Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Narvan, A Smidge of Optimism, and Aquaman

It's January. A new year. I make no promises to blog more often or more regularly, but I may be inclined to make an effort to try. Low expectations mean I can't let myself down, right?

I saw Aquaman today. It was awkward. I wanted to like it. It was pretty to watch, both the actors and visual effects. But the dialogue...oh man. The corn and cheese factor was pretty damn high. So many jokes fell flat. The plot was so predictable. I wasn't expecting to be wowed by a deep plot or emotionally invested in the characters - and that was a good call. Did I mention that underwater scenes were stunning? The acting itself was good, there was also plenty of shirtless eye-candy and it did have a few humorous lines of dialogue. Look at me finding nice things to say.

Beyond thinking about seeing Aquaman, the first two weeks of the year have been spent polishing two short stories for submissions and working on book 5 of The Narvan: The Minor Years.

Book 5? What the hell! Book 1 isn't even out yet! I know. I know. It will be shortly - I'm assured by the publisher. I like to plan ahead...sort of. Having finished what I wanted to do with books 1-4 to tell the story I'd set out to do, I realized there was more, but couldn't put my finger on how to go about it because the MC's arc was complete. I tried three different starts since finishing book 3, because this has been on my mind for a while, but none of them took off. Then, I'm working on an entirely different book, and breaking for a short story with a timeline submission window, and bam, book 5 hits me! Creativity is like that sometimes.

To make things confusing, because I'm like that, book 5 actually takes place between books 1 and 2 but doesn't impact the main story arc and is told through different POV characters. I'd say it's aimed at readers who want more once the main story is complete, or maybe it's just a self-indulgent project that only I will enjoy. But I'm writing it either way because I need to get busy with the final edits on Book 2: Chain of Grey. The Minor Years happens between books 1 and 2, I want to flesh out a few things in TMY and be able to use them in the opening of COG. The current opening of COG would benefit from a few more concrete details of what has transpired after the end of book 1 to where we pick up in book 2. Because these books to actually end. I'm not a fan of major cliffhangers in a series.

Writing book 5 has also given me the opportunity to get back into Anastassia's head. The first four books are all in Vayen's POV. In the earliest versions of Book 1, Anastassia was the POV character, but I was having a hard time getting past all her attitude and quite frankly, she was being a bitch, even to me. Since she was a little (lot) to high on herself, I put her on the sidelines and got into Vayen's head instead. The story took off and that was that. It was a massively painful rewrite to change over that first book, but I can't imagine it any other way now. She's mellowed now. We've come to an understanding, her and I, made our peace after the major shift in storytelling. All in all, I'm happy with it so far.

Now, I'm off to work on The Minor Years. More on Trust in my next post, which hopefully be sooner than later. Woo, optimism.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

IWSG - January and 2019 One Word Resolutions

If you're not familiar with 
So hey, guess what? Yeah, I was surprised too. It's the first Wednesday of the month already. I have an excuse though, I'm living in the brain haze of a cold someone gifted me at Christmas. This is why I stay safe in my writing cave, other people can't pass their germs to me. On the plus side, I'm catching up on my one word for this year. SLEEP.

Sleep and I used to be the best of friends. We'd spend long nights together, weekend mornings, we looked forward to spending time together. Now we're like long suffering spouses. We have to hang out but we don't talk. We spend the minimum amount of time together to get by. We meet in bed, the couch, and in my comfy chair for a few hours here and there. So this year, I'm hoping to get back on better terms with my old sleep pal, which may also help me in other areas. One can only hope.

This post marks my annual visit on past one word resolutions.  Let's tour them now, shall we?

2012 was the year of Less. This helped me overcome my habit of over obligation.
2013 was the year of Me. In which I focused a little more on myself.

2014 was the year when I said I would Write. Shit happened. Goal denied.
2015 Time. Making time to do the thing I wanted to do: write. 
2016 was the year of Relax.  That went pretty well and started my morning routine of time in my comfy chair.
2017 I tried to Enjoy. I'd give it a solid meh. I made an effort, but life, work, and finances often got in the way.
2018 was Speak. I did panels at a couple events. I organized events. I had a good time and met people.

Now back the whole first Wednesday thing... It's time for this month's Insecure Writer's Support
Group post! This month's question is:
What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

My least favorite question, and it comes up at least once at every author event I do, is: Oh, you wrote this book? Now let's just think about that for a second. I'm standing at a table with my books, telling you about my books, usually surrounded by other authors also at tables with their books. Do you think we're just random people championing someone else's books? While that's an interesting concept, it's probably not the case. Now, if you'd like to volunteer to go stand at a table for a few hours wherever you happen to live and sell my books for me, that would be super cool. I'll let you know where you can mail the check.

My favorite question is anyone asking about details of my books, or what inspired them. I do have a hard time not going off on tangents, because that's how my brain works, but authors do generally love talking about their books beyond what the back blurb says. So go ahead and ask!

Yes, I know the question is a plural thing, but I'm sick and I'm tired and so I'm keeping it short. Look at me not tangenting off and stuff. I may even go attempt this sleep thing. Cold meds are helpful to that cause.