Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost, Weekend Writer, Writing

Weekend Writer: January Progress

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome back to my blog, I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. I’m actually a bit nervous about today’s post. It’s been a while since I’ve shared like this. So, you know what, rather than waste time prolonging the nerves by typing up a lengthy intro post, let’s just go ahead and get started.

It would be really cool for all of us who want to write creatively (whether that is poetry, stories, novellas, novels, screenplays, RPGs, video games, whatever) to be able to help uplift and inspire each other, and keep ourselves motivated to strive for our dreams, so I decided to start this blog series here. This series will be a lot of me working through books on writing and creativity, maybe doing and sharing some writing exercises, and possibly doing some writing based discussion posts. It’s going to be an adventure for sure, and I hope it helps you as much as it is helping me.

Today’s post is a little bit different from my other Weekend Writer posts. Normally I’m breaking down a book on the craft of writing, but I had always imagined sharing some snippets of my writing journey as well. That led to me somewhat revamping this blog series in 2020, so now the first Sunday of the month I will be talking about my own writing progress and sharing a little bit of what I’ve been working on. Some of what I share will be from the novel I’m working on, and some of it will be from the writing exercises and prompts I’ve shared.

Now I wish I could say that January was a super productive month of writing, but I’ve only done a little bit of actually writing. Mostly I’ve been focused on thinking about writing and letting the characters and story and plot of my novel sort of percolate in my mind for a bit longer. I’m even using colored index cards to map out characters and plot elements.

This book–working title is Roll for Romance— is a contemporary romance story where two people meet and fall in love while playing Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve never written a full romance novel before; I’ve written fantasy and paranormal stories with romance elements to them, but this story is pretty much the opposite. So I think I’ve been holding myself back because it is such a new writing adventure. But it’s also two stories in one, and I need them to somewhat relate to each other, even if only in small ways. Because I’m not just telling the contemporary romance story; I’m also telling the in-game story of the adventurers who are being played by the main cast of characters. The book Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner has a similar storytelling element, though the in-game story is told through comic panels.

So I’ve done a bit of prep towards the story, but I’m really hoping to dive into it more fully in February. I have just over 8000 words written for the story, but I know for a fact that about half of that is going to be thrown out because it served as a way for me to vent certain life opinions but didn’t actually help the story in any way. But I’ll worry about deleting things after I’ve finished a complete rough draft. So for the moment my word count is 8184. I’ll try to do a word count check-in each month.

Okay, and now I’m going to share a little bit from the in-game opening for the novel. It’s currently how I end the first chapter, and I hope you enjoy.

*** *** *** *** ***

The brass scaled dragonborn stepped forward onto what had become a battlefield. Behind him several plumes of dark smoke rose into the sky, and from the center of that chaos there came both a laugh and a cackle, immediately alerting this particular man to the identities of his companions within. The smoke was clearly the evidence that Meri had once again set down a few well-positioned fireballs, while the cackle indicated that George was trying to use the distraction to find a better position for sneak attacks…or for thievery. One could never tell which way George would act in a particular situation. It made planning quite difficult.

The pale lavender woman with tall spiraling horns walked away from the destruction she had caused, looking mighty pleased at her handiwork, and joined him amongst the many corpses and scattered debris. “Where have you been, Mischa?”

“Someone had to carry Bub into battle. Why not the person who has trained and traveled at his side the past year?” As Mischa spoke, he turned to look at the human fighter at the center of the battlefield, watching as he cleaved his greataxe through another three foes. The battlemaster truly was in his element, even as the forces they faced crushed down in seemingly unending wave upon wave. They both had to trust that Beezlebub carried enough health potions to keep standing, even when surrounded as he was.

Meri nodded as she reached into her satchel and pulled out what appeared to be a withered wand made of a redwood. There was a small sparkling ruby embedded in the tip and the item definitely seemed to be well-used. The way she caressed the wand as she surveyed the ongoing battle made it clear that she was ready to rain even more fireballs down upon her enemies.

“Have you seen Bree since the battle began?” he asked his companion. It really was not the best idea to allow the healers to wander around unaided, and Mischa had almost used up all of his magical energy, leaving him unable to render aid to his comrades, should they become gravely injured. He only had his smallest magical tricks and one last animal form if it became absolutely necessary. He did not have the spell energy to heal anyone. Instead he had used that magical energy to upset the earth in large areas, and summon up huge storm clouds that brought down bolt after bolt of lightning to harm those in its path.

A lilac hand pointed off in the direction of the setting sun. “She was over there a little while ago…” Then she trailed off and pointed a short distance away. “But I also saw her over there. You know her duplicates make her hard to pin down.” That was certainly the truth. Bree had proved herself to be extremely skilled with the use of illusions and deception, and she was smart enough to hold back enough energy for at least a couple of healing spells if absolutely necessary. 

At that moment a loud roar erupted from the relative quiet of background battle sounds. A loud crash sent rippling shockwaves through the ground. Mischa knelt and placed his hand on the earth, sending his senses out through the dirt and rocks and the roots of the nearby bushes and trees. “Oh, that is not good. We may need to retreat.” He recognized the magical aura of what was approaching, it being so similar to the auras of him and his entire clan of people.

“What? Why?”

“Because, my dear, that is a dragon.”

*** *** *** *** ***

Okay, well that is all I’m going to share with you for today, but I would absolutely love to a) hear what you think about this snippet and b) love to see a little glimpse at your own writing, whether from one of the random prompts I’ve had in these posts or from some other writing project.

Links to Other Weekend Writer Posts

Introduction — Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer — Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day — The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell — No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty — The War of Art by Steven Pressfield — On Being Stuck by Laraine Harris — Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding edited by Janna Silverstein

Writing Exercise

I have this cool book released by Piccadilly Inc called “Complete The Story,” and it is a collection of random story prompts (sometimes a few words, sometimes a couple sentences) and then the rest of the page is lined so you can continue the story yourself. So I am going to open the book to a random page and that will be all of our writing prompt for the week. You can share this or not; that’s up to you. I am going to start making the first Weekend Writer post of each month an update and sharing post for my writing progress and journey. So I’ll share bits of my writing there.

This week’s prompt is…

They were getting married in just three weeks, and things were not looking good. They hadn’t found a decent band, and Sheri was not going to have a DJ at her wedding. While Daryl didn’t have an opinion about anything, his mother seemed to have an opinion on everything, even the…

Happy Writing!

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