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12 Books in 12 Months

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WIP

April’s Genre…

… is romance.

Originally I had planned to write some kind of beautiful unrequited love story, but then I thought no, that’s altogether too literary – I’m going to get my paranormal romance on and sell 100 000 e-books like Amanda Hocking

I’m still going to include an element of unrequited love, though.  What better narrative reason is there to keep people apart than having one of them a vampire who cannot reveal his or her true feelings because he or she loves the other person too much to compromise their safety?  And what better way of gearing this towards a Twilight loving audience than have the vampire a fifteen or sixteen year old girl, loving a boy she can never have from afar?  That’s an experience everyone has at some point or another.  Well, except for the being a vampire part.

The only suggestion I’ve had for this month was that the girl should be called Jennifer and that she should work in a dog grooming salon.  I think I will change this slightly so that she has a job walking dogs, ostensibly to earn a bit of extra pocket money but in actual fact to help her blend in and feel more human.  This girl has teen angst to the max.

This decided, all I need to do is conduct a little bit of research into the genre.  An initial Google search in my lunch break led me to the Harlequin website (that’s Mills and Boon), and the rather brilliant first chapter of ‘Demon Seduction’ by Pat White.

Stand-out lines of exposition include:

“back then she was just a girl, terrified by Marcus’s demon cousin who’d wanted to slake his need with a human virgin.”

I hate it when that happens.

“Having been created from human ash of the Great Fire of Rome, Ash could assume human form better than any other creature of the dark realm.”

As documented by Pliny and Tacitus, no less.  This author is quite the classicist!  Well, that or she read the Wikipedia entry, like I did.

“His mission was to fill her with his demon seed against her will, the very act he’d defended her from when she was but sixteen.”

Is this a good time to mention that whilst I love romance, I can’t take it seriously?  I feel this will add to the challenge.

Some excellent dialogue in the tale included:

“Mickey, you wanker, what’d you do that for?”

Which I think was to reemphasise that the story is set in Engerland, and:

“Go find yourself a husband to take care of you.”

This places our heroine as a frustrated feminist trying to make it in a man’s world – we later find out she also wears baggy jeans and army boots.  FYI, that means it’s OK for her to become a sort of sex doormat later on.  So what if she allows herself to be seduced by a poorly characterized Ash Demon?  That doesn’t mean she’s conforming to a stereotype, if anything she’s breaking it by defying the expected spinster/dyke path.

 And so what if she flunked out of uni because she was busy lurking around in thickets searching for demons to kill in order to win her father’s grudging respect/love?  She doesn’t need all men to validate her, just her disinterested, misogynistic old pa.  Is that so wrong?  Of course not.

I don’t think this is quite the type of tale I’m aiming for, though.  The nearly having sex but not quite scene is right there in chapter two; all inappropriate nudey fairy statue stroking and nipples akimbo. Stephanie Meyer doesn’t reach that point till three books in!  I have severe doubts about my ability to write a non-comedy sex scene, so I think I’ll probably follow her example.

This will involve looking out a few of the more popular paranormal romance / dark fantasy (is there a difference?) authors, I suppose.  Popular authors at the library where I used to work included P.C.Cast, Charlaine Harris, Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon.  Anybody know any more?  I’d be particularly interested in short stories and flash fiction, just because of time constraints…

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A Link and a #WIP

Here is a piece of flash fiction you should read, particularly if you are a fan of fine literature.

And here is a snippet of what I have written today:

We sat like that for what seemed like hours – although I suspect it was only twenty minutes – before Cookie bounded in from his bath completely starkers.

“COOK,” I bellowed, mortified, “pit some claithes on!”

Baffled, he looked down at himself, but even then the realisation of what was wrong took a while to dawn on him.

Then he registered Mhairi, and all at once he seemed to understand.

“Good day,” he said to her with a polite bow. “You must be Mhairi.  Will you excuse me for a moment?  I appear to have forgotten my clothes.”

In case this needs explaining: Cookie is an old pal of Victor’s who is losing it a bit, and has run away from the nursing home his daughter stuck him in.

In Which I Discover I Am Not Superman

The night of writing dangerously was not as successful as I had hoped – although to be fair, my hopes were ill defined and woolly round the edges to begin with.  I think ideally I wanted to bash out 30,000 words and be like HAH, TAKE THAT INTERNET!!!!!  But that would have involved typing 125 words per minute every minute for the solid four hours, which was never going to happen.  Unless lack of sleep helped me evolve into Superman.

Pic from transportationnation.org

Between 2am and 6am I wrote just over 5,000 words, but I had hoped to manage more.  There again I did claim I would write from 12-12 (because it’s 12 books – clever, no?), which didn’t happen.  Had I actually done that, rather than catching up on the drafting of some STV articles and wastefully falling asleep for 2 hours, maybe I’d have got closer to achieving my unspecific catch up goal.

I think I have to resign myself to the fact that 50k will not be reached this month.

But on the plus side, the following sites are great if you’re too spaced out to concentrate, or just want to laugh.

Hyperbole and a Half

Hark, A Vagrant

Also, have you filled out the census yet?  I have!  I was sad to see there wasn’t a box for any other info into which I could put I was writing 12 books in 12 months, but I still feel it was worth my time.  For more on that, read my interview with Edinburgh-based genealogist Kirsty Wilkinson.

#WIP – Mhairi Mclennan

“It’s they kids,” she stated flatly.

I wondered whether Mhairi Mclennan could read minds.  It wouldn’t surprise me if she could.  Folk from up north are always more magical, I’ve noticed.

“I’ve seen them outside your house, throwing things,” she explained when I didn’t respond.  “They target me, too.  Ring the doorbell and run away.  Put things through my letterbox.”

She paused.

“Nasty things.”

#WIP

A snippet.

She regarded me with clear grey eyes that gave nothing away.

“Don’t you start making grandiose plans,” she commanded.

I shifted uncomfortably from right foot to left, like a child that has been caught out.

“Ah amnae,” I protested, which was true, really.  My plans weren’t grandiose, not by a long chalk.

She frowned.

“You can’t be the hero in this, Victor.”

Another Excerpt From Book Two

“What did she mean, we’re stuck?”  Mrs Shiers peered at Bob accusingly.

There was a pregnant pause, then:

“….what?” he said, in the worst feigning of ignorance ever showcased in the whole of Auchtergowrie Theatre’s long and painful history.

“That actor lassie said we were stuck,” Mrs Shiers reminded him, accidentally slipping into a broader accent in her concern.

“Ah,” Bob shrugged helplessly, looking about him for guidance but receiving none, “that.”

“The security system is jiggered, Mrs S,” Lauren volunteered after several long moments.  “We can’t get out of the building, and there’s a high chance nobody else can get in.”

“But we’d rather that it wasn’t common knowledge,” Bob interrupted, “because we don’t want people to panic.  And the police’ll probably want to talk to everyone that saw the show, we think.”

“Why would they want to do that?”

“Well, to get their eyewitness accounts,” Bob said vaguely.  “To find out exactly what happened.”

“Come on,” Elspeth encouraged, holding out her arm for Mrs Shiers, “let’s leave these lot to it and get a stiff drink.”

“In light of the situation,” Mrs Shiers conceded, “that doesn’t sound like a completely terrible idea.”

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