Blog · Originals

“Good Enough” Chapter 1 Teaser

The beat of the music reverberated through Charlie’s chest. Her senses were confused in this atmosphere; between the alcohol, sweat, and various perfumes, she almost couldn’t breathe. It was dark, except for the colorful lasers and lights cutting through the crowd at random. The only solid light was a faint glow from the bar. 

Charlie followed Misha to the bar and watched her slip between a cluster of people waiting for their drinks. She looked around the busy club; tall round tables and stools separated the bar from the dance floor. When Charlie squinted, she could see only what she could assume is the VIP section: velvet ropes, large men in suits at the entrance, beautiful waitresses, and people dressed in outfits that cost more than her salary seated on plush-looking couches. What’s it like-.

Misha spun around and held a full shot glass in front of Charlie’s face. “Drink up!” To Misha’s surprise, Charlie grabbed the glass and downed the shot quickly.

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“Good Enough” – Quinn Intro

Basic Statistics

Name: Quinn Kwan-Ryung

Age: 29

Nationality: Korean

Socioeconomic Level as a child: Wealthy

Socioeconomic Level as an adult: Wealthy

Hometown: Gangnam 

Current Residence: Penthouse of The Victoria in fictional city or Seoul

Occupation: Son of the head of the Kwan-Ryung crime organization. 

Income: Loads

Talents/Skills: Manipulation. 🙃 Artist, painter

Birth order: Youngest child

Sibling: 1 sister, Ara

Parents: I wrote about them in other notes, but I’m thinking they’re both prominent business people with gang ties.

Significant Others (describe relationship): Marcus.

Relationship skills: Suave. He knows what he’s doing, but gets bored quickly. He likes drama and it impacts his love life greatly.

Physical Characteristics:

Height: 6’1″

Weight: Unsure, but lean and lanky.

Race: Korean

Eye Color: Dark brown

Hair Color: Blue

Glasses or contact lenses? No

Skin color: Pale

Shape of Face: V Shape

Distinguishing features: Blue hair

How does he/she dress? Wealthy trendy.

Mannerisms: stoic. Clenches jaw when stressed or angry. 

Habits: (smoking, drinking etc.) I cant remember if he smokes lol

Health: Good

Hobbies: Painting, playing video games 

Favorite Sayings: NA

Speech patterns: NA

Disabilities: NA

Style (Elegant, shabby etc.): Trendy

Greatest flaw: Doesn’t always see the consequences down the line

Best quality: Loyal

Intellectual/Mental/Personality Attributes and Attitudes

Educational Background: Private school. Diploma. College

Intelligence Level: Very smart.

Any Mental Illnesses? Unsure

Learning Experiences: Unsure

Character’s short-term goals in life: to get whatever he wants in that momenr

Character’s long-term goals in life: Power.

How does Character see himself/herself? Charming, attractive

How does Character believe he/she is perceived by others? Charming, attractive

How self-confident is the character? Very. 

Does the character seem ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof? Emotion

What would most embarrass this character? Not much

Emotional Characteristics

Strengths/Weaknesses: Doesn’t always think of consequences

Introvert or Extrovert? Extrovert

How does the character deal with anger? Sadist

With sadness? 

With conflict?

With change?

With loss?

What does the character want out of life? To successfully take over “the family business”, but unsure if that his true calling or just battling a need for approval from his parents

What would the character like to change in his/her life? Mulling this one over. Maybe real love from his family or real love from a romantic interest  

What motivates this character? Lust, greed

What frightens this character? Mortality.

What makes this character happy? His friends, getting his way, gaming 

Is the character judgmental of others? Yes

Is the character generous or stingy? Generous

Is the character generally polite or rude? Polite to friends. Rude to enemies. 

How the Character is Involved in the Story

Character’s role in the novel (main character? hero? heroine? Romantic interest? etc.): Romantic interest’s pseudo-brother

Scene where character first appears: Night club

How character is different at the end of the novel from when the novel began: Humbled.

Additional Notes on This Character:

Blog · Originals

“Good Enough” – Charlie Intro

Main Character…

Name: Charlotte Woods

Alias: Charlie

Age: 27

Nationality: Korean-America

Socioeconomic Level as a child: Middle Class

Socioeconomic Level as an adult: Poor

Hometown: Itaewon-dong

Current Residence: Fictional city suburb

Occupation: Web design and web sales department of a marketing firm

Income: decent. But paying off debt and school, so living modestly

Talents/Skills: Strategic. Good with her hands. Likes to build computers and play around with electronics. 

Siblings: None

Parents:

Dad: Robert Woods. U.S. Army Ranger. Stationed in Korea. Retired.

Mom: Ji-Yu Cha-Woods (first name means rich and wise. Last name means Chariot). School teacher. Still teaching.

Grandparents (describe relationship): Good. Ji-Yu’s mom lives with them. Robert and his parents use to travel every few years to each other. They now use technology to keep in touch.

Significant Others (describe relationship): Ex-fiance Nathan Cole was verbally and emotionally abusive. They met in high school when she was feeling her most uncomfortable with her body. As they grew up, he grew cruel. They went to the same college, but due to different course studies, were never around each other. Insistent on having their own apartment, but being unable to work because of his education, Charlie worked hard while taking classes. He used this as a way to separate their lives. Very charming and social, he was always at “study group”. He never hosted at their apartment and he never introduced her to his friends. Seeing some beautiful girls fawn over him at school and speaking up, their relationship took a darker turn toward physical abuse.

Her computer science teacher, Professor Ram, had loved Charlie’s skill and felt a connection to take her under her wing. She had noticed Charlie losing weight, blemishes on her skin more often, dark circles around her eyes. She had tried to discuss her physical health with Charlie, but she would always change the conversation. But when Nathan raped Charlie, she decided to end things for good. Charlie’s parents gave her what money they could afford to help Charlie leave, but it wouldn’t be quite enough. Professor Ram, having no children of her own, gladly handed Charlie the funds and helped her find a small apartment away from the school and helped convert her to online classes. Charlie, wanting to cut ties and move on, left while Nathan was in classes. She left enough money to get him though 1 month on his own and a note that said “don’t contact me or my family or I’ll tell everyone what you’ve been doing. I have proof.” She had taken pictures of her bruises and before the last incident. She wanted to leave and was afraid things would get worse before she left, and that no one would believe her, so she set up a secret camera in the apartment. She caught the violent on camera. She kept the footage secured. If he ever found her and wouldn’t leave, she wanted it as leverage. 

Our story 2 years after her leaving him and 1 year after her BS is complete.

Relationship skills: Awkward. Trust issues. Abandonment issues. Yet hopeless romantic. Head and heart fight a lot.

Physical Characteristics:

Height: 5’5″

Weight: 210

Race: Korean-American

Eye Color: Green

Hair Color: Dark blonde

Glasses or contact lenses? No

Skin color: Pale

Shape of Face: Rounded

Distinguishing features: freckles across her nose and cheeks. Eyes are bright green

How does he/she dress? Modestly. Loose fitting clothes.

Mannerisms: she bites her lip a lot. She has a hard time making eye contact. 

Habits: (smoking, drinking etc.)

Health: Average. She doesn’t necessarily take care of herself, but she doesn’t eat a lot of unhealthy things. Naturally thick.

Hobbies: Video games. Reading. Modifying computers.

Favorite Sayings: 

Speech patterns: 

Disabilities: None

Style (Elegant, shabby etc.): Shabby chic. Cute, not filthy.

Greatest flaw: 

Best quality: Loyal

Intellectual/Mental/Personality Attributes and Attitudes

Educational Background: B.S. in computer science

Intelligence Level: not quite a “genius”, but smart.

Any Mental Illnesses? Anxiety. Trauma.

Learning Experiences: see Significant Other

Character’s short-term goals in life: Pay off debt. Move into nicer apartment.

Character’s long-term goals in life: 

How does Character see himself/herself? She lacks self-confidence, so when she does think she’s cute, she often gets uncomfortable. 

How does Character believe he/she is perceived by others? They see that she’s cute.

How self-confident is the character? Not at all

Does the character seem ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof? More logic.

What would most embarrass this character? To be vulnerable. For others to know that she let a man do what Nathan did to her.

Emotional Characteristics

Strengths/Weaknesses:

Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert

How does the character deal with anger? Shuts down. Hides.

With sadness? 

With conflict?

With change? Adaptable.

With loss? Does not take the necessary steps to grieve. Would be too focused on the logistics of the situation. 

What does the character want out of life? To be financially stable and confident in herself.

What would the character like to change in his/her life? She would like to love herself. She would like to finish paying off the remaining debt to finally get rid of Nathan.

What motivates this character? Money 

What frightens this character? Men. Money. Loneliness. Failure.

What makes this character happy? Video games. Cats. Food. Friends and family.

Is the character judgmental of others? No.

Is the character generous or stingy? Stingy, but will help others

Is the character generally polite or rude? Polite 

Spiritual Characteristics

Does the character believe in God? No

What are the character’s spiritual beliefs? Atheist

Is religion or spirituality a part of this character’s life?

If so, what role does it play?

How the Character is Involved in the Story

Character’s role in the novel (main character? hero? heroine? Romantic interest? etc.): main character. 

Scene where character first appears: listening to music, working on a client’s website

Relationships with other characters: 

1. Character’s Name (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel): Misha. Wealthy best friend. Loyal. Loves men and Charlie. She sees Charlie as a smart, capable, beautiful woman and has no problem telling her. Misha helps pull Charlie out of her shell. Misha is Charlie’s only friend, Charlie is Misha’s favorite friend.

2. Character’s Name (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel): Caleb. Love interest. She’s ever changing around him. She’s shy, but speaks her mind. She lets herself be vulnerable around him, but does not let him into her past.

How character is different at the end of the novel from when the novel began: Confident. Loved. 

Additional Notes on This Character:

Blog · Originals

“Good Enough” – Caleb Character Intro

Here’s my lazy attempt (I know, self-deprecation isn’t cool) at filling out a character profile for the love interest in my WIP.

(Fans of Midnight Poppyland will be happy to know that Tora was one of Caleb’s inspirations.)

Other inspirations include Can Yaman (Turkish model/actor), Brendan Lai (British-Chinese model)

Basic Statistics

Name: Caleb (last name being worked)

Age: 29

Nationality: Leaning towards Korean

Socioeconomic Level as a child: Poor

Socioeconomic Level as an adult: Wealthy

Hometown: Unknown Ghetto

Current Residence: Penthouse of The Victoria in fictional city

Occupation: Enforcer of the Kwan-Ryung crime organization. (Kwan means strong. Ryung means bright)

Income: Loads

Talents/Skills: Cooking. Shutting off his humanity and hurting people. Parkour. Hand-to-hand combat.

Birth order: Orphaned. No known family. 

Significant Others (describe relationship): None currently. 

Relationship skills: Barely. Does not get emotionally invested. Relationships are generally need based. Has had very few. Has a “women take away focus” philosophy. 

Physical Characteristics:

Height: 6’3″

Weight: Unsure, but more lean muscle than bulky

Race: Not mentioned specifically, so still debating.

Eye Color: Light brown, caramel almost

Hair Color: dark brown, almost black

Glasses or contact lenses? Contacts out. Wears glasses at home.

Skin color: Always looks sun-kissed

Shape of Face: Square. Sharp angles.

Distinguishing features: Eyes look unnatural

How does he/she dress? Wealthy trendy.

Mannerisms: stoic. Clenches jaw when stressed or angry. 

Habits: (smoking, drinking etc.) I cant remember if he smokes lol

Health: very good health. Livelihood depends on it.

Hobbies: Reading. Also, I like to think he secretly loves kdramas. 

Favorite Sayings: 

Speech patterns: 

Disabilities:

Style (Elegant, shabby etc.): Trendy

Greatest flaw: Over-protective. The whole organized crime thing.

Best quality: Loyalty.

Intellectual/Mental/Personality Attributes and Attitudes

Educational Background: Private school. Diploma. 

Intelligence Level: Very smart.

Any Mental Illnesses? Buried trauma. Rage issues.

Learning Experiences: A rough life.

Character’s short-term goals in life: Whatever his employer needs.

Character’s long-term goals in life: whatever his employer needs.

How does Character see himself/herself? An intimidating brute.

How does Character believe he/she is perceived by others? An intimidating brute.

How self-confident is the character? Very. 

Does the character seem ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof? Logic

What would most embarrass this character? To fail his employer

Emotional Characteristics

Strengths/Weaknesses:

Introvert or Extrovert? Extroverted Introvert

How does the character deal with anger? Punches things. Works out. Pretty much all negative emotions 

With sadness? 

With conflict?

With change?

With loss?

What does the character want out of life? To not feel lonely. To not feel reliant on others.

What would the character like to change in his/her life? He sometimes wants to take the wealth he has and retire in another city. 

What motivates this character? His childhood. His employer. 

What frightens this character? His employer. 

What makes this character happy? 

Is the character judgmental of others? He can be. It’s part of his job

Is the character generous or stingy? Generous

Is the character generally polite or rude? Polite to some. Rude to enemies. 

How the Character is Involved in the Story: love interest. Job and acquaintances

Character’s role in the novel (main character? hero? heroine? Romantic interest? etc.): Romantic interest

Scene where character first appears: Night club

Relationships with other characters:

1. Character’s Name (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel): Quinn. Employer’s son. Best friend. Went to school “together” (employer had him go to protect Quinn. But cared about Caleb’s grades). Roommates. Very open with each other. 

How character is different at the end of the novel from when the novel began: He’s softer. Finds actual meaning in himself and his own life outside of his violent upbringing.

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WIP – In Summary

I’ve been having a rough “few days”… But like I said in my last post, I still want to start opening up about my favorite Work in Progress. So here goes nothing…

It’s an Adult Fiction. Main characters range in late 20’s-early 30’s. The setting is a modern fictional world. I was thinking about creating fictional cities around Seoul, South Korea. This is all outside of my comfort zone. I’m use to writing in fully fictional worlds where the laws of logic don’t actually matter. But here’s a story where the environment, the technology, the food are actually going to play a huge role to help ground it in reality. Also, I tend to be a Tell, not Show person… So the sights, sounds, and smells of the environment aren’t something I always delve into. And as I write this, I’m thinking of the last scene I wrote that involves food and I never mentioned once about how anything smelled lol.

I know it sounds really crazy and I don’t need to focus on every little blade of grass, but if I don’t push myself, then I’m never going to improve.

Okay, so now that we have the setting out of the way, who are my characters? Eh, I’ll save that part for another post. 😋

Featured image courtesy of ischooladvisor.com

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Safely share WIPs?

So I have 3 adult fiction works in progress. I’m trying to build a web presence, but the idea of rejection or works being stolen has prohibited me from sharing non-fanfiction pieces openly.

I’ve been feeling a little more open and brave lately, my own site and blogging should hint towards that. But does posting it here even protect my work? I genuinely don’t know. I’m not in a position to have a lawyer on retainer (I can be overdramatic, I know this), so it’s tough to get any real confirmation of anything from the internet.

Also, my WIPs are nowhere near completed, so even if I started sharing, they could drastically change. I just don’t know how to properly do all of this when I’m fighting anxiety and paranoia.

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Writing Woes

I finally put up chapter one of my WIP on Patreon. Of course it’s behind a tier because I’m too afraid of rejection to actually show anyone.

I’ve also been so stressed yet (yay holiday season) that I haven’t even written anymore because I can’t focus on anything for more than 2 seconds, which stresses me out. (Yay whatever is going on in my brain that I’m too lazy and stressed out to talk to a professional about)

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Hung up on the name

So in my Writing Thoughts post, I mentioned my newer WIP… And even though it’s nowhere near complete, I find myself unable to name it… and it weirdly impedes progress sometimes. Is that just a dumb procrastinator thing? Do others get this way about the title?

Ugh. so frustrated. Feeling creatively blocked.

In the Dark

In the Dark – Chapter 3

Siobhan stood on shaky legs, slinging the worn satchel over her shoulder. Margot had begun to walk swiftly back to the village.  Flowers spilled from the pouch as Siobhan lifted the basket that Margot had dropped. 

Siobhan’s heart pounded. There was an emptiness in the air without the barrier. Their magic was strong. Her hands trembled as she thought of Brenna. Siobhan sprinted to catch up to Margot, who had begun to jog. 

Margot looked over her shoulder to Siobhan, her eyes wide with worry. Both women were passed their prime, but they ignored the strain against their bodies, as they started to run towards sudden billowing smoke.

●●●●●●●●●●●

Weak from the strenuous return, Margot collapsed to her knees at the sight of their ravaged village. The doors of her neighbors’ homes were broken. Fences were littered with blood. The men and women she had known and loved her entire life had been reduced to corpses. Their bodies strewn about the road and their lawns without care.Breathless and biting her lip, Margot watched the Clayborsons’ house burn through tear-blurred vision.

The basket of wildflowers slipped from Siobhan’s fingers. Her heart pounded as she raced to her small home with hopes that her daughter managed to escape whatever horror fell upon their land. She gasped as she tripped over an arm. She forced held not to gag as she realized there was no body near. For a moment she wondered if it would have been worse to see the owner’s fear-stricken face before reaching her home. 

Siobhan stood before the threshold and  stared at the oak door, afraid of what she would find on the other side. The sound of Margot calling to anyone left alive began to fade away; all Siobhan could hear now was the sound of her heart pumping in her tightening chest. 

She closed her eyes and pushed against the heavy door. Holding her breath, she opened her eyes only to have that very breath viciously pulled from her lungs. Her daughter was still and silent on the living room floor.

The sight of Brenna, unmoving, on the floor lifted the air from Siobhan’s lungs. Her brain was unable to process the gruesome scene before her fast enough as she stood just as still and silent. Disbelief and reality fought for her mind. Tears too heavy to be held in her eyes began rolling down her flushed cheeks. Siobhan fell to her knees at her daughter’s side. She bit her lip and clenched her fists; the air in her lungs too shallow to let out the screams she could hear in her head. 

Ill with ideas,  Siobhan tried to ignore the bits of pale skin peeking through Brenna’s torn. Siobhan slid her hands under her, pulling her stiffening body close.. She held her daughter to her chest, stroking her hair with trembling hands. Siobhan kissed Brenna’s head, her thick hair muffling the sobs. 

“No.” Margot stood in the entryway, her face wet with tears. She had seen enough brutality today, finding the entire village in shambles, all of their friends now corpses. She knelt by Siobhan and wrapped her arms around the broken woman’s shoulders. Margot wondered if they will ever move on from such tragedy; Siobhan wondered if her heart will even survive the night.

In the Dark

In the Dark – Chapter 2

Brenna finished attaching the eyelets to the back of white dress she’d sewn for the birthday ritual. She tried not to think of how tonight she’d have to hear wielder after wielder give her sappy “your powers will come” speeches as they look to her with pity. She sighed, thinking about it anyway.

Most wielders started showing their powers around puberty. But it came and went and there’s still no touch of magic. She can’t even feel it; the subtle hum of power that every other wielder has described. Brenna had tried so hard and so long at magic practice until she eventually gave up. Now a young adult, the world outside of their small town was beckoning her. There was more beyond the trees and meadows and she wanted to discover it.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, putting her focus back into her dress. She threaded the eyelets with a thick white satin lace and held it in front of her.

“Alright, now let’s make sure it fits.” She aloud to herself to drown out her own thoughts as she stepped into the dress. She struggled for the laces in the back and cinched the waist before making a sloppy bowtie.

She spun in front of her bedroom mirror, craning her neck to see as much of her back as she could. “Niiice. Good job, Brenna.” She pranced around the empty house in her bare feet, excited that at least something about tonight would go her way. 

Brenna looked at the map of Dorinda she’d pinned to her wall, her fingers tracing the rivers from Kaern to nearby cities. “One day.” She whispered. When she was ready, when she knew her mother was ready, she’d find a place where magic didn’t matter. Where she could be normal.

She jumped at the sudden burst of screams outside of her window. Reckless and brave as usual, she rushed to the door, heart pounding, adrenaline pumping. She swung open the door, greeted by a pair scarred and dirty faces with wicked grins. 

“Oh, well, hello.” One man slithered as the other began to reach toward her arm. 

Brenna whipped the door closed as hard as she could and began to run to her room. The man who reached toward her grunted in pain as the door closed on his forearm.  She locked her door and opened her window, the odor of burning wood stung her nostrils. She could hear shouting, swords clanging. She lifted her dress, feeling sick as the doorknob began to rattle. She swung one leg outside of the window, but they were already inside. The strangers’ hands were on her, pulling her back into her room. She struggled and managed to catch one of the men off guard, her knee landing between his legs. She pushed off of the window sill and knocked the other man over. She slipped out of her room. She didn’t expect them to be so quick.

One man caught her hair in the hallway and pulled her back against him. His other arm tight around her chest. Brenna let out blood curdling scream and clawed at his hands. The other man slipped around her and grabbed her jaw. “We can make this real easy for you or real hard.” He laughed, unbuckling his belt with his free hand.

“Get off!” Brenna shouted as she kicked the man’s leg. 

“C’mon, Barker, show this lass how we handle uncooperative women.” The man behind her chuckled in her ear.

The one called Barker cupped her breasts. Brenna shouted for help. The man behind her kicked the back of her knees. She began to cry as she swung her arms wildly, but Barker wrestled her onto her back. Her nails were red with blood from the scars she left on their faces and arms. She continued to thrash, but they pinned her limbs. Unwanted fingers touched her pale skin through tears in her dress. She screamed until her throat was raw.

“You fucking pigs.” A deep voice echoed throughout the hall. Eyes wide with panic, then two mean whipped their heads and looked toward the living room. 

With wide strides, the man towered over her attackers before they could move. He scowled and effortlessly lifted the men to their feet by the backs of their shirts. “Put your dicks back. No one wants to see that.” He pushed them toward the open doorway. “Go.” 

Brenna looked up with blurry eyes as she sat up. The light from the entryway gave the mysterious man a soft halo. For a moment she was awestruck as the tears cleared. 

He reached down and pulled her to her feet by her underarms.  beautiful with unruly dark hair. He smelled like a wildfire. His black unruly hair and deep blue eyes paled his skin.

Brenna stumbled as she tried to get her footing on her sudden sore ankle. She caught the leather strap of his single pauldron that crossed his chest. He was sturdy, barely moving as she steadied herself against him.

“Easy.” His hands gripped her upper arms. 

Brenna looked up through locks of stray hair. He brushed back her hair, surprised by the sting of familiar features. He eyes moved around her face, soaking in every freckle, every blemish. He didn’t remember reaching for her skin, but he palmed her jaw gently losing himself her soft brown eyes.

               Brenna’s heart pounded in her chest. The silence between them rang painfully in her ears. She was confused, aroused, curious, yet unable to do or say anything. She was frozen in his grasp.

“Don’t. Just let her go.” A gentle voice came from the doorway. 

The man holding her blinked, his eyes suddenly seeming colder. He’d spoken to the voice without taking his eyes off of her “Fine.” A quick jerk is all it took. The snap of her neck echoed in the silence, followed by the sound of her limp body against the old wooden floor. 

Samuel winced. “That’s not what I meant.”

Alaric stepped over Brenna’s corpse, looking around her small house, “Did you find what we came here for?”

Samuel sighed, “Nope. Not here. It appears our source was mistaken.”

Alaric scoffed, “Mistaken, I’m sure.”

Samuel broke the silence during their walk back to the caravan. “That girl, you shouldn’t have-“

“It doesn’t matter now.”

“But she looked just like-”

“Sam,” Alaric sighed and rolled his eyes, “It doesn’t matter.”