So, it’s day 13 of NaNoWriMo, which means I’m nearly two weeks in! I haven’t written anything for today, but it’s Thursday, which is my relaxing day, so I’ll have plenty of time to fit in some words! My word count is currently at 33,310–so I’ve had a lot to say!!
Today’s post is going to be answering the next part of Beautiful Books’ meme–relish this; I’ve never talked so much about this personal fictional story and characters before! 🙂 (If you missed my answers for the first part of the tag, click here.)
1. Be honest: how is your writing going?
Overall, it’s been going good–actually, better than expected! I’ve had a few slow days, but mostly I’ve been able to write about 2k per day! Last Sunday I made a record for myself at 5,000 words in 24 hours! I’ve also not veered off track from my plot or had any surprising new characters join the story, which is very different. 😛
2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?
The fire cracked, shooting sparks into the cold forest night air, like bits of ancient magic, dancing rhythmically with the snap of the night wind.
Baxter lay on his side, awake, watching nature’s hypnotic performance, even though he needed to be sleeping. He felt stiff from the uphill running and, even now, blood still bit at his tongue. The smell of rotted guts clung to his jeans, much to his disgust. It ruined the scent of dying leaves and burning wood, which reminded him of late night camping as a kid.
Tightening his grip on the baseball bat that lay beside him, he shivered as the wind lashed at him through his hood. Squeezing his eyes tightly, he wished away tomorrow. One day like today was enough for him—crushing zomb heads was better left for video games and fictional heroes…
This is my prologue, when we glimpse where the main character ends up before jumping back to the very beginning. It’s a cliche beginning and lot more beautifully written than most of my book. 😛
3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?
Here you go; the forests they retreat to when the Carmichael farm is overrun; blood (self-explanatory); fire, a symbol the gang clings to; the world might burn but they won’t.
4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)
Actually, I did make a cast, although I could not bring myself to use real people/celebrities–I just think that’s weird. So…I went anime. The dramatic style works a lot better with my story, I think. It also feels less lame. 😄 I have nearly cast the whole book, but these below are the more central characters. 🙂
I flipped out when I found many of these pictures; they come incredibly close to how I’ve pictured these guys in my head since I was about 14 (comparison of age–I’m now 20.)
top row, left to right: Duke, Zak, Norton–semi-main protagonists.
bottom row, left to right: Kyle, Anthony, Jenny–villain and secondary protagonists.
bottom: Baxter–main protagonist.
5. What scene are you most excited to write?
The climatic ending between Baxter and Kyle, when they meet again for the first time in four years. It’s going to be epic! I can’t wait to write that scene because s**t’s going to go down.
6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.
Okay–here’s the speech that willed the group of friends to keep going after their first friend dies. (Warning of violence here, in case of younger readers: but seriously…this is a zombie novel, what do you think you’ll be reading. :P)
The front door was wide open; a breeze wafted in, cooling their grieving faces. The strong scent of grass and rot was overwhelming. They heard a moaning, a groaning, out on the porch. Some thuds on the steps. There was a dead corpse right out of their sight.
Baxter suddenly stood from where he’d been sitting beside Norton. Snatching up a large knife, he strode out the door. They heard a slice, followed by a thud. He returned to the doorway; in his hand was the zomb’s head, swinging from its hair, its glazed eyes still rolling and jaw snapping. Everyone stood aghast and shocked; waiting for an explanation of the sudden, wild behavior.
“We,” Baxter declared with a tone of authority, “Are not going to be beaten by this.” He extended the head towards his old friends as he spoke. “We are going to win. We are going to survive. We are not going to just whither away because of some military chemical backfire.” He drove the knife into the eye socket for emphasis, the zomb head freezing in second death. Baxter hurled it back outside, not even flinching as blood spewed across his face.
Turning purposefully back around, he declared, “Together, we will beat these odds. We will not lose to what’s already gone!”
7. Now that you’re writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?
Not really, at least not yet. This story has been pretty straightforward and besides fleshing out a few small details, it’s been going better than expected!
8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that’s difficult to write?
The only big problem I’m having is that my characters have turned out too smart, so the only way I can kill any of them off is if they have a wave of stupidity or the odds become 100 to 1. I really need to sort that out…
9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?
My favorite character to write this past week has been Zak–I took Rachel Roy’s suggestion of sending a character to madness and chose the most solid character to pick apart. Zak’s always been the most collected, sensible, and reliable of the guys but I’ve been able to slowly unravel him in a way that does not conflict with his core characteristics. It’s been engaging to say the least! Above is a before and after, you could say.
Currently, my favorite aspect of the novel is the relationships between all the characters; it has been fun to write about them again–it’s been a long time!
10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and characters?
I’m relieved to say I’ve never needed to survive a zombie apocalypse–although I just manage to survive the Sunday evenings when The Walking Dead is on TV…so does that count? 🙂
11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?
I made a 13 song playlist on YouTube to post for you guys. It’s a collection of singing and instrumental pieces which I’ve written most of my book to. The highlights include Warriors (clearly the theme song,) The Regulator (heard it on TWD, still love it today,) and well, I just love all the music on this playlist, okay…
12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?
Oh, with the gang leader Baxter, all the way. I think we’d sit on the corral fence of the Carmichael farm and talk about tough stuff–or if it was after the farm was destroyed, around a camp fire on the mountainside. He’s gone through a lot of heartache, and so have I, so I think we’d discover some encouragement and understanding from each other. ❤
13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily word count? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)
I tell myself, “You’re going to look like an idiot if you make all this fuss and don’t finish…better get some writing done.” Honestly, that’s been my biggest motivator. Also realizing that I can surprise myself by how much I can write when I focus on the story. (I sound too grown up omg.)
14. What’s your favorite writing quote or piece of writing advice?
15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?
It makes me feel thrilled. I’m excited to be writing for myself alone, instead of staring at my words and thinking, “What if I want to publish this someday?!?!?!” It also makes me thoughtful, as characters have to keep dying–but at the same time I’m exhilarated by it because I’m probably taking out my “parents getting a divorce” stress out on them and am probably turning into a psycho?!? (has an identity crisis for a moment…)
Okay, so yeah, this book is leaving me heaving, bloody, and thrilled. Thus is the life of a writer.