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Day 11: Becoming a Rebel

Day 06: 17512
Day 07: 18015
Day 08: 21048
Day 09: 25001
Day 10: 28753
Day 11: 31519

It seems I can't get through a camp experience without becoming a rebel. In 2011, I rebelled because I became too fatigued with the one story and wound up adding words to four different things. In 2012, I rebelled by finishing the 2011 story and then starting its sequel. This year, I'm rebelling by writing 50k for the rewrite of 2012 sequel and then writing 25k in something else entirely. That something else entirely was going to be held off until August, but I changed my mind.

So, I'm going to write something for this contest, A Quirky Love Story. First, last and only prize: publication and $10,000. Deadline: October 1, 2013. No entry fee. 50k+ words.

Here's the plan. I write half of the story in July and then the rest in the first half of August. The second half will be a short little break and then September I tackle the editing. Currently, I hope to start writing on the 15th. That gives me three days to think of a quirky plot and some quirky characters and then write a quirky outline. I've had some plot ideas, but last nano taught me some good characters will make or break a plot for me.


  • New reaper needs to practice reaping on immortal love interest; something about reapers

  • Expand one of the thousands of love shorts floating around my computer

  • Something about Japanese mythology; kitsune x yuki-onna

I'm digging the reaper story the most. The second has some established characters, but if I thought their stories was worth a full-length book wouldn't I have written it already? The third sounds like it needs a lot of research.

Character Ideas:

  • Some kind of socially, awkward male

Day 05: Finding Plot

Day 01: 2.5k
Day 02: 5.8k
Day 03: 9k
Day 04: 12.7k
Day 05:  15.5k

I'm doing great in regards to word count. As for plot, I think I might see a glimmer of one off into the distance. I hope this doesn't turn out like Bound by Blood v. 1 where I really enjoyed what I was writing until I looked back over it and discovered it was a hot mess with no plot. Obviously, I already know I don't really have a plot which puts me a head of v. 1, but not by much.

Thick as Blood had a love interest for the main character, but for Bound by Blood, I left her behind. In v. 1, she was there, but she didn't have a purpose, so I think this is the right decision. But, I don't want him to forget the love interest and I think that's what I'm doing on occasion. Though, I do sort of have their reunion planned. I'm still trying to decide if I want to leave him on the mountain for all of Bound by Blood or take him off half way through. Thick as Blood had the same setting throughout. Bound by Blood is a different location, so it would either be different setting the entire time or half different setting and half familiar setting. Decisions, decisions.

Oh, and because I don't think I mentioned it/for posterity's sake the final word count for Thick as Blood is...


(give or take 8k that I'm thinking of cutting and converting to a short story).

Camp NaNoWriMo

It's seems like I'm constantly entitling my post with some variation of "I'm Alive!!!" so I thought I would just cut to the chase this time. Obviously, I am alive, but I'm not really on livejournal much anymore. I've actually mostly moved to deviantart, which I thought I would never do because writing is writing and art is art. However, dA has a small little literature community that I'm trying to nestle into. I still check my friends page everyday out of habit, though it seems I'm not the only one who has moved on, and I'm the solo mod for the bigbang_mixup (and if I ever used non-writing related rants, that would take centerstage for seriously!), so I'm around in the ether.

Campnano is happening this year. I'll be writing Bound by Blood again this year because in sticking with camps past I am continuing the blood brothers series. Campnano 2011 was Thick as Blood and campnano 2012 was Bound by Blood. After that really terrible nano that I don't really want to talk about, I rewrote Thick as Blood. It now stands at 130.5k and I still need to write the last chapter and epilogue. Obviously, that will be finished before July 1st. This year, camp is customizable. We can choose what our word count goal will be.

For me, 50k is incredibly doable even when I face increasing apathy for my novel. I want to challenge myself, but how much...

50k = 1.6k a day
60k = 1.9k a day
75k = 2.4k a day
100k = 3.2k a day

I think I might go for 75k. Nano 2008 I got 63k between two different stories, so before I was very disciplined I was able to get over 60k. Decisions, decisions. Tomorrow I'll see about uploading some character sheets. I need to get two done like right now, but I keep putting them off. Accountability! I need you.

Begin as You Mean to Go On

I want to pretend the year starts tomorrow or next week. I'm sick. :( Anyway, I'm posting (ten minutes left of January 1st), so that I'll try to commit to posting more.

I'm currently reading Every Day by David Levithan. I only started it last night a little after midnight, but for the most part I'm enjoying it. It's not my usual style, but my usual style has been disappointing me lately, so I think it's good that I'm branching out. Though, if anyone has any good fantasy romance they want to recommend I'm all ears. Really, any recommendations will be welcome. I'm going to read more published books this year. 

I've written 600 words today. Technically, I'm about 3k behind in my goal to hav Thick as Blood ompleted at 100k by April, but that's not bad really. I started writin TaB n December 1st and I just crossed the 20k mark, so I'm doing good. I'm really proud of myself. I've wrote almost every day of December when in years past I've been happy writing 2k in all of December and January. And every month that doesn't have a nano event.

I also want to recommend wordery to my friends. It's a good way to have some accountability every day, week, or month. Plus, it keeps up with my stats. According to the spreadsheet, I've written 73k since I joined in October. I'm so proud of myself. I'm going to stop disappointing myself this year.

I think these are simple resolutions. Nothing too big. Nothing too specific. Completely doable goals. This is going to be a good year. I hope everyone has a great year! 

Barbara Bretton's Casting Spells

So, I want to start recording and reviewing the books I read because I've love reading reviews and perhaps others do to. I read this about a week ago and it wasn't an especially deep or enduring read, but I'll do my best to give it a coherent review.

Amazon summary: Sugar Maple looks like any Vermont town, but it’s inhabited with warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches—and an ancient secret. And Chloe Hobbs, owner of Sticks & String, a popular knitting shop, has a big secret too. She’s a sorcerer’s daughter in search of Mr. Right—and she’s found him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple’s very first murder. Bad news is he’s 100% human, which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like her.

[3/5 stars]This book was sweet. Really, really sweet. And shallow. Pretty much the definition of fluff. 

I found the romance between the two characters to be clearly contrived for the sake of the story and there was a strange fixation on physical beauty throughout the whole novel. When Luke first arrives in town, he gives the women he sees nicknames which I can't remember specifically, but they all followed the same format of Beautiful Actress-look alike. He thought the town and the women were too beautiful to be real. Naturally, they were. When he sees Chloe, he describes her as plain, in comparison to the others, but if she were say in the real world she would definitely be considered gorgeous. Bottomline, she's beautiful. So, her self-deprecating descriptions of herself got annoying fast. In practically the same words, she described herself as tall, blonde, with small boobs. She was really hung up on her boob size. And I felt it was depicted as a flaw so she wasn't incredibly beautiful. 

The romance was of the insta-love variety. The moment they were in the same room with each other sparks were flying. And when they weren't in the same room, they couldn't stop thinking or talking about the other. Nothing about their interaction made them seem particularly meant to be like it was implied. They were just in love, no questions asked. Of course, the two of them realized they were falling in love too quickly, so then they tried to put some distance between other. Que the thinking and talking about the other.

Chloe's incredibly beautiful and talented friends were bland and irritating. I think I disliked their characters the most. They were portrayed as being super-supportive and super-awesome besties. I thought they were awful friends. Whenever Chloe mentioned Luke or looked like she was thinking about Luke, the friends tried to shame her into dismissing him because zomg! he's human. Chloe is half human and she was interested in this guy, but they gave her feelings the finger. These are her friends and they're just looking out for her, so Chloe never got irritated that they kept shoving blind dates down her throat. The reason why is also the thing I hate most about the book. Chloe needs to get married and have babies to continue to keep the family line going and to keep the town in the protective bubble of magic.

Why don't I like it? Because the women of the Hobbs family are matriarchs. They are powerful sorceress. They've kept violence out and peace in in Sugar Maple through their awesome abilities. And they can only get this magic throught the power of True Love. They only get one and if they don't find him, oh well for Sugar Maple. So, in order for these powerful women to be powerful, they need a man. And love. So, Chloe Hobbs is literally searching for Mr. Right. Now, her friends don't care if she finds True Love and taps into her hidden powers. They've pretty much given her up for a lost and just want those babies to keep the Hobb line going. 

The only characters I thought I could have enjoyed the most were the Fae. Except, one of the Fae was the best friend who loves "plain jane" Chloe, but she only sees him as a friend. And then he dies, which I thought was a poor deal for him. The other two Fae were the bad guys, except one of them dies and the other is banished to the Fae World by Chloe who has just learned how to use her powers. This Fae was hundreds and hundreds of years old and powerful and vengeful cause Chloe caused the death of her two sons, but Chloe just packed her away simple as that. Bretton tried to turn it around in the last chapter saying Chloe had done a simple spell, so she needed to reinforce it before Fae Lady broke it down. That just made it worst for me. If she had said Chloe's emotions, because she thought Luke was dead, had overriden her limited skill that would have worked, but it just seems all powerful Fae Lady got defeated by a beginner. Cause that makes sense.

Finally, Chloe's mother was a sorceress and her father was human. Her father couldn't hack it in the perfect world of Sugar Maple so he tried to leave. Chloe's mother put a spell on him and forced him to stay until he died in a car crash along with her. I'm sorry, what? And Chloe's only concern was she was going to do the same thing with her human True Love, so she had to sit on her hands to just let him go. In fact, apparently everyone thought Chloe got the slaveholder gene from her mother, so it was like what will she do? Let him leave? Force him to stay? Really? Really? Is this really a question? Anyway, surprise! she let's him go. He gets about an hour away and has an epiphany. He loves her and they can make it work. I don't really know how this epiphany worked because we didn't get Luke's thought processes during that time which was annoying. Just Chloe pining. 

Anyway, you probably can't tell from this review, but I ultimately liked this book as a bland, formulaic romance. It was nothing special, but it wasn't the worst thing I've ever read. I could have done without the insta-love and True Love Magic, but I took it at face value: a typical romance cliche. I do think the friends were annoying and the Fae could have been so much more, but I think it deserves three stars. But just barely.
3/5 stars

It's Finally Over.

Day 26: 1.6k; 43.3k
Day 27: 1.6k; 45k
Day 28: 1.6k; 46.6k
Day 29: 1.6k; 48.3k
Day 30: 1.6k; 50k

I did it. I thought November would never end. But then it did. This has been the single most difficult nano I've ever completed. I stepped out of my comfort zone with The Naked Eye, but apparently when I'm not comfortable with what I'm writing, I don't care about what I'm writing. I spent some time looking through the chronicles of my previous nanos and there have been quite a few lowlights, but they were always counteracted by highlights. It was always, I hate my plot, but I love my characters.

Now that I think about it, I don't think it was the comfort zone that destroyed this. I always love my characters. I love writing character-driven stories and if I don't love my characters then I don't love or have the potential to love my story. For this, it was like I went through all the motions of other nanos. Some days were easier to write than others. Around week two things got difficult and I was barely reaching my goal if I even did make my goal. And then towards the end, I had an epiphany and things fell into place and the words were a little bit easier and I sort of knew where I was heading. It was all the same, like I have a mental schedule for doing nano.

But I did not like my story at any point during this. I never really like my main character, though at one point I thought I could see something in her that I might be able to enjoy if I cultivate it, but that withered and died. The character that I thought I would love never actually made it into the story and I'm not the type who can just skip ahead to a favorite part. I'm a pantser, so skipping ahead would just leave me stranded, lost and confused. The two characters that I enjoyed the most had their personalities hideously warped by the plot and by the time I noticed I was too emotionally drained to try to do anything about it. The few characters that maintained their personalities throughout and that I didn't have trouble writing were minor characters that showed up maybe once every 10k.

I wrote 50k this month. 50k of a novel I cannot stand and I don't anticipate every enjoying even with some time apart. I wrote 50k and it took me all 50k and ten words and then this post to realize something about myself. I almost feel like this was a wasted month, but I just have to hold onto my new knowledge. 

*If, as I am writing, I find I cannot love my main character or at least who I intend him or her to be, I'm better off giving that novel up for a loss and trying something else.*

Did anyone else learn anything during this nano or nanos past? Was it worth the heartache?

Day Twenty-Five: Art.

Day 25:
  written: 1.2k
  total: 41.7k

It'm transcribing just enough to keep my head above water and that arbitrary little graph on the nano sites. I'm going to try to push out the last 8.2k tomorrow just so that it's done, but I don't plan on stressing myself out about it.

Also, I finally, finally, drew the main character for Thick as Blood. For the last two or so years that I've been working on this series, I've drawn just about all of the important characters except him for the longest time. But I've finally drawn him and a full-bodied version too, which has been rare for me in the last few months. And I revamped the love interest's design. I really like how they came out, so I'd thought I'd share. This is what I've been working on during the break instead of my story or my school paper.

Rhys and SorchaCollapse )

Day Twenty-Three: Decisions.

Day 23:
  written: 1.6k
  total: 40.4k

I'm home for Thanksgiving break, so I haven't really felt inclined to update my down spiral of apathy for my novel. Yeah, it hasn't gotten better. I have thousands and thousands of words written in my notebook and I've just spent the last few days transcribing it. It might not look like I've been productive, but I've transcribed about 10k words today. I am so tired of transcribing, but I still have so much more to do. I had originally planned on forcing myself to keep writing this for the rest of November, but I don't think that's fair to me. So, once I reach 50k, I'm am checking out of this and going back to the rewrite for Thick as Blood. I'm so excited for TaB. I have so many ideas that I keep periodically pausing The Naked Eye to write down so I don't forget. 

I hope everyone has had a productive couple of days and if you celebrate, a good Thanksgiving.

Day Nineteen.

Day 19
  written: 2.25k
  goal: 2k
  total: 38.75k

After some thought, I think I might, possibly be over halfway towards the end. I don't think 50k will be the end, but I sort of see the last hill I need to get over before I can see the finish line. I still don't care about what I'm writing. The words are just falling onto the page without any of my heart and soul in it. Congratulations to those who are writing something that means something to them. Regardless of your word count, you're doing better than I am. Keep it up! I'm rooting for you all!

December I am back to writing Thick as Blood, 2nd draft. I even have my WriteTrack calendar all set up. I can't wait to get back to feeling something for my story. I miss my TaB characters. 

Day Eighteen.

Day 18
  written: 2.5k
  goal: 2.2k
  total: 36.5k

I really want to be done with this. I want to get back to the second draft of Thick as Blood, which I put on hold for nano. I don't even hate my novel and I might have an idea for the direction I want the story to go if it should make it to the editing stage. I just don't want to do this anymore. I don't care about my novel. I don't hate, I don't love, I don't care. I have no passion for this, whether it's negative or positive. I'm just writing words and they're not completely horrible words. But they aren't calling to me. I don't think I'm anywhere near completing this, but I'll write until the end of NaNo, even if I get to 50k earlier. But once November is over, I doubt I'll pick this up again. 

This was my exercise in trying something new in my favorite genre. I'm not so sure I'll do this again.

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