Monday, November 19, 2018

Know the Novel Part 2 - Within Kings Bleed Gold {NaNoWriMo 2018}



WE. ARE. OVER. HALFWAY. THROUGH. NANOWRIMO. Not that I’m freaking out. Noooo. Buthowdidthishappenhalp.


I had a prettyyy awesome week. A thing may have happened on the 13th…



I HIT 50K WORDS!!!!


This means I’ve officially participated and won 9 NaNos in a row and just…what is my life? (Answer: I have no life.) I hit 50k on the 13th last year too, so see? 13 is most certainly not unlucky. I also managed to write almost 27k this week because, again, no life, and am now at 71k words on my novel!


BUT. This week, instead of doing a day-by-day update, I’m going to be participating in my Know the Novel linkup! If you missed it, this is a 3-part linkup, one for each of these last 3 months of the year, geared toward writers. In October we introduced our novels, and this month the linkup is all about how the writing is going! It runs until the end of November, so if you want to join in (you shooould) you can find the questions and linkup HERE!



I’ll, of course, be answering questions about my NaNo novel, Kings Bleed Gold, so let’s get to it!


WITHIN THE WRITING
OF KINGS BLEED GOLD

 


1.) How’s the writing going?



Well? Good? Great? I don’t know???


Sleep has become a foreign thing, I’ve consumed so much coffee and tea I probably have sugar running through my veins, I’m writing half a NaNo’s amount of words weekly, am super behind on things like replying to blog comments (I’m so sorry, guys, but I will respond when I can snag a minute!), annnd I’ve destroyed Midas’ life at least 27 times over at this point.


Basically? AWESOME. I am extremely sleep deprived and a little overwhelmed by how massive my story is proving to be. (I’m estimating it to be around 130k??? I may die.) But, at the same time, I’m so enjoying being immersed in this storyworld.


I just hit the halfway point Saturday where eeeeerything changes, and I’m really excited about writing the next half. So much drama and deliciously emotional scenes. Bwahahaha! And it’s nice to have the story shift on me and get into some new scenery and happenings.


So overall, the writing is going really smoothly. I feel like the story is a mess and I’ve already discovered some plot holes that will need to be fixed during revision. But hey, that’s why we write first drafts. Gotta figure this stuff out and get it all on the page so then it can later be rearranged.


I do wish the story was shorter, but still. I’m loving this wild journey of writing it! I haven’t first drafted anything since last NaNo, and I almost forgot the joy of just vomiting words on a page.

 

2.) What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?


Everybody say it with me now…


THE CHARACTERS!!! (I’m so predictable.)


Midas amuses me endlessly because he’s got such a quick temper and can be a total brat, but at the same time he really does mean well. Korinna both breaks my heart with the pain and fear she lives with everyday, but also inspires me with her heart for people and strength of never giving up. And then there’s my preciousest, softest, cinnamon roll-y-est child Syram who keeps pulling Midas into crazy schemes and I adore him.


They’re fun individually, but what I really like is the dynamics between each of them. Their growing friendship has been a blast to write, and it just makes me happy.


I’m also really enjoying the magic system, and how it has to be used with blood and gold. I’ve never written anything like that before. It’s been a super fun concept to play with.


Also dragons. Because DRAGONS.


I’m kind of loving all the aspects??? I guess that’s a good sign!

 

3.) Has your novel surprised you in any way?


My characters have actually surprised me! Like…all of them. Which is a surprise in and of itself, because I usually know my characters pretty well before they even hit the page.


I’ve already mentioned in a previous post how much Midas is surprising me. Because I was expecting a jerk, but instead I’m getting a charismatic, kindhearted guy who’s just bratty and immature because, well, he’s a teenage prince who can turn anything into gold. Obviously that's gonna cause some repercussions on his character. I also had no idea he’d have such a temper. And it amuses me greatly, even though it’s getting him in a loooootttt of trouble. Eheheheh.


Korinna’s character is far more complex than I realized (which I’m not complaining about). Every time I peel back one layer of emotions, there’s yet another underneath. It’s actually been fascinating.


Syram is even more precious than I expected, but I didn’t realize just how quiet he was. So far he hasn’t had an excess of lines, and when he does speak it’s usually short sentences. I kind of thought he may be a rambler, but nope. He’s a quiet one. But it makes sense. He internalizes everything and has a lot going on inside his head that he usually isn’t too keen on sharing. Naturally he’d be a quiet little dude. Isn’t it crazy how your characters just become there own? Writing is weird. And the best.


Then I have a couple of antagonists who also aren’t turning out like I thought. I won’t say much because #spoilers but I thought I had their motives pinned but now? I’M QUESTIONING EVERYTHING.


I seriously think this is the most surprising cast I have ever written. But…I kind of love it. It’s been so fun getting to know them and having all these unexpected surprises pop up. Goes to show, even if you write a 16k-word outline, do a lot of worldbuilding, and create ridiculously detailed character bios, you really never know what’s going to happen until you get those words on the page.


 

4.) What do you think of your characters at this point? Who’s your favorite to write about?


Lololol. Oh look, another excuse to squeal about my character! *griiiins*


I guess technically I’ve already answered this in question #2. I’m basically in love with all my characters. I feel closest to Midas because the majority of the time we’ve been in his POV, but, I mean…Syram. *cough*


Again, though, I really like their dynamics. Midas and Syram have formed a delightfully fun bromance, and Midas’ and Korinna’s relationship is complex and beautiful and painful and yeah wow. It’s giving me feels. Iloveit.

 

5.) If you were transported into your novel and became any one of the characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you take any different actions than they have?


Why would I even ask this absurdly hard question?


Ugh. I don’t know. All the characters are so wildly different from my personality. It’s kind of hilarious how rarely I make my characters anything like me.


Normal Writers: “I put a piece of me in all of my characters.”
Me: “Eh. They just popped in my head and do what they want. I have no claim on any of my wild children.”


Honestly, out of my main three—Midas, Korinna, and Syram—I relate to Midas the most…which is probably bad, but yeah. Would I do anything differently? Mmm…I think I'd be way too frightened to constantly yell and challenge the ferocious dragons who could swallow me whole. I’d be a coward, but I’d be a smart coward, instead of a brave fool like Midas. He’s seriously so stupid sometimes I can’t even…


Also, if I was Midas I’d cry every day over the fact that I could never properly pet a cat or dog ever again since, ya know, everything he touches turns to gold.


Kittens > Infinite Riches

 

6.) Give us the first sentence or paragraph and then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!


Oh, gracious. The writing is an atrocity. I keep thinking about sharing snippets on social media but…mlgh. Let’s see if I can find something that’s not totally embarrassing.


Here’s the opening scene:


Midas patted the top of the gold encrusted head of his younger brother.

“One fortnight, Nikolas. Just one more fortnight and I’ll be eighteen. Then I can take my place on the throne and after that…” He grinned just thinking of all the excitement ahead. “Oh, there are so many things after that. Chrysafel is going to be the most powerful kingdom in history. Just you wait and see.”

Of course, the boy didn’t reply. Gold statues in general weren’t prone to talking.

 


One with Korinna:


You really are a prince, aren’t you?”

He glanced over to find Korinna watching him, a curious look in her gaze. “Well, yes. But why do you say that now?”

She shrugged and focused back on the path ahead. “You have a knack for getting people to do what you want them to.”

He pressed his hand against his chest, and pulled in a mock gasp. “Are you saying I’m pushy?”

Though she kept her eyes ahead, a hint of a smile tugged at the corner of her lips. “Maybe. But it’s more than that. You know how to take charge of a situation and get things done efficiently—all things needed in a good leader, I would think.”

“A good leader?” Hearing the words come from her lips stirred something in his chest. That had always been his goal, to be the best leader Chrysafel could ever ask for. He thought he was doing it too, but now… He cleared his throat, shoving away those thoughts. “Well, there’s really nothing to getting people to do what you want them to. You just have to not let them shove you around. But the main thing is to give them a reason to take action, a motivation more than just being told what to do. I’d say not being eaten by a bunch of overgrown lizards is a pretty good motivator.”

 


Annnd one with Syram, because Syram:

Midas, Midas. Wake up.”

“Crlmblgh.”

“Miii-daaas. Come on!”

The sing-song voice dug into his groggy brain and he dragged his eyes open. Syram’s grinning face hovered inches from his own. He cried out and scrambled up so fast his head smashed into the rock wall above.

“Syram!” He mentally cursed the man as he rubbed the forming bump on his head. “Don’t startle me like that. Or get so close! What if I had accidentally touched you?”

The redhead, now leaning back on his heels at the foot of the gold cot, merely shrugged.

“What are you even doing here?”

This brought out his grin again. “I wanted to show you something.”

“Now? It’s the middle of the night.”

“Exactly. They’re only awake during the night hours.”

“What are?”

“Will you two shut up!” someone hissed from one of the lower concaves, followed by multiple annoyed agreements.

“The things I want to show you, of course,” Syram said, as if he hadn’t even noticed the shouts.

Midas groaned and massaged his eyes. “I don’t know, Syram. I’m really tired.”

“Oh.” The excitement in his voice faltered. “I just thought it might cheer you up. You’ve seemed…quieter lately. Sadder.”

He pulled down his hand at this to study the man before him. Syram had noticed his change in mood? Not only that, but he was making an effort to help him. He blew out a long sigh. “All right. Let’s go.”

Instantly the grin returned, and he scooted out of the concave, hopped onto the ladder, and was already halfway down by the time Midas had untangled himself from the blanket.

 

7.) Have you come across any problem areas?


Well, there’s the fact that it’s. so. massive. Remember how I decided to make this just book #1 of a duology or trilogy instead of a standalone? I thought that decision would make it shorter but AHAHAHAHAH. Nope. I’m like 93% sure I’m going to have to continue writing it through some of December if I want to finish it, which is kind of depressing. But here we are. Maybe one day I’ll write a short book for NaNo… (Why are you laughing?)


I’ve also been suddenly having the hardest time finding clever action beats. I feel like I’ve said “she smiled” like 48 times. I don’t know where my brain is, but it sure ain’t here. Thank goodness editing is a thing!


As far as the actual story. Mmm… I guess I have found a few holes in my plot that will need fixing, and I’m not sure I’ve elaborated well on some backstory and how certain things work. Mainly because it’s so complicated, and weaving it organically into the story is hurting my brain. One of these days, not only will I write a short book for NaNo, but it’ll be a simple story. (Seriously, why do you keep laughing?)

 

8.) What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?


Hitting 50k words was certainly a happy moment!


I was also really pleased when I fiiinally nailed Midas’ character down. Now I’m so deep in his head (being as how I spend hours there a day), it’s funny to even think about those first days where he was a mystery to me.


And I’m ecstatic to have made it to the big halfway point moment. I’ve been loving the story, but I was anxiously waiting to get to this part. I seriously can’t wait for all the upcoming scenes!

 

9.) Be honest, have you killed any characters off yet?



Aherm…her…herm…hem.


People maaay have already been dying by chapter 2. And if that doesn’t indicate what kind of book this is, I don’t know what will.

 

10.) Take us on a tour of a what a normal writing day for this particular novel has looked like. Where do you write? What time of day? Alone or with others? Is a lot of coffee (or some other drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media (*cough, cough*)? Tell all!


LOL. I basically write everywhere with no exact pattern to speak of. Every day has just been a mad dash of words every chance I can get.


Usually I don’t really get started until after lunch. I get some coffee and start writing, and don’t stop much until I’ve gotten 2k words written. I pretty much never let myself update my wordcount on the NaNo site until I’ve gotten in that first 2k. Once I reach that, I update my wordcount, take a bit of a break, then dive back in (after the first 2k, I’m allowed to update my wordcount every 1k words, it’s the little things that keep us motivated, amiright?). And I just…write. I write in the big comfy chair in my room, I write on the floor, I’ve been going out to sit on the porch a whole lot. And yes, I’m drinking coffee, lattes, and tea allll throughout the day.


I mostly write alone, though my sister and I have been writing together some because she’s doing NaNo too. And I definitely play music, can’t write without it. I’m always either listening to my Kings Bleed Gold playlist or songs from the Skyrim soundtrack.


I often end up writing all the way up to midnight, but that’s my cutoff line. I hate updating my wordcount after midnight because then it’ll count as the next day’s words and, er, I’m a little OCD and can’t stand that. But then, once it’s midnight, I usually end up checking all the social media and things I completely ignored during the day because I was too busy writing, and don’t end up in bed until 1 in the morning (I usually go to bed around 11:30 during non-NaNo months). Then I get up and do it all over again.


It’s a mess, really. But hey, I’m getting words in, so that’s what counts, right?


 

And there we are! Overall, it’s been a very successful and fun NaNo so far. I am kind of completely exhausted and overwhelmed, but what would NaNo be without sleep depravity and questioning life’s choices?



But it’s always worth it. I’m having a good time and, by the end of all the insanity, I’ll have another finished draft under my belt. I’ve still got a bit of a road ahead of me, but I hope to take it all the way.


Now excuse me while I go make another pot of coffee…


Don’t forget you can answer these questions yourself and join the linkup HERE!!!

 

TALK WITH ME!

YOUR TURN. Tell me some victories you’ve had this NaNo! Can you believe we are over halfway done with November??? How has your November been so far? And I do hope all my fellow Americans have the happiest of happy Thanksgivings! <3

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NaNoWriMo ‘18 Week Two: Involving Being Betrayed by Coffee, Halfway Points, and Making My Characters’ Lives Miserable



WHY YES I AM POSTING TWO DAYS IN A ROW. During NaNo. WILD, I KNOW. Buuut yesterday’s post was already prewritten and didn’t really count sooo here’s my regularly scheduled (but actually a day late) NaNo weekly update!


(But if you missed it, yesterday I posted Part #2 of the Know the Novel Linkup! And would love for you to join in!)


IT IS WEEK TWO OF NANO. And as much as I enjoyed week one, I think this second week has been even better! I mean, I’m in a fog of no sleep and just see a jumble of words on a screen whenever I close my eyes buuuut hahahaha! Sanity? Psssh. Who needs it.


 


NANO ‘18 WEEK TWO


 


MONDAY: DAY #5


Mondays are already crazy during non-NaNo months (I mean it’s MONDAY, who has calm Mondays???), so during NaNo? Ehehehehe.


Most Mondays I dedicate to doing some much needed cleaning, laundry, emailing, putting up my blog post and doing a bunch of other social media, just stuff so the rest of the week will go way smoother. I try not to forgo these important things during NaNo, so usually I limit my wordcount to 2k (instead of my usual goal of 5k a day…).


I was kind of dreading this first Monday of NaNo, but, actually? It ended up being really nice. After days of nonstop writing, it was rather refreshing to get away from the computer and do some cleaning and things (I’m a weirdo and actually enjoy cleaning???). And the words ended up coming really smoothly that day.


Also, I was writing about one of Midas’ worst days of his life (so far bwahahaha) that day, so, like, he was having a very Mondayish day himself.


I mean, this is the first paragraph of the chapter I was working on to give you an idea:


Every part of Midas seemed to be simultaneously screaming. Deep blisters had formed in his right hand and holes threatened to form in his left glove, his tunic clung to his blood- and sweat-soaked back, his arms shook with each swing of the pickaxe, and he was just sure his head would burst with one more minute of the clanks of pickaxes against stone. The single day had felt more like a hundred days rolled into one. A hundred days of pure, torturous agony.


Ah yes, pain. Good times, good times. (I’m writing such a nice book.)


Yep, I’d say the first Monday of NaNo ‘18 ended up being a success!


WORDS WRITTEN: 2,119

 


TUESDAY: DAY #6


I had nothing going on this day and was all set to do like a crazy 6k-word day. Since I was so busy Monday, and I was going to have to go to work the next day, I especially wanted to get extra in this free day. Buuuut for some reason the words were coming slOOOOooow. By the time I got 2k words in, it was already evening. I dragged out another 1k before bed, but I didn’t want to stay up terribly late because I had work the next day (I pretend to be a responsible adult sometimes).


STILL THOUGH. I had to remember just because I didn’t get 6k words in like I wanted, I still got a whole 3k! As a perfectionist, I waaay too often forget to celebrate my accomplishments, and instead badger myself for not constantly overachieving. (Hey, at least I serve as a great example of what not to do.) Learn from my mistakes, people, and don’t look at the words you didn’t write, but celebrate what you DID write. Because every. single. word. is progress!


And I did celebrate something that day…



I HIT 25K WORDS!!!


Halfway to 50k! Except only like…a 4th of the way through my novel but, again, let’s look at the accomplishments, not what I have ahead of me. Eheheheheh… I’msodoomed.


I also took time out that day to exercise which I had been slacking on but NEED to do, especially during NaNo since I’m sitting down even more than usual. Do take care of yourselves, my precious peeps! <3


WORDS WRITTEN: 3,580

 


WEDNESDAY: DAY #7


As mentioned, I had work this day, as is the usual for Wednesdays. But I didn’t mind. It was nice to get away from the computer a bit. AND it was my favorite weather for work—cold and rainy. Because I work at a cute little secondhand bookshop, and is there anything on this earth cozier than hanging out in a bookshop all day while it’s cold and rainy outside? Seriously now.


Normal people when it rains: Ugh, what a dreary day.
Me when it rains:
What a beautiful day!


So yeah, it was nice. But then when I got home I was all ready to dive back into writing and my slump of the day before was gone. The words flowed quite well, and I almost got as many words in as I did the previous day, despite not getting started until the evening.


Which showed me something that my stubborn, overachieving brain forgets every year: BREAKS ARE GOOD. I think the words were flowing well because I had gotten out of the house and had a good long break from my story before diving back in. Some days we have to give ourselves grace. The words are not going to flow easily and swiftly every day. In fact, those days are rare. But when the words are coming slow and hard, if we need to step back and take things easier, THAT’S OKAY. Sometimes it’s good to push through, but if you’re completely burning out, do be kind to yourself and take a break. And, in the end, the words will probably come faster, which can actually save you time, not lose it. Something to think about. *wriggles eyebrows*


WORDS WRITTEN: 3,175

 


THURSDAY: DAY #8


Here we are on the official first day of the second week and THIS. DAY. This day reminded me of why I’ve chosen to be a writer. Like I said, more often than not writing is hard, and too often those words have to be dragged out kicking and screaming (okay, actually we’re the ones kicking and screaming). But then there’s days like this that make it all worth it.


This is the day I truly fell in love with Kings Bleed Gold.


“But, ummm…didn’t you say you already did that last week?” you’re probably saying. Yes, I immensely enjoyed the story last week, and it was fun getting into the feel of it and discovering my characters. But at this point I finally have the feel down, know Midas through-and-through, and am really into the meat of the story. (Fun Fact: I’m one of the rare few who actually loves story middles. They’re my favorite!)


It seems like the second week of NaNo is the hardest for most because the newness of the exciting event has died out a little, we’ve gone a whole week with no sleep, and there’s still so much of the month left. So I get it. Week two can absolutely be rough. But since I can’t be normal. Ever. >.> Week two is actually when I really start enjoying myself.


And yep, lo and behold, the first day of week two has been my favorite day of this NaNo thus far. I wrote 2 full chapters from start to finish (which may not sound like that huge of a feat but my chapters keep being so long ugh), and was basically grinning all day over how much fun I was having.


I think a lot had to do with the fact that Midas was really getting to grow a friendship with Syram and Korinna (and I just adore my precious babies), and he took a step toward character growth that day #proudmomma (I say as I destroy his life). ButalsoSyram.


It didn’t hurt that it was super foggy and mysterious looking outside. Very inspiring.


WORD WRITTEN: 6,142

 


FRIDAY: DAY #9


I was hoping my writing high of the previous day would continue on to this one, and I did very much enjoy writing, buuut it wasn’t quite as magical as Thursday. Oh well, gotta face reality. XD Things did go pretty well this day. Except…


The coffee pot broke.



After lunch I went to make coffee, got it all assembled, pushed the button, and…nothing happened. It wouldn’t turn on. It was having a few problems for the past few days, but I didn’t think it was just all-out dying. BUT IT DID. DURING NANO. The worst possible time everrrr. Thanks, coffee pot. I thought you loved me! D’:


Ahem, so yes, I may have spent a good 5 minutes draped over the kitchen cabinet groaning over this terrible fate…until I remembered I had a latte mix that just requires milk to be microwaved and is a great substitute for coffee. #crisisaverted


Other than that, the day went quite well. I wrote all of chapter ten that day, which I was happy about. Something about hitting the double digit chapters feels like I’m making real progress.


WORDS WRITTEN: 4,178

 


SATURDAY: DAY #10


So this day was…interesting. It was one of those terrible, awesome days, ya feel?


It started off freezing. Coldest day we’ve had of fall thus far. I loved it. *grins* It was also sunny which was kinda nice. I adooore the rain, but it had been dark and rainy all week and it was rather nice to see the sun out. (I basically love all weather in the cold. As long as its cold, I’m happy.) I had work this day, and it was a rather quiet, chill day. On Saturdays I only work until 2, so when I got off I popped over to McDonald’s to grab coffee for my family and me ‘cause, ya know, the coffee pot was broke. >.> Annnd we’re pathetic and can’t go a day with the stuff.


McDonald’s was super crowded, but I was just enjoying the nice weather and didn’t mind…at first. Then they made me pull up and wait for my coffee. I waited for a good while when someone came out…with the wrong order. So I waited more annnd they brought the wrong order again. I eventually turned off my car, not wanting to leave it running. And guess what, for THE THIRD TIME, they brought the wrong thing to my car??? This time they took my receipt, and I continued waiting. FORTY. FIVE. MINUTES. LATER. they brought out the right order. What even??? So, with coffee finally in hand, I cranked my car and…it wouldn’t start.


Yeppp. I sat there for forty-five minutes only to have my car die on me. Because I guess getting into a car crash last weekend wasn’t enough. Gotta have another car problem this week. :)))



Thankfully, our house is just a few minutes away and my mom and brother came to get me. But then there was the problem that my car was in a bad place to just leave. God provided though, because there were some men who were able to help us push it out of the way and into a parking place until we could get it towed and fixed. But yeah, that was…fun.


The coffee was tasty though.


I came home, drank my coffee, and wrote a few words, but then we wanted to go do some shopping and get a new coffee pot because #priorities But also it was a nice day to just be out and about. Then, a good friend texted and asked if I wanted to have supper and catch up because we haven’t had a chance to see each other in AAAGES. Obviously I jumped on that…except I didn’t have a car. But she was precious and picked me up. We ended up sitting at the restaurant chatting for hours. By the time I got home, I was exhausted but utterly filled up.


I only wrote for a total of 30 minutes that day. But you know what? I didn’t care. ‘Cause some days life happens, and we have to roll with it. And sometimes we have to seize the moment and soak it up. It’s a wonderful thing to carve out time for your writing. A necessary thing. But it’s also good to get out and enjoy the crazy moments of life.


So yeah. Saturday was, erm, stressful. But it also ended really well. ‘Cause, ya know, life.


WORDS WRITTEN: 566
(Lowest daily wordcount thus far, but like I said, every word is progress!)

 


SUNDAY: DAY #11


After Saturday, I was prettyyyy exhausted. Once I sat down to write Sunday, I was worried it was going to be a hard day because all I really wanted to do was read or watch TV or take a nap or basically anything that didn’t involve brain activity. Buuut me being my stubborn self who tells everyone to take care of themselves and then doesn’t actually take care of herself, felt a great need to write since I barely got any words in the day before. And…writing went fantastic. I was in shock.


A huge factor that helped this day was using a timer. The ever-fabulous Deborah (pst, go follow her, she’s the best) always suggests setting a timer to do word sprints with yourself. I took up this wonderful idea a couple of years ago and it helps SO. MUCH. There’s nothing like a timer counting down to make you chain that inner editor up in the closet and just WRITE. Then, just the other day, Abbiee (whom you should all also go follow because her posts are inspiration and motivation wrapped in gold) did a post on how she stays motivated during NaNo and said she sets the timer for 25 minutes and writes nonstop, then takes a 5 minutes break (away from the computer), then repeats. I loved this idea so much, I tried it and…it worked. Despite wanting to just take a nap all day Sunday, I ended up getting a ton of words in, and they came quick because I set that timer and just WROTE WROTE WROTE. I’m absolutely going to be doing this epic method more!


Also, Sunday’s writing was particularly fun because things took an interesting turn and Midas discovered all sorts of intriguing backstory things that changes everything. Bwahaha! (Writing can be so fun, guys, seriously.)


Oh, and we did get a new coffee pot Saturday so I do in fact have access to the liquid life force once more.



WORDS WRITTEN: 5,195

 

Total Words Written: 24,955
(Should have written 45 more words lol.)

 


CONCLUSION


Well, the coffee pot broke and so did my car. BUT writing went extremely well this week, even better than last week. I’m finally fully inside Midas’ head, have a good feel of the story, and all sorts of (painful, terrible) thiiings are happening. *grins* I also feel like the writing is at least a smidge smoother than the earlier chapters. One can hope…


At this rate, I am kind of worried I won’t quite be able to get it done by the end of the month which I was really hoping to do. I’ve only got 11 chapters written of 35 so it’s not looking good. But hey, it’s NaNo. Who knows what’ll happen!


Also, I apologize if these updates are way too detailed (because they totally are) and boring. I, erm, sort of write them for myself because NaNo is an extremely special time to me and I love having a log or something to remember each one by. (But also my tired NaNo brain can’t come up with normal posts for the the month so this is what ya get…)  I so appreciate all the support you precious people give me during this time of long, incoherent posts and my entire social media only being NaNo updates. You’re the best!

 

TALK WITH ME!

Now for the best part, getting to hear about YOUR week! How’s this second week treating you all, fellow NaNo-ers??? I hope it’s going well, but don’t forget, every word counts! And how’s November been for everyone? (Mine’s been extremely rainy and I’m loving it.)

Monday, November 12, 2018

Know the Novel Part 2 - Within the WIP {A Writers Linkup}



And I am back with PART TWO of my Know the Novel linkup! A 3-part linkup for us writers to share fun tidbits about our noveling ventures.


Part 1 was all about introducing our novels. Now we’re going to get to the deep stuff: WRITING THE NOVEL. Because, um, it’s NANOWRIMO, GUYS. We have survived the first week (or did we??? *Twilight Zone music*) and are now well into week two. Which means if you’re eyeballs aren’t burning out of their sockets, your brain doesn’t wonder what the real world even is anymore, and you haven’t just finished your 473rd cup of coffee for the month, then you’re probably doing something wrong.


Juuuust kidding.


…I think. (Someonehelpme.)


If you missed last month’s post announcing this linkup, here’s the deets!
(Here’s the deets? Wow, I sound like I’m trying to be “hip” like all the youngsters these days.)



THE INFO


Know the Novel is a 3-part linkup series, one for each of these last three months of the year. Each one will feature ten questions you can answer on your own blog (or anywhere else on social media if you’d like!). The questions will be focusing on different parts of the novel/your writing.


It goes as followed:


October

  • Part One: Introductory – These questions were centered on you telling us all about your novel and giving the fun, juicy details. We had over 30 participants! Like GUYS. What a fantastic turn out! And oh my goodness, you all blew. me. away. with the creativity. SO many epic sounding novels in the works! Do check out all the links because wow wow wow. All the awesome novel ideas!


November

  • Part Two: Within the WIP – This is more focused on how the writing is going, what problems and victories you’ve experienced, your writing process, etc. Basically all the fun behind the scenes writing things!


December

  • Part Three: Writing and Beyond – The last one will have questions asking how the full writing of the novel went and what your next plans for your novel will be!


The gist of it is,  I throw ten novel/writing-related questions your way each month, and you can answer them on your own blog.


Though I am doing this during NaNo season since, ya know, a lot of us are doing NaNo. You DO NOT have to be doing NaNoWriMo to participate. You can answer these questions for any WIP you have. And you DID NOT have to participate in part 1 to do this one. It’s all just for fun! There are basically no rules. Plus I love seeing what all my writer frens are working on. So share away!



Easy peasy! Now for this month’s questions!



KNOW THE NOVEL PART TWO:
WITHIN THE WIP



I’d be honored for you to use the graphic above for your own posts, but it’s certainly not required!



 QUESTIONS


1. How’s the writing going?

2. What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?

3. Has your novel surprised you in any way?

4. What do you think of your characters at this point? Who’s your favorite to write about?

5. If you were transported into your novel and became any one of the characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you take any different actions than they have?

6. Give us the first sentence or paragraph and then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!

7. Have you come across any problem areas?

8. What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?

9. Be honest, have you killed any characters off yet?

10. Take us on a tour of a what a normal writing day for this particular novel has looked like. Where do you write? What time of day? Alone or with others? Is a lot of coffee (or some other drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media (*cough, cough*)? Tell all!

 

 SHARE YOUR LINK


Now for the important bit, ADDING YOUR LINK! Do be sure to use the widget below to link to your post so others can check it out!



This one closes at midnight on November 30th (the end of NaNo *le gasp*). But part 3 will be coming your way on the second Monday of December. I’m excited!

 


TALK WITH ME!

Let’s talk writing!!! If you’re doing NaNo, how’s it going? Are you surviving? Having fun? Ready for a 12 year nap? Tell me everything! If you’re not doing NaNo, are you working on any writing projects anyway? Or being an actual sane person and taking a break for the holidays while cackling at us haggard Wrimos? (Okay, but really, you guys always encourage us crazies so much and I love you all. <333)

Monday, November 5, 2018

NaNoWriMo ‘18 Week One: Involving Surprises from Characters, Nutcrackers, and 911



OH HI THERE. How are you? I’m fine. Just sitting over here, ya know, SCREAMING BECAUSE IT’S NANOWRIMO AND HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN???


Ahem. Yep. Perfectly calm.


But seriously, guys, IT’S NANO. And just WUT? I think I’m still in shock that it’s actually here and we’re a few days in and nearing the end of the first week. It came fast and hard!



Screaming aside, it is in fact Monday, which means I should be posting a blog post, but during NaNo I usually just explode my blog with totally incoherent writing updates (we’re gonna pretend that’s not what I do the rest of the year eventhoughitkindofis). So if you nosy dragons are curious how my 2018 NaNo has been thus far (and what on earth the title of this post means bwahaha), buckle in!

 

NANO ‘18 WEEK ONE

 

THE WEEK BEFORE


I’m gonna be honest, this was one of the first years I was terrified I was not going to get everything done before NaNo. My outline was being a monster, my inbox had exploded, I was really exhausted the week leading up to NaNo, things just weren’t looking great. But, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s nothing like a deadline to kick me into super ultra hyper drive. I sat myself down and kicked my brain until it finally figured out my story’s ending. I attacked my inbox with full force. I caught up on social media, I did some cleaning, I even threw together a mock cover for my book which I always love to do for my NaNo novels but this year just did not think I’d get the time. BUT I DID IT.


And so, by Wednesday evening, I found myself, miracle of miracles, READY. It was such a relieving feeling! Now that I had gotten things more in order and finally had all of my novel mapped out, I knew I could just relax and enjoy the writing process. I WAS READY TO GO. …Sorta.


Every single NaNo (except for last year due to work getting in the way), I’ve stayed up on October 31st to midnight to start writing. It’s such a thrilling moment when that clock strikes twelve and you jump into that story you’ve been anticipating, plus get a good start for the month at the literal first second. Buuut this time I was tired. I had gotten up a little early Wednesday because I had work that day and, really, I wanted nothing more than to collapse in bed and sleep, but I also reeeally wanted to stay up to midnight and write some. Finally, I caved and decided forget good health and common sense! IT’S NANO. Let’s do this thing! (Read: I’m a terrible influence and you should probably never follow my example.)


 

THURSDAY: DAY #1


This year I was going to be a little itty bitty NaNo rebel (which is what it’s called when you don’t start a brand new fictional novel for NaNo) because technically I already had 1k words of this story written. Buuuut after completely outlining it and actually figuring out what’s going on, I decided to scrap those 1k words and fully rewrite the beginning. So I’m not a rebel this year after all!


ANYWAYS.


It was ten minutes before midnight, and the rush of excitement woke me up a little bit. I made some tea, grabbed my laptop, opened Kings Bleed Gold’s Scrivener file, stuck my headphones in, and…WROTE. And guys. GUYS. IT WAS SO FUN.


I don’t know if it’s because I had written the beginning before (I did change the scene a lot, but it was still more or less the same scene I had scrapped) or…what. But the writing went so smoothly. Because, see, story beginnings are the bane of my existence. It always takes me a bit to get into the story and figure out the characters’ voices and grasp the right feel of the novel and just get into that groove of writing, you know? So, pretty much always, the first couple of days or so of NaNo are pretty rough and grueling. And it’s funny because every year I think, “Well, maybe the beginning will go better this year!” and then every year the beginning does not go better at all. So this year, I struck down that optimistic thinking (lololol so positive) and was all set for a hard couple of days of writing. I just knew if I could get past the first days, then I’d start really enjoying the story and having fun.


Well har har. I guess I did reverse psychology on myself? Because the first days of writing were a joy. When I started writing at midnight, the words just flowed. Since I was so tired, I had decided I’d just write 500 words and then go to bed. But I ended up writing 1k and had to force myself to stop and sleep, but I really didn’t want to! I went to bed so happy and encouraged and raring to go.


The following day was a gloriously free day and it was cold and rainy—optimum writing weather. And so I did. And wrote and wrote and wrote. It continued to go well, not perfect of course, but far better than most beginnings. Now, that’s not to say the writing isn’t a disastrous mess. I’m pretty sure it is, but that’s what editing is for, yeah?


I think my favorite part of writing this day was the setting. The beginning starts in Midas’ kingdom which is based off Ancient Greece, a setting I’ve never written before, and I found it such a fun place to build and explore. Writing is awesome, guys! I’m just sayin’.


WORDS WRITTEN: 7,031
(Ehehehe…yeah. But 1k of that was the night before technically, and I always try to get as much in as I can on the first day.)

 

FRIDAY: DAY #2


The success of the first day was boosting me on, and I started this day with a goal to end it with 5k words (because, pffft, who even needs a life and sanity and sleep?). I honestly barely even remember anything that happened Friday except writing????


By this point the story was really moving, and I got to write some high action scenes and drama which is always a good time bwahahaha! I was also getting to know Midas much better.


While day one of writing did go well and I was loving the setting, I was not feeling as emotionally connected to my protagonist as I’d like. Midas was just kind of….there, and I feel like the writing was a bit too distant and not as deep into his point-of-view as I like. (I’m alllll about those deep POV stories.) But I wasn’t stressing it too hard. I knew it’d come, I just needed a bit more time with him.


But by the second day I was definitely getting a grasp of his voice. And he’s surprised me. Like a lot. Because…he’s nice. See, the first idea of this story was to make an extremely jerkish main character and then torture and break him into a good person. I’msonice. Things of course evolved, but that idea is still the core of the story. I was a bit worried Midas was going to be unlikable though. Who wants a jerk of a protagonist??? But it doesn’t matter how over-the-top-detailed I make my character bios, I never really get to know them until I start actually writing them. My characters just kinda…do what they want. I never force their personalities, they just come. So, though I do have a huge bio for Midas, I knew I’d have to write him to fully see how he’d come out. And, like, he’s way, way nicer than I originally thought…



I mean, yes, he still has a ton of issues, can be a huge brat, has plenty of jerk-ish moments, and is selfish beyond belief, buuuut he’s also charismatic and (hopefully) rather likable. And this is a good thing! Because now I think I can continue my plan of utterly breaking him in two, while also having a protagonist that’s not totally detestable. Win-win! He’s also proving to be a bit of a sass-master, which I’m not complaining about… Except he keeps sassing off the big, scary, murderous dragons and eheheheh good luck with that, boy.


But really, I’m having a blast figuring him out. He feels a lot different from the protagonists I’m used to writing, and I like that!


WORDS WRITTEN: 5,005

 

SATURDAY: DAY #3


Writing has honestly just gotten more and more fun with each day, which is usually what happens in the first week. Now I was really getting a grasp of Midas’ voice and finally delved into that deep POV I felt like I was missing at the start. I was at last not just writing words on a page, I was living them, which is my absolute favorite feeling.


This day of writing was particularly fun because we got our first glimpse of SYRAM. Midas met the crazy boy for the first time, and I may or may not have been grinning through the whole scene (because fangirling over your own characters is normal???). Then, at the end of that day’s writing session, Korinna entered the picture, which was a scene I was quite looking forward to. I didn’t get very far into it though, but leaving in the middle of a scene I was excited about helped me jump right into writing the next day (which is something I should remember…).


WORDS WRITTEN: 5,556

 

SUNDAY: DAY #4


This is the day the true adventures began.


As I said, I had left on a scene I was enjoying, and jumping back into it took no time. This was Midas’ and Korinna’s first meeting, and I was curious to see how they interacted. Which…to non-writers (and probably even some writers) may sound weird but, as I said earlier, my characters just do what they want. I really NEVER know exactly what they’re going to be like until I start writing them, and then it’s even more so when they’re first interacting. Like…will they like each other? Hate one another? Be super awkward? WHO CAN KNOW.


I feel like first character meetings are like being a parent trying to set up playdates with new friends for your kids and hoping to goodness they get along.



Except…oftentimes the goal is for the characters to not get along in order to create conflict, and we writers spend like 96% of our time figuring out ways to makes our characters lives worse so, um, maybe comparing us to parents is a bad thing. Ahem.


ANYWAYS.


I’m pleased to say the first meeting between Midas and Korinna went super well, and now I’m really excited to write more scenes between them. I think the dynamics between them and Syram are going to be SO FUN. (I just love characters, guys!)


So most of this day’s writing was their conversation, and I was having a lovely time. I had to cut the writing a little short though, becaaause I was going to see The Nutcracker and the Four Realms!!!



I have been screaming in excitement over this movie since the day the teaser trailer came out last December. I’ve always, always adored watching ballet and I really like the story of The Nutcracker and go to see pretty much anything Disney produces so yeah. I WAS EXCITED.


And…it was good. But it didn’t blow me away. *ALL THE TEARS* Really, it had all the right elements. Clara was a good heroine, everything was GORGEOUS, I adored all the things being run on clockwork, the fantasy world was awesome, there were some fun scenes and lovely music. But…it just didn’t enthrall me. I think the problem was they had this big, awesome, fantasy world and didn’t really use it. The plot was way too simplistic and straightforward, and honestly just kind of lame. And I have this weird pet peeve about simple plots being set in huge, intricate, epic worlds. Like…no. If you’re going to promise me an epic world, I want a big, epic story to go with it. But I think that’s just a weird Christine thing SO. I still totally recommend going to see the movie! It was definitely worth the watch, and actually had me tearing up a time or two. I just expected more. (I think after the pure perfection of Maleficent, my expectations have been too high for these new Disney movies. Because Maleficent was EVERYTHING and I want more like that!)


But yeah, it was definitely a great break to go see the movie, especially since movies are one of the biggest things that refills my creativity tank, but after looking forward to it for almost a year I do wish it had enraptured me more.


So that happened. And then, later, my sis and I were in the car with my dad. It was dark and rainy, and we were at a red light, minding our own business and discussing supper plans, when, right in front of us, a car smashed into another one, spun out, hit a pole, and bumped into the front of Dad’s truck. O____O Um. Yeah. Cue the panicking.


Dad called 911, everyone scrambled out of their cars, and, praise God, no one was hurt. Which, really, was a miracle of God. The front of the first car was destroyed, and the one that spun out was pretty much totaled. Yet still, somehow, the person inside was unscathed. Still thanking God for that! My dad’s truck just got a dent in the front, nothing major.



But yeah, that was quite the adventure. I’m just so, so grateful everyone was fine. Definitely an unexpected way to end our Sunday evening.


Needless to say, this was a much slower day of writing than the previous ones. But I did get in that good bit of writing at the start of the day, so I’ll take it! And I guess now I have an interesting experience to remember this NaNo by??? We’ll look at the positives. Eheheh.


WORDS WRITTEN: 1,714


Total Word Count: 19,306


I had really hoped to hit 20k, buuut obviously I was a smidge preoccupied yesterday.

 

CONCLUSION


Other than yesterday’s little hiccup, it has been an AWESOME start to NaNo ‘18. And I feel like the farther I get into my novel, the more I’m going to love it.


But don’t get me wrong. It has not been perfectly smooth sailing. I know there are going to be plenty of hard days ahead as the holidays get closer and life piles up and burnout takes root. And don’t think every word has come easy for me! I’ve been agonizing over how to word things like every other sentence, and literally keep thesaurus.com permanently opened because apparently coming up with a different word for something like dropped is too much for my tired brain??? I also suspect every word of this novel is a monstrous mess of grossness (I haven’t dared read back over any of it). BUT. I have been enjoying the story immensely and am getting words down, and that’s what counts! Just have fun and make a mess, guys!


Also, I know I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating: The only reason I’m able to get a high wordcount in each day is because I do not have a full-time job, go to school, or have children and such like that, and, due to health problems, I live a pretty quiet life in general. I honestly don’t know how so many of you manage to keep up with NaNo amidst school or work or raising children and just all the things you do. YOU’RE ALL AMAZING.


Just remember, we all have our own pace and a certain amount of craziness in our lives, and there’s nothing wrong with that one tiny bit. So write when you can, don’t stress it when you can’t, and just enjoy the journey! Because writing is seriously a magical thing, you guys!


Week two is near approaching, which can often be the hardest one as the excitement of week one has worn down but there’s still such a long road ahead. But let’s face that road with our adventure boots on (or am I the only one who feels like adventuring whenever I wear boots?) and race across it with enthusiasm. WE’VE GOT THIS!


 

TALK WITH ME!

To all my fellow Wrimos: HOW’S IT GOING??? Have you survived the first stretch of the journey? What are some victories you’ve faced these past few days? And to my non-NaNo-ing readers: How was your first week of November? I do hope these cool, crisp days are treating you well (and that we NaNo-ers haven’t driven you totally up the wall with all our NaNo talk eheh). TELL ME EVERYTHING!

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