Daily Challenge Check-in: September 11, 2015

Words/Time: 55 minutes, 35 of which was revising “Pithea.” Missy and Leahna’s conversation about what Leahna is mixed up in is more streamlined. It gives Missy (and the reader) actual info, but I’ll wait for the opinions of the TCSTB about whether that part should stay or remain more of a mystery. Also, Missy realizes even more about why the bad man who tried to kill them all seemed so familiar. Another point I’m actually not sure should stay.

I again started my writing time doing some of the activities on the post I made yesterday with NaNo prep activities. I did two more of the activities–3 and 6. I won’t be able to do to 4 without remembering to do it during the day (my writing time is almost always at night), and the picture for number 5 proved to be too difficult to write for, since I know who they are.

Tomorrow there will be a new list.

Daily Challenge Check-in: September 10, 2015

Words/Time: 48 minutes, half of which was revising “Pithea.” Missy and Leahna now wait to talk about Missy’s concerns until they have left the company of Alexander. And Missy is not quite as in the dark or naive as she was before about Leahna’s own part in Alexander’s questionable actions.

But I started my writing time doing some of the activities on the post I made today with NaNo prep activities. I have a partial outline for the story I have been planning to write for this year’s NaNo. It is another in the same world as “Pithea.” I’m still working on editing “Pithea” (though I’m actually seeing the light at the end of that tunnel), and then I have “Pursuit of Power” to start revising. It is not the most important thing right now for me to add another novel to that pile.

So I’m going to take some time out of my normal revising work over the next week or so and do some of the activities that I’m suggesting for others. I only got to two of them, and then realized how difficult it would be to make something up for the second image, since I know those people and what’s going on in that picture. Not impossible, but more time than I wanted to spend, since I still had normal revision work to get to.

And while I may still decide to write the story I’ve already outlined, maybe I’ll go with something I produce from these activities instead. There’s still a lot of time to decide.

Daily Challenge Check-in: September 6, 2015

Words/Time: 70 minutes, revising “Pithea.” Most of it was rewriting, as a scene in which Missy, Leahna, and Alexander (latter two being main characters of “Pursuit of Power“) recover from an encounter was kind of flat before. The scene also included Alexander learning some important information for the very first time, but things were disjointed and disorderly. So I’m working on smoothing it out and giving it more emotion now.

NaNoWriMo Day 29, “The End”

The Words: 5442 written today and finished my novel! I was on such a roll last night that I just had to keep going. I put the final words in just before 5 a.m. I started with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, but the closer I got to the end, the more I just wanted to write and didn’t need the push of the word sprints. I am exhausted in so many ways right now. (I am writing this at 5 am, though I won’t post it until later this evening.)

I’m planning to write one more NaNoWriMo post before going back to posting about my revision work. Tomorrow, on the last day of the month, I want to sum up my experiences with NaNo this month.

The Story: Lex decided to take matters into his own hands and try to stop the battle quickly. He succeeded, somewhat, but it wasn’t a clean end exactly. Still, the battle was over, and now Lex and Leahna have to deal with the aftermath. Then there was a muchly summarized epilogue in which Lex gets some clues to get him back on track to solving the mystery of his father’s death.

Final word count: 107,234

day 29

NaNoWriMo Day 28

The Words: 4462 written today and broke 100,000! After yesterday’s low number, and anticipating a very busy next two days (the last two days of NaNo), I made sure to really buckle down to write tonight. I did want to hit 100k, but I am still mostly intent on finishing the book. I am SO close. So close, in fact, that I didn’t realize that midnight had passed until it was 1 a.m. So I had to stop for a break and to write this up. Then I plan to get back to it tonight and maybe finish finally.

The Story: The battle in the desert is heating up. Two weeks have passed and the militia units that Lex and Leahna are helping are gaining a tiny bit of ground. Not literal ground, but they are systematically lowering the numbers of the enemy. When the second-in-command is taken prisoner, though, the leader demands immediate action. He knows that his second will be in grave danger if they don’t find him soon. So Lex decides to go inside the base himself and find a way to stop Rusalki, the leader of the mercenary organization.

Total word count: 101,792

day 28

NaNoWriMo Day 27

The Words: 577 written today. My extended family isn’t having our official Thanksgiving get-together until Sunday, but we had an unofficial game night tonight. I didn’t know for sure if we were going to that until around 4, so I had expected to have some writing time in the afternoon. In an effort to avoid a zero day, I did get some words written while sitting at the table where people were playing games. My laptop died and I’d forgotten my charger, so I ended up having to switch to pencil and paper for half of it. I got very little done. But at least it’s not a 0.

The Story: The battle in the desert has taken a turn, with Lex and Leahna there to help. But it still doesn’t show signs of ending soon.

Total word count: 97,330

day 27

NaNoWriMo Day 26

The Words: 2947 written today. I realized at the exact right time today that the weekly virtual write-in was starting. For the first few weeks, I was gone every Wednesday, and the weeks after that, I just kept forgetting. I got lucky today and joined in. I wrote 1900 during that, and the rest in the evening. I haven’t watched the videos for the other virtual write-ins, but I have to admit, the prompts weren’t the most helpful today. I know you don’t have to write with the prompts, but they intrigued me, so I did. Things like: What is your protaganist’s ideal ending? What would your antagonist be doing if they didn’t have anybody thwarting them, and if all their plans succeeded? I couldn’t help but want to explore those questions. But I’m close to the end of my novel, and just need to finish this battle scene!

The Story: I realized today that I forgot about the narrator this story is supposed to be have, and have written the entire book without him. Overall, that won’t make a huge difference, because the narrator is only in a small part of the book himself, so it will still mostly read as third-person. But this is still something I will have to remember during my early revising. And today’s writing is when he showed up in the story himself.

Total word count: 96,753

day 26

NaNoWriMo Day 25

The Words: 2045 written today. I had to squeeze some in during the afternoon and then a bit more before we had another Skype meeting of the TCSTB (revising a novel I finished earlier this year). And I wanted to share this picture from the marathon meeting we had at the house of one of the TCSTB members on Saturday.

reptile Mikayla

We acted out some fighting scenes to make sure they made sense in the text. The bear represents a large reptilian creature. The blanket on the floor is its victim, and the red is a sweatshirt that has been laid across the body to symbolize blood. This is before we rushed in to attack the reptile.

The Story: Lex and Leahna are continuing to help with the battle in the desert, and so much is happening, but I can’t really go into detail.

Total word count: 93,806

NaNoWriMo Day 24

The Words: 2063 written today. Today’s writing put me past my total from last year, which was 90,228. Before that, I’d always written 50k within a few days from the end and that was it.

The Story: I have now decided that the decision I made yesterday about being done with the novel was wrong. I did glance at the beginning of this big battle scene from the original version and realized that the main characters are not doing the right thing yet to merge with that original version. So I do need to write a bit more to get my current story to a place where it matches up with that scene. (And for all I know, it will never actually flow into the other version, and I’ll rewrite it all anyway.) I thought it would be quick, but I should have known better.

Total word count: 91,761

day 24

NaNoWriMo Day 23

The Words: 1957 written today. I have a feeling the rest of the month will be smaller numbers like this, or at least most of it. That is partly due to the fact that a lot of the excitement of the month has worn off, partly because I’ve been having a lot less chances to find writing time outside of the few hours in the evening, and partly because I have run out of anything to write. A friend of mine told me recently that that shouldn’t matter. He said, “Think stuff up. That’s what authors do.” He has a point, but I’m terrible at pantsing. Even if I found something to write through the end of the month, I doubt I’d be able to get nearly as many words per day as I was getting before.

The Story: I have officially decided to stop the story at the part where Lex and Leahna show up to help with the fighting in the desert. I think. I have written that whole battle scene before. See, technically, Pursuit of Power is a rewrite. I wrote a story set in what I would call a stepping-stone world I created with a friend, before I created the one my stories take place in now. I like the new one loads better. But enough of it was different that I had to do a complete rewrite on Lex’s story. The same basic elements are there–Lex and Leahna working together and becoming friends, Lex’s dad’s mysterious death that Lex has been seeking answers to, and the band of mercenaries in the desert causing trouble for Lex. So this scene was written, and I thought it came out very well. Only minor elements that are different from one world to the next would need to be changed, and I’m not sure it’s worth a rewrite. So I feel that writing it again now will be difficult, frustrating, and simply unnecessary. When I go back and read through the already-written scene after the month is over (I won’t let myself do it now, I think it will only slow me down), I may realize I’m wrong, and if so, I’ll rewrite it then. For now, though, I’m moving on. So today’s writing largely consisted of writing some more personal bits of Leahna’s life–her family, her work, etc., in order to flesh her character out. It won’t be directly included as-is, but I will hopefully find places to insert tidbits about her, or use it to know what kind of things are going on in her life while Lex is going through his ordeal. And now I would say I am officially done writing this book. My tentative plan for the rest of the month is to start writing what comes after the battle at the end of this story. Because really, Lex’s story is not over yet. He hasn’t solved the mystery of his dad’s death or uncovered the secrets about the Power that were hinted at in the letter he found. Or figured out who the mysterious people are that were mentioned in the letter. And I have no idea how any of that will come to be. But I know what will happen directly after this book ends, so I’ll start there.

Total word count: 89,698

day 23