Tag Archive: nanowrimo


This is the first year in the past like, 3 or 4 that I haven’t outright committed to doing NaNoWriMo. I keep going back and forth. I have a novel I need to finish by December 31st (Gray Morning). I am still in The Real LJ Idol Competition, though things have gotten tight now that there’s about 60 contestants left (out of a starting total of like…280?). I am working nearly full-time. I have a five year old with special needs. A divorce to plan and prepare for, and a free online writing course that starts tomorrow, of all days.

I kind of want to just…write something purely without doing ANY preparation. Gray Morning and The Stellar Challenge both require so much work, for two entirely different reasons. Gray Morning is on its second official draft, I’ve written large chunks of it out of order, and I need to piece it all together/fill in the gaps (which is probably around 20-30k worth of words, maybe more). I have a good idea for the plot arc of it, I know the major events, it’s just…filling in those gaps and rounding everything out.

The Stellar Challenge is still on draft one, and very, very slow going, because it requires a lot of forethought and planning. Each Planet focuses on a specific Challenger. Once each Planet is complete, there’s a “(Character) Story,” that explains how the Challenger came to do the Challenge, in the first place. Like how they died, why they think they need to go on a redemption quest, etc. I realized just yesterday that the book’s true Main Character is Saito — who is possibly one of the grossest characters I’ve ever written.

I’m doing an abridged version of his Planet Chapters (Saturn) for Idol — where he essentially breaks the cycle of his own Limbo/Hell and finally, finally earns a fate other than the one he’s been experiencing for the past however long. But he has to do it by preventing another Challenger from falling into the same traps he has for the past however many (I’m thinking at least 100) attempts at the Challenge himself. Saito is supposed to be forced to redo the Challenge forever and ever for all eternity; but after so many repeated attempts, he starts to remember his past attempts. He’s resigned himself to his fate, but he sees a lot of promise in Jordan — a young teenager who killed himself in a murder-suicide (with his mother as his victim). So when he sees Jordan falling for a trap that’s been set for Saito at least one hundred times before, well…

It should be interesting to write. But I have worked the past 5 nights (and, in fact, have only briefly napped today after getting out of work at 8am), and I’m exhausted, and it’s difficult to write something like this. I am not unemployed anymore; I don’t have the time to dedicate to the writing and the LJI competition like I used to, and it kills me.

So adding a NaNo project on top of these two novels (which are my closest to “completion”) just seems kind of… silly. I have a couple of other words that aren’t as well developed, but I’ve at least started all of them or have completed shorter, rougher drafts of them. And honestly, if I do NaNo, I want to do something fresh and new with characters I don’t know like the back of my hand or with a universe I haven’t done all the worldbuilding for, etc.

But like, I can’t seem to come up with anything? I dunno. It’s been a struggle. I’m sure on November 1st, I’ll find myself opening a new document and titling it NaNoWriMo14 and just… going with it. But until then, I keep going back and forth.

The start of my LJI entry, if you’re curious:

Saito stood at the threshold of the train, his lips pressed tightly together and his jaw clenched.


He had made it to Saturn.

“Dude, are you going to get off the train or what?” Jordan’s grating voice asked.

Saito’s jaw clenched further, and he took one step off the train and moved out of the teenager’s way. He didn’t look at the boy, instead averting his eyes from him as much as possible. Megumi followed Jordan off the train, her tight, black dress seemingly tighter and more revealing in the odd, overcast lighting of the gaseous planet.

Saito looked away from her, too.

He might not remember all the details, but one too many trips back to the Start had broken the amnesiatic effect of death. He remembered his mistakes. Remembered the promise of Redemption, and how he was to fail at it, every time, as punishment for his crimes.

But this was the first time he had made it to Saturn since his first trip.



I am still alive!

I’ve been having one hell of a time adjusting to my new work schedule. Not to mention, I’m working 40 hours a week at that 12am-8am shift. I like the job, but it’s exhausting, and I’m still trying to learn how to balance life with it. I’ve been writing, though, and I have about 20k words for the newest version of Seize the Day. I haven’t written anything (yet) today, and I’m going to try to get in at least 750 words so I can say just above the NaNoWriMo quotas. On my days off, I tend to find enough time to bang out about 4-5k, so those days have been helping me stay caught up.

This has just shown me that I CAN in fact write while working full-time, and I can continuously hit my personal writing goals. I just wish I worked a different shift, at this point. It is what it is, however. I actually worked last night, so I’m starting to feel the urge to collapse for 20 minutes. 

My characters continue to astound me, however. Jazz and Savin are moving so quickly — it’s all lust and love at first sight with them and it’s so weird, because every version of this story I’ve written so far, they’ve had to wait to be together. Now? Not so much. I’ve learned that the one night stand I’ve always seen them have is 100% true, and that it was Jazz who initiates their initial encounter. 

Savin, however, is pretty much immediately smitten and is the one who pushes for a more emotional connection. Which, of course, will make things more tragic as I continue to write this. We’ll see how it goes, though. I’m almost entirely winging this. I’m letting the characters guide the way, as it should be, when I write a first draft. They like to tell me the way, a lot of the time. 🙂

A snippet, of Jazz and Savin being… well, themselves:

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Is it November yet? I swear, these days just keep getting longer and longer…

I started my job very early Monday morning (12am). I did manage to write about 1350 words yesterday, despite that. This week is basically a test drive up until Friday, so I can figure out how the hell I’m gonna manage to watch my kid and write my words and get some sleep during November. 

I’m also heavily crushing on a writer-friend of mine I met through LJ. His words have always taken my breath away, and getting to know him a little better has made that a little worse. 🙂 So I have romance on the brain, just a little bit, which is making me want to write even more — but right now, I’m trying to relax and let my brain settle and maybe nap (I woke up early this morning in an effort to help keep me vaguely on a schedule for tonight — when I go back in at midnight…).

I want to embark on this journey with the final draft so bad. I know I’m not going to go much over 50k — I’ve been averaging that the past few months, and while I like to make NaNo a challenge for myself (and last year, challenged myself to 90k a month or a finished book — and surpassed both goals), adjusting to working a crazy life of third shift and just plain working again after three years of NOT working, I think 50k will be a bit of a tough feat.

But I WILL write every day, and I WILL push myself to at least achieve that goal. Writing is my life. It’s who I am; it’s how I breathe — and I can never, ever forget that. 


I’ve only written 400 words today.

I had a job interview this morning during kiddo’s preschool hours. Got the job, do on-boarding tomorrow, probably start next week. Just in time for me to flail about uselessly during NaNo. I did win 2010 while working and going to school and dealing with a 1 year old, so I suspect I can manage it now. Except then I worked mostly 3-9pms, and I’ll likely be working 11p-7a. 

I’ll find a way to make it work. 😉 

Aside from that, I’ve been trying to figure out the story for Seize the Day. I know the main plot points — always have. But now that I’ve removed certain things that are really in a separate book, it makes the story that much less convoluted…and leaves me scratching my head. 

Biggest thing I came to terms with? Savin is the main character. I should have listened to him years ago. He always insisted he was. *sigh* But figuring out when he meets Jazz is…hard. Because it has to overlap with the end of Jazz’s relationship with Mitchel. I have a feeling Jazz wasn’t faithful for the last bit of it. He’s young, doesn’t exactly know how to end the relationship with Mitchel, etc. 

I always had this piece of information where Jazz and Savin originally had a one night stand but then didn’t pursue a further relationship for a little while after that. I don’t necessarily think that’s true anymore. 

Of course, now that I’m writing this blog post, I’m getting dialogue. A whispered conversation between Jazz and Savin after meeting each other again after their one night stand. It’s after Jazz’s father ended up as one of Savin’s surgical patients — and Savin didn’t realize who the hell Jazz was, when they slept together. I think he might also be there with Mitchel, who’s still obviously together with Jazz (I saw Savin seeing Mitchel have an arm around Jazz’s waist etc etc). 

Hm…. I will have to let this sit, and see where it goes in my head, I think. But now I have a vague idea of what the beginning is like. Hilariously enough, I have the middle and end of this book pretty clear in my head. Which is nice for me, as a pantser. 😉 

I guess I’m getting as close to ready for NaNo as I can be. 🙂

The Great Debate, part 2

With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I told myself I was going to figure everything I needed to figure out about the Tomorrow Trilogy prior to resuming writing any of Seize the Day. I’ve spoken to a couple of other writers in an effort to get the ol’ brain moving.

Ryin IS getting removed. So is the Natural Born subplot. That leaves me with focusing on Jazz, Savin, and Mitchel. The Empire? Stays. Jazz can be next in line like Ryin was; he could also be eschewing his duties as next in line, in favor of living a life he’d prefer to live.  Except as the story progresses, he’ll get more and more involved in politics.

A friend of mine, Jen from Just Another Blog, suggested doing one big outline that’s composed of all of the major points from across the whole series. It was something I already intended on doing, because I need to have a good grasp of this so I can figure out where Gray Morning really fits in. She also suggested that maybe that was the first book. I informed my other writerly friend Sarah from A Place that Does Not Exist of this idea, who was like maaaaaaaaybe that could work compared to my OH FUCK NO.

…Yes, I sometimes have harsh reactions. I can be stubborn, especially when it comes to this particular series. Gray Morning was never intended to be book #1. Too much of Jazz and Savin’s backstory would simply get brushed aside and crammed in if it was.

However, I started my outlining process by attempting to figure out the character/relationship related story-lines, first. Not necessarily in any order, because that’s not how these things come to me at times, but the character stuff is the backdrop that’ll determine the Empire-related stuff. I’m not big on symbolism, but the Empire has ALWAYS represented the progression of Jazz and Savin’s relationship to me, especially in Gray Morning when everything is falling apart. 

There’s also Jazz’s history with Mitchel, and Savin’s (lack of) knowledge of it, because those things are vital to Savin and Mitchel’s antagonistic relationship. And Sarah presented a good question to me — just how much of it do I need to show? Do I really need to show Jazz and Mitchel’s relationship from the beginning, or can I start towards the end of it? Do I have to show the whole progression of Jazz and Savin’s relationship? 

For Jazz and Mitchel, starting at the end of it is probably best. Jazz, of course, is still struggling with his role in the Empire at that point. He’s only (some age between 25 and 28), his Uncle (maybe his father; I’m still undecided about that aspect of things, right now) is pushing him to become more involved with the Empire. Obviously, he doesn’t want to. Politics just isn’t for him; he’s grown up with it since day one and hates it. Not entirely sure how he and Mitchel met, but Mitchel’s ten years older than he is, and has a hefty political career. I’m going to assume they met that way, and started dating.

The big thing with them was that Mitchel never wanted to be “out” about their relationship. Difficult to do when you work together, right? So Jazz is getting to the point where he’s fed up with it. I think this is where Savin enters the picture — how Jazz and Savin meet, I’m not entirely sure. Before it was through a coincidence, but I’m not sure how much I’m liking that, anymore. Or well, not the coincidence I went with, originally, anyway. 

I also want to change Savin’s relationship with Mari. Her being his ex isn’t really working with me; or at least, the drama surrounding a previously passed breakup doesn’t sit so well with me, anymore. I do like them being ex’s that had enough time to heal to become great friends; that was their dynamic by the time Gray Morning hit, anyway. Why not just start there? 

So I’m slowly figuring these things out, character-wise. I think Jazz doesn’t actually become Emperor until he and Savin are already together, but I think it happens a lot sooner than I planned. Essentially, they get together, Jazz is made Emperor, and then a few months down the line, Jazz proposes. He wants a partner to help him run the Empire; his Council (including Mitchel) isn’t enough help. Those years he spent shunning his responsibilities are catching up to him, and now the Empire is starting to fall apart. 

There’s an anti-Empire movement growing, too, by this point. Savin doesn’t know whether he wants to accept Jazz’s proposal — marriage is legal for everyone, but once Savin marries Jazz, he knows his career path is going to take a hit — being the Emperor’s husband (and therefore Emperor, himself) means practicing medicine will be out of the picture. Medicine is Savin’s life. You know how some people throw themselves into work because work is the best thing ever? That’s what medicine is for him. Jazz knows that. Jazz promises Savin he won’t have to give medicine up.

Except things start getting worse; the Resistance has a name, now. And demands for the Empire itself. And Jazz can’t keep his promise to Savin, and —

Well, now I sorta figured out how to get to the meat of Gray Morning‘s story. I guess I needed to story vom a bit. 🙂

As a bonus for following along this far, here’s some of the next part of Vicky & Mordecai. 😉

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