NaNo Week 2 Update // In Which There Is an Explosion of Snippets

by - 1:36 PM

As you could probably tell by my last post (compliments of my wonderfully insane hacking friends from my NaNo group <3), I reached 50k. I STLL HAVE TO TELL MYSELF THIS IS IN FACT TRUE. And now, believe it or not, we are over HALFWAY through NaNo. How did this happen?! 

I haven't written very much since I hit 50k (because of mountains of speech homework and a general lack of motivation :P), but I did hit 60k this week so yayyy!

See, barely any writing this week. *pouts* But still, 60k is cool. :D
AND GUESS WHAT. My story is still. not. done. I mean, seriously? It's over 85k now. *dies* It needs to end soooon. Otherwise I might kill my characters. (Or vice versa. XD) I'm expecting it to reach 100k at this point.

Fortunately, I did outline the rest of my book loosely, but it's taking a lot longer than I expected. I tend to dwell on scenes for too long, but I guess that can be fixed in editing. *cringes because editing will be very painful*

SO. Because I don't have a lot of time, I'm just sharing a bunch of snippets from my story. I actually have a love/hate relationship with them. They aren't as bad as I thought they would be, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm exhausted from writing this many words or because they're actually decent. (It's probably the former. XD) So read at your own risk.

Le Snippets

She glanced around the room, her vision obscured by ruffles of fabric and swirls of glitter from the gowns. Her gaze fell upon a lonely piano tucked away beside the staircase. To her surprise, no one sat at the instrument. The keys depressed by themselves as the piano played a haunting melody.

Charlotte shivered. Now that’s just creepy.

A hand clamped down on her shoulder, and she jumped. “Relax, Miss Davidson, it’s just me.”

She never thought she would be glad to the see the Lieutenant until now. Exhaling in relief, she allowed him to take her into the dance position. “How come the piano is playing by itself?”

He glanced down at her, eyebrows cocked. “Magic, my dear.”

“I’m not anyone’s dear.”

He flashed his pearly whites. “Apologies, love.”

Suffice to say, her relief had long since left her.

“So tell me, Miss Davidson, have you ever danced the valora?”

She shook her head, not yet willing to give him a verbal answer.

“Ah, then that would explain why you keep stepping on my foot.”

Charlotte smirked. “That’s not the reason.”

“Well, I generally don’t make it a habit of stepping on people’s feet during a dance. Just so you know.”

“You apparently make a habit of annoying people, it seems.”

He flashed a mischievous grin. “Do I annoy you, Miss Davidson?”

“Let me phrase it this way: having someone pull out my hair one by one would be far more agreeable than talking to you.”

The lieutenant still smiled. “I’ll take that as a yes.”


Tom sighed. “Oh well. I shall just starve then.”

James plopped a bowl of stew down in front of him. “Don’t be so dramatic.”

Tom disregarded him and dove into the food, chewing the food so fast that James wondered he didn’t choke.

“Thish ish sho good,” he mumbled.

James groaned. “Can you not talk with a mouth full of food?”

Tom hurriedly swallowed before scooping another giant bite of stew in his mouth. “You’re right, no time to talk. Musht eat.”

It took him a total of 38 seconds to eat the first bowl. (Tom seemed proud of his fact despite James’s constant reminders that eating food rapidly was not a useful pastime.) After eating six bowls of the stew, he finally settled down with the leftover carrots.

“Ah, well, that was a good snack.” He patted his stomach contentedly.


"So this is the Royal City?" Tom asked. He stood and stretched, gazing at the city ahead. He shrugged. "Not too impressive."

"You're only impressed with food anyway," James said.

Tom grinned. "Exactly." He ran ahead of James into the city streets.

"Wait up!" James called. He muttered a hasty apology to Brickle before scurrying off after his wild, hungry friend. He had probably spotted a sign for a restaurant or something.

"Tom!" He grabbed his arm and pulled him to a stop. "What are you doing?"

"Found a restaurant!" He smiled at him victoriously.

Ha, I knew it.

"I'm positively famished," Tom complained. I haven't had anything to eat in two hours."

James rolled his eyes and pulled open the door to the nearest restaurant. "Well, try not to wither away and die before we order."


Tom shrugged and wiped off his fingers on a napkin. “So what am I doing on the ship? The crew usually has to do something, right?”

James kept his gaze on the window, clutching the sill with tight fingers. He had already decided on the flight over what he would have to do, but he wasn’t sure how Tom would respond. “I’m going to have to smuggle you aboard.”

A grin made its way onto Tom’s face. “Really? Fantastic, I’ve never been smuggled aboard anything before!”

That response was more positive than he could have hoped for. James raised his brows. “You aren’t upset?”

“Upset? This is one of the most exciting things that’s ever happened to me!”

James shook his head in disbelief. Leave it to Tom to be happy about breaking the law.


James made to walk away, but the officer extended a hand. "Not so fast." He raised his eyebrows. "I want to see your friend."

James gulped. "Friend?"

The lieutenant smirked. "Don't play innocent with me. You know who I'm talking about. The redhead. I know you smuggled him aboard the ship somewhere."

Beads of sweat made their way onto James's forehead. He swallowed past the lump in his throat again, twisting the strap of his satchel. "I'm not sure I follow."

"Oh, really?" The lieutenant walked straight over to the glitter cargo hold and pulled open the trapdoor. He climbed inside and emerged dragging Tom by the boot.

"Then I guess we just have more rodents aboard the ship than I had thought previously," Lieutenant Bradshaw said, letting Tom flop down on the floor in front of James.

"Hey, what do you think you're doing?" Tom asked. He glared at the lieutenant and stood, brushing himself off and approaching James protectively. "I was taking a nap."

"Well, sorry to disturb you," the lieutenant growled. His expression said otherwise. "What were you doing in the glitter cargo?"

Tom raised his chin defiantly. "I got hungry so I decided to eat some."

The Lieutenant blinked. "That glitter isn't edible."

"Oops," Tom said. He appeared genuinely surprised and clutched at his throat.

"Tom, you didn't eat any, did you?" James asked. From the look on his face, James guessed he did. "I told you it wasn't edible!"

"I know, I just got really hungry and forgot."

Lieutenant Bradshaw started laughing, making the two of them stop and stare. When the lieutenant caught a breath, he said, "Expect to see your surroundings a lot better."

'What? Why?" Tom questioned.

"You may notice within a few hours that you start to...well, glow." The lieutenant smirked and walked away down the gangplank, leaving the two of them standing by themselves in shock.

Tom turned to James and grinned shakily. "I've always wondered what it felt like to eat glowing glitter." Then he gagged on the deck.


James felt his hair blow backward in the gust and stumbled back a step. The beast slithered closer, its fangs extended, ready for the kill.

He jumped to his feet and scrambled away just as it lunged for his neck. Tom raced up beside him, wielding a hand full of glitter. He shouted and threw it at the creature. The glitter turned into a swarm of birds and dive-bombed the byrgon. The creature whipped its head around, knocking the birds aside like harmless little flies.

James grabbed his friend's arm. "Do you have any more ideas?"

"Hold on, give me a second. " Tom was staring at the byrgon with wide eyes, fumbling with something in the pocket of his trousers.

"Here!" he shoved something in James's hand. A piece of pumpersnap was there.

James lowered his eyebrows. "What is this for?"

Tom shoved a piece of his own bread in his mouth. "Sorry, I just needed to stress eat."

The byrgon was just a few feet away and sliding closer by the second, mouth open wide as it eyed its prey. James threw the bread at the beast, closing his eyes and picturing it turning into an arrow. He opened his eyes and to his amazement, the bread had disappeared, replaced by a razor-tipped arrow.

Thwap! The arrow landed squarely in the beast's mouth. It choked and froze, gagging on the arrow. Then, with one last desperate squeal, the byrgon collapsed in a pile of slimy appendages on the deck.

James let his shoulders fall, feeling the tension leak out at last. Tom stepped up to the defeated byrgon and prodded it with the toe of his boot. The appendage twitched, causing him to jump back in fear.

James waited for the beast to suddenly roar back to life, but nothing happened. It continued to twitch every few seconds, its muscles apparently contracting.

Lieutenant Bradshaw raced up to them and stared wide-eyed at the fallen creature. Glancing between Tom and James, he asked, "Did you just...?"

Tom draped his arm over James's shoulder and grinned triumphantly. He used his other arm to nudge James in the ribs. "And you said my love of food would never come in handy."


They herded them all outside the little room and into the cool night air. James felt his stomach drop when he looked down. They were in a tree some three hundred feet in the air on a limb only ten feet wide. He gulped and forced himself to look away. Don't look down, he told himself. Just keep your eyes on the path ahead and focus on not falling to your death.

Fortunately for James, they made it across the tree limb to a much wider platform in the next tree. Unfortunately for him, they had to cross another one a couple minutes later.

He felt himself wanting to gag. I hate heights.

Tom edged up beside him as they crossed the other bridge. Grinning as always, he slapped him on the back. James's heart about leaped out of his body as he felt himself stumbling forward a step, closer to the edge.

"What's the matter, James?"

"You're the matter," he growled, still scared out of his wits from the near-death experience. "You should be more careful hitting someone on the back like that up here. I could've died."

Tom did not even miss a beat. No sign of remorse crossed his face, only amusement. "You're fine, James. Remember, this is just like the day you nearly fell off the dragon. Only this time it's actually a lot easier to fall."

"Remind me to kill you later."


Running a hand through his hair, jaw tight, Alexander stared at the starry sky. He held his compass up before him, glowering at it.

"I don't understand how we ended up here...or where ‘here’ even is."

James leaned against the railing and tried to catch a glimpse of the compass. "Does that work?"

Lieutenant Bradshaw glanced at him, staring him up and down. "Of course. Doesn't your head work?"

James shrugged off the insult, quite used to them by now. In fact, he would almost be disappointed if the lieutenant did not insult him. He kind of got the impression that he liked him when he did that.

"After all, Mr. Magician, you're the one who got us lost."

James smirked. "And you're the one who somehow managed to almost get us sucked down a whirlpool."

He rolled his eyes and pocketed his compass, placing his hand on the wheel. "I only wish I had the foggiest clue where we are."

"There's plenty of fog out there. That should help."

Alexander glared, not appreciative of the humor. "Just step aside, please. You're blocking my view."

James moved a quarter of an inch to the right.

The lieutenant mumbled something incoherent under his breath, giving James the vague impression he was not pleased.


James pushed against the railing and decided to head to bed. There was not much going on up here, and it was obvious the lieutenant did not want him around. Of course, he wouldn't mind just hanging around to spite him, but he was already tired.

Waving, he called back, "Good night, Alexander."

The lieutenant grunted. "Do you have to call me that?"

"You told me to."

"Well, then try not to say it in such an irksome way."

"It's not an easy task when I'm addressing you." James grinned and ducked below the deck before the lieutenant could strangle him.


Taking a hesitant step forward, Charlotte started after the strange woman. She jumped back in surprise as a shoe began crossing her path. It stopped suddenly, as if shocked by her arrival. The black boot began to hop along suddenly and hid away in a dark corner beneath the stairs. 

"Ignore the boots!" the woman called. "They aren't very sociable around new company." 

Charlotte turned the corner, coming behind the staircase...and finding herself in the same room she had been in before. She blinked, observing the maze of staircases that wound up onto the ceiling. 

No, this room was different. Instead of red carpet, it had royal blue. And there was a grandfather clock propped up in the corner, ticking in a strange rhythm that reminded Charlotte of her heartbeat. 

The woman was bustling around, balancing a silver tray and a butterfly net. "Oh, where is that blasted teapot now!" she exclaimed, waving her net around in the air ominously. 

A porcelain teapot suddenly darted past, nearly whacking Charlotte in the face. Tom had entered just in time for it to slam into him instead. 

"Catch it!" the woman shouted, pointing at Tom. 

He yelled and grabbed the pot around the handle. The teapot strained against his grasp, trying to escape. The lid flew off and hit Tom between the eyes. 

"Hey!" he said, rubbing his forehead. 

The woman hurried over and yanked the teapot from his hands. She smacked it on the side lightly with the palm of her hand and waved her finger at it. "I told you not to hit strangers in the face! It's very rude!" 

A squirt of tea flew out the spout into her face. 

She glared at the pot and put it in the net. "Just for that, I'm getting your brother out instead." 

The pot began to squirm in the net, trying to get out. It made what sounded like a whining sound, following by the clattering of its lid. 

"You had your chance. Now be quiet and let me tend to my visitors." 

The pot stopped squirming, but it let out one last drop of tea from its spout to indicate its displeasure.

<><><><><> that may have gotten a little out of hand. Be very afraid of my NaNo recap post. O.O

How are you faring? Is NaNo treating you well or are you feeling like a deranged pigeon? (I'm kind of a mix at the moment. :P) And what did you think of the snippets? Who's your favorite character in my novel?

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  1. OH MY GOODNESS, MARYYY. Seriously, these were SO GOOD. I am DYING over here, these were just so epic. *acknowledges your writing excellency*

    Also, I need your book. BADLY. Like, right now. Pwetty pwetty please give us more snippets sometimes soon (or maybe ... like ... the whole thing?)?

    And your characters are AH-MAZING. I love them so much and I've only read snippets about them. I MUST HAVE MORE *dies*.

    ~ Savannah

  2. EEEEEEP I LOVE YOUR SNIPPETS. XD They were so much fun to read. <33

  3. SQUEEEELP They sound so good!! =D Also don't mind me but you have spotify?! I'd love to follow you if that's okay?

  4. WOW, MARY! THESE ARE SO GOOD! I'm impressed. Really. Your writing flows along so seamlessly and pulled me right into the story. There were so many parts that made me smile, and I'd like to quote them all to you, but that would take too long. So suffice it to say, I love the banter back and forth between your characters; Tom is so much fun; and that scene with the unhappy teapot was hilariously creative.

    You may not be feeling it after all those hours spent writing, but you definitely have talent here, girl. Keep up the good work!! :D

  5. OH MY GOODNESS. THOSE WERE AWESOME! So glad you shared them with us!
    All your characters sound amazing! Look forward to reading more!

  6. I enjoyed your snippets immensely, Mary! The first one caught my attention as the best, by far. XD “Let me phrase it this way: having someone pull out my hair one by one would be far more agreeable than talking to you.”

    The lieutenant still smiled. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

    LOVED that. I think I like this lieutenant. ;)

    Enjoyed reading some of your writing and what you have been up to. NaNo has been fine for me, unlike the rest of you epic writers I just play with it to be honest. It's sort of a fun social writing time for me, I am not too set on getting anything particularly done other than write every day as a discipline. ;)

    And I adore penguins. Just saying.

  7. Oh my word, Mary, those were hilarious! You've got me real laughing over here! Your book sounds like so much fun!

    "Otherwise I might kill my characters. (Or vice versa.)" Haha, I've SO been there! ;)

    1. Being a writer myself, I wanted to add that I know what it feels like when you don't love a story. Authors always have tons of ideas, and some of them just don't work out. Also, sometimes you think a story is too depressing, silly, or something else, but it still really blesses others. Tolkien described himself as "the most critical reader" of The Lord of the Rings. Just because you're hard on yourself and your story doesn't mean people won't like it. ;-)
      I also believe there's a quality of writing that only comes with experience, and therefore every word that reaches paper is making you a better writer. So even if you don't like the finished product, don't think you wasted your time.
      Hope this is encouraging, and doesn't sound preachy!

      P.S. Your new header is GORGEOUS!! I came to your blog, and then just stopped and stared at it. So much prettiness!

  8. Unfortunately I haven't time to read all your generous snippets at the moment, but I'm sure they are lovely! :D

    YOU SLAYED NANO. Tell me your secrets! Or retain some of your writing powers by not telling anyone, mwahaha.

    (also: I most definitely fit under the category of deranged pigeon.)

  9. AHH, I LOVE IT. :) You must publish and then send all of us bloggers free copies. ;) Because that is how the world works. For sure. XD

  10. I totally sympathize with the whole story not finished thing! I'm at 83k words and only just a smidgen past the HALFWAY POINT. I think this thing is going to be around 150k words. *DIIIIES* But you are doing AWESOME, Mary, and I know you can finish this thing. LOOK HOW MANY WORDS YOU WROTE IN JUST 2 WEEKS. You're gonna make it! *fistpump*

    AND MARYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!! YOUR. SNIPPETS. Excuse me, missy, but I don't want to hear another word about how you're not happy with this story because THIS IS PURE GOLD LET ME JUST EAT IT. (Unless Tom beats me to it.)

    As I was reading the snippets I was like, "Ooh, I need to quote that one and tell her how hilarious it is." And then, "OH. And this one too." "Oh, oh! THIS IS THE BEST." "WAIT, THIS IS EVEN MORE BRILLIANT." Annnd I realized I was about to just copy and paste your entire post into my comment... So basically THIS IS BRILLIANCE AND I CAN'T STOP LAUGHING.

    Tom. TOMMMMM. I WANT TOM. I want to keep him. I'll be very good to him and feed him every day. I'll call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my squishy. BUT SERIOUSLY NOW I LOVE TOM. ALSO LIEUTENANT BRADSHAW. The sass! I LOVE THE SASS. I JUST WANT ALL THESE CHILDREN.

    And I thought I was going to die of happiness when I saw there was a GLITTER. CARGO. HOLD. Best thing EVERRR. But then it got better because TOM ATE IT. Tom. Ate. Glitter. I AM DEAD. I shall be dead forever after this one. I can't even right now.

    Also the flying teapot was amazing!!!

    But it's not just the hilarious, epic content, it's your WRITING. It all flows so well and natural. How are you writing such gold during NaNo??? My book is a horrendous, bland MESS. YOU ARE AMAZING.

    But I'm literally going to sit here and fangirl 'til the end of time if I don't force myself to stop. Just...KEEP WRITING. THE WORLD NEEDS THIS BOOK. But more importantly *I* need this book, so. :P (But seriously.)

    P.S. YOUR BLOG DESIGN. It's all wintery and happy and I loooove!

    Okay, NOW I'm done.

  11. Congrats on 60K! That's amazing! I'm almost 37K. ^ ^

  12. Hope it's gone well for you! I enjoyed the snippets, Tom sounds like my kinda of friend ;) And the lieutenant's "sorry, love" made me think irresistibly of Jack Sparrow! XD

    PS My name is Emily, I'm here having popped over from Adventure Awaits. Nice to meet you!


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