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Category Archives: Savage Lands

Current status

I’ve got several WIPs that I’m working on, so this is a general update.

Providence Paranormal:

This is temporarily being shelved while I try to plot out some more of the conflicts that I want to have in it. I need to do some digging into who the hero is, what the romantic conflict of the story is, what is going on behind the scenes involving the sister, and how the hero is tied to the sister. I’m thinking this is going to be in the 50k+ range, and may aim it at LSB or possibly even NY print.

Savage Lands:

I’m thinking about this story a bit lately. I’m wondering if I want to continue it in the serial idea that I was going to go with before, or if I want to expand it to be more like a Tryst length story for each installment (10-20 per “episode”). If I do that, I need to figure out who the romantic interest is and have her involved from the beginning.

Upon Wings of Hope:

I’ve been really bad about keeping up with this WIP. This is the one I was primarily going to run through the Above & Beyond coursework with, and I’m behind on that. I need to finish up Marten’s bio, which is the last bio I need, and then I need to do the homework for the stakes assignment. I’ll need to do that for Alissandra, Marten, and Litala.

Luzon:

I’m putting this back on indefinite hold. I want to get some of the other projects done first and return to this with some fresh ideas. I think I’m going to change up some of the things I wasn’t planning on before and probably darken the tone a bit. I think I also have a lot of characters for this story and I’ll need to reevaluate who the “main” characters are and how necessary some of the support characters are. I definitely do not want to fall back into the trap of forgetting to involve the familiars like I did the first time around.

Love at First Kiss:

This is a romance idea that I’m aiming at Cobblestone for. I’ve got some details over on the WIP manager at Evolution, and I’ve started working on this. Some 1kish words at the moment, I want to finish this over September/October, revise it and send it off. Looking to actually finish something for once.

Hitting the Books:

Once I finish up with Love at First Kiss, I’m going to work on this novella and push that out to Cobblestone as well.

Shadows in the Light:

This is a dark idea that came to me a while ago, and it’s something I’m going to work on plotting out. I’m thinking along the lines of L. A. Banks / Chris Golden tone… dark, gritty, gory… but yet with a stong romance amidst the hell. This is going to take a bit of research and may end up being a series, so I’m not rushing to work on this right away, but will chip away at it a bit here and a bit there.

 

In the zone…

I’ve been thinking about writing a lot lately. Haven’t been doing much due to my back problems, but that hasn’t stopped me from reading voraciously nor from pondering upon the subject. 🙂

I read an article over at Romancing the Blog by Jo Leigh a bit ago that stuck in my mind: When It’s Good…. The part that stood out the most was this:

For me, it comes down to this – sometimes what’s happening on the page is so fabulous, so incredible, so magical, that my heart rate accelerates, my smile is so big it hurts, the clouds part, the angels sing…yeah, like that. It’s a coming together of plot, character, language, pacing, and tempo that transcends. It’s the writer’s harmonic convergence, and there’s no way to predict it or force it. The magic happens when it will. I might happen once in a book, or once in ten books, but it’s such a powerful rush that I’m willing to go through ten books on the chance there’ll be the scene that soars.

I call this “being in the zone”. (Apparently, I’m not alone in this, as Elena Greene can attest to.) The Celtic bards called it the awen.

I get this when I’m working on some coding projects as well. Everything else fades away: how I feel, what I’m thinking, the music in the background, the insane cat rampaging through the house, it all is swept aside in lieu of a hyperfocus upon me and the code. My fingers type a thousand characters a minute; a flurry of commands, indentations and punctuations appearing on the screen as I battle the problem in front of me. A quick alt-tab to test the new changes, and then another back to tweak or fix until the problem is solved and I am done, the code complete. I stretch my cramped muscles and yawn, realizing suddenly how much time has gone by as the world starts to return to reality and my hyperfocus is shattered.

I don’t get that as often with writing. Why? I have a few thoughts. One: the times when I have, have either been when starting a new short story, or when working on an existing novel. Two: I can’t maintain it as long as when I code. Three: I can’t seem to ever get into it when pre-writing, worldbuilding, outlining, brainstorming or the like.

I’ve got two novels that I’m working on right now through the Above and Beyond class over at Evolution. In the meantime, I thought I would work on a secondary project, Savage Lands. I’ve been having a bit of difficulty with that, and just the other day, it all came to me.

I can’t get into the zone unless I know what’s happening next. My inner editor/critic/plotter has to think things over for too long to reach that spot where I can just cut loose and let the words fly. When coding, each step intuitively leads to the next step, one logical piece falling into place at a time. Writing is only like that for me when I’m actually writing rather than trying to figure things out.

To a certain extent, this is why I’m not really much of an organic writer. I’m semi-organic, or at least, that’s what I classify myself as. I write vague outlines that have chapter goals, and then when I reach a chapter, I work out the details and get down to work. This gives me both flexibility and structure at the same time… because I always know what comes immediately next.

I can’t write Savage Lands organically, which is what I was hoping to do. It’ll take too much time spent figuring out the world– the politics, the people, the paranormal elements. At every turn I’ll be confronted with decisions as to how to take the story, because I don’t know enough about it.

That’s not to say that I can’t write anything organically. The problem with Savage Lands is that I need to figure too many things out. I do have another idea that I’ve been kicking around in the back of my head… a paranormal romance, set in the modern day, in Rhode Island (focusing on Providence/Pawtucket), with a florist/herbalist who is an Earth Mage. I already know the setting, I already know the politics… the only thing I don’t know is the character and the story. And I know enough of the character to start working on it soon. Just a few plot notes, a few things to figure out, and I can probably start winging it along. I won’t deviate too far from where I start, because I have something to ground me… the modern day.

I think this might work. 🙂 And it’ll give me something to actually write (rather than more endless prewriting) while I push the other two novels through Above & Beyond.

 

Posted by on April 11, 2006 in General, Misc, Savage Lands

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Misc…

Haven’t updated in a bit, so figured that I would go ahead and do so now.Deep Breath

Got word from Alison Kent that I managed to score a free copy of Deep Breath from one of her contests on her blog. Very cool– it always sounded interesting, but the local library has pretty spotty selections of her books, more’s the pity. Looking forward to devouring this when it arrives.

Been reading through a bunch of new romance books… Dark Lover and Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward, and Awaken Me Darkly by Gena Showalter. Loved them all. 🙂 Looking forward to the new installments by both authors… 2006 is shaping up to have a lot of interesting sequels: Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Stephen Woodward all have new books forthcoming as well. I’ve added some of them to my library listing.

I also went through and imported a lot of my old LiveJournal posts about writing. Some of it is marked as private; I’m going to be going through and tagging them with different permission sets. So if you want to see any of my planning notes, make sure to sign up for an account (which I require to leave comments… helps prevent spam) and let me know and I’ll add you to the access lists once they’re set. Now I just need to move over the old phpBB blog posts from my old site

What else have I been up to? Mainly watching TV and reading, truth be told. I’ve been going through Season 2 of both Monk and CSI. Netflix to the rescue 🙂 The main reason I’ve been reading and watching TV so much is that my back has been bothering me a lot lately, so I’ve pretty much been sticking to the couch and the bed for the most part, with occasional trips to the computer to check gmail and LiveJournal. And the cluster migraines certainly haven’t been helping any, either. I do have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, though, so we’ll see how things go with that.

I’ve also been thinking over the concept for Savage Lands and I’m really not sure what I want to do with it. I was originally thinking of doing it as a serial, while I work on the going through Nonny’s Above and Beyond course over at Evolution with two of my other WIPs. (And TA’ing the course as well. Yes, I really am insane.)

But I’m not really sure if I want to do that. I could scrap the serial idea and do it as a short novel (50k range) and go the epub route with it (which was more what I was thinking of aiming for anyways). But the instant I start thinking of doing it as a novel, I start thinking of all the reasons why I would want to hold off and do it right after going through A&B. I’ve also considered trying to write it organically rather than plotting it in the semi-organic fashion I’ve done before. A lot of different ways I could handle this (including just shelve it until after A&B so I’m not trying to work on 3 projects at once…), and I’m really not sure what the best is.

 

Posted by on March 28, 2006 in General, Savage Lands

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Snippet from Savage Lands #1…

I’ve been thinking about WIPs and wanted to do something like a serial while I’m going through A&B with Luzon and Wings… and a little plotbunny popped up. Here’s the start…

Disclaimer: blood, death.
Genre: urban fantasy/dark fantasy
Word Count: 411

[cut]

* * *

The vampire raised his head from his kill, blood dripping slowly from his mouth and his fangs as he hissed at me in anger. I held up my hands in a non-aggressive stance, backing away slowly with both eyes focused squarely on him, watching the muscles bunching and tensing in his body. Shit, I thought, he’s going to go for it.

Letting the body of the emaciated girl he had been feeding upon drop to the ground, he sprang towards me, his hands outstretched like claws. I reached towards my shoulder with one hand, and my hip with the other, drawing my sword and shotgun at the same time. I managed to fire one barrel of the sawed-off before he slammed into me, wounding him but not doing enough damage. Then again, if he ain’t dead-dead, it ain’t enough damage, I thought wryly as the impact sent us both tumbling on the ground and causing me to lose my grip on my sword.

He pinned me to the ground with inhuman strength, reaching forward to drink from my neck. I smiled as I poked the barrel of the sawed-off to his chest and pulled the trigger, splattering blood and bone as the force of the blast threw him off of me. Wiping the gore from my face, I watched him flopping on the ground, his body already starting to heal the gaping wound in his chest. Not the heart… damn, I’m slipping in my old age.

Reaching down to pick up my sword from where it had fallen, I paused as I felt a chill trickle over my skin as the temperature dropped several degrees in the span of a few seconds. Shitshitshit, I thought, grabbing the blade and scanning the area. To my left, and to my right, I saw the tell-tale wisps of black fog surfacing, drifting against the wind towards the vampire as they formed into humanoid shapes. Backing away slowly at first, and quicker as none of the amorphous shapes drifted to me, I abandoned the kill.

The screams of the vampire broke through the ruins as I jogged away, unearthly in tone and lasting longer than was humanly possible. Better him than I, though. I will feed no wraiths this night. A sudden silence fell, ringing with its emptiness, marking the end of the wraiths’ meal. Shrugging at the vampire’s fate, I paused to reload the shotgun and continued my hunt.

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Posted by on February 26, 2006 in Savage Lands, Snippets, WIPs

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