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.”
“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.”
“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?
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