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Storytelling is a talent passed down through the generations in my family. It is a way of life in that the more you live, the better the story; the deeper the experience, the broader the plain to connect with readers. Just like life is about people so writing is about people - about their love, their loss, their triumphs, their failures, and their x ever after. I write to understand myself and make sense of life. I share my work in order to find others who can relate to my characters, or their lives, or the moral of the story.

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the twelfth night of Nano, my muse has given me...

Reading: The Forbidden Game, L.J.Smith
Writing: Thunderstruck
Playing: DMC 4 - HM

More-inspiration-more-motivation-more-determination,etcetcetc, and all while I was drinking coffeeee!
Yeah, I know, I know. Clearly late nights and working long hours on this manuscript has made me go coocoo a bit.

Day 12!!!!
Annnnnnddd.... I think I might make the 50k in time. If I can write another five thousand words in the next three days, I should be good as gold. It's not like I'm running out of steam - I have very good ideas to further the plot standing by with their essence bottled up to throw at me as I run this marathon. Just when I'm done gulping down one, I'm sloshing down the next, and at this rate I'm going so fast through all these ideas that I'm drowning in them.

But there are those damned fanfiction canons trying to throw obstacles in my way. Nero tried to buster me(that might be because I threw an empty bottle at him as I ran past, though), Vergil tried to catch my attention by pulling a dimension slash on me, Dante was just being an idiot and running along side with me before I tripped him and he fell, and then Julian...well, Julian is Julian, he doesn't need tricks to try lure me away other than showing his face. See I'm reading the Forbidden Game? I haven't even finished Prophecy's Ruin. But Julian is just such an amazing character. A book is really really well written if you can open it at any page at any stage of the story and get sucked in on the first sentence your eye falls on.

Anyway, reading matter and wanna-be distractions aside - disipline is integral to completing a novel. I have the wacked out ex fiance that needs to show up and stir up some things, but before then I need things to settle between my MC's ( just a liiiiiiiiittle bit). I'm thinking after they get engaged. That should be a good time to bring in the bombshell. Ex fiance is pretty accomplished at sabotage, and will possibly be one of the few very well established characters in the book, because I'm taking her straight from another series of mine (I will from hereon refer to that series as The Firestone Chronicles - no publish, just my own novels for my own entertainment :p) that I have been writing since primary school. She was one of 'the ancients', which is just my way of referring to the first set of characters I've ever written since putting pen to paper. So, Ex fiance will succeed here, fail there, but all in all she'll make things pretty complicated and ugly. Until the wedding takes place, when M/MC's cousin will show up and help ease things a little.

I'm getting ahead of myself. I should stop writing about what I'm going to write and get to actually writing it. Well...after I watch UFC with my fiance.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Day 9 - still in the running

Listening to: I hate everything about you - 3 Days Grace
Reading: Prophecy's Ruin- Sam Bowring
Writing: Thunderstruck
Playing: DMC 4 - HM

Oh my gosh! This song makes me sick with nostalgia!

It's funny how I'm able to purposely go a day without working on bringing my fanfictions to an end, yet when I'm focussed on an original project, all these things that remind me of my fanfics crop up all over the place all the time. If it's not because of the reviews I receive in dribs and drabs, it's because a song that I associate with a certain story would start playing. Not to mention that I'm being flooded with scenes for this or that or the other fanfic, good scenes that I'm absolutely burning to write.

But no!
Discipline! Must! Be! Had!

Day 8 of Nano was a complete failure, in that I didn't write more than five sentences the whole day. I was feeling too ill to try work late into the night again, and I had about ten (interrupted) minutes during the day to get my writing done.

Today I woke up late (I was close to double digits) because my partner worked from home to give me a hand with the kids. I've been groggy all day, but I figured I needed to preservere with this story, come tissue hell or highly intense headache. And I did, and it paid off. I boosted my wordcount from 12k to 15k, just like that!

Well, no, not just like that. I've been writing practically non-stop from 11 in the morning til 7 in the evening. I've added another character into the mix, which should spice things up and rock my wordcount sky high in the days to come. I can now finally start on my third chapter (there will be ten). Hurrah.

On a slightly different topic, I've gotten some good reading in today as well. If anyone else has read this book (see start of post), feel free to contact me to discuss or gush or rant about this or that or him and her. At this stage I'm at the place where Corlas has walked into Fahren's tower and taken Bel. I kept thinking, run, Corlas, RUN BEFORE THEY CATCH YOU! And then the evil little bird thing happened, and the suspense on whether he was going to step outside that ward or not was absolutely killer,  and I found myself thinking RUN BACK, Corlas, RUN BACK!

Sam Bowring's Broken Well trilogy is made of win. The descriptions are amazing, the Throne and his son and the old mage remind me so much of my own royal originals (Galen and Demetrius and Sebastien, etc), and I was enthralled at the part where Losara was playing with the shadows. I mean *mind leaks* this book is honestly one of the best I've ever read. If they turn it into a movie, or a TV series even, I'll watch it, record it, and watch it again and again.

 I know I'll be rereading this book until it's falling apart like my Forbidden Game trilogy (what is with me and trilogies?) and if I ever get to meet the author in person, I'd ask for them to sign the front of my book. Yes, he really is that good.  His writing evokes emotion, and his fight scenes are spectacular (if Tyrellan wasn't a goblin, I'd have fallen for him). Although it is the kind of book you can't read a little of one day and little of the next day, not if you want to keep track of what's happening (and there is a LOT going on) and experience the overall ambience of the world painted on those pages.

What caught my attention about this book is the synopsis here:

For a millennium the lands of Fenvarrow and Kainordas have been at war, ever since the gods of shadow and light broke the Great Well of Souls. In the absence of victory a stalemate persists - until a prophecy foretells of a child of power who will destroy the balance forever.
Mages from the two lands race to claim the newborn, but in a ferocious battle of magic fought over the baby, his very soul is ripped apart, leaving two boys in its wake. Each side seizes a child, uncertain whether they now possess the one capable of victory.
Bel grows to be a charismatic though troubled warrior, Losara an enigmatic and thoughtful mage. Both are strong, yet incomplete. As they struggle to discover their destinies, each must ask the ultimate question: will he, one day, have to face himself?
Interesting, yes? Well if you're an avid reader and you're a major fan of the Devil May Cry series, you'll see some similarities between this concept and that of DMC.
And if I hadn't known any better, I would have said Losara is Vergil reincarnate. With blue hair and dark eyes, but the personality traits and power reminded me of him nonetheless. Plus, he's the one on the dark side.

Anyway. It's a good read, very creative with a variety of non-sue characters, and is definitely lodged into my list of favourite books. I'd recommend it for anyone with a vivid imagination.

Until the next blog!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Day 7 - End of Week 1

Watching: WCL 
Reading: Prophecy's Ruin- Sam Bowring
Writing: Thunderstruck
Playing: DMC 4 - HM

And so, on a whooping 12, 500+ words, the end of the first week of Nano has arrived!
Chapter 1 is done, and I've resorted to writing scenes rather than try to write the link between scene A and scene B, if that makes any sense.

The late nights of frantic writing have caught up to me. It seems I'm more prone to becoming ill when I lack sufficient sleep for a day or two, than any other time. It is terrible - in the matter that my throat feels thick and raw, I have an irritating scratch in the back of my throat that makes me want to cough, I have sneezing fits at random, a stuffy nose, an even stuffier head, and I can feel the achy yucky fever part of the cold coming on. But believe it or not, there is a positive light amidst the dreariness of this sickness.

I tend to write better when I'm sick. Also in the middle of the night, when I'm half asleep but keep writing 'because I have to get this chapter done before I go to bed'. It would seem that I write best when I'm not 100% present in mind. Very, very....very weird.

Weird writing moments aside, the novel is going well. I'm having fun with it now, and I've fostered a passion for the story itself and I'm starting to become very fond of my characters. I keep wanting to get back to writing because I'm so curious to get to know them better. Considering my male lead was meant to be fair in appearance and angelic and shy in nature, according to the synopsis for my novel on Nanowrimo, and what I got on paper is a 'bipolar', odd looking dude who likes to disappear and sneak up on people like a ninja instead.

At least he beats the stereotype role I was going to cast him in, and I can now with confidence say 'sianora Gary-Stu!'


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Day 6 - At This Rate You Will Finish On Nov 30

Watching: WCL 
Reading: Prophecy's Ruin- Sam Bowring
Writing: Thunderstruck
Playing: DMC 4 - HM
Good news, good news! I have reached 10 000 words tonight.
According to the Nano site, if I keep at the rate I'm going right now I will finish on the 30th. This just won't do, considering I want to at least start revising the first chapter of my novel before the deadline for Nano, and this can't happen until I've completed the first draft.

At the moment I'm chasing the person who has the next highest wordcount on my buddy list which is in the 13-14 000 range, although I'm nearly head to head with a couple of other writing buddies, too. My goal is to have at least 12 300 words before the end of day 7. Will I make it? Well, considering I'm past the boring 'how Sally met Harry' part of my manuscript and I'm currently playing around in the 'how Sally and Harry got on' field, I have the insane nerve to say that yes, I will reach that wordcount by tomorrow night. Piece of cake. The wildfire they stoke in each other is running rampage, and I really don't mind as long as it advances the plot.

I'm not very good at writing romance, because too much mush makes my creativity cringe and gag on itself, (and it is emotionally draining, it really is) but I'm making a valiant attempt at it. So far there's a lot of scenes that leak romance from its commas and apostrophes; some scenes I only touch on briefly, some I expand on; some have me feeling sick with smut, and some have me forced to take a breather and chill out. It being a first draft entitles me to rush over some parts and delve into others, depending on how I see fit. A first draft is just putting the idea of the story down on paper to see if it works and make it easier to see where it doesn't work, after all. I won't know if it's that good until it's completed. I'm writing for the mature young adult (think Pike style), my first proper go at it. I've had some practice runs via fanfiction, and for the most part I think it wasn't too bad, but implementing certain aspects into my original work...well, let's just say my confidence is doubting itself on whether I can pull this off right or not.

Then again, I'm having a blast writing now. I don't procrastinate (as much) and it's easier to pick up where I left off and just keep the words rolling across the paper.
Which is a pity. I saw they created an official procrastination thread on the forum. I have bad timing with these things.

- Until Day 7!

Day 5 - Catching up!

Listening to: By the way - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Reading: Prophecy's Ruin- Sam Bowring
Writing: Thunderstruck
Playing: DMC 4 - HM
Eating: Time
Drinking: Yellow Milk Bunny ;)
Another short post, because I'd like for this to be posted on the right day. Blogging 10 minutes prior to midnight has its cons, it seems.

I timed myself writing today. It took me an hour to write two and a half pages, which is approximately 1000 and something words. Whether it's normal to write 14 lines in 12 minutes, I don't know for sure, but I do feel I write incredibly slow. A snail could crawl across my page five times before I finish a decent paragraph.

Anyway, I've boosted my wordcount up to 7000 words. I'm apparently still a thousand words behind, so I'm pulling an all-nighter to try bring my count up to date. Wish me luck!
It's one minute to midnight. Time to post. :)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Day 4

Listening to: Kings & Queens - 30 Seconds to Mars
Reading: Prophecy's Ruin- Sam Bowring
Writing: Thunderstruck
Playing: DMC 4 - HM
Eating: Zzzzzz
Drinking: Water

Time: 11:55 p.m.
I have officially caught up on my word count!
If I had any energy left in me, I would have celebrated with a glass of wine before bed and called all my writer friends to share my immense accomplishment with them all.

No, not really. If tomorrow wasn't Guy Fawks I would have gone to fetch a V-power from the cupboard and made myself ready for an all nighter to keep ahead of the game. You don't need energy when you can function on sheer willpower alone.

My partner has been incredibly supportive. So much so that I haven't felt the need to go back onto Nano chat to be inspired and motivated by the rants from the other writers. He's been giving me hours to write for the past few nights, without which I doubt I'd have my 6k word count right now.

Alas, I hear a little madam is up and crying for my attention.

That is all for tonight. :)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Day 2 - panic sets in.

Listening to: Broken - Lifehouse
Reading: Prophecy's Ruin- Sam Bowring
Writing: Thunderstruck
Playing: DMC 4 - HM
Eating: Air
Drinking: Coffee

It's 9 a.m, my coffee mug is empty, the sun is trying to lure me out of the house with the promise of a beautiful day, and I'm blogging.

I have chores nagging for my attention, and like all mothers know, the chores won't stop nagging until you deal with it yourself; and like all writers know, the chores can nag for another day or two. Nanowrimo is in full swing, and even though I spent three hours past midnight after the online kick-off party writing, today I am officially 200 odd words behind on my word count.

What's worse is that I can't seem to get onto the Nano site at all.
*insert panic attack*

There is a cool gadget on the site that tells you how many words you need to write today. This is quite a nifty new little thing. Albeit, it might have been there last year as well and I either displayed my spectacular lack of observation skills or it's my bad memory's fault that I don't remember it being there. What is not cool about it is the 'unsuccessful days' count. I'm on one when I checked last night, in other words my first day of Nano is deemed unsuccessful by the Nano website.

Now, I know I'm being completely paranoid by thinking I can't get on with it if I can't log onto my account to see my word count, or the estimated word count  I need to achieve for day 2 to keep in the running of the 50k prize (that's 50k words, for anyone who doesn't know what Nanowrimo is all about). I can get on without it, very well, since I've set my daily word target at 3k.

Maybe this is another form of procrastination? I was the only one still chewing on my pen 30 minutes after Nano started, asking rhetorical questions such as what season and what fashion dress my character should be introduced with in the first scene. Everyone else was on 300 - 1000 words by then. So, it's not an impossibility that what I'm doing right now, blogging instead of writing, is another subtle form of procrastination.

On the topic of everyone else: my fellow Nanoists are all humorous and purpose-driven writers. More than half of them write into the wee hours of the morning even though they have to get up in another two or three hours to face a full day of work/uni. What excuse do I have? I don't study and writing is my work, and yes I have two little children that demand all my time and energy, but like all mothers I have the complicated, crazy and somewhat unbelievable skills of expert time management and super multi-tasking. How else could I be blogging right now?  I digress. The writers in my country are all amazing people and they are an ongoing motivation support team for me, simply by setting the good example of writing hard.

Oh well. I'm writing by hand so I can take my Nano with me wherever I so wish, whether it be to the local pool or the foodcourt or my secret little nook in the thick of one or the other scenic reserve. Of course I could do the same with a laptop, if I had one small and compact enough, but the pro of writing by hand is that I never have to worry about saving, power blackouts/battery dying, picking up a virus and losing all my work, or accidentally deleting my file. And then there is also the matter of keeping my inner editor on a tight, unbendible leash to allow my creativity to run wild across the page - a champion pro in the writing ring!

...part of me wants to blog about my novel. I want to write about the opening scene, about the surprises I encountered and how it's absolutely nothing like what I'd thought it would be. I won't say much about the content though, because I don't like to write about what I'm actually writing since I'd rather be actually writing it. What I will say is that my plot is going to serve me well as a guide through this hell I'm creating. I'm feeding my novel paranoia and suspense, a touch of horror here and a big chunk of 'dawww' there, to flesh out the story and characters with some good creative meat.

Part of me also wants to revert back to playing around in the world of fanfiction, and bouncing around mindlessly on forums that have nothing to do with writing. This could be lovely reviews from readers asking for more and mass PM's from online buddies to blame. Alas, my words are reserved solely for Nano and blogging this month.

It's 9:52 a.m, I have a fresh cup of coffee, the kids are demanding a walk down to the park, and I'm writing. :)