CampNaNoWriMo Update: Week Two

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Another week has gone. “What?” I hear you fellow CampNaNo participants cry. Yes, we are half way through April and I have no idea how that happened. Again, I have been busy with keeping my six year old entertained throughout the Easter holidays, but I have had a productive writing week. At the beginning of the week, I started falling behind on my daily targets, and then I missed 48 hours of writing altogether. The last part of the week was my redemption. Call it a spurt of inspiration, but I got myself back on track in just 2 days. Phew.

Current Wordcount: 10,923/ 25k

What have I been drafting to?

8th:

9th:

10th:

11th:

12th:

13th:

14th:

Excerpt:

“If you haven’t noticed, we’re at war. We’re fighting for our lives and freedom, people are dying, and some are still in those centres that these guys rescued a good percentage of you from. Yet, here you are, whinging and moaning because you can’t wash every day, you’re tired, you’re hungry. Well, guess what? We’re all hungry, and we all stink, and we all want to not be able to smell the latrines, but we’re lucky that we are eating, we are safe, and we have got a hole to crap in. Do me a favour and show some damn respect for the three people who are holding this mess together.”

Are you participating in CampNaNo this month? How has your experience been so far? Feel free to drop me a comment.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Update: 30/03/2017

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It has been over a month since my last update, and with CampNaNo just days away, I thought I’d sum up my writing journey over the past 5 weeks.

Word Count

My promise to write everyday during March has been fruitful. I only missed about five days due to commitments, and some of my word counts were little more than 100 a day, but little by little I managed 15.5k words. I’m happy with that, considering this month has been hectic. There has been more birthday parties, school parent’s evening, school science display afternoon, Mother’s day, treats out, volunteering on school trips, and song presentations. Not forgetting, my asshole of a cough. Yep, some of you may know that I have had a time of it with colds and coughs. 6 weeks later, I’m still coughing but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m feeling much better, and there is no threat of me coughing up a lung.

Reading

I have been catching up on my reading of late. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff wouldn’t let me go, so I read when I should have been writing. Sometimes, we’ve just got to do these things, right? Also, I was honoured to receive an advanced ARC of Brianna West’s final book in the Promiscus Guardians Series, Resurrection. I have been patiently waiting for this book whilst West did other things. (Oh, you know, have a baby and what not.) Seriously though, the woman is a power house when it comes to writing.  Again, I couldn’t put the book down. Damn all the brilliant storytellers distracting me from my writing!

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I’m not going to lie and say that I’m a NaNo prepper because I’m not, so I can’t use that as an excuse. That being said, knowing that I’ve set myself a 25k word count for April has left me a little complacent on my March writing. I don’t want to burn out, do I? Hopefully, CampNaNo will see me nearly finished with my first draft of EVO Ghost. *She says tentatively.* I shall not be doing another update post for a while as I shall be doing weekly NaNo updates. Keep your eyes peeled for those.

Excerpts (EVO Ghost only. I have done zero writing on Zombie Playlist.)

EVO Ghost: (sorry for the short teasers, but spoilers…)

Throwing my bag over my shoulder and readjusting the black wig, I make my way to the truck. Rafe places a hand on my chest. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

“Since when does Rafe Lloyd pander to anyone?” I say, sliding passed him. Looking over my shoulder, I throw him a half-baked smile. “I’m fine.” I know I’m kidding myself, but it’s not going to change the fact that this needs to happen. I have to leave the safety of The Hive, and today is the day.


One of the women leans a little closer to me. “You’re not what I expected.”

“Despite what Towley would have us believe she doesn’t have horns and a thirst for blood.”

The woman shakes her head. “I expected someone polished- sharp and shiny around the edges. You’re a bit of a mess, no offense.”

I shrug. “Little offends me now.”

She throws me a wink. “You’re human and that’s reassuring, even if you are coming apart at the seams.”

Am I that obvious?


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Update 13/1/17

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I haven’t posted an EVO Ghost update on my blog in what feels like ages. I have hinted at some struggles on Twitter and in my Muse-ic post, and now, I thought I’d let everyone know how I’m getting on.

Word Count:

After Christmas, I started on EVO Ghost with 24k words written. I hadn’t touched the manuscript for a while because I was focussing on Thrown to The Blue, but going back knowing that I already had 24k words was a motivator. That motivation didn’t last long. I couldn’t move passed a particular point in my story, and for days, I procrastinated. Eventually, I decided to cut 10k words, taking me back to where I knew I was last inspired. I took the narrative in a completely different direction and the words flowed much smoother. I’m now at 27k words and going strong, so that’s 13k written since Christmas. The bonus is that some of the cut stuff will make it into the narrative a bit further down the line.

‘Third Book in the Trilogy’ Syndrome:

Half of my word count issues stemmed from self-doubt. Rather than let my story flow and pay it little heed until the redraft, I stressed myself out with worry over loose ends, tying up character arcs, making the third book epic etc. I dubbed this self-doubt, ‘Third Book in the Trilogy Syndrome’. I know this book has to close the story, and I want to do right by my characters, but dwelling on it wasn’t helping. Getting back to my usual ‘seat of my pants’ drafting style has helped me progress the narrative.

Where I am at now:

I am neck deep in drafting, researching, and note taking. A brilliant idea popped into my head that wouldn’t leave me alone. When I finally wrote it into the narrative, the whole story shifted up a notch, and a huge plot hole filled itself. Phew. I also may have, kinda have, sorta have an ending idea. I say this very gingerly because my ending ideas usually change as the narrative moves along. Teddie will tell me how this ends, but I’m hoping this idea has been sparked by some hidden message in the narrative so far. That happens to me, you know. I only realise why I typed something when that something becomes important further down the story arc. Strange, but amazing, right?

Excerpt:

This excerpt is only small because it is very hard to find interesting paragraphs without spoilers, especially for those who may not have read books one and two.

I push at my temples, scrunching my nose against the tension forming in my head. “You were doing what you thought was best,” I say, more to myself than him. “Still, you should have told me from the first.”

His mouth opens and closes like a fish. “I thought you’d be—”

“A bitch about it. You saved my life. I won’t forget that easily, just don’t keep things from me. I have… trust issues.” I smile and tap at the stapled scar on my scalp.

“Sorry, I’m just used to my family being hard-headed and petulant.”

“Oh, I can be both of those. I just have perspective now.”

How do you overcome self-doubt? Have you written a trilogy, and how did you find the experience?


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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2nd Redraft Complete

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The second and final redraft is now complete. It has taken a little over two weeks to work my way through the necessary changes. Of course, this was much easier than the first redraft and should have been completed within a week, but September has seen both myself and my hubby turn 30, so I havent been able to slog away and get it done. No matter-it is done now.

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What’s Next?

It has been over a month of redrafts, so now it’s fine tooth comb time. The plan is to get a week’s worth of editing done before I send the first half of the book for proof reading. It’ll be a game of cat and mouse; I shall try to finish editing the second half of the book before the proof-reader gets back to me with the first half changes. Yeah, because plans like that always work out for me- HA! I have to try and stick to the plan that has been arranged, but there is a little wiggle room. I need it, considering I have been having one of these weeks:

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I shall not be adding any more excerpts from here on in. I think I have been pretty generous thus far. As soon as my betas have their copies, I will have more of an idea of a release date, so I will update when I know more.

Can those who have mentioned being an ARC reader leave a comment, and I’ll add you to the list and get back to you- thank you.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Re-Draft Time

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Even as I was writing Thrown to The Blue, I knew I’d have to re-draft and do some serious editing. Writing multiple POVs for the first time was refreshing, but challenging. I’m pretty sure my re-draft will involve cutting masses of repeated information. Sometimes, I knew I was doing it when I was writing, but I was on such a roll that I thought, ‘Oh well, I’ll leave it until the edit.’ In fact, I thought that a lot.. a lot lot. Wow, this edit is going to be quite the undertaking.

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After I post this, I shall be settling in for the re-draft. I want to dissect my manuscript, swap some chapters around, add a couple, and delete the unnecessary. As of now, I’m not sure how I’m going to proceed until I go through it with a fine tooth comb. I want to play with it and see what works. This could be weeks, if not months, of work, but is vital to my WIP. I know a lot of writers who don’t feel the need to redraft and head straight into an edit. I think a re-draft is an important step of my editing process, but maybe that’s just because I’m a ‘pantser’ and pour everything onto the page to be reworked later.

Do you allow yourself the freedom of a re-draft? Have you got any re-drafting tips that have made the process easier for you?


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIF sourced from GIPHY.COM

Why Did This Draft Feel Easier??

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As you may be aware, I have completed the first draft of Thrown to The Blue and it is having a little rest before I start the redraft. I’ve been thinking about this drafting process and why I found it so easy (much easier than my EVO Nation series.) Maybe there is a plethora of reasons, and this story just seeped from my pores, but as a pantser, I scrutinise my methods and techniques to try and better understand what suits my writing style.

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More POVs

For the first time, I have written a draft in multiple POVs; two for the majority of the book, and three toward the end. It is unconventional to add a POV late on in the narrative, but I’m a rebel like that. Once my MCs had met the antagonist, Lyerdith, she got her own POV. I did this to add depth and hopefully lead into book two. This was a source of debate for me, but in the end, I liked being inside Lyerdith’s head, and her POV helped progress the narrative.

Shorter Chapters

Due to the multiple POVs, I was able to make the chapters shorter. Writing shorter chapters kept me thinking about the next step, and the next POV. This made the drafting that little bit easier. I had to get what I needed to say down in shorter intervals, which eliminated a certain amount of pointless rambling.

CampNaNo

There is no denying that CampNaNo helped me no end. I hit my 30k target with the encouragement of my cabin mates. Feeling accountable for my word counts was a great motivator.

Letting Go

Everything about this draft was out of my comfort zone, yet I felt so at home. I allowed myself the freedom to explore POVs, time lines, and characters that blur the lines between good and bad. For the first time, I didn’t set myself an ideal deadline. I went in with the mindset that it will take as long as it takes. I’m still in the mindset in regards to the redraft and edits and it is a refreshing perspective for me. If I have to cut or rework during the redraft, then you know what, it’s all cool.

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Do you have a particular drafting style that makes the process run smoother? Can you relate to any of the above?


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM

First Draft Done and Dusted!

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I have completed the first draft of Thrown to The Blue!

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Thanks to some much needed motivation from CampNaNoWriMo, I flew through this WIP. An extra 15k brought me to the end of my first draft, and I’m totally stoked! This has been the most stress free, smooth flowing, easy draft I have ever worked on, so I’m expecting a bitch of an edit.

You know what I’m going to do now for a few days???… Read, and read, and read. I want to have a break and enjoy some other author’s glorious words. Oh, and there will be plenty of celebratory tea.

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Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM

More Thrown to The Blue Quotes

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As I have been doing weekly CampNaNoWriMo updates, I opted against posting a WIP update. Instead, I thought I’d share some of my excerpts/quotes that I uploaded to Instagram. Thrown to The Blue is about 10k away from completion, and I hope to finish the first draft by the end of NaNo.

I’m happy to connect with other bloggers, writers, and readers via Instagram: KJ’s Insta!

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.(4)

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.(1)

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.(3)


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Thrown to The Blue Excerpts

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I have been working tirelessly on this WIP, and I’m getting drawn deeper and deeper. I’ve been wanting to share everything about this novel with everyone, but seeing as that’s not a wise move, I shall share some excerpts.

As there are two points of view in this novel, Ezrahli’s and Reed’s, I shall share an excerpt from each. (They are not in any particular order, just chosen at random.)

Ezrahli

Smiling politely, I step into the vast hallway with Quinn just a few steps behind. The guards fall into formation- one in front and the remaining four in a circle around the both of us.

“The Prince has requested you meet him in his chambers, Your Majesty.”

“Very well.”

I’m escorted through the hallways, and then we stop outside father’s room. Ten guards line the entrance and bow as I face them. I laugh heartily on the inside, trying to keep a cool exterior. Brenneth’s serve, Cashel, opens the door, and I breeze in with Quinn close of my heels.

As soon as the door closes, and I enter the bed chambers, I laugh out loud. “Is that bed even cold, Brenneth?”

Brenneth sits at the mirror, scraping his hair back into a severe up style, tied with a small strip of black ribbon. “I shall be King by dinner. Is it not right that I sleep in the largest bed on my first night as Imperial Majesty?”

“You know I care not where you sleep, Brother.”

He looks at me through the mirror. “Now, that’s not strictly true, is it?” he says, his eyes flicking to Quinn.

Quinn stares at his fingers as Brenneth studies his attire, skimming from his sheer blouse to the red lips. Rolling my eyes, I step behind Brenneth, blocking Quinn from his gaze, and I help him place his crown; a solid ring of heavy gold with spires similar to mine, only masculine and austere.

“What is the story?” I ask.

“My sister waited for me to leave the palace with a solid alibi, and then murdered my father, the King, so I could take the throne.”

“Honest- I like it.”

He reaches up and holds my wrist tightly. “Thank you for making sure I was protected from accusation. I will protect you, Ezra. On my life I swear it.” There is deep sincerity in his face, and I rest my chin on his shoulder from behind.

I sweep my veil aside, so he can see my eyes. “Ye’Sande is yours,” I say.

“No, sister, it is ours. An unknown, trained assassin entered the castle and killed Father without alerting the guards. You were the first to find him.”

Nodding, I step away, allowing Brenneth to admire himself in the mirror.

“Are you ready, my King,” asks Cashel.

Brenneth grins. “My King… Well, that does have a ring to it. Yes, Cashel, inform the guards.” He steps forward, adjusting his mourning tunic one last time, and then turns and strokes my cheek. “My beautiful, little assassin,” he says. “It is just you and I from here on in.”

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Reed

I perch atop of the church roof, hidden behind the bell tower. I could go back to Teal, but I will-nay just yet. The Princess had scars alright, just the wrong ones, but what she did have was a burning anger. I could be angry like her, but I chose nay to be. I dealt with my anger much like she dealt with hers, but it has-nay seemed to help her. I can-nay imagine living my life so consumed and bitter. I feel for her, though, whether she wants my pity or nay. I understand what she went through.

Teal did-nay want me to just see her scars, he wanted me to get close enough to sense her. Energy gathers around witches as if the air around them is alive, even without being claimed. Aye, the air was alive, but I can-nay tell ye if it was magic or her fury. I can-nay tell ye much about that woman, yet I want to know everything.

Curiosity may be the death of me where Princess Ezrahli is concerned… Ezra. She allowed her serve to call her by a pet name of sorts. I hung around long enough to hear his fable; a story he told her to help her sleep. She trusts him. So, now, I know there are two people in the world that she holds dear. Two people who love her, but do-nay really know her. If they did, perhaps they could help her. Perhaps nay-one can help her. Perhaps I’d like to try. Perhaps I’m just a foreign fool in her damned Kingdom.

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Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

WIP Update #3

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I have been holding off with this update because I didn’t feel that I had much to report, but I thought I could still ‘update’ you on my lack of motivation. However, when I started thinking about this update I realised that a lot has happened slowly but surely.

Two WIPs!

I kept being drawn into a new idea (one I blogged about before), and it took my attention away from EVO Ghost. So, I decided to start drafting both. I like to make more work for myself *hehe*.

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New WIP:

My new WIP is a fantasy with two POVS- Princess Ezrahli, and a skilled archer named Reed. I wrote 12k words of the draft in just Ezrahli’s POV, and got stuck with how to progress the narrative with the sub-story that she is to become a huge part of. Once I started writing from Reed’s POV, I knew that his narration was equally important, and went back and added/ rewrote chapters.

I have been calling this WIP ‘Thrown to The Blue’ because of an important act that is necessary for witches to have their magic awakened. The title may change, but it is kind of stuck in my head for the time being. I’m unsure if this will be a series or not, but only time will tell. I like the idea of a stand alone book.

Current Word Count: 15,470 words

Excerpt from Thrown to The Blue:

“I wanted to understand, is all.”

“And what is it you think you understand, archer?”

“A lot. I am sorry for you, Princess.”

“I don’t need your pity!” I scream. How dare he? “I am not to be pitied!”

The guards bang on the door at my outburst, throwing it open and almost breaking its hinges. The thunder of feet race through my chambers, and the archer throws himself from the balcony, effortlessly scaling the building like an animal of the night.

“Your Majesty,” shouts a guard, gripping my forearm forcefully. I stare at him in a moments confusion, and then tear my arm from his hold. “Princess?”

“I’m fine. It was just a dream. Get out! All of you get out!” He eyes my wrist, and I pull my sleeve down fully. “I could have your eyes removed from your skull if I wished.”

He averts his gaze, bowing low to the ground. “My apologies, Your Majesty.” He backs away without any further eye contact, ushering the other guards with him.

Quinn slips into the room, rushing to my side as I lie on the bed. He wears a simple negligée, showcasing smooth legs to rival any woman’s. “Was it another dream, Ezra?”

I want to tell him of the archer- of how both he and the guard saw more of the real me today than anyone save him. Even Brenneth has never seen them since I was a child. The words won’t form in my mouth. I feel like there is a mystery to the caped man that I’m the only one privy too, and that interests me more than it should.

“Yes, just another dream,” I say, choosing to keep the encounter to myself. “Tell me a story, Quinn. One of the tales your mother would tell you.”

Lying beside me on the bed, Quinn plays with my hair and recites a renowned story about a Queen who fell in love with a poor man with nothing to his name but an enchanted bow and arrow.

EVO Ghost:

I think I’ve been enjoying getting to know the new characters a little too much and EVO Ghost has suffered because of it. That being said, I have decided on a time jump of about three to four months. Just getting everything in place for that jump has been a slog, but I’m confident it will work out well.  Yesterday, I had a plot twist idea that needs to simmer a little longer in my head. I haven’t even written it down because I want to see where my mind goes with it- if anywhere. It’s a fragile one that has to be handled with care- a ‘this could go amazingly right or drastically wrong’ idea, but that alone makes me keen. Go big or go home, right?

Current Word Count: 23,673 words

Excerpt from EVO Ghost:

Rafe retrieves a laptop from his bed, sits on the pristine, army style sheets, and gestures for me to sit beside him. “Things have stepped up a gear since the rally. What has it been- eight days? I can’t fully believe it myself.” He hands me the laptop, presses play, and gets up to leave, taking the others with him. “Come and find me when you’re done.”

A news broadcast, dated two days ago, plays as smoke billows from a high rise building. People run from the building, clutching infants, carrying injured people, and some throw themselves to the ground in an attempt to put out the flames that engulf their clothes. The news reporter can’t be heard over the noise, but he comes into view, and gestures for the camera to swing to the right.

Soldiers and military vehicles fill the area to the right of the burning building. Every person who rushes out of the flames is restrained by soldiers and tested with a kinetic reader and a swab. Injured men and women are cuffed and thrown forcefully into the back of large trucks with guns trained on their heads; none are offered medical treatment. Screaming kids are bundled into separate trucks from the adults. They look so terrified.

“I thought this was an E.N.C attack,” says the reporter to the camera man, the carnage making him oblivious to the camera still rolling. “I don’t understand this.”

“It’s a flush,” shouts a bloodied man, running passed them at speed. The reporter grabs his arm, almost whipping him off of his feet.

“Can you tell us more about—”

“I’m EVO. We’re all EVO. I need to get away from here,” the man shouts, trying to free himself. “This is a flush. The E.N.C have been protecting us here. The government bombed the building to flush us out. There are children inside. There are kids in there and they still bombed us! Let me go!” He frees himself and races off between buildings.

The reporter just stares at the camera. “It appears this is a government orchestrated attack against EVO. We do not have facts, but… hell, I don’t know what this is.” He pushes the camera aside. “Come on, man. Let’s get out of here.”

I think I have been generous with the long excerpts, but I hope that makes up for my lack of updates.

God knows when my next update will be, but if I have anything to report, I will do.


All content is the property of KJ.Chapman

Image sourced from CraftaholicsAnonymous.net