NaNo 2015

I’ve actually decided to attempt NaNo this year. I don’t know how it’s going to do, with six classes and a lot of writing due for each of those classes, plus working, but I’m going to attempt it. I haven’t decided what I’m actually going to work on. I might just start writing on projects that I’ve already Printstarted and just keep a running word count of what I add to them.

There’s definitely some rewriting that I want to do on last year’s unfinished project “Ashes.” I’ve actually considered a complete rewrite, with changes to the core subject of the book. “Witch Queen” is still lurking in my head, waiting to be finished. Another project called “Shades in the Shadows” is unfinished, but it would take a lot of refining to be able to work on it and, even though I love the concept, I’m not sure I have the time to make it work.

I even have a piece that I haven’t started on. I’ve just written the summary for it. I’m not even going to consider that one at this point.

I just couldn’t stay away from Nano. After six years of participating, I just couldn’t not, especially after falling short of the goal last year. It’s all over my FB feed, and I just couldn’t help myself.

If you want to find me on the NaNo site, here.

Cheers!

-C

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CampNano July 2015

So apparently CampNano has come quite a way since the last time I participated. Now, not only can you choose your own genre, you’ve got a much more varied selection of categories, including a “revision” option.

Huh.

Along with the fact that I can change my “word count” goal, I might just wait until July starts to start working on editing Ashes. One hour of editing equals 1,000 words, so I’m pretty sure I can find the time to do at least 25 to 30 hours of editing, even with class everyday and working.

And on that subject, does drawing a big, giant X over multiple paragraphs count as editing? Because that’s what I feel like doing with parts of this work. I’m going to wind up scrapping whole pages of this piece, I’m pretty sure. I’ve already taken out whole chunks of the outline. I’m also hoping to make the chapters shorter, too. When I put the current version of the document into the formatted 6″x9″ form, the chapters have gotten way too long.

So, at this point, I am giving serious consideration to doing CampNano. If anyone is interested in adding me as a friend there, or sharing a cabin, feel free to send me a message, either here or on there. My author name is MayuuyaHakusho there, too.

In other news, I have a new little writing area. I did away with my drafting table in favor of a writing desk, since I’ll get more use out of a desk, I think. The desk came from my grandmother, the same IMG_20150610_010524695one that passed away last november during NaNo, as did the two lamps on either side of it. It isn’t usually quite this cluttered, since I’m actually a bit of a neat freak about my work spaces like this, but I was working on several things at once when I took this picture. The little folded up things that are spread around on my laptop are a series of like 100 or so prompts that I found online and put on to little half size notebook cards then folded and put into a bag to use if I need them later.
The desk is a bit small, but it suits my needs for the time being.

Cheers!

Mayuuya

A Couple of Pictures

So, a short update today. I just wrote a 175 word composition, in French, in under an hour, which is a hell of a lot harder than it actually sounds, and my brain is pretty much broken. However, I did manage to accomplish a few things over the past few days,

I think the difference is obvious when looked at closely.

I think the difference is obvious when looked at closely.

Witch Queen is now sitting at just over 28,000 words, and the 6×9 version has been reformatted to a style that I’m more happy with. The original that I posted had way too much empty space all over the pages, so I downed the font size and paragraph spacing, and I think it looks a little better now. My only concern is making sure that it’s still readable, without anyone having to strain to see it clearly. I think that it is, but I’ve also been known to read in semi-darkness with no problem, so I’m probably not one to judge accurately. At 100% on my screen, though, it appears to be easily readable.

I also revised a few things that I had sketched out for the story sometime back. I had done a heraldry, and I think I uploaded to an older post somewhere, but I didn’t go back through my old posts and check. Last night though, I uploaded a picture of it into

Yes, the first letter is an 'E'

Yes, the first letter is an ‘E’

my editing software, and I played around with it and was able to make it look a little better than it did. It’s far more even and symmetrical, since I was able to flip the image to make both sides a mirror of one another.

And also? The lines are straight.

Sometimes straight lines are a really big accomplishment. Trust me.

The heraldry is (clearly) heavily influenced by Russian (the Russian Empire, in particular) and Prussian heraldry, though I definitely tried to make it unique. It isn’t perfect, and I may yet color it, but I’m pretty pleased with it.

I also have a sketch of sorts of Eirian that I drew, but for the life of me, I cannot get a decent picture or scan of the damn thing. Scanning makes every single mark ever made on the paper (or the ten pages before it) show up, and taking a picture of it takes away nearly every bit of detail and shading that I’ve done on it. It’s… a little frustrating to say the least.

I may attempt to put the picture into editing software, but I’m not sure. It’ll take a lot of work to get it to the level of ‘presentable’ that I’m generally comfortable with. Maybe it’ll make the next post, maybe not. We’ll see.

Cheers!

Mayuuya

Update for the end of January

January is coming to a close, and Witch Queen is currently sitting right at 25,000 words, and about 83 pages (with a standard letter sized orientation. The more accurate 6×9 orientation is just under 130 pages), and almost seven chapters.

"read mode" screenshot, with the layout/style for "Witch Queen"

“read mode” screenshot, with the layout/style for “Witch Queen”

I haven’t worked on it as consistently as I’d like to be able to say that I have, but I haven’t tossed it aside, either, which is an accomplishment. I really can’t stress how much having an outline has helped in making sure that this work doesn’t just die.

I’ve got some free time tomorrow morning, with nothing better to do, so I’m hoping I can get more done then. I do intend to post sections of it, but they have to be edited to my standards before I do so. I print out the work as I go, so that I can go back and edit it as I work. I make the edits on the physical paper, then go in and make the changes. Once I’ve done the sections that I want, I’ll post them.

Maybe tomorrow. Maybe.

The Current Projects page now has most of the details for the Witch Queen. I may add Ashes to it eventually, but I don’t know. February is coming up quickly, and, for me, that means a paper on Antigone is going to be due soon. I have a feeling that I’m going to be lucky to continue working on Witch Queen, never mind adding anything else into the mix.

It’s kind of funny, really. Witch Queen was the one story that I really never thought that I would continue, and now it’s the one that really just won’t go away. I’ve actually become rather fond of it.

We’ll see what February brings.

Cheers!

Mayuuya

Witch Queen Cover Image

So, since the last post, I’ve spent a lot of time working on Witch Queen. I’ve actually added just around 9000 words (roughly 27 pages) to it, and I’m fairly happy with it thus far. It’s really my goal to have this finished, at least by the end of NaNo this year. I might actually make finishing it my NaNo goal, instead of working on something totally new this time.

I really, really don’t need to start any new stories.

Anyway, that’s kept me quite busy. 9000 words in a week is by far not a record for me by any means, but it’s still more than I’ve written on a daily basis since November. Following an already finished outline helps.

Last night though, I spent some time on Createspace, which is who I intend to use to create the book, since it’s usually who I see recommended on the Nano forums, and they’re the ones who offer the proof copy if you meet the goal of 50000 words.

The Witch Queen's War Cover

The Witch Queen’s War Cover

I’d already spent a little bit of time on their site sometime back, but I really spent some time working on it last night. I’ve got a potential cover up and going, which is over on the right of the page. It’s also kind of one of the main points of the post, since I’m actually rather pleased with the way it’s come out so far. It’ll have to be edited a bit to allow for the spine width, but that won’t be possible until I’m finished writing and have a total page count. So it’ll change, but I’m going to stick with this overall design. I really do like it, actually.

The image definitely has to be opened for the summary on the back to be clear. I had to edit it a little bit, since it was a little bit to long, and not very legible.

Again, there’s my problem with summarizing.

The image on the front is a manipulate photo, courtesy of one of my aunts, from one of her trips to Ireland.

I’ve created a new page up in the header that’ll be used for the projects that I’m currently working on, and once I have that set up a little better, I’ll definitely add a larger version of the cover to that. Hopefully, that page will also help get rid of some of the clutter over in my sidebar, maybe. We’ll see.

I also might start posting a few excerpts from this one. I think I may have posted some way back when I first started this blog, but I can’t remember. If I did, anything that gets posted now will be a highly edited version.

Cheers!

Mayuuya

Editing Weirdness

This is so very random, but I just have to say something about it while it’s on my mind.

Apparently, when editing, some pages require more attention than others. Case in point:

15 - 1

Pg. 27

Some pages look like this. The corrections are in purple, this time. I don’t like to use red. Reminds me too much of high school. I apologize for the quality of the pictures. The lighting in the library right now is… interesting. I suppose they don’t think people will be taking a lot of pictures of what they’re working on.

Anyway. This is one of the pages of Witch Queen that I just got finished rereading, and this is what came of it. Strike outs everywhere and ten million things rewritten and changed.

And yes, when there’s this much and more, it becomes a bit of a challenge to figure out what correction I wanted to go where.

15 - 2

Pg. 28

So that was page… 27. Page 27. Then here’s page 28: There’s hardly anything there. A few words, and even then, I think I really just kind of swapped words out. I don’t really think I added anything new to it at all. These pages are literally back to back, no pages between them.

I question myself a lot, but apparently some pages just seem to come out better than others.

Does anyone else have this happen to them. Sections that sound really, really good, and then, like the very next section, you read it and wonder if you forgot the most basic rules of your native language?

Or is this just another weird, nitpicky thing that I do to myself because I’m apparently some type of masochist?

Cheers!

Mayuuya

Writing Problems and Goals

First day back to classes, and I’m sitting here in the computer lab staring at my notebook, trying to figure out which of my stories that I want to work on. I have the (physical) notebook for Ashes with me, but I’ve got an older work pulled up on the computer. It occurs to me that I have four or five open stories that I’m working on, two semi-solid ideas floating in my head, and a couple of Dragon Age prompts that I’ve considered taking on.

What I’m (actively) working on:

  • On the Ashes of Riverside
  • The Witch Queen’s War (again)
  • Per Vertutem Sanguinis (Dragon Age Prompt)

What’s still in my personal queue: (meaning they’re also partially written)

    • Curse of Ancient (I will finish this, damn it.)
  • Shades in the Shadows
  • Nuit de Glace

Ideas floating around:

  • Scarlet Starlet
  • The City Lights (possibly nano15?)

Opps. How did this even happen?

I love all my stories dearly, I just get distracted very easily. Once I get an idea into my head, I latch onto it. And, in all honesty, I never really put any of my stories aside. All of the documents are there in their own neat little folders, waiting to be worked on. The only one I haven’t really touched recently is Nuit, which was my Nano10 work. I think. Curse was finished, but then my laptop exploded.

Someone had to learn the hard way about what can happen when you don’t back up your novel to more places than just a computer. Most of it was saved, but the ending (the ending of all F@&%$!G things!) was lost. I still haven’t written the ending back out yet, because, surprise surprise, I want to change it. I don’t think it sounded good enough.

And that’s another big problem for me. I’m never content with what I’ve written. I always look back at what I’ve written and wonder ‘what the hell is this mess?’

No, seriously. I’ve turned in papers like that. The last one didn’t even sound coherent to me. All I know is that there was something in there comparing a line in Frankenstein to a line in the Nicene Creed. I think.

I got an A+ on the paper, just throwing that out there.

But I’m really hard on myself when it comes to what I’m writing. That’s what makes nano such a challenge for me. It isn’t the word count. I can, and have, done that with little problem more than once. It’s the fact that I’m never satisfied with what I get down. I write two lines, and I’m tempted to erase all but a few words because I think they sound awful.

In reality, they usually don’t sound that bad. I’m aware that I do have some talent as a writer. I wouldn’t do so well in my classes if I didn’t, but it’s hard to recognize that when I’m actively working on a project.

And it isn’t limited to writing. I do the same thing with any creative thing that I work on.

I have insanely high standards for myself. There are very few people who can ever be harder on my writing than I am, personally.  There is seriously nothing that I don’t criticize when it comes to my writing.

So this is an ongoing fight with me. It’s one of the reasons that I have so many open stories that I’m still working on. Ashes and The Witch Queen both have outlines. As in completed, beginning to end, outlines. So those two are my first goal.

Of course, I edit outlines. Seriously. I even edit and criticize my outlines. No joke.

Anyway. That’s my goal for the New Year. I don’t make resolutions, because I’m not the type of person to do them, but that’s a goal for me this year. I want to finish some of these stories.

I also want to try and update my blog more. Hopefully, one goal will influence the other.

Cheers!

Mayuyua