The right hand of the dominant mob family, Raine Morgan is tasked with hunting down two miscreants messing with the bottom line. He finds them on the docks, but, in the confusion of the fight, accidentally kills their victim and lets them escape. Horrified at what he's done, Raine seeks redemption as well as revenge.
Things spiral out of control when a greedy middleman overthrows Raine's mob organization. It's only with the help of a friend inside the crumbling mob as well as a streetwise artist that Raine remains undetected as he searches for the men who started this all. Raine doesn’t realize, however, he has caught the attention of a disparate conclave of gods in the process.
As the pantheon returns to the city they'd abandoned, old conflicts re-emerge, causing divine civil war. Both sides try to pull Raine to their side, expecting to find a naive god for them to manipulate. Instead, they find a man stripped of everything, intent on playing both sides as they learn an awful reality - even gods can die.
Writing tips to new authors
This is going to be the simplest advice, but no one will believe me: Don’t edit while writing your novel.
There’s the allowance for the occasional change here and there, but for full-blown, correct-your-errors revisions, that is not in the cards. Instead, you should be focused on getting as much as you can on the page. Once you type, The End, then you can edit. Until then, you are a slave to the story, wherever that takes you. There may be false starts and chapters that go nowhere, but as long as you are moving forward, those can be cut away later.
It’s the most important rule when writing novel-length prose.
As for other things, it’s all about what you hold dear in your fiction.
For me, I prefer stories that respect the reader, that allow for the readers to interpret events, actions, and conversations and tell how the characters live in the world and what they believe. If a character never meets another’s eyes, disregards them, and walks away without looking at them, what does that tell you? For me, there’s no respect there. Maybe they feel inferior. I don’t need definite answers, just the hint at something deeper going on – something that reveals to me that this character inhabits the world. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with me, but that’s the beauty of fiction.
Another thing to keep a look out for in your writing is internal dialogue or memory scenes. Internal dialogue a lot of the time fills in a tensionless scene in an attempt to plug those holes with something worthwhile. This would be along the lines of having two characters start talking at a party, while the conversation seems pleasant enough, the POV character spends time wondering why this person has chosen to talk to them. Memory scenes are essentially a character walking into a room, remembering their past, then moving on. These are different than flashbacks, but, if thinking in terms of a movie, it would be the character walking across the room, leaning into a railing, and standing there looking wistful for five-ten minutes, then moving on with their day. Nothing is happening, nothing has resolved – it’s just a character thinking. Not very interesting at the end of the day.
There’s so many more thing I could talk about, but, as I said, it’s all about what you hold dear when it comes to fiction.
Vents flushed and opened with a rush of steam. Hot enough to melt skin, the air sang to Marise, a beacon leading her home. She turned her head above to the tram line to the pipes and searched for her hole. As she approached her outpost, she slowed and scoped the scene. It was just about time for the dregs of society to pour out into the street. If she was found, well . . . she shuddered. The best outcome would be her being ousted by a city worker. Every other thought left her gripping the blade in her pocket, until her hand ached from the constant pressure.
She peered over her shoulder, found no one in sight. She shifted the bag's strap across her chest and began to climb. Moonlight caressed her as she climbed, hand after hand wrapped around the beams. Faint conversation hit her ears. She paused, wedged between two pipes. Flashing neon from local bars flashed in her periphery. She shot quick glances to each side but saw no one.
She shifted her grip, yelped. Withdrawing her hand, she saw the jagged remains of a twisted bolt. She cursed herself for not paying attention, thankful it was her non-dominant hand. She tried to inspect the wound in the exuberant neons. She fought through the pain, clenching her hand. Blood flowed through fist. She wiped it on her bag.
A giggle came from street level as a couple emerged from between the beams of the landing.
Justin D. Herd is a Fantasy Noir author, who has been writing novels for ten years. He absolutely loves dark, twisted stories that take readers into unexpected places. Horror movies are his passion and he often takes stories to task for not logically thinking out their concepts. His home has been invaded by three eccentric cats, one of which is obssesed with all things digital. He is married with two children.
Justin D. Herd will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.