Another Wednesday random post and this week we’re digging #deep folks. The topic is My Writing Process and has it changed/evolved. Honestly, this image pretty much sums up my entire writing process…
So post done!
Okay… maybe not quite that blunt, but… I’m pretty sure I’ve done a writing process blog before. No, I didn’t search for it. Searching, like writing, is hard… but… to be honest, not too much has changed. I’m still a ‘pantser’ gal. If I waited until I knew the entire book, they’d never get written. I try to trust in the bits that I do know and pray (or, yeah, crossroad demon deal) the rest will come. It’s actually a pretty sweet moment when you figure out how the whole thing ends! Kind of like having a baby and finally discovering whether it’s a boy or a girl.
I might try to figure stuff out more, now… but it’s not a guarantee that it’ll happen. More likely, I’ll just get vibes for a different book, I’m not currently writing, which is so maddening. Because you know once you move to that book, I’ll get stuck there the exact same way.
So for me, the process is still the same…
An idea—whether it’s from something I saw, heard, read, lived. Somehow, conversations start happening inside my head. For me, it’s generally at night when I’m trying to find a way to fall asleep. But it’s enough to make me want to dig deeper.
Start writing—yup. Once I have an idea, and hopefully it’s the beginning, I just jump right in. The first few chapters are usually not too bad until I reach the end of my idea. That’s where I spend endless time staring at the screen. Until either I figure out the next step, or sometimes… I gotta put the story away. If it’s too forced, it won’t flow or sound natural, so…
Keep writing—Assuming bits are still coming to me, I just keep writing, and trust it’ll all unfold on its own. There usually comes a time where it’s so stuck in my head, it becomes all consuming.
Plan a bit to the end—This last bit…if all goes well, I will know enough I can make a couple of notes for each of the remaining chapters so I have a rough idea how much longer it will be. This is not a synopsis or plotting. It’s seriously a sentence or two. Just so I stay on track. Especially if the book is getting long. I know… me? Long? Surely I jest!
And that’s really it. I do go back through and update bits as they become clearer or change. Or I think of a piece that needs to go between others, but I don’t do endless drafts. That first one is pretty much the book with some bits tweaked upon my read through. And the edits of course. That’s the polish… when someone else points out all the stuff I missed 🙂
Now… for you amusement, my process in a series of gifs….
When I start to run out of what I know…
About halfway through….
At any given point during this ride….
When I just want to finish it but I don’t know the damn ending, yet….
Pushing through toward the end….
Now go check out my amazing friends and see how they create their masterpieces…
I love this song. It’s epically sad, but it’s such a great song. And we get a taste of new country in the mix. I’m sure some of the other ladies are cringing, but… that’s the beauty of the song fic—you never know what you’re going to get as the motivation.
For this one, I’m diving into a prologue for the book I’m writing for the KW Brotherhood Protector series. Now that I’m into it, I kinda wanted my hero, Sam, to reveal a bit more about his time with the Army Ranger Battalion. So, here goes…
“Hey, jackass, you ready?”
First Lieutenant Samuel “Midnight” Montgomery grunted as his buddy punched him in the shoulder, nearly knocking his compass out of his hand. He fumbled with it, shoving the guy back once he’d clipped the unit onto his vest. “You are such a mother fucking pain in my ass, you know that, Grey?”
Grey laughed. “Fuck off. We both know you love me.”
“Yeah, like a freaking STD.”
He turned but grinned. Lieutenant Rick Samson—or “Grey” as everyone called him because of the white scruff of hair on his head, despite being twenty-nine—was a thorn in Sam’s side. And the closest thing to a brother he’d ever had. They’d been together from the start, and he couldn’t imagine a mission without the other jerk having his back.
“They’re called STIs now, you ass. Speaking of which…” He kicked at Sam’s ruck sack. “Did you pack your spare pair of boxers? We both know you’re gonna shit your pants on this one.”
“Got’em right beside your special cream.” He motioned to his buddy’s crotch. “Doesn’t look like it’s making anything bigger, though, bro.”
“Good.” Grey grabbed his junk. “Because if this gets any bigger, I’ll be splitting the ladies in half.”
Sam chuckled, checking his straps then closing his sack and tossing it over one shoulder. “I swear this shit gets heavier with every jump.”
“Just wait until you get the rest clipped on.” Grey’s smile faded as he pressed his lips together. “So…thirty big ones tonight.”
“Is there even air that high up?”
“That’s why we have oxygen tanks. But yeah, it’s kind of crazy. Can’t the plane avoid detection enough at twenty-five? Do you know how fucking cold it is at thirty-thousand feet?”
Grey rolled his eyes. “I know how cold it is. I was in the same briefings. Been doing the same training. It was a rhetorical question.”
“I just hope the intel’s worth it. The last couple of missions have been a bust.”
“On the plus side…two weeks off after this one. I say, we head to Vegas, grab us some pretty little college babes that think military guys are hot as fuck and do all those things we dream about.”
Sam grinned, moving in beside Grey as they headed for the plane. “You know half of what you want to do is illegal in most states, right?”
“Only if I get caught, brother.”
Sam gave the guy another shove. “Let’s just get through this mission, then you can brag about how you’re a master between the sheets.”
“You know, haters are just gonna hate…”
Grey just kept on talking, ribbing the other guys once they’d taken their seats. The easy banter helped pass the time until they were standing in front of the open door—wind eddying through the space, nothing by inky darkness beyond the doorway. Grey looked back at him, giving him a guarded nod, before moving forward. Just another minute, and they’d be out the door.
Sam steadied his breathing in the mask, frowning when Grey stumbled on his next step forward. He nudged his buddy, motioning to him. “You okay?”
Grey arched his brow. “Are you smoking something? Of course, I’m okay. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“It’s not like you to stumble.”
“These packs don’t exactly make walking easy.”
“Still…” He grabbed Grey this time. “Is your hand shaking?”
Grey tugged his arm free. “I’m fine, Sam. Done this a hundred times before.”
“Doesn’t matter. You know it’s different every time. Any one of us could have adverse effects to the altitude on any given mission.” He held up his hand. “How many fingers.”
“Would you stop it? I’m fine. Better than fine, actually. Now, let’s do this.”
Sam looked over to the PT tech going down the line, nodding at Grey. The man focused on his friend, checking his gear then rattling off some questions. He gave Grey a nod, then shifted over to Sam.
“Lieutenant Samson’s fine.”
Sam narrowed his gaze, watching Grey take another unsteady step. “Are you sure?”
“As sure as I can be. If you think…”
His words died beneath a series of shouts as their commander motioned for them to go. Grey shuffled forward as the men in front stepped out, disappearing into the clouds as Sam moved to the door. He clenched his jaw, hoping he’d only been imaging things, then jumped, inhaling at the sudden rush of adrenaline that coursed through his body. There was a few moments of weightlessness then he was jerked upward, the force of the chute opening stealing his breath. Damn things packed a punch, and he knew he’d be sore for days after.
Sam gathered his bearings, using his night vision to pinpoint the rest of his team. He headed toward them as they sounded off, nothing but silence when Grey’s turn came. Same scanned the area, catching a glimpse of movement below him. A chutes billowed upwards, the tangled strings keeping it from properly deploying.
He hit the button on his headset. “Grey! You’re tangled. Release the main chute and deploy your backup. We’ll adjust our descent rate to meet up with you.” He waited, but Grey didn’t answer him. “Grey!”
A beep sounded in his ear. “I don’t see any movement, Midnight.”
“Shit. Okay, I’m releasing my main chute. I’ll head for Grey and we’ll tandem down. We’ll adjust the plan once I’ve got him.”
Sam muttered a curse then released his chute, dropping into free fall. He fanned his body out, then drew his arms together, increasing his speed as he angled toward his friend. He did his best to slow his descent as he neared the other man, hoping he didn’t hurt Grey when he grabbed him. Grey’s head was bowed to his chest, his body limp.
Sam opened his arms, catching the other man around the waist and propelling them forward. He grunted as the impact knocked their heads together, blurring his vision for a bit before he managed to shake it off. He released his friends chute, clipping them together before pulling his reserve. The material fluttered out behind him, once again jerking him up. Grey moaned, squirming against Sam’s hold.
“Easy. You’re suffering from hypoxia. Just…hold still.”
Grey mumbled something Sam couldn’t make out but relaxed. Sam talked to the others, doing his best to follow behind them. But the added weight altered their path enough he knew they wouldn’t make it to the landing zone.
The land rushed past, every minute drawing them closer to the ground. Sam cursed under his breath, doing his best to calculate their new arrival zone, when lights flashed from the ground.
His radio buzzed a second before one of his teammates sounded in his headset. “Incoming. Defensive manoeuvres.”
Sam angled them to the right, hoping to get clear, when bullets ripped through the canopy above him, dropping them toward the ground. He pulled on the ropes, slowing them as best he could. Jagged rocks rushed up toward him, the rocky landscape filling his view. He made one last attempt to veer clear before parts of the chute caught on an out jut, halting their descent and slamming them against the cliff. Pain ricocheted through his head, then the straps gave way and they fell.”
Sam jolted back, blinking against the wash of scenery until it stabilized. A young woman stood beside the booth, coffee pot in one hand, a slice of pie in the other. Lines creased her forehead as she stared at him, her fingers white-knuckled around the plate.
He glanced around the diner, the few people still in there looking over at him before turning away. Sam swallowed hard, nodding at the woman. “Sorry. I guess I dozed off.”
She gave him a timid smile. “You were talking. Calling for someone named Grey. I wasn’t sure…”
“It’s fine. I could use some more coffee, though. And is that my pie?”
“Sure.” She placed the plate in front of him as she refilled his mug. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
She nodded, but it was obvious she didn’t quite believe him, as she wandered off, moving to another table.
Sam stared down at his hands, hating the way they shook as he took a swig of his drink. Six months and the damn dream still haunted him—used every opportunity to chip away at what little sanity he had left. And god knew he didn’t have any to spare.
He scrubbed a hand down his face, catching a hint of movement in the window beside him. He looked out, inhaling at the silhouette wavering by the lamp post next to his truck. A familiar set of eyes stared back at him, the ghosted echo of his name curling around him.
Sam closed his eyes. It wasn’t real. Just a figment of his imagination. A by-product of guilt and pain that manifested as the image of his dead team mate. He’d been told it would go away—fade like his buddy’s voice had faded from Sam’s memory. He just needed to be patient.
Sam stood, tossing some money on table before heading out into the snowy night. Another six hours and he’d be in Montana. The one place he swore he’d never go back to, and the only place that might save what was left of his soul. A new job, a new beginning. He only hoped there was enough of him left to save.
That’s it. I’m sure the other ladies have some amazing stories waiting for you.
Hey all, and welcome to another month of Promptly Penned. This month’s prompt is rather… unique, lol. I can see so many great ideas cropping up from this one. So… here’s the prompt and the resulting story… note, this month won’t have the actual prompt appear as a line in the story. It’s more of a setup.
While cleaning up the attic, he/she finds a box of glass balls with names on them. One drops and, as it shatters, a person appears.
“Call me crazy, Barry, but when you asked me out on a date, I pictured something more exciting.”
Barry Jamieson released a weary breath, glancing back at Michael, wondering if he’d just blown his only chance at a possible relationship with the one guy who’d had him tied in knots since the semester started. That after three months of awkward gatherings amidst friends, and one poorly executed invitation, Barry had given Michael the excuse he needed to walk out the door before Barry had done more than try not to trip over his tongue.
He shook his head, turning to face the dusty room. “I know, I know. This sucks ass, but… What was I supposed to do? My mom’s having a hard time dealing with…” He waved around the stuffy attic. “This. I know my grandma was old, but… I don’t think any of us ever truly pictured her dying. She just seemed so…” He exhaled again. “When she asked me to clean this out…”
A hand landed on shoulder before he was tugged against Michael’s chest, his other hand sliding around Barry’s waist to rest on his hip. “I’d have kicked your ass if you’d said no just so we could go watch a bunch of redneck boys smash cars with their monster trucks. Besides, maybe we’ll find some priceless antique in here, and then I can date you for your money instead of your body and the amazing sex we’re going to have…” He leaned in and breathed against Barry’s neck. “As soon as we’re done here.”
Barry’s breath lodged in his chest, making the room feel overly hot before he finally managed to drag in a lungful of air. He wet his lips, cursing under his breath when Michael released him, winking at him before walking over to one of the walls lined with boxes. Had the man really just said he not only wanted to date him, but that there would be sex? After Barry had cleaned out the attic?
Michael whistled, tapping on one of the boxes. “Wow. Your grandma sure did love odd things. Are those crystals hanging by the window?”
Barry laughed. “Crystals. Orbs. Little jars of eye of newt or something. If I believed in witches, I would have sworn she was one.”
“You don’t believe in the supernatural?”
Barry stopped a few feet away. “Do you?”
Michael shrugged. “Let’s just say I’ve witnessed a few…odd things in my life. So, I consider myself open minded.”
Barry grinned, closing the distance between them. “Odd things?” He skimmed his fingers down the front of Michael’s shirt, toying with the fabric. “Like what?”
Michael glanced down at where Barry’s hands fisted his shirt, a hint of a smile lifting the corner of his mouth. “Just…things. Like having stuff move around. Hearing noises. Nothing earth shattering just odd—”
Barry tugged Michael against him, slanting his mouth over the other man’s and swallowing whatever else he was going to say. Spicy male mixed with coffee filled Barry’s senses, and he couldn’t stop from taking another step toward Michael, crushing the man’s hands against his chest when Michael grabbed Barry’s shirt.
Warm breath caressed Barry’s cheek, Michael’s heart strumming against Barry’s palm as he held Michael close, reluctant to release him. One touch, one fucking kiss, and it felt as if Michael had flipped a switch inside him.
Michael arched a brow. “I thought we had to clean the attic?”
Barry leaned in, brushing his lips across Michael’s. “We’ve got all day. Pretty damn sure we can make out for a bit, first, and still get it all done.” He smiled. “Unless you weren’t serious about dating me or having mind-blowing sex.”
“Mind blowing, huh? You’d just better hope you can live up to your hype because I’ve been imagining this for months.”
“Months? Then why didn’t you ask me out instead of waiting for me? Surely you knew I was interested?”
“Right, because you were all over me.”
“I was trying to determine if you even knew I existed. To be honest, no one was more surprised than I was when you said yes.”
Michael pulled Barry closer. “Then let’s make up for lost time.”
Michael crushed his lips to Barry’s, backing him against the row of boxes as he ate at Barry’s mouth, sliding one hand up to fist Barry’s hair as the other settled on the small of his back. Barry moaned into the kiss, trying to smooth his hands down Michael’s chest to grab the hem of the man’s shirt, when one of the boxes shifted behind him.
The movement threw off his balance, and he took a stumbling step toward the wall in an effort to remain upright, dragging Michael with him. The other man palmed the boxes, obviously trying not to fall onto the entire row, knocking the top one onto the floor. The impact billowed up a cloud of dust as the top flew open, scattering a number of glass balls across the floor.
Michael pulled back, cursing under his breath as he released Barry and turned, freezing when one of the balls hit a chair leg, stopping amidst the sound of breaking glass. “Shit, Barry, I’m≥”
The man’s voice trailed into a gasp as the ball broke, releasing a blinding flash of light. Barry grabbed his buddy, tugging him back then behind him as Barry took a step forward, squinting against the glare. The light seemed to gather strength, melding into a bright blue before finally winking out, leaving the room dimmer than before.
Barry waved his hand to disperse the lingering bits of dust, blinking in an attempt to focus before his breath lodged tight in his chest. Michael mumbled something that sounded like, “holy shit,” but it got lost to the frantic pounding of Barry’s pulse in his head. He rubbed his eyes, wondering if this whole interaction was nothing more than a vivid dream when Michael slapped him on the chest.
“For the love of God, Barry, tell me you see the guy standing on the other side of the attic. Because if it’s just me…”
Barry shook his head, still trying to find his voice. “I…I…”
“Yeah. That.” Michael bent over, retrieving another glass ball off the floor. He held it out in front of them, a series of black letters stamped across the surface. “This one says Derek. What the hell does that mean?”
“I… Christ.” He took a step forward, stopping when the man turned, their gazes clashing. Barry inhaled, trying to keep his mouth from gaping open. “You. I know you. You’re in the photo albums. You’re…”
Michael slapped him, again. “Finish the damn sentence. Who the fuck is he?”
Barry looked at his buddy, wishing they could go back to kissing because this… He shook his head. “His name’s Jason. And I think he’s my father.”
And that’s it for me. At least this week wasn’t 4000 words 🙂 Please check out the other tales this week…