In the mind of a Writer

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Part of the favorite chapter in Melzela

I was told by several of my beta readers that the character Thomas was their favorite.

This is from Melzela
Rebekah Wolveire © 2008-2013

It was on that evening that I found the river that ran through the forest. I cleansed my face allowing the cool liquid cover and flowed over my lips. I swallowed just a small bit realizing it was just like my dream. I was tired and yet relieved. I looked at my reflection in the crystal blue water: my skin was the palest white,  and my eyes were transcendental, glowing almost bright blue with a gold ring on the edge of the pupil.

I took a few small animals for a meal: a squirrel and a muskrat. It was merely survival. Then I cleaned myself in the river. I followed it noticing that got wider and deeper. It was defiantly deep enough to bath in. I stripped down my clothes and bathed. I swam in the cool, calm water.

I got dressed realizing it was getting darker, and I could smell smoke. I followed the river to a small stone path. I followed the small stone path to see the foundation that was also made of stone. I looked around the place as I could smell something sweet. It seemed warm and inviting. I was curious: why would someone just leave a fire burning. I looked again: it was surrounded by many medium sized rock, and it was a low fire.

I walked up to the door. A gentle but rugged man came out

“It’s you. I thought you were only a distant dream,” he made the sign of the cross with his two dominate fingers on his forehead, chest, and then both shoulder. Then he kissed my hand. I was curious at what it meant.

“I’m Thomas, and you are?” He was nervous and yet very excited. His mind swirled with a million thoughts causing a tornado of wonder and awe. They were so fast that that I could not keep up.

“I’m Melzela.” I kept my answer short. After that one moment everything was in motion.

 

Later that evening, Thomas asked me some things:

“Do you really need to intake blood to survive?” He was nervous in his questions. He did not want to upset me.

“Yes, I do. It was blood ritual I did that went wrong.” I explained honestly. Finally, I was happy enough to tell someone my secret. He already knew from the dreams.

“What happened, if you don’t mind me asking?” He asked so interested.

“We believed the blood was tainted. I was supposed to live forever to find my true love. However I never knew that taking lives and blood would be apart of that.” I was bit flustered over the entire idea.

“Who is we?” He asked wanting to know as many answers as possible.

“There is Pyro, he is the leader, and he loves Aqua. There was Aero and Geo as well.” I explained.

“So they are named after the elements?” He asked; I nodded yes to confirm. We talked most of the night about the rituals and my adventures. He was really interested in the rituals about luck and gratefulness. He also understood how we saw power and energy in the elements and used them in all of our rituals.

“You are more than welcome to stay with me. I usually sleep most of the night, but I can make you a bed before I sleep.” He explained as well as that he went to the bathroom down across the river and down the hill. It keeps from the smell from lingering near the house.

He made a bed for me as his house smelled so sweet. He preserved many berries, tea leaves, and mint. We laid together in the room, just talking, before falling a sleep.

“I must be covered during the day; the sun burns my very fair and pale skin.” I explained.

“Why is that?” He was always asking me questions to learn.

“Pyro believe we anger the sun god; therefore, I am not allowed to be out during the day.” I explained. We talked for a while. One of the last thing Thomas said before he fell asleep:

“I knew ever since the first time I had the dream, I was meant to met you and teach the ways of preservation. I also know you will be the one who will kill me.” He almost sounded satisfied with that as if he was giving me his approval. I was just trying to take this all in.

“I am just fifty-four based on the many moon cycles. In one year, twelve moon cycles, you will take my life on my fifty-five birthday.” He mumbled just before I heard him snore. I laid there completely dumbfounded. I just had met this man, told him my secret,  he admitted that he will teach me, and now he was already telling when I was going to kill him.

 

He was as straightforward as they come from everything in teachings to his stories. He taught me how to grow herbs, what berries to look for, and how to grow grape. These were all good for preserving wine. He explained that if I mixed human blood with the fomented wine and used herbs like dill or mint (savory or sweet), I could keep the blood longer.

“However, always mark your barrel of wine, because you don’t want your guests drinking your blood wine.” He explained. Blood wine could easily make humans sick, simply because most human being can not digest fat and protein cells in the blood.

He had showed me how to use rope and making my own pulleys to allow a animal or human to hang. I drained the blood in a large tub that he curved out of wood and eventually made one out of stone. We kept this rigging down hill as well, so that no one could smell the dead blood at the house.

Once we had everything working, he went into town and brought a guest. It was a man, a young man. He knew that the man didn’t have anyone, and so he invited him for a hot meal of stew. He made the man some stew. Then we hit him in the head, drug the body to  the pulley system, hung him up, slashed his throat with my dagger, and drained his blood.

It worked very well, I filled two barrels half way with his blood and the rest with the wine and herbs. One barrel was mixed with mint, and the other barrel was mixed with dill. He marked an M on each of the barrels, and we allowed them set a week or so. I would heat it up over the fire, and I really liked the mint or sweeter wine over the dill or savory. 

We had several tests with deer blood, fox blood, and human blood. It was interesting that deer and fox gave me about the same energy about 25% of what I would get if I was drinking from a live human. I noticed that drinking the wine with human blood in it would only give me only 50% of what I would get from drinking a human alive. I  would rather just have taken 50% and kill one life every few months, then to kill more and more human lives.

The blood wine would give me energy for day to day activities, and if I drunk enough I could read mind, but I never had to read Thomas’ mind: he always spoke his mind.

He also showed me how to call animals. However many of the animals were unsure about me. They didn’t know what to read about me, I wasn’t alive. They feared me. I understood most of the animals knew I was living like Thomas was. The animals would come to him and follow him, but they would stop if he got to close to me.

 

The time went fast with Thomas: I felt day and night went by in a blink, and the moon cycles were like just seconds. I wanted to learn as much as I could. The stories we told each other and the useful things he taught me to help me kill less, but still get my blood in take.  

We walked one evening as the bright colorful sky was fading into the line chasing the sun. Thomas started his teaching about mint, basil, and dill.

“Mint helps indigestion problems. It can also reduce hunger and relax muscles. It will make your wine fresher and more sweet.” He explained picking the sweet scented leaves.

“It can grow anywhere you have moisture.” He added.

“Dill can preserve you wine, but it can turn into a vinegar if you wait more than six months.” He explained.

“I’m not a fan of dill, but I could see it being good for storing wine on a ship voyage.” I replied.

“Now your turn, could you should me how you in take blood on an animal?” He asked wanting to see the animal in me.

“Find me a small animal,” I stated. He found a rabbit. I said thank you.

“you must be grateful for all opportunities or the gods will make it harder to gain opportunities.” I explained; he was fascinated. Then I grabbed the rabbit bit the back of the neck behind the ears.

I read Thomas’ thoughts as I did this: he was torn between disgust and curiosity. He had wondered if this made him a monster or at least a barbarian for watching just a gruesome thing. He wanted to shout “No!” and prevent me from doing it, but he didn’t. I allowed one crimson tear to fall from my eye. He saw how the crimson tear matched the drops of blood coming from my mouth.

“Do you think the meat is still good?” He asked.

“I think if  you cook it right away,” I stated snapping the neck, I couldn’t finish it with his thoughts. He saw the blood on my fangs and he was taken back a bit.

“Now do you know why I drink alone?” I replied cold and indifferent.

“You need the blood to survive, I need the meat. In that way, I think we are one in the same.” he explained, but why didn’t I feel better?

He cooked the rabbit, and then we both gotten mud baths. He explained that covering the flesh in mud, took way from the bodily smells ,and helped the skin. I wasn’t sure how much it did for me other than take away the bloody smell. He watch me cover myself in mud and this was first time in the entire year that he had impure thoughts of me and him.

He plunged into the deep part of the stream cleaning off the mud. I followed him. He came up as the water was cold, so cold that when I had come up I felt the cold water as pressure on my chest. The whole moment was intense: I could feel his eyes on my white flesh and he wanted me. He wanted to touch my body, but he was afraid. He hasn’t touch another woman in years, and I was rusty myself. I knew if anything was going to happen I would have ignite it. However he did splash me to break some tension. I splashed him back, and I enjoyed  our playing.

I have had men older than Thomas when I was a woman of the street. However I never had caring feeling for them like I had with him except for Joseph. I wanted to give him an experience that he would remember. I was shocked when he first kissed me in the stream. Then we grabbed our clothes and ran naked through the woods. It was freeing: we pinned each other on the path. We made it to the house, and we made intimate love. We did this routine everyday for over two weeks.

We had fun together, learned from each other, and enjoyed each others company, but we knew time was going fast. After the two weeks of being animals with carnal ways. He opened to me about his past.

“I had a pretty well-to-do family, I was the forth son of nine kids: three girls and six boys. My father was well known shepherd. In fact, men would come from all around to buy from his flock or at least to buy wool for clothes. I had a wife who had son. However I wanted to be a clever inventor, and my wife and I were banished by my family for wanting to do such acts against God.” He sighed shaking his head.

“My wife Clara supported my inventing and scientific ways, until one day I was working on a project, and I caught the house on fire. I ran out, but Clara and my son Benjamin did not make it. They were burnt alive, and I was banished out of the city limits.” I read his thoughts he didn’t have regrets for his beliefs in science, but he regretted losing Clara and Benjamin.

“I just retreated here, and I tried to avoid human contact.” The main reason he left society is that he believed, he was more of problem than a solution. He never admitted it, but I believe he didn’t count me as human, but something else all together and that was why we could stand each other. He even believed that by staying in tune with nature, he used other parts of his brain; therefore, he was able to have the same dream that I did.

 

For his last dinner, he had roasted venison, and the smell of it cooking made me desire blood. I had several glasses of the dill, blood wine. I wasn’t sure what to say to him.

“Please describe the another realm, you call the dream world.” He requested. How could I deny his simple request.

“Well, in this world sky changes based on my mood, it was usually is a mixture of oranges, pinks and purples. I have even seen blue clouds with silver linings. The sun is usually red as red as the river that flows through the world. I was also told that when I cry it rains red drops there coming from black and yellow clouds.” I started to describe as I could feel his exhilaration. He wasn’t sure if there was an afterlife, but he hoped if there was Clara and Benjamin would be there to greet him with open arms.

“Describe your library!” He demanded like a little kid.

“There were shelves upon shelves on each of the walls reaching from the floor to ceiling. There were criss-cross shelves with scrolls in each opening. There were walls of books that seemed endless. Just think of all the stories and knowledge you could learn from those books?” I stated as I could see him sitting the library in the marble room where he would apply his knowledge to make experiments.

We finished dinner with a some love making, and then we bathed together. It pulled on me that the past year we had been each others company and within the next few hours, I was going to take his life. We ran around laughing more time before warming up by a fire.

“You are destined to do this, and I have made my peace. I need you to do this for me.” He replied as I cried crimson tears steaming down both eyes.

“My request is that you first bite me, so I know what it feels like. Then we will walk down to the tree, you will tie me up and drain me.” He was so confident in his words, but his thoughts were crying.

“Melzela, it has been privileged and honored to get to know you. I love you, and I hope you do find that true love.” We both cried together for about an hour.

 

It was a few hours later, I gave him a glass of wine to help with the pain.

“Thank you. Thank you so much Thomas.” I whimpered, and then I bit down into his neck. His blood was the sweetest blood I had ever tasted. I could hear him moan and whimper as well.

I saw his wife and his son in moment eating venison in his house. Then I saw the house fire, and I saw him trying to run back in only to come out empty handed. Then I saw him  with me and the animals, we laughing.

It took all of my strength, but I pulled away with him still alive. He leaned on me: we walked to the tree where I tied him up and pulled him. He was dangling over the stone tub.

 Tears fell out of my eyes, I was choked up; my throat felt like fire. He dangled still alive, barely alive. His eyes were blood shot, his thoughts were fuzzy, and he could barely mumble the words:

“I love you.” He cried, but I echoed:

“I love you too.” I took all of my strength to slice his throat even though the knife went through his neck like butter. The blood splashed everywhere, and most of it finds it way to the tub. I stood there for hours watching it drained. Then I took his body down, drug to the fire, and burnt it. I watched the fire burn the flesh as I cried.

Before he was completely ash, I said some words of remembrance and thanks:

“To the gods,

I, thank you, for having Thomas

In my life

In my soul

In my heart.

May he be remembered

May he be loved

May he find his Dream World.

And maybe someday

I will see him again.

Good Bye flesh

I love you, Thomas.”

“Good bye Thomas. I loved you, and I will never forget what you taught me,” I mumbled in my weeping.

Once the body was burnt, I collected the blood in the barrels, mixed in with some raspberry-grade wine and the herbs. I had four barrels made for me. I cleaned the tub with old wine that had turned to vinegar.

I cleaned up, and I  ambled back to the cottage just before day break. I downed some wine hoping to sleep deep. I slept alone for the first time within a year.  I hoped to seek the dream world.

Aside

Beta Reader lessons

 

I had around 50 beta readers. Some would say that it was too many readers, but by September 1st, I had only gotten about 10 messages back with feedback. I had also gotten a few extra messages from those who knew the 1st was coming, but that they hadn’t finished and needed more time. I was fine with that.  I wasn’t online on the first as I had monthly errands to do, so I had given my readers an extra week.

I knew when I decided to have readers that at least 1/4th would lose interest, 1/4th would have something happen in their lives, and at least 1/4th would need extra time. I believe that at least 10% would just forget.
 I was pretty surprised that 40% answered back on the 1st or before.

 

I have gotten some pretty good, useable feedback. There have been many suggestions that I am already trying to add and/or change to my novel now.

I am very grateful that so many read the novel and gave their feedback.

 

Things I have learned from beta readers. . .

 

You need to have flexibility. You never know when life is going to give you and /or your beta readers challenges / obstacles. This can push them away from the novel. If you have a deadline then you simply need to cut those who have not given you feedback.

(Parentheses) are frown upon. I had some parentheses on a few of my lines. I had questions while editing the second times, and I forgot to go back. They distract the readers. I know I use them on my blogs. . . do they distract anyone reading my blogs? Please let me know.

Do not get offended by the feedback. Every one has their own opinion or angle. I read all feedback. I may not agree with it, but sometimes I someone needs to tell me when something doesn’t make sense in my work.  

It’s not over—not by a long shot. I still need to edit. It never stops. Writing is art, and I believe that true art is never done.

What I learned from Beta Readers so far. . .

It’s a little over half way through my beta readers to finish their copies of the first book of my vampire Crimson Shadow Collection Melzela.  (September 1, 2013).
I first sent it on June 20th and I have been sending a few here and there. However I have decided that that I am cutting off beta readers as of Sunday (August 4, 2013) at 4pm (EST). (This means that I after the fourth I am not accepting anymore readers, so if you are interested in a vampire novel, please message me by Sunday at 4. RebekahWolveire@yahoo.com. . . use subject beta reader.)

I want to thank those who have read my book. I also want give my appreciation in advance to those who will read my book and send their feedback.

I just want to point out that I was seeking feedback on story flow, characters, and whether the story was interesting or boring. I wanted to know if it was written to straight or did it have enough twists and turns. (I wasn’t really asking for grammar mistakes, but if the beta readers saw something, they were allowed to point it out.)

 

Some things I have learned. . .

Do not take the feedback personally. (Not everyone is going to enjoy your work. I think of a book like a cookie recipe. . .  some people like chocolate chips, some like peanut butter, and your cookie maybe an iced sugar cookie.)

I am just happy when I know that another person read my book. I understand that they may not like a certain part of the book. I understand they many people have different tastes than I do. I am just happy that they turned page after page and read my book.

 

Appreciate any feedback you even if it was something as simple as “I liked the story.” They took the time to read your story.

I really do appreciate those who take their time and really give me feedback. (I especially love when they use page numbers and examples. However not all beta readers will do that and it’s okay.)
I just want the beta readers to know I do take all feedback into consideration. However I may not use all of the feedback. I may not change the character or a twist in the plot.

 

 

Guidelines for Beta Readers with my book

Here are some of the requests that I have gotten.

 Why I want beta readers?

I am very passion about horror writing: especially vampires, ghosts, and urban legends. I really hope to get my vampire series mainstream published. This is just book one. I have the other seven books outlined.

I’m seeking beta readers because I want to know to if my characters are believable, likable and if the story is interesting enough. I really would like to know your thoughts.

 

How long do I have to reader and give feedback?

 The time line to read and give feedback is June 20th to September 1st (2013).
I have seen several writer’s give a reader just a month for feedback. However I understand that the summer catches up with us: vacations or work. It can be hard to find to read a book in everyone’s hectic schedule. I thought by giving ten weeks that it would more than enough time to read.
If you have received the book after June 20th, I would still greatly appreciate to get feedback by September. I will have posts and reminders in August.

 

I have gotten several requests to give questions/guidelines in what I want out of the beta readers.

 

What am I supposed to be looking for while reading?

First of all, I just want you to know I am just posting these questions and ideas for guidelines. Over all, I know to you if saw this book on a book shelf or heard about if from a friend if you would pick it up and read it. I also would like to know if this book would be something that you would tell your friends about it. 

 

Things to possibly look for. . .

Plot

Are the obstacles achievable?

Is it provoking?

Did it make you want to turn the page?

Is it constant?

Are there any pieces that just don’t make sense?
Does the story flow? Is the story interesting?

 

Characters

Are they realistic?

Are they likable?

What did you like about the characters?

What did you dislike?

Are there any inconsistencies with the characters?

How do you think I could improve on the characters?

 

Interest

What did you find interesting?

Was there something boring?

What would you add or change to add more excitement to the story?

 

Twists

Are there any good twists in my story?

Is my story flat?

 

Grammar (I understand is main issue with writing; However, I do not want to the only feedback to be about grammar issues. If you are interested in helping after September. I am seeking editors to help me with the find points of my grammar.)

Are there any spelling errors?

Any issues you feel I need to address?

 

Extra

Is there something that I repeat too much?

Is there something I need to emphasis?

Are there any format problems?

Is it hard to read?

How would you rate the book 1 worst book ever to 5 best book ever read? Why?

 

I appreciate and will consider all of your feedback when I reedit the book in September. Again I want to say thank you for time and thoughts.

 

More about Beta Readers

When I had posted requests for beta readers, I that gotten a lot of different reactions: some were unsure as they were never a beta reader before, and other thought it was unfair of me to ask others to promise feedback. However as I read more about beta readers,  I learned that they read and gave feedback. (I do not feel I am better, than any other writer, I just want to make book the best I can. I want everyone to enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing it.)

I am not asking for a professional review. I just want some people to read my story and to honestly tell me what they think. These are their own thoughts and they cannot be wrong or lose anything. At least if someone tells me what they think, they can at least know that their ideas will be highly considered in my third large edit.

 

I learned a lot from my first book: I advertised, gave my book out for free, and I barely got feedback. However if I noticed other writers using beta readers, and they were pretty happy with the response. I am hoping for the same.

 

Why I want beta readers?

 

I am very passion about horror writing: especially vampires, ghosts, and urban legends. I really hope to get my vampire series mainstream published. This is just book one. I have the other seven books outlined.

I’m seeking beta readers because I want to know to if my characters are believable, likable and if the story is interesting enough. I really would like to know your thoughts.

Melzela is Finished. . Seeking Beta Readers

 

 Do you like vampires? Do you want a new book to read over the summer? Do you want your opinion to considered?

 

I am still seeking more beta readers for my book called Melzela. It is book one of my vampire series Crimson Shadow Collection.

 

Quote: There are four point six billion people living in the world today in the year of two thousand eight after the death of Christ. There are possibly hundreds perhaps even thousands of vampires dotting the landscape of the human world. This is the story of about seventy five or so of them. These are the stories of my sire Melzela and, her prodigy

                                                                                              ~Deangelo~

 

Here is a book Blurb:

Her mother told her epic stories, Melzela never thought she would be one!  She never thought she would travel, or be a spy. All she knew was she would do anything to find true love.  She left her family seeking the love and passion she had heard in her mother’s stories.

She ran into friends who would change her life. She showed them how to be street smart, and they demonstrated a love that she had never known. In her quest for love, she was transformed:  she was made to stay in the shadows and travel by the moon. She had to take life to keep living. She wasn’t going to allow the obstacles to stray her from her journey.

This was only the beginning of Melzela’s story. This was her personal piece.

 

If you are interested please message on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/RebekahWolveire or e-mail me RebekahWolveire@yahoo.com (use subject: Beta Reader)

Seeking Beta Readers forBook1 of Vampire Series

As of June 20th, (date will change based on my editing schedule), I plan to be seeking beta readers for the first book of my vampire series called The Crimson Shadow Collection. Book 1 is called Melzela.  I will only have it in pdf format (unless you want to pay for a paperback copy from createspace).

I am seeking between 25 to 100 beta readers for this book.  I am very serious about this book, and I will not accept beta readers unless they promise to send feedback. (Please give me more feedback then just my grammar needs improvement. I understand my grammar isn’t the best. Okay, I would be lucky if I got a C for grammar on my novels. However I am looking for things like . . .
 Are the characters believable?
 Can you relate to or like any of the characters?
 Are there any pieces that just don’t make sense?
Does the story flow? Is the story interesting?
 From 1 to 5, 5 being best, how would you rate my novel? I will plan out more questions for beta readers. You can answer them, or just use them as a guide.  ) I am really hoping to continue working on the other books, but I would like to eventually get this series mainstream published.  I really need some serious beta readers. Please message me on facebook http://www.facebook.com/RebekahWolveire or e-mail me RebekahWolveire@yahoo.com with the subject Beta Reader.