Some Changes (RaNo Recap: Days 14 & 15)

Days 14 & 15 of 35:

…So, I forgot to post this yesterday. The entire post was ready, and I didn’t hit publish.

And assuming that, after tonight’s festivities, I won’t be feeling up to posting a blog update AND writing what actually needs to be written, I’m making the executive decision to start posting every other day, rather than every day. I think it might help the sense of overwhelming I’m feeling if I take just a little off my plate, and this seems like the most valid option.

While we’re talking about my stress and writing:
The other day, while I was scrolling through Tumblr, I came across this post:
And it changed my life.
Those words that people tell you never to use (very, really, suddenly, etc)? USE THEM. It’s a first draft–this, if anywhere, is where you’re meant to use them. A first draft is about a writer telling themselves the story. It’s kind of like taking notes: you write what’s important to you, what will help you remember what you need to know for the future. You develop a shorthand and leave notes for things you want to explore more. That’s what this post is saying, I think.
Allow yourself to tell your story to yourself in the way you need to. No one else ever has to see your first draft, so make it as messy and incomprehensible as you want. It’s yours–it only has to make sense to you.


Word count: 1799

Total word count: 16834

No-context line of the day:

Our squad has been separated. While two of them have landed outside the Biosphere in relative safety, the other five have more or less landed in the middle of enemy territory.

Ferals are what the World Council calls anyone who lives outside of the Biosphere. When the Biosphere was first created, there were, naturally, a lot of Ferals. As time has gone on, though, the Council declared the Feral population died out through unrest, loss of resources, and radiation sickness.

This, of course, was not the case.

In attempting to save the rest of the squad, Flynn manages to get himself stabbed in the side. As their resident expert of all things outside the Biosphere, death is not an option. The squad is working against time to keep him alive and find the rest of the group before they manage to get into similar trouble.

Songs: Watch Me by The Phantoms, Bury Me Face Down by grandson

My favorite lyrics: “With just one look you’re gonna be obsessed/I give it all I got, and never any less

Oh, I got troubles that won’t let me be/But I won’t get tired, set the town on fire/’Till my troubles got trouble with me

What else do you want to know? Leave a comment, and I’ll try to answer it in future posts!

A New Perspective (RaNo Recap: Day 13)

Day 13 of 35:

Today’s word count: 550

Total word count: 15035

Today marks a milestone for me: It’s the first chapter that isn’t written in Cassidy’s point of view.

Our story is actually told from two different perspectives: Cassidy’s and Braxton’s.

So, let’s take a look at our new narrator!

Braxton: android. Certified secret-keeper. Capricorn. Ravenclaw.

Character quote: “Not even God can judge you when your data is encrypted.

Braxton was created by the World Council as a companion for Flynn when they gave him Amsterdam 035. He was meant to help Flynn prepare for the mission and gather any information about him that he could to send back to the government.

However, the World Council didn’t expect for Braxton to have feelings.

And they certainly didn’t expect him to fall in love.

Now, Flynn and him spend their days roaming the outpost, playing games, and spending time together. He reports fake intelligence back to the government.

No one in the group aside from Flynn knows he’s not human. However, one of the group members has her eye on him. She knows something’s off, and she won’t stop until she figures out what.

Today’s no-context line of the day: “I really wish the government could at least stop sending us dumbasses. I mean, come on, give us a challenge for once! Every group they’ve sent so far is an insult to our intelligence.”

Today’s song of the day: My Name Is Human by Highly Suspect

My favorite lyric: “I’m ready for love and I’m ready for war”

What else do you want to know? Leave a comment, and I’ll try to answer it in future posts!

Moving On (RaNo Recap: Day 12)

Day 12 of 35:

Today’s word count: 1975

Total word count: 14485

Today’s no-context line of the day: “The air here smells different, feels different. It’s like lightning in the air before it rains. It buzzes across my face like it’s alive: touching, feeling, consuming. It’s sharp in my throat and crackles in my lungs.”

Our group has FINALLY made it out of the Biosphere and into the outside world. Thus:

Today’s song of the day: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

My favorite lyric: “I raise my flags, don my clothes/It’s a revolution, I suppose”

I chose this songs because it paints a pretty good picture of the atmosphere I’m trying to create for the world outside the biosphere. It’s my top choice for creating the aesthetic of any post-apocalyptic world, and–let’s face it–it slaps hard.

Exciting things are happening tomorrow! Be sure to check back for a new character introduction and exciting new insights!

I’m A Mess (RaNo Recap: Days 9-11)

Days 9, 10, & 11 of 35:

Word count: 2900

Total word count: 12510

Today’s no-context lines of the day:

  1. “A black eye isn’t punishment for attempted murder, but it’s a start. And I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t make me feel better.”
  2. Flynn walks out of the cockpit minutes later, rigid and white-faced. Braxton stands immediately. “What’s going on?” He whispers.
    1. “He said we’re supposed to parachute down.”

I hope you all had a happy holiday!

(Clearly, based on how often I’ve posted the past few days, I did.)

Today’s songs: Twisted by Missio, Itch by Nothing But Thieves, and High for This by The Weeknd

On account of the fact that I’m still trying to catch myself up from the holidays, I’ve omitted some of the normal stuff I like to go over in these posts. I promise this is a one-time thing!

Check back for more story updates tomorrow!

Writing is Hard (RaNo Recap: Day 8)

Day 8 of 35:

Today’s word count: 217 😦

Total word count: 9610

So, yesterday was wild, and I was exhausted. When I finally had time to sit down and get ANYTHING done, all I wanted to do was sleep. So, I wrapped Christmas presents and laid in bed.

I guess that means today will be a catch-up day (AND the day I hit 10k words)!

Today’s no-context line of the day: …so 217 words doesn’t give me a lot to work with. I promise I’ll share TWO lines tomorrow!

Today’s song of the day: Freeze Me by Death From Above 1979

My favorite lyric: “Tell me what you think, are we in trouble?/Feelin’ sorry’s never really been my struggle”

What else do you want to know? Leave a comment, and I’ll try to answer it in future posts!

20% Complete! (RaNo Recap: Day 7)


Today’s word count: 1462

Total word count: 9393

I think it’s time I introduce you all to Luca, and let you know what he’s been doing these past seven days.

Luca: earth-power. Introvert. Cancer. Anarchist. Slytherin. Kind of maybe totally wants to see the government burn.

Character quote: “I read the rules before I break them.”

Nearly everyone steers clear of Luca; he’s unpredictable, volatile, and secretive. Most people are surprised to find out he’s an earth-power due to his rather “ungrounded” demeanor. A lot of his actions come off as impulsive or reckless. Most recently, this involved a stunt where he put arsenic in the entire group’s dinner. However, he’s calculated, and he never makes a move without thinking it through.

And right now, all his actions are going toward fighting “the man” and preventing their plans from succeeding.

Today’s no-context line of the day: “I’m still not sure I’m ready to face anyone else. Exhaustion sits in the corners of my eyes and lethargy bogs down my limbs.”

Today’s song of the day: I’m A Wanted Man by Royal Blood

My favorite lyric: “If you ask me to change/I don’t know if I can/I’ll always be who I am

What else do you want to know? Leave a comment, and I’ll try to answer it in future posts!

I Hate Research (RaNo Day 6)

Day 6 of 35:

Today’s word count: 1010

Total word count: 7931

I have a confession to make.

So far, I’ve only the bare minimum of research I need to do for this story.

It doesn’t come to a shock to people who know me that I HATE research–I’d much rather just make up my own facts write about a world that has no connection to our own. Alas, even the most fantastical of worlds require dedicated research and an understanding of culture, human instinct, and how they interact with one another. For me, though, research comes in second drafts.

Yes, I know this is counterproductive. Much of my writing process is; it’s yet another reason I’m a slow writer.

Unforeseen research, see you in draft two.

Today’s no-context line of the day: “The steam clings to me like a warm blanket, and Braxton’s rhythmic footsteps are easy to fall asleep to.”

Today’s song of the day: Fire by Barns Courtney

My favorite lyric: “Ain’t no chariots of fire/Come to take me home/I’m lost in the woods/And I wander alone

What else do you want to know? Leave a comment, and I’ll try to answer it in future posts!


Day 5 of 35:

Today’s word count: 1590

Total word count: 6921

Today’s no-context line of the day: “I wager a glimpse of the boys still on the ground, but I don’t see much before I have to turn myself around. The only concrete detail I can remember is the smear of blood against Luca’s honey skin.”

Now, I promised a character profile and synopsis for today, so here they are!

Synopsis: In the near future, 90% of the world has become uninhabitable due to climate change and nuclear fallout from World War III. To combat this, the western world came up with a plan: the Biosphere.

Now, 80 years later, the last of the people who remember life outside of the biosphere are dying, and the population is growing to rapidly for the Biosphere to stay sustainable. Thus, the World Council of the Biosphere recruits genetically-advanced citizens with the best chance of surviving radiation long enough to determine if any other part of the world is livable. However, it doesn’t take long for the chosen few to figure out that they’ve been sent on a death mission. Now, they must figure out how to survive in a world opposite of the one they came from without getting killed by the forces that be or each other.

Character Profile: Flynn

Character quote: “They made you into a weapon and told you to find peace.

Light-power. Soldier. Gryffindor. Orphan. Leo.

Flynn has been a ward of the World Council (the Biosphere’s governmental system) since he was three and doctors discovered he was the first person in the Biosphere to develop the Ability of light manipulation. He grew up in outpost Paris 003, raised by the ever-rotating staff of agents, guards, scientists, and medical personnel hired to take care of him. The mission has been in the works since Flynn was five, and he began his training for it at age eight.

When he turned 18, the World Council gave him a present: his own outpost to run, Amsterdam 035. There, he spends his days with Braxton, the other security guard assigned to the outpost.


My favorite lyric: “Do your dirty work without me/Say you’re best when no one can see”

At this point in the story, the group has just discovered that they’re being forced out of the Biosphere to survey lands in North America. They’ve been told it’s a dangerous mission that they were handpicked for years ago, and they have no choice but to participate. Their reactions are…less than ideal. For me, this song sort of represents the mindset they’re in now.

What else do you want to know? Leave a comment, and I’ll try to answer it in future posts!

And So It Begins (RaNo Day 4)

Day 4 of 35:

Today’s word count: 1223

Total word count: 5331

Today’s no-context line of the day:  “The agent is at least half a foot taller than anyone else in the room and looks at us with the adoration of a hunter who’s found easy prey.”

We’ve finally made it to the inciting incident that sets the rest of the story into motion! Check back tomorrow for a short synopsis AND a new character profile!

Today’s song of the day: New Blood by Zayde Wolf

My favorite lyric: “I had to cut a man down to get where I am/But someone had to tumble/And someone had to stand

I think that this song suits this scene really well. At the moment, the characters have just been thrown into the deep end. Day 5 will see how they react and how they’ll move forward.

Now that I’ve gotten to the real tension of the story, expect to see a lot more story notes–I hope you’re as excited as I am!

What else do you want to know? Leave a comment, and I’ll try to answer it in future posts!

Some Edits (RaNo Day 3)

Day 3 of 35:

I’ve decided that I’m going to start posting these the morning after instead of the evening of. This is primarily because I tend to get most of my writing done in the evenings, and this way I can focus on what needs to get done then. It also provides a way for me to catch myself up and prepare to write the next section!

So, let’s proceed!

Today’s word count: 418

Total word count: 4108

While writing the scene I had planned, I realized I didn’t really know why it needed to be there. Perhaps that will change once I get further into the piece, but for now, I think it’s best to let it sit and see if it fits in a later draft.

Today’s no-context line of the day: “The halls here feel like a hospital: nerve-wracking and sterile.”

Today’s song of the day: Explode by Patrick Stump

My favorite lyric: “Clap if you’ve got a ticket to the end of the world.”

What else do you want to know? Leave a comment, and I’ll try to answer it in future posts!