Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Now What? The Post-NaNoWriMo "Slump"


During the month of November--or as it is more commonly known among writers, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, when avid writers try to give their inspiration a boost by taking on the challenge of 50 thousand words in 30 days. More often than not, writers will take on the challenge of a brand-new idea they've been planning (or saving, if you're not the planning type) and pursue that one novel for as far as it will take them.

Me? I had the *brilliant* idea of "focusing" on an entire series, my ReBible series. It was a great idea, since it was a series I really wanted to get a jump-start on, and setting a goal of 50,000 words added to various books in the series really helped to get the ideas flowing and out of my head.

But the month is over... now what?

Now, it's back to the things I was working on in the months before November. I'd hoped to have a new excerpt to share with you... but in my excitement over the return of the Suggestion Box series and the fact that I could get back to hopefully updating my Wattpad works.... I had forgotten that the story that I should have been working on was the next chapter of "The Commander's Courage."

Instead, for today, I'll give you my Top 3 projects that I'm going to be plugging away at through the new year. Plus, I'll get to share some snazzy mock covers. It being one of the things "required" for posting on Wattpad, I was sort of inspired to put together images to use for the other works, too. So here goes!

The Water-Man
As I mentioned before, this is a Wattpad exclusive, and my newest project. If you haven't heard about it before, it's a urban-fantasy-ish kind of story ("urban fantasy" because there are fantastic magical creatures in existence... but it's also set in the 1950's era, so it's not quite the "modern urban" that is the typical setting for the genre) centered around a small beach town in Great Britain, where two important things happen: a rich family vacationing in their summer home are robbed and the traumatized kitchen maid takes matters into her own hands; and a family doctor and his daughter go for a stroll on the beach and discover a legend living just below the surface. There are two chapters so far, and a quick little "folk tale" I whipped up to kind of "explain" the lore behind the Lionie, a shapeshifting water-creature I literally dreamed up. I had written a third chapter before November, but I wasn't really satisfied with how it turned out, so I opted not to post it. In the last two weeks, inspiration has resurged, and I recently finished and posted the new-and-improved chapter 3--and I've started on Chapter 4, when things really start to happen. So if you're interested, feel free to hop on over to Wattpad, create a free account, and follow the story to motivate me to write more!

 The Commander's Courage
You might recognize this image from a previous excerpt post. Truth be told, I had only just finished the first book, "The Dragon's Quest", and started this one when the idea for the Water-Man came up, so it kind of got stalled at the gate, as it were. For those who don't know, my project for NaNoWriMo was a serial story called "A Writer's Tale" which was inspired by two things: 1) I had just read the Arabian Nights, and I was impressed with the way the stories seemed to just lead one right into the other, and 2) A friend was expressing disappointment at not having a solid idea of which genre to write for the month. My idea: "Why not write them all?" So I cooked up this plan where I would have a novel of continuous stories that would lead into each other, and each story would be a different genre; each story would have the same kind of grouping of characters, maybe tweaking the names and genders a bit when it suited the context of the genre, and the plots would be similar, where the characters would have to overcome the generic challenge of that genre. Hence, I had a story where I could basically write two or three parts simultaneously, or according to whatever genre suited my mood at the moment.
That was then, this is now: In trying to keep each part a consistent length, there were sometimes that I came up with more ideas than I could fit within my "word cap," so I had to leave some parts out. I still retained those ideas, though, and now I am going back and rewriting the series so that each story is its own novella, so I can add those parts back in. This means that I can delve deeper into the backstories of the characters; unfortunately, it also means that it takes me a lot longer to get through each story. Feel free to read what I have posted here, and give encouragement for me to keep writing it! At this point, I need to get going on the chapter in which my main character is going to be introduced to a final character, which will in turn kick off the inciting moment!

 Merely Meredith
Okay, so technically I haven't actually touched this project in about a year... but I am itching to get back to it because of where I left off, and I was hoping that a snazzy mock cover would motivate me to just finish that darn draft! This is a project that has been buzzing around my brain since I studied Persuasion as part of a course on the "Life and Works of Jane Austen" in college... nearly four years ago. I liked the novel so much that I decided I wanted to update it! More details about that here, and I have a few excerpts posted on this blog, which you can find all linked in this post here. When last I worked on this project, I managed to get as far as the unfortunate accident in which Lily (Louisa) falls and receives a concussion during a jaunt down a jetty near the Lyman AFB (Lyme) in Port O'Connor, Texas. In response to the accident, Meredith (Anne) takes Helena (Henrietta) home to Austin, and Fred Winston (Wentworth) accompanies her, making things awkward. What follows, is of course a visit from Phoebe Russell (Lady Russell) at which Meredith finally decides to join her family at their "rental penthouse" in Hollywood, California. During the course of the novel, I also want to have chapters and excerpts from a sappy romance novel Meredith is writing, to sort of channel and express her pent-up feelings, similar to the way Anne uses a journal. Ambitious, I know... but I have things planned, and it would be a shame to see all those lovely words and hours spent planning go to waste if I don't write it!

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So now that you know (sort of) what I intend to be doing... First of all, keep an eye out for these "cover images", which I will be using henceforward on all posts having anything to do with these three works. Secondly--please comment on my posts of this nature! A positive word is the most powerful form of motivation for me, and I could really use some feedback on whether or not what I'm writing is "working" for someone-that-is-not me... because if it doesn't work, it's much harder for me to go back after it's all written and have to drastically change the whole thing--and if it does work, I need to know so I don't talk myself out of a great idea just because I think nobody likes it! So help me out! Leave a comment, follow my blog or my Wattpad, and by all means, read stuff! Thanks in advance, and....

Catch You Further Upstream!