Saturday, November 24, 2012

NaNoWriMo: Week Three

I got distracted by a lot this week hence the late post. I didn't even remember about the NaNo update until 11:30PM right after I shut off the lights and went to bed. Ha. Anyway:

Word Count: 161,194
Goal: 200,000
Words Needed: 38,806

Key Plot Points:
It's over. Yep, I've written the last two words every novelist strives for: The End. It became official at 9:59PM on the 18th. The Forbidden Object was destroyed. Two people died and everyone else lived happily ever after. Oh, I did forget that Gary wears glasses so during editing either this month or next month I'll have to add that in which will bring up the word count for the Chosen Ones. I'm not going to get into too much detail here because I can't remember most of it.

Thoughts on Week Three:
I didn't really have much of a week three. Once I finished Chosen Ones I took a long break. I didn't actually start writing again until Thursday night when I pumped out about 3,000 words. Last night I managed 5,000 which isn't much considering. This weekend I plan to get my 200,000. That's right: I'm going to write 38,806 words before Sunday at midnight.

I'm fairly certain I can do this. I might need to take an extra few hours Monday since I'm not going to be starting to write for another half hour or so then I've got another hour to two hours I have to take out of the day for various things. I'm not too concerned though.

I'm making up the other words by finishing a novel I started back in Oct. It's a big switch going from a Lord of the Rings Parody to a modern day, serious, character-growing fantasy. I want to add commentary but it's not allowed. I think this is what's slowed me down the past few days but I'll get over it.

This novel has the unofficial title of Protectors and is about five men who stumbled upon amulets that gift them with special powers. The catch is the five have to grow up in order to use their powers. For instance, Paul, the lawyer is a perfect candidate for Anger Management. In order to use Serenity's powers (yes the amulets have names) he has to learn to become cool, calm and collected. It's a big task for someone with such a hotheaded personality.

Of course, it wouldn't be much of a story without a bad guy so there is a nice little twist in there that I have to thank the NaNo forums for giving me. I'm about half way done with this story so getting the other 38,806 words will not be a problem. The problem might be getting it before Sunday at midnight.

As I said in the beginning, I've been distracted by the internet, namely the muse that kind of inspired Andre in Chosen Ones. I've also had a lot of self-doubt issues to deal with this week that made my writing slow down to a crawl. I think I'm over both. We'll find out, won't we?

Thus ends the week three update. Hopefully I'll remember to get week four up on the right date. Until then, good night and don't let the monsters of doubt bring you down.

Monday, November 19, 2012

One Million Feelings

A little while back I wrote a blog post that talked about the six novels that contributed to the 1 million words I wrote this year. It came to my attention that while I mentioned the six novels that made up those million words I never actually talked about how I felt about it. The main reason for this post is last week someone from NaNo messaged me with questions about the million words. It then dawned on me: while I thanked all my characters and plot bunnies, I never talked about how, why or what the heck was going through my mind doing it. So, here's a little Q&A thanks to Azalea E:

How has the experience of writing a million words been for you?
It's been one heck of an experience. Oddly enough, I had not set out on Dec. 1 2011 to write a million words by Nov. 30 2012. I had spotted a thread in NaNo in and around July 25th and decided 'What the heck, let's do this.' I only know the exact date because it's in my 12in12 tracker file.

Do you feel mentally exhausted?
Oddly, no, I'm not mentally exhausted. I would write for a few days in a row hitting 5-10K words a night, take a day or two off then write a few days straight again. I'm not sure if that actually helped but I'm not mentally wiped.

Has your literary stamina increased?
I don't know about literary stamina but I do know I can now get 2,000 words in an hour. If I'm really going I can get 10K in four hours.

It's said that after writing a million words or so, you'll become a better writer. Do you think that's the case? Have you noticed any improvement in your writing from 12 months ago till now?
There has definitely been an improvement in my writing. My stories and characters seem more real, there are more subplots, and things generally tend to make sense and feel alive. I've also learned to work with my Inner Editor and I don't make the same mistakes I used to a year (or so) ago. My writing style has matured and changed a lot from 2011 to now.

How did you manage such a thing? Do you write in all your spare time? Are you a fast typist/thinker?
At the risk of sounding like some kind of anti-social freak: I don't have much of a social life and that doesn't bother me. I hang out with friends once a week (sometimes twice a month) and write any other time. There have been certain situations in my life that has attributed to me not having an active social life so I turned to writing as an escape. Usually I write from 6PM to midnight every night. When I'm really into a story my word count and brain power increases.

What are the Pros and Cons?
Pros: I wrote six novels in a year. I know some professional authors have done more than that but I wrote six novels with a 9AM - 5PM job from June to September. This is awesome because I have 50 more novel ideas on various back burners that I want to write. The past year has taken a huge chuck out of my 'story list'.
Bragging rights. Anyone who tells me that I'm not a real writer I can honestly say I've hit my million words/10,000 hours of practice then KEPT GOING.
My first drafts have improved greatly and read more like a second or third draft. This means less re-writing. I know what works and doesn't work. I can plot out entire novels in less time.
It increased my writing output by leaps and bounds. Before I was lucky to get 1000 words in an hour. Now I've doubled it.
I seem to be inspired by the oddest things. Before I started taking the million word challenge seriously, I wouldn't get an idea for months. Now a sentence can send me into a 'what if?' thing and BAM! Idea.

Cons: I have to EDIT those six novels. That's probably the biggest one I can think of. I'm not sure if this is a pro or con but I can survive on 6 hours of sleep.

Final thoughts:
This is one challenge that is worth it to do. Not to say that anything else is worthless but this is definitely something that will give anyone a work out, especially if they have a day job and other commitments. But in the end, it can improve your writing by leaps and bounds so it's completely worth it. It might make people go crazy, throw their social lives out the window, live off caffeine, and learn to function on little sleep but it can improve a writing style by leaps and bounds.

Would I do it again? Heck yes. In fact, I'll start up my second 1 million in 1 year challenge in January. For those of you who are curious: that's 83,333 words a month. Yes, MORE than a NaNo challenge every month to get that goal. I'm looking forward to it.

Until next time: Good night and don't let Gollum take the precious.

Friday, November 16, 2012

NaNoWriMo: Week Two

Being honest, I got so wrapped up in my story I kind of forgot about this blog. Better late than not at all, right? Moving on:

Word Count: 126,346 (I'll be writing more after this post goes up)
Goal: 200,000
Words Needed: 73,645 which is a little over how much I wrote in week 1.

Key Plot points:
Er, I can't even remember half my plot right now because it's zipped by so fast. I do know that my villain is gearing up to head North where the Forbidden Object must be destroyed. The Chosen Ones are about five months away from getting to the only place the Forbidden Object can be destroyed. Yes there is an epic battle planned in the near future.

Ed decided to be a hero and learned a bit of swordsmanship from Bob. He's not wonderfully good but he knows to stick the pointy end into people. We got to meet Bob's cousin (Andre) who was supposed to be a minor, one scene character. Now the cousin has joined the Chosen Ones on their journey.

Ed was poisoned by a massive spider and we found out that all elves are deathly afraid of spiders. Ed was brought to the elf haven of White River where they reunited with Bob's cousin Andre. This is where Andre joins them on their journey once Ed heals up. The group is currently trying to save the elf haven of Strong Waters from two Kings fighting over who's Queen is prettier.

Ridam learned to fly after Hulkael sneezed him off a cliff and he learned to breathe fire when Ed was attacked by the giant spider. Yes, Ridam is an ACTUAL dragon now. They grow up so fast.

Mr. Omega created giant koalas because he wants them to be part of his North-bound army. I never said he was a normal villain. There's probaly a lot I'm missing (and intentionally leaving out...hehe) but that's the basics. Check out the week 1 blog for prior plot information.

My thoughts on week two:
It dragged. I know I wrote more than I did in week one but for two nights in a row I didn't even open the darned document or anything. I got stuck with a big massive hole in the middle but inspiration struck and everything is planned now. It didn't help in actually writing anything though.

I'm still hitting that wall where this thing is too serious for a parody (in my eyes) but then Mr. Omega comes along and knits his kittens sweaters or something equally odd and makes things better. I swear the only reason I have him is for funny moments. I'm afraid that if I kill him off all the funny will go away.

Anyway, things are tying up in nice little bows and I don't think I've missed any plot points. I kind of sad that in four chapters and an epilogue this thing will be over. I know, right? I've only got four chapters left to write.

I know I won't hit the 200K word count goal with just this parody. I'll probably get around 180K words for it but that's okay. I've got the story I was working on in October to finish to get my 200K goal.

My goal for this weekend (with tonight, Sat and Sun) is to get 50K words to finish this monster. I'm not sure how that's going to work out as my highest word count day is 18,333. I'm going to try though.

I hope to be finished this novel by Tuesday, take a few days for a break then get my last 20-30K words with my other novel. The sad part is even with those 20-30K words that other novel won't be done. That's okay though; I don't mind. I will say that once I hit the 200K I'm stopping so I can focus on editing everything.

Anyway, that's my NaNoWriMo week 2 update. The week 3 update is coming on the 23rd and until then: Good night and don't let the evil sun monster steal your soul.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Inner Editor

I'd like to start off by saying this post was inspired by all the threads I see in the NaNoWriMo forums about the Inner Editor. So for all those who have started threads, responded to threads or are wondering who this Inner Editor person is: this is for you.

The Inner Editor is the voice in the back of a writer's mind that constantly discusses plot flaws, grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes and character flatness. Some Inner Editors go so far as to tell the writer that they are no good at writing and should quit. Some won't be quiet no matter what the writer does thus leaving the writer trying to perfect the same sentence for hours.

You may think it's strange that I'm talking about the Inner Editor as if the Inner Editor is a real person. For some authors, it is. For others it may as well be. The Inner Editor for (most) writers is a constant stream of internal monologue that we cannot shut off. Now I'm not sure if EVERY writer has an Inner Editor but it looks to be the case from what I've seen in the NaNo forums. Yes, I realize this does not represent every writer. That's fine.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way I think it's fair I mention that during NaNo most people's advice is to shut off the Inner Editor. This confuses the heck out of me. Why would you want to silence something trying to help you? The response is generally: "I can't write with the Inner Editor tearing apart everything I write." or: "I won't make the 50K if I keep trying to make everything perfect." Okay, that makes sense I guess. The whole purpose of NaNo is to have fun while trying to get 50,000 words in one month.

But I ask these people: What happens when you can't EVER write anything with the Inner Editor turned on?

You see I have an issue with turning off the Inner Editor for NaNo. I think it's silly to do so. Why? Well if one wants to learn to work WITH their Inner Editor they must write WITH them. Sure NaNo is about getting a first draft. But not all first drafts have to be big piles of crud. I know, I know: BLASPHEMY! Every first draft is CRUD! Cue the pitchforks and all that. I disagree that all first drafts are crud but more on that another time.

Back to the Inner Editor: I LOVE my Inner Editor. There. I said it. I LOVE MY INNER EDITOR. Why? Because I've written enough that me and my Inner Editor have become one. I've written enough that I know what my faults and mistakes are and I don't make them as much. Yes, I'll slip up sometimes but for the most part I can stop myself.

This does not mean my writing is perfect. I'll never be perfect since my style will constantly change with the more experience I get. It DOES mean that my first drafts are more like a second or third drafts. Why? Because I've learned to work WITH my Inner Editor instead of shutting it out. Now the Inner Editor is my partner instead of someone I have to shut up so I can write without care.

People can say I've only become better because I've grown up or I've been writing more. But isn't accepting the negatives you may think about your writing a part of growing up? This would mean that learning to see and fix plot holes as you go (a job of the Inner Editor) comes with experience. This experience can only be obtained if you let it.

Practice makes perfect (or close to it). I am under the firm belief that if one writes enough with the Inner Editor one can get to the point where the Inner Editor doesn't have to be shut up. Also, writers evolve the more they write. If you shut off a part of yourself, you can't evolve. You can't get better. You won't be able to get over that road-block stopping you from making your first draft more than a pile of dribble.

I've learned a lot about myself and my writing in the past two years, more so in the last year. One of the most important things is that you SHOULD NOT force the Inner Editor to be silent. Let it free. Let it improve you. Let it better you. Work with it and become friends because at the end of the day, your Inner Editor is your writing voice.

Until next time: Good night and don't silence your Inner Editor.

Friday, November 9, 2012

NaNoWriMo: Week One

So the first week of National Novel Writing Month is complete. It's been a hectic week with work, trying to work on NaNoWriMo as well as promoting. Here's my stats and the introduction to what the heck I'm writing:

Word Count: 70,422
Goal: 200,000
Words Needed: 130,000
Finished NaNoWriMo challenge: Sun, Nov. 4th.

Yes I'm one of those crazy people known as an over-achiever on the forums. Moving on:

Novel: Fantasy Parody of Lord of the Rings (yeah I went there, ha)
Title: Chosen Ones of the Forbidden Object
Plot so far: The farmer Ed was whacked in the head with the Forbidden Object while it was being transported by a dragon to Mr. Omega (the Big Bad). Ed of course, didn't know what it was so decided to hang on to it. He was tracked down by the Nine Riders of the Abyssal Planes, chased from his home town, tried to settle in a new town, was chased from there and almost killed. Fortunately (not according to Ed) Bob the valient elf warrior and his steed Pinkie saved him.
Bob brought him back to his home of Clear River where they met up with the other members of what would be the Chosen Ones to destroy the Forbidden Object. These others are Hulkael the Giant Prince (slow moving, slow talking and slow witted), Alina a fairy (a bit on the drunk side with random items in a ridiculously small bag), the Dragon Prince Ridam (a dragon who can't breathe fire and is afraid to fly), the Wizard Gary (a bit crazy), the Dwarf Prince Dreh Cairnbeard (a self-proclaimed ladies man), and the reluctant Bob with Pinkie.
So the group started off and found out quickly that Ed is not the hero they need for this. He complains, wets himself in the face of evil, sleeps when he should be listening and in general is not a good guy. This is even more evident when giant wolves attack and Ed screams, wets his pants, and falls into a fetal position. Of course the giant wolves are defeated and the group moves on.
The next challenge are bats with tentacles that Ridam (in a high-pitched teen dragon voice) takes out and the Nine Riders of Hell. The baddies are defeated putting Mr. Omega into an anger management class. The group is forced through a mountain where they meet Jedris (think Gollum) who wants the Forbidden Oject. He's knocked out by a well found cannon from Alina's bag and the group moves on.
Mr. Omega then releases the tigers. During the battle Bob and Alina fall in love (bah) and Mr. Omega mourns his tigers. The group has to climb over some cliffs where Ridam has to fight another dragon in a game of chess. Mr. Omega becomes bored and makes cute, fluffy kittens with bat wings.
The group gets off the cliffs and comes into a desert, walked through it and surived. Now they're taking a break while Mr. Omega teaches his kittens how to fly.

That's where I am so far. I'm mostly making this thing up as I go along so as for what's next I don't even know for sure. I do know there is a major battle between Mr. Omega and the Chosen Ones but that's the last chapter. I also know there's going to be a war of somesort that side-tracks the group in the later chapters. I also know this thing is going to be HUGE.

Anyway, my thoughts on this week: It started out awesome and the fourth wall lays in dust at my feet. On Sat, the 3rd I got my highest word count in a day: 18,333. On Sun. the 4th I got 16K words to complete the NaNoWriMo challenge. By Tuesday I hit a wall. My parody was no longer a parody and becoming way too serious. This came from Bob and Alina's romance which I'm not too sure about right now. I might break them up or I might pretend it didn't happen.
It's gotten back into it the comedy aspect now which is awesome and I hope to hit 90K this weekend. I'm not sure how that's working out as shortly after the posting of this blog, I'll be out. Saturday I'm out in the morning and the afternoon then Sunday morning is a no-go. But I'm going to try dang it.

Well, that's my week one NaNoWriMo update. Stayed tuned for NaNoWriMo Week 2 Review on the 16th. Hopefully it won't be so rushed as this one. Also for NaNoWriMo I'll be talking about the dreadful Inner Editor and what I do to keep writing despite said Inner Editor. Until then: Good night and don't let any demons from Hell steal your soul.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Six

I mentioned in my 'One Million Words' blog post that I wrote six novels. I also mentioned that I might talk about the six novels. Hey guess what? I REMEMBERED!

The reason I want to talk about these novels is because four of them are a part of a series. One can become a series and the last has been planned to be at least three books. Without these six books I would have never made it to the million so this is my thank you to them. I know that sounds really weird but I'm a writer so weirdness is kind of needed.

Moving on:

Book 1: The Warriors Eight
Length: 165,278
Inspiration: Television.
Plot: We follow the story of the young boy who decides to save the world. Archard is our main character with the P.O.V. He lives in a country ravaged by war because the four kings cannot get along. He doesn't know that though because at the tender age of three he is kidnapped and forceed into becoming a special kind of warrior. It's not as awesome as it seems and he's beaten, tortured and a few other things. Archard escapes and decides to form a group of warriors to save the innocent people from bloodshed. There are a whole bunch of other things going on but I don't want to give up too much of the plot.
Thoughts: I loved writing this, I really did. It's not close to being finished as there are quite a few edits to do and some things don't make sense. It can become a series simply because of how it ends.
Release Date: TBA. Hopefully within the next two years or so.

Book 2: Glory Hole
Length: 145,012
Inspiration: I'm not entirely sure...
Plot: This is erotica. Yeah, I went there. Ha. Anyway, Samuel falls in love. The problem? Samuel is a stripper who can't admit his feelings and his lover is a high-profile business associate who can't admit he likes men. Yes I like to make things complicated.
Thoughts: Samuel is one of my favorite characters to write. He's witty, cute, lovable and just so darned full of anguish over the whole situation that he seems real. The interactions (clothed and unclothed) between the duo were so natural to write. They really fit.
Release Date: Probably never. This was something solely for me. But yes, there are two more books planned for this.

Book 3: The Land of Cara, Book 1: The Otherworlder
Length: 139,050
Inspiration: I used to hang a lot of posters on my ceiling. One day, one of them (a dragon poster) was falling off the ceiling. I had a really bad day and in a fit of rage, ripped it down and tore it up. Then I thought:"What if that had been a real dragon? I just killed it!"
Plot: Emily is our main character and the story starts with her jumping off a bridge. She's then transported to Cara, the country unknowingly under war. She meets Magalia, the Elemental Mage and Ayla, the last Ahkas Metalweaver. What they don't know is the Dark Mages of Cara are planning a coup to take over the country. Again, there's a lot more going on but I don't want to reveal too much.
Thoughts: I recently found out that I'm not so creative with Ayla's name. Look it up. I also never expected this thing to morph into a series. It was supposed to be a stand-alone book but I fell in love with Xeros.
Release Date: TBA. Hopefully in the next two years.

Book 4: The Land of Cara, Book 2: The Dragons
Length: 142,782
Inspiration: Xeros, one of the characters from Book 1.
Plot: Fifty years have passed and Emily has grown into a powerful Mage. The bad news? The Dark Mage Coup did not end. The good news? Emily is in a much better position to stop it. The best news? She's not the only Dragon Summoner in Cara anymore.
Thoughts: I have no idea where some of the plot came from. The whole thing with Drake and Xeros...OMFG! Then Pheobus. Really? I mean, REALLY? It blew my mind and I was the one writing it.
Release Date: TBA, again within the next two years.

Book 5: The Land of Cara, Book 3: The Red-Eyed Mage
Length: 102,777
Inspiration: The final fight in Book 2.
Plot: We meet the fourth Dragon Summoner who turns out to be a lot more important than people first think. I can't go into much detail without destroying the surprises in Book 2. Sorry.
Thoughts: It's way too short but I can't make it any longer. Well I might be able to now that I've left it alone for a bit but it's short. This is probably the shortest novel I've ever written. I think everything just happed so effortlessly because I had most of it planned out.
Release Date: TBA, within the next two years.

Book 6: The Land of Cara: Final Travels
Length: 136,504
Inspiration: The final scene in Book 3. This book never would have existed if my characters had done their job and finished like I wanted them to.
Plot: Sorry, I'm not even getting into it. There's SO MUCH going on and all of it will be spoilers for the prior three.
Thoughts: Awesome. Heart-breaking. THE FREAKING END.
Release Date: TBA, see the others.

These six alone totalled: 831,403 words. That's eighty percent of my 1,000,000 words. That is why I decided to list them. That was my thank-you speech to all the characters (I can't even begin to count how many) in all six and all the little plot bunnies.

I have to say that I'm a bit sad I won't be going into the Cara world again. I could write some side-scenes but I don't think my heart will be into it. As for the other two, I can still have fun with them.

Anyway, that is the summary of what I was working on this year. Until next time: Good night and don't let any demons steal your soul.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

National Novel Writing Month

I think it's only fitting that I talk about National Novel Writing Month since it is National Novel Writing Month or NaNo for short. Bascially NaNo is a writing challenge for anyone brave enough to accept it. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.

I know, I know, that doesn't sound hard at all right? I mean to get the goal you have to write 1,647 words a day. Depending on your typing speed that can take anywhere from half an hour to two hours. Taking into consideration there are 24 hours in a day, that's nothing.

Yet, there are those that fail to complete the goal. There are many reasons for this and I know most of it can be attributed to life getting in the way. Sometimes a person can run out of steam or run out of story. I understand that. It hasn't happened to me but who knows this year might be the year.

I've participated in NaNo2010 and NaNo2011. My goal for this year is 200,000 words. But, let's take a trip back in time...

NaNo2010 was a book entitled 'Trees of Life.' It was an old story from about four years prior that I never fully plotted and never finished. Basically it was about saving the world in a fantasy setting. I won that NaNo with 100,000 words and completed it's 146,828 words. Of course this is a first draft and for a first draft, it's not that bad. There's grammar mistakes and a few things that need to be added but it's decent. I stopped writing after I finished it and did not look back at it until this year.

NaNo2011's book is called 'A Hero’s Dilemma.' It's a sci-fi novel about four reluctant super heros with a nice little plot twist and a cliff-hanger ending. I had the idea for it about four years before NaNo2011. It's 120,823 words long and I finished it by the second week. For kicks, I keep going. I wrote 'Have a Bloody Christmas', 'My Sweet Valentine', 'Odd Things Seen (HodgePodge)' and four fairy-tale gone wrong stories: 'Little Red Glock', 'Sir Andrew and the Dragon', 'Raven and the Seven Warriors' and 'The Warrior Mermaid'. My final word count was 175,000. I haven't read 'A Hero's Dilemma' since I finished it but I've been writing steadily since last year's NaNo.

This year I'm not working on a four-year-old idea like the two years prior. My idea for my 200,000 word goal came to me during last year's NaNo while I was posting on the NaNo Forums. I described a warrior elf named Bob. Bob is now a main in what is called 'Chosen Ones of the Forbidden Object.'

What is 'Chosen Ones of the Forbidden Object' you ask? Why it's a fourth-wall breaking, drunk fairy including, cowardly dragon meeting, talking horse stalking, relucant hero making parody of the Lord of the Rings. Yes. I am writing a parody of the Lord of the Rings.

Now, you're probably wondering why I've been sitting on such an idea for a year. Well, it's the only thing in my story list and idea notebook that will get me to 200,000 words in one shot. Everything else will finish between 120,000-150,000 and I don't want to be writing multiple things if I don't have to.

Why will 'Chosen Ones' finish at 200,000 words? Because I can make it. I have the freedom to pad the HECK out of this sucker because I am breaking the fourth wall. This means I will be talking to my characters ON SCENE. Also, it's a crazy, funny, silly little thing that I need to write after writing so seriously for the past eight months or so.

I will be updating with my progress on the insanity of NaNo when I remember. I know, you're thinking:"But, it's November 3rd. Isn't this an update?" Nope. This is only the beginning. And before anyone asks: No, I will not be including my blog posts in my word count. Until next time: Good night and don't let any demons steal your soul.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

One Million Words

For those of you that don't know I've been participating in a 12in12 Challenge. Basically this means I was to write 12 novellas (20,000-40,000) words a month for 12 months. I started in December of 2011 and will finish November 30th, 2012. This is the second reason why NaNo is so big for me this year. The first reason is because hey, it's National Novel Writing Month and that in itself is important.

Anyway, the third reason NaNo2012 is so important is that half-way through the year I took it upon myself to take on another challenge: 1 million words in a year. Yes, I decided I was going to write 1 million words between December 2011 and November 2012.

The forth reason has two parts: 1) I want to hit 200,000 words and 2) I've been sitting on this idea for a full year. That's right. I've had the idea for this year's NaNo since last year's NaNo. More on that in some other post.

But let's get back to reason number three: Writing 1 million words in a year. A lot of people (authors and non-authors) have said that it takes a writer 1 million words to become worthy of the title of 'writer'. Well, here are my stats for the year:

December: 22,000
January: 20,000
Februrary: 48,615
March: 147,543
April: 63,380
May: 96,948
June: 80,019
July: 134,023
August: 183,562
Total so far:998,836

This leaves me with 1,164 to write in order to hit 1,000,000 words this year. I will have completed my goal by the time this blog has been posted. Will finishing my million early stop me from writing 200,000 for NaNo2012? Nope. I'm still going to go for 200,000 words in November. Why? Well, I'm crazy. I think we've established that, right?

It's been one heck of a journey, I'll tell you that. Those million words took up six books, multiple shorts stories and a few novellas. If you're so inclined, you can buy the novella through Smashwords, Nook or Kobo. The others aren't done yet and the novel edits take time.

I'll probably talk about the six novels in a seperate blog post because hey, they're part of the journey to 1 million. I do want to mention that this has been the first time I've counted my words. This just proves I'm crazy but I'm okay with that. Until next time: Good bye, good night and don't let any demons steal your soul.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So I'm back....mostly

In case you haven't noticed, I dropped off the face of the Earth for quite some time. My last post here was March 28th which is about the same for Twitter and Facebook. This is really horrible for promoting which is funny because one of my goals for 2012 was to promote more. I suck with goals, really I do.

Anyway, I'm back in a sense. I never really left to be honest. I simply did not have the motivation to promote. There I said it: I did not have the motivation to post.

Why? Well, there's a few reasons and I'm going to be completely honest, bording on blunt if you will:
1) I have no idea how to properly promote and the whole thing scares the crap out of me.
2) I'm honestly afraid of what people will say about my work.
3) I kind of became really obsessed with the 12 novels in 12 months challenge and forgot everything else.
4) I've been exceptionally depressed.

Let me explain those a bit.

1) I don't know how to promote. Sure I've read Locke's book on how to sell a million ebooks in five months. Yeah, I've read other marketing books on how to use social media to your advantage. I've never really understood it. No, that's not right. I tried and failed a few times and can't seem to pick myself back up. I'll eventually keep trying though. Plus I always feel like I'm spamming people when I talk about my stuff and I don't like spamming people.

2) I'm afraid of what people will say. There are people who have read my work and loved it. They are the reason I started this crazy journey. Then there are the people who comment with "I had to force myself to finish it." For me, that's a pretty big blow. I'll admit, I don't have a tough skin, well, not yet anyway. I mean yes, the accompanying stars on that comment was a 2 and the book does have a 3.5 star rating which is good for something that was written in one month and edited too quickly for my liking. On the same book I get the comment of "I respect this book and the way it was written. It caught my attention and had the perfect amounts of realism that made the ending all the more tragic. I loved this book that was filled with the best memories we could possibly have during the holidays.....and the most horrible..." which makes me feel great. But there's still that nagging fear of what if people don't like it. I have to work on it.

3) Ah, ha, yes. I've become obsessed with the 12 novels in 12 months challenge to the point where I've written 6 novels this year. Let me reiterate that: I've written 6 120,000 word (or more) novels this year. Actually, since March. Oddly, none of them were book 3 of Tale of the Twins which I planned to finish this year.

4) I've been depressed. Life has been horrible this year and I can't shake it at all. I'm trying to get out of the funk, really I am. But the only way I can is by writing and staying in my fantasy worlds. This does not help with promoting because it seems like everything I've done in the past two years (going on three in March) has failed and that makes me more upset. I'm kind of half happy and half sad right now reading the reviews on 'Have a Bloody Christmas' on the Nook website.

With all that being said, well, I'm kind of here. I make no promises on how often I will post but I see a scheduler for post settings so that might help. Did I mention I'm forgetful and quite unmotivated when it comes to promoting? Ha.

Anyway, I decided to come back because of the one goal for this year that I refuse to fail: National Novel Writing Month 2012. I will get 200,000 words. I will not let anything stop me.

I will also write about my insane attempts and more of what I've been doing this year in the next month. I'll also put together some blogs (probably tonight then schedule them off) on character design, plot, setting and tone.

I leave you with this quote (varied from person to person over the years): "A good author has written 1,000,000 words." Yeah? I'm 30,000 away from 2,000,000. Am I a 'good author' yet? ;) More on that later. Till then, Happy Halloween, good night and don't let the demons from Hell steal your soul.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Character Interview: Lysandra

As stated in a previous blog, I'm featuring another character interview on this blog. This is the second of a series of interviews I've done with more characters than most people would consider healthy. Last week Leopold paid a visit to the blog and this week, it's his twin sister Lysandra from Tale of the Twins Book 1: Gathering and Destruction.

Without any further rambling, here we go:

Basic Information:
About 3,000 years Race: Vampire Occupation: Working to join humans and vampires as one cohesive unit and ferreting out the vampires who want to enslave humans.

What motivated you to join humans and vampires? It is horrendous how some of my kind treat humans as mere fodder as if they are nothing but cattle. Your kind is much more than just my kinds’ sustenance. Without humans there would be no vampires and vampires seem to forget that.

What do you mean by that last statement exactly? What I mean is that if were to merely gorge ourselves until there were no humans left, there would be nothing left for us to eat. My kind also seems to forget that without humans doing all the work, we would not have most of the things we take for granted before the war. It was humans who made the great arts, it was humans who made the technological advancements and it was humans who are willing to do the physical labor of rebuilding the world. We vampires merely watched.

Good point. Moving along, describe yourself in four words: Most people would call me intelligent, aloof yet kind-hearted and deadly.

I was thinking more of you telling me what you thought of yourself. It is the same thing. The ones I trust do not lie to me so I believe in their opinions.

Right, well, what’s it like being Leopold’s twin? Leopold is annoying, loud and obnoxious. He generally likes to play by his own rules and tends to follow the haphazard beat of his own drum. Despite it all, he is caring, a little insane and keeps life interesting. I can honestly say that I have never been bored in all my 3,000 years of life. Even when we were alive, he still had the same ability to be both annoying and lovable at the same time. It is quite the talent.

Does it bother you that he’s more magically inclined? It bothers me at times, yes. Then again, he cannot use the range of weapons I can. We each have our own talents that compliment and complete the other.

Has he ever prevented you from having a relationship with another male? Not intentionally I am certain. I have not been interested in having any kind of relationship with other males. Vampires do not have sexual desires so there is no need to seek out the opposite sex to fulfill certain needs. We are dead after all.

So why do some of the younger vampires seem so crazed? Because they were born in a different time. Some older vampires were born in times that did not focus on sex while the younger breed was bombarded with it.

That makes sense. What’s your favorite part in Tale of the Twins? Minus any spoilers mind you. I have two favorite parts for differing reasons: creating our family and the final fight.

Usually vampires don’t seek companionship, why create the family? Well, Leopold and I needed help to save the world.

Right, any final words to give to the world? Stop repeating the same mistakes over and over again. It can become extremely tedious cleaning up after all of you.

Thanks for the insight. You are quite welcome. Though I do not think many will heed it.

Yes, they are opposite in a lot of respects. If you want to learn more about them, you'll have to check out the book. Next week we'll see what it's like inside a flea's mind and will hopefully survive the maze.

Just a note: I'll be working on a series of more "tips and tricks" posts for both authors and non-authors. Also, I'll be doing an update of sorts of what I'm working on (novel-wise) and how far along I've gotten in my writing goals for this year.

If you have any really important questions for Leopold, Lysandra or anyone else you can think of (including me), feel free to post in the comments. I'll do my best to answer.

Until then I leave you with this quote:
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."
-Francis Bacon

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Obsession with words

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. I've always wondered who "they" were and what made them think that a photograph was worth 1,000 words. Regardless, I've written 100 photographs worth of words this month. Yes I have written 100,000 words. That's two NaNoWriMo challenges in one month. I'm not trying to brag, honest. I'm just flabbergasted.

As I've said it before, I am a bit crazy. I'm a bit obsessed once I get onto something I really like. For example, the other day I downloaded a new game on my phone and because it's so awesome, I've been playing it all day. Oh, and I've spent money on it, something I swore I'd never do with a phone game.

This obsession translates into my writing. Once I get into a story that I really adore, I just hack away at it until I either collapse from exhaustion or its done. The current work is 14 chapters long in 168 pages. This isn't including the little side-scene I wrote for it which may or may not make it into the main body.

I know someone out there is going to ask "how did you manage that?" I have no idea. Besides lacking a social life, working better under stress and having an insane obsession with things, I have no clue. I wouldn't suggest the first two though. One makes you somewhat anit-social and the other makes you want to jump off a cliff one moment and laugh giddily the next.

Besides that, I did want to mention that because of this insanity I have decided to modify one of my goals for this year. Instead of trying to write 500,000 words, I'm going to 600,000. I know, not much of an increase and technically I'm just over one sixth of the way there.

But who's to say I'll have another 100,000 word month before NaNoWriMo 2012? I might completely die once I finish this story. I kind of hope not, I've still got seven more months of the 12in12 challenge to complete before my final month in November.

Either way, I've written more then I could imagine this month. I want to thank everyone who has given me wonderful comments (even if they didn't know they were) and everyone who's actually reading this blog. Now I'm off to torture my poor (but loyal) fingers and write more.

Maybe one day I will sate this word obsession but the forecast is cloudy with a chance of "ha, yeah right." Until then, I'll amuse myself with writing about bi-polar mages, cowardly dragons, not-for-children fairy tales and whatever else strikes my fancy. Ciao.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Character Interview: Leopold

For those of you who don't know: I keep every idea I've ever had, every note I've ever taken (story wise) and all other paraphernalia having to do with writing in a dresser drawer and a few binders. Actually, I don't think anyone knew that.

Regardless, now that you do I'll forge ahead. Last week (Thursday) I mentioned that I write character interviews. Why did I mention this? Well, I found some. They were hand written, half in and half out of the margins of a notebook at the bottom of my notebook stash. Yes, I'm the strange woman with a notebook stash.

After reading a few, I decided to type them up because ink fades and there's some good stuff there. I spent the weekend reorganizing my dresser drawer and my binders before typing up a few of my old interviews. I realized that instead of interviewing from the third person, I pretended that I was actually speaking with the character in question.

Does that make me a little crazy? Eh, maybe. I don't really mind because at the very least, it keeps me entertained.

Anyway, enough with the rambling. As stated in the title, here's Leopold from Tale of the Twins Book 1: Gathering and Destruction

Basic information:
Age: About 3000 years Race: Vampire Occupation: Saving the world.

What motivated you to save the world? Boredom, actually, Lys wanted to and I just went along with it.

Do you often just go along with what Lysandra says? Most the time, yeah. She is the brains of the group for a reason. I’m just around to look good and provide back-up *laughs*

Okay...describe yourself in four words: Hmm, only four? Damn. Um, hm. Oh! I’m a gun-crazed, magic-wielding, ass-kicking vampire.

You cheated. No I didn’t, I just like double words. A lot. Yeah. Can I say ass-kicking during this? Not that I really care but I figured I’d make sure.

Yes you can. Now, next question: What’s it like being Lysandra’s twin? Lysandra can come off as all cold and distant but she’s really not. She cares a lot about her family, well, namely me and er, the rest of the guys but, um, I lost my train of thought. It kind of like blew off the tracks. Anyway, it’s kind of cool having her as a twin, I mean, we’re connected and all that B.S so I’m never really alone. Actually, that’s a good and bad thing depending on the situation. I kind of wish she’d of been male too because I’d love to totally freak the Hell out of people by just randomly going by my twin’s name. That’d be awesome.

You only want her to be male to screw with people’s heads? Yep. I like messing with people, it’s fun.

Is that why you act so strange? Naw, I just act weird because I am weird. It’s one of those things, you know?

Not really but regardless, what’s your favorite part in Tale of the Twins? Without spoilers mind you. Aww, no spoilers? Damn. Well, I’ll say one word then: Abby.

That’s actually really sweet. Yeah, I’m a sucker for keeping pets.

No pun intended? Pun totally intended.

I should have known. Any final words to give to the world? This is where I should be saying something poetic and thought provoking. Screw it. I’m the best character, love me and enjoy my craziness.

Thanks, I think. No problem, it was my pleasure.

For those of you who don't know who Leopold is, you just met him. Of course if you want to read the story he's in just pick up a copy of Tale of the Twins here.

Who's Lysandra? Well, his twin of course. I'll post her interview sometime next week. Until then I'm going back to writing my fingers off and wandering around in my fantasy worlds. I might tell you about the trip at some point, I'm sure it'll be fun.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

68,000 and counting.

Today I was sitting around staring into space when it hit me. The ceiling fan that is, not the answer to why we're all here. Actually, I'm kidding about the ceiling fan too. Sorry.

What hit me was the fact that without prompting, I have written an astounding 68,603 words in 10 days. When I first heard of the 12in12 challenge I decided to write novellas because I didn't think I could make close to 50K words every month. Now I've basically completed a second NaNoWriMo in five months.

How could I have possibly written so much? Well, for one I have no life. I'm being serious. I work all day from 9AM to 5PM and as luck would have it, my friends work from 3PM to 11PM. The only time I see them is every other weekend when they're off. I know, I suck.

Eventually I get bored of video games (I know, such a horrid statement) and sit down in front of a blank Word document to write. Being perfectly honest, I've played all the games I own and can't find anything interesting.

I've noticed recently though that I tend to write a lot more when I'm stressed. Writing sweeps me up into a different world and I don't have to think about paying bills, buying food or whatever else is making me go crazy.

Though I have to admit, I am pretty mean to my characters the more stressed I am. I get some kind of sick pleasure out of making their lives Hell when mine sucks just as much. Technically my current set of characters is having a lot of good luck recently so I must be in a better mood.

Then again, I did force one of the guys to pretend to be a woman so he could poison and evil Lord. I don't think that would be good luck. But they DID meet the other two members of their growing team while in the Lord's estate so it worked out.

Anyway, back to my crazy word count. I made it my goal this year to write 450,000 words. I just calculated that if I write a mere 12,968 words a month from April to October, I'll complete the goal. This is assuming I make my NaNoWriMO 2012 goal of 200,000.

Technically, I don't even HAVE to complete the 12in12 challenge. I still am though, just because I want a safety net for NaNo. You know, just in case I can't get to 200,000 words. That would be absolutely horrible if I couldn't and didn't have anything backing me up.

Heck, with the pace I'm going at, I might even make it my goal to hit a million words this year. Okay, that's a bit out of my league with my time constraints. I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot with a laser gun just because I'm feeling good about 60K in 10 days.

As for what I'm putting out next: I'll be eventually putting out a 'Fairy Tales Gone Wrong' collection which includes spoofs of Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Goldilocks, Rapunzel and a cowardly dragon story. I'm aiming for the end of April but I might still be caught up in my current novel-in-progress. We'll see.

Until then enjoy this little bit of scenery from my current work:

“Nice to meet you Bliant, I’m Archard,” Archard offered a hand to shake.
Bliant took it with a grin and looked vaguely surprised at the powerful grip.
“I’m Noam and the pleasure is all mine, I’m sure,” Noam announced with a wave of his hand.
“Are you a male or female?” Bliant questioned in response.
One of Noam’s slim eyebrows raised and his mouth shifted into a saucy grin. Bliant merely stared at him for a long moment as Archard smirked.
“What do you think?” Noam purred.
“He’s a he, and he can be really weird and perverted, sorry,” Archard interjected before Bliant could respond.
“Aww, cutie-pie, that just took all the fun out of things,” Noam pouted.
Bliant erupted into laughter much to Archard’s surprise and Noam’s pleasure. He clapped the two on the back and grinned.
“I’m a little weird myself, don’t worry,” Bliant explained with a smile.
“How so?” Noam questioned in wonder.
“Ah, well, Bliant means healer in some kind of old language,” Bliant described with a laugh.
“Huh?” Archard voiced in confusion.
Bliant shrugged and tucked his thumbs into the belt he wore. Archard waited somewhat patiently for the reply and wondered if he should ask again. Noam merely looked in interest at their new companion.
“I came from a rich family, more specifically a family of healers. I was the eldest and thus taught to be a healer, not a warrior. I became a warrior after my village was ransacked by bandits. They didn’t live to see the next week. Apparently being a good surgeon translates well to becoming a warrior,” Bliant confessed.
“So, you can hurt someone then stitch them up?” Noam asked for clarification.
“Yeah, something like that,” Bliant agreed with a nod.
Archard grinned and decided he was really enjoying this new adventure. Noam was entertaining in his own respect but having a healer who also happened to be a good warrior on the team would bring something more amusing to the mix. Bliant and Noam laughed when Archard finally spoke:
“Well, the more the merrier,”

Monday, March 5, 2012

Return from outer space

Yes, I am somewhat back from my tumble off the world's edge. Where have I been? I'd like to say exploring lost runes and finding new species of mammals but that would be a lie.

I have been utterly and entirely swamped by life. I have to admit, this has been one of the worst years of my life because of finacial issues, death and other such things I don't want to think about right now. Saddly, I'm not quite on track yet and won't be on track in the near future. Don't expect to hear a lot from me for a little while. But let's crawl out of the bad news pit now, shall we?

The good news is that I have managed to stay on track with three of my writing goals for this year. That is, I'm well on my way to hitting 500,000 words for the year, I'm still hanging in there for the 12in12 challenge and I released another novella in February.

All the other goals (especially the one about promoting) are essentually shot to Hell at the moment. And I probably won't be releasing an anthology in March. Why? I'm just not motivated to write the two stories I want to finish the anthology with.

You're probably wondering how I'm on track for the 12in12 if I'm not writing the two stories I need to, right? Well, my brain decided that in February, it wanted to write scenes for the second book of a triolgy I haven't even started the first book for. This month, my brain choose to start another novel length work that I'm much too immersed in to even think about switching over to anything else.

I do really love my current story and because of it, I've got 44,000 words under my belt for this month's 12in12. Last month I hit 48,000. It's like I'm doing mini-NaNo's and I've never had so much fun.

I stumbled out of the block and barely squeaked by the first two months (December and January for me) but am more than making up for it. If I manage to finish off the challange in November with 200,000 words, I'll hit 500,000 words for this year. Yes, that's a heck of a lot.

I don't think I've ever written this much in one year, even counting my two previous NaNos. And you know what? I'm absolutely loving it. Now, if I can only find a little birdie to help me promote, that would be wonderful. But, one can't have it all so I'll have to chug along until things start looking up.

Until then, keep your chin up and flail your arms crazily when a certain four letter word hits the fan.

Monday, January 2, 2012

12 in 12 Challenge

It's the first week of January and the week of New Year's Resolutions. We all plan them. Some of us complete the list and some say screw it. Generally, I'm one of those people who says screw it. Mostly because I have a really bad memory and can't remember what I resolved to do that year by the time March rolls around.

This year will be different. I will complete my resolutions. Why? Well, first let me tell you my main goal: I intend to complete the 12 in 12 writing challenge. What's that you ask? Well, the 12 in 12 challenge is to write 12 novella sized works in 12 months. A novella is defined as a work of fiction between 20,000 and 40,000 words in length for those of you who are curious.

Technically I started last year (in December, I've been wanting to say "last year" for two days now) and completed my first month with 22,000 words. Yes, I barely squeaked by. But I did it and that's what counts.

Back to why this year will be different. Well, I'm not the only one doing 12 in 12. There's a whole bunch of writers from National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) who decided to do the challenge as well. So I've got a support system of sorts to remind me to actually keep on track. There's even a Facebook group.

Since we're on the topic of resolutions, here are a few more writing goals I have for this year:

1) Promoting currently self-pubbed titles
2) Read a few craft books and promoting books
3) Put out my fifth anthology in March
4) Release my second novella in February
5) Write 200,000 words for NaNoWriMo 2012
6) Finish Book 3 in The Tale of the Twins trilogy
7) Write my fantasy spoof novel
8) Start working on my 10-13 book crime fiction series, as well as coming up with books 11,12 and 13 if it does get that far. This begins with Face Snatcher which you can read about here. You can also read about the two main detectives in a short piece in my recently released forth anthology called Hodgepodge.
9) Finish fleshing out the belief system, maps, event time lines and other important things for the world of Ambrosia. This is the world for my second trilogy and it's all in my head right now. It's a massive undertaking as I've been working on this thing ACTIVELY for at least a decade. You can meet some characters from Ambrosia in my Apocalyptic.

I'm also loosely hoping to hit 500,000 words in total for this year, most of which will be written during November. I know, I know, I'm insane. Lock me in a padded white room wearing a white un-fashionable jacket. Actually, no. I'm not insane. I'm a writer.