NaNoWriMo Winner! But pre Post-November slump.

As ever, once the NaNoWriMo month is over, you notice a huge chunk of your day is missing – less stressful. Despite having a crazy challenge lifted off your shoulders and leaving you with time to focus on more important things (like university assessments O_O), there’s something missing.

That nagging sensation in the back of your mind that says either, ‘I have to reach the target today,’ or, ‘shit I have homework I should be doing instead,’ disappears and there’s no longer a fantastic reason not to do your work.

But despite this strange, floating feeling, I have reached 50,000 words. Hellz yeah! My novel may well go on hold for a little while as I focus on studies, but I’ve written half a novel. That’s not just me, mind you. Many others are racing over the finish line this weekend. How amazing is that? Thousands of people have written a novel/half a novel this month and it makes me want to cheer. WELL DONE EVERYONE! We’ve all done something amazing this month.

I pegged it this weekend. I stayed up writing Saturday night until 7AM Sunday. I had to reach 50k because this week is crazy assessment hand-in week, and I can’t cope with five deadlines looming over with me. Four is much better. X_x

Admittedly, a lot of my time this weekend was eaten up researching into the Chinese language, different provinces, certain dialects, Chinese fashion, vowel pronunciation (it hurts my brain) and honorifics. It was the first time this month I almost wished I had made my female protagonist Japanese. The Japanese culture and language I’m pretty good at – here be an obligatory fangirl – but the Chinese, despite my interest in it as a child, I know next to nothing about (well, not anymore *French laugh*). It’s a shame, because the Chinese culture is just as beautiful in its neighbour.

The C-honorific system, however, is so much more confusing than the Japanese one, in my western opinion. So many honorific terms! Half of them aren’t even used anymore and some have changed into insults. I suppose this can be said for the Japanese, but at least they have a sensible amount.

Despite the overwhelming awesomeness of the Chinese language, however, I learnt a fair bit this weekend. Many people will tell you to ‘write what you know’, but personally, I rarely do this. I love multi-cultural stories or stories set in another era, because I’m a geek like that. Doing research into something you’re unfamiliar with is half the fun of writing. It’s like learning about a whole new world or magical craft, and once you know at least enough to write with confidence, it broadens your horizons as a writer. You can manipulate your knowledge of the world to form a wonderfully new, in-depth experience.

For my first novel, the story is set in six different worlds each based off of different European or Arabian country (one a mix of the two). The sixth world is basically Earth (except not). Now, not only could I tell you about the country where my main characters live, but I could tell you about the twelve others the reader never visits; including the character’s family tree, their origins and how/why they ended up geographically where they are ‘today’. Know your story more than your reader, it’s OK. I think learning to enjoy research is an important element of good writing.

For example, another thing I had to research this weekend was the Chinese metro train and railway system. I told my father and he grimaced, but I actually found it quite fun!

My overall point is: don’t get caught out. Know your stuff so you can justify your decisions. Now it’s time for me to get back to drinking Coke from a mug and writing essays – ciao!

P.S. I don’t want to give too much away in these extracts. The first one is from my favourite chapter thus far and I would love it to be read as a whole (when I upload it) rather than in parts; even if that’s wishful thinking; but that’s why they may not feel very satisfying.

EXTRACT #1

“Xiao Li-ling, what are you doing?” he asked.

Shadows flickered through the carriage and Li-ling half expected the pond to have returned, but looking out the window, she saw telephone poles whizzing past. “Ah,” said Master Wu, “we’re almost there.” As Li-ling returned to where he was sat, she noticed the origami fish on the floor and scooped it up on her way past.

Guangzhou city was in sight and Li-ling pressed her face against the window. She had never in her life seen anything like it. Tall buildings, taller than mountain giants, glistened in the sunlight. “Wooow!” she gasped, “Zhǔ Wu, can I live here?”

He chuckled and peered out the window with her. “Maybe one day.”

“How did they build those?” she asked. “Are they made out of silver?”

“No, no. They look like it though, don’t they? But they’re made of glass.”

Li-ling gasped again. “Really?!”

“Mmm.” It took a while to convince her that the buildings were made of thousands of windows.

EXTRACT #2
(I wrote the action part of this extract to the Korean song: Hip Song by Rain, if you’re interested.)

Dangerfield puffed another cloud of smoke into the room and took a few paces around the coffee table. “The demon population keeps risin’ because they inhabit innocent people’s bodies,” he drawled, his confidence testing Li-ling’s temper not punching him. “The person that was there dies and only the demon is left. They want to eradicate human life, little Liling, because they see themselves as a superior race.”

“That’s not-” Li-ling bit down on her tongue and ground her fist into her hand.

“There you have it,” said Mr. Redgrave, “very well put.”

Grunting, Dangerfield glomped past and muttered, “That school don’t sound like a bad idea, sir,” and gave Li-ling a manic look.

“You stay out of our woods,” Li-ling spat.

“Silence Liling!” cried Mr. Redgrave and he hit her in the back again.

A dark, wheezing chuckle filled Dangerfield’s throat as he made to leave and Li-ling cracked. Swooping forward, she leapt into the air and swung her arm. Her fist hooked around and smashed into the side of his face with sharp precision – a blow so quick it could have been missed in the blink of an eye.

Mr. Redgrave dived to restrain her but Li-ling landed a smack against his chest, sending him flying back into the sitting room. Dangerfield made to slap her, but Li-ling pre-empted his move. She grabbed his wrist, bent his hand and yanked his arm behind him; forcing the man to spin his back to her.

Centring her energy, Li-ling gathered her strength and drove her foot into the middle of his back with barely a moment’s pause. He staggered forward, dropping his cigar, and at once raised his fists at her. Li-ling felt no fear of the built man, only hate, and dived at him.

EXTRACT #3

The folds of time roared against Frederick’s ears, his body racked with pleasure until his feet slammed into the ground and he buckled. His knees suffered the most as they smashed into the solid rock now beneath him. Rain poured down from the night sky and Frederick turned his face up, exhausted. Thunder tolled behind the clouds and rumbled over the dark terrain. A dull sob escaped him.

He couldn’t take it anymore.

Observing his new surroundings, Frederick saw nothing but black, glistening rock for miles. He paused, blinking against the downpour. This was it. This was the place! The place he had lost.
Forcing his legs to work, Frederick staggered onto his feet, shaking; his hands dripping with blood and covered in cuts. He cradled them against his chest, when lightning severed the sky and illuminated a cave up ahead. “I found it,” he gasped.

A figure lay in the dirt.

“No…” he whimpered. Making his legs move, Frederick limped over the cragged terrain, jumping as a crash of thunder echoed off the rocks. Who was it? Which time stream was he in? Was this the right place but a different thread of time to the one he needed? He recognised the shape of the man’s arms as he came closer. It would take more than a life time for Frederick to forget what Mercury looked like.

EXTRACT #4

When he next opened his eyes, Frederick saw an orange ceiling, or rather, a ceiling made of animal hide that flickered with orange light. He could hear the rain and an unfamiliar peace hugged him. He was wrapped in warm throws, the sound of rain and a crackling fire close by. A young woman appeared at his side, her long brown hair curling around her face. “How are you feeling?” she asked. Frederick closed his eyes and went back to sleep. After a few days, Frederick started speaking to her.

As she propped him up one evening and handed him a plate of raw meat cut into chunks, Mary said, “Whatever your past is, you don’t have one with me.”

He stared at her. The fire light danced over her face and rich brown hair. She did not meet his gaze. As she slipped off the beads she wore on her arms and doused the fire in the tent entrance, Frederick watched her: silent.

Mary lay down on her mat on the other side of the tent. “You don’t have to be afraid,” she said, then rolled over and drew her bear skin up to her neck. “I’m just trying to help.”

17 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Winner! But pre Post-November slump.

  1. Dangerfield. 😦 He has disappointed me. But in the battle for awesomeness, THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE WINNAR!!1!

    The rest of the extracts… I don’t have a clue what’s happening but it’s very intriguing, clearly the plot has truly kicked off and things are starting to get crazy. Yes! This is always good! Well, that’s what I like to think. But very very intriguing! We have finally met Mary… who lives in a tent and wears bearskin… Mary the red injun? *non-PC* Is that picture at the bottom a representation of Mary or something? Because… I dunno, my brain is just covering Mary in clothes. XD

    And yes, research is always good! As far-removed from reality as most of my novels tend to be, I do a surprising amount of research. I’ve done ages of research for like, one throwaway line before which just seems like a waste, haha. But I don’t regret it!

    Yeah, I’ve been writing hard for the last few nights and my brain has fallen out, when I can actually think straight I promise I’ll post a comment or whatever that isn’t so… well, crap. XD

    Like

    • Yeah, it’s really tough to pick. He’s so VERY useful as either a fellow ‘good guy’ or insinuator-of-bad-events. ROUND ONE – FIGHT!

      The plot has actually shat up the freakin wall, that’s what it’s done. As much as I personally enjoy being an active reader, I hope I’ve written this novel well enough for others to enjoy piecing the threads together. Yes, Mary is vaguely explained. It’s written it in a way that makes the reader fill in the blanks with the little bits of information I’ve been dumping in early chapters. It should all fit together in an ambiguous way. XD That picture though, it’s more a representation of her freedom and open nature. Psch, when you get there in the story. When you get there *waves hand*

      hahaha, it’s nice when you have those tid-bits of research hidden within your work, even though it’s utterly superfluous to the plot/reader’s knowledge.

      Your comments are never crap, dear. They do bring me joy, this one not excluded. Get some sleep though. Sleep is your friend. ❤

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      • *loves Dangerfield nonetheless*

        YAY for plots shitting up the freaking wall! Whatever that means, haha. Don’t worry, mine was doing that from about the second chapter when Robyn and Victor had the brilliant idea to break into the office of the guy who hired them to solve the case. GUYS. That is not professional. XDD Although to be fair, he was hiding things from them.

        Hooray for piecing things together! Mine is meant to be a murder mystery but there isn’t much piecing together to be done because none of the clues many any single facet of sense because the murder(s) turn out to be… well, that would spoil it. XDD Basically, the reader would probably have to be insane to work out what the hell is going on, even though they get their suspects really quickly they have no way at all of telling which one did it until Victor falls into one of their brains.

        >.<

        Anyway, wtf, back to your novel. I'm off to read Chapter Nine now. But these extracts are mega-teasers! Can't wait for "Dangerfield, powerfield, he's the fastest he's the quickest he's the best"… wow I haven't watched Dangermouse in ages.

        Like

        • LoL You know what it means. Deep down, you know. Yeah but Robyn and Victor know what they’re doiiiin *waves hand nonchalantly* Take a backseat, darlin, Robyn pwns. Fret not over professionalism.

          Ha, I love that about mystery/detective stories – trying to piece together the clues. I used to read detective books as I walked home from school (not advised when crossing roads or near bullies) and the way writers structure hints and events can blow my mind. I’m sure your novel has awesome hints you never noticed 😀 Besides, no one really wants to work it out before the end.

          Lulz, yeahrite. I’ve been avoiding social networks and the internet in general this week. I think I’ve done quite well considering I’ve been aching to open alerts from Nina! XD I’m taking a break for a bit though. IT’S SNOWING SUPER THICK HERE. My feet are like ice lol

          Like

          • There are a few random clues but the type that probably make you think WTF instead of “ahh, I see…” Lol.

            And OMG snow! It snowed last night and this morning my stupid boyfriend called me at 6.30am to say “IT’S SNOWING! MAYBE NO COLLEGE!!” I was like, “THANKS. There’s no college and you woke me up at six frigging thirty!” Then college was on so I walked the two miles to get there in the fridging arctic conditions and I was like, one of five people. XDD

            The snow isn’t so thick in Somerset though. It never is. 😦 Maybe tomorrow, eh?

            Willow is leaving the intarwebz? Aw daaamn! xP Maybe when the weather turns from snowy to arctic you can return to the world of internet-ness and talk to me about babydaddies and Freddy. XD

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            • Wooo ‘WTF clues’! Yeah but see, that then makes the reader want to understand what’s going on even more! The ol’ school, “habda-habda mmm yes, old boy, this is quite logical.” isn’t always as epic as we romantically like to think so.

              Aw! Bless him! At least he wakes up at 6:30 AM and the first thing he thinks of is: ‘MUST TELL NINA!’ That’s pretty darn cute. Super sorry to hear college wasn’t cancelled for you though. I had an exam today, so I walked in thinking, ‘they won’t cancel – it’s an exam, right?’ But alas. Uni classes (aside the library) was closed. My project group still made me stay there for FOUR HOURS working on a PowerPoint presentation. T_T And they wondered why I was going insane by the end of it. There’s always one aggressively opinionated person in a group, aye? Bah. *shoots them*

              Tons of snow here O_O It’s really surreal. I’MA CROSS MY FINGERS FOR YOU THOUGH! :O

              hahaha~ I’ll be storming in fully again by the weekend. I must finish this essay (about Harry Potter, Memoirs of a Geisha and The Craft. 8D It’s quite fun but just require effort XD) and then I can do whatever I want guilt free~

              SO MUCH LIEBE FOR NINA.

              Like

              • Somerset is pathetic! But it did snow four days ago and it was the first time it snowed in our area in November in 20 years so everyone was like “YAAAAAAAAY!” and now we’re all hoping for MOAR SNOW! Because who doesn’t like snow? Maybe it’ll even be snowy over Christmas!

                News coverage of snow is ridiculous. They go on and on like it’s DEATH FROM THE SKIES. No, news channel! It’s snoooow! 😀 😀 Be jolly!

                Oh man, it sucks when you’re told to work in a group and one of them is like, “so basically I know everything so you should ask me and I’ll supply the brainpower and you do the work, k?” Umm, how about no. Although the listless ones that sit in the corner shrugging can be a bit annoying too. XDD

                That’s an essay? AN ESSAY? Duude my current outstanding essay are on Thomas Hardy’s greatest tragedies! Cheerful stuff. Also I got another uni offer today from Kent! ABB! WHICH IS MAYBE ATTAINABLE!

                *dances in the snow*

                Like

                • I know right? When does it ever snow before January?! I hope you get moar snow, maybe you’ll get a day off. 😀 I hope it snows over Christmas though. I get to show my Americano just how stupid England gets when it snows then. XD

                  “AND LIFE AS WE KNOW IT SHALL END, BECAUSE TRAINS CAN NO LONGER RUN AND SCHOOLS EVERYWHERE MUST CLOSE. ALAS, WHAT WILL BECOME OF OUR NEW GENERATION?” Prolly nothing much other than what happened to your generation? They’ll grow up no worse no better, just different.

                  Guh, I can turn into that listless person after a while. I’m in a group of such headstrong people that I cease to give a shit and just nod and smile. Ironically, the agressively opinionated person is also the listless one. LoL It happens, who knew?

                  It sure was! I’ve never enjoyed an essay in years. I’ve only ever enjoyed one and that was when I was in year nine and comparing the… *le gasp* pretty much doing the same thing but with modern and old Romeo and Juliet! (Slightly weirded out. It’s a long story.) But yeah, my dossier was: chose three genres and write about three films from that genre and how those films conform or do not conform to their genre.
                  Geh, Thomas Hardy’s greatest tragedies? Yeah, that sounds like a barrel of joy.

                  OMFG NO WAI! You can totally pull it off. WELL DONE NINA! That’s epic news! *dances with*

                  Like

                  • The “War of the Worlds” theme starts playing in my head whenever I watch the news coverage of snow. “Dah dah DAAHH! Dah dah DAAHHHHH!” And you get loads of people standing around going, “WHY isn’t there enough GRIT on the ROADS?!”

                    Chill out and make a snowman, dude!

                    And ahaa don’t worry, I’ve listless’d my way through a lot of things too (hell yeah I just turned listless into a past tense verb) because sometimes it becomes too annoying to actually care about any of that shit. I try to have ideas but most of the ideas I have make people go “…right. AAAANYWAY…”

                    Or just this face: o______O

                    I want a good essay! D: I love Hardy’s novels but writing about them is like pulling teeth. What causes Jude Fawley’s demise? A METRIC SHIT-TON OF BAD LUCK, MAN!! Unfortunately, I have to write more than seven words for my essay.

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                    • LMAO “You would THINK they would be prepared by now, HONESTLY. It’s been the same atrocity for two years now. GOSH.”

                      Yes, exactly that. It’s just not worth caring about! Which is sad but…eh.

                      Agreed, agreed, agreed. I tried explaining the same think about Charles Dickins to one of my well-to-do friends (*facepalm*) but he thought I was slandering the man or something. NO, I JUST, AN ESSAY ON HIM AND HIS BOOKS? NO. NO THANK YOU. It’s OK, drink lots of coffee and eat lots of Ritz crackers.

                      Like

  2. Haha yeah. Novels are hard. I absolutely love doing essays about Shakespeare (*is sad*) but novels? Oh GOD there is so MUCH. Hardy is one of my all-time favourite writers (his description makes me drool– but it also makes me sad because it is humanly impossible to reach that level of perfection when it comes to describing things, sigh) but it’s really really difficult to explain his novels because you need all of it to get the fuller picture.

    I guess I’ll learn all about writing essays seeing as I’ve applied for lots of English Literature courses at uni… XDD

    Like

    • Yeah, I think that’s the flip side to assessments on the Screenwriting course. I’m bad at essays about novels for said reasons, but good at essays about film and TV even though I have never studied media. o_O

      Kyu ^.^ I’m not much of Hardy fan (he describes too much for me), I prefer Jane Austin from the classics shelf, but Hardy is certainly clever.

      You have fun with that. XP

      Like

      • Personally I find Austen a little dry, but hey-ho, life is a rich and varied tapestry. :3

        Oh and also, in my NaNo Robyn just got shot (yep, still at that part) and she just shouted out a string of bizarre swear-words… do you think a fuckton of swearwords can be funny or is it just overkill? .__. Her sort-of-boss is telling her off for swearing while she’s clutching her bloodied leg…

        Like

        • haha, I enjoy her scarcasm and subtext I think. XD

          The dropped the fuck!bomb? Well, I suppose it depends on how often she swears throughout the rest of the novel. Does she swear frequently? If so, it might not be so funny. If not, it probably will be – but I think it also depends on her physical reactions as well. Is she writhing like a fish out of water, looking like should would like to smack someone in the face? It really depends on past swears and situational context sometimes. fuck!bombs tend to amuse me! XD Want to post me the extract?

          Like

          • Lol, you can have her initial reaction to being shot…


            “Oh, fuck. Oh, fucking shit. Shitting bloody arsing cocking /fuck/! Shit… /aaarggh/!”
            “Walshe…”
            “Twatting fucking /cock/ on a bloody fucking bike!”
            “Walshe!”

            Lol, she swears in her head but it tends to just be “oh shit” every now and again, she hasn’t sworn loads throughout the novel. And definitely not like that. o__O I just think I need someone else to look at the, er, combination and see if it sounds stupid ooor stupid but just stupid enough to be funny, haha.

            The person saying “Walshe” is Bower, trying to inform her that the bullet barely grazed her leg. XD Still, pain. And blood. Poor Robyn. I’m cruel to her. At least I don’t break her wrist though… *looks guiltily at Victor* XDD

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            • hahaha, the second line made me laugh – only because she’s still going off when somone else is clearly quite calm and uncomfortable.

              Yeah it probably works then; you had me chuckling even with the entirity of the situation not in full context.

              Oh Robyn, I’ve seen lesser woman not even shed a tear when shot in the stomach (but only by feats of Joss Whedon o_O wtf Joss?) Be cruel to her! Do it! Although Victor I may weep over, but nonetheless…

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              • OK, cool. I was worried it would just come out a bit… flat. Cussing can be an art form, people! XD

                I think the worst thing about Victor’s wrist is the way that Finbar breaks it. D: And how Victor doesn’t tell anyone he thinks it’s broken until ages later because he didn’t want to cause a fuss…

                Like

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