Breakfast conversations? Yes, we’re doing dialouge today!

I woke up with the worst headache in all creation.

I suppose it was either my half-muffled groan or my turning away from the blinding sunlight that suddenly flooded the room that gave me away.

“Oh, look! Sleepy head’s awake!”

“I don’t know why in the Seven Hells you sound all excited so early in the morning”, I said, the sound of my own voice sending something akin to hot, burning needles through my skull.

“What? You having a hang-over, huh?” he teased, throwing the pillow I had just dragged over my head across the room.

“Don’t you even start, Damian. Your bonus is almost up,” I mumbled, the warning lost in translation.

If anything, it brought a smirk from Damian.

“You mean the bonus of dragging you home last night or the bonus of being the one to get your ass in gear in the morning with uh…guess you’d call it a โ€˜concoction’ or some fancy word like that.”

“I don’t know how much I like the word โ€˜concoction’ right now,” I said and grimaced, squinting at the cup Damian proffered me without asking. One look at the greenish brew told me I’d rather not know what was in it.

“It’s called an Aftershock,” Damian announced, much too enthusiastic for my taste.

I frowned at the brownish liquid some more before I downed the cup in one go, shuddering as I put it down.

“Gods, that stuff is nasty. What in the Seven Hells did you put in it?” I went for the sink, trying to slosh the taste out of my mouth.

“A raw egg, Worcester sauce and Tabasco,” Damian replied cheerfully.

I just looked at him blankly.

“And you made me drink that.”

“Come on, can’t say it ain’t helping. How’s the head doing?”

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Random ideas and why every writer should love them!

As you can guess by the title, I’ve had some fun plotting for Light. Or should I call it subplotting?

Be that as it may, it never ceases to amaze me how randomly I seem to get ideas for my writing. I suppose all of you have some sort of favorite place to muse and get ideas for your writing. For me that would probably be my bed or oddly enough the shower ๐Ÿ˜‰ But then again it’s those random situations that I’m in and my mind just suddenly snaps, coming up with some random idea that I know I have got to write down, because heyyyy it’s briiiiiliant. 8)

And in the end, that’s all your plot comes down to: some random idea that you dwell on for quite a while, pieced together with other random ideas. The best part about it is that you always can add on to those ideas (which is what we’d call subplot). And sometimes this happens quite automatically by adding another character. I recently read an article on Nathan Bransford’s blog about character and plot being inseparable and I guess it’s pretty self-evident. Whenever you add a character to your story, this character comes with a background, a motivation, a relationship to other characters whether they are main characters or merely supportive cast.

I made that kind of experience by adding Damian as a second first person point of view, in other words, making him my second main character next to Ares. So since Ares’ plot was already laid out in the first draft of Shadows, Damian was involved as one of the main characters, but now that he has his own PoV he is contributing much more details and his own plot lines which make the overall story so much more complex. Let alone he helps to clear up some potentially confusing bits and pieces.

With that I’m off with a writerly squee of awesome to work some new ideas into upcoming chapters. This is when editing is fun ๐Ÿ˜€

Tinkering with some new ideas…

Okay, the results of this long weekend’s painting sessions were a bit mixed, but I still like them. Met with Jen and tried out some new things (and I actually got her to start and finish some of her character art – yay!).

The first one is some sort of cover artsy experiment of Ares and Damian on a 12×24 canvas. I liked the way the background and the title turned out, but Damian’s face is way too long so he looks like he’s just jumped out of Disney’s Hercules – don’t ask me how I come to that conclusion ๐Ÿ˜‰

~Shadows~

Ares & Damian, just about to get up (I leave the rest up to your imagination :p ) I played a little with impressionism etc. here. The background idea came from Jen and I rather like it. However, I do suck at painting/drawing characters in profile

~Nightshade~

Ares and Damian at Nightshade on 20×24″ canvas. I had a blast with this one, because in my original source/first sketch Ares’ left hand was pretty close to where this picture would no longer fall under PG 13 :p In the end I gave in to Stephen repeatedly assuring me that a) he’d never be able to bring any friends to our house if this kind of picture would hang in our living room and b) that he’d have nightmares. Honestly, my hubby cracks me up to no end sometimes. Thus, the non x-rated version here (even though it really wasn’t that bad, meh prudish Americans ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Anyway, this paintings biggest flaw is that Ares and Damian’s heads are out of proportion, but yeah, like I said, I suck at profile-paintingย  and apparently at proportions too… I still sort of like it though and I’m happy with the title Nightshade.

More Paintings!

Actually, I was planning on doing a sketch of Arturiel Valyr yesterday – I promise to get that done still – but then I ended up finishing a portrait of Ares:

– He thinks he’s way too pale, and I’d second that, but hey that’s his problem. After all he always gets himself into those situations…and no I don’t care that I‘m the author, YOU are the damn protagonist – deal with it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh and for everyone who was wondering how Raeyn looks like, here he is (even though he usually doesn’t look that grim, but…)

Originally I wanted to put Damian into that picture, but somehow Raeyn decided to show up. Personally, I don’t mind and the scene’s quite fitting ๐Ÿ˜€

I’m not the most detailed painter as you can see (nor the most experienced, heh…), but painting character art is just a fun thing to do that lets me think about scenes and where I want to go with characters in general. Relaxing so to say ๐Ÿ™‚

Besides that, I’m happy to have accomplished something besides reading absolutely horrible books that came to an utterly horrible and cheesy end…I’m not even going to write a review about those, because…honestly it would be a waste of time.

Let’s just say that I’m glad I didn’t pay more than $1 per book for that trilogy and that being one of the ‘big’ fantasy authors doesn’t automatically make you a good writer. Really. Just look at Goodkind. I shall file Lackey in the same category unless you show me something better than The Last Herald Mage. What really irritated me was that she actually has some good ideas, but the way she goes through with them, the horrible narrative, wooden flashbacks and scenes that don’t contribute anything to her plot… Do I really need to say more?

Character art

Before I forget, I finally got to finish that painting of Ares today that I’ve had going for a while. Originally it was just supposed to be that, but somehow spontaneity had me slip some symbolism from the book in there. In the end I’m quite happy with it, given that these are my first oil paintings ever:

This one’s based on Twenty-Six for everyone who’s read the first draft so far ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ares, Dawnelle and Damian. Like I told my little brother: no, he’s NOT stalking them, this is a rather symbolic scene and one of the key elements of the ending though ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wasn’t quite happy with it, but decided against fiddling with it anymore so it wouldn’t get worse.

On my list for paintings yet to do are another Ares and Damian portrait as well as at least making sketches of my villains and maybe Raeyn too. We’ll see what I get done ๐Ÿ˜‰

*drools*

This would be like the perfect Ares picture. Just need to change the hair color to blond, but other than that…*drool*

Sorry, my IQ just dropped quite a fair bit ๐Ÿ˜‰

“In character” moments…

I love it when I read a book and get ideas for my own writing. Right now I just went through a scene that was very similar to something Ares is going through and it was interesting to see how another author handled a similar situation.

Hm, character-focused writing rocks ๐Ÿ˜€