Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid (Part 2)

The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid

[Part One]

[Part Two]

[Part Three]

[Part Four]

[Part Five – Finale]

“Well then you’re as good as dead, little mouse” He laughed. “Have you ever seen a Mermaid before?”


Slowly, I shook my head.


“They’re vile creatures, demons of the sea. With teeth like daggers and claws that tear into flesh as they drag you down to the bottom of the ocean” The knight spoke as if he was telling a tale of great horror. “Before they rip you apart, they say the monsters cackle as they watch you drown. All they need is for their prey to touch a single drop of water, then their doomed.”


I was terrified. That night, I ran home to speak with my grandfather. The village called my grandfather Edgar the wise. He had lived for 100 years, and had many books, and tomes and scrolls on a variety of subjects. I believed him to know everything.


“Grandfather? Have you ever seen a mermaid?” I asked as I set the table.


“Don’t believe I have” He answered while stirring a pot of stewed goat meat and root vegetables over the crackling fire. “They’re a rare sight to see. I hear they are quite beautiful.”


“Sir Roger said they were demons. They have drowned men”


He limped over to his wooden chair by the fire, easing slowly into the seat. “I don’t believe any creature would attack without a just cause. The sea is their domain; it has been the mermaid’s realm for centuries. Many, many years before us humans. ” He said to me in a hushed tone. Grandfather told me all he knew over supper.


Mermaids lived in groups, almost like tribes. Mermaids of Paloma lived in Crescent bay. There was another tribe of them up north as well. They had power over the waters and the weather. There were stories of drownings, and stories of them saving humans. Legend said that only under a full moon can a mermaid be granted human legs, or by some strong magic. If there was a war, I was almost certain it would be under a full moon, or with the aid of magic. They were quite powerful creatures.


Early the next morning, while the sky burned bloody orange, I left for the quest. A thick forest, where sprites would hide, surrounded the village. The sun shined through the tree leaves. Flowers perfumed the air on that humid spring morning. The trip was a half day’s journey. By midday, my boots touched the sandy shore. Waves crashed against trail of large rocks reaching out towards the horizon. Some distance away was the budding trading port, where the ships with goods traveled from the main land.


I stood where the sea met land. The edge of the island kingdom of Eros. Sir Roger’s warnings rang in my head. A single drop of sea water was all a mermaid needed to drag you to the bottom. I hadn’t dared to move closer, my legs were trembling. The sound of the ocean stirring followed by a splash broke me from my thoughts.


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




Here comes the mermaid in Part 3, coming out next Monday!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

 

Starting Prep for NaNoWriMo: Learning from Past Mistakes

So, I’m starting my NaNoWriMo prep a bit differently than most.

Last year, I participated in National Novel Writing Month, the challenge for writers to write 50,000 words in one month. And last year, I failed that challenge. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. Despite not reaching my goal, I still learned a lot about myself as a writer. That experience lit a fire under me, and I’m happy I tried NaNoWriMo. With November right around the corner, I’m ready to try again.

I’m incredibly critical of myself. And an incurable perfectionist. In previous blog posts, I made notes for improvement on my writing during November. Today, I’m tackling the mistakes I made during my last NaNoWriMo run head on. Here are, what I consider to be, my weak points, and my plans for improvement. (Cue the demise of my self-esteem)

Stop Trying to be Perfect

Remember when I said I am an incurable perfectionist? I wasn’t kidding. Last NaNoWriMo, I feel like I did not let myself free write because one bad sentence was nagging at me. Or the ideal phrasing wasn’t immediately coming to mind. And then there’s that self-doubt that all writers have. “Everything you’re writing is trash. Everything you’re even thinking about writing is trash. You should just stop, stop forever and eat potato chips all day.” I mean, that’s what my voice of doubt sounds like. I just want my story to be perfect. But I know that no story is perfect, and I should get over that idea.

Solution: Accept that writing garbage is okay. That not every word out of my brain will be amazing. That at least half of those 50,000 words will probably be changed. Just to write without stopping myself because something doesn’t sound right. In the words of Hemingway “The first draft of anything is garbage”. Next month, I’ll fight the urge to edit and perfect until December.

Focus On One Scene At A Time

If you can’t tell already, my brain is easily distracted. I have a bad habit of jumping around from scene to scene, writing small bits here and there. Then, I find myself losing focus and becoming frazzled. When I try to write a bunch of bits for a bunch of different parts, I become overwhelmed and nothing gets done.

Plan of Attack: This one’s hard. I need to work on my focus. I need to push myself to concentrate on one scene at a time. I can’t write the whole novel all at once. My best bet is to tackle certain sections or scenes during November.

Write More Descriptions

Well, writing descriptions wasn’t, and maybe still isn’t, my strongest suit as a writer.  Actually, I recently wrote a post centered around tips for writing setting descriptions. I talked about how I struggle with writing about the setting. Usually, dialogue comes first to me when I’m writing. But a forest is just a forest right? Wrong.

Plan of Attack: Let’s just say, I’m working on it. I’m more mindful of how the people and the places in my stories look. My goal is to paint a vivid, realistic picture for the reader. Trying my best to tap into sensory details of settings and also the unique physical features of my characters.

Lost Connection

I’ll be honest, there were moments I didn’t feel connected to my characters nor to the time period. To quote myself from the previous year “It was like we were once roommates, living together and then, they became the neighbors down the street. An unexplained distance came between me and this story idea.” Think about it, I’m a modern-day lady writing in the perspective of a young man living in the roaring 20’s. How can I possible fit into those shoes?

Solution: Well, for starters, this year, the big bang happened. By completely changing the plot, I feel much more confident in my story idea. As for the characters, I’m gonna try a couple of things this October. Really flush some characters out and get to know them inside and out. I want to make sure that they’re 3-dimensional characters. As for the setting, research is important. I’ve already collected some resources to help me understand that time period. The goal is to be as accurate as possible.


What would you say was your weak point from last NaNoWriMo? And what are you doing to overcome it and improve for this year? Let me know in the comments, lovelies.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

 

The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid (Part 1)

The Tale of a Boy and a Mermaid

[Part One]

[Part Two]

[Part Three]

[Part Four]

[Part Five – Finale]

“I have an important task for you, lad”


The knight commander was intimidating, over six feet tall with a thick beard and a scar on his forehead. Behind him was the kingdom of Eros’ flag, a deep purple with the emblem of a griffon, wings spread proudly. “I’m sure you have heard of the recent number of casualties out at sea, correct?” Many ships coming into port were either facing horrible storms or being sunken by unknown forces. Some in the village believed it to be a mermaid’s doing. “Take this message to the water’s edge tomorrow morning. Their messenger should meet you half way”


The message was a scroll in a glass bottle, sealed tightly with a cork. “Is this…A declaration of war, sir?”


“Just negotiations” The commander replied shortly, placing a large hand on by shoulder. “This will be a test, to prove if you are worthy of becoming a true knight someday.” He shooed me away with a wave of his hand. “Now, go attend to your other duties”.


I bowed and took my leave, examining the glass bottle in my hands. My brown leather boots shuffled along the dirt path that led to the stables. There were three large stallions, the noble steeds of the warriors of Eros. I began to brush one of the horse’s smooth coat. The sound of metal feet stomping towards me broke me from my daze. Sir Roger entered the stable, removing his helm. He ran a hand through his blonde hair, most likely returning from sparring.


“Have you finished with my sword?” Sir Roger approached me, removing his gauntlet. I nodded quickly. “With haste, mouse” He said impatiently. I dropped the brush and went to retrieve the knight’s sword. Yesterday, the blade was splattered with blood after a day’s quest. Now it shined like a sunbeam. I returned with the sword tucked into it’s leather sheath a moment later. “What do you have here?” He asked, examining the scroll in the glass bottle next to my satchel.


“A message I must deliver” I informed “Tomorrow morning, to Crescent bay”.


“Well then you’re as good as dead, little mouse” He laughed. “Have you ever seen a Mermaid before?”




Fun fact: This is from a story I wrote in fiction writing class, way back in 2016.

Stay tuned for part two, coming out next Monday! 

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky