No. There isn’t. There are as many ways of doing something as there are people on the planet. I hate writing instructors (or reviewers) who act as if there is only one way of writing or one kind of book. (I know, I know. You’re not supposed to get upset with reviewers. They are entitled to their opinions, and I believe that wholeheartedly. That doesn’t mean I can’t feel butt hurt when one doesn’t understand the difference between a character-driven story and a plot-driven story.)
But back to writing tips. Years ago, I was in a writing group where one writer berated another for saying she couldn’t control her characters. I knew exactly what the ‘I can’t control them’ writer meant. To some extent, that’s how I write. My characters come to me in an organic fashion. Writing often feels more like an archeological dig than a creative process. I feel like I’m discovering the characters, discovering the story. There’s something profoundly Jungian about it.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to step in more. I’ll have a flash of inspiration for a plot point or an attitude shift and insert them and watch the story reorder itself. Or I’ll give the protagonist a nudge in the ribs. I can’t even fathom the sort of rational mind who views the characters as chess pieces and feels in control of everything. I’m not arrogant enough to think that person is wrong. I realize they are different. It’s okay for people to be different. Why do so many of us have a problem with that?
I was thinking about Kite from Lover, Destroyer today. I pick on him a lot, but I feel deeply sorry for him. As soon as I thought that, I wondered what the Vulcan from that writing group would have said. “You created his backstory! You created him–how can you feel sorry for him? That’s insane?”
Well, yeah. But I didn’t intentionally create him. He came to me that way. Damaged, possessing a frightening power, manipulated into doing something that preys on his conscience for the rest of his life. Technically, I created him. But I swear, he was broken when I found him.
There are many ways to do the same thing. Mine just happens to be a bit insane. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
Lover, Destroyer is available for preorder on Amazon. Although it is a fantasy romance, it contains adult content.
Can he build his dreams with a destroyer?
Beautiful young Elarhe, crown prince of Ayklinn, leaves his homeland disguised in rags because he wants to learn how to use his magic. He travels to a border city in the Grandimanderian Empire, where magic isn’t forbidden. But that land isn’t fond of immigrants; fear permeates its streets, and cruel things lurk in its shadows. One of these cruel things is a man who wields a terrible magic that—instead of healing or mending—deals only in death…. And Elarhe wants to rule his heart.
As a child, Kite destroyed an entire city with his dark magic. Now, he serves the Overfather of Grandimanderia. Feared and alone, Kite is content with the ice in his veins…until a talented young immigrant challenges everything he thought he knew.
This gay erotic romance depicts two lovers testing each other’s boundaries and discovering new experiences together. It contains sexually explicit scenes, including scenes with BDSM and various fetishes such as bondage (cuffs, suspension, straitjacket), pony play, spanking, flogging, gut punching, wax play, and others. Some scenes are extreme. (But there’s actually a story!
It releases July 11th. To reserve your copy, go here.
No, I have not dropped off the face of the Earth. Whenever I get to the end of a project, I start getting hyperfocused and can’t stop until I’m done. So, the past week, I’ve hardly slept, probably lost weight, and have barely slept. Housework? Bwahaha. No, I’ve just been writing. But today, I finished the rough draft of my m/m romance, Lover, Destroyer.
It’s basically an old fashioned gothic romance with dudes and kink. I’m changing the cover, but I’ll reveal it soon. For now, I’m just basking in something I think of as story euphoria. If you’ve ever seen the musical My Fair Lady (I love old musicals), you probably remember the scene where Audrey Hepburn’s character can’t sleep after going to a dance and keeps spinning around the room singing. This feeling is sort of like that.
That world is still in my head, but it’s a blur of images now. The characters have gone silent and are standing, holding hands, listening to the applause ringing in my blood. I’m utterly, completely happy–euphoric. I’ll slowly return to all of the drudgery of everyday life (including hygiene), knowing that in a week or so I’ll start the painful process of editing and revising. For now, however, I’m spinning around the room, singing.
This is just a quick update for anyone interested in what I’m working on now. I’m about 50 thousand words into the third Astralsphere book. I’m estimating it at about 100-130 thousand words. We’ll see. It is sort of on the back burner at the moment. I realized I could finish an m/m (gay) romance that I had started more quickly, so I’m devoting all of my current energy to it.
No, it’s not the sequel to Because Faery Godmonster, my first m/m romance. That one was a zany romantic comedy. This new one has some humor, but it’s more serious. It’s set in the dystopian world of my het fantasy romance, The Inquisitor’s Gift. (Cinder actually has a supporting role in it because I love him and can’t resist writing him into everything. His world clashes with that of The Astrasphere Spiral, otherwise he and Lycian would be buddies. Lycian could really use a friend like Cinder. sigh)
I’ll probably write the sequel to Because Faery Godmonster after I finish the next Astralasphere book. So, that romcom sequel will probably be out sometime around the first of next year, but I’ll try for sooner. I think the Velvet and Chainmail series is going to be really fun to write. The sequel is currently in a rough outline form.
I don’t know that the genres of my books make much sense from a marketing point of view–I have coming of age tales mixed with erotic romances, but they all have a fantasy element. They make sense in my head.
While working on the latest installment in The Astralasphere Spiral, I realized that the prologue had gotten a bit out of hand. I wonder if this happens to other writers. It happens frequently to me. This particular little mushroom is a glance back in time at the events surrounding Lycian’s birth and gives us a glimpse of Benth as a young boy. (Benth plays a key role in the next book, so I wanted to show how their lives intertwined even before Lycian was born.
Since the prologue really ran away with itself, I’m publishing it as a short story on Amazon. It should be available within the next few days.
The Inquisitor’s Gift is free today! In a pre-industrial world, Petal is forced to become an Inquisitor, a member of an elite police force serving the Overfather. Her job is to interrogate prisoners, to break them. Her latest prisoner is a man she knows, the teacher she pined for as a student at the mages’ academy. She has allowed herself to believe she worked for justice and that the prisoners are all evil, now she must question her beliefs.
Fun fact: The spell system is based on chakras!
You can get your copy here!