Hi there!  I am here to update you about my NaNoWriMo 2016 project.  At first, I thought the project would succeed without planning but it turns out that didn’t work so well.  I couldn’t see where the novel was going.  After a few days of good writing I couldn’t come up with anything else.  What was I to do?

I had an urge to return to a story that anyone who has read my blog before would recognize.  Shao Island has been a project of mine since middle school and I am returning once again to it.

For NaNoWriMo 2016 I am rewriting Shao Island from scratch.  While some of the ideas and concepts are the same, I am changing it to make it a little more believable and to add more content to it.  Before many people thought it was more of a novela than a novel so let’s see what I can do to it this year.

Part of the reason it took so long to update you on this is that I was behind due to restarting a novel after being a few days into the month.  On day 14 though I caught up (and passed) the word count goal.

Here is a small excerpt from the first chapter:

Passing a leather ball between the two of us, Chelsea and I raced down the streets of the merchant city. We dodged and weaved around those who were selling their wares and traveling the streets. As we ran we took turns throwing the ball harder and harder. The competition being fueled by each other.

I grabbed the ball and threw it extremely hard at Chelsea. When the ball left my hand I knew it had flown too hard but it was too late to take it back. It thwacked like a rock into Chelsea’s side. She looked at her side, then at me. There was fire in her eyes as she cranked her arm back to throw the ball at me.

Right as Chelsea released the ball she crossed into the path of a cloth merchant, hitting him in the head, and causing him to topple his cart.

“Damn you kids!!!” He bellowed in annoyance. “Don’t you know to watch what you are doing and that the street of the merchant city is no place for your games…”

His voice began to calm when he took a look at Chelsea. I glowered at her from my side of the street. She was turning her green eyes on the man. Very few people could turn away Chelsea’s charm when she turned her eyes like that. Matched with her brown hair she looked as if she were part of the forest itself. Sometimes I even had a hard time staying mad at my sister when she did that.

“I guess I can forgive such a pretty little lass this one time. Don’t let it happen again though.” Rubbing his head with one hand, the merchant picked up the ball with the other and handed it back to Chelsea.

Looking both ways for carts this time Chelsea crossed the road onto my side of the street. A bell tolled five rings. It was time for us to get home. Our parents set strict times for the family meal. Despite dad’s job, whenever he was in town we would have dinner as a family he said.

“First one home is a sore loser.” Chelsea took off running while I was still standing around. She expertly dodged and dived between people, carts, and buildings. I glared at her. It was a challenge that I could easily win if I wanted to trip her up. Chelsea would never forgive me though if I used that on her.

I started running. It was only a matter of moments until I caught up with Chelsea under my own steam. We were twins after all. Most of our physical ability was the same. We both trained in fitness as well as military arms.

Upon arriving at the gates to our family house we found them wide open with none of the men at arms guarding the gate. There should have been at least one man on the gate. The family of the King’s Own was afforded protection from the city guard. We looked at each other and then walked slowly into the courtyard.

Looking around in the courtyard there was no sign of anyone working. Chelsea started running towards the entrance to the main building, the ones where our parents should have been at this hour.

“Wait,” I begged quietly.

Like usual she didn’t listen. I walked up next to the door, trying to listen into the house for a minute. All I could hear was Chelsea’s feet slapping against the stone tiles that made up the main hallway. Slowly I drew my knife from my belt…