NaNoWriMo Day 1-6

Sunday is for writing.

A bit about week 1:

As with any skill, approaching my fourth NaNoWriMo is indescribably easier than my first or second or third. When I first started, formatting a single scene was difficult. Now, that comes naturally. My current pitfalls are more nuanced: Is this character arc authentic? Is this romantic subplot a crutch? Is my main character a Mary Sue? My most reoccurring question is – WHY IS THIS SO BORING?

And in reality, I know it’s not. It’s just that now I have two other works in progress that I’m more invested in. This story, though growing, is not at its most exciting parts yet while my other two are. But, that’s okay, this one just needs to get there.

What is my NaNoWriMo story about, you may be asking. Well:

A 33 year old woman making 40k in a city that requires 80k to eat– she works two jobs, barely has time to breathe let alone date– gets superpowers.

Current word count: 8,106

Favorite Excerpt: 

But she couldn’t finish her sentence because a person too drunk to navigate down a hallway bumped into her. She tilted forward, off balance, hands reaching out to grab anything nearby to stabilize herself, which ended up being the man waiting in line in front of her.

He gripped her elbows as she knocked against his stomach and chest, hand gripping into his shirt. Man he was tall, and then he was turning to the person that knocked into her and snapping, “Hey, man, watch it. People are waiting here!” The drunk man’s friends escorted him away as the man currently holding her up balanced her back onto her feet. “Are you okay?”

“Fine, fine.” It felt warm this close to his body and her head had curled in, resting against his muscle and she told herself to push away. “Thanks for, uh, catching me.”

The corner of his mouth lifted into a half-smile. “Anytime?”

Amelia chuckled. “Least I can do is let you keep your space in line.”

The man grinned, reaching out a hand between them. “All right, that’s fair. The name’s Jeremiah.”

“Amelia,” she said. “But I’ll keep my hands to myself, I’m pretty sure I already–”

And that’s when they both noticed that his once red shirt had turned blue.

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NaNoWriMo – The End

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

I know, I know, I’m a few days late but today is my first day of editing and isn’t that always a good time to go back and acknowledge the first draft?

Oh, this ball of clay I’ve created that now will be molded into something greater.

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I’m excited.

This is my first NaNoWriMo where I’ve told the story within the 50k. No months of writing scenes ahead of me. I thank this blog for that fact, and a year of writing flash fiction and short stories. I was able to tell the story, within the word limit.

But now it’s time to take these words and sand down their rough edges. Time to make sure the story in my head is the same as the one on the page. It is time.

…Not to be dramatic or anything.

I thank you for following this month’s journey. This blog will now return to its regularly scheduled fiction programming.

NaNoWriMo Day 25

The end is near, the light at the end of the tunnel, just around the corner, fin.

I am ready.

A Bit About Today:

I started this afternoon at 37k and aimed to hit 41,666, the official target for the day. My focus waned twenty-five hundred words into it but I forced out another five hundred to hit a solid 40,000. 

I am happy to announce that my story, for the first time ever, will end when the challenge ends. The past two years I hit the word count but still had so much story to tell. Not this time. The irony? I didn’t even outline this one. I decided to use a generic rom-com skeleton and diverted when I felt it necessary. It’s really kept me in line. Today I wrote the fight scene that spirals us into the ending, right on schedule. 

Favorite Excerpt: 

His dad stood behind the kitchen island with an apron and a very real chiefs hat on his head.

“Where did you get that?” 

“Sean the bartender.”

Jake reached for a chipped mug from the dish rack and poured himself a cup of coffee. “I don’t want to know.”

“We’re doing Thanksgiving!”

Jake took a deep sip of the watery coffee. “We don’t have a turkey.”

“Ah, that’s where you’re wrong.” His father walked over to the fridge and pulled out an defrosted wrapped bird.

“Sean the bartender?”

His father nodded, grin pasted on his face impervious against Jake’s lack of enthusiasm. “He was heading to his family for dinner but had ordered an extra just in case he decided to keep the restaurant open.

“You know,” Jake pushed himself up onto the island, “it should raise some red flags that your best friend is the bartender.”

His father’s smile faltered. “He was my friend before he was the bartender.”

“Technicalities.”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I’m grateful for each and every one of you. Thanks for reading!

NaNoWriMo Day 15 – The Halfway Mark

Happy Sunday!

A Little About Today:

I started today almost five thousand words behind. I had to tell myself the whole day would be devoted to writing, to even feel like it was possible to catch up. Well, guess what? I did –

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With the help of NaNoWriMo writing sprints I managed to get through a major plot arc (a camping trip that brings everyone together), add a bit of background (why can that dog also communicate with my protagonist telepathically?), and include some character development (teenage relationship angst galore!)….and with this run on sentence my novel sounds like, well, a mess. Ah, but a twenty-five thousand word mess. Yay!

Hello Act 2 – I’m excited to get started on you tomorrow!

Favorite Excerpt:

When Vanessa came out, she was on her cellphone and instead of heading towards the fire she walked away, back towards the cars. “It’s good to hear your voice too,” she said into the phone.

A pause and then a giggle. It sounded like her giggles from this afternoon and warm, prickly, jealousy crawled along his chest. His hand gripped a bit tighter around his book but to the casual eye it hardly seemed like Jake was even aware of Vanessa.

Benny was not a casual eye and he felt his friend’s gaze upon him. He ignored it in favor of straining his hearing to its very limits.

There was another giggle. Then the words ‘camping’, ‘cousin’, and weirdly ‘sheep’. Could that be about him? Had she told her other partners about him? She had too right? This was all about honest communication, wasn’t it? Like he had read on the internet.

Jake turned a page of Ishmael, because it had been a while since had and he could still feel Benny’s stare on him.

Vanessa was gone for a long time. It seemed like hours but it was probably more like twenty minutes. Benny eventually relented and Jake tried to let his attention settle elsewhere. He grabbed a knife and his stick and began to carve it into a staff. But every so often he heard a word or another giggle and the knife would slip and dig into the wood.

Finally, she strolled back from around the car, the ghost of a smile across her lips. It wasn’t Jake’s smile, and he hated the pool of relief that cooled some of the jealous fire raging in his mind.

NaNoWriMo Day 11:

I had the day off from work so I spent it writing and playing Fallout 4 and writing some more! The bad news: I’m still behind. The good news: I’m only behind 530 words.

We’re supposed to be at 18,333.

This is the part of my NaNoWriMo journey where I have to wait for GoogleDocs to load all the pages, where once formed chapters now blur into a string of scenes, where I sometimes scroll back up and add a detail or two. There is just so much content now!

For the first time doing this little challenge, I don’t feel overwhelmed.  The story is flowing and my core character’s are fully-formed(ish) in my mind. I have a group dynamic with this story that is fun to write. I do worry that some scenes may be too…campy? But that’s why we edit. Right? Right.

A Bit About Today

I came to today a full day behind, but intentionally. I needed time to think about where I was going with this part of the story and wanted to be fresh from my mega-writing spree this weekend!

So when I opened my document today, the first scene flew by – most of it was planned in my head and in one solid hour I got made up for what I missed yesterday. Then it was time to face today’s words. This arc was still pouring from my fingers but my stamina and style were starting to suffer after the long day. So, more for tomorrow!

Favorite Excerpt

“I’m going to start a fire,” Benny announced.

Jake groaned but moved closer to the pit at the center of the campsite. “You’re just trying to change the subject.”

“I told you I don’t want to talk about you and Vanessa.”

Jake remembered the feel of her in his arms, her soft skin. “Who else am I supposed to talk to about it?”

“I don’t know but not me.”

“Oh come on!” Jake pleaded. “She told me all about the other guys and everything.”

Benny looked up from his squat by the tower of wooden sticks. “She did?”

“Yes.” Jake felt proud. He wasn’t freaking out. He was a mature adult man who was having mature adult reactions to a girl preferring non-exclusivity.

“And how does that make you feel?” Benny urged him to continue.

“What are you, a therapist? It’s fine.” Jake told the wooden sticks.

NaNoWriMo Day 7:

Passed the 10k mark!

The past two days were a complete wash but an excusable one since my sister and her fiance were in town. But today, I put on my discipline hat and told myself I would get from 7,415 to 11,666.

A Bit About Today:

Well, I failed.

But did I really? I fell short of the goal but I did write over 3,000 words and thoroughly enjoyed my scenes. My progression and my pace also came out of that weird beginning stage I tend to go through, where the characters haven’t fully wandered into the story yet.  Also – romance! Things are starting to get steamy. Literally, there was a very solo, very warm, shower scene.

I’m delirious with words write now which is why I thought I’d keep this sleep addled away from the scene I’m about to write. Tomorrow is another day!

(One of My) Favorite Excerpt:

Pulling up to the McWilliams house was nothing like pulling up to his own. The immaculate landscaping sat against a well swept stone path. The path led up to the Craftsman style home with a red door; it almost fell right out of a Christmas ad, even in late summer.

He used the towel by the door to wipe off Cody, since the towel was probably placed there by the McWilliams for that purpose. He sat his overnight back on the shelf and his jacked on the usual hook by the door.

He couldn’t even make it passed the foyer before Mr. McWilliams had him in a tight hug. The older man pulled back and clicked his tongue. “Those overnighters leave you looking fried kid. Feel free to use the shower.”

“Is that Jake?” Mrs. McWilliams shouted from the other room.

“Half of him. I think he left the other half with the sheep.”

Jake rolled his eyes and followed the woman’s voice into the living room. Benny was already lounging on the u-shaped couch that took up most of the living room and framed the unseasonally lit fireplace.

Vanessa was nowhere to be seen. Not like he was keeping track.

NaNoWriMo Day 3:

Passed the 5k mark!

A Bit About Today (and yesterday):

I’ve continued writing in multiple spurts instead of one long session and I see that reflected back to me in the pace of the story. Every scene seems to be its own contained beast, almost it’s own flash piece. I dig it.

Overall energy and enthusiasms levels are still at a solid 9.  They did dip a bit this morning, which I had expected to be my prime writing hours but I made up for it this evening and am back on schedule!

Favorite Excerpt:

His laptop sat asleep on his desk and he turned it on for the first time in days. The old gal slowly booted up as Cody made himself comfortable at the foot of Jake’s bed.

“I’ll be joining you shortly you sleepy mutt. Nothing screams hangover-cure like herding sheep first thing in the morning.”

His plan was to only open his email, until he saw a notification on his browser. A friend request from Vanessa McWilliams.

Jake accepted it immediately.

Then stayed up for an extra two hours looking through every photo she had ever posted – all to the sounds of Cody snoring.

This is what he learned about Vanessa McWilliams:

  1. She had a lot of different friends.
  2. She went to a lot of different concerts.
  3. She was bad at captioning or providing any context for her photos.
  4. There were a lot of guys.
  5. Some of those guys she had kissed.
  6. She hadn’t posted anything in over six months.
  7. She liked wearing the color black. (Jake liked to think it was accentuate her tattoos.)
  8. She had four and a half visible tattoos. A black and white lily on her shoulder blade, a deathly hallows symbol on her wrist, a tree of life curling around her rib cage, an ocean wave around her ankle and, a quote behind her right ear, that trailed down her neck to continue down her spine.

He could not decipher the quote on her neck and it drove him a little crazy. Around 2am he thought it would be a genius idea to open up a message box with her name on it.  He asked her what the tattoo read- before quickly deleting that and replacing it with:

Thanks for the friend request. Want to hang out this weekend?

 

How is it going for you other lovely WriMos out there? Thank you for your words of encouragement!

NaNoWriMo Day 1:

I am back from my travels just in time for National Novel Writing Month!

This November I’m going to do something a bit different. While my blog is primarily flash fiction, I’ve decided to take this month to chronicle this challenge. I’m excited to get back to novel writing after taking the last year or so off.

This is my third year of the challenge, having “won” both 2012 and 2013. My reward was two novels worth of, well…content. Some, worthy of editing; some, not so much. But now I’m back with a brand new idea and a blog.

Why not combine the two?

I welcome you to follow along! I don’t know if I will be writing much flash this month, but I’m not counting it out completely.

A Bit about Today:

Coming back to the empty page is always daunting. I knew what I planned to write, but every time it is the same feeling – a mixture of excitement and ‘what the hell am I getting into?’

I wrote the word count in two sittings, completing the first scene and starting the next. It’s strange not to have a finished story after 1000+ words, but that’s the nature of this novel experience. (Har. Har. Har)

Favorite Excerpt:

By the time Benny turned back towards the table, Jake could tell his friend had forgotten what he was about to say.

“Something about ‘fun?’” Jake prompted.

Benny was absently stroking the furry spot behind Cody’s left ear and made a confused little noise. Jake pointed to his pocket.

“Oh right, here, a flyer for a party. I’ve come to bring you fun.”

Jake perked up. He hadn’t been to a party since graduating high school last year. In fact, he was starting to feel socially stunted. It had been a while since he hung out with anyone other than Cody.

His dog lifted his head from Benny’s lap and titled it to the side. “I am wonderful company.”

Had he mentioned that sometimes Cody spoke to him telepathically?

“I need human friends too. How many times do I have to tell you?”

And sometimes Jake responded.

Cody huffed in response and turned his head back to Benny’s petting.

I’m going to try and post every few days. Good luck to everyone else on this wacky journey!