Link

Day 15 – Write a 500-word story for your book’s main character

The full titlle of today’s blog is: Write a 500-word story based on an early memory of your main character that will not be featured in the book. I thought it might be a little long for a title if I put all that into it.

Nevertheless, it’s finally the last day of my blog challenge! It’s been a whole lot of fun writing this, and I have learned heaps about my book that I may not have figured out without doing this. One thing I have forgotten to mention is that my original book actually came in at 44560 words, which I was quite surprised about, and arms me suitably to try and smash that. I also had never really spent a great deal of time working on Nadia’s backstory, and it was all thanks to this challenge that I did do that.

So thanks,  me, for coming up with this challenge! >_> I just high-fived myself…. actually, not really. I’m on the train, and it’s already weird enough that I write on my tablet on the train.

But I digress… After today, I will try and post regular updates about my progress through NaNoWriMo and any issues I come across whilst in its grasp. Expect a few frequent posts next week, since I am on annual leave, but after that it may only be once a week. I have set myself a target of 3k a day next week, so that I am closer to 30k by the end of it, but I have also set a stretch target of 5k on the first few days. I did take time off just for this, so I better take serious advantage of it.

Today’s story, much like the one for Nadia, will not be in the book in any way, so I’m not breaking any of my rules about writing material before the challenge. Hope you enjoy! 😀

__

Toddler Tantrums (408 words)
Shannon wailed. Her tears fell into puddles at her feet. Her gaze was stuck on the glass surrounding her – the remains of a glass of water she had just finished. Her tiny arms barely reached the bench top, so it had sat far too carelessly on the edge.

As her cry escalated, the ground began to shake – a small amount at first but faster as the intensity built. Wind blew the glass shards away from Shannon and she collapsed onto the ground. Her body shook with the mounting quake. Just ahead of her the stove ignited into flames that grew fast and high.

The smoke in the air sounded an alarm.

Everything was too much for Shannon, and she just knew the world was ending.

She could barely hear her name being called, as she clasped her ears and continued to bellow out the most blood-curdling scream.

Her tiny body was lifted from the ground, and her eyes fell upon Rosa.

“Shannon!” Rosa said.

Then Rosa brought Shannon forward and held her tight.

“It’ll be alright,” Rosa repeated over and over.

Her gentle strokes on the back of her hair were warming, but Shannon didn’t calm.

“Shannon,” she heard another familiar voice say.

She could feel their presence, but she couldn’t see anything but Rosa’s back and the mounting flames.

“Shannon, I’m here!”

Shannon turned her head to the left. Her cheek rested on Rosa’s shoulder.

Amanda stood in the doorway, just inches away from the flames.

“Shannon, be calm,” she heard.

Shannon blinked away the tears  and sniffled. Her gaze locked on Amanda’s. The flames diminished until they were no longer there.

The smoke alarm stopped its ringing, and the quake slowed and stopped.

Shannon’s cry ended, but she held Rosa tight.

“Sorry,” she whispered.

“It’s okay, Shannon. Mistakes happen. It’s how we deal with them that defines us,” Rosa said.

Rosa’s weight shifted as something pulled on her skirt.

“Oh!” Rosa said. She lowered Shannon and smiled at Amanda, “When did you get here?”

“Just before, Aunty Rosa!” Amanda answered. “Is Shannon able to play?”

“She sure is! You girls run along.”

Shannon and Amanda grabbed hands, ran out of the kitchen, and past Lydia to get into the playroom.

As they played with their blocks and trains, Amanda laughed.

“They’re talking about you again,” she said.

“Okay,” Shannon said.

“Something about you don’t know your strength. What do they mean?”

Shannon shrugged.

Advertisements
Link

Day 14 – Write a new Author Bio

Today’s post comes after the feedback given from the NYC Midnight and an extremely stressful day at work that followed me home and plagued my sleep last night. Plus another challenging day at work today, so I am hardly in a frame of mind to write. But a promise is a promise.

Before I can post anything further, though, I have to do a shout-out. Today has been 5 years with my best friend, first beta reader and cheerleader, my hubby. It’s been a roller coaster ride filled with floods and surgeries and happy stuff like puppies and promotions, but one thing has been a constant. That’s my hubby. He’s always there, and I can’t imagine a world without him. Love ya, hunny! You’re the best!

Mushy stuff out of the way. Now we can come back to our normal program.

In order to write today’s Author’s Bio, I have used the interwebz to explain what is the best way. Here are some sites that make the process less painful. 😉

10 Tips on How to Write an Author Bio
Knock the Editor’s Socks Off
Writer’s Bio Template
Examples of Professional Bios

Soooo without further ado…

MELONY R BOSELEY

Melony R Boseley is a short and large fiction writer with over 10 years experience writing. She studied music, radio, drama and literature in college and has always been drawn to art forms of all kinds. When she’s not actively writing in her desired genre of Young Adult urban fantasy and horror, she is reading, playing video games and enjoying time together with her super-supportive husband. She’s a Texas girl through and through, but in 2006, she migrated to Australia and now resides in a town outside of Brisbane, QLD. Thanks to this, she has a weird understanding of all things American and thinks she knows equal about Australia, but honestly, she probably doesn’t. Melony has participated in challenges created by NYC Midnight and placed in the top 20% of writers within the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2014 out of over 1000 challengers. Currently Melony is working on her book, The Young Mystic: Bloodlines & Destinies, which will be ready for publication in the year 2016. You can see her work now on her website at melonyboseley.wordpress.com.

_

Yep! That didn’t get any easier! I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to do this Author’s Bio thing again. 😉

Link

Day 13 – Write about the origin of the book

In October 1991, when I was only 10 years old, my homeroom and English primary school teacher requested we all write a story for Halloween that night and then read it in class the next day. I can’t remember where the story came from, and before this day, I had no inclination of writing a word. I was quite happy to just enjoy the written word. So I was surprised that when I sat down to write, the words and story just flowed out of me. With an exuberance that I still share today, I finished the story that night, made a few edits and then gave it to my parents to proof it. I can’t even begin to say how excited I was at the story, and I was ecstatic when my parents shared the same excitement.
That story I wrote was called The House. It’s two main characters were Shannon and Amanda, as they were my first and only friends at the time. I wrote a story about two girls playing baseball in their front yard. They lived across the street from a 200 year old house, and they were just normal kids until something major happened. They accidentally broke a window in the house when a baseball flew into it. They went in and suddenly this old abandoned house wasn’t so abandoned. It turned out that a witch lived there with a ghost friend, and when they entered the house, the witch, Tiffany (a tormentor of my early years haha) realised they were the girls she was looking for. There was a prophecy that they would stop her chances of taking over the world. So she captured them and locked them up. Then she started her plan of taking over the world. She made her ghost companion, Andy (the meanest boy I knew at the time. hah), alive again. While she was taking over the world, a good witch, Kristy (the girl I wanted to be friends with) came and rescued them out of their cell. She explained that they had magic too and it was time to defeat the evil Tiffany. Armed with their power, they came out of their cells. Andy was outside, but he was too busy jumping up and down to be real again. He killed himself by jumping up and down so much that a chasm opened up and he was consumed by oblivion. (I used oblivion in the original story! How does a 10yr old know and understand that word? The girls find Tiffany and defeat her with a fireball from Shannon and some other awesome power of Amanda’s. 

It’s not remotely a scary story, but it had been the most fun I had ever had to that point. I wish I still had this original version, just for the giggles. The next day, I cannot remember if it was well received. In fact, all I can remember is my teacher being worried about me reading it because of its length. It was 5 pages long. But I did anyway, and I was chuffed that I could finally do something to that horrible Andy. I killed him off in my story. haha

After that, I decided it should be a book. So I wrote chapters at school and home. Each chapter was actually like a short story, self-contained and other than being directly after the chapter before, had no real continuity. I was convinced I could be the youngest author ever. The stories were amateurish, at best, and though at the time I thought they were great for adults, they were supremely juvenile.

So when I was 18 I read through the book. It was 20 chapters long, and ended with a final battle against the devil and Shannon being a spokewoman (married with a baby) for the good witches. I laughed at how terrible it was and told myself it would make a great children’s book. For years I toyed around with it, and finally started writing it around 2003. It turned rather dark very quickly, though, so I named it a Teen novel and ultimately finished it in 2005. 

Shannon & Amanda may have a couple elements that remain from the original story. But for the most part, it’s like a fanfiction of that first one. I’m just ashamed that it’s taken me 24 years to feel like I can get it right. 

Link

Day 12 – Tell some Writing Process Confessions

I have a confession to make…

Honestly, I have multitudes.

I’d like to think none of them are groundbreaking and that almost all writers do these things. So today’s post probably won’t shock you. Or even remotely alarm you. I’d gather you probably won’t even raise an eyebrow.

Nevertheless, here are my main writing process confessions…

I’m a Pantser

Okay… half pantser….

For the uninitiated, a pantser is the opposite of a plotter. Some writers plan their book and story to a tee before writing it, ie plotter. Others just sit down and start writing without a plan. These are pantsers.

I’ll identify mostly as a pantser. I just sit down to start writing and see which direction the story goes. But I really wish I could be a plotter. At least with plotting, you know if you’re going off track from your end goal.

So I do a bit of both, depending on what I am writing. For the NYC Midnight challenges, I tend to have a story idea and then I just start writing. For books, I plan my characters and settings, etc. I even give myself an end-goal for each chapter. Like I might write a  miniature outline like this:

Chapter 1 – Introduce Shannon at birth, explain her childhood to now.

Chapter 2 – Leave for summer camp

Chapter 3 – Ghost stories and baseball.

Then I pants the crap out of those chapters when I start writing. If I get an idea outside of my actual writing time, I write it down. But I also take stock in what Stephen King says about notebooks. He doesn’t keep one, as he believes if he forgets an idea, then obviously it wasn’t a good enough idea. I use this for story ideas now, but for current works, I ignore that rule. That idea I get as I lay my head on the pillow can be as good or better than the one I have when sitting in front of the computer screen.

Nevertheless, my plan for NaNoWriMo is no different, and though I’m planning the shit out of all of my book, there is still a high amoung of pantsing I’ll be doing.

I’m a research junkie

I’m fairly certain that I probably have te NSA watching my search history. When I was writing my Round 1 Flash Fiction Challenge this year, I had to look up images of rifles to explain to me what all the bits were. Then I had to research if putting a canister of lighter fluid on fire would result in a bomb. All in the span of 2 hours. I got the answers I was after, but the entire time I was a little worried what might happen.

Nevertheless, the two searches above helped me in my story… for each one individual line about it. I research so much stuff for my stories, and then I either don’t use it or use a very small amount for it.

When I was writing my brewery ghost story for round 2 of the challenge, I watched 3 videos on how beer was made. It was super interesting, and I gleaned a lot of information from it. buuuttt… I only mentioned two elements in the thousand-word story. Lauter tuns and hop plants. Hours of research to use words I had heard before, but didn’t really know what they were.

This doesn’t count the untold hours spent on Wikipedia and Google looking up stuff that I actually never use.

None of this should be a shock. I’m pretty sure this chart captures exactly what I’m talking about. Writers automatically thirst for knowledge, and the internet has given us the ability to learn a lot in a short period of time.

I’m guilty of writer’s ADD

I really wish I wasn’t. I constantly have a dozen stories in my head that I have either began writing or began the planning process. Other than my young mystics, that have 4 books circling my mind, I have a high fantasy book that I have been developing for almost 15 years now. It’s filled with fantastical creatures on a quest to stop the evil Malucz from destroying the world, etc etc. It’s more of a children’s book that will turn young adult just because I have a tendency towards dark themes.

I also have 5 stories that I want to write, but just haven’t had time to. And then I have a scifi/dystopian novel that I have been kicking around for the past 5 years.

The problem is that all the time I sit down to write one story and another starts getting written instead. I’ve gotten much better at it recently, but I have a serious case of “I’m writing a story which…”itis. And every time I talk about one, excitement builds up to get it done.

I guess the good thing about this is the fact that I won’t be running out of ideas any time soon. 😉

There are probably heaps more, but these three are the biggest. 4 days to go and only 3 more blogs after this. I can see the finish line! Hooray! 😀

Day 11 – Write about the common themes of your book

It’s so close now! I mean, when I first started this challenge it was 15 days, and now I effectively only have 5 more days of posts before it starts! Na..nano….nanowrimo! Woo! haha I don’t sound overly excited, I hope. 😉

Today’s prompt explores the themes of my book. My young mystics have a lot ahead of them and behind them, as well, with their family histories taking centre stage as well.

Which brings me to the main theme

Destiny

No. Not the game – though I do play it and plan on playing it tonight before bed. A theme of destiny generally shows that the characters are forced on a path due to a plot device. In a way, I’m bending the rules of destiny. Up until now it seems the girls have been placed in a path of fate, but they shape it from this point forward.

For Shannon, she is told she is destined by two competing forces. Her ancestry is one, and that of those she holds dear in her present. For Amanda, she is part of a long line of mystics with a horrible curse on them. She is destined to share the same curse.

These destinies drive them forward, but Shannon & Amanda are not going to let it dictate their futures.

Death & Loss

Shannon lost her mother at birth, while Amanda lost her father before she was even born. Lydia lost her parents, husband, and son. And that’s just before the book even starts. Neither Shannon or Amanda know what it’s like to have that parent in their lives, so they deal with the loss in a different way to Lydia. Lydia can be seen as cold or unfeeling, because she simply developed a tough outer layer.

Fear

Shannon and Amanda both have a lot to fear in their story. Sometimes fear is just manifested from the unknown, and a lot of that happens for them. The world they are suddenly thrust into is an unknown. But further to that, is that fear that they have unwittingly unleashed a dark force onto the world and must battle something with the capacity to take those they love. This fear drives the girls, and it is their capacity to deal with this fear that will inherently determine if they can succeed or fail.

___

These are the main themes of my book, and I would be loathe to add any others as these are all three themes that could drive just a single book each. My poor main characters. They have no idea what is in-store for them. Although, I guess that means I have no idea what’s in store either, since they will drive the story more than I ever will. 😉