Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween! (and also Happy NaNo Eve!)

Or is it Merry NaNo Eve… Ah well. You get the idea.

But Halloween! One of my favorite holidays! It could be my most favorite if I could possibly ditch Christmas, because as you guys know, I love my scary stuff!  I’m in a spooky mood today, though I might regret that later after it gets dark. >.> For now though, I figure I’ll put down a few hundred words and then retire to playing a scary game or something. I just haven’t quite picked one out yet…

As for writing, today would be a good time to write some scary bits for Nevermor, but I sort of regret to admit that Nevermor is not really very scary…well, Forsaken Dreamscape wasn’t either, I guess. There were a few chills perhaps, but mostly there were just bloody instances I think. In the beginning, I hoped it would have a spooky edge, but all either of them have is a sort of dark fantasy feeling – and of course the violence and some gory depictions. So far though, Nevermor has been letting me down as far as that – but this is only the first part of the book.  There is still time, because things are about to get interesting soon. (Mwahaha!) And I may find some places for rewrites and inserts to make it a little more impish.

Lately I’ve been yearning to write something more along the lines of Rickety House or Needle’s Eye, but I’ll have to settle on this one for now, and maybe I can find a way to beef it up and make it a little darker.

Well, I have settled on a tiny pixilated game called Lone Survivor. If you can stomach low-quality graphics (which I can if the story is good) then it might be worth playing. I’ll let you know how it goes. Otherwise, I’ve been itching to play this other game that I’ve already played before called Deadly Premonition. I could probably write you an essay about that game (but I won’t). I’ll only say that it completely exhausted me mentally, and even though I kept saying “This is terrible!” the whole time I was playing it, I still just kept on going – and then when I thought I was at the end….it wasn’t the end!!! Stayed up all night to beat it because I just couldn’t let it sit there like that! It was crazy, insane, and all over the place. I hated it…but after I finished, I freaking loved it!  Weird.

For those of you planning to do NaNo, I hope you have your ideas together. I might… I guess tomorrow I’ll know for sure. hehe I dread it though, because I have to work all day. I guess I’ll just have to get up really early and get started on my word count! If I slip on the first weekend, I might not catch back up!

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50,000!! …now for 50 more!

I got to 50k and I’m very happy about it. 😀 See?

Nevermor is now over 51,000 words with 14 chapters (some in bits and pieces) and is over 100 pages of gibberish. 😛 hehe Nah, it’s good. You guys are going to love it!  You’re not going to want it to end, so the longer the better, right?

Today I cut into Chapter Two, which I decided really needed some work while I was looking at it the other day. I didn’t fix it completely, but I did do a round of edits on the first several chapters. I thought I’d be ready to go further and continue on at the beginning of NaNo, but my last few chapters are in such a mess that I probably need to fill in some holes before I can get into the second half of the book.  *sigh*

For some reason, the end seems sooo far away! It’s really not I guess, and I haven’t been working on the thing for very long, but it feels like it has been forever!  Maybe I just need a break.

But I can’t take one! haha…ha

I never quite finished the second half of my layout, so after I review my last few chapters I should be able to think about what comes next in the story.

For fun, I was messing with the front cover again and thinking about what the back cover should look like. Technically, I only need the front cover in the beginning because I don’t think the book will be in print as early as it will be an eBook, but these are things that still need to be thought about.

I’m thinking about taking tomorrow off to goof off, but chances are that I’ll be writing anyway. I need to get ahead any way I can! Also, tomorrow is the last day for the voting for the Watty Awards, so if you haven’t voted for all chapters of Forsaken Dreamscape, please do it!

Back to the Beginning – Editing a bit, getting in the mood to fight!

Hmm…I really want to make a new post, but I’m not sure what to write about, so I’m just going to start out and see where this takes me:

I’m not quite at 50k, but I’m within 1000 words of it, so I’m sure that I’m going to make it before NaNo – which sort of puts me where I want to be. Not only did I want to reach that wordcount, but there was a certain point in the story that I wanted to get to before I started the “second half” of the book. It’s going to take me more than 50 to get there I think, but I’m fairly close to that too.

I’ve decided to go back to the beginning (by hand) and refresh myself on what I’ve already done so that I can get my bearings and carry on with it.  I already see that I need to make some improvements. Some of the events at the beginning seem too rushed to me, so I might be adding a bit to that – though I might save that project until the entire thing is finished because it might slow me down, and I can’t afford that now that NaNo is here.

Finding issues like this is alllll part of the process. Sometimes things need to be rewritten – and most of the time, benefits from it.

For now, the main thing I intend to do is fill in a few holes that I left before. There was a small battle scene that I skipped over – and a big battle that pretty much takes up half a chapter. I guess I just wasn’t in a fighting mood. I might be ready now. The least I can do is write a crappy draft of it and clean it up later on.

Writing battles have always been a bit difficult for me, though I feel like I do alright at it.  I have two main problems: 1) I can’t envision how the sequence will go (it’s very much like being a choreographer in your mind) or 2) I see it too well and I can’t sit still long enough to write it!  Both happen, and these each slow me wayyyy down when I’m trying to write a fight scene.

Fight scenes are completely different from mapping out a plotline. It’s like a separate occurrence that needs to happen, but it really has nothing to do with the storyline…well, sometimes. Usually though, it’s just a fun episode where I get to cut things open. haha

I think a common mistake is putting in too much detail – like explaining every single movement a character makes to pull off a move. I think it’s okay to describe some of them, but don’t make it so drawn out that the reader will get bored.  It’s touchy sometimes.

On another note, I’m still trying to think of new ways to promote Nevermor, which is a continuing process throughout the entire writing of it.  The key to selling will be promotion.  The more who know about it, the more will be interested in reading it.  Even terrible books get read with enough promotion, because people can’t get it out of their faces until finally they give in. I’m not made of money, however, so I’m always looking for cheap (free!) ways to plug in out there.  The publishing, in itself, is going to be a battle.

Can you think of anything good to help promote this? Maybe I can jot it down for later.

Uhhh I’m just kind of rambling today. I should probably get back to those fight scenes…

Oh wait, there was one more thing. See those little images on the side over there? –> You can use them if you want to. If you want to take one and make a widget out of it to link back here, that would be awesome. That would help me out. Just, you know, if you want. If not, they’re just decorations. :p

Basic Update – wordcount, prepping for NaNo, random thoughts

I got some good writing done Wednesday and reached my goal for the day, putting me at 45k with 95 pages. That feels pretty good! I have really come a long way in such a short time!  In the past, I always wrote chapter by chapter and edited as I went (I’m still going to divide it up into chapters and look at them individually as part of my editing) but ever since I wrote Rickety House for NaNo two years ago, I’ve been unable to do it that way.  During that project was the first time I had ever written anything all in one document, looking at it as a continuous story as I wrote it, and I just haven’t been able to go back to the other way since.

At the risk of getting wayyy off base, let me talk about that briefly. I say that writing Rickety House ruined me because I did it this way, and for a long time afterward I had terrible writer’s block. I couldn’t go back to my old way and yet couldn’t progress to the new way either. Also, before Rickety, I found that I could barely write if I wasn’t posting each chapter online for other people to see. That story showed me that I didn’t have to do that and I could trust myself to finish without other people seeing it, yet also left me feeling confused about how to begin anything else afterward.

I digress. back to the subject (if there was one).

Lately I’ve been able to get a handle on a few things in Nevermor that had me stumped previously, such as what to write for battle scenes and being able to get into Rifter’s pov. The Scourge has also been on my mind lately, because I’m getting ready to really bring out his character. Of course, my mind is always busy, as it should be when writing a book. There are so many details to think about and get straight.  Also, it helps keep me sane.

The sorts of things that have crossed my mind lately:

– Focusing on fight scenes and monsters. (I love me some monsters)

– Doing a lot of thinking about the Scourge and who he is as a character

– I am STILL figuring out the Rifter for myself.

– Need to get my events in order for the second half of the book.

-Trying to keep myself from rethinking the opening chapters until later…

– Trying to decide how to promote and get more attention for Nevermor

And many other things. It never really stops until it’s over. :p

November is drawing closer, and I really hope I can get to the point in the story where I want to be before then! I think it will be downhill from there, easier.  I expect it to be fast-paced and hopefully it will just roll out onto the pages – even though there is still a lot that needs to be done!

Once again, thank you all for checking in on the blog! I just can’t say that enough. To know that you’re interested means a lot and I really can’t wait for you all to read it!

Don’t forget about the mug contest, which is still going to be open throughout November! https://projectnevermor.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/contest-win-a-signed-project-nevermor-mug/

First Look – The wisp gets devious

Today is the one month anniversary of when I decided to begin the writing of Nevermor! I’m pleased with myself for sticking to it so far, and to celebrate, I’m going to give you another excerpt! Again, it hasn’t been edited much. I don’t intend to edit extensively until I’m done with the whole thing (which hopefully will be going on in December, and I’ll tell you a bit about my process when we get there).

This is a section where we see Wren interacting with Whisper, and you get another bonus: you also get to meet Nix! I wonder if he’s what you’d expect…

***

Excerpt from the upcoming novel, Nevermor

Copyright Lani Lenore 2012

The darkness settled in around her, and she felt very alone here in the middle of the woods.  The shadows were thick, encroaching on her space, and she began to hear the sounds of the night beasts prowling through the brush.

I hope he will come back soon.  Where did he go?

Standing here, unprotected, a strange sound began to drift into Wren’s ears – soft at first but growing louder.  She felt that she had heard it before, but she didn’t recall what it was until a small light came cutting through the trees and danced erratically in front of her.

“Oh!  There you are!  Rifter went off looking for you.”

The light did not respond except in whispers, which Wren thought sounded rather nasty.  They were of a hideous, hissing quality that she didn’t like.

“I’m very confused by you,” Wren said thoughtfully.  “I’m not sure that we’re friends but I don’t know why you don’t like me.  Is it because I was chasing you all over the sea before?  I realize that you were trying to get away from me, but I was asleep, you see.  I was dreaming.”

Wren paused a moment as she considered, but the orb kept moving about, leaving trails of light in the air as if it was on fire.

“Would you just be still a moment?” Wren asked.  “I’m trying to speak with you civilly.”

The light kept drifting forward and then moving back toward her.  It whispered to her as if to say: come, come.  Wren was not sure she wanted to follow.  She was a bit leery of Rifter, but she trusted this sprite even less.

“Rifter told me to stay here,” she said firmly, but the whispers only grew more rapid and insistent.  The sound of them curled around her ears and slithered over her mind like snakes.  She tried to ignore them but they wouldn’t go away.  Even clamping her hands over her ears didn’t work, and then finally she couldn’t take anymore.

“Alright!” she cried finally.  “What do you want to show me?  But I’m not going far.”

The glowing bulb seemed pleased by that and drifted off through the trees.  Wren was uncertain, but she followed it.  It moved slowly ahead of her, truly making an effort to go slowly so that she would be able to keep up with it.  Wren tried to keep watch around her, unsure of where she was being taken.

Not much further, and then I’m stopping, she told herself.

Just about the time she was going to say that she wouldn’t go further without Rifter, she lost sight of the light.

She wouldn’t have thought that it could to disappear as easily as that, bright as it was, but yet it had simply vanished.  Wren looked around behind her, quite unsure of where she should go now or even where she had come from.  The trees were very large here in this portion of the forest, and everything looked the same.

Though she had her suspicions that the little light had done this to her on purpose, she supposed she must give it the benefit of the doubt and ask nicely for it to come back.

“I lost you,” she called, but not too loudly.  “Where did you go?”

At that moment, part of a nearby tree reached out to grab her.

An arm slid beneath her throat and she felt something hard pressing against her temple.  A jolt ran through her and she barely had time to acknowledge her panic before there was a voice in her ear.

“You have five seconds,” it said quickly.  “Who are you and what are you doing here, or I put a bullet through your pretty head.”

“Wait!  Please!”  She struggled against the arm, but it held her tightly.

“That’s the wrong answer.”

Near her ear, she heard the hammer of the gun click back.  Her eyes grew wide with panic.  It was all happening so quickly!  She was going to die and this would be it?  No!

Stop!”  The word echoed back to her, and she realized that she wasn’t the only one who had said it.  From the corner of her eye, she could see that Rifter had found her – not a moment too soon – and thankfully not one too late.

“This yours?” the one behind her asked in his direction, and Wren was simply praying she’d get out of this.

Rifter seemed to like the sound of that, because he nodded.  “Yeah, that’s right.  Let her go, Nix.”

They know each other, she thought with relief.  The arm holding her loosened, and once she was able to break free, she went directly to stand near Rifter.  From there, she was able to look at the face of the one who had nearly killed her.

He had messy blond hair down to his chin, stringy and damp.  He was not dressed in leaves, but in a brown cloak that hung over his lean body, camouflaging him.  It was dirty and stained.  He seemed loaded with weapons.  There was the pistol in his hand, a quiver full of arrows on his back with a bow, and a sword at his hip – not to mention a knife tucked in the top of his boot.  There was a streak of blood drawn under his right eye, and Wren knew what that meant now.

He’s killed someone today.

His blue eyes examined her with unrelenting scrutiny.  He was around the same height and age as Rifter, and if she had her guess, she might have said they were brothers.  They really did look similar, she thought, but they were both so dirty, who could say for sure?

Was there a difference between them?  Was there anything warm about this one’s face?  He didn’t seem at all remorseful for startling her.  In fact, he was looking at her just as hard as Rifter had been when they’d first met.

“I thought we decided that a girl was a bad idea,” Nix said finally, in Rifter’s direction.  He spoke as if she wasn’t there – as if she didn’t even understand his language.

“Well, you don’t decide.  I decide,” Rifter told him swiftly.

Nix didn’t seem to like the sound of that.  His lip drew back and his eyes got a little sharper.  Then, suddenly, his mouth curled up in a snide smile.

“Of course.  How silly of me.  That’s how it’s always been.  Why would I think this time would be any different?”

Rifter looked ready to counter that, but it was then that they all heard the whispers, and a bright light came shooting into their midst.

“There you are, Wisp,” Rifter said levelly, as if her whereabouts had never been a concern of his.

The Wisp did not seem pleased, and ranted on hatefully for a few moments, darting around him so energetically that Wren had to step back.

“Don’t talk to me that way,” Rifter scolded as if he understood her perfectly.  “And where the hell were you?  I was looking all over!”

She was here with me, Wren thought of saying, but then she understood.

She did it on purpose, Wren realized.  She led me to this boy Nix in hopes that he’d kill me…

***

There is your teaser for now. I hope it was fun! That’s two excerpts so far this month, and I’m hoping to do a few more later as the book grows. I kind of slacked off yesterday with writing, but I am up to 41k. I vow to make some progress today! The world and characters are growing all the time and I’m so excited about it! Hope you are too. 😉

*Please do not take this text and use it anywhere else without my permission, though do feel free to share the page or reblog it if you’d like.*

Evolution of the Lost Boys

Back when I revealed the name changes, I gave a few descriptions for the boys and briefly explained their personalities.  At that time, however, I hadn’t gotten to the point in the story where I was going to write about them, and hadn’t given too much thought to what they really looked like. I had a general idea, of course, but they are younger in this one, so they won’t look quite the same. I want them all to be individuals, and there is a lot more to it than I originally expressed.

One of the reasons that I had to reread Peter Pan at the start of this project was to separate what was actually in the original book (aka, stuff I could recycle) and what might have been plugged in under the influence of Disney or some other version of the story.  One thing I found was that I had some of my boys dressed in the same kind of skins as in the Disney movie. Particularly, I had Nibs in fox skin and Tootles, the heavy one, in bear skin. In the book, they were all in bear skins, round and furry, and had to wear these because they were not allowed to look at all like Peter, who wore leaves.

Back to the point.

At the place where I am now in the story, a big battle is coming up, and I realize that I haven’t even decided  what sort of weapons they have!  And the more I think about it, the more I realize that everything they have on, everything that they own, and every weapon they use has a story all its own.  I may not tell all of these stories within the context of the novel, or I might only mention them offhandedly, but those stories are there, whether it deals with something they made, something they killed, or something they stole.  It’s really interesting and each boy, down to the way he is dressed, is so intricate.  I’d really like to do a few sketches, but I don’t think I have the time because of all the writing I’m trying to get done. :p

Example: Obviously, some of the boys are going to be brought out as a little more important than others because of their roles in the second book, and currently I’ve been thinking about Sly.  For some of the boys, I only have to work backward, such as with Finn, who uses two blades and a gun.  I don’t mind sticking with that, having him use the same sort of weapons in the first and second book, but Sly is different.  Because of the corruption, he was animal-like in the second one and used his own claws as weapons…  So now what?  Well, I love that he is a hand-to-hand character. He’s actually the only one among them, and so I finally had the idea that he should have paw gloves with claws – basically the feet of something he killed – and he can put his hands inside them.  Trophies and weapons all at once!

Another thing that’s happened recently is that I’ve taken to calling the group of them the wolf pack in my mind, instead of the Never-Ones or anything like that. That’s because I have them howling when they get psyched about something. …It’s just one of those things.  It’s all part of the evolution of a story!

I just wanted to plug this info in to show you how a story might grow, and if you’re writing something yourself, you don’t always have to stick with what you planned out in the beginning. If something jumps out at you as you go along, run with it!  I do make layouts when I write, but I don’t like to let them smother me. (In fact, I usually just make half an outline just to get me started and then leave the rest open for growth.)  It’s my firm belief that you have to leave room for a story to breathe. Some of my best ideas were not planned out from the beginning, but grew on their own as the story evolved.

On another note, I reached my goal yesterday and hit 40k! But now I need to stop blabbing on here and get back to work! =)