Sprawling in Between the Lines

You know when you’re running a long run, and at first you feel like you’re never going to last the full time. You start out watching the clock and you keep looking at the timer going: Wow, was that really only 3 minutes? You keep going though, and you keep pushing yourself. Then around the 10-15 minute mark you feel absolutely great. You feel like you could do this for an hour without any trouble.

I think I just hit my runner’s high in this novel, and I’m loving it.

Today I got in over 2,000 words at lunch, and then put in almost another 2,000 after work, and I still hadn’t reached that point of exhaustion I usually feel when I’m struggling for words and scenes. I’ve got the second half all planned out, so I feel like I’ve got plenty of flexibility. The last few novels I’ve worked on, I figured the plot out as I went. I let the story tell itself, and I refused to use an outline. Too many times in the past the outline held me back and tried to squeeze my creativity into a box. This time though I’ve found a happy mixture.

I have a structured outline to base my story on, but allow the story to sprawl as it wants in between the lines. This story has definitely been a sprawler, but the outline has provided the proper rigidity it’s needed. I guess it’s kind of like building a house. You want the framework to be sturdy and solid, but you certainly don’t want the insides to be all solid walls and no color or nicknacks. Every house needs some comfort room, after all.

Here’s a picture of the party Shaleigh is finishing up with, though I imagined a crisp blue sky as the backdrop.

Project: Madam Cloom’s Garden

Summary: Shaleigh’s world is so complicated, that it’s no wonder she’s known for being rebellious and argumentative at school. With her father constantly crying over what he’s lost, and a friend going through major life changes, Shaleigh finds herself feeling more and more out of touch with the people around her. She feels isolated, ignored, and angry.

Then she and her father get into a car accident, and her entire world changes. When she’s greeted by a talking stone animal, she realizes that she’s either dead, crazy, or in another world. But the beautiful land Shaleigh has landed in has its dark secrets, and she’s not as welcome there as she believes.

Current Word Count: 32,161

New Words Written Today: 3,731

Progress: Shaleigh has to make an unwanted/unexpected public appearance, and then gets a personalized back-stage tour of the acting tent with some gruesome realizations. Then the action starts.

Total Words for 2013: 35,338

Running, Peacocks, and NaNo

Say you find yourself trapped in another world that looks very similar to our own, meaning it’s not obviously another planet or another dimension for example. What’s the first thing you would do? I say you would pull out your phone and check your Maps app to see if you could figure out where you are.

Am I the only one that would do this? Surely this isn’t just the silly ramblings of an IT gal, right? 😉

That’s the only little tidbit I’m going to reveal in Shaleigh’s story at the moment, but it’s definitely an important piece. I’ve been playing catch up on Camp NaNo today after falling behind this past weekend. I tell you what, I’ve never been so happy to have a general outline before during a NaNo. Hopefully I can keep this steady pace up though as I move forward. I really don’t want to fall behind again this month!

Because mud makes everything more interesting.

Because mud makes everything more interesting.

On Saturday I ran in a 5k, the second I’ve participated in. It was through a wet, muddy trail through the woods, and we had absolutely gorgeous weather for it. I’ve discovered the hard way that running on uneven terrain like mud, through hay (for the mud puddles), and with muddy feet (I slipped into a puddle) is definitely way more difficult that running on a treadmill. The sides of my calves are still hurting and it’s two days later.  I really enjoyed it though, and I wish I had a place where I could do off-road running more often.

Project: Madam Cloom’s Garden

Summary: Shaleigh’s world is so complicated, that it’s no wonder she’s known for being rebellious and argumentative at school. With her father constantly crying over what he’s lost, and a friend going through major life changes, Shaleigh finds herself feeling more and more out of touch with the people around her. She feels isolated, ignored, and angry.

Then she and her father get into a car accident, and her entire world changes. When she’s greeted by a talking stone animal, she realizes that she’s either dead, crazy, or in another world. But the beautiful land Shaleigh has landed in has its dark secrets, and she’s not as welcome there as she believes.

Current Word Count: 13,421

New Words Written Today: 4,993 (Total from my weekend of trying to catch up!)

Progress: The first major climax hit, and Shaleigh isn’t making the best decisions in the world. In the wise worlds of Tolkien, she’s out of the frying pan, and into the fire.

Total Words for 2013: 16,598

Final Thought: Did you guys know peacocks could fly? I feel so silly that I didn’t know this! They’re also good at obstructing vehicles…

I thought it was Spanish moss at first glance.

I thought it was Spanish moss at first glance.