Category Archives: Writing

If it’s Camp NaNoWriMo, does my writing have to be campy?

Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). The blue flo...

Image via Wikipedia

…’Cause I could probably roll with that, if need be. Most of my readers will be familiar with NaNoWriMo, the one time of year when I actually have an excuse to not be blogging, but the good folks at NaNo recently announced the beginnings of Camp NaNoWriMo, a summer project. It’s certainly interesting, the idea of a second official ‘WriMo. I’m definitely gonna give it the old college try, though. Won’t have much else to do this summer while I wait to give university the old college try. More novel ideas have been brewing in my head of late, and for whatever reason a manufactured excuse is the perfect excuse to commit them to writing! So how about you guys? I think it’ll be nice to give the insanity a try when it isn’t quite so freezing outside.

Shard

A Wild New Theme has appeared, what do you do?

Welp, the time has come to revitalize this blog yet again. You might’ve seen me around comment sections in a few places, but I haven’t come back here to roost since around January. I’d been messing around with the new Mystique theme on my beta blog for a while, so I figured now was as good a time as any to unveil it on my main site. But, I don’t really have much else to say at this point. Look forward to more stuff in the near future, but for now sate yourselves with this haiku:

When my hair sticks up
I can feel it shake around
Feels like antennae.

Shard

I Come Late to the Party, with but Scraps to my Name

As inadequate as the public schooling system often seems to me, it has done quite a skillful job of forcing my nose to the grindstone these past weeks. As an unfortunate side effect, I have failed to prepare anything for Ishana’s Resplendence Winter Writing Project. Wanting neither to give up nor miss this checkpoint entirely, I tried twice in the last few hours to concoct a scene from either of my two latest story ideas, but both are still far too immaterial to give me something to show off. Terrible, really.

Buuut, I had a fallback. I’m too tired to meticulously link to all the posts and comments on my blog and others where I’ve spoken of my first NaNoWriMo attempt, but I’m sure you’ve all heard of it at least once. In scrambling through my writing folders, I kept passing over the one still uncreatively labelled ‘Epyk’ [sic]. But a few checks short of wit’s end, I finally conceded to give it a look. I brought up my old manuscript, copied the first chapter over to a new document, tweaked it in the places where it was most starkly terrible, and popped it onto Google Docs. It stars Saryin and Felwin, in case you’re familiar with them. Now you can read it…

Here.

Don’t take this to mean I’ve decided to take on my old manuscript as my Winter Writing Project, but don’t take it to mean I haven’t, either. I really can’t have much of an idea of anything until I can dump all the first semester school stuff from my head in about two weeks. We’ll see, I suppose.

Shard

When we Last Left our Hero…

Dead Snow Angel

Image by CarbonNYC via Flickr

Coldness. Everywhere. Even with no sense of direction, he could feel the chill north, south, east, west, and everywhere inbetween. He was lying prone, surrounded by…something. Something cold, at any rate. He tried to lift his arms, and found that the substance encasing him yielded with minimal resistance. He lifted his head tentatively, only to find bright light beyond the cold material. Opening his eyes, he found the world quite similar to the one he’d left for dreams of darkness. Truly, only a thin layer of snow distinguished this land from the one in his memory. He had survived November, and now played host to December.

In other words, I’m back! I can’t say I succeeded in writing a novel in the past month, but I agree with Ishana enough to say that I didn’t fail, either. I know my story a lot better now, even after only 16 000 words. I also see glaring holes in it, but not nearly as glaring as my project from last year. I also learned that I’m more of a plotter than a pantser, since my writing derailed in the midst of a section of story not outlined in my notes. So that just means I go back to planning, and write my story piece by piece. My first NaNo attempt has done nothing more since I wrote it than collect dust and comfort the homeless with its smoldering corpse. The basis was sound, but a critical flaw in the worldbuilding inclines me toward not continuing it directly. If I ever go back to it, it will be from the ground up, refining it into a workable product. Which I’d like to do eventually, since I like the characters so much.

This year’s attempt, on the other hand, I could conceivably continue, once I do some more planning. I might have to strike the last part from the record, but it’s largely salvageable. The last part is questionable at best, though, since I introduced a character I was saving for later, a plot twist I was saving for later, and nearly introduced another character I was saving for later, before abruptly stopping. But I’ll go back to it, in time. I might even leave in the last section, sans the second new character. I have to keep some things a surprise, after all. There’s little to gain from playing all my cards so early in the story.

I was also pleasantly surprised by how well my characters made their own decisions. In particular the one I introduced in the last part, Aryxander, seems to be the most autonomous. I never expected to find him working for the lowlife Terrick who had appeared early in the story and never again since, and I certainly didn’t expect him to do something majorly game-changing much later on in the story. But even I’m in the dark as to the extent of that one, so I really can’t go telling you guys.

In other news, I’m now a contributor at Class of Last Year! I’m forced by the author’s whim to write under the name Spencer[at]classoflastyear.com, but it is indeed me. Thus far, that has largely consisted of Rickrolls and Words of the Day. Actually, I might steal Will’s and/or my own Word(s) of the Day, and post them over here. We’ll see.

Shard

The Last Bastions Fall, and I begin my Descent into Madness

As I write this, the last hour of October is already half gone. I can feel the ominous chill foretelling the midnight dawn of November. Soon, the insanity will wake before I even lay to rest. For the next month I will reside in a dark place, a place governed solely by words. Scribbled on the walls, the floors, the tables, everywhere.

For those who haven’t gathered yet, I’m talking about NaNoWriMo! Yes, it is thither that I will reside for the next month. If by some strange happenstance I appear here, rest assured that it will be in the form of some irrecognizable monstrosity. But as my last vestiges of sanity abandon me, I’ll wish good luck to my comrades-at-arms, some of whom are already lost in the Novembrance, Ishana, Thaumaturgist, and Ralph/Emitar. Good luck, friends, and safe passage! But now the sands tick away, and the darkness calls to me. Down, downward I fly. Down, downward I fall.

Shard

CreateSpace Dangles the Carrot Yet Again, and by Carrot I mean Novel

That’s right, CreateSpace is offering once again to give succesful NaNovelists a proof copy of their novel for free. Gratis! This is so exciting. I’m excited. The incentive was so strong last year, I was almost tempted to fill in 30 000 words of lorem ipsum after my novel failed after 20 000 words. But I didn’t, and I’m glad. A hollow victory is no fun, and I’d hate to spoil my first novel with those sorts of soured memories.

But that’s last year. This year, this year will be different, I say! I’m gonna finish my novel, and get that proof copy. For sure, this time*.

Shard

*surety subject to change without notice. But I hope not.

Ghost Squirrels, Apparently!

The Squirrels are back...:O)))

Image by law_keven via Flickr

Taking a break from my recent spree of inactivity, I decided to take up the writing prompt from Ishana’s latest post. The end result turned out a little poetic, maybe.
————————-

The beast wakes to its usual surroundings. Darkness, not even much of an inconvenience. The night is quiet, its serenity broken only occasionally by traffic outside. But that scent…The scent beckons once again. The beast ventures forth, insubstantial paws pattering noiselessly across the tiles and up the walls.

It passes in front of the window, gleaming silver in the moonlight. Not an Earthly silver, but the ethereal silver of transient whispers of existance. But no one is watching, and the beast is certainly not inclined to vanity, even in its prior life.

Inside the box, the smell grows exponentially in both magnitude and sweetness. It lies just ahead, masked by some tasteless shell. A deterrent for simpler creatures, perhaps. But the beast scurries forward, well-versed in its tricks.

But tonight is different. Tonight the beast slammed against a barrier where none before had impeded it. There was a sound, like laughter, and suddenly the beast was falling. Falling, falling, as if from a height too high for it to comprehend. Falling, falling…

By morning there was nothing left, save for a few vapors diffusing into the dawn.

Shard

Their, They’re, Everything is Alright

Stephen Fry is awesome, and I figured you guys could appreciate the message of this video:

For the record, I did not know the difference between disinterested and uninterested. NOW I KNOW, and knowing is half the battle.

Shard

Wrylna PSYCHE-OUT

I was going to hurry and post the fourth part of Wrylna before I went to bed, but looking at it I realized that it needs actual work, unlike the minor tweaking I gave to the other parts. I’ll overhaul it over the next day or so, and then roll it out.

Shard

Saryin and Felwin – An Excercise in Characterization

Like a promised, tonight I’m posting my alternate take on this post sans machina. Not quite, though, as I guess I kept the van? I cut Wrylna out, in any case. I like to think that this piece is better than the other one, since I wrote it from memory, which included tweaking it, instead of transcribing the original. But enough of my prattling, on with the story! Read the rest of this entry