by - May 04, 2020


Ahem. That was probably a violent start to a not-so-violent post *shrugs awkwardly* Anyway...April was a deadening, horrible month mostly (except for my birthday, that was pretty great) so a lot of Camp NaNoWriMo got pushed to the back burner for me. I spent waaaaaaay too much of my month on drawing and not enough on writing, but at least creating was happening xD

I ended up dancing from one WIP to another. My stats include: These are not final, because I didn't want to wait until the end of the month to write this and I didn't really care if I "won" or not this time...

-A Havok short story
-Another short story for an anthology
-A few chapters of my novel Watched
-The first third (ish?) of Pentegreens book 4
-A little bit of a new story called Therapy Session (which I'm not saying anything about rn)
-Some of a short story for two side characters in Pentegreens

I set a goal of 80,000 words for Camp, thinking I'd just be editing Pentegreens 4 the whole time, but that's not what worked out. See, April was a really emotionally heavy month for me. As I kept writing the edits of book 4, getting into my villain's psyche and my protagonist's despair, I felt my writing spiraling, getting darker and darker and veering into levels that made it so I hardly recognized my own story. And at that point...I had to stop. I was able to make it a few more chapters in after that point, but I'm realizing that I very much need to slow down.

I've always liked to write books fast, especially my Pentegreens books, but I'm starting to think that it burns me out too fast to do that and it might be wiser to slow down. I wrote Holding Up the Sky over a three month period, and while it killed me to go that slow, I think I got a better quality book. AND it didn't run me raw--always a plus.

Anyway, that was a lot of backstory you didn't necessarily need xD The important thing is: I did not finish Pentegreens 4 this month. I know Clare is disappointed about that--sorry, Clare. I'm working on it. xD But hopefully there will be more before too long.

ALL THIS TO SAY! I've got some snippets!

“Hi,” I say after a moment, because I realize I haven’t actually greeted him.
He smirks. He’s usually more talkative than this, but I guess talking to me will do that to you. My mom always called him flamboyant, like the Mad Hatter. I never thought that was the right word to describe him when I was younger—I always thought he just had personality.
I look at him now and take in, for the first time, the bright red tie he’s wearing over his T-shirt. The T-shirt is a black band shirt for some metal-looking group.
Yeah, maybe flamboyant is a good description after all. I sigh.
“Hi,” he says after a moment. His voice has deepened since we were kids, and even though I’ve heard it since then, it still comes as a shock every time I hear it. “I hope you’re ready to talk. I’m very interested to hear this story.”
I glare at him. “Pushy much?”
“I could be pushier. Would you prefer that?”
“If you got any pushier, you’d be my mom.”
He laughs out loud. “Oh, I just remembered why I loved spending time with you so much when we were younger,” he says.
“Why? Because I’m such a riot to talk to?”
“You’re so grouchy! I love it!” He scratches his nose and then gives me a suddenly serious look. “But truly, Ella… I want to help you.”
~Therapy Session

I’m choking. I’m gasping. I can’t breathe. I clutch at my chest, yanking at the collar of my shirt, trying to get it away from my throat, in case that will help me breathe. My other hand grabs the front of my shirt, and it takes me a second to realize I’m trying to hold my T-shirt closed. My T-shirt with no buttons. I let go of it and grab my leg instead. I have to get out of here. I’m going to die.
Slowly I hit the button to open the window. Even though the car isn’t running, it slides down a few inches. Sound slams into the silent bubble we’ve been hiding in for the last however-long. I gasp for more air and try to force my heart to go back to my chest and get out of my throat. My skin is too thin—my pulse will jump right out through it, bust a hole in me and leave me bleeding visibly in my terror.

She had prayed for a way out, and it had come.
To leave, though, to turn around and walk out… why did she deserve to run when so many would still be trapped? What was special about her?
She didn’t deserve it. But she would have to accept it, or else spit upon the sacrifice of so many.
She took a deep breath and followed Kariana, even though every step weighed her down like lead. The back gate of the garden stood open. There should have been some sense of peace or some sort of certainty that flooded into her as she crossed out of the grounds, but as her feet touched the streets of her city, all she felt was nothing. She was free.
Was she truly free? Would she ever be free again?

~Pentegreens 4

When it had happened she wasn’t sure. Sometime in the last five minutes. But now she had a new life goal: Take that boy’s already-bright smile and make it brighter every time she saw him.
As he left, walking away up the stairs, he cast a single glance back at her over his shoulder before he was gone.
One of the girls who had worked in the kitchen as long as Cilla moved to her side, a grimace twisting her face. “I’m still hoping for a genuinely handsome one. I’ve never seen such ugly hair in my life.”
“I know. Russell should brush it.” Cilla’s insides were glowing. There was a spring in her step as she turned back to the counter and started mixing bread dough.
“Not him, fool. The new one. The ugly one.”
“Too bad!” Cilla giggled out loud. “Because the ugly one?” She looked the girl dead in the eye. “It’s my goal now to marry that ugly one.”
~Short story: The Maid and Her Guardsman

And that's a wrap on another NaNo event, folks!

It wasn't the event I'd wanted, but I'm okay with that. I needed a break, I think, but one where I still got a lot of words down. It feels good to get back to writing. And I'm grateful the words have returned.

Did you do Camp NaNo? Did anyone else have a hard time with it this time around? Which of these snippets did you like the best? Chat with me in the comments!

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  1. Oh my word YES TO ALL OF THESE!!!! You already know I love TS, BUT THE SNIPPET HAS MY HEART I LOVE IT!!

    You did amazing this month, and I'm proud of you. I love you. <3

  2. Also that snippet from watched!!! I forgot to say something. (I totally did not intend to spam this week, but here we are. xD) That watched snippet was so descriptive and lovely. You're amazing. I love you. <3 <3 <3 <3

    1. LIAR you always come prepared to spam xD Thank you so much.

  3. That snippet from P4,

    Camp was good. Reached my goal about halfway through the month and got to chill and get other projects done, which was nice.

    1. Yeah...*whistles innocently*

      NICE! Proud of you, mate!

  4. love the snippets! <3 ahhh, i was not able to do camp nano....writing in college is hard, especially since i'm taking two lit classes this semester. i'm looking forward to getting lots of writing in after my finals next week!

    1. Thanks! <3 Ooh I feel that and I feel it HARD. Good luck both on finals and for writing!

  5. Amazing snippets, Faith! I liked the first one best, I think. :D <33 Ooooooooooooof, my Camp Nano was a mess too, tbh. X"D

  6. Okay, those snippets are AWESOME as usual, Faith, and starting Therapy Session is so exciting!!! Best of luck! (and ooo, more short stories? *pumps fist* yesss)


  7. I'm proud of you for not continuously pushing yourself to edit Pentegreens 4 when you weren't in the right headspace! Some seasons just call for us to step back and take care of ourselves, whatever that looks like. I'm having to do that a lot right now too. I just do NOT have the motivation and drive, much less energy, to do my normal pace of things. And that's okay. Life WILL return to normal one day. For now it's important we are just patient with ourselves and do what we can and be okay with not doing what we can't.

    But GIRL. YOU STILL DID SO MUCH. AND THESE SNIPPETSSSSS. *drools* How do you always make the most vivid, dynamic characters??? SO MUCH SKILL. That top one is so adorable oh my goodness. I want to know more about these two! And the one from Watched and Pentegreens 4? Um excuse me but just TEAR MY HEART OUT. I barely even know what's happening and those are heartrending. UGH. AND THE LAST ONEEEEE. “It’s my goal now to marry that ugly one.” THAT IS SO CUTE I'M DYING. These were amazing! You are amazing!

    Love you, girl! I do hope May proves to be a bright, beautiful month for you! <3

    1. Yes I definitely get that :'( and much though I'd love to tear through this book, it's become highly personal for me and just...being in my villain's headspace for two long scares me. HE scares me. So I'm allowing myself to step back whenever I need to.

      THANK YOU SO MUCH ^_^ I don't even know, man, but thank you xD and I'm so glad you like the snippets! The last one is my favorite ;) but I love them all. Thank youuuuuu <3

      Love you too! Same right back to you!

  8. You naughty girl xD I ADORE YOUR SNIPPETS. SERIOUSLY.
    Can I pay you to write for me????? xD
    (Also that's awesome that taking your time has hopefully created a higher-quality book. >>> lesson time for me xD I Struggle SO MUCH with going slowly and steadily.)


      Mmm...nah xD

      And thanks! It actually does help a LOT.

  9. XD I really appreciate that you're worried I'll be disappointed, but I'm not and I promise that I can be patient. ;) Your stories will always be amazing and you can take as much time as you need writing them! <3 I'm your personal cheerleader here to encourage you because I love your characters!!!!

    Also, you did so much this Camp! You rock!! <3 I barely got over 6k and half that is pages of notes on all my plot holes. XD Editing is the worst.

    (Oh, a story just for Cilla and you know who??? That's going to be so precious!!! Plus Therapy Session and Watched sound incredible. Just sayin'.)

    1. *sobs* thank you SO MUCH I don't know what I'd do without you on this journey xD And the next four chapters are basically done but first I have to write a MASSIVE thing so there will hopefully be more soon ;)

      Thank you! xD But hey editing has to happen so I'm proud of you too! <3

      YESSSSSSS it's all about their backstory!!!!! And I'm so glad! <3

  10. Loved this! Especially those snippets!!!! Praying for you, girl!

  11. Fantastic snippets! I like jumping around sometimes with stories, it's fun.

  12. One book in three months??? "Slow"??? Honey, an entire novel in three months is pretty darn fast, as far as I'm concerned. XD

    But I'm soooo glad you were able to get a break and have fun writing at the same time. <3 So proud of all you accomplished last month, girl! And of all you're accomplishing this month already.

    1. THAT IS SLOW *sobs* I need to stop believing I can recreate NaNo 2019 because that was insanity and I don't think I will ever do it again.

      Thank you so much <3 <3 <3 I love you!

  13. I think it's really good that you recognized you weren't in a good place to do that particular story. I think creative people have a tendency to push themselves too much even when their souls and their bodies are screaming for them to stop; it's something I notice about my own stories from time to time. That right now, they just aren't a place where I need to be, or they're taking me to a place where I don't need to be, and I have to take a step back and reevaluate. Better to slow down, I figure, then keep pushing and veer off a cliff.



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