Monday, July 10, 2017

The Oldies Know (tips from Writers long ago) + Meet My Characters from Negative Time + CampNano Update

What I adore is supreme professionalism.
I am bored by those who can only write when its raining.
-Noel Coward 1899 English playwright and songwriter

One ought to write only when one leaves a piece of ones 
flesh in the ink pot each time one dips ones pen. 
- Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy 1828 Russian novelist and philosopher

I think it can be dangerous for young writers to be modest when they're young, 
I've known a number of truly talented writers who did less than they could have done because they weren't vain and unpleasant enough about their talent. You have to take it seriously.
 - Norman Mailer 1923 American novelist and writer

Nighttime is really the best time to work. All the ideas are there to
 be yours, because everyone else is asleep. 
- Catherine O'Hara 1900 American novelist

The more articulate one is, the more dangerous works become.
 - May Sarton 1912 American poet and novelist

We are already a week and a half into Nano? Insane.

I've been cracking away at this novel business, and have written roughly 5,000 words this month. I'm kind of behind on my word goal, but I'l catch up. *winks* When I did Nano in April, writing felt really slow, and it seemed as if the plot was going no where at all, but this month everything in the plot is working out well, and I have all these ideas for new plot twists.  I am super excited about the rest of my novel, and how my characters will grow and change in the process. If you would like to read my synopsis, you can check out my Nano project profile here. Basically, its a post WW2 novel, that begins at the very end of The Second World War. It deals with less of the Jewish side of the war and more with the German point of view. It also, covers a little bit of the African American segregation that was going on in Germany before the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's.

Its basically a story of two recently orphaned twin sisters, who's German parents get killed by the Nazis for hiding Jews in their home. The sisters, Briella and Eve, get placed into an orphanage and are forced to adapt to their new life. In the mean time, a completely different story is happening with a 16 year old boy, named Roman, who lives in a Hitler Youth school, training to be a Nazi. He is an artist, but the school discourages anything that takes away from their training for the Werhrmacht, so he hides his art, secretly sketching by moonlight. When the school is destroyed by a bomb and all those who attend the school plus the officers have to escape the country. The two stories eventually mesh together, but lets say I haven't completely figured out how thats gonna happen yet. *winks*

Meet my characters!


Jude practically dragged Eve through the brush of the forest until they reached the yard where the well stood. They paused for one moment, looking up at the orphanage. Lights flickered on the first and second stories of the tall, brick building. Eve was gasping for breath by the time they reached the stairs.

“Oh great now, we're gonna get it.” Jude snapped at Eve, as he stomping up the steps.

“Hey, it was your fault!-,” Eve shouted after him. Another bomb landed somewhere in the distance. “You were the one who dragged me out there.” She yelled at him over the sound of the screeching airplanes overhead. Jude shouted something back at her as he reached the door of the orphanage, but she couldn't hear what it was. He disappeared inside. She looked up at the black sky before padding up the stairs and slipped through the door herself, where a reprimand most likely awaited her.

As soon as Eve stepped through the dark doorway, she was stampeded by children, all in white nightgowns, like her own, running through the hallways of the orphanage, and down the stairs that lead to the cellar. Jude was no where to be seen. Sister Anna was stationed in the hallway with the children, scurrying them through the hall. Eve was surprised at the fact that she was still wearing her habit. And at 3am none the less! “Don't nuns ever undress??Eve thought to herself. She shrugged off the perplexing question, and ran downstairs with the others.

Another bomb crashed in the distance.

Just then Eve, remembered Briella and the horrid fever she had, when she had crept out of the window. She felt selfish now for getting distracted on that venture with Jude. Her heart rate started to pick up and her eyes searched the cellar for his sister, where the other children huddled together on the cold, damp floor. The younger children rubbed their sleepy eyes with grubby hands, and some cried in fear of the crashes from the distant bombs while the older children attempted to comfort them. Eve spotted Mara and Iris huddled together under a blanket in the corner, and hurried over, sitting down beside them. 

“Have you seen Bri? I can't find her!” She whispered loudly. A few more children filed into the cellar before Eve heard the slamming of the cellar door, then the stomping footsteps of Mother Angelina.

“No, she was still in bed when we left our room. Sister Anna said she would help her downstairs. She seemed sick.” Iris whispered. She was frightened, and held a small, ragged teddy bear with a red ribbon tied around his neck, in her arms. Even at ten years old, she still had a teddy bear. Eve scoffed inwardly.

“Yes, and we saw was you trying to sneak outside after curfew!” Mara reprimanded. Her fiery red hair seemed to glow in the darkness of the cellar.

“That's none of your business!” Eve snapped as she hopped up onto her feet and began searching for Briella. She walked about the cellar, bare of furniture and only holding a few wooden crates used for storage of clothing and quilts. She searched every face, until she heard the cellar door open once again. She turned her attention to the bustle on the stairs then a voice cried out to her,

“Eve! Your sister is over here.” It was Sister Anna. She was helping Briella down the stairs. She was wrapped in a blanket, and looked tired and cold. A fit of coughing caused her tired hands to quickly fly up to her mouth to shield everyone from her sickness. She was quite sick, and Eve began to feel very badly about leaving her sister to go gallivanting with “that black boy”, Jude.


Another early morning, and Roman was awake with his secrets in hand. The sun had risen, and it looked as if it would be a beautiful day. Roman smiled to himself, gazing out of the window, toward the running track. He panned the yard, when his eyes caught on the marble fountain in the courtyard. He eyed the small figurine goddess that rested on top of the running fountain. Suddenly, across the room, Roman heard a rustling in the bunk across from his. He quickly hid his secrets under the covers, and quietly as he could, slipped down into the sleeping position under the sheets. As he did so, something dropped off his bunk and onto the floor.

“I've been watching you.” a voice spoke out, breaking the peaceful silence.

Roman froze. Terror struck deep in his heart. His secrets must not be found out. His heart beat fast, and his breathing was frantic. He could only pray it wasn't his officer. He couldn't tell who it was.

The rustling noise in the bunk across from his could be heard again, like someone getting out of bed. Romans eyes where glued to the white, chalky ceiling. Please don't let it be Roger. He heard footsteps. Roman squeezed his eyes closed, as if somehow this horrible dream would end, and no one was there at all, but he knew he couldn't escape reality.

I said, I've been watching you.” the voice spoke again. Roman opened his eyes slowly, to see Henry, a boy of about fifteen, standing, looking up at Roman who was laying on his bunk in shock. Henry's face held curiosity, and judgment. He held a single red pencil in his hand. Tilting his head, as if to say, “You're in trouble now.”


Roman and Henry sat on the bunk across from each other. Each dressed in their regulation white night shirts.

“How long have you been keeping this a secret?” The red headed Henry asked, as he handed back the red pencil to Roman.

“I've been doing art ever since I could remember. This set, was a gift from my grandfather, last Christmas.” Roman explained, as he pulled back the sheets of his bunk to reveal a sketch book, and a brown paper box of colored pencils. The sketch books smooth, leather cover held the name, Roman Schneider.

“Can I see?” Henry asked, holding his hand out, as if to demand to see the sketch book.

“Sure.” Roman replied nervously. No one had ever seen his work besides his grandfather. Even when he lived with his aunt and uncle, he had never shown them his secrets.

Henry flipped open the cover of the sketch book. The first sketch was of two little boys, both about seven years old. They held fishing poles in their hands, and they where walking, barefoot, over a little footbridge, as if they where on their way to go fishing. They where frolicking and playing about as they went on their way. They both looked so happy as they skipped along. 

The next sketch was a beautiful mountain scene. Perhaps the Swiss Alps, Henry thought to himself. A little cottage was nestled up against the mountain side, smoke drifting from its chimney, laundry hanging on the line, and a stream bubbled near by. A small red water pump could be seen on the far right of the house. Henry looked up at the pensive Roman, with wonder. The sketches held such detail. Each pencil stroke, perfect. He flipped over the next page, which held the sketch of a woman's face. Her expression was calm and peaceful, almost angelic, and her eyes danced like stars.

“Who is this?” Henry asked pointing a finger at the sketch.

“That's my mother. She died only three years ago.” Roman explained. Henry didn't give his condolences, he was busy flipping through the pages, the looked of wonder and surprise still pasted on his freckled face. He ran his hand through his thick, rusty red hair and gave way to a heavy sigh, his cheeks puffing up before releasing the air trapped inside his mouth.

“These are beautiful, chap.” Henry exclaimed. Roman was not expecting anyone to be so excited about his art. He had always kept it secret, so not to upset the officers, for all they where focused on was discipline, drills and hard work. Roman made up his mind that they did not care for art, after hearing on the wireless about the killing of many Jewish artist, and the burning of their paintings. If only Roman could try his hand at painting, and not just simple sketching. He would give anything to paint.

“So, will you tell on me, Henry?” Roman asked, with worry in his voice, as he closed the sketch book, and returned the red pencil to the brown paper box.

“Uh... no chap. This will be our little secret. Okay?” Henry questioned, sticking his hand out for a handshake.

“Thank you, Henry.” Roman said, relieved as he shook the boys large hand. 

“Now, I should get back to my bunk, before the bell rings, or Stewie wakes up.” Henry laughed as he jumped down off Romans bed, and pointing over to Stewart who was snoring. Roman laughed and put his art supplies under his mattress again, and laid back down under the sheets. A few minutes later he was asleep again, but not for long. The bell rung and brought Roman to a start. He sat up in bed and rubbed his eyes. Another day had begun. Roman sighed. 


“Roman,” Officer Heinz said sternly, taking a quick step toward the boy.

Roman wanted to run. Run far, far away from the school and Officer Heinz and all the other boys, where no one could find him, no one would talk to him. He would go to a place where he wouldn't have to run another lap, climb under another fence or be shouted at ever again in his life. He wanted to run, he told himself a thousand times inside, “run, run, run.” but he just couldn't. His feet wouldn't let him, and the sharp fixing gaze of Officer Heinz, who was nearing closer and closer, kept him in his place.

“Roman, this is.....-art.” He said flipping though the pages of the sketch book, scanning the sketches, his voice shaking skeptically. “This is against the rules.” He almost whispered the word rules. Then quickly replied in a more harsh tone,“You know that, right?”

Romans mind drifted back to the day where Officer Heinz had yelled at him for not jumping off the ladder into the flag as part of their daily drills, and how bad his ear hurt afterward. He was scared of this man. He was fiery, authoritative, and strong. Stern, brave and young. All the boys looked up to him. He seemed a man of indestructible iron to them, but Roman saw something behind his eyes, that the others didn't take time to notice. Officer Heinz was a broken man. Deep behind the sternness were tears refusing to break through, and possibly a smile from the memories of his childhood. It was almost like he was forced too quickly to grow up. He was tired. Not yet twenty three, but the look in his eyes, and his expressions wore the age of a fifty year old man.

These facts might have made him a little less intimidating to Roman, but there was still the cold, piercing look in his eyes, that blocked those tears and memories from surfacing, and those disapproving words he spoke, that made Romans heart beat even faster, and caused his hands to clam up in fear.

“Yes sir.” Roman hesitated. He knew art was discouraged at the school. Actually it was flat out not allowed .The boys were only there to learn how to be good soldiers. Their one and only business was to focus on their drills, obey orders and train for the physical exam upon the time of entering the German army themselves after graduating. Roman tried his best at all these things, but it just wasn't him. He wasn't a fighter. Kids aren't suppose to be soldiers. They were suppose to have fun, play ball in the streets with friends, go swimming in the river, climb trees. But, he wasn't a kid anymore, at sixteen. And he couldn't change the fact that he was stuck at this school, and couldn't escape it. He knew art was not allowed, but he did it anyways, and now he was caught.

Then, Officer Heinz did something unexpected. He closed the sketch book, panned the room, and cocked his head to look out of the broken window to make sure none of the other officers were within hearing distance. He stepped closer, bent down close to Romans ear, and whispered, “These are really good, Roman. This is definitely not allowed, but.....” his voice trailed off.

Roman's innocent eyes popped. His expression could be compared to that of a scared rabbit, cornered by a predator. Roman couldn't believe what he had heard. He cleared his throat nervously.

“Sir?” Roman whispered. Officer Heinz then closed the sketch book, straightened his posture, and handed the supplies back to their owner.

“Its David, actually. I'm not much older than you anyways.” He whispered sarcastically, as he panned the room yet, once again. “Loose the 'sir', kid, okay?” Something in his eyes changed just then. They seemed to soften. They seemed lighter. Roman's heart settled.

“Yes, si-” Roman caught himself, “Ok.” he simply replied. He was astounded.

“Here, follow me.” David commanded. The two of them maneuvered the toppled, battered and broken furniture that littered the building until they reached the far side of the school, farthest from where the bomb hit, into a corridor of rooms that Roman knew were the officers private quarters. The boys were not permitted to enter that hallway. Ever. It felt strange to him, to be walking down the 'forbidden hallway', following a man that just few hours before had been his dread, and his fear. The man who had just now asked him to call him by his first name. He new knew the officer didn't hate him now. Roman caught himself smiling, and repeated the name over again in his mind.

David. It was a nice name.

What are your characters names?
Do you find it easy to come up with character names or not?
How is Nano going for y'all? 



  1. I'M OFFICIALLY IN LOVE WITH YOUR CHARACTERS. They all look so cool!! *bounces excitedly* and allll the snippets. *flails* I love snippets. XD

  2. I love those quotes! And your characters are so great!

  3. I loved reading about your characters! Coming up with names is actually one of my favorite parts of writing characters. I use Name Berry which tells you the meaning and origin of the names, it's super cool.

    ~ Pip

  4. Your character snippets oh my shish kebabs. They are SO GOOD. Good characters + WWII = why isn't this published yet this needs to be read like, now.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

  5. I love your characters! AND THE SNIPPETS ARE SO GOOD.

  6. I love the characters AND the snippets! Are you going to try and get your book published, because you should most definitely try! It sounds like such a good story!

  7. I love all the quotes, and I really want to read your novel now!! I'm about 13k in. Aiming for 35k-ish.


  8. loved those quotes!! they were really great <3
    i loved the characters and the snippets!!