I started Rayne back in 2003 and I never got around to finishing it. I moved to France, I turned away from fiction-writing for several years, and ultimately decided to focus all of my attention on finishing TBSOL — a task that has taken way, way longer than I ever expected.
Rayne never received the sort of attention that TBSOL did, despite being out there on the Internet for many years as a free read, but that honestly didn’t bother me too much. In a lot of ways, the lack of interest was a bit of a relief. I didn’t feel as guilty taking time away from it. I didn’t feel any intense pressure to finish it. Most of all, it gave me the time and space I needed to admit that I wasn’t 100% happy with the story. I wasn’t even 60% happy with it. The attention the story did receive, however, convinced me that it was a story worth telling. keep reading…
Q. U seem to have a lot of notebooks. What kinda stuff do u write in them? Can we see?
A. MY DEEP DARK SECRETS. Err. I’ve gone through this, haven’t I? Randomly? I feel like I have. Well, that’s okay. My notebooks are filled with wondrous things. Mostly Rayne/TBSOL/YA novel-related. And sometimes I just scribble really random things that I later look at and go “Whut?” And sometimes my random scribbles turn into blog posts. But sure, I’ll take some pictures for you, nosy person. I mean…curious and loyal reader.
30 Day Questions Challenge – Day 23: Where do you get your ideas?
I woke up to that question in an email the other day, and my answer was this:
Ideas tend to pop up randomly in my head. I think? I don’t know. They’re just kind of there. Then they keep piling up because I don’t get to them fast enough, and then they get annoyed. Then they start honking. There’s a lot of honking in my head. That … does that sound dirty to you? Like I’m talking about boobs? I’m not talking about boobs. Did I answer the question?
Anyway, I started thinking about it, and I realized I hadn’t been perfectly honest. How I get my ideas varies from project to project, but I can certainly tell you how I came up with Rayne, for example. Rayne – for those who don’t know – is a paranormal romance series thingie I’m working on or will be working on once I’m done editing TBSOL.
The Incredibly True Adventure of How I Came Up With Rayne:
I already talked about TBSOL this week, so I’ll let that be, for now. Let’s talk about the other stuff.
It occurred to me around 4:00 a.m. or so that I’m currently juggling four writing projects. It was an oh shit moment. I decided not to panic, though. After all, I’m rather happy with my four projects, and wouldn’t want to give any of them up.
The Third Seer is in what I like to call the “Oh hell, I have no idea” stage. I’ve got notes all over the place. Something resembling an outline. And then last night I rewrote the whole beginning and changed the tense to third person omniscient, which is not a tense I usually write in so I was more than a little startled.
In the process of changing the tense, I created a whole bunch of stuff that wasn’t there before, like a governing body known as The Committee and a place called the Outer Lands. And a cataclysmic event known as The Crash. Stuff I’d been thinking about for months, but that had yet to be used in a paragraph.
The first line of the novel switched from the Elder’s meeting about Aeryn to:
Rain stopped falling in Aradia the day Azure Varden arrived, and didn’t return again for several months.
I saved the file—called it “ThirdSeer_Experimental” and backed away slowly. It was a little too different. A little too red pill/blue pill. I sort of like it.
Trying to remember what I was doing before I left on the trip
Feeling all over the place
Aiming to get organized
My grandpa is doing better. When I left him he was playing Bingo at the Veteran’s Hospital. They’d moved him down from emergency, but he has to stay at the hospital until they finish his antibiotics treatment. He should be headed home to my grandma soon.
During the trip I …
Went to my dentist (yes my dentist is in PR) and finally got my tooth fixed. It had been bothering me for months and I didn’t get a chance to go on my last visit.
Finally got my hair cut. I’m still trying to decide if I like it. However, it’s nice to have shorter hair again. It was down to my lower back and now it’s at my shoulders.
Got to spend time with my mom and grandma and of course my grandpa. We went to see him every day.
It was an unexpected/unplanned trip, but I’m always grateful to spend time with my family. I’m incredibly relieved that my grandpa’s doing better. So it turned out to be a pretty nice trip in the end.
And now I’m back in Lyon, where the weather is a bit gloomy. I know I’m getting old because the flying absolutely killed me. I ache everywhere. Ah, youth. Where did it go?
In other news…
As I was packing to leave for PR, I received an email from Karman at AfterEllen asking if they could feature my Lost Girl recaps at AE, and of course I said yes. So you’ll be seeing more Lost Girl coverage from me both here and there.
Open Blog Monday is still happening, so send me your links/videos/announcements/etc. and I will be happy to post them. A few of you emailed me about future projects. Whenever you’re ready to announce them, just send them my way.
Lost Girl recap 1.07: Tomorrow or Wednesday
Rizzoli & Isles Twitter: Tomorrow (assuming there’s a scene tonight. I haven’t checked the feed this week).
Las Aparicio recap: Thursday
I’d aimed to make November National Novel Editing Month so I could get TBSOL prepped and ready, but half the month is gone and I’ve barely managed to get through the first chapter. So I think I have failed at NaNoEdMo. All the same, Project: Edit TBSOL is very much at the top of my priority list.
Rayne, Writing, etc.
I’m trying to find a good balance between writing recaps, editing TBSOL, writing Rayne, other projects, helping to empty K’s dad’s house, assorted family emergencies, trips, and general life stuff. One of these days, I’ll get it all figured out.
Yesterday, I worked on Rayne and … I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. Most of the time I don’t really know how I feel about anything I write. One day I think, “This is good,” and the next day I think, “This is awful,” and so on and so forth. So, yesterday I thought it was good. Today, I haven’t looked at it yet. Today I may delete the entire thing and start over.
It is raining today, and it is gloomy and I feel, mostly, like crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over my head. This weather brings me down.
Fangirly stuff I wanted to share
1) A Rizzoli & Isles video that my friend Julia sent my way: keep reading…
I just sent out an email addressed to what I think is everyone that emailed me about the Rayne beta so far. It’s an important email containing the location of our Top Secret Lair. So you will want to receive this email. If you’ve emailed me or contacted me or batted your eyelashes at me in morse code about wanting to partake in the Rayne beta and do not receive an email from me today, please contact me at your earliest convenience so I can rectify the situation.
Starting a new novel is exciting, but it’s also intimidating. I’ve spent the past few weeks thinking, “I should start The Third Seer this week.” But then I’d find some reason not to.
I had lots of valid excuses, like…
I haven’t outlined enough
I haven’t brainstormed enough
I still don’t have all the answers
It’s too early to start it
I should probably do x, y and z first
… and so on and so forth. But deep down I know that if I don’t tell the excuses to shut up, I’ll never get going. The best and only way to finish a novel is to start it.
And so, today, I will start it.
To prepare for this novel, I have been doing insane research, taking endless notes, filling OneNote with pertinent information and keeping a separate Moleskine notebook to jot down ideas. My OneNote file looks something like this:
And the Moleskine notebook looks like this:
Each post-it represents a scene, which can then be moved around as needed. I’ve never done this before but it’s been working really well. So well, in fact, that I incorporated the same system for my TBSOL edits.
I could probably outline and research for another year and still feel like I’m not ready to start this novel. Thankfully, that’s what beta versions are for.
I intend to blog about the process of writing Rayne, though I’m going to do so (mainly) at the (yet-unlaunched) Rayne website.
I received a few emails yesterday from people wanting to join my Super Elite Posse of Beta Readers (SEPoBR). You can still email me to say you want to be included. I will be accepting everyone and anyone until September 15th after which point I will only accept people that tell me I’m pretty stop accepting open requests.
And now I shall leave you with a song that I feel encapsulates all the nuances of this post…
It would also be my best friend Christy’s 31st birthday. Earlier, I listened to both discs of Jekyll & Hyde: The Gothic Musical Thriller because it is awesome and because I know she would’ve enjoyed that. Happy birthday, Christy. I know you sang along with me.
In other news, my other BFF, Jay (who is an awesome writer and you should check out his website), appeared in a short film! You should watch it because it involves girls in pajamas talking about geeky things. Jay plays the pizza delivery boy.
In celebration of today, I spent a chunk of the day outlining all the major plot points of The Third Seer (Rayne Book #1) and setting up the Big Bad Villain of Book #2. There’s still a lot of work to be done, not the least of which is actually writing it, but I’m happy with the progress.
Back in May, I talked a bit about some of the changes that I was planning. This would only make sense to those of you that read the first six chapters of the first draft.
I got a few emails asking me why I’d opted to make those particular changes, so here go some answers.
Why get rid of Naia and Ry?
Originally, Naia and Ry were going to play an important part of the plot, except I never got around to establishing their purpose. In the end, they came across as very flat characters and there’s nothing I hate more than flat characters. It is likely that they will still exist in the second version. But they will not be main characters.
Why get rid of Braeden?
I have to be honest: I hated Braeden. With a fiery passion. I brought him in as a (temporary) love interest for Aeryn, but every time I went to write him I wanted to punch him in the face. Since my original plans for the storyline changed, I realized there was no reason for Braeden to be there anymore.
Why bring in a demon?
I wanted to bring a non-human character into Aeryn’s and Azure’s circle. So, I was trying to think of an unlikely ally, which, given Azure’s religious convictions, could be pretty much anything. But having Azure befriend a demon sounded too ridiculous and awesome to pass up. Also: She’s going to be really fun to write.
Any new characters besides this demon?
Yes! Two major ones that I can think of off the top of my head. One is named Taryn. She’s going to be Aeryn’s BFF. She will play a major role. The other is named Allon. And that’s all I’m going to say about him.
Any other romances besides Aeryn/Azure?
YES. Oh you want more details? Hmm. There’s something of a love triangle involving some of the other major characters. It will not end up in a threesome or a polyamorous relationship, though, I promise.
Will Rayne be posted to the Internets?
I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with Rayne, exactly. But I will likely do a closed beta type thing, because feedback as I go is very helpful to me. This will likely be invitation only. If you’d like to be invited, shoot me an email.
I started Rayne back in 2003 and I never got around to finishing it. I moved to France, I turned away from fiction writing for a few years, and ultimately, decided to focus all of my attention on finishing TBSOL — a task that has taken way, way longer than I ever expected.
Rayne never received the sort of attention that TBSOL did, despite being out there in the Internet for many years as a free read, but that honestly didn’t bother me too much. In a lot of ways, the lack of interest was a bit of a relief. I didn’t feel as guilty taking time away from it. I didn’t feel any intense pressure to finish it. Most of all, it gave me the time and space I needed to admit that I wasn’t 100% happy with the story. I wasn’t even 60% happy with it.
A couple of years ago, I set out to rewrite Rayne anew, but that second attempt didn’t go anywhere. The story just wasn’t coming together. So, I decided to put it aside.
Over the years, I’ve received a few emails here and there asking about Rayne, and whether I ever intend to finish it.
The short answer is yes.
Of all of the stories running around in my brain — and there are many — Rayne is the one that most excites me. Of all of the characters I’ve ever created, Azure is my favorite. Of all of the lesbian love stories I’ve conjured up in my imagination, Azure’s and Aeryn’s is the one I’m most impatient to tell.
I have not given up on Rayne, but I’ve found that writing this novel isn’t going to be easy. It’s a story that requires careful planning and world-building, neither of which are things that come naturally to me. So, I’ve decided that the best way to go about writing it, is to take my time. I’ll be working on it in the background.
As always, the first, and unfinished draft, is available online. Though I’ve scrapped almost everything about it, including the plot, and some of the characters, so whatever Rayne: The Third Seer turns out to be, it won’t be anywhere near what I started writing ten years ago.