Thursday, April 3, 2014

The New NaNo Log - Day 3

Today was actually much fewer words - only 1,000 - but I have to leave for an evening commitment fairly soon and it took me to the end of the chapter, which is a pretty good stopping point. Mr. Smiley is going to be gone now for most of the book, which is...kind of nice. I'm going to rewrite the MMC and FMC confrontation scene from the MMC's point of view, which should be very interesting.

  • Not much happened, actually. I have a feeling that a lot of this is going to be cut for the editing. There were some fun conversations, but I feel like they were redundant.

  • Not much happened
But, you will still get your excerpt!

     Gabby backed away from the portal. “This can’t be real. I’m hallucinating. You’re insane, and so am I.”
     “You said you would be willing to go.” Mr. Jackson stood very still, never taking his eyes off of her.
     “It was a game. I didn’t mean it. I thought we were just making conversation.”
     “A custom of yours I never understood.”
     A chill ran through Gabby’s veins. “All those books of yours, written in a mysterious language from far away that had to do with your family history…you’re not from this world, are you? You’re – you’re some sort of space alien, or something. I should go.”
     Mr. Jackson took several sudden steps forward and grabbed her arm. “No, please.”
     She tried to pull away, but his grip was iron. Maybe all his muscles were stronger than normal humans, not just his face muscles. “What? I’m sure you have plenty of capable people on your own planet. You don’t need me. You never needed me."

~ Sophia-Rose

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The New NaNo Log - Day 2

I have been keeping up a consistent pace - I did about another 2,000 words today, and it was a lot more fun. Mr. Smiley is less smiley now, which I guess is a good thing. Chapter Two isn't quite done, but it's going to be fun to finish.

  • I actually had two potential chapter titles: Tea with a Madman and Doorway to Another Realm. Thanks to advice from my cabin, I chose Tea with a Madman and proud of it. That's the sort of thing that I think would catch the eye of someone browsing a Table of Contents.
  • MC and Mr. Smiley play a little game (see excerpt for abbreviation)
  • Lots of fun description
Lowlights: (word?)

  • I didn't have much time to write today, otherwise I probably would have done more.
“What would you say if I told you that you had to go on an adventure to save another world?”
Gabby blinked. The question was even more unexpected, but she answered immediately. “Yes. At least, after I had some time to prepare, yes. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to learn to wield a sword and uncover evil plots.”
With a smile, Mr. Jackson asked, “What if swords were off-limits to you?”
“Still probably yes,” said Gabby. “I could be the mastermind behind a counterplot.” She smiled back, for the first time since the storm had come in. “Is this some kind of game?”
“Of a sort.” Mr. Jackson stood up and slowly wandered toward one of the bookshelves. “How about if swords were off-limits and you had to leave everything you had ever known to visit another world?”
All for today...

~ Sophia-Rose

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The New NaNo Log - Day 1

This was probably the worst I've ever done on a first day - I have only just over 2,000 words under my belt, but I know the dull bits are over because this was Chapter One, which is a rewrite of a rewrite. Ugh.

  • I added a Prologue, which I almost immediately just merged into Chapter One
  • I made Mr. Jackson a very smiley person (not sure if this was good or not, but it was fun!)
Lowlights: (is this even a word? Whatever. I'm calling it this anyway)

  • Most of the rest of Chapter One. It just felt boring to me.
Well, here's an excerpt!
“And your point…?” Gabby didn’t care just what had happened to Mr. Jackson to make him this happy, but his optimism was ruining the mood. “Why aren’t you dry back at home like everyone else?"
"I thought you might like to go somewhere out of the rain, so I came this way to see if you’d like to come to my house for a little while," he replied.
“Um…” Since he had come all this way just for her, Gabby tried to put more thought into tact, but eventually gave up. “I don’t even know you all that well, and I really just want to get home. My parents might be wondering why I’ve been gone for so long.”
This news didn’t seem to faze Mr. Jackson at all. Gabby wondered if his face muscles were stronger than everyone else’s, because she’d never seen anyone else hold a smile for this long.“When we arrive, we can notify your parents.” When she hesitated, he added, “I have food there as well…I have heard you enjoy chocolate.”

~ Sophia-Rose

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What's Happening in Wardiloth

This is just a short post on what's been going on since winning NaNoWriMo 2013, since I've been pretty quiet about the topic recently.

The answer is: pretty much nothing, and here's why -

My enthusiasm has suffered a major - and I mean MAJOR - lag; if you're reading this, you may know about how I struggled with this in November, but back then, I only knew some of the truth. My intrinsic reward was gone, which was definitely true, but I couldn't pinpoint why. Now I know. Here's why. I've been sensing this for a while now. My story Majorly. Some of the characters are kind of messed up, the overarching plot is formulaic, and I have way too many planned main characters. I plan to keep most of them, but I'll need to shake up the series completely to do it.

That means a complete rewrite is in order.

Oddly enough, I'm not sad about it in any way. I'm confident that now that I know what I should salvage and what I should throw away, a complete second (or is it third?) draft will be much better than the previous ones. The themes will be entirely different, but I think this is a good thing. My friends and family were understandably shocked about this decision (how could you just throw away such an accomplishment?) but I'm not throwing it away. The file is still on my computer, and I never plan to delete it. I have, however, removed it from being accessible on this blog.

The story world, by the way, now has an ink and watercolor map - the world also got a complete makeover. Incidentally, my art class now thinks I am awesome.

Comments? Please don't be shy.

~ Sophia-Rose

Sunday, December 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: How and Why I Won

This year's NaNoWriMo was different from what I had expected in many ways. Unlike the easy, early and oh-so-fun win I had experienced at Camp in April, you could say my win this year was almost depressing in several places.

But do I regret the experience? No way!

I had known something was wrong all the way back in October, as shown in this post. I didn't want to plan. I was missing that spark of inspiration that had driven me to revel in the writing of Legends of Light, the book I wrote in the spring. So slowly, out of disappointment, confusion, and anxiety, working on the new book, Ice Quest, fell to the bottom of my to-do list and I found myself staying up super late on Halloween night to frantically do my outline, after, of course, collecting an amazing haul of candy. I admit, without that chocolate, I would probably have lost.

Boom! At midnight, National Novel Writing Month 2013 had begun, and I wrote the opening few hundred words. As much as I loved the opening line (If Etimard's entire existence had to be shaken to the core, he preferred that it not be done over a plate of fresh nut bread), my style felt off. Something about this book wasn't like the last.

At first, my word-count climbed upward at a steady and somewhat manageable pace. My first and second chapters I can absolutely say are some of my best first-draft work yet. However, I reached a snag at Chapter Four. This is a pivotal moment for the series, and I wanted to get it exactly right, since I had been looking forward to it for months. That was my downfall. The words couldn't come out exactly how I wanted them, and I slid into a sort of writing depression that I couldn't climb out of for several days. By then, I was far below the par.

Bribing myself with chocolate, which worked decently well, I wrote about 3,000 words a day until I reached Chapter Twelve. Despite the chapter being a lovely sequence with some great lines from my favorite wizard apprentice, my heart just wasn't in it, and I took a second depressed break, which turned out to be emotionally draining even though I wasn't actually writing at all.

At that point, I believed I had given up completely after about three days of not writing. There was no way I could climb out of this newest sinkhole, so I just stopped writing. I'm not proud of that, but I think getting a break was good for me. If I believed I had stopped writing for the month, I stopped worrying, too.

Soon, it was the day before Thanksgiving. I was in-game on Wizard101, decorating my Wooded Cottage and humming along to the Wizard City Main Theme. I was just putting up the wallpaper when something hit me. I'm still not sure what it was, but I shouted aloud, "WHAT AM I DOING?!? THERE'S ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT!!!" And then I opened up my document, still in the early 30,000s, and started writing.

I wrote 6,000 words that day, with plenty of chocolate eaten along the way. That evening, despite being very drained, I was exhilarated. I wrote only about half a chapter on Thanksgiving Day, which eased up my stress enough to enjoy the party with my extended family.

Then came Friday, the 29th. I'm not sure exactly what possessed me, but I took it upon myself to hit 50,000 words. Or else. If Emma could do it, I could do it, too. So I did. That day, I wrote 10,000 words and won, and there was much happiness and relief that night. It took all day, from about 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, but I did it, and that was my highlight this year. I never knew I could write so well (those 10K words had some of my favorite scenes), so fast, and so much at once!

Here's my graph at the end of the month. I was only above the par for about five days.

It looks rather similar to my cabin stats in the spring, only I won.

So in the end, I had my 50,000 words, albeit in a different way than I had anticipated, but I had won, and that was what I had hoped for all along.

~ Sophia-Rose

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I feel somewhat better after venting; I actually managed to get some planning done. I wrote the blurb for Ice Quest (although it has spoilers for the end of Legends of Light):
It has been over a thousand years since Torvara has seen the light of day, and she finds that troubles in the capital city of Handelan have deeply festered during her slumber. Jormunt, the tyrant who hatched a failed plan to bring down the city’s defenses, has taken the throne, and it is up to Torvara and her brother Etimard from the past to stop him. Meanwhile, Etimard faces troubles of his own as rumors of a mysterious and highly dangerous northern leader spread. While Torvara traverses the perilous path of time travel to find her brother and Etimard works to unravel the northern regime of death, their dangerous paths collide. Soon, they discover that they have only one choice: to gain powers that will end Jormunt’s reign forever, they must embark on the treacherous and legendary Ice Quest.
 I've also written the one-page summary, and I'm actually starting to feel slightly excited again. My plan for NaNo is to write as much of the story as I got up to with the detailed scene-by-scene chart (without it I get completely lost) and fill the rest of 50k with fanfiction, blog posts, random short stories, etc.

~ Sophia-Rose

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


It's October 16th. At this same time of the month in March, I was cruising along in my outline, plotting, worldbuilding, and making lots and lots of blog posts. I was excited for NaNo.

Now? How am I doing on my agenda? Planning is going abysmally. I've drawn out half of the rough pencil outline for Map #1. I've gotten stuck on my outlining on the one-page summary, which is much less than halfway through the snowflake method. I'm not sure I can finish. I still hate my lead characters. As for blogging? Well, I was going to make a post about how NaNo is the most wonderful time of the year, based off the lyrics of the popular Christmas song. I was also planning a post on the intrinsic reward of writing.

The problem is that the intrinsic reward is gone. I feel stressed, sad, and confused. Why am I having so much trouble this time around? I had to drag myself into Blogger to write this post. Even though I've done barely any planning, I feel as if I have a case of severe burnout. I used to be so excited for NaNo. I loved planning, and I couldn't wait for November 1st. Now I dread it.

I don't think I can finish all of this. That means my novel will go unplanned, which practically means it will go unwritten. I have no idea what to do.

I need help.

~ Sophia-Rose