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Old 07-08-2010, 01:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Nanowrimo and you!

Nanowrimo, the nonstop writing challenge for the month of November. There is a ton of information out there, so I'm going to quote off the official website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.nanowrimo.org
What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.
I've always wanted to do this and this November will be my month to complete this huge goal I have of writing a novel. This is not about writing an epic novel comparable to some of the writings of past classic novelists but just about writing a novel.

I know many members of the TFP community aspire to become a writer/novelist but are held bask by the daunting aspect of actually writing a whole book. This is your chance to throw yoru writing hat in the ring and do it.

The Nanowrimo website has a ton of resources for writing your first novel and helps keep track of your progress. I wanted to throw this thread up so that people from TFP can get together and lend moral support for each other during this contest. I know I am in for this and a few other members on TFP want to try.

Who else is with me?
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In my own personal experience---this is just anecdotal, mind you---I have found that there is always room to be found between boobs.
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm in!

I've already signed up. You can sign up anytime and so you'll be ready to receive communications when the time comes! It looks like the site will provide you with a lot of support.

I'm still figuring out my strategy and what I'll write. But I've been telling people that I want to go in with a plan: an outline and a stable of characters. I'm thinking about dividing it up by chapter and having a structure to fill in.

I'll likely write a fantasy novel. Given the length, it won't be an epic. It might be something along the lines of Gormenghast perhaps: claustrophobic, dark, gritty. I'm not sure yet. I'm going to toss out some ideas in this thread maybe.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I signed up. I'm telling you--ninja romance is where it's at.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've got two good ideas and one trashy pirate romanice novel floating around in my head. I'm still deciding on which one I want to write. I've always wanted to write a trashy romance novel, don't ask me why cause I have no idea.
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
In my own personal experience---this is just anecdotal, mind you---I have found that there is always room to be found between boobs.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You know, really, I'm torn. I don't think I'd be comfortable with pulling off a fantasy. I'm not deep enough into it as a genre, and so I don't think I could write enough to sustain myself.

I'm kind of flip-flopping between fantasy and either a literary quasi-realistic novel or a literary/sci-fi hybrid...an urban near-future/dystopian novel with sci-fi elements.

I'll be flinging several ideas around in this thread, so bear with me. And, please, I'd like to hear your feedback.

Over the next few months before the big month, I'll be reading widely in fiction, and also about fiction/writing. I've kicked my video game habit and now I'm saturating myself in books. This is good for my lead-up to this.

I should also start doing some writing exercises and sketches and such. I think I'm going to approach this systematically. I really want it to work.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot

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Old 07-11-2010, 09:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was talking about this with some friends of mine today, and my intention to write a ninja romance novel. They were all quite excited about it, and one of my friends had some really great suggestions for building sexual tension that I fully intend to use! It was nice to hear from some real life, non-ninja-obsessed people that hey, a ninja romance novel is a good idea, and that yeah, normal people would want to read such a thing. Yay!
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
I should also start doing some writing exercises and sketches and such. I think I'm going to approach this systematically. I really want it to work.
You know, posting some writing exercises here would be a great way to "work" our writing muscles, let me know what kind of exercises you are going to do BG.

Also, I think you are thinking to hard about this, the point here is to write crap. I think you are letting your editor brain get in the way of just writing.
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
In my own personal experience---this is just anecdotal, mind you---I have found that there is always room to be found between boobs.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordEden View Post
You know, posting some writing exercises here would be a great way to "work" our writing muscles, let me know what kind of exercises you are going to do BG.
I can do that. I have a decent book that has exercises categorized by specific aspects of fiction, including plot, characterization, and setting. I can summarize/simplify/synthesize the exercises for our purposes here.

Quote:
Also, I think you are thinking to hard about this, the point here is to write crap. I think you are letting your editor brain get in the way of just writing.
It's a bit of both, and a bit of some other stuff. I know what I'll write will be crap, but that doesn't stop the fear of judgement from doing its thing. I'm going to write a novel regardless, and that's the point. I don't see a problem with overthinking it. It's what I do.

My main concern is being able to sustain an idea worth 50,000 words flowing at a rate of 6+ pages per day.

For the record, I'm leaning back towards fantasy again. I don't know why I think I should write about the real world and real things. I've spent my life avoiding the real world and burying or otherwise twisting the bits I've been unable to avoid. Why stop that practice with fiction? It seems unnatural. The real world can kiss my ass.

Over the course of these weeks leading up to the big month, I'll try to post various generic exercises for people to try. I keep them clearly categorized so people know what they're trying to accomplish.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue reading George R. R. Martin....and maybe some more Eddings....
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm in. I have no idea what I'll be writing about, though...hmm.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Writing Exercise #1 (Sources of Fiction)

Read Bible stories and then redo one.

What if Cain and Abel were actually ninjas?
What if Joseph and Potiphar's wife lived in 12th century England?

Take a story and make a variation. This will get you accustomed to the idea of taking an existing story and retelling it in a new way. It's based on the idea that there are no new stories, but simply new ways of telling them.

The sooner you come to terms with this concept, the sooner you'll get over the fact that you don't need to be completely original to be a good storyteller. Change it and make it your own.

[Note: These exercises are based on/taken from the book Fiction Writer's Workshop by Josip Novakovich.]
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot

Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 07-12-2010 at 09:06 AM..
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Okay, so I just had a plot breakthrough. I was tumbling around some ideas in my head while having in the background the structure of Joseph Campbell's monomyth (the hero's journey) that I've been reading about.

I have also been keeping my eye out for these elements in what I'm reading and watching. I've seen the structure crop up in various forms (deviations are key) and pop out at me while watching the first two Harry Potter movies and the second Chronicles of Narnia movie.

So what I was doing is letting these ideas I've had gestate and I found a way to connect this one recently planted seed with one that I've been developing for years, and the two clicked into a larger sustainable plot, whereas before the two separate ideas seemed to fall flat on their own. The older idea had problems of origins: Where did the character come from? Where does the story start? The recent idea had problems of development: Where is the character going? Where does the story lead? On their own, they didn't work. The character didn't have enough motivation to do anything. Nothing hooked him. And so neither idea allowed me to create a cohesive story.

Well, put the two together and I have myself a solid plot that will get a bigger story going quite easily. I think I have enough basic plot structure here to get at least one reasonably sized novel out of it, but it is a story that will need to expand beyond one book for the wider plot to resolve.

So...it's a heroic/epic fantasy story. I'll need to figure out how to tell the basic origins story I want to tell while setting up a wider scope for an overarching story. I hope to move from suspense and intrigue to all-out civil war between a crumbling kingdom and a treasonous duke.

That's all you get from me. I don't want to scare the ideas away.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot

Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 07-19-2010 at 09:35 AM..
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Baraka, I presume you are familiar with Lord Raglan's list from his study of heroes. I know I spent way too much time in university with this.

For everyone else, the list is in the Wikipedia article about Lord Raglan. FitzRoy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Actually, no, I'm not familiar with that. I didn't study myth except from a postmodern (structuralist/post-structuralist) perspective via Claude Lévi-Strauss. I spent most of my university years dismantling the idea of metanarrative, which is what is commonly found in myth.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot

Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 07-19-2010 at 12:59 PM..
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well, I've always found Lord Raglan a fun framework to have. One of my profs was a big fan of it. I think I have about six copies of the list in my files because Dr. Ahearn would give us a new one every time he mentioned Lord Raglan in a class. Dr. Ahearn's favorite example of its modern applicability was Luke Skywalker
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yeah, Star Wars is used as prime example of Campbell's monomyth—Lucas used the structure knowingly, as he's a big fan of Campbell's work. But it's this kind of thing that drove postmodernists mad, and to tell you the truth it is a bit counterintuitive to me because of my education. But I caught the tail end of the postmodernist movement, so I'm sensitive to the changing nature of literary theory, which is, in a way, moving towards a new kind of authenticity instead of being obsessed with ranting against and destroying artifice by playing around with it.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hmm, this may be the format to explore the nubile-young-women-at-an-all-girl-college-caught-in-the-clutches-of-the-faculty's-neo-Nazi-satanic-cult genre. Oh, sure, it's a story as old as time itself, but can you really ever get enough stories of lesbian love between naked young women caged in the catacombs under the library, born out of the oppression of their latex-wearing, blood-drinking, sacrifice-making, physical-education-teaching jailers? I think not.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuglyStick View Post
Hmm, this may be the format to explore the nubile-young-women-at-an-all-girl-college-caught-in-the-clutches-of-the-faculty's-neo-Nazi-satanic-cult genre. Oh, sure, it's a story as old as time itself, but can you really ever get enough stories of lesbian love between naked young women caged in the catacombs under the library, born out of the oppression of their latex-wearing, blood-drinking, sacrifice-making, physical-education-teaching jailers? I think not.
Can't wait, Fugly!
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Writing Exercise #2 (Sources of Fiction)

Take one intense emotion you've experienced—envy, fear, greed—and give it to a fictional character. Make sure the character isn't you; just the emotion.

Create a scene based on this and involve another person as the antagonist.

Write two pages.

The character should come out acting quite different from you (mannerisms/traits), but the emotional conflict will be similar to yours.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm giving serious consideration to naming my protagonist "Harley Muff". It just might be pornstarry enough to suit my purposes.

---------- Post added at 01:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:02 PM ----------

Working title--Harley Muff vs. the Grammar Nazis
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I would buy that in a heart beat. You should make an audio book to go along with it. Use your sexy voice.
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In my own personal experience---this is just anecdotal, mind you---I have found that there is always room to be found between boobs.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:47 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuglyStick View Post
Working title--Harley Muff vs. the Grammar Nazis
Harley Muff is the kind of girl who would split her infinitives at the turn of a page. How far will the Grammar Nazis go to stop her?
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:47 AM   #22 (permalink)
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So, to limber myself up a bit, I've given myself the assignment of writing a short story next week to work on tone and characterization. I'm leaning towards a hostage story set in a small country church involving a werewolf biker gang.

Now that I've made a post about it, I have to stick to it.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:26 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I really need to target down what I want to write about. I'm still deciding between the easy route (the trashy pirate/wench novel) and the harder route which is my Traffic set in a fantasy world. I have doubts about being able to finish the later novel. What to do, what to do.
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
In my own personal experience---this is just anecdotal, mind you---I have found that there is always room to be found between boobs.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:10 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordEden View Post
I really need to target down what I want to write about. I'm still deciding between the easy route (the trashy pirate/wench novel) and the harder route which is my Traffic set in a fantasy world. I have doubts about being able to finish the later novel. What to do, what to do.
This is why I need to get myself in the mode of writing now. My normal method is prolonged procrastination. A lot of the stuff I wrote in college was stuff hammered out in 8 hours the day before it was due. Fifty thousand words is not a lot, but it's more than I can do during one caffeine fueled death march. I need to go around the block a few times before I head to the track.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:47 PM   #25 (permalink)
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"T minus two hours, sixteen minutes, and twenty-three seconds until launch...."

Good luck to my fellow NaNoWriMo participants!

I'm going in almost blindly, but I'm writing something personal and literary.

It will be an experiment, like pulling a 50,000-word novel out of my ass.

See you on the other side.

I'll check in here with word counts and experiences every so often.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:40 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Good luck BG, I'm bowing out of this. I just don't think I'll do it this year. Maybe next year.
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In my own personal experience---this is just anecdotal, mind you---I have found that there is always room to be found between boobs.
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:14 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I always forget about this until Nov 20th or something silly.
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She probably tastes like cheap beer and smells like a jockstrap.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:43 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
"T minus two hours, sixteen minutes, and twenty-three seconds until launch...."

Good luck to my fellow NaNoWriMo participants!

I'm going in almost blindly, but I'm writing something personal and literary.

It will be an experiment, like pulling a 50,000-word novel out of my ass.

See you on the other side.

I'll check in here with word counts and experiences every so often.
My goal is to write an hour a day in the evenings. Given that I'm not in school anymore, I'm going to view it like doing my homework.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:05 AM   #29 (permalink)
 
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o nice. i forgot all about this. and hey! it's 1 november.

i may try to do this---depends on schedule really as i'm pretty busy at the moment. but i've been working alot with really short forms and think it'd be good to try airing things out, spinning out more text and see what happens. try to keep the compulsive editing to a minimum.

all i'm lacking is plot, characters, setting and time.

no problem.

i'll either put stuff up about the progress, if there is any, or will cheerlead the intrepid souls who sally forth into the 30,000 word mire.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:20 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Okay, so I set sail and spent 30 minutes writing. I broke 1,000 words. So I suppose I'll need to do that 50 more times. That doesn't seem so bad looking at the numbers. I just don't know if I can remain that consistent and optimistic.

You know, because I just started. I think I might spend time doing more mapping of plot and character as I go.

I switched to doing a sword & sorcery fantasy because I chickened out of the literary thing.

The story is inspired by my cats.

Don't ask.

However, I'll give you the working title: Kira, Bloodhuntress.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:38 AM   #31 (permalink)
 
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ok so breaking out of the micro-formats i've been working with is a little more complicated than i expected.

initial word count: 562.

i'm not at all sure what this is about yet. i think i'm just going to roll with generating material and once there's more to play with, i'll rearrange it and see where things are.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:28 AM   #32 (permalink)
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My husband has been a great help in mapping out the plot for this sucker. I think I have a final conflict and resolution now, thanks to him. Now I've just got to write more so I can get there.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:09 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I joined a lunch group here at the office.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:50 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Remember: 'The Cat in the Hat' could be 50,000 words if you use enough adjectives to describe the hat.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:54 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Ugh, work emergency interfered with my writing time last night so I'll have to squeeze in an extra hour somewhere.

Maybe the resulting novel from this will be so awesome that I'll never have to work again (haha,yeah right).
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:20 AM   #36 (permalink)
 
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well, i got all the way up to 357 more words today than i had yesterday.
i kinda like this 357 though. surreal-like.


it's already obvious to me that there's no way i'm going to get to 50,000 words. no way.
but i like the idea of making a continuous project anyway over the month, even if it's too short to get me a prize.
and who knows...maybe either i won't have that much editing to do at the end or i'll figure out this whole plot, character, setting, time-frame thing and it'll speed up.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:21 AM   #37 (permalink)
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I was thinking of signing up and attempting to write a story, but I had a difficult time writing a 20 page exit exam report on wireless sensor networks, so there is no way I can write a well written story in 175 pages.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:52 AM   #38 (permalink)
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roachboy, I'm finding this to be an exercise mostly of psychology. I've quit this thing 4 times already. However, I will attempt to write again this evening.

I have two novels on the go. One will have to be culled, or perhaps integrated somehow into the other.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:38 AM   #39 (permalink)
 
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apparently there's a little controversy out there about nano...

PANK Blog / Breeding and Writing: Be awesome or die

pshaw, i say.

i'm still moving forward but have entirely abandoned the 50,000 word goal.
i'm looking to make a piece over 30 or so consecutive days.
it turns out that i can't really just spit text out without editing it and worrying it because where it starts and where it lands are often really different...so there's no piece without the editing.
this i have learned.

how are you folks holding up?
learning stuff?
what?
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:14 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I broke 5,000 words, but I'm not sure I'll get any writing done tonight. I'll try to write heavily on weekends.

I'm learning much about the psychology behind writing and creating.
I'm also learning about work habits and the concept of "just write."

I'm not trying to produce something good; I'm just trying to produce a novel.

I imagine my hindsight on the month will greatly inform whether I choose to write a "serious" novel, or anything.

I'm toying with the idea of making December a "Write 10 Short Stories in 30 Days" and January a "Write 30 Poems in 30 Days."

I'd also be open to participating in Script Frenzy in April, whereby one must write a 100-page play (for the screen or the stage). You can have a partner for this one. I'd be open to working on something with you, roachboy, if you'd be into it.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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