A new character arrives

I knew Jace Winter would be meeting Kih Soh Hohito in this section. What I did not know was that a new character, Quin, would appear.

Yet his arrival makes perfect sense. I don’t know him yet. I have an idea of what he’ll have to do in this story and the ones to follow, but I don’t yet know who he needs to be.

Again, in first draft this feels way too expository. But it IS first draft, and I’ll do a brutal once-over before I submit it.

527 words tonight. How about you?

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

51 comments… add one
  • WandersNowhere Nov 28, 2010 @ 19:17

    I suck. I haven’t written a damn thing since I finished the scene with the raid on the Ottoman outpost.

    This is my first stab, however short, at historical fiction, even if it’s about to go supernatural.

    I’m actually wondering if the entire subplot of the protag’s shady crusader background is extraneous and could be cut. Until I’ve written the whole thing I don’t think I’ll know for sure.

    Part of me really wants to get back to my series.

    • thepencilneck Nov 28, 2010 @ 19:59

      Of course, you’re right. U R D SUXOR.

      Joke.

      I suggest writing more than you need and then going back afterwards and cutting it down to the essentials. But for someone used to writing larger pieces, keeping yourself constrained to a short story can be really hard.

      I tried writing a short story and it just didn’t turn out quite right.

      • WandersNowhere Nov 28, 2010 @ 23:27

        Short stories are hard. I used to write a lot of them in high school and university but I don’t even think I have copies of those anymore.

        I’m used to writing much longer fiction. This will be 10,000 words max, I’d prefer 5 but I can’t see it happening.

  • thepencilneck Nov 28, 2010 @ 12:04

    1797 words. 2 complete scenes and 1 partial.

    1: The Princess’ most trusted Captain gets grief from the Duke who was expecting the Princess herself to join his rebel assault group and he was expecting more ships. The Captain had to defend himself and the Princess’ honor and get the rag-tag group of captains and nobles concentrated on the task at hand: attacking a larger, stronger, more experienced force at the Crimson Moon.

    2: Disguised as merchants, The Princess and her “convoy” are directed to an orbit around the Crimson Moon. There are more Imperial ships there than she had planned and her communications specialist picks up chatter that the Impies are about to attack a rebel stronghold on the surface of the moon.

    3: The Governor gives orders to the troopers about to attack the rebel forces. And then he gets notification of an attack by pirates on an undefended convoy.

    It was hard to force myself to write. Friday was crazy (guests and we had to put down one of our kittens — the two were not related.) Now, I’ve got a cold or something but I’ve got to get to 50,000 and I’m sitting at 47832.

  • Leah Nov 28, 2010 @ 11:32

    345 words today, bringing me to a total of 1702 so far on this new story. Not entirely happy with the way the scene wrapped up, but I needed to get it done and out of the way so I could move on. Fixing and fussing is what second drafts are for anyway, right? :-p

  • Sal Davis Nov 28, 2010 @ 8:15

    I’ve been too busy with Nanowrimo to look at my feeds lately, so was surprised and delighted to see that you’re writing again and doing so well. I’m so glad you’re feeling a little better and hope you’ll soon be completely back to normal.

  • Jessic@ Nov 27, 2010 @ 20:31

    Thanks for the support, guys, it really means a lot. Only down side to finishing the draft is that I want to give myself a breather in between the big finish and the revision, so now I feel a little lost. Don’t really know where to put myself for the next few days.

    Guess I’ll do some major reading before I start planning for the next book and maybe get outside. *blinks* What’s that bright, shining orb in the sky?

  • Alice Nov 27, 2010 @ 18:06

    Holly It is so lovely to have you up to writing a bit. Must be the beginning of better things.

    Do not be flinging yourself across the room again Ok?

  • Alice Nov 27, 2010 @ 18:04

    Jessic@ Whooeee, yahoo, happy dance and congratulations on not only your first ever first draft but such a honking big one. What an achievement. I have “never” written anything that big.

    Oh dear, now that I have said the dreaded “n” what do you wanna bet I’ll do and it will be all you fault for giving me ideas.

    Anyway double congratulations!

    • Jessic@ Nov 27, 2010 @ 20:22

      LOL! Thank you so much!

  • Brandi Nov 26, 2010 @ 23:41

    Wierd when a character shows up unannounced! This just happened to me yesterday evening and I feel better knowing it is not an uncommon phenomenon. I’ve only just seen him in passing, but his appearance makes a mess out of what I thought were well-laid plans….argh!
    I am so glad to hear I was not an epic failure because sometimes the best I could muster in an evening was 300 words. Three kids, a first year teaching job and all that goes with both take it’s toll.
    Well, now I have to name this kid……hmmm…..I have a picture of him in mind but I am awful about names that are just clever for cleverness’ sake. Gonna have to think on it.
    So glad to have this place to ramble….a MILLION thanks for making it possible!!!
    🙂
    Brandi

    • Danzier Nov 27, 2010 @ 15:02

      With 3 kids and a teaching job, 300 words a night is an acomplishment.

      Holly’s clinics (esp. culture and character) have a lot to say on character names. I’m really good at picking a random name and then never changing it, even when the character becomes a completely different person. I’ve even made up cultures to explain why a character’s name doesn’t fit the culture he’s in… So who is this guy, and how’s he throwing monkey wrenches in your plot?

  • thepencilneck Nov 26, 2010 @ 17:13

    1159 words. 1 scene.

    The Bodyguard meets with some of his old Special Forces buddies to try to convince them to take on some ‘cells’ in his plan for guerilla warfare.

    This is the year of sick animals. One horse had a problem with Colic yesterday; luckily, she didn’t need surgery. Now our little boy cat (who may be the sweetest li’l cat ever) is having severe respiratory problems and he may not make it. This is in addition to the 18 year old cat that passed away and the horse that lost an eye earlier in the year.

  • Larkk Nov 26, 2010 @ 16:14

    Chugging along on my Nano I crossed the 100k marker today. I have about three more scenes to go, but lots of exposition in between. I didn’t have much time to build my culture and world because I was busy with the never ending revision, so I am using the extra words to fill in those blanks. The actual story will come in between 80 and 90k I think, a reasonable length!

    I will be sad when November is over. I will miss the write ins (which terrified me last year!), updating my word count by leaps and bounds, the word sprints, and the pep talks in my email. Being around people who get this is almost as much fun as the writing itself 🙂

  • Teri Nov 26, 2010 @ 14:30

    Congratulations! You’ve earned the high, reality will still be there when it’s time to get to the revisions.

  • Jessic@ Nov 26, 2010 @ 12:56

    *Happy Dance* I’ve just finished my first, first draft. OMG! I never thought I would finish this thing, but it’s done. 974 formatted pages and 195, 076 words later and the beast is done.

    Now to let it stew a little and start into revisions. How am I going to get this thing printed? Oh, well worry about that later. I’ll just ride the high for the rest of the day and think about reality tomorrow.

    • Larkk Nov 26, 2010 @ 16:11

      Congrats the big finish!! Be good to yourself, and don’t worry about what comes after. This is a huge accomplishment 😀
      Woohoo!!

    • Gabby Nov 27, 2010 @ 11:37

      Yay! Congratulations 🙂

    • Danzier Nov 27, 2010 @ 14:54

      Awesome! Well done 😀

  • DasteRoad Nov 26, 2010 @ 7:38

    Assessed around 7.4K words on Nov 25th.

    I’m past the halfway point of the draft now. Erthel faces doubts about her workplace, suffers post-sleep hallucinations and makes an important choice during a funeral. Then she goes at the high bloodline’s estate so her gift can be tested for anomalies (in the so called room of crimson) – and things go royally splat. In the meanwhile, Mr. Doublecrosses gives to the reader some pretty creepy insights about what he’s willing to do to achieve his goals.

    The scene in the room of crimson is one of my favourites in the whole novel, even if the writing is clumsy here and there. It touches right on my weak spots and ancestral fears. I remember clearly how I was shaking while writing it, last summer, deep at night, the whole house silent and dark. As I put it in my novel notes from around that time, “I can’t decide if the fact that I still manage to scare myself s***less while writing is silly or just plain awesome” 😛

    • DasteRoad Nov 26, 2010 @ 7:40

      Of course I meant “mr. Doublecrosser”. I don’t know who mr. Doublecrosses could be, if not someone very, very superstitious or afraid of vampires (you know, vampires who are actually dangerous).

  • WandersNowhere Nov 25, 2010 @ 18:21

    No work on the vamp story, had something else to attend to.

    After the vamp story’s wrapped up I’ll do my best to finish Capes and Bats and then – and then! – I’ll be free to work on my series again.

    And hopefully ditch all side projects for a while to do that.

  • Julian Adorney Nov 25, 2010 @ 16:50

    473 words of script. The story’s coming along nicely, I’m getting to show off different aspects of the MC’s character and situation. He’s currently in the process of getting hammered, and just about to meet the villain of the story.

  • Teri Nov 25, 2010 @ 15:53

    290 words for Thursday, which brings me to just under the 750 words I’ve set as my goal for the week. And the week’s not over yet. 🙂

  • DasteRoad Nov 25, 2010 @ 4:44

    Assessed around 7K words on Nov 24th.

    Blew past the first, big turning point of the novel rather quickly, although that scene in particular always gives me the creeps. Now Erthel is dealing with the ugly aftermath of what happened, her awkward relationship with Faurel is blooming into an unexpected friendship with clear hints of attraction (heh heh), and the reader has been clearly shown that Mr. Doublecrosser is, um, you know, a doublecrosser.

    There’s something I love about this part of the novel. I think it’s at this point, more or less, that I’ve realized who Erthel really is and how I wanted to write her.

  • Julian Adorney Nov 25, 2010 @ 4:14

    Did a hard edit of last night’s scene, got about 50 net words. No new scene.

    I know what I need to write, though. Tomorrow should be fun 🙂

  • Danzier Nov 25, 2010 @ 3:30

    743 words on SP. The good guys have caught the evil electrician. Surprise reveal number two: the evil electrician is a relative.

    Also made a tiramisu cake that took two attempts. I will never, ever, make a living as a cook. 😀

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Or happy Thursday.

  • thepencilneck Nov 25, 2010 @ 3:15

    3006 words. Several scenes.

    Basically, the Captain realizes that he’s been left alone by the prisoners and that they’ve somehow escaped. He goes to open the hatches for the Imperials hoping that this will get him in their good graces when he trips a booby trap and there’s an explosion. The Bodyguard and a few of the guys that are on the rearguard of the escape realize basically what happened but the Bodyguard feels responsible and decides to go get the Captain. The General and the Colonel order their guys to go in threw holes blown in the walls of the prison instead of through the doors and begin their assault. The Bodyguard and his guys find the Captain and pull him out of the rubble but then the Impies blow their way into the prison. So The Bodyguard and his guys hole up in an office and when the soldiers come in, claim to be prison guards who were hiding from the prisoners. They’re taken out of the prison where they are questioned by the Colonel… who then leaves them and they sneak out.

    Boy. I’m tired. I’m 5112 words away from finishing Nano. I had planned on spending all of today and Friday writing but I ended up working most of today and I’ll probably have to put in a few hours on Friday (damn you, Microbiology reports!) AND now some of my wife’s family are going to be showing up for dinner.

    • Danzier Nov 25, 2010 @ 3:31

      Blame it on the rhinoviruses. 😛

  • Teri Nov 24, 2010 @ 16:25

    198 words for the 24th. Coming along slowly but surely. The captain of the Royal Guard has called out a few of his men to investigate the restless crowd at the gates.

  • DasteRoad Nov 24, 2010 @ 9:11

    Assessed around 3K more words on Nov 23rd.

    After the infamous neverending lunch scene, I stumbled upon a couple of the scenes that likely will need the most work. There are some consistency errors (due to having moved two scenes that I had written before these much later during first draft) and I’m not quite sure about some of the twists. One thing I really like, though, is Erthel and Faurel arguing, in this case over her rushed decisions and general recklessness. I love the dynamic and chemistry between them, and I could write them for hours. The important thing is letting them argue without falling into the dreaded “characters bicker and nothing changes” trap, of course.

  • thepencilneck Nov 24, 2010 @ 3:37

    1459 words. 1 scene and 1 partial scene.

    Scene 1: The Captain contacts the Imperials and talks to the Colonel and kinda works out a deal for him to open a door and let the Imperials in. He goes out to talk to the other prisoners, and they’re all gone. He searches the prison, but he’s all alone. And the ways out are boobytrapped. The Captain goes back to his cell to wait for the Imperials.

    Scene 2: After not hearing back from the prisoners, the Governor and the Colonel prepare to storm the prison.

    Long, hard day at work. I’m tired. I only had about an hour to write and my brain is frazzled. I was supposed to be off tomorrow and Friday and now, I may have to work. I had planned on getting a ton of writing done (and finishing Nano, I’m only a little over 8,000 words away.)

  • WandersNowhere Nov 24, 2010 @ 3:04

    Wrote most of the flashback / dream scene where we find out just what the protag did that has him so haunted by guilt.

    This is more of a ‘raw material’ than anything else and I don’t know where to slot it into the story. I may not even use it, or I may break it up and use parts of it. But it’s good to know what happened.

    Vlad got another brief cameo and the scene also changed a lot as I wrote it. Ioan’s actions became marginally less despicable and had the side-effect of saving a lot of women’s lives and liberties, but his motivations were still all wrong and the consequences will play out the same way.

  • Danzier Nov 24, 2010 @ 2:29

    Welcome back, Holly! 😀

    731 words on SP tonight. The kidnapped kids run from footsteps in the stairwell and escape…from their rescue party. Now the only way out is the same way they were brought in–the sewers. Giant confrontation on the way!

    Thanksgiving break officially starts tomorrow, and I’ll be catching up on some missed classwork and filming my final project for Cinema Tech. The project: a message drop from one spy to another. Spy 2 reads the message, throws it away, and leaves. Not a big production, just proving I know how to work a camera decently. Anyway, I’ll try to get the big showdown in SP done on Sunday; it’s supposed to snow, so it’s a good day to stay inside and write.

  • WandersNowhere Nov 23, 2010 @ 22:05

    The ‘Voivode’ scene was about 1000 words but the next one, ‘Ileana’, ended up being only about 350. But it says exactly what I want it to say. If I can, I’ll refine both in revision. Most of the scenes from here on in will be more like this second one, I think.

    I am liking the way this story doesn’t spell out the protag’s thoughts and feelings, but I still get a very clear image of what he must be feeling from his reactions (or lack thereof) to certain things.

    • Danzier Nov 24, 2010 @ 2:32

      An internal monologue would probably be pretty gruesome… “I think I’m going to be sick. Hey, I know that guy…and that guy…and oh my lord is that Aunt Bette? Noooooo!”

  • Jessic@ Nov 23, 2010 @ 21:09

    Was up very early for the sake of getting in my words for the day. I’m usually a noonish riser, but was up at 7am to get some work done on my story. I wrote about 1200 words and then crawled back into bed before getting up for work a few hours later.
    I figure I have about two weeks left if I can keep up my current pace and I’ll be done my first ever first draft.

    • thepencilneck Nov 24, 2010 @ 11:54

      Woo hoo! First ever first draft is a very cool achievement. Took me forever to get there.

      • Jessic@ Nov 24, 2010 @ 14:53

        Thanks, feels like it’s been forever. I started writing it in January, but then again it’s turning out to be almost twice as long as I thought it would be, so I don’t feel so bad. I was aiming for around 90,000 words, but I have 192,000 so far. Ooops, got carried away :).

        • Julian Adorney Nov 24, 2010 @ 15:09

          Congrats! 192,000 words is a huge achievement!

        • WandersNowhere Nov 24, 2010 @ 22:51

          Holy googamooga! That’s a lot of words, congratulations 😀 I know the feeling of writing a lot more than you expected.

          Congratulations 🙂

  • WandersNowhere Nov 23, 2010 @ 18:14

    AWESOME to see you writing again.

    I had a day off yesterday and was a little naughty – instead of writing I ended up building scary vampire avatars on Second Life. And watched 30 Days of Night, which I hadn’t seen, after I was done and was surprised how similar the base human model came out to the vampires in that movie. lol. Though my ‘advanced’ models looked more like …withered…bat…demon…things.

    While I’m on this vamp kick I need to finish another chapter for the Cat Tales fic and then keep writing my short story. If I keep the voivode scene I’ll make a plan for the story to be about 5 or 6 thousand words. I’ll aim to keep it less than 10k.

    I may end up submitting this to Rebel Tales in the next round, if I feel it keeps to the themes, and if I feel the protagonist ends up being enough of a hero to work for the publication.

  • Leah Nov 23, 2010 @ 14:49

    Sounds like good work, Holly! 😀

    I put in 630 words today, on a short story about a character trapped in a dream. Yes, I DO have three WIPs at the moment, plus another novel in the planning/research stage, which sounds like a bit much… but after a long, long, LONG period of writer’s block, it feels good. At least two of the WIPs are short stories and will be done soon. 🙂

    They’re baby steps… but they’re steps!

    • Helenee Nov 29, 2010 @ 5:18

      Eeeeem…. What does WIP stand for? (Don’t laugh with me, please, I’m no native English speaker.)

      • thepencilneck Nov 29, 2010 @ 11:46

        WIP == Work In Progress.
        RIP == Revision/Rewrite In Progress.

        HTH.

  • Lisa R Nov 23, 2010 @ 11:07

    Holly it is so wonderful seeing you writing again. I have missed seeing your progress giving me inspiration to get my own work done. I do hope you are feeling better.

    Yesterday was my best day ever in the writing world. I wrote 4471 words. The words flowed onto the page quite gracefully. Whether they are good enough to stay will be debated later.

    A nice blizzard is hitting the state, so it is a great day to drink a ton of coffee, write, and bake for Thanksgiving!

  • Julian Adorney Nov 23, 2010 @ 5:41

    4 and a half screenplay pages. The main character – dead, although he doesn’t know it – wanders in to his old company and confronts his old business partner and former best friend about something completely unrelated. The best friend freaks out at a dead man talking to him.

    The scene is, to be honest, crap. Ah well. At least I got a first draft down; I can fix it tomorrow. And, I’ve found that some of my crappiest first drafts have resulted in my best second drafts, so there’s hope!

    • Danzier Nov 24, 2010 @ 2:35

      That sounds really interesting! I can see the story going in so many ways… 😀

  • DasteRoad Nov 23, 2010 @ 5:34

    Assessed over 6.5K words on Nov 22nd.

    Right now, Erthel is at lunch at the high bloodline’s estate in that infamous “exposyndrome” scene in which I’m doing my best to talk the reader’s ear off with my worldbuilding about marriage, widowhood, and architecture. Also, elegant dresses, since Lizthel (Faurel’s likely candidate for engagement) entered the scene and judging from her supertight bodice, it’s clear that she considers the whole breathing business to be entirely optional. I’m not surprised she doesn’t even talk in the whole scene, although I have reasons for her to be present. This doesn’t change the fact that this whole scene is a huge mess and will give me a lot of work.

    I’m starting to think that I’ll have to work in a little subplot to show Erthel’s situation as “the weird girl with the spooky mom that isn’t likely to be asked for marriage”, mirroring the subplot about Faurel and marriage customs for nobility. The thing is that while members of the high bloodlines have a tendency to marry after 20, since they have to complete their training with the gift (the titular “path of blood”) before trying to, um, reproduce (at least if they want to stay sane of mind), on the other hand most common people and especially women usually marry earlier, unless we’re talking about social strata where women can afford high level education.

    Erthel is 20 and isn’t even engaged, which for a common person is saying something. I already knew Erthel is the sort of girl that nobody wants in the house except as a maid, but I realize that this is something worth showing instead of mentioning in the background, especially given how it interacts with Erthel’s not always measured need of acceptance.

  • thepencilneck Nov 23, 2010 @ 2:40

    Good to see you writing. Hope you’re feeling better.

    2078 words. Two scenes.

    Scene 1: The governor of the Crimson Moon is notified that something’s going on at the prison and that the 2nd battalion is being assigned to cutting the prison off. The governor sends a request to the Imperial Admiral of the system to send more troops.

    Scene 2: The governor of the Crimson Moon finds out that The Bodyguard is behind the prison takeover and finds out that he was the bodyguard to the Princess and then he realizes that when the rest of the Imperial forces were searching for the Princess, she was literally in his hands seducing him and duping him. The governor is all kinds of ticked off. He takes over the negotiations and gives the prisoners an ultimatum.

    I’m tired. I wasn’t sure I was going to get my quota tonight. Happy that I did. The words felt good coming out and I learned some things about the opposition.

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