I have found my new favourite band of misfit characters. Ethan, Juliette, Violet, Hadley, and Damien are the best group of characters I have ever written, save for Micah, Asher, and Rowan.
My goal for April was to write 20,000 words. In November I had reached 28,000 before burning out, so I set my sights a little lower. Thus began one of the best months of the year.
Not only did I have an extended break in which I wrote, but quarantine started so that meant more writing time. I was set up for success.
Week 1: April 1-4
Words written this week: 3,401
Total words written: 3,401
In the first four days of camp I had written nearly 3.5k which is an accomplishment of itself. Now, I had planned to write this novel in 3rd person but my mind kept skipping back to 1st person. Eventually I threw in the towel and just switched to the more comfortable POV. Plus, I find easier to write emotional scenes in first person.
Stooping down to admire the small flowers peeking out of a crack in the sidewalk, my duffle bag knocked a girl in the shoulder. She had a downcast look and her eyes were bloodshot. She looked like she needed some joy.
“Hey!” I stopped her. “Don’t feel bad, you can always FaceTime your parents or visit them on the weekends. It’ll be fine.” I flashed a large smile and put down my bag. Picking the buttercup that lived in a cement sea, I handed the flower to the girl.
Her face brightened. She thanked me, tucking the flower in her braid before heading on her way. Pleased with myself, I continued the walk to the head admissions office.
From the start Damien’s kindness stole my heart. He’s so wonderful! Look at me fangirling over my own characters, what kind of writer am I?
But in the first week of writing I slowly eased into the routine of online school, work, and writing sometime in there. And- Merie you will be thankful- getting more sleep.
Week 2: April 5- 11
Words written this week: 1, 750
Total words written: 5,151
And this was when I crashed. Not as bad as I do sometimes, but to the point where I just laid on my bed and stared at the ceiling or scrolled through YouTube looking for a useless video to pass the time.
The inspiration had been sucked out of me and I reluctantly wrote 1,750 words over the week.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
I pressed my pillow against my head. The faint beeping continued on. “UGH!” I threw the pillow across my room. The flat pillow knocked over a jar of paint brushes that clattered to the hardwood floor and rolled under my desk. The alarm was still going.
Juliette was a welcome change to the characters I normally write. I’ve never dwelt with an angry artist before, although her spurts of frustration cause a lot of amusement for me.
Week 3: April 12- 18
Words written this week: 7,644
Total words written: 12,795
The entire week I did no writing until Saturday morning I woke up bright and early. The first thing I thought was, “I’m gonna write today!” And write I did.
I had broken one of my rules. There was only thirteen of them, and I had broken the most important one. Everytime one of the rules was broken, the clock was reset. I was back at twenty-four hours.
Next week, I thought bitterly, next week I can say this all goodbye.
Oh, Ethan Maxwell the little broken cinnamon roll, how I love you.
Since I knew I couldn’t do the long writing day alone, I hopped onto YouTube and discovered a wonderful genre of music. Japanese or Korean indie rock music. I have no idea what they’re saying, but every song makes me feel like an anime protagonist so that’s a bonus.
I wrote the day away, hardly stopping for lunch. Somewhere in there my grandparents came over for a 6-foot-away chat in which I quickly greeted them before heading back to the chair to write. Hopefully they weren’t offended by my lack of interest.
As the teacher- Mrs. Reyonlds- described the events that happened in the wake of the flying desk, Hadley let out a low whistle. Mrs. Reyonld’s head snapped over in Hadley’s direction. “Do you find something amusing about this Miss. Ferrentino?” She snapped.
“No,” Hadley smirked, “it’s just a lot of destruction from a simple desk.”
I had reached the point where all the main characters in the story met, so that was pretty fun. The scene was lovingly dubbed, ‘rock ballads with flying desks.’
Writing through the entire afternoon, I stopped for a brief break to eat dinner with my mom. My sister and father had gone hunting for the evening, so it was just the two of us. We curled up on opposite sides of the living room, both focused on our own work. Mom, a video, and me, the beginning of the key event.
The dark had rolled in and night was falling quickly. Despite the lack of sleep I had been getting the past week, I was hyped up.
I couldn’t wait to laugh in my parents’ faces when they found out I hadn’t made just one friend, but four. For my entire life, I never had the desire to be around others or go to the school functions. I had my books and my books had me. Nothing bad could happen when I was on an adventure with the characters.
Violet is the most like me, although I do enjoy having companions by my side. She has the calmest POV parts of the book, so it’s like a breath of fresh air every time I switch to Violet Morris.
And then 9:30 rolled around along with the part I was looking forward to. It’s not the climax or anything, but it’s the scene where my five protagonists create a bond that sets up the conflict for the rest of the novel. *rubs my hands together gleefully*
This was the text I sent my friends concerning the scene. I quite enjoyed the reactions.
*cackles* In hindsight I realize I probably shouldn’t be so thrilled about writing a suicide scene seeing how heavy the topic is, but in the moment I was high on something and couldn’t compute things properly.
Normally those were the kind of things that wouldn’t bother me, they were on the nicer side of the insult radar, but I felt personally attacked. It appeared my parents were wrong once again. No matter how fancy the school is, you still get the same bullies. Just with more money and better acne.
Thursday was too far away. I couldn’t spend one more minute alive.
Pulling the sheets off, I got out of bed and padded barefoot to the closet full of medication.
It was sorta sorrowful, I must agree. Reading back I see how sad the scene is, but the only people spilling tears were my friends.
Suddenly he let out a gasp. Ethan slowly unclenched his right hand and small white pills fell to the ground. He dragged his knees up to his chest and leaned his head back on the bed.
I looked up and locked eyes with Damien. He gave me a small worried smile and nodded his head slightly. “Ethan?” I asked quietly, “are you there?”
Ethan sat up and looked around the room. “What are you doing here? I was- I – I was going to escape the pain. And you stopped me.”
Thus far the attempted suicide has been my favourite scene to write, save for board game night. That was a good one.
Week 4: April 19-25
Words written this week: 6,046
Total words written: 18,841
This was another week in which I wrote like a demon. Mostly it was the beginning of the week because I lot of other things that had to be done. Namely watching Haikyu!! and Sherlock and reading for 20 hours straight.
I turned around in my seat to see Juliette shrieking with glee as her chair swung about. Violet had a wide smile on her face and Ethan looked like he was enjoying himself. Hadley had her phone out, videoing the entire thing. She focused the camera on me and I winked, flashing a peace sign. All too soon the ride was over and I was back on the ground with shaking legs.
The fairground scene yet has to be completed, but I’m enjoying myself with the blinking lights and greasy food.
Week 5: April 26-30
Words written this week: 1,620
Total words written: 20,461
That Monday a wondrous thing occurred:
I WON CAMP!
Yup, I did it. I won. I wrote 20,000 words in 26 days. Something needs to be said about that.
I had seen my skinny pale frame enough at doctor’s offices and at home to know what I looked like. Ribs sticking out, boney elbows, sunken eyes. Yet I wasn’t good enough to receive love and acceptance from anyone.
Standing under the hot water, my skin stung from the pounding spray. I leaned my head back and let the shower water pummel my face.
Yes, I am aware how many depressing snippets of Ethan I’m sharing. He’s just my favourite and I like to share the sad quotes. Sorry.
That draws this blog post to a close. Thank you to my patient family that didn’t comment on the late hours and to my friends putting up with my constant obnoxious fangirling. And Dev, enough said.
Let me know how your project went, who your favourite character is, or share a snippet from your writing. I love replying to your guys’ comments. Have a wonderful day!