November 30, 2013

Journaling - The final hours of NaNoWriMo 2013

Well, since a picture's worth a thousand words...

I did it! I hit 50,000 words at about 6:15 this evening... after writing about 8,000 words since 8:00 this morning. 8,000 words in a day isn't a record for me, but it's close to it.
Not only did I hit the 50K mark, but I finished the story too, which is an added bonus. For a while, I was afraid that the story was going to end up being much, much longer than that, but it all finished up quite nicely, I thought.
The finished story I ended up with is not even remotely close to the story I thought I was setting out to write, but that's perfectly okay with me. Honestly, I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. The story I ended up with is (in my humble opinion) far better than the one I thought I was going to be writing.
It's amazing what giving up our preconceptions and letting God take control of where the story goes can lead, hmm? I found myself surprised by a lot of things, totally lost now and then, and a little panicky a time or two, but it all turned out okay. Even though this story is going to need huge amounts of editing, expanding, and rewriting before I can even think about letting it out, I've got a great place to start, and a story that I never dreamed I would write already written in its first draft.
NaNoWriMo 2013 has been an amazing experience. I know some of you probably aren't finished yet - after all, we still have two and a half hours until the deadline - but I sincerely hope all of you had a NaNo2013 as great as mine was!

November 22, 2013

Journaling - Week 3 of NaNoWriMo

Well, this week left me a bit bogged down - i.e. behind on word count and completely surprised at the direction the story has taken. It has actually been a very exciting process, though. While I've always written from a Christian worldview and with the desire for my writing to please God, with this story I decided to consciously, intentionally seek to write the story God wants, rather than fighting for the story I want. So at the beginning I told God that We are the Rising is His story, and to help me write it the way He wants it.
I was expecting that to have some effects on the story, but I wasn't prepared for how dramatic those effects would be. What started out as an idea for a fantasy story about a man and a dragon fighting to avenge themselves on the empire that enslaved them has turned into a story about Christianity's earliest arrival in Western Europe, and about how God can even use something as horrible as the Roman Empire to accomplish His good purposes. Of course, there is some of what I'm calling "speculative history" thrown in there too. Basically, it's my imagination playing with the concept of domesticated dinosaurs. (I had to find something to do with the dragon character, after all.) Honestly, I would like to see a lot more Christian writers start exploring that concept. We have plenty of evidence that people in the past did domesticate dinosaurs, so why not incorporate them into our fiction?
But one thing at a time - and the first thing on the to-do list is to finish NaNoWriMo!
Best of luck, writers! We're on the home stretch, so don't quit now!

November 15, 2013

Journaling - Week 2 of NaNoWriMo

Well, over last weekend I got several thousand words behind schedule, and I'm still trying to catch up, but I've at least managed to close the gap to about 2,000 words.
As far as the story goes... well, it's interesting. What I had originally thought would be a story about a former gladiator and a dragon going off on a quest to become the scourge of Rome has turned instead into a story of a former gladiator wanting to do anything but go after Rome, and feeling very betrayed that during his absence his sister has embraced some new, foreign religion called "Christianity," which he sees as a Roman (and therefore to be avoided at all costs) thing.
This is absolutely nothing like I initially thought the story would be, but I'll be honest - I'm liking this new thread a lot!

November 8, 2013

Journaling Week One of NaNoWriMo

So far I'm right on target with word count. Hurrah!
Unfortunately, that outline I mentioned making, while it held together and proved very helpful, only took up about 12,000 words, leaving me with 38,000 words of completely uncharted story to write. I honestly thought the outline would take up at least 25 or 30K words, and I figured that making up the last few thousand wouldn't be too hard. But, I guess it was to be expected. Since when do stories do what they're supposed to do, right?
For a nice change, I haven't come up with any ideas for sequels to We are the Rising. However... I did decide to convert it to historical fantasy and turn it into the prequel to another one of my ideas, one I've had on the back burner for a while but haven't done anything with yet. So in theory, a few years from now We are the Rising and The Last Ember will be a set. No, I haven't said anything here at the Lair about The Last Ember yet. But if you want a look, Click Here to visit the story board I made for it on Pinterest. Come to think of it, you can do the same thing for We are the Rising by Clicking Here!

How is NaNoWriMo going so far for all of you?