One Down, More to Go || novel celebrations, considerations, and introductions

Let’s ignore last week.

Because skipping out on blogging to go on a field trip is nothing in comparison to my news of this week.

Are you ready for it?

It’s kina big.

Just kinda.

Are you ready? Okay here it is:

I have finished 51.

Wait.

Say WHAT

I’m DONE?!?

…and in the meantime all the rest of you are wondering why in the world it has taken this high schooler to finally learn how to count to 51.

No, its not because I’m homeschooled (thank you very much)

It’s because “51” is the title of what use to be my W.I.P. (which work-in-progress for those wondering).

Though to be honest it’s still a work-in-progress, but we’ll get to that later.

For now, confetti! Balloons! Cake!

In order to celebrate I will be ranting, rambling, and well. More rambling. Gifs.

And watching hobbits celebrate my great feats.

All that jazz.

But first, for those lost: 51? The initial seed of an idea was planted last November when I needed a break from NaNoWriMo (you know that thing where you write 50,000 words in a month) and so asked a writer-friend for a short story prompt so… I could write even more…?

I know it doesn’t make much sense, but wait until you are cranking a couple thousand words a day for the same project.

You get kinda tired of it. Especially the end of the second week. (Which is the point you decide that there are dragons in your world.)

NoNaWriMo in seven words:

Well I wrote a couple thousand words of a short story that felt more like a novel. I started plotting. I wrote a couple pages on how time-traveling might work and how it would effect users. By the end of those pages, I had met my characters. They had brought to me their problems, which I prodded and poked and plotted from.

Since then it has grown. It has had its highs and lows. Things developed and changed. Including the method of story-telling.

All until last week. I finished at the personal-award-winning length of over 75,500 words (what a big plump rabbit that plot bunny has become!).

It’s an experience.

Everytime I finish a novel, I sit back and stare as I try to swallow the fact that I just wrote “the end,” and I think, “Wow, maybe I do know how to do this writing-thing…”

And then I close it and step away. An hour later it hits me. When I’m scheduling maybe. Or passing the computer. Or unconsciously hurrying through chore because of those 1,000 words waiting to be written. Suddenly the mindset is shattered.

There dumps that all confusing but amazing sense of joy, sadness, relief, fear, and confidence. And then that renewed energy.

All of a sudden, it is done. I did it and as comma-depraved and pitiful the prose is and as sagging as the plot proves to be with every chapter, it is mine. All the sweat and mental circles I ran, the sleepless nights I poured into it, the long afternoons squinting at the pixels blinking back at me. All the scrawling’s in my school notebooks. All the holes I must have drilled into my wall as I sat at my desk oblivious of humanity and the schoolbooks before me.

But wait…

Done?

Actually done?

And that original fondness and excitement you had for the characters? It was never lost, merely muddled with the day-to-day grind. And you will no longer visit them.

At least not like this. Not like how it’s been.

It will never be the same with them.

All those problems they brought you have meddled away your summer with. And they’re less of a jerk for it too.

Maybe it will never be the same, but I will be returning. After a break I plan to edit a lot, starting with all those filler {ELEPHANT}s and {helicopter flight check?}s that I stick in when I don’t have time to research. And that I forgot about until handing it to a friend.

I always finish a novel with renewed vigor. When I sit down to write I find myself pulling out the upbeat tunes to dance through as I rip apart pages and scribble with red pens. Or something like that. 😉

Well summer is now gone. Fall has already arrived with all its luggage: Shorter days. School. Cold. Flaring colors.

And then another revelation rocks my little universe.

NaNoWriMo is just two weeks away.

And yep.

I’m doing it.

How could I not? Last year was fantastic and after spending almost the past year just on one novel, skipping from section to section, rewriting, and overthinking sometimes, I feel like a good rush of new words and ideas, and that feeling of defenestrating perfectionism and care. Kidnapping a couple new characters and also holding my inner editor for ransom.

Look sometimes you just have to write a random novel and that’s the truth.

*and everyone says amen*

I felt quite lost the other day realizing I have no idea what I was going to write. That since of complete loss. Overwhelming nothing-ness. There is a huge difference between a new chapter in a book, and starting a new book. Facing that blank white page with no history.

Suddenly all that confidence about knowing what I’m doing?

Out the window.

And suddenly I’m sitting at the computer wandering what the temperature is outside.

Where is inspiration when you need it?

Well, after waiting for a sudden creative revelation to hit for a week I gave up only to be most pleasantly bombarded by Eden.

How can you say no to her inspiring bubbliness? Or the prodding by a couple other people I had kinda convinced to do NaNo in the past hundreds of flocks of other eager writing friends. Well she came up with some ideas, which I absolutely loved and twisted together into something I hope will be digestible.

And so now the minor dumping…

Short Teaser

She was born without wings. He was born deaf. And the man was cursed, but he was not born that way.

Hopefully that mini dwarf blurb left you with a couple questions. (Or at least made you want to know more.)

Winged people a norm?

…and now thinking about it, I’m starting to grow extremely excited, scared, and about ten other emotions.

Want to hear more?

What else this novel will include*

  • outcasts
  • fog monsters
  • towering treehouse mansions
  • old maps
  • pirates
  • locked sea chests and riddles
  • angry mobs
  • a quest (to what though I have yet to discover)
  • magical ship with no crew

{*Disclaimer: This is by no means a complete list and is in fact only a list by the author. It has yet to be pitched to the characters. It is very much subject to change. Thank you. 😉 }

Extra Fluff

I tried my hand at making character collages/inspiration-boards…

Cora:

Salar:

And Azo:

And with that I think my introduction is complete-

Wait… I need a title?

You’re saying most books have titles? And ones not just randomly pulled from the number of playlists I have on Spotify? *cough51cough*

Okay confession. I’m terrible at naming books especially when I have no idea what they are about especially out of thin air.

I promise 51 is firstly: not about aliens. And secondly: relates to the story. And thirdly: no I don’t have 51 playlists anymore.

(Don’t look at me like that. You go count your playlists. They multiply like rabbits.)

Well, we will work on that one.

WELL

And that’s that.

You think the party is done though? Never. 😉

Chalice tagged me for this really cool music tag so return next week for another dose of ramblings, this time about music.

Prepare to be drenched.

Until next time, let the joyous hobbits dance!

~ evelyn ~

**all gifs extracted by my personal crew of dwarves from the mines of giphy**

The March of the Typos

Typos.

You’ve got to love them.

Especially when they prowl in the paragraphs of your most important papers.

I view it as a blessing when I’m required to read it one more time before the whole class: It’s my last chance to spot that little monster and cross it out.

I’ve had my fair share of typos as I am sure every writer has.

When the words start pounding in my head and flying out my fingers, the scene of the story playing out before my eyes, I can hardly keep up with myself or my spelling lessons. I have no time to check myself and soon the squiggly red lines are blurring until they disappear behind my character’s surroundings.

When I first started editing my very first competed novel, I came across many a misused comma.

There is a great satisfaction to surfing through pages and pages of manuscript and adding those little missing punctuation marks, but after a certain amount of time, as the sun sets in the west and my eyes grow weary and my hands cramp up from crossing out everything.

It is in those moments typos no longer are those embarrassing mistakes, but suddenly my greatest friends, entertaining me when I most need it.

I even began writing them down.

So today, you get a glimpse into what crazy things sometimes pop out of my fingers.

Welcome to my rough draft world, where my character gallop away on their hoses and the air is filled with humility!

First up we have some brilliant prose dug up from the one and only, Unnamed Fantasy Novel of my childhood:

“The chickens squawked widely.”

What profound wisdom is this?

Meaning their range was wide?

I’ve never payed attention to the pitch of squawking chickens, but now I will have to notice.

Very intriguing.

 

“The first raised his head and stared at Ethel, screeching, as his boy started to shrivel and shrink until it was a black feathery creature: A vulture.”

Yikes… I feel sorry for his boy.

Poor kid.

 

“Behind, in the courtyard, yelling arose and then something began to thudded below in the streets.”

 

This sentence is actually pulled from the same scene as the last two…

When it rains, it pours, my friends.

 

“Ethel could barely see his shadow stop and pull something from a self.

Wow, is this stranger a magician? O.O

Or is he just a guy reaching into his pockets?

And will Ethel ever really know?

 

“I have brought you breakfast and a new dress, since the one I dressed you in the first day was too big. It was the only one we had at the moment,” she chattered setting everything she held on the self, along with items from the stool.”

What can I say?

I’m a person of habit.

 

“Dried herbs dangled from strings off the low rafters, fragmenting the room with a mix of strong smells.”

I mean.

It works

 

“He held out the plate and Ethel accepted it sullenly. The rice and rice smelled good. He handed her the fork too.”

Rice and rice guys.

You heard it here first.

Best dish ever.

 

“…The Riders: Two black dots drifted amidst the blue ribbon that snacked into the horizen’s grasp.”

Wow… just.

Wow.

Blue ribbon snacked into a horizen’s grasp?

Is English even my first language?

And what is up with these descriptions?

All I can picture is a small mythical rodent nibbling on a blue ribbon.

I promise I don’t describe things this way any more.

 

“Seth grabbed the boy’s shoulders with venomous and leaned forward.”

Wait… so was Seth secretly a venomous creature? Like a snake? 😮

I mean the other guy’s boy turns into a vulture sooo

The things an author doesn’t know about her characters until it happens.

And that’s fun and all, but even more recently as I combed through my first set of twenty chapters from 51, I found stuff:

“Stay with my Zeb,” she whispered. “Don’t you dare faint now.”

Woah, woah, woah.

Charlie, my dear.

Don’t go to fast here… you’ve only known him for 24 hours.

That was supposed to say me

And then a few lines later Zeb asks Charlie:

“How much father?”

 

Can their situation here get any more confusing?

 

Charlie nodded. “I’m sorry… I know it hurts and I quash we were closer.”

Well apparently.

Wait…

There’s even more.

“They limped on and Sarah and she dumped the paper bag into the trash.”

Look.

I don’t even have a character named Sarah.

Talk about random people showing up in scenes.

Well, Sarah, you got your little debut in the middle of no where, may we return to the story?

 

“Zeb looked down at his tights where the bloodied strip of white was tied around his tattered jeans. Where had that come from?”

Oh totally.

Ballerina tights are so Zeb’s style, guys.

Like totally.

Yeah…

No.

That’s supposed to say “thigh.”

So where did those random tights come from, Zeb? Do tell. 😉

 

 

Of Books and Binders and Book Binder Poetry

Good morning!

It’s a beautiful Friday and we are back with our next installment of Evelyn-finds-something-neat-about-poetry-and-comes-to-share-it on The Rain-Drenched Writer!

Or, as my dad would say, “Have you heard Evelyn’s new poem? She didn’t write a single word!”

Well, I am sure we are all glad to be here. If you are new to these series, check out previous episodes: here and here and here. 😜

Today’s topic of discussion: book-binder poetry!

It’s a simple idea. You take a stack of books and arrange their titles into a poem.

(Quick note though: I do not necessarily recommend all the books displayed in this post. I have not read all of them but am only using them here for the purpose of poetry. :))

Here is the first poem I created:

 

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I began to realize quickly that verbs don’t show up much in titles. Neither do many “which” or “who” or “what.”

For my second one I was very glad to find a book titled With. I ended up using this book a lot… it was very helpful! (Keep in mind to ignore it’s subtitle… 😛 )

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My third one, I am quite fond of! I titled this one, Gossip.

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To my delight, after that, I found two books about a watchman…

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Then I decided to take a visit to the Christian-living bookshelf in our household and see what I could find there.

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Suddenly my poems became a lot less poetic and star-spangled, but more blunt and foreboding…img_1369-1

 

And finally, my very last one which I found quite by accident as these books were already right by each other, separated by only two other books:

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Which one is your favorite? Have you ever played around with book-binder poetry?

~ evelyn ~

How To Bond With A Unicorn // a writing prompt

I’m sure you’ve always wondered how to bond with your friendly, local, neighborhood unicorn, and here’s your once-in-a-life-time chance to learn! 😉

Writing prompts can be fun little breaks for me when up to my eyes in a long writing project. At least, as long as that’s all it is: A fun little break. I have to be careful not to use it just to procrastinate, and so I generally stay away from flash fiction and such rabbit trails.

However, a couple months or so ago, a writer-friend shared this prompt with me: write step by step directions relating to a fantastical element such as a mythical creature, place, or person.

It was a lot of fun to mess around with, and tried to leave lose ends here and there. I enjoy stories that have such deep world building that it naturally fits to the point that even the smallest remarks remind you that you aren’t on Earth anymore (or at least your version of Earth). There is a story behind every off hand reference from a character, and it intrigues me, awakening my imagination. Who is this mentioned person? Where is this place?

Maybe someday I’ll pick up this piece and it’s loose ends to weave a story…


How To Bond with a Unicorn

  1. Find a unicorn
  2. Don’t yell at it. Don’t make sudden moves.
  3. Approach with caution and look it straight in the eyes.
  4. Bring mushrooms from the swamps of Swindellea. Make sure they are fresh and plucked within two days’ time.
  5. Don’t wear black.
  6. Or red.
  7. They have to like you if they want to bond, so be yourself.
  8. Unless you’re a jerk.
  9. Or stupid.
  10. Or non-likeable.
  11. And don’t gape. They hate it.
  12. Extend the mushrooms before you and begin to sing the songs you learned from the man in the back of the tavern when I sent you to fetch the rolls.
  13. And you better not have eaten or lost those rolls! If you do I’ll skin you alive and send you to Maleilann for clean-up duty.
  14. At this point, you have 13 minutes and 56 seconds before the forest guard arrives, but don’t rush it. Wait for the unicorn to acknowledge you.
  15. Don’t do anything stupid.
  16. Pray that he accepts your gift.
  17. Show your mark of the guild. He will question it. But when he searches your face he will trust your claim. Whether he agrees to come or not depends on his mood. Or you. (See steps 9 through 11 for reference.)
  18. If he doesn’t offer for you to ride him, you’re dead. Unless you find a way out, despite your witless little half-brain, but you better think quick and not underestimate the forest guard. And I’d hope my tutorage has come to something.
  19. You might have to convince him your efforts are noble. Well… good luck.
  20. And, against all the odds, if he does offer you a ride, don’t gawk. Thank him politely and mount.
  21. Hold on tight. I’m telling you, these things are fast. And beware of the darts.
  22. If you get out alive, ask the unicorn to go north to Armesta, before returning to me. You must meet an old man in the wilds of the outer pastures.
  23. Tell him my name.
  24. Don’t show him the unicorn.
  25. Take what he gives you and then return here.
  26. After that, we might just have a chance.
  27. Don’t be a jerk.

 

What is a writing prompt you have enjoyed?

 

Blackout Poetry

Good evening, friends!

Friday is here and I am later than normal with a post, but no matter. I have been gone most of the day, volunteering at a camp in a class of seven and eight-year-olds. Hence, I am a bit tired, but here to share some blackout poetry.

I made these yesterday evening. The first one didn’t take very long, but the second one I had trouble deciding on the wording. It must have changed fifteen times, but out of the two, it is my favorite.

For those unfamiliar with it, blackout poetry is when one takes a sheet of paper from a book or newspaper and creates a freestyle poem by blacking out (or sometimes doodling over) words.

I have actually bought a 50 cent copy of Jane Austen’s Emma for the purpose of blackout poetry and decoupage crafts. In this case, however, I printed out some pages from the handy-dandy internet, because the print in Emma is extremely small.

My blackout poetry never seems to turn out just right, though, so I find myself typing up the poem to play around with it until it sounds better. I guess I still have not learned quite how to pick the right combination of words. I’m still learning the ropes here and trying out different things. These two are my fourth and fifth blackout poems to have ever… written? blacked out?  Whatever the verb is there. (:

Well, enough talk in introduction! I hope the poems inspire you to try your own hand at blackout poetry.

Enjoy!


 

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Camp NaNoWriMo // of goals and projects and lessons learned from the last time

April is approaching.

I can see the light of summer break at the end of the tunnel and the chapters left in my school books are decreasing, but then here comes Camp NaNoWriMo.

For those you don’t know, Camp NaNoWriMo is the summer version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where writers go nuts, trying to write an entire novel in 30 days.

The key difference is that for the “camp” you get to set your own goal. Whether it be only 5,000 words or writing for a certain amount of hours each week, you get to pick.

Despite the fact that the first two weeks of April are pretty packed with school projects, and even a trip out of town, I want to challenge myself and thus decided to try for 50,000 words again.

I barely made it in November (mainly because I ran out of things to write ha) but I made it nevertheless, had fun, and learned a lot.

Despite popular belief, professional authors don’t just sit down and write their perfect prose or brilliant plots first try. There is always that terrible first draft – or that “sloppy copy,” as my grandma says – that ends up being drowned beneath a pile of notes and edits.

I had struggled for so long with understanding that. I would stare at the screen in frustration, trying to pound out just one sentence to satisfy the standard I set. I would reorganize the words, then delete them, then type them all back again. It was both exhausting and depressing.

However, when you have only thirty days to write the entire thing, suddenly the time to be picky disappears. If I was going to survive NaNoWriMo I knew I was going to have to throw perfectionism out the window. It forced me to do it.

And I went from spending a year and a half on a first draft, to twenty-five days.

Now, I hope to pull it off again!

For Camp NaNoWriMo,  I will be writing (and I thought I was never say this) a sci-fi, time-traveling novel. Or at least I will be attempting to. 😉

The idea behind it all started when I was writing some quick flash fiction in November (during NaNoWriMo, in fact) and then I began wondering what it would be like emotionally for someone to actually be a time-traveler.

A few hours later I had typed up a total of six pages on the topic. Six pages of me just musing about it.

A nice little, six-page plot bunny.

Thankfully, once all the ideas that had been bouncing around my head were neatly outlined in a document, I was able to set it aside and get back to work on my NaNoWriMo project and focus without another distraction.

Since November, though, I have continued to brainstorm, flesh out characters, and sketch a plot as the sudden late-night inspirations hit. I scrawl them out on a scrap of paper I had been using as a bookmark or in the margins of my algebra homework.

The past couple weeks, I have been compiling them in preparation for Camp NaNo. Now my character notes filed in easy reach, and my scribblings on the plot points translated and typed from a gleeful mass of names and verbs into something legible.

So here I present for your scrutiny, a mock cover and blurb for my (hopefully) soon-to-be written novel, 51.


 

51_Mock Cover_2

Zeb was going to change the world.

He was on his way to the largest, most elite school of science, prepared to discover cures, build machines, and ultimately help those in need.

But the day before he was bound to leave, his father was shot by a man who vanished without a trace. And left in his hand was the note:

“No one lives past fifty here.”

 


 

Camp NaNoWriMo, here I come.

Until next week!

~ evelyn ~

 

A New Begining

I must confess: This is not my first blog.

The other my twelve-year old self plunged into with overwhelming eagerness, plowing through posts without thinking. It was going to be amazing. It was going to be popular. I was going to become famous for my spectacular book reviews.

But since then I’ve learned a lot and changed a lot. The flurry slowed. My heart sank. I cringed to read over it all. For while I tried to slowly veer the blog the other way; pushing for it to be something it wasn’t; hating to be that person who creates a second blog.

Finally, I gave up. It was time for a fresh start. And I severely apologize to all those bloggers out there who graduated from one blog to another for all the judgement and disgust I dealt out to them in my mind. 😛

Well, now I understand, and so here we are. (:

A little bit about me:

  • I’m a Christian.
  • I’m a bookworm.
  • I’m a writer. I love words and stories and the way they can make you smile, laugh, and then make you cry.
  • I’m a homeschooler. (Yes, I have friends, and no, I don’t do school in pajamas. Thank you. :))
  • I’m both a big sister, and a little sister.
  • I’m a pluviophile: I love rainy days.
  • I’m an artist to a small extent. (: I doodle and paint here and there.
  • And finally, I also enjoy crafts. Things like loping yarn with metal sticks to create blankets and hats and scarves.

A little bit about this blog:

  • I view it as a palette for musings, for words, for thoughts, and poetry, plastered here for those who are curious enough to wander through.
  • And to create a routine, I plan to post every Friday, starting next week.

 

So that’s me and this is my new blog!

Welcome! (: