It’s only day two of Camp NaNoWriMo…and it’s not going so well. It seems like it should go perfectly; fully outlined, characters all fleshed out, everything ready and waiting in my notebook, and yet…nothing. It’s missing that spark that you get while writing, and so I can only struggle through about 500 words before I give up.
It’s partly because of my anxiety, which is like through the roof recently, thanks to a whole host of issues that mostly come down to friends making bad decisions and a family who is apparently trying to give sitcoms a run for their money with the amount of stress everyone has. This is never going to be good for writing (unless I’m writing a book about anxiety, I suppose), so it’s been putting a mental blocker on, well, just about everything.
So Millie & Moon isn’t going to happen for Camp NaNo. It will happen, eventually, I’m not going to let all the hours of planning and plotting go to waste, but not this July. Maybe not even this year.
I have realized, however, that I’ve had a novel in my head for a very long time now, I’ve just never actually sat down and fleshed it out. It’s always kind of been shunted aside for the bigger, more exciting ideas. I’m not going to tell you what it is…yet. Not until I’m sure that I’ll actually be writing and finishing it, but I will tell you it’s magical realism, and I’m going to be writing it in a style that I always do for everything I write BUT my novels. Which could be part of the problem.
Anyways. On toward Snazzy Snippets
1. A SNIPPET YOU WROTE MORE THAN TWO YEARS AGO
A Red-tailed Hawk paced inside a room in a wood manor, his cloak billowing around him. As he paced, he snapped orders at the maids to bring him wine, a plump mouse, and a pitcher of water.
He hopped onto a perch, a piece a birch with fine blood-red silk covering it.
“What am I to do?” He growled, as the quivering Gyrfalcon maid passed him the goblet full of a fine white wine.
“The king and queen’s eggs have hatched. All males! Even if one dies, there will there will still be another to take it’s place as the king.”
He brought the goblet to his beak and tipped the wine down his throat, swallowing it in one large gulp.
“Bring me some of that pine nut mead.” He snapped at the maid, tearing messily into the mouse. Flinching, the maid fled.
“I am no longer the heir to the throne! I will no longer be king when the the king and queen die. What must I do?”
He threw the bloody remains of the mouse across the room.
As he growled, an idea hit him. Poison! The stupid King Sharp-Eyes would never think that loyal Lord Hawthorne would lay a talon against him.
Hawthorne laughed, grabbing the mead from the returning maid and gulping it down in three quick swallows.
He knew what else he needed to become king.
“Leave my room, you vile little falcon, and tell the cook to prepare a feast. Send an invite to that pretty Red-tail, Scarlett Brown-Wing, telling her Lord Hawthorne invites her to a dinner.”
The Gyrfalcon nodded and left, swooping out of the room. If Hawthorne was to be king, he must have a mate.
As he swooped drunkenly around the room, he laughed to himself. One day he would be the ruler of the Island.
“King Hawthorne.” He whispered.
Then, tipping his head back, he roared. “All hail King Hawthorne!”
So, y’know how some thirteen and fourteen year olds have natural writing abilities? Yeah. I wasn’t one of them. This is the prologue of the spectacularly horrible bird book I wrote when I was thirteen and fourteen. It was going to be a trilogy and I was going to publish it and make tons of money. If you like, you can still read some of it up on the Teen Ink website. Prepare yourself, though. It only gets worse from here. I ended up writing some insane amount, too…maybe 60k words? And was still barely halfway through when I stopped writing it.
I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily I got better.
2. A SNIPPET WHERE CHARACTERS CONSIDER THEIR BACKSTORY
Alice smirks, leaning against the clear, cool glass, staring at Cal until he starts to shift uncomfortably. “The big, bad prince didn’t want to be a prince?” She says, drawing out the words. “What did he want to be, then?”
Cal rubs his temples, sure he’s about to regret telling her this. “I wanted to be a librarian.”
Alice laughs until she cries, bent over with her hands on her knees. Cal flees a surge of anger. “I didn’t want to be a prince? Okay? I was heckled by my uncles and cousins because I was too quiet, too shy, too bookish, not royal enough. They made my life a living hell, so of course I wanted to be a librarian and not a prince.”
Alice stills, and Cal freezes at the dangerous look on her face. “You think you had a bad life?” she whispers, icy cold and calm.
Alice’s eyes have become slitted and serpentine, and a shiver runs down Cal’s spine. “I never had a home. We had to keep moving so your men, the king’s men, wouldn’t hunt us down and put us in cages for daring to be born a dragon.” Scales were creeping up her neck, down her arms. “I watched my parents be tied up and dragged away when I was twelve years old. I lived alone and homeless in the city until I was eighteen. And now, at nineteen, I get captured and poked and prodded and have a chip inserted into my arm that could kill me as I’m forced to fight for the king whom I hate more than anyone else in the world.” Smoke wafts from her nostrils as she leans forward. “Tell me again how bad your life was.”
3. A SNIPPET FEATURING A CHILD
The princess is so, so tiny. She blinks up at Alice, curly dark hair escaping from under her hat. Alice looks around, then down at Lovelett again, who blinks huge, dark eyes. She groans under her breath, before crouching down in front of the princess. “Do you want to go find your mom?”
Lovelett nods, sucking on her knuckles. Alice stands up and makes and awkward “follow me” motion with her hand. “Come on.”
A tiny hand slides into Alice’s own, and Alice nearly turns into a dragon out of sheer surprise. She can’t remember the last time someone other than Cal touched her willingly, without the look of fear or disgust. This child, barely four years old, is clinging to her hand like a lifeline, and Alice suddenly realizes how much she misses actual physical contact.
She feels like she’s going to cry. Damn it.
Both the above snippets are from All The King’s Horses, my dystopian dragon novel, which I haven’t fully committed to writing yet, but I’ve been writing bits and pieces of it when inspiration strikes and eventually I’ll have a full novel.
Tell me, blogglings, what are you working on now? Is there anything that tends to put a stopper on your writing?