Fighting Laziness


So I figured out why I came to a stand still in my story. It’s… done. There’s nowhere to go that is even halfway logical except wrapping it up. Slight problem… it’s only 40K words now and not fleshed out AT ALL. So the time for editing has come and… honestly… I DON’ WANNA.

Editing ain’t the fun part. I think just about any writer will agree. We love the wild epiphanies and the beautiful moments of inspiration. Editing is just…work. It’s boring at times, tedious, time-consuming, and uninspiring when you’re not having any great ideas for additions. The idea is just not thrilling me at all right now. In fact, I’m almost tired of the whole thing. So I’m thinking about doing something a little risky… writing the ending and starting Book Two before fleshing out Book One.

Think about it, writing Book Two would actually give me MORE ideas for Book One. Example–foreshadowing. If I already know what’s happening in Book Two, I can go back drop hints about it in Book One when I edit. Plus I’ll be excited about the series again instead of dreading writing. I don’t like that feeling. Writing has always been my friend, not my enemy, and I don’t want that to change any time soon.

So basically, I’m almost done with the rough draft of my current novel and will soon be moving on to the sequel. AH-MAZING 🙂 I started this blog post feeling “blah” and now I’m feeling “AHHHHH!!!”

So excited to reveal the finished product once I’m done with it and ready for self-publishing. Hoping that will be within the next year 🙂 Happiness! Thanks again for following my journey… and for your patience as I stumble through this process. I promise I won’t procrastinate much longer 😉

~N.L.

 

The Ultimate Test Drive


Okay y’all, I’m taking the plunge and showing you the OFFICIAL first two pages of my novel (subject to minor edits). Pretend you have NEVER seen this before and you’re completely new to my novel, “The Redemption of Velaria.” (if you are new, welcome to my insanity 🙂 )

Okay, so you just picked up this book from Barnes and Noble (or purchased it for your Nook or Kindle or other reading device). The description caught your attention but you’ve never heard of the author and you’re a little skeptical about how this book is going to go. It sounds great, but you spent $7.99 on this book and you would be pretty annoyed if it turned out to be crap. You take a deep breath, crack open the front cover, relish that lovely new book smell, and find page 1…

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Chapter 1

 

“Papa, no! Don’t drink more medicine, please! It hurts you!”

“It does not hurt me, dear.”

“But it does, Papa. Don’t you know? It drives you mad!”

“I must take it, Ardith. If I don’t, I shall die.”

It was a cloudy morning in spring when I had that conversation—my last rational conversation with my father, King Sarle of Ethiria. It was my twelfth birthday, and the only thing I wanted was a happy day with my family. When I saw my father bring the small potion bottle up to his lips at the breakfast table, I knew it was not going to be a good day.

The potion had been given to him a year before by King Callagan under the guise of being a cure for a common cold. It was actually an addictive substance that forced him to drink it in order to live, and after the fact, people realized that the potion was given in revenge—my older sister was the one who had rejected Callagan’s proposal and married the prince, now king, of Cromany. The worst part of the potion was that it drove Father out of his mind. His actions became more and more erratic, and on my 12th birthday his potion caused him to start acting murderous toward my mother and me. He didn’t even know who I was.

Mother knew that to keep me at the palace any longer would prove too dangerous, so she took me and just ran, not knowing or caring where she was going just as long as we were getting away from him. Father sent his soldiers after us and they chased us into Velaria, Land of the Cursed—the realm of the king who had poisoned my father. Once we crossed the border, we couldn’t leave—and had nowhere to go, anyway— so my mother and I started living undercover as the “Pleasantbearings” in the small village of Upsand. No one knew who we were, they only knew that we were fairies and that my mother was so kind she would help people with anything they asked.

I went to school with the humans because my mother said I needed to try to “fit in.” She said it wouldn’t be forever, just until Father was cured or… well, I knew the alternative. Four years went by, and living under King Callagan’s demands was hard—especially for my mother, because on top of meeting her sewing quota every day, she also had to sew things to sell to the villagers for food. The good thing was that Mother’s clothing sold like hot buns in a bakery and for decently high prices, because they had something woven into them that everybody wanted—magic.

If a lady came to my mother with a request for a dress that made her figure look perfect, Mother could do it, no matter how unshapely the customer actually was. Mother could also make hats for people that had gone bald that would grow their hair back. She could make stockings for people’s feet that relieved their pain and healed their sores. She could do anything, and everyone loved her work.

Fairies come from parents, just like humans do. When fairy children turn sixteen, their wings grow in and they become a “full fairy.” Fairy children can perform small acts of magic, and if you ever want to become a full fairy, you have to perform at least one act of magic as a child. My best friend, Julius Poliver, is seventeen but he doesn’t have his wings because his family and he are against the use of magic. He still could use his fairy child magic if he wanted to, but it will dwindle and die off as the years go by until eventually he’s just like a Velarian—incapable of producing magic.

Julius still lives in Ethiria on his family’s farm—a property about two miles east of our palace—with his little brother Eliot, whom we all call “Eli.” Eli is ten years old and very shy. He likes to keep to himself—but if you win his trust, he’ll be your friend forever. The two of them live by themselves because their parents died two years ago in a bear attack. Julius is so strong; he never cries about it in front of Eli and has devoted his entire life to taking care of him and the farm. I think I cried about it more than he ever did while I was reading his letters.

I love both of them—Eli like a little brother, Julius… well, that’s complicated. I love him as a friend and think I may also be in love with him, but as far as I know he still sees me as a sister. We kissed once when I was eight and he was nine, but that was because we were dared to and he hated it, so I would never ask him to do it again. Besides, why would the most attractive young man in the kingdom want someone like me?

I have never considered myself very pretty. Most people would expect a fairy to be beautiful, especially a fairy princess, but my hair is as straight and brown as mouse fur, my eyelashes are short, my nose is slightly crooked, and my skin is so white it’s almost colorless. My only physical triumphs are my shapely lips and my straight teeth. I should also mention that I’m insufferably skinny… as in, little boy skinny. Starved kitten skinny. I could eat five four-tiered cakes a day and stay the same size.

My life is not ordinary, but nothing exciting or inspiring either. It wasn’t until my sixteenth birthday that things began to change.

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So… thoughts? Questions? Suggestions? Please post/like/do your thang 🙂 Thank you readers and followers from all over the planet!! I am so honored to write for you!
~N.L.

Apathy


It’s not that I don’t care about my writing and my career. I do. But the past week and a half I have just not been feeling anything for my story.

It’s a great story, but I feel like there’s something big missing and I have no idea what it is. The very thought of digging through it and trying to find the missing link is exhausting to me right now. It doesn’t help that I haven’t been feeling so great physically lately. It’s looking like I’m not going to make it to 50K for Camp NaNo after all, but hey, 33K in 2 1/2 weeks is a big accomplishment. I’m proud of that and I’m so grateful to Camp NaNo for moving me forward in my story. Once I find that missing piece, I know it’s going to take off again and be basically awesome 🙂

I guess I’m just going to have to push myself forward no matter how exhausted and lethargic I feel. No pain, no gain, after all.

~N.L.

 

45K, 30K, NBD ;)


I hit 45K on my novel and 30K for Camp NaNoWriMo just now. This is me currently–

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Seriously, I’m like, on top of the moon. This is pretty much twice as far as I’ve ever gotten on a novel before (for real at least… I’ve probably gone farther on some crap stuff I did five years ago, but that’s irrelevant). I’m aiming for at least 80K in the novel and 50K for Camp NaNo overall, so this basically means I’m over halfway to all my goals. That. is. incredible! I’m dying. Can I just die real quick? *dies, then resurrects solely for the sake of writing* Okay, I’m good.

I know, I know, I haven’t updated you on the storyline yet. Fact is, it’s way too complicated at the moment AND I don’t want to give away the big twists. Once I figure out how to describe it in less than 500 words with no spoilers, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for sticking with me everyone! Great progress has been made in the last couple months and will definitely continue!

~N.L.

Update on Camp NaNo


I took a couple days off Camp NaNoWriMo, but today I’m back to writing again. So far, my word count is up to 27,878 on NaNo, 43,479 total. I have to say once again that NaNoWriMo is a wonderful thing. It’s actually a lifesaver. Without it, I may have given up on this novel by now.

One thing Camp NaNo has done for me is rid me of the silly notion that inspiration has to hit me over the head before I write. It is actually quite the opposite. You write, and then inspiration hits. When inspiration does finally hit, it makes writing seem like the fun pastime it originally started as–but until then, it’s more of a real… *gulp*… job.

Another thing Camp NaNo has done is force me to challenge myself. I have done things in the past two weeks that I had no idea I could do (such as write 6K words in a day). The word wars I have with my friends are not just fun, they develop me as a writer. I have to come up with something to write (and sometimes outline it beforehand) and then I have to put it down and force myself not to erase it, even if it’s crap. A lot of what I’ve written in the past half month has been crap, and it’s embarrassing, but I’m still proud of myself for writing it and leaving it alone instead of scrapping it all.

The story is kind of dragging at the moment… partially because I’m about to write a war segment, and I have zero clue about how to do that. I need to stop and do some research, really… but alas, in Camp NaNo you have to keep pushing ahead. I’m considering going back and fleshing out Part 1 instead of going forward with the war section, but we’ll see what my crazy little mind chooses to do.

I wish I could tell you more about the novel without giving too much away. I guess I’ll just have to hurry up and finish it so everything can be revealed 🙂

Thanks for reading! Can’t wait to announce that I’ve hit that magical number, 50K!

~N.L.

Halfway Done with Camp NaNo!!


Yep, as a matter of fact, I DO know it’s only the 9th. But I’ve already hit that glorious milestone of 25,000 words. 25K in 9 days? I definitely think yes. It’s been a roller coaster of craziness but ohhhhh so worth it.

My novel is actually up to over 40K now, which tells me I’m almost halfway through. I’ve already passed several big events in my story, and  if it weren’t for some things that went horribly wrong for my dear MCs, there would have been a happily ever after by now. I won’t give all the twists and turns away, but I will say that things probably won’t go the way you expected them to, and I’m hoping that when you read the novel you’ll be on the edges of your seats, begging me to just go ahead and SAVE THEM ALREADY!!

I’m aiming for a little bit more of a “realistic” feel with this novel, not necessarily the “3 acts and done” formula. They succeed at one thing, but fail at another, and it sets off a whole new avalanche of problems. There are various love stories with various results, instead of the typical “love triangle crutch” (yes, I’m sorry, it IS becoming a crutch these days). I think it will be surprising, fresh, and hopefully enjoyable reading that won’t leave you clinically depressed or scoffing at cliches at the end.

To any writers who follow me who still haven’t tried anything like Script Frenzy or NaNoWriMo, what are you waiting for?? It really is a fantastic way to move your story along. Please, try it next time. I promise you won’t be disappointed if you really go for it and give it your all.

Happy Weekend!! 🙂

~N.L.

 

Part 1 Done! Sneak Peek, Anyone?


Yes I know, that title was terribly rhyme-y and awful. Forgive me, I just couldn’t resist 🙂

I have divided “The Redemption of Velaria” into three parts: “The Plan,” “The Battle,” and “The Aftermath.” I am proud to announce that “The Plan” is officially written all the way through (needs some minor adjustments/additions, but the main stuff is there). My word count is now over 31K and I hope to write 5K more today in “The Battle.”

Today’s sneak peek is the Prologue of the book, the part that tells everybody the background on my story. I think it might help paint a good picture in your mind of how this novel is going to go. Please read/rate/comment, I promise it’s not that long 🙂 Thank you everybody!

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Until he procured the great crystal, King Callagan of Velaria was never known for his power, his riches, or his strength in battle. In all of Benedaea, the kingdom of Velaria was the least populous nation and the least cared about.

Benedaea is a “continent” (really more like an island) in the middle of the Tragean Sea. Every country has a coastline and some are mountainous. The many countries of Benedaea are all ruled by monarchs, and are the homes of humans, all races of animals, wizards, fairies, and all manner of magical beings great and small. It was established thousands of years ago by the spirit-lords of Benedome, the place where good spirits live after physical death. The spirit-lords continue to rule Benedaea through the Benedaun—the most gifted race of people, which reigns over the powerful nation of Siranai with wisdom and great prowess.

Velaria was once the second-greatest kingdom in Benedaea, but because of the foolish actions of their original king and queen, the land was cursed and the people lost their ability to use magic. King Callagan was well aware of the hopelessness of Velaria’s plight from boyhood, and after a failed attempt to secure a marriage deal with Ethirian Princess Dahlia, he succumbed to lust for power and became the worst ruler Velaria had ever known.

The wizards, native to the nation of Cromany, were the only beings in Benedaea (besides the Benedaun) that were entrusted by the spirit lords with the ability to create magic of their own. Everyone else could only use the magic they had been given that lived in their bodies. If any wizards turned evil, they were called “witches” and “warlocks” and were sent to the Chief Benedaun, who would strip them of their creative powers and send them into permanent exile. There were certain wizards in Benedaea who met together every 6 months in a secret location to discuss business deals and determine the fates of their magic potions and objects. They called themselves the Wizards Council, and King Callagan, whose father had known them and made deals with them before, was convinced that they would help him if he came up with a very lucrative deal for them. Or at least, a deal that appeared lucrative. He went to the Wizards Council and presented them with an offer they almost couldn’t refuse, promising them an exorbitant amount of riches, clothing, and food per year if they would tell him where the yellow crystal was hidden. The yellow crystal was, according to legend, the greatest source of power that wizards had ever created. Anyone who touched it with their skin became its master and wielded almost complete control over anyone and anything they wished. It was very dangerous; the wizards had guarded it with their lives ever since its creation.

The deal Callagan presented was so irresistible that many of the wizards wanted to take advantage of it, but several (especially older ones) were opposed to placing such power in human hands. They took 3 days to give King Callagan an answer. Eventually lust for riches overcame the majority of the group, and they agreed to sign the king’s contract, but secretly used their magic to add to the contract that if he ever broke the deal, his powers would immediately disappear until he held up his end of the bargain. They then directed the king to the island where the crystal was kept and told him exactly how to get in. He wore a wizard’s cloak and carried a wizard’s staff so the guards would not question his trustworthiness, and then he followed a labyrinth of tunnels (much like a maze) to the place where the sources of all power are kept. At the far end of the cavern was the crystal, giving off a beautiful golden glow from behind the black curtain that veiled it. The instant King Callagan reached inside the glass case where it was kept and touched it with his forefinger, he became the master of the yellow crystal and achieved complete and total control of everything…or so he thought.

When he returned to the Wizards Council to gloat about his success, they revealed the changes in the contract to him and he could no longer break the deal. He foolishly did not anticipate that deals with wizards can never be broken when it comes to magic and power, and realized after it was too late that he had dug himself into a hole he could never get out of.

Because of the outrageous things he promised the wizards, King Callagan was forced to establish some outrageous laws in order to obtain the riches that he owed to the Council. The new laws were:

“I.  Women who do not bear children within 10 years of marriage are to be executed, and their husbands are required by law to marry again within 90 days. (this law was put into place because King Callagan needed as many workers as possible)

II. The strongest men in the land are required to work in the mines and in blacksmith shops to make treasures.

III. All women and girls are required to make garments for the wizards.

a. Every family is required to own sheep.

IV. All other men are permitted to own farms or shops instead of working in the mines, but they are required give 50% of everything they grow or make to the king.”

The people of Velaria grew weaker and weaker under the new laws and the king’s debts were often in great danger of not getting paid, so his cruelty grew more and more inhuman. He began taking babies away from people who had not met their “quotas” and placed all the stolen babies in a place called “The King’s Nursery,” where he gave scientists free reign to experiment on them with potions that they hoped would give them superior strength. Most often the potions would end up killing the babies or leaving them in a severely disabled state. He later began stealing women, even men’s wives, to add to his harem if they were pleasant to look at and the head male of the household owed him a debt. Sometimes, if the woman was particularly beautiful, he would give the soldiers permission to take her without an explainable reason. Many people tried to flee Velaria, but guards were stationed on every mile along the border and because of the strength and power they were given by the king, no one could escape. The hopes of the people wore thinner and thinner as 6 years went by and no help came.

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I feel like it needs something at the end there, but otherwise, this thing is pretty much done 🙂 I have to say I’m pretty proud of the structure it lays out. Structure is not my strong point, but this novel is turning out really well structure-wise and I think that’s a good testament to all the blood, sweat, and tears it has cost me so far.

Camp NaNo count, by the way, is almost 15K. Hoping to hit 20K by tonight.

~N.L.