Thirty and single? Well, getcha ass to the Gathering!Whitney Wickham is at the darned annual werewolf Gathering all right. Only there’s one problem: she doesn’t belong there. Her sisters carry the Mark indicating they’ll mate an Alpha Pair of wolves, while Whitney does not have that lovely, swirling scar. She’s been hauled half way around the world to be stared at, and not-so-covertly sniffed, for no reason. Unfortunately the gorgeous, drool worthy, magic-mojo-wielding Wardens don’t know why she’s been summoned to the Gathering any more than she does. Which sucks. But at least they’re hot.Emmett Greene and Levy Walters are Wardens—keepers of the law and embodiment of the magic of the werewolves. They can never mate, never marry, and never form a lasting romantic relationship. It’s a hard and fast law that keeps their powers pure of outside influence.Rules are going to be broken.One look at Whitney, one hint of her scent, and they realize their immovable laws might have to jiggle. She’s got luscious curves, a wicked smile, and a mouth that would make a thousand men weep. No matter the rules, their inner wolves will claim her. The only things standing in their way are the Elder Wardens who will do anything… anything… to keep Emmett and Levy from discovering the truth: the laws are wrong. And being with Whitney Wickham is so very, very right.
The Planning that Goes into Writing a Trilogy
Holy Crap What Do I Do Now?!
I will be one hundred percent honest: I do not do a ton of planning when it comes to writing a series, whether it’s a trilogy (like Alpha Marked) or a never ending string of books (like Ridgeville). I am a pantser through and through. Meaning I tend to start writing and then realize halfway through that I have no idea what the heck I’m doing. And with the Alpha Marked series, that darn near killed me.
First, I started with a general idea. We all get those, right? That lightning strike that says “write me NOW!” Only it’s vague and fluid and sorta out of reach. So you sit down and think on it (I do a lot of daydreaming) until you’ve got something a little more solid. I tend to think of it as going from water to jello.
Now we’ve got the jello, we need to dig a little deeper. Someone has put fruit in your jello and you need to find it. For those that outline, the fruit is totally awesome, it’s the structure of your world. You can gather all of those tidbits and lay them out like a map. For pantsers… We eat the fruit and then wonder why things went kablooey.
That whole eating the fruit part? That’s where I went wrong. I can hear you now: “Gasp! Celia, you could never do anything wrong!”
Okay, once again, I’m dreaming that’s what you’d say. Humor me.
Now, I should have begun with writing a bible about my world. Nothing huge and intense since my stories are shorter. Just something that laid out the rules and maybe, I dunno, listed the names of my characters. Because, yes, I managed to muck up a couple of names in book two of the Alpha Marked series (Gabriella). So, on release day, I had to run around re-uploading the books with the corrected names. Not a fun experience folks.
My bible for Alpha Marked looks like this:
Scarlet Wickham (book 1) is mated to Madden and Keller
Gabriella Wickham (book 2) is mated to Berke and Jack
Whitney Wickham (book 3) is mated to Emmett and Levy
Human Marked (small scar-y thing somewhere on their bodies) can only mate with Alpha Pairs (two alphas to rule a pack).
Single wolves can only mate other single wolves.
Single humans only get humans.
At thirty, if a Marked is unmated, she is required to attend the Gathering to meet Alpha Pairs.
Marked and Alpha Pairs go through a “Test of Proximity” to see if they’re mates.
Werewolf speed dating. Sniff. Does the Mark react? No? Next!
Well, it looks like that NOW. It didn’t look like that before I wrote this blog post since it didn’t exactly exist.
Okay, if you’ve done this, pat yourself on the back. That. Is. Awesome. If you haven’t, go fast like a ninja and jot down some notes. Why? Because you’re gonna start writing and you need a good foundation. We can’t put up the walls on a house without a nice foundation.
Of course, every foundation can endure a few additions. Assume, for example, you introduce a character in book one who is definitely getting their own book. You know it. Period. Full stop. Unfortunately, biologically, she’s nowhere near being able to play within the rules you established. Do yourself a favor, go back and figure out what rules can be massaged so that she can enjoy two men loving. Or, like me, you will write book three in your series four times. Four. Times. The rule I tweaked for book three isn’t listed above because the book is new and I didn’t want to include spoilers in this post. It is, however, appropriately massaged in real life.
Stick with your rules until they become too restrictive for your plans and massage them. One big thing to remember: make sure, even if the rule is massaged later in the series, that the MASSAGING MAKES SENSE! You can’t suddenly decide in book three that red is really blue unless you can sell it to your readers. And I mean, sell it.
So, we’ve got characters, we’ve got rules, and now we just need the fun. Pick your plotting poison and rock on with it. Writing is supposed to be fun and having your characters and rules laid out ahead of time will make it that way.
© Copyright 2013 Celia Kyle
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