I’ve been doing more thinking about writing than actually writing, and I’ve been looking back at several things I’ve written. There isn’t much incentive to start something completely new, mostly because I have zero new ideas, but also because my mind keeps cycling the old stories and characters through my head. They still fascinate me.

So I figure that if I can revisit one (or more?) of them, it might give me more incentive to continue to write (or at least make my existing writing better), and it will make my characters shut up because they will finally get much-needed attention.

THE ARCHIVES seems to be the best candidate for revisiting. It’s a tiny story (only about 36,000 words) that I posted on FictionPress circa 2010–2011 (though it takes place in 2002–2004). In the vein of Ellen Hopkins and Sonya Sones, I wrote in verse, but I limited myself to one 100-word chapter per day for a year. I never wrote anything like THE ARCHIVES before; it was super short, almost entirely based on real life (many of the events are true or close to it, but the characters are composites or entirely invented), and in first-person point of view. To be honest, it didn’t even have much of a plot until midway through because it wasn’t planned, and I had no clue where I was going with it. THE ARCHIVES was more of an experiment than anything else. If I had to summarize it, it’d be something like “High school girl, dubbed ‘The Archivist’ by her peers, comes out from behind the scenes to solve a mystery.”

Somehow THE ARCHIVES became fairly popular. The readers related to the crazy high school shenanigans, and it got a lot of comments. People followed it, and someone actually remembered it several years after I’d taken it off FictionPress. To this day, I really don’t know why it was the most “successful” out of all the stuff I posted on FictionPress, especially when I put so little effort into it compared to the other things I was working on. Probably a “right place at the right time” kind of thing.

Because it’s so low maintenance and supposedly one of the “better” things I’ve written, I’ve decided to reissue it here, at the agonizingly slow pace of one chapter per day,* starting tomorrow (and I doubt I post every day, but I’ll try to). I’m not planning to change anything major, just fix typos and anything else that makes me go “WTF” when I read it. As always, comments are welcome.

*So this means that sometimes there will be two posts a day. I apologize in advance if this will annoy you.

Previous posts on this blog about THE ARCHIVES

The Thunder Serpent review

A bit of shameless promotion here… I’ve been reading a good story on FictionPress that has pretty much everything I like in a novel: romance, action, drama, suspense… and even aliens.

The Thunder Serpent by beatlemaniac11509 is about a group of eighth graders who suddenly develop odd powers and encounter a spaceship known as the Thunder Serpent.

The story is in first-draft mode and isn’t yet finished, but every chapter ends with a cliffhanger that makes me want to read more. The characters’ emotions are well-written and easy to relate to, especially since their powers are growing and they must learn to cope with them. The author does a good job of moving her readers into a world where changes are happening all the time. The plot is easy to understand and doesn’t jump around and the writing style is quite clear.

If you like super hero stories mixed with science-fiction, romance, and drama, The Thunder Serpent might be entertaining for you.

“But I want to break something so bad!” Overcome with blood-red anger, she shrugged me off, turned her tentacle fingers into a fist, and punched one of the white walls of the room.

Her punch was so powerful that the entire wall disintegrated, revealing a plain gray hallway behind it.

Paralyzed with shock, I watched Sandy realize what she had done.

The Trenches of Revision, Part VI

Even though the story I’m working on now was written about 9 months ago, most of the characters in it have been jumping around in my brain since 2004.

I’ve realized that knowing my characters makes revising the story so much easier. It’s nice to ponder different plot decisions and think, “That couldn’t happen because I know Character 1 would never do that!” When I don’t know my characters I feel less certain about what they would do and wouldn’t do in certain situations.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The novel I’m currently revising is called XIII: Strophe and it’s an urban fantasy – the prequel to a much longer series involving a evil, mystical being and the two young adults who are attempting to take him down.

I do not plan on submitting this novel to a publishing house, nor do I plan on self-publishing. The XIII series has always been a “practice ground” for me, so I’ll eventually post it on critique sites like FictionPress as “promotional” writing.

Because I use this novel series to practice writing, it’s a lot more fun to write and revise because I don’t feel a huge need to be a perfectionist with it (which I shouldn’t feel anyway, but that’s another post). I do plan to get it as good as I possibly can before posting it because I can’t stand to put a shoddy piece of work online.

The XIII series was also my first (and last) adventure in collaborative writing. The main thing I learned about writing with someone else is DO NOT get too attached to your work. Chances are, you and your co-writer will butt heads over character development, plot problems, or anything else, and sometimes your ideas will have to be thrown out. The other thing I learned about collaborative writing is (this is pretty obvious) you MUST be able to work well with your co-writer. Just like any relationship, you’re going to have fights every once in a while, but if you’re not getting any joy out of the experience, it’s time to move on.