The Girl Who Was On Fire

I know, I know, haven’t blogged all week! But don’t worry, I’m not about to drop off the face of the planet again. 🙂

Finished reading Mockingjay last night at midnight, but didn’t go to bed until one-thirty, as I found I needed some processing time. I’m still processing. Not going to say anymore because I refuse to spoil it for anyone, but look for a review sometime soon-ish.

On a side note, I’m never pre-ordering anything again. My Mockingjays weren’t in at Borders on Tuesday like they were supposed to be, so I ended up buying two different copies so’s me and the roomie could actually read them on release day! The other copies still aren’t in yet, and I’m not looking forward to the fun ordeal of returning them when they do show up. *sigh*

You’ll be shocked to hear that in amongst devouring Mockingjay, I actually did some writing! About halfway through Chapter Seven, and it’s going well. So far I’ve added nearly 9,500 words to the novel in Draft #2. This is frightening. I feel like Draft #3 is going to be all about finding things to cut cut cut cut cut. And here I was all excited that I finally wrote a short novel!!

I will leave you with a couple pictures taken in the new abode’s LIBRARY. Yes. It’s okay to be jealous. 🙂

My bookshelf against the freshly painted walls!

Tea in the library! And yes, that’s a TARDIS teapot. 🙂

Hanging in my comfy green chair, about to get some noveling done!

That’s a Wrap!

It’s official!! The first draft of Seer is DONE!!!!!!!!!! 70,018 words, 26 completed chapters, and 157 not-quite-double-spaced-to-save-paper pages! You can tell by all the superfluous exclamation points that I’m EXCITED!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I also sorta don’t know what to do with myself now. All the wisdom of the ages says to put it in a drawer for at least a week before I dive into revisions. Sad. But true.

At any rate, as a variation on the weekly stats, I give you:

Things I Learned While Writing This Novel

  1. Apparently it is possible for me to tell a story in under 100,000 words. 🙂
  2. It’s okay and sometimes necessary to change your outline on the fly.
  3. I am definitely not above bribery-by-chocolate.
  4. World-building as you go is an adventure, but it works out okay in the end. I think.
  5. Random things inserted at the beginning to add flavor to the narrative might turn out to be important later on.
  6. I have a very poor grasp on the actual floor plan of my building-where-everything-happens. Stairs and rooms and hallways pop up in rather odd places.
  7. Stories tend to develop their own sense of internal logic. This is pretty awesome. Run with it.
  8. I can’t remember physical descriptions of minor characters.
  9. I’m really good at making up history for my world and then being inconsistent with the details.
  10. All important conversations happen in hallways.
  11. I am so addicted to Facebook that I will check it during my writing time, even if I happen to be in the middle of the climax.
  12. I like to sit by a window when I’m writing, so I can stare out of it in proper daydreamer fashion if I happen to get stuck.
  13. I’m convinced my main characters have medical problems. Their hearts and stomachs do pretty strange things when they’re happy/scared/sad/excited/experiencing any kind of emotion at all. They might should get that checked out.
  14. My mind is a strange, strange place. But I guess I knew that already. 🙂

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**does the excited dance of first draft done-ness**

60K and Beyond!

Yikes, I can’t believe it’s March. When did that happen? Wasn’t yesterday Christmas 2008? I’m pretty sure it was. Weird. I never got around to buying a 2010 calendar, so I’m using last year’s. As long as I don’t look at the days it’s not too confusing. 🙂

So, noveling. It’s coming along, more-or-less. I kinda wish it was over, but if I don’t stop procrastinating I’ll never get it done. I’m soooooo close now! Just gotta get my female MC to figure out how to save my male MC, and Robert’s your father’s brother (I already know, but she doesn’t. It’s very frustrating. True love conquers all, and so on. :-)).

Anyhoo, in lieu of anything more interesting to report, I give you this week’s STATS:

Word Count: 60,881
Chapters Completed: 22/26
Number of Times Author has Stopped Action to Reveal Pertinent Backstory: 3 (ugh, I KNOW)
Number of Old People Being Disturbingly, Nay, Disgustingly Kissy-Face in Scooters: 2
Number of Times Author has Eaten Ice Cream This Week: 0 (very, very sad)
Number of Episodes Author is Behind on in LOST: 3

Yep, I think that about covers it. 🙂

The Beginning of the End…

Happy 5-week-a-versary to Seer!!

It’s the beginning of the end, and this novel is getting INTENSE. Yikes. You don’t even know. I always enjoy writing something that’s new and different from anything I’ve ever written before, and Seer certainly fits the bill. My brain, I tell you, is a scary place to be. I hope I can make it through to the end relatively unscathed…

Also, did I mention that this book exploded in my subconscious and became a TRILOGY? ‘Cause it did. I’ll definitely be taking a break before tackling the next two books, but still. I can’t believe this all snowballed from a short story idea.

Do you SEE why I can’t write short stories?

Yeah.

Time for some stats:

Word Count: 52,072 words (I FINALLY MADE IT TO 50K!!!!! 🙂 🙂 :-))
Chapters Completed: 18.75/26
Intensity Level: 96%
Number of Times Author has Gotten Disturbed: 4
Evilness of Villains: Ridiculously Evil
Number of Shocking Revelations: 2/4
Number of Times Author has had Trouble with Pacing: 7
Number of Times Author has Dreaded Revisions: 12
Number of Times Author has Wished Sci-Fantasy was a Viable Genre: 100,000,000

Friday, the someday-I’ll-make-it-to-50K edition

Yep, so a week later my novel is only 6,500 words further along. I’ve been meaning to make it to 50k for the last, oh, four days or so. Yesterday I wrote a grand total of 382 words, the day before I definitely didn’t break a thousand. But I guess you’ll have that, right? At any rate, I’m in the final third of the novel, and the stakes are about to get very, VERY high.

In other news, I’ve now seen both series of BBC’s Merlin (and highly recommend them. Wow.) and am eagerly awaiting the third; I’m still reading The Ropemaker and will hopefully finish soon; I ran a half mile today (a huge accomplishment if you’re me); and I’m having an Emma tea party tomorrow and am way excited about it. 🙂

That’s pretty much it, but I thought I’d share a tiny bit about my novel, which is titled Seer:

They meet for the first time when they’re six years old: blind Braise, who is destined to be a Seer and wield the powers of the Ethereal Plane, and Iria, the orphaned daughter of a Councilor, who is chosen as his Reader. Growing up together in the Seer’s Tower, Braise and Iria’s friendship gradually turns to love. But the year they turn sixteen Iria discovers the sinister truth, and everything changes…

Yes, I’m being purposefully vague. Don’t want to give everything away, now do I? 🙂

Happy weekend, everyone!

40k Friday!

Woot! I had a pretty great writing week, so you all get another stats post. Lucky you! 🙂

Word Count: 40,040 (I just figured out how to add two more words to produce that lovely round number :-))
Chapters Completed: 13/26 (For those keeping track, I decided to add a new chapter to the outline, different from the one previously nixed.)
Novel Weirdness Level: 94%
Number of Times Author has Listened to Laura Veir’s July Flame Album Whilst Writing: 40+
Chapters Left Until First Kissage: 1.5 (YAY!!!! :-))
Number of Random Surnames Invented: 2
Number of Times Characters have been Stopped by Other Characters in Hallways to Have Important Conversations: unfortunately way more times than I can count
Number of Scenes that Feel Suspiciously Regency: 1
Number of Airship Rides Thus Far: 1
Number of Merlin episodes watched since last Thursday: 15
Number of Pulled Muscles During Embarrassingly Non-Vigorous Jogging: 1 (OW!)

Here’s to a great weekend and 50k by my book’s four week-aversary on Tuesday!!

30k!!

Not a very creative post title, but you’ll have that. I was secretly hoping to be at 40k today, but 10k a week seems to be all I can muster lately… which makes my hopes of finishing this thing by the end of the month kinda slim. But we shall see. Still, 30k is nothing to sneeze at, right?

In other news, whilst getting slightly *cough* VERY *cough cough* addicted to the adorable BBC show Merlin this week, I got to thinking about my two main characters from On Journeys Bound / The Blind King with much fondness, and decided to re-read the beginning of The Blind King which, if you’ll recall, was the second of two unfinished novels attempted during NaNoWriMo last November. I read it—sat there for two hours reading it—and you know what?

I really, really liked it. I mean it had all the usual rough draft kinds of flaws, but overall I was heartily impressed with myself. I only wish it had a middle and an end in addition to a beginning. Guess that’s something I’ll have to fix, right? Anyways, I was encouraged to discover that November wasn’t quite the complete and total failure I thought it was. YAY!

And now, the moment you all have been waiting for—this week’s stats!

Word Count: 30,030 (yes I stopped in the middle of a sentence so I could have that lovely number)
Chapters Completed: 10/25
Age of Characters: 16! Finally!! Now they can properly fall in love! 🙂
Number of Ominous Conversations Overheard: 1
Number of Times Author had to Bribe Herself to Keep Writing: 7
Number of Times Author was Sitting in Barnes & Noble and Saw a Strange Person in a Bright Yellow Skin-Tight Over-the-Face Cat Suit: 1 (Yes. Really.)

20K and on till morning…

Happy end-of-Tuesday, everyone! Today marks my WIP’s two week anniversary, so of course it’s time for some stats:

Word count: 20,426
Chapters completed: 6 of 25 (I nixed one of the chapters from my outline because it wasn’t adding anything to the plot, in case you’d noticed the discrepancy with last week’s stats.)
Status of characters: Sleepy. (They had a big day. :-))
Number of times the author has gotten disturbed: 2
Number of strange things Googled* since last week: 3
Next up: a huge argument, followed by a deathly illness
Guesstimated total word count at this juncture: 80,000

Writing is going pretty well—I had a few slow days last week, but have been making up for it so far this week. The Plan is to finish the rough draft by the end of February, which means I have 26 days to write approximately 60,000 words—doable, if I can keep the momentum. We’ll see.

Have I mentioned that this novel is strange? ‘Cause it is. It’s kinda freaking me out. As I’m writing, I’m learning more and more about the world and everybody’s motivations and exactly what it is that my evil government is up to and it’s a little disturbing. My main characters are thus far unaware that they are being manipulated, and it’s kinda sad. 😦 Writing is so weird. It gives you these connections to people and places that, really, you invented yourself, and yet they don’t really feel invented at all. It’s like they’re real human beings who actually exist somewhere, and they pop up every now and again to tell you stories about themselves. Very strange. But then I’m rather crazy.

Anyway.

In other news, I’ve gotten a hefty pile of rejection letters for The Whale and the Tree, and am contemplating letting the whole query process rest for a while. Sad, but true. Hope springs eternal, however, so I’ll probably send at least a few more out. We shall see.

And that is pretty much that.

______________________

* One of these happened to be “drilling holes in the head,” which led me to read about trepanning, which was a key factor in disturbing myself.

It’s my party I can write if I want to, write if I want to! :-)

Happy birthday to meeeeeeee!! (And also Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lewis Carroll :-)) I’m enjoying a lovely cloudy rainy day—which isn’t the norm here, I promise!—and got in 1k on my novel at Scooters coffee house this morning. Yay!

Today is also, apparently, the release of the mysteriously fancy (fancily mysterious?) new Apple Tablet, which is reported to be the coolest thing since sliced bread. I’m sure it’s very cool (it’s made by Apple, after all), but I’m feeling rather protective about my books. I just can’t see myself ever being okay with reading a novel on anything other than printed, bound, tangible paper. This means, of course, that I need to hurry up and get published before they stop printing books anymore. Wahhhh! Somebody find me a time machine!!! (Extra points if it comes with a 900 year old alien in a long brown coat, of course. :-))

And speaking of my novel (well, a paragraph ago), it is now a week and a day old! Woot!!

Some stats:
Word Count: 11,082
Chapters Completed: 3 of 26
Conversations about Soup: 1
Emotional State of Characters: happy. (Little do they know what’s in store for them! bwa ha ha)

So it’s going pretty well! I’m still enjoying the story, and my characters are super fun to write about—they were supposed to instantly click and they completely did, and I love how they sort of bounce off of each other and are the best of friends. They’re so cute!! Erm. You know.

Have a great day everyone! 🙂

Rainstorms and Novels and Tea, oh my!

Wow, so the greater Phoenix area is a awash (literally!!) in the most ginormous rainstorm ever! It’s been raining ALL DAY, roads are flooded, power lights are out—all that good stuff. And then I guess tonight we had a tornado watch, which is about the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Tornadoes? In ARIZONA?? Weird. Still raining pretty hard and fairly steadily. I think I might need to invest in a boat if I want to go out tomorrow!

But at any rate. As of this evening, my novel is 5,757 words, and there’s just one scene left to go until I’m ready for chapter three. I’m writing at a much slower pace than I usually do during NaNoWriMo, but I’m okay with that—I feel pretty good about what I have managed to get down on paper (well, Scrivener) so far.

What’s really interesting is that I’m telling the story partly from the first-person point of view of my blind MC, and I’m having to learn different ways of describing things, focusing on textures and sounds and smells instead of the usual visuals. It’s challenging to not even be able to say things like “He smiled,” and to give a sense of a room’s space without talking about green chairs or light flooding in from windows or whatever. I keep catching myself writing things that are absolutely impossible coming from my MC. I’m really enjoying his voice; he’s technical, inquisitive, and feels quite at home with math (unlike me!). I’m excited to get to write more from my other MC’s point of view in the next chapter.

Also, I think I drank about a hundred cups of tea today. I had one this morning, a small pot at White August Tea this afternoon (noveling during a rainstorm at an adorable tea shop = HEAVEN), and another cup this evening during lessons. I wonder if I’ll get any sleep tonight. 🙂

Rainily yours,

Joanna

ETA: Yep, definitely had too much caffeine. Tried to sleep, couldn’t, so got up again and noveled until 3 AM. I’m now up to 6,236 words (and kinda tired, but you’ll have that)!