Everything Is Cyclical

I had planned to post about this last night, but I didn’t for a couple of reasons.  I had an award post I needed to make.  I hate letting those wait for more than a few days (that’s a personal thing), but it was the first night I had a chance to get to it that I wasn’t tired or busy with the million writer things that always seem to come up in my life, not to mention everything non-writing.  In fact, I probably would have done it Thursday night, but I was otherwise distracted, which I will get to later in this post.  I’ve alluded to it in a couple of comments, but now I get to state it right out.

First, though, an announcement.  It has begun, again.  That’s right, 30 days of writing, my own unofficial NaNo in February.  I was originally planning on waiting until February 15th to start Possession because, well, it’s a nice round date and I’d already missed February 1st, but then we all know I’m not patient enough to wait almost two weeks, not with the outline done.  Besides, it just kind of felt right.  That was the major reason really.  The honest truth is that I’ve been feeling a little trepidatious about starting Possession, in spite of my enthusiasm and how happy I was with the outline on rereading it.  I think some of it is that it’s the second book.  There’s a lot more pressure in many ways.  Dark Mirror was easy, in that everything was possible, it was all free.  With Possession, I am no longer writing in a void.  I have a previous work to reference, existing characters that I cannot reshape on a whim.  I also have another book coming along after it that I am very conscious of needing to set up as I write this one.  Yes, there was some of that part at least while writing the second draft of DM, but that was in isolation from the rest of these issues.  Finally, I feel like I need to raise the stakes a bit in this book, and also to up my game as a writer.  So much going on regarding the book in the back of my mind that it’s been hard to push myself past all of that and sit down to start banging away at the keyboard.

Last night, I went with it though, putting all that aside.  I set my goal, which is the same 75,000 words in 30 days as I set when I was doing the second draft of DM, to be finished by March 3rd this time, and got on it with good results.  It took me until almost 8:30 pm to get my butt down in front of the netbook, and at first I had some trouble slipping in, for all of the above reasons and just a general feeling of expectation of quality I remember from before doing my first NaNo.  I had a long talk with myself, mostly reminding myself how leaving that expectation behind has worked out for me so well lately, and finally got myself grooved in.  For those of you who might not remember, weren’t here last time or have forgotten, 75k in 30 days works out to a daily pace of 2500 words per day.  I did my usual, checking every few hundred words (Am I there yet?) until I hit 2500, and then I kept going.  Longer time readers will recognize this pattern and are probably having a good giggle, knowing generally what happened.  I did 3521 last night, which was awesome, and a fabulous note to start this NaNo on.  Only took me about 3 hours too, which is good, because my eyes were trying to close by that point, so I had to type the last several paragraphs with them closed.  Thankfully, that allowed me to really visualize what I was trying to write, and also, I’m a relatively skilled touch-typist so it didn’t even slow me down.  So, the first chapter is in the bag, and what I remember of it makes me happy so far.  Early, I know, long road ahead, but at least I’ve started on the right foot.  My tracking spreadsheet is open on my iMac to taunt me into sitting down and staying there, and I’m starting to mull what the playlist for this book is going to be, based on themes and feelings I’m trying to achieve.  Yes, there was one for DM and I still have it as I was using during editing.  There will, of course, be regular posting on the progress of this NaNo, as in the past, probably every 2-3 days, or as often as I have something to say about it, whichever comes first.

Now that that’s taken care of, on to the hinted at and alluded to item for this post.  Another story idea pretty much exploded my brain Thursday night.  Devan decided to introduce himself with a truly intoxicating image.  Him, sitting in a tree, staring up at the moon, surrounded by spirits, a little bit melancholy.  I won’t tell you too much about him, partly because I’m still getting to know him and partly because it’s WAY too early for that, but I will tell you that he’s a necromancer, and before you say “Ick, he plays with dead people,” he mostly talks to spirits these days, for reasons I can’t get into because they’re related to the story.  The project, which shall be known as Necromantic and has already been added to the Project Status page, has had my brain frantic since that image showed up, and I’m thoroughly enamoured of both the story that’s unfolding in my head and, well, Devan.  It will be some time before I can write this one, but at this rate, it’s going to be hard to keep focused on the Mirrors Trilogy and finish that first, especially since I was so inspired by the idea on Thursday that I’ve already written the first two pages of the book.  I don’t think Devan’s the patient type… I am also getting the feeling that this is a big story, so we probably aren’t talking a single book here, but that will become clearer as I work my way up to and through the process of outlining this one.  That may happen sooner rather than later, as you’d be amazed the quantity of notes I already have and the way this story is exploding.  I’m amazed, that’s for sure.

The funny thing is that Thursday was a good night all around.  We had the most spectacular sunset that day, and so I couldn’t decide whether to grab my camera or my iPad.  Fortunately I did some of each, and today’s picture one of about a dozen I took.


About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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12 Responses to Everything Is Cyclical

  1. jmmcdowell says:

    I don’t think I could handle ONE NaNoWriMo in a year, let alone do another one just a few months later. Totally awesome!

    But I know, when those new characters appear with the promise of a new story, it can be the most incredible feeling. That is not a ride I can resist.

    You’ve got the ideas. You’ve got the outline. You’re ready to go. Enjoy the ride. 🙂

    • Julie says:

      This is actually my third NaNo in the last… *counts* 3.5 months, including the official one. I did another in the latter half of December, to get draft 2 of DM done. As I was on vacation for half the time, it only took 15 days 😮

      And thanks, I will enjoy it, if I can just remember to write fast enough to keep ahead of my inner-editor. She’s counter-productive on first draft, but refuses to admit it.

  2. wow well done you, that is a massive commitment but I’m sure you can do it ..

    When your post first arrived I read it from my phone whilst out walking and thought “hmm that doesn’t sound like Julie”. And was worried about you .. then I got home and read it on the computer and realised it didn’t say “Everything is cynical” 😉

    • Julie says:

      Lol, you just proved how different from me my writer-self is. I’m an incredibly cynical person in my day-to-day life, but for some reason it doesn’t translate into my writing life. Probably for the best, as cynicism often comes across as just plain bitterness in writing, if you aren’t careful. And if you ever hear me discuss the traditional publishing industry in depth, well, then you’ll KNOW that I’m a total cynic. 😀

      • I hear ya re the balance of cynic vs bitter in written form! It aint easy to not sound jaded and horrible..

        I have read some blogs that make me wince at the pain but the style of writing is such that I just think “ugh” rather than “aww poor you” LOL

        A nice healthy cynicism is an asset I reckon!

        • Julie says:

          I think the problem is that some people forget that tone of voice is not a component of written communication, though it is usually a big part of things like sarcasm and cynicism. When you don’t account for that missing element in your writing, then you end up sounding bitter and awful. But I hear you on reading some blogs. I’ve read a few where the tone I read from it made me want to slap them rather than feel sorry.

          Healthy cynicism means you’re ready for almost any eventual outcome in my opinion, so yes, I have to agree that it’s a huge asset.

  3. I know how hard it is to finish a novel. I started one in 2007, and it’s still not finished – though I wrote about 9,000 words in January. Keep going!

    • Julie says:

      Congrats on working on your own novel, I hope you keep going and get to enjoy that fabulous feeling as you type “the end”.

      I’ll be honest, part of the reason I set goals like this is to keep me working so that it does get finished. I have found in the last few months that it works very well for me. I announce these goals publicly and promise updates in order to keep me working toward them and honest about how it’s going. The potential embarrassment and disappointment of having to write here that I missed my pace number or worse, didn’t write that day, is enough to glue my butt to the chair/bed/wherever I’m writing that day on even the worst days. 🙂

  4. winsomebella says:

    I am in awe…..and I am glad you share some of your process here. It is motivating. Thanks 🙂

    • Julie says:

      Thanks. I think I’m mostly doing this to motivate myself through potential shame, but if it helps others and they want to come along for the ride, or just laugh at my brain as I go through this, well, the more the merrier! 😀

  5. Em says:

    This is all really good news. I’m glad to see that your blocks are not only down, they seem to be pretty much demolished!

    • Julie says:

      Yeah, it seems like demolished is a good way to describe it. Depending on how long it takes me to do today’s section, I may post about progress today and my thoughts on it. Suffice it to say, I think this may just be the start of things for me 😀

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