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Category Archives: Writings & NaNo

The first 1667 words of my novel!

I wanted to share the first daily quota of my novel. I am considering sharing the first 1667 words of each chapter throughout November but not sure if I’ll keep up with that or not. Even though it is the first few pages of the first chapter I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT FOR CHILDREN. I don’t think it is quite R rated but definitely PG 17 at least.

Chapter 1

Where the Party Is

A dark, reddish brown liquid oozed down over the cool light stone that framed the fireplace in the small living room of the apartment that one Larina Gardner occupied. She stood at the back of the couch watching the oozing liquid fall from the mantle drip, drip, dripping onto the hearth below. It was not what she expected to see when she woke up that morning. As a matter of fact she never looked at her fireplace these days. She was always too busy to pay it any attention. Her furniture had gone unused for several days already. She watched the dripping for a couple of minutes before realizing what it was. Blood was streaming down her wall. It was like a bad acid trip or maybe a high gone wrong. She wondered if she had anything to drink the night before that could have been spiked. Her palms began to sweat as she walked around the couch and approached the wall. She held out her hand and touched the blood with one finger. Lifting her gaze she looked up to find the origin of the blood. On the ceiling, held by something she could not see was a golden wing that looked as if it had come from a very large bird. She stepped back and let out a blood curdling scream. The scream echoed through the room all the way back to her as she opened her eyes and sat up with a start. Her breath came in raspy gasps as she finally managed to stop screaming. Larina looked around her and realized she was in her bed which was soaked with sweat. Wiping a hand across her forehead she pushed the blankets off of her and swung her legs around the bed to rest her feet on the floor. Bowing her head she rubbed the back of her neck. As soon as her feet touch the ground she realizes she is stepping on something soft and feathery. Looking down at the floor she realizes that it is a pair of wings just like the ones she had seen in her dream. She looked closer letting her eyes adjust to the darkness and another scream escaped her lips as she spotted a blonde head lying on the floor eyes wide and dead looking. Larina pulled her feet back on the bed and scrambled backwards across the span of the bed to the other side of the room. She screamed loudly in horror at what she was seeing.

Someone patted her on the shoulder and she opened her eyes again. This time she was screaming into the face of a handsome looking man. She didn’t remember this man. Larina rubbed her eyes and felt the first pangs of a massive headache shoot through her head. Pushing the man backwards she managed to stop screaming in his face. He sat down in the chair across from her with a smirk on his face. She didn’t know what he had to be smirking about but it pissed her off none the less. Here she was terrified by her dreams and still trying to get her bearings on where she was even waking up at and he was laughing at her. Larina ignored him and looked around the room. Many other people were sitting and staring at her. Apparently the entire place had been watching her having a nightmare. When a woman handsed her a coffee mug with a steamy black liquid inside she realized she was at The Celtic House Pub. It was known as one of the best pubs in that part of Colorado and it was where she loved to hang out on a Saturday night. Memories of what had happened were slowly worming their way back into her thoughts. She had been partying with the people around her and drinking shots until she passed out drunk. The memory of how drunk she was made her head swim again. Larina realized it wasn’t that she had been drunk before but that she was still drunk. This thought made her want to wretch. Instead she took a sip of the warm drink she had been handed. Strong, black coffee the one drink that would sober any drunk ass up at least slightly. Larina looked up at the woman who had handed her the mug and was still standing behind her with a smile. “Thanks Lanya,” she slurred out. Taking another sip of the drink she blinked a couple of times and looked around her. There were two women as well as the man who had woke her. One of the women was all over the other one trying to get her to make out or so it appeared to Larina. Shaking her head she looked at the man. Try as she might she couldn’t remember him from anywhere.

“Who are you?” she asked bluntly.

“The name’s Dameon,” he responded with a slight inclination of his head, “I might say you acted like you knew me well enough before you passed out.”

“What is that supposed to mean,” she asked confused.

“Obviously babe it means you were all over him before you passed out,” one of the women said. Larina recognized her as the woman who had invited her over to hang out with them.

“I was not. I would never do that,” Larina tried to defend herself.

Akuma, the other woman, laughed wickedly, “Oh but you did. That doesn’t matter though. What the hell were you screaming like that for?”

Larina explained the dream to her not holding back a single detail. It had truly freaked her out but the look on their faces showed the true extent of creepiness. It was a little eerie looking at their dropped jaws and thinking back on the dream she had just woke up from. Taking another drink she tried to put the thought out of her head. Beginning to feel the sobering effects of the black coffee she looked around for another shot glass. Motioning to Lanya she said, “Can I get another shot over here please?”

Lanya gave her a look that blatantly said no way without her actually speaking a word. Not worrying about Lanya’s party pooping ways Larina poured a shot from the bottle of Everclear that was sitting on the table in front of her. She downed it without need of a chaser and threw back another swallow straight from the bottle. A warmth spread from her mouth down her throat and throughout her body. The coffee’s progress was reversed. She began to feel at the very least a little tipsy again. Standing she sidled over to Dameon barely missing tripping over the corner of the table that was in front of her.

“Want to get to know each other again?” she asked him. Her words were slurred with alcohol. She bent over in front of him and the low cut blue satiny shirt she was wearing left very little to the imagination.

“Aren’t you supposed to be some kind of role model? What if your kids saw you now,” he asked in a low drawling voice.

“Oh kids shmids I do have a day off you know,” she retorted. Tossing her hair over her shoulder she straightened and walked back to the couch. Flopping down on it she crossed her ankles and placed her stiletto clad feet on the table. The only thing that saved any shred of modesty for her to hold onto the next day was that she was wearing black slacks with the outfit. Dameon walked over to sit on the couch beside her. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and whispered in her ear, “I may be a demon but I know my limitations.” Sitting back he leaned casually against the arm of the couch and watched her to see if she had any reaction to his words. As he figured the only word she responded to of the whole sentence was limitations.

“I know mine as well,” she said in a haughty tone, “I just don’t have as many as some.”

The other woman who hadn’t spoke before laughed a high pitched tinkling laugh. “I dare say you don’t have any idea,” she said in a guarded voice. “We can show you what it means to lack limitations if you wish.” As she spoke she stood and walked to the other side of the couch. Bending over the couch behind Larina she spoke in a low voice that edge on a whisper right next to Larina’s neck, “I can show you many things.” Larina sat up straight as quick as she could.

“No, I don’t want you to show me anything,” she spat angrily.

Akuma cleared her throat, “You two need to cut it out now. She is obviously not quite herself tonight. Why don’t we just have fun and stop picking on the poor child.”

Dameon looked at her and shrugged. “She started it,” he said in a mock childish voice with a pout on his face.

Larina made a shocked face and looked at him. “You big tattle tale,” she said. Akuma stood and smoothed out her short black skirt. She walked over to Dameon and pulled him up by the collar of his silk black shirt. Barely above a whisper she said, “You stop pestering her or you will have to face me.” Her voice sounded as if she were joking and the smile on her face would have onlookers believe the same but there was a look in her eyes that said otherwise. Larina’s eyes were starting to go fuzzy again so she stood up from the couch barely catching herself by grabbing onto Dameon’s shoulder. This slip broke the tension for a moment. He turned to face her and grasp her hand. Pulling her into his side he wrapped his arm around her waist. A smirk placed itself firmly on Dameon’s lips. “I promise I’ll be good,” he said with more than a hint of double entendre in his voice.

 

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Writings & NaNo

 

Nov 1st ~ Word count and Braggarts

Originally my goal for day one was to top 5k words but I didn’t quite make that. By the time I went to bed at 12:30 I had managed to reach 4,021 at which point I started seeing everything through gauze. My eyes were so clouded over with the imminent threat of sleep. Perhaps the reason that I was so amped about the first day, unlike other years, was because I have my outline before me this year and I started out on the chapter I was most looking forward to writing. It happens to be chapter 8. I used to believe the number 8 was my luck number. Maybe this means something significant? Maybe a publication is on the horizon for this particular novel? Oh how I hope so.Then again it might mean that chapter 8 is the only one I will end up finishing and I will fail miserably as soon as I start back on chapter 1 today.

I have decided that I will write my novel while my son is sleeping and any other random stuff, like this blog, while he is playing. This will give me at least four hours a day where I am completely awake to write. Two hours where I’m barely hanging on if I stay up until midnight every night. Since I have discovered I can write 100 words every two minutes on a good idea that means about 6000 words an hour if I write all the way through. If I were to write all the way through for the whole four hours I would have 24k words in one day. Ok, that’s not going to happen in a million years but wouldn’t it be awesome?

That being said what is with these people who are already posting 50k word shout outs in the forums? Its not inspiring but is a little demeaning. Its like they are bragging that they have a whole day with nothing to do but write. We get it and good for you but unfortunately the rest of us mere mortals have lives to take care of. It is aggravating to me to see people, posting everywhere, talking about their 50k words wordcount on day one. Honestly it is truly bragging when you go through the other shout out threads saying “Oh yeah! I hit 50k today! Woohoo!” I mean really? The rest of us who are just now posting in the 4k word threads don’t want to see that as soon as we open the thread. I for one feel like I might as well just give up when I see these posts. Please, for the sake of everyone else’s novels, only post this info in the appropriate threads. I’m begging you all here now to keep demeaning what the rest of us are doing.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Writings & NaNo

 

NaNo Forums

I just read the OLL blog interview of our beloved dragonchilde from the NaNoWriMo forums and wanted to point something about. She says the mods receive a lot of complaints, lord knows I’m at fault here too, and the thank you thread is the bright spot in all of it. I just wanted to draw everyone’s attention to something here. If you right click and click on view page source of the NaNoWriMo, once you are able to make sense of all of that mess then you can complain. Seriously have you ever looked at the page source of a page? I took a javascript/HTML class and dropped out the first week because it made my head spin. It is actually, almost rocket science. I say kudos to those that have made the website what it is because they are the brain surgeons and the astro physicists of the bunch. My hats off to them!

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2011 in Writings & NaNo

 

If Snowflakes were Milkshakes (Outlining)

The most asked question in preparing to write a novel is probably: to outline or not to outline. Throughout the NaNo forums one will find this question repeated in many different place and in many different ways. The problem is no one can tell you whether you should outline or not because it is probably one of the most personal things about preparing to write a novel. Others can only give you their opinion and share with you what they choose to do but ultimately, like everything in life, it is up to you. I’ve decided to try to help with answering the question of whether to outline or not though. I’ll give you options and my first hand experience with both outlining and not and you can choose what’s best for you.

First of all there are many different types of outlines you can use if you choose to. They range from the snowflake method, to the storyboard method to a method that I made up from different types of outlines. Following is a brief summary of each of these methods.

Snowflake Method:

Start by summarizing your novel in one sentence. It is best to keep it short and not to use any character names in this sentence. This sentence will eventually become your hook for your sales pitch for the book, if you choose to try to get it published. For example a good sentence for my novel might be: Armageddon hinges on a small time teacher who gets abducted by angels and demons.

Next you will create a full paragraph around that sentence that explains your novel. Again you will want to elaborate on your novel’s premise. A typical paragraph for this style of outline is five sentences long.

After getting the general idea of your novel down you will do the first two steps again for each of your characters.

You will then expand on each of the sentences in your story paragraph. You will turn those sentences into another paragraph. Then you will do the same for your character paragraphs. After that you will make each of those story paragraphs into a full page and the character paragraphs into a full character chart. Essentially this method has you simply expanding on these items repeatedly. It is best for something like NaNoWriMo to just do the first paragraphs and follow through with the rest of the method during November.

If you want a full explanation of this method check out this website: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php

Storyboard Method:

This is a simple method of outlining. Many authors use different methods of keeping track of the boards ranging from post it notes to excel spreadsheets. All one has to do to use this method is break down the novel by scene. You write a one line explanation of each scene on whichever medium you choose then you expand on these sentences when you begin the process of writing your novel. This can be slightly difficult to keep track of but it is recommended that you use this method when editing so you can focus on each piece of the novel. Some will use colored pencils for these notes to differentiate between the beginning, climax and resolution as well as the protagonist and antagonist.

My Method:

The method I use for outlining is, as I said before, a combination of different methods. I like to call it The Lucky 13 method. First you break down your novel into thirteen chapters. You write a title for each chapter that gives a general idea of what the chapter will be about. Once you have your chapter titles you start with each title and break the chapter into thirteen scenes that you want to be sure to include. I usually write a few sentences about each scene just depending on how much information I will need to remind myself of while writing. Now you have thirteen chapters with thirteen scenes for each chapter. When you start to write your novel you will simply expand on each scene.

Obviously I would recommend my method because it is the easiest way for me to write but some might like the other methods better. What you have to do is choose which one you think will give you the most creative outlet. Many people worry about stifling their creativity if they use an outline but you can make your outline however detailed you want and if necessary you can narrow all of the methods down to bare minimum which will allow you to stay on track but to have as much creative freedom as you want throughout the story. I have used an outline once before while doing NaNo and that once is the only time out of five tries that I actually finished my novel and liked what I wrote.

Side note: If it seems I have ripped off another method in what I believe to be an original creation please let me know because this is the first time I’m sharing this method and I don’t want to rip anyone off. Good luck with your novels whether or not you decide to outline.

Ciao! Bella Gente.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Writings & NaNo

 

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Preparing a Noveling Zone

It doesn’t take a lot for someone to look at a garage that is packed with random, usually useless, junk and think: Hey that could be a great place to write. Ok, maybe it takes more than I’m willing to admit but that’s what I did from the moment I saw the built in work table in my garage and the space that was just calling out to be utilized. Come November I will need a place to write because being inside drives me bonkers more often than not and I can’t get anything done sitting in front of a TV.That realization made me get my lazy rear outside to go through all of the junk, throw out half of it, and pile the rest up in a corner.

One week later the garage was cleaned out, the cement floor had been swept and mopped. Poison had been put out and left to sit for a few days so no creepy crawlies would take over. I had bought all of the furniture I needed and I start setting everything up. It took a table, four dining room chairs, four camping chairs, two large rugs, four place mats (made into a small rug), a bar stool and Christmas lights to turn it into what it is now. It also took a lot of sweat and tears but it was the first of many that will be shed in that garage before everything is over with. Now it has been transformed from a humble, debris filled scrap heap to a lovely winter wonderland author’s nest. I love it and it will be inspirational through the coming month.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Writings & NaNo