NaNoWriMo Day 7: Cuteness and Cracks

A week has gone by for NaNoWriMo already–and it seems like we only just started!  I am approaching 15,000 words, which puts me well ahead of today’s 11,669 word goal, or even my 14,000 word stretch goal (which is for 60,000 words at the end of the month).  So far, so good!  I did find that weekdays mostly have been several hundred words below non-work days, but that’s pretty well to be expected.

I’m coming up on the end of the plot section I’ve been writing.  I mentioned I’m in a kind of lull part of the plot.  You know that bit in Stardust, when Tristran and Yvaine travel around the magical country and discover their skills and grow as people and in their relationship, and Gaiman decided to put all of that in just six pages?  Yeah, that’s the part of the story I’m in, except that I’m apparently spending about 15,000 words here.  And Rose and Terrence aren’t so much growing their relationship as uncovering some cracks in it.  While having some cute scenes too.

The villain puts in an appearance in the very next scene I need to write, and two scenes after that everything gets a lot more tense, so I think that will be an interesting shift to make a week into NaNo.

For now, here’s a bit I wrote today that points up a relationship crack while also having some cuteness in the scene.  It’s set just after they narrowly (ish) escaped some bandits (so there’s been some excitement in the lull section too).  Enjoy!


            “It would have been much more frightening,” Rose said at length, “if you hadn’t been there.”

Terrence laughed, half at the comment and half just with the relief of the moment.  “Now you’re just trying to flatter me.”

“No, it’s true,” she protested, lifting her head to smile at him.

“Well, it is flattering, but if things had gone badly—six to one isn’t very good odds really.”  He remembered in time not to say out loud that Gregory had always been able to beat him at swords too.  He just thought it, and the thought made him think of something else.  “You didn’t mean it, did you, about my father sending them?  It’s true he was upset with us, but he wouldn’t go that far.”

Rose’s smiled faded and she looked at him for a long moment before she said, “I thought it might sway them.  It did seem to help.”  That was almost an answer but it wasn’t satisfying.  He meant to push the point, but before he could Rose continued, in cheerful tones again, “It seemed to help more that you’re Good Prince Terrence.”

Terrence groaned.  “Do not start calling me that.”

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Day 7: Cuteness and Cracks”

NaNoWriMo Day 4: Words, Words, Words

We’re over the first weekend of NaNoWriMo, and I’m well along into writing now.  I just finished Chapter Thirty – which would be more impressive if I hadn’t started the month at Chapter Twenty-seven 🙂  But so far it’s going well writing the second half of The Princess Beyond the Thorns.

I finished out above 2,000 words each day for the first three days of NaNo, though today I “only” wrote 1,893 words.  That puts me just past 9,000 words, about 2,400 above the goal amount for today.  So I’m pretty satisfied with word count so far!  I always like to get a cushion at the beginning, because life is bound to happen eventually and result in a lower day.

In terms of story, I finished Gregory’s funeral, got Rose and Terrence out on the road, and have laid some political plot threads.  This is a little bit of a lull point in the story, and I expect the action to pick up more in another couple chapters.  We’ll see if that’s easier or harder to write…

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Day 4: Words, Words, Words”

NaNoWriMo Day 1: Politics and Funerals

I kicked-off NaNoWriMo this morning around 7:15–I only wrote 54 words before needing to eat breakfast and head out the door, but it felt good to dip in.  I got down to hardcore writing later in the day, including meeting with a writer friend to do some (parallel) writing together.  And in the end, I finished the day off with 2,766 words!  That’s about 1,000 ahead of the daily goal of 1,667.

Every day won’t be like today, so it feels good to build some cushion in.  Plus I have a slightly superstitious belief that a good first day of NaNo means the rest of the month will go well too 🙂

I enjoyed diving into this next section of the story–since I’ve been revising the first two sections for the last month.  It’s exciting to move forward and see what happens next, though I have some outlining to guide me on the path I expect to follow.  You never know exactly what will happen until you get there, though!

I spent most of the day writing about the funeral of a character I killed off somewhat impulsively near the end of the previous section.  I decided I ought to make that death count, and sending my characters to the funeral introduced some interesting politics too.

Excerpt for today!  Here are the first 54 words I wrote.  In a way I’m sorry they’re the beginning of Part Three, because they might have made a nice start to a novel…

It felt very strange, attending Gregory’s funeral.  Rose tried to feel sorry that he was dead.  Wasn’t that how people were supposed to feel at funerals?  But all she could think of was how it had felt when he had kissed her.  And how his face had twisted when he tried to kill her.

NaNoWriMo 2019: One Day More

Happy Halloween!  Or as I tend to regard today, the last day before National Novel Writing Month!  It all starts tomorrow–or continues, as I’ve been prepping all month.  I finished revising the first half (?) of The Princess Beyond the Thorns, which clocked in at 53,000 words.  So if I write 50,000 in November, I should have a very solid fantasy novel there.

Along with the revisions, I outlined my plot based on a few different plotting structures, and put together 20-page character descriptions for my four protagonists and three villains – and have most recently been working on distilling each of those descriptions down to a one-pager for each character, for easier reference.  I need to do the last three this afternoon, in fact!

And finally, I have my word count chart ready to go for another year.

I think I’m ready for NaNo to start…  Lots of luck to you if you’re also going on the writing journey this year!  Find me over on the NaNoWriMo website as CherylMahoney if you’d like to be NaNo buddies.  🙂

November Plans

Psychologically speaking, it’s hard to notice the absence of something–or so I’ve read.  All the same, you may have noticed that I did not post yesterday, November 1st, about National Novel Writing Month.  I’ve completed NaNoWriMo six times, including the past four years.  It’s always a lot of fun, and I’ve achieved some big writing goals.  But NaNo doesn’t fit into my writing plans this year.

I’ve been deep in revisions for my Phantom of the Opera retelling for most of the year.  I finished Book One just in the past month.  My goal was to get Book Two to beta-readers by the end of the year.  Considering Book One took much longer than I expected, that may be a lofty goal…but I’m still hopeful!

And so I’m doing my own writing goal this November.  It doesn’t make sense to track words, because revisions don’t quite work that way, so instead I want to track time.  From all those past NaNos, I’ve learned that I can do about 400 words in a 15-minute writing sprint.  Multiplying it all out, 50,000 words for NaNo takes me about an hour a day, or 30 hours in November.

My life is pretty hectic at the moment, so I’m not trying to commit to 30 hours of revising–but I do intend to do 15 hours of revising, or about half-an-hour a day.  If it goes well in November, I’ll try it again in December.

I don’t really know how far that will get me in revising–because I’ve never done this before!  But I do know that writing goals tend to be attainable if I set them, and that the muse tends to work things out.  When I set out to finish my Phantom trilogy for NaNoWriMo, with literally no idea how much of it was left, I finished it in 50,009 words–no joke!  So we’ll see if it turns out that Book Two needs thirty hours of revision.

I’ll keep posting Writing Wednesday updates, and we’ll see how this goes!