Sunday, August 12, 2012


As I drove to work last week, I let my mind sort of drift. I watched the cows in the pasture, stared at the hot pink, post apocalyptic looking sun, and despaired over the smoke from the wildfires burning in the foothills which made the pretty pink sunrise. Like I said, I wasn’t thinking about much of anything when my epiphany struck like an owl slamming into my windshield.

Let me back up to provide those of you who are new to this blog a bit of background for this particular ah ha moment. I began writing HOUND OF ANNWYN back in March of 2010. It features two of my favorite characters, Juliet and Jude.

Here's the query I used back then.

Juliet finishes Jude’s sentences, feels his pain, and gleefully exploits the fact that he can’t bluff her in poker. She takes their psychic connection for granted until her heart stops beating at the exact moment that her twin brother dies in a car accident. Nearly eight minutes elapses before their resurrection.


A year later, seventeen-year-old Juliet’s near-death experience continues to haunt her. A ghost contacts her in the high school bathroom and a sexy, albeit annoyingly conceited boy with wings—who claims to be her guardian, but definitely no angel—saves her after she’s attacked by a hell hound in the woods.

Her brother’s emerging, uncontrolled empathic and telekinetic abilities—he accidentally hurls an alarm clock at Juliet’s head while she sleeps—are eroding his humanity and threaten to blow their familial bond apart at a time when they need to be united.

Unaware that the darkness infecting their relationship is a manifestation of the evil that returned with them from the underworld, its taint spreads unchecked through their small mountain town. If the twins can’t resolve their differences and link their powers, neither they nor the people they care about will survive. And this time, death’s grip will be eternal.

This story owns a special piece of my heart because it was my first Young Adult endeavor. It is the reason I fell in love with YA. I worked on this story for three months, and then entered the story in the Speculative Fiction Marathon at agentquery connect. I then went through twelve intense weeks in which this manuscript was critiqued my peers. It was a total blast, and I found my critique partners through this process.

I wrote this story by alternating each chapter to tell the story from their view point. In the initial draft I used the Roshamon Effect, only at the time I didn’t know there was a name for this particular format. Here is the Wikipedia definition.

In the Roshomon style, I wrote the chapter from the protagonist POV; however, at certain times they would come together in a scene. The scene was written through the lens of the character whose point-of-view the chapter was written in. Then in the next chapter, the same scene was shown from the alternate twin’s point of view. I liked this effect because it showed how flawed Juliet and Jude’s relationships were with one another, and how their perceptions of their sibling’s motivations were skewed.

For example:

Jude's POV:

Electricity sparked between Juliet and Gwynn as they stepped toward each other. The hairs on Jude’s arms stood on end. The static hum in his head grew louder, almost distinct as if words were trying to break through the block that had been constructed in his mind.

Juliet gave Jude a tight smile then addressed the real subject of her ire. “I’m a grown woman, Gwynn. I’ll kiss anyone I choose. See that boy over there?” she pointed at Randy Lipshultz. “If I wanted too, I’d kiss him, right now. You wouldn’t be able to stop me.”

Juliet's POV:

Juliet gave Jude a tight smile, but her attention remained focused on Gwynn. “I’m a grown woman, Gwynn. I’ll kiss anyone I choose. See that boy over there?” She pointed at a random guy, praying she wouldn’t get called on her bluff, because... eww gross, she’d once caught Randy eating his boogers.

“If I wanted too, I'd kiss him, right now. You wouldn't be able to stop me.”

Unfortunately, seeing the scene multiple times regardless of the differences inherent to the point-of-view characters perceptions failed to hold the reader’s attention. It needed an in-depth overhaul,

Out of necessity, I put the revision on hold as I worked on other projects. That’s not to say that I haven’t worked on it for the last two years. I have. If you were to read the version I queried in 2010 to the current version, you would see that I've removed the Roshomon Effect. You can check out the updated sample pages here.

The last issue I need to correct is my inability end the story without a cliffhanger. I think my epiphany will solve this problem. What is funny is that I should've seen the answer to this issue a long time ago. It is so freaking obvious. I guess I needed distance from the story to be able to see the answer to the problem I was having with finishing it.

So, I'll let you know when I finish this final (okay, it probably won't be the last) revision.


  1. I'm so happy that you're getting into this again! *hugs*

  2. Thanks, I really need to get this ending whipped into shape before starting a new project.

  3. It's always like a piece of home to work on old projects again.

  4. Homework you mean, lol.

    I'm still incorporating your edits into the story. I think I'm halfway through, but I keep getting distracted and going back to revise the beginning over and over again.

    I really suck at first chapters. I know and accept this quirk about myself; however, I wish I'd figure out how to overcome it soon.

  5. Yay!!!

    Please e-mail me the ending when you get it done. I'm still hanging, wondering how it all turns out.

  6. I will Joyce, some day. Hopefully some day soon. I don't understand why this particular story out of all of them is so difficult.

    On the plus side, it just keep getting more and more polished with each revision,


Now it's your turn. What do you think?

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