Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A Writer’s Life For Me

Hi, reader-peeps.

I think I have quit NaNo.

Which is the first time I’ve ever done that.

Related imageWhy?

There are quite a few reasons, actually.

It just sort of happened is a good reason. I didn’t mean to quit NaNo, but at some point, I got stuck and then kinda stopped caring about it.

I have been behind since Day 2.

My current word count is under 10K. Which… the word count never mattered.

Lack of sanity. Or maybe that’s lack of insanity.

Image result for jack sparrow gifs what?

I choose no more tears, headaches, and overdose of caffeine this month. I am not going to make myself miserable.

I choose to step back and work through plot holes instead of forcing them to move with word vomit.

I choose quality over quantity.

I chose to spend time with my grandmother and aunt, both of whom I love dearly, who were here for only a few days.

I am lonely. In the years of NaNoWriMo leading up to this one, word wars and fun conversations and encouragement from friends were always there and this year, they aren’t. Now, I know people are busy and stuff, so they can’t do NaNo or whatever. I get that.

But for me, without friends, NaNoWriMo has lost it’s magic. And for me, NaNo has always been a tradition of positive peer pressure to write. Without the peers positively pressuring me, it’s kind of pointless.

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Related image

I know a lot of people are against saying they have “quit” something. I’m not going to sugarcoat this or anything and say that I am “resigning” or “withdrawing myself”.

I have quit.

And now, I plan to spend the rest of the month enjoying my baby sister’s birthday, Thanksgiving, however many times my oldest sister’s boyfriend shows up, watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix, getting ready for Christmas, and writing at my own pace with no pressure, learning to love this story.

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Image result for jack sparrow gifs bring me that horizon

Kate out.

NaNoWriMo Update: This… Isn’t Going to Work

Hi, reader-peeps.

NaNo is going pretty well. Except for one teeny, weeny little detail.

I am 10,000 words behind.

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Which… is this really a problem?

Yes, I could catch up. It will involve lots of writing (just over 2K a day). Last November, I fell behind on day 10, changed novels on day 13, finally got caught up on about day 27. So, yes, I am capable of catching up.

But the story is going well! Slow but well. Really well, in fact. Yeah, not perfect, but I like it.

So… is it worth trying to catch up and “finish” NaNo?

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I really feel like I could win. And if I decide not to shoot for 50K, I will still use NaNo as positive peer pressure (there has got to be a better way to put that, but what else would you call it? You have Thousands of People all writing together, encouraging each other to do the same.).

But is it worth the risk of possibly coming up with a story I don’t love (which happened last year) to try to “finish” NaNo?

And how do I write 2K a day?

Image result for jack sparrow gifsKate out.

Free Thoughts on The Continental Congress

I’m entirely kidding, by the way. And now I’ve got Farmer Refuted going through my head…

Image result for hamilton farmer refuted samuel seabury gif
Hear ye!

Hi, reader-peeps.

It’s been quiet here for over a week, as I’m sure you’re aware.

Today, I’d like to talk about beginnings. And NaNoWriMo.

The story I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2011 was a lot of beginnings.

It was my first NaNoWriMo.

It was my first urban fantasy.

It was the first thing of mine that really got critiqued.

In a way, this story helped me become friends with two of my best friends.

It was one of the first things of mine that my mom read. Definitely the first “novel”.

This story was going to be a series of five books. It had my first “story playlist”. It eventually led to me writing LASER, a prequel about the MC’s mother.

The Curse Fulfilled was a lot of firsts and beginnings. And I am still very attached to that novel. I get sentimental about it every now and then and wonder if I should check on it and ask if it wants to get coffee and talk sometime and maybe talk about getting a rewrite.

Image result for adele hello from the other side gif

I’m not giving up on Drake, the main character of TCF.

But I don’t think I’m ready to go back. Not yet.

For one thing, I don’t actually know what Drake’s story is. Writing LASER, author fanfic it may be, changed things.

For another, I don’t think I’m quite ready to look at his story and acknowledge what didn’t work so I can figure out what will.

If we include LASER, I’ve been working on Drake for 5 years.

That is a long time. And like I said when I finished LASER and decided not to query with it, I need some distance from it. From Drake and his family and friends and problems.

I am not giving up on Drake. I don’t know when I’m going back, but I am not giving up on him.

On that note, the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program site got a makeover! They’ve been talking about it for YEARS and the site looks awesome and if I weren’t 25 and well out of high school, I would totally make a new account. If you are still in high school or at least under the age of 20, you should go sign up.

Moving on to NaNoWriMo things, this year, I may revert back to high fantasy. At least in world-building terms. I have one idea I’m currently plotting but no promises, as this is the third potential next novel since I finished Magic Teacups a week and a half ago. (Ta-da! There’s the title! 😉 )

No matter what the novel is, I want to try to focus on characters– their emotions and their arcs and what they’re thinking and doing. This is an area that needs some work and I’m going to work on it.

I don’t know that I will aim for 50K. I know it’s possible for me to write 50K in a month, but I also know that it’s not very allowing of time to work through story problems. Plus, my other grandmother is coming (YAY I LOVE GRANDMA) in November (like two weeks) and I want to spend time with her.

One last thing. You know how last year, my NaNoWriMo theme on the blog was kind of Frozen/Elsa? I think I’ve decided on a the “theme” for this year’s NaNo posts…

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Kate out.

The Writing Journals– A Journey in the Dark

Welcome to my series, The Writing Journals.

A companion series to The Editing Diaries, The Writing Journals is me talking about writing and complaining about writing and mostly giving general updates on how it’s going as I write this first draft. I don’t plan to talk much about the actual story I’m writing, as I try not to share all my excitement now and here, but instead pouring it into the story. So, no spoilers, sweetie. Now run.

~~~~

(Today being one of my favorite holidays (it’s Hobbit Day!!!), I wanted to incorporate hobbits and LOTR into the post somehow. Second breakfast for those who get the references! There are 5, not including gifs or videos. See how many you can find!)

Image result for great where are we going lord of the rings gif

Hi, reader-peeps!

Writing this novel has had it’s ups and downs, more ups though recently, which is nice.

I’ve dropped out of the Pacemaker regime. The thing about me and daily goals is that, as long as I’m on time or ahead, I can work just fine. But if I fall behind and falling behind was actually a necessary thing to do– I fall behind especially when I’m stuck– then the plan doesn’t do really anything except stress me out.

This is why NaNo tends to be too stressful. Not only can I not usually write 50K in such a short time, but NaNo also leaves no room to work through problems. And writing should not be stressful. It should be merry.

Perhaps the worst problems for writing happen in between  The Choice and the Midpoint. We know what the story is; the character has made the choice to carry the Ring to Mordor. The Midpoint is the middle of the story when we know the main character has to make another choice, moves from reaction to action, we start getting answers, and it’s almost like a miniature Low Point. Hey, we may even have brilliant ideas for what’s going to happen at the low point, when all the bad things we set up crash down and all seems lost.

But what about what happens after the character has decided to have a story but we aren’t to the midpoint yet?

Image result for great where are we going lord of the rings gif

I have gotten stuck before at this point. I have put at least one novel aside because of this problem (anyone remember Short Circuited?). And with this novel, the challenge of getting through this spot was harder.

Sometimes, you can add another plot line and that will help. And I really didn’t have another plot line that I wanted to add. Anything would have to be added to the rest of the story and nothing really excited me enough.

So I had to fill the hole with ways my MC was carrying out her choice. I already had a few things figured out but I didn’t think I could stretch those things as far as I needed. Those things would be stretched too thin, like butter over too much bread. Also, I’m a bare bones writer.

This is when my critique partners are amazing. I sent a message to my Samwise, Lily J. She knows the most about this story at this point (besides me, obviously). I told her what I was planning and asked if she had any ideas for other things that needed to be done.

She had a great idea and all the sudden, ideas started flowing and I’m not stuck anymore. I’ve figured out the things I’m going to write before the Midpoint.

And that’s how the past couple weeks of writing have gone. I still plan to be done by sometime in mid-October, but I did find out that my Grandma is going to be here from the 6th to the 20th. So… we’ll see.

If you want more hobbit-y fun to celebrate Hobbit Day, watch this video:

Also, check out my post from a couple years ago about Sam Gamgee.

Happy Hobbit Day!!!

Kate out.

 

So, I Finished My NaNoNovel

Wow. Another novel done.

And I wrote it in less than a month.

HBD Anna! #frozenfever
Time for cake, now?

 

43,861 words. 49 chapters. No definite title.

So… snippets?

Kellen glanced at his aunt. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring. It was gold with a gold dragon on it that had ruby eyes. Ashleigh had seen it before; it was the ring he got from his father because he was the prince and the heir to the throne. Kellen nervously glanced at his aunt again then took Ashleigh’s hand and slid the ring onto her fourth finger. The ring was really too big for her.

“I’m going to marry you,” Kellen said. “I promise on this ring and on my kingdom.”

“I promise, too.” Ashleigh looked around for something she could give Kellen. All she could find was a little toad and some daisies in the grass. She picked up the toad and set it in Kellen’s hands. “I promise on this toad.”

Kellen laughed and Levosia rolled her eyes. “He shall hold a place of honor in my court forever. Speak, toad! What have you to say on the matter?”

Kellen’s magic made the toad speak. “First of all,” the toad said, “I am a female toad by the name of Lady Priscilla Joan Everton. Second of all, I do not appreciate oaths being made on me without permission! Third, why am I even speaking to you? Who are you who possesses such great magic that can make me speak to a lowly…”

Kellen waved his fingers a bit and the toad stopped talking. It looked indignantly at Kellen before hopping out of his hand and away.

            “There goes Ashleigh’s promise,” Levosia sniffed.

~~~~~~~

“Do you want me to drive?” she asked. “So you can get that to stop…” She gestured at her nose.

Luke shook his head. Like he always did every time. He was never going to let her drive this stupid old pickup truck.

It was probably for the better. She hadn’t had much practice driving stick shift.

But like always, Luke invited her to put her hand on the shift and he’d put his on top of it as he changed gears. They always drove home like that.

~~~~~~~

“Princess Ashleigh is my betrothed,” Kellen said.

Luke shut his mouth. Then opened it again. He glanced at Ash then looked back at Kellen. “And Ash is my girlfriend.”

Kellen took a step back. “How dare you imply that Princess Ashleigh would be unfaithful? That is a smudge on her honor, sir, and I will not stand for it!” His hand moved to his sword.

“I’m not the one implying that she’s engaged!” Luke raised his pistol. “I’m also not the one prancing around in tights!”

~~~~~~~

Kellen cleared his throat. “I’m Prince Kellen. And these are my betrothed Princess Ashleigh, and her… servants? Friends?”

“Suitors.” Luke said under his breath.

Claudius raised an eyebrow. “She’s supposed to marry you and yet she has all these other…”

“I’m not,” Zac said. “I’m just a friend. We talk about books.”

Claudius looked at him for a second. “Of course you do. That’s everyone’s excuse.” Claudius turned to Kellen. “You do realize she’s not a fairy, right?”

“That’s why we came to see you, sir.” Kellen replied. “She has to become a fairy before we can get married and we need to know how she’s supposed to go about it.”

Claudius looked at Ash. Claudius had penetrating eyes. They seemed to look right into her soul. She tried not to be freaked out by the fact that he was staring so closely at her, so she focused on other things. His hair was starting to grey at the roots. He had a scar across one cheek that looked like something had clawed him on the face.

Okay, his gaze was starting to freak her out.

Suddenly, Claudius looked up. He looked from Luke to Zac to Ash and then to Kellen. “Just an observance, your Highness, but I don’t think this is the makings for a happy marriage.”

~~~~~~~

There was a long silence. Then Claudius stood up and walked to the front of his cell and started banging on the bars with his staff.

“What are you doing?” Zac asked after a few minutes.

Claudius turned to Zac and smiled. “This, my young pupil, is how you get out of a dungeon.”

Claudius started banging and sliding his staff across the bars. It was very loud and annoying but it only got worse when Claudius started singing.

“I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people and it goes like this: I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people and it goes like this: I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people and it goes like this: I know a song that…”

(Chapter break)

Much to Ash’s annoyance, Claudius kept singing and banging for hours. How his throat wasn’t sore or his voice even a little hoarse, she had no idea.

But it was also annoying the guards, which was rather amusing to watch. After two hours, one of them groaned and shouted, “Aren’t you done singing yet?”

Claudius stopped singing for a minute and smiled. “Oh good! You’ve come to your senses.”

The guard stared at him. “What do you mean?”

Claudius raised his eyebrows. “Isn’t it obvious? You’re going to let me out now.”

“No…” the guard said. “Why would you think I was letting you out?”

“Oh,” Claudius said. “Okay then. Sorry for the misunderstanding.” He cleared his throat and began singing again, “I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people and…”

The guard groaned loudly. “Why should I let you out if you’re just over there singing and being a bad influence to the other prisoners?”

Claudius shrugged. “I don’t see anyone else singing with me. Why shouldn’t I sing if you aren’t going to let me out? I mean, I might as well be cheerful about circumstances I can’t change, right? Because I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people, I know a song that aggravates people and it goes like this! I know a song that…”

~~~~~~

My power flurries to the air and to the ground, my soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around...
DFTBA!

November Comes To A Close

 

Winner 2015 - Web Banner

 

I did it.

I wrote 50,000 words in one month.

I have written almost an entire novel in one month.

I have pushed the absolute limits of how little sleep I can go with.

(The getting up early thing only happened like three times the entire month…)

Me right now:

EEEEEE!! This makes me so happy:D She looks so happy!!<3

 

 

Also this:

Elsa and lil bubby snowman <---- OH MY GOSH SO PRECIOUS
“I created this? It’s cute and all but now what?”

Which brings up an important question.

Now what, Katie?

Well, I think I’m going to finish the first draft of this story. It’s a lovely 36K at the moment and I’m working toward the low point and I really just want to get it finished because I’m excited about it. It’s messy enough that I’m not overly excited about it, but I do want my dear alpha Lily J. to read it.

Of course, right now, having not drank hardly any Coke yet and with half a headache, I’m not overly excited about anything.

❤️❄️Frozen fever❄️❤️ Look at precious Elsa, who all through the movie looks so put together, she's all disheveled and adorable she looks like the 21 year old she actually is
Just to be clear, I’m Elsa. Happy, but kinda numb. I’m really just tired. 

After I finish this, I may chase a Christmas plot bunny that’s been bouncing around in my head for… two years.

LASER edits will resume in January.

I have books to read (I MISSED READING DURING NANO REALLY VERY MUCH) and stuff to crochet/knit. And we’re getting close to Christmas, so there will be baking and movie watching and other fun things.

Writing 50K in a month was fun and very stressful. I have a baby novel that I’m not sure how far I want to pursue past first draft but there was magic. Magic happened while I wasn’t paying attention.

disneymoviesanywhere: “ Bring home Frozen Fever along with 11 other Walt Disney Animation Studios Shorts. Order today! ”

 I would do it again in a heartbeat.

The magical Kingdom of Arendelle in “Frozen” was based on Norway. | 22 Magical Facts That Will Make You Want To Move To Norway

Next year, though. I need to sleep for about three days right now.

By the way, I hit 50K at 2:50AM last night…

Moral of this story:

You absolutely can catch up on NaNo, even if you’ve been behind since day 7. I caught up on one of the last few days and I made it. (Barely.)

Also, I learned to let go. Don’t hold on to a outline or plot so rigidly that you suck all the fun and life out of writing. For me, this means not forcing characters into roles that they don’t belong in and, as a pantser, have a general goal but keep most everything else fluid. Let it Go.

Elsa Frozen gif let it go | Let+It+Go.gif

How has NaNoWriMo been for you, reader peeps? Have you finished yet? If you haven’t you still can. Cheering you all on to the finish line!

Smiling because I know what happens next. :)
DFTBA!

How’s the Writing Going?

*starts laughing hysterically*

Well, when I said I was going to unleash my inner Elsa this year, I hadn’t quite meant so literally.

I’m getting a lesson in letting things go.

.

So what happened?

NaNoWriMo started off beautifully. I was ahead of the game for the first five days. And on schedule on the sixth day. Which is the fastest 10K I’ve ever written.

But on day six, my characters threw me a couple of curve balls.

Now, they had been apparently been in a conspiracy about this because I knew something was going on with this story that didn’t feel right.

My prose was terrible (I KNOW THAT PROSE IS A MICRO EDIT but it’s a micro-edit that matters to me), my character’s arcs weren’t coming naturally, and it just felt like climbing uphill while pulling teeth (to combine metaphors).

My characters informed me that I had the wrong MC. Basically by having my MC’s sister be more interesting than the MC.

So, I decided to let it go and let Ash be the MC.

And that was interesting.

It involved love triangles and time travel and my villain and…

That moment when you realize you left your phone at a friends house.
Basically wondering why I sign myself up for  the stress of NaNo every year and should I just back out, even though I wanted to do NaNo.

I wasn’t having fun. I was getting constantly stuck/freezing up. This wasn’t just something I could keep writing through.

I think that my problem is trying to adhere too rigidly to a plot. I am trying to shove pieces into a puzzle that they didn’t go into. I wasn’t letting go.

i built a large snowman that could protect my kingdom, it could hurt all evil. it was invincible since it was made out of ice more than snow
Grit your teeth, don’t look, just write. Bad advice in this case.

So, how am I going to fix this?

I’m going to start over. NaNoReDo.

I got: Elsa! Which Strong Disney Girl Are You?

Still keeping that 13.3K I wrote, though, because two days behind is enough, I don’t need to be behind all the days.

I am going to let the characters have the story they want instead of trying to shove them into a box.

I’m going to let it go.

Get

To my characters:

Elsa
DFTBA!