Friday, October 23, 2015

Beautiful Books - Like A Writing Desk


I have written and am now posting my promised NaNo post! Are you surprised? I am;) I really thought it would take a longer time to finish it.

I'm going to assume that everyone who is reading this knows already what NaNoWriMo is. Go ahead and add me on the NaNo site, if you'd like!  

I found this link-up through Mirriam Neal's blog post, and thought this would give me a really good opportunity to share my NaNo novel with you. Visit Cait at Paper Fury, or Sky at Further Up and Further In to find out more about Beautiful Books.

1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

To be honest, I'm not really sure where the idea for this story came from. I think it must have been around Camp NaNo, when I noticed that two bloggers I follow were both doing Alice In Wonderland retellings. I thought that it would be a fun retelling to do, so I borrowed Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass from the library, hoping to have a better understanding of the original story (I had only seen the Disney movies before). I think the idea progressed a lot from there. While I was working on Alice's character bio, I was able to form a better idea for the story, as well.

2. Why are you excited to write this novel?

I think it's going to be hopeful. It's going to be centered at people who feel put down and who feel that no one understands them. But this story shows that you are never as alone as you feel.

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?

Like A Writing Desk is about Alice trying to find answers. She was a whimsical child once upon a time. So when she fell down a hole at the age of eight and met eccentric people and explored a whole new world inside it, she believed it was real. After years of people telling her it was just a dream, however, she begins to face reality. Of course, now that she's twenty-one, she wouldn't have still believed it to be real, anyway. But would she have lost her imagination and love of make-believe if the words with which people ridiculed her had never been said? She writes her story now, as a way to keep the fire of imagination in her fourth grade students enkindled, and hopes that someday she'll be able to wake up from reality. What she doesn't realize is that she never lost her imagination in the first place; and, though most of her relatives treat her still as a child who has a bad head, she does have one friend who understands.

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)

Tabitha (The Hatter): Eccentric
Alice Young: Lonely

Dr. Sherman (Her Psychiatrist): Bothersome
Elizabeth (A Student of Hers): Encouraging

I can't find a picture for her cousin. He does not yet have a name, but he is a big character. There are a few other characters, but I don't really have names for them, either, and am not entirely sure which ones will actually make an appearance.

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them! 

Well, I think the parts when and after Alice and her cousin reconnect will be really fun to write. It's when things start getting happier:)

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?

Alice stands in her own way. She wants her imagination back, and wants to feel the way she did when she was that whimsical child playing pretend. Everything was so innocent back then, and hopeful. But she doesn't let herself dream. She tells herself that she's become too practical, and hates herself for it. But her students still see the magic in her, and a few other people, besides.

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)

Right now, it's set in New York. I'm not sure if I want it to be in New York City, or just somewhere in the State. That's all I really know about it as of yet. It is possible that it could change. I guess the only certain thing is that she lives with her relatives. Meaning, her aunt, uncle, and cousins. She doesn't like them, and they don't like her.

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?

Her relationship with her cousin is the most important. Through his love and understanding, she changes by the novel's end. Which brings me to the next question...

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Alice finally sees herself as she really is, instead of the mask she's put over herself. She stops putting herself down and starts to realize all of the wonderful gifts she's had all along that she thought she'd lost. She becomes a happier person, and begins to open up to those around her. She grows more confident in herself, and begins to show friends and family her true self, even though she knows they may not always understand her fully.

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?

Self-acceptance. Don't believe what everyone tells you. You can live in reality; but don't let it ruin your imagination. Likewise, don't let your imagination overrule reality. There is always someone on your side (yes, that is partly from Into the Woods;)). 

NaNoWriMo BONUS: Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.

Ummm, well *clears throat*. I've never actually written a whole novel in a month, *says under her breath* or ever. So, don't expect me to be an expert, but here goes...

1) Stress

No, don't. Seriously. I mean, I know you have friends and family who you are spending a bunch of time away from, (and hogging the computer from, possibly), and they already think you're crazy for doing this; so if you don't come out of this as a winner, you may feel like it was all for nothing and that you've disappointed everyone. But winning is not the point (at least for me). For me, it's more of growing in my writing journey, and learning new things about myself as a writer. If you've got friends who are already at 4k on the first day and you're only at 1k, don't freak out. It's gonna be okay. The world won't be shocked and disappointed in you if you don't win. Be proud that you stuck through it and did the best you could've done. Not a terrible lot of people can write 50k in a month, let alone in a lifetime. 

2) Quality Over Quantity

If you take a look at many of the novels on the NaNoWriMo site, they will make you raise an eyebrow. You'll want to ask the author, "You really want to spend sleepless nights and tons of time away from your family and friends to write that?" I can't tell you how much I want people to realize that just because you win NaNo does not mean that you are an amazing writer. You can write the trashiest novel there is and still win NaNoWriMo. What I think is important about NaNo is that it pushes you to write an idea that you have had, but have before been too afraid to start on your own. Please, please, please, don't write something that you have no interest in other than saying you reached 50,000 words in a month. 

3) Life Goes On

Leave enough time for things other than your novel. Talk to your friends (not just to word war). Don't freak out if your family needs to borrow the computer. Get enough sleep to not be a grump, and so that you're not snapping at anyone and everyone. Pray. Don't let your novel take time away from your time with God. Writing 50k will not necessarily make you a better person, but keeping your time with God will. 

So, are you excited for NaNo? What do you think of my plans for my novel? Is there anything that you think I should consider changing? Did my advice help? Are you going to do a Beautiful Books post? Leave a link if you are!

auf wiedersehen, darling


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Orders - MMC (October 12, 2015)

Here's another Monday's Minute Challenge (a contest hosted by Tessa Emily Hall) entry. It's 299 words, and I used the items prompt (arrow, leaf, wolf). As promised, it's part of the story I've been writing pieces of (this part comes after the part entitled Prisoners). Hope you like it:)

I kicked leaves off the ground and grumbled as I made my way deeper into the woods. "Only a few days adjusting to the great outdoors, and this is what she shoves on me. I've never even caught a fish in my life...and she expects me to bring back a deer!" I snatched a floating leaf, and began twirling it in my fingers as I walked. "What's going through her head, anyway? 'Janice's daddy was a stuck up, rich governor, and always sheltered his daughter from any kind of work. If I send her out, the deer will probably catch her'? Well, Lana's got another thing coming if she thinks I'm going to blindly follow her every order. I have half a mind to catch a wolf, just to show her-"

"Blathering gets you nowhere, I'm sure you realize."

My words stuck in my throat. I scanned the area, but saw no one. I grappled with the bow strapped to my back, and fumbled for an arrow. Clumsily, I aimed at the bushes in front of me. "Who-who's out there? I'm armed!"

"Only the wolf you wanted to bring along with you," said a voice that pretended to be friendly. 

Something cut through the air and landed at my back. I whirled around. Standing there was someone I'd never thought of when I'd heard his voice. "You." I felt relieved. "How-"

"Just get me to the camp, and I promise I'll make everything a lot more miserable for Lana and the others."

I knew I could trust him with that. The question "What are they to him?" did reach my mind, but I brushed it aside. I led him to the camp, where he fulfilled his promise.

But he never said things wouldn't be miserable for me, too.

auf wiedersehen, darling


Friday, October 16, 2015

Six Word Story Contest Results

6 Word Story Contest Winner

This is an incredibly late post, and I apologize. But, as you can see, I was one of the winners of Joy's Six Word Story Contest! Thank you so much, Joy! I had a lot of fun coming up with my entry, and I look forward to her future contests:D 

There was another winner, also: Ash. Read her entry; they are so well written and beautiful!

You can see the other contestants' entries here. I especially loved Jane Marie's!

Before you go, know that I am working on a blog post about *ahem* *whispers* my NaNoWriMo novel. I have a lot going on right now, but I am hoping to have it posted no later than this coming week.

auf wiedersehen, darling

- Maddie

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Messages - MMC (September 28, 2015)

We should talk.

There. There it was. The message she'd waited so long to hear. Except he didn't speak it. He'd written it. Somewhere she'd be sure to see. We should talk. It was there on her windshield, drawn in the snow that had settled lightly across her truck.

We should talk.

I know.

Don't you want to?

Well, I do, but...

But you're afraid it might cause suspicion. 

Yes. I'm sorry, I can't help it. Wouldn't you feel the same?

I do.

Then why...

Missing you is worse.

She picked up the phone and called. The conversation she'd imagined had convinced her. If he was afraid, then they'd both be afraid together.

But there was no one there to answer. She tried three times, and then set down the receiver, devastated. He had to have left that message. Or was it someone else? Putting on her coat, she flew down the apartment steps to see.

It had to be him. She couldn't imagine anyone else coming so early to write that particular sentence. But she glanced something on the snow dusted windshield that she couldn't see from the apartment window. She scooped it up, and ignored the icy feeling it gave her fingers. It was a newspaper clipping. His picture was there; and so were some words she didn't want to see.

Greg Larson. 38 years old. Suspected of obtaining private government information. If seen, please contact...

She slumped against the truck, and covered her face with her hands. It had happened again. And they hadn't even had the chance to first say hello.

I used the picture prompt, and it's 264 words. It's also sort of the prologue to the story I've been continuing for two weeks. You can find out about Monday's Minute Challenge here. 

Also, I won first place last week! :D

auf wiedersehen, darling


Friday, October 2, 2015

Mystery Page Revealed

I've unveiled my mystery page! I've reached 8 followers, and decided to just go ahead and put it up. It's titled Writing Help, and it would make me really happy if you would check it out.

I'm excited about it! I hope you guys like it, and it's not a disappointment. Thank you so much to everyone for following and commenting. It really makes my day:)

auf wiedersehen, darling