If it doesn’t work…

Hey, everyone. I had this lengthy and elaborate post concerning the YA fantasy I’m working on, but I find this gif sums it up better.

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So now that I have cleared the board, I’m ready to fill it with newer and better things. I’ve spent the past few days writing up its history before transitioning to the outline. And let me tell you, I’ve never been more fucking excited about this idea since its inception back in 2005. Every other iteration is utter garbage. But it’s garbage I had to write in order to get to where I am right now.

I’m also convinced this surge of creativity means I’ll be employed very soon. I’m only ever this inspired when work is involved. So may this be a peek into things to come!

Routine check in, plus other stuff

Once again, I have emerged from the vast Ocean of Real Life to update this thing. Yes, I’m terrible at maintaining a steady online presence. But I am always here. I am ninja like that.

The Summer of Surgeries has passed, and my sister and I have settled back into a routine. She’s on the mend, which is good news. Her appetite is back and better than ever, and she’s been putting on weight. Our first test as to her stamina was a hot and humid day at Musikfest, which was followed by a cooler (figuratively and literally) experience at Retro Con. I met Michael Bell, the man whose voice touched damn well every 80s show I grew up with. He’s a funny and feisty old man. It was an amazing experience. I had him sign a few things and got my picture with him. I apologize for the blurry quality. I am rocking an iPhone 4. Also met a Deadpool and had some fun with him.

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On the writing front, I made the drastic decision to junk all existing versions of my sci fi, Renegade, in favor of a complete overhaul. This was, as my sister put it, a brave move. It’s easy to see why she’d say that. This story had been in its current incarnation since 2005. The biggest thing to happen to it between then and now was a title change (it began life as Key of the Zabeldi, then became Key of the Xabeldi). I admit, it’s been a little hard separating the two. The overall plot remains the same, but the characters needed to be re-evaluated. To do this, I looked into character profiles. I needed to solidify their goals, fears, wants, etc. before anything else. I found a comprehensive list of templates at the following page. All vary in detail depending on your needs:

It’s been instrumental in fleshing out my three main protagonists. See, one of the things that didn’t work in Renegade was the characterization. The fault for that is squarely on me. I developed its plot before anything else. The characters were more or less archetypes without any real life to them. The fact I believed it was the best version of the story makes me shake my head at my own ignorance. Still, all the changes got me fired up about the story again. The profiles ask questions you wouldn’t consider otherwise. It makes you think of the characters as real people, and not just proper nouns doing actions in narrative. I highly recommend the exercise, be it for an existing story or a new one.

October is here, which means NaNo is right around the corner. Super excited for the chance to play with new characters and in a new world. I’ve never written middle grade, so it’ll be a nice challenge for me. I’m going to be giving these characters the profile treatment once I’m done with my sci fi. Happy writing, all!

All good things come to an end

Tonight marks the final day of my vacation. As I sit here in the time before I go to bed, I reflect on the truly amazing accomplishment that has been NaNo 2014. 50K in nineteen days is sort of a big deal to me considering past NaNos often went down to the wire. Perseverance and creativity alone aren’t responsible for my success. This was just one of those books that was ready to be told. All it needed was for me to give it a chance. I’m so very glad I did. There’s a connection with these characters that is so very different from other stories I’ve penned. It’s like when you go to a pet store and an animal chooses you as its owner. It’s a wonderful feeling. I’m still working on it with the same gusto that has been with me since November 1st. I also will be making time to re-read it so I can relive all that awesome again. Because damn, there were some awesome parts.

While winning has concluded my participation in this year’s NaNo, I intend to take the experiences I’ve learned with me into 2015 and beyond. May it do the same for everyone else who has walked this journey with me.