Tag Archives: The blushing death series

Residual Magic Snippet

I’m working! I promise but it’s taking me much longer than expected. To keep everyone motivated, here’s a snippet. It’s unedited so keep your comments to yourself. Unless you want to tell me how awesome it is. Then, by all means, comment away!

Taking a regret-filled step back, I glared at Wynne around Ev’s solid form. “Fine!” I snapped at her, genuinely angry that she’d disturbed my very magical moment with Ev. “I’ll put the amulet back in the drawer.”

                “You will do no such thing!” she pronounced vehemently. “This is the most excitement I’ve had in quite some time.”

                “After your body snatching request, I’m not taking the chance that you might sneak in and try to take over,” I said, honestly.

                “I wouldn’t!” she sounded almost appalled but I knew her better than that.

                “You would,” Ev snarled. Apparently, Ev knew her better than that too.

                “Ah, wolf,” Wynne cooed, “we were getting along so well.”

                “Were we?” he asked.

                As the conversation ping ponged back and forth, more noise echoed up from downstairs. It sounded like an army down there. Ev probably heard everything that was going on but I couldn’t and a wash of guilt made me nervous. I’d asked these people to leave their home and come talk to me and now I was making them wait. If I didn’t hurry this argument along, Ev and Wynne would be at it forever and then we’d miss our chance.

                “They’re waiting downstairs and it sounds like an army. We don’t have time for this,” I said, anxiety making my words clipped. Ev nodded his agreement, took my hand in his and guided me toward the door.

                “I cannot help you if I don’t know,” Wynne added absently and as I glanced over at her in the mirror, she was peering down at her nails as if she hadn’t a care in the world. Which, of course, she did. She must want to hear all of it very badly to play such and obvious ploy. Wynne was much more manipulative than this, I’d seen it first-hand.

                I glanced at Ev and met his disapproving glare and tight shoulders. I didn’t have to say anything or plead, all I did was shrug. Afterall, she was right. She might hear something that we’d miss in the retelling. It was better-nope, scratch that-more prudent to have her there. Nothing was better with Wynne in the mix. With a sigh of resignation, he nodded once and picked up the amulet. “Behave,” he growled at Wynne before shoving it into his pocket.  He held out his hand to me and waited until I clasped my hand in his and a bit of my stomach fluttered at the newness of the touch and the surety in it. Together we strode down the stairs .

Organizational Aids

Because I write series books, it’s very important that I can keep facts straight;descriptions (which I forget), magical items (which I make up, sooo, that can be hard to remember), and random shit I include that does’t seem important at the time and turns out to be pivotal. Continue reading Organizational Aids

Info Dumps and other things writers are told not to do…

I’m re-listening to Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s League SeriesI’m preparing for the release of Born of Vengeance which is dropping on February 7th. I’m super excited because I love these books. They’re dark, brutal, and apologetically graphic.

Listening to them back-to-back though, I’ve noticed something that I wouldn’t normally notice if I were reading them one per year. She does a lot of info dumps. For those of you asking; what the fuck is an info dump? I and Google will enlighten you.

in·fo dump
noun
 a very large amount of information supplied all at once, especially as background information in a narrative.
An info dump is the first thing they tell writers not to do. Any editor, critique partner, published writer, and agent will give you a giant lecture about how this is a HUGE faux pas.
You’ll get advise. Reveal it slowly. Work the information into the narrative in stages. Express information through dialogue. These are all ways of working backstory into your narrative.
Sherrilyn Kenyon has incredibly dense info dumps but in a sneaky almost genius way. There are quite a few…”I don’t understand” statements in her novels. What this means is a character is presented with a vague or cryptic piece of information and then responds…”I don’t understand”. What follows is the explanation of the whole history of this person/event explained in wide sweeping paragraphs. You don’t really notice until you’re listening to seven or eight books, one after the other, and you keep hearing the same device used again and again.
Another issue I’ve noticed in my binge listening stint is something Laurel K Hamilton fell into somewhere after the The Killing Dance in the Anita Blake novels.Maybe this is just a product of long series and you can’t avoid it. I don’t know but as the books go on; these feel less and less about the atrocities and fascist tendencies of the League (the over arching ruling body of the 9 worlds) and more about cultural norms of a particular species. I get it. You created this amazing race of people with cultural norms that, I’m gonna be honest, sometimes blow my mind. I wish I were that awesome to create something like that. Maybe one day I will be.
I get there has to be character development but there also has to be plot development. And in a series, this becomes particularly difficult. There has to be series plot development, always moving the over arching story forward. But there also has to be book plot development. I too find this difficult, to always be moving the larger story along as well as the smaller individual book plot ahead. I’m not complaining. I still love this universe she created and will follow it until the end. There is, however, an issue of getting lost in the trees.
I am a writer and a reader. I understand that no book is perfect. Mine sure aren’t. In the first few Blushing Death novels, I might use too many metaphors. This was pointed out to me by a goodreads.com review. Thank you to that person, by the way. I now go through and eliminate unnecessary metaphors and similes in my edits.
I guess the lesson we take from this is that the rules don’t really matter. You can break any and all of them, if you do it well.