Teaser Tuesday (playing for chocolate)

Since it’s Tuesday and I actually remembered for once: here be Teaser Tuesday. A tiny excerpt from the werewolves where I was experimenting on character and making a stab at humour. May not make the final revised version, and not completely polished yet, but it was fun to write. This will be taken down shortly.

Teaser taken down! Thanks for the comments. 🙂

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AW Blog Chain: Music and Writing

I’m taking part in Absolute Write‘s May Blog Chain, and this month’s theme is: What does your story/character(s) sound like?

I listen to music a lot. My iPod is a permanent fixture on my way to and from work, and I usually have music on in the background when I’m at home. I write to music and I make playlists for my writing on iTunes. Each book gets its own general playlist, but sometimes when I’m on a second or third draft for a book, I’ll make a smaller playlist of music that most inspires me for it and focuses on characters or specific scenes. The music can have lyrics or be instrumental; all that matters is that it fits the character or scene.

I’m going to focus on the werewolves–THOSE WHO FAVOUR FIRE–in this post, as I have two playlists for that book and I’m still putting the finishing touches on the first playlist for the steampunk Alice book. (As you can tell, I have a habit of referring to my books through nicknames rather than their titles.) I’m going to be putting direct Youtube links in for the songs, but if you like any of them, I would definitely recommend you support the artists through iTunes or wherever you get your music.

The werewolves centres around three main themes: at what point can the idea of lying to people for their own good be taken too far; a girl realising her family has been lying and keeping secrets from her; and the same girl learning the double-edged sword of embracing her sexuality.

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Bullet points for the win!

  • I went to Edinburgh for a few days last week. It was amazing–Edinburgh has such a wonderful vibe. It’s one of my favourite cities, but I think I’d need an actual reason to live there, rather than just waking up and deciding, “Okay, I’m moving to Edinburgh.” (Granted, you never know when you’re going to wake up and make snap decisions, so never say never?) I got to meet one of my ex-flatmates and we had a lovely time catching up etc.
  • I finished revising Draft Three of the werewolves while I was over there. Had breakfast, went back to my room, and thought, “Oh, wait, I could just finish the edits here.” So I stuck the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door and spent six hours on them. I felt brilliant when they were done. And a little hungry.
  • Draft Three went off to readers over the weekend! One of them has already got back to me and is halfway through. I should be getting some comments by the start of next week, which is putting me weeks ahead of schedule. Looks very likely that querying will begin before the end of this month.
  • I started Draft Three of my new book today! It’s a YA steampunk with Alice in Wonderland illusions allusions. No, it’s not thanks to Tim Burton. I wrote the first draft back in late 2007, started a second draft, and then put it aside because I knew I had to improve to make it the best it could be. I went off and wrote the werewolves, which taught me a lot, so I can now say that putting the Alice book aside was a good idea. I also put a word counter thingy for it in the sidebar.
  • I got to bring out all my steampunk and Alice playlists, and I’m in the process of searching for all my Victorian history books. It’s set in an alternate London, but with enough similarities to keep it recognisable, so it’s time for a history brush up. Exciting!
  • The Cheshire Cat is awesome. Trust me.

Things I am loving lately

Things I am loving lately:

  • THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss.

I finished THE NAME OF THE WIND this morning, and just–wow. I closed the book and had to take a moment of stunned silence in an attempt to sort my thoughts out. It’s the most amazing thing to find a gem of a fantasy tome to work through, a fully developed and detailed world to get lost in for hours and days. I wasn’t entirely sure where everything was going towards the end of the novel, but all the revelations towards the end–! After a year of putting off reading this in case the hype didn’t live up to my expectations, I’m as desperate as everyone else for THE WISE MAN’S FEAR to come out. *wants!*

  • Glee

Glee has been airing in Ireland and the UK for the last few weeks, so my housemate and I have been watching it every week. I’m loving it so far, and my love only increases with every new episode (no spoilers, please!). We’re watching the episodes that are aired on Monday evenings, so I have something to look forward to on Mondays now. It’s a win-win situation. The way the teenagers are portrayed and the dialogue, and the way the darker issues are handled–it’s skillfully done and kind of, well, epic. Two thumbs up, and I’m looking forward to buying Volume 1 of the soundtrack soon.

  • My Writing Workshop

I’ve been attending a writing workshop that specialises in children’s and YA fiction for the past few weeks. It’s been brilliant so far. The other people in the class are lovely and there are so many good ideas being worked on. I’ve also been taking a few stumbling steps towards sucking less at reading my work aloud. It’s a massive change, being able to talk about writing with people who aren’t online, but it’s incredibly freeing at the same time.

  • My book

Heh. When the editing is good well. 😉 Over halfway through now, almost there!

Draft completed!

Over twenty months after I started the first draft, I finished the third (or fifth, if you count two rewrite attempts that went nowhere) draft of THOSE WHO FAVOUR FIRE last Thursday. I finished it at work, during my lunch. I’m currently fixing the last couple of things that changed during this draft and then it’ll be ready to go to readers. I’m both excited and terrified, but mostly excited!

Yay!

The weather has been wretched for the past week or so–our snow is now turning into slush–which put a slight cramp in my writing (taking the laptop outside and potentially slipping would have had… unfortunate results). I have now learned that I can’t make much progress when my housemates are in the house–there are too many distractions not even including the internet.

But now the pavements are no longer deathtraps, so I have been ensconced with my laptop in coffee shops once more! I have also reached all the drama and horrible stuff that leads to the climax, which is all very exciting and means I keep trying to write just a little bit longer. If I manage to write insanely over the next few days, I may even be finished the third draft by Sunday. If not, I will definitely be finished by next week. I can hardly believe it. In some ways, it’s quite terrifying because this will be the draft that people will read and offer opinions on.

And now, in fact, I am off to write some more! I love the happy, dizzy feeling that accompanies nearing the end of a draft.