#DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords Tag

#DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords

#DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords

Quite some time ago, the lovely Rebekah Hendrian (@booklass13) tagged me for a writing tag on Twitter, #DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords, which is exactly what it sounds like. I promptly did not do it, due to not knowing which WIP to try. So I thought I’d turn it into a tag on my blog and expand it.

I decided I’d take a dozen of my WIPs (don’t worry, I’ve only started half of them; the others are in plotting mode) and do all of them with three words each.

It’s really difficult, by the way, so I don’t know how well I did . . . But I tried and it’s all in fun anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Winter, doubt, friendship.

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The Other Half of Everything

Writer, worlds, siblings.

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The Invisible Mask

Secrets, mansions, gentlemen.

CoverHeartseeker

Heartseeker

Heartless love. Bard.

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Song of a Pirate

Memory, sea, selkies.

HH

Hairdo Havoc

Bizarre. Traveler. Humor.

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The Silver Forest

Curse. Faes. Princesses.

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The Siren and the Skyship

Steampunk. Love. Tea.

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The Library in the Stars (NaNo 2016)

Time, minds, space.

Once Upon a November

Magic, writing, pumpkins.

From That Shadowy Land

Changelings, shadows, Tamlin.

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The Princes of Starrellia

Adventure, princes, bears.

***

So there you have it! What do you think?? Also how would you describe your WIP in 3 words?

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The Ghost of NaNos Past

The Ghost of NaNos Past

As we approach the NaNoWriMo season (*sound of panicking in the background*), I thought it would be fun to look back at the last six years of NaNos, ever since I started.

It’s amazing how different they’ve all been! Ups and downs… And each year I step deeper down the rabbit trail as it were. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(I did also do 4 Camp NaNo sessions — a 20K goal and three 10K goals, all of which I reached — but for the sake of continuity I’ll be ignoring those this post. XD They are, however, little footnotes in my NaNo history, so maybe someday I’ll do a post about them! But 6 + 4 = 10 times I’ve participated in (and won) a NaNo-ish event! *celebration*)

Here are my NaNo experiences . . .

NaNo #1: 2010 — The Chaos Year

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(Since I didn’t join the NaNo site my first year, I don’t have a handy graph from the site of my wordcount, so this one will have to do. Blue bars = where my wordcounts should have been to be on par. White bars = where my wordcounts actually were.)

Twelve Fugitives in the Wild — set in another world, without fantasy elements but with an 18th-century time period. Muskets, carriages, a dark tower, missing persons, and lots and lots of unexpected plot-twists…

Brave new step: Undertaking my first NaNo.

My first year was utterly insane. It was an unofficial NaNo (i.e. I didn’t sign up with the site) and I had no idea what I was getting into. I decided to do it the night before, and pantsed the whole thing, which I had very little experience with… I managed to reach my goal but not without falling dreadfully behind most of the month, and having to do an enormous catch-up day, writing 8,000 words on the last day. It took the entire day and much chocolate and family members pushing me back to the computer every time I wandered away in despair… *cough* But I made the 50,000! I was so happy.

NaNo #2: 2011 — The Perfect Year

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Far-mark’s Dream — to this day, the only novel I actually finished during NaNo. A fantasy adventure story featuring prophecies and salt fairies and bats and a serpent, and three friends (one reluctant; okay, he hates them and opposes everything they stand for, but to be fair he’d been enchanted. *cough*) who set out to defeat the Empire, with much epicness along the way.

Brave new step: Joined the NaNo site and forums.

My second NaNo was a complete dream come true. Learning from my mistakes of the first year, I planned ahead and had the whole novel plotted before day 1, made sure to stay on top of my wordcount, and just had a blast. I hit a few snags through the month, but always came through, and finished two days early… actually finishing the novel itself as well. I still look back at this year as my ultimate NaNo experience. โค I loved the book too. I still do… though I’d like to rewrite it a bit and expand some of the things. *nod*

NaNo #3: 2012 — The Overconfident Year

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Grey Betrayal — Book #1 in my several-book Epic Fantasy series, this one features plots and war and mountains, a talking bear, and the adventures of two friends, one of whom has many secrets…

Brave new step: I stepped out of my introvert writer shell and went to write-ins and a victory party at the end!

Oh, this year. I had grown arrogant, I fear… After my insane impromptu first year, followed by one where I took precautions and nearly everything went smoothly, I thought that NaNos were a breeze, apparently, as long as you planned for them. Alas, I was wrong! I didn’t realize that my second year had been the best and easiest NaNo I’d ever have the pleasure of being a part of. I started out pretty well on this third year, especially thanks to the numerous rambling thoughts of my main character, which gave me lots of words (thanks, Faron). But then I hit a snag a third of the way through called running-out-of-plot. I had neglected to plot further, and the rest of the month was a serious struggle. I pushed through at the end, but emerged a humbled NaNoer, realizing my good fortune of the previous year for what it was.

NaNo #4: 2013 — The Leading Year

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Underground Rainbow — contemporary fantasy featuring a young photographer and his adventures with various fantastical creatures: gnomes, griffins, leprechauns, and the like.

Brave new step: I stepped into a co-leadership role as a NaNoWriMo ML for my region. (Municipal Liaison: volunteer event organizer/local leader.)

This year started out all right, and then life crashed around me. It was my first year as an ML and that took up a lot of my time and creative juices, plus I was kind of in a writing slump, so that took its toll. This year is actually kind of hazy in my memory… But the story was a lot of fun, despite that, and I did make it in the end. Not to mention the wonderful camaraderie of my region this year, which was fantastic. ^_^

NaNo #5: 2014 — The Roadtrip Year

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Heartseeker — original fairytale YA fantasy romance type thing, featuring the princess who goes on a quest to find the heart of her betrothed.

Brave new step: Well, it wasn’t very brave, exactly, since I had no choice, but it was definitely crazy. I managed to do NaNo while being on a roadtrip most of the month AND ML-ing at the same time. It. was. insane. But I’m also very proud of me for surviving and doing okay. XD

Although it was arguably my most difficult year, due to a roadtrip in the middle on top of life and ML-ing, this is also one of my favorite NaNos, looking back at it. I’d say this and the Far-mark year were the best. Writing in the car was a new challenge, and one I only survived due to helpfully-pestering family members, and the kindness of my co-ML lending me a power adapter so I could use my laptop in the car and some rewarding letters from her characters which I could only open at certain points. I also was thankful for being snowed in at my uncle’s house for a couple of days, which allowed me to catch up in the middle of the trip. I finished off this NaNo with a spectacular write-in at a library late at night, which is my favorite NaNo memory. โค I can’t believe I survived it, and I definitely wouldn’t have without the support of wonderful friends and family, but it was a challenge and, despite the stress, was a blast as well.

NaNo #6: 2015 — The Rebel Year

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  • The Silver Forest — retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • The Rose and the Raven — novella retelling of Sleeping Beauty
  • The Secret of Kedran’s Wood — book #2 in my modern-fantasy series starring Tare and the Chess Club

Brave new step: Turning rebel (not so much brave as insane) and actually working on THREE different stories during NaNo in order to hit my 50K goal, instead of just one like the “rules” (made to be broken. ;)) state and like I’d done every year.

I did all right with my 12 Dancing Princesses story until exactly halfway through the month when it decided to inform me that I’d gotten the whole beginning wrong and would have to scrap everything I’d written and completely restart the novel. Um. It was going to be so much awesomer with the new twists that had emerged, but SERIOUSLY?? IN THE MIDDLE OF NANO?? What kind of bad timing was this? (Answer: it was the best of times; it was the worst of times . . . You can read the story of my Mid-NaNo-Crisis here.) I ended up abandoning it for the time being and instead taking the opportunity to work on my novella for the Rooglewood contest, with bits of KW2 to help whenever the painstaking shortness of the novella got too much. I survived this one too (despite a nasty cold near the end and running out of plot a couple times) but wow, it was definitely a new challenge! Writing more than one story in a month is super hard, because you have to get into the right mindframe for each of them, and switching between them is difficult. But it turned out okay, so huzzah!

NaNo #7: 2016 — ???

Story to write this year: To Be Announced…

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Brave new step: I’m going to be ML-ing thisย  year totally on my own. In my previous three years as an ML, I’ve had wonderful co-MLs and helpers with whom I’ve shared the burden. I’m all alone this year and just hoping I’ll be able to do it without those wonderful people having my back. Wish me luck, because this is scary. XD

Obviously, this year’s NaNo adventure is a mystery yet to be discovered (unless you happen to be a time-traveler, which I, unfortunately, am not…). What will happen this year? I’m as curious as you are!

Stay tuned for next week’s post which will (hopefully) be all about what I hope to work on this NaNo! (No promises, of course; NaNo projects are notoriously slippery beasts.)

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So there you have my past NaNo exploits! What about yourselves, my roadlings? Have you done NaNo? How many? What were your best (and worst) NaNos? Tell me aaall in the comments!

Writing Update (ALL THE STORIES!)

WritingUpdate

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a real writing update post… I do talk about what’s up with my writing each month in my ishness posts, but that’s not the focus, and I don’t talk about my various stories specifically very often either…

So, since I’m currently rather stuck on my writing, I thought why not do a post about my different stories* and what’s up with them (or not) at the moment?

Pretend we’re sitting at a coffee-shop somewhere, you and I, just chatting, and you asked what’s up with my writing. This post is probably pretty much what I’d say. (Except in person it would be less precise and LOADS longer and have a lot of “ums” and side-tracks and hysterical laughter. But… this post is kinda guilty of all of that too so whatever.)

Here’s a look at the stories I consider my “current” ones, which is a nice round 10. Because obviously that’s only a few out of my oodles. *cough*

*I know most of you probably know all about these, but just for a refresher and/or for newer readers I AM going to recap a little about what they’re about too…

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The Other Half of Everything

What: Part contemporary YA, part world-hopping/”portal” fantasy adventure, with a lot of humor, some brokenness, and a focus on a small group of odd characters, told in first person by a rather unreliable narrator. Also known as TEAGUE AND MERIDIAN ARGUE AND ARE CUTE TOGETHER.

Status: 1,300 words into Chapter 1… with 8,000 words of snippets for later.

I’ve never written a book like this before. Every. single. thing. about it is new. So I don’t know how to go about it. I’m currently flailing around trying to make it work and writing snippets.

I can’t decide if to try to force it to 1) go in order (which would require figuring out the scene in chapter 1 that I’m stuck on), or 2) to write it in snippets, out of order, throughout the book in a semi-organized manner (which would require having an actual plot/outline, which . . . AHAHAHA let me just laugh over here and then go drown in chocolate) or 3) write random snippets whenever I happen to come up with/feel like them (and hope that they actually turn into a coherent book eventually at some point in my life). Option #3 is what I’m doing right now and… erm… my logical side is going “Yeah, let me know how that works out for ya.”

But it’s very tricky for reasons including that the story’s told in first-person, the multiple-locations thing makes it difficult for there to be a “central plot”, and I’m discovering that it’s more about the characters and their relationships, so maybe that’s okay? I’m just not sure what “progress” on this looks like, because it may not look the way progress looks on normal books of mine, which I’m having a hard time dealing with. Having some sort of plot and writing a story from beginning to end (and thereby able to measure how far along I am) is what normally happens. But The Other Half of Everything appears to be anything but normal. …I shouldn’t be surprised, should I. Eheh.

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The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2)

What: Modern fantasy novel, book 2 in my “Tare” Kedran’s Wood series, about the shenanigans of the local Chess Club of Kedran’s Wood going up against mysteries, otherworldly problems, and of course Tare. (Note: I’m also usually thinking about the 6 other stories in this series that I haven’t written…)

Status: 63,000 words in, finished part 1 of 3 (yes, it’s going to be huge; shush), with another 5,000-ish words of snippets for later. Just started part 2.

I’m having a very hard time with the chapter I’m trying to write because DETAILS and TECHNICALITY. How do you make a hero meet a villain for the first time and both get away from it without a) one or both of them dead, or b) one or both of them looking WEAK. *grinds face against concrete wall in frustration* Also what do you do when a scene HAS to happen because you know it does, but you don’t remember what the characters’ reasons for said scene are anymore? Oh yeah, and technical details of trying to figure out how people actually do-or-do-not see other people when there’s chases involving alleys and rooftops and… ugh. My brain is sad. No wonder I’ve been stuck here for so long. O_O

After that, though, it should be pretty smooth sailing until a good ways into Part 2, so there may be hope! (But don’t ask about Part 3. Absolutely under no circumstances WHATSOEVER may Part 3 be mentioned. It is a vast uncharted landscape where all the “big plot things” have seen fit to lurk in lairs, laughing quietly to themselves because I don’t know how things fit together or what happens, and are WAITING TO DEVOUR ME. I tell you, it’s scary over there. WE DO NOT MENTION PART 3.)

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The Invisible Mask

What: I CAN’T EXPLAIN THIS ONE. Mysterious kind of Pride & Prejudice-like but with action and mostly about the guys, sort of thing… except it’s not P&P-like at all but it’s that kind of time-period, ish, maybe-but-not, except in another world, even though it’s not technically a “fantasy world” because there’s nothing fantastical about it… Anyways it has Richard Armitage playing one of the heroes so that’s about all you need to know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Status: Nearly 20,000 words in (should hit 20 when I fill in the scene missing in the chapter I’m currently in). I hadn’t written on this one in AGES but have a little recently.

Where I’m at with this one is that I still only have very vague notions of plot further on in the story, but enough that I’m now not sure about what I’ve already written. I knew hardly anything when it started out, so I’m not sure the beginning is “right” anymore. Also I have a technical problem with the next scene I need to write, involving hiding places and assassins/spies and not knowing what the badguys’ motives are or what POVs to use. So I’m rather stuck and not sure if I should keep what I have written and press on, or restart (which I don’t want to do).

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Heartseeker

What: Fantasy novel, “original fairytale” type of deal, about a princess who goes on a quest to find the heart of the prince she’s betrothed to, and her adventures along the way with a certain knight who she starts falling in love with kinda-sorta-maybe. Also an awesome shapeshifting bard because #whynot. Started for NaNoWriMo 2014.

Status: 53,000 words into a very messy draft. Currently kind of on hold.

This one’s problematic because, again, I’m not sure about what I’ve written, mostly because I’ve realized I need to go back and add the POV of the knight as well as the princess. Plus other holes and general lack of editing, due to NaNo… All of which makes me squeamish to continue, because I’m like I NEED TO FIX ALL THE PROBLEMMMMS AND MAKE IT SHINY OTHERWISE I CANNOT GO ON *falls dramatically across couch* . . . but I really need to finish it before I can tackle all that, probably. At least I have the rest of it fairly well plotted, but still have some things to sort out, and my characters have been stuck at this one place SO LONG that I feel like they’ll never get out of it…

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Song of a Pirate

What: Novella. Set in a fantasy world with ships and gypsies and selkies and lost memories, through forest, desert, mountain, jungle, islands, and on the high seas. Also *gasp* magical song and pirates. (Bet you never saw that coming.)

Status: 22,000 words in. Hoping it will remain a novella… Also on hold.

I recently figured out a very important thing for the plot later on, so that’s exciting… Mostly it’s suffering from the same problem as The Invisible Mask, which is that there’s so much going on LATER in the story that I feel like I may need to go back and rewrite or at least add stuff in the part I’ve already written… But I don’t want to and don’t know how. I also have a curious love/hate relationship with this novella; one moment I adore it to the depths of my soul, the next moment… the other thing.

I’m excited about what’s going to happen but don’t know how to write it. I feel like the characters are being dreadfully mysterious and not having enough about themselves up-front to be interesting. I also know vague things about the ending, but again, it’s going to be hard and is still rather vague. Then again, it’s only a novella. So perhaps I could just sit down and finish it without too much trouble… Which would be cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hairdo Havoc

What: Humorous short story. Basically a conglomeration of whimsical silliness.

Status: 1,200 words. Waiting/on hold.

Basically I have to be in the right dry humorous mood to write this. Plus the story is very vague… I could write the rest of the next scene but I’m afraid of hitting a dead-end if I do that. Then again, a certain character who showed up has definitely made it more interesting for me, so that’s exciting, and it’s only a short story… All the other short stories I’ve written (aside from Darkling Reflections, which was rather long) I wrote in a single day, so… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d really like to finish this one, but I’d have to be feeling clever and funny. Guess how often that happens… ๐Ÿ˜›

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The Silver Forest

What: Fantasy novel retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. With faes. And an evil dragon. And different colored ballgowns. And a prince, soldier, gardener, and dark half-fae fellow. Also a nefarious curse. And long-lost missing people. Not to mention twelve princesses — WHO KNEW, RIGHT? (You said that in Flynn Rider’s voice in your head, didn’t you? I knew it.)

Status: Scrapped the 26,000 words I wrote for NaNo 2015, so I’m back to square one on this one, re-imagining it in a new way. So for now, Unstarted.

I’m super excited for the new things that happened with this (resulting in my Mid-NaNo-Crisis last year), but I’m not sure if I’m totally ready to take it and run with it. Starting this thing again sounds slightly daunting and I want to get it right this time. It’s also very complicated with all the numerous characters and threads and frankly my head hurts just thinking about it, even though I AM excited about it. I think I’ll have to plot it out a bit more and decide to commit to it sometime… BUT I’M REALLY EXCITED TOO BECAUSE EEEEE THIS STORY. ๐Ÿ˜€

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The Siren and the Skyship

What: Novel. Steampunk Fantasy retelling of The Little Mermaid (though mostly that plot keeps falling into the background since a certain dark character keeps trying to steal the show for himself. *cough*). Basically my excuse to do all the steampunk things and have a strange cast of characters and SKYSHIPSSSS.

Status: Unstarted. Simmering on the backburner.

This is basically a vague retelling which got hijacked by ten gadrillion (okay, okay… like a dozen) fascinating and diverse characters who are going to be so much fun to write… and also an unfortunate lack of linking plot. Though half of me wants to go IT’S A STEAMPUNK STORY. WITH CHARACTERS. AND A DARK GUY. AND A LOOSE FAIRYTALE RETELLING ON THE SIDE WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CENTRAL BUT WHATEVER. LET’S ROLL WITH IT WHO NEEDS PLOT. (But self-control…) (But apparently I really want to write Steampunk fantasy with nutty characters and humor and skyships and don’t really care if there’s a plot? I dunno, guys, I think I’m slipping… Tell me I can’t write it yet. Gaahh.)

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The Library in the Stars

What: Novel, maybe? Fantasy story in space with a dash of time travel and… lots of other weird stuff, combining several previous story ideas of mine. Also many books. Because libraries. Especially magical ones in space.

Status: Unstarted. Also simmering, sorting ideas out.

Oh, goodness, this thing. This sort of happened when about five of my different story ideas decided they have the same “feel” and belong in the same story despite being TOTALLY different, and despite the fact that I still don’t know exactly how they link together… I just think they do and need to discover how… (It’s also distressing when you take a fanfiction idea and tweak it enough to be its own thing, and yet there’s still a part of it that works so much better as fanfiction even though you don’t want it to. Ack. Having a time-traveling machine is just NOT the same as having a TARDIS. It just isn’t, guys. I’ll make it work somehow, but argh.) Basically I’m nowhere near being able to write this thing, but it’s currently one of my favorites all the same and I enjoy working little bits of it together from time to time. (Time to time… Did I mention this one was timey-wimey? *laughs at own joke* …Sorry, I’m writing this late at night. >.>)

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The Princes of Starrellia

What: Fantasy Series. Okay, so sliiiightly cheating on this one, since it’s not a single book, but rather my original epic fantasy series. You may have heard me mentioning the “Starrellian Saga” around here, with titles like “Grey Betrayal”, “Out of the Unknown”, and “Quest for a Legend”… I’m kind of reconstructing the whole thing. Maybe I’ll do a post about it someday. Anyways, at the moment the series is called “The Princes of Starrellia” and has a new book structure and everything.

Status: Being reconstructed. Also mostly a backburner project.

This isn’t very active, but it’s something I mull over here and there. I was having serious problems with the series as a whole for awhile there, and I think I’ve been away from it long enough that I can see it more clearly, and identify the parts I really love and want to expand on instead of just the parts that are “there” for no reason. I’m really excited about reimagining this series because it’s my original and closest to my heart, but I was really young when I started it and I want to give it a chance to shine as it deserves, which means looking at it with a fresh mind. I’m excited about the new structure (if it works) and new titles and just an all-around fresh take, while still being its same old beloved fantasy series. It’s going to be fabulous. And a whole, whole, whole lot of work… (But hey, no one ever said writing a 6-or-7-book fantasy series wasn’t. ;))

***

And there we are. Done, I promise. This was fun! ๐Ÿ™‚ For me, anyway.

And also may give you a bit of an idea as to why I’m stuck on all of the stories at the top of my Write-List, either due to not knowing if I should rewrite stuff, or stuck on the current bit, or haziness or general trouble in the plot-at-later-points areas. Past, present, future… it’s all problematic, I tell you. I have some serious writer’s block to get through, guys… *readies pickax*

If anyone has tips on said writer’s block and/or the breaking thereof, believe me, I’m all ears… ๐Ÿ˜€

But anyway, there’s a bit about where I am in my “main” stories at the moment.

…I’ll just try not to think of the other ones down there below the surface, waiting to re-emerge and demand attention… *balances precariously on raft of words with my ten stories bobbing about me, and shadowy shapes in the depths below…*

(If you made it through this whole post, you deserve a cookie. *hands them out*)

November Saga, a.k.a. That Time That I Had a Mid-NaNo Crisis, Accidentally Became a Rebel, And Was Extremely Confused

NaNoHelmetCoffeeA belated chronicling of the saga of my November 2015 NaNoWriMo writing adventures.

It all started with NaNo. (As things often do…)

Things were going all right, I was writing very hard on The Silver Forest and having a blast writing about my twelve dancing princesses and half-fae prince and gardener and soldier and other prince and jester and all of the rest… It was going okay, though it was definitely taking a lot longer to get finished with the beginning of the story than I thought… (For instance, chapter 3, which is when they first find the Faerie realm and meet Prince Taghdach, ended up being over 15,000 words… Whoops.)

SilverForestCoverFinalThen suddenly, I ran into an entirely unforseen circumstance. I shouldn’t have been surprised, because insane things happen all. the. time. with NaNos… but I didn’t see this one coming and it had never happened to me before.

I got exactly halfway through the month, caught up on my wordcount and got a day ahead, and went to bed quite happy with myself at 26,680 words on November 15th, feeling on top of the world and like I could totally do this NaNo thing. (Even though, atย  halfway to 50K, I hadn’t even introduced all the characters yet…)

Then it happened.

Below is an excerpt of what I actually typed that fateful November 16th morning to chronicle the entire incident, when I was trying to make sense of the insanity that invaded my brain:

That moment when…

You’re halfway through NaNo and you have a dream about talking to someone about your plot and in your dream you come up with a crazy new idea that would entirely change everything about the story and might fix all/most of the problems with it but could also make twice as many.

Wakes up at 5:33 a.m.: WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EVEN DO WITH THIS INFORMATION???

*spends next hour in bed at war with self, brain wide awake, fully alert, gears spinning like fast-forwarded clockwork*

Body: It’s cold, it’s rainy and dark out, blankets are warm, I’m tired, go back to sleep.

Brain: BUT I’M WIDE AWAKE LOOK I HAVE ALL THESE IDEAS I CAN’T TURN THEM OFF OH MY GOODNESS THIS COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING MUST PROCESS ALL OF THE THINGS WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WOW I’M SO CONFUSED THIS HURTS MY BRAIN JUST WHAT BUT I THINK I LOVE IT BUT WHAT IF I DON’T BUT AAAAHH

Body: coooooold raiiiiiiiny daaaark warm bed sleeeeeeeeep tiiiiiiiiiired

Brain: BUT BUT BUT CAN’T YOU TELL I’M HAVING A MID-NANO CRISIS THIS IS IMPORTANT GAAHH

Body: Sleep. Now. Turn off. I don’t like you. Much too early for this nonsense.

Stomach: *wakes up* Why are you awake this early? Oh. Is it morning? I’M HUNGRY. FEED ME.

Brain: *distracted momentarily from chaos of NaNo thoughts* Whaaaat? Since when are you hungry for another four or five hours??

Stomach: HUNGRY. GET UP. EAT THINGS. (You can also think about your mid-NaNo crisis while you’re eating, because I’m nice like that.)

Practical half of brain: So go back to sleep; sleep on it; think about it in the morning. You went to bed at midnight, you need more sleep, plus you don’t want to catch that cold that’s going through the house so you need proper rest. In the morning–

NaNo half of brain: BUT BUT

Practical half: (No, it’s not morning yet, hush, stop arguing; it’s still dark out and no sane person who has a choice to sleep more should get up yet.) In the morning, as I was saying, you can feed your tummy at a more usual hour and after some rest your mid-NaNo crisis will still be there but you’ll be in a less sleep-deprived state and further able to process it and everything will make sense. I promise. Go to sleep, get some more rest, sleep on it and remain calm.

Creative side of my brain, utterly ignoring everything else that’s going on and still churning on a mile a minute: But see, what if……….

After that, there were about about 2,000 more words of totally incoherent thrown-around babbles about the new plot idea and all of its myriad implications, as well as screeching and flailing about the shocking realization that if I used it there would be no going back, and that I’d have to totally stop writing The Silver Forest for the moment because it would require me to basically restart the whole story. Which I was not ready to do.

I finally came to the conclusion that this was the perfect excuse to finish writing The Rose and the Raven, which I wanted to write for the Rooglewood Press contest but had only gotten about 5K words into it when NaNo interrupted.

Obviously, this would mean turning NaNo Rebel.

NaNoStarbucks

In the five previous years I had NaNoed, I’d always been a rule-abiding little writer, working on one story and only one story, starting it out fresh without anything previous… Now, halfway into my 6th NaNo, I was contemplating switching to an entirely different story… and then likely switching to a third, since the remaining 14K words of The Rose and the Raven which it would take to hit the 20K wordlimit, when added to my Silver Forest words, would still leave another 8K words to be written to hit 50,000 words for NaNo… so my plan was to switch to continuing The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2) to fill in the final words.

It was insane, but I did it. I switched mid-month.

(Obviously this meant I had to change my inspiration bulletin board from this…)

2015NaNoBoard

(To this…)

2015NaNoBoard2

And it totally broke my brain to switch stories, especially from going from a rambly mindset of WRITE ALL OF THE WORDS LET’S JUST HAVE WORDWARS AND SPILL WORDS EVERYWHERE AND HAVE FUN RAMBLING WITH CHARACTER DISCUSSIONS AND IT DOESN’T MATTER IF I HAVE 15,000 WORD CHAPTERS to a mindset where I had to try to tell a story in as FEW words as possible and actually move the plot along and try not to write too many words because it can’t pass 20K because that would make for a headache of editing. WHILE also thinking BUT I HAVE TO WRITE LOTS OF WORDS BECAUSE I CAN’T FALL BEHIND ON MY NANO WORDCOUNT. WHY ARE YOU ONLY WRITING 800 WORD SCENES?? YOU NEED TO BE WRITING ONES DOUBLE THAT LENGTH! YOU’RE FALLING BEHIND AAAAAAAAHH.

R&RIt.
was.
excruciating.

Trying to write small things for NaNo just does NOT work, and at least I have learned this… But it was an excellent way, despite all that, to actually get a lot of progress done on R&R during NaNo.

KW2coverPI ended up switching back and forth between R&R and KW2 constantly: writing a whole bunch of words of KW2 whenever I fell behind, so that I could catch up, then going back to slowly getting out those novella words. (Somehow it’s much easier to write long scenes with the Chess Club ramblings, and with Tare being all messed up in his mind, poor dear. *is knocked out of screen by an out-of-sight-Tare* *crawls back* Ahem. Sorry about that…)

And I did it. I hit 50K and won NaNo for the 6th time, as a proud Rebel!

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

nano2015wI wrote approximately:

26,600 words of The Silver Forest

13,500 words of The Rose and the Raven

10,000 words of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Added to what I had before, here’s what my writing bars looked like at the end of NaNo:

statbarsendofnano2015

But there was a slightly awkward fact in there… which was that I hadn’t finished the novella yet. I had nearly gotten to the 20K word limit, but I still had a few chapters left to write.

This meant, obviously, that it was time to . . . !

(No. Not celebrate. Pfft. That would be ridiculous. No, it was quite clearly time to…)

. . . PANIC!!!

But this is getting long. So. The follow-up saga of my December and my further adventures with The Rose and the Raven will recommence in my next post!

NaNo-2015-Winner-Badge-Large-SquareIn the meantime, now you know about my craziest NaNo yet. (Which is saying something, considering the fact that the NaNo before, I managed to complete my 50K words while on a roadtrip for half the month… >.> Yes, this Rebel NaNo was still crazier.)

And this is why The Silver Forest is currently at an odd in-between place where I’m not currently writing it, and I kind of need to restart it but have no idea how to go about that… *cough*

Next up: December Chaos!

To be continued . . .

Ishness!

ishness

Happy February!

Wow, I haven’t done a real Ishness post in ages! So it’s time for another one. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s a look at my January…

Writing

After the insane writing time that was November and December (which I now realize I have STILL to chronicle fully on the blog here…), I was pretty much burnt out on the writing front.

And by “pretty much” I mean “a completely blackened stub of candle-wick at the end of a very gone candle.” Ahem.

So I took a writing hiatus in January. Yup. The whole month off. Which may sound extreme to some, but I really needed it and found it super relaxing.

Obviously, I still blogged… a ton… largely due to said writing break. Because I always need to write SOMETHING, and when I “take off” it generally manifests itself in the form of fiendishly frequent blogging, and starting a book blog only amplified that…

I also cheated a liiittle bit and did writing in my writing journal/notebook, which is something I start every year and use to keep track of my miscellaneous writing ideas etc. So I wrote 25 pages in that. …Which is more than I usually do. Eheh.

OHEcollageAnd Teague and co. from The Other Half of Everything have been steadily bombarding me with ideas this last month, so I’ve been surreptitiously taking notes on that and may have kinda-sorta worked out a rough structure for the story. Which makes me happy.

So this is why I’m not entirely DYING to write just now, which is what usually happens after I take a break and starve myself on words. Instead of starving, I tried to just… cut back and give myself permission to not write. But I’m wonderfully refreshed after my writing hiatus and although I don’t know what I’m going to work on next — so many options! So many books! — I’m excited to return to it.

Oh! And I did write on my writing day. January 20th every year is designated my writing day, because a few years in a row I happened to write something on that day, so I turned it into a tradition. So I wrote a snippet of The Silver Forest. Because Taghdach demanded it. Because he was grouchy and wanted to blow up some diamond trees. So I let him and wrote it. Because I’m nice like that.

Some snippets from The Silver Forest (you’re welcome. XD)

SilverForestCoverFinalWithout warning, he swung round, his head jerking forward and down as if under a great weight, and he flung his arms out to both sides in a violent gesture which leveled the trees around them, at the same time that a howling wind seemed to spring inexplicably up around him, tossing his cloak wildly. At the movement of his arms and the power that brought the wind, every diamond tree within a few feet in a wide swathe around them seemed to constrict for a moment and then shattered, crashing to the forest floor in myriads of glittering, tinkling fragments.

***

His face was carefully sculpted, a cold marble statue under unforgiving moonlight on a frozen night, and no emotion could be found there. But his eyes burned a painful silver steel of starfire. Taghdach’s voice was as blank as his face as he spoke now. โ€œHe was my closestโ€”and onlyโ€”friend.โ€ He looked unwaveringly straight into her eyes, his own like ice with not a trace of any thought readable within them, and finished, โ€œAnd I killed him.โ€

Reading

january2016read

(I seem to be following a trend of reading books with blue-ish-grey-ish covers? Except for the white one, which is trying to shrink into the background because it’s nonfiction, which I rarely read. Also I feel the need to point out that these are listed in reverse order: I read Fire and Hemlock first and Half-Blood most recently… but Goodreads has these nicely listed — albeit backward — and I’m too lazy to go make a new image collection right now.)

I read 10 books in January. Which was nice, because in the previous four months, I read literally 6 books total and was starved for reading… (More about these books in my Reading Roundup over on my book blog if you’re interested in hearing further about ’em.)

Watching

I saw Sherlock: The Abominable Bride!

…Three times. *cough* (Once at a theater it was showing at, which was awesome — Sherlock on the big screen! — and twice afterward online. Because obviously I’m addicted.)

It was so awesome and I loved it. So many little (and not-so-little) nods to the original story and to the modern ones, all wrapped up in a clever plot. I just LOVE how clever the Sherlock episodes are. They make me happy, and this is definitely one of my favorites… And the setting! It was so awesome to see the beloved characters in that time period. All tidy and neat-looking in their clothes and combed hair etc. XD And so much humor. My goodness. So. Fun. I had a couple complaints (like the creepiness, but a lot of the original Holmes stories are creepy too…) but mostly just ignored those and had a blast. And the interaction and dialog and all the characters and Sherlock and John and Mycroft and Lestrade and Mary and just lskjflkjsdl SHERLOOOCK.

Basically, IT WAS AWESOME!!!

…Can you kinda tell I enjoyed a lot? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Listening

January’s song-of-the-month for me was Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey… yes, I’m still listening to that. I discovered it at the beginning of the month, and it’s been constantly playing — if not actually, at least in my head. I love it so much and it’s sort of my “theme-song” for January that I associate with the month. ๐Ÿ™‚

Life-ing

Humm… Not too much of interest going on here… I’ve been really busy (who knew that basically postponing your life for two months in favor of writing piles up??) but can’t think of anything specific of interest. I had a cold there at the end as I may have mentioned… And I’ve been trying to look after myself better, which has included trying to get outside more, which means that I’ve been actually noticing the weather. Which has been insane. Some days it’s freezing cold with a nasty wind and it’s all I can do not to run back inside to my heater instead of taking a little walk. Other times it’s been like 70 degrees, with a soft breeze and hot sunshine when I even *gasp* had to wear short sleeves.

Apparently our weather is confused about the fact that it was January…?

(Of course, one of those days taking a walk with short sleeves this last week, something — I suspect it was a wasp — decided to randomly sting me, so THAT was fun. I am reminded of why I actively try to avoid the outdoors. >.>)

February Plans

I still want to read. A lot. And I have plans of avoiding Goodreads so that I can focus on reading and writing (if you see me on there before March, feel free to yell at me. ;)), and of trying to consolidate my internet time. …We’ll see how that goes. *cough*

I still have a lot of life projects I’m behind on, so I hope to tackle those as well.

Now that I’m off writing hiatus, I hope to get back into writing again! Yay! …How exactly I’m going to do that, I have no idea, but pfft, details. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There’s some Tare editing calling my name, and I’m throwing around the idea of working on a couple of different books, but haven’t officially decided what yet. Hopefully February will hold a wondrous return to the writing world, regardless of what exactly that entails!

I know that February’s going to be busy, but hey! At least we have an extra day this month, right? ๐Ÿ˜€

How was your January and what are your February plans? ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, tomorrow’s Groundhog Day, and on behalf of groundhogs everywhere, I petition you: celebrate on this little-noticed holiday! (I don’t care how. Just celebrate. Because groundhogs. And spring(ish). And glorious things like that.)