A Monday Moment: Growing Closer

The following is the main character of “Pursuit of Power,” Alexander, musing about his relationship with Leahna, the secondary main character. The musing is directed at Drear Dark, the narrator of this series of books, years after the events in the book would have happened.


I’m not sure I could tell you when Leahna and I started to become closer. I know you’re looking for accuracy and details for these accounts you’re compiling, but I’m not sure I can be very specific on this one. I’d like to say that’s because our friendship just grew so smoothly it’s hard to find the point where we became as close as we were by the time I met you. But the truth is, it’s probably just because I was so wrapped up in my own stuff, I didn’t pay that much attention. In fact, for a while, it was almost as if we were both avoiding becoming friends at all.

When we first met, we both kept our relationship professional, almost to an extreme. I was only intent on practicing my Power use, and on not giving her a reason to decide she didn’t want to train with me any more. I was paranoid about that a lot, after some time of running through Clerics. If it hadn’t been for my mom, I’m not sure we would have ever started to feel more like friends than training partners.

I will say that I probably faked familiarity for a while. Not on purpose, really, but I think part of me felt that if I made her feel a sense of loyalty to me, out of friendship, then she would choose to continue training with me, despite being very busy at the time. When you write about this, make sure you include that I felt terrible later for the way I treated her. Pretending to be her friend, all the while lying to her.

In fact, when I finally told her the truth, that’s probably when things changed at least a little bit. Well, and because of what happened shortly after that. You know how tragedy can put things into perspective? We certainly had our share of that.

It was probably when she started calling me “Lex.” If you know Leahna at all, and I guess you do, you know that she is very polite, even formal. My mom’s the only one who ever called me “Lex,” but there was a point that I first noticed Leahna was referring to me by that nickname. It was while we were in the desert. I’m pretty sure she’d been using it for longer than when I first realized it. It felt natural, not weird like I would have expected it to, out of her mouth. So I guess that’s about it, the answer to your question–sometime between me telling her the truth and our time in the desert. That’s when we became best friends.

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Daily Writing Check-in: January 20, 2016

Words/Time:  282 words of writing practice. Also 1.5 hours working on the rest of the timeline for “Pursuit of Power.” There are a lot of places in the story where I wrote vague amounts of time. Something lasted for “several months” or happened “after a few weeks.” Of course it’s much easier to do this while writing than to bother to come up with a specific amount of time. Creating a timeline off that is a little annoying though. I muddled through, and some entries can always be shortened or extended later as I fit other stories during or after this one. I use Aeon Timeline for my timelines, and it’s the most helpful writing software I’ve ever used.

I think my next step will be to plan out a sketchy idea of the events that will take place for Alexander, the main character in this story, after this book ends. From what I can tell from my timeline, the next story involving Alexander has to take place 4 years after this one ends. I think I can make that work

Daily Challenge Check-in: September 10, 2015

Words/Time: 48 minutes, half of which was revising “Pithea.” Missy and Leahna now wait to talk about Missy’s concerns until they have left the company of Alexander. And Missy is not quite as in the dark or naive as she was before about Leahna’s own part in Alexander’s questionable actions.

But I started my writing time doing some of the activities on the post I made today with NaNo prep activities. I have a partial outline for the story I have been planning to write for this year’s NaNo. It is another in the same world as “Pithea.” I’m still working on editing “Pithea” (though I’m actually seeing the light at the end of that tunnel), and then I have “Pursuit of Power” to start revising. It is not the most important thing right now for me to add another novel to that pile.

So I’m going to take some time out of my normal revising work over the next week or so and do some of the activities that I’m suggesting for others. I only got to two of them, and then realized how difficult it would be to make something up for the second image, since I know those people and what’s going on in that picture. Not impossible, but more time than I wanted to spend, since I still had normal revision work to get to.

And while I may still decide to write the story I’ve already outlined, maybe I’ll go with something I produce from these activities instead. There’s still a lot of time to decide.

Daily Challenge Check-in: September 6, 2015

Words/Time: 70 minutes, revising “Pithea.” Most of it was rewriting, as a scene in which Missy, Leahna, and Alexander (latter two being main characters of “Pursuit of Power“) recover from an encounter was kind of flat before. The scene also included Alexander learning some important information for the very first time, but things were disjointed and disorderly. So I’m working on smoothing it out and giving it more emotion now.

Daily Challenge Check-in: July 20, 2015

Words/Time: 1497 words, revising “Pithea.” I have toned down a scene that was probably too much too soon, though only by a small amount. One sentence deleted was all that was required. And with today’s work, I have finished part 3 of 4 during this revision session, which will probably be the most intensive one I have to do. Part 4 is kind of a mess though. All four parts consist of somewhat stand-alone mini-plots while the main plot progresses. Part four has its own conflict, but first I spend several pages talking about things that happened between parts 3 and 4. I’m not sure how well that’s going to work yet.

Daily Challenge Check-in: July 17, 2015

Words/Time: 2526 words, revising “Pithea.” It was a solid hour of work with few distractions for once. This area of the story didn’t need a lot of work, fortunately. It was a little emotional, as sad news was shared and one tragic backstory was revealed. My poor characters have been through a lot, and this is nothing compared to the wringer Alexander goes through.

NaNoWriMo Day 29, “The End”

The Words: 5442 written today and finished my novel! I was on such a roll last night that I just had to keep going. I put the final words in just before 5 a.m. I started with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, but the closer I got to the end, the more I just wanted to write and didn’t need the push of the word sprints. I am exhausted in so many ways right now. (I am writing this at 5 am, though I won’t post it until later this evening.)

I’m planning to write one more NaNoWriMo post before going back to posting about my revision work. Tomorrow, on the last day of the month, I want to sum up my experiences with NaNo this month.

The Story: Before Lex went into the base on his own, he instructed the leader of the militia unit to make one final push toward the base the next day. They did that and succeeded both in getting inside the base finally and in getting their leader captured. They were able to find the building where prisoners were being held, though, and there was Lex, doing his best to stop Rusalki. It is very difficult to explain what that means without explaining details of my story world. The important factors are that he kept her from being able to do any more damage, but she did get away. Still, the battle was over, and now Lex and Leahna have to deal with the aftermath. Then there was a muchly summarized epilogue in which Lex gets some clues to get him back on track to solving the mystery of his father’s death.

Final word count: 107,234

day 29

NaNoWriMo Day 28

The Words: 4462 written today and broke 100,000! After yesterday’s low number, and anticipating a very busy next two days (the last two days of NaNo), I made sure to really buckle down to write tonight. I did want to hit 100k, but I am still mostly intent on finishing the book. I am SO close. So close, in fact, that I didn’t realize that midnight had passed until it was 1 a.m. So I had to stop for a break and to write this up. Then I plan to get back to it tonight and maybe finish finally.

The Story: The battle in the desert is heating up. Two weeks have passed and the militia units that Lex and Leahna are helping are gaining a tiny bit of ground. Not literal ground, but they are systematically lowering the numbers of the enemy. When the second-in-command is taken prisoner, though, the leader demands immediate action. He knows that his second will be in grave danger if they don’t find him soon. So Lex decides to go inside the base himself and find a way to stop Rusalki, the leader of the mercenary organization.

Total word count: 101,792

day 28

NaNoWriMo Day 27

The Words: 577 written today. My extended family isn’t having our official Thanksgiving get-together until Sunday, but we had an unofficial game night tonight. I didn’t know for sure if we were going to that until around 4, so I had expected to have some writing time in the afternoon. In an effort to avoid a zero day, I did get some words written while sitting at the table where people were playing games. My laptop died and I’d forgotten my charger, so I ended up having to switch to pencil and paper for half of it. I got very little done. But at least it’s not a 0.

The Story: The mercenaries sent a small raiding party to attack the militias after dark. Because of Alexander’s advanced abilities, he was able to stop them completely, which was a huge morale boost for the other militia members. He may have drawn more attention to himself than he’d meant to, but at least the mercenaries had been stopped quickly. It really is very difficult to be vague and not give details that might spoil any of the story. I don’t enjoy it.

Total word count: 97,330

day 27

NaNoWriMo Day 26

The Words: 2947 written today. I realized at the exact right time today that the weekly virtual write-in was starting. For the first few weeks, I was gone every Wednesday, and the weeks after that, I just kept forgetting. I got lucky today and joined in. I wrote 1900 during that, and the rest in the evening. I haven’t watched the videos for the other virtual write-ins, but I have to admit, the prompts weren’t the most helpful today. I know you don’t have to write with the prompts, but they intrigued me, so I did. Things like: What is your protaganist’s ideal ending? What would your antagonist be doing if they didn’t have anybody thwarting them, and if all their plans succeeded? I couldn’t help but want to explore those questions. But I’m close to the end of my novel, and just need to finish this battle scene!

The Story: Leahna had the rest of the wounded opponents who had been left on the battle field brought back to the militias’ camp so she could continue to try to mend their injuries. Back at the camp, she came across a familiar face standing guard on the edge of camp. His name is Drear Dark, and he is actually usually the narrator of my stories. However, as I have forgotten that part, I’ve been writing this one third person. That is something I will have to remember during my early revising. Him being there also brought to my mind that I forgot to incorporate a huge event that Leahna would have been involved with, that happened in last year’s novel. I don’t know how I forgot. It didn’t affect her directly, but it did affect a close friend of hers, so she would have been involved. Another note for the first revision.

Total word count: 96,753

day 26