Thursday, October 3, 2013

NaNo Revisited: 2006, the Birth of the Bad Witch

In the beginning, there was NaNoWriMo, and it was good.

I've blogged before about my NaNo journey. I was even featured on the official NaNo blog once (there was so much happy dancing about that, you guys). So I won't rehash the story again here...I'll just sum up. I discovered NaNo as it kicked off in 2006. I had no plot--really I had nothing, other than the idea that the heroine was called into the restaurant where she worked to hear the bad news that someone important to her had been murdered.

50,000 words later, the first draft of Blood, Smoke and Mirrors was born. That was 2006. It was contracted by Samhain Publishing in 2009, and released in 2010. Note the few years in between first draft and "OMG PEOPLE ARE BUYING MY BOOK!". There was so much revising. So. Much. Revising. I joined a critique group. I joined RWA. I took online workshops and went to conferences. I revised some more. I harassed people into beta reading for me. It was a long journey to publication, but I made it.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

I turned around to examine the rest of my temporary prison, and saw an enormous golden eye staring at me, less than ten feet away from where I stood.

I did what any sensible witch would do in my circumstance. I screamed like a scared little girl.

The eye blinked. Once, twice, and then shifted as the dragon turned its head toward me, regarding me with both golden eyes. “I could have eaten you, you know.”

I nodded numbly and stammered, “Thank you for not doing that.” I knew dragons existed in Faerie, though I’d never seen one before. Dragons are reclusive as a rule and tend to guard their privacy ferociously, so only the overly brave or overly stupid seek them out on purpose. The creature was huge, taking up a good portion of the room with its bulk. Black scales covered its body, and leathery wings were folded against its back. Smoke puffed out of its nostrils for a moment, and my stomach leapt in panic.

“I only eat virgins though.”

I stared at the dragon in disbelief, feeling the inexplicable urge to defend my past sexual history. My mouth worked as I struggled to find an appropriate response, and I thought I saw a glint of humor in its golden gaze.

“Oh,” I managed. “Why am I here?”

“Because you wish to be Titania.”

“Well, yes, I mean why am I here in this room?”

“Because you wish to be Titania.”

“Right…” I suppose I should have expected that and just been grateful it wasn’t picking bits of Catherine out of its teeth. Turning around, I surveyed the room again, seeing no obvious exit or entrance.


Blood, Smoke and Mirrors is available in print and ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and a whole bunch of other sites listed here. Next week I'll be discussing outlining, story mapping, and other fun things I do to plot a novel. And I'll talk about my second NaNo win, and the Bad Witch book that never was.

Hey, fellow NaNoers, want to be my writing buddy? This is me!

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