Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Tag Archives: NaNo13

Axis 95/11 print-out from Lulu.com

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As part of the NaNoWriMo reward program you could send a manuscript to Lulu and get a “free” hardcover first edition out of it, just paying for postage. Here are some pictures of Axis 95/11 as it came out, compulsory typo on the back cover and all XD

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NaNoWriMo 2013 (2): After

The last 1500 or so words of NaNo this year have been dragging and slow. Yes, I am closing NaNo today, even if I have a couple of days left. This is the first year since 2009 that I only work on one story, and I guess I could even start something else right now and keep counting, but I don’t really feel up to such a thing. It would be just for two days and I have a couple of open things that need attention. I particularly want to go back to Kokeshi although truth be told right now I draw a blank regarding that one. But I am blaming on sleep deprivation XD

I have finished The Shikigami of Blood , clocking in at 86175 words according to the word processor, a few more according to the NaNoWriMo validation scheme. The timeline I had reworked previously this year has worked 99.99% well. I found two inconsistencies, both of them in The Shikigami of Night (book 5), and one of them was a note of “move this scene!!” right now, just after that comment I have another one reading “why did I want to move this, it fits awesomely for Blood. The other one was Azusa popping in Osaka when she was still in Beppu, but that can easily be cut away.

Writing-wise, here we have the stats for this year (like every year, click for bigger):
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And here the comparison with the previous attempts:
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Not bad for running on a few months-old timeline and without October work on it XD (never mind being ill and miserable for most of the month). It is the second most productive NaNo, wordcount-wise, but not story-wise, and not only because I only worked on one novel. Here’s a list of tasks that arise now:

  1. Life is going to need at least three more chapters after this (one of them was written in Power, but I’ll get to Power later on) and a complete change of the epilogue.
  2. Chance should get another couple of chapters too, towards the end, to cover the New Years party
  3. Power is going to be completely rewritten. While that part I had clear before, now I have an idea about how to get around to doing it
  4. Night and Trust will get minor adaptations. Especially Night needs a few POV changes
  5. All five previous books need a rework on the scene separation

Throughout Blood I took a complete re-evaluation of the Shirota Kyoko character, and I have found that I have enjoyed writing her – although a few times I feel I have been a bit repetitive on her thoughts, but it is a first draft, that should be polished later on. Her decisions towards her personal life surprised me, but I find now that they make sense, according to how her character has developed. It also helped explain Kwang Ho and their dynamics.

nano13winbanner I have really enjoyed revisiting the scenes that have a lot of different point of views – the rescue in Tokyo, the hospital scenes in Hiroshima and Osaka. Once again Kazuki has been the easiest character to write, but some others were very difficult to get in – like Hiro, who gets a lot of phone time, but little actual… being there.

Finally, character-wise, there is Terazuma. He will carry the responsibility of the second part of Power, as he will be the voice of the stranger, the newcomer. His background working for a more traditional yakuza family should work to underline how the Shirota manor and the Osaka Shikigami are “unique”. He should also provide explanations of the mechanics of the gang on a wider level than we had till now. You know why? Because good secretaries should be ruling the world.

All in all, finishing Blood has given me a huge feeling of “OMG so much work to do!!” rather than one of “OMG done, yay!!!” Story of my life XD

NaNoWriMo 2013 (1): Somewhere in-between

nano13-during It’s November again and even if I skipped the prep post, yes I am doing NaNoWriMo. This time, apparently, all the bacteria in the world seem to be tagging along. A very bad sinusitis (diagnosis #4) has left me with coughing, fever, headaches, face-aches, chest-aches and I will not go into the state of my nose nor the amount of tissues involved in my daily routine at the moment (as I write these lines I’ve fished out the last tissue on a pack of 100). I am in general feeling rather miserable. The first few days of NaNo when only coughing was involved went very, very well. Lately however, it’s hard to even concentrate on the screen, so productivity has plummeted down. I’m rather fed up with the situation and the illness, considering that I have been ill for seven weeks now.

Sinusitis aside, this year I am working on the final book of the Osaka Shikigami, The Shikigami of Blood. Take “final” with a grain of salt, though, as this will mean that at least one third of The Shikigami of Life will need rewriting for point-of-view consistency and continuity. When I started writing Life, I would have never expected it to become a series. The Shikigami of Blood wraps up the whole global look at the Osaka Shikigami gang, at least that is the idea I am working on.

Many things have changed, but probably the character of Shirota has been the greatest change. From a ‘token’ female that aimed to be a strong character to an actual strong female character. I should not be surprised though considering the transformation Okonogi Azusa from The Shikigami of Trust underwent. She has changed in the basics, my view on her – and accordingly, her views on the world – have switched, and her story has changed accordingly.

That being said, I have to mention that I am aware that the Osaka Shikigami universe is a very romanticised view on the yakuza. I think that Axis 95/11 is a more accurate, less idealised portrayal. If I were to just have to choose an adjective, I would say that it is much more brutal.

I enjoy the Osaka Shikigami verse though, although it drives me crazy sometimes too. It is like a puzzle to put together, and all in all is just one big story taken together into six volumes. I also have to say that I am very happy that Shirota turned out to be female in the end, but even when Blood is written, the story will be far from being done.

Let’s see what the future brings…