Saturday, June 30, 2012

On writing 9,000 words in a day

I know people have done this before, because people have written short length novels over the course of the 3-day novel challenge.

But let me be (probably not) the first to say that it's a lot of work.

Surprisingly, I got done a little over 3,000 words in an hour, so I can see where other people could accomplish a novel in a weekend.  But me?  I'm burned out.

When I get inside my character's head - really inside their head - and I'm writing from a hugely emotional standpoint (this whole novella has been one emotional trigger after another), I get my own gut wrenched.  I just spend the last thousand words sobbing as I brought my character to his emotional conclusions.  His resolve and the decisions that he has made for himself brought me to my own tears, as I know how I would feel if I were in the same situation.

And that's the thing:  It's every emotion at once.

Now that the 9,094 words are out of the way, I feel exhausted.  Not mentally, no, my brain can continue to pump out words for days.  But I'm emotionally hollowed out, my character burrowed a hole into my brain and I no longer have the emotional capacity for even myself.

Does anyone else get this emotionally invested in their characters?  I find that when I do cry, the words flow more genuinely onto the page, with true emotions and feelings.  The negative, well, I already said that.  It takes a lot of work.

I don't ever want to hear anyone say that writing is not a real job.

Oh - and now I have a fancy new Camp NaNoWriMo badge to show off in the corner.  Yay accomplishing goals!

Personal Update

I come to all of you readers from the past.  I wrote this blog post on Friday, but I didn't want to interrupt the blog tour mania. 

This month has brought quite an accomplishment - mostly me going insane.  Just a little insane.  Regardless, I will spend all Saturday finishing my Camp NaNo novel.  As of Friday, I had 10k to go.  And possibly, come Sunday, I might be done with a novella.

The Unanswerable started out as a blog short story, but someone asked me "Where's the rest of it?"  There was no rest of it, but I thought about this.  I thought about the characters, mulled over their circumstances.  And soon?  I had about ten excerpts from this story posted on my blog.

And I set out to eventually finish it.

I'm glad that July is going to be easier.  I'm planning on dedicating the month to editing Ruhe and Rioss and doing a ton of beta reading for other people.  I'm excited to finally be done with another project - but this Camp NaNo really took it out of me.  Due to my (in)sanity, I am also attempting Camp in August and NaNo in November.


Because the characters (voices) in my head won't leave me alone!  That's why!

Oh, that and if I finish my novella and another novel by October, I will have written four novels and one novella in a year.

And after never having written one?  And picking up projects only to put them down again for years?  I say it's the greatest accomplishment of my writing life. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Moa Review and Blog Tour with Prizes!

Moa is a quick read focused on Hillary. Hillary begins the novel as a frantic and fearful person - sitting on a plane and reminiscing about her life and how she came to be at this very moment. She visits her sister, Molly, and her niece, Heidi in Hawaii. Life on paradise isn't quite as it seems, as Hillary begins to realize that her past is more intertwined with the Hawaiian Islands than previously imagined.

Although the main character in this book is Hillary, it is told from Moa's perspective. Moa is a gate-keeper of, what is essentially, the spirit world. The perspective is interesting, because the book changes focus a few times. The only confusing part is when Moa is talking in first person, sometimes she refers to herself in third. But, if you take that with a grain of salt, it's an interesting and very different technique with story telling.

Because of the Blog Tour, you can get Moa for only .99 on Amazon! For that price, it is definitely worth the read because you could finish it in one short plane ride - though maybe reading about someone who fears flying on a flight isn't such a good idea.

Be sure to check out all of the amazing things happening as a result of this Blog Tour! There's still tons of giveaways going on. Check it out on Novel Publicity!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Moa Blog Tour and Huge Giveaways

I know I've been a little hard to reach these past few weeks.  I've been buried with Camp NaNo and lots of reading on the side.  But I'm proud to bring you this excerpt from Moa by Tricia Steward Shiu.  It's a paranormal YA novel that I'm about 40% of the way through and am quite enjoying.  I'll post a full "review/reflection" once I finish the book - so far it's been a snappy, quick read!  As part of the tour, there are huge prizes, including $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, 5 autographed copies of Moa, and 5 autographed copies of its sequel, Statue of Ku.

Basically, you should enter!  The links to the rafflecopter and giveaway information is below.

Moa excerpt:

Eighteen-year-old, Hillary Hause’s left thumb searches frantically to turn on the “I’m Okay to Fly” hypnotherapy recording. Her nerves on edge, fuchsia fingernails press into the blue pleather armrests of her airplane seat.

“No spells can help you now,” she whispers to herself under her breath—then checks to see if anyone notices. Nope, they don’t.

The plane lifts through the early morning, gray fog of California, “June Gloom” giving way to the azure sky, and Hillary covers her curly brown head and retreats beneath the questionably clean plane blanket cranking the volume to drown out the drone of the engines.

“Outer shell close to breaking.” This time she doesn’t care if anyone hears.

I hover just beyond her “outer shell”—a movement in the periphery, a faintly familiar scent, a fond memory just beyond recognition, a non-human observer. Before the week is up, Hillary will save my life, as I will hers. But, for now, more about Hillary.

The drink cart rolls past the blanket, which has, by now become a moist steamy cave.

“Hey, freak. I hope your plane crashes.” The memory reverberates through her brain despite her attempts to distract herself with the hypnotherapy recording. She increases the volume, but the ugly conversation, which occurred just before school ended, still haunts her mind.

“I guess the only people they check on those flights are the suspicious ones,” Krystal Sykes, a bully from her home room, leans in as Hillary hastens to grab books for her next class. Krystal, also a senior, has hounded Hillary since the first day of freshman year and this is the final day during the final hour at this tiny high school of 376 students —where everyone knows everyone else’s business.

“Look, Krystal.” Hillary turns her eyes toward the sneering blonde. “It’s the last day of school, we’ll never see each other again. Can you give it a rest?” These are the most words the two young women have exchanged in the entire four years of high school.

A look of shock replaces Krystal’s smug snick, “Oh, so now you talk.” She leans in, so close that her spray tan becomes a patchy Impressionist painting. Her pores are blotched with cakey, two shades too dark powder, her unblended cream eyeshadow creases across the center of her lid and her tropical breeze flavored breath threatens to strangle the words right out of Hillary.

“I know all about your witchcraft practices and have made a few spells of my own. Trust me. You’ll never make it to your sister’s house in Hawaii.” Krystal’s backpack jingles and Hillary watches her spin around and skip down the hall.

Hillary is not a witch. She has, however, carefully crafted a “shell” to protect herself from bullies like Krystal—who, as far as Hillary can tell—is not a witch either. She has watched Krystal throughout elementary, middle and high school and has not been able to discern whether or not she practices witchcraft. No matter what Krystal’s background, her intent is to harm. And there is nothing worse than a spell with an aim to hurt. Hillary has had no choice but to remain in a constant state of defensiveness.

The twenty-minute recording ends and Hillary falls into a troubled sleep—feeling every bump and hearing every creak of the plane.

With about an hour left in the flight, Hillary awakens with a “turtle headache.” Hillary’s older sister Molly taught her this term which means a headache caused by sleeping too long underneath the covers of one’s bed.

Sadly, Molly lost her husband, Steve, last year in an unfortunate surfing accident. The throbbing pain in Hillary’s left temple could be the result of remaining submerged beneath an airplane blanket and wedged between the window and armrest, or it could be from worry about how Molly and her niece, Heidi are dealing with their devastating loss.

Disoriented, Hillary pokes her head out just in time to glimpse puffy clouds and sparkling sea below. A flood of excitement and sheer wonder flows through Hillary in the form of a tingle from her head to her toes. And then, a lovely thought: “…And for an Everlasting Roof, The Gambrels of the Sky…” She will enjoy this plane ride, thanks in part to Emily Dickinson.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just 99 cents 
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity 
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event
About Moa: Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku: The second book in the Moa Book Series, “The Statue of Ku” follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves. Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.