#WIPpet Wednesday – Royal Life

I’m slowly getting my writing mojo back! After two weeks of not writing at all, I wrote a 1011-word scene yesterday, and then started going through it An Eventual Happily Ever After from the beginning today, as well as slowly nutting out a plan. I’ve also been reading over what I wrote of it in last year’s NaNo. There are some parts I’ll be able to keep, though changes I’m making in the early part of it will mean that some later parts will have to be changed. So yay! My plan is to work on AEHEA for a while, since that’s what I’ve already got a decent chunk of material on, and also where the inspiration seems to be lying at the moment. I’ll return to Unicorn Love at a later date.

One thing I have noticed while working on AEHEA is that it’s really obvious that I’ve spent a lot of time with Cait and Felipe before, but that Ginny and Peter are new. So I’m going to try doing some exercises with them, character interviews and the like, to get into their brains properly.

There was this other bit that I really wanted to share for WIPpet Wednesday, but I couldn’t for the life of me make the math work (next week is the 13th, though, and I think I can make it work for the 13th). Instead, I have this little piece, which is six lines long in my Word document. Ginny has been missing for about a week now, and Cait is getting more and more worried (yes, this is AMCF Cait; Ginny is her sister).

Cait, for her part, had interviewed some of people they thought might be able to give them information, but she spent a lot of time trying to carry on with her usual royal duties. She was growing increasingly worried that Ginny had gotten herself into some sort of trouble and that they weren’t going to see her again, and she couldn’t even remember the last occasion when she’d spent time with Ginny just as her sister. She didn’t like to think that royal life had affected her that much, but there wasn’t much evidence against it.

This is about the shortest WIPpet Wednesday post I’ve written in a long time, but it’s now early Thursday morning (I was trying to post just before I went to bed and then my Internet wasn’t being co-operative) so I should finish this off quickly. To join in, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and link up with us here. Goodnight all!

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#WIPpet Wednesday and a Mopey #ROW80 Update

Writing? Yeah… I’ve been writing.

*averts eyes*

*coughs awkwardly*

I’ve done that thing again where I determine exactly what I need to do with a story and then kind of freak out about actually going about it. That combined with the fact that I’m reading a good book,  and that everything has to be done by Thursday night because I’m going away for the weekend, and I’ve been staring at a blank page every time I try to do something.

Not to worry though, on my trip to Sydney I plan to pay a visit to the prison where David is sent in Unicorn Love, and even though his time in prison isn’t really gone into in the story, and it’s more the aftermath that’s important, I think that’ll give me some inspiration. It’s actually the home of the National Art School now, but as far as I can tell from the photos on the website, it still looks much the same as it did back in the 1820s-40s when it was built. Apparently some of the classrooms are haunted. I’m glad I’m not a visual artist. Speaking of visual artists, though, I should get onto commissioning my artist friend to draw some Unicorn Love characters for me.

I also have Monday – Wednesday off work because a few colleagues have been telling me to take a holiday, so I’m finally doing that. We’re only getting back from Sydney Monday afternoon, but I’ll have the house to myself Tuesday and Wednesday, so I plan on unplugging the modem, clearing my desk and getting some serious work done then.

With that in mind, I’ll probably return to Unicorn Love for WIPpets come next Wednesday, but for now, another excerpt from An Eventual Happily Ever After. Ginny was knocked unconscious, loaded up in a wagon, and has since come to. She has no idea what’s going on, so she’s trying to find out from the other people there. Theories are rife, but Peter, a guy a little older than Ginny, thinks they are slave-traders from the island nation of Koamwen, whisking away people from Nardowyn who won’t be missed. My WIPpet math is six paragraphs, from adding the digits of 2014 together.

“Why would they think that we wouldn’t be missed?”

“I don’t know about your case. I was an orphan. I was apprenticed to a blacksmith but there was never much love lost between the two of us. I doubt he’d bother putting in any kind of missing persons report.”

“I think my family might… The Crown Princess is my sister.”

“Princess Cait is your sister?”

“Yes.”

Peter looked at her doubtfully. “Forgive me for asking, Ginny, but if the Crown Princess is your sister, why were you sleeping under a tree in the woods in the middle of the night?”

This conversation will change slightly in later drafts because the circumstances of Ginny’s kidnapping are going to be slightly different, but Peter’s question will probably still stand. I’ve once again taken hours to compose this post (at least this time I was doing something constructive, in the form of finally reading Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember It For You, Wholesale”, the short story that the Total Recall movies are [loosely] based on), so it’s time for me to start heading to bed. WIPpet Wednesday is brought to you by the wonderful K. L. Schwengel and you can link up with us here (just post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date). Kait Nolan runs A Round of Words in 80 Days, which you can read more about here. And with that, I say goodnight!

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#ROW80 and #WIPpet Wednesday

Click the picture to go the ROW80 blog

Click the picture to go the ROW80 blog

[please insert your own witty subject line in the header above]

It’s nearly half-past nine here and it’s been kind of a long day, so I’ll try to keep this brief. On the writing front, there hasn’t been too much obvious action this past week, but I have been thinking about my WIPs. It occurred to me that since I pulled out of Camp NaNo, I might as well bring my August goals forward, so the other night I started re-reading what I wrote on the AMCF sequel, An Eventual Happily Ever After, during NaNo last November.

Shan mentioned in a comment on my WIPpet post last week a book called Rock Your Plot, which I decided to make the $3 investment in, and it’s given me a fair bit to think about in terms of both my WIPs (AEHEA and Unicorn Love). I think the thing that really stuck out to me is that I need to really up the stakes in the middle third and into the last third of both stories. So that’s what I’m trying to work out with both of them at the moment. I could probably have made more progress with this if I hadn’t been so lazy (and/or distracted by reading) the last couple of days (actually, last night, I was just plain exhausted; I fell asleep at 7:30, and apart from a couple of short periods of wakefulness, pretty much slept through the night).

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure when I’ll really be able to properly sit down with it again. Choir starts back tomorrow (it’s been a long two months since The Crucible finished; I’m really looking forward to working towards a performance again, even if I don’t have any kind of speaking role in this one) and on Friday I’ll be making my own birthday cake and organising other things for my birthday party, which is on Saturday. Yay birthday! I’ll be celebrating the end of my first quarter of a century. Anyway, so maybe with the new week will come some more steady writing time.
wednesdaybannerAnyways, in the interests of moving this post along, onto WIPpet Wednesday. For those not in the know, WIPpet Wednesday is when a bunch of us share an excerpt from our WIPs that somehow relate to the date and link up here. Our ranks are beginning to swell to the point where I can no longer really get around to everyone and feel a bit bad about it, but I think between us all we manage to give everyone lots of support.

Since I haven’t actually written anything this week, I’msharing 45 words from AEHEA today. My math is 45/2 =… almost 23? Basically I re-read this line the other day and liked it and so I’m sharing it so ner. You may remember a couple of months ago, I posted an excerpt in which Ginny was bemoaning the fact that everyone’s expecting her to get married and that the Royal Family had picked out an ideal guy for her. This it is from the opening scene when she’s whining to Sir Aidan, the Captain of Prince Felipe’s Guard, and also one of her good friends.

Sir Aidan sat down on the bench next to Ginny and gave her shoulder a friendly nudge with his own. “Meet with him tonight. I promise to be here to commiserate in the morning if he turns out to be as awful as you fear.”

And with that, I am off to bed. I’ll try to get around to your posts on the weekend, but as I said, it’s a bit hectic, so we’ll see! Cheers!

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#WIPpet Wednesday –

row80-2So I did a thing on Sunday night. I deleted my July 2014 Camp NaNoWriMo story from the site (obviously I kept the words). There is so much about the story that I need to figure out before I can continue with it, and I would rather not write waffle for three weeks and then fix it. I would prefer to research it and plan it properly, and then sit down to write it, knowing exactly what I am doing.

With that in mind, I’m returning to my old ROW80 goal of working on WIPs in theory for one hour, two nights a week. Sometimes it ends up being more than that on several nights a week, sometimes it’s four half-hour periods over the week, sometimes it’s something else… I don’t really mind as long as I feel I’m doing some solid work each week.

I was on the info desk at work yesterday morning, but everyone seemed to pretty much know what they were doing, so I brainstormed a few things that need considering for Unicorn Love (the title of which is likely to change now that the story has, but I’ll keep referring to it as that until I come up with a replacement) and I actually ended up with something resembling a plan. Well, the first part of a plan. There are still some aspects I need to work out. But yay, plan!

In other writing-related news, I’ve finally got Edy proofreading A More Complicated Fairytale for me! Okay, so he’s only done three pages so far, but he’s being very ruthless (I was a little horrified at first by the amount of red on page 2), so I’m rolling with that. I shall continue to be a naggy girlfriend of the “Oh, you’re beading? You could read some more. Oh, you’re knitting a beanie? Why don’t you read another chapter?” variety [yes, he does both these things], until it’s finished, but at least a start has been made. He tells me that as he is not working Friday, he will do a blitz then.

wednesdaybannerI think that’s about it for a ROW80 check-in, so onto WIPpet Wednesday. You may remember the square-jawed lad mentioned in last week’s excerpt. He and Lexie, my MC, well, neither of them will admit any feelings for the other, so there’s that, but they are also the two oldest in a group of street urchins living on Sydney’s streets in the 1890s. When David is arrested after an alleged robbery, Lexie lies to save herself from also getting in trouble, and David ends up with a prison sentence. (This will probably change slightly, as in my new plan, she’s not actually at the trial and he’s pissed at her for other reasons, but this is what I have written for now).

In this scene, she’s sneaked into the police station where he’s being held overnight (the desk sergeant is old and drunk and thus asleep) to apologise for not being there for him.

Her eyes were beginning to adjust to the dim light but she still grasped the handrail and took her time on the stairs. There was no use ending up with broken bones from a nasty fall. That would help no one.

She reached the cells, and cast the lamp light over the nearest couple. They were empty.

“Who’s there?” David’s voice came to Lexie from the third cell down.

“It’s me,” she said, walking the rest of the way.

David was standing up in the middle of the cell, about a foot away from the door.

“Oh,” he said, and Lexie stopped when she heard the disappointment in his voice. “Come to get your knife back, then?”

“My what?”

“The one you stabbed in my back.”

“What was I supposed to say? ‘Oh, yes, your Honour, I was there, I was his accomplice?

“You could have thought of something that helped me as well as you!”

Poor Davey… If it makes you feel better, she’s going to attempt to change the course of history so you don’t end up in prison for six months…? Aphrodite is still hanging about in the new version of the story, though I’ve switched to calling her Venus, because for some reason in my head, Aphrodite = vain and vacuous but Venus = glamorous and elegant, and that’s what I need now.

Anyways, this post has taken me way too long to type. I’m going to head off now, finish my glass of Baileys and try to have an early night. If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date (today mine was 16 sentences for the 16th) and then link up with us here. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. ROW80 (the writing challenge that knows you have a life) is the brainchild of Kait Nolan and you can read more about, and link up with fellow paricipants, here.

Goodnight!

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#WIPpet Wednesday – Plot twist

On the left is a picture of my yesterday evening. I am a bit poor now, but I can confirm at least that the Bailey’s was a good life choice, and I expect the Pratchett collection will be, too. When I first started reading Discworld, I was really a bit young to understand the satire, and as such enjoyed them on a superficial level, but still found them a bit hard-going. I think now is a good time to get back into it.

Anyway, you know how last Wednesday it was July 2 and I had plunged into Camp NaNoWriMo the day before without really any idea what I was writing, but the story was promising to be a fun, light-hearted thing with Greek Gods and romance and fun times? Suddenly on Monday it found something of a plot and has suddenly taken a turn for the dramatically romantic. Also there is now time travel. And after Camp, this may end up being quite a different story. Possibly no Greek gods. Possibly steampunk. But I’ve gotten quite attached to my romantic leads now, so at this stage I’ll be sticking with it post-July.

So onto WIPpet Wednesday. Today is the 9th, and 9 is a multiple of 3, so I’m going to give you three sentences from Unicorn Love (title is also probably going to change when the story does). In this scene… well, Aphrodite is basically messing with Alex’s head. The third sentence refers to the fact that Alex hailed from Sydney before Aphrodite recruited her as a cupid, a bit over a hundred years ago.

Aphrodite’s gaze wandered around the food court before settling on a man a few tables away. At first, Alex thought the goddess was eyeing him for herself, but then she actually took in his features and felt her stomach drop for the second time in as many hours. She recognised the short brown hair and the square jaw all too well, and for a moment she was seventeen again and back in the Sydney she used to know.

I’ll admit I’m a fair bit behind on Camp NaNo, as I’ve only been getting about 250 words written a day than 500. However, I am focusing on the positive: 250 is better than none at all, particularly when I’m not entirely sure where my story is going and playing it by ear. I also spent most of the weekend cleaning my house because I had guests arrive on Sunday, and they are hear until Saturday. Since one of them is a friend of mine who has now moved to England and the other is his girlfriend, I’m actually spending time with them rather than writing. Since at the moment he thinks the next time he’s likely to be in Australia is October of next year, I’m not feeling too guilty about not writing. They are seeing How To Train Your Dragon 2 tonight, but I opted out, so I’ll get a bit more done tonight, hopefully.

On that note, I might leave off. Edy needs the computer to do some work stuff, and I might indulge in some more Baileys, and write some more, or figure out which of the books in that photo to start reading. To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow correlates (however loosely) to the date, and then join us at the linky. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. The paragraph above is essentially my ROW80 check-in. You can read more about that (“the writing challenge that knows you have a life”) and sign up here. Now I shall be off!

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#WIPpet Wednesday – introducing Unicorn Love

First of all, here is an article about a bunch of famous authors who dressed up as their favourite literary characters. There are photos. This is a thing that happened. Neil Gaiman’s is my favourite (which may have something to do with the fact that Badger is my favourite Wind in the Willows character)

nanowrimo_logoSo yesterday I wrote a big deep and meaningful goals post for the rest of the year. Well, for the next five months, since I have no idea what I’m going to feel like doing after NaNoWriMo. You can read that here. I was feeling really scattered and listless in regard to my writing; I only wrote 2879 words in the entire month of June, and I kept thinking about the stories I’ve started recently and not finished. The more I thought about it, the more upset I started feeling about everything. So I wrote a list, because lists are nice. And I’m feeling much better now.

While I didn’t really go into it in that post, I’m also making sure that I make this half of the year more about me. I’m taking it a bit slower at work (still getting everything done, just not necessarily blitzing through it like I normally would) and I’m going to start eating better, too. Admittedly, the eating better was supposed to start yesterday, but we had a party at work on Monday and there were leftovers, so… yeah. Working on that one. I’ve also got three days off approved for the beginning of August, and Edy and I have spent this evening booking a little trip away for ourselves, which will be really nice. I’ve only had two days off in the five months I’ve been in this job, and we’re entitled to four weeks’ annual leave, so I figured I ought to start using it.

Anyway, so as you may have gathered if you read the other post, Camp NaNoWriMo is a go, though I’m only aiming for 15500 words (500 words a day, easing back in slowly). As such, Afflicted is on hold, and we’ll see if I return to it (I was always calling it a post-show project, and by the time July is over, my group will be working on its next production, so I’ll have probably moved on…). My Camp story is one I found on the Adopt A Plot forum because I actually had no clue what I was going to write. It’s called Unicorn Love and if you want a synopsis, here is my Camp Page, but I’m hoping it (or at least the premise, anyway, as well as the reason for the title) is fairly obvious from the snippet. I’m sharing seven paragraphs for the seventh month but don’t worry, they’re short (fewer than 200 words)!

cupidbreakshisbow

Cupid, frustrated, breaks his bow. National Gallery, Athens, Greece

“I want out.”

Two hands smacked down on the glass desk, knocking aside the nameplate which displayed the name “Aphrodite” in a curly font that would have been considered unprofessional in any other workplace. The tip of a bow swung unsettlingly close to Aphrodite’s head, but she held up a dainty hand and it lost its momentum mid-swing.

The Goddess of Love raised her eyes to meet the gaze of the woman in front of her. Her perfect features creased in an expression of concern.

“Alexis, darling. Whatever is the matter?”

“Am I the only one who sees how pointless this job is now?”

“Alexis, a Cupid’s job is never pointless.”

“Really? Do you even know what it’s like? You’re not down there! You’ve got all this!” Alexis motioned around the glass office. All that could be seen out the windows was blue sky and a neat ring of fluffy white clouds around its base. “You don’t see the couples you brought together splitting up after a month or a week or some crap like that! Finding true love in this day and age is about as likely as finding a unicorn grazing in your back yard.”

Gotta say, somewhat-vacuous-but-secretly-knows-exactly-what-she’s-doing Aphrodite is very fun to write. Some of the world-building to do with the gods and the heaven-as-a-bureaucracy theme will have to be sorted out properly post-NaNo, but for now I’m just having fun with it. Which is to say, I’m slightly scared because I actually have no idea how the plot is going to go, but we’ll see. There were two people in today’s excerpt who will probably end up becoming characters, even if only to serve as padding. But I actually need some more characters from probably tomorrow onwards, and might as well use the ones that have already been foreshadowed, right?

I also had a moment earlier today where I was like, “Wait… Aphrodite is Greek… but isn’t Cupid Roman?!” but I’m ignoring that fact for now. Not even sure it really matters in a story like this.

Anyways, this post has turned into a bit of a mammoth thing, so I will finish up here. If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, just post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow correlates to the date, then link up with us here. We welcome new participants with open arms! 😀 All right, I’m off!

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Cupid image by Tilemahos Efthimiadis used under Creative Commons 2.0. Copyright 2009. Source.