To my dismay, he recovers quickly and smoothes his hair. "So you choose him?" That's all this ever was. Jealously. Rivalry. All so shadow could defeat the flame. I have to throw my head back and laugh, feeling the eyes of the brothers on me. "Cal betrayed me, and I betrayed him. And you betrayed both of us, in a thousand different ways." The words are heavy as stone but right. So right. "I choose no one.
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The Calores are children of fire, as strong and destructive as their flame, but Cal will not be like the others before. Fire can destroy, fire can kill, but it can also create. Forest burned in the summer will be green by spring, better and stronger than before. Cal's flame will build and bring roots from the ashes of war. The guns will quiet, the smoke will clear, and the soldiers, Red and Silver both, will come home. One hundred years of war, and my son will bring peace. He will not die fighting. He will not. HE WILL NOT.
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She looked to the roses, but it was Tibe's face she saw. It was familiar now, after months of friendship. She knew his nose, his lips, his jaw, his eyes most of all. They stirred something in her, a connection she did not know she could make with another person. She saw herself in them, her own pain, her own joy. We are the same, she thought. Searching for something to keep us anchored, both alone in a crowded room.
Today Tibe said he loves me, that he wants to marry me. I do not believe him. Why would he want such a thing? I am no one of consequence. No great beauty or intellect, no strength or power to aid his reign. I bring nothing to him but worry and weight. He needs someone strong at his side, a person who laughs at the gossips and overcomes her own doubts. Tibe is as weak as I am, a lonely boy without a path of his own. I will only make things worse. I will only bring him pain. How can I do that?
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Action set pieces are my absolute favorite thing to write. I'm pretty much always in the mood to do them, but music certainly helps the process. I usually brainstorm out the dynamics and choreography of a fight to music beforehand - it gives me the little sparks of imagination when I get to the gaps in my own creativity.
World-building is my favorite pastime, so with me, I'm always about reining myself in. I don't want to lose too much of the mystery by hammering every detail to death. I did fiddle with lots of maps for 'Glass Sword,' as the second installment sees Mare, Cal and company traveling throughout their country, and that's always fun for me.
Maven is very much a haunting presence in 'Glass Sword.' His influence is everywhere, and he dogs Mare and Cal like no other. He's my favorite character to write because he's so complex, but also because he affects everyone else so deeply. He's kind of like the source of gravity. Everyone moves around him and what he's done.
I force myself to outline, but not too closely, so I guess I plot by the seat of my pants? My natural instinct is to dive right in, but I know I'll get stuck. I like to stick with the architect vs. gardener metaphor. I guess I'm a gardener who plants tomatoes. I have the sticks in the ground and let the vines grow along those parameters.
So far, the biggest regret I have in regards to the world of 'Red Queen' is that I didn't get to world-build enough. I don't think I did enough work explaining how the world came to be, and while I'm planning to go more into it, I'm a greedy writer, and I'm always going to wish I had more room to delve into the complexities of a fantasy realm.
I start out giving characters archetypes and parameters. Once I know the basics and have a rudimentary model, it's easier to carve unique curves and edges. It's quite easy to guess how a character is going to react if you know their background, and at a certain point, you realize you understand them personally.
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My biggest bits of advice are, write as much as you can, finish what you start, get a thick skin, don't take crap from anyone, but also live your life and have fun. The stereotype of a writer holed up alone all day is really unhelpful. You can't write real people and real emotion if you don't let yourself experience them.