Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Today is November...the 1

Happy Nano Day! Or is it?

Today marks the second year in which I will venture into the world of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Can I do it? I did it last year. I'm optimistic that I can do it again. Maybe. Hopefully. We'll see.

Actually, I'm pretty prepared. I've spent the last few months tweaking notes, outlines, characters, etc until I'm blue in the face with a whole other world floating in my head. Of course, the fact that I decided to change the names and sexual orientation of two of my minor characters last night only added to my insanity. Did I mention I'm insane? I am.

It's good though. I feel good about this endeavor. I'm ready. Hell, I've already written 723 words. And I have a plan. A good one. One that I hope will see, not only 50,000 words written by the end of the month, but maybe the whole novel. That would be amazing. Epic. Novel worthy.

So my plan is this. For the past month I've been working on my "beat sheet", a little tip I picked up from Storyfix and their countdown to Nano. It's an outline, but in my head it's a glorified outline. I made a list of all the important points/scenes of my novel, with bullet point notes below each. I ended up with twenty four pages worth. Each page has five points and sub points listed on it. My goal is to write a least one page worth of notes a day. If I can do that, 24 pages in 24 days, then I'll have written my novel.


A novel. I will have written a novel!

Why am I still talking to you? I have four more "points" to write about today. I have to run!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Come and Knock on my Door

"Come and knock on my door..."

Yeah, so it's not so much that the Three's Company theme is rolling around in my head, but something else is. I haven't even begun writing the actual novel part of my book. I'm still in "research" mode. But guess what should happen to me? Another idea for a book. Do I have the time? No. Do I like this idea? Yes. What will I do? Make notes and file them away so that I can properly give it the attention that it deserves.

And so it seems that while still in my "research" phase, I've stumbled upon some new methods. Well, new to me at least.

I follow a new up and coming novelist on twitter- @megan_shepherd and something she tweeted this past week set off a light bulb for me. It was one of those moments that I said, "I can do that?"

She was talking about the editing of her book and how she was going to have to go back and do research for certain areas due to the notes she had made along the way.

Stop the presses! That's when I went, I can do that? I mean, I can write what I want and make notes in certain areas that need additional research? Wow. I'm the type of person that researches, makes notes all prior to beginning a book. But this idea? Wow, really something I'm considering giving a go.

While I know that I will need to know and understand a certain aspect of the information I am writing about, it still amazes me that I can skip over parts and come back to them. Maybe it's the neurotic side of my brain that thinks I must do things in order. Even before this book I was in a constant state of, no I can't write that chapter yet even though I know exactly how it's going to play out because I'm only on chapter 4 and that's chapter 24.

So yeah, I hit a breakthrough and one that I must say, I'm eager to try. Then again, all you published authors may be sitting back laughing at me right now. Thinking to yourselves, Oh dear. Just you wait until you get to the actual editing process. Then you'll be screaming in frustration.

Of course, the great purpose of a blog is to record the ups and downs I'm experiencing. I think limited research and going back during edits is a great way to document those ups and downs.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Little Engine That Is Having Doubts

I'm trying to keep the mantra in my head of, "I think I can, I think I can" but honestly, I'm really afraid that I can't. My notes are scattered out in front of me. I'm in love with my story and my characters but I'm terrified that I can't get it all together.

The outline for one thing makes me feel like I'm some kind of scattered brained ditz. Really, I know where I want my story to go and when I want it to go, but for the first time, I'm having a hard time expressing that in words. I feel like my mind is all a jumble and it can't keep up with my pen.

Then I'm reading like a maniac! From every "words of wisdom" from published authors to aspiring ones I've heard the same piece of advice given: Read everything you can put your hands on. Yeah, well I'm doing just that and I'm still feeling like I can't do it. How can I be that crafty? Or witty? Or clever? How, how, HOW can I possibly do this?

Nano is only a few short months away and I'm beginning to have serious doubts that I'll have my ducks in a row. In any other story I've written I've never experienced this problem. I've been able to map out my story and start writing. Now, I feel like I need boards with people's faces on them and places and dates. Why am I suddenly acting like this? Is it because I want this book to be something? Something more than a blurb on my computer? Something people will blog about and rec on Goodreads? Because these are my characters and not someone's I've borrowed?

Seriously, I'm freaking out. This weekends project will probably consist of white boards and glue and sharpie markers. Actually, that kind of makes me feel a little better.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I have found my voice

It's true. Granted, this voice wouldn't grant me a spot in the Hollywood round of American Idol but it has given me the push I need to know exactly where my novel is going.

Yesterday I had a mini meltdown. I began to really start thinking about my book and the realization of my tense hit me in the side of the head leaving me momentarily knocked out. You all saw the post. Do I write first person? Do I write third? Do I do alternating POV's? Well, I figured out where I stand with all of this talk, thanks to some really amazing women. Some are like me, crafting their very own novels. Some are some really good friends that have been with me since the beginning of my writing journey.

After being able to talk things out, freak out, and lose sight of what I needed to do, the answer sat down upon a golden stool right next to my feet and said, "Hello. My name is Deep Third Person POV. How do you do?"

In my head, even though this particular tense was mentioned by a another female writer, his voice was just as deep as it sounded. Like any good potential date, I researched him. Granted, Deep Third Person doesn't have a Facebook page, but he had all sorts of yummy blog posts written about him. I was in awe! I was in shock! I was suddenly aware that subconsciously, I had already dated him! All of this only reaffirmed where I needed to take my story. With Deep Third Person right by my side.

Of course, now that that little set back has been decided, my outline comes next. Oy. Sometimes I don't think my hand can keep up with my brain. Then again, I'll save that for another blog post.

Deeply in love with "Deep",

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The return of the...blog- you thought I was going to say mack

I have returned to my blog after a miniature hiatus. Yes, I realize that from January to well, the last day of August doesn't render itself as a "miniature" hiatus. In my book it does. It means I haven't long forgotten about my precious little blog.

With that being said, it's appeared I've come to a fork in the road with my writing. All right, I'll be honest. I haven't even begun the writing process but the fact that I'm deliberating the writing process deserves a little credit. So, the dilemma at hand. Prose, tense, alternating POV's...you get the idea.

I've been doing A LOT of reading during my time off from blogging. My Nook and I have an exclusive relationship that even my new HP Touchpad can't come between. Between girly chick lit books, series that- in my honest opinion were better than Twilight- and feel good reads, I've come to admire the different approaches to writing technique. Which is I guess the point when seasoned or newbie published authors tell you to read anything and everything you can get your hands on. But the problem I'm faced with is, what works best?

In the story I'm currently brewing for my NANO project, I'm at a point where at one time I knew I wanted to do third person so that I could incorporate the thoughts of both of my main characters. However, upon reading some third person, I can't help but feel detached from them in a way. When I read first person whether it's past or present tense, I always feel more connected to the narrator. With that being said, if I were to choose first person for my little nugget of a story, both sides need to have the chance to be told. There is too much going on between the two love birds in my story to only pick one voice for the novel.

So what's a girl to do?

What are your thoughts? In novels, do you appreciate alternating POV's or should I just stick with third person and try and make it so that the reader doesn't feel detachment toward my characters?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why so late at night?

Why do the best ideas I have run through my head when I'm laying down to go to sleep? I can have the best conversation between my main two characters while trying to drift off to sleep. I say to myself, "self- you'll remember this in the morning. No need to write it all down." And you know what? I forget every damn bit of it by the next morning.

So, what have a learned from this? Either keep a notebook by the bed or just deal with the consequences in the morning and stay up all night to write.

Don't my characters know that I need sleep?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Can you explain that again in stupid people's terminology?

I've been doing a considerable amount of research on third person. Is it subject, limited, omniscient? I'm still figuring that one out. Although, one article I read said that if I can determine certain aspects of my story then I'll be able to figure out what to use. Let's look at those, shall we?

Grammatical number wiki says...
In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions (such as "one", "two", or "three or more").[1]
The count distinctions typically, but not always, correspond to the actual count of the referents of the marked noun or pronoun.
The word "number" is also used in linguistics to describe the distinction between certain grammatical aspects that indicate the number of times an event occurs, such as the semelfactive aspect, the iterative aspect, etc
What? Moving on.

Grammatical tense I got this one. Past, present, or future. For me, I think it's going to be past. No, no thinking. I know it will be.

Author obtrusiveness more info regarding this subject is still being researched. Seems google is unaware, as am I, of what this is.

Narrator omniscience  this is via answers.com
an ‘all‐knowing’ kind of narrator very commonly found in works of fiction written as third‐person narratives. The omniscient narrator has a full knowledge of the story's events and of the motives and unspoken thoughts of the various characters. He or she will also be capable of describing events happening simultaneously in different places—a capacity not normally available tothe limited point of view of first‐person narratives. See also intrusive narrator.
So, is this a yes or no question? If it is, then yes. My narrator will be omniscient

Narrator reliablity see this website- http://faculty.smu.edu/cwsmith/Reliable%20and%20Unreliable%20Narrators.htm

It's too much for me to type but it's pretty straight forward for me to comprehend. But then again, I'm still kind of lost.

Point-of-view character again, per wiki
the character by whom the story is viewed. The point-of-view character may or may not also be the main character in the story.

So...is this asking me what point of view the voice will be from?

Reader involvement  someone asked this question to one of the experts on allexperts.com
I have two questions. I saw that you are familiar with subtext. Would you explain what this is and why it should be used in fiction?

Also, since you are familar with submitting manuscripts, I want to know if it is absoutely necessary to write in courier or new courier. I am writng in times new roman.


This is the reply.

A long answer to a short question, because you not only asked what subtext is, but also, "why" is should be used.  The "why" requires a long answer.  So, here goes!  This is a piece of one of my lectures:

"...So, where I left off is that I don't care about the characters in our story concept; I'm uninvolved.
    How do we inject reader involvement into a story concept?  We provide an element to be discovered: theme.  How is theme discovered?  We write around it, pointing toward it.  We request readers see beyond what we've written, and this seeing beyond, this road to theme is called subtext.    But the question remains, how do we induce readers to discover this new way of seeing?  In the above concept, the story's challenges exist only on the physical level.  Multiple level challenges – physical, mental, spiritual, philosophical, and moral – demand characters with depth.  Characters who think, feel, and act using depth create situations in which readers find themselves calling their own values into play.  Readers pass judgments based on their discovery of an evolving character and their uncovering of the underlying story; the reader is the subtext.  Manipulate the reader's self-awareness, and you have created subtext or unleashed it.  This an important reality check, and if you don't grasp it here and now, you will not make it as a writer; no matter how much effort you expend, no story exists until the reader or viewer brings something of their own innate quality to bear upon the story.  Writing is a manipulative, cooperative act.  Human beings judge one another, and unless you understand the fine points of subtext explained above - manipulating your audience's judgment - no publishing professional or film production professional is going to give a rat's behind about the project you slaved over.
    Fine fiction, whether it is the novel, screenplay, or short story, involves readers by allowing them to achieve a sense of personal discovery. ..."

Again, I think I've got a lot to read up on. For me, I just write. I just let the words flow. However, I don't think that method is going to get me my dream winter home in Breckinridge, CO. It's not going to make me a New York Times best selling author.

*sigh* I have lots to learn. I wish I had paid better attention in English.


When the voices in your head take on a mind of their own

I've been prepping for this story, thinking about it non stop. I'm an organized person when it comes to how I want things to go. On occasion I can tend to be a little OCD about it. Take family vacations to Disney World. I plan everything that we are doing down to the hour. What rides we need to be at; when we need to eat- EVERYTHING! It's also the case when I write.

I've got my outline down. I have my characters on paper. Timelines, pictures and lengthy descriptions about some of the places are all out of my head and in my handy dandy notebook. The problem? Once I really start thinking about the story, I see it branching out from my outline. Not that this is a bad thing it just feels like it's out of my control. These characters have taken up residence in my brain and now they want to do what they want to do!

Do I rework the outline? Let the writing go where it may?

To be honest, I haven't even started writing. I'm just in prep mode but if these voices don't stop steering away from where I want them to be, this might be a whole different story!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Tense is making me tense

So last night I stayed up a little later than usual because I was in the thick of really getting to know my characters and locations. I have pictures of houses, pictures of their beautiful faces, and I know enough about Dissociative amnesia to write a high school term paper. But with all of that out of the way I'm stuck on what tense to use.

In anything I've ever written, I've always used "first person". I'm thinking that maybe that won't work for this story so I'm leaning a little to "third". I'm scared because as much as I need voices to drift in and out from person to person, it's that goal exactly that scares the crap out of me. What if it doesn't flow right? What if it looks like I'm too jumpy? I'm tense from all this tense talk.

If I wrote the story in first person I would most likely have to do alternating POV's and in this case, that's just not going to happen. Third seems to be the best bet. So why am I still hesitant on it? Is it because I'm drifting from my normal way of speaking through characters?

When this is all said and done, I think a well deserved massage will be in order.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

You have a name, and you have a description...now we're getting some where!

Two posts in one day? Yeah, I know, I'm shocked too but progress is being made and it needs to be blogged about!

The people I've been dreaming about for this story finally have names and a half ass job of a description, but it's something!  I feel like I'm getting some where now. Not to mention I've outlined, again half assed, the first 15 chapters. This steam engine is moving along and it won't be long before something gets in my way to hault my progress. Whether it be writers block or something else it's bound to happen. I won't let it get me down. I won't, I won't, I won't! Besides an amazing support system- Becci I'm looking at you- I can do this. WE can do this.


Living in a fantasy world might actually pay off

John Lennon once sang, "Some may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." This quote holds very true to me. I've always been a dreamer; for as long as I can remember. My friends would joke and say that I lived in a fantasy world. This is true. I'm not a realist. I like to think that the world is full of sunshines and rainbows and that everyone gets their happy ever after. Of course, I'm not stupid enough to believe that this is actually the case. I know better than that, but I think being a dreamer has worked for my advantage and helped set the creative imagination into the world of writing a novel that I am about to embark on.

Yes, it's a new year and I've got a new attitude. I'm writing a book.

Am I scared? Terrified.
Am I ready? Perhaps.
Am I determined to see this thing through? Absolutley.

I have my plot. My characters are starting to come together in my head. The scenes are starting to appear to me. I'm ready for this. I can do this. Or can I?

The answer to that is yes, I can do this and I will!

I participated in NaNoWriMo this past November and I won! My first year and I actually wrote 50,000. Not to gloat, but I actually wrote them in 18 days! To say I was proud of myself would be an understatement. I had my cast and crew all set. It was outlined out to a tee and the words jumped from my head on to paper, well, my laptop. Does the story resemble anything worth a dime right now? Not in the slightest. I've gone through, making edits and to be honest, there are things I wrote that I have no idea what I was trying to say. But that wasn't the point of NaNo. "Quantity- not quality". I finished and I won and that's all that matters to me.

Now I have an idea for something that I think is really good and it's begging to get out of my head. Whether it actually goes any where is beside the point. The satisfaction of knowing that I wrote a book. Me! Little 'ol me who spends her days working eight hours, comes home to chase a toddler around the house while putting up with my husbands insane football obsession. Yes me! One can only hope that it does go somewhere. Somewhere big! Somewhere that will be recognized. But, that all goes back to Mr. John Lennon.

"Some say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."