Fire drakes!

I’m at 11730, which is just past day 7’s goal of 11666. It took four 15 minute word wars to get there! My hands are sore; not sure if it’s from the cold of the house or a touch of arthritis.

There’s a lot I could talk about when it comes to my books but I thought I might discuss something I need to research some more: fire drakes!

Continue reading “Fire drakes!”

Almost caught up.

Current word count is 7877. Not quite the 8333 listed for day 5, but nearly caught up. I have a bit over 2000 to reach 10K, which is Sunday’s goal.

Had a really well-attended write-in at a coffee house in Simpsonville. Thirteen people (other than myself) were there. One drawback: we couldn’t get online. This isn’t normally a problem but when you’re supposed to be having a virtual write-in for every physical one, you’re not sure just who you’re disappointing. I did get into the zone, even if my spelling and other writerly mechanics suffered mightily for it. When I have some time, I need to look into the physiology and anatomy of various reptiles (and a few amphibians). My fire drakes are based largely on our reptiles, along with some of the traditional dragon, wyvern, and wurm body types, on a world where no reptiles have existed up until now. I think this is going to be the most difficult of my three books simply because I’m throwing a lot more science and pseudo-science into it.

Hm. I’ll either talk about my newest character, Lucanthea, or I’ll talk about some of the social structures I’ve set up in this world.

Oh, I got the nicest NaNo mail from one of my Wrimos thanking me for my recent regional pep talk! Gave me the warm fuzzies, so it did!

Character excerpt–Alain di Wintersea

My current word count is right on track: 3494. The word count widget is in the right sidebar.

Just to prove that I don’t write just female characters, let me introduce you to Alain di Wintersea, from my novel, Knights of the Hex. He is majii but has what many would consider a low-key power: he can turn one inorganic thing into another. He is the current head of the Wintersea clan, known for the long line of majes that the Maj (the world’s spirit) has chosen. A scholar and historian, he is considered a good overseer to his region and quite a handsome, virile catch, even in middle-age and after two marriages–one failed, the other ending with his wife’s death. He is in love with Elise and he inadvertently sets into motion some of the plot’s events when he sends his son, Denys, to a disputed island that has been lost to the family’s records.

Continue reading “Character excerpt–Alain di Wintersea”

A little incentive…

Well, in my last installment, I talked about the book of short stories my mother-in-law had written and how I’d edited and had them printed up in an amazing quality book for her. (It really is amazing! Thanks, Blurb!) She was ever so happy about it and encouraged me to do the same for one of my own stories.

So, yesterday I got a letter in the mail from my father-in-law. Inside was a generous check and a cryptic line, “For services rendered”. Now, I hadn’t done what I did for money; I was all about the book being a labor of love. I didn’t know if my MIL knew what my FIL had done so when she called later, I mentioned it. Turns out she did and they want the money to go towards printing my own book.

To that end, I’ll be working on one of my older NaNo novels. Camp NaNoWriMo starts this week and I want to use that time to rewrite the story where needed. Someone said rewriting a draft from scratch is a really good way to iron out the bumps, so I may try it and see where it goes. I plan on posting excerpts along the way and I hope anyone interested in leaving feedback will register either here, with WordPress.com, or with Disqus. (If you already have a WordPress.com or Disqus account, I believe you can post replies to my site already.)

Now that this is up, I have even more incentive to get ‘er done!

Nearing the end

Well, I’m a hair over 45K in word count now. The story? I have no idea where it’s going. I have another murder, I killed another secondary character (brings the body count to three). Sherlock Holmes is a bad guy, so is Watson (unless he’s totally clueless in the Nigel Bruce fashion), Moriarty is at least Chaotic Neutral, and Henry Jekyll has yet to meet his Mr. Hyde. My main character’s boyfriend is having blood-tinged visions and the Door has broken down at least once so far. It’s been hard to word war when I haven’t even made a list of characters and am using the terms “whatshisname” or “whoever” to designate names I’ve forgotten.

On top of all that, I’ve missed the last two write-ins because on Monday I got the result from my x-ray: it’s Charcot foot again. Now I’m waiting for either the referral office at my doctor’s practice or a call from the orthopedic office. That won’t come until Monday at the earliest now so I am being very, very good at staying off my feet. Fortunately, Son #1 showed up earlier than expected and took over most of the Thanksgiving cooking. I was stressing out tremendously over the fact I really couldn’t do what was needed to prepare. But between his picking up the cooking slack and the Girl doing a yeoman’s job of cleaning, I was able to rest my feet and write in the evenings.

I think once NaNo is over I’m going to pick up the story I’ve been working on for so long and do a rewrite. Get it finished and in a proper first draft. If there’s anything I’ve learned from this story it’s how to focus on my main character. I tend toward ensemble writing, as if I’m writing a drama on TV, with little glimpses here and there of other characters but, on the whole, keeping a core group as the focus. That doesn’t exactly work all the time. I think a third-person limited is going to work better for me in the long run. We’ll see.

In any case, more words for the validation file and less for my general word count later today. Even though I can’t be at the write-in, I can join them virtually and continue slogging through this current project.

It’s almost the halfway point!

So far, I’m keeping just above the daily word count goal. The story has developed a romantic turn, to an extent, and when this is through, I’m going to have a helluva lot of research to do! Right now, I’m just pantsing along as usual. We’ll see if it actually turns into something I want to publish, here or elsewhere.

I did meet someone at our library write-in who is publishing his story to fictionpress as he writes it. Since he’s rated it as “M” (think a movie rating of “R”) it’s not getting the traffic he would like. Hopefully, when he’s finished, he’ll be able to reconsider the rating. One of his plot twists is hilarious: he made one of his characters a lycanthrope but a specific type of dog lycanthrope instead of the traditional wolf. So the character has dog traits. You can imagine what some of those are!

Thursday was also ML Appreciation Day. Some of my Wrimos chimed in to tell my co-ML and me how much they appreciated us. The staff always sings our praises in e-mails and on the ML’s private forum. But I actually got a gift from my daughter, the artist. She had been working on a series of avatars for me to use online, basically a picture of me (looking much better than I in real life!) enjoying some of my favorite fandoms.

Here’s the base picture:

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Here’s me as the Fourth Doctor, he being my Doctor (and having a scarf like his, too).

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Here’s me in four different Thunderbirds uniforms: the original series, the 2004 movie, the new Thunderbirds Are Go! show, and as Dr. Dianne Tracy, my RP character from International Rescue: The Next Phase.

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But what kept me chortling from the moment I saw it was my ML one!

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I shared it with all the other MLs in the chatnano ML room, and for the first time in 11 years, I changed my avatar on my NaNoWriMo profile! The Girl told me today that the shirt–which you can’t see very well here–is an amalgam of my navy ML signal shirt and a sketched skyline of Greenville, including the Liberty Bridge. So much fun!  There’s a Girl Genius one yet to come, but she says that will take some time to figure out because she has to change just about everything, including the glasses.

So, that’s the scoop as I wrap up week two. Write-ins tomorrow at M. Judson, Booksellers and the Augusta Road branch of our county library system. After that, I should be on the downhill slope to 50K!

Took a day off

I’ve been keeping up pretty well with the daily word count and am up to over 12K, which is higher than yesterday’s total. Today’s is 13,334, so I have a bit left to go to reach it. Mostly I’ve been reading and cooking and doing laundry while mulling over where the story is supposed to go next.

I’ve already had a character do something unexpected. For those writers who are planners, this doesn’t happen. Even those who aren’t necessarily planners might say the same. “You’re the writer! The characters do what you tell them to!” I haven’t found that to be the case, really. Sometimes a character busts loose and does something that totally blindsides me. It often leads to a new direction for the whole story.

Not so much in this case. Not only did it derail what little plot I’d planned, it also put my main character in a bind, so much so that to get her back on track, I had to kill off the obstreperous character. Which turned my sci-fi adventure into a murder mystery and a budding romance, to boot! (I do not write a lot of romance!)

It’s probably an issue with my main character, Phoebe. I made her a bit unpleasant and someone who deals mostly in logic and science when she needs to have a bit of imagination. Her job as a historic librarian (I probably have to look up the proper title for the things she does) has her dealing with books as objects and not repositories for stories. I can see her as someone who loved reading when she was younger, but her vision has narrowed due to overexposure. She deals with books all day; in her free time, she delves into history and science, things related to her field. I have to write her rekindling that love of reading for pleasure, too. So far, that has happened too quickly. I probably need to slow that down but still get her on the research team.

I also have the nagging feeling one of the researchers–the one who invites her out for a date–isn’t quite what he seems. That he might end up being the Big Bad. Not sure of this yet. I’ll see how it goes.

In any case, I should get back to writing. I’ll be adding this post to my word count, too–just because I can. 😉

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Yes, I am a winner!

Is the story finished? Do I ever finish a story during NaNo? Nope. Never. Not this time either.

However, should I finish writing, editing, revising, and betareading this one, it’ll show up here at Tikatu’s Corner first. It’s a Thunderbirds fanfic entitled: Guardian Angels, Inc.

NaNoWriMo 2013

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

Yes, I am an ML again. My co-ML had surgery just before the month began, so I’m the one juggling a lot of the meat-space stuff. We had a great turn out for our first write-in and hopefully I’ll have notice of the meeting place for our second one as our first choice for weeknights fell through.

I’m working on finishing my novel from the July Camp session. Using Scrivener, too, which is very helpful. I wish, however, it would give me a word count on a highlighted section.

One of the artisans has made me a truly impressive cover, and another is doing right by my female dwarf character in a computer render.

I’m going to try to put up a writing prompt every few days throughout the month in hopes of stimulating my writing. You all can join in if you like. I’ll try to make them as broad as possible for use in many different genres.

Today’s prompt: TEA.

Warm fuzzies

I received an email today from a reader who lives in Australia. She wanted to thank me for writing The White Winds and for being an influence on her own writing. She said…

…although you had no idea you were doing it, even just reading your stuff taught me the importance of making sure all your facts are right, that you spelling and editing is good, and that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you writing something as long as you stick to it and you’re somewhat proud of it at the end.

Her letter gave me the warm fuzzies. I’ve not felt too confident recently and her letter just gave me a needed boost. She also made me realize I have to finish a few things on my fan fiction list as well as edit what I’ve finished before I put it up on my new site.

Just wanted to share. I’m formulating a reply.