It’s just over 2 weeks into Nanowrimo, and it’s finally time to talk about the series I started writing in January. I’ll also talk about some of my pet peeves when talking about my writing with others. But first, a general update.
I haven’t been able to go to any write-ins this week, since they were all scheduled on days I was busy with work. At the same time though, that left me more time to focus on my own work. Not only did I finish the 50,000 bar on the 9th, I finished the book I was working on this past Thursday. I ended up writing more than 11,000 words in one day, half being the climax, and the other half being the introduction to a second book.
These are both in the same series; the 4th and 5th book I’ve written for this series respectively. Chronologically though, they’d be number 2 and 3. The first book I wrote is either the 4th or 5th chronologically, depending on how much of a story I can build out of the potential 4th book. I’m currently 19,502 words (88 pages) into this month’s second book, and the next scene is very dramatically important. But now, onto describing my series.
If I was to describe it in one sentence, it would be this. It’s James Bond with vampires and werewolves. The series main character is British, it’s a supernatural action-thriller series with minor horror elements, and each book has a standalone story with a one-off villain. Each book so far has at least three main characters working together (one book I’ve written has four), most of which are reoccurring characters. There are plot threads that span multiple books of course, and each story somehow affects both at least one of the main characters and the world at large. Here’s the synopsis for what is chronologically the first book, and the closest one to completion.
In the aftermath of Dracula’s defeat by Van Helsing’s hands, his pure-blood son Kraig took over the bloodline. Decades later, the world is on the brink of war between Vampires and Werewolves. With the Great War already raging, a supernatural war threatens to grow into an apocalyptic conflict that will completely devastate Europe.
The only three people standing in the way are Alucard, Dracula’s other pure-blood son, his dhampir daughter, Rebecca Sellers, and Luke Baker, a conscript whose been recently cursed with lycanthropy. Can they possibly prevent a war when both sides’ leaders want to kill the other? And does Alucard even want peace, or is he too consumed by revenge?
In case I do manage to get this series published, I’d rather not talk specifically about any other books for a while.
The series main character is Rebecca Sellers, acting as a mercenary monster hunter along with whatever teammates she has for the book. She generally prefers her human side, and doesn’t get along with most of her Draculan family. She was raised by her father as a fighter, a tactical thinker and a master of stealth. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have much social interaction. After meeting Luke, they develop a strong brother/sister relationship that lasts throughout most of the series. He also helps her learn how to socialize normally, where she starts to learn how extroverted she is.
For the most part, she’s a very kind person. She has a warm, motherly personality and a good sense of humour. She loves teaching, telling stories and making people laugh. She’s very protective of those she cares about, and toward any apparently innocent humans who are in danger. She’s very competitive, but she’s also a patient loser and a gracious winner. It’s not about winning; it’s about the challenge of competition itself. She also loves fighting, whether in a friendly sparring match or killing evil monsters.
On the downside, she has anger problems. She can be overly confrontational, and is not afraid of telling people of their flaws. She tries to go easy on this front, but she can be overly harsh at times. The three fastest ways to make her angry are: 1, threatening or hurting anyone she cares about, 2, men obnoxiously flirting with her, 3, shopping (she hates shopping). As a dhampir this anger can lead to what’s called a blood rage, where they lose control and get uncontrollably violent. With a full-on blood rage, a dhampir can black out and when they wake up, everything around them is dead. This is a consistent issue for her throughout the series even as she learns how to deal with it.
She has other traits, but I have to stop somewhere. Later books introduce characters like Ryan Danvers, Rebecca’s human son who joins her monster hunting work, and Peter, a young man who wanted to be a Catholic Priest … until he was turned into a vampire against his will. He then fights alongside Rebecca, hoping to protect others from the same fate. I make an effort to make all my characters likable on some level, even the villains. I also try to give them all different traits, to make each team more balanced and complete. Besides, a team without conflict would be boring to read about.
And to cap off this journal, here are some of my pet peeves when talking to others about my writing. I am glad to say that none of the Nanowrimo people I’ve talked to have annoyed me in this way. It seems that people who truly care about creative works are more open minded than most. Maybe these things would bother some of them as well.
I find it kind of annoying when people always assume my main character is a man. A lot of people at work assume this. My own dad keeps assuming this. How hard is it to use a genderless pronoun until you know for sure, like “they” or “them”? “He or she” works too, and it’s more grammatically correct. Most of my friends are better though.
I find it very annoying when people assume my series has “a damsel”. The damsel is a trope I’ve grown to dislike. Even when an important supporting character was kidnapped in one of the books I wrote, she wasn’t completely helpless. This only happened once though, with a co-worker.
I find it annoying when people assume that the other writers I’ve talked to are men. This includes my journalism teachers from college, other Nanowrimo participants and my co-op supervisor. My dad does this all the time; referring to everyone as “he” before I correct him. I know he’s not sexist, but it still really bugs me.
Those are the big ones that pop to mind right now. If any writers are reading this, please comment with any pet peeves you have.
And that’s it for now. I’m not sure when my next journal will be or what it’ll be about. I might talk about some of the vampire/werewolf movies I’ve been watching lately as research, or some of the other stuff I’ve written in the past. I might even post a short story I wrote about 5 years ago. I sent it in for publishing, and while it wasn’t accepted, I did get a positive rejection letter with pointers on how to improve in the future.