Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I thought that (more for my sake than yours) I should do a blog post about each of the triplets from The Shadow Conspiracy --- their personalities, likes, dislikes, etc. I decided I'd start with Skylar, because I'm writing from her perspective today. :)

So. Where to start? Skylar is probably the most complicated main character I've got. I can't even find a proper picture to do her justice (though the one above comes pretty close). She has a broken past and absolutely no childhood whatsoever. She's never played with toys. She's never had time for toys really. From a young age, all she'd been focusing on is stealing.

It's not her fault, of course. Despite having no firm father or mother figure, she still has morals that aren't completely screwed up. She was forced to steal, raid, and trespass at the command of the leader of the group of thieves she was bound to --- Drew Sebastian. A lazy lump of a man, with a heart that has rotted over the years. 

Her favorite tool? Or tools? Her utility belt, which carries all sorts of technology far advanced beyond her day and age (which is the future world, if you didn't get the memo). It never leaves her, even when she sleeps. She doesn't allow it to leave her sight. It's too precious. 

Being trained since she was three, she is a gymnast/karate master/assassin and she knows at least a dozen ways to knock you out/kill you with only a pencil or a credit card. But she doesn't like to brag. Despite her background, she's quiet and gentle with those she loves. But don't cross her --- like a mama bear protects her cubs, Skylar is fierce to protect the people she cares about. And, goodness, she certainly could pull it off, easy.

Character Inspiration
  • Black Widow, from the Avengers
  • Tris, from Divergent
  • Corrie ten Boom from The Hiding Place

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Unexpected

You know how, when you write, something happens that you had no idea would happen when you sat down to finish the chapter? Well, that something happened.

And when I say something, I mean one of the main characters getting captured and another getting shot.

My readers will hate me.

“Come on, we need to hurry, they’re right behind us!” Skylar hissed, but a gurgle stopped her in her tracks. Turning, Skylar’s heart stopped.

            Sophie lay collapsed in the tunnel, barely conscious, a dark red stain spreading from the side of her tunic. Her face was ashen and her eyes were unfocused, one hand lying gingerly over the wound.

            Skylar’s face drained of all color. “No,” she murmured.

            Sierra reached over and felt for a pulse. Skylar held her breath. The shouts at the end of the tunnel seemed to fade away as she waited for Sierra’s answer.

            “She’s alive,” Sierra said. “but she needs help, fast, or that could easily change.” Hoisting her up, Sierra turned to Skylar, her face determinedly calm. “Let’s go.”

            The two ran for their lives, trying to ignore the shouts that were coming closer, trying to ignore the growing scarlet stain, trying to ignore Sophie’s limp arms and closed eyes.

And, being such a wonderful blogger, I won't tell you what happens. ;)

They ran, but they had talked too long --- the guards were on their tail. Ransom, who was leading the way, looked back and groaned. “I can’t take you to the tunnels with them following us like this,” he said. “It would be a direct giveaway to our hiding place.”

            “Now what do we do? We don’t have time for this!” Sierra’s calm demeanor was shattering as Sophie became less and less conscious and more and more blood dripped through the tunic and over Sierra’s fingers.

            Suddenly, a plan struck Skylar --- a horrible plan, a plan that went against every fiber of her being, a plan that was stupid and foolish yet would work.

            There are greater things to fight for.

            Taking a deep, deciding breath, Skylar stopped running. Ransom and Sierra halted too, staring back at Skylar incredulously.

            “Serenity, what are you doing? Come on!” Ransom urged.

            But Sierra knew what she was going to do. “No, no, don’t do this, please don’t do this,” she begged.

            Skylar had already made up her mind, and nothing could sway her from it now. “No. I’ve got to do this, or we’ll all die. Go.”

            They both hesitated, their mouths open, ready to protest.

            “Go!” Skylar screamed. Turning, she faced the oncoming slew of guards and pulled, out of her utility belt, one hand grenade and a pistol.

            “Skylar,” Sierra begged softly, forgoing all nicknames, “there’s still time left … we could still make it … please …”

            Skylar turned back to her, the grenade armed and ready. “You don’t understand,” she said quietly. “I have to do this. Now, go, or else this will all be in vain.”

            Skylar looked at Ransom, who looked stunned, but he nodded. At least he understands, Skylar thought, as she watched him gently grab Sierra by the elbow and pull her away.

            Closing her eyes, she turned slowly back to the oncoming horde. They were close now. She could see the manic fury in their eyes. They reminded her of the dogs Drew would send to chase after deserters --- hungry, barbaric, unnatural.

            Time seemed to slow down as Skylar raised the grenade and tossed it towards the front line. It exploded on contact, blasting the first row to smithereens and sending the second flying into nearby buildings. The others, merely singed, didn’t even glance at their fallen comrades as they stepped over the bodies and raced towards her, their guns outward, but they weren’t firing.

            They mean to take me prisoner, Skylar calculated, as she raised her own pistol and took aim. Well, I can’t say I didn’t expect that.

            Still, the word prisoner sent chills up her spine as her bullets hit their mark. She remembered Ransom discussing how death would be preferable to the torture that awaited.

            The guards were upon her now. She felt rough hands grab her arms and cold pistols press against her back. She took one last glance behind her, to see nothing. They were gone. They were safe.

            She felt someone’s thumbs press against the pressure point on her neck. She didn’t fight it. She knew that this was how it would end. As darkness closed in from all sides, she sighed deeply.

            There are greater things to fight for.

Cruel, I know. Sorry. :)        

Do any of you have any good fonts to recommend? Because I'm crazy about fonts, and I need a new one to use. What fonts do you use/know/like?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making a Kidnapping

Agh. Sorry I haven't posted in a while guys. Between Christmas, New Year's, and school starting back up again, posting's been in the back of my mind. I apologize. But, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! How did it go for you?

My NaNoWriMo novel is still going strong, at *goes to check* 68,915 words. Yes, over the limit, I know, but I couldn't fit all my ideas for The Shadow Conspiracy into 50k words! I'm nearing the end (YAY!) but I'm stuck on one vital scene.

To describe the scene without writing several paragraphs will be hard, but I'll try my best. So, the three main characters --- the triplets, Sophie, Skylar, and Sierra --- have to kidnap their brother, Santiago.  I'm having trouble writing this, because instead of showing, I am telling by habit. It makes the scene boring, even for me as the author. It's supposed to be thrilling, full of action and close calls, but I can't seem to make it so.

Do you have any tips for writing action scenes? I need them. Desperately. xD Here's a snippet from what I have so far (from the perspective of Santiago), just to give you a taste of what's happening:

Santiago was restless.
            No matter how much his tutor droned on, nor how much he tried to keep his eye on the textbook page, he couldn’t keep his focus. His mind kept wandering to his mother, lying sick in bed, or his father, sitting below him in a meeting.
            I wish I was at that meeting, he thought, instead of listening to old Wheezy talk about … what is he talking about? Santiago sighed. I wish something awesome would happen.
            Santiago jumped. Wasting no time, he rushed to the window (scattering papers everywhere as he did so) and pressed his nose to the glass. The hill, on the outskirts of King’s Crossing, was on fire.
            Santiago pressed a hand to his chest. Sweet mother of magic mushrooms! Am I a wizard or something?
            “Young man, you get back ---” Mr. Meesler stopped, just short of the window. “My goodness --- what in the world ---”
            A knock suddenly came at the door. Slipping on the fallen papers, Santiago rushed to the door and opened it, revealing a soldier.
            “Sir, this is from your father,” the soldier said, handing a piece of parchment to him. “Give this to your tutor, please.”
            “Yes, sir!” Santiago saluted the man, snapped the door shut, and raced to the tutor’s desk. Meesler snatched the envelope from him and, using a pair of scissors, snipped it open.
            Santiago crossed his fingers behind his back. Please let me leave this stuffy place … please let me leave this stuffy place …
            “Your father says to stay here, in the classroom, and continue following the schedule,” Mr. Meesler said tartly, folding up the parchment and sticking it in his desk.
            Santiago groaned. “But, Mr. Meesler ---”
            “No buts, young man! We shall proceed as ordered. Take your seat.”
            Santiago shuffled back to his seat and plopped into it, but his mind was further from the lesson than ever. As he watched soldiers rush to the hills, he couldn’t help but feel like something tremendously exciting was about to happen.

Probably not a very good insight, but it's all I could give right now. :) Thoughts?