W is for Writing!

Happy Monday everyone! I am super tired, since Luke and I stayed out until 9:30 PM last night (we are aware that we are super old). It was awesome and worth it. A few drinks with friends, playing Super Smash Bros and Card Against Humanity at 42 Lounge in Milwaukee….amazing time. But, back to Monday. Today’s letter is ‘W’ and I decided to delve into my novel a little bit. For those that do not know, I wrote for NaNoWriMo last November. To learn more about NaNo, read my blog on the subject here.

The Good: Writing is therapeutic. Slathering my mind all over a page is awesome exercise for my brain and helps increase my vocabulary. Sometimes, I choose writing prompts that require me to use a certain word I may have never heard of before. It’s great!  When I chose to write for NaNo, I wanted to use a short story I wrote as the basis for an entire book. It felt amazing to breathe life into characters and places. Writing has always been a part of my life, but NaNo helped me get past just writing short stories or poetry.

The Bad: Writing is a little nerve-wracking. What if I think what I wrote is good, but it’s actually really stupid? Or confusing to everyone but me? Or has already been done 50 times?

My answers for these insecurities: Write what you love. That’s what everyone says. Even if others think it’s dumb, as long as YOU love it that’s ok! It may sting a little, but just keep writing! I know I’m getting better and better each day and you can too.

I personally have a problem with trying to make things simple. I understand what I mean, but I need to try harder to keep it simple. I’ll get there. Writing books is hard!

The Katy: Ok. Time to put myself out there. I need to remember my own advice above, but the story excerpt is below. The basic plot is that the human world is slowly being destroyed by shadows who steal people’s emotions, making people mean/suicidal/evil. The excerpt below is from the City mayor’s point of view. Enjoy!


As he slept, his thoughts traveled on winged shadows, enveloping his reason to live. They whispered into his ear that he was worthless and no one loved him. He sat up in bed, heart beating fast and lit a candle to alleviate some of the darkness. A crazed reflection caught his attention in the dusty gilded mirror across his vast bedroom. Usually, he loved his four-poster bed and mural painted walls. But tonight, even the eleven foot ceiling threatened to crush him. The whispers began again and he clapped his hands over his ears in response. They told him the truth. He was alone and always would be. The one thing he couldn’t buy was companionship in this world. He paid people for their company, to protect him, but no one really cared if he died. He coughed out a wheezy laugh as he stared at his matted hair pulled to clumps in his nighttime tossing and turning. He forced himself to look away from the mirror to the city outside. His city. The darkness penetrated everywhere outside his floor to ceiling windows without fail. He smiled again, coming to a decision. Soon the people out there would join him in his pain. He smiled madly at the candle by his bed, wax dripping like tears onto his side table. If he was alone, everyone should be.


I hope you enjoyed a piece of my book! I will reveal more as I figure out the details. I hope your Monday is wonderful.

Onward! Let the Story Continue…

Now that NaNoWriMo 2014 is over and I won (see post here), I need to continue my novel’s story. I was nowhere near my story’s end at the 50,000-some words I completed in November. I took a break after winning to recover, but now I feel like I can get back to writing again! I still have a lot of flaws in my story. Mostly, Nano has given me a broken mess or a novel, but I see the potential! I’m excited! I still am not sure whether I want it to be in first person or third person…or what the ending will be…and I need to develop my characters and world more… (hyperventilates a little)…but I will get it done! And it will be amazing.

Here is an excerpt from a personal exercise delving into the thoughts of one of my main characters. I’m trying to find out more about her before she meets Gray (her assigned human). Then maybe I can figure out how to end this baby when I know everything about her (and Gray too for that matter).

 


My parents never loved me. But growing up I couldn’t fault them because I didn’t really know what love was. No one does in my society. I read about love in school from the human books rescued from their dying dimension, but it seems so unnecessary. In human literature, parents love their children by hugging them, reading to them, and feeding them. In that way, I guess my own parents filled the requirement, but it was only what was required of them by society, not love. Why would love be important when you can buy it in a can? I’ve taken it a few times for class research, but it’s not for me. The canned Love made me feel warm, flushed, and shaky when I prefer to feel calm and alert to my surroundings. A warm feeling flushes your entire body and hits your stomach with fluttery queasiness until you smile with your entire face. All I could do was sit at my desk and stare at the wall or out at the cityscape with lovesick eyes. It means nothing to love. I use Happiness of course, but usually only the recommended daily dose like everyone else. Some students in my class walk around with a stupid grin plastered on their face and you know they took at least triple the amount they are supposed to. Teachers don’t say anything unless your grades begin to drop, because it isn’t harmful, just unrealistic. However, I know that you can’t be happy all the time and I’m ok with just being content. Most people who take more Happiness than usual are in dire need to forget something or get through a certain stress in their life, like exam period or assigning day. I, for one, want to remember the day I’m assigned to my first human. I want to remember the name forever as if it’s etched into rough tree bark like lovers’ initials. He or she won’t know I’m there, but I am ready to cross dimensions and become their shadow.

This is what I was born to do.


Writing my first novel has been an amazing experience. I’m sure I’ll get a lot faster (and better) as I write more and more. It’s a great feeling!

 

I slayed the NANOWRIMO 2014 Dragon!

WINNER!

WINNER!

This year I did something for ME. I decided to write for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this November with thousands of people all over the world. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write an entire novel, 50,000 words, in one month. It takes place every November and this is the first year I have participated and WON. Last year, I barely wrote 800 words, but this year I made it to the goal. I have never written anything this long, except maybe a few research papers for college classes. This was something I had wanted to do for a long time and after talking with my cousins, Nicole and Natalie, this summer about it I knew I wanted to at least try NaNo. Natalie won last year and still can’t stop smiling about reaching her goal. She even self-published her novel on Amazon.

I decided to base my novel off my favorite short story that I wrote a few years ago (you can read it here), titled “Gray’s Shadow.” The short story, or flash fiction since it’s under 500 words, is about a boy who wishes for a friend and his shadow comes to life the next day. The novel takes the concept of living shadows to the next level. People from another dimension actually travel to the human dimension via shadows and collect human emotions to enhance their own lives (such as happiness and calm can be bought off the shelves like drugs). Even though communication with the humans is forbidden, Gray’s shadow decides to befriend him. It gets more complicated from there, but the novel is nowhere near complete so I have a lot of plot to construct. Hopefully by next year I can self publish it! It feels great to set a goal and then meet it. What’s next? I’m PUMPED.

I slayed the dragon in 2014!

I slayed the dragon in 2014!

The Wrimo community is amazing. Everyone is supportive and helpful with everything from novel titles to plot lines! I went to a local write-in and several online write-ins hosted by NaNo Interns. There is even an awesome twitter handle that is only for word sprints (@NaNoWordSprints). Do it. It’s awesome.

My stats are below. I’ll be adding to that word count when it gives me the option, but I didn’t want to forget to validate!

If you want to be NaNoWriMo buddies this or next year (because I’m definitely doing this again!) my user name is mandaloriankaty.

Visit www.nanowrimo.org for more information.

 

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Here are winner stats! I finished on the 21st of November.