Saga of the Sinner – 50,000 words!

Last night, I hit the target of 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month!

Saga of the Sinner by Cadence day 23 word count 50,000

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!

Saga of the Sinner, by Cadence

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 ❤

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Day 20 of NaNoWriMo

Saga of the Sinner by Cadence day 12 word count 40,000

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.

For instance…

For instance...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.

Saga of the Sinner

I am beyond thrilled to be able to present to you the cover for my National Novel Writing Month project, Saga of the Sinner.

Saga of the Sinner, by Cadence

This amazingly awesome cover was designed by Phoenix Johnson (of Phoenix Johnson Graphic Design — who also designed the cover for my 2016 NaNo project, Eleanor).

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

Saga of the Sinner cover reveal

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

Saga - valiumof the - valium 36ptSinner valium - 80pt

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.

Saga of the Sinner by Cadence reveal 1
And, as always, below you will find my NaNoWriMo stats. You may notice I’ve hit the halfway mark! 25,000 words! Woot!

Saga of the Sinner by Cadence day 12 word count 25,000

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!

Day 6 of NaNoWriMo

valium day 6

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:

National Novel Writing Month day five stats Cadence

Title!
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.

Keep Calm It's Only the Marquis de Sade

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!

So, anyway
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.

and finally…

A teaser
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.

Teaser 2

 

 

Day 1 of NaNoWriMo

valium day 1

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:

National Novel Writing Month day one Cadence

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.

Getting ready for NaNoWriMo

Hi everyone,

It’s very close to National Novel Writing Month! Eeee! I’ve started my research and planning and now have a better idea of what to do exactly for the project.

I will be writing about some events or incidents in the Marquis de Sade’s life, a sort of series of short stories in a way, with the overall plot focusing on his imprisonment in Vincennes (and possibly his movement to the Bastille and then to Charenton asylum), and his insufferable wait to be freed.

As much as Sade was a terrible man, I cannot help but see his mother-in-law as the true villain. If you think your in laws are bad, you should hear what Madame de Montreuil (Sade’s mother-in-law) was like.

Mme de Montreuil arranges a lettre de cachet (arrest by order of the King, and imprisonment without trial) against Sade for being a very naughty man, but he evades the authorities. She then sends Sade a letter to inform him that his mother is sick. He comes out of hiding to visit her only to find it is a trap — his mother had already died weeks earlier. Sade is then arrested and spends the next 13 years in prison (moving from Vincennes, to the Bastille, to Charenton asylum), until lettres de cachet are abolished during the Revolution.

So, yeah, I wouldn’t like her for a mother-in-law!

I think the next step is to work out how to portray Mme de Montreuil in the novel. She was, of course, very upset that Sade was freed!

I also want to look at Sade’s childhood, education, time in the army, and other things that I am not so familiar with. BUT, I absolutely want to further explore some of my theories (the reasonable and outrageous) which I only briefly touched on in my thesis — and perhaps ideas of Sade as a libertine and libertarian, a pornographer and philosopher. The great thing about writing fiction (or potentially creative nonfiction), is the creative freedom — I can convey my absurd ideas, and feel only slight guilt about anything I think is unethical!

Yes, I would love to stay as true to the facts as possible (his life was far too interesting to necessitate the addition of fiction), but I’m not writing a biography. I want to write my own narrative of his life.

So, I am quite well into my research. I would absolutely love to chat with some of the authors of my textbooks, such as Francine du Plessix Gray, Neil Schaeffer, Timo Airaksinen, and even Michel Onfray — Why not? Though, it would be interesting and awkward, since I’m not a fan of his arguments at all, haha!

The idea of tweeting them to discuss Sade sounds both hilarious and inappropriate.

I would have absolutely loved to chat with R. F. Brissenden too. Honestly, his work Virtue in Distress, was a wonderful inspiration to me during my thesis writing. In fact, it helped me to decide on my argument (regarding the construction of virtue). Sadly, Mr Brissenden passed many years before I even began considering a thesis. Though, a child approaching him about the Marquis de Sade would have been painfully awkward!

So, I have been preparing for NaNoWriMo in research and planning, but I have also been doing other things, such as setting up a “package” for myself to use during November. It’s nothing, really, just something to help motivate me. For instance, a pack of my favourite pens, a new book stand (because those textbooks won’t stay open, damn it!), ink for the printer, new wrist rests for my keyboard and mouse (this is more because I’ve started getting pains — nerve problems, etc), a large whiteboard for plot/story planning, oh, and I got myself a new computer too 😉

My new book stand.

Book stand

Look how pretty! It’s been a pain in the arse trying to translate quotes and notes to the computer — holding the book open while typing. Blergh!

And, of course, I’m just casually showing off my textbooks in the background 😉

Probably should have taken a photo of my new computer. I suppose that’s something to be more excited about… but the book stand!

Anyway, I think that’s it for this week. I’ll be sure to fill you in with more of my goings-on next week.