Texas has treated us to a classic thunderstorm today with lightning, thunder, and sheets of rain, so I am waiting another half an hour before braving the office, because I don’t know where the umbrella is and I don’t want to get soaked. So some answers to the questions.
First things first: for those of you on iPad, are you seeing the weird menu issue in the sideways view. If so please comment, so I know it’s not an isolated occurrence.
Industry question. How do you get inspiration for a fight scene?
Fight scene mechanics are similar to sex scene mechanics: unless you add emotion, both will be flat. The most important part is getting the emotional undercurrent correctly. The reader should feel in danger. They should hold their breath and hope to dodge a fatal strike. That’s why Richard Mar was such a pain to write. The character was written as extremely precise and during most of his fights, he would be cool as a cucumber.
To infuse the fight with emotion, you really have to pull the character apart and show exactly what they are thinking. If you look at Maud’s fight, she is progressively getting more and more ruthless because things keep getting more and more desperate, to the point of kicking a pitcher at a woman whom she desperately hoped to impress. The shattered pitcher is kind of a high point there, because things are so bad, we’re expecting something to break.
That said, this is analysis post-writing. During the writing, there is no conscious process of “Put this in, it’s important.” We kind of put ourselves into Maud’s shoes or Hugh’s shoes or whoever’s shoes and try to survive. I do have to say, the arm breaking move took a while. It’s an escrima move called pangilog and at some point Gordon and I did it to each other a few times, because it wasn’t clear how much pressure it would put on the shoulder and would a shoulder pop before hyperextending the elbow.
Are y’all still considering going to DragonCon?
We are, but it is a long process. You have to fill out an application and then you may or may not get approved.
If not already asked: what are the optimal dimensions for a moat? Respectfully, member BDH
Hugh is building a big ass moat and lining it with Roman concrete. It is costing a ton of money, but supposedly it will all be worth it. 😉
Industry-ish question: I’m writing my book, but I struggle with conversation and witty banter. It all comes out super flat and fake sounding. Nothing feels realistic and I just feel like I’m missing something. How do you make your character interactions and conversations in your books seem so entertaining and yet real at the same time. I’m sure practice is involved, so I don’t expect an easy fix, but any insight you have would help. I’m thinking of taking a creative writing class at my local cc to help me improve, but until I can gather those funds, I’m still staring at my seemingly unnecessary conversations in absolute disgust.
Sherre, you are thinking too much. Crack yourself up with the dialogue. Seriously, write to amuse yourself. Don’t worry about being clever or not, just write until you snicker. Sometimes a good joke takes awhile, so if you are stuck, walk away and do the dishes. Your mind will come up with a witty comeback.
For us, we’ve had a lot of practice and both of us are naturally caustic. Also, if you put either one of us on the spot, we will absolutely fold. I just asked Gordon how does he write witty dialogue, and he said, “I don’t know.”
Well, I am going to go and check to see if the rain let up. We have battling to write.
I’m so pleased with this image, I can’t even tell you. Hehe, compote and cookies.
Thank you to everyone who emailed asking how doctor visits went. For mammogram, I will be in limbo for a week or so. If they find something, they will call. Otherwise, I will get a note in the mail saying it’s clear, so no news is good news. It’s stressful, but it is what it is.
For ENT, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that the throat is red, irritated, and there is a slight thickening likely due to inflammation. The good news is that nothing is growing in there. There are no lesions, abscesses, and so on. Most likely diagnosis is acidic irritation. I am already on Prilosec, but we’ve been eating cereal quite often lately, and one of the possibilities is that my stomach just can’t handle that much milk. The fat in milk stimulates acid production. So I’m back to the alternating diet of steel cut oats and eggs for my breakfast.
On the plus side I’ve got to sit in the ENT office and make weird faces and strange noises, while he was peering into my mouth. 🙂
Some of you are asking about an update on IRON AND MAGIC. Do you remember the date of the original post? Well, we are going to try to have some cool reveals available to you on the anniversary of it. And that’s all I am saying for now.
In other news, we are working hard on finishing up IRON AND MAGIC manuscript. We also had a hilarious idea for a third Kinsman novella, which I’m just dying to do something with, but the IAM comes first.
And that concludes the update.
For business reasons, we had to pull together a traffic summary from the website. Turns out that Maud’s novella is our most successful Innkeeper to date. That’s pretty amazing. Thank you, guys.
The comment section is blowing up at the latest Innkeeper posts, with some posts getting over 600 comments. That’s a lot of comments to scroll past. To help you get a hold on the comment section, we have enabled some new options. If you look at the comment section of this post, you will see a new option to subscribe to follow-up comments to your reply. Hopefully this will make things easier to load. I tested it and it seems to work. Please let us know if you are having trouble with it.
Because we were testing Jetpack as a way to allow you to receive follow-up comments, the sign up to receive this blog feed by email option was also enabled for a short time and some of you signed up. I’m sorry, but at this point we are not interested in allowing a direct signup to receive Innkeeper entries by email. It is done for several reasons, piracy being one, with the main reason being impracticality. Jet Pack plugin is a massive resource hog. It’s buggy, slow, it drags the site down, and I hate it with a passion of ten thousand suns. Periodically it peters out and we have to turn it off. Right now, for example, it is causing a twenty second delay for me. It’s not the most reliable system. If you want to be notified of Innkeeper posts, please sign up for the main blog feed here: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/newsletter/. We always send out a notice when the Innkeeper is posted. The newsletter for the the main blog is done through Mail Chimp and allows us for better editing tools with regards to subscriptions, appearance, etc.
We are looking into updating the theme of this site to something that will let us manage the information a little better. For some reasons people have difficulty finding extras, innkeeper site, and so on, so clearly our current set up needs a minor overhaul.
And that concludes the boring admin Monday. Here is a tiny Hugh snippet bribe for reading through all that.
Elara paced in her room. Traces of her magic slipped out of her, trailing her body. The gentle glow of custom feylantern bathed the room in soothing buttery-yellow glow, but her temper needed a hell of a lot more than some ambient light to soothe itself.
That fucking bastard.
When she’s insisted on the joint decision provision, she was thinking of limiting his reach. At the time, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable choice.
Elara closed her eyes and whispered, projecting her voice. “Savannah.”
The echo of her power flew through the castle, finding its target. Savannah was on her way.
Elara wanted to march back into Hugh’s bedroom and crush him with her power until he groveled. To wipe that smug grin off his face.
She stopped and took a deep breath. Her magic swirled out and Hugh stood in her room, exactly as she remembered him, a perfect copy of the man, just slightly transparent when she looked at a feylantern through him.
She circled him, examining him, the broad powerful shoulders, the sculpted arms, the flat stomach, tree trunk legs… Built to crush all opposition. The man emanated a predatory confidence. If he said he would kill something, it would die. She was sure of it now.
A trail of faint scars marked his chest, no more than lighter lines across his left pectoral, over the heart, ribs, and side. She felt him heal his people. He had to be able to heal himself, or he would have a lot more scars.
What sort of damage was severe enough to resist his healing?
Food for thought.