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Untitled Pirate Novel



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Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:49 pm
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mellifera says...



Image

I needed somewhere to shout about this novel as I work on it for Camp NaNo and descend into madness for a third time.

Also hopefully some of these updates will be positive so I can read them back later and be like "ah yes, I was excited to be working on this novel, good times" because we all know what happens when I work on THIS novel (actually all of them but I think I absorb some of my MC's unrestricted and fathomless anger for this specific one).

I think? I have a somewhat cohesive plot this time? I'm STUNNED, this is mad, I thought it'd be a shapeless blob forever. Maybe I'll stick the landing a little better this time.

If anyone is, by chance, curious (the short of it still is "queer pirates and daddy issues"):

Synopsis (rough):

Spoiler! :
Shana Madigan's father was supposed to be there when she tried for an apprenticeship under the Council of Elder Witches - to better control her volatile, powerful magic. This isn't to say her family is always all accounted for, the lives of scholars and pirates are unpredictable at best, but this was important to her. He promised to be there.

Everything is overturned, however, when another, disciplined and powerful witch attacks soon after, kidnapping Shana and killing her aunt. Shana is thrust suddenly into a violent family conflict, in which she must escape and find what happened to her father and best friend, before she is caught by those who would see her dead.

needs fixing because I totally forgot there's a new pov this round *facepalm*


Setting:

Spoiler! :
Hated writing it in a custom worldbuild, hated writing it as a historical fiction. After reading Witchmark and contemplating setting, I kinda just went "why don't I just allude to the fact it's a historical-adjacent novel without committing to an actual recounting of the past". so, that.

This novel has gotten progressively more magical each draft. As I was writing this I realised Shana didn't even have magic in the first draft and it's such a crucial part of her identity now that's WILD to think about (plus all the gosh darn NAME CHANGES). BUT in addition to magic and elves and a dragon, we have selkie and slyphs and generally more mythical things! so, historical adjacent fantasy I guess.



Goal for Camp NaNo is 35k, so we'll see how that goes!
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Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:25 am
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mellifera says...



Day One - Shana

"felt it in my fists, in my feet, in the hollows of my eyelids, shaking through my skull, through my spine and down through my ribs."


Daily Word Count: 1,890/??? (<-- didn't actually check, like a fool)
Total Word Count: 1,890/35,000
Meme of the Day:
Image

I kind of thought I'd power through more today but that's okay! I AM DELIGHTED TO BE WORKING ON THIS AGAIN and it's incredible how fast Shana's voice comes back to me immediately. I am also VERY excited for some upcoming scenes I get to write because I took a turn down Vicious Lane, which I think is fair considering the genre/you know, PIRATES. And we all know how much I love those brutal scenes cough gideon and adrienne cough.

also me @ me PLEASE remember to give the first two drafts some glances just in case I want to bring anything over (probably not but worth looking at. gold in the mud, right? that's not a saying. it's fine).

ALSO ALSO !!!! it has taken three drafts but I have FINALLY GOTTEN TO WRITE HOLDEN (this is a lie he showed up at the end of chapter 28 of draft 2 and I think was briefly mentioned/shown in the first draft but THIS IS THE FIRST TIME HE IS REALLY SHOWN SO SEMANTICS). he is absolutely related to Shana and this is all I have to say about this.

*shakes novel gently* plot?? PLOT???? PLOT??!?!!!?!
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.
  





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Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:12 am
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mellifera says...



Day Two - Shana & Maeve

"asking Shana not to get into mischief is like asking a bird not to sing"


Daily Word Count: 2,278/1,104
Total Word Count: 4,168/35,000

I already do not have a meme and have to find more but we'll get there. wasting my time finding memes is a favourite hobby of mine.

I have been feeling some Weird Vibes since starting this up again and I don't know if it's like, a personal dissonance because of real life disruptions or returning to this novel again after so much struggling or if I have some weird after-vibes from Colonia Heights. Hopefully it smooths out as I go along, but we'll See. I just need some Pirate Action.

ALSO MAEVE!! she's getting a pov this round after much consideration and I already love writing her.

ya girl should probably learn Spanish though if I'm committing to this.

I'm pretty sure 100% of these introductory passages are vague and confusing and, at present, I Do Not Care. I will care more later, if I finish this draft and want people to read it. which, who KNOWS what will happen with that.

anyway, to make up for the lack of meme, have Maeve, being dramatic:

Kassidy’s expression hardened as he brushed her hand away. “We cannot just give up.”

She reached out with her right hand, swift as a cobra, and snatched his arm into her grip. She dug her fingers into his bared arm, and he hissed, but did not pull away. He could, easily, but he did not.

“It is best if you would,” she said, under her breath. She released his arm, and then shook out her hand. The metal joints clacked together, and the skeleton-like fingers glinted in the dim moonlight for a moment before she pulled it back into her sleeve.
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.
  





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Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:57 am
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mellifera says...



Day Three - Maeve

"sew this hole up that you ripped in my head."


Daily Word Count: 1,686/1,063
Total Word Count: 5,854/35,000
Meme of the Day:
Image

Somehow I've made Gareth more horrifying in this draft and he's only been here for one scene.

At the expense of Maeve being unhappy, I did get to write a scene FULL OF TENSION which was fun. Also, playing around with Gareth actually being a dad for five seconds was something I hadn't done before?? You would think it would have come up but it literally came up once in both drafts when he's like "I only wanted what was best for you two!" and even then it was pretty like,,, "meh". but! some actual father-ing (even if it was followed up by immediate threat and gaslighting).

my outline is vague and I could be messing up chapters and how I've ordered things but uh. pretend it's a first draft. the other two don't exist, what are you talking about, I've never written this novel before.

possibly no shenanigans tomorrow as I have SERIOUSLY NEGLECTED LMS RIP
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Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:28 pm
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mellifera says...



Day Four - Maeve

"why are you here, Maeve?"


Daily Word Count: 1,500/1,041
Total Word Count: 7,354/35,000
Meme of the Day:
Image

in today's update, Cailean does not know how to talk to the abused daughter of his greatest rival.

On one hand, Maeve and Cailean are perhaps reacting out of character, for all the information they share with each other while they're on OPPOSITE SIDES of a blood feud, but on the other hand, they both hate the other's suffering. if someone questions me, my excuse is extenuating circumstances and my insistence that this is the first REAL draft of this novel.

I can... fix it eventually.

also I'm sure this conversation is really confusing because everyone keeps answering like, five minutes after a question has been addressed to them. I don't know WHY I'M BEING VAGUE ABOUT EVERYTHING but I'm pretty sure that NOTHING MAKES SENSE. *cries*

I definitely remembered descriptions at the END of the scene and it shows.

I HAVE NOT TALKED ABOUT THIS AT ALL but!! one of the things I was most bummed about in draft 2 was that the characters didn't go to Bristole's Port and therefore never got to meet Sekani, who was one of my FAVOURITE CHARACTERS even though he appeared for One (1) second, but in this draft he's going to be a big part of the story and I'm VERY excited.

a scene, because:

“I know enough to know I wouldn’t want to be where you are right now.” Cailean laid back against the wall. “And I know you don’t want to answer this question, or feel you’ll be in danger if you do, but if you had a chance to escape and were sure you could without being found by your father or Alise, would you?”

She thought about Kassidy telling her about Sekani. She thought about the years before Gareth, and sailing. She thought about Mamá.

“He is my father,” she said, and stood up. “I would eat the food before it rots anymore.” She turned and strode towards the door.
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.
  





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Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:59 am
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mellifera says...



Day Five - Shana

"stars burned. so did she."


Daily Word Count: 2,432/1,024
Total Word Count: 9,696 (sorta nice)/35,000
Meme of the Day:
Image

vicious chapter has been done *rubs hands together gleefully*

anyway I am pleased to announce I have leaned into the grey morality of my characters that I wanted to achieve, and it is only chapter four and two characters have already died.

I am concerned that I somehow accidentally strapped this draft to a rocket because I feel like the pacing is way too quick and also that the two deaths (especially first one) are going to fall flat.

first drafts, amiright? no I won't stop calling it a first draft if nobody corrects me it must be true

also here is what I think is possibly a good scene?? enspoilered because Swearing

Spoiler! :
“You killed my aunt,” she snarled, and approached the woman with lightning snapping off her. The sound of distant thunder rumbled around them.

The woman met her gaze, her eyes gone dark. “I should have known you’d be like him. Volatile and uncontrollable.” She shook her head, and stood back up, taking a step forward. “Your storm magic won’t do a thing to me.” And before she could even blink, there was a flash of darkness and the woman flung a crackling, black orb of energy towards Shana.

She held up her hands and her control slipped. A brilliant white light burst from her hands and though she expected the spell to hit her, she caught it and held it with her own magic. The darkness swirled and cried like a wailing guinea fowl.

The woman faltered, eyes widening. “What the fuck?”

Shana’s mouth tasted like blood. The silver radiance burned in her veins and sweat trickled down her back, but she held the darkness and turned to the woman with a sneer. “You killed my aunt.”
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.
  





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Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:48 am
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mellifera says...



Day Six - Maeve

"find Starlight"


Daily Word Count: 3,418/1,053
Total Word Count: 13,115/35,000
Meme of the Day:
Image

TIME TO SCRAMBLE TO GET AS MUCH OF THIS WRITTEN AS POSSIBLE BEFORE THE 10k AND 30k BLIZZARD WEEKS *cries*

the difference between writing Shana and writing Maeve is like writing the personality of a hurricane vs. the personality of rain that's been falling for days in the late evening and you're standing in the middle of nowhere without shelter and everything is crumbling around you at once.
or pure rage vs. melancholy. that works too.

VERY EXCITED FOR MY GIRLS TO MEET AGAIN I MISS THESE TWO GAY IDIOT DISASTERS


here is a soft scene in the midst of a lot of angst:

Kassidy couldn’t be broken. Not like she had allowed herself to be.

“It would be less painful to tie the sheets together and use it as a rope.”

Kassidy pulled away, eyes sparkling as he looked at her. She managed to force herself to smile at the pure enthusiasm and joy in his face.

He pulled her into a hug. She stiffened, but forced herself, once she realised what was happening, to let out a breath.

Gracias. Gracias,” he whispered. “We are going to do this. Te quiero.”

She put her arms around him and swallowed hard. “Te quiero también.
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.
  





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Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:59 am
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mellifera says...



Day Seven - Shana

"now I'm gone."


Daily Word Count: 1,427/952
Total Word Count: 14,616/35,000
Meme of the Day (Shana's current mood):
Image

I did not get as much done as I wanted to but? oh well. I will have to catch up, and hopefully I will be more Energised Later.

the pace has finally slowed down! I finally got it to stop running off on me!

also!! Tyrell is here!! and tomorrow ALEJANDRA. I remember when I first introduced Tyrell in the second draft like "one of the minor characters to fill space up on Maeve's crew" but then,,, well,,,, he kinda wormed into my heart and also into a prominent role somehow.
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.
  





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Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:08 pm
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mellifera says...



Day Eight - Shana

"she never felt alone."


Daily Word Count: 1,758/927
Total Word Count: 16,374/35,000
Meme of the Day:
Image

The meme actually has very little to do with today's writing session, and more to do with yesterday's minus actually forks though it would have been Very Good if Shana or Tyrell chased Thief with a fork

I started writing the "meeting Alejandra" section but!! then I remember Ominous Dream Sequence and got very excited so most of my word count and motivation today came from that. could have done about 250 more to get 2k, we'll see where the night goes, but I have,,, a lot,,, to do,,,, *lays down* r i p


a scene?? that has survived since the fIRST DRAFT?? what WITCHERY?????

“Where are we?” she asked, drawing the lightning back into her, so that it settled into her veins and coloured them silver. It buzzed, bright, though steady. Comforting.

“Nowhere,” said the man. He sounded exhausted.

She clenched her jaw. “Where is nowhere?” The heat in her chest was expanding feverishly, like spreading wildfire.

The space around them darkened. “Nowhere is beyond everything else,” he said. “It is what we make of it.”
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.
  





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Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:23 am
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mellifera says...



Day Nine - Shana & Maeve

"the ocean called to her, and she wanted nothing more than to answer."


Daily Word Count: 1,682/887
Total Word Count: 18,056/35,000
Meme of the Day:
Image
(this is actually from carter's support group but I thought of it while I was writing a magic bit with shana so obviously I had to use it)


I'm Very Glad my motivation has suddenly gone down to zero!! *shakes fist at manuscript* I was hyped!! and now I am tired!! it's only DAY NINE

I need like a balance between the breakneck pacing of the first several chapters (Shana's, in particular) and the now slow, drudging pace (again, mostly Shana's). I am?? actually preferring Maeve's pov (Shana's reckless, uncontrollable emotions and her burning anger and her intensity?? and I like Maeve's more subtle and contained feelings better??? who AM I as if this is a hard distinction to have guessed who I would like writing more).

I think this is mostly because I feel like I have some decent prose for Maeve, whereas when I'm writing Shana it's like, completely lost to me all of a sudden (except for ominous dream sequence which was My Favourite)

BUT I HAVE LIKE, TWO CHAPTERS UNTIL THEY FINALLY MEET, WHICH I AM BOTH VERY EXCITED FOR AND ALSO DREADING!!

also appreciate my notes (instead of that prose I mentioned) for this scene:

shana is probably scared of gael, but as soon as gael finds out she has magic, gael is DELIGHTED.

-basically shana uses her magic to manipulate a child into liking her.
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Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:00 am
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mellifera says...



Day Ten - Maeve

"Welcome aboard the Siren's Embrace."


Daily Word Count: 2,895/850
Total Word Count: 20,948/35,000
Out of Context Meme:
Spoiler! :
Image


I didn't have a good text post relative to what was going on, so,,, this.

today was SLOW but I got to 20k!! which is all I wanted before Monday :') I still have a whole backstory to write for something else which has to be done before tomorrow too though, so,,, rip me.

This was?? a little better? hopefully?? We'll see, I guess, but I didn't feel like it was TOO terrible. Idk, there was a lot of dialogue, it felt less forced than expected but also still forced so,,, editing. later.

I have known Sekani's quartermaster for .2 seconds and I Already Love Them. They are very, very tricksy. My favourite brand of character.
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.
  





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Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:36 am
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mellifera says...



Day Eleven - Shana

"an eye for an eye. a death for a death."


Daily Word Count: 2,184/781
Total Word Count: 23,132/35,000
Meme of the Day:
Image

ah, I love getting palindrome numbers :') these are never on purpose and it's very satisfying

I got way more done than I thought!! I had to finish lms today so I was like "ah,,, I don't want to write anymore,,,," but also 1) I'm going camping in a week and will not be able to charge my laptop so much and all the charge I have will be dedicated to 10k for Starry Veins 2) I DON'T WANT TO HAVE MORE TO DO FOR THE 30K WEEK BECAUSE I'M GOING TO DIE

ah, less than 15k to go. would be super nice if I finished before I left to go camping but that is likely wishful thinking. send me energy vibes though and maybe it won't be 👀

also!! as an update!! felt better about this chapter and my writing in general today!! I've had a rough day (and general,, time) but!! this was a pleasant surprise! I have not lost all hope for my own writing!! *confetti*
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Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:00 am
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mellifera says...



Day Twelve - Shana

"my father's missing. I intend to find him."


Daily Word Count: 4,097/698
Total Word Count: 27,199/35,000
Meme of the Day:
Image

this is a meme I specifically saved for Maeve but it applies to both of them so it doesn't matter.

THE GIRLS HAVE FINALLY MET. WE ARE FINALLY ON A PIRATE SHIP. SHANA AND MAEVE HAVE HAD THEIR FIRST FIGHT.

I remember writing this the first time, and even the second time, I was like "idk how to write Shana describing Maeve?? I need to hint she's gay but how" and this time I went full out and it's unabashedly gay and I'm kinda proud of it? I don't think I've ever been so forward/boldly queer like this while writing but it makes sense for Shana and,,, idk. Feels weirdly good.

here is the best part of the scene, of course:

Maeve yanked the sword out of her grasp, and she couldn’t even think to resist. So quick did she grab the hilt with her left hand and—

The tip of the sword pressed against her throat. The cold metal bit into her flesh and she realised she was panting now, and Maeve was breathing like she’d run miles.

She held her breath.

Maeve stepped closer to her, dark eyes bright with rage and her lips curled into a sneer. The sabre dug further into her neck, and she could feel the sting of the blade cutting her skin.

“Do not ever touch me with magic again,” Maeve growled. She released the pressure on Shana’s throat, and then cast the blade aside. The crew was silent and the metal hitting the deck echoed out like a church bell in the thick air.

Without another word, Maeve brushed past her, and disappeared down into the lower decks.
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.
  





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Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:54 am
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mellifera says...



Day Thirteen - Maeve

"thunder clapped overhead like an omen."


Daily Word Count: 5,675/488
Total Word Count: 32,874/35,000
Out of Context Meme:
Image

status update! I'm very tired and I'm pretty sure my brain is just, gone? my soul has definitely departed my body. I'm 100% a ghost.

and I don't even really get a break :') but! hopefully I'll be done with camp nano at least by tomorrow. ONE CAN ONLY HOPE BECAUSE I'VE BECOME AN UNBEARABLE GROUCH MONSTER AND I AM READY TO LIVE IN A DUMPSTER.

it is possible, that just maybe, POSSIBLY, I should take a small break from writing after all this. I won't! but it could be that I should.

hopefully some reading will do me some good and I'll feel rejuvenated and like my prose is half-decent again!!

ABOUT THIS CHAPTER THOUGH it felt very cheesy and a little out of character and there was a conversation I'm not happy with and I feel like this should be better because it's the third time I've written this and somehow it feels like I'm not actually improving it each time I write it. who can say though. is it writer insecurity, is it true. we will never know.

if I don't come back next week after camping it's because I walked into the lake sea and went to become a new cryptid underwater.
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Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:35 am
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Carlito says...



Look at you blasting through your word count goal!!! #amimpressed
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