Motivation Monday #2

Happy Monday! Here’s another inspirational quote to get us started for the week.

Hopefully this one will motivate you (and me) to write something today.

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”
– C. J. Cherryh

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Changes to my novel

I will keep this post short and sweet, since there is more planning to do and fun to have at the lake.

Earlier this week I shared that I wasn’t feeling my novel anymore. I think I have fixed that. I took my novel back to the drawing board and took a nice look at it. The problem was partially the plot and partially the characters. Arrellinor, the main protagonist, was not interesting enough on her own. Furthermore, the plot was really created when I was in 7th grade and expanded upon when I was in 10th and 11th grade.

I had only made a few minor tweaks to the plot this year when I started Camp NaNoWriMo for the novel’s rewrite, where I hoped to fix the overwhelming issues I was having with it.

I fixed most of the problems, but I also created a few more, so I knew this complete redo was coming.

For starters, the novel is no longer called Prophecy of Euphinor. That title just wasn’t jumping out at me. Now, I am calling it A Clash of Crimson, which will be followed (hopefully) by A Mountain of Shadow and A Banquet of Fire.

I am also changing the POV. Instead of having only 1 POV from Arrellinor, I am introducing a few brand new characters that I had created for a separate story I started a few days ago. The idea for that novel just popped into my head and the planning went well, but I realized it would work better as part of my current novel as a substory that moves everything forward and ultimately helps with the resolution I have planned.

I am pleased with how the outline is looking. Now I just have to get to rewriting some chapters, deleting others, and adding lots of new content.

Camp NaNoWriMo Update 6: the halfway mark

I am official just over halfway done with Camp NaNoWriMo. I am just a little bit ahead of schedule, but I am suffering compared to last year.

My novel is beginning to look nothing like the draft that existed last year, although it will still need a lot of editing and review before I decide to do anything with it, such as sending copies off to my trusted friends to tear apart (I have very honest friends, and from experience I know they will find everything and anything.)

For now I am still battling through the brand new Chapter Four: A Noble Massacre. Previously titled The Arrow it was about a trip the main character takes with her friends to escape from the secrets and lies of the kingdom. The trip ended with an attack on the village they are staying in and Arrellia discovers that she can use magic.

Now, the chapter opens with an intense session of the Royal Court, where King Eckard threatens ambassadors from a distant empire because of their demands, while staying true to a medieval court of the day. That’s where I left off, just before the noble massacre takes place.

Oh, I also made a new temporary cover for Prophecy of Euphinor.

Euphinor cover new

My progress for July 2015 Camp NaNoWriMo:

Day – Total wordcount

  1. 1640
  2. 5502
  3. 5848
  4. 6032
  5. 9042
  6. 11706
  7. 12843
  8. 14055
  9. 14543
  10. 14543
  11. 17828
  12. 19431
  13. 22033
  14. 23835
  15. In Progress

Announcing my return to high fantasy

It’s been a good six months since I’ve actually worked on my high fantasy series. The planned short break became an extended one and I pushed all of my work over the past two years away to focus on short stories, school, and experimenting. I have promised you all a few different blog-only novels that never surfaced.

The reason behind my switching between novels and short stories so much over the past few months was my determination to finish something for the first time and make it good. I wanted to write something different that explored many different areas, but most of the time my ideas just didn’t get on paper.

I started a novel called Eagle Eye, which would have been a fantasy/military story set in the modern day. I didn’t even start writing it before I decided I didn’t feel like it. Then I started a novel about a civil war in an imaginary nation that would have focused on political themes and character struggles through the crisis. I wrote two chapters and just gave up on it. Then I moved on to The Other Half, an urban fantasy novel that was actually going really well. I wrote six chapters and had most of the novel planned out. I even let my girlfriend read it and she loved it, and she was being honest. A few chapters needed a lot of work and I was prepared to spend this entire summer working on it. I still plan on writing this novel, but something changed.

For the past 8 days I have been in sunny and hot Kailua Kona, Hawai’i on the big island. I spent the week swimming, getting sun-burnt, and reading. My family rented an estate with 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, and a huge pool (70 ft by 27 ft or so). It gave me a chance to think and relax my mind after a stressful senior year of high school.

On June 29, as I was just waking up from strange dreams and getting into the shower like a zombie so that I could catch my plane ride home. In my tired mental state, I remembered that I had brought all of my notes for The Other Half so that I could get the second half of the novel planned out for Camp NaNoWriMo. But then I decided maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to do that novel for Camp because I have no idea where its going. Plenty of authors write like that, but my mind immediately went back to Prophecy of Euphinor, my high/epic fantasy novel.

I thought about it throughout the day and I started to feel guilty for not staying strong with Prophecy to begin with. I started writing it in 2013, although really the ideas for it had existed since 2009. This novel is my main goal in writing, so why was i not focusing on it?

So, today I am announcing that I will no longer be writing The Other Half for Camp NaNoWriMo. Instead, I will start to revise and rewrite portions of the Prophecy of Euphinor and work towards finishing the final few chapters this year.

This means that I will resume writing everyday and I will start blogging about my progress.

Anyone else picking up an old project or participating in Camp NaNoWriMo?

Deadline week

It is that time again. It’s time for me to stay after school each and every day this week until the dark evening hours, stuffed into the JagWire room to suffer with my fellow editors. We have until 3 p.m. on Friday to design and finalize issue 15.3 of the national award winning JagWire newsmagazine.

This edition, we are publishing some very interesting topics that should make us a strong contender for the 2015 Best of Show award for Washington state. Our main FOCUS magazine topic is cancer. More specifically, a look at the culture surrounding cancer and taking a stand behind those affected by the disease. Within the four-page FOCUS section, we are featuring three staff members that have cancer and honoring a staff member that passed away from cancer in November.

Throughout the rest of the 16-page issue, we are publishing a few articles about the community and some big changes, and our usual dose of student features.

Because of this, I may not have another post until Friday, unless I find the time to scrape up something to publish real quick. If I don’t post anything this week, I wish you all a good week. If I do, I’ll see you then.

Winning Camp NaNoWriMo

After 24 days of writing almost nonstop I could see the end of Camp NaNoWriMo. After slacking off for the last few days I still managed to write about 54,000 words. I was waiting at 12:00 a.m. on July 25th to hit the validate my word count button, and as I did so I breathed a short sigh of relief.

As with National Novel Writing Month in November, I instantly went to the winners’ goodies page and navigated my way through the library of software discounts and free publishing tips. I downloaded my winner’s certificate and shut down my Hp Envy m6 notebook for the night.

Winners' banner from Camp NaNoWriMo
Winners’ banner from Camp NaNoWriMo

I took a break for a few days, wanting to slip back into my summer schedule and finish my AP summer homework for my upcoming AP Government & Politics class and my AP Literature class. I succeeded with the former, and I managed to get a considerable amount done with the latter. Throughout the whole thing, I had an itch in my mind. My inner writing was screaming “FINISH! FINISH YOUR NOVEL!”

Camp NaNoWriMo may be over, but my novel Prophecy of Misharedra is far from done. I am currently at 118 pages out of what may end up being a close to 300 paged novel. The quest for the prophecy has only completed half of its trek across dangerous lands, and the rest must be completed before the novel comes to a temporary close before I work on its sequel.

All I need to do is keep writing and to stay away from distractions!

Everyone now! (In the tune to “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper, who, by the way, I am seeing live today with Motley Crue).

No more YouTube, no more reading, no more hanging out with friends. (Like that’s gonna happen…)

Camp NaNoWriMo: An Excerpt From My Novel

For Camp NaNoWriMo this month I have been rewriting my novel from National Novel Writing Month in November. It isn’t really a revision because I never finished the draft of my NaNo novel, despite reaching the goal of 50k words in under a month. This time, I am trying to finish a full draft of the novel so that the real revision can begin.

And it is now my pleasure to post an excerpt of my novel. I will be doing more of these throughout the year as my novel becomes more and more the way I want it to be. Without further ado, here is an excerpt from Prophecy of Misharedra, the prologue: Sanctuary. Enjoy and comment with your feedback/ criticism, my feelings won’t be hurt.


 

Ascateheleah raised a wrinkled hand, silencing the man. “I understand your worries, Austrevur. I share the same concerns, but I don’t see any way around it. She goes to her family, where she will be safe,” he said hoarsely.

“Safe from what?” Austrevur questioned. “I don’t think anyone besides those in the Order even know that Lisuacar and Egarnas Justiques had a child. The attack was a freak incident, nothing more.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” Ascateheleah admitted, scratching his beard. “At any rate, Gasheicium is going to bring the baby with a few others of the Order. I told them not to come along, but they insisted. Ah, there they are now.”

A group of robed individuals wearing silly hats: pointed hats, lopsided hats, and flat hats, approached them. The ones in the front carried small lanterns with green flames, and another carried a white bundle in his arms, which was cradled like it was made of precious glasswork.

“You expect no one to notice a group of silly looking people with lanterns?” Austrevur shot out, his face turning tomato red. “The flames are green for Zeylon’s sake! What happened to this being a secret operation?”

Ascateheleah smiled at this outburst. He seemed to find the situation humorous. “May I offer you a flask of Euphinorian Mint Ale? You seem to need it. If anyone sees us we can simply wipe their memory clean.”

“I have some at home, but…” Austrevur took up the offer as the cloaked men and women surrounded them. The man with the baby was frowning.

“What happened to Lisuacar and Egarnas…it is a sad day. Do we know who attacked their vessel, Sir?”

Ascateheleah smiled at the baby girl. “No, we do not. It very well could have been pirates, but seeing as the eternal storms have kicked up again in the North…”

“No!” The man yelled in shock. “Zardocyla? Surely not, Faspeu is still sleeping.”

“For now. Gasheicium, it would seem that we have all been mistaken. Dark times lie ahead of us all; we just need to be ready for when they strike. How is the girl?”

Memory meltdown: why I turned onto Writing Street

Sorry for the long post this time, but I think this story has to be told now. I wont usually post anything this long.

Writing has been there for me, even when I don’t want it to be. I love to write, although I’m not sure it loves me back. I frequently develop writer’s block and I always ask myself if this is the right path. I mean, how insane am I to think that writing is my entire future? Pretty crazy. So, maybe I haven’t started to plaster the brown walls of my bedroom with fragments of short stories and maps for my epic fantasy novels, but I have confined them to a large cork board above my desk. I often wonder how I came to this: why I chose writing over trying to become a doctor or an urban planner, yet I already know the answer.

My writing roots

I started writing back when I was in fourth grade. I can remember the exact moment when I found my love for writing. Everyone in my class had to write a short story on a single sheet of poster paper and illustrate it. I wasn’t very creative at the time, after all, I was just beginning to discover who I really was. I wrote a pitiful piece based off of something I had read. It was basically the same plot line, just with myself as the main character and with a new setting. My teacher thought it was great, and I thought that if I continued writing it as a series of short stories , I would be able to impress her even more. So I wrote three short stories based on the same characters living on the same small island in the Caribbean. I shared them with the class to much applause, although my glory was short lived.

One of my classmates, his name was Ricky, was also a young writer. The fact that he was a writer didn’t bother me. I mean, there are lots of writers, right? It was the fact that he was better than me. His stories were twice as long and sophisticated as mine and practically stole the show. I didn’t share any more stories that year, and I stopped writing altogether. Worst of all, Ricky was my friend at the time. We still got along and even I couldn’t get enough of his stories. (I say at the time because it has been 5 years since I have seen him last.)

Fifth grade started off a bit rough for me, although it was the year that I really started to find myself. I remember that I was given detention the first week because I forgot my homework, which was a mistake I didn’t dare repeat. A few months into the school year we were asked to pair up at a laptop and write anything we wanted. I was paired with my friend Nicole as we created a story based off of a game we played at recess. It told of a wolf named Shining Radar-Tracker, a cat named Firetail, and a penguin named Gloria. They met at the Four Trees (total rip off from our favorite series at the time, Warriors) so that they could find some legendary salmon near Avalocalmysticwater. This idea paved the way for a book as I began to write on my own again.

The result was a 63-paged, handwritten book on wide-ruled paper. It had the same characters, although it featured a darker plot involving the fight against an evil tiger named Avakt and his armies. That same year a wrote a fan fiction during class based off of a game I played at the time called Club Penguin. I still have both of these, fortunately, so that I may look back upon them (and want to take an ax to them at every other word).

Sixth grade proved a breakthrough year when I was able to finish a 105-paged sequel, which followed Firetail’s search for his ancestry and his encounter with the vampires of the south. My writing had improved a tid bit, although it still lacked the essentials to a good story.

In seventh grade I began to work on a prequel, which only made it to around page 40. I had developed a severe case of writer’s block, which was the first time I had ever experienced it. Seventh grade was also the year that I became my “modern self.” I ditched the glasses for contact lenses, began to grow my hair longer, I dressed in band t-shirts and I gave up my country music roots for the great anthems of rock.

My quest for a novel

Of course my ambitions for writing got the best of me when I entered eighth grade. I wrote an outline for a new sci-fi series but never actually proceeded beyond the first 12 pages of the story. School took a turn I didn’t expect when I moved to honors classes and began to make new friends. Writing was lost in all the changes.

In ninth grade I tried to restart the sci-fi novel, but never did. Instead I proved my writing abilities through in-class short stories. I proved to be pretty good at early literary analysis and theme essays, but when second semester came around I was ready. At the start of every class we would write a short story about the topic or theme that was given to us. I have the notebook of these somewhere in my closet. (My closet isn’t a mess! My 9th grade stuff is just stored in a bin that I would have to sift through.) I might share these at a later time.

My personal writing during the year was nonexistent. I still called myself a writer, although I thought I was lying to everyone and myself. This mindset carried over into my sophomore year. The only writing I was able to accomplish was a rewrite of the first chapter of the sci-fi series, which also went unfinished. I didn’t even have to write much during english class, so my skills got a bit rusty (the exception being AP US History essays, which were rather boring.)

My current writing

I was expecting my junior year to be in the same vain as the past three. I was lying to my friends and teachers when I still claimed to be a writer. Perhaps it was better to say that I was a writer taking a vacation. But, so far my junior year has gone quite well in terms of writing.

In November I took part in my first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo ’13). The goal of NaNo is to write 50k words in 30 days. I was nervous about starting it, already predicting that I would fail. After all, I hadn’t written more than 10 pages in a novel for about three years. I did surprise myself, writing 50,016 words in only 28 days. This proved beneficial in a few ways.

1.) My current novel, Prophecy of Misharedra, is the longest thing I have written thus far

2.) It was the first time I had written a novel using a computer and not by hand (and I love it now)

3.) It is the best piece of work I have written

4.) I got cool winner’s goodies

That leads me to now. I am currently rewriting the novel (and at just over 10,000 words so far) and as soon as a finish a chapter it is being reviewed my a friend who is editing it. I also have another friend drawing a book cover and various illustrations.