Yesterday, I mentioned my woes when it comes to getting a large amount of feedback, especially on something the size of a novel. I called it my glass ceiling, and I think it’s the right term.
Many times in my life, I’ve heard the line, “God helps those who help themselves.” This is me helping myself. This is me trying to break the glass ceiling.
Here it is, “The Other Identity”, the short story I’ve been writing for the past few days. It takes place during the opening chapters of Dual Identities, but there’s nothing from that story you have to know to understand this story. For something that I started five days before this posting, I’m quite pleased with the outcome.
Since I was inspired to do this as part of Emily Suess’ Writers’ Week, I should point this entry is based off prompt #3, You’d be much more attractive if you...
Earlier, I was asked by one of my writing buddies to explain my thoughts on short story writing compared to novel writing and how it got me to write a novel. Here’s part of my reply, the part where I explain just how I was able to come up with the story that eventually became Mind & Machine.
I have a fascination with terrible names. I don’t understand them and I want to know why people even consider them. I don’t mean bad names or words used incorrectly as names. As much as I cringe when I hear some mother chasing after a little kid named Hunter, it’s still better than some of the names I’ve heard.
I’m not talking about ethnic names either. If you want to name your kid in such a way that they embody a link to your cultural roots, go for it. You are inviting bullies to beat the hell out of your child, but you kid could end up badass because of it, so I still approve.
Or perhaps I should say Lord Kadium Noshgronko, Brother of God. Kadium is a secretive entity, one not named until the third book of The Golden Hollow, The Third Ritual. He has been trapped for centuries in a realm of almost nonexistence, unable to influence the corporeal world. In corporeal form, he looks something like this (which is an older picture):
I thought I would take a moment and say a little about one of my characters. Since I have a lot of characters from The Golden Hollow, I’m going to start with the Golden Hollow herself, Kathryn Angel. She may not always be at the front of the action or directly appear in each story, but without her, there is no series.
This is a recent picture I drew of Kathryn using color pens my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew gave me for Christmas.
What a day.
Managed to find a solid little system to get some new writing done. I set a timer for 20 minutes and did nothing but type. What I typed was a quiet scene of Commander fantasizing about Kathryn Angel. I used it also as a way to develop more detail, skin, temperature, color, movement. Only a few words really, but the kind of thing that establishes who Kathryn is, what Commander wants from her, and why Commander is alone. Continue reading
Starting things out can always be difficult, especially when it comes to novels. At this point, I’ve finished at least an initial draft of three books, two of which are part of The Golden Hollow. For the most part, that series focuses on the telepath, Commander and his fight against the conspiracy called Decimal. Another major conflict for Commander is that he has the power to change the course of destiny, his destiny, in fact, is to destroy destiny or at least defy it.
I first introduce this idea when Commander meets mystical librarian Sandra Bright in Mind & Machine. In this first Golden Hollow book, Bright argues that she will help Commander on the condition that he helps her with something in the future. She doesn’t say what she needs help with of course, as that would be telling. Bright knows what will happen, but is aware that Commander’s opinions will sway his actions.
I was talking to my friend Jon today and we were discussing how little things at the start of a series can pay off in later books. I mentioned how I’m trying to do something similar with Mind & Machine and Jon asked, “So when are you getting this thing published?”
I’ve gotten a draft at least finished on three books now. It’s time I got something done I think. I know what I want to type, I have plans on how I’ll edit, I even have strategy on what agents I’d like to contact and thoughts on how I can promote my works. I just have to clean them up and get them out there.
In the next few days, a pair of friends should be getting some, if not all, of Mind & Machine to look over. Instead of editing before sending reading material, I’m going to do all the editing after. From hearing several professionals at Dragon*Con, I know they don’t usually take 4 drafts just to get one book up to par.
Ok, another moment to chill, then it’s back to work.
It took me a little longer than I had wanted, but, last week, I managed to get finished with Dual Identities. It was a bit of a battle, but in the end, I found something very important in the text. Kathryn, the main character, is dealing at least a little with the fact that she can fly. It’s something she has to struggle with, but as she learns more about her powers, she takes the notion of flight as the reason why she can keep going.
On top of that, there’s also Trafton, the point of view antagonist. His struggle is almost a tragic hero’s tale. Living with the symptoms of leprosy, inflicted with powers he never wanted, and haunted by an almost random death, Trafton has all the elements of a protagonist even though, for Kathryn, he is the enemy she doesn’t even suspect exists.
There are also other elements looking to complicate things further. Other antagonists, like the demonic Alex Gold and the etiquette obsessed Nadia Katzeva, push events to multiple boiling points. Commander’s role in the sequel is much-diminished, partially to show the impact of who he is on the world around him.
For now, Dual Identities is done. It only has about 46 chapters, where both Mind & Machine and Vitamin F have more than fifty each. Next will be Ashes of War, my epic fantasy, though I accept I might only get a little work done on it before moving on to something else. Perhaps it will remind me how to write detailed description.