NaNoWriMo Update: I Finished My Book!!!!

nanowrimoI’m still pinching myself- though not literally, because that would hurt. It’s a grand total of 162,563 words. Right now, I have no idea how many will go or stay, or if there might be more. *gulp* I’ve decided to put it away for a few weeks before I look at it again, in hopes of gaining at least a tiny bit of objectivity. In the meantime, I’ll get started on the first draft of book two. I have most of the important scenes planned, and I’m just going to dive in. Right now, my NaNoWriMo word count is at 66,219, so I’ll see if I can get to 75K or beyond. I feel like I’ve got momentum right now, so I’ll try to capitalize on that.

The last few weeks have been amazing. If I ever had any doubts about this being the right thing for me, they are gone. Writing the last quarter of the book was exhilarating, sometimes terrifying, and overall, very emotional. I cried while writing a fair number of scenes. I cried while thinking about them. I didn’t really talk about them, because that would have made me cry, too. And yesterday, when I had written all but the epilogue, I was in a real state. I didn’t want it to be over. Oh, I know I still have a lot of work to do, but for the first time in my life, I could type “The End,” and feel like I had a complete story I could be proud of.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 15- Braeden

wewriwaIt’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

When we last saw Braeden, he had decided to arrest Daciana Tomescu, marauder and personal friend to Empress Teodora. He’s taken her straight to Atlona, the empress’s capital, and is hoping to get rid of his prisoner without upsetting the empress. He really can be clueless sometimes!.

It would take time to find Prince Novitny’s black banners in the sea of tents covering the parade ground so Braeden brought his party to a halt. “Find the prince and tell him we’ve got an interesting prisoner, so I’ll want his help handling the empress,” he said to Franca.

Before she could go, a column of twelve women in the gold armor and red velvet of the Imperial Guard approached them. It seemed that word of Tomescu’s capture had traveled faster than he had. Braeden hoped they were here to take her off his hands.

“Braeden Terris?” a tall, very red-faced woman at the head of the column asked.

When Braeden nodded, she said, “You are under arrest by order of her Imperial Highness, and will proceed with us to Arnfels Castle.”

It was to be the dungeon, then.

I’m not sure if I’ll participate in WeWriWa next week. I’ll be spending the long weekend with family and probably won’t have time. I will miss all of you! I always look forward to Sundays and seeing what amazing things you’ve come up with. Happy Thanksgiving!

Previous snippets are here.

NaNoWriMo Update: 50,000 . . . and Beyond!

Inanowrimo‘m still on a roll! And I even got sick in between. I missed two days of writing due to flu-like crud that I always seem to get in November, but once I recovered, I was back at it. My word count after the chapter I wrote tonight is 50,553 and I have nine chapters left to write. These are the most fun, since I’ve been mulling these over since I first conceived this plot at the beginning of the year. I feel like all of the crap I went through to get to these scenes is worth it now, because they’re such a joy to write. One of them is a love scene, which makes me nervous, but I’m sure I’ll get through it without traumatizing my characters too much. I might need therapy afterwards, though.

So, even if I write at the measly pace of one chapter a day, I should still finish right around Thanksgiving. I’ll probably make sure I do, just for my peace of mind. Then, my plan is to put this monster away for a few weeks- maybe until the first of the year. During that time, I’ll see if I can get Book Two started. I’m already outlining it and it’s going to be a monster, too. I can already see I will need to add at least two new POV characters to my existing four- possibly even a third.

So, barring any major disasters, I should be on the home stretch a week from now. I’m seeing some impressive numbers from others on WordPress and on Twitter. How is your month going?

Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 14- Janna

Ok, Missouri is officially The Worst Internet State, worse even than Wyoming or North Dakota, where no one lives. This is one of the downsides of the rolling lifestyle- I might go whole hours (in this case, a half day) without 3/4G signal.That’s what I get for not scheduling posts in advance.


It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

After some tribulation, Janna has made it to her husband’s relatives in the country. The farm is very far from idyllic. Dimir’s ancient aunt and uncle, their two sons, a daughter-in-law and baby are packed into a farmhouse with the livestock and the relatives make no secret of the fact that they resent having extra mouths to feed. The single son-Seko- is so creepy he hasn’t found a woman who’ll marry him voluntarily, but luckily Janna just showed up on their doorstep.

“It’s time you were thinking of marriage,” Bora said, puffing on his pipe.

“Marriage?” Janna gasped. “I don’t know what’s become of Dimir, and even if he’s dead, it’s not seemly for me to remarry so soon.”

“Oh, he’s dead all right,” Seko said with a nasty grin. “A messenger came through town last night, and said there was a big to-do in Kaleva the other day with all the rebel leaders hanged, including our Dimir.”

“Oh, Holy Mother,” Janna said, and burst into tears.

“Pfft, don’t carry on so,” Bora said, blowing a smoke ring. “An old fellow like our Dimir was; you should be happy you’ll get a nice young one soon, and maybe have babies of your own.”

Previous snippets are here.

NaNoWriMo Check-in

nanowrimoI think I was going to do this weekly, but ten days have already gone by. It’s been going well! I just passed 34K and hit the 75 percent point in my book. I have never made it that far before. I’ve written some of the later scenes out of order, but some of that was simply avoiding scenes that were uncomfortable for me to write. By forcing myself to do it in linear progression until I am done, I got through the hard parts, which surprisingly, is making the rest easier, so far.

I had a few slow days last week when I wrote less than 2,000 words. We were in a hotel while the truck was in the shop and I thought I’d have all kinds of time to write. I did, but I also had distractions, like restless cats, Animal Planet, and a gazillion loads of laundry to do. Now that I’m back in the truck, things are going much more smoothly.

Right now I feel very energized and told hubby: “I will finish this in a week!” That might be a bit optimistic, but I think it might be possible to finish in 2 weeks, or at least by Thanksgiving. I know my final word count will be over 50K, I just don’t know by how much. I’ve made an effort to plan my scenes more carefully right before writing them, and most of them end up shorter than is normal for me. I think that’s because I need fewer words to get going. Because I have a plan, I dive right in.

I’ll update again within a week and we’ll see if the roll I’m on continues.

The Berlin Wall Came Down 25 Years Ago!

This is always an important anniversary for me, though this year especially, it makes me feel old. When I was 20, I spent a week in Berlin. in November of 1989. Change was in the air, but the Iron Curtain was still very much in place. I crossed the border – guards with machine guns! dogs! barbed wire! watchtowers! – several times and got a chance to see what life was like on the Eastern side. It was a bit surreal- one of those things you have to see to believe. My trip ended November 7th, and I went back to Freiburg, where I was spending a year at the university. Bad timing!

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 13- Kendryk

wewriwaIt’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

While Kendryk is figuring out what to do next, he has a very bad dream. He sees himself with Father Landrus on a big battlefield and is getting a closer look at the enemy, which naturally includes the empress and her allies.

He thought he might be flying, but he had no body and no wings; just eyes that could see endless distances. The enemy had row upon row of human foot-soldiers, but his blood chilled when he saw the cavalry. There were huge lizards with long barbed snouts, lions with gigantic horned heads, black wolves with strange, human eyes, and above them, great birds of prey. All were ridden by creatures who might have been human, had they been more than gray skin stretched over skeletons, with gaping black holes instead of eyes, mouths and noses.

None saw him, but Kendryk  fled back to his army with all the speed he could muster.

“You see that they have brought all of their gods,” Father Landrus said, standing next to his other, older self. “Where are yours?”

Uh-oh. What does it mean? Does it mean anything? Most importantly, will it help Kendryk make a decision? Actually, it does! This snippet was originally near the beginning, before my great reorganization, so both this  and the previous one now come much later in the story. I will try not to cause too much further confusion. 🙂

Previous weeks are here.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Some Potential Cures for Insecurity

IWSG badgeI don’t know if it’s because writing about it helped, but the past month has seen a drastic decrease in some of my writing-related insecurities. Just in case the support group provides the cure, you should join, if you haven’t already. It was really helpful to articulate some of my worries, share them with the world, and find there are many others like me. And many of those commiserating were writers whose work I greatly admire as in, “he/she has no grounds for insecurity with such fabulous talent!” It was nice to know I wasn’t alone and that we can support each other in this ongoing struggle.

That being said, I had a fabulous October! Maybe it’s because October is my favorite month of the year and the weather really energized me. I also like to think it’s because I’ve finally broken through some kind of wall, something that was keeping me from doing as much as I was capable of. I worked through a few frightening snags in my novel, restructured the whole thing and still ended up writing nearly 40,000 words. I have a goal of 75,000 words for NaNoWriMo, and I’m not the least bit worried that I’ll hit it. It includes typing “The End,” and I’m not worried about reaching that goal either.

So what do I think helped, besides this lovely group and the wonderful fall weather? Here are my theories:

1. When you’re feeling down about your writing, write more.  Continue reading

Weekend Writing Warriors- Snippet 12: Gwynneth

wewriwaIt’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

While Janna refugees, Braeden makes bad decisions, and Kendryk talks theology with his priestly prisoner, Gwynneth has had a more mundane task: letter-writing. Extrovert that she is, she has powerful friends everywhere and she’s doing her best to rally them all to the anti-Imperial cause. She’s been hopeful that her father, the King of Norovaea would commit to helping them, but he hasn’t said a word. Her brother Arryk, the crown prince, has been far more vocal in his support. Kendryk is still not convinced, however.

“I just don’t believe your father will promise troops or money based on Arryk’s opinion, nor would I want him to.”

“What do you mean, you don’t want him to? Wasn’t the whole point of marrying me to get a powerful ally like Papa?”

Kendryk laughed and squeezed her knee. “The whole point of marrying you darling, was because I loved you.  In fact, your father’s position made my suit a bit difficult, as you recall.”

“I was just teasing, of course,” Gwynneth said, using her deepest-dimpled smile and putting her hand over his.. “But now that you have such a powerful father-in-law, you might as well make use of him.”

Previous weeks are here.