Prepare for Battle: NaNo is Almost Here / Programming Alert!

Yes, NaNoWriMo is set to begin at 12am tonight. Will I be waiting at my desk at 11:59:59pm, fingers prone over my keyboard to begin furiously typing at the stroke of midnight? Nope. I’ll likely be at a Halloween party. Continue reading “Prepare for Battle: NaNo is Almost Here / Programming Alert!”

April’s Theme: Let there be Goofy!

Dear Inspiration,

“Now I know I haven’t really tried to hang out with you lately, but that totally doesn’t mean we can’t still be really close best of bestest friends. On my time table. You know, when it’s convenient and I’m not busy working or running errands. Oh? That doesn’t work for you? You only want to visit when I’m driving with no paper and pen available or meeting with my boss about upcoming events? Well gosh, I guess I should be used to that by now.” Continue reading “April’s Theme: Let there be Goofy!”

The Story of 1,000 Stories: Piecing Together the Narrative Puzzle

Recently, I’ve decided to dive into reading two lengthy, in-depth fictional series at once for my leisure reading: The Wheel of Time and The Horus Heresy. About 3.5 books into these series, I’ve managed to stay focused on the wider story arcs of each while alternating between them. And so far, I am astounded at how brilliantly these two series are written, and how differently from each other. Continue reading “The Story of 1,000 Stories: Piecing Together the Narrative Puzzle”

Creativity Sessions: The Minutiae of Characterization

People are weird.

I don’t mean in the cynical I-don’t-want-to-engage-with-anyone way. I mean in the myriad ways in which we generally conduct ourselves; our ticks, habits, vocal cadence, personality quirks, the way we laugh.

Think about your closest three or four friends; the people whom you (hopefully) trust and know intimately. Don’t they each have a distinct laugh, whether the high-pitched titter or the soulful bellow? And, not one of them speaks in exactly the same manner, with the exact same inflection or vocabulary. Kind of weird, right? Continue reading “Creativity Sessions: The Minutiae of Characterization”

Finding a Stopping Point… and holding on for dear life

I’m one of those people who never feels totally satisfied with a written work. There is always a different idea, or a new line, or a twist to the rhyme scheme that I could have/should have made. That’s why I re-read my own writing as little as possible once it has been “finished” — or posted here. Continue reading “Finding a Stopping Point… and holding on for dear life”

NaShoStoWriMo Week 2 Complete – with unexpected word count!

Well, week two of NaShoStoWriMo (my version of NaNoWriMo, but with short stories) is complete and I met my goal. I have 10 short stories written so far. Because a lot of NaNoWriMo revolves around word count, I felt compelled to tally up my word count so far for the 10 stories and…wait for it…16,438 words! Holy Toledo! I really didn’t expect it to be that high already. Some of my stories are under 1000 words, but most are in the 1000 – 2500 word range. One behemoth is 3200 words.

Continue reading “NaShoStoWriMo Week 2 Complete – with unexpected word count!”

Smooth Like Butter… and just as Thick

Week two of NaNoWriMo is in the books, and I made decent progress. 17,477 words as of yesterday. So yes, I did slow down considerably from the roaring first week numbers I put up. If you were in a fantasy league for writers, the talking heads would tell you to be cautious about my lack of performance in Week 2. You would have been crazy to think that he could sustain the type of production we saw in his first game week in and week out. The 10,000 words I churned out in week one solidified into butter, and the progress has obviously been slower.

The Slow-Burn Exposition

It turns out the detailed character building I touched on last week can slow down the progress of the overall story arc. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. I’ve found the slower pace of detailing various characters a great avenue for further exposition, especially for the first couple of chapters of my story. I think the trick is to know when to add a kick to your step to move the story forward. I’m still trying to figure that out, but at least I know that I should speed up the pace soon. Here’s hoping my protagonists get their feet moving soon.

According to NaNo’s daily word count tracker, I am behind the curve, something that NaNo veterans vehemently encourage against in the forums. However, I will rededicate my time to writing this week. New goal for week three: 38,000 words. Cheers.

Steve D