Posted in NaNoWriMo, The Ponderings of Life

NaNoWriMo 2018: Thoughts and Results

This is the first year in quite a few where I didn’t introduce my NaNoWriMo project in October and/or give one or two updates in November. C’est la vie!–as they say. My October was absolutely nuts and my November was pretty busy as well. (One of the reasons being a trip to New York City I took with my mom and I’m looking forward to blogging about meeting my FAVORITE childhood author, Gail Carson Levine, soon!) Needless to say, now that I’m here, I’m excited to talk about NaNoWriMo.

Some of you might remember that two years ago my NaNo project was a prequel to Everlasting (which I call Endeavoring). It was an opportunity to peek into the lives of Azalea’s parents, King Zechariah of Memiana and Queen Crystal of Orutia, and find out how on earth an optimistic human and a pessimistic fairy fell in love. I succeeded in writing 50,000 words that month and continued to write another 10,000 throughout December of that year into March of the next.

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Posted in NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2017: Day 25

Here I sit at my computer, sipping some delicious hot chocolate, my nose running because of a cold, listening contentedly to the La La Land soundtrack. This week has been filled with some much-needed time set aside for resting, writing in my Snow White retelling, playing games with family and watching my beloved British dramas. Thanksgiving always arrives just when I need some time to relax as well as time to remember all that I have to be thankful for.

One of the many things I’m thankful for today is that I finished writing the rough draft of my Snow White retelling for the contest on Wednesday (day 23)! After writing the last paragraph, I have tentatively titled it The War Within and I’m pretty happy with it (title and overall story). It is definitely a major retelling of Snow White (i.e., mostly an original story with splashes of Snow White themes here and there), but I did my best and even if it doesn’t get to be one of the chosen 5 for the Rooglewood novel, I am very happy with it and would love to publish it on my own separately at some point. Besides editing it myself, I sent it to a few trusted friends as well as my aunt for some constructive criticism. All that to say, it should be finished by the deadline in mid-December!

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Posted in NaNoWriMo, The Ponderings of Life

NaNoWriMo 2017: Book Reveal

 

This is my fifth year participating in NaNoWriMo. The first time I really participated in 2013 (and won!) it was a thrilling challenge filled with adrenaline and feverish typing. As the years have passed, however, the challenge has become easier. It used to take me hours to write 1,000 words. Now, if I put my mind to it, I can write close to 1,500 words in under an hour. The real challenge NaNoWriMo presented the past two years was finding the time to write rather than the previous struggle of writing fast enough. College takes up a lot of my time and energy and when all my work is done for the day, I’d much rather watch an episode of our current K-Drama with my family than write another scene or two.

Last year, I completed the 50,000 word mark in Endeavoring, the prequel to Everlasting. I haven’t touched that project since March and was hoping to finish it during NaNoWriMo this year. However, I had an important deadline this fall to complete four Lumerit courses (12 credits) by Christmas, so I was not able to finish the other two projects I had planned to work on in September and October. So, this year I’m doing things a little differently.

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Posted in For Fellow Writers, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2016: Novel Reveal

Tomorrow begins my favorite time of year.

National Novel Writing Month! Or as I often refer to it: NaNoWriMo.

For those who haven’t already got wind of my November obsession, NaNoWriMo is a personal challenge for any and all writers to write a novel in 30 days. To be more specific, 50,000 words (because let’s be honest, since Everlasting, I’m never going to write a novel as short as 50K. I tried and it’s just not physically possible anymore). This is my fourth year participating and I can hardly contain my excitement! But some of you might be wondering…why? Why do I enjoy this intense writing challenge SO much?

Throughout next month, I hope to blog about my progress as well as how I write during NaNoWriMo (my writing environment, writing buddies/supporters, what I listen to, etc.). Until then, I’ll try to explain what’s so compelling about NaNo in the first place.

There are several reasons, but the main one is the motivation. Whether or not I reach 50,000 words in one month, the excitement that fills me as I outline in October and the push it gives me to keep writing despite writing blocks or lack of inspiration is what I enjoy experiencing year after year. There’s something so thrilling about planning my next big project for November and getting it ready in time. Writing a good half of my novel during November is just so fun and reaching the 50K word mark is such a fulfilling accomplishment.

Another reason I love NaNo is the community. Each year, more and more people join the NaNoWriMo “family” and I have more and more friends to encourage/be encouraged by. When I first started doing NaNo, I had maybe one friend nearby who was also doing it. Now, I have so many friends, near and far, who can help push me to the finish line! It’s so much more fun to do something like this with other people. I also love how encouraging my family is to ask how my words are coming, to remind me that I need to write and who understand when I’m at my computer all day that I’m not trying to ignore them. Even now, both my sisters have joined the NaNo wagon!

The first year I participated in 2013, I wrote the bulk of Everlasting, finishing it in January of the following year. In 2014, I wrote the first half of The Moonrose Sisters (tentative title); last year, I wrote half of Bridget Returns. This year, I am so thrilled to announce that I am writing…

…a prequel to Everlasting! A book I am currently calling Endeavoring.

Everlasting-Cover-Final

When I first finished Everlasting a few years ago, I had no intention of writing another book in that world (much like what happened with Bridget’s Journey and Bridget Returns). Everlasting had always been just one story. But the idea of a prequel popped into my head (I think from Mom, but I can’t remember exactly) soon after I finished writing and by the time I was preparing Everlasting for publication last year, I started putting some ideas together. After deciding officially that Endeavoring would be my next NaNoWriMo novel after Bridget Returns, I let the characters sit in my head for a year. When I finished writing Bridget Returns a month ago, I started plotting, character sketching and some major outlining. Last week, I finished the foundation of the plot, all the character sketches and most of the outlining. I plan to finish my outline this week as I start…WRITING!

To give you a little idea of what this prequel will entail, I’ll submit the description I wrote for Endeavoring on the NaNoWriMo website:

Long before Malachi ever rode on Bonnie into Fairy Meadow and met Azalea for the first time, King Zechariah of Memiana and Queen Crystal of Orutia were attempting to bring peace to their kingdoms.

But Zechariah and Crystal hadn’t always been friends. Zechariah was raised by his parents to hate fairies. But as he continued growing up without his father and alongside his younger brother, the mischievous Sebastian, Zechariah started to create his own opinion on fairies and their beautiful, but tragic kingdom of Orutia. Crystal, on the other hand, was taught by her parents that humans were not enemies, but long-lost friends who were confused and afraid.

Both young heirs to their parents’ thrones, both seeking a better future for their people, King Zechariah and Queen Crystal begin to change the course of history. Fairies and humans had hated each other for hundreds of years, but all that was about to change because of two people and their strong desire to bring peace.

To put it more simply, the prequel is going to be an extensive prologue to Everlasting with much, much more detail than the actual prologue the novel has. I want to show my readers who Zechariah and Crystal were, what they did to bring about peace and why they fell in love.

I am so excited to start writing this book. I don’t think I’ve been this ecstatic about a book since…probably The Whistler Daughters (though, don’t get me wrong, I’m always excited to start any and all of my books. I would never start writing a book reluctantly. That would be no fun! It’s just that the emotion comes in varying degrees). Endeavoring is going to be different than any book I’ve ever written before. The main characters have personalities I’ve never explored in the past, the plot is much more political than anything I’ve dared try and the major themes and points and more complicated than the usual black and white issues.This book is going to be just as much a challenge as an adventure; just as much a learning experience as a joy. I am so looking forward to sharing more as NaNoWriMo begins and I wish the best of luck to all who endeavor to reach 50,000 words in November! 🙂

 

Posted in NaNoWriMo, The Ponderings of Life

Bridget Returns~Seventh Novel

On Saturday, October 1st, I finally finished writing the recently titled Bridget Returns.

With 137,000 words, I finally completed my NaNoWriMo 2015 novel. The feeling of finishing a book really never gets old. A feeling of exhilaration starts tingling down from my heart to my fingertips as I type every author’s two favorite words: The End.

Now, while there is still much work to be done before I am ready to present Bridget’s sequel to you, I’m just so happy to have finished it. This is the seventh book I’ve finished writing and hopefully will be the fourth to self-publish. What a journey it was from November of last year to today. This book has hands down given me the hardest time in more ways than one. I don’t think I truly knew what writers block was until Bridget Returns. 😉 Even though this book was probably the most plotted out before I began writing, for some reason, I just had a hard time delving into the story. It took me about halfway to get really passionate about the plot and characters. After November ended and NaNo’s motivation sizzled out, I dragged on in the spring of 2016, writing a scene here and there when I had time. By the time the summer started, though, I was burnt out and didn’t care anymore.

It’s strange, now that I’m on the other side, to remember asking my sisters (in July, I think) whether I should quit on Bridget Returns and move on to other stories. Man, am I ever glad they said, “No!” and reminded me that I always finish what I start. So, I took their advice and plowed through. In August, I decided to go back and re-read what I’d written already, to remember what the goal of the book was and find where it went wrong. Once I figured that out, I started writing again. It wasn’t easy, but it did get easier. And then, I finished it, writing almost half of it in September.

So, was it worth it to bite the bullet and just finish it? Absolutely! Even with my major outlining, Bridget Returns really changed a lot from what it was in the beginning to what it ended up being. It also turned out twice as long as I planned, but at the same time, the story became a lot more important to me as I continued writing. It was no longer just a sequel to a book I’d written in middle school. I guess just as I grew up, so did Bridget. Bridget’s Journey, don’t get me wrong, is a sweet book, but Bridget Returns brings in a lot of elements that the first doesn’t have. There’s more at stake, decisions hold more weight and relationships are both more delicate and stronger. The character developments were bigger and better than I’d hoped. And who would have thought it possible–but the characters themselves ended up teaching me some valuable lessons.

I hope whenever this one is published, my readers will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it (mostly 😉 )!

P.S. Now that I’m done writing Bridget Returns, I have been going back and forth between reading through it for the first time and plotting my NaNo 2016 novel. More details on that to come soon…