04 November 2010

NaNoWriMo: Day 04

After yesterday of nearly writing nothing, I come back with a vengeance today with 2,600 words completed! Kinda gotta say I'm proud of myself. My goal is to finish this chapter I'm on, which will probably be another three or four thousand words, today so I can have a friend print it off for me before five in the afternoon. At college, we're allowed a certain number of pages to print for free, and mine is almost all used up, and she still has plenty to go, so...yeah...that's helpful.

I also want to address something, and I'm going to use a phrase that normally makes me, what's the expression? 'facepalm'. Anyway, the phrase is something like, 'the story/characters is/are writing itself/themselves'. Well, that just so happens to be what's going on right now. I'll be taking a short break from regular posting, such as a noticeable absence of The Watcher on Thursday, and reviews will be scarce. As it stands, there's some school work and this novel that is taking my attention. I'll keep you abreast, though, on this whole NaNoWriMo thing. Until next time, I'll leave you with this questionnaire:

1. What are your writing tools? (Virtual ones count, too.)
Sorry, nothing flashy, just your usual ol' Microsoft Word 2007. It's on every computer on campus, including my mini-laptop, so it seemed the most logical and easily accessible. Plus, I got the hang of the program, so why not, eh?

2. What’s your writing process?
Next to the novel word document, I open another blank page and bullet-point what I want to accomplish in this chapter. Character motivations, plot details, even little bits of dialogue that I just had to write down...it's all very helpful when I start writing, this crude 'ittle outline. When and if I finish this specific novel and move on to the sci-fi epic of all sci-fi epics, my own Great American Novel, I'll first write out a massive, possibly fifty-page outline in chronological order. When I actually sit down to write, I find that I end up suffering the 'telling, not showing' bug, so every once and awhile I have a post-it note on the computer for reminding. Especially when it comes to NaNo, I just let my dialogue run free, no matter how sensible or even real it is. However, I have a huge aversion to cliched lines, so if I feel inclined to repeat something like that, I am bound by law to spice it up, add a bit of flavor to it...wow, I have nearly entirely went off the mark...

3. How do you plan your story?
Bollocks, seems I quasi-answered this in the question above. Well, first I'll mention this: I need to know my story, inside and out. Very, very little room for surprises. I like twists and connecting things from the beginning to the end, and I try to attack every possible answer and solution with hard questions. If a solution doesn't make sense or at leave have three or five reasons it is how it is, I need to re-evaluate particular beats and ideas. Once I know my story, fully - character motivations, character histories, character personalities, the timeline, the environment, the logic of actions, the true, raw emotion of the story and characters, and if I'm actually saying anything at all with it - I can start outlining. As it is, I have a book given to me from a friend, Shane, as a birthday gift with the message: "use this for your great novel", and I have lived up to that. Twenty or so pages full of smally written notes and ideas. So, basically, I form the idea in my head, conjure up every little detail from beginning to end, and then write the story. It's exhausting.

4. How do you distribute your word count?
Um, varied? I have two chapters down. The first chapter is 8,200 words (rounded up), the second 13,100 words (rounded up). So, there's no specific length, no...um, premeditated word count. I just...write.

5. Where do you keep your novel, and where do you back it up?
I have my novel stored on the school computer, and since it's highly improbable it will be delted forever and ever on these servers, I think I'm good.

6. How do you come up with your characters?
AMERICAN PIE, honestly. Even though they have ended up nothing like those characters, it was nonetheless my inspiration. The original idea, without any concept of a story, was "three hormonal teens traveling through time and space", and it was going to be full of sex jokes, crude humor, and attractive ladies. No pot or drinking jokes, though - can't stand that. So, at its most basic level, my story would have been, in movie terms, three of the AMERICAN PIE kids in a TARDIS-like machine having a blast. And no, I haven't seen the BILL AND TED movies, so I can't say how well they would compare.

7. What must you have on hand in order to write a successful novel that may not actually have to do with your novel?
I have nothing going on, at least, nothing that helps me concentrate on the novel at hand. As of right now, the best motivator is the much-sought-after word count, and the helpful words of fellow NaNo members on the forums. Reading about their successes, failures, inspirations, and enthusiasm helps greatly in the grand scheme of things.

8. What do you do with your novel once it’s done?
With this specific novel, I'm going to print it off, bind it, and show it to my friends and family to butcher and question the hell out of it. Since I'll still be relatively close to the novel, emotionally, I would be in no condition to critique it, especially after spending a month writing it, so I'll leave that job to my mates. After that process is completed, and I hear their comments as well as suggestions, I'll go back to the manuscript in a few months, March at the earliest, and start chugging away. During this time, I fully intend on continuing to develop the next adventure of these three teenagers, as well as my sci-fi epic. As far as contemplating publication, it is, of course, a dream come true, but I don't foresee that with my work in the next few years. But, my expectations could always be...unmet.

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