Day 16 of NaNoWriMo… What? Already?

So much to do. Just, so much. I’m struggling to keep up now. I’m only managing to write 1,000 words below the target each day before I fall asleep, willingly or not. But, I shall press on. I am determined to complete NaNo. My war paint is now on.

My writing plan has degraded a little more from, ‘write anything that comes to me’ to ‘tell me anything and I’ll put it in’. Mitch and I attended a Write-in at our friend’s house last night, which ended up being a mammoth conversation about Lord of the Rings, Tolkien and eventually a few games of poker. One friend in the house (Sam), who kept coming in and leaving again (he’s not a NaNo’er), came sat next to me and was very helpful with the ‘tell me anything’ plan. Apparently there is an antique store in my story. Luckily, Sam knows what a creepy antique store looks like.

I made another trailer not long ago. This one actually required me to use masking, colour scheming, flow and thought! I was so dissatisfied with the last one that I simply couldn’t let that be it. New tab for trailer [here]!

On Sunday I poured over a scene I’ve been looking forward to; a horror scene, mwuahahaha! I love to listen to atmospheric music while I write, so I thought browsing the original Silent Hill soundtrack would super get me in the mood. Mitch also introduced me to the uber creepy short film, ‘The Cat With Hands’ on YouTube. I got so in the mood, my new horror music on repeat, that I scared myself something stupid as I was writing the scene. It got to the point that I just wanted it to end! But I suppose that’s what happens when you put your own fears into your writing.

I learnt in class last Friday that Mandarin is easier for dyslexic people than English. How insane is that? Children naturally read from right to left, which sounds familiar when I think about it. Our symbols (a.k.a. the alphabet) are not logical but we have trained ourselves to express thoughts with very few squiggles and punctuation. I just thought I’d share that with you.

Last Friday we were introduced to ‘intertextuality’ as defined by Julia Kristeva. Intertextuality is the relationship a text has with other texts, which I found quite interesting. “It can refer to an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text or to a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another.” The following list is of the categories that texts tend to fit into. Perhaps you can find which category your NaNo fits into.


Pastiche –
pasting together various genres in a homage to or a parody of past styles.

Irony, playfulness, black humour – as if the text were in ironic quote marks.

Metafiction – writing about writing, often used to undermine the authority of the author.

Temporal distortion – playing around with time, using analepsis (flashback), prolepsis (flashforward) and Ad Infinitum (time-loop/never ending).

Minimalism – a focus on surface description where readers must take an active role in the creation of the story.

Maximalism – disorganised, sterile, focused on signifier, empty of emotional commitment.

Magic realism – combines realistic and fantastic/surrealistic elements.

Faction – fiction based on and combined with fact, which you must be very careful of. Get your facts right!

 

I’ve so far written a ‘minimalism novel’, ‘magic realism novel’ and my nano this year is a ‘temporal distortion novel’. What category does yours come under and what have you written before?

EXTRACT

It was silent. The only thing he could hear was Li-ling’s breath and a feint ringing; a slight high pitched drone that was induced by the intense silence. “You like it here?” he asked, his voice softer than normal.

“Not on my own,” she replied, pushing past. “Follow me.”

Not fond of creaking, pitch-black houses, Frederick tried to stick as close to her as possible without tripping her up. He felt wary of the unknown at the top of the staircase, and he scuffled past the open doorway on their left. He stared into the room. A smudge of light was visible through the curtains and he could depict a sofa. A soft wind made the curtains ripple and Li-ling’s cautious footsteps made him uneasy.

“Where did you get a key for this place?”

She stopped and he bumped into her. Her clothing ruffled as she reached out to push against a door Frederick had not even realised was in front of them. “I bought it from the antique store,” she said in a meek voice. “The woman behind the counter showed it to me. She told me that it was for this house. Really creeped me out, but I kept thinking about it.”

Frederick glanced behind him. The place did not feel swept, which surprised him. If Li-ling used this place often, and if she was smart, protecting this house and cleaning out its past would have been the first thing he’d done.

He knotted his hands together.

“It just seemed like an important opportunity,” Li-ling continued. “I kept thinking about it… So, I went back one day…and I bought it.”

They shuffled into a kitchen, the grime ridden windows illuminated the sink beneath it. The cupboard doors were loose and a broom stood in the corner, but aside from that, it was empty. Nothing but the black and white tiled floor. Frederick studied the shadow-swallowed corners, wishing they were someplace else. His back tingled.

“The cafe is through there,” Li-ling said. She pointed to a door on the far left. “The ground floor is almost like a circuit.”

“Li-ling…” She turned to face him, her eyes shaded in the gloom. “You haven’t swept this house, have you?”

The girl paused, standing very still. “She told me not to,” Li-ling whispered.

Frederick went cold. “What?” he breathed. He edged further into the room so the distance between them was less.

“The antique lady, she said this house had something to tell me.”

A door slammed upstairs and Li-ling grabbed his arm. He seized her shoulder without hesitation and pulled her close.

“But I don’t understand them,” she whispered. “Demons can see life, can’t they?”

Frederick twisted out of her grip and turned to face the black corridor, sliding her hand to his lower back instead. “Life, yes, but the dead are dead, Li-ling. They have no light.”

“Aren’t demons from beyond the grave?”

“Sometimes,” he sighed, “I wish someone should write a book called ‘Interview with a Demon’. We are not dead.”

Floorboards creaked above their head and slow footsteps paced in the room above them. Li-ling stood close to him. “Perhaps you should teach me the secrets we humans don’t know,” she whispered.

“We need to leave first.” Frederick stared at the front door down the other end of the hallway, but he couldn’t move. That would mean having to pass the stairs, having to pass the dark sitting room. A wet noise started in the far corner of the kitchen behind them and they scuttled away.

“Can’t you tell me what they want?”

“Not unless they speak. What were you expecting?”

The noise in the corner sounded like someone was opening and closing their mouth. Frederick hoped beyond life that it would stay in the corner.

“You said you were one of the Immortals. Don’t they have the power to speak to the dead? Can’t you fight them, seal them, or trap them? ”

Frederick shook his head, beginning to shake and he wrapped one arm around her shoulders. He was torn between staring at the corner and down the corridor. “No. We can only bend time. Our main power is knowledge. We retain information, we each have certain skills but – this is really not the time I want to talk about it.”

A flickering, juttering, static sound made his heart plummet and he stared down the corridor. He grabbed Li-ling’s arm, keeping her close to his back, and forced her against the sink. She didn’t question his decision to pin her behind him. The dark abyss of the corridor was in front of him.

“What’s wrong? What do they want?”

“I don’t know,” he hissed. Frederick’s teeth sharpened and his top lip curled. Something moved in the edge of his field of vision. He wanted desperately to escape from whatever stood in the corner, opening and closing its mouth. “Why do you trust that old woman? How do you know she’s not a demon?”

“I…” She gripped the back of his shirt. “Well, she’s always been there.”

“Are you sure?”

Li-ling gasped and wrapped one icy hand around his bicep. “Don’t say that,” she whispered. “Betty has always been there! She’s an expert on everything that keeps us safe.”

“Can’t you feel how hostile this place is?” Frederick was feeling angry. He would have expected better from the daughter of the Redgraves.

The noise in the corner ceased and the pair of them went ridged.

“Why did you want me to come here?” he whispered.

“Because I’m afraid.”

The sitting room door down the corridor slammed shut making them jerk and Frederick could not have felt any less enthused to make a bolt for the front door. “So am I,” he whispered.

17 thoughts on “Day 16 of NaNoWriMo… What? Already?

  1. I know just what you mean about creeping yourself out. Moonquartz Mystery has one uber frightening scene in it in which they visit the abandoned Facility where Victor and the other Blackledge Childre were created… and where plenty of them died… and it’s full of weird ghosts and things. Although it becomes closer to humour at the end. Black humour.

    As for the categories, I’m really not sure. I mean, mine has a dash of magical realism (definitely some fairly surreal elements) and little bits of a few of the others. I’ll puzzle over this a little more. 😄

    Extract time! Loved it, I think this is my favourite piece so far. I am a great lover of description in all of its glory, and this had plenty of it. I also love the dramatic intensity of their dialogue; especially Freddie’s lines: “…the dead are dead, Li-ling. They have no light.” The description of the ghostly presences is also good; it’s done very differently in my novel and it makes me admire the variety of imagination. 😀

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    • Blah, gech, yeah. I am terrified just thinking of your Blackledge laboratory. It conjures up images already, especially knowing that it created someone as crazy as Scarlet. Nice to know it ends light-heartedly (maybe I should try this) though, I suppose.

      Yeah, it’s tricky isn’t it? I wasn’t sure about my own NaNo this year, but I guess you have to pick out the defining element of it.

      In truth, I think the rest of this scene is the creepiest but I wanted to upload the set-up for it more. Our Professor said last week that when she buys a book she reads the first page and the last page before hand, which horrified us! But she explained she enjoys seeing the set up. How does the writer get from the beginning and build us up for the end. I still wouldn’t read a book like that, I think, but it’s an interesting pleasure to get out of reading.

      I thought the description was a little naff, actually 😄 I wasn’t sure if it would build the same tension for a reader who didn’t have the music I used, which is another reason why I posted this. Guinea pig~ Uber relieved you loved the dialogue. Freddy and Li-ling had a sudden case of word vomit.

      Well, you have a different style of writing. Quite a professional one, by the way.

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      • Yeah, the labs practically kill Robyn, and Victor has a mental breakdown. I’m so mean to those two.

        I used to read the last sentence of a book before starting it, I have no idea why. Not the whole page, just the very last sentence. It was nothing to do with set-ups, it was just… I don’t even know. Superstition. But I don’t do that any more because I like my novels to end with a bit of punch. 😀 Are you going to be posting up the rest of this scene then? *glee*

        And nooo, the description was definitely not naff! I tend to describe LOADS and this is just about right. I love the “grime-ridden windows” and the evilness of the sitting room. Ughh! Creeped (crept?) me out for sure.

        I think it’s very interesting to see different ways of writing. There are so many people on the NaNo boards who say things like, “I was told I ___ too much/too little”. Er, hello. Variety is the spice of life, anyone? Literature is no exception.

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        • Be mean. Be mean. I’ll comfort them by shouting my protests at the page.

          Huh, really? I find it interesting to think people do that. Yours is just plain strange though, Miss Supersitious! I tease. 😄 I was tempted to read the last paragraph when I was younger, but never did… I will eventually post the rest of this scene!

          Yaaaay! Score! And I can’t believe ‘creeped’ isn’t a real word. My mouth fell open. ‘No waaaay, you mean that’s dialect/slang?’

          No exception indeed. And one person’s opinion of what makes a good writing style is one person’s opinion, but the literary word is a snobby one even at the best of times.

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  2. In the scene I’m currently writing, Robyn and Cairo and an unconscious villain are stuck behind the altar of a chapel in the middle of a packed service. If they’re discovered, they will be shot. 😄 OH SNAP. Meanness strikes again.

    Yeah it was a bit weird, I resist the final sentence reading now, though. Back when I was reading the Famous Five books (ah, nostalgia) I did it to every single one. By the time I’d finished the book I’d usually forgotten anyway. So it was… just a waste, hahaa.

    Apparently so! I say “creeped out” all the time but written down it starts to look a little squiffy…

    The literary world is full of snobs but these days they’re not all taken seriously, which is a good thing I think. I mean, yes, I’ve expressed dislike for novels before (Twilight, anyone?) but that’s my opinion, and other people have theirs. I don’t actually go and bitchslap Meyer in the face about her writing style because it’s /hers/, and clearly it appealed to /someone/ because it made her famous.

    Ermm… sorry about the random rant at the end there. 😄

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    • Gee wizz, that’s a predicament I never would have thought of! I can’t even beging to imagine how Robyn and Cairo, CAIRO, got there.

      Famous Five books! Oh, I had forgotten about those. In fact, I can’t even remember the ending of my favourite in the series lol I suppose the last sentence isn’t so bad though. It’s hard to put one sentence into context sometimes, unless it’s like, ‘And that’s how Cairo died.’ but psch.

      Oh, I agree, I think it’s a good thing, but it is hard to write whatever you want when you’ve not been published before T_T I actually enjoyed Twilight. 😄 I love the first two books. The third book I’m indifferent to and the fourth book does not exist. The second book is my favourite because during the time I read it I was going through a very, very low teenage wanky stage. Councellors, domestic issues and all kinds of bollocks that I don’t need to mention. But the second book was incredibly comforting. I know it doesn’t portray a healthy relationship (but who wants to read a book about healthy, happy people anyway?) and that it’s about feelings all the time, but when I read it, it was very relevant to me. Meyer definitely has a specific audience and she reached them, which I’m grateful for 🙂

      Ranting is fun, it’s OK ^_^
      I really need to write more nano though. Again, so behind and it’s almost 1:30AM. So er, I’ll reply to the rest of your comments soon!

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      • See, you prove my point. Different writing appeals to different kinds of people, and while I really didn’t enjoy Twilight (only read the first one), I know so many people who did. If it relates to you, it’s all cool. Everyone has issues in their life, I’m no exception and people deal with it however they want. For me it was just the style of writing and, erm, Bella. 😄 Borderline unhealthy relationships is something that’s been big in my life for the past year or so (my boyfriend has a mental illness which usually doesn’t show itself but when it does… oh boy), some people like to read about similar issues they can relate to and others avoid them.

        And oh snap I am going to bed now because I stayed up until 3am last night which is ridiculous because I’ve got a week of college ahead of me. 😄 So, g’night, speak soon!

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        • You’re so lovely to talk to. 😄
          Heh, I appreciate some people don’t enjoy the writing that much. It’s the same kind of argument people have for Harry Potter (though it makes me weep because I am a HP!nerd), ‘it’s so badly written’. But the story’s great/characters are fun right? Right? Oh, Bella annoys me too. Absurdly so. >_O She’s stupidly stubborn and boneheaded. I was most annoyed with her in the third book for such qualities, but that’s another debate. 😄
          Bless your boyfriend’s cotton socks, btw.

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  3. I’m not a big time Harry Potter maniac but I’ve read the books and enjoyed them. 🙂 I didn’t think they’re written badly, anyway, although I’ll admit I haven’t read one in years and I never got around to reading Deathly Hallows (DON’T KILL ME!).

    Bella is a total spod. So flat and false and bland that by the end of the first chapter I was hoping she’d die. She’s actually the only thing that put me off– nothing else about the novel annoyed me paticularly, just her personality, her narrative voice and the way all of the other people in the Twilight ‘verse reacted to her.

    As for my boyfriend; there are a lot of parallels between him and Victor, which I don’t think was an accident even though I didn’t set out to do it. Victor’s a bit more awesome though ’cause, you know, he can make his eyes go white and kick serious butt. 😄

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    • Yaaay! Yeah, I never thought they were badly written and I even listened to the audio book of ‘HP and TPS’ August this year! But my professor used J.K.Rowling as an example of bad writing (not bad story, but writing) and it saddened me to admit that she was right. Oh no, how dare you not have read the seventh book! 😛

      Heh, I didn’t think she was flat but I definitely thought she was stupid/arrogant. In hindsight, annoying traits for a lead character can work well, and I think Meyer certainly pulled off an annoying protagonist. Whether people enjoy severly aggravating MC’s is another question 😄 But then, you have Edward to balance out the frustration LoL

      We often write about the people around us without meaning to. Issues, concerns and loves we have subconsciously escape over the page. I always have mother issues leak out when I write. 😄
      So, Victor is the superhero version of your boyfriend? haha, love. It. ;D

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      • For me, Edward didn’t balance out the frustration of Bella. I didn’t hate him, but he was a bit… meh. Nothing to shout about, in my opinion. 😄 And I mean, someone who’s had a ex/boyfriend turn into a semi-stalker knows that it so is not swoon-worthy. Watching her in her sleep, Eddie? Really? 😛

        I know, it’s insane the amount of stuff from my own life I realise get put into my writing. It’s everywhere, and it’s sort of like my little secret because I know nobody else can spot it. *cackle*

        Lol, I guess so. My boyfriend’s borderline schizophrenic and the way he acts about it sometimes ties in strongly with Victor’s Remembering and his reactions to that. There are several differences between the two of them, though– I don’t like basing characters entirely on people, I find I need to meld them into their own shape. 🙂

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        • keeheehee, I don’t like to get involved in the Twilight war (I don’t care THAT much XD) but if I were in a team, it would be Team Edward. 😛

          Insane, but quite nice, right?

          Wow, that’s not something you hear about everyday. Fromawritersperspective, it must be interesting to know someone like your boyfriend. And I agree about melding characters into their own shape. It feels awkward to write a charcater based entirely off of a person you know.

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  4. I suppose it is, although 99.9999% of the time he’s a really mild-mannered ordinary sort of weirdo. XDDD I had no idea he was shizophrenic when I first met him, or for the year that I knew him before we started dating. He told me and I was like, “Really?? Whoa, I had no idea…” But since we got together obviously I’ve started spending more time with him and when he goes into a bad moment… I dunno, I can deal with it by now and bring him back around but it was scary the first few times. Not that he’s violent towards me or anything like that. 🙂

    So yeah… if you ever need to write a schizo… I may be able to advise you. XDDD

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    • Wow, I really don’t want to be insensitive, so you can totally ignore me, but does he have two different personalities then? What’s the change like, the transition I mean?

      OMFG HARRY POTTER IS ON I MAY RUN AWAY TO WATCH IT.

      I do have a schizophrenic character, as it goes. I loves her 😄

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      • Schizophrenic people don’t have dual personalities, it’s a common misconception. 🙂 That’s an entirely different disorder. Schizophrenics can have sudden, wild leaps into hallucinations and/or delusions, though, which can look pretty much the same.

        George tends to start talking in a slightly different voice when he’s having one of his episodes– like, sort of mumbling and talking really fast. I can spot it pretty quickly by now. He likes to be alone so he usually leaves the room/building pretty sharpish when he feels an episode coming on. When we’re at his house he generally goes into his room. I usually leave it a few minutes and then go in after him, taking a cup of tea or whatever, and just generally calm him down until he’s “normal” again. It usually doesn’t take long, he hasn’t had a serious episode in years, he just gets these little panics sometimes. He thinks that shadows on ceilings can hurt him.

        Nah, I don’t think it’s insensitive to be curious. My boyfriend is pretty much completely mentally healthy, he just occasionally slips into an “episode”, and even those aren’t too bad nowadays. He’s really good about it, he even jokes about it, and he’s quite fascinating. I really want him to write his memoirs someday. 🙂

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        • Yes, I’d never understood what the defining differences were between Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder were before. There are so many sub-conditions it can be confused with, those sub-conditions alone often reffered to in the classification of it! Tis why I’ve never outright said what my character has. 😄 I only get away with it because of the timeless setting.

          That’s super interesting though. The way you calm him down, with a cup of tea and your company, is adorable. His fear of shadows is easily justifiable in my head. That’s a pretty sensible thing to panic about! It’s sweet and sad that George feels he sound leave the room when he has an “episode”. George sounds like quite a character.

          Maybe you should suggest to him to voice record his memoirs, and then you’ll type them up, heh. Have you ever read ‘Moral Disorder’ by Margaret Atwood? I think you would find it an interesting story. 🙂

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  5. Oh tell me about it, and they spend so long trying to “classify” everyone too. They’ve put George down as shizophrenic but really, who knows? Everyone’s so different and within each disorder there’s a whole spectrum of others. :/ I think in fiction you can afford to go with it, especially with things like this because there’s such variety and one pyschologist could decide a patient has one thing and another one have an entirely different opinion.

    George has this thing about the house he lives in– it’s like this big sprawling country house in the middle of nowhere (literally, the next nearest house is a good 10 minute schlep). I stayed over when his parents were out once and he was saying about all of the “bad thing” there were in the house. By the end of the discussion I was scared of his house too. XDD

    Man, “quite a character” is right. He’s a real diva sometimes.

    I’ve never read that book but I’ve heard of it! I think I shall have to put it on my considerable “reading pile” and perhaps I’ll get around to it sometime in the next decade, lol. Too many books…

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