Family Curse

Plague

Jack died first. He was three and the youngest of the four siblings. Of course, they’d mourned, no one, not even the doctors knew what had happened. It was horrible, of course and so painful.

Then Sam had died. He was the oldest, twenty and a rugby player. How could he have fallen so ill, his skin turning blue within hours, sweat steaming from his forehead?

It’s a terrible thing, to feel so helpless as a parent, to lose two children. But they still cooked dinner with them, helped their two remaining children with their homework and kissed them goodnight. But in the night while staring into the darkness they knew, deep down, their suffering wasn’t over.

When Tom caught a fever, they knew what was to come. They held their breath because the doctors had said again and again, it was just a coincidence. He couldn’t die. They’d taken him to the hospital, the best doctors with round the clock care if anything went wrong

They buried their third son the following week.

Ben seemed to know what was coming, he was the last one left and even if he was only eight he cried and sobbed all day and night. Three torturous days past. But Ben was wrong.

His father died first. They had both been stressed and traumatised with the ordeal, he had been allowed to feel under the weather. So, his wife had woken, hugging a cold and stiff body.

When Ben finally fell ill, they didn’t call the doctors, instead his mother had curled around him in her bed and the two stayed together, defeated by this curse until Ben went limp in her arms. She realised she no longer had tears to cry for her last child, putting him in the bed as she grew numb. The end would come for her soon as well. She took comfort in that.

But after a week she realised, her own curse was to live.

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Book Blogger Thursday Tips #7

Audiobooks are a Godsend, do you have a commute? You can use it productively by listening to books especially if you drive. We all have time we can use, you just need to go looking for it.

Turtle Writing Syndrome

Here’s the depressing thing: I’ve been writing this book since 2016 and roughly 180’000 raw words to show for it. Out of curiosity I decided to look at how long it would have taken me to write that if I’d been writing at full capacity everyday, which is about 2’000 words.

90 days.

90 bloody days.

Even if I was writing 1’000 words a day, it would have only taken me 180 days. So this kind of got me down. I like doing things quickly but with an average of 184 words per day, writing does feel quick. I’m slow…like a turtle.

But it shouldn’t be a bad thing. I know authors that have written books in a matter of weeks. But there a catch, the amount of editing those people have do to is enormous. Granted I’ve been editing for a long time, but I’d rather not be editing for longer.

For Family

She was dead, though more than that her body was almost unrecognisable. A pity, Sara had once been pretty. Pretty dim. Pretty low ranking. But pretty beautiful as well, he supposed. Edward brushed his thumb over her cheek. It was dripping with thick blood, coming from what had been her mouth, now was a gaping hole. He let his thumb slip in. They’d removed her tongue. Interesting. When he removed it, it was black with blood. He sucked it clean as he looked over the scene happening behind him.

The traitor (he had forgotten his name, it was hardly important now) was on the floor, his left knee broken, the white bone visible through his cloth slacks and he was cowering in front of Jon. Though Edward could see why, his towering brother was fury and thunder alight in a single body and sword, quaking with anger. It was disappointing Sara was dead. Not much made his meek brother this blood thirsty.

“Please,” the traitor begged, “my King, my Lord,” Edward flinched at that, a lowly title to have succumbed to, “have mercy, I surrender.”

Jon moved back but an inch, fury still in his eyes. Edward decided to help his brother slightly.

“You know…we’re the only ones in here.”

“And?” he said through gritted teeth.

“Well…I didn’t hear him say he surrendered. He fought to the bitter end…on one leg as well.”

“No, please no, I surrendered!”

Jon was no longer listening to the traitor instead watching Edward intently. He raised his eyebrows and stroked Sara’s blood matted hair. Disappointingly, it didn’t help stoke the burning anger, instead seemed to put it out. Jon‘s shoulders slumped, and he sheathed his sword.

“I accept your surrender. You will be tried in my court for treason. You will pay for what you did to her.”

He came to the bed, Edward moving for Jon to pick up the corpse, the pool of blood on the bed a lot larger than it appeared Jon was expecting. He inhaled sharply, and Edward came to his side.

“I’ll take care of him,” he said gently, squeezing his brother’s arm, “you just get her away from this horrible place, it’s the least we can do for her.”

Sorrow had seemingly overtaken his brother as he didn’t even question Edward’s motive.

He practically skipped to the traitor once they were alone. He reached out a hand as if Edward would help him to his feet but instead Edward unsheathed his sword and impaled his right shoulder. The scream was music to his ears, but he hoped the best was to come. This was mostly pain and shock, but the most beautiful sound was when they realised their doom.

“I surrendered,” he spat.

“Yes, yes,” Edward dismissed with a flick, taking out a dagger, “but you only need to be alive to be tried and executed. I might as well enjoy a little revenge before then.”

“What did she mean to you!? Didn’t you murder your queen?”

“Yes,” he said, bringing the dagger to his chin as if thinking, “she was annoying and that one was…worse,” he gestured to the bed. Slowly he knelt, grinning, “but this isn’t about them. This is because you made my brother cry.”
King and Throne

My Ex-Main Character

Hi Guys!

It’s been a struggle of a week. I’ve been stuck on one of my character’s Rajiv. Rajiv and me have had a troubled history. He used to be the ONLY point of view character in my book and then became the main point of view out of four, before Jaived came along and stole that spotlight from him. And yet throughout all that, I’m trying to tell the same story with him.

He is the poster child of an underground resistance to liberate the slave people of Salmire and happily goes along with it until his path crosses with the Grand Duchess of the Empire. Pretty simple. So why have I been struggling over it for five years!?! So that’s been fun to contend with but once my antagonist Kali walked into the scene, I was storming through. Kali is a delight to write, a real piece of evil and cunning.

In the end with week, I’ve written 4857, definitely not my best, but I’m glad I got the scene finally done!!

Do you have any characters you struggle to write and how do you overcome it?

Let me know in the comments!!

Planning: Planning Methods

Introduction

I’ve talked about planning before and for many people you may already have your own personal methods. And that’s the beauty of it, you’ll learn as you go what works for you. Here are just a couple of starting ideas:

The traditional approach

Divide your book up into sections, (usually by chapters or by sections of the three Act Structure) and brainstorm what happens in each section, which characters are involved and how it leads to and from the sections either side of this.

Once you have finished all your brainstorming for each section, collect all your ideas and write a concise summary (usually two to three sentences) of what happens in each section.

This allows for flexibility without following the strict rules of other planning methods.

This is great to allow your story to naturally grow, however I would advise it for only the most organized as it can get incredibly messy.

 

The Reverse Outline

Planning backwards means you can start with the major climax at the end of your book, which is probably the part of your story you know the best. Then work out how to get to the climax, then how to get to that and so on and so on.

 

Visual Storyboards

If you are gifted with the ability to draw, (…lucky…) then storyboard your story, a picture speaks a million words and is probably quicker to do than write them.

pile-of-books

Three-act structure

For those of you out there more concerned with the structure of your story rather than any specifics of plot then you should use the three-act structure to plan out your novel. It can be argued that every (good) story follows the three-act structure and thus planning yours to it should help give you some peace of mind.

 

Each of these acts contains certain specific features:

Act 1: [The first quarter] Contains the most elements, the opening scene that establishes the characters and the main conflict, the inciting events where the characters begin the journey of the book and the turning point which introduces the second Act.

Act 2: [50% in the middle of the book] at the centre of the second act the action should rise to its climatic midpoint and is usually where everything changes for the characters. Once again there must be a turning point into Act 3.

Act 3: [The last quarter] This is the one people know the best. The Third Act is where the final climax and resolution play out.

 

Tentpole Moments

What are the events or conflicts that without your story will collapse, (like a tent)? Write these down and then try to find what links all these events together throughout the story.

 

Write A Script

This may seem strange to plan your book in a different media form, but a script only requires description and dialogue meaning you can plan quickly and expand from there.

 

Dialogue Pass

Similar to planning in the form of a script: just let the characters talk. It’s a good way of exploring their voices and their stories and again this method allows you to write the bare bones of your story quickly.

Further Reading

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/09/14/25-ways-to-plot-plan-and-prep-your-story/

https://www.nownovel.com/blog/7-ways-write-plot-outline/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Walls

Hell

Dark walls shadow overhead,

From their ledge, corpses burn,

The streets boils in rivers of water,

Turned red by grief and agony.

Naked whores and savage beasts fill our city,

Gone is the swaying green beauty of before.

When an angel has left us,

Sin is all that is remains in memory.

Hell is our lives,

Brimstone replaces home,

Demons become friends,

And yet the masses remain ignorant.

Do they see as I do?

The Hell that we inhabit,

Perhaps they will soon,

When their streets boil red with my blood.