Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo Update 2...and 3!

Soooooo, due to even more technical difficulties last week (screw you Movie Maker!), I'm one post behind and shelving the video idea for now (currently contemplating video editing software purchase despite poorness).  Long story short, we're back to me writing...because I'm not doing enough of that.  Anyway, let's talk about camp and how insane I am for starting this craziness. 

The official word count as of right this second is 28,457.  And for all you non-math people out there, that means that I have fallen behind, and am currently trying to claw my way back on schedule.  I knew this was going to be a challenge, but I think I underestimated my business this month (which was just stupid of me).  However, I'm not giving up!  One way or another, this sucker is getting done.  I may be scraping the bottom of the motivation barrel, but I'm going to push through, even if it kills me! (Okay, not even if it kills me...this is a novel we're talking about...calm down)

Speaking of motivation/inspiration, I would like to share with you some things that rev my writing engine, to give you just a little glimpse into how my mind works during this process (Warning: my mind is a twisted, confusing maze of nonsense that can both terrify and baffle...proceed with caution).

First off, music!  Most authors will have a specific playlist, song, or album that they set on repeat as they are working.  For me, most of the time I don't actually like music to be playing as I write because it either causes me to break out into song, dance, or kickboxing, none of which cause me to be very productive.  However, every once and awhile, I do need to listen to something to spark the motivation, because when I think of my story, I think of it as a movie...and every good movie has a soundtrack.  For the trilogy, it was Evanescence all day, ever day (I was in middle school, and it was the 90's...back off).  For this series, I have stumbled upon a few songs that hype me up, but one in particular is really sticking out (this week, anyway).  Fallout Boy's My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up).  There's a really great scene in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, where this song is playing during a really awesome obstacle course scene.  Ever since I saw that, I've been addicted to the song, and every time I listen to it, I want to create scenes just as awesome as the Percy Jackson one.  We'll see if it lasts, but I can listen to that on repeat over and over again without getting sick of it.

Second, movie trailers!  This one might be just me, but watching movie trailers, especially epic movie trailers, is super effective for kicking my butt into gear.  Again, because I envision my stories in move form as I write them, I like to try and imagine what the trailer would be like, which then makes me want to get it written to increase its chances of actually being made into a movie in the distant future.  It's a stretch, but it works!

Third, other books!  Currently, its the A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones).  SO AWESOME!!  Except I'm kind of stuck in A Feast for Crows, which is by far the slowest of the books because none of the really great characters are even in it!  But, that's not the point.  The really great thing about this series is that it has the TV show to accompany it.  When I first started reading it, however, I immediately felt inadequate as a fantasy writer, but now I'm trying to up my game and improve my own writing because of it.  Not that I will EVER be up to George R.R. Martin's
 standards, but he makes me work to be a better writer myself.  Still good.

At the end of the day, though, it's the fact that I want the story told that keeps driving me to write it.  I have this thing all bottle up inside me, and it's begging to be released.  That's the real reason I'm fighting my way through this (that, and I hate not finishing things).  I won't stop until the story is fully told.

Stay tuned for more updates as the month winds itself down.  There will probably be a few yet in the last few days as I drive myself insane trying to get this project done.  If any of you have any suggestions for inspiration, or want to help me by pumping me up, leave me a little something down in the comments section.  Please and thank you!

Until next time,

E. K. Broich

Friday, April 11, 2014

NaNoWriMo April Challenge

It took FOREVER but I finally managed to get this sucker posted.  Originally, I had planned on putting it up on the 8th, but due to technical difficulties (curse you Movie Maker!), it is getting posted now.  Enjoy! 

*Update as of 4/11/2014 at 12:08pm: Official word count = 18,848 (word count subject to change at any given minute due to my own motivation, of lack thereof)

Want to try one of the month-long challenges?  Visit the NaNoWriMo Website to learn more!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Introducing "To Anoera and Beyond..."

When I was fourteen years old, I was watching my cousin play a video game...and I was bored (I wanted to play).  It was one of those tournament fighting games that doesn't have a real storyline, so, in my boredom, I made one up for some of the characters.  As the story began developing in my head, I began to write down some of the details.  Then I started typing it out.  Eventually, I was planning a whole trilogy, and so The Guardians of Light was born.  I finished the first book, The Betrayer, in a year (Christmas break to Christmas break), and then had kind of a "now what?" moment.  I knew I wanted to publish it, but didn't know how to do that, so I started doing some research.  What I found out was I had pretty much no chance of publication without an agent...and at the time, I was to impatient to find an agent (I'm still pretty impatient).  And then I discovered self-publishing.  It was a lot more work, but I thought it would be worth it.  So, I set about preparing the first book for publishing.  I edited it, and had others edit it as well.  I found a print-on-demand company that I thought would solve all my publishing problems (they had a dog for a mascot at the time, which really drew me).  I learned how to draw (kind of) so that I could design the cover and illustrations myself.  I did all this while maintaining a very busy high school career (volleyball, speech, mock trial, drama, 4-H, golf...the list goes on).  In the end, it took me four years before the book was
ready, and I finally self-published it when I was eighteen.  I thought that would be the hardest part, and the rest would just fall into place.  I was very, VERY wrong.

I had no marketing skills, and had no platform from which to launch any kind of marketing strategy.  I was young, inexperienced, and had entered into a world I wasn't really prepared for.  I went to some book talks, and had a signing at my school, but I was basically flailing around in the dark.  Then I just kind of...gave up.  College started, and life became more demanding.  I continued writing, continued working on the other two books, but the fire that had led me to publishing the first one died a bit.  The print on demand method was expensive, and I wasn't making any money.  It was another four years before I came to my next big decision...I was going to look for an agent.

I started my agent hunt in the fall of 2013, after going through the first book and editing everything again.  I'm still looking, and have done extensive updates to the original manuscript, filling in some plot-holes, and maturing the story.  I've done a lot of growing up since I first wrote The Betrayer, so it needed to grow up a bit too.  I've learned a lot more in the ten years I've been doing this, and have even considered giving self-publishing another chance if an agent doesn't respond (it's proving difficult to get someone to represent a high-fantasy book in a dystopian saturated market).  This blog will be my outlet and my platform.  Hopefully, through this, I am able to share the world of The Guardians with a wider audience, and to receive feedback from the people interested in exploring it.  So, I hope you stick around for the journey.  It's been a long one already, but now it's really going to get interesting.

E. K. Broich