Sunday, November 4, 2012

Conquering National Novel Writing Month

Alright, my first blog post since starting NaNo on Thursday. Before I get in to the daily play-by-play I just want to remind everyone that I did post on Halloween as I promised – it was a late post, but it was done! If you missed it, go back and check it out and don’t forget to give ChibiSunnie some love! You can also use this time to sign up for alerts to make sure you know when I post outside my normal Sunday updates - or when I post late like today. All the info on how to get alerts is at the start of that Halloween post.

I do want to better explain how to follow my blog via blogger. If you have any form of google account – gmail, google+, chrome-user, youtube, etc – you can use that same account to join Blogger. Once you have a Blogger dashboard you can scroll down until you see “Reading List”. Below that is the option to add. Just drop in the blog’s address and tada! You just followed my blog via Blogger. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to give you alerts this way, but it might be an easier way to keep track if you have a lot of different blogs that you follow. For instance, my reading list includes Rick Riordan’s blog Myth & Mystery, Rachel Aaron’s blog Pretentious Title, and my own beloved DarkAngel1326’s blog Random Creativity Blog.

I also want to state that I’m such a heel! I commented about Chibi’s story last post, and made sure to include the link for all to see. However, I had completely forgotten to show off her DRAWING for the Halloween contest as well! She hadn’t posted it by the time I updated my blog last Sunday and it slipped my mind on Wednesday! So, without further ado, Chibi’s Halloween drawing entry:
She put so much detail and amazing thought in to this.
Check it out on DeviantArt and tell her what you think!
Now that I have all of that backlogged stuff out of my way I can talk about NaNo!

I tried again to build my female lead before starting NaNo. I knew nothing about her aside from a few characteristics that I was thieving from various anime heroines. I finally decided on the name Natalie Myers as of Halloween. I tried going through the Character Building Checklist – written by Larry Brooks and excerpted from his book “The Three Dimensions of Character” by Jennifer Blanchard. Most of the questions I had to skip over since I know NOTHING about my heroine. However, the few that I WERE able to answer gave me a tremendous discovery.

Natalie Myers is me!

Before I realized what I was doing I discovered that in order for my character to work the way I wanted her to I had to write her more-or-less as me. Now, I’m not terribly concerned about writing her as either a Mary Sue or an Avatar. Natalie won’t be a Mary Sue since she’ll have my flaws, and then some. However, she won’t be my direct Avatar either since she has to be BETTER than I am in order to survive in Albion. As much as I’d love to be athletic… I’m far from it. As much as I’d love to be a master archer, I haven’t picked up a bow since high school – except for one shooting range booth at the Renn Faire, but I did horribly with the long-bow. Also, when I go back and slowly shave off the FanFiction aspects of this story in order to make it a marketable original work someday I’m sure Natalie will become less “me” and more “her” as I begin to know her better.

But, for quick writing purposes during NaNo…. Natalie is me…. It’s easy to write a character when you ARE the character… So now I have to go back through that checklist and fill it out as me I guess….

Now that all that prep-work is done, let’s get to that play-by-play!

I had the day off. I needed to go in to work to do some presentation thing for corporate, but for the most part I had the day off. I was excited to get started on my very first attempt at NaNo. Since my latest blog posts have been 2500+ words long I figured 1667 words per day would be a piece of cake. Lock myself away for a few hours and I’d be golden.
Then I had a pretty major life stressor fall in to my lap. For possible legal reasons I don’t want to really discuss it online – although I DID mention something over on the Writer’s Huddle… Anyway, although my husband and I are pretty certain we have the law on our side, it’s still pretty stressful and I ended up doing a lot of researching and asking people questions to get the best legal advice. I just couldn’t clear my head enough to write anything. What a fantastic way to start off this month-long journey, huh? However, anyone who has followed me during my two tries at Script Frenzy knows that this is about par with the months I attempt to hide away to write….

Not a good day. I had to work and the entire time I just had to keep mentally chanting “Don’t throw up”. I was dizzy and faint – which is a great state of mind when working meat slicers. :P
I tried to work on my story, but I couldn’t get my eyes to focus on anything. They were hazy and blurred most of the day. It just wasn’t a good day. So I used my time instead to do a trick I learned via the Huddle.
So I have the entire craptastic opening mapped out. I just need to get to writing it.

Well, I’m feeling better, and the possible-legal issue wasn’t stressing me out too much today. Hubby had the guys over, but they were all playing Magic: The Gathering, so I used that time to hide away upstairs and just type. At least, I ATTEMPTED to type. I couldn’t resist first cleaning out my email, DeviantArt notifications, and Facebook notifications. By the time I was done with those, my father-in-law had stopped by to discuss our options – in regards to the possible-legal issue, once he left we went to get food, and then I read a few blogs while eating and waiting for the guys to finish up playing Magic. By the time I gave up waiting for them and went back upstairs to again ATTEMPT to write, Hubby called me back down so we could all play Mario Wii. That lasted until about 11:30pm… at that point we crashed until Hubby needed to go in to work. I then stayed up attempting to hit that same late-night Writing Frenzy that I used to do before I got a job and needed sleep. :P
Oh, and before I forget, one of the blog posts I read was from the author Rick Riordan – of Percy Jackson fame – and I think it’s a fantastic read for everyone.

Thank God for daylight savings time ending, especially with the guys over so late. Got a little over an hour power nap before taking Hubby in to work. When I came home I was moderately awake and so I knew if I didn’t tackle SOME of the story I would never hit my goal of “a new chapter every week” before updating. One of the reasons this post is so late today...
It was definitely a struggle to get started, but by 2am I was finally cranking through. My opening prior to the first Plot Point was longer than I intended and may actually be a touch boring. But I’m going for word counts, baby! This story is raw, unedited, and probably craptastic. I know I have a lot of similes and metaphors in there. Heck, nearly an entire paragraph is “blah blah like a yada yada… such and such resembled this thing… doodad was as if it were whatchamacallit…etc.” So…. Sorry to anyone brave enough to actually “follow along”.
The first chapter was probably the most derpirific somewhere around the middle. I got to the point where I was starting to feel sick again – stomach pains, light headed, eyes couldn’t focus, nausea – and I was all “After I’m done with this paragraph I’m going to bed; screw the chapter.”
Yet, my determination to at least finish a scene – so that those reading will have something moderately complete, even if it isn’t the whole first chapter – drove me to just fight through. It’s this same motivation that keeps me writing for seven hours straight; and the same “I’m not stopping until this scene/chapter/story is done” attitude that kind of scares me from starting in the first place. Even if I could train myself to stop even when I’m not done, what if the next time I start up again I don’t have in my head the “great line/scene” that was in my head while I was in the thick of things? This is why for the longest time I ONLY wrote when I had a day off and could just sit in my room with my computer all day.
Anyway, fear not, for at around 5:30am I felt better and became awake again. Well, for about an hour at least. By 7 my eyes gave out and so I succumbed to an hour long power nap. I powered through the last portion of the chapter and posted it on FanFiction. The chapter is 3767 words long, so that covers today and yesterday. I just need another 2700 words to be caught up….
I’m not going to post my story on DeviantArt – it’s going to be too long and too messy – but I am debating posting it on FictionPress. However, I think I want to hold off until a)it’s polished – it would be my FIRST piece of work posted there, and b)all the “fanfiction” elements are taken out so that it’s definitely an original work. Thoughts?

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