NaNoWriMo 2017 • progress report

So, I planned to type up the next chapter yesterday, to post today. But I got gummed up on the next story. Not so much the what, but the how: how the next story follows, in what order should the events go, are these the events I want, is this the best order?

Spending some time in this season’s first snowfall helped. (Well, that and re-reading my list of Untrue Stories that form a basis for a lot of the belief in my NaNo story.)

As for now, I will have to rethink when I’ll post the story. I’m hoping, if I don’t post as much as I intended in November, than I’ll post in a more consistent pattern in December. Or I’ll post the next chapter on Friday or thereabouts. I shall see. Thank you for putting up with my inconsistency as I figure this out as I go.

Best wishes and (NaNo) writing!

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Writing Week • NaNo 2017 (11/4/17-11/11/17)

The most prominent writing I did was NaNoWriMo. It’s kind of surreal writing a story that I have (and know) so much backstory about. Like whoa. There’s reasons and stories and such that probably won’t appear explicitly in it, but which have significance to the plot and characters. 

Also, since I’ve been writing a lot by hand, I haven’t posted as much as I’d planned to. The first story (Tale of the Princess) is finished, as of yesterday, and the next two stories should be relatively short. And then I can get on writing the second part. 

I’ll be the first to say that my NaNo story is, perhaps, not the most universal (I’ve never been good with understanding experiences deemed universal for humans), nor the most diverse. But it contains themes and ideas that have, apparently, been congealing inside me for over a decade. (Admittedly, I have other stories and ideas that are much older…)

Some of these include:

  • A fractured being and the consequences; having been fractured and having fractures stitched or impaled onto one’s essence or soul
  • A shining prince and/or hero who saves the world (but doesn’t) and has a sister (but doesn’t), who turns him into his shining self through her love (which she doesn’t); tales that build up blame on a woman for being wicked, as a witch or the prince’s sister or from curiosity or being selfish and vain 
  • The layered accusatory tales against monsters and demons; the difference between belief in the dichotomy of good & evil and creatures whose lifestyles and functions can be coded as “bad” or are incongruent with human life and development; also the difference between creatures that live incongruous to human welfare and controlled self-righteous possession/manipulation 
  • The woman who has suffered forever and lives in unending pain; can she be free? can she be healed? also that she deserves it for being wicked or corrupt

Will all these be equally prominent? Probably not. Do some of these (especially the monsters and demons) appear in nearly everything I write. Oh, yes!

Best wishes and writing!

Slumber of the Moon • the first story

Tale of the Princess

{an explanation}

Long ago, a princess acted wicked and then world was broken. To preserve a piece of the pristine paradise, the prince wove a protective veil around the last sliver. Within the dulcet, temperate spring, tiny towns and then grand translucent castles emerged, radiated forth from the seed of paradise. Thus, a fragment of Eternity and True Beauty survived. Until a forlorn stranger waylaid the princess to corruption.

Chapter One: Maiden in the Woods {Jeune femme au bois[1]}

Iren squinted through the gray haze; great furry shapes, outlined in silver dewdrops, prowled on the edge of his vision. The shapes circled a slender, dark-skinned woman, whose long hair glistened like moonlight. Her eyes, which met his for a fleeting moment, were a sweet raspberry pink. Reaching out her hand, the woman showed him her palm.

“They will guide you.”

“Wha…” he croaked, but the haze melted into the silver of the animals and the gleam of her hair until a white, wet mist was the only thing he could see.

Groaning, Iren forced up his head. The blood had crusted over his right arm, so he propped himself on the weight of his good one. An eerie stillness encased the forest. For that’s what it was now. The distant, ever-present sigh-and-hiss of the sea had vanished. Only the damp frightened slap of moisture, intersected with thick gasps of silence, was audible.

Iren crept around the wall of briars. Thick as his forearm, the vines hoisted thorns twice as long; like gleaming dirks, the thorns shone crimson in the withering light. A shuddered scampered up Iren’s back, dainty as a frightened spider. Every sense surged up to warn him to flee. This was not his place; this was not his battle. Uncertainty gnawed at his gut, nibbling at chucks of his heart.

Just as his uncertainty began to weigh out against surmounting the fence of unearthly briars, Iren glimpsed one of the luminous beasts he had seen upon waking. In the dark, brilliant shades of dusk, the lean canine, massive and sleek, called to mind the wolves that had once roamed the Caran Mountains north of Miravor. A painful vise squeezed his heart, and Iren bowed his head beneath the untimely weight of memory. But the spectral wolf darted past his downcast eyes, drawing him back to the briars. And there Iren saw a low, narrow wedge cut through the glistening thorns. Shaded by a lattice of thorns, it was nigh invisible and if not the shimmering ghost wolf, he never would have seen it.

Curiosity sparked, Iren flattened himself on the ground and wriggled through. While blossoms and fruit crowned the rest of the forest, carpeted beneath the briars were dead leaves. Withered red and gold snapped beneath him. A suffocating musk clogged his nostrils, wet, clinging cobwebs. Coughing, Iren pried himself along the tunnel. Thorns leered down at him; crimson liquid dripped off the longest, igniting smoke among the crusty, old leaves. Hacking, Iren squinted through the stinging haze. Though watering from the sting, he dared not close his eyes without knowing if more of those wicked thorns would intersect his path and impale his skull. On and on and on he plunged, (crawling on his stomach like a serpent,) until a speck of cool, silver light pierced the smoke. With a final heave, Iren tumbled out from under the briars into a quiet, moonlit garden.

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NaNoWriMo 2017 • the plan

Unlike other NaNoWriMo, my goal isn’t to write 50k words. Then why do it? Because it’ll, I hope, make me actually write this story. Or stories.

Also, unlike other NaNoWriMo, I’ll be posting this as a rough draft.

That said: Expect spelling errors and mangled sentences. I will edit as much as I can, especially if I’m typing it from my notebook, but this is, in no way, a polished story. And I’m okay with that. This story — and its variants — has been brewing, in all its different iterations, as snippets or vignettes or just emotional seeds in my head for awhile. I want to. Get. It. Out. Just share this story that’s been sitting in my brain for almost a decade.

If it never moves beyond this rough draft, I’m okay with that, too. It’s always been a mixed up, tangled story idea to begin with, with bits taken from different sources of inspiration (I’d be curious if people can guess what they are), so having it exist in its fullest form as a work-in-progress is fitting. This may not be the final version, nor the most authentic. Rather, think of this of the canonization of a slew of variants and related tales.

Writing Week • lost electricity (10/29/17-11/4/17)

This was a unique week. Not only was it Halloween and the start of NaNoWriMo (which I’ll post about in more detail tomorrow), but my area lost power for most of the week (Monday to Friday).

One interesting factor was it made me utilize daylight hours to write, rather than writing by candlelight. It also gave me time to really chew on the beginning of my NaNo story, rather than stressing about word count on the first couple days.

I suppose that’s all. Sorry if these haven’t been very detailed. Regardless…

Best wishes and writing!

Writing Week • story v. plot (10/21/17–10/28/17)

It’s wild; I haven’t written a post on my demons (or demons in general) this month. I feel like October is usually when I start thinking about that type of content. But nope, it’s been more backstory, story chronology, plot pulses, and better character definitions in an entirely different project. That and prepping for NaNoWriMo, which I’ll go into more when November arrives. 

So. The biggest thing(s) which have been on my mind is short stories. More specially, how stories (and plot) are constructed. This extends to novels too. For a long time, I could never quite distinguish between a story and a plot. I knew there was a difference. But I’ve finally, I think, gotten it through my head what the difference is. One is the chronological order of events. The other is the causality between events, which is strongly tied to character motivation and desire. 

The other result is that I really want to write short stories: old ones I want to rework, due to character history changes, and new ones, based on content, characters, and what I’ve been reading. These will probably plug along slowly, being of a lower priority than other objectives.

That’s all for now, I think.

Best wishes and writing!

Writing Week • recalibration

I still like the idea of, at least, ruminating weekly on my writing — what I’ve done, what I’ve discovered, what I’ve focused on, what’s on my mind — but whenever it comes to the day to post (usually) Sunday, I feel rushed. 

So, I may try a different day (Monday? Tuesday?) And I’ll see if that feels less “gotta get it done, rush, rush, rush”.

BUT…

As long as I’m here, I will say that I had deep character building moment this morning. Not just flaws and wants and interests, but the core cog of who this character is. And I’m just, I’m just so pleased.