So I made myself a book cover…

This is some of what happens when I really don’t want to be productive, but need to be more productive than browsing Pinterest.  And hey, this is totally inspirational, right?

image copyright to Shim

I was going to try to write up some kind of back-cover blurb thingy to share in this post, but ohmygosh those are so hard to write.  (It probably doesn’t help that I’m only in the middle of the first draft, so…heh.)

So instead, here’s a…shorter blurb-thingy.

Former thief Ceveth and his two older siblings are contacted by someone named Izi who offers them the heist of a lifetime—break into the most secure building in the city, the city hall treasury, and steal an unidentified item  As a reward, Izi promises them a fresh start to their lives—and the only way to keep from ending up in prison for the rest of their lives.

(And for anyone who’s curious, I shared an excerpt of the first chapter over here.)

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World-building! Yay!

And so we start the world-building again!

This is blackboard tape on my bedroom wall.  It was a Christmas present and I love it so much.  I can’t decide which is better anymore—my whiteboard, my sticky-notes, or my blackboard!

After deciding that I won’t start any major plot changes/revisions until after I’ve had at least one beta-reader go through my novel and give me feedback, I figured starting the world building now would be acceptable.  I tried it last night, actually, and ended up instead extremely frustrated.

Today, though, proved to be much more fruitful!  That blackboard was actually mostly empty this morning, and the strip underneath wasn’t there at all.

I decided that I was going to start my world building with the history.  And the history, I’d start at the beginning.  Yay for figuring out creation!  I actually considered an idea for it, but then it developed into something else, and now I have a really, really awesome idea for my religion, and no clue how the world actually came into existence.  (I’ll probably say “science” and be done with it.  Because, really.)

Tomorrow I’m going to work more on fleshing out my timeline (that’s what that bottom strip is), and then next week, I’ll probably be working on research.  I suck at research and my first and second draft were both written with a “I’ll pretend I know what I’m talking about and hope nobody notices” kind of attitude.

I’m pretty sure that won’t actually slide.  (It actually already hasn’t, considering the culture and whatnot of my world feels very blank.)  And I would like to know what I’m talking about in a few cases.  So now begins the research!  Yay!

That’s basically how it’s going so far.

I also happen to be procrastinating from my WIP, but hopefully that won’t last long, because I would like to finish the first draft of that.

How goes the writing for everyone else?  Where do you usually start when you tackle the huge chaotic mess that is world-building?

Showing versus Telling & Subtlety

Sometimes being subtle is more descriptive, I’ve found.  Saying “they were brothers” is specific, but not really descriptive. What kind of relationship do they have? Are they estranged or close?

Showing

I realized that while writing about the siblings in my story. I did say outright that they were two brothers and a sister—but the important part is actually the way they treat each other.  For example, they argue a lot. Especially the older two. And yet they also have pet nicknames for each other. These two things together show both how close they are and yet also how imperfect their relationship is.

Yet it’s also totally subtle. I never pointed out either of these two things (or any of the other ways they treat each other that help suggest their relationship), but it still helps the reader figure out what the dynamics are between the characters, way better than me saying “they’re siblings” does.  Or even “the siblings were close, but they had some issues”.

Actually, this is exactly what showing instead of telling is. I am showing their relationships.

I think there actually is a place for telling, somewhat. In this particular situation, who’s to say that my “showing” won’t leave the reader just assuming they’re really good friends, rather than siblings?  I think I show their being family well enough, but that’s certainly something to consider, hence why I actually do say they are siblings.

I hesitate to let this turn into another “showing versus telling” post, because there’s already so many of them out there.  But it really clicked with me, this time, exactly what showing is.

In all the examples of showing versus telling I’ve seen in the past, it always seems to be smaller things.  Say, emotion.  Show the emotion, don’t just tell me she’s angry.  Right?  We know that.   (On the subject of showing emotions, the Emotion Thesaurus is awesome for helping with that.)

But showing is so much deeper than that.  In fact, it occurred to me, you can show while telling.  Take, for example, a description of a room.  If you describe the room, you’re probably telling.  But while you’re telling me what the room looks like, you can pick your words so that at the same time, you’re showing what the narrator thinks/feels about the room.

Another thing is character arcs.  Or character personalities.  Do we tell our readers upfront that this character is saucy?  Well, maybe, but then what do we do?  Show their sauciness.  And then as the story progresses, again, we show the character development.  What good would development be if it was all told?

Once upon a time, Selena was a spoiled child who had no idea what privileges she had.  Then her father declared bankruptcy and she lost everything.  She got a taste for what life is like at the poverty level, and she found humility.

THE END.

That really isn’t how we develop characters.  Or introduce characters.  Or introduce events.  Or…really any of that.  I’m pretty sure even the “the end” is telling.  (You know, usually we show readers they reached the end by having a back cover after the last page.)

Or world-building!  Isn’t that all showing, as well?  (Of course, there is the occasional world-building info-dump because I think it’s impossible to avoid info-dumps 100%, but still, that isn’t how all of it’s shown.  Or even most.)

Showing goes way deeper than just a simple “her cheeks turned pink and she looked at the ground” instead of “she was ashamed”.  And I think the best showing is so subtle, you don’t necessarily know you’re being shown.

Beautiful People: Sibling…sort of Rivalry

Since my WIP mostly involves two brothers and a sister, I thought I’d dig out the Beautiful People: Sibling Edition questions from a few months ago and do a character interview with the three of them.

Hopefully they’ll be more informative than the last time I tried to do the sibling questions.  I doubt they’ll be cooperative, though.

1. What is the first memory you have of each other?

Dazant: I remember Cev’s birth, more or less, although it’s hazy. Well, I mean, his infancy.  Ki, I think… I don’t know, something when we were really little.  Before the orphanage.

Kivessa: Daz and I stole some candies from one of the orphanage staff, but we got caught, and had to give the candies back.  I was so disappointed, Daz went back and got me a lollipop.

Dazant: You remember that?  You were like…four.

Ceveth: I kind of remember when we left the orphanage.  Ish.  Mostly I remember being confused and hurt that we had to leave.

Dazant: There was a reason we did that.

Ceveth: I know that, I just mean I didn’t then.  I was four?  Five?

2. Describe your relationship in 3 words.

Dazant: Um.

Ceveth: Complementary?

Kivessa: Um.

Ceveth: Nope, never mind.  Uh…

Kivessa: How about we don’t use words?  *presses her fist into her other palm threateningly and glares at the boys*

Ceveth: Hey!  What’s that for?

Kivessa: I’m just kidding.  I don’t think we can really express it in three words.  We each have our ridiculous, obnoxious quirks and flaws, but we are a team.  Although we could be better.  *glares at Dazant again*

Dazant: *ignores her*

3. What kind of things do you like to do together?

Kivessa: You mean what we already do together?  We broke into a bank once.

Dazant: You sound like it’s a fun and useless hobby, Ki.

Ceveth: *winces* It kind of is a hobby for Ki.

Dazant: *sigh*

Kivessa: So?

Dazant: You don’t even care about the morals that come with being thieves, do you?

Ceveth: *absently fiddles with his bionic ear, and the other two wince*

Dazant: Let’s go onto the next question, please?

4. What was your biggest fight?

Ceveth: You mean, what is their biggest fight?  They don’t stop fighting.

Dazant & Kivessa: *flat look*

Dazant: Actually, the fighting was really bad right after…

Kivessa: After…

Ceveth: You can just say the accident.  You two wince about it more than I do.

*silence*

5. How far would you go to save each other?

Dazant: As far as I have to.

Kivessa: *scoffs*  Like making our lives miserable and stuff.  Yeah, really trying your hardest to save us, Daz.  I appreciate it so much.

Dazant: Don’t you even—!

Ceveth: *interrupts loudly* We all have to work together to keep each other safe, and I think we’d all do whatever it takes to keep us a team.

6. What are you pet peeves about each other?

Kivessa: Everything.

Ceveth: *tries to not groan*

Dazant: *sighs*  Let’s not worry about this question so much.

7. What are your favorite things about each other?

Dazant: When Kivessa isn’t purposefully trying to get on my nerves—*glares more*—she can give some good advice, and she does know how to look after herself.  Sometimes.

Kivessa: Daz, you—*sighs*  The same, I guess.  I know he is looking out for Cev and me, even if sometimes he acts foolish.

Ceveth: Um.  *kind of hides in background*  I—I don’t really know?  I don’t think I know either of them well enough to really… *trails off*

8. What traits do you share? Mannerisms, clothing, quirks, looks, etc?

Kivessa: Clothes?  Eep, no, thank you.  Neither of them have any sense of style.  I mean, okay, they do at least wear jeans, but…they make it look sloppy.

Ceveth: *kind of speechless*

Dazant: *rolls his eyes*

Kivessa: *attempts to flip her hair stylishly but just looks kind of goofy*

Ceveth: *still speechless*

Dazant: Cev and I look a lot alike.  If I recall, we also both look a lot like our mother.

Kivessa: Your frowns are almost identical.  It’s actually kind of creepy.

Ceveth: *blinks*

9. Who has the strongest personality?

*a long silence*

Ceveth: Not me, that’s for sure.

Dazant: Ki, I guess?

10. How does your relationship change throughout your story?

Dazant: Supposedly, we’ll all grow closer and actually learn to truly complement one another.  But since we’re still in chapter two as of the writing of this post, nothing much has changed yet.


Yeah, that basically went how I expected it to.  Unfortunately, the problem with this is that all I really got was the tension between Kivessa and Dazant, and poor Ceveth is hardly even here.  I think I’ll have to get them by themselves in some more interviews.

Project “Cyberspace”: Excerpt from Chapter One

As mentioned a few times in previous posts, I started a new story.  My current working title is Sleeping in Cyberspace, but I usually call it Cyberspace.  I wrote the first chapter not so long ago, and I thought I’d share it.  So ta-da!  (Critique is appreciated, but mostly I just want you to enjoy it.)

And then he was in.

Ceveth glanced up from his tablet screen, making sure that Dazant hadn’t glanced his way. To his relief, Dazant was still staring out the window, oblivious. Kivessa saw him, and waved her hand impatiently, mouthing, Get back to it before he looks over!

Forcing his attention back to the tablet screen, Ceveth swallowed down the guilt, the paranoia, and everything else that came with what he was doing. Mostly the guilt. He tried to tell himself that he’d had no choice, that Kivessa had forced him into it, but she really hadn’t. He’d been eager.

Eager to break into another person’s identity, and use their money to purchase something.

Oh, he felt so guilty. And yet, he didn’t stop.

“C’mon,” Kivessa whispered, keeping her voice just barely soft enough that Dazant wouldn’t hear it. She shot Ceveth another impatient glare.

He took another breath and ignored her. He had already broken in. That’d been the hard part–but then, this was the risky part. He reconnected his tablet to Izioth–glanced again at Dazant–received another glare from Kivessa–clicked the purchase. Instantly, the confirmation window appeared, requesting that he press his right thumb against the screen so it could scan his thumbprint and confirm his identity and his purchase. With another nervous swallow, Ceveth pulled up the program he’d written so that he could get around having to put the thumbprint in, or else it would recognize that not only was his thumbprint different than the identity he had broken into, but his thumbprint would also pull up all the records of his past. And then the purchase would be cancelled and police-droids would be surrounding the building any moment.

Dazant suddenly said, “I think we need to find a new safe-house.”

Ceveth startled, but Kivessa kept her cool. She shot one last narrow-eyed glance at Ceveth, then regarded Dazant as if nothing in the slightest bit suspicious was happening. “Why’s that?”

Ceveth fidgeted in his seat, pulling his knees up and resting his tablet against them, so if Dazant decided to glance over, he wouldn’t see the tablet. The program wasn’t as fast as Ceveth wished it was, and it would be another few moments before the purchase actually went through. Until then, he could still get caught by Dazant.

“I think we’ve pushed it too long,” Dazant said. “We need to relocate.” He did glance over then, and Ceveth had to force himself to not tense up. “You know Izioth has patrols every few months to make sure things are as it thinks they should be.”

Kivessa pursed her lips, thoughtful. She crossed her arms behind her back, where only Ceveth could see her hand making circular movements, indicating he needed to hurry up. “Where would we go, then? Somewhere further west?”

Dazant grabbed one of the chairs a little bit too close to Ceveth, but then pulled it back to the window and sat. Ceveth relaxed again.

75%, his tablet informed him.

“Actually, I was thinking we leave the city entirely.”

Ceveth and Kivessa froze simultaneously, staring at him. Then they traded glances.

“Why?” Ceveth asked, at the same time as Kivessa cried, “Daz, don’t be ridiculous! What are we going to do outside of New LA? You can’t find work out in the country!”

“And I clearly can’t find work here, either,” Dazant snapped, instantly on the defensive. Ceveth could tell he’d been thinking about the idea for a while, even if he’d only suggested it now.

83%

“But—” Kivessa started.

“No, hear me out before you start arguing!”

89%

Dazant took a deep breath, closing his eyes, gathering his words together.  Ceveth tried to pretend he wasn’t looking at his tablet anymore, and instead focusing on his older brother.  Just let it finish.  It’s eleven percent.  It’ll finish.  It’ll be fine.

Dazant still didn’t speak.  He ran his fingers through his light hair, looking back towards the window.  “Let’s face it, Ki,” he said, a little softly.  “I’m not going to find anything here in the city.  Anything legitimate will not be willing to pass over our identities or be willing to ignore using thumbprints—and even if they were, Izioth would find us anyway.”

“And you think it’ll be any different outside of the city?  Izioth can find us anywhere, Daz.”

“There’s less resources in the country.  Izioth won’t be able to find us as easily.”

“There’s less resources for us to survive!  You aren’t thinking this through very well!”

That hit a nerve, and Ceveth winced.  Dazant’s face clouded with anger, and then he was on his feet.  Kivessa glared at him, unwilling to backdown.

96%

“Don’t you dare accuse me of not thinking things through.  Everything I do—everything I do, Ki—is for you and Cev!  Of course I think things through!”

Kivessa huffed and crossed her arms.  “How much you do for us has nothing to do with how well you think it through!  Gosh, Daz, don’t go making arbitrary decisions when you haven’t thought it through!”

Ceveth watched his brother’s fingers start to curl in, and then Dazant forced himself to relax before he’d made an actual fist.  He started to turn away, then instead looked at Ceveth.

“What are you doing?”

“N—well, nothing.”

Dazant looked as if he didn’t necessarily believe him.   But instead of requesting to see Ceveth’s tablet, he sighed, raised his eyes to the ceiling, and turned back to the window. He didn’t sit.

Ceveth glanced at the tablet. 99%, it read. Almost a second later, it said, COMPLETED. Smiling a little, Ceveth returned his focus to the purchase, which now said, PURCHASE VALIDATED. ESTIMATED ARRIVAL: ~JUNE 7, 2137.

Ceveth glanced up and caught Kivessa’s gaze. She raised an eyebrow. He gave her a thumbs up, and mouthed, Happy early birthday, sis.

Kivessa smiled.

“Hey, Daz,” she said gently. “What do you say we go and get some lunch?”

New Project: The Prewriting

In June of 2014 (or maybe it was July, I don’t really remember), I had decided to start planning my novel for NaNoWriMo ’14, and so I gathered up a plot bunny I’d had a while back, combined it with a different idea, and started developing it.  When NaNo came around, I had semi-developed characters, the vaguest hint of a world, a bit of a beginning, and zero plot.  When November ended, I had 100k of flat characters, broken plot, and non-existent world building.

It was awesome.  Staring 2015, I started editing.  And world building.  And…more world building.  And…oh yeah, I did world building, did I mention that part yet?  Plus some world building.  And then when I thought maybe I’d done enough of world building, I edited some more.

I finished draft two on Halloween.  Then for NaNoWriMo ’15, I wrote assorted scenes for the sequels.  By the time this November ended, I decided I was sick of this world, this story, these characters.

Don’t get me wrong.  I adore them.  I love working with these ones, and even though draft three is going to be a huge, time-consuming process that will probably take almost as long as draft two did (which was ten months, roughly…maybe nine, because I don’t remember if I started in January or February), I am so looking forward to it.

But first, I really would like to explore a different story.  Something totally new, totally different, totally unrelated.

And that’s what I’m doing now!

I mentioned in a previous post that this story is basically sci-fi Sleeping Beauty meets a heist.  It’s going to be awesome.  (It had better be, anyway.)

I discovered recently that I’m actually more of an outliner than a discovery writer, so the first step was to, well, plan.

This is how I planned.

IMG_1171

That is my bedroom wall.

The bottom right corner is a timeline.  The story is set in America at 2137AD, so I wanted to figure out some of the important things that happened between now and then.  Like world war three.  It’s not very detailed, and I probably don’t have as much information as I could have, but it works for now.

The other white papers were originally a to-do list for what I needed for world building and stuff.  On the left is world building, and the purple sticky notes taped there are related to world building.  I assigned each sticky note to a particular part of it.  (I tried to write small, and I didn’t get very detailed, so yeah, only one sticky note for each thing.)  In the middle is character related stuffs.  Personality, backstories, and other stuff.  (Strangely enough, I never actually figured out what my characters look like.)  The right ones are just random things I wanted to make sure I figured out.

Below that is my outline.  At the bottom of the white pieces of paper, I noted parts of the Three Act Structure, and then way below that, the salmon-pink pieces of paper are character arc events relating to the three act structure that I recently learned about in this cool post.  In between those, the purple sticky notes are events relating to the plot, while the other colors are each associated with a character, and so the events written on those are related to that particular character.

I don’t know if any of that makes any sense to anybody besides myself, but that’s what I have.  I considered a few months ago trying to get Aeon Timeline because it sounds awesome and it syncs with Scrivener, but then there was just too much to put in when I messed with the trial.  I think I like this, though.  Sticky notes on my wall.

The only downfall is I think I’m going to run out of sticky notes.

That’s basically the extent of my prewriting.  I rambled a bunch at my other writing friends, especially about the worldbuilding, but then as soon as I figured it out, I wrote a condensed, focused version on a sticky note and taped it to the wall.

Also, fun fact: sticky notes don’t seem to stick to the wall very well.  So I had to use my masking tape.

So that’s what I’ve got.  How do the rest of you prefer to keep track of your prewriting and notes?

NaNoWriMo—Past the MidWay Point! & Extras!

I’ve found it’s strangely discouraging to see how much further ahead everybody else’s wordcounts are from mine, so I decided to stop looking.  After all, it doesn’t matter how much everyone else has written! NaNoWriMo isn’t a race against other people.  It’s a crazy motivational month in which we all try our bests to write a full novel.

Okay, at the end of the month, I won’t have a full novel.  I’ll have 30k of assorted, random scenes that I can then use to write a fairlyish good outline of the next two novels.  (Instead of just one.  Oops.)

So far, I’m right on track.  Today’s the nineteenth and I have almost 19k.  (Okay, fine, I’m a few hundred words behind.  There, you got me.)  I’m not worried, though.  I’m still pretty confident I’ll make my goal, and I’ll be pretty happy with it.

Meanwhile, I realized that come December, I won’t have anything to write.  I’m not finishing the novel I’m writing this month, for several reasons—the biggest of which simply is that I have written absolutely nothing this year that wasn’t set in this world and with these characters. (Well, okay, I tried a few other things for Camp NaNo, but I’m not sure those count because I didn’t do much.)

I want something new. Something really different. So while I write my 1k for NaNo each day, I’m also brainstorming for a new project that I had an idea for way back in…I don’t even remember when.

The premise?  Aaaaahh, you want spoilers?  Okay, fine, you convinced me.  I managed to figure out how to turn Sleeping Beauty into a heist.

I love this story.  Unfortunately, I have never written a piece of sci-fi longer than 3k (which means I’ve never done any sci-fi worldbuilding), and I have never ever written a heist.

Nothing like new experiences, right?  (If anybody has any world building advice they could share, I’d be eternally grateful.  I am so lost.)

I’m excited.  Since I probably won’t start the writing itself for another month or so, I think this project will either be a really good way to start 2016 off, or it’ll be a really bad way.  Or both.  Probably both, knowing me and my projects, hehe.

NaNoWriMo, Day Five, and Other Things

Day five!  I’m at…somewhere above 6k at the moment.  Since my goal is roughly a thousand words a day, my word count should be the same number as the date.  Since today’s the fifth, that puts me at just slightly ahead.

Clearly I’m not following behind.  How’s the writing actually going, though?

Well, to be honest, not so great.  On Halloween, I figured out more or less a basic idea of where my first chapters would go.  This sequel starts about two months after the last one ended, so I had to figure out what (if anything) had changed for each of the characters in that time, and what state they would be in.  And of course, which ones I wanted to narrate first.

So November first (or maybe it was the second), I started writing chapter one, right at the beginning, and promptly got suck.  I got a little further the next day, but am still pretty much stuck there.  So instead, I’ve just been writing other random scenes that happen later on in the story.  Mostly irrelevant scenes that probably will be immediately disposed of when November is over, but… eh.

So yeah, there’s that.

Meanwhile.  I’ve decided that I will not let myself start draft three of the first book until after I’ve had a beta reader make it all the way through it and give me critique.  One and Only BetaReader Volunteer = Mom.  (And my cousin, but she’s busy with school and stuff, so I’m unsure if she’ll make it through it, heh.)

We decided it would be nicer to edit it printed out, instead of trying to edit it digitally.  So much easier to write in the margins with a scary red pen, right?  (I’m going to ask her nicely to use one of her other pens.  Leave the red pens for grading my siblings’ math, thanks.  Hehe…)

The only problem is that ink is expensive and I have over (or roughly) three hundred pages!  Turns out there are a few office-supplies stores locally who will happily print things out for you.  For a price, obviously, but it seems…to not be too bad?  I’m not totally sure, because they’re mostly there to print out the same business card or the same flyer 300 times, not 300 separate pages only once each.  We figure we’ll just put the story on a USB drive and just go in and ask.

Okay, I have to be honest.  The idea of having my story printed out and being able to hold it in my hands, all typed up and neat, is really making me feel giddy.  Even if it’ll just be a big stack and there won’t even be any binding or anything (unless we make one, which I’m considering, just for the fun of it… I mean, that sounds fun, you have to admit), but still!

And that’s about all, currently.

How To Be Unprepared For NaNoWriMo

There are plenty of people who will happily tell you how to prepare for NaNoWriMo and what worked for them. (There are also plenty of people who will have no idea what NaNoWriMo is and when you inform them they will think you are completely crazy for trying to compete in it.) So if you want to know how to prepare for NaNo, ask them (the former, obviously), and you’ll be all set.

But what do you do if you want to be unprepared for NaNoWriMo?

Unprepared.png

For those of you wondering, here’s a handy guide.

Step One: Whatever you do, do not chase after those dwarves!

I mean, really. Going on an adventure with other people? That’s preposterous!

A proper adventurer—and therefore a proper writer—goes alone. A proper adventurer carries all his own supplies, encourages himself, and never asks for help.

Think of it this way. Writing a story is like a roller coaster, right? Well, NaNoWriMo is like a really fast roller coaster. And how do you ride a roller coaster? Holding very tightly onto the seat because there’s nobody beside you to hold onto, and screaming at the top of your lungs into the ear of…that person who isn’t actually sitting next to you.

Isolation is the best. You need nobody. After all, you’re like a one-writer band! You can do all the writing, all the brainstorming, all the encouraging, all the fighting of writer’s block, and all of the procrastinating, too!

Who needs other people?

Step Two: Run, run, as fast as you can, because you’re way more awesome than the gingerbread man!

As soon as November starts, write as fast as you possibly can and don’t stop. Don’t even slow. Just go! Pull some all-nighters.

Think of it this way. You’re hunting a dragon. It’s about, oh, two hundred times your size, but that’s no biggie. The reward—all that gold—is so amazing, you know you can just do it.

So you go up to the dragon and you slice off its tail, getting your sword stuck in that horribly sticky dragon blood that greatly resembles ooze, and then when it wakes and demands to know why you tried to de-tail it, you hurl all of the well-thought out insults you planned out back in October.

Then you realize you have no weapon and you used up all of your snarky comebacks. And it’s also only November 8th. But pshhh! You totally didn’t need to space out those retorts or have an epic duel with the dragon (that mostly involved running away from dragonfire until you had a delightfully clever, if half-fast, plan to eliminate the dragon).

Nah. That’s not necessary.

Step Three: Breakfast is a “fast break” for a reason

Breaks are for losers. You’ll lose valuable time. No, you should just keep going…and going…and going…and going…

And probably going some more…

It’s like this. You’re shoveling snow. Your back hurts. Your hands are numb. You forgot where your feet a—wait, you actually have feet?

Then your best friend offers you a mug of hot cocoa (or some other hot drink). Should you take it?

Of course not. You obviously have an entire month more of shoveling left to go! And you’re always telling yourself to never procrastinate. No procrastinating!

Hot cocoa = definitely procrastinating.

Never mind that those mythical feet you thought you used to have are lost and you aren’t going to find them in this snow.


 

If you follow all of these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a wonderful, totally unprepared NaNoWriMo!

Looking Back at August: By Far The Longest Month of the Year

So.  August is finally over!  I swear, August was like the longest month ever.  I am so sick of it now.

August was pretty crazy.  Obviously, there’s school starting up, and that was exciting.  Not.  Actually, kind of scary, since I’m experiencing things I’ve never experienced before.  Fun.

August was also hot.  We had a mild (ish) July weather, so August decided to be as miserable as ever.

August also had lots of fun medical stuff.  My sister got sick with something similar to strep throat.  And I have suffered from headaches for a week and a half with no sign of ceasing.  (And it turns out, I might be following in several family members’ footsteps and have migraines.  Or maybe it’s just cluster headaches.  We dunno really.) I also had fun with a CT scan and four MRI scans! Yeah.  (The short version of that story was that the doctor decided she wanted to look into a minor abnormality I have, and see if there’s something medically wrong causing it, or if it’s just…a thing I have.  The results came back today as being perfectly fine and I don’t have a secret tumor or something growing in my head or anything.  I am perfectly healthy.  Aside from some allergies and these blasted headaches.)

But I doubt any of you care about all of that! How about the writing?

Writing.  Well, I’m right on with my goal.  I have less than 40k left to edit.  20k for September and 20k for October, and then I should be finished just in time for Halloween and NaNoWriMo.

When I first started editing, I wrote an outline to follow.  It was a fairly simple outline, only having the chapters and vague scenes that needed to happen for the plot to progress.

That way there was plenty of leeway.

So of course, my characters have decided to be a little rebellious.  I keep having scenes pop up that definitively aren’t part of the outline, and things happen, and oh gosh the emotions.  One character in particular keeps having horribly emotional scenes and it’s so darn sad.  But really, I think the novel is coming out better for these little unpredicted moments.

Hopefully things will continue to go smoothly.  Or, well, as smoothly as a second draft can be—’cause believe me, this is loads better than draft one, but still not half as good as published works.