Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 22, 2014

Amanda Scott’s Theme Song For The Vampiress Hunter

amanda scottIn my ongoing novel, The Vampiress Hunter, my support character (Amanda Scott) is an alcoholic empath with telekinetic abilities. She suffers from extensive headaches and crushing migraines because of her close proximity to Marlena Kosonovitch. And these problems have been ongoing for awhile now.

So when I saw this on my Facebook newsfeed, I knew this had to be perfect for her. (And funny too!)

Sing along now, my fellow peeps. Sing along in the voice of Barney, The Purple Dinosaur…

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 20, 2014

The Sea, You, And The Sun

peachpulsarI’ve got a confession to make: I’m a huge fan of hentai mangas. I have a huge collection of downloads dating back to 2005 on CD and DVD-R. And what draws me most to them is the fact that the story lines are beyond funny, beyond ridiculous, beyond stimulating, and so on.

I’m always wondering what Oliver is going to deliver on his website (hentairules.net) next which will give me something new to read.

So what piqued my interest about a week ago, was finding a yuri manga about two girls in love with each other and the obstacles they faced together–trying to come to terms, trying to reconnect, trying to do everything humanly possible to be together after a lengthy absence.

I found the story line to be very endearing and it got me thinking about how perfect their relationship was and the obstacles and trials they faced either separate or together. (Nozomi’s girlfriend trying to tell her father about herself and her new love was icing on the cake.)

And this manga got me thinking about my own lesbian-themed fantasy/romance novel, Codename: Velocity and how both Mari and Velocity’s relationship also faced similar uphill battles and conflict which doesn’t have a clear resolution towards the end.

As I read The Sea, You, and the Sun in its entirety this morning, I was taken in by the characters feelings for one another: How Nozomi was struggling early on to justify her feelings towards Kiara and how eventually, she openly admitted to her how much she loved her.

And poor Kiara! She was doing everything humanly possible to keep away from her boisterous and bubbly girlfriend, until about halfway through the manga she finally realized that she wasn’t in love with her ex, but with Nozomi herself.

That brought back memories of Mari trying to get Velocity over to her side and how she spent the last six years trying to be more than just a friend to her–especially now–while Velocity was doing everything she could to keep everyone she knew (and loved) at arm’s length.

So it was just a bonus reading the manga and finding so much commonality with the book I spent 10 months writing and fleshing out. It really helped put things into prospective–knowing that the book I labored over through endless weeks of severe depression could come out so beautiful and so perfect.

Because of such, I’m more convinced that this book will be a big hit among the LGBTQ community–if I can market it just right.

It’s not just about the sex in the novel (or in the manga) which is the main driver to the plot, but about the conflict in a tightly wound relationship which is the centerpiece to both. I wanted to touch base as much as possible on the influx of teenage emotional drama and how either character deals with it.

Like Nozomi, Mari is very loving and caring. She has this “can do” attitude which makes her very popular with her brothers and sisters. Velocity on the other hand…she’s very meticulous, logical, and deeply driven to succeed. And while her new personality shows her to be antagonistic and ambiguous, her old one put her at a huge disadvantage with her peers and her superiors.

So she’s like Kiara all over for the same reasons.

And like both, both Velocity and Mari have a lot of room for growth and potential. And their relationship, their bond with one another will only continue as time goes on.

And I think that’s going to be important as the series progresses.

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 20, 2014

How To Torture Your OC’s

How_to_torture_OCs_by_gejimayoYou know, I’m thinking about the one thing which I’m very good at in writing. And that’s having the innate capability to torture my characters.

With Velocity, it’s her relationship choices which has her on the ropes. With Amanda Scott, it’s her abilities and her addiction to alcohol which makes things a little more than interesting. But through that, it becomes a conscious choice on how we all create and develop our characters.

What are we going to do with them? What kind of pain and suffering do we plan on putting them through the wringer with? Naturally, such tendencies would make us all sadistic as writers–making the outside observer wonder if there is something that we aren’t telling ourselves or other people on just what’s going on upstairs that makes us look like Dick Cheney’s trained little minions at a glance.

Because torturing our characters is fun. Having a bland character does nothing for us or the reader. So we have to think of ways that will drag things out to its inevitable conclusion and give us what we most deeply desire.

For me, it’s finding out how long I can keep things up before one of my characters’ snap. And usually when that happens, they tend to take out their angst and frustrations out on their support character and the world in general before coming back to the realm of sanity.

But it’s a fun exercise nonetheless. And usually, I have a devious little mind on what I want to do to my characters: Inflict pain, drag out their pleasure, whatever floats my boat. I’ll do it.

I can’t think of my literally creations as mere dolls to play with, but real people. And I’ve seen enough of them in my life (and in movies) to know that I can be a real bastard when it comes down to it.

So what is it that you do which tortures your characters? What kind of methodical thinking that goes through your mind which would be the most effective method of self-gratification which has your creations on the brink of self-destruction?

 

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 19, 2014

Note To Self…

writer4

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 18, 2014

The Vampiress Hunter: Love And Destiny Entwined

Vampires_by_Metal_NightWell, it’s been a productive month if I do say so myself.

In just 17 days, I’ve smashed my Camp Nanowrimo word record by a mile and a half and looking to the next 50,000 words and the next 50,000 following that. Yes, this book is getting larger as time goes on.

Already, I’m at 155,000 words and no matter how I look at it, I’m still writing. I still haven’t reached the end of the book. I thought I would be done by mid-August, but it may be well into September before the book is finally finished. And as I’ve found out recently on Watt Pad, such a lengthy novel will have to be broken up into two novels…possibly three. I haven’t decided.

But as it stands, the book may already go past 220,000 words. Maybe 250K. And the reason for that is because I’ve been so…caught up in the lives of my characters. After 70 chapters, I’m still nowhere near the end, and I feel that there is still so much to explore before I get to “the end” of the story.

As I read back what I’ve written so far, I’ve been astounded by the depth, level, and complexity of the ongoing story line. It’s not just about Marlena Kosonovitch and her struggles at a normal life after being a vampire hunter for 700 years, it’s also about finding the right person to share your life with after a lengthy amount of time has elapsed.

There’s Skye Thompson, who happens to be a kid at heart, but has a heart of gold and relishes in the power and love that he has for Marlena (even though she’s half-vampire) and what his goals and desires are for the future.

And then there’s Amanda Scott who is driven to uncover the truth about Marlena and the locantamere threat that embodies the whole novel’s premise by pitting them both against a problem that may not have an easy resolution–which just sets up the stage for the next book in line, Child of Blood.

But what bakes my cake in so many ways, is the level of emotion and passion that permeates the whole novel from the first page on. I always thought that Marlena was a bit cold, detached, and aloof at times in the beginning, but it turns out that later on in the book, she really does have a soft side for people and a certain cat that she adores to pieces.

I think it’s mostly her human side which has influenced her greatly and diminished her vampire abilities by leaps and bounds. She still has that potential to unleash the power of her other side, but I think because she’s spent so much time among humans and lived with them for as long as she has–on her own–that being a vampire no longer matters.

However, it doesn’t mean that those urges have gone away. She still has to feed every so often and poor Skye Thompson seems to be her only outlet for those needs.

Amanda on the other hand, struggles with her abilities, her past, and her alcoholism. She’s a really tormented soul which I thought I did a pretty good job on. There’s nothing like having damaged goods for a character who really speaks to the reader in ways that few would understand.

Or be able to relate to. But she’s still human and very much in search of the truth and the answers to her life which may or may not be forthcoming. But she’s not alone in her travels. She has a trusty and very resourceful AI computer program named Adrianne to keep her company.

And through her, Amanda does find some support, closure, and camaraderie. I think I did a bang up job with her as a support character because she has such a vivid and bubbly personality that grows on you as time goes on. There is literally nothing that she can’t do, but she is limited by her programming and her outwardly designs.

However, the potential for growth is there and it’s going to be interesting to see what develops in the future for everyone involved.

Above all, this book has been teaching me a lot about myself and my own ambitions as a writer, but also giving me the needed flexibility to explore my worlds without hindrance or limitations. This world that I’ve gone and created is markedly different than anything we know now. It’s histories are slightly altered to conform to the new paradigm.

But what I find most telling of all, is how each character in play acts and reacts in their respective environment. It’s like a whole new world of possibilities has opened up and I’m right there exploring them as I see it.

It’s a deeply fascinating experience, coupled with the fact that I’ve never written a paranormal/romance novel of this magnitude. It makes what I’ve done on Codename: Velocity look like a picnic. Only because every new book I’ve been writing is much different than the last.

A lot of different rules, different modes of play, everything. And I always thought, “Hey! This might be the same as the last time.” But that’s not the case.

Writing for me has become a lifetime commitment to uncovering the secrets of the known universe–using my imagination as fodder and my obsession to write as the main driver.

People may tell me to quit being a writer, or to stop altogether, but I can’t exceed to those requests.  And when I stare at my work, at my novels, I see the magic and hard thinking that went into creating them.

Just like I created this novel. After a five-year hiatus, I found my will to write again. My inspiration to keep going. I can’t explain what turns that on. It just happens.

So The Vampiress Hunter is a special book that will do a lot of soul-searching and play on the minds of my readers everywhere–as they are subjected to a novel that has no real equal.

It’s intense, sensual, funny, sarcastic, down to earth. It’s much different than those paranormal novels out there that only focus on one thing with their vampires and such. Mine deal with real people. Their own humanity sort of speak. Things that don’t often enter the fray.

This novel encompasses a lot of themes. And as I keep reading on, keep adding to the novel, I’m finding a lot of common ground with the book itself. It speaks to me.

Literally.

And I know that when I’m finished, I won’t be able to duplicate the same effect over again. The next novel in line and those following it will be written much differently than the first. And I think it’s those differences which will set me apart from the rest of the writers of the world.

Because it’s not what I know that makes me a competent writer and future author. But what I feel in my heart.

It’s what gives my books life and personality.

And from that, a hope that we all can learn something some day…

 

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 3, 2014

The Vampiress Hunter: Chocolate, Cats, And Relationships

untitled12aaaProbably about the same time the housing market crashed in September of 2008, I had been on a quest to write my own vampire novel.

It was based on a first draft that I had written about eight years before–while I was working at the movie theater (during the “dead hours”)–and I was really into the idea that I could bring something unique to the genre. Even though my understanding of vampire lore and such was relegated to a few movies and zero books. (I never read any of Anne Rice’s novels.)

Still…I had some idea of what to write about and what not to write and during those three months, and I just wanted to see what I could accomplish. Of course, the characters from the first draft and the second had changed–the support character switching genders for example–and so did the story line to some degree.

So when I began the process of rewriting the novel eight years later, I wanted to do it in grand style. First off, I wanted to expand and explore more of my main character’s background. I didn’t do so much in the first draft–a lot of what went on in there was more wishy-washy action themes than anything else and very little in terms of background development–so this time around, I would devote more of the novel to building on the main character and really flesh her out.

And I had a pretty good buzz going on in the early second draft. My vampiress hunter would be a college student at a Berkeley university, be a bit cynical in nature, and have a sweet tooth to beat the band. (Marlena’s addicted to everything chocolate.)

And she would be half-vampire in the process. (I can’t remember if she was full vamp in the original draft. I would have to look it up in my notes.)

So down the line, I kept expanding, developing, adding more to the story and really seeing a world that would make most people insanely jealous and a bit terrified at the same time. Because let’s face it…living in a changed environment takes some getting used to. In this setting of mine, the former USA is no longer in existence, but taken over by a military protectorate after a series of terror attacks in the early twenties cemented the fate of the country as a whole. (And changed the world soon after.)

So…few rights now exist in the country and the Union is no longer truly united; as some states broke away to form their own republic. (With California being a “free state”)

Living has gotten more expensive, there’s no indication of whether or not the old economy still functions or if minimum-wage still exists, but gauging from the daily activities of both my characters (in the novel), I’d say some things are still the same on the surface.

But the important aspect of the novel–thus far–is the relationship factor. Since it’s been quite awhile since my vampire hunter had to hunt down someone and kill them, she’s gone into what I see as being semi-retired. As such, she’s gone to college to become a public school teacher, but lives on a fixed budget. (I wanted to break away from the cliches of vampires being obscenely wealthy and having a load of money in this configuration. Because I didn’t want money to be the sole reason for her entire existence. I wanted to give her some realistic challenges that would resonate with the reader.)

Marlena rents out a studio apartment off campus in a nice neighborhood and has a three-year-old black cat named Sebastian–who is quite the character.

Being half vampire means that Marlena only has to feed when she needs to. And currently, that means after she’s drunker than a skunk and throwing up after a meal deal gone bad. (She’s deathly allergic to garlic as it turns out and she’s not too fond of silver nitrate.)

So there’s some challenges for her to deal with and she deals with them in her own way.

Now…the relationship factor was a bit more fascinating. I wanted her to have a boyfriend, or at least a guy that she fancies seriously and doesn’t judge based on appearances alone. (Vanity issues and such. Things like that.)

So this lucky guy she’s taken a shining to is reminiscent of a former lover who she had a brief fling with 30 years ago. So she takes him by storm, only to find out that he’s carrying some emotional baggage of his own. So the start of that relationship becomes a mix of passion and trust, along with understanding and patience.

Their relationship isn’t quite perfect in retrospect and I didn’t want it to be. I wanted these two to have a lot of leeway when it came to making decisions and choices; what will affect them and what won’t. They also had a tendency to argue along the way and really get on each other’s nerves, but for a first time, things weren’t scripted. (“Hey, you’re going to do this and you’re going to do that…” No. Not going to happen.)

So I wanted that at least in the novel.

I was more interested in how things were going to pan out between Marlena and her new boyfriend. I know all the old stories of one-night stands in college, and I wanted to see if the same would hold up to the same level of scrutiny towards the end.

But since their time together has only lasted a day and a half–it’s the weekend–it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen. But so far, the two of them seem to be holding things together with only a few bumps along the way.

And for Marlena’s sake, it’s a big transition. She hasn’t been in a relationship since the last guy she was with and this time around–30 years later–gives her a chance to reconnect with other people as well as herself; find out what she’s been missing.

Or experiencing.

As for the rest of the novel, I’m still dealing with a detective who has the perchance to getting hammered all the time to drown out her pain (she gets awful headaches and migraines from being in close proximity to the vampiress hunter), while she’s on the case to uncover Marlena’s past and dealing with an ancient threat that has Marlena dead to rights.

But all in all, the novel is pretty solid for a second draft. All 717 pages of it and counting. I can’t wait for the end myself. I want to see how the two deal with this problem together and what the end results would be for the finale. (I already have the sequel planned out in my head.)

So Anne Rice? Eat your heart. Because my novel has anything of yours beat hands down. ^_^

(Oh, if you’re interested in following the story, you can read it here: http://www.wattpad.com/story/17199797-the-vampiress-hunter)

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 3, 2014

I’m 40…Now What? (Or: “Why Exercise Never Works”)

exercise

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 2, 2014

Panster…Always A Panster.

pantser

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 2, 2014

Manic Monday…Times Two

CRAZY_by_ANDREAcFor the past six months I’ve been having to deal with a lot of crap from either people, family, or complete strangers. My struggles in writing on my various projects has been staggered to a certain degree. Being depressed and moody doesn’t help matters much either.

And for a time, I didn’t think I was going to get anything done on my writing. I had slowed down to a veritable crawl by the end of May and getting out a single chapter to any one of my books had become a real chore. It wasn’t just about trying to think about what I was wanting for the novel, it was just the simple act of doing so which caused me a lot of consternation.

On the plus side, it also opened up me to the realities that writing five books at once in the span of two years was unrealistic. (I must give myself points for trying something new, but now, I must go back to the beginning and focus my efforts on just one book at a time and go from there.)

So as the days have lengthened and summer (for some of us) has arrived (it was 91 degrees in Everett and Seattle Washington yesterday), I suddenly had a royal epiphany of sorts on or about the 4th of June and without so much as a warning, I pulled out one of my older book projects (The Vampiress Hunter) and went to town on the novel; completing 63,000 words in just a 12-day period.

I was on a literal writing tear that I hadn’t experienced in the year since I started working on Codename: Velocity. I was writing two chapters a day over a 16-hour period, going to bed, and then waking up to repeat myself daily.

I just had so much energy! And I didn’t know where it came from or what to do! 

So I dumped it into my writing. I suddenly had these ideas, images, and story plot bunnies going off in my head about the current novel and just went nuts as a result. And the funny thing about this book, is that it had been five years since I last worked on it and I still knew where to go with it–even though it had been like forever since I wrote first 23 chapters and then…stopped.

It soon became the talk of the house and my mother-in-law caught wind of my writing tear and everyone’s been talking about it. Of course, it took about three weeks for my manic episode to run its course, but I can safely say the book is really interesting and intriguing.

For some reason, I always tend to write better when I’m focused on one book, rather than several at a time.

These manic episodes are just part of my depression and bipolar issues. But being a writer, it helps channel in some positive energy rather than negative all the time, and it’s given me a little bit more appreciation for when these incidences happen.

Since then, I’ve slowed down some. I’ve finally run out of energy, but the writing still continues. There are 55 chapters in the book now since I started (up from 23), and if this were another Nanowrimo contest, I would’ve blown through the 50,000 mark like there is no tomorrow easily.

I still have about a month left before I’m finished with the book, but I’m very excited about what’s been written. For the first time in awhile, my wife actually was interested in what I was doing–since her usual job is to stand by and just let me write in quiet solitude without interrupting me. (But the distractions still come regardless.)

I told my doctor the other day about my episode, but neither he nor I see any reason to adjust my meds in any way. As a matter of experience, you can only go so far in the tweaking business before you hit a wall. And I’ve had everything bumped up as far as it would go without impairing me or causing me problems with my blood-thinning medication.

But I’ve enjoyed the ride so far and that’s all that matters.

So onto the next chapter of my life…

Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | May 30, 2014

The Writing Process Explained

creation

Older Posts »

Categories

Kait Nolan

Escaping reality, one book at a time

Guild Of Dreams

Build Your World and They Will Come

Trent Lewin

Dream hard, rage hard

Wildhorse33's Blog

freeing the creative spirit

Here's To Us

Nerdiness Encouraged

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 377 other followers