Friday, 16 November 2018

NaNoWriMo: Week Three

Welcome to my third NaNoWriMo update!

Did you all have a good week? We spent the beginning of the week watching THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE on Netflix. It was such an addictive show! We couldn't stop watching, kept exchanging theories and throwing around possibilities. It was fun. And OMFG, what a fantastic story full of creepy vibes, excellent characters, and so much heartbreak. Great writing. Loved it.

In the end, like hubby said, the real haunting is how it infects the viewer. We were OBSESSED. Or is that, possessed? LOL.

My daughter had less shifts this week, but I still spent a lot of the time working on my WIP. The words and story were coming fast, and all I wanted to do was get everything out of my head and on to the screen. 😳

Anyway, here's how the word count went:
  • Monday: 38,012 (added 3513w)
  • Tuesday: 41,533 (added 3521w)
  • Wednesday: 45,609 (added 4076w)
  • Thursday: 51,380 (added 5771w)
  • Friday: 52,731 (added 1351w)

See my Friday total? That's right! Today, I passed the NaNoWriMo 50k goal AND also finished the first draft. Yay.

When I started, I wasn't sure how long the first draft would be, but I'm very happy with where/how it went. The story reached a conclusion I'm really happy with, and what ended up on the page was even more involved than I expected. The complications were twistier, relationships totally toxic, the creep factor darker, the imagery freakier, and how the mystery turned out very satisfying.

Like I mentioned before, the way I wrote Madness was a challenge. There are two POVs that complement each other and I had to do some pretty tricky writing to connect all the dots. During revision I'll be able to sharpen everything, strengthen the foreshadowing and pepper even more clues.

But for now, I'm VERY happy with the first draft. Very excited about finishing another story idea that's been circling my brain for months.

Now it's time to take a brain break, and to let the last dregs of this story spill into my mind so I can add stuff to my Revision List. 😃

So, what else did I get up to? Oh yeah, because I loved the TV show SO MUCH, I picked up THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson. This is third time I started it, and this time I'm really enjoying it. It's a strange thing because I've tried reading this book twice, and kept putting it aside. But this time, I'm SO into it.

Maybe I needed the show to truly appreciate this book. Whatever it is, I don't care. I'm halfway through and can't wait to see how it ends.

Well, that's about it for now. I'm looking forward to taking the weekend off with hubby, and enjoy the fact that I just wrote another book.

Have a great one!

Monday, 12 November 2018

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA #1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Robert Hack

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and finding out it was based on this comic book series, I wanted to check it out. So when I found all 8 issues at the Kindle store for a bargain price (99c each) I HAD to buy them!

The story starts with Edward and Diana Spellman. A warlock and a human who fall in love and have a baby. But for some (unknown at the moment) reason, they have to give her up to Edward's sisters, Hilda and Zelda.

The aunties move to Greendale and raise Sabrina in this small town. Here, she gets a familiar--Salem the cat--and goes to a human school. Her mysterious cousin also lives with them and helps her with a lot of the mischief she finds herself in. In this case, wanting the affections of Harvey Kinkle.

But what she doesn't know is that an old foe of her parents has come back, and is ready to seek revenge...

The artwork in this issue--by Robert Hack--is beautiful, and creepy. So very freaky. And I like how the pages are set out. There's quite a bit of narrative and dialogue in this book, which is setting everything up really well.

I also like that it's set in the 60s, and that although the story is very familiar, it's already different from the show. Even the way Sabrina looks defers, as well the lore about familiars.

This issue also contains a classic Sabrina story from Archie's Madhouse Issue #22 (October 1962), which according to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa happens to be her first appearance.

Oh, and the cover of this book has a real Flowers in the Attic vibe.

I really enjoyed this!

Friday, 9 November 2018

NaNoWriMo: Week Two

Welcome to my second NaNoWriMo update! 😀

How was your week? I spent most of it typing up a storm. Well, there weren't any actual storms in my story, but there is quite a bit of drama, a lot of creepy stuff, and some pretty screwed-up imagery that's so vivid I keep getting lost in the words. And can't stop typing.

My daughter picked up some extra shifts at work, but was home at the beginning of the week, so I planned several 3k-word days. So I could write during the morning, and then take the afternoon off. BUT, once I got stuck into it, there was no point in halting the flow.

If the words are coming and the scene is unfolding in my head, it's best to keep going.

Anyway, here's how I went this week:
  • Monday: 14,425 (added 4289w)
  • Tuesday: 19,244 (added 4819w)
  • Wednesday: 23,395 (added 4151w)
  • Thursday: 30,203 (added 6808w)
  • Friday: 34,499 (added 4296w)

As you can see, I've passed the halfway point. In both NaNoWriMo word target AND my story. I'm still not sure how many words the first draft will be, but definitely somewhere between 50-60k. I'm hoping for 55k, but whatever it takes is cool with me.

The actual story is turning out even better than I hoped it would. It's creepy, intense and sometimes confusing--which is on purpose. LOL. There's also more drama than I expected, and some interactions between characters I didn't expect.

Madness is turning out to be a very cool challenge that won't stop after the first draft. For this novel to work, the revision process will help tighten the vision I have.

But that's enough about the story. 😁

Hubby and I watched THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA on Netflix and it was SO awesome. I enjoyed it a lot. It's dark, freaky, brutal and fun. The character journeys were interesting and impressive. Loved how things were tied up, yet helped setup the next season. Hope there'll be more!

I liked it so much I picked up 8 issues of the comic book series from the Kindle store because they were on special. Very cool.

I also read an intriguing book called ANNIHILATION. Been meaning to watch the movie for a while but I wanted to read the book first. Now, we can.

Well, that's about it for another week. I'm mentally drained right now, so I'm looking forward to taking the weekend off.

I'm sure I'll still dream and think about my WIP because the story is coming together and racing towards the finish line. But no actual writing will take place.

Have a great weekend!

ELEVATION by Stephen King

Castle Rock is a small town, where word gets around quickly. That's why Scott Carey wants to confide only in his friend Doctor Bob Ellis about his strange condition: he's losing weight, without getting thinner, and the scales register the same when he is in his clothes or out of them, however heavy they are. 

 Scott also has new neighbours, who have opened a 'fine dining experience' in town, although it's an experience being shunned by the locals; Deidre McComb and her wife Missy Donaldson don't exactly fit in with the community's expectations. And now Scott seems trapped in a feud with the couple over their dogs dropping their business on his lawn. Missy may be friendly, but Deidre is cold as ice. 

 As the town prepares for its annual Thanksgiving 12k run, Scott starts to understand the prejudices his neighbours face and he tries to help. Unlikely alliances form and the mystery of Scott's affliction brings out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

It's no secret that I'm a Stephen King fan, so of course I couldn't wait to read his latest novella.

Scott Carey lives in the small town of Castle Rock. He's divorced but has a comfortable job working from home, and shares his house with a cat. He also has a peculiar problem. One he decides to share with his friend, a retired doctor.

Scott is losing weight, but still looks the same. No matter what he's wearing, or not wearing, the numbers on the scale don't change. Even when he's holding something!

His other problem is that his new neighbour's dogs keep pooping in his yard. And their owners happen to be a new couple in town--a married gay couple who is finding it hard to get their restaurant business off the ground because of close-minded fools.

But Scott's had enough of staying quiet, and decides to take a stand. While using his condition to his advantage, he hopes for a positive outcome...

He's done it again! King took a simple but mysterious seemingly medical condition, and turned it into an emotional story about friendship, tolerance and acceptance. 

The way so many of today's issues casually form some of the narrative is done well, smoothly layered into the main character's troubled condition. There is a message here, but it doesn't slap you in the face. Instead, it follows one man's decision to change, to deal with bigotry in an honest way. 

I also really liked how Scott speaks up when others judge without thinking, or bothering to get to know who they're badmouthing.

Whenever I pick up a Stephen King book, I know it's going to affect me in a lot of ways. And this story did that. It also swept me away to Castle Rock, and beyond.

Elevation is a short and sweet story that, in typical King style, hooked me in from the beginning. The mystery at the core of the novella is intriguing and freaky, which leads to a heartbreaking conclusion. The way everything turned out was bittersweet, because although it ends on a sad note, it's also nice because of the connections left in his wake.

And I HAVE to mention how beautiful this book is. It's hardback, the cover is lovely, the inside is pretty, and the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are lovely.

Can't wait to see what comes next for this very awesome author.

Elevation, October 2018, ISBN 9781473691520, Hodder & Stoughton

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