Monday, July 30, 2012

Actually Finishing Something July Parts 2 and 3- In which I describe my failure.

This linkup is from Whisperings of a pen. I am doing parts 2 and 3 in one post.
The Second Set of Questions 

Be truthful. How has the first week-and-a-half of your personal writing challenge progressed?
I think I wrote on Arthur once, maybe twice, in the time since I started the challenge.  I did some chainsaw therapy with Arthur, which really helped, and I made some plot remodelings. And then I worked on another story for a while. 

Did you reach your weekly goal or wordcount?
I didn't make a weekly  goal.

Are you finding it easier to work with a goal in mind? Or does it make you nervous and even less inclined to get the work done?
Easier. Although, since I didn't have many writing sessions, I can't really answer this question adequately.

Did you do most of your writing in the morning, afternoon, or evening? When do you like to write?
Afternoon. Our computer won't let me log in until 1:00, otherwise I'd write in the mornings I think.

What music has been inspiring you to write?
Oh, I usually listen to Christian coffeehouse acoustic. Kari Jobe, Francesca Battistelli, Tenth Avenue North, Bethany Dillon, Ginny Owens, Relient K, Hillsong United--- a couple of songs by each.

Share a snippet of your writing!

One would think that Arthur would be used to waking up in strange places and being forced into unconsciousness. He wasn’t. A week in such buffeting conditions just made him feel helpless. So when he woke again, this time lying on the dirt. He had rather forgotten what it was like to sleep on a dirt floor. Someone was shaking his shoulder, hard. He opened his eyes. A face was staring at him. It was a scrawny boy, only about 12.
“Buenos días! Levantarse, o Beltrano te matará.” He said cheerfully.
“What does that mean?”
The boy laughed. When he did so, Arthur realized with a start that he was a she. With her pants (these made Arthur feel embarrassed) and short-cropped hair, she looked something like a young boy.
“Oh! You speak Inglés!” The girl spoke in English, now, but she spoke slowly, and with a heavy accent. “I said ‘Good morning. Get up, or Beltrano will kill you.’ My name is Mahalath (muh-HAH-leth), by the way. My abuelo was Hebrew and I was named after his madre.” As Mahalath spoke, she grabbed Arthur’s hand, pulled him to his feet, and led him from the small, windowless room.
“Where are you taking me?”
“To Beltrano. He is charge, you know. Well, not in charge of everything, but he is the highest person you will ever talk to.” They stepped outside. It was dark; Arthur saw stars above them.
“What time is it?”
“Later than I usually get up,” Mahalath laughed. “It is somewhere in between five and five thirty.”

Share your favorite "Ah-HA!" writing moment. Have you written anything that made you sit back and think, "Okay, this is awesome," during the last week and half?
Well, Arthur is currently a slave in Spain. My "Ah- HA!" moment was when I got the idea that on his second day, he would try to run away. Having no experience in this area, he will do it very clumsily and not succeed. He will be caught and nearly beaten to death. Mahalath will try to help him (help him not be beaten, not help him run away), and the overseer, Beltrano, will verbally abuse her because of it. This will cause her to flee to Adon (an old man that she takes food to). He comforts her and tells her to bring Arthur to him. Arthur comes, and he gives Arthur a talking to/reprimand/comforting. Adon will become Arthur's mentor/good example.

Any problem spots, scenes that are proving hard to work, or characters giving you grief? If so, how did you overcome these obstacles?
Well, Arthur was being extremely stubborn. But giving him chainsaw therapy (He had a dream that he saw Gwennie and Loch kissing!) helped. So I think the end of this writer's block is in sight.

Share your favorite line said by a character during this week-and-a-half of writing.
"Wait! Let me at least leave a message for her! I love her!” 
-Reu, son of Raanan 

How are you going to move forward in this challenge? It's been little more than a week-and-a-half since the start (July 4th). Are you changing your wordcount or page goal for this coming week?

No, I'm going to try to plow through. I think I'll recycle these questions and try a "Actually finishing something in August".

The Third Set of Questions

You’ve little less than a week left in the challenge. Now that the end is in sight, do you think you’ll finish your goal?

No, not this month. Maybe I'll finish by August.

For me, the last week and a half has been so chaotic that I’ve hardly had the time to sit down, let alone write. How have you balanced life’s craziness with your writing goals? Late night writing? Scribbling down a few lines while waiting in the grocery check-out line?
I've not done much writing. What I did do was in the afternoon, holed up in my room, working on a different story (rather than Arthur).

Have your written mostly in computer programs such as Word, or do you prefer scribbling in notebooks?
Word, Word, Word! I LOVE Word!

Have any new characters jumped into your story? If so, tell us about them!
Well, a horse named Cassie jumped into the story I've been working on (not the story that I said I would be working on), and I finally found a name for an old man in Arthur. His name is Adon. He's a Spanish man, not a slave, but I think he used to be. He's a strong Christian, similar to the character named Jorgio in the Lamb Among the Stars series.

Share a snippet of your recent writing.

Mahalath gave him a saucy glance. “None of the men are smart enough to be bilingual. Two men know broken Inglés, but mostly they all speak Español. Besides, I am stronger than some of the men. The other women are elsewhere. I sleep in their quarters, but I eat and work with the men.”
“Ha! You are stronger than men?” Arthur laughed.
“You will see.”
And, after a disgusting meal of cold boiled beans, rabbit, and ale, Arthur hadseen. She was strong; it was particularly annoying to see her cutting through the ground with ease as he grunted and struggled.

Sometimes the most mundane, simple of things can spark one’s creativity. Have you come across anything, simple yet special, in your daily life, inspiring you to write?
 Well, I get a feeling, sometimes when I'm looking at a medieval picture or just thinking about my story, that makes me want to write.

Any pictures, images inspiring bits of your story?
Umm, probably, but nothing comes to mind.

Introduce us to the antagonist in your story and tell us his favorite dessert.
Which story? The story I'm supposed to be working on, or the story I have been working on? I'll do both.
The Arthurian Chronicles: The antagonist of Part II is named... AHH! What is wrong with my mind today? I can't remember any of my names!!! Well, I'll describe him. He is a baron in Arthur's court, and he is the antagonist because he puts a spell on Arthur and his knights that causes the said knights to think that life is about silly little quests (like finding the bird that lays golden eggs), so Arthur is tempted to prove himself by leaving Excalibur (which enhances his fighting abilities) behind. He finally does so, and is therefore captured. This man's favorite dessert is gingerbread cake.

My other story's antagonist is named Marian. She's not exactly evil; more like confused. She has a lot to learn. Her favorite dessert is something light and fluffy, like lemon cloud or pineapple sorbet.

Pick, from all of your July writing, your favorite three lines said by your characters.
“Reu, oh, Reu, Reu, the tree, the tree,” 

“What is this horrible place?” I gasp. “Did someone kill all the trees?”

“You know, you seem to be pretty good at making me mad.”

Any advice for your fellow writers as we reach the final stretch of this challenge?  
Plow on. If you've started late and don't seem to be able to finish, do a "Actually Finishing something in August". Set goals, work toward them, and above all, don't get mauled by your characters.

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