Monday, December 5, 2011

Ghosts of the Lonely Shore

Here's a quick refresher course on my oh-so-interesting writing life - I had a major case of writer's block with my story Seaspear last summer and so decided to do Nano to get back into writing and set Seaspear aside for a nice long nap.

So now, I'm thinking about the plan I made my plan before Nano....  I will now set my Nano novel out of my mind, even though Section Two is unfinished, and use December and maybe even part of January to work on Seaspear again.

via pinterest

The title of this post is a phrase from a poem I wrote in 8th grade, titled "Secrets of the Sea."  This is a lot how I felt about Seaspear last week when I picked up the first couple chapters and flipped through. It was as if I approached the loneliest shore - one I used to know but which now seemed foreign.  
Right now, poor old Ren and Grailyn and Lord Shiloh are painted in cracked plaster, ancient in my mind even though I still love them dearly.   

But I think that no matter how ghostly this shore seems, I will tread on it again and stir up the water once more.

my photo

One thing that motivated me was a visit to California this past weekend.  It was my first time seeing the Pacific Ocean, and since the ocean plays part in my story, that was pretty cool.  I took pictures and also some videos for the book trailer I'm planning to make.

my photo

Some things I plan to try and do with this draft of Seaspear...

- Work on character voice.  I don't want all my POVs to sound the same.

- Not do anything with the spear itself that will be anticlimactic.

- Make Ren - my female MC - more involved with the action.  She must play a bigger part...somehow.

- Work on my bad guy's goodness.  Even though Lord Shiloh is bad, he had definite reasons for what he does.  (Vague reasons being for one, his love for his daughter, and for two, his love for his country.)  I just need this to be more obvious. 

That's all I have so far, but it will all (including the book trailer) have to wait until after exams week and finals week.  I only have two big finals left but they will require a good deal of studying.

via pinterest

P.S.  As a side note, I've become somewhat of a celebrity in my On Course class because the professor found out about Torn Heart in a journal entry and she brought it up several weeks ago. 
I've made some money in that class so far.

Link of the Week: Month of the Novel Episodes These episodes are hilarious in the very best sort of way.  I laughed out loud (in real life) so hard that my sides almost burst. The episodes follow a fictional young writer through her first crazy Nano adventure and are complete with a rather indecisive jester, an ancestral sword, and even...balloon animals? 

'Til next week! Until then, I will be using this poem by Thomas Hovey as my inspiration:

Sea Gypsy
 I am fevered with the sunset,
I am fretful with the bay,
For the wander-thirst is on me
And my soul is in Cathay.
There 's a schooner in the offing,
With her topsails shot with fire
And my heart has gone aboard her
For the Islands of Desire.
I must forth again to-morrow!
With the sunset I must be
Hull down on the trail of rapture
In the wonder of the sea.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Obligatory First December Posting

With all this talk of 'winning' NaNoWriMo,' I personally do not think I made 50,000 words in November, so am I a 'loser'? I don't think so. My only goal was to have a finished novel by the end of November. I'm glad to say that I now am the proud owner of another finished novel. Yes, everyone. I finished it. So, since that was my only goal, I guess I 'won' NaNoWriMo. To be honest, I was sure that I would have finished my novel much sooner than the 28th of November. But really, I don't care. This novel has never had a set deadline for anything. And I love deadlines, mind you. I don't just love the whooshing sound they make when they fly over my head either. I like lists and deadlines and stuff like that. But this novel has never been anything I planned. I would have been happy if it took me to January to finish. It didn't though. I'm very happy with being able to say I finished it.

And a word count, you ask?

107, 352 total words. 

107, 352

107, 352


Yeah, I don't know how I did that nor how my printer is going to print that off next month. No clue whatsoever. My poor printer. I just know it's going to self-destruct to get away from that chore.

Really, it hasn't yet set in that I've finished. I'm still thinking at the end of the day, 'oh, you're got to go write, Sarah.' It's slowly coming though. I'm starting to have all those thoughts that it's going to be terrible, I'm going to hate it, and that I'm going to have to edit/fix absolutely everything in it. This usually comes after the first few days of finishing a novel. It leaves after a week or two, when I start to forget about my novel and un-attach myself emotionally from it. Later, I'll read it and love it and have a 'I'm a genius moment'. That happened a bit today when I read a bit of a chapter only to think, 'this is actually great.' Of course, that's all I'm allowing myself to read for the next month. A writer must fully forget about their novel to ever look at it again correctly.

In the mean time, I'm fully anticipating some severe post-novel blues. I can deal with that. As long as they aren't like Virginia Woolf bad. I've been hoping to reverse this by rewarding myself. Very Pavlov's dog of myself, huh? Rewarding myself by going to a concert seems to have worked though. So... I'll be doing that more often, I guess. Good job, Sarah, turing that oxygen into carbon monoxide. Here's concert tickets. We'll see to what proportions I carry this out.

The next behemoth... editing. Ew.

The Lost and Glorious Cause


So, I lost NaNoWriMo 2011: my novel lacked the 23,691 words needed to turn that wordcount bar purple. Am I disappointed? Not really, because I met my goal: I'm still not convinced that I should stop writing. And like everyone at the website and blog are saying, those of us who didn't make it (losers, to say it outright) have a bunch of words we didn't have a month ago. After several months of unimpressive consecutive writing, I am satisfied with my 26,309 words from these last 30 days. 

I hope that that didn't sound too defiantly self-justifying.

The novel did take on that told-of life of its own, with characters switching roles and places of importance being the most surprising surprise. I stayed in third person narration, too, which maybe wasn't too wise: MC's internal monologues are abundant.

I plan to continue to write every day until this novel is done. Bonne chance to all as you finish, rewrite, or edit your literary masterpieces!


A song for this second day December:
C'est la mort by The Civil Wars on Grooveshark