Monthly Archives: November 2015

I Did It!

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

 

I crawled into bed at 4:30 this morning with another NaNoWriMo win under my belt.  I was so close and so tired and I kept thinking I could finish in the morning or early afternoon before work but I was afraid of computer trouble so I kept on writing.

So, what’s next?

Well, the next first thing is to catch up on the Sunday Snippet blog hop from last week and this past Sunday.  I’ll start that after work tonight and hope to finish it tomorrow.

Then I have some Pocket Letters to focus on and I’m going to hit them hard on my days off this week.

And there’s Onyx Sun to finish the revisions on and release, but I think I’m adding that to next year’s goals, because tomorrow is December 1st so it’s back to the 1K-a-Day Challenge.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to finish Hedge House (I still need to write the big battle and then the final scene) or get back to work on Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord series in hopes of finishing it before the end of the year so I can focus on getting the series edited next year.

I also have to decide what to do with Hedge House.  Right now it has a very sharp break that makes it seem like two different novels, so my options are to either go back and rewrite it so that it follows the original outline (which will give it a smoother transition), or turn it into two books (which will be published together).

But that can wait.  It’s recommended to put some time between writing and revising so you can go back with a fresher eye.

Plus, in addition to the 31k I need for December, I still “owe” about 9k for September (for Book Two of The Other Mages); 27k for October (for Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord);  and 10k for November to hopefully finish Hedge House. (I had a personal goal of 60k for November.)

So, that’s roughly 46k owed to the challenge.  Technically that’s way out of the range of the challenge I set myself, but for some reason I don’t feel like I’ll have completed it without finishing the monthly goals, so I will finish them, although not likely before the end of the year.

Unless, of course, I decide that writing 77,000 words in 31 days while trying to keep up with other things is a good idea…

Which it isn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet November 29, 2015

 

Ah, so much for the brief idyllic break from her mother’s machinations…

 

 

When Taliya returned to her room after a shower the next morning her comm unit was blinking.  “Miss Swann,” the message said, “it’s Raub from Vastyne’s.  Your ship will be ready for you to pick up as soon as you come in to sign the paperwork.”

She frowned as she called him back.

“I thought you couldn’t get financing?”

“Yes, well, your cosigner came through, you’re good to go.”

Cosigner? “Who?” she asked tersely.

“Your mother.”

“Thank you.”  Her tone was more clipped than she had intended.  “I will be there shortly.”

“I’d say good morning but I think I’d be wrong,” her father said as she descended the stairs.

“That interfering bitch,” she snarled.

“Well, now I know who, but not what.   What did she do to ruffle your feathers already this morning?”

Taliya took a deep breath and let it out slowly.  “She cosigned my loan.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Four More Days

Only four more days left of NaNoWriMo (counting today) and I’m working all of them.

I have 11,000 words to go as of this writing, and need 2768 words per day to finish on time.

I think I can make it, but sleep may cease to be a thing I do.   Food may also become an unnecessary waste of time.

At least the story is rolling better now, although I do find myself skipping sections and leaving myself notes to fill it in later.  Some of it is legitimate – I have no idea how much of Cara’s training to show so I’m writing and making notes about what to do with that in revisions.

I also need to show her starting to get to know some people.  Maybe.  I’m not quite sure how to handle that, so I skipped it. I can go back and put them in later.

Right now the focus needs to be on rolling the story forward.  I know I’m not going to wrap it up by the end of the month (and next month I’m back to focusing on Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord so I can start the edits and revisions of the series in January) but I do want to be more into the thick of the action than I am now.

Yeah. I’m almost 40k into the story and not into the thick of the action.  There’s going to be a lot of stuffed cut when I get to the revisions.

But right now I just have four more days…

 

 

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Wednesday Words #48 (11/25/15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt 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?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a deadline
a sunny day
a locked closet

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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A Quick Update

YES!

No, I’m not caught up (not by a long shot) but this is just as exciting.

Well, almost as exciting.

At least, it’s exciting to me.

I had a bathtub breakthrough yesterday morning that solved a whole lot of problems with the back story, which in turn is going to solve a whole lot of logic flaws going forward.  (Although there is still going to be trouble with one logic flaw – maybe. This may also have solved that.  We’ll see.)

I’m so glad that I just kept writing and letting the characters do things, even though I’m going to have to cut a whole lot of stuff.  Like Cara packing for her move.  No one wants to read through a blow by blow of that, but it served its purpose – it kept me writing and gave me time to think – and spawned the ideas that led to the eureka moment.

And now Cara is finally starting to get some answers, the action is going to be picking up soon, and I’m really excited to be writing.

Sadly, there’s a day job that is getting in my way…

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Sunday Snippet November 22, 2015

 

Continuing with Onyx Sun.  Taliya’s father has told her to go to Ivo Cheyne (her grandmother’s attorney) when she was ready to take over as head of Swann House.

Picking up from last week.
(Taliya’s last line was:
“When I’m ready?”  She tilted her head at him and smiled slowly. “You know me too well.)

 

He smiled.  “I know how free I felt when I was out from under your mother’s thumb.  I’m pretty sure you feel the same way, the same sense of freedom.”

She looked at him, startled.  “Freedom?” She turned the word over in her mind.  She had lost the two people who had mattered most in her life, and he was talking about freedom?  But as she thought about it, it felt right.  She was free.  Free to come and go as she chose, to do whatever she wished.   “What if I am never ready?”

“Then when Maureena dies sell it all,” he said with a shrug.

“But what about you?”

“What about me?  I’m happy.  I have more than enough to live on – I was awarded a very comfortable alimony and my needs are few and simple.”  He hesitated.  “I know you’re going to object, and I know that it can’t make up for all the years of your life that I’ve missed, but I’ve set a sizeable portion away for you.”

“Dad, no.”

He laughed.  “I told you I knew you’d object.  Ivo Cheyne has the details of it, but if you need it to get your ship, use it.  If not, you’ll just inherit it later when you can’t tell me no.”

She shook her head, bemused, touched, and suddenly terrified of losing him. 

“Come on,” he said, rising.  “Let’s get your things from the HoverWing and get you settled into your room.”

“My room?”

“I’ve always kept a room here for you.”

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Words to Write

So I’ve been steadily losing ground and as of this writing I am now just a hair under 13k below par.

According to the stats page, at this rate I will finish on December 16, 2015 (hey! at least it’s this year!) and need to write 2677 words per day to finish on time.

I was hoping for at least a 10k day today, but that’s not likely to happen, so the new goal is to get the words per day thing down to under 2k.  If I need to write less than 2k a day I can stay at that level – or at least close – for the next four days of work, then I’m off for two days (my last days off before the end of the month) and I can push ahead (with a looming deadline) to get ahead and maybe even validate.

On a brighter note, the story is picking up now, and I have a pretty clear grasp of the next part – maybe the next two.

On a not so bright note, I have written a logic flaw into the story so I’m going to have to figure a way around it.  But that can happen in revisions.  (And revising this is going to suck almost as much as revising and editing The Academy of the Accord books.)

But I can’t focus on that right now. I have to focus on getting words written so that I can revise them. I already know that a lot of what I’ve written so far is going to get cut in revision.  It’s not word padding so much as unnecessary details of daily life.  (Seriously, every time Jacob enters the house Cara is at the kitchen table and feeds him.)  Meanwhile, descriptions of important things (like the house and the things in it) are sorely lacking.

The worst part about this novel is that I’m still (at 20,000 words in) having trouble finding my characters’ voices.   I’m getting a better handle on Cara, my main character, but still struggling with Jacob, and with Tamira.  (Actually, I’m starting to get a better grip on her, too, but right now it seems like she’s two different characters from when we first meet her to where I am now.  But those are revision things; plus, she’s likely to change again before I’m done.)  For someone whose writing tends to be very character-based and character-driven, this is a major problem.

But it’ll sort itself out – eventually.

Meanwhile,

I have goals to keep,
And words to write before I sleep.

 

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Wednesday Words #47 (11/18/15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt 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?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

(Click for larger image.)

ww 11-18

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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What Doesn’t Work

In Friday’s post I mentioned some ideas that I’d come up with for the villain of my current novel that were just too far fetched to use.

Like having him be some sort of ancient evil being who is trapped in a human form that drains people’s life force so he can live forever.

And the one where I had him body-hopping into the body of his own eldest son down through the generations.

And I’m probably not going to go wit the demon-summoning, either.

How, you may wonder, did I come up with such weird things to begin with?  Did they just happen while writing the way my village of zombies did in my first ever NaNoWriMo?

Nope.

For one thing, I haven’t gotten that far in this novel yet, although I am currently starting to give the reader the idea that the antagonist is… not normal… and that there is something going on that my protagonist doesn’t know about yet.

For another thing, my first NaNoWriMo novel was the first – and last – time that I went into November without some sort of outline.

So, nope, these weren’t November insanity ideas.  These ideas came while working on the outline.

Where did they come from?

Free writing.

It’s like a brainstorming session with yourself.  Or yourself and your muse.

You just write down ideas.  They don’t have to be good ideas, just ideas.  And you keep asking yourself questions and writing down the answers.  Do it longhand on unlined paper because it’s fun to draw arrows all over the place.

When you’re done, you’ll have a mess.   A big glorious mess of hilariously bad ideas, some of which you may really like but which just won’t work in the world of your novel.

But that’s all right.

Because somewhere in that mess, when you start discarding the stuff you wrote down but didn’t like, you are left with some ideas that will work.  And even if they aren’t perfect, they can spawn another round of brainstorming and free writing.

And what about those ideas that you like but that won’t work?

Well…

Non-workable ideas are frustrating.  They seem like such good ideas, and often they are, but just not for that story.

And that’s okay, because there’s always another book, and what might not work for the current one may be a plot bunny for another, so ideas you don’t use in that book can be saved to be used somewhere else.

And sometimes, in order to find out what works, you have to find out what doesn’t.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison

(Who am I to argue with him?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet November 15, 2015

 

More from Onyx Sun.  Taliya has been learning a lot she never knew about her parents, but she is still a little confused.

 

“But why all the secrecy?  Why let me think that Ardelia was Maureena’s mother, not yours?”

“If you had known she was my mother, what would have happened?”

“I would have hated her,” she said slowly.  “I would have hated her for letting you be driven away.  And I would have constantly wanted to come see you, be with you.”

“And Maureena?” he prompted.

“She would have hated me even more that she already did.  She… If I had known… If I had known that I was the one who would inherit the estate she would have found a way to keep me from it, had me declared incompetent, locked away somewhere.”

He nodded.  “As it was, she took precautions;  Aelind Osbert does her bidding.  But there is another lawyer…”

“Ivo Cheyne.  Grandmother left me a message about him.”

“Yes. Ivo Cheyne.  When you are ready to take over the house, go to him.  He’ll get it back for you.”

“When I’m ready?”  She tilted her head at him and smiled slowly. “You know me too well.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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