Raevenly is Writing: Research

I spent the better part of tonight doing nothing.

That’s not true, but that’s how it felt. What I did was spend two and a half hours wandering google, trying to find the right questions to ask to figure out how my main character lives. It’s an important question, and daily life of the D’anhkkhna is one of the main reasons I set out to write this story.

But I hate that I “wasted” my writing time wandering google, so after researching, spending all night at work thinking on what I researched, and a batch of chocolate chip cookies (totally a necessity), I give you: not enough to show for all this effort. 😛 But I know my setting better now, and so it was worth it. I hope.

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Raevenly is Writing: Kortan short

I follow a lot of writing prompt blogs on Tumblr, for those days I just can’t get my motor going. Came around one the other day I really liked, and I really liked the snippet that came of it, so have some more Kortan.

“Write about a journey that takes longer than the stay at the destination.” – dropkickwritersblock

The journey to and from the summit took over a fortnight, near half a month spent away from the work in the fields. But to see the stars on this certain peak on this certain night… Kortan’s father swore it would be worth it. Kortan’s eleven-year-old feet did not agree. His younger sister could ride—and so could he, if he would swallow his pride and shift—but he walked for all eight days on his own two feet, more or less.

The Lover’s Tears, they called it, when Li’Daea wept for her sister and her lover both, one descended into the underworld to retrieve the other. Kortan didn’t know about all that, but he knew the sweetbreads they carried with them were made from the first of the summer’s wheat and the last of the summer’s berries. And that he wasn’t to have any until the best of them had been given up in thanks, a symbolic well-wishing for Dareiya’s long journey.

Surely, it couldn’t be any longer than their own.

But the great bonfire of the camp at the top of the peak was the biggest he’d ever seen, and he met a girl with hair like spun copper who stole from him his first kiss, and the sweetbreads made by the distant caravans were even better than the ones he’d coveted on the trip up.

And then the stars began to fall.

Great swathes of starlight, racing across the sky and leaving shimmering trails in their wake. Hundreds of hundreds of stars, more than he thought were even in the sky, falling and falling, crashing from one end of the sky to the other. From the peak, they could see all the way to the sea, see as the weeping stars fell past the horizon, into the dark waters of the dead. It filled him with awe, and terror.

Kortan never forgot those stars. Even as he fell through the darkness himself, he knew himself to be a star, a tear that Li’Daea herself had wept.

Raevenly is Writing: Kortan opening

So I’m slowly coming to admit to myself that the best way to get to know my world is to write and write and write and write and write, then write some more. And that A LOT of what I write will be unusable. Not useless, because it’s teaching me about my world (and my craft, obviously), but unusable, because not every story is tidy. Some things are big rambly messes that never resolve, have no real structure, and don’t interest anyone but me.

I’m working on one of those.

I’ve needed to understand the serpent world of the dead for a long time, and basic differences between ancient and modern serpent culture, how those cultures relate to other cultures, and so on. Fascinating stuff, to me, but probably won’t ever make a good novel.

But novel writing is what I know, so rather than trying to write a faux scholarly piece, or bullet listed notes, or whatever works for other people, I found a hobbit. Not a proper hobbit, but a character to explore the wide world with. Enter Kortan (working name, but I think I like it), a black scaled serpent who spend a few decades (centuries?) wandering the realm of the dead.

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Teaser Tuesday Dreams in the Desert part 4

This week’s #TeaserTuesday brings us to my favorite part of the dreams in the desert.


It’s just a dance, he told himself. Just one stupid little dance you’ve practiced a hundred times. With his nerves this ramped up, he was just as likely to call the fire on accident as with the ceremonial dance. Either way, the central fire would be lit for the year, and his people’s prosperity would be assured.

The only real question was whether or not his dignity would survive the winter.


It was only a matter of time before I let myself really dig deep into the serpent village of the past. I still hold Raith as one of my absolute favorite characters, and it saddens me every time that I can’t bring him back somehow.

Except, ya know, in flashbacks. 😛

So tune in Saturday for more about Raith, ancient serpent rituals, and cakes that taste like dirt.

Teaser Tuesday Chapter 12 part 3

This week’s #TeaserTuesday just plain makes me smile.


This. This is what a nest was about. The marriage of their joy, building and exalting into something more, wrapping them in a sense of good will that did much to soothe his raw aura.


It makes me so happy to see Naj finally settling into his own skin–in no small part because it meant I was finally getting him  settled in my own head. Naj is without a doubt the most difficult character for me to write, but I love him so. So to see him finally coming into his own, just makes me smile. Saturday’s Update is a nice bastion peace, before all hell breaks loose.

Teaser Tuesday Chapter 12 part 2

This week’s #TeaserTuesday sums up the new chapter pretty well in a tidy little nutshell.


“Are you trying to say that I literally danced the illusions into existing? That isn’t possible.”

“Yes! That is it exactly.”

A triumphant smile ghosted across his face, eaten almost immediately by a frown at her negation. “You stood with me beneath a rainstorm of your own making, and you tell me it did not happen?”


Nica’s have a bit of a hard time wrapping her mind around reality. Naj can’t quite seem to get his point across, but lucky for you readers, that just means he’ll explain and over explain until he’s certain Nica gets it. Check out Saturday’s Update for some tasty world building tidbits, and lot of new pri’mn words!