Best That It Can Be

SoulShip CoverWell, it’s done. Completed. Finished. With a new cover to boot. I have edited my novel to the best of my ability. It is now in four parts with about twelve chapters shorter chapters per part.

This novel in manuscript format comes in at 403 pages of actual story but the book itself (when I get it) will be around 414 pages due to the other added content (title page, contents page, author’s bio, etc).

The novel is 79877 words long, and it is my longest completed novel to date.

I have done as much as I can with it and now it’s off to friends and family to read through to see what else I can add / take away / change.

This is the book that I’m going to get published one day. I just know it is.

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Battle for My Writing Soul

“Are we human because we gaze at the stars?  Or do we gaze at them because we are human?” ~ Stardust

I remember loving that line when I first saw the Stardust movie (I’ll admit, that I haven’t read the book yet) and I find that it is an appropriate place to start this post. I, have always gazed up at the stars. I have always wondered what was out there and my belief in extra-terrestrials is much stronger then my belief in other supernatural things.

Yet, despite my love of the stars, my reading habits have tended towards the fantastical / supernatural / magical. That’s not to say that I haven’t read science-fiction books, but my exposure has been limited to the Star Wars extended universe and the Voyager books (yes, my geek colours are showing).

Because of that, I have always thought that my stories would be based in fantasy worlds, or stories of the heart set in contemporary times… in the last little bit while I have been editing SoulShip, I have come to realize that my heart, my writing soul lies in science fiction.

I have heard authors say, write what you like to read / what you want to read, and I guess I have been searching for some really good young-adult science fiction that I can sink my teeth into. I haven’t really found it as of yet, but I guess that’s why my brain is in overload with science-fiction plots 🙂

Of course, this could completely change as my inspiration comes and goes, but for right now, I am a science-fiction writer. ^_^

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Write. Revise. Edit. Repeat.

I am currently knee deep in edits of SoulShip. My goal is to get the manuscript done in the next week or so, so I can get it sent off to CreateSpace and have my five free copies as quickly as possible.

Once that happens, I will go through the book with another fine tooth comb and edit it again. When that round of edits is done (and the edits that are being done by lovely friends of mine) I will start querying it.

I am loving my story more and more. After I finished it, I tried to move onto a new project but I couldn’t. SoulShip has invaded my psyche like no other story has… not in a very long time at least.

And to make things even more exciting, my manuscript template is sitting at 166 pages right now and I am only halfway through ^_^ I can’t wait to see how long this novel is going to be when I’m done.

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When We Get To The End

SoulShip Cover Page Any writer knows that getting to the end is a sacred thing. There is no greater feeling than typing the words “The End’ at the bottom of a manuscript. For me, it is even more sacred and amazing because I very rarely get to the end of a story and when I do, it is cause for much celebration.

Last night, at 11:50 I reached the end of my science-fiction novel that I started with NaNo 2012. Back in November when I reached the 50k I wasn’t sure whether or not I would finish the story. I wanted to, but life got in the way and I put it aside.

Then, at the end of February / beginning of March I went back and began re-writing the beginning and middle of the novel. I added in subplots, rearranged moments and when I got to the end of what I had written I continued on. In eight days I wrote more than fifteen thousand words which is a freakish pace even for me. Last night alone I churned out close to five thousand an they encompassed the last two chapters and the epilogue.

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My story is might be complete but now the real work begins. I’m going to make it presentable. I have a really good feeling about this one. I’ve written and completed many stories in the past but this is the first one (save my very first novel) that I’ve felt was good enough to try and get published.

That’s the endgame after all and my fingers are crossed that SoulShip can be fixed up enough.

 

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Endings: Tragic, Bittersweet or Happy?

There is one thing when it comes books that really bugs me– endings that are bittersweet or downright tragic. In the three books that I have read so far, only one had a truly happy-ish ending. The other two did not. One had a bittersweet ending that I was expecting because I had seen the mini-series that was based on the book. The other was downright tragic and not only made me cry (something that books never do) but also prompted me to throw the book across the couch.

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The first book that I read this year was “The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. It is a historical epic set in Australia at the beginning of the twentieth century. It follows the Cleary family, specifically Meggie as they live off the land. The main premise of the book is that Meggie is hopelessly in love with Ralph de Bricassart who is a priest in the beginning. As the book goes on, Ralph tries to fight is attraction to Meggie and Meggie tries to forget hers. They can never stay out of each other lives and even though Ralph dies in the end and Meggie loses her son by him, it is still a beautiful book. A bittersweet ending that I was totally expecting and loved.

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 8.06.24 AMThe second book that I have read this year was actually a novella.”The Emperor’s Soul” by Brandon Sanderson is set in the world for his Mistborn Trilogy, though it is in a far corner of it. It follows Shai who is a Forger, someone who can rewrite the history of an object and transform it. This can be done from something as simple as a table to as complicated as a soul. When an assassination attempt against the Emperor leaves him alive but mentally empty, Shai is brought in to save him by doing the unthinkable, reForging a soul from scratch. The story was quick paced and it had a great ending ^_^ I will definitely reread it.

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 8.07.24 AMThe third book that I have read, the one that I spent two hours reading last night, was one that I have been waiting for, for a long time. “Everafter” by Elizabeth Chandler is the third book in a trilogy which followed Ivy and Tristan and without giving anything away, it has a tragic ending. What makes me the most angry is that the book was brilliant until the penultimate scene. That’s when things completely fell apart and I bawled. Books don’t make me cry, but this one did and when I read the last page I threw it across the couch because I was so angry. >_<

 

 

So what is the point of this post? The nature of endings and how author’s deal with it. I do understand the bittersweet ending, I really do… which is why I was able to like Thorn Birds so fully. But when an author builds up to something, and makes their readers believe that something is going to to happen and then pulls the rug out…? Well that is just bad form in my opinion.

Endings which infuriate me is also what drives me in my own writing, and why all my characters have happy endings, or at least some semblance of some. My characters are my babies. I couldn’t really kill them even if I tried… not only for my sake, but for the sake of my future readers (if I am ever so lucky) because I would hate to think of causing a reader’s heart to break and to have them throwing a book across a room.

Happy endings have always been what I look for in books, which is why I will always impart them into mine.

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Embracing Me

So this the first post of the new year… and truth be told I haven’t done a lot of writing so far. I tried to write a short story back in January but that fell by the wayside. I attempted (briefly) to edit my novel from November but that too seemed to be impossibly difficult. Instead I focused inward and really looked at what sort of stories I wanted to write.

I thought that I had stumbled upon the answer… that I wanted to be known for great contemporary love stories. Real world fiction as it were. Books in the general fiction section. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I couldn’t just pick a genre out of the hat and say that that is what I’m going to write.

No, I decided that I would have to embrace whatever stories my muses decided to tell. Last November it was a Science-Fiction story, the year before that it was YA Contemporary Fantasy, the year before that it was Detective. I have to write the stories that are in me to write. I have ideas and notions and when the right story comes along, I will write it… and try to pursue it to publication in one form or another.

^_^ It feels as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I find myself suddenly able to edit and add to that which has been incomplete for over three months… and the next project will be re-writing my time travel story which is another story that just won’t let me go. ^_^

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I would like to think that my muses are warming up again.

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50k and only 1/3 of the way there?

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So I know that this post is a long time coming, six days in fact considering that I crossed the finish line on November 29. But it is here now. I am pleased to say that National Novel Writing Month 2012 was a resounding success. I was able to write my way to that elusive 50k mark and what makes it even better is the fact that my story is only about a third done. There is a lot more for me to write and I think that today I will start working on it. I need to see how my characters resolve things. ^_^

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