Weekend Writing Warriors: Nanowrimo Sunday #5

We WriWa bannerHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!

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Or if you’re a fellow Facebook addict (we can quit any time we want to, right?),
why not check out the offerings of the Snippet Sunday gang?

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I made it!

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

And two days early, too!

It isn’t a novel, by strict definition,or finished by any definition, but it is a collection of 50,145 mostly-coherent words comprising a mostly cohesive narrative about a wereduck PI, written in 28 days.

I’ll take it.  I won’t keep all of it, and heaven knows I’ll need to go back and fill in all the places I put “X” to represent all the things I couldn’t stop to research, and spackle the plot holes, and even write whole chapters I missed along the way . . . but for now, I think I’ll  just sit back, appreciate the accomplishment, and note that I found the time to do this and my family is still speaking to me.

Dude.

Here are eight sentences that were written during that final stretch.  Tom, our POV hero, is facilitating a meeting between his brother Bryan, a werewolf, and the head of the Talbot City pack, Lowell Rhombeck.

 

Olfacotry Region

 

“Hey, Bryan said, “long time no see.”  He tilted his head a little—the respectful, if not entirely submissive, greeting of a loner to a packleader.

Rhombeck ignored it and held out his arm. “It’s good to see you,” he said.

Bryan reluctantly grasped the offered forearm and stepped close enough to allow Rhombeck’s nose to brush his left ear, as he returned the gesture.

They made an interesting contrast: Bryan was taller, with dark brown hair and glowing golden-hazel eyes, while Rhombeck was broad in the shoulders and all dark grey or silver.

Summer wolf, winter wolf.

But when they stood this close—closer than they’d been in years—they looked like the cousins they were.

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Family issues can be so complicated . . .

Scenting and scent-marking feature in the behavior of weres in this story—or at least the canids and felines—possibly a little more than it would have, if I’d had the time to stop and think about what I was writing.

And if my cat had ever stopped trying to scratch himself with my pen while I was trying to use it.

Most of the time, both in the Real World™ and in the one I’m making up, neither scenting nor marking is an inherently sexual instinct/habit/tradition, any more than faire la bise (French cheek kissing) is,* though they certainly can be.  Scent marking is primarily polite identification and/or a sign of reassurance, possession, or belonging  between family members, friends, or lovers.

It should also be noted that among civilized werewolves, it mostly involves the more socially acceptable glands above the neck, at least in public, if you don’t mind.

Ducks and swans don’t feel the need to do this, but Tom will allow Bryan to mark him—unless his PTSD flares up at the thought of a wolf being that close to his jugular—because it’s important to his brother and a sign that he’s important to Bryan.

There’s only one scent-marking bathroom remark in this, so far, and Tom only says it to tick off the bad guy who clocked him over the head in last Sunday’s scene, so we’ll give him a pass. At least in this draft.

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*Someone coined the term “Bro-bises”, which is cheek kissing between male friends, usually while they do the hug-pounding thing guys do. love this.

So You Want to Write a Novel . . . In a Month

I’m still chugging toward the 50,000-word finish line and have switched to a purple fine-line sharpie because if I’m gonna resort to writing purple prose to stretch my word-count anyway, I might as well go all out.

paper nest

There’s a pile of used-up legal pads and scribble-covered napkins, envelopes, and post-its on my desk and a purse stuffed with two notepads and various folded pages with numbers circled at the bottom.  I have chapter fragments and scenes saved in the draft folders of two e-mail accounts and in fourteen documents on a flash drive (yes, I’m backing that up).

PaperI also have a small pile of pages sitting on my shredder, to save time.  I knew they were crap as I was writing them,* but I still counted each word.

One could argue that National Novel Writing Month may not be the best way to go about producing quality work—or anything else of note—during these thirty days.

And this may be true.

But one could counter-argue that staring at a blank page day after day, waiting for the perfect words to spring forth, is an even bigger waste of time and that a crappy first draft is better than no draft at all.

It’s all about attitude and reasonable expectations, right?

 

Of course, every writer can agree that even if you have the right attitude, accurate information, and realistic expectations, there can be unexpected obstacles to overcome . . .

 . . . but, man, what a rush!

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*Or, as a fanfiction writer friend calls it, “a side scene from the Alternate Universe of Suck.”

Weekend Writing Warriors: Nanowrimo Sunday #4

We WriWa bannerHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!

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One more week of Nanowrimo to go. If my writing hand and eyesight hold up, I think I’ll finish my 50,000 on time. It may not be a complete story, but the bare bones will be there.

And also a couple of Rosebuds—named after the Big Oops in Citizen Kane*— which is what you get when you’re too busy getting words down to pay attention to the continuity fairy, who has been trying to tell you that the great scene you just wrote can’t exist in the same story as the great scene you wrote two days ago, unless two of your characters are mutants and another has a Bag of All Holding with a (plot) hole in the bottom through which all those clues and handguns are apparently falling.

But I’m pretty sure these next eight are okay . . . at least from a continuity standpoint.

 Skull cross section

There are times when I wish I had a one or two predator traits—times when I’d swap flight, buoyancy and brains for quick healing and a concrete skull. Like now.

I opened my eyes, squeezed them shut, breathed carefully for a few seconds, and sat up.  I immediately regretted it; my head hurt like throbbing, nauseated hell.

“You’re awake,” a voice said. “Good.”

“Lies,” I said.  I reached back to touch the back of my head and regretted doing that, too.

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 I couldn’t think of what to write next and I couldn’t figure out how to introduce my hero to the Big Bad.

So I hit him over the head with something hard . . . and ended up solving both problems.

Who knew?

I’ll try to visit everyone today, but if I’m a little late, please forgive me. I have a wordmeter to feed!

 

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*In the movie, a reporter tries to figure out why the dying word of Charles Foster Kane, a wealthy newspaper magnate, was “Rosebud”.  But the movie also makes a point of saying that Kane died completely alone in his otherwise empty mansion.  So how did anyone know what his last word was?  Unlike Orson Welles, I’m not talented enough to get away with this kind of thing.

 

Weekend Writing Warriors: Nanowrimo Sunday #3

We WriWa bannerHave a WIP, an EIP, an MS, or a published work you want to share on your blog, eight sentences at a time?

Want to sample other people’s WIPs, EIPs, MSs, or published works, eight sentences at a time?

Be a Weekend Writing Warrior!

Rules are here!

List of participants is here!

_______________________

Yesterday was the halfway mark of this year’s National Novel Writing Month, and I managed to reach 25,000 words in the late afternoon and even managed a small head start on today’s count as well.

I remembered this week that our P.I. hero Tom actually has a few other things to worry about besides the continuing absence of his brother and the still unknown Big Bad sending werewolves to kill him in order to bring the aforementioned brother out of hiding.

Like making rent.

So here are eight sentences in which Tom ponders the insurance-fraud case Turner is currently working.  It involves a work-related injury claim, which is complicated by the claimant being a werewolf:

Hand Crutch

The guy in question wasn’t faking his injuries—a load of iron dropped in just the right way will do damage to a rhino—but he wasn’t helping them heal, either. Turner thought his knee was being held together by a silver pin; I thought maybe he was injecting the site with silver nitrate. Either way, he was collecting money he didn’t deserve because he could heal himself instantly—but if he was a human who’d sustained that much damage, he would still be collecting.

So, where was the crime?

I didn’t know. And if I reported him to the insurance company or the Regional Council, I’d bet they wouldn’t, either. There weren’t any human-based laws about refusing to use one’s healing ability and there weren’t a whole lot of laws on the Were side about stealing from human companies, either.

The one about not shitting where you eat was apparently more of a guideline, no matter what species you were.

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My original thought when I was pre-plotting (stop laughing—it does happen . . . once in a while) was to weave this case into the main storyline, because the motivations of the injured guy reflect everyone else’s.

If the main story takes over, as it’s threatening to do, I’ll make this bit part of a short story, maybe.

Meanwhile, it’s been good for ramping up my Nanoutput and for sussing out some of the legal whimsicalities of this world I’m trying to piece together.

I’ll try to visit everyone today, but if I’m a little late, please forgive me.  I have a wordmeter to feed!

Random Thursday: Random Accomplishments of Accomplished Accomplishing

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Nanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonanonano . . .

Crap, that’s only one word.

Have a look at other people’s accomplishments (and one of mine in there, somewhere).

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Crochetgrounds!

Fiber artist Toshiko Horiuchi creates large, colorful, interactive installations and play environments out of yarn-based textiles.

In other words,
she crochets them.

By hand.

horiuchi Crochet Ground

It’s like the spiderwebs of Wonderland . . .

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Such a Time Saver!

(Thanks, honey!  Um . . . you don’t do this, do you? ‘Cause I noticed we’re out of hard root beer again?)

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 Nanopizza Zone

As part of my Nanowrimo output yesterday, I wrote a bit of dialogue spoken by a character that I can’t believe came out of my brain, except the thing is in my handwriting.

Then again, the POV character is a wereduck P.I., so I don’t have a lot of plausible deniability, here. . .

I investigated Joly’s Pizza personally, around lunchtime, and found Joly to be a dyed-in-the-metaphorical-wool Rhombeck supporter, for all he was human.

“He gave me my start-up money and got the health department off my back,” he said, busy scattering a double handful of dead crickets across a crust that had been spread with a greenish sauce I probably didn’t want to know more about.

The crickets looked good though.

“I figured I was making specialty pizzas for all my buddies, why not do it for a living?” he said.  “We can handle orders from carnivores, herbivores, insectivores, fruit-eaters,* even celiacs and those no-carb weirdos.  Some guy called up the other day and ordered for like twenty minutes, asking all these questions. Vegan ain’t a problem, I told him.  Organic ain’t a problem. Nut allergies ain’t a problem.  Raw food crusts ain’t a problem, if you don’t mind ordering a medium.  Dairy-free, gluten-free, garlic-free, low-salt—no problem.

“Then he asks for this tofu-pepperoni crap.  That, my friend, is a problem.” 

It’s also about 164 words.

I believe that’s what we call a priority shift.

Pizza!

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It’s Infinite on Both Sides

And flippin’ hilarious, too.

Amazing UniverseClick to check out More Abstruse Goose!

(Thanks, Watson!  Is it still a Captain Obvious moment if your audience doesn’t get it?)

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Whirled Beat II

Jonathan Carollo has a drum set.  But he doesn’t need one.

At all.

His father Dan  records Jonathan’s original compositions that can be purchased at Reverb!Nation.  If you buy them, a percentage (don’t know how much) of the money will go to the Half The Sky Foundation.

Pretty cool.

(Thanks, Dee!  You’re right—he’s giving the Piano Guys some competition!)

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*Sure, you and I know it’s “frugivore”, because we just looked it up, but Joly wouldn’t and the MC wouldn’t care.