Thursday, November 4, 2010

Novel excerpt #1.

I really love NaNoWriMo season. This year is especially fun for a number of reasons.

1. I feel like the number of people I know taking it seriously this year has gone up considerably from past years, and more people doing it means more excitement all around.

2. Every other year I'd been scrambling to balance nano-ing with classes, homework, and having a job I needed to be at 3-4 times a week. While I am taking a big fat break in the middle to go to wrockstock and LA for about a week, I have altogether more time to spend on my novel this year that ISN'T being shared with homework or being at work. It's much more guilt-free NaNoWriMo this year.

3. Everyone seems to still remember the NaNoWriMo song Luke and I wrote last year and I get messages about it from people a few times a day telling me it's still their anthem for the month. That's really nice for me to hear.

I leave for Wrockstock tomorrow morning and my goal was to have hit 10k words by then. I'm currently stopped at 6,620 so we'll see if I make it to that goal. In the mean time, since I really can't justify spending a ton of time on blogging this month (this post is already 213 words) I am going to share a little bit more of my nanowrimo novel with you.

The response I got from sharing the prologue a few days ago was overwhelmingly positive, and all that user feedback really put me in the mood to keep writing at the fast pace needed to do this. So thank you guys, I really appreciated the comments you left. Here's a tidbit I wrote a couple days ago, and remember, there's been no time for editing so this is pretty raw.


“Mom! Mom look! Lunch boxes with super heros!”
“I thought boys your age were into girls now, not super heros,” I replied, pulled from my daydreams. The cart bumped the edge of a cardboard display, causing about a hundred glue sticks to sway in unison. Oops.
“Well, I mean yeah, but I’m not going to buy a Hannah Montana lunch box because of it.”
“You don’t even pack a lunch, Max. I give you lunch money.”
“I know that. I always thought you were supposed to keep other stuff in lunch boxes anyway. Like your rock collection, or old stale pretzels, or dead bugs. Not actual lunch.”
“Well that makes a lot of sense,” I reasoned. “Buy a whole lunch box for things that would be better suited to go in a trash can, or under the deck, or in a tupperware.”
“Mom,” Max said, rolling his eyes at me in a way that I’m not even sure eyeballs are supposed to move, “They don’t sell superhero tupperware. That’s just stupid.”
“Well excuse me, Super Max. Speaking of super heros, do you need new underwear for this year?”
My son’s eyes widened as his head whipped around, presumably looking for any of his friends from school. “Mom. You cannot just go walking around talking about a middle school boy’s underwear,” he hissed. “Someone might hear you.”
“Well everyone knows you wear underwear, Max. It’d be more embarrassing if they thought you didn’t.”
“Just grab some white ones and throw them in the cart when no one is looking okay? It’s a simple thing to ask. Underwear is not important. Now can I get a cool stapler, please?”
Just as I was about to ask what the difference between a ‘cool’ stapler and a regular one was, Max jumped up on the foot bar of the cart in an attempt to steer it himself, and sent it flying forward much faster than he intended. The wheel grazed the same display of glue sticks, this time toppling about a third of them to the floor. He looked up at me sheepishly from behind the handle of the cart.
I sent him a sidelong glance in return. “Are we trying to destroy this display? I really don’t want to buy it; it matches nothing in our house.”
He giggled, carefully pushing the cart a bit further into the aisle, away from anything that could fall down or break. “I agree, glue sticks would totally clash with the sunflower theme in our kitchen. But that one over there, the smiling teacher cutout? I think that might look nice in my bedroom all smashed up.”
“I never knew you noticed interior design, Maxy. Would you like to remodel the bathroom?”
“Mom,” he said seriously, stopping and giving me a grave look. “Never call me that again.” I don’t think I’d ever heard the kid’s voice so resolute in his life.
“Why?” I asked. “I always call you that.”
“Well it needs to stop. You know when I went to Harrison’s house yesterday?”
“Of course, I drove you there and picked you up.”
“Well he has an older sister, and she is mean.”
“Did she make fun of your nickname, Maxy?”
“Stop it!” he cried. “And no, she didn’t make fun of my nickname! She stuck her stupid gross girl pads on our shirts and you know what they were called?!”
I could see where this was going.
“Maxi pads, Mom. Maxi. Pads.”
I bit my lip, simultaneously feeling terrible for having given my son what I now realized was a horrible nickname for a soon-to-be teenage boy, but at the same time stifling a giggle.
“This is not funny!” He insisted. “I’m making you buy me the most expensive stapler they have in exchange for child abuse!”
I gestured toward the shelf. “Good thing even the most expensive stapler is only seven dollars. It’s all yours, Maxy. Comes in pink and purple! This one has glitter!”
He tossed a green one in the cart with a scowl, saying nothing.
“Do you want it with or without wings?”
“I don’t even know what that means!” He kicked the cart and let out a growl, running off to look at backpacks.
I suppose I deserved that. I made a mental note to cut the pet name and start calling him just Max, especially in public. Guess they had to grow up sometime. I always thought they taught sex-ed too early.


There you go! Please tell me what you think. This is the very first character the pen belongs to, so you're reading a bit about her life/her world. I'll be back with more soon!

Edit: Someone in the comments asked why I would have an adult character in a YA novel... the entire novel deals with YA themes from different types of people's POV. I don't think YA readers are incapable of relating to an adult or a child for 1/15 of a novel to see a different perspective on a situation. So that's my answer. :)


lauren_ashley said...

So freaking awesome! :)
Very well done!
Is there any way we'll be able to read it once it's finished? xxx

Bitten Usagi said...

Your guys' NaNoWriMo song is most definitely the anthem for my month. :D

LOVE the excerpt. Really good, thanks for making me feel ashamed of my own. :P Love your writing. Plus it made me think of my sister and I teasing my brother in law because maxi pad commercials freaked him out. Totally said "would you like them with wings" while we teased him too.

Now speaking of nanowrimo I must go attempt to get a day ahead of schedule.

Rosanna said...

Love it! It's funny, which I wasn't expecting, but it sounds like it is going to be great x

Anna said...

You lost me about halfway through the excerpt. Too much dialogue, too little of a point to any of it.

I'm confused why you would have an adult protagonist in a YA story.

Anonymous said...

Lol, "I don't even know what that means!"

Sounds like you're off to a good start. :)

Niki. said...

Haha, I love it! Seems like an interesting character! :].

Your NaNoWriMo song is definitely the anthem of my month, as well. =D.

Jen said...

This is amazing. So much better than mine! Would you mind following me back on twitter @autumnskye10 I'll probably be posting excerpts of mine somewhere too. I'd love to get feed back from someone who actually enjoys writing.

Amber said...

The stapler bit at the end made me smile. It's true - the most expensive not-electric stapler we sell at my workplace is called "Rockstar" and it's covered in rhinestones in your choice of: pink, purple, or white.

Luke clearly isn't taking it seriously. McLameFace. I was looking forward to hearing about him actually trying to write a novel, instead of 1 word/day. Hit him for me when you see him for Wrockstock?

Anonymous said...

It was really, really good. The ONLY thing was that I felt like Max was a tiny bit too articulate for a middle school boy, but that could just be his personality. Overall, I laughed hysterically and showed it to a few of my friends. :D

Caitlin said...

I love reading and writing dialogue-heavy scenes. Your pacing is great, and it lifts the excerpt, almost in a theatrical way - I almost want to take it and read it out with another person.

I meant to put this with your last post, but your idea sounds like a lot of fun. I hope you'll keep sharing where you go with it.

And at this point, I'm waking up everyday to The NaNoWriMo Song.

Rachel said...

I really like it so far. Can't wait to read more, if you feel like sharing more that is. I'm glad someone else is writing YA fiction this year. I thought I was the only one. I'm so behind today but catching up is for tomorrow and the weekend. I'm sure I'll be playing the NaNoWriMo song all weekend long for motivation.

Hailee said...

I loved it! I couldn't believe the title when I saw it in the Reading List. It made me laugh :) I love your style of writing from what little I read.
Even if I'm ahead of schedule for NaNo, I promised a critique friend I'd send an excerpt by the end of this week x_x
Wishing you lots of luck on yours! I hope you do get published one day, I'd definitely buy a copy!

Moka said...

I really liked it! hope you keep posting excerpts and keep writing.

seanababy16 said...

Great excerpt! I love it, except reading it made my want to go and delete all 14701 words of my NaNoWriMo novel and completely start over!
Really great job, though, sounds like the book will be great!

elfarmy17 said...

I laughed SO HARD!
I think it's great. Much better than mine.

Veronica said...

I'm listening to your NaNoWriMo song right now, actually. XD
Your writing is so freaking amazing. And, like, NaNoWriMo works aren't even edited at this point. Imagine how awesome you are at your ful-edited power!
I have exactly 10,000 right now, actually. XD I clicked the word count when I was ready to stop and had 9,997 words, so I added in three words I wasn't going to put originally. Either way, I have more words and you have much, much more awesome, so I think that makes you better. ^^
Happy NaNoWriMo~ :D

mikaella said...

Very nice start. I enjoy the pleasant banter of the characters. How young is this mother exactly though? I enjoy her but her responses come across verryy young. Do continue! We're rooting for you.

Sabrina said...

The plot is such a creative idea, and you're doing it so well!

The one thing that I'm foggy about, though, is why this narrative is in the first person. I thought you were writing from the pen's perspective, or do you rotate the narrator?

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've read your blog for over year, and I've never commented, but this deserves it. The plot idea is amazing, and the excerpt was just as incredible. I'm dying to read the whole book now! Well, just want to say you are awesome and keep up the good work!

Cat said...

That excerpt made me smile. It sounds like it's going well. I'm several thousand words behind. Hopefully this weekend I can catch up.

Anonymous said...

I love it! Please say you'll link to the finished story, if you do finish it! :)

PinkPieLover18 said...

Haha, I love it! Max has a pretty sarcastic mom. xD I'm looking forward to reading more of your story. :D

gaby said...

Not being a writer myself, I have never tried NaNoWriMo, but it's always fun to see how everybody gets 'really' into it. The only part that I don't like is how at the end of the month they finish and that's it, I wanted to be able to read some of it for a change, so thank you for this. I really like the idea about the pen.

Maggie said...

I giggled muchly while reading this exerpt! I love the bit about pads SO much, especially the wings bit.

Kristina, it would make me and TONS of other people deliriously happy to read this entire novel some day. You've done an excellent job writing the draft during NaNo, but I doubt you want to send that manuscript to all of us. Could it be your goal to perhaps maybe possibly publish something through DFTBA records? I'd love to buy a novel by author Kristina Horner.

Anonymous said...

Very good start! In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that I was not sure if I would enjoy this from the prologue, but I really enjoyed this excerpt!

I also like the humour in it!

JustMeJacqui said...

awhh, I love it! Well done. You are so lucky you have as much time as that. I'm balancing nanowrimo with exams, homeworks, socialising and a lot of cello practice and composition. However, I'm really enjoying doing it.

apples_and_pancakes said...

I actually don't like it when there aren't kids or adult characters in YA fiction. It's not as though teenagers exist in a vacuum. Plus, I think it'd be good to write about a variety of characters, and even people of a variety of different ages.
My novel so far also has a ton of dialouge. It's a lot easier to get to 1667 words that way.

.Nikki. said...

This is really great! :) It's witty and well written. Well done! Keep up the good work. xx

Nicola Balkind said...

Really enjoying your nanowrimo blogging Kristina!

Thought you might like this 100 Harry Potter Quotes post!

Reducto666 said...

So is the ball point pen already in the persons possesion? Or is it on the school supply shelf listening in?

Tania said...

i really like it so far..
i thought from the prologue that it's going to be a really interesting story and i'm not disappointed at all..
i hope you keep posting there any chance to read the whole story when you finished it?

iLikeAcidPops said...

hey kristina!

your novel looks great-im still working on my november ends the pressures building to finish!

.Nikki. said...

Hi Kristina, I know I've already commented on this post, but I just re-read it and wanted to ssay keep going! You're almost there and doing such a great job :)
Nikki x

audrey said...

Awesome exerpt, I loved it!

So I saw this on college humor:

And I thought of you... you still live near Seattle right? Be safe!

sammieseagull said...

I completed NanoWriMo this year too..I'd never heard of it til you mentioned it on your YouTube channel, so looked it up and became awesome to actually finish...harder than my university thesis I have to say....phew....

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SocorroLime said...

This is really good! I should have known from your blog posts that you're a talented writer, but I don't even like novels much and I still loved this.