Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
My characters have a huge back story. Most of it is never revealed in the book. At one point it was revealed, but most of those scenes have been deleted. And it doesn't matter. My characters still react to things in context of their histories. The little reveals add depth to the novel, they add mystery and intrigue. Just like our relationships with our friends in real life. When we meet someone, they don't hand us a pamphlet with their back story (though heaven knows, sometimes it would be nice). We get to know them little by little. We discover their eccentricities and what makes them tick, and sometimes we never quite find out what it is about brown socks and rabbits that sends them into a tizzy every time, but we know it does.
Monday, August 16, 2010
You're not imagining it when you hear your newborn manuscript crying out to you. Crying is a form of communication between the manuscript and the author. Newborns usually cry when there's no hook, the characters are flat, the grammar is poor, or something just doesn't feel right. An author will quickly learn what the manuscript is trying to say. Now is not the time to become bored or put off by your manuscript; now is the time when it most needs you to pay attention to it.
Sleep is an essential routine for a newborn manuscript. Sometimes the best way for a manuscript to grow is to let it rest. It is normal for a manuscript to sleep 16 to 20 hours a day, sometimes even more. Authors should rest and take it easy while their newborn sleeps, though always keeping the manuscript in the forefront of their mind.
Cutting the Cord
You created this manuscript, but it is not you. You must be willing to give it the freedom it needs to breathe and to grow. Don't expect it to mirror everything you do or act as you would. The cord should be completely severed within one to three weeks after birth.
Caring for a newborn manuscript is one of life's biggest challenges. You will probably feel overwhelmed at the beginning--after all, there's so much to learn and so many changes! But don't worry; you'll soon know your manuscript's needs and how to meet them.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
A noise next to them brought Branca’s head up. Had she dozed off?
Footsteps. Instantly alert, she tensed. Was there someone on the stairs?
A light turned on next to her and Medoli, sending a sheet of gold under the hidden door. Branca pressed her eye over the hinge. The closet led to Queen Cinthia’s room. She could see the queen’s bed and dresser. Was the queen back? She stirred, ready to call out to her.
“Mirror, I seek the Princess Branca. Where is she?”
That was Evan’s voice! Branca froze. Medoli’s legs were intertwined around her ankles. The other girl was asleep.
Branca held her breath and peered into the room, heart pounding. He couldn’t possibly know about this hidden door.
A dragging sounded over the padded carpet, and Branca stared in horror as Evan came around the bed, eyes fixed on the door. His leg dragged behind him. He’d tied a rag around his arm, and it was stained crimson. Blood ran from a wound on his neck. His eyes snapped furiously, the knife out and high, already dripping.
He’s coming. Branca jerked her feet out from Medoli, shaking her awake. “Medoli! Wake up! We’ve got to run! Now!”
The door flung open, and Medoli fell backwards onto the floor. Evan lifted the knife and plunged it toward her heart.
“Stop!” Branca shouted. A strange sensation prickled her skin, like droplets of moisture from a cloud.
Evan’s hand halted, the blade inches from slitting Medoli’s chest.
Wow. How did I do that? Branca slipped out of the closet. “She’s not the one you want.”
He whipped his head up, eyes widening in recognition.
Medoli grabbed his hand and pushed it backwards, forcing him to plunge the knife into his thigh.
Evan screamed, his head swinging back to Medoli. He jerked the knife out of his leg and backhanded her across the face, cutting her cheek.
Medoli gasped. Evan shoved her against Cinthia’ bed and pushed himself to his feet. Branca straightened and glared at him, daring him to come to her. Spotting a small white ceramic pot on the dresser, she grabbed it and threw it at Evan’s face. He ducked, missing the blow. The pot collided with the Queen’s bedpost, shattering and spraying a strange gray ash.
He shook his head and waved his hands to clear it away, and then he halted in mid-motion. Even as Branca watched, his face and arms developed huge welts everywhere the ash touched. He began to shriek.
Medoli inched closer to the closet. Branca thrust her back inside. “Stay put,” Branca sobbed. She jammed the door back into place. It disappeared into the wall as if it weren’t even there.
“Branca!” Medoli cried, fingers scratching at the door. There was just a slit, right above the hinge, unnoticeable if one didn’t already know where to look. Medoli’s blue eye stared out at her. She slammed her body against the door, but it latched from the outside.
Medoli was safe. Branca turned to examine her escape route.
Evan stood between the bed and the bedroom door, moaning. His bloodshot, swollen eyes were open, and he watched her, bloody knife at the ready. He took a halting step towards her, the useless leg bleeding profusely from a thigh wound.
Branca tried not to panic. Her exit was behind him.