Friday, November 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo Status Update 3: Still Behind

So I may or may not have vanished for a week. I have to say, I half-expected it happen with NaNo, especially with being so late on my attempted goal. I still am, for the record, though a bit less with every passing day. Hopefully this weekend will allow me to catch up more completely.

Last week I waited to post until I had finished my 50k. This week I am at 89,9k, and I just finished Edingher's NaNo Draft. I can't even call it a first draft, at this stage. I need to apologise to the fourth wall for this writing. It's by far some of the worst I have done during NaNoWriMo.

Nevertheless, I move on to White Echoes, and characters I already know and shouldn't jump some surprise complexities at me. More twists and turns, perhaps, but nothing the scale of a decade-long hatred.

Soldiering on.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NaNoWRiMo Status Update 2 : The Catching Up

As of 1:35 am EST, on this fine Saturday, I am once again gifted with a green bar on the NaNoWriMo website. This is great, as I had a far harder to get this one than last year's. It is less great, as I was, according to my schedule, supposed to get it on Monday. Oops? *shrugs*

Every year there is a major difference between the current NaNo and the last. The second year I had just become a ML, and I believe the cheers of my region overstimulated me into greatness. The entire month was a strange, happy and tired daze. It was fantastic.

This year, the change is on another level than NaNo's. Between NaNo '09 and NaNo '10, I discovered the publishing world. I discovered Nathan Bransford's blog, and from there a dozen others. I spent a year editing, and learning what it really meant to polish a first draft. At least part of what it meant.

It was a lot harder to lock away the Inner Editor this year, to fall back into the blissful, no-holding-back writing frenzy of NaNoWriMo. I had to find a new purpose for this first draft, a meaning that was something else than a canvas to work from.

I am discovering my characters and my story. Things are happening that I had not planned for. Characters are adding a fourth and fifth dimension to what they had. The already complex outline is getting even more complex (it's driving me insane).

I feel that after I wrote this story, I will have a better idea of where it was meant to go. And that will make another draft easier to write.

Nothing is ever lost during NaNoWriMo. I knew that, and I learned it again this year.

I hope you are all doing well! And a shoutout to BookOwl, who I believe finished earlier this week, and was cheering me on twitter yesterday. You go!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Link Gallore 2

Time for a second post full of links, where I basically rely on others to keep you entertained! Yes, I have long since learned the usefulness of delegating.

The Useful Blog - Between Fact and Fiction
Nathalie Whipple's blog is a gem of nice, positive advice on life as a writer. I haven't encountered many other bloggers who are as genuinely soft and kind, while at the same time motivating and useful. Don't miss her Happy Writers Society on Friday! It will keep you sane, I promise.

The NaNoBloggers - Urban Psychopomp and Literary Jam and Toast
Two other fellow NaNoWriMo participants, with absolutely great blogs. The first is packed with straight-to-the-point, awesome advice and the second is pure... sillyness? It's useful, but oh so funny, too! If you click but one link, you need to check this one.

The Procrastination Blog - Limyaeel's rants
For fantasy writers more than anything else, this one, although Limyaeel's rants are so funny and dead on I'd read it no matter the genre. She doesn't update anymore, not really, but I have spent countless hours rereading the rants on various fantasy-related topics. By various I mean that nearly everything is covered. Fun, informative and thought-provoking. This is a must!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Art of Finding Time

Everywhere you go, people will tell you NaNoWriMo is writing 50,000 words in a month. In fact, I said just such a thing on this blog.

Well, I now beg to disagree. There's something else to it.

NaNoWriMo is the art of finding time where there is none.

 Yes, NaNo participants will take that time and use it to write a novel. The 50,000-words draft that comes out of this month of madness is not the only miracle that happens during November, however. There is another one, more precious in my opinion.

The realization that we have more time on our hands than we thought.

It is amazing what you can do with a tiny 15 minutes. What is also amazing is the amount of time we waste every day. Of course, we can't spend our entire life grasping for every quarter of hour we can find. Doing it for a month is exhausting enough!

NaNoWriMo taught me that while procrastinating is fun, it doesn't compare to the satisfaction of a day well spent. When you got all your chores done and you can just sit back, relax, and tell yourself you've been a good girl.

When December hits and you stop writing, try to remember what you learned this month. You have more time than you believe. You can get things done.

And now, Wrimos, stop procrastinating, and go back to your writing!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

HEAD + DESK = NaNoWriMo Status Update1

Let it be said that I am well ahead of NaNoWriMo's wordcount goal. Let is also be said that I am three days behind on my original goals. I have never been behind on the first week. That's supposed to be the second one, no? My NaNo pattern is messed up!

There's a simple reason for all that, however. I can't quite afford the 5-6 hours I would need every day to hit my daily wordcount with two exams, and all the additional homework. It is my hope all of these worries will go away when Tuesday is gone, but you never know.

Anyway, my characters are at least taking a life of their own, and willing the words to pages faster than me when I do sit down. I love my story, despite all that is wrong with it (I'm noting it on a side card!).

Quick tip: If you despise a good chunk of what you wrote, whether it is a scene or a paragraph, for the love of all that is NaNo-Holy, do not erase it. Strike it, leave it there, rewrite it. I have two complete scenes this way. Remember, words written always count, whether you intend to keep them or not. Just leave them there!

And now back to my regular studying. Cheers, NaNoers, and keep going!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Link Gallore 1

Wow, first week of NaNoWriMo and I'm already missing a day on my promised schedule. Not totally a good sign, although in my defence this will be the busiest week of the month for me. SO. I'll keep this short, m'kay?

The Useful Blog Linky : Nathan Bransford's Blog.
Yes, half of you (if not more) must already be following this blog. I'm still linking to it. When I took up my search for information on the publishing business, it was the first blog I found and it is still the best. It's informative, funny, welcoming, orange... Nathan is awesome (and so are the forums, as a matter of fact). So if for some obscure reason you are not reading this, do click the link. Now.

The NaNo Blogger Linky : Hillary J.
So every week I'll link to a fellow NaNoWriMo participant's blog, if only because you guys are great. This is Hillary's. She's funny, she's interesting, she has a few great tips and there's 'hatchling' in the blog title. That alone woudl've convinced me!

Procrastination Linky: Yes, it's mean to link to easy procrastination during NaNoWriMo. It won't stop me! So first is : The Blog of Unecessary Quotation Marks. There seems to be plenty of misused quotation marks in the world, and the result is quite funny. Go have a laugh. :)

And now, back to NaNoWriMo (and my exams) with me!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Like to Have Many Friends

Imaginary friends, but friends nonetheless!

Large casts of characters are my friends. It's not rational. I just end up with them, no matter how I try to dwindle the numbers. This is not a bias against small-crew story. It's how my mind works.

There are challenges that come with writing when you have so many characters that influence your story. They have to be easy to remember, and you need to convey their personality as much as you can with the little 'screen' time they get.

Every word matters.

Never miss an opportunity to make your character more distinct. This is always true, but it's even more important with large casts. Give them habits. Make their voices strong. Exaggerate their traits a little, so that they become more obvious. Unless this character is often in scenes, you can't afford to make him bland.

Large casts can get your readers lost, but when handled well, they make your story complex and colourful. I just hope I have the talent to pull it off!