burnt out, bummed out, and just out

Have written to page 113, four chapters in of Light-year Lion (#lion girl), which is Book 4 in The Prince of Qorlec (#girl prince).

I barely got any writing done. I usually average about thirty pages a day — meaning, I write one chapter a day because the goal with every chapter is 30 pages.

I didn’t get many written today. Maybe ten. Today was just not a happy day. I write more when I’m happier and not distracted by anything else.

I think Light-year Lion might be longer than the other books because the lore has been expanded, there are more characters, so more POV chapters, and Quinn’s journey to build an army is something that will come into play in Book 5, which right now is called Moon Fire. So to set the stage for all that, Book 4 might have to be long. Which means it’ll take longer to write.

Right now I’ve finally gotten to the part where Quinn is about to escape Vorgvon, the detainment prison for entirian prisoners on Kahz. It’s gonna be a fun chapter to write. We get a robot in this book (again) only this time the robot is on the protagonist’s side.

This book is also a little more heartbreaking, as even more characters die.

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Light-year Lion Chargin Full Speed Ahead

By the way, the tag “lion girl” will refer to Book 4 Light-year Lion from now on on this blog. Additionally, “purple planet” refers to The Suns of Anarchy.

So currently I am in the middle of chapter 2 of book 4 of The Prince of Qorlec, and I already love writing it way more than The Suns of Anarchy.

I think I didn’t like writing SoA because it’s basically a transition book. You know when you get to that point in a series where you might read a book that is basically an explanation of how other stuff happened?

Like reading Mercedes Lackey’s Herald trilogy and you get to the middle book, which is basically about the main character’s training?

That’s SoA.

The Suns of Anarchy is basically about how Quinn became married and went through training and how she wound up getting captured by the Zeverec again, this time through her own actions and the failures of General Miora combined.

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Write Book 3 of The Prince of Qorlec — Check

Finished the first draft of The Suns of Anarchy tonight. It’s about the same length as The Harvest.  About 325 pages, so a little shorter.

I’m going to start revising, and when I’m done it’ll likely be a few more pages longer. I think it wound up being shorter because I deviated so much from the original outline.

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from my ancestors with love

Last night I had a very weird, hellish dream in which I was stuck in a classroom with two of the biggest bullies from my highschool.

They weren’t the only bullies by far, but they were the ones who hurt me the most when I was a kid. It was a pretty horrible school, where everyone — even some of the teachers — joined in the bullying.

The dream felt like being taken back there, only in a college setting.

After being humiliated by a very mean girl, I put my head down on my desk and was very sad. Putting my head down was actually part of the game we were playing in class. Those who didn’t answer questions right had to put their heads down, so they weren’t chosen again.

My teacher noticed that I was upset and I was surprised when she came to me, put her head down next to mine, and expressed sympathy and concern. It was bizarre to me. In real life, no teacher ever cared about me or that I was being bullied. Perhaps if they had, perhaps if just one person had showed me any kindness, my life would have been vastly different.

The professor in my dream said a few very peculiar things. She told me she had been watching me a long time (as in all my life — very strange) and that I had a great laugh. She spoke like a family member, like someone who loved me (though she actually looked nothing like me). When I complained miserably about the bullies, she told me I could change things, which was — again — bizarre.

I suddenly realized I was dreaming and pulled myself out for fear it would become a nightmare.

There are many cultures in which people believe their ancestors watch over them from a spirit world, providing comfort and guidance. Even Catholics believe this.

I have never believed in anything like this — I mean, how boring would it be to sit around watching your ancestors descendants all the time? But after I woke up, I had the exact feeling that an ancestor, who’d been watching me all my miserable life, felt sorry for me and wanted me to know I was not alone.

The exact feeling.

I am still baffled that she told me I could change things. I think she meant that in a larger sense, as in I could have an impact on people, I could change the world.

That’s insane.

I’m a dot in the grand scheme of things. I don’t matter, not even to the other dots. I already learned a long time ago that no one cares about people like me. People like me don’t even get to be human. 

One thing I always loved about The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings was the message behind it, that message being that even the smallest person can make a difference.

In real life, it’s not like that. In real life, smaller, physically weaker people are oppressed and bullied. We live in a society that mocks and belittles women for not being as physically powerful as men — as if physical power were the only thing a person’s worth should be determined by. (Here’s a hint: a person’s worth is not determined by physical strength.) In fact, it’s so awful, women aren’t even allowed to have power fantasies in fiction. We live in a world where it’s feasible that a tiny hobbit can save an entire world, but not a feminine woman (because women have to be masculine to be worth something, apparently). And god help her if she’s a woman of color, because that’s given as even more inconceivable.

So do I live in a world where I can change things? No. Call me a pessimist, but I don’t believe I do. In fact, there’s an entire system in place to make sure I don’t change things. And it extends into the literary world.

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here’s how quinn (and all the entirian) looks to me

Finished Chapter 9 of SoA tonight (4/12/2017). Also, I found a picture of what I imagine Quinn looks like. (You’d have to come to my wordpress to see it, though.)

Chapter 9 is the chapter where Quinn is at boot camp and has to earn everyone’s respect there. It was actually a very difficult chapter to write because it gave me some unpleasant flashbacks and I had to stop writing it for a bit.

I did enjoy writing most of it, though. The only part that really sucked was the scene where Quinn finally earns everyone’s respect. It didn’t . . . resonate with me, so I doubt it’ll resonate with readers, even though it’s supposed to be a powerful and defining moment for Quinn. I just didn’t . . . pull it off. I’m thinking that scene will need many rewrites or else I’ll have to come up with a different idea.

Right now, I feel like SoA can be explained this way: the first half of the book is sex, gender, and sexuality, the second half of the book is friendship, family, blood and gore.

It’s like that because the book begins when Quinn is still a teenager and is getting her weird alien period and exploring her sexuality. Also, Ckylar and General Miora both give Quinn “the talk” since her mother Rose is not there.

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it’s true: stories really are only as good as their villains

Got halfway through Chapter 7 of SoA (185 pages so far!), which actually introduces the villain of this book.

Even though my fighting scenes kinda suck, this new villain is supposed to be a badass. I’ll probably go back and rewrite the scene many times in frustration just to get it across well.

The villain frustrates Quinn and Varzo with how easily she outmaneuvers them before escaping. This is basically to let the audience know what Quinn is going to have to become in order to stop this woman. She will basically have to become a badass too, the only challenge is realistically showing how she got there and also making her look good once she gets there.

Most of my villains are snarky and arrogant (Dr. Zorgone, Kimaria, Evrard, Pirayo) but this new villain is my attempt to go a different direction. When she insults Quinn, it’s not to hurt her but simply because she believes what she’s saying is the truth: Quinn really is pathetic, etc. And somehow, that hurts more than an actual insult.

General Phorott, the main villain across the entire series, is very similar in this regard. Because I’m kinda tired of writing snarky villains who joke all the time, I decided to make Phorott a calm, cool narcissist.

Chapter 7 also builds Quinn and Varzo up as a duo. Varzo is an amphibious mermaid person but has a crap temper, while Quinn comes from fire-lizard-people and is usually calm and serene. They are essentially polar opposites in temperament, and that works for them.

I’m starting to wonder if making Quinn reckless was right for a calm character. Usually a character with a temper would be reckless. I like to think Quinn is reckless when others are in danger, such as in The Harvest when Thalcu is dying and needs water.

are we there yet?

Finished Chapter 6 of SoA and . . . I don’t like it.

It’s basically the chapter that chronicles Varzo and Mercy’s hellish time in the POW prison. Some things need to be tweaked, like some of the guards need to be meaner for maximum effect later. The entire sequence should have really just been longer.

It’s the chapter where Varzo has her turn being manipulated by General Miora. Unlike everyone else, she’s foolish enough to actually talk back and suffers the consequences of that.

I really do enjoy writing General Miora. She has the unfortunate task of forcing these teenage kids — the future rulers and leaders of her people — to suck it up and put duty before personal interest. Thus, Quinn and Thalcu despise Miora because she puts her foot down and keeps them apart, while Varzo despises Miora for using her like a tool and blackmailing her into protecting Quinn, who she comes to love as a friend anyway.

On top of being hated by the same people she’s helping, General Miora has to live with the fact that Quinn, her own flesh and blood, is closer to Zita than her.

Yeah, General Miora is a fun character. I don’t exactly have it written in stone what I’m going to do with her. But Quinn is on the hero’s journey so . . . You know what usually happens to mentors.

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