From Chapter 18 to 19

In case you missed the notification, chapter 18 is posted, named “My Fight.” When Rome is summoned to a hearing suspecting his involvement in Lord Alonza’s demise, it’s up to Bre and the Wheat Girl to escape their room to intervene. But with a group even more powerful than the nobles arriving on the scene, Bre might have to choose between keeping her own secret safe or keeping Rome’s. The chapter is named for Bre and Rome’s individual resolve, each “stepping up to the plate” to protect the other, in their own way.

In the Author’s Notes section of the chapter, I warned you (my dear readers) that, unfortunately, there is a good chance the long stretches between updates will continue. Upon finishing last chapter, I was happily ready to blaze a trail into the next chapter. College homework, however, is very good at monopolizing time and depleting energy and concentration. Part-time work takes up a third to half of my day, and schoolwork gobbles up the rest. Since (contrary to belief) budding writers cannot live on bread crumbs alone, I am stuck in this situation until I can find another way.

Summer, however, should provide plenty of time to write, distraction-free. I look forward to it. I also look forward to whatever gaggle of writing workshops and conferences I can finagle my way into, whether online or in person. I might even make it to RWA’s annual conference, which is in San Diego this year.

Just so you’re aware: I changed the description of Volume 1 on FictionPress. The previous summary was quite boring, to be frank. The only way I could see to get around that was not to write the description in first person. I will probably end up changing the summary for Volume 2 as well, now that I have a better idea of what fit into the book (and what will be left to the next one). The only reason I’m holding off is because words like “alpha” and “pack” (which are in the current summary) draw in a certain audience, which I would like to keep, and those sorts of words will probably disappear from the vernacular if the summary isn’t written from Rome’s perspective.


SPOILER WARNING…

In case you’ve already made it to the end of chapter 18, and are wondering where I’m going with it… Worry less about Bre being left unconscious, and more about what lengths it may take to get Bre back. Provided Rome can successfully eject himself from the nobles after they’ve condemned him to death, rescuing Bre means Rome’s first personal entanglement with the temple—something Bre has spent most of her life trying to prevent, and for good reason. You had your first glimpse of the temple’s Powers and resolve at the end of chapter 18. Rome isn’t necessarily used to meeting his match in Power.

The strange thing I’m seeing as I begin to write chapter 19 is that plotline takes SO many less words than romance and relational development. I’ve accomplished more in 2300 words (action/plot-wise) than I feel like I have in the last 20,000. I’m not sure whether that’s because the groundwork took so long to lay, or if I’m just not writing enough of what Rome is thinking anymore. I feel like Rome’s actions speak for themselves at this point. But he’s already surprising me, talking more than he’s acting in the face of Bre’s second disappearance. Writing the beginning of chapter 19 might turn out to be more of a struggle against OOC than anything else. It would be simple, in/fight/out, if it weren’t for the Wheat Girl—which is turning out to be like a stop sign, slamming Rome to a halt. That’s a problem. Not necessarily a bad one, but she’s not supposed to have that strong of an effect over him yet. Finding a way around that may take time.


My Dear Reviewers:

Purple-wolf-howl: What caught me most off-guard about your review was your allusion to mystery in the story. Once you listed all those attributes, I could see why; I could think of specific instances that illustrated each word. But I suppose, in my narrow, categorical view of trying to squish my story into genres, I failed to realize the significance of the spectrum of my story: romance, action, sex, and mystery. Thank you, for helping me see. 🙂 I’m curious as to whether the mystery you see has to do with the temple, or with Rome, or even with Bre (and her developing Power)…?

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Splitting the Nitty-Gritty of Chapter 16

Once again I find myself mid-scene, and already far overshooting my chapter word count goal.

*Sigh.* No wonder this chapter is taking so much longer than expected.

If you thought last chapter was full of unexpected twists and turns, this chapter will blow your socks off…and blow your hair out. In fact, right now, far as I am into writing this chapter, I’m having trouble thinking back to how I left last chapter. Because so much has happened in between—so much that it’s looking like I’m going to have to “call it a chapter” (as compared to “calling it a day”) before I consider it truly done. Which, yes, means a cliff-hanger. And not where I wanted to leave it, either.

Chapter 16 will not be for the faint of heart. You all wanted to see Lord Alonza get what should be coming to him, at Rome’s hands. I told you that would be coming. And it is. But I warn you, it will be the goriest thing you’ve read yet—and will probably alter your impression of Rome forever, just as it becomes the wakeup-call for Bre.

You all know Rome thinks himself a beast. Bre thinks he’s just a hunter. With a little help from an outside influence, Rome is about to prove her wrong.

I warn you that the intimate scenes are reading very masculine at this point, even from Bre’s perspective, because they are very male-driven. And the scene where Alonza gets his hands on Bre turned my stomach to write. I’ve decided to leave that scene in, for the reasons I discussed last blog post. As for whether Rome is just as in-the-wrong, I will leave that for you, as the readers, to decide. I only ask you to keep in mind that Rome has been defying his own nature in order to stay with Bre, and he has made no attempt to sugar-coat that. Also keep in mind what the “Wheat Girl” has to say this chapter, because it is VEEEEEERRRRYY significant.

I will try to edit through what I have written so far, so that I can post it (hopefully) sometime in the next few days. But I warn you, it’s the thick of the relational conflict. The point where you start to see the extreme levels of the reality of everybody’s bad sides. So it’s not all going to be pretty. And it’s going to be heart-attack paced.

Online Profiles & The Indispensable Lime

Wondering what’s taking me so long?

It’s probably because I’m doing so much at one time. Here’s a snapshot:

  • I moved many of my pins into a new Pinterest account, which I created specifically for my story. I’m using Pinterest as a brainstorming and idea-compiling space to help me design buildings and clothing, and to better understand the function and originality of my characters’ personality dynamics. I added the link to my Pinterest page in the sidebar. Please note that any pictures pinned under characters’ names bear resemblance to the character in a particular area; they are not an exact representation.
  • I connected my Goodreads account to this site. You’ve seen the kind of story I’m writing. Now you can see the kinds of stories I’ve read over the years, which helped form me into the reader and writer I am today. You can also look up some of the books I’m currently reading as writer reference tools. I added the link to my Goodreads page in the sidebar. Any book reviews I write on Goodreads should automatically show up on this site.
  • I rewrote my summary of volume 1. It was too generic, did not have enough of a hook, and did not accurately portray the tone of the story. I might post the new summary in the next couple days, or I might update the summary when I post my new chapter.
  • I started a list of revisions I want to make to volume 1. I even mapped out some of the plot points and alternate progressions.
  • I wrote a WAFF lime into chapter 9 of volume 2. Don’t think that sounds like Rome? Neither did I. But hopefully, after reading this lime, you’ll change your mind. And yes, this lime is rather indispensable to the plot.
  • I ordered 2 new books to help me with my writing. One is about writing paranormal novels. The other is about writing steamy romance. I’m excited about the first, but annoyed about the second, because the shipment of the latter has been delayed. Drat. I hope I get that second book.

The good news is that I have been writing chapter 9, and I am pleased with what I have written so far. The bad news is that even though I’ve been working on stuff for my story every day, my word count for chapter 9 is still at only half of what I normally post for a chapter. That’s okay, because I know what else I want to put in the chapter; it’s a scene I’ve already written. But that scene needs to be revised, and probably added to, which means you’re going to have to wait a bit longer for an update. Don’t fret! You will have two limes in one chapter, which should more than make up for the lime I took out of chapter 8.

Yes, I decided I could fit a lime into the aftermath of the kissing contest. No, it does not look like it did when I originally wrote chapter 8. The premise back then was forgetting about the contest. The premise now is something deeper, older. Rome gets moody and broody, and Labriella draws a startling comparison that helps her to see what Rome is actually feeling underneath his natural façade. Then she decides to do something about it, to help him…but she runs into a couple confidence-crippling issues: Labriella begins to realize what Kitiora meant about being with Rome being a dark path, and Labriella comes face-to-face with what she really thinks of herself in light of Rome. How’s that for an indispensable lime?

I know what I’m doing for chapter 9. After that…I’m not real sure. I know where I’m going, but without the revisions I have in mind for the story arc as a whole, it will may be difficult to build a meaty bridge from Lord Symeon’s party to Lord Alonza’s. Even my perception of what should take place at Lord Alonza’s party is changing. There is going to be a whole lot of carnality and bondage going around, but as for my main characters…it seems like they should be above that somehow. They’ll definitely be affected, as will their relationship. But how they handle the situation needs to be different from how the nobles handle it. Moral high ground is going to be a moving target. I have to figure out how Rome and Labriella can remain above the discretion line, and yet still provoke one another to action. Sounds like lots of tightrope walking to me.

Naughty, Naughty

Ohhh I just wrote something really naughty. I wonder if your opinion of Rome will change based on this…? It’s a risk I’ll have to take. This is a scene I’ve had in mind to write for awhile—since long before I finished the first volume the first time. It’s one of those things you’re never quite sure when’s the right time for. But since I didn’t keep the after-wedding scene that Gian walked in on at the end of the original first volume, the change of scene opened up a few doors for me.

Here’s a bit of a preview:
Rome and Labriella have come to a certain long-awaited arrangement, regardless of the dodgy actions and circumstances leading up to it. The one thing that is for certain is that both of them definitely want it, and whether it not it is wise, it seems like the only thing to do. The trouble is, it has been so long since Rome and Labriella were close, that neither of them is sure how to go about it now that so much has changed. They do manage to have a decent conversation, and to enjoy one another’s presence for a bit. But Rome’s reluctance to divulge his thoughts pushes some of Labriella’s long-term frustrations to the surface. In the wake of their argument, Rome begins to realize that if he doesn’t do something to bridge the gap between himself and Labriella, he may lose her closeness forever.

Far from apologizing for acting like himself, yet increasingly desperate for what he sees himself losing, Rome does something sneaky and immoral to link an angry Labriella to him without her knowledge. But will this backfire? If she discovers what he is doing to her, surely she will hate him forever?

Still writing. ^_^

Thanks for the Reviews!

Wow, thank you for your reviews! It’s been awhile since I got several at one time like that. I have private messaged some of you to respond to your comments, but as I cannot do that with all of you, I will respond to a few of you here.

Hahachic, glad to have you along for the ride. And thanks for the compliment on my writing. 🙂

To the anonymous commenter a few weeks back, I say I’m glad you like the “thrilling seduction mood,” because there is more of that to come. I’m only on chapter 3 of the second volume, so although story-wise I’m at a sort of culmination of volume 1, as far as I am concerned I’m just getting into the thick of it. So you can expect any seduction to get much more intense. (I look forward to it. )

Ah, Bookworm, you are absolutely right: I left the end of chapter 3 very open-ended. I did that on purpose (though mostly I was just looking for a plausible stopping point to end the chapter, since I was already at about 30 pages handwritten). I did it because Rome’s admission and his question of what to do next are the pinnacle questions, and to answer them will take at least a chapter—especially if I want to cover Labriella’s interpretation of how things went leading up to that question, and why she said “yes” to “rutting” a whacked-out Rome.

And you’ve anticipated the epic question: How much weight does Rome’s promise to Kit pull, and what happens when Labriella finds out about the promise? Remember that although Kit manipulatively drew up the promise (which means she had a hand in sending Rome to the nobles behind Labriella’s back), Rome is the one who agreed to it. How much is Rome holding himself back on principle, and how much is he doing it for the sake of the promise? And if it is for the sake of the promise, is that for Labriella’s sake, or for Kitiora’s sake…or does he have ulterior motives? So many complicated questions. 😉

NEXT CHAPTER starts off, as I mentioned, with Labriella’s take on what happened at the end of last chapter. Remember that when she walked outside looking for Rome, she had no idea what was going through his head—or that the prostitute/tavern wench had followed him. She doesn’t know anything about the tavern wench in general, either—how she and Rome know each other, why she would be talking to him, etc. Labriella also had to come find Rome, and attempt (from what she saw, in the dark) to draw her own conclusions about what was going on, what was happening to Rome, why, and how to fix it. The whole point of Labriella coming to town in the first place was to sort out her emotions…but what she’s gotten is a whole new ball of emotion. If the tavern wench, who is in a dark alley with Rome, tells Labriella that he kissed her, what is Labriella’s response going to be if Rome says he wants to be near her? How many instances of Rome drawing her in and then pushing her away are going to influence her decision? And what does “moving forward” mean to Rome, who has so many limitations set? Add to that that, technically, the tavern wench is a prostitute, and Kitiora has already interfered behind-the-scenes, and this is making to be a very complicated situation.

Oh, I do so love complex things.

Volume 2 Pending

I am back from my trip!

For those of you who have been checking to see if I have begun writing volume 2 yet, the answer is “yes.” In terms of plot, chapter 1 picks up largely where the volume 1 epilogue ended. But in terms of timeline, at least a month has passed for the characters between the epilogue and volume 2’s chapter 1.

As you may or may not remember (depending upon how long ago you began reading volume 1), I headed off volume 1 in Labriella’s perspective. She pondered the world as a whole, and where she and her beloved fit into it, and then reflected back to how it all began. Labriella also closed out volume 1, as the entire epilogue is written in her perspective. She ends with an allusion to events stirring during Freezing Season.

Volume 2, for a change of pace, opens with Rome’s perspective. He, too, is reflecting back. But the focal point of his reflection is the question of “How did I get here?” That will be a psychological theme for him in this book, as people begin to press him to his limits from all sides. But he is not so concerned with what he does to people. He is concerned with what he does with Labriella.

Volume 2 is going to be graphic. It is my intention to write bondage, lemons, limes, and hurt-comfort scenarios into the story as the characters are pressured and their emotions become charged. I have my groundwork laid, so I’m going to run with it. If you don’t want to read about sex and desire, and you can’t stomach violence and gore, then you’re probably not going to want to read volume 2, because these things are what are going to drive the plot forward.

I am choosing to refrain from naming volume 2 for the time being. I have been wavering between two names—one I have already used, and one that has been on my mind. But considering how many times I changed the name of volume 1 before, I’m just going to wait and see how volume 2 pans out, and then pick the name that fits best after the emotional focus becomes apparent.

Chapter 1 is not posted yet. I think I have written the majority of it, but I have to decide now the best place to end it. I will notify you here and on my profile when it is posted, as I am not sure whether you will receive a FictionPress notification.

Long Weekend

Okay, I’m most of the way through writing chapter 25. In fact, I left off at a possible chapter break. But I think I’m going to continue on a little further, because there are some things I don’t want to end up in the beginning of chapter 26. I mean, I guess I could write a whole ‘nother chapter in between, but I’m not sure how long that would be. Depends on how much you mind seeing of Gian and Labriella together…and possibly considering how long chapter 25 would be if typed as-is.

I was hoping to have chapter 25 posted in time for Valentines Day, but obviously that didn’t happen. I’ve got too many projects going on right now. The bad news is the projects consume time that I would otherwise be using to write. Other bad news (for me) is that the projects are stressing me out…but I guess that’s good news for you guys, because when I’m so stressed I feel like my head is going to blow up, I have to write to keep my sanity, which means more chapters for you. Sadly, it also means not so much time for typing. This is a long weekend, so I’ve been hoping to get a chapter or two out to you guys given the extra day, but so far the projects are eating up my free time and messing with any semblance of a sleep schedule that I had.

I will, however, give a little sneak preview as to what I have so far: After that awesome dream last chapter, Labriella has trouble letting Rome go. She wants to go after Rome, but is forced to confront the idea that Rome may not want her to do so. Gian continues to try to pick up the pieces, being the fall-back guy. And then Labriella has another shared dream, but this time it’s not with Rome… With Gian acting a lot like Prince Charming, and Rome turning completely elusive and unpredictable, what’s a girl to do? And how real are these dreams?