Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010, Day 1

So, last night, I was itching to get started. Desperately awaiting midnight so that I could start typing away at my story, bringing all of my plans into action and getting going. I was so desperate in fact that I distracted myself by continuing to read Starship Troopers. I continued to read it right up until 1am. Woops.

I quickly switched over to writing, and pumped out words as quickly as I could. My first chapter literally just jumped from my brain on to the page, and I felt good. At 1:30 when I actually went to bed (the plan was to only stay up until 1), I had already written 1452 words. Awesome.

When I got up this afternoon (for some reason, my body felt the need for me to sleep 11 and a quarter hours last night) the second chapter started to jump onto the page. And now I find myself in a nice, strong position having already written 2359 words. There is just one problem. I still haven't figured out plot points, or characters, or even what my subplots are going to be. Yeah, I might be in trouble before long...

Days remaining: 29
Words remaining: 47641

Friday, October 29, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

So I've finally decided on a plot, and on a basic concept driving my story, but that's about as far as I've gotten. I'm thinking I want to write first person, kind of in the way that Heinlein writes, but I'm not really sure. Now, I need to work on characters... I don't even know what the voice of my MC is going to sound like, and I want to write a 50,000 word novel in it? It's a scary concept.

To ensure I get the style down right, I'm going to re-read my favourite two Heinlein novels over the next week or so. Starship Troopers (my absolute favourite novel, and not just sci-fi favourite), and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. So that gets the style down.

Then for the characters I suppose... There was s technique that I picked up reading a how to book written by Orson Scott Card called 'Characters and Viewpoint' whereby you watch a person, and create a whole backstory that explains some of the seemingly innocuous characteristics that they display. It's more than a little disturbing that it is as fun as it is. Another WriMo friend and I did it with a bunch of staff profile pictures on the website of a local high school here in our home town.

And that just leaves the MC's voice. I already have a back story, but, have nothing on their voice. In a perfect world, he would have popped into my head almost fully formed in the way that Harry popped into J.K. Rowlings head. Why can't I ever be that lucky?

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Hate this time of Year

Not only is it now late October, and I'm left waiting impatiently for the beginning of November, and the start of my next 30 days and nights of literary abandon (to use a phrase most famous for being on a NaNoWriMo poster), but I always find myself stuck with plots. Coming up with a plot isn't really a challenge for me, as, even with this year, 3 months out, I had a plot all lined up and ready to go. I even had a sequel to it ready for writing as well. The only problem is, as I get closer and closer to the beginning of November, my mind starts to race, and the ideas begin to flow thick and fast. But they don't actually fit together as one story. So I'm left having to choose.

One year, everything worked out great, because I had my lovely wife by my side reminding me that I have a plot, and I should just write it the way I know how. And every time I came up with a new idea (it happened on average two times a day that year), I just wrote it down in a separate document, with only just enough detail that I could pick up the idea again at a later date, and went back to my original story.

Well, the discipline is long gone, and the excitement of the event is taking me over. I keep getting new ideas, and modifying what I plan on writing based on what flashes past my minds eye last. What exactly am I supposed to write? How can I possibly be expected to write anything when everything is a possibility? Sometimes I'd almost say that I envy the unfortunates who, gifted though they may be, a constantly stuck for plot ideas. What I wouldn't give to be gifted instead of a fountain of ideas...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The First Step on a Long Journey...

Sometime around my eleventh birthday, right when reading became a big and important part of my life, I began to fantasise about writing my very own novel. For years I did nothing, more than a decade in fact. Then, one day while I was wasting time at a friends place, she started to talk about something called NaNoWriMo, and my writing life was changed forever. So in 2006, I signed up for the challenge, and typed away, managing to complete my first ever full length manuscript before the end of November.

Since then however it has sat in the bottom draw of my desk covered in the random scrawling that I create when my brain to outside world filter switches off. My wife says that it has potential, and with a bit of work would make for a great novel. I on the other hand, am particularly underwhelmed.

But, it is still one of my life goals to have a novel published, and I don't mean self published either. Something in me just won't accept that as a solution, if it wasn't good enough to get picked up by a publishing house, then I wasn't good enough to be worthy of print. The only problem is, I'm notoriously lazy without a deadline. That is sort of what this is all about. I'm not creating a deadline per-say, but instead a sort of motivation. If I am for some reason obliged to write about what I'm doing to move towards getting a novel published, then I will be equally obliged to actually do something to move towards getting a novel published.

Well, it's an interesting theory, and to kick it off, for the entire month of November, where I plan on smashing out my next manuscript (participating in NaNoWriMo for the fifth year in a row), I will be making a post here daily, to update you on how things are going.

Well, for me I think it is onwards and upwards, if only I can just get moving. I'll just have to keep reminding myself: "no one ever got anywhere by standing still".