NaNoWriMo Day 13 (50k!)

Day 13 writing badgeThe Words: 3118 words. I sat down to write just in time to catch several back-to-back sprints on my region’s Discord server.

I realized earlier today that I am going to need to start splitting my writing time between NaNo and finishing final edits on “Pithea,” or I’m not going to have my book ready to submit for reviews in time for when I want to publish it. So today, I still had to push for 3k words because I was so close to 50k(!), but after this, I’ll likely stick to around 1667-2500 words per day so I have time to work on my soon-to-be-published book. I don’t know what this means for whether or not I’ll finish the first draft of my NaNoNovel, but we’ll just see how the rest of the month goes.

The Story: I really enjoyed writing more of storyline 1 today. Though most of it was back to diplomacy between the main characters’ country and their northern neighbor, I got to get into the head of a brand new character in this book (I don’t get the chance to do that much by this point in the series), and even got to write more about my favorite character in the entire series!

Total word count: 50,068

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already:
November 13, 2019
If the week 2 blahs have got you down (or even if they don’t), it’s a good time to check out the 3rd episode of the NaNoMusical!

NaNoWriMo Day 12

Day 12 writing badgeThe Words: 3887 words. My local library’s weekly write-in was tonight, but it was a bust. I was the only one there, so I waited about 20 minutes and left. I wrote a little after supper, and then got the rest of the words during my normal writing time after my daughter went to bed. As is most common for me, I sprinted alongside @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter the whole way.

The Story: I went back to storyline 2 today and got to write about a character that has been talked about for many books, but wasn’t revealed until now. I loved getting into his head and following him to this new land where he lives!

Total word count: 46,950

I finally got around to typing up the short synopsis I wrote for my story earlier in the month. This only actually covers storyline 1, but I’m afraid of revealing too much so early in the life of the series I hope to publish, so this is all I’ll share for now:
The king of Altmoor has the daunting task of trying to bring peace to his region while rooting out the rogue faction that has kept the war going for hundreds of years. Even more difficult will be convincing his people–and himself–that their long-time enemy may not be the devils they always thought. Will it all fall apart when Altmoor’s rivals’ eyes are opened to the truth that the king himself only recently learned, and when he is shown the full depth of this secret?

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already:
November 12, 2019

NaNoWriMo Day 11

Day 11 writing badgeThe Words: 4368 words. I again didn’t start writing until after 9, and wasn’t sure how it was going to go, because my daughter was in a mood for a while. Also, I had spent a good amount of time today working on my soon-to-be-published book, which needs to be completely done with edits by the end of the month, but I’ve been neglecting it this month (because, hello, NaNo!), so my head was a bit caught up in that story, instead of this one. (They’re in the same world, but the book I’m writing now is #8 in the series, and the one I’m publishing is #1, so…there’s a bit of distance between them.)

In the time I was actually writing, I don’t have much more to say than that I sprinted with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter for the most part, and just kept plugging away until I had passed my goal for the day.

The Story: I went back to storyline 1 today, which involved some long-distance traveling and also a heart-wrenching story from a man who did a bad thing but was probably not in his right mind when he did it.

Considering that what is left in the outline for storyline 1 involves a lot of discussion and revelation, I have a feeling I’ll be finished writing it long before I’m finished with storyline 2. That’s okay, because storyline 2 is the main arc of this book. (Don’t ask me why the main one is storyline 2; it’s just the order in which I started writing them at the beginning of the month.)

Total word count: 43,063

We are firmly entrenched in week 2, which for many can be one of the downest times of the month. I seriously considered just skipping today myself, which I realize might not seem like a big deal, given my word count. However, considering my ultimate goal of finishing the novel draft, rather than just hitting 50k, I have to make the most of every day just like anyone else. So what I’m trying to say is that if you’re struggling with motivation right now, you’re not alone. Take a break if you need to, or go for a shorter goal. Try a word crawl (you can find some here). There are lot of tricks you can try, but whatever you do, don’t give up!

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already:
November 11, 2019

NaNoWriMo Day 10

Day 10 wriitng badgeThe Words: 4580 words. After a rough week of sickness and work, today was a lazy Sunday for my family. So I was given free rein to shut myself away for a few hours in the afternoon. For the first time all month, I did my own sprints for a while. I basically alternated between reading a chapter of the book I’m currently reading (Anne of Green Gables) and writing with a timer set to 15 minutes. After a few sessions of that, I had about 2500 words, and it was time to stop for a while.

Then in the evening, I participated in some sprints in my region’s Discord channel and that got me to the total for the day.

The Story: Today was the first truly frustrating day of writing I’ve had this month. I realized last night that when writing storyline 2b, I completely forgot about something that should have happened to the main character in that storyline, that would have seriously crippled him in a way that I had not been writing at all.

Originally, I planned to just write a note to remember to fix what I’d written of that storyline during editing. But I realized that the scene would really have gone differently enough that I didn’t want to just pick up from where it was. So I basically started again from the beginning of that scene. I liked how the new one went better anyway, up until the point where I started to just repeat what I’d written before. So I made notes to just splice in what was there before (with some edits to be made in the future to reflect the major change), then jumped back to where I’d been in that storyline before yesterday.

I did not delete any of what I’d written before, because it still counts for my NaNo word count. But while it’s fine for word count, rewriting is not super helpful in my goal to have a finished draft by the end of the month. I just did the math, though, and I’m about 40% through my outline, and we’re only 30% through the month, so I’m not worried yet!

Total word count: 38,695

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already:
November 10, 2019

NaNoWriMo Day 9

Day 9 writing badgeThe Words: 3445 words. I caught a #1k30 with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter in the afternoon when I made some time to try to get a jump on the day’s word count. Then in the evening, I wrote some on my own and some sprints with the Twitter feed. Overall, nothing all that out of the ordinary with today’s writing.

The Story:  I went back to storyline 2 today, where the two characters driving that storyline started off on a major adventure. Unfortunately, their analyzation of every detail on the way to getting started was incredibly dull, so I’ll have to figure out how to liven that up or cut it out in the future (though cutting it out will have them just going with a crap shoot, which doesn’t work for either of their characterizations or for the situation).

Total word count: 34,115

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already:
November 9, 2019

Book Review: The Passengers

Finished Reading: The Passengers
by John Marrs

My rating: 3 / 5
Genre: Sci-fi thriller

Cilka's Journey: A Novel

In a future where self-driving cars are becoming the norm, a mysterious Hacker takes control of 8 different vehicles, each with Passengers inside. These eight people are told that they will likely be dead in just over two hours. The Hacker than forces a jury of 5, alongside the entire world watching from their electronic devices, to decide which one of the eight should be saved.

I was really into this book for for the first 80%, which were parts 1 and 2. If I gave a rating just on that much of the book, it would be a solid 4 stars. Then part 3 came along, and everything just fell apart for me. The writing was good, for the most part, and some of the characters were interesting. Some were major stereotypes, but to be honest, with that many characters, it doesn’t surprise me. But the thriller aspect just died in the last 20%, even with a push to bring it back.

To be honest, the hacking done on the cars might have been wholly unrealistic, but I don’t really care. I’m blessed to be someone who can just enjoy it for what it is, because I don’t really know a lot about software, AI, or electronics in general. It was pretty clear that some of the Passengers were only in the book so that the Hacker could show how serious he was, as the number quickly dwindled from 8 to 5. Each of those 5 Passengers has their secrets, which are unveiled as the Hacker hurtles them to their doom.

While this is happening, the protagonist, a woman named Libby, is one of the 5 on the jury that is being forced to decide these people’s fate. While there were some things that she did that really bugged me, it was a good perspective to watch the events from. The very end of part 2 was a bit confusing to me, and unfortunately, in the mess that was parts 3 & 4, the book didn’t really give a satisfying reason for what happened.

Parts 3 & 4 are messy and mostly unnecessary. They felt like a tack-on, and frankly, soured the mysterious nature of the Hacker. I felt like there were too many attempted twists, and I quickly got to a point where I just didn’t believe anything, which makes it difficult to enjoy a book.

In the end, I am glad I read this book. Enough of it was enjoyable that I would recommend it for fans of sci-fi, especially people who enjoy books that show horror stories about the direction our technology is heading. Because of the many higher ratings this book has gotten, definitely check it out if you think you might enjoy it.

**Side note: One of the characters in this futuristic story mentioned that Facebook peaked in 2020. The idea of this was really funny to me.

Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me a copy of this book to review.  

Find out more about The Passengers

See what’s coming up.

If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!

NaNoWriMo Day 8

Day 8 writing badgeThe Words: 3525 words. I did a solo sprint for 10 minutes in the afternoon, and the rest of the words came alongside @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter in the evening. I came on during a shift change, so the feed was quiet for 30 minutes (happens a lot to me lately), but rather than just write while I waited, I decided to read. (I’m close to the end of a book, so just kept wanting to get back to it.) Two 30-minute sprints later, I had my words for the day.

The Story:  Today was spent on storyline 1. After the main characters squeezed help out of a guy that couldn’t really do what they were hoping, we switched to a very familiar character, who has just come face to face with a man who used to torment her. What fun (for me, not her)!

Total word count: 30,670

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already:
November 8, 2019

Book Review: The Martian

Finished Reading: The Martian
by Andy Weir

My rating: 4.5 / 5
Genre: Sci-fi drama, suspense


Following a dust storm that forced an evacuation from the surface of Mars, astronaut Mark Whatney is left behind, presumed dead. But he’s very much alive, and must now figure out how to survive alone on Mars while back on Earth, they work on how to bring him home.

I watched this movie a few years ago (as research for a mini escape room I helped build), and I really liked it. The book is even better! Whatney is resourceful and determined. The repertoire between him and the rest of his team is fun and touching. The determination of those back on Earth to do whatever they can to help him survive is really interesting too.

The book has a lot of explanation about the different sides of what Whatney needs to survive. Ideas are thrown out and dismissed for better ones. It has such a real feel to it, as if it were any other modern space mission that went wrong. The genre is sci-fi, and it’s obviously a bit in the future, but the science isn’t far out there. It’s just a bit past what we have now.

The format of the book was interesting. Much of the narration comes from journal entries by Whatney, so it basically reads like 1st person. Then there is the 3rd person narration of what happens back on Earth. There are other formats, but explaining that would be a bit spoilery. I enjoyed feeling like Whatney was sharing his experience directly with us.

I watched the movie again a few days after finishing the book. I still think the movie is good, but like with many adaptations, they weren’t able to reach the depth of characterization that the book did. Plus, some harrowing moments and difficulties that Whatney faced were completely written out for the movie. Still, a good movie, and a great book!

Find out more about The Martian

See what’s coming up.

If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!

NaNoWriMo Day 7

Day 7 writing badgeThe Words: 3404 words. Today was just a terrible day. My daughter and I were at odds all day, probably the worst it’s ever been. Not only did I have no chance to get a few words done earlier in the day, by the time my evening writing time came, I was just so drained, both physically and emotionally. I took a shower to try to kind of reboot my mind, then sat down to start writing at about 10:15.

I went straight to the trusty @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter and jumped into a 25-minute sprint with 15 minutes left. After that was a 30-minute (aka #1k30), during which I wrote 1500 words (that definitely helped!). Another sprint and a little more on my own to try to hit 3333 landed me with my total for the day.

The Story:  I went back to storyline 2 today, which at first I thought was going to be a problem, given the late start to my writing. Two characters were poised on the edge of a discovery the details for which I hadn’t really thought out yet. I planned to just gloss over it and move on, but I ended up figuring it out as went along. One of the characters ended up having some insight into what she’s thought to be right and wrong for years, and we’re about to make a huge leap the next time I come back to this storyline!

Total word count: 27,145

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already:
November 7, 2019
And in case you need some extra inspiration, check out the 2nd episode of the NaNoMusical!

NaNoWriMo Day 6

Day 6 writing badgeThe Words: 3521 words. My husband and kids were gone for a couple of hours this afternoon, during which I did some sprints with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter. By the time they got home, I had 2800 words, and planned to get 500 more for the day. So when my normal evening writing time came, I just wrote until I’d hit 500, and called it a night!

The Story:  In my first real deviation from the planned back-and-forth between storylines 1 & 2, today I only wrote for what I’m now calling storyline 2b. It is a focus on one single character, who is in a bit of a predicament, and will eventually join with storyline 2. Today, he mostly asked questions of someone involved in the predicament he’s in.

I was actually halfway through today’s word count before I realized I was continuing this from yesterday, rather than going back to storyline 2 like I “should” have been. Then I decided that I was enjoying it enough to just keep with 2b for now.

Total word count: 23,741

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already:
November 6, 2019