Tag Archives: novel

Grief Project First Draft Completed!

I have just finished my draft of the Grief Project.  I don’t know how many words it is because it is in pieces in my NaNoWriMo writing blob.  Writing it was super hard to do because I kept crying, much like the first time I wrote some of it.  After that first chunk though, I stopped putting in markers of when and where I was crying.  For the most part, I was okay when the cat characters were doing cat things; but any time they did something remotely pertaining to the plot (so not just wandering around enjoying their territory), I was pretty much crying.  Even at the end (and the end was relatively happy).  So with the amount of crying I did, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do anything with this (editing it will probably be just as tough).  But that’s okay.  I didn’t write it specifically to share with the world; it was written mostly for myself.

The ending of this draft actually took me somewhat by surprise, at least in terms of how I originally envisioned this story.  Originally I thought my main cat character was going to find his way back to his human girl.  That didn’t end up happening.  Honestly though, as I started writing it, the story started to take shape into a different way which made a lot more sense (a different cat ends up going back instead, which just feels very, very right).

Now that this draft is over, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to write next for the remaining 16,200 words.  I can go back to worldbuilding, but I’m not sure that I want to at the moment.  Of course, that’ll be a decision for tomorrow; writing the ending of the Grief Project really wore me out, so we’ll see what I feel like doing tomorrow.

On a very positive note, finishing the Grief Project put me at 33,791 words, which is just 4,542 words behind where I need to be!  I am catching up (and am even closer than where I left off yesterday where I was 5693 words behind)!

Also, a side note: Merlin curled up to me when I finished the Grief Project off.  He’s still sitting beside me, which I’m super thankful for!  This was the most difficult piece of writing I’ve ever done because of all the emotion behind it, and having his loving presence by my side is very much appreciated! 🙂


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#WriteFriday – November 6th

What a great start to this #WriteFriday: I was ridiculously behind on my NaNoWriMo blob (I’m not writing a novel, so I’ve been calling it a blob).  Behind to the tune of being on Day 4 with only 1323 words.  But as of midnight on Day 6 (so 11:59pm on Day 5), I had written 4,346 words, bringing my total up to 5669!  I’m still behind a bit (on Day 6 the goal is to write 10,000 words), but at least I’m not nearly as far behind as I was.

So what have I written in my so-called writing blob?  The first thing I wrote (which was on Day 3) was a random dream I’d had the night before.  I don’t know what, if anything, I’ll do with it yet.  But it was neat and I wanted to record it somewhere; the blob seemed as good a place as any to write it.  Also on Day 3, I sat down and wrote a story for Apocalypse Madness (this was the story I mentioned on my ridiculously late October 30th #WriteFriday update).  Day 4 saw me worldbuilding so I could fit Ayvlin into another world I’d already thought up (which I also mentioned on that last update).  This ended up actually much easier than I originally thought it would be back in Grand Marais when I thought it up.  The world actually does fit her and her story.  It even fits the other characters that were with her in that roleplaying adventure.  So I’ve mainly been working on that world, although I had a brief tangent into yet another world (I realized I have never written any of the ideas  down for it and decided to remedy that immediately).  I ended up working through a couple of things I’ve been struggling with on this world (“Do dragons belong here and what are they like?” being the main question I managed to finally answer).  I also managed to tie in another world with this one.  As I was worldbuilding, I started to realize that the second world, which I had long thought didn’t belong with this one, actually did fit quite nicely.  So that was awesome! It’s looking like this world is going to be my most “stereotypical fantasy world,” even though it’s already got things going on to make it anything but stereotypical!

I did run into an unexpected problem though.  Back in the summer of 2010 (which is just after I finished with the class I started this blog for, but way before I started using this blog for writing), I took a screenwriting course from Gotham Writers Workshop, during which I started writing a screenplay.  The screenplay was a crazy science fiction adventure which I was having fun writing.  Unfortunately after the class ended, life got in the way and I never did finish a first draft.  But it had two science fiction races which I really, really liked the idea of.  Hilariously, the faerie creatures that live on what I’m currently calling “Ayvlin’s World” have ended up an awful lot like one of the science fiction races.  I’m currently not sure what, if anything, I need to do about that, because the similarities that they both have suit them both.

So after writing a bit more (about 600 words), I went to bed, thinking I’d have more time for writing today.  But then I found myself at 11:39 having not written anything else for the NaNoWriMo blob all day (I had hoped to have another 4000 word marathon to get caught up with where I should be for word count).  Between what I’d written earlier and those twenty minutes I managed to crank out a total of 1,380 words, bringing my total for the day up to 7049.  I’m still about 3000 words behind where I should be (day 6 should put you at 10,000), but at least I’m not falling too far behind now.

For those twenty minutes (and about twenty minutes past midnight), I also did something extremely difficult: I started writing the Grief Project.  For anyone who doesn’t remember, what I’ve been calling the Grief Project is the project I was going to write after Tink passed away last summer.  But the grief was too raw and I wasn’t able to do it right away.  So I put it aside, much longer than I had planned to.  The grief is no longer so raw but it is still present; I’m not going to lie, I started crying a few times while writing it.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with the Grief Project (if anything).  But it’s well past time I finally got to it.  NaNoWriMo (and this NaNoWriMo in particular) is actually in some ways the perfect place to tackle it because I can let it be whatever it wants to be.  Especially since it’s just part of my writing blob (which means I don’t even care if the Grief Project falls short of 50,000 words because it’ll just be part of the bunch of writings I’m doing this year).

Good luck to everyone else who is participating this year!

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#WriteFriday – June 5th

So yesterday got a bit messed up.  My plan was to write all afternoon, then head out during the evening to visit with family.  Unfortunately I got called in to work during the afternoon, which left very little time for writing.

Luckily at work I have a few writing projects on the go.  I’ve got an @ Your Library article due for the end of the month, so I managed to do some work on a first draft of that yesterday.  I’m also going to be posting the seventeenth author interview on TBPL Off the Shelf next week, so I need to finish that up.  I did manage to do some work on that both on Thursday and today.  Hopefully I’ll get both of those projects done soon!  It helps that I’m working everyday until Tuesday; with luck I’ll have more time to work on both of those, as well as author interview number eighteen!

On the more personal note, just before I went to bed last night, I did some work on my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel.  I’m not entirely sure what prompted me to work on that, but I’m glad I did.  I ended up spending about a half hour or an hour coming up with better names for a few characters.  At the end of the night, I was quite happy with what I had.

I’m not sure how much time I’m going to have during this coming weekend for writing either, but hopefully I’ll have a bit more time (and can get back to my StoryNexus game!)

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It’s That Time of Year Again…

…time to see how I did with my goals and set some new ones for the year!

Last year I set ten goals for myself, but only wrote down the writing-related ones.  But after a bit of a scare (I thought I lost the paper I wrote them all down on), I’m going to list all ten off here, along with my progress on them:

  1. Move out – success!  I got my own place this December.  I moved there with my new cat, Merlin. 🙂
  2. Get to GDC Main in SF – success!  You can read all about it here.
  3. Finish reading 50+ books -success!  I actually read 58 books!
  4. Get in better shape – sort of a success – I was going swimming twice a week all fall, but had to stop in December due to moving out and Christmas.  Will be heading back to the pool this month though!
  5. Clear out my writing magazine stash – success!  I got rid of a lot of them once I knew I was moving.
  6. Fix up my website (and eLance profile) – sort of a success – I fixed it up a bit before GDC, but haven’t done anything new to it since then (except update it with any articles I’ve had published).  For the eLance profile, I don’t think I’ve even BEEN on eLance since the spring…
  7. Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel OR write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel – failure.  All I did was look over 90 Days and decide not to use it.  Since that time, I haven’t done a thing with my novel.
  8. Build 2+ of my worlds that need building – failure (sort of).  I spent quite a bit of time working on worlds earlier in the year, and managed to get one up to a point that I think I could write stuff in it.  It’s still not “done” though – there are some aspects that I still need to work on.
  9. Build a game (I don’t care with what) – failure.  I was all gung-ho to build a Storynexus game after GDC, but that fell by the wayside (particularly when I realized the story I had in mind wasn’t going to work).
  10. Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue – failure.  I haven’t done a thing with Chat Mapper.

So of the ten goals, I succeeded at five, worked on two, and utterly failed at three.  Unfortunately I didn’t really succeed at any of my creative goals (but I did a lot of work on worldbuilding, which will only benefit me in the future!)

With that in mind, it’s time to set some new goals for 2015!

  1. Read 50+ books off of The List (so that means non-library books – just books I currently own!)
  2. Stay in shape (get back to swimming and keep it up!)
  3. Get 2+ of my worlds that need building up to the point Imezza is currently at.
  4. Finish the screenplay I started.  I forgot to write about it, but I started a screenplay at the end of November.  It was meant to be a Christmas gift, but I ran out of time due to moving.  So now it’s going to be a birthday gift.  I have until August to finish it.
  5. Write the Grief Project.  I had planned on doing this sooner, but my grief for my cat was too great and I couldn’t do it last fall.
  6. Write a story a month for Apocalypse Madness.  Apocalypse Madness is a blog I started back in 2008.  The idea is that every month someone would post a quote, then everyone who contributed to the blog had to write at least one story inspired by that quote.  The blog died in 2011 (due to a number of reasons), but I decided I wanted to revive it starting today.  So for the first time in three and a half years, there is a new quote; hopefully stories will follow!  And if you’d like to join in on Apocalypse Madness, send me an email or comment on this post! 🙂
  7. Build a game.  I don’t care with what (could be Storynexus, RPG Maker, Game Maker, a game book, whatever!)
  8. Figure out Chat Mapper. Same as last year.
  9. Take a Lego Picture a month.  I’ve fallen away from Lego pics over the last while.  I miss it.
  10. Fix up my Red Bubble profile.  This kind of goes hand in hand with  9.

As a bonus:

  • Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book. At least to the point where I feel okay sharing it with people.

So those are my new goals for 2015.  This year there’s a lot more creative goals, so wish me luck with them!  You’ll notice that there’s also nothing about getting to conferences.  As much as I’d love to go back to GDC, or one of the other game ones, I don’t think that’s a reality for me this year.  Of course, if that should change, I’ll blog about it. 🙂

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Today, my brother Alex‘s Indiegogo campaign for his novel, Lucifer, went live!  I think the video for the campaign is excellent and wanted to share it here.

If you enjoyed it, please spread the word!  The book itself is an excellent read (I read several drafts and absolutely loved it!)   If you’d also like to support the project, you can do so here.

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No NaNoWriMo For Me This Year

I gave it a lot of thought, but decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

The biggest factor in this decision is that I want to devote my writing time to the Dark Crystal Author Quest.  I currently have a couple of thousand words written, but am going back constantly and editing things.  I considered writing a Dark Crystal novel during NaNoWriMo and using the parts of it that I liked as part of my submission, but that would leave me with only a month to polish things; in the end I decided that doing what I’m doing now is for the best.

I also toyed around with the idea of writing several short stories that would total 50,000 words.  Those I could use as part of my writing goals for the year (goals that have largely fallen by the wayside for a variety of reasons).  But once again, I decided that I need to focus on my Author Quest submission and thanks to some other commitments, don’t want to juggle any more projects at this time.

So I’m going to pass on NaNoWriMo this year.  But best of luck to everyone who is participating!

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NaNoWriMo is Over…Now What?

NaNoWriMo finished about four days ago.  And now that it’s over, I’m really starting to feel its absence.  Sure, the mad-dash, month-long creativity is hard to sustain long term.  But after writing “The End,” I sort of feel at a loss for what I should work on next.

Sure, I could keep working on the story I wrote for NaNoWriMo.  As I’ve mentioned several times on this blog, I already have ideas for revisions.  But I’d prefer to take a bit of time, put a bit of space between me and the novel before I start tackling revisions.  If I don’t want to work on that right now, I could work on one of my other story ideas, or maybe start trying to untangle last year’s NaNoWriMo story.  But pretty much all of those are stuck in various stages of world building right now, and I’ve been content to let them sit, letting my mind work away at them here and there.  That’s not going to work long-term, but it’s working for now as I focus on some more immediate projects, not all of which are writing-related.

Besides novel ideas, I’ve also been wanting to work with RPG Maker.  As I mentioned in that post, I had an idea for a game and I had every intention of working on it; unfortunately life got rather busy last month and I was unable to.  Much like the novel revisions, I have every intention of tackling this project in the near future, but an RPG also needs to be put on hold for more immediate concerns.

The problem with all of these projects is that they are a little too large in scale.  Right now I need something much smaller.  I’ve wanted to write shorter stories over the last year, but the vast majority of my ideas have been too big for that.  So instead, I’m going to try to write a small something every day based off one of the many writing prompts I have in books and find online.  My plan is to get through with different writing prompts until January 1st, at which time I will try following along with A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves.  Like NaNoWriMo, I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t write every single day; but I want to continue a relatively consistent writing habit into the new year, which is something I failed to do after last year’s NaNoWriMo success.

I’ll let you know how my progress goes!  🙂


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I Won!

Winner-180x180The title of this post pretty much says it all: I won NaNoWriMo once again this year!

This year went a lot differently from last year.  Last year I had written 50,000 words on November 24th.  This time around it took me right until today, the 30th, to break that benchmark.  I fell behind twice over the last month, first when I needed a break, and then again when I went to Montreal for about a week.  But that didn’t matter; I still managed to write my 50,000th word before the end of the month, which is what really matters to me.  I won!

The last week and a half has been pretty crazy.  I needed to start wrapping things in the story up but I was afraid I’d started too soon.  So right now, at 50,105 words, the story is not quite finished.  I’m going to spend a bit of time when I’m done writing this post finishing things off.

Another highlight to my last two weeks was when I actually ended up with two Chapter 27’s.  I started the first one but it wasn’t really working out, so I started again, leaving the original one because some of the dialogue was good.  It turns out it’s a good thing I kept it; as I was travelling home from Montreal I started planning revisions and realized I would need some of that dialogue.

This story has been a great experience for me.  For one thing, it’s a zombie story, which is a genre I’ve never attempted before.  For another thing, it was more planned out than last year’s story was.  Last year I ended up with two plots mashed together which really didn’t belong together; it worked for NaNoWriMo, but it will be difficult to untangle them, should I ever do so.  This year there is one solid plot which is going to be much easier to revise.  And as I’ve already mentioned, I do have revision plans.  I’ll be taking a break from this story for most likely the next month, but I have every intention of coming back to it.

As to the ending, that’s going to be another thing that will need to be revised.  I’ve made it here, to the end of the story, and it’s worked out alright for NaNoWriMo.  But I’m not convinced that this ending is the real ending to the story, so that’s something I will have to re-examine when I start the revisions (and when I’m less worried about hitting the word count).  But for now, I’m just excited that I made it to the end of this draft.

Congratulations to everyone else who has won this year’s NaNoWriMo.  If you haven’t quite made it yet, you’ve still got a few hours left – good luck, and congratulations on all the words you’ve already written!


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Back on Track

Last time I wrote that I had taken a few days off from NaNoWriMo and had fallen about 4000 words behind.  Two days later I am now back on track!  I was back to par last night, but now that midnight has happened I am about 1000 words behind, which is nothing.  I’m hoping to be at least a day ahead (if not more) by the time midnight rolls around.

The last few days have been a real whirlwind for my characters, Amber, Danny and Kyle.  Kyle panicked and left the other two alone in a zombie-infested house; he’s the one who had all of their gear (he drove off with the truck).  The other two have been doing their best to avoid the zombies.  They’d almost made it to Danny’s house when they ran into another problem: a couple living in a nearby house started shooting at them.  They retreated to a somewhat safe place where they discovered Amber had been hit by a stray bullet.  The wound isn’t lethal on its own, but they don’t have any first aid supplies.  Or water.

At this point I’m having fun throwing as much stuff as I can at my main characters, but it’s almost time to start wrapping things up as I make the push towards 50k.  I’m still hoping to get ahead before the weekend, so expect to see my word count climbing in the next few days.  If you want to watch my progress (or be writing buddies) you can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site.   As always, I’ll also be updating Twitter with my writing progress so you can watch my Twitter feed for news.  Good luck to everyone else who is participating this year – we’ve got 10 days left to go!

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A Weekend Off

So this wasn’t exactly planned, but I ended up taking the weekend off from NaNoWriMo. I ran into some non-NaNoWriMo issues late last week and just really needed to spend some time relaxing.  I read a little bit, but inevitably ended up playing video games until stupidly late at night with some friends (and now I’m really tired).  But I’m feeling ready to start tackling writing once again.

Unfortunately I’m now about 4000 words behind par.  Luckily I was about a day ahead before taking the few days off, otherwise I would have been further behind.  But I’m not too worried about it; I’ve got this next week off so I’m hoping to spend a lot of time working on NaNoWriMo.  Besides getting back on track, I’m hoping to get ahead of par this week too because I have a trip planned for next weekend and won’t want to worry about NaNoWriMo while I’m away (and I’ll only have a few days left to write when I get home).  So wish me luck in the coming week!

If you want to watch my progress (or be writing buddies) you can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site. I’ll also be updating Twitter with my writing progress so you can watch my Twitter feed for news about my novel.  Good luck to everyone else who is participating this year – we’ve got 11 days left to go!

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