NaNoWriMo: Day 22

Another good day yesterday – 3,610 words total, split about evenly between more Crafters and more SA. I continue to get ideas for the latter that simply won’t leave me alone until they are written, whereas writing the former is more about me sitting down and going “okay, now to come up with ideas to write for Crafters…” so it’s kind of an interesting mix.

Today I’m kind of taking a day off – been working on more Valocea mapping and just generally goofing off. Decided to since I’m so far ahead now, there’s no reason to push (I know I said before I’d try to do at least the Nano amount each day, but when I wrote that I didn’t think I would then get double the daily amount on day 22). I’ll still write a bit at some point before the night is over, but I’m not going to worry much about if it’s 1000+ or not.

-Saito S

NaNoWriMo: Day 21

Now this is more like it! 3,477 words total written on Friday, with about half of those being written at the write-in I went to during the evening. All of those words went to Crafters, which I’m really happy about – I’ve really enjoyed writing more SA, but I really wanted to get some more work done on Crafters during Nano. I have a lot of really interesting ideas for where that story is going, I’ve just found it hard to figure out how to get to them!

My grand total right now (having not written anything today, day 22, yet) is 42,206. Which means, as far as winning Nano is concerned, I’m basically on cruise control. I could write an average of 866 words from here on, and I’d meet the 50k goal on the 30th (the daily minimum to reach 50k, if one were to write exactly the same amount every day from November 1st to the 30th, is 1,667, so I’m doing quite well). But I don’t even want to just do that – I’m going to continue to keep writing a decent amount every day. It doesn’t always have to be two or three thousand, of course, but I’ll at least try to beat the 1,667 mark each day, so that I can finish early and write more than 50k in total for the month.

So yus, home stretch time! 50k ahoy!

-Saito S

NaNoWriMo: Day 20

Managed 2,560 words, and yes, most of it was more smut – the stuff I’d written on Wednesday night actually kind of led directly into another sequence. Like, very directly, to the point where it almost felt like a cliffhanger. What can I say, I didn’t want to leave the scene unfinished. I had planned to mostly take the night off from writing, but these ideas just hit me and I wanted to write em out. But, that’s all for actual sex scenes I think – it was an interesting exercise (I have only very rarely ever attempted to write explicit sex, and until the last two nights, hadn’t tried to do so in ages) and kind of fun, but I do have other things I want to be writing, for SA, Crafters, and others. It is now 11:45PM on day 21; I went to a write-in tonight and actually had a productive evening there (unlike Tuesday, oy), and plan to write a bit more tonight as well, so I’ll probably put up a post for day 21 tomorrow.

-Saito S

NaNoWriMo: Day 19

Well. That was certainly a strange evening.

So after not getting much done Tuesday night, despite having a write-in, I’d hoped Wednesday (which was day 19) would go better. For much of the day, it seemed like this probably wouldn’t be the case. I didn’t feel well the whole time I was at work, and after getting home and eating dinner, I kind of crashed and mostly slept from 8PM until after 11. Still feeling strange, I woke up, took care of a couple things around the apartment, and sat down at my computer. I was tired and still didn’t feel good, but was suddenly feeling determined to try and break through the writer’s block I was feeling. I didn’t care what story it was or even what the writing itself was about, I wanted to write something. Nine times out of ten, feeling especially tired or sick (let alone both) is a recipe for disaster when it comes to trying to write anything. But, in this particular case, I cannot say for certain that what I ended up being able to accomplish wasn’t at least in some small part helped by being in a state of near delirium for most of the night.

I recalled a piece of advice that I first heard ages ago, and have heard reiterated, sometimes with slight variants, several times since. It’s a sort of Nano axiom given in partial seriousness, obviously meant to be humorous but surprisingly applicable at times. “If you’re stuck, then it’s a good time to have someone die, or to have an alien invasion suddenly occur, or to just add some smut.”

Being that I ended up writing for SA, a modern day slice of life story with no aliens and where there aren’t many opportunities for characters to die, you can guess where that went. I thought, what the hell, I’ve never actually tried to just do that in the middle of a story or battle with writer’s block, so I did. And it worked! I wrote a total of 5,281 words!

Now, that wasn’t all sexy times – just over half of it, roughly. The rest was just… stuff. I had a sequence where my two main characters are on a trip (to Valocea, in fact) with two of their friends. At one point, they are in a hotel room at night, not going to bed yet but with nothing else really happening. So I wrote about the exciting details of getting ready for bed, I wrote about a couple of them looking up further information for their trip on laptops, I wrote about some tidbits of information about Valocea itself that the one character out of the four who originally grew up there can impart to the others, and somehow that conversation ended up moving to a discussion about bras. Yes, bras – all four characters are women, so it’s not as odd as it might sound, but still, I looked back on it later and it was like, wait what, why…

But hey, whatever! It worked! That’s Nano. That’s what makes it fun! Sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to write, sometimes you haven’t the faintest IDEA what it will be, and then you write it anyway. And only after you’ve written it out do you get to go back and see what it was that you wrote. It’s crazy sometimes, but in a good way. Of course, not everything written in that fashion is actually good; some of it just needs editing, but some things written during Nano are just too wacko to include in a final manuscript, no matter how much you try to polish them.

With that in mind: will any of the material I wrote last night stay in the “real” story? Well, a question that must first be asked is: will I ever even want to try and pursue publishing any of the SA stuff? And I still don’t know the answer to that. It still feels like something I might not want to share, except with close friends. Only if I changed my mind on that point would I then try to worry about the implications of not only general editing and having to decide if the bra talk should stay, but also, the question of whether the full-blown, explicit, forgot-to-fade-to-black sex scene would stay. So I’m not too worried about that for the moment.

With that sudden writing burst, I’m at 36,169 total, which means I’m ahead once again. So if I take another night off, I’ll still be ok. Not that I want to be too lax about it, but tonight has been pretty unproductive so far. I’m still not feeling well but I can’t guarantee that will lead to unexpected sexy shenanigans for two nights in a row (wow that sounds even more lewd than it already is if you don’t know I’m talking about writing), so we’ll see. Definitely want to try and get back to writing more this weekend, though, with or without the addition of more smut, or perhaps a follow-up conversation about panties.

-Saito S

NaNoWriMo: Day 18

So, I managed to get a little bit more done after the write-in, but not much. 828 words total for the day. Things have really slowed down (haven’t gotten much done tonight, either). I guess it makes sense in a way, after this incredibly strong first two weeks I had, that there’d eventually be a rockier period. Of course, this week in particular has turned out to be a rather difficult one in general, especially with regard to getting enough sleep, yeesh.

Whether it’s SA, Crafters, or something else, I plan to still try and make enough progress from here on to make the 50k total goal.

-Saito S

NaNoWriMo: Day 17

Another unproductive night. I think the huge burst of SA ideas is starting to dry up. Wrote 597 words total.

As I write this, it’s nearing midnight on day 18; I attended another write-in earlier this evening, but found myself unable to make any progress. I’m attributing that to a combination of feeling “in-between ideas”, i.e. my mind is starting to move away from SA and more toward Crafters but it’s not completely there yet, and just being tired (I didn’t get enough sleep Monday night). Gonna try to write a bit more tonight, but I doubt I’ll reach 1,667. Hopefully I can do better tomorrow!

-Saito S

NaNoWriMo: Day 16. Plus, some info on one of my stories + a request for assistance!

This will be longer than normal. But you should read it anyway. Seriously, read it! READ IT

 

*cough* anyway so yeah. 510 words for Sunday. Just a bit more on a scene I began on Friday.

I’m still enjoying writing stuff for SA (a quick refresher on what SA is, as well as my other stories, one of which will be relevant in this post, can be found here; I haven’t linked back to that page in a while, and this post seemed like an obvious time to do so). Even though I may or may not ever try to publish any of it, or even release it for public consumption, I still feel like I’m getting a lot out of writing it. Possibly this is in part because it’s writing practice – even something that you intend to write for yourself, and not share, is still worthwhile because all writing is progress. But also, it IS written for me, in a way, which is another core tenant of Nano. Enjoy what you’re writing. Have fun with it. Want to write it, even if it’s not that good (and, since we’re talking about Nano, chances are it still needs some work!). Because ultimately, even though I “should” be trying to make progress in stories that I am fairly certain I’d like to try and publish someday, it’s important that whatever you’re working on, you enjoy it. Otherwise, what’s the point?

That said, I’m not going to force myself away from SA out of any sense of obligation, but ideas for Crafters have been assaulting my brain a lot lately. I feel like I’m right on the edge of being able to dive back into that world and write for it again. I’m not quite there; when I tried to add some more to it over the weekend, I ended up just letting more ideas swirl, but unable to produce any actual narrative. But soon, hopefully, I’ll be able to continue with it.

On that subject, I wanted to expound on something regarding Crafters… originally, it had pegasi in it. But it doesn’t anymore. See, I originally wrote what I have so far in 2012, for Nano. And that was not long after I’d discovered, and fallen in love with, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Yes, I am outright admitting that because of my love for MLP: FIM, and my enthusiasm for pegasi, and maybe because of a certain awesome blue pegasus, I stuck pegasi into a fantasy story without really giving it a lot of thought. It was Nano! I was writing fast and having fun, which is what counts when it comes to Nano so whatever.

But after Nano 2012 was long over, and I’d decided that Crafters was definitely one of those Nano projects that I wanted to continue working on seriously, I realized they were completely unworkable. For one thing, I’d always know that FIM (and more specifically, Dash) was the reason that they are even there at all. Even if I’d never told anyone else, I’d know, and that would always make it a little weird. For another, I really like Friendship is Magic pegasi. Specifically. In my head, when I was writing Crafters, I pictured this character (and any other pegasi) as actually looking like an FIM pony, instead of an actual horse/pony or more traditional depiction of a pegasus.

So what was I going to do? Try and convey to the reader that they should basically be picturing Rainbow Dash, but without the multicolored mane, when they see Zera (the pegasus character who meets the other main characters a bit into the story)? That was obviously not going to work, for a number of reasons. At the same time, the idea of having pegasi in the story that didn’t look like FIM ponies (but instead looked more like the other options noted above)… that just didn’t have any appeal. Take a look at some – any, really – of those image search results for “pegasus”. That is not, at ALL, what I envisioned, and there is no way for me to reconcile the character I’d created with the look of an actual horse or traditional fantasy/mythological pegasus. It’s just not happening.

Finally, if I really want to write about FIM pegasi, I’ll just work on the FIM fanfics that I already have.

All of the above led to them being not pegasi. Really, as part of their FIM-ness, they were kind of coming across as “pegasi that basically function as humans in many ways when it comes to how they interact with their environment”. So I’m going to instead go with a humanoid species, but one that has wings and is capable of flight. These will be bird-like wings with feathers, instead of fairy-style wings; there are, by the way, fairies in Crafters already, who are in the range of 5 to 7 inches in height. This pegasi replacement race will be a bit smaller and shorter than humans on average, but not drastically so like a fairy, and they would still be proportioned pretty much like a human (i.e. they wouldn’t be stocky like Hobbits – in fact, if anything, they’d probably be notably thin and lightly built). Obviously, in terms of real physics, a basically human-sized organism would need absolutely massive wings to be able to fly (and even then, real humans still probably couldn’t because we’re just not built for it). This race will have wings that are fairly large, and would certainly be considered a defining physical feature, but they won’t be enormous. For a visual, I’m thinking maybe a little bit smaller than the wings on Nina here, from the original Breath of Fire. They fly via a combination of being light and streamlined in form, having some internal physiological aspects that are different from humans (and are no doubt more like birds), and finally – the key ingredient, really – magic. The Crafters world is inherently magical, and every race makes use of magic – in conscious and unconscious ways. A significant portion of the internalized magical capabilities of this race would go toward allowing them to fly, despite the fact that even with some considerations in place (lighter weight, some physiological changes, etc), looking at their weight-to-strength ratio and the size of their wings, in the real world, they still would have no chance of actual flight (at best they might be able to glide under ideal conditions). Whereas in the Crafters world, they can do so ably; they can take off from the ground after a scant few feet of running, they can ascend without the aid of wind or updrafts with some exertion, and are extremely agile and maneuverable in the air. In fact, as a species, they are known for it. I’m also picturing them with non-realistic coloring (i.e. blue skin and the like), though just what color combinations are possible is something I’m still working out. Not that the last bit of info has anything to do flight, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

So! Why is all this in this post? Because a) I felt like it, and b) I need help! I’ve been trying to come up with a name for this race now that they aren’t pegasi, but haven’t had any luck coming up with much. I want something that sounds like it denotes a race that is at home in the air. Back in the original version of Crafters, when Zera was introduced, it was revealed that pegasi have really elaborate, long names (the majority of which is dropped in most everyday communication, especially when interacting with other races; hence, “Zera”). Part of her full name was “Peregray”, which was sort of a play on the word “peregrine”, as in the falcon.

Something along those lines is what I want for this race. In fact, maybe Peregray itself (or some slight variation of it) might even work? Something that does sound like it relates to air or flight or a bird or something in that general range of subjects, but isn’t incredibly obvious. i.e. I’m not going to call them “Windarins” or something. If anyone who happens to be reading this comes up with anything good that they wouldn’t mind giving to me, let me know!

-Saito S

NaNoWriMo: Day 15

And in stark contrast to Friday, Saturday was basically nothing. Wrote 246 words, again the bare minimum so I wouldn’t have any actual “words written: 0″ days. Wasn’t feeling so great last night, or today for that matter, so we’ll see how day 16 goes. I’m still ahead of Nano par by a couple thousand words, so I’m not too worried on that front. I might basically take the weekend off, for the most part, rest up, and get some other things done. Another write-in Tuesday evening, so I should be able to make some progress then.

-Saito S

NaNoWriMo: Day 14

So, another write in at Panera in Emeryville. It went well – had a lot of fun and managed to get a good amount of writing done, plus a bit more after I got home, for a total of 2,104. My grand total for Nano so far is 28,707. I’m doing quite a bit better than I have in any previous years at the halfway point!

Onward!

-Saito S

NaNoWriMo: Day 13

Forgot about this before – just a tiny little update for a rather unproductive day. I didn’t end up writing much, as I suspected would be the case; I basically took the night off. But, I did spend a few minutes to make sure I got at least some words out – 320 – simply to avoid having any days during November with a word count of zero. Even if it’s not much, I want to write something every single day this month.

Day 14 (today) has gone much better so far. Might write a bit more before bed, so I’ll put the update for it up later tonight or tomorrow.

-Saito S