OK, I hadn’t realised it’d been that long since I’d last blogged. 😳
I’ve been pretty busy these past couple weeks, what with working on the Bites, teaching A&B, and handling stuff around Evolution. Cut down on LJ, which helps with procrastination and minimizes the drama I have to deal with. (Unfortunately, while I’m not the sort to start fights… I am the one to finish them. 🙄 )
Anyhoo, spent several days earlier in the month trying to figure out exactly what I was going to do for the Bites. I could choose from three prompts:
- Theme 1: Both stories must incorporate a silver sword.
- Theme 2: The heroine in the first story must wear a piece of jewelry that the hero in the second book later finds.
- Theme 3: The heroine must be the same in both stories.
After some thought, I decided to go with #3. I don’t work very well with object-related prompts. Even when I was writing short stories regularly at MuseMuggers and used generator prompts, I stuck with character type or theme and chucked the object. 😛
So I had to figure out a character. No big deal, right? Well, it turned out to be a bit more complicated than I thought, because while I had vague ideas for characters, I wasn’t coming up with anything that “grabbed” me. If it doesn’t grab me, then I’m probably going to do a sucktastic job at it.
Eventually, I gave up trying to create something new and started going through some of my old files, wondering if I maybe had something I could use.
… and I came across an old story, “The Identity Vampire.” It’s several years old at this point and drastically needs a rewrite, but the basic premise: Arielle Thompson, preternatural specialist, comes to LA to investigate a strain of attacks leaving people in a comatose state. This is actually the story that spawned the setting for Stronger than the Night. (I threw out a lot in the prewriting/writing for Stronger that didn’t fit my purposes. ;))
My original concept for the character’s a bit off in regards to plausibility, but what do you expect? I wrote it when I was fifteen, without knowledge of Google or Wikipedia. 😛
A tweak here, a tweak there… I kept the preternatural specialist angle, but changed it so she’s working for the Paranormal Investigations subdivision of the FBI. Their basic function is to cover up paranormal activity and protect the American people. For the most part, anything that stays underground and hidden, they’ll leave alone, but otherwise… all bets are off.
Once I figured out character, then I had to come up with an idea for the story. Mulled over that for a bit and then came up with a premise. After receiving reports of vampiric activity, Arielle travels to a small town in Oklahoma to investigate. Basically, she’s up against a master vampire — and in her quest to stop him, she encounters Jackson, a vampire who’s trying to take him down before he can fuck things up for everyone else.
Sounds cool, right?
I didn’t realise until late Tuesday evening (the 25th), when I was a good 3.3k into the story, that there was no way either of them were going to jump in the sack anytime soon. Neither of them work that way. He might sleep with her, but he wouldn’t do it with any feeling to it. And Arielle? Her basic attitude towards sex is, “I don’t need a man. I have a vibrator.” 🙄
Cue major freak-out. Less than a week till deadline, and not only did I have to toss my story out the window, I had to come up with a new idea!
I owe Amme, my crit partner/writing buddy, some major thanks. She listened to my frantic “ohmygodohmygodohmygod”ing and brainstormed story ideas with me. If not for her, I think I might still be banging my head against the keyboard!
I could explain the story, but I’ll post a short snippet instead. 😉
There’s some things you expect when you sign on with the FBI as resident preternatural specialist and paranormal investigator. Tracking down “odd” crimes, taking down master vampires, trolls of the non-Internet variety, hell, even your over-nosy hearthwitch here and there.
Stomping through a smelly Louisiana peat bog? Wasn’t on the list.
“What kind of demon sets up shop in a swamp?” I grumbled as I waded through thick marsh, wrinkling my nose and wishing I’d held out for a wetsuit. Thigh-high rubber boots don’t cut it. Not by a long shot.
Jackson, my partner, shrugged. You’d think being a vampire, with the whole heightened senses deal, he’d be more sensitive to the pungent smell, but apparently not. “It’s certainly an out-of-the-way locale.”
“Yeah, well, if they wanted out-of-the-way, why couldn’t they go to fucking Bermuda? Someplace where they wouldn’t be my problem?”
He didn’t bother answering. As usual. But that’s Jackson for you. Logical and practical to the point of infuriation. At least he’s got a cute ass. I don’t know if I’d put up with him otherwise.
Finished Seeking Shadows (the story) late Thursday night, revisited it the next morning to add a half-scene and tweak some consistency errors, then sent it off to my editor. I’m not sure how much rewriting it’ll need, as FB states in their guidelines that they prefer third person. That being said, it might be more of an issue with longer work than shorter, as first-person limits a novel to the MC’s knowledge and viewpoint.
We’ll see. It shouldn’t be an issue to change from first person to deep third, anyway. 🙂