Madness and Chaos

Yet again, I managed to not get that flashfic done. This time, I had a bug under my butt to finish an urban fantasy tentatively titled Spirit Knights. This name seems dumb, so I’m still working on that. This novel began life as a beautiful outline crafted lovingly last October for NaNoWriMo. It had themes and action and swordfights and Portland!

And then, on Halloween, I chucked it all to write it from a different character’s perspective. It opens with this comedy gold:

“No wonder nobody wants you.”

The books starts exactly like this. Photo by Jasper Juinen, 2002
The book starts exactly like this. Photo by Jasper Juinen, 2002

The free-standing quote opening is, from what I’ve heard, hard to pull off. I think I’ve done okay with that particular one. The first draft took me 6 days to write, which is average NaNo speed for me, and wicked fast for any other time of year.

Fast-forward past the drama of The Greatest Sin #3: Moon Shades, and a false start with a space station action/adventure thing. I’ll write that one, I promise. Just not in time to take it to GenCon 2015. Back to this one. To see what would happen, I took the first chapter of this thing to my writing group.

To my shock and horror, they loved it and wanted more. I had to scramble to reorganize everything, because the main character they liked so much was intended to be a secondary character while two men opposing each other in a rather Valjean/Javert sort of fashion played center stage. Now, I had a teenage girl to cater to, and it needed more for her and less for them.

I ripped out the magic system and replaced it. The main bad guy became a lesser, not-quite-so-bad-yet-still-seriously-hateable bad guy playing second fiddle to not one but two other bad guys. And now, the new thing is done. Unlike Moon Shades, I have no fragging idea what the cover should look like. I don’t even have a proper title yet. What I do have is a proto-blurb. Enjoy.

This is the worst day ever for Claire. She can’t even make it to lunch without getting into a fight and being forced to write an apology to the jerk who taunted her into beating the crap out of him. Next thing she knows, she’s running for her life from deranged stray cats and dogs. Everyone and everything seems to have gotten the memo that the new kid needs to be smacked around.

What she really needs is someone to talk to, someone she can relate to, someone to take the place of the parents she lost five years ago. Just when she’s ready to give up on everything, Justin waltzes into her life and whisks her away from all of it and into the open arms of his family. It’s exactly what she needs.

All she has to do to have it is not get killed by the same mantle that killed her father. She’s going to be a Spirit Knight, whether she wants it or not. And whether they want her or not, too.


  1. I’m intrigued. What’s wrong with the title Spirit Knights?. It’s better than Nighty Knight. I got it, Oh What a Knight, then the movie theme song will be easy. 🙂

    1. It just sounds dumb to me, like I’m trying too hard to be…something. I guess it’s fine, and I’ll probably keep it for no reason other than inertia. I think, however, that Claire’s theme song would be something angrier–maybe something by Nine Inch Nails.

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