The Pithea Books

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“Pithea”

This book introduces the island country of Pithea, and its citizens’ dependency on Power, as well as their eternal struggle against the Madness. Our narrator, Drear, tells us about his friend Missy and his brother Naolin, as they attempt to find their places in society, but are met with the harsh realities of life in a series of unlikely events, menacing villains, and both triumph and tragedy.

Current status: Final draft completed, but pending future first drafts could force changes

Pithea

“Outcast” *

In this book, Drear introduces us to some people who are important to future events, and shows us how they are connected. Natos Morano has been a member of a band of mercenaries known as the Class of Morano since birth. He is faced with a personal crisis, as a woman he’s never met tells him that he is not meant for this life, and forces him to choose between the only family he’s ever known, and his true family that is long gone.

Remiel Azrael finds himself caught between family and his own morality as he attempts to help a woman who is in desperate need. But when her situation turns out to be more dangerous than he realized, he faces a crisis of his own, and is forced to face his demons.

Current status: New outline finished, second draft currently in progress

Outcast

“Pursuit of Power”

Drear introduces us to Alexander Surett, a driven man with a tendency toward obsession if given the right target. In this first book of the trilogy, Alexander’s drive to find out about questionable circumstances surrounding his dad’s death leads him to ignore some of the region’s highest laws, which regulate Power usage. In doing so, he attracts the attention of the leader of the Class of Morano, who wants to recruit him. When he refuses, she takes it personally, and he has to set aside his search for answers about his dad’s death to try to stop this madwoman. The result is all-out war.

Current status: Draft 3 completed, structural changes ahead

Pursuit of Power

“Unexpectedly” **

The small island nation of Pithea has been at peace with its neighbors for hundreds of years. However, when a destructive force rises up from within, the rest of the country has to decide whether to choose sides or remain neutral. What follows is a civil war with a high body count. In this book, Drear tells us about some of the men and women who fought in the battle, on both sides, and the effect the battle had on their lives afterward.

Current status: Outline finished, first draft pending

Unexpectedly

“The Seeger Book”

Jonathan has been given an amazing gift in the form of exclusive access to a highly desired instruction manual written by a master blade smith. When it comes to light that someone has been making copies of the priceless book, tensions rise between Jonathan and the friend who owns the book. The mystery deepens with the death of someone involves, and Jonathan becomes the prime suspect. Drear shares this tale of intrigue in which no one is who they seem to be, and years of trust will be shattered.

Current status: New outline completed for re-draft

The Seeger Book

“Vin”

There was a time when Missy was plagued by mysterious men who seemed to wish her harm. They spoke to her as if they knew her, and seemed to be connected in some way, but she had no idea how. In this culmination of smaller events from previous books, Drear tells us of the shocking events around the revelation of the mystery that these men created around themselves. He shares glimpses into the mind of a dark, twisted, lost soul, and the final outcome won’t be what anyone expected.

Current status: New outline completed for re-draft

Vin

“Protector”

Drear takes us outside of Pithea and the union of nations it belongs to for the first time. Altmoor is a country that has never even heard of the Power, and certainly does not use it in any way. Altmoor and its king are entrenched in a centuries-long war with their northern neighbor, but suddenly learn that there is much more to fear than a mere border feud. When a single man wreaks havoc on the entire region with a sorcery that they cannot combat with swords and bows, it draws the attention of powerful people in Pithea who offer to help, but also open their eyes to a whole new world.

Current status: First draft done, at least first half will need rewritten (purpose of story changed by the end of the book)

Protector

*The order of “Outcast,” “Pursuit of Power, Book One,” and “Unexpectedly,” relative to each other, is subject to change. They all have some commonalities that could spoil each other, so I have been spending a lot of time trying to decide which order they should go in. I’m settled with this order for now.

**The title of “Unexpectedly” came from a fanfiction that is the basis for this book, but it will be very different than that fanfiction. So the title is a working title, and most likely won’t stay.

The Pithea Books, an introduction

Throughout the almost 5 years that I have had this blog, I have discussed what I am writing in various ways. Sometimes I lightly touch on what happened in the section of the story I revised or wrote that day, with no context whatsoever. Sometimes I give a full synopsis to a story I’m about to draft (almost always for NaNoWriMo). Now and then I share some of my writing, especially in the Monday Moment segment, that I seem to have abandoned, but hope to have time for again soon. And many times I have mentioned that I have plans for a series of several books that are all intertwined, even if not all having the same main characters.

In October of 2017, I got it in my mind that I should write up a post that lists all of the books I have written or planned, so that I can a) get them out there in a more official capacity and b) have something to refer back to when discussing the complicated nature of my planned series. At the time, there were 6 written or planned, and a 7th has snuck in there since then.

This is not that post. That post is going to be long enough as it is, and I don’t want a lengthy introduction to it. When I link back to it, I’d rather it just be a stand-alone list. But I am posting that at the same time as this, so here is the link to that post.

 

Beautiful Books 2017

bb-redone

If you don’t know what “Beautiful Books” is, click the above picture to find out! It’s a wonderful place, and if you’re a writer, it might just inspire you.

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
It has been a long time coming. The inspiration (which feels more like necessity than inspiration) came from the adaptation of some old fanfiction of mine to a new, from-scratch story world. Some of the things that made sense in the fanfiction couldn’t be explained naturally and organically in the closer-to-real-life story world, and so the need for a very powerful, over-arching villain came to be.

I have a vast, intricate plan of up to (so far) 7 books that all take place in the same story world, in a smallish period of time, and with some of the same characters. This story, which encompasses most of the others, was always out there, but I figured it’d be one of the last story arcs in my list that I would get to writing. I think that was simply because I was scared of it. Until I committed to writing this story, and outlined it, gave Vin a real life, I didn’t have to think about what he was actually up to. But the truth is, I should have done this story years ago, because some of the other books hinge on this one, and if something in another story that involves Vin doesn’t actually work in his story, that affects the other book. And what if I’ve published it, and it’s out there now? I’m not really interested in doing the whole ret-con thing.

So that’s why it’s time to write this story this year.

2. Describe what your novel is about!

Vin cover

Novel title: Vin

I haven’t done nearly enough planning yet (just decided to write this 2 days ago), so all of this is subject to change.

First, you should know that this story takes place approximately 2000 years in the future. That part is not subject to change.

The story will show the inner workings of an obsessed man as he tries to become perfect—just like his father always wanted him to be. In his quest for perfection, he stumbles across a way to become incredibly, dangerously, illegally powerful—more powerful than anyone in his country, his region, and presumably, the world.

Then he learns about two men who have joined together to defeat a beast that was thought unbeatable, and he realizes that as he pursues perfection in the form of ultimate power, these self-righteous men might decide to oppose him. He decides that the first thing he must do is find a way to keep that from happening.

A subplot (how sub this plot will be, I don’t know yet) involves a man who had just begun to find happiness in a life tinged with tragedy and loneliness, who suddenly finds that everything he cared about has been stripped away.

3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

Vin moodboard

4. Introduce us to each of your characters!
Vin – He’s not trying to take over the world; he only wants to find some peace. His father died before Vin could reach the level of perfection that the older man wanted from his son, but his continued striving quickly reaches the point of obsession.

Naolin – He never expected to find “normal” in his life, but since he did, he certainly hoped to keep it. Now that he’s lost it, the loneliness feels familiar…almost comfortable. But maybe…just maybe, it doesn’t have to last.

Missy – It turns out that being stalked by a madman, who she is just learning had his hand in more events in her life than she could have realized, was just the beginning of her problem. She’s still recovering from a recent upheaval in her life, and the last thing she needs is to have her first love show back up after five years and leave her feeling guilty about moving on with her life.

Drear – He is Naolin’s brother, and the narrator of the book. Though truthfully, he is not present for most of these events, he has compiled interviews, letters, journals, and anything else he can, to find the truth behind these events and to present them to the reader.

5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
Things like this, for one thing. Until 2 days ago, I still didn’t know what I was going to write. When I started thinking about doing this story, I wasn’t sold right away. I had some free time while waiting for a meeting to start at work, and decided to delve a little into the mind of one of the primary characters (Vin) to see if I could come up with motives for what he ultimately does, other than, “Because he has to.”

By the time I had finished that mere 500-word exercise, I had his main motivation (his dad driving him to be perfect). But it’s still a very shallow understanding of this man who, most likely, will drive the plot.

So I’ve filled out this questionnaire in the hopes of discovering more about this story. I’ll do free writing with Vin and the overall story in mind. I will possibly answer other question lists like this one, even if I do end up skipping some questions because they just don’t make sense for my character(s).

Even though we’re only 3 weeks away from November 1st, I’m still very much in the discovery period of this story, which is not where I need to be when NaNo starts. But I will do freewriting and brainstorming, fill out my timeline, and just…discover.

And then sometime during the last week of October, I’ll make an outline.

6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
I am most looking forward to being able to work with Naolin again. He’s far too important of a character in my mind to have been in only one book so far.

7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
Graveyards, underground lair, city streets

8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
His goal is to reach perfection, and one single little girl stands in his way, albeit indirectly.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
It doesn’t take long before “perfection” morphs into “power.” He then has to do away with any threats to his power, a goal that he is still able to justify. But by the end of the story, his obsession has turned into a pure hatred for his nemesis, and then the only thing he cares about is destroying her life.

10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
There’s a major good vs. evil theme in my story. It is going to be a dark book in many ways. I want readers to feel shocked, amazed, maybe even confused?  (I’m really not good with themes, whether in my own writing or in others’.)


For anyone out there who is participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to check out my series of tips and tricks for the month, and also to add me as a writing buddy! (Let me know you came from here, and I’ll add you back!)

Introducing Naolin

Finally posted something new over on my Made in Pithea blog, where I post more about the story and story world. This is an introduction to the secondary main character, Naolin Dark.

Made in Pithea

From the pen ofDrear

Naolin Dark is pretty much my favorite person ever. Maybe that’s not the most objective thing for me to say, since he’s just one of many people who I’ve researched and whose lives I’ve connected. But I do have a reason to be biased—he’s my brother.

Though Naolin and I lost seven years when we were growing up, when we reconnected, you’d never guess we’d been apart. The most fun I’ve ever had has been when I’m spending time with my brother. Training in the domes is definitely better when he’s with me. I don’t enjoy caving as much as he does, but I’ll go with him anytime he asks.

He’s smart, generous, fun to hang out with, and he cares a lot more than he lets on. On the other side, though, he is also one of the rudest people I know. Some…

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NaNoWriMo Day 29, “The End”

The Words: 5442 written today and finished my novel! I was on such a roll last night that I just had to keep going. I put the final words in just before 5 a.m. I started with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, but the closer I got to the end, the more I just wanted to write and didn’t need the push of the word sprints. I am exhausted in so many ways right now. (I am writing this at 5 am, though I won’t post it until later this evening.)

I’m planning to write one more NaNoWriMo post before going back to posting about my revision work. Tomorrow, on the last day of the month, I want to sum up my experiences with NaNo this month.

The Story: Lex decided to take matters into his own hands and try to stop the battle quickly. He succeeded, somewhat, but it wasn’t a clean end exactly. Still, the battle was over, and now Lex and Leahna have to deal with the aftermath. Then there was a muchly summarized epilogue in which Lex gets some clues to get him back on track to solving the mystery of his father’s death.

Final word count: 107,234

day 29

NaNoWriMo Day 28

The Words: 4462 written today and broke 100,000! After yesterday’s low number, and anticipating a very busy next two days (the last two days of NaNo), I made sure to really buckle down to write tonight. I did want to hit 100k, but I am still mostly intent on finishing the book. I am SO close. So close, in fact, that I didn’t realize that midnight had passed until it was 1 a.m. So I had to stop for a break and to write this up. Then I plan to get back to it tonight and maybe finish finally.

The Story: The battle in the desert is heating up. Two weeks have passed and the militia units that Lex and Leahna are helping are gaining a tiny bit of ground. Not literal ground, but they are systematically lowering the numbers of the enemy. When the second-in-command is taken prisoner, though, the leader demands immediate action. He knows that his second will be in grave danger if they don’t find him soon. So Lex decides to go inside the base himself and find a way to stop Rusalki, the leader of the mercenary organization.

Total word count: 101,792

day 28

NaNoWriMo Day 27

The Words: 577 written today. My extended family isn’t having our official Thanksgiving get-together until Sunday, but we had an unofficial game night tonight. I didn’t know for sure if we were going to that until around 4, so I had expected to have some writing time in the afternoon. In an effort to avoid a zero day, I did get some words written while sitting at the table where people were playing games. My laptop died and I’d forgotten my charger, so I ended up having to switch to pencil and paper for half of it. I got very little done. But at least it’s not a 0.

The Story: The battle in the desert has taken a turn, with Lex and Leahna there to help. But it still doesn’t show signs of ending soon.

Total word count: 97,330

day 27

NaNoWriMo Day 26

The Words: 2947 written today. I realized at the exact right time today that the weekly virtual write-in was starting. For the first few weeks, I was gone every Wednesday, and the weeks after that, I just kept forgetting. I got lucky today and joined in. I wrote 1900 during that, and the rest in the evening. I haven’t watched the videos for the other virtual write-ins, but I have to admit, the prompts weren’t the most helpful today. I know you don’t have to write with the prompts, but they intrigued me, so I did. Things like: What is your protaganist’s ideal ending? What would your antagonist be doing if they didn’t have anybody thwarting them, and if all their plans succeeded? I couldn’t help but want to explore those questions. But I’m close to the end of my novel, and just need to finish this battle scene!

The Story: I realized today that I forgot about the narrator this story is supposed to be have, and have written the entire book without him. Overall, that won’t make a huge difference, because the narrator is only in a small part of the book himself, so it will still mostly read as third-person. But this is still something I will have to remember during my early revising. And today’s writing is when he showed up in the story himself.

Total word count: 96,753

day 26

NaNoWriMo Day 25

The Words: 2045 written today. I had to squeeze some in during the afternoon and then a bit more before we had another Skype meeting of the TCSTB (revising a novel I finished earlier this year). And I wanted to share this picture from the marathon meeting we had at the house of one of the TCSTB members on Saturday.

reptile Mikayla

We acted out some fighting scenes to make sure they made sense in the text. The bear represents a large reptilian creature. The blanket on the floor is its victim, and the red is a sweatshirt that has been laid across the body to symbolize blood. This is before we rushed in to attack the reptile.

The Story: Lex and Leahna are continuing to help with the battle in the desert, and so much is happening, but I can’t really go into detail.

Total word count: 93,806

NaNoWriMo Day 24

The Words: 2063 written today. Today’s writing put me past my total from last year, which was 90,228. Before that, I’d always written 50k within a few days from the end and that was it.

The Story: I have now decided that the decision I made yesterday about being done with the novel was wrong. I did glance at the beginning of this big battle scene from the original version and realized that the main characters are not doing the right thing yet to merge with that original version. So I do need to write a bit more to get my current story to a place where it matches up with that scene. (And for all I know, it will never actually flow into the other version, and I’ll rewrite it all anyway.) I thought it would be quick, but I should have known better.

Total word count: 91,761

day 24