Friday, October 25, 2013

Nano 2013

I have pledged to take the year off this year.  I do not have a story brewing.  I do not know what I'd write about.  And I want to recharge.  I finished last year and tried camp out this year and didn't succeed.  So I feel like November would be pushing it.


I keep getting uplifting emails from Nanowrimo in my inbox.  And I see the ticker on the blog page set at zero.  And I'm finding myself tempted! 

Maybe what I need is one or two brainstorming sessions with some friends to get the very basic story that *might* have legs to a point where it could be interesting. 

but.... I feel like I am sooo busy this year.  Is there time this November to write a novel? 

It is only 1667 words a day.  It's 1666 words a day!

I was set in my decision to NOT write this year.  With one week left until kickoff I'm now undecided.  I'll let you know what I decide after the first of the month.  At the very least I can use the month to edit an old story, or outline a new one....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Club

My Pseudo Book Club that I was doing with a friend has turned into a full fledged book club.  We have meetings and chose books together and it grew by a couple of people.  We have read 2 books together and discussed one so far.  I look forward to our next meeting and book discussion.  We read Water for Elephants this time.  I've been wanting to read that book for a while now.  For several reasons.  I've heard great things about it.  I wanted to read it before I saw the movie and it spoiled the book for me.  And it's a Nano book. 
The author did a lot of research before the month of Nano and had it outlined and ready to write. 

It's motivating to read something so great that came from such a fun event that is Nano. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Time? What is that?

I didn't sign up for the July Camp, on purpose.  I didn't just miss it.  I KNEW that I'd never make the time to write and then I'd be disappointed in myself.  I didn't even check in on the boards to see how everyone else was doing.  (I like to read some of the boards occasionally.  I have actually had a few ideas to use while reading the boards.  They plant a seed sometimes.)

I'm also not planning to do Nano in November this year.  I still have The Piper Story to revise.  I haven't given up on her yet, though I'm starting to think she might have just been a practice story.  I still have the story from Nano 2011 in my head.  That one never got completed.  It's written in a style that isn't typical of me and took me some extra effort.  I do think it's a good one to finish though.  Even if it stays rough forever, at least I can finish.  And the story I began for Camp in April '13 needs telling still.  I have an outline started for it.  And a rough idea of the middle.  The beginning and end, both important pieces, are still beyond my reach.

Rather than writing, recently, I've been reading again.  I used to read a LOT.  I'd read a couple books a week.  And if it was a favorite book, I'd read it again and again.  After college I got a job that required me to be at the carpool at 4:00 am.  I'd end up in bed early and would read a chapter, maybe, before falling asleep.  Eventually, I stopped reading daily and only read on weekends.  I don't know when it happened, but I do know that I missed it.  A few years ago, I was introduced to two series of books that had me reading regularly again.  I'd finish one book and head to the store for the next.  One was campy and fun (Sookie Stackhouse series, Charlaine Harris) and the other involved history, romance, adventure, and some time travel (hello!  Time travel is right up my alley!) (Outlander Series, Diana Gabaldon).  And now a friend and I are reading books together, in a kind of pseudo book club.  And that has been fun as well.  I've been a little behind, summer got in the way a little, but I'm all caught up and ready for the next book. 

Have a great August!  Do some reading and/or some writing!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Post Camp

April came and went (so did May, apparently) and I didn't get a lot of writing done for Camp Nano.  Anyone surprised?  It seems I don't complete more than I do complete.  I just had an expectation that April would be less busy than November is.  I still believe that it should be, but somehow it didn't turn out to be easier to carve out time for writing.  I have no intentions of writing this November.  It's still a few months off though so who knows.  What I have started, however, is a revision of my 2010 Nano. 

I've dug it out and dusted it off and I'm rereading it now.  It's not bad.  It's a little juvenile.  I'm hoping that I can shake that out a little.  Or perhaps that's just how I write.  I think I'm a little better author than that though.  It could be just a byproduct of writing in a hurry to get word counts in and its simply a brain dump that needs a lot of fleshing out. 

I've started to out line the story.  I'm kind of doing it backwards.  Write it first, outline it second.  I've built a basic outline in Y-writer and I'm filling in character details as I bring chapters and scenes over to the program.  I think I really need this because as the book developed I skipped around depending on which character was in my head at the moment.  Y-writer can help me move things around and balance out any mistakes I have in characters and settings. 

I'm enjoying this.  It isn't going to be a fast process.  I don't want to put a deadline on myself.  I will do it when I feel like I have some downtime.  It's neat to reread the story and remember some of the details that I had forgotten.  And it feels good to still love this story and the characters after so many years. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I'm still plugging along in Camp.  I don't know how.  I gave up for a week and a half (yes, I know that is most of the month so far).  And now I'm so far behind I'm not sure I'll catch up.  I had set a low word count just so I could avoid all this stress. 

I decided earlier this week that I'd give up.  I told myself to take this year off.  I told myself not to even sign up for November.  And I asked myself "what was I thinking?"!    And then my writing partner called me and made me set a date to write together.  Maybe we will do some word wars and some brainstorming.  And now I have the bug again.  I'm still not sure I'll finish this Camp.  But I'm glad to have a story to write and who says I HAVE to do it all at once in camp?  I'll get it plotted out and maybe work on it in the future.  It's a good story.  It deserves some time devoted to it. 

I'm not out of the race yet.  But I have a lot of catching up to do!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I bought books to help me learn to outline.  I was so excited to have them.  And they sit by my bedside still.  I have perused them.  I even picked up some helpful and fun tips from one of them.  But I haven't delved into them.  Yet.  I keep thinking there is no rush to do it.  If I want to write for Nano, I have until the beginning of November to put together an outline.  And besides, I don't even have a basic plot yet. 

Well, now I have committed to do Camp Nano in April.  And that is less than 2 weeks away and I haven't learned to be a planner yet!  I have the outlining program that I wrote my last story in (Ywriter).  It's an outline builder.  But I think I want to put pen to paper first and see it all laid out before me.  So I'll do it the old fashioned way.  The way we learned in high school.  If I can remember that long ago!  I will add it to ywriter if I ever end up liking what I make.  It will work great for character development.  I'll write about that program some time. Check it out if you want to in the meantime. It's a free program.

Do I need a Title first?  Well, I don't have one so I'll just call it "Title"


OK how about the 3 main ideas.  The first includes character introduction (I don't have characters yet, but most stories in my head have a main character, a main supporting character, and a villain, at least, so I'll call them MFC, MMC, and V.  It also includes a basic introduction to the setting, time, and the problem.  The second part is the rising action with events that build up to the climax  I remember a tip from somewhere that there should be 3 high tension scenes building up to the climax.  And the third is the resolution where the story ties up. I think I need a plot for all of that. 

A. Main idea 1
B. Main idea 2
C. Main idea 3

Ok, how about chapters.  I don't have a plot, so I don't have chapters.  So I'll just leave a place in the outline to fill those in. 


I can add details as I learn them, right?

A.  Main Idea 1: Introduction
     1. MFC:
        a. who she is
        b. time (what century?)
        c. place (where are we?)
     2. MMC:
         a. how does he know MFC?
     3. V
          a. what does he want (why is he a villain in the story?)
B Main Idea 2:  Body
    1. Tension scene 1
    2. Tension scene 2
    3. Tension scene 3
         a. ends in climax!
C. Main Idea 3: Resolution
    1. Tie it all together and say good bye. 
         a. cliff hanger?

Well, that isn't enough.  But isn't more than I had this morning.  I hope my High School English teacher doesn't read blogs.  I'm not sure he'd be impressed.

Camp Nano 2013

I participated in Nanowrimo in November 2012 as therapy.  It was greatly helpful to me, but not a creative experience.  I didn't want to write the story and the writing would have shown that (had it ever been read). 

A friend of mine has signed up for Camp Nanowrimo in April.  And I decided to join her.  I find myself excited to write again.  I have absolutely no idea what to write.  Camp starts in 10 days and I have only basic ideas on story line. 

There are two kinds of writers.  A "planner", who has a plot, makes an outline at the least and maybe even has some character development.  Then there is the "panster", who writes by the seat of their pants and sees where the story goes as it's written.

I tend to be a panster.  I get a basic idea of plot and main characters and then fill in the rest while the time and word count tick along.  I don't always finish the story this way.  In fact, looking back, the two years that I did "win" were years that I knew more of the outline and had an ending to shoot for.  So this year I would like to be a planner.  I'd like to have a basic outline before the clock starts ticking.  I had an idea for a story last summer.  I made some notes on it and had a few characters and their flaws figured out.  I'm going to look for those notes and maybe I'll make an outline.  It's a good place to start.  I don't have any other stories burning a hole in my mind at the moment. 

So Camp Nano is the writing challenge I craved when I last blogged.  Not sure I'm brave enough to show off the "creative" writing.  But I'm brave enough to write it again! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Comfort Zone

I haven't blogged in a while.  I haven't written anything in a while.  I guess it's both a good thing and bad thing. 
Good in that life is steadily moving by.  There are a series of small changes that occurred in that last few months and all of those add up to big changes (or will eventually), but they seem to happen in such a way that I don't notice change until I sit back and reflect. 
Bad, because writing really does clear my head and helps me to sit back and reflect.

So perhaps it's time for a writing exercise.  I think I'll find a writing challenge on the Nano site.  I could use a little dusting!    I don't think anyone reads this blog, so I may write here.  It gives me a feeling of daring anyway, in case anyone actually does.  Letting people read a blog post is very different than letting them read a creative work. 

If it doesn't challenge you it doesn't change you.  I've been repeating this to myself for more than half a year now.  And acting on it for far less time.  It applies to all parts of my life.  I need to apply it to writing as well.  

Off to find a challenge.