Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So Much Blogging, So Little Time [II]

Did you miss me? The last blog (that I finished about five seconds ago) wasn't about very much besides my school life. What I think is much more interesting is my writing life, so that's what this blog's about. First, the writing meme questions:

Tell Us About your First Story or Character:
 Do I have to? My first stories were so bad. At the time I didn't think so, but I know they were now. By the standards I've set for myself and my writing now, that is. I care a lot more about my writing than I used to. Before a couple of years ago, writing was just an escape from the endless flashcards my Dad would shove in my face because I hated (and still do) math and because I wasn't good at it. (I'm still not.) I do remember always liking to write, though. Before I knew how to read, apparently I'd stolen a copy of Zombies of the Gene Pool from beneath our table where it was keeping a leg up.

Somewhere there's pictures of me trying to read that book while holding it upside down. 

I was always friends with older girls who liked to write, so we'd sit together and I'd scribble on pieces of paper and call it a story while they wrote actual stories. So my first "stories" weren't anything other than scribbles on a page. In second grade, I wrote a story about a super-dolphin named Flipper. I think his name was Flipper, but I don't remember. I'll call him Flipper for now. He had to save his other dolphin friends from a net. I stood up one morning in class and read everyone my story. My next story was some weird cross between the original ASPCA New York show on Animal Planet and JAWS. I don't think I read anyone that one.

Next came a story about a guy who rode a dragon through space on some quest and then some generic fantasy quest through a world that I made up. I remember handwriting about fifteen pages of that one.

The first story I ever finished was a terrible piece of AFI (the band) fanfiction that I never talk about. It was exactly 100 pages when I ended it. I went on to write more AFI fan-fiction and it's that fandom that I credit with teaching me how to write. I don't write much of it anymore because I don't have the time or inspiration for my own original stories, much less fanfic. 

So that's how I started writing.

Who are your Youngest and Oldest Characters by Age? Who are they by when you Created them?

If secondary characters count, my youngest character would be Isi, Felix's little sister. She's anywhere between 6-8, mostly because I haven't decided on an age yet, and I only ever use Felix for roleplays. She's also one of my newer characters. I created Isi and Felix in late May, to write with a friend and her new characters, and because I wanted to write a character who was a streetfighter and he needed a softer side. My oldest character is another one that I used only for a roleplay that's pretty much dead now; I affectionately call him Hades, because he's the craziest character I've ever written and the reincarnation of the Greek God. His real name is Dr. Hayden James, though, and he has awesome blue hair that matches his Porsche. He thinks he makes up the dead people talking to him  and secretly adores Harry Potter. I think he's around 45.

If we want to go by when I created them, I created Hades last summer. He's definitely not the oldest, though. I don't have very many old characters. I tend to abandon the ones I've had for a while if I don't like them, just because of how I originally created them. They're constantly going under revision because I want to create the best characters possible. If a character is an idea, then it'd be Connor from Shadowplay. I had the idea for him in sixth grade. Maybe that's why I hate his story line so much.

The character I created most recently is Janus.

Now that those are out of the way, the fun part of this epically long blog post!

The Labor Day Weekend Write-Off
You know you want to do it. If you're curious, here's the thread on Nathan Bransford's forums, and here's the thread on the NaNoWriMo forums. They say pretty much the same thing, and you don't need to be a member of either site to see the threads, but I figure that people can use some variety in their lives.

The rules are simple: 
  1. Choose your poison plot/story/WIP
  2. Set your word goal for the weekend
  3. Write all weekend
  4. Stop midnight on Monday
  5. Congratulate yourself on writing however many words more than you would have on a normal long weekend.
Personally, I'm going to work on When the Storm Birds Fly, and I hope to reach 15,000 words by midnight. Is anyone else interested?

So Much Blogging, So Little Time [I]

I've been pretty busy the last couple days. Yesterday, I started school, and I'm officially an upperclassmen now. I don't think this is a good thing. It means a lot of AP classes and standardized tests and college visits. I've already visited a few schools (and have my heart set on Kenyon) so I'm kind of ahead of the game on that. These are the classes I'm taking this year:

  • AP US History
  • AP Language and Composition
  • Latin III
  • Global Scholars (like an IR Class) III
  • Statistics and Pre-Calculus
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Photography II
  • Gym
I think I might be insane. I had my first APUSH test today (second day of school, what) and I have another history quiz on Friday. Tuesday next week I have a Latin test on 300+ vocab words that I was supposed to study over the summer and my first Anatomy test. Oh, and daily quizzes in Latin that're worth 30 points each.

Yeah, I think I'm definitely insane. 

But I like it. Mostly because today my friend and I got a letter from the lovely people at the Jacob's Light Foundation thanking them for the donation we made from our school last year. Jacob's Light sends care packages and organizes letter campaigns for the soldiers overseas. Since both my friend and I have loved ones overseas right now, it's a cause that's important to us. We sent them $125 to fund care packages and hope to sponsor a letter campaign sometime in the next few months.

In writing news, an English teacher I only ever talk to in the halls (but who knows about my projects) stopped me in the hall because she wanted to know how my writing was going and encourage me to enter some contests. I love it when that happens. Now, I'm going to end this blog so I can work on part II (yay, series!) because otherwise this blog will be really incredibly long.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Last Post of Summer

I start my Junior year of high school tomorrow. Instead of preparing for it like I should be (I already know about at least one test I have next week, and I'm assuming that I have another), I stalked blogs and found a meme  through this blog. So, I think I'll answer a few questions a day until I get bored with it and then who knows.

001. Your Favorite Writing Project/Universe You've Worked with and Why
Oh God. The one that's probably stuck with me the longest is Gunmetal Gray. Though I've done everything to this story (changed settings, revamped characters, rewritten it entirely with new characters in a new setting) it's stuck with me. I couldn't change the core of it even if I tried. It bounces from being my favorite writing project to being the bane of my existence again and again and I think this is why it's my favorite: it's become a part of me. 

However weird/creepy that may seem, whenever I think of myself as a writer, I think of this story. I don't know how many times and in how many places I've read that when you have a story you can't stop thinking about, that's the story you're meant to tell. I don't believe in God or in predetermination or any of that, but if this isn't weird I don't know what is. I don't know many other writers that can claim to be so continually obsessed with a single story and a couple of characters. This is the story that scares me the most and the one that I don't think I can write, but know that I have to, if only for myself. 

That's why it's my favorite. It demands the most from me. I hold myself to the highest standards when I write it, which makes it the hardest physically to type  out and write. It's also the one that, emotionally, I'm the most invested in.  I know people who are like my characters, who've fought in the war I'm writing about. My friends know people like my characters and people who've fought. Hell, my Dad fought in Vietnam, my Grandpa in WWII, and my great-Grandpa in WWI.

So that's why. That's also why I don't talk about it much because I start ranting and raving like a crazy person whenever I talk about it.

002. How Many Characters do You have? Guys or Gals?
Most of my characters are guys. This is because I got my start writing roleplaying on Neopets (no shame!) where no one would write as guys. Since there was a massive shortage of dudes who could play dudes, I decided that I would. My first characters were all girls, though. I remember the first character I roleplayed with was this female, white wolf named Moon; she had wings and these golden "bracelets" because it was a gifted/fantasy/whatever roleplay.

I'm not proud of it, but that's what it was. I think that's partly why I don't have very many female characters now. I always remember those despie girls I made. I also think that women are harder to write than men, even if I am one. On another note, I hate naming characters on a good day, and I go to an all-girls school. It makes it difficult to name a character the same name as a girl I know in school because I don't like associating my characters with people I know. 

So, here's my characters, off the top of my head:

  • Lee Garrett
  • Cam Garrett
  • Daniel "Roulette" Gray
  • Andrei "Felix" Feliks
  • Wilson Clarke
  • Jack Matteoli 
  • some ghostwriter dude I don't remember
  • Hades/Uncle Possy/none of you want to know
  • Janus
  • Charley Bryant
  • Isi Feliks
  • Estelle
  • Katherine 
I have a lot of characters, but most of them are men. Most of the women don't have anything beyond a first name (like Janus or Estelle) because I can't remember their last names.  Janus is probably the only FMC I have that could carry a series on her own; Katherine and Estelle are the two other FMCs that I have, and they both are paired with a MMC. Isi is Felix's little sister and Charley is Cam's girlfriend/fiancĂ©e, so they're both secondary characters. 

This took way longer than I thought it would to answer two questions.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Quick Thanks

Before I forget, I want to thank everyone that's commented on any of the posts here. Also, one more follower! besides Emmy, not that I don't love you.

It's awesome to know that someone somewhere is reading what I've typed.


God Save Us Everyone

4,120 servicemen and women have been killed since the beginning of the Iraq War. Though the warfront has moved to Afghanistan, soldiers are still stationed in the Middle East and I don't think that we're ever going to leave. Sure, we're trying -- we're always trying. The Soviets tried, too, and they left, but only after they'd been massacred. Same thing happened with the British in the early 1900s. 

It amazes me that we -- the "West" as a whole -- still think that we can conquer a culture and people and geography that we clearly do not understand. It's in the blood of every native person in those countries to oppose us, and I can't blame them; we keep trying to mold them into something they're not and something they'll never be. They won't become a US in miniature. We can only hope that they will become themselves, over time: an Iraq and Afghanistan capable of supporting themselves without the Taliban or Al Qaeda. 

I think we're doing the right thing by trying to get out now. This was a misguided war. More so than it is now. Now all we can do is support the troops who remain. Those who fought for us and those who will continue to fight for us in the wars we've yet to wage. There's not a year in the history of the United States that is not (within a decade) surrounded by a major war. Pick a year:

1786: Revolutionary War
1806: War of 1812
1928: WWI on one side and WWII on the other.
1998: We were in the middle of Desert Storm then, with some missions in Kosovo, too, and ten years later we were mired in Iraq and Afghanistan like we still are.

But that's not the point. The point is that I have 4,120 reasons to write. One more than I did a week ago. I have millions of families whom I do not know, but to whom I can relate.

This is the song I wrote a drabble to a few days ago, and since I can't figure out how to embed a youtube video into this post, everyone will have to deal with clicking this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAPXbypyaq0

That's the Catalyst by Linkin Park. Pair that with Sebastian Junger's amazing novel, War, and you have a Hannah so stunned and inspired I don't know what to do with myself.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Right when I don't need one, another character, idea, and possible story comes along. I was finishing up How to Read Literature like a Professor (and I'm about to start The Awakening) this afternoon when Janus, the god with two faces the Romans named January after, was mentioned. I don't remember why he was mentioned, but he was. And for some reason, his name stuck with me so much that I created a new character, Janus.

All I have is that picture and her namesake, so here's some information on Janus (the god). He was the Roman god of doorways, gates, beginnings and endings. He has two heads, one that looks backwards and one that looks forward. This is why January was named after him; it looks back into the old year and forward into the new one. His heads are believed to look into the future and the past. 

I don't think I'm going to make my Janus psychic or blind or anything, though I was considering it. She might become a graffiti artist, but who knows.  I'm not planning on doing much with her as of right now, just going to let her stew in my head for a little while and see what happens. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The NaNo Preseason

I said this would happen. And it happened, like all other self-fulfilling prophecy. It took me five tries to spell fulfilling right, which I think is pathetic. I said I'd get bored, that I'd get lazy, and that this thing wouldn't get updated again. And it did. I haven't written anything in longer than two weeks. I haven't been reading anything but Founding Brothers and as soon as I finish typing this I'm jumping in the shower and then I'm reading that some more. 

I have a week and a day until school starts on the 30th. That means that I have a week and two days until my own official NaNoWriMo preseason starts. If I start on the first of September, that gives me exactly two months to plan and outline and figure out my characters. I started planning for NaNo last year with around two weeks until it started, and while I reached the goal, it didn't go as well as I wanted it too. I don't have any illusions about how easy or not this will be, since junior year is definitely the hardest year of high school and I need to get some kickass grades, but I'm going to plan as much as possible beforehand. 

As of right now, I have four ideas:
  1. Gunmetal Gray
    • Already wrote this one once, last November. No other story's ever stuck with me like this one has. I already have some of the research materials that I'd need. This story is the one that'd be the most difficult to write, but it's also the one that I know the most about.
    • If I don't write the second draft of this during November, I'm afraid that I'll never write it.
  2. Where the Storm Birds Fly
    • I tentatively started this one a few weeks ago. I have the character outlines and novel blueprint written in a notebook. It'd be easier to copy those onto the computer than to just start over. 
    • I don't really think this story is going to go anywhere, post-NaNo, if I choose to write it. But it might be good to just let myself write something.
  3. Roulette
    • I only have my MMC, Roulette, for this one. I know his girlfriend's name, and that's it. This would be really interesting to write but it'd require more research. I used Roulette for one roleplay, a few months ago, that's currently on hiatus, and I'd like to use him again.
    • I'd have to develop everything more than Gunmetal Gray or When the Storm Birds Fly. 
  4. Shadowplay
    • I hate this title. 
    • I  started to work on this one for Screnzy, last April, as a graphic novel for the hell of it. Since I can't draw worth a damn and lost all of the prepping I did for that, I'd have to completely start over.
    • The plot and characters for this are probably my worst; I came up with this idea in the sixth grade, if that says anything about the  quality of them. I don't know if this idea has what it needs to make it as a novel, even for NaNo.
First order of business: deciding which story to go with.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Four Oh Three

"It's four oh three, and I can't sleep. Without you next to me I toss and turn like the sea; if I drown tonight, bring me back to life. Breathe your breath in me the only thing that I still believe in is you. If you only knew, if you only knew"

SAW SHINEDOWN, CHEVELLE, PUDDLE OF MUDD, SEVENDUST, AND TEN YEARS LAST NIGHT AT THE CARNIVAL OF MADNESS. It was inspiring to be surrounded by the music and people who love it just as much as I do. Plus, Shinedown played for at least two hours. It was insane. They were so grateful to be headlining a show and they did awesomely. My throat still hurts whenever I try to sing along to my album because I screamed so much last night. Oh, and I almost met both the leadsinger of Chevelle and either the guitarist or bassist to Puddle of Mudd. 

All I know is that he had a cool hat and his abs were damn gorgeous when he took his shirt off to play the second half of Puddle of Mudd's slot. Sevendust was probably my least favorite; I didn't know any of their songs and they went on when it was getting really hot and nasty in the pit where my friends and I were standing. Apparently, they were having personal issues though, so I'm glad they still went on.

Behind on my writing and life by two days. Hopefully get caught up today when I'm not listening to Shinedown and Chevelle. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This is when it starts getting hard...

I'm running out of titles for these posts, which can't be a good sign. I've been pretty good with posting everyday, but this is around when I start pretending that I forgot to update this thing. I don't really know why I'm updating this anyway, no one but Emmy follows it. Time for some promo, I think. 

I just threw up a page on the projects I want to write eventually. That sounds nasty.  The more I learn about our brains, though, having  multiple projects going at once doesn't seem like a bad thing. My left brain detests the idea of focusing on more than one thing at once, of course, which is probably why it sounds so awesome to my right brain. Really, though, so long as you're writing something towards some larger goal, shouldn't the day be successful? 

It might be easier to keep inspiration and morale up if you work on more than one project at once, but I don't know. Maybe I'll have to try it and report back here on how it goes.

Another great way to rekindle inspiration for a project, I've discovered, is to let someone rewrite a part or a whole chapter of your MS. I know, I know, we're all protective of our manuscripts because we've poured our hearts into those messy, unedited words. Most people would probably be a little skeptical of letting someone else shred their chapters and stitch them back together again, and honestly, so was I. 

A couple days ago, I was approached by a very nice woman named Carol after she critiqued my prologue on Nathan Bransford's forums about considering letting another person rewrite part of my prologue. I said yes for the heck of it and today she emailed me not only her suggestions on my original, which were awesome and detailed and exactly what I needed right now to see all the mistakes I hadn't been able to before, but she explained why she rewrote parts of it like she did. It was very interesting to see my characters and the prologue that I'd worked so much on rewritten in another voice and style, though she captured the overall mood of the scene and characters well while providing some of the clarity that I hadn't realized was lacking. 

The first 250 words of the original and her rewrite are going to go up on her blog Wednesday.

I wonder if this is what published authors feel like if they stumble across fanfiction using their characters and worlds.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Graffiti Splattered Walls

I wrote a couple quotes on a piece of paper in dark red Sharpie and taped the paper to my wall last night when I should have been sleeping. They say to paper your room with rejection slips if you have to, but to surround yourself with your writing. Since I don't have rejection slips yet, I'm gonna scrawl quotes everywhere.

These are the quotes I have hanging above my head right now:

The first draft of anything is shit. - E. Hemingway
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - C. Connolly
Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. - S. King
Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. - W. Churchill
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. - A. Nian
Fall seven times, stand up eight. - Japanese Proverb

I really like the Japanese proverb one. I wrote that one in bold, because it's true for more than just writing. And because I like quotes and should be writing am bored, here's some more:

I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all. - R. Wright

I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. - J. Michener

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.  - W. Wordsworth

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.  - V. Nabakov

I'm going to go discover those invisible words now.

Friday, August 6, 2010

That White Noise isn't so White

Struggling a little bit to get into the zone. Everyone's gone off to Fun n Stuff except for me, so I should have the perfect opportunity to write. Peter Bradley Adams is playing on Pandora, and I'm gonna go write on our dining room table and watch our dog sleep on the couch.

Summer days.

Life Beyond Word Count

I don't know what to do with myself.

I have no word count to judge my success of the day on. It's very, very strange. I figure it's so strange because my left-brain (not sure if I've pimped this out on the blog yet, but Write by Karen E. Peterson is an awesome book that explains the psychology behind writer's block and how to get your right and left brains to work together) is so used to having to meet a certain, self-imposed word count. Generally, I don't like my short stories to be under 1,000 words. I think a roleplay post (yeah, yeah, yeah, I RP, but it isn't anything like ...table-top RPing) is a failure if it's less than 600 words.

Key words in that sentence: is a failure.

How much of a shitty perspective on my own writing is that? I know that there are ways to figure out your word count when you're handwriting, but I don't remember how to do them and I'm kind of glad that I don't. Not having a word count to worry about, or even the option to worry about it, is nice. My goal is now to write something everyday instead of write 1,000 words each day. I wrote about two and a half pages yesterday. So that's probably what, 750 words? If 250 words are on a page?

A failure by my old system and standards, a success by my new ones.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Solemnly Swear

that I am up to no good. I've been toying with this idea for a couple days now, because I always feel strange without some sort of goal. I've finished my character profiles and blueprint, so now's time to actually start writing. But not without some pledges/promises first.

I, Hannah, solemnly swear to complete the following pledges each and every day.

One. I will write something everyday.

 Two. I will dream only of publishing my novel and becoming a best-seller when I'm sleeping

Three. I will let my characters talk how they want to talk, walk how they want to walk, and tell their own story within reason.

Four. I will respect my writing space, and not defile my writing notebook with the dirt of society homework, notes, or anything not related to the novel.

Five. I will write whenever and wherever possible.

Six. I will not let anything or anyone tell me that I can't do this.

Seven. I will write for myself.

I don't know if you actually complete pledges, but whatever. They're there for a reason.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Heart Pens

Sometimes I really wish I'd been born before computers, back in the days of typewriters, or even just normal parchment and quill, pen and paper. Seems to me that all the "real" writers -- the ones you read in school, were all living during that time. I don't know if this is just because the curricula (haha, two years of Latin coming in useful right there) of English classes doesn't get updated nearly as much as it should be, but it seems pretty backwards to me. English classes are supposed to present material to the students that makes them think, makes them more interested in reading similar books that have more to them between their covers than Twilight. Or even Harry Potter, and I grew up on Harry Potter. 

I don't know what it is about handwriting things, but it's different. When you type, it's impermanent. You can't feel it. It's there, in cyberspace, but it isn't there in the same way as pen and paper. Especially a pen. You can cross something out with a pen, but you can never get rid of it. It's always going to be there, no matter how much you try to forget it. It's imperfect and there's times when I think that's the purest form of whatever you're working on, the Shitty First Draft. SFD: brilliant term I picked up when reading Write by Karen E. Peterson.

It's a really interesting book about the psychology of writing and tricking your right brain (the creative side that laughs at all those writing schedules you try to make by making you check your email or type really long blog posts about how you should be writing instead) and left brain (the side of your brain that loves to make those schedules) into working together to make you write. 

Now that I'm pretty much without a computer, besides this laptop that's constantly begging me to clear space on my C Drive and needing to be plugged into the wall every two hours to recharge, I'm going to try to write everything by hand. At least for When the Stormbirds Fly. I've already bought an awesome pen (I need a mug that says I <3 Pens for when I'm writing) and a couple five subject notebooks. The way I see it, I have a drafting system built in. If I write it all out by hand, not only will my inner editor have to shut the hell up, but I'll already have a second draft when I go to type it all in.

So, here's to trying to write like the good ol' writers did it. Wish me luck. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Unreliable Computers are the Only Reliable Things at Half Past Midnight

Since I don't trust this laptop anymore than I trust my old desktop, I'm posting what I managed to write before becoming too distracted here. It's not here for anything other than the fact that I don't want to lose it. It's not the best thing I've ever written, but it's definitely not terrible, and I'm happy with it for now.

        It was dark. The sort of darkness permeated by sleeping ghosts and virulent memories. It was not a quiet darkness; no, there were screams of gunfire and a cacophonous harmony of war scorching whatever silence there might have been in the night. There were no stars illuminating the sky, only shadows. Lesser degrees of blackness by which to see: the trees were gray as ash, for they had burned with the rest of the German countryside. They had burned with their people who no longer lived here, in this clearing that might have once been a home to a family. Jack didn’t know them, and they didn’t know him, but his fighter jet had smashed through their trees and if the pines hadn’t already been dead then the ground would have been soaked in sap red as blood.
        He was alone. There was nothing but the occasional starburst of anti-aircraft fire that lit the foreign, monochromatic sky. The rotted carcass of his plane sighed in the night, stole Jack’s frosted breath from his lips and he could taste the 

Writing for Writing's Sake

I outlined all of When the Storm Birds Fly yesterday. I've never outlined something like I outlined this novel before yesterday. I used the Novel Blueprint on Writer's Digest, and it was very helpful. It was also very fun. I never thought I would ever say that about outlining. However, I was stupid, and my computer had been acting up all week. I didn't email the outline to myself or save it to a flash drive.

The computer wouldn't start up this morning and has been declared deader than ded by myself, both of my parents, and my aunt. So there goes a whole day of work down the drain. Whoops. My bad. Lesson learned.


Now I'm stuck on our old laptop, that keeps trying to update itself every fifteen minutes, but it's so outdated that even the updates would be outdated. But it's a laptop and it has a better word program than my computer did. I'm probably going to get a new tower for my old monitor, which works fine, within the next week and a half. Hopefully Dell ships it soon.

Until then, I'm writing for writing's sake. I don't remember the last time I did this, except for NaNo. Normally I'm so worried about showing my work to someone to get their opinion on it that I'm always editing as I go. My inner-editor isn't actually being too bitchy tonight, which is good. No major spelling mistakes, no major grammar issues, and I'm just letting myself write. This time I have no dreams of bestsellerdom for this novel. I'm not going to worry about that. 

I just want to get the story out and get back into the game of writing for myself, without worrying about what others think of my words. I can always edit them tomorrow and then keep on plugging. Besides, isn't the best art the art that wasn't meant to be?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

When the Storm Birds Fly

It's official.

I have another project. 

Basic info:

I am totally a crazy, completely insane person for starting another project. The two main characters are Katherine Mardan and Jack "Matty" Matteoli. Katherine runs her grandparents' antique shop in Gearhart, Oregon. One day a customer comes in with a 1938 Zenith radio. She purchases the radio and begins to channel surf on it when the radio picks up a man calling for help. She realizes that the man can hear her just as she can hear him and asks what's wrong, when he explains that his name is Jack Matteoli and he is an American POW of the Germans in the Second World War. 

Jack doesn't know that Katherine isn't from his time, and Katherine doesn't know how to help him. They continue to speak whenever Jack feels it's safe, and Katherine begins to dig into the history of the war in an attempt to figure out exactly who Jack is.

That's when she finds out something else Jack doesn't know: he doesn't make it out of the war alive.