Posts Tagged With: NaNoWriMo

Cerulean Bound (Imminent Danger #3) Update!

Okay, before everyone gets crazy excited, no, I have not finished the first draft. That remains a work in progress. But I figured you guys deserved an update after many months of silence, so here it is:

Cerulean Bound has officially crested the 70k words mark!

Now, what does this mean for the book itself?

I am about halfway through the story at this point, which means the book is on track to be about 140k words long. That, of course, would be the word count for the first draft. After extensive editing and chopping and revising, that number will hopefully be down in the 90-100k words range. So there’s still a while to go before the book is ready for eyes other than mine to see it.

On the upside, 70k words in and going strong! B&B season is gradually coming to a close, and NaNoWriMo starts in a few days, so I’m hoping to bang out the rest of the first draft by early December. Then the editing begins.

My very tentative hope is to get the book out next year. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect it in the spring — probably more like the fall — but miracles can always happen, right?

So there’s the update! Happy Halloween to everyone, and if you’re going to attempt NaNo this year, happy writing!

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Monday Writing Update

NaNoWriMo is officially over, and I have officially … lost.


Now, in my defense, I came pretty darn close. I started at 31,881 words and ended at  71,889 words, which means I wrote a grand total of 40k words. Not quite 50k, but still a great deal more than what I started with! So, I’m calling this one a moderate success.

Of course, my story is still in shambles. I’ve reached about the 1/3 point in the plot, and I’m 70k words in. So that means the book is on track to be 210k words long. Yikes. Excessive editing and cutting and rewriting will cut that down, but it’ll be a hassle for sure.

In other news, I’ve recently launched a proofreading service. This is partially because I’m good at proofreading and want to do more of it, and partially because my income is laughable at the moment and I need to pay rent. So, if you’re looking for someone to proofread your next book before it goes live, hit me up! The going rate is $0.0015 per word, which works out to $150 for a 100k word novel.

My final life update is something I mentioned before, but am still excited about–I’ve acquired a seasonal job at a local tea shop! The hours are whacky, and I’m having a devil of a time remembering the 150+ teas we sell (and by “devil of a time”, I mean it will never happen), but it’s still been quite enjoyable thus far. Money is always nice, not to mention it gives me a reason to leave the house and get a bit of exercise. I won’t be able to head back to Ontario for Christmas this year, but I’m planning an awesome road trip in January/February once the contract’s over so I can go see my folks. Huzzah!

I think that’s about it. What are you awesome people up to these days? Any fun holiday plans? What’s your favorite kind of tea? Let me know in the comments!


Unrelated media of the day:


Categories: Random | Tags: , , | 30 Comments

Help! NaNoWriMo Woes

We’re now on day 23 of NaNoWriMo, and I am very woeful. Apart from being 5 days behind on my word count (noooooo), I’ve also encountered a very frustrating problem that I’m hoping y’all might have some advice for me on.

Essentially, my story is going to be too long. Like, massively too long. I’ve spent the past two years turning this story over in my mind, working out all the details and character arcs and whatnot. But now that I’m putting it on paper, it’s way too long. I just hit 63k words, and I’m not even at the halfway point yet. Not even close. Right now, the story’s looking to be 150k+ words. Which, for a YA novel, is … not good.

So I’m basically looking for suggestions on how to proceed. Obviously the book can’t stay that long. But what’s my best option for dealing with this?

A) Keep writing, and finish the first draft. Once it’s all done, go back, re-read, and re-evaluate the story. Cut out unnecessary scenes, tighten phrasing, etc., and get it down to a reasonable word count.

B) Stop writing. Re-read what I’ve got and tighten it up now, so I can keep writing off a solid base.

C) Keep writing, and finish the first draft. Don’t go crazy cutting scenes — just let the story be how long it needs to be. If that’s too long for traditional YA books, either embrace it and publish anyway, or pursue other publishing formats — i.e., release the story in multiple parts (ala Lord of the Rings) at a reduced price

D) Whatever y’all can come up with!

Right now I’m leaning toward option A, because I figure getting it all down on paper first is my best bet before I start chopping stuff. But I welcome any and all suggestions!

While you come up with awesome advice for me, please also enjoy the very chill unrelated media of the day.


(Very Chill) Unrelated Media of the Day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , | 33 Comments

How to litter your manuscript with typos (in 9 easy steps!)

Yes, this is based on a recent personal experience. Want the details? Keep reading!

How to litter your manuscript with typos

  1. Create a character with a short name that could easily be found in many longer words — i.e., “Kat”
  2. Write 40,000 words of a story
  3. Realize that you prefer an alternate spelling — i.e., “Cat”
  4. Do a “Search All” and “Replace All” to change the spelling — i.e., “Kat” > “Cat”
  5. Write another 10,000 words
  6. Realize you prefer the first spelling
  7. Do a “Search All” and “Replace All” to change the spelling back — i.e., “Cat” > “Kat”
  8. Casually reread the story and realize you’ve created 218 typos — i.e., “sKatter”, “reloKated”, unsKathed”, “mediKations”
  9. Success!

This definitely just happened to me, and I spent twenty minutes using Ctrl+F to find all my ridiculously spelled words and fix them. Honestly not a big deal, but still a very silly thing I could have avoided. Ahh, the joys of NaNoWriMo!


Unrelated media of the day:

This is a fun little song where a YouTuber got his followers to send in clips of them playing musical instruments, and then put all the clips together into a surprisingly catchy tune.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , | 39 Comments

NaNoWriMo! Here we go again …

Okay, so I have a confession to make. I’m terrible at NaNoWriMo. I have attempted it every year since 2006, and I’ve won … three times? Possibly four. The point is, I have a bad habit of starting all gung-ho, getting a week in, falling behind, falling more behind, and then giving up halfway through. Sigh.

So, once again, this year I shall attempt NaNo. Do I plan to succeed? Yes. Will I succeed? Probably not. But I’ll try, dammit. And maybe–just maybe!–this time I’ll succeed.

In flagrant violation of the rules, I have decided to write 50k words of an existing project, the whimsically titled, “Teenagers killing each other in space story”. This is not the final title (although several people have suggested it should be). I started at 30k words, so by the end of the month, God willing, I will have an 80k word story. The story definitely won’t be finished by that point (I seem incapable of writing a first draft under 120k words), but a good chunk of it will definitely be done. Huzzah!

What are your NaNo plans? Please feel free to share your stories of past failures with me so I feel a little better about myself. In the meantime, have an amazing week, and stay awesome!


Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , | 23 Comments

Last Day of NaNo Update

As predicted, I have once again failed to complete NaNoWriMo. My grand word count as of now is 38,079. That’s pretty darn good in my opinion, although not quite enough to hit the 50k end goal. Le sigh.

A brief rundown of my NaNo experience this month:

  • Started into a re-write of a fantasy novel I wrote a few years ago
  • Got 15k words into fantasy re-write, realized I was writing the proverbial Star Wars Episode I of my series when I should be writing Episode IV
  • Abandoned fantasy re-write and started into Cerulean Bound (Imminent Danger #3)
  • Got horribly distracted by planning out my new fantasy novel
  • Wrote some more Cerulean Bound (spurred on by this song)
  • Got a random idea for a story about blademasters and time loops — wrote a 2k outline for this
  • Back to Cerulean Bound!

By the end of it, I managed to get up to chapter 6 of Cerulean Bound, so that’s something! The intro’s all wrapped up and our intrepid space adventurers are off on their next quest. I can’t say much about the purpose of their quest, or their end destination, except that the clue is in the title. I will happily entertain wild speculations in the comments section.

In related news, the baseboard heater just decided to turn on again, so I’m getting all toasty warm. It’s a very fickle contraption, and likes to torment me by turning on at random intervals.

To conclude, NaNo was a complete failure by me, although I did get some great ideas down, and will have some solid material to work with during the holidays.

I also just placed a massive order on Vistaprint (who are currently having a Black Friday sale), and I picked up some really awesome Imminent Danger swag, so if you want any of it, make sure to check out my IndieGoGo campaign!

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Just Broke 30k Words in NaNoWriMo!

There’s not much to this post, other than to brag that I totally broke 30k words in NaNoWriMo, which I’m deliriously excited about since I barely made it past 15k words the last few times I’ve attempted NaNo.

Of course, according to the NaNo website, I’m supposed to be at something like 37k words right now, so I’m still ridiculously behind on where I should be with my word count. On the other hand, Cerulean Bound is progressing nicely — all my characters are behaving, the plot is moving along at a good clip, and I’m about to get to the really juicy part of the first act, so I’m pretty excited.

The only thing annoying me at the moment is the fact that all my chapters seem to be around 3,000 words long. I usually try to aim for around 2,000 words, as this is YA fiction and you don’t want your chapters to drag on too long. That being said, this is only the first draft (and first drafts are always awful), so I’ll have plenty of time to tidy things up in future drafts.

Happy writing, everyone!

PS: My IndieGoGo campaign is still going on. If you want a signed copy of Imminent Danger, this is the place to get it! Come on, team, only $50 until we hit the first stage goal! We can do it!

Unrelated media of the day:

I’m not entirely sure why, but when I play this song on endless repeat, my fingers can’t seem to type fast enough. The original song is by The Offspring — this is the sped-up “Nightcore” version, featuring video clips from My Little Pony. It’s odd. But hey, if it works, why not, right?

Categories: Writing | Tags: , | 6 Comments

NaNoWriMo Update

More than two thirds of the way through November — seems like the perfect time for a NaNoWriMo update!

I’m failing miserably.

First, I started re-writing a fantasy story I’ve been playing around with for the past six years. I got 15k words in, and realized I was writing Star Wars Episode 1 when I should have been writing Episode 4. Dang. Switched over to my original plan — Book 3 of the Imminent Danger series — and got the first two chapters tapped out with relative ease. Then started daydreaming in the shower about the fantasy story, except this time Episode 4 instead of Episode 1. Lost all interest in Imminent Danger Book 3. This morning, was randomly inspired in the shower again and now am eager to get back to work on Imminent Danger Book 3 again.

My muse is wildly unreliable, and she’s driving me nuts. Also, she only seems to come to me in the shower, which means I now shower for about 45 minutes a day. My roommates have learned to take their showers either before me, or an hour after me, otherwise they get no hot water. Sigh.

In related news, my IndieGoGo campaign is still going on, and tragically we’re $50 short of the goal. Nooooooes! So if you’re interested in snatching up a signed copy of the shiny new Imminent Danger, complete with revised text and gorgeous cover art, pop over to the campaign and claim your copy today! The campaign ends around Dec 9, but the sooner we hit the goal, the sooner I can start coming up with awesome stretch goal prizes to give all the awesome people who’ve donated.

How go your NaNoWriMo attempts? Or if you’re boycotting NaNoWriMo, how go your non-NaNoWriMo-writing attempts?

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Best Laid NaNoWriMo Plans …

So this year, I was all set to do NaNoWriMo. I knew what I was writing — book 3 of the Imminent Danger series — I knew the plot, I knew the characters, I knew everything. I was completely prepared to knock that 50k out of the park.

Then I sat down on Saturday, fired up my word processor, and started typing something completely different.

I am now 6k words into a re-write of a fantasy book I wrote a few years ago that suffered from extreme “lack of plot” syndrome. I have totally revamped the characters, the plot, the setting, and the magic system. It’s going really well. It’s just not at all what I intended to write.

They say part of being a writer is being able to sit down and work on a project every day, even if some days you’re not quite feeling it. But I say, if your muse pulls you in a different direction, listen. It’s all well and good to say “writing is my job”, but jobs are dreary, and writing should be fun. So the next time you’re wading through chapter sixteen of your WIP and get the sudden urge to write a short story about underwater unicorns, do it!


Unrelated link of the day:

You know how “Tom Marvolo Riddle” is an anagram for “I am Lord Voldemort”? So when they translated Harry Potter to other languages, they had to make sure that anagram still worked … meaning Voldemort has a different (and oft-times hilarious) name in each language. Check it out:


Unrelated promo of the day:

Don’t forget to check out my new short story, The Dusk Bugsavailable free of charge from Smashwords!

dusk bugs cover 5

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , | 13 Comments

Obligatory NaNoWriMo Post

NaNoWriMo approaches!

Before you ask, yes, I’ll be attempting the 50k word novelling challenge this year. I attempt it pretty much every year, although I haven’t succeeded since 2010 (when I wrote the first half of Chasing Nonconformity).

My novel project this year will be the third book in the Imminent Danger series, hesitantly titled “Cerulean Bound”. Make of that what you will.

I don’t expect to make it all the way to 50k, but I figure that even if I only do 10k, that’s 10k more than I had before, so what the heck!

My username is Grand Admiral Chelli — feel free to add me as a writing buddy, come say hi, etc.

This concludes my statement. Have a glorious Wednesday!


Unrelated media of the day:

When sexting goes wrong …

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

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