Wednesday, October 31, 2012

You can do this.

Repeat it to yourself if you worry.  If you are staring at the blank screen, waiting to figure out what words come next.  If you can't think of that perfect word you need just now.

If you worry, know you are not alone.  Everyone worries.  That it won't be good enough.  That you won't finish.  That you'll get sick or distracted or stranded on a desert island with nothing more to write with than a stick and the sand.

It will never be good enough if you don't start it.  Or if you just let it go half way through.  You will never be able to make it good enough if you don't finish your first draft and move on to editing.  Here's a little trade secret:  No matter how good you feel your first draft is?  It's crap.  It honestly doesn't matter who you are.  Your first draft is crap.  You make the book in the editing.

You will never know if you can finish in the 1 month time frame if you don't try.  And hey, if you don't finish the first draft in that frame...  you can finish it after!  :)  Also...  if you don't manage to meet the official word count (50,000 words seems really big at first!!), just think of it this way.  You did a lot, in a short amount of time.  And that's something.  :)

If you plan a little in advance to get a few hundred words ahead every day, and you get sick?  You're covered.  If you get distracted, unplug.  Do a word sprint.  Turn on music and don't let yourself stop writing until an entire album is done.  You are in control of this.  You control yourself.  You control your word count.  You don't have to let the words rule YOU.

Now, that desert island thing?  Sucks to be you.  Hope you have flares.  ;)

NaNoWriMo begins at Midnight!!!

Are you ready?  What is your plan for this year?  Are you going to plot or pants it this go round?  Plotting being planning out your story ahead of time, and pantsing being flying by the seat of your pants and just going with it as it comes.

Really both options are valid.  I've won both in NaNo ways.  In some ways, for me, plotting is a better idea. The year I pantsed it (that's totally not a real word and no I don't care!), I wrote the beginning to book 1 of a trilogy.  I need to finish book 1 after NaNo this "year".  Meaning, between NaNos, I want to actively work on that book and finish it, and get the second (and third!) planned out.

But the idea, while the beginning came to me, was slow to mature.  It was difficult to know where it was going.  I had my characters and their reasons for behaving the way they did, but I had no earthly clue where the story was going.  I ended up repeating myself a LOT and upon editing I will have to tear out a lot of stuff.

I thought I was being so clever...  Turns out, being clever is not what you want!  I was trying to tell the story from different points of view.  And then when I read some of the books in the Game of Thrones series (I'm still behind!), I realized the way he did it might work, but the way I was doing it did not.  I was repeating myself, not moving the story forward from one set of eyes, then bouncing back.

I was doing it that way so I could keep the word count up while continuing to have NO idea where it was all going.  When I finally got my hook, it was about half way through the book, and it really picked up from there.  If I had put some thought into it ahead of time, I would have known what the hook was, and been able to write toward it.  It would have made it easier on me, come editing time.

Anyway!  So, pantsing can work, and I know many people who it works very well for!  If you have a general idea, maybe start there, but see if you can think a few steps ahead.  Have an idea for where you are taking it all.  It will probably help you along the way.

And if you are plotting, get it written down NOW!  Today is the day.  After all, I don't count my notes in my word count.  It's not the story.  It's the notes.  So I can do that today.  Unfortunately, this happens to be my very favorite holiday, AND I work all day.  Well, Professor McGonagall works all day for me...

And she will be busy handing out candy all evening.  Alas.  I will have to wait for the trick or treaters to move along before I can really type it all out.  But I have notes in my phone to get me started, and a very basic plot in mind.

Heck, I've told my basic idea to several people, and most of them demand to read it RIGHT NOW.  So, I'm guessing, as long as I don't flub it up too badly, this one will go far.  :)  Just have to get it moving!

If you want to see, or friend me, or whatever, this is me over on NaNo.  And be warned, the website is going to be BOGGED DOWN today.  Keep trying and you'll get through.  :)

Happy Writing!!  Will post tips and such, just like last year.  But if you're impatient, you can search for NaNo in my handy dandy search bar up over there <<< and find last year's notes!  :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I have been away!  But I think of you often!  Just never seem to have the time to sit down and write out all these ideas in my head!

Quickie update!

The novel:  in editing.  I take it with me and highlight the crap out of it when I'm not at home.  There are many markings.  Much to be done.  Making  myself finish the highlight stage before I allow the rewrite.

Work:  Passed my certification exam and can now answer the phone, "X Pharmacy, this is Becca, pharmacy technician, how can I help you?"  This means I got a little raise and my hours are evening out at last.  I should have a lot more "free" time to use for this computer screen machine thing here.  And you.  (heart!)

Kids:  School is off to a BANG!  I have a 2nd and 4th grader this year.  The youngest turns 8 tomorrow.  Oldest will be 10 in 6 weeks.  Gulp.  They're getting older, and that means I am too.  Alas.

Pandas:  WoW is too much fun and sucking away my time.  Trying to not allow it, but it pulls me back in.

And finally, a fun list to fill out.  I stole this from another blog.  You can steal it too.  DO IT!  So here goes:

Current Books: Hunger Games, reading with both kids.  Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, the boy is reading to me for his school reading time.  Also starting book 4 in the Game of Thrones series, and dabbling with Sookie Stackhouse and Dexter.  That's all for now.  I think.  Maybe.
Current Playlist:  Soundtracks are the best, of course.  And Call me Maybe, which makes me think of this lovely (and offensive if you are uptight) video, which I share with you now.  This man is made of happy.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Coffee.  I have too much coffee.  Also, chocolate.
Current Colors:  Loving the autumnal colors.  This time of year is awesome!
Current Food:  Pumpkin waffles, soup and fresh bread, some warm sweet bread just finished baking...  I love this time of year for food!
Current Drink: Coffee, made in my ever so lovey Cuisinart Grind & Brew, mixed with some fall-ish creamer.  Caramel Macchiato, Pumpkin Spice, Peppermint Mocha, Hazelnut, York Peppermint Patty, or Irish Cream.  Tempted to add some Peppermint Mocha Kaluah or Bailey's in there every now and then, but I usually abstain.  Evening coffee at home before bed, sure, but nothing else.  *puts on halo and adjusts it*
Current Favorite Favorite:  Hot drinks and cold toes with good music and a good book (or game).  Wrap up all snuggly in a blanket and relax.  Teach my daughter to kick my ass at Mancala.
Current Wishlist:  The Harry Potter Wizard Collection Bluray Box Set.  Gosh, why can't I have it?  It's only $350.  Oh god.  No it's not.  That was the original price.  It's up to $599.  Shit.
Current Needs:  I need to get off the computer and go to bed.  And cry myself to sleep because I ruined my chance at the box set I've wanted for 5 years.  
Current Triumph:  I recently passed my Certification test.  So, I am now a Certified Pharmacy Technician.  And have to continue my learning so I can keep it.  Go go continuing education!
Current Bane-of-my-Existence:  Mount Laundry, the unattainable peak one must at least attempt to climb.
Current Indulgence:  Playing a little World of Warcraft.  I can't help myself.  Pandas are too cute!!  
Current Mood:  Bummed.  Stupid box set.  I hate you.
Current #1 Blessing:  Being able to spend more time with my kids and feel like I'm really getting the "mom" thing covered.  Felt like I was working too much for a while there.  And I was.  This is a better balance.
Current Outfit:  Half assed changed into jammies bit.  Hot pink jammie pants, my orange top from today, slippers, and my grey hoodie because it's getting cold out there.
Current Link:  Well, maybe if I cant have the box set, I can get myself the regular BluRay set and get myself something shiny from these lovely people...
Current Quote:  "Damn, it, Bobby!"

Current Photo:  We've been spending our evenings together.  My son reads at least one chapter of Harry Potter to us (to satisfy his reading requirement for school), and my daughter and I play games.  This is from last night.  We're about half way through Sorcerer's Stone.

And with that, I bid you all good night.  And may the snitch be ever in your favor.  Wait, no, that's not right...   ;)