Friday, October 29, 2010

Nanowrimo is here!

Well, sort of. It starts Monday and I am raring to go! (We'll see how long that lasts).

Get excited for the first nano status update! Actually, don't. That's not really so exciting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Apologize

I can only focus on so much at one time...

This weekend is the designated College App Writing weekend. I will be working nonstop around rehearsals to get everything I possibly can done including a photography portfolio and arts supplement DVD, so there will likely not be new posts for a little while. Sorry.

In other news, it's almost November!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Writing Software

So. I've decided I want some writing software for various reasons, including:

-it will minimize distraction
-it will keep all my million billion separate documents organzied for me (you gotta love technololgy)
-it makes me feel more writerly (just kidding)

no but really, i want something.

So the question is what to you guys use? Do you use writing software or a word processor like MS Word or Pages? If you do use writing software, what do you use and why?

I'm planning on dowloading the Scrivener Windows trial when it becomes available, and of course I'll get a discount on that if I decide to buy it, but I'm trying to explore all my options here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Problems of Teleportation

My outline is now officially worked out... I haven't written down every word of it, but I know what happens in the whole book.

A couple of small details got lost along the way, but nothing too horrendous...and then I realized that a character that was supposed to be in a different city from the others magically appeared back where she came from. Since teleportation is not a feasible explanation, I will have to come up with a fix.

Oh, and a character who is supposed to be pregnant at the end never actually, um, got a chance for that to happen, let's say. Immaculate conception is not an option either; maybe this outline has more problems then I thought.

Ok, lets say outline, draft 1 is officially completed. I'll keep working on version 2.0

Also, I'm a bit upset because in talking to my brother, who went to ComicCon, today, I discovered that several major publishers had booths and I missed quite a few interesting panels. Drat.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Favorite Prompts (because I promised)

Favorite prompts from this year, feel free to steal any that strike your fancy:

Wednesdays were worse than Mondays for two reasons.

"Everyone has the right to act stupidly sometimes; you're abusing this privilege."

Ignoring the bloodstains on his shirt, she asked "How was your day?
Apparently pepper spray works on anyone, including vampires.

I was fairly certain I was actually going to die this time around, and it was more than likely going to be my own damned fault.  

That last one is actually the beginning of a chain novel on the NaNo forums that I might just have to steal...we'll have to see; my projects list is starting to get a little out of control (by the way, would you guys want to hear about the crazy ideas flying around my head? or am I just kidding myself that anyone actually reads this?)

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Storming

There's thunder and lightning and a cable outage. I want to be curled up in bed with my laptop, writing. But alas, I have school tomorrow.

In other news, the NaNo forums have become my new favorite procrastination station. (Welcome to all NaNo users, and thanks for stopping by!) They're fantastic sources of knowledge (and writing prompts). I'll share a few of my favorites in my next post.

And I've started messing around with a cover idea. I NEED NOVEMBER TO COME ALREADY!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Too Predictable?

I went on a little bit of a TV binge Friday. I didn't have school so basically I woke up at ten, watched TV for five hours, and went to ballet. Mostly I caught myself up on Fringe, which is a fabulous show although if you're not a sci fi person it's probably not going to be your favorite.

Anyway, I was watching Fringe. Mind you, this show requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. It gets its name from "fringe science", get the idea (in case you don't, click on the link). The point is that even with a show that's totally weird, I could predict half the plot points. Oh, nothing major, nothing that would ruin the show. Little things. For instance, in one episode there's this box which emits ultrasonic waves and fries your brain. In the opening scene we see it frying all these people's brains but this one guy, totally unaffected, closes it up and walks away with it. The FBI agents are all confused as to how someone could have done that. I immediately think "he's deaf". They puzzle some more. Eventually they find the guy and it turns out he is deaf, but something so obvious to me totally baffled these characters.

The point is, and I do have a point, is that this got me thinking. Where is the line between familiarity and predictability? We like reading about similar plot lines: quests, guy meets girl or vice versa, murder investigation, some combination of the above, some combination of the above involving vampires...etc. But eventually, you know exactly what's going to happen and there's suddenly no point in reading the book.

On the other hand, if something is all twists then, first of all, the reader gets lost (and gets a headache), and second of all the twist starts to lose their impact. In order to surprise someone you have to lull them into a false sense of security first. When the rules are out the window from the beginning, the reader stops caring.

As a writer, you have to balance familiar plot and character tropes with enough twists to keep the story fresh and exciting. It's hard, but it's worth it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Upside to Regular Writing

First though: my outline is getting LOOONGGGG. As in, approaching 4 pages and it will probably end up closer to 5. There are scenes that I'm coming up with that I am practically SALIVATING to write. I can't wait for NaNo!!!

Ok, so upsides to regular fiction writing:
-your writing improves
-your brain recharges on something totally unrelated to your real life
-it becomes easier to write other things.

Like, school things. Like, lab reports and essays (well, I haven't tried an analytical one yet this year but we'll see). Now, don't get me wrong. Working every day on writing the Great American Novel is not going to suddenly make you understand molar ratios. But if you already understand molar ratios, it will make it easier to quickly write a coherent discussion.

Today I wrote my discussion and finished up my lab report in 40 minutes. It was excellent.

So let me introduce you to my good friend Bochok.
BOCHOK: Butt On Chair, Hands On Keyboard. Let's see some writing!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


My brain feels completely fried. I have been up and working for ten hours now, and the second-to-last thing I want to do is write. But writing beats homework, the last thing I want to do, and so I may actually end up writing something tonight. It probably won't be in coherent English though.

Ah well, you can't have everything.

I came up with the most brilliant scene the other day. I already talked about it with Blue, and she was enthusiastic about it too (I hope it was real enthusiasm! :) It's the kind of scene that pops into your head and you think YES. It has everything a scene needs: purpose, direction, action, excitement, clever dialogue (if I can do it right) and it's just plain cool. I am SO excited to write it. Too bad it's like halfway through the book!

And now for your feature presentation: expectations. I've been thinking about this, because in Spanish class we were talking about writing the other day and it came up that two (out of a huge class of - count them - three) of us write. My teacher, of course, then started asking me a bunch of questions about what I wrote, how I wrote it, etc. And I felt a little uncomfortable. So I tried to figure out why - and what I think is that it has to do with expectations. You tell people that you are writing a novel, and they have expectations. There is this weird sense that normal people do not write novels; that to write a novel you have to be a Writer (capital letter intended); and that soon there is going to be a finished product for them to see. They want to measure you by that.

What they don't realize is the beauty of writing and the fun part for me is the journey, the creation, the in-between parts. So even if I write a thousand words and then delete all one thousand of them, even though I have nothing material to show for my efforts, those efforts were valuable and useful to me.

Every so often you get someone who is understanding (and forgiving of first drafts). Those people are lucky finds, because they won't judge you or assume things about your work. Those are the people you want to have on your side, and I think I'm fortunate enough to know several people like that.

You guys are amazing.