Well that was gruesome

Ever write a scene where you just sit back in your chair and give a deep sigh, knowing that you probably just wrote something that will haunt somebody’s nightmares if this ever sees the light of day? I love those moments. Those moments are what make me really enjoy writing horror. A little voice in the back of my head worries that some things are a little too dark for YA, but who’s listening to them anyway?

I was very behind on NaNo (I know, and it just started!), so I’m up late tonight finishing up. No, I haven’t even started on today’s wordcount yet, but damn it feels good to be up to speed at least!

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, itโ€™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

Current Word Count: 13,414

New Words Written:
11/2 – 1,192
11/4 – 2,078

NaNo Progress:
1,833/50,000 words

Progress:
Some hiding places are better than others, and some risks really aren’t worth taking. This scene started out tense, and then got a whole lot worse for everybody involved.

Today’s Research:
Various animals including tapeworms, spiders, and owls. I know, a pretty strange mixture!

Next Up:
An unexpected visitor, and Dahlia must learn to come to terms with what just happened.

Commentary:
Not bad for trying to catch up! I know I still have to hit the wordcount for today (Day 4), but I’m still pretty pleased! Also this scene was super intense, and 2k words just flew by once I got going. Dang. I wasn’t joking about those nightmares either, heck I think I just gave myself nightmares! But that’s good, right?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’re also doing NaNo, why not send me a buddy request? Here’s my profile page!

Advertisements

NaNo Day 1: Success!

Hoo boy, it’s the first day of NaNoWriMo! I’ll be honest, when I woke up this morning, I was both excited and nervous. It took a bit to shake off the remnants of Halloween last night and get into the mode of writing today. Even though I’ve participated in and won multiple NaNos in the past, the first day always makes me anxious.

This year I’m even rebeling by working on an already started novel. I do that during most of my NaNos because it’s easier for me to already know the tone, the environment, and the characters.

If you’re also doing NaNo, why not send me a buddy request? Here’s my profile page!

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, itโ€™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

Current Word Count: 10,144

New Words Written:
11/1 – 1,833

NaNo Progress:
1,833/50,000 words

Progress:
A bittersweet family reunion gets abruptly interrupted. Dahlia has a number of obstacles to pass, and this Seeking is turning out to not be following any of the rules.

Today’s Research:
Rattlesnakes! Apparently they’re normally 2-3 feet long, though they can grow up to 8 feet long. They’re also pretty much all over the North and South America.

Next Up:
Dahlia finally reaches her destination, but nothing is as stable as she had hoped it would be.

Commentary:
Ya’ll have no idea how happy I am to see that progress bar up to 12%! I was worried I would freeze up when I finally sat down to work on this novel again, especially since it’s been almost a month since I’ve actively worked on it. Fortunately the words have flowed quite nicely, and I’m looking forward to unfurling this world and the craziness that Dahlia has to deal with on a regular basis. Also, I got more than the minimum word count requirement for today! Here’s hoping I can keep up this beautiful pace.

My Love of Lore

I’ve been a long-time listener of the podcast series Lore. I forget how I first found out about it. My friends know that I write horror and that I love dark tales, so when I ended up having multiple close friends recommend it, I decided to check it out. Basically Aaron Mahnke will choose a particular topic or theme, and then explore it by beautifully mixing tales with history, and analyzing the topic with respect for the time periods he’s analyzing. He’s tackled changelings, werewolves, vampires, etc.

I was thrilled to hear it was going to get a series on Amazon, but I tried not to get my hopes up. The podcast series was great, but I wasn’t sure how well it could be transferred to a video series. I’m happy to say that after spending the last week watching all the episodes available, that my fears were mistaken. In fact, I would even say that the visuals add so much to the words that Mahnke puts to the episodes.

They do historical reenactments, portraying terrifying experiences and really making the viewer experience the same frightening beliefs that their characters do. Sometimes this gets to be very uncomfortable, especially since historically women were powerless or seen as property and therefore are truly at the whims of the people around them, no matter how disturbing their beliefs. They are also able to pull in historical scenes more often too, whether that’s through video clips that are available or historical documents that really bring the stories home. The series also doesn’t shy away from blood and gore, but they do switch to illustrations whenever they go to portray a gruesome scene, thereby showing the gore just as clearly but taking away the potential production costs.

And that artwork is simply gorgeous. The werewolf episode for example just had me giddy as a long-time werewolf lover. The art style changes each episode to better reflect the topic for the episode. It feels organic and fluid and matches beautifully with the topic of the episode. It reminds me of the switch to animation that you see in Kill Bill Volume 1, which I loved then and I still love now.

My only complaint is that the series was too short, though considering the podcast has over a hundred episodes, I think they have plenty to work with down the road.

Exploring a Flawed Family

Putting together the family that makes up Dahlia’s life is a complicated process. You really can’t help but put pieces of yourself into each character, and as you consider the overall family dynamic, you start to understand where each of them fall into place. Knowing that they had to choose to be in this position is also telling of the parents’ personalities. It’s also taken a toll on their children of course. I didn’t want them to be the typical cookie-cutter families that I usually see. I wanted them to have depth, to have made mistakes, to not be perfect, but always striving to do good. Which is of course what has led them to this point, whether good or bad.

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the town 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, itโ€™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

Current Word Count: 8,053

New Words Written:
10/10 – 1,147

Progress:
A serious talk with Mother that has probably been years in coming, and the realization that things were not always like this. Already Dahlia is learning so much and she has a lot left to discover and learn before this novel is done.

Next Up:
Talks with Dad, a family tradition, and an explanation of the family’s history. Then preparing for the Seeking to begin.

Commentary:
I wrote part of this by hand, but ran into a snag when I couldn’t recall the names of the family members Dahlia was going to be interacting with. I can’t just use placeholders. I’ve tried before, and the placeholder I chose ended up coloring the name I felt was appropriate for the character, so I try to steer away from them now. I did draw out a family tree, but it was on paper and wasn’t handy. #writerproblems

It’s been difficult trying to find time to write this month. I’ve been belatedly participating in Inktober (see my posts on Instagram) because it doesn’t take as much intensive focus like writing does, but it sure did feel good to dig into this story again. Between cleaning up the house for our upcoming Halloween party, meeting up with friends to visit Haunted Houses, and helping family members move, I don’t think it’s going to get easier either! I want to get our Halloween decorations up outside but it’s been raining hard down here in Georgia and the humidity takes your breath away. Still hoping to carve out some time again this week though!

The Angry Woman

Check out the scary ghost story that got posted up for HWA’s Halloween Haunts today! I may or may not have been the author for it, and it may or may not be based on a real experience that my friends and I had in New Orleans years ago.

“The Angry Woman” by Marlena Frank

If you liked this piece, hopefully you’ll consider adding my upcoming YA dark fantasy novella,ย The She-Wolf of Kanta, to your To-Read list on Goodreads.

Every day in October, blog posts will be posted by horror authors on HWA’s blog. They’ll be showcasing their love for Halloween, maybe with a snippet from their novels or a giveaway or two. So if you dig scary stories, be sure to check back each day!

Happy Hauntings, friends.

Trapped_WilliamsMeigs

“Trapped” by Darion on Flickr