Friday, November 18, 2016

NaNo - It's Not Over Yet!

Yes, I know. This information is probably the last thing you poor NaNoers (a brilliant word coined from my writing friend, Anna R.) want to hear. But it's true. NaNo just is NOT OVER. If you've already quit, then I don't blame you, but I won't applaud you either. In fact, I may go as far as to encourage you back.... :) You think you have little or no hope of ever getting through this ongoing NaNo? Well, pal, you're wrong. Even if you quit on the second day and haven't written a word since, there's still time. NaNo is not over yet. You can do it, don't you think? Hmm, no? Well, then let me tell you some of my own lovely NaNo experiences to show you otherwise...

Not my image.

My Week One: Election! Everyone's talking about it, and I had to watch my siblings for a while so my parents could vote, and then, instead of writing, I stood vigil over the election channel to see who won. I stayed up to my new record, I think, at a quarter past TWO IN THE MORNING. The next day I was 2k behind because of this (but, hey, my vigil paid off!). I am now having to start writing in the car on the way to things to get it done, especially because of the fact that I am not at home Sundays and Wednesdays, due to choir. I also realized that I was typing the thing up about 75% slower than I was actually writing it. :P Then, I finally contact a friend who was previously unable to contact me, and she wants to email chat (which, btw, I LOVE doing, but it I am turning  it into a procrastination excuse). So.... Then, I am devouring my All Hallow's Eve candy waaaaaaaaaaay too fast... Not good. And that's only week one.
Not my image, but it looks delicious.

During the rest of the time so far passed in NaNo, I have had three different days when I thought of quitting, and one where I actually shut the book, put it down, and went to bed rather than finishing the fifteen pages that had not been written that needed to be. Now, I am suffering from the consequences from the day I (didn't) quit. But, I am still catching up, I guess.
However, I am almost fifty pages behind. :P And then, due to typing it up being slow and getting in the way of actually writing it, I made a bold, perhaps too bold, choice. I stopped typing it up. I calculated mathematically how many pages I need to reach my goal by the end of the day in a notebook.
This has made the writing go faster, so maybe - by some amazing hope - I have a chance of finishing before the end of November and then typing up the rest of it in that span as well. Well, I did say 'maybe'...
And then, there is the factor of forgetting what is supposed to be happening and having to re-check my scene-plot every other page. I also have started suffering from dizzy spells. All over the place, especially in the evening/afternoon, in the dark, and in the car. Dizzy spells. Where I feel like my head's going to fall off or I am going to collapse, whilst my core is panicking nauseously because is can't keep me up. And then, in the more serious ones, like in the car, where I can't immediately get water, my vision starts getting slightly shaky. I have to shake my head around (which causes more dizziness, of course) to even keep it from getting spotty in these lovely cases. And of course it had to start happening during NaNo. I almost never get sick in the car, or get that dizzy at all, anywhere. But, somehow, once November started, it opened me up to this unpleasantness. Of course it couldn't have waited. Of course it couldn't have just passed after the first couple times. Of course it had to recur. And so, that is another reason I am behind.
And then there's more sibling-watching. And then schoolwork, which, btw, I am almost three days behind in. :P And then there's my reading. It's been almost nonexistent, which is shameful. And then, I am supposed to be remembering not to have dairy before choir (it cracks out your voice), and to reward me for helping so much and having not given up on NaNo yet, my mom buys me a milkshake. Sweet mom. But, I drink it, completely forgetting that in a matter of hours I have to sing. And then, later, wrapped up in singing very badly, I have completely forgotten that I am still thirty pages behind in NaNo. Well, there's another reason why I am so behind.
And then there's my lovely plastic trays. I have extremely crooked teeth, so, I have to wear plastic dental trays to straighten them. I have to brush these trays, take them out when I eat, and remember always to keep the case for them with me. Well, I didn't remember. So, there I am, rushing about vainly, trying to find the case that I left back at home, and not writing. I know that we should definitely not let our life outside writing be tarnished by this, but somehow I think all this is ludicrous. It's like November just became twice as disagreeable as before. ;)
Oh, and I forgot to mention that busy little pleasantry that will also take up my time. I had the fortune of being born in this, the most disagreeable month of the year, just like Jo March of Little Women. That's right. So now I have another birthday coming up to keep me busy. And people will want to socialize with me rather than let me write - Why not take a break? It's my birthday, so why not, right? Wrong! - I cannot seem to stop falling behind.

Also not my image.

But, you know what? I am still trying. Through spotty vision and dizziness, through siblings and schoolwork, through plastic trays and singing, through all of that mayhem, I am still trying. And this, friends, is my point in telling you all these troubles of mine. Not to complain, not to merit sympathy, but to show you that - through anything - you can keep on trying. You can! I am still trying. I am still edging my way back up there. I am still not yet giving up. I am still not stopping, and I don't intend to until the last hour of November is gone, or the last word has been typed for all to see. So, comrades, if you think that you are no longer qualified, think again. If I, an inexperienced first-timer who has a loathing for scheduled writing, a tendency to procrastinate, and a will as limp as a noodle, can try again after all this, then so can you. Believe you can. To quote The Lego Movie, "I know it sounds like a cat poster, but it's true". It is! You can do it. Just remember - it's not over yet.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Beautiful Books: In Greater Hands (Moving On)

Hello again, comrades! I am back once more with that lovely Beautiful Books link-up from Cait and Sky. I thank them again for being such wonderful hosts if such an immensely fun (and helpful!) activity. :) I am back again with In Greater Hands. So, I guess I'll step up and hop to it! ('step up and hop to it'... interesting notion...hmm...)

Overall, how is your mental state, and how is the novel going?
Well, uh.... :P My mental state  is slightly more flustered and ink-centered. Almost every thought train somehow eventually leads to writing (of course, that's not too far from normal for me...). And the novel, well... I am three and a half days behind in my word count, but I am getting back up there slowly. However, I am getting my writing style slowly back. For the first few days I felt like it was so plain, beyond even the very worst of my writing, it had no character of mine, and a completely different person wrote it. But I'm getting my groove back now... I think. :) Also, I have three possible character deaths up my sleeve, so, yay! :) *rubs hands together evilly* I can't wait to see my readers' reactions (particularly that of my dear Lucy Agnes...).

What is your first sentence or paragraph?

Well, if you're talking the actual first, it's this part in the prologue:
Leta stepped out of the plane. She looked around her. Leta was on a landing pad for fliers, on a huge base in the middle of nowhere. Well, okay, perhaps not nowhere, but it definitely looked like it. Really, this place wasn't too far from Bath, but it still was just far enough away to be termed 'the middle of nowhere'.
Yeah... hehehehe.. it's not that great... :P
However, if you're talking first chapter, then....
Leta's pulse raced as she ran through a pathway of buildings. She rolled behind the corner of one of them for cover. She put her hand to the gun holster of her belt and held her breath. Leta peeked ever-so-slightly from the corner of the building. She looked out expectantly. A shadow leapt across the path a little ways back. Leta took out her gun quickly, but not quite quickly enough. A bullet sped right in front of her face and banged back into the building wall.
That one's a little better, I hope... :)

Who is your current favorite character in it?
Well, the only characters that have actually entered yet are Leta, Lord and Lady Lecta, Training-Sergeant Travers, and Maj. Bertie Fleming's team. But my favorite so far has to be Bertie. Poor guy. I have already started picking on him. :) However, once Vance enters, he'll probably take the cake in this bakery. ;)

What do you love about your novel so far?
Well, I do like that it actually has good action, unlike most of my other stories, but I wouldn't call that a love, because I actually like really long beginnings where you get to see the characters eat breakfast and talk and such things. :P But, something I do love is the way I set the stage for character conflict. Poor Bertie already got beat up, and Leta is so doubtful of people, and someone is going to die before the end.... Ah, the life of a writer. :)

Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?
*groans* Oh yes, definitely. You see, I have been listening to music non-stop since this started, and apparently it's beginning to affect me (to quote movie Legolas). I keep writing down things that savor of song lyrics, particularly in dialogue. Like I made Leta say something like "Apparently we've met before" (like Once Upon A Dream of Sleeping Beauty). And then in this, no matter how conflicted this scene was-
Bertie started to put his hand over his face distressedly. "Oh my team... Louis... Kate...Oh, my friends..."
I could not for the life of me stop thinking of Marius's own lament... "Oh, my friends!" :'(

Not my image. Poor guy, he's singing his heart out. :'(
I have done that with various songs and scenes now, mostly unwittingly, and I need to go and root out all of them.

What is your favorite to write - beginning, middle, or end?
Um, probably the middle. It's the easiest. Once I begin, then then it's not so hard or so flat after that point. I've never made it to the end of a story so I can't really give my say on that.

What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
Well, I have a tendency of sucking the end of my pen when I'm writing (if I am writing with a pen. For some odd reason I don't do this with pencils). And I mostly eat chocolate, particularly M&Ms. I don't have a picture of my writing space unfortunately. I write most from any time after dinner to bedtime. And, oh, I have been listening to just about everything! But, above all, the song that's been keeping me going strong and persevering, is Il Divo's amazing song Isabel, sung at Barcelona, I think. And while Isabel isn't exactly my name, it's close enough that I feel like they're cheering me on. :)

Not my image. This is actually them singing in Japan, but who cares. They might still be singing Isabel. :)

How private are you about your writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like Batman)?
Well, who needs a cheer squad when you've got Il Divo?! Not me! *blushes* Okay, that wasn't entirely true (well, the Il Divo part was true, but the part about me not needing a cheer squad wasn't). Yes, I have a loveable group of writer friends who read my work. Among my readers are Lucy Agnes, Anna Deubell, and a few others. So, unfortunately, I am more Robin than Batman. ;)

What keeps you writing when it's hard?
*musing* Well, let's see.. Il Divo... the song Isabel... Okay, okay, I'll be serious! Actually, those things do help, but the big thing keeping me going is the very theme of the story - even the smallest effort counts. No true endeavor is ever wasted. What a very fortunate thing that this is the theme I'm trying to communicate, because I really am living it as I write the story! :)

What three writing tips would you offer?
 Yes, people I know that wasn't the exact wording of this question. I am being lazy. :P But, all the same, my tips would be:
1. Don't let the quality stifle the quantity, of course as NaNo says, but never do vice-versa either. Your writing should be wholesome and given effort. I'm not saying it should be perfect - not at all. Just don't let it get to the point where writing it isn't fun, and the writing has no virtue.
2. Kill off characters! Okay, as a writer I may give this amazing advice, but I will contradict myself there. As a reader, I must beg you not to do this. So there you have an extremely helpful and clear piece of advice. ;)
3. Make time for other things too. You unfortunately cannot just lock yourself in a tower, dungeon, or hobbit-hole writing and forgetting what the rest of the world looks like. Also, as a cheating fourth piece of advice, I suggest a lot of Il Divo (Has this post just become less and introduction of my story and more a praise of my favored singers? How did that happen...?).

Anyways, that's the end of my story rant. :) I hope you liked it

Tell me your thoughts! Would you still read it? Have you guessed who is going to be killed off? Is anyone angry with me for this fact? Do you like Il Divo? (P.S., if you say 'no', then I shall be most highly displeased).

Monday, November 7, 2016

Beautiful Books: In Greater Hands (Introducing)

Hello, comrades! This is my first tag - a lovely NaNoWriMo tag by Cait and Sky, the hosts of Beautiful People during ordinary months, and it's called Beautiful Books. I am doing this for my NaNo project, called In Greater Hands.
It takes place in the near future, probably around 2100's, 2200's or so. And without further ado, I introduce it:

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had it?
Well, to put it down to only one of many sources, a dream inspired it. A long time ago (that is just me being dramatic, it was probably only about a year ago), I was sleeping on the couch and I had an odd dream, in which I was a space-lady of an elite space-team, and my name was Captain Rista (commonly called Miss Rista). So it, combined with my wish to write a non-historical story just to try it, floated around in my head and waited for an opportunity. That opportunity came in the person of a character called Vic Vance. One day I had the idea, just sitting and doing nothing, for a cool line that could a be a character's byline, their special quote. But I didn't want it to be any already-made character. He was new. Then I came up on that same moment with a whole scene and story idea right off of that quote, and combined it with Miss Rista's floating fiction fancy. So, I scene-plotted it, and now it's a story. Miss Rista turned into Miss Ristoff (she's Russian), and Vic became another main character, while my character, the MC, became a new bud on the stem - Leta. So thus, I kind-of owe the book to those two characters - Tsonja Ristoff and Vic Vance - my inspirations.

Describe what your novel is about!

Well, it's basically this: Leta Arsteva is a ward in a secret service dedicated to true global welfare. She has been training almost her whole life with her trainer and only friend, Lady Lecta, who is one of the presidents of the secret association. Leta's only daily goal is to train and become better so she cane help one day with the troubles in her explosive world. Then, things start happening. The Italian sub-president, also a council member in the secret association, is assassinated. Then coded messages of some unknown source are intercepted. Leta knows she isn't ready to face whatever is going on. She needs time, she needs help, she needs more skill. She thinks she can never make it. But, as Leta finds out, even the smallest effort can be the last drop to make a flood when it is placed In Greater Hands.

What is your book's aesthetic?

Well... I don't know how to make one with pictures but, words... I'll try to make one... here goes...

Even one drop of rain can cause a flood. Even one cloud can blot out the sky. Even one tiny living thing can make the world seem alive. But to reverse these things, surely much more must be done. taking away that one drop again will not stop the flood. Taking away that one cloud does not change that fact that it was there once. Even taking away that one tiny living thing cannot erase its existence. Thus, every memory, every effort, every small perfection will always count. Every single life will count. And nothing can take that fact away.

Does that satisfy? It's messy and a bit clech-sounding, but, who cares...

Introduce us to each one of your characters!
Okay, uh, this could take a while...

Leta Arsteva: First and foremost among the characters, I suppose, as the MC. A training soldier of age nineteen and Russian nationality. Sometimes rather worrisome, but almost always very alert. Brown eyes, flyaway wheaty hair, and very fit build.

Vic Vance

Vic Vance: Probably the second only to Leta in importance. A twenty-one year-old American who takes great pleasure in anything unusual or unexpected. Another trainee eventually. Dark coffee-brown hair, lime-green eyes, pretty tall at six foot four or so.

Tsonja Ristoff: Another very important character. A former satellite tracker of twenty-six years and Russian nationality. Skilled at decoding things, due to past career. Very straight and to the point. Icy blue eyes, almost white blonde hair, a slight bit over average height.

Maj. Bertie Fleming: The leader of a small but highly skilled task team. An Australian of twenty-seven years. Was a pilot formerly. Of strong and optimistic character. Caramel to brown color range hair, dark blue eyes, muscular build.

Lt. Sam Bastikka: A Jamaican widower aged thirty-eight. A pilot for the members of Bertie's team. Very hopeful and glad character, despite being far from home and his son, and being without his beloved spouse.

Lord Bryce and Lady Stacia Lecta: The directors, presidents, whatever you want to call them, of the secret service. Lady Lecta is also Leta's personal trainer. Both about forties-ish in age.
Tsonja Ristoff, and also my profile picture.

That is pretty much everyone of relevance to story as of yet. There are a couple unmentioned, like training-Sergeant Travers, but they're not important. Other main characters, such as Sam's son, Felix, and the Scottish special escort, Cyoran, will enter later.

How do you prepare to write?
Well, by getting a lot of All Hallow's Eve candy, and by getting two new pens. Other than that, I guess I scene plotted a bit. But that's less important. ;)

What are you looking forward to most about this novel?
Uh, characters! What else is there to keep you going?! Well, actually, listening to Il Divo's beautiful song Isabel is also a plus and inspiration for writing. But there is also a cool scene where Vance enters which I am looking forward to. I also may just have a characters death or two up my sleeve, you know, just for my wonderful readers. :)

List three things about the novel's setting.
1. It has a reinstated Russian empire ruled by a distant Romanov relative.
2. It take place mostly in England and Russia.
3. It has a large global aid service which is secret to most people.

What's the protagonist's goal and who or what stands in the way?
Well, Leta's goal is not only to do her job (which is protection, intelligence, and aid), but also to keep her homeland and leader safe (which, actually, her job does entail that...). The things that stand in her way are rogue societies, for one, LFS (the Liberic Freedom States), for another, and an unknown political opponent, for one more. Poor girl's got her hands very full...

How does your protagonist change by the end?
Well, Leta discovers the value of even the smallest effort, of even the littlest way. She realizes how important a life can be, and how vitally needed each one is. So she learns some pretty deep stuff. :)

What are your novel's themes? How do you want readers to feel afterwards?
Well, the theme is kind-of to recognize the value of every life, and of every effort. No effort, when given true endeavor, is ever in vain. Even the biggest failure, if it was still an endeavor in the right direction, is a valuable try. I am trying to make the readers feel like they can go out there and do whatever they're doing with all their effort, all their spirit, and be the better for recollecting themselves to the fullest extent in everything they do. I want them to feel empowered and ready to fight their battles. Although, I can also see them being really mad and throwing the book across the room, unfortunately. :P

Anyways, that is my NaNo project! My book In Greater Hands will probably have snippets posted sooner or later on here.

Your thoughts...? What did you think? Would you read it? Do you agree that Russian characters are super awesome?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Blog Introduction

Hello, dear friends! I am a brand new blogger! :) Allow me to introduce myself! I am a teen, Christian blogger. My name is Belle Anne (or Belleanne, if you have less time to say it). ;) I shall go through what this blog is about in turn:

This is one of my maps

My Likes and Hobbies - I am a writer, first and foremost. I am the writer of who-knows-how-many unfinished books - all close, but not quite there yet. I also have written a poetry volume and short-story collection. I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time as I speak. I am also a great lover of music. I play piano (rather horridly), sing (also rather horridly), and listen to just about everything from Dion to Mozart, except modern music. I love reading and drawing maps, and have quite a few. The Hobbit and Scarlet Pimpernel, are, in my opinion, some of the best books ever written. I also love superheroes, and while my top favorite remains Captain America, my signature heroes are Spidey, Ant-Man, and Robin. I also love Disney princesses (and princes!), and musicals of all lengths and ages. I love Latin, history, and logic. I can fangirl among the best. :) I have an odd obsession with wearing hats and snowmen. 

My life - I don't do a whole lot. I work on school, play, write, read, and try to make sure the house looks okay. I have seven adorable siblings, all younger than me, and a huge family on both sides. I'm happy! :D

My intent on this blog - I intend to blog about life, faith, writing, and whatever other random thing pops into my head. I also intend to thoroughly thank my poor parents, who were a bit badgered to let me blog, but gracious enough to acquiesce my request. :) 

This is one of my mascots, my adorable stuffed blue leopard, Fuzzy.

So, from now onward, I am a blogger! Thus I begin my journey, into the depths and quests of this - my world of Ink and Paper.

Tell Me Your Thoughts! Do you think I may succeed in this? Do you like this first post? Are you shaking your head saying "I'm never going back to this place again"? :)