Writing Fun – A story about “Dishonored”

I recently started a new job which is giving me more time to write. As I was working on “Honored” chapter 5, I realized that between “Dishonor” and “Honored” I have passed 100,000 words.

Liv’s story has gone quite far from the early world I first envisioned as a senior in high school. In the original envisioning of the story, she lived in a slum where the Dishonored were kept (The Dishonored caste was inspired by the lowest caste in the Indian caste system). The guards were simply stationed around the edges of the slum and the dregs of society were thrown in there.

As I built up the city, I realized there were a couple problems with this model. Number one was that this city was going to have to be huge to provide for the people living in it. Space and supplies would be to valuable to allow people to just live as a useless part of the cog. In this society I saw it as more likely that these people would just be killed off rather than taking up space which wouldn’t work well for my story because then Liv would be dead and no story.

I had and epiphany and realized that the Dishonored’s existence could be justified if they had a job, but of course, people wouldn’t want the Dishonored just roaming the city. To these people that would be like allowing convicted felons to roam among them.

This made me think, “Well, if people consider them the same as felons, what if they live like felons?”

From here the slum became a prison. But this prison was for people that everyone hated and looked down on. This prison was a place where all the people were just a broken leg away from being killed for taking up resources and space.

Around this time in the planning process of the story I was looking at traveling to Cambodia and Thailand. One of the things that I was going to do was to see a torture prison from the Khmer Rouge regime. This influenced me into deciding to reflect the torture prisons from genocides.

The prison for the Dishonored in my book takes a little from the Holocaust of World War II and a little from the torture prison in Phnom Penh in Cambodia. I will stress that in no way is the prison of Dishonor anywhere near as bad as these prisons.

At one point a reviewer told me that the over abundance of gratuitous violence was grating and angsty and I should tone down the violence. I tried to keep the violence down while keeping it real. Torture prisons are ugly horrible places. The small stories of violence and personal humiliation are nothing like those of the torture prison in Phnom Pehn. I wanted to try and make the violence senseless and horrible, like these places.

After some thought and advice from my editor about the readers and age I was writing for, I reworked the violence so that each moment of violence had a point and was better sewn onto the story.

This version of the treatment of the Dishonored is what you will read in my most current version of the story.

Dishonor is free to read on inkitt.com right now:

https://www.inkitt.com/stories/scifi/28123?ref=a_dad93882-db0d-4a49-8c0b-3f3bc078013f

 

Reviews

The first thing I do every time I sit down at my computer is check Goodreads to see if I have any new reviews or ratings for Dishonor. Then I check Amazon. Then I check to see if I’ve sold any new copies.

When, on the off chance I see I’ve sold a single copy, my heart speeds up, sometimes I holler and clap with joy. One more person bought my book. The same thing happens when I get a review, or I see a post on Facebook about a friend liking my book.

I love hearing what people think about my book. I love hearing that people are reading it and enjoying it, because I like to share. Sharing my story with people, some whom I don’t even know, is an exhilarating and exciting feeling.

While my Goodreads give away was going on, I would check almost every hour to see how many more people were requesting my book.

I know, this is slightly pathetic. It is pathetic that I am checking on my book so much, but it is so exiting at the same time. Publishing a book is a dream come true. Its seeing my dreams read by other people. Its seeing my worlds become reality in the mind of others.

And I can’t wait to hear what more people think of my book. If I could afford it, I would buy free copies of my book for everyone, but I can’t. So instead I wait with bated breath. I wish I could contact the people that got my book. I wish I could make sure that they got it. That I could ask what they think of it. But I can’t. One of the rules about Goodreads giveaways is that you cannot contact the winners. You have to simply wait and hope that they post a review of your book.

I try to review every book I read because I know what a great feeling it is to get a review. I even like the critical reviews that are constructive. Those reviews help my writing. The reviews of people that like my book help my ego, and my motivation levels. In general, I just love hearing feedback, the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

Now, not that I want to push anyone to review… but go review an author’s book. Any author’s book. Make an author’s day.

P.S. You could always review my book…

Scraps

What better thing to call a new post, the first after a long series of unwritten ones, but scraps. Scraps are what we feed the dogs after we finish the meal. Scraps are what are scraped off the plate into the trash. The bits and pieces. Tidbits. I prefer to think of these scraps as tidbits. Juicy little morsels just waiting to be eaten,

So I feel bad for not writing on this blog as much as I think I should. I haven’t even updated the blog where I leave my book reviews recently. But, to bring some joy to people, I’m working on Honored again! I tried to take a break for Nanowrimo and work on a completely new story, but that actually made me realize how much I love the In Search of Honor World.

Which brings me to another point. I have a giveaway on goodreads for a free paperback copy of my book for anyone interested.

The last scrap of information I wanted to include in this post is that I am looking for Q&A questions for Dishonor. Some of my readers were asking me questions about the book, so I plan to write a Q&A article.

This all being said, I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season, whichever holiday you do, or do not, celebrate.

Have Fun!

-Francesca

Update

So I haven’t posted in awhile, and I apologize for that. I had a couple summer jobs that kept me pretty busy this year. As I like to tell people, I worked in the dark corner cubicle in the back, and when I wasn’t needed to fix people’s computers, I hid in my dark corner banging my head against a metaphorical wall due to the bugs in MS Word.

On a side note, I hate multi-level numbering in word. Really, really, really hate it (if you say really three times that makes it extra true).

When I wasn’t doing my desk job, I was working for an place that teaches kids STEM topics outside of school (and makes them fun to encourage kids to go into a STEM career).

I have had some time to work on “Honored”, but not a lot. I am almost at 20,000 words (YAY!), but I still have a long way to go before “Honored” is finished. I also don’t have a cover for it yet. The cover reveal will happen when it “Honored” is written and in editing.

Thanks for sticking with me, and happy reading!