Tag Archive: character driven writers

30 Day OTP Challenge

So I find these challenge things on tumblr all of the damn time, right? Most of them I see and like the look of them but I never commit to actually doing them.

But I found THIS shipping challenge and I guess my brain needed a break from Gray Morning, because I’ve been cranking these out at about one a day for my own personal amusement and for quick words, since my son’s been sick (and now I am, too).

Of course, I decided on Savin/Mitchel for this particular challenge. And everything I’ve written so far has been post-Jazz’s death. So now I’m wondering if I’m inadvertently writing parts of the third book (tentatively titled “A New Day”), since the focus has been mostly on Savin and Mitchel’s developing understanding of one another. Now, I don’t think they’d ever be canon, but there might be an erm, unhealthy attraction/dependency almost on Savin’s end. One that Mitchel capitalizes on because he’s, well, Mitchel.

Either way, it’s been nice to focus on something other than Gray Morning. Even if this means I’m technically trying to figure out how A New Day even goes down. I honestly don’t really know how Gray Morning ends now, because of certain plot changes that have been made and subplots I’ve removed (because they were dumb). Jazz dying has always been a consistent fact. Jazz “cheating” on Savin is also pretty consistent, too, except this version will probably contain emotional infidelity more than anything else. Ravi was introduced at 25k in and that’s about as far as I got, honestly. xD

I kinda love his introduction, though. He’s always been an interesting character to write. He’s not my usual, and I really think I’m hung up on his fate, more than anything else. Because Mitchel needs a scapegoat. I’m pretty sure Ravi’s the fall guy.

And this is why discovery writing sometimes sucks. I am stuck, I think, partially because I have to just let them tell me the changes I need to make to their story. At the same time, I’m trying to keep them all tame, a bit, because I don’t want to lose sight of my plot.


New Year, “New” Projects

So. This year, I have set out to do lots of things to help further my potential writing career. I have joined a wonderful writing community known as Get Your Words Out over at livejournal with my personal journal. It’s what used to be my writing LJ, but with all things, it’s changed and evolved into something else entirely. I still post writing there; it’s just gotten less frequent than the entries that are far more personal and navel-gazing in nature.

Now, over at GYWO, you could pledge to writing various amounts of words over the course of 2015. The number of words I pledged to complete this year is 500k, and as of today, I am just 400 words over the “target” line. I have written 16.8k words so far, this year. Not bad, right?

Except I have writing goals other than simply spitting out 500k words in a 365 day period.

I want to submit at least three pieces to literary magazines. I want to resume my Amazon Self-Published Erotica biz, Erotica Pen Name included, by writing and publishing at least one piece to sell. Most likely, it would be me playing with the “Vicky and Mordecai” storyline, as I have a part 4 that’s been languishing at “half-finished” for about half a year, now. I want to finish the Second Draft of Gray Morning.

If anyone’s been paying attention — back in December, I was wrapping up the first book of my A New Day trilogy. Yes, trilogy. Because between December 23rd and today, January 12th, I not only decided, yes, I’m shelving One Day at a Time despite not having filled in those last 15kish words, but that there was, in fact, another book that took place after Gray Morning.

I wish I could say I wasn’t surprised. But I was. I mean, I sat here and began writing Gray Morning a few days before January 1st. It’s at approximately 24k words total. I think at about 15k in, I looked up from my screen, my eyes widening and me whispering, “Oh, no,” to myself. Because I realized that there was no way Gray Morning would be a satisfactory ending to the storyline. That there definitely was more storyline to explore, after a certain protagonist’s death.

But I have never seriously thought about plot-related things after Gray Morning either. At the same time, though, the world Jazz and Savin now inhabit has undergone so many changes. It’s not the same that it used to be. They’re not the same that they used to be. I mean, okay, they’re still themselves, and their story is still theirs, but just like me and their world, they evolve, too. They experience growth and change (and they should, if they’re going to be well-rounded characters).

I want 2015 to be a good year. I want it to be the best year. I want to get into a routine, I want to find a way to write for at least an hour every day, so I can try to stay on top of my word counts. I want to set aside larger blocks of time to get caught up when lack of sleep and time inevitably tank the lead I have on my goals at present. I want to finish this damn trilogy and begin editing it and reworking parts and finally know all of the pieces to it.

My best friend thought I might be pushing myself a little too hard when I mentioned that I wanted to finish the 8-10 novel ideas I have in my head at present before I turn 30. I turn 30 in approximately three years. That’s roughly 3-4 novels a year. 3-4 months spent on one novel at a time.

Doable. As long as I can, in fact, write for an hour every day. I also want to work on finding an agent and building my “platform” and getting myself out there.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll be on my way to a publishing contract in another couple of years or so.

Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Daily Report & Snippet

So tomorrow starts the weekend, and my plan on Saturday and Sunday is to start planning out TT a little better and maybe writing small pieces and the like for all three books. It’s not that I’m putting the Tomorrow Trilogy or any of my larger projects on the back burner for the smut gig (I did sell another piece today!), it’s that I need to really think things through. 

Things like plot points and character arcs need to be thought through, and I need to organize things better and space out my time-skips better and figure out which things can be condensed and which ones can’t. Being character-driven makes this sort of thing kinda hard, as the characters tend to take the drafts wherever they want to take them. But some of the major plot points have never changed, even if how I arrive at them do. So I need to keep that in mind.

I did, however, write 1700ish words of my next piece of erotica, Say Please. It’s a piece I wrote like…6 months ago that I’m heavily reworking. It was 8k words long originally, and I’m going to salvage as much of it as I can, but change some things so that it stands alone better. Here’s the last part of the first section (a planned total of 3):


“Did you know that Shawn Baker’s got an ad out in the paper?”

“What ad?” Dustin asked as he emerged from their bedroom and walked down the small hall towards the open dining room and small, boxed-in kitchen. He meticulously wrapped a towel around his head so that his hair could dry a little faster.

“Says he’s looking for a ‘companion,’” Jess answered, looking up from the stack of pancakes he just placed on their small kitchen table. He flashed Dustin another smile. “I made your favorite!”

That thing?” Dustin said, blinking as his brain booted on the rest of the way. He had seen that ad before. Everyone at his job was talking about it — considering that Mr. Baker owned the medical company he worked for, that didn’t surprise him.

“So you have seen it, then?”

Dustin rolled his eyes and sat in his seat. “Yeah, I have. What’s your point, Jess? If you don’t have one, just come sit down and eat breakfast with me.”

“Just seems odd, doesn’t it? I mean, ‘companion’?” Jess said, his smile faltering somewhat as he sat down next to Dustin. He placed a large, steaming mug of coffee in front of Dustin, who picked it up with a grateful nod.

“He wants a fuck buddy. It’s just polite to say companion,” Dustin muttered, taking a sip of his coffee. It burned the whole way down, making him wince. “The guy’s supposed to be this huge fucking pervert.”

Jess laughed, taking a large stack of his own pancakes. “You can’t really know that’s what he’s looking for, dude. I’m pretty sure you can’t advertise for that sorta thing.”

“Guy’s a fucking billionaire, Jess. Can do whatever the hell he wants,” Dustin murmured, rubbing his temple as a headache began to settle in.

“You should try out for it,” Jess said suddenly, looking directly at Dustin. Another huge grin split his face in half. “You’d be perfect for it!”

Dustin raised an eyebrow at Jess before shaking his head, scowling slightly. “Guy’s practically my boss, why’d I want to try and be his ‘companion?’ The fuck is wrong with you?”

Jess leaned forward, pressing his lips to Dustin’s roughly. “Nothing,” he answered, grinning when they broke apart, “Just that you’re pretty — he’d be sure to pick you!”

“He wants a blond, Jess. I have an idea, why don’t you do it?”

“I’m not as pretty as you are,” Jess said, kissing Dustin again, this time on the cheek. He beamed at Dustin, as if what he said made perfect sense.

“Okay, asshole, what if he does pick me?” Dustin asked, turning his attention to his own stack of pancakes. He tried to ignore the bubble of irritation building in his chest. “You gonna be okay with that?”

When Jess didn’t answer, Dustin smirked to himself. He didn’t think Jess would be okay with Dustin showing up for that particular interview — especially not when Mr. Baker was undoubtedly looking for a quick lay and not just a friend.

That didn’t mean the idea didn’t intrigue him, though. Shawn Baker was an attractive man, in his thirties, and wildly rich. At his job, Dustin had seen him once. The man was a little shorter than he was, maybe six feet tall on a good day. Thin, like Jess, though not quite as gangly looking, either. Long, black hair that hung in his face, obscuring anyone’s view of his thick-framed glasses.

But those green eyes? Nothing could hide those — and the one time Dustin had seen Mr. Baker, those eyes of his were what Dustin remembered most. Sighing, Dustin knocked back more of his coffee and closed his eyes.

He almost wished Jess would be okay with him going out for the interview — just to see what would happen.

My Babies

Everyone has a certain process they use for writing. I’m not much of a planner; I’m very character driven, and usually let my characters drive the story instead of allowing the plot to drive them. Great for getting through first drafts quickly, but not so great for creating stories that have well-crafted plots.

In my recent rewriting of my trilogy, I’ve compiled all of the major plot points that came up in each first, very character-driven drafts. I’ve refined the plot devices, changed how certain events come to be, expanded parts, shortened others. I’ve made countless notes, living outlines, Scrivener projects, and story vomited to friends and family alike, whenever the urge struck.

I want the strongest trilogy possible. I want things to stay as true to my vision as possible, and to my characters as possible, and let them live through the words I put on the page. I want to do their world justice, want to paint a picture of it in the mind’s eyes for the all of 10 people who may one day read it.

This is my baby. My pet project. Jazz and Savin are parts of me. So are Mitchel, Mari, Ryin, Jordine, Ravi — they’re all important to me, and they deserve to have the best damn story I can ever tell. But I also know that this set of rewrites? They’re going to be the last. I can play in this world forever, come up with various back story pieces and even expand on the worlds of Hooba, Mirk, and the colony Asmeos, if I gave myself the chance.

And one day, I will. I will, but I need to tell Jazz and Savin’s story first. Because ultimately, the Trilogy is about them, about their relationship, how it starts, how it progresses, how it falls, and how it almost, almost pieces itself back together. There just isn’t enough time for them to. Not with the horrible things Savin does partway through Gray Morning, things that ultimately drive Jazz away and into the arms of another man. It’s hard, reconciling what I see and hear and having to commit it to paper.

I’ve been doing part of the Gray Morning rewrite because it began speaking to me. I hadn’t yet figured out a lot of the changes I wanted to make, except to this one sequence of events. It’s resulting in a stronger character arc — in the sense that Savin’s downward spiral is both way more believable AND way worse than it was before.

I saw him push Jazz up against a wall. I saw him essentially sexually assault his own husband, clearly with the intent to take it a step further. It doesn’t get that far, because Jazz fights back, and Jazz’s physical retaliation is startling enough to snap Savin partially back to reality. But it was a sequence of events I very clearly saw.

I hear dialogue all the time. It’s not always right, but the gist of it usually is. But things I see? They’re right. Always. There are people who say that they hear their characters speak to them — I definitely do. But when I see the events playing out in my head like a movie? Gospel fucking truth.

So when I clearly saw what Savin did (and how Jazz retaliated — with an eventual punch to the face), I mourned. How the hell am I going to make Savin anywhere near remotely redeemable? Then I realized probably not. With the way Gray Morning pans out, there’s really just no way. Jazz will have moved on but will still have to come back — all in an effort to warn Savin of the Resistance being involved right underneath his nose. But there still will be hard feelings between them, and I think maybe Jazz works his way towards forgiving him for what he’s done, but them salvaging their relationship? Not likely.

I’ve posted snippets taking place both before and after The Assault (as I’ve termed the event in my head). I haven’t posted anything from the actual assault just yet because it pains me to have to admit that this happened, that this is a thing, that it’s canon, that Savin really can BE that awful.

Instead of my daily report tonight, I will post it. I have to own this sequence of events, and accept that my characters, even the ones I love and have loved for years, can do awful, terrible things.