Camp Nanowrimo: Week Two

I’m trying something new with this update. Instead of documenting my progress in an angst filled rant, I’ll use this tag that I found on twitter: #AuthorWouldYou started by @rebeccarcahill and @hayley_rings. Since there are 31 questions, I’ll post it in two parts. Here’s part one. Enjoy!

Author Would You? (Part ONE)

  1. Author, would you introduce yourself and your WIP?

Hi, I’m C.A. Browne, a full time student and I write whenever I manage to get a break. I’ve introduced my WIP in my first Camp Nano update which you can find here!

2. Would you rather tell us the genre of your WIP…or the name of one of your characters?

The genre is much safer in my opinion. My WIP is currently listed as a high fantasy young adult novel.

3. Would you rather outline first…or just go for it?

A little bit of both actually. I get too stressed if I don’t have an outline, even if it’s as vague as a ten sentence paragraph. But once I have a general idea of my characters and the overall plot, I just go for it.

4. Would you rather create character profiles first…or a setting profile?

Ooooh. See, now this depends. For my current WIP, I’m writing a high fantasy and creating a whole new world is one of the most entertaining activities I could ever undertake. BUT I am a complete sucker for complex characters and I largely write my stories based on their character arcs. Hmmm… okay, I’ll go with setting.

5. Would you rather create your characters first…or the plot?

Okay, now I’ll say characters.

6. Would you rather write in first person…or third person?

Third person all the way.

7. Would you rather tell us the word count of your WIP…or tell us the title?

HA. This presumes I actually have a title. For my word count, I’m currently at 5,858 words. Not exactly where I’d like to be, but c’est la vie.

8. Would you tell us about your MC?

Double HA. Absolutely not….Just kidding, I can tell you some. My MC is a young prince of color who has much (read: much) to learn about the world he lives in.

9. Would you rather monitor your progress…or wait until the end of the month to see your word count?

Well if I wanted to wait until the month then I’ve already failed so I suppose I choose to monitor my progress.

10. Would you rather write action today…or dialogue?

Actioooooooon.

11. Would you rather share a quote from your WIP…or a picture of your setting?

I don’t have a picture of my setting because it’s not real. I do have a terribly drawn map though! For this question, I’ll just share a quote:

“With all due respect Your Highness, you have your way of defending yourself and I have mine.”

There! A nondescript piece of dialogue that tells you absolutely nothing! 😀

12. Would you rather create a new character in your WIP…or a new challenge your MC must face?

Definitely a new challenge. This WIP needs more challenges and I’ll take all the tasty conflicts I can find.

13. Would you rather have someone to brainstorm and edit with…or keep your WIP private?

If my previous remarks weren’t enough, I definitely am prone to keeping my WIP(s) a secret. I’m a super private writer and it took everything within me to even convince myself to start this blog. Plus, I write because I like to tell stories and if I work with someone else, it feels like the story is no longer mine to tell…at least in the beginning stages. During revisions, I need all the help.

14. Would you rather read tips on world and character development…or let your own imagination run free?

Let my imagination run free and frolic through the overgrown forests of my mind.

15. Would you do a ten minute sprint write and post your word count?

Why yes I can.

……….

Word Count: 410 words. I honestly have no idea where all that speed came from. Usually when I try sprints, I sit in front of my computer trying to remember how fingers work. Needless to say, I am impressed.

Okay! That’s all for part one. I had fun, did you have fun? I had fun. If there’s anything else you’d like to know about my writing process or Camp Nanowrimo, let me know. Otherwise, take care and I’ll see you in my next post.

xx.

Tell me

tell me about the rain

on a cold night blinds up

as it pit pit patters on the sill

 

tell me about the rain

soaking the sweater on your back

that’s been patched up so that it

craves the needle

even though it hurts

 

tell me about the rain

in your eyes running down your cheeks

racing to the finish line at your chin

holding out for a prize that won’t come

 

I see how you feel it

let it pierce through your soul until it’s running through your veins

While I sit fingering the cracks on my windowpane

 

my clothes are one

my eyes are dry

and my soul is parched

 

so tell me about the rain

c.b

i miss you

Originally published on The Stonefence Review (stonefencereviewmag.com).

i wish i could talk to you.

Error.

i miss your hugs.

Error.

when it’s cold at night i miss your warmth.

Error.

when i’m sick i miss knowing that someone cares.

    when i don’t feel like talking and have

        all smiles on my face

            i miss you seeing through my cracks and

    knowing exactly what’s wrong

  then knowing where to find the plaster.

Error.

  I am lonely without you,

        I am…confused without you,

          I am terrified of moving on

          Without you.

Error. Error. Error. The number you are trying to reach

is no longer available. Contact your phone service provider for assistance.

c.b.

Camp Nanowrimo: Week One

Maybe you’ll be angry with me. Maybe you couldn’t care less. But I have barely written anything this week.

Now before you go and write me off as a poser, I will say that I have gotten a whopping two thousand, four hundred and seventy two words into Project Amber. Yes I may have written that whole number out to make my progress seem more impressive but all jokes aside, this is still a great achievement. Someone told me that as long as I am writing, I cannot fail and that is one of the best pieces of advice, I’ve ever received.

You see, I have a tendency to belittle my creative efforts whenever I feel like I’m not doing enough. Enough words, or enough plotting, or giving enough time. But I’ve come to realize that ‘enough’ is a tricky little word because it’s use often implies that there is a standard to which we must compare. Who makes this standard you ask? People who assume that art is something objectively quantifiable. I, on the other hand, am inclined to say that art is the one thing for which there is no direct measure. No one can tell you how to do it and no one can invalidate it’s worth.

So in light of my humble little mood booster, I’ll say that Week One of Camp Nanowrimo went swimmingly well. As I write, I’m learning more and more about this world I’ve created and it’s super exciting when new aspects about my characters reveal themselves. For example, my main character [whose name shall remain a secret]. This guy was my literal baby, my pure moon child but then my other main character swooped in, told me more about his life and all of a sudden I’m ready to give my left kidney for him. Which honestly just goes to show that you can’t trust anyone, not even imaginary people.

If you are participating in Camp Nano this year, please let me know so we can commiserate together! I’d love to hear about your WIP(s) and/or your general writing progress. Also, as I go forward with these updates, would people be interested in learning about the different tools/resources that I use for world-building, character development, etc.? If so, let me know in the comments. For now, I bid thee well.

xx

Six Words

This is one of the first stories that I ever wrote. It is, therefore, very special to me and I hope it makes you feel something.


 

Jasmine. That’s what she smelt like. My nose was overpowered with the fragrance until it became the only thing I could focus on. Not that I was complaining. I could breathe this in for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. The perfume she exuded, however, was just the icing on the cake. Even without it, she would never fail to win my undivided attention.

I was never one to dote on girls that I liked, what with the minuscule shred of confidence that I have. I could never muster up the courage to do more than admire from afar because they were all so out of my league. Chelsea was no different. We stood on diametric ends of the spectrum. She was gorgeous, witty, and out-going whereas I was, well, nowhere near any of the above. With plain brown hair and plain brown eyes, I’m nothing special. Even if, magically, I managed to form a complete sentence and talk to her, I feared that she would be indignant towards me and that would just do wonders for my self-esteem. Therefore, I figured it best to remain behind the safety of my cubicle where I can still steal a few quick glances, or 10.

Frankly, my friend, Jonah, was getting sick of this behavior. My nonexistent love life seemed to have upset him more than it did me. According to him, the inculcation he gave me on how to approach Chelsea was going in one ear and out the other. Since I wasn’t doing anything, he threatened to take matters into his own hands and stir up a diabolical plan to get us together. Seeing how his last plan had almost cost me my legs and gotten us fired, I didn’t want to take any chances. He would most likely cause defamation to my name, permanently deleting any shots I had with Chelsea. So when she entered the elevator with me this morning, I thought it was as a best time as any for me to suck it up and speak to her.

Believe me, I had every intention of saying ‘Good Morning’ out of deference but when she stood a mere five feet away from me, my mouth went as dry as the Sahara. The fact that she looked exceptionally perfect today and that we were the only two people in the elevator didn’t help much either. She was wearing a simple blue dress, which made her complexion look vibrant and her red hair stand out. Be still my heart. Literally. It was palpitating as if I just finished the 100 mile dash. My lungs also decided to stop working at this moment. Either that or someone vacuumed out all of the oxygen leaving us in here to die. I figured it was the former though because Chelsea didn’t seem like she was struggling to breathe.

The temperature got really hot and my hands started to sweat but I also guessed that it was just me. Our office for The Boston Globe was on the fourth floor, I didn’t know how much longer I could take this. I tried collecting my saliva so I could moisturize the inside of my mouth and wiped my palms on my pants. Fidgeting with my tie, I thought to myself, you can do this, Kyle. On a scale of 1-10, you’re about a 4 which is at least better than a 1, the way I see it. I mentally rolled my eyes at my fail attempt at boosting my confidence level. Compliment her. No. That’s too risky. I might end up saying something like “I like your fingernails.” I rather not come off as some creepy guy with a weird fetish for women’s fingernails.

The number 3 lit up signaling that we had reached the third floor and my time was clearly running out. Just say hello! It shouldn’t be this hard. Don’t think. Just do it. Do it. Now! Right now! “Hi Chelsea.” I suddenly blurted out. Instead of a calm, easy greeting, it sounded like someone performed the Heimlich maneuver on me and those words were what I threw up. Either she ignored it or she didn’t seem to notice because she twisted her neck, laid her gray eyes on me and offered a sweet smile.

“Hey Kyle. How are you?”

Her smile could easily light up a room and her eyes were so intense that I was captivated, rooted to her gaze. She asked you a question, idiot. “I’m good and yourself?”

She shrugged one shoulder. “Can’t complain.”

The elevator doors finally opened on the fourth floor, releasing me from the enclosed space. My nerves began to relax just as Chelsea stepped out with me close behind. She told me that she didn’t mean to rush but she had an article to write. With one last smile and a flip of her hair, she left me in the hall. The scent of jasmine was gone and I found myself missing it. Although it wasn’t much, that conversation could have gone a lot worse.  I was quite proud of what I accomplished. That’s six words more than yesterday. Maybe this isn’t such a lost cause. Maybe I’ll try six more words tomorrow.