Tag Archives: novel

Amity Dawn, GoFundMe, and JaxPPD!

Another progress report, guys.  I know you’re getting sick of them.  I’ll have new content for you soon!  Right now, I’m focusing on getting ready for school, muddling through draft one of Amity Dawn, and fundraising.  It’s been an odd summer; one filled with motivation, support, and love, and it just keeps getting better.

So, let’s start with Amity Dawn.  It’s still a working title, until I can find the one that pops at me.  I’m working through chapter 7 at this point, and getting ready to convert chapters 1-4 into third person perspective.  Kadri is just about to confront the primary villain for the first time, after muddling through lead-up conflicts lackeys for the first six chapters.  I’m excited.  This novel is taking shape slowly, coming to life from the outline I began a year ago this month.  Unfortunately, I put it down for a bit too long, but better late than never, right?  Before long, I hope, I’ll be hunting down beta readers.

As for school, I still need to raise some money to buy my books.  I’m still selling Byzantine chain bracelets for $20 a piece (+$1.50 for shipping within the US).  You can see the details of that in this post.  Alternatively, you can visit my GoFundMe page and check out some of the smaller donation amounts.  They come with neat perks.  =]

Lastly!  I may be sharing a table with another writer friend of mine, J. Meridith Harmon, who has recently released his new novel Snyper: A Matter of Caliberat Jacksonville Pagan Pride Day!  Check it out on Amazon!  Anyway, I’ll be volunteering at PPD regardless, so you should come visit if you’re in the Jacksonville area on Sept 22. =]  If we do get the slot, I’ll be selling bracelets, G&L bookmarks, and possibly prayer beads (if I can settle on a couple of patterns I like, I’m being fickle).  It’s going to be awesome.

See you kids around. <3

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Amping Up the Gump

Heya, kids!

Over the last few days, I’ve been working hard at moving into a new place and getting some things on track.  But I’m here now, at least for the month, and I’m settled enough to focus on writing.  Which is necessary, since Wrimos with Gumption has that fabulous June deadline, and I’m not looking to drop caffeine and junk food for a solid thirty days if I don’t make it.

That’s why I’m proposing a couple of challenges.  These challenges welcome everyone, of course, but they’re primarily directed at the Gump.  Feel free to join in, though!

Challenge Number 1: Writing Gump-a-thon!  I’ve had a hard time getting my mojo going lately.  With moving and working and anticipating another move in March, life has been too hectic for writing.  NOT ANYMORE.  Today, I challenge you.  From Wednesday, 6 February 2013, at midnight, I shall hold a write-a-thon!  The write-a-thon shall end on 6 March 2013.  I don’t have any rewards to offer right now, except that if you finish the write-a-thon, your blog/website/shop/book/whatever will be in its own featured post on G&L.

The Rules:

1.  Set your own goal and stick to it.  No flip-flopping.  Pick a word count you want to achieve within the month, and make it happen.  In order to qualify for the featured post, the word count goal must be a minimum of 10,000 words.

2.  The write-a-thon starts at midnight on 6 Feb 2013.  Beginning early will disqualify you from receiving your featured post.  **EDIT**  To clarify, you can use a novel you’ve already started!  You just cannot count anything prior to 6 February.  I apologize for the confusion.**

3.  All word counts must be reported by 6 Mar 2013, 11:59:59 PM.  Late reports will disqualify you from receiving your featured post.

If anyone has any ideas for rules or rewards, feel free to pitch them.  And if any non-Gumpers want to be a part of the community, check us out on Facebook: Wrimos with Gumption: A Beyond NaNoWriMo Challenge.

Challenge Number 2:  Freight-Train-of-Gump Edit-a-Thon!  Coming soon!

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Wrimos with Gumption: A Beyond-NaNo Completion Challenge

So, Maria over at mino wrimos and I have decided to create a beyond-NaNo challenge. We’re challenging all of you to complete this novel, from first draft to polished masterpiece, by May 31, 2013. We want to make use of our Create Space codes this year, and, since most of us have issues finishing things, we think this will be fabulous fun for all of us! (AND we’ll have an excuse to keep chat at Write Write and Write going in the off-season!)

Here are the rules:
1. You must have your novel completed by May 31, 2012 to allow for formatting time in the Create Space process.

2. You have to pick something to give up for 30 days, starting June 1, if you fail! Post that in the Facebook group. You HAVE to decide on something to give up BY MAY 1! No welching out come June 1.

3. You have to post regular updates! Whether it’s daily or weekly, whatever, you have to keep us updated. Those of you with blogs/vlogs, broadcast your progress!

Need ideas on what to give up?  Maybe don’t give up anything!  Give up something you love, something that you tend to waste time with (tumblr, a specific food, video games, television, reading, etc.). Or, if you have nothing to give up, consider pledging to do something you’ve been meaning to, dislike, or should be doing. (Educational reading for 15 minutes a night, exercising 20 minutes every morning, cleaning every day, learning a language, starting yoga, etc.) Don’t be afraid to get creative!

So, who’s in?  8D

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Plot Development: Ending Your Novel

Plot Development: How to write the climax and ending of your novel.

If you’re at all like me, you have trouble writing endings.  I don’t want to make this a lengthy post.  I only wanted to share the above link, and encourage you all to have a look at it.  =]

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In Which Kit Procrastinates….

I’ve been working like hell to get all of the ins and outs of Kestrel plotted out.  Then I decided “I’ll make notes as I go.  I’m tired of dawdling.”  Naturally, I got some work done on the story (I’m nearing the end of the first chapter, about 4k in), but I’ve been struggling with the imagery for some of my characters.  The men, mostly.  I’ve got a clear idea in my head of both Kadri and Kizzy, though Thera is still a bit of a mystery.

So, I’ve been playing “cast my novel” with IMDB celebrity lists.  It’s been an all day affair.  I had intended to accomplish something, since I have this new goal where, if I can reach 10k words by next Wednesday, I can buy myself a tablet (which is now possibly the first half of the cost of my passport.  We’ll see).

Yeah, fat chance that’s going to get done.  I’m a horrible person and a lazy writer these last few weeks.

In any case, I thought I would share with all of you, the faces that will be my cast.

So far, Kadri has no actress.  I know what she looks like, and there’s no one I can really liken her to right now.  I’ll update if I find someone.

Kizzy is adorable.  Also no actress.  I’ll update if I locate someone.  Or have her drawn.

Greyson!  Greyson is, against my better judgment, represented by Ian Somerhalder.  He’s gorgeous, and I kind of imagine Greyson to have a gritty attractiveness to him, but overall, he wouldn’t be traditionally handsome.  But Ian Somerhalder is the closest I could get to that fine-featured, gritty look.

Because, really, argue with me that he’s not gritty-hot.

My next male character?  Hunter.  He’s an optimistic mechanic with a dark sense of humor and a charismatic smile.  Who better than Alex Pettyfer?  I’d make his eyes lighter, probably a sea foam green.  All of the clones have really light eyes across the spectrum so that their serial numbers, etched into their irises, are visible.

Oh, you bet. Take it easy, ladies. He’s taken.

“Taken BY…?” you ask?

Talmai.  He’s Ularian.  What is Ularian?  Reptilian humanoids from Ularis who have no male/female gender differentiation.  Every Ularian can father and mother children… who hatch from eggs.   I have the physical whys and hows of it mapped out, but I’m not sure you want to hear about Ularian anatomy.  It’s graphic, and includes the word “intercourse” a lot.  ANYWAY.  Talmai is represented by Jamie Campbell Bower… if he had a fine layer of shimmery scales on most of his body.

Perfectly androgynous. Necessary for his race. He’s not nearly as young as he looks. =P Also, his scales make him shinier.

SO.  There you have it, folks.  The boys of Kestrel.   I need to stop being so picky about my ladies and give them faces.

No. No, I need to write the story.

That’s what needs to happen.

WELL, have fun. *salute*  I’m off to wrap up chapter one and pound the keys into the glorious sunset. <3

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Writing Life: “This Sucks, I Suck, Why-the-Eff-am-I-Bothering-Itus”

Today’s Writing Life post topic is courtesy my friend Rei.  HI, REI!

We all get there.  We get to that point, especially during the revision process, where we look over our manuscript and think “What the hell is this?”  We sigh and put it down, and some of us don’t come back to it for months.  We feel weighed down, helpless, listless… We don’t know what to change and we don’t know what to keep, because, let’s face it, it’s all freaking terrible and we never want to look at it again.

You’re just overwhelmed!  I’ve made the mistake of deleting and destroying every copy of a manuscript I have in my possession, and, believe me, the regret is twice as overwhelming as the listlessness.  You try to rewrite and recapture all that you loved about the story, but it’s just gone.  It’s not the same.  The characters have moved on to other stories and mystical events that only imaginary people can take part in.  (Those characters may want to revisit the story with you about five years later, I should note.  Frost Moon punched me in the face again about six months ago, as if my main character was saying “You couldn’t do it right the first time, so let’s try this again.  Now pay attention.”)

First off?

Your story does not suck.  You fell in love with the journey and the characters for a reason.  You just need to recapture that reason.   What about the story struck you to begin with?  What songs remind you of your characters?  Take a walk.  Enjoy a few deep breaths.  Think about your characters the way you did when they started begging for their story to be penned.  Don’t touch you manuscript for a few days to a week, and let the romance with your story rekindle itself.

You do not suck.  Everyone needs a breather now and then.  That does not make you less of a writer or less of a person.  Even the strongest people need a few minutes now and again to just breathe.  You are a writer.  You are a story teller.  The stories inside you won’t die while you’re taking a vacation.  I promise, in this case, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and before long, your characters will be screaming to get out again.  Just breathe.

Why the eff are you bothering?  Because you love what you do.  Because you’re filled with more than just the base need to exist.  Your purpose is to pen a story that people will fall in love with, that they’ll learn from, that will change them.  You create souls from nothing and put them on a page, parts of yourself, and you let people share in that with you.

Why are you bothering?  Because what you do is important.  It’s important to you, and it’s important to someone else out there, maybe hundreds of someones.  Thousands.  People who need a story to relate to.

Don’t sell yourself short, and always remember to breathe.

If there is anything you’d like to see covered in Writing Life, please feel free to message me.  My information is in the contact page, and my Tumblr is located in the sidebar.  Don’t be shy!

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Camp NaNoWriMo – June 2012 – Vlog Number 1

Vlog number 1 for the June run of Camp NaNoWriMo 2012.

My story is flawed.  Don’t judge me.  =P

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How to Survive the First Week of Camp

If you’re a NaNoWriMo fan, you probably know that Camp NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us.  Not sure what I’m talking about?  Well, NaNoWriMo is an event held every November, in which crazy writers like me (and maybe you) endeavor to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  Camp NaNoWriMo is the same event, only minus the in-person events, forums, and hype.  You could call it NaNo-Lite.

So, Camp.  50k in the 30 days of June (and also August, if you into that kind of thing).

Summer is a busy time for most people.  For students, you’re busy making the most of your summer vacation.  For the rest of us, we still have to work to pay the bills, and if we’re lucky enough to get a vacation from that work, we’re spending much needed time with family.  So, the question remains: how do you make it through your first week of Camp?

The answer is “magic.”

No, I’m just kidding.  It’s time management.  1667 words per day is entirely manageable, I promise.  Seriously.   You’re going to be super excited and gung-ho your first week, yeah?  I mean, you’re all flipping out about getting started, aren’t you?

Harness that enthusiasm.  Write what you can, when you can.  As much as you can manage in any free time block you’ve got.  Love your story.  Make it come to life.  Plow through!  Met your daily quota, but still feel like you can write?  WRITE!  Don’t save it for the next day; it’ll give you a nice word count cushion.

Don’t burn yourself out.  If you’re not feeling like writing more after you’ve met quota, don’t push it.  I know this contradicts my last note, but seriously.  Burn out in week one means failure on day 30.  Make quota, but take it easy.

Don’t procrastinate.  Find the balance!  If you could write, but keep putting it off, find someone to war with.  A little competition always lights a fire under me!  Don’t have anyone to war with?  Check your Camp NaNoWriMo Cabinmates.  Cabin silent?  Come over to the WriteWriteandWrite chat!  I’m usually in there, and there are a bunch of fantastic folks who are always willing to war.  We’d love to see you.

Caffeine.  That is all.

Talk your novel up to people you know.  It’ll help you keep up that enthusiasm going into Week 2!

How do you get through the first week of events like Camp NaNoWriMo?  Veterans: have any tips for novices?

The idea for this post is courtesy of Jade Bennett.  Check out her blog!

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Writing Life: Clustering

How many of my loves use clustering as an initial plotting technique?  Anyone?  Well, I’m here to give you as many reasons as I can why you should.

Let’s start with this: clustering empties your brain.  The rules of clustering state that you need to write down ANYTHING that comes to mind, even if it doesn’t connect to anything else.  Write it down, no matter how ridiculous, because you never know when you’ll find that gem that connects points A and C with the ever-elusive B.  It’s like really messy, bullet-point free-writing.

My good friend Coffee over at The Land of Man-Eating Pixies recently posted about something her shop teacher said, and it’s really brilliant.  It’s the ENTIRE reason I swear by clustering (even if he wasn’t talking about clustering =P).

“Your brain is filled with stupid. There’s layers and layers and layers of stupid in your brain. So you have to give yourself fifteen minutes and a couple sheets of paper, and you have to write down every idea that pops into your mind. Even the ones that suck. Because you have to empty out all that stupid and maybe something halfway decent will trickle out. And you’ll be like, ‘WHOA WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? THAT’S ACTUALLY KIND OF GOOD.’ And the only reason you’ll have that halfway decent idea is because you emptied out all the stupid.”

I adore her for sharing this.  You guys need to visit her blog.  MOVING ON.  Yes, you need to empty out all the crappy ideas, because you never know when one crappy idea winds up as an integral part of your hook.

What is clustering?  Let me illustrate.

Messy photography, I apologize.

1.  Color-coded legend!  You don’t have to use highlighter, but I do.  Yellow for settings and locations, pink for characters and character relationships, and orange for groups and organizations.

2.  The actual cluster.  You start by writing a name, an event, a setting, plot point, etc. in the center.  From that center point, you write any connection you can make to it, then you branch off by making connections to the connections.  On the lines that connect them, you can write why their connected, catalysts, necessary information, etc.  Seriously, write ANYTHING that comes to mind.  If it doesn’t connect, don’t connect it.  If you don’t like it later, take it out.  In this way, clustering functions like free-writing; removing any mental blocks you may have between A and B and giving you deeper insight into the connections between characters and events in your story.

3.  Bullet points that detail this and that within the cluster.  If I hit on a point I like, I toss it up in the bullet points.  Sometimes it even turns into a faint starter outline.  It’s handy.

4.  Believe it or not, this is actually part of the original cluster.  It erupted into a detailed plan and layout of the city in which this all takes place.  All I’m missing is the drawing.  It’s easy to get carried away in clustering, after all, and that’s encouraged!  Anything that propels you forward.

Need a better view on each point?  I’m going to leave out number 1, since I think I can assume we all know how to work a legend.  I’ll also add another apology for the poor photography.

2.

3.  (Don’t you love my handwriting?  It’s like someone blindfolded a toddler and handed him a Bic pen.)

4. 

Whew.  There we go.  See in 4?  Above the mess of setting details, it’s linked to my cluster.  It all connects somehow or other.  I’m sort of grateful for my crappy photography in the first two pictures.  It keeps some of my details super-secret.  =P

In any case, that’s clustering!

Do you use clustering?  Are there other pre-outline development techniques you prefer?  How do you handle your initial ideas?

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5 Essential Actions to Take Before You Write Your Novel (via kristin nador writes anywhere)

Wednesdays are “Writing Life” day, I know, but Kristen Nador’s post on the 5 Essential Actions to Take Before You Write Your Novel is a MUST READ. No joke. I love you guys, and I want you to succeed and love what you do. So, while this isn’t my own original post… it’s advice you all deserve. <3

I really hope you enjoy it, and subscribe to Kristin Nador’s blog!

5 Essential Actions to Take Before You Write Your Novel Last week I attended the monthly meeting of my local writers group. I love being around writers who are serious about writing and improving their skills. Experienced professionals and those working to get there, all there to mix and mingle and encourage one another. There’s that faint singed smell of creative combustion in the air. Each month the group hosts different speakers who share their expertise. Some subjects covered since I started atten … Read More

via kristin nador writes anywhere

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