Why Hello There! (NaNoWriMo2014 & WIPMarathon Check-In #9)

I know it’s been a while, but how have you all been? Good? That’s fabulous, I’m glad. Bad? I send you virtual vibes of awesome feelings! Now that we have that out of the way… I have been a poor excuse for a WIPMarathon-er and Twitter-er, and I’m not even sure that’s a thing. Harsh? Yes, I know, but it’s also true.

Due to technical malfunctions of epic proportions I have been mostly offline for a while now, my only means of posting, tweeting, anything internet related has been on my husband’s Android with his cellular service, which isn’t too good in the area where we live. The upside being that we were able to straighten a few things about life out without internet things getting in the way. The downside being,.. well my blog died and so did a lot of my WIPs which were destroyed in the electronic malfunction. Yes, including all of my edits for Firemists and every other WIP I’ve worked on in the passed two years.

It was a tragic, depressing, infuriating day when my laptop stopped turning on, even worse when the tech informed me the harddrive was fried in the malfunction. Let’s not get off track here. I came here today, a day late because my timing is phenomenal that way, to talk with you about the beginning of NaNoWriMo2014 and my very tardy WIPMarathon update.

Firstly, NaNoWriMo2014! Let’s be buddies! I took a break in 2013 and tried working on my NaNoWriMo’12 novel, unsuccessfully. This year I decided to go back to NaNo with a blend of new ideas from the remaints of the old ideas that weren’t destroyed with my hard drive. This year is looking promising considering I already have over 3,500 words and it’s only day two. I also have a better plan this year than before and this time I intend to self-publish the result. Why? As a test of sorts. I am under no illusions that I will most likely try my hardest to complete my NaNo, but I want to see if the completed product can hold it’s own in the market. Mind you, I know if any of them sell it’s probably my fellow writers being the mystical creatures they are and supporting the little known author, but I still want to see. There’s always a chance I’m just really hard on myself and should stop being a Negative Nelly about my work, I won’t know until it’s waved in front of my face though. So, curious about my NaNoWIP yet? Keep reading to the WIPMarathon #9 Check In below.

Before we begin on my excessively late WIPMarathon post; I am working off the numbers from my last WIP update about four posts and four months ago. If you don’t remember that post, fret not my child! You can refresh your memory!

Continue reading “Why Hello There! (NaNoWriMo2014 & WIPMarathon Check-In #9)”

WIPMarathon Monthly (Report #2)

Hi everyone!

It’s the last Saturday of the month again and that means WIPMarathon time! I didn’t meet my goal but there is a legitimate reason for said failure!

Last Report Word Count + Chapter Count:

Zero Draft – 109,275 words, 61 chapters

First Edit – 10,000 words, 4.5 chapters

Current Report WC + CC:

11,097 words, 4 chapters

WIP Issues This Month:

Uhm… Well, I heard back from the lovely and talented MM Jaye, who confirmed what I thought, but wasn’t 100%, was wrong. To be honest, I haven’t had any issues with Firemists, the characters, the plot, self-doubt – none of those this time. The issue is… well keep reading.

Four things I learned this month in writing:

  1. The joy of hearing back from a beta reader is almost as overwhelming as having your first child. I wasn’t sure if she would finish it, she wasn’t sure if she would finish it, and so I sat on needles for a while. Once I got the email though, if I had wings, I would have flown out of the atmosphere.

  2. In-depth character sheets are the way to go when you get stuck. I had an issue with a lot of blurring between a couple of the characters in the zero draft where they said several generic lines, so I had to find a way to fix it. Thus was born; major and minor character beat sheets, made by me!

  3. Researching can be tedious but fun once you realize how much you learned from it.

  4. WRITER BEWARE! Long hours of work, day after day, month after month, really wears on a laptop and keyboard. I broke mine while editing Firemists.

What distracted me this month while writing:

Mostly the broken keyboard issue… My daughter’s birthday was at the beginning of the month and a few other fun things, but my main obstacle is a broken keyboard. (And let me tell you, mobile blog posting is some serious work, fyi.) Other than that, I started up a couple of playful side projects that are better suited to the short spurts of writing time I get for the time being. One is dark urban fantasy, one is erotic horror, and one is still in the brainstorming process.

Unfortunately, I won’t be getting my laptop replaced for an indefinite amount of weeks, which means lots of sprints on Hubby’s desktop when he isn’t using it. All of my social media will be on light and random posts until the laptop is replaced or I have enough time on the desktop to get a few things queued up.

Goal for next month:

Uhm, get the laptop replaced… The same as last month, since this broken keyboard thing is a serious issue and happened in the middle of editing.

If the laptop gets fixed/replaced: Edit Act One

If not…: Edit half of Act One. That’s pretty realistic if I focus my sprints, but still really unlikely.

If nothing else: Maybe 2,000 words added to the count? Up to chapter five?

Last 200 Words:

Ahem, instead of the last 200 words I wrote… I’m going to see what you think of the opener. (There’s a prologue before it, but that’s all set up. A visual map of the setting, if you will.)

Entering the Dockside Tavern for the first time a soft sigh of amazement left his lungs as his eyes roamed the main room. The building was a structure of three wooden walls and a roof, joining with the stone mesa that created the scarp where the town had been built. Within settled a large main room filled with tables, chairs, and high backed benches all made of worn wood, most of the tables stained with rings from spilled tankards. Lining half the stone wall was the bar, barrels of various liquor and wine stacked against the stone with labels on those available. Wooden stools lined the greasy bar, a short distance from them was an alcove, opening up the stone where a staircase had been carved into the cliff, allowing access to the upper floors of the inn. Some of the rooms had balconies that overlooked the town, others were deeper into the stone but more available.

The tavern and inn offered many things, especially for the crewmen that came and went from the port regularly. Unfortunately, he had not entered the tavern for the leisure it offered, he was there to work. His older sister volunteered him as a runner for a ship master who came to port with rare resources and would pay a hefty portion for a good runner. Every merchant in the town had crammed into the tavern, arguing with one another around a single table where the captain sat casually. Black leather boots propped in a chair near him, crossed at the ankles. Dark brown breeches reached up his legs, the light colored, collared tunic trimmed with a brightly embroidered vest. His skin was dark olive hinted with a pink undertone from exposure to the sun during ship voyages. Wavy black hair tied in a tail at the base of his skull. His gunmetal blue eyes rested on the cargo manifest, laid out on the table before him, his tankard held in one hand while he listened to the bickering merchants.

I hope everyone else had a better time of it than I did. Also, a gigantic THANK YOU to MM Jaye for her epic beta reading skills.

WIPMarathon March Report (#1)

I’m a day early! I won’t have internet access until late tomorrow and I figured it would be better to get it out early instead of waiting until early Sunday morning, which would probably be the time before I finished typing this entire post. So, day early check-in initiated! I can’t wait to finally log on Saturday night and see how everyone has been doing though! I keep up with most everyone’s tweets, those of you who do tweet often at least, (I’m getting better about keeping up with things! It’s a learning process!) which is partially why I am so excited to see the check-ins. Firemists has had some ups and downs with me, but I did not give up on it. This WIP is the one (to me at least) that will be the IT WIP. This is the one I’m going to push for publication, plus it has a sequel… or two. I’m not 100% on how many books this might stretch, for now we’ll say a trilogy.

I do have one beta reader for Firemists and, I think, she finally started reading it this weekend. The lovely and fantastic MM Jaye! *crowd cheers* You can find out more about her awesomeness here, on her blog: Click to be transported! She is uh-may-zing, seriously for what she’s doing for me, uh-may-zing! Because the zero draft (or rough/first draft to the rest of the world) of Firemists is atrocious. I have skimmed through it multiple times and caught some of the worst typos I think I have ever managed. That was just some of them too, I know there are more my word processor isn’t picking up – and for that I THANK YOU!

So, down to business, yeah?

Last report word count + chapter count/scene count:

109,275 words, no chapters (I’m telling you the zero draft is a mess! But a mess in need of awesome editing!)

Current report WC + CC:

The zero draft, broken down, is 61 chapters long and 109,275 words. The SC: I have no earthly idea, I never count scenes.

The current edit, however, is as follows: about 10K edited for WC, 4.5 chapters in.

WIP Issues This Month:

Well… I had one of those big bouts of self-doubt first. After that it was the overwhelming ‘how am I going to edit all of this garbage?‘ and you can guess how long that battle continued. Eventually though, with awesome help from awesome people, I started getting the hang of it and began the editing. It was about halfway through that burst of ‘yay’ that I realized I needed to settle down and get serious. So I stopped editing and went to outlining. The zero draft has the literal bare bones of the entire story in it, some pieces even have some meat to them, but it’s a mostly eaten plate of ribs and not a rack of ribs steaming hot on a plate with side items and a drink in front of you. (Why I chose BBQ ribs for this, I don’t know.)

 

I have decided, because of the lack of delicious food set out before the reader, or writer, that it needed much more work. I made up an outline, I researched, and I spent about two days just laying around reading to rest my brain before I started the coffee drip that will make up all of my energy through March!

Four things I learned this month in writing:

  1. Now isn’t the time to rush through everything. Now is the time to focus very carefully and add the meat bits, THEN the sauce. (I need to stop using food references… but they work so well)
  2. Doing this mostly solo is going to suck. With no CPs and one beta reader… Hard work ahead of me!
  3. I have so much description to add to Firemists! It took reading something else for it to dawn on me fully. I mean, I knew I left some parts lacking, but after taking time off it’s seriously in perspective for me how much Firemists is lacking in the descriptive department. But like I said, the bare bones are there at least!
  4. Uhm…. Fourth thing…. Reading. Reading is my fourth thing I learned. I hadn’t picked up a book in a while, I was pushing hard to constantly work on Firemists and it shows I think. Reading other work within the same genre or even a different genre will not only relax you but also really show you what your work is missing. I picked something outside my genre so I don’t wind up accidentally copying it. (It’s dystopian dark fantasy, which Firemists is not, so no plagiarizing, even on accident.)

What distracted me this month while writing:

There’s some personal stuff going on that’s fairly distracting, let alone my day-to-day living which…. can get interesting. As introverted as I am, Hubby is not and he tends to have a friend over at least once a week, most of whom I’ve warmed up to in regard to socializing. Also, roommate (cause we have a roommate) and his girlfriend decided to have their personal problems in our living room. Said event resulted in me sitting in the corner having an anxiety attack for three days which was less than pleasant for all involved. (And the older I get, the worse they get) Other than that nothing really out of the ordinary. Daily house chores and the like, Monday nights I take a half hour break and watch Archer. There is very little that fully distracts me outside my own mind.

Goal for next month:

My goal for next month, which would be April 1st (funny side note: my cousin’s baby is due that same day)… Okay, firstly, I have Firemists split into four Acts/Parts. At minimum, I want to have the first part/act edited and ready for a reader (if I ever get more than one). The goal I aim to achieve is to have the first, or second, half of Firemists edited and ready. If I can’t make the goals then I am grounding myself from the internet until I do.

Last 200 words:

This one is pretty funny. Just for reference; they’re sneaking around the town with the sun coming up quick behind them.

He edged along the wall of the building, considering the way they needed to travel to get out of the dock area. Whispering over his shoulder to her, “We go up this alley to reach the back cliff, then follow the street that runs along it’s base until we reach a certain inn there. The huntress and the rest of the crew will be there waiting.”

“Why didn’t you just say that in the first place? I could have taken you there a faster way, you’re making things more difficult than they need to be. Come on, old man, let’s go.”

He leaned his head down as she passed, whispering in her ear, “Don’t forget that I mentioned spanking.”

She felt the heat in her cheeks and paused, but he slipped around her, out of the tiny section of ledge. He drifted up the narrow, twisted, and still dark alley in the shadow of the cliff and blocked from the morning sun by the towering building. She followed after him, noting how many windows lit up as they went and the ones that went dark. The path she had been down before on the other side of the buildings. The market filled with vender stalls and shops, residences stacked above them and connected with bridges after a certain height. From behind, it looked the same as home, or what had been her home until recent events.

She followed him, drifting from corner to corner of each building. The street beyond silent other than the occasional door opening and closing or shoes crunching on the ground.

I hope everyone else has been doing great, can’t wait to find out tomorrow!

WIPMarathon Dec-Jan Final Check-In

So, this is the final check-in for the December-Januaray Edition of WIPMarathon, but I think I’m going to keep up with the monthly check-ins that were thought up. Which, by the way gals, I am so glad you decided to do! Anybody interested in the monthly WIPMarathon, please see: A Not So WIPMarathon Goodbye.

 

My initial goal in WIPMarathon was to edit my 2012 NaNoNovel, but that didn’t pan out. I did, however, complete the entire zero draft of Firemists! Which calls for, a celebratory blog dance!

Whoop whoop!

<(^.^<) <(^.^)> ~(^.^)~ ~(^.^)~ ~(^.^)~ <(^.^)> (>^.^)>

Yeah! Now for the actual check-in!

 

Image

 

Last Word Count + Chapter Count:

92,651

 

Current WC + CC (or SC):

109,275 (And it’s actually finished! EEEEEP!)

 

WIP Issues this week:

Honestly, none that I can think of other than getting to the end was something of a struggle. Took a bit longer than I expected for it to.

 

What I learnt this week in writing:

You can do it! I got down halfway through the week, thinking I wouldn’t finish on time, but here I am. Finished, on the first of February, just like I said I was going to. SO HA SELF DOUBT!

 

What distracted me this week while writing:

Snow. That was really it. It snowed and I was terribly distracted for a while with all the snow stuff. Because I live in a state where it rarely snows, so it’s a big deal here. Other than that, I was writing and slurping coffee like no one’s business.

 

Plans after this WIPMarathon:

Well, I’m going to start on the sequel to Firemists, try to keep my blog going, I’m also going to be editing Firemists which may absorb my Twitter feed for a while. Other than that, I’ll continue in my usual life which is very NSFW which is why I don’t broadcast it always.

 

Last 200 Words:

This is actually the end of the draft because any other spot is a huge spoiler. It’s also only 151, but give me a break.

The Morgadanya stayed in port until the next afternoon, letting them tell their aunt farewell as well as pull the crew back in. The great propellers turned up to speed and the airship was gone again, Martiya watching the plateau drift away with a long sigh as she finally felt the weight lift. Moran leaned against the railing watching her, “Feel better now?”

 

“Better than I have in a long time. Coast clear?” she raised a dark eyebrow and Moran laughed with a nod, watching her drop over the side of the ship and spread her wings. She felt how she looked for the first time since he had met the sickly girl. She was happy, healthy, and surrounded by family. She still had questions, there were still unknowns that littered her life, but she was no longer tied to her bitter past by anything more than memories.

 

She was free.

 

It’s been fun guys, seriously!  I can’t wait to see who does the monthly check-in’s between marathons and how it’s going for all of you! Great times, great times! Also, how looks the new blog? I changed it while no one was watching!

WIPMarathon Check-In #7

Because I’m a week behind now, but I regret nothing!

 

firemists

 

Last Word Count + Chapter Count:
74,250

Current WC + CC (or SC):
92,651 (Nearly 93K!) of zero draft deliciousness!

WIP Issues this week:
Resisting the urge to edit before the zero draft is finished is the only issue I’m having with Firemists. Everything else is going fine, I just have this itch to edit in what I know is missing, but if I do, I will never finish this.

What I learnt this week in writing:
You must finish your zero draft BEFORE you edit and start the first draft! You must! (Seriously, I have to hit myself when I start scrolling up and reading.)

What distracted me this week while writing:
Nothing truly distracted me. However, my dog I’ve had since I was 10 was put to sleep yesterday and I have been put down a few times with migraines. Literally, my husband will remove the laptop from me and make me go to bed because I will be crying in pain and still typing. A small distraction has been me thinking over the whole author-platforming thing and attempting to be more active on Twitter, I’m not the best at such things, especially that little thing called ‘self-promotion’. Ah well, least I’m still getting work done, yeah?

Last 200 Words:

It’s the last 192, but it’s a good one!

She carefully lit the fire, blowing until the wood finally caught the flame and started burning, the entire cave filling with the pale blue moonlight rather than the usual warm firelight. “This is my secret spot and don’t you dar tell anyone about it. This stays between us,” she warned him before she slipped out of her clothes and hopped into the water with him.

“One more odd trait of our land. It will stay between us as you wish, though it would be interesting to know what that Redcloak would make of it, but they’d want to study it.”

“So, how’s your side? Feeling better? You look much better since you were allowed out of bed again. I’m going to miss having that advantage over you,” she teased him, making sure she was far away before he could get her for the tease.

She could only swim so far and he casually swam after her, placing an arm on either side of her to trap her against one side of the pool, “Much better.”

Martiya gave him a concerned look and giggled as he leaned toward her, “So I can see…”

I hope everyone else is doing well! I’m excited that this might actually be finished by the last check-in and I will have completed my goal of a zero draft!

WIPMarathon Check-In #6

I’m a day late, but with valid reason!

Last Word Count + Chapter Count:

73,396

Current WC + CC (or SC):

74,250 without chapters or proper scene cuts and lots of errors mixed in.

WIP Issues this week:

Well, there’s the dramatic scene that leads to the arrival in the next area on the ship which tapped my brain out for a couple of days. Other than that, it’s just been shifting a lot of word choices which is demolishing my WC pretty regularly. I see an over worded sentence above where I’m working and I wind up editing it into something nicer. Five paragraphs I have done this to and it dropped my WC by around 2.5K. Yes, I slammed my head down when I realized what I did and I can only hope it’s for the better of the story rather than my lack of confidence in my own words.

What I learnt this week in writing:

Actually, this was something I had to teach Hubby. Word count isn’t everything. Quality over quantity. He figured with the number of words I should be close to finished, I had to make him understand that’s just the number of words so far and I don’t have a set amount of words to reach. This isn’t NaNoWriMo, which he had apparently thought this was. At the same time, however, I taught myself the same thing. I love having such a huge WC already, but at the same time, I know the WC is going to change and probably drastically. What matters is the quality of the words, the story, and the characters, not the quantity of crap I can smear over it to try and make it seem like quality.

What distracted me this week while writing:

The usual culprits, and my brother-in-law. Hubby’s eldest brother is in town from Hawaii for the next month. Not only has he never met me, he hadn’t even heard of me until Christmas. (Hubby and his big brother rarely talk being so far apart) So that has been quite the adventure. Another thing that distracted me out of the blue was a family emergency. My younger (and by younger I mean 4 months apart in age) cousin went into preterm labor this week and is now staying in the hospital until her child’s born. She’s only six months pregnant and this is the first child who has made it to the third trimester for her, so it’s pretty intense especially after all the trouble she’s had in the past. Ahem, so, yeah, there’s that.

Last 200 Words:

Non-spoiler but fun conversation.

The boy waited his turn before telling the Captain, “I went to the temple to see Tiya. Tavros told me to send a message for him, Tiya won’t stay calm without him there so he needs you to send word to his family. The healers are going to keep him there until she’s better. Oh, and he said to tell you to be careful, Nyphera is going to be Tiya’s Trainer when she’s better.”

Vicaras grinned behind the boy at the warning, Moran calmly nodding to the boy, “I’ll make sure and send the message to his family, though I suspect by now it’s known over half the local ledges. A new Wind Talker being in the sanctuary is an interesting topic for most here. Thank you for the messages Shav, enjoy your lesson with Betharos.”

Both men waited until the boy was out of sight before Vicaras laughed, “I see she still catches things. Didn’t you used to throw things at her, Captain?”

Moran tilted his head, giving his first mate a side long look, “Not knives. I’m not surprised, I probably should have taken Martiya’s blades away. Yet at the same time, none of us react well to being unarmed. It could have panicked her.”

Vicaras chuckled, “You’re lucky she just caught them and threw them back.”

Moran grinned with wicked amusement, “You all just wanted to see if she beat me senseless.”

“Well, it would have been interesting since no one has done that in a while. We might have learned new techniques,” the first mate admitted with his own wicked grin.

I hope everyone made their goals and continues to make them this week!

WIPMarathon (Dec-Jan) Check-In #5

Time for another check-in and the first check-in of the year! Whoop whoop!

Things I’m Glad I did in 2013:

2013 was actually a terrible year for me personally. There were a great deal of things that went horribly wrong throughout the year, which I will not go into detail about. I guess, what I’m most happy with about 2013, is that we moved. Mind you, we moved back to my hometown filled with my less than desirable ex-friends from various years of my life and the school years, and my family. But we never bump into any of them and we really needed to get away from where we were. I dislike my hometown, yet I love it. It’s comfortable for me here, I’m used to it. Used to the noise, the smells, the sights, and I know my way around. It was also the year I got my first tattoo, which I will never forget or regret.

I also lost a substantial amount of weight in 2013. I’ve had weight issues since 2009 which turned into a slew of medical issues. I gained, in total, about 125lbs since 2009. The twenty-five pounds, I actually needed as I was severely underweight when I started gaining the weight. Due to my stress related binge eating I gained too much weight. In 2013, I finally began working it off to start 2014 with a healthy weight. So I’m glad that I’m healthy again, not underweight and not overweight.

In 2014 I’d Love to be/do:

Gee, this is a difficult one. I’m not one of those folks that makes a New Year’s Resolution, so I think I will take the practical route with this one. This year I want to learn better coping methods for the variety of mental ailments I suffer from and learn better coping with my eating disorder. I also want to finish both Firemists and Haunted Dreams this year and send them off to seeing if they might get published.

Last Word Count + Chapter Count:

51,576 Still without any separation of chapters. Just a giant mash of story in a single document.

Current WC + CC (or SC):

73,396 and holding strong there while I struggle with the next section. But in three weeks, that’s a lot.

WIP Issues this Week:

Same as last week really. I did have one major issue for a day or so though. I wasn’t quite sure about one scene in Firemists, if it should be there or not. After a great deal of discussion, with my imaginary companions, I decided to wait and that scene will be later. I know for a fact there are some lacking details and the like, but I still adore Firemists to no end. To the point I had debated some teaser things to be typed up for public consumption, then I got distracted writing again.

And then there was that critique on the first 250 words of U.U. which got me pretty riled up for about six hours of flailing and ranting at hubby. How I managed to keep from going off all over my tumblr about it, I do not know, but I did.

What I learnt this week in writing:

Writing is hard, need I say more?

What distracted me this week while writing:

Let’s see, uhm, personal life junk stuff which included Hubby needing lots and lots of support so the writing went on the back burner. I got overwhelmed due to said junk stuff and figured out that when I’m overwhelmed I shouldn’t even touch my laptop. Also, Game of Thrones. Seriously, I have a problem with rewatching it almost every day, we have seasons 1-3 and I am addicted to it. Another thing this week… Last Sunday was my 24th birthday and I got the next book in my collection of the Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian, Darker After Midnight. I also started part-time working on Haunted Dreams again, but that’s still at a slow, leisurely pace since it’s a collaboration.

Last 200 Words:

Have an intense 204 words and these are the last 204 words of the WIP as of right now, not higher up, because I’m nice and it’s very much a teaser rather than a spoiler.

A swift scoop moved her up into Tavros’ arms before she could even crumble under her own weight, her head balanced on his shoulder as he carried her back to the cabin. Moran’s voice was a sharp, commanding snap, much like a whip cracking, he knelt and looked into the boy’s eyes with his steel ones, “You will obey me and go get the ship’s surgeon. I think your sister has been starved to the point she no longer has endurance to handle strain. Too much abuse and stress, now you know where those scars came from, she is hurt and we must take care of her.”

Shav nodded, once the Captain released him, the boy ran to carry out his order. The Captain heading into the cabin where Tavros had laid Martiya down, speaking after he noticed the look in the younger man’s eyes, “No Tavros, you may not kill him. She doesn’t want him dead. We discussed this. I took care of it, that bastard won’t have a peaceful moment for the rest of his life. She wanted him to live with it, and he will live with it. To the day he dies and he cannot commit suicide to escape either.”

Good luck this week everybody! Also, beta readers, still need beta readers, give me beta readers, I have a mighty lust for beta readers!