented the air again. He crouched too, and moved forward on all fours. Evie noticed that he didn’t look as awkward doing this as normal people did.
Rook froze as their prey took a few steps. Evie could see it now. It was a small doe. She was grazing contentedly on a tussock of grass that grew a little further down the hill. As content as she looked though, Evie saw her large soft ears swivelling alertly. Rook was suddenly in Evie’s field of view. He was hidden from the doe by a few bushes. Rook closed the gap as slowly and as silently as possible. Evie heard a slight rustle. Rook had brushed a stick accidentally. The doe raised her head, alerted by the noise. She poised for flight, looking around with dark dewy eyes. Her nostrils flared, trying to catch the scent of possible approaching predators. Rook inched closer. Evie felt her breath catch as he poised to spring. Evie saw the muscles of the wolf within Rook tense and then suddenly release. He flew from cover. The doe was startled and took off, but Rook was fast. He closed the gap between them in several strides and was on the deer in seconds. She struggled as Rook clawed to get a grip, and then weakened as he sank his teeth into her neck. She stopped moving as the blood began dripping down Rook’s chin. Evie felt a surge of animalistic pleasure at the sight, then immediate crushing nausea. The doe blinked her soft lashes one more time.

Feeling: Tired.

Listening to: Nothing.

Wearing: Short shorts and Car Club tee.

Eating: Had some yummy white chocolate for dessert.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Tender Tidbit

So, my reader minions, last post I asked you if you wanted a taste of the new chunk of Soulless I've been writing. The majority of my fans that follow this blog, by which I mean you Vlaedr, seemed very excited at this prospect. So, here is a tasty, medium-rare slab of character development for Rook. 
This section probably won't make it into the final book, but I never know. This was mainly to get to know Rook better. The thing about starting a new novel is that you don't really know the characters very well yet. You have to adventure with them, laugh with them, live with them, cry with them before you can really begin to understand your creations.

Sitting in a Jail Cell with Rook Llewellyn
We sat in the stinking cell, on the cold, hard cobbled floor. The silence was very noticeable. I kept staring at him. I couldn’t help it.
“So… What are you in for?”
The man, If you could call him that grunted.
 “Bar fight.”
A short bark of laughter escapes me. He glares at me with those yellow eyes. I look away quickly. After a while, he reaches into his boot and pulls out a small flask. He takes a short swig and hides the bottle again.
“What’s in there?” I ask.
“You don’t want to know,” he says. The silence lengthens again.
“So, did you give it to him good?”
The man grunts in confusion.
“The bar fight. Did you win?”
He shrugs.
“Don’t really remember. All of the fights seem the same to me.”
The man’s speech was slurred. I suspected it was from the booze. He stank of it, but it could have also been the wolfish tongue and sharp teeth that mangled the words every time he opened his mouth.
“All of them? Do you get into a lot of fights?”
“’s not my idea. People don’t really like my kind, see?”
“Your kind?”
“Soul-wraiths, you imbecile! Are you blind and dull?”
The roar frightened me. I felt myself shrink back against the wall of the chamber. The man seemed grimly amused. He began muttering to himself. I could tell that he was normally a man of very few words, but the drink had loosened his wolfish tongue.
“She best be okay. She can look after herself for a night, can’t she?”
“What’s that?”
“None of your business,” he snarled. There was a long period of silence, broken only for the scratching of a rat in the wall.
“’er name’s Evie,” he said, almost to himself.
“Evie? Is she your wife?”
“Wife?” The word was a bark like laugh. “Wife? Why would a sweet young thing want someone like me? No… No… Of course not…”
The man swayed a little. His yellow eyes were unfocused. Or maybe focused on something far away.
“It’s my fault…” he said.
“What is?”
“My fault! All my fault… I broke her. Beautiful, pure creature until I touched her. It’s all my fault. She didn’t know, you know? She didn’t know for a week. Seven whole days until she realized she was cursed. Seven whole days I stayed silent, not wanting to add to her grief. She was so angry. It… My heart.”
He was actually crying now.
“I swore. I swore I’d never do it again. I swore I’d never inflict this curse upon anyone else. No one should have to go through what I did. Especially her.”
The sobbing became louder. It grew into great howls of grief. He leapt to his feet. He clenched his fists and threw his head back, roaring in anger and sadness. The wall was the first to receive punishment. He punched it till his knuckles bled again. Then he grabbed the bench that was nailed to the floor and ripped it up. The planks cracked as he smashed that too against the bruised wall. Then he turned to me. I scrabbled backwards in terror as he advanced on me. He grabbed me by the collar and hauled me upright. His fist was drawn back and his ugly teeth were bared in an animalistic grimace. He threw the punch, but stopped at the last second. There were tears in his eyes again.
“Mustn’t,” he muttered. “For her.”
He dropped me in a pile on the ground and collapsed onto the grimy cobbles himself. He seemed dazed and simply miserable. “Mustn’t hurt anymore. For her.”
I smoothed down my clothes, which did nothing for my jangling nerves. The man’s yellow eyes slid slowly shut and a drunken snore rose softly from his chest.

Listening to: Firework - Katy Perry

Wearing: PJs

Eating: Gummi worms and Coke

Feeling: Uninspired