Monthly Archives: November 2015

TOO ERR IS HUMAN…

Wow, I’ve actually made a Wednesday post. At least, I’m hopeful that this will become the actual post, lol. How does life get so busy? Why aren’t there 30 hours a day and 8 days in a week. Why don’t I have an army of clones, yet? Surely this is scientifically possible. I will make it so…

And there’s a flashback to Star Trek, Next Generation. Make it so…

Fine, I’m stalling. Mostly because I always think the topic will be easy but it rarely is. And this week we’re discussing—

Mistakes from my first manuscript—how I’ve grown as a writer.

Honestly, that seems so long ago. It’s going on six years now, but after writing so many books since then, it’s hard to remember those first few edits. But I’ve definitely grown as an author, and here’s what stands out. What I notice if I reread those early works.

1—name calling. Dear god, the characters said each other’s name in dialogue so much. As in an insane amount. In reality, we only probably say a person’s name once maybe twice in an entire exchange. Yet, I had mine saying it almost every other line. I’d like to think I’ve learned this one, lol.

2—tagging dialogue. Looking back, I can’t believe how many muttered, and shouted, and bit outs I had. Not that there’s anything wrong with using these, but I’ve come to realize that tagging with action is so much more effective. That describing the scene often relieves the author from having to add words like whispered, or shouted. This is one thing I’d definitely change if I ever rewrote those works.

3—not streamlining descriptions. Sometimes saying less really is more. No one needs a nonstop commentary of what’s happening. At least, not all the time.

4—the too stupid to live scenario. Or even simply stopping to talk in the middle of the action—or having sex at the wrong times, too. I will admit, that on occasion, I had my characters do something that was definitely the equivalent to the age old horror movie trope of…let’s split up. In fact, I’ve gotten to the point where I hear my editor’s voice in my head saying “would they really stop and talk now?” Or, “Is this a good time and place for sex?” I HEAR IT IN MY HEAD!

5—I don’t do well with short pieces. Okay, not sure this is a mistake as much as a revelation, but it’s true just the same. I don’t write short pieces well. There’s definitely an art to keeping a work contained. Hell, an idea contained. When I think of a story idea, it’s always epic. Thus, you won’t see me volunteering to be part of a short collection of stories. I just hate the pressure of keeping to a certain word count. Give me fifty or sixty thousand words, and I might pull it off, but even then. A book needs to go until it’s over, lol. And I seem to need a lot of words to accomplish that.

Now, I’m sure there are tons more. That I screwed up and continue to screw up, lots of stuff. But I just can’t think of them. But all of this serves to remind us that we all, yes all, need a good editor. Please check out the other ladies and see how far they’ve come.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Jessica De La Rosa

Gwendolyn Cease  |  Kayleigh Jones

A PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS ~ NOVEMBER

So, time jumped back this weekend. While I love the extra hour it does mean one depressing thing—far more darkness. And early. I’m starting to realize why summer really is my favourite season. Not for the heat. It’s the endless daylight. Being able to run at 9 at night if I want. Watching the sun set at 10:30. Having twilight last until 11. I love the fall weather. The cool temperatures and the colours. Leaves scattered along the ground as I run. But the darkness—guess I need to become a vampire or werewolf. Something to get into the prolonged nights.

Anyway, It’s another picture flash fiction. I love the photo for this one. So many ways it can go. This short excerpt is a hint at a story I have been wanting to write for some time, but haven’t gotten there yet…a paranormal thriller. Maybe soon…

 

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“You can’t go on like this, Sarah. It’s killing you.”

Sarah Kendall glanced at William—her brother, not to mention her only friend—across her shoulder, noting the creases furrowing his brow. How the fine lines around his mouth had pulled tight. His usual calm exterior had vanished, leaving a side of him she rarely witnessed. Not since she’d locked the rest of the world out. Hidden away inside their house.

He arched a brow. “You need to call the Bureau. Report it. You won’t find peace until you do.”

She looked away, staring out at the setting sun. Dark clouds stained the horizon, the promise of rain heavy in the breeze that carried through the open window, billowing the curtains pulled to either side. She released a weary breath, wishing she could simply turn it all off. “You know what they’ll say.”

“Since when are you concerned about what others think about you?”

Anger heated her cheeks as she spun to face him. “Since it cost me everything.”

William crossed his arms over his chest. “You were the one who pushed everyone away. Pushed him away.”

“Do you think I wanted to? Do you think I enjoy locking myself up in this god forsaken house?” She snorted. “I had no other choice.”

“You could have told him. It’s not like he doesn’t know about your…gift.”

“Gift?” She laughed, the sound brittle. “It’s a fucking curse.” She tapped her head. “And it’s only getting worse.”

She turned away again, palming the windowsill when another vision slammed into her. A hint of smoke curled around her, the feel of rough stone cold against her feet. Chains clanked against the rock walls, patches of sunlight creating shadowed boxes on the floor. A hollow cry filled her head, followed by nothing, but silence.

“Sarah.”

She swallowed past the lump in her throat—the bitter taste of bile making her cough. Noises sounded around her, the telltale clatter of objects crashing to the floor breaking the quiet. Hands cupped her arms, William’s breath warm against her neck.

“Breathe. Just listen to my voice and slow your breathing.” His fingers squeezed slightly when another object impacted the floor behind them. “Rein it in, honey.”

She wanted to scream. Tell him she had no fucking clue how to rein it in. How to stop the room from shaking, keep his thoughts from bombarding her in an unrelenting stream inside her mind. How to push the images from her head without losing what little remained of her sanity. Of her!

Instead, she drew a few shaky breaths, gradually allowing the power to seep back beneath the surface. A brief respite from the all-consuming nightmare that followed her around like a shadow. She didn’t know why it hit so hard then retreated, but she wasn’t going to waste the few moments of relative peace.

William wrapped his arms around her. “You can’t keep this inside. It used to get better when you talked about it. Shared it.”

“That was before they deemed me a freak. Before it got this bad. This strong.”

“You mean before you left him.”

“I couldn’t trust myself not to hurt him. Fuck, Will, I sent him flying across the room because of an argument. A stupid, bloody argument.” She let her head bow to her chest. “What if I’d really been angry?”

“You never would have hurt him. I know you, Sarah, and that’s not who you are.”

She eased out of his embrace, putting some much needed distance between them. “You mean what I am. And you haven’t got a clue what I’m truly capable of.”

“Power or not, you’re still the girl I grew up with. Still my sister.”

“Step-sister.”

His footsteps echoed through the room before his hands grabbed her shoulders, spinning her to face him. “Don’t fucking do this. Don’t push me away because you know I’m right. And I don’t care if we’re related by blood or not.”

She looked away, leaning her back against the wall. “You’re right. I didn’t mean it that way, it’s just…” She glanced up at him. “You’re the only one who doesn’t think I’m crazy.”

He smiled, tucking some hair behind her ear. “That’s because I already know you are.”

“Jerk.”

His smile faded. “You need to tell the Feds what you know. What you’ve seen. The visions won’t stop until you do.”

“Telling the Feds won’t stop them. You know that.”

“But it’ll ease your conscience. Maybe let you get some sleep. Keep some food down.”

Her chin quivered. “He’s leading the investigation. I checked.”

William muttered under his breath. “So make an anonymous call. The sooner they catch this creep, the sooner this stops.”

“But that’s the problem. It’s never going to stop. Not until I either learn to control it, or it kills me. And I haven’t been able to gain the upper hand in twenty years.”

William thumbed her jaw. “Then we’ll just have to try harder.” He eased back. “I’ll come and get you once it’s dark. Drive you to that old phone booth by the mechanic’s shop. Harder to trace that way.”

She watched him head for the door. “You don’t have to do this, you know.”

He gazed back at her. “Drive you across town?”

“Stay here with me. You get to live your own life. Don’t you think it’s about time you found someone nice and settled down?”

“And miss making you crazy?” He shook his head. “Try to sleep for a couple of hours. I’ll wake you when it’s time.”

Sarah sighed as her brother left, once again staring out the window. William was right about one thing. She was crazy, and it didn’t look as if her sanity was anywhere close to returning.

 

That’s it for me. Now visit the rest of the gang and see what they came up with.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Kellie St. James

Jessica De La Rosa  |  Paige Prince