More words to the fire

Well, Happy Good Friday to everyone celebrating. May I say this has been an exceptionally good Friday for my word count. I managed to write 800 words today and frankly, that has been quite the day for me. I can’t even recall the last time this happened, maybe two years ago? Man, I need more long weekends. Linda Bloodworth writing word countThank you to everyone who gave their comments on the sample of A Raven’s Revenge.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, here’s the beginning portion of my upcoming book. Mind you, it’s not edited, nor may it be the final version.

Something had gone wrong with our descent into Hell. Pitch black, I couldn’t see a thing. Moving my shoulders I felt the familiar weight of my backpack. At least that made it through, but where the heck was everyone else? Was Hell supposed to be this black? Sure, I didn’t expect a red cloven-hoofed devils with pitchforks greeting, but this void brought out the claustrophobic in me. I reached out to touch anything hoping beyond hope to find a clue to where my friends were, but only felt the air. Then, I tapped forward with my foot, but stopped; for all I knew, I was walking toward a cliff. For someone with a heart full of faith, I wasn’t going to take stupid risks, especially not here.

I felt cold sweat run down my spine, my breath catch in my throat as my heart beat like crazy – thudthudthudthudthud. I clasped a hand to my chest, somehow thinking it could force my heart to slow down. Instead, heat flared on the back of my neck as electrifying panic spread through me. Something about being surrounded by darkness triggered an alarm in me that was going off in full effect.

“No, not here, not now,”

Each gasp for air felt like a gulp of water as I drowned in my own anxiety.

“It can’t end this way,” I thought.

Falling to my knees, I closed my eyes and thought of my friends.

“Darien,” I croaked in between breaths. “Moira. Tom.”

Today, I managed to give Darien a deeper backstory with his previous friends before he met Justice. Also, I invented the Elf Royal Army of Land, Sea, and Air. The sea elves are a little bit different with their double row of sharp teeth. I’m excited about this and when that happens I think things are going to be pretty interesting.


40 K, baby!

It’s been a while as my life has been flipped upside down at my day job and today I pushed myself to put some words to paper. I updated to the new Scrivener, so the screenshot looks a little different, but the result is all I care about.Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 3.59.33 PM

Woohoo, I say! Woo-freaking-hoo! I’m officially 10K away from a proper novel length and I feel like I have at least that many words to write before I can wrap this puppy up and look for an editor.

I’ve learned a lot from my first book. This time, I have to say, it’s been different. I feel more in control of my characters and I feel like I have more freedom to express myself. I’ve enjoyed writing this story. It certainly has given me the platform to let my inner demons out. I believe that’s what writing should be like anyway. An inner expression brought forth into the world.


Take what you can get

Sure, it took me a week to write a thousand words, but I did it and that’s what counts. I didn’t write A Raven’s Revenge in order. In fact, I wrote the ending mid-way through. I did that mainly to inspire myself to keep going. I suppose that’s a little cheat because now I have to work backwards to fill in the parts leading up to the end, but it gives me hope that there is one.

Yes, this one is a cliffhanger ending as well, but it also solves things a little as well.

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This story has me on the edge. I did a few unsavoury things to characters. Sure, some of them deserved it and justice is served, but I have a feeling people are going to truly hate me for some scenes. Even I was shocked, but in this book, no one is safe.

Don’t worry, I’m not George R.R. Martin, I’m not totally heartless, just enough to pull a few heartstrings. I have to remember who my characters are. They’re not human, they’re not going to pay by those rules, and Hell is truly a horrible place.

Let’s see what happens next, because even I don’t know.


Hitting high and low points in writing

Let’s face it; writing is a rollercoaster. Especially when developing characters of whom, as a writer, you torture in strange ways. Yesterday, I wrote a scene that honestly made me terribly sad, but I think it was necessary. What happened you ask? I basically hurt a character in a graphic way and the emotional exchange between these two characters was hard for me to write. It was as if I had hurt a family member and was explaining their pain to the world.

Sure, that sounds nutty, but I love these characters and they’re a very real part of me. I’d love to hang out with them. Like L. Frank Baum, the author of the Oz series, who said with his dying breath, “Now we can cross the Shifting Sands,” I hope their world is my afterlife.

I have no doubt that readers will cry at this point in the story as it is rather moving. What amazes me is that I have the power to do just that. With my words, I can make people actually feel something.  Just incredible really. When I think of all the authors who have touched me I am in awe of that ability. I never thought I’d be able to wield such a power, but here we are. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised, but still.

Therein lies the imposter syndrome I suffer from.

For the past, oh gosh, is it four years now, I’ve been a professional writer in my real life. This was a huge switch from the account service/marketing work I had been doing. It still shocks me that I can be introduced as a Content Writer. I feel like my boss will wake up one day and tell me I’m a fraud and I’m fired. But no, this is legit, I’m doing this, and it’s for real. Sometimes, that afraid feeling gets in the way and I have a difficult time putting words on the page.

Writing has been the only thing that has been a constant in my life and frankly it’s saved me a few times. I’m incredibly fortunate enough to be a writer in my professional and personal life. Even though I criticise each sentence I write and double think things till the cows come home. I worry about my grammar if I’m splitting infinitives and if I have the right punctuation. Honestly, it’s exhausting. Even after I’ve hit publish I’ll go through this post and think oh, I should fix that, what I was I thinking, that’s such an obvious mistake. Bah. Maybe this time I won’t! There. Take that, brain!

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I’ve also managed to hit 35,000 words, which is amazing in itself. I am gaining momentum, in a slow, sluggish fashion and that’s good enough for me right now.

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Half way there…ooooh, living on a prayer

I suppose I’ve finally reached the halfway mark for a novel with 33,620 words. Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 8.50.00 AM

I’m okay with my book not being as big as the first, but perhaps I’ll take this as a sign that I’m not overwriting this time? I learned a lot from writing A Raven’s Touch and I’m trying to apply these principles to A Raven’s Revenge.

What have I learned?
1. Don’t add too much action without an explanation
People complained the story was jumping from one action scene to the next

2. Give your characters depth and let them experience emotions
Some reviewers said that Justice/Moira didn’t act like regular teenagers. I’m trying to give them as real emotions as I believe them to have. Hopefully, that works.

3. Show don’t tell.
This is so damn hard, but I’m trying. I need to describe the scene, build it up and make people believe they’re there.

Writing isn’t easy, and whoever says it is is a damn liar.  Right now, I’m concerned with getting the first draft out and then I’ll go over everything and flush it out. Fingers crossed I can finish this in a few months.

And counting…

Things are looking up where I’m back to writing in the morning at work. This was exactly how I wrote the majority of A Raven’s Touch and it looks like A Raven’s Revenge will be the same. Today, I wrote 400 words and that’s good enough for me. Little by little, the drop becomes an ocean and the words flow when they do.

Finding that balance between writing time and family time is hard to do in general. I know other writers always feel that pang of guilt when they’re away from their family and the same one when they’re away from the keyboard. Both are the best for a creative mind as the family provides stability and normalcy and the words provide that escapism and creative outlet.

I truly love my characters and I can’t believe the things I’ve put them through and they’ve come out stronger for it. In A Raven’s Revenge, darkness really takes a turn for the worse and creeps into the all of the characters. Physically, mentally, they’re suffering and it even breaks them, but as heroes, they have to go on. That drive is still there, burning hot, and it guides them to carry on.

It’s almost the same thing that drives me. I want to see the end of this crazy adventure. How will they do it?

Oddly enough, for A Raven’s Revenge, I wrote most of the ending before I wrote the middle. That was my way of motivating myself to write and I’m surprised it worked. Here we are at 31,030 words. It’s like standing on a very small hill, but albeit a nice one.

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Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

I just hit 30,000 words and I’m ecstatic!

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Looks like I’m halfway there to a first draft. Mind you, 50,000 is considered a novel, but I hope to at least get to 60,000. Though A Raven’s Touch clocked in at oh gosh, I think 120K, I whittled it down to 90,000ish….I think? I can’t even remember.

One thing I learned, as a first time writer, was not to overwrite. I don’t need two chapters explaining what characters ate. Even though I want to explain it all. I freaking love food. Either way, I’m going to keep rollin’, as per my friend K.T, and hopefully, I can actually get this thing written in 2018. Whooo!