Letters from Camp

Hello again. Here’s another update on my progress!  I flagged a bit in the last few days, but considering I got way ahead of my word count early on, I’m still on track to finish well within the deadline. Things are heating up in the story, now that I have something of a plot to latch onto. Of course, I had to get Ness into a little trouble first.

Word Count: 13329 / 20000


His lantern fell from his hand, but it didn’t matter as the thing that grabbed him emitted its own glow. Ness squeezed his eyes shut against the sudden brightness and put his hands on whatever was coiled around his waist. As he scrabbled at it, his mind frantically put together an idea. He didn’t want to believe it.

It felt like a hand.

A hand with fingers as long as one of his arms, but a hand nonetheless.

Ness opened his eyes to look up at his captor and found a metal behemoth, easily 20 feet tall, stooped down so it could reach him. The shining gold metal matched that of the lock he’d just broken into. It was shaped like a human, though the curves and angles of the body were covered with elegant carvings and sharp blades. The joints seemed to be connected by tendons made of the night sky, appearing all the darker in contrast to the glowing metal casing.

A giant metal golem made of sunforged steel.

Letters from Camp

Keeping up with the goal is still proving to be a doable challenge. I was so tired all weekend and still managed to get some things done. Haven’t done any yet for today, but who cares, right? Who doesn’t want a letter from camp?!

Word Count: 9203/20000


“Lady Stride,” one of the guards at the door greeted her. Leah nodded patiently, and the man gave her a stiff bow at the waist. “It’s been some time since we saw you passing this way. Not since before Festival Day, I believe.”

She smiled. Last time, she had met with Aaron to pass along all the information she had gathered, and he had updated her on the state of things out in the desert. As far as the guard knew, she’d had a simple stroll up the waterfront to see a family friend in Northcrown.

“Things have been busy in the Higher Perches,” she admitted, raising one eyebrow conspiratorially. “You’re not looking for gossip, I trust?”

Letters from Camp

So I’ve definitely been neglecting to make these posts this week. It’s been a weird one for remembering things. Work has been crazy, but! I’ve still been getting writing done! It just so happens that usually after I get done I am so ready to get off the computer that I do that without making a note of my progress or finding an excerpt. I’ll do two this time just to make up for it.

Word Count: 8052/20000

Excerpt 1: 

Aaron smirked. “Vale has a mission that he’s asked me to put together. I think having you on the team for this one would make it a lot more possible than not, if you understand me. It’s not gonna be an easy one regardless.”

Ness pursed his lips. Like always, he let his face do the talking for him. He was skeptical, but still listening.

Aaron tapped the map on the table and nodded for Ness to come closer. “We want to break into Fora Prison.”

Excerpt 2:

“The advisors speaking to my brother had him convinced that we, our father’s heirs, were cursed. That we were destined to battle and break the kingdom. When he told me about these things, I assured him that I would always stand by him. I had nothing but love and esteem for my brother and his decisiveness in what matters came before him.”

Loyalty isn’t always enough, not with certain people.”

Letters From Camp

Two days in a row! Wow! Mostly I wrote a neat lore thing today that I wanted to show off in an excerpt. Also, since the letter yesterday didn’t include yesterday’s count, it looks like I made a more impressive jump. ;D

Word Count: 4159/20000


“Many of my people–desert dwellers before exiles came–use hand-speak.” Calista pointed at the side of her head. “Many born who can’t hear.”

After a pause, he mimicked her gesture and pointed at his ear before signing, “Can’t hear? Why?

Calista grinned at him, like a teacher whose pupil has stumbled upon the perfect question. “Our magic,” she answered, shifting where she sat to face him better. Her eyes were alight with interest now. This was her area of expertise. “My people can sometimes move magic within our bodies instead of outside. We are descend from humans who mingle with Solians, but our bodies are not made the same as the magic folk. Sometimes we are without one sense because our magic takes that part our heads.” She tapped at her temple and finished with a proud look.

Letters From Camp

I haven’t even done my writing for today, but I figured I should do a post since I skipped it the first two days! With july upon me again, I thought it would be good to revisit the story I did for Camp NaNoWriMo last year. It’s interesting coming back to it after a year and knowing all the things I’ve learned since then. Hopefully the story flows as easily as it did the first round!

Word Count: 2030/20000


Ness didn’t even have a voice to speak to anyone he might find out there.

He glanced down at his hands. They were callused and worn, and they were practiced in an alphabet of hand-speak. They would have to be his voice.

The intriguing thought drew him to open that door at last and step out into the afternoon.

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.”