Things That Sound A Bit Like My Novel

December 3rd, 2015

Mistborn

Me: So I’ve got this idea for a really great story! Okay, hear me out: There’s this mage, okay? And she has this ancient power where she can use all kinds of magic…

Fiance: That sounds a lot like this book I’m reading: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.

Me: Um. Okay. So anyway, the main character’s primary ability is strength.

Fiance: Like Pewterarms?

Me: …What the hell are those?

 

Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend of Kora

Me: And she starts seeing these visions. But it’s about a past life-

Friend: So what? She’s reincarnated? Like the Avatar?

Me: Um… Well…Kind of I guess. Anyway, and she has these moments where she’s just overflowing with power and she’s practically invincible-

Friend: So it’s like the Avatar state!

Me: …

Friend: What?

 

The Stormlight Archives

Me: I’m really proud of the villain’s weapon! He has this scythe, right? And it’s made from dark magic, so it passes through everything. It doesn’t cut, but it completely kills organic matter, and only enchanted weapons can be used against it.

Fiance: You know, those sound like the Shards in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives. They kill whatever they touch, but can be blocked by other shards. It’s so good by the way, you should read them.

Me: No.

 

Magic’s Pawn: Book One of the Last Herald Mage

Me: *browsing donated books at the library* Oh! Magic’s Pawn. I’ve never heard of this. It looks interesting. I wonder what it’s about.

Me: *turns book over to read the summary*

Me: God dammit…

 

 

I know. I know. But Rose, there’s no such thing as original thought anymore. To that I say “Purple banana monkey butt sweater!” Yup. I thought of that just now. DID YOU?

*Sigh* But in all honesty, it’s difficult for a story to be original. Hell, I heard there’s a computer out there that has the algorithm to write every book that could ever possibly be made. Who can compete with that? But my stories and my ideas are still mine. I’ve never read Brandon Sanderson nor Mercedes Lackey (the author of Magic’s Pawn by the way). So their thoughts aren’t MY thoughts. I still had them. And while it might not be an original premise, it’s the details that make one story different from the next. If you have a room full of people write from the same prompt, chances are you’ll get entirely different stories.

Just because my story is a little bit like other stories, doesn’t mean it’s worthless or it has nothing good to offer. My story matters. Every story matters.

And so, I’ll keep on writing every unoriginal thought I have.

And so should you.

~Rose Enthorne~

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NaNoWriMo: The Final Days & Life After NaNo

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

December 1st, 2015

It’s over. Over the last three days I finished the sprint to 50,000 words. I have dragged my characters to the brink of hell and learned more about the world I’ve created than I ever knew before.

I created some really crappy stuff… I created quite a few gems that I’m proud of. Characters changed. Plot holes happened. Nearly everything I didn’t think would happen to me has happened. And yet, as I struggled to keep things moving and as I jumped from one thing to another with no regards for the laws of space and time, I managed to do something I’ve only done once or twice in me life. I won.

And now, only one question remains:

Where do I go from here?

The answer should be obvious. I haven’t finished my story. My characters are only on the brink of hell. They aren’t in hell yet. There are still two pages of outline to get through.

But when I started, I wasn’t planning on writing more than one book.

“I’m only writing a stand alone novel!” I told myself. “Series books are too difficult to publish!”

And then November the 15th hit, and halfway through the month I paused, stared at my screen and thought…”Okay…Maybe it’s two books.”

And then a little later on: “Okay three. Three books. BUT NO MORE!”

And when I finally Validated my word count earlier on November the 30th, I looked over how much of my ideas I’d covered and I whispered, “And a series of novellas…”

The sudden surplus of ideas and inspiration in and of itself is a blessing! After so long feeling like I had nothing to say, now it seems like I can’t shut up!

The problem now is where to stop. Where does writing end and editing begin? When do I know when I’m done? How do I get off this crazy train?

I did not want to write the next ASOIAF. I’m not even sure I could! I just wanted to tell a story about a military regiment stuck in enemy land with no magic and limited tools as they set out to destroy an Emperor. Now everybody and their cousin wants a chapter, my ideas have grown roots and branches, and my plot is a forest of ideas being strung together as I try to keep up.

Finding a way to build to a climax and an ending has always been an issue, but now the ending has moved so far away it may as well be chilling in London eating all the scones I crave. Needless to say, I’m very happy that I proved I could meet the NaNo challenge. But I’m also a little overwhelmed. I don’t see an end anywhere in sight.

December will continue the writing gauntlet as I try to find an acceptable end for what might be book one. Or at least part one. At least this way, I’ll have something to edit in January for NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month). Maybe with a little something fleshed out an polished, I’ll have a clearer grasp at the world in which I’m working. Right now all of my ideas are just flying at the page and it’s difficult to keep straight.

But who know’s what will happen? I certainly don’t…

Validated Word Count: 50,426 words

Congratulations to everyone who actually finished a novel this month! You guys are on point! To everyone else continuing on into December…

Happy Writing!

~Abby Rose~

NaNo Days 26 & 27: Ah hahaha ha… UM…

November 27th, 2015

So I’m pretty sure I said it before but I’ll say it again: I’m TERRIBLE at building plot. The reason being, I think, is that I naturally make them WAY to complicated.

The result of which leaves me frantically scrambling to keep from writing myself into a corner. I do it all the time. And I’ve been seeing the corner lately. There’s a mad dash to the finish line as November 30th is just three days away, and I’m doing all I can to avoid that corner until then.

Which leads me to what I wrote the past two days. I’m actually not sure exactly WHAT I wrote. I know it had some interesting concepts: MC and Villain dreaming about one another. Seeing visions of the past. Being called to by ancient spirits of light… and that was just yesterday! Today we had, castle cave spelunking, an old library with a map inside, a dark chasm, an evil hole in a wall, and a horde of undead corpses. The MC got shot… a lot… and didn’t die. And one of my other characters got her arm cut off. I was going to kill her but as I was writing the scene, I knew I needed her for later. I may still kill her in editing. It’s been too long and no one close to the MC has died yet. I demand a sacrifice!

This is supposed to be nearing the end of part one of this thing. It’s not a book in it’s own right, so I’m calling it a part. It’s just a piece of a larger puzzle. I’m thinking it’ll be about three parts, as I have three major plot arcs to cover.

Which means lots of writing in December! I hope I can keep it up!

Current Word Count: 45,632

Next Word Goal: 50,000

Congratulations to my writing buddies who are already finished, and to everyone who has already claimed their NaNo win! You guys rock!

To everyone else:

Happy Writing!

~Abby Rose~

NaNo Days 24 & 25: The STRIDE

November 25th, 2015

It looks like I forgot to post about yesterday. Oops! I guess I’ll just have to cover yesterday and today in the same post.

Today’s post is called “The Stride” because that’s what it feel like I finally hit after days of struggling to get something good and meaningful on paper.

Yesterday was all about villainy. Sweet sweet villainy. Anyone who is familiar with my writing, will be familiar with the fact that I adore villains. I find them interesting and engaging. And lets be honest, it’s just fun to be despicably evil from time to time.

Villains are special to me because of the challenge. They’re meant to be moral opposition to the “norm”. They challenge people’s general conception of “rightness” and “goodness” and yet, often times, they believe that they are the good guys. Almost no villain is a villain in their own mind. Sometimes you get the occasional self aware villain who knows he/she’s a total ass-hat, and they own up to it. But that’s an entirely different bear.

I covered a few great villain types in yesterdays chapters.

  • There was the main baddy who’s completely insane and living in the past. His actions are guided on a five-hundred year old grudge. But also by long lost love.
  • The other “main” villain is not human. It is a magical force that exists on the planet and controls people who are weak willed. The force is called the void and it’s one of those self aware villains. It KNOWS it’s evil.
  • The secondary villain is a man simply trying to climb the fantasy world nobility corporate ladder. He’s a former peasant, now Lord, who serves the main villain in hopes of attaining more power.
  • The other secondary villain is a woman noble with a badass name. Her purpose is mostly to serve as an antagonist to the other secondary villain. (What a twist! Ok…not really.)
  • The tertiary villain, is a Solaran princess. She’s only really seen as a villain to the “evil empire” of Zandara because she’s so ruthless. It was her idea to send all Zandarans living in Solara to interment camps when the book started. She is Nicholai’s primary enemy.

That’s kind of a spicy batch isn’t it? I’m proud of myself on that front. In the beginning. I saw the Emperor as the only bad guy, but that certainly isn’t the case at all. I love it.

But today’s chapter… TODAY’S chapter was amazing.

Today’s chapter had only the MC in it really. Today she really felt like the star of the story. Today the tone of the novel finally came through. Today I made a huge break through.

I don’t know what to talk about in it because it was all so great. Well not the actually writing part. I went back and read it and it still kind of sucked. But for the first time in awhile I could see it in my head as it was happening. There was very little dialogue as she was mostly just talking to herself so I really got to stretch my description muscles without getting too far into “telling” the story as opposed to “showing” it.

I think that’s it. Today I really showed rather than telled, and it came so naturally today. I’m still patting myself on the back.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and aside from watching Captain America and CA2 I plan to take a bit chunk out of my remaining word count. Here’s hoping the tone carries on tomorrow!

Good luck to every and Happy Writesgiving!

~Abby Rose~

NaNo Day 23: In Which Our MC Starts to Grow Up

November 23rd, 2015

So I decided to cut out a lot of travelling time today in favor of getting them to the safe haven. They group comes into the chapter dirty and bloody and I decided to tell what happened in flashbacks. This also changed the focus of the story because instead of the MC asking all the questions and being told what to do, she was the one explaining her actions.

In the end, her decision turned out pretty badly, but she struck the first real blow for their side while in enemy land. This chapter felt very grown up. Mostly because of the way in which the MC handled her situation. I actually liked it a lot.

The next chapter will be a brief glimpse into the life of the Villain. The evil tyrant Emperor Larion makes his first appearance and I’m so excited I could spit! Or I’ll just shake uncontrollably in my chair. Kind of like a Chihuahua.

Oh the ups and downs that is “the process”.

Current Word Count: 38,049

Next Word Goal: 40,000

Almost there! Just a few more days to write a little over 11,000 words. It’s lucky I’m working early the rest of the week.

To everyone who hasn’t validated their word count and officially won: Don’t give up yet!

To everyone who’s already won: You suck. (Just kidding! That’s just the jealousy talking.)

To everyone around the world participating or just writing on their own for fun: Happy Writing!

~Abby Rose~

NaNo Day 22: A Whole Lot More Nothing Happens

November 22rd, 2015

36,667 Words…. I was not ready.

I reached 36,228 today before feeling so overwhelmed with frustration, aggravation, and other negative “ations” that I finished the chapter and closed the word document in a huff.

I’m getting nowhere fast, writing stuff that’s boring me, and getting mad because I don’t feel experienced enough to just jump to something else. I’ve always been a linear writer. I quit stories when I get bored. NaNo isn’t letting me quit so now I’m sitting at my desk as a big ball of stress as I look at the estimated time I’m going to reach 50,000 as it fluctuates between the 1st and 2nd of December.

UNACCEPTABLE.

Come on brain, make things happen. I don’t care if Lobster ninjas crawl out of the lake and devour souls while the village is trying to throw a birthday party for the resident village idiot. I. NEED. ACTION. I. NEED. TENSION. Stop being a greedy bastard, Brain. FEED MY CREATIVITY.

(End rant)

I guess the frustration was supposed to come at some point. And how arrogant of me to assume I’d somehow be above it all. (Even if I never said it out loud. I thought it. I know I did.) I’m so out of practice that NaNo is becoming increasingly more difficult as I enter new territories I’ve never experienced in my writing career.

For example, stringing plot points together is the devil. I’m at plot point A and, oh look, there’s plot point B waaaaaaay over there. Let’s skip there merrily together! Oh wait…what’s going on? Oh no! WHERE DID ALL THIS WATER COME FROM? Do we have a boat? IS THAT A GIANT WHALE? How the heck did we get on top of a mountain? Oh hey! Plot Point B! We made it! And plot point C is waaaaay over there!

I feel like banging my head on the desk until I can judo chop this piece of junk with my face.

Current Word Count: 36,228

Next Word Goal: 40,000

Just Keep Writing.

~Abby Rose~

NaNo Days 20 & 21: And They Start Showing Their True Colors

November 21st, 2015

Okay, so it’s actually the 22nd, but I haven’t gone to bed yet! It’s not tomorrow yet! I’m not ready!

So I didn’t write much on the 20th. I had major writer’s block and felt lucky to crank out 750 words. But today really took off! I wrote just under 3000 words and three chapters from three different points of view. I found I don’t like changing POV every chapter, but it works to cut away to other characters every once in a while when I start to feel bored with Alexandra’s story line.

Today was a pretty good night when I think back on what I wrote. The characters are really beginning to show their true colors: Nicholai isn’t as kind and sophisticated as he seemed. Princess Celine is ruthless and coldhearted. And Alexandra (our MC) is actually very childish and an attention hog. She hates having responsibility thrust on her, but she hates it when people upstage her even more.

There’s really not much else I can say tonight except this book is becoming more and more about parallels. I seem to do that naturally and I really dig it… especially when they reverse!

Current Word Count: 35,054

Next Word Goal: 40,000

Later today I’ve got to hit 36666. I’m ready.

Good luck to everyone else trying to play catch up!

Happy Writing!

~Abby Rose~