Spotlight #2: From Discarded Character to Possible Plot Bunny

HELLO I AM BACKKK.

Yes, for all of you who didn’t realize, I disappeared from my blog again for about two weeks this time. Why? Well, I was procrastinating a lot on the Internet and I also didn’t feel like I was spending enough time with my family, so I chose to basically not go on the Internet for a week, and it was actually really nice. I did spend more time with my family but most of my time was actually spent at band camp for marching band.

HOWEVER I am back now and here to share my second Spotlight with you! Earlier today I was reading the first 40K I’d written of Cryonic during April for Camp NaNo (and it is surprisingly better written than I had thought) and there was one chapter that really stuck out to me.

Some of you may know that at one point I decided to have 6 POV characters in Enhanced, so I added in a character who hadn’t been in the first draft, but then I took him out again about a month later. His name is Zen, and he’s an awesome character but he didn’t really fit with any part of the plot, so I decided that maybe he’d just be a minor character in one of the later books or something.

But reading over this chapter that I wrote, I had the idea that I could give Zen his own novel, and I think I would enjoy it. But I shall stop rambling now and actually share the chapter with you so you can see what it’s like and decide if you would want to read more. (If not, that’s totally fine, haha. It’s a) a rough draft, and b) my style is definitely not everyone else’s style. I like honest feedback.)



Disclaimers: The chapter takes place during a war, a very bloody war. So there is a lot of death and dying and killing and blood. It’s not necessarily gory since I didn’t really go into description of gory things, but it is war, and it’s meant to be kind of horrific and emotional and dark. It’s fine for most people, I think. Also, it’s almost 3000 words, so it’s…really long. I won’t be offended if you don’t read it all. 😉



“Get under cover!” Zen yelled to his team, ducking behind one of the makeshift walls as bullets whizzed past him, soundless to the silencers in his ear that simultaneously allowed him to communicate with those in his team.

The answers came back through the silencers and around him, he saw the members of his team. Adrenaline pumped through him, mixed with determination. “We’ll stay here for another minute, and then charge forward. I’ve just received word that they’ve damaged the outer wall of the city enough for some people to get in just to the north of here. We’ll charge past the other line of men and jump through the walls, take cover, and wait for more orders.”

The others nodded, and in that moment, he knew how exhausted they all were. They’d been assaulting the city for days now, and in the blazing heat they were all getting tired and dehydrated. He took the water bottle out of his suit and drank some of the warm liquid, the rest of his team following suit.

“Ready…” They stood at attention. “Go!” Moving together, they clambered up over the wall, Zen in the front, firing their guns at the enemy line, just waiting for a bullet to puncture into them. They had been given bulletproof armor, but it didn’t cover everything in order to allow mobility, and there was always the chance that one would die, especially the more battles one went through.

And Zen had been through quite a lot.

The enemy fired back and he ran as fast as he could, relying on his strengthened muscles and days of long training to increase his speed enough to run past, enemies falling, spraying red blood. Zen felt a few bullets hit with a slight pressure on his bulletproof suit, and each one made him wonder if this would be the last run he made, the last breath he took.

Some part of him just wanted to stop, to let the screaming bullets take him, but he never did. He kept fighting not because he believed it was right, but because he couldn’t let his friends around him down.

Especially not Lian. This was his first battle, and he was under Zen’s command. That was enough to make him run like the wind.

They reached the wall, a gaping gash of a hole bombed through it, like an open sore, rubble surrounding it like blood. Zen covered for the rest of his team as they climbed through the hole, jumping from pieces of rock in order to make their way through it. He counted them off as they came through, all of them there. After they were all in, Zen followed, bullets pounding against the bulletproof vest. How long would it be until the vest fell to pieces from the battering? He knew they could last for a long time…but how long?

The sight that met him inside the city walls caught him off guard, even as his body continued the motion and ducked behind the side of a house with the rest of his team. No military met them, no one fired back. Bloody, wounded bodies were left on the ground from the bombing of the wall, but as he peered out at them, he noted that they wore no uniform.

Civilian bodies.

The twisting in his gut began, the same horrific feeling that had come over him at the last battle, when he’d seen a similar sight. Surely they would have evacuated the people closer to the inside of the city? But…they hadn’t. Why?

“What next, Zen?” Barro asked, and Zen turned to face him, swallowing slightly. He had orders…but those orders were for a military base, not a civilian compound.

Was it time to disobey? No, not yet, he couldn’t let them know yet that the disapproved, but he couldn’t kill innocents either. This conversation was probably being recorded…they might be able to find out what he said next. He searched for a solution, one finally coming from his mind. “They must have bombed the wrong part of the wall…we’re supposed to be in a military base, but those are civilians. For now, we wait here for further orders. Everyone alright?”

Zen took a glance over his men, and found Lian a little ways away, trembling, his whole body shaking like a leaf as he stared with wide eyes at the bodies.

Walking forward, Zen moved toward him and put his hand on the boy’s shoulder. He seemed to calm slightly at the touch, but the terror was still in his eyes. “Lian,” he whispered, “I know it’s hard to look at. I know that sick feeling you get when you look at them. But there’s nothing we can do about it now.”

Lian coughed and sniffled, the sound clearly audible with the silencers stopping every other sound. “We should have been able to do something.” His voice was shaky and weak, and Zen wondered again how Lian had managed to convince the military leaders he was trained and fit for apprenticeship into the war.

He squeezed his shoulder, opened his mouth, and then closed it again. He couldn’t say much with them listening in to him, couldn’t give the kind of comfort that he wanted to. He didn’t really know what to say, then. War was all he remembered, the killing was all he knew. And civilians…they’d been nothing to him before. But after Lian had been assigned to him, he’d started to feel again. Not to remember, but to feel.

Sickening, that’s what every battle felt like after the adrenaline was gone and the stark reality was there, staring up at you with empty, dead eyes.

“Come back here, Lian,” he said quietly. “It’s better if you don’t look.”

The boy let him lead him away without any argument, and as he turned, Zen caught a glimpse of movement in the empty space left of the hole.

Reflexes took over. Zen pushed Lian away and whipped out his gun, firing at the movement.

Silence.

“Zen?” Araena’s voice was quiet, worried, tense.

“It might have been nothing,” he said, relaxing slightly. “I thought I saw something, but it was probably just my imagination.” I’m seeing things… It was hard to tell if it was real or not. There could be enemy soldiers out there trying to get a shot at them…or it could be something else. His memories? He’d thought he’d seen flickers of it, like visions appearing in his mind before, melding themselves with his surroundings. Had he seen that flash of motion once before?

Or, of course, he could just be going crazy.

“We’d better keep an eye on that opening. Teika, Vessen, Elko, stay here and watch. The rest of us are going to scout around just a little bit, in case there’s any soldiers here.”

The idea had come to his mind after the motion there, as gruesome as it was. Could the enemy really have placed civilians in the place they knew the bomb would hit in order to distract invaders afterward enough to ambush them? That was even more sickening, but it somehow fit. No civilian would stray near city walls knowing that they were being attacked.

Zen made sure to take Lian in his group when they split around buildings, wanting to keep an eye on him. He didn’t remember his first battle, and the blank spot frustrated him to no end, but he was sure it must have been as horrible as this.

What would it be like to be like Lian had been before he’d come here? Not knowing about death, not understanding that life could be so easily taken. The boy valued life so much more than Zen did, and part of him envied that, wanted to feel an ache at every life he took away, to make sure he really knew what he was doing, but the other part of him was grateful that he didn’t understand it fully, that he didn’t remember what life was like before.

He jerked back into the moment, looking through the scope of his gun. In the distance, he could see movement. Pointing toward it, they headed that way, and as they came closer, he saw it was a woman, holding onto the lifeless form of a body, head bowed over him, hair covering her face.

Quietly, they moved toward her. The others followed him around a house — he didn’t want to frighten her into running — but when they came back out again, she was gone. There wasn’t even a body there, just…nothing.

He was definitely seeing things, and it made his head hurt. Was he going crazy? Or, were they, as Lian had suggested, visions of memories that were now slipping into his mind when it related to the situation?

It was true; there was something familiar about the things he saw, unless he was just imagining that part, but whenever he tried to actually remember anything, he wasn’t able to reach past his memories of a few years ago, except for the occasional whisper of something tickling in the back of his mind.

“This way,” said Zen, leading them through the buildings and trying to focus on what was at hand. The past was a long ways away, and the present was now. He couldn’t afford to spend his time looking backward. “You seeing anything?”

His team answered with negatives, and he nodded, weaving through the buildings. Maybe he shouldn’t have taken Lian with him — there was a body in nearly any direction you looked, and many of them had been shredded by scrapnel. This wasn’t any place for a boy…and yet something in him said that’s what a war was, to turn a boy into a man.

But was a man someone who saw death and felt nothing or saw it and wanted to weep for the life that had been lost?

Focus. He was having trouble with that today, and it wasn’t a good mindset to be in when they were in the middle of a war.

A war with what? Civilians, innocents?

His spinning thoughts were focused a second later, when he heard a voice crackling through the silencers. Teika’s voice, worried and fast. “Zen, we’ve got a problem.” Silence for a few seconds, as Zen turned and started running toward them. Then, “They’re swarming through, like rats. Can’t keep them away for long.”

“Hold on as long as you can. We’re coming for you. Keep me updated.”

As he ran, all the worst scenarios that could happen ran through his head as he imagined what had happened. The flash of movement, then, had been real, and he hadn’t been seeing things that time. They’d been lying in wait, and he’d misjudged. He’d taken most of the group, and then the ambush had happened from the wrong side.

Zen cursed over and over again, making sure none if it was going through the silencers to his men. If they knew how worried he was, they would be too; it was the simple rule of battle psychology. Act confident, be confident, and your men will accept it as truth.

Teika’s voice came through the line again, this time strained. “Been shot…in the leg…hurry.”

Zen affirmed that they were coming and then cursed again. This wasn’t supposed to be going like this.

And then another thought came into his mind: if Teika had been shot and she was still the only one who had contacted them, what was happening to Vessen and Elko?

Zen wanted to comfort the others on his team, to tell them fake assurances, but he couldn’t think of anything to say. So there was silence as they ran, settling over them, deep and heavy, like a thick cloud of smoke.

When they came across the gaping hole in the wall, his mouth went dry. The enemy soldiers were pouring in still, covering the hole, as Teika had said, like rats. Zen fired a spray of bullets at them, and a few went down, but not enough.

He found the three of his soldiers holed up in an alleyway — at least they’d retreated to a semi-defensible system, rather than staying out in the open. That gave him some hope, but it was quickly discouraged as they charged over to them. Teika was barely standing, leaning against the wall for support, and Elko was barely able to fire his gun from where he sat near the wall, clutching at a wound on his side, maybe at one of the straps where the bulletproof suits came together. Vessen was unconscious behind them, not even moving.

Zen was filled with such a rage that he’d never felt before. If he hadn’t been able to feel sorrow before, he’d never felt this either. It rose up in him like a raging fire, unable to be stopped, like lightning being flung across a stormy sky.

And for the first time since he’d started to feel, he wanted to kill.

The shots from his gun blazed into their men, pushing them down where they fell. He felt returning bullets slamming against him, but he ignored it, focusing solely on making them bleed as much as possible.

How dare they touch his men, how dare they shoot them, how dare they attack them defenseless when they knew their leader was gone?

They were monsters, and each one he killed seemed like a mercy.

But no matter how many of them he shot, they just kept coming, swarming toward them, filling up the area before the alleyway, as if they were waiting for their chance to die. As if they were sacrificing in order to try to get at least one good shot in.

And they did. Zen watched as his men started to get shot, one by one, thankfully not in the most vital of places it seemed, but they left and the enemy kept coming.

Each one made him shoot more. When he ran out of bullets, he tossed his gun back to Teika, who refilled it as he grabbed the gun Vessen had dropped, exploding more of the others, killing them, pushing them away as best that he could.

The fight seemed to last ages as they came and came, pooling around them like blood. No, like carnivores, ready to consume their prey. It seemed that everyone was wounded except for him when others on their side finally came, enough of them to make a difference, enough of them to make a rescue.

Zen watched all of it with glazed eyes, as they took the gun from his hands and the rage kept on inside of him but his body was so tired his arms simply held limply at his sides, waiting.

He finally came to his senses when one of them started taking the pulses of his wounded men. “What are you doing?” he asked, stepping over to him, feeling weak on his feet.

“Making sure they’re alive,” the man snapped back, his words sharp and abrupt, pounding into Zen’s skull. Had he really talked like that before he’d met Lian?

Zen swallowed as he moved to each of them, his heart sinking as he moved toward Teika, Vessen, and Elko, the three that had first been here. He wanted, with all his heart, to believe that they were alive, but the stark reality was that they’d been wounded for longer than anyone else.

When the man checked Vessen’s pulse, his fingers came away with bloodstains.

“Dead.”

Zen’s stomach plummeted, and his whole body seemed to cry out in pain. Not Vessen, not the strong and noble man who would have given anything for the rest of them, hiding it behind grumbles that any person could see through.

In war, though, there could only be acceptance, not denial. It didn’t change anything. Vessen was dead no matter what he did.

Lian came to stand next to him, putting his hand on his arm. When Zen turned to look at him, there were tears in the boy’s eyes, but he was the one who did the comforting. “You did everything you could. You’re not responsible.”

Zen wanted to pretend to be strong, to say, “What makes you think I’m sorry?” but he couldn’t. He only shook his head.

Lian kept talking. “This is war. People…people die. That’s what they say. I calculated the statistics of someone dying today and the chances were high that one of us would suffer a fatality, so I tried to expect it.” His voice choked up. “Vessen isn’t just a number, though.”

“Wasn’t,” Zen whispered. He didn’t know what to say, what to think. “I haven’t lost a man since…since Fyn.”

Lian tensed beside him; Fyn had been closer in age to him than any other. Zen half expected him to start spouting some sort of statistics, since he seemed to do that when he tried to comfort, but he didn’t speak.

Neither of them did, standing there in the alleyway as it was slowly emptied of their wounded friends. Finally Zen just started walking, and Lian followed, the two of them moving out of the city.

It was hard not to step on any of the bodies.



If you managed to read through all of that, what did you think? Did you like or not like? Are you curious about Zen? I am. I haven’t figured out half his secrets yet. Did it make you feel emotion in any way? And, most important of all, are you excited to see me back in the blogosphere again? 😀

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Spotlight #1: First Draft Brie

First things first: Brie is not cheese, she is a character from Enhanced.

Second things second: What is this “Spotlight” you speak of? you may be asking. Well, I’ll explain it to you. During the week or two I’ve been gone from the blogosphere did you notice? I was (as well as procrastinating from Camp NaNo) thinking a bit about how to improve my blogging. And I decided I wanted to share more writing with you more often, but I can’t exactly write a short story every week. Then I thought of writing a novel solely on this blog, which would be fun, but I have no ideas, let alone motivation to actually do it.

So I came up with the idea of the Spotlight. Basically, weekly I will “shine the spotlight” on some of the writing I worked on that week, which will probably include excerpts of some of my favorite parts, anything that I really enjoyed writing, cool descriptions, thoughts, etc. Basically anything that I feel really struck me gets to be posted here!

That means that not only will you get to read more of my writing through excerpts, you’ll also get to know my characters a lot better and get a feel for my novel. Are you in? I hope so!


FIRST DRAFT BRIE

I was reading through my first draft of Enhanced the other day, and found myself thinking about Brie. She is…an interesting character.

Fun Fact: Taira, Will, and Brie all came from a short piece I wrote for an informal writing contest:

Taira took a step. That one step, into the new world, the world they had saved. Will and Brie walked after her, looking about themselves in awe. “We did it,” whispered Will. “We did it.” Brie nodded along, eyes full of wonder.

Taira couldn’t understand them. The world was too empty. There were buildings just down the road from them, with flashing lights and glowing signs, but it was still so empty. She finally realized why — the world had been silenced. There were no people driving cars along the roads. There was no music to be heard. There was no sound of jets flying over them. Everything was totally silent. The only thing that made a noise was the wind blowing the dirt around them, dirt devoid of any sort of life.

She felt like she was in a dream as she walked along with the others, into that maze of buildings. Empty buildings. A soft sound filled the air, a sound Taira wanted to run away from, to never have to listen to again. The sound of sobbing, the sound of pure sorrow, the sound of the worst pain in the world. They didn’t go down that road.

As they walked, they saw no movement until they came upon a little girl, kneeling in front of someone, shaking him. “Daddy, Daddy, wake up!” she said, as if not knowing that he was gone and would never come back.

The little girl looked up as they walked past, and Taira saw her wide eyes staring up at them, clouded with confusion. Taira wanted to go to her, to comfort her, to do something, but Will and Brie held her back. “You can’t do anything about it,” said Brie.

Taira pushed herself away from them, away from everyone, her eyes welling with tears as she ran down the empty streets, finally collapsing under a large tree. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It had never been meant to be like this.

The plague had spread over the whole world, infecting almost everyone, with almost unnoticeable symptoms that led quickly to a sickness that was more painful than death. It spread easily, and only few people in the world had been able to resist it.

The only cure was death.

The only way to restore the world was to cleanse it from the disease, to purge it of all of the remaining plague. To kill everyone who’d contracted it.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It wasn’t supposed to include pain and anguish. It was supposed to take that away, not leave children parentless and parents widowed and people with no one left in the world to care for them.

The tears streamed down Taira’s cheeks and her throat choked as she whispered a prayer, as if someone, somewhere could give her comfort. Those lives shouldn’t have been lost. Life was too precious to be cut short like that, in an instant.

They had saved the world, but had they destroyed it in the process?

Of course, Enhanced is much, much different than this excerpt. Nothing in this happens that does in Enhanced, but it was still the inspiration for those three characters (though you may notice that this Taira is much different than the one in her character interview, who is more of the actual Taira).

I don’t know where Brie really came from besides that, but for some reason, I decided that she was going to be really, really emotional. And kind of childish. And in a way, just relaly weird… I don’t know why, though.

There was a banging sound on the other side of his door, and Kai cautiously stood up and

opened it. Will stood on the other side of the door, looking relieved and also disheveled. “Taira’s missing,” he said.

“What?” he asked, the worry on Will’s face putting him on high alert. “What are you talking about, she’s missing?”

“She’s not here, and there’s this crazy girl in my room, and I have no idea—”

Kai held up a hand. “Hold up, just wait a minute and start from the beginning. What exactly happened?”

“Well, I was going back to my room, and when I came in, there was this girl sitting there on my bed, looking through all my gadgets and stuff. And then she said that she was Seth’s sister and she talked to Taira about something about getting a job here, but that Taira was supposed to come back before I did, and she’s still not here.”

“Seth’s sister?” asked Kai. “Brie?”

Will’s face registered surprise. “How did you know that?”

“I met her once a while ago.”

“And you remember her?” Then he shook his head. “I guess when it’s someone with a crazy personality like that, they’re hard to forget.”

*facepalms at self repeatedly*

Perhaps because of this…this awkwardness, though she did play a part in the beginning of the book, Brie kind of disappeared near the middle. But what I had forgotten was that I brought her back at the end of the book, and…she’s really more amazing than I had thought before.

There’s this part where I really, really love what she says:

Then Brie straightened and thrust herself out of his grasp. He reached out to grab her, but she was too far away already. But instead of heading toward where Jethro was, like he expected, she ran to Seth’s bedside, talking furiously and quietly to the figure there.

Kai began to walk toward her, as his inspiration said, and soon he could hear her softly-spoken words. “What do I do, Seth? Tell me what to do?”

Seth’s words were weary. “Stop fighting. No one can save us now.”

“No, I won’t leave you.” She leaned even closer next to her brother’s head where it lay on his pillow. “I won’t stop fighting. I’ll never stop. Have hope, Seth, please, have hope.”

“Brie…” he said faintly, “all of my hope died a long time ago.”

That second-to-last paragraph…I just love it. I won’t stop fighting. I’ll never stopIt just made me fall in love with her a little, and I had a lot of fun today developing her for the rewrite of Enhanced. Even though she’s still not a POV character, I am hoping to make her a little more major in the rewrite, and also more of the person she is in this last excerpt.

Also, I decided that Brie loves to sing! She’s really awesome…and I think that concludes our Spotlight for this week. Any thoughts on this Spotlight or Spotlights as a whole? Oh and one more thing for all you Miraculous fans out there: I was looking up what type of cheese brie was and apparently it’s similar to Camembert (but more mild). I suppose Plagg would like her.

Don’t Think, Just Write

This post is sort of a mix of a pep talk thing to those participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month as well as some advice for first draft writing. (So, if you’re not doing a first draft for Camp NaNo, you may not find this very helpful…but too bad. You can read it anyway. 🙂 )

Recently, I’ve noticed a bit of an increase in my typing speed as I’m writing, and I think I’ve finally figured out why. It mostly came one night at dinner when we happened to bring up the subject of NaNoWriMo.

“Doesn’t NaNoWriMo just encourage people to use a lot of words instead of an actual story?” said my mom. “It would just make people write things like, ‘I went to the store. When I got there, I couldn’t decide whether or not I should buy peanuts or cashews. Hmmm. The peanuts, or the cashews? Finally, I decided on buying the peanuts instead of the cashews, because they were cheaper.'”

I thought about this for a moment and said, “Yes, but they’d have more of the story than they started with.”

That’s the whole point of NaNoWriMo–not to write words, sometimes not even to write a novel, but to write more than you had before. In the example my mom gave, yes, the writing is pretty terrible. Yes, the conflict is also terrible. But you have more. If those 42 words hadn’t been written, you wouldn’t have anything about your character visiting the store, and who knows, maybe the cashew/peanut debate will become important later on! Although, the decision should be obvious. Always go for the cashews. Always.

So you may be looking at your unfinished manuscript right now, thinking that this is wildly out of character, or it doesn’t even make sense, or why are there evil talking cats this isn’t supposed to be happening. Maybe you’re horribly behind on your word count and the few thousand–or even the few hundred–you’ve managed to write just don’t seem good enough.

The amazing thing is that you’ve already written more than you had before. No matter how horrible, how confusing, or how small the writing has been, there’s more story than there was before, and that’s something that you should be proud of.

I’ve found that the best way to write more, and faster, is this simple motto/phrase/whatever-you-want-to-call-it: don’t think, just write. Stop worrying about whether what you’re writing is good or bad, whether it goes with the story and fits with the outline. Stop thinking that this description is taking way too long or this chapter should have finished already or where did this character come from or why on earth are these characters being shippy. Just write.

Yes, it’s hard not to stop and try to figure out what’s going on, especially when you want this novel to be as good as your original idea for it was, especially when that one word you used really doesn’t seem right, especially when this wasn’t in the outline at all. Usually, I have to find some way to force myself into this frame of mind. Two ways that I do it are:

  • Word wars or word sprints with other people. I find that competition really helps me want to win and I don’t go back to fix things or stop to think because I want to win.
  • Timed goals with myself. (Ex. “I’m going to try to write 700 words in 15 minutes.”) It’s especially helpful if you choose goals you’ve never achieved before, because it encourages you to really push yourself as hard as you can, with no stopping.

The key is to not stop to think. (Again, don’t think, just write.) If you think about what you’re writing, you’re inevitably going to realize that it’s bad writing, and you’re going to want to fix it. Don’t think. The trick is to trick ourselves into writing without thinking, to keep our fingers moving even when the sentences start to sound like, “Then I met a guy named Bob. Bob was weird. He had weird hair that I can’t describe right now. He liked to eat cake.”

People will tell you to not go back to revise, because you’ll take up time and delete words. The fact is that stopping to think about what to write next will take up just as much time, and the time you waste will cost you just as many words anyway. (Well, maybe not just as many, but still.)

So if you’re struggling with whatever writing you’re working on, all you have to do is remember these four words: don’t think, just write. Actually, don’t even think about not thinking. Don’t think about purple elephants…too late.

And remember, even if you feel completely stuck and at a loss for what to write, you’ve written more than you had before. Be proud, pat yourself on the back, because that really is the most important thing.


How is Camp NaNo going for all of you who are doing it, and how close are you to your goals? Do you have any other tips or tricks on how you get yourself to write? And, most importantly, cashews or peanuts? (Or you can just tell me your favorite kind of nut; that works too. I bet you can’t guess mine…)

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?