Coryn of Bellsferry: Blood Thieves -Chapter 5: Unexpected Guests

Hunter aesthetic! 

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Coryn Aesthetic!

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Chapter 5 of Coryn of Bellsferry: Blood Thieves is here! Check it out on Wattpad!

“I shivered, despite the summer heat. What if something happened to me? What if the Blood Thieves got to me? What would that do to my daughter, losing the person closest to her? She barely knew Gunner and Dixie. She’d be devastated and scared, and the security and joy of her childhood bubble would burst and she’d be thrown into the dark, confusing maze of this dangerous world. Death was banging on all of our doors, especially mine and Krista’s, and who knew when it’d break through and seize its loot. It could happen tonight…”-from chapter 5

Chapter vibes:

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Coryn Aesthetic!

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SYNOPSIS TIME!

“With long snaking roads enshrouded by dense woodland and only smatters of clarity along the rolling hills, the beautiful countryside of Bellsferry was the perfect place for predators to stalk.” Coryn knows fate when she’s pricked by it–she thinks.

In a world where American law has been overthrown, and wanna-be supernatural, self-made vampires exist–who by the way, are really creepy and demented and have started preying on the small town of Bellsferry–there also exists Coryn, a twenty-three-year-old single mother who’s just trying to survive through life–and give her daughter a somewhat decent one. But when Coryn is taken under her gunslinging neighbors’ wings and something…otherworldly happens, forget decent; she and her daughter’s lives are now even more dangerous than before. Sigh. That’s what happens when you accidentally become the only real nemesis to the deranged psychopaths who have iron-gripped your hometown.

Since before the demolition of law, Coryn grew up surviving through life, but now she has to protect not only herself and her seven-year-old daughter, but their entire town–doesn’t she?

 

Have you been following along? If so, what are your thoughts so far? Got a WIP you’re working on? Are you on Wattpad? Let me know! Happy reading! -Natasha

Do you make image quotes from your stories?

Pinterest got me starting to make quote images from my books and stories. I also make some for Instagram from time to time. I use quotes I really liked and I think they’ve generated some interest. What about you? Have you made image quotes for your stories? Feel free to share your Pinterest links with them or Instagram account with them. Here’s some of mine from my latest WIP (available on Wattpad), a New Adult urban fantasy, Coryn of Bellsferry: Blood Thieves:

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Happy discussing!

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I’m a YouTuber: Videos of Funny YA Readings & Relationship Advice for Christian Women

Check out my YouTube channels and feel free to subscribe! Are you a YouTuber? Feel free to share your link in a comment.

Funny bookish channel:

Relationship advice for christian women:

What is it about a book’s first page that keeps you reading?

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I’m curious:

What is it about a book’s first page that keeps you flipping?

Are you able to share an example of a book whose first page just grabbed you and held on until the last page? I want to know what book did that for you and why. Then I can go Amazon-“Look inside”-stalk and see if I agree with you or not. 😉 Happy discussing!

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Killing Your Characters

So killing off characters in your story: is it fun for you, or torture?

I’ve been on both sides of this fence, and I can say that now, it’s leaning toward more fun. For me, there’s something about the shock of it, the later oh-so-hoped for justice, the real-ness it adds to the danger and the story in general, and of course, the emotions it stirs. But what say you? I wanna know your reasons as to why you enjoy killing characters in your story, or why you hate it. Let the discussion begin!

Writing Craft Wednesday: Good character-building scenes that keep your plot rollin’

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Ever read a book that felt like slogging through twelve inches of snow? It dragged on and you were like, “Give me some action already.”

Chances are, not every scene moved the story forward. Either a lot of stuff was there for the sake of giving you important info, or the author took her sweet time for the sake of character building.

Whatever the case may be, if a scene doesn’t actually progress the plot, it’s a drag. You may think it’s a great scene for strengthening friendship or building intimacy between characters, but the fact is that a) that scene is unnecessary and b) you can do those things in scenes that actually move your plot along.

For example, see the above photo of that wonderful Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers scene. As another example, in Prodigy Prince, Sophana and Ave share a good moment of friendship/romance-building dialogue while trekking through a snowy land on a mission to retrieve something central to the plot and the advancement of it.

You can do the same. Take those character building moments and place them in a forward-moving scene. Traveling somewhere is probably the easiest choice. I think of Bryan Davis’ Reapers book. The main characters needed to take a train to their ghost-drop-off “depot.” Naturally, moments happened: romantic, question-raising, and sympathy-inducing exchanges between the characters that felt natural. If you’re traveling in a car, plane, boat, whatever with another person you know, you’re likely going to converse on the way. It isn’t forced and it won’t slow down your story. So instead of summarizing those transports, use them to familiarize your audience with the characters and to deepen their arcs.

You can also have such moments in few, but necessary times of rest; when your characters take a break during a voyage, like mine did in Prodigy Prince, settling in a forest for a nap after a long journey. As they rested and prepared to sleep, a conversation happened that gave us more insight into each of their backstories.

Have any tips or ideas on where to place character-enhancing or insightful moments in progressive scenes? Please share them in a comment.

Happy helping!

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Don’t Just Write a Story, Bleed One.

If you aren’t passionate about the story you’re telling, stop telling it. Because a great story is like giving birth: it’s long, painful, will be very draining at times, and you’ll get to a point where you just wanna push it out already!

You have to love your story enough to go through the sweat, blood, and tears it’ll require to come to fruition and grow into something beautiful.

I edited my high-fantasy novel over thirty-three times and had a handful of eyes peruse through it before finally reaching out to an amazing designer to begin the book cover process. And as he begins (this month), I STILL have to go back through my novel to fix a few things spotted by my proofreader.

Now don’t get me wrong, there WILL be times where you feel like giving up, but if you really love your story, you won’t. And here’s the clincher, if you don’t love your story, what makes you think your audience will?

It took over two dozen edits until I came to a place of really loving my high-fantasy story. Reading it now is a breeze. When you read over your story, do you get lost in it, as if it wasn’t even your own? When your novel gets to THAT place, it’s an amazing feeling. But until then, is your story worth laboring for?

If the answer is no, then think hard about a story you wish someone would tell you, and then write it.

Want more writing tips and encouragement? Visit the home page and follow my blog. If you have a story you’d like me to help make great, visit the services page and send me a message with your genre and word count, and we can begin the process. Happy helping!

Make Your Protagonist Problematic Tip 2: Trouble Magnet

Trouble should stalk your hero. And this trouble should of course cause trouble for those nearest to your protagonist. Trouble breeds trouble. When his trouble is contagious, this growing conflict makes for a more interesting story.

Naturally, we humans are drawn to conflict. We don’t just like drama for the sake of it, but because we desire to experience the solution. HOW are things going to get better? WHEN are things going to get better? Especially if matters become complicated and messier, we REALLY can’t wait to see how the mess gets cleaned up.

When Peeta is kidnapped and then gets brainwashed, and then is given back to Katniss, and then is having PTSD episodes, the audience is itching to discover how in the blazes this couple is going to get through it all. The trouble he brings causes trouble within Katniss’ team and as the story continues, the drama thickens, again, increasing our desire for a solution.

Now, don’t make all the troubles caused by some foolish decisions on your protagonist’s part. Audiences hate a dumb hero, especially if the mistake made was one we knew was contrived to render cheap, additional conflict. Let the troubles come on their own, more for who your character is rather than what he does, unless it’s a GENUINELY tough decision and a sacrifice must be made–that’s different and interesting.

So go on and make your hero a troublemaker !

 

Cheaper Edits for Some Special Preciouses

Those of you interested in having me as a developmental editor are getting a price-break from my already reasonable editing service fees.

Short story edit

A thorough edit of your story, improving various aspects such as plot, characters, dialogue, stakes, emotional appeal, originality, conflicts, and resolution.

Short story edit rates

$0.04 $o.03 a word.

Novel edit

A complete edit of your story, enhancing key aspects such as plot, characters, dialogue, stakes, emotional appeal, originality, conflicts, and resolution.

Novel edit rates

$0.02 $0.01 a word, so if your manuscript is 70,000 words, it’ll be just  $700 for a developmental edit of your entire story!

But, these rates won’t last. I’m offering this price-break until March 1st. Fill out the form below with your genre, synopsis, and word-count, and I’ll get back to you soon.

Happy helping!

Twists and Shock Appeal

Don’t you just love when you’re reading a story and then WHAM!–you’re hit with a revelation you didn’t see coming?

And isn’t it lame when you DO see something coming and aren’t the least bit surprised when it’s “revealed?”

Too many times–especially in teen films or tv shows–I’ll predict what’s going to happen and when it does say, “I wrote this movie.”

It’s no fun when we can uncover what’ll happen next. But give us a good twist, a nice shockeroo and we are thrilled. However, the revelation can’t be so left-field it makes no sense whatsoever. It’s annoying and confusing when the revelation was not properly prepared. But you have to be crafty. The hints should be so subtle only in retrospect are they seen. This will thrill us all the more to know that the sneaky author totally slipped in clues, but we were so engrossed in the story we missed them. This isn’t an easy feat.

However, if you’re a pantser like me (an author who doesn’t outline or plan much, or anything at all), it’s easier to accomplish. Bryan Davis (Raising Dragons), is a pantser, and is often surprised by what his characters do and where the story goes and so are his readers. I remember reading Reapers and truly not knowing what the hero was going to do, or how he would defeat the villain. It made for such a fun read!

Sure, pantsing it makes for longer editing, but I think it’s worth it if you want genuine shock value. I’m not saying an outliner can’t achieve the same surpise level, but it will be a lot more challenging.

So, do you have any twists? And be honest with yourself: are they predictable? Don’t get lazy. Think about how you can craftily set up your audience for a surprise. You and they will be grateful you did.

What story or film had a surprise twist that knocked you out of your chair? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.

Happy helping!