And on the fifth day . . .

My internet service is out, so I rested.

No, really.  My service is down, but alas, I’m not resting.  I’m going to try to keep it short today since I’m using my Verision card to get internet service, and it’s really slow out here.

It’s about day five of the plotting/outlining stage of the next Hollows book, and I’ve got my 13 page synopsis broken into ten chapters so far.  Hopefully I’ll finish the chapter breakdown today, and can start on the actual writing tomorrow.  (whoo-hoo!  I’ve got to catch up with you guys doing the NaNoWriMo!) 

So far, while using my character grid, I’ve found that I’ve got a slow spot, and I moved some things around to quicken it up.  I also named a new character, learned a few things about him, and Rachel has told me she likes him better than the guy I thought she’d be interested in.  He kind of likes her, too, or maybe he just likes the way she makes him feel.  (Be smart, Rachel.)  I’ve also learned what the story is about besides solving the crime and settling the love interest.  (By the way, it’s not settled.)  What I’m talking about here is the character growth, I suppose.  And without character growth, not only would the story be stale, but I’d be bored to tears writing it.

So today, I know what inner demon Rachel is going to slay this book–or at least come to terms with, and can work it in even at this early stage.  Previous demons?  Trust, adrenaline, her sexuality, independence.    That I’ve realized it this soon is good.  Sometimes I don’t see it until the end of the book, which goes to prove that I’m still learning my craft.  Thank all that is holy.

Tomorrow I’ll have a picture of the cover of the next Madison book, EARLY TO DEATH, EARLY TO RISE.  I’d give it to you now, but my connection is way to slow.  It’s beautiful!!!

P.S.  Puppies are okay.  They have a virus of some sort which is aggravating their throats.  Because they are kenneled often, they were previously immunized for kennel cough, but you can be sure I’ll be watching them close.  We’ve had some sheet rock work done in the house recently, and that probably isn’t helping.



Filed under Drama Box

66 responses to “And on the fifth day . . .

  1. UK Kate

    Hiya Kim, I hope the puppies are on the mend. It’s never nice to see your pets poorly. Thank you so much for putting up your character grid yesterday. It’s amazing. To be honest, all your planning techniques are brilliant, so I most definitely will be ‘yoinking’ your system and using it for my work, with your permission of course. I have a terrible habit of diving straight in and it always leaves me in a mess. Now that I’ve gone through my first round of edits, it seems a good time to order my thouthts and set things straight. Oh and before I go, if I send in my Hallowe’en picture tonight will I be in time for the competition? I’m on GMT… All the best, UK Kate 🙂

    • Hi, Kate. Yup, you still have time to send me your picture. I’ll be waiting for it!

      I’m so glad you’re getting something from the character grid! Yes, please take and modify and use to your writing content! I’ve found it invaluable.

      The puppies look great, so now all I have to do is make sure to finish the course of the meds, whether they look good or not! 😉


  2. carrissa

    i hope shes working things out with ivy =] dont get me wrong i loved her with kisten but it would be nice to see ivy copmletely happy as well as rachel

    • Sarah

      That’s just what I wanted to write: I hope she will be together with Ivy instead of another boyfriend 🙂

    • Hi, Carrissa. One of my series goals is for Ivy to find her happy ending. I think I see it. Now if only Ivy is brave enough to believe she deserves it. That is the question.

  3. Before i get lost in all these heavy information (you sure keep your word), may i ask this? Is Jenks still around? Alive around or in our heart around? What about Matalina?

    • Hi, Ezgi. Dude! (grin) You know I can’t tell you what happened with Jenks! Oh, how awful that would be, to read a book for the first time and know what happened.

  4. jlh

    And so it begins…

    I felt like I was reading a prequel to your books!

  5. Ah, inner demon slaying! So demons do play a part in this one after all 😉 Book 10 (right?) sounds like it’s going to be great!

  6. Marsha

    I’m stuck in a hotel room in the middle of downtown Atlanta listening to traffic and feeling sorry for myself for having to be here, alone. I am glad I brought my laptop and one of your short story books with me. I hope the dogs are better. My Pom is getting old at 10, and I found out that the breed is notorious for getting chronic coughs (not to mention bad teeth). He is only 8 pounds and it is scary how coughs seem to be so hard on the little ones. It takes two people to hold down an 8 pound dog to squirt cough medicine down his throat! Thanks so much for your blog, I feel better now.

    • Hi, Marsha. Oh, man, you’ve got the blues! I get them when I travel on tour, so I know what you’re feeling. You’ll be back with your Pom before long, I bet, bad cough and all! One of my writer friends, Faith Hunter, just rescued two poms, and is dealing with bad teeth.

  7. I’m participating in Nano for the first time. I’m over 14,000 words right now. It’s cool and it got me going on this particular WIP, so i’m getting excited about my story again, especially new avenues I never expected the story to take. Awesome. 😀

    Glad your dogs are a little better.

  8. Very good to know that your dogs are alright! 🙂 I’ve been wondering. Sending good vibes their way! (And, thank you for mine.)

    I was naughty today, and sneaky read a passage out of White Witch Black Curse (i’m still in Where Demons Dare or The Outlaw Demon Wails… not sure what they call it in USA) and i read the passage where Rachel, Mia and Ivy have a bit of a tiff (to put it mildly and give minimum spoilers). It was beautifully written. I love how not only your characters develop, but their relationships with each other. I’m very fond of Ivy, she’s my favorite character. Thank you once again for sharing this with us, it’s a wonderful journey.

    NaNoWriMo status: 17443 and today’s word is: ‘Mungo’ or ‘dumpster diver’ . 😉 English is a second language to me, so I like to… lol. Find new things. And apply them.

    • Hi, Alyssa.

      You should see me smiling. You peeked! 😉

      Congrats on teh word count. I’m going to get a few today, if I have to work until midnight! But I bet I don’t use Mungo or dumpster diver. (grin)

  9. RebiNkc

    Hi Kim-
    One of my massage clients told me that her vet insisted she get her dogs vaccinated for the flu b/c I guess according to her vet dogs can get it too, and since she was boarding and grooming them there she had to get them vaccinated for the flu. Crazy, but she swore to me it is true so maybe they have a touch of the flu? Personally I think it’s a bunch of hooey, but I’m not a vet. Sending your puppies healing energy and warm chicken soup thoughts 🙂

    Speaking of massage, I loved it when Rachel got a massage and it helped her aura. Man I kept thinking Rachel needs a massage and than bam she got one. And the way it was written about helping her aura, beautiful and totally the way I like to think of massages helping peoples’ whole body, mind, and spirit. I hope she gets more massages, that girl needs them!

    • mudepoz

      Sorry. It’s not hooey, and the dog showing community are pretty worried about it. Many are holding clinics.

      And now we have a zoonotic flu…Cats can get H1N1, a new vector ;(

    • RebiNkc

      Oh wow that’s awful. I thought it was a ploy for the vet to make extra money. It’s the skeptic in me. Guess I’ll get my dog vaccinated. Thanks for the info. I really value your knowledge. I read your posts and know some of your works. Thanks again.

    • Hi, RebiNkc.
      I’m not going to vacinate my dogs at this time, but if I had them out at shows and in the public, I would consider it again. They might indeed have the flu, but they are responding beautifully to the meds. Not a cough or wheeze today.

      That’s cool you liked the massage that Rachel got. Me too. 😉

  10. becca

    hey kim,its been awile stince i last posted.still popping by see what you up to.
    did you see mine and the boys pumpkins we did,1st time we have ever done them!!lol
    on another not iam gonna beg,plead,grovel and ask if you would be able to come to england next year……heres the pitch….its the WORLD HORROR CONVENTION 2010 being held in brighton(seaside,pier and ghost walks)its in march sping time bliss(bonus that its a week after my birthday hint hint)i understand if its not possible just think about it pleeeeaaassssseeeee with a cherry on top,i will still make the long trip(with 2tots and a hubby moaning!!lol)i found out kelley armstrong is gonna be there plus others and maybe you might win the bram stoker award??!!
    take it easy and hope the internet is back to normal soon
    becca and gang uk

    • Hi, Becca. You bet I saw your pumpkins! I’m the one resizing everything and setting them on the website! (my guilty pleasure) This year is going to be hard to pick a winner.

      Mmmm. World Horror Convention. I really doubt it. (grin) As much as I’d like to go. Though my schedule for 2010 looks kind of light compared to the year after. Sorry. 😉

  11. Crystal G.

    Hi Kim,
    I am glad to hear your puppies are doing better, mine is not doing to well, she is not a puppy anymore which it is part of the problem she is almost 15 years old and she is having problems with her liver, it sucks dishwater not to be able to do much.

    I hope you do start your writing tomorrow, good luck with book 10 can´t wait.

    • Hi, Crystal. Mmmm. I hope your dog has a easy time of it. Growing old sucks. You are absolutely right.

      I can’t wait for book ten to be done, either. Whoo-hoo! I’m going to write today!!!!!

  12. Shannon

    Glad to hear the pups are doing better. I had a dog that had to take pills twice a day every day. We started with putting the pill in small cubes of soft cheese, but after a few months she realized what was going on and spit out the pill. Then we switched to peanut butter and she loved it so much she didn’t care that there was a pill in it. Just thought that info might be usefull.

    • Hi, Shannon.

      I had a border collie who was on meds for years for seizures. She got very good at taking them, and I got very good at giving them. Somethings, you wish you never have to learn, and that’s one of them, even though it’s standing in good stead for me now. The peanut butter sounds like a good idea . . .

  13. Stephenie

    Why must you tell us about new characters that are two books away? I think you want to torture us… I’m beginning to think you may have spent too much time with Al 😀 lol.
    I love chapter summaries. They are the greatest gift my mind has ever given me. It helps me manage my characters so they don’t go galavanting off on side plots that have nothing to do with the story. Those are for shorts… not books… bleh.
    I’m glad your dogs are alright. I just lost my baby sister dog in September. I miss her a lot and it makes me sad when I think of puppies in distress. Samwise Gamgee, our other dog helps though. We’ve only had him since July, and he’s already taken over my parents house. 😀
    I wish I could come up with ideas for such a long series, but all of my characters speak to me in large snatches of time. None of their stories are quite stretchy enough to create a dramatic series. The best I was able to do was realize my favorite story needed to be two books instead of one. It only took me 6 years to figure out but hey…

    • Hi, Stephenie. Kelley Armstrong has a long running series based on a world, not necessarly a single character. If you’re married to the idea of a series, you might try that.

      Me? I wish I could write a stand-alone. I fall in love with the characters too quickly, and I want to see what they do tomorrow.

  14. One question: In WWBC Ivy got her wish amulet back, does that mean she also got the wish back…or is it powerless now?

    • Roger Simmons

      Ivy has the coin that the wish was stored in back as a memento, but the wish is long gone. Mia used it. Roger – Illinois

    • Do you guess or have I missed it in the book?

    • Roger Simmons

      I had asked this same question before.
      The answer was from Kim.
      04/01/09 on the Drama Page.

      Roger – Illinois

    • Juliet

      Ahh okay, thx 😉

    • Juliet

      I´ve just realized how sad that is 😦 *sniff

    • Hi Juliet – the story of this is in “Dirty Magic–Mia short story in the anthology book Hotter Than Hell”.

      I had skipped the short stories on my way through the books (even though I had seen Kim’s “reccomended reading order” I was too impatient). So now that I’m reading the short stories, I am surprised at the important little details revealed in them – which would have come perfectly timed had I listened to Kim ;). In other words, I highly reccomend reading them if you can.

      When I was reading book one, I thought for sure that Ivy’s wish was for Rachel to “have everything she needed for spelling” or something. Just goes to show how wrong I can be 😉

    • mudepoz

      I think Ivy got her a Dictionary for Chrysmas…

    • What? Oh! LOL “spelling”… Good thing she didn’t wish for that with the lack of specificity I demonstrated and then end up with a dictionary in her lap 😉 Talk about a wasted wish…

    • Yeah. Uh. Sorry about that. I just kind of assumed that everyone would figure it out that the wish was spend and the coin was just a coin. It’s gone. Ivy is keeping it as a physical reminder of her mistakes.

    • Juliet

      I just kind of assumed that everyone would figure it out…

      What is that supposed to mean? 😦

    • Kylie Ru

      I’m thinking she thought it was obvious. I kinda did, too, heh.

    • Antonio Rich

      Remember, Juliet is reading the German translation. And/or reading it in a 2nd language(english). Let’s not be hasty in labeling her question/answer as “obvious.”

    • Juliet

      I´m reading the english editions…and I know what Kim meant. My “supposed” question was more a sardonic question…it just wasn´t obvious to me…maybe because I haven´t read the short story about Mia…
      Or because Ivy was so exited to have the coin back, that I thought, she was because she also got the wish back.
      Maybe we both didn´t get it 😉

    • Er, don’t be putting words into my mouth. I assumed people would figure it out. Assumed makes an ass out of oneself. It was my mistake for not making it clear. I didn’t think it was obvious, I just forgot to make it clear.


  15. Phil

    I just re-read your post where you say Rachel likes the new character more than the one you thought she’d like … Does that mean she has to choose (on my first reading that was the impression i got) or are you replacing the character you thought she’d like?

    • Hi, Phil.

      As it sits right now at “chapter breakdown stage” Rachel is making a conscious effort to analyze what she’s doing, and stop it long enough to think. So I’ve got the two characters in question just doing their thing, and Rachel in a holding pattern. It’s kind of cool, seeing her do this. I’m proud of her. 😉

  16. Lurker

    Question popped into my small brain last night. I find it curious when authors jump around and say they are constantly surprised at what their characters do. So, why is that? I can see if they do a few things that will surprise you, but I’ve seen authors claiming that it constantly happens. It’s like when they are writing they just roll some dice to decide how the character will react.
    So, if you created the character, write it, grow it, develop its’ personality, how can you be so surprised all the time at what they do? I mean, you pretty much should have a basic pattern of how they would react most of the time, right? Right?!
    So, whats involved when you create your new character? How much of the character is created and fleshed out by the time we (the cranky, possessive, and downright ornery readers) see it on page 20 of book x? What traits do you write down in stone before you place the new person in your book? Or is this something you already explained about 5 years ago? 🙂

    happy Veterans Day 🙂

    • Kylie Ru

      May I cut in here? For me, I don’t create my characters. I sorta find them. Then I’ll play around with a few ideas until they tell me what’s right and what’s way wrong. Nightshade and I had many long conversations about what makes her tick. In the beginning, I went off into crazy directions with her past and relationships, but she’d knock me upside the head until I got it right. Yes, Nightshade has surprised me on many occasions, because I don’t write her life. She lives it, and I report it! Okay, shutting up now.

    • Jemma

      I agree with Kylie,

      It’s hard to explain without sounding a little crazy, listening to ‘the voices in your head’, but for some reason no matter how much you theoretically plot out a character’s goals and past and motivations and personality and then start writing them thinking you know how they’ll react sometimes you just find the ideas you had for them just.. don’t feel right, they start to steer you in another direction and if you try to hard to write what you originally planned you end up finding the writing becoming really stale and well, difficult, something just isn’t clicking, then suddenly it’ll come to you that something completely unexpected is actually the most natural direction to go in that’s why you end up saying things like ‘my character just completely took me in another direaction, I wasn’t expecting her to want that.’
      For instance I started writing a character for an online RPG about 5 years ago and when I came up with the character I said she would be in her late 30’s, very sensual and sure of herself (she’s a prostitute in 1930’s Berlin) and she would have long, naturally curly hair. But for some reason when I started actually writing her and seeing how she acted in situations I realised that she wasn’t actually like that at all, I quickly changed her age to 21 which fits her so much better and her sensuality is there but the ‘sure of herself-ness’ actually ended up being her cover for her immaturity. She has been through a lot in life and I find she has moments of real maturity and then sometimes she makes mistakes which make her seem nieve and she can act like a child most of the time. Also, for some reason I can’t explain, the hair didn’t work and I ended up giving her a Lousie Brooks style straight bob which has become a big part of her ‘look’ and thus part of HER.

      I dunno if that makes much sense but it was fun to try to give some detail and explain how I see the answer to your question. 😉

    • Lurker

      Thanks for the response and cut in 🙂
      I get all what you two are saying. I’m talking more about characters who are *constantly* ‘surprising’ the author (or, really, authors who are constantly surprised by their characters). In the case of Jemma’s character, you describe mostly physical features rather than personality traits/quirks/motivations. Physical features I can see changing often, and really those are less important to a story, but I would think when an author creates a character there would be some core personality things that drive that character (just like us in rl), and if you have those down I find I it hard to be surprised all the time. I mean, surprises are good and (mostly) fun, but too many of them just seem random to me (omg I think I just made the sentence from hell!). Like Ivy has gone random a couple times that I found were…surprising and against what her seemingly core motivations are. 🙂 But she certainly doesn’t do it all the time.
      I dunno. Im just curious 🙂

    • I’m with Lurker in the sense that it completely surprises me too. At first I thought it was a way to dodge our unrelentingly onery attempts to get Kim to tell us stuff we shouldn’t know yet 😉 But I’ve never developed a character and written it’s story, so I’m sure that has a lot to do with my fascinated bewilderment.

    • Hi, Lurker. Everyone develops their characters differently. I know some people who write out a person’s entire history, complete with brothers, sisters, parents, old jobs, education, food likes and dislikes, and what they have for breakfast. Other people create their characters more like I do, starting off with little and letting the story and our subconscious tell us who the character is on the fly. (So I guess I’m a pantser when it comes to character development.) For me, I like to find out about a character mimicking how we naturally get to know someone. Slowly, in bits and pieces. Why do they do things that surprise us if they are creatures of our brain? Because life is linear, I guess. I don’t think I helped much.

  17. Phil

    I’m so happy your pups are doing better Kim. 🙂 i’m sure you’re relieved.
    So a new love interest for Rachel and possibly a rival for her affections? Can’t wait to find out how she handles that! 😉 Rachel battling her demons is no doubt one of the most inspiring aspects of the series, all at once heartbreaking, nail biting and funny (thinking of her reaction the time Ivy kissed her.)

    Btw the character grid was fun to see. Really an essential device for your work!

    Sincerest THANKS to all the veterans today and every day, including my dad, uncle, cousins and friends.

    • Thanks, Phil. The puppies are doing marvolously well. Xander takes her pill by herself, and Aleix stoically endures my finger on her tongue.

      I’m glad you got something out of the character grid. Cataloging my plotting process is taking a LOT of time. BUt it’s worth it.


  18. Roger Simmons

    Another pole at Bitten by Books –

    “Which author has the best secondary characters”.
    Kim in first right now. Go Ivy / Jenks / Al / Trent.

    Roger – Illinois

  19. A new character who becomes directly a love interest for Rachel? Kim, wtf is wrong with that girl?? 😀

    • Ahhhh, Juliet, but she’s getting better at seeing what she’s doing in every book. She’s going to say no one of these days, and then we’ll all stand and clap for her!

  20. mudepoz

    And all I wanted to write was Thank You Veterans, as well as the heroic dogs that partner with them.

  21. mudepoz

    I’m glad to hear about your dogs. It’s quiet at my house, after a houseful of 11 this summer, I’m down to two, and one of those lives in my van. He’s a bit odd at nearly 12. So the house has 1.

    There are multiple serovars of Bordatella (spell check insists this is bordello. which is why my students use gene sequins), so whatever anti viral they received should help.

    One of the web sites I found about Dawn Cook mentioned the first version was actually broken into two books?

    Do you think Rachel will ever be as mature as Madison

    • Hi, Mud. Do I think Rachel will ever be as mature as Madison? Probably, but we won’t see it. (grin)

      Yes, the first two Truth books were actually written as one. I had no idea when I wrote them that 300,000 words was too much. (laugh)

      The puppies are responding well to the meds, and are sassy again. Good to have them back. (happy sigh)

  22. Kylie Ru

    Downed internet is a PAIN!! That happened to me a few weeks ago, so I went to school early and used the WiFi there. Problem solved!

    I’m glad to hear your puppies are okay!