Another character excerpt–Siobhan Shaunessy

This particular character is from a middle-grade novel I wrote several years ago–the one NaNoWriMo novel I came closest to actually finishing. The story itself takes place in an alternate history, one where much of the Americas were still under colonial rule into the late 1800s and the sciences were just beginning to supersede magic in some areas. I liken it to a mixture of Harry Potter, X-Men, and the gaslamp fantasy Girl Genius with a soupçon of steampunk stirred in. I’ve been editing and rewriting to change the point-of-view from third-person omniscient to third-person limited.

Siobhan is an orphaned girl from Eire, brought to New Anglia by her great-uncle, Father Liam O’Keefe, according to the terms of her grandmother’s will. She is a seer; she literally “sees” things from the past or future of those who touch her skin-to-skin. She also sees ghosts and spirits. Her grandmother enrolled her in a school for mages like herself where she is expected to learn how to control what she can do. At first, she is shy and unsure of herself. Her manners need work and it takes time for her to get into the routine of the household. But as she becomes accustomed to her surroundings, she learns of a plan to use her classmates for profit and insists on acting, even when those around her feel she is too young to help.

Here is an excerpt from Bellecourt Chronicles: the Seer

Continue reading “Another character excerpt–Siobhan Shaunessy”

Didn’t make it.

You’ve probably wondered where my updates for Camp NaNoWriMo have been. Well, I haven’t posted them because, frankly, I wasn’t writing. I dropped my word count goal to 12K late in the month and didn’t even make that paltry sum. (For someone who regularly writes 50K or more in November, yes, 12K is a paltry sum.) My final word count as of about 5 minutes ago was 8011, with over 2K of that written just today.

Why couldn’t I make it? Well, for one thing, my inner editor kept slowing me down, making me correct things as I went along. During NaNo, I’m able to put that pesky inner editor in a box and write without thinking about the plot or the characters. Just getting the basic words on the page. Not so this time.

For another thing, I was physically uncomfortable. My desk chair is a thrift shop special and the hydraulics are giving out. It’s also less than ergonomic for my back. More than a few nights were spent tossing and turning because my back was keeping me awake. For the last two days, I’ve struggled with laryngitis, which means repeating myself enough so the family hears me, or writing out notes for the Hubby.

But most of all was my own distraction. I was so easily distracted by games, websites, more games, more websites, the television (which wasn’t me turning it on, I swear!). Just letting myself put visual stimuli before writing.

In summary, I was my own worst enemy for this session of Camp. On the plus side, I have some more of this world set in thick pudding. I’m finding plot holes, rearranging characters, and doing more research into the Mohawk nation, the Roman Catholic Church, and what inventions might possibly be available to the world (which is where the steampunk comes in). Hopefully, I have enough to keep going.

So, before I call this Camp session to a close, here’s one more snippet from the story.

Continue reading “Didn’t make it.”

Quite a bit behind

But plugging away at it. I didn’t write the first two days. The first day is understandable; I had to put down our elderly black cat, the last of four I wove into one of my Thunderbirds story arcs. It was sad but, to be truthful, it’s also a relief. We’ll miss him. The second day, not so much. So, day three saw me starting to write.  Today has been far better in terms of getting words down and so, you all get an excerpt!

Continue reading “Quite a bit behind”

Camp NaNoWriMo starts…

In less than half an hour. I’ve set my word count expectations low at 20K so I’m more likely to reach the goal. I can’t bring myself to write it all over again, but I’ll make sure I only count those words I actually write and nothing from my previous drafts.

Here’s a little excerpt from my first chapter. You can expect these every couple of days. Feedback is much appreciated!

Continue reading “Camp NaNoWriMo starts…”

A little incentive…

Well, in my last installment, I talked about the book of short stories my mother-in-law had written and how I’d edited and had them printed up in an amazing quality book for her. (It really is amazing! Thanks, Blurb!) She was ever so happy about it and encouraged me to do the same for one of my own stories.

So, yesterday I got a letter in the mail from my father-in-law. Inside was a generous check and a cryptic line, “For services rendered”. Now, I hadn’t done what I did for money; I was all about the book being a labor of love. I didn’t know if my MIL knew what my FIL had done so when she called later, I mentioned it. Turns out she did and they want the money to go towards printing my own book.

To that end, I’ll be working on one of my older NaNo novels. Camp NaNoWriMo starts this week and I want to use that time to rewrite the story where needed. Someone said rewriting a draft from scratch is a really good way to iron out the bumps, so I may try it and see where it goes. I plan on posting excerpts along the way and I hope anyone interested in leaving feedback will register either here, with WordPress.com, or with Disqus. (If you already have a WordPress.com or Disqus account, I believe you can post replies to my site already.)

Now that this is up, I have even more incentive to get ‘er done!

Some revamping of characters and worlds

When NaNoWriMo 2012 came around, I asked what story I should focus on, the alternate history X-Men meets Harry Potter meets Girl Genius (most of which was finished) or the fantasy world with everything from mages to werewolves to dragons to vampires and everything but the kitchen sink. Both of the stories contained a cast of characters I had worked with in more than one venue, starting with a modern day tale that just didn’t work. However, I took the advice of my friends, ThatGirlSix and Lillehafrue, and started work on a prequel to the fantasy world, using a different cast entirely. I didn’t feel it went well; I was creating new characters on the fly and didn’t feel any too invested in them at first. By the end, though, I was invested in a couple of them enough to possibly continue the story at a later datel. I also had a chance to set some of my fantasy world in thick pudding, if not quick-drying cement.

Right now, though, I’ve got my eye on both of my other stories. I figured most of the characters had enough differences between them that I could feasibly do both and make them separate casts entirely. So, I’ve spent most of today (with my feet up to help battle both a swollen right foot and a diabetic ulcer on the left) doing just that.

Main characters got new names in some cases. Others got new names, backgrounds, and backstories entirely. One set of characters married; another will remain as lovers and still another will remain as siblings. Some nobility got demoted. One more minor character was elevated to familial status, and I’m working on creating an entirely new character to replace a deleted one. A handicapped character in one story is regaining the use of his legs, and is splitting his powers with this new character (who will be handicapped – as was his now-deleted counterpart). Following so far? Good!

My eyes are crossing from an extended period on both my favorite baby name site and on the fantasy name generator at ninefrenchboys. Hopefully I’ll be able to read the notes I’ve been scribbling on a pad of yellow paper. I brainstormed some of the names with the Girl, who gave me some definite ideas of what names sounded more “martyr” and which didn’t. I’ve been reimagining the looks of a few characters so they’re not quite so much like their counterparts.

All of this will mean some rewriting, along with more than one global find/replace (a reason I transferred both stories over to yWriter). Maybe, just maybe, by the time Camp NaNoWriMo starts in April, I’ll be able to flesh out some more of what I started and get one of these beasts done.

Now, back to setting up my character pages!