Thursday, 12 November 2015

NaNoWriMo Update: Week 1! + Snippets!


Guys, I'm writing a book! I'm also pretty sure this is the furthest I've ever gotten in any WIP ever. I generally write the first few pages and then...nothing. Because I never used to plan, I just sat down and I thought I'd be able to write a book but this time, I planned quite a bit of my novel beforehand. I knew what my characters' goals were, I knew how their story was going to start and I knew how their story was going to end. So I began writing! 

At first it was easy, I always find a novel easy to start and then it gets more difficult and I start questioning my sanity for trying to write a novel. However, this time I am determined to stick with it.

The first week of NaNoWriMo went very well, I managed to rake up 18,138 words which I'm quite proud of! And I found the novel to be going smoothly. However, it's week 2 and I'll admit it: I'm slightly stuck. My story is halfway through but I'm not happy with how the friendship/romance thing is going nor the recovery process for both characters (each recovering from the loss of a loved one) and UGH IT'S JUST SO COMPLICATED. I'm hoping that everything will start working out shortly and I'm looking at extending the word count. I think I'll aim for around 60 000 - 70 000 because I don't think 50 000 words will be enough for all the words I have to say.

Here are some snippets from my book, if you want to read them!

Caleb is the love interest and Haylie is my protagonist! 



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How is your NaNoWriMo going? Are you happy with how your novel is going? Do you think you'll have it finished by the time you've reached 50K? LET ME KNOW! 
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Saturday, 7 November 2015

Stacking the Shelves #83 - I WENT TO THE LIBRARY AGAIN BECAUSE THE LIBRARY IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.


HELLLOOOOO!

I hope you guys are all well!

I have had a horrible week and I'm quite looking forward to it being over. Monday night my dad collapsed and went to the hospital but the doctor hasn't phoned us and his vitals/heart tests were all good, so I'm hoping that means all is fine. We all think its been an accumulation of stress though, for various reasons. My mom is also ill with M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis/CFS) which she has had for 10 years and due to this she can't drive or use up too much energy or else she will be bed-ridden for a couple of days, weeks or months depending on the severity. SO YEP, this week has not been my week, but hopefully next week will be better!

I did manage to go to the library though because as you know, books make everything better and I got some really good books out! I've also been participating in NaNoWriMo and I'm 15K in and I'm quite happy with how the story is going. I shared snippets here, if you'd like to see them! 

I also got contacted by Usborne Children's Books to review some books for them and I received my FIRST OFFICIAL PAPERBACK ARC which I may have squealed about for days.

Library Books:

I've read The Weight of Water so far and I loved it! It's about a girl who has immigrated from Poland to the UK so I could relate with the whole moving thing and it was nice to read about a character that had experience a similar thing to me so YAY FOR RELATABLE READS.

Review Books:

So. Excited.

All Together Now!:

How has your week been? Are you participating in NaNo, if so, how is it going? Have you read any of these? Which one should I read first?
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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Snazzy Snippets - NaNo Edition! MY FIRST TIME PARTICIPATING AND I'M EXCITED

snazzy snippets graphic

HI EVERYONE! I'm so sorry that I haven't been blogging, but my life has been busy with NaNo, schoolwork, books, moving and a family health scare but things have mainly calmed down SO HERE I AM. *throws confetti*

I'm always hesitant to share my writing because there's a chance that I could completely suck at writing and people would laugh and throw tomatoes (not really, you guys are too nice for that. I hope. ;)) but I'd like to get some feedback on my passages so far and see what you guys think. Just in case I ever do become a famous author *cough* I think it's about time I learn to let other people read my writing and not be so utterly terrified. So, without further adieu, let's get started!

Oh! And in case you aren't aware of what Snazzy Snippets is, I'll quote Emily from Loony Literate who is one of the bloggers who hosts it: "It’s an opportunity for writers! Every two months, we post a prompt or question for you to share a snippet of less than 500 words. It’s designed to let you have fun, analyse your work on a smaller level, or just write something to join in. If you’re not a writer, or aren’t working on anything, don’t go back up the rabbit hole just yet. Read everyone’s wonderful snippets on the linky!"

SQUEE! I'M EXCITED! LET THE SNIPPETS COMMENCE!

1. A Snippet Without Dialogue

Just so you know what's happened, Haylie (our protagonist) has spiraled into grief after her boyfriend who was also her best friend was killed in a hit and run. Mrs Adams is the therapist that she's meeting for the first time. Meagan is her twelve year old sister. :)

The first thing I see when I walk in is my camera lying forlornly on its side, untouched since the night of the accident and then when I look up I see my life in pictures. I see Connor. I see happiness. I see smiles that are genuine and love that was true, I see the girl who I once was and the girl who I swore I was meant to be. Unmarked by the tragedies and terrors that I had allowed myself to be consumed with by now. A wave of fresh pain knocks me off my feet and I stumble into the chair, emotion racking my body. I pull off a photo of Connor I took two days before he died. He's reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to his dog named Harry who had a Gryffindor collar encircling his neck. I'm in love with this picture. I'm in love with him. The way the sunlight runs in rivulets through his glinting golden hair and his green eyes are trapping the light of the blades of grass and his smile, that beautiful smile and that rips at my heart and drives me in a frenzy and frustration due to my inability to reach into that photograph and have him here. Due to my inability to ever have him lie next to me again. I let out a sob and peg the picture back up and move onto the next one I took on the day he died, the 1st of October. I run my finger over his hair and the dimple in his cheek, resisting the anger that wells up in me that the universe has so cruelly placed a second dimensional version of Connor into my possession when I had the third dimension in my arms. I'm greedy and selfish to wish him for myself, but how can you blame me, when his soul emanated the colours of the northern lights – magical, ethereal, burning bright.

I place the pictures back where they belong and turn away from my room filled with memories, but the sadness and nostalgia of a love I can never have lingers within my core. I grab my camera dejectedly from the table and stumble up the stairs, lying on my bed. Sadness personified. I stare at it. I flick a few settings. I bring it to my eye to adjust the brightness. I don't have the energy. I fall promptly asleep. Because that's what any strong, determined, fully functioning and completely normal adult who is ready to take on the world does, don't you know?

2. A Snippet Featuring a Friend/Family Member of your Protagonist:
Half an hour later, I'm standing in front of the mirror and Meagan is tugging at my hair with a brush, hairspray and a look of terrifying determination on her face.
When last did you brush your hair?”
I-”
No offence, but it looks like the dead raccoon I passed on my way to school yesterday.”
Offence taken.”
Sorry.”
You should work on your sincerity, just needs a slight tweaking.”
HOLD STILL.”

Two hours later, we're standing in front of my extensive closet and Meagan is rifling through my clothes, flinging dresses and shoes “THOSE ARE SHARP, MEAGAN. GOSH.” and other unidentifiable objects in my general direction.
How about this?” she asks, her face is red and her breathing heavy.
I look at the black mini dress and the sky high shoes that a now distant friend gifted me for my seventeenth birthday.
Slightly too promiscuous for me. Just a bit.” I say bringing my forefinger and thumb closer together.
You're impossible!”
Thank you.”
She rolls her eyes and turns back to my closet.
After twenty more minutes of being flung clothes at, I venture in to the closet myself.
Meagan, hurry up.
I FOUND IT.”
Found what?”
The perfect outfit!” Meagan squeals.
I'm ecstatic, but just a reminder, you're cleaning up this mess later.”
Meagan surveys the damage, “Ah, anyway, focusing on the positive, LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS!” she holds up a golden dress with a sweetheart neck line and one that actually will protect my modesty.
I like it, yes that will do.”
Now time to fix your face because...hmm.” She pushes me towards the bathroom and I prepare for the torture that awaits.

Three hours later (admittedly my hair did look like a dead raccoon and my face did resemble hmm) and I look presentable. The dress fits perfectly, my hair falls in spirals down my back and Meagan has done my make-up flawlessly.
Wow! Thank you! How did you learn to do this?” I gesture at my face.
Zoella.”
Ah, I tried but I just ended up looking like I'd been punched in the face.”
It takes certain skill.”
It does.”
Which you don't have.”
I'm aware.”
Good, you wouldn't want to embarrass yourself. Anyway, follow me!”
She takes my hand and leads me down the stairs and all I think is this better be some pretty spectacular not-actually-cake.

3. A Snippet that Took Forever to Write
 "I spent every moment with him. There never seemed to be a me without him, or a him without me. We were broken halves when we met, outcasts shunned by society and we found each other and melded perfectly together. Broken cracks of pottery, insignificant and discarded when apart, but once brought together, we were something of beauty. Something of importance. Like sipping on sunlight and bathing in the stars, is how I felt, when I was next to him and he was next to me. Exactly where each of us were supposed to be.” I pause, wondering if I can go on. I have a conversation with myself and decide that I can. Taking a deep breath, I plunge further into remembering. Further into feeling. Further into hurting.
I've known him since I was seven and we were best friends until we were thirteen and then...we became something more.” Mrs Adams nods at me to go on, but I find my throat constricting and I close my eyes but the memories claw at them, assimilating me with raw pain that feels like an open wound being filled with grit and salt and the tears painting a path down my cheeks. “I'm not sure I can go on.” I force the words out. Mrs Adams takes me hand and places a biscuit in it. Even her biscuits are pink.
Thanks,” I say and I place the biscuit in my mouth but I feel as if my face is slipping off my body and smashing onto the floor, broken pieces of china littering the ground. And all I see is my face, floating on a sea of hopelessness and I want to cry, I want to cry for what I've lost and what I've become but I continue to chew on my biscuit, sickeningly sweet, and feel the sides of my mouth seep deeper into the floor. We sit in silence while I finish my biscuit and she places another one in front of me and I take it, despite not wanting to feel more sweetened. But needing something to do with my hands, with my mouth, with myself, anything to prevent myself from talking about Connor and rehashing the pain,
the pain,
the pain,
the fear,
the pain,
of what might have been and what once was,
of what I lost and what I haven't,
of who I was and who I'm not.
I place the half-eaten biscuit on the desk, the metallic tang of nausea from the emotions compressing my stomach swelling up inside my throat.
Mrs Adams watches but she doesn't say anything. She doesn't take notes. She just reaches forward and holds my hand and that's all I need in that heart-wrenching moment of remembering and wishing on empty hearts and dying dreams. 

Those are my three snippets! I'm currently just over 10K and I'm really happy with how the story is going so far. Obviously, I'd love your feedback. So tell me! Did you enjoy reading this? How did you make it feel? And how could I improve?
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