I know I’ve been rather flaky lately and it has taken me forever to come up with this post, but here it is! As you may, or may not, know I’ve been editing Firemists since the end of WIPMarathon. (Seriously, if you don’t know, you obviously never pay attention to my tweets) This entire process, last time I tried, was a horrible experience and I think I have discovered why.
The last WIP I tried to edit, U.U., was too broken. The idea was fabulous, I’m still in love with the idea behind it to be honest, but the execution of the idea was complete crap that was, literally, irreparable. I may actually rip the characters and original idea out of it for a rewrite one day, but not yet.
My current WIP, Firemists, has never let me down. Although it’s infected with typos, too much passive voice, fatty dialogue, and the occasional bad paragraph of nonsense, it is still my beautiful baby. It flew out of me but I have seriously focused on the editing, my goal to make it glorious has not yet been let down. I am honestly excited for someone to get to love this WIP as much as I do.
What I find funny about all of this though… I wrote U.U. during NaNoWriMo 2012 and I wrote Firemists during WIPMarathon. Both zero drafts were written in a month. U.U. in November 2012 and Firemists in January 2014. Two years later I wrote a zero draft not only in a month but twice the word count of NaNoWriMo’s 50K in 30 days. In just two years, I can actually see where I’ve grown as a writer. Now, comparatively I can see how I wrote when I started writing at 12 (that was in 2002) and how I write now at 24 is infinitely different. I fine it pretty amazing that in only two years I’ve gotten this much better just from the regular practice.
Writing is hard, it’s an art form all it’s own. Yet it’s so perfectly flawed. Not every idea is your best one, some will never go beyond a page, but there will always be that one. The one that shakes you awake and demands attention. The one that came in a dream or that started with a terrible zero, or first, draft. Writing is more than just putting your idea down, it’s putting your idea down and making it the best idea. No small idea will be wonderful without the blood, sweat, and tears of editing.
Now, on that note, anyone curious how the editing of Firemists is actually going? Yes? No? Maybe so? I’m going to tell you anyway because I have no CPs or any awesomeness like that and there is one other person who has even read ten pages of this WIP in it’s zero draft form. (I cannot convey how sorry I am for all the errors, by the way.) So, how is the edit going?
Fabulous! Some days it’s a fortress of suckitude (yeah I made that up just now) but other days it works out. The suck days are the ones where I doubt myself, worrying over if this part is good or not and if it works, but that’s only some days. Most of the time I’m carefully reading and re-reading the same paragraph in the zero draft compared to the first draft to make sure it’s actually better visually and sounds better. (Hubby gets to hear me read it out loud in the middle of the night) Overall, I have completely edited the first two chapters. That’s 5,136 words so far and 9 pages in total, not including the current work being done on chapter three. My zero draft, which was over 100K words, had no breakage in it. The scenes were haphazardly broken apart in odd places, there were no chapter breaks whatsoever, and the POV shifted from this character to that mid-scene. That is all being fixed. So far the first three chapters switch between two characters like I wanted to begin with.
Now, for the fun part… I’m going to have a little spoiler fun! You have to look under the break though. For those not interested in the teaser with spoilers included, I hope you have a fabulous day/evening!
Okay, so not as spoiler-y as you might like, but here’s a little bit for you. Firstly, let’s actually introduce you to some of the characters.
The Crew of the Morgadanya
- The Captain – Moran (or Cap’n Yummypants as I refer to him)
- Quarter Master/First Mate – Vicaras
- Deck Master – Betharos
- Artillery Master – Belis
- Ship Surgeon – Markos
- Air Mage – Rathos
- Sentry – Nithan
- Ship Hand – Tavros
No that’s not the entire crew, but those are all characters actually introduced, the rest are more background than anything else.
The Street Kids
- Chachimos (their dog)
- The Huntress – Meliesha
Now, who is ready for a little snippet? Hmm? I’ll give you two excerpts, just for fun!
Chapter One Excerpt:
Upon that wall he noticed a young woman sitting with one leg hanging over the edge, the other bent up toward her chest. Her chin rested on her bent knee, eyes cast down toward the steam clouds that hugged the Sea of Fire. Cinnamon brown hair pulled back into twin braids that rested over either shoulder toward, but above, her waist. Surrounding the crown of her head, a bright red headband held her choppy bangs out of her eyes. The red glow sent up from the flames below the ledges highlighted the dark burgundy shade to her hair. He wondered what her age happened to be, she looked to be the proper age, though on the younger side of it.
Next to her stood a boy he wagered to be under thirteen years from his awkward, gangly size. All arms and legs without the muscle mass to fill the form. He was the protective soldier, an obvious relative of some kind if not her brother. His head was covered with shaggy, champagne blonde locks that shone bright in the sun. His wide cobalt blue eyes scanned everyone who passed, regularly drifting and hovering on the docked ships. A wish to soar existed in the murky depths of his eyes when he viewed the ships, a wish the captain could empathize.
The closer he moved toward the pair, the clearer it became the troubles that ailed them. Not only were both filthy with dirt and grime, but their clothing was riddled with holes from constant wear. The soldier boy might attempt to deck the captain for the conversation he had in mind to have with the young woman, but he felt the risk was well worth the action. He was confident he could handle the boy’s reaction.
A slow grin spread as he strolled to a stop before them, his inquiry blunt following the soft comment, “You realize, girl, that unless you can sprout wings, you might want to get off that wall before you’re blown off by one of the gusts. How old are you?”
Her head turned up, revealing her ruddy, dirt smeared, face that held a pinched nose and prominent chin. Strands of her shiny dark brunette locks framed her face, leaving only the curves of her upper ears showing, highlighting her high, angular cheekbones. The trait that startled him, however, remained her deep-set eyes, framed with long dark lashes and gentle curved eyebrows that gave her a perpetual look of innocence.
Brown, but not a typical brown. Within the depths of her eyes laid the Sea of Fire below, deep oranges and reds that gave the brilliant shade an eerie glow in the sunlight. He vaguely recalled seeing such a shade in his lifetime, but the sight of them in a young woman as sweet and innocent as she appeared had his heart struggling for a moment.
“I won’t fall, I’ve been sitting on this wall for years, I know what I’m doing,” she spoke, the mischief twinkling in her eyes and creeping into the slight upward tilt of her lips. “I’m fifteen… You’ll have to excuse my brother, he’s still a child and forgot how to speak when you walked over.”
The boy muttered a curse under his breath, his soft comment of admiration to the captain, “You have a beautiful ship.”
“I was afraid that was your age, ah well,” he sighed in defeat, it would be a few years before he could hope to invite her back to his chambers. He bowed with dramatic flare, “We are the crew of the Morgadanya, wilder than the Firehawks that hunt the Sea of Fire. I am the Captain, Moran Vorstai.”
Chapter Two Excerpt:
The door creaked.
“Martiya? If you’re here, your brother needs you,” the familiar captain’s voice called from the front room.
She threw herself against the door, hearing the lock rattle she pushed again until his footsteps came closer. “It’s locked from the outside,” she called through the wood, scooting back on the shelf to keep herself out of the light when he opened the door.
The key turned in the lock, her salvation arrived in a burst of bright light. The captain’s face was drawn in an expression of disgust, his stormy eyes had turned to an icy iron shade at the sight of her confinement. He offered her a hand, helping her out and onto her feet which allowed him the sight of just what had happened. Some injuries she had figured out but as she looked at her hands in true light she whimpered slightly. Several of her nails were broken away, the others cracked and broken at sharp, painful angles. Her trousers were ripped at the knees and seams of the waist, her top had been destroyed in the scuffle and she held it up with one arm.
She couldn’t imagine what her face looked like but could gather how bad from the careful measures he took when he lifted her chin and moved her hair away from the wounds. “Shav is safe and unharmed. He’s on the ship with the crew looking after him until we get back. Get both of your things, you’re not safe off the ship either. They will not stop looking until the matter is rendered unimportant.”
She moved into the small bedroom which had a bed in one corner and a thick pile of old blankets on the other side. She grabbed the bag from the small table, dropping down on her knees with a small whimper, she proceeded filling the bag with the articles of clothing that were in various stages of disrepair. “How did you know I was here?”
He shrugged a shoulder, waiting in the doorway with his eyes on the sleeping drunk in the other room, “I didn’t. Your brother said you might be here and I might find your father here as well to speak with him about the matter. Obviously he don’t care.”
Shouldering the bag, she hid her face under her hair, “What are we doing then?”
His lips curved into a slow, wicked grin as he pulled a handful of coins from a purse, holding them across to her, “Here, tuck this in his hand and we’ll say he sold you to me. Personally, I don’t have much use for slavers anymore than most Firemisters, but what the hell? It removes all claim he might have on you and you’re free to help me deal with what happened with your brother.” He paused as they came to the front door, commenting thoughtfully, “Pity he’s not sober enough to sign over his authority. That makes me your guardian. You should call that dog of yours if he’s around, we don’t want to leave loyal crew behind.”
There you have it, two excerpts from the edited version of Firemists. Also, ahem, pretty please let me know what you thought about them! I have been on the fence about both of these sections on the chapters. I’m really curious if it did what was intended or not. Please, please, please let me know! Have an awesome day everyone that read all the way down here to the bottom! 🙂