Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

The Astral Chronicles – an Introduction

Hello and welcome to the Astral Chronicles! Before diving into the story, I thought I would give a bit of a history and an introduction.

A Little History

What has become the Astral Chronicles began as a successful NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) story, as in, I made it to 50,000 words. Immediately afterwards, as I imagine a lot of NaNoWriMo authors do, I reflected back on my large body of work and realized, though I had met my storytelling goal, I had done so with a minimum of characters and without fleshing out the world much. I proceeded to start to do so…

That was in 2003.

Since then, I have been world-building. Brainstorming. The story became the setting for a D&D campaign I ran. It grew and blossomed and changed some. I have an outline. The characters I had originally written about became secondary characters – very early on I thought up a new main character.

Somewhere in there, I started blogging, too. And got back into reading comics. Met a bunch of writers and great people online. Looked at what they were doing, what I was doing, wondering about writing. Because writing is why I got into blogging, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do… but I’ve realized, even more than that, I think maybe writing comics is what I want to do.

Unfortunately, that also includes drawing comics, or at least it means so for me right now without an artist to back this project up. I had not drawn for a long time when I picked it back up to explore doing this story as a comic. I’ve explored working with technology a bit. I’ve sketched and doodled. Is it perfect? No. Great? I dunno. Mine? Yes. And having my own style for it is at least something I can bring to the table.

Now that we have a full website where housing a webcomic makes sense, it seemed like the time to finally get this started. I’m aiming for one a week, and looking at Thursdays for that. If there’s enough support and call for it, I could work on expanding that over time.

So that’s where I’m at now – a decent story, a number of characters and settings, and for now you’re stuck with my drawing (which should improve with time!). Which means now, let me tell you a bit about that setting and story!

An Introduction

The Astral Chronicles began its life with me wondering what it could be like to explore the whole history of a world, from a fantasy beginning and towards a more modern and even science fiction later period. To tease a bit about how I was accomplishing this, the working title originally was Immortal Coil

The story opens in a modern-day sort of setting, but it is not our world. There are similarities – and there are differences. There’s a whole group of characters to meet, then, centered around a place – Astral. That word, astral, has a lot to do with the psychic and the thought of another plane of reality, and that is no mistake! The thing that’s maybe hardest to say in the work itself, so I guess I’ll say it here: this is a society with a mild level of psychic ability, that people are born with, and that as a thing is taken for granted in the same way we might take something like an opposable thumb for granted. So especially for technology, we have interfaces and such that interact in a certain way, and they would have a different way of interacting.

I also think there are things I want the audience to know that society in general does not know, because the audience is going to be getting to see the whole history – while in the modern day, much of that history has been lost. As such, you have both science and religion trying to find and present their view on what that history is and was. I wanted that tension as well, the thought that science and religion might both have some good points – and that they both might have some things wrong and some prejudices that are going to cause trouble.

I hope you enjoy! I’ll be happy to join in conversation and to take critiques. I’m sure I will improve with time, but the time to get started is now – so check back next week for the beginning of the Astral Chronicles.


To NaNoWriMo or not to NaNoWriMo…

Editor’s Note: this is by one of our contributors. David is currently contemplating and planning on a modified NaNoWriMo himself – where a picture is worth a 1000 words. Literally.

I feel like at least fifty percent of the time when I mention to people that I write/want to be an author/need to work on my writing discipline, they ask me if I do NaNoWriMo. The answer, until this year, has been a hard pass.

This is the first year I’ve even kicked around the idea. Which I’m realizing I’ll need to settle on in…like…three days. For once, I’m not employed or in school. I’m currently not employed because I want to give my writing a fair shot…and now that I’m more settled into our new apartment, I definitely could. My husband is at work all day, and I could literally sit with my lovebird on my shoulder and just write. I even have a story I’ve been developing that I’m certain I could easily start a draft on. I’ve been meaning to force myself to write daily and make it an actual routine, much like a 9-5 job, and I think this would be a great way to get into that habit and schedule.

Yet even with all of those wonderful positives for why I should do it, I’m hesitant to try.

I think I don’t like the social and competition aspects. Just me, personally, but I hate talking with people about what I’m working on. My husband peeks over my shoulder and asks what I’m doing and I clam up. I’ve tried discussing ideas with him before, and I turn into this shy awkward creature who literally buries my head under blankets and pillows. I realize that’s something I need to work past, especially if I want to publish novels and have anyone anywhere read them (which I do), but it’s harder for me than I thought, even with someone who loves me unconditionally and supports me being a writer. The idea of having strangers cheering me on while writing is off putting. The idea of having other writers judge my work in discussion while they work on The Hunger Games 2.0 gives me anxiety, and I obviously have a bit of a judgment issue with the idea of talking with other people about their work. Plus, I’m an awful cheerleader. ‘Go Sportsball’ or whatever…

Also, I don’t feel like I want to “win” at writing 50,000 words. It doesn’t guarantee getting published, it’s not a full novel and it will still take several months if not longer to edit and flush it all out… Getting a badge online that says “you won NaNoWriMo” is not exactly a slot on the New York Times bestsellers list. I’m not an incredibly competitive person, and I don’t think I’ll want to be until I actually am competing for a spot on the NYT bestsellers list (move over The Bible, I’m coming for your longest running streak record!)

I think a bit of me is curious to try it though. As I said, maybe it would actually create the discipline of “writing is my job and I do it from 10-3 everyday.” Worst case scenario, I make an account, try it for a week, find out it really isn’t for me, and I don’t get a participation/victory badge. Boo Hoo.

Does anyone else do NaNoWriMo? Any thoughts, advice, disagreeing ideas? Any random comments on how Mona Lisa Sapperstein is the woooooooooorst?

Weekend Coffee Share – Birthday Edition

Birthday Coffee

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it’s my birthday!

As has been my birthday tradition, today I get to write about whatever I want. In many respects, this differs in no way from any other day on the blog, but whatever.

So I would probably tell you about my plans going forward. Life plans. Dream-accomplishing plans. Read on for those – I’d love some input!

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Geek 501 – On NaNoWriMo

You may have heard of it. You may have participated in it. You may be wondering what the heck I am talking about. NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month. Well, it’s an international thing, and novel ends up being taken pretty loosely… but it is definitely a writing month. Happening in November every year, NaNoWriMo is a way to get started on writing. Useful for someone who does a lot of writing, or for someone just getting into writing, or someone who always wanted to write… Basically, it’s a great idea.

This is just a bit of an explanation of NaNoWriMo, so that if you, or someone you know if doing NaNoWriMo you know what’s going on. And, if you’re considering doing NaNoWriMo yourself… it’s a little late to get going, but early enough in the month if you put a lot of time in, you could do it! And of course, some of my thoughts as someone who’s done NaNoWriMo, and is doing it this year.

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On On Being Nineteen by Stephen King

Today is my birthday, so I figure that means I get to write about what I want. Holly pointed out that I basically already do that, so maybe that doesn’t mean much.

The GunslingerOf course, being able to pick just anything to write about is not the easiest thing. It’d be easier to just write something basic. Just another post. Or else, to write just a completely geeking-out post about one of my favorite things. A lot of these ideas went through my head. But that got me thinking of a post I’ve been wanting to write, but I never knew what context to put it in. Stephen King’s concept of nineteen.

I’m turning 29, so I’m a decade out from nineteen myself. And yet, the further I get from it, the more that King seems to be right. And a birthday is just the thing to put into context this idea. So read on, and join me in considering that most interesting of ages, 19.

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