It’s the last week of NaNoWriMo, and I am 4000 words away from reaching that most vaunted of goals: 50k in one month. However, these last 4000 words are, apparently, impossible to write. I wrote 350 words yesterday. Total. That was it for the day, and none of those 350 words had anything to do with the story. It was an impromptu character development session with one of my semi-minor characters, Luce, who was, up until that point, simply being given all of the lines no one else’s character would or could say. Because, you know, most of the other characters are pretty well developed. I’ve got my main character Katriona’s personality down to a science, and Fenrir is always fun to write, since he’s super nice and sweet but also has a temper and is very protective towards his pack, so he always ends up fighting with Katriona, who he thinks is out to get them. I mean. She is out to get them, don’t get me wrong, but still.
Anyway, I’m in the pits of Despair, telling myself despondently that I’m a horrible writer and anyway I already wrote the ending like two scenes ago, now I’m just writing the scenes that stitch the ending and that previous scene together, which is boring, even though, on the surface, the scenes sound pretty cool. For example, I just finished writing a scene where Katriona receives her final rune and becomes a full-blown super-magic witch, with her education complete. And then there’s a scene where they come up with a plan to take down the bad guys, which is what I’m supposed to be writing right now. But no. Boring, uninspiring, insipid, and stupid. Ugh.
In the interests of defeating this despair, I’ve decided to go through my story and pick out my favorite lines and bits of description,which will, hopefully, remind me that not everything is awful and also inspire me to write.
“My brother would be horrified to hear that. He has a thing about Ramen Noodles, like your thing about the fake taco. If you set him off, he’ll spend a good fifteen minutes ranting about the sodium content and how it’s not even food and should not be sold as such, and then he’ll bake angrily, to, like, cleanse his soul of the stain of imaginary Ramen or something.”
This is not beautiful or inspiring in the least, but I couldn’t stop laughing. I forgot about that line.
Oh, she really does love this ring, she thinks, as she steps into the grey light of morning. She breathes in deep through her nose, letting the tang of pine bring a smile to her face, and relishes the chill that pierces through her jeans.
I love this description. Three out of five senses, and she sounds totally awesome.
While she’s waiting for the good people of the Internet to get back to her, she unclasps her bracelet and blinks at the cessation of pain she hadn’t even remembered was there. She giggles a little/sighs, as the endorphins rush to her brain, and flexes her fingers. There’s a box full of herbs in her suitcase, and she takes that out. There’s already a circle burned into the rickety coffee table in her little living room from yesterday, and she carries the bracelet over to it, settling it into the center. Then she lines herbs up along the thick black line, surrounding the bracelet. With the silver-coated knife in her suitcase, she carefully carves the runes on the outside of the circle deeper, and cuts open the inside of her elbow, letting blood trickle down her arm and fingers and fill the furrows. It dries quickly, and she has to make another cut, in the same place, before she can finish filling it. The magic hums invisibly to life as soon as she does, creating a nearly invisible shimmering dome that resists the small splash of magic she sends at it. She nods, satisfied, and flicks open the lighter in her purse. Cautiously, she touches it to the herb circle, and snatches her hand back just as the herbs roar into flame. The sweet, charred scent of burning sage fills the air, and Katriona takes a deep breath in, savoring it. The fire flickers down, but Katriona leaves the circle alone. The magical dome will drain only the spell she specified, and the bracelet will be easier to handle in the morning if it’s weakened.
Descriptions of magic are my favorite thing, seriously. I love them.
“Angela,” Katriona says, gently. “You’re overly attached to the wolves. They’re monsters, Angela. Killers, masquerading as children. The only reason I can look them in the eye is because I have to, and, lately, I have this.” She flashes the glittering black ring, the setting sun reflecting off of its spikes. “A bravery spell, so I can bear this.”
This and the next few paragraphs are some of my favorite bits of writing, an echo of Katriona’s mentor.
“Excuse me, you just killed my reference.” Katriona blinks.
“I, uh, what?”
“I didn’t get the chance to tell you to get in, loser, we’re going shopping.”
“Oh. Uh. Sorry. “
“Nah, you’re cool. I’m messing with you.You ready to meet Fenrir?”
“No, ” Katrionna says, truthfully. “But I might as well get it over with.” They pull out onto the street, humming along the asphalt as Katriona gingerly pokes a chip bag with the tip of her toe. Charming.
Something else that makes me laugh.
That’s it for right now. I feel a little better, I guess?