This was my 4th year doing NaNoWriMo and I think I’ve learned a lot more about my writing style, and about how I write than all the years I have been writing. I know I’ve evolved as a writer, I can see it in my first novel. (For those that are curious: A Vampire’s Tale by Rebecca Tufts) I know I’ll keep evolving as a writer. I wrote a novel about telepathic cyborg squids, and though I intended this novel to be about sky pirates really just doing pirating stuff, the novel took on a life of its own and I focused more on the Sky Kraken than I did the main characters. I will most likely revise it in June, but at the moment I really don’t want to think about pirates or squids. For those that are still struggling with their novels, make sure you check out all the resources on the website and follow @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter. Not only do they challenge you to write, but also will give out writing prompts. I’m done with my novel for now, but I won’t stop writing. I’ve had to put a role playing session with a dear friend on hold for the entire month of November. Time to go back to being a barbarian. 🙂
I had a conversation with my brother today and apparently I’ve been writing all wrong all along. I finally appreciate some feedback. See I’ve never any formal training in writing (I guess it is obvious), basically I just had ideas and wrote them down, then I began to start with creating characters and putting them in a setting and throwing situations at them. Then I began to try to write novels, everyone encouraged me to write a novel, and I’ve even published one. However after this conversation with my brother I mentioned I write linear. I start with the beginning and just keep working to the end. I was giving him the cliff notes version and he kept saying, “That makes no sense. Did you explain how that works?”
I said, “No, its science fiction, you don’t have to explain it. I was just adding filler to get enough words.” When I told him I write linear, he asked me why. I responded, “Doesn’t everyone?”
“No, you write in story arcs and then piece them together,” he explained. Wait? What? I assume I write linear because of role playing, I’ve never tried to just write certain scenes out then arrange them later. I think this idea might actually work for me because I’ve always said I do better writing short stories.
I’ve been behind in words all month. This being the 4th year I’ve done this, and last year being the first year I ever lost, this is also the first year I’d been behind. Usually the words just flow out of me. Maybe it is because this is the second year I’d done NaNoWriMo alone basically. The first two years I attended all the events I could. The kick-off party, the weekly write-ins at South County and the official one in Clayton, the Thank God Its Finally Over party… Writing with people actually does help. Talking with people bouncing ideas off them, listening to what their novel is doing really helps. I think that is why I feel like I excelled at role playing, because every 3 or 4 paragraphs (pages in Isa’s instance) you got feedback in the response of their character to yours.
Well I’m still 5k words behind and I’ve had a bout of inspiration. In order to finish my novel I’m going to have to change points of view (I never work well in first person) and change the main character. I write better when writing from a man’s third person. Most of my RP characters are guys, and I’ve been told I pull them off pretty damn well. Also, the friends of mine who asked to be in my novel, prepare to be written about.
I learned a lesson I think I saw coming. I accepted the challenge of writing a novel with a few special requests as far as characters went. I’ve been tip toeing on eggshells because if those who made the requests are reading the novel (I’m never sure who reads what) I don’t want them to think I’ve seen them in an undesirable light. Things have happened in life that now I worry will affect my novel. Should I change the characters, or just do the easy bit of killing them off? Or should I just unleash myself (the author) upon them and just roll out the nitty gritty double barrel creativity upon them? I feel a certain writing freedom now, but as always I don’t want to hear about it. I’m rather thin skinned and I’d rather write than cry.
Just google “post apocalyptic technology” and some amazing art shows up. After bouncing some ideas off my brother about my novel, he suggested that they go down and discover the remains of a lost civilization under the clouds. I found so much inspiring art, but you try to describe an elevator from the point of view of someone who has no concept of elevators. 🙂
I just want to point out the booze in that photo. I’m a writer, I drink, I often write best when I’m drunk. I’m often my most emotional and vulnerable when I’m drunk. I’m currently participating in NaNoWriMo 2014 and I’ve participated every year since 2011. I’d never heard of it until 2010 when my internet friend, Serena, was posting on Facebook about word counts. I’d been trying to write a novel since 2000. I actually wrote one, it is complete rubbish, but I keep it around to remind myself how far I’d come. The novel I wrote for 2011 NaNoWriMo is the one I published.
Okay, novel writing. I start with characters, usually inspired by other characters. Take Domic for instance. Many know Domic.
For those that don’t. 🙂 Domic is obviously based off Thorin Oakenshield, but instead of a Dwarf he’s a barbarian. I always begin with characters. My characters for my currently NaNoWriMo novel are based off my co-workers, straight down to the names and descriptions, but unfortunately not their personalities, I need them to fit the roles I’ve given them (and in one case, the role that was requested). I wanted to publish this novel, but I doubt that will be happening. I honestly do better with short stories rather than full blown novels. This novel is also based upon a dream I had, yes, I dream about my co-workers and Funnel Cake, don’t judge.
Most start with a plot or a setting, then add characters I can’t do that. I begin with characters and usually I’m already emotionally attached to them. Such as Domic, because I’m emotionally enthralled to Thorin Oakenshield (I won’t even begin to go on about how I’m gonna have to take a box of tissues to see the Hobbit 3.)
I make up the plot as I go along. Right now, I’m writing about sky pirates and I know where they’re gonna go, but I gotta add filler to make this 50,000 words. So I gotta come up with crap for them to do. Being an RPer, I usually throw an obstacle at them and then let the characters determine how they handle it. Perhaps that is why I write novels weird.