Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yes, I'm Joining Thursday Thirteen!

Thirteen Reasons Why I Wrote Forging a Legend
  1. I wanted to write a story that I would love to read.
  2. I have been wanting to write a story about gods and goddesses ever since watching Der Ring Des Nibelungen on PBS in the early 90s. I even recorded it! All 20 hours!
  3. I have had a certain concept about gods and goddesses and where they get their power for years now.
  4. I wanted to write about a heroine that was physically different. George R. R. Martin's Tyrion Lannister stuck with me so I decided to go to the other extreme.
  5. I wanted to write about a heroine that didn't fit into any of the stereotypes. So I came up with a brown-skinned divorced giantess. (Well, she's very tall, in any case.)
  6. I wanted an excuse to write about things that I saw in India.
  7. I wanted an excuse to write in an ancient world setting.
  8. I wanted an excuse to write about things that I had learned while studying Ancient Rome.
  9. I was inspired to write it after the Michael Jackson trial. I'd have to say that Tom Cruise's antics were some major inspiration as well.
  10. Five hurricanes or tropical storms struck my state that year. I wanted to write about a storm. I also wanted to include something I saw on the news years ago, where a young couple waited out a storm while submerged in a swimming pool.
  11. I wanted to write about a warrior woman who is a good fighter, but not a great fighter. She is by no means the best. She has another talent, but it is largely ignored by those around her.
  12. I wanted to write about a situation that seems completely impossible, so I pitted my mortal fighter against a god.
  13. I wanted to write about a woman who becomes a queen. No princesses for this story; she earns her own throne.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Edits - Chapter Three

When I wrote Starcaster, I deliberately wrote heavy on plot and characterization, and light on worldbuilding. I did this because the world was still very hazy in my mind. I had wild ideas of basing the story in New York circa 1810, but the story just doesn't fit very well in that time frame. I therefore wrote it in a pseudo-London, but that didn't quite fit as well. I wanted a world based on history, but I didn't what this to be a historical novel. I guess I wanted more freedom than a historical novel would allow.

Don't get me wrong; I'd love to do a historical novel. But I don't think this is the right one to make historical. If I place it in New York circa 1810, then I'll have a lot of baggage from the time frame to weigh my plot down. This is a light, fun novel. (I do have a historical novel in mind, and Cicero is a major character. But I have two other books to write first!)

Then, I came up with what I hope is a great idea. Now I have a history to go along with the conflict and I have a reason for the conflict. The political situation draws from the Bolshevik Revolution, the American Revolution (I know, lots of revolutions), the wars between Britain and France, old fashioned repression, and an enemy dictatorship. The country where the story takes place is a monarchy, but it is a toothless monarchy where a parliament has all the power.

I'm now chipping away at my second draft and I think it's going very well, especially since I can weave in the above as I go along.

On the Forging front, I'm starting to question my earlier decision to cut 6000 words off of my opening. I just have not been able to make it work and it will require lots of revision deeper in the novel. I don't know if I want to go back into so much revision; I have other novels to write; novels that quite excite me. So I'm thinking about going back to the version that Kristin beta-read and try to tighten the existing opening up, instead. However, I'm working hard on Starcaster now, so I'll just let all this peculate in the meantime.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Blog Contest Winner!

And the winner -- picked impartially from sealed sticky notes by my husband -- is Livia!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Starcaster Snippet

I decided to yank the opening scene in Starcaster, the one that was giving me such trouble. It is the same scene that I posted at Absolute Write a few weeks ago. I now start the novel with the next scene, which is just before all the action starts anyway. I summed up scene number 1 in two paragraphs that hopefully does not read like an infodump.

I think my new opening paragraphs does a much better job establishing the mood and the time frame. This is important because my novel does not take place in a typical time period for fantasy.

As I dressed for the evening, I reflected that there is simply no good way to hide a gun in an evening gown.

In my mother's day, yes. Back then, waistlines were at the waist, and skirts were full. Nowadays, with a high-waisted sheer skirt, any bulge looked suspicious. Oh, I had a skirt holster, and I used it quite a bit, but one needed plenty of pleats to be able to use a skirt holster. An apron helped as well. No one ever suspected a woman hustling around in a bulky apron of carrying anything other than household items such as pot-holders and pincushions.

What do you think?

Don't forget my little contest! I only have a few entrants and I'll pick a winner on Monday.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thinking About Freelancing

I've been thinking about getting back into freelance writing, and I have two possible markets to try. One is HowStuffWorks. I even have clips like they describe here. Now I have to come up with a killer introductory letter and writing resume.

A friend also told me about an educational publishing company and I'd love to become one of their freelancers. I'm hoping to get a referral for this one.

It would be exciting to get paid to write again!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blog Grand Opening Giveaway!

I know, I know . . . how crassly commercial. But I have this review copy of Patricia Waddell's True Deception sitting here and I decided I might as well start off this new blog with a bang by giving it away. I just got it in the mail on Friday, and it doesn't really fit into Fantasy Debut's theme since the author has written a bunch of novels.

It is a regular paperback copy that might appear in a bookstore, not an ARC or a galley. It is a paranormal romance. Here is the blurb:

A man who lives for revenge and a woman who clings to hope. Together they fight a common enemy . . . and discover a passion neither one dreamed could exist.

Aedon Rawn’s world died the day his wife and child were murdered by Conglomerate pirates. Now, his only reason for living is to avenge their deaths. The Directorate gives him that opportunity when he’s selected to become their first undercover agent. His mission: infiltrate and destroy the oppressive government of an outer region colony.

Kala Char’ari is a woman in need of a miracle. She’s dedicated her life to freeing her people, but they're on the edge of extinction. Risking everything, she dares to trust a dark stranger with the hardened heart of a warrior.

The contest is open to anyone who lives in the United States. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. I'll leave the contest open until next Sunday, when I'll announce the winner. Be sure to check back next week to see if you won.

Tia's Novels

These are the novels that I have completed to date. I put another version of this post up on my other blog as well so if you've already read it there, then you may want to skip this post. Unless, of course, you found it so compelling that you want to read it again.

Oath of the Songsmith
. This is the one that I never talk about. It is my trunk novel. I recently sat down and figured how how many years I worked on it, and I think it came down to an even dozen. It served one useful purpose -- it purged me of the urge to write fantasy cliches. It has every fantasy cliche imaginable. Woodsy elves (although mine looked more like leprechauns than Tolkien elves). Cranky dwarves. Mad scientists (although mine was a woman). A wicked witch. A princess. An evil society. Goblins and trolls. And hardly any plot!

Forging a Legend. Epic fantasy about a woman who an unknowing candidate in a divine contest and who eventually must fight a deity. Gods. Mortals. Chimeras. Divine manipulation. Swordfights. Opposing religions. I wanted to write a novel about someone powerless who has to fight someone with so much power that task seems impossible. I also always wanted to write a novel that featured Greek-style gods and goddesses in a big way. It's pretty much done, but I still tweak it between query bursts.

Starcaster. A fantasy-espionage blend that takes place in a Jane Austen-style setting with James Bond-style action. Chases. Captures. Guns. Magic. A militaristic spy organization. An enemy communist dictatorship. A ballroom. And not one, not two, but three potential suitors. This one I wrote for pure fun. It's almost finished.

Any Woman. A mainstream Hollywood love story. How's that for genre-busting? It's about a male Hollywood superstar who wants to date a church mouse . . . but she won't have him. She sets up impossible conditions under which she would date him, and then he goes about and tries to fulfill them. It blows up in both of their faces. Of course they fall in love. I'm about 4 chapters into this one.

Tia's Writing Master Plan

I am a 41 year old diehard dreamer who has been writing for almost twenty years now. I write both nonfiction and fiction, but I'm concentrating on my fiction dream right now. My published portfolio consists of work-for-hire pieces, plus lots of technical documentation, business documents and blogs. I count blogging because one of my blogs, Fantasy Debut, has managed to garner a modicum of respect in the publishing world.

Like I said, I'm concentrating on my fiction dream. Yes, forty year old women can still dream. However, they tend to be practical about it. Time is marching on. Must get on with it. Therefore, I came up with a Master Plan.

My Master Plan consists of writing very different novels until I manage to sell one. So far, I have written three novels. The first one is my trunk novel. I love it, but I doubt anyone else could could get through it.

The second one is a mythology-based epic fantasy that I planned as a trilogy. I wrote book one, the first three chapters of book two and forced myself to stop. I have everything outlined up to the end of book three. I'm not going to write any more for this novel unless I manage to sell it. To paraphrase a worn-out phrase, I ain't putting all my eggs in one basket!

The third book is an espionage fantasy that strives for a mix of humor and action. It is a stand alone novel, but of course I can see sequels. However, I'm not going to plan for any sequels. I'll tie up all plotlines and we'll see about a sequel if and only if I can sell the thing.

I'll detail these novels out in a later post.

The other part of my Master Plan is a deadline. I've given myself until I'm 45 to publish a novel. If I'm not published by then, I'll go back to nonfiction and at least earn some money with my writing. I won't stop writing fiction, but it will become more of a hobby than an all-consuming obsession.

This is a writing blog, with a bit of real-life stuff thrown in for fun. Fantasy Debut is my strictly on-topic blog. Here, I'll let my hair down a bit.

I'm going to get brave and link to this from Fantasy Debut, since I know a lot of my readers there are writers. If you'd like to do a blogroll link exchange, please leave a comment. I'll work on getting my links from my old writing blog transferred over here as well. However, that will take a few days, so give me time!