Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve been here… however, I’ve moved long time ago :)

My new home is http://ohpleaseinspiration.blogspot.com/. I will be deleting this blog after a while, but fear not as all content will be moved!

Thank you for the lovely comments you’ve left me here…

– Susie

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After some weeks of intense cold and much raining, we have been gifted with some sunny, warm days. These days carry a new energy, providing a needed stimulant for all the tasks I have to carry on. In particular, this Spring breeze has helped me to put order in my thoughts and organize myself.

Weather influentiates people on a psychological and even physical level. It depends from person to person, I suppose, but I always feel vigorous when cloudy days give turn to a shiny, bright sun, even if that period of light and heat is temporary. However, cloudy days must always exist. They mark a difference and add to the diversity. The contrary is true as well – what a great mass of energy comes to me when, after so many months of intensive temperatures, the clouds arrive and they bring rain and wind.

This is the natural weather; one that cannot be tamed and so often is unpredictable. There is another “weather” or, how should I say, universal time.

(An interesting curiosity: Portuguese considers a single word for both time and weather: tempo.)

Men have invented a calendar in order to count that very same time, and sometimes that comes with curious consequences. For instance, let’s take for example this particular day that happens once in a while and is, simultaneously, the 13th day of a certain month and a Friday of a certain week. Friday the 13th is regarded as an unlucky day; this happens because Friday is thought as the unluckiest day of the week and number 13 the unluckiest number of… well, all numbers. Apparently, 12 is a number that transpires organization: there are 12 zodiac signs, 12 hours of the clock, 12 main gods of Olympus… 13 suggests that there is one more element, and that one element brings chaos and disrupt among the order we so strive to achieve.

I have retrieved this information from Wikipedia, which I searched in the hoped of understanding why do people fear this day. For me, it has absolutely no meaning. I neither like or dislike number thirteen, although I am forced to have some empathy towards it, given it is was already so mistreated. As for Friday, I happen to find it one of the best (not luckiest!) days of the week, as it’s the day before the weekend and we realize the hard-working week has come to an end. From reading the article on Wikipedia, I found myself pitying Friday the 13th. The poor thing… if only it were day 29, or a Tuesday, or Q’saskloj the |»th the day would not have the significance it has, and no Friday the 13th virus would exist, nor paraskavedekatriaphobia. Or perhaps a new phobia would develop.

Maybe we are in need of abstracting ourselves from men-arranged days. Although it is understandable that a particular day was unlucky, I cannot understand why every Friday the 13th must be, from now on, unlucky. Fortunately, this Friday the 13th proved to be quite good to me. It was a lovely day, lots of sun.

At last, the final installment of the series is published. This final set of interviews also features yours truly, as I also replied my own questions.

Special thanks to the interviewees Zoe, Kate, Nenya and Christine! Please let me know if everything is alright. I appreciate your patience and helpfulness.


1. Please give us a quick introduction of yourself (Name, age, location, job, etc. You can tell as little as you want, though.)

Zoe: My name’s Zoe. I’m 17, and I live in this tiny little town called Nevada City in northern California. I’m a directionless senior in high school, which is a lot of the reason why I decided to do NaNoWriMo. Novel writing? That sounds like a direction.

Kate: My name is Kate Heron, I’m eighteen, and as of right now, I work at a local coffee shop, and live in the California area.

Nenya: Call me Nenya. I am a student, living somewhere in the depths of fantasy.

Christine: Christine, 19, CA, college student.

Susie: I will skip this part since everything about me can be found in the appropriate section of the blog.


2. How long have you been writing?

Zoe: Well, I still have one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written, from third grade, when I wrote a story about this alien who fell in love with me, but I was a third grader, so I quickly did away with that silliness, so he fell in love with a tree instead. It was a redwood. I tried to explain it to him, but…. you know aliens. So I guess I’ve been writing since third grade.

Kate: I’ve been writing for a long time, but only really writing for around 2-3 years. I’ve got a few books in the works, but NaNo was the first time I actually finished the novel.

Nenya::I’ve always loved to write, but I really got serious about it in the spring of ’07.

Christine: I’ve been writing since I was eight, but this year was my 3rd NaNo WriMo.

Susie: I have been writing for as long as I can remember, although my first actual story was written at the age of six. It was about a turtle who was going on vacation.


3. When did you first heard of NaNoWriMo and how?

Zoe: Well, i was playing Scrabble on Facebook with this guy named Mat, right? And I told him I liked his profile picture, and he said thank you. And when the game was over (I creamed him, by the way), he added me as a friend. Which was odd, but I accepted him, because he really did have some fantastic profile pictures. I heard about NaNoWriMo on the 8th or 9th of November, because he kept posting these status updates about some mysterious thing that I subsequently Googled. And I started writing a novel that day.

Kate: I first heard of NaNoWriMo at a roleplay site. My interest was piqued, so I went to check it out. That was last year, and by that time, it was too late. (The 20th, or something) This year, someone brought it up at that same site, so I visited it again. It was Nov. 4th, and I thought it was too late. Later that evening, though, I convinced myself I could do it.

Nenya:: On a fan forum [Dragons in Our Midst (DioM) by Bryan Davis]

Christine: My best friend told me – he had done it the year before, and convinced me to try my first year (2006).

Susie: I’ve heard of it perhaps two or three years ago, through one of my random Internet explorations. I came across the link and realized the concept was great. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that I felt I was capable of pursuing such challenge.


4. Would you mind giving us a short description of your novel?

Zoe: Short? Ba ha. I’ll do my best. Okay, so there’s this girl, Cecy, and she is angsty and stifled. And one day, she starts working at a bookshop, which is owned by a crazy old man and his son, the romantic lead. And one day, they take her back to their house, and confess that they have a time machine and want her to come help them fight time bandits. And obviously, she’s psyched. So they go back to the Boston Tea party, and then there’s a French aristocrat trying to stop the revolution and they all fall in love and wrestle with Frenchmen in a whorehouse where Thomas Jefferson is… chilling.

Kate: Hmm… My novel has to do with modern angels, and how they deal with modern demons trying to raise the Devil, which will result in, pretty much, hell on earth. It has forbidden love, a witty and sarcastic main character, perilous situations, and, just possibly… (haven’t decided) magic.

Nenya:: My story, Sheltering Wings is a DioM fanfic: Christopher Paarlston lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his mom, dad and little sister. He’s a normal preteen boy except for two dragon wings sprouting from his back.
Over 1500 years ago, eleven dragons were transformed into humans. The offspring of these former dragons sometimes had dragon traits such as wings or firebreathing. However, the evil Devin is determined to hunt down the “mongrels” and kill them.
One day, Devin finds Christopher’s family. His mother and sister are wounded, and Chris is kidnapped. For several years, Chris is imprisoned in a dark cave, while Devin uses his blood as an anti-aging agent.
Finally, Chris escapes, transluminating himself in the process. He learns that his family is still alive and sets off to find them. But can he protect his sister from the dangers that lurk at every turn?

Christine: It’s about a middle-aged man who is bored and feels trapped in his life, and he picks up a teenager runaway and they drive around the country trying to figure their lives out.

Susie: My novel, which remains unfinished as I speak, is about a noblewoman and her adventures with an odd, mystical family. It is about how all things connect in the end, even if the connections don’t seem explicit as first.


5. Did you use NaNoWriMo to develop and old idea or did you imagine the story as you were writing?

Zoe: I made the entire thing up as I went. I had no alternative, going in so late. But that probably explains why the entire first 5k is about a completely irrelevant sub plot. Oops.

Kate: I had literally thought of the idea a week before, in a dream. Then I heard of NaNo, and thought of finishing another book. Then I learned you couldn’t, so, I thought… Hey, why don’t I start this one? And it evolved from there.

Nenya:: A little of both. Sheltering Wings is a companion novel to my work-in-progress, Fettered Wings, which focuses on Chris’s sister Loren. I already had major plot points picked out from the first story, but some I made up as I went along.

Christine: I had thought of the main idea in April during Script Frenzy, and used NaNo WriMo to develop it, but almost all of the details I work into the story came throughout the month.

Susie: I have to say neither! The idea wasn’t a new one, as I started to outline one or two weeks before the grand event. However, the idea was recycled from a previous outline I’d already considered to write, many months ago.


6. Did you take the opportunity to try out a writing genre you weren’t used to, or maybe used new techniques?

Zoe: Nope. I just kind of wrote what amused me. Which ended up being time travel and teen romance.

Kate: I’d never really written in 1st person before. I usually hate it. I tried really developing my characters, and actually WRITING each day.

Nenya:: Not really. I mostly used this as an excuse to write regularly.

Christine: I’m used to writing stories with teenaged female characters, and making the main focus of this novel a middle-aged man was different for me.

Susie:I spent the first three days writing in English. Because I usually write prose in my native language, it seemed like a good exercise, and I also wanted to see if I could write as fast in a secondary language.


7. Were there any moments you feel like giving up?

Zoe: Oh yes. My story was so ridiculous and nonsensical- it still needs a LOT of editing- that I was very close to quitting several times. It just didn’t make sense, and I didn’t see the point in continuing something that incredibly bad. But I believed the pep talks that said I would get something out of it all, and I did, eventually. Also, my friends all already hated me because I was being so fricking annoying, talking about my novel 24/7 and using as an excuse for everything I slacked off on. It would be lame if I didn’t even finish, right?

Kate: Hmm…. Multiple. There were a few days (midnight release of Twilight) when I didn’t have time to write, and I’d take a look at my story and think: “What the hell am I doing? This is shit!!” But then I’d obligingly plod along, and pick up steam again.

Nenya:: I had several moments of AGH! but I never really considered giving up.

Christine: I feel very behind during the middle of the month, and I considered it.

Susie: I believe so, especially the days where I wrote nothing at all. However, when I put something on my mind I always go to the end, so those were vague thoughts. As the final days approached and I still had half way to go, I designed a plan that made me write all the necessary words.


8. What major difficulties did you have to face during NaNoWriMo?

Zoe: My best friend lives next door and is not particularly interested in novels, whether they are written by me or someone else. My mother plays the banjo, piano, accordion, guitar, and kazoo, with amplifiers for anything that is amplifiable. My step dad plays the guitar, saxophone, and base, and has a generally loud and obnoxious voice. We have thin walls. It sucked.

Kate: My grandmother had surgery on a cancerous tumor, and thus, I had to travel to Atlanta, Georgia for a week. She was okay, but still… Oh, and at the same time, my grandfather (a diabetic) was in danger of dying. He was bleeding out of his colon, but he made it through. Barely.

Nenya:: School, sinus issues, and aggravating characters!

Christine: I was in a play which had all seven of its shows in November, I was dealing with a college freshman’s homework schedule and I got into a relationship mid-November as well.

Susie: November happens to be one of the most active months in academic terms. Besides writing, I also had to study and work in several projects. Even so, High School would demand much more time than College, so it was the perfect opportunity to develop some writing discipline. My main difficulty was to write on the computer and focus solely on that, forgetting, for example, that there is this wonderful thing called the Internet.


9. Did you have any support from your friends and family?

Zoe: Oh… yeah. Kind of. They all just got really annoyed because I’m obnoxious when i get into something. I would just talk and talk about my novel, and then refuse to let them read it until it was perfect. But my mom was very proud (although i don’t think she could believe it when i told her I finished- I don’t finish things very often.) My friends just kind of ignored me. Except my bestie, who would incessantly come over and tell me to do something “fun” with her, and then respond to my incredulous “Jess, 10 thousand words in one day- leave me alone” with a complaint about how lame it was that I was writing a novel. Gotta love the girl.

Kate: Family, totally. They just said as long as my grades were plodding along, they were happy for me. My parents are both professors, and they’ve both agreed to edit it. Friends were very supportive, one of them’s doing the FINAL cover art. XD

Nenya:: I didn’t really explain it to my family, but I got lots of online support.

Christine: I had gotten my mother into NaNo WriMo last year, so we both have done it the past two years – she has yet to actually *finish* the month’s goal but trying has made her very supportive. I also convinced a friend at school to do NaNo WriMo this year as well, and she was very supportive too.

Susie: Not much, but my friends asked me once in a while how was it going. I mainly kept the event to myself.


10. Did you ever felt you were writing without adding nothing relevant to your story? Did that bother you?

Zoe: I didn’t so much feel like I was writing without purpose, I just felt like there was so much plot to get covered, I barely had time to put it into sentences. I found it hard to believe I would ever finish the story. It felt like I was walking on a treadmill that was going backwards.

Kate: No, I didn’t. I felt like I didn’t spend enough time adding stuff. I had to stretch it out near the end to make it to 50K. I never had to do any little “cheats” or useless blurbs of dialogue. In my opinion, I’d rather have no certificate than one that included stupid bits of text. It seems like lying, to me.

Nenya:: Yes. Besides several dreams, I had a 4,000-word digression with my main character stuck in his sister’s subconscious. But it was fun and kept me writing, so I didn’t mind.

Christine: Did that bother you? I added in a lot of dream sequences and “riding around in a car listening to music” sequences which were very superfluous. But it’s NaNo WriMo, so I never had a problem with it – the month is all about just getting words out.

Susie: Even though every piece of writing I composed was necessary to explore character relationships and overall plot, I frequently had the feeling some parts would have to be cut in a following draft.


11. In what ways did you connect with your writing buddies?

Zoe:Um… I didn’t really have any writing buddies. Until the last three days. And then I wrote her NaNo mails about how angry I was at my story.

Kate: No, I didn’t. I felt like I didn’t spend enough time adding stuff. I had to stretch it out near the end to make it to 50K. I never had to do any little “cheats” or useless blurbs of dialogue. In my opinion, I’d rather have no certificate than one that included stupid bits of text. It seems like lying, to me.

Nenya:: I did a few NaNo mails, plus frequent visits to online forums.

Christine: Talking about our stories, writing at the same times and comparing word counts.

Susie: I had a wonderful adopter who did her best to provide me with resources and messages of encouragement, but during NaNoWriMo I hardly contacted her, as she was struggling with the WriMo herself. Overall, she was a nice presence and someone I’m glad I’ve met during this busy month.


12. Was your novel finished with NaNoWriMo?

Zoe: Yes. It has a happy ending and everything. But I’m terrified by how awful it is. I think I need to rewrite every scene.

Kate: Yeah. Barely. >.< I had to stretch it so I could actually get it to 50K. However, I’m lengthening it, since there was some stuff I left out.

Nenya:: I have the major plot points in and reached 50,000 words, but I have lots to add too.

Christine: No, not even close. I’ll probably need another 50k to finish the story.

Susie: The rough draft is practically done in structural terms, although there are some middle scenes missing. The beginning and the ending are there, but the novel lacks the glue that is needed in order to tie all loosed ends.


13. What have you learned from this experience?

Zoe: That I can do anything. Essentially. It may not be very readable at this point, but I wrote a novel. So I can write another less lousy one. Or I can fix this one. I also learned that three cups of coffee every day for a month leads to caffeine headaches in December, and that it’s probably a good idea to know what I’m writing before I write it. Also, that if you write a little bit some of the time, writing is boring. But if you write a lot all the time, writing becomes something as awesome as climbing Everest.

Kate: I’ve learned that writing 2K a day is not as much as I thought it was, and that it got easier if I steadily churned out the words. I learned that I can write a novel, that I did have that capability inside of me.

And, I learned that yes, it is possible to live only on Ramen for an extended period of time. =_=

Nenya:: You just need to keep going, even when you aren’t inspired. Plus, setting a tangible goal gives you something to push for.

Christine: That it is possible to do this, no matter how much you think you can’t fit it in.

Susie: I have learned that when I want, I can write pretty fast. I never thought I could achieve such velocity and while at the same time making sense. Discipline is a hard quality to raise, but a very useful one to maintain. We just need to nurture it everyday.


14. Will you be revising your novel?

Zoe: Yes. When I work up the nerve.

Kate: Hell yes! I’m going to be changing it completely! I have plot gaps to fill, wings to paste on, people to develop, people to kill, magic to add…. Geez. So. Much. Work.

Nenya:: Since my novel is a fanfic, I can’t publish it, but I still want to go through all the steps so I have experience if I want to get published someday.

Christine: Once I get it finished, I might.

Susie: Absolutely. The rough draft is in bad need of revisions and I intend to polish my work to perfection.


15. Did you resort to the forums?

Zoe: Yeah, but not all that often. I’m not really much of a forum person.

Kate: The forums were amazing. Especially reviewing others work, and having them review yours, in turn. I saved every one of those reviews, and took them all into consideration.

Nenya:: Yes. I hung out more at the Dragons in Our Midst forum then the NaNo one, because I’ve been a member of the other one longer. But both definitely helped.

Christine: I love the forums, even if I usually only used them for procrastination.

Susie: The forums gave me no particular inspiration, but served as a distraction instead, allowing me to rest from the hard typing. There were many interesting topics in there and they will be a major asset during the rest of the year, as idea providers.


16. What were your first thoughts and actions after winning?

Zoe: I wrote another hundred words. Then I stopped. Then I kind of sighed and went to bed. I was REALLY tired.

Kate: Thoughts = Holy f*** I just finished a damn novel! What am I going to do?!?!?! Holy shit, holy shit, holy SHIT!

Actions = Shocked silence, hands raised in the air, a piercing whine emitting from my motionless mouth. Then, calling up people to rave about it. Then, blogging. Writing a poem. And, READING A BOOK WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY.

Nenya::. I thought, “YEAH! I did it!”
And then I went up to bed. But I gave out mental high-fives to all my characters.

Christine: Leaning back in my chair, taking a nice deep breath and finding out what my 50,000th word was so I could post it on the forums ^.^

Susie: I took a deep breath, smiled and thought “Good job!”


17. What sentence of your novel contained the 50000th word?

Zoe: “I’m interested in books and learning” (this sentence isn’t as lame as it sounds, because it was addressed to Thomas Jefferson. So. Okay, it’s lame.)

Kate: “I was all set to kick him in the balls, when I was shown why it was a bad thing to fight an incubus like you would a human.”

Nenya:: Either She squealed in delight as I wrapped her in my arms and spun her around. Or “I am your brother, and I love you very much.” [[My word-count differed from the offical.]]

Christine: (no response)

Susie: “Tenho de ver se ponho as coisas em ordem, descobrir, também, se o meu irmão tem poderes que os possam ajudar a ambos.” It translates as “I have to see if I can put things in order; discover, too, if my brother has powers that can help us both”.


18. Did you feel it was worth it?

Zoe: Yeah. Certainly. :)

Kate: Oh, definitely. It taught me about myself, my skills, and so much more. I will definitely be doing it next year. SO definitely.

Nenya:: Definitely. I’ve wanted to be an author for most of my life, and now I feel like I can actually complete a story.

Christine: The relief and accomplishment I feel at the end always makes me feel like it was worth it.

Susie: Yes! I learned valuable lessons.


19. Are you planning to do NaNoWriMo next year?

Zoe: Oh yes. I’m going to plan it out, too, and start on time.

Kate: Oops. Answered it above. HELL YES. There is nothing that can stop me… And this time, I will damn well start on time!

Nenya:: I already have some ideas brewing.

Christine: Definitely. Now to find a plot…

Susie: At first I wasn’t sure, because certain events will occur in my life and I will have to be extra organized, but there are two lovely friends who didn’t manage to finish this year and I want to support them by us three doing NaNoWriMo together.


20. In what other projects are you involved?

Zoe: I’m applying to colleges right now, so I’m pretty busy, but I have a blog, valetudinarian.tumblr.com, which has nothing to do with writing but allows me to waste lots of time on the internet. I’m always writing bits of stories, and I’m involved in one huge project, cleaning my room. I’m also working on some video summaries of British novels, which should be fun. Other than that, I’m trying to save some money so I can go to Europe and live life in a less boring way.

Kate: Um… I’m on DA, where I post my poetry, LJ, where I post both. I’m in the middle of a story right now, which I will get back to after I finish editing this one! XD I’m on various roleplay sites, (real ones, which actually help your writing) and some others I can’t remember.

Nenya:: I’m on the Dragons in Our Midst & Binding of the Blade forums, and one or two other sites. I am tightening up and reshaping some of my older stories, as well as planning to finish the companion novel.

Christine: I do Script Frenzy as well, and I am involved in theatre.

Susie: I maintain this blog, have a dA account and created a Portuguese writing forum.

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I think many people don’t realize the potential of the written word. I am not referring  to books or any literary production such as shorts stories and poems, but to the little messages we’re used to exchange on a daily bases. E-mails, forum replies, msn… we now write more than ever and have a great deal of options to choose from. I myself make use of these facilities. And yet, I know two types of persons: the ones who I get the feeling I’m talking face to face to them, as they’re so expressive on their messages, and the ones that make me feel uncomfortable, for their words lack the spirit that is part of them – a spirit I can clearly sense when we’re talking and their eyes meet mine. Online, there is no visual contact, no voice tone, no facial expressions; you must rely on what you have in order to establish an effective communication. And you only aid are words.

If put into good use, words can be extremely useful and make a great difference. A written message lasts longer than an oral one, and so your messages can bring happiness, comfort and hope, as many times as your readers will want to read them. The contrary applies as well: write a rude, hurtful message and the reader will feel bad, because words can carry a lot of emotional charge, as much as you would like to embed with them.

You have a powerful weapon at your disposal. Use it wisely.

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On another note, I hope everyone has a bright joyful year 2009. I will continue what I’ve started in this year, and that includes this blog. However, the posting periodicity isn’t exactly part of my resolutions: I’ll write in here when I feel like, when my heart tells me to. That can be once every week, twice a day, but never less than once a month, that I can garantee ;)

My NaNoWriMo interviews are still in progress: in the meantime, I have received a new batch of replies and those will form my third and last post of the general interview series.

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I’ve had several ideas for new posts and, yet, none have come forward as a reality. It’s something that affects me greatly: I plan my posts for so long that it is extremely difficult to me to press that “publish” button. The same applies to all my writing: most of it stays in my mind as I perfect it in a complete mental, cerebral way, until I realize I have a notebook and could probably use a little jotting down things.

It is an issue that NaNoWriMo corrected. For that month, I may not have written every single day, but I did get used to put down whatever was in my mind. The quantity was there, but how about the quality? I’ll be judge of that, since I’m the only one with access to my story, of course ^^

I had more to say about the subject, but I best resume my normal activities. Expect more interviews and posts from me in a short period!

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I’ve been sick. Nothing too bad, though, just a flu that disabled both my taste and smell senses. However, I tried to enjoy the experience, as far as one can enjoy being sick. How come so? Because one of my characters will also be catching a flu somwhere in the story and the disease will stick with him for a considerate time. I wouldn’t want it in any other way. This character’s persona practically scram to me: “Make me sick!”. He is of a robust nature, and yet I made him go through this little incident because I felt like. After all, characters are just like regular people. They can and will get sick once in a while.

That’s something that botters me a bit. When I read a book, how come the characters never get sick? Their fragility is most of the time psychological, never does the body behave in the way a normal body is supposed to behave. For the contrary, it always presents itself healthy and vigorous. Well, your characters have the right to be ill. And if the story extends for a long period, the more likely is that your character will fall to some physical sickness.

Here’s some points to consider.

Snow and fire – If your character’s going on a trip to a place with extreme temperatures, that will take its toll on their body. This character of mine I’ve been refering from the beginning has little resistance to cold and he’s a bit “manly”, causing him to ignore his wife’s advice and not wearing enough warm clothes, which will lead to a nasty flu.

Prudent characters will pay attention to the weather in order to prevent sickness; less wise characters will suffer more. Also, unless you are talking about a sorcerer with some powerful protection spells, don’t expect to send your characters to the Winter tundra/blazing desert with their regular outfit.

Fever makes you dull. When someone contracts an infection, they’ll develop a fever. Fevers are relevant to your character’s jugdment, speech and actions. They make your movements slower and you tend to sleep a lot. You can’t think straight. A warrior with a fever will have less agility and has to compensate in battle whether by retreating to the back row or by requiring extra help from his comrades, for example. Most likely he will be a nuisance and has to take some time out to rest.

Recovery time – You cannot have your character going through a potentially fatal disease and then have them return to normal within two days. Allow them a decent recovery time which you may use to focus on another situations/characters. An average flu will likely take two weeks to get better and a poisoning two or three very bad days following a week’s recovery. Also, beware of the recovering conditions. If your character won’t be able to recover on a comfy bed with some sort of accompaniment, it’ll take a lot more to get back to good shape as the body as to work harder to be healthy.

Medicine and healer’s experience – What’s your character taking for the disease? Remember that not all medicine/potions have to be extremely effective and some may even not be the best for your character. The healer’s experience adds to it, as they’ll be of better help if they’re more experient and used to treat that particular disease.

Relapse – If the illness is indeed serious, chances are it can strike again, specially if it’s not conveniently treated on the first occurence. Lord of the Rings hobbit Frodo Baggins never fully recovered from his injuries in Amon Sûl, which led him never to be fully healthy again. Although I would like to focus in sicknesses more than physical injuries, the principle still applies. Just think of a virus that never leaves the body or a chronic illness.

When you are creating a new disease for your character, take your time on answering the following questions:

  • Name of the disease?

  • Origins?

  • How do you catch it?

  • Is it a common or a rare disease?

  • How long until you realize you’re sick?

  • What are its symptons?

  • Is it treatable or does it disappear naturally?

  • Is a special artifact/medicine necessary to the healing process? Why?

  • How does the society looks at people with this disease?

  • Who is more likely to catch it? Does it affect specific classes, etc.?

Do make your characters sad when they’re sick and do make them immensely happy when they start getting better. That’s what’s happening to me ;)

Six days later, second part of interviews is launched. This is good stuff and there’s lots of interesting, thought-provoking answers.

I will now start my other kind of interviews, the ones that require a bit more work as they’re more ellaborate both in questions and answers. I still don’t know how many interviews will be made using such method, but two are on its way and five more at least are being planned.

Enjoy!

Special thanks to the interviewees: Nilynrae, Davina, Amanda, Carla, Melissa, Lydia and Rodwen =)



1. Please give us a quick introduction of yourself (Name, age, location, job, etc. You can tell as little as you want, though.)

Nilynrae: Well I go by the name of Nilynrae on most forums (it’s drow language for ‘herectic’s tear’.. i just liked it). I’m fast approaching mid thirties (eek!), living in Wales and working in Energy Management. When I’m not writing, I’m usually either studying or dabbling in computer art.

Davina: My name is Davina, I live in southern England and I’m thirty years old. I work for a large cinema chain.

Amanda: My name is Amanda Mayberry, I am 15 but was 14 when I wrote my story. I live in Walla Walla WA. My job is to go to school so nothing to exciting their.

Carla: My name’s Carla, but I go by Melamin all over the Internet. I’m 25, and a University student from Montreal, Canada, studying Linguistics.

Melissa: My name is Melissa Gilbert and I am 31 years old. I live in Chicago Heights Illinois.

Lydia: My name is Lydia, I’m 15, and I live in central US.

Rodwen: My user name is RodwenofRohan, you can call me Rodwen. I am 21, live in Texas, and am a college student currently.


2. How long have you been writing?

Nilynrae: Writing novels since Nano 05. I thought it sign up and see how difficult it actually was to write a first draft. Generally writing little bits and pieces (poems, shorts, character pieces) since around the time I started live-roleplaying (around 1994).

Davina: I’ve been doing it off and on for several years , but nothing very serious to be honest. I did a BA (Hons) in Journalism but didn’t do that well and had to find other work to pay off my debts so I left my writing having lost all confidence in my ability. I started a couple of novels, but I never really finished anything as I never really had the time to write it all down and I didn’t have the equipment. When I bought a computer with my mum in 2002 I decided it was time to put up or shut up: If I wanted to be a writer, I kinda needed to start writing, to paraphrase William Goldman.

Amanda: I have been writing for fun for I think four years but never got past writing the first twenty pages for a book.

Carla: Quite honestly, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I definitely got serious about it in high school (thanks to some very encouraging teachers I will never forget), but even before that I was writing stories in journals and notebooks.

Melissa: Wow that is a hard one. As long as I could remember I have been writing. I’ve had short stories and poems I’ve written in the past.

Lydia: I’ve written for…well, quite a long time I guess. I’ve only gotten more serious about it in the past few years though.

Rodwen: I have been writing since I was a kid, but only writing stories for the past year or so. My NaNo novel is the first novel I have completed.


3. When did you first heard of NaNoWriMo and how?

Nilynrae: A friend told me about it around the beginning of 2005. I don’t know how she heard of it but I’m very glad she shared the link with me. I think she wanted someone to share the pain with. ;)

Davina: I was a bit of a Harry Potter fangirl (still am, I suppose!) and I was reading one of the threads on Fiction Alley in 2002 (?) when I read about it. I followed the link and it intrigued me so I decided to start ‘The Whitehall Vampire’. I never finished it though. I just ran out of inspiration , but I liked the characters so I decided to give them another chance.

Amanda: I heard about NaNoWriMo in 2004 when my brother did it for the first time, he told my family all about it.

Carla: I first heard about it last year, midway through November. A few of my fellow blogging friends were participating in it. At the time, I didn’t understand what it was about and didn’t really bother looking into it. This year in September, a good friend I happen to have met in class saw how much I was focusing on my writing and told me about NaNo.

Melissa: I believe it was maybe a month before November started. I write lenses over at squidoo and one of the lensmaster (ealkat) asked if anyone else was doing it. It looked interested so a couple weeks later at least, I signed up.

Lydia: I heard of NaNoWriMo in 2006, not long before it was due to start. It was on some forum…I’m not part of it any more I don’t think. Someone had started a thread for those planning to do NaNo, and I thought it sounded like fun.
Rodwen: I heard of NaNoWriMo last year on the website councilofelrond.com, which has a strong NaNo group.


4. Would you mind giving us a short description of your novel?

Nilynrae: This years – well it’s sort of an ‘Aliens’ meets ‘Firefly’ meets ‘Invasion of the Bodysnatchers’ (with a little ‘Dog Soldiers’ thrown in) style affair. At least, those are the influences this time around. I wasn’t going to take part seriously this year due to other commitments but I came back from a Firefly event where I dressed as a Reaver and couldn’t help but write something!

Davina: Basically , it’s a sequel to ‘The Whitehall Vampire’ set in 17th Century France. Jonah has been turned in to a vampire, but he works as an agent for Charles II. He gets sent to investigate the Affair of the Poisons and reunited with Eve who has to rejoin the court at Versailles and spy on them. The murders and intrigues soon start to rack up and both realise they are in over their heads as they uncover a Satanic conspiracy.

Amanda: My novel is about a Fairy girl who makes a mistake when she is a maid for the Shape Shifter king, Verndure. His son and only heir died as an infant so Delphina goes out and finds a random baby to take his place without telling anyone. When the boy grows older Delphina is horrified by her mistake for the boy, Ishkerof, wants to start a war with the Avians even though they have a peace contract. Delphina puts herself on a journey to solve her mistake and fails. The first war causes a second one as well. Delphina tries hard to fix her mistake but it is already too late to repare all the damage…

Carla: It’s a fantasy/steampunk novel that starts off as a rather typical hero’s journey where a small band set out to save their world from the growing darkness seeping in through a rip in the earth.

Melissa: How do I explain my story? It’s a bit off the wall. It’s a mix of science fiction and fantasy. You got starships and then you got planets and then the main character of my story starts out being human/vampire but later in the story she finds out that she is not human/vampire but she is vampire/witch. This is more than meets the eye. There is no blood sucking like most people would think when it comes to vampires. I think at this point its more a revelation type of story than anything. The characters learn who they are and so on.

Lydia: My novel this year takes place in the fantasy world I’ve been working on building for a while. It deals with espionage, politics and princess that aren’t quite as bratty as they seem. And fireworks.

Rodwen: Not at all. My Novel, “In the Land of Fae”, is based on the idea that Faeries are real, but in hiding. In the book, I find a faerie, Araenna, while on a trail ride with some friends. I rescue her from a spider web and take her home. After winning her trust, she tells me her story, and about the Land of Fae.


5. Did you use NaNoWriMo to develop and old idea or did you imagine the story as you were writing?

Nilynrae: At first I wasn’t “playing”, then I was going to NanoRebel and write some non-fic. I completely winged it as I went along because I needed a story to write. Something with characters and plot. New ideas formed whilst I was writing but I pulled those out and into short stories of their own during the month.

Davina: At first it was just a vague idea for a sequel: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if Jonah tackled that case?’ I was interested in the Affair of the Poisons having read about it in some biographies about Louis XIV who fascinates me. I also loved the relationship Jonah had with Eve and wanted to continue it in a new novel.

Amanda: I wrote the story as I went but I vaguely based it on a poem I wrote about a month before November.

Carla: I used NaNo to work on a story that’s been in my head for 8 years or so. It had begun as a fully different concept, but as I was brainstorming in October after signing up for NaNo it turned into this hybrid of what it used to be. More urban/dark with a fun mix of magic and technology. The world history and politics changed significantly, causing the plot to take different turns, only the characters remained relatively similar to the original idea.

Melissa: This is based off a star trek simm I was in some years ago, but its far more than that as I have added more and changed a lot of things including technology and the planets that surround this story. Its mostly based around one planet, but in the original simm, there was not a second planet at all which I added in. The main character is my very own character that I ran those many years ago.

Lydia: I had wanted to do a story using a few elements that got tossed into this one for a while, but as I plotted it drew away from what I originally had in mind. I like this though. I don’t want to change it from what it’s become. I can’t really work without a plot, although I think my story is still plenty spontaneous.

Rodwen: A bit of both. The story had been floating about in my head for six months or so, and I had outlined the basic plot. As I wrote, however, the plot was pushed away, and the story seemed to take a life of its own. New characters were added, some were dropped, and chaos ensued.


6. Did you take the opportunity to try out a writing genre you weren’t used to, or maybe used new techniques?

Nilynrae: One of the shorts was a YA fantasy… couple of years back I tried urban fantasy, last year plain fantasy. Speculative fiction is very much my genre but I like to think outside of that somewhat and mix themes/change genres from time to time.
I used write or die as well but not for all of it… it did net me around 15k but I also enjoy taking things a bit slower once I had the word count and knew that I had enough time left.

Davina: Not really, I always wanted and was aiming for a historical Romance with elements of Mystery and Supernatural. I did use the ‘Phase Outline’ as detailed by Lazette Gifford on the Nano boards and I can singlehandedly say that her advice probably was the reason I won and managed 96k in the end. I knew exactly where I was going at any part in the chapter because the outline I’d worked out was so detailed. I read a few books on scriptwriting which helped. I was used to doing chapter outlines and synposes for my stories anyway. Although mine still needs tweaking.

Amanda: I wrote in the same genre I always do but I wrote in third person enstead of trying to do both first person and third person like last year since that did not turn out well.

Carla: Well I’ve always been writing in the fantasy genre, but this novel definitely took on elements that I had never tried before. I normally don’t write about technology, world politics, and epic battles but that’s how this novel turned out. I’ve had to do a lot of research and have a long list of books to read in the near future to see how authors actually deal with these things.

Melissa: No.

Lydia: I didn’t get myself to write a new genre this year, but I did try something a little bit new…I was writing with three first person POVs, but to ease the transition between them, I had a fourth person who had written the book taking the bits from my three character’s personal accounts. So it was kind of like it was “abridged,” though I never wrote the parts between. I got the idea from the book “Princess Bride” by William Goldman.

Rodwen: I tried writing fantasy for the first time, but it is the genre I read most often, so I mainly stayed in my comfort zone. As far as new techniques are concerned, I used Write or Die several times in the final days, and found it helped immensly.


7. Were there any moments you feel like giving up?

Nilynrae: Not so much giving up but I did think that I might not have time. I don’t quit though and resolved to keep at it. In the end I churned out double what I had expected to and ended up with 100k. Which, considering I wasn’t going to even start, is not bad!

Davina: To be honest , I enjoyed writing the story so much I didn’t really. I got into the characters and the plot so much I didn’t want to give up. I was lucky enough to have organised some time off from my job, so it didn’t matter if I stayed up till 5 or 7 in the morning to finish a chapter. Which I did, more than once.

Amanda: I can’t say I ever felt like giving up since I had to prove to everyone that I was no quiter when it came to writing. I have always been inspired to write even when I have writers block.

Carla: Surprisingly enough, no. Nearly right from the beginning I found myself ahead on the daily word count (my initial goal was to get ahead before school work began to pile up). The further ahead I was, the more determined I was to setting higher and higher goals until I hit 50k half way through November. I went into it not really expecting to win, but determined that I wouldn’t just give up either.

Melissa: I never give up.

Lydia: Not this year…I managed to avoid writer’s block and being too busy. I did feel bad because I had one friend who had her story plotted and ready and was so excited about it, but when November came around, she found herself too busy to find even one moment to write. Another friend of mine would probably have won, but she lost half of her file, never to be seen again. It helped me be spurred on to win for them though.

Rodwen: Several. I was falling behind from the very beginning, because of a nasty cold, and there were three streches of days when I did not write at all.


8. What major difficulties did you have to face during NaNoWriMo?

Nilynrae: I had a number of other commitments that leaked a lot of time away (although they weren’t things I was prepared to stop doing). I see friends on Tuesdays/Thursdays, work full time, was investigating a new study path at the same time and help moderate an online forum. All things which were not droppable without upsetting either myself or friends.

Davina: One of my major difficulties I found was incorporating the research while sticking to the story I wanted to write. As I did more reading and research I realised that I would have to tweak events and timelines to get an effective story. There was also an expanding cast of people who needed to be incorporated. The story quickly became more complex than I originally thought it would, to be honest.

I did feel bad about stretching the truth in some respects to suit my story. For instance, Minette didn’t actually die of poison as in the novel. There is strictly no proof that Athenais was involved in Satanic rituals. Angelique de Fontages wasn’t poisoned, she died of a miscarriage. And the events of the story happened over a long period of times : nearly twenty years! But I had to make the decision to alter events as I saw fit to make a compelling story that I would want to tell.
Some of the events that happened according to the research were a bit OTT and I seriously wondered about toning it down as I thought no one is going to believe that in a story.

Amanda: The difficulties I faced were trying not to move to fast in my story and stopping late at night to go to bed when I was on a roll.

Carla: Mostly just trying to balance all my assignments and exams while writing the novel. And because I would write in spurts of 5k to 10k some days, I would go a couple days too burnt out to write anymore. Also a lot of carpal tunnel flare ups and back aches :)

Melissa: I did have some writers block but I always got through it.

Lydia: I probably had an easier NaNo than most, since I’m homeschooled, easily getting rid of anywhere I’d have to be early in the morning. That does mean that I’m at home with things to be done left and right. But isn’t it like that for everyone else?

Rodwen: Finding time to write. We have one computer in the house, and eight people wanting to use it.


9. Did you have any support from your friends and family?

Nilynrae: My hubby is the biggest supporter of all. I think he hopes that I’ll rake in the cash one day. ;)
He brought me constant cups of coffee or tea (and always seems to know which and when!) and cooked me dinner. Didn’t once complain when the house got messy and tidied up behind me, leaving out any books I’d been reading…
Friends were also understanding and encouraging.

Davina: I mentioned it occasionally at work but I was pretty much on my own as far as real life was concerned. My Family didn’t know anything about it, and that suited me just fine. They would have thought it was a frivolous way to pass my time when I should‘ve concentrating on more important things.

Amanda: My family gave me a ton of support and my family did not complain about me being on the comp all the time so that was nice.

Carla: I’m amazed at the support I received. I had a lot of friends sign up for NaNo after I told them about it, so there was a large network of friends for support. I also had my cousin join up and we ended up talking on the phone almost every night with an update on our word counts and the status of our novels. With a couple of exceptions, those I spoke to (who were not participants) found it amazing that I was doing this and are all eagerly awaiting to read it if I’ll ever allow it :)

Melissa: My friends. None of my friends were doing nano this year but they loved hearing how far I came along while I was doing this.

Lydia: My mom helped me out a lot, offering me her tea in the morning when she got up (I would have already been up several hours writing), and asking me if I had my words done. She’s a great coach.

Rodwen: Yes. My parents, although they did not understand why I wanted to write a novel in 30 days, were willing to let me try it. Several friends kept encouraging me, as well as bugging me for excerpts.


10. Did you ever felt you were writing without adding nothing relevant to your story? Did that bother you?

Nilynrae: Sometimes I wondered what the heck I was writing, yes. I don’t think this year’s story was all that marvellous but then I know that’s to be expected. Most of it was relevant but there were a few parts that weren’t. I stopped letting it bother me once the words were on the page… it all counts and the word count is what’s important for Nano.

Davina: Well ,because I’d planned exhaustively before that start of NaNo, this wasn’t a problem. That outline was and still is the bible as far as the story is concerned. I also knew that I was going to go back and subject the book to an intensive edit so any major plot holes would be solved.

Amanda: I unintentionally made everything I wrote revelant because it just fell into place that way but I would not mind if it had been differently no.

Carla: All the time! And yes, it drove me crazy! The beginning was especially bad, I felt like it was going nowhere and was completely pointless. Once things picked up it got better, but there were so many scenes that I felt were completely irrelevant. Every time I got that feeling I wanted to delete what I had just written and just change direction, but I focused on the word count goal and just kept writing no matter how bad it was. I figured I can always rewrite it later :)

Melissa: A lot of what I wrote seemed like crap. I know this is only the first crap but having all of this in there is good so when I do edit it, I can see if it goes together or not.

Lydia: Hmm…I think I managed to stay fairly relevant this year, but I remember last year I would write off on tangents and random things. Once I had my characters have some really stupid weird tournament between themselves, but it was a lot of fun to write.

Rodwen: I assume you mean ‘without adding anything’… I can’t think of a time, per se.


11. In what ways did you connect with your writing buddies?

Nilynrae: In the past I’ve moved around a fair bit but this time was the first time I got to be in the same region as last year (England:Elsewhere -> England:London->Europe:Wales) and it was nice because I started to recognise a few people from last year. That helped a lot. I went to weekly write-ins and two TGIO parties, posted on the regional forum quite a bit and swapped the odd Nanomail.

I try to mail a couple of new people a year with encouragement and some of the Nano folks on my list are either from my Region, people I’ve contacted randomly on Nano or are from other forums online and we’ve decided to get together and try Nano.

This year, I tried the ‘adopt a newbie’ approach which was really good too. I made friends with someone in Canada and we Nanomailed each other a lot.

Davina: My main writing buddies were on the Nightwish boards, actually There were a whole bunch of us writing and I used to share snippets of what I had been writing. I also used to write on a LJ group devoted to Nano and I used to post bits on there. My stuff used to stick out a mile , because I seemed to be the only Historical Romance writer on there!

Amanda: One of my writing buddies was my brother, one my best friend, one I know from eragonfans.com, two of them became my friends of the forums and three or four were a little more random.

Carla: Most of my writing buddies were friends I knew in person. So there were a lot of MSN, emails, and blogging discussions going on between us to encourage each other. It was definitely the main topic of conversation every time we spoke.

Melissa: I didn’t have any.

Lydia: I just love the community here. We’re all in the same boat really, even if we’ve set different personal goals. No matter what, we’re all trying to do something insane. We have to balance finding time for our writing every day with the rest of the world banding together to keep us from finding that time. And everyone just wants to help. It’s like there’s no way not to connect.

Rodwen: Email and NaNo mail.


12. Was your novel finished with NaNoWriMo?

Nilynrae: Thankfully yes! This time. I did NOT want a repeat performance of last years. Last November, I left with an 105k document and wandered off to Nanofimo then… and then JanNoWriMo followed after that. Last years took me 10 weeks in total (155k) and I didn’t want to do that again.

Davina: No. Not even half way through. Currently I’m at 101k and still not even half way according to the Plan. This is going to be an epic.

Amanda: Sadly my novel was not finished, but I did finish the first part with 67,300 words in November.

Carla: Not at all. I estimate that it is about half way through and so am focusing on finishing it through the month of December.

Melissa: Nope. I think I need 50,000 words or less to finish it up. I won’t know until I finish telling the story.

Lydia: I did manage to finish it this year, and it was a great feeling. Not only did I hit 50k, I wrote an entire novel!

Rodwen: Yes, much to my surprise. I actually concluded my novel at 49,500 words, and had to write an extra scene!


13. What have you learned from this experience?

Nilynrae: Not everything always works… it’s Nano. That’s okay.
I CAN write short(ish) stories.
I underestimate myself too often.
Focus and determination is a wonderful attribute to have.

Davina: Umm, I need to work on someting less epic? On a serious note , I should have done more research prior to writing as there was a couple of times I had to interrupt my writing to find things out. I needed to find out who was going to be in the novel as the extra people was a bit annoying especially when I was meant to be writing.
I also found it hard to visualise Versailles and Saint-Cloud and I couldn’t get a very clear image of the palaces so that became a bit vague.One of my major regrets is that I’ve never actually been to Versailles! I just had to press on and if I found thorough later research that I’d messed up I’d just had to rewrite it. The important thing was getting the words out rather worrying what was Louis XIV’s throne room was called in the heat of writing.

Amanda: I learned that if I am persistant that writing a book is a lot easier than I thought last year. I have also found that my grammar and such has improved along with my writing style.

Carla: That the more I force myself to write in the beginning, the easier it comes later on. That I actually have something to say, and that I can actually accomplish goals I set out for myself if it’s something that I really care about.

Melissa: That it is possible to write a novel. What I learned from nano, I can take and do other times of the year and come up with some great stories.

Lydia: Even though I won last year…I’ve learned that if I can manage to focus, I can get a lot of writing done, apparently more than if I don’t focus. I’m just always amazed at how much fun NaNo is every year.

Rodwen: To never give up, no matter how challenging the problem may be. 50k words in 30 days seems impossible, especially for a chronic procrastinator who had never finished a story, but look at me now!


14. Will you be revising your novel?

Nilynrae: I have no plans to do so currently as I have other work that feels “better” to me. I’ve only just started on some 2006 stuff. If I ever do, it’ll probably get cut down into a short novella/long short story.

Davina: Yes, judging by the plot holes that are still there. I find it quite hard to write in a linear fashion anyway, so although I won, frankly ‘The Poisoned Veil is a bit of a mess!

Amanda: Of course I will, I am hoping to eventually get it published sometime in the future.

Carla: Definitely. I will probably make that my goal through 2009. By the end of 2009 I have myself set on having a full rewrite of the novel.

Melissa: Definitely. I plan to finish it up in January.

Lydia: I’m planning on it, since I want to take up that CreateSpace offer. But first I have to take care of last year’s NaNo. I hadn’t even read it until the first of December.

Rodwen: … … … yes … … … um … … … if I can motivate myself to re-read it.


15. Did you resort to the forums?

Nilynrae: Oh yeah. Loads! I love the bustle of the Nanoforums during Nanowrimo. It’s a hotbed full of prompts, ideas, cheerleaders and typos… what more could you ask for? :D

Davina: The forums were very enjoyable. It was really interesting to find out what other people were writing, and everyone was very encouraging. It was great to be able to bang on about your novel to like minded people. If I had tried that in real life I ‘m sure most people would have just glazed over.

Amanda: Sometimes I did but too overly so.

Carla: I tend to be rather shy in online forums, but I started posting in some threads through the second half of November. I followed the conversation in my region’s forum, but only posted very rarely.

Melissa: Yeah I used the forums when I can. There was some great information out there. I used the shoutout forums quite often.

Lydia: Mostly to chat with people and help other people out with their novels, and to get help whenever I needed it.

Rodwen: All the time, although ‘resort’ seems to be a bit harsh. I used the forums as a distraction, and a chance to connect with my fellow NaNoers. I enjoyed the playful banter that went around, and appreciated the help when I was stuck on several points.


16. What were your first thoughts and actions after winning?

Nilynrae: First thought: relief
First action: going to make my own darn coffee! and one for the hubby too!

Davina: To be honest, I just kept on going. I did post a congratulatory post on the LJ group and I rewarded myself with a pizza and watching a film. It gave me something to work towards. Although I passed by the 17th , I want to pass my word count for this year and I also want to finish earlier. Just my little competetive streak coming through!

Amanda: I was very happy and I bragged to my brother who was more than 10,000 words behind me.

Carla: My first reaction was to collapse in bed. I had spent that entire weekend spitting out school assignments and somehow at the same time wrote the last 15k in those two days. My back was aching and I was drained and exhausted. It was only the next day when I started getting messages from friends who saw my word count that it hit me. I just felt an incredible sense of accomplishment and pride in myself, not to mention a huge rise in confidence.

Melissa: I was like oh my god. I did it. I was relieved and happy.

Lydia: “I did it again!” I was just excited to do it. Then I played “Still Alive,” the credit’s song from Portal. The first few lines: “This was a triumph, I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.”

Rodwen: My first thought was “Wow. I actually did it!” My first actions? Pushing my swivel chair away from the desk and spinning until I was dizzy. True story.


17. What sentence of your novel contained the 50000th word?

Nilynrae: “After all, we still have the INTACOM online and that would have surely one of the first things to go.”
It’s part of a news report that is speculating of the target of an attack. INTACOM = the target’s INTelligence And COMmand network.

Davina: Do you know what? I honestly can’t remember.

Amanda: No idea, I wrote 67,000 so I don’t have a clue.

Carla: Nothing exciting: “She remained by his side until the Dunes of Abbadon began to rise up in the far off horizon.”

Melissa: It was in the last paragraph.

Lydia: “After I got the basic scales finished, I moved on to other exercises.” Very exciting. Basic was my 50,000th.

Rodwen: “If Creator planned for us to meet this one time, then, surely, He will allow us to see each other again, if not in this world, then in the next.” My Faerie friend is telling me farewell.


18. Did you feel it was worth it?

Nilynrae: Oh sure. It always is. Even if you came out with total junk, you’d at least know what doesn’t work and what does. Nothing is ever completely pointless!

Davina: Of course! I doubt I would have ever stirred my stumps to write this story if I hadn’t had the impetus of NaNo. I was also a bit of a perfectionist and took ages over things. At the moment I’m writing a Harry Potter fic which has taken ages precisely because I’ve been agonising about are they in character? Is this any good? Let’s wait for my beta’s opinion. Hopefully this will motivate me to write a bit swifter and have faith that what I’m writing isn’t half bad.

Amanda: It was way worth it, I feel as if it gave me a little boost of confidence, writing about something you want to is always worth it to me.

Carla: 100% yes. It gave me a huge boost in confidence, which is something I was unfortunately missing as this was a tough semester in school. There were also a lot of personal things going on with my family and so NaNo became a way of escaping it all and focusing on something for me, instead of constantly focusing on other people.

Melissa: Yes. I have always wanted to write a novel and this gave me the push I needed to do it.

Lydia: Of course. It was awesome.

Rodwen: Absolutely.


19. Are you planning to do NaNoWriMo next year?

Nilynrae: Always. If it’s running… I’ve donated as much as I can so come on people if you can and you haven’t!

Davina: Oh yes, I’m utterly addicted now! I even think I know what it’s going to be although it might change. Let’s just say I think something modern is in order. I’m also signed up for NaNoFiMo, MiniNaNo in March and I’m seriously thinking about JulNoWriMo as well.

Amanda: Oh you bet! I love it sooo much. The pressure does wonderful things to my ability to write.

Carla: I have no clue what I’ll be doing next year but I have every intention to be participating in NaNo for years to come.

Melissa: Yes, definitely.

Lydia: Why wouldn’t I? NaNo is one of my favorite things to do now.

Rodwen: Of course! I already am planning the novel I will write.


20. In what other projects are you involved?

Nilynrae: I’ve recently started a science fact blog & a writers forum. I’ve written an unofficial players guide website for a reasonably sized online gaming community (and have been moderating their forum for 3+ years). I’ve also sometimes active on various astronomy/science forums.

Davina: I have a whole bunch of interesting projects and stories I’m working on! As I said, I write Harry Potter fanfic so there’s a collection of ideas I want to get rolling. In addition to ‘Notes on a Scandal’ which is an AU 50+ chaptered fic about Hermione Granger and Severus Snape, I also am planning another one called ‘Dead Men tell no Tales’ which is going to be more of a AU Wizarding political thriller type thing.

I was working on a novel called ‘The Rival Nightingales’ which I was meant to do at the same time but ultimately I decided to concentrate on ‘The Poisoned Veil’. This is all about the true rivalry of Francesca Cuzzoni and Faustina Bordoni and how they competed to be the ultimate prima donna of the18th century London stage. That’s going to be my priority for next year.

My big work in progress is another epic called ‘Dischord’ . I think the best way to describe it would be ‘Jilly Cooper with added headbanging’ and it’s set in the Rock and Metal world about a rock star who goes missing right before his World Tour.

I have an LJ but frankly , no one ever visits. I try to blog but I don’t think I’m that great at it. Nothing much really happens in my life. I need to make more of an effort with it.

I post a lot on the Nightwish forum, being a bit of a fangirl, and the Ultimate Metal forums as well.

Amanda: I get on eragonfans.com and well other than NanNoWrimo that is just about it.

Carla: I write my own blog: www.chopsticknitter.livejournal.com which is more of a personal blog and a way I stay connected with friends. I also joined a few forums this past week that are continuing similar writing goals like NaNo, one in particular being dreamwriters.org.

Melissa: Oh my. I am in so many things its not even funny. I star trek simm on multiple sites. I run two websites of my own. One is star trek related and the other has many of my little projects on there. That one has my blog, offers webhosting/bloghosting, I make forum skins and themes and offer them for free or low priced. I write on squidoo and hubpages. I use photoshop quite often for the many things I need to use it including make forum ranks, banners, signatures and avatars.

Lydia: I have my own blog, mostly writing related, and I’m currently editing last year’s NaNo, and I think I have a few unfinished stories lying around. I know I have one I had to leave off for NaNo, I suppose I should pick it back up again.

Rodwen: I am involved in a website for NaNo members, called NaNoCritics, that is a writing-sharing site. I also am a new member of Script Frenzy, starting in April, put on by The Offices of Letters and Light, the people who do NaNoWriMo.