Saturday, November 28, 2015

Winning My 8th NaNoWriMo (But still only have 5 books)

Success!  I am delighted to say that I have finished the first draft of the Third Book of the Tales of Uhrlin.  Duffy Barkley doesn't get to be the star of the show as much in this book, but I had so much fun when it finally started coming together.

trying to remain organized
 When I tried to finish this book in November of 2012, I had written the two earlier Duffy Barkley books. They were different though. In spite of being started in a NaNoWriMo push, they really had been developing over several years of playing with my sons and their friends. This third book was the first attempt when my boys were men, and I had lost the companionship of the children who inspired it. Having seen them graduate from High School, I was proud of them, but uninspired to keep developing this fantasy world without being able to bounce ideas of them and have them say, "What if, this happens?"  Plus those first two books are complicated.  There are two worlds, a timeline that moves back and forth through time, characters and more characters and as the years passed, my brain struggled to hold on to the little details that help with continuity.  I know there are programs to help writers build complicated worlds and keep track of the various threads, but what worked, finally for me, was keeping a word document with my notes, a draft post from this blog with every story line color coded so I could see who had been neglected too long, and an open office file to write the actual book.  So I tried to write this in 2012, and in summer and again. There was always something jangling in my brain, tangling the threads and making me have questions I didn't know the answer to, but this time, it was like all that time had been brewing the ingredients, and aging them and when I sat down this month, my fingers raced to get where they already knew they were going.  I have to edit, re-write, and edit again, so I'm not sure when the final product will be available. But I already love this book.  Finally.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Here we go a NaNoing

 Once agin it is November and writing is something I don't have to do alone and chained to my desk in the dark after the rest of the family is asleep.  Every November this group of introverted, lonely people suddenly turn all social networky and both incredibly supportive and crazily competitive as some try to start a new novel and finish it in one month, and some merely try to do the same 50,000 words in one day. Um yeah, that is NOT me.

 This year I am having fun, adding to the third book in my Duffy Barkley series, which was already at 70,000 words. So if I actually finish it, which is my plan, I will use the extra word count to get back into my second Double Time Novel and revisit Pompeii, but Im not sure. In preparation for November, I reread what I have on that book.  I liked it, a lot, but it made me sob.
 So I'm not sobbing yet, I'm spending my time, walking the deck of a ship, exploring an Island and traveling with SeaMonsters.  If it wasn't for missing family members and broken bones and a great bloody plague, life would be good there.

 I got lucky enough to be able to go to sea on The Lady Washington, google her, she is lovely, so my ship detail is well researched, including exactly why you don't actually puke over the railing.
 If you are Nanoing too, best wishes.  If not but you are curious, there is a less intense but still fun option called CampNaNoWriMo in the summer, or um, winter for you Southern Hemisphere writers. If you are curious what I'm writing, here follows an unedited excerpt

On board the ship, the air was thick with tension. The Captain of the Vessel was swiftly calling orders, which his crew repeated back to him before calling, “Sir, Yes Sir!”
He had their attention before the landing party stepped on deck, but every detail was always double and triple checked before a move was made.
Captain on Board,” was called and acknowledged.
All Hands” summoned everyone to gather around although they were already there, and they echoed back.
All hands, Aye,” and then went silent and listening.

Questions burned in their eyes but they were too well trained to ask them and he was too focused on what needed done immediately to deal with them.
This woman to the Captain's Cabin with a guard.”
With a guard, Aye” and so it was understood that while she was to be given comfort rather than tossed into a damp dark holding brig, she was not to be trusted.

Medic. To me.”
Medic reporting, Aye” and a team stepped forward quickly to assess the situation and transfer Captain Rockwell to their care. The injured man was lifted to the deck of the ship from the small boat and stood on his own two feet, but was obviously unable to straighten, or to stay upright without support from the young man beneath one of his arms. The medic team lifted the injured man and carried him to a small cabin. They apologized for causing him pain, but although he was sweating from it, he made no complaint. The young man with him followed anxiously on their heels. Before the Dr. could even arrive to begin his assessment the ship's Captain stepped into the room, intent on judging for himself if this man was a threat to his ship.

The fact that there were two captains in the cabin suddenly made it seem like an even smaller cabin. They locked eyes and they stared at each other with suspicion that soon turned to the respect of men who took each others measure and instantly knew they could be friends. Captain Rockwell started to hold out a hand but nearly doubled over in pain when he moved his arm away from being pressed tightly to his stomach. The men who helped support him were quickly waved toward the row of cots.
The sailors gently eased him down onto a narrow bed and the Dr. came hurrying into the room, drying his hands and already glancing around the room, assessing the patient and his supplies. As he began giving orders the Captain got a chair for the younger man and set it in a corner where he would be able to watch his father without being in the Dr.'s way. Then the Captain slipped from the room to check on the prisoner.