The Misadventures of a Hopeful Writer

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Perspectives and Villains

The Reckoner is a story told about various characters, but very much focuses on the actions of the “good guys”. Now, while this is my intention, I need to also be aware of my “bad guys”. My villains deserve just as much attention as the careful detail given to Evie and her companions. I suppose my point here is that I often write one dimensional when it comes to my villains. I want them to be multi-faceted, to feel real emotions and to have understandable motivations. How hard can that be? Well, it turns out to be quite intricate, much like all of writing.

I’m running into a bit of a road block in my content edits due to this very issue. The turning point is about to happen, but I feel like my villain is falling flat. I have planned out the motivation, but my execution isn’t quite where I want it to be. It just feels, well, silly. I want a raw feeling born of hardship and hardened hearts. I guess I just want more than someone to hate, I want someone real.

I think the biggest point I can make in this post is the fact that I’m avoiding evil. Evil for the sake of evil sounds boring. I’m going to try and bring some wonderful perspective into the mind of my villain and why they do the things they do.

Another Summer, Another Return.

I realize I take a hiatus every summer, but that’s what summer camp does to my mind. I can’t write when I spend all my time either taking care of children or sleeping, it’s just too much. However, that is not the point of this statement. The real point is that my hiatus is almost over!

I’m still quite serious about getting published and intend to spend the fall really prepping and polishing. I’m also bumping up my word count slowly but surely, I”m hoping to hit 60,000 by the end of it. It’s been weeks since I’ve looked at my manuscript, so I took some time tonight to read. It’s really great to get a fresh perspective on my writing. I often find myself getting so bogged down in the details, so focused on getting my points across that I miss the simplest mistakes. It was nice to feel myself even get a little wrapped up in the words, it’s proving that maybe I have created a pull, some intrinsic quality of the words I chose that I strung together in sentences that makes me want to read, want to be be a part of that world.

It’s crazy to me to think that I may actually be moving towards starting my sequel novel. I’ve mapped out the continuation of the story already and it’s new locales and I’m excited to bring my characters there.

So here’s to another summer full of memories and another new beginning for The Reckoner.

Re-Writes…Lovin’ It

I didn’t believe that I would like doing heavy content edits. In fact, I thought it would be like pulling teeth. I had the hardest time starting, flipping open my printed copy of my manuscript and starting up my computer. I suppose the idea of doing much more than basic edits was a little daunting. I had so many ideas for changes swirling around in my head, I couldn’t keep anything tangible at all. However, once I broke myself out of this, I’ve been having such a great time.

I think the best part about essentially rewriting entire sections of my story and even adding new material is that I have a much better understanding of where the story is going now, what needs to be included to make it work and the overall continuity. I’ve made some significant changes in plot, trying to really develop motives. I think as a writer that’s something I’ve struggled with.

Everyone faces different pitfalls, things that pull us down and discourages us when we write. Don’t give up now! Even if you just started or are editing a finished product, it’s important to always be moving forward.

That being said, I’m very happy right now. I’m loving being so involved in the story, getting a better feel for my characters and igniting my love of writing again.

Feels good to be in love.

I Promise I’m Not Dead…Yet.

I recently completed the online workshop I was lucky enough to be a participant in and I feel completely refreshed as a writer. I learned so many things about my writing that I didn’t even have an inkling was true and far more techniques that I should be employing in my work. I really think my first five pages of my novel are far better because of the wonderful authors that helped me see the flaws and beauty in the words. I now feel so much more empowered to make necessary changes in my manuscript, which is something I intend to really push forward in during these upcoming weeks.

I’ve been running into the issue that it’s far more fun to write new material than edit old material, but it has to be done at some point. I’m not about to give up on The Reckoner any time soon, I really believe in it, as lame as that may sound. For now I’ve got to consign myself to the grueling road of revising regardless of the kicking and screaming my mind seems to have been doing lately. After all, if you truly love something, you never give up on it.

In an attempt to help my craft improve, I’ve been reading. And reading. And reading. I’m a little scattered sometimes, so I tend to end up in the middle of three books at the same time. I’m really looking forward to a book I recently purchased called Minutes Before Sunset. It’s by a wonderful author who’s blog I follow. I personally don’t want to be in the middle of three books anymore, so I’m finishing up as much as I can before I dive into this book. Reading is absolutely beneficial, I feel like I have a better understanding now of how I should be writing and who I’m writing for. Love, heartbreak, adventure, shortcomings and overcoming the odds is what I want to convey, what I love about books. Here’s to dreams, without them our lives would be very dull indeed.

 

I’ll be posting again soon with some of my revised work from the workshop, I’m just finishing up the last changes. As always, thanks for checking out my blog!

It’s That Time Again!

So this is a bit late, but better late than never? I’ll get right to it, this is a post for Weekend Writing Warriors! Check out their site for great links to other blogs, I promise it’s great.

I’m continuing my snippet from last week. Evie and Grey are still in the tavern, having a tense conversation.

 

He turned to the barmaid and ordered, gesturing towards the bar. “It’s just a local thing. If you’re going to be here, you might as well experience a little of Nevvara.”

Evie smiled, the skin around her eyes crinkling. “That’s nice of you.

“I just don’t want to be following a tourist around, might as well get it all out of the way now,” he added coolly, not matching her smile.

The girl rolled her eyes, expecting nothing less. He probably wasn’t ever going to be nice to her, a realization she was coming to.

Editing, Revising, Rewriting, Oh My!

So I recently got accepted to an online workshop that focuses on the first five pages of your manuscript (The First Five Pages Workshop! Check it out!) and it is beyond helpful. I really appreciate the criticism, it’s nice to have other eyes see what I’m missing and what could be better. That being said, I’m working pretty hard on my manuscript right now.

I’ve finished the first round of edits on my printed copy, but now it’s time to not only revising, but to also rewrite. It always feels like there’s a million and one things I want to change and I can’t get away from it, it’s overwhelming. I have my readers lined up, but I want to make sure that it’s the best possible product I can provide before I let it get criticized.

I’m still in love with this story, which is pretty crucial given that I’m pouring my heart and soul into it. I have been considering hiring a professional editor to look at my stuff, but I don’t think I’m ready to commit to that just yet. That’s pretty much the news so far. I will be updating again this weekend with another WeWriWa post.

 

 

“In these we see our horror fulfilled. Our most primal feelings rise up inside us and challenge our souls. In the moment we are seized by it all, we are truly alive. It is our myths, it is our beliefs that haunt us and give us something to hold on to with all of our strength. Never lose this, because even in light of reality, we all need to dream.”

~An excerpt from The Reckoner 

WeWriWa, I’ve missed you.

Hello everyone! Time for another week of Weekend Writing Warriors. I’ve chosen to continue the snippet from two weeks ago at this point, so I’ll refresh your memory a little. As always, thanks for checking out my blog!

 

Evie and Grey are still in the tavern and Evie’s feeling homesick, but Grey’s going to change the subject.

 

“Yes…yes I’m fine,” she muttered, catching her breath. “Just got a little lost in my thoughts.”

“Have you ever had blue fin?” He asked her simply, throwing a hand up in the air to signal the barmaid.

“I’m from a city in the middle of a land-locked country. If it’s not found in a lake, I haven’t tried it. This whole tropical environment is totally new to me,” Evie told him, pushing her blonde hair behind her shoulders. She looked around with wide eyes, the mixed population was much more diverse in a tavern, as always.

“Well, I suppose this will be a new experience for you,” he replied.

 

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Avoiding Graduate School, One Blog Post at a Time

Ever have moments of discouragement? I’ve been full of them lately. I’m still working on the first round of edits and re-writes of my manuscript, but I’ve also been reading a TON and I can’t help but feel like I’m not on the same page as everyone else. I don’t doubt my skill as a writer, I know that I can spin a good story and I am not an utter failure at grammar and spelling, but I feel like my story is lacking something. I realize that that is vague, but a little extra OOMPH would be much appreciated. If only my mind would cooperate.

I’ve been trying to drag myself to a writer’s group for a little while now. Something always seems to come up (grad school rearing its ugly head and trying to bite mine off), but that shouldn’t be an excuse anymore. I need some help, and perhaps it will be a good avenue to pursue.

Aside from this little digression of my thoughts, I should give a little update on whats going on with my manuscript. Right now I’m trying to fix little mistakes and some pretty big mistakes and further develop my world and my characters. I want everything to come to life on the page, it’s something I’m always striving towards. I am very much looking forward to the insight that I’ll gain from the individuals that will be reading my manuscript.

 

So what now? Well I’m going to keep my chin up and keep on writing. Can’t get better if I don’t try, read and write. So here’s to working hard and making it happen, one day at a time.

WeWriWa #3

Attempt number three at Weekend Writing Warriors! Below you will find a nice little 8 sentence snippet, as is the requirement. Check out WeWriWa to see other writer’s work and 8 sentence snippets!

The snippet below is the continuation from last week’s post. Grey and Evie have entered a tavern in Nevara, the city Evie is currently visiting. They have just begun talking about mutations, but the below bit will only encompass Evie’s thoughts.

 

The two pretty bartenders waited on the gruff men who found seats at the bar, and one even turned to wave at Grey. They wandered in a little farther from the door and found a table uninhabited in the middle of the sprawling space.

“Perfect,” Grey said, pulling out a chair for Evie. She was surprised at the gesture, though she plopped down in the seat nonetheless. She looked around at the faces, seeing familiarity in every corner. Taverns reminded her of home, of the thriving city and all the life that seemed to crawl out of corners. Homesickness crept into her stomach, she was far from Revilian. “You okay?”

 

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Time for Romance

I’ve been meaning to post all week before WeWriWa, but I haven’t been able to really bring myself to it. I’ve been dealing with some personal issues and it’s really detracting from my ability to focus on my writing. I feel like I’m dragging my heels every time I edit, barely making it through a few pages before I give up. I guess I just need to buckle down and get through it. I’m not necessarily in a rush, but I’m looking to have some significant work done by August. I want to attend a writing conference in NYC and I need a finished manuscript if I’m going to pitch it. I’m already feeling butterflies over the prospect of trying to pour my heart/story out in 90 seconds, but I suppose I’ll figure out a way to get over it by then. I mean it’s a shot at getting published, I’m not about to waste it over being a little nervous. But enough of that.

I’ve literally covered my manuscript in sticky notes regarding continuity. I think my biggest challenge as a writer is crafting suspense. I’m not writing a mystery story, but I’d like to keep the reader guessing a little. It’s hard to tell if I’ve accomplished this goal or not from my perspective, but I’ve got readers lined up and I can’t wait for their feedback. I also have been working really hard to create believable characters that exist in a believable world. One step at a time I suppose.

I’ve had in my head a scene I’ve written for a little while now. Evie and Grey are supposed to fall for each other slowly but surely and I’m trying to delicately depict the culmination, that moment where the glass wall shatters into pieces. Obviously this little snippet is not going to show the progression, but it will show the shattering. Check it out!

 

 

She spied doors that led out into grounds in the corner next to the stairs, the handles blending into the lattice work of the window doors. She opened one side and slipped out, closing it as delicately as she could behind her, yet leaving it a little ajar for her return. The last thing she needed was to be locked out. She made her away across the grassy area that directly surrounded the palace until she found herself under the protection of the trees and brush.

Grey didn’t bother to greet her, he instead pulled her close enough to hear his whispers. “Evie,” he started. “I need you to listen to me carefully.”

“What do you mean?” she said in a hushed voice, noticing the grimace on his face. He was still bandaged up, but no blood could be seen having seeped through it.

“People are disappearing at the temple. Members of the Order, mostly the lower ranked are going missing, including Instructor Gabriel. No one seems to know where they are, and the concern about their whereabouts is not where should be,” he told her, taking a hold of her shoulders.

“Grey, I can’t help, I’m already enough trouble as it is. Are you sure you’re seeing what you’re seeing?” she said, though she didn’t doubt his resolve.

“I have never lied to you Evie, and I trust my eyes.” He shot back, looking a little hurt. “I suppose you think you’re safe here.”

“It made sense Grey, Daemion’s agreed to offer me refuge,” she told him, her words faltering a little as they left her mouth. She bit her lip, a resurgence of pain coming back into her brain and heart.

“You can’t marry him Evie, you can’t even trust him. Ask him why he meets with the High Priest. The Order and the government don’t mix, they have entirely different agendas. I’ve seen them when they don’t think anyone’s looking,” he whispered with a forceful tone, his eyes staring intently into hers.

“I’m sure their camaraderie is just from the time he spent with the Order, remember you told me that? I think your prejudice because of the way he treated you is just getting to you,” she told him, trying to help, but she was sure she was making it worse.

“Please don’t fall for anything, he’s not the only one that can protect you,” he said, breaking away from her eyes to look down at the ground.

The memory of him pushing her away came crashing back into her mind out of the nothingness, the way he had said those words, the anger that saturated them was still rotten in her mouth. “You pushed me away when I needed you,” she plainly stated, pulling away from him.

“I was wrong to do that, I just didn’t know how to feel,” he admitted in a strained voice. She could see pain on his face, the moonlight catching the frown.

“I can’t tell you how much I needed to see your face today, to have you save me from the hell I was trapped in like you always promised you would. But you weren’t there,” she cried softly, pressure building up in her head. She didn’t want to cry in front of him, she wanted him to feel her anger.

“You have no idea how much I hate myself right now. I would move heaven and earth for you Evie, just like I promised,” he choked, the words fighting as they passed by his lips. Everything was tense, the overwhelming sense of pain between them crashing down like a wave.

She couldn’t help it, tears welled up. “Grey…” she started, but he cut her off.

“Evie, let me protect you,” he managed to say, though his shoulders sunk down in defeat.

Evie felt trapped, torn and destroyed. Her heart felt like it was in her throat and a sickness was rising. Every cell in her body felt like it was on fire, pounding like drums. He made her feel crazy, like the world was spinning around her. “I can’t back out of this,” she sobbed, trying to hold back the flood.

“Then I’ll have to fight for you,” he told her. He reached out, sliding an arm around her waist to pull her in, the other traveling up her back to hold her tightly. His kissed her and it felt like the world stopped. It was different than anything else, her heart was booming and she was sure he could feel it with their bodies pressed together. He made her feel so alive like no one else could, something she never wanted to lose. He released her to take her face in his hands, his fingertips rough against her skin, though she didn’t mind. His touch alone was enough to send a wave of light-headedness up her spine to swell in her head. “You should go.”

Evie snapped back to reality at his words. She wanted nothing more than to stay in that moment with him. This is what it was supposed to feel like, she was sure of it. “I know.”

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