Monday, January 10, 2011

Under Construction...

Yes, I have been missing in action. So sorry for that! The good news is that I have been busy working on a new series that will debut in February 2011, called BLAQUE. The even better news is that I still plan to publish the Immortal Ones series. For now, check out my site:

Keep reading and writing, everyone!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Going Global

I am now getting to the point of writing where I have to start verifying historical and geographical facts. Yes, this means going back into research. I have started toying around with Book Three, and two things happened.

First, I realized that I had to do a lot of research on the UK, particularly on the geography and cities. Second, a brand new crop of characters materialized as I started working with a single new character. This new Book Three character, Kwan, is the leader of the Asian vampires. Him and his most trusted soldiers, known as The Guard, mostly hail from South Korea. This new group got so interesting that I think they might be the focus on my 2010 Nanowrimo project.

All of this means more research, of course. I actually have a list of countries that I have to research for this series. The current countries to research are: England, Scotland, Germany, Spain, and South Korea. Later on, additional countries are going to include Mexico and Japan.

This is fun for me, though. I love learning, and I love to apply what I learn to my writing. I think everyone should do that; research a country you've never been to. You may find a new place you want to visit. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Figuring Out The Science

In the midst of creating this world, I realized that it needed a scientific side as well. It also needed to keep some level of historic accuracy as far as scientific discoveries went.

A simple example: At the time of the plague in Europe, no one really knew how it was spread. That was one of the reasons it was so deadly. If I have a character start washing their hands and such, I've jumped quite a bit into the future. "Sanitary" isn't really a word one associates with that time period.

This lead to another question from myself to myself: are the Immortals in any way ahead of humans as far as scientific discoveries? The answer here is yes, but not by much. In fact, by the time we get to the present, humans and Immortals are about even in the "discovering things" category.

Then came a third question: What makes the Immortals, well, immortal? I could take the easy way out and just say "magic" or something, but I want to get a little more complicated. Their genes are different. Just as their are genes for eye color, possible mental illness, and height, there are genes that make one simply not age...or just age very slowly.

In humans, this is a mutated gene that often leads to aging disorders like progeria, DKC, and the like. In Immortals, the gene is always inherited and combines with another gene common in all Immortals to create the immortality. This isn't pure immortality, though. Immortals can age, but it happens so slowly that it is almost at a stand still. The twins are over 400 years old by the end of Book One, but they do not look over 20 years old.

Here's the kicker; there are certain substances that hold off aging, so Immortals have the option to age a bit for appearance purposes or continue looking 18. For Dark Ones and Vampires, it is blood. For Shadow Walkers and Felians, it a being's life force. For Night Wolves and Werewolves, it's flesh (so sorry, no vegan or vegetarian Night Wolves exist). And yes, for all of them, human is best because of the genetic similarities.

I probably went into this WAY more than I needed to, but it helps to know the rules of your story. Fans of your work are less likely to, I don't know, come after you with torches and pitchforks that way.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Immortal Language

There is a language amongst the Immortals clans (all of them) that is a beautiful combination of several known languages put together. For now, I have called the language Manchen-ni. The language is not spoken often in the series, but many Manchen-ni words pop up during the story, mostly as nouns. For example, the words Sapir, Krudos, Doushen, and the rarely used fecha are Manchen-ni words.

FYI: Fecha is a Spanish word for the calendar date. It has a totally different pronunciation and meaning in the Immortal world. Immortals prefer a meaning closer to the Portuguese meaning, which is similar to "noise." The Immortal version is not as nice, though.

The language is actually not spoken as much as it was thousands of years earlier (blame the whole Tower of Babel situation on that), but it is still spoken as a common language for those who cannot, or will not, speak English. Many of the "younger" Immortals hardly ever use the language but have heard it enough to understand it. They prefer to use their native languages and English. The twins, for example, start out speaking only German but later become very proficient in English. They recognize Manchen-ni, but do not know it enough to regularly speak it.

The Elders are required to know it, understand it, and speak it. The Ambassador's Guild is not required to speak Manchen-ni, but they must be able to understand it. This also goes for anyone else working with or for the Sapir (the title given to the Guild and the Elders).

So, in summary:

The twins and their Handlers: understand Manchen-in, do not regularly speak it
The Elders: understand it and speak it
Elizabeth: understands it and can speak it
All additional characters in Great Hall: can all understand it, do not regularly speak it
All additional characters outside Great Hall: some can understand it, none speak it
Humans: have no freaking clue about the language...YET...

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Twins Are Jealous

So I took the month of June to work on a totally different project. It was mostly an exercise, a chance to try and pull a Nanowrimo move in the middle of the year. For most of this month, William and Thomas stayed quiet.

Not anymore.

The twins are pulling hard at my writing strings, demanding attention. This puts me in a weird place: I want to finish my June Project, and I don't really know what to do with the twins right now, but they do not care. They want my attention, NOW.

I think writers have this issue sometimes, especially when they have more than one work in progress. If the stories are character-driven (as I feel they should be), and if the characters are solid, you will know when they are speaking to you. Their voices will be easy to identify in your mind, and you will know when it is time to return to them.

So, my twins are now jealous of the energy I have directed toward this short story. They may have to hold out for a few days longer, but it not going to be easy. I do love the short story I am finishing up, but the truth is, the twins are my favorites.

I never neglect the favorites.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back On Deck

Okay, after a VERY long break from this blog and my main story due to a zillion things going on, I am finally starting to get back into the swing of this series.

I think authors need to do this sometimes; step away from their biggest project for a little while and get things in order and in perspective. There were too many distractions, and that was making it impossible to really get anywhere with the story. I wrote a second possible climax, one more in line with the twins' personalities, but I still wasn't totally sold on it. That's when I decided to take a break.

The really good parts of Forbidden Children seem to all be in the beginning, up until they prove themselves worthy of respect. After that, I realized that the rest of the story was nothing more than fodder. Was it interesting? Yes. Was it necessary to the series? No.

Herein lies the toughest part of writing; you have to know when the story ends. Books Two and Three are solid because they are hard hitting from start to finish. There are no dull moments, no flashbacks, nothing of the sort. My problem with Forbidden Children is that the twins' background does not need an entire book. It pains me to say that, but it is true. A lot of Book One can be blended into Tainted Blood, the first half mostly. I realize now that the second half of FC was for my own personal amusement. The most important parts of the twins' journey had already been told.

This is what really hindered me for the last month: I didn't know what to do about Book One, and once I started to realize what had to be done, I freaked out. The idea of basically throwing out an entire book of a series scared me to bits.

So here is what I think will happen: Book One will be saved, but I will now focus my energy into Book Two and see if the two can be weaved together. More than likely, most of FC will be saved for a novella or something similar. Maybe it will be posted here eventually. In any case, I am done with FC for now; the best parts have been written.

On to Tainted Blood and Book Three: War Of The Undying...

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Talk With Thomas

I'm going to be honest here; I had all but given up on this story. My stress was making it difficult to even put a coherent sentence (or thought) together, and I began to think that it was doomed to remain in limbo until I finished my big move and got away from all the stressors.

Thomas, apparently, wasn't having that.

Out of the two of them, Thomas is the more outspoken twin. He rarely censors himself, much like the person from which he was drawn from. That person caught my attention about two days ago, when he did something so amazingly stupid that I wanted to hop a plane, fly overseas, and smack him with a bag of coins. Granted, it wasn't a life-destroying stupid move (more embarrassing, I think), but it was still stupid. I won't go into detail about it here for fear that it will reveal who my inspirations are for these characters, but I will press that it was one of the stupidest things I have heard someone under the age of 25 do in awhile.

Anyway, this stupid action stayed on my mind. Eventually, as characters sometimes do, Thomas started running his mouth.

"I think you were focusing the climax of Forbidden Children on the wrong twin," he said to me.

I tried to ignore it.

"Think about it, think about what we are. Because of what we are, we will never be completely in control of ourselves. Everything about us, even our abilities, will be out of our control."
I was lying on my bed half-asleep when this thought entered my mind, and I sat up. I went straight for my computer, knowing that it was after 1am and I was due somewhere work-related at 6:45am. I didn't care; Thomas had given me a new direction for my novel.

That was early this morning. I haven't looked over what I wrote (I'm about to), and I'm sure that some of it will be utter nonsense. My hope, though, is that something in those two pages will stick. Perhaps something will stand out and give me something to build on. Maybe the whole thing will get scrapped.

Even if nothing in what I wrote is useful, it gives me hope that I can make the second half of Forbidden Children work.

I really should send both of the knuckleheads, Thomas and his real life counterpart, a fruit basket.

PS- Forgive me if my grammar seems a bit off, but I am VERY tired. (sleepy smile)