Friday, November 30, 2012

Crossing That Bright & Beautiful Finish Line

Happy NaNoWriMo Literary Abandon Day! (Which should be an official holiday, if it is not already.)

Not-Quite Final Word Count: 51,891 words! :D

(A different processor explains the difference in word counts, as this one claims I have almost 58k... :P )

I must say, I've been writing in a rush the past couple of days--not so much to be able to get my word count in, but so that I might be able to cram as much of the story into the ending. I've had to scrap and shorten and rearrange into an unsatisfactory order many of the epic scenes I've been longing to write since the initial ideas for the story came to mind about a year ago. But that's alright, there's always editing.

Oh. And did I mention my NaNo has a sequel? That's right, introducing next year's planned novella work: The Turq Wars! I plan to, over the coming months, post every once in a while on the world building, character building and plot building which I hope to accomplish before this time next year.

Anyone else finished NaNoWriMo yet? What's you end Word Count (whether or not you've actually finished)? Planing to Novel with us next year? Share your thoughts in the comments, and have a great day and a great First of December!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Some Further News and an Excerpt

The Last Storming, my NaNo tale this year, was plotted and planned as an action-packed novella but has, instead, become a rather rambling bunch of nonsense in which I completely disregard most of the world-building I had prided myself on accomplishing before the month began. Almost the entire story has been slow and unexciting, until these past few days. You see, I finally got to the part I wanted to write. The part where everything comes together and the real action begins. Which means I have about four days in which to cram all the fast-paced scenes and heart-clenching moments that TLS was supposed to be all about.

The good news in all this is that my word count has not suffered overmuch. After a period over Thanksgiving week in which I wrote next to nothing and stayed at a relatively nice 38,637, I at last reached the place where all the things I wanted to write were happening, and suddenly realized that in order to finish in time, I was going to have to skip over a good deal of them. So--since it's NaNo, and I can do this in NaNo--I backed out of my story and began narrating sloppily, telling myself, the 'reader', what was happening in order so that other things could happen. Needless to say, this was disappointing.

Since then, even skipping over a lot of heavily wordy and wonderful scenes, I reached what I like to consider a decent 47,091 words as of today. At this point, reaching my word count goal is not the issue. Fitting enough story in before the deadline is more what concerns me.

Excerpt from The Last Storming
(This is the first time Heron and Reise, my two MC's meet each other--although Reise, a professional thief is going by the alias of Elsbette Kuyn. I had a great deal of fun writing this scene, as the two characters get off on the wrong foot, as it were. However, since that moment in time, I have been unable to get this unruly pair to cease stomping on each other's nerves and cooperate--much less become friends. Still, this remains one of my favorite scenes of NaNoWriMo.)

“Why are you following me?” hissed the girl in green as she stepped out in front of him.
“Ah!” The air whooshed out of his lungs in a burst of surprise. “You—”
“Why are you following me?” she asked again. Well, ‘asked’ was putting it mildly. ‘Demanded’ was more suitable in the situation.
Heron stood a moment, staring at her, before realizing he had no good answer. “Um.”
The girl appraised him quickly with her flashing green eyes. “Who are you?”
Still somewhat flabbergasted by the fact that he had found her at all—or that she had found him—he answered dumbly. “Heron.”
A hint of a smile creased the left corner of her mouth. “I know that, already, ‘Mister Heron’.”
He reddened anew at the reminder of his explosion in the Sun House reception area.
“You’re Miss Elsbette, right?”
She considered him. “People generally call me that, yes. Though I don’t think I’m so eager about my name as you are.”
“I was…anxious.”
“For what?”
“To get out of there. I was bored.”
This time she gave a genuine smile and Heron was all at once struck by how she contrasted and contradicted herself in her movements, style, and manner. First harsh and belittling, next soft and amused. Her smile lit up her white face, but it failed to quite reach her somber, brilliant eyes.
Heron remembered his manners. “I’m sorry, by the way. I didn’t mean to startle you, or anything. I, I wouldn’t harm you I swear. But, like I said, I was bored and when I saw you…” He realized that whatever he said next would come out wrong and would carry with it all the wrong insinuations so his wisely snapped his mouth shut and shrugged his shoulders. “I’m sorry.”
“I accept your apology, Mister Heron. Now, if you please, I am late returning to my aunt.” Her gaze suddenly fell on the baby formula he carried. “Siblings?” she asked.
Glancing down at the bottles, Heron rubbed a hand through his hair. “Something like that.” He slipped them into his pocket.
She shook her head at him. “You are a strange one, Mister Heron. Do you or don’t you need those?”
“Just Heron, please.” His brow furrowed. “I…I have a use for them.”
“Well, Heron. I really must be going. Good eve and good morrow to you.”
“And you.”
He watched her leave with a confused jumble of feelings congregating in his chest. She was a strange girl. He guessed her age to be just a year or so younger than his eighteen, so she would have been of age to go to his same school, though she would not have been in any of his classes, naturally. Still, he should have been able to recognize her from somewhere. He sighed and turned for home, comforted by the knowledge that he would, in the very least, recognize her at their next meeting.
It wasn’t until he had nearly reached home that he realized the bottles of infant formula were gone. As was his wallet.

"Lieshellyk City comes undone when a thief girl and the grandson of its founder form both a friendship and an alliance to discover the truth behind the City's construction, and the truth of the Stormings which keep them bound inside Lieshellyk's dark corridors." ~The Last Storming logline.

Hope you enjoyed and happy writing to everyone in these last few frantic, frenzied days of the month!

NaNoWriMo: Week Two and a few extra days...

(Apparently, I neglected to post this one, so although it's a bit late, here you are:)

Week Two...otherwise known as PANIC! or, in my case: 'Can we get a move on, please?'

Needless to say, my story has been less than action-packed. Hopefully, things will change sometime very soon.

The Seventh day of the month bled into the Eighth with not a whole lot of change. I was able to use the whole Salvador character and episode to formally introduce my two main characters—as they had met once before but only in passing, as two strangers exchanging small talk. Heron has discovered the rather unorthodox work of Reise, the thief, and has used this information to black-mail her into attempting to break Salvador out of prison, under Reise’s advice. It’s a long story…Word Count (on the 8th): 18,161

Day Nine, Saturday, I ended up getting practically nothing accomplished—only a couple hundred words added to my count. I knew where I wanted the story to go and what needed to happen in the next few thousand words but wasn’t too excited to actually write any of it. Word Count: 18,487

Day Ten. Upon observing a small piece of debris idling on my computer keyboard, I paused in my writing to expunge the offending obstruction via the expulsion of used oxygen and discarded carbon monoxide. The effort, much to the overall dismay of my proficient solution, resulted at the end with the obstacle proceeding to cover beneath the approximate vicinity of the right-hand ‘shift’ key upon my computer’s typing and information distributing surface. Despite the rather unprecedented consequence of relaying a boost in combined cranial function, this occurrence proceeded to inhibit my overall word-to-time ratio due to the unfortunate, though relatively minor, discombobulating effect it proposed upon my ability to convey the correct punctuation and accurate grammatical strength in my writing. Needless to say, this hindered my story somewhat. (But, as you can see, made for a great example of the wonderful uses a thesaurus can have in stretching one’s vocabulary to the limits.) (Translation: a bit of something—possibly a crumb of some kind—became wedged underneath my key and makes it difficult to use that particular key very much.) Word Count: 19,032

Day Eleven came and went most wonderfully. At long last I was able to tell a rather abbreviated version of the events surrounding the basis and background of my story—namely, the history of the city’s founder and the reason for the city to be built. This covered an entire chapter and I skipped a lot because I utilized my MC’s giving of an oral report to tell this particular version of the facts and, thus, didn’t feel right going into some of the details which everyone in the MC’s class obviously would have already known. I did manage to cheat that a bit, however, to the pleasing effect that I have left my imaginary-potential readers with at leas a bit more information than they had previously Has anyone ever noticed that it is often hard to pull your mind out of your story enough to remember exactly what facts you still need to tell the readers so that they understand what’s happening? Word Count: 22,990

Day Twelve was rather a disappointment. I simply didn’t write anything for no good reason whatsoever—except, possible, the fact that it was Monday and I already had enough words to keep me comfortably afloat until sometime on Wednesday. The only writing result I had was a bit of ‘editing’ to fix a few typos I had found and which bothered me, as well as to clarify some things. The result, and I’m not entirely certain how this happened, but the result was that I had actually lost two words. Word Count; 22,988

Day Thirteen dawned with unexpected challenge outside of the writing world and I had to postpone all such work until late in the evening hours due to some unforeseen circumstances involving livestock. When I sat down to write, at last, I found that I simply had no desire to go on. I’ve not yet arrived at that place where I despise my tale with enough passion to throw the whole thing out and I feel that this is very healthy, indeed. That point may not come about until three fourths of the way into the month and we are not quite half-way at the moment. Still, my writing felt listless even though I knew where I wanted the story to go. I just wasn’t interesting in writing that part. I considered skipping ahead, but that felt dishonest so I forged on, writing what felt utterly boring and useless, but driving my story onward so as to at least come to a point again which I diddesire to write. Word Count: 24,221

The Fourteenth brought on an entire new episode of action and suspense to be placed somewhere near the end of the story—as if I didn't have enough pending adventure for the end of the story and not nearly enough for the beginning. Word-Count: 25,971

The Fifteenth arrived and my story had yet to pick up any speed. Although words come fairly easily, the story itself is slower than the dripping of molasses in wintertime--as some would say. Word Count: 26,70

So, here's hoping that the following days will bring more of the excitement I had planned for this year's noveling month. 

How goes it for my fellow writers who have crazily accepted this challenge to write 50,000 words over the course of thirty sleep-depraved, caffeine over-dose headache achieving, this-piece-of-lint-is-more-fascinating than-my-story days? For your sake, I hope your stories are more exciting than mine is currently. Happy writing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNoWriMo: Week One

Day One was uneventful and lacked the usual NaNo surprise of ‘Hey, see that character over there? Yeah, the one you don’t even give any name to. They’re actually the hero of the entire thing. You’d better get the naming books out fast.’ I was perfectly cool with this and managed to get a good head start on the next couple of days. Word Count: 3,570

On the evening of Day Two, I sat down on the couch with a yellow duct-tape covered notebook, a pencil, and some old crayons I’d managed to scrounge up. I set to writing out a timeline based upon the birth and subsequent years of my villain’s life. The third attempt worked out rather nicely and I discovered that, by employing a sideways method, one can use the spaces of a lined notebook to represent five or ten years and have room then to add in the details around the edges of the timeline itself. (My plan was to use two spaces to equal five years, but I ended up botching that and didn’t feel like redoing the entire thing again.) Word Count: 4,362

The third of November rolled through with little incident and I began to wonder where all the action I had planned was vacationing and when it supposed it might be making a return trip. I also began to wonder about all those nifty gadgets one can find for displaying their word count on their blog. Word Count: 5,746

The Fourth, I finally was able to introduce Saint, a madman living in the depths of my novel's city, Lieshellyk. Saint is a fascinating character with a fascinating history and I can't wait to write it all out and see what happens. I also used a little lullaby I had written. Word Count: 6,872

November 5th almost passed by before I realized I had yet to set something on fire. While I started randomly setting the home of one of my MC's neighbor's on fire, I had a sudden brainstorm about the reasons behind this fire, having do to with threats issued from my villain to the man who owned the house. The owner, a man named Salvador, had questions about some of the top gurus in the story: namely, the villain himself and his followers. The villain threatened him but Salvador didn't stop. I've yet to decide whether Sal set the fire to destroy papers and information he had on the bad guy, or if the bad guy set it himself to be rid of Sal, but either way, Sal was arrested for arson and treason. I alos got to introduce Darvis Lieshellyk, the Founder of the city, and the grandfather of one of my MC's, Heron. Word Count: 9,686

Day Six, I really didn't write much at all, but was able to introduce the best friend of my other MC, Reisoni: a girl whose name is Maewyn, or Mae, for short. Word Count: 10,400

Day Seven, today. Honestly, I've not yet written a thing. (I know, shame on me.) However, I do my best writing in the evenings, so my word count for the day rarely gets in before supper time.

Fellow NaNo writers, how's it going for you? Interesting plot developments, unexpected characters jumping in on you?

Friday, November 2, 2012

It Has Begun!

(Taken from a note written on October 31st)

Returning from a road trip and collapsing into bed late on Wednesday night, I felt a superb sense of relief. At last: back on a regular schedule. At last: some rest, some sleep, and some looking forward to the weekend.

And then it hit me, something which I had managed to utterly forget, if only for a few seconds. Tomorrow is... 

So much for relief.

With all the planning, plotting, history-writing, character-building, world-constructing, etc. which has gone on for months, one would think I’d be prepared.

News flash: I am not.

I’m exhausted and unsure and, what is worse, I can’t think of my first line. First lines are important. More than that, they are essential. And I have nothing. Zilch. Nada. Usually, you see, the starting line is one of the first things that will come to my mind when considering any story, but for this year’s NaNo, I am at a loss. Granted, the first line isn’t everything, certainly not during November—but they are vital to the story, they tend to set the stage and the form for all the writing that comes after. Here’s hoping that inspiration hits early sometime tomorrow morning.

Previously on November 1st, I have endeavored to wait up until midnight and then sit happily writing the first words in the first moments of that first day of November. The first year I participated in this national frenzy of creative blathering I had no such ambition. The second year, I thought that welcoming November with as much flash and bling and celebration as New Year’s Day would simply make the whole month. However, I was not, at that time, used to staying up late at all and I sat there on my bed, munching on some candy. I remember laying back to get more comfortable, reveling in the bliss and silence of a darkened house on an exciting night. I remember glancing at the clock once again and seeing that I had about fifteen minutes to go before midnight. And then I woke up the next morning. I had fallen asleep while waiting. The third year was better. I managed to stay up until midnight with very little problem and clocked in my first thousand words before 1am.

This night, however, I am too tired to care about staying up to midnight. Tonight, I plan on finishing this little note and heading off to bed just as fast as my wearied limbs will take me. (Okay, so it’s not like my trip was that long or hard. I’m just worn out.)

And so, without further adieu, I am going to bed. Tomorrow is the start to another month. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is another story to be told.