I Won Camp(!) + Discussing Battle Song’s Problems & Positives + Too Much Parenthetical Commentary

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Photo by samsommer on Unsplash–thank you!

Okay, so my Camp NaNoWriMo goal was less than any other NaNo goal I’ve had in the 4.5 years I’ve done it (only 20,000 words). But it’s been over a year since I won a NaNoWriMo event, so just winning felt awesome and like I could do amazing things.

Screenshot 2017-08-01 at 4.16.21 PMLook at my lovely chart…. Clearly, I did not do very well during the first half of the month (partly because I went on vacation for an entire week), but I pulled in by the very last day. (Go procrastination!) Not quite as awesome as the NaNo where I wrote 12K the last day to win, but still pretty great.

Also, this draft (rewrite?) is turning out much better than the first one–and also very different. It’s become more emotional (I hope) and a lot more centered on war and fighting and the results of that/how that affects people. But also still about family and religion and love and all of that fun stuff. (Not sure if I told you this, but there’s an actually semi-decent synopsis/blurb on the Battle Song page! *nudges you to check it out*)

But there’s still some stuff that I have yet to figure out. My biggest problem right now is figuring out what exactly Amrya traded with the sea witch. You see, the whole idea of this novel came about from the idea that the little mermaid traded in her beauty instead of her voice. But then…that didn’t work. It didn’t affect the story at all because it’s not about beauty or about a society that really cares about beauty.

So then I decided that she was going to trade out her fighting skills, but that didn’t work because when I began writing this second draft, Amrya’s personality changed a bit. Rather than liking being a warrior, she hates fighting and killing but feels honor-bound to do it. So giving up her fighting skills was not going to challenge her enough.

When I wrote the scene between her and the sea witch, I had her trade some heartscales, which are like tokens of war + mer currency, which worked but also doesn’t affect her after she becomes human.

Now I’m wondering, should I just have her lose her voice like the original? It would better follow the original fairy tale narrative, and I think I can make it work and still have decent character development, but I still don’t know if it will affect her enough. The story isn’t about not being able to communicate; it’s about not wanting to fight. And though having her lose her voice could work, I’m afraid that it’ll detract from the point I’m trying to get across.

(What is that point? you may ask… Well, probably something along these lines: life has value + war is sometimes necessary + family is important + faith + true love and friendship + something else maybe? But that’s what it seems like it’s heading toward.)

So…what do you think? Do you think that it’s okay to have her not trade anything that really affects her (considering that the part that really affects her is that she has to marry one specific person)? Should I have her lose her voice at the risk of it sounding like it was just put there because of the original fairy tale or would it work because it’s from the original fairy tale? Or maybe she just loses it partly (like only the magic part or only for a certain amount of time)? Or do I need to find something else entirely that would make it hard? I don’t know, but I just really need someone’s opinion besides my own.

Okay, we’ve talked about my issues with Battle Song; what about the good parts? Well, there are actually quite a few.

1. The mer culture decided it wanted to be something different and it was awesome. Like, it’s still the same basic warrior clan idea thing, and there’s still a lot I have to develop more fully, but there’s magic that’s awesome and relates to singing! (Points for reference to the little mermaid’s voice being important.) And I kind of figured out why they’re fighting…which kind of leads to the next point.

2. The big problems with the mers got figured out and incorporated into the plotline! The problems were:

  • Where did the mers come from?
  • Why don’t they have immortal souls while the humans do?
  • Why are they always fighting?
  • And I also figured out why the humans are fighting, so points for that too!

And I can’t tell you the answers (because spoilers) but they’re pretty great and are actually important to the plot.

3. The minor character becomes more important. So in the original, after the little mermaid saves the prince, some girls from a convent/temple find him and he thinks one of them was the one to rescue him (and the little mermaid can’t tell him otherwise because she can’t talk). Of course, he thinks he’ll never see her again (she is in a convent, after all), but–surprise! Turns out she’s a princess from a neighboring kingdom, just put there to learn “every royal virtue.” And then the prince falls in love with her and the little mermaid turns into seafoam and that’s the end.

Anyway, this princess (Malena is her name) made a brief appearance in the first draft of Battle Song, but she becomes much more important in this draft. Not only as the character from the original fairy tale but also as Amrya’s friend and the one who introduces her to the religion of the island (which I just now realize should probably get a name). And I wrote a scene with her yesterday and I learned some deep stuff about her and she’s a great character.

So yes, I have been having fun with it (despite all of the struggles)! Somehow I doubt I will finish this first draft before the end of summer…but I do want to keep writing every day and make this story as awesome as it can be!


let’s talk!

How much do you think I should write this August? 30K? More/less? And please help me and give me some advice for what Amrya should trade! (Or at least commiserate with me and offer me chocolate?) And what did you write for Camp NaNo (if you did)? How did it go? And have you ever read the original little mermaid fairy tale, and what did you think of it and its ending?

Also I hope you enjoyed the rambling because I did and I will probably ramble more about stuff in Battle Song, hehe.

Dragons + Viking Culture + Middle Grade = Camp NaNoWriMo

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That’s right, friends, Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner (a.k.a. tomorrow), and today I’ll be sharing my novel idea with y’all!

As you can (hopefully) tell by the title, it’s a middle grade novel with dragons and a Viking-era setting, and what you didn’t know is that it also involves three banished children and a miniature, snarky dragon.

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I wrote those runes in on this picture; it means “dragon novel” in Nordic runes. The picture is a pretty good representation of a drake as well…


Who are the characters?

MIKAEL

Mikael is the main character. He’s quiet and creative, and he carries around a sketchbook with him. He has a big family and sometimes goes unnoticed, so he wants to become someone great that people will appreciate.

ASTA

Asta is the daughter of wealthy parents, and she’s extremely intelligent. She sees the world in a very direct and clear way, and she uses that to her advantage in order to get whatever she wants.

IZAK

Izak is a bit of an outcast compared to the other two. After his mother died, he and his father have been on their own. Consequently, he’s spent a lot of time out in the wild and knows how to survive.

LOKI

Loki is a drake (miniature dragon) who can talk and uses his clever wit to insult anyone around him. When that doesn’t work, he’ll bite them. He can be very influential and charismatic when he wants to be, but making jabs at other people is much more fun.

(I had a drawing of them, but Izak was drawn wrong, and the clothing was inaccurate for the time periods, so you don’t get to see it… Hopefully I can draw another one soon to show you!)

 



What’s the story about?

Well, here’s my synopsis:

The coming-of-age ceremony requires three children to work together to complete tasks, but even quiet Mikael knows that it’s not all about learning how to work together. Those who win are awarded with respect that no other child would receive–and with the loud, inconsiderate Izak in his group, Mikael is less than happy with their chances.

So when Asta, the third and cleverest member of the group, suggests taking one of the talking drakes with them, Mikael agrees, even though it’s not allowed. Everything falls apart during the competition, and when the drake is found with them, the three of them are banished for a week–the three children and the drake, Loki.

Away from their home for the first time, they find out what lies beyond the cliffs–runes and ruins that lead to secrets that have lain hidden for hundreds of years.

They must work together and develop friendship in order to uncover the deepest secrets and stop the forces that are combining against them.

It’s all very friendship-y and touchy-feely, but hey, it has a good message for middle-graders, right?

I’m very excited to write this! It came about partially because dragons but also because I wanted to write something for my younger brother. It should hopefully be short and sweet and maybe with a hint of plot twist



¡Háblame! (Speak to me!)

What do you think of the novel? What is your project about for Camp NaNo? Are you ready to write like crazy tomorrow? Do you like dragons? (If you say no, something drastic might happen…) What does your candy stash look like?

P.S. Because of this post, I’ve decided to try increasing my blog’s readability. I think my post is definitely more readable than others, but I feel like my voice has faded and this post was not as exciting as it should have been, since I love this project. Feedback? I would love to find a good balance and improve my blog.

P.P.S. If you are wondering where I’ve been, I went on choir tour (much fun!) and then I’ve also been procrastinating/frantically doing homework in the wee hours of the night/stealing the books my mom is reading/occasionally writing, all instead of blogging. Sorry?

Spotlight #4: A Novel for Sundays

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In Monthly Dares: January 2017, I mentioned that on Sundays I was writing a different novel than Enhanced in order to try to honor the Sabbath more, and today I shall be talking about that novel!

The decision not to write my normal novel on Sundays came…I don’t know, a year or two ago, when I was doing NaNoWriMo. I decided that I wanted to not have to think about it or worry about it on Sundays, and just go to church and spend time with my family. Sometimes, it’s hard not to write when the characters are crowding my head, but I haven’t done it since then.

However, doing the 365k challenge this year posed a problem…if I was to write 1000 words every day, that meant I’d have to write a thousand words on Sunday as well. And so I found this novel that I’d written a prologue and part of a first chapter of beforehand and decided to continue it this year. (See, that way, it doesn’t count as starting a new novel, so I’m not breaking any resolutions.)

It’s a contemporary romance about this independent, stubborn girl (well, adult) named Scarlett, and some of the challenges she has to go through with her faith and life. I’ve read a lot of romances by LDS authors, and while some of them touched on the subject of their faith, I’d never really found one that really showed the progression of faith and how that changed the character–they were all just about the romance.

So this novel was born from me wanting to write something where the main character has to really go through some big spiritual development, with some romance on the side.

Basically the idea is that Scarlett has been running from her life for the past year or two because of a lot of really hard things that all occurred around the same time, and she just felt like she had to get away.

One day, she finds herself back in her home state of Utah, in a little town called Heatherfield, where her old car (lovingly called Miss Must) breaks down in front of a box of zucchini and a house for rent.

A series of “coincidences” occur, and Scarlett finds that everything has fallen in place for her to settle down for a few months in Heatherfield. Throughout her time in the little LDS town, she has to show her resilience and be humbled, to give up her pride and fears and trust in the Lord–and those around her.

It’s about her spiritual journey and how she herself improves, and has to give up things, and try new things, and fix her mistakes, and…I’m really happy about it. I don’t know yet what specific things are going to happen to her, but I love the concept of the novel and that I can include my faith and testimony in it, which is so precious to me.

Since this is a Spotlight, I’m going to include a little excerpt here of one of my favorite parts that I’ve written. It’s by no means polished, but I love its message.



All the way out of Heatherfield, my mind was drawn back to Lane and that old house. It wasn’t that either had been particularly special, but…it was just nice to talk to someone normally again.

Missy started stuttering as I drove past the church. “Don’t you dare break down again, Miss Must.”

Even with me threatening her full name, Missy still shuddered to a halt, just in front of the church where I’d prayed earlier.

I leaned my head against the steering wheel and closed my eyes. “This is it. Next time I can get to a car dealership, I’m going to buy something better than you,” I muttered to Missy.

After I let the threat sink in, I tried the car again. Nothing. I then tried to appease Missy, telling her how much I appreciated her, but nothing worked. What was it Lane had said he’d done? Something about the engine…or maybe the battery? I couldn’t even remember.

I’d learned in primary to pray in situations that seemed hopeless, so I figured it was worth a shot. Heavenly Father, please help Missy to start again so that I can leave. Thank you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Nothing. Of course it hadn’t worked. It wasn’t like any of my other prayers had ever been answered; why should this one, the smallest of them all, be the one He listened to?

I looked out the window again at the church. On the other side of the street, just an hour ago, I’d sat there and prayed for an answer. I hadn’t seen a vision; I hadn’t heard a voice. I wasn’t even sure if the Spirit had said anything.

But five minutes later, Missy had broken down just in front of Lane’s house, where he’d shown me a house that should have been on sale but the owners were considering renting. And now, just when I was about to leave Heatherfield, Missy had broken down again.

Heavenly Father…? Maybe I shouldn’t even have to ask you this, but…is this the answer to my prayers? Am I supposed to stay in Heatherfield? Is this where I’m supposed to be?

I hadn’t even said “amen” when I felt something a little indescribable. I hadn’t felt it in a long time, the sense of warmth and complete peace that filled my heart, emptying my mind of all its doubts. The Spirit.

Thank you, I whispered to my Father.

Mermaid Clans, Fairy Tales, War, and Adorable Princes (a.k.a. my NaNoWriMo Novel)

It has clearly been too long since I last posted, but I have been busy. (And also procrastinating, but let’s just focus on the busy here, hehe.) Anyhow, I’m back today to ramble for a little while for the novel I’ll be writing for National Novel Writing Month this November!

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is who are you child, it’s where you try to write a novel in a month. Obviously. If you want more info, head on over to http://nanowrimo.org/

Butttt my novel! Let’s talk about that. It’s called….drumroll please…Battle Song. And I’m sure you’re wondering what it’s about, and, to be honest, most of it’s in the title.

I actually did talk about it a bit in this post, which also had this picture I drew:

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Of course, at that point I didn’t know I’d be writing it for NaNoWriMo, and it’s more developed now, so I’ll just give you a quick summary right now. Basically, the idea is a retelling of The Little Mermaid where the mermaid loses her beauty rather than her voice, and also where the mermaids are a warrior society.

This idea has been developed more and I just want to ramble a little bit more about the stuff I’m really excited about, mentioned in the title.

Mermaid Warrior Clans

I am so happy about this. The MC is named Amrya il Osamarii, from the Osamarii clan. Basically there’s these huge family clans/tribes and they all war among themselves because…well, because I can’t resist having fighting or war in my stories. I just can’t. I’m pretty sure that there may also be something with some of the tail scales being valuable or increasing your position in society…but yes, they’re all warriors, including Amrya.

The reason I love this besides the whole warrior thing is that we get lots of new culture with a clan thing rather than a typical nuclear family, and there’s also going to be a strong theme of family. Amrya has five older sisters (or maybe only four, I can’t remember…), and one of the main points in the story is about her mother who died a while ago.

Her mother’s death is especially important because in the original Little Mermaid story by Hans Christian Andersen, the whole reason (besides love) the mermaid becomes a human is in order to have an immortal soul (which, of course, Disney took out) rather than turning into sea foam. So the whole sea foam/immortal soul/life after death is going to come into play in the novel, which I’m really excited for.

Fractured Fairy Tales

Okay, I just love fractured fairy tales and retellings and all that fabulous stuff. I’m just going to fangirl over those until the end of my days. I adore Ella Enchanted and also there’s some great ones by Jessica Day George that I read recently, and if you have any recommendations of adorable and awesome fairy tale retellings, please tell me.

I think it’s so interesting to see how many different twists you can take on one story, and I especially love the twist I’m going to be using. It’s going to be more about falling in love because of what you say and how you act and actual friendship rather than the annoying “love at first sight” stuff. Which’ll be great. And just people who are able to be actually in love and don’t just care about beauty. (I’ll probably talk about this more in the adorable princes section.)

And then I’m so excited to be writing a fractured fairy tale just because I get to include all of these extra little tidbits from the original story. Like, the palace is a yellow-ish color, and there’s a river thing that runs under the prince’s balcony where the mermaid watches him which, you know, isn’t creepy at all, and the girls who find the prince after the little mermaid has rescued him are actually part of a convent. There’s all sorts of cool reference things that help develop the culture, and I’m very excited.

War

I told you before, I can’t resist including a war in my novels. And just because continuous battles between the mermaids isn’t enough, the humans are also in a war. Is it bad that I’m already fangirling over this? And this is made so much better because the prince that Amrya is trying to get to marry her is also trying to deal with a war and generally just annoyed with her because of that. But since Amrya has grown up learning how to fight (and more than that, underwater, where it’s so much harder because of the water resistance), she gets to show off her sweet skills and totally be better than him. It’s wonderful.

Adorable Princes (who I just want to hug because they’re great)

This is possibly one of the things I’m most excited for. I always fall for romances with princes. (Ella Enchanted again.) They’re just my favorite, especially when the princes are so cute and sweet and just the perfect gentlemen.

And there are two fabulous princes in Battle Song. I can’t wait. I haven’t really developed their characters yet, not like I have with Amrya, but I know the basic idea about them. There’s the older brother (and the fact that they’re brothers makes this even better because siblings are fantastic), and he’s the crown prince. He’s a little arrogant and rude but I still love him so much because arrogant princes are so dramatic and fabulous. He also happens to be the one Amrya saves from drowning and also makes the deal with the sea witch to marry, but no way does he want to marry her.

But, there’s also the younger prince who is so squee-worthy because he’s one of the perfect gentlemen kind of guys. And he becomes Amrya’s friend and they’re adorable and sort of fall in love, all while Amrya’s trying to get the other prince to marry her before he marries anyone else. Which creates this love triangle-ish sort of thing, but it doesn’t really count because we all know who she’s supposed to end up with.

I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but there’s this one scene that just makes me die a little inside when I think about it because of its cuteness. Basically, there’s that whole thing where, because the little mermaid’s deal with the sea witch, every step feels like stepping on knives, right? And, in the original fairy tale, there’s this scene where the little mermaid is hiking with the prince and her feet start bleeding. And so I decided that Amrya’s feet get worse as time goes on from walking on them, and they eventually start bleeding. She tries to hide it from everyone, but eventually the younger prince finds out–and basically adorableness ensues because he’s worried about her and gahhh the damsel in distress and valiant knight thing always get to me.

And the best part about the younger prince is that he loves Amrya even though the sea witch took away her beauty, because he knows who she is inside, and that’s what he loves. Which is exactly the kind of guy I want to marry me.

And one more thing that makes me excited and also a little nervous: I haven’t yet decided whether or not it will end happily. I mean, you look at any other fairy tale retelling, you start the book, and you know it’s going to end happily. But with The Little Mermaid, the original doesn’t end happily. And so you actually have a chance of a sad ending where things don’t work out, and the girl doesn’t get the guy, and it’s not happily ever after.

Which I both hate and love at the same time. I hate it because I want Amrya to have a happy ending and I love ships that work out and fall in love, and that’s how I feel it should be. But that’s also why I love the idea of a sad ending: it’s not supposed to end that way, and you know it. But, that’s how life is sometimes. There’s tragedies and pains and there’s all that feeling and that’s the part of me that wants it to end with the prince marrying someone else and Amrya turning into sea foam.

I’m undecided right now, and it’s possible I won’t even decide until the very end. I think I’m procrastinating the decision.


Anyhow, that was a very long post, but also very fun! Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this November? What are you writing? I’m so excited for Battle Song (if you couldn’t tell). Tell me what you think. Do you love fairy tales as well? Wars? Adorable princes? What are your favorite fairy tale retellings?

I’m Back! ~A Report~

Hello everyone! Remember how I said I was going to write up posts for last week and have them set to post while I was on vacation? Ha. That didn’t happen, obviously…but I’m here now and ready to give you an update on how things have been going for me, writing-wise.

So last week I went on a cruise through the Caribbean which was amazing! The ocean was so beautiful–look how pretty the water is:

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While on said cruise, I didn’t exactly do much writing. Did I finish my weekly writing goal? Ha again. Nope. But I did have a whole lot of new ideas for both my writing and for my blog while I was gone.

Firstly, a long time ago I told you about some plot bunnies I had, and one of them was a Little Mermaid fracture where she traded in her beauty instead of her voice to become human and walk on land? Well, that plot bunny came back with a vengeance. And so…what else could I do, especially since I was next to the ocean? I did a little bit of work on the plot bunny, including some character sketches of my MC (who still doesn’t have a name).

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Isn’t she just so beautiful?

Here’s another quick sketch of her looking off towards land:

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Her tail looks really weird in that one…I wasn’t sure how to draw it, but hey, it looks better than my first attempt at drawing a mermaid (which I will not be showing you).

And then I did a little bit of worldbuilding because that’s my favorite, and I decided that the race of mermen were not peaceful, and actually warred against themselves a lot. The greatest of warriors are raised up higher than all the others, and the MC is pretty darn good at fighting. So there’s this picture too:

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I’ll admit I didn’t exactly convey the seriousness and gravity of that merman dying in the corner…because really I just wanted an excuse to use pretty colors and draw the ocean. So it’s a happy picture of the MC killing someone. Yay.

Anyhow, that’s mainly the extent of my work on that plot bunny. Aside from that, some other things I thought about while on vacation:

For one thing, blindness. One of my uncles (who I’d never really met before) on the cruise was blind, and it really got me thinking about the little things that a blind person would have to think about. (It was especially interesting since in my first draft of Enhanced, Meryn was blind, and though she’s not now, she might become blind sometime in the series.)

My uncle sat next to my family at dinner, and one of the first interesting things that I noticed was that my aunt told him what each person had ordered for dinner. As I thought more about it I realized how frustrating it would be not to see something as simple as that. Having sight I never really took note of that, but it helped me realize how much I love to see details and little things like that. So it gave me a bit of a greater perspective on that, though I still can’t comprehend how hard it would be.

This also spurred on the idea of doing another “In My Characters’ Shoes” thingy (I did one a little while ago on Leaving Home), but this time on blindness. I’d wear a blindfold for one day or something…the one thing is I’m not sure how my family would react to that. I think they might laugh at me…but the insight is worth it, right?

I also want to do a Characters’ Shoes thingy on princess-y things or something, like embroidery, since you always hear in books about how hard it is to embroider/how much they don’t like it. (Actually, I have embroidered before, but it’s been a really long time and I’d like to try again.) I’m not sure what other princess-y things that I should do for it though…if you have any suggestions please tell me so I can do lots of fun princess stuff.

Oh, and I want one about swordfighting and other medieval stuff. (I thought it might be fun to try to clean something with whatever kind of soap they used in medieval times and see how hard it was.)

As far as other insights, spending time in the ocean was cool. I got to go swimming snorkeling and pet stingrays and go parasailing, all of which were awesome. The water is so pretty and so blue. In the shallower parts it’s aqua and turquoise and semi-green, and when you get farther out it’s this deep, rich blue. It’s just beautiful.

And under the water is even more beautiful. There’s all these fish, and this pretty green grass growing from the ocean floor, and by the coral reefs there are gorgeous plants and tons of fish in different sizes and colors. It really is a whole new world down there.

I don’t know if there’s anything else other than that that I wanted to talk about… Basically I didn’t do a whole lot on the writing I was supposed to be doing, but I did get a lot of inspiration and ideas and it was just awesome.

Hopefully next post I’ll actually have something other than random updates for you (as fun as these are). And maybe I’ll actually do some of those blog tags I need to finish…*nervous laughter*


How was your week? Have you ever been to the ocean? I thought it was amazing and I definitely recommend it (although saltwater in your eyes is not a fun experience, so don’t do that). Did you find any of my insights insightful to you? Ooh, do you have any ideas for what I should do for an “In My Characters’ Shoes” post (be it ideas for the princess one or a totally different one)? How is your writing going? Do you have any new ideas? Tell me all about it!

Blogging Evaluation Thingy

I didn’t know what to title this, so…yeah, it’s a “thingy”. Lately I haven’t been having too much inspiration for blog posts, and while it might just be doing Camp NaNo with Cryonic that’s been stealing all my creativity from me, I want to take a look at how I’ve been doing blogging–and mainly, what you’d like to happen on it.

First off, I want to talk about some of my blogging accomplishments! One of them is just starting a blog in general. I always thought it would be cool to start a blog, but when I actually started it, it was even cooler than I imagined! One of the biggest reasons for this is because of you. At the beginning I was kind of just amazed that people would want to read what I’m writing. Now, I have more than 900 views, I’ve written 35 posts, have 19 followers, and 423 comments! That is amazing, and it’s all because of you. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself some chocolate.

And since you’re reading all of this stuff, I’d like youopinion on what you want to see on this blog. Obviously, you won’t be forcing me to do anything, but I’d like this to be enjoyable for both of us.

So, what have you liked/not liked so far? What would you like to see more/less of? To jog your memory, here are some of the things I’ve done blog posts about:

  • Writing stuff related to music stuff (I feel like I haven’t done one of these in forever)
  • Short stories/poetry/other writing-y stuff
  • Advice and stuff I’ve learned about through my current writing projects
  • Randomness (blog tags, random facts about me, etc.)
  • Character interviews
  • The occasional ramble about my novel/plot bunnies I’ve had
  • Book review
  • Annnddd…I think that’s about it, actually.

Also, are there any things that you would absolutely love to read about that I haven’t really done yet? (Or just things you’d like to hear, that works too.)

So it’s sort of an evaluation thingy for myself. I accept constructive criticism and suggestions as well as praise and would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my ramblings!

Science Fiction vs. Fantasy

A year or two (or three) ago, my dad gave me a book called How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. I didn’t exactly read it, but I did start it, and the entire first chapter was about how a writer needed to choose whether they wanted to write sci-fi or fantasy and then stick with that because publishers weren’t going to let you do both. (At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s about. My memory is a little fuzzy.)

I didn’t really think much about that, because I already knew–I was a fantasy writer. I grew up reading–no, devouring–fantasy books by the hundreds, and my foundation was fully built on them. My reading of fantasy books vs. sci-fi books was at least 100 to 1. So it was fairly obvious that that would be what I would write.

The only thing is, recently all of my ideas have started to lean toward the science fiction side of things. There’s the epic sci-fi, which is several books of sci-fi, first of all, and the last few short stories I’ve written are also sci-fi. Then I keep having novel ideas that are sci-fi, like Alpha Star, which is a sci-fi with intergalactic space travel, where a mother has to save her son who was taken from her.

Pretty much, all of my ideas that used to be fantasy related are now all slowly turning to be science fiction related.

I’m kind of thinking the only reason I want to write sci-fi is because it’s another “fantasy” to me, another place where I can create different worlds (discovered by space travel), different creatures (aliens), and a different “magic system” (technology). It’s certainly not because I know about science and have read hundreds of sci-fi books.

However, I don’t just want to give up fantasy and move to a new genre. I do still have ideas for fantasy novels, and I do still want to be a fantasy writer…partly.

So what do you think? Should I just write in one genre? Do I need to have read as many sci-fi books as I have fantasy to write it successfully? And is it possible for a writer to successful publish in multiple genres, or should they just stick to one?

I think I’m going to keep my options open for now, but I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject.

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!

Chasing Plot Bunnies

I think the story gods are out to stop me from writing Zel or something, because they’ve been sending way too many plot bunnies my way this past week. And strangely, half of them are about fractured fairy tales. So. I need to work on my Zel novel, so I figured I’d throw the essence of each plot bunny down here so that I can have it later. And so I can, you know, let the bunnies go. For now.

Plot Bunny #1: I’m still not sure what the definition of “suspension” means in Chemistry, but the word, along with a cool picture of a helicopter blowing dust into the air, gave me an idea. It’s a sci-fi screenplay called Suspension, even though I’ve never written a screenplay before, and my sci-fi isn’t very scientific. Pretty much, it’s about this people who have figured out how to suspend time in a certain area. And…that’s about all I know. I tried writing the first scene, and heh. I’m really bad at screenwriting. But it was fun anyway.

Plot Bunny #2: I was thinking about coming up with an RP (roleplay) for the YWP NaNoWriMo site, because…it sounds fun. Anyhow, a plot bunny came to me and named it Bloodstone, and it’s a semi-typical fantasy thing with a party of adventurers and such. After all, it is a roleplay.

Anyway, the premise of the story is that there was once this legendary tale of demon made of fire with soulless black eyes who terrorized the land of Eriilaen, and the best warriors of the time fought it and, along with some magic, managed to trap the demon inside a crimson stone–the bloodstone. Since the demon was still able to speak to people through the stone, it was given to the elves for safekeeping, as they were less likely to become corrupted through it.

But then the bloodstone disappears from the elves’ safekeeping, and the characters are called to go find it. (There’s other stuff too that I won’t put here–I’ve been spending way too much time on this plot bunny, but that might be okay if I actually decide to do the roleplay.)

Plot Bunny #3: I actually had this idea a while ago, but the plot bunny came back to me with a vengeance, and told me to write the story of The Little Mermaid. Only, in this version, the mermaid is given a choice to either keep her voice, or her beauty, and she chooses to keep her voice and give her beauty to the sea witch. I also want to follow the original fairy tale in that she has to marry the guy instead of just kissing him. (However, it will probably still have a happy ending, because I like happy endings.)

I haven’t decided yet, but I’ve been thinking that the mermaid might not really want to fall in love/have already fallen in love, she might just want to explore the human world and see what it’s like. She didn’t want to have to do the whole love thing, but since love is one of the strongest magics in the world, that was the only way she was going to stay human. I don’t know about that though.

This idea interests me a lot, because I want her to fall in love, and someone to fall in love with her, without her having to be pretty. I understand that looks are important sometimes, but when people say things like you have to be attracted physically to one another to fall in love, it kind of bothers me. What happened to stories like Beauty and the Beast? And what is that sort of statement telling to girls nowadays who think they aren’t beautiful (though they likely are)? So, I do want to tell this story at some point. I don’t know when that will be, but sometime, hopefully.

Plot Bunny #4: This one actually came today, while I was doodling in the notebooks. It came originally from an idea I had for the world building of Zel–a rainbird. (Which is not the most creative name and I might come up with something later, but for now I’m just calling it that.) It’s this half bird, half fish/amphibian/something that lives in the water. I haven’t decided if they live underwater, or they just have the ability to go underwater.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of ideas on the rainbird. It only flies in the rain. Why? I don’t know, but they’re called rainbirds for that reason. They have really long wing and tail feathers, and when they fly, they look like ribbons. And then something about the rain makes them colorful and rainbow-y, whether that’s just magic or something to do with water and rainbows and stuff like that.

I really liked the idea of the rainbirds, and since I haven’t actually included them in my Zel novel yet, and since I probably won’t because there’s a slight drought going on at the moment, I thought I could create another fractured fairy tale with them. Maybe The Swan Princess, or the one where the girl’s seven brothers get turned into birds. Or some other fairy tale that involves the rainbirds much more than my Zel novel would’ve.

Plot Bunny #5: Lastly, one day I just thought of some random words and wrote them down. I don’t really know if that counts as a full plot bunny because the idea is so random that it has nothing to do with plot, so maybe it’s like…a lucky plot bunny rabbit foot? Actually, that sounds weird. Never mind. Here’s the words:

You must complete the circles…eternity spinning together….everything and nothingness all at once.


 

Have the plot bunnies been trying to infest any of your lives as well? I’m telling you, they can get to be a real problem…