Sunday Snippet December 21, 2014

This is an excerpt from this year’s NaNoWriMo novel, which is still a WiP and which doesn’t have a real title yet. (The Word doc is called “T&A” for Ta’elsin and Arrek, the main characters, but I gave it a working title of Betrayal for NaNo and Wattpad purposes.)

This excerpt skips ahead a few lines from last week.   Ta’elsin and Berrebren have taken rooms for the night and will go to the castle in the morning.

(This is a very rough first draft and may or may not have been creatively edited to fit the 10 sentence limit.)

 

The bed was comfortable, but despite the welcome change from sleeping on the ground Ta’elsin spent a restless night, plagued by dreams and fears that he thought he had left behind him.  At last he got up and searched his backpack until he found an old blanket:  wrapping it around his shoulders he laid down again, clutching it around him as he drifted off to sleep.

As they left the building the next morning Ta’elsin glanced back at it and felt a shiver run through him, images of being grabbed and bound flashing through his mind.  He pushed them aside and focused on staying with Berrebren, determined not to be caught lagging today.

His determination fled when they reached a white marble building.  A wide paved plaza in front of it led to a raised portico, tall columns supporting a roof tiled with blue slate. Staring at it he suddenly couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move.  Terror stronger than anything he had ever known gripped him and for a moment he thought he was going to pass out but then Berrebren was shaking him and he pulled himself back from the brink.

 

(The prologue is available on Wattpad if you’d like some background information.)

 

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Coming Soon…

Okay, so because I don’t have enough to juggle, I’ve decided to add “Wednesday Words” to my blog.

What are Wednesday Words?

I’m glad you asked!

Wednesday Words will be a new feature here at Novel Notes that will appear on (are you ready for this? brace yourselves!) Wednesdays!

Starting on December 31st, every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  It might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

What do you have to do?

Nothing.

You don’t have to do anything.

But if you want you can write a short piece, say 500ish words, using the prompt. If you’d like you can post it here in the comments, or you can post it on your own blog and just post the URL to that post in the comments because I’d love to see what you come up with.

(A pingback to the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

It’s not a contest or anything – just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

Now, you may be wondering how I’m going to manage that while doing my 1K-a-Day Challenge, and hopefully staying on track with posting on Mondays and Fridays and doing Sunday Snippets.  I was sort of wondering the same thing, but I think I have a workable plan.

So there you have it. I think it’s going to be fun but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the idea.

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Too Tired

What do you do when you’re too tired to write?  Especially when you really want to write but you’re so tired that you’re ready to fall off your chair.

That’s the position I’m in right now.  I was on a roll with my current WiP this afternoon but had to stop to go to work. I was hoping to find a few odd minutes to get some words written there, but it was one of those nights where everything started happening at once (and kept on happening for the next three hours or more) and I barely even got my work done.

And then I came home and did laundry and got caught up on the rest of the world and suddenly I’m too tired to write.  I keep hoping I’ll get a second wind, but on the other hand, getting to bed before 3:00 in the morning is a rather novel idea…

(I’m not sure if the pun was intended or not, but I like it so it’s staying.)

So, my dilemma: should I stay up and write or should I go to bed and hope that I have time to do some writing before work tomorrow?

I do know one thing for sure – it’s days like this that make me certain that I made the right choice in deciding to go with words per month instead of words per day in the 1K-A-Day challenge.

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Sunday Snippet December 14, 2014

This is an excerpt from this year’s NaNoWriMo novel, which is still a WiP.  It doesn’t have a real title yet. (The Word doc is called “T&A” for Ta’elsin and Arrek, the main characters, but I gave it a working title of Betrayal for NaNo and Wattpad purposes.)

This excerpt skips ahead a few lines from last week.   Ta’elsin and Berrebren are inside the city gates and approaching what appears to be a mansion.   Berrebren is the first speaker.

(This is a very rough first draft and may or may not have been creatively edited to fit the 10 sentence limit.)

 

“I don’t suppose I need to tell you to be careful in the city, do I?  You’ll be safe enough here,” Berrebren nodded toward the building, “and in the castle itself, but the home base of the Temple of Misdem is here and its clerics don’t like wizards.”

Ta’elsin’s mind shied away from another half remembered memory.  “What is this place?” he asked, searching for safer ground.

“It’s a guest house of sorts, maintained by the Crown for visiting dignitaries – including wizards.”

“But if the Temple of Misdem hates wizards so much why do they allow this place to stand?”

“Because the Crown wants it here and they don’t dare go against the king – yet.  It may happen someday but for right now they follow the King’s Rule.”

Ta’elsin glanced briefly at the older man and then stared at the building before them, not particularly reassured by Berrebren’s words.

“Don’t worry, boy — you’ll be with me and the clerics won’t bother us.”

Ta’elsin nodded: somehow he knew that was true but the memories remained just out of reach – fleeting images that he wasn’t sure were real.

 

(The prologue is available on Wattpad if you’d like some background information.)

 

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The 1K a Day Challenge

Okay, I’ve mentioned this before.  Time to lay it on the line.

I am challenging myself to write 1,000 words a day for one year.

Why?  Well, mostly because I can.  (Challenge myself, that is.  Actually doing it is another story, but that’s why it’s called a challenge, right?)

I’m not sure yet if the best way for me to tackle it will be to write one thousand words every day or sort of average it out, acknowledging that there will be days when I simply cannot carve out the time (no matter how much I want to).  Goals should be achievable, not frustrating, so I’m thinking that maybe something like “Write 31k in January” would be better — I’ll keep a separate Word doc for that month and copy and paste it into the novel it’s for when it’s done.

Ah, yes, the novels.  I do have projects in mind for 2015.

I want to finish the trilogy that my current WiP is the first book of.  (And maybe name the prince in the process.)  And finish The Other Mages trilogy.  And finish (are you sensing a theme here?) The Academy of the Accord series.

If I get my current novel finished this month, that leaves me 2 books of that trilogy, 4 books to finish The Academy of the Accord series, and half of Book Two of The Other Mages trilogy and a re-write of Book Three — and possibly a slightly alternate version of Book One to play around with so… yeah, probably two books for it, too.  That’s about 8 books right there, give or take a bit with The Other Mages.

And I’d like to get the sequels to Sanguine and Song and Sword written too.

Too much?

Probably.  But 1000 words a day times 365 days = 365,000 (plus roughly another 60k because I’ll do 50k (20k more than normal) in the three NaNo months which gives me 425,000 words) in one year.  And that should be roughly 5 or 6 novels, depending on the novel length.  So, while I might not get all of them done, I should be able to get a bunch of stuff finished.

And one thousand words a day should be a doable goal, especially if I make it monthly thing, not a daily thing.

I would also like to get some editing days worked into the schedule.  I was thinking Tuesdays would be good as that is garbage day here so it seems sort of fitting.  Or maybe I’ll edit in 2016.

Except I’d really not like to let everything sit that long, so maybe if I reach my monthly goal early I can spend the rest of the month editing — once I have something finished and ready to edit.  (Right.  Like that is going to encourage productivity! LOL)

Anyhow, this is still (obviously) something of a rough draft of my writing plans.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with the monthly average, though — it seems less designed to fail.

Anyone crazy enough to care to join me in this challenge?

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Plans (Please stop laughing now)

I have the next two days off and I hope to wrap up the first version of this draft before I go back to work on Thursday.  I don’t know how many words are left to finish it (I’m not good on guestimating how many words something will take – if anyone has any tips on that please feel free to post them in the comments) but the current scene is almost done and I don’t think there will be more than two or three scenes after that.  (But I’m not good at guestimating that, either.)

And then I can start work on the alternate (original) version so I can compare them on paper instead of just in my head.

Then I can start editing book one and start writing book two.  I just hope that the prince has a name by then.  (Yes, I am over fifty two thousand words into a rough draft and the prince still has no name.  Neither does the king, but he’s dead now so that doesn’t bother me as much.)

I’m hoping to have the trilogy done and unleashed on the world sometime next year.  (Ambitious, aren’t I?)  My “One K A Day” challenge should help with that – and I promise that I’ll go into more detail about what I’m getting myself into soon.

I’m not quite sure how to fit editing into that, but then I had a brilliant idea (even if I do say so myself.)  Tuesday is garbage pick up day here, so I think that Tuesday will be editing day – even if it’s just one chapter.

Maybe.

Plans are so hard to stick to.

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Sunday Snippet December 7, 2014

This is an excerpt from this year’s NaNoWriMo novel, which is still a WiP.  It doesn’t have a real title yet (the Word doc is called “T&A” for Ta’elsin and Arrek, the main characters) but I gave it a working title of Betrayal for NaNo and Wattpad purposes. This excerpt follows from last week, although I’ve skipped a couple lines of dialogue.   (The prologue is available on Wattpad if you’d like some background information.)

(This is a very rough first draft and may or may not have been creatively edited to fit the 10 sentence limit.)

 

Berrebren is the first speaker.

 

“What has gotten into you?  You were more than eager to come along on this trip when we started out.”

“I don’t know, I just…”  Ta’elsin looked at the walls again and shuddered, plagued by something that he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

Berrebren watched him for a moment, frowning slightly. “You don’t remember this place, do you?”

“I don’t… I don’t know.  I think I should but…”

“It’s been thirteen years – I’m sure it looked different to you then.”

Thirteen years.  Ta’elsin’s mind shied away from the events of thirteen years ago but he nodded:  thirteen years ago Sagyl had carried him away from a place of pain and terror.  It had taken over a year for the nightmares to end and Ta’elsin did not want them to start again.

 

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Logic, the (Current) Bane of My Existence

I’m still trying to wrap up the story arc on my NaNoWriMo novel.  There’s really not that much more to do but… well…

About 20,000 words in my plot got derailed and now I’m sort of back to where I need to be except I’m dealing with a huge logic flaw.  And fixing it is creating consistency issues.

I know, I know…

It’s a first draft, just get it written.  But why make editing any harder than it needs to be?

Anyhow, I’m not really editing — I’m writing.  And leaving myself notes in the middle of the thing in which I argue with myself about plot issues:

[LOGIC FLAW: WHY WOULD THEY SEND ARREK TO LOOK FOR THE KING?  ARREK IS LOYAL TO HIM AND WOULD BRING HIM BACK.  UNLESS THE ESCORT WAS TO KEEP THAT FROM HAPPENING.  BUT WHERE WOULD THEY GET ENOUGH PEOPLE WHO WOULD BETRAY THE KING?  HE IS LOVED BY HIS PEOPLE.]

[MAYBE ARREK WASN’T SENT ON THE MISSION – HE HEARD ABOUT THE SURVIVOR AND WENT ON HIS OWN.  THAT MAKES MORE SENSE.  AND HE WOULDN’T TELL ANYONE AT THE CASTLE BECAUSE HE WOULDN’T WANT TO PUT THEM IN DANGER.  EXCEPT HE WOULDN’T LEAVE THE PRINCE…]

So, yeah, that probably makes no sense to anyone else, but the king is dead and the people responsible want Arrek dead too, as he stands in the way of them fully taking control of the realm.  So they manipulated him into going on a mission to track down a rumor that the king survived the attack on him.  He knows that the rumor is false, but they left him no honorable way to decline it — and they sent an escort with him to make sure that he didn’t return.

At least, that’s the current version of the fiasco.  As you can see from my notes to myself I’m having a hard time making the logic work.

And the consistency issues that are developing out of this make the logic flaw look like it makes total sense — I’m going to have to cut several scenes and that’s going to make other parts not make sense, which means that a heavy rewrite is in order.

And, yes, that is all editing stuff.  But again, why make editing harder than it needs to be?

Still, at this point I don’t see that there’s anything to do except to press forward, logic flaws, consistency errors, and all, and then try to sort it out in the editing phase.

It’s either that or bury everyone under an avalanche and write “The End.”

Right.  Back to writing…

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Something Old, Something New

So, I’m back.  I sort of fell out of the routine of blogging but I’m going to try to get back into it.

Part of the problem was my job.  With no set schedule (it varies from week to week) it’s hard to get into a routine, and half the time I swear I’m not even sure what day of the week it is.  (I once kept looking for a post from Siobhan Muir about Thursday Threads  (#ThursThreads on FaceBook) wondering where it was, then realized that it was only Wednesday.)

And another part of my problem was my job.  It was sucking the life out of me and I was feeling drained and not at all creative, although I was forcing myself to write.   It’s still not an ideal place for me, but I’ve adjusted, finally.  I think.  I hope.

And then came NaNoWriMo and it seems to have brought back my creativity, maybe because I’m working on something new and that helped break me out of my doldrums.  I struggled through both camp sessions, I think because I was working on an old project.   (I tend to be a “Rebel” for camp sessions but I always start something new in November.)

Of course, this solution (work on something new) creates a new problem: how do I go about finishing my old projects?  And I do want to finish them.  I want to finish The Other Mages trilogy and The Academy of the Accord series and turn them loose on the world.  And I have sequels that need to be written to two other books.

But maybe all I need is to take a break from the other projects for a bit.  I’m going to finish my NaNoWriMo project and hopefully work straight through the other two books of its trilogy. (Writing a trilogy/ series in order – what a concept!)  And maybe by then I can go back to the other projects and tackle them as if they were new.

Or maybe I can work on them together, something old and something new… maybe 500 words a day on each – or 250 words… or something.

More on the words per day thing another time…

 

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Sunday Snippet November 30, 2014

This is an excerpt from this year’s NaNoWriMo novel, which is still a WiP.  It doesn’t have a real title yet (the Word doc is called “T&A” for Ta’elsin and Arrek, the main characters) but I gave it a working title of Betrayal for NaNo and Wattpad purposes.  This is from the beginning of Chapter One.  (The prologue is available on Wattpad if you’d like some background information.)

(This is a very rough first draft and may or may not have been creatively edited to fit the 10 sentence limit.)

 

Ta’elsin stopped as they drew near the walls of the city: for some reason that he didn’t quite understand he found it hard to breathe as he stared at the huge stone walls. 

“Well, come on,” his mentor said impatiently.  “Don’t stand there staring like some sort of rube who’s never seen a city before.”

“Yes, Berrebren.”

Swallowing the nameless fear that sucked the air from his lungs he forced himself to continue.  Berrebren was not the most patient of men and he swallowed the ache that came as he remembered Sagyl, the wizard who had begun his training. 

Sagyl had been warm and kind and loving, and Ta’elsin had felt safe with him and had thrived under his gentle tutelage, but he had grown ill and had been unable to continue teaching him.  Ta’elsin had stayed with him until he yielded to death, then had followed his instructions and had gone to Berrebren’s tower, bearing a letter of introduction. 

Berrebren had been expecting him, but even so the welcome was not a warm one.  He made it clear from the start that Ta’elsin was only there because he owed a debt to Sagyl and in the last two years he had never wavered from his original stance that Ta’elsin was a nuisance and an unwelcome intruder and Ta’elsin had spent every minute of the time missing Sagyl.

 

Also!

Sanguine and Song and Sword are on sale through Cyber Monday at Smashwords.

For Sanguine use coupon code WE39Z at check out

For Song and Sword use coupon code ES65R at check out. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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