Monthly Archives: October 2018

Words for Writers Wednesday: Twas the Night Before NaNoWriMo

Twas the Night before NaNoWriMo,

And all through the house,

Every writer was stressing,

Get out of here, mouse!

The outlines were hung by the work desk with care,

in hopes that a novel soon would be there.


…. Okay, enough Christmas spirit in October….


Tomorrow is the first of November,

which means Day One of National Novel Writing Month,

for those who are participating in the 50,000 word challenge this year.

I just wanted to wish everyone luck on your writing project and to give some last minute encouragement to all the NaNoWriMo writers.


Just start writing and don’t stop. Ignore your inner critic and perfectionist.

Be brave, and remember you can get through any challenge.

Do your best. Don’t worry about anyone else’s word count.

Keep all the notes, all the supporters and all the snacks close at hand. You’ll need them.


Be sure to check out my ultimate NaNoWriMo survival guide.

Best of luck to all the writers participating in National Novel Writing Month this year!

Let’s friggin’ do this, guys!



Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky,

 

 

 

 

The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid (Part Five/Finale)

The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid

[Part One]

[Part Two]

[Part Three]

[Part Four]

[Part Five – Finale]

“All merfolk are now our enemies. A good knight must follow orders without question,” He recited “You wish to be a great knight one day? Like your father?” Not this way, I thought. “I want this mermaid dead, do you understand?”


“Luna…” Her name escaped my lips without thinking. A fire sparked in my chest and I clenched my fists “Her name is Luna.”


The commander slammed his hands on his desk and growled “Get out of my sight, boy.”

I left, dread sinking into my chest. I walked in a daze, towards the training grounds. I had never taken a life before, let alone the life of someone I cared for. In the distance, I noticed Sir Roger as he stumbled a bit as he walked. A goblet of wine was in his hand. Accompanying him were two maidens, with wheat blonde hair and low cut dresses. “Why the sad face, mouse?”


“The commander wants me to kill Paloma’s messenger.”


“Well isn’t that great news? Mouse’s first kill,” he cheered, raising a glass and taking another swig from his cup. “Watch me, mouse, watch,” He picked up the bow and arrow and managed to aim in the direction of the target. His maiden companions simply laughed “pretend… pretend that’s the beast…” He slurred. Sir Roger was more of a beast than Luna could ever be. “Must get ‘em right between the eyes.”


I imagined Luna’s silver sparkling eyes. My heart was trembling.


I could not wait for daybreak. I untied a horse from the stables and rode at full gallop in twilight, towards the bay. Collapsing in the sand, I ran to where the ocean met the earth.


“Luna!” I yelled her name in a panic. “Luna, please!”


By some miracle of the sea, she heard me, her head emerging from the water. She smiled at me, unknowing of what was to come. “Henry,” She swam closer to land, her stomach pressed against the moist sand. Her tail slapped against the sea foam with delight. “I brought you a gift.”


“No, no, Luna, you have to listen to me, I -” I knelt down in the water. She extended her webbed hand to show her gift. It was a bracelet made of blue grey pearls and small white shells.


“To merfolk, it’s a symbol of friendship and adoration. I made it myself. Mother showed me.” The mermaid admired her own craftsmanship as she slid the trinket onto my shaking wrist.


I couldn’t breathe. “They want me to kill you.”


Her silver eyes looked up at me.


I held the message in the bottle in front of her “The knights of Eros have just declared war on the merfolk of Paloma,” The formal declaration. Those dreaded words. “The commander…he ordered me to kill you.”


Luna was silent for a moment, her pale lips hung open in disbelief. “You said you wished to become a noble warrior, like your father,” Her eyes narrowed; pearl like tears threatened to fall. “Killing a messenger is dishonorable, you know that.”


“A good knight must follow orders…Without question…” I recited the commander’s words with disgust.


Betrayal clouded her eyes. My heart was broken.


She returned into the sea, slipping back into the water.


I drew back my bow and arrow.


That day, I became a noble knight.




Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid (Part Four)

[Part One]

[Part Two]

[Part Three]

[Part Four]

[Part Five – Finale]

 

“Why do you not look like the others?” Luna asked, tilting her head curiously to the side.


“What others?” I stood in ankle deep water.


“When we first met, I expected you to be much bigger and much shinier on your chest.” She touched where her heart would be.


“Those are the knights. I’m only a knight in training.” In that moment, I wished I was older, a true hero, with my own adventures to boast about. “It-It’s not that exciting… I brush the horses and polish weapons and…”


“And deliver messages,” The mermaid added with the flick of her fin. She smiled at me. “Why do you wish to become a knight?”


“My father was a knight. Barric the Brave, they called him. He was the noblest of knights. He sacrificed himself for the kingdom, when I was a babe. Grandfather says he was a true hero and his bravery runs through my blood.” More than anything, I wanted to become a knight. An honorable knight, to carry on my father’s good name. That was my dream. I wished on many wishing stars for that dream to come true.


We sat on the boulders that reached out towards the horizon. The tip of her fin skimmed the sea. Her tail was beautiful, sparkling like a golden treasure. The scales faded into her cream like skin. Her lavender hair tumbled onto one side. Luna slid back into the water with ease and dared me to join her.


“Can you swim?” She asked, floating on her back and waving her fin.


I nodded timidly, yet something was holding me back. “I…just don’t think it’s a… good idea…”


The mermaid tilted her head and fluttered her big moonbeam eyes. “Do you trust me?”


More than anyone I had ever known.


“Our kingdoms may go to war-”


“We are not enemies yet,” She assured me with a dimpled smile.


I removed my tunic. Heat rushed to my cheeks and ears. I held my breath and jumped, falling into her world. My vision blurred. I caught glimpses of lilac. Felt a brush of scales on my arm. I wished, more than becoming a knight, for that moment to never end.


For a boy and a mermaid to float in the abyss of the ocean for all eternity.



The commander unfurled the scroll in the glass bottle. I waited with baited breath. His fist pounded the desk once, giving me a start “They refuse to cease their actions. An agreement was not met. We have no choice. We must declare war and take Crescent bay.”


“But Sir, Crescent Bay… Is their territory.” I tried to say, meekly.


He glared dangerously at me. I swallowed my bravery. “I’m giving you one more order, boy.” He stood, clasping his hands behind his back and staring at the kingdom’s flag.


“Kill the messenger.”


My eyes widen. “Wh-” Words were lost in my throat. “I..I don’t…don’t understand, sir.” Yes, killing a messenger was a common act back then, if they delivered bad news, or as a sign of hatred between kingdoms. It was a dishonorable act.


“All merfolk are now our enemies. A good knight must follow orders without question.” He recited “You wish to be a great knight one day? Like your father?” Not this way, I thought. “I want this mermaid dead, do you understand?”


“Luna…” Her name escaped my lips without thinking. A fire sparked in my chest and I clenched my fists “Her name is Luna.”




Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Tips and Tricks for Writing Character Descriptions

Because I got such positive feedback and interest from my post about writing Setting Descriptions, I decided to dedicate a post to writing character descriptions. For me, asking myself questions about how something looks helps me write more descriptively.

By popular demand, here are some tips on writing character descriptions.  Below, there are some questions that may jog you brain.

A Face Only a Writer Could Love

Eyes are the window to a person’s soul, right? What do their eyes say about them?

What shape is the nose? Bulbous? small and turned upward?

Open up. How are those teeth looking? Pearly white? Stained? Missing tooth?

What about those kissable lips? Plump or thin lips?

Any facial hair?

How does the hair look? Long or short? Wavy, curly, or straight?

Think about specific hair color. There are many different shades of hair color. Not every blonde or ginger has the same tint.

Talking Body

How would you describe their frame/build?

Skinny arms or big muscles? Tall or short? Lean or chubby?

How do they dress and present themselves to the world?

What does their social standing say about what they wear?

What’s their skin tone? Do they have tattoos?

Any freckles? Birthmarks? Scars? Moles?

Other Traits

How do they laugh? Is it a small giggle or an obnoxious cackle?

What does their voice sound like? Deep baritone or high squeaky voice?

How do they walk? Are they dragging their feet? Taking confident strides? Have a limp?

Extra Tips

Think about how emotion effects speech and appearance. Consider how the character is feeling that would alter their appearance. For example, if a girl is going through a breakup, her voice may be quivering, her hair might be thrown in a messy bun, maybe wearing cozy sweatpants.

No need for say exact height and weight. I’ve notice this while beta reading.  I don’t really think the reader needs precise measurements.

Keep an eye out for people walking around your life. How would you describe them? What about their appearance stands out? I’m not suggesting to stalk or stare awkwardly at someone, just to be aware of people around you. (I used to do this while commuting on the subway.) Also, look at yourself in the mirror and think about how you would describe yourself to someone else.

Don’t word vomit a full description of a character when they are first introduced. Seriously. You can give a couple of key features right off the bat, so the reader has a first impression of this character. But, don’t forget to weave character details throughout the scene so it’s not one lump of a description.


What helps you write character descriptions? Let me know in the comments! And if your participating in NaNoWriMo this year, be sure to check out my Ultimate NaNoWriMo Survival Guide!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid (Part 3)

[Part One]

[Part Two]

[Part Three]

[Part Four]

[Part Five – Finale]

She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in all of my days.


Her hair fell into gentle lavender curls. Two shining silver coins hid under long eyelashes. Her skin was pale like fresh cream. We were so young then, both of us. Children representing kingdoms, holding messages of war in our tiny hands.


I stood up straight, like a proper messenger. “I…” I took a breath. “I am Henry and I have a message on behalf of the kingdom of Eros.” The scroll encased in glass was in my hands. She kept her distance, lingering in the deeper waters.


“Call me Luna, of Paloma.” A voice that chimed like bells fluttered in my ears. “You’re not what I expected.”


“Luna,” I repeated in a whisper, never hearing a name so wonderful. Luna melted the fear from my heart in an instant. “Y…You are not what I expected either.”


“What were you expecting?” She asked with curiosity, tentatively swimming a little closer. I caught a glimmer of scales.


“A demon with teeth like daggers and claws” My hand clamped over my mouth.
A giggle bubbled out of her pale lips. “No claws, just this” she held up webbed fingers. A thin layer of skin between each finger, similar to a mallard.


I tossed the bottle into the sea. The mermaid dove into the water, revealing a glimpse of a tail. The scales on her tail were like a perfect sunset. She emerged from the sea once again, holding the message in her arms. “Thank you, Henry” With that, she splashed into the depths and was gone. There were a few more messages exchanged between us. I was happy. It seemed wrong to say, about all of it. I was happy to deliver messages of a possible war. I was happy to be in a mermaid’s presence. I was happy.


On our following encounter, I found the courage to ask the reason behind the mermaid’s attacks.


“Those ships, as you call them, are disturbing our waters, without my king’s permission. They steal too many fish, some merfolk struggle. Some say they even steal mermaids.”


“Humans capturing mermaids?” I had never heard such stories.


“In those nets, along with the fish,” She waded in the shallow water, deep enough for her to float “And there are tales, that when some venture out of sea, during full moons, without fins, they do not return once day breaks. Some say that is also the humans doing.”


“But why sink the ships coming into port and drown innocent men?”


He pale lips frowned, she replied simply. “Our king is furious” I took her word for it and left the conversation.


The next meeting, I retrieved her message, but was not in a rush to return to the commander.




Part four comes out next Monday!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

The Ultimate NaNoWriMo Survival Guide

Signing up for NaNoWriMo this year? You’re gonna need all the help you can get.

This guide will help you survive National Novel Writing Month.

Find the Time 

 To reach 50,000 words goal, you’ll need to write about 1,667 words a day. Come up with a plan, find the best time for you to write.  Make that time commitment. Schedule what part of your novel you will work on each day. Decide whether you are a day or night writer. Create a routine and stick to it as best you can. And don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day, it’ll happen to everyone.

Set Up Your Writing Space

Establish your writing space. A place to be organized and creative. A place where you can focus and write and hopefully not be disturbed. Dedicate a work area, with all your research and inspiration materials nearby. Make sure you have all your needed resources close at hand. Whether it’s at home, at the public library, or at the local coffee shop, find your cozy corner of the world.

Keep Resources Close

This coincides with creating a great work space. Notes, historical sources, journals, character profiles, outlines. Everything.  Keep it all organized and in reach, in case you need a reference.  Use time in October to gather information and prepare for the writing ahead.

Right now, I’m working on a revised outline and developing my characters. Because I’m writing a story set in a specific time period (1920s), I have bookmarked a couple of historical resources, just in case. I also have a book of photos of Brooklyn in the 1920s that I like to glance through for inspiration.

Writers Require Nourishment

Be prepared with all the snacks and beverages you’ll need to get through a month of writing. I’m talking leftover Halloween candy. I’m talking caffeine, and lots of it. I’m talking the comfort food that makes your heart happy. Look, some would suggest eating healthy, and while that is true, sometimes, you need a bag of salty, potato chips, and no one will judge you for eating the entire bag.

For me, I’m planning to switch back and forth between  roasted chickpeas and gummy bears. Maybe some chips and salsa. Maybe some Chinese takeout…. Now I’m getting hungry. Onto the next point.

Goals and Rewards

Set smaller goals for yourself. 10k, 20k, 30k, etc. And when you reach them, reward yourself. Whether its with your favorite movie or favorite meal, celebrate those little milestones. During National Novel Writing Month, every word counts. So, treat yourself and do something special for you once you reach a certain word count. This will keep you motivated and encourage you to keep going.

Outline

Whether you are a planner or a pantser, have a general idea for a story. Develop your characters. Establish some kind of plot line, even if its a vague idea. Note the key scenes of the plot. It’s important to have an outline. And remember, use the method that feels right to you. Every writer has their own way of planning a story. Do what works for you.

Have a Support System

We all need someone in our corner, supporting us. Find some writing buddies. Consider attending write-ins and writing events. Find the people in your life you trust, who you can talk openly to. A significant other, a friend, a teacher, a classmate. Have someone to express your worry or doubt or just iron out ideas with. Someone to cheer you on through the absolutely ridiculous journey that is NaNoWriMo.

Surround yourself with other writers. And hey, feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo website. My username is LadyJabberwocky.


What’s a necessity in your NaNoWriMo survival kit? Let me know in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Words for Writers Wednesday: Every Writer Needs an Outline.

If every adventurer needs a map,

and every home cooked meal needs a recipe.

Then every writer needs an outline.

A general trail to follow,

while you are entering the jungle

of your imagination.


For all the NaNoWriMo writers out there who are currently prepping and outlining.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Leave Your Questions for Q&A Celebrating 100 followers

Lovebugs!

I’m incredibly excited.

I’m creeping up on 100 followers. Which, I can’t believe is actually happening. Never thought I’d get to five followers, let alone a hundred.

Seriously, thank you to every follower and comment, I appreciate your support very much.

To celebrate, I will be hosting a Q and A, where you can ask me anything. Writer related, nerd related, personal life related, I mean anything. This lady is an open book.

Got a burning questions? Leave it in the comments below. And when I officially hit 100 followers, I will give a shout out to your blog and answer your questions. Looking forward to hearing from you guys!



Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky