Okay. I’m employing the lazy method of updating.

1. I’m on my first round of editing for Red December Skies. And can I just say that if I see another ‘finally’ or ‘wondered’ again, I will cry? I know many authors use certain words way too many times, and mine are apparently those two (and a whole lot more). I definitely relied too much on adverbs when I was working on December. But I know better now, and I am cutting out the deadwood. Adelante!

2. I’ve finally decided to read the Wake series by Lisa McMann. I was sort of hesitant initially because it’s written in a sort of third-person diary form (with distracting times and dates) and the writing style was sort of disjointed and curt. For example:

January 1, 2006, 1:31 a.m.

Janie sprints through the snowy yards from two streets away and slips quietly through the front door of her house.

And then.

Everything goes black.

She grips her head, cursing her mother under her breath as the whirling kaleidoscope of colors builds and throws her off balance. She bumps against the wall and holds on, and then slowly lowers herself blindly to the floor as her fingers go numb. The last thing she needs is to crack her head open. Again.

She’s too tired to fight it right now. Too tired to pull herself out of it. Plants her cheek on the cold tile floor. Gathers her strength so she can try later, in case the dream doesn’t end quickly.

Breathes.

Watches.

It makes for easy reading, and I know she’s trying to create immediacy, but the curt sentences can get a little annoying after a while. Still, that’s not the main point.

I’m reading Fade now, the second of the Wake series, because I couldn’t find the first one in the library today. And my heart plummeted after I learnt what the book is about. Because its premise sounds like my Dream-catchers. In fact, the main character in the series is a dream-catcher. Oh, they’re different of course, McMann’s dream-catcher and mine, but the idea is still there. I realised that dreams are not an uncommon theme for fantasy fiction. Take Inception, for example. Dream-hacking. And Wake: ditto. Mine doesn’t really dabble in crime/thriller like those two, but the idea is still there. I don’t want people to think I copied their ideas or anything.

Anyway, I decided to read McMann’s series. Because one of the most common advice literary agents and editors give to writers is to read widely in your genre and out of your genre. Know what books and ideas are out there so that you can come up with something entirely original and fresh. So call this market research. That said, I’m enjoying Fade so far.

School’s starting next week, by the way! Does it make me a geek to be excited about the things I’m going to learn this coming semester?

Oh, who am I kidding. I am a geek.

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Okay. Tell me if you’d want to read on if you picked up a book with this opening:

When people die, they slip into another world.

When they lose consciousness, however, they reside – or are trapped in, depending on how you choose to look at it – in an in-between state, a limbo zone, sort of an intermediate holding room. In this zone, you can feel the worlds of the living and the dead both pulling at you, demanding a piece of you.

Dreams are just a step away from insanity, just like how the living is just a mere breath away from the kingdom of the dead.

In a way, dreaming is no different from being dead.

In both instances, you are robbed of your soul temporarily. In dreaming, you lose it until you wake up; in dying, you lose it until you move on to where you should go to.

And in both instances, you experience some form of freedom. It is only in death that your soul is set free from your earthly vessel. It is only in dreams that your mind is truly free.

So how would you know if you were dead or dreaming? Who can differentiate between the two?

Would you?? It’s my opening for The Dreamcatchers, my third attempt at a fantasy/supernatural novel.