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Tonight is it. The last episode of Game of Thrones. It has been one heck of a wild ride. Eight seasons, 72 episodes and only the gods, both old gods and new, know how many hours.

All I have to say is that it has been a shame that GRRM didn’t finish the books in time for the two Ds to finish up the series. They are clearly just rushing to burn the whole thing down and finish up their work so they can move on to wreaking havoc in the Star Wars franchise.

I have no idea how they are going to wrap up what happened last week in one episode. Whether it is 60 minutes, 80 minutes, or 90 minutes, the task they have in front of them is immense. And from what I’ve seen this season, I’m not sure they are up to the task.

As a writer, I know how difficult it is to tie up loose threads and bring a story to a satisfying conclusion. I do. And I’ve not written anything as complicated or intense as GOT. This season was always going to be a daunting task, especially since the source material is incomplete. Even if GRRM shared his thoughts and plans for the books with them and they based their story on those notes, I don’t see how they can leave the audience with anything other than an unsatisfactory conclusion.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Dany going all mad-queen and burning everything to the ground on us. I think given that she’s a Targaryen and has had a difficult rise to power, it is all too believable. My problem is that is not the ride we have been taken on for the seven previous seasons. For seven seasons, she has been:

Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Lady of Dragonstone, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.

She freed the unsullied, freed the slaves in Mereen, broke their chains, and won their loyalty by standing up for the downtrodden, innocent, and powerless. That is an honorable and powerful list of accomplishments and titles.

And now she’s the Crazed Killer of the Innocents? Fire Queen of the Westeros, and Destroyer of King’s Landing?

I do not buy it.

Like I said, I could buy that she could snap and turn into the mad-queen. There were hints enough in the book that she could head in that direction. The problem I have is that the creators of the show did not do the deep-dive into her psyche to make it believable. She has stood as a paragon of leadership for seven seasons. And the rush to the mad-queen feels just that, rushed. Moping around Winterfell for two episodes because nobody loves her is just not enough.

The fans of the show, both the readers of the books and casual viewers, have lived through seven seasons of betrayal, death, war, rape, madness, and cruelty. The characters, both protagonists and antagonists, have been complex and layered. And the story has been compelling. Yes, it is a grim-dark tale that could go bad, absolutely. This has not been a hero’s tale of overcoming all odds to defeat evil. Evil has won at almost every turn.

Nonetheless, throughout the books, and the show, there was the promise of something better. The promise of Azor Ahai, the Lightbringer, who will arise to fight against the darkness.

“There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.”

So, I don’t think it unreasonable that fans of the show would hope for a hero’s ending.

They defeated the darkness of the frozen north with the help of Dany and her dragons. And Arya. Gods love Arya! The White Walkers are finally, and hopefully, forever defeated. Now all they needed to do was rally support to defeat evil in the hearts of men, (and women), to come together and truly unite the seven kingdoms.

And maybe that’s the problem. The evil in the hearts of men can never truly be defeated. It will always be there. I guess I had hoped that in the fantasy world at least, they could overcome it enough to keep it at bay, to push back the tides of fear, distrust, and hate.

It is clear that this is not a hero’s story. Possibly never was. At this point, to try to create a happy ending out of the ashes of King’s Landing will feel false, and to end with the Mad-Queen on the Iron Throne will not have been worth the investment of time the fans have sacrificed.

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Well, I did it! I forced myself to stay up last night and finish, and about 1:00am EST I crested the 50,000 word mark.

So, I am officially done!

But here’s the thing, I’m not really done. Not by a long shot. I completed NaNoWriMo, yes. But the novel itself is not quite completely written. I still have a couple-three chapters to write somewhere in the middle. And then I have to start re-writes and corrections.

I also did stupid things like when I would get lost in a scene and not really know how to fix it, I just made some notes at the end of the scene of what I should probably fix and then I moved on to another scene.

I wrote things like:

“I hate this scene. This person cannot be here now. Find a way to fix it later.”

Or

“Dialogue too cheery! These people hate each other. Fix later or delete scene?”

Or

“Video of this person’s death released. This is how he died…describe in detail later.”

Then I would just hop to another scene or chapter.

Some of it I wrote sequentially. Some of it I did not. A lot of it I did not, actually. One great feature of Scrivener is that you can jump from scene to scene or chapter to chapter pretty easily which made bouncing around easier.

There is something to be said for just pushing yourself through to just write as much as you can of your story without really stopping. It is not perfect, but no first draft ever is. I feel like I have a solid 125,000-ish outline of a story. It is more than that, I know. I have the bones of a good story in there…somewhere. I have to find it, re-write it, refine it, polish it, then polish it again.

Bottom line, I have a lot more work to do before it is an actual novel. But as far as NaNoWriMo is concerned…I am DONE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Dialogue way too cheery! These people hate each other. Fix later, change scene or delete?”

 

 

 

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My First Critic

I have fallen behind and I’ve lost track of my word count. Not unexpected with Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and my crazy work schedule, but I am stressing out for sure.

Midnight Friday. That’ is the deadline.

Current word count 40,994.

I am over 4,000 words in the whole. And I have to write almost 9,000 by Friday.

The race is on!

Bad news, I work a lot between now and then. And this past weekend, I had to pick up two extra shifts I was not planning on working.

Good news, I did some writing this morning. I have tomorrow off.

I work today, but I have some time to get writing done tonight. Between tonight and tomorrow, if I focus, I feel that I can not only get caught up, I can maybe get a little bit ahead.

Wish me luck!

Just keep writing…

 

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When will this month be over??

By the end of today, I will be 2/3 of the day done with NaNoWriMo! I will have over 33,500 new words written in my novel! 

This is by far the largest project I have ever worked on. Before NaNoWriMo, I had well over 74,000 words written. And I wanted to use this month to finish writing my book. I can’t believe I’m about to write this next sentence, but I just realized I have written over 100,000 words!

Wow.

Just Wow.

I am almost done. And I will have the rough draft complete by the end of November. I’ve written some pretty fun scenes.  I’ve written myself into holes and had to find a way to write myself back out.  And sometimes I didn’t write myself out. I just skipped it and went to another section. I’m not too worried right now about fixing things. That’s what the re-write phase is for. 

My cat might need some therapy after this is month is over. She is decidedly unhappy with the amount of time I have spent on my laptop.  She has been finding ever more creative ways to keep me from writing and refocus my attention on her.  Poor thing. I’ll let her have the final word on this post!

OK, that’s enough computer time. Now pet me dammit!

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Saturday, November 17, 2018 Anne Arundel Mills Mall 3:00pm

Yesterday was the half-way mark of the month. I have over 25,000 new words to finish up my novel written. I marked 25,000 on my NaNoWriMo page, but I know I have more than that done. I was just up late last night making sure I met my half-way goal, so I kind of lost track of my words. But I figure whether they are counted towards my total or not, they are still words written.

I’m kind of writing different parts of the novel and not really proceeding chronologically. I am using Scrivener, so I’ll just move and reassemble later. I know I have a lot of editing and rewriting to do once I’m done with this draft, so I am not so concerned with making sure everything is perfect right now. I am just concerned with getting the story written. I’ll prettify it later.

On another note…this Saturday I am going to Books With A Past Anne Arundel Mills mall to see one of my favorite podcasters. I listen I Should Be Writing by Mur Lafferty. She has written a number of books including the novelization of Solo.

I am very excited about this event.  I love going to see fellow writers who are successful. I have a lot to learn from them and I will take all they have to teach me. Plus, we will have the opportunity to do more writing!

Just wanted to give a quick update! I’ll continue to keep you posted throughout the month!

Just keep writing…

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Are you done yet?

I announced a few weeks ago that I am going to be doing NaNoWriMo this year to finish my novel which I have been working on for just over a year. I just wanted to give a quick update as to my progress.

Before NaNoWriMo I had about 74,000 words written and had reached some pretty crucial parts of the story, but just could not focus to really write them. I had a few setbacks, like when my laptop died a week after I bought Scrivener. September and October were busy times at work this year, which kept me very busy. But really, while some of my setbacks were legit, most of them were really just excuses to justify not writing.

I think the idea of finishing this book kind of scares me. I’ve never written anything this big. Or more to the point, finished anything this big. It is a daunting thought to think I’ve written a book. I am friends with a lot of writers who write many, many books. They write articles, short stories, novels, novellas…I could go on. I’ve written short stories and essays. I have blogged. I have started novels. I’ve gotten over 25,000 words into novels and then just stopped writing them. Finishing a novel? I never have.

Novels are big and scary things to write. I said it was a daunting task. It feels like an insurmountable goal. Improbable even that I could write one. An unattainable goal.

But once I had my story firmly in mind and I made some basic notes on it. I slogged away at it several times a week until I had written 74,000 words, suddenly finishing it felt…possible. And that is an exciting feeling.

Over the course of this past year, I have been listening to podcasts about writing. I listen to Grammar Girl, The Writer Files, The Moth, and my current favorite, I Should Be Writing. I have read books about writing and listened to a couple on Audible about writing. My favorite is of course the classic On Writing by Stephen King. And I’ve made attending my writer’s groups a priority. My work schedule makes going to them difficult sometimes, but I change my schedule or do a shift trade so that I can make it more often than I had in the past. I have even joined another writer’s group that meets once a month to discuss long-form writing. That group is really just me and one or two other friends, but it helps keep me motivated.

Basically, I have fully immersed myself into this project by thinking about writing, talking about writing, strategizing about writing, and finally sitting down and doing the actual work of writing.

So, the promised update on my NaNo progress…

We are 11 days in. Just over the 1/3 mark. My current word count is 17,828. I still have a little over 500 words to write today, but I will get that done. I began the first week of November a little bit in the hole. But I wrote my way out of it and caught up. I try to stay a little bit ahead of 1,667 daily word count. I have the day off today, so I am going to try to get a day ahead so that I do not lose my momentum.

By the time I finish the 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, I will have written right around 125,000 words. My goal is that the first draft of my novel will be done by then.

Then the fun begins…rewriting!

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Naomi plotting world domination.

I have been working on a novel called Avenging Angels for about a year. In that time, I have written just over 74k words. One would think I am nearly done, but I feel like I am nowhere close.

I need to finish up the first draft of this novel. I know it will still need a lot of work once the first draft is complete, but I need to just finish putting the idea down on paper.

I have had a lot of setbacks including my computer completely dying on me two days after I downloaded Scrivener. My MacBook just died. I thought it was the battery, but when I took it to the Apple Genius, they told me the hard drive was caput. It would cost $475 to fix. I just moved and spent all my money moving and did not really have $500 to throw at fixing my MacBook. Furthermore, the Apple Genius said that since my computer is a 2014, it was probably best just to buy a new laptop. Well, if I don’t have $500 to throw at a laptop…do I really need to finish that thought?

So, I saved up my pennies for a month and cashed in some work bennies to get some gift cards and scraped up enough to fix my laptop. I took it back to Apple, plugged it and bing! It booted up.

WTF, seriously?

I could not get logged in using my password and the system would not let me use my Apple ID to change my password. FFS.

The Apple Genius tried everything to circumvent the password problem, but finally after two hours, we just had to wipe the whole computer and reload it.

AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, after I freaked out inside my head, I calmed down as I had very wisely listened to my brother who had told me a year previous to back-up everything on the cloud, including, thank heavens, my novel.

So, I held my breath and let him wipe my computer. Miraculously, it still works. I do not know how long I have, but a friend of mine has offered to help me replace the SSD card which should give me some more time on this laptop.

See how easy it was for me to get distracted from my novel? I am writing this post to tell you about my novel and Nanowrimo and instead I fell into the laptop hell I experienced.

So, here it is. I am going to use Nano to finish up my first draft. I may not reach the 50K mark on Nano as I am not going to include any of the stuff I have already written. I probably have 25k-30k left to write. But who knows, I may just go ahead and keep on writing and get started on the 2nd installment of the novel just to get me up to 50k. I have already decided the story is going to be a trilogy.

If you are on the Nanowrimo site and participating in National Novel Writing Month, my user name is morgaine84. Add me to your buddy list and follow my progress. I’ll follow you back and maybe we can encourage each other to keep on going through the month.

Good luck and see you in November!

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