Day thirteen and I am going a little nuts. Well a little more than usual !!!!

You might be wondering how NaNoWriMo is going ??

I would have shown you a photo of me writing…but I look a little scary these days. Too much caffeine, late nights, hating my writing and a lot of head banging will do that !!!

It has its moments. I am really struggling with not being able to edit as I go. It is a very bad habit I hope NaNoWriMo will cure me of…but I am really finding it hard.

I feel like everything coming out is crap…which I know most first drafts are. And all I want to do is work on it until it is better. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr…habits are very hard things to break.

So here is some more of Chapter I. The next excerpt will have someone going over a cliff…who will it be and will they survive is the BIG question.


Chapter I Scenes VI & VII

Zak approaches, he is alone. “Other than the customary inhabitants, we are on our own here.”


“Our cautious friend is laying out a warning system.” he stares up at the mountain. “I want to go with you.”


“Deveron. I know what you seek.”

“You do?”

“You are not the only one Father has told the stories to.” I do not tell him that they are not just stories for me.

“Then you also know what waits on the mountain. Not everyone who seeks the Phoenix comes down again.” And now I do not tell him that anyone with me when I find the Phoenix King is in even more danger.

“If I am old enough to be here, then I think I am old enough for that as well.” His eyes bore into mine, and I realise that he is now as tall as I.

“I promised Father that you would return. I intend to keep my word Zak.” I understand his eagerness for this, his first real adventure. “If I allow you this, your death will likely follow.” I hope, foolishly perhaps, to make him understand. “No-one is allowed into their realm, I must go alone.” There were only deadly mistakes from this point, how could I make him see that.

“I will not be a disappointment to you.”

“I am not worried about disappointment.” Evijan arrives at the lake as the other men set about making camp for the night. He carries with him two large water birds slung over his shoulders, and tosses them to Zak. “I speak to you no longer as your brother Zarek, but as your commander.”


“Enough. You stay behind. Speak no more of this.”


“We are quite alone here,” Evijan announces, as he sets about making a fire. “Time to make yourself useful,” he nods to Zak to sit by him, hoping to distract him I know. “Jareth is tracking a herd of hippus.” These small grey animals are equally at home on land or in the water. Their tough round bodies make them seem slow, but when threatened their speed makes them difficult to catch. Jareth is one of a few hunters who can boast of bringing one down. Their flesh is a delicacy, and my mouth waters in anticipation of the forthcoming meal.

Zak glares at me as he throws himself  on to a log beside Evijan. Eventually, everyone returns to the camp, Jareth, Adsel, Ryder, Cato, Gye, and Nils return, their kills hanging from poles they carry between them and we sit together in a sociable peace. Each face is a portrait of a part of myself, and I wonder how many of these bold companions will return home. Throughout the meal my brother remains silent, never looking in my direction. Evijan watches him as closely as I. When Zak is finished he nudges him slightly and smiles in Jareth’s direction.

“Did you purposely seek out the smallest of the herd? Or did they by chance hear you coming – oh grand hunter of the Opinouwi? Evijan is smiling at me as he taunts Jareth. “Lucky for those of us with hearty appetites, others were able to provide.” I watch as Jareth’s eyes narrow. “Perhaps I should…” Jareth pounces and Evijan is sent sprawling in the dirt.

“Perhaps you should keep your thoughts inside that minute brain of yours…friend.” Jareth sits atop of Evijan, their arms flailing as each tries to gain the advantage. I see Zak smile for the first time since our discussion, and silently thank both men. It troubles me that I must now force our minds back to our task.

“Quiet,” I hold up my hands to silence the men. Immediately all are still, and I began to outline my preparations. “Should I not return within eight days Evijan, you are to lead them on. Wraith will give you aid in finding another way.”

“There is no other way Deveron,” Evijan shakes his head.

“Then you shall have to make one. You cannot go into the Devil’s Den if I do not return…and you must not come seeking me. I want your word. Eight days and you all leave. “Understood?” He does not look pleased.

“If two of us were to go…” Zak begins.

“No. I go alone. Give me your word Evijan.” Zak’s eyes flash in the firelight as he lowers them.

“Arrogant fool,” he protests before walking away.


“You have my word, but I trust it will not be needed,” he reaches out grasping my arm. “He will be alright.” His hold stops me from following my brother.

“He is too impetuous,” I silently wish I had been able to sway my father from allowing him to come on this journey. “I should have made him stay behind. He is too young, too eager for adventure. He will take too many risks.”

“He reminds me of someone I used to know,” he says, lifting his brows. “I shall just have to keep my eyes on him. And use my persuasive manner. Do not worry. Zak is like a brother to me.” I stare at the hand still firmly grasping my arm.

“Leave him,” Evijan can read my thoughts almost as well as Wraith. “Allow him to master his feelings.” Zak stays just outside the firelight, and my sleep is uneasy.


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  1. Oh and if any of you have any writing tips…please send them my way. I need help to keep me committed. And I do want to hear your opinion so far. Where do I need to look first to improve when I start redrafting? All thoughts on this are gratefully accepted and listened to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Some days I really like my writing, other days I think I’m wasting my time and I should just tear my novel up into tiny bits and watch as they float away with the wind. The joys of being a writer. Stay strong Jo!


    1. I want to do just that. tear it up and hope it blows back at me actually looking like the writer knows what they are doing.

      I am really struggling with some of it. Mostly I just HATE it !!!!


      1. I know that feeling. I’ve been told to keep plugging along and it and it’ll all work out in the end. So keep plugging along!


        1. I have never understood that expression…plugging along…Wiki Answers has the best I have found so far:

          The verb form of ‘plug’ meaning “to close tightly (a hole), to fill” is first recorded 1630. The phrase ‘plug away’ derives from naval bombardmental warfare, precise era unknown.

          In action, all effort was directed at sinking opponents until victory was (fairly) certain. Damage control was ignored until results were decisive.

          In a ‘losing’ battle, the enemy was welcome to try to save the ship, but, it was considered a minor victory of a sort when ones ship sunk, failing to fall into enemy hands.

          In a victory, once the enemy’s defeat was certain, then, and only then, were hands released from their aggressive responsibilities to repair standing and running rigging, haul the wounded below and begin damage control and ‘plug away’ any underwater shot holes.

          The The Phrase Finder says this:

          The Oxford English Dictionary includes the use that you refer to: (s.v. plug, v.) “5. intr. To work steadily away at something; to persevere doggedly; to plod, to move steadily. Freq. with away, along, etc.”

          The OED gives examples from 1867 forward, but only in 1900 goes it find an example exactly like what you have in mind. I don’t see the connection with plugging something up or putting a plug in something. There might be a connection with old, worn-out horses that are sometimes called plugs, but which way the connection goes I know not.

          Seems no-one really knows do they ???


    1. Oh Jennifer I have my doubts !!!!! Everything seems so awful when I read it back. I am going to be seriously needing some honest critique and help to get it in to shape !!!!
      Thanks for the encouragement – you have no idea how much it means to me.


  3. Jo, I don’t believe it – we’re practically tied on word count! (but I’m ahead of you by three whole words, nya nya 😉 ) Hang in there and keep those fingers typing.


    1. Had a headache for a few days…so you are probably more than 3 ahead of me now Sharon. Going to try to catch up later…but the computer isn’t helping it.


  4. Jo, Keep the faith…The first (steps) are the hardest…having something to work with is much better than just sitting and thinking about it…full steam ahead!!


    1. Awwwwwww…thansk Madhu. That’s because I am only putting out the first parts that I have already reworked somewhat…hehehe
      Chapter 1 is from my edit as you go days.


  5. 🙂 I know you can do this. And if not, then so what? At least you have gotten more done on it, right? Sometimes you *need* to step away from the story and let it “gel”. Go somewhere new, experience something new, and you may be able to come back to it with fresh perspectives and ideas. Are you letting the characters lead or do you know where you want them to go? If you don’t have any idea where they’re going, it will be a lot harder to get them there. I love the easy companionship and rapport you have between your characters. The dialogue doesn’t feel forced, and that is a VERY good thing, and hard to do! So…take comfort in the fact that what you’re putting out here is NOT crap (even though it may seem like it to you) and go look at something with fresh eyes – go “recharge” that creative battery of yours, eh? 🙂


    1. I know where they are going. But I am the type of writer who lets the characters take me there – to the end. There is a loose plot, and definite things that are fixed in my mind that need to occur. But I have to ride along with them and let them take me there. It has just been a little topsy turvy in my life these last few weeks…hard to concentrate on this with all that is happening. Add to that the fact that both laptops died. It has been interesting. I don’t see me making the 50,000. Yet that’s okay. Because I got a lot out of it anyway. I got started again for one. A biggee !!! I was really stuck with the book. secondly I taught myself to write without editing. I am going to make my own month. DecWriMo…and maybe finish it. Which is what was the purpose of it all anyway.


  6. Your characters love you and are grateful for where you are taking them as well as how. They know you’re there and from what I’ve read so far they agree with me, you’re doing a beautiful job. Keep ’em happy by writing when you can, but don’t force them or you. 🙂


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