Monthly Archives: June 2014

Writing

Savage Staying Silent

Ooo, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the Savage Trilogy lately. I read through the scenes I’ve got for the 3rd book (R’s book) and had some literal laugh out loud moments. But there was one scene I couldn’t find. I started to panic that I’d written it on a loose piece of paper and lost it.

But I eventually found it. Turns out it was actually a scene from book 2. Sheesh! Anyway, I thought I’d share. Fair warning: it’s a rough draft.

This is a flashback, so if you’ve been playing along at home, it happens before the other excerpts. It’s from H’s point of view. This scene is the aftermath of something, but I don’t want to say because it’s slightly spoilery. (LOL, look at me with delusions of grandeur. Step 1: Finish the damn books. Step 2: ? Step 3: Publish!)

I have to admit, I’m in camp R. He’s totally my fav.

 


 

R punched him. In the face. The shock hurt almost more than his jaw did. R had never punched him before. They’d had the odd scuffle over the years, pushing and shoving and rolling around on the floor.

Which was exactly what they were doing when their dads thundered down the stairs and pulled them apart.

“What’s going on?” Toby asked. When he got no answer he stared at each of them in turn. “H? R?”

R licked his lips, running his tongue over a split that oozed blood, and for a second H thought he was going to tell them.

“Just ground us. We’re not going to tell you,” R said.

H sucked in a breath. They never spoke to their dads like that. No way was R going to get away with it. Plus, their punishments were always worse if they lied about what they did.

“Excuse me?” Toby said.

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sexy angry eyes photo credit: alphadesigner
via photopin cc

R didn’t answer, just kept his eyes on H and his mouth in a tight line.

Nathan let out a low whistle. “All right, R has chosen his course of action. How about you, H? How much trouble do you want to be in?”

Normally he’d choose solidarity with his brother, but R had punched him. Punched him.

“It’s Cheryl.”

Nathan and Toby shared a glance. “You were fighting about your girlfriend?” Nathan said slowly.

“R liked her.” Ha, take that. Both dads turned to R. It was obvious from the look on his face that what H was saying was true. “But I asked her out first.”

“Is that true?” Toby asked. “Are you jealous?”

“I’m not jealous any more, H—”

“Whoa, hold on.” Nathan held up a hand. “You had a chance to tell your side and you chose to stay silent.”

“Fine.” R headed for the stairs but Nathan grabbed him. R twisted his arm free, but waited at the bottom of the stairs. He still looked like he wanted to hit something, but he was smart enough not to try anything with their dad.

“You’re both grounded. No cell phones, no internet, no driving.”

“What?” R’s gaze flicked from Nathan to Toby, but there was no help for him there.

H kept his mouth shut.

“H, two weeks. R, four.”

“Four weeks? That’s not fair.”

“That was your choice.”

R managed to swallow whatever he was going to say and stormed up the stairs. Nathan and Toby shared a look that had disappointed written all over it.

“Sorry,” H said and turned for the stairs.

“Make up with your brother, eh?” Nathan said.

H nodded. “I’ll try.”

 

Writing

The Scrivener Post

photo credit: Audringje via photopin ccFor years and years, this is how my writing process went: a scene would pop into my head, I’d grab a 1B5 exercise book (I’d buy them in bulk at the beginning of the year, during the start-of-school sales), pick up a pen, and start to write longhand. Sometimes I’d end up with a paragraph, sometimes a few pages, and other times I’d eventually fill the whole book and have to grab another. Often I’d end up with crazy scribbles and the weirdest typos (is it still a typo if I’m not typing?). I’m grateful that I can look back over all those exercise books and see what I was up to. Yep, I still have them all. In a cardboard box under my bed.

Then, a few years ago, I decided I needed to sort out Grow (although it didn’t have a title then) because it covered a few exercise books and I hadn’t written it in chronological order. So I typed it up in Word. As it got longer, I found myself needing to jump around in the manuscript, so to help with this, I started using outline levels.

If you use Word for long documents, but you don’t know about outline levels, have I got a treat for you.

I set each chapter title to Level 1, and the first paragraph of each scene to Level 2 (the rest of the doc should be Body Text). Then, when you show the navigation pane (for me it’s a checkbox under the “View” menu), you can see all those levels, nicely grouped, and you can click on them to quickly go to that place in the document. (Click the image for the bigger version.)

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I haven’t typed up many of my stories, only the ones I think will go somewhere, but Word has served me well.

Then, a few months ago, I heard about Scrivener. If you haven’t, let me tell you it’s more than just a word processor, it’s a way to organize your writing, and group it together with your research, notes, and to-do list. I was intrigued, but I thought it was probably overkill for what I needed.

Until my birthday rolled around, and my hubby asked what I wanted. I couldn’t think of anything except the usual (chocolate). He couldn’t think of anything either, so insisted I give him a list of suitable presents he could choose from. I thought about it, and gave him a list. A list with only one thing on it. Scrivener. And sweet man that he is, he bought it for me. (He also printed and bound a copy of the manual so that he had something to wrap up.)

I’ve been using it for a month now, and I have to say, I’m a believer.

I converted a couple of my WIPs to Scrivener projects and I’m really enjoying using it. I highly recommend you follow along with the tutorial. I learnt so much that way, and it made me comfortable with the way Scrivener works.

But then, the most amazing thing happened…

I’m a total pantser, and I don’t do well planning. Most of the time I have an idea of where a story’s going, and I hold it in my head as I write scenes. I came up with an idea last week for a prequel to Grow, about Forester’s parents. But I don’t want to write it yet. I’ve got other stuff that needs to be done and I’m trying very hard to stay on target. But I knew I’d need to write notes or I’d forget it, and I don’t want to waste a milligram of hard-won creativity. So I set up a Scrivener project, and started jotting down notes.

Now, I’m not saying I couldn’t have done that with Word, or pen and paper, but with Scrivener, it’s so easy to rearrange, and categorize, and sort those ideas so they start to shape the story. I’m super excited. I’m going to keep plugging away, planning and making notes, and hopefully I’ll have this story sorted before I write the first scene.

So, tell me, do you write? What tools do you use?

Writing

This is why I never finish anything

Oh my gosh, I’ve got so much going on.

I’ve had Grow out on beta, and I’ve been getting some good feedback. I really think it’s at the final tweaking stage, where I’m just trying to get every single word perfect.

I’ve also been busy working on Grip. Grip is set in the same world as Grow, and comes just after chronologically. It tells the story of how Jack (one of the minor characters in Grow) spends his summer. I’ve had so much fun writing it. Jack acts like a bit of a douchebag in Grow, and I’m trying to show there’s more to him than anyone knows. It’s required a whole bunch of research, and will undoubtedly need more before I’m through. So far, I’m just working on getting the story done. As usual, I had the beginning, middle, and end sorted, but had some huge chunks missing in between. I’m aiming for novella-length, but as I’ve never written a novella before, I’m not too sure if I can pull it off. Fingers crossed!

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cc / Text added

Then, of course, while I’m trying to get his done, I get another idea. If you’ve read the blurb for Grow, you’ll know that Forester’s mum is dead, he hasn’t seen his father in ten years, and he’s living with his (maternal) grandfather who’s a bit of a dick. That got me wondering what it was like for Forester’s mum, living with that same man when she was a teenager. Suddenly she came to life, and Forester’s dad came to life, and they are both so eager to tell me their story. I don’t think it’s going to be a happy story, because there’s a lot of stuff that goes on for those two kids. And knowing how it ends might put a melancholy cloud over the whole thing. But, heck, I love stories that make me cry.

But that is why I have so much trouble finishing things, because there’s always a new idea around the corner begging to be written. I’m trying to be very good, and ignore the scenes playing out in my head for this new story. In the meantime, I may need to make lots and lots of notes. 🙂

So, my chores are:

  1. Polish Grow
  2. Finish Grip
  3. Write the sequel to Grow
  4. Write the prequel to Grow

Should be easy, right?