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If it’s Camp NaNoWriMo, does my writing have to be campy?

Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). The blue flo...

Image via Wikipedia

…’Cause I could probably roll with that, if need be. Most of my readers will be familiar with NaNoWriMo, the one time of year when I actually have an excuse to not be blogging, but the good folks at NaNo recently announced the beginnings of Camp NaNoWriMo, a summer project. It’s certainly interesting, the idea of a second official ‘WriMo. I’m definitely gonna give it the old college try, though. Won’t have much else to do this summer while I wait to give university the old college try. More novel ideas have been brewing in my head of late, and for whatever reason a manufactured excuse is the perfect excuse to commit them to writing! So how about you guys? I think it’ll be nice to give the insanity a try when it isn’t quite so freezing outside.

Shard

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When we Last Left our Hero…

Dead Snow Angel

Image by CarbonNYC via Flickr

Coldness. Everywhere. Even with no sense of direction, he could feel the chill north, south, east, west, and everywhere inbetween. He was lying prone, surrounded by…something. Something cold, at any rate. He tried to lift his arms, and found that the substance encasing him yielded with minimal resistance. He lifted his head tentatively, only to find bright light beyond the cold material. Opening his eyes, he found the world quite similar to the one he’d left for dreams of darkness. Truly, only a thin layer of snow distinguished this land from the one in his memory. He had survived November, and now played host to December.

In other words, I’m back! I can’t say I succeeded in writing a novel in the past month, but I agree with Ishana enough to say that I didn’t fail, either. I know my story a lot better now, even after only 16 000 words. I also see glaring holes in it, but not nearly as glaring as my project from last year. I also learned that I’m more of a plotter than a pantser, since my writing derailed in the midst of a section of story not outlined in my notes. So that just means I go back to planning, and write my story piece by piece. My first NaNo attempt has done nothing more since I wrote it than collect dust and comfort the homeless with its smoldering corpse. The basis was sound, but a critical flaw in the worldbuilding inclines me toward not continuing it directly. If I ever go back to it, it will be from the ground up, refining it into a workable product. Which I’d like to do eventually, since I like the characters so much.

This year’s attempt, on the other hand, I could conceivably continue, once I do some more planning. I might have to strike the last part from the record, but it’s largely salvageable. The last part is questionable at best, though, since I introduced a character I was saving for later, a plot twist I was saving for later, and nearly introduced another character I was saving for later, before abruptly stopping. But I’ll go back to it, in time. I might even leave in the last section, sans the second new character. I have to keep some things a surprise, after all. There’s little to gain from playing all my cards so early in the story.

I was also pleasantly surprised by how well my characters made their own decisions. In particular the one I introduced in the last part, Aryxander, seems to be the most autonomous. I never expected to find him working for the lowlife Terrick who had appeared early in the story and never again since, and I certainly didn’t expect him to do something majorly game-changing much later on in the story. But even I’m in the dark as to the extent of that one, so I really can’t go telling you guys.

In other news, I’m now a contributor at Class of Last Year! I’m forced by the author’s whim to write under the name Spencer[at]classoflastyear.com, but it is indeed me. Thus far, that has largely consisted of Rickrolls and Words of the Day. Actually, I might steal Will’s and/or my own Word(s) of the Day, and post them over here. We’ll see.

Shard

The Last Bastions Fall, and I begin my Descent into Madness

As I write this, the last hour of October is already half gone. I can feel the ominous chill foretelling the midnight dawn of November. Soon, the insanity will wake before I even lay to rest. For the next month I will reside in a dark place, a place governed solely by words. Scribbled on the walls, the floors, the tables, everywhere.

For those who haven’t gathered yet, I’m talking about NaNoWriMo! Yes, it is thither that I will reside for the next month. If by some strange happenstance I appear here, rest assured that it will be in the form of some irrecognizable monstrosity. But as my last vestiges of sanity abandon me, I’ll wish good luck to my comrades-at-arms, some of whom are already lost in the Novembrance, Ishana, Thaumaturgist, and Ralph/Emitar. Good luck, friends, and safe passage! But now the sands tick away, and the darkness calls to me. Down, downward I fly. Down, downward I fall.

Shard

CreateSpace Dangles the Carrot Yet Again, and by Carrot I mean Novel

That’s right, CreateSpace is offering once again to give succesful NaNovelists a proof copy of their novel for free. Gratis! This is so exciting. I’m excited. The incentive was so strong last year, I was almost tempted to fill in 30 000 words of lorem ipsum after my novel failed after 20 000 words. But I didn’t, and I’m glad. A hollow victory is no fun, and I’d hate to spoil my first novel with those sorts of soured memories.

But that’s last year. This year, this year will be different, I say! I’m gonna finish my novel, and get that proof copy. For sure, this time*.

Shard

*surety subject to change without notice. But I hope not.

September Draws to a Close, and the WriMo Cometh

Monkey Typing. Note: a chimpanzee should not b...

Image via Wikipedia

It is October, ladies and gentleman. Do you know what that means? Anyone, anyone at all? Fine, spoil my fun. Turkey and hallows aside, October is the envoy of November. Now, to the layman November is a fairly inconsequential month, wedged as it is betwixt Halloween and the various religious holidays of December. But to the literary Illuminati, November is much more than that. Forsooth, it is the time of National Novel Writing Month, appended to the more wieldly NaNoWriMo. 30 days, 50 000 words is the name of this game. As anyone who checks my blog during week-long droughts may have noticed, a NaNo participant badge has appeared in the sidebar. Not only does it have a monkey (which car commercials tell me is a selling point?), but I set this badge to link to my Author page instead of just the main page like last year.

On that note, this is my second year of NaNoWriMo, following a failed, 20 013-word attempt last year and an instance the year before in which I signed up and then wrote 0 words so I don’t really consider it to count. But this year, I’m going to try to go all the way. Shoot for the moon, and then fall short and suffocate in space. IN SPACE, people. It’s gonna be awesome. I would link to a post from when I was attempting it last year, but my blog archives tell me that I made no posts in November ’09, and a single post on each of October and December. Basically what I’m saying is that the droughts around here may intensify. Stay out of the sun, and lie down if you get too dizzy.

One of the things I tried last year, which I think helped my ultimately doomed attempt at writing a novel, was to get other people to write their own novels, so that I would feel pressure to complete my own. In the end, one of my recruits accomplished what I could not, but she’s crazy smart and organized so I’m not really surprised. I hope to see many of the same people again this year(you can see them on the ‘Writing Buddies’ list on my Author page). In addition, my recent acquaintance Thaumaturgist seems to have made an admirably proactive move and decided to novel outside of the designated month of November. Ryan also seems like the type to partake in this, if he isn’t too busy. I was intrigued as to what Matsu might write, but she told me that she likes art more than writing. I’m pretty sure that covers all the people that comment with any frequency on here lately, and most of anyone who has ever commented. Yay, comments!

As for the novel itself, I have a few ideas. I was originally considering rebuilding my novel from last year from the ground up (as Thaumaturgist has sadly had to do with her entire novel), but I have found of late that the pieces of a new idea have been quite swiftly coming together in my mind. An old idea, actually, but one that had long been content to live as a mere conceptualization rather than a robust world of its own. Although I have no idea why my long-dry well of writing ideas has so abruptly sprung forth anew, I am far more content to drink of its inspiration than I am to look a gift horse in the mouth. If I feel like it, I may add pages here about my previous idea and about my current one. Heck, if I’m feeling really into it, I may bring forth some of the short stories that led to the first novel which were posted here before I damned them to oblivion in fear of their safety. We’ll see, readers. Anyway, ’till next time!

Shard

Man, I was really feeling writerish today. Illuminati, forsooth, robust? It feels good to get back into this. Also, the first paragraph is kind of colorful. You can blame Thaumaturgist for making me realize that colors and fonts can be played with in a blog post.