Chronicle #2: 9 Oct 2016

To get right to it:

  • finished (for the most part) the third story in my NaNo 2015 novel; I’ve started to finish the fourth story which I’m excited about (I have a loose outline of events)
  • touched up a character head-shot for Romance of Three Jewels
  • reformatted an old story I’m thinking of going back to revise and edit (exciting!) mostly because I’ve realized that I still care a lot of about the subject and themes (what happens to invasive species if they adapt to a new environment and fear of the unknown/night and the monster’s pov in a legend)

(I promise that 1. I’ll explain what my stories are, and 2. I’ll try to figure out a more consistent time to post these.) Much good will and thanks to all!

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Chronicle #1: 1 Oct – 8 Oct 2016

As I said, I want to start sharing my writing or at least what I’m doing with my writing projects. Now that I’m more settled (on a New England autumn foliage tour), here’s what’s I’ve been working on since October started.

  • wrote two scenes in my unfinished NaNoWriMo 2015, decided that that story (since it’s a collection of interrelated short stories) would be better written after the one before it (since writing a novel in the order its read in may work better for me), and have since made good progress
  • said content (witches) of said progress inspired me to write a vignette (~1,600 words) about one character’s backstory and the comparison of witches from different parts of the world he inhabits
  • sketched, inked, and partially colored a picture of a character from NaNo 2015
  • did some initial brainstorm writing for some old ideas (Garden/Moon Lineage)
  • sketched, inked, and fully colored a picture from a recent Drabble A Day (I was quite pleased with it)

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Cottage Frost [Day 100]

THE GRASS WAS etched in frost. Miniature white crystal blades stood guard around the small dilapidated cottage. Its warm honey brown wood had darkened with the shortening hours of sunlight, having turned a robust and cherry mahogany. As if to match the ground, its roof shimmered, grassy tufts bejeweled in frost, as it tasted the first sip of dawn’s light.

It was so deeply embedded in the woods, surrounded by dark leafless trees that sprouted out like fans, that most people hardly knew it existed. Which is exactly what its inhabitant wanted. If the villages wanted to call her a witch, that was fine with her, as long as they politely left her alone.


Written: 5 Dec 2015

Words: 114

Inspired: frost outside + a little NaNo or Reflection Story + wanting to do something a little special for the 100th day

x-posted

So the end of NaNoWriMo

I didn’t complete this year either, but I as a lot closer than I ever was – 40,739 words. And considering the days I didn’t write, if I had actually written every day I Maynard actually pulled off 50k words.

While I didn’t complete the full word count, I do feel that u learned a lot more from this NaNoWriMo than I have in previous two years.

I’ve learned that my writing works best when I recognize that: 

  • How characters matter, knowing them, who they are, in advance
  • Having a clear idea of what the story is about, preferably having done a scene by scene video outline in my head and then written it down (it can deviate as I write it, but I find it helps with the emotional punch of my writing if I play it out like a movie in my head beforehand)
  • Having a strong love for your characters and a plot doesn’t necessitate that the story is one you should be working on or is as alive (puppy) as other stories
  • Story should have vitality even if it’s confusing or uncertain (or have I never experienced writer’s block? Why should I, when I have other stories to work on??)
  • Focus on word count can lead to depletion of enthusiasm
  • Sometimes taking a break can help revitalize interest (even if my word output is slower than it used to be sometimes)

I’m also really looking forward to working on some writing I had to put on hold for November. 

Embalming and other fun stuff

A/N: I actually wrote this near the beginning of the month and meant to expand it with resources and links. I may do that later. But for now, have my preliminary research.

So, this NaNoWriMo my story is a homage to Over the Garden Wall, colonial New England autumn and anything to do with the dead. Since my main character is a necromancer in training.

From the beginning I knew that my MC was traveling through the lovely autumnal setting because he was going to get something as a means for the next (and final) stage of his initiation into becoming a full-fledged necromancer.

That, naturally, led me to a quick inspection of what ingredients were needed in preserving dead bodies — as I had an inkling that whatever it was, had some connection to body preservation, so as to ensure either easier transportation or …?

Either way, my preliminary investigation gave me these substances to work with:

  1. cinnabar
  2. bitumen
  3. various cedar oils

I have a feeling the final substance/item will be one of my own invention, with mixed properties of this world substances.

Last Day of NaNoWriMo

While trying to get my final stretch of writing in before the day ends, I realized that there’s a difference between not knowing where a story is going and not knowing what’s happening in a scene. 

Like I have a draft of a story from 2009 that has needless dialogue and terrible plot holes. But I recall that when I was writing it, I was never at a lost of what was happening in each scene. I knew loosely where the story was going, even if I didn’t know all the particulars. 

With my NaNoWriMo this year, it’s the first story I’ve ever written where I didn’t always know what was happening. Like I’ll stop in the middle of a scene or at the end of a scene, and when I’m back in the scene or onto the next scene, I can’t fanthom what’s happening. I know where the story is going but it was the first time I ever drew a blank on what was actually occurring in the scenes.

I don’t know if that’s a reflection on my NaNoWriMo story, my writing ability, the NaNoWriMo formula with a focus on a word count, or a change in my writing habits. But it’s certainly a peculiar sensation. What’s weirder is that I’d wager I could easily write other stories without too much trouble. Where even if I don’t know the particulars, the scenes will just…live on their own, you know?