If you read my post about the Thanksgiving 2015 Descent Into Madness, you know how I tend to lose control over my supporting characters. Sometimes, they push outside of their boundaries and take control of the story in ways I never intended them to--and usually, this ends up being a good thing for everyone (even if it does screw with my outline).
But there's another, more subtle, way that secondary characters can take on a life of their own, and so I want to talk for a minute about Sahnsor Di'ent.
Di'ent was a walk-on bit character in White Stone. His only reason for existing was to give his two or three lines of dialogue, and he fulfilled that purpose nicely. He said his lines, the story continued, and no one missed anything from his exclusion.
But there was something about those three lines of dialogue. There was so much *relationship destroyed* and *promises broken* and *trust betrayed* in his three sentences that I couldn't get Di'ent out of my head. He sat there, a character who was meant to do one single thing, with a full load of regret and guilt and desire to make things right, and I found him popping up in unexpected places as I attempted my first failed tries at what would become Wide Horizons (that is a story unto itself--the way rewriting White Stone for NaNoWriMo 2013 changed everything, but I digress). And every time he popped up, it all came back--the destroyed relationship, the broken promises, the betrayed trust. His guilt and regret and desire to make things right. All these scenes were scrapped when the end of White Stone took a different turn in draft 3 than it had in prior versions, but by then, Di'ent was there, an established minor character with his own feelings and agenda, and I really liked what he could do inside the white stone palace.
And so, when Wild Tides rolled around, I really felt I couldn't ignore him. He needed a role to play, something significant to do, and that's what he got: [REDACTED TO REMOVE SPOILERS]*. His character arc, born of a bit part and three lines of dialogue in Book 1, can now be complete.
*Wild Tides, White Stone Book 3, will be available in Dec. 2017.
Yesterday was Monday, which is a full 14-hour day for me (Day Job #1 from 8a-4p, then Day Job #2 from 4-10p), and today was a bit of a Cat Day (more because I felt like crap than because I was being deliberately lazy), so I haven't had the best start to the week.
But I have off from Day Job #2 on Wednesdays, and I *might* even have only a half a day at Day Job #1 tomorrow, so I can get some words written in the new WIP tomorrow.
Long time, no write here. I have no excuse. Moving on.
Spent a good chunk of yesterday and today prepping for and then emailing the 800ish people who signed up for the Other Worlds giveaway. So far, it looks like about a quarter of the people actually opened the email I sent them, and half of those actually clicked my links to get the free full copy of White Stone I was offering them (since the Other Worlds excerpt was only "A Sin" and "Day 1"). So, I think this might actually work out, at least a little bit. I've got plans for continuing to warm up that traffic, so hopefully I'll have an email list that breaks double digits by the end of this experiment. :)
I got a desk yesterday. It's pretty small, just one of those cheap Amazon prefabbed things that took me about 40 minutes to assemble last night, but it holds my computer and fits nicely in this weird little corner I have in my house, and I spent a goodly amount of my birthday gift card on this nice faux-leather office chair and a bit of tech to give me some standing desk options, so I finally have, like, an office space, and I'm kind of ridiculously proud about that. Makes me feel all legit.
The new office corner, currently still sans standing desk accessories, but those are on their way, too.
I want to make a living with my writing. I want the office corner to be where I work. I want it so much it actually hurts when I think about it.
Yeesh. Moving on.
I can't spend more than a minute of quiet before I start thinking about the worldbuilding workshop I'm going to in July. I'm so freakin' excited about it, I can't stand it! (I'm sure it'll take up at least a week or two of the diary as it comes, happens, and finishes, so you'll be hearing plenty about it in the future.)
And the Wild Tides cover reveal will be happening next Tuesday on my Twitter and Facebook page, and it's another of those awesome covers by Yana Yakubchik, so stay tuned!
Happy Memorial Day, one of the six days every year that are a Real Day Off (and only three of those six days are always guaranteed Real Days Off, so happy One Of The Weekday Holidays!)
I didn't think at first I was going to make my productivity goal for today and that yesterday's Cat Day would bleed into my day off, but then about 8 pm, I had this crazy burst of energy, and I FINISHED IT! I FINISHED the Wild Tides edit*!!
*That is, to be completely accurate, I finished draft 3 of Wild Tides, which is my last major revision draft. From here on out, I'll be working on line- and copy edits, which are a LOT easier for me, since they're all about wording and grammar and no longer about rewrites.
It feels kinda weird, the idea that the White Stone series, the stories that have taken up most of my creative brainpower for, like, 6 years, is now in its final stages of production. I mean, there's still plenty of work to do, of course, since there's 3 full rounds of line edits and another copy edit to do, but the *story* is done.
It just feels a little weird, is all.
Fortunately, I've got my next five stories either fully or partially planned, one in the very early stages of consideration, and hopefully what will be some crazy-exciting opportunities opening up this summer (more on that later).
BUT, the big excitement for today is that I've got back the new covers for White Stone and Wide Horizons, and they're so pretty I can't stand it.
So awesome! Biggest shout out ever to the artist, Yana Yakubchik, who you can find here.
The Wild Tides cover reveal is coming soon, and it's just as gorgeous. :)
June is here! June means summer, and summer means...well, summer. Long days and warm nights.
Wild Tides needs a little bit of cooling off before I get deep into line edits, so I've started tiptoeing into the next book, which will be quite different from the White Stone series in just about every way, being a bit more adult and (hopefully) more funny and satirical. I'm looking forward to writing it, even though (and probably because of) it is going to be so crazy different in tone and setting from what I'm used to working on.
Lots and lots of awesome things are starting to take shape for the summer. More on those as they happen. :)
I did it. I got a ticket for a worldbuilding workshop this July in Austin, TX. I've been waffling and hemming and dancing around the decision for weeks, since the mastermind I've joined first offered it, and tonight I finally just went ahead and bought a ticket to the workshop.
So I'll be spending 2 days in mid-July talking shop with a few of my favorite career indies, coming up with stories for the world that's going to be built and shared at the event, and generally having what sounds like is going to be a fantastic time. So stoked!!
(I feel like I should contact said favorite career indies and preemptively apologize for the inevitable fangirling I'm going to do when I meet them, because I know I'm going to fangirl when I meet them at this event. It'll be kinda like that time I met Seth Andrews, only maybe a little worse, because these said career indies are legitimately everything I want to be, while Seth is more just a cool guy whose podcast and videos I enjoy.)
Over 1,000 words written in the brand new WIP this afternoon, and that's all I've got in me today. Tomorrow will be better (though, honestly, today wasn't bad. 1k new words written in a brand new story isn't bad.)
The Other Worlds box set release date has been pushed back a few weeks due to some health problems with a couple of the contributors. It's now scheduled to come out on 6/5/17.
I have only a half day of work tomorrow, so it should be nice and productive. :)
I had the entire afternoon off of work today, and I had grand plans for going to Aegis and working on Wild Tides. Unfortunately, this afternoon didn't work out that way, but I did still manage to finish the edit for Part 2! I mean, it wasn't that hard--Part 2 was in good shape pretty much from the NaNo first draft--but...small wins. :) Part 3 shouldn't be too bad, though there needs to be some serious editing to the big fight scene.
Actually, the climax of Wide Horizons showed me how much fun fight scenes can be to write, so I'm kind of excited for the big fight. Lots of people die, and it is fun.
Buildup to the big fight is on the docket for tomorrow.
Ji'als is a monster. I mean, I've known that for a while ("A Present" does a good job illustrating that), but it still continues to surprise and delight me when he does something awful--and he is always doing something awful.
I haven't written a straight villain since probably high school (I think Sir Marcus, wielder of black magic and the Jafar-like ability to turn into a giant snake, might've been my last one, and I was in 10th grade when I wrote that story, and no, Sir Marcus will not be part of my published catalogue). I usually go the way of having antagonists and not real villains, but damn--Ji'als has been so much fun to write I might start rethinking that tendency. :)
(Probably not. Ji'als in all his glorious, power-hungry, psychopathic villainy has been crazy fun to write, but he's for the White Stone series and not for any of the other projects I'm currently planning.)
I had a great writing day that was totally interrupted by having to get over to the day job. It made me kind of cranky--breaking a killer flow-state to sweep floors and answer phones sucked. :(
BUT this weekend is Memorial Day weekend and I've got off from noonish tomorrow to Tuesday afternoon, and I think I can get a really good chunk of the rest of the Wild Tides edit knocked out in that time, so planning for a good weekend.
Note: I reference a few titles today that feature explicit language and a picture of a hand giving The Bird.
It's been alternately raining and thunderstorming all day, and I've had what I call a Cat Day--that is, a day off with no obligations which I spend in my pajamas, dozing on and off through the entirety of the day. It is extremely lazy and unproductive, and extremely enjoyable.
Coconut and Little Orange model the feeling of a Cat Day. Pineapple refused to participate in this demonstration because she conscientiously avoids getting caught being lazy.
That doesn't mean I've never caught Pineapple having a Cat Day, of course.
But it's not like I've wasted the entire day. I added another email to my welcome email autoresponder, finished the final edit for "Double Crossed" (important, since that's releasing in a little under 2 weeks), and done a little bit of reading that's got me inspired to keep working toward what I want out of life (thanks, "Disobey" and "The Universe Doesn't Give a Flying Fuck About You"!) Plus, I still have all of tomorrow off (which is a HUGE chunk of time I don't normally get), and I'm aiming tomorrow to get back into the flow-state that was so interrupted on Friday and finish off the climax of Wild Tides.
Real-talk time. I started blogging in February because it's something that comes highly recommended for people (like me) who are looking to find and engage an audience, but I'm just not that good at blogging. I don't really have anything to say that hasn't already been said, and by hundreds of people who can say it better, faster, clever-er than me. I've run out of ideas about things to say, or the ideas I do have aren't actually that interesting or engaging.
So, since my attempt at traditional blogging has once again managed to fall off the rails, I think it's time to try something different. This page is going to change into my writing diary, and we'll see how that feels.
(I read once that this point in my career, where I have zero people looking at me, is a good time to experiment, since no one will ever see the things that flop. I've decided to embrace that idea.)
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