I’m up to a whole new phase of my story. Things have been shaken up for my characters and it’s taking me a bit to get into the new head space, so progress is slow.
Today, I mucked around with a possible query. It’s not perfect, but it’s nice to be thinking about it. Yet again, I can think of parts of my story that could do with a bit of a tweak to sharpen them up to fit the query/outline. It’s good. Not big changes, just things like making my MC more proactive and such. But, that is for the next revision.
So, lately, I drew a new picture to play around with an idea for a cover. It was meant to have both Jonas and Llew on it. But, I learned something. It’s really hard to draw a female character that I think is cute. I was basing my image on some models (actresses), but she ended up looking a decade or two older than I want her to. Weird, considering it wasn’t anything like wrinkles that did it … What is it about young vs older people that makes them look their age, or not? I’ll put up the pic of Jonas here and in my gallery. I know it’s not awesome (I could have cropped out his hands, but meh). I blame me doing this one 100% digitally (oh, and sucking at drawing hands … but let’s pretend I’m a professional with awesome skills here, huh?). I think I could do with starting on paper. Must find the time and space to do so (it’s hard enough having the toddler trying to touch my touch screen, never mind drawing on a drawing … or running away with the pencil, or eating it …). Anyway, you may have a nosey:
As for the blurb – it uses bits of the back cover copy I played with a few months ago, but is added to, to approximate what an agent might look for:
Llew has a gift. Her body heals itself from any injury—but at a cost to anyone nearby.
In a small country ignorant of magic, freeing oneself from the hangman’s noose isn’t a good look. After dying and coming back thrice, Llew drops from the gallows into the hands of Jonas: the man carrying the knife with the power to kill her—permanently.
Llew soon learns there are those who covet her power for their own use: the magician Braph, who needs a healer’s blood to fuel his magic, and the nation Turhmos, who would breed more of her kind to fill their army’s ranks—and news of her existence has now reached them both.
The last of his warrior race, Jonas has the power to protect Llew. But, healers killed his parents and wage war against his home. Llew must win him over before Braph or Turhmos catch her, or he kills her himself. Easier said than done: Jonas has learned the hard way that caring for others means their death.
Set in a world similar to the famous Wild West, WEAPONS OF WAR (complete at ____ words) is a fantasy where characters, magic and gadgetry come together with action, suspense and romance.
I’m not totally sold on the paragraph about Jonas. 1. it includes a cliché, 2. It just doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like I’d like it to. I will keep playing, but I think I spent long enough for today. However, if it makes you want to read it, you can (up to chapter 15, ~57%) here.
And, if it doesn’t, maybe some of this will:
Comments from readers:
Love the new chapter – the dialogue, the romance, the action, the internal debate / struggle, you pack a lot in, which makes it an eminently enjoyable read I thought it was great the way … [spoiler removed]
Wow, you really did up the stakes in Chapter Ten, didn’t you! … [spoiler removed] …I’m loving the tension even though it’s making my stomach constrict and making me bite my fingernails …
Chapter 11: I’m still loving it! The drunken behavior, the blurting out whatever came to his mind, so like someone in the blissful carelessness of intoxication…and the next morning when he got up, the “oh, no, what did I say? Don’t believe it” and the dialogue all the way through the chapters is wonderfully entertaining and genuine; I can hear them while they’re speaking. The repartee and the conversation between the two protagonists is perfect, the romance, the apprehension, the feeling that it’s all building up slowly (ok, so not always slowly!) but surely to a culmination…
OK, that was all one reader … But there have been others:
One chapter in and my main question is… why only two likes? Let me add one. This is just a great character and really concise writing. I am finding myself envyous of your writing style from time to time. …
Great! Very well written with interesting characters! Makes me want to keep going on but sleep is getting the better of me and it’s getting late.
Will return tomorrow for the other chapters.
Keep up the good work!
It’s nice to be getting these comments. It gives me confidence that I am on the right track (I set myself the challenge of writing something that people other than just me would want to read … I seem to be meeting that, so far). And, some of the comments have been helpful for possible revisions – for instance, the lady who made all the lovely top comments pointed out a potential point of confusion in one chapter, and a less-than-totally-believable character reaction in a later one. And I will fix these in the next revision. My aim at the moment is to keep the forward momentum, though – except when I’m procrastinating playing with potential queries (which help with outlining, so it’s not all wasted) and blog entries … which … um … yeah …
I understand where some of those errors come from. Sometimes, I’m fully in the scene – I see, smell, feel everything that’s going on for my character. Other times, my head gets a bit fuzzy – usually because I’m over tired – and the genuine writing is tougher.
Anyway, it’s getting late and, unless it does as forecast and snows overnight (doubt it … didn’t last week … well, OK, we have half a centimetre woowoo) it’s a work/kindy day so I had better get myself off to bed. Have got to fit in a chapter or two of the “Night Angel Trilogy”, too. Finally onto the third book of that, so I’m getting there.