Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Gwendolyn N. Nix.
About the author:
Gwendolyn Nix has tagged sharks in Belize, studied evolution in green algae, and researched neural proteins. She is the author of The Falling Dawn: Celestial Scripts Book One soon to be released from Crossroad Press. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Sisterhood of the Blade, and she has earned Semi-Finalist and Honorable Mentions in the Writers of the Future contest. Previously an editor for Ragnarok Publications, she is currently a senior editor for Outland Entertainment. An avid adventurer and saxophonist, she lives in Missoula, MT.
About The Falling Dawn: Book One of Celestial Scripts:
Emerging from the dregs of society to become a celestial warrior, Eos soon becomes immersed in a world of ancient texts and falling angels, tasked to find the sacred Book of Raziel and stop a war in heaven. The secrets of the Book will lead Eos down a path of betrayal, pitting her against those she loves. All the while she must cling to her own crumbling sanity as her psyche is split by the emergence of another entity, heralded by the onset of Eos' new powers. Soon, Eos finds herself in the clutches of the Master of the Oceans, where she must convince him to give her the sacred book. His price? Her soul.
GUEST POST: The Siren's Song of the Trunk Novel by Gwendolyn N. Nix
I put my book away. No more, I said, no more of this tale of two-tailed mermaids who transform into great white sharks, no more of this angelic civil war and pre-Biblical lore, no more.
I imagine my writer's trunk to be a Victorian round-top steel and dark wood luggage piece when in actuality it's my laptop, but either way I slammed the lid down. This ten-year saga of writing my first novel was over. Nothing would come of this huge monstrous tale: The Falling Dawn had indeed fallen.
I knew it had to be done. I'd read the blog posts, I followed the industry. First novels were duds, a first love that fizzled out once you learned the ropes of plot arcs and character development. This was normal. Putting it away was all part of the process.
And yet, I remained under the siren's call. The drafted version of The Falling Dawn called to me, singing the song of hours spend agonizing over words and sentences. It felt like inspiration lay in wait, ready to pounce on me. I ran across bits of lore out of the blue, startled by what felt like fate when I opened up a historical book or textbook to discover a smidgen of a clue I'd been looking for to connect Act One with Act Two. It was disastrous taking a class dedicated to John Milton and leaving myself plot notes scribbled in the margins of my Paradise Lost textbook. Angelic battles and dark underworlds filled my mind, threads of plot connections winding themselves around me, but I couldn't be seduced, I had bound myself to the ship's mast like Odysseus.
Could I resurrect my novel? How would I know when it was dead in the water? Was it cursed treasure that would suck me into a black hole? It should be a novel of the past, something I'd look back fondly on. I wrote another book.
The song strengthened. The story haunted me. Before I knew it, the trunk was open, the word document spread out before me, and soon enough I was refitting the plot. My sharpened editor's blade slayed paragraphs and trimmed sentences. I discovered two minor characters were instead big players just waiting for me to notice them. Re-writing it was both painful and rewarding: while cutting out pieces I loved, I also had to retread ground that made me squirm, hunkering in fear that my once magnificent prose was instead peasant scrawl.
But it was still fun. The siren's call had been answered and I drowned in the story: contemplating over a character's actions, tinkering with how the events served the plot, and most of all, getting that exciting feeling when things began to click together and the novel stood on its own two feet. I finally realized that within my quest to create art, I didn't have to abide by the rules, because within these international waters, they were guidelines. This journey was mine and no two tales (or tails!) were the same. I answered the siren's call and in doing so, launched into uncharted waters, my dreams as my guiding stars.