Letters from Camp

This is my final letter from camp, since it is the final day of Camp Nanowrimo 2016. I have great news! Despite shirking on any writing for two days in a row, I pulled out around 900 words to finish off my goal. It’s a good point in the story to give it a rest, too, while I figure out what will happen next. I’m glad I could make it despite more than once having zero motivation! I made it anyway~

Final Word Count: 20042 / 20000


There was a note next to the small container, scrawled in more elegant common than Ness might have expected from Aaron:

Ness, here’s some better food instead of the rations from the trip. Wander around if you want. If you have to pick a lock to get through a door, might be better to leave it be for now.

~ Aaron Stride

Letters from Camp

I skipped yesterday again, because of a migraine and a lot of socializing, which is generally exhausting for hermits/hobbits like me. I got a lot done today, though, which feels great! I think it’s really getting somewhere. To celebrate getting so much done, I’m going to do two excerpts.

Word Count: 17635 / 20000

Excerpt 1:

They didn’t wait at the middle platform, instead heading directly up to the tallest of the three towers. Ness looked up, if only to avoid looking down, and noticed with fascination that the gently-sloped roof was covered in shingles that looked like scales, and several of them housed a piece of colored glass. In the new sunrise, the colors of the desert scattered from these pieces and glittered for all to see.

Then, they reached the door to go inside. When the guide threw that door open, Ness’s mouth opened in shock.

The room at the top of the tallest tower didn’t have any layers like the previous tower. It was all one large, round room, and the shards of glass in the roof above allowed the light in. Colorful lights arced across the floor and walls, with shadows over the areas that couldn’t be reached by the angle of the sun just yet.

The floor was a solid piece of stone, or at least it appeared to be. Colors were dyed into it, a burst of shapes radiating outward from the center like the biggest desert flower he had ever seen. He had a feeling that, with the sun at its zenith, the light from the glass would match perfectly with the pattern on the floor.

Excerpt 2:

“Ah, God’s Ire, I am so bad at this whole decorum thing,” Aaron announced. Ness gave him a pointed look, but Aaron had become good at ignoring those. “Ness. Allow me, Aaron Stride, to introduce you to Vale Rutan Gallen, Prince of Korvasin and Lord of the Glass Towers.”

Letters from Camp

I didn’t write anything yesterday. I was lazy and it’s also a real scorching week, which makes for an excellent excuse to not do anything at all slow writing. I wrote a little more than I needed today to make up for it, though! So that’s fun.

Word Count: 16006 / 20000


Aaron threw his hands up in exasperation. “I swear this woman has no respect for me at all. Are you getting that sense? Do you see it, Ness?”

Ness shrugged.

Aaron heaved a world-weary sigh. “Me against the world,” he lamented, and Ness rolled his eyes. But he let Aaron and Calista lead him through the archway into the city.

Letters from Camp

What’s this? A letter from camp two days in a row? I made some decent progress today and mainly I’m doing this one because I love one of the interactions I managed to write, so I’m going to excerpt it. I’m well on track to finish the goal early, too, which is exciting indeed!

Word Count: 14763 / 20000


Aaron nodded. “Yup, Basa lives in there. Never met the gal myself but I hear she’s, predictably, a fiery personality.”

“I have met,” Calista piped up, appearing near Aaron all of a sudden. She had that talent of hers for popping up anywhere, Ness had noticed. She hardly left a trail in the sand with her light steps. “If She hears you call ‘gal’, I hope to see this conversation,” she said with a laugh. At night, without her sun goggles, her bright eyes almost glowed, and now they were upturned with glee.

Aaron shrugged while Ness raised an eyebrow at him. “What, I can’t talk like I’d normally do just because She’s a Titan?”

“She is the mother of volcanoes and scorched sands,” Calista said bemusedly. “Her steps can turn the dunes into glass.”

Letters from Camp

Getting my writing out of the way early today! Somehow I slept very late and then woke up thinking there was no way I’d get much writing done today. Then I sat myself down and some words happened, enough for me to call it a good day. Hooray!

Word Count: 14115 / 20000


Ness hadn’t learned very much sign yet from the others in the group, but they did teach him the alphabet. With slow, halting movements that Calista watched with a surprising patience, he asked her, “You … c r o s s … o f t e n”, raising his eyebrows to make it a question.

Calista shook her head. “I do not, but others do. I am keep at home for safety. Don’t want them to know we have warlocks.”

That brought up many questions, but Ness pointed out towards the desert and signed, “H o m e?

Her face was covered, but Ness could swear the enigmatic woman was smiling. “No place like,” she replied. “You will see.”

Letters from Camp

Getting there! I’ve been having a lot of fun getting into this story. I may even be able to continue past my goal once I’ve reached the 20k!

Word Count: 13307 / 20000


“My brother is an exception, not the rule,” Leah interjected, and then looked down hastily. “Forgive me, Your Majesty.”

“It’s … that’s quite alright,” Cole said, the sound of pleasant surprise coloring his voice. When Leah looked up, keeping her embarrassment on her face, he had a faint smile on his face. “I could not have put it better myself.”

There are many things in which you could not best me, O King, Leah thought to herself, though she merely nodded.

“Thank you, sir.”

Letters from Camp

And I made a lot more progress than I expected today! Still not quite 1k words, but more than I had planned (and more than I need to keep on track). I’ve begun writing a different character, and I love her already. I swear, she’s just like her brother when she takes the wheel on the story!

Word Count: 11760 / 20000


“Miss?” a timid voice called from her doorway, drawing Leah Stride from her thoughts. She looked up, her eyebrows rising just so and her lips parting in a show of delicate surprise. Like the careful, coiled braids tying her rich brown hair back, every bit of Leah’s demeanor was put in place with utmost care.

She could never relax from playing her part, but if it meant what she hoped, she would continue until the day she no longer breathed. “Yes, El?” she greeted the young maid with a pretty smile that reached her cornflower eyes.

Letters from Camp

Whew, I’ve had a pretty lethargic couple of days. Monday I didn’t even do any writing at all, shame on me! But, despite this, I’m still well on track and I’m soon to get to yet another character introduction.

Word Count: 11045 / 20000


Then, the ground just in front of Calista, dry as a bone seconds before, darkened with moisture. Droplets of water formed like condensation, to slowly pull away from the ground entirely. The small patch of earth that Calista had chosen rained backwards, a trickle at first, then growing to an up-pour of water that she gathered between her hands like a solid orb. Vague glowing marks shone through the wraps on her arms and the mask on her face as she continued her magic, Ness and the others watching in awe.

Letters from Camp

I’m still keeping up every day, though today I only got about 800 words in. I was out shopping and also taking walks because Pokemon Go is a serious distraction (Team Mystic represent). I’ve finally gotten to introduce a character that I’ve been wanting to write about for long before I ever signed on to do this camp thing. Very exciting!

Word Count: 9172 / 20000


“No tricks like that again, Remi, or I’ll break your fuckin’ hands,” the prisoner spat. Ness rubbed at his wrist and stared at the slot. Those eyes glared out, and with the unspoken order the blade was pulled from the door and stowed again. Even Calista watched with surprised eyes.

“We’re gonna give this fella his chance, aren’t we? Since you two agreed to it anyway. We’re supposed to be better than the Korvasinians, right?” that voice continued, steady and commanding. Whoever this was had sway over the bandits despite being locked in a box. “Go on, kid.”

Letters from Camp

Yesterday was pretty awful for writing in this one. I got my count, but today I ended up having to edit it because it was garbage. Despite that, I fixed yesterday’s work and wrote around a thousand words for today! Things are getting ever closer to a scene I will love writing. I’m excited for the weekend to give me time to really hack away at this goal!

Word Count: 7521 / 20000


He shook his head and held up his hands placatingly. Then, he pointed at himself, and next at one of the toppled prison cars.

A bandit who hadn’t said anything stepped towards him. Ness flinched again when the man raised his hands, but there were no weapons in them. Instead, he watched as the bandit formed complex shapes and motions with his hands, one after the other like a fluid sentence, but with his hands.

Ness frowned in confusion at him, and the bandit’s mouth twisted into what he thought was a disappointed frown.