NaNoWriMo 2018

It’s time for this year’s NaNoWrimo! Once again, I jump in, trying to do things with little planning. I am doing the next installment of my Milly series, a story about a girl in a strange, fantastical land. I’m doing something different this time. Like the third book, this book is going to have a different point of view character.

You can follow along with my as I try to write 1700+ words per day.

Read the latest book in the Milly series here.

You can also catch up on the older installments here. I apologize for not tidying  them up, yet. I still need to go through all of the older works to proofread and edit them down. I’ll get around to it one day. I hope.

Alright. Short post this time. I also plan on doing design notes for the fifth book. Probably after November. Enjoy reading.

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Milly 4, Final Thoughts

This will be the final part of my thoughts on the fourth book in the Milly series. At least that’s the plan. If I think of any more I want to say, I’ll put out another post.

One character I haven’t talked about is Colin. He is Milly’s adopted younger brother. When I first thought of the story, I envisioned him as younger than he was, more like at the crawling stage. Then I reread the first book and found out I made him old enough to walk and talk, so I kept it. I think it worked out better that way as it gave him a bit more to do.

I knew I wanted him to appear in this book, but what I’m deciding is if the passage of time should be the same between the two worlds or not. That’s because I want Colin to appear, yet not to have it be a big deal back on Earth where he disappears for a long time. Hmm, it’s rough.

I wanted someone else from Earth because I want to show that it is possible to return home, but to show that Milly will sacrifice her chance to send her brother back. It also contrasts a bit with what Carl Ross would do. I tried to create a interesting dynamic between Milly and Carl, and Colin is the character that best let’s that play out.

Carl’s story isn’t finished, yet, but I don’t have as much planned for him at the moment. Maybe that will change later. For now, just know that I had a fun time writing this book, and I got to put out a lot of fun things. My favorite part of this is still the spackilo. I don’t know if it’ll return, but I had fun writing about it.

Sometime soon, it’ll be my notes on the fifth book, Milly and the City in Between!

Milly 4, Animals of Vias

Welcome to my thoughts and notes on the animals of Vias! They are a mixture of fish and furry animals. Some are adorable, some are dangerous, but I tried to throw in some strange and wild stuff, too.

Bullbop are large fish that’s used a lot for food. It’s where the kundun get their steak.

The doxon are furry, yak-like creatures. They’re mostly used for milk.

Ribbon dog. I didn’t give them an official name, but they’re like the pets and guard animals. They are pretty friendly, though, so their main use is alerting people someone is there.

The ginka. I had fun with these. They are round penguins! I think making things into the shape of a ball makes them adorable. I have some stuff animals like that. I wanted them to be cute and non-threatening.

The wallowtail are fish that live in the mist. They never stop moving, and they move really fast. They have sharp turns that easily makes people lose their position, meaning they are among the toughest fish to catch.

The junka are the work aniamls of the kundun. They’re kind of like doxon, but with thicker fur and humps on their backs. Oh, and they have webbed feet. For that, I was sort of going for a snowshoe like effect that allows them to stay on top of the snow.

Wind Squirrels are squirrels. They live in what little trees there are in Vias and they have wind magic.

The Baringa, now these were something I wanted to add. They are like merpeople, and what fantasy story couldn’t use some merpeople? I made them the dangerous kind that lures people in. Vias was the only place with a lot of water, so I had to throw them in.

I had fun with the entire section. It’s an entire wrecked ship area that just has a great feel to it, for me. I hope it was atmospheric for you, too.

The clossis. Now these guys are something I added for the sense of wonder and danger. One thing I’m afraid of in deep-sea animals is things so large that they can’t possibly be supported on land. These are not quite that big, but they are the sea serpents that show up on the maps. Their design is based on a similar monster in a video game. I had them eat magems mostly as an excuse for them to attack the cruise ship, because otherwise cruise ships would be far too dangerous in Vias. Most of the time, they stick to themselves.

Alright, now for the spackilo. These are the giant mosnters of the depth that I think about, things so large that if you’re too close, you think you’re looking at a wall. These fulfill the fantasy of an entire town being inside of a living creature. I want one massive-type animal for each province, like ancient spirits that have always been around. The spackilo are those for Vias.

There are a few named once, but Vannuk is the oldest. Maybe there are other spackilo’s with whole towns inside them. Who knows? But they are considered guardians of the ocean. They are helpful and rescue people that fall in. It’s sort of what they do, though they don’t let people out afterwards.

The spackilo people was perhaps my favorite part of the book. It’s just a interesting town that survives and thrives inside a giant whale. I don’t have much more backstory to the spackilo people, though. They aren’t some offshoot of the kundun. They are their own thing that has always lived inside the spackilo. I wanted to give them a mysterious feel, so I had them all wrapped up. They get dried out easily, so they need all that protection.

That’s it for the creature and animals of Vias. Next time, some closing thoughts on the book!

Milly 4, the Kundun

The kunduns are the residents of Vias, the Ice Province. Their design is based on an old video game character. You know Darkstalkers? It is an old Capcom fighting game. There is a character in there called Sasquatch. He pretty much is what his name implies, a furry, cute guy with a huge mouth. That’s what I wanted the kundun to look like, but I made them smaller.

For their culture, I probably mixed together a whole bunch of cold weather stuff. I took insipiration from Alaskan Natives a lot as well as some other places, but mostly, I made stuff up. Some of their building designs come from viking stuff, others were thick, log structures. I think Skyrim structures influenced my thinking a lot. I liked that the kundun are an artistic race, but they mainly keep their art to themselves.

Some notes individual characters. For the kundun, the ship captains are in charge when out in the ocean. It’s not really like a military, though, more like civilian ships. Things aren’t that strict, but a captain’s order are expected to be followed. Like Captain Ratu, who is a fishing vessel captain, or Captain Varq of a cruise ship.

There’s Halmin, who is just a wise old woman.

Balli, the guide for this province, wasn’t even created when I first started the story. Originally, I thought Captain Varq would be the guide. But then I realised his personality wouldn’t allow for it. I needed someone else to help Milly through the province, so I made up Balli. That’s the reason for his relatively late introduction compared to the other guides. It did help give him a good reason for helping Milly, though, against what his people would normally do.

That’s it for the kundun. Next time, the animals and creatures of the Ice Province!

Milly 4, the Ice Ship Escapade

This has been a long time coming. I finished this book last year, and finally, time for some of my notes on it! This will contain some spoilers, so please go read it! It’s free for everyone here.

For this post, I’ll talk about the design of Vias, the Ice Province as well as some other stuff later on. For Vias, I had a choice between a large tundra and an ocean with ice floes. I decided to go with the ocean. It also plays into another fun setting I enjoy, cruise ships! I know I didn’t spend a lot of time on the ship, but I had a lot of fun writing it.

Additionally, it helps the theme that certain provinces preferred to be much more controlled about their visitors while others allow anyone in. Vias is one of those less welcoming ones, so a tour ship is a great way to make sure no one wanders around. Of course, it didn’t help with Milly and her friends.

Having them go on an adventure wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I just had to get them off the cruise ship fast, otherwise it would be pretty mundane. Perhaps I glossed over a lot of the sailing parts, but I don’t know that much about it.

With Vias doubling as an ocean province, I could also do any of the fun fantasy things people do in oceans too, only in a winter theme. I had islands that move, massive sea monsters and all that fun stuff. The cruises are usually really safe and fun. It’s just that Milly needed an adventure!

Towards the end of the story, there were some stuff that needs to be changed. I already did part of it but not all of it, so anyone reading it at the time this blog is posted might notice some plot inconsistencies. I decided to make the portal opening a once in a hundred year thing. Before, it was an all the time thing as long as they could make the device. Hopefully, once my changes are done, it will hit a fantastic aurora scene.

That’s about it for the setting of Vias. Next time, I’ll talk about the kundun. Oh about the weather, it’s always cold and snowy there. Aretto, the wizard city in the center, is the only place with seasons. That happens when prevailing winds blow. Vias gives them winter. Other provinces gives them summer, fall and spring. Some places are neutral, such as Murt.

Milly, Book 3 Closing Thoughts

Alright, this might be the final post on Book 3 of Milly, and this will be a collection of random final thoughts. I don’t think there’s much more to add.

Will I do another book where another character is the point-of-view character? I’m not planning on it. Book 3 is currently going to be the only one. It will be Milly for the rest of the books. Now that’s not to say I won’t do it, but I’m not considering it at the moment.

Book 3 was interesting and fun to do. I don’t think I did the perspective shift as well as I could have, but it was a cool experience. In my original plan, Milly wasn’t in the book as much, but in the final version, she and Cornwilla had a decent amount of time together. I think it works better because it gave more to them compared to a few quick meetings.

As for what Milly was up to during that time, she mostly had an easier way getting through Murt. Not as much interesting stuff as compared to Cornwilla. That’s the way of things, isn’t it? The people not the point of view character tends to have easier times. And if they didn’t, it will be told either through flashback or through the character retelling it. Since neither of those things happened, you can assume Milly was just walking along during the times she was not with Cornwilla.

I also enjoyed bringing Chrillo back into this. For a quick reminder, Chrillo is the guide for the Forest Province. I was actually planning something like this since the first book, the eternal nighttime plot, I mean. That’s why I made Chrillo more sickly and weak, so he would be more affected by the lack of sunlight.

I tried to give Milly and Chrillo a good conclusion, even though Cornwilla has less reason to care. It might be a similar problem in the future if I want to bring Reting back but Milly is the point-of-view character again. Reting doesn’t really know Milly at all.

Random info, out of all the guides so far (including the 4th book), my favorite guide is Nathootha (the guide from the Mountain Province). I enjoy writing Slivhl (the guide from the Swamp Province), too.

Thinking about the series as a whole, you might think there will be 7 books in the series. I went through two provinces in the first book, so there’s six others I’ve been going through one book at a time. I think I want to have an 8th book though. What will be in that? Who knows. Who knows.

Milly, Creatures

This post will be about the creatures of Murt. Hmm, the ones I did name I tried to have a bit of an Asian tone to them.

Nozhu’s are pig-like creatures. It’s been a while since I wrote the story, so I’m not sure what they did. I guess they weren’t too important to the story.

Shadow Stalkers are fast things that move in a whip-like fashion. I also don’t remember much about them.

Rock creatures. These I do remember. For having a more active role in the story, I should have named them. But they aren’t really made of rocks. The rocks are more like a home for them. They’re friendly things, the clingy kind. They’ll pretend to be landmarks and confuse travelers to make them stay longer. They aren’t dangerous, but they do look kind of creepy.

Denti. I made these to sort of mimic that scene from James Cameron’s Avatar where Jake Sully gets covered with glowing things. These insects glow and they like to eat the dust from momoth wings. In a way, they naturally clean up all the dust that fall everywhere. They also looking magical and cool when swirling around.

Xiao moia. I don’t remember them much, but I think I made them dangerous. I mean, they have a large mouth full of sharp teeth. The xiao stands for small. So you don’t want to meet the regular moias.

Leirei, they look like manta rays that fly, pretty much. And with light coming from their stomachs, they also look a bit like UFOs. They like stormy weather. I made them to look great at night, to have a strange outlined shape just gliding gently through the sky.

The mother of all leireis is an ancient spirit. I don’t know if I literally meant the mother of all leireis with the name, but I probably do. She is the big wow creature of Murt that I showed. She has the ability to cause a constant storm just by her presence. I really wanted to do a chapter with her just for the beauty and because I like the rain.

That’s all for the creatures of Murt! Next week, they might be more Milly, Book 3. I’ll think on it.