Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Writing Daybreak part 2: My Cast

Mary posted a blog today about her characters in Daybreak, the urban fantasy novel we're co-authoring. So I thought I'd do the same. Check out Mary's blog to get an idea of her characters!

 

~Brehlia: a precise, sarcastic 20-year-old, Brehlia is studying hard to become a Judge, one of the lawmakers of the land. She's driven by a desire to defeat evil. Her family is dead, all from murder, and she wants answers. That's what leads her to meet Shelt and Shelt's fence, Paran.

 

~Linx: Linx used to be a slave/thief, owned by one of the best crimelords in Anjier. But, hating the life that they lead, he and three friends escaped. Through various adventures (soon to be chronicled in Nightfall) they meet up with Mavrik, who convinces them to help him with the Veritas Resistance.

 

~Garrett: Brehlia's brother's best friend, the Warrior Garrett is the only one she feels like she can turn to. He knows and exploits this. He lies to Brehlia and misleads her in her search for answers, because he's convinced that if she knew the truth about him, she'd never forgive him. Plus, he'd have to kill her too, and he really does care enough about her not to want to do that.

 

All these people are fascinating to write about. It amazes me to unfold their story, like watching a flower bud open day after day--there's always new surprises. Just like with any of my characters.

 

OK, now I have to run--Mary just emailed me the 4h chapter in Daybreak. YAY!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Writing Daybreak

It's so annoying to be stuck on a wip when you're sooo close to finishing!!!! I have only a few more chapters in Roliwyn and then I may add a second completed book to my resume. :0)

 

However, the last few weeks of stuck-ness hasn't yet resulted in too much frustration. I've been busy on another project, the result of my writer friend Mary and me putting our orchestra Friday writer's conferences to good use a year and a half ago.

 

We devised a world called Anjier. It's tropical, so the people use solar power, making it an urban fantasy world of sorts. We have regular swords, crossbows, switchblades, and a slew of weapons we made up (lirenswords, ankerons, rulknives, karknives...). They had buslike vehicles called vecs and cool solar-powered motorcycles. We focused on the country of Menaa, particularly the capitol city of Reluan. Interesting events are happening right now in Reluan...particuarly, a rebellion called the Veritas Resistance by the members of it and the Resurrection Rebels by its enemies.

 

I came up with two girl characters, Brehlia (studying to become a Judge) and Shelt (a thief). Mary came up with the idea of telling the story by switching between their povs every chapter. To make it fair, we asked our friend Wyatt to pick a number between 1-10, and whoever was closest to the number got to write Shelt's character (because naturally we thought she would be the funnest one). Mary got Shelt. I was slightly disappointed until I realized Brehlia's possibilities.

 

We came up with a rudimentary plot, some other characters, and I began writing a story for two of the other characters to explain how they got to where they where. We came up with a name for it--Daybreak, because it was about a country breaking out from the nobility's oppression. Then for some reason, it petered out. Mary became involved in writing her first fantasy novel, Son of the Shield, and I cracked down on starting Roliwyn.

 

Not too long ago, however, I emailed her and asked, "Whatever happened to Daybreak? I looked at our notes the other day, and we had some good stuff going."

 

"I wondered that too," she replied.

 

The long and short of it was that we emailed each other some notes, fleshed out the storyline and the characters, and I dashed out a first chapter in Breh's pov and emailed to her. She responded with the second chapter, in Shelt's pov...and now I supose that means I probably need to get her the third chapter... :0) We also have ideas for a prequel (Nightfall) and a sequel (Eclipse). So I guess in all we'll have a trilogy...I <3 trilogies so it works perfectly! :0)

 

I'll keep y'all posted on Daybreak as well as Roliwyn.

 

God Bless!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Book Review: The Gypsy Morph by Terry Brooks

*I'm starting something new--the second Monday of every month will be a review of a book. I'll try to do some fantasy, but it will also be many suspense/thriller type books. I'll also feature it on my shelfari widget at the side. Enjoy!*

THE GYPSY MORPH BY TERRY BROOKS

Storyline: The world as we know it is falling apart. Poisoned by years of nuclear, the earth is slowly dying. Strange creatures—Lizards, Spiders, and Croaks among others—have emerged, former humans that are mutated by the radiation. And demons are determined to wipe out humanity forever.

Out of it all, an elf-boy named Kirisin has come into possession of the magic known as the Elfstones. He must place the elvish city into an Elfstone known as the Loden and transport it to a safe place.

A boy named Hawk discovers that he is the Gypsy Morph, a creature made of wild magic, who is the only hope for humankind.

And two Knights of the Word, Angel Perez and Logan Tom, are tasked with defending these two boys, bringing them together, and helping them to a place of safety.

Tracking them all is Findo Gask, a demon with a horde at his command.

My Take: To say I was mildly impressed by the technical part of this book is an understatement. Brooks’ writing is amazing—he knows how to drop one character’s storyline in the middle of an exciting part, to pick up another character’s storyline. He flawlessly sticks to his viewpoint character in scenes. And to credit his editors, I noticed no spelling or grammatical mistakes.

But the storyline was…OK. It was an interesting twist on apocalyptic times. This is the third in a series, so I know I was missing parts of the story.

But I think the main thing I disliked was the fact that Brooks’ writing is incredibly dark and humanistic. There are demons, but there is no supernatural “good” being to counteract them—we only have magic that both sides can use.

Brooks’ worlds (both in the Shannara books and his Landover series) revolve on magic. If I’m reading books with magic, I prefer ones like Tolkien, where magic is only a tool, and the good guys use it as little as possible. Plus, there are differences to Gandalf’s magic versus the Balrog’s. There’s no difference between Logan and Angel’s and Findo Gask’s.

However, Brooks had a conversation between Logan and Kirisin that I found extremely interesting. In one scene, Logan abandons his staff to rescue Kirisin using only his sneaking skills. That, Logan explains, is because he wanted to prove to himself that he didn’t have to use the magic. Logan explains that their magic (Kirisin’s Elfstones and his Word magic) is an integral part of who they are. However, they must be extremely careful with it, because the more they use it, the more it consumes them.

“It [the magic] erodes the defenses you create to keep it from overwhelming you, from stealing your soul. Do you think I exaggerate? Think again. Magic can do that. It does do that. It is an addicting, corrupting influence, and the more you use it, the more it makes you want to use it.”

Sounds very, very truthful to me.

While I dislike Brooks’ stories for having such a huge magical element in them, I admire the fact that most of his writing is connected and interwoven. That said, I was still not impressed with the storyline.

Rating: two out of five stars

Friday, July 10, 2009

Writers Aren't Mathematical

LOL, read a funny thing two days ago on Mary DeMuth's blog, in an interview with Randy Ingermason.

 

Mary was asking Randy what three pieces of advice he would give to authors. His third piece of advice was something like:

 

"Most authors can't count, so if you only give them two points, they probably won't notice."

 

How true is that last statement! :0) Of course, not Randy Ingermason--he's a physicist. But that would definitely fit me. I can't do anything with math beyond simple addition and subtraction in my head. I can't even add a long string of two-digit numbers together on paper very well!

 

Now Justin can add as fast as anyone could want! He's so extremely smart in math and science, I'm slightly jealous. ;0)

 

Anyway, hop over to both Randy and Mary's blogs at some point. I can't do Randy's Snowflake method of building a story, but he does have a lot of other good stuff, and Mary's blog is full of useful information!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth Madness and Homecoming

Hey all! Hope you had a fun-filled Fourth of July!!

Friday, the 3rd, we played Frisbee in the morning, then went over to the H's house (Si, Joanna, Jerusha) for lunch and games. A bunch of us played Apples to Apples--it may be simple, but I absolutely love that game!! Words, y'know. ;0) Hannah (my sister) got Jake pretty good; for ... she put in the word "tractor" and it had just the desired effect. It made Jake irritated!

 

Then some of the older kids (Justin, me, Joy, Si, Monica, Rob, Josh, Sarah, Jake) went to I Love America, a big celebration thingy put on by the James River Assembly of God church. There wasn't much to do but walk around, which we did, and listen to the bands playing. W watched one band, Press Play, on the big screens they set up. Ick. Josh and Si just critiqued Press Play's performance the entire time, so that's what made it worth it standing there.

 

Then the Ts and I headed over to their grandparents for supper, and we watched the ILA fireworks from there. Good stuff! Explosions, pretty colors--yes, Fourth of July is the only time I turn into a pyromaniac! Unfortunately my camera has decided to be an uncooperative little beast, so I have no pics. That was a very late night, since Josh wanted to stay for the Leeland concert (lucky!) and the traffic out of ILA was horrible.

 

Then last night we had the S's, T's, Rachel and Colin C, and part of my dad's family here for a real Fourth celebration! Sort of...we played Frisbee, got hot and sweaty as usual, but after supper it really cooled down and even rained, so the boys and their explosive toys kinda got a little damp.

 

For Miss Olivia, good news!!! She got to come home yesterday! She has another bone marrow aspiration Wednesday, so they'll go back up to KC then, and depending on her counts she'll either get to come back home for a couple more days or start another round of chemo. I'm so happy that God allowed her to come home for a bit!!

 

Roliwyn is going super well. I'm at 81, 000 words approximately, only 9,000 more to go! Yes!! And it's just picking up the pace on being written. I wrote  2 1/2 pages Saturday in 30 minutes!

 

I can't believe that my twentieth birthday is just around the corner...eeek! I can't be THAT old, can I?!?!? :0) Random interesting fact: I believe that I will be as old as it took Walt Disney to make Snow White. Yes, yes...a store of random things doth an author's mind make...

 

God Bless! :0)

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