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Ghosted [NaNo 2020]



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Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:35 pm
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Magebird says...



@Liminality, thank you! I've been reading a lot of romance stories with love triangles, so I wanted to subvert it. I also really wanted to stress the importance of Van's friendship with Rose - rather than a romantic relationship - so I thought it would be cool if Theo was actually a really decent guy and Van was just jealous of how he was closer to Rose than he was.

And the hearts and spirals are symbolic! I can't say too much without revealing some major spoilers, but it has to do with how the god of the world brings dead people from Earth there.

This is totally unrelated to the rest of this post, but I just wanted to update this thread with another song that fits the story really well - and that's also from Julie and the Phantoms. The song in the show isn't addressed to a lover, and I think that perfectly fits the context of it with my book. There's a couple of friendships that seemingly end on sour notes in the novel; this song is just the angst-y, regretful inspiration I need for them.

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mage

[ she/her ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:21 pm
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IcyFlame says...



But since it's not published yet, I can admit it's short for Temperance. The name was 100% a reference to Bones.

I am here for this. My life is subtle Bones references. Currently have a few that I'm trying to sneak into my NaNo too
  





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Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:40 pm
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Magebird says...



@IcyFlame, Bones fans unite! I haven't slipped too many references into my old stories before, but I do have a fun skull mug I use for hot chocolate. :P
mage

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roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:03 pm
Magebird says...



This isn't an update to the story, but I'm currently working on the PlanMo challenges! I wasn't going to do any of them originally, but I really wanted to geek out about this book a little more before November 1st - and this was the perfect way to.

Expect to see some of my answers to the journal challenge soon!
mage

[ she/her ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:33 pm
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Magebird says...



1. World-building! What world do your characters live in? A fantasy world? A sci-fi world? The real world? If in the real world--what place? What makes the world your characters live in unique? Describe in your thread what your world looks like.

I’ve already talked about it elsewhere in this thread, but the story is mainly set on Arium. There’s a little bit of the novel that’s set here on Earth, but the magical, fantastical world of Arium is the main setting. I think the variety of magic and the way magic is gained makes Arium unique - as well as how people originally ended up there after they died.

Plus, before Rew - their god - disappeared, it was pretty easy to run into Arium’s god when just going about your daily life. That’s not something that happens in a lot of fantasy worlds.

I’ll probably improvise when I get to the specific scenes, but the world is like a mix-match of Earth cultures. It also has a plethora of hearts and spirals for some reason that Van and the others will discover later on

2. Have a think about your opening scene. Write about what plot points will be hit and what information will be shared in your first scene, or first scene that you consider to be important.

The first scene is set in the graveyard of Van’s old town. He’ll be talking to a ghost and collecting jewel weed pods to yeet at Rose once he finds her - there’s going to be a fun metaphor about needing to be gentle with them that clearly relates to how he interacts with Rose after not seeing her for years. He’ll chat with some ghosts, run into Rose, and realize she’s moved on from him. He’ll also ominously reference the later events of the book through some not-so-subtle foreshadowing, since this novel is pretty much him retelling the story to some random audience I haven’t decided on yet.

3. Don't neglect your villain. We may spend less time with this character, but it is crucial to the existence of the plot that your character's opposition be as believable and interesting as possible. For this challenge, either write about your antagonist's aims, characteristics, flaws, fears etc or, if you're feeling musical, write a lament-style song for them.

I don’t want to say too much because I’m afraid of spoiling the fun things I have planned for the villain, but I know that he’s the leader of this religious cult that worships the god of Arium. I also know that he feels betrayed by someone tied to the main cast, and that he wants to get some sweet, sweet revenge sooner rather than later. His magic is life magic, so the villain is pretty gosh darn old - he’s definitely one of the older characters. His biggest flaw is his drive for revenge, while his biggest strength is his ingenuity. There’s a reason he’s still alive right now.

4. Fill out the following questionnaire from the NaNo site about at least one of your side characters, though the more you do the more prepared you will be.

I’m skipping this for now, but I might come back to it and fill it out for either Temp or Romi!
Spoiler! :
Name:
Age:
Height:
Eye colour:
Physical appearance:
Strange or unique physical attributes:
Favourite clothing style/outfit:
Where does he/she live? What is it like there?:
Defining gestures/movements:
Things about his/her appearance he/she would most like to change:
Speaking style:
Pet peeves:
Fondest memory:
Hobbies/interests:
Special skills/abilities:
Insecurities:
Quirks/eccentricities:
Temperament:
Negative traits:
Things that upset them:
Things that embarrass them:
This character is highly opinionated about:
Any phobias?:
Things that make him/her happy:
Family (describe):
Deepest, darkest secret:
Reason he/she has kept this secret for so long:
Other people's opinions of this character:
Favourite bands/songs/types of music:
Favourite movies:
Favourite TV shows:
Favourite books:
Favourite foods:
Favourite sports/sports teams:
Political views:
Religion/philosophy of life:
Physical health:
Dream holiday:
Description of his/her house:
Description of his/her room:
Any pets?:
Best thing that has ever happened to this character:
Worst thing that has ever happened to this character:
Superstitions:
Three words to describe this character:
If a song played every time this character walked into a room, what song would it be?:

5. Two alternatives for outlining your plot: 1. Draw them as a graph, 2. Write a list of everything important that happens and in the margins make note of what happens in between.

Skipping this! It isn’t helpful for me.

6. Think of at least one way in which the structure of your story could be interesting. You don't necessarily have to use this in your story, but it can be useful to have a think about if it's something that just hadn't occurred to you.

The story is mostly chronological, but there is a section planned that’s just a series of flashbacks from twenty years before the start of the story. If I wanted to really change up the structure, I could scatter the flashbacks throughout the book. The climax of the flashbacks could line up with the reveal of where the god has been these past years. If not that, it could line up with the reveal of what the cult has been scheming.

7. Post a brief outline of your plot on the club wall then go around all the other posts asking questions and suggesting plot holes that the author might want to correct.

I’m also skipping this, since I’m the kind of person who likes to improvise and I’m scared of criticism.

8. Give a rough outline of the key moment in your story so far. What is that one scene you're really, really excited to write?

*checks list*

There’s a lot. But if I have to pick a specific one, I’m really excited to write the scene where Van finally meets the missing god. There’s an old set of ruins that are introduced right after Theo and Van end up on Arium - the ruins are actually where Temp first shows up. It takes almost the entire novel for them to realize the ruins are actually important. I’m not exactly sure how the scene will go, but I know I want Van to be alone and for him to view what he saw in the first few chapters with more knowledge on Arium and its lore.

9. Really dig into your main character. Write their motives and what is holding them back. What is the conflict in their way from reaching their desired goal?

Personality-wise, it’s 100% the trust issues. Van has been in several foster homes over the course of his childhood, so he hasn’t had the chance to really build any strong connections with other people. His lack of trust isn’t for the actual people he meets - he’s just worried about getting close to someone and then losing them. I think it started with having to leave Rose after being her best friend for years. Coming back to town and discovering that she had already moved on really didn’t help. His primary conflict is that he needs to be close to Temp and Theo, but he’s worried about what being close will result in.

Almost ironically enough, his main motive is finding a way back to Earth - so he can see Rose again and make things right between them. As the newest chosen one, he has to track down the missing god. Doing that coincidentally gets him a chance to go back home, so he definitely wants to do that. That’s where the plot-related conflict comes in: the current leader of a mysterious, unnamed religious cult wants to find the missing god first.

10. Questions! Post some questions in your entry, then, since it is the end of the journal, go round other finished journals answering questions with your thoughts. This month is likely to lead to different realisations for different people, or maybe some people are more experienced with NaNo than others. Either way, we are sure that if you ask a question of the YWS hivemind, the YWS hivemind will answer.

I'm skipping over this one right now, but I'll throw any I come up with before NaNo here!
mage

[ she/her ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:42 pm
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Magebird says...



I haven't updated this thread since NaNo officially started, but the writing process have been going well! I fell a little behind yesterday, but I'm hoping to get some extra writing in today. <3
mage

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roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:45 pm
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Magebird says...



I posted two teasers on my wall today that I really liked, so I thought I'd post them here, too! :)

"That's the problem!" Van shouted. He spun around to face Theo. It wasn't hard for him to see how Rose and Van had once been close friends now - they got the same fire in their eyes when they were hurt and upset. Rose had never looked at him like that before, but he knew the expression so well that it made his heart ache. "Everyone always wants to fix me. I'm not broken. And Rose knew that - she knew that I hated being told there was something wrong with me. Ghosts are real. I proved it to her a hundred times over when we were kids, but the first thing she did when we finally met after ten years was tell me exactly what she knew I never wanted to hear."

His gaze fell down to the ground.

It was only when Theo followed it that he saw teardrops hitting the furnished wood floor.

"...Rose wasn't supposed to change," he whispered. "She-She wasn't supposed to ever stop going by Rosie. She wasn't supposed to get a boyfriend who she likes more than she'll ever like me now. And she wasn't supposed to ever stop being my best friend. And even if Rose was supposed to change someday like the rest of the world did, I thought that at least the ghosts wouldn't change."

Van spun back around to stare at the vase.

"But they changed too," he said. He picked it up again and studied the design - studied the intricate spirals carved into its fragile china, and ran his fingertip across the cartoonish heart design. "You would think the dead would be the one thing that stays the same. But they're not. They go and move on or get caught by shadow people, and suddenly you're the only thing that hasn't changed in ten years."


I grabbed the pillow from beside me, crawled over to Temp, and held it out as a peace offering.

Temp quickly took it.

After a moment of hesitation, I asked, "Do...do you want a hug?"
Temp sniffled.

"You're a strange boy I just met in this attic," Temp said, holding the pillow close to her chest. She peeked over its edge at me, eyes softly glowing in the dim lighting of the attic. In the back of my mind, I realized that her face wasn't nearly as alabaster white as it had been before. "But...I think whoever I am would like that very much."

Not quite sure if I was doing this right, I sat down next to her and put my arm around her shoulder. It took a minute before she seemed to actually calm down; she leaned against me and closed her eyes.

I leaned against the wall behind me and stared up at the ceiling. It wasn't long before I closed my eyes, too, trying to figure out why the god who had brought me here had decided to take away this random girl's memories - and why I felt like I had just found an old friend.

When Theo and Avery climbed into the attic twenty minutes later, they found Temp and I fast asleep in the light of the late afternoon sun.
mage

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roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:18 pm
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Magebird says...



This isn't a serious NaNo update at all, but I've recently gotten to the point where I've become pretty comfortable with the characters of my novel - which means I'm now able to make all the memes my heart desires.

The memes probably don't mean much without having read (or written) Ghosted, but here's what I've come up with so far!

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mage

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roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Sat Nov 28, 2020 7:02 pm
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Magebird says...



I just realized I probably should have posted about this here as well as over on my wall, but I officially hit 50k on my novel yesterday! I still have a few more chapters to go until this draft is done, but I'm really happy with how it turned out.

I can't wait to see where the next draft takes me and this story!

(And this book has 100% become the first book in a trilogy. I had absolutely no control over this decision - the plot just ended up getting too complicated to fit in one book and I still need to add more scenes in the second draft.)

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mage

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roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:14 pm
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IcyFlame says...



I've said it already but congrats Mage!!! This is such an impressive feat and I hope you feel super proud of it <3
I can't wait to read it :)
  





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Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:05 pm
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Magebird says...



I haven't touched this thread in a long time, but I wanted to give it a little update since I'm technically working on the second draft of Ghosted right now. At the current moment, I've looked over the first few chapters, come up with a cool way to make this story tie together, and also have realized that I really need to build on specific parts of the story. The goal was to get a second draft done by the end of February.

I, uh, might have overestimated how busy I would be this semester. >>

But I always keep thinking about this story and am still really excited to share it on YWS/with my loved ones, so I'm determined to get back into editing it soon! I'm even taking a creative writing class this semester that's helping me out with some basic writing skills I really need to brush up on.

I'm not sure if I'll keep doing updates here or shift to a new thread in the Writers Corner once I finish the second(ish) draft, but I'll definitely keep updating here for now.
mage

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roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:14 am
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BluesClues says...



Oop relatable content haha. Do you have a certain time of day dedicated to writing? I find that helps me - it both gives me time to write and makes sure I'm not doing homework up until the moment I go to bed!

(Mine is, "no homework after 8p.m." with the understanding that writing should be happening after 8p.m., but also I do other non-homework things at that time.)
  





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Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:28 pm
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Magebird says...



@BluesClues, I don't! I've toyed with the idea before, but I kept feeling so exhausted with my classes that I completely forgot about it.

i may or may not have made a schedule today that includes time to write because of your post >>
mage

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roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  





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Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:10 pm
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Magebird says...



I haven't finished the draft just yet, but I finally did some editing! I decided I want to start posting chapters here on YWS while I'm still in the middle of the editing process.

I'll be doing all formal updates in this thread now, but here's a convenient link to the prologue that I just posted! I'm really excited to finally share this story with other people. <3
mage

[ she/her ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.
  








The human heart has hidden treasures, in secret kept, in silence sealed...
— Charlotte Bronte