Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WIPpet Wednesday

I've been a bad author. I've been so busy with work, and finishing up my summer graduate classes that I haven't had a moment to do any writing. Which is okay because I think my brain needed a break, but it makes it more difficult to do this. Luckily though, I have two novels still in the editing process, so I have a lot of material to choose from. Since I gave you a peek at Devil's Despair in the last WIPpet, I'm going to give you a look at Devil's Redemption, or book 3, in this one. The chapters are a bit rougher, so please don't hold any errors against me. This has not yet been betaed.

Since today is the 14th, you will get 14 paragraphs from chapter 15 of Devil's Redemption. As with the last one, it's a bit of an action sequence, and I hope you enjoy it.

Aradia shook her head, all her focus on Javal. “He’s been feeding on some very powerful warlocks. This is my test. Don’t you feel the power rolling off of him?” She chuckled. “Didn’t like that I escaped your dreamscape intact, did you?”
Javal bared his teeth in a snarl. “I won’t make that mistake again.”
Enraged, Gage started to stride toward her when Aradia’s voice shocked him by sounding in his head. “Let me do this. A demon’s body can only hold so much magic. He isn’t a warlock, and he’s stretched his boundaries. I can handle him. This is my part in this, Gage. I’m the witch. Don’t make me be distracted by trying to protect you too.”
Grudgingly, Gage nodded and held out his hands. “You don’t know what you’re dealing with, Javal. You should run while you have the chance.”
Without warning, Javal threw out his hands and sent a bolt of black energy at Aradia. With one flick of her wrist, she sent it back at him. It veered slightly off course, striking a tree and felling it as he leaped out of the way. She spread her arms, and the wind picked up, blowing her hair behind her. Her eyes began to change color, first turning thunderstorm grey, then black, and then to pure white.
Javal climbed to his feet and brushed himself off, his eyes glowing yellow. Fire whipped up around Aradia, licking the edges of her dress and slashing at her skin. With a sideways look, she extinguished it, then lifted her hand and concentrated on forming a ball of fire in her hand. It came to life in her palm, glowing white hot. With a casual look, she launched it at him, striking his hip as he dodged the projectile. The skin where the fire touched melted and sizzled from the heat.
He pressed his hand to the wound for a moment and smiled wickedly. “You’re a powerful little witch. I’ll give you that.
Aradia lifted her eyebrows and cocked one hip, her stance confident and sure. “This all you got?”
In a heartbeat, he sent out a stream of energy so hot and strong that it was all Aradia could do to match it with one of her own before it slammed into her. Thunder rumbled and the sky opened, rain pelting them all, even the weather disturbed by the show of magic. Gage could hear Greer yelling back at the house and could feel the Healer reaching out, trying desperately to find Aradia with her mind.
Aradia was too focused on Javal to even notice. Her body was tense, the energy pouring out of her was an electric blue that sizzled where it clashed with the black that came from Javal. Her mouth was closed tight, her eyes open wide, crackling with power. A trickle of blood started from her nose, and he could see a change in her as she shifted from offense to defense.
Javal was making progress against her. She stumbled back a few steps until she was up to her thighs in the water. She closed her eyes, chanting under her breath, tapping in to all the power she possessed. She threw her head back, her eyes flying open and the stream of energy intensifying. When she lowered her head, her eyes were glowing red. The stream changed color, darkening until it was as black as Javal’s. She forced him backward, still muttering under her breath, managing to get almost to the bank.
The trail of blood coming from her nose thickened, and Gage saw a trickle come out of her ears as well. Whatever she was channeling, it was taking its payment in blood. He looked around hurriedly and found a heavy branch with a sharp point. Dipping his head, he charged Javal, driving the branch all the way through the demon. In a split second, his energy stream sputtered, and Aradia’s hit him full in the chest. He screamed as his skin boiled, and disintegrated. In the next moment, it was over. Javal opened his mouth, his essence flowing out of the body he had been possessing, which fell to the ground, limp and lifeless.
Aradia wavered on her feet for several seconds, trying to get her balance. Unable to steady herself, her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell into the water. Gage leaped to her, scooping her out and lifting her in his arms, her hair streaming over his arm halfway to the ground. He lowered her to the ground once to pull on his pants and shoes, then struck out toward the house. Before he was halfway there, Greer and Damon came barreling through the woods. He brushed off their hurried questions with a glare, and continued toward the house, his only thoughts those of the unconscious woman in his arms.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WIPpet Wednesday

Well, it's Wednesday, which means I'm supposed to share part of a work in progress. Here's the problem:

I haven't worked on my current book since last week. I haven't had time. My cat had kittens and I've been doing lots of editing. So I haven't worked on anything new. However, though I'm done writing two other books, I am not done editing, so I declare that they are still in progress.

Without further ado, here are seven paragraphs from book 2 in my series, entitled Devil's Despair. Here's your sneak peak Nessa!

           Without a word, the three Devils disappeared, taking Sam and her baby with them. Sam was dizzy from the trip and fell flat when she was abruptly dropped. She scrambled to her feet, stumbling three steps before she gained her balance. She turned in a slow circle, taking in her surroundings. Her throat closed from terror, and her heart pounded in her chest.
            They were in a cave. She was surrounded by demons and Devils. There were people chained to the wall, bound hand and foot by shackles. Hell hounds paced the perimeter, and their growls filled the cavern. A man wearing worn-in jeans and a polo walked over, his face suspiciously friendly. He held out a hand.
            “Welcome to Hell. I’m Abalam. You are?”
            Azazel shoved her toward the man. “This is Samantha. She’s the Warrior’s sister. If anyone knows where he is, it’s gonna be her.”
            Abalam grinned. “Fantastic! I’ve got your room all set up for you. Follow me, please.” He led her down one of the cave’s off-shoots and into another chamber. A chair sat in the middle, anchored to the floor with a metal plate and with cuffs to hold her at the wrists and the ankles. In one corner were a twin mattress and a tray containing a plastic cup of water and a sandwich.
            Sam took in all in with a sinking feeling in her gut. “What’s this for?”
            “This is what I like to call my information station.” Abalam reached out and patted the chair proudly. “You’ll come to know and loathe it soon enough. I wanted to introduce you to the place so that you can make an informed decision about how this is going to go.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cover Art

I started writing when I was nine years old. About a year ago, I decided to try and get published. I thought writing a good book was the most important thing.

I was wrong.

Writing the book is just the beginning. First was the writing, then the editing, which is a beast in and of itself. After the editing came the blurb and the query letters, then sample chapters, and the waiting.

Let me tell you this in absolute terms: writing a 3-4 paragraph blurb and a one page query letter are both exponentially harder than writing a 100,000 word book. Unequivocally.

After all of that, which takes just as long as writing the thing, by the way, comes the contract, which I've written about before. Unfortunately, that's just the beginning.

Right now, I am at the cover part. Choosing a cover, designing a cover, approving a cover. Whatever part of it is yours, it is HARD. I have spent hours upon hours looking at stock photos. Going through them, looking at them with a magnifying glass, keeping a log of what I would change about each and what I like. I've been sharing them with the publisher, asking questions and just basically harassing them.

Yesterday, I gave up. See, I came to this conclusion: I am not an artist, nor am I a publisher. I write. I craft and sculpt words, not images. I have not one clue what I'm doing when we're dealing with graphics. So, instead of continuing to spend hours upon hours combing through images, I sent my publisher an email telling them that I give up and they can figure it out.

It's not that I don't want to be involved. I do. I can't wait to look at it and suggest tweaks and help make it what I see in my head. I just don't have the skills to do it myself. I also don't have the skills to edit my own work, which is why I have beta readers and is why my publisher's editing staff is going over my work. I learned a long time ago that my inability to catch my own typos is not something I should feel guilty about. Now it's my turn to figure out how to accept the fact that along with decidedly NOT being an editor, I am also most decidedly NOT a graphic artist.

And y'know what? Oh well. I wear enough hats.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo

I'm sure a lot of you don't know this, but July was Camp National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. It's an event where in 30 days, you attempt to write 50,000 words on either a new project or a current WIP. I knew about it in April when they did one, but didn't participate because I didn't think I write anywhere near 50,000 words in a month. That seemed like an insurmountable goal to me.

Nevertheless, I like challenges, so I convinced myself to give it a go in July. I started off behind, and didn't get any writing in two of the first three days. It took me until day 10 to catch up to where I was supposed to be. By then, I was kinda hooked. See, they put you in virtual cabins, and you can see how other people are doing. If anything, I'm competitive. I wanted to win. I'm also goal oriented, so knowing that I had that goal, and knowing that if I didn't meet it, it would be there for everyone to see, really helped me stay on track.

Here's what I learned about me and my writing from Camp:

1. I like word wars, which is where you set a timer and see how many words you can write. Whoever has the most, wins. Adrian, my beta, is the only one who can beat me.
2. During a word war, I can consistently pound out 1000-1200 words in 30 minutes. Who knew?
3. Having a goal keeps me on track. This is the fastest I've ever completed a novel.
4. I like to win. I was determined to have the most words in my cabin, just to prove that I could.
5. I can write 50,000 words in 30 days. In fact, my total for the month of July, was 84,164.

I know a lot of you are writers, and if you're like me, some days the words flow and other days they don't. This experience really showed me that the block is all in my head. If I want to write, I can. I don't know if my fear of failing is just stronger than my writer's block, but this worked for me.

There's another round in November. You should all join me!