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April Writing Update: Fracture

In my last writing update, I mentioned that I was seriously considering changing the title of Ziva Payvan Legacy Part 1 to "Fracture" instead of "Embers." For anyone who missed the memo on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, this has indeed become a thing. I'm keeping Embers though; it will now be the title of Ziva Payvan Legacy Part 2

I've swapped the Fracture and Embers pages here on the site (found under My Work). The Embers page is mostly empty for now, though it uses the same banner as it originally did. The excerpt that was originally on the Embers page can now be found on the Fracture page.  I'll also be doing my very best to keep the word meter in the sidebar updated with my current progress, although I often forget. It's amazing how much those word meters help motivate you though; I remember working on Ronan last year and I was always excited when the color in the meter overtook another character in the text "printed" on the side.

Anyway, I mentioned in my last update that I was inspired to change the title to "Fracture" after the word was used in the Friday Phrases game on Twitter. A series of words came to mind, things like broken, fragile, and uncertain. They, uh...fit really well with the theme of the story. In a way, I had wanted to use "Embers" for the same reason --  embers are the smoldering remains after the fire has burned everything to the ground (are you sensing a pattern here?). BUT embers are also hot enough that, given the right amount of care and structure, the fire can still be rekindled and controlled. 

The Merriam-Webster definition of "ember" is as follows:

*whistles innocently*

Anyway, for that latter reason (and definition #3), I decided to push Embers to Part 2. I'm really excited about how the structure of this story is coming together in my head. It's basically going to be one story, with Part 2 picking up almost exactly where Part 1 left off (basically like what they did with the Mockingjay movies) because I'm terrified that one full book would be like 200k words, plus I want to be able to use both titles. I'm still seeing kind of a yellow/gold/orange with black accents color scheme for Embers (because fire, ya know). And as soon as I decided on Fracture as the new Part 1 title,  I saw a gray/purple/blue color scheme and a lot of broken glass. I was messing around on Pixabay (great resource for free-for-commercial-use stock images, all you designers out there) just looking for inspiration and was very drawn to this image here on the left. I'm not sure if I'll actually be able to use it for anything, but if there was ever an image that encapsulated the entire theme I'm trying to convey, it's this one (complete with the gray/purple color scheme!). 

I'm kind of at a point where I have enough of this story planned out in my head that I could TOTALLY just whip it out if I ever actually sat down to work on it. I woke up at 3 am this morning and my brain was like, "Yes, hello, brainstorming time?" As much as I wanted to go back to sleep (I was still awake at 5), I actually came up with some pretty cool ideas and got a few notes jotted down. Note to self: keep mini stylus on nightstand because writing notes by hand is faster than trying to type them with one hand while half asleep. 

If all goes according to plan, Aroska will be more or less the main character in this story. For all of you Skeet and Zinni fans, those two will also have large roles, though not always in a POV capacity. Other familiar faces include Emeri, Aroska's former teammates (Jole and Tate), and Tobias Niio, back by popular demand. Actually, Tobias will mostly be seen in flashbacks; he'll probably play a larger part in Embers. That's the thing -- I've got the story as a whole planned out, but I need to figure out where exactly the divide is. I've got a nice, climactic event that can serve as the finale for Part 1, but there are several more minor scenes that could fall on either side of the fence.

Notable newcomers include:

  • Alistair Manes - human cartel leader/gangster
  • Kimbra Soto - Haphezian mercenary
  • Matia Moryi - Haphezian assassin
  • Serenity Best - human vigilante doctor
  • unnamed young human male tech geek...need to consult my endless list of names in my phone. Leaning toward Darius as a first name, but that's subject to change.

Serenity will also likely only appear in flashbacks, at least until Embers. The majority of the brainstorming I did in the wee hours this morning was about her. She's one of those characters kind of like Kat Reilly was -- I had an image of her in my head and knew her name (though I wasn't convinced I liked it at first, but it stuck) but was never really sure what her role would be. Or I knew her role but wasn't sure how to make it meaningful in the story. All of that is pretty much nailed down now, and out of everyone on that list, I'm probably most excited to explore her character. Matia Moryi is of course the assassin featured in the excerpt on the Fracture page, as I revealed during Author Life Month. Manes and Kimbra will both be interesting to write as well.

Anyway, I'm very excited to be working on all of this, and I hope you'll all be patient with me as I try to balance writing with Other Life Responsibilities™. In case you missed it, here's a Fracture excerpt I posted on Facebook the other day.  But I posted it on April 1, so can you really trust it? Is "she" who you think she is? Is this actually a scene from the book? Is it a heavily altered scene from the book? Or is this all just an elaborate prank? You decide.