‘In the Shadows’ is dead, long live ‘Fabrica Scribendi’

Just in case anybody wondered, I have re-located my blog (with new shiny title and username) over to blogspot at http://fabricascribendi.blogspot.com/ Because? Well, honestly, because wordpress started to annoy me and it was time for a blog make over. And because I say so.

Anyway, I’d love if you stopped by the new blog. Hope to see you there!



Beta reads!

Just a quick note, since a few people have asked me if I was going to post my writing here and friendslock it for those who want to read it and give me some lovely feedback – as you have seen I’ve done just that. If you’re interesting in what I’m doing with this draft and want to help prevent me from completely butchering it by giving me some input about it, please contact me at sfloch87[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll be more than happy to give you the password so you can take a peek at it.

Lots of love,


Protected: 1. Magic is Not A Good Thing.

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Lovely progress!

After pondering this first chapter for a long time, deciding to discard my original prologue as it really wasn’t adding anything vital to the overall plot, I finally sat down and re-wrote the first chapter of what is pretty much the third draft of Light. At first I was really preoccupied with largely over-thinking the whole thing, worrying if certain things were making sense and if I wasn’t even starting this whole thing right.

Let’s face it, next to endings, beginnings are probably the hardest thing to write.

Finally I decided that yes, it would work and it did make sense and ended up adapting quite a bit of old stuff from the second draft that fit into this pretty well. Right now I’m quite happy with the chapter as it is since it does introduce three different conflicts that will carry the main plot: the Raeyn story-line, the Empire vs. the Voyants and the conflict between Ares and Damian. I’ll look over it again tomorrow to weed out anything that I may have overlooked or that could be improved and then move on to chapter two, which will be a lot of fun to write ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S.: If anyone has any good designs or pictures of the Chariot (as in the Tarot card), send them my way asย  I am looking for a good one to use for a tattoo design ๐Ÿ™‚

Outline or just wing it?

I actually got into a discussion with fantasy author Brandon Sanderson about this during a writing convention last year. He pointed out the differences between what he called the “planners” and “discoverers” as far as writing is concerned. Planners in this case religiously following an outline they had made for their books, outlines usually being very meticulous and detailed with a clear concept of opening, middle of the book and ending. Unlike planners, discoverers are the kind of writers that like to just go by a general idea and watch the story unfold as they wrote it.
Back then I found myself very strongly agreeing with Sanderson’s middle approach of this: I had a general idea that I was going by, but also had kind of an outline, one however that lacked both an ending and most of the details, thus resulting in me mostly just winging it.
Now I’m not so sure that this is the right, or maybe just not the appropriate approach to this novel anymore. Maybe this has to do with the fact that by now I’ve been working on this for over three years and the book has grown from a “general idea” to “scraps that just featured the wrong main character” to “a partly horrible, partly readable first draft” to “some more, much better yet still mediocre, rewritten scraps”.
Anyway, three years later I felt like it was finally time to put this whole thing that always went by the work title Light into an outline. And something interesting and fabulous happened! Structure! Logic! A well-rounded plot! Wooo!
The bottom line is that in this case going at my book by stripping it to its studs, isolating separate scenes and deciding what to keep and what to can, resulted in an entirely new book. Yes, what was originally conceived to become a trilogy, or two books at best, with a very vague idea of how in hell this whole mess is going to end, could be compressed into one single volume! Hurrah! Finally I have what this book was lacking all along – an ending, an a complex and dense but coherent (in my opinion at least) plot – yay! Now it just needs to be written. And then…well, then we’ll see.

As far as the outline is concerned I discovered the virtue of COLOR CODING and POST-IT NOTES! Seriously, they are a writer’s best friend ๐Ÿ™‚
Since I have two first-person characters whose narrative as well as numerous scenes containing sex and violence, I decided to give each of these characters and elements a distinct color. Green for Ares, yellow for Damian, orange for violence and pink for sex to make sure they’re more or less equally distributed throughout the novel, and to get a closer look at the plot. After a couple of edits I also added content notes, and the finished product is now hanging in my apartment making me all kinds of happy.

Outline Board version 1.0

Outline Board version 1.0

Outline Board v.3.0 final version


Wow, it’s been a while since I last posted anything, let alone anything worthwhile on here. Truth is, my writing drive has been locked up in a little windowless hibernation cell for most of the year due to ongoing personal stress and frustration. However, my drive to write seems to finally have found an escape route and the prison break has been completed this month with the result of me being full of shiny new ideas for Light, which in turn resulted in a complete re-vamp of the original drafts and scraps.

Anyway, this means I’m back and up to par as far as writing goes. I’ve finished a very elaborate outline that actually has a real ENDING (meaning that what I at first conceived to be a trilogy and later two books, will now be completed within ONE BOOK!) I’m really excited about this and there will be lots of shiny new stuff that adds to the overall plot, logic and complexity of the story. Overall I cut quite a bit of clutter out of the original drafts and while doing a complete rewrite, there will still be old elements present, even though I’m going to twist most of them a little. Damian will have his own completely developed plotline and get it on with Raeyn (which already makes me chuckle). Raeyn in turn will get much more room and importance in the novel (something that his character has been pestering me with for much too long). Oh, and Ares will get SCARY! and switch sides! And do bad things! This will be fun.

Hope some people will join me in the fun as I always enjoy the healthy exchange of writerly goodness (and frustrations).



P.S.: There also are TONS of things that I need to edit and update as far as the site is concerned. I’ll get around to it. Be patient with me ๐Ÿ™‚

Quick Update

Still too busy to think straight. Three more weeks till school’s over (3 papers to write, 6 tests to take, 3 oral reports to give). Blargh. At least I’m looking forward to having some quality character time during summer break and to maybe, maybe even finish the second draft of Light.

In other news, the tattoo is still awesome, healing really well and itching like fuck (you were totally right about that one.) On the plus side, at least my VS bras are awesomely versatile, so I can actually wear something but a sports bra (which I hate with a passion) that keeps everything where it’s supposed to be :p

Anyway, weird side rant aside, life’s hectic, but awesome. Now to convince the boss to replace my monitor with something that I can actually work on without the certainty of inevitably going blind and insane by beeping, feeping, flimmer tube screen of doom. Let’s hear it for flat screens, folks.


P.S.: If someone has cool images of The Chariot (speaking of the Tarot card “The Chariot), please send them my way since I’ve had a sudden spark of inspiration ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now that didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would…

I know that I already told some of you about this, but this year’s birthday present to myself has been a tattoo. My very first one and even though I’ve always wanted one, until recently, I just didn’t know what exactly I wanted to get. As so often in the life of yours truly ideas come random, and they come whacky.

This one came to me in a dream in which one of my MCs suddenly showed up sporting a raven in flight holding a broken pocket watch in its claws. Now what made me get it in the end wasn’t only that it stands for the two patron deities of my MCs in Light as well as for things like night, soaring hights and chaos in general, but also the fact that it applies to me as a person, though the explanation here is a little more personal so if you’re interested in hearing my personal rant about it, feel free to nudge me. Anyway, this is something that relates both to me as a person and as a writer and I just love what Jason from SLC Ink did with my rather simple 10-minute sketch:


Here’s the stencil and me getting more and more nervous as the little voice that says “Oh my God, I’m really doing this!” and “This is going to hurt like Fuck!” gets louder.

102_0006Things are getting started and it’s really not as bad as I thought it would be. Seriously, my “always expect the worst to happen” mentality sometimes really pays off ๐Ÿ˜›

102_0007By the time the outline was done, I really looked sore, but it still wasn’t so bad and it took less time than I imagined it to take. One thing that I was kind of worried about was the fact that I’m usually on blood thinners, but had taken a few days off the meds to make sure it wouldn’t bleed too much when I got the tattoo and evidently it worked just fine.

102_0010And we get color! Well, it’s a black & gray tattoo, but still ๐Ÿ™‚

102_0011Almost done except for the highlights. Which for some reason hurt more than anything else, but that might have been due to the entire tattoo taking 3 hours and me getting a massive headache in the last hour.

102_0012Aaaand done. Pretty red and sore and the highlights won’t come out until it’s fully healed in about 3-4 weeks, but I’mย  really, really happy with it. This definitely was one of the more interesting birthdays. Gotta love those gifts that you give to yourself and having awesome friends who tag along. Even though “Oh man, this going to hurt so bad” won’t ever make it into the most supporting lines ever.

Anyway, thanks to Jen and Carly for tagging along and most of all thanks to Jason for doing an awesome job ๐Ÿ™‚

EDIT: I’ll have Jen or someone take a new picture of how it looks now all healed and not as dark anymore. It has a lot of highlights now and looks all pretty. I love it ๐Ÿ˜€

And we are writing the Week of Doom.

Which sadly means no writing time for me due to office madness and homework insanity. Unfortunately I have two very impatient protagonists clamoring for attention inside my head (which probably isn’t very conductive to getting rid of this migraine that I’ve been having for the last few days >:-( )

But I’m getting there. I’m counting 2 more papers to write, 3 more exams to take, 5 more oral reports to give and I’ll be free of school for a few months. Which will hopefully bring me closer to my goal for this year: to finish the second draft ofย  Light and start polishing it so I might eventually get somewhere with it.

Here’s to optimism ๐Ÿ˜€

Should I really write this or would that be too much conflict for my novel?

The answer is easy: Always go for the conflict. The more conflict, the better the novel. And no, of course it’s not that easy.

I just happened to talk to my best friend about the matter of adding enough conflict to your plot to keep your novel going and your readers on the hook. In my opinion, you really can’t have too much conflict in your book, because, let’s face it, long-winded and drawn-out introspective scenes are ultimately boring.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be any introspective moments and that your entire novel should consist of gunfights etc. because not all conflict is conveyed by action scenes or outright character confrontation. What I’m talking about are all those conflicts that characters go through. Conflicts about relationships, conflicts about the political system, conflicts about doing what needs to be done or having to make a difficult choice.

When it comes down to it, there really shouldn’t be any scene that is not in some way or another driven by conflict, whether that’s an exterior conflict such as a protagonist/antagonist confrontation or an interior one such as conflicted emotions. That’s what drives the novel and sure, you will probably have those little moments when the plot seems to ease down a little and makes room for a more contemplative scene, but those shouldn’t ever take over your plot.

Nathan Bransford just wrote a great article about his attitude on conflict and I found it to be great food for thought as conflict has been a major thing occupying my mind lately and I noticed that you really can’t have enough of it.

As long as you keep track of all the little plot threads that will doubtlessly arise from this and are able to tie them off that is. And if it you’re writing a series and it will in fact take another book to tie them off that’s fine, as long as you don’tย  get your readers and eventually yourself lost in a wild tangle of loose plot yarn ๐Ÿ˜‰