Writing What You Want

So I haven’t updated this blog in a while, and since I want to start posting more frequently, I’d like to talk about why I haven’t.

Actually, there are two main reasons. One, there simply hasn’t been much to take note of. And two, which is partly to blame for one, I went through a phase where I had a difficult time writing at all.

Long story short, I had a really bad experience at a local writing group I attended. Oh, it wasn’t criticism – I can handle that (and the irony was that the actual writing itself was quite well received, at least). It was something more personal. I don’t want to go into details, but I ended up feeling ganged up on and attacked for certain personal belief that is very important to me. One that plays a big role in both my life and in my writing. One that they, in no uncertain terms, told me was ‘wrong’.

Normally I would’ve been able to shake off such conflicting opinions, but this time it struck a weak-point. New doubt compelled me to notice opinions online and in the world around me that were similar to theirs, while neglecting my own and those similar to mine, and it grew until it became a monster constantly looking over my  shoulder. And, well, it’s hard to write with a monster looking over your shoulder.

I also made one very critical mistake – I let it change what I was writing. The changes I made weren’t huge, but they subtly shifted something that had once been relaxing into one that was stressful. I worried too much. I felt like I had something to prove. I questioned my ability to connect with my characters. I wondered if I was doing it ‘wrong’.

Chains of Ivy is a good example of this. I’m still proud of getting it published on Jukepop Serials, but this incident actually started a long time ago, and Chains of Ivy was written shortly afterwards. Its plot, and especially its characters, were created with the things they’d said in mind, and in some ways, I think it was a sort of surrender to those negative voices. I created the story more how I felt like I ‘should’ and not really how I wanted to. That’s why the third chapter sits finished but unedited on my hard-drive. (I’ll talk more about what I plan on doing with it now in a future post.)

Similarly, July’s Camp NaNo didn’t go quite how I wanted it to. Originally, I wanted to work on the WIP of the novel I’d shared at the writer’s group, but I couldn’t get the worry out of my head when I sat down to write, and in the end, I started working on a different idea all together. One that I tried to pants from scratch – I apparently didn’t learn much from April’s Camp in that regard, and predictably, I ended up with a similar result. I reached my lowered word goal of 25k, but those words were made of pure stress. My heart wasn’t in it, just my anger and doubt.

This NaNo, though, has been different. Sure, I’m a bit behind right now, but this time it’s because of good old writer’s block and the full-time job I started a few months ago, and I look forward to working on it instead of worrying over it. The difference was startlingly simple – I’ve decided that I don’t give a shit about what anyone else will say or has said. I have my own beliefs.

I apologize for rambling, but my point is this: considering criticism and other points of view is one thing, but you should never let anybody tell you that your own opinions and beliefs are wrong. It’s your beliefs that shape your stories and your voice, and its your voice that makes your writing yours. Your own heart has to be in it, or neither you nor your audience will enjoy it. The words will be empty.

So to the things holding me down – fuck you, because these are the last words I’m wasting on you and I’m taking back what I let you steal from me.

One of the great things about writing is that it can give anyone power. You can create and destroy any kind of world you want, give life and take life from any kind of characters you want, and tell any story you want. Don’t let anyone take that power away from you.

Dramatic rants aside, though, there will be some actual news coming up. I’ll talk about that later. First, I’ve got a NaNo novel to catch up on!


April Reflections

So April has come and gone. All in all it was a pretty eventful month.

As far as Camp NaNo goes, I achieved the 25k goal (was originally 50k, but I lowered it down early on) I had with my novel, Speak the Sky. It wasn’t as much as I wanted to get done, but I did get passed whatever strange block I had with that particularly story, and ended up greatly enjoying that 25k. I really do love this particular novel and its main characters – it’s kind of a medley of all my favorite archetypes, twists, and genres. In that regard I worry a bit if it might be too similar to some of my other works, but it has some interesting subversions of themes I’ve used before in Paragon and The Evening Seed, I think. It won’t be finished anytime soon, though – I’m expecting it to clock in at 200k or more. I think that’s part of why it intimidated me, but I’m just going to take it slow and savor the journey. It won’t be my main project for May, but I don’t want to loose the newfound momentum so I’m going to keep chipping away at it whenever I need a palate cleanser, and it’ll probably take focus again in the July session of Camp.

The 100 page goal for the script, Winter’s Garden, wasn’t as successful, though. I ended up stopping at 50 pages, so I managed exactly half. It was a lot of fun, but I think my failure was not planning ahead. Both the screenplay and the novel were pantsed this time, which was somewhat unusual considering that I generally am a milestone planner. I didn’t really run into any issues with the novel, in part because even though I had no outline I still had a bunch of notes on the world itself and a big ‘bag of tricks’, so to speak, to draw from. The screenplay, however, required a much faster pace due to the medium itself, and that quickly got me into trouble without a plan. I definitely won’t dabble in screenplays again without a full outline. I have mixed feelings regarding whether I’ll continue this one or not – I still like the setting and story itself, but it turned into a bit of a rambling mess. I might try to do some more planning and give the other 50 pages a go in July, but I also wonder if it’d be better to start a new script more fitting to this particular medium next time now that I know a little more what works and what doesn’t, and maybe re-purpose the story from this one into something else sometime down the line. Haven’t decided yet.

NaPoWriMo, on the other hand, went pretty well. It was a challenge, but I did manage 30 poems during the month. Some of them I’m happy with, others not so much, but at least it got me writing them again. It was fun going around on other participant blogs and seeing what people came up with, too. It got surprisingly difficult to come up with things to write as the month advanced.

I also sent in the first chapter of a new serial novel to Jukepop Serials, which was accepted and is now available to read online on its website. It marks the first time I’ve ever received any money at all for my writing, so it’s pretty exciting! I’m planning to write it in true serial fashion, with chapters being drafted, edited, and posted one at a time alongside my other projects. The process is actually a bit nostalgic – it reminds me a bit of when I used to write and post fanfiction in the early days. If you’re interested, you can read Chains of Ivy on Jukepop Serials. The first chapter is currently up, with the second on its way soon.

Cheers to a productive May and the beginning of summer.


NaPoWriMo Week #5

(The final couple of poems from NaPoWriMo – see the previous posts for the poems from the previous weeks. Naturally, these are all first drafts.)

Day #30 – And Sleep

Close your eyes and sleep
Slipping away to different days
Body bound by time
Spirit breaking free

Close your eyes and sleep
Escape the world; enter yourself
Here we’ll be who we’ll never be
Here we’ll be who we want to be

Day #29 – Break Free

I have a secret
Can we keep it between you and me?
Meet me on a midnight shore
And we’ll walk across the sea

Exploring worlds below
A place we’ve never seen
Chains of dull gray days
Break free

I have a secret
How about you come and see?
Meet on the hospital roof
And come and fly with me

Exploring worlds above
A place they said we’d never be
Monotonous waves of time
Break free

Bound by flesh and blood
Trapped with feet on soil
Just a human being
But what does that really mean?
There is power still unseen

Don’t listen
Don’t listen
Don’t stay in their cage
See without your eyes
Break free


NaPoWriMo Week #4

(The post for week 4 of NaPoWriMo – see the previous posts for the poems from the previous weeks. I’ll edit in a new poem everyday if all goes well. Naturally, these are all first drafts.)

Day #28 – Blue

Blue eyes watch blue days
Not able to open
Not able to close

Blue in the back of white skulls
Gnawing
Whispering

Won’t let go
Clinging with cold little fingers
Speaking with October voice
Singing words no one should hear
A grotesque lullaby
Stealing away sleep

Blue painting black memories
Failure
Shame

Blue hearts pass blue hours
Not able to face it
Not able to forget

Day #27 – Sleepless

Staring at a blank white ceiling
Staring at stories unreal

Lying with arms curled up tight
Lying with eyes open wide

Peering through still black
Peering through closed blinds

Begging the nightmares to leave
Begging the clock to move

Rising with clammy limbs
Rising with restless mind

We are the sleepless

Waiting to see if the sun will still rise
Waiting to see if the sun will still rise

Day #26 – Beautiful
*Note: This is a found poem made of lines from Paragon

It was a fear they’d have to live with
A guillotine that lingered somewhere above the sky and over their necks

After all, the world was ugly
“You killed a little girl?” He asked his mother, frowning
“They aren’t people. They’re animals. Pests.”
He closed his eyes and pulled the trigger
A final, wordless wail

What he desired
A beautiful world
A paragon
“I never wanted to be a monster.”
He never found his redemption

Empty, emotionless creatures who lie and are lied to
Made to dance on strings
Eyes watered as she watched the ashes fly on the summer breeze
A sacrifice
A world that had never shown her anything but cruelty
She made a decision

He would burn the whole world down and replace it with his own
Their own
Life was wonderful
It doesn’t need to change

She was a selfish woman
He was a cruel, selfish man

Day #25 – Silent City

The city is silent
Alive with the absence of noise
Dead with the absence of life

We saunter the streets
Together, but alone
Walking our own realities

The city is silent
Sleeping with the souls behind glass
Dreaming with possibilities unsurpassed

Neon still flickers
Radios sing with static
Smog hides the stars and spreads the moon

The city is silent
We rule the night

Day #24 – Her

She’s there
She’s waiting for you
She’s watching
She’s there when you open the door

It’s her shadow behind the curtain
She shares the shower with you
It’s her who sits across the table
She shares your bedroom with you

Can’t you feel her?
Shivers down your spine
Can’t you hear her?
Eyes open wide

Footsteps coming up the stairs
Lights flickering and falling asleep
Heat dimming and melting away
Fingers tracing your cheeks

You thought you escaped
She won’t let you go
You took from her
She’ll steal your sleep

A cold touch on the nape of your neck
The sound of a heartbeat at night
You buried her in the old backyard
You’ll never be alone again

Day #23 – Gray

Drip, drip, drip
Rain knocks on the window
Beat by beat
Begging to come in

It sings a serenade
Soothing the gray outside
The sun sinks to slumber
And drags me with it

Branches claw against the glass
Bony little fingers
Reaching for vacant hearts
I won’t let them come inside

The sky keeps on sleeping
Dragging fog up from the ground
It’s here, I know it’s here
Under the door and through the floor

The window is locked but it won’t go away
I can’t fight it anymore
I was a fool to think I could keep it at bay
Stagnant hours of endless gray

It won’t stop raining

Day #22 – Wake up Yesterday

I want to wake up yesterday
When the sun seemed warmer
When snowflakes were falling stars
When the crickets were a chorus

Old words
Warm and strange
I want to read familiar pages like they’re new

I want to sleep backwards, to
When summer lasted longer
When winter was a journey
When the sunset was a theater

Old songs
Soft and cruel
I want to hear familiar melodies like they’re new

I want to wake up yesterday
When the garden was a jungle
When I could close my eyes and fly
When everything was new

If I watch the same sky
Who can tell me that time has changed?
I’ll believe I’m just a child
But it still won’t be the same

A warm ache
Pleasant and painful
Can’t swim against the tide of time
Can’t stay here in yesteryear


NaPoWriMo Week #3

(The post for week 3 of NaPoWriMo – see the previous two posts for the poems from weeks one and two. I’ll edit in a new poem everyday if all goes well. Naturally, these are all first drafts.)

Day #21 – Break these Chains

Born in chains
You’ll follow the leader
You’ll walk the path chosen for you
There’s punishment if you resist

Remain the same
Or they’ll hang you high
Feet off the ground you’re forbidden to walk
Strung by the chains that bind you

Life is a one-way street
Your route is already set
Just keep walking forward
Dragging the chains behind you

They want to shape you
And if you want to survive
You’ll play along
Who cares if you’re happy?

Play your role
Do your part
You are who they say you are
Behave

A human puppet
A cog in the machine
Won’t somebody break these chains?

Day #20 – Hall of Doors

A hall of doors awaits
Guess at what’s inside
Careful
The path you choose decides your fate!

Just blank wood walls
No way to know
A hand on a knob
Will it lead to Hell?
To Heaven?

Swing it open
A wide field of green
A lovely wife and three fine children
You’ll work a job you hate
But you’ll live

Contented days
Bitterness and bliss
Do you still long for more?
Do you still wonder what was behind those other doors?

Day #19 – Dear Journal

Dear journal,
I saw her today
Walking across the bridge
She waved, and I waved too

Dear journal,
I visited home today
Mother is alone now
She cried, and I cried too

Dear journal,
I met her today
Our words changed nothing
She left, and I left too

Dear journal,
Will anything ever change?
Days stay the same
Time passes, and I pass too

Day #18 – Burn

Hands painted red
Blue eyes cold like ice
You showed me no heart
I will show you no mercy

A body with no soul
You drowned it and hung it to dry
My pounding heart
Is all that is left alive

Scream
Make it beat faster
The throbbing is empty
But at least it’s hot

Beg and cry
Don’t you feel anything, you say
How funny
You’re the one who took that away

Red
My vision
Your blood
The flames

I’m not your puppet anymore
I’ll set the world on fire

Day #17 – Paint The Stars

Let’s burn the sky
Let’s sketch it in black
We’ll draw a new sun
That shines when we want it too

I’ll paint in the stars
Which colors should I use?
Let me know
And I’ll make them just for you

Day #16 – Blank Page

A blank page
An open canvas
A wide stretch of silence

Close your mind
And follow the pen
Into its sleeping wilds

Enter new worlds
Behind your eyes
Hidden under your skin

Watch what you see
Here you’re not you
You’re everyone

Go in deep
Cut through the other side
Boundless colors
Birthed in black and white

Day #15 – Little Drops

Small little drops
Fall from the sky
Salty, pure
Tears from the tree of life

Small little drops
Fall from a pale face
Misty, wet
Gray clouds obscure the time

Small little drops
Fall into open palms
Trying to hold them
But they keep slipping through
Pooling at our feet like the years

Small little drops keep falling
Escaping our fingers
Escaping our eyes
We can’t catch them


NaPoWriMo Week #2

(The post for week 2 of NaPoWriMo – see the previous post for last week’s poems. I’ll edit in a new poem everyday if all goes well. Naturally, these are all first drafts.)

Day #14 – Wrong

White carpet painted red
Blue eyes painted white
Hot breath turned silent
Silver knife turned black
Taut flesh becoming pale
Dry gaze becoming wet
She’s on the floor
Once familiar
I was wrong
Yours is a face I’ve never seen before

Day #13 – For Sale

He stands at the road
By the ‘for sale’ sign
Absent of the story no one knows

The yard – a den of vines
Covering footsteps left by size four boots
Swallowing up the swing that touched the sky

Empty
A building
Nothing more

He turns away
She lived there once
It was years ago

Day #12 – Nine Years

That old track plays on the radio
Whispering melodies
That song only we could hear

If I close my eyes
Who can say I’m not there?
I’ll believe only in my ears

It was all a story
These last nine years
A child’s passing fancy
A tale that stopped time
When I open my eyes
I’ll be home

Those moments we never treasured
I cherish them now
Those nights when I’m alone

Day #11 – Sleepwalker

I can’t wake up
But I’m alive

How long have I slept?
Since when have I slumbered?

My body moves
My mind still sleeps
Watching listlessly
Through hollow eyes
Deep in a dream

This life doesn’t feel like mine
What’s real?
What’s reverie?

Self muted
Under amaranthine gray
Days blur into weeks
Weeks I haven’t lived
A sleepwalker wasting years

Drifting across cold tile
Feet numb and white

I want to wake
Before the clock stops ticking

Day #10 – Path Of Starlight

We’re going on a journey to the moon
Up, up
Pack your bags
We’re leaving soon

We’re going to fly
I don’t know if we’ll come home
Bid farewell
Let’s make a world all our own

We’ll be there by sun up
Buried by blue
Oh, I see the worry in your eye
But look, not with your gaze, and see what I do

Follow my lead
I saw the path of starlight in my sleep

Day #9 – Home

The kettle broils, singing its song
Eyes watch you from frames
By the door the cats are waiting long
The fireplace flickers, birthing red and orange flames

She calls, voice snaking through walls
Behind the glass does the old willow dance
Creaky red carpet fills the halls
He sleeps, lost in dreams of a long gone romance

Cars pass outside, humming gray tones
You’ve lived here all your life long
Inside this home is where you’ve grown
But you wonder, is this where you belong?

Day #8 – Smoke

Red eats white
Green, blue, and black
Giving birth to gray
Traveling to the sky

Soot burns eyes
Casting shadows on the wall
Crackling in throbbing ears
Leaving irises wet

Smoke paints contrails
Devouring old photos and names
Memories swallowed whole
Become ashes reaching for the sun


NaPoWriMo Week #1

(As mentioned in my last post, I’m going to combine my NaPoWriMo poems into weekly posts instead of putting them up individually. I’ll edit in a new poem everyday if all goes well. Naturally, these are all first drafts.)

Day #7 – Where

Where the river roars
Where moonlight glistens from liquid glass
Where fireflies fight the stars

Where the crickets serenade
Where red clouds paint silhouettes black
Where songbirds rule the morning

Where the crow flies
Where rain plays empty melodies
Where shadows mark the hour

Where color still lingers
Where blood dries to black
Where the beat of man is silent

There she sings alone

Day #6 – What Is A Day?

What is a day?
A moment in time?
A collection of hours?

The minutes of light
When mankind wakes and wanders?
When Earth tilts towards the sun?

A check-mark on a calendar?
A container for segments of life?
A method for man to organize time?
A way to measure our lives?

A rhythm of blue
Where memories are made?
And years come creeping forward?

Blending together
Shaping souls passing through
Time is a ceaseless, velvet line
Slipping lucidly from morning to night

No label can contain it

Day #5 – After

Curtains hang from broken windows
Nothing left inside
Blankets unmade, light long lifeless
Inhabited by insects and ivy

Grass grows green
Spreading its wings
Burying the footsteps they left behind
Erasing the messages they’ve written

Men leave one large corpse
Scents of blood and metal
Ruble, ruin
Marked by smoke and broken glass

Brutality learns a different name
Singing with songbirds
Growing life from death
Destroying memories with indifferent beauty

The fiend is dead
Now the cycle starts again

Day #4 – We Left The Candle Burning

Forward
Forward
Our footsteps leave blank spaces
Coated with black ink
Writing messages on the ground

Forward
Forward
We’ve lost the path home
We can’t turn around
Following the tune of far off whispers

Away
Away
From walls thick with memories
And photos covering white
We left the candle burning

Day #3 – To The City

Buildings scrape the sky
Reaching for the sun
Reaching through oily fumes
To reveal the blue
Atop the sheets of gray

Footsteps carve a melody
Of moving bodies
Of passing eyes
Thousands of lives
And mine just one

Suddenly insignificant – lost in a sea of flesh
Of light, of sounds, of color
A cog in human clockwork
A machine of metal and soul
This place is ours
But it’s not yet mine

Cars replace the chorus
Of morning birds
Of evening frogs
Drifting across pavement
Over cracks and rust

Pace along the sidewalk
By weeping faces
By unlit alleys
Boots stick to cement
Blood glistens on the wall

Humans – the most terrifying animal
Greed
Hungry and hopeful
Dark days, bright nights

The city – omniscient gray, a web
Power
Beautiful and horrid
Vast life, vast death

My world is gone
Now I’m in the world of man

I had to escape, I had to breathe
The air is stale, but it’s what my lungs need
I’m imprisoned
I’m free
Please, let there be something here for me

Day #2 – Rain Falls Red

Rain falls red
Dripping down the window
Painting the city outside in carmine hues

Candles burn red
Flickering all about
Shaping the room in shades of scarlet

Hearts beat red
Throbbing inside walls
Leaving us there in vermilion lies

Raspberry roses wilt away
Giving petals to ruby jewels on rusty chains
And carpets red with old wine stains

Far off chimes the crimson clock
Beckoning in our cerise days
Endless amaranth hours
Blending in a maroon haze

Still the fire burns in auburn eyes
Piercing through the burgundy daze
Of cinnamon scent and cardinal lust

Hate, love
In the mirror of death lurks life
Two faces of passion, two shades of red
Petals hit the floor and turn to ash

Rain falls red
And ushers in a red summer

Day #1 – Take Me Away

I stand
Sand stirs beneath my feet
Slips through my toes to the beat of the sea
Breathing, pulsing

I’m still
The horizon stretches endlessly
Clouds coil around the globe
Drifting, swaying

I watch
Waves follow the moon
I want to follow it too
Shifting, walking

Everything moves
Yet I stay in place

I’m empty
Salt washes around my ankles
Water pulls it away and leaves me behind
Waiting, wanting

I yearn
I want to journey
Across the sky and over the sea
Escaping, feeling

Everything moves
Yet I stay in place
The sea swallows the sand
The sky swallows the sea
Shades of blue, I want to move
I want them to swallow me too
Take me away
I want to fly with you


Camp NaNo and NaPoWriMo are go!

NaNoEdMo kept me busy last month, and I finally completed The Evening Seed‘s stubborn 2nd draft, but now it’s going to feel good to let loose with some first drafting again in Camp NaNoWriMo.

I’m aiming for an ambitious, palate-cleansing month this time. I’m putting most of the rest of my projects on hold, just temporarily, and diving into a new novel I’ve wanted to write for a while. It’s been planned for well over a year, and I’ve had an odd relationship with this particular story. It’s always had a tendency to sneak into the back of my mind and tempt me to work on it in the least convenient of times – when I should be focusing on something else. Yet when I’ve caved in the past and given it a few false starts, I immediately loose my ambition to work on it. I’m not sure why that is. I love the story, but I think something about it intimidates me, too. And just like before, I was very excited to sink my teeth into it last week, but after writing a whooping 200 words at midnight yesterday, I can already feel that I’m loosing my desire to continue it. It’s like that project that you only want to work on when you should be doing homework or are stuck at work, or that dish you can’t wait to have, but when it arrives, you suddenly don’t feel hungry. This time, though, I’m going to try and push through it. I’m hoping that the fast pace and deadline of NaNo will help me get passed whatever strange block I have with this novel, and that by taking this month to focus on it, I can finally get it out of my mind.

But that’s not all I’m doing. I’ve also taken an interest in scripts, and while I’ve done a few for games before, I want to attempt writing a film screenplay this month, as well. When Camp announced script support I couldn’t resist at least giving it a shot. As a consumer, I don’t quite have the same passion for film that I do for games and books, but all the same, I’ve had a great deal of fun so far with the first few pages of it. It feels great to stretch my boundaries with a new medium.

And last but not least, I’m also giving NaPoWriMo, a challenge where participants write (and optionally post) a poem everyday, a try this month. I’ve had a passing interest in poetry, but I’ve never really worked on developing it before, so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. I do plan on sharing the results, so prepare for incoming bursts of shitty poems. I don’t want to clutter the blog up too much, though, so I’m going to make a single post for each week, and edit a new poem into them each day. The week one compilation and the first poem will be posted shortly after this entry.

Considering that I barely scraped by last NaNo, I’m probably being all kinds of overambitious and likely won’t complete everything, but hopefully it’ll be the best kind of chaos, and I’m also hoping that I’ll learn a lot about myself as a writer by experimenting and leaving my comfort zone.

Good luck to everyone attempting Camp or poetry month!


Third Novel Complete, and What Went Wrong

Well, as of a week or so ago, I finally finished the first draft of my third novel, Nocturnal Eyes. Writing it was…interesting. Many of my works (both novels and games) have horror elements, but this was my first stab at a real horror/paranormal work.

I wouldn’t say I’m particularly pleased with how it turned out – as it is now, it’s definitely weaker than Paragon‘s or The Evening Seed‘s first drafts were. I did, however, learn a lot from it, including where I believe it went wrong. Aside from the fact that segments of it were rushed, the number one problem with it, I believe, is that it simply isn’t scary. I would actually say that Glass, which isn’t even horror, is more suspenseful than NE. There are three reasons I can come up with for why it didn’t quite work:

1. Horror is personal, and the most efficient tension digs deep into the character’s heads with grimy, cold little fingers and plays on their own deepest fears and regrets. But NE was written in first person with a single character’s point of view, and that character happened to be a cat. The premise of the story was showing a haunted house tale from the point of view of a family pet (inspired by stories of animals sensing, and possibly seeing things, that humans don’t). However, the MC ended up being more of an observer to the horror than the recipient of it. She fears for her family, but she herself has little emotional investment or understanding in what’s happening. And as such, it became much less potent than it could’ve been. The POV is both the story’s strongest point and its biggest weakness, I think. I’m not sure how I would fix this one, since it’s so intrinsic to the plot, but believe I would have to step back and come up with some way to make the fear more personal to the MC, herself

2. The premise itself is pretty cliche – it’s more or less a typical haunted house tale, aside the unusual POV. It does have some twists to it that I’m fond of, but I felt like, because I knew it wasn’t particularly original, I ended up writing it a little halfheartedly. I still believe it could work, but I would have to give it a bit more intensity and more thorough attention to detail.

3. This doesn’t have to do with the scariness of it so much as its emotional impact, but another challenge of the POV was that the MC couldn’t speak to or understand the language of the human characters. They were intended to have a subplot and backstory that was nearly as important as the main plot itself, and that was communicated primarily through body language and actions the MC saw. It worked surprisingly well at first, but somewhere along the line, it got a bit lost and didn’t come through very well. The connection between the horror story and their personal story was nearly completely lost, and I believe it would be a lot stronger if the connection there was more apparent.

Nonetheless, I feel like the novel does have its strong-points. My characters, especially side characters, sometimes tend to blend together a bit, especially in first drafts. But all the characters here are distinct, and I feel like most of them manage to be interesting and memorable in their own right. I experimented a bit with them, exaggerating them and toying with personality types I don’t typically use, and it paid off – I will definitely use some of the same techniques with characters in future works. Not counting the specters, it also has who has to be my favorite villain, and I feel like it did capture the atmosphere I was going for, even if wasn’t particularly frightening, and it has a few passages and scenes I’m very pleased with.

I’m not totally sure what I’m going to do with the draft in the long run. For now, I’m going to set it aside, and I may or may not come back to revise it in the future. I’ll have to think about how to address its problems and play on its strengths, and whether it’s worth trying to salvage. I probably will at least read through it at some point, and see how I feel about NE after stepping away from it for a while.

But for now, I’m in the middle of NaNoEdMo, and it’s been a very productive experience so far, even if I am a bit behind. Right now I’m focusing on the 2nd draft on The Evening Seed, and it feels great to sink my teeth into editing again.


Glass Excerpt

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve also been working on the novel version of Glass for the writing group I’ve been attending. I’ve read-aloud the first handful of pages from it and gotten some useful critique, which I’ve been editing in. For something slightly more positive, here is an excerpt of it:

The first 2k words

It’s not quite on second draft level yet (I won’t focus on editing too much until the first draft is finished, as well as the next drafts of Paragon and TES), but I feel like it’s decent enough to share.


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