Dark and edgy: Can it go too far?

As of late, my writing has been revolving around a rewrite in the beginning. I haven't yet finished the whole story, but this rewrite was plaguing me. Not only is it more interesting, intense, and edgy, it will help straighten out the plot in the long run.

I spoke to my best friend and fellow writer Sarah about the new idea and we both came to the conclusion that it would be awesome if it was dark and edgy. So I went to work. I wrote out the first chapter and sent it to Sarah just to see if it was a good way to start. Consensus? She liked it.

I kept writing, eager to get it onto paper. More ideas spun off of this one, changing plot points and character intros, but it was a good change--a better one.

3500 words into the rewrite and I realized that it had gotten dark. Very dark. So dark that I asked Sarah about it. I had her read a section that tugged at my own heartstrings. Mostly because it involved a child in pain. At the same time, I love the section because it shows that in this Dystopian world, no age is safe. But a part of me worries that it might be too depressing for readers.

Here is the excerpt in question, taken from Concealed. The context here is my main character, Neira, broke into a prison to rescue those inside. This is what she sees.

My hands fumbled with the key card in hand, hurrying to open the section two cells.

Pain tore at my insides when the doors swung open and I saw them shivering in the corner of their concrete boxes. They all looked up at me with those sunken, glassy eyes and disheveled hair, licking their colorless lips. Some of them were standing there waiting, hearing the commotion from beyond the walls. Others were too fragile to move, every curve of their bones and joints visible under the taut skin. I always tripped over trays of uneaten food in these rooms. It was the resistance—the last strike against the guards. The only thing of their life they could control.

The next cell opened and the Drifter next to me strode over to the person in the corner. He was just a kid, no older than ten. Mussed bronze hair fell to his shoulders and green eyes grew to the size of a quarter when the Drifter knelt down next to him.

He smiled at the boy. “My name’s James,” he soothed. “What’s yours?”

The boy trembled, whether from excitement or cold, I couldn’t tell. All that came out of his mouth was a mousy croak. “David.”

“I’m here to help you, David,” James replied, holding out a hand..

Even though I have no kids of my own, the motherly instinct in me loathes thinking about children being hurt or scared, which I hope shows in this and earlier parts of the rewrite where Neira often reflects on how much she wants to help them, but before she can, she must make it safe for their escape by ignoring them. It kills her to just walk past them, but if it all works out, they'll be free.

My book is heavily based on morals and doing the right thing versus doing the easy way. Because of this, pain is evident throughout the book. My question is, would depressing, dark scenes turn readers away. With New Moon, most people hated it the most, what with Bella being in a depression the entire time and the love of her life about to commit suicide.

While I say I'm unsure of the response, I'm not all that worried that my book would become this. I have faith in myself as a writer to be able to balance the good with the bad. I really think the only moment to really upset people would be the end, which despite most books, does not have a happy ending. It actually rather sucks, but at the same time, I kind of like that. I like how not everything ends happily every after, and even though my MC is put into this bad situation, she reflects on the the good things she had done and accepts what her life is about to become.

So to my readers, what are you opinions? Do you have moments of doubts with edginess? Would you be more inclined to read a book with a happy ending than a sad ending? I would love to know your thoughts.

Kissing Inspiration

I'm not even entirely sure how I got to this point last night, but as I was searching around youtube, I came across some videos about the "Top Ten Best TV Kisses" and "Top Ten Best Movie Kisses". Something that bothered me about these lists were half of the ten were from one show and half were from another. And all of them were based around the romantic crack ones: One Tree Hill, The OC, Gilmore Girls, Smallville. Not saying I have a problem with these shows, but they aren't something that interest me. I'm all about SciFi, fantasy, action, etc. I like those romances that burst onto the scene in desperate moments. These always inspire me to write and have an influence in how I write as well.

So I'm making a list of some memorable movie and/or TV smooches, complete with videos and in no particular order...well, except for the last one. Some of these, due to the fact that I can't find them on youtube, are not my favorites, but they are indeed memorable.

5.) Kate and Sawyer - LOST
So to anyone that knows me well, they know that I am completely, 100% in love with LOST. I've been watching it religiously since the beginning. The tension, the romance, the confusing yet intriguing storyline. I love it all. And since the beginning, I've been doe-eyed for Sawyer and Kate. It's no surprise that to my friends and family that this would make one of my favorite kissing (among other things) scene. Steamy, sexy, and dirty--literally. But it doesn't matter if they were rolling around in mud, it's still way hot.

4.) Lara and Terry - Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Reason: Angelina Jolie and Gerard Butler. I think that should be enough said, but I'd like to go into further detail. Since I couldn't find the extremely steamy kissing scene all on it's own, I left a fanvid with a mix of different Lara/Terry clips. This couple has such a fun, dark, interesting chemistry, which makes their relationship all the better. Yeah the actual movie had some pretty cheesy parts, but the characters made up for that.

3.) Jack and Elizabeth - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
I had to add this one on here because I must say, I love all of the events surrounding it. The kiss that wasn't actually romantic, the lure, the mischievous smile--there's no actual romance, more of infatuation. Where as the lure of the kiss could have gone one way, like panic or disbelief, they chose to keep it tense yet calm. The eeriness of the entire scene is really great.

2.) The Doctor and Rose - Doctor Who
Oh man, I can't even begin to explain this one. Well, I guess I'll start with the fact that I only started watching this show recently, as in about a two weeks ago, and it quickly escalated into a favorite. I adored all the characters, namely the Rose and the Doctor. The season two finally really struck a chord with me, so much that it put me in a funk (my uber nerd side is showing). With the season four finally, there was a bit of resolution (though not for the Doctor *tear*). I love the emotions of this show; they seem almost too real.

And lastly is a favorite of mine. I honestly can't tell you what makes me love it so much, but I do. So many elements mixed into the story that just can't deter me. I present to you:

1.) Tristan and Yvaine - Stardust
When I had seen the movie Stardust in theaters with Sarah, we were literally the loudest in the theater. There wasn't many people in there, but we were practically doubled over. The movie is a combination of fantasy, action, romance, and humor. The plot is so good and interesting. Big name actors, small name actors--it doesn't matter. They combine to make the movie fantastic. And the kiss is one of the best ones I've seen in a movie in my opinion. Not sure what it is, maybe the blissful smile on Yvaine's face or the boyish charm on Tristan's. Whatever it is, it was what was playing in the background during my emotional kiss scenes. While it doesn't fit for the desperate ones, it's still stuck in my mind. Kudos.

And that's my list. Of course, most of these are not actually my favorites, but they're all ones I do like. If I had my way with youtube, there would be others on here like the Mal/Saffron kiss in Firefly, Brangelina in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Fifth Element kiss, Rick and Evie in The Mummy, and more. But seeing as fangirls have put up a ridiculous amount of fan vids (50% of which being sibling with sibling at which I went to the bathroom to hurl) I took what I could get of the scenes.

What about everyone else? Do you have a favorite kiss scene from either TV or movie? Inspiration is inspiration :)

Dreams: Epic Inspiration

I actually wasn't planning on posting on this topic until a bit later since it seems to be floating around, but seeing as my dreams keep getting plagued with insane plots, fantastical worlds, and hidden meanings, I figured that it was time to stop avoiding it.

For me, dreams play a huge role in my writing. They play out like a movie, like I'm watching it through a TV screen. Never is my life have I had first person dreams, only third. People tell me that they must be less scary or less intense since I'm not watching them from my own eyes, but movies generate the same response, the same emotions. I quite like watching them this way. My dreams are very vivid. Colors are bright, sounds are clear, and more often than not, there is a general plot. I've even had dreams about my characters. The first one one was about a month ago. It was the first in almost three years of development. That dream went something like this:

I was in a half-finished skyscraper with my MC boy, Adarin. Someone was chasing us--the man who owned the building wanted me. He was using these flying creatures to track us down and eventually they got me. From here, it focused on Adarin, who found me trapped by the owner. He had my hands handcuffed behind my back and treated me like a welcome guest at the same time--feeding me an expensive, gourmet meal. Adarin saved me and we ran. Then I woke up, but I remembered the sinister owner perfectly. An attractive face with soulless eyes. A gleaming smile, hiding a rabid dog. He became Charles Morrison, my villain. The 36 year old lead Tracker of the Initiative has quickly become one of my favorite characters. Because of that dream, he is one of the most developed people I've created. I'm not sure I could get him and his motives any clearer in my head.

Of course, not all my dreams are about my book, some of them could be possible future ideas if I could fine tune them. Like I said, they usually have a plot, but for the most part, I remember only the middle. This next dream was eerie and fantastic.

I have hazel eyes and so does my friend Kaitlyn. I say this because in the dream, people with hazel eyes had a 95% resistance to a disease that was circulating the world. It was painful--a slow process turning humans into zombie-like creatures. They were angry--furious that people with hazel eyes had some sort of immunity. So they captured us, hoping that that 5% would work. If they were going to go down in agony, so were we.

I love my dreams, I really do. Of course, the ones about snakes and spiders coming out from underneath the furniture in an infinite amount I could live without.

The ones that I've described above are always fun to relay to my friends and family. I get the same reaction everytime: oh no. My dreams do often have a tendency to be completely and utterly random. Something about talking dogs, an alligator, and riding a bike up a steep slope with bare feet. But the ones that are just filled with nothing but epicness...those are the ones I can't wait to have.

So what about everyone else? Any dreams come to you that inspired ideas? What about characters. Have you ever had a dream with them in it or the base of character?

Seriously, Muse...

...this coming up with massive, plot-changing ideas at 2am really needs to stop. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for this new, intense beginning and overall ideas of betrayal, rebellion, torture, but really--2am?

Actually, this calls for the good news/bad news.

Good news: I'm tying together loose and/or flaky plot pieces. Some things that I was never really happy with--that would be changed when I finished writing anyways--definitely have a new way of happening. For example, when Dayne and Adarin meet Neira and Kali, it isn't in some boring Hey-who-are-you chapter. It's ridiculously dark and almost sad. When the reader is introduced to Neira and Kali, it isn't when they're breaking into a house to raid the food and valuables--it's better. So much better. If I can write it correctly, of course. A lot of the attention is going to the corruption of Morrison and his men, and how Neira and the others live--which is rather terribly.

Bad news: I have so much more to rewrite. Because I've decided to add in these HUGE ideas, this requires a rewrite of half of what I've written, which translates into about a quarter of my novel. In a way, it might not be so bad. I was planning on just condensing all of the stuff I had written already into a less wordy, less boring version. I was never happy with the beginning anyways.

I guess it leads to more good news, which is the new start for characters that I was going to amp up anyways. Character like James and Andrea--who were going to have pretty big roles towards the end--lacked in the beginning. I was going to add more to them. Adarin was very plain, writing him coming out nothing like how I have him in my head. This is his opportunity to shine.

All in all, I'm pretty bummed that I don't get an chance to do actual editing until much later than I thought, but the good overrides the bad. If I can make this new idea as epic as it's playing out in my head, then it'll all be worth it in the end.

Roadtrip Wed/Fanfiction memories

This week's post at YA Highway is about the real YA--the things you wrote back when you were actually YA. While I don't have a diary from back then, I do have fanfiction. It just so happened to be one of my obsessions--the reason I became addicted to writing. The only thing I wrote for? Harry Potter. Sure I've browsed a few Twilight ones a few years back, not to mention the World of Warcraft one that I started writing about a sexy blood elf named Kael'thas--mainly out of humor at my guy friend's reactions--but my first fanfic love was Harry Potter.

This week I dug through my fanfic folder to scavenge up a piece from the past, just so happening to be a Ginny POV version of John Tucker Must Die, only, exchange John Tucker for Draco Malfoy. Completely untouched. *blows dust off*

I am such a nerd. Don't judge me :P

It had been three months into the school year. I had finally gotten the hang of being a waitress and had I been paying attention to where I was going, I would have thought that I no longer looked like a new employee, but that was if I had been paying attention. One nasty turn around a corner and I had smacked directly into a tall stranger. The food on the tray I had been carrying toppled to the ground and I let out a gasp of surprise as I looked up at the stranger, preparing to apologize profusely. I met gorgeous gray eyes and the lightest sliver-blond hair. I may not like him, but every girl had to admit that his presence made them weak in the knees.

Butterflies erupted in my stomach and I stuttered for words. “I—I’m—uh.”

Draco Malfoy did not smile, but at the same time, didn’t seem aggravated. In fact, he was neutral.

“I’m sorry,” he stated blandly.

Did he even know who I was? Who ever thought that Draco Malfoy would apologize to anyone, let alone to a Weasley?

Still at a loss for words, I simply nodded and bent down to pick up the mess on the floor. I watched as he stepped around me to continue walking. I checked over my shoulder to see if he was watching me, but he strode forward without a backwards glance.

I huffed indignantly. Didn’t I deserve more than a weak apology for the embarrassment I now had to deal with?

My manager, Gina, marched over. She enlightened me about the mess I had caused and the damage I made to the dishes. I only vaguely paid attention to what she was saying. I was too busy thinking about Malfoy and what an arrogant git he was. Was I really that upset about a mess that I had made a million times before?

It was soon taken care of and I continued doing what I had been doing before. It was only until I came to the table in the very back corner of the room that I noticed who the occupants were. Draco Malfoy was the first one I noticed. The butterflies returned and wished that I had a bug zapper in there. The next person, however startled me. It was none other than Cho Chang.

I guess I couldn’t really be surprised. Once Malfoy had been "redeemed" by joining the Order, girls of all ages and types flocked to him like vultures to a carcass.

I accidentally dropped the menus in surprise and bent down to retrieve them. They stared at me for a moment as I struggled to find my voice.

“Hi,” was the most that would come out and probably the stupidest.

Cho gave me the fake smile and looked over to Draco, who had one eyebrow raised handsomely so.

I blinked several times and cleared my head. “Hello, I’m Ginny and I’ll be your waitress. Is there anything I can start you off with?”

Draco looked down the menu and ordered something instantly. “We’ll have the prawns and calamari to start, followed by two steaks—medium rare—and the Soup of the Day.”

Cho looked offended. “Draco, I can’t eat anything like that. I’ll get fat!”

Draco put his hand on hers. “I think you’re beautiful no matter what you look like.”

That was the correct answer because at the moment he said the word beautiful, Cho had decided to, for lack of a better term, maul Draco over the table.

It was the most awkward moments of my life and I quietly and slowly backed away, using the menus to shield my eyes.

“I’ll be right back with that,” muttered to the snogging couple, though I doubt I got a word in.


No Kiss Blogfest

So it was yesterday, but better late than never :)
Nothing really out of context here other than the fact that they HAD kissed before when my MC thought she was about to die. She tries to avoid him after they escape alive, but he doesn't make it easy...


Concealed's theme song? Yes...

I pretty much fursploded with excitement when I realized that this song--in every possible way--is perfect for my novel Concealed. It's like Neira's perspective on life. It's metal, catchy, epic, and fits the plot.
I also can't stop rocking out to it.


Avatar and contest

Because it must be said...

One of the best movies I have ever seen. It was beautiful, intense, heartwarming, heartbreaking, epic--everything I could ever ask for in a movie. I adored it and I just couldn't get over how brilliant everything was. Unreal and perfect.

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, Sumayyah is having a shiny, new contest over at her blog which is an amazing idea! Think your novel deserves a book cover or your blog--a header--,but you just can't work with those darn web graphics yourself? Never fear! Winner gets their own beautiful book cover AND header made. Second places gets a choice of cover or header. Still, her graphics are lovely! Hop on over and check it out!
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