NaNoWriMo, 2019 — The Final Day

On November 1st, 2019, I started to write a novel in only 30 days.  Now, on the last day, I stand victorious with nearly double the amount of the original challenge.  Today, on November 30th, I wrote “The End”!

This novel had its ups and downs.  I would say that most of the last third of the ending I outlined wasn’t used and I ended up changing so much.  There are parts of it that I think is a mess, but I can fix all of that later.  Overall I believe that this was a good novel to write and I enjoyed almost every minute of it.  

I want to thank God, my family, and my friends.  Thank you for the helpful encouragement, advice, and sticking with me to the end.  To those who have asked me how things have been going and even showed interest in the story I was writing, thank you! 

Here is this year’s winner’s certificate:

NaNoWriMo Winner's Certificate 2019

THE STATS FOR The Sixth Cleric

Here are the final stats on my 2019 NaNoWriMo project:

Title: The Sixth Cleric

Genre: Fantasy

Words: 98,360

Chapters: 48

Pages: 403 (that’s in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font)

What I learned this year: Every year for NaNoWriMo I like to learn something new, either about myself as a writer, or some new technique.  This year I learned what it really means to be flexible in your writing.  It’s good to plan and outline, but if the story strays from that and it’s working out better than you ever could have thought, go with it.  Let the story flow.  

Thank you again to everyone who stuck with me and encouraged me this month!

There is a day-by-day journal at my personal blog, The Paradigm, if you are interested in reading a more detailed account of what I’m writing and what experiences I’m having this year.

-Andrew Ronzino

NaNoWriMo, 2019 — 25 Days In

The final five days are upon us! The home stretch. Things are looking good. I got my second wind, and I’ve started to write the climax of the story. Things are going well, and the fight scene I’m currently working on is a lot of fun to craft.

I won’t say I’m almost finished yet because there’s still the rest of the climax and then the resolution and aftermath to write, but overall the project is almost complete. I’m looking forward to writing “The End”, but, at the same time, it’ll be sad to leave the story world I’ve created and returned my mind back to reality completely. Well, as completely as a writer can.

Question for writers: How does it make you feel when you’re close to finishing up a project?

Advice for writers: When you do get to “The End”, feel proud of yourself, no matter what state your novel, short story, or other writing project is in. You accomplished something!

There is a day-by-day journal at my personal blog, The Paradigm, if you are interested in reading a more detailed account of what I’m writing and what experiences I’m having this year.

-Andrew Ronzino

NaNoWriMo, 2019 — 20 Days In

The weight of NaNoWriMo often starts to really pile up around day 20 for me. I’m 70,000 words in and probably have another 15k or so. That’s lot of writing in just 20 days, let me tell you. But I love it, you know? I really do. It’s a thrill.

But why in the world is National Novel Writing Month in November when it’s surrounded by holidays, people traveling, and busy times? Maybe it would have been better to have NaNo be in April or something like that. But no, it’s in November, and I do it every year. My friends call it Hermit Month.

But I will admit, I’m getting tired. It’s a lot to write, and I have more left to do. I just want to call it quits, but I’m too stubborn to actually do that. So I trudge on.

Question for writers: What do you do when you feel like you’ve written so much and you just can’t write anymore (for NaNoWriMo, or for any other writing project you have)?

Advice for writers: More encouragement than advice. Just push through. You can do it. Don’t give up! Whatever you’re working on. You can finish it!

There is a day-by-day journal at my personal blog, The Paradigm, if you are interested in reading a more detailed account of what I’m writing and what experiences I’m having this year.

-Andrew Ronzino

NaNoWriMo, 2019 — 15 Days In

Some exciting news! We are 15 days into NaNoWriMo and yesterday I crossed the 50,000 words mark. That may complete the challenge, however, my goal every year is to complete the novel, so I’m still going strong.

As I’ve been writing this year I found myself rewriting my planned ending in my head. I did some different things with my antagonist that I had not planned, and because of that the ending will be changing from what I originally wanted to do, but I think it will be for the better, and I think it will be a lot more fun.

I like to plan and outline things out when I’m writing a novel, especially for NaNo, when you’re on a strict time crunch, it makes things easier for me and keeps me on track. However, I like to be flexible when I’m writing. I allow myself to let the writing shape the story when need be. In the past, I’ve gotten colorful characters, new plot threads, and better ideas by being flexible.

I’ve known writers who stick to their outline like it’s a life preserver, not willing to let it go or try something that deviates from what they planned. I’ve known writers who don’t plan anything at all and just let whimsy take control of their whole story. I think both extremes have their own set of problems. I am somewhere in the middle, I like a good balance of outline and whimsy.

Question for writers: Where do you fit on the planning spectrum? Are you a planner, pantster, or a planster?

Advice for writers: If you are on one end of the extreme or the other, or even somewhere in the middle, try it another way sometime, even if it’s just for fun.

There is a day-by-day journal at my personal blog, The Paradigm, if you are interested in reading a more detailed account of what I’m writing and what experiences I’m having this year.

-Andrew Ronzino

NaNoWriMo, 2019 — 10 Days In

10 days into NaNoWriMo, and things are still going really well. I’m 999 words shy from hitting the 40k mark, which is fantastic. I’ve had a lot of really good writing days and one slog day where I got my words in, but was really distracted.

This novel that I’m writing this year, The Sixth Cleric, has been a blast to write so far. However, I found myself questioning whether or not the story is too slow. I wrote an action scene today that finally sped things up, but I feel like that was the only place where the action was needed so far. I’m not one for adding in needless action just for the sake of having it.

On the other hand, having a story that’s too slow can bore the reader. I love a good drama, but the genre is important too, and too much drama without enough action in a fantasy story would just suck. Imagine A Song of Ice and Fire without all the death, would it be the same story?

Question for writers: How do you find that balance for writing action and dramatic scenes?

Advice for writers: Make sure when you’re writing something that you’re not throwing in stuff just to have more stuff there. Yes, you want your story to have substance, but needless and pointless scenes are just that, needless and pointless. If it doesn’t further the plot or enhance your characters, cut it out.

There is a day-by-day journal at my personal blog, The Paradigm, if you are interested in reading a more detailed account of what I’m writing and what experiences I’m having this year.

-Andrew Ronzino

NaNoWriMo Day 30: Finished

The road was long, and I walked more steps than I ever thought I would, but I’m finished!

On November 1st, 2018, I started to write a novel in only 30 days.  Here I stand with over 100,000 words written, more than double the amount of the original challenge.  Today, on November 30th, I wrote “The End”!  Readers of The Paradigm, I have written a novel in 30 days!

This novel was a joy to write, it flowed out of me.  I may do something with this one someday, after some intensive rewrites and editing, that is.  Mistcraft is complete, but it’s not finished.  It’s still a vomit draft, the roughest of rough drafts, as it was written so fast.  One day, I will polish it until it shines.

I would like to take a moment to thank some people.  *Imagines he’s standing in front of an audience with an award in his hand*  I want to thank God for helping me through this year’s challenge.  I want to thank my family, friends, and my readers.  Thank you for all the encouragement, advice, and sticking with me to the end.  A special thank you to the few people who have asked me almost every day what was happening in my story.  You’re all the best.

Here is this year’s winner’s certificate:

NaNoWriMo Winner's Certificate 2018

The Stats for Mistcraft

Here are the final stats on my 2018 NaNoWriMo project:

Title: Mistcraft

Genre: Fantasy

Words: 101,632

Chapters: 40

Pages: 349 (that’s in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font)

What I learned this year: Every year for NaNoWriMo I like to learn something new, either about myself as a writer, or some new technique.  This year I learned how to craft a realistic magic system, it needs some smoothing out and some kinks fixed, but it’s not a bad magic system.  I also learned that I can push myself to finish by a deadline if I really want or need to.

Thank you again to everyone who stuck with me and encouraged me this month!

Until next time,

Andrew Ronzino, A Man Who Wrote a Novel in 30 Days

NaNo-2018-Winner-Twitter-Header

NaNoWriMo Day 29: The Final Excerpt

One final day remains.  I have one short chapter left to write, but I will do that tomorrow.  However, I would like to say that today I hit 100,000 words!  That is so many for 30 days.  We’ll see what my final count will be tomorrow.

Today, I have the third and final excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel.  If you would like to go back and read any of the previous excerpts, you can do so here:

Excerpt one and excerpt two.

I would like to remind you that like with all the other excerpts, this is a vomit draft, and thus may have a lot of grammar issues and a wrong word here or there.  The only editing I did was just enough to make sure it’s readable for you.  Please enjoy!


“Don’t use mistcraft!”  Rike shouted again.

He looked around.  A few of the other horses had been calmed down, and were being pulled along to the caves.  Others were struggling.

Natty was standing out in the middle of the chaos.  She looked like she was frozen.  Her eyes were glowing and misty.  Rike ran for her.  “Natty!  Release your mist!”

She did just that.  But that didn’t stop the lightning.  Rike got to her just in time.  He leapt in the air and crashed into her, knocking her to the wet grass, which allowed them to slide a little.  The lightning hit where she was standing only a moment before.  Rike stood up, grabbed Natty’s hand and pulled her up.  Then, fearing to let go of her, he dragged her towards the cave.

It was dry inside, there were already three horses inside with Nico who was tying them up to some stalagmites.  Natty was sopping wet and had a terrified look on her face.

“Stay here,” Rike said.  “No matter what happens outside, you stay inside.”

“Don’t go!” She pulled his arm back.

“Jassa is still out there.”  He ran back out into the storm.  There was still a lot of lightning, but everyone seemed to get the idea that using energetic mist in the Break storm was a bad idea, so most of it was up high in the clouds, not striking the ground.

Naroli was pulling two horses towards the cave.  Visrium had another two horses.  That was eight of the nine living horses accounted for.  Tanroa and Epress were pushing the cart of their supplies out of the storm.

Where was Jassa, and where was Mistress Marenti?  Where was the last horse?

He spotted them near a tree.  Marenti was on her horse, its reins were tangled up in the branches of the small tree, and Jassa and Marenti was trying to get them undone.  They were also using mistcraft.  Either they was taking the risk like fools, or they never heard nor picked up on the fact that Break lighting was attracted to mistcraft.

Rike ran for them.  “Jassa!  Release the mist!”

“Rike, help me get this horse!” She shouted back when she spotted him.

“No, Rike,” Marenti shouted into the wind.  “Get back to the shelter!”

“Release the mist!”  Rike yelled.  “The lightning is att—”

The lightning struck.  It missed Jassa and Marenti, but struck the tree, catching it on iridescent fire.  Jassa was screaming.  A large branch snapped off the tree in the wind.  It fell on Jassa dropping her to the ground.  Her screaming stopped.

“Jassa!” Rike shouted.

The horse tried to flee from the blaze that swiftly descended the burning tree, nearly throwing Marenti in the process.  The fire was too fast.  It engulfed the tree in iridescent fire, and engulfed the horse as well as Marenti, burning them to ash in a moment.

Rike ran forward.  “No!”

He wanted to use mistcraft, but that would call down the lightning on him.  He needed to just rely on his own strength.  There was nothing he could do for the horse or Marenti, they were already gone, and their ash was turning to mud in the rain.  He ran for Jassa, who wasn’t moving.  He hoped she was just unconscious.  He tried to lift the branch, but it was too heavy.  By the strange light of the misty fire, he could see that she was bleeding.

“Lady of the Mist, help me!” he called.  Then he took the risk.  He drew in a little mist, and used it on the branch to empty it of weight.  He heaved it off her, then pulled her into his arms.  Then he ran.  As soon as he moved away, a second bolt of Break lightning struck the branch he had just infused with all his mist.  He ran as fast as he could with Jassa in his arms.  They were the last ones into the cave.  It was deep enough that they were probably all safe from the storm.  The eight remaining horses were starting to calm down.

Rike put Jassa down and put an ear to her chest.  Her heart was beating, and she was still breathing.  But she had a cut on her head from where the branch hit her, and she had some blood pooling on her side.  He lifted her shirt, protruding from her side was a small stick lodged into her.

“Help,” Rike said.


-Excerpt from Mistcraft; Chapter 30, by Andrew Ronzino

That will be the last excerpt this year.  I love this scene, I’m as glad I was convinced to kill a character and not just horses in it.  (Wow, that sounds so bad.)

Current word count for Mistcraft: 100,146/50,000!

Until the final day,

Andrew Ronzino, Master of Mistcraft

NaNoWriMo Day 28: Who Killed Him?

Ansan, the boy who was courting Jassa for nearly a year, has died.

The sad part about it is that the characters don’t even know who killed him.  It happened in a fight with the antagonist, Brayol.  Brayol, Jassa, one of the nacre masters, and Krola were fighting.  Rike was staying out of it but then threw some mistcraft into the mix to protect his family.  There was four-way effect was thrown off balance, and it struck the wall and went through it.  Ansan was behind the wall and was killed by one of the effects, but there was hardly anything left of his body, so Jassa doesn’t know which of the four deadly effects killed him.  It could have been her’s.

This was her first relationship, and it ended in ash right after her brother betrayed her and swore loyalty to the villain.

She is having a bad day.

I only have the resolution left to write.  I’m so close to the end, I can feel it.

Current word count for Mistcraft: 96,008/50,000!

Until tomorrow,

Andrew Ronzino, Angel

NaNoWriMo Day 27: The Beginning of the End

So…I hit 90,000 words today.  I had two fine days of writing.  Between yesterday and today, I wrote about 14,500 words, give or take a few.  I will likely break my NaNoWriMo word count record, which was 92,320 words (that was my 2015 novel, The Priest of Tears).  I may or may not break 100K, we’ll see.

I started the climax of the story, well, technically I started it yesterday.  The villain of the story, who was long thought dead, is really alive and was put into an endless sleep.  Rike just woke up him.  Brayol, the Nacre that Broke the World, is active again.

I have awesome plans for the end, and it should be glorious.  I’m excited to write it.

I’m going to call it there though, I’m tired.

Current word count for Mistcraft: 90,036/50,000!

Until the end comes,

Andrew Ronzino, The Nacre that Broke the World

NaNoWriMo Day 26: Over 8,500 Words

Today is my day off.  I also had my normal Monday night plans cancel due to weather.  I started to write, and I hit the best groove ever.

Today I wrote a little over 8,500 words.  That is a lot for me.  That is, by far, the most words I’ve ever written in one day for NaNoWriMo.

I also hit–and passed–80,000 words!

I’m all written out.  I have a pizza in the oven, so I’m going to devour that and watching Netflix.

Current word count for Mistcraft: 84,000/50,000!

Until I write more words,

Andrew Ronzino, Pagemaster