stubborn, the fire in his soul a kiln to make the malleable immalleable. it burns a path through the heart. if there are no emotions, there are fewer obstacles in his way and he already has enough. better to be an empty vessel.
a boy made out of mud and moths. the further he is from Her, the closer he is to Him, the comforting earth of his childhood. worn hands touch the soft skin of the divine. dark woods conceal words that cannot be said in Her light.
abandoned. centuries’ worth of wind and rain wear him down like clay pottery found in a long forgotten city by archaeologists. there is no use for him, broken among the ruins. the kilns have cooled and the fires that made him hard have left him fragile. he is left to pick up the pieces of his own cracked belief.
loyal to a fault. he is the protector, courage making him immeasurably reckless. give him a cause and all the passion he has ever felt will pour into it. find him a target and he will destroy. see stubborn (1).
there’s a heaviness to the air that wasn’t there before. i don’t know where it comes from. i only know where it’s gone. you see it in the news, hear it on the radio. there’s a heartbreaking quality to it. something tangible like cigarettes on the breath or wine on the tongue. a bitterness that seeps into you. it stains and even bleach can’t get it out.
i like to think it’s purple. sorrow has always been blue but this is stronger than sorrow. it’s beyond it. what better color to drown in but purple, meant for royalty, meant for great things, meant for
you. purple used to marble your skin and make it look like watercolors. you said it was nothing. i never believed you. this is how i know purple must be beyond the deep blue waters of melancholy because what i feel is something that transcends it, something otherworldly. i think of the last time we talked. you seemed so happy because you were leaving them. the next morning this heaviness settled down in my chest after one phone call told me you never made it. i have been drowning in purple ever since.
As I write this, my novel currently sits at 39,000 words. It might not seem like a lot, but it’s a huge step for me as I push through and continue writing it. Last year, I managed to reach 25,000 words as I reworked my novel, about half of what I had already written in a previous draft and I’ve learned a lot along the way. The most important? How to make myself write even when I don’t want to write at all.
I used to be one of those people who wrote whenever the inspiration (or motivation) struck them. As time passed, though, I wasn’t getting much done and I felt progressively worse for not working toward this project. I tried and failed a few times to implement writing goals, adjusted my word count quotas, got a few writing buddies to help motivate me. Nothing seemed to work.
It wasn’t until I found writing buddies who held me accountable that I began to write on an almost daily basis. There weren’t any negative consequences for not writing one day, except maybe a sense of dissatisfaction as we tallied our total word count, but it still helped me. I set up a daily writing quota for myself instead of a weekly or even monthly goal. Most importantly? I set aside time to actually write. That was another big factor in my writing. I did my best to finish my homework before a certain time, leaving the rest of my evening available for writing. Now, I’ve moved up the time so that I write first thing in the morning before I get bogged down by homework.
I continue to set goals for myself, too. This month’s goal? To reach 14,000 words before February 28th. I’ve already reached 10,000. Now I just need to push for those additional 4,000 words.
What about you? I want to hear about your novel-writing process! What tips and tricks have helped you keep up your writing? Anything you found particularly useful?
waves lap at robes redder than the paper lanterns hanging from the eaves of her village. they blow, candles in a howling wind, trying to guide ships back to shore and men to their homes. the sky is a dark gray.
she does not turn from the tide, not even as her hair whips about her and the sea sprays her face. she beckons sailors home, whispering, i will not lose another. hundreds of years it has been and hundreds of years more will come to pass, but she will never fail. Not again. Pain runs white in memories as she calms the waves to aid the ships. She is on the bow, leading the way. She is in the sea, coaxing it to sleep.
she was lin mo, a light of goodwill in the gray anger of a raging tempest.
hollow back sways like the bark of a sapling but she is no spring tree. with golden hair and cherub’s lips, she dances, a cow’s tail under her skirt. she smiles and beckons. ‘i am your ruin,’ she warns as they near, but they all go willingly, ignorant of the tears and the terrors their deaths will bring. when the deed is done, she steps out into the forest once more, swaying in time to music only she can hear. men still come for her. none notice the stains of tears shed before.