Daily Writing Check-in: February 20, 2019

Words/Time: 1 hour finishing character interviews before continuing the outline for “Outcast.”

Talking with 2 of the main characters in “Outcast” accomplished exactly what it was meant to. I am ready to go back to my outline. I now have a new question about how the 2 separate storylines in this book are going to line up, because I think it’s safe to say it won’t work out exactly like it did in the original version. But I’m going to finish the outline for storyline 2, and then use Scrivener to see how the storylines will match up.

I don’t know about others who have conversations with their characters, but this is what mine look like most of the time:

character interview

Different colors for different characters. I’m always purple.

Daily Writing Check-in: February 19, 2019

Words/Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes doing some character interviews before continuing the outline for “Outcast.”

Ever since I discovered how incredibly insightful it can be to bring in a character or two and ask them questions related to where I’m stuck in my planning stage, it has been something I’ve really enjoyed. Today I asked two characters to help me hash out what’s missing from this story. I only knew that it needed to focus more on Remiel and his character. I’ve already realized that I need to further explore the similarity between Remiel and the woman he’s trying to help, how they both have a past they’re not proud of.

Of course, we already got sidetracked from that discussion to help me understand how much Remiel would know about a particular event and person involved, and that’s where we left off. I will continue this interview tomorrow, and expect some really helpful insights to come out of it. I just hope more of a plot does as well.

The Pithea Books

Go here for an explanation for this post.

“Pithea”

This book introduces the island country of Pithea, and its citizens’ dependency on Power, as well as their eternal struggle against the Madness. Our narrator, Drear, tells us about his friend Missy and his brother Naolin, as they attempt to find their places in society, but are met with the harsh realities of life in a series of unlikely events, menacing villains, and both triumph and tragedy.

Current status: Final draft completed, but pending future first drafts could force changes

Pithea

“Outcast” *

In this book, Drear introduces us to some people who are important to future events, and shows us how they are connected. Natos Morano has been a member of a band of mercenaries known as the Class of Morano since birth. He is faced with a personal crisis, as a woman he’s never met tells him that he is not meant for this life, and forces him to choose between the only family he’s ever known, and his true family that is long gone.

Remiel Azrael finds himself caught between family and his own morality as he attempts to help a woman who is in desperate need. But when her situation turns out to be more dangerous than he realized, he faces a crisis of his own, and is forced to face his demons.

Current status: New outline finished, second draft currently in progress

Outcast

“Pursuit of Power”

Drear introduces us to Alexander Surett, a driven man with a tendency toward obsession if given the right target. In this first book of the trilogy, Alexander’s drive to find out about questionable circumstances surrounding his dad’s death leads him to ignore some of the region’s highest laws, which regulate Power usage. In doing so, he attracts the attention of the leader of the Class of Morano, who wants to recruit him. When he refuses, she takes it personally, and he has to set aside his search for answers about his dad’s death to try to stop this madwoman. The result is all-out war.

Current status: Draft 3 completed, structural changes ahead

Pursuit of Power

“Unexpectedly” **

The small island nation of Pithea has been at peace with its neighbors for hundreds of years. However, when a destructive force rises up from within, the rest of the country has to decide whether to choose sides or remain neutral. What follows is a civil war with a high body count. In this book, Drear tells us about some of the men and women who fought in the battle, on both sides, and the effect the battle had on their lives afterward.

Current status: Outline finished, first draft pending

Unexpectedly

“The Seeger Book”

Jonathan has been given an amazing gift in the form of exclusive access to a highly desired instruction manual written by a master blade smith. When it comes to light that someone has been making copies of the priceless book, tensions rise between Jonathan and the friend who owns the book. The mystery deepens with the death of someone involves, and Jonathan becomes the prime suspect. Drear shares this tale of intrigue in which no one is who they seem to be, and years of trust will be shattered.

Current status: New outline completed for re-draft

The Seeger Book

“Vin”

There was a time when Missy was plagued by mysterious men who seemed to wish her harm. They spoke to her as if they knew her, and seemed to be connected in some way, but she had no idea how. In this culmination of smaller events from previous books, Drear tells us of the shocking events around the revelation of the mystery that these men created around themselves. He shares glimpses into the mind of a dark, twisted, lost soul, and the final outcome won’t be what anyone expected.

Current status: New outline completed for re-draft

Vin

“Protector”

Drear takes us outside of Pithea and the union of nations it belongs to for the first time. Altmoor is a country that has never even heard of the Power, and certainly does not use it in any way. Altmoor and its king are entrenched in a centuries-long war with their northern neighbor, but suddenly learn that there is much more to fear than a mere border feud. When a single man wreaks havoc on the entire region with a sorcery that they cannot combat with swords and bows, it draws the attention of powerful people in Pithea who offer to help, but also open their eyes to a whole new world.

Current status: First draft done, at least first half will need rewritten (purpose of story changed by the end of the book)

Protector

*The order of “Outcast,” “Pursuit of Power, Book One,” and “Unexpectedly,” relative to each other, is subject to change. They all have some commonalities that could spoil each other, so I have been spending a lot of time trying to decide which order they should go in. I’m settled with this order for now.

**The title of “Unexpectedly” came from a fanfiction that is the basis for this book, but it will be very different than that fanfiction. So the title is a working title, and most likely won’t stay.

A Monday Moment: Vin & Missy

Normally I put any prompts involved with a Monday Moment writing at the bottom, but I thought it was important to state it at the beginning this time.

From my Writer’s Emergency Pack, #9, question 1: Picture your hero on a date with each of the major characters in the story.
Vin and Missy are both major characters in my NaNoNovel, “Vin.”
The following gets a little meta.


They stared across the table at each other awkwardly.

“So…which one of us is the hero in this scenario?” Vin asked with a smirk.

Missy rolled her eyes.

“Hey, it’s a legitimate question. We don’t even know how much you’ll be in the book.”

“Oh, please,” Missy said, straightening up in her chair. “Every time a new book is written, I manage to push my way in to a near-main-character role.”

“Not the ones about Alexander.”

“Alexander is on his own quest so much, he is fine as the lead. You, on the other hand…”

“What about me?”

“We’re all still getting used to the idea of you not being a sociopath. It was all a lot easier when you…”

“When I was just plain evil?”

“Well, yeah…”

“So why am I not anymore?”

“That’s a better question for someone else, but I’d say it’s because you weren’t interesting enough to drive a story that way.”

“And now I am?”

“You’re complex. You have real motivation, as skewed as it may be.”

He opened his mouth to protest, but she silenced him with a raised hand.

“You garner sympathy–that’s the important thing. You saw a need and tried to help. Your somewhat broken past may have led you to a dark place during your quest, but your underlying intentions were good.”

He didn’t even try to say anything. What she was saying reminded him of Pastor Lede. Considering how he had always treated Missy, she was giving him more kindness than he deserved.

“This is supposed to be a date, you know,” he said.

“I know.”

“But how do you leave him out of it?”

Missy shook her head. “I think we’ve already ruined the premise. I’ll try to do better with Alexander.”

“There you go again, presuming you’re the hero,” he said, stopping short of sighing.

She stared across the table at him intently. “Vin, you may be the main protagonist, but do you really expect anyone to buy you as the hero?”

“Maybe it depends on who you ask.”

 

NaNoWriMo Day 28

The Words: 2252 words written today. This was written a few hours after midnight, when my daughter finally went to sleep. I tried to salvage the night’s writing, especially since I knew I’d be busy today. We spent the afternoon decorating the tree, and then went to an escape room this evening. It was one my husband and I had done alone last weekend, but we got others from my family (Mom, Dad, 2 sisters, one sister’s boyfriend, and our own 13-year-old son) to go do the same room. Then the owner let us back into the control room to watch them solve the room! Then afterward, we went out to eat and sat and talked about the room for a while. It was so much fun! Not so good for the last few days of NaNo, but fun! And fun is nice right now.

I have two days left to try to reach my goal of 100,000 words. I will be frustrated if I come this close and fail, but of course it’s not a necessary goal. 4200 each of the next two days will get me there, but we’ll see how they go. My daughter’s still been holding a  low fever today, so she’s a little needy.

The Story: Missy and her husband have been discussing the situation with Jonathan further. Missy gave him a history lesson of how Jonathan and Lark met and fell in love, since he didn’t know all of them at that time. Still more fishing by me, and soon I’m going to have to move on. I may go ahead and dive into the climax tomorrow. I’m just not sure where the players will be at the start of the climax. But I might be able to make it vague enough. Maybe doing that will give me a better idea of where to go next further back in the story.

Total word count: 91,530

day 28

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2015 – November 28th    This comic… this one is brilliant. However, if you haven’t been keeping up with them, you should maybe read this one first. This is the very spirit of what makes NaNo so amazing.

NaNoWriMo Day 25

The Words: 3455 words written today. I was distracted for the first hour of my writing time, and I had to really buckle down with sprints to get the words in before midnight. Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving and I’ll be gone until probably after midnight. I’ll write in a notebook when I can, but I’ve made sure to have a lead pretty much for this very reason.

The Story: Missy went to talk to Jonathan’s wife Larxis about the things she’d said to the investigators. She mostly got told off by Lark, who said they were never friends, only pushed together because of their shared interest in Lark’s husband. Missy sort of caught Lark in a logic trap, which only angered Lark further, and then she promptly quit their War Games team. It wasn’t pretty. Larxis has a temper, that’s for sure.

Total word count: 87,224

day 25

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2015 – November 25th

 

NaNoWriMo Day 24

The Words: 4976 words written today. I went to the last write-in at my local library tonight. It was a small turnout, but I did get my normal day’s word count done while I was there. Then I went ahead and did one 1k30min with the Twitter feed, and wrote 1600 words during that.

The Story: Jonathan has been detained for the murder of his apprentice. He and Missy are discussing some concerning issues, like what on earth is going on in general, and why Jonathan’s wife Larxis said that he has a temper and that she thinks Missy is in love with Jonathan. He just keeps telling her to trust the justice system, and not to worry over things she can’t control. He wants her to cooperate fully with the investigation, and he’s certain the truth will come out (whatever that even is). I never knew he was so level-headed and trusting. Even I’m starting to wonder if he’s having a mental break-down.

Total word count: 83,769

day 24

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2015 – November 24th

And episode 4 of the NaNoMusical! Rick falls down, and there’s a sappy love song!

NaNoWriMo Day 23

The Words: 3984 words written today. I started doing word sprints with the Twitter feed around 10 pm, and didn’t look back. I’m really glad to be back into the writing again.

The Story: Jonathan filled Missy in when he was on his way to confront his apprentice, who wasn’t home. Missy, waiting for some sort of report, decided she couldn’t wait anymore, and went to the apprentice’s home too. There she found a dead apprentice and no Jonathan.

Total word count: 78,793

day 23

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2015 – November 23rd

Week three is over and we have just one week left (and for Americans, it’s Thanksgiving week). How is everyone out there doing? Ready to finish strong? Limping to the end? Whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP!

NaNoWriMo Day 19

The Words: 3504 written today.  I’ve got to stop pushing it so close. I think that two weeks of only writing about 2000 words per day has allowed me to become too lazy. If I didn’t get to writing until 10 pm, I could still make it with no real rush. But now that I’m trying for 3333 per day, I should really start to take this more seriously.

I can’t even really guess how the next 3 days are going to go. My husband and I are taking our kids over to my parents’ house for a much-needed weekend away. For the last few months, things have really picked up in my life, at work, with my extended family, and even to a point, in my own home. I’ve been feeling completely overwhelmed by life in general, and it’s stressing me enough that I can feel myself wearing out physically and emotionally.

We’re not going far, but we are staying in a hotel for a few nights. That alone is enough to make the writing hard, because not only can I not get away to my own room, it’ll be hard to focus when I just want to be spending time relaxing and vegging out. But on top of that, we have some activities planned for the weekend–an escape room on Saturday and a concert on Sunday evening. So my main goal will be to write anything, because I don’t want to skip a day. If I have time for 3333, great; if not, I’ll survive.

The Story: I’ll try to explain this as briefly as I can: Missy’s dad was a blade smith who was somewhat famous for making quality weapons with unique designs. He kept extensive notes about everything he designed or even just everything he knew about smithing, in a hand-written book. Missy, who decided not to become a smith herself, passed the book on to a friend, Jonathan. The paper that she found in a previous day’s writing is a hand-written copy of a page out of that book. Though she has no claims on the book anymore (it’s technically Jonathan’s), she didn’t like the idea of someone making copies for presumably monetary reasons.

After a tense moment in which Jonathan didn’t appreciate thinking Missy was accusing him of something he didn’t do, they’ve come to realize that someone else has in fact broken into where the book was kept and copied at least that one page. So now Jonathan, Missy, and Missy’s husband are working on a plan to figure out who’s been doing this.

Total word count: 71,139

day 19

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2015 – November 19th

NaNoWriMo Day 18

The Words: 3406 written today.  I’m very sleepy, but I pushed myself to get the words in, finishing only 10 minutes before midnight. There’s one thing in particular that I used to do almost every night time last year that I haven’t done at all yet this year. I would write at least 500-800 after midnight, so that when I go to the writing the next day, I’d have a dent in the word count already. It was a mental trick, because in the end, I was still the same amount in a 24-hour period, and in fact the same amount in an evening. But it helped. I might try that tonight.

I know why I haven’t been doing it though. It’s because I haven’t been feeling the same drive as last year. I’m still shaking off the near-burn-out from that 25KDayOne. I’m getting more into it again though. I guess I shouldn’t have tried to deviate from my beloved Pithea, with Missy, Drear, and all of the other characters that I’ve “known” for 10 years. Now that I’m back to writing about them, I’m feeling it again.

The Story: So far, I’m realizing that Jonathan isn’t really the main character of this story. At least, not the primary main character. Missy is. Missy was the main character of the first novel I ever finished. She’s the focal point of a lot of the stories I’ve written or have ideas for in the Pithea world. And though in this story, the conflict revolves around Jonathan, so far there has been a lot more Missy than Jonathan.

That being said, I think he’ll be very close behind her, once he gets a chance to get back into the story. I think it’s because she’s the leader of the team, and so far the story has mostly been about showing her and the rest of the team move out of the building they had occupied for at least 6 months, and gotten comfortable in.

But now Missy is trying to track Jonathan down to ask him about the paper she found on the floor of her apothecary lab while she was packing it up to move.

Total word count: 67,635

day 18

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2015 – November 18th (Hand-writing Wrimos unite!)