Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving and a NaNoWriMo Update

Happy Thanksgiving, chaps! I hope this lovely day of thanks is treating you well. I'm grateful for a great many things, far more than I could ever list, but here are ten examples:
  1. Books.
  2. Music.
  3. My awesome family for putting up with my writing crazies.
  4. Food.
  5. My awesome writing friends.
  6. The great writing resources I've found, such as Go Teen Writers and Writing Excuses.
  7. Things that make me laugh, smile, and curl my toes with glee.
  8. Glitter.
  9. Textbooks, experience, and other things that help me learn. 
  10. Our garden.
And a bonus number 11: NaNoWriMo!

As you may have noticed, I won NaNoWriMo! 50 thousand words in 21 days. This is my best time for NaNo yet, even if I didn't write a full novel (I think that may be one of the reasons I won faster than in previous years--I didn't worry about things not making sense and plots falling apart.)

And now that I'm done, I'm jumping back into edits for last year's NaNo. I take that back. What I will be doing is not editing. It is full-flung, head-on, rip-it-to-shreads-and-put-it-back-together, revision. Yeah. Should be fun.

Those of you still writing and trying to hit 50k, YOU CAN DO IT! I believe in ya.

And a lovely, mashed-potato-filled evening/morning/afternoon/whatever to you. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NaNoWriMo Update and a Short Story

Hello, readers.  NaNoWriMo is going exceedingly well this year. I'm a whole TEN THOUSAND words ahead.  How did this happen? I'm not sure. It probably had something to do with the fact that I wrote nearly 6k on Sunday. How did that happen? I am an OCD overachiever and the next round, even number or milestone was always just a few hundred words away.

I've deviated quite a bit from my plan this year. I intended to write short stories and use them as practice. But I haven't figured out how to make writing short stories fun. Also I haven't read very many, which probably aided the lack-of-fun-ness. Since I haven't read many of them, I don't know how they work, which is frustrating when I'm trying to write one. However, since the month is not yet halfway over, I might figure it out before this wonderful month of words ends.

What have I been writing that I am TEN THOUSAND words ahead if I haven't been writing short stories or a novel, you ask? I've (mostly) been writing scenes from last year's NaNo novel from the points of view of side characters. And I love it. I love getting into the heads of the other people of this story and seeing what they think of the situations I've put them in. I get to kill two birds doing this: I participate in NaNo AND do something that will help me edit last year's novel.  My MC seems to be the center of attention a lot, which actually makes sense, given the fact that nearly all the other characters are constantly lying to her and trying to keep things secret and disapproving of her. There is this one maid though who is too focused on herself (for good reasons, she's not just selfish) to pay much attention to the MC (also she's being told the same lies as the MC). Her character arc is great.  Not that you see much of it. Anyway. The side characters are starting to feel more fleshed out, which makes me very happy.  I highly recommend this practice of writing scenes from alternate POVs.

This year's NaNo, aside from being different in that I'm not writing another novel, has been different in that I'm writing faster (I can consistently write 1000 words in one hour) and I feel like showing everyone what I've written about my side characters so I can fangirl over them with someone else comfortable sharing what I've written, which is very different from how I felt about my first NaNo.

In accordance with said comfortableness, I shall post the one short story thing I've written that I like. (Also because this post is really just drivel and you deserve something moderately cool as a reward for slogging through it, unedited and potentially full of errors as said reward may be.) For those of you who liked Adventures in Editing, I have written more of those (I did have fun writing them) and I will post them once I figure out where the story is going and I get them edited. 

So, without further ado... no, wait, there is more ado. I wrote this story based on this prompt that a friend posted to the Go Teen Writers Facebook group. Basically it's "What if people were born with a clock that ticked down to the time they met their soul mate?" The Pinterest pin that link takes you to has a bunch of little blurbs that other people have written off this prompt, and they are great. Probably better than what I'm about to share. I'm also told that there are short stories similar to this on WattPad, but I haven't read them. (Here's one someone on GTW said she liked. Again, I haven't read it, so I can't say whether it's good or clean or whatnot.)

Okay, ado being done with, here's my story. It's only 571 words long, so it's a quick read. Please feel free to give any feedback. Personally, I think the beginning feels off, but I'll fix it later.

My parents say I was born with my clock at zero. I have no soul mate. I am doomed to live a life alone.
That was hard through high school and college as I watched my friends find those they were destined to love, knowing that there was no one destined to love me.
One day, as I sat at lunch, a man about my age sat down next to me.
“Mind if I sit here?” he asked. “This is the only seat left.”
I smiled. “Go ahead.” I turned back to my salad. As I was finishing, a teenage girl stood and ran outside, looking frantic, holding her wrist up to her face. I’d seen it before. Her clock was about to run out. A few seconds later, a teenage boy walked up to her, also looking at his wrist.
They’d found each other.
The man sitting next to me pulled up his sleeve and looked at his own wrist. It was at zero. He cursed quietly.
“Trouble in paradise?” I asked.
He looked at the newly acquainted teenagers and shook his head. “I don’t know who mine is.” He sighed. “Somehow between the time I was born and put in the nursery at the hospital, my clock ran out. No one knows who she is.”
I held up my own wrist. “I was born at zero.”
A sad look filled his eyes. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s no worse than your situation. You know you have a soul mate, but you don’t know if you’ll ever see her again. That must be hard.  My situation is stable. I know I’ll never meet anyone.”
He shrugged, and turned back to his food. A few seconds after he got up to leave, he came back. “I’m sorry, but I have to ask: When is your birthday?”
I blinked in surprise. “November ninth.”
“November ninth?” A strange look came over his face. Something like excitement, but more… hesitant. “What year?”
“Nineteen eighty seven.”
A smile stretched on his face. “What city?”
“Indianapolis. Why all the questions?”
“Indianapolis General Hospital?”
“Yeah, I think so. What is all this about?”
His smile broadened, and he briefly put a hand over his mouth. “I was born on November ninth, nineteen eighty seven, in Indianapolis general hospital. That is where my clock ran out. Are you sure you were born at zero?”
The implication behind his words surprised me so much I didn’t know what to say. And that’s when it hit me. “No, no I don’t know. I was premature, so I was put in an intensive care unit before I was placed in the nursery. They…they wouldn’t have paid attention to my clock. They were focused on keeping me alive.”
“Were you placed in the regular nursery with the rest of the babies?”
“Yes. I remember my mom saying how she wished I’d stayed in the intensive care unit because it was quieter. There was this one baby boy who screamed all the time. Though she said his mom was nice.”
All of the sudden he burst out laughing, and his eyes grew shiny. “My mom said I screamed constantly, and she felt bad because there was this one little preemie girl who needed sleep.”
We stared at each other, letting our unspoken conclusion rule the silence.
Then he stuck out his hand. “My name is William Tate, and I believe you are my soul mate.”

Why is that last line in a different font? All I did was copy and paste from Word. Weird. 
 Anyway, hope you enjoyed that a bit. Hope NaNo's going well for my fellow WriMos!

A wordy evening/day/mid-morning/whatever to you.