Monday, November 22, 2010

Apologies to my Characters

Because they have to put up with a lot from me...

Dear Ember,
I'm sorry for writing you out of the story. Trust me, you're not dead or anything, I just couldn't deal with your intense depression right then (or now). You'll be back in a future draft, but for now, you'll just have to stay with the Asian ninja woman who abducted you. Let this serve as a warning to you. Get your attitude issues under control.

Dear Flynn,
I'm sorry for writing your best friend out of the story. I only realized after I did that how lonely you were going to be. Also, I'm sorry for the fact that you and Arrow can't seem to get along, despite the fact that you both like each other. I'm pretty sure you've hit the bottom now, so things should be looking up for you two. I'm sorry that whenever someone needs to be injured, you are the one that takes the fall for it. I'm sorry for branding your wrist, breaking your ribs, and torturing you last book. And in this book, I'm sorry for breaking your foot, giving you a limp, and letting Svein break your hand and give you a black eye. If it's any consolation, he didn't mean anything by it.

Dear Arrow,
I'm really sorry I had Svien fall in love with you. I know he's kind of (ok, alot) creepy, but he doesn't know any better. Things are about to get much worse, as far as he goes, so sorry in advance. Also, sorry for making Flynn clueless. And I'm sorry I made you say those mean things about him. I didn't realize you were going to do that. I promise things get better. Oh, and sorry for killing your best friend. It hasn't happened, yet, but it will, so be prepared.

Dear Kaeth,
Sorry for killing Charis. Though, actually, you should be thanking me. When I realized how upset you were going to be, I decided that he didn't need to die after all. You'll see him again soon, so stop complaining.

Dear Charis,
Sorry for trapping you inside your own mind. But hey, it's better than being dead, right? Oh, and you lose all your powers. Sorry about that, too. Sorry for making your twin sister, Bruna, insane. I know it must be hard to watch, but trust me, she redeems herself in the end.

Dear Bruna,
Sorry for driving you insane. Your brother needed to be abducted for plot reasons, so I didn't really have a choice. You should be happy, though, considering you saved his life. Killing innocent people (or guilty people) won't help, though. And Charis isn't going to be very happy with you, when he wakes up.

Dear Village People,
Sorry. You were written into the story for the express purpose of dying.

Dear Jenna,
(see: Village People)

Dear Svien (or Svein),
Sorry I can't remember, or decide, how to spell your name, and sorry it's such a lame name, too, since you're a great character. I just typed random letters that sort of made a name. Sorry for making your life so awful. Sorry for giving you panic attacks. Sorry for making you, essentially, a sociopath. I wish I could say things got better, but I think you're at the high point in your story right now. Sorry for giving you super awesome powers, but making you too scared to use them most of the time.

Dear Delfi,
Wait, what am I apologizing to you for? I rescued you from twenty-one years of imprisonment! I owe you no apologies, at all. (Unless you want me to apologize for putting you in the tower in the first place. Which, I suppose, is valid.)

Nanowrimo: Week Three is the new Week Two

So, most people are supposed to struggle most in week 2. Well, I had my share of ups and downs that week, but it was nothing like what hit with week 3. I suppose part of my problem was that I got stuck in a scene that was necessary, but not enjoyable. I didn't want to go back to it, but I didn't feel like skipping it either. But there was also the problem of real life getting in the way of things. Whether it was work, or other school, or the tragedy we had occur in our family, non-fictional stuff was getting in the way. Which is just not cool.

So after pressing through that annoying scene, I realized it was Friday and I had gotten hardly anything done. Now, Friday presented an entirely different kind of problem. For those of you who don't know me very well, I'll have you know that I'm a HUGE Boise State Broncos fan, and college football is a large part of my life during the fall. So Friday, with the BSU game coming up, and general busyness going on, I didn't get anything done then either. Saturday is college football day, so I really couldn't get my mind off it. As a result, I made two decisions.

The first decision was that I needed to write 10,000 words on Sunday, so I could catch back up to where I should be. And the second was that, since I couldn't get football out of my head, I should write it into my story.

That's how college football ended up in my medieval fantasy novel, and that's how I got 9,000 words written on Sunday. Frankly, the football didn't last long. Once I got it out of my system and got back into my characters, it was no longer a distraction. However, I still think it's a funny story to relate. As for the 9,000 words, I'm pretty satisfied with that, even though I didn't quite make my goal. As of today my word count is up to 33,944, only about a 1,000 behind (plus today's word count). After yesterday, that seems like nothing...

Anyway, you can bet their was some pretty awful writing yesterday, aside from the college football. One of my characters had a very long discussion with another character about every aspect of a relationship that has been going on since the beginning of book one, and that was a great passage! I accomplished lots of dialog, forced backstory, and bad writing all at the same time! Then two of my characters who are supposed to be in love got in a fight and said some very mean things to each other. Yeah, it was one of those days.

On to the excerpts!

Worst Sentence: Streets were not placed in firm grids and alleys were as jumbled as pizzas. (Where do I start with this one? First of all, I don't think pizza has been invented yet. Second, that analogy. I don't know where that came from. Pizza was the first thing that came into my head so I wrote it down. I guess I was hungry.)

Best Sentences: The were pale blue, like the winter sky, and cold. But they were not merely cold. They were dead. That was the closest thing he could compare those eyes to. Dead eyes. (There weren't many to choose from, yesterday, but this worked better than most, I think.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nanowrimo: Two Weeks Done!

Yay! Two weeks are over, and now we're kinda on the homestretch! I'm not quite halfway, but I'm sure I will be tomorrow...

Anyway, I don't have much to say other than celebratory stuff like, "Yay, that sentence actually made sense!" or "Wow! I didn't know anyone could write that many words and still communicate exactly the same thing!". I have definately resorted to some word count padding tricks, like having a different character describe my other characters, just for fun. Or saying things several times. Like I just did there.

Anyway, Madison, off to bed now! The writer needs sleep if she doesn't want to be talking to herself tomorrow... Uh-Oh. It's happening.

Excerpt of the Week: (This week's slightly longer excerpt is brought to you by my insane character. You're welcome.)
He frowned at her. “Of course. They tell me things all the time. Don't they talk to you?” Then a thought seemed to occur to him. “No, they don't talk to you. Only to me. I'm different.” He met her eyes, seeming to see her soul. “Why am I different?” he asked urgently.
“I don't know. I don't even know your name.” Arrow said curtly.
He sat back, as if she had slapped him, then chuckled. “I didn't tell you my name? How rude. That's rude, isn't it?”
Arrow nodded.
“Well,” he mused to himself, “What is my name? Some call me 'Colorless', and curses that I won't repeat to your delicate ears” he smiled, as if he knew he'd just told a joke. “Some call me Raan, which means leader. Some call me Thief or Scoundrel. What my mother would have named me, I don't know, for I never knew her. So I call myself Svein, which means coward, because that is what I am.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nanowrimo: The week of Despair!

So, I've given up on keeping track of the days. Since I haven't given an actual word count since day one, I'll have you know that I'm at 18,496 words, which is pretty good considering I didn't write anything on Saturday or Sunday, and hardly anything on Monday. Real life has been mean to my writing time, but I am getting close to caught up, if I'm not already. The bad news is, if I don't want to owe my sister a 30 minute favor, I have to get to 35,000 by Monday. Bad news.

The story itself is going pretty well, for week two. Ember, one of my main characters, has remained kidnapped by a nameless Asian ninja woman, and I'll probably give him another chance soon. A week and a half break should be long enough, don't you think?

Anyway, I need to sleep so I can run in the morning. :P

Worst Sentences: She laughed, a sound like water leaping over rocks in a cool forest.

Best Sentences: He remembered, as vividly as if it happened yesterday, how she had looked at him through the bars. As if nothing had happened. As if she had not betrayed all of their months of planning.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nanowrimo Days 4, 5, 6

So, now I'm going to write about my laziness. Guess what? I'm not going to get very much writing done today. We left to tailgate in Julia Davis at 9 this morning, and didn't get home till five. Dinner and bedtime were crazy, and I still need to clean one of the seats in our big van from when Knightley threw up. I need to be sure I remember the lines for the skit I'm doing before church tomorrow and get to bed early enough so that I can benefit from the time change, and still have time to walk Knightly before church. Oy.

So, I'm not planning on getting much (if any) writing done tonight. Instead, I'm going to post a poll on my facebook, for people to help me decide whether or not to kill my main character and then watch an episode of Merlin. Yeah, I know. Shame on me. But I'll catch up tomorrow. Promise.

Least favorite excerpt (overall, so far): Ember sighed. It was depressing how morbid he had become of late. There was a time, what seemed like ages ago now, when he had maintained a some what optimistic outlook on life. That time was over now. (These are the opening sentences of my book. Can you tell why I feel like killing this character? Ugg. A person can only stand so much angst.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nanowrimo Day 2+3

So, when I last posted I was feeling rather down. Writing was not going smoothly, and I was struggling. That's not how it's supposed to be in Week One. Week one is supposed to be easy, and then Week Two gets tougher. Thankfully, I have found my feet (though I'm not sure how this expression translates into writing terms. I'm not typing with my toes).

Day Two, and especially Day Three, have gone much more smoothly. Why, you ask? This is the very question I have been asking myself. This is the conclusion I have come up with.

To make a long story short, my main character is the problem. I started with his storyline, and really struggled with it. Now I have switched to two other storylines, and the story is progressing along nicely. One solutions I've considered? I may have to kill him. No hasty decisions yet, but I'm seriously considering it.

Worst Sentences: The room she entered was the most beautiful she had ever seen. Directly in front of her there was a set of stained glass windows framed by the most gorgeous velvet curtains she had ever seen. (Ok, we get it. It's all very pretty. Unfortunately, it goes on.)

Best Sentences: We'll, he guessed where he was, but thinking about it made his head ache. His whole existence ache, acutally, since he wasn't sure he actually had a body anymore. If he did, he had not control over it. He felt like a thought. It had taken him several months of awareness to come up with that idea, but he was proud of it. He had never known what a thought felt likebut now, he imagined, he did. (I like these because they make hardly any sense. Yay, for blundering through an explanation you're making up as you go along!)

Now back to writing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nanowrimo Day 1

So, since I've decided to write a 50,000 word novel this month, I thought it would be a good idea to blog about it. That way, I could spend valuable writing time typing words that don't count towards my goal! Booyah!

Day 1 of Nano is almost over, but it honestly feels more like Day 2. I was insane last night, and attended the Boise Nanowrimo Kickoff Party, which went until two in the morning. Yes, I took a nap, today. Despite the fact that I was tired today, I was glad I went to the Kickoff. Mostly because, when midnight struck, I found myself writing in from the point of view of a character who was only interested in throwing himself a pity-party. Two pages in, and I was completely depressed about how this storyline was going. What had seemed like a complelling plot, was actually more angsty than Twilight.

That is where my fellow writers came to my rescue. Per their suggestions, I simply had my character abducted by an Asian ninja woman, and hit on the head with a brick. Then I moved to another storyline. Hopefully these measures will ensure that my character is less emo when I return to him. :s

Ok, enough words here. I managed to get over 2000 last night (a whole 100 of which, might actually be decent), and I hope to get a few more done tonight. Before I go, I will share a few sentences-samples of my worst and best writing from last night.

Worst Sentences: He liked to imagine it was his father's coat. Or at least, he had when he had cared.

Best Sentences: That was the worst of it. Watching the two of them have something she could never share. She sometimes picked up his books, just to feel the pages and gaze at the words which were printed onto the page, as if by magic.

Now leave me some encouraging comments, people! :)