Today’s update is in honor of my biggest accomplishment of last week–finishing my rewrite (draft 3) of Runaway.
Runaway’s synopsis and working cover is up on my WIPs page with my other novel projects, but just so everyone is caught up:
Roscoe Pratt, now 18, is supposed to kill his mother to take over leadership of the Pack. He wants that responsibility like he wants a silver bullet to the temple, and none of the rest of the Pack seems eager for him to take it. The Pack has bigger problems to worry about, too, like the fact that a huge logging company is going to begin destroying their forest home within the month. With his best friend telling him to flee from the impossible odds and his girlfriend telling him to seek revenge for what the humans did to Roscoe’s father a decade ago, Roscoe is caught in the middle of the worst kind of indecision. That is until he winds up a hostage in the logger camp and the people he cares about begin dropping like flies.
Runaway is a young adult urban fantasy (well, maybe rural fantasy) project, clocking in at 85,000 words and set in the same universe as Tempestuous and Sigma Radiant. The world of Terra (placeholder name, don’t worry) is a planet of fantasy races called Folk, where humans are the aliens (although not the only ones), and tensions rise as their population outgrows that of the planet’s original inhabitants. There’s also an old international, inter-species peace-keeping organization (which may not actually be doing its job) and seven dormant gods, one of whom is trying his best to wake up and wreak havoc very soon.
Runaway is my strongest novel so far, with the most dynamic characters, cohesive plot, and identifiable themes. I have learned so much from writing this book; I think the biggest lesson I took from it was that a book is nothing without characters who want something (especially villains). I’ve read that platitude thousands of times in articles and books, but it took writing a book where the plot hinges on characters’ clashing desires to make me realize how necessary those are.
Anyway, now that Runaway has been rewritten, it’ll sit in a drawer for a while as I finish up Tempestuous, which likely has less than 10,000 words to go. Following that, I’ll begin a major overhaul of Sigma Radiant, develop a coherent outline for the whole series, and cycle back to Runaway to prepare for the querying process by the end of the summer. (I shuddered as I typed that. Exciting!)
I seriously can’t recommend these books enough. I just bought the box set because I found out Chima would be visiting a nearby town for a signing (canceled, sadly), and I remembered how in high school the books had captivated me. Several years later, the series is just as fantastic as it was in the first reading, and I realized how much Chima’s writing style and fantasy elements ended up influencing my own work. I tore through four 500-page books in less than a week. If you have any interest in young adult, high fantasy, or both, read those books–especially because Chima just released the first book in the sequel series.
Chima also has a blog which has plenty of writing-related content in the archives. I’ll definitely be combing through it soon.
And the usual good things that happened:
- I landed a job beginning this fall as the Social Media and Content Manager for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at my college.
- I found out that one of my all-time favorite short stories has been accepted for publication in Runestone Journal.
- We had a wonderful Mother’s Day in my family.
- Last night I subbed for my dad’s bowling team while he and my mother and grandparents are in Europe, and we kicked butt.
I hope everyone has had a similarly fun-filled two weeks.