Made this for my Facebook page. Let me know what you think. If you’d like to follow my page, click here.
I had no intentions to do Camp NaNo next week. NaNoWriMo last November was supposed to be the only challenging project I was supposed to do each year moving forward. As I pondered away on finishing my novella, Aeva (my current wip), it occurred to me that Camp NaNo can help me finish the story. My goal for the Camp is to revise, to go through the story from the beginning and make sure everything connects and makes sense, to take care of loose plots or unnecessary scenes, and to create a cleaner and tighter storyline. And, as crazy as this might sound, I’m super excited.
Marlowe update. I loved writing this story. It’s still strong in my mind and my heart. Sometimes I will listen to the soundtrack I’ve created for this story and just get immersed in that world. I wish I could begin to revise it, but no-can-do yet. I need a little more distance and a little more time to think on the plot. What I have done is rewrite pieces that have popped into my head begging to be edited. Here’s an excerpt from one of those pieces. This is when Marlowe secretly meets with her friend, Sam:
I enter the dome. The lights are off so it’s darker than the last time I was here. The ceiling lets a soft light in casting a glow into the room. I thought Sam would be here waiting for me, but I’m the first one here. I walk to the center of the room and stand directly under the ceiling. I look up at the curved intricate design of the ceiling which resembles a spider’s web, a web that is both delicate and strong. The design stirs a mixture of emotions in me. It’s beautiful yet imposes power and fear. I take off my helmet. It will record my conversation with Sam if I leave it on and that’s not what I want.
A clanging sound by the cyborg door grabs my attention and I turn toward it. The door slides open and there stands a cyborg—tall, tough-looking, all shiny metal, and strangely beautiful. It comes over to me. I’m about to put my helmet on so if it attacks me I’ll be ready, but the cyborg says, “Mareesa,” and I lower my helmet. The cyborg comes and stands in front of me leaving three feet of space between us as though by some rule it was trained not to get too close. The cyborg’s half-face visor slides away and reveals the same face I saw the other day that resembled Sam’s. “I am Sam, Cyborg-M30,” it says.
He’s being funny so I laugh. “Stop the joke, Sam. Is this your way of telling me you got a big promotion? Must be nice to work in the Cyborg Unit.”
“You are Mareesa Lowenstein,” the cyborg said.
“You have access to my real name too, huh?”
“That is the only name I have for you.”
“I’m fine with you calling me Marlowe.”
A few seconds of silence passes, and he says, “I do not register…Marlowe.”
“Don’t mess with me, Sam. Where are you hiding?” I look around the room for hidden cameras. I’m expecting a door to open with Sam coming through.
“I’m standing in front of you.”
I look at the cyborg. “No. No. No.” I shake my head side to side. I don’t want to believe it. He’s playing me. He’ll stop. He always does. That’s Sam.
“It’s me, your friend, Sam.”
There is a long silence while I look into his brown eyes. They are his eyes. I look at his full face. How did I not recognize him before? I must have been fooled by all the robotic parts. I step closer to him and reach my hand up to his cheek. He leans his head down so I could touch the human part of him. “Sam,” I whisper, “who did this to you?”
I finished my NaNoWriMo story. Not only did I reach the goal of 50K words, I also ended the story. What I’ve learned from this experience is that I’m capable of cranking out a full novel within less than a month. It’s not perfect and it’s basically a super rough and dirty draft but the story is done.
Goals going forward:
- Take a break from Marlowe and work on finishing Aeva.
- Publish Aeva.
- Write new story I’ve been itching to start.
- Continue with first edit of TLS fantasy novel.
- Return to Marlowe and clean it up.
- First edit of Marlowe.
Here is a cut-and-paste from my Nano page with the updated “Marlowe” synopsis (still somewhat rough) and an excerpt. The excerpt is the scene just after Marlowe fights a cyborg that detonated.
I’ve been working along on my “Marlowe” novel for NaNoWriMo and had an inspiration to make a concept art piece for one of the chapters. In this chapter, Marlowe meets her roommate’s boyfriend who has a robotic arm. He is essentially a cyborg but in their world, a cyborg is not a human with a robotic part or two. Cyborgs are more than that.
I made this piece using CS6 and the following images:
Did you prepare for NaNoWriMo? Some do and some don’t and that’s okay. Just write! As mentioned earlier, I’ve prepared but not thoroughly — just enough to know what I hope to write and enough to keep myself inspired and motiviated. Last night, just after midnight, I stayed up until 1am to write a little. I got over 400 words in. Half the time was spent making sure I had my story straight.
In the evening, I was getting nervous about not having my plot straight, worried about who really were my characters, and worried about the setting. Earlier in the day, I saw a post on one of the Facebook groups I frequent. The poster had provided some helpful worksheets for plotting, character development, and scene/world building. I went ahead and downloaded them. She had offered them for free, so I figured, I might as well give them a try. If they don’t work for me, that’s no problem. At least I gave them a try. If they do work, then I’ve found something meaningful in guiding me toward writing better and faster.
I’m glad to say, they worked in my favor. But, to be honest, I think everyone can get something out of these worksheets. I’ve been writing all my life and have my degree in writing. The majority of my classes were all about the story structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution). Even when I studied nonfiction, the same structure applied. These worksheets are simple and easy to follow. I’m not trying to advertise for the designer. I’m just really thrilled that she is offering these for free and they are exceptionally well made. The designer is also a writer. Her blog and where you can download the worksheets is, The Wonderful World of Whimsy.
The way I went about the worksheets is I printed them and read them over. Then, in Excel (because I like having everything electroncially done) I took the information from the worksheets and wrote out my outline. The reason I also do it this way is because I have one main plot and many subplots. My main character and secondary characters all have a purpose. They all have a reason for what they do. There’s a domino effect of sort. I’m writing through one main character who is compassionate and who yearns for the family life and love. She is envious of those who have it but she likes to be around those who have it so that at least she can maybe live vicariously through them until, if ever, she finds that. In order to build that type of emotion, I need more than a few lines. I break the characters’ purposes into blocks so that when or if I lose sight of who these characters are and their purpose, I can toggle to it on my computer and keep moving.
With that said, I hope you are doing NaNoWriMo. And, whether you “win” or not, at least you’ve tried. To quote Tony Robbins,
No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
I should be finishing up Aeva but the new story outline/prep has been taking up all my time.
Today, let’s see if I can put the Pomodoro Technique to use on Aeva and have it at least 80% done.
Last November, I didn’t do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) because I was finishing up my master’s degree. I had wanted to but knew it couldn’t be possible. I’m excited to say, I am able to do it this year.
The first time I did NaNo (2016), I didn’t make a cover and didn’t include a synopsis. I rushed into it. I didn’t outline but did have a pretty good idea on what the story was about. I finished my 50K words, but it was tight. I felt like I just threw whatever I could into the story to hit my numbers per day. In the end, I felt I lost track of the plot and the main reason for the story. This time, I’m outlining to avoid all that. I’m sure there will be moments of the aforementioned, but my hope is to have less of it.
If you are not a member and want to give 50K words a try, go to: https://nanowrimo.org/.
If you are a member and want to be buddies, my member name is, waltzoftheflowers.
My story is a sci-fi dystopian speculative with some cyberpunk. It’s called, “Marlowe.”
The rough synopsis (will likely change):
After the great war, in what was once the United States, a new government emerged. They hired a clean-up company to remove debris and junk to clear out land for homes and farming. This company used machines and robots to assist in the cleaning. The robots are cyborgs: half human, half robotic parts. Cyborgs could only be created by using dead human parts but there are secrets the government doesn’t intend for anyone to learn. A girl named Marlowe will unearth the truth.
The temporary cover:
I have a playlist I’m putting together for my story. Here’s one that I’ve imagined to go along with a scene. The scene is when Marlowe learns that her friend was converted into a cyborg without his consent. He finds a way to talk to her and asks her to turn his switch off (to kill him). She refuses.
I’ve been busy with writing and didn’t get the chance to share this on the blog. My hard copy of the anthology came in last month. I’m excited to finally have one in my hand. The book and the Kindle version are available on Amazon or you can just click here: Realm of Magic Anthology.
The anthology I’m in is getting close to release date. I’m both excited and nervous. Exited because this will be my first published work. I don’t think this feeling will ever get old even with other works I’ll be releasing. Nervous because this story is close to my heart. It’s a fantasy story I’ve been dreaming for a long time…maybe 10 years, maybe longer. There were times when I wanted to trash the story or told myself, “It’s just practice,” but I’m glad I perservered. It’s a great feeling to know that someone cared enough and was interested enough in my writing to want to publish my work. I am grateful to be amongst the other authors in this anthology. It means so much.
It’s been some time since I’ve worked on my fantasy novel. I’ll call it, TLS for now. Reason being, I graduated this past May (the 5th) with my Master’s of Arts in creative writing. My capstone project was to finish my fantasy story, this TLS one, and I did. It was an intense ride and so after I graduated, I took a week to relax. Out from relaxation, I started the first round of editing. It’s been a slow start.
It hasn’t been easy getting back into the mood of TLS. Last week, I spent about four days writing Aeva, the sci-fi outer space novella. Aeva was just in my head. Yesterday, after reading a book by George R.R. Martin, I had the urge to write TLS so I dug in and cleaned up a little bit of dialogue.
Here’s the original:
And, here’s the edited:
I’m happy with the changes but nothing is permanent yet. This is only the first edit.