Saturday, 27 June 2015

#WatchMeWrite: New WIP, feat. charming boys and steel-hearted princesses

#WatchMeWrite is a campaign started by E. R. Warren and Samantha Chaffin, wherein writers record their process, speed it up, add music, and show it to the rest of the world. Here are all past #WatchMeWrite videos!

Exams are over, winter summer is coming, and it's time for a new project. I'm jumping on the Camp NaNo bandwagon — still not sure whether I'll actually sign up on the site, but hey, I'm writing in July and that's what counts.

'Tis the season for discussing pantsers and plotters, and to be honest I've always identified with the former. Except for this ms all the ideas just kept spilling out during exam season, and I ended up writing so many character and plot details I decided to just plan. So here we go.

This new WIP is called Matryoshka, and takes place in the same world as my now-shelved ms Shadowplay. Some of the ways I'm framing it:
  • Charming boys and the brave princesses who'd die for them.
  • Two golden-hearted boys in a world of steel-hearted ladies.
  • East meets West. Revenge meets politics. Murder meets mundane. Gunpowder meets everyone.
  • Star Wars if Luke Skywalker went into politics to take down the Emperor.
If that catches your fancy, I'll be sharing bonus scenes in my monthly letter next week to the world's best takeout grasshoppers, plus a chance to read it!

Thoughts on Thomas and Matryoshka? Are you in Camp NaNo?


Twitter-sized takeout:
P.S.: Music for the video was the Rains of Castamere sung by Paola Bennet. I mean, it's a revenge story, how could I not use Castamere?

32 comments:

  1. Eeek, this looks absolutely fabulous! 'Gunpowder meets everyone,' exactly what I want, of course. ;)
    It's so cool to see other people's writing processes. (I'm an absolute pantser. Ha. Maybe I should try character profiles??) I'm also LOVING the music. I was just wondering - what do you use to film your screen?

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    1. Thank you!! Character profiles are great because I don't have to technically plot and be a plotter, but I can predict what my characters do in a particluar situation. And I know, Paola Bennet is a genius.

      I use Quicktime, but it only works for Mac. It's a bit trickier for PCs, I've heard.

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  2. Ooh, this sounds really exciting! I'm a pantser, but I've been working on getting the worldbuilding figured out (so I don't write myself into a hole...again), and detailing the characters a bit before I officially start writing the book! Good luck with Matryoshka!

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    1. Thank you, Precious! And yes, I think most pantsers may not plot out everything in detail, but we still have some things mapped out. Interestingly, though, worldbuilding is never one of my main focuses. Perhaps I should pay more attention to it!

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  3. I like how you laughed when he didn't get the girl, and described him as "not hot," lol. That was funny! The entire story sounds fascinating, and I'm in awe of your planning! Whenever I do such things I lose the will to ever write the project I planned for again, which is disappointing since I did plan it and everything, but I guess planning it feels basically like writing it and then I stop caring. So I'm a little jealous, just because I haven't found a good way to record such things without losing the will to write.

    Anyway, I love the music, a, and b, I really look forward to hearing more about this story, because I am curious! And intrigued. Never forget being intrigued.

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    1. I think half of my writing time is just me laughing at the characters, which is really unfair considering I put them in those situations in the first place. I used to do that too, which is why I've stayed away from planning, but I thought I might give it a stab too. WE SHALL SEE.

      Thank you! There will definitely be a lot of Matryoshka on the blog + newsletter moving forward.

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  4. This story is exactly my type. POLITICS AND GUNPOWDER. Perfect premise. :') I look forward to seeing more of this, maybe in your newsletter or something. But that's up to you. :)

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    1. Aaaah, I'm glad you like it, Jo! There will definitely be more of this in the newsletter -- in fact the one next week, like I mention -- as well as on the blog! :D

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  5. Ahh I LOVE THE SOUND OF THIS. Charming boys. Brave princesses. "Gunpowder meets everyone." This is how I'm feeling now: !!!!!

    I'm not going to join NaNoWriMo this month since June in our country basically means, "Bring on all the exams and shit tons of homework." :/ Good luck, though! I know you can do it. ;D

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    1. THANK YOU AIMEE. I'm glad you like the premise! And my sympathies -- I basically just had a month of that, soooo. But thanks for the luck, and I'm sure you'll find time to write elsewhere!

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  6. Not being a writer, I'm absolutely fascinated by the process authors take. You had me at 'Two golden-hearted boys in a world of steel-hearted ladies.' We always seen the male characters as the stoic ones, YEEEEES! Finally the tables have turned! Love the sped up clip too Alyssa. Love this and thank you so, so much for sharing <3

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    1. I'm glad #WatchMeWrite was an interesting experience for you! And yes, I just love subverting gender roles and tropes. *whispers* Down with Big Brother. Down with the patriarchy. Thanks for dropping by!

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  7. I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS. (For some reason I want to really loudly say "VICTORY IS MINE" but that makes approximately no sense in this context, so.) Anyway I'm so, so glad you're making headway on Matroyshka because OMG. I'm excited. I'm fangirling over your taglines. I was excited when you asked me about Kim, and now that I've actually seen you in character-profile action, I'm 500% MORE excited. It's a problem.

    Pssh, it's the best kind of problem.

    And eeeek Paola Bennet's music makes everything like three times better at the very least, so I applaud your taste ;)

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    1. AAAH THANK YOU. ALSO VICTORY IS OURS. Things don't need to make sense here, because ... well, it's MY blog. Of course things don't make sense. And I'm so glad you're excited (1700% more excited than you were, if my maths isn't too bad XD) Delighted to make such wonderful problems for you :D

      Considering I basically started listening to her music because of your rec, so really we should be praising your music taste. :)

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  8. "Charming boys and the brave princesses who'd die for them" < THIS SOUNDS INTERESTING :D I can't wait for what you come up with real soon! So excited with what you're going to make soon. I'm still debating on joining Camp NaNo this July, but I start school on the 6th and ASDFKJL. But I will try! :D I have a WIP currently on hold, so I'm hoping to get to it for the July session!

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    1. Thank you! The tagline was one of the foundations of my plotting, so I'm glad you like it. And argh, I sympathise -- I feel like NaNo always hits when I'm busy/not writing a first draft. But for once the stars have aligned for me. I hope they do for you as well soon!

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  9. Matryoshka sounds awesome :) I'm not going to do Camp NaNo, I don't have enough time :/

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    1. Thank you! Oh, what a shame, but I'm sure you'll find time elsewhere to write.

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  10. Alright, the video is acting up on me (damn you, bad wifi!), but I will look forward to seeing the extra scenes in the super exclusive takeout newsletter this month. Also: falling head-over-heels for your gorgeous descriptions, as usual. If Professional Blurb-er is a thing, you get the job. ;)

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    1. *sympathy because bad wifi is only second to email losing and not eating pizza/cake* I have so much wonderful stuff planned for the monthly letters, so yay! *rubs hands together* Aww, you flatter me. I'm glad my descriptions intrigue you!

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  11. YES IT CATCHES MY FANCY. And I love that song in the video...ohhhh, eerie minory wonderfulness. I think I'm writing in July? But probably not signing up either. The cabins scare me too much. :O I was going to get started on a new draft, BUT, I think I'll attempt to be a mature and sensible writing and clean up an old draft. (I so prefer writing something new. XD)

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    1. YAY THANK YOU. Also years of learning music theory are clearly wasted on me, but of course minor is the best. *high-fives for loner writers* Writing new drafts ARE so much more fun, but revisions are often more fruitful in the end.

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  12. I thought about doing Camp NaNo this year but ended up deciding against it--I can write first drafts pretty quickly, but I don't like to feel rushed. If that makes any sense...Anyway, your new project looks really cool, and reminds me a bit of The King of Attolia (in that it's a fantasy with a focus on scheming and politics). Can't wait to hear more about it!

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    1. I absolutely get it! Personally, I like to work against a deadline, but I know many people find it too much pressure. I should absolutely read Attolia at some point, since it seems to fall quite close to my preferred writing topics. And you will definitely be hearing more about Matryoshka -- thank you for the interest!

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  13. Ooh, your WIP sounds incredible! I'd love to hear more about it, so I'll be sure to check out your future posts. The whole element of the princesses and how you've described them is glorious and I really am excited. If I heard this much about a novel being published I would already be adding it to my tbr. It really sounds fantastic and thrilling.
    I made a timelapse of myself writing during NaNo once, and it was a little nauseating because of the pages moving (I write by hand) and motion sickness seems to like me at odd moments, but it was a lot of fun to create and see my progress over a week of writing or whatever it was. I really enjoyed it, and liked seeing yours!

    Best of luck with your writing! And it's lovely to meet you! x
    Romi @ wherethewritercomestowrite.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Romi! You might also want to sign up for the newsletter -- in the navbar floating at the top of your window, or in the sidebar. I'll be releasing some extra fragments in the newsletter soon :) AND ALSO YOU FLATTER ME WITH YOUR COMMENTS. You are my new favourite grasshopper.

      Oh wow, now THAT sounds like a project to be reckoned with. Screen recording is much simpler, but your time lapse would be thrilling to watch.

      Super happy to meet you too, and thank you for following, Romi!

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  14. I read "East meets West. Revenge meets politics. Murder meets mundane. Gunpowder meets everyone" and went YES OMG GIMME!!! I'm so sick of reading all these fluffed up romance in books these days, so give me intrigue, politics and murder any day!

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    1. I'm so happy that you find it intriguing, Joy! I'm also not the type of person who enjoys fluff or romance, so that's why I'm trying to write darker pieces with more murder. Yay!

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  15. I love the sound of this, Alyssa! Seriously. It sounds SUPER EPIC.

    As for plotting and pantsing, I definitely fall somewhere in between the two. I write down the BARE bones of what I want to happen. Scenes I want to write, etc. But then I wing it from there. Before I actually managed to write a complete novel (after an embarrassing number of attempts) I was just a panster. I never wrote anything down. I would go into writing the story with only the basic premise of what I wanted it to be. And it never worked out.

    But my halfway pantsing-plotting seems to be working for me. I've now written two books, and am currently writing a third. I like my halfway thing because I don't want to be completely ruled by a plot, but I don't want to flounder, either.

    I've never joined NaNo because I am such a mood writer. I wrote the first 22K of my second book in ONE WEEK, and now I'm at 20K for my current WIP, and I've been writing it for six months. XD

    I wish you all the best in your writing endeavours! :D

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    1. Thank you so much, Chiara!

      Oh wow, our writing journeys are so similar! I also used to be a complete pantser for my first incomplete mss, then for my last two I had a simple chapter outline -- just a couple words per chapter, and managed to finish those two drafts. Still, like I said in this post, I'm defecting to the planner side for this ms, and will see how it goes. To each her own!

      Ah, I see! It's my first time doing any of the NaNo-related stuff, so hopefully my brain won't freeze up halfway through. Thanks for the luck!

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  16. I LOVE THIS! First, it is really cool (and eerie, for some reason that I can't understand- maybe it was the music?) to watch someone write! I feel like maybe if I planned more, it would help. I fancy myself a pantser but... it isn't working out ;) The story sounds FABULOUS! And can I just say, I chuckled when in the midst of all the talk of heirs and murder you typed "Not that hot"? I DIED. This sounds so great, I cannot wait to read updates!!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Thank you, Shannon! The music really is lovely -- someone else commented it was eerie too, so that is probably a significant factor. Maybe try planning just a little? Chiara in the comment before you did that and it worked out for her :) Aaaah, thank you! I'm glad it was amusing, and I'll be sure to keep updating my progress via the blog + the newsletter!

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