Wednesday Writing Warrior: Lucy Summers

Welcome to another edition of Wednesday Writing Warrior! Today I’d like to introduce fantasy writer Lucy Summers. You can samples of her upcoming work, Storm of Thieves, on Facebook. Click here to check it out!

TSW: Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Summers: I think I’ve always loved writing. Ever since I was about 10 years old, I would dabble with short stories that I now cringe at. I enjoyed the freedom in writing and loved that I could design the world and shape the characters any way that I wanted to. I have a bucket full of old musings that I still keep, just as a document of my creative worlds. The passion and ability to shape something from nothing is an art that I have fallen in love with.
TSW: In which genre do you classify your writing?

Summers: I have played with romance and thrillers when I was much younger, but after watching Lord of the Rings, my passion for fantasy was kindled deep within me. I went as far as learning archery because of it, and later got good enough to become an archery coach. I coached for 3 years before I had to quit due to work, but I will still shoot recreationally. I think it’s the freedom of fantasy that I love most, because in a world that doesn’t exist, anything at all can happen. There are no limitations put on it by the rules of our world. I mostly read fantasy as my go-to as well, but I will read just about anything.
TSW: What books/short stories/novellas/poetry have you published, or what projects are you working on?

Summers: I’m currently working on an epic fantasy story that will eventually be a trilogy. I have not yet published, but for all my musings in writing, this is the first piece I’ve written that I truly believe in. I am nearing the final stages with it and hope to eventually find an agent to help me share it with the world.

(See below to learn about Storm of Thieves!)

here is a brief synopsis: Ryale Stromstorm is a notorious thief in the land of Ashtrean, where magic has ceased and crime is spreading. Her latest mission: a high-risk heist to steal from one of the very lords ruling her city. Miscalculating the brevity of her attempt, she lands herself in the custody of the very man she tried to steal from.
Thanifear has been owned by Lord Saydor for as long as he can remember. He knows little of the outside world and doesn’t know what it’s like to be free. When Ryale enters the mines, his chance at a new life starts to take hold.
Daemon Arroyan has unparalleled abilities. The multitude of daggers on his belt and dark glare are enough of a warning. He has little issues killing any who get in his way. Forced to accompany Ryale and Thanifear as they make their escape, he just might be their only chance at surviving, as Ryale didn’t leave the city empty handed…

It is written in first person with 3 POV. The book is broken into 3 sections, each told by one of the three.

TSW: What is your favorite writing resource, be it a book, website, program…?

Summers: I haven’t really used alot of writing resources, per se, but I have taken creative writing classes in college by a crazy professor who taught me more than I realized. Styles, point of view, learning better vocabulary, thinking of seeing and communicating a scene without telling are all points that I developed through those classes.
TSW: Are you a plotter or pantser?

Summers: Absolutely a pantser. I don’t like outlining. Even for high school papers, despise it being a requirement, I wouldn’t do it. It is all unknown to me. I write to discover. I write because I’m curious and need to see how the story unfolds. Small bits get revealed slowly, one scene at a time. If I plan and outline it, I already know the story, so I don’t have the same motivation for it.
TSW: Can you give us a glimpse into your writing routine?

Summers: What a fun question! For me, I like to be completely alone when I write. I’m not the type who can go to a cafe or public place and sit down and work. I don’t have the same level of focus. I usually keep to my room and lay on my back with my laptop propped against my legs, the same position I’m currently in as I write this. And I need silence. I used to be able/prefer to listen to music while I worked, but I find now that it can drown out the characters at times and I want to see them clearly. I am a firm believer that somewhere, on the other side of the veil, their voices slip out and find us. How they choose us, I don’t know, but it is our duty to write their stories. I picture myself sitting in a fairly dark room, one table pushed against the northern wall, a single light source from above. I sit on the far end, my back to the wall, and my 3 MCs sit on the other side. They talk to me, tell me scene by scene how things happened. I stay silent and write, unless I have a question. And they can be so moody, especially my assassin, Daemon. Sometimes, they just aren’t in the mood to talk. And I have to try and motivate them to reveal what happens next. This is the same reason why I can’t outline.

As the story progresses, I force myself to keep on writing. If I try and edit each scene, I get stuck in an endless loop and never am able to move forward. For the first draft, I don’t even allow myself to edit typos or spelling. The editor in me will take a mile if I give an inch: edit one word, it will be a sentence then a paragraph then the whole darn chapter, and then I’m just focused on making it tighter, instead of on the events of the story. I’m currently well past that point now, and making my final changes to the story. I have such high hopes that the world will love my characters as much as I do.
TSW: What do you find to be the hardest part about writing?

Summers: Not editing as I go is definitely one of the issues I’ve found. I have seen my characters pretty clearly and don’t really have problems finding the next scene or how they’re connected, but thinking around the plot and finding plot holes, then filling them, makes it difficult at times. And then of course, there are the words themselves. Creating a sentence to be perfect is difficult. I will be pleased with one paragraph, look at it, tell myself, “this is good!”, then read it a week later and rewrite every single word. Writing is hard. We, as writers, have to see everything. We don’t get the luxury of the movies, where visual effects–not even special effects–come in. If a wagon pulls down a dirt drive, we, in a movie, see the wagon, the horse, the driver, hear the hoof falls, see the dust rising behind the wheels. In a story, we have to not only see that all in our heads, but communicate those details to the reader, all without cluttering up the story. It’s not easy. But it’s so much fun.
TSW: What’s the first book that made you cry (if there is one)?

Summers: Oh geez, I don’t remember. But I can tell you this much. I’ve only ever cried during 3 movies. I just don’t get sucked into movies the same way I do books. Number of books that made me cry? Lost track a long time ago. You just get so much more out of a book that a movie lacks.
TSW: What does success look like to you?

Summers: There are two levels I see as success. Professional success and personal success. On a professional level, it would be to have my work published. I intend to get there. I believe in fulfilling dreams, and this is something I dream of doing with Storm of Thieves. I will get there. Traditional or self publishing, one way or another, I will get there. Personal success, though, comes with what we do as writers. Finding that “a-ha!” moment when things slip into place, finishing a scene that was hard and struggling (my current ch. 13 was like this, hardest thing I ever wrote) to get right, or, my favorite, writing that very last sentence and being able to pause, stop, and look at it and say, “It is finished!” Those are the moments we strive for. There is no feeling like it.
TSW: Are there any writers who inspire you?

Summers: Absolutely! Patrick Rothfuss is an incredible author whose work has given me more passion. His way with words is incredibly beautiful. Ernest Cline is another. He is the author of Ready Player One. This book is actually a funny story. I’m not a big gamer. I’d rather be reading. I also am not a big sci-fi fan at all. Futuristic stories, science, aliens, space, etc. are just not my types. I only picked up this book because it was laying on the floor of our house and I was told it was good, so I grew curious. I expected to only read the first page. I read the whole thing in two days. I couldn’t put it down. His writing is incredibly clear, without questions of uncertainty. The writing in it alone inspires me to do better with my own, but the fact that I not only read the whole thing, but loved it, in a genre that I normally wouldn’t read…that is some serious inspiration.
TSW: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned on your journey as a writer?

Summers: I would say that writing is now a part of me. Developing my characters, or as I think of it, letting them tell me who they are, is a really big change. They are now constantly in my head, living there almost, and will talk and express themselves in the oddest times, like at work. I think no matter what I do now, the three of them will always be part of me. I think writing has taught me to think more analytically as well. I need to see the scene myself before I’m able to convey it. Every little detail matters. I now read books with a new look and a new respect. I never really knew just how much time went into writing. Now that I do, I have to appreciate a story more. I also read with a more critical eye. I have found a few typos in stories as well as thought of a few different ways to express parts of it different than the author did. I see differently now. Even in my everyday life, things I see I think could be a good story, or be part of a future story, or make a good setting, etc…

Check out the first two chapters of Storm of Thieves on Facebook!
Ryale Stromstorm is a notorious thief in the land of Ashtrean, where magic has ceased and crime is spreading. Her latest mission: a high-risk heist to steal from one of the very lords ruling her city. Miscalculating the brevity of her attempt, she lands herself in the custody of the very man she tried to steal from.
Thanifear has been owned by Lord Saydor for as long as he can remember. He knows little of the outside world and doesn’t know what it’s like to be free. When Ryale enters the mines, his chance at a new life starts to take hold.
Daemon Arroyan has unparalleled abilities. The multitude of daggers on his belt and dark glare are enough of a warning. He has little issues killing any who get in his way. Forced to accompany Ryale and Thanifear as they make their escape, he just might be their only chance at surviving, as Ryale didn’t leave the city empty-handed…

About Lucy Summers:

I am a fantasy fiend. I’m the type of person who has no problem expressing what I love. I will go out in public wearing a cloak, hood up over my face. I love reading and have been a reader since before kindergarten. I have my mom to thank for that. She quickly instilled in me a love for books. I am an archer and horseback rider. I have been riding since I was 9 and have an amazing horse who I ride 3-4x a week. I have shot my bow off her many times as well, usually dressed up as one of my characters. My passion for fantasy stories was always there, but after seeing Lord of the Rings, it was the spark the really fed the fire. I live in California, USA. I love to travel, anywhere and everywhere. I always have a striving desire for adventure.

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