Tag: Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNo Prep: The Characters

Camp NaNo Prep: The Characters

“Characters are the lifeblood of any good book.” – Craig Hart

I whole-heartedly agree with this quote (no pun intended), as both a reader and a writer. As a reader, if the characters don’t engage me I’m not likely to enjoy the book. As a writer, if the characters aren’t working then the story doesn’t work. This means that characters are perhaps the most important aspect of a book, and as writers we need to put a lot of attention into them. As I mentioned in my previous prep post, I’m a firm believer in the value of developing almost every character in a book as deeply as possible, and the advice I share below is applicable to any character in your story, be they the protagonist, the antagonist, or a side character. Continue reading “Camp NaNo Prep: The Characters”

Farewell to July

Farewell to July

Hey guess what! This makes three monthly wrap-up posts in a row! Hooray!

July’s Writing

July was Camp NaNoWriMo, as most if not all of you know, and my project was to finish The Heart of the Baenor. I did not accomplish that goal, unfortunately, but I still made my 20k goal and even upped it to 40k and won that. I started the Dark War Trilogy, against my better judgement, and I’m really loving it so far. I adore the characters, as with many of my stories.

In addition, I started a dystopian story that I’m keeping on a back burner as something to work on when I’m really stuck with something else, and I began a collaboration story with my best friend set in Wonderland, which we’re both really excited about. The basic premise is that key Wonderland characters are dying, and the eight MCs have to take their places, which begins with a quest for relics for each of them. It’s really fun.

July’s Reading

I’ve read a lot this month. I finally managed to get to my library, which resulted in a stack of books to read, and I’ve finished all but one of those.

The first thing I finished was High Druid’s Blade by Terry Brooks, which is the first in his latest trilogy, I believe. He may have started another one since. It was really good, and I gave it four stars on Goodreads.

After that was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, which was excellent. Five stars for that one.

Next was Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Ann without an E! D:), which got three stars. It seemed a bit too much like Maze Runner for my taste and finished on a sufficiently tied-up ending, so I don’t plan on reading the next one.

I also read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, which was pretty good. Four stars.

Before Red Queen, actually, was The Giver by Lois Lowry. I absolutely fell in love with that one. It’s one of few books that made me feel. I nearly cried near the end, and that’s something that happens even less than feeling in general at books.

I also read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, which I technically finished in August, but most of it was read in July, so I’m listing it here anyway. I’ve been trying to get a hold of this one for a long time so I could read it, and I was finally able to get it from my library. It’s usually checked out the times I go to the library. :P I really liked this one, too, and gave it five stars. There were a few things I could have done without – sporadic language, some suggestive dialogue, gore that went a bit farther in-depth than it needed to – but overall it was really good. There was a love triangle, but it was well-handled and I could tolerate it, even though the MC gravitates toward the wrong one, in my opinion.

If you’d like to see reviews of any of these books, let me know and I’d be happy to write them. :)

A New Story Idea and Planning vs. Pantsing

Hey guys!

I’ve spent the last couple of days planning out a new trilogy that I sort of started a few weeks ago, but before I decided to tangle all their plots together and make them all overlap (which is definitely the fun part!)

So remember Heart of the Baenor, which I wrote for Camp NaNoWriMo? Well, I plan on finishing that next month for July Camp, and then I’m starting on this new trilogy, which takes place three years after HotB. The first book focuses on Catessa in a new place (I won’t say too much more to avoid spoiling anything), and she’s one of three MCs, each in a different of three countries that are at war with each other. Anyway, Catessa catalysts the war, but not on her own plans.

The MC of the second book is the king’s Paladin in Mandoria (I know that country wasn’t mentioned in the Deep Worldbuilding Project. It decided to spring up after that and will take a little bit to get caught up to its neighbors), who has just inherited powers she doesn’t feel ready for, since her mentor recently passed away.

The MC of the third book is going to be my first character with a negative character arc, and she both excites and terrifies me. She’s a shapeshifter, one of very, very few in Themar, and she becomes friends with the prince of Roenor after she steals his crown (long story which will be explained in… the story.)

These three books are all taking place simultaneously, which makes it crucial for me to plan everything out pretty well in-depth so that I don’t mess anything up, and stick to that plan with every bit of willpower in me (but since it’s a really cool plan anyway it might not be so hard. ;))

The temporary title of the series is The Dark War Trilogy, which I like more every time I say it.

Planning this is a really interesting experience for me, since I don’t have a lot of experience with planning. I’ve been a pantser, or at the very least a plantser, for the majority of my writing “career.” I’ve planned a couple of books with the Hero’s Journey method, both of which are very old and I cringe to read, and I outlined HotB before I started it, but for the most part I don’t tend to plan much. Well with this one I’m working on a timeline (Aeon Timeline has been extremely helpful), and I’m going to write an outline, which may be similar to the one I did for HotB with just short explanations of key scenes in each chapter, or it might be more detailed.

Putting together a timeline has been a lot of fun, because I’m playing around with precision in the timing of things. For instance, two characters lose people they care about at the exact same time, and then end up talking about it (which will be a very tense conversation), and then splitting for a few days before one of them comes back a lot harder. And all of the assassinations that happen take place at the exact same time of night. All the successful ones, anyway. Being precise can be very, very fun, and I can make my characters suffer more with more precision, lol. #LifeofaPSK

I haven’t planned quite enough stories ahead of time to say whether planning or pantsing works better for me, but I’ve been more excited and had more motivation on the ones I’ve planned beforehand lately. It could just be coincidence, we’ll have to see, but I’m going to continue planning things for a while and see what happens, I think.

‘Til next time!

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo

I know I just mentioned Camp in my March wrapup post, but I want to write about it again. :P

First of all, I’m 2k behind. I’ve been 2k behind for most of the month, actually, and telling myself I could make it up. I still haven’t made it up. And the past few days my motivation to write this particular story has gone down the drain. I still love the story, I love the idea and the characters and the relationships and everything about it… except the writing. I really wish it would just be done and write itself. I don’t think this has ever happened with a story of mine before. But yeah, I wish it would write itself.

I have still written on this story every day of the month (except the 16th and 18th), and I know I’ve written something every single day because I still have my 4thewords streak, but I can’t get into it. :P

Today I felt really motivated to write my dystopian story Disconnect, so I wrote 1800-ish on that, and I’m so unmotivated on HotB (I still wrote on that today, though) that I counted that 1800 toward my Camp word count. After much deliberation on whether or not I should or not. :P

Anyway, I’m still 2k behind with the Disconnect writing in there. *sighs* Perpetually 2k behind…

Here’s an excerpt from Disconnect, if you’re interested:

**********************************

Cassidy was shoved back into her cell and the guards took up their places by the door.

She looked through the bars at her neighbors. To her left was a mean-looking brute with tattoo-covered arms and a sneer. To her right was a woman only a few years younger than her.

“What are you here for?” Cassidy asked the woman.

The woman pushed her dark, yet vibrant, red hair out of her face.

“Communications with outside cities. You?”

“Same. What’s your name?”

“Hey!” one of the guards said. “No talking to each other!”

The woman rattled her chains and Cassidy recognized morse code.

Dair.

Cassidy tapped out her own name – Cass – and Dair nodded.

“Nice to meet you,” Dair said aloud.

“Hey! Shut up in there!”

Cassidy nodded to Dair, who had slid back into a corner of her cell and leaned her head back to rest against the cement wall.

“Could I have a hairtie?” Dair asked.

One of the guards sighed and left. In a moment he returned and handed a black hairtie to her through the bars.

“Thank you.”

She tied her hair up into a ponytail and leaned her head against the wall again.

Dair started tapping absently on her knee.

Military?

Cass tapped back.

Used to be.

Dair nodded and jabbed a thumb toward the guards.

Apparently those bozos never were.

Cassidy allowed herself a small smile.

You military?

No. Dad was.

What branch?

Infantry. Not much else these days.

True. I was navy.

Dair’s eyebrows raised.

Navy? Impressive. I’d nearly forgotten we had one of those.

Cass gave another small smile.

It’s small. My platoon disbanded.

Even smaller now, then.

Cass nodded.

“What’s going on in there?” one of the guards asked, noticing the motion.

Bozos, Dair tapped.

“Nothing,” she said aloud. “It’s not like we’re talking.”

The guard looked doubtful, but he returned to his post.

Dair rolled her eyes.

How do we get out of here? It was Cass who tapped.

Distraction. Steal the keys. Get out. Grab weapons.

When?

Dair inclined her head a bit.

Soon.

**********************************

Sorry it’s kind of long. :P Hope you liked it, though. :)

Goodbye March (Massively Late)

Goodbye March (Massively Late)

Well, it’s halfway through April and I haven’t written a March overview yet. Sounds like me. Well, better late than never, right?

March’s Reading

The first book I finished in March was Spindle, which I had started all the way back in January or February. It wasn’t my absolute favorite, but it was pretty good.

I also finished The Last of the Mohicans, which I hesitate to add since it was a book I read for school (and it’s also mega, mega boring), but I read it, so it’s on here anyway.

March’s Writing

Rebellion Ever After was my main project in March. My aim was to get it to 60k before April, but that didn’t happen. I got to 40k, though, which is good.

I also wrote a short story in March to go with it, and that was a lot of fun. It follows one of the MC’s dreams as she’s asleep in her stasis chamber, and she’s the only one there except a SRV-droid, so there’s a lot of description and not as much dialogue as I usually write.

April’s Writing

Since it’s halfway through April already, I’ve already gotten some writing done. Namely I’ve written 32k in my Camp Nanowrimo novel, The Heart of the Baenor. This story is really interesting to write because I’m specifically working toward putting in more description and internal dialogue since those are things I tend to struggle with in my writing. The description part is made easier by the fact that HotB takes place in Kaloris, which I’ve fleshed out considerably more than some of my other storyworlds. The well-developed world also helps with character development and so forth.

Other Fun Stuff

I’ve been working on editing my book House of Mages, as you know from January’s wrap-up/February’s welcome, and working toward getting it ready for publishing. Well, I got a cover on March 22nd and I’m sooooo happy with it! It’s perfect! And it was a premade one, so it didn’t cost as much. I got it at The Book Cover Designer.

Now I’m looking toward getting an editor for when I finish my third draft, which I haven’t even started yet because I haven’t finished my second draft. I really need to do that.

Anywho, who wants to see my beautimous cover?

Tadaaaaaa! Oh yeah, and I finally settled on a pen name: R. M. Archer, as you can see above. ^-^ I’m so happy about all of this! It’s amazing! I could be published before the year is out! *squee!* Yeah, I’m happy. ^-^ And in honor of this momentous occasion, how about an excerpt from House of Mages? Just a short one.

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They walked through the tunnels for several minutes before emerging on the surface. But it wasn’t anything like an earthly surface. The ground was black, the sky was stone-like with stalactites hanging from it, and the whole atmosphere was penetratingly dark.

The castle that loomed in front of them was especially dark. Whatever material it was made of seemed to absorb what meager light there was, and the towers were like cold stone claws that would reach down and crush or impale her at any moment. The gates were bent outward like ribs, and the small dank breeze seemed to make them shift like there really was a beating heart behind them.

Lian shuddered.

“Do we have to go in there?”

“Of course. That is the Conqueror’s castle.”

Asphodel led the way up to the gate and Lian followed, trying to seem more courageous than she felt.

As they passed through the gates and walked up to the front door, Lian tried to quiet her rapidly beating heart. It felt like a caged animal trying to break free, making her feel like her chest would explode.

She survived the walk to the front door however, despite almost running into Asphodel when the demoness stopped suddenly to pull the bell rope. Its gong was eerie and melancholic almost causing Lian to shiver again.

The door slid open soundlessly and the two of them entered, passing through several corridors. The only sound was that of Asphodel’s heels clicking on the odd black floor.

******************************

This is one of my favorite parts of House of Mages. There’s actually description! Anyway, I hope you liked it. :)

This post has gotten kind of long, so I’m gonna go now. See ya!

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