Process of writing

Kennedy and Jason, in their first iterations, appeared in our D&D game in 2010. Kennedy Fairfield was Kennedy Lake, and she was a kindergarten teacher who had an affinity for guns. Jason Johnson was Giles Momoa, and he was a Mafia leader that the player characters had to interrogate. Kennedy rolled a natural 20 and did something fancy, getting his attention, and they flirted and eventually became romantically involved. The other players liked him too, and he kept coming back into the game. When that game ended, we played a superhero game, and Jen played Giles’s niece, a 6 year old water creator named Chelsea who couldn’t control her creation. She appears in our book as Brooke, Jason’s niece. After that game ended, that was it; we put them all aside.

Fast forward ten years, and we didn’t really remember the storylines from the game, but the characters really stuck in our heads (although we had forgotten most of their names, other than Kennedy’s first name). And then we started discussing potentially writing a book about them, together.

We started off by talking about it A LOT in Fall 2020. Then on Jan 1, 2021, we sat down and wrote jot notes for the first Act. We split the book between us by main character and alternated chapters (minus a couple places in Act 2). When we finished the first Act, we made jot notes for the second. And again for the third.

We have a separate document for the cast of characters and important locations, with descriptions about each so we could stay consistent.

We wrote in Google docs. After each chapter, the other person edited, and then Jen read it aloud to Keladry (4.5yo). She picked up on a lot of repetitive words and typos that way…

It worked really well for us, but we understand why it wouldn’t work for everyone.

We finished the first draft on March 14, 2021.

More than half of the words Jen wrote were written on her phone while nursing Adrien (18-20mo) to sleep!

Lots of writing late at night happened. Éric would bring his laptop to bed and write while Jen was nursing Adrien (when it was his turn to write). Occasionally, we’d get a nice chunk of time in the middle of the day when the kids were playing well together, and we could write.

One memorable occasion, Jen wrote 4k words during our daughter’s virtual school day while she (Dragon) was paying attention to the teachers. :O

PsyCorps Academy – Story and Proof-of-Concept

Hello,

I don’t talk with many other authors about their process for writing. It usually feels like prying. I’ve read lots of great books about the craft of writing and lot of blogs telling people how to write or how not to write.

I’ve learned that everyone does something different. I know that Stephen King normally writes his books in chronological order, while Neil Gaiman writes scenes and then ties them together. Some people plot out every scene and others don’t. Some type some use a pen or pencil.

One thing that I do that I’ve never heard anyone else doing was writing a proof-of-concept. I’ve done it for each of my novels so far and I find it extremely useful in find the right tone and feel. I find it extremely useful.

This post was a proof-of-concept for Parasomnia, and if you ever get the chance to read the novel you’ll realize that they’re completely different. What I learned from it was that I enjoyed the tone and the mirroring of dreams.

The following is a proof-of-concept for a novel I’m thinking of writing that’s set in the far future where 1 in a billion people is a Psionic. Each kind of Psionic is separated into a guild and that guild is like their family and decides what they do as a living. Precogs are the pilots and body guards, Telekinetic are the soldiers for hire, etc.

But at the core of the story I want it to be about a girl who has three of the eight possible powers and how she deals with training in the PsyCorps Academy. It should be a riff on the Boarding School stories, like Harry Potter, but in the future, with Psychic powers. I’d like it to have the feel of the Tamora Pierce Tortall novels (The Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small books), with a hint of Star Trek and Babylon 5.

After writing this I think it didn’t have the tone of awe or sci-fi that I wanted. I think the character acts too young for her age and I think I need to go to third person to better describe the effects.

I am still extremely interested in writing this novel and it most likely will be my 2015 writing project.

Read the Proof-Of-Concept after the break.

Let me know what you think. Please!

*Warning: There is some violence and an attempted sexual assault*

Read more

Allergies, Life, and Writing.

pollen_count06

Allergies

Some people get the blues in January, from the lack of sun, and outdoor air. I get it at this time of year. I have severe allergies to nature. Ok maybe not all nature but most trees, grass, ragweed, flowers, mold, fungus, etc.

On top of all that I have one of the most annoying and one of the rarest symptoms from allergies; Weakness. When I have a bad allergy day it feels like all my energy has been sapped from my body and I have trouble moving. I also get migraines, trouble breathing etc.

Before I started on the allergy shots I had days where getting out of bed was such a chore that I’d hurt myself trying. I once burst several blood vessels in my eyes from the strain of sitting up. I had bloodied eyes for a week after.

The funniest was when my wife and I decided to start walking in the mornings. About a week into the walks I developed what I call “Demon Eyes” where the white from my eyes turned bright red.

When I was a kid I thought I was a wimp because I couldn’t touch wet grass without getting a red burn like rash on my hands.

There’s a nice break in mid to late July where I’m not allergic to anything blooming and I feel good. Other than that I feel best in winter when it’s -10 and everything is frozen.

Point

I have a point. I’m not just complaining. I swear.

I’m not a particularly People loving person. I believe the Human Race is wonderful and filled with potential and I love my friends and family. But people in general annoy me.

So if you see me, or talk to me, or interact in some way and I’m not my usual talkative self… It’s not you, it’s allergies.

I try my best to be nice and get excited about hanging out with people and once I’m doing it, if the crowd isn’t too big, I love it but beforehand I dread every moment.

Writing

Writing is going well, Parasomnia is well into Chapter 15 which is somewhere between 60% and 70% done the first draft. Once I’m done, my Weditor/Alpha reader will go through it and help me tighten the story. After a quick and dirty edit and re-write I’ll pass it to my Beta Readers who are small in group but awesome. I’ve hopefully acquired a new one who will be able to offer an author’s point of view.

After I get it back from the Beta’s I will then do another re-write and decide whether I think it’s good enough to start pitching to publishers, agents, and contests.

Right now, I need to concentrate on writing one word in front of the other, inevitably moving towards an ending.

Thanks for reading,

Éric