All posts tagged: Blood Chimera

Thoughts on Motivation

I thought we might talk a little about motivation. You know that thing that actors are always asking? “What’s my motivation?” That. I was recently watching a movie (it will remain nameless but it rhymes with Gorilla) where the primary motivation for the majority of characters was “what will advance the plot to the next action scene?” The characters had no other plausible motivation. They made decisions that seemed to be based solely on what the director needed, not what was internally consistent for their own histories and personalities. Self-interest wasn’t invited to the party: they performed actions which made zero sense from their own personal narratives but which did lead to awesome giant monster scenes. Needless to say, I wasn’t very impressed. Actually, I was flabberghasted. Why am I talking about this as a writer? Because this happens with books too. Let’s discuss. There is a meta-level motivation for anything that happens in a book, and it’s usually (although not always) ‘to advance the story.’ Why did the villain kill the hero’s brother? (So …

A toast for 2013

This was the year everything changed. It started with a Cracked article. Yes, Cracked. Now, Cracked sometimes sneaks in life lessons with their weird history and nerd comedy, and at the beginning of 2013, David Wong of Cracked issued a challenge to his readers: make 2013 the year that you close (warning: Alec Baldwin says mean things in that clip.) No excuses, no bullshit, no tired old lines about how you couldn’t because (insert whatever excuse is your preferred reason for not getting it done here.) No trite promises quickly abandoned, no self-defeating battles with the mirror. 2013 wouldn’t be about what we are, but what we do. He left what up to the reader. Learn a language, a martial art, make a painting, write a book. Learn a tangible skill, create a tangible result, do something. CLOSE. Kick some items off the bucket list, figure out what makes life worth living and DO THAT THING. Not too hard to guess that my vow for 2013 was to finish one of the three books that had floundered …

Annie and the Wolves

Introduction: Another short story inspired by the universe of Blood Chimera, this one focused solely on my favorite bad girl, Lucy Belogh. Obviously I’ve taken huge, sweeping liberties with historical figures, but not nearly as much as I would have liked to have taken: I wish how Phoebe Ann Mosey was mistreated was fiction. I only tinkered with how she survived the experience. She never identified the family who abused her when she was a child, only referring to them by her nickname: the wolves. Rating warning: this story is the most violent I’ve published on a blog so far, and not for kids. *** The little girl’s blood stained the snow pink when she fell. She didn’t cry out. She was long past the point of feeling pain, reduced to numbness by the cold and her wounds. She had felt cold originally, but that was before the sun set and night shrouded the forest. She pushed her hands against the snow, brushing sap and ice and bits of broken twigs from her bloody fingers …

The Girl Who Stole High School

This worked out to be quite a bit more open-ended than I originally intended, so I suspect more stories are probably in store for later. An older Charlie and Megan can be encountered in Blood Chimera. _________________________________ There was a girl at Charlie’s high school no one else could see. The first time Charlie Du saw the girl, it was at lunch in the cafeteria. Jessica Simmons and Leica Hamilton were doing that thing again, the one where they and all their friends would gather at the table right next to Charlie’s and loudly ask supposedly innocent questions. “Why do you think someone names a girl Charlie, anyway? Do you think her father must have wanted a boy? Do you think he beats her because she’s not a boy?” “Do you think his father named her that because he killed lots of people during the Vietnam war?” “Do you think her dad dresses her in boy’s clothes?” “She’s so tall. Maybe she really is a boy, you know, but just, you know, like that movie with …

The Kidnap and Ransom Business

When I began researching Blood Chimera (I tend to do a lot of preparatory research on books when I know I don’t know a damn thing about certain subjects) I began to play with the idea that the main character, Jack, is a kidnap and ransom specialist. What’s a kidnap & ransom specialist? Well, it’s been depicted in a few movies (probably most famously in Proof of Life) but a K&R negotiator is someone who comes in to organize a response to a kidnap for ransom situation. It’s a very small, select field, and incredibly secretive. There’s no single path to becoming a K&R specialist, but K&R people typically have backgrounds in law enforcement or military special forces (or both), and they can expect to fly all over the world and spend months at a time in the field. It’s dangerous, ugly work that puts their life at risk in foreign climes on a regular basis and requires them to be at home in the bureaucratic nightmare of dealing with governments, organized crime groups, terrorist …

The Right Way to Begin

I’m not usually one for affirmations, but this. Every time I doubt myself: this. I’ve finished the first draft of Blood Chimera. Once I’m finished with the first draft proofing and removing of all that passive voice (god oh god, why is it so damn easy for me to write in passive voice?) I’ll send the manuscript out for beta reading and, hopefully, walk away from it for a while. While people are reading, I told myself I was going to do a lot more blog writing, but honestly, I may just jump into the rewrite of Marduk’s Rebellion. As the imitable zefrank says: Let’s start this shit up. [Added: Doesn’t he look like Alan Tudyk above? Weird.]