December Update: Dark Crystal Author Quest and NaNo The Childe Hel

Sorry for the delay in posts, I’ve been incredibly busy.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Dark Crystal Author’s Quest

I found out about this in late September, so I thought I’d give it a shot. September was spent drawing up a plan for a full Dark Crystal novel. Then, in November, new information came up on the Dark Crystal Online Encyclopedia that blew a huge hole in my plans. Undaunted, (well actually VERY daunted) I picked apart my previous ideas for something that would fit. I have to admit, the rewritten plan is much better than my original so I went with that.

I spent most of October writing my submission. I can’t go over the details of it but what I will say is I’m proud of what I’ve wrought, it’s perhaps one of the best things I’ve ever written. If I get picked as one of the final five I’ll be over the moon. If not I’ll look into sharing what I wrote as fan fiction and move on.

Pick Chris's novel, please? Make peace?

Pick Chris’s novel, please? Make peace?

Speaking of which.

National Novel Writing Month

I completed this. I’ve always wanted to try NaNo so I pledged 2013 to it. I’m glad I did.

Some authors may scoff but I found this hard. I work full time 5 days a week, so to write 1667 words a day is roughly an hour and a half overtime every day with no days off. Furthermore I’m used to working form a detailed plan. All my recent projects are all fully mapped out on Xmind before I ever commit the first word to word processor. My Dark Crystal submission followed this path but I couldn’t do it for my NaNo novel. Why? Author’s Quest took my October so, when November came around I had minimal planning for NaNo. I had to write words, immediately, on the fly. Yikes!

I did it though and it was worth while. I used a very general idea as my guide and just wrote free from for 30 days. At one point I got stuck with doubt and confusion but I powered through that and eventually reached 50’058 words.

The key was to always stay a little ahead. I clocked around 1800 words a day. This meant, on the rare occasion where I was pulled forcefully away form my writing desk, I never fell behind because my ‘word credit’ was still good. On the other hand, if I had let myself fall behind, it would have been far harder to catch up. So the lesson is; if you need to do x words a day aim for x+.

I have to admit, this method has been rewarding. My characters and plot have developed in ways I could have never imagined. Oh, I’ll still plan the snot out of my 2nd draft buuut I’ll have a wonderful 1st draft to work from.

I’m actually not done my novel but that’s okay. NaNo has given me a sense of how far I can push myself when I really need to. I’m going to complete it. Furthermore, I’ve pledged myself at least 1000 words a day knowing that 30’000 compared to 50’000 is easy.

What I will be up to?

The Childe Hel

My NaNo novel is about the Norse Goddess Hel. Not much is written about her. All that is known is:

  • Odin threw her into the underworld to gain dominion over it.
  • She’s a badass, everyone’s scared of her.
  • When Baldur goes to her domain it’s she who dictates to the Aesir the strict conditions for his return. The conditions are not met so Baulder says.

However, there’s no story, that I could find, on how she comes to power in the underword. When she’s tossed down there she’s a little kid. Therefore, I thought that a neat story would be how she fairs. This novel is about her growing up in the underworld.

When you were a kid you got Santa. I got the frozen wastes of Nifilheim.

When you were a kid you got Santa. I got the frozen wastes of Nifilheim.

It’s going to be a dark high fantasy about loyalty, family, love and war. At 50’058 words it’s about a third of the way through. Over this next month or three I’m going to finish the first daft and hammer out a solid second draft. Expect updates on it unless…

My Dark Crystal Novel (pretty please)

If I win Author’s Quest then my Dark Crystal novel will be my #1 priority period. If that happens you’ll here about it, trust me. 🙂

I’ll be orbiting the moon with delight.

ADX Anthology: Dragon Trinity Crash

David’s got my final draft of this. I’m waiting for him to release it to the backers before I share all the freebies I wrote about it. If you’re a fan of Slayers and/or Fate you’ll love this.

Space Pirate Alice Black: Blood Tribute

I’ve been pestering Jenny Xenotropos whose doing the art and layout. Truth is she’s super busy with commissions and Christmas stuff. She plans to get back on SPAB in January. Once she’s done I’ll be self publishing this on LuLu and/or RPG Drive Thru. More on this as it happens.

Knights of the Hidden Sun

Still shelved I’m afraid. So many new things have come up that I haven’t had a chance to take what Malcolm left me and finish the final draft. That being said…

I will finish this. My plan is, once I’ve written the 2nd draft of The Childe Hel, Hidden Sun will get the lion’s share of my attention. That is unless I win Author’s Quest. I don’t think anyone will blame me for choosing the next Dark Crystal novel over it. Regardless, I will finish Hidden Sun, one way or another, eventually.

And thaaat’s me.

I’ll update again sometime in January.

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