Friday, March 20, 2015

Some News & Announcements

Good morning, my lovelies!

 I have some exciting announcements and some new information about our blog.

 Item numba one on our agenda is FWBM! Ravens and Writing Desks offered us to be their featured writing blog of the month! Emilie and I are so thankful for this opportunity, and I hope that you will check out our posts over there! Also, be sure to join their community, and sign up to get their posts!
A huge shout out and thank you to RaWD!! ♥

Item numba two is sort of an apology/explanation… You may or may not have noticed that this week, Emilie and I had a hard time posting regularly. It’s gotten a little bit hectic around both of our homes’. Emilie is currently starring in a play, which works her crazy hours… And my family is preparing for a Spring Break vacation to D.C. So… I hope you all understand that in the next few weeks, the posting may be a bit irregular.

And that bring me to item numba three: Spring break. Our spring break is rapidly approaching (yay), and I will be gone for the week. No Patricia posts that week. And depending on what Emilie’s family is doing that week, she may or may not be posting.


Item numba four… Actually, there is no ‘item numba four’. **laughs like a maniac**


Haha, keep writing!


~Patricia Rane

Monday, March 16, 2015

Rescuing The Fretholyne - Chapter 1

Chapter 1
“Oh, come on,” Abbie groaned, hitting the steering wheel. “We’re gonna be late for school, and you’ll be to blame,” she yelled at the car. She tucked a strand of her light brown hair behind her ear. Her gold flecked eyes flashed in anger.
“I’ll check the fluids,” Jake offered. Abbie took a deep breath and nodded.
“I’ll help him!” Skylar eagerly offered, unbuckling her seatbelt. Abbie rolled her eyes, but unlocked the SUV’ door.
“Just don’t stain your uniform,” Heather said, examining her manicure.
After five more minutes of sitting there, Abbie made up her mind. “That’s it,” she ordered. “We are not being late for school, just because some stupid, mortal car won’t start.” She opened the door to the driver seat. Fifteen year old Heather got out on the passenger side. The sound of opening doors echoed in the garage.
“Guys,” Heather said to Jake and Skylar. “Stop fiddling with that, you’re gonna get your clothes dirty.”
Abbie produced her amulet, which made Leiza cough uncomfortably. “Um, Abbie?” She asked. “You’re not planning on using that, are you?”
“You know dad will have a cow if—,” Heather was interrupted.
“Well we can’t be late for school, now, can we?” Abbie snapped. The stress of going to mortal school was enough, but having car troubles, and the thought of being late looming overhead…?
“But, Abbie,” twelve year old Carter protested. “This could get us expelled!”
She hesitated at this thought. But then the determined look was back. “Nobody will find out about this. Right?” she looked sharply around at them all. No one said anything. “Good.”
Everyone put one finger on the tiny glass item the sixteen year old held in her hand. Amulets were one thing that each Hero was expected to have. It would help get you out of tight situations if your certain power didn’t apply. It could save your life, in very extreme matters.  “Jackson Jewitt high school.”
Everyone opened their eyes, and they were standing on the front lawn of a large brick building. Heather took one look at Skylar and rolled her eyes. She started patting her little sister’s auburn hair back into place. The sun glinted off of Heather’s blonde hair, and nearly blinded Carter, but he just grinned. Heather was SO prim, and perfect. Long blonde hair, and curious blue eyes. It made him smile again, thinking about how motherly she was.
These seven kids were all going to experience their first day of mortal school. Their father and mother, Damien and Miridia Ferguson were hesitant to let their children leave the safety of their home, in the hills of Denver, Colorado. But when they had seen how persistent their children were in going to see what mortal schools were like, they finally gave in, entrusting them all into the care of Abigail, their oldest daughter. Their father made them all promise that they wouldn’t use their powers. At all. And, on their first day, Abbie had just broken that promise. They moved into a small house that was fifteen minutes away from the school, in New York City, New York. It was a disadvantage, the school being so far away, but it was the only one he could find without records of shadow heroes.

Abbie and Heather raced into the English classroom, where a tall, skinny, English professor had just begun the class. “Ladies,” he said, clearing his throat as they rushed to take their seats, “Tardiness is not a characteristic you will want to be characterized by in my class.” He adjusted his wire framed glasses.
“I’m sorry, Professor,” Abbie apologized. “We had car problems this morning,” she said truthfully.
“Please turn to page 13 in your English textbooks. You will also need to take out your copy of Shakespeare’s, ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’.”
The rest of the class was mainly talking about how Shakespeare was a “True Writer”, and how much their professor adored him.
At the end of the learning session, the two teenagers were starting to realize why mortals hated school so much.

Fifteen year old Jake, fourteen year old Leiza, and thirteen year old Skylar slid into their seats, just seconds before the bell rang. “Good morning, class,” the math professor said, eyeing them. She was tall, and thin. Wearing a light purple and gray dress suit, she looked quite intimidating. (YES, I like what you did with this sentence).  The class murmured a greeting, and the teacher turned her attention to the three kids. She smoothed her hair, which was pulled into a tight bun, straightened her glasses, and said, “I see we have some new students.”  (This whole paragraph was better!)
Jake looked around to make sure that she wasn’t talking about someone else.
“You three,” she said. “In the back.” Inwardly, Leiza groaned. Why couldn’t they have come in two minutes earlier? “Could you three please come up here?”
Jake slowly stood up, his younger sisters following his example. They made their way to the front, the teacher looming in front of them. “Welcome to Jackson Jewitt,” she said. “I’m Professor Jewitt.”
Skylar gulped. They had the headmistress and the owner of the school as a math teacher? Well… this would be interesting. Just so long that she doesn’t find out that we know her powerful position, Skylar thought.
“You’re the headmistress?” Leiza asked, running her fingers through her dark brown hair.  Skylar wanted to punch her. The teacher looked pleased.
“Yes,” she nodded. “Yes, I am.” She looked somewhat triumphant that they had noticed her position of authority. “And you are?”
“Leiza,” she answered.
“I’m Jake,” their brother said. “And the quiet one with the murderous look on her face is Skylar. Usually, we can’t get her to shut up.” Now Skylar wanted to punch Jake, too. Why couldn’t they just shut their mouths?
“I see,” the Professor said, pursing her lips. There was something about this professor that made Skylar uneasy. “Well, you may take your seats.”
“Open your math books to page four,” said Professor Jewitt. Then she narrowed her eyes, looking directly at Skylar. “We’ll see just how much you know.”
Twelve year old Carter, and eleven year old Kendra raced through the empty halls of the school. “Using her power amulet, indeed,” Carter huffed. “We’re gonna get in trouble if dad finds out!”
“Carter,” Kendra said, glaring at him, “We’re definitely going to be in trouble, if we can’t find our classroom,” she said as-a-matter-a-factly.
“OUR SISTER JUST VIOLATED THE ONLY RULE THAT WE HAD TO FOLLOW, ON OUR FIRST DAY!” He yelled, his voice echoing down the halls.
“Will you please shut up?” she asked. “You’re the one who is gonna get us in trouble, screaming it to the whole world.” She said grumpily.
He glared at her. “DO YOU KNOW HOW DANGEROUS IT IS TO USE OUR AMULETS—,” he was interrupted,
“Is there something wrong?” a female voice asked coldly. The two kids whirled around. A woman was standing in the doorway of a classroom right behind them.  
“Um, no, Professor,” Kendra squeaked. “We were just… Um… looking for our classroom.” She gently flipped her honey-colored hair over her shoulder.
“Please follow me.” The teacher said, motioning into the classroom behind her. The classroom just happened to be full of students.
Carter scanned the class, and then he spotted Jake, Leiza, and Skylar near the back.
“Leiza,” the professor said, her eyes still fixed on the two youngest.
Leiza looked up from her homework sheet. She looked surprised.“Yes, Professor Jewitt?”
“Are these your… relatives…?”
This time, Leiza looked over at Skylar. Skylar gave her ‘The look’.
“No, Professor.” Leiza lied. She had a feeling that Skylar sensed that this was dangerous.
Carter opened his mouth, but Kendra jabbed her elbow into his side. He shut his mouth, and remained silent.  Kendra knew that their older siblings had a good reason to lie, whatever it may be.  
The Professor looked surprised. “You’re… quite sure?” she asked.
“Of course we are,” Skylar sneered. “Don’t you think we would know who we’re related to?”
Jake gave her a warning look.
“Please, Professor,” Kendra began, “We’re late for our class. Could you please direct to the correct room?”
“What class is it that you want?” Professor Jewitt asked, the cold tone returning to her voice.
“General science, grade eight,” she answered.
“It’s door eight, over in the next hallway.”
Kendra murmured a thank you, and then dragged Carter from the room. They entered the classroom and looked around. It was empty. “Hmm,” Kendra mused. “Maybe she misspoke herself,” she said after checking the door number. “Well, this is the general science room,” she pointed to a sign on the wall. It read, “Jackson Jewitt loves General Science.”
“Maybe we’re early,” Carter offered.
“We can’t be early,” Kendra murmured, looking fixatedly at the blackboard. She glanced at her watch. “Classes for this time frame should be almost halfway through.”
Carter saw some movement out of the corner of his eye, near the window of the room. He started walking towards the window, and the half-bookshelves that sat under it. Suddenly, Kendra heard a scuffle out in the hall. She turned, just in time to see Skylar burst into the room. “Carter!” Skylar yelled. “It’s a trap!”  

This is chapter one from the first novel that really 'kickstarted' me writing. Actually, I had almost completed this book when it was deleted from my computer. It was quite discouraging. But thankfully, I had saved the first few chapters on my Google Drive, and I didn't have to completely start over.
It was during a Go Teen Writers word war that I got this idea. And it was the word war that really got it going.
I remember that I had just baked some cookies... And it was a really nice day outside. I can't really remember anything else about coming up with the idea, haha. I guess it just wandered into my head!
Keep writing!
-Patricia Rane♥

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Art of Character Crafting - Post #3: "Why Is My Interaction So Flat?"

Newsflash: If any of you have any specific questions that you would like us to answer in our series', please use the contact form on the homepage! Make sure you include your special question, along with which series you would like to see it appear in!

Sometimes, I have problems writing interaction between two characters. I can't exactly pinpoint why I have the trouble... It just happens.
Often times, it just seems flat. Like there isn't life to it. Like, people wouldn't actually do this...
It might be a cliché, and it might not. One common cliché for writing interaction happens with a romantic sense to it. You know... Handsome guy in cape... Drop-dead gorgeous girl... Sunset... Maybe a few kisses. You get the idea.
Aside from the cliché category, sometimes I just can't get it to flow properly. The wording sounds awkward, and yet, I can't seem to reword it at all.
Here are a few tips to get you out of the cliché/it-won't-flow-no-matter-what-I-do phase:
  1. If You're Writing A Romance Scene - Throw in some humor. Sarcasm. You know, a little icebreaker. I don't know about you all... But most of the successfully non-cliché romantic scenes that I read (and that amount is very small... So, what am I talking about.) there is some humor thrown in somewhere. It lightens up the awkward tension, and gives a unique twist to the situation.
  2. If You Can't Get It Flowing - Take a break. Delete the stuff that you are having problems with, and walk away. A few hours/days break might help work the knots out in your head.
  3. Look Up Synonyms To the Major Words - Words that have the same meaning and look totally different can really change a scene. Or you could go the other route, and cut out all the small words. That works too.
  4. One Last Resort - Email it to your friend and ask her how she would word the scene/paragraph/sentence. A friend's input can really help. Trust me, I know from experience.
As I said at the beginning of the post, if you have any specific questions about a topic which we are covering in one of our series', please do not hesitate to use the contact form!
Keep writing!
~Patricia Rane