Update From Isolation

It’s day 24 of isolation for me during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I must say that I was doing just fine until this week. Now I’m going slightly mad. Overall, complying with the Michigan Stay-At-Home Order hasn’t been too difficult, but as I said, I’m starting to really feel it now. I’ve been trying to stay busy with things to do every day to keep myself going so I’m not just watching TV all day, and so far I’m doing okay.

The good news is that I’ve been able to get a lot of writing done. I got the rough drafts of two short story projects finished, with a third project about halfway done. Now begins the process of editing and working on those two stories to clean them up and polish them. I have deadlines on both of them coming up, so I need to get cracking.

This whole coronavirus outbreak has been awful. I’m so sad about the loss of thousands of people and the fact that life for everyone else has practically shut down. But it’s going to get better.

If you’re struggling during this time, keep in mind that we will make it through this. Humanity has survived much worse, and we will make it to the other side. Cheer up and look at the good things.

And if you’re looking for something to read, you can pick up a paperback or digital copy of Lost Love and read my latest short story, Back Door. Here is the link: books2read.com/DSPLostLove

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

Five Days In

We are five days into NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been doing very well. I have already crossed the 20,000 word mark. 20k in five days isn’t bad at all.

Just today a friend of mine said, “You’re so close to the goal, you’re going to be done super early.” I told her that though the goal of NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words, I don’t stop there. My personal goal is to finish the novel. I don’t just want to write a bunch of words, it’s National Novel Writing Month, so I want to actually write “The End” in 30 days.

I look forward to this every year. I like to use the challenge to try new things and experiment with my writing. I don’t like to just do the same old thing year after year. I experiment with genre, style, POV, and various other elements.

Because this year I’m continuing a series I’ve been working on periodically for several years now, the setting isn’t new, but the story arc isn’t something I’ve handled before; underlying religious tones of tested faith. What happens when your faith gets rocked and you learn that something you believed in your whole life may have been a misconception? It’s a little challenging. I want to do my characters justice and not just have them react how I think I would, but rather how I think they would.

Question for writers: How do you handle this, when you want to keep your personal convictions separate from your characters’?

Advice for writers: Don’t be afraid to rock your MC’s boat a little. It’s okay to make them question their faith and explore what that means for them. How will it affect their future?

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 is About to Begin

National Novel Writing Month. The month where hundreds of thousands of people all over the world dedicate their time to writing a novel in just 30 days. I thought it was insane when I first heard of it, but now, 10 years later, I’m going for my 10th victory.

During the month I will be sharing how things are going. For a day-by-day more in-depth look at my experiences and process, visit The Paradigm, my personal blog.

Join me for this journey.

-Andrew Ronzino

Experimental Writing

I primarily write science fiction and fantasy. It’s the two genres that I enjoy reading and writing the most. But I don’t like to put myself into a box. I like to play with my writing; try new genres, POVs, and styles. I enjoy experimenting with my writing. I think it’s best to keep things fresh and attempt to think outside of the box. I may not be good at it, but I’m at least willing to attempt it.

I’m writing a short story for a challenge posed by my writing group, and I thought about what kind of a story I wanted to tell and how I wanted to tell it. I decided to go with something raw and real and with a set POVs that is unusual and different to have in a short story. I chose these things purposefully. Will it work? I honestly have no idea. It’s still in rough draft mode, so I don’t know if any of it meshes together until it’s finished. However, whether it works or not, I will have learned something.

One of the best bits of advice I can give other writers is to experiment with your writing. Play around with what you normally do. Try new things. You may discover that you enjoy writing a genre you didn’t think you would be any good at, or in a style that you never considered before. If you’re unsure how to write in a genre you’re unfamiliar with, check some books of that genre out of the library and read how others have done it. Familiarize yourself with how the genre works. I’ve done that myself to great effect. You might find it worth it.

I Need to Get My Butt in Gear

You may have noticed that I don’t update here very often. I need to change that. I need to actually post so that I can have content for people to read. It’s one thing to know I need to do this. It’s a whole other thing to actually do it. Being an author is harder than I ever thought it would be. Not being a writer (though, that’s not easy either), but being an author. I want to write novels for people to enjoy, but one can’t just do that. It’s like any other job, it requires hard work and dedication, and having a website with consistent content is a task that needs to be done. So, buck up, Buttercup, and just do your job! (It’s okay to yell at yourself via your own website’s blog, right?)

The last time I posted, it was November 30th, now it’s March 21st and WordPress has made a lot of changes, so not only do I need to post this, but figure out how to use the new interface. But they added a feature where I can have the big first letter. Hence the large “Y” which makes me so happy.

So I will try to do better. Yell at me if I don’t.