Friday, November 21, 2014

NaNoWriMo2014: Day 21

Traditiona, blah, blah, weekly update on NaNo-ing. Let's get things moving, shall we?

Word Count: 165,062. So, I technically only need 84K in order to hit last year's goal of 250K. Which would be entirely doable if I still had two full weekends of writing, which I don't. I only have one weekend of writing which if I'm lucky will give me 40K. If I'm lucky. Yeah. I likely won't get the 250K this year but I'm going to keep writing like a mad woman to see how much I get. Cuz. NaNo.

Words Needed: For the 250K: 84,938. For my official goal of 200K: 34,938 which is way more manageable. Also, fun fact, I'm 1200 words away from hitting last year's Milwordy finishing WC which means by the end of November I'll be at least 33K over last years MilWordy ending WC. Yes I am insane. I think it's been established, no?

Novels: Mists of Time Book 1: Discovery and Mists of Time Book 2: Seeking. I'll start MoT Book 3: Finale sometime next week I'm sure.

Plot so far: We now know why the Mist Watcher isn't acting so kindly towards you know, guarding the Mists. And we know why Blair is the only Mist Watcher from earth and what it means to the Mists to have a planet like earth existing. Oh and Blair's moved into an apartment with xer boyfriend. Last night Blair lost xer virginity which is kind of a big deal. Blair also realized xe can't live without said BF which means I might kill off said BF. Oops?

Thoughts: I'm perfectly happy having sacrificed the forums to write. It's not that I don't miss the forums, I do, but finding if someone's responded to me directly and seeing so many new threads a day is exhausting when I know I have to pump out words, work out, make jewelry and still try to get an episode of House MD in before midnight.

I've also sacrificed on the making jewelry and working out this week. Tomorrow I won't be going to the gym but I will be working most or all day which I'm not pleased about. I never signed up for working weekends but we're moving so crap has to be cleared out of the new building, etc.

Anyway, the novel is progressing smoothly but all of the final book will have to be reworked as I compensate for the bad guy's motivation, subplots and other odds and ends that have popped up.

I also played up the book-ception some more by making some minor supporting characters races from the World of Cara, more specifically an Ala'gan and a Tal'kan woman. I've a feeling they're going to appear in Book 3 somewhere. Thankfully they're not in the Cara series or it would get all kinds of messed up.

Dyns' character isn't as fun as I thought he would be. He and Blair were supposed to have a closer relationship but Blair ended up becoming better friends with Tenkondin who's about to be kicked out of the plot for a short time. The good news is Dyns is foreshadowing his last line in Book 3 which is great because now that last line won't come out of nowhere.

In short: everything's tightening up better than I expected.

Until next time, rants, rage, questions and everything in between can be directed to the comments. Don't forget about the Kickstarter Campaign for Burnt: The Story of the Fire King. Eighteen days to go and I need help. Mental help, I'm sure. ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To be a Writer

There is a question that normally pops up around NaNoWriMo time that always makes me think. It's usually something along the lines of: "Are you a real writer?" or "You know you're a writer when..."

I all ready know I'm a writer and I believe that the reason is different for every writer out there. It's just like how the way I write won't work for everyone else, the reason I write or how I know I'm a writer will be different for everyone else.

Despite this I think there are a few things that every writer has in common.

Perseverance: You can also call it determination. It's the simple fact that even if we're rejected or we fail that we'll keep trying no matter what. We'll plaster our walls with rejection letters before giving up on getting a book published and if we can't get it traditionally published we'll work on being the best damned self-published author we can be. And if we fail at that, Hell, we'll STILL keep writing because at some point we will write a book that someone will take a chance on. It could also be called sheer madness. (I jest)

Ambition: This is the WILL to succeed and goes hand in hand with perseverance. It's the desire to succeed and sometimes it's the only thing that will keep you going.

Tough Skin: I don't mean this literally. I mean that most of writers either have or develop (or have to develop) a hard outer shell so they can take criticism without spiraling into depression or whatever. It takes a strong person to keep coming back after negative feedback and trying again.

Imagination: I think this is pretty self-explanatory. If you don't have a creative mind it's going to be difficult to get into something that begs for originality and creativity. Writers are constantly asking: "What if?"

Courage: You think it's easy to put your work, something you slaved over for months or years out there and not be nervous? It doesn't matter if it's the first time or the 50th time there is still that little voice in the back of an author's head that says: "What do I do if they don't like it?"

Always writing: If you say "I think I've written my last book" then you're probably not cut out for being a writer. We never stop and when we try to stop we come back. Stephen King tried to retire once (maybe twice) and it never happened. Writing isn't a job. It's something that is a part of you that you physically cannot stop. You know those withdrawal symptoms drug abusers get when they come off the drug? It's the same thing that happens to writers when they try to stop writing. It just doesn't work. The only reason a writer stops writing is because they physically can no longer write.

A touch of insanity: Really, how sane are you when you become different people on occasion to get into the mind of your new MC? And how sane are you when you've got an "Inner Editor" otherwise known as this person in your head who keeps telling you how to write or what to write and that you suck?

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Sometimes literally. You will cry at rejection letters or horrible critics. You will sweat your ass off when you send your book to an editor wondering if it's good enough. You might even bleed from stress inducted hernias. Doesn't that sound like fun? But, it's all part of that desire (ambition), determination (perseverance), and daring (courage).

When you think about it, all writers are the same. We all have this drive to keep going, we take insults, we bring to life strange worlds, we put ourselves out there, we don't stop and we're a bit nuts. Most of us are also sleep deprived, caffeine addicted, have an animal as a best friend, and like to be alone with our words. But that makes us sane.

Until next time rants, rage, questions, and everything in between can be directed to the comments. Don't forget to check out my Kickstarter Campaign to get Burnt: The Story of the Fire King out there.


Friday, November 14, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Day 14

And keeping with tradition, here's my weekly update on how the NaNo-ing is going. Remember, I've got a campaign to get Burnt: The Story of the Fire King out and into the world so eventually the things I've written for NaNo (and between NaNo events) will be published as well. Eventually. Anyway, check the campaign out here.

Word Count: 104, 771. Last year I tried (and got) 250K. My official goal this year is 200K...though I've been seriously considering trying for 250K again. I could get to the halfway point on it by tomorrow. I'm only 16K off...

Words Needed: 95,229 for 200K, 145,229 for the 250K if I decide to do it. We'll see how it goes this weekend.

Novels: Mists of Time Book 1: Discovery was completed on Day 9 and clocks in at 91,771 words. I started Mists of Time Book 1: Seeking on Day12 but planned 5K towards it on Day 11. And yes I counted the planning because I will be replacing said planning with actual story right in the Word Doc for the novel. So there. :P

Plot so far: Blair has a boyfriend, xe's come to terms with being a Time Knight/saving the world but now there's someone trying to destroy the Mists. The Mists is the plane that separates all the worlds from other worlds and all the worlds from the Mist Beasts which are out to destroy everything. So, someone destroying the Mists puts the entire universe in danger. Blair, Dyns (Blair's tutor), and Tenkondin (the perverted tentacle being) talked to a Keeper (one of the 12 council members in the Mists) who referred them to the Mist Watcher (the leader of the Mists) but the Mist Watcher doesn't seem interested in doing anything about said person destroying the Mists. This is weird because it's the Mist Watcher's job to, you know, watch the Mists and make sure no one's breaking them.

Thoughts: The series has become a real life drama about growing up in combination of "hero must save the world" story since Blair is living a double life: one on earth and one in the Mists. We'll get to see how Blair deals with xer broken family, xer budding love life, xer BFF getting dumped and emotional trauma there as well as figuring out why someone is destroying the Mists and why the Mist Watcher doesn't seem to care. Oh and beating all the Mists Beast. Then there's the whole applying to university issue. Blair has a lot on xer plate...

I've fallen in love with Tenkondin's character. He was supposed to be a minor, comic relief type but now he's become a third main character. Also, two other characters have decided to be important main characters, one who wasn't planned at all and the other who was supposed to do some snooping around then die.

Funnily enough, I did a kind of book-inception in which I mention races and people I wrote about in a different series in this one. The series in question is the Cara series which I wrote back in 2012. The races are the elemental races of the Ala'gan, Tal'kan, Mil'nee, and Nil'shay. I also mentioned the Female Main Character in passing thanks to an Ala'gan. I also mentioned the world of Ambrosia which is a story I've had in my head for about 15 years now and haven't started. It'll be the last thing I write. ;)


I find it funny this book can become a kind of connector book between everything I've written. But, most of my stories occur on earth so, yeah. Though with all the different races I'm making up I may decide to write a few novels based on the various different beings mentioned in this series. It'll be fun.

I've also noticed I'm not participating in forums so much. I know why though. Basically I'm using every ounce of my time to write, go to the gym, make jewellery, watch House, bug my cat, make dinner, and relax. I'm not sacrificing as much as I did last year to participate in the forums and write. In fact, I sacrificed participating in the forums so much. I'm not sure how to feel about it yet.

Now? I'm off to write the next chapter. I'm planning on getting to 110K before midnight tonight so we'll see how it goes. Until next time: rants, rage, questions, comments, and everything else can be directed to the comments.

Friday, November 7, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Day Seven

In case you didn't know I did a live-blog update thing on Day One of NaNo. You can find it here. In keeping with tradition, this is my weekly update on how my NaNo-ing is going.

Word Count: 60,740

Goal: 200,000. This is 50K lower than last year's goal because the quarter of a million (as fun as it is to say) nearly killed me. I'd rather have fun writing then kill my motivation when panicking about being behind. So yeah, I reduced my goal and I'll likely forever keep a 200,000 word goal every year I do NaNo until I can write full time.

Words Needed: 139,260

Novels: Mists of Time Book 1: Discovery.

Plot so far: Blair has been forced out of xer house and is now living on xer own. Oh, and Blair thought xe was going insane but xe's not. Turns out Blair's a Time Knight and has to protect the world/universe. Oh, Blair's bi-gender, so physical male who occasionally feels female and dresses/acts according to those feelings. Yes, Blair does prefer female pronouns when xe feels female and wears a padded bra to give the illusion of breasts as well as special underwear to hide her downstairs. No, Blair does not want SRS surgery as even if xe becomes physically female xe will feel male on some days and want to reflect it in xer look and how xe acts. Blair's also 18. So this is kind of a coming of age story with magic thrown in because ooooo--OOOO...magic! :D

Thoughts: I was doing great until I read a thread in the NaNo Ate my Soul section of the forums. The thread was about how people were unmotivated because of over-achievers like myself. One even went so far to say that this was his last NaNo in part because of over-achievers. At first: anger. Then, well, I got upset.

I will freely admit: IT UPSETS ME TO KNOW PEOPLE OUT THERE FEEL LIKE CRAP BECAUSE OF MY HIGH WORDCOUNT. I know how demotivating seeing someone with a higher word count than you can be. Hell, even as an OAer I STILL FEEL BAD WHEN SOMEONE HAS A HIGHER WORD COUNT THAN ME. Here's what I wrote in said thread and I'll stick by it:

Yeah, I have 60K. Yeah, I'm a regular OAer. Does that mean I'm better than you? Nope. Am I going to flaunt it in your face and call you slow? Nope. You're awesome for simply taking the challenge and writing. Even if you don't get the 50K you wrote SOMETHING. That's what matters.

Anyway. Threads like this kill my motivation. Why? Because it upsets me to think something I can do (and have practiced hard to get here) makes someone else upset enough that they want to leave or give up.

So what if I can hit 60K by day six? I've been writing for almost 20 years. That's almost 2/3rds of my life. I know what works for me and what doesn't. I know my limits. I know how hard I can push. I've dedicated countless hours to this craft and written over 3 million words in the past three years. I've practiced writing for quality and quantity in tandem. I've learned to edit as I go. I know what to do so I can hit the word counts I do. I also have no life to speak of so all my free time is dedicated to writing. And so what? I'm not better than you. I still suffer from the writing blues and I still struggle with plotting and getting the motivation to start writing. I still have nights, like tonight, where I don't write a single word because I'm just...bleh.

I can guarantee every OAer was in your shoes at some point in their writing life. Heck, some of the OAers are stunned at other OAers because of even higher word counts. I'm at 60K. There are others at double my word count. Am I jealous? HELL YES. Do I care? Not really. I know I can't physically get to that amount unless I'm not working most of my days and even then I'd be killing myself to attempt it so I'm not going to bother. I'm going to focus on my story and what I can do, not what someone else can do or if they're doing it faster.

NaNo isn't about racing to the 50K or getting over 50K before anyone else. It's not about being better because you have a higher word count. It's about setting out to write a novel. It's about having fun. It's about accomplishing your own personal goals. Screw what everyone else is doing. Focus on what you're doing. And if it really kills your motivation then make it a challenge. Decide that you're going to push your own limits to see how high you can go.
WRITE FOR YOU. This is YOUR challenge, not anyone else's. Don't make this a competition because we are all the same. We're all writers struggling to get our stories out. We all have our own personal challenges and demons to face. We all bleed the same red, shed the same tears, and have the same hand pains when we push really hard. How high your word count is and how quickly you get there means nothing in the grand scheme of things. What matters is you accomplishing your own personal goals and NO ONE can take those accomplishments away from you.

SO CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WORD COUNT...whatever it may be because YOU are awesome for getting it.

End rant on Over-achieving, etc. The novel itself is going well. I've been having fun with the story, Blair especially as it's awesome to see xer growing and becoming more xerself. Xe couldn't do it at home and now xe's happy. Well, happy-ish.

I've also been (just) informed that I'm representing bi-gender well. This has made me UBER excited as I was nervous about tackling a bi-gender character when I'm not bi-gender myself. But, everything seems to be good with Blair's characterization so I can continue on how I'm going without worrying. Thank you to em--dash and everyone here for that. :)

Until next time, rants, raves, questions, comments and everything in between can be directed to the comments. And don't forget to check out my kickstarter campaign to get Burnt: The Story of the Fire King out there if you feel so inclined.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Novel Series #13: Burnt: The Story of the Fire King

No, I didn't forget about the last two books for the mystery/thriller series. And no I didn't write Burnt after finishing Senses. Zombies (Novel Series 11) was written in the first half of August. The Tattooed Man, the last book in the Thriller/Mystery series and Novel Series #12 was written in the last half of August and first day of September. Burnt was written in the rest of September.

I had to say "SCREW THE ORDER" because this summary is needed before the other two with the Kickstarter campaign and all.

Yes: there is a Kickstarter campaign to get this thing published. Why? Lots of reasons. Check out the campaign page to see why. I'll wait. Back? Cool. Let me tell you about Burnt

Genre: High Fantasy...you have NO IDEA how happy I am to type that.

Word Count: 115,834

Prompt: The movie Frozen. I watched it then a couple of days later thought: what if it was two brothers and fire power? It morphed into an exploration about acceptance on a whole bunch of levels with a publically trans* character. There's also a witch. And the Black Plague. No talking snowman though, sorry.

Summation: Darius discovers something about himself that can destroy the Lupine line and any chances he has at being the King of Seiovania. This secret leads to his seclusion and eventually to Rowan (his younger brother) discovering a secret of his own.

High Points: Rowan in general. He comes up with the best one-liners and was freaking awesome to write.

Low Points: When Darius turns 18, Rowan 16.

The World: Middle ages type setting where magic of all kinds is considered evil therefore anyone who shows the slightest bit of magical powers is killed on sight. There are no racial prejudices. People of Color are Kings just as non-PoC are Kings. Servants are non PoC and so long as you're not the heir to a throne or the one who will continue the family name then you can be whatever you want with whoever you want. Basically: so long as you're the second son you can be with a man or become a woman if you want. But if you're the first son: you're stuck marrying a woman and being a man. Some people are totally fine with this, others: not so much.

Religion is singular, as in everyone believes in the same God. In other countries the rules about being with whoever and being whatever are a bit more lax. For instance, in another country the heir to the line (or throne) can be with a man so long as he takes a wife to produce heirs.

Healers aren't considered evil because they're usually devote to a religion similar to Catholic/Christian and apparently Jewish seventy years prior to events in the novel. Rowan will tell us a bit about that.

Memorable Lines:
I did something a bit different here. This is the prologue/first chapter of Burnt: The Story of the Fire King. Yes, sneak-peak, unedited of course, but sneak peak:

Prologue: Magic

"He burned it all to the ground because he could not control the evil flowing through his veins. From the ashes of our ancestral country Seiovania; came a new hope and a new understanding of magic. Mages were not gods. They were not able to control their talents. They had to be caged and controlled as to prevent Seiovania and the rest of the world from being destroyed. Do you understand, Darius?"

Darius looked up at his father, a giant of a man to Darius' six season old frame. Father was watching him and waiting for an answer. This lesson was important. All of father's lessons were important though as one day Darius would be King like Father.

"I understand, father." Darius said.

Father smiled through his thick bushy beard and patted Darius lightly on the head. Darius felt a surge of relief at answering the way he was expected to. He did understand the horror magic could cause but surely not every mage was born evil. Some of them had to be able to control their power. Why would they exist if they couldn't?

It was too much for Darius to consider. Father shifted on the stiff wooden chair and tucked some of the pitch black hair behind his ears. Darius had father's coloring: dark hair, dark eyes, and pale skin. Mother was fair of hair, blue of eye, and tan of skin.

"I am glad you understand, Darius. Understanding makes it a bit easier to lock up the magic users that are born even if they are children no older than you." Father said.

Darius hated to think there were children of his age locked in the dungeons because they had magic. The dungeons were a frightening place deep below the castle with little light, damp stones, no beds, and rats.

There were a lot of crawling things, things Darius did not want to think about. Any child down there would never sleep easily. Darius wondered if it was fair for someone his age to be trapped down there because of something they could not prevent.

But, father, grand-father, great-grand-father, every man in the Lupine line, and the priests said that magic was evil. It bent the will of the world in ways only God should and it was unnatural. No mortal man should be able to wield the power of God. Darius had to believe. At least it's what he was told.

"We do not hear of many magic users anymore. I suppose they could be hiding well but if God has decided to stop blessing us with magic then we have done what is right." Father said.

Darius nodded. There was no arguing against it, not in his six season old mind anyway. If mages were disappearing then they were doing the right thing in killing them.

"Darius!"

Father chuckled as Darius turned. Rowan toddled into the room as quickly as his legs could carry him. Darius smiled at his two season younger brother who had turned out looking like their mother.

"Let's play!" Rowan said.

Both boys looked up to their father and father nodded. With that Darius took Rowan's hand and led him out of father's study. Darius only turned back once to see father rub his temples under the heavy gilded crown and go back to work. It seemed a King's work was never done and Darius did not know if he was up for that kind of task.

"Let's find Xander." Rowan said.


"Let's." Darius said.

Darius smiled as Rowan pulled harder trying to get Darius to speed up. Xander was one of the servant's boys, the same age as Darius and one of the best hider-and-seekers the castle had. Besides, hide and seek was always better with more than two people. Darius followed Rowan out in the main hallway and figured thinking about being the King of Seiovania could wait.

Later - Chapter One:

"Fine. What do you want to play?" Darius questioned.

Rowan grinned happily at having got his way. Darius knew he would eventually have to stop giving into his brother but he was too tired to care.

"I wanna see the fire." Rowan said.


Yeah, that's right, Rowan wants to see Darius create fire with magic, you know, the thing that's illegal. And since I've been saying there's a trans character and Darius is the obvious mage, we can figure out who's going to be transitioning, right? ;)

Check out the Kickstarter campaign if you want to read this thing in print (or on screen) sometime next year. Until next time: questions, comments, rage, rants, and whatever else can be directed to the comments.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

2014 NaNo Day One

HELLO FELLOW WRITERS! *taps microphone* This thing on? Yeah? Good.

If you don't know me here's a brief intro:
  • I'm a writer
  • Some would call me a prolific writer for the sheer amount of words I write but others have written more in a month than I do in 8 months. So there. ;)
  • That said: I've written 3.6 million words in three years, won three NaNos by at least double the goal needed, and won four camps with double my goal for the month.
  • I've written 34 books and tons of short stories
  • I've been writing for about 20 years
  • I'm insane, generally
  • I'm doing a Kickstarter campaign to get one of my novels published: check it if interested
You know the basics and can check the rest of this blog for more if you're so inclined. All you really need to know is that I write. A lot.

I also decided I'd do something different for this year's NaNo since it falls on a Saturday. I will be honest and say I'm writing this part of the post on October 6. The rest of this post will be written throughout the day today (November 1) as we journey through Day One of NaNo together.

That's right. I'm going to be giving an hour (or two hour) play by play on how many words I've written and how I'm doing, mentally. You'll get to virtually hang out with me live all day, more so if you follow my Twitter account.

So you know: I'm planning to write a trilogy this NaNo, or at least a good portion of one. At least the first two books. Because again: I'm freaking nuts. The basics:

Blair is an 18 year old bi-gender biological male who isn't accepted by xer family for wanting to remain physically male and thinking of xerself as both male and female. Blair also only has one friend who's moved away for university and (s)he works in a minimum wage job and has no idea what to do in life. Oh and there isn't a LGBTQ friendly place within bussing distance. In short: Blair has problems.

Blair gains more problems as when (s)he turns 18, xer father either wants xer to pay rent or move out. As if that's not enough Blair starts seeing things that no one else can see. Because a non-accepted LGBTQ person isn't enough for a novel on its own for me. I gotta give it steroids, you know?

Anyway, Blair seeing thing isn't mentally related. Nope. (S)He's magical in today's world but (s)he just doesn't know it. (S)He's also The Hero of the story so yeah, there's going to be a "Baddie" (s)he's got to beat up to save the world. And if you re-read if you haven't noticed: Blair uses BOTH pronouns to describe xerself so it'll be interesting to work that shift into a series well.

We'll get to learn about Blair, well you will anyway. I probably know a lot but characters change, especially Blair. It'll be awesome either way. That's probably a funny sentence if you re-read it. Let's move on, shall we? And let's remember that all the below is written AFTER I've worked on Blair's story for an hour (or so).

The Novel: Mists of Time Book One: Discovery

Hour One: Saturday November 1, 2014, 7:30AM-7:50AM and 10AM-11AM
Starting Word Count for the month: 2023
Word Count: 6044 which means 2616 written from 10-11. :)
Pros: We got to meet Blair and get a glimpse of what he deals with on a regular bases. And yes, he's a he right now for these two chapters at least. That might change when tomorrow comes for him.
Cons: His dad's an ass and people miss-gender Blair a lot...
Issues: I think I had a few too many "that's" but I'll catch 'em in editing.
Plot Fun: Blair's seeing things, just flashes of shadows and what not which is exactly what's supposed to happen. Oh, two college kids couldn't pay for their groceries so Blair had to work through them panicking.
Best Line: Minor Character: "Listen lady, I've got things to do," Blair: "First: we all do. Second: I'm not a lady."
Last Sentence Wrote: He really did need more sleep.

Hour Two: 11:09AM-11:58AM
Word count: 8,430. Words written: 2,359
Pros: Blair's going crazy nicely. ;)
Cons: Blair's family life sucks.
Issues: I think I made Blair's family life suck too much without explanation.
Plot fun: Eh, not much fun this time around, sorry.
Best Line: "Oh yeah, I'm so scared of being grounded. I don't have a life outside of working and cleaning up after the rest of you. What's dad going to do? Tell me I can't go out till 9PM anymore? I don't do that anyway. You can't threaten me but there are lots of things I can do to make your life miserable. So again: stop taking my shit." Blair to his younger sister Natalie who took one of his shirts and ruined it. She does this lots. Blair's also the house-slave of sorts because of reasons that will be revealed later.
Last Sentence Wrote: He was sleep deprived not insane.

Hour Three: 1:00PM-1:20PM, 2:10PM-2:50PM
So I had to take a break because my furnace stopped working and I had to call them in. They came, they fixed and I have heat in my house again. Anyway:
Word Count: 10,949. Words Written: 2518
Pros: Blair decided she felt like a girl this chapter. It was fun.
Cons: Blair is gentler and less expressive as a girl. It's going to get confusing I'm sure.
Issues: Blair's boss is an ass.
Plot fun: Blair telling her sister off for going through Blair's things. Mwahaha.
Best line: Natalie: "Fine. You're such a bitch." Blair: "You've learned from the best."
Last Sentence Wrote: Natalie's eyes went wide before she slinked off, obviously not liking the potential topic of conversation.

Hour Four: 3PM- 4PM
I'm all ready on chapter four. I forgot how much fun it was to write this quick. :D
Word Count: 12,881. Words Written: 1932. I had to do some research. It took ten minutes. Oops.
Pros: Blair (as a girl) talked back to her dad which she's never done before as a female. It's normally her "male" half that speaks up more.
Cons: Blair's sister is trying to understand her more. This is potentially bad because the whole world is supposed to be against Blair. If Blair's sister is trying to understand her then Blair has an ally outside of her BFF and I might accidently kill the sister. Oops? We'll see where it goes.
Issues: I keep feeling like I'm using "that" too often. :(
Plot fun: Blair dressing in denim short shorts with mesh at the hem and a crop top because she can.
Best line: "I'm not changing. This is who I am." Blair to her father when her father says he's waiting for Blair to grow out of this phase. Yeah, not going to happen.
Last Sentence Wrote: Thanks.

Hour Five: 4:15PM - 5PM
Word Count: 14,427. Word Written: 1546 not bad for under an hour.
Pros: Blair deciding to move out.
Cons: This line: "The family doctor hadn't wanted to talk to Blair since Blair started dressing as he felt (either male or female) when he woke up. It was going on five years now and Blair was sure no doctor would touch him unless he was dying."
Issues: I was getting distracted. Oops?
Plot fun: Blair being attracted to his potentially new landlord
Best line: "He wasn't about to conform so he could be treated like a real person. It wasn't fair he had to conform to make other people feel comfortable.
Last Sentence Wrote: Blair nodded in thanks and they got off the elevator at the third floor. (Kinda boring...)
Now I'm off to have dinner, go to the gym, then check on my friend's cat. I'll be writing come 7PM or so. See you then my pretties...mwahaha!

Hour Six: 7:30PM-8:30PM
Yes it did take me two and a half hours to eat, wash dishes, work out, check on my friend's cat, get into my pj's and settle in front of the computer. So sue me. ;)
Word Count: 17,130. Words Written: 2,703
Pros: Blair finding a place to live quickly.
Cons: Blair seeing more corporal visions that no one else sees.
Issues: Blair's mom regrets Blair leaving which wasn't supposed to happen. Actually, I think his whole family regrets it even though his dad is forcing him out so Blair will stop "playing dress up"...dad's words.
Plot fun: Anne, one of Blair's co-workers is being friendly. She might betray Blair later. We'll see. ;)
Best line: "I'm not playing dress-up and I'm done being your slave." Blair to his dad after his dad says he only pushed Blair so hard so Blair will stop playing dress up. Um, no, your son is bi-gender which means sometimes Blair feels like a girl and will dress accordingly.
Last Sentence Wrote: "Hey, non-taxable money, free pizza, and I get to piss off someone's parents. It's an all around win." Anne to Blair when Blair asks why Anne is helping Blair move out.
And now: a short break to fix a few things (yes I edit during NaNo so there :P) then back to writing.

Hour Seven: 8:50PM -9:50PM
Word Count: 20,243. Word Written: 3113 BOO-YEAH! OVER 3K and a palindrome!
Pros: Blair and Tim connecting.
Cons: Rob touching Blair's ass when Blair doesn't want it.
Issues: OMFG MY WRISTS HURT! This is what happens when I go from not-writing for a month to writing over 10K in a day.
Plot fun: Blair expressing her emotions so nicely and now hearing things that aren't there.
Best Line: Blair: "I'm physically a guy." Tim (new neighbour/friend/crush): "I'm bisexual." WIN!
Last sentence Wrote: "I should probably get back to the house before my parents start rooting through my stuff."
Also: I'M HAVING SO MUCH FUN AND DYING AT THE SAME TIME! WOOOOOT!

Hour Eight AKA The FINAL HOUR: 10PM-10:45PM
Yeah, you read that right: the FINAL HOUR. I'm tired, giddy and I'm sure I'm going to be correcting all the words for at least an hour tomorrow, perhaps more but I don't care. I just wrote 20K in eight hours which is something I've NEVER done before. It's always taken me at least 10 hours to get to 20K, sometimes more so happy? RIGHT HERE! Anyway, the summary:
Word Count: 22,160. Words Written: 1,920
Pros: I, it went too quick. Ahaha.
Cons: Blair meeting the other MC without realizing she was meeting him. Wait. I think this is a pro because it becomes a really cool subplot. I can't think I'm too giddy.
Issues: Me wrists. I is issues.
Plot Fun: the new subplot about Blair seeing the other MC before actually meeting him. :D
Best Line: Blair: "Well right now I'm your other daughter and until you can accept that I don't want the keys (to her parent's house which she's moving out of)." Dad: "If you walk out that door Friday then don't expect to be able to walk back in until you've grown out of this phase (being bi-gender is so not a phase, jerk.)" Blair: "Then don't expect me to ever walk through that door again after I leave Friday." GO BLAIR!
Last Sentence wrote: Help, please?

Okay, so, I added two chapters because my chapter by chapter planning was more paragraphs instead of sentences like it normally is so I had to split a bunch of things. This worked out great because I only had thirteen chapters planned and now I have fifteen. I also modified a bunch of subplots in ways I can't remember right now (snort) and added a few subplots and potential subplots for later books which is awesome.

My brain hurts, my wrists and fingers hurts, but I'm still wide awake and oddly I want to keep writing. I'm not because it's getting late and I'd like to get at least 6.5 hours for my attempt at 30K before 10PM tomorrow night. At 10PM I will watch the Walking Dead as a treat, assuming I hit the 50K before then. I also have to run at least an hours worth of errands as well as cook dinner and go to the gym so instead of the planned 12 hours of writing I'm down to like 10. Again.

Oh, also, final word count for the day: 20,137. Why is it different from the WC of the story? Cuz I started with 2,023 words of planning I'm not counting towards my NaNo goal but happen to be in the same document my WIP is in. Oops? Sorry but I work better this way. ;)


Thanks for hanging out and joining me in the craziness. I'm not the only one who did something like this, just go hit up the Over-Achievers thread in the NaNo forums and you'll be surprised to see people might actually have completed the 50K goal right now.

I'm going to watch some House MD (maybe), update my word count (obviously) and back up the WIP (MOST DEFINITELY). Rants, rage, questions, comments, and everything in between can be directed to the comments. Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Writing Tip: Butt in Chair AKA NaNo Is Coming

The weather is getting colder, the ugg boots are making appearances, and the leaves are becoming colorful. That's right: National Novel Writing Month is coming. In fact; it's only three days away. What? Did you think I was going to say winter is coming? Well there's that too.

Every year around this time you'll get the hoard of writers coming into the NaNo forums freaking out because they don't have a plot. You'll get other writers coming in saying they have too many ideas. Others still set goals in the triple digits. At least three will take the "Million in a Month" challenge again after being challenged by everyone else and themselves. And others will stare at everyone with a look of awe on their faces that will either turn to euphoria or dread as they are the new kid on the block.

It doesn't matter if this is your first year or your 12th year. There is only ONE piece of advice every writer, professional or not, needs to hear when the bell chimes 12 times on October 31 (making it Nov 1): Put your butt in the chair and write.

That's it. There is no secret pill, no mantra, special food or drink, extensive routine, or guru. The only thing that can make you write is you sitting in the chair and writing. That's it, that's all.

I have seen, heard, and smirked (sometimes rolled my eyes) at every excuse because I've seen and heard people doing more and still winning NaNo. Go to school full time? Yeah, so is about half the board. I've got 10 hours in the day five days a week where I can't write.

Go to work full time? Me too. Same with probably the other half of the board. Do both? Okay, now it's a bit tricky. Still doable. Single mother? Ah, more tricky, but again: still doable. Family emergency? Okay, now you're entering the zone where life comes first.

Not to say school, work, and kids aren't important because they are. So is personal hygiene and food. But school, work, kids, and general life can be worked around.

Think of it this way: you only need to write three and a half blocks of 500 words. At an average of 52 words per minute that's a little over half an hour. Okay, so you can only write 30 words a minute. In one hour you'll have hit the daily goal to complete 50K by Nov 30. Actually you'll be about 144 words over so bonus.

Most people can hit the word count goal in an hour. And it's not hard to MAKE time for that one hour. Write on the commune to work or school (as long as you're not the one driving), write during lunch or breaks, wake up an hour earlier if your day is packed or go to bed an hour later. Look at what you have to do and manage your time around an extra hour a day. Instead of doing laundry three times a week, do it twice. Instead of seeing a movie every week, go every other week. Instead of sleeping in for three hours or taking a one hour nap: write.

Winning NaNo is all about a person's ability to plant their butt in the chair and write. It doesn't even have to be good or make sense. NaNo is about motivating you to MAKE the time to write. And sometimes free writing (writing without a plan) becomes the best writing. Sometimes writing about your day gives you an idea on where to take your story. And yes, it still counts as writing.

If you're really, truly stuck: write a scene where your characters are eating pie. They'll get a chance to TELL YOU what's going on and you'll figure out through them how to get there. Again: KEEP WRITING. It's the ONLY way you can win NaNo.

Oh and in case you're wondering: I've won three years in a row by at least double the amount needed. I've also won 4 camps officially. Six unofficially. So yeah, I know what I'm talking about.

Still not convinced? I've got a few other writing tips in that section of this blog as well as a bunch of stuff about NaNo in that tab. Take the few days before NaNo begins to go over it all if you want. And don't worry: the NaNo community is one of the nicest communities I've ever been a part of. If you have a question or problem: voice it. Someone's going through close to the same thing and will help you out.

Until next time: questions, comments, rage, rants and other things can be directed to the comments. Don't forget to check out my Kickstarter Campaign for kicks. I'd appreciate a donation if you're willing.