Tag Archives: rants


Prologue: What does it mean to your story?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the prologue; as if it were a houseguest I’ve booted and now feel terribly about the fact that it’s raining out.

I’ve written three novels and have published two, and each of them —at one point or another—has contained a prologue. In ERAMANE, the prologue ended up being chapter one, with two parts. That’s one heck of a prologue. But the information—although out of sequence with the timeline for my main character—was absolutely pertinent. Under the advice of my editor, I reworked that prologue and formatted it into the two-part chapter, adding a blank page between it and the rest of the book. There is, however, a little sentence on the page that notates a passage of time. It works well no matter how crappy I’m spelling it out here.

In Blood Soaked Ashes, I begin with a short dream sequence that Eramane is remembering, not actually dreaming. It’s not so much a prologue as it is an emotional slap-in-the-face welcome to book two. But when I started drafting book two, it was a prologue.

In my third book, a sci-fi project that I’m querying, I have a combination introduction. During the drafting stages, I had a one page prologue that gave a bit of info about Earth’s history and what happened to my MC’s parents. Then chapter one begins two years prior to the rest of the book. But this didn’t set well with me as I entered the revision stages. It wasn’t pleasing to the eye and it certainly didn’t appeal to me as a reader. I asked advice from an author friend, who also critiqued the MS. Her opinion was this: scrap that prologue. She suggested that I find a way to incorporate the info into the storyline.

But I didn’t want to scrap it and incorporating it would be sooooooooo time consuming! UGGH! Can’t I just leave it and pray that agents will love my words anyway?

That’s a big NO!

Prologues aren’t meant for info dumps because you can’t find a way to layer your story with its purpose. I’m not going to tell you that you should never use a prologue; they obviously serve a purpose and are used by many authors. But do consider the Why and if it’s justified, roll with it.

Something to consider is a quote. At least this was the direction I took. I was staring at my screen and thinking how in the world do I say all this inside of the story? Part of the prologue was absolutely scrap worthy, so I deleted it immediately. But even after that I was left with nearly four lengthy paragraphs that were integral to the story. Or so I thought. I read those paragraphs over and over until it was memorized. I thought about the words and their meaning to my story and that’s when it hit me. I remembered hearing a quote from a person who is renowned for their science brain and since my story is sci-fi it made this connection. So I used the quote instead of the prologue, because that short sentence lent more relevant content to my story than the four paragraphs I thought were so necessary. No, the quote didn’t tell the backstory to what happened to Earth. That part I did incorporate because a good author will take time to shape their story, even if it means doing a week’s worth of rewrites for just that one component.

I read once where an author said something in the way of If you have a long prologue that is needed to convey the story, maybe you should consider starting your story earlier and build it up from there. Not the exact words and I can’t remember who said this, but it has stuck with me. So, thanks to you, whoever you are.

There are all sorts of opinions on prologues and tips and tricks for writing them. But doesn’t every story begin with a prologue? Even if it’s just one you brainstorm all to yourself?

The Word “Poop” is in This Post. You’re Welcome.

I sat down this morning to write. Whoa, before I get ahead of myself, let me recap the morning.

I woke up promptly at 7:23 a.m.

I let the dog out to pee.

I let myself out to pee.

I made coffee.

I walked into my office.

I sat down to write.

Details of morning happenings complete.

I’ve been working on a new book project (WIP- work in progress) for about three weeks. It’s a different genre than what I normally write—SF/F—so, I was stupid excited when I started it. I played with some plot ideas for the first few days, and then landed on a solid direction. About 10k into the project, I decided I didn’t like the environment/setting/character development (all the essential crap for creating a great story, or, at least, a plausible one.)

So, I scrapped it.

Ouch. And F yeah it hurt! But, I said to myself, “Listen crybaby. It’s only 10K. Get your thumb out of your mouth and begin again!”

So, I brought out my dry erase board and scribble away on it until I was loopy on marker fumes. This process (fun as it was) took precious writing time from me, but I ended up with an even better angle. A super awesome, make your head spin, hell of a twist, angle.

I was stoked.

I was ready to write again. Or so I thought.

In the chair, blank page and flashing cursor staring back at me, I realized I wasn’t quite ready to throw down words.

I had a problem with the location of my story and the setting. So, I did what any writer would do, (Hey! Get out of the corner and lose the security blanket.) I opened Google and started researching a new place. I had one in mind, so I started there. I searched the first area through the town’s website. I researched the community, the police department, the SCENE (you know, it’s most important), the nearby university, and local restaurants and such. I even did a real estate search to find a home in the area I could visualize while writing. That was actually a reverse process. I had an idea of what I wanted the home to look like and where I wanted it. It just so happened that the first house that popped up matched it perfectly. So, I took virtual tours and researched the immediate area the home was built on, side roads, nearest neighbors, you get the picture.

Once I felt like I had a grip on my character’s world, I begin with the wordage again. This time, (up to last night’s work, precisely) I reached nearly 8K. I was happy to have a new direction and be almost back to my drop off point from the earlier draft.

Then, this morning happened.

I sat down to write, and my love for the project had vanished. Even as I write this blog post (which BTW, the whole disappearing love thing is why I’m writing this post and not working on my book project) I have no desire to continue with my WIP.

This is new to me. I’ve completed three novels this far and I’ve not felt this way about any of them. Sure, I had writer’s block a few times, but that’ different. Or is it? I don’t know.

But, I also know that I don’t just let days go without writing something, anything. It keeps me in practice. It helps me short crap out. In a way, this post is doing just that. It’s sorting my poop-coiled brain.

poop brain

While I don’t know if this project will see completion, I’m not devastated. I have other book ideas/sequels to write, and this is a great time to get those started.

If you guys have experienced this, I’d love to hear your story. How did you handle the story divorce? Did you ever rekindle your relationship? Or, did you post nasty things about it on the Internets so that no one else would date your story? My biggest question is… did you ever get your CDs back????

Blood Soaked Ashes Cover Reveal

This post is a few days behind. Let me explain why.

One the morning of the cover reveal for Blood Soaked Ashes (which was Halloween BTW!) I awoke to the strangest of sounds. A thudding noise from the other side of my bedroom wall stirred me from my dreams of lollipop fields and orange juice sunshine. I sat up and listened more closely.

WTF is that? I asked myself, because I was alone, and because my cats can only talk on Tuesdays.

I threw on my housecoat and slid on my slippers and cautiously opened my front door (unfortunately for me the side of my bedroom wall I heard the noises was outside!), so outside I went.

I walked around to the side of my house where my bedroom was and to my astonishment…the vinyl siding was flapping in the wind! So I popped it back into to place and went back to bed.

The End.

I understand that  this story does not explain anything…but I’ve been chillin’ with a toddler since Thursday which has reminded me that explanations needn’t make sense at all.

So here it is…BLOOD SOAKED ASHES!!!!


Title Reveal Giveaway Book Two of the Eramane Saga


With the nearing release of Book Two of the Eramane Saga, Giveaways are in order! I have five SIGNED eBook codes for Eramane, book one and have posted a giveaway on my fan page here. The giveaway begins tonight at midnight and runs for seven days. There will be several more after this one, a cover reveal, and the actual release, so if you miss out on this one it’s ok…there’s more to come. The rules are pretty simple, share the giveaway with your pals.

Keep Calm and Karate Chop Cobwebs

Courtesy of gardek.deviantart.com
Courtesy of gardek.deviantart.com

Toiling away I have been. (Yoda talk is weird when you see it typed out.) Writing more than on WIP is tough, chaotic, tiresome, you know. But the Force is strong in this one (ME!) and it is a must that I work in this way. I don’t know about you guys but having all sorts of ideas sitting upstairs for too long is no fun. I’d rather be cursing at myself during the hours most people sleep than to have stories just waiting around making cobwebs in my skully region.
But we is all different.
Book two (the last book) to the Eramane saga will be heading to my editor soon and its release will be a catharsis for me. I’ve been working on this story for a long time and I’m ready for my fans to know what happens to her and her comrades. So excited!
The title reveal is fast approaching (Oct 13) and the cover reveal will come shortly after. It’s still in its design phase. I have all my focus on getting this book out in time for Black Friday, so that I can get my YA Sci-Fi project out in January 2015 and hopefully get a combined edition of both Eramane books available in February.
Well, the rain just stopped, so I have to go walk my dog.

I’m so fancy…and so on


Hello to every person who happens to stop in and read this!!

I have been hard at work, can’t you see? I hooked my site up so that your eyes don’t dry out and fall from their sockets whilst you are visiting…ain’t it pretty!!!

It took lots of time and research to learn the ins and outs of WordPress, but I think I did a good job, and more importantly I feel the site represents me and not just my work.

So, in the near future, I will post about how I did this redesign, and hopefully give some good advice to those who need it. For those of you who are far superior in your techness, leave a reply and learn me something. To the rest of you who might be first timers leave questions and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

Starting up a site is tough (like putting out a campfire with your face) and I’ve only been at it for fourteen months, but if you are determined, as I ams, then you’ll eventually overcome the crazies of creating your own website/blog/home away from home/…


Blog Changes (sounds like an interesting read right?)

Here’s the deal pickle; this blog will be undergoing some changes.

Not this kind of change.

Some really cool things are happening in my writer world and because of that I am directing all power from my brain cells to my work. Because of this…

I will be converting my blog to the website for my works.  There will still be a Blog tab, but I will be using it for write-ups on events and such. But….

If you truly dig what I do and want to keep riding the Frankie Ash train, hook up with me on Twitter and Instagram (author_frankie_ash). Also….

I am working on a newsletter that I would like to send out on the regular, so when I get that ready to go, I will post here to direct you guys where you can go to email sign up. Ya dig?

While I have your attention (and if I don’t…HELLOOOO!!!) I would like to tell you guys to look out for the August issue of Sci Fi magazine. ERAMANE will be in it!!!!! And, if you happen to live in/around/other prepositions that work the Winchester, VA area, the lovely folks at Winchester Book Gallery are hosting a signing for ERAMANE August 16th at 3p.m.

If you don’t preposition that area, look for future announcements on my events in the D.C. area.