Character Dialogue: Cutting The Fluff

I have a new character straight off the bat in book three. This character was ‘properly’ introduced to the narrative at the very end of EVO Shift. I love this character, and have great things planned for them, but their dialogue hasn’t been gelling with the image/ idea in my head. I’ve re-read certain chapters time and time again to try and figure out what was so… off. I never usually re-read during drafting, so this alone told me that I needed to sort this ASAP. I couldn’t move forward without finding their true voice and it was frustrating to say the least.

exasperation

I was re-reading for the millionth time, when out of the blue I highlighted the last sentence of a piece of their dialogue and pressed delete. I moved to their next line of dialogue, read through, highlighted two sentences, and again, pressed delete. Something was happening… yep, their voice rang clear in my head. It was a kind voice, a wise voice, and a voice that would be to the point. I just had to cut the fluff- the gumph- the dead weight. Basically, I had to cut the bullshit.

They have their voice! *Inwardly screams ‘YAAASSSSSSS’*

hell yeah

This one is under my skin and I don’t want to let them down. I’m so relieved that I can finally get back on the drafting train with a clear voice in my mind. After all, this is the series finale and it’s the strong voices who WILL be heard…


Written content is the property of K.J.Chapman

GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM

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My Current Muse-ic!

I’ve have been listening to a lot of ‘Panic! At The Disco’ this week. I’m currently about 15k words deep into the first draft of the final book in my EVO Nation series. This book is a story of epic proportions: war, love, power, and more importantly, comeuppances.

This song is perfect for reminding me that my MC deserves to dish out some just desserts. I haven’t been all that nice to her in the first two books, but now it’s payback time…

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Panic! At The Disco

(Finders keepers, losers weepers)

Welcome to the end of eras
Ice has melted back to life
Done my time and served my sentence
Dress me up and watch me die
If it feels good, tastes good
It must be mine
Dynasty decapitated
You just might see a ghost tonight

And if you don’t know, now you know

I’m taking back the crown
I’m all dressed up and naked
I see what’s mine and take it
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
Oh, yeah
The crown…
So close I can taste it
I see what’s mine and take it
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
Oh, yeah

Sycophants on velvet sofas
Lavish mansions, vintage wine
I am so much more than royal
Snatch your chain and mace your eyes
If it feels good, tastes good
It must be mine
Heroes always get remembered
But you know legends never die

And if you don’t know, now you know

I’m taking back the crown
I’m all dressed up and naked
I see what’s mine and take it
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
Oh, yeah
The crown
So close I can taste it
I see what’s mine and take it
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
Oh, yeah

Mortal kings are ruling castles
Welcome to my world of fun
Liars settle into sockets
Flip the switch and watch them run

Oh, yeah, oh
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
I’m taking back, back, taking back, back
The crown
I’m all dressed up and naked
I see what’s mine and take it
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
Oh, yeah
The crown
So close I can taste it
I see what’s mine and take it
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
Oh, yeah

(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)

Watch the official Video here: Emperor’s New Clothes

What’s Your Name? Letter K

I’m posting this writing exercise on time for once- shock horror! Miracles do happen- ha!! The last few weeks have been hectic, so here’s to getting back into my blogging swing.

The ‘K’ name I randomly selected from the first ‘K’ page in my naming book is:

Kady: An Irish feminine first name, perhaps influenced by Katie, but the name could stem from Ceadach meaning ‘first’. (Irish Gaelic).

Kady

“Where has that girl gone? Princess- pah. She’s a brat- an unruly, disobedient brat.”

I swing down from the tree, landing steadily in front of Howell in the soft grass. “Were you saying something, Howell, because I didn’t quite catch it?”

“Oh no, Princess,” he squeaks, flushing red. “I was simply asking the guard here after your whereabouts. You really mustn’t wander, Your Highness. Look at your dress, your mother will be furious.”

“I wasn’t wandering, Howell. I was climbing- there is a difference. And my mother is dead. Deidra is not now, and will never be my mother. You needn’t have come along at all. Father never used to mind my being in the gardens alone. Once he returns, he shall tell you so himself.”

Howell sighs loudly, adjusting the stupid sash he wears. None of the other wards wear their sashes day in day out. They only make exception for functions and ceremonies. Howell is a pompous oaf, and would happily crawl up Deidra’s backside if there was room enough.

“I am aware that Deidra wants you to watch my every move. She believes me to be part of the uprising, does she not?”

Howell trips over his robe, pulling at his collar; the tell tale tick of a worried man. “Ludicrous accusation, Your Highness. Your father married the Queen out of love. The stories of magic and sorcery are the talk of simple folk. Why would anyone believe that you would be part of such a charade? The uprising is nothing more than outlaws using myths to destroy the Monarchy.”

“I think it’s all quite fascinating- the adventure- the spirit. Outlaws must live extraordinary lives.” I skip away, swinging the picnic basket as I go. The orchards are beautiful at this time of year. As a child, I would spend hours playing with my father’s ward’s son, Jago. We would even pick apples and help the cooks make crumbles for all of the palace staff. “Do you not think, Howell?”

“Yes, if by extraordinary lives you mean homeless, feral, and unhygienic. Please, Princess Kadlynne, we really must be returning to the palace to prepare for the ball. The Queen permitted you to one hour of freedom only.”

I chuckle. “Freedom? I am not free, Howell. I have your hawk eyes on me every minute of every day.” I carry on meandering through the trees. “Anyway, I thought you’d be interested in the new edition to the vineyard crop. You did say that the exotic berries are the Queen’s favourite. If you would help me pick some, I’m sure the cooks would be more than happy to make up a pie. The Queen would be grateful, I’m sure, and I’d get an extra fifteen minutes of ‘freedom’.”

He rolls his eyes, but takes the basket from me all the same. “Lead the way, Your Highness.”

I allow him to walk two paces ahead of me, eagerly eyeing the crop of grapes. The scent in the vineyard is heavenly. I could get tipsy just thinking about the quality of wine this harvest will produce. Howell continues to search for the infamous berries, but there are only grapes for as far as the eye can see. I use the distraction, and the dense coverage of the vines, to slip out of my dress.

“I think you are mistaken, Princess?” He squats down to examine the leaves on the vine.

“Mistaken about what, Howell? The berries or the uprising?”

His heads whips in my direction, his mouth hanging open in disbelief. I know he eyes my leather trousers and the blades sheathed to my hip, thigh, and calf. My red vest with the infamous black logo, sears into his eyes. I kick my dress away from my feet.

Howell staggers, falling to the ground in a bundle of robes, and calling to the guard. I unsheath my blade, edging closer to the weasle in the grass. The weight on my shoulders lifts, and I can finally drop the act. After seven long months I can stop pretending.

“My father won’t be returning, will he, Howell? He never went away in the first place. You poisoned the King on the Queen’s orders, didn’t you? I know what you did, and I know that my ludicrous accusation isn’t quite so ludicrous after all.” He shouts to the guard again, scrambling away from me in fear. “You’re a smart man, Howell. You know what this logo means, and you know that I won’t let you or Deirdra take what is mine.”

There is movement behind me, and Howell relaxes at the sight of the guard. “The Princess is threatening the Queen’s ward,” he shouts, but the guard doesn’t look to stop me.

“I was going to conveniently fall from the balcony tonight, wasn’t I, Howell? The perfect murder; all those aristocrats to bear witness to the tragic accident of a silly Princess.” I grab at his hair, pulling him right into my face.

“No…no…Your High- Princess, please. I.. I..I’m sorry.”

“This is for my father,” I say, and I slit his throat open. I throw his head back down to the ground and watch the blood stain the grass.

An arm wraps around my waist and I turn into the embrace. My guard- my protector. He kisses me. He still smells the same as he did all those years ago- spearmint and apples.

“This is it. It has begun. Take his sash back to base as proof. I shall meet you all where we agreed.”

He kisses me one last time, and then rips the sash from Howell’s lifeless torso. “Make sure you take care, and I’ll see you at dusk. I love you, Kady.”

“I love you too, Jago.”


All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

Do you like writing prompts? Check out K.J.Chapman’s Prompt Me eBook, and discover 150 writing prompts for beating the block!

Review: EVO Shift by K. J. Chapman (ARC)

Thank you to Sarina over at Cookie Break for agreeing to be an advanced reader for EVO Shift. Check out this shiny review. I love love love this!

EVO Shift is available for pre-order from Amazon Kindle. Release date: March 1st.

HOWEVER, book one in the series, EVO Nation, is just £1.49- get your copy today!!!

Cookie Break

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EVO Shift will be out for your eBook devices 1st March 2016. Scroll down for details.

“She killed him, but did it make a difference?

Her kind has been exposed, abused, and segregated, and now Teddie Leason is Britain’s most wanted EVO at just nineteen. Teddie has to decide whose side she is on, what she fights for, and whether it’s worth her life.

How can she protect the man she adores, the Uncle who has taken her under his wing, and her unfaltering friends, when she can barely take care of herself? Dealing with new power and a history that has long since been forgotten, has rendered the world’s most powerful EVO vulnerable and at risk.

When will she be dealt a winning hand? Could a clandestine, renegade group of EVO change not only her fate, but that of everyone affected by this unprecedented war? And how does Teddie fit in…

View original post 672 more words

Review: The Notebook by Agota Kristof

The Notebook by Agota Kristof 3.5/5

Blurb:

Sent to a remote village for the duration of the war, two children devise physical and mental exercises to render themselves invulnerable to pain and sentiment. They steal, kill, blackmail and survive; others the cobbler, the harelipped girl who craves love, the children s parents are sucked into war s brutal maelstrom. The Notebook distils the experience of Nazi occupation and Soviet liberation during World War II into a stark fable of timeless relevance.

Review:

This book masterfully walks the thin line between entrancing and disturbing. The main characters- the twins- recount events during the second world war with a vivid, yet detached tone that reflects their amoral, almost inhuman approach to life. The boys train themselves with various exercises to be emotionally void.

The narrative is linear, but this is a bare bones, skeletal book with little place for relationship development. Each chapter is short, and is dedicated to a particular event. Each event is recounted in an impersonal, stoic manner, and although this is intended to remain in keeping with the emotionless personalities of the twins, it kept me at arms length, rather than fully submersing me.

Kristof’s portrayal of the war and the horrors faced by Claus and Lucas are explicit and real. There isn’t any pussy footing in the prose and that should be highly commended.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.

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The Playlist Shuffle Tag

the-playlist-shuffle-tag-image

A massive thank you to Claire over at Art and Soul for tagging me in the Playlist Shuffle Tag, and for the great EVO Shift release date shout out. I’m more than a little keen to partake in this tag. I love the idea of having a peek at what my fellow blogger’s have on their playlists because I am nosey like that. Check out Claire’s playlist here.

The rules of this tag:

Put your music playlist on shuffle and list the first 15 songs to play (no cheating), then tag 10 others to do it as well.

I am going to use my Youtube playlist for this tag, so here it goes:

  1. My Chemical Romance: Desolation Row
  2. Panic! At The Disco: Emperor’s New Clothes
  3. Muse: Psycho
  4. Paloma Faith: Picking Up The Pieces
  5. ACDC: Thunderstruck
  6. Newton Faulkner: She’s Got The Time
  7. Jamie T: Sticks and Stones
  8. John Newman: Losing Sleep
  9. Artic Monkeys: Mardy Bum
  10. Rihanna: Russian Roulette
  11. Lady Gaga: You and I
  12. Ella Henderson: Yours
  13. Eminem: Space Bound
  14. Ray Lamontagne: Trouble
  15. Frank Turner: Heartless Bastard Motherfucker

Some of these songs are on my playlist because they’re my favourites, some because they have been inspiration for my EVO Nation Series.

The rules say to tag 10 others, but I have seen quite a few of my blogging community have already been tagged in this tag before. If my tags have been tagged already- oh well.

My Tags:

I look forward to having a sneaky peek at your playlists. Have fun!

EVO Shift! The Countdown Begins…

EVO shift is set for release in just seven days! I can’t believe my labour of love shall be uncaged in a mere week.

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EVO shift is the second instalment in my EVO Nation series, and is available for pre-order from Amazon Kindle.

evo shift jpegBlurb: She killed him, but did it make a difference?

Her kind has been exposed, abused, and segregated, and now Teddie Leason is top of Britain’s most wanted list at just nineteen. Teddie has to decide whose side she is on, what she fights for, and whether it’s worth her life.

How can she protect the man she adores, the Uncle who has taken her under his wing, and her unfaltering friends, when she can barely take care of herself? Dealing with new power and a history that has long since been forgotten, has rendered the world’s most powerful EVO vulnerable and at risk.

When will she be dealt a winning hand? Could a clandestine, renegade group of EVO change not only her fate, but that of everyone affected by this unprecedented war? And how does Teddie fit in a world bracing for a shift of unfathomable magnitude?

EVO Shift’s advanced readers have highly praised this instalment. Check out an advanced reader review here!

You’ve not read book one yet? No need to fret because… EVO Nation is FREE until Feb 24th!!! Get you FREE copy here!

Need more encouragement? Why not have a gander at some 5* reviews for EVO Nation?

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Get your FREE copy of EVO Nation today! Go on! It’s free- no money- no loss- lots of gain! And why not pre-order EVO Shift while you’re at it?

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GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM

EVO Nation is FREE!!

For the next three days, EVO Nation can be downloaded for FREE on Amazon Kindle. This offer comes in the run up to EVO Shift’s release on March 1st 2016.

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If you haven’t read EVO Nation, why not get your FREE copy and crack on in time for book two? Get your copy here.

Reviews: Check out these 5* reviews for EVO Nation:

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Take a peek at a couple book blog reviews here:

aliasfaithrivens.wordpress: EVO Nation Review

sarinalangerwriter.com: EVO Nation Review

 


Written works and images are the property of K.J.Chapman