Tag Archives: writing

Standing in the middle of a book.

Hello, March. I am coming to you today from the mid-point of Three Dark Crowns 2. Or thereabouts. February was a pretty productive month, only the equivalent of one day’s words was lost. So, at this point, I’m still on track to finish sometime in April as planned.

Of course by “finish”, I don’t mean done. I’m going to re-write this puppy so intensely it won’t know its own name. And if that sounds dirty, I meant it to.

Other stuff that happened in February: Hypable revealed the cover for Three Dark Crowns! And I updated my website with it, and the description, and pre-order links here. Because nothing says loving like a pre-order, if you are feeling so kind, and so inclined.

I always feel weird asking folks to pre-order, but it really does help a book and makes everyone involved with it feel warm and fuzzy inside. So…please DO pre-order Three Dark Crowns. And, please DON’T poach elephants. Not that any of you would dream of poaching an elephant.

Hey, just for fun I’m going to talk a bit about the Three Dark Crowns cover. And break it down a bit. Here goes.

There she is. Bow chicka bow wow.

There she is. Bow chicka bow wow.

So, the top crown there, that represents Queen Arsinoe and the naturalists, their affinity for growing stuff and whatnot.

The middle crown is for Queen Mirabella, the elemental. Fire isn’t her favorite, but neither is it her least favorite. Her favorite is the wind and her gift to work with weather, but what were they going to do, a crown with a sad cloud hanging over it? Cute, but no cigar.

The last crown is for Queen Katharine, (I pronounce it Cat-ah-reen, but do how you like), and the poisoners. They wear venomous snakes like jewelry.

I do love this cover. And I was no help with it. Harper kindly asked for input, and I said, in my usual articulate fashion: Uh, sure, uh, covers are nice, uh, could it not be bright butter yellow?

Scuttlebutt is that there will be a different cover in the UK, so I may have another one to share soon. That will be quite the experience for me, as Anna Dressed in Blood looks the same in pretty much every language.

Ok…until next time. When I will be standing hopefully in the last quarter of a book.


If you’re gonna kill me, get on with it. If not, shut the hell up – I’m on vacation.

Or at least I was. Took an extended break from all things writing over the holidays. Minimal internets, practically no thinking about Antigoddess 3. It was nice. I read, and ate a lot. I beat the crap out of Final Fantasy 13-2, only to learn it ends on a cliffhanger until Final Fantasy Lightning Returns. Nearly punched the screen. Good times.

But, vacations end. Two days ago I started Antigoddess 3, after several hours of dinking around doing other stuff I'd neglected doing online over the break, trying hard not to acknowledge the fact that I'd only have as long as it took to open and format the new document to figure out where the book actually started. I've never written a trilogy before. It's weird. Right now all I see are possibilities, with no idea which of them will weave together to form the narrative. And where exactly they'll go when they do.

I won't really know until about thirty (or fifty) thousand words deep if I'm writing a book, or riding a bullet train to nowherestown. And the phrase "riding a bullet train to nowherestown" implies a lot more fun than is actually involved. But so far, the book is fun. Writing is fun. Not a chore, still somehow not work (even if I hint heavily that I am SLAVING AWAY to anyone who asks how the work is going) and the small magic of the process never fails to amaze me. People often ask how I get ideas, or how I develop characters, and I usually have to give these douchey sounding answers like, I don't know, or it just develops naturally as it goes along, and part of me always thinks I'm lying and have just blocked out the real process. But it's true. I was just sitting around, watching who knows what on TV, and the structure of the book was just like, "Hey! Here I am." And I was all, "It's about fricken time, I'm starting you in 20 minutes."

In non-writing, movie-related talk: who's excited for Richard Linklater's BEFORE MIDNIGHT? Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are my two favorite films to double feature with a bottle of wine and roll around on the floor lamenting the state of modern romance. And Guillermo Del Toro's MAMA. I can't decide if it looks creepy, or irritating. Also, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters. Will I end up rooting for the witch? Because I usually do.

Thanks to everyone who entered the ARTICLE 5 Giveaway! I'm in the middle of BREAKING POINT right now, and it's really heating up. That was a total pun, for anyone who's read it already.

When Writers Read

No quote today. I think because I just watched Cast Away, and it is films like that (and Brokeback Mountain) that remind me how much can actually be said with no words at all.

So I told myself that as I get along doing guest blogs and what not, that this journal wouldn’t go untended. We’ll see. Honestly, between Facebook and Twitter, and let’s not forget, actual writing, there’s only so much to say. And I think we all agree that filler sucks. Except when Willow sings it in the Buffy musical.

This post isn’t filler. It has to do with stuff that’s been going around lately, about bloggers and bad reviews and all that zazz. Now, I’m not going to weigh in on that because enough people have, with strong points. I’ll only say this to the writers out there, pubbed or unpubbed: Bad reviews are on their way. Of course they are. People are going to poke our babies with sticks and watch them cry. Occasionally, our babies will be fed to dingoes. But our babies are like Kenny from South Park. They just show up at the bus stop the next day with their kicky red hoods up. Moving on.

The thing that all this bad review talk and being a writer writing reviews talk got me to thinking about wasn’t about reviewing at all. It made me think about reading. And how different that experience becomes, once you’re also writing. Particularly if you’re studying about writing. Any writing students know where I’m going with this?

When I started studying writing I had a freak out. I didn’t like learning all these techniques and methods. Because I’m a reader. It was like seeing up the magician’s sleeve. I didn’t want to see the strings. Thought it would take the magic and the pleasure out of it, and pretty much turn me into a bitter a-hole. I didn’t want to understand the purpose of dialogue or tense. I didn’t want to see the virtues of minimalism and the calculation of a motif. I. Don’t. Like. Brushstrokes. Except on paintings. Those are fine. I noticed that when I read something, I’d be instantly critical of it. I was starting to see through.

And not through in the way that you notice every time Stephen King writes himself into his books, the same way he manages to pop up in all of the movie adaptations (and did you hear, The Stand is hitting the big screen! Fucking right! Or oh so wrong…) or the way that you noticed that Anne Rice took certain liberties with characters in the last Vampire Chronicles installment. (and no offense to either of these writers. I’m huge fans of both and say it with endearment.) But seeing through. To the technique rather than the story.

The fact of the matter is, once you study writing, you don’t read the same way you used to. But so what? On the other side of it, I wouldn’t trade the studies. Besides, reading is still kickass. The writers I loved I still love, just with a new dimension of appreciation.