Saturday, November 29, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

Tomorrow is the last day for NaNoWriMo this month and unfortunately I'm not going to finish.  In fact, I'm not even close.  While I had high hopes for this year, it just never came together fast enough.  Too many distractions and not enough self-motivation to play catch up.

This book is my first attempt at a YA novel but I don't think that had anything to do with the slow start.  A more realistic reason could be that this is also my first novel with a main character who is female.  It may sound sexist, but being a man and writing a story that follows a young woman takes a bit of a mental shift and then some effort to make sure I'm staying in character.  Probably by the second book, I'll be able to stay in rhythm easier, but at the start, it is slow going.  As with any story I'm learning more about the characters and their ways of thinking as the story unfolds.  I've already repurposed one character and added another from my original cast but that's the great thing about writing.  I don't have to anticipate things going wrong because they usually work themselves out in the writing.

Anyway, I have the first ninety-plus pages done andI'm about to start chapter six.  The main character, Talia, has uncovered powers that no one has seen before and now the process of discovering what she can do with them and how others want to use and/or exploit them has begun.  This will fill out most of the middle of the book along with her budding romance and helping her new friends with their own dangerous pursuits.  I'm still hoping to get this all done by Jan. 27th (especially since a PS4 may be on the way for my birthday).

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Crystal Heart, Chapter One

Day four of NaNoWriMo sees the completion of the first chapter of my newest novel, Crystal Heart.  While I am off pace to finish 50000 words by Novenber 30th, I'm still pleased with what I've written. From what I've reviewed, I can see where more description would have helped but I'm happy with my attempt to keep the chatter to a minimum and have the dialogue be more focused and necessary.  That's not to say I won't have a few creative arguments once the characters know each other better, but that's what I like best.

The one thing I will be checking on later when I take a break is if the end of the first chapter is intriguing enough to lure the reader into wanting to read the next.  I want every chapter to end, not necessarily with a cliff hanger, but with at least a question hanging in the air that the reader will hopefully want to have answered.  By then, I've introduced more problems and more questions.  I'll see.

The next chapter will have the main character, Talia really delving into her powers and the end will bring about the biggest surprise of the beginning when she does something that has never been itnessed before.  It will also see the introduction of the trilogy's main antagonist, though for now he will only be a mysterious caller with inside knowledge.

It's getting good now.  Write on!

Monday, November 3, 2014

NaNoWriMo, day three

Well, it took three days for me to get to blogging about my attempt at this year's NaNoWriMo, which should be an indication of how well it's going.  It's been a rocky start but I'm going to assume that this will get the kinks out early and the rest will flow better.  I hear you scoffing, but I'm hanging my hopes on that so hush it.

Saturday is probably the worst day to start anything since I work then have to go to bed early to get early on Sunday.  I managed to get a lot of writing done at work so that helped but only about half of what I wanted since my goal was 2000 words a day.  I got down 1200 by days end so it wasn't all bad.  Then Sunday came and along with it a migraine that got worse as the day went on.  I banged out about 800 words so by Monday, I was basically down by a day already.

Now, here it is Monday and my headache's gone so I'm going to make up some ground today and tonight.  So far I haven't had to stray from my plot as the scenes are going as planned.  Ideas have been popping up like summer showers but I've been able to incorporate them so far without any need for changes.  I'll take that as a good sign.  If you want to check out my first scene look here:

Here's hoping everyone else is still plugging away and having fun.  Write on!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Wait is Over

I took some general writing advice from many different sources and let my novel ideas ferment for a week.  Now I've gone back to see if I've got a fine wine or a bitter barrel of grape squeezins.  So far, I'm still pyched about how I've got the story playing out.  Each scene card I read still plays out in my head like a multi-million dollar production (ahem, Hollywood, get in on this now).  The characters are still fresh in my mind so they've stood the test of time.  I still like them or hate them and I still like the possibilities I've set up for future books.  All looks good to go.

I've got four days before the official start of NaNoWriMo and it appears I'll have a nice little start before it begins to count.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Standing on the Edge

Here I am.  I'm out of excuses to not start writing my next book.  I've settled of the title, Crystal Heart.  It goes well with the titles of the next two books, Crystal Mind and Crystal Soul.  The first book deals with how Talia learns of her powers and how she is different from others like her.  She has to learn that in order to fully use her unique power and save countless loives, she has to learn to literally let others in and not worry she will be hurt or let them down.  The next book will have her learning more control and from where her true power comes from.  The last has her becoming something else and sacrificing in order to save the world.  See, they work, although I was hesitant to make the books sound too much alike.  But if the first takes off, then it will make the others easier to locate for fans.

I did have to go back and change some of the story once I was done plotting.  I realized I wanted the story to have a stronger romantic substory but I did not get Talia and Hayes together until past the middle of the story.  That's taking too long.  So I made Hayes' current girlfriend his recent ex who still thinks they are together and Hayes just wants a bit of breathing room.  Now I can have Hayes hook up with Talia earlier and I can still have the girlfriend as an enemy since she sees Talia as a new tramp stealing her man.

So, it looks like tomorrow I can start chapter one, page one, word one.  I should be at full power by the time NaNoWriMo arrives.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pee Now, Because I'm Not Stopping

The route is set and and bags are packed.  All that's left is to double check the turn-offs and make sure I'm not going down any blind alleys.

I know it is an area of contention for writers.  To plot a story or wing it.  I can understand the appeal for winging it, but I just write to damn slow.  If I have to stop to consider every next move, I'll get lost or bored.  It's taken me longer than I wanted to finish my plot.  A nagging toothache has not helped the past few days, but if I want this to be my career, I need to put those annoyances aside or deal with them quickly.  Time is money and deadlines will not wait for a better day.  The tooth is still bugging me but hopefully that will all be dealt with soon and be one less excuse.  For now I have my plot to go over and smooth out the details that no longer make sense now that I know where I need to go.  I already see that to make some of the final scenes more coherent, I need to set them up better and divulge more information earlier.  I think I can do that in the scenes I have but I may have to add a scene.  That's what I love about using scene cards.  I have them color-coded for who is also in the scene (my main character is in all of them) so I can see who is being used too much or not enough.  I can also move things around a lot easier.

One thing that is still stressing me is usually one of the first things I come up with and that's a title.  I have a few prospects for a title but nothing has really clicked.  I like having a title.  It helps me focus on the feel I want for the story.  The Banshee's Heart would be a much different story than Brenda the Bawdy Banshee.  Hopefully it will come to me before NaNoWriMo starts.  I would hate to start and not know what to call it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Story Temptress Arrives

Oh, there she is, traipsing past me like she knows I have no control.  So tempting...

But, no!  I look back at my story sitting faithfully in front of me and I come back to my senses.  I've been a story tramp before, juggling more than one, sometimes even with a hot little screenplay on the side. I realize now, however, if I want to get my career in writing off the ground, I need to focus on what I'm doing.  I need to finish what I start and get that publication ball rolling.

Don't get me wrong.  I got her new number before I let her go.  I opened a file and wrote down that fresh idea for later consideration.  Most likely I'll look at it later and wonder what the Hell I ever saw in it.  But you never know.  That is one of the great things about when you get in a creative vibe.  Not only do you get ideas for what you are doing, but you may also get off the wall ideas for other projects.  The best thing to do is catalog them and continue on.  I've been led down the wrong alley before only to find a dead end.  Then when I've tried to get back into the groove with the one I just jilted, the magic is gone and I'm back on the street.

Not this time.  My plot has almost come to fruition and after some tweaking I'll be ready to start writing.  Too late for cold feet now.  This is when the real fun begins.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Inspiration is a Ninja

Good Monday, Readers.  Yes, you heard me right, 'Good Monday'.  And why is this Monday good when most are like catching your knuckle on a cheese grater?  Because inspiration struck today while I was working on the plot for my next novel.

At first, I thought it struck like lightning.  But the more I pondered it the more it seemed it struck quietly and from out of nowhere.  It struck like a ninja.  However it happened, I was grateful because it allowed me to surge ahead, nearly bringing me to to last few climactic scenes of the story.  And that's what's great about writing, those unexpected moments.  Most people see writing as plodding and sedentary, you sit hunched over a keyboard or notebook and just jot down what you're thinking.  Just plain slow.  And it is mostly like that.

But so is baseball, and people spend ridiculous amounts of time and money on that.  Then, like in baseball, there's that one pitch that suddenly breaks the game wide open.  Everyone is cheering or screaming, the players are hopping with their fingers clinging to the fence, the announcers rise to their feet, for some reason.  Everything is alive.  That happens in writing if you're doing it right.  You've got your scenes plotted on cards.  You know what your characters look like and how they're going to react.  Then there's that one line that comes out of nowhere.  Why did she say that?  That's not what I planned.  Oh, but it's good.  Then he'll say... then she'll say back... Holy shit, this just got good.

That's why inspiration is a ninja.  It comes out of nowhere, disrupts your well laid plans, and makes you look at the world differently, in a way you never did before.  That's when writing is freakin' awesome.