Monthly Archives: April 2014

according to my calculations…

…I’ve written 182,420 words in the past five months (November 2013 – April 2014).


Here are the averages for each writing project I’ve worked on during those months.

  • Vengeance Is Mine: I Will Repay – 93,800 words
  • Vengeance Is Mine: Locust Eaten Years – 71,200 words
  • Vengeance Is Mine: No Greater Love – 20,000 words
  • Betrayal – 12,700 words
  • Blood & Rubies – 2,300 words
  • Voices (a short story I wrote a couple of days ago) – 2,400 words

It may look exhausting/daunting, but it’s less than 40,000 words a month, so it’s better than NaNoWriMo, right?

I think I’ll come look at this post whenever I need a confidence boost…



Posted by on April 28, 2014 in random, writing


update on DOOM

I adore these characters. Every single one of them.

Okay.  So.  Here’s the update: I WON.

*fist pump*

Yep, I won.  I wrote about 2,000 words this morning (as usual…I mean, it’s not usual that I write 2K – it’s usual that I write every morning), wrote around 2.5K in the afternoon, because I had an awesome idea for a short story, and that’s how I reached 50,000 (I love all the zeroes after the ‘5’…).  It was lots of fun, although I felt completely exhausted afterwards.  I always find it interesting how you can be so tired after just sitting in a chair for a few hours.  Your fingers are (for the most part), the only things that are moving.  I guess it’s because, as my mom said when I mentioned it, you’re thinking constantly.  Hmmmm.


As well as reaching 50K in my DOOM document (in which I pasted everything I wrote during the past two months or so), I’ve also hit 15K (and over) in No Greater Love (the third book in my Vengeance Is Mine trilogy, in case you didn’t know).  It’s going SO WELL.  I think I’m finally connecting with my characters for the first time in forever, and it’s the most awesome feeling in the world.  I never understood how authors could fall in love with their own characters, but, um, now I do.  Because it’s happened to me, and, believe me, it’s making so much difference in my writing.  See, I’ve been writing my characters’ stories for over two books now, and looking back on books 1 and 2 makes me want to cringe.  I didn’t understand my charries well enough and it shows.  It affects everything about my writing.  But now.  For instance, I’ve introduced Aaron’s parents in this book (David and Callie, up above…I think Callie looks wayyy too young, but what can I do?) and they are amazing.  David is one of my new favorite characters (and don’t give me the line about authors not being allowed favorite characters – it’s ridiculous).

Dylan, however, is my favorite character out of all my favorite characters.  When I introduced him in book 1, I thought he’d only be in one or two scenes – as a bully to annoy the life out of Nathan.  But then escaped with Aaron to go to the Nonexistents.  And I thought that was the end of him.  But he kept popping up when Nathan travelled to the Nonexistents and I started developing an entire subplot for him with a girl called Esther.  Which turned into an even bigger role in book 2, until he became (quite accidentally), the focus character of book 3.  Now, why is he my favorite?  It’s kinda hard to explain at the moment (at where I am in NGL right now, Nathan’s pouting, Dylan’s whining, and Aaron’s sulking…it’s not fun), but it has to do with Certain Tragic Things that happen to him in book 2 (Tanya knows what I’m talking about), and Certain Tragic Things that will happen to him later in book 3 (well, some have already happened).  He’s a damaged, flawed boy, who’s uncertain about a lot of things.  So, basically, he’s human.  Realistic.  That’s probably why I love him so much.

Annnnnd…I don’t have much else to say.

So I’ll just say goodbye for now


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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in DOOM, no greater love, vengeance is mine, writing


fan videos, music, and world wars

[In some ways, I don’t know why I bother to chronicle the new plot bunnies I come across on a semi-regular basis.  I mean, sure, they’re cool (at least to me), but there’s so many of them, that it becomes repetitive at times.  But I’m usually able to discern whether or not a plot bunny is just an interesting idea or an actual bit of inspiration that could and will turn into an actual book.  So hopefully it’s not all in vain.]

As you may, or may not know, I’m somewhat obsessed with Marvel right now (specifically the Avengers team, more specifically Steve Rogers & Co.).  And I love watching fan videos, so I’ve been picking through the huge selection on Youtube and discovering what I do and don’t like about different fan videos.  For those of you who don’t know anything about said videos, they’re basically clips from a movie (or movies) set to a song that describes the movie or a certain couple pairing.  I’ve seen a lot of meh ones, some good ones, and a very few outstanding ones.  My criteria for deciding whether or not the fan video is good comes about when I ask myself these four questions:

  • Is the song the kind I like?
  • Is it edited properly (i.e. clips fitting the lyrics, not a lot of washed out colours and slow-mo)?
  • Does it make me feel something?

Wait.  I’m getting on a side trail here (like plot bunnies, actually).  The main purpose of this post was to talk about my newest project – The War Diaries – and I’m getting away from that.  So let me very quickly explain how all that talk of fan videos and Marvel.  The video at the top of this post is an Avengers fan video, set to the song ‘This Is War’.  Now.  I don’t like the song.  It’s not my style of music.  It’s not the kind of thing I would listen to all the time (or even once a day.  Or week.  Or month.), but the fan video is so well put together, so I have watched it a few times (quite rare for any fan video – usually I just watch it once and forget about it), hence, I’ve heard the song a few times.  And now I’m glad I did, because it inspired something awesome (or at least something I hope will be awesome).

See, I’ve recently become interested in the time periods of both WWI and WWII.  It’s been fueled by many things (both movies and books), and I felt like I should write something about one of those time periods (or both of them).  The thought was lying dormant in the back of my mind for weeks.  It was waiting for that one, inspirational spark that would set all the knowledge and interest in both world wars that I have into something writing-a-book worthy.  And it was that song.  There’s one element about it that I noticed (mainly because a lot of the words are on-screen in the fan vid, so I actually understood them).  There’s a list of characters, just waiting to be fleshed out with names, ages, personalities, and backgrounds.  I won’t use all of the characters in the song, but it’s given me a starting point.  This list is as follows:

  • Soldier
  • Civilian
  • Martyr
  • Victim
  • Prophet
  • Liar
  • Leader
  • Pariah
  • Victor
  • Messiah



P.S.  If you’re a Marvel fan, do yourself a favour and watch that video.  It really is amazing.


Posted by on April 22, 2014 in random, the war diaries, writing


an announcement

I’m just popping in to say that in a few days (once DOOM is over), I’ll be doing a series of posts about different character types – villain, hero, sidekick, etc. – drawing on examples from literature and my own writing to illustrate different points about the different kinds of characters.  My favorite part of most books are the characters (I’d rather have a weak plot and strong characters than the other way around), so I’m really excited for this series, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.




I have a huge amount of writing news to cram into this one post.  And all of it is big.  Really big.


All in all, it’s been a great past few days for me.  LEY ended up being about 25K words less than I Will Repay, but I can live with that.  I’ll probably be mercilessly chopping both books down before I deem them ready to be ‘hard edited’.  My plan for editing the trilogy is this: I’ll cut down all the un-needed scenes/points of view, get everything down to a manageable level, and then start fixing plot holes and strengthening characters.  All the stuff I delete will be dumped in a ‘delete file’, in case I need to use it again (a little trick I learned from one of the numerous writing books I’ve read).  Now, I’d already written a plot outline for NGL (because I didn’t want to get to book 3 and be completely stuck), but I wasn’t happy with it.  One character’s death, in particular, seemed really contrived and just…dumb (it was Aaron, btw).  Also, I didn’t think I had enough material to do a third book, so I’d just be filling in the word count with fluff.  Then Something Happened.  I was washing dishes (which, according to Agatha Christie is the best place to get writing inspiration), when I realized I’d been doing everything wrong.  See, I have a main character for each of the three books, even though the whole thing is really about Nathan’s journey.  Aaron was the main character for book 3.  Not anymore.  Dylan got quite a lot of ‘screen time’ to book 2, and I’ve realized he needs his own book.  So he’s the new main character.  Aaron will still be a big subplot (particularly his unrequited love for Lily), but everything is working out so much better now that Dylan is the focus.  There’s still a death, but it has meaning now.  And a real purpose.

I entered Blood & Rubies into my library’s March Break short story contest.  I hate writing short stories (mostly because the few I’ve written besides this one are terrible), and there were so many limitations to what I had to write (it had to be a mystery, it had to start with ‘The old woman turned and smiled…’, it could be only two pages long, and the font had to be 12 pt. or bigger).  But there was something about the whole thing that captured my interest, so I brainstormed with my sister and decided to try it.  I wrote it, sent it off to beta-readers, revised it, proofread, took it to the library, waited for two weeks and THEN I WON.  I was going to post it on this blog, but my mom already did it on hers, so I’ll just direct you there (it’s at the bottom of the post).

Last thing…the adorable scene in Betrayal.  I wrote out the plot thingy for book 3 of VIM, and I’m not going to start it for a bit, but I still had to write.  So I pulled up the document that I’m writing random scenes from Betrayal in and started writing.  I meant for the scene to be Samuel (the hero) telling Alexia (the heroine) all about his brother, Matt, who had died a long time ago.  And he did that (a bit), but then this ridiculously cute/melt-worthy thing happened that I totally didn’t plan.  I hadn’t meant for their relationship to go so far so soon, but it did.  And I’m perfectly fine with it.

“Matt showed me the textures and colours of music. How to completely immerse yourself in the tune and just play whatever comes to mind. As for painting, he taught me to look beyond the outward appearance of the subject and capture the spirit.”

His face glows as he relives those memories.

I feel as though I’m intruding on something personal and private.

But there is one question I have to ask.

“That-” I begin.

He looks at me, the spell broken.


“That day you sketched me. Did you, you know, look beyond me?”

He holds out a sheet of paper, face down. “You never saw the sketch, did you?” he asks, extending the paper even more.

A flush of red comes up my face, remembering the day I snuck into his studio, hoping to get a peek at it, frustrated that he wasn’t showing it to me. But Annie had discovered me, and I’d left without once getting a look at the sketch lying face down on his messy desk.

I accept the paper, hesitating just a moment before turning it over.

What if he hasn’t captured me?

It’s not a vain question.

If he has, I’ll know that for a brief moment, there was a small something.

If he hasn’t-

I turn it over and gasp, covering my hand with my mouth.

Tears come to my eyes.

“You-how could you do this?”

The sketch shows him and me, dancing on a rainy summer day.

I’m laughing, he’s grinning.

And in that one moment, us is perfect.

It’s only a sketch, but I feel like I’m living that moment.

“We-we never danced in the rain,” I say, my voice shaky. “We never danced.”

“I know,” he says, laying a warm hand on mine. “But I imagined it.” His voice cracks ever so slightly. “Oh, Alexia, I’ve imagined it so many times. Do you think I gave the moment justice? If you don’t, I’ll burn it and make a new one.”

“It’s perfect,” I say. “It’s beautiful.”

“Do you-?” He clears his throat. “Do you want to make it a reality?”




P.S. They do make it a reality.  But this post is long enough.