A Writing Journey

Posts tagged ‘adventure’

Series Coming: A Slightly Comedic Guide to NaNo Prep

I tried NaNoWriMo last year. I got about two pages in and I quit. I believe this was due, in large part, to being unprepared. For that reason, I’m going to do more prep work this year – because I’m taking another shot at NaNo*.

Coming up in October, I will be posting a series of things to do to prepare. Some of them are obvious, some serious, and some just silly. That’s why the “slightly comedic.” They won’t be posted in any sort of specific order, except that the things you might need more time for I’m going to post towards the beginning of October.

Hope to see you preparing as well!

*No, I have never completed NaNo, and only tried it once. You may remember, deadlines terrify me.

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I know I said…

It just so happens that I am really terrible at following my own rules. For instance: I said I wasn’t going to start working on book 3 for a while. I said I was going to at LEAST finish transcribing SOTD onto the computer. Well I just couldn’t resist. I’ve got about a third/half of the outline for 3 done, as well as the first ten pages. To be honest, I was going to write just the first scene tonight but it turned into most of the first chapter. I would keep going but between writing and crochet my hand needs a break!

I’m fairly excited for book three – I’m excited that it’s finally coming to a close (even as I say that I laugh at myself. It will be at LEAST a year of writing the first draft, and many more months editing and reworking. Besides, I haven’t even gotten past the first draft of book 2!). So even as I laugh, I am excited. I’ve known how this story will end for about three years now. Yes, some things have tweaked and changed in that, but the ultimate ending will still be the same and I CAN’T WAIT!

Do you have endings that you just can’t wait to write?

You know, I think part of my excitement is that I have been working on this story, in it’s many forms, since 2010. I wrote the first short story that inspired it all back when I was finishing my freshman year of college. It seems like so long ago now, and a lot of the story and world has changed since then. But some things have not. The main cities bear the same names as first I gave them, there are still mountains that house ancient ruins, the character in that short story has played a minor role in the first two books and will blossom in book 3. (Seriously, I am excited that his story still plays a part in the over all tale.) There is a deep sense of contentment that comes with knowing that I’m almost there. And it’s contentment with energy. I am energized by being so close to the end.

I think, after I finish 3, I will take a break in another world for a while. It’s a little early to say that for sure, but I think I need to let it all rest, to go and explore another strange land – to be an adventurer again rather than a native.

Of course, thinking about the end of this trilogy has also got me a little bittersweet. Again, I know it is premature, but I really am almost there. I’ve been through so much with these characters, this world. I can’t imagine what life will be like when I pack them all up in boxes and move on. When their stories are finished, will I keep thinking about other parts of their lives? Will I want to write them again? I wonder how I will be able to leave them. They are like my friends, and I will miss them.

But not yet! Because I still have plenty of time with them. 🙂 So for now I will be content with that.

Write on, my friends.

-Emily

When Plans go Awry

Here is what I was going to do: I was going to post a nice audio link of a reading of chapter one of Quest for Salvation. I was going to eagerly await feedback and engage in discussion with those who listened and chose to comment. I was going to.

But. The file type that I recorded in is not compatible with WordPress. My plan has been foiled! And so instead you get to read a post about what we do when things don’t go according to plan.

Remember Murphy's Law for writers: If something can go wrong, it should.

Maybe I’ve shared this before.* Doesn’t make it less true. In life as well as in fiction, we have adventures when things go wrong. When I was a kid, my family went camping all the time (or at least so it seems in my memory. In reality, all of my camping stories might be from the same trip). One time, Dad and I drove down the to camp store to get firewood, leaving Mom and my brother to set up the tent. Well, when Dad and I got back in the car to drive back to the site (which was a fair distance away) the car wouldn’t start. The battery had died. So we sat at the camp store, waiting for our new battery to arrive and chowing down on the last of the popsicles. Mind you, this was before we had cell-phones. Finally the car battery came and we drove back up the the tent. Mom and my brother were furious (maybe not, but that’s how it seems in my mind, perhaps from all the retellings). We all had a bit of an adventure that day.

Adventure doesn’t have to be a perilous quest to save the world. It can be that jump between the deck and the roof of the shed. It can be the ramp of packed snow, partially melted and frozen over again in the night, ready for sledding.

In writing, the story gets interesting when things go wrong. Even if we expect adventure, the characters don’t. They sometimes have to be forced into it when all their careful plans get swept away by disaster or need or their own stubbornness. They’ll fight you. Don’t give in. Give them an adventure.

Have you been on any adventures lately? What is the best adventure you can remember from your own life? From a book (no spoilers!)?

Take care, fellow travelers.

*In fact, I know I’ve shared this before. It was a post called “When things go Wrong.” Oh well, the post is written and there’s a nice story there, so let’s pretend this is the first time I brought it up. 🙂

Friday Inspiration: Let Things go Wrong

Lately I have been thinking of ways that I can make Quest for Salvation a better story. I have a rewrite planned for the first few chapters and I’m thinking the middle needs to be reworked again, but beyond that I am stumped. And then I came a cross this little beauty from quotebites.com :

Remember Murphy's Law for writers: If something can go wrong, it should.

In Quest for Salvation, a lot of things go wrong, but I fix them too quickly. The adventure that is supposed to come from those “wrong things” is left an unfulfilled possibility. As I pick up work again, this is something that I will have to work on.

This quote is important for all writers. An adventure, no matter the genre, cannot happen until something goes wrong. It’s the whole “inciting incident.” But things must continue to go wrong for the adventure to be interesting. Think about it: Frodo didn’t have a memorable story because his journey was easy. It was filled with things going wrong.

Don’t be afraid to throw some hurdles at your characters! Don’t be afraid to explore the outcomes, sometimes leaving the problem unresolved for a while. Let things go wrong, and let your characters have an adventure because of it.

Take care, fellow travelers.

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