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

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Another character sample–Jenestra of Drake’s Hammer & Elise di Michaux

Okay, these two are from my first book (third in the trilogy but first written). They are friends and traveling companions. Both are majii; Jen picks up on languages, both spoken and written, unusually fast, while Elise is considered “twice-favored” as she is both a healer and an empath. They are also of different kindreds. Jenestra is a dwarf (called dwermer in my story) and Elise is human.

Jen protects Elise to some extent. She is a fighter, handy with a glaive, and keeps Elise from wearing herself out healing–or tries to. Elise hates to see anyone in pain–partially because she feels their pain–so she’ll do what she can to alleviate it, even to her own detriment. They travel in a well-equipped wagon pulled by creatures who look like pangolins. Elise was originally a character I developed for a role play I participated in and she’s pretty much stayed the same from story to story. (It took me a long while to settle on what kind of story she would work best in. I started with her in a current day Earth and branched out from there.)

So, here’s a little bit from Knights of the Hex.

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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.

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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!

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