Monday, August 12, 2019

the Process of Drafting Zuezak | i offer snippets

So do you remember that WIP I mentioned a few posts back? I thought I'd share with you a bit of the process of writing Zuezak.

Here's the introduction post in case you're unfamiliar with the characters' names and the general plot.

[also, the excerpts are straight from the draft, unedited]

What was the most challenging part to write?

The scenes between King Harbald and Zuezak. Harbald's abusively targeted Zuezak throughout Zuezak's whole life. But whenever I write their scenes together, Harbald comes off as a weak, petty villain. 


He doesn't seem half as manipulative and clever. When Harbald's with anyone else, he appears as powerful and dangerous as I want him to be. But for some reason I can't write him true when he's with Zuezak, and that's a significant character dynamic in the plot.

What was the easiest part to write?

Action scenes, including any scene with the gargans, tend to be pretty easy. Usually, I don't have to pre-visualize them. They come as I write, and I type fast, so I usually keep up with what's going on in the scene as it happens. Slower scenes or dialogue heavy scenes are hit or miss, but I always love writing action scenes [of course, that doesn't mean they're any good XD].

Also writing in Damon's POV is much easier than I had anticipated. After I got over an initial struggle with capturing him on the page, he was a breeze to write.

What sort of music did you listen to while writing it?

I don't usually like listening to lyrics when I write, but I do like listening to anything instrumental.  During the first half of this draft, I often listened to  Ralph Vaughan Williams' A London Symphony, but during the latter half, my go-to was usually anything by Sleep Dealer, usually Imminence. Other times I just find something atmospheric at

Where did you get stuck the most?

I procrastinated writing the ending for nearly a month. I don't know why. It's not like it would just go away if I pretended it wasn't there. 


And honestly, I didn't know where to end it. I basically wrote "The End" and gave up. Half the scenes in the ending, I don't even like. I get the feeling I over-wrote the ending while missing so many points that need resolution. Endings are my weakest spot. So hopefully, I can find something that works after rereading it for revisions.

What was the most fun to write?

Action scenes. I think that's partly why they're so easy. I have a lot of fun writing them. And I like how they usually manifest as I type.

I also like a lot of scenes with Damon in them. While I do enjoy a good broody character like Zuezak, Damon's far more expressive and animated. I'm rereading the draft now. Zuezak is awesome to read, but Damon is more fun to write.

I also loved any kind of interaction between Zuezak and Damon. That's probably while this story morphed into a brother story. I like their relationship and how their differences complement each other well. They also tease each other immensely, like any good, faithful sibling would.

Missed a column

What I didn't expect to enjoy writing was Damon and his father's relationship. I expected their interactions to be difficult and Zuezak and Harbald's easy. But it was the complete opposite. From the first scene I wrote between Damon and Harbald, their dynamic was so easy. They have this sort of competitiveness that borders on jovial and merciless. It's Harbald's way to challenge and push Damon to prepare him for kingship. But despite how ruthless Harbald is and how often he makes sure he wins, he's really proud of his son despite their differences. It's fun to write because they each operate with different motives and methods, but they have the same level of cunning and intellect.


Father’s eyes held that subdued rage. It was a look only Damon ever received and that very rarely. It wasn’t quite rage, yes, rage that someone had defied him, but pride rose over it. it was the look of a chessman who’d long been playing half asleep to finally awaken for an opponent worth his attention and revel in the challenge of crushing him.


What particular snacks did you like to eat while writing it?

Usually gummy bears and Dots. I like lining them up on my laptop, between the keyboard and the screen. The only thing is that they do leave this residue behind. 

My dad noticed it once: "what is all over your laptop??"

me: "that is the residue of gummy bear butts"

dad: ????


gif, funny faces

What parts or aspects are you still uncertain about?

Other than the things I've already mentioned, I'm afraid Cassandra's character development falls flat. I don't know a lot about her personality, so I don't think she seems well-rounded on the page. But she's important to the plot [and I like her], so I'll probably interview her the way I interviewed Damon.

And I'm wondering if the Seeker needs to be more involved in the plot. His backstory and identity are uncertain in the beginning, and I only reveal what needs to be said. Which isn't much because he works with Zuezak, and Zuezak doesn't pry. So very little personal information is revealed about him. Since the Seeker doesn't like poking his head in other people's business, or them his, he just keeps to himself. He seems docile almost laconic, but he's really very powerful and authoritative if he needs to be. The other characters have moments when they realize they've come to view him like a house cat when in reality he's a tiger. I like it that way, but I'm wondering if the story is calling for more of him.

What's your favorite way to take a break from writing?

I like going for a walk and stretching. Physical activity really helps, and it's good for brainstorming. Or I'll listen to a podcast while walking [Writing Excuses is a really good one]. But I injured my foot midway into through the draft, so after that happened, I usually watched Criminal Minds or read a book, like Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

Tom Hiddleston (oh, how I loved this scene)

[when the all characters are confused or mortally wounded, and you dump them for a published book]

What needs more research?

I want to give the story a certain flavor with the cathedral's architecture as well as the palace's. I was originally wanting Gothic architecture, but then I realized, I don't know what distinguishes Gothic architecture from other forms of architecture. In fact, I know next to nothing about architecture at all. 


So I'll probably broaden my research a bit to see if that's really what I want, or if what I have in mind is something else.

Also, I don't think I've read many books that incorporate both a magic system and a soft science system, so I want to pick up a few to see how they do it.
[any recs?]

What's your favorite part?

Damon and Zuezak regularly send messages to each other when they can't find the other. So it's fun seeing them poke and tease each other in them.



You ungrateful brat! Off working in your shop with never a hello to your brother who thinks that you could be lying dead in some alley at the hands of another “mugging”? Well! I’m sorry I’m not worth your time.

Tea. Now.

Your neglected relation, Damon

Ps—ok, fine, I still love you.

Zuezak rolled his eyes.

“What is it?” Marki asked.

“Oh, nothing. I’ve been summoned by the drama queen is all.” He stuffed the message in his pocket. 

There's a few rooftop scenes that I really like too. 

I also like certain places when the other characters do discover aspects of the Seeker's character. Usually it's a very human part of him, like his coffee addiction. 


Tyke looked back at them from where he now stood with Lileth over the small cauldron. “Do you really drink all this coffee by yourself!?”

The Seeker finally looked up and seemed strangely . . . abashed, was it?

Lileth then stirred the cauldron, and the aroma wafted toward them. That was definitely coffee.

“Um, I had a vision you were coming.” It was nearly a question instead of a statement. “I made extra for all.”

Tyke tried to whisper which was impossible for Tyke. “He does drink all this himself!”

Do you have any fixed routine for writing or studying?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

walking during august half-light



grab your keys | stuff your earbuds in | you might regret this | open the door | heat isn't a wall | it doesn't hit you | it clings | like sickly warm plastic wrap | humidity muffles the twilight | the sky darkens into gray blues | patchy and puffed with clouds | trees stand stark and dark against it | drawn with scratchy willow charcoal

[really, though use your earbuds for that one]


down the road | listening to old rock | dancing with yourself | watching for the cars | the air breathes hot like a dragon smoking an exhaust pipe | like standing over a bared running engine | wrinkle your nose | what's the smell | better yet | let's not ask


darkest night of the year

stare at the sky | think of other things | other places | just as dark but snowy | with a wind that bites and sneers with a cold scream | to chill the hot-blooded | think of other things | think of stories | winter nightmares storming alive | the ice-crystal resolve of those who stand against them | a yawning swallow of darkness | the end of immortality | a light glinting off a sword | a white stag

#wattpad #fantasa Una vida rutinaria y pacífica pero con muchas carencias. Una niña que jamás hubiera imaginado que esos días acabarían al conocer a su peor pesadilla. Formando así una extraña relación. Sin embargo sería eso quien le daría algo muy importante... Un sin fin de aventuras.

Obstacles by on @DeviantArt


who called ambition an evil | who called the status quo ok | those liars | their demise shall come | the truth seekers are rising



[you'll have to wait a bit for that one]

lightning flashes | a constant discontent | thunder rumbles | where's the exit | what are you doing here | rain spits on your face | this is just a checkpoint | this is not forever | the tarmac glitters in the streetlights | a small cool breath penetrates the humidity | it came from somewhere | the stifled heat returns | everyone comes from somewhere | doesn't determine where they go 

and where do you go from here

childermas my fav

The gates that were long closed

[if you're not sick of this song yet, here's the real thing]

How's your week going?

Friday, August 2, 2019

Late Book Haul | video post

Hi, dragon nerds. I attended Realm Makers and then was out of town immediately after. This is my first week back [now coming to its end], and I've been basically been sleeping late or early or during midday.

the sulk part 2

I thought I'd bring you a book haul video, another one that I should've uploaded months ago [oops]. I have a few other videos that need editing, and even more video ideas at the moment [maybe I should write those down].

Sorry I'm not as animated in this one. I was tired. 


If you need me, I'll probably be asleep.


What have you been reading lately? Have you made any recent book purchases that you're stoked about?