Saturday, August 12, 2017

Illustration & Story Snippet: A Heated Debate

A shorter scene but still a good one. This comes from Book Three: An Angel Falls

I heard two bickering voices. I knew both Voices all too well and they were bickering about me.

Great. Just flipping fantastic. I thought to myself as I walked toward the newly painted lounge. I threw open the door and there they were. I'd been looking all over for them and they were here in the lounge arguing about something they could not control.

"Guys," I calmly tried to get their attention. Neither one acknowledged me.

"You can't even keep an eye on her for ten days?!" Beryx voiced and I crossed my arms over my chest.

"She was going with her sister and the girls. I didn't know where they were going and I had Erica watching her," Michael offered. I slowly counted to ten in my head, trying not to blow up at them and add to the volume.

"Michael, I asked you to watch her for a reason. No one else knows her like you do," Beryx clarified, calming down.

"I can't be with her all the time. I have other duties," Michael shot back, his aura coloring with bright red rage. That was my cue. I augmented my speed and burst between them ready for a fight.

"Stop this! The both of you," I shouted and they stared down at me for a moment. I turned to Beryx, "I don't need to be watched. I can take care of myself." I turned my glare to Michael, "Why are you even arguing this? You know better than anyone that I can take care of myself." They looked from me to each other and I counted to ten again, waiting for some cutting response.

"Kalista, your track record as of late says otherwise," Beryx spoke first and I whirled my head to him. Anger burned my chest and my incisors elongated. My Angelic form had decided enough was enough.

"He's right," Michael added and my fingernails lengthened into near talons. I balled my hands into fists and growled.

"THAT IS ENOUGH!" I shouted and the building shook. I loosened my fingers and felt blood on my fingernails.

Just great, now I can add "self-harm" to my list of issues. I internally growled as I walked toward the first-aid kit on the wall. They watched me go but neither one said a word. The door creaked open and I turned to see Director Angelic's blonde head of hair in the door.

"Miss Angelic, my office. Now," he instructed as I grabbed a roll of gauze and the medical tape. I shut the door on the kit and walked out. Not bothering to say another word to the boys.

(Editing Update: I'm currently on page 82, which is almost halfway through book One, yay!)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

What Writers Do: Hardcore Edit

Lock the doors, clear your schedule, and be ready to scrutinize your manuscript with the eye of an editor. The Hardcore edit is the most brutal of all edits. It takes days if not weeks and requires you to check over your first draft with a white glove and a fine tooth comb.

The Hardcore edit happens after you've finished the first draft of your manuscript and have left it alone for 1-6 months. You brush it off, print it out and grab a red pen. Yes, a red pen. I also suggest using a 1' margin on all sides and a 1.5 line spacing so that there is room to jot down any changes that need to be made.

"But Jenny, my manuscript is perfect," you say and I roll my eyes. No, nothing is perfect the first time around. If you try to publish your first draft, be prepared for MAJOR and PAINFUL rejections (though you should probably be prepared for those anyhow).

"But Jenny, I have spell and grammar check. Why would I need to edit it?" Because it misses things, not to mention you are putting your writing style and your story at risk. Not doing a hardcore edit can severely damage the chances of your book being published.

The hardcore edit is a must, especially for those that have been strictly relying on programs like MS Office or Grammarly to help with their book. In my personal experience, those programs don't catch everything and they can even hurt your writing style, along with the missed words or wrong words that are skipped over.

Trust me, printing it out and reading through it is eye-opening. I have done this with one other F.D. and I love the way it turned out. Printing it out and having it in my hands also gave me a small burst of happiness too, because it was no longer just on the computer. Somehow, printing it makes it more "real."

During the hardcore edit, nothing is exempt from getting scrapped. Full sentences are deleted, changed and/or rewritten, or added (if not full scenes). Something isn't cohesive? Scrap it! One character would NEVER say that? Rewrite it! Oh, wait that wasn't the word that was supposed to go there!?! (thank you auto-wreck). Fix it! Wait, this scene doesn't contribute to the plot or character growth in any way. Scrap it! NOTHING IS EXEMPT.

Having said that. I'm 54 pages into editing the manuscript for book one and not one page is clean of red marks. I have 122 pages left in book one plus 302 pages in book II. This will be my main focus over the next few weeks. I will be taking my manuscript with me wherever I go (If I go anywhere) and editing when I have a free minute.

Due to this, everything else (besides one big life event I'm working on), is going to be put on hold... And blogs may be later than usual. (Looks at calendar) Yeah, this one is the latest I think I've ever posted one. So, Please be patient with me as I have now covered a quarter of my printed work in red ink and have three more quarters to go... Yay!(unenthusistic).

Go Be Awesome! (looks at time) Or Go to Bed!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Illustration and Story Snippet: An Angel Falls

Announcement: I finished the first draft of A Broken Redeemer this week!!! I'm so excited. This next week I'm going to print it and A Born Angel so that I can hardcore edit them but, in the meantime, I'm working on the outline of Book III: An Angel Falls. So, this scene comes from it. Enjoy!

- The Dream Sequence -

I stood in the middle of a rickety pier and looked back at the buildings engulfed in purple flames. I didn't remember what made me burn them but I knew I had done it. I'd started that fire. No natural fire burned that hue of purple. It was my fire, the fire that matched the glow of my telekinetic power. What happened?

"Kalista, it's alright," A chilling voice called from behind me. I whirled around, heartbeat racing, and the pier shifted. There was a man... No, a fallen angel standing at the end of the pier. His gray hair was the color of ash, his blue eyes glowed green around the edges, and his face looked so familiar. The hair on the back of my neck bristled and I manifested a spire of fire in my left hand. He took a step back with both hands up like metaphorical white flags.

"Kalista, I'm not here to hurt you," he stated coolly, through the panic I saw coloring his aura a bright orange. A metallic taste coated my mouth and I scrunched my nose at the smell of rotting flesh, which warned me that he'd lied. I snarled at the angel and sweat beaded on his upper lip. "We can talk about this."

"No, we can't. Get away from me or I swear that I'll..."

"You'll set me on fire? Come now, we both know that didn't work last time," He interrupted me taking another step back. One more step and he'd fall into the lake. My eyes drifted to what I thought was water but the thick red liquid danced in the flickering firelight. That wasn't water. My eyes shot back to his face and my fire shrunk down to an inch in my palm.

"What are you talking about?" I asked, paling at the thought of hurting someone with my fire, even someone evil.

"You don't remember." He let out a nervous laugh and a shiver ran down my arms. My fire grew, warming my suddenly cold limbs. "I wondered why you didn't attack me on sight..."

"Should I have?" I growled manifesting another spire of fire in my right hand and I took a step toward him. Wings sprouted from his back and he flew backward, over the lake. My spires grew until they were taller than me and I glared up at him.

"Kalista, calm down. Come with me and I'll tell you what you want to know," he sincerely offered, holding one hand out to me. I vaguely recalled him saying this to me before and it intrigued me. I didn't remember the woman and the angel who said they were my parents. Why do I remember this Angel? "Because I was the last person you spoke to before you passed out and the ritual took full effect," he answered the thought and I threw one of the spires at him. He dodged and disappeared as another voice called to me from the smoke in the distance.

"Miss Angelic, you need to wake up sweetie. I brought you breakfast," A sweet female voice spoke. I closed my eyes and when I opened them again she was there. The woman who claimed to be my mother. Her loose dark brown curls were swept behind her shoulders, showing off her elegant facial structure, and her sapphire eyes. If she really was my mother, why didn't I recognize her?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Illustration and Story Snippet: The Aftermath

**Warning** this is another one of those scenes that I cringe at and also one that makes me quote Bartok. "You're on your own, sir! This can only end in tears." (Anastasia 1997) With that, here you go.

There was a knock on the door and I had enough dignity left to shift into a pair of shorts that immediately soaked up the blood around my pelvis. I opened my mouth to speak but my sore vocal cords refused to vibrate. I managed to roll over and sit up, groaning at the pain it caused. I pulled my bruised and bloodied right knee up and the door creaked open.

I blinked to clear my hazy vision and found Aimee standing in the doorway wearing an expression somewhere between pity and apathy. She'd been subjected to this for most of her life because of that Monster. She shut the door and ambled over to me.

"You had to provoke him, didn't you?" She asked, crouching down in front of me assessing my injuries. she set her face to my chin and I cringed as she brushed a cut he'd made in my jaw with one long nail. "Maker's sake, there isn't a spot on you that he didn't touch, is there?"

I dropped my eyes to the stained concrete and tried to avoid the pools of red liquid in the placed that he'd pinned me down. She turned my head from one side to the gingerly touching my bruised and swollen right eye then rubbed her hands over the cuts on my left cheek.

"Let's see if you can stand and we can get you to your room," she offered, holding out her hands to me. I held both of my palm up, showing her the blood on them, and she nodded, "Got it. I'm gonna try to lift you up under one of your armpits. Is your left arm still broken?"
I shook my head and she stopped as her eyes caught sight of the mirrored wall behind me. She gasped and whirled around gagging.

It doesn't hurt as bad as you think, Aims. I'm still too numb for it to hurt too much. I telepathically offered as the wounds began to bleed again. She set her hand on my shoulder and we were suddenly in her bathroom at the house.

"I can't help you this time Kali. I-I'm sorry," she admitted before she ran out of the room gagging yet again. What did he do to my back? I painfully crawled over to the black marble corner tub and managed to lift myself up enough to half-fall half-roll into the tub.

I sucked in a gasp and laid against the cold marble. I could feel every single thing he'd done to me now. Moving was what caused the pain to set in and the drugs to wear off now that he wasn't using me. I shuddered and cried out in pain. I was right when I thought the healing was only so that he could inflict more pain. This was the worst pain I'd ever felt.