Reaching 100,000 Words and Knowing…

…you now have another novel. That recently happened for me. It’s a point where you feel achievement, also a point where you know there’s much more work to do!

Often the story of creation is a story in itself, one you feel loathe to tell, but might be just as important as the work you’re creating.

A lot of my books centre on psychology and it’s something I have always been fascinated by. The human mind and its strengths, weaknesses and possibilities are why we write after all. I’ve found with my recent books, 100K is around about the stage I find myself with a first draft. In the first draft I’ve told myself the story, and now instead of telling it, I need to build upon what I’ve already established and embellish the events that make sense of the mystery. It is time to slow it down and explode the smells, sights, feelings, thoughts and dialogue… et al. So in other words, I need to ensure the reader can see exactly what I see.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????When I was writing UNBIND, the prequel to the novel I’m currently writing, I didn’t want to put a label on the complex psychology of one person in that novel. I still don’t. We all know mental illness is a complex thing, a grey area, and I consciously created a character you can’t put into one box or another. Going forward into the sequel, I had a job on my hands to keep away from that box and still not put this particular person into one category or another.

So when you’ve written about difficult topics in the past (i.e. issues of the mind), you feel like you have to find different ways of exploring those avenues…

I probably would have made myself ill in trying to keep UNBIND at just the one book. I know that sounds freaking crazy!! There was too much story and what I took out of UNBIND, I did purposely, so I could write a whole other story in UNFURL. No way is the sequel a retelling of the first book or a rehash. It’s not the same book, it’s got its own plot, yet some bits elevate and expand upon UNBIND. As an author, it is the hardest thing to know your characters and to try to write their stories without ruining the suspense.

UNFURL came to me so thick and fast and when I read it through last week, I felt the arrangement set into place inside my mind and I knew after that… I knew what I had left to do.

Yet still, the mysterious character I’ve alluded to in this blog is more than just a victim. She’s so much more. She’s an enigma, a mystery that will never be solved. She’s an artist and what I hope I am doing with UNFURL is showing how and why we use art. Why, even, we need art, and what it evokes in our souls.

Cai, our hero, is a dual artist – a photographer and a painter. He has the same gifts his mother mastered – and more. The purpose of Cai’s point of view in UNFURL is to explore that struggle we share, as artists, during the process of creation. A pain that is necessary to produce something that actually speaks to other people.

Instead of focusing on the label, then, I tried to focus on the confusion and mindset of a person who refuses to be misunderstood or even, understood. There isn’t even a middle ground. There is an unrealistic place where things make sense and another place, a worldly place, where nothing makes sense. Basically, there’s an artist who had her talent ripped from her… and her ability to create was tainted. Imagine if you’re born to create, and you just can’t. The reasons are hard to bear, but must be.

I wrote about life as art in another blog and I’m trying to follow through on that with UNFURL, a book that doesn’t play by the rules but when knotted to UNBIND, side by side, makes sense and yet, whether an injustice can be ever be truly resolved, we may never know…

As a writer, you know, anything can happen during the editing process. It’s a miraculous, thing, editing. Maybe like Rorschach in Watchmen, whose mood changes constantly, whose mask expresses him better than his own face, a writer can keep trying to paint the truth but only the reader can give the book its truth. So like an artist trying to paint a picture, I’m trying to use the tools (words) at my fingertips to explain what creation feels like, to explain why creatives need creation and what could happen if someone born to create had that ability tragically stolen from them.

Perhaps that’s why a novel is a novel and why sometimes, you can write all those words, only for one truth to come out of all of it.

It’s a work in progress… for sure!

(Hopefully this was an annoyingly spoiler-free preview)!

Advertisements

UNBIND CHAPTER 40 ‒ INSIGHT INTO CAI’S MIND

Guys and gals,

I am currently writing UNFURL, the sequel to UNBIND. #NaNoWriMo has so far helped me add 30,000 words to this WIP.

The following extract does NOT appear in UNBIND, neither will it appear in UNFURL. This is extra material, for those of you wondering about the content of UNFURL…

UNFURL is a dual POV novel that will take Chloe and Cai right up until present day. The tagline is “NO SECRET DIES”.

UNFURL will answer a ton of questions but also take Cai and Chloe’s relationship to another level… so here is a tiny, little *unedited* insight into the mind of CAI MATTHEWS…

***

I felt torn between maintaining composure and doing what she was trying to do earlier—rip the punch bag from the ceiling and then kick the stuffing from it until there was nothing left.

I wanted to smash something. Hard. Chloe didn’t know but I was an undefeated champion on the underground boxing circuit in New York. She didn’t know that all the stuff she was telling me—she used to compete and then gave up—made her more like me than even I could have guessed. I was stock still on my gallery floor just because I was terrified if I moved, I’d start punching and I wouldn’t be able to stop.

She’d just told me the horrific circumstances surrounding that scar on her head. Worse—she’d told me about the one man in the world who was meant to protect her no matter what—and he hadn’t.

“I have this memory,” she said pointing to her skull. “I can remember all the names and faces of people I’ve ever met. I remember when I fell from a rope swing into a stream when I was little, I was wearing some cheap high-top trainers I loved. They were ruined by the mud. I remember what top I wore to a school disco when I was 13, a thing I spent hours picking out. I remember the day Kay got her first tattoo,” she smiled such a sad smile it made me swell with love for her, “I remember how long she spent making sure the design was right, how faint she looked when the dude doing her ink brought the needle toward her skin. I remember the ringlets in Amanda’s hair and how innocent they were and I remember every, single moment of pure evil he ever wrought on us. You see I can’t forgive, Cai, not when I can’t forget.”

I shut my eyes, the red fury replaced by incensed, overprotective love. “I wish you’d told me all this sooner, tigress. I wish you had.”

“Why?”

“Because I’ve spanked you and hit you. I didn’t know, Chlo.” I finally allowed myself to react and slammed my fist against the floor, the urge to keep hitting something there… but quelled by her resounding presence.

“Yes, you’ve spanked me lots of times and I never said stop because I like it that we’re open enough to do that. It’s not the same, Cai. It’s just not… you’re not spanking me to hurt me, you’re doing it because you’re expressing our bond, our passion… I love it when you spank me. I love you.”

I wanted to rip her father’s insides out, then my own. “Look… the truth is… I don’t like spanking, Chloe. I don’t fucking like it. I just do it because I think you want it.”

I didn’t like it. I didn’t. Yet I wanted it. Wanted it like I wanted to fight. Hated that aspect of myself, couldn’t caution myself enough about the danger of letting myself loose, yet all the ways she made me feel unleashed me. Set me free. Made me who I really was. It was just that, he was a man I didn’t like, wasn’t yet happy to be. I didn’t want to be ME.

“I do want it, but only if you want it too,” she said passionately, like she thought she was saying the right thing. She was saying what she thought I wanted to hear but it wasn’t her fault she didn’t know the whole of me—I’d tried to keep the dark away from her shining light.

I felt manic, shaking my head side to side. “I want to please you, I always said that. I want to give you everything you need.”

“I only want you to make love to me, how ever you need to make love to me. I don’t care how… I love you. I just need you holding me. I don’t care about the rest, Cai! I don’t care!”

She was yelling, trying to make me listen. I was listening. It was just she didn’t know… she needed to know… but she didn’t know about the real me.

The demons danced constantly on both my shoulders.

I had to divert this away from me, so I stood and started pacing the room rapidly. “You’ll fight everyday now, Chlo. I’m not having you hide who you really are anymore. You’ll fight me and I’ll teach you some better tricks than the ones you learned. I’ll teach you and protect you. I don’t care if you hurt me, you can hurt me because I can take it. Chlo, you have to be who you are, do you hear me? You don’t know how much I need that from you? Please… say you’ll fight again, for me? Please baby.”

Her soft, plump body captured mine from behind and pressed against my back to give me shelter. “I’ll do it for you, if you ask it of me.”

I turned and put my hands on her warm cheeks, asking, “Fight for me.”

“I’ll do it.”

She let the demons keep dancing by not asking any more, but I didn’t mind, I’d rather they danced on both my shoulders than touch a patch of hers. “Good. You’ll still keep your figure. I want breasts and my big ass, still.”

“Okay,” she said, and then to quell the conversation, I took her upstairs.

I had something to prove to myself, not just to her. I had to give over control. I could do it. I could be different, I could break the cycle. I removed my clothes and told Chloe, “Tie me up. Do whatever you want to do to me. I need this. Now, do it. Damn it. Tie me up, tigress and use me. I’m yours to use, baby.”

She proceeded to bind me and dominate me. I was hard for the touch and scent of her before she even began kissing my body, inch by inch. I begged for her soft layers to take me home and it was a temporary reprieve from the raging war inside my mind.

The man I wanted to be and the man I was didn’t much like one another.

BUY UNBIND ON AMAZON…

**IMPORTANT NOTE** UNBIND does not have a cliffhanger. It was originally intended to be a standalone. Readers said they wanted more answers, so….

99 cents