Sunday, December 23, 2012

X-Mas Temp Post

The Rogue's Scribe Weekly Update will be postponed due to Christmas Chaos. I'll see you guys shortly! To make sure you don't miss this week's later update you can follow this blog or me on twitter: @LycoRogue

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas is Coming Up Quick

This week was mostly spent socializing and working on my Christmas gifts. Monday was the normal everyone-invades get-together. CelestialTyrant crashed at our place until Wednesday, and so Tuesday was spent socializing with him and working on Hubby’s gift while he was at work. Wednesday was more work on Hubby’s gift, and then we all hit up the mall to do some Christmas shopping.

Never bring three men to a Michael’s craft store if they’re ANYTHING like my friends! They were like kids the whole time. :D

Thursday was spent working on the rest of the Christmas gifts since Hubby was home the whole time. Friday was a long work day for both of us, and then there was more Christmas gift making. Saturday was the same as Friday. This evening I forewent sleeping while Hubby was at work so I could FINALLY get back to his gift. I honestly don’t know if it will be done in time.

Then, when I wasn’t crocheting I was looking up crochet patterns…. I have about 70 queued up for me to do!

However, poor Omnibladestrike has been so patient with me that I made sure to read his story while I was at work. I finally finished and sent him my edits this week – roughly a month after he posted the chapter on DeviantArt. You guys should check it out. Yes, there are some rough patches that I pointed out to him, but his revision is so much better than his past attempts. I think he’s finally finding his voice and rhythm with his writing. The biggest issue I still have is that the main character Mekonraiba doesn’t seem to have a consistent voice. I don’t know if he has Mekon’s voice in his head. It takes some time to build that though. That is, unless you’re Delaroux or DarkAngel1326, and then you have the characters yelling in your head.

Speaking of which, I wonder how her story is coming along… now that she’s going to have a bit more free time I wonder if she’ll start backup on Of Blood and Honor

Anyway, back to me.

Yes, I didn’t continue with my story. I didn’t even continue with the music video I’m working on with ChibiSunnie. At this point I think I won’t be getting anywhere near either of those projects until next month or even February; depending on how a major issue in my life pans out.

However, I did get a lovely letter from my uncle the other day.

When Hubby and I went to the extended family Thanksgiving gathering last month my uncle came up to me to ask about my writing progress. He had been following my NaNo-themed Facebook status updates and was genuinely curious on both my story and my writing in general. We talked about both my NaNo story and my Hey Arnold fanfictions. He seemed greatly excited for me and expressed interest in reading my works.

He then proudly proclaimed that he was a published author. A running LinkedIn group he is a member of wanted to write a collaborative book about the hobby. Since my uncle had already written some articles for Helium.com, he rewrote the articles as a coherent chapter about motivation and submitted it to the group. They loved his work and included the chapter in the completed book. You can purchase the book as both a paperback and an ebook viaAmazon.com.

How does this all relate to that letter I received this week? Well, when I got home from the Thanksgiving vacation I made sure to send him an email that had links to my Fanfiction profile and my NaNo story specifically. I then told him that I’d love to read his chapter as well. It’s quite exciting to have a published author in the family.

My uncle did one better. He sent me a copy of the book along with the aforementioned letter. He hadn’t read my Hey Arnold stories, but he did read my NaNo story and had the following to say about it:

 UNCLE: “Well, I finally got to read your story and it is good – very good! I hope you get a chance to finish it sometime soon. I’m looking forward to the completed story….The writing is very fluid, detailed, and kept my interest. And I don’t consider myself a fantasy, sci-fi, or comic book guy. I really see very few flaws in this ‘rough draft,’ so I would say you have a very promising future in writing. Good luck with this story and the other projects you were working on.”

Thank you so much for the encouragement, Uncle! It may be a while before I get back to Connor and Natalie, but I will continue their story.

Actually, I was thinking of putting “The Race For Destiny” on hold until I finish fully realizing Amara’s world and then place Connor and Natalie there. It will make the story a little less “Fable” and a little more “D&D” which is sort of a neutral zone when it comes to “fanfic” versus “original fantasy”. We’ll see how the story develops over the years.

Chibi also sent me a review/beta-edit of my story thus far. Unfortunately, I took NaNo’s “Don’t edit, just write” a little too much to heart. Apparently there was a huge block of text that I completely duplicated in one of the later chapters and I didn’t even notice. I don’t even know how I managed to do that! So I actually wrote 300 words less than I thought I did! Dang it!

She also pointed out a few other things that I’ll have to go back and tweak once I actually have the time to go back and edit. I do want to comment on a re-occurring statement that Chibi made. Paraphrasing it was “I had to chuckle at the cheesiness of…” I know! I know! There are some super cheesy moments in this story, but most of those cheesy names/moments are actually the scenes/names I completely swiped from the game Fable. “Chamber of Fate” is the actual name of the room where the hero graduates from the Heroes Guild as well as the room where the final boss battle takes place. Some of the cheesiness of Connor’s reaction to the Chamber of Fate relates heavily on the fact that it’s supposed to be a central location of major events in his life. Further in to the story that would be better explained, but if the reader is chuckling prior to these reveals perhaps I need to re-work how Connor acts… :P

Well, unless that Mayan Apocalypse turns out to be true, I’ll catch everyone next week! :D 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Being Creative Without Writing

After the winners were announced for the Halloween themed contest, a comment was made that there would be a Christmas themed contest as well. Here we are, a week in to December, two weeks from Christmas, and there has been no further mention of the contest. I guess the idea was dropped.

This means December is a nice break from the frantic writing I did last month. As of yet I haven’t written another word for any sort of fiction. It’s a nice break, but it’s also a little sad that things are still on hold. This doesn’t mean I haven’t been creative, however, it just means it is through different mediums.

First up, ChibiSunnie and I are going to be working on a fan video together. Ever since I first heard the song “One More Night” by Maroon 5 I’ve had this nagging idea that it’s a perfect song for Curly and Rhonda. The problem though is that the song is too “mature” to use clips from the show. It’s almost mandatory to use images of Curly and Rhonda while they’re in their 20s. Alas, there are no such clips aside from a brief glimpse of Adult Rhonda in the episode “Married”. I thought I’d be able to put the thoughts of the music video out of my head since it’s impossible to piece it together. I thought I would maybe turn the idea in to a story instead. After all, that is how What Is Truly Meant To Be started out – an idea for a music video that I couldn’t make, so I wrote the first chapter instead. I then continued the idea so that each chapter is now basically a music video in prose form.

Yet, I still couldn’t get the music video out of my head whenever I heard the song. In fact, the video slowly developed more and more. That’s when Chibi volunteered to help me out with this task. She’d draw images that fit to the shots I had in my head, and then I’d edit them together as an animatic. How could I turn down this offer? Thing is, the offer came during my writing frenzy, so December was the first time I was able to actually start seriously thinking about it.

I’m maybe half way through the song, writing out detailed notes in the way of prose so Chibi can “see” the footage that’s in my head and then she can decide on the image(s) she wants to draw to fit. I already have a pencil sketch storyboard from Chibi. We’re booking through this project! However, the amount of time it will take for her to draw everything out and then the time needed for me to edit it all together; I’m assuming we won’t premier the video until the summer. We’ll see.

Anyway, the idea is to have our video play out sort of like this Maroon 5 animatic video for "Payphone":
Sorry, this video is the original lyrics, not the clean radio edit... :-/

There’s more creativity this month than just that. Namely my Christmas gifts. Hubby and I have so little expendable cash; even $5 for a gift feels like a lot to us once multiplied by the amount of people we want to give gifts to. I thought we weren’t going to be able to give anyone anything, but then I found my tote of yarn. When I say tote, I mean one of those 35 gallon totes overstuffed with spools of yarn. For a little while about four years back I was addicted to buying spools of yarn simply because I liked the color. After finding the tote I decided I would crochet gifts for Christmas. It won’t cost anything besides my time.

Oh boy, will it take time! I’m not done with my first craft yet and I’ve already spent about fourteen hours on it. Basically, while Hubby is playing Fable III or while we’re watching our Prime Time shows I’m on the couch crocheting. I’m getting so stiff, and the craft I’m working on now isn’t coming out quite how I had planned. But hopefully the labors of love will be recognized. I know that one of my favorite childhood Christmases was the one where my parents made all of our gifts due to a similar problem Hubby and I are in this year.

All of this isn’t to say that I’m not writing this month. The likelihood of me doing any significant writing is slim, but it’s not impossible. I did open up chapter 8 to reread what I’ve written so far, as well as tweak a thing or two so it’s at least edited and ready. While I’m on break at work this month I might manage a little more of the chapter in 15min spurts.

I also have had Omnibladestrike’s latest chapter sitting in my email for about two or three weeks now. He patiently waited for me to finish up NaNo, but now the poor guy is on hold because of the above projects. I’ll most likely edit his story first before continuing on my own chapter, so I’ll keep you guys posted on that.
Before I leave, though, I want to share one more thing in regards to my story. Early this week Chibi finished off yet another piece of fanart! She skipped over chapter 4 because she was just too excited about drawing this scene. I absolutely love the fanart she’s done, and she’s got plenty more planned! 
The best part? Check out that redhead by Patty on the left side. Does she look familiar? I’ll give you a hint:
Yup! Chibi totally included me in the crowd! So awesome!

CHIBI, HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT YOU ARE TOTAL AWESOME SAUCE!? CUZ YOU ARE!!! :D

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Finishing NaNo!


First thing's first:

NOVEMBER 25TH – SUNDAY
The Thanksgiving vacation is now over. We were all packed up and ready to head out the door by noon. The extent of my writing time was used to finish up my blog post for last week before our drive home.
The drive itself was a bit chaotic. My sister followed me up in her car; with her dog driving her insane the whole way. The drive is already about 4hrs long, but with the holiday traffic we were stuck in stop-and-go whenever we got near a city. Plus, about an hour from the house my sister’s speed sensor or whatever broke on her car and she was terrified she had done something to her transmission. So I had to calm my sister, tag team between her and my mom to figure out what we should do, and then drove below the speed limit with our hazards on the rest of the way. The full trip took about six hours to complete.
I then entertained my sister to get her mind off her car, and then I unpacked. There was no way I was going to write anything. Sheesh!

NOVEMBER 26TH – MONDAY
Day two of entertaining my sister. I talked her in to taking her car to my mechanic and spent the rest of the day with Hubby, his BFF, and celestialTyrant. Sis threw a mini-party with snacks and pigs-in-a-blanket. It was fun chaos to have everyone over, but chaos also means yet again not having any time to write. Sugar! :-P

NOVEMBER 27TH – TUESDAY
So the mechanic called my sister to let her know that her speed sensor has indeed died, but as long as she doesn't push her car she should be able to use her GPS to track her speed and make it home safe. She can then get the sensor replaced by the dealership itself. Happy to have her car back, we took a trip to Walmart to pick up a few things so she could throw a second mini-party to celebrate her car being fine and CT being able to visit a second day in a row. Aaaaaaaaand then we get in our cars to drive home.... and her car wouldn't properly shift without the sensor. Terrified that she'd blow her transmission, we again dropped the car off at the mechanic's and once again I had to deal with an overly emotional sister. Thankfully, CT really helped calm her down.
Sis also got a call from the mechanic later in the day. He could get a new sensor for her. He'd bump her in front of all of his other customers so he could make sure her car was fixed by 2pm tomorrow so she could make it home in time to get back to work first thing Thursday.
With all the extra chaos, yet another writing-free day.... :-P

NOVEMBER 28TH – WEDNESDAY
Continuing the November theme of being grateful, I have to have list some things I've been thankful for this week.
1 - CT being able to visit for the third day in a row. His visits really helped calm my sister down.
2 - The mechanic doing everything he could to make sure my sister could make it home safe - and never once charged her! I'll talk more about that in a moment.
3 - Sis being able to visit in the first place! Yay!
4 - BEING ABLE TO WRITE AGAIN after a week away from the computer.
Let's start with the car saga. Sis gets a call first thing in the morning to find out that the mechanic tried calling everywhere and couldn't get the sensor, so YET AGAIN sister is a wreck wondering how she was making it home. So we started off the day with her going BACK to the mechanic so he could teach her how to drive an automatic car like it's a standard to make sure it shifts. After CT calmed her and she had one last mini panic attack right as she left she managed to make it home with no trouble at all.
But when it comes to writing, well I got an hour in first thing in the morning. I dropped Hubby off at work and then wrote while waiting for Sis to wake up. I then wrote for another hour after Sis went home. Not terribly too much, but it was better than nothing!

NOVEMBER 29TH – THURSDAY
Blockaded myself in my room for a few hours to try to catch up on my writing. I wanted to at least finish off my chapter so I had one for today's update. I got an amazing 2600+ words written! Hazzah for basil pesto hummus!!!!!

NOVEMBER 30TH – FRIDAY
The last day of NaNo. With some encouragement from Ali Luke I decided to try for half-NaNo; 25000 words. After yesterday's mad dash I only need 1400. My thing though is that I had a major issue with my characters just doing their own thing. For instance, Connor flipping out unnecessarily and apparently disappearing for a month. Now I needed to figure out how to get him back in to the story. :-P Also, I needed to figure out how Natalie discovers that she can see the jewel shards. Both issues completely halted my creativity. As of 9pm I still hadn't written anything!
After a mini-break down I blockaded myself in our room with more hummus. I was slowly word counting after each chapter. It was almost an hour of "write a paragraph, see if it's enough, than write another paragraph, see if THAT is enough, etc." I finally hit 25010, but then realized I only needed about 200 more words to hit my 1667 daily word count. After 1400 words 200 shouldn't be too much more to write. I then wrote 1730 words by the end of the day, only to discover that if I wrote 20 more I would be able to "roll over" the extra words to finish off one of the days where I only needed 30-some words to hit the 1667 daily count. By the time I finished the day it was about 11pm - when I have to go to work at 7am tomorrow - and 25,360 words in my novel!
I'm no where even STARTED in the main portion of my plot, and I only wrote on 15 days of the year. So if I had written daily I probably COULD have hit the 50,000 words and get about 1/2 way through my tale. It will be a while before I can go back to finish the story, but I'll let everyone know when I go back.
My goal is to convert everything in to a script so it's easier for me to organize my thoughts. Most of my words were description of the world of Gyateara and the magic used - which works with NaNo's goal to write as much as possible, but doesn't work for a polished story. With the script I could streamline and then switch back to prose once I have everything - including character personalities - figured out.
I also want to read through Rick Riordan's "Heroes of Olympus" series as well as Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle in order to get a better idea of how to describe the world/magic of Gyateara.
Before I work on finishing this story, however, I have the following writing goals:
1 - Supposedly there will be another Hey Arnold writing contest, this time with a Christmas theme, so I'll have to start thinking about what I want to write for that.
2 - I want to get back to working on What Is Truly Meant To Be after not updating in MONTHS.
3 - I want to see if I can get back to the second half of the July Daily Challenges.
4 - ChibiSunnie and I want to get back to working on our fanscript for The Jungle Movie.
We'll see how long it takes to get back to this story.....

DECEMBER 1ST – SATURDAY
I took a writing break! 'Nuff said!

DECEMBER 2ND – SUNDAY
As mentioned at the top of this post: IT'S THE HUBBY'S BIRTHDAY!
With all the other writing - and lack of writing ability - this week I wasn't able to write this blog post prior to today, which is why it's late.... So, so late....

Oh well, I'm off to celebrate Hubby's birthday before I have to go to work at 3:30. In the meantime, enjoy the TWO chapters I wrote this week! Go me!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Week Was A Bust

NOVEMBER 18TH – SUNDAY
I managed to plow through another 300+ words in the break room at work tonight! Yes, it’s not terribly impressive to write 300 words in 15 minutes, but it’s something, and it’s faster than I have been writing lately. Actually, the characters sort of took over this time and I went in to an all-out word sprint! I actually was almost late getting back from break because of it. Maybe it was the basil pesto hummus I was eating. :-D
Anyway, I discovered two things about my characters. The first being that Connor has one heck of an anger problem. I’ll have to wrangle that in during the re-write. I mean, he’s allowed to have issues given his background, but I didn’t expect him to go off on the Guildmaster like he did – and he went off on poor Natalie too. Poor girl. Speaking of Natalie, I also discovered that I totally forgot a key component I wanted for her personality. Therefore, she’d probably react way different than she has been. Gah…. Whoops.

NOVEMBER 19TH – MONDAY
I managed to finish off chapter 5! Actually, after last night’s word sprint I only needed another 100 words or so. Well, with all the Thanksgiving chaos of this week it’s good to know that my secondary goal of posting a new chapter every week is still going strong. I just wish I could keep up the weekly update momentum when I switch back over to my Hey Arnold story. It’s doubtful though since the Hey Arnold chapters are about 3x the size of the ones for this NaNo story. However, perhaps I can finally get in to that monthly update rhythm I always wanted to accomplish with this story.
Anyway, back to NaNo.
I chewed through another thousand-some words in the break room first thing this morning. I brought Hubby in to work an hour before my shift started, so I just stuck around and typed. Not only did I finish the most recent chapter – as I just stated – but I got a nice chunk of today’s writing done. Sadly, I still ended up about 500 words shy for the day. Just add them to the pile I guess.
See, I had people talking to me in the break room when I was on my actual break during my shift, so I didn’t get any writing done then. When I came home I discovered that Cyhyr and her boyfriend were finally visiting again! We haven’t seen them in like a month! So I hung out with them for a little while, Cyhyr Tumblred with me. Then, celestialTyrant showed up. We were supposed to all go out to eat, but since CT and Cyhyr’s boyfriend haven’t seen each other in ages they decided to play a game or two of Magic.
By the time all that chaos ended, Cyhyr and her boyfriend left to get food and head home, and CT was finally ready for us to eat it was past 9pm! I NEVER eat dinner that late! Plus, I had been hungry for over five hours, but kept avoiding eating anything because we were supposed to go out “any minute now”.
So CT insists we all pile in to his car as we say “screw it” to our original plans of hitting up the Chinese buffet and just go to Taco Bell. Then CT gets a flat. For the second time in about as many months he has a problem with one of his tires going flat due to a faulty valve stem. Plus the lugnuts are on too tight for anyone to loosen them enough for CT to put his donut on. Which means, in the cold, perhaps a 1/4mile from my house – which isn’t so bad except it’s a long steep hill leading back home – we now have to walk back to my house so we can drive to a local store, and buy an air compressor so CT can fill his tire enough to get him to an auto shop to get his tire fixed. We walked the few yards to the McDonald’s – because we were just too hungry at that point – bought our food, and then I noticed that I was going to be late getting back to watch Castle. This is the one show I NEVER miss a new airing! So instead of eating in the McDonald’s to warm up, we practically sprint back to the house so I can eat and watch my show.
Good thing CT was going to be crashing at our place until Wednesday anyway.

NOVEMBER 20TH – TUESDAY
While Hubby and I were at work CT hit up my in-laws to help him get his car mended. So now he’s all set. He also knew how stressed I’ve been about how disastrous our house is, so he offered to help clean. I’m still incredibly embarrassed that anyone even HAD to offer, let alone actually following through with it. However, I’m super grateful for his help and the fact that he’d volunteer in the first place.
He did simple things while we were gone, like cleaning up all of the Magic cards still all over the table from the night before. Then, when I got home at about 1:00 I started to wash the massive pile of dishes – I’m not joking when I say almost every dish we own was in the sink – while I instructed CT on what other elements of the house needed to be organized.
We did end up hitting up that Chinese buffet after picking Hubby up from work at 5, but the rest of the day was cleaning some more. The only writing I accomplished was a little shy of 200 words during my break.

NOVEMBER 21ST – WEDNESDAY
More massive cleaning and work. My hands are disasters from being in water all the time, so CT offered to finish off the last of the dishes while I finished organizing the stuff that he would have no clue where to put away – even I didn’t know where to put it.
We got the house actually looking presentable by the time the in-laws made it to the house. Go us! We had an…. interesting…. dinner. All-in-all it was a fantastic day. Not one for writing though.

NOVEMBER 22ND – THURSDAY
Thanksgiving!
I went to work while Hubby and his mother cleaned up after last night’s dinner. Then Hubby did the packing. I got home, showered, ate, and then we sprinted out the door. Made it to my mom’s at about 8pm. We ate the left overs of the Thanksgiving dinner Mom and Sis made. We watched some TV as we bonded. And then we crashed.
Worse part is that I completely forgot to grab my laptop when I went in to work. I was going to just use some paper I left in the break room, but of course I also forgot my pen! *sigh* So much for writing even at work.

NOVEMBER 23RD – FRIDAY
As predicted, I spent the entire day with my husband, mom, and sister. We hit up Walmart – not for Black Friday shopping, we just needed lights – and then we decorated the house. We cooked more food to add to yesterday’s leftovers and had a “proper” Thanksgiving dinner while watching a movie. I attempted to write, but every time I got distracted.

NOVEMBER 24TH – SATURDAY
Couldn’t sleep too well. My old bed was too small for both of us. So at about 6:30 I gave up and just went in to the living room to write. I wanted to quickly catch up on these blog updates since I haven’t even taken the time to do that over the past few days. I then discovered that the word document that I use to periodically update throughout the week ended up virtually blank! Nothing I’ve written since Sunday was in the document! Sooooo my early morning writing turned in to re-writing everything you read up to this point. Awesome.
So instead of my morning being spent on NaNo it was spent on this blog update... whoops.
The rest of the day was spent at the family gathering, and so there was no writing done yet again.

NOVEMBER 25TH – SUNDAY
Because of the mini-vacation we didn't need to wake up at 1am to drop Hubby off at work! Whoot! So I got to sleep, and pseudo sleep in. The whole family once again hung out while I finished up this post and updated my NaNo story. Plus now my sister is following us up and spending three days with us at our place before she starts up her 7-days-a-week job leading up to Christmas. So it's perfectly clear that I'm not getting much farther in my story, but it was a valiant effort I guess. Sure, the story won't even be getting started really, but perhaps I'll have one last chapter update next week.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Oh No! NaNo's Starting To Wind Down

NOVEMBER 11TH – SUNDAY
So I posted my last update super late again, but this time it wasn’t because I was slacking on my posting of the chapter. I had both of my new chapters up at about 11am. This meant I had an hour to post my weekly update here. That should be plenty of time for normal bloggers. Not so much for me since I’m so long-winded. However, since I’ve been writing these diary entries at the end of each day all I had to do was copy from Word and paste here on Blogger.
And then all hell broke loose.
Ever since January’s start of the weekly updates and new formatting I’ve instituted, I’ve been slowly learning HTML code. For almost a month now I’ve been writing only exclusively in HTML because it was easier and faster to write the code ahead of time; instead of going back through and finding all the places to add all my links and all of those yellow underlines so you get more info when hovering over with your mouse. For about a month this tactic worked. I thought I was slowly mastering HTML.
Boy, was I ever wrong! This past week when I tried posting everything I wrote at least half of it got erased because some line in one of the codes was off, and everything written after that bad code got deleted. I battled for almost four hours – Hubby sleepily rubbing my back to help calm me – before finally getting the post up. Didn’t even bother announcing via twitter or my Facebook account. I was too ticked and I didn’t have time. I was already running late for work.
By the time I got home, celestialTyrant was hanging out with Hubby and we stayed up until 11pm playing Super Mario Bros. Wii. So, the day that is normally fantastic for my writing availability ends up being a day I crash my writing streak. *sigh*

NOVEMBER 12TH – MONDAY
Hubby coerced me in to watching Highschool of the Dead before work. So there goes three-some hours I watched TV instead of writing. I then did my shift, which ended up being longer than it’s supposed to be because no one else took out trash the entire work day and so the trash bags were piled up higher than the container could handle, and the bags were stuffed heavier than they could handle, so I’m doing a balancing act trying to get these bags to the back. Meanwhile, at least two bags ripped on me when I tried to lift them. Awesome.
By the time I got home all I wanted was a shower, late night dinner, and watch my Monday night shows.
Therefore, I go from a super-awesome writing streak to yet again going days without writing. I need to seriously tweak some things in my life if I’m going to get a proper writing rhythm down.

NOVEMBER 13TH – TUESDAY
After wasting my Monday evening checking in on Facebook and DeviantArt in search for the winners of the Hey Arnold Halloween contest, I started off the day nervously checking once more.
Sadly, as predicted – especially catching all those stupid typos – I didn’t even place. I’m hoping to one day read all the other entrants in the contest, since I’ve now seen all the pictures entered. Sadly, ChibiSunnie didn’t place with her picture, which I thought showed so much more attention to detail and creativity than any of the other drawings – no offense to the other contestants. However, the winner and runner up were very well executed in their own right. I think they demonstrated more mastery over the art than Chibi – cleaner; more polished.
Here’s the runner up:
And here’s the winner: 
And here’s a refresher on what Chibi’s looks like:
Although Chibi didn’t place with her picture, she still took SECOND PLACE WITH HER STORY! XD Hazzah!
For a girl who claimed she couldn’t write prose; for a girl who never wrote prose outside of school work; for a girl who never wrote any fanfiction before; for that girl to get second place WHEN I DIDN’T PLACE AT ALL…. now THAT is saying something! And it should be saying it pretty loud and clear to all of you self-doubting writers.
NEVER DOUBT YOUR SKILL TO TELL A COMPELLING STORY!!!! 
You are always going to be your worst critique and doubt how good you are. However, you’ll never truly know until you get those words out there and see how people react to it.
SO STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF YOU SILLY PEOPLE!
Also… this story holds the lesson of
“LISTEN TO ME WHEN I TELL YOU THAT YOU’RE GOOD, DANG IT!” :-D
Yes, that goes for ALL my writers – as well as my readers here that might also write, but haven’t let me know so I could read their works. *hint, hint*
But there’s also a flipside to this lesson. And that is how to bounce back from rejection.
Yes, I was “graded” by “my peers” – the administrators of the Save The Jungle Movie Hey Arnold group – and not a publisher or professional editor. Yes, my career didn’t sink or swim with this contest. Yes, my story wouldn’t be “otherwise published” or “made money” if I had won. And finally, No, Craig Bartlett – the show’s creator – was not a “secret guest judge” for the contest and therefore my lack of winning was not him telling me that I suck at writing episodic-style stories. So, aside from not getting my name announced and not receiving the autographed book – which I would have given to Chibi anyway if we actually did collab on her gourd scarecrow story – nothing changed in my world.
But not winning still stings. Knowing that at least two other stories were better than mine – when I only know of five submitted stories total, including mine – is a bitter taste. Although having my name announced as a winner isn’t a groundbreaking achievement, it still could have been. My name could have finally been out there as a fanfic writer. I could have actually gotten more of a following. And there’s that nagging “what could I have done better if I had time to proofread” question – as well as the “should I have gone with one of the seven other ideas bouncing in my head” quandary.
I’ll admit that I tried to psych myself up. I tried to tell myself to just focus on my NaNo story now that I knew the results. I tried to tell myself that it didn’t really matter because I still have a faithful following regardless. I tried to tell myself that I could just start breeding plotbunnies for the Christmas contest coming up next month. Yet I still got in my writing funk and couldn’t shake it. Rejection – no matter how tiny – stings and all writers have to learn how to deal with it in their own right.
But enough moping! I say we celebrate those who properly beat me out of my prize!
Well, now that I’ve done almost an entire blog post just about the contest…. Let’s get back to the NaNo updates, shall we?
As I mentioned above, I was in a funk. I TRIED to concentrate on my NaNo story, but I just couldn’t really get in the mood to write. I punched out about 600 words – which is better than the NOTHING I’ve done the previous two days – and then stalled.
Part of the stall, however wasn’t because of the funk. It’s because I got to a part where I need to write a prophecy. I know prophecies tend to have significant years and that certain significant events usually occur on significant anniversaries of other significant events. All this said; I went to my handy dandy word document where I wrote down the backstory timeline of the world of Albion – well, the current era of Albion at least. But as I read through it I realized I based my dates too much on the ages I wanted key players to be when main events happened, but didn’t put any thought in the years between the events. For instance, the events of the main story take place 73 years after the main villain is born, 33 years after the cornerstone event, and 26 years after the main antagonist is born. These main events should definitely have more of a significance in the years passed between them. I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked for about two hours and still wasn’t content in how everything turned out. Such a waste of a day!

NOVEMBER 14TH – WEDNESDAY
I just could NOT get started on my writing again until I had that timeline figured out. It was driving me bonkers! Working and re-working the timeline in my word document just wasn’t working. I needed something more visual than that.
So I got some of the multi-part continuous printer paper that we have stored with our D&D resources. I only had four sheets to work with, so I divided the full sheet in to four rows and 27 columns – each column just barely wide enough for half a sticky note. Although I knew most spaces would be blank, some of the events were moveable by a single year or two, so I needed exactly the count of 100 years. I then wrote down all of the important points of the backstory on half-widths of sticky note, and proceeded to place them on my gridded out timeline.
I started with the timeline I had after fussing with it yesterday. I then tweaked and adjusted so years were more significant to each other and people didn’t seem insanely old in the grand scheme of things. Creating world backstory is HARD WORK! Sheesh.
The construction of the grid, plus writing out the events, and shifting everything until I was satisfied took a total of about two hours! Either way, I feel accomplished and I think this visual representation was a LOT easier for me to navigate so I could progress faster. I’ll have to keep that in mind for future endeavors – although I sort of always knew that… I mean, I need to stop and draw nearly every character I’ve ever created to get them fully in my head. Same for house layouts. When I did the Halloween story last month I stopped for a few hours so I could research normal layouts for rowhouses, then take the rough layout of the Pataki home – which ALWAYS changes if you pay attention, I don’t think even the creators knew the layout – and finally compiled my own layout for the Old McKinney house. Even though the reader didn’t really know much of the layout, *I* needed to in order to continue my writing. u_u boy am I pathetic…. :-P
Well, I sat waiting for Hubby at work – similar to what I’m forced to do on Sundays when he does the price changes – and in my two hour wait I managed to finish off chapter 4. So even if I’m still over 9000 words behind, I’m at least hitting my secondary goal of at least one chapter completed each week. It’s only Wednesday, though. Perhaps I can get a second one done again.

NOVEMBER 15TH – THURSDAY
Once a year in November, Americans quit tobacco use for at least 24-hours in an attempt to have it kickstart a lifetime of being tobacco free. As the Wellness Champ of my store, one of my job duties required me to do SOMETHING to promote the day. Thus I spent about four hours of my own time to organize. That’s my OWN TIME, unpaid, at home, while CT was visiting last night. I put together Quit Kits with a whole bunch of information and goodies for people attempting to quit today, I made a promotional poster, and I “laminated” some anti-smoking posters using transparent contact paper. This resulted in me listening to the guys while they played Mario Party 8, but I couldn’t join in… :-( It also resulted in me not writing another word for the rest of the night. So add another 400 to the tally of how far behind I am.
As for today, I woke up bright and early to get ready – dressed professionally and whatnot. I set up one of those sample carts they have at grocery stores; I plastered it with the anti-smoking promotional posters and the Quit Kits. I called it the “Propaganda Cart”. I then stood by Customer Service all day while every single smoking employee avoided me like the plague. I did give away seven of those Quit Kits to customers, so I guess it wasn’t a total wash.
By the time Hubby and I both finished with work, did some quick shopping, and picked up Chinese food – Hubby had a craving and some extra cash in his paycheck - it was roughly seven when we got home. We ate dinner, watched our Thursday shows, and I didn’t write a friggen word! So much for catching up.

NOVEMBER 16TH – FRIDAY
Both Hubby and I had to be at work bright and early today, but I did notice before heading in that I had a Facebook message from one of the admins of the Hey Arnold group that hosted the Halloween contest. She sent me the grade sheets five of the admins filled out for my story; even though PinkLotus27 kept saying there were nine judges. Unfortunately, I had to wait until I got back home at about four before I could see what I got. I averaged out to having roughly an 84% on my story. Not too shabby in the grand scheme of things, but still not good enough to have placed. Now I’m super curious what Chibi got for her story, as well as what she and Chopfe got on their drawings.
The thing that really got me though were the conflicting comments. How am I supposed to improve on stuff like that? Some people told me that everyone was in character for the most part, but I slid Arnold out of character a little here and there – which I’m inclined to believe; I’m horrible with keeping the stupid football head in character. Others told me that I had everyone dead on the entire time and that it was like they were reading an episode. Then there were some comments stating that I did the transitions perfectly, and others who said they were a bit “robotic” and “rushed” – whatever that means.
Another thing that got me was that I lost points in originality! The main reason why? Because I purposely wrote the story to play out like an episode. I ended up losing points in originality because of that! One of the judges even commented that I lost originality points because I wrote an urban legend which “has been done”…. Um… the rules said “Halloween-themed, ghost story, or URBAND LEGEND”. Since I purposely avoided them doing something on Halloween specifically – a refreshing twist I would think – I therefore HAD to do either a ghost story or urban legend in order to fit the criteria. I then lost points for it? Worst part? I thought my story was a GHOST STORY and not an urban legend at all. :-P
I do have to say though, that Hubby was adorable. Yeah, I was a bit bummed out when I saw exactly what my marks were – and the comments that went with them. However, I tried shaking it off. Again, this is an inconsequential fandom contest. If I can’t brush off this “rejection” how can I handle publishers telling me no? Hubby on the other hand – who hasn’t read the story yet, mind you – started raging. “What are these people’s criteria for judging? Why is grammar part of the grading when most of these people speak Spanish? How can some of them say something like ‘You did great with your transitions,’ and then give you 14 out of 20 in that category? It makes no sense! How can they possibly think your story wasn’t original? Who else thought to write like an episode? That’s unique!” The overly protective and defensive comments continued. I think he got more riled up than I did. I kept trying to remind him that he hadn’t read the story yet and so most of the comments COULD be very valid, but he wasn’t hearing that. He’s adorable and I love his support!
Anyway, after the Contest Grading Raging, Hubby and I quickly got ready for our Vampire LARP. I personally wanted to skip it since I was still so far behind on my NaNo writing, but we haven’t played in about three weeks, and since I was in the fight scene we were finishing today if I didn’t attend I would sort of screw it up for everybody. Especially seeing as how “everybody” ended up being Hubby, his BFF who runs the game, and Omnibladestrike. There was no way they’d be able to do anything with any fewer players.
Considering the last time we played I sat around twiddling my thumbs for about an hour or so while we were waiting on Omni to show up – time I COULD have spent working on that Halloween story – I decided to bring my netbook with me this time. Perhaps I could get some writing done.
Nope. For the first time like…. EVER… when it came to LARP we actually started up more-or-less on time. Yes, we again had to wait on Omni, but BFF had something planned for one-on-one with my character and his, so we just played that out.
I did manage to type out forty words before he decided to do that quick scene…. So I got SOMETHING typed today. Does that count?

NOVEMBER 17TH – SATURDAY
Another semi-worthless day.
Did my normal wake up early for work thing. Got out of work super early – 11:30am – and hung out with Hubby and the guys. If you haven’t noticed, it’s now become a thing for the guys to crash my home on Saturdays. Since Cyhyr and her boyfriend can no longer make their weekly Monday visits it’s nice to have this new weekly social get together – even if I miss out on a lot of it due to work and them playing Magic.
Anyway, I caught up on my massive amount of Facebook notifications – since I hadn’t checked FB since reading the grade sheets – ate, and waited around downstairs for a little bit. Since Omni and CT were both at the house we were gonna continue our Super Mario Bros. Wii game and try to beat it today. Instead they Magic-ed.
At about 1:30 I gave up and went upstairs to write. I managed a little over 900 words before passing out. Whoops. Well, fully refreshed, I woke up when I got called back downstairs so we could play Mario. That lasted until about 11pm. OMG, I’m so awesome with this “Don’t be sociable for just one month; just write, everyone will understand” thing, aren’t I? :-P So….. yeah…. So much for catching up on that word count today as well.

NOVEMBER 18TH – SUNDAY
Alright, so, admittingly, considering how long this one post is, if I did give up on the diary blogging and just stayed offline throughout November – like I do in April – I probably would be a lot farther in my story. I just spent an hour updating this blog post, and I’ll probably spend another hour fighting with the formatting like I did last week.
Anyway, I had a sandwich and a nearly-full mug of coffee chillin’ next to me first thing this morning. So I once again attempted to conquer my story. Especially since this boring thing is four chapters down and STILL in the exposition phase. We haven’t even started the epic tale of them searching for the jewel shards, meeting the antagonist, or finding out the secrets of Connor’s past.
I did manage to at least tear through today’s 1667 words while I was awake via shots of my mug of coffee. Woke up at 2am to bring Hubby in to work and have been up since! Sheesh! To be fair, though, between this blog update and a lot of time doing more research – I really need to stop doing that - I only wrote for about two to three hours in the six I had available. Still, that just demonstrates that if I get my act together and find two uninterrupted hours I should be able to at least avoid falling farther behind. I mean, if I keep up the pace of 1667 words per day from now on out I’ll only hit 33,487 words, but it’s better than stopping at my current 16,513… right?
I’m just super nervous about this upcoming week. The house is a disaster. There’s crap EVERYWHERE. The dishes are all in the sink. So I have at least one full day of cleaning to do, but I’m working every day until Friday – yup, that includes working Thanksgiving. We’re hosting Thanksgiving on Wednesday, which means I have Monday and Tuesday to clean – like THAT’S gonna happen! @_@ We also need to fold and put away laundry as well as packing for our trip to PA for Thanksgiving with my family. We’re going to attempt to head down to PA after I’m done with work on Thursday. We’ll probably miss the Thanksgiving dinner my mom is making, but we can have leftovers! Then I’ll spend time with my family on Friday and probably won’t have any writing time. Saturday is the extended family Thanksgiving gathering. Sunday we’re heading home. That’s pretty much an entire week that I don’t foresee any writing time! I’m hoping to at least finish Chapter 5 so I have that new chapter for you folks next Sunday, but who knows.

So, I guess I just need you guys to wish me luck and we’ll see how well I do next week.

For my fellow Americans – I sound like such a politician – I wish you a very happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Continuing NaNo

NOVEMBER 5TH – DAY FIVE
For a decade the graves of my father-in-law’s parents were unmarked in a family cemetery. A few weeks ago everyone FINALLY got their inheritance and the siblings all chipped in to finally get a joint headstone for the parents. Yesterday was the family “ceremony” where they finally placed the headstone. My in-laws and one of Hubby’s cousins were all at the site yesterday.
Everyone was there but me and Hubby.
I was exhausted and slept when I wasn’t writing. Besides, I was supposed to be at work when everyone else was at the cemetery. There really was no way I’d be able to attend. Hubby was just as exhausted – if not more so since I at least had about three or four hours of sleep before work and he only had a little more than one. So he was beyond zonked out and didn’t really wake up until I got home at 8:30.
Even though his parents KNOW about his overnights on Sundays and KNOW that I go in to work every Sunday at 3:30, they STILL scheduled this dedication on a Sunday and then were kinda ticked off that we weren’t there.
So after a long day at work today – in which I was again faint and mentally chanting “don’t throw up” while working through a headache – all I wanted to do was shower, sleep, and then get to writing. What I ACTUALLY did was quickly change so Hubby and I could go with his parents to his grandparents’ graves so we could see the headstones….. And then we got a mini-tour of the cemetery and shown where all the other family members were buried and yada-yada.
I know, I’m sounding really rude, but I don’t even visit my FATHER’S gravesite. And I was feeling kinda sick.
Anyway, when we finally got home I went to write my second chapter. I cranked about 200words out before passing out. So now I’m 4167 words behind. Sheesh.
By the way, has anyone read the first chapter? Is it as craptastic as I think it is? One of the things about NaNo is that you just write. You don’t take time to go back and read. So I honestly have no clue how that first chapter turned out. :-P

NOVEMBER 6TH – DAY SIX
Election day!
I had to work first thing in the morning, and then I brought Hubby in to work at 2. I had the house to myself until 7:30, and so I was originally going to use that time to catch up on my word count. Unfortunately, celestialTyrant was having a bit of an emotional crisis so I talked to him for almost two hours. Between that, showering, and checking my Social Media stuff another hour went out the window. I also was aiming to head out at about 7 so I could get some shopping done before picking Hubby up. So my time was quickly shrinking down to about three hours to write.
I then came upon the same snafu that I had when writing the third chapter of my story. I just couldn’t properly picture my male lead Connor in my head. I knew he was a sort of compilation of the hero of Fable, Link from Legend of Zelda, Sesshomaru from the show InuYasha, Van from the show Vision of Escaflowne, and Tamahome from the show Fushigi Yuugi. But what do all these guys look like when mushed together? What elements of each of their looks am I stealing?
And thus two hours were spent grabbing pictures and trying to compile them in to one person. I’m so horrible at this! :-P Perhaps one day I’ll attempt to draw Natalie and Connor, but anyone who reads my story and wants to draw fanart of them I’d be more than happy to see how you see them.
So now I’m down to an hour to write before going to shop before picking up my husband and then going to vote. Even though a normal person would think this is ample time to at least punch out the word count needed to describe Connor, I fell in to my normal “I won’t have time to write! I’ll either get caught up in what I’m doing and run late with everything else or I’ll have to stop before my thought is complete and I’ll lose where I’m going with it” panic. And then I spent an hour on Facebook….
No writing was done that day….

NOVEMBER 7TH – DAY SEVEN
Obama won the election. I’m personally happy with this result, but I can understand how the other half of the country feels this is a sign that bad times are going to come/continue. However, I just can’t stand all of the people who voted for Romney going on and on about how the United States is now “doomed” and “on the road to Socialism” now that we have “four more years of Obama”. I mean, I was ticked off that Bush won re-election in 2004; I thought there was really no way he could improve enough to make up for what he already did to the country, and yet I don’t recall ever calling the United States “Doomed”… It’s a childish, extremist outlook and I can’t properly appreciate the lack of political ads the day after Election Day when I’m seeing this BS all over Facebook.
Anyway, enough of that. You guys don’t care about that.
What you do care about is how brilliant my husband is. I got done with work at 12:30 today, stuck around until 1 for Hubby to have his break, and then I had every intention of going home until I had to pick him up at 5. Hubby then suggested that I just stick around in the break room since I had everything I needed to continue with my NaNo writing. Most of the time the room would be empty, so I wouldn’t have to worry about being distracted by people wishing to socialize. There’s also no internet access, so I won’t have to worry about being distracted by that either! I spent $1 on a frozen dinner, another buck on a box of strawberry Moon Pies, refilled my water bottle, and set up camp. 2100+ words and a second completed chapter later it was time to head home. At least I’m slowly chipping away at that “Words Behind” count. Plus I have at least that one chapter for you guys to read this week.

NOVEMBER 8TH – DAY EIGHT
My first day off in a week. I was lazy the first half of the day. Well, mostly lazy. I did go online and do some more research on the game “Fable” so I had more to work with while writing.
When I got back from dropping Hubby off at work and running errands I grabbed some chocolate, made a cup of coffee with about ½ cup of sugar in it. And I got to plowing through some more word counts. I’m not entirely sure, but perhaps I’m ½ way through my third chapter. I’ll have to just keep going until I feel a natural stopping point.
By the time I had to pick up Hubby I had over 2600 words. Not amazing numbers, but it was just a little over two hours of work and it means I surpassed the 1667 daily word goal two days in a row. Now, if I could just hit a few more 3000 word days like I did on Sunday I should be able to catch up to where I’m supposed to be easily enough.
I also finally got around to hopping on the forums over on the NaNo website. I was excited to see one of my favorite thread topics was already started: “Your Last Sentence”. At the end of every day participants post the last sentence they wrote. It’s so funny to read these lines out of context and try to envision what the story is about. For instance, the first “last sentence” listed is “Never before had he heard anyone laugh while fighting a dragon..”
I had to laugh when I went through all of my last sentences…. Out of context, the places I stop for the day all feel like lines from a smutty romance novel! Here, check out what I have so far!
Shaking, she fell in to his chest and sobbed, “I just want to go home,” before fainting.
She was both scared and comforted with the idea of being alone with him.
She shyly looked away as Connor finally exited the room.
“Alright, that was amazing,” Natalie breathed with a nervous laugh.

NOVEMBER 9TH – DAY NINE
I thought I’d have the same opportunities today as I did on Wednesday in regards to writing in the break room at work. Hubby had to go in an hour before my shift started, and he finished two hours after I was done. I figured I’d again set up camp and just write in the break room while bookending my shifts.
What actually happened is I used some of the time to work on the Wellness items I have to do as the store’s Wellness Champion. The rest of the time was spent talking to people since of course TODAY the break room is all abuzz with employees. *sigh*
So it kept until 5:30ish – when we were both home again – for me to start writing. Only to be stopped a mere half-hour later for dinner prep/eating purposes. I didn’t crack my netbook back open until 10. Thankfully, this week I actually had Saturday off for the first time since April or May, plus Hubby always has Saturdays off because of his Sunday overnight shifts, so I took full advantage of my ability to just stay up as late as I wanted since I could just sleep in the next day.
I stayed up until 11:15 in order to write! Aren’t I such a night owl!? *sigh* Well, I didn’t hit the needed daily count, but I still cranked out about 900 words, so I’m not falling terribly too far behind.

NOVEMBER 10TH – DAY TEN
Alright, so today was my day off. I had from 3pm yesterday until 4pm tomorrow to just write. I should have easily plowed through and at least caught up to the 16,666 words I was supposed to have by the end of the night, correct?
Yeah…. No…..
So I woke up and did the whole Social Media thing before hiding upstairs to finish off my third chapter. I decided to take a bit of a break after completing the chapter. Seemed natural to do so. I went back downstairs and had something to eat, hung out with Hubby a little, and had a strong desire to play some more “Fable” today.
Although it seems logical and natural for me to want to play the game that my story is based on – you know, since I’m constantly thinking about it – I’ve been resisting the urge since I could use that playing time for either writing or actually doing some ignored chores around the house. But since I hadn’t played since September I decided to cave in, under the excuse of “reinspiring” myself for the next chapter.
My INTENTION was to play for about two hours or so and then either get back to writing to try to chew up some more of that “Words Behind” count or do some cleaning….. What HAPPENED was I played “Fable” while Hubby played “League of Legends” on the computer, Hubby’s BFF randomly stopped by, and that’s when I realized that Hubby and I had been playing our respective games for over six hours straight!!!!! HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN!?
So we did the Socializing thing for a little bit while BFF was waiting in town for his roommate to get off of work. He headed home at around eight and I got back to writing. Hubby helped me out with a few things while snuggled next to me playing Pokémon. About an hour later he decided to call it a night in an attempt to actually get a decent amount of sleep in before going in to work tonight. I stayed up for another half-hour to finish off my thought before joining him.
I had a full day to myself to either write like the wind, clean, or have a happy combo of the two. What I actually accomplish is just barely making my daily word count goal and six straight hours of playing a video game. Sheesh!

NOVEMBER 11TH – DAY ELEVEN
I caved. My eyes were still so sore from staring at a computer screen for so long that even though I had an unusually high amount of sleep this week I still passed out again once I got home. So there goes my ability to use my exuberant amount of free time in order to catch up with my writing. On the upside, though, according to the NaNo website, if I change to writing at least 1800 words a day I could still reach the 50,000 words goal by the end of the month. A lot of the days that I actually did write I ended up writing at least 1900 words, so I’m not terribly too nervous yet.
I did forget to mention that a few days ago that I put up a call for help on Facebook. I’m horrendous when it comes to naming anything – I mean, check out these blog titles! I couldn’t just keep my NaNo story title as “Massive Hybrid Crossover”. Granted, I’m not terribly sure I even want people to read this story – I’m only posting my chapters to keep me accountable. I mean, I’m almost positive that I’m rambling through a lot of the story, giving far too much unneeded description to help readers see the world portrayed in “Fable”, and I noticed I use the words “blush”, “gentle”, and “nod” a lot. Regardless, who would even bother clicking on a story titled “Massive Hybrid Crossover”? So I asked for help naming my story.
The synopsis of the story consists of Natalie’s and Connor’s destinies being intertwined with both each other and the country of Albion, plus they’re racing to get to the sword "Destiny" in order to defeat the antagonist. Therefore, most of the title suggestions included the word “Destiny”.
Although most of the title suggestions were really good, they sparked a title from myself. When that happens I almost feel obligated to use the title I came up with. So thank you, everyone. I’m currently using the working title of “The Race For Destiny”… it might have the wrong connotation, however, and once the overall story is finally played out I might find a better title.
Unless you, my readers – some of whom already through their suggestions in the ring :-D – prefer one of the following suggested titles:
  • The Way to Destiny
  • Unlocking Destiny
  • Gyateara's Jewel
  • Legend of Albion
  • Natalie and Connor's Excellent Adventure
  • Agents of Destiny
  • Connor's (or Natalie's) Path
  • Albion Destinies
  • Destiny's Destiny
  • A Stranger In A Strange Land
  • Saving Albion
  • Albion's Destiny
  • The Rise (or Fall) of Albion
  • A Hero's Destiny
  • Heroes of Albion
  • Legacy of Gyateara
  • Gyateara's Destiny
Anyway, without further ado, here’s the link for “The Race For Destiny", now with two new chapters – over 8000 “glorious” words - to read! Yay!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Conquering National Novel Writing Month

Alright, my first blog post since starting NaNo on Thursday. Before I get in to the daily play-by-play I just want to remind everyone that I did post on Halloween as I promised – it was a late post, but it was done! If you missed it, go back and check it out and don’t forget to give ChibiSunnie some love! You can also use this time to sign up for alerts to make sure you know when I post outside my normal Sunday updates - or when I post late like today. All the info on how to get alerts is at the start of that Halloween post.

I do want to better explain how to follow my blog via blogger. If you have any form of google account – gmail, google+, chrome-user, youtube, etc – you can use that same account to join Blogger. Once you have a Blogger dashboard you can scroll down until you see “Reading List”. Below that is the option to add. Just drop in the blog’s address and tada! You just followed my blog via Blogger. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to give you alerts this way, but it might be an easier way to keep track if you have a lot of different blogs that you follow. For instance, my reading list includes Rick Riordan’s blog Myth & Mystery, Rachel Aaron’s blog Pretentious Title, and my own beloved DarkAngel1326’s blog Random Creativity Blog.

I also want to state that I’m such a heel! I commented about Chibi’s story last post, and made sure to include the link for all to see. However, I had completely forgotten to show off her DRAWING for the Halloween contest as well! She hadn’t posted it by the time I updated my blog last Sunday and it slipped my mind on Wednesday! So, without further ado, Chibi’s Halloween drawing entry:
She put so much detail and amazing thought in to this.
Check it out on DeviantArt and tell her what you think!
Now that I have all of that backlogged stuff out of my way I can talk about NaNo!

I tried again to build my female lead before starting NaNo. I knew nothing about her aside from a few characteristics that I was thieving from various anime heroines. I finally decided on the name Natalie Myers as of Halloween. I tried going through the Character Building Checklist – written by Larry Brooks and excerpted from his book “The Three Dimensions of Character” by Jennifer Blanchard. Most of the questions I had to skip over since I know NOTHING about my heroine. However, the few that I WERE able to answer gave me a tremendous discovery.

Natalie Myers is me!

Before I realized what I was doing I discovered that in order for my character to work the way I wanted her to I had to write her more-or-less as me. Now, I’m not terribly concerned about writing her as either a Mary Sue or an Avatar. Natalie won’t be a Mary Sue since she’ll have my flaws, and then some. However, she won’t be my direct Avatar either since she has to be BETTER than I am in order to survive in Albion. As much as I’d love to be athletic… I’m far from it. As much as I’d love to be a master archer, I haven’t picked up a bow since high school – except for one shooting range booth at the Renn Faire, but I did horribly with the long-bow. Also, when I go back and slowly shave off the FanFiction aspects of this story in order to make it a marketable original work someday I’m sure Natalie will become less “me” and more “her” as I begin to know her better.

But, for quick writing purposes during NaNo…. Natalie is me…. It’s easy to write a character when you ARE the character… So now I have to go back through that checklist and fill it out as me I guess….

Now that all that prep-work is done, let’s get to that play-by-play!

NOVEMBER 1ST – DAY ONE
I had the day off. I needed to go in to work to do some presentation thing for corporate, but for the most part I had the day off. I was excited to get started on my very first attempt at NaNo. Since my latest blog posts have been 2500+ words long I figured 1667 words per day would be a piece of cake. Lock myself away for a few hours and I’d be golden.
Then I had a pretty major life stressor fall in to my lap. For possible legal reasons I don’t want to really discuss it online – although I DID mention something over on the Writer’s Huddle… Anyway, although my husband and I are pretty certain we have the law on our side, it’s still pretty stressful and I ended up doing a lot of researching and asking people questions to get the best legal advice. I just couldn’t clear my head enough to write anything. What a fantastic way to start off this month-long journey, huh? However, anyone who has followed me during my two tries at Script Frenzy knows that this is about par with the months I attempt to hide away to write….

NOVEMBER 2ND – DAY TWO
Not a good day. I had to work and the entire time I just had to keep mentally chanting “Don’t throw up”. I was dizzy and faint – which is a great state of mind when working meat slicers. :P
I tried to work on my story, but I couldn’t get my eyes to focus on anything. They were hazy and blurred most of the day. It just wasn’t a good day. So I used my time instead to do a trick I learned via the Huddle.
Daydream.
So I have the entire craptastic opening mapped out. I just need to get to writing it.

NOVEMBER 3RD – DAY THREE
Well, I’m feeling better, and the possible-legal issue wasn’t stressing me out too much today. Hubby had the guys over, but they were all playing Magic: The Gathering, so I used that time to hide away upstairs and just type. At least, I ATTEMPTED to type. I couldn’t resist first cleaning out my email, DeviantArt notifications, and Facebook notifications. By the time I was done with those, my father-in-law had stopped by to discuss our options – in regards to the possible-legal issue, once he left we went to get food, and then I read a few blogs while eating and waiting for the guys to finish up playing Magic. By the time I gave up waiting for them and went back upstairs to again ATTEMPT to write, Hubby called me back down so we could all play Mario Wii. That lasted until about 11:30pm… at that point we crashed until Hubby needed to go in to work. I then stayed up attempting to hit that same late-night Writing Frenzy that I used to do before I got a job and needed sleep. :P
Oh, and before I forget, one of the blog posts I read was from the author Rick Riordan – of Percy Jackson fame – and I think it’s a fantastic read for everyone.

NOVEMBER 4TH – DAY FOUR
Thank God for daylight savings time ending, especially with the guys over so late. Got a little over an hour power nap before taking Hubby in to work. When I came home I was moderately awake and so I knew if I didn’t tackle SOME of the story I would never hit my goal of “a new chapter every week” before updating. One of the reasons this post is so late today...
It was definitely a struggle to get started, but by 2am I was finally cranking through. My opening prior to the first Plot Point was longer than I intended and may actually be a touch boring. But I’m going for word counts, baby! This story is raw, unedited, and probably craptastic. I know I have a lot of similes and metaphors in there. Heck, nearly an entire paragraph is “blah blah like a yada yada… such and such resembled this thing… doodad was as if it were whatchamacallit…etc.” So…. Sorry to anyone brave enough to actually “follow along”.
The first chapter was probably the most derpirific somewhere around the middle. I got to the point where I was starting to feel sick again – stomach pains, light headed, eyes couldn’t focus, nausea – and I was all “After I’m done with this paragraph I’m going to bed; screw the chapter.”
Yet, my determination to at least finish a scene – so that those reading will have something moderately complete, even if it isn’t the whole first chapter – drove me to just fight through. It’s this same motivation that keeps me writing for seven hours straight; and the same “I’m not stopping until this scene/chapter/story is done” attitude that kind of scares me from starting in the first place. Even if I could train myself to stop even when I’m not done, what if the next time I start up again I don’t have in my head the “great line/scene” that was in my head while I was in the thick of things? This is why for the longest time I ONLY wrote when I had a day off and could just sit in my room with my computer all day.
Anyway, fear not, for at around 5:30am I felt better and became awake again. Well, for about an hour at least. By 7 my eyes gave out and so I succumbed to an hour long power nap. I powered through the last portion of the chapter and posted it on FanFiction. The chapter is 3767 words long, so that covers today and yesterday. I just need another 2700 words to be caught up….
I’m not going to post my story on DeviantArt – it’s going to be too long and too messy – but I am debating posting it on FictionPress. However, I think I want to hold off until a)it’s polished – it would be my FIRST piece of work posted there, and b)all the “fanfiction” elements are taken out so that it’s definitely an original work. Thoughts?