The Finish Line!

Oh my gosh, you guys. I can’t believe I’m writing this. I just finished the first draft for my YA Horror novel The Seeking!

I had to look back over my blog to see when exactly I had started writing this piece, and it was back on September 11th of last year – so about six months back. That’s a wonderful rate for me – The She-Wolf of Kanta took multiple years to finalize. This draft on the other hand needs work of course, but I generally know where it needs to be fixed and tweaked.

The Seeking was a novel purely inspired by a dream I had. I was Dahlia in that dream and I had a position of power in a society. I saw the Gray People lurking in the trees and had this horrible feeling of dread. It was poignant. When I awoke that feeling lingered with me for just long enough for me to scratch out the scene I had witnessed – and that’s how this novel was born. I guess you’ll have to read it if you want to find out what that scene was.

For now though, this book is being put aside so that I can take some time to celebrate and forget the novel so I can tackle the edits with fresh eyes next month.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Words Written:
3/8 – 924
3/14 – 5,538 (OMG muse, calm down! haha)
3/26 – 2,058

Current Word Count: 67,102

Progress:
DONE!

Next Up:
Putting it aside for edits next month!

Commentary:
I can’t believe the progress I made on this book on the 14th. It was one of the final big scenes, and I had been putting it off for days because I knew it would be difficult to tackle. I kept finding other things to do instead of work on it, then on Wednesday my sister was like: “Why don’t you just work on it now?”

It seems simple, but damn. I was like, why not? Next thing I knew I had churned out 5.5k words and it was dark outside. I feel so good getting this novel finished. I already have some ideas of where I want to try to find a home for it. Meanwhile I can go play some video games for a bit and let my brain step out of the sauna for a little while.

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Black Panther: The Game-Changer

When I watched Black Panther the other day, like other audience-goers, I was blown away. Everything about the movie was incredible, from the plot to the characters, from the acting to the music. It was an incredible experience. I think the main reason there are so many people going back to watch it again and again though is more than it being a beautiful movie, it’s because it’s a clear game-changer.

Hollywood has a tendency to find one aspect of a film and cling to it as its reason for success, or its reason for failure. “An all-female comedy fails? It must be because nobody wants to see an all-female comedy.” I worry that Black Panther will be treated the same way. “Oh, a majority black cast in a superhero movie got this much love? That must be the key to producing another just like it!” This mindset could lead to a series of copycat films, all trying to be the next Black Panther, entirely missing out on what made this film so groundbreaking.

What makes Black Panther incredible is the respect that it shows. It gives a nod to both African cultures and traditions and to the dysphoria that many African-Americans feel about their country. There has never before been a film that has not only acknowledged the pain of having your culture stripped away from you, but also admitted to the anger and resentment that causes. Black Panther handles both with grace and elegance all under the guise of a superhero film. It found a way to express that pain while still being consumable by audience members aged 13 and above.

That kind of clever balancing act is tough to beat. And while I’m hoping that this film will herald a new series of all-black casts with major funding and box office pull, I worry that taking away only that lesson will lead to this being a phase instead of a new era in films. As a movie goer who would love to see more unique ideas and even more diversity in Hollywood, I still can’t help but be worried. I’ve seen subcultures be used as trends in films before and I would hate to see the power and dignity of Black Panther be wasted by Hollywood executives eager for a quick buck.

 

Progress Is Not Easy

As you could probably guess from my last post, moving forward on this novel was a difficult process. I had to squeeze out a few hundred words here and a few more there. Much like Dahlia is in this piece, I felt like I was having to find my way around in the dark. I knew where the story needed to go, but I wasn’t 100% sure how it was going to do it. (I suppose that’s a drawback of being a pantser at heart.) That said, walking a mile requires taking lots of little steps, and I finally got this bunch back on track toward the finish line.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Words Written:
3/6 – 712
3/7 – 1,330

Current Word Count: 58,503

Progress:
Moving into the final stage!

Next Up:
There are too many eyes on them, but they can’t let that stop them.

Commentary:
I’ve almost hit the 60k mark! It’s hard to get much writing in during the week since my job takes up so much time, so I’m proud to have gotten so much done this week.

To Forgive or Punish

It’s easy to say that forgiveness is the right thing to do when it’s a small problem. Don’t be angry at that child for stealing your candy, just forgive them and share next time. It’s a mentality that works great when you’re a child, but when you get up into the complexities and cruelties of the adult world, you learn that logic is too simplistic to really float anymore. Sometimes the insult or injury is too great to forgive. Sometimes forgiveness should come at a price. Regardless of your feelings about the topic, it is never an easy choice. The worse the injury, the harder it becomes to say that forgiveness is the best path.

Needless to say, that’s the difficult decision I’m facing right now in my novel. Dahlia has a decision to make, and it sucks that she has to make it at all.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Words Written:
2/23 – 628
2/28 – 453
3/3 – 2,262

Current Word Count: 56,466

Progress:
Making difficult decisions yet again. Poor Dahlia.

Next Up:
Mother’s decree.

Commentary:
I’ve hit that gorgeous 70% mark! I’ve said in multiple places that I think this book is going to get finished this month, and I’m still determined to make that happen. Oh and don’t worry, I have a number of writing projects on the back-burner waiting to get moved to the front once this one is finished. It seems like that’s how this being-an-author thing is supposed to go. I guess I ought to get on board.

New Review for SWoK!

A big thanks to BookDragonGirl for the amazing review for The She-Wolf of Kanta. I’m so thrilled that she liked it so much! Go by and check out what she had to say, and I highly recommend subscribing to her site. Her book reviews are always so detailed!

The She-Wolf Of Kanta by Marlena Frank Releases April 17, 2018 Summary: “A pair of yellow eyes caught the moonlight and locked onto hers.” Mercy has always dreamed of becoming a werewolf trapper like her father. In Kanta, one must learn how to survive one way or another. A […]

via My Review of The She-Wolf Of Kanta by Marlena Frank —