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 Protagonist

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.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

And... The Rogue King Is Live! ...Again!

The paperback hasn't quite had time to link up with the kindle version, but both are now available.

If you've already own the Kindle version and want to see the new, you are unfortunately going to have to contact Amazon and ask for it to be updated.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Rewriting the Rewrites that I have Rewritten Before

I don't think I've rewritten anything as much as I have done for The Rogue King Saga. And I don't think so much has been changed as the ending to The Vengeful God.

Oh, the overall tone of the ending is the same. The people who die and the people who don't stay the same. But how it happens gets cut or rearranged or the pov gets changed... and I'm doing all of that, again.

It currently goes like this...

The scene from Kael's pov? Bam! Laccindy and Veng share the bulk of it. Done!
The bit at the end? Tack it onto Lasil's pov. No, wait. The pacing's wrong... That's a new chapter then. Done!
Go back to Veng, rearrange the order things happen. Done!
Another new chapter for Kael! See if any of the stuff I kept from his old pov can be used. Done!
Now we're back to Lasil's original chapter... only it doesn't work anymore, needs an overhaul. Done!
Veng's chapter will now be Laccindy's. Makes more sense for it to be her there anyway. Working on it!
Lasil's chapter will now be Veng's! Merge the beginning of one with the ending of the other. From fluff to angst!
Which means I might need a new chapter... most likely from Lasil's pov.

Hoy. This is punishment for sending you through the wringer, isn't it, Lasil? I'm sorry okay? It was all implied anyway. It just made more sense to let it happen.


Then it's back to the original layout. And I was hoping to get it all sorted before November? Oh, dear...

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Going Down The List...

My next stop in tackling the loose ends before Nanowrimo monopolises my November is detangling the issue I've got with The Vengeful God.

I've decided to rewrite a scene that was solely from Kael's PoV, breaking it into one from Laccindy's and Veng's. Currently, I'm halfway through this process, having completed the first PoV. I lose a few things, change some others and gain more of everything as I always seem to when I rewrite. In all honesty, I think it flows better this way.

I may also add another scene a few chapters later, which will likely be my next stop, along with a few more major rewrites. Hoy. Whilst insinuating the novella and its two PoVs (Laccindy's especially) has given me a little more freedom in how things are laid out, it's looking like any progress on Dark One's Bride won't be until December.

Anything you're getting off your plate for Nanowrimo?

Friday, 16 October 2015

Proof's Arrived!

So... In preparation for Nanowrimo, I'm cracking down on the other loose ends around here.

First order of business was getting The Rogue King sorted and the proof for the new paperback sent over. Well... I though I'd have to wait for some time, but it arrived this afternoon!

Old vs New
As you can see, the cover is a little different. I've not seen the new title and whatnot beyond the screen. It's a little darker, too. Part of the reason behind that is my newer version of Photoshop refuses to do PDFs, so I used a PNG. Not sure how I feel about his colour changing so drastically given that I call him a dusty brown, but it's not the worse thing it could do. My partner, on the other hand, says it looks less washed out.

Of course, it's bigger
I plan to bring twelve copies over here (two for the local libraries, ten for selling), so any sort of release won't be until after next Thursday. Until then... onwards!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Count me in for Nanowrimo 2015

Last year, I wasn't in a position to participate in the worldwide frenzy that is the National Novel Writing Month. It comes in the middle of summer for me, which means fitting it in between general living, my daughter's school work and her riding lessons...

But this year, I'm all in.

Currently, I'm working to clear my plate a bit by sorting out the other stories still in need of TLC. I'm giving myself the rest of October to do as much of Dark One's Bride as I can as well as untangling the knotty problem of The Vengeful God...

But come the first of November, I shall attempt to write 50,000 words of In Pain and Blood. Now I already have about 22k scattered throughout the story, bits I smashed out that are not yet fit for the public eye, so I guess it's more an additional 50k, but... if the complete chapters I have are anything to judge by, I've got a whole lot of wriggle room.

Are you doing nanowrimo?

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Rogue King - New and Improved and Coming Soon

April 2014 - I released The Rogue King into the world. I was satisfied with the story.

March 2015 - After much deliberation, I decided to integrate the companion novella into the main saga. This meant merging an extra 20k into The Rogue King. That meant going through the whole process all over again. In the meantime, I've let it bounce along as is.

October 2015 - That's now. Yeah? The Rogue King has gone through its final check. It'll be due for a re-release as soon as I see a proof. Because yeah, it's 21,000 words bigger.

What does that mean for those who have purchased the old version?

Well... I plan to upload the electronic versions over the old, so it'll be accessible via an update. What I can't do anything about is the hard copies. Although I stopped more from being published as soon as I started this venture, there are a few out there. The majority of which are signed and with the old cover, so... I guess they could be considered limited editions?

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Chopping Up My Darling... Again

I've spoken before that The Rogue King Saga is an old creature. It started way back in '97. Eighteen years later, there's little left of the original story.

The overarching story is still there. Veng has always been a man facing down a god who seeks to destroy him. But the story within? It grew darker. By bounds rather than inches. I've rewritten the entire thing three or four times now and each one gained an additional film of grime.

It's not all doom and gloom, there's just more... gloom.

And there should be.

Looking back at the beginning, I don't think I truly understood my story. But, just by the sheer virtue of continuing to live, thirty-year-old me has more experience than twelve-year-old me...
In those eighteen years, I've seen death (more death at any rate), I've come close to it twice and considered it once. I've experienced pain, both in the physical sense and the emotional. And been so angry that I blacked out and had to be dragged off my victim. I've smacked against, and crawled out of, such aching nothingness that sucks at your very soul until you're numb. I've also fallen in love. Created life and saved little furry lives.

They say a writer's personal experiences colour their stories. And whilst twelve-year-old me knew of certain things, but she didn't know.

But I digress.

The Rogue King Saga has changed so much, darkened beyond my first notes, that some things at the end no longer fit. Lately, I've rewritten more and more of The Vengeful God than I have in a good long while. It's suffered more chopped chapters and alterations than any other part.

I'm okay with that. The bits that matter survive to live on in another part of the story.

Are there any particular experiences you've drawn on in your stories? Done any major alterations to a novel?