NaNoWriMo Word Count Update Day 9

I didn’t expect getting too much work done yesterday but since a family occasion got moved to today at the last moment, I found myself suddenly with plenty of time to write. Unfortunately, it also took me some time to settle myself and get writing so I decided to be constructive in my procrastination.

This took the form of working out what exactly I was going to do with a sub-plot line that had taken on a life of its own during the writing. I had introduced the idea of their being an expectation on my FMC to settle down, get married, have and raise children and being a submissive housewife to her husband, now she had finished with her education “nonsense” (her parents words). This had meant to be  a means to an end to show the sort of ideology surrounding women on the island I had created for my story. Think of the sort of societal ideas and expectations between 1900 and the 1960’s, particularly in the UK and the US and you have a good idea of what my FMC is trying to fight against.

I just want to quickly state now that I am not saying it is a bad thing to be a home-maker and raise children at home supported by one salary. If a person CHOOSES that path for themselves, excellent. I just don’t agree with the idea that it is a woman’s duty and role in life to do it and she has NO CHOICE in the matter. To housewives and house-husbands of the world, I salute you!

Back to my novel problem, what was meant to be a passing means to an end and has developed into a sub-plot and storyline of its own and I started thinking, ‘well, what could her parents do to MAKE her get married and fall into line?’ They had already failed trying to play matchmaker and get her with a man who is  actually gay. (Her parents don’t have gaydar since homosexuality, though not illegal, is highly frowned upon on the island). It took some messing around, Google searches on the web and chatting with my fellow WriMo’s to finally come up with a solution: an arranged marriage with a legally binding contract behind it to make my FMC marry. Thank you to Karina for suggesting it and helping me figure it out. You know who you are and I love you for it. How I am going to implement it, I am unsure yet but it gives me words and possible places to go to help me write and get to 50,000 words.

Figuring that out and getting the idea noted down helped me settle down and after some more chatting with people to help me figure out how to write an argument, I finished at 12:45AM this morning on 15,057 words.

English: Logo from the television program The ...

Sunday’s are days when I normally slouch around, don’t do much except surf the web, watch copious amounts of TV including The Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons and since I had the family event today, I have not started writing yet. Yes, I know, I am setting myself up to gain a deficit again after only just managing to clear the last! Even so, I have not stopped thinking about my novel. It was as I was doing my second set of physiotherapy for the day and thinking about how I am at 15k and I haven’t even started the real story yet and thinking about how I need to edit it seriously come December possibly that I realised I could up the stakes on the marriage front and the character’s own determination to remove the expectation on women, to give them a choice in their lives that it occurred to me that her father was a ruling council member of the island on which the story is set! Don’t you just hate it when you get so far and you realise something big about your characters and story?!

So yes, that’s how my NaNoWriMo has evolved in the last 36 to 48 hours.

Royal British Legion poppyP.S.: May I also salute and call for people to remember all those who have fallen in wars and conflicts around the world. Today is Remembrance Sunday or Armistice Day.  I feel they are the most fitting I can come up with, from the Wilfred Owen poem:

Dulce Et Decorum Est, Pro Patria Moria.

Translation:  “It is sweet and right to die for your country.”

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Book Contracts and Getting Paid

I covered this sort of thing at university in more detail but sometimes, it is nice to have a little reminder of how things work with publishers,agents and contracts, etc. My reminder today came from Benedict Jacka.

He’s written a blog post today talking about getting his first royalty check then went on to explain about how book contracts and getting paid works, among other things. It is very clearly explained and very concise. For people who haven’t been taught and/or haven’t read about how this work from the how-to books that are out there on the market and are coming into the industry not knowing how it works, it is brilliant.

 

I thought I would post it here for you to read and to enjoy: http://benedictjacka.co.uk/2013/11/01/heffalumps-and-royalties/

Welcome To Night Vale by Commonplace Books

Okay, so I think I am becoming somewhat obsessed with this brilliant PodCast.

I am not one for listening to radio normally or radio dramas or anything like that if I am being totally honest but after seeing people posting about it on Tumblr , particularly from one of my real life friends, I thought I would at least give it ago. That, I think, might have been a mistake.

I am now in LOVE with Welcome To Night Vale. It’s weird, its bizarre, it’s creepy, the characters are fascinating and the stories are amazing. Cecil’s voice, oh Cecil’s wonderful voice! So smooth! And the Scientist Carlos, beautiful Carlos, beautiful, perfect hair Carlos… I am in love with these characters (and I am shipping them so hard!)

Prior to listening to episode 25, I didn’t realise just how much I had begun to invest in these characters and how fascinated I was with it but after listening to the episode, WOW! Just, WOW! The writing, the description, the acting… The only word I can offer is WOW! If anyone can help me deal with my feels, I would be very grateful to hear from them!

Now I know I am in love and obsessed with this series. I think it’s why I haven’t been posting on here and why I am distracted from the Autumn/Fall Writing Challenge I should be getting on with and the planning for NaNoWriMo next month.

I think I am just accepting that I am going to be joining the challenge next month. I must be a glutton for punishment as I have job hunting to do, possibly some voluntary work if I am needed by the National Trust plus other bits and bats to do in November as well. Oh God!

So, uh, if anyone can help with actually getting on with my writing instead of listening to the soothing voice of Cecil, his perfect relationship with beautiful Carlos and the weird and creepy events in that small town of Night Vale in a desert somewhere in America, I’d be grateful to hear from you!

 

Book Review: Skulduggery Pleasant, Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy

bd816-sp8_revise_tom-1-page-0Okay, so I am finally getting on and writing this review.

War is coming to the Irish Sanctuary. After years of one catastrophe to another, the other Sanctuaries around the world are taking matters into their own hands to protect the world. But not all is as it seems. There is conspiracy afoot and a plan to reveal the magical world to the mortals and the long-term plan is coming to maturity.

And that’s not all. Valkyrie‘s true nature, Darquesse, is fighting to get free and if Valkyrie can’t keep a tight hold on her, Darquesse might just be set free.

This, the penultimate book in the series, continues with the same humour and well paced fights as before, tying in all the stories from the previous seven books and sees the return of some characters last seen in earlier books. The story does seem much darker than earlier books (granted the stories have been steadily getting darker as the series has gone along, like most series) and features many surprises and some great fun moments.

This book is a war story but features some spy elements and international country hopping. Whilst the characters have gone international before, this book goes REALLY international, jumping from Ireland to America to England to Australia to France and many, many other places around the world. This really changes the pace of the story and keeps the book very interesting.

The way Landy portrayed the inner dialogue between Valkyrie and Darquesse is brilliantly written, witty and the style of writing that readers have come to expect from Landy and his characters.

Unfortunately, I did lose interest in this book near the end and it took me a few days to actually finally finish reading this book. Maybe it’s because this book is a war story and I don’t read war books but the pacing of the actual novel seemed slow and the fight scenes very extended. The fights are not repetitive and they are interesting but I found myself getting very weary of them. Again, as I said, it might be because I am unfamiliar with war books and therefore, their pacing and the codes and conventions of the genre.

I also found myself getting bored and fed up of a certain character that shows up near the end and seems to be a throwback to the very first book. The character’s actions and then other characters reactions to the character is interesting but mostly, the character is boring and I found myself thinking, “and…?”

I have found this book a real shame and not the best addition to the series. The ending is a great cliffhanger and does make me want to read the next book but also leaves me apprehensive. After such a great series, it would be a serious disservice to the series to end it on a low note. I can quite honestly say I did not enjoy this book and found it boring and tough going. Perhaps it is my unfamiliarity with the genre plus the fact that I am just not interested in the genre that prevented me from enjoying the book.

So whilst this book is good in some aspects, in others, it is just plain boring. In my personal opinion anyway.

2 Writing Challenges

Exactly as the title says, I have found 2 writing challenges for you all to try.

First challenge is a 31 day Fall/Autumn writing challenge:

Day One: Leaves

Day Two: Handmade hats

Day Three: Scarves

Day Four: Boots

Day Five: Warm drinks

Day Six: Cooler weather

Day Seven: Rainy day

Day Eight: A new jacket

Day Nine: Football

Day Ten: Soup

Day Eleven: Giving thanks

Day Twelve: Pumpkin Patch

Day Thirteen: Cold/Flu season

Day Fourteen: Knitting/Crocheting

Day Fifteen: Night coming earlier

Day Sixteen: Sweaters

Day Seventeen: Apples/Orchard

Day Eighteen: Bonfire

Day Nineteen: Fall scented candles

Day Twenty: Comfort food

Day Twenty-One: Spirits

Day Twenty-Two: Friday the 13th

Day Twenty-Three: A scary movie

Day Twenty-Four: Corn Maze

Day Twenty-Five: An owl

Day Twenty-Six: Cookie Baking

Day Twenty-Seven: Haunted houses

Day Twenty-Eight: A foggy morning

Day Twenty-Nine: Blackbirds

Day Thirty: Thick socks

Day Thirty-One: Halloween

The original challenge can be found here.

And the second one is an oldie but still a goodie. It’s the classic 100 Themes Challenge that I haven’t attempted since before I started university in 2010:

1. Introduction
2. Love
3. Light
4. Dark
5. Seeking Solace
6. Break Away
7. Heaven
8. Innocence
9. Drive
10. Breathe Again
11. Memory
12. Insanity
13. Misfortune
14. Smile
15. Silence
16. Questioning
17. Blood
18. Rainbow
19. Gray
20. Cookies
21. Vacation
22. Mother Nature
23. Cat
24. Orly?
25. Trouble Lurking
26. Tears
27. Foreign
28. Sorrow
29. Happiness
30. Under the Rain
31. Flowers
32. Night
33. Expectations
34. Stars
35. Hold My Hand
36. Precious Treasure
37. Eyes
38. Abandoned
39. Dreams
40. Rated
41. Teamwork
42. Standing Still
43. Dying
44. Two Roads
45. Illusion
46. Family
47. Creation
48. Childhood
49. Stripes
50. Breaking the Rules
51. Sport
52. Deep in Thought
53. Keeping a Secret
54. Tower
55. Waiting
56. Danger Ahead
57. Sacrifice
58. Kick in the Head
59. No Way Out
60. Rejection
61. Fairy Tale
62. Magic
63. Do Not Disturb
64. Multitasking
65. Horror
66. Traps
67. Playing the Melody
68. Hero
69. Annoyance
70. 67%
71. Obsession
72. Mischief Managed
73. I Can’t
74. Are You Challenging Me?
75. Mirror
76. Broken Pieces
77. Test
78. Drink
79. Starvation
80. Words
81. Pen and Paper
82. Can You Hear Me?
83. Heal
84. Out Cold
85. Spiral
86. Seeing Red
87. Food
88. Pain
89. Through the Fire
90. Triangle
91. Drowning
92. All That I Have
93. Give Up
94. Last Hope
95. Advertisement
96. In the Storm
97. Safety First
98. Puzzle
99. Solitude
100. Relaxation

My friend over on deviantART reminded me about this one. His journal post about it can be found here.

Again, I will be posting any shorts I do succeed in doing for these over on my deviantART page, which can be found via my About page.

Sorry!

Okay, I just wanted to post quickly and apologise for the lack of posts lately. A mix of real life issues to deal with (including starting my voluntary job) plus having been waiting for books and films to come out for me to read, watch and review has meant that I have not had anything to really post about it.

Hopefully, I will be getting back up and running this week as I have The Lone Ranger and Black Butler Volume 14 to review plus I am also working on some concepts for a couple of articles on writing fantasy and what inspires and keeps writers writing. I’m doing bits of research and working on those articles as I am not fully clear myself on what exactly I am going to do with those topics for the articles. I just know the basics. I won’t be posting both of those reviews and articles this week. Instead, I am aiming to post them over this week and next.

I am also working on developing some other ideas for articles whilst waiting for Last Stand of Dead Men, the 8th Skulduggery Pleasant book, by Derek Landy and the 4th Alex Verus book, Chosen, by Benedict Jacka to come out. As soon as I can get my hands on them and read them, I will be posting reviews up here.

So again, sorry for not posting much lately. I will be aiming to begin posting again this week (in theory) and I thank you all for being patient with me.