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Book Review! The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The title alone made me want to read this book. It also made me a little nervous, since a movie called The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies has demonstrated conclusively that a title can be more fun than the work itself, but never fear! This one happily lives up to its name.

The title also saves me the trouble of providing a plot summary. By and large you already have a pretty good idea what sorts of things happen in this story, a girl is taken to Fairyland and has adventures there. She meets strange people, encounters odd magic and weird rules. It has that surprising depth that you’ll find in all my favorite children’s books. The titular voyage itself takes up less of the story than I expected, happening near the end after most of the characters are well-established.  Read the rest of this entry

NaNoWriMo update, and Chapter 2

I got off to a strong start on National Novel Writing Month, but that didn’t last. I got stuck trying to figure out what to do next, and wound up spinning my wheels a lot. I’m trying to adopt a philosophy of “I’ll fix it in the second draft!” but it’s not coming easily.

I don’t know what my wordcount is right now, but I’m sure that I’m far behind. It may already be too much for me to get to 50,000. And that’s okay, I’m going to keep working on it anyway. For all my whining about this project, I’ve gotten more actual story written than I have for the space opera setting I’ve been planning for over a year and a half now!

Chapter 2 could be subtitled “In which there is much pointless talking, and very little happens.” Neither me nor my characters knew what to do next, so I wound up writing dialogue as they flailed around trying to figure out what to do. There are a few good moments, but mostly it’s just boring.

NaNoWriMo is about quantity, not quality. I’m trying to remember that. When I’m done, if I hate it, I’ll fix it in the second draft!

I honestly hadn’t planned to post any more of this, but since I’ve had multiple people ask me when I’m posting the next chapter I may as well. This means, of course, that you have only yourselves to blame. Read on if you dare!

(Or, go back to Chapter 1)

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NaNoWriMo update, and Chapter 1

So here we are, near the end of Day Two of NaNoWriMo. I’ve been setting my word count goals at 2,000 words per day, on the theory that this gives me some leeway for when I inevitably screw up.

Right now my word count is just over 5,000. I’m feeling pretty good about that, and taking the rest of the night off to watch classic (or at least old) horror movies with popcorn & beer. I’m going to post the first chapter of my incredibly rough draft here for your reading… er…. for your reading.

I haven’t really found my tone for this book yet. And that’s okay, NaNoWriMo is about quantity, not quality. So far it’s looking like a sort of fanfic crossover between Discworld and the Dresden Files. I’ve had a lot of fun dreaming up the world these characters live in. This chapter is going to be under the same Creative Commons license all my blog posts are, which means you can share it as long as you take no money, give me credit, and link back here.

This is a real adventure for me. I never learned to write a proper outline, you see, so while I have a few ideas for how things might turn out, I’m really making this up as I go. With only a few exceptions I honestly don’t know what’s foreshadowing and what’s a red herring or just flavor filler.

I don’t know how long I can keep going before I paint myself into a corner, but I have a few ideas for escaping if I get stuck, including radically changing the genre of the book if things get desperate.

Without further ado, here’s the first chapter of my as-yet-unnamed novel. (The footnote might be a little awkward, sorry about that.)

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An Old Memory

The sound was indistinct and seemed far away, the best interpretation she could think of was many children singing. She walked through the nursery, smiling down at the sleeping infant in the crib, and opened the window a crack.

The chilly October breeze made her shiver a little, but she couldn’t make out any new details about the sound. A flash of movement in the corner of her eye caught her attention but by the time she looked it was gone. She found herself staring at the gibbous moon, with an impression that she’d seen something fly in front of its face.

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Storytime

Long ago in the time of fantasy, far away across the sea, a village was being terrorized by a dragon. It burned crops and houses, ate sheep and cattle, and even killed people. The village was very poor, but they knew this dragon would soon be the end of them, so they put together as much money as they could and offered it as a reward to anyone who could kill the dragon.

News didn’t spread as quickly back then, so mostly the only people who heard about the reward were those who passed by the village on their journey. One knight heard about the dragon, and decided a monster like that was too dangerous for him to deal with. Another knight heard the story but thought the reward was too small to be worth his time. And so the village suffered. Read the rest of this entry

What popped into my head when I saw this photo.

Photo courtesy of Luca Sartoni.

It wasn’t the sort of neighborhood a fairy usually went to alone, but Tink knew she had to get answers. Uncomfortably aware that anyone, or anything, might be hiding nearby, she put on a bold face and headed towards the meeting site. She only hoped this Deep Wing character, whoever that was, could give her the information she needed.

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