I’m just tired (aka: Week 2 of Camp NaNoWriMo)

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to be honest, this was my state for the entire week.

So… yeah, week 2. Words were written. Were a lot of them written? No, not really. Save for the 10K day I did on Friday, nope. I’m only up to chapter 16 on Lady of Arrows and I have so many mental notes for the editing. I’m not even done with the draft! Sigh. It’s a journey, guys. A journey where I’m not going to quit but… it’s week 2 blues. Such week 2 blues. But! There’s time and I have a plan. Plan to be discussed below (and on Tuesday in my Authortube video!). There will be a link there after 8 am on Tuesday if I remember to come and edit it.

But, Sleight of Hand. I am absolutely loving writing my little side novel. It’s like talking with friends and getting caught up and it’s all warm and fuzzy feelings. Until things go wrong like they’re supposed to. I mean, things have to be shaken up or there’s no fun in it. Well, probably fun in it, but… yeah. I’m enjoying it and can’t put it into words because it’s amazing.

Okay, so the thing I talked about. I was supposed to, this weekend, catch up on to where I’m supposed to be in Lady of Arrows. That, of course, didn’t happen, so I’m going to need to make it up during the week. And, as I thought about it, unless I am completely alone in the house, I can’t get things done. I’ll get asked a question. There will be something interesting (*cough*Cubs game*cough*) on television. The dog will need me, aka I need to go give belly rubs and annoy the dog with loving. So… yeah. My writing is going to need to be done, Monday-Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm. It might be more 9 am to 4 pm, but you get the idea. Or writing until I hit my goal for the day and then doing general clean up (editing) or other writing activities. But, yeah, I need to change my structure. So, yeah, fun times.

Let’s get to stats.

camp nano july 2019 badge

 

Words Written: 17,596
Lady of Arrows: 4,591 (told ya it was a slow week…)
Sleight of Hand: 13,005
Total So Far: ‭36,626‬

Favorite Scenes
Lady of Arrows: 
Rian (head of the wolf pack) telling Marian that the pack is on Robin’s side. It was cute and heartwarming.
Sleight of Hand: Birthday dinner. Kate and Justinian cuteness. I have cavities from writing that scene. CAVITIES.

Biggest Concern
Lady of Arrows: 
The entire Marian being Robin and deciding to keep the audience in the dark. I’ve decided to have it change going forward, to have less to edit, and it’s hard to get into the mindset of it. However, I’m going to do it. I can do it! Rawr.
Sleight of Hand: Um… making sure that everything is still understandable and I’m not giving away too much and all. Maybe a bit of Mark accepting Malachi a bit too easy? Hmm. Notes for editing.

Biggest Celebration
Lady of Arrows: 
Realizing that I need to do something different than what I’ve been doing. I’m very happy about this, to be honest, and think the entire story will be so much better.
Sleight of Hand: There’s a scene where Kate gets hit by a car – she was pushing Mark out of the way – and has to be rushed to hospital. A poltergeist tries to claw her heart out and she’s able to make it go away. I am so happy about how, when people are reading the series for a second time, they’re going to see the subtle action of Kate’s vampire power at work. I just…I love it so much. Eeee.

Goals for Next Week
Self: Start the new schedule and try to do as many King WLAP (Writing Like a Pro) days.
Lady of Arrows: Let’s try to get to chapter 23 or more.
Sleight of Hand: Complete both 10K days – Wednesday and Sunday – even though Sunday’s has a ton of family stuff mixed in. Probably going to be writing on my phone on Sunday during breakfast but I don’t caaare.

Alright – see everyone next week! Keep on writing!

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week 1 Wrap

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Yeah, this is accurate. Week 1 was a mix of being a mess and being really good. I’m frustrated by what a mix bag it was and in awe of all I got done. However, as I think back on it, frustration is winning over the awe. It’s just… let me explain.

This week was slow to get going with Lady of Arrows. It happens. It’s getting towards the middle, the middles go slow, so on and so forth. I really just need to put one word in front of the other and get the story written in a first draft. It’s in ugly baby mode and I’m going to shape it into a beautiful toddler and… there’s more to this but you get the idea. Then, the 10K day hit and it was amazing. I wrote 10,000 words in a day – got five chapters done of Sleight of Hand – and I felt good. Exhausted, but good.

And then… then I screwed up my sleep schedule. It was going to stay screwed up for 5th until now. I’m going to try to get it back on track for week 2. Week 2 means a bit of catch up. I would like to get six chapters of Lady of Arrows done, which would put me at chapter 19. Then it’s another 11 chapters to be done with the novel, so say I’m done by the 26th. That gives me a few days to start up Arthur, which would be nice, and keep Lady of Arrows in a drawer until August 2nd.

There’s also the Beta Project over on Absolute Write and… as much as I want to offer betaing, I’m not sure if I could. I’m having issues sitting down and being a beta for other people. I’m just not sure how it would really work and I would feel horrible so… yeah. We’ll consider it. I’ve got until the 18th to make a full decision. Ok, before the 18th, but I feel I could go “hey, changed my mind, I would like to make a beta request”. So that’s fun.

Since I don’t have more to add, I’m stealing this wrap up thing from K.A.

camp nano july 2019 badge

Week 1 Wrap Up

Words Written: 19,030
Lady of Arrows: 8,992
Sleight of Hand: 10,038

Favorite Scenes:
Lady of Arrows: I really liked Rinn just going for it and trying to control Marian. It didn’t work and Marian learned about her new powers.
Sleight of Hand: Kate beating up Richard. Bwhahaha. Best.

Biggest Concern:
Lady of Arrows: Plodding along. I’m getting to the middle and, aside from the 1st climax, I can tell I’m going into “whyyy” mode. However, we’re changing from Marian having some sight to no sight sooo might be fun.
Sleight of Hand: Making everything believable, to be honest. I know, first draft, get the words out, but it helps if I believe it too.

Biggest Celebration:
Lady of Arrows: I WROTE. Considering how hard this has been, just getting the story from head onto computer screen, that is the biggest scream it out loud celebration. Really.
Sleight of Hand: That I started. Book 2 scares me, so starting is good. Very good.

Goals for Next Week:
Words: Lady of Arrows – 6,000; Sleight of Hand – 10,000
Challenges: #50in5 round 2. Ding that bell.
Lady of Arrows: Have chapter 19 finished by this time next week.
Sleight of Hand: Write write write wriiiiitttteee. Also, more mushy Justinian/Kate scenes so I can just sit and be all happy.

 

Camp NaNoWriMo: The Beginning

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I am so that little cat on the end that was trying to get away. Like that one, I did not get far.

I’m gonna out myself right now. Day 1 of camp was a horrible day because it was a Monday. I managed zero words and will probably be playing catch up for a while. That’s fine. I’m used to it. I’m still going to keep moving forward because, you know, that’s the only way to do it. One word at a time.

Now, is it easy? Nope. It’s like pulling teeth at the moment. I’m not sure of anything I’m doing with Lady of Arrows. I’m not doubting the story; I’m doubting the way I’m telling the story. Is my sentence structure varied enough? Did I describe that? What about that? Is this enough of the disability or more? What if I moved this up but then what am I doing here?

This cycles on and on. It’s kind of… I don’t want to say interesting. I’m not sure what to call it but a rolling ball of anxiety. There’s also the thing that I kind of need to get the project done before the 20th of July. It’s doable. It really is. It gives me time to disconnect and stick it in a drawer for a week before pulling it out to edit/tear apart. And there’s more than enough time after that to put it back together and get to others before Pitch Wars.

Now, if I could shovel my anxiety ball or deflate it, I would love that. I’m not sure how to do it. I’ll figure something out. For now, I’ll get back to writing and showing Will and Talmis being adorable, after Will getting over the fact that Talmis is a demon. Always fun.

Until next time, keep writing.

#50in5 – An Introduction

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Yeah, I don’t know what I’m really doing here either. That’s a lie. This idea comes from the twisted amazing minds of erin and K.A.Wyles where there will be two projects for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Let’s go through the breakdown on this.

Project #1: Lady of Arrows (finishing) / Arthur, King of the Zombies – 2,000 words, 6 days a week. This is the normal Camp goal and we’re not going to talk about this in this post. We’ll talk about it later, including how I need to get over myself about writing my disability which is up on my YouTube channel. So go there if you want to hear about that right now. But forget about it for a moment.

Project #2: Sleight of Hand: Mystery of the Dark Book 2 – 10,000 words, 1 day a week. This is what I’m talking about with doing 50,000 words in 5 days out of the month. It’s also what most, if not all, of next month’s blog posts are going to be about. This is the second book of the Mystery of the Dark series out of 7 (side note: whyyy 7 books, self?) and the one that I really want to write. Like I said in the 30 questions, I really do love the Mystery of the Dark world. Getting back to playing in it, now that I know what I’m doing, is going to be a ton of fun.

Now, I highly recommend going over to both erin’s and K.A.’s blog for the special things they’re offering this month for those of us who take on this challenge. The Tatra is also joining us on this challenge and, if you need something even more, there’s the 10K Writing Challenge hosted by Mandi Lynn. Otherwise, best bet is to keep your eye on the blog and my Twitter feed for how well (or horribly) this idea is going.

30 Questions for Authors

Why not come back to the blog with this? It’s fun! Important note before we start – I am doing Camp NaNoWriMo with not one but two projects! Yes, I’m going to finish up Lady of Arrows, follow up with a King Arthur zombie tale, and write Sleight of Hand (Mystery of the Dark: Book 2). The how will be explained in a post coming up on the 1st of July, so, until then, here’s a thing.

1.Tell us about your favorite writing project / universe that you’ve worked with and why: Ok, I have two answers for this – written and non-written. The written goes, hands down, to Mystery of the Dark. I love Kate in her full blown snark and her friendship with Mark and others. I love the idea of vampires and other things existing and just being in the world. It’s a fun little place to play in and I like it so much that I’d go move there if I could. For non-written, it’s going to be Watchers. Children of the Gods linked to the Gods to get their powers. It’s so much fun to play in, especially as a RPG with my friends, but I really got to put pen to paper on them.

2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?: I do like my female MCs. You know that ‘write you know’ thing? I follow that when I’m writing my main characters. I’m a woman, why shouldn’t I have women main characters, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to write main characters who are also male. It just doesn’t work out all that well sometimes. However, as major characters? Male. It’s so easy to write the fun male major character – hello Mark, Kate’s best friend – but yeah, I’ve got a lot. Just more FMC than MMC.

3. How do you come up with names for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?: Behind the Name for character names. There’s a behind the surnames site too that I’ll use in order to figure out names. As for places… I sometimes go and find a generator or I’ll take something and scramble it.

4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters: Ok, first character, who is also my first ever RP character – Pyre – who is from the Watcher ‘verse. She is a blind character who’s forehead caved in and, due to supernatural reasons, she’s still alive, in a way. But she’s a quirky blind hacker / information hunter (depends on if I’m using tech or not) who just has this amazing luck to not die when things are supposed to kill her. Or she stumbles into political situations that should kill her. And so on. However, she cannot fight worth a damn. That’s why she’s got Alex and his band of merry men. Although one of them just glared at me in my head about being called merry and another about men. I’m not going to get out of this alive, guys. They’re inside the house.

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?: Oh dear. Youngest… That goes to Alan Dale (Alan-a-Dale) in Lady of Arrows. I’ve made him so he’s only 13 – super talented bard – but, you know, young. Oldest… that’s going to depend. If we’re going with a purely supernatural being? That’s Rinn from Lady of Arrows. Human turned into supernatural being is a tie between Justinian’s father and Darius.

Now, in terms of creation? Daniel, from Lady of Arrows, the Lord Sheriff and Marian’s brother. I was fooling around with creating Marian and Will being family and then I went right into “older brother, also the Sheriff” in my notes about Daniel. So, boom, created. Oldest created… actually written, Kate (aka Jenna) from Mystery of the Dark. Unwritten goes to Pyre from Watchers.

6. Where are you the most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol’ pen and paper?: You can pry my computer from my cold dead hands. Ok, maybe a bit too much. I’m most comfortable writing out on the breezeway during the summer and the couch during the winter with a dog on my lap. Cookie’s the best little assistant until she’s demanding pets. Then the world just kind of stops until she’s done. As for time of day…. I’m becoming a morning writer? Like get up right in the morning and write and do it early in the day too. That’s new. Kind of shocking, but new and I like it.

7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?: I have a Pandora Lady Gaga station that’s mixed in with all these different artists that I like. I will jam to that while writing and get a lot done. As for songs… Kate and Justinian’s song is Set Fire to the Rain by Adele. That was back when Justinian was a lot darker and less of the good guy he is now. However… it’s stuck. I feel bad but at least it’s not Love the Way You Lie? Which, while awesome, is not the best subject matter in the end and you need to listen to Part 2 of that song. Yes, there’s a part 2 and it’s awesome! So, um, yeah. Music!

(I’m not even on 8 and I’m trying to jump ahead to ten. Ok, back to questions.)

8. What’s your favorite genre to write? To read?: Fantasy, for both, and are you really shocked? No? Good. However, it’s not adult fantasy that I’m reading. I have been loving reading YA fantasy and then applying some of it to adult. Or even just writing YA fantasy. It’s a lot of fun. However, I will never ever during down a mystery novel, especially Swedish mystery novel. So good.

9. Where do you get your ideas for characters? Describe the process of creating them.: …I don’t know? They just spring up from my head a la Athena. Now, I do flesh them out after I get this new voice going “Hello!” and figure out what story they go into. With that, I do a lot of character questions or just listen to the voice in my head.

Yes, voices. No, I’m not crazy. Little bit. Crazy not stupid section (tell me what that’s from without Googling and I will give you a cookie).

10. What are some really weird situations your character have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to some questions counts!: Um… I don’t think I really have any yet? All I can come up with feels completely normal for those characters. I’m not sure why.

11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?: Kate. It is so easy to write her and be snarky and witty. I feel most comfortable when writing her. I am not liking writing Daniel from Lady of Arrows at the moment but that’s due to him being an ass.

12. In what story did you feel you did the best at world building? Any side notes on it you’d like to share?: This is a tie between work in mind Watchers and Mystery of the Dark. It wasn’t hard to world build the second one because I’m building off of the world we already have. Yet there was also the questions of “how did they hide for so long? Why did they come out” and so on and so forth. I have it that there really was going to be something completely wrong with Y2K that the vampires were able to smooth over but they had to come out of the shadows for it. Along with the rest of the supernaturals but they weren’t considered truly part of society before they stepped up and fixed the world. A side note that I have and that I haven’t touched is “what about 9/11?”. I…I don’t want to touch that. It feels cheap to touch it. So, when I get asked the question, I will simply say that I cannot bring myself to say if it truly happened or not. It’s up to the reader if they stopped it or not. I can’t make that call.

13. What’s your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?: The Fae culture of Mystery of the Dark. They’re so behind the scenes of human culture and hands off – they’re Switzerland, really – and yet they play such a big role in the end. It’s so much fun.

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?: Google Maps. It’s also how I map out the road trip from Asheville to Portland Oregon too. And then go “ok… werewolf territory, vampire city, more werewolf territory…. I think the Fae have Las Vegas…”. I’m weird, I know.

15. Midway question: Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!: Hands down Neil Gaiman. I’m not just saying this because of Good Omens being out, but because one of my favorite books is American Gods. It is a blend of Norse mythology and the modern world / Gods of our times that just works so well. I also like that he’s just a good and stand up guy. His twitter is nice and positive. I heard him speak when he came to Chicago about Neverwhere and he is just the writer that I would love to be.

16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing?: Oh yes, I do. I’m not sure what is being asked with the second part of “how do you do with those” because… I do okay? There’s real romance there and sometimes it’s a small burn when I’ve got 7 books vs a fast burn when it’s a duology. So maybe that’s what it means? I don’t know. As for how far… I black curtain it out when it comes to sex.

17. Favorite protagonist and why!: I mean… I love me some Kate with all of her issues but Marian is coming up fast as one of my other favorites. Kate is brilliant and witty and things I want to be. Marian is the social warrior that I want to be. So that’s why they are two of my favorites and you can’t make me choose. Nope!

18. Favorite antagonist and why!: Oh my gosh… tie between Darius and Rinn. Darius because he is such the protagonist that gets this character transformation and you think he’s going to forgive. But he doesn’t. At all. I am here for it when I get to book 5 of Mystery of the Dark. As for Rinn… there’s just the fun of being the Demon King while in the body of Prince John and trying to take over the known world.

19. Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!: Dante. He was supposed to just be this behind the scenes mentor who made sure that Kate and Mark stayed on the straight and narrow. He’s shoved himself forward to be all “I am more than this!” and I’m so glad that he did. He makes the story richer by knocking common sense into those two when they are idiots (which is sometimes often).

20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?: Kate and Mark, Kate/Justinian, Gabriel with any of the other characters because he’s got all this baggage of his own that could be a novella, and, for one non Mystery of the Dark one, Marian and Will. The two siblings play off of each other so well and I love it.

21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?: Not yet and I plead the fifth on which two (or more!) those are. Spoilers.

22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you’ve never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.: Queen of the Dawn, which is the second book of the duology Lady of Arrows, has a scene where Marian grows wings while trapped in the demon realm.

23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?: I want to say it takes about two to three months but that’s not factoring in editing. If we factor in editing, then it takes five to six months to be completely done.

24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What’s the most interesting way you’ve killed someone?: I’m extremely willing if the plot demands it, but that’s only if I cannot rework the plot to make it so i don’t have to kill them. Sometimes the plot needs to be reworked if the character is important enough. I don’t think I have a most interesting way but best threatening was Kate saying she’d skin someone alive, basically.

25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.Kate adopted a stray, named Maximilian, and he is very much a normal cat. He’s got personality and he loves his half humans as well as the Arcane who insisted on bursting into the half humans’ lives. He likes going around in backpacks, but the best time was traveling in the back of Mark’s van.

26. Let’s talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!:  Nope.

27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.: I mean…. yes and no? I like giving them so people can have an image in their mind. So I like giving the hair and eye color and so on so people can know who they’re looking at.

28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there’s nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.: Marian has a physical disability – she’s legally blind in the same way that I am – but she can use magic to have perfect sight. The downside is that it hurts and she can’t fully see after she uses it for long periods of time. It is extremely hard writing it because I’m trying to make sure that people understand what’s happening, but I’m still on my first draft. We’ll see how it goes when I hit second draft.

29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?: I’m always thinking about my writing. The really fun times is when I’m walking down the street and something pops into my mind that would just work perfectly. And it feeds into the second half of the question with something that happened this week. I was walking to Starbucks and Backstreet Boys came on Pandora. It gave me the way that I wanted to start Sleight of Hand, since I’ve been having issues with my opening, and it spiraled into a better outline for another go at the story.

30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his characters!TAMMY! If you can read this, then you’ve been tagged! Sorry not sorry. This person is someone who I met not too long ago and her writing is amazing. She’s taken a genre that is not my favorite and made it into one when she’s the one behind the story. Her characters feel like people I want to go meet in real life (okay, really, gimme Preston to clean my house) and I wish someone would pick her up to get her stories published.

#reviveandrevise – Drama Llamas

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Today’s prompt is to talk about a scene that you’ve already written that creates a lot of drama. Just a small taste, which I kind of like, but I’m going to twist this. As I twist all things if you stay here long enough or if you’ve been here for a while. It’s just what I do. I’m a twisty person. Not twisty dark because this is not Grey’s Anatomy, but bit twisty. So I’m going to talk about an upcoming scene that I’ve got some written out in my outline / road map. It’s also one of my favorite scenes because it’s just filled with crunchy family drama too.

So what happens is that Marian allows herself to be captured, letting them think they have Robin, and when the hood is pulled up she’s all like “hello brother dear” in Robin’s voice. Which just freaks everybody out and they’re like “demon!” and she’s like “…fuck you, illusion magic”. Not in so many words, but you get the idea. There’s a bunch of lead up to this point, like Marian embracing that her true kick ass self is better than using the illusion of a guy, But it is one of my favorite scenes and one of the more juicy drama scenes. Especially because Daniel’s like “is there nobody in this family that is normal?!” and she’s like “nope, not even you” and the little family tidbits. Also, she’s got a specific reason for being captured, as this is between the midpoint and the secondary twist, but that’s just going to have to wait for the entire novel to be written.

There are other juicy drama bits in the novel, including Johanna (Little John) calling Marian out on thinking she has to be a guy for people to listen to her. And there’s the entire possible romance between the Demon King and Marian with all of that inside. I’m just having a lot of fun with writing this novel, even if it’s taking me forever to sit down and write. There’s just been a lot of real life drama and wanting to lost myself in books, but the remainder of the month is for me kicking ass.

So now I turn the question over to you about your favorite drama filled scenes of your work. Leave a comment down below and, until next time, take care.

#reviveandrevise: The Favorite

For today’s prompt (well, Monday’s, I’m behind due to RL), we’re supposed to take one character from the novel that we’re working on to talk about being our favorite. This prompt made me stop and think to realize just how hard it is to come up with a favorite. I love Marian, my main character, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing her story. Ditto to the two main supporting characters – Will and Ikram – who are the start to her small band of misfits. However, if I’m true to myself and answering this prompt, then we have to go beyond just this novel.

I say that because the one character that will always be my favorite is one that is never just in one of my novels. That type of character comes from the supporting cast, sometimes very close to the main character, in the case of Will in Lady of Arrows, but it comes forth in Mark in Mystery of the Dark. That’s the best friend who acts as or is family to support the main character. They’re the balance to the main character because nobody can stand on their own. Well, they probably can but they’re probably also looked at as a Mary or Gary Stu. We do not allow those in our novels or in our friends’ novels. Friends don’t let friends have Mary/Gary Stus.

So my favorite is always going to be the best friend to the main character, no matter what novel I’m writing. If you ask me where this came from, I blame the fact that I have amazing friends who are my own found family and I wouldn’t give them up for anything. Even the ones that make up my small writing group that I have never met in real life. We can’t be who we are as people without our friends and family, so why should our characters be that way? Spoiler – they shouldn’t be.