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Last night, I hit the target of 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month!
There is still a week to go, so I will keep writing and aim to hit another 10k words by the end of November. Thought I’d just check in and give you guys an update 🙂
So happy that Saga of the Sinner is coming together. I’m still well off from finishing a first draft, but getting there!
I just realised that, since my last post, I’ve written just shy of 10k words in four days! Woot!
Thanks for all the support, everyone! It means so much to me ❤
Last night I hit 40,000 words for my new novel, Saga of the Sinner, and I must say that I am feeling both happy about that (of course), but I am also feeling quite sad too because I know it’s coming to an end.
You probably know that NaNo is the time when I am most productive. It is the sad truth I realise from the program. Really, it should tell me, “Look what you can do if only you would get more committed to a project.” And that alone should be enough to push me. Yes, that message is very clear to me, however, I find this very difficult without NaNo there holding my hand and telling me, “Good girl!” whenever I meet certain targets. I love the rewards. Although small, it’s still nice to get a symbolic award or trophy for reaching 40,000 words.
I know it’s silly, and I know I should be disciplined enough that I don’t need a program to get me to write, but as I said it can be hard. So, when I hit 50,000 words this month — according to my stats above that should be around the 24th (this week!) — I will continue working, whether that is writing, researching, or editing.
If only NaNo would go all year, because what it does tell me is that I need deadlines to push me. I can set myself my own deadlines, but I can’t get them to stick because I know they’re not real. I can take a few days off if I want because no one is actually breathing down my neck demanding I finish before… (insert whenever deadline here). And the reward, when you hit 50k during NaNo, is a certificate and other awesome prizes, including a tonne of discounts for amazing sites and programs. Scrivener, for instance, but my favourite is the ability to have my novel printed on a Litographs scarf! I think it might be time to get Eleanor printed on one. What do you think?
There are the Revision Months of NaNo, and I will try again to stick with those deadlines, but again it’s not the same as the NaNoWriMo program itself. I tried doing it last year and failed. I think it could have been that I had just run out of steam, but I also felt I was writing things that were going to be scrapped anyway.
I’m just realising how depressing this post sounds. I think part of it has to do with the content itself. A lot more research is required for this subject matter, and there have been times during this month where I’d find myself down that rabbit hole instead of writing. There have been a lot of, “Did Sade actually say (or think this)?”, “Do I have his voice right?”, “Is this ethical?”, “Is this anachronistic?”, “Will the readers get an accurate picture of him?” and so on. And then I tell myself, “Get the words down and worry about this later.” Still, it’s a daily struggle I have to contend with.
Despite all this, I will set myself a deadline (post NaNo), and I will try and stick to it. I want to finish Saga of the Sinner earlier than I finished Eleanor. Just that little friendly competition with myself has been so helpful in motivating me this month. I have a calendar set aside with all my daily targets for Eleanor, and I have overtaken them, yay!
I think I just need some time (and I will likely do this after I hit the big 50k) to do more research to get every detail right. I’ve got plenty of fill-the-gap points in the manuscript, such as, “insert Inspector’s name here.”
Next week, I think I’d like to post up some more information about the project itself — the general plot and storyline for starters. I think that will be helpful for me as well.
Thanks for joining me. And please, send me a hug if you can. I think I need it to get through the NaNo blues.
A little about Saga of the Sinner:
As you know, I have been writing a novel about the Marquis de Sade. He was a very naughty boy, and he wrote a lot of naughty books, but there is a lot of myth and legend attached to him (and his name, especially). I’m hoping to be able to portray Sade as who I think he really was.
I have been studying a number of primary and secondary texts, including some of his letters from prison, but as you know, I studied Sade at university, so I’m planning to apply a lot of that research and work to this novel. I really do want to try and weave in some of my outlandish theories too 😉
I’d love to be able to call it a work of creative nonfiction, but I’m not sure that I can, ethically. I have filled in a lot of blanks and worked in my own interpretations of events, especially where concerning the ‘he said, she said’ accounts.
Anyway, thank you all for joining me today for the big reveal for Saga of the Sinner. I hope you love the cover as much as I do, and please feel free to let Phoenix and I know what you think ❤
And if you like what you see, go check out the other cover designs from Phoenix Johnson Graphic Design
Hey, everyone! Today is the day — the big reveal!
Throughout the day, my lovely designer, Phoenix Johnson (of Phoenix Johnson Graphic Design — who designed the cover for Eleanor) and I will be revealing sections of the cover artwork for my National Novel Writing Month project on the Marquis de Sade…
Phoenix and I wanted to have a bit of fun with this reveal, so throughout the day we’ll be ‘tearing off’ to reveal sections of the cover. Since I am writing about the Marquis de Sade, I thought it only fitting to build up to a climax 😉
Piece by piece the cover for Saga of the Sinner will be revealed today on my Facebook page, so keep an eye out… especially for the full reveal 9pm tonight, AEDT.
I hope you love the cover as much as I do.
And if you get the chance, go check out the other cover designs by Phoenix Johnson.
I’ve posted the first section below, but if you want to see the other section reveals, you’ll have to head over to Facebook and follow my page. On my final reveal, I’ll also give you a better idea of what I’m writing about for the project.
And, as always, below you will find my NaNoWriMo stats. You may notice I’ve hit the halfway mark! 25,000 words! Woot!
Oh, and I’ve also just recently submitted Eleanor to a publisher, so fingers crossed everyone!
Thanks for joining me this week. I know it’s only a short post, but I’ll make up for it a little later, promise!
Firstly, thank you to everyone for all the support. It means so much to me, especially during National Novel Writing Month when things can get really tough. And thank you for the kind words and tips — when I had a severe migraine last week. Day 1 obviously didn’t go as well as I’d liked, but I still managed to hit the daily goal, which should satisfy me enough.
Sadly, I didn’t remember to add to my last blog post, but if you are doing NaNoWriMo this year, feel free to add me. My username is: officialcadenceauthor. You’re also welcome to check out my profile and have a wee perusal over my projects.
This week, I have a lot of exciting things to share.
Of course, I have posted my NaNo word count below. (I’m staying on track, which is great, and to be honest, I didn’t expect to get this far). Yes, the writing has actually been going quite well — I’m having a lot of fun with a few scenes and chapters. The Marquis de Sade was a very complicated, multi-faceted man. Even in his letters you can see as his mood and tone go from one extreme to the next. For example, he will lovingly dote over his wife, then tell her what an idiot she is, and so on.
So, this is my word count so far:
Yes, I finally have a title for this book! (as you can see in the screenshot above). I had quite a few niggling around in my head:
- Crime of the Marquis de Sade (of course, you know this one)
- In the Blackest Shade Possible
- Guilty of the Blackest Crimes
- Lettre de Cachet
- Courting Disaster
- Courting Darkness
But I finally decided on Saga of the Sinner. I am curious to know your opinion though. Is there a title more fitting for my project? I’d love your thoughts!
I should also say, to those wondering, Saga of the Sinner is so completely different to Eleanor. It’s hard for me to classify this book, but I see it as a combination of creative nonfiction, historical fiction, and pornography.
Pornography?! Not romance? Not erotica?
No. Absolutely not. Although the line between erotica and pornography is quite blurred — in fact, I would have considered naming Saga of the Sinner erotica — I know a lot of people loathe their erotica being labelled as such. Personally, I don’t understand this. Pornography is just as legitimate and necessary as any other literary genre. And, there is no shame in either reading or writing it.
I have heard it argued that the difference between erotica and pornography is the sex of the author. I don’t agree with this, however I do believe that very few women will willingly label their literature as pornographic.
Yet, I have not ventured far into my project. I have used the term ‘pornography’ to cover one particular chapter I have written. In regards to the rest, Saga of the Sinner is relatively tame. It will not remain so however.
Now, while I say I have no issue with pornography or erotica, my one main concern of these genres is the tendency for some authors to romanticise rape and abuse — an issue prevalent even in some young adult literature (I won’t name names! Though I have a few titles in mind) — this is something I will absolutely be avoiding.
But, I have considered the Marquis de Sade’s work to be not merely pornography, but a form of philosophy as well — for pornography is a legitimate arena for literary criticism — this is especially clear in his novella, Justine, an argument against following a path of virtue. I think this is why I find myself defending Sade so easily. It is not mindless sex for the sake of mindless sex — yes, even in The 120 Days of Sodom! Using Justine, once again as an example, we see that the people who punish, torture, and rape Justine are, most often, priests. This simply reflected the corruption prevalent in the Church during 18th- and 19th-century France. But, enough of that! I could go on for days!
Currently, I am reading the follow-up book, Juliette. So, I am eager to share my thoughts on it, if I ever finish it — it’s a bloody long book!
I will continue to put out warnings, even to my beta readers, and editor, because there is no comparison to Eleanor, save for writing style and tone, perhaps. I want to do this because I don’t want people to be surprised by the content. Although I have stated a number of times that I’ll be writing a novel on the Marquis de Sade, I don’t think many people actually grasp my intention. I can’t allow myself to pull back and away from the truth of Sade, because people need to see who he really was. I don’t want there to be a chance at all of Sade being romanticised. So, even though it has been really difficult writing some parts, I feel I need to do it. I think it would be unethical to do otherwise.
Book Pipeline Competition
Recently, I entered Eleanor into the Book Pipeline Competition, which looks for works suitable for film or television. I thought I’d give it a go. Honestly, I don’t imagine winning, but I am really excited that every entrant will have their submission assessed. I’m looking forward to the feedback I’ll receive, though I could only enter the first 5,000 words!
The deadline for the competition has been extended, so there’s still time to enter if you’re interested.
A bit of sad news…
I was rejected by the agent (who I submitted Eleanor to). I’m bummed, but it’s not the end. I’ll keep a look out for more agents and, fingers crossed, Eleanor will be picked up.
Unfortunately, the cover art for Saga of the Sinner isn’t quite ready, but my amazing designer and I have done up a little teaser for now. Let me know what you think.
This is just a wee update. I’ll give you more details during my regular blog post. Just wanted to let you know day one of National Novel Writing Month went well. Well, well enough, I suppose. I’ve reached the daily goal of 1,667 words, but my head is pounding — I have the biggest migraine, and it won’t let up, so I will have to abandon NaNo for today and pick up again tomorrow. Boo! I know. I was doing so well!
Today was pretty intense. I knew it would be hard to write Sade, but this is really hard. I want to be careful not to romanticise him. He was quite the vile man, so I want to make sure that no reader looks upon him with love hearts in their eyes… you know, like in the cartoons.
Anyway, I can’t babble too long, my brain is falling out.
Here are my stats so far:
Like last year, I will post up my stats each week, and you guys can kick me up the arse if I’m slacking.
Next week, I should have the title for my project — Crime of the Marquis de Sade is only a working one — as well as the cover design. So keep an eye out! I will also give you guys a better idea of my project.
Until next week.
Published in the 2017 Blue Fringe Arts 25th Anniversary Short Story and Poetry Anthology.Sometimes I forget how to feel
Sometimes I forget how to feel. And a hand lingers in front of my face as I envision every muscle movement. Fingers dancing and curling in slowly as they will against my thoughts. And as I picture my synapses firing in every direction, I wonder if some thought, some meaning, will birth from my focus. Then I become aware just how hard it is to keep my fingers straight; they keep curling in.
My own body fails me, betrays me, and denies me power over it.
So, you see, I forget how to feel because sometimes I don’t know how to feel, how I should feel. But, do these thoughts emerge from myself?
I wait with bated breath for an answer to come and save me from whatever has provoked my anxiety this time. And again wait for something to stifle it once more.
If I can only focus on my hand, and allay all other thoughts, let them melt away, feel the skin peel away, until I am left with the cold, mechanical form of being, and realise that’s what I am, nothing more, and that I must afford myself significance, not await it, I think I can finally be free of myself, of my dread of needing validation, justification, for my own existence and happiness.