The Finish Line

Well, it’s the last day of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I have met my goal of 40,000 words! I’m am now officially a 2016 Camp Winner!

camp winner.jpg

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To everyone who participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, good job! No matter what your final word count was, you made the effort to write something this month, and to me, that makes it a success whether or not you met your goal. So pat yourself on the back and eat some ice cream.

Now, back to me because you know you all want to read about me instead of anyone else. So, after Camp, I have 40,518 words under my belt (well, 40,396 according to the validated count) but Cryonic isn’t anywhere near being done. Since it’s supposed to be of epic size when it is done, I’m thinking I’ll have a goal of 200,000 words, by far the longest novel I’ll have ever written. That means I’m only about 20% of the way there.

I’ve learned while writing Cryonic though, about what exactly is going to happen to my characters. A whole bunch of new minor characters popped up (and out of those, I may have killed about a fourth of them? okay not that many, but still) and I’m getting more in depth with the plot.

However, I’m kind of putting the draft of Cryonic away for a little while, ish. I’ll still be working on it occasionally, but I want to work on revising (well, rewriting) the first book in the series, Enhanced. (Cryonic is the second book in the epic sci-fi series.)

I finished Enhanced last October, and ever since then I’ve been thinking about revising/rewriting it, so I think that’s what I’m going to be doing next. There’s a lot that has to be done before I start though, including research, and, best of all, WORLD BUILDING.

Okay, maybe I’m really weird and crazy, but I love world building. Both for my own novels, and hearing other people’s world building ideas and how their societies work. I just find it all super fascinating for some reason, especially the religions. So I’m super excited for this next little bit in the process!

So what kind of posts will I be giving to you during the next few months? World building, character/plot development, revisions once I get to it, a special research project, and maybe a post about writing realistic prophecies. (I know, that has nothing to do with anything I’m working on, but still. I think it sounds awesome.) And of course, random ramblings about stuff.

So yeah, there’s your mostly meaningless post and update on stuffs. 😀


How did Camp NaNoWriMo go for all of you who did it? Did you meet your goal? Did you finish your novel/project, or do you still need more time? What is everyone planning on doing in May and the coming months (either writing-wise or otherwise)? Are you excited for summer? (I am–school will be out!)

Character Studies: Will’s Flaws

imageIt’s time for April’s Character Studies, this one themed with flaws. Will will (hehe, sorry) be our interviewee this time, a character from the epic sci-fi. For a little background information, he’s Taira’s cousin (you may remember her from last month’s Character Studies, Introductions with Taira) and he loves to play around with computers.

Character Studies is a monthly character interview hosted by Morgan Dusky from Studies in Character. You can find this month’s interview questions on her blog here and here.


  •  WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Wow, you had to pull that out on the first question? Well…I worry about Taira and I’m sometimes afraid she’s going to accidentally allow herself to get hurt (don’t tell her I said that) . I’m afraid that one day I’m going to come back to my family and things just won’t be the same as before because I’ve changed too much. I’m afraid that Kai’s going to think he doesn’t have anyone who cares about him. And sometimes, I’m afraid that deep inside, I’m a monster.

And…that question just killed the lighthearted mood. I’m not going to be able to laugh my way through this, am I?

  • DO YOU HAVE A TEMPER?

I like to think I’m pretty level-headed, but I’m probably not. Taira would say I’m not, definitely. I get frustrated when people won’t be careful in dangerous situations, even though I’m not cautious myself, and I get angry at Taira when she starts off with those self-deprecating comments. She says she doesn’t want me to pity her, but then she starts saying things like she’s a mutant, and I can’t stand it.

  • WHAT KIND OF THINGS WOULD MAKE YOU LOSE YOUR TEMPER?

The things I said above, and I guess people not doing as I say. I don’t mean to be bossy, but it sometimes turns out that way. One of my faults. Lana, why on earth did you choose the flaws interview for me? Do you want me to feel bad about myself?

  • IF YOU’RE ANGRY, HOW DO YOU (TRY TO) CALM DOWN?

Usually spending time alone and away from whatever bothered me helps me to clear my mind, especially if I’m working on a particularly difficult coding tangle. It doesn’t always help, though.

  • YOU’RE IN AN ARGUMENT WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND/SIGNIFICANT OTHER.  WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

No significant other for me. But best friend…I argue with Taira when she’s trying to have her pity party, or if she really insults someone. I guess we do argue some of the time over things I say too, especially when she thinks I don’t spend enough time with other people.

  • WHAT’S YOUR WORST HABIT?

I guess…it’s probably just what Taira accuses me. If I get started on a programming or hacking project, I can disappear into my room and stay there for hours and hours without talking to anyone. I don’t mind company while I work though…it’s just that I can concentrate on what I’m doing while talking to people, and others seem to find it annoying that I can hold an entire conversation while working on something else. Apparently it looks like I’m not paying attention.

  • IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Lana, you should probably figure out my appearance. I mean, I probably wouldn’t change anything, because I look fabulous. Well, maybe my nose. I don’t like my nose–it’s kind of crooked.

  • WHAT ABOUT YOUR PERSONALITY?

I like my personality too; I think I’m friendly and I hope that people like talking to me. If anything, I’d like to have less of a temper while still being spontaneous and fun.

  • YOU’RE WORKING WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE ON SOME KIND OF OBJECT.  WHAT ROLE DO YOU PLAY?  (LEADER, STRATEGIST, LABORER, ETC.)  DO YOU LIKE YOUR ROLE?

Depends what kind of project it is. If it’s about computers, I’m the leader all the way. If it’s anything else…I’d probably try to be the leader but end up being the person who doesn’t do the work and just talks to the other people. Which isn’t really that bad of a job, if you think about it…

  • BONUS: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF ANIMAL?

Good question…I like cats. They’re friendly, but they’re not always begging for attention, which is really good if I get distracted. Plus, they’re soft and cuddly, and who doesn’t want something soft and cuddly to hold once in a while? (I probably should have said something more masculine there, but oh well.)

  • THE WORLD ENDED (LITERALLY OR FIGURATIVELY, YOUR CHOICE).  IT WAS YOUR FAULT.  IF IT HAD BEEN AN ACCIDENT, WHAT HAPPENED?  IF IT HAD BEEN INTENTIONAL, WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY DID YOU DO IT?

[Lana inserts herself into the interview wildly screaming “PLOT BUNNNYYYY” and steals “The world ended” as a first sentence of a story if Shim doesn’t mind.]

Lana’s weird like that sometimes. Anyway, I think the world ending would probably be an accident? I mean, hopefully? I’m not exactly sure how I’d cause the world to end, unless Rick decided to blow it all up and I didn’t stop him in time…or something like that.

Or, well, if this interview is supposed to be deep, maybe it was on purpose. Sometimes I’m not sure who I am inside. What if I turn into some sort of crazy control freak who decides he has to take over the world and kills a bunch of people? Or…or something.

  • WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT WOULD RUIN A FRIENDSHIP FOR YOU?  SOMETHING COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY INEXCUSABLE, EVEN IF YOUR CLOSEST FRIEND DID IT.

I’m kind of forgiving, usually, but…if they hurt someone close to me and didn’t feel sorry for it…it can ruin a friendship. It almost ruined mine with Taira, but we got past it. Barely.

  • SOMEBODY WANTS YOU TO DO SOMETHING YOU DON’T LIKE.  WHAT’S THE BEST WAY FOR THEM TO GET YOU TO DO IT?  (BRIBE, BLACKMAIL, ETC.)

Something I don’t like? Well, I’m usually more prone to do something if I know someone else is doing it too that I can talk to. And well, money doesn’t hurt either. Of course, if they’re not good people, blackmail’s probably the way to go. The reason taking hostage family members and threatening to kill them is so cliche is because it’s really, really scary.

  • SOMEBODY IS GETTING ON YOUR NERVES AND YOU REALLY WANT THEM TO GO AWAY BUT THEY DON’T SEEM TO GET THE HINT.  WHAT DO YOU DO?

Probably just give them more and more obvious hints until they leave, or I’d make some sort of half-honest excuse of why I have to leave.

  • WHAT IS, IN YOUR OPINION, THE WORST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE?  WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?

Oof, that’s a tough question to answer. I think probably joining with the Delorems. I know I didn’t actually hurt anyone by doing that, but…I just wish that things had been different, that I hadn’t been the kind of person that would survive their initiation. It’s not the sort of thing that a good person should be able to do…and I did it.

  • SOMEBODY YOU USED TO TRUST BETRAYED YOU IN A BIG WAY, AND THEN BEGS FOR YOU TO FORGIVE THEM.  DO YOU AND WHY OR WHY NOT?  IF NOT, IS THERE SOMETHING THEY COULD DO TO GET YOU TO CHANGE YOUR MIND?

Yes, eventually, but forgiving is different than trusting again. I want to say that I’d be willing to trust them again…but I’m not so sure that I would. I probably wouldn’t trust them with big things again, even though they might still be trustworthy.

  • WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON LYING?  IN WHAT SITUATIONS WOULD YOU LIE?  WHEN DO YOU FEEL IT’S IMPORTANT TO TELL THE TRUTH, NO MATTER HOW PAINFUL IT MIGHT BE?

I think it’s okay to hide the truth sometimes, when it would hurt someone, but if it would really hurt someone, they need to know. That probably makes no sense…but I guess there’s a point where someone can live without knowing something and a point where someone needs to know something to keep living.

  • YOU’RE CONFIDENT THAT YOU CAN DO SOMETHING GREAT.  WHAT COULD SOMEONE DO/SAY TO DESTROY THAT CONFIDENCE?  WOULD YOU LET THEM KNOW THEIR COMMENT HURT YOU?

I don’t know that it’d completely destroy my confidence, but it would definitely hurt if they chose someone else to do it instead of me, especially if I’ve already proved that I can do something like that. And no, I probably wouldn’t tell them. I might try to do it myself, though.

  • WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON LOYALTY?

Loyalty is important and a good quality to have, but taken to the very extreme it can be a little excessive. A decent amount of loyalty is good, though.

  • BONUS: DO YOU LIKE THE RAIN?

…Eh. I don’t really have an opinion on the rain…it’s just there, the water that falls from the sky and lets us live while simultaneously soaking us. It has its ups and downs.


Lana here again: What’s your opinion on what you’ve learned of Will? I think he might need some more work… Do you have any characters with similar views as him? Or any characters with totally different views? Have you done this Character Studies interview on one of your characters? Are you planning to? You should, if you’re not. The Character Studies interviews are a great way to get to know your characters.

Character Studies: Introductions with Taira

imageAfter having a bit of indecision about what to write for this blog post, I decided to do a Character Studies interview with one of my 6 POV characters from the epic sci-fi, Taira. (Character Studies, by the way, is a monthly character interview from Morgan Dusky’s new blog, Studies in Character. You should look at her blog if you haven’t already — it’s written almost entirely be her characters.)

There’s two parts of the interview, but I’m just going to put them both in here. (You won’t get tired of Taira and her pessimistic attitude after 20 questions, will you?)


 

  • WHAT’S YOUR NAME?  DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME?  IS THERE ANY MEANING BEHIND YOUR NAME OR YOUR NICKNAME?

My name is Taira, no, I don’t have a nickname, and I have no idea whether or not there’s any meaning behind my name. My parents never told me anything of that sort.

  • HOW OLD DO YOU LOOK?  IS THAT YOUR REAL AGE?  HOW OLD ARE YOU, ACTUALLY?

I’m pretty sure I look around my real age, which is somewhere between 16 and 18; Lana hasn’t decided that yet.

  • WHAT’S YOUR GENDER?

Female.

  • WHAT’S YOUR EYE COLOR?  HOW EASY IS TO TELL YOUR EYE COLOR FROM A DISTANCE?

Brown, and I have no idea. Do you expect me to be able to see my own eye color from a distance? I can assume it’s fairly easy to tell they’re a dark color, but I can’t be certain.

  • WHAT’S YOUR ETHNICITY?  DOES ANYBODY EVER GET IT WRONG?

I grew up in the Outer Regions even though I was born in the city, but there’s not really any way to tell that. There’s a lot of different races in both places, so you can’t tell by skin color or anything. People have thought I’ve grown up in the city before, though, which I can understand. I like it better here.

  • WHAT’S YOUR BUILD?  HOW TALL ARE YOU?  ARE YOU STRONG?

I’m not strong, at least physically, and I’m of average height. You could say I’m skinny, I guess.

  • WHAT’S YOUR FOREMOST PHYSICAL TRAIT—THE FIRST THING SOMEONE WILL NOTICE ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE?

The first thing that anyone would notice about me is that I’m usually removed from everyone else–standing in the corner of the room and all that. Or they might notice the glare, though that’s really not my fault. I have a nearly constant headache, and being around people makes it a million times worse.

  • WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE OUTFIT, OR WHAT DO YOU WEAR THE MOST?  WHY IS THAT YOUR FAVORITE?

Well, Lana hasn’t exactly done enough world building to decide on clothing yet (*glares*) but I like clothes that look nice, but aren’t horribly stiff and uncomfortable. I don’t like to look sloppy or lazy, though.

  •  HOW DO YOU USUALLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO NEW PEOPLE?

I don’t. Or I glare at them. If they want to talk to me after that, then that’s their choice.

  • BONUS: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE A PIRATE?

I don’t even know what a pirate is.

  • HOW DO YOU USUALLY ENTER A ROOM?  (DRAMATIC ENTRANCE, WALK IN BEHIND SOMEBODY SO YOU AREN’T NOTICED, ETC.)

It’s not that I prefer to be unnoticed, it just makes my head hurt less if I stand in the corner, not to mention that I don’t like talking to people. So, yes, I usually try to slip in quietly without making a huge scene about it.

  • HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD?

Ha, definitely not “enhanced”. Maybe “modified” would be better, or “different”. “Mutant” might work, even.

  • THREE WORDS?

Misunderstood, modified, and aloof.

  • WHAT KIND OF FIRST-IMPRESSION DO YOU USUALLY MAKE?  DO YOU THINK IT’S A GOOD FIRST-IMPRESSION?

I’m pretty sure I make the impression of a cold, reserved person who’s aloof from everyone else and hates talking to people. Is it a good first impression? Most people probably wouldn’t think so, but it’s fairly accurate and I don’t really mind.

  • WHAT KIND OF FIRST-IMPRESSION DO YOU WANT TO MAKE?

Most of the time, I’m fine with the first impression I make. But if  I want to appear friendly to someone (which isn’t often) I’d rather have something less unapproachable.

  • HOW WOULD YOUR BEST FRIEND DESCRIBE YOU?

I suppose Will (my cousin) would describe me as…someone he cares for deeply and is very close to, but who should also be pitied because of her time spent in the Enhancement Facility. Okay, that’s not actually what he’d say, because he’d start talking about my “good qualities”, like how I deep down have a sense of humor, and that I’m smart and that I persevere or something. But the first description is how he thinks about me, I know that.

  • HOW WOULD YOUR ENEMY (OR LEAST FAVORITE PERSON) DESCRIBE YOU?

Full of potential that he can harness, not to mention his prized subject, but he’d likely also describe me as rebellious, stubborn, and weak. And lots of other insults I really don’t want to think about and list right now.

  • DO YOU AGREE WITH EITHER (OR BOTH) OF THOSE DESCRIPTIONS?  WHY?

Out of the two, I’d agree with Will’s assessment more, but I hate being pitied. The problem is that no one can really describe me except for me, and I might not even be able to do that, since a lot of me is based off the influence of other people. If there was no one else in the world, I’d act completely differently.

  • HOW DO YOU USUALLY EXIT A ROOM?

Through the door. (See, that’s something Will would say. He’s rubbing off on me.)

  • BONUS: IF YOU WERE A FLOWER, WHAT KIND OF FLOWER WOULD YOU BE?

I hate flowers. I’d be whichever one that would wither up and die the fastest.

And So it Begins…

CNW_Participant.jpgYes, Camp NaNoWriMo has started! The excitement will wear off in a week or two, I know, but right now I’m excited about Camp and life and everything. Plus, I get Spring Break off of school next week, and it is fantastic how it coincides with the first week of Camp. That way I’ll have time to write while I actually want to.

Yesterday, for my first day, I wrote 1563 words, and I’m fairly pleased with that. It would’ve been nice to write a bit more, but I’m satisfied with how much I wrote.

I’m also kind of satisfied with the content I wrote. Obviously, it’s a first draft, and first draft + NaNoWriMo = blehhkghh, but not counting that, it’s actually okay, and my writing is ever so slowly improving.

One thing that was particularly fun to write about was about the airtrains, which is a public transportation system with railroad tracks that are about ten stories high. It was kind of inspired from my trip to New York City this year, where I rode the subway everywhere, but I altered it a little bit to be more sci-fi-y.

So it was fun to add a few of the setting details in that I’ve been thinking about, and I liked having a conversation between Will and Taira, and seeing the dynamic between them (they’re cousins, but their relationship is a little more like a brother and sister).

Other than that, I haven’t really written much that I can report on, or give advice-y things about, so I think I shall wrap up this post soon. I’m super excited to continue writing and see the plot take shape, and I’ll keep you updated on how my writing goes throughout the month.

For those of you who are doing Camp, how are all of your novels coming along?

 

Reformatting and the Epic Sci-Fi

As you can see (or maybe you can’t, if you’re on the Reader or your email), The Music of Words has undergone a marvelous transformation. Okay, it’s not really that amazing, but I think this design has a more professional and clean-cut feel to it than my previous one.

So, there’s that. And I’m also finally going to tell you about the Epic Sci-Fi! I’ve had this idea for a couple of weeks, but I haven’t gotten around to telling you about it until now. Here’s the story.

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Lana had an idea for a story. (Well, it may have slightly been stolen from some sort of adopt-a-prompt thing where someone actually took it before she could, but she altered it anyway, so that was okay.) And the idea for the story fascinated her so much that she wrote the first scene during her choir class, which was rather difficult, since in choir, one is supposed to be singing, not writing.

She wrote anyway.

It was about a guy named Kai (the name suggested by one of Lana’s friends) and how he had to go through something painful without showing any pain, or else he would die. And yes, there may have been a girl watching him.

When Lana came home from school, she typed up what she’d written, adding in a dying mother, and continued to write. The girl became Taira. Kai stayed Kai, because Lana didn’t have any ideas for a better name.

And, slowly, the story evolved. She wrote in it between NaNoWriMos, scenes here and there, and in just shy of a year, she’d finally finished the 98,000 word draft. Lana loved that story so much that she decided she would come back to revise it.

Throughout the next months, it stayed on her mind. Ideas for its revision started to pop up, as well as ideas for a second book. Though she wrote other things, it was the thing she kept having new ideas for.

And then the idea hit her, just a few weeks before Camp NaNoWriMo was supposed to start and she was supposed to write the second book: this could be an epic sci-fi. (Which was like an epic fantasy, only in a sci-fi setting.)

This idea intrigued Lana, so she started to work on it. More POV characters than just Kai and Taira rose to the surface (there became six total), and new plots were added in. The setting became slightly more developed, and she just ended up loving the idea even more.

Lana never expected to be a sci-fi writer. She always thought that she’d be a writer of fantasy, since that’s what she loved to read, but these books became the ones that she’d always wanted to write. They were awesome, with a plot and characters and a villain and battles and run on sentences (the grammar could be fixed later).

The novel that was once called KT (based off the names Kai and Taira) became Enhanced, and its sequel, Cryonic. (Remember that post where I told you what I was doing for Camp NaNo? Yeah, that’s the same Cryonic as here.) Lana was totally ready for Camp (note the sarcasm) and she was ready to take on any challenges that her new series, her Epic Sci-Fi, would give her.

-TO BE CONTINUED-

I know, that was a cliffhanger. You can hang on to your cliffs for a little while longer, though, because we don’t know how this story will end yet. We have come to that blank page that is called “the present”.

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in two days. (Or maybe three, I never know how to count these things.) And while I certainly don’t feel ready for it, I am excited for the story to continue and to work on Cryonic. It’s going to be so much fun, and I am definitely going to enjoy myself.


You can find summaries of the first two books with the “Epic Sci-Fi” link-y thing at the menu bar at the very top of the page. Enjoy!