Weekend Writing Warriors

Hey there! Sad day, since this is my last snippet before summer since spring semester has started. It’s been great to be back over break, thanks so much for everything! To meet some new authors, read some great writing, or join in the 8-sentence fun, stop by at Weekend Writing Warriors!

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This is a continuation from last week’s snippet (here), though I have skipped some paragraphs and rearranged for the sake of snippet flow. In this scene, Falcon has been captured by the Helyx gang and is being harvested for her Amaranthine magic. Creative punctuation has been used to fit into the eight sentences.

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With one last awful gurgle, Scar stopped struggling and slumped against the wall.

I stood over him, blood trailing from the corners of his eyes, his mouth, lines raked into his neck where he had try to claw the blood out–I had done this, this horrid, violent thing.

I had boiled a man from the inside out, without touching him.

I balled my hands into fists to stop them from shaking–Blood snaked down my arms, mirroring the lines that glowed silver-blue with Amaranthine.

I stared down at my hands–They had done this, I had done this. I grinned–My magic wasn’t useless after all.

It was deadly.

I turned and ran, leaving my victim slumped against the wall.

_________

There you have it! Thanks so much for all the support over break, and I look forward to being back this summer 🙂 Until next time, happy 8sunday!

Blog Post and Novel Excerpt © Victoria Davenport and the Coffee.Write.Repeat. blog

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Vicious Cycle

Hey all, I know I’ve pretty absent lately and I’m sorry about that. I’d hoped to be more involved over the break, but actually the opposite happened. I know I haven’t kept up with things or been as engaged, but it has nothing to do with you lovely people. So I thought I owed y’all a bit of an explanation and a little look into the other side of my life, that unfortunately has very little to do with writing.

If you’ve been around for a while, you probably know that I’m chronically ill, including a heart condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. I’ve been lucky enough the past year or so to be doing really well, with mostly good days with a few scattered bad ones, versus bad days with a few scattered good ones. I’d hoped that meant my condition was improving, or at least I was able to manage it enough to live a relatively healthy and full life.

Well, lately that’s been changing. I’ve had more and more episodes, more sick days, more days trapped in bed. The worst part is always missing out. I missed out on a lot of family time over the holidays, I missed out on parties and a lot of my social life, and now I’m starting to miss out on school and am dreading the semester ahead.

I wanted to spend the break writing, but honestly in two months, I haven’t even written enough to fill a page.

The problem is there’s a lot of times that I’m too sick to be writing, but then the rest of the time I don’t feel like writing. I feel frustrated, helpless, trapped, alone. It’s like having this big, heavy leech on my back all the time, sucking everything out of me.

It’s scary to think that I’m getting worse, that I might even relapse to the severity that I was before. I don’t want to be stuck in bed for three months again. I have huge plans and goals for this year. I don’t want to lose all of the things I love, especially not writing, and especially not this amazing writing community. This is when my body reminds what it really means, and what it really costs, to live with chronic illness.

I’m trying to turn to writing to help me through this, but sometimes it’s just hard. It’s hard to break this cycle of feeling sick then feeling down, with no space for writing in between. I’m hoping I can shake this soon, but I also know things don’t always work out the way we want them to, something I’ve been learning the hard way lately.

Thank you all for sticking around, even though I haven’t been the most present and engaged. Please be patient with me. I’ll do my best to post and respond to all of you, but know that I read and value every single response I get, whether I’m able to respond or not. Sometimes your comments are the highlight of an otherwise dark day.

I hope I can get through this soon, at least get back to writing, but with chronic illness you really never know. Either way I’d really appreciate prayer, positive writing vibes, whatever you can spare right now 🙂 Thanks, and hope to see more of y’all! You really are all the best.

Weekend Writing Warriors

Hey y’all! Classes have started again, so I’ll only post one more snippet to finish this scene before the spring semester gets into full swing. To meet some new authors, read some great writing, or join in the 8-sentence fun, stop by at Weekend Writing Warriors!

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This is a direct continuation from last week’s snippet (here). In this scene, Falcon has been captured by the Helyx gang and is being harvested for her Amaranthine magic. Creative punctuation has been used to fit into the eight sentences.

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Scar’s face turned red–He coughed, and it caught at the back of his throat, trapped–choked. A gurgle slipped out, mangled–The bowl fell from his hands, and shattered as it hit the ground, dashing my blood against the wall.

The boy froze, and cast an anxious look at him, “Are you alright, Scar?”

Scar couldn’t speak.

His hands went to his throat, clawing at his skin and drawing blood. His skin paled to ash, his eyes bulged–His scream came out a strangled gurgle.

The boy ran to him as Scar’s legs buckled beneath him–He cried for help, and two more boys rushed in, shooting a glance at me before rushing to Scar’s side in panic. They circled him like headless chickens, lost.

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That’s it! I will finish this scene next week, so make sure you check it out 🙂 Thank you for reading, and look forward to your snippets this week! Happy 8sunday!

Blog Post and Novel Excerpt © Victoria Davenport and the Coffee.Write.Repeat. blog

Keeping It Real

In my last post, I touched on how YA faces the hardest parts of life, head on. Life, love, and loss–nothing is too intense for YA. Sometimes, it’s even more intense, super-charged with young emotions. It’s also so important to be true to these emotions, and be raw and honest when it matters, especially when dealing with sensitive and difficult subjects.

A lot of my most recent writing is very emotional and powerful. I’ve been exploring love and relationships, loss and grief, despair and depression. I’ve already pushed my characters to their breaking points and beyond, and now I’m handling the effects of that. After such extreme conflict, my characters are going to be forever changed. Some of them will learn and grow from it, some will never be able to recover. All of them will have scars, both seen and unseen, just like in real life.

As I’ve been writing these intense scenes, I’ve struggled sometimes with just how raw they are. I knew they were going to be, but seeing everything in words, stripped bare on the page, is something entirely different. Honestly, it’s even a little scary because in going to those raw places, there’s also a lot of deep and personal pieces of myself on the page. In exploring my characters’ scars, I’ve revealed some scars of my own.

So how much is too much? Is there a such a thing as being too raw, too deep, and too honest in your writing?

For me, I don’t think so. It might be scary to be so open and vulnerable, but that’s what writing is. It’s our blood, poured out in ink. And I think as writers we have a responsibility to be as open and authentic as we can. If we aren’t, what is the point of writing?

This week, I let a friend of mine read my MS. It’s the first time a non-writer friend has read my work. At first, it was a little terrifying. It felt like I was revealing this deep, inner part of myself. But I gave in, and she read the entire book in two days, cried at the end, and is already begging for the second.

That is exactly why we can’t be scared of being raw and authentic. That is the writing that affects people, even changes them. And if my writing has the ability to do that, I consider that the highest success of all, best-seller’s lists be damned.

Don’t be scared of going there. Our instincts always tell us to build walls, and lock those parts of ourselves away. It’s terrifying to knock those walls down and lay things out in the open. It will feel vulnerable and personal, sometimes too much so, but those are the words that will make a real difference.

Tear down your walls. Be open and authentic. Grab your demons by the horns, and wrestle them on the page. That’s what will resonate with readers.

Weekend Writing Warriors

Hey there! Winter break is coming to an end, so only two more posts until I have to go back for spring semester. Going to make the most of it, though 🙂 To meet some new authors, read some great writing, or join in the 8-sentence fun, stop by at Weekend Writing Warriors!

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This is a direct continuation from last week’s snippet (here). In this scene, Falcon has been captured by the Helyx gang and is being harvested for her Amaranthine magic. Creative punctuation has been used to fit into the eight sentences.

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The boy seemed eager to comply.

I grit my teeth against another scream as his ragged knife tore into my flesh, prying skin from muscle–Desperately, I tried to focus my energy as Asa had tried so often to teach me, his chest glowing with energy, skin and fiber knit together at his touch.

But nothing happened.

Of course it didn’t, it was hopeless–I may have Amaranthine blood, but I was pathetically, hopelessly human.

Scar leaned against the wall, sipping from the bowl as he watched the boy harvest me. I stared at him, and willed all of my rage against him–He was everything in this world I hated. He had hurt the only friends I ever had before I met the pack, he hurt everyone he ever came in contact with, and enjoyed it–He lived off of everyone else’s pain.

And now he was going to kill me.

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That’s it! Read on next week to find out what happens 🙂 I cant wait to read all of your snippets this week, happy 8sunday!

Blog Post and Novel Excerpt © Victoria Davenport and the Coffee.Write.Repeat. blog

Love Hurts

If you’ve ever been in love, or any kind of relationship, you probably know that love can hurt. It can be messy, complicated, and sometimes leaves no survivors. In real life, love is very rarely the simple happily ever after fairytale.

One of the things I love about YA is that it doesn’t flinch away from the complicated and heavy parts of life. It deals with every raw part of teenager’s lives, from first loves to loss. I think as authors we have a responsibility in that. To not just write about these, but write them authentically.

Just because it is YA doesn’t mean we should “water down” things. Life is not watered down. And especially in these dark fictional worlds, teenage characters deal with very adult problems, just like in real life. There’s a fantastic post on this by author Kate Brauning, which you can read here.

With all of that in mind, I’ve still struggled with how dark and twisted to go in my often dark and twisted fantasy. I want to be true to my characters and my world, but within the realms of YA and without alienating certain readers. I know how crucial YA was to me while I was growing up, and how much I learned, so I want to be able to give that same experience to younger readers.

But more than that, I’ve had a hard time with the romance in my story. From the very beginning, even before I wrote a single word, I knew Falcon was going to be with Hawke. They are perfect for each other, a team. And while they do have some conflict over outside events, they don’t really have any issues between them.

Then came a new character, Crow. I never intended for him to be a romantic interest, not even slightly. But the more I wrote, the harder it became to ignore. There was just something between him and Falcon, no matter how I tried to deny it. A pull, a spark, whatever you want to call it, it was there, and it wasn’t going away.

The problem is, Crow has issues. A lot of issues. I mean, he’s an assassin for a gang lord and comes from a severely abusive and messed up background. He isn’t capable of a healthy relationship. For him, everything is messy, no matter how good he tries to be. But when my CP first read EMBER, one of the first things she said was this is who Falcon should be with, their chemistry is tangible.

So how do I choose? Do I choose the character she should be with, the one who would make a great relationship and role model for love? Or do I choose the one who I know will cause her pain, but might actually be the stronger, greater love, even if it’s not always healthy?

Honestly, I still don’t have it entirely figured out. I have strong reasoning and motivation for both. But reading Kate Brauning’s post and some of her other tweets helped to open my eyes. YA relationships don’t have to be perfect. Really, they shouldn’t. Because real life relationships, especially teenage ones, are rarely perfect. It would give me an opportunity to really explore the ups and downs of relationships, all the messy tangles of love. Not to mention that the rocky, imperfect love might simply make for a better story.

What do you think? Do you prefer characters who are perfect for each other and relationships that are healthy? Or a more raw, complicated love story that might be a little more true to real experience, especially in YA?

Weekend Writing Warriors

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you enjoyed the holidays 🙂 To meet some new authors, read some great writing, or join in the 8-sentence fun, stop by at Weekend Writing Warriors!

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This is a continuation from last week’s snippet (here), though a couple paragraphs have been skipped. In this scene, Falcon has been captured by the Helyx gang and is being harvested for her Amaranthine magic. Creative punctuation has been used to fit into the eight sentences.

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I could see the taint of madness in his eyes–He was beyond reason, but I had to try. “But my blood is tainted with humanity–You can’t know what effect it will have on you.”

Scar laughed, a sound that reached out with dead fingers and gripped me by the bones, “Lying isn’t going to save you–You’re nobody’s Pet now. We’ll drop your body off at your doorstep so your perfect little family can see the pain you died in.” He ordered the boy with the knife to bring over the bowl that collected my blood–It sloshed with the movement, a dark red-black, and laced with a shimmer that only I could see–Amaranthine.

As I watched, Scar raised it to his lips and drank. He grinned, and his teeth shone red with blood–A wolf tearing into a kill.

“I’m done with her–Drain all of it, even if she’s dead.”

_________

There you go! I will continue this scene next week, so make sure you check it out 🙂 Thank you for reading, and look forward to your snippets this week! Happy 8sunday!

Blog Post and Novel Excerpt © Victoria Davenport and the Coffee.Write.Repeat. blog