Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

And . . . Go!

Camp NaNoWriMo isn’t going as I expected. Due to Easter, I’m behind about a thousand words. I’ve been catching up gradually but I haven’t exactly caught up. I’m not worried about not being on target. I believe I can still catch up and finish on time.

The story is progressing as expected. A few changes have been made some conversations because they simply didn’t make sense. It’s also probably because I didn’t know what I wanted to reveal in those conversations and they didn’t have a point. They didn’t do anything for the world or story. I needed to change that. I tend to only keep conversations that move the story forward in some shape or form.

Another thing I encountered while writing was the lack of characterization of one of my major characters. While he is a warrior and a devoted knight to the Church, I don’t think I was portraying him that way. He seemed bland or maybe it was just me. Either way, I needed change him.

Lastly, there’s one ‘issue’ I’ve been mulling over. While Crimson Queen is third person, I have the opportunity to change POV once in a while. There’s information I want to include that the main character wouldn’t know but I don’t know if it’s needed or not. I don’t want the reader to feel that I’m just dropping information on them all of a sudden. I think I’ll just add the information and see how that works for the story.

Decisions, decisions.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Ready, Set . . .

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in a day and I’m not exactly prepared. While I do know what I’m going to be working on next month, I might not be mentally prepared for this task.

Now, while I have participated in NaNoWriMo before, I don’t think I will ever be mentally prepared to write 50k words in one month. It doesn’t get any easier. It’s going to be a challenge.

I’m not nervous or anxious. Not really. It’s more like I’m already thinking of potential lack of motivation and hair pulling down the line. Granted, I’ve always finished NaNoWriMo and gotten through tough spots but even so, I can’t help but think of what’s in store. I guess this just means that I have to manage my time a bit more than I have been. (I might have to cut back on gaming. Yikes!)

As of right now, I haven’t downloaded Scrivener on to my desktop yet. I’m really hoping I can download the program to a flash drive so I can take it anywhere with me. Probably not but a girl can hope. If it doesn’t work, I’ll manage. It’ll work out in the end.

For those participating in Camp NaNoWriMo I wish you the best of luck. May the odds be forever in our favor.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Uncategorized, Writing

Preparation Complete

Preparing for April has been very smooth. In part, it has to do with the fact that I’m rewriting a story I’ve already written. At this point, I have a good idea of where I want the story to go.

Even before the rewrite, I knew where the story was going. That was always present in my mind. The character development, background information, and subplots, on the other hand, need a bit more work. That is what I’m focusing on in rewriting the story.

Of course, preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo or just preparing to write a novel or even the other half of a story can be tough. You can prepare so many things but at the end of the day, you could scrape the entire thing. It’s happened to me more times than I can count.

While I can prepare for all situations of what might occur when I’m writing, I have a bit of confidence that I won’t loose my way, so to speak. IMHP (in my humble opinion), I believe that rewriting a novel might be easier than first starting out. Here are three of my reasons.

First, at least I have a basis of the story. I’ve put my thoughts and ideas down on paper. It doesn’t have to be great but at least I have something written down. I might not use everything or even anything at all but that’s okay.

Second, it’s something you can proofread/mark up. I like to print out the story and mark it up with a red pen. I write my comments on it and I have something visual to go back to whenever I need it. Personally, I’m not a big fan of editing on a screen. I have always found it more useful to me to write out corrections and comments.

Lastly, at least the story exists. It is out there and that just makes it all the better. This motivates me to work to make the story better. It’s the process that solidifies the main storyline and other aspects I want to include.

In essence, everyone has their own methods on how they do things. Finding what works for you is just another step in the process.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, updates, Writing

The Half Way Point

We’re a bit past half through November and let’s not mention the lack of winter in Texas. The important thing to remember is that NaNoWriMo is half way done . . . and that is terrifying.

While I have reached my daily goal since day one, I find my story to be lacking. While I have the overall story planned, all the bits in between aren’t exactly there.

I’ve always been someone who plans some of the story before writing and someone who makes things up along the way. The problem with that is I underestimated the second book in the series. While Clan of Blood is its own book, it’s also part of a larger story. This is why I feel I should have planned out the story a bit more.

Now, there’s no use in regretting what wasn’t done. That’s not going to get me anywhere. It’s definitely a lesson I’ve learned.

As of now, the middle is slowing me down. I’m not bored, not at all, but I don’t know how to continue the main story. The subplots are there but I don’t want to derail the story and focus only on the subplots. Even though I know that subplots should feed into the main story, and I know how the subplots in Clan of Blood connect to everything else, for some reason, I’m having trouble putting it all in words. It’s like I forgot how to use words or something.

While my idea map has helped put everything into a diagram of sorts, I haven’t quite been able to plan ahead. I’m probably making this into a big deal because the editing part of my brain isn’t quite shut off. However, in the long run, it’ll be good for me to be aware that a lot of the story has to change in the edit. Clan of Ash, the first book, went through tons of edits too but unlike that time, there wasn’t a lot of pressure. Now, I feel like there is.

But it’s not like I can quit. I don’t want all that work and effort to go to waste. Plus, I need to write the second book. I love the story and the characters. I’m just afraid that I won’t do them justice. It’s just one of the many fears I have when it comes to writing in general. The idea seems so cool but the execution isn’t all there.

There’s so much doubt but I know I can get through this. I’ve struggled before and pulled through. For the moment, I’ll focus more on the scenes than the story as a whole. I won’t be abandoning the story. I’ll concentrate on the smaller parts that make up the story and try to connect them. Writing this, the ending is becoming a bit clearer. However, I don’t think that I’ll be able to fully finish the story in just 50k words.

As I type this post, the idea of just skipping everything and focusing on the main points seems better and better. If it comes down to it, I might just take that route. Or, I might not. It depends on how far I can go with what I have planned out.

*takes a deep breath* Don’t worry about being perfect. Just write.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, updates, Writing

Writing the Muddle

We’ve reached the second week of November which also makes it the second week of NaNoWriMo. So far, I have met my daily writing goals every day. I must admit there were times when I was typing up words just to increase my word count when a few words sufficed. Needless to say, Clan of Blood (the current title) is going to have a lot of edits.

Currently, I have written past any scenes that I had planned out before hand. There are two events that I know I can write next. However, I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen after those two scenes. A part of me feels like I’m dragging this story out because I’m more focused on the word count than the actual plot. Yet, another part reminds me that there’s still plenty of days and words left to finish writing Clan of Blood.

While writing the entire book is my goal for this NaNoWriMo, I’m not going to force myself on this path. I don’t want to restrict myself on adding anything or skipping over a scene because I’m only focusing on the end – that I need to reach the end of the novel by November 30th.

As I write this, I realize that I’m having trouble writing the middle. Or how I’ve heard it referred to ‘the muddle’.  I find the middle hard to write. Maybe it’s because the plot isn’t quite working or I haven’t planned it out correctly. Or maybe it’s got nothing to do with any of that. I’m having trouble mostly because the ending isn’t clear to me just yet. Granted, I haven’t really thought about it and that should be (and is) the next step for me.

However, I’ve written other novels, and with those, I’ve learned a few tricks. I tend to ask myself. ‘How can I make the characters struggle a bit more?’ I can’t make it too easy because otherwise there wouldn’t be interesting. Life is a struggle even on the page.

I also think about how to raise the tension which also comes hand in hand with conflict. With dynamic characters that have opposite goals and/or contradicting view points, having conflict isn’t that difficult. One person wants to use the amulet to seal a demon portal. The other person wants to use the amulet to remove a curse and the amulet only has one usage.

The middle could also be used to add subplots, include obstacles, etc. The one thing that I tend to keep in mind is how to get to the end. I want the scenes in the book to matter. They have to all lead to the end. Even though they may twist and turn, everything must count because what’s the use of adding something if it doesn’t play into the story? Every scene has to move the story forward. Otherwise, the story stops and it doesn’t go anywhere. I like to avoid that at all cost. If I’m not interested in writing and it gets boring for me then why would my readers want to read it? At least, that’s what I think.

And ultimately, it’s a rough draft. It can be a very rough first draft and that’s okay. Things can be changed later, they can be deleted, other things can be added, that’s the beauty (and horror) of editing. Just write. And worry about everything else later.