NaNoWriMo: Day 2 (12k)

NaNoWriMo2016Yesterday I had the lofty dream of reaching a #50kDayOne day. Nahhhhh….

I’m pretty sure the Conductor saw fit to send me a crew of construction ninjas, who proceeded to make the most awful sound. I will have to find an appropriate book to memorialize the construction ninjas in; I’m not sure they fit in anything I currently have. Maybe… the Bobian could take them on.

Anyway, I made it to 12k. Exactly. It’s creepy when word counts stop on an exact number. I’m never sure if I just got lucky or some perfectionist is out there writing about me writing my story and they needed it to stop on 12k. Yeah. Creepy. Visit my head some time. There’s prime, empty real estate.

Anyway, I’m currently at 15,503 on Aquae or Aquaeus, or whatever I end up changing the name to. I’ve only changed it twelve times so far. Let’s go for lucky thirteen before the month is up.

What? You want a blurb? You want to wallow in my word vomit? (Gross. I mean, I’m not judgey, but… gross.) Alright. Get your Pitch Perfect on and make vomit angels, if you like:

Once, rare once, only every tun-tak’umunaq tun-tatlam pi tun, adventure comes to the Lummi. Adventure walks on the Earth, granted permission by the Great Bear, and seeks the One who will be kinslee, He Who Walks All the Domains.

Once such time, time hilu, came when the land was only somewhat younger than it is now. A boy was chosen of the Lummi to seek out the Elder gods.

There were great races and talkings, as many wanted the honor of kinslee. But one boy, one who was outside and within, did not want the honor. He did not seek kinslee, so kinslee  found him.

The Hearth Mother came to him and marked him with her kiss, choosing him above all others. When he turned aside, the Elder gods themselves put the elements to choosing him.

Reluctantly, the kinslee boy agreed to go. He first made his own boat, for he would travel the Waters of Samen and needed find safe passage. Then he chose his companions, for no adventure is true if it is taken alone. One for Water, one for Earth, and one for Air.

The Hearth Mother took him aside, after deep fasting, to tell him of his journey. While none is certain what she said, there are tales that come down through times of her words:

“Because the Lummi come from Water, you will first go to Samen, the great Salmon god, and you will ask for safe passage. Because the Lummi are made of Earth, you will then go to Bahr, the great Bear god, and you will ask for strength. Because the Lummi breathe the Air, you will then go to Haq, the great Hawk god, and ask for speed.”

The rest of her words are lost, even in time, and the kinslee must make his own journey.

So this boy, this kinslee boy, with his companions took his boat and the foods he had gathered and he bade farewell to his people who were not his people, for he was kinslee. Then he made the great passage to the Earth and the tales say he wandered with many adventures, learning magics that only the Elder gods could teach him, and he traveled so far as the great Fire, where his tale was lost.

But the Lummi continue, so it is thought that the boy, the kinslee, must make his goals with his companions and must bring the Lummi the blessing of the Elder gods, even if he never returns.

And so the kinslee will ever be the only Lummi with adventure and travel, the Lummi with magic, for he is the one Lummi who can see the Elder gods and return us to one with the Elements.

I’m basing my world around the Lummi, who lived on Orcas Island, Washington, but I need to go back and change things so I’m not just doing a culture grab. For now, this is NaNo and these are placeholders to remind me to come up with my own stuff. The tale, at least, is my own.

And back I go. I’m currently fueled by decaf chai tea (too early to start pumping the caffeine), leftover pizza, this word crawl, and this sound track. Working my way to 20k before my next break.

Sanity is for wimps.

A to Z Blogging Challenge: J

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Just Write… Wrong

A to Z Blogging Challenge: J

There is advice going around that tells new writers to just write. They’ll get better if they just write.  I’m going to go out on my own personal soapbox (which is teetering, because who needs a box of soap big enough to stand on?) and say, no. Don’t just write and think you’re going to get better.

Let’s see how that works in other occupations:

  • Just do taxes. Eventually you’ll get it right.
  • Just treat patients. Eventually you’ll learn medicine.
  • Just slap paint on the canvas. Eventually you’ll make a pretty picture.

I could go on, but that would be silly… just like the advice. You can’t “just write” and think you’ll be a better writer. Here’s what you can do to be a better writer:

  • Write daily until it becomes a habit. The habit will serve you well.
  • Read about writing. If you’re not regularly reading “how to write” or grammar books, taking courses, or learning more about the craft, it’s going to be very hard to improve.
  • Critique and edit your own writing.
  • Critique and edit others’ writing (it’s easier to see the parts that need a rewrite when it’s not your own).
  • Have other people critique and edit your writing. Then don’t sit and argue with them. Don’t take it personally. See what you can learn from it.
  • Read good writing. You learn from the masters. I can’t stress this enough.

Seriously (and I try really hard to not be serious for long, so listen up), uneducated writers, even if they have talent, aren’t doing the craft any favors. Every writer (I don’t do many absolutes, either) should:

  1. Write consistently (if not daily, pick your regularity and do it; I take off one day a week).
  2. Take one course on writing craft each year. Free courses count.
  3. Take one course on writing technique a year (grammar, punctuation, styles). Free counts. Books count.
  4. Critique and be critiqued.
  5. Read widely.

That’s it. Don’t just write. Write with the intention of becoming a better writer.

By the way, if you are following me, commenting, or reading and I haven’t returned the favor yet, I will. I am making note of who visits me. I will be visiting you all after the challenge ends. I just cannot carve out enough time to write blogs, read blogs, do poetry, and keep up with my WIP all at the same time. When the blog moves to twice a week, I will read on two of the days I’m currently writing. Promise!

What do you do to improve as a writer?