Posts Tagged With: Writing

NaNoWriMo Update #3: Week 2 and 3

I told myself I was going to get past 30K words tonight, or die trying.

31,100 words later, I still don’t feel as accomplished as I did when I was over my word count.

I hit a slump in the tail end of week 2 because of real life stuff, a slump which continued for several days until it put me 8,600 words behind. I’m still trying to catch up, and so far I’ve managed to narrow it down to 3,810. It’s slow going, but I’m getting there.

My plot has stalled several times, particularly at chapter 5. The writing just wouldn’t flow once I hit the part that I was so excited to write about: the introduction of my princess. It was very disappointing to me, personally. I was having trouble with introducing my most developed character. I had to skip the entire thing and move on, resolving on fixing that particular block later, only to run into more blocks. It’s a little frustrating.

But I did manage to come up with a good introduction for my merchant character, and it was entertaining enough to make my brother laugh. I’d call that a success.

My aristocrat character turned out to be easy to write for, which is ironic because he was the least developed out of all my main protagonists.

I have officially included magic in this novel, ripping off from the unfinished DBSK elementalist fanfiction that I tried to write several years ago, and trying very very hard not to rip off of ATLA. In the process of attempting to build a magic system, I’ve also managed to include another idea that was meant for a different novel, a story which I tentatively called The Immortal’s Lover (which by the way is NOT a vampire story). One of my two main characters there is going to be the main villain on this particular story I’m writing now, although his reveal will take several books to cover, books that I will hopefully manage to write in the future.

It’s interesting, though, because the idea of the Immortal’s Lover came about after seeing a Viktuuri AU fanart. Take what you will from that.

In an ironic twist of writing fate, I ended up going back to the previously scrapped concept of White Stones again as a plot point (are you happy now, sixteen-year-old me?), making my genre a full on fantasy adventure quest. The White Stones have a history to them and a purpose to the story, now. And I have a hunch that it’s going to be a source of political tension in the story.

I am surprised to say that despite running into blocks, my interest in this novel has not waned. I may want to chuck myself into the nearest trash bin for having such a sucky draft, and I may be three thousand words behind the word count goal, but I am still determined to finish this story and crush nanowrimo.

Here’s to hoping I get there.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

NaNoWriMo Update #2: Week 1

Writing is hard.

Squeezing my brain for ideas when I’m stuck on a plot is hard.

Forcing myself to type word after word when I’d rather really be reading fanfiction is hard.

But one week in and 13,600 words and counting and all I can think of doing is yelling IN YOUR FACE triumphantly into the void. Who am I yelling it to? I have no idea. But it’s just really satisfying to think that I’m subjecting myself into this torture just to spite an unnamed shapeless void telling me that I can’t do this.

13600 and counting; it’s only been a week, but I feel like it’s been years since I’ve started on this challenge. I’ve officially exceeded the 13,100 word count for my White Stones ideas dump document, in which I write in scenes, plot points, character descriptions and motivations in no particular order as they come to me, with the intent on expounding on them once I properly sit down and write my novel. Mind you, this is an idea dump that’s accumulated for the past four years or so. I decided not to use any of those for this nanowrimo novel and start anew, and the fact that I’ve exceeded the word count for it makes me so happy.

This has been the most productive week of my life.

But anyway, let me share the synopsis that I came up with. My novel (and I use that term very loosely) is tentatively called A Winter’s Tale.

A young aristocrat has come to town, and the local group of bandits has hatched a plan to abduct them for ransom. Igen is a young thief hoping to survive the winter, and volunteers his services for a good cut of the money.

As he sneaks around the town to observe the aristocrat and learn their habits to formulate a plan, he is constantly foiled by the aristocrat’s skilled attendant and a random merchant, and accidentally befriends a rich traveller’s son who finagles him into being his own personal tour guide. Igen must overcome the obstacles in his way and provide good information to his employers, lest the bandits turn on him instead.

I’m still using the same characters from White Stones, although the point of view continues to change. I originally wanted the POV to be my princess’, but I had to change it to the thief’s because the setting is his town, and how else am I going to get the massive exposition I needed to jot down out of the way?

Anyway, this synopsis needs to be rewritten because it’s not entirely accurate anymore. Actually, nothing is going to plan. I veered off the vague brief outline that I made, and I’m not sure yet if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. I made Igen a lot angstier than he was meant to be, the character who was supposed to be angsty is proving to be pretty goofy, my princess turned out to be pretty flirty rather than serious and steadfast, the merchant is antisocial, my villain a lot more villanous, and I ended up having to add, like, twenty more minor characters and I had to get attached to half of them.

I’m only on chapter four.

I was pretty worried about adding subplots to the entire thing, but they seem to be writing themselves as I go.

Anyway, that’s my update for the week. I want to add more, but I need to get back to writing. I hope to reach tomorrow’s word count so I could afford at least a day off, because writing is hard and I know that there will be some days that I could not get a word in. At least this way, I don’t fall behind.

I hope.

In conclusion, I survived week #1. My writing is still crap, but I’m making progress. Here’s to hoping I don’t run out of steam for week #2.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

NaNoWriMo Update #1

And so it begins.

Am I ready for it? Hell, no. Am I scared? Just imagining the next thirty days makes me want to bury my face in my pillow and not come up for air for a good long while.

Will I nano anyway? My pride won’t forgive me if I give up before I even begin.

The past week has been a blur of trying to outline and failing, trying to finalize the story elements I wanted to include and failing, and trying to visualize my settings and also failing. There was a lot of failing going around. The only thing I succeeded is procrastinating by way of reading fanfiction and manga in the guise of doing research, in an effort to avoid facing the paralizing fear of looming failure in this endeavour.

Outlining is harder that I thought, and I already thought before that outlining is pretty hard. I’ve been thinking about this, and really, no wonder I’ve never finished a story before, and that all the fanfiction I’ve been able to write and post in the past were all one-shots. I’ve always had trouble with getting past any of my story’s third chapter, and after some introspection, I realize now that it’s probably because I lose sight of the plot and don’t know how to get back on track. I’m probably more of a planner than the pantser I tried to be in the past. It’s probably a bit too early for me to tell since it’s only the first day, but even having the vague outline that I have right now is giving me the structure and direction that I think I need. Actually, having something as basic as coming up with a synopsis has helped me solidify where I want to go plotwise and helped me decide where to even begin. I don’t know how I’m getting to the finish line, but at least I know the general direction of where to run towards.

On a totally unrelated note, I was planning to work on my outline this weekend but was unable to because of an impromptu trip to a halloween haunted house on Saturday, and making Halloween posters that a co-worker requested for work on Sunday. On hindsight, I  should have charged for them because they took practically the whole day. But then again, I wasn’t as pressured and was able to experiment with watercolors and masking fluids and sharpies. So my artist side was happy. My writer side, on the other hand, was despairing.

But I digress (hah! I haven’t used that phrase in a while… I’m still not sure I’m using it right. Oh, well).

Day one of nanowrimo actually is going well for me. So far I’ve written 2,270 words (go me!). They are 2,270 words of complete, utter crap, and speaking as someone who has only been able to write utter crap the past two years or so and deemed it acceptable, this is a new level of crap that is a little hard for me to swallow. But it’s my crap, I suppose. I imagine that if I somehow manage to finish this whole thing and get to editing, future me will be banging her head against the wall or wishing she could throttle current me for being such a wretched writer. But that’s a problem for her.

In conclusion, nano started fine and I’m hoping to keep it going.

Let’s do this.

Categories: Hobbies, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Nanowrimo 2017

Greetings, people who somehow managed to stumble upon this barely updated wordpress blog, who are probably just searching for the chords of a Filipino folk song whose title I unfortunately used as this blog’s title for a good number of years, and of which has continued to haunt my visitors’ page even though the main content of this blog is mostly personal stuff, fangirl posts of a Korean boyband that has disbanded approximately ten years ago, and recounting of Supernatural Conventions I’ve attended since 2014.

Wow, has it been more than a year since I posted something? That’s just… sad. I can just hear my sixteen-year-old self’s anguished scream of denial that any version of me could live a day without writing anything.

Well, the main reason that I’m here is to revive that sixteen-year-old who aspired to be a writer. She’s been ignored for the past three years or so in favor of work, reading fanfiction, and wandering about in a depressive haze day in and day out.

I am here to announce that I am going to attempt this year’s NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in 30 days is the goal, so if I want to even get halfway through, I will need to shove aside the fanfiction, the tumblr, and pretty much the entire internet, and force myself to write everyday. Will I be able to reach 50K? Probably not. But I want to try. Do I have the discipline to write everyday and reach my word count goal? Doubtful. But hey, somehow I learned to make brushing my teeth a habit, so maybe it’s possible. Will I tear my hair out two weeks in and be found in a dark corner rocking back and forth? I don’t know. This is a stressful environment that I’m willingly throwing myself into, and I hate stress more than I hate ginger in my soup, so I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I won’t know unless I try.

Nanowrimo starts next week, and right now I’m in the throes of frantically prepping my story elements, outline and characters. And research. Can’t forget about the research. I’ve procrastinated prepping until November is only a week away, and I would be one step away from outright panicking if I haven’t already been planning to write this story since I was fifteen.

I’ve got my main characters from my story “White Stones,” which was supposed to be about three teenagers/monarchs who are trying to find the legendary White Stones in an attempt to thwart a war brewing between the seven kingdoms of the continent of Civilia. There’s a princess desperately trying to save her kingdom, a prince running away from the shadow of his elder brother, and a knight who is actually an undercover prince who just really wanted to go to school to be a better fighter. Or something. There’s a love triangle there somewhere, although it’s subverted when the princess gets together with someone else. I don’t know why they’re searching for White Stones, or what the White Stones do. They were either going to contain powerful magic or turn out completely useless.

Over the years, I scrapped most of that idea and slowly made little changes to my characters. It lead to a big change in plot overall, less magic and adventure and more politics and fighting corruption from within. Does that mark how much my interests have changed over the years? I mean, I still love magic and adventure, but I often find myself watching documentaries about history of kings and queens. I still hate real life politics, but there’s certain aspects to it and how it affects people and their beliefs that makes it interesting and relevant to me as an actual person living in these current troubled political climate. But I’m not here to talk about real life politics, I’m here to talk about fiction.

My lovely little OCs have grown from being stupid princesses who get themselves kidnapped, to penniless young nobles who have enough ambition to lead a nation. My three main characters have changed so much, and I am proud of what they are now. I’m still having trouble with some side characters that just wouldn’t cooperate when I try to develop them, but I’m discovering that characters are best to start out simple and not overly complicated.

I’m still trying to get my outline ready by November first. The good news is that I’ve figured out majority of the plot points and have a vague idea of what I want to happen. The bad news is that my timeline is a mess, and what I’ve got outlined is mostly backstories that I’m planning to flesh out in a prequel or sequel, which I know is ridiculous because I don’t even know if I’m going to succeed on this. Another thing complicating it is whether to add the magic element to make it a proper fantasy, or just stick with money as power. I’m tempted to add the magic element to solve a plot hole, but then it creates a different set of plot hole that I’m gonna have to solve and I don’t know if I have time or the patience for that.

That’s the joy of writing, I guess. It’s the despair you feel when you stare at futility right in its face; it’s like filling a hole by digging another hole and filling that hole by digging another one and so on and so forth. There’s also the vast amount of research that I still need to do in order to further develop my settings. Countries and economics and geography and society and how my characters would navigate them.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I can’t wait to start.

Well, it’s time to dust those meager writing skills I’ve developed in my teens that I’ve let become rusty over the years, and start writing. If you see a woman stumbling around with large bags under her eyes and missing patches of hair caused by pulling in frustration, please either ignore or direct her to the nearest bed with a pillow.

I plan to give this blog an update about my progress every week. If I don’t, assume that I’ve given up entirely and am ashamed to show my face, or have already succumbed to sleep deprivation.

Here’s to hoping I survive this upcoming month.

Categories: Hobbies, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Blog at