Nano result: A first draft

My smarty-pants muse was right… again. I needed to write and pelted out 62,000+ words and a sketchy rough draft of the first book in a new series.

To celebrate, I thought I’d share the opening scene. It’s unfinished and undoubtedly will change as the story unfolds (bobs eyebrows mysteriously). I hope you enjoy it.

Kalann il Draak, the First of Chaos, aimed his cannons at the Veil. From the eastern sun to the western moon, the curtain of light spanned the mountains, banishing him to the forsaken waste that stretched north beyond the known lands. The silver wall shimmered, undulated with elemental power, the essence of matter. Its energetic core bound the illusory world together with the strength of goblin steel.

He would destroy the rippling wall that divided him from his kingdom, shatter the balance of creation, and wreck chaos on the myriad patterns of the world. The First, the sacred gods worshiped by of the mortal races, would vanish from the land.

His sword crackled, spat veins of lightning that illuminated the roiling clouds and fractured the rock beneath his army’s heels. The tortured earth swallowed slaves and soldiers alike, their screams lost to the grinding rock and the wind’s keening howl.

“I will destroy you!” he roared up the barren slopes.

The First, his brethren, stood sentinel along the ridges, hands raised in silent defense, feeding the Veil’s mass with heat harvested from the mountains’ core, light stolen from the dawn. A blizzard of snow swept into the air, blew sideways in the skirling winds, blotting out the sky.

Draak’s sword swept down, sliced a rift into the Veil that the First snapped shut with a thunderous clap. The mage laughed at the feint as cannons strung along the foothills belched pulses of disruptive power, stripping matter of its binding force. The white-hot blasts generated surges. Waves bulged along the Veil’s magnetic lines like sound along an instrument’s string. Veins of power tore and reconnected, releasing eruptions of unbound light.

The Veil fractured. Seams burst open where the energy splintered. Like a stone through a mirror, shards of light flung outward, and Draak ordered his army through, secreted in the shattered wedges that pierced his enemy’s land. Another volley of fire penetrated the weakened wall. The bulk of his vast horde stormed up the slope, eager for the final rupture.

But the power of the cannon proved unstable, uncontainable, carried along the frayed curtain by sheer winds. His foes threw up shields like patches on torn cloth, stitching up the gaps with new manipulations of heat and light. The Veil began to cool. Snow transformed into steam as the mountains burned and the elements bound into new matter, altering the foundations of the world.

The First, guardians of the wall of light and the civilization within, gloried in their victory. Below them, trapped in the barren desolation of the north, Draak shook a curled fist at his brethren. But hubris was their flaw and his fury a ruse. The cannon had briefly unraveled the fabric of matter, not enough for an entire army to slip through, but sufficient for chaos to hook its curved claw. The mortals would see to the rest.

113 thoughts on “Nano result: A first draft

  1. Elisabet says:

    A beginning of a great tale ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many fantastic, fresh lines here, Diana. I LOVE this one: Waves bulged along the Veil’s magnetic lines like sound along an instrument’s string.
    So good!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Daniela Ark says:

    oh I could swear I left a comment here yesterday! Maybe my computer glitched and it didn’t make it though! Congrats on winning Nano D!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice opener, Diana. It doesn’t read too prologue-y, mostly because you’re telling the story as it unfolds, rather than relaying it as a long-ago message.

    My prologue in Bellerophon is similar. I suppose we can wait and see if mine bugs anyone (I’m pubbing it in January). Might be valuable feedback for you.

    Congrats on the Nano word count! Way to crank those words out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was thinking about Bellerophon a few days ago, Cathleen, and wondering about the status. I’m glad to hear that its close to publication. This scene does take place in the present and is followed by three shortish scenes as each main character reacts to the event (all making up Chapter One). I’m not sure I’ll leave it like that, but I’m also not worrying about it yet. 🙂 I just finished outlining the rest of the series yesterday and finally know how it’s going to end (phew). Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marnie says:

    Congratulations on your NaNo win! I am in awe of anyone who writes more than the standard 50k. Your excerpt here makes me want to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Marnie. My muse chained me to my laptop, and if I wanted to get up and procrastinate, she cracked her whip and told me to crank out another 1000 words. Everything else was back burnered. I finally vacuumed after a month! Ha ha. Happy Writing.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Congratulations, Diana. A very powerful beginning. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for taking a peek at the result, Sebnem. I’m currently trying to plot out the rest of the series so I know where to go next! It’s all plain fun to be writing again. I hope you’re having a wonderful December. Happy Writing!

      Like

  7. jomz says:

    Congratulations on your “A Book.”

    Kidding aside, 62,000 words? Wow. Amazing work.

    Thanks for sharing your first chapter. It is interesting. I like how your narration painted the action vividly, and entice me into wanting to learn more about this world of The Firsts.

    And good job on having a new series to work on. 😀

    Have a nice day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for stopping by to read, Jomz. I hadn’t written much all summer, so it was great to focus for a month and push the words out. Most of it is in serious need of work, but that will come in time. I’m glad you enjoyed the snippet. Happy Writing!

      Like

  8. C.J. Stuart says:

    Eloquent and invigorating writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks CJ. I’m trying to start with a bit of excitement. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it. I hope you’re having an awesome December so far. Happy Writing!

      Like

      • C.J. Stuart says:

        U2..hope things smooth out w. Family stress o holidays. Didn.t fin. Nano but it.s 10,000 or so words I otherwise would.t have. Like u it.s a great source of inspiration. I turn 6o n 2 days an am happy 2 have pub.d 1bk so far. I remind myself that Tolkien was 62 b4 he published. Maybe there.s hope 4 me yet? Now if I can just get disciplined???

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You show here the perfect example of how/why Nano works. Wowzie. And knowing you and your writing, the chaos that is about to begin in your new book will be mind-boggling, nail-biting, and terrific. Please pat your muse’s back for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My muse is looking very smug right now, Pam. Don’t encourage her. Lol. I’m still at the anxiety-stage of writing with two more books to draft and no idea how I’m going to resolve everything in the end. *Sigh* That’s what I’m doing this month, then another self-imposed Nano in January and one in March before editing begins. Fun… right? Ha ha. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the cheers. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your discipline inspires me, Diana. Not enough to write 62,000 words in one month, but nonetheless, I’m inspired. I love how you admit your anxiety about it all, and your case of hives from writing without a defined plan. Sometimes I think being a planner holds me back from writing as much as I could – trying to balance creativity with having all my ducks lined up. You’ve got an amazing, action filled beginning – whether it becomes a chapter or a prologue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for taking a peek, Molly. I’m taking December to think things through and get the balance of the story outlined. I like having multiple plots going on at once, and it just gets too confusing, anxiety inducing, and crazy unless I have a blueprint. But all fun. Happy Writing, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Congrats on your win! I didn’t ‘win’ this year for the first time out of 12 in a row, but untangling my full series arc much more completely was well worth the 30 days of extra-disciplined toil. And I had a blast with my regional events and cheering on my fellow writers. Ended out with nearly 26,000 new words and much needed clarity. A great NaNo.
    I’m glad yours was so fruitful, and I suspect it was a lot of fun to be on that roll of new-found story. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by to read, Sheri. It sounds like you had a great NaNo. You’re right that It’s not all about word count. That’s why I don’t participate every year. Books sometimes need a slower more careful forming before we can start storming! It’ felt good to write though the draft is a disaster area. I’m making notes all over it before I dive in the 1st draft of book II. And I finished your book 2 of the Unwitting Adventures – great fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, each story has its process. A series has even more steps than I’d anticipated, but it’s been a fun and interesting path to follow. Thanks so much for finishing Book 2! That’s the best fire under my feet to keep on working to get book 3 out asap. Glad it was a fun read for you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. cath says:

    Well done, what a word-count, and love the snippet, very atmospheric and promising.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations! And the opening scene is powerful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ellen. I’m still trying to figure out how the books (trilogy) will end, so I have a lot of work to do. But it was great fun to be writing again. 🙂 Hope you’re doing well and Happy December.

      Like

  14. Teri Polen says:

    My NaNo draft is nothing like this, lol. You’re a master of imagery, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really wanted to start strong on this one after reading so many posts about 1st sentences, 1st paragraphs, and 1st scenes. So I spent more time on this than the rest of the draft. And tidied it up for the post, too. The rest of the draft? Ugh. I’m glad you enjoyed it though. 😀 Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Jina Bazzar says:

    Diana, what i call a rough draft is so far from yours, i feel like a caveman strolling down fifth avenue. And wow, that’s what i call attention catching opening scene. Congrats on the word count. It pays to have a pushy muse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely spiffed this up a bit for the post, Jina, so no worries. The rest of it is a total complete mess. I’m going to be spending a lot of time editing, trust me. 🙂 Now I have to finish plotting out the rest of the series before I jump back in come January. I’m glad you enjoyed it though – trying to start with a bang! Happy Writing, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Widdershins says:

    Oh, very good! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  17. dgkaye says:

    Wow, you are a powerhouse my friend 🙂 62K words good on you! No doubt you have another smashing successful series brewing now! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mae Clair says:

    Wow, what an opening! Congrats on hitting it out of the ballpark with NaNo. As usual, you enthrall me with your visual imagery, poetic words and world building. An opening worth wallowing in!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Darlene says:

    Well done you!! It must be such a good feeling of accomplishment. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  20. rijanjks says:

    First of all, congrats on accomplishing so much through NaNo! What a great set-up for the new book. I’m sucked in! Fabulous work, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This sounds amazing and intriguing! I’m really glad to hear NaNo has paid off and produced such a lovely draft.
    Best of luck with this new series, Diana! I’m sure it’ll be marvelous 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. inesephoto says:

    A new world is born! Congratulations, Diana! 62,000 sounds amazing, and the opening scene is solid – love the hint to a goblin presence 🙂 Now I just have to wait for the first book to be released 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Good grief, Diana. I can’t believe you write a first draft this well! Mine are gibberish. This sounds wonderful. You make me want to do NaNoWriMo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I worked a little on this scene to get it ready for posting, Jacqui. But it was pretty set in my head from the start. The rest of the draft is indeed gibberish! NaNo worked for me this year. I’m going to do another one in January and another in March (self-imposed) to get the trilogy drafted. Then a year of editing! Ugh. All fun though. Have a great December as your book gets closer and closer. 🙂

      Like

  24. Staci Troilo says:

    I thought, “Wow, that’s brave to share a first draft.” It was probably brave (we all need a little courage to share even our polished prose) but you had nothing to worry about. Such powerful imagery. And what a hook! Nicely done, Diana. If these first words are any indication, you’ve got a hit on your hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Staci. This was cleaned up a bit for the post. And though most of it will likely survive, I’m not exactly sure how the story will end, so some of it might need modification. Naturally, the rest of the draft is a horrible mess and is going to require months to fix! Happy December!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Bel says:

    Love the opening. Powerful and captivating. Maybe I should borrow your muse and she’ll teach me how to write like you do 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  26. acflory says:

    -grin- Way to go! You’ve just magicked a creation myth out of nano. That, my friend, is impressive. But…where are the goblins? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha. The next three scenes introduce the three main characters: goblin, elf, and changeling as they react to the rupturing of the veil – hopefully with some danger and mystery. The the story, hopefully, will kick off with some momentum…. Did I say hopefully? Lol. All fun, Andrea, but a long long way to go. 🙂 I hope NaNo was successful for you as well. Happy Writing!

      Like

      • acflory says:

        Ah hah! So there will be goblins. You had me worried for a sec. I was imagining your Muse coming after you with a baseball bat. I have a feeling you’re going to do goblins and elves like they’ve never been done before. Go girl!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Adele Marie says:

    This sounds very interesting and you hooked me at the end when you said “the mortals” will do the rest. Love it. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Annika Perry says:

    And that is the first draft?! Superb, captivating and vivid … pure you! Congratulations on such a successful month and I liked seeing the winners certificate! Now, a day or two of relaxation perhaps? Happy Weekend, Diana! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I polished this up a bit for the post, Annika, so it’s not really first draft at all. The rest of the draft is a total mess, and I’m saving that for spring when the other two books in the series are drafted. I’ll be taking most of December off as the holiday season around here is relentless (I do a lot of volunteering), but then back to writing in January. Thanks so much for the visit, my friend, and Happy Writing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Of course your NaNoWriMo contribution is literally earth-shattering! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Way to go! You just keep churning these great words out!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Wow! This is a strong opening and the world-building is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment, Linda. I tried to open with a bang. Now I need to make sure the rest of the story holds up and that’s going to take a ton of work. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful December and Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Steven Baird says:

    A really compelling opening, Diana. Congratulations on finishing Nano with such flourish!

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Wow! And that’s just from NaNo? No wonder your books are so good! And congrats on killin’ the 50k in 30 days flat! Now I have to get back to mine. Definitely not as good as yours, but I did manage to work through a few plot issues.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the great comment, Julie. I buffed this up a little for the post, of course. The rest of the book is miserably rough and full of problems that will need a lot of work! All in all, it’s an ugly little beast. Good for you for getting some of the plot issues worked out. I need to get back to the outline and figure out how the series will end before I start on the draft of book 2. All fun. Happy Writing!

      Like

  34. A first book of a new series? How exciting! And how impressive that you wrote 62k and change in 30 days!

    Like

  35. Great opening! Kudos all around, Diana…

    Like

  36. Joanne Sisco says:

    Wow – 62,000 words! … and you’re just starting! There is a discipline in writing that always leaves me in awe.

    I follow a handful of writers, but of all of them, I learn more from you about the actual process of writing. In this case, it was your comment about prologue vs first chapter. I think for the first time I can actually see how an opening could become either.

    Whenever I start reading a new book, the first question in my mind is ‘who are the good guys?’. Maybe I’ve just revealed one of my Pollyanna traits 🙂 …. but in this case, you’ve left me wanting to read more to find out whether “First of Chaos” is a red herring or not 😉

    Congratulations Diana! Looking forward to more.

    Like

  37. Wow that is allot of words Diana! Congratulations of course as always amazing writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Diana, I confess. It’s the down side of having so many brilliant stories — that I expected a lot. I shouldn’t. Not even from a master like you. I know it’s just a quickly written draft… and I still expected a lot…
    My friend — you knocked it out of the park! I can’t wait to see what you build from this. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaah, thank you, Teagan! I did a little patching and spackling to get it post-worthy, but unlike my usual approach to a book, I haven’t even finished the outline. (This pantsery writing gives me hives. Lol.) So it may change quite a bit. But I’m glad you enjoyed it! Hugs. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Compelling, vivid, mysterious, a new genesis myth………… What a great beginning to the next series Diana. Tolkien would be proud!

    Like

    • Oh, Tolkien is my hero, so thank you for the lovely comment, Pauline. November passed without a breath, nose to the grindstone, but it felt so good to simply focus on a new story. And I’m not giving anything away… yet. Happy December as you head into summer, my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  40. I’m so impressed with this NaNo draft! I love this opening. Congrats on going beyond 50K words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mary. I did spiff it up a little for the post, but it may change significantly as the story takes shape. I haven’t even completed the outline for the series, so who knows! Ha ha. I did push for the word count, but that created all kinds of glitches that I need to go back and seriously fix. Argh. Thanks for much for the visit and the kind words. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  41. I bet it feels good to get that writing down on “paper” as opposed to just floating around in your head. A great start. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Wonderful opening Diana. It certainly grabbed my attention and makes we want to read more. Kudos to you and your muse for lighting up the keyboard. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  43. This is very good for a first draft

    Liked by 1 person

    • I spent a bit of time on it to get it presentable, Drew, but basically the first/second draft. I have to decide whether to leave it sounding prolog-ish or expand it into a chapter. We’ll see. First I need to write the first drafts for next two books in the series! Thanks so much for reading. 🙂 Happy December!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Your writing the other drafts to make sure you include every detail you need in this first one, that you can’t undo once it’s published?

        Not sure if I asked this appropriately. Does my question make sense?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, that’s right. All my series have been completely written before I publish the first book. I’m constantly going back and forth to make sure that the story’s details are consistent throughout and that there’s appropriate foreshadowing of things to come. Personally, I notice when second or third books have things (like magical abilities, etc.) appear out of nowhere that were never mentioned in an earlier book. I could go back and tweak, but I worry that the flow of the whole story would be compromised. Just me and the way my brain works. 🙂 I hope I answered your question.

          Liked by 1 person

  44. Wow, a great opening scene, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Robbie. You know how they say to start with a little action? Ha ha. I had a lot of fun pulling this together and hope the rest of the story will come together – once I figure out how it’s going to end! Lol. Gotta get working on that. Happy December! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Jordy says:

    Poeerful opening, Di! Excellent! Engaging!!
    Definitely makes useant more!!

    Liked by 1 person

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