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*

NaNoWriMo 2016

National Novel Writing Month is nigh!

This will be my seventh NaNoWriMo and I was introduced to it in college. I never go into it without plans to “win”, and by “win” I mean reach the 50,000 word goal of this yearly event. My intention is to finish as much of whatever stories and writings I’ve got that has an ending.

My primary project this month is Oracle, which I started writing back in June. I took October for hiatus on the novel to rest my brain since it’s been at the forefront of my thoughts since I started it. The story is over 50,000 words and I’ve been trying to decide whether to write one long novel or split it into two or three book. Splitting it into books doesn’t change the fact that it continues where some readers would like to stop reading and/or start a new book. I can’t guesstimate how long Oracle is going to be and I don’t really want to. I just want to be true to my story, let it do what it do, and hope people enjoy it.

Though I have never committed to it before and have mixed feelings on the topic, I’m also writing a fanfiction based on a manga/anime that I recently discovered and really like. My fanfic is an estimated novella to light novel length (40,000 to 50,000 words apprx). It seems I’m incapable of writing anything too short, I’m too detail-oriented I guess.

That’s what I’m up to. I hope I can finish Oracle, my fanfiction, and a couple of short stories this coming month. I shouldn’t even be writing this post since I’m supposed to be resting up for NaNo ’16 for ! -__-

I’m in the Top 25 Authors of the Jukepop and 1888 Summer Writing Project!

I entered my serialized and ongoing novella Oracle in the 2016 Summer Writing Project on JukePop with only the intention of publishing something for my birthday. I’m surprised and proud to announce that I ended up getting selected as one of the Top 25 Authors. On August 1st, one author will be picked for publishing with professional cover art by Irvin Rodriguez.

This is my podcast interview with Dean Moses about Oracle and my month-long writing experience. I don’t care how much public speaking I’ve done, I still get rattled and nervous every single time I do things like this! But Dean, one of three winners of the last year’s Summer Writing Project, was really nice and I got through to the other side of the interview, probably because he was so kind and cool about it. I  was so nervous and yet I get so excited when I’m talking to other writers! Feel free to listen to the podcasts from the other Top 25 as well, I know I will be!

Speaking of winners from last year, there are three of them. This year, they’re only picking ONE. I won’t lie, I want to win. I feel the pressure. Three issues that I foresee:

  1. My novella isn’t a novella anymore. I wrote 22 out of 30 days last month. Each chapter is 800 to about 2000 words. My book way over 35,000-40,000 words now. The rules use the word novella constantly. Even I did get the right reader analytics according to JukePop,, that might count against me.
  2. Outreach, marketability–I don’t know how any of those things will turn out for me.
  3. Most importantly, I have made a commitment to staying true to the integrity, heart, and pacing of Oracle. I’ll hate myself if I betray that for a competition. My desire, underneath it is all, and the right thing to do is keep writing until the end.

When I started writing and talking about Oracle nearly two weeks before my birthday, I vaguely imagined how nice it would be to be picked as one of the Top 25 Authors but I didn’t expect any recognition. Even if I don’t come out as the author that receives this wonderful opportunity from 1888, I got so much more out of entering the Summer Writing Project than I imagined and I’m writing a story that I love.

Please follow and read Oracle on JukePop. Enjoy. Vote. Tell me what you think!

What next?

Coming down with it. I feel an overwhelming pressure to publish something this year.

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My plan is to run a short story/novella on JukePop. ^This is what I’m working on, ORACLE–fantasy fiction all the way!! I did these e-book covers on Canva.

Welcome to Oracle–a sprawling school of magic overlooked by a crystal mountain, surrounded by fields and forests beneath whipped clouds and endless blue skies. But you know what they say: If something is too good to be true…it usually is. Caprice Bilberry is a witch who suddenly arrives at Oracle’s extraordinary campus and is informed that as a student here, her greatest wish will be granted: She will be freed from generational enslavement and have the right to go to school and practice her magic. Why leave the only life she’s ever known, risking death and the murder of her family? Why say no and return to life as a slave in a colonial village where using magic is an offense punishable by mutilation and death? Caprice, Nezzle, and Bossa become friends, soon unraveling a terrifying secret: The school is more than what it seems, demanding a price more sinister than its lofty goals reveal or make up for. Its the ultimate fine print. For one does not simply enter and become a student at Oracle school….

And I just got an email that JukePop is doing the 2016 Summer Writing Project with 1888. Perfect, I’ll just do that.

Personally, I’m a little selfish and I don’t want to share my work for free but that’s my vanity talking. Most people advise against doing this though some argue that giving away some work for free helps build an audience. Writing is my calling and art should be freely shared, yet some part of me still wants to write for a living despite what that actually means in my society. Its a working class/poor people thing I guess, that dream of getting paid for doing what you love. I’ve had multiple people tell me I should be paid for my work and I decided to believe them.

I didn’t publish anything last year. Even if I do publish, I’d have to do book covers, editing, proofreading, and back matter/synopsis–all on my own. Not to mention promoting it. Or attempting to rather. I guess I’m already part of the way there: books covers done, synopsis okay, and first four chapters finished.  I wonder if its enough to go, “I wrote this thing” and shove it out there. Wanting a little bit more than that is a lot of work. (If I’m wondering then maybe its not….)

Smashwords High Fantasy ebook, ‘Path of the Righteous’, Defies Expectations and Disparity of Its Genre

Author S.T. Rucker Weaves an Open and Vibrant Literary Fantasy Tale That Intersects Race, Class, and Gender Instead of Avoiding or Masking It

Atlanta, Ga. June 16, 2014 —Atlanta native and author, S.T. Rucker, has published Path of the Righteous, a speculative fiction novel that follows bibliophile Dahlia En’te into a world of demons, faeries, and angelic beings of creation, after she discovers herself entrapped in the political schemings of human men. Many readers and writers of fantasy, science fiction, and other genres and combinations under the speculative fiction umbrella expect writers to encourage a suspension of or ignorance of lived experiences with racism, classism, and heterosexism or politicized worldviews like feminism and womanism or fat acceptance—Path of the Righteous promises no such thing and neither does Rucker for her current and future publications.

“Fiction contributes to how we perceive, perpetuate, and create our reality, so how come People of Color seem virtually non-existent in any meaningful and empowering ways there?” said S.T. Rucker, author of The Taker novella and Path of the Righteous. “Since I was a kid and since I started blogging in 2009, I hear Black/of Color readers and viewers begging the white-dominated media to include characters of Color and include them not just in stories about hustling and getting a man, not just as sidekicks and other stereotypes, like that guy who gets killed off three seconds into the movie; these readers and viewers want to see them as MAIN characters who stick around and, you know, might just happen run into a couple of talking unicorns selling giant space hamburgers or something. So, yes, Dahlia En’te is a character of Color, and yes, she is going on this fantastical journey—albeit she’s tossed into it at first.”

Dahlia goes from working class girl living in an impoverished community who just wants some good books to read to sacrificial offering to human-eating demons in the deep woods—and its not the end for her. Through her journey, we experience wonder, beauty, and magical locales, we see young people facing difficult truths, finding empowerment, embracing their humanity and potentiality, and trying to deal with how generational ignorance and systemic oppression causes the suffering of everyone around them.

For a limited time (Monday, June 16 through Saturday, June 21), an electronic book version of Path of the Righteous, normally priced at $3.99, will be available to the public with 50% percent off at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/448767 using the following coupon code: SX67B.

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About S.T. Rucker

Originally from Atlanta, S.T. Rucker moved to Fresno, California shortly after graduating from Seattle University. An almost English/Creative Writing and Sociology double major who thought she’d never be published, she heard about Smashwords from a friend and embraced independent publishing to share her stories and vision with the world. She is the author of The Taker and Acier, available on Smashwords. For more about S.T. Rucker visit her at about.me/s.t.rucker, on Facebook and Twitter, and read her Smashwords profile .

Contact:

S.T. Rucker

struckerwrites at gmail.com

a hardback copy of my book + a Valentine’s Day release

I’ve been in the clouds recently filling orders from my almost-small-business and I’m coming up on the deadline for an offer from NaNoWriMo to its winners to get a supposedly free first edition of one of my manuscripts from Lulu.com..

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I have three or so manuscripts that are unfinished but novel length. Path of the Righteous (Book I) is the one I chose.

So I’m in the process of combing through it for as much editing as I can manage then I’m sending it off. As I understand it, I only have to pay shipping and handling for this edition.  I had intended to offer this book for free on Smashwords, but what’s the harm in having both? Someone wants to pay for a hard copy, or they just want to read the book without hassle– all sounds fine to me. Believe me, I want to be paid for my work; however, this need conflicts with my beliefs as an artist (that art isn’t something you should have to pay for). So, as a reader and writer, if I read it for free, really like it, and had the money to pay, I’d want a hard copy 😀

Though I know that not everyone thinks like me, I’m “selling myself short”, and should stop giving things away for free (which is also a problem I’m having with my quasi-small business–not charging people what I feel I deserve to be paid for my art crafts).

In addition, I am also releasing a special Valentine’s Day novella–Cat Eyes (one of my older works). More on both books coming soon.

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