DEVIN BOND
Thoughts of a wanna-be author and student.


January 28, 2011

Kisses

Ahahahahaha! (Yes, that was an awkward laugh to start the post with but whatever. :P) I'm five scenes in, roughly 1/5 of the way through my WIP and I have managed two almost kisses! It's almost more exciting than the fact that I'm 1/5 the way through! Actually... I think I'm more excited about the kisses.

Axel's totally going crazy--head over heels in love. It's ridiculous. And awesome. Frickin' awesome. I'm super stoked to get to an ACTUAL kiss. Yes... That'll be really exciting. Axel's only been daydreaming about it for ... well quite a few pages now. (Yeah, that's right. A few pages. Intense, I know.)

I've already planned out the actual kiss. I'm trying to work a few more in there if I can.... We'll see how sneaky I can be. And how many times it'll apply. Emelie's sadly not... as available as she should be! (My fault, I know, but I can't just make it easy!) I'm hoping for two actual kisses before they get together... I'm seriously itching to get to one! Goodness gracious it's ridiculous! Only five scenes and I'm ready for my head to explode I want to write it so bad. (Just think of how bad it is for Axel. Poor lovesick fool.)

Have any of you craved for the meatiest parts of your WIP? I know I am! (And I'm not even a big fan of meat...)

January 24, 2011

Scene Dilemmas

I've always hated having to wait for the good parts when I'm writing. Always. When I was younger, I'd do only the scenes that'd excite me and by the time I'd finish writing those I'd lose the will to write the less exciting in between scenes and would move on. This was when I was about 13-14. (When I was in that loner, darkie phase that everyone seems to go through. I could throw up at some of the stuff I wrote, haha. Angst city.)

Luckily, I realized that it'd be better if I just suffered through the less exciting scenes and used the exciting scenes as enticement to get through them. Of course, sometimes I skipped ahead and failed the whole point of keeping that in mind. Other times I sped through them and didn't give them the justice they deserved. Rest of the time I made my friend and writing partner do it for me. (Don't think I've ever not had someone trying to write with me, now that I think about it.... Interesting.) 

By now I've gotten over the less exciting scene versus exciting scene (for the most part). Still, whenever I encounter the dreaded boring scene, I at first get into the "must suffer through" mindset. Though, I know that if it's boring for me to write it's probably boring to read. So, this leads me to my dilemma. 

What if the boring scene has necessary information? Obviously you've got to think of a different way to get it out, right? But what if it's the best? Do you just suffer? Do you force the information somewhere else? 

And another question is, what if the scene really isn't boring? What if it's simply less exciting? I know I'd much rather write some flirting and teasing over fighting. Perhaps it's just my attitude toward it? We'll find out!

Now, for a walk to clear my mind despite the fact that it looks like it's midnight outside. Exciting~  :)

January 19, 2011

Falling In Love

Has it seriously been a week since I last posted? Crazy! Doesn't feel like that at all. I've got to get onto a schedule for this.

I cranked out my first scene (of the revamped story) and what did I discover? That Emelie was about as interesting as white bread and butter. Not good. I'd spent so much time getting into Axel's head that I didn't even think of getting into Emelie's--every other character besides Axel included here. Such a bad habit!

But, as with most problems, it was fixed. Phew! Out of all the years I've been writing, I don't think I've ever realized just how much of a discovery process this can be. It's amazing. I love learning, so these continual discoveries are right up my alley.

As I've continued on to my second scene--shooting Axel with as many of Cupid's arrows as I can manage before he bleeds out--I can't help but feel proud. He's falling for her, and falling hard--and I'm falling in love with the idea of them falling in love. Sounds a bit ridiculous because I know the outcome but, it's the truth!

It's amazing to feel what Axel is feeling--or at least, an extension of it. I only hope it'll convey to readers too! Back to the grindstone (if Luca doesn't preoccupy my time by eating his feet or growling at me to do who the heck knows what)!

January 12, 2011

Back on Track

There I was, going back to scene two to revise and fill in some of the holes (some gaping holes) that had occurred as I continued writing without a glance back and what happens? I became stuck, frustrated because everything was all mucked up and the main supporting character was fading quickly into nothing but a sounding board for Axel. Not good, my friends. Not good at all. 


So, what do I do? Well, after sitting on the couch and staring at my computer screen with the blankest look ever:
Imitation of the Blank Stare Moments
--which generally leads to talking to Jessica--and after talking to Jessica, it became clear I needed to rethink. I needed to give Liam a more prominent role. I needed to make the bad guy obvious--and give them an actual purpose. And I really. really needed to get the romance in there.

That decision made, I proceeded to wallow--sadly it's hard to make changes! I wish it weren't so--and tried to read some old romance stories from when I was younger. (Harry Potter fanfiction is a total guilty pleasure. Don't make fun of me, I'm allowed some ridiculousness! And there are some really good writers in the fanfiction world.)

Jessica, of course, pulled me out of my mini-pity party (yeah, remember how I told you she'll come up a lot? Good.) She showed me this post from QueryTracker which revolutionized my plotting. Course, she also made suggested I read her copy of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS--which is every bit as amazing as you've heard it to be. It helped get my mind in the romance mindset (now vowing to read as many romance novels as I can. Research! Any recommendations?)

And NOW~ After finishing the book within a few hours (yeah, I devoured it) I plotted. I'm still not 100% sure I like everything I have--or if it's going to work in the long run, but! It's a start. I was able to get most of my thoughts out on paper and I'm quite happy with what I came up with. There are spots I know I'm going to tweak and it definitely needs to be fleshed out. But, again, it's a start. And it's a start I'm happy with.

Have you ever revised your plot midway? How was it for you?

January 10, 2011

Music to My Muse

Wow, okay, so I did two scenes yesterday and I'm feeling energized! That also might be because I just took a shower, but! We'll say it's the writing.

I was going through my updates and came across two contests through Elena Solodow's blog. I figure, there's no harm in entering right? First, there's the "Gossip from the Girl's Room" Juicy Rumors Giveaway. And second there is the Trilogy Contest (must admit, the fact that it had trilogy in the title intrigued me). Go check them out, there're some awesome prizes.

Now that I'm done with the shameless linking... Last night--while I wrote those two scenes (yes, two. Two! Can you tell I'm excited about it?)--I listened to one song about 93 times. I don't know what it is about this song, but it just fits. I'm not sure how it does or even why, but there is something about that song that just makes getting things out that much easier.

Though, I'm not giving the song all the credit. I quite enjoy writing darker emotions and making the budding relationship between characters that much harder. I'm a sucker for angst, I'm not gonna lie. Can't even begin to list how many times Jessica has rolled her eyes at me when we were younger and wrote for just each other. If I can make their life miserable in some way, I'm happy. (Sorry, characters! I love you!)

This recent success has lit up my imagination better than fifty floodlights lighting a prison cell. I've set a new goal for myself to finish each scene within two days--that being the maximum. We'll see how well it goes! Wish me luck.  I'm going to get back to writing now.

January 09, 2011

Revelations

Recently I've been learning at just how little I know about myself. It's hard to realize your own habits because... well, it's yourself. How often do you do something and then analyze why you did it? I'm not exactly pleased with what I've been learning, realizing your faults isn't a fun thing, but I know it's for the better.

The more I learn about myself, the more I can change myself into someone I can be proud of. And pride is definitely something I need to learn. I've become so accustomed to not expecting things of myself to avoid feeling failure and I know it's because failure hurts--especially when you expect greatness.

I used to think I was fearless (relatively), but now I'm learning just how scared I am. I've been holding myself back to avoid feeling disappointed and yet I strive to be perfect for others to avoid feeling their disappointment in me. Oh, the way minds work.

But! Now that I'm discovering more and more about my inner workings, I've also realized why it's been difficult for me to get into Axel's head. Yeah, characters are their own person, but they also have a bit of us authors in them as well. If I don't even know myself how can I know him?

The layers are starting to be peeled away for both me and Axel. Day by day, his motives and true nature are becoming clearer. Who knew writing would be so revealing? I certainly hadn't realized it. 

There's a saying that stories reveal more about the author than you'd ever think. I've made my characters how I wish I was or how I used to be but now... Now I think it's time to make one of them how I actually am. (Not literally though!)

On a lighter note--I'm about 25% done with my scenes! (That's an estimate, I'm not sure if I did the math correct... Sadly, math has never been my strong suit.) I'm going to stop procrastinating and get that percentage higher. Having my niece over for the weekend was not conducive for lots of writing. Those of you who have children--you're amazing. I can't imagine having that 24/7! Love her to death, but she's such a distraction! (Though not the only one... the puppy is very distracting too)



Luca awhile ago. He's since had many hair cuts... but alas... No pictures of those!

If I finish up to scene ten by Tuesday... (eek, a challenge!) I'm gonna allow myself some ice cream and a couple chapters of Nicholas Dane. We'll see how this goes!

And because I feel like showing off, here's a baby Luca pic spam... Photos courtesy of Jessica--his second mom.
His ears are still that small in comparison to his head.

How is this not cute? Still sleeps like this... only bigger.
You can't deny this face!
And thanks to my amazing best friend for making these revelations happen! I love you~ I don't know what I'd be doing without you :)

January 06, 2011

Where is the Love?

It's pretty depressing when you realize your romance novel is lacking the most important part. The romance! Talk about a crisis in the making right there. I was so excited about the fantasy aspect, I completely forgot that Axel and Emelie need to get some flirting in--increase the attraction... maybe get in some kissing~ Cue maniacal giggles right now. 

(Yes, I'm that much of a dork.)

Anyway, I'm beginning to get that under control, if you want a taste check out my No Kiss Blogfest post. (That was probably my wake-up call.) My write 600 words a day goal hasn't quite happened yet, somehow I lost a day this week?, but! Today I will for sure get to 600. At least. 

Also, after reading Misha's post today, I joined the group that Kelly has started. We'll see how getting an hour in everyday works, but it's worth a try. Should be easier this quarter, seeing how I only have one class--not my decision, by the way. Tomorrow I'll be seeing a counselor at school of what I need to do to transfer to a four year and all that good stuff. I'll also be seeing one of my old ASL (American Sign Language) teachers! Excited for that.

I'm feeling pretty confident and excited for tomorrow. I think school, now that I think I know what I'm going to do, is going to be a lot easier--at least to choose classes!--from now on. It'll feel good to be on track. I hope everyone's had a good week so far! 

Have any of you ever realized the romance (or other genre) you were aiming for hasn't quite made itself apparent yet? How did you fix it?

January 02, 2011

No Kiss Blogfest

Phew, my first try at a blogfest and I do what I vow to never do. Stay up until 4:30 am. I like my sleep, but I think finishing this off will be more than worth it!

Please have a little bit of mercy with the romance. It's the first actual time the character get to express attraction. Of course, mercy doesn't mean namby-pamby. Feel free to tear through it, but with a smile on your face if you agree that it's good.

Sorry for any typos! Thought I caught them all. Also, for any non blogfesters, check out all the other participants Here.

So, without further ado, here is my piece.
     
            I looked down at the grave with a sigh, plunging the shovel into the ground and wiping my brow. The lump of dark towels lay to my right. Where had I gone wrong? I’d checked on him before and after. He had looked perfect…
           My eyes stung and I took a large breath. No one cried for dead animals in public unless it was the family dog. Fenris wasn’t even the family wolf pup.
            “Axel?”
I blinked, turning to Emelie as she passed through the dying garden to my lawn. The small lights around the yard illuminated the creamy skin along her collarbone in the darkening night. She stopped two steps away, weaving her hands behind her back.
 “What are you doing?” she asked, a soft expression tugging at her full lips.
            I wiped at my nose, standing tall and leaning against the shovel. “The wolf pup I talked about earlier died.” I raked my teeth against my lip. “Came home from practice and he was already gone….” I gritted my teeth, tipping my head back to the stars.
            Why’d I feel so sad over this wolf? Animals died all the time. It was natural.
            “I’m sorry,” she said. Her pale eyebrows slid together as her eyelashes casted shadows on her cheeks. She kneeled down, setting her knees into the moist dirt. “Maybe if I hadn’t held you up earlier…”
            A breath snaked through my lips. “No,” I said, dropping the shovel and crouching next to her. “It’s not your fault, Emelie.” I searched her face—her narrow jaw, her pouting lips, her button nose. “He was fine when I got home earlier. He died after that…” I swallowed. “Probably after my mum left for her second job.”
            “I’m sorry…” she repeated. “I wish I could’ve helped or something. I should’ve offered to check up on him while your mum was out until you got back…” She let her head hang, her hair falling off one of her shoulders and exposing the expanse of her neck.
            “I probably would’ve told you no,” I said. “Don’t worry about it.” If she did, I’d feel worse.
            She dropped her chin onto her shoulder, clear blue eyes watered with sincerity. “Why would you’ve told me no…?”
            I swallowed, my throat shifting into a desert. I leaned toward her, brushing a piece of blonde hair from her face. She flinched away, a gulp running down her neck. I couldn’t move my hand away.
           “Never mind,” she whispered. “You probably would’ve told me no because you wouldn’t want to burden me, right?” She smiled at me, dimples appearing and her blue eyes warm, yet sad. “I should’ve offered and I’m sorry for that.”
            My stomach fluttered and my heart attempted to escape through my throat. Liam was right—she was nice. I wanted to hold her. I wanted to touch her. My hand had been right there, but I dropped it. She had a boyfriend.
            “Can I help you move him into his grave?” she asked, her voice clear and crisp like the sound of a creek, swirling through my mind.
            I bit back my urge to tell her no. Moving a dead animal into a grave wasn’t glamorous work. My eyes fell to the part between her lips. “Yeah, if you don’t mind getting a little dirty.”
            “I like getting dirty,” she said, standing up without brushing herself off.
            She followed me over to Fenris’ body and bent over, taking his head and shoulders as I grasped Fenris’ lower half. My eyes remained on the navy towel he’d used as a blanket.
“He’s a bit on the heavy side,” I said as I lifted.
            She let out a small noise as we shuffled to the grave. “Yeah, I’d say so. At least he ate well?” Another smile full of grace fell onto her lips.
I tried to return it.
 Kneeling on both ends, we lowered him with careful precision. His body met the reddish soil. I took a deep breath and stood, taking the shovel in hand and beginning to cover him. When I finished, I patted the ground down and dropped the shovel by the fresh soil.
“Thanks for helping,” I said, chancing another smile at her.
She sniffed. My body froze as I watched her wipe her face with a sleeve.
“No problem,” she said, her voice stifled.
“Emelie…” I closed the distance between us, but she held up her hand to stop me. I brushed it away and wrapped my arms around her, pulling her tight.
“I’m fine,” she said, voice shaking. “I just don’t like… seeing graves. Reminds me of my parents…” Her arms slipped around my torso, her head resting on my chest. The scent of cherries and elm lingering around her was intoxicating—so familiar it was almost nostalgic.
My heart leapt into my throat, too shy to make it all the way into my mouth. I held her tight and slid my fingers through the silken strands of her hair.
I wrapped my arms around her, holding her tight and hiding my face within the silken strands of her hair.
Leaning down, I rested my head against hers. “It’s okay to remember.” I clenched my teeth. “It’s better than forgetting.”
             She pulled back, tears running down her pink cheeks. I wanted to comfort her. I leaned in, her breath caressing my mouth in gentle puffs. My heart ached for her, my body remembering motions from long ago. I couldn’t move away from her, even if I wanted to. The heat of her lips was nearly on mine.
            “Ax,” Mum called. “Are you still outside?” I refrained from groaning and pulled away from Emelie.
            I clenched my eyes shut and swallowed. “Ye—” My voice cut out. I cleared it and turned my head, seeing her silhouette in the kitchen window. “Yes, Mum.”
            “Hurry up and get inside, Ax," Mum said. "It’s getting cold.”
            “Okay, Mum. I’ll be in soon.” I looked at Emelie and let out a small breath. “Sorry, I wasn’t thinking.”
             “Don’t be,” she said, her lips quirking into a slight smile. “I’ll see you tomorrow?”
            “Of course.” I laughed and swung my arm with false enthusiasm. “Bright and early for school.”
            Her smile grew. “Okay, see you then.” She turned and walked back to her yard, disappearing into her house without a second glance.
            I sighed, rubbing my face and trudging back up to the house. Why did I feel so disappointed? It was just a kiss.
             Just a kiss. 

Yay~ Hope you all enjoy it. Can't wait to read everyone else's!