Well I did it (go me!), 50K words in a month. This is a task I’ve manged before, but never as a conscious act. Before, the few times I’ve been this productive, I’ve had a muse with a whip chasing me. This time I literally started completely cold. All I had was an idea that occurred to me on Oct 31, so I had no outlines laying about, no long-deferred story ideas that had been waiting for me. Thirty days later, I have fifty-thousand words, most of which I think are usable in some form.
Some things I might cut; dream sequences I wrote to get out of a block (though their back-story might survive a rewrite) and the smoking hot sex scene that may be out of place in a YA novel.
Now I let it cool for a bit and go on to a proposal I was working on before I started this. After that’s to bed, I think I may go back and finish this thing, once I outline the second half of it.
“She didn’t like what he was doing, this place, what lived here. She begged him to move, to take the family away from this place. They argued, yelled, screamed. The floor was just vinyl stick on tile, old and brittle.” Her face had gone blank, and while her eyes were open, she didn’t look at him, she looked past him. “It started as a freak accident. This place didn’t like her. They argued. A tile came loose. She fell. Her foot hooked under the stove and twisted. Her leg broke.”
“Amy?” Jason looked at her, and she didn’t seem to be here anymore, she spoke as if she was in a trance.
“She tried to get up. He grabbed a cast-iron skillet from the stove. She’d been cooking breakfast.”
“Amy?” Jason grabbed her shoulders. “You can stop now.”
“The whole kitchen smelled of bacon. You could hear the grease sizzling.”
“You can stop. Please.”
“Some of the sizzling might have been his hand when he grabbed the handle. He was too angry to notice how hot it was.”
“Amy!” he shook her shoulders.
“Down into her face. Hit with a dull thud. Stopped her screaming.”
“Stop it!” he screamed into her face.
That seemed to snap her out of it. The blank expression regained animation, and she blinked her eyes and was actually looking at him now. He could see now that her cheeks were damp with tears. He felt her start to shake.
More NaNoWriMo stuff. In lieu of a real blog post, an except of what I just wrote about five minutes ago:
The girl at the top of the stairs was older than Kelly, four or five. Her skin was pale to the point that it looked white even in shadow. Her hair was long and black, falling over her shoulders. She wore a nightgown that seemed to come from another century. Her feet were bare, and streaked with black.
She stared down at him with eyes invisible in the shadows of her face, and beneath that gaze Jason felt a cold so deep that it burned.
“It will know you,” she whispered as she took a step down toward him. Jason clutched the banister so tightly that his knuckles went white. He took a step back even as he was consciously telling himself that he couldn’t be seeing what he thought he was seeing.
“It will know you,” she whispered very slowly, “and you will know it.”
Jason’s eyes widened as he realized that the girls eyes weren’t lost in shadow. They weren’t there at all. There was only a deep pit across her face where the eyes should have been, a pit dug deep into the skull. And in the darkness within it, something dark and glistening moved.
NaNoWriMo update (If the blog seems slow,well something had to give.)
I’m pounding away at my YA ghost story, and as the blog title suggests, it’s taken a bit of a Lovecraftian turn. It probably won’t be an explicit Mythos story, but there’s clearly some eldritch horrors hanging about.
There is not much more I can say about the Cook’s Source Magazine scandal that hasn’t been already said. If you don’t know what I’m talking about (and if so, what Internet have you been surfing?) we have the author of an article about medieval tarts (SCAdians take note) who had her article lifted wholesale and printed in a magazine without her permission. The editor, Judith Griggs, of Cook’s Source Magazine not only admitted to the theft, but actually said the following words that may live in Internet history alongside “the internet is a series of tubes:”
Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was “my bad” indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things. But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it!
Editor fail. Copyright fail. Ethics fail. And, public relations fail. (Just note the comments on their Facebook page.) You see, when you decide to be an asshat to a blogger, especially in such an interestingly twisted and completely asinine fashion, they tend to blog about it. And, when your statements have reached such an epic level of complete cluelessness about the nature of the medium itself, it becomes entertaining for other people to blog about it. So the relatively unknown person you’ve stolen from blogs about it and gets a linkback from the relatively known Nick Mamatas. The latter, being relatively known, inspires even more relatively known bloggers to mock the stupid whose name is Judith Griggs. Scalzi takes a swing with the cluebat and makes a palpable hit in front of his 30K of daily eyeballs. (What’s the circulation of that magazine again? Just wondering.) And the Smart Bitches of equally vast viewage take multiple swipes and offers a present of Google. Then, at last, the meme goes nuclear when it crosses the radar of Instpundit.
I’m more or less on track with my NaNoWriMo project, and I have registered myself and my project on the NaNoWriMo site. It’s probably a little more accurate than the counter I have here, since I get to see pretty graphs and such. Also, I is motivated since winning will get me a discount on Scrivener for Windows when it comes out 🙂
I’m a little cagey on the content, since it’s hard to tell what will be a spoiler or not. (My actual working title probably is.) What I can say is that it’s a YA ghost story complete with haunted house and (probably) devil-worshiping cultists.
I’ve taken the plunge. Being without an outstanding contract for the first time in 17 years means this is the first November since the inception of NaNoWriMo that I have the time to try and participate. So, now that I have the Marked proposal over on my agent’s desk, I’ve started a completely new secret project. Completely new as in that the idea for it came to me on the drive home from World Fantasy. I’ve even added a progress counter so everyone knows when I’m slacking.