NaNoWriMo ’16–final day @ 68,362 words

I officially reached over 50,000 words on November 23rd and have continued writing. Since I finished on the same day last year, it seems that’s how long it takes me to write that much with everything else going on.

I have seen people’s avatars on the NaNo forums who reached 100,000 words before I even finished. -__- Sorrow and jealousy. But regardless, the goal I set for myself last year is 70,000 words. In a few hours, I will reach that goal.

Its been a challenge. There’s always some mess or other going on in the background and distracting me. The good news is I did it. The even better news is I only have about five major scenes left in Oracle before I’m finished writing the novel. (The first draft or whatever you prefer to call it.) This is the first time I’ve ever written a full-length novel in six months. The bad and good news is I’m not done yet and the story is getting too big and too long for my head so I’ve decided to write it in three books. Originally, I had intended for it to be a much shorter project than it is. I’ll let the muse continue to carry me until I reach the intended and anticipated end of Oracle.

I’m going to finish Nation Novel Writing Month 2016…then I’m going to take a long nap. *sigh*

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Critique or Not to Critique

Isn’t it presumptuous to tell someone how to write a story?

Or act as if you have the right to tell someone how something they have written should be written? Even when I’m in writing groups commenting on the work of other writers or asking for critique fr my own work, I find myself wanting to stay in the safe territory of “I like this/I don’t like this and why”. In my recent experience critiquing, when I have acted like an authority, the writer whose work is being critiqued will argue with me regardless of the validity of my comments or how nicely I say it, especially if I commented on plot, tone, and characterization regarding race and gender.

Every writer is different and/or imitating another writer by study. For example, when I was in college, I saw many white male students who imitated vaunted white male poets and novelists, holding them up as the standard as sure as the curriculum did. It was by that ruler that these students measured and judged the literary world around them.

So outside of technical/grammatical corrections, I always wonder from where inside of them does the critique of readers and writers comes from? I came to the conclusion that literary critique comes from two places: 1) What a writer/reader has read from other writers, and 2) What the writer/reader themselves would do in the place of the writer whose work they are looking at.

Writers will request advice or feedback, yes, but all critique is really just someone’s opinion, isn’t it?

Currently, I am in the middle of completing the first draft of Exactly As You Like It, a fantasy romance about two witches, a knight and a cleaning lady. I was wondering how I can get reliable feedback for the story. I feel like I’m overcompensating because its the first story that I’ll be finishing in the magic world I’ve been envisioning since I was in high school (meant to be a short story but turned into a novel). Buuutttt I’ll work on finishing it first.

mind trap, heart trap

Not exactly having led a charmed life and with a severely limited support network, I often find my thoughts occupied by worries and replays of humiliating, angering, and painful experiences.

Usually, these thoughts and feelings are triggered by a poke from messed up things that are happening in the now. It’s hard to break free of that pain and agitation because one bad thing that happens now is only another thing in a long line of related trials long-since passed. It gives the suffering a sense of endlessness with nothing adequate enough to balance it out.

Every second that I spend hurt and confused by the past, I feel it takes away chunks of time in which I could be writing. I try not to blame myself for the way I feel, disparage my own beliefs, or for the things that have happened to me, but I want to break this cycle. Without help, I wonder if it’s possible.

New Year’s

I’ve spent Christmas and my last week of the year crafting and writing (a craft itself) since my family isn’t particularly close. I finished National Novel Writing Month with over 63, 970 words. I finished the first draft of Dionna’s Wish, a romantic fantasy novel currently at 72, 312 words. I am currently finishing Exactly As You Like It, another fantasy romance. I’ve also finished several short stories such as Love Little and Void Masters. None of which I’ve talked about yet.

I’d say I’ve had a pretty fruitful year and I hope to publish something soon on Jukepop Serials or Smashwords. Or somewhere.

It’s about two hours and thirty minutes to midnight here. Whoever is reading…Happy New Year’s and whatnot.

Current Word Count: 52,338, as of yesterday

I haven’t done my hair or practically anything else for the past twenty-three days. I did however write over 50,000 words in short stories and novels, over 8,000 words in notes, emails, and journaling, and more for National Novel Writing Month 2015. If anybody calls my writing a hobby again, I can’t even say what….

Officially, I “finished” early (by meeting the 50k word goal) yesterday. I would’ve finished the day before and came up short by 194 words due to falling asleep and a series of distractions.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2009 (minus 2010). This year was much easier for me though I only count words that go towards the story/novel, not notes or journaling.

I organized and wrote everything between Scrivener and Evernote on my laptop and tablet. But because my book is not finished, I still have a few days left, and there’s so much more to write, I will be writing on until midnight on November 30th. I will validate my word count then.

And then, because I still won’t be done with all my works in progress, I’m fine write some more.

I was going to write a NaNoWriMo ’15 post earlier this month but I never finished it. This is what’s in my notes, I had two sentences slated:

I love writing and writing is what I’m going to do every day this month. So far I’ve finished drafts for two short stories.

Really, that’s all. And I never finished that draft.

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. Now I have to go finish my 1667 word goal minimum for today. So relieved I updated my blog now! ^__^

Editing the first draft of Love Little

I wanted to publish something before the end of the year, namely the second half of Path of the Righteous. Looks like I may not be publishing anything at all. What’s more important, publishing or writing?

I have finished the initial draft of my short story, Love Little. It’s about a mousey boy in an “out-crowd-of-one” named Love Little whose disappointed parents send him to summer camp where he meets an unexpected friend and kindred spirit.  I wanted my #1 fan and beta reader to read it for me but it has so many typos and other assorted rough patches, that I asked her to hold off even though I’ve already eye emailed it to her.

After I lost two to three months worth of work on my stolen Kindle’s hard drive in August, I was devastated and disoriented. I still can’t quite get my head straight and start writing again. Rushing into editing Love Little the moment I was done with it was a bad idea and I’ve slowed the process even if I haven’t stopped completely.

Isn’t there a rule or guideline somewhere that says writers shouldn’t work on editing or rewriting stories immediately after the first draft?

I don’t have an exact framework or timeline for editing and sharing. The only rules I do have for my work is read it once before sharing and don’t share until you’re sure you want people to read it.

Updates 8/25/15

I have several posts I’ve drafted for later but I wanted to update before the end of the month by mentioning what I’m working on.

I had planned on publishing the second part of Path of the Righteous this past June on my birthday but I felt it was a better idea to let that deadline drop. So many ideas bombard me at once, it’s difficult to focus on finishing after getting something started then running smack into a sticky point or a word desert.

I do plan to have a number of things finished this year, including several short stories and perhaps an anthology. Well, at least the first drafts. I hope to include Path of the Righteous on that agenda.

I am currently writing a short story entitled Love Little. It’s a summer time story about a boy living in a small town who befriends the new girl after his parents force him to go to “health camp”. This type of fiction is not usually my style of writing stuff (no dragons, no faeries, no space age technology or aliens, no bad ass women warriors with magical swords) but it came to me in a dream so I wrote it. I always feel my work, no matter how drenched in fantasy, is literary but this is more literary and non-fiction in nature.

In addition to Love Little, I’m writing another short story, Exactly As You Like It, a romance situated in a magic village. The story follows a disenchanted witch who falls for a warlock who disappears during battle. I guess I should attach the genre of erotic romance to it, considering some of the content. I love Nyte Village and it’s inhabitants and visitors more and and more as the years go by.

My philosophy right now is the more I finish, the more I have to share. Hopefully I’ll get to share more with readers soon!