Finally finished the third chapter

I have been so behind on blogging and writing. Partially because I don’t have the deadline of NaNoWriMo hanging over my head but also because there’s been a lot of personal upheaval in my life–from my mom’s kidney failure to my dad’s current hospital stay to my recent fractured leg due to another nasty fall.

However, I’m determined to get this Flash fic done and off to a betareader before the end of the month. Why? The first session of Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up in April and I want to try it for a change.

I don’t usually find the April session very profitable for me.  In the past, I’ve had kids in school who needed ferrying around. This year, absolutely no one is in school and I’m laid up with this fracture for the next several weeks (the orthopedist may have something more to say about that tomorrow), so I should have lots of time to write, right? The problem is motivation–and having a project to work on. I could go back and finish some of my Thunderbirds works-in-progress, though it’s hard to pick up the threads of a story that’s been dormant for years. I could finish off one of my original stories. Or I could strain the brain and come up with something new–maybe out-and-out superheroes. I guess I’ll see what piques my interest when the time comes.

Tomorrow, onto chapter 4 (and final).

A bit of site housekeeping news.

After a bit of finagling, I’ve managed to make my domain name, tikatu.com, redirect here without, well, the redirect. So, no more starting out on my old homepage; this WordPress build is now the official homepage for my domain. If you have my site bookmarked, you might want to update that.

Still working on my fanfic when I have the time and energy. I’m on Chapter 3, still, and need a bit more dialogue before I move on to Chapter 4. I don’t think the finished story will be 10K words but you never know with me.

Oy, nearly a month since my last post!

Not good! But, other than the holidays, I do have some reasons for the delays.

First, we’ve added a new computer to the household. My daughter now has a custom-built rig with a full-sized chassis and a very powerful graphics card. It’s taken quite some time to get it all together and running; for the past couple of weeks, she’s had it set up on at 6′ table in the living room while she finished the final touches of paint in her room and transferred materials from her old rig to the new one. (She has also taken advantage of the router to plug in her rigs directly for downloading purposes.) For her to move the new rig into her bedroom, we had to lay ethernet cable through a hole in the ceiling to her room–and to the dining room, where my mini-tower was moved. Why? I inherited her old rig and spent a few days wrangling that into shape. My husband now has my old computer; it still works and runs many of the games he likes to play. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a wireless card. So, the router (located on a shelf in my little office cubby) now has three computers directly linked to it and the ceiling above my desk has a hole in it.

The things we sacrifice for technology…

With my new-to-me rig, came the need for a new, ergonomic keyboard and mouse. My daughter was appalled at the way I type and suggested I really needed the keyboard. It also turned out my webcam was incompatible with Windows 10 so I got a new one of those as well. Now, if I could only get my filing system down to the basic folders I had before and remove my daughter’s email off the system, I’d be good.

In any case, I have written a little more on “Not Dead Yet”. Chapter Two is pretty much complete and I’m moving on to Chapter Three. No more than four chapters planned for this one, I think, though I have been wrong before. I also need to poke my beta on the fanfic chapters I sent her back in November so I can fix them up and post.

It’s hard for me to write without the external pressure of NaNoWriMo but if I want to actually publish a book, this is what I need to do. Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

I wrote some today…

But cleaning the house–and trying to get some decent sleep–has taken over for the past couple of weeks.

It might look like I’m not making progress but I am. My main problem (which happens during Camp NaNoWriMo) is that my inner editor is out of the box and slowing me down. Not only that, I’m trying to decide where this particular story takes place in the canon of The Flash TV show. I was always shooting for season 2 but I have to decide how Cisco Ramon deals with his powers. If he is going with them and has his visor, then Jay Garrick is in the lives of Team Flash already. It’ll take some tweaking to get it right. I’m bingeing on the IMDb synopses and quotes to refresh my memory.

Maybe I should have asked for season 2 for Christmas…

Okay, I’ve had a week off.

And I’ve written nothing in that time other than the occasional whine on Facebook. I chalk this up to holiday preparations and the exhaustion following another NaNoWriMo.

I intend to rectify this starting today. My target is the little fanfic I started for The Flash. I figure it’ll be no more than six chapters. I hope it will be anyway; I’m horrible at guessing how long any story will be. Since I can’t post word counts to the NaNoWriMo site, I’m going to look for a plugin that will do the same thing here. So, watch the right-hand column; if I find a plugin, that’s where it will go.

The fic will be posted here first once it goes through beta. So, look for it!

At 9:01PM 11/29/16

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

Word count was 50017 to validate. I added another 100 or so words after midnight to get the “Update your word count for 30 days” badge.

One more write-in tomorrow night. I think I may work on my fanfic for The Flash fandom, just for a change of pace. Then the Thank God It’s Over (TGIO) party on Saturday and NaNoWriMo 2016 will be in the can.

What kind of writer am I?

Well, according to NaNoWriMo, I’m a “pantser” which means I write with little to no preparation, research, outlining, etc. This may work against me; when push comes to shove I don’t always know what to write next. It works for me in that I can take my story in whatever direction I choose without stressing over not following my outline. (Believe me, if I went through all the trouble of writing an outline, I would stress over not following it to the last subpoint.)

I’m definitely a character-oriented writer. It’s probably because of my years of writing fan fiction–in fan fiction, your world is ready-made and keeping characters “in character” is the test of a good writer. My original characters tend to develop over the course of a story. I don’t start out with a character template or list of questions to answer as I create them. They also are known for hijacking the plot and taking it in an entirely different direction than I anticipate. A good example of this is last year’s NaNo novel, The Door to Anywhere. I started with a very staid, almost unemotional character as my protagonist. She gets into the plot and turned around emotionally. Then the whole thing developed into a Sherlock Holmes mirror-verse fan fiction! Not what I intended at all! My 2014 NaNo novel, Guardian Angels, Inc., began as a sci-fi novel with a female protagonist and morphed into a Thunderbirds fan fiction using a minor canon male character as the new hero!

Though I prefer writing third-person omniscient point of view, lately I’ve been trying to write third-person limited; as narrator, I present the experiences and inner thoughts of my protagonist and no one else. A small fan fiction I’m working on for The Flash fandom is written in first-person perspective, which means putting myself firmly in my character’s shoes, letting her tell her own story. It’s not something I’ve done before to this extent. (I probably should finish it in the next week or so; it shouldn’t take too long…)

I also tend to write in scenes, like bits and pieces of a movie or TV show. It helps sometimes because if I get stuck on one scene, I can go on to write another and come back to the unfinished bit later on. However, bridging the gaps between those scenes is sometimes a problem.  Scrivener, the writing software I use, is good for writing in scenes. You can move them up and down if you need to and much more. (I got Scrivener for half-price when I finished Camp NaNoWriMo a few years ago. Worth every penny!)

So, yeah, I write character-driven stories. World building is something I’m still working at; my planet of Majere is still under construction in many respects. And I am not immune to having my characters take a plot in an entirely unexpected direction.

Tomorrow, I might introduce you to a couple of my Majere world characters and give you a taste of their personalities.

Lo, a fic recommendation!

I’m not often given to recommending stories, though I’m more likely to recommend a fan fiction these days more than anything else. This is one of those times.

The author uploaded the last chapter tonight and, wow! What a twist! It came totally out of left field–though someone more astute than I am might have seen it coming.

Knowledge of the property, Kate Ashwin’s fun webcomic, Widdershins, is helpful but you’re good if you only read the first book. You can read it from the beginning here or here.

Without further ado, I give you…

The Girl Who Wasn’t There (24321 words) by Sturzkampf
Chapters: 6/6
Fandom: Widdershins (Webcomic)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Nicola Barber, Original Characters, Harriet Barber, Sidney Malik, Gren (Widdershins), Florence de Montfort
Additional Tags: Mental Health Issues, Mental Institutions
Summary:

As I was coming down the stair

I met the girl who wasn’t there

Fall is here, or is it?

That’s what I keep asking myself every time I go outside. Yes, the calendar says, “Autumn!” My outdoor thermometer says, “Summer!”

One good thing about autumn is National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). Jo, my co-Municipal Liaison (read regional volunteer), and I will be making plans and setting dates for the various write-ins and parties that go with “30 Days of Literary Abandon!” This year we have four branches of the Greenville County Library System offering our members space to write as well as plot-planning events before NaNoWriMo even starts. Last year it was three branches; next year, who knows? I’m certainly looking forward to November, even if I don’t have an idea for a new novel. Yet.

However, that gives me just a smidge over a month to get some of my older writing finished. I’ve already sent a chapter of Moonstrike! off to my betareader, and I found a partial chapter from Overtures lurking in my works-in-progress file. To help me with the latter story, I may start editing the first novel in my “Friends of the Family” story arc and post it along with posting more chapters of The White Winds. (Chapter 15 went up tonight; I’ll slap it up at Archive of Our Own in a few days.)

All of this would be easier if our house was in some vague semblance of order from a number of projects (including a full bathroom remodel) and if I hadn’t broken a rib from my second fall in as many weeks. My doctor said no driving while it heals and my kids are talking about Mom-proofing the house. My poor husband is really feeling the pressure, I’m afraid.

More later as I work on edits and wait for the temperatures to fall. I really do love autumn; I just need it to stop feeling like summer!

Camp NaNoWriMo has begun!

For me, anyway. I find the July session a lot less stressful than April’s; there’s not as much going on, though my husband works long hours as his co-workers take their vacations.

My word count goal is 30K, which averages out to 968 words a day. Very attainable, I think. My main project is a sequel to The White Winds, one I’ve been chewing on for some time. Sneaking in some editing on completed or in-progress projects and adding to my fantasy novel are also on my plate as time permits.

First, however, thanks to a recent incident, I’ve nearly finished a sequel to this. I’ll post it here when it’s finished and beta’d.

In other news, I met with programming coordinators from three of our county’s branch libraries. They are really excited about including NaNoWriMo in their programs this coming fall. I’m excited about being included! This may be the jump-start our region needs to keep growing.