My Writing Process Blog Hop

So, Hayley from Books Are Delicious tagged me in the writing process blog hop forever ago, but somehow I just never got around to it. Then, Sabrina from Books and Bark tagged me this week, and it was kind of a kick in the butt (I may also be restless while waiting for CampNano to start). So thanks so much to both of these ladies for nominating me, they are both awesome blogs that everyone needs to go check out, now ūüôā

What Am I Working On?

My current YA fantasy work in progress, called Nightfire, is about 16 year old Kera who survives in the wilds, in a world ravaged by shape-shifting monsters called Shadows. When she and her mother are attacked by the Shadows, leaving her mother half-dead, and Kera with fragmented visions, she must turn to the humans she has been taught to fear her entire life, to  help her find her missing sister. You can check out a better summary here, or follow my progress under the tag To Build A Story.

How Does My Work Differ From Others of Its Genre?

Something I have a habit of doing, unintentionally, is genre-bending. For a long time, my first manuscript was strictly sci-fi, but it wasn’t working. When I added magic and the fantasy element, something clicked–but I still loved the technology and the world I had created. So why not have both? Nightfire is similar in that it has magic and monsters, but also strong post-apocalyptic elements, such as machines, some tech, and a collapsed society.

Why Do I Write What I Write?

I really¬†don’t limit myself to genres. While my two main manuscripts happen to be fantasy, I’ve also written contemporary, sci-fi, even paranormal. I don’t really choose what I write, the stories come to me.

How Does Your Writing Process Work?

First, I start with an abstract concept. This can be a setting, a premise, or a voice, that strike me one day. I have a lot of these ideas floating around, so usually when I’m first inspired I’ll write as much as I possibly can about this idea. This is mostly major concepts and characters, kind of a rough outline, or particular¬†ideas.¬†Then¬†I sit down to write, and just let the words¬†flow. I take this abstract idea, kind of a mound of clay, and let it form and shape itself into something more concrete. If I fall in love, I keep writing. Usually I can tell by about the 15k mark, if an idea is novel-ready. If it’s not, I store it for later (I have dozens of these, waiting to be written). If it is, I keep letting the story tell itself.¬†I don’t plan very much, just main story ideas and arcs, because often the story takes itself places I never imagined. I also have a heavy editing phase, but I actually enjoy this part almost as much. This is where I get to take that half-formed stone¬†and chip away, bit by bit, to reveal the masterpiece inside. ūüôā Don’t underestimate the importance and power of editing!

I wish I had some great advice, but I really don’t. Everyone is different. I’ve been writing my entire life, and the stories tell themselves for me. I’ve kind of learned through years of trial-and-error what works for me and what doesn’t. While I think it is important to learn the craft, I think you will improve most through just plain writing, and figuring it out for yourself.

Tag People!

1. Jackie Smith – A Platform of Sorts

2. David Ben-Ami – Fiction All Day

3. Stephanie Allen – My Personal Fairytale

4. Writing Smarter

5. Yawatta Hosby – A Writer’s Blog

Character Blog Hop

I know I am behind on blog hops and awards (sorry, those of you that have tagged me, I appreciate it, and I will get around to it, I promise!) ¬†but this one really caught my eye. I was tagged by the lovely Sierra of PERMASHIFT, so y’all should go show her some love ūüôā I debated which character to choose, since I love them all so much, and I finally decided to do my favorite¬†from each of my manuscripts. If you think that’s cheating, I don’t really care ūüėČ

The Character Blog Hop

Manuscript: EMBER


(minus the sword, he uses knives, fletched with black feathers)

What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person? Crow, definitely fictional.

When and where is the story set? In a different realm, with four empires: Altum, Otium, Potentia, and Aurata. It is sort of a combination of fantasy and futuristic. The story takes place in the Dregs, the slums of Aurata, where the rebels have been sentenced to exile for two generations. There are two non-human races: Amaranthines, who are descended from the gods and have healing magic in their veins, and Ephemerals, a dying breed who are the complete opposite of Amaranthines, and are devout servants of their god Aides, often violent. Humans harvest Amaranthine magic (killing the host) as both medicine and a drug, to prolong their lives.

What should we know about him/her?¬†Crow begins as an assassin for the most powerful drug lord in the Dregs, who is also his 12-year-old sister. He, his sister, and their gang, are the last of the¬†Ephemerals. They venom in their veins slowly kills them, every day, and when their “divine purpose” is served, they will die. He spends his life culling the Dregs of corrupt, violent men like his father. He is very black and white, skilled, and almost never speaks, though he is constantly observing and reflecting on his surroundings. He is deeply devout to¬†their god, Aides, the god of balance, life and death. He is haunted by the memories of those he has killed–he remembers each of their eyes, and carves a line into his skin for each target he has killed.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? His life is disrupted when his sister begins sending him after innocent targets, which conflicts with his black and white personality. He is sent to kill Falcon (the protagonist) and realizes she is essentially a mother, taking care of 8 little toddlers along with the rest of her pack of kids, and hesitates. He confronts his sister, and ultimately decides to leave everything he knows, and turns to Falcon. She ends up taking him in, and he becomes part of the pack.

What is the personal goal of the character?¬†He wants to atone for his sins, and redeem himself. He is fiercely protective of Falcon and the pack. He comes to believe this is his “divine purpose” determined by Aides, and makes him no longer feel worthless. He vows never to kill the innocent again, or to kill needlessly, though he is willing to kill (as he does several times) in order to protect them. He views this as justified.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? The title is Ember, and you can check out a full description here.

When can we expect the book to be published?¬†I am currently querying this manuscript, so unfortunately, not anytime soon. But hopefully eventually ūüôā


Manuscript: NIGHTFIRE


(The second picture is of her younger sister, Hana, but I thought it gave a clearer image of her as well)

What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person? Kera. She is also fictional.

When and where is the story set? In a fantasy world, with a lot of futuristic and post-apocalyptic elements. The world is ravaged by shape-shifting monsters called Shadows, who rip their victims and essentially steal their souls, leaving them shells. All surviving humans have retreated into safehouses, fortresses suspended above the ground. Kera, her mother, and her sister Hana, live in the far north of the wilds, and have survived their entire lives on their own, believing humans are more dangerous than the Shadows. They live with a bewolf (bear-wolf) named Thunder, who was orphaned and has become their fourth family member and protector.

What should we know about him/her?¬†Kera is an expert hunter and survivalist. She is training her younger sister Hana to survive on her own. She has an injury from a bewolf attack, which acts up occasionally. She doesn’t talk much, but is very observant, and tends to worry, though she is careful to never let Hana see her unsettled. She is straightforward, practical, quietly strong, and fierce.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?¬†The story begins when Kera and her mother search for a new den to call home, and encounter a pack of hunters (human soldiers, who protect the safehouses) who are being attacked by Shadows. Kera steps in to help, and she is nearly ripped by a Shadow. The contact leaves her with fragmented visions she can’t make sense of. At the same time, her mother is ripped, leaving her a mindless shell. When the Shadows are dead, the hunters approach her. She is terrified of humans, but when she discovers her sister is missing, and winter is quickly approaching, she must turn to them for help.

What is the personal goal of the character?¬†Kera’s purpose is to keep her family together and safe. The attack leaves her¬†with visions and a new sense of the world which indirectly lead her to her sister.¬†She wants to find her sister, and¬†get her mother back. This involves discovering family ties to the hunters, becoming a hunter herself, and finding the source and meaning of her visions.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? The working title is Nightfire, and you can follow my posts under To Build A Story to track my progress, share my journey, and find out more.

When can we expect the book to be published?¬†As you can see from the progress bar, I am nearly one-third of the way¬†through¬†the first draft, so it is a long way from being published, but I hope it will be one day ūüôā


I know this is a long post, but I hope you enjoyed ūüôā

For this post, I tag:

1. Sabrina from the Books and Bark blog:¬†She is a very sweet and talented girl, and I’d love to see more from her ūüôā

2. Cate Russell-Cole: She always posts such helpful advice, but I’d love to see some of her own writing!

3. Julius from Writing Smarter: He has a great series called Creating Characters, and I’d like to see some more about his own characters!

Look forward to seeing y’all posts ūüôā There are many fabulous blog and writers I can’t tag, so if you enjoyed this, feel free to tag yourself! I’m always interested to see what other writers are up to.