Tag: NaNoWriMo

Beautiful Books: NaNoWriMo Update!!!

So I started writing this post in the first week of November. Now I’ve finally finished it. I also finished NaNoWriMo for the first time half an hour ago!!!

So I’m doing the Beautiful Books link up by Cait@Paper Fury and Skye@Further Up and Further In.


Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

My mental state is fine. (Read elated and hugging everyone now)I went into NaNo expecting to fail. On Day two I changed my mind. It hasn’t changed back yet. I am almost there now and completely confident I can make it. Now I’m done!!! My novel on the other hand is a mess. The middle came together better than I expected at the start, but there are huge bits I haven’t written and entire plot thread I’ve missed. It’ll probably need to be rewritten in entirety. But I don’t care. Keeping the story in my head is rather pointless.

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

I didn’t start at the beginning, and the beginning I do have I’m not happy with.(and I’ve already written two versions) Further more I’m not 100% sure what bit I wrote first this month. so I’ll share both. 

This month: The ambassador bowed, showing a bald patch in his greasy black hair.

Very beginning: However nice it is to be surrounded by sycophants, sometimes a girl just needs the presence of a good strong man. Natalia rose to the tips of her shoes and scanned the milling crowd.


Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

Early in the month, Natalia’s half brother Alexos. he’s kind of inspired by my brother and is very adventurous. there’s also a couple of tertiary (I think. My secondary and tertiary characters like to get mixed up) characters, who are fun. A super enthusiastic, irrepressible maid and a mad sea captain.

Since then I’ve become rather fond of Luca and Lorenzo in particular, but all my character are working their way into my affections.
What do you love about your novel so far?

New ideas for what should happen keep coming. I never intended to have all my characters pretending to be someone else, but it happens. (a good number at least)

Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?
Nataia, Natlai, Natali, Matali, Natatalai, Naltai, Nalatai; I can’t type my main character’s name, It’s a bit of a nuisance. Natlai is the most common mistake. (When trying to type it wrong it came out right somehow.)
What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
I like it when things go really well and pull together in surprising ways, and that happens most in endings. but all of it can be fun.
What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
Shelves new yesterday!

I often, but not always listen to music. Getting a good bit of writing down in the morning is a goal, but I do it later in the day as well, including quite late.

How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone?
I don’t tend to share much because my work is full of typos, but being able to talk about the joys and trials is important. And sometimes I just need someone to help me focus. Kendra E. Ardnek has been great with that. She does share it, and that also keeps me from getting too stuck in my own head. And when I felt like procrastinating she was great with that too.

What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

Determination and word sprints. Some with Kendra and Erika Mathews, a lot with the lovely people in the Realm Makers Consortium, and a couple with my little brother. I tried using Write or Die a bit, but if either my internet or computer is too slow it doesn’t register my writing quick enough and dies instead.


What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?
1. Write something you’re enthusiastic about

2. Study the craft

3. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

And here’s the graph of my monthly wordcount:


And that is that. What have you all gotten done this month. Tell me, even if it’s small. There’s plenty of achievements other than writing a horrendous 50,124 words.

InNoWriMo: Change of plans

*International Novel Writing Month. That’s what it really should be called.

Hello everyone,

I know I had promised more world building for Verlis, but it turns out I’m not actually going to write A Brigand, No Longer for NaNoWriMo. You see, in that book there will be a war. A war that turns offensive and might involve fully conquering the other country and setting up a new government. And I’m not quite sure of the ethics of that. Something is necessary, but I don’t know how it should be carried out.

Between that problem and generally not being very certain where the book should go, I think I need to let it sit. I’m not ready and though I doubt I’ll hit 50,000 words even if I know exactly what I am going to write, I don’t want this to be a waste. So I’m writing something else.

In fact I’m going rebel and continuing Lady of Courage which I started in April. I’m really looking forward to working on this again. I thought I’d go through some of the Beautiful Books questions again.

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

It was actually inspired by a couple of review of the movie Brave. It’s not going to be much like it, but that’s were the seed of the idea came from.

Describe what your novel is about!

It’s a gearpunkish, political fantasy/alternative history about a girl who inherits the throne and must marry. Only there aren’t any eligible and capable men around. Except that guy who trying to take over the whole region and is a just a generally nasty person. Or maybe that person, but the council doesn’t like him. Or that guy, wait, why did he just die? And where are all the ships vanishing to?

What is your book’s aesthetic?

Despite my lighthearted description, this book is actually more tragedy than comedy and will make people cry. Maybe even me.

It’s very brown,  there’s a lot of a light dusty brown and smaller amounts of mahogany. Also deep reds, greens and blues. And touches of black and silver.

Introduce us to each of your characters!

There’s a lot, and I did introduce some of them back in this post. So I’ll just give a couple.

Natalia Rizzetti is basically a princess. She grew up expecting to rule sometime in the future, and has a keen interest in whats going in politics. She’s the center of the social events of the nobility, but feels somewhat alone. These people don’t really like her, they’re just courtiers and flatterers. I think she’s an ESTJ, so very dutiful and good at organizing people.

Rheas Masi is a poor girl who is part of a charity group. Her role is picking up gift and gettinhg the rights to distribute the handouts of the nobles. She has a heart for orphans and tries to get them good jobs as servants. When Natalia sees her being harassed by a man in the market place one day and asks her to become her maid, she’s a bit scared, but takes this great opportunity.

Alexso Acqui is Natalia’s half brother. He wants to be and inventor and explorer. he also wants to prove that he’s not a foolish boy, but can be a bit irresponsible and impulsive.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

I love the worldbuilding and the complex political situations. I’m also looking forward to discovering how it all turns out in the end. I didn’t start with a particular husband in mind for Natalia, and though I think I know now, it could turn out differently. I might decide to let her be happy.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

They have sky rails and factories.

It’s inspired by Venice and other Italian, maritime, city-states.

I’m borrowing women’s fashion from India. (Maybe men’s too. Also kurtas and kirtles aren’t all that different, so it’s got medieval elements too.)

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

She wants to stop too much political power falling into the wrong hands. This means marrying in the next few months. But she also wants to find a truly good man to rule beside her. And there aren’t many of those. Also someone is sinking their ships and her suitors are being killed off if she pays them too much attention.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

She must learn to trust and respect men and realize that people can’t be perfect. Also that she really does need to let those around her help.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

Men need the respect of women, even when they don’t deserve it. We must build one another up and allow opportunities for growth  rather than belittling one another. Neither men nor women can make it alone.

I’m really not sure how I want people to feel. I’m not even sure how I feel about the expected ending. But I do wait to inspire hope, courage, love and grace.

Beautiful Books: A Brigand, No Longer

It’s the time of the month when I usually do the Beautiful People link up. But it’s also the time of the year when we take a break to talk about books. In particular, books we’re about to start writing.

This book I’m about to write is tentatively titled A Brigand, No Longer. It’s a sequel to Girl of the Rumours. There may or may not be another book coming after it. I really didn’t want to write a trilogy, but I cannot fit all of my ideas into one more story.


What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

It was probably about a year ago that I came up with an interesting twist to Girl of the Rumours that would leave a couple of characters in a very interesting situation. That twist is not the same anymore. It actually involved a character, who has changed a lot of the course of the first draft (sometimes she was a young woman looking after her brother and sister, now she is their mother). Also there were too many coincidences in the story. Anyway there still seems to be some complex situations, and I wanted more room to play with some themes and relationships.

Describe what your novel is about!
Joane, the former lady brigand, is having trouble adjusting to her new circumstances. It’s clear that she was meant to live out in the wilds and most people agree. So when shes hears that her former followers are forming into small warring factions and generally causing trouble, there is a strong urge to run away and get them back into line. But she knows her duty lies elsewhere. And that’s about what I can write from the little I know. It’s vague, but I can’t give away spoilers for the previous book. Many other characters make a return though. And Arthen and Leisa marry.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
I’m really not sure how to answer this one. I don’t even no how to describe it as a room. But it’s more town than forest. Formal garden terraces, people sewing uniforms, an apothecary shop. A strategy planning map, arrows through windows, making bandages. Mocking laughter, a burning village, a formal dance.

Introduce us to each of your characters!
I really can’t do this very much. I’m not yet sure how much to let out about who continues. But I’ll describe Joane and a few fairly minor characters.
Joane doesn’t smile much, she’d rather stare daggers through you. She can take charge of a room, but is in her element outdoors. Her black curly hair is too short to stay up well and she always has a weapon hidden about her.
Lady Naida Harly is a small, sprightly old woman. There’s always a twinkle in her eye that says she understands you even when you don’t say a word. But she’s also ready to make you talk about it, and extremely hard to say no to.
Marcon Keresh is the second son of the Noble of Whern. He’s slight pretentious, means fairly well, but thinks he knows how things should be done. (Also I didn’t know he existed before I started writing this)
How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
I fill in things like this, throw random ideas around and try to organize them into something useful. And I’m getting writing books from the library again.
What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Putting Joane into many uncomfortable situations. Letting my characters grow more. Figuring out who Marcon is. Having father-daughter relationships.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
It takes place in a city much more than the first book.
There will be some opulent surroundings at times.
It’s summer, so lots of heat and the early harvest.
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
She’s trying to save her old followers from themselves, and help people survive a war. A new leader among the brigands and a lot of stubbornness and fear all round is making it difficult.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I really hope she becomes more humble, trusting and forgiving.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
One theme is learning to trust, when things seem out of your control. Also learning to obey when when another path makes more sense. And being willing to live with people who ridicule you.
I want people to feel glad that they read it. And encouraged. Certainly encouraged.

August Wrap-up and Future Plans

I’ve never actually done a wrap up post except for when I’ve done Camp NaNo. I may never do one again. But this time I am.

My writing has been quite slow this month, but I’ve made a bit of progress. Girl of the Rumours is now sitting on 42,000 and has somewhere around a third to go. I’m not quite sure about the pacing yet. so that could change things. My goal is to roughly finish this draft by the end of the month, so that I can prepare for NaNoWriMo the next month. As for how that will go, I really have no idea.

This month I took the bold step of giving my first chapter to a couple of writer friends for feedback. It was mostly encouraging. One person found my main character a bit annoying and immature, which I was afraid of, so I know I need to do some fixing there. The other reader seemed to connect with her fairly well though. And I now know a few other ways I need to tweak my characters to make them across right.

The marking are hardly visible to the camera.

One of the best parts was actually getting mailed  a printed copy of the chapter covered with red pen marks. Calling that good might sound strange, but it really was. Firstly, some of the marking were really positive. Secondly, I knew it was far from perfect and I got to see what improvements another pair of eyes can make. I’m less worried about it being badly written, editing will improve it. And there wasn’t really a huge number of marks. Just looking at it again I can see other improvements.

There’s a chance I’ll be looking for beta readers in February. But that really depends on how much time I spend on other projects. I had hoped to have Lady of Courage at least half written by now, but I hadn’t planned on doing all these rewrites. And my NaNoWriMo project could flow on into December if it goes well, but isn’t short.

Now that come to the question of what I’m doing for NaNoWriMo. Joane, from Girl of the Rumours, had caught my attention so much I decided I needed a sequel to continue her story. Once I got that idea into my head, I came up with other reasons a sequel is needed. So that’s what I’m hoping to do and that’s why I’ve had to do these rewrites. It’s hard to write a sequel if the first book hasn’t got a certain ending.

Another thing that might slow my writing down is my sewing. I’m making a fancy dress which I’ll be wearing to a couple of weddings. It’s been really fun so far. Over the last couple of weeks I drafted a pattern and sewed up a test in cheap fabric. (Though both it and the dress fabric were actually gifts.) Then on Friday I dyed my fabric to change the dreadful salmony pink, to a pretty lavender. That was fun and a bit smelly. And yesterday I cut it all out and did the same from a purple sheet for a underlining. And that’s enough because this isn’t a sewing blog.

Lastly I’m participating in a challenge all September. Read no fiction. That should give me more writing time, and more time to read the kind of serious books I get a lot of ideas from. I’ll let you know how that goes. It might help me refocus on what’s really important.

God bless you all and you have an amazing week

Writing Oomp for you in June + a podcast interview

Who needs a little motivation with their writing this coming month and wishes Camp NaNoWriMo was on already? I don’t want a huge goal, but I know I need something to keep me accountable. And Kendra was thinking it was happening in June. I made that mistake last year so I remembered last year. So I thought we could make up our own little group of people who want to write in June.

You don’t have to have a big goal to join in. Mine is 15,000. Kendra’s is 30,000. My little brother might be doing 12,000. You can do 10,000 or 100,000. (though I will think you are mad if you attempt the latter)

If you don’t know much about Camp NaNoWriMo it doesn’t matter. What we are doing here is having an an author chat and accountability group.

And if you think you might be working on multiple projects that should be okay. I’m not sure whether I’ll be writing Lady of Courage or rewriting Girl of the Rumours. Just make sure it’s something with an increasing word count.

We’re going to do it through a Google hangouts group and a spreadsheet to  keep track of everyone’s word counts. It’ll be rather like a cabin for Camp. I’ve even got graphs that look a little like Camp ones. And you don’t need a gmail address to do this.

If you see this any where in the  first half of June you’re welcome to join in. I’ve made this lovely Google form for you to sign up. I promise I won’t use your email for anything apart from this without your permission.

Speaking of Google Forms, I just got interviewed on The Very Serious Writing Show and talked about beta reading. And I mentioned using Google forms for signing up for beta reading and that I’d never made a Google form. And here one is. They’re as easy as I expected.

You can check out the interview at thatguywiththehat.com 

Tell me what you think. And tell me what your writing plans for the month are, or reading plans if that’s what you have.

Camp NaNo Recap, I’m writing a sad book

Hello everyone,
I hope you didn’t miss me too much last month. I actually enjoyed the break from blogging a little (Enough that this post is late), but I’m glad to be back again.
I just managed to reach my goal of 21,000, without too much hard work. Last July I had a goal of 18,000 and wrote 20,139. I wrote about one third by hand and just under a third was brainstorming and notes. Since I hadn’t had enough time to plan before hand, I allowed myself to count that.

I felt the writing was a little less smooth than it had been previously. Some days it was an effort to come up with something to write, but I know I didn’t actually spend as much time per day as I did last time. I love doing some of the writing on the computer. Those times happen when it’s evening and you’ve barely written anything, and when they do it’s much easy to catch up by typing. I haven’t given up on writing by hand though. I still love that too.

On the story development front, I really just got some important things fleshed out. I’ve still got a way to go though. I had been exploring the basic idea behind Girl of the Rumours for almost a year and a half when I started writing. Even then the story has changed dramatically throughout the first draft. This time I hadn’t thought about it a lot, until a month before starting.

I hadn’t thought about the mood of Lady of Courage much, but it certainly wasn’t supposed to be tragic. It still isn’t really, but I do plan to have some simply wonderful characters die. When I actually realized that I was going to make people very attached to a particular character and then rip them away I almost cried. But it has to happen for the story to go the way I intend at the moment. Of course since I haven’t actually written it yet, there is still a chance that they will survive, but it’s highly unlikely.

This month I’m planning to begin rewrites for Girl of the Rumours. I read thought most of the first draft on Monday. The beginning will need to be completely rewritten, because I’m changing a few characters and the way in which certain events happen. The layer parts however have some bits that I love and will be able to mostly reuse.

I’m not exactly sure how working on two books at the same time is going to work, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out. If any of you have some tips they would be very welcome.

How was your April? If you did Camp NaNo how did it go? I’d love to hear.

I Made a Mock Cover

Surprise post because I had something worth mentioning. 
On Monday I didn’t get as much written as I would have liked. I do have a reason though, I made a mock cover for Lady of Courage. It’s not really what I’d like for the finished book but I spent enough time fiddling with one main photo with a few extra bits.

And here it is.

And this is my original image.

I used ACDSee to change to colour and the fonts are Old English Text and Goudy Medieval.
And I did manage to catch up on my writing, so everything is good. Except I’ll have to keep going. Which is also good, because I do want the book finished.
I hope you all are going well with your writing or whatever else you do.

I’m going to Camp NaNo

Next month I’m doing camp NaNoWriMo. If you don’t know what that is you can visit the website: campnanowrimo.org, or read my explanation.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month (though I think it should be international). In the month of November people all over the world try to write a 50,000 word first draft. I have never done it. In the months of April and July there are smaller writing challenges where you set you own goal and these are called camps. if you wish you may be part of a small group of writers called a cabin that provide each other with accountability and encouragement.
I kicked off my first book by doing Camp NaNo July last year.My target word count was 18,000 and my final word count was 20,139. This time I’m aiming for 21,000 words, which is an average of 700 words per day.
Because of this I will be posting sporadically if at all next month. I’ll mostly likely put update on Facebook and Google+ every so often though and I’ll certainly tell you all about how I went at the end. If you like you can check on my progress here.
Aunt Valentina
I’m still working on my preparation for writing. The plot is thickening though, character connection and motivations are emerging and sometimes I feel like this story is going to be great. Yesterday I discovered that there has been a 5 year feud between tow of the realms and that Selvarrans are rather superstitious. Also Aunt Valentina is someone-else’s aunt as well. 
I don’t think I’ve introduced Aunt Valentina yet. She is Natalia’s uncles wife and one of those wealthy, overbearing, middle aged women, who seems to grumble about everything. Not that I’ve ever known of any people of that sort who weren’t fictional.
I hope you all have a lovely month, while I’m gone. Are any of you doing Camp NaNo?

© 2017 Reality Reflected

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑