Saturday, October 30, 2010

NaNo madness!

It's only days away, and I start having doubts as to what I want to write for NaNo! I keep jumping from idea to idea. But right now it sounds like I'll be writing The Shadow, book 2, which is for now titled The Swan. I have my own reasons for suddenly pushing it to the front. I won't be writing Winter of Wishes for NaNo, after all. I've decided to wait until Autumn of Secrets gets somewhere on inkpop before I write the second installment. Somewhere such as, perhaps, the top 5. I uploaded the third person version, which is more edited and polished. I don't really know what's happening in Winter of Wishes, either. And if you know me well, you know I can't write without planning.

The Swan wants to be written. I just know. You know the story won't wait anymore when it's sending scene after scene to your head, distracting you, willing you to type it into the word won't leave me alone! And I've learned from experience that the only way to get a story to leave me alone is by writing it. It's time to write it. I'll be drawing up a rough outline in the next two days, and will be ready to go for NaNo, because now I know for sure what I'm doing.

I admit that I already wrote 20k of it before sort of trailing off. *hangs head in shame* So I'm somewhat cheating. But I'm pretty sure The Swan would reach an additional 100k, or even 150k. I just sense that it's going to be so long. So much is going on in it. If it reaches 150k I'll probably have to divide it. But yeah, I can think of about 4 major plots that are going on in that novel. I divided The Shadow into five parts, each one focusing a little on one major idea I was writing, and sorting things out--POV changes, other bits that might be confusing. I also like it divided up. It just seems more poetic that way, writing the PART I and PART II, etc., at the beginning of each new one. (The parts are the reason I don't believe I'm completely cheating. It's like a series of different stories coming together to build a novel, the way the books are constructed. I'd be starting Part III for NaNo, and writing on from there.) The Swan could be 8-10 parts. It's going to be epic!

But if it doesn't reach 100k, I'll start work on...something random. I've realized I simply can't write well if things aren't planned and flashing before my very eyes, like for The Swan.

I came up with an idea for another historical fiction novel called The Garden of Black Roses. It's not THE BIG PROJECT. It might be a part of THE BIG PROJECT, but since there might be fantasy elements in it, I can't decide if it really counts. It's also set in WWII. I simply can't write historical fiction without planning, period.

Thank goodness The Swan is going to be really long. It has to get me far. Or else, I'll be tempted to write The Garden of Black Roses to fill in the rest of the 100k. :/ Not good.

*runs away screaming*

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mariella's New NaNo Plan.

(As I type, I'm listening to Taylor Swift's new album and in awe at how awesome it is.)

I originally said I would do 150k for NaNo. But...I realized as I lay sleepless in bed one day...if I focus on getting 150k, two things will go down the drain:
1. School.
2. My inkpop novel.
And neither of the two above things I can afford to go down the drain for NaNo. I mean, it's known to ruin any book you try to write for it. But you can't willingly let it get to the point where it ruins everything else (though it just might anyway.) So I'm going to aim Lower. 100k is still a challenge...and I'm still pretty sure I'll reach it quickly, so if that happens, then I'll add the extra 50k to it.
With the two novels I'm planning, I'm sure I'll get to 150k anyway. If things go right. But I'm not going to plan to fail the rest of life. Haha.

THE BIG PROJECT is still materializing out of thin air. I'm finding sources where I'll get personal stories and other things I can base my story off of. :/ But in this case, I'm sure it will be, once I actually find the right things to read. Right now what I'm disliking is finding the things to read. Raaawr. Anyway. Once NaNo ends, I'll start reading more seriously. If you find any websites or books that might be helpful to me, let me know!

December I'll have a lot going on:
-Editing The Shadow. Perfecting it. Getting it bound and giving copies to friends. Letting friends I trust read it.
-Editing Winter of Wishes so that it'll be in a semi-decent state before it goes on inkpop, probably on January.
-Reading up for my historical fiction novel.
-Researching for publication. I still intend to use my Writer's Market book for something.

I'm thinking of starting another blog so I can update as I make progress on my research. That way I can try and make educational blog posts. It'll be a fun project to work on while I'm researching for a project. :) I'm still considering it, though, seeing as I don't do well when posting under pressure. I'll see how well I do with research. XD
Oh! Something else I could try and do for my historical novel...write HF short stories. I'm excited about that idea, too. Poems, as well. But it all comes back down to the research. So I have to really get started on that soon.

That's about all I can think of now. Oh, also---I'm trying really hard to get Autumn of Secrets into the 100's. Before NaNo. Let's see if I have any luck!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

On naming characters. A rant.

This is off of a comment I did on Facebook...and I thought it was rather informative and since I hadn't updated in a while, I decided I may as well put it up as a blog post. :D

I really hate naming characters. I usually go through a name change at least once for each char (and I'm lucky if it's only once.) In The Shadow, the only char who's ever kept his name from the first draft till now is Garret, and in the first draft it was Garrett, with two T's. I dunno if that counts as a name change, it doesn't sound like one. But the other MC, Evelyn, went through literally about 14 names that I tried on and decided didn't suit her.

Most of the chars which kept their names all the way until now are ones that I haven't really put much thought into (e.g. chars in books I wrote over the summer for fun, so I'm sure when I edit there'll be a lot of name changes.)

I seem to mold a char's personality around their name. Which is sometimes a problem.

Olivia kept her name so far, but what's funny is when I first did the 5 attempts to write that book (all of which failed to pass ten pages, until finally I reached this version that worked,) she didn't have a set name. Nothing seemed to fit. So for now she's Olivia...for all I know, next year she'll be something else.

I don't have general rules for picking a name, really. In the end, it's whatever fits. :-/ I know I found a name that works when...hmm, I guess it's when I can visualize a solid 3D character, with every feature perfectly worked out, behind the name I chose. Like with Evelyn I could finally see that she was medium height, long brown hair that's wavy, and worried-looking green eyes. Before that, it was as if I saw something close to that, but through static. I could see the hair color change from red to blond to black and it never seemed to settle. Same goes for Garrett. When he had two T's in his name, he looked really blurry in my mind. Until I got rid of one T. Strange, right?

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Okay so, NaNoWriMo. I'm still doing 150k. The great debate right now is whether I'll necessarily do three books to make it that far. If the first one I start writing wants to get longer, I'm going to let it. Once it's finished, if I haven't made 150k, I'll start the other one. But if I happen to be on a roll, I'm not going to stop mid-novel because that would be a waste. So I have three projects being plotted right now, two for backup, and I don't know if the last one will be written on November at all. It depends on the length of the first two. But still, 150k is a really big number. I have to keep reminding myself of that.
These are the projects I have in mind:

Winter of Wishes - Part two for Autumn of Secrets. Olivia's in the artist's prison now, and if she doesn't get out soon to solve the mystery of the wishing well back home, her friends will all starve to death. It's not easy, though, to find a weak spot in the armor that keeps them trapped in that fort. She meets another musician named Caden who's been there for two hundred years, and he knows a little bit about writing magic into music. Can the two of them figure out an escape in time?

Captured by Light - Prequel to The Shadow and pretty much every other book I've ever written in my life, since they all take place in this world.
They met aboard a ship to America--four young witches from the greatest countries of that time. But only one of them was in control of everything, and her name was Maeve. She saw these other girls as sources, from which she would get the power necessary to achieve her goal...and return to the world she created so many years ago.
"I don't want to go to America," she decided that afternoon, gazing out over the waters. "Meet me tonight."

How to Fool a Vampire - in which Desi loses two friends, a third turns out to be a lying traitor, and she winds up alone on the streets of Romania (again.) It would be difficult to explain this one without explaining the other two, so I'll just leave it at that. My closest friends know what I'm talking about. :)

Those are my NaNoWriMo projects, in that order. I don't know if the last one will get written, but---once again---150k is a lot of words.

Now, as for THE BIG PROJECT.
I'm still going to write a historical fiction. I want so badly to immerse myself in the past, and let my mind float around in places that really have existed. This would be set in the WWII days. That's all I know about it. I know the MC's name is going to be Arlette. Her little sister's name is going to be Annie, and they'll live in America. I don't know anything else about what will happen there, which leaves me with only one option---research!
For once, research is something I'm excited about. I got out another notebook I'd been saving for a long time. It's just a regular fivestar notebook, with a light blue cover. I'm going to write stuff down in there, and there's a pocket for anything I might print out to go along with it. The plan is to immerse myself completely in life and how it was back then. That way when I start writing, I can be as accurate as possible.
And after all that research, I'm obviously not going to only write one book. Maybe a series of stand-alones set in that time period. But I'm really excited about this. I'm going to spend the winter and springtime researching, and it's most likely I'll start writing on the summer. This is definitely not something I'm doing for NaNo, though.
This is my big project, and I'm so excited about it. So we'll see what happens. :)
(If you guys get any ideas for a plot, or find websites that might help me with my research, please comment!)

That's about it for today. I hope all's well for you. ♥

Friday, October 1, 2010

Foolish, how was I so careless? Pawning off my treasure, the envy of an heiress...

Gotta love A Fine Frenzy. (Swan Song. Listen to it.)

I haven't updated here in a while, now, have I? Jenn's been prodding me to do it, and I find that I have quite a bit to blog about now that I'm actually here. So here we go.

My newest book to be added to my favorite books list is Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I haven't read any of her other books yet, but the cover drew me in. I mean, there's a cool-looking guy on it with a suit and a hat. And the title is super cool. So I bought it and read it and totally fell in love with it. I didn't want it to end. Will is one of the coolest characters I've read about in a long time. He's just awesome. And I love how she managed to suck me into the past for this book, so I could feel myself in the time period as I read. Kind of like the Gemma Doyle books, which I also thought amazing for that specific reason. This novel is right up there with them. (You guys can tell I'm a Victorian era girl by now, right?) This is one of the few books that, once finished, I was tempted to open and start reading again. But that'll have to wait a while, so when I read it again it'll feel more new yet. I don't think it'll ever get old. 10/10 for this book. I know a lot of people don't like it, but I think it's just amazing. So there.
And I'll be looking out for this author's other books, so I can read them the first chance I get.

I'm editing Autumn of Secrets so it's in third person. I don't like first person at all. I tried it mainly to give myself a challenge this summer. I guess I passed the challenge by writing decently in that POV, but I don't like it. It doesn't sound like me. I'm a third person kind of girl. I find I can describe things better, and more thoroughly set scenes, when it's in third person. And since Autumn of Secrets isn't exactly that long--only 50k--it won't be much of a problem. This is a really quick read, guys, so if any of you are on inkpop and need something to kill time with, you'll find the link up there. *points* On the awesome menu sidebar thingy. Not sidebar, of course, 'cause it's up there---GAH I forgot the proper name for it. But if you can read it and pick it, therefore pushing me closer to the top five, do. People who read the entire story get mentioned on my list of awesome people, on my inkpop profile. And maybe I'll send out presents, if a lot of people start doing it. I dunno, presents could be a random card in the mail. But it's so hard to get someone on inkpop to read an entire novel, I feel it deserves something.

I'm going to shoot for 150k this NaNo. Don't think I can? Ooh, think again. I reached 100k last year, and even though much of what I wrote then sounded like garbage, I've done a lot of practicing over the summer. I've learned that I get more words by counting pages instead of words. A lot of people don't have the patience or speed-typing skills to do that, but I think I can manage. I'm not bragging, I promise, just stating a fact. I'm a really crazy person.
Also, reaching 50k for me is a piece of cake. It wouldn't be really fair to you guys who aren't insane like me. So I thought I should find a different goal that would drive me half mad as well. I kinda miss that feeling. *grins*
This means I can write three novels. Three. If the first one doesn't get really interesting, that is, demanding more attention and therefore more words. But I think it's unlikely that it will happen, so for now, I'll be plotting three novels. Yay for me! That means I get to write the sequel to Autumn of Secrets, which will be titled Winter of Wishes. Also, I've been thinking of FINALLY concluding my vampire series, which means writing book three of that. I need to read up those first two books, to get reacquainted with those characters. I also need to plot what happens IN book three. It might wind up being a bit longer. Finally, I want to write a standalone that's vaguely related to The Shadow. It's set in the same different world, and it'll help me learn more about the place itself. I'll have new characters and a whole new tragic ending. Who doesn't love that? Okay, maybe I'm the only one who does.

I have a long thread of free reads on inkpop that I'll have to get done on October, while planning these three NaNo stories. After that, I'll be closing up that free read thread during November. I probably won't be able to get on inkpop a whole lot during that month, 'cause balancing school with NaNo, there are more important things. I don't know if Autumn of Secrets will fare very well during that month, but I can pick it back up.

Jenn gave me some random words to use in my blog post, but I don't know if I did, so they'll have to wait till next time.

For now, I need to create a battle plan!
Good luck, fellow writers.

Trailer for The Wishing Well

(The trailer still has the title Autumn of Secrets, but that's the only thing that changed--the plot is the same!)

Thanks to Nickname for making this trailer!