Well that was gruesome

Ever write a scene where you just sit back in your chair and give a deep sigh, knowing that you probably just wrote something that will haunt somebody’s nightmares if this ever sees the light of day? I love those moments. Those moments are what make me really enjoy writing horror. A little voice in the back of my head worries that some things are a little too dark for YA, but who’s listening to them anyway?

I was very behind on NaNo (I know, and it just started!), so I’m up late tonight finishing up. No, I haven’t even started on today’s wordcount yet, but damn it feels good to be up to speed at least!

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 13,414

New Words Written:
11/2 – 1,192
11/4 – 2,078

NaNo Progress:
1,833/50,000 words

Progress:
Some hiding places are better than others, and some risks really aren’t worth taking. This scene started out tense, and then got a whole lot worse for everybody involved.

Today’s Research:
Various animals including tapeworms, spiders, and owls. I know, a pretty strange mixture!

Next Up:
An unexpected visitor, and Dahlia must learn to come to terms with what just happened.

Commentary:
Not bad for trying to catch up! I know I still have to hit the wordcount for today (Day 4), but I’m still pretty pleased! Also this scene was super intense, and 2k words just flew by once I got going. Dang. I wasn’t joking about those nightmares either, heck I think I just gave myself nightmares! But that’s good, right?? 😉

If you’re also doing NaNo, why not send me a buddy request? Here’s my profile page!

Next Stop: The Fantastic and Horrific

Oh lordy, it’s been a while since I updated my progress on this WIP, hasn’t it? I’ve been dutifully working on it, not enough to really complete NaNoWriMo, but still doing some major progress all the same. This story has gone down some dark roads and some characters have really surprised me as I’ve gone along.

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody who celebrates it! I have a heck of a lot to be thankful for this year, including getting both a novella and a novel picked up by two separate small publishers! During the break, I’ve been making plans for booths and panels for next year and even though I’ve got a lot to learn between now and then, I’m super excited for this next phase in my writing career!

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 26,201 (Omg a whole 13k more since my last update!)

New Words Written:
11/6 – 2,019
11/7 – 2,096
11/8 – 2,147
11/19 – 2,226
11/25 – 1,519

NaNo Progress:
17,890/50,000 words

Progress:
Some very tense moments and some characters change directions completely. The Seeking is over but the devastation has only begun.

Next Up:
Dahlia will have to deal with the outcome of the Seeking and the renewal ritual will soon begin.

Commentary:
Oh my gosh, it makes me so pleased to see that this book has gone over the 30% mark! I’m practically a third of the way through on this novel and I’m really happy for that. The plot is precisely where it needs to be at this point, and soon we’ll be heading into the fantastic/horrific portion of this world. I already know of at least one scene I want to clean up, but I have to remind myself that this is draft one and it’s okay to leave it for now.

My love of the supernatural will definitely be showing soon and I can’t wait. The novel in many ways has built up to this section of the book, but it’s also a part I intend to pants my way through, so it’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. It will be both intense and horrifying, and it’s also the scene that inspired this whole book.

I also got a couple of sample pages back for the print edition of The She-Wolf of Kanta and OMG they’re beautiful! I can’t wait to have the copies in hand and be able to share them with all of you!

Building that suspense!

So it’s been a little bit, I know. The holidays are always a busy time of year. Plus I went down to Disney for a week, and the prep and recovery for that always takes some mental bandwidth. This week at work is super tough though because I’ve got the writing itch bad!

I finally was able to carve out some time to work on this novel some more and oh my goodness, it’s been a wild ride! There’s been vandalism, lots of tears, reunions, and now this epic tragedy that’s about to unfold. I admit, I can’t wait.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 31,243

Progress:
Family reunions aren’t as pretty as we want them to be, and it sure does seem like secrets are being kept. Now the Ritual is coming up, but things are looking really unusual. What could be wrong?

Next Up:
The big turning point. For real.

Commentary:
Look at that – over 30k words on this novel! I’m so pleased!

I think I’m finally figuring out the various ways this could end and none of them are pretty. I’ll certainly need to figure out those details soon though cause things are getting down to the wire. I usually start writing with a Plan but then become a Pants writer partway through, and I think I’m seeing where I want it to go.

Dahlia has some major trouble coming up, and unfortunately this is only the beginning of more. I sometimes wish I could apologize to my characters for all the rocks I throw at them!

Also I was part of the Parliament House Press Author Chat on Saturday! Sure, I was riding in the back of a van on an 8-hour road trip, but I was able to answer a number of questions. Go check it out on Twitter at #ParliamentLitChat – we had a blast!

Finally I’m participating in #IGwritersDec over on Instagram right now. Each day I post something about my writing process that goes along with the list of prompts for December, whether that’s a photo of things I keep on my writing desk, an epic selfie, or my writing goals for 2018. Hope to see you there!

The curious things I keep on my desk!

Some Dark Turns

First a bit of news rolling in for the new year! If you want to be part of the Blog Tour for The She-Wolf of Kanta, be sure to sign up here with YA Bound Book Tours! The dates will be from February 5th through 9th and since this will be my first Blog Tour, I’m excited! (And nervous, but that’s a given, right?)

Next up I’ve made quite a bit of progress on my latest WIP. The tone this time is very dark though, darker than I think either of my other books, and that’s saying something! Let’s just say that I’ve started keeping track of monsters at this point, and they’re far more terrifying in text than just in my little doodles. Ya’ll seriously don’t want to see those…

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 33,511

Progress:
Everything is wrong, nothing has worked, and now Dahlia is once again in the Seeking, only this one has no rules.

Next Up:
Shaky safety, some bad decisions, and a few good ones.

Commentary:
Dahlia is turning into quite the survivor in this book, and I’m pleased, even though I feel a little bad with how terrible things are getting for her. That’s normal for any YA novel right, especially if it’s a horror novel? She’s very good at finding ways of escaping though, which is definitely a benefit to her here. I honestly don’t know what the outcome will be for her at this point, but I have a good idea where it’s generally going. Right now, I’m just letting her take the reigns and lead me, even though she’s not in the best mental state to do that right now.

Coming up, it’s time to come down off this adrenaline high and realize fully what’s happened. She’s been fighting off that realization for a while, but that never really lasts.

You Simply Cannot Live on Adrenaline Alone

Poor Dahlia just came off a heck of a long adrenaline run. It’s strange how in action movies, you’ll see a character keep an adrenaline high for almost the entire film. It’s quite enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, but it just isn’t very realistic. You have to come down at some point. Your body just can’t exist in that state for a prolonged period of time (at least it isn’t healthy to do it). So what is it that pulls Dahlia back to reality? That pulls her out of that kick-all-the-ass mode? Well, love of course.

I try to emphasize the fact that people who are traumatized need love and affection to be able to survive it. And let me tell you, there’s a hell of a lot of things to be traumatized about in this book. I spent a while this morning describing a gruesome murder scene. (You know, normal writer things.) I also think showing the see-sawing of emotions that Dahlia is going through lets the reader experience just how world-shattering this all is. If I can make them experience it the way she does, they’ll understand why she’s a little untrusting, a little stand-offish, a little damaged.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 35,105

Progress:
Survival takes a lot out of a person, and now it’s time to come down. At least for a little while of course. This is not really a time to fully relax.

Next Up:
Safety is great, while it lasts. These folks need to make plans and fast. More importantly they need to figure out what the move is for all of this.

Commentary:
Outrage and blame is going to explode here coming up. Dahlia is going to have to come to terms with the fact that mistakes can be made and be forgiven, no matter how grudgingly. She struggles with that though. She holds herself up to high standards and expects everyone else to do the same, but that’s simply unrealistic as she’ll find out.

I’ve about reached the halfway point of this book which is lining up very well with the wordcount so far. I’m anxious because there’s a lot of gaps to fill in as I go, but I’m super happy with how this is coming along. Oh and the #5amwritersclub gives me so much life and motivation. It’s rough to keep up with, but so worth it to get the wordcount flowing regularly for this book!