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. 😉

 

 

Tags Galore!

In an age of needing to write 3000 words per day on a novel, tags come in handy for blogging. Thanks Ariel for the well-timed taggings!

Both of these tags are focused around characters, and so let’s dive right in!

 

Tag #1  – The Heroes of Legend

Rules:

  1. Very graciously thank the blogger who tagged you. (Thank you Ariel! :)).
  2. Answer the following ten questions in the tag. Images of your characters are encouraged, but not necessary.
  3. You may only use Original Characters (OCs) for this tag. As expected.
  4. Characters from fairytale retellings are not allowed. Because then that would be too easy.
  5. Explain why your character matches the description, because if you don’t, that would not be fun.
  6. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Do not hurt your little babies in this process.
  7. Link back to Merie’s blog post where she started the tag.
  8. Tag a few other bloggers to play this game too! (And make sure they’re writers… because if you tag a non-writer to do this one, it would be really awkward.)

Can I first comment on how glad I’m not given an exact number of bloggers to tag? I’m very grateful. Trying to find eleven people who haven’t participated yet is always the hardest part. xD

The Questions

1. Who is a character that is most likely to be turned into a frog (and then thrown against the wall because of additional obnoxiousness)?

I’d say this depends on who has the ability to turn people into frogs. First person to come to mind though, would be Matthew, a bratty street kid from my first (and unnamed) fantasy novel, which has been retired to a cardboard box in the back of a dusty (virtual) closest. He’s the kind of kid that doesn’t understand compassion, and tries to be sassy and clever.

Yes, indeed. Quite annoying.

2. A character that could probably persuade a man–sent to kill them on pain of death– not to kill them, through charisma or charm alone (or manipulation, whichever way you take it)?

Ooooh. I’d say Arvia as a child. Just too sweet and innocent.

3. Who is that kind of person who waves around a weapon (or other sharp pointy object) everywhere they go, regardless of their skill in handling it (which is to say, probably quite doubtful)?

That would be Chris from my novel, Beyond the Will. He would have no idea how to use a weapon – any weapon – but to order to stay on top of things, he would fake it until he makes it.

Or until he fails.

4. Who can endure the most pain with a stoic, completely neutral face (maybe s/he’s dancing)?

Are we talking emotional or physical pain? 😉

I would say Charlie, from my WIP, 51. She is stubborn, optimistic, and stable enough. It’s the pain of others she would not be able to endure.

5. Who is most likely to pull off a Hua Mulan and face a trial as one of the opposite gender if need arises?

Oh, um. Hmm.

6. A character who would be quickest to obey a talking cat when it demands them to buy it a pair of boots?

That would be Arvia as a child again. Arvia lives by the sea, free to wander, dance, and sing. If a talking cat showed up, she won’t even consider doubting it’s existence.

7. Who would be willing to do anything– absolutely anything– in order to rescue someone s/he loves (includes killing innocent foxes and asking the moon for help)?

Ethan, from the aforementioned, unnamed fantasy novel. No spoilers, but he does a lot to rescue his little sister. 😉

8. A character who seems to stubbornly not die no matter what you put them through (if you haven’t tried the Big Bad Wolf, now’s the time)?

Ha.

I’m going to pick Matthew again. This poor kid… He actually was created because a couple years a friend of mine asked me to put her brother in my book and kill him off as a joke. xD

I said sure! I can do that. Sounds fun!

So I planned to have him 1) betray everyone 2) live a miserable life filled of loneliness and guilt and then after a good amount of that 3) I’d eventually kill him off.

But then Matthew stubbornly refused, turned out nothing like my friend’s brother, and did all the wrong things. He wouldn’t go where I told him, and much less betray my main characters (at least at that time… it just wasn’t his way), and then he insisted on getting dragged along on the journey. (And pretending he didn’t want to. ;))

So, yeah.

He’s still alive.

For now. 😉

9. Who is the terrifyingly malicious, extra-megalomaniacal, wildly unpredictable Queen of Hearts/Bluebeard villain (the kind that makes you want to run and hide)?

My cliched villains of my first full length book: again the unnamed fantasy novel. I promise I didn’t copy the Nazgul. At least not consciously.

“The Riders,” dressed in black, rode black horses and could turn into black vultures.

And, believe me, not those kind of vultures that sit around and sing about friendship. 😉

10. Who is a character that is the terrifyingly placid, blood-freezingly calm, monotone-voiced villain that is Every Fairytale Villain in History Incarnate (the kind that makes you want to run and hide)?

I don’t think I have a single monotoned villain. They either hiss, or yell, or shriek, or roar. And sometimes whisper. But never monotone.

 

Tag #2 – The Star Wars Character Tag

Rules:

1. THERE ARE NO RULES.

Oh dear. The paradox.

2. Refer To Number 1.

Thank you kindly.

3. There is one absolute rule: You MUST use your own characters (OCs) for this tag. (Brownie points if you add pictures of your characters.)

Hmm. I’m getting such mixed signals here… no rules? Rules? Rules that say there are no rules?

4. The Sorta Rule: Scream a huge thank you to whoever tagged you for this whilst treating them to a pizza dinner at your favorite pizza chain.

Oh dear, now, I’m really trapped….

5. The Kinda Rule: Include This Link In The Post So That The Penny Can Read Everyone’s Answers To This Smol Strange.

6. The Rule That’s Not Really A Rule But It Would Be Great: Include the graphic and tag at least three Jedi or Sith Lords.

Tagging Jedi? This is getting harder and harder. xD

Heading
Requested Graphic ;P

Okay! Let’s get started with the questions!

 

1. Who’s Your Obi Wan Kenobi? (sassy, a great mentor, but can be a bit strict)

Closest I can think of is either Walter, from 51, or Seth from The Unnamed Fantasy Novel. Walter would be pretty strict and a great mentor, but not as sassy as Seth, who would be a worse mentor, due to anger and disgust issues toward the kids he’s stuck with. (Don’t judge him… one of those kids is Matthew.)

2. Who’s Your Leia Organa? (feisty, incredible comebacks, and does their own thing)

Allie. One of the twins in Paper Adventures. She’s got quite a spirit and likes to tease her brother endlessly.

3. Who’s Your Finn? (overeager, adorable, a cinnamon roll)

Yes, I’m about to compare Finn to my villain’s pet. 😉

Doodle Pup is definitely overeager and adorable. He’s the companion of the villain from my novel Paper Adventures, which is taking a break from the editing stage at the moment. He’s not exactly a dog, but a simplistic cartoon of a dog (meaning a oval with four stick legs) who is green and wears both a tie and a top hat.

4. Who’s Your Padmé? (kind, loving, but also kick butt)

Charlie again. Very kind and loving, but also spunky and sarcastic, with a fierce passion for justice and for protecting others.

5. Who’s Your Count Dooku? (deliciously evil, extra, and sick burns)

A certain character from 51. 😉

6. Who’s Your BB-8? (too cute, everyone loves them, can do no wrong)

What if I go with Arvia’s baby brother, Adrian, this time? xD

7. Who’s Your Yoda? (underestimated, extra, and wise)

This was the hardest question yet.

I’m going to go with Erath from my short story, Into The Forest. She’s pretty young, but don’t let that misguide you. She filled with a surprisingly amount of strength and courage.

8. Who’s Your Anakin Skywalker? (bratty, rebellious, whiny)

*coughs*

Matthew.

Remember him?

9. Who’s Your C3-PO? (always worrying, gives depressing information, constantly wailing)

Miss Agnes from my novel, Beyond the Will.

She has got to be one of my favorite characters to write. She gets away with saying things I couldn’t.

Agnes’s lips pressed together tightly and she set her cup down. “Chris, right?” He nodded. “You’re here for the funeral?” He nodded again. “Well, thank goodness that man’s gone. The world’s a better place now.”

Chris coughed uncomfortably. “I… I never met him.”

“Of course,” she snapped. “Any good parent would keep their innocent little child away… though it didn’t seem to help in your case. I assume you got your piggish, sugar-gobbling tastes from him too?”

^ case in point ^

 

10. Who’s Your Luke Skywalker? (hero, has been through a lot, has their share of flaws)

Zebulon, another character from my Camp NaNoWriMo project, 51. He has his flaws for sure and has been through a lot (though nothing compared to what is up my sleeves muhahaha). No spoilers, but his past actually has a lot to do with the story. 😉

 

And that’s all of the questions. Now for passing them on to others!

I tag…

Dekreel @ Inky RambleBeast

N.C. Stokes @ Weird As Usual

and

Bethany @ Shastin’s Notebook

 

So, I’m actually going to add a question to whichever tag(s) you choose to take. Have you ever written a friend/family member/acquaintance into your story? Why? And how did that go?

If busy (or simply in the mood) feel free to say we’re playing two hand tag and that I only managed to catch you with one. 😉

Until next Friday!

~ evelyn ~

Arvia’s Song // a character poem

Good morning friends! (:

A couple weeks ago, I was brainstorming for a writing project and was stumped on the plot, when the first few lines of this poem formed in my mind. It’s a poem of my main character, Arvia who grew up on the edge of the sea with only a small fishing village near by. I had never written a poem for or based off of a character before, so it was a first and I found it fun.

I hope you enjoy it!


 

Arvia’s Song

To the sea! To the sea!

    Where the birds are off calling,

        Off soaring,

              Off hopping,

        Head-cocking.

        Where the boats off sailing,

                Are gliding,

                        Are hoping,

          And docking.

 

To the sea! To the sea!

        Where the seashells are sliding,

                Are glistening,

                        Are winking,

        Sand-sinking.

        Where the waves pound,

                And make the sound,

                        Of rushing to their job of

    Feet-licking.

 

To the sea! To the sea!

        Where the wind blows,

                And I know

                        At the sea

There my home waits for me.