Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weekend Writing Warriors July 24

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.
http://www.wewriwa.com/

Continuing a scene from my current WIP, The Ashes of Home, Shayla has tracked a mysterious madman, Randall, to a makeshift bar in a forestry work camp. The patrons have been plying him with drink, and he rewards them with an insane rant about fire falling from the sky. Skipping ahead a few paragraphs from last week’s snippet, the ‘audience’ has been goading Randall on with questions about his visions. Shayla pitches in with a question of her own...

=====

“What color is the fire?” Shayla called.

She ignored the puzzled stares nearby.

Sightless eyes turned towards her, then lifted to the ceiling. Randall raised his arms, hands outstretched like a priest before the altar of Unity. His voice was hushed. “It is the purest, cleanest, palest lilac. Too bright. Too bright. No mortal eyes should look upon that light.”


=====

Hmmm...what will Shayla make of his answer? See her reaction next week.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Weekend Writing Warriors July 17

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.
http://www.wewriwa.com/

Continuing a scene from my current WIP, The Ashes of Home, Shayla has tracked a mysterious madman, Randall, to a makeshift bar in a forestry work camp. The patrons have been plying him with drink, and he rewards them with an insane rant about fire falling from the sky. He’s so far described scenes of terrifying destruction. This snippet opens with Randall speaking.

=====

“It is Judgment Day. We harbored snakes in our midst and the punishment is swift and terrible.”

The rant sounded insane yet curiously convincing. It had the sounds of religious zeal yet Shayla puzzled. In her undercover assignments she’d studied the Book of Unity and many other holy works. She knew the Pillars of Duty inside out and could quote sermons wholesale from a dozen mainstream religions. This was nothing she recognized. Besides, the details were too precise. This man had seen something. And it had driven him mad.


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http://www.iansbott.com/the-critique-survival-guide

Just a reminder, The Critique Survival Guide is still available as a **free** e-book packed with tips for writers to get the best out of the (sometimes harsh and intimidating) process of being critiqued.

See the links in the side bar...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Writing progress

Just a quick writing update because this evening I passed the 75k mark drafting The Ashes of Home. That’s worth a celebratory glass of wine because it represents roughly 3/4 of the likely final novel.

Knocking out a first draft is a big task and can get overwhelming, and sometimes it’s hard to see how far you’ve come. When I’m in full-on writing mode I find it helps to set a word count target, and to graph the results week by week. This picture helps motivate me, giving me a kick up the pants when I’m struggling. It draws me back when I don’t feel like writing, even if it’s just to add a couple of hundred words. And when things are going well it reminds me to celebrate progress and milestones like this.

Back in February I picked up the smattering of rough scenes I’d written a few years ago, and set myself the goal of hitting 90k by the end of August. That works out at a little over 400 words a day. Not much by many writers’ standards, but with other commitments it’s a stretch for me to sustain day on day.

As you can see from the graph (blue = target, red = actual word count) I’ve been doing well, tracking just ahead of target. You can clearly see the slump when I hit a sticky patch last month. But with such a clear depiction of the slump (something it’s impossible to get just looking at a list of figures) I gritted my teeth and sorted out the root of the problem. There will be more slumps to come, especially as I try to bring all the story threads to a conclusion, but I hope to blast through them in the same way. Right now, words on the page is the name of the game. Kicking it into shape will come later, but you can’t edit an empty page.

Incidentally, the traffic light colors at the top of the page illustrate my fractal planner/pantser writing approach. Each column represents a separate Word document (I like to split the manuscript into manageable chunks) and the colors show state of readiness, with red for raw work in progress, and green for a section in good shape. You can see how I tend to leap ahead in the story and draft later scenes while I’m still polishing up earlier ones.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Weekend Writing Warriors July 10

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.
http://www.wewriwa.com/

Shayla has tracked a mysterious madman, Randall, to a makeshift bar in a forestry work camp. The patrons have been plying him with drink, and he rewards them with an insane rant about fire falling from the sky.

=====

“The earth melts; it opens up before me.” Tears glistened on ruddy cheeks. “Buildings gone. Trees like torches. People are matchsticks in the wind.”

“Yeah, the wind,” someone near the back of the room called. He made a farting sound and collapsed, laughing.

“Fear the wind,” Randall bellowed. “It roars like a lion and sweeps all before it. It levels whole streets at a single breath, turns them to glass.”


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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This is what happens when a husky decides summer has arrived


After the sunshine last week, Gypsy finally decided to start shedding her winter coat. Yes, that is a full carrier bag of fluff I combed out in a couple of ten-minute sittings, and there's more to come out yet!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Weekend Writing Warriors July 3

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.
http://www.wewriwa.com/

Shayla has tracked a mysterious madman, Randall, to a makeshift bar in a forestry work camp. The patrons have been plying him with drink in anticipation of some entertainment.

=====

“Hey, Randall,” someone jeered from the back of the room. “Tell us a story.”

For the first time, Randall seemed to react to another person. His eyes swiveled in the direction of the cry, then lost their focus again. “Hellfire,” he roared.

People cheered and clapped.

“Fire from the sky!”

More cheers. This is what the crowd had come to see.

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A reminder, the SIA Free & Bargain Books event is still on until the end of July 4. Lots of free or discounted e-books to pick up from the event website.

http://events.supportindieauthors.com/

Friday, July 1, 2016

Yes, the SIA Free and Bargain Books event is on!

http://events.supportindieauthors.com/

See all the details on the event website.

Among the large number of bargain books on offer, Ghosts of Innocence and Tiamat's Nest are down to $0.99.
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