Romance Writers Weekly #lovewritechat

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Romance Weekly time 😀

If you’ve joined me from the incredible Kim Handysides then welcome!

This week we’ve been asked, ‘What everyone is working on at the moment. Details & conundrums, plus five bonus points for including a wee bit of your favourite scene.’

Well, as I posted a couple of weeks ago, I’m currently working on something completely different. Still romance, still writing, still a story, just a different format for it.

My current project is called Diving in Deep, and is a visual novel, which is something like an interactive story where the reader takes on the role of the main character, choosing the decisions she can make and what her personality will be like. These decisions affect the outcome of the story and how those around her interact with her.

collage

The story itself is about Quinn Lanton, an underwater archaeologist, who discovers (a rather handsome) merman called Merrik in the ruins she’s excavating. The meeting would be one of excitement, if it wasn’t for the fact that creepy treasure hunter, Walton Huntley, is shadowing her every move in the hopes of finding any artifacts worth selling, and she knows a merman would make his perfect prize.

Here are some example screenshots:

Example of the choices that can be made.

Example of the choices that can be made.


Example of the layout and sprites.

Example of the layout and sprites.


Depending on the personality you've chosen for Quinn, some options might be harder to use.

Depending on the personality you’ve chosen for Quinn, some options might be harder to use.

There are 6 possible endings, and a selection of choices throughout.

As for my favourite scene, well that probably has to be the moment Quinn and Merrik meet for the second time.

(Sorry for the script format, that’s how it has to be written!)

I shake my head, trying to get across the fact I’m not panicking… much.
He is a merman after all, a being that isn’t supposed to even exist except in fairytales!
Merrik: “Does that mean you’re ok?”
I nod, trying to regulate my breathing to a normal level and stem the adrenaline that courses through my system.
He breaks into a smirk, a playful glint in his eyes.
Merrik: “Good, I don’t want to have to watch out for falling rocks if you start flailing about again like yesterday.”
My awe of him quickly filters away with his snark.

The above scene is only one of the possible responses Quinn can make to Merrik in this situation.

I will say that the hardest part of writing this visual novel has been writing in first person, and in the present tense. I’ve never done that before, so it was a bit of an interesting challenge trying to ensure I didn’t slip tenses, but I managed it in the end 😀

The project will released towards the end of March (not long, I know!) and it will be FREE in the hopes a lot of people might be willing to try out this different format of storytelling if they haven’t before.

So, there you go, that’s what I’m currently working on! 😀 (Sorry for the huge post, I’m just very excited about it!)

Now, why not check out what Raine Balkera’s current project is. I guarantee it will be something worth your time! 🙂

What are you currently working on? Are there any WIP projects by others you’re excited for?

Progress Report:

Status of visual novel: All writing done. Working on adding music and sounds.

Books read towards challenge: 3/50
Currently reading: Snow Hill by Mark Sanderson

A New Challenge

Part of the reason I wanted to finish the first draft of my current novel by the end of February was because I knew I was participating in a challenge in March.

The challenge is NaNoRenNo.

It’s kind of like the normal NaNoWriMo, but instead of producing a 50,000+ novel, you produce a completed visual novel.

For those that don’t know what a visual novel is here’s the Wikipedia definition-

‘A visual novel is an interactive fiction game, featuring mostly static graphics, most often using anime-style art or occasionally live-action stills (and sometimes video footage). As the name might suggest, they resemble mixed-media novels.’

It’s a different kind of storytelling that instantly caught my interest for a few reasons:

1. Any form of storytelling is good with me 😀
2. I adore Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books.
3. I love gaming, so being able to take some aspects of it and add it to my own story is awesome!
4. Really being able to bring the story to life through both writing and art.

I’ve always had a dream of creating a comic, because of the mixture of writing and drawing- I love the two!- But I was never patient enough to complete a whole comic.

With visual novels I get to draw the art (though not anime-style as is usual), and also add more writing than I would in a comic. I am not even kidding about how perfect a medium that is for me 😀

So my project this month is to complete a visual novel, and see how it goes. Also, I will say that visual novels are something I hope to look into producing and selling along with my novels in the future.

For those interested, I will detail the visual novel I am producing below 🙂

Sorry for the white backgrounds on the art, WordPress apparently doesn’t like transparent images!

TitleForum

When underwater archaeologist, Quinn, discovers an artifact in the ruins she is exploring just offshore, she doesn’t realise the significance of it.
At least, not until she comes face to face with the owner of the artifact… who happens to have a tail.

Introduced to the world of the Merpeople, Quinn must keep the exciting discovery quiet in order to protect their secrets, all whilst dealing with new feelings that are stirring towards her merman guide, Merrik.
If that wasn’t difficult enough, she must contend with the persistent interference of a dangerous treasure hunter searching for his next big prize.

And Quinn is all too aware that the Merpeople would be his perfect target.

Characters

quinnquinnuw
Quinn Lanton
The main character of this tale, a woman whose curiosity helps her to find the biggest discovery of all time, only to realise she must keep it a secret.

Her personality can be defined by the player through dialogue and action choices, which will affect the way characters react to her and the outcome of the ending.

merrik
Merrik
Merrik is happy to live his life in the safety of the sea, but meeting Quinn changes things.
Now the merman finds his position as Guardian of the artifact tested as he navigates through the world of humans and their greed for what does not belong to them.

waltonspritesg
Walton Huntley
An ex-archaeologist turned treasure hunter. His only interest is the next big prize and the fortune he could get for it.

The Artefact

Artefact

Diving in Deep is going to focus on romance (obviously 😀 It’s what I write!), but will also have a good amount of excitement and action so hopefully all can enjoy it! It will be FREE, so I’m hoping lots of people will be willing to try it out.

Though I realise this may not be the kind of thing some people would go for, I am hoping to open up this form of storytelling to those who might not even have known about it, and maybe get them to try out something new 🙂

Is this something you’d be willing to try out? Does this interest you as a different form of story?

*This is a scheduled post, I will be back on Tuesday. Hope everyone has a brilliant weekend! :D*

Romance Writers Weekly #lovewritechat

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Back to Romance Writers Weekly this week 🙂

Welcome to those of you joining from the very talented Fiona Riplee!

This week the task was- Give us the inside scoop on your writing space.

My writing space has changed a lot since last year, when I was trying my best to manage all my writing and notes whilst typing on a small table in front of the sofa!

Harli didn't appreciate me taking over her space!

Harli didn’t appreciate me taking over her space!

Over my break, I managed to create a small little office space in my room and, even though it’s a bit of a mess sometimes with all my notes, it’s great to have a dedicated writing area.

My writing space now, with bonus sunshine!

My writing space now, with bonus sunshine!

It’s handy having a smaller space as everything I need is right in reach! And my new whiteboard is really useful for listing my tasks for the month, week, and day (I work much better when I have a list of goals to tick off).

Though it might not be the prettiest or most organised space, it is perfect for me 😀

Do you have certain way of organising your writing space?

Why not go see what LaNora Mangano’s space looks like? You might get some ideas for your own!

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft (Still 😦 ).
Word count: 38,519 (+955 since last check-in).

Books read towards challenge: 3/50
Currently reading: Snow Hill by Mark Sanderson

Losing the Groove

Ok, I know…

I’ve been a terrible blogger and social media-person 😀

I haven’t been around much to comment or even post!

The deadline for my first draft is this Friday, and I still have tons to write. So, pretty much I’ve been writing constantly lately!

But still, that’s not really an excuse.

To be honest, I am still really struggling to find my groove again after getting back from my break.

I know, right? It’s been nearly two months 😀 But, this blog is about being honest, and that is what I’m doing.

I’m just having a pretty difficult time lately, and not sure how to fix that yet!

Hopefully soon I will find my rhythm again.

Everything feels very stale and static at the moment, but I think that will change once I manage to get a new book released. Hence why I am working so hard on this one so as I can get it ready for release at the end of March!

Sorry I haven’t been around much, but hopefully soon that will change. Know that I am reading your blogs even if I don’t manage to comment :/

Have you ever had a bit of an unproductive time? How did you get out of it?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 34,692 (+11,752 since last check-in).

Books read towards challenge: 2/50
Currently reading: Thyme in a Flask by Glen Quarry

Books and Reading Thursday: Enjoying your own creations

Bit of strange post for this week’s Books and Reading Thursday!

I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day which pretty much summed up part of the reason I started writing:

‘If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’ – Toni Morrison

I write because I have stories that I want to read all bundled up in my brain and I just have to expel them 😀

So, I write these tales that I am so desperate to read and then what happens?

I have to re-write and edit them so much that the thought of reading them again makes me want to start rocking in a corner somewhere mumbling to myself!

But in April, I plan to re-edit and refresh the books I published last year in time for their one year anniversary. I learnt tons last year, not just about writing itself, but about the whole publishing process.

A while back, Sierra from Permashift, updated her book, The Soul (a book I highly recommend checking out), and I realised how much I also wanted to go over my older books and give them an update.

But, at the same time, I am also kind of excited to go back and read them.

I know I will be doing some editing and re-writing, but there won’t be too much (I hope 😀 ), so I’m hoping I will be able to read the books mainly for the stories I was so desperate to write in the first place.

The main books I will be refreshing are Stolen Bloodline, Heart of the Arena, and The Queen’s Jester, my first batch of books I ever published. I will also be going over Prophecy of Stones and The Magic Spark, but probably later in the year.

It’s getting on for a year since I published those first three books, and though some of the writing might make me cringe, I am hoping that the long time away will allow me to once again enjoy these stories and characters that I spent so long creating.

So, April is going to be a busy month getting all the books updated whilst writing a new one, but a fun month nonetheless 🙂

I highly recommend going back and reading the stories you spent so long creating, especially if you haven’t looked at them in a while. It might be difficult to read them without completely turning off the nagging voice inside that tells you bits you could have improved and things, but you worked hard on those characters and stories, why not go back and enjoy them after you’ve had some time apart? 😀

Do you enjoy going back and reading your own books? Do you ever miss the stories you wrote years before?

One of those random thoughts…

No Romance Weekly today, unfortunately!

Instead, have a post on something I been thinking of a lot lately 😀

The other day I watched Divergent (and my excitement had nothing at all to do with the fact Jai Courtney was in it…), and I will admit now I haven’t read the books, but what I want to talk about I can guess is part of the books.

The movie was going ok, I got the jist of the world and things and then it came to the point where Tris had to choose which faction she was going to be in for the rest of her life.

She had five choices- Abnegation (Selflessness), Erudite (Intelligence), Amity (Peaceful), Candor (Honest), and Dauntless (Brave).

She was originally in Abnegation, but she changed. Can you guess which faction she chose?

You were most likely right- it was Dauntless.

And that was great and all, and I could see it coming from a mile off, but I couldn’t help but sit there and think, ‘Why couldn’t she have been the heroine and still have been in abnegation?

What was wrong with the character’s main trait being selflessness or kindness and not the ability to kick someone’s butt?

Is that what makes a strong character now? The ability to knock someone out? Would someone who didn’t have the ability to beat of attackers be considered weak?

Ok, Tris has different circumstances with her being divergent and all, so she is all of the traits, but the main trait that is still focused on is her bravery and fighting skills.

I understand action scenes make for more excitement, and I, myself, enjoy the fight scenes.

But if Tris had stayed in abnegation or switched to amity, would the book have been so popular?

Would a book with not only a female lead, but one whose favoured trait is something that doesn’t involve fighting, have gone down well?

I don’t know, but it certainly got me thinking.

A few books I’ve read even start off with the character having no abilities, and then they go through a training chapter, and develop these fighting skills and only then are they classed as a good, rounded character and able to continue the story.

I write fight scenes in quite a few of my books, but in my stories I enjoy having the plot resolved in some way other than violence, even if there is a big fight scene. It’s part of the reason I enjoy writing romance, because it can be the powerful connection between people that can overcome things, not necessarily the fact that my female character can right hook the bad guy into oblivion!

Still, I admit myself that I would second think making a character, especially a female one, who didn’t have the ability to defend herself for the fear of having readers think she was weak.

But to be fair, I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to fight off an attacker, and I am not a fan of violence, yet anyone who has met me knows I certainly wouldn’t be called weak!

So, maybe it’s time to start thinking about that more? If we didn’t push the ability to kick butt as such a highly valued trait, and focused more on the nicer qualities, it might help people to see that violence isn’t always the answer and that being a nice person isn’t a weak thing?

Well, that post got a lot deeper than I meant it to 😀

Anyways, I’m not saying these awesome fighters aren’t great characters, because they’re brilliant! It was just a random thought I had 🙂

What do you think of this topic? Do you think characters could be written without the ability to fight and still be classed as a strong character?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 22,940 (+6094 since last check-in).

Books read towards challenge: 2/50
Currently reading: Thyme in a Flask by Glen Quarry

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

Just before I hop to the Romance Weekly blog hop, I just wanted to say sorry for the lack of blog posts last week! I was pretty ill, and couldn’t get onto my computer, but thank you to everyone who commented, I’m sorry again for not replying! 🙂

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Welcome to all those joining me from the lovely Elizabeth Janette’s blog, author of Redemption for Liars.

This week’s question is- What would you say your writing strengths and weaknesses are?

It’s kind of difficult to decide my strengths to be honest, because I’m very critical of my own work 😀

But I do think character interaction might be one of my strengths. I’ve had quite a few comments from people who’ve read my books and enjoyed the way I write dialogue and interaction between characters, as I’m able to show their relationships well and in a way that is easy to read.

As for weaknesses, well, probably my top one has to be description, or lack of it 😀 When I write I tend to see it like a movie in my head, and sometimes I forget that the reader doesn’t see what I see, that they don’t know the scene is set in a dank forest or a bright room. So yeah, I need to work on that!

Also, my over use of commas, but thankfully my readers do pick up on that in editing!

What would you say your strengths and weaknesses are?

Now hop on over to the amazing Jeana E. Mann and see what she has to say about her writing and maybe check out her latest release, Vindicated 🙂

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 16,846 (+14,323 since last check-in).

Books read towards challenge: 2/50
Currently reading: Thyme in a Flask by Glen Quarry