Thursday, October 31, 2013

Are you ready?

Nanowrimo starts tomorrow. Are your pencils all sharpened, your notebooks at the ready, your laptop battery charged, your wordcount spreadsheets updated? Do you have snacks and coffee and chocolate to hand? Most importantly of all, do you have an outline?

Actually, skip that last one. You don't need to know where your story is going when you start writing; some of us only find out what the story is by writing it.

If you get stuck, Brian Klems has some suggestions for what to write next:
If you find yourself at a loss for what to write next, come up with a way to make things worse, let the characters respond naturally to what’s happening, write a scene that fulfills a promise you made earlier in the book, or work on a scene you know readers will expect based on your genre and the story you’ve told so far. 
 (from 6 Secrets of Writing a Novel Without an Outline)

Brian Klems suggests an organic way of working that I feel comfortable with but the article also gives you a lot of things to think of all at once when trying to write and I'm not sure I can do that. While I'm thinking up stories what seems to work best for me is trying to come up with the story I most want to read. Mind you, sometimes the characters just won't co-operate (I'm going to be editing a novel this month where the main character refused to fall for the attractive woman I'd set up for her and insisted on falling for a character who was supposed to be a minor annoyance).

For anyone doing Nano this year: I'm here to cheer you on. The purple bar is calling your name, just make sure you've got enough chocolate in to fuel your writing. Oh, is it only me that runs on chocolate then?

Monday, October 28, 2013

King Rufus

We found the dog bed in a charity shop and it looked the right size for our cats so we brought it home. I rather liked the gold edging; I thought it gave the bed that throne ambiance that every cat should have.

Both cats sniffed at it then left it alone.

I wasn't going to be defeated so I had a cunning plan. I put the bed on the settee and sat on it like a cushion. Then after a while I went and cooked dinner. When I came back, Rufus had as usual taken my seat and was ensconced in the bed. I picked it up by the edges and put it on the floor and hey presto! Suddenly he can't be separated from it.

Just sometimes I think I'm cleverer than that cat.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Clocks go back

Day 252: Dreaming

If you're in the UK, don't forget the clocks go back tonight. And if you want something to cheer you up while thinking about the long, dark evenings ahead, you might want to revisit this old post.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nearly November

Just eight days to go till the start of Nanowrimo.

I've written seven 50k stories and one of 24k during previous Nanowrimos and they all languish unedited. I think it's time to change that so this year I'm not going to be nanoing, I'm going to be editing.

It's going to be hard because, hey, 50,000 words! That's a lot of words to edit! And also I love seeing my word count going up during Nano and I won't be doing that this year. I won't get a purple bar either. So maybe I won't stay motivated but I think it's worth a try.

Nano is a huge effort and a huge achievement - well it has been for me, anyway. It feels strange to be not quite part of it this year.

I shall still go to the booze- meet-ups though.
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