Monthly Archives: August 2014

Uh oh (spaghetti-oh)

Yes. That’s how it goes in my head. I’m not sure why, of course. But it is definitely my tag-line today. Hopefully just today.

Who else got their reminder that NaNoWriMo is just around the corner? I’m sure it was not just me. But it made me realize I really want to take full advantage of the event. And I want to go in strong. Don’t we all??

For me, this means reading what I’ve written so far. So, I printed out what I have of my first scene. Oh boy. It doesn’t matter how many times I read over something; until I print it out, the errors aren’t quite as glaringly obvious.

I’m talking using two different names for one character glaring. Wow. I’m such a newb. But I’m also fairly talented. I hope.

So. Are you like this? Do you need it in print to edit? Or are someone who can find those errors on the screen?

As far as NaNoWriMo… What are your plans?

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Question Time

First of all, let me announce that I do believe I have come up with the working title for all the books in the series I am working on, but definitely the first one. Yay! Accomplishment!

Second, work on the new book, let’s call it MG for now,  continues. I was a little concerned that I would be really screwing myself over and lose all that momentum, but I haven’t. I am still focused on the end goal and I’m having fun while getting there. Boy Wonder and I have joined a new gym. I can’t wait to see how I am able to write/edit while using the treadmills or the stationary bicycles which is something a dear friend of mine does. A dear friend who agreed to be a member of my cast of characters. It’s kind of an honor. I hope I do her justice!

Anyway… I have a question. Or a tease. You decide…

Does this excerpt portray the venom between the two characters, or does it come off as trite?

 

February 15, 1888

Outside, thick fog had covered the sun, casting ominous shadows in which one could disappear. Knightsbridge was slowly sinking into the filth and grime plaguing the poorer parts of Lower London, though her resilient citizens fought hard to stave off the darkness and despair. Several prominent social clubs had once called this home; now just one prevailed.

The Valentinius Society building stood alone; away from its neighbors, away from the street; as if it had need of distinguishing itself from its surrounds. The white stone gleamed, even in the midst of the oppressive fog that typically slicked and oozed over Lower London. Though the inhabitants decried magic as a ruling force, even if only to each other within the confines of Valentinius House; well, even they were not averse to a spell or two ensuring comfort and safety.

Inside, the club was unusually quiet as most members had been told the building would be closed temporarily. In reality, Lord Tosca had asked a small handful of members to meet him for the unveiling of his most recent experiment. Standing in front of one of the square four-paned windows of the second floor, he presented a well-cut figure to those around him as he watched for the last of his invited attendees to arrive. Behind him, the others murmured quietly to each other, circling the spacious room just like the vultures he thought them to be. No, not vultures he amended quickly – sheep. Mindless for all their collective intelligence. Sheep all too willing to follow the wolf to slaughter. And he was definitely the wolf.

Catching sight of the woman running toward the Valentinius, skirts in hand and ankle flashing, a cruel smile played across his lips, twisting them, masking the banal face he presented to the world. Today he would finally put that smug bitch in her place. Today, he would show them all why he was the head of the Episteme Society – oh yes, he was changing the name soon, and the thought brought him immense pleasure. His invention was pure magic, but these fools would never know.

Within minutes, Therese was gliding into the room, her hair mussed and skirts dripping as her heeled boots beat a staccato across the floor, chest heaving as she fought to catch her breath. Running in a corset was almost impossible, but she was not about to miss this meeting for anything. Mumbling an apology to the room at large, something about her mistress’ wardrobe malfunctioning, she sat down and placed a leather journal upon the table. No one paid her any heed though, as Lord Tosca was gathering their attention to him, intent upon starting his meeting.

“As you know, I have invited each of you to join me today specifically because I feel that you, above all the others, will appreciate and understand the magnitude of my accomplishment,” oozed Tosca as he stood at the head of the large table. He wanted these people on his side; wanted to own them; wanted them on their knees and begging for his benevolence.

The men and women gathered at that table instantly puffed up, including Therese. They were special; Lord Tosca, the current head of the Valentinius Society admired them, wanted him for his revelation! Exactly the effect he had wanted, had expected.

Therese looked up from the leather book she was absentmindedly rubbing between her hands. Hew certainly was laying it on thick today – even more so than when he had begged her to be his mistress, as if that was somehow desirable or, as he seemed to think, an honor. Whatever he was scheming up in his tiny little man brain, she assumed she would at least be amused for a while. If he could keep her attention, that was.

“And what, exactly, is this accomplishment you bring us here to celebrate, Lord Tosca? That devil-spawned witch of a Queen still sits the throne. Her precious Mageborn whoresons still rule the lands. Did you not promise us a way to end the rule of the Mageborn when we elected you,” said Andrew Wellison, the wealthy weapons crafter. It would have been a question from almost any other Society member; not him. He did not question. He commanded, and outside of this building he was obeyed.

“All in due time, Wellison. As you know, part of our failure has been due to information delays or leaks. We took care of the last known leak, yet still our secrets get out. And with only science and knowledge on our side, the Mageborn have had a decided advantage when it comes to sharing information with each other. What I present to you today should eliminate both concerns,” he stated smugly, taking in the awed looks of his rapt audience.

Damn it! That woman wasn’t even paying attention to him. How could he show his superiority, grind her into the dirt, if she would not bother to even listen. Once again, she was focused on the little book she had brought in with her. Anger roiled through him, threatening to bubble over but Lord Tosca reined it in. He could not afford to lose his temper now, not as he stood on the cusp of Godhood. Soon, she would pay attention to his every word.

 

Copyright ©

August 24, 2014 Laura Michaela Banse

(Not sure if it is necessary to post both the words and the symbols but whatevs)

 

Names

Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame; Each to his passion; what’s in a name?
Helen Hunt Jackson

I thought about starting this post with that famous quote by Shakespeare, but then I thought… Why? It’s not very original, no matter how well known it is…

So I found this one instead. I had never heard it, but I really like it.

Anyway. As I am starting over with my novel, I’ve decided I want to start with a really good name. The name of the series stays the same, but each book will need its own name. Something that fits the time period and the theme, both.

(Side note: A New name is necessary also, to create a new file in yWriter, but that is neither here nor there…)

I cannot speak for any other writer in the world, but I draw a lot of inspiration from music. One of my side projects is inspired solely by the works of Concrete Blonde, although it has been temporarily shelved. I won’t speak for others, but I have seen that other writers are the same way…

As I am writing a historical romance (slash gas lamp fantasy) I have found a lot of inspiration in Classical pieces. I have a certain fondness for three instruments: Cello, Violin, Piano. So I listen, and I read… Soon, the perfect name will come to me.

Shall it have something to do with the season in which the book takes place? Perhaps the leading lady’s favorite piece of music? What about a play on the title of a classic tale? (Through the Scrying Pool rather than Through the Looking Glass)

Perhaps by this time next week, I shall have the perfect name…

Struggles

So, I took some time off writing to work on world-crafting and character development. I think it was a mistake. My story was lining up really well and the words were flowing; I was going places.

And now? Well, now I am getting more and more questions, with more and more deviation from my original plot thoughts. But as I said in a previous post, I am OK with this. In the end, I believe I will have a stronger story for all of this.

I believe it will be a stronger story because I feel like I am on the right track – I had some problems with the logistics of portions of my world-building. Now, several of those problems have been solved.

All the YAY!!! aside, it really feels like I’m starting over. And that, my friends, is one of the struggles. There is also the fact that I started walking at lunch, which greatly reduced my writing time. Struggle number two.

I always intend on writing longer posts, but I start them so late. I’m also tesing the whole co-promote thing. It doesn’t seem to work right from my Chromebook, so I hope it works right from the regular pc!

So this is where we are…

It just keeps happening. Fellow writers, tell me you’ve been there before: you have an idea, you have a vague outline, and you start writing only to find that your writing keeps changing, evolving…

I refuse to believe I am the only one this has happened to.

Why do I feel that it happened? Quite simply because I had a great concept that I ran with rather than taking months to plan it out. And I’m totally cool with the way things are going. It means I haven’t been stuck in the planning process, but have also been working on my writing. My talent isn’t growing stagnant while I prep. So yeah, I’m OK with that.

So here’s how it went. I was lying in bed last night and some questions about the male lead in my current work popped into my head. I used my handy new phone (got myself an iPhone 5s), pulled up a Google Docs…and noted them all down. And then I answered them. And, as usually happens, the more questions I answered, the more were raised.

Let’s be honest, asking and answering these questions is one of the first steps of writing. It’s all part of that ‘planning’ I mentioned. And I suck at it. When I sit down to set out those questions, I have none.

It’s not that I’m a ‘pantser’ over a ‘planner’, but rather that I, personally, need to combine them to be successful. Does this mean that I will occasionally be starting over or chucking large bits of my writing? Absolutely. Again, I am OK with this.

What I’ve written so far is really, really good. But I didn’t like the way the story was headed so I am refocusing on it. As my husband pointed out, I’m writing because I have to rather than because I’m selling it… I have time.

So where does that leave us? Not exactly back at point A. I have a foundation; the bones. What I’m looking at is how I can change the outline I already have to accommodate the new ideas. Not Point A, but Point A.5?

I’ll let you know how it goes… and yes, I will continue to share discarded materials.

Google

The Google. It is everywhere. At least, it is for me.

See, I’m the proud new owner of an iPhone 5s. I didn’t realize just how much I missed the iPhone until I had one again. (Except iTunes as we don’t get along.) the only problem with that? The majority of my work-in-progress is being created within Google Drive because I do a lot of my writing on my Chromebook.

So what am I supposed to do? We’ll, as they used to say: there’s an app for that. Yes. Seriously. A Google Drive app for my iPhone. I’m not sure how it works yet but I’m excited to figure it out.

Why?

I am fairly certain I have said it before – I write for myself. I love that I have people interested in my books; it is even a bit of a motivation. But ultimately, it is mostly for myself. This means there are times I don’t feel like writing. With no deadlines, if I don’t feel like writing then I won’t.

Unfortunately, that means I have to refocus when I come back to the writing. Which, as you might know, SUCKS. While I am chugging along, getting back into the groove I am also working on scenes and still building the world and creating the buildings and backgrounds.

I am also researching horse breeds, architectural styles, and a million other things.

And, I read.

I’ve done a bit of writing today. I’m working on so many things right now. My small binder was so full, I had to buy a larger one. I have names of super minor characters to remember… I’m not only working on the next scene of the book, but also revisiting previous scenes to see how I can work in the updates I’ve made to the world…

And apparently, I am creating ‘off camera’ scenes for the characters, and doing so whole-cloth. As in, I’m just going with the flow – I doubt this will end up in the book, but it can definitely influence the book. I think one of the most fun things I’ve been able to do so far involves bringing in ideas I had discarded in previous attempts to bring ideas to fruition. While I had all these crazy ideas swimming around where my brain should be, they just would not work with the stuff I was trying to fit them into. Here, it almost seems natural.

Perhaps what I will do going forward is devote Tuesday through Saturday to the outlined portions, Sunday to research, and Monday on writing these ‘off camera’ bits. You know, that’s an idea…

I’ve done quite a bit of research today. I’ve figured  out some travel speeds – at least for travel by carriage. I just made up my own for the horseless carriage that is run by “magic”, and I still need to find a reliable source for the speed of trains. I’ve also been designing one of the main locations within my world. It’s a lot of fun.

The off-camera scene that I am working on right now will hopefully turn out enjoyable. I’ll share it when I’m done, shall I?