WMHB: The Internet-friendly Guard

We’ve been working on the edits of the Evenfall rewrites this weekend. We broke the book into quadrants so we’ve been working on different chapters. I’m editing a scene in Evenfall chapter 22, and I cannot tell you how much I want to write something in dialogue I really just can’t do. But if I can’t stick it in story, at least I can blog about it.

Behind a cut for spoilers in Evenfall chapter 22.

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(Not So Very) Important Conversations: Poor Boyd

Two separate conversations, yesterday and today.

9/28/2013

Ais:  good idea to use scrivener
Santino:  i know im so smart
dont you wish you were this smart
Ais:  every moment of my life
Santino:  too bad
Ais:  i know
i should probably just kill myself and let you do all the editing yourself
Santino:  you are emo
Ais:  lol i thought you were going to say “Okay, Boyd”
Santino:  LOL

9/29/2013

Ais:  it wouldnt bother you if i did that?
sweet im totally doing that
Santino:  why would i care
Ais:  idk
Santino:  i care about barely anything
im basically boyd
Ais:  lol
Santino:  but ghetto

Poor Boyd. He gets no respect.

 

(Not So Very) Important Conversations: How April Fool’s epilogue didn’t become a thing

(Not So Very) Important Conversations, or NSVIC, are excerpts from joking conversations Sonny and I had during the process of writing, editing, or otherwise working on ICoS.

This one is a joke about Fade’s epilogue, and even though I don’t think it contains spoilers past mid-Afterimage I’m still putting it behind a cut just in case.

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What Might Have Been: An O’Connell Agency reunion

Over the years of writing In the Company of Shadows, we learned to be very fluid with our plot. There were some things we planned to do but when it came to that time in the story it just didn’t work anymore. Other times, we pushed a scene forward or back, or had to remove it altogether. Some plots were nixed, some were expanded. Some characters were supposed to reappear but the story was too compact to fit them. And more than once, I wrote multiple versions of the same scene well in advance of something I knew was coming, and by the time it appeared that scene changed dramatically.

Any post labeled What Might Have Been or WMHB is a sneak peek into what was planned but didn’t end up happening.

For the first post:

Caoilfhionn O’Connell, aka, Keelin

My favorite model inspiration for her so far is Anna Lutoskin from storm models.

Anna_Lutoskin_20

Keelin is Owen’s younger sister. She shows up in his side story -somnia, but that wasn’t supposed to be her only appearance. Keelin was going to end up working at the Agency. Most likely, she was going to become a civilian. There was also talk of her first appearing in the main series by meeting Hsin on a bus, probably in Afterimage.

One of the things that would have been interesting about her was how it would have not only shown a civilian’s adjustment to the Agency, but also how it would have affected Owen to have his little sister so close. And how she would have dealt with the same secrecy and lies already keeping Owen apart from his family.

But when the time came when she could have appeared, it didn’t work to add her into the plot. There was too much else going on and Boyd and Hsin both are far too focused on themselves and their own problems to have noticed any shenanigans she was up to in the background. And doing an Owen POV just to have her involved would have broken up the flow of the story too much.

So, in the end, she only showed up in -somnia and was mentioned briefly in Fade. Someday, I might write a story focusing on her. I had been looking forward to writing her so I was a little sad when it turned out she didn’t properly fit into the main plot line after all.

Inspiration pics: Baby Boyd

This is the character Henry from the TV show Criminal Minds. Henry is played by Mekhai Andersen.

From the moment I first saw him, he made me think of what Boyd would have looked like as a kid (except Boyd’s eyes are lighter). The way he acts in some of his scenes also seems Boyd-like to me. More than once I thought, “Aww, it’s okay baby Boyd!” This kid is seriously too cute for words, so have some animated gifs instead:

Rock on, baby Boyd.

Q&A: Chinese characters for Hsin’s name?

Q: How do you write Hsin’s name/what is the Chinese character used for Hsin?

A: This question has been asked by various people over the years. Below is a post taken from when this was first answered, on September 10, 2011, at our forum. Read the original post if you’d like.

Original post:
A few people have asked this question recently on AFFN reviews and possibly elsewhere. I can’t recall whether we ever answered this somewhere else on the forum, so for the moment I’m doing the answer here.

Hsin is Xin in Mandarin. The specific character is this:

xin

or this if it’s drawn a little less pretty:

image

It’s pronounced roughly like if you combined ‘shin’ and ‘sheen’ in English; originally we were told it was more like ‘shin’ and then some native speakers said it’s more like ‘sheen,’ which does seem to be the case when you listen to it. It’s easiest to hear people pronounce it themselves. Listen to these options: youtube, pronouncenames, and hantrainerpro.

[**full disclosure, I updated the above paragraph in October 2017 after hearing it pronounced more like ‘sheen’ than ‘shin’ over the years. When we first wrote ICoS, the internet wasn’t nearly as global in the amount of specific things you could find, like multiple sources recording themselves pronouncing the name Xin. We had to go based on forums and descriptions, and back then I understood it to sound a little more like ‘shin’ than ‘sheen.’ If you look back at old answers to this question, I did say it was more like ‘shin.’ I wanted to note this so there isn’t any confusion.**]

There are several meanings to it and I’m sure even the ones I list will be debated by native speakers. But the ones I saw were:

letter / true / to believe / sign / evidence

That’s in Mandarin, which is his native language.

A side note from my Japanese kanji dictionary: that same character is used in Japanese, where it means trust, believe. It consists of word (second part) and person (first). “A person’s word is something which can be believed and trusted” is the way to remember it.

For those of you who have read Fade chapter 7, that (信) is the pertinent character.

What seems to be Hsin’s middle name is technically his last name in China. That’s Liu, which is this:

image

So if you were to write his name out directly the way it’s said in English it would be this:

Hsin Liu Vega
信 刘 Vega

Clicking the images will bring you to the direct link of where we found them.

Also note that I asked a number of native speakers for help with identifying the proper Chinese characters for Hsin’s name. Since neither Sonny nor I are fluent in any dialect of Chinese we obviously can’t easily verify things ourselves, but we had several very nice, very helpful people aid us in the identification of options for the characters. Ultimately, Sonny had the last say in what was used. The funny thing is, he chose the same character for Hsin I would have also chosen from the list I provided him.