Friday, 30 December 2011

Review of Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

Title: Soul Music
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 3/5
 

Maybe I had too much of an expectation for this one, but I found it lacking ... something. Of those I’ve read with Death in the forefront, I certainly enjoyed Mort and Reaper Man better than this.
Perhaps it’s Susan. The way she goes through most of the story, just accepting whatever comes her way with the same rational and impassionate stance starts to grate after a while. I think the true her shines when she lets some emotion come through while talking to her grandfather. And the story definitely got more interesting as it neared the last third and tested her limitations more and more.
Death (did I tell you I’m a fan?) is quite amusing in places while he seeks out a way to forget through joining a foreign legion, then drinking and finally joining some of Discworld’s  more eccentric homeless people. And I loved the change of manner when we meet a younger, haughtier, version of him. One that hasn’t been through all he did in Reaper Man. The whole swing in the apple tree mindset seems totally plausible.
And there’s the Grim Squeaker. How can you not love him?
Then there’s Imp y Celyn, otherwise known as Buddy, and his Band with Rocks in. I get what it’s all about, but I found it a bit of a chore to read through these scenes when it reached the middle. After being warned something dire would happen to them, I got bored waiting for something to happen. Which isn’t a great attitude to be in when half the book is about them. Though their affect on the wizards, especially the Dean, was amusing.

Note: the scene on the cover is near at the end and really made the whole book worthwhile. ^_^

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Scarp
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Shadow Prince
Status: Head Thief

If you've got a city, especially and big city, you’re gonna have thieves somewhere. It's a given.
But, in most of the stories I've read, the thieves are always helpful. Half the time, it's the Big Cheese him/herself who does the helping. Sometimes they’ll even risk themselves for the Main Characters. And there's the guild. There’s always a guild, yeah? There's guilds out there even now, they just aren't called that. And, in my mind, if you're going to have a den, you better be ready to defend it, or have a good escape plan.
I never saw the head man of my little guild being all that nice. But then, when the law says thieves are to be blinded, you don’t have much room for nice. You've got cunning, though, along with threats and blackmail. Besides, I love it when I read a character who's pleasant until the MC tries to veer off the path they want you to take.
My only regret was not having the opportunity to use him for more than one scene.

What can I say about the image? I like how this turned out. The original Scarp had horns, with bands and jewels. Then I saw just how many of them already had horns and dehorned him. ^_^

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Day: Been and Gone

Hoy, I just got back from a long day of visiting family. The weather was fine, so no problems there.
Although I am hoping my daughter will be sleeping late tomorrow, especially after full fourteen hours of squeeing child under the, near sole, attention of adults ... mostly adoring grannies and granddads. Guess who got a lot of prezzies? Girl is spoiled rotten every year. ^_^
She’s only five, so still in the Santa belief stage.
I’m always a little nervous when it comes to the whole Santa thing. See, I’m not all that big when it comes to the festive spirit and I stop believing in anyone but family bringing the gifts when I was around six or seven. There was just something about the idea of a jolly fat man sneaking into the house while everyone slept to give them all gifts that I found disturbing.
Anyhow, decorating the house ended three years later. Those old decorations are likely mouldering in the attic as I type. So my daughter started believing a little late. At around three years of age.
This was the Christmas when, after a year at her preschool and endless touring of merrily decorated stores, she came back to our house, looked up at the bare walls and said, in the most dejected voice I’d ever heard from her: “There’s no Christmas.”
I cried. Not bawled, but there were certainly a few tears. A couple of chocked-back sobs. ‘Twas the night before Christmas ... okay the day before, but still ... I hauled my butt down to the store and came back with a tree and an armful of decorations.
And so the tradition of decorating the house continued. It’s not much, a little tree, some tinsel and ribbons (and this year, a red and white paper chain that we made one afternoon), but she enjoys seeing it.
And my ... her joy was certainly flowing this morning when she found ‘Santa’ hadn’t just brought gifts, he’d put candy canes on the tree and she’d gotten the “little unicorn with the littlest horn” she asked him for. (Hurray for all the shop assistants who help parents hide a gift and for all the aunts who distract their nieces and nephews while the parents pay for said present.)
Of course, I didn’t enjoy being woken up at 6am by said squeezing five-year-old, but hey, isn’t that all part of Christmas? ^_^

Now to plot my father's birthday. It's on the 1st of January. -_-

And what did I get from my daughter? A lump of amethyst (my birthstone) and a flower hairtie. Both thoughtfully picked out by her and paid for with her own money. ^_^

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Asclepias
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Golden Dawn
Status: Servant (of sorts)

Yet another lady who’s just slightly off her rocker.
Okay, maybe a little more than slightly. (Hoy. I’ve a lot of insane people kicking around this story.)
I actually see her as this sweet thing who wants to protect her brothers just as much as Atropa did. Only, like so many of her sisters, she seeks a more physical way to stop them. Honestly, none of them seem to understand the power of a good, old-fashionedly frank talk.

I must’ve changed and rejected so many things in the background for this one. Somehow, a whole lot of axes just felt right, and I like how it sort of clashes with her name. Asclepias being the genus for milkweeds, which in turn was named after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing. Axes ... healing ... I guess it’d work in some cases. But then, hitting a great many things with an axe would pretty much lead to said things being irreparable.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Tarpas
Story: Witch of Morthin
Status: Count of Pafferdale

Now here's a long suffering man with an overbearing wife and a son who doesn’t want to inherit his title. He started off as a distant figure, someone who was only occasionally referenced, but it soon became apparent that he, along with his wife, would have to come to the foreground before Witch of Morthin’s sequel.
I honestly have no idea where his name came from. It was quite a long time ago and I think I may have just randomly tapped keys until I got something I liked.

As usual, I spent more time on the animal than the person (who I knocked up in a few minutes). With me using my old, departed, horse as the inspiration for this one, I think I’ve a good reason. ^_^
Originally, the horse had full armour on, but I think this looks a little more relaxed in a “lord going for a midday ride” sort of way.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Ten thousand words ain't all bad.

Yup, Dark One's Mistress skipped over the ten thousand mark. And it happened a chapter before I thought it would. ^_^

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, if this works, I will have done two things: sticking to one point of view and, basically, trying to keep the same level of action in a limited travelling area. I've a bad track record in both. Though I've attempted the former before in The Unborn, I couldn't stop myself from switching pov's for the three 'epilogues'. It was necessary for that novel. I've two main characters sharing the narration in Dragon and three in The Rogue King.
It's whether the latter holds up over fifty/sixty words. Part of me thinks I may be getting just a bit too over my head there. Guess I'll just have to see how it goes. It's a rather large citadel, so all should be okay, but then again my main character travelled two levels in a paragraph. It all depends on what's more important at the time, I suppose.

But, at the moment, the one pov is going quite well for me. I've gotten a good number of words out of it, anyhow. ^_^

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Niaja
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Forgotten Queen
Status: Captain of The Prophet

I really like Niaja. He started off so low and, via several circumstances, he’s now in command of an old warship.
He’s probably the strangest one of the lot when it comes to talking and the hardest to hold a long conversation with. I don’t blame him though, I blame his mother ... okay, I should be blaming me, but I like his quirks too much and he’s too old in more ways than one for me to go about changing him. I do be aholding a soft spot in my heart for the old dragon and it did be a great pity I couldn’t be ausing him some more in that there story, but I do be having future plans. ^_^

I think I spent more time trying to get the image of The Prophet in my head right than the man who commands her. The closest I’ve gotten to an earth variant would be the Spanish galleons. Without the cannons, though. Which, considering the past of those ships, is actually sort of fitting.

My daughter took one look at this picture and called him a ‘horse lizard’. ^_^

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Hello, week? Can I have a redo?

Gah, this week has been perhaps one of the most annoying starts of December I’ve had in a while.
Let’s start with Sunday: One of my poor car’s belts (of which there are three) decided to snap. It wouldn’t have been so bad. But, yeah, it’s a Sunday. No mechanic open to head to. We got replacement belts (yay) and I thought everything would be fine. Yet, on the way to my other half’s father’s place (to put on the belts), the temperature gauge went haywire.
Yep, the belt that broke was the one that drove the water pump. Sure enough, the radiator blew just as the house we’re aiming for came into view. But that bang we heard wasn't the cap, oh no, it couldn’t be just the cap. The whole top of the radiator decided to split.
Hoy! -_-
Don’t know how long it’ll be until we’ll get that fixed. Though I’m glad there was a spare car. It’s my father’s which means it’s completely rubbish to drive and thirsty as heck, but you can’t be without transport here. My daughter wouldn’t get to school for one, never mind the food-buying issues.
 
And then there’s my other half’s Ute. Happened yesterday. It’s kind of funny compared to mine. Mine was a horror that I pray will never be repeated. His was an accident.
In short, a digger smooshed the front.
The damage? Crushed the bumper and grill, bent the hood, folded the top of the radiator (I sense a trend, December. Do you just hate radiators? Is that it?) and the cowling round the fan had to be ripped away so the fan could actually turn. It really looks like it should be in a junk yard.
 

*sigh* Ah well, December, you’ve probably yet to do your worst.
Just wish you’d hurry up and give me January.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Sequel! Sequel! Who’s got a sequel?

I’m a fan of big books – in fantasy that is – and epic stories. Do I really need to say I love sequels?
My shelves are packed with trilogies, quartets and series. I’ve even got a few prequels. Especially when they’re about beloved characters. Give me at least three books and, if you get me hooked on the first, you’re guaranteed to have me reading the third.
I like to linger in a world, see the sights as well as poke about in the corners. What’s more, I’m still likely to remember what happened in book two by the time I’ve reached ... say ... book seven. Even if a number of years separate when I read them. I think that’s probably why I enjoy the longer series.

But, in my opinion, to make anything beyond that first book count, it calls for at least one of four things:

1.       A big cast such as in the mighty Wheel of Time Series. The need to put in everyone’s actions practically demands a lot of books.

2.       A reoccurring threat that can’t be easily stomped out for whatever reason. This would be accurate of Thread in the Dragonriders of Pern. This can run the risk of being repetitive if not done right and usually calls for other, lesser (but not minor) threats/obstacles in the way. Having the characters gain ground throughout the series is a big plus.

3.       A journey that’s so big, it takes several books to cram it all in. And you can take your pick on this one, it seems to be the most common of the sequel traits, right along with ...

4.       A new threat. And, gosh, don’t it fill in the space of the old threat just nicely. The threat must be a) bigger than the last or b) threaten in a different manner, and they better have a good reason for not being in the first story. In conjunction with that, it must NOT be defeated the same way as the last.

If it’s a prequel, then there better be a hint of that back story in the first book. Nothing worse than finding something happened way back when (something, occasionally literally earthshakingly, monumental) and no one from the original novel knew about it.
On the other hand, Trudi Canavan wrote a good prequel with Magician’s Apprentice. The war it’s about is mentioned in the first book of - as well as a number of times within - the Black Magician’s trilogy. David Eddings does the same with the Belgariad Series and the two prequels Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress. But then, he’d ten books to weave back-story hints into.


When it comes to writing, I naturally think of stories in more than just standalone. I’ve been conditioned to it, I suppose.
Thing is, what with my desire to have an actual ending at the end, I’m often left with choice number Four.  There’s one big downside to that choice, unless your second threat leads to a blending of numbers, you can’t keep adding new threats.
Okay, you can, but after a while, unless done right, you can run the risk of ... well ... of looking like you’re trying to get too much mileage out of those characters and your readers are going to get tired of it. Monster-of-the-day might work well on TV, but it takes a little longer than thirty minutes to read a novel.

So, before you sit down and type out that sequel, you need to have a good look at what you’ve got and ask yourself: Does it need to be said?
 

And let’s hope a few factors don’t get dropped along the way. Like ...
Continuity. This is the big one that everyone understands needs to be watched. Things like if Person A needed an elaborate spell to contact Person B in book one, then, unless something major happened at the end of the story, that’s what needs to be done in book two.
Yeah, you could have them ‘just be more powerful’ at the beginning. Person A might have trained majorly while we weren’t looking and is now so much better. It’s been done but, being someone who likes to see them improving, I’m not a fan of this route.
And, often, little errors are brushed aside. Say Person B sneezed every time he went near a horse, yet in book two they’re suddenly able to ride them without a sniffle and, often, with no explanation. I smell convenience and it reeks.

Character. All that moulding to make those words feel like the lives of ‘real’ people seems to waver, or gets dropped, in favour of plot or newer characters. I’m sure it’s not a deliberate choice, but just because I know who the older people are and what they’re like doesn’t mean I don’t want to see them evolve further.

Geography. Especially if travelling is involved. And not just what they’ve tramped over so far. If you mentioned a desert to the west last time, and they’re now walking through grassland, there better have been a shoddy cartographer somewhere or one heck of an upheaval (which has either happened in the last story if not the catalyst for the next). I’m pretty sure that’s why most series books have maps.
 
I’ll probably now go on to make those very mistakes. ^_^

If you’re into sequels, either the writing or reading kind, what oversights have you read/done/heard about?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Betula
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Golden Dawn
Status: Servant (of sorts)

This is one gal you don’t want to trust with your drink. But isn’t that usually true of anyone who messes with herbs of any type? Her name comes from the genus for a birch tree, which, to my knowledge, I’ve never actually seen in the bark before. Even now I’m surrounded by pines and gum trees. My childhood home had the added patches of manuka and the odd giant kanuka. I hadn’t even seen an oak until I was in my late teens.
But back to Betula herself ... I see her as the sort of person who’s led along by her sisters. She certainly doesn’t have much pagetime in the story itself. Two scenes, probably. But two important scenes.

I contemplated several images for her. This one sort of fell out of the program while I tinkered.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Review of Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett

Title: Men At Arms
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5


I quite love a good mystery plot, so long as they’re not too thick. But I’ve a nasty habit of, when wanting to know something now, flicking further on into the book. This is true of anything I read. Sometimes I’ll find I’ve already read certain scenes two or three times before I’ve even gotten near that section of the book.
So I prefer to watch mysteries rather than read’em. Then again, on the odd occasion that I do, it’s only on TV. Anything I can skim forward and find the answer won’t keep my interest long.
Especially if the plot goes something like is: someone got killed (fair enough), investigators waffle on about this and that and who’s dating what. Either start hunting for the criminal or tell me who did it, already. *fast-forward*
Yet there’s something about Men at Arms that invites me to keep reading straight through. I’m not sure if it’s Vimes or Carrot that draw me most, it’s sure as anything not Nobby (though, he’s got a strange sort of charm), but I’ve a sneaky suspicion that it might be a combo of the two. And there’s the added bonus that I, just through reading the beginning, already know who did some of the crimes pretty early on (no, I won’t tell you who).
Then there’s Angua ...
I’m liking her, a lot. In particular, the way she’s portrayed with a paw, I mean foot, firmly planted on both sides of what she is and she uses it to the Watch’s advantage. I particularly like how the sense of smell is portrayed with colours. ^_^ And her relationship with Carrot was ... unexpected. Not the relationship itself, mind, the way it starts. Though how he found out she was a werewolf was quite amusing.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Review of Lords and Ladies by Terry Prachett

Title: Lords and Ladies
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5


So, this time around we have what happened on a Midsummer’s Night (now if only it had been a dream). And I must say that, next to Death, Granny is my favourite character. But of course, there’s also Magrat, Nanny and Greebo. All of ‘em muddled in their own escapades.
To be honest, I didn’t feel as if there was a central figure who rises over the others in this story. There is a fair bit going on, weddings and elves breaking into this world (not the splendid Tolkienesque ones, the more sinister type of older folktales).
Some bits where quite thought-inducing, while others (a fair bit of them, actually) had me giggling in some quiet corner. Especially when it came to Casanunda meeting the Elven King (who apparently looks a lot like his picture).
The best bit was, naturally, at the end with the bees and the unicorn. And, after everything that had happened, there was still a happy ending and a wedding. Granted, what with all the turmoil, it wasn’t exactly how it was meant to go, but still ... hurray!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Anne McCaffrey - A Great Woman Gone

I must be about the last person to have heard about this, but I'm still just as shocked that Anne McCaffrey is gone. Yet, at the same time, I'd consider myself fortunate to attain even a fraction of the fame she has gathered over her long life.
Dragonflight was the first proper novel I read, at the impressionable age of thirteen.  She opened my eyes in more ways than one and, though I'd already a love for writing and wanted to be an author, she made me want to better my writing. I'm pretty sure she also helped foster a deep love for dragons and the desire to have my own dragons flitting through the pages in whatever form I could find.
I cannot recall how many times I've read that one book. It appeared and disappeared throughout my younger life until I found the means to buy it. Let's say enough that I can open it to select parts as the mood sees fit. Though I haven't gone to Pern in a while.
There are still books I've yet to read (and buy), new dragons I've yet to meet and old dragons I've new stories to experience with. And I just know that, through those books, her memory shall reach out to me on those gossamer wings, as I hope it reaches to you all through whatever of her many books you choose to read.
Anne McCaffrey, it's a given that you shall be missed, but may you never be forgotten.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Eleanor Vale
Story: Aelfah
Status: Mother

I think every mother is a little paranoid that something will happen to their daughters. Especially to those who spend most nights being out late. Doubly so when you can’t get hold of them on their flat mobile phones. >_>
For ages, she was “Aly’s mother” or “Mrs. Vale”, but I wanted a first name for her, even if it never got into the story. I needed that name to help me understand her better.
So there I was, sitting at the computer, trolling through name databases. All the time thinking “What is her name? What sounds right?” That’s the crucial factor for me. It has to feel right to me, otherwise I cringe whenever I think of them.
Now I occasionally have a music channel going on the TV. I did on this day. I wasn’t paying much attention to what was being sung at all, but a certain song came on as I was asking those questions. Two words piercing into the murk of my thoughts. “Eleanor Rigby.” (Yep, that song by none other than The Beatles.)
Now, she doesn’t mirror the song, and I dismissed it at first. But the name stuck and she became Mrs. Eleanor Vale. ^_^

Seeing that she spends so much of the story angry at, or disappointed in, her children, I wanted a calmer, less stressed, picture of her. Personally, I think she could be a little more relaxed.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Ssskerf
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Shadow Prince
Status: Royal Guard

Ssskerf started off a completely different species and with a slightly different name. Being a scene character, I decided I just couldn't do another generic lizard-man (they're so darn common in this world, ergo there are so many already that needed to be what they were), so Kerf got turned into a snake-man and became Ssskerf instead.
I like snakes. Really wish I could actually see a live one (there are none in New Zealand that I know of, dead or alive, not even in the zoos).

It's pouring when he arrives, it's pouring in the image (Enlarge and look at the cobbles, you can just spot it). I'm actually quite proud of the atmosphere, just wish I could've made the rain a little easier to see.
His armour really should be trimmed in gold, but ... well, let’s say I really admire all those who texture the 3D models. And no, his tail's not meant to be plated. How could he possibly slither with such a hindrance?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Helping Harry Help Others

Rachael Harrie's Blog Building Campaign may have ended for 2011, but the stories linger on ... thanks to Katharina Gerlach.
She has complied 176 donated entries from all three challenges, whether they be flash fiction, poems or essays from just 81 participants.
It's amazing how each one is different from the other.

Want another reason to grab this?
All the proceeds of this eBook, whether bought from Smashwords or Amazon, go to Harry Moseley's charity "Help Harry Help Others". His charity has raised half a million British Pounds for Cancer Research UK, to help them find a cure for brain tumours.

For $2.99 you can Help Harry Help Others too.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Viola
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Golden Dawn
Status: Servant (of sorts)

Really not sure where Viola came from and there isn’t really much I can say about her.
Except for one thing: she creeps me out. I’ve a strong feeling that I need to bathe every time I think on her too long. At the very least, that girl needs to bathe.
Though her name’s not mentioned at the time, she’s the first one to meet Herald (the Main Character) when he arrives home. Now there’s a welcome for you.
Her name comes from the genus of the flower, not the instrument. ^_~

I’ve redone this image a bunch of times and still wish I’d got her hair to look lankier. It still seems a little ... foofy to me. And, now I look at it, I wish her teeth were a little more obvious. They need more attention than brushing could ever do.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Penny Tanner
Story: Dark One’s Mistress
Status: Cobbler’s Daughter

This is one of those few times where the image came before the name. Being one of the five taken to the citadel to stand before their Lord, I wasn’t sure exactly what to call the last of the group. All I knew she was the least impressed by her predicament.
I often think of the kind of person that character is while I work on their image. While I did, it came to me that she was probably a bit of a tomboy, certainly a firecracker that didn’t back down for any reason. A short, and generally quick to anger, young woman who’s likely to fight harder than the other and is not above punching any man trying to grab her.
Only her name escaped me. It hacked me off for days.
Then the image was done and I was staring at that blank space of a title under which to save it.
That’s when it hit me. It was so darn obvious.
Her name was Penny. Penny Tanner, to be precise. ^_^

I think I captured her quite well, though she doesn’t look all that short in a single shot.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Review of Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

Title: Small Gods
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5


Dense yet clever prophets, scary yet stupid inquisition, a god stuck as a tortoise and an eagle who really needs to find something else to eat. At the centre of this divine cyclone is the Great God Om. ^_^
I really like Om. He’s a guy who’s used to being large and in charge in his part of the world, then he wakes up in the middle of an attempt to be made into lunch (eagle, enter stage left) to find himself as a tortoise. Which is just plain crazy as it is. Forget about people trying to eat him - apparently, “there’s good eating on one of those” - but no one can hear him. Except for Brutha.
Poor, poor Brutha. This fellow, who only wants to be left alone, can’t seem to stop hearing Om. Both his amazing memory and the god put him in some rather sticky situations. The stickiest of all being trapped with Vorbis. The bad guy of this story.
And what a very bad man he is. His demise, which was inevitable really, could’ve happened any number of times and each time he lived, left me waiting for someone to do him in. The way it which he does die is quite laughable really. But satisfying. While I like bad guys to be bad, I love it even more when they get got.
Of course, Death pops up on occasion throughout the story before then. Though I’m a major fan of the black robed guy, it was the piece after a ship had sunk, that had me unable to stop laughing for a good few minutes. ^_^
But back to Om and Brutha. It was in the last few pages, between the banter of god and prophet and where what was to be a battle among human turned into a fight among the gods, that really had me liking this small god. Bit sad that there’ll be no more of him conversing with Brutha though, I’d been seeing them as pair right up until the end there.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Cesei
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Rogue King
Status: Nomad

Cesei first popped up in a single sentence spoken by Honny. Something must have wriggled loose from the dark recesses of my mind that houses the oddities known as my stories, for that’s when her name sprouted again from the mouth of another.
Before I knew exactly how I was going to do it, I realised I had to type her up in the flesh, so to speak. So came the gal who would be Koral’s - the Main Character - “teen” crush. It was fun to write the exchanges between the pair and, what with having already done the rest of the story with a much older and more confident man (especially when it came to women), it was also an absolute delight to reduce him to a blushing, stuttering heap of a boy.
You won’t believe the amount of wicked giggling I did while editing that piece. Not the first time I've been glad I edit while alone.

I did this one while writing the scene with her in it, just to help me stay focused between the near-silent chuckling. Hence I attempted to capture the essence of what Koral, barely a teenager, saw when he looked upon Cesei, a far more mature young woman. (Think twelve-year-old boy ogling nineteen-year-old girl.)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Erik
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Silver Moon
Status: Demon Hunter

When I first imagined Erik, I pictured him as some stern hunter that kicked demon butt and didn’t care what happened. Slay and leave certainly seems to be the norm for paranormal exterminators. I mean, would they really care what happens to the immediate environment once what they’ve come to kill is dead?
Then his son sort of popped up and the image wavered somewhat, adding another layer.
Anyhow, a demon hunter hunts demons. It’s always been the right thing to do, after all. So what does a guy do when faced with a situation he’s not been trained to deal with?
Time to call on one higher up in the chain of command, methinks.

I actually picked the name based on the geographical location of his birth. But then the story doesn’t exactly hit you over the head with historic points and realism sort of flew out the window with the hodgepodge attire I imagined he’d have (no doubt accumulated from the various places he’s travelled to).

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Third Campaigner Challenge ...

I couldn't find the time to do the Second Campaigner Challenge. So I'm thrilled to be able to do the third one.

"Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:
  -          that it’s morning,
  -          that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach  
  -          that the MC (main character) is bored  
  -          that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  -          that something surprising happens.
Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise." (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them)."



THE SEAGULL
Sarah stared out at the growing light hovering on the horizon; the rosy arc gone, overridden by a crescent of gold. Before her stretched the endless ocean, dark and tacise. An onshore breeze assisted the waves, bringing with it the pungent scent of brine and rotting seaweed.
Nearby, a lone seagull screeched. Yawning, she turned her gaze to watch the bird fly over the water, diving at the fish hidden beneath the waves. Each dip and climb brought it ever closer to the shore.
Alighting a few feet from her, it hopped across the sand on one leg. Its head tilted. Tiny, black eyes peered up at her. Expectant. Impatient. At times like this, with the world still, the screech it gave had a human-like quality. Feed me, it demanded. Feed me now.
Sarah dipped a hand into the paper beside her, drawing out a chip.
The seagull hopped forward. A second leg unfolded as she threw the chip at its feet. Despite being alone, the bird swallowed it in one gulp. Then, ever the wastopaneer, the seagull screeched at her for more.
She idly chewed a piece of cold fish, tossing a handful of chips at the bird.
The seagull raced to eat them, its actions synbatec as it scurried about.
The chill wind changed. Sarah held her nose, the smell of the sea infinitely preferable to the stench behind her.
The seagull continued pecking at its feast.
She tipped the paper’s contents of battered fish and chips on the sand. Standing up, brushing the salt from her jeans, she began the trek across the sand. Steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the ravaged the lands on her right. Death and chaos abound. The reasons to both meaningless now.
Behind her, once more alone, the seagull cried out. Its call answered.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Lady Aaluna
Story: Dragon
Status: Knight

Ah, foreign, pretty, honey-haired Aaluna.
I can sum up this girl with just two words. Dragon crazy.
They’ve a name for the kind of creature her dragon is too: human lover.
This woman somehow managed to usurp my world building for a time. So much so that I could’ve done a whole story (well, a short story at the very least) of how she got where she is. It was fun having her about and I do which there’d been more space for her in the plot, but she really wasn’t needed for much more than one chapter. 

Technically, seeing that she’s pregnant in the story, I should’ve made her so in the image. But, if I’m to be honest, it was hard enough getting it like this and, by the time I remembered her current state, I couldn’t be bothered redoing it.
Consider it as having been done before/after the pregnancy, that’s what I do. ^_^
Note: The little, purple feathers in her hair (yes they are purple, just dark) are from her dragon.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Award Number Two. ^_^

This here, as the writing says, is the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award (ain't it cute? I think I'd be just as happy eating the real thing right now. ^_^).
It's been given to me by Jennifer at Jen's Bookself. I'm actually quite surprised to win this one (nix that, I'm surprised to win anything. Ever), though I love reading all the random things people put up.

It comes with rules, of course. And they are:
1. Link back and thank your givers.
2. Share 7 random things about yourself.
3.Choose some awesome people to pass the award to and leave a comment on their blog so they can claim them.


Seven random things about me ... hmm ...

1. When I was sixteen my car was rear-ended at 100km while stopped at a red light, the only piece of the vehicle not totalled was the area in which I was sitting.

2. I collect foreign coins and Blue Mountains Pottery. (You wanted random)

3. My house has five domestic cats. In order of age: Crumble, Mama, Charlie, Simba and FizzyWhip.

4. I can't stand most versions of cooked pig. Yet can eat ham and love bacon.

5. I always wanted to be a red head. Sadly dyes do not last long, so I went second-best: my other half is. ^_^

6. Despite watching the movies, I've never read a single Harry Potter book.

7. I cannot wear silver. My skin reacts to it something fierce.

Bonus: I've naturally got vamp fangs at the top and a set of even sharper teeth arranged in a semi-circle at the bottom. Due to the pulling of a incisor, there's only three teeth between the top fangs. (No, I don't sparkle ^_^)

Now then, I'm passing this award on to:
Jess at Write. Skate. Dream.
Laila at Untroubled Kingdom of Laila Knight
Kimberly at Meetings with My Muse

Synopsis - Write it First

Synopses, along with query letters, have to be some sort of exquisite torture invented by some masochistic person.
The countless times you'll find people claiming that, though they've easily written an entire story (a big 'yay!' to everyone who has ^_^), the synopsis eludes them.
Or they, like me on my first try, end up with something that tries to rival the story in size. Yes, some agents/publishers ask for a longer synopsis, but the average only wants one-two pages. But that monster eight-page-synopsis doesn't require at least the last four pages (I know, it's hard to believe, but true).

So why is so hard for some of us?
I've asked this on a number of occasions as I struggled with my first synopsis. My original (and its many variations) was five pages long. I was convinced that I could not condense a story of 186,000 words to fit onto one page. I did. Single-spaced, that is. It took a long time, much re-reading, editing and a lot of fretting that I was deleting an important bit (we are our own worse critics, after all).
The conclusion I reached was this: I was trying to put too much into it. Once the story is completed we (or at least I) seem to have this need to put in every teeny twist and each minor thought. As if by doing so, we'll convince the person at the other end why it simply had to happen that way. Somewhere along the line it's forgotten that the story is the important part. The synopsis, while has to be coherent and error free, needn't be quite as clever. It's there for one purpose: to summarise the story.
Now there are many ways to write a synopsis. Some recommend writing that eight page beast and snip out what's not required. Another suggestion is to break the story down into its chapters and then try to summarise each one in a sentence or three. Like a paragraph for each chapter. I adopted its cousin where those paragraphs were forced to do describe two chapters. Afterwards, I had one page and a bit. That's where the editing came in.
Not everyone can do it that same way as someone else (I surely couldn't the way most suggested), but there's a way for every person. As long as we remember that we're not trying to be clever. If your character has some special mark, mention it briefly. If you find yourself doing this: "insert name is marked with a insert mark which glows bright blue and they discover due to insert conflict that it gives them the power to do whatever" you're going to need some major redoing later.
It can be simple as saying that they 'fled' instead of 'ran away'. One word can be the difference between a new line or not, and if you can say it in one word, you should've been doing it in your story.

But I found another way that worked even better for me: I wrote the synopsis first. It was the easiest time I've ever had writing a synopsis. So easy, that I went and did it again for the next story.
You see, whenever I write, I know where my characters are heading, I know what'll happen. But, before I've written a single word towards the novel, I've a brief summary in my head. And we all know what that amounts to.
How disgusted I was with myself to find there was a synopsis already in my mind, just waiting for me to write it down. Sure, I found I had to tweak it once I'd finished writing the story as some things had been altered. But the larger portion was still intact and, because I hadn't all the little bits to worry about, it was free of all those tiny details that had originally clogged my first synopsis and made it so bothersome to do.

Why the heck did it take me fourteen years to find that out? -_-

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Review of Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold! by Terry Brooks

Title: Magic Kingdom For Sale - Sold!
Author: Terry Brooks
Rating: 3/5
 
This starts off slower than the other stories I've been reading lately. Which wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t taken a few chapters of umming and ahhing until we reached Landover. It’s not that I mind not being thrown into the action, in fact I like a good lead up. But when it takes two chapters for him to decide to buy the kingdom, then drags me halfway through third chapter before he get there ... I was literally screaming at the book for the first two chapters “It’s called ‘Magic Kingdom For Sale – Sold’, you nitwit! For goodness sake, buy it already!” Thankfully, I don’t read in public places. ^_^
Things sped up a little after he reached Landover, though there were a few dull patches, it’s an overall good balance between action and the internal doubt Ben has for his position. The struggles, both the mental and the physical, were interesting and, sometimes, very cleverly dealt with (other times, Ben’s a diggleberry who deserves a good slappin’, but that’s just my opinion).
There are a few things that happen that are just plain strange. Perhaps that’s because I’m not all for the “you’ve spotted me, I’ve fallen in love, now I’m yours, take me” idea of how he meets his ‘lover’. In fact, the whole scene feels a little odd to me.
The ending ... well, I always knew he was going to win; it’s the first in a series, after all, so I expected it. But the ending felt a little too predictable and easy.
That being said, I’m still looking forward to reading the next book.

Side note: It may just be my version (published year 1988), but I can’t recall having read a book with so many spelling mistakes as this one. Makes me feel a little better about my various, late-night misspells of ‘the’. ^_^

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Durel/Typhoon
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Rogue King
Status: Rogue

Do you have one of those minor characters who, for whatever reason, you know their entire background? Well, Durel, or Typhoon as he’s called in the story, became one of those.
It started out with me simply trying to find the reason behind him being insane (yes, I know, more insanity. They aren’t all crazy, honest).
Once I had the reason for that (which is pretty messed up and would snap any mind), I then turned to how he got into that situation in the first place, which led to more background (and a revelation). Virtually zilch of that info went into the story, but then not all research needs to, just as long as you know the reasons and can whip’em out when needed.
Plus, the story isn’t about this particular messed up lizardman.

I’m actually quite pleased with how the image came out. Nevertheless, I’m a little miffed I couldn’t get the ‘killing claws’ on those feet quite how I wanted them, but I’d enough trouble getting these to work without trying to find (then buy) a decent Velociraptor model which may or may not co-operate.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Vigil
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Golden Dawn
Status: Second in the Fortress’ Chain of Command

It’s not easy being a guy like Vigil. Not only is he perpetually surrounded by middle children (and is also one of them), but he’s got an older half-brother who’s fanatical about an angel’s spirit and an undead twin sister who’s just plain crazy.
That being said, he seems to be one of the saner ones in this story. Though he’s supposed to be second in command and therefore issues orders right enough, he and his sister always tend to turn up as a pair. At least, they do where one of them is concerned.
Personally, between the two of them, I think his sister might actually be the boss. ^_~

I tried going for some sternness, but it didn’t seem like Vigil so his posing mood took over instead. Which is fine by me, he’s not 100% serious as it is. Although, I cannot for the life of me remember what in the name of those above I was thinking when I did the background on this. All I know is that, despite the vice, it’s not a torture room. There's not enough blood and they don’t do torture in the fortress anyhow. At least, not the physical kind.
Just don’t ask what’s in the cup.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Still Kicking - Free Sample

The story of The Rogue King has been with me for many years now, fourteen to be precise.
Fourteen years of writing and editing the same story. First in first person, then a rewrite in third. All the time adding more and more.
It is my baby. Because of this, only a few have ever read the entire thing. I'm very picky about who sees my writing in the feotal form.
But seeing that my ultimate goal is to have it published then I've somehow known the time would eventually arrive for me to let that iron grip of mine loosen.
Unfortunately, some believe I may have written an unpublishable novel.
I often ask myself is such a thing can exist. The answer always seems to be a very admonishing no. Through all those years, I've never once thought to put aside this story.

Dragonfall Press has the first four chapters of The Rogue King availiable, for free, so people can read and decide for themselves. In their words: "your feedback will help decide if it is released as a full-length novel."

They would like to know two things:
If you would like to see in in paperback and eBook form.
If you would recommend it to a friend.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Introducing ...

Name: King Torron
Story: Witch of Morthin
Status: >_> King ^_^

Ah, the mad king.
I do so love a good, properly crazy, king.
Not to be confused with the just plain insane king.
You can actually predict the randomness of an insane king. He’ll be whacko about everything he does and, sometimes, completely over the top with it.
But a crazed ones ... the ones who appears normal but could snap at anything, for whatever reason, they’re more fun. Especially when they go around poisoning the mother of their five children and imprisoning their only daughter, that’s just craziness.
I do feel a little sorry for poor Torron though. He lost more than a few cards off the deck when he did what he did.

I’m still not 100% sure if I actually got a decent crazed look. It’s a fine line to walk when you consider he’s not all the way mad; his sanity’s just a bit frayed round the edges where witches are concerned. I guess it all comes down to the eyes.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Editing Headclunk

I always end up groaning when I edit. Eye rolling tends to happen a lot as well.
Not because I hate editing, I actually quite like the chance to read (and re-read) my stories from one end to the other. I write each one for my enjoyment, after all.
No, it's because every single time I pick up that stack of A4 papers, some error will leap out at me.
It's not even the big ones that bother me. And I've had sentences that not only have important words missing, but some are not even anywhere near in the right order. Fortunately they're no longer as common as most were the product of late night typing.
Everything makes sense at 2am. Trust me.
It's the stupid errors (like it instead of in) that leave me grumbling, wondering how that could've happened. In the past, I think I must have spelled the in every way possible (not so much now thanks to MS Word). I just can't seem to spot them on a screen no matter how hard I try. Which is odd, because I can pick them up easy as in other people's work. -_-
I've attempted some of the tricks out there, like reading the manuscript out of sync, and reading it backwards from sentence to sentence (whoever came up with that ... it was exhausting).
Reading aloud helps, but I need to have a quiet space. And that leads me to editing from a hard copy.
Gimme a pen, leave me be and I'll chew through that sucker in no time (In the last couple of days I've gone through 23 chapters). I'll get most of the little mistakes on the first run (I say most because there's always one or two that slip by).
But I still can't point out the it that should be an in on screen.
*grumble*

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Honny
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Rogue King
Status: Nomad

Honny appeared in the very last revision I did of The Rogue King. Quite a number of the people who’d critiqued the story expressed a desire to see more of Koral’s - the Main Character - time at the nomad encampment. When I sat down to ponder if I had more of that hiding somewhere in the backblocks of my mind, Honny (along with a few others) popped up.
She leapt onto the page quite easily and meshed with the story so well that I like to think she was always meant to be there.
Not bad considering she's a very minor character (just above 'scene character' status).

While the idea I’d envisioned for the image was simple (she’s depicted in the story stripping fibres from a flax-like plant so I went with that), getting the pose to look natural took a little more time.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Atropa
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Golden Dawn
Status: Third in the Fortress’ Chain of Command

I get a little shiver go down my back just thinking on how I came up with Atropa. Mainly because I don’t know. If you’ve read The Unborn page, you’ll know that the first third of the story came from a dream. Atropa is in the last third of that first third. ^_^
She got her name after the genus that holds the Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna), which is, in turn, named after Atropos, one of the three fates in Greek mythology. The one that cuts the thread, if I recall right.
I suppose at one point Atropa was soft, but by the time she enters the story, she’s become a little unhinged. That comes with the territory, yet she still loves her brothers and sisters with the ferocity of a lioness. It’s how she goes about ‘protecting’ them that’s a little crazy. Still, what else can a girl do when her brothers don’t listen?
Probably not shoot them. That’s never a good start.

This image is actually quite a new one. I really wanted to throw her out into the cold in something more appropriate for hunting.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

65,000 words and we're done!

The end is no longer nigh. It has come and gone.
This evening, after much back-and-forth sending of my daughter to feed and play with the pet lamb, I finally managed to type the end sentence of Dragon.
I honestly thought this one would've been done at sixty thousand, sixty-one thousand words tops.
But no, several of the chapters snowballed passed the rough 'around 2500 words' cap I aim for. It's a very rough guide. After all my 'if it don't fit, don't force it' attitude has me with one chapter nearing four thousand words (it's the climax of the book, they tend to get away from me).
This last chapter has been hanging on to the bitter end. I doubted it could reach a decent five hundred. It did. Not quite reaching a thousand.
So what happens now my beloved story has reached its conclusion (the third to be fully written) and joins the 'done' pile? Why the editing begins! If this story follows the current trend of all my stories, it should gain another thousand or so words.

Now, seeing I edit better with a hard copy, all I need is some darn ink for my printer. -_-

Monday, 5 September 2011

The First Campaigner Challenge ...

Righty then, the first campaigner challenge is here.

"Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)


For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!"

I added my own challenge to this. No dialogue, no living things in sight.
So here we go, at 200 words ...


THE WIND

The door swung open, hinges creaking in protest at the insistent wind. The weathered wood hit the tarnished rim of a bell, long bereft of its clapper, setting it to erratically bob on a rope that had once been a hearty, thick thing. Time and the gnawing of many tiny teeth had worn it down to a frayed mess.
Windowpanes clattered a warning at the intrusion on their silence. One, broken previously by a careless branch, released its last sliver of glass. It tumbled to the remains of a table, leaving a faint smear in the grime as it slid down to the floor. There, it shattered into splinters, scattering through the dirt and hair and the leavings of small animals, edges twinkling in a rainbow flash of false gaiety.
A leaf wafted through the foot worn doorway, skittering across the stone floor to halt at the foot of the dusty hearth as the wind lost all interest in carrying it. The wind continued alone. Disturbing year’s worth of soot, along with feathers and grasses, as it snaked up and out the chimney.
Down in the room, the windows once again rattled with their disapproval. And the door swung shut.

My First Blog Award

Today, I received my first blog award from Jen at Jen's Bookshelf. If you haven't already, you should check her blog out. She's really into possums, albeit not in the liking way. She's still mad about them. ^_^
It's called the Liebster Blog award. The idea is to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.
It has some rules. And they are:
 1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
 2. Reveal your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
 3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
 4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
 5. And most of all - have bloggity-blog fun!
So here are my picks ...
Jill of Word by Word - She owns a venus flytrap called Nom Chompsky, need I say more? ^_^
Liz of Laws of Gravity - I could never knit like her (I'm allergic to wool anyhow). Seriously, you need to see what she made for her nook.
Nick of Writing Fire - He, like me, is influenced by the smell of a book. Nice to know I'm not a complete loon.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Introducing ...

It’s that time again.

----------------------

Name: Lady Mara
Story: Dragon
Status: Knight

You know those old women who, when faced with uncertainty in young people, always take charge and somehow manage to order everyone around? The one's who would, on occasion, chew some king's ear out?
To me, that’s Mara. At least, in this story, it’s Mara.
She’s not exactly what you can call all that big a character in the scope of things - in fact, she’s only in six/seven chapters and mentioned briefly in another three - but, as it often is with minor characters, it’s what she does when she is there.

I’m actually quite proud about this particular image. Took me a while, but I finally got just the right kind of regal elegance and ... er ... oldness that I was going for.
Is it strange that I, a gal barely out of her first quarter of a century, can connect with a three hundred year old granny? Hmm ...

Monday, 29 August 2011

Review of Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

Title: Witches Abroad
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5



Like Moving Pictures was to Hollywood, Witches Abroad is to fairytales. Only a lot more funny, and everything is fair game.
It starts off as it ends, with fairy godmothers, specifically the death of one, leading to the snowballing that is the witches three (Nanny, Granny and Magrat) to travel from there cosy homes in Lancre and see to some godmothering duties in the strange town of Genua. Parts of it remind me of that movie the Frog Princess, right down to the voodoo. And then there’s Baron Saturday to top it all off.
The main focus there is around the non-marriage of Ella (otherwise known as Embers. Emberella if you will.) to a rather slimy guy who has interesting sleeping habits. But many hilarious events take place before the trio arrive there. Bulls, wolves, sleeping princesses, red hoods and falling houses included.

Small wonder I sped through it all in one day. Though being sick also helps. And I feel a little sad to be leaving the Discworld due to my inability to find a cheap copy of Small Gods.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Review of Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

Title: Reaper Man
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5




So in this one Death (or Bill Door, whichever you like), has been given the sack and turns to reaping corn (you must admit, he’s a lot of experience with a scythe) for an old woman while he waits for the new death. The way he reaps the corn one strand at a time had, to me, a reverential sort of feeling to it.
Now Death has got to be my favourite character. I think it’s the way he tries to understand our world and will, on occasion, get the wrong end of the stick. His time in the village is very much like
this. Especially when it comes to the little girl there that can see exactly what he is.
But it doesn’t just focus on Death and the pastoral life. No, no. With no Death aren’t dying ... that is to say, they are, but not in the typical sense. At least, not for humans. And there’s the chaos with stuff that wasn’t/hasn’t been alive moving about.
On top of this, there are the mysterious trolleys. Lots of them. They were quite amusing actually. They’re like the seagulls in Finding Nemo. You could imagine the seagulls saying “Mine” all the time and you could, without much trouble, imagine trolleys wheeling themselves to some out-of-the-way place.
The ending ... I kind of already knew the ending. At least the outcome for Death. What happened to the trolleys and the wizards was a whole different
story.
In short: I loved this.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Introducing ...

Right then, Introducing post. So here's the deal ... there'll be an image, a name, what story they're in, their status within said story and bit about them.
Since it's the first post, I thought it fitting to start with a character from my first story.

----------------------

Name: Friskal/Frisk
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Shadow Prince
Status: Rich Merchant's Son

This boy/young man started off as a 'comic relief'. A fool who was slightly scatty and would say the right thing in the wrong way, yet you couldn't help but love. This sort of outlook changed as he got less foolish with each rewrite. Especially once the quest began and he started to stand out like an elephant in a flock of flamingos.
Though I couldn't bring myself to wipe his slate completely clean. He kept his lovable element, but it's less goofy and more roguishly dense. This got mixed with his original, unwavering loyalty to one's friends and his tendency to be a bit of a twit.
On top of that, he became an unexpected charmer of ladies. He never mastered board games though. Strategy just wasn't his forte.

Modifying the texture around his eye and ears was a pain, and the tips of his ears are meant to be floppy ...

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Dragon, DOM & A New Weekly Thing

Dragon overtook the 60k mark yesterday. As such, it's beginning its wind down period. Two and a half chapters left to go (probably will be two by the weekend, if not today). Which brings me to the ever present problem of 'what next?'
Well, obviously there's editing to be done, but while I'm serious about the editing process and will examine my work several times (at least three), editing is 'night work' and my muse finds it a shade on the boring side. Fortunately, I've already got WiPs in progress.
I was thinking about doing a fresh overhaul of Witch of Morthin followed by its sequel.

But, dilemma, a shiny new plot presented itself to me some weeks back. And while I've been tinkering with it on the odd occasion - world-building and the like - while I write Dragon, I am certain that I cannot hold back typing this for one whole story, let alone two.

So onward to The Dark One's Mistress! DOM for short. And I shall be endeavouring to stick to the one point of view for this one. If I succeed, it'll be a first for me. I like popping into different character's heads, especially when one character has information the other doesn't. Even The Unborn has more than one point of view, short though the other two are.
But wait, a new story requires a new plot, conflicts, places (check, check and check). Most importantly for a new world, it needs new characters.
I do so love new characters, they let me do things like this with them:
Clarabelle (She looks like a nice sorta gal, eh?)

So what is Dark One's Mistress about?
In short: DOM is all about Clarabelle. That's why I'm sticking to a one person point of view, I think it'll work great for this. ^_^
Now I write in a pantsing semi-outlined kind of way, so I'm only certain of a few things at this very moment, like the big picture. And the end. I need an end to write towards, of course.
Back to what DOM is about ... as I said, it's about a seventeen year old, sarcastic, young woman who's champing at the bit to leave her village and see the world. She gets a little more than she bargained for when she's chosen by the village's new Lord to be his mistress.

----------------------

Now for the new weekly thing: Characters. More specifically my characters.
I know I'm not the only one obsessed with crafting an image of one's imaginary people, be it for future reference or pure fun. My obsession has left me with 150+ images just kicking round my computer (I've seven stories after all, even if most are WiPs).
So tomorrow, that is my tomorrow, shall be my first Introducing post. Basically, a picture and a few words about who (or what) they are.

You have been warned.