2016 was an awesome year for writing! What have I been doing? What am I going to do in 2017? This is the post that will tell all!
(Well, no, not all. But it will give enough details to tantalize.)
I give you: A review of my 2016 writing journey!
Last year was the first year that I participated in National Novel Writing Month and the experience totally changed my writing life.
Prior to NaNoWriMo 2015, I had done a lot of writing--even published an inspirational book and four speculative fiction novelettes--but I felt completely isolated. Sure, there was the occasional friend who actually wanted to hear about my latest work-in-progress, but I had given up on the idea that I would really be a "somebody" until that "someday" magical moment when the world realized that I had a meaningful story to offer.
I think I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2015 partly out of desperation; I needed to prove to myself that I could do it.
What NaNoWriMo gave me was so much more.
“Pereleth,” Edric said. “The City of Water. The Old City, at the center of the Pereleth, was built on an actual island in the center of the lake. The latter portions of the city were built directly over the water.”
“An island on an island?” Katryl smiled at the irony.
“A little like the Septeru themselves,” Edric answered. “Isolation within isolation.”
Last week, I introduced you to Katryl through excerpts from my work in progress, The Seeing Queen (Book 3 of the Firewing Chronicles). This week, meet Edric, the man who has acted as her guide, protector, and guardian since Book 1.
“I thought I had masked my accent," Katryl said.
“When you are taken off-guard, you sound far too Dashani.”
“And the swearing makes you more Dashani than ever.”
Because I'm up to my eyeballs in my NaNoWriMo work-in-progress, The Seeing Queen, Book 3 of the Firewing Chronicles, I figured it'd be fun to present five juicy excerpts from the book (in addition to the one above).
What inferences do you make about Katryl's character from these excerpts? I'd love to know!
Every nation has its tales of the Stranger, even the distant Septeru... In peace or peril, the sighting of the Stranger is nothing to ignore, for he shapes the fates of the nations. You have seen him, Katryl, and I believe that there is a purpose to it, that, though not apparent yet, will prove in time to be of grave importance.
For NaNoWriMo 2015, I wrote the first book in the Firewing Chronicles, a five-book series that I've been writing since I was fourteen and which I am completely overhauling some thirteen years later. In April 2016, I wrote the second book.
Now, for NaNoWriMo 2016, I am preparing to write the third book.
This week as I was running and playing epic soundtracks to clear my head from all the crazy doings in The Moonstone, I got inspired. As the driving music ignited my imagination, I realized that many of the tracks seem to match my characters' personalities and life stories.
So here is something new: Introducing the six main characters of The Moonstone's cast--through the soundtracks that best exemplify their personalities and destinies.
This week, I made it past 50,000 words in my novel The Moonstone. This is a HUGE milestone, because it means that I am a NaNoWriMo winner. Cue the next question: "So what does that entitle you to?" Bragging rights, mostly, but also the right to wear a cool winner's T-shirt and to get a few free goodies, including a certificate validating my accomplishment. Since this is my first NaNoWriMo, and I joined last-minute on a whim, I am pretty excited that I have made it this far.
So, in celebration, here are some of my favorite excerpts from the story and a behind-the-scenes peek at how I designed the cover.
Katryl, the main character of my NaNoWriMo 2015 project entitled The Moonstone, excels at archery. But the techniques that I describe her using in my book are not the sort of techniques you'll hear about in Hollywood, because, as it turns out, Hollywood has got it wrong. When ancient peoples used bows and arrows, they developed techniques that work while you are moving, riding a horse, and in the heat of an actual battle. Here is the video that helped me discover some of these techniques:
I am having a blast participating in NaNoWriMo 2015, despite the fact that my word goals are clashing with the demands of real life (and, as you'll see, some unusual circumstance as well)! My first few videos, you can tell I'm just getting into the swing of things, but as the days progress, I add more details about my story-in-progress, I encourage fellow WriMos with some tips I've discovered along the way, and I share meaningful stories from my life that relate to my writing. This week: Discover the special new person in my life!
Read on for an excerpt from this week's progress on The Moonstone!
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50,000 words in 30 days? No sweat.
Wow, I'm such a terrible liar.
Honestly, I'm freaking out. That's the equivalent of writing Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury) or The Giver (Lois Lowry) or The Invisible Man (H. G. Wells) in ONE MONTH. But I'm also excited. Why have I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month this November? Because I'm tired of procrastinating.
As usual, there's a story to this. Read on.