Amanda Kenney's Notebook This is where my creations and I hang out.
Browsing all posts in: Amanda Kenney

A Paragraph for You

May 28

As promised, here is the opening paragraph of the new story I’m working on.  I’ll post more of the chapter soon.


Rolf’s breath came hard and fast as he pelted through the forest, trying to get as far away from the battle as possible.  The clash of swords, the neighing of horses, and the screams of the wounded rang out behind him like discordant music.  He scurried behind a tree and leaned against it to catch his breath.  His arm ached under the heavy shield and he contemplated throwing it away into the bushes.  His halberd dangled in his grip and he knew he might as well let it drop to the ground; he had a sword, and the halberd would only impede his escape.  It was far too noticeable anyway, holding its proud, glittering head high in the air for all to see.  And he was a man who must hold his head low from now on.


May 26

So you may or may not have noticed that I haven’t been around lately; apologies.  There was screwy stuff going on with the blog and I was trying to finish up the semester while maintaining whatever sanity I had left.  But now we’re back in full swing!  Very soon I’ll post a snippet of a new something I’m writing.  I call it ‘something’ because originally I thought it might be a short story, but now it looks more like a novel, albeit a small one.  I guess we’ll see!  And I am planning out a few short stories that I will post bits of, if I ever actually get them worked out.

In other words, more posts to follow!

Camp NaNoWriMo update

April 13

I realized I never told you guys that I am in fact doing Camp NaNoWriMo! I’m almost half-way through my word goal of 10,000 words, and hopefully I’ll be able to stay on track! Good luck to any fellow NaNoers!

New Beginnings

February 10

So, I don’t know quite how to say this, but I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that my novel-in-the-works, Season of Betrayal, needs a complete rewrite.  Like, blank-page, start-over-new rewrite.  I’ve moved all my files, all the drafts, all the outlines, all the character sheets, and all miscellany into a folder and moved it onto two flash-drives.  This week I will start as fresh as the blank page I’ll be writing on.  I’ll write the whole thing new with absolutely nothing from the old manuscript.  That’s just the way it’s got to be.  I’ve already got some exciting new ideas to hopefully move this book to the next level (whatever that means), and don’t worry, I’ll be sharing every exciting step with you.  February has a lot of significant anniversaries in my writing career, so I am planning to party with those a little bit.  Tally-ho!

An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered, right?

October 7 (Tuesday)

October 7

I know it’s been quite a long time since I posted anything; things here at college are crazy.  But just recently I started going to a Creative Writer’s Group here on campus, and now that I’ve experienced one, I can say that I highly recommend it.  If you can find one, join it.  If you can’t find one, make one.  It’s incredibly helpful to have other writers’ insights into your work.  They can find ways for you get over blocks in your writing, give advice, and help you to see your writing with a fresh perspective.  And even if you don’t bring anything in to read, you’ll be inspired and excited by what others bring in.  Altogether, it’s great to be supported by a community of people that are as passionate about writing as you are.

Happy Birthday

August 16

Happy birthday to me!  I’m officially eighteen.  And August is the anniversary of my current manuscript, Season of Betrayal.  Happy fourth birthday, book!

April 3 (Thursday)

April 3

Well, I realized that it was April and I hadn’t being keeping you guys up-to-date at all.  And April is special because I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo!!  You remember in November I wrote 50,000 words in 15 days?  This is like that, only different.  Instead of 50,000 words, you get to set your own word goal.  I decided on 25,000- nice and easy.  And it has been great so far; writing a thousand words a day is really easy.  So I’m writing yet another sequel that’s totally different from the other one I write back in November, although it’s supposed to be happening during the same time period.  Hopefully this version will more exciting than the other one.  There’s just one little problem.

I don’t like it.  Now, I know that NaNo is all about quantity and not quality, and that’s what the editing months are for, but, honestly, it’s painful.  Only two days into it and I am dissatisfied with the measly two chapters I’ve written.  The characters aren’t being themselves (a problem I encountered last time and eventually defeated) and I think perhaps my world isn’t developed enough (I only designed it two days in advance- not enough time).

Last night I fell into my little writer’s Pit of Despair and wondered if I’d ever be happy with any sequel- I’ve written about three different versions now and don’t really like any of them.  So now I’m wondering if I should just press forward and hope it gets better, or abandon it now and try an entirely new idea.  I’ve got until this afternoon to decide.  Either way, I’m writing a thousand words today.  It’s just a question of what.

March 14 (Friday)

March 14

I realized I hadn’t posted in awhile, and since I have all these thoughts swirling around in my head I’d like to share, I reckon now’s a good a time as any.

What?  No, of course I’m not just procrastinating!  Why would you think that?

Yeah…anyway… I did a totally fresh rewrite on chapters thirteen and fourteen, and now I’m working on chapter fifteen, which is even more totally fresh.  Dad was really pleased with chapter thirteen, and I hope the rest of this revision comes out as successfully.  Interestingly, it looks as though chapter fifteen is going to have to be split into two separate chapters (it’s already twenty pages long), which means I’ll have to join two other chapters together in order to maintain a total of seventy-seven chapters.  See, by decree of my evil twin, the final draft of the book has to have exactly seventy-seven chapters, not including prologue and epilogue.  (It’s a crazy writer thing; don’t try to understand it.  Or is it just a crazy Amanda thing?  Same difference, I guess.)

Fortunately, I think I’ll be in need of an extra chapter, because I’m anticipating some reduction in the climax.  Certain events need to be merged together, resulting in fewer chapters; some secondary plot lines are going to be dropped, resulting in some chapters becoming null and void altogether.  Of course, the ending is morphing all the time, so how can I really know one way or the other?

Speaking of which, I’ve tried to rewrite the last chapter a couple of times, but I couldn’t really finish it because I needed a special design for a medallion and I just couldn’t come up with one.  The design had to reflect the characters and somehow be meaningful for the whole story.  Then, just this last Tuesday, something about the warm weather inspired me and spawned a whole new plot device.  I invented a national holiday called Helm Hyelt, closely related to the main character, came up with a symbol for it, and- ta-dah!  Gap filled!  It may morph yet, but for now I’m satisfied.

And now, back to chapter fifteen.

February 9 (Sunday)

February 9

Hello there!  Sorry I’ve been gone so long.  But that’s what I’m here to talk about!  For some reason, right in the middle of a big rewrite for Season of Betrayal, I decided to also revise its sequel.  Well, what happened was I promised the NaNoWriMo people I’d spend January and February editing, since it’s a traditional part of the winners’ program.  Point is, I committed to editing the darn thing when I knew I was going to be rewriting my Magnum Opus.  Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

Thanks to my dad’s advice, exciting new horizons are appearing for Season of Betrayal.  There was a time not so long ago when I would have sworn that I was done with major changes, but -surprise surprise- I’ve already rewoven important plot points, and there is still so much more to be done.  Characters are changing and timelines morphing.  I hope I will be satisfied with the result.

December 27 (Friday)

December 27

Sometimes, being a writer can just really stink.  Whether you like it or not, all your emotional stability and happiness is invested in your writing.  So if you’re not happy with your writing, you’re just not happy.  About anything.  Even worse, if you try to run away and ignore it because it’s just too painful to even read, you end up only feeling more and more miserable.  Consider it an inverse ratio: the less you read it, the more miserable you are.  Suddenly, anything else you try to fill your time with only makes ignoring it more painful.  You try to talk to your characters while you lie awake at night, only to find that they’re giving you the cold shoulder, refusing to talk to you until you start writing about them again; and trying to forget them is like trying rip out your own heart.  And, horror of all these horrors, if you doubt your plot, doubt your characters, doubt your ability, doubt it’s ever going to be any good, doubt the whole shebang, really doubt… No, no doubt about it, being a writer is dangerous, not the least to your mental health.

Think about it: you can toil and slave away for years, drawing together this scattered story, and when you’re finally done that work, the dreadful shadow of edit & revise comes over you.  You sell your soul to this horrible being and weep as you watch it tear apart your beloved story bit by bit.  But lo! at the end of it all it hands you the perfect story, just what you wanted it to be.  That happiness is fleeting, however, for you must send your creation forth to battle the vulture publishers and perhaps face rejection.  And when it finally defeats one of them, it must undergo more edit & revise until it is a book in its own right.  Finally, when all that is said and done, you and your book must face the horrors of marketing, and rejection shows its ugly face once more.  And in that cracked sidewalk in your mind, a small idea is poking up its head between the dead cement, demanding to be nurtured and loved and grown into a book.  And being a writer, you can’t help but say yes.  So it all starts all over again.

And I wouldn’t miss it for the world.