Monthly Archives: October 2011

PLOTTING VERSUS PANTSING

So I’ve been a total delinquent in practicing for this year’s NaNo, but for good reason. Today, October 28, 2011 we’re moving from the house that I’ve lived in all my life and with 30 years worth of stuff with two kids and parents who don’t throw anything out, it’s been a challenge in a half, hence no time for writing.

However, writing will start up in full force again come November 1 and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Back at the beginning of the month I had a regency romance all plotted out. I had characters and subplots, conflicts and resolutions all in a nice shiny new word document. However as the month has progressed I have come to the place where I always come to… what is the best way to approached National Novel Writing Month– plotting? or pantsing?
Plotting is self explanatory. You have everything worked out and you write from an outline.
Pantsing is where you start writing and let the plot and the characters write themselves.
Between the two, I write better pantsing it. Without really knowing where I’m going I find that I can discover the story along with the characters, when I know where I’m going and why with my writing I lose all motivation to write. Therefore, for this years NaNo, despite the fact that I have no concrete idea of what I’m going to write… I know that it’s going to be an adventure and a half.
November, here I come. ^_^

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WORD PROMPT: SANCTION

“I do not care how much you cry Madeline,” her mother stated coldly. “I will not sanction your marriage to Pierre Belmont.”

“But mother,” Madeline cried. “I love him most ardently.”

“I do not care about your love,” her mother said. “And neither should you. You are a daughter of Rosehead Hall. You are the heiress to an enormous estate. You must have a husband to match such wealth. Pierre Belmont is not such a man.”

“He is a good man.”

“He is a lawyer,” her mother pointed out. “They are not good men.”

“He is good,” Madeline insisted. “And I will marry him… even if…” she paused and wondered if she even dared to say what she had long believed to be the bane of women’s chances to live in suitable society. There was a chance that if her mother did not agree to her marrying the love of her life, that Madeline would take up Pierre’s proposal and flee north to Scotland to get a marriage. Elopement was a scandalous thing. Madeline was sure to be disinherited but there was a part of her that did not care for that. She loved Pierre more than her wealth, more than the approval of her mother in most cases. She was more than willing to do the extreme to be with the man that she loved– even if it cost her everything else.

“Even if what?” asked her mother in a scoffing voice. “Do you think that he will marry you in secret and shame if you are cut off? For that is what I shall endeavour to do if you continue with the ludicrous scheme. You shall inherit nothing you shall be all alone in the world. Your beloved Pierre will not love you without your money.”

“Mother that is a lie,” Madeline cried out. “He loves me for me, I know it.”

And without saying another word and without being excused by her mother, Madeline left the drawing room of Rosehead Estate and the house entirely. She was determined to seek out Pierre. She was determined to find her love and tell her of her mother’s refusal. She found him where she always found him, out on the moors, by a stream that boasted the most beautiful site for a picnic.

“Madeline my love,” he cooed as he saw her coming. “I had hoped to see you today.”

“Oh Pierre, Pierre,” she cried as she collapsed on the ground. “It is the most horrible thing in the whole world.”

“What is it my love?” he asked. “What has got you so distraught?”

“My mother has refused to sanction our marriage. She will cut me off if we go through with it.”

“I do not care for you money Madeline,” Pierre insisted. “I would marry you if you were the daughter of a pig farmer, so long as you would have me with what little I would be able to give you.”

“You have given me your love,” Madeline said. “That is all I need.”

And so, on the plains of the moors, with a biting wind at their backs, Madeline and Pierre promised to be with each other for the rest of their days, no matter the obstacles that would be thrown in their way.

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WORD PROMPT: CHIME

1081 words in 16 minutes… wow! That’s practically 2k in an hour if I keep up the same pace. That bodes VERY well for November. This little prompt ended up being more of a regency conversation, though it would be highly not proper for these two characters to be conversing in such a manner… but this is really good that I’m getting back into the regency frame of mind considering that I’m writing a regency romance starting November 1!

The bells chimed signalling that the bride and groom were now married. Within the church the happy couple kissed and their friends and family celebrated. Yet outside the church, able to hear the chime of the bells was a woman who was not happy. The love of her life had just gotten married, and she hadn’t made it to the wedding in time to stop him. It wasn’t as though she was going to just barge into the ceremony and declare her love for him in front of everyone, she had already confessed the night before when she gatecrashed his bachelor party, or rather what she had assumed was his bachelor party. She had come to him as he walked along the street and told him how she felt. He ignored her and Jane was going to make a last minute bid before the ceremony started to try and convince him to run away with her.
The chime of the bells struck her heart strings as she realized with a sinking feeling of despair in her stomach that her life was completely and utterly over.
“Now Jane,” came a gentle voice from behind her. “Will you come with me?”
Jane, or Janet McLeod as she was better known turned and saw not a friendly face but a sinister one– or at least he was sinister in her eyes. Callum O’Henry was nothing like the man she loved. He was short, blonde, blue-eyed, rough, indomitable, rude and sometimes quite downright nasty. Yet he had taken to her like a duck takes to water and Jane had been dealing with his unwanted attention ever since.
“No Callum,” she said evenly as she turned away from him. “I shall not come with you.”
“But you must,” Callum insisted. “It’s all over.”
“It’s not,” Jane cried as she whirled around to face her foe. “I could still have him.”
“And have him be an adulterer?” Callum asked with a raised eyebrow. “I don’t think so.”
Jane burst into tears and crumpled to the ground, sobs wracking her body. Barely aware of what was going on around her, Jane could only and barely hear Callum’s footsteps as he ascended up the church stairs and she could only barely feel his arms as they encircled her. He drew her in and allowed her to cry into his chest. How long they sat there, Jane did not know but when Callum hauled her to her feet she looked up to see why.
Coming out of the church was the bride and groom. The happy couple, surrounded by their happy friends. Callum sequestered Jane in an alcove in the architecture of the church to protect her from prying eyes. When the happy couple passed, and the crowd dispersed he stood away.
“I am sorry,” he apologized. “But I thought it best not to make a scene.”
“You think that I am so weak willed that I would have gone to him now?” Jane asked, her sadness and heartbreak turning back into anger for Callum was ruining the self pity and despair that she so wanted to wallow in.
“In all honesty Jane yes,” he admitted. “I do think so.”
“If you believe that then you do not know me,”
“No,” Callum agreed. “I do not know you. But I have it within me to imagine what you are feeling and I believe that you are not of the right mind. That is not to say that you shall not be in your right mind soon enough,” he added, speaking quickly so as not to offend her. “What I mean to say is that your heart is thinking for you now instead of your head. You have been jilted by the man you love, and you are bound to have trouble dealing with it.”
Jane nodded, but said nothing. She wanted to let Callum know that she understood what he was saying but she also didn’t want him to think that she was forgiving him so easily. Before either of them could speak again the sound of the chime of the bells sounded once more. When they were over, Callum held out his hand.
“Now come with me,” he told her in a gentle voice, one that was most unlike the tone that he generally used in his day to day life but seemed to always use with her. “I will lead you from your sadness.”
Jane just looked at him. “Where are we to go?”
“I am going to take you away from here,” Callum told her. “Away from town. I have been given a country estate by my late uncle and I intend to take up residence in it. It is my wish that you come with me.”
“Come with you?” asked Jane. “I could not dream of doing such a thing. We are not married.”
“I do not ask you to come and share my bed,” Callum promised in an almost biting tone. “I ask that you come to be a part of my household staff. I am sure to find a place for you.”
“A place for me?” Jane said in an almost undignified tone. “How dare you presume to be able to find a place for me. No one can find a place for me save for my own mind or God’s Will.”
Callum laughed at her feisty nature. “It has been a while indeed since I last heard a woman compare her mind to God.”
“That is not what I said,” Jane snapped. “Or rather it is not what I meant to say. I do as my own mind commands but I do it so long as it is God’s Will.”
“So you are saying that it was not God’s Will for you to marry him.”
Jane looked behind her, and saw the happy procession disappearing from view down another street. “No,” she said with a heavy sigh as she turned back to Callum. “I suppose that it was not God’s Will that I marry him.”
“So what does your mind ask you to do now?” he asked.
Jane let her gaze bore into his. “It says that I need to get away, and I shall come with you as a household helper, God does know how skilled I am in such tasks.”
With that said, Jane took Callum’s hand and together they left the town, bound for a country estate where they could live in peace away from the memories that plagued them both.

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WORD PROMPT: THUNDERSTRUCK & DEEP ROOTED

It’s that time of year again. The National Novel Writing Month forums launched yesterday and with it the word prompts. They’re great practice for me. They test how quickly I can write and let me just say that if I continue this way, I’ll be in great shape come November! ^_^ Thanks be to Write or Die for helping me keep track of this!

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Thunderstruck, that’s what she was. Completely and utterly thunderstruck. She had never counted on meeting the man of her dreams, nor had she ever thought of seeing him across a crowded room that was filled with junk in a the basement of a bar where she had never thought that she would ever be caught dead in. But there he was. Tall, dark and handsome, the stereotypical cliche with the only problem being that he was chained up to the wall.
“Hang on,” she told him determinedly as she picked up an axe which was leaning against a wall of miscellaneous weaponry. “I’m going to get you out of here.”
The sound of her voice seemed to bring the man out of his stupor and he looked at her through blood-shot eyes which were rimmed in black bruises. “Who are you?” he croaked out.
“Jamie,” she answered with a small smile as she raised the axe above her head. “You ready?”
He didn’t nod, but appeared to pass out so Jamie swung the axe and broke through the rope which was holding him to the ceiling. His body instantly fell to the floor, and Jamie fell beside it. “Hey now,” she said worriedly as she untied his hands. “Don’t pass out on me.”
When his hands were free she checked his pulse and found that it was sputtering and before she could even count ten steady beats, it stopped completely. Panic shot through her. She was not about to find the man of her dreams only to lose him moments later.
“Don’t die on me,” she told him determinedly as she moved him onto his back and proceeded to begin CPR. “You are not going to die on me.”
Jamie began the compressions, counting very slowly and very carefully as she could despite the growing panic in her chest. She was so worried that she was doing it wrong, that she was going to hurt him more but alternating between the compressions and the breaths of life seemed to do the trick and before long he was breathing on his own again which left Jamie with a new problem.
“How the hell am I supposed to get you out of here,” she asked herself. The guy was passed out, breathing, but basically useless unless he got up. Jamie was pretty strong, but she knew that there was no way that she would be able to get him up the stairs on her own without causing him serious harm.
As if answering her rhetorical question, thundering feet signalled someone’s discovery of the bar. Jamie picked up the axe not entirely sure if it was a demon or an angel who was coming to rescue her and frankly she really didn’t care. Since the whole world went to hell in a hand basket with the armies of Lucifer and Michael fighting for the fate of humanity on Earth itself Jamie had had to learn to take care of herself and those around her.
Her skills with a blade and gun had served her well in the post apocalyptic world and she was determined not to die once she found the man who had left her thunderstruck.
The clattering feet made it to the concrete floor, and Jamie remained parched on the balls of her feet, crouched down, beside the body of the man, ready to spring up at any moment. The sounds of shuffling bodies came closer and when she was sure that they were practically right on top of her she sprung up– and screamed.
The girls before her screamed back and it took a couple moments for them to realize that not only were they not in any danger, but that they knew each other quite well.
“Sarah,” Jamie breathed in surprise. “Cassie, what are you girls doing here?”
“We knew that you were chasing some demon spawn and we came to help,” Cassie replied holding out her gun.
“Is that him?” Sarah asked, pointing to the the man.
Jamie looked at her fallen rescuee. “Oh no,” she replied with a smirk. “He’s all mine.”
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She had a deep rooted fear of facing evil. Not the evil that was generally in the world; gang members, people who steal, bully, etc. No. Allison Winters had a fear of facing the evil of her imagination; the monsters under the bed the dangers of the forest. She was one of those people who grew up on the old Grimm tales and believed them to be the gospel truth even though everyone told her the contrary. “Well,” Allison thought to herself as she faced down her first and hopefully not her last monster in the back alley of a slummy part of town. “I was right, and everyone was wrong.”

After spending years of bringing together bits of data and correlating them, Allison realized that all the tales had similar roots and more than that, they seemed to crop up in unsolved mysteries throughout the ages. There were far too many examples of the supernatural to immediately discount them and Allison had tracked them down, till she had come face to face with one. And it was coming face to face with one that was probably going to get her killed.

“You should have left well enough alone little girl,” the monster sneered in disgust as Allison approached it with a silver blade, something that according to legend would kill the legendary werewolf– though the wolf-man before her wasn’t the mindless beast of ancient lore. No, it was a thinking, calculating creature who could communicate telepathically with her. “I told you not to follow me,” he added.

And Allison had to admit that in the form of a man, a very handsome man, she had been warned off him. “I’m dangerous” he told her. “I’m no good.” he had warned. “You should leave me alone.” If Allison had been thinking clearly she would have left well enough alone but she had a sneaking suspicion that the man was trying to hide something, a deep rooted feeling that there was more to him then met the eye and so she had followed him down the ally on the night of the full moon, and watched as he had transformed before her very eyes.

“You did,” she said at last raising the blade high. “But I’m a very bad listener.”

And you know, looking back on these two prompts I see that I have supernatural on the brain… which isn’t good considering I’m writing a regency romance for this year’s NaNo…

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