“If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” - Toni Morrison

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Failures & Decisions

I've decided to drop out of Actually Finishing Something in July...and my goal. I've been so incredibly busy with Vacation Bible School, and other things have popped up that have sent me to the other side of the city...which means taking transit...which means at least an hour and a half each way.

I'm going to extend the goal to the end of August. I'll have to see how that goes because I'm going to be away for a week in August, so that's time already off. But maybe I can bring my laptop...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Week 2: The Miserable Fail

The first week of of Actually Finishing Something in July has finished, and I failed miserably.

1. Were you able to finish your weekly goal?
No. It's sort of inexcusable, actually. Yes, French and working on skits for Vacation Bible School are excuses, but making a music video and reading are not really. But I will try better next week! And I did get a few pages of outlining done....on the first day.

2. Is this challenge encouraging you to write more often?
Yes. But as you've seen, I've let other things be more important the last week. *cough*

3. At what time of day did you accomplish most of your writing?

4. Which musical tracks did you listen to most while writing?
I actually can't remember whether I was listening to music or not while writing. But if I was, then I was listening to Doctor Who soundtrack music. *grin*

5. Share a descriptive snippet or two of your writing.
Heh. I'll pass on this one for the moment. But I promise to share a snippet or two within the upcoming week!

6. Share three dialogue-based snippets from your week one writing.
The same as above.

7. How are you going to move forward in this challenge? Are you changing your word-count goal or other plans?
I'm actually going to move forward. ;0 I'm staying with my page-count goal. I am going to try!!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chatterbox: The Indian Village

Rachel has chosen the theme for this month's Chatterbox to be foreign relations: how do your characters interact with those of another culture or nationality? *LIGHT BULB* I have the perfect scene from Innocent that I haven't written yet. Perfection. *rubs hands together*

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The morning after their encounter with the Fairae was cool and damp, as if it had rained in the forest, but not in the fairae circle. As they walked along, Marianne couldn't help remembering how wistfully Talis had looked at the teepee frame, how he had viewed it as more like a work of art than an abandoned house. She was surprised that Elianna had been so quick to slam down Talis' moment of inner peace and joy. At that one moment, Talis had almost seemed to grow an inch taller, and he looked more mature.


Marianne stopped in surprise at the harsh voice that certainly didn't belong to Father. A tall, muscular man with red skin stood in front of their company. He had glossy black hair and searching black eyes. A beautiful blue feather was tucked behind one ear. Marianne wouldn't have found anything strange about the man at all, his red skin looked so... so human... except for the fact that he was completely naked except for a brown skirt that looked like it was made from the skin of some animal.

When Marianne quickly glanced around her, she saw that there were other men like him between the trees, hiding but not quite hidden, their arrows in bows, ready to shoot if their leader (so she guessed - and rightly - who the man in front of them was) so desired. However, each man's feather was different colour, ranging from white to bright red.


A shiver of delight went down her spine. She had read about such people in books before, but she had never seen one in real life before. Even now, she was finding it hard to make herself believe that the real people were standing before her, and not wax statues in a museum exhibit.

In front of her, Father gave a deep, respectful bow before the Indian leader and then stuck out his hand to shake after coming up from his bow. The Indian stared at him a moment, and then nodded, as if pleased by the priest's greeting. He took the hand offered him and gave it a hearty shake. After doing so, he raised his arm in the air and cried a few words in a language that sounded almost like that of a bird's. The men surrounding them lowered their bows and strolled up to the small party.

"My name, in your language, is Running Bird," the Indian leader spoke aloud in English. "You are welcome here."

He gave a smaller bow towards the group. Marianne heard Sam snickering beside her. Even though she still didn't know him well, she couldn't resist giving him a hard nudge. Sam quickly shut up.

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My earlier reason that Talis liked the teepee so much was that he loves to build and design things. However, I think there's an even stronger reason behind this. ;) ;) ;)

And I believe THIS is Talis. And I also believe that I am going to be giving him a bigger role in my story, instead of waiting until the sequel - if there is one.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Beautiful People: Rhona

Since I did Marianne last week, this month, I'm going to do my second major character, Rhona Ranling.

1) What’s their favourite food? (Bonus: favourite flavour of chocolate!)
Nunta, a "bread-of-the-road" (for royal servants...but more like a festive bread for peasants) with berries. Favourite flavour of chocolate? Milk chocolate. (She first has it at the royal palace.)

2) What do they absolutely hate?
Being looked down upon as someone lesser than the person in question. Or anyone, for that matter.

3) What do they enjoy learning about?
Rhona loves to learn anything outdoors-y, like horseback riding and gardening.

4) Who is the most influential person in their life?
Her foster mother, who taught her everything (important) that she needed to know about life.

5) What is their childhood fear?
That she would be just another peasant child, the same as all the other children in her village. This led her to being shunned by the other children (which she didn't care about)...except for the young boys who had crushes on her (and there were a lot of them).

6) What is something they have always secretly dreamed of doing, but thought impossible?
Rhona has always had this impossible dream of walking up to the royal castle, and that they would accept her as one of them, just like that.

7) What is something she is impractically afraid of?
Hahaha...not much. Spider? Flick. Heights? No biggie. Hmm...I'll have to think about this one, obviously.

8) Are they a night owl or morning person?
If I had to choose one, night owl. But that's more because of her background and having to stay up late to finish washing the dishes and so forth. In fact, she's more of an early-to-bed-early-to-rise person.

9) Do they say everything that pops into their head, or leave a lot unsaid?
It really depends. She usually leaves a lot unsaid (not because she's shy, but because she doesn't believe it necessary). But when she's angry, she says quite a lot...and more.

10) What are their nervous habits?
She plays with the ring on her finger, the one that belonged to her real mother, a royal (which she doesn't know until much later in life).

On a not-completely-unrelated note...I just had a heart attack. I found that I LOST THE ONE GOOD CHARACTER PICTURE I HAD OF RHONA. I am heartbroken. :( But, wait! What light shines from that other window? I can go look on Pinterest! Yes! Yes, my precious! I must go on a picture spree through my special Pinterest board to find another others that work.

Ohhhhhh.... I love this. I really, really love this. Maybe even more than the picture I lost!

And THIS... This gives me a super-awesome idea for the prequel I already started planning a few years ago.

And so all ends well. But here's a lesson for all you: never never NEVER leave your pictures unsaved. Save them twice or thrice, if possible. ANYTHING to keep from losing them. You don't know what agony that is.

Friday, July 4, 2014

how you can tell I'm in a good writing mood

NEWS HOT OFF THE PRESS: Whilst plotting, Anna decides on a spur of the moment to completely switch up two characters' places. Taken from my outlining notes...

[Character B] finds [Character A] grievously injured on the point of death. (HAHA changed that one up!) DUN DUN DUN.

So, in other words, outlining is going wonderfully. I'm going to rewrite some beginning scenes. And I'm considering whether to kill a character off or not.

Yep, I think I'm learning from Steven Moffat.

Who wants a let's-get-to-know-the-characters post?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Further Update on My Writing Plans

I just came across this most beautiful idea/challenge, and I have decided to answer the questions for Week 1 of it.

1. What is your writing goal?
Already mentioned in my last post.

2. Give us a short synopsis of your project.
Turns out, I was planning to post some outlining from Innocent that I wrote yesterday, using the Snowflake Method (to see it, go here and scroll down until you find it). Here are summaries from my two main characters POVs:

A. One-sentence summary of your novel.
In a land far from earth, yet touched by it, the destiny of all its people lies in a necklace that holds a stone with a valuable liquid.

B. Longer summaries from the point of view of my major characters
Marianne Roberts’ world turns upside down when a precious stone is found in her deceased uncle’s treasure collection. Suddenly her day-to-day life entails running for her life, training in self-defense, and travelling across the known world in order to give the stone back to its rightful owner before it falls into the wrong hands.

Rhona Ranling, peasant girl, has always wished for a better life. But when she finds that she is really a royal princess, she gets more than she bargained for. Her uncle, the king, is gravely ill, and a dangerous enemy in hiding is right under her nose.

3. How long have you been working on this project?
Lazily, since I was 14.

4. How often do you intend to write in order to reach this goal before August 1st?
Every day, hopefully. But I may not be able to on the days my family goes on day trips.

5. Introduce us to three of your favourite characters in this project.
Marianne. She lived the last few years of her life in a wrong way. The danger that the necklace brings into her life snaps her "out of it", as some might say. But she still struggles with her past. She's the type that fights for what she believes is right.

Rhona. She's a feisty redhead who spent her childhood trying to prove that she was better than all the other peasant children. Then, as she enters adulthood, she finds that she is indeed above the children she scorned. But instead of blowing up her pride even more, she starts to realize that she was wrong.

Joseph. He's a kind, sweet, and gentle boy. But underneath hides the scars of a little boy who was beaten by his father while his other brother went to birthday parties and play dates.

6. Go to p. 16 (or 6, 26, or 66) of your writing project. Share your favourite line or snippet from this page.

“I was just trying to put you in good spirits so you wouldn’t feel too bad when Guus arrived!” Ghanry protested.

Rhona rolled her eyes and turned away. “The only thing that can help me get ready for Guus’ visit is if certain people would just let me get my work done so I can go to the market.”

“How are you going to get to the market before Guus arrives?” Ghanry asked, innocently. “He’s at my house right now.”

Rhona’s blood froze. Slowly turning, she asked, in a slow, cold tone, “What…did…you…say?”

Ghanry, who had realized his mistake, stuttered something so low that Rhona couldn’t hear.

“Speak up!"

“I…I said…meaning no harm to anyone…I didn’t know that you didn’t know…”

“Just say it!” Rhona hissed, her brain already having registered what Ghanry meant.

Ghanry’s face crumpled into the most mournful face that Rhona had ever seen. So mournful, in fact, that if she hadn’t been boiling mad at the moment, she might have felt sorry for him at the sight of it.

“Guus is at my house. Right now,” he whimpered.

And Ghanry’s house is the next farm over.

7. Tea or Coffee?
Coffee. I love tea, too, but coffee is my staple. (Along with peanut butter sandwiches.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July Writing Plans

There are three reasons why I don't write (aside from the reason of being impossibly busy most of the year).

- Writer's Blank: I can't think of anything to write.
- Writer's Blahs: I don't feel like writing anything.
- Writer's Bleakness: I hate everything I've ever written. This sound so stupid - why did I ever write that?

At the moment, I'm in the third stage. A few weeks back, I finally went back to Innocent. And I read over it. And despaired over it. I've already re-written a good portion of it and I've barely started my "first draft". But I've decided that I'm not going to let myself look backward, but only forward...until that first draft is finally done. (Not-So-Fun Fact: With the amount of time I've had in addition to Writer's Blahs and Bleakness, I've written about 23 pages since I started it. When I was fourteen.)

So I've made a plan for myself.

1. Get the things I need to do (such as the torture called French grammar that I have to take over the summer) in the morning so that I have a couple of hours in the afternoon free.

2. Spend much less time on things like Facebook and Pinterest. (Because honestly, most of my time spent on Facebook is reloading the page, hoping that someone posted something because I am absolutely bored).

3. I'm going to set myself an ambitious goal of 10 pages per week. (For some of you, that may be laughable, but this is HUGE for me, especially with my schedule.) I'll just stick with just July (and the last few days of June - because there are two more days left in June as I write this) for now, so that makes 50 pages. I doubt I'm going to make this goal, but I find that I work better with a goal. 

4. Outlining does count for the 50 pages.

5. And absolutely NO looking back. (Unless I need to check a name or event or something. But no editing. And no panicking.)

If I complete this goal, I'll treat myself. To what, I have no idea. Any ideas?