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Archive for November, 2012

– More excerpts! (YA Fiction) –

Serina pulled up the hood of her cloak as she rode down the narrow alleyway. She’d picked up the trail quite easily, though it led right down the main road. Instead, she kept to the shadowy side streets, blending into the dusty ground. She could feel the pull of Fae’s spirit. It pulsed with need and twisted the world around her; destinies falling away into darkness as the world worked it’s way towards a single inevitable fate. Each choice altered the course of the future, and now she was sure the girl was a part of it. Her need would be the hope of mankind when hope was all they had left.

by klauspillon on deviantart

Serina led her mare carefully. She still wasn’t completely comfortable with the creature, but the mare seemed to have sensed the need to be meek. Though she sometimes shook her mane restlessly, ready to take off galloping at any moment. Serina felt the unease rising in the air as well, whirling on the winds, drifting into doorways. Something had turned this once tranquil village into a hub of misery and decay. It crept into the hearts of these people and fed on their despair. Something was here and she feared the worst. She patted the mare’s neck soothingly and noticed her own shadow upon the ground. It was deep and dark, its edges defined as though the sun shown down upon her back. Serina looked up at the sky, which was a mass of swirling gray clouds, casting the village into a dim obscurity. Frowning, she reined in.

As the wind blew down through the mountain pass, Serina saw the shadows of the buildings sway. They stretched out as though to detach themselves from their hosts, then would lay perfectly still again, the wind twisting into a sighing moan in their wake. The mare stamped its feet impatiently. Serina placed her fingers on the pale stone around her neck, her lips moving silently. The mare kicked nervously as the wind around her began to swirl. Serina was enveloped in a thin azure mist that drifted away as soon as it has come. The mare turned her head but there no longer sat the kindly old priestess but a young woman with golden skin and narrow green eyes. She had thin black hair that was tied back and fell the length of her spine. Her red breastplate was inlaid with an intricate gold pattern, her loose fitting white pants fluttering in the wind. A broad saber was tied to her waist, as well as a bow and quiver slung across her back next to her wooden walking staff.

The mare wasn’t startled at the change, but gave Serina a level stare. She leaned forward and patted the horse’s neck again.

“Sorry, sister. I did not mean to put you off.” She straightened in her saddle. “It does feel good to be oneself again.”

Troubled, Serina looked up at the sky, whose swirling clouds had grown much darker. People in the village stopped in the streets, looking up at the sky with hope. They didn’t notice how far and deep their own shadows stretched, but instead lifted their hands to feel for the first drops of a rain that would not come.

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I find myself to be genuinely kind and good-natured, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my faults. Behind this façade of do-goodery is a tangle of human imperfections, imperfections that I’ve only recently begun to notice greatly affect me as a writer. I think it’s safe to say that no one’s perfect, we all have some less than desirable qualities, but understanding how your personality shapes your writing style and habits will help you hone your craft. Be accepting of your faults, but don’t succumb to them.

I. Impatience (Lust)

This first one isn’t very obvious to some and I had to really think on how to articulate its effect on my writing. I’m not a very patient person. I like getting to the good parts of a story. Skimming over long descriptions, I sometimes find myself skipping whole chapters just to pick up the storyline of a character I really enjoy (though I always go back of course). This impatient desire to know what’s going to happen next is particularity troublesome when working on my own novels. I’m always getting ahead of myself, anxious to reveal the interesting plot points or awesome characters that got me invested in the story in the first place. I find it difficult to write what happens in between.

Sometimes my desire to get to a certain part of the story is so great that I don’t find myself writing anything at all. I can’t think of what’s going to happen next because I’m so preoccupied with what’s going to happen in ten chapters. I get frustrated when I can’t link my thoughts together, and end up leaving the project unfinished to start another whose ideas have captured my attention.

When things don’t come together as easily as you thought they would, it can be quite disheartening, especially if you know that the story has real potential. Even if we all hope to achieve it, success isn’t made over night… well at least not for most of us. I’ve tried lots of writing tricks to get over this insatiable desire to get ahead: write out the idea that’s on my mind, outline the story between plot points, work out character motivations to figure where they’ll take the story, but it’s not as easy as it seems. It took me a while to realize that impatience is something that must first be corrected in oneself; I need to become a more patient person in my day-to-day life. After all, it’s not like I stop being a writer when I leave my desk, it’s also a part of who I am.

But I’m starting to realize that this whole process may take some time… and we all know how impatient I can be.

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