Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Writers Plot, Readers Read

I was strolling around my local city after dropping my daughter off at school. I tend to leave business cards around every so often... In the usual places, you understand, not just anywhere. And whilst I'm doing that, I check what other people have put up.

That's how I found out Writers Plot, Readers Read, a cute independent bookshop, had opened up. They're currently the only bookshop to have The Rogue King on their shelves.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

What I've Learnt So Far for #Nanowrimo2015

I class myself as a pantser/plotter hybrid. Sometimes, the plotting is thick and I go for it with this massive plan in mind, other times I write so far off the margin that finding my way back to the plot is a mission in itself.
Part of that is due to there always being a number of epiphanies whenever I write. My stories seem to like surprising me. I accepted this long ago. In Pain and Blood is no exception.

Drawn by Tsyele
But no one has revealed as much about themselves as Tracker...
So far, he was taken from his mother as a babe (standard fare for this realm, it seems), trained hard as a wee lad with only his birthdate for a name, tortured both physically and mentally, forced to kill the people he loved when he was 15 and, when he finally became a fully-fledged hound and gained his name, he spends his days hunting people who tend to just want to be free with their families...
Safe to say, he's not had it easy.
He's also pansexual, this I sort of knew, and is adamant that he doesn't get jealous, although I think he's lying to himself there. And he revealed himself to be polyamorous... In the second-to-last chapter, no less. That was sort of... well... I wouldn't say it was unexpected. That he was shoved in a pit with his three lovers and expected to kill or be killed shocked me more than 'hey there was four of us all in one mutually-loving group'.

Amongst other things... he's afraid of tunnels (recently discovered why), has elegant handwriting (compared to Dylan, at least), and is completely unaware that he, or any other elf, will purr when content, which I guess means he doesn't recall ever being content since infanthood... Let that one sink in.

Have you had any epiphanies lately?

Thursday, 5 November 2015

NaNo, NaNo, NaNo...

I'm just gonna leave this right here...

Hopefully, it'll climb all the way to the top. It's only day 5 and I'm already a bit sluggish.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

In Pain and Blood - The Tower Mains

If you've ever given the first chapter of In Pain and Blood a quick perusal, you'll notice that Dylan doesn't start his journey with any of what I consider as the main cast. I sort of have a divide of main tower people / main travelling people...

Nestria is an elven spellster, she's Dylan's cheeky-ass childhood friend, sometime lover and occasional sparring partner. She's on par with him in magical talent, but loathes actually using her abilities in combat.

Sulin, the elven alchemist, is Dylan's roomie. He's as much of a flirt as Dylan is, although blunter about it and a little more select when it comes to who he sleeps with. He also got his tongue split in an accident. It's not relevant to the story, just mentioning it.

Tricia, human, is Dylan's guardian. She's the one who is... adverse to him leaving. Ever. Considering that he does, you can bet she isn't happy.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

In Pain and Blood - The Main Cast

Now I know for certain that there's no way my ill-prepared nerd could possibly make it from one city to the other on his own, let alone get across a kingdom. Well, to be fair, he might make it, but he'd be one hell of a mess... Er, more of a mess than he'll wind up with help.
So... he picks up a number of people. Oddly, mostly women. I didn't plan it that way, they just happened to be women...

There's Katarina, a human hedgewitch (a sort of scholar from the neighbouring country). Although if you plan on calling her a human, you also better be prepared to run and run far because where Katarina's from, they believe they're the descendants of dwarves. She's mainly with them because she stuck and there's no one else around to help her return to her homeland.

Authril is a common elven soldier from the king's army. Alongside Tracker, she's the one who has a valid reason to be sticking around for as long as she does.

Marin, as a hunter, generally flies solo. She originally comes due to forces threatening her current abode and, as far as I can tell, stays for the yuks. She also tends to treat Dylan as a little brother.

Drawn by the lovely Tsyele
And lastly, we have Tracker, an elven hound, (that's the king's secret elite, trained to seek out, and occasionally nullify, spellsters). Seeing that Dylan is a spellster, this guy finds himself sort of obliged to tag along.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

In Pain and Blood - The Protaganist

Drawn by the delightful Yerin Yoo
So, I've a setting and a timeframe. But just who is this guy I plan to write about in November?

The easy answer is Dylan.

But that's just a name, right? Not much to go on when I plan to put an entire story on this poor guy's shoulders. I better have some idea what he's like, how he'll act.

Fortunately, I've garnered a bit of insight into him, and that got a generous push by giving me a storyline when I was listening to a certain song.

Dylan gives off the general the impression of being just another cocky, carefree bastard (in both senses of the word) of a spellster who's actually more of a caring, inquisitive and protective nerd. But still, first a foremost, a spellster.
He's also a bit of a flirt. More than a bit, actually.

I've a number of more basic facts, like his age (29), his height (6'1) and, of course, there's his appearance (and, thanks to Yerin, his image is every bit as gorgeous as I imagined). He's also bisexual.

Compared to his travelling companions, he's a lanky and physically weak person who, on the whole, is woefully inexperienced at the whole outdoors thing. On top of that, he's gathered a couple of quirks... namely a dislike of pants, an overenthusiastic approach to all things ancient, and an attachment to his "soul patch".

He's a master linguist, a moderate healer, and excels in both magical offense and defense with a preference towards using lightning (hence the cover). All of which leads to complicating his life in some way.

Monday, 26 October 2015

In Pain and Blood - Setting & Timeframe

Every story needs a setting, even if it's mostly set in a single tower in a secluded valley. And as I've already mentioned, there's a whole continent set up for my spellster novels.

There aren't any big quests in these novels. No saving the world stakes. Whilst I adore reading stories where an entire world is at risk, very few of my stories follow that trend. A kingdom or two might wind up in danger (and civil war could be the outcome for one) but the stakes are a little more personal.

Very personal in the case of In Pain and Blood.

Still, I've the entirety of a small kingdom to play around in. At the moment, I've only got the places that'll turn up in the story marked, a sort of layout of their journey, the general look of the terrain and all that jazz... anything to stop myself from veering off in the wrong direction. Because if there's one thing I learnt from my oldest story, it's best to have an idea of where they're going before you send them across the terrain.

The kingdom itself is largely influenced by Medieval England. Castles, swords, royalty and all that... on top of magical metal that hinders magic, people unaffected by magic and daggers that can bring about your death at a single nick of the blade... Yup.

I've also got a basic timeline, a sort of base for how quickly they'll travel. I don't yet have everything down to the day, but I do know the story takes about three months what with all the travelling. It's an average sort of timeline compared to the others I've written, but I'll still have to keep an eye on it.