Talia Rough Draft Snippet 2-27-2014

Ninja-Mask

 

 

The woman in white shirt and black pants convulsed several times before dropping to the concrete as if a puppet with its string cut. One of the soldiers ran up and then knelt down to check her for weapons.

Sergeant Mason Williams started to approach, not taking his eyes of the young girl. She was beautiful; her silver hair shined in the sunlight and her high cheekbones and slightly rounded chin combined with her slightly pale skin to give her to appearance of an angel who’d descended from heaven. Incredibly, despite the situation, his manhood started to grow slightly until he looked away.

My God, he thought, I’m getting a hard on for some spy.

“Sergeant!” A soldier snapped. “The prisoner’s isn’t breathing!”

“Medic!” He snapped.

A cold chill ran down Williams’ spine as he watched the medic race over and then kneel beside the pilot. This couldn’t possibly be happening! If that woman died, then he’d be in serious trouble with Command for using a taser on her instead of just taking her into custody.

“Sarge,” another man said. “I think you need to come over here.”

“What is it?”

“Better to show you.”

The medic backed off a bit to give him room to kneel down beside the woman’s prone form. When the woman fell, she hit her head on the concrete and a small piece of skin hung loosely from her temple and it revealed something strange. A normal person’s body, especially their head and face, was full of blood vessels, which meant head wounds tended to bleed a lot, and this one did. However, instead of the normal thick, red flow of blood, a thin red colored liquid ran from the wound and then pooled around her head.

“If that’s blood,” the medic said, “Then she’s got the worst case of hemophilia that I’ve ever seen.”

“If that’s not blood, what is it?”

“My guess is some sort of red fluid meant to simulate blood, but that’s not all.”

“Ok…”

“Here,” the medic used an infrared thermometer to scan the pilot’s forehead. “Look at this.”

“One hundred fifteen degrees?” Williams said. “I thought a normal body temp was ninety-eight something.”

“Within a degree or so, yes,” the medic said as he used a gloved hand to wipe the fluid away. “Notice something?”

Williams wasn’t one to be taken by surprise by much, twenty years in the military and being in several war zones took the ability away, but this discovery made his heart skip a beat. Normal wounds have red flesh underneath once the top layer of skin got peeled away. Except this one gleamed under the light of the sun and he looked at it and then at the medic.

“Metal?”

“Uh huh,” the medic said.

“What the hell do we have here?”

“I don’t know.”

Williams never took his eyes off the girl as he raised his radio up to his mouth and then pressed the transmit button. “Command this is Sergeant Williams. We have the pilot in custody.”

“Bring her in then,” came the crisp reply.

“I don’t know about that. We have something strange here.”

“Like what?”

“She’s got metal under her skin.”

“So?” The woman said. “Plenty of people have steel plates.”

“And a body temp of one hundred fifteen degrees?”

“Are you shitting me?”

“No, Ma’am.”

“Ok, I’m contacting General Thomas at the Defense Research Center for orders. This is now within his purview.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“And don’t let anyone near her, Sergeant. And I mean it. If anything happens to her, you’ll wish you’d never joined the military.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

The communications was cut.

“You heard the woman,” he said. “Let’s keep her secure.”

 

#

 

Alex couldn’t believe his luck when it came to his golf time. Once again he was headed out for the links when the call came in about the strange woman at Andrews Air Force Base. This one, however, intrigued him far more than did the one in the sealed lab because it looked human, while the other one vaguely did.

And the fact that the woman, or whatever she was, could fly a fighter at Mach two created a mystery that even the old soldier found impossible to resist. Throw in the fact that the craft came from the orbiting ship and it made from a match made in heaven-or hell if she proved to be dangerous-for the eggheads. Maybe the being on the table in front of him could shed light on the one below that they hadn’t found a way to activate yet.

From the safety of the observation room the General watched the eggheads work and couldn’t help but start to get excited. Military technology always needed to advance to keep up with the growing threats around the globe, and the woman’s body could potentially be a treasure trove of information. Not only for new weapons but about the people who made her and whether or not they were a threat to mankind.

He activated the com. “Are you sure they can’t feel anything?”

“Her skin is synthetic,” the lead researcher said. “So, I’m sure that she can’t feel it.”

A scientist rolled a cart over to where they secured the woman’s prone form. Even knowing that the thing on the table was unconscious and probably couldn’t feel pain didn’t keep Alex from wincing as the researcher ran a scalpel around the circumference of the woman’s arm. Once done, he peeled the skin off, exposing the metal skeleton underneath.

“Amazing,” he said.

“Look at the details,” the scientist said. “It mimics our body to the minute detail. Ligaments, tendons, joints…”

Alex had to agree that it was indeed an amazing sight to see. The fact that someone, somewhere was able to make a mechanical body that mimicked the human form to such an extent boggled his mind. How many lives could be saved if they could send artificial people to the warzones to fight instead of flesh and blood soldiers?

Those and a thousand other thoughts ran through Alex’s mind as he thought about what to tell the President. A finding like this couldn’t be kept from the Chief Executive, but that didn’t mean he needed to tell the man everything. Yes, it was dishonest as hell but what the current administration didn’t know sure wouldn’t hurt them.

Although, he thought, it could possibly cost me my commission and pension.

“General,” a researcher said. “You need to see this.”

“What is it?”

“It’ll be easier to show you.”

He motioned to a guard to escort him before heading for the door. Just because the woman was unconscious didn’t mean she would stay that way and keeping someone around to defend him sounded like a good idea to Alex.

Although, he thought, could a bullet actually stop something like her?

“What do you have?” He asked as he approached the table.

The woman was borderline beautiful, and young enough to be his daughter, which did make this operation a bit tough on him. Her silver hair, almost the color of an anime character, and athletic frame reminded him more of a college student than someone from another planet. And what made things worse was God only knew how strong she’d been once awake.

“There’s a small port on the back of her head. We missed it earlier because it was covered by her hair.”

“What do you think it’s for?”

“If I had to hazard a guess, it’s for a computer interface.”

“Do we have a way of connecting to it?”

“It’s much like a USB port,” the scientist said. “But I don’t know if it’s wise to link something like this to our computer network.”

“What if we put her onto a closed system, one that doesn’t have any connections to the rest of the base or outside world?”

“That could work.”

“Make it so,” Alex said. “I want to know what that thing thinks.”

“It might take a little bit.”

“Just make it happen. I don’t care how long it takes.”

“Yes, sir.”

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Bad Advice Leading to the Blind Leading the Blind

 

It gets more and more difficult for me to sit back and watch people get bad advice from pseudo-intellectuals with diarrhea of the fingers. They sit there, pretend they know it all, and then give people who are trying to learn how to be an author terrible advice.

One thing that the sexual intellectuals (polite way of calling someone a fucking moron-so it’s the term I’ll use from now on) do is to get the newbies hung up on the rules. Yes, rules are important and you need to know them for writing, but they’re not fixed in stone. These guys tell everyone they are and they couldn’t be more wrong.

Another false premise that gets thrown out is the three-act structure in fiction writing. That is something used in scriptwriting to not only control how long the actual script is, but the help with the filming of it by giving the director some structure. It does not have a place in writing a novel, which is a different beast.

The other big one pushed is the ‘show don’t tell’ mantra. I’m sorry but novels are not 100% showing or telling. They are a mix of the two, and it’s how the writer puts it together that matters.

Fourth, they keep trying to tell others that the artistic nature is far more important than trying to write something that will be commercially viable. While that might work if you don’t mind the manuscript never leaving your computer-or being self-published-but it won’t in the mainstream.

And last but not least, the need to show writing to others, to get multiple people’s opinions on things. This is a case of ‘too many cooks ruin the pudding.’ Writing in a solo endeavor. It’s just you and the computer/typewriter/piece of paper. The more people get involved, the more likely your idea will be stolen or you’ll get lead down a rabbit hole and end up having to back track to move forwards.

Best thing to do is to read successful novel-preferably to top 100 of the 20th century, and see how the authors put their story together. What were their word choices? How did they construct sentences and use descriptions. That will help you be a successful writer.

With this said, I wish you all good luck in your travels.

Athol Novel Rough Draft Snippet 2-4-2014

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Combat veterans will tell people that on the battlefield, sleep is fleeting and when they did get some, it was always with one eye open. It’s much the same way for assassins; we never know if the police are coming or if someone will try to kill us because  we’ve eliminated targets.

This was the case tonight as I lay in bed looking at the ceiling, with my pistol in my hand. I can’t stop thinking about that assassin, and only a fool would believe that Julia was her name or that mine was Jessica, and whether it was bad luck that we encountered each other or did she hunt us out. Either way, the identity of at least one was known, which left me with the problem of what to do about it.

Gunfights on starships didn’t normally happen; that was something only seen in the movies. Even the military shied away from them unless absolutely necessary because the risk of hull ruptures preyed upon their mind. That meant the girl would have to make direct contact because there wasn’t a chance I’d let Lacey stop eating at communal tables. And when the killer did make her move, I’d be ready to care of her.

Lacey, damn her, is sleeping like a baby and snoring like a chain saw. How one human being can be so relaxed while being pursued beat the hell out of me. People have said that I’m cold as ice and don’t have any emotions whether it’s doing a job or being pursued but Lacey doesn’t have nerves of steel like me, she’s just plain stupid.

Either way, I’m stuck having to protect her and all I want to do now is go back to my apartment and eat Chinese food. At least there I could go back to being an assassin and not have to sit back and try to be a bodyguard to a dumbass bitch who didn’t have a clue how serious of a situation she’s in.

Its times like this that I love to take walks to give myself time to chew on the problem. However, that’d leave Lacey alone in the room and I’d be exposing me money maker to unnecessary risk. Second, I’d hate to have to face Janice after letting Lacey die and explain how we didn’t get the money promised. That’s one conversation I’d rather not have.

Fuck it, I thought as I entered the luxurious warmth of the shower.

Yes it was a risk to leave Lacey unguarded but I needed the time to myself. The number one rule in assassinations was to keep your identity a secret, yet this girl had decided to throw it away. That was just one of many unanswered questions that were rattling around in my mind as I exited the room.

The liner’s owners took great care to make the concourse and atrium beautiful, and that included how it was light during the “night time” hours. Streetlamps, each made to look like an oil lamp, lit the walkways and Christmas lights were wrapped around several of the trees. It made for an area that proved to be both peaceful and romantic at the same time; in fact, I bet even at this hour that there were couples having sex back amongst the shrubs and grassy openings.

A voice in the back of my mind screamed at me to be careful as my senses went onto high alert. If the other assassin was awake, this would be the perfect time to make a move. The area was dim, keeping a person from seeing more than a few feet into the trees, making it a great location for an ambush.

While anyone looking would see a non-threatening teen girl out for a walk, I was anything but. Since firearms were out of the question, nothing kept me from carrying a knife and its hilt bounced against my back as I walked. Let the other woman come; it’d be a fatal mistake.

Its times like this that I wonder what life would’ve been like if Dad hadn’t died. Of course the cold streak that allows me to be such a good killer would’ve remained, but would I have chosen the course Tom put me on? I’d love to say that it wouldn’t have but that’d be a lie. While it would’ve taken some serious work to keep my activities a secret, I still could’ve pulled it off.

Not that it mattered now; Dad was dead and Tom trained me to be a killer. It’s who I am and I doubt I could function in any other job now. Besides, could a normal everyday job allow me to make the kind of money being an assassin did? The answer would be no.

Going back to Earth wasn’t high on my list of things to do. Because I eliminated Tom’s cadre, thus saving the Darbytown Police Chief embarrassment, he allowed me to escape to another colony. In return, we’d agreed on the condition that I’d never come back to my home, which basically exiled me from ever visiting Dad’s grave.

Dad was a good man, everything that Tom wasn’t, and while I don’t think about him much, I do miss him. Birthday and Christmas were the best time of year; we’d get together, have dinner and just enjoy the day together. And he always knew how to give the perfect gift for every occasion.

Tom had always been cold, aloof and borderline assholish to me when I was growing up, so the thought of having to live with him had upset me as Dad slowly weakened from the cancer. I doubt any of us truly knew what my uncle was capable of until the night of the funeral and Tom raped me for the first time. This went on every day for three months until I’d learned enough from my training to have him begging for his life one night. From then on, he kept his hands off me.

Training to be an assassin is hard work; something that takes more than one day or one person. To be successful, I needed to know martial arts, marksmanship and how to hack into security systems of all types. So, Tom’s cadre of corrupt cops each handled a section of my training.

It didn’t take long for the five of them to realize I had natural aptitude for killing, and they made sure to take advantage of my cool nature. While most people would rebel against such manipulations, I reveled in it and my skills continued to grow to reach what you see today. So, in many ways I owe my success to Tom, which to be honest galls me to no end.

I round a bend and to my surprise the assassin is sitting on a bench with her legs pulled tight to her body. It makes the young woman look younger and vulnerable; almost as if she were an older version of me from the Tom years.

“You don’t need a weapon,” she said. “I’m unarmed.”

“Don’t mind me if I don’t believe you.”

“Can’t blame you.”

“I’m so glad you see it my way.”

“You know that you don’t have the slightest chance of protecting your little friend.”

“Bitch, I’m good at what I do. You won’t get close enough to kill her.”

“Give it up, Mareth,” she said, “you’re up against something bigger than you.”

“You know, I always wanted to go big game hunting.”

“I don’t know if you’re stubborn or a whole lot dumber, but adults are playing here. Keep sticking your nose into it and it’ll get chopped off.”

“I always wanted a nose job. This thing is entirely too big.”

“This is your only warning, Mareth. If you don’t back out, I will kill you.”

With that she gets up, turns her back to me, and then walks away. What the fuck? Did that bitch have so little respect for me that she wasn’t afraid of getting a knife to the back?

I’m tempted to run up and ram my knife into her back and kill her, but I’ve got the feeling it wouldn’t work. She was right: there was something bigger going on then I’d been told when taking on the job. And I doubt seriously that Janice lied to me either, which leaves one option: Lacey’s playing me.

If that was the case, what did the little rich bitch have to hide? And who the hell hired the assassin? To be honest, she’s frighteningly confident and skilled, almost as if she worked for the government. Christ, I hope not because that opens up a can of worms I do not want to deal with.

When I get back to the room three hours later, I’m relieved to see Lacey up and preparing for breakfast. Maybe if I’m lucky the girl will tell me what’s going on if I badger her enough. More than likely, she’ll just deflect the questioning and leave me in the dark as usual, so I stop and send a quick text message to Janice.

“Good morning,” Lacey said.

“That depends on your definition of ‘good.’”

“Huh?”

“I had a little encounter with our assassin this morning.”

“Oh, is she dead?”

“No, but I’d like to know why she’s telling me I’m involved in something bigger than I know.”

“Damned if I know.”

“Fuck you, Lacey. Goddamn it, you do know what’s going on! I need to know if I’m going to protect you.”

“Now you listen to me, Mareth,” Lacey’s tone is colder than ice, taking me by surprise. “I’ve told you everything there is to know. Just do your goddamn job and go back home.”

“I don’t know who’s fucking worse,” I grumbled. “You or that prick Tom. And you know what happened to him.”

“Are you threatening me, Mareth? If you are, that’s not good for your long term health.”

With that, Lacey stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door behind her. Where the fuck did that sudden cold streak come from? Yes, I know that Lacey isn’t who I thought she was in school, but up to that moment she’d been some ditzy playgirl. Now, she shows that she can piss ice water and I’m not sure what to do about it.

My computer vibrates to let me know that Janice has answered. The message is brief, to the point, and I raise both eyebrows before closing and then storing the message. It would be useful later.

Since I have nothing better to do, I take a seat and wait on Lacey. Knowing her, it’ll be another hour at least before she’s ready to go to breakfast so might as well get comfortable.

Exactly one hour later Lacey exits the bathroom and starts to get dressed. My instincts are screaming bloody murder because all signs of the coldness from before is gone and it’s been replaced by the ditzy childishness of before.

“Ready for breakfast?” She asked.

“Yeah, I’m starving,” I lied.

“Lead on.”

It’s not often that someone gets the drop on me, but when they do it’s always a doozy. Soon as I open the door, something heavy hits me in the stomach, making me stagger as my breath rushes out in one large wave. Metal gleams in the bright lighting before the pistol slams into the side of my head, causing my vision to black out for a moment, and I fall to the floor.

The Asiatic woman steps over me and then starts to move towards Lacey, who freezes. Simply breathing is a challenge as I try to overcome the pain in my stomach. What the hell did that bitch hit me with? A two by four?

“It’s over,” the assassin said. “You should’ve stayed on Mather Nine and made this easier for both of us. Now I got to kill Mareth too and my bosses aren’t going to like that.”

Meet Dannae

The Medic I’ve created in Scarlet Blade is named Dannae, and she’s the closest I’ve come to making something that looks like her in my mind’s eye. So here’s three different shots. Be sure to knock the side of her bust in half, please. Scarlet Blade tends to like giving it’s characters massive breasts. I think the Koreans might be breast fixated…

Dannae1Dannae2Dannae3

Writing on the Third Talia Novel

 

In many ways feels like it’s taking forever. I’ve been putting time into the Micki novel and I feel like I’ve lost the ‘feel’ I normally have with a novel, so I’m debating whether or not to stop writing on it for the time being. I don’t want to abandon it because I’m onto the fifth chapter, but I can’t seem to make the connection at this point.

Maybe it’s just me and I’m worrying too much. Sometimes, as King would say, we writers try to shy away from what’s hard instead of pushing through. I fear this is what I’m doing. Maybe I just need to keep working away.

Finished With First Talia Novel

And I have to say I’m pleased with myself. Normally when writing I’ll go over and over on a project and never finish. Not this one. For better or for worse, it’s a completed project.

Onto submitting.

Writing a novel is a lot like running a marathon. Sprinting doesn’t win the day, it’s slow and easy that does. Cranking out 4-6k of words a day may sound good on paper, but is the writing worth a damn?

I’ve gotten to the point that I’m writing somewhere between 1.5 to perhaps 2k a day and taking my time. This allows for getting paragraphs right the first time then having to rewrite things over and over. I don’t know about you guys, but I get brain fried from working over and over on the same project. Right now, you couldn’t get me to touch this manuscript unless someone threw a bunch of money at me. Why? Because I’m burned out of this story. I want to move on and that’s what I’m doing.

My current projects are: Third Talia novel, a first Novel around a character named Micki and a serialized Talia novel for my blog. Those are enough to keep my busy for a while, and I still have the second Talia novel to edit!! Honestly, I’m too tired from editing the first one to take that one on, so I’m hitting the creative side instead.

Now that it’s done, let’s cross fingers and hope someone picks it up. If not, I might put it out as an e-book and try to sell the second one. Perhaps, if that one is picked up and sells, I might be able to sell the rights to a publisher and the first one could end up in the market too.

Well, that’s getting ahead of myself. Here’s to hoping things go well.

Number One Writing Tip

writers-block

 

 

I saw a post this morning asking what was our number one writing tip. In all honesty, it’s hard to boil things down to one tip. So, here’s mine:

Get your story finished first and foremost.

Let it sit and ‘rest’ while you get the emotional connection to it out of your system.

Rewrite it completely.

Hard Copy edit: print it out on paper and read through each chapter.  I recommend doing it 2-3 times.

Make sure you print yourself one hard copy version of the completed manuscript.

When it comes to actually writing the story, my one tip is to let it grow on it’s own. I never outline my stories, I just create a first chapter through trial and error (it often times takes me 3-4 attempts to get one that makes sense and I like) and then it let it grow own it’s own.

Also remember, there will be times where you do feel like you’re shoveling sit from a sitting position. It’s when you feel this way that you need to keep pushing yourself forwards. I think you’ll be surprised at how well you’re writing really was.

1st and 3rd Person POV in the same book??

nanowrimo-1

 

 

Dear Lord, just say NO! I have read only one book like this and it was CL Anderson’s “Bitter Angels” and I hope it’s the only one! That was by far the most jarring, poorly flowing novel that I’ve ever read. Here’s why:

She wrote it in a very weird and annoying way. One chapter could be written in first person (the name of the character given) and then she’d write a second chapter from another character’s POV in first. Fine..I can deal with that…

Then…she’d make a third chapter in 3rd person with a third character. See the problem?

Trying to read that book was the ultimate in what’s called ‘head hopping.’ It became a pain in the ass to keep up with it all and ruined what was a very good premise. 

So, just say no!

 

Suspension of Disbelief

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Another post that caught me eye, and shake my head, was ‘How to Make Suspension of Disbelief’ in a compex world? Huh?? Is it that difficult? Here’s the solution:

Suspension of Disbelief comes from the reader being immersed in the world of the book enough to feel like it’s real. How is this done? By the quality of your writing!!! So many of these questions have a simple answer: your writing is the key.

When it comes to creating a novel, nothing matters more then your ability to draw a reader into your world. That’s where the combination of description and characterization come from. A truly believable character can make up for a poorly described world. However, a beautifully described world can’t compensate for a poor, cardboard character.

The combination of the two, when done correctly, are what brings people into your world and then forget it isn’t real. See what I mean?

Instead of spending time on boards asking questions that have already been answered, my advice is to spend time telling a story! It’ll progress your career, if you want to be a professional, more then being a massive poster on various forums.

My challenge to everyone is: Do you want to be a serious writer or to be known as someone who posts under your screen name? Their not compatible in many ways.

I hope this has helped. Happy writing!