Syndicate – Chapter One

(Blogging… Effort… Lack thereof… So, here’s chapter one of Syndicate, the previous, abandoned version of my current WIP. Strong language follows, so…)

 

Chapter One: The Catalyst

 

Erin woke up. That wasn’t the problem. She woke up abruptly, from a sound dreamless sleep of complete, glorious blackness, to completely wired. In bed with her, Khloe’s blinding yellow eyes flew open, staring into Erin’s grey. But, the couple shared the same expression of tired annoyance, with their eyes half closed and their brows pulled down.

“Do you want to kill him, or shall I?” Khloe asked. The little clock on their bedside table read five-thirty-two. Khloe groaned, sounding like a wounded animal, and hid herself further underneath the warmth of their duvet, nuzzling up in Erin’s chest. Any other time and Erin might have called the way a half smile played across Khloe’s small round face cute. But her friend next door was her prime focus right now. Anthony was the prime target.

Ladies.

The thought wasn’t her own, nor did it sound like a thought. It was Anthony’s voice, clear and crisp in her head.

Are you actually looking to die? Erin thought. The number of times she had told him to stay the hell out of her head must have been bordering on the hundreds now. Even with the consequences of slashing him across the face, he still hadn’t learned. She shut her eyes tight, wishing she could just jam a knife through Anthony’s head and be done with him. That would surely stop that damned telepathy of his.

Leach called, Anthony sent to her head. He wants us to do another errand for him.

Erin’s eyes flew open as she stared past Khloe at their room door. It was five-thirty in the morning. Five-thirty in the morning and both Erin and Khloe had gone to bed only a few hours earlier. And  now Anthony woke them up because that useless swine had an errand for them?

“I’ll kill him,” Erin mumbled, rolling out of bed. She opened the drawer of her bedside table, pulling out a short, but effective combat knife, and walked through the solid wall of her bedroom, as if it were nothing but air, into Anthony’s room. He was already dressed and was on his laptop, doing one thing or another. He looked up at her and scrambled off of his bed, his laptop falling from his lap and snapping shut, upside-down.

“Erin, wait. This is—” He looked down her body, and then averted his gaze.

She looked down, finding herself in only her underwear. Well, if this was the worst the telepath had seen her as she would have been grateful. But right now, she couldn’t give a damn about how he saw her. As she approached him, she let out a quiet yawn and wiped the tears it made in her eyes. He did well staying right where he was. Resistance never faired well for the man. She cornered his stuttering, jittery self and stabbed him in the knee. Nothing fatal. Nothing Jessie wouldn’t be able to heal. But painful enough for him to clench his teeth, groaning in pain, as if it made him any more of a man for not screaming. He still pathetically writhed around on the floor.

Erin shut her eyes with her head down, a reluctant smile playing across her face. If she could continue to stab the man and get away with it, she so would. Not only would she love the feeling, but she wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore. But nothing more needed saying. She walked back through the wall into her own room, crawling back under her duvet with Khloe and swiftly proceeded to holding her close.

“You didn’t kill him, did you?” Khloe asked.

“Not yet,” Erin mumbled, closing her eyes and begging sleep to take her again.

 

Anthony managed to limp his way to Jessie’s room, all the way on the other side of the headquarters, holding back the groans he wanted to make with each step. He had knocked on her door a couple of times, but on not getting an answer, and the sharp agony in his knee getting more and more painful by the second, he resorted to banging his fist against it. The door eventually opened, revealing a young woman rubbing her eyes with one hand and the other arm leaning against the doorframe. As she stood in the doorway, she didn’t look at her boss with pity or even mild concern. She took in his injury and her frown gave way for a short giddy chuckle. “If I wasn’t here, would you still piss off Erin as much as you do?”

He shook his head. “If you weren’t here she wouldn’t be able to do this all the time.”

She gestured him in. “On the floor.”

Anthony carefully lay himself on Jessie’s floor, gritting his teeth, and pulled the leg of his trousers to past his knee. He winced at the open wound and the trails of blood all down his leg, and immediately turned away, closing his eyes before his stomach could respond to the sight.

Jessie just chuckled quietly at him. “Nice.” She placed her hands over the wound. Initially, it stung sharp and harsh. Anthony took a sharp intake of breath, but shut his eyes tighter. Jessie wasn’t the best healer out there, but she got the job done . . . eventually. After a good half minute of silence, the pain slowly subsided, and when he opened his eyes, the wound slowly but surely began to close and heal.

“What’d you do this time?” Jessie asked.

Anthony took Jessie in as she stared at her hands over his knee. Her hair, usually in a punk rock do from the eighties, was a shoulder-length mess that could only have been achieved right after getting up, natural black on one side and natural white on the other. With her pure white irises, outlined black with the black pupils, if she was in her everyday attire and not her pyjamas, she would look like a walking fad.

“Is there something on my face?” she said, briefly glimpsing up at him before resuming staring at her hands.

“I’m sorry?”

“The staring. Please stop it.”

 “Oh. Sorry.” He glanced around the room, and bit back the urge to ask her how she could live in this twister of clothes all over the place. “I didn’t do anything to Erin,” he said, absentmindedly, as he wondered how someone could let such small room get so messy. Weren’t girls supposed to be neat?

She chuckled a little, again, as the pain had all but disappeared from his knee. “Erin might have a short temper but she doesn’t stab people for no reason.”

Anthony allowed himself a small grin. “Then you don’t know her as well as you think you do.”

“Don’t piss her off. Don’t get hurt.” She stood up straight, hands on her hips and nodded at her handiwork. “There.”

Anthony stood and swung his leg back and forth from the joint of his knee, testing out her handiwork. He smiled faintly at the young healer. “Thank you.”

“No probs.” She smiled back, brushing her fingers lightly on his shoulder on her way back to her bed. “Now get out,” she said, crawling back in and covering herself from head to toe.

“I’m sorry?”

“I don’t know about you, but normal people don’t wake up before six a.m. Get out, please.”

He left it at that, and left her room.

Returning to his own room, he changed into his uniform, tight and uncomfortable as the black and green leather jumpsuit was. Leach had called, saying that a new clan had made a headquarters on his clan’s territory. And even though territory was a dead and buried concept, he had no immediate plans of getting on Leach’s bad side. He had asked Syphon, Anthony’s clan, to take care of it. If he had asked Khloe or Erin, he could have guessed that they wouldn’t have bothered. No doubt it would greatly annoy Erin. But this was Leach, and though the vast numbers of his clan in general may not have been as up to scratch as the few members of Syphon, Anthony just could not see the point in pointlessly arguing with someone like him.

As he left his room, and started down the corridor, he sighed and stopped halfway down it. “Can I help you, Erin? I thought you wanted to sleep.”

Running his hands through his head of blonde curls, he turned to face his co-leader as she stood in her robe with her arms crossed. A few seconds rummaging around in her head was all it took to validate the obvious.

“You pathetic piece of shit,” she said to him with a shake of her head, and began stalking towards him.

“Erin—”

“You pathetic piece of shit,” she said once more, enunciating it far more than before. “What has he got you doing this time?”

“Erin—”

“Why should we even bother calling you a Syphon leader? You do so much for Nexus you might as well fuck off and join them.”

“And a very good morning to you, too,” he said, as she stood right in his face. Well . . . up to his shoulders. From high school till now she had always been a malicious, little, black-haired devil. It didn’t bother him then, but now . . .

“Tell me, because I really want to know; how does it feel being Leach’s bitch?”

Anthony showed nothing on his features and turned his back to her. He wasn’t going to start an argument. There was no point. But as he made to leave her there, she took a hold of his arm, spun him around and pushed him against the door of an empty room with a mild pain shooting up his back.

She leaned in close, a glare sharp on her lightly freckled, yet seemingly poreless face, and as embarrassing as it was to admit, even if he tried he wouldn’t be able to get her off him.

“I’m going to spell this out slowly and clearly of you, Anty, dearie.”

“Erin—”

“You sure like saying my name, don’t you?” Try as he might not to, a small blush found it’s way onto his cheeks, but she thankfully ignored it. “We are one of the top clans in the whole of England. Number one in this fucking city.” London’s not exactly known for their top notch villains, though, Erin, Anthony read in her thoughts, though she kept that in her head. “We don’t need you pissing our reputation away by being Leach’s whipping boy. Okay?”

“We’re allies. Am I meant to just ignore his requests?” As his voice broke at the end, of course, she grinned, short-lived as it was. He refused to let her get to him.

“No. You’re right.” She let him go, but he stayed tensed. “You are right. Go. Wipe Leach’s fucking arse. Go suck him off. And while you’re at it, you might as well find your own damn balls.”

He knew it was sarcasm, but he still made to leave. He didn’t even take one step before Erin held him by the shoulders again and pushed him against the wall.

“Are you seriously that stupid?”

“Erin—”

“What?” she snapped back. Harsh and vicious.

“You’re being unreasonable.” She didn’t respond, but her brows pulled down more. “Besides, you can’t . . .” He swallowed and averted his gaze. She narrowed her eyes, and Anthony could feel his heart beating faster. “You can’t tell me what to do.” He mentally kicked himself. He sounded like a child. More childish than Taylor, even. And that was quite the feat.

A sound of slight mirth escaped from her, and she let him go. She lightly slapped him twice. Just a light tap. She might as well have said, ‘Aw, bless.’ It would have been just as condescending.

“You are quite the joker.”

“Erin—”

“Again with my name! Stop it! It’s freakin’ creepy!” She stepped back from him and made her way back to her own room. “You do anything stupid,” she called back as she punched in the code for her door, “and I’ll make you regret it.”

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said, as he made his way back down the corridor. No doubt it wouldn’t be anything Jessie couldn’t heal.

 

Walking the streets early in the morning in his uniform was never an issue. It was certainly smarter the driving in a metal death trap that any random freak could destroy, if they had the right ability. Though, if someone was planning an attack on him, Anthony would see it coming a mile away. It would take a special kind of fool to think that they could get the jump on a telepath. It would take an even bigger fool to walk the streets of a villain-run city. Even if the streets were filled, which at the moment, they weren’t, he wouldn’t be that worried.

The address Leach had given him for the intruding clan was quite a few blocks away from Syphon headquarters. Anthony had known a new clan were converting an old school into a headquarters. It just hadn’t interested him enough to look further into it. All he knew was that they were a fairly new clan called Vitality that had somehow managed to slip under everyone’s radars for so long. He turned on to the road, and it was easy to see that the building right at the end of the dead-end road was the headquarters for Vitality.

It was maybe a three-hundred yard road, and he already knew he had been spotted. A bird perched atop a hanging stone gargoyle on the front of the building had spotted him. Except Anthony was in its head, and it wasn’t a bird. It had been a long time since he had come across a shapeshifter.

As he approached the headquarters, he still couldn’t see the bird clearly, but getting into the mind of the shapeshifter, he knew it some sort of large owl. A smart choice of bird for a lookout. Nevertheless, as much as he could appreciate that tiny act of competence, taking them out was the first thing on his agenda. Getting scolded by Erin was the second. Still in the head of the bird, he listened as the bird-man thought about changing into an eagle, and watched as the far away shape changed and vaguely grew in size. It cried out loudly. An alarm, no doubt.

Anthony pulled out his revolvers, but didn’t quicken his pace. If he was going to get torn to pieces by Erin when he got back, he might as well have fun with this now. Maybe one-hundred feet away now, and in unbelievably quick time from the bird’s alarm, two other members of the clan ran out, and in their own uniform. He had to give them credit. For a new clan, they seemed to be on top of things. Their headquarters wasn’t too shabby, either. But as he neared the clan and the most recent arrivals, he stopped dead in his tracks.

The new arrivals did the same as they took in the sight of Anthony. Neither party could believe it to be true. He willed his legs to move forward. The two new arrivals couldn’t be who he thought they were. Still, as he neared them, there was no mistaking it.

He holstered his guns again and approached Damon and Jon LeRoux.

“Uh . . .” was all that came out of Anthony’s mouth. Damon with his headband, holding back that long blue hair of his, and his turquoise eyes to match. This was Damon LeRoux. “Um . . .” This was new. Anthony rarely came up speechless. But if this was who Leach wanted gone from his territory, then Anthony couldn’t have made a better choice in coming.

Jon looked Anthony up and down. And just like him, even after all the years since high school, he was just as expressionless as ever. “Anthony Raine.” Jon gave him another once over. “In Syphon attire. I never would have guessed.”

He wanted to respond to that, but Damon was the one who took his attention. Damon was the one who had some serious explaining to do. Damon was the one, as much as he knew Erin would hate to admit it, they couldn’t harm. “Damon,” Anthony said as Damon averted his gaze. He knew what Anthony was thinking. How could he not?

“I know,” Damon said when Anthony didn’t look away from him. Both him and Jon sounded so different from all those years ago. Naturally they would, but it was still a strange sound to him. “I know.”

Anthony opened his mouth, and waited for his mind to catch up with something to say. “If you weren’t Taylor’s father . . .” Damon noticeably winced as Anthony said his daughter’s name. If he wasn’t Taylor’s father, if his old friend, Jon, wasn’t in this clan too, Anthony would just let Leach take out this clan and be done with it. But that was not the case. He looked between the two men and sighed through his nose. “If you’d be so kind to invite me in, I think we need to catch up.” It wasn’t said with the friendly tone of meeting a close friend from high school. He couldn’t keep his gaze off of Damon. He couldn’t even imagine how pissed off Erin would get at the mere sight of him.

“Come then,” Jon said, and turned back, walking back towards his headquarters.

Both Anthony and Damon stayed behind. “Could you . . . stop staring . . . please?”

“Could you give Taylor a childhood where she has a father?” Damon looked to the floor, and Anthony started to follow Jon. “No? Then I suggest against requesting anything of me.”

As Anthony passed the gate, he could read all the scenarios Damon was playing over in his head about how things would go should he see Erin again. None resulted in him being beaten to a bloody pulp.

“Optimistic jackass,” Anthony mumbled, entering Vitality headquarters.

Syndicate – Prologue

Taylor Ashley sank her knife into just another nobody villain. No matter how many times she did it, she loved the feeling. Nothing compared to it. Carbon steel in squidgy flesh. Watching the life drain from his face, Taylor could no longer suppress the chuckle building up in her own chest. As she pulled the knife out and let him fall to the floor with a thud, she felt tingles all over her body. Oh, how she loved killing!

A final bang from a revolver echoed loud and proud in the now almost lifeless hall. Taylor turned in time to face her friend as she holstered her revolver and watched her own victim fall.

“Well,” Melissa said, “time for bed, I think.” Melissa walked over and linked her arms into Taylor’s, ignoring the frowning it spurred in her and glancing around the hall at all the dead bodies lying over pews, lying on the floor, lying on top of other dead bodies. This wasn’t a battle. It was a slaughter. “This wasn’t nearly as much fun as I imagined it would be.”

“You expected some random clan, fucked up enough to think attacking one of our members was a good idea, to be a challenge?” Taylor shook her head at her naive companion. But still. Melissa was right. Looking outside the windows, it was starting to get light outside and her eyes were starting to get heavy.

In an instant their bland surroundings, the comfort of being around her lifeless victims, all disappeared as she teleported the two of them onto their corridor in their own clan headquarters. If it wasn’t for the unnecessary number of unnecessary sconces illuminating all the way down the corridor, Taylor imagined it would be pretty difficult for Melissa to see. Not that seeing in the dark would ever be a problem for Taylor. It was just a little taste of her mother’s ability. Inherited.

To say that their headquarters was oversized for the number of members they had would be an understatement. On this corridor the only rooms that were occupied were Melissa’s and Taylor’s, opposite from one another.

As they reached the middle of the corridor, and their rooms, Melissa unlinked their arms and kissed her on her cheek. “Goodnight.” She turned and began inputting the four-figure code for her door, while Taylor frowned and vigorously rubbed at her cheek.

“It’s things like that that makes Jess and Kerri think we’re a thing.”

Melissa’s door opened, the green metal sliding upwards, and she leaned in the doorway, smiling back at her best friend. “It’s reactions like that that will make me continue.” She turned on her heel, and walked inside as the door slid back down and closed. “Goodnight, sweetie,” she called through the door.

“Goodnight, cutie,” Taylor called back. As Melissa’s giggle travelled through the door, Taylor’s smile stayed with her as she teleported into her own room. She couldn’t even remember the last time she went to bed at night instead of the morning. Nevertheless, she changed out of her uniform into sweatpants and surrounded herself in the comfort of her mattress and duvet. She slept like a baby, with wonderful dreams of taking on entire clans on her own, and cutting vigilantes to pieces.

Things Are Going Well…

…is something I would one day love to say on this blog.

Let’s update, shall we? First thing’s first: no, I am not even thinking about attempting Camp NaNoWriMo. One, I don’t have nearly enough free time for it, and two, as much as I would love to do it, I see little point in doing it when I know the end result will be something I will not be able to salvage due to a lack of planning. Perhaps I’ll do it in July if I finish this plan by then. I can’t imagine it will take me three more months to finish, but hey, we’re dealing with me here.

Speaking of which (Nice segue, me!) my planning is kind of going well… That is to say, it’s going well by my standards… That is to say, I’m nearly at the point where I begin outlining. Gather round ladies and gents! It’s time for another post in which I ramble on about the annoyance that is planning! You’d think that since I’ve been planning this thing since the dawn of time, I’d have at least started outlining it. Yeah, well, there’s a reason I’ve changed the tagline of this blog from ramblings, dronings and all that stuff of a teenage writer to ramblings and such of an unproductive writer. You know… other than me not being a teenager anymore.

At this point, I know I’m over planning. Anyone who sees my notebook could easily see that. But in my opinion, it’s better to overdo something than under-do it… for the most part. In my eyes, that can only really be a good thing. I mean, I’m at the point where I’m writing the personalities and backstories of the important and semi-important characters who actually have some decent backstory behind them, and for one of them I already know I want to write up their backstory as a prequel of sorts. I already have the damn characters for it in my head!  Now, I know I’m treading dangerous ground here. Hell, I’m already thinking of the next series and prequels while my current WIP is yet to even reach it’s first draft; of course I know I can’t plan forever, but even with my insane unproductivity, I just cannot imagine it will take me much longer to finish.

What else? Um… Ah, I’ve started reading my second book of the year, despite my goal on Goodreads set 60, but who cares about realistic goals? Once I do get in the rhythm of reading though, I can breeze through them fairly quickly. Anything else? Hmm… Oh, since I do actually like posting my stories online, despite me having nothing to really show at the moment I’m probably going to post the prologue of Syndicate up here, that previous manifestation of my current work in progress, so… expect to be bitterly disappointed with it. (:

Till next time…

Well, I’ll be back in a few minutes, so… Yeah…

Opening A Novel

I… I don’t think I really need to say that this isn’t about how to physically open a book with your hands… But to anyone who is looking for advice on how to do so, I’m sorry to disappoint. So, I was reading through a few openings of stories on the internet and I just had to make this post. You can thank the large amount of poor openings out there for the existence of what is sure to be yet another post of killer advice.

Chapter one. How the hell do you start it? This is essentially what this is going to be about. I’m sure I’m going to mention some points that came up in my prologue post, and I’m sure I’m going to mention points that some of you will think is just plain common sense, but that doesn’t stop them from occurring, so with nothing further to add, let’s just get right down to it.

Firstly, let’s get exposition out of the way. Both as a point and a feature of story openings. I would hope that we all know that it’s a poor idea to introduce your reader to your story by drowning them in a large wall of text about the world that they would not yet have any reason to care about. It’s such a basic point that I don’t think I even need to say more on it.

Going straight in with the action. The other end of the extreme. Sure, on paper… well, theoretically it sounds great starting a story with a high-octane car chase or an all out fight between two opposing parties, but it shares the same problem as just drowning the reader in exposition. Who are these people and why should I care about them? If you could apply a decent amount of context then it could become a pretty good way to open a story. Between this and exposition, if you were to pick one side I would say action is clearly the way to go, but of course a good balance between them is clearly better.

“Hi, my name’s John Smith and if you were to learn one thing from me, it’s to never subject your story to the grossness that is this opening.” Good god… This might just be a personal issue of mine, but in a first person story where the protagonist introduces themselves in the first line in any way such as my perfect example, it is a sure fire way to get me to put that book down and save my money. Find any other way to introduce your character and their name. Anything other than something so cheap as this.

Which brings me onto my next point. Now… keeping information from the reader is great and all, but there are some things that a reader does kind of need to know. There reaches a point when being mysterious becomes being ridiculous. There’s only so long you can go on referring to your POV character as “The man”, or “The woman”. For the love of God we need names! This is one thing that you should give to your reader as soon as possible without it coming across as… well… stupid, like the example in the previous point. It may not seem important but it can be frustrating reading about a character when you don’t even know their name.

Mundane conversations or actions. It goes without saying that your opening shouldn’t bore your reader, so why would they want to read about boring situations, like waking up or having breakfast? You don’t have to start the story at the start of the day when next to nothing of interest happens.

Finally–and while this isn’t exclusive to openings it’s still one that I read in far too many of them–the main character looking at themselves in the mirror and describing themselves in unnecessary, creepy, narcissistic detail. I mean really… Have you ever looked in a mirror and commented on every single feature you could see? Am I the only one who doesn’t do this? I would imagine not, so I would imagine a lot more people also find this way of describing characters (to use what is fast becoming my favourite word on this blog) ridiculous.

Thus ends another post for another week. Another week in which it is becoming increasingly difficult to come up with weekly content. So, I may be back next week, and if I am you can be sure that it is legitimately going to be awful.

Until next week… (Don’t look forward to it)

Laurence out.

My Take On Planning

Greetings everyone! It’s been just over a week and I’m back for another one. That’s some real diligence right there. I don’t expect this to be of any real quality or use to anyone, but at least I’m not being absent for months on end.

Anywhos, you could all probably guess what this one’s going to be about. The wonderful, most bestest and funnest part of novel writing, the planning stage. But maybe I’m being a little unfair. It’s not that it isn’t fun… per se, but holy poop can planning a novel be highly frustrating! Especially if while you are planning, your mind is doing a wonderful job of trying to just keep forcing you to put more and more ideas into the story, already running rampant with ridiculousness. Well, this is going to be about what I do when planning and outlining. I repeat: this is going to be about what I do when I’m planning and outlining. I am in no way endorsing this as a guide for everyone else, because it’s probably… No. It’s definitely horrible, and I only know how to plan for myself. I guess I’ll just get right to it then. So first on the agenda:

The basic plot.

A stupid point. A stupid, stupid point. I mean, what writer goes into a story without at least a basic plot? Even a vague idea for a plot? Nevertheless, it’s still a point. A stupid point. But a valid point. And the starting point when writing or planning a novel.

The characters.

I won’t go into detail because this could probably make up an entire blog post on its own, but every story needs a cast… (I don’t know why I like point out the blindingly obvious today…) This is one of the first things that I actually start to write down in the early planning stage, but initially, most of what it would be is just the names.

The setting

I’m not going to say something stupid again, like every story needs a setting. But every story does need a place in which the events of your story unfold. Now, how you go about planning this varies from genre to genre. For example, unless you’re writing any form of speculative fiction, world building is kind of a non-issue. You would just have to do a little research on wherever your story is set and try to get things accurate.

If your story is speculative fiction, then chances are your setting isn’t going to be as easily researched… as it wouldn’t exist. At least, not as we know it. So, how you would go about creating your world or city or town would be entirely up to you, and depend on whether you’re changing an existing place or creating one of your own. What I did with my current work in progress was first decide whether I wanted to create my own city or use an existing one. Since I made my own, I then wrote down the main towns in the story and all that important stuff in them. And then, so I could visualise it better, I drew some outrageously amazing  maps that serves no other purpose than to make me wonder why I’m not a professional artist… Just…. Just don’t look at my last blog post.

The characters…

What? I already said the characters? Of course I didn’t. That would just be crazy.

After writing the setting I’d then have a better sense for the plot and thus, a better idea of my characters. While at first I’d have just listed down the names, now I’d include much more unnecessary detail. After all, I need characters to bring the plot to life to life, and I’ll start, of course, with the main characters; you know, the protagonist(s), antagonist(s), the close family and friends of those characters, the regular friends… the distant family… uh… and the random characters that don’t even get a passing mention… Look. Don’t judge me.

Relationships.

More specifically, romantic relationships. Now, I have a lot of characters, and by “a lot”, I of course mean “a crap ton”. So, I keep a record of whose involved with who, who used to be involved with who before the start of the novel, who breaks up and gets together within the series, and I split that up into either one of the characters dying and the characters just simply breaking up; I have the married characters, of course, and finally the pairs that go under the “weird, crazy drama” category. Some of this just serves backstory purposes that probably won’t get mentioned, and only a few of the couples are actually sub plots, but hey… When I plan, I freakin’ plan everything there is to plan… Don’t follow my example.

The characters… Again.

Don’t judge me… It may not be efficient, but… Alright, fine. It’s stupid.

Now, I would do the character profiles again, instead this time, only with the actually important characters, and with less fields to fill in. Because I want my first character section to be quick to flick through, I don’t include things that would take up multiple pages, like personality, or backstory, so this is where that would come in, and only for the main… and pretty important characters.

So, let’s step back and go over what we’ve learned. First, I come up with the basic plot, then list down the names of the characters I think I will need. I then go on to creating the setting, including what “important stuff” would be in my created worlds… many of which don’t get mentioned. Next is the characters again, this time in more detail… a lot of which doesn’t get mentioned. The relationships between the couples and ex-partners and whatnot, and then we’re back to the characters once more… this time to sort out personalities and backstory.

And all before I’ve even begun to write the outline…

Next! The outline.

This is what I would really need when writing. How people write without them is beyond me. I’d reach a wall, give up and start again if I didn’t have an outline. And I’d keep doing that until the point where I would consider writing to be the absolute worst way to waste my time. Henceforth, outlines exist to prevent me from hating writing with a burning passion. I’m the kind of person who outlines more or less everything… or at least as much as I can without actually ending up writing the story. Because no matter how vague I’d try to keep the outline, I’d always end up including more detail as I go along. So now I just outline by the chapter.

And that’s it. That’s how I plan my stories. Now I’d be ready to finally start the first draft of what would quite possibly be a future best seller if by some stroke of luck every other author vanished off the face of the Earth. Now it would be time to get into the real pain in the butt and write that novel.

Well… I guess I should stop procrastinating and actually finish my plan, huh?

Until my next pointless blog post.

Laurence out,

Let’s Be Honest, Here…

This blog is kind of turning into a joke. I think it’s coming up to four months since my last post. I think that might be a new record for me. I’ve already let a third of a year pass, but I flat out refuse to let half a year go by without posting here, so…

Hello! Hello! I’m back again and ready to update all you lovely people on my writing endeavours. But before we get to how much of an obvious failure that was, let me just say that despite being a retake student, being in my last year of college… again, and being in the last few months before exam season, I still think I’m going to be far more active on this blog… But then that really wouldn’t take much, anyway. How would a post a week sound? How about something other than my constant whining about how awful my writing is coming along? How about some actual structure in what I post? How about some consistency? I mean, come on! Where’s the professionalism? Well… Me and professionalism are two things that just don’t seem to go hand in hand. But as laughable and unlikely as it does sound, I do intend to make this blog something other than… whatever the hell it is now. So…

Onto the writing. Onto the one thing that I am consistent about. Because, if you asked me how the writing was coming along in the past four months, I would just look at you blank-faced and try not to break out in laughter. If you asked me if I have at least finished planning my series, I would just look at you blank-faced and try not to break out in laughter. I imagine all of you are smart enough to infer what I’m getting at, but in case not, I’ll just come out and say it; in these past four months, in terms of writing, I have done next to nothing. What I have done is get a notebook and write down the profiles of sixty-six of my characters (Yes. Sixty-six… and I still feel as if I need more characters to fulfil certain purposes, even though I already know I have far too many of them. To be fair, not all of them are as active…). I have very brief and extremely poorly drawn “maps” of the city and towns, and what’s in the main towns, as shown through this poorly drawn mess of the main town, Nox: Image

I am more than aware of the poor quality of this “map”. Who needs roads, right?

I’ve got who’s in what clan and what clans are allies with each other and what they call themselves. To put it bluntly, all I’ve been doing these past few months is putting off actually writing the damn thing. There’s nothing more I can really say to this except I’m probably going to start writing soon… Probably. Very probably. (What the hell does that even mean?) So…

This is just me saying that things are probably going to change around here. This is me saying that what I’m saying in this blog post is not going to be completely ignored and forgotten about because I can’t be bothered to implement them. This is me saying I want this blog to at least be somewhat decent. I mean… four months, guys. Four months. What the hell is that? And so…

I’ll be back soon with something of actual quality for you all. You know, because everything else about this blog screams high quality content, right? Exactly right.

This is me signing off.

I’ll be back soon. (You can count on that.)

Laurence out.

NaNoWriMo. Take 3.

Yes, yes. It’s that time of the year again, when writers from all around the world block out the outside world, glue themselves to their computer screens and attempt to write a 50000 word novel in a month. I know you’re all just absolutely dying to know what my plans for NaNoWriMo 2013 are, but just bear with me. We’ll have plenty of time to drone on about my failures later.

First thing’s first; how goes the writing? Welp, thanks to a little unknown game by the name of Pokemon X, all the time I had intended to outline my novel for NaNoWriMo mysteriously disappeared. Funny how that happens when you spend over 100 hours glued to your 3DS. So, what’s going on with my novel, that, at this point, seems as if it’s never going to get written? Welp, let’s just say that right now, I am not writing a single word into it until I’ve got a full outline done. I’m not even going to talk about that novel right now. Of all the times I’ve started it again, you guys already know what the deal with it is.  So . . . what does that mean for NaNo 2013? Does that mean I’m not doing it this year? I mean, it only makes sense not to. I’ve got a bunch of work to do, it’s already 4 days in, and I don’t really have a solid plan for anything else. Only a crazy lunatic would think doing NaNoWriMo in such a state would be a good idea.

Yeah . . .

It’s my third year doing NaNoWriMo, and I am no stranger to going in blind with not even the tiniest plan to speak of. So, here are my options; I could either use my English coursework task as an excuse to write a full crime novel, with little to no research and planning; I could write a story which I have a fairly developed concept for, but have got almost nothing in a written down plan, and absolutely squat in the way of a developed plot; or I could write a story in which there really isn’t actually a linear plot and I could improvise pretty much the entirety of it without it looking like absolute ass . . . Funny, seeing as how the characters for the latter were originally going to be in my first NaNo, before I realised how awful I was at writing romance at the time.

So . . . I guess it’s decided then. My A cast is going to take a rest this month, and make way for my B cast as I attempt to write a romance novel . . . A genre in which I have a . . . uh, let’s say a “history” in. Oh, yay . . . I already hate where this is going. There’s only one person I don’t want knowing that I’m writing a romance again, and I couldn’t be happier that he doesn’t follow this blog.

So! I’m gonna go and probably not start the novel. I’m probably going to do nothing constructive for the next few hours and then go to sleep, and probably put off writing tomorrow, too. Productivity!

Till I’ve actually finished my outline and stop torturing myself with this WIP,

Laurence out.