NaNoWriMo 2k17 Conclusion

Remember in my last post when I said I would update you on my final word count and such for this year on December 1st? Well it’s now December 17th and I’m sorry about that but to be fair I haven’t worked on The Archive Game since NaNoWriMo ended. December started and I was immediately dragged away from writing by all the other things I had been neglecting during the month of November.

So this update is true to what was written in November. The story isn’t done, I have lots to go on it before the first draft is done and I already know huge chunks that I want to rewrite and edit already. So it will be a long time going on this one.

BUT, this is the final update for what I was able to accomplish in only 30 days:

Words: 52,265
Pages: 103
Chapters: 11

That’s all I really have for you guys, I just wanted to get those numbers officially documented before I got back to working on this book.

Cheers

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NaNoWriMo 2k17 Progress Report: Week Four

It’s the last week of November and thus the last week of NaNoWriMo 2017! I managed to make a big dent in my scene outline and I am starting chapter 11, which makes me exactly halfway through the story scene wise. And, I hit word count! I actually stopped writing to come write this progress report once I realized it. I am going to keep writing of course since my story isn’t done so I will update you all again on December 1st where I stand with the story (and when I actually finish the draft) but for now let’s just talk about what I managed to accomplish in the last seven days.

Week Four: Wednesday, November 22nd- Tuesday, November 28th 2017

Words: 50,040
Pages: 99
Chapters: 10

Favorite bits of writing for the week: 

She wakes up to the smell of eggs and bacon and for a moment Caroline thinks she’s home. She stretches in her blankets, eyes still closed tight against the sunlight trying to get in and imagines she hears her parents and her cousins roaming around downstairs. But then her hand slips free of the blankets and she feels the rough grain of the wood she’s sleeping on and she hears Tuesday laugh and she remembers where she is.

Caroline blinks a few times to adjust to the light coming into the tent at a soft angle, Elisabeth having already left her bedding behind and had left one half of the tent flap partially open. She yawned and sat up, stretching with a loud noise of satisfaction as her back popped in a few spots. Ben T. Dog’s face appeared at the entrance to her tent, whole body wiggling with the violence of his tail wagging as he bounded in to shower her with sloppy morning kisses. She laughed, struggling to push him off and detangle from her blankets at the same time. But she managed and was able to crawl out to the campfire, where Beatrix was pouring a thick mug of coffee from a cute beat up camper coffee mug.

“Good morning!” Beatrix said, reaching for a plastic bottle of honey that was apparently their only sweetener option. Caroline took a moment to consider the juxtaposition of squeezing honey out of the head of a plastic bear in the middle of an enchanted marsh and made a note to ask Tuesday about how much modern technology and stuff was actually down here.

Tuesday slid a china plate with little red birds painted along the rim across the ground to where Caroline collapsed. The guide was sitting cross legged in front of the fire, a grate resting over the flames which was holding up her cast-iron skillet. Eggs and bacon with cheese and a wheat roll was apparently the breakfast menu. Caroline found herself to be ravenous because she had cleared half the plate before even remembering to say hello. Tuesday looked pleased with her reaction, and she dumped the contents of the skillet onto a blue and white dish and passed it to William, who was emerging from the tent he apparently shared with Tuesday looking disheveled but rested.

Without the trench coat he looked even taller and leaner, though it was clear from how is tunic sleeves stopped at the elbow that he was toned. Caroline gave him an appreciative once over before reaching towards an empty mug to get some coffee.

“Oh, here.” Elisabeth said, appearing at her side wearing a blanket like a cape against the morning chill and sitting down. “Take mine, I won’t finish it.” She handed over a half full mug that instantly warmed Caroline’s hands. “Fun fact, the marsh water doesn’t smell great but it is really nice for washing your face.”

Caroline wrinkled her nose as she took a sip of the coffee. It was thick and tasted spiced in a way that Caroline couldn’t identify but it was delicious. It needed a bit more honey but for the most part Elisabeth had sweetened it tolerably.  She opened her mouth to decline and found nothing for a moment. So she took another sip of the coffee and settled on saying “I’ll pass on that.” Elisabeth cracked a smile and ate a forkful of her own eggs.

So yeah, that is what I have for the week. I will update you all on my final word count on December 1st for NaNo. Thanks for checking in on my literary journey this year.

Cheers!

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NaNoWriMo 2k17 Progress Report: Week Three

Greetings folks, we have made it to the third week of November which means NaNoWriMo is 3/4’s of the way done. I have so far managed to stay on word count, though I have never been able to rebuild my buffer that I had the first week. Which is fine, since I’m still on target to have 50k words by the end of the month.

It is becoming more and more apparent to me however that I will not even be a third of the way though my book by the time I reach 50k. My outline has me shooting for 22 chapters with a prologue and an epilogue. At the moment I am only on chapter 7. Chapter 6 turned out to be insanely long, which I was not anticipating at all. But I guess when I think about it my players did spend a ton of time at the Market when I was running the Archive Game. So it makes sense, since a lot of character related things happen during that block of scenes.

I’m fine with not being done my book by the end of November, since the book I was writing last year went past 50k words as well. I just really wasn’t expecting this story to take longer then 50k words to tell. But then again…I do have five main characters. Whoops.

Anyway, let’s get into the progress report!

Week Three: Wednesday, November 15hth- Tuesday, November 21st 2017

Words: 35,152
Pages: 72
Chapters:7

Favorite bits of writing for the week: 

The room she led them to was a sitting room, with racks of clothing lining the walls haphazardly, normal furniture breaking up the flow. A tiny old woman sat in an overlarge arm chair by a crackling fire, while a man who looked to be the tall girl’s twin stood at her elbow. He looked up when they entered, hair cropped short and seeming to fluff up at the size of their group. He reached down to give the old woman a little shake, and she turned to blink owlishly at them through large glasses.

“Welcome, welcome. Come in, do. Would you like tea? De’Lee La make them some tea.” The girl breezed across the room to lift a huge black cast iron kettle off the ground and carted it out of the room. “Shom, see to their sizes.”

The boy, dressed in black pants and nearly sheer white tunic top, drew a measuring tape from over his shoulders and approached the group. He stopped by Caroline first and gestured for her to remove her coat.

“Oh, no I know my measurements.” Caroline said with a smile, rattling them off before placing her hand on the small of Marcus’s back and shoving him to the front. “Start with him.”

“Hi there, I’m Marcus Quail!” Marcus said, setting his bag down at his feet. The boy gapped at Marcus and turned to look at the doorway where the girl had exited through. She reappeared, lugging a now full kettle across the room to the fire. Though she did pause to share a look with the boy, staring at Marcus over his shoulder for a moment before opening her mouth.

“Ah ah! None of that you two, back to work.” The old woman admonished from her chair. The girl quickly shut her mouth and went to the fire, setting the handle of the kettle on a metal hook and swinging it into place above the fire to heat. The boy turned back to them and took their measurements quickly, not making any further eye contact with the group.

“What are you looking for?” The woman asked, sipping from the mug that was clutched tightly in her hands. “Nothing like you’ve got, obviously.” She said, gesturing to a muted tv set that looked like it was from the 1960s wedged between a rack of coats and a potted tree. “You want to look like like the upstairs I would wager.”

“Yeah.” Bastion said, staring at the tv for a long moment. “Something more of the casual wear people usually dress in down here, are you watching Keeping up with the Kardashians?”

Caroline’s head swiveled away form where the two willowy people, twins she decided for ease of thinking, were conversing in just gestures and shrugs around to the old woman’s tv set. There on the grainy little screen in black and white was the Kardashian family, doing something or other. It was hard to tell in such low resolution with no sound.

“Amazing.” She said, snapping a picture of the set on her phone.

And that is all I have for this week, thanks for tuning in. If you celebrate Thanksgiving then I hope you have a good one this week, if you don’t then I still hope you have a good week.

Cheers!

 

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Archive Game Extras: Character Mood Boards

Hello folks, this is not a progress report on my NaNoWriMo story but it IS related to my story. I am actually two days behind on word count because I had family obligations and I should probably be writing and not screwing around on WordPress but sometimes you gotta. Also I really wanted to share these mood boards I made in October for all of my characters!

I actually found this to be really helpful with fleshing out my characters a little bit more, which was not what I anticipated happening. I just thought it would be a fun little de-stresser after work and that it would be fun. One of my oldest friends was making some for her NaNo Novel and posting them on Twitter so I decided to as well. Some of my characters changed a little bit in appearance based on this exercise, and now look very different in my head and in the story then the first initial sketches I did of each of them in my planning notebook. (all of which I drew for Inktober because apparently I like doing monthly challenges. Anyone know of anything I can do in December?) Plus I have always been a fan of these like…aesthetic mood boards? I love them, I really do. I am a big visuals person. I always see these types of things on Tumblr for like, book characters or seasons, or mythological figures, or just general moods and they are just pleasing. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, breathe, and be visually stimulated by a concept or a thing broken dwn into images. Am I rambling, am I making sense? I don’t know let’s just move on.

So have some little mood boards that hint to what types of characters exist in my world without giving too much of anything away! I am going to start with the one I made first which was a general ‘this is what my story is about’ mood board that I ended up using as my novel;s cover on the NaNo website because I was just too busy this year to draw anything, haha.

TheArchiveGame

Next comes my main characters!

Bastion Smalls

BastionBoard

Caroline Goliath

CarolineBoard

Beatrix Chandon

BeatrixBoard

Marcus Quail (+ Ben T. Dog)

MarcusBoard

Elisabeth Anna

ElisabethBoard

And my secondary cast!

Tuesday + William Bishop

TuesdayandBishop

The Queen of the White City

QueenBoard

The Prince of the White City

PrinceBoard

The Steward of the White City

EllasmireBoard

Okay, that is everything. Does anyone have like, a favorite character based upon just these boards, I’m curious. I guess I should get back to actually writing my book since I am supposed to be at 30k words and I am only at a little above 25k. Also back to watching the Punisher because like…I have waited months for this show???

Cheers!

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NaNoWriMo 2k17 Progress Report: Week Two

Hello folks, another week come and gone and just as I suspected I got very little actual writing done over the weekend. I was just too busy socializing and playing dice based role playing games. I’m not even sorry, those are just facts.

But luckily thanks to my buffer I am not behind in anyway, I am exactly on target according to the official site. I will probably rebuild my buffer this weekend since things will be much much quieter for me. Not without further ado lets get into it, because I am going to see the new Thor movie tonight and I need to get ready for that!

Week Two: Wednesday, November 8th- Tuesday, November 14th 2017

Words: 23,363
Pages: 49
Chapters:6

Favorite bits of writing for the week: 

The man blinked slowly at it and then looked back at her. “It’s worth maybe half.” He said, lifting a lip I contempt before pushing the money back at her. His other hand, holding the bag, tightened its grip.

“But that’s a twenty!” Beatrix exclaimed. “It’s worth more than the paperclips you just took from Marcus!” Marcus turned to look at Caroline, nodding in agreement. Caroline just sucked her teeth at him for even thinking that she would have contested that.

“Down here,” The man said, snide as anything. “It’s worth whatever I say it is.”

“Oh for Pete’s sake.” Beatrix huffed.

“I don’t know a Pete.” The man said, sniffing. “But if you want the back, you have to give me something more.”

“More like what?” She asked, her tone growing more and more frustrated.

“Something metal.” The man said, nodding back towards Marcus. “Like he had.”

“Metal.” Beatrix repeated. “What like this?” And with that she unzipped the back pocket of her wallet and shook a handful of change free. A quarter, six pennies and two dimes rolled into her palm and she thrust them in the man’s direction.

“Yes.” The man said, sounding delighted. “That is better.”

Before Beatrix could start raising a fuss about the monetary difference between what she had first offered him and what he was now accepting, the man snatched the coins away and deposited the green leather satchel into her hands. While Beatrix sputtered something about the quality and how she valued paying for good craftsmanship, Bastion looked a hand around her arm and steered her away, Caroline and Marcus in tow.

Yeah, it’s pretty clear that story wise I haven’t made a lot of progress but I am getting happier and happier with the tone of my story which is really what matters to me.

Alright, thanks for stopping by.

Cheers!

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NaNoWriMo 2k17 Progress Report: Week One

Hello folks, as you may notice today is Tuesday. The reason why I am choosing to post my first NaNo progress report today is because this month started on such a weird day of the week. So for this year my progress reports will be posted every seven days. I feel like that’s the most logical way of going about it.

This first week was really good word count wise but kind of bad story wise. What I mean is that I have gotten a lot of words written, I am extremely ahead of schedule as far as that goes. But I don’t really like the story that I am writing yet. Tonally it just isn’t quite right. The game I ran was laughs the whole way though and right now the story has it’s funny moments but is as a whole just too serious. I am hoping now that I have gotten most of the important setting establishing exposition bits out of the way I will have an easier time injecting humor into things. We shall see.

Also every once in awhile I look at a scene in my outline and have a moment of “I know this scene happened in the game…but how did it actually go again?”

Which is always a struggle. But I’m working on it. So without anymore chatter, here is this week’s update.

Week One: Wednesday, November 1st- Tuesday, November 7th 2017

Words: 17,084
Pages: 36
Chapters:5

Favorite bits of writing for the week: 

Tuesday was quiet for a moment and then said softly, “You don’t have to tell me who showed it to you, but I guess I should explain the biggest rules of the Archive to you.” She sighed and mumbled something that sounded like ‘where to begin’ and ‘tourists’ to herself. “Firstly, you can’t just stumble upon the Archive. You have to be shown the way. Or told about it. Once you know about it you can always find it again, but there is no just ‘stumbling’ going on.” She cracked a grin at them, amused and a little bit mocking. “So I wouldn’t try that lie again down here if I were you.”

 Beatrix looked uncomfortable but Tuesday didn’t press it any harder. For all they were obviously keeping from her, she didn’t seem bothered. More amused then anything, as if she found them funny. They passed through another bend and quite suddenly the stone of the tunnels dropped away. No longer natural stone walls, instead dirt and wood surrounded them. Tree roots above their heads and running along the walls like railings, yellow lights glowing in the knots and twists off the roots. A beautiful polished floor under their feet, and the smell of leaves and warm earth everywhere. And thankfully, Marcus noted as he shrugged his shoulders, a lot more elbow room.

Tuesday paused to let them look at the new surroundings, her look of amusement mingled with a pleased sort of pride at their reactions. She was probably so used to everything down here, she didn’t want to miss their surprise. Caroline was visibly gasping and mumbling from his side, and each noise she made widened their new friend’s grin.

“I know, another long hallway. But don’t worry, other things are ahead.” She said as casually as she could despite her grin. As if there was nothing special about the landscape just  abruptly changing around them. “But you have to be careful about these doors okay? They are not all meant to be open.” She turned and started walking again, strolling dead center down the hall. “I would say like, 98% of them shouldn’t be opened.”

Alright, that is all I have for this week’s progress report. I have a lot of things going on this weekend so I might not get to write much at all on Friday, Saturday or Sunday but we shall see.

Cheers.

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NaNoWriMo 2017 Announcement

Hello friends, long time no blog post. But then again I haven’t really had much to say to you guys since I finished up my first draft of Clara Archer and the Smile Baby Killer. But October is ending which means it is almost the start of November and National Novel Writing Month! My favorite of times.

So I am here to talk about my next story writing undertaking, which is:

The Archive Game. 

The Archive Game started life as a one-shot World of Darkness table top campaign that I ran for a couple of friends of mine. And was heavily inspired by my favorite aesthetic visuals, tropes and Neil Gaiman books. So this year’s NaNoWriMo will be at it’s core a retelling of that game as I saw it happen as the GM.

As the GM I created a lot of background into this world and my NPC’s that wasn’t explored because of the direction my players took off in, so writing this story allows me to fully expand upon the world. It’ll also be an interesting exercise in character, since the five main characters (my players) have created a unique scaffolding to work from.

Since the game was a one-shot, I pre-generated all their characters with stats and a very basic background to give my players a starting point to make the characters their own. Which they each did, in ways that I could have never predicted. So now as an author I have to take back these characters, who are in many ways different from when they started, and further flesh them out into something I can work with within this story.

Which is what I have spent a lot of October doing. I have a notebook for this story just like I did for my story last year, and it is full of word building and character information. I wrote up detailed profiles for each character, and drew quick ink drawings of them so I would have a visual while I write. I cataloged the rules of my world and my magic system and pretty much all the things I have done for my previous NaNoWriMo undertakings in recent years. I have a very busy first two weeks of November coming up so it really helps that I am as prepared as I possibly can be.

I have a few more blog posts I want to get up before I start my weekly update posts, one about my journal, my outlining process and one about my characters and the mood boards I made for them.

So for now this is it, probably tomorrow I will have something like a cover art post up since I didn’t do a cover last year but would really like one for this year.

If you’d like to follow my progress this year, click here to see my novel’s profile on the official NaNoWriMo website.

Anyone else doing NaNo this year? An online friend I have had for years is also participating and she and I are planning on doing a novel swap in December. I’m very excited to read her novel. It will also be the first time I have ever sent a friend of mine one of my novels to read so that will be a new experience in and of it’s self.

Alright, I will see you guys next time.

Cheers.

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