Where Did the Novel Go?

 I Didn’t Abandon Princess

It’s still there, I promise. And soon I will get around to editing the side bars. But I will admit to not doing a lot with it, mostly because by the time I’m done with classes and homework my “producing” abilities are severely compromise, and soon I am too burnt out to do anything but consume (books, some TV, food) and sleep.

But rather than simply not blog at all, I’ve been experimenting with some new things. Like the Black Swans series, which I will continue (but slowly, because that actually involves some research and writing of coherent sentences). Also like book reviews.

I’m not planning on turning this into a review blog, but there will be more reviews coming. Mostly because they’re helpful to me, as a writer.

Reviews are a Teaching Tool

Reviews lead me to read critically, and to think about books critically. And that is something that is vitally important to improving my writing. Reviewing books allows me to see what works and what doesn’t, what plot devices feel fresh or overused, what dialogue sounds natural and engaging….etc. etc. etc. until the cows come home -there is so much to be learned!

Also, reading is fun.

The Friendly Bit

So, anyone else review the books they read? Why/why not? If you’re a writer, do you find it helps your writing?

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Rabbit Rabbit

You may have noticed a lack of posts last week. I decided to take a week’s vacation, to spend my last days of summer with my family. Now I’m all moved in to my dorm and the school year is looking shiny and bright! It’s a feeling that will last all of two weeks, and then I’ll be desperate for summer again.

Considering the inordinate amount of things I will be doing with my time during the fall (1. School 2. Nutcracker 3. Heading up a club 4. MCATS 5. Writing 6… Put me out of my misery, already!) blogging will be reduced to once a week. Posts will go up on Fridays. When I have Princess news to share, I’ll post updates on Mondays. Hopefully that will be every week or almost every week, but realistically it will likely be less often.

And yes, I’ll update the sidebars…eventually.

EDITED to add: There will be one more post before I start with the new schedule – I was given an ARC in exchange for a review and I want to post it right away. So that will go up later.

The Title of the Blog

So…the title. “The Great Novel Adventure: Chronicling the Trials and Tribulations of a First-Time Author”.

The first part is more accurate than the second.

I’ve been writing semi-seriously (as in, trying to finish projects, educating myself, honing my craft, actually writing often, etc etc) for a couple years now, and it’s time to reevaluate the goals I set for myself way back when.

I was sure that this was going to be fun. See: “Great,” and “Adventure”

I knew I this journey was going to be about writing,  primarily long-from prose. See: “Novel”

I suspected there would be challenges along the way. See: “Trials and Tribulations”

I was convinced I wanted to be published. See: “Author”.

How much of that is still true? When I started this blog I had only the vaguest notions of what I was getting myself into. And this journey has turned out to be both difficult and joyous – more joyous and more exciting than I had imagined.

So…this is still a “Great Novel Adventure”, and it still chronicles my journey. But “Trials and Tribulations”, despite the way it trips off the tongue, is a bit of a downer! And yes, there are trials…but there aren’t really tribulations.

Okay, what about “First-Time Author”? Well, I’m not a first-time author, because I don’t have anything published and won’t for a while. And you know what? I’m fine with that. I’m enjoying this process, this adventure, and I don’t need to race to the finish line just yet.

Besides, with traditional publishing comes deadlines and schedules, and I’ve got too much on my real-life plate right now for that.

So not “first-time author”. 

What about “aspiring novelist”?

Well, I’m already a novelist. A novelist is a person who writes novels, which I do. So I’m not an “aspiring” novelist, or an “aspiring” writer.

But I am an “aspiring author”.

Because, you know what? I’d like to have my name on the cover of a book someday. And it may not be tomorrow, or a year from now, or even 10 years from now. But when the time is right for me, I’m going to do my damnedest to make it happen.

Welcome to “The Great Novel Adventure: Chronicling the Trials and Triumphs of an Aspiring Author”.

I hope you’re having as much fun as I am.

And Now, for Something Completely Different

I take photos. If you’re interested, check out the link. The blog is brand new so only one post so far.

http://faithwilliamsphotography.blogspot.com/

Do I worry that maintaining two blogs will be impossible when I can barely keep up with one? Maybe not. I think even if I don’t have anything to say writing-wise I can post photos, and vice versa. Doing some writing, any at all, will keep the juices flowing.

We shall see.

Plan of Action

Behold the side bar! It is no longer at 5%.

I decided to work through my Princess planning using more or less the strategy outlined in Tami Moore’s NaNo prep posts. I’m currently on number 7, about to start number 8, so 7/31 = 23%. Yay math!

I’ve got a pretty good grip on Kel, and what kind of person she is, and how she’s different from her little sister Bria. (By the way, Bria was not supposed to be a big character at all, but being a bright, outgoing and adventurous child, she had other ideas.)

I’m also discovering how Princess will probably have 2 sequels and end up a trilogy and is a lot more epic in scale than I originally thought. Bria gets her day to shine in Book 2. There are dragons involved.

In terms of worldbuilding, I’ve got a bunch of political entities, be they individuals (Kel, the evil king) or groups (the prosthelytizing democratic army – long story) with complicated motives which interact in interesting ways. Still to be fleshed out: the religions of the world (which will have a lot to do with magic), the ultimate big baddie, and the general trajectory of the trilogy as a whole which will have a HUGE impact on the plot of the first book.

Oh yeah, the plot. That too. We’re getting there.

That’s okay, this is totally normal for the stage of preparation I’m in. I’m also going to consciously try not to think about books 2 and 3 right now – if I’m struck with a brilliant idea I’ll write it down, but I am going to shut down any actual development on them until I am done writing Princess. Aside from, of course, the most general, high-level story arc which I need to know in order to set it up properly in Princess. 

In which Faith uses a Bad Word

I sat down with the intention of writing that post on rereading that I said I was going to write like two weeks ago, only to discover that I actually don’t have enough to say for an entire post. I mean, I probably could get an entire post on it if I tried but seeing as I’ve been putting it off for so long obviously it’s not going to happen. So instead, a series of comments, starting with rereading and ending with blog things:

1. Rereading is totally acceptable, and I will happily ignore those people who don’t understand my desire to reenter worlds that have particularly engaged me and revisit characters who I’ve particularly identified with.

2. Sometimes I reread a book from a long time ago and I have changed so much that I no longer feel the same way about it. This usually happens when I’m rereading a book with writing flaws (info dumps, flat characters) that I was too young to notice the first time around. I find that I’m a much more critical reader than I was (though not as critical as many).

3. A section of the princess plot decided to make itself known to me yesterday. Progress! And yet, a lot of work remains to be done.

4. I will be doing NaNo this year, although I will almost definitely be participating with a reduced word count goal. I shall consider myself a winner if I get, let’s say (excuse me while I do some math here)…15,000 words, a.k.a. 500 words a day. This is kind of a low bar but A) I have waaaaay to much work this semester, seriously it’s insane and possibly unconstitutional, and B) then I can be pleasantly surprised and feel all proud of myself if I write more!

5. I may have said this already (I forget) but the progress bars will be staying exactly the way they are until I get out of the planning stage and into the writing. I don’t even know how to begin estimating percentage completion for world building, when I won’t know how much I need to do until I’ve already done it!

6. Marvin posts are now scheduled to run on Wednesdays from next Wednesday  until it’s done. There are a lot left so it should last a while. Will there ever be a Marvin sequel? I really don’t know. Perhaps a Freddy spinoff? [EDIT: Marvin will run once a week until February, at which point it will speed up so certain significant installments coincide with Valentine’s day and my birthday]

7. I have a confession to make. I AM A BOOK GIVEAWAY WHORE. (There’s your language). I appear to have notoriously bad luck in anything chance related that has to do with winning things (I’m looking at you, Urban NY), but I figure if I enter every single one I come across, I will eventually win something! Probably. Hopefully. Maybe. Knowing my luck, not until I’m 80. Anyway the point is that means my twitter is currently almost nothing but tweets/retweets about giveaways, which is usually counts as an additional entry. So yeah, I will at some point attempt to tweet more other things so that my twitter is not just a giveaway entry machine, but:

8. This is the order of things which I do: 1. Homework (at least in theory), 2. Writing, 3. Ballet, 4. Reading, 5. Other fun self-fulfilling things, like photography, or talking to other humans, or eating food, 6. Sleeping, 7. Blogging, and finally 8. Twitter. So, priorities being what they are, you understand why the blog has such long gaps between posts and the twitter is mostly barren.

LOOK HOW PRETTY THE BLOG IS

I finally got around to updating it! I like the background, though I may change it to something more book related. Or not.

I will also, in the fairly near future, be updating the blogroll/website list so that they are not years out of date. And small and sad and lonely.

Also the reading list, although I’m a bit scared of that one…there’s a huge backlog and I seriously doubt I remember everything I read. Then again, do you really care to know every single book I’ve ever read? Whatever, that part is mostly for me anyway 🙂

And of course there will be a post with actual content coming your way soon. Just as soon as I finish the mountains of work I am currently procrastinating on.