NaNoWriMo

Yes, it’s National Novel Writing Month! The month where I am supposed to be writing new work. Well, as we know, I’m a bit of a rule-breaker, so I sort of am. Granted, most of Consequences 4 is new work, but I’m also rewriting Dark Reign so between those I should have a great opportunity to get the numbers up!

It’s that time of the year when a large group of writers world-wide put their work to the test and get working on what they love – writing.

We’re not mad, we’re not insane, we’re just doing what we love – writing. So if you see someone sitting at a cafe or in a library in the month of November and they’re working on a keyboard, chances are, they’re participating in National Novel Writing Month. There is no monetary reward for this competition – just the knowledge that we have written a novella! A whole novella from start to finish! And it’s achievable. I win most of the NaNoWriMos, but some I don’t.

And that’s it for today – back to the grindstone of vampires and young royal activists!

A New Tradition

So, I’m calling this a new tradition because we’ve only participated in Halloween for about 5 years. And every year it gets better. This year, despite covid19, was even better.

Having said that, I know there are a lot of people who think that Halloween is an American tradition. I also know there are more and more people who understand that it is a celtic tradition and is intended to keep bad spirits away. But I do like the way the Americans have embraced it. Our little street has a great many kids in it and each year they thoroughly enjoy it. After such a challenging year, Halloween has allowed kids and families in Western Australia to go out and enjoy socialising with people they don’t often meet.

Our street, of course, is a precious street. So many of us know each other (yes, our house is the Easter Bunny house) and we all pitch in and help each other and those of us who do up our houses enjoy watching all the kids in the street come around with great grins on their faces and their eyes light up at the scares and the decorations and, not the least, the sweets that we put out. This year, a great many kids got toys in their sweets. Stu wanted to give them something they could keep besides just a bag of lollies – that’s right, most of our lollies were covid19 safe!

To top it all off, our ex-neighbours came and joined our celebrations and helped us to entertain the gaggles of families that came past – I say families because most of our visitors were families. And they arrived in cars! Apparently our street is the best in the neighbourhood and people are actually learning this and passing the word around! I was sooooo amazed when I heard this and so pleased that we can entertain strangers in such an easy manner.

Now, I wonder if we can get best street for christmas lights? We can only try!

Happy Halloween, Blessed Samain and Blessed Beltane to all!

New Tech

Well, we bought a new keyboard and mouse this week. What a difference.

Before I go any further, I have to apologise for being so late with my writing. I got carried away with medication and suffered the consequences. But we’re back on track now, so I’ll be able to bore you more regularly. (Insert laugh)

So back to the keyboard. One of the things we’d noticed was that the last 2 keyboards – one is still good so we’re keeping hold of it for “just in case” – was that they were really loud on the reactions. Stu could hear me typing all the way out in his room! And by Friday night the mouse was travelling all by itself. Well, It was a case of ‘you get what you pay for’ and for $10AU you don’t get a a great deal! So we spent a little bit more this time and this keyboard and mouse are soooooo quiet, it’s amazing!

Any way, I’ve been working on Dark Reign. Consequences 3 is simmering the background and I have no clue what I’m doing for this year’s National Novel Writing Month! But I’m sure something will turn up.

But back to Dark Reign. I took it to work and was reading it on my breaks and found very early on that I had made an assumption. So teasing that assumption out and looking at it from all angles has been fascinating and may solve the issue I felt was in the book.

Push yourself

So, I’ve finished the rewrites to Consequences 3 and it’s being checked over now. True to my word, I pulled up Dark Reign and went over that in word to see what I needed to do and where I needed to do it.

Having done all that, I realised I should have kept notes instead of just reading it. Did I? Noooo, of course I didn’t.

So that’s my tip for everyone – if looking over work that hasn’t seen light of day for a few months, take notes while you’re in it – especially if you think you’ll be using it. I know I’ll do that now. Go back into word but this time I’ll make notes so I know what needs fixing.

Procrastination

So, yes, I’ve been hit by it. I’m supposed to be rewriting a huge chunk but I’m doing everything but.

It’s great seeing what all my friends and acquaintances are up to but it’s not helping me get this big mess sorted out. So I thought I would write about that today.

It usually comes after getting feedback that you don’t expect and you look at that feedback in an objective manner and realise that the person is right. And you need to fix whatever it is that doesn’t seem quite right.

So, I teased the problem out, asked myself what would fix it and ended up relating this book to the two that went before it through the 2 antagonists in each of those books. Which surprised me no end. So, I told myself. Well and good. Let’s get the thing done.

So these new characters will assist the antagonist in this book but before the final confrontation, they will be caught by the authorities. No matter how much they try to break these three, they never disclose their accomplice’s identity until just before that confrontation and then only to tell the authorities that the antagonist is going to turn up there. Nothing else. No name, no description. And that’s because my protagonist in all 3 books managed to kill off the antagonist in book 2 and helped someone kill off the antagonist in book 1. There’s no way they’ll interfere with his plan to take out the protagonist and his cohort. They would rather die than let him live.

But getting that discussion into the 3rd book is the trouble I’m experiencing. And I have to go through a lot of already-existing scenes because there are references that I need to either alter or take out or, even, insert to make this change as smooth-flowing as possible. Because I want my readers to believe that what the antagonist and his party are doing is plausible and for reasons they understand. They don’t have to agree with his reasons, they just have to understand them.

And now I’ve successfully distracted myself again for a further 15 minutes by writing about my distraction. Good one! Oh well, back to it, then.

Writing from an antagonist’s point of view

So, I got some feedback regarding a book and it was very good feedback. So I came up with a concept to rewrite that part of the story and realised I needed to do a side story from his point of view to make sure it would work. Of course, as I usually do, I’ve done a very good job and may have another book for the series. Oh dear.

But I’m still only half-way through the side story and it will take me a while to finish that – the biggest task is yet to come and I’m looking forward to it.

The interesting side of this is that I merged what I’ve written so far with the main book (different file, don’t panic!) and then read it all as one. It is actually working! Which I am pleased as punch about. Mind you, it has been mainly background information and actions and the next part is where the new side of the antagonist interacts directly with the main book. Which means I’ll be writing that side of it and then rewriting the main book so that it makes a lot more sense than it does now. And that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.

I have finally revisited an interesting style of writing – writing with a cat between the keyboard and myself! We swapped tables out and I have our smaller dining table as my desk and Fizzgig is liking it because she finally has enough room to curl up or even clean on the desk between the screen and me. Which means if there are any errors in this typing, please excuse them as although I’m a touch typist it’s been a long time since I’ve typed without looking at the screen at the same time!

Numbness

Okay, before you start trying to guess what I mean by numbness, I’m going to tell you.

Yesterday I went to the dentist and had a wisdom tooth removed. That’s where the numbness comes from. Wow! six needles it took! Just as well my dentist had a tv on the ceiling with coral islands showing. It looked like it was a drone video but it was greatly calming. Because I thought that darned tooth would never come out! It was stubborn!

But, out it came and I am up to eating soft foods and liquids. Yesterday was cold foods and drinks and today was lukewarm. Of course, being the rule-breaker I am, I had scrambled eggs for tea last night. I swear, I let them cool down a little!

Main thing is, apart from the jaw itself being tender for having had to sit in a skewiff position (I swear, the online dictionary says that’s a word and my mum used to use it all the time!) and losing a tooth, I am just about back to normal. I’m not going to have a lot of crunchy things for the next few days but I should be back to full on vegies and toast after that.

I will admit, there was one point that I almost said ‘no, don’t do it’, but I endured it all the way to the end. I will say, though, don’t go on Facebook straight after you get home – the mistakes you make are eye-opening! Now, though? Now I’m going back to Consequences 3.

Investing in yourself

So I’ve decided to invest in myself. I have signed up for an editing course. It’s something I struggle with, I don’t know any other writer who doesn’t, but I decided to do something about it.

It’s an online course and although it’s through an American education company, it’s endorsed by the Australian Medical Association. I know, I know. Weird. But it seems quite comprehensive and I just have to remember when I’m doing the course to think like an American and then when I’m applying the learning to my own work, to think like an Australian. Easy to do?

I’m not really sure. I will find out sometime after I start the course. I could have taken the course that started on 17 June, but I thought that would be difficult to catch up with, so I’ve signed up for the next one – 15 July. That’ll give me time to prepare for it. I am looking forward to it because it should up my skills and hopefully expand my working life to something in the editing industry.

For now, I can ask all to wish me luck! I’m probably going to need it!