Tag Archive: black dawn


Writing Projects

Right. So. Been having a tiny bit of trouble with the writing lately, as I have mentioned. Flash fiction challenges are going some way to getting me back into the swing of things, however, flash fiction is not my novels, and I probably should be working on those.

In the continuing interests of picking back up writing in a proper fashion, I am going to list (read: ramble on a bit) about my current writing projects, which are all my novel projects. I do this in the hope that actually listing out what I could be working on will help my brain to transition back onto working on them. That, and given that I have quite a few projects on the go, this isn’t a terrible thing to do from an organising point of view either.

 

LightningArchmage

1st Draft – Completed.

Story has been split into 3 parts (It might turn out to be a trilogy, it is getting to that length)

2nd Draft – Part 1 Completed. Part 2 Started. Part 3 As yet untouched.

So, Archmage. It’s a beast of a thing at the moment, and I did a lot of work on it during the first couple of months of the year, but then I finished re-writing the first part, and sort of never got into the swing of re-writing the second. Well, there’s like 5,000 words in there. What I think I need is to find a suitable beta reader (or poke my beta reader into actually reading the first part) and then so some blocking out of what happens in scenes and then tweak them so rather than just editing each chapter as I come to it, I edit the higher level structures of the book. I’m pretty sure Part 1 is going to need another re-write, so that seems like the sensible idea. It’s just hard since I’m a pantser, not a planner, but the story will be better for it.

 

black wingsBlack Dawn

1st Draft – So terrible it was abandoned

1st Draft (Take 2) – Started

So Black Dawn was the novel I wrote for my first ever NaNoWriMo. I’ve learnt a lot since then, and I can safely say that what I wrote back in, 2011 (man, old feeling) is a pile of crap. But, the characters were there, and the setting had something, so it went into the drawer for a while, and now I’ve got a shiny new plot and setting tweaks and I think it can work now, I just need to write it. I’m, let’s see, a couple of chapters into starting this. It’s been a very on off sort of project.

 

magnificent_mazeEidetic

1st Draft – In Progress

This was last years (2015) NaNoWriMo project. And it was going well, I got to 75K words, it wasn’t too hard to write. Except, then November finished, and I haven’t even really looked at it since. Not entirely sure why, but, I think I started to see holes. I know what I want to happen in the second half/ending, but, there’s a few holes between where I got up to and that point, and I’m not sure if it’s a satisfying story, and I just seemed to lose the point of it a little. I’m certain that actually it’s not as bad as I think it is, and there is life in the novel, I probably just need to re-read it, and then think about the plot in a little more depth before I continue writing it.

 

MechanicaMechanica Awakening

1st Draft – Completed

1st Edit – In Progress

Another NaNoWriMo book. To be fair, I do a lot of writing in NaNo, it’s only this year that I have seriously started to concentrate on stuff outside of that month, from editing to new material. This one, I wrote the first draft and it’s the first one where I feel like the 1st draft isn’t going to be a million miles from the last draft. It felt complete, rounded, and sure it needs some editing, but the story is there. (Personally, I have a distinction: Re-writing is when there are still plot holes and major writing left to do; Editing is for when the story is there and only minor tweaks need to happen. Mostly at the moment I am re-writing rather than editing, but, that’s because I know most of my stories aren’t finished yet) I did start, was working on it last summer, but again, fallen on a back burner a little bit. I was also doing this editing by hand, which was probably a mistake. I think it’d be easy enough to pick up again.

 

fantasy-pharmacyQuiet Poison

1st Draft – In Progress

One of the few novels I have not written in NaNo. Actually, I only had the idea for this one at the start of the year, so it’s the newest idea that’s actually been written down. It’s going in scenes at the moment. So I find a bit of the book I want to write, write that particular scene, and then when I’ve got enough of them I’ll work out how to string them all together. It’s a very fun project, with intrigue, assassins, relationships, death, and an awesome setting I’ve been crafting with my sounding board. He’s great. This is the one I should be writing, or at least the one I feel I should be writing, because there’s a kickstarter I backed where you can have your words printed on a scarf and this is the project that might actually come in under the limit of 40K (I’m a fantasy writer, novels run long for me typically) but I do actually have to write it up to that much. It’s on about 25K at the moment.

 

Supernatural

Draft – ???

Bit of an odd project this one. It’s the first novel I ever wrote, when I was 14. It was, complete trash, as might be expected of a first ever novel attempt, let alone one written at a young age. But, the main character never went away. There’s, well, there’s ideas and scenes, but nothing that I would call a solid plot, so it’s hard to count this as anything resembling an active project, but she’s always there, in the back of my brain.

 

And that’s it for active projects. Or, you know, projects on the backburner. I have a lot of other ideas for novels (Court of Ice, Firebird, Shapechangers) and other projects that keep me writing but aren’t novels (mainly fanfiction type things, or me fluff writing about my characters in various games. Werewolf, princess, D&D). It’s been good to remind myself of them. Maybe now I can actually go and write something on one of them.

So, now that I’ve finished with the 100 theme challenge, I find myself at a bit of a loss for go to posts when I notice I haven’t posted anything in a while. Bear with me for a little while whilst I work out what kind of things to post up on here and work out some sort of schedule for it all. And yes, I will be trying for more dragons on Thursdays.

What have I been up to with my time? Still trying to get through more books for reading. Slow but steady is how I would describe that, but getting there. Yellow book is now done and finished, so green is next on the list. And after those three, I’ve got several more on the list to read. Deciding what to read next is often as hard as finding the time to sit down and read them!

Mostly, I have been working on two things. 1 – My Master’s degree. This is not what this blog is about, but I am just going to say that I am loving my database module. 2 – Writing

JanFebMar

Yes, I have a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are awesome.

At the start of the year I signed up to a 365K club. This means that I have signed up to write 1,000 every day, or, as it more usually goes with these things, 365,000 words in the year because some days you write more, some less, but it all averages out. There are quite a few of us in the club, which is a sub-section of a bigger writing group and is internet based which is highly convenient, and we have chats, motivations, question times, it’s all a big support group for writers, and I have to say, it is excellent.

And signing up for this challenge, to really push myself and get that daily habit of writing, is probably one of my better decisions. If you look on my spreadsheets, you can see that so far I haven’t missed a day. Sure, one day I only wrote 27 words, but that’s still two more sentences than I had at the start of the day. Right now I am approximately a day behind, so less than 1,000 words behind my target. And that is counting today, which means that I still have the rest of this afternoon and this evening to catch up on that. And, overall, I’ve written ~72,000 words since Jan 1st. Some new stuff, some editing stuff, but the point is I am writing. Last year, I basically only wrote when it came around to NaNo, so this? This is a HUGE improvement, and I’m loving it.

What am I working on? I’m the kind of person who likes to have several projects on the go at once, so, currently I am working on:

  • Archmage – This is my epic (Maybe a trilogy? It’s certainly looking long enough for that) fantasy novel that I am currently editing. It’s developing along quite nicely, although part 2 is going to need a major overhaul, and part 3 definitely needs work. It’s probably more like re-working it than it is editing, since there’s tons of plot holes to fill, arcs to develop, characters to delete or add, all the high level stuff. It’s fun, but it is a lot of hard work. The blurb for the book(s?) is that in a world where magic is regulated and structured, an underage girl bursts onto the scene with magic, wild magic, unlike anything that’s ever been seen before. Can Rana prove that her magic is just as valid as the old ways, or will society always treat her as an outcast?
  • Quiet Poison – This is relatively new. I had the idea late Jan/early Feb, and it has been so insistent and prominent in my mind, that I’ve been writing it out. It’s a story about a new guild of assassins, trying to carve out their territory against the bigger, more established guild. Lots of politics, intrigue, assassinations (of course), and all sorts of seedy underground things. Magic is around in the setting, but very much in the background. It’s a break apart from my usual genre, but I am loving the characters and what they are getting up to, and it’s quite nice to write something down and dirty, as it were.

Typed-Writer

Those two are my active projects. But I certainly have others which may or may not come up:

  • Black Dawn – This is novel I wrote for the first year I ever participated in NaNoWriMo. It is, in a word, terrible. So, I’ve given it a shiny new plot, and it’s sitting there with it’s first chapter salvaged, looking at me, biding it’s time, just waiting until the time is right to spring back into my head and get written. It’s there, I’m not ignoring it, but at the moment other novels are in front of it. Basic premise: Angels and Demons have been warring since time immemorial, with Earth as the battle ground, seeded with their human descendants, the Cambions and the Nephilim. However, a threat is rising, one they wish to stop before it ever happens, and it might just be enough to make them forget about their own war. Unless the threat is already more than just a threat, and she’s been waiting to wage her own war on them.
  • Mechanica Awkaening – This really is a book that just needs editing. I really think it’s the cleanest first draft I’ve ever written, and I was working on it last summer. But, like most ideas, it’s hit a bit of a lull, and whilst it’s still there and I’m not ignoring it, other things are in front. But it really doesn’t need as much as any of my other projects. So maybe it’ll come round soon. this is the one about Rose, who can talk to machine spirits, and her family trying to prevent another civil war.
  • Eidetic – Still working on the first draft. Sad to say, I haven’t actually touched it since NaNo last year. I just, got a bit stuck. I think I can get unstuck, but I do need to sit down and have a think through and work out where it’s going. Still got, I would say, about a third of it to write? Labyrinths and ancient magic and trying to get away from a society that doesn’t let Sage be the person she is because she’s a women. Need to work on it.
  • Other Ideas – There’s a few of them hanging around. Old ones, new ones. ones that still need time to brew whilst they work themselves out. Willow is an old one, actually she’s the MC from the first ever novel I wrote (novel as opposed to short story, fan-fiction, etc) which, again, is terrible, but she’s not. She just needs the right plot and setting, and I’m getting closer to that. Very slowly. Firebird is a new one, lots of aztec/shaman magic crossed with vampire hunters. It’s a good idea, but it need ‘brewing time’ as it were. There’s a fan-fiction in my head as well, which I might write when I really want to indulge myself.

There is never just one project. But that’s how I work. And I do like flitting about, it’s just how my brain works. They’ll all get there in the end, as long as I am working on one of them, then that’s a step towards the goal of being an author.

“I mean, you don’t even have anything from them, just a pile of steaming shit from being a half and half?”

Kali placed her hands on the edge of the table, and leaned forward, “All that I have from my parents, my real parents, is their memories. Passed from them to me over years and years of dream speaking, every fight, every battle, every victory, every piece of history, every ounce of culture that ever got passed to them, has been passed to me. In my head, is everything I could want to know about two races that scream how different they are from the rooftops, and yet do exactly the same as each other down on the street. So yeah, I have inherited a giant pile of steaming shit from being what I am, but if you think that’s all I got, then you’re more imbecilic than I thought.”

Warren shifted, wrinkled his nose a few times, and then turned so that he wasn’t looking straight at her any more, “Didn’t think of it like that.”

“Clearly. Now, can you get your wizards on side?”

Warren looked over at her, as she straightened up, folding her wings and arms back, and then nodded, “I’ll take your proposal to them. It’s good, I think I can get them to agree to it.”

“Excellent,” she held out her hand to him and they shook it, Warren wincing slightly at the strength in her hand, then got up and left the room.

Kali flipped her eyes, and out of a pocket, drew a cigarette and a lighter, and within second there was a tiny trail of smoke coming out of her mouth.

“That stressful?” Haines got up from the corner of the room he had been lounging in, lazily walking over to her.

“He’s a pretentious prick.”

“He’s got what you need though.”

“I know, that’s why I didn’t smush him into the ground,” she blew out a long stream of smoke as Haines slipped his hands either side of her hips.

“You got what you got. Maybe soon it’ll be the whole world.”

“I don’t want to have the whole world. I just want to change it.”

83 – Heal

She leaned over the sink and spat, bloody spittle covered the white ceramic of the basin.

Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, another dark smear appeared, causing her skin to prickle as it dried.

Fucking asswipe.

She narrowed her eyes, clenching her teeth and taking in a deep breath through her nose. Gripping the sides of the basin with her hands, the trembled ever so slightly, and just around the edges of her eyes, a corona started to glow.

The slice across her chest stopped bleeding, the edges becoming smooth rather than rough, and slowly, as in a special effects show, it started to close together. Zipping together from one end to the other, soon it was just a harsh red line, as bruises and scrapes across cheeks and knuckles yellowed and scabbed, before fading away to pristine skin.

Kali let out a breath as the wound on her chest, which a mere minute before would have been considered traumatic, faded away from a scarlet line, to a thread’s width, to nothing.

Her hands unclenched from the side of the sink, and she looks at herself in the mirror, rolled her arms in their sockets, and bounced on her feet. Nothing like a little healing to make a girl feel good as new.

She turned around, stepping out of the bathroom, pulling on the cord to switch the light off. The main room was only dimly lit, which made the multiple pools of blood on the floor almost look simply like odd shaped rugs. Or, they would, if there wasn’t another body lying there, still bleeding.

Kali walked passed it, only pausing to deliver a short kick to their chest.

“Dickhead.”

And with that, she kept on walking, out of the room, and out of the building.

The bottle hung at her side, her hands loosely clinging on to the neck. She swished it gently from side to side, it was almost empty now. That would have been a shame, but there were a dozen more bottles in the fridge behind the bar. Just because everyone else, including the bartender, had gone to sleep, didn’t mean that she had to stop.

She ran a hand over one of the balls on the snooker table, rolling it back into place. Shame her opponent had passed out before they could finish their game.

“You are aware how early it is, aren’t you?”

Kali turned her head and smiled lazily up at the voice coming from the balcony. “There’s still more booze to be drunk, why would I be crashing out now?” She raised the bottle and threw back the last dregs of the beer.

“You have been drinking since the start of the night. Most people can’t take that much alcohol.”

“I’m just tougher than they are.”

Haines raised an eyebrow and glanced over several of the people passed out around the bar, several of which were much larger, much weightier, and much older with far more drinking experience that the black haired teen that was still awake.

“What about you?”

“Oh I was never drinking that much.”

“You should fix that.” Kali slid over the top of the bar and went for one of the fridges, pulling out two new cold ones. She popped the tops as Haines came down the stairs and handed him one of them. The two of them looked at each other, as Haines took a slow sip from his bottle. Then his gaze slid over to the snooker table.

“Have you actually managed to hit a ball into the pocket yet?”

Kali’s face lit up with indignant surprise, “Are you talking to me? Seriously? I’ve have been schooling people’s asses at this game all night.”

“Really? I’d like to see that.”

“Are you challenging me to a game?”

Haines held out a cue to her, and Kali vaulted back over the table to take it. Her bottle went on the side of the table as she lined up the opening shot.

“What do you want to play for?” She asked, as she hit the white ball and the red ones scattered across the table.

“Oh, I’m sure I can think of something.” Haines said, leaning back and admiring the view he had of her from his angle.

Every time she went to a door, he was there. Even when she went onto the balcony, he was standing there, in her way again.

Kali huffed, and turned back into the room, a strand of hair flapping against her nose. She crossed her arms as she tried to blow it off her face again, only to have it flop back on her nose. It was a small irritation, but then again this whole evening was made up of small irritations.

She has refused to be one of the servers, refused to be one of the guests, refused to have anything to do with this damn birthday party, and yet here she was anyway. And Idris was not letting her duck out.

Once again, he was there at the door, blocking her way. She scowled, and then went to get a drink. At least that was something.

May swept passed, giving her a wink. Kali rolled her eyes up to the ceiling to indicate her boredom, and the other girl smiled in response as she passed, and then gave a pointed look to the corner.

Kali followed the gaze, and her eyes fell on a piano, currently unoccupied.

Well, every party should have music.

She sat down on the stool, her tunic falling over the edge. Her fingers skimmed over the surface of the keys, feeling the ridges of ivory.

“It’s called a piano. When you tap the keys, notes sound. Put enough of them together and you get music.” Idris was standing by the piano, a smirk playing around his mouth as he looked down at her.

Kali didn’t returned his look, but smiled to herself and started to play.

It had been a while since she played, and she let the music swell around her, the melody rising and falling, filling the room with sound that layered over all others.

Kali’s eyes were half closed as the notes flowed out from her fingers, but she could feel and hear the silence in the room that fell as the music started. She could just about see past the piano where most of the room had stopped. Idris has stiffened into a statue beside her. May was there, just the other side of the piano, hands clasped to her chest as she listened, and Joshua, one of the birthday boys, was looking and smiling.

Well, it was tradition to give a present at birthday times.

Kali returned to the start of the music, rounding the notes together as she then opening her mouth and began to sign. The room froze, as the clarity of the notes and her voice joined together, rising and falling to the melody that flowed out, up and around everyone there.

Six minutes. Six minutes of pouring out a melody with her fingers and lungs. Six minutes later, the last note faded into the ringing silence of the room, and then a flood of clapping burst forth.

She still didn’t look to Idris at her side as she stood up, and gave a short bow to the room. With the tumultuous applause and shock, she found it simple to slip out of the room.

An hour later, Kali was idly reading a book in her room, when Idris walked through the door.

“What the hell was that?”

Kali quirked an eyebrow over the top of her book at him.

“I am perfectly aware that you can talk, especially after that performance. There is nothing, nothing, about you that had indicated to me that you could play a melody like that.”

Kali snapped her book shut and leaned forward. “And just what the hell do you know about me Idris?”

51 – Sport

“Hand it over.” The man extended a hand towards the shivering figure. Their eyes darted from side to side, clutching at the item that they had stolen, before bolting down the alley, away from her guild-mate.

He sighed, and said to no one in particular, “And I was being nice as well.”

Kali grinned from the top of the roof, her eyes adjusted to the dark so she could easily spot the running fugitive. She didn’t even have to run as she stepped from roof to roof, easily following the man, other guild-mates on other nearby rooftops.

Aayden stepped onto her roof, as they watched the man go down more than one dead end, before hurrying back out. The lack of chase that he perceived making him even more jittery.

“Why aren’t we just going down there and beating the crap out of him?”

“Hunting is a sport. And you have to give the other team a sporting chance. Although, he’s not making good use of it.”

“Exactly. He’s more likely to break that thing the way he’s shaking.”

Kali studied him for a few more moments.

“The next dead end he goes into. Give him the shock of his life when he tries to leave.”

Aayden gave her a wicked grin, and then leapt over a couple of rooftops to spread the whispered word.

Kali kept on their mark, following him until he inevitably wandered into yet another dead end. She jumped down, timing it so that she landed just before he turned around.

Slowly standing up from the shadowed floor, she let her eyes glint at him as other shapes fell from the rooftops.

“Going somewhere?”

Kali leaned against the window sill, looking back into the room. The moonlight highlighted the faces of objects, the chair, the desk, the bed, even the piano. the music book that was open on the stand was clearly visible, shining out against the dark wood.

Glancing down, she could see the world outside her window, as still and silent as it was in here, but the path cast in shadow from the buildings all around.

Pulling out a crumpled pack of cigarettes from her jacket pocket she slipped one into her mouth. Her other hand emerged with a lighter, but she paused, flicking the cap open and shut as she mulled over her choices.

Here was security, and plenty. She never went without, every need provided for, training and entertainment included. But there was little choice. In here the security was just as much to keep her in, as it was to protect her.

Out there, well. Out there it was new. It was freedom. It was a lack of rules and security, no idea where you would sleep and where the next meal would come from.

Kali flicked the lighter open, and lit the end of the cigarette. Then she turned around and opened up the window, jumping through to the other side before closing it and dropping down to the ground.

She breath in the scent on the night air, and let out one long smoky breath. It really was a no-brainer choice between the two lives.

Kali’s grin was vicious. “Sorry boys, but you’re a good nineteen years too late for that.”

She leapt forward, between the two of them, and her wings erupted from her back, somersaulting her over the podium where she could snatch up the artefact. Landing on the edge of the podium, she stood there for a frozen moment, letting the faces of shock, and even horror, at the sight of her black wings sink into her memory.

Before they could collect themselves, she crouched, and thrust herself upwards, an energy blast shattering the stone of the roof, showering the people below with rubble. Shaking the dust off herself, she swung low, skimming along the tops of the nearby buildings to hide herself within.

Angels. She spat the word out in her head. Turning back over her shoulder she could see the forerunners, their bright white wings stark against the darkness of the night. Demon’s wouldn’t be able to follow her, not without wings of their own. And Angel’s? Oh look, predictably going for height.

Kali speed up, the shadows playing around her as she sped along a straight road, out of the city. Passing over the last building, she flicked her tip up, and rolled upwards on a draft. They might have seen her at that point, but she was just as fast as them, and was quickly lost amongst the night clouds.

An hour later she dropped out, positive that no one else was around. How foolish Angel were to try to track her down like another puny Demon. She was the best and worst parts of both of them, they didn’t have a hope of catching her.

The forest was alive with night sounds as she breezed over it, the ruins almost undistinguishable from the trees due to the vines and plants which had taken over so thoroughly.

Settled down on a window ledge, she leaned out into the faint moonlight, and finally opened her hand to see that most precious treasure.

The lump of rock look like nothing special, just a piece of rough stone worn smooth by many hands over the centuries.

But to Kali? It was the best birthday present she had ever received.

Kali grinned, showing her canines as she looked over the two beings that had their backs turned to her. They were between her and what she wanted. Well, there were loads of others, but only those two were physically between her and the keystone. One angle. One demon.

“You’re insane! Don’t you even think about it, you’ll get yourself, and everyone around you killed!” Mai hissed at her.

“Why would I think about it?” She said, and then struck.

She went for the demon first, sinking her glowing hands into his back and draining out his energy. The first thing she took was his voice, and his throat shrunk as he tried to yell out a warning and couldn’t. That gave her the precious seconds she needed to slip his sword from his belt, dance around the turning angel, and slip the blade up under the armpit, right in between panels of armour, covering his mouth with her hand and draining his rapidly diminishing life force.

The rush of power was incredible, much better than human energy she could drain, the magic that flowed through demon veins, and the strength of the angels made her limbs tickle and her vision take on a purple hue as her eyes glowed.

No one was facing this way. Shame. That was about to change.

Kali scooped up a handful of blue blood that had leaked from the angel, and threw it at the group around the pedestal.  The currently proclaimed leader of the angels got struck on his cheek.

“What the?” He turned, in time to have Kali barrel into him, and get knocked to the floor.

Two more beings were on the floor before they could realise that Kali was draining them, and demon was slashed open from hip to shoulder, black blood spurting out. An angel thrust his blade at her. It melted on her nimbus as she twisted around him, and then with an almighty ripping sound, tore off his wing, scattering white feathers everywhere.

“Insane human!”Someone shrieked at her.

Kali grinned again, and then back-flipped, her black wings exploding out of her as she did so. Mid flip, she grabbed the keystone off of the pedestal, and then landed on the now empty plinth, and crouched down, her wings half raised.

“Insane? Yes. Human? Definitely not.”

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