Wednesday, December 31, 2008

WTF! I should have been done before January reared it's evil head!

So I'm frustrated with myself because I am still 10 scenes away from finishing this novel. I promised myself that I would finish this book before the year ended and that isn't seeming so likely at the moment.

Procrastination and worry.
Worry that the scene isn't good enough or that I won't do it justice after it being in my head for months. Somehow I know how it should go, but when I sit down it comes out wrong. And all that worry leads to procrastination in the form of projects and just staring stupidly at the screen.

DAMMIT INNER EDITOR! I don't want you around right now.

I need to get a great deal written in very little time.

Let's do this!

I stayed up late and wrote some more.
My last and final goal is to finish the novel before January 5th when school resumes.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What my novel is all about...

My plot one word: Reunion.

I figured this out thanks to a NaNoWriMo forum and it's true. My story is all about reunions--with people from MC's past and with her father.

Memories actually turn out to play a much larger role in this book than I thought, so I need to write quite a few of them out after I finish the story [and figure out how to incorporate them later].

Didn't do much writing today--the boy kept me busy. Plus the next scene really does need my undivided attention, so I plan to start on that tomorrow.

One question though...if you were going to have a meeting to trade something [think of the typical hostage for money or villainous trading of object for object sort of deal] where would you meet?

a. a public place with lots of witnesses
b. a seedy place where the law won't intervene
c. someplace private but neutral
d. somewhere outdoors
e. somewhere on the outskirts and fairly empty [ex. trainyard]

It could be a combo of many of these...but the first thing that came to mind was the cliche outdoors public place [yet seedy enough that people won't call the cops should the bullets start a flying *and trust me they will*].

Now I'm not so sure. Perhaps indoors would be more appropriate--somewhere neutral. We'll see.

Slow and steady

So I have about twelve more scenes to write, which means I'm getting closer to my ending.


Current word count: 128,632

Things are coming along. Tomorrow is the big showdown scene, which will be difficult as it will involve quite a few people. It will probably suck writing wise, but hey that's what editing is for!

Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

So of course it's the holidays and what not, which means a morning of celebrations before I need to get back to my writing. Because dammit I'd like to be nearly at the end of my novel before this week ends.

Progress [to be edited throughout the day]:


10:12am - 124,716

6:49pm - 125,189 [really sad...could have written more but I took a nap.]


2:12pm - 126,194

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I'm writing again...and as of tonight, I have technically won NaNoFiMo.

Before you celebrate, however, the reason I say technically is because I have yet to finish my novel, but I did write the expected 30k.

Still can't really win until the story is done. Until I type "the end" and slowly I'm getting closer.


Now back to writing.

Word count: 120,905

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Write with a vengeance!

I've figured out the ending to my story--thanks to my darling boyfriend and his lovely dose of reality. So all that is left to do is finish my novel. All the characters have been waiting--suspended in time until I write another word or another scene. And I owe it to them to finish their story.

Unfortunately I have been procrastinating--partly due to fear [fie on you inner editor] and distractions. And have made little progress over the past two days. This is unacceptable. But now that I am currently snowed in--I think I should take advantage of the situation and buckle down.

This also means that I'm revising my NaNoFiMo goal as follows:

Finish my novel on or before December 25th [which may or may not be more than 150k.

So the belt is being tightened and I plan to impose these rules:
1. Write first thing in the morning. [And the night as well...but I do better in the morning.]
2. No editing. No revising. No thinking about editing or revising.
3. Focus on getting the story out. If don't know things, just leave a blank or a note and then fix it in editing.
4. Use Write Or Die like I've never used it before.

As a minor consolation to my inner critic, I will allow myself to get the first sentence of each chapter to my liking before I start. Hopefully that shall appease Miss Edit-it-all's constant nagging.

Tomorrow I start fresh. That's all for tonight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WTF! Get back on track dammit!

So I've fallen off the writing bandwagon lately.

Reasons why?
1. Xmas gift making [still got more to do tonight]
2. Costume making [spats and such]
3. Trying to figure out the ending before I get there.

Of all the reasons, number three has my writing practically at a stand still. Like I've said before, it's because the end result is due to a series of events...and I want to plan them so that they make sense. But there are some that for the life of me I can't figure out.

So I'm stuck.

But I really need to get back in the game. I want to finish the damn thing before Jan 1st--hell--I want to finish it. Period.
Part of me says just write whatever ending comes to you and then fix it in post. While another part, the perfectionist, wants to know every last detail before I can write.

This is problematic. I need to solve this ASAP if I want to have this stuff written before I get home on Friday.


Word count: 114,481

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"How to end it?"....keeping me up at nght.

Well...technically I'm up late because I was making a pair of spats, but that's another story altogether.

Nevertheless, I have spent the past two days pondering how my story will end. It's not as simple as the conclusion--the final bit at the end, because I know that. What I'm still trying to figure out is how all of the events lead up to that conclusion. Until I know, I can't really write much more, because I'm basically at that point in the story where all the dominoes are about to fall into place. And I've got a lot of dominoes.


I'm getting there...slowly...I just need an epiphany to help guide me to my story's ending. Which isn't exactly the ending of Olivia's story altogether...because *gasp* there will at least be a sequel.

That's all for now. Sleep calls.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Day Nothing was Written...

I have not written anything today, because I was too busy with my internship and school. On top of that I'm incredibly exhausted and need some sleep.

So where do I stand?
Last time I wrote [Tuesday] I had 111,176.

Olivia has me with Oliver the impostor again. He wasn't very nice and gave her an ultimatum: leave or he'll turn her in.

So yeah...nice dilemma.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Distracted...Childhood Memories

So I've found myself incredibly distracted today.

It all started when I woke up this morning and spent those waking hours imagining what Artemus and Olivia were like when they first met at children [she was four years old, he was six]. All I know is that she slaps him--long story.
From then on I've been vaguely recreating their brief history together, despite the fact that this means I'm thinking about that, instead of where the story is actually going.

But I'm letting myself do it, because it is important to how the story works, so in the end it will help. I'll probably work on it a bit more when I'm in the post-writing/pre-editing stages.

So without much adieu...

The Childhood Events of Olivia and Artemus (at least until I revise it):
While Vincent was out on some business he came across Artemus (not sure what his original last name was), who he quickly learned was quite talented and had a mind for inventing. So he made the young man a deal, he would work with him after school--sort of a mentorship. And this is what brought Artemus to the Wells/Orville home.

The day Artemus came to their home, Olivia was in the middle of a piano lesson with her mother. As she had seen but not had any playmates that were "her size" she was immediately excited by his arrival. So she rushed out to meet this strange new young man that her father was talking to. Vincent introduced the two, using Olivia's nickname which brought about this following exchange between the two children:
"Ollie is a strange name for a girl." Artemus said making a face.
"It's just a nick name. It stands for Olivia Madeleine Wells." The girl replied, irritated at his comment.
"Still odd." Artemus said with a shrug.
"Is he a playmate?" This last line Olivia directed at her father. Her father informed her that the young man is here for lessons, but he might be willing to play with Olivia afterwards. Excited by the prospect, she asked the young man:
"Will you play with me afterwards?"
"No." Artemus said this with no hesitation.
"Why not?" She inquired.
"Because I don't want to play with you." He replied.
And Olivia responded by slapping him on the face, much to the surprise of both her parents. When asked why she did it, she said he was being rude--which was hardly a good excuse. So Madeleine took Olivia to be punished for her actions, while Vincent apologizes to a very stunned Artemus. And the boy's lessons begin.

On his second visit, Olivia quickly apologized to him before his lesson and then runs off afterwards. Feeling partly to blame, Artemus decides to stay and keep the girl company--far better than returning to the orphanage. So begins a series of play dates between the two of them [I'm not sure what sort of games a four year old girl would play with a six year old boy, but it's not too important]. It was during this time that Olivia realized that Artemus was very serious for his age. She asks him one day why he won't smile, but he will not say. The little girl then resolves that she will make him smile, if she ever figures out how.

She found her inspiration on how to do that when she witnessed her mother receive flowers from her father. So she decided it would also work for Artemus. One day instead of piano lessons with her mother, Olivia suggested that they go for a walk. As Olivia gathered flowers, her mother asked what they were for and the girl revealed her secret plan: the flowers were for Artemus. Her mother laughed and asked why she would give the boy flowers. Olivia responds that it made her mother happy, so it might make him happy too. That late afternoon after lessons were over, Olivia presented her bouquet of flowers to Artemus. At first the boy was rather confused by the gift, but it did make him smile [a small half-smile]. Pleased with the results, Olivia continues the action--although with less flowers--hoping that it will keep him happy. And slowly the two children become a bit closer.

[There is a photograph of the two children that was taken a bit after this by Thomas. Artemus is looking ahead at the camera, trying his best to be serious without much success--he is half smiling. His failure to look serious is due to the fact that Olivia has her arms wrapped around him and resting her head on his shoulder--he expected her to merely stand next to him. Yes...she was a bit clingy back then, but it got him to smile.]

About a year into their friendship, tragedy strikes. Madeleine Wells has an accident in the lab. Of course the children do not know this yet--they are together in the parlor when Vincent and the Orvilles rush upstairs carrying Maddy. Vincent tells Bertrand to call for a doctor. Although neither of the children know what is wrong, they can both sense it. Olivia tries to go to her mother, but Vincent stops her and asks Artemus to hold her back. And he does. He holds Olivia in his arms, as she fights him, screaming her mother's name until finally she gives gives in and starts to cry.

When they go to the funeral, Artemus is the one who holds Olivia's hand. Although her father and the Orvilles try their best to comfort her, it is the boy's words [about how he lost his own parents] that help her understand. The two children find themselves bonded by loss. However, unlike Artemus, Olivia remains more positive--even claiming that somehow Maddy is still with her. [There is a slight chance that the girl spent her time alone talking to an "invisible" Maddy or herself to cope.]

After the death of her mother, Olivia begins to spend more time with the men in her life [Vincent, Thomas, Theodore and Artemus]. Unable to leave Olivia alone, her father starts bringing her into the lab, which is the start of the masculine clothes that caused all the Ollie=boy confusion. [The famous photo isn't taken until after Artemus is sent away.] So she spends most of her days after school in the factory and lab with her father. And when she isn't following her father around, she is with Artemus. The young man is now living with them [a foster home type situation]. Her father felt it was best that the boy not have to be at the orphanage after all he'd been through--and due to the comfort his presence brought Olivia. Together, this strange family began to cope.

It was like this for the next three years [Olivia is now eight and Artemus is ten]. Olivia and Artemus have become rather close friends. All was going well, until the two were suddenly separated, for reasons the two were not told. [As it turned out, Mr. Cromwell had returned with hopes of finishing the invention that killed Maddy. He also showed some interest in Artemus, when he learned of his talents. Vincent did not want to see Cromwell get his hands on Artemus, for fear of what he would make the young man do.] Artemus was taken away to live with Felix and the theatre troupe. In the rush to save Artemus from a horrible fate, Vincent failed to tell the young man what was happening. So Artemus assumed he was being abandoned again--sold off to Felix Armstrong. Angry to be treated like an object, he became bitter and disobedient [which in part contributed to his debt]. Olivia was also misled and told her friend had finally been adopted. She tried her best to be happy for Artemus and hoped that perhaps she would see him again one day. That day would not come for another nine years...

So yeah...that's it in a nutshell. The past that Olivia and Artemus shared.
It explains why Artemus cares about her so much and why he's so protective. Why he knows more about her than anyone else and why he would recognize her slightly [you do change a lot in nine years]. It also explains why they have such strong feelings for each other--not fond of that R&J love at first sight BS.

Sorry this was such a long post.

Gonna stop beating myself up.

So tired...because this weekend was hell.
I'm 5k behind at the moment and tomorrow I'll technically be 8k behind. I say technically because I am going to be lenient with myself because I have been far too busy to get much written anyway.

Things are still moving--just really really slowly.

Sigh. I won't stop writing though, because I really don't want to take the chance that I'll abandon this project like I've done with others before.

Tonight's word count: 110,139


Sunday, December 7, 2008


As many of you know my story is Steampunk, which is basically Victoriana with a futuristic/tech focused element. And in order to give my world that lovely 19th century flair, I need to learn as much as I can about that time period.

I've used Wikipedia, TV/movie references, my costuming knowledge etc, but then I found this:

Let me just say--what a wealth of knowledge. Everything from ballroom dancing and corsetry to Christmas gifts for gentlemen and etiquette. Oh I'm going to be visiting this site a lot when I start editing!

Just had to share!

He's her doppleganger...sort of.

So things are looking up a bit. I managed to get a bit of writing done today because I was stranded at work with nothing else to do [yes I had to work this Saturday--what of it?].

Didn't quite meet my goal of 109k, but I'm not about to shirk at 107,036 [only 2k behind]. Plus I'm incredibly sleep deprived and need my rest.

These past couple of words has brought Olivia to her doppelganger, a young man claiming to be Oliver Wells. Technically he's not her doppelganger as they're different genders, but the world thinks that Ollie was a boy, so when you consider that--he is.

I've been looking forward to Oliver's appearance quite a bit as he's got a villainous streak to him. When I first planned their encounter it was a really small moment, but now it's turned into something far more interesting. He's a con-man with some very valuable information, but he's also not someone to mess with. He will really give Olivia a run for her money for a little while. Which makes her big "I told you so" moment even more awesome. Squee!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Epic Fail and a Shamless Plug

So this week has been quite the bust. A migraine took me out for two days [putting me 7k behind] and last night I had a hard time staying awake.

So I'm pretty mad at myself right now. I'm also worried that I'm self sabotaging because I fear that I can't finish my story without it sounding like crap. Then I remind myself this is a rough rough draft and somehow I will make it up. That is what the weekend is for after all. So I will catch up again. It's not like I have much else that I need to do.

Word count: 98,151

There are two books I purchased before NaNo. They were mentioned a couple of times on NaNo message boards so I decided to check them out. They were actually incredibly helpful and will probably be even more helpful once I start editing.

After mentioning them briefly to Penny and she asked me to post them, so here they are--

Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
If you ever needed help structuring a plot, crafting a scene or even just starting your novel, this book has so many good tidbits. If it weren't for this book I probably would have still been working on my first plot, which was pretty lame.

Character & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
Haven't read as much of this book, but I really like how they talk about narrative and character development. I'll be doing a lot of this after I finish, so I know that book will come in handy later.

Now unlike some folks *cough* Penny *cough* I still have a bit more writing to do before I can be finished. So I'm gonna get back on that and hopefully have a healthy word count by the end of the night.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


More research as I write...this time it's impostors and stolen identities.

Olivia is about to meet a man who claims to be her--well the male version of her: Oliver Wells.
I didn't put much thought into it when it first came up as a plot element, but as I'm about to write that scene it's sort of important to address. Which means learning more about why someone would pretend to be someone else. So off to Wikipedia where I found some very handy info.

There are quite a few reasons to impersonate someone: money, social standing, fresh start, hiding from the law or gain privileges specific to that person.

Option 1:
He does it for fraudulent reasons, so perhaps it's all a con sort of like Cassie Chadwick: who pretended to be a Andrew Carnegie's illegitimate child and gained access to a lot of big loans [that she never paid back].
Mind you, the Wells family is known for unless he can invent--he's gonna have to run someday because people will figure it out. Perhaps he's a mechanic.

Option 2:
He does it for opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to him [like funding].
No good examples of this that I've found so far, except for a similar situation in the anime Full Metal Alchemist. In the episode, the lead characters, who are brothers, meet another pair of brothers that are impersonating them so that they could be apart of an experiment. The intentions are selfish, but not meant to be slander or as part of a con job.
If he goes this route, he's going to be less of a threat--and less conflict overall. Olivia will also be more reluctant to reveal who he really is.

I think Option 1 is more exciting and allows for more conflict. He might actually be able to fix things and managed to pull it off for a while going the Frank Abagnale way of having other people do it for you. It will also not be as bad if Olivia reveals him, because he was tricking them anyway.

We'll see.

December brings NaNoFiMo

So it's now December and I'm determined to finish my novel.

I joined NaNoFiMo with the goal of 150k by December 19th, which means about 3k+ a day.
So far I'm doing pretty well and have kept up with my writing.

Been learning a lot while I go the fact that parachutes were around as early as the 1500s. The first modern style ones were in use around 1885. Of course back then you had to hold the chute in your arms when you jumped and release it into the air yourself--but hey it worked. And it makes for a great scene.

So yeah. Olivia and Artemus just jumped off a moving airship, FYI. This adventure of hers just keeps getting crazier. Don't believe me? Two words:'rocket' and 'bicyle'.

And now I go to bed.

Current word count: 94,179


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