NaNoWriMo 2017, Day 1

AKA, yesterday.

I didn’t really get a lot of time to write yesterday, it was mostly a few minutes here and there throughout the day.  But I still managed to get hit my word count!  I’m officially 1,667 words into my rewrite of Reaper!  Now, I’m the worst when it comes to outlining, I’ll admit it, but I’ve been using Katytastic‘s method (3 Acts, 3 Blocks, 3 Chapters) and I finally got my story situated the way I want it.  More than likely, it will change down the line, but now I have something that I can write to.  It would probably also help if I wrote in chronological order, but that’s not happening.  I tried my hardest to start at the beginning yesterday and just couldn’t do it.  Where did I start?  That’s right, the very end–right in the middle of the big fight scene.  Don’t ask me why, but I did.  And it worked, since I was able to hit the word count goal for the day, and I’m not even done with that chapter yet.

It feels good to be writing again instead of pulling my hair out while trying to outline.

So, how did your first day of NaNoWriMo go?  Let me know!

Happy writing, y’all!

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Two Weeks Late…

As I’ve already established, I have severe problems with procrastination and follow-through, which is why my plan to finish plotting Reaper in a week has now stretched to three weeks and I’m still not done.

In my defense, I was working on some ideas to switch up my storyline a little bit, since that’s what was hanging me up so much before.  The good news is I had a “light-bulb” moment early today and now I know exactly how I’m going to be mixing things up as I move forward with the plotting of Reaper.  The bad news is I’ve got to kill someone.

Not literally, just fictionally, but still…I’ve had this character in every version of this story I’ve ever tried to tell.  He’s changed quite a bit over the years, and he’s come a long way since the jerk I made him out to be in the beginning, but he’s gotta go.

I wasn’t sure at first, but when I got to really thinking about Reaper I realized that the middle of the story wasn’t that great, and it wasn’t just because it was the first draft.  There needed to be something happening, something to spur Austin and Phoenix into action, a not-so-literal kick to the pants.

Why I hadn’t thought of this before is beyond me, especially when I consider how easy is was to pull this dude out of the frying pan and stick him in the fire.  It’ll be sad to see him go, and I can already tell it’s going to hit my other characters hard.

Have any of you guys ever had that happen?  A character that you absolutely love and want to keep in the story, that just ends up being another name on your writerly hitlist?

And I’m Back!

Wow!  It’s been a while.  A completely unintentional, really long while.

In my defense, it’s been crazy, with all the crap that went down with my ankle/leg break.  But now I’m back in one piece and trying to get ready for NaNoWriMo next month.  Is it really time for that again?

The answer-yes, it is!

I’ve had every intention of working on my manuscript over the past few months, but you know what they say about intentions.  Hopefully, this NaNoWriMo will be exactly what I need to get my butt into gear and finish this thing!

First off, I really need to redo my plot.  It’s scattered all over the place, and in two different tenses to boot.  So, over the course of the next week–Monday to Monday–I’m giving myself time to work on my plot, figure out my arcs, and see if I can make any sense of what I’ve done to the poor thing.  I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t actually take me that long, but just in case.

Second off, I need to consolidate all of my work.  I’ve got notes in at least half a dozen notebooks, and around three Scrivener projects.  What was I thinking?  I’ve recently bought a cool little notebook–well, two if I’m being honest–and I’m trying to get everything organized into those two locations, while also combining those projects on my computer.

Currently, my go-to plotting styles are adapted from a couple of my favorite YouTubers, Jenna Moreci and KatytasticKim Chance also has a video about a few different methods for plotting and outlining.

My question for ya’ll today is this–What are your favorite ways to plot and outline your stories?  Let me know!

Stereotypes

I just finished Sherrilyn Kenyon’s first Chronicles of Nick novel, Infinity.  This story is set in New Orleans, which is in the South, and as such is ripe for stereotypes.  Everything from clothes to accent are on the target.  Now, I get some of it–the accent in particular.  I’m “country.”  When I talk, I have an accent–to my own ears, I don’t–but when I hear myself on a recording or anything like that, it’s there.  No denying.  And I’ve heard many accents that are more pronounced than mine.  There’s also a difference between my regular accent, and what comes out of my mouth when I’m angry.  Big difference.  There’s also the automatic assumption that “Southern” equates “redneck” equates dumb-as-dirt.  Thankfully, Infinity left out that part.  The characters she described as “redneck” were near-genius level, even if they didn’t talk that way.  Some people think that the term “redneck” is synonymous with “idiot.”  Am I Southern?  Yes, I’m a girl from Mississippi.  Can I shoot a gun?  Yes, I even own one, and target practice is about as fun as it gets.  How “smart” am I?  Well, I’ve got two college degrees, so what do you think?

So, my question to you is this: How do you combat stereotypes, like the one I talked about, in your writing?  Any and all of them?  The majority of Southerners are played dumb hicks.  London (Brenda Song) from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is anti-stereotype (one of the few I’ve seen played that way), as was the character Maddie (Ashley Tisdale).  Chloe Sullivan from Smallville was in the same group as Maddie, a smart blonde girl.

Personally, I try to keep everything even in my writing.  Sure, there are some super-smart characters, just like there are some that aren’t.  The color and ethnicity of the character doesn’t really mater to me, as long as that person fills that role, and I’ve been known to switch out characters so that just for that purpose.  I try to keep everything as diverse as I can, so that I’m not highlighting something or someone as worse or better than anything else.

What do you do?

New Story Idea!

Hey all!

So, as you can probably see from the title, I’ve got a new story idea.  I’m calling it Valor at the moment, but I’m sure that’ll change once I get more into the story.  Right now I just have a few bits and pieces, places mostly, that I really like and want to piece together.

Where did I get this idea from, you ask.  Well, I got them from other people’s ideas, if I’m being honest.  I finally sat down and watched Deepwater Horizon a few days ago.  This movie stars Mark Wahlberg and Dylan O’Brien, along with a lot of other big name celebrities.  Or people I think are big name celebrities.  This story in particular is a true event, following the crew onboard the offshore oilrig, of the same name, that blew up in the Gulf in April of 2010.  I remember this happening, the news stories, the interviews, the trials.  In the beginning of the movie, the characters are at a heliport, getting ready to fly out to the rig, located 40-some miles off the coast of Louisiana.  This heliport is impressive.  It’s not huge.  It’s not stories-high.  But it can probably hold two dozen helicopters at any given time.

That’s one of the things I see when I think of Valor.

I don’t know who’s going to be in the story yet.  Names, dates, and stories are all nonexistent at this point, but I know Valor Heliport.

Which is why I would really like to be able to see it.  Like, drawn out so I can pick it up, study it, all that stuff.  My drawing skills aren’t that good, so I have set to cutting up old notecards.  I have no glue at the moment, so it just looks like I went scissor-happy on my desk.  I really need to get some glue during lunch.

Anyway.  There are a few other places that I’d like to talk about when it comes to Valor, but I think I’ll save them for next time.

How are your projects going?

See y’all!

I Suck at Making Priorities

Am I the only one like this?  I don’t think I am.

I have actually managed to write some, though.  I’ve added around 3,000 words in the past month, but 3,000 words a month isn’t that great considering I did that in two days when I wrote my first draft.

I just…There’s so much stuff!  There are TV shows that I have to watch online because I lost the CW channel (thanks a lot Dish Network).  We’ve already talked about my procrastination issues, so you understand that I wait until the day before the episodes I need to watch to keep up are going to be taken down and then I have to binge those episodes.  Took me a week to catch up, and of course I’m falling behind again.

Then, I’ve been reading a lot.  I’ve gone through 3 books in about 4 days.  Reading for 7 hours instead of writing for 7 hours.  I guess I can say that it’s research–I’m reading other books in my genre (kind of) and it’s helping me with my own writing.  I’m going to keep telling myself that.

At the moment, though, I’m on a bit of a writing kick.  And I told myself that I can’t read any of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater until I finish a chapter of  writing.  Preferably two.

I hope you guys are doing well with your own reading and writing goals!  If you are, then yay for you.  If not, you’ll get there eventually.

My “eventually” is creeping closer, so I’d better get to it.  See y’all!

Progress Miscommunications

Don’t you just hate them?

I’m the worst for thinking I’ve gotten on a roll, just to realize that it was only three sentences.  Three.  Sentences.

That’s why I’ve only gotten to 3,500-ish words in my revision since I started it at the beginning of the year.

On the other hand, that’s 3,500-ish words that I didn’t have before since I’m adding to the story this go-around. So there’s that.

Also, Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up in April and I’ve been thinking about using it as a revision tool.  Even though I’m just rewriting something that I wrote last year, I’m still writing new words.

I’m also feeling a lot better now.  I’ve still got physical therapy, but the guy I’m working with is awesome.  I’m walking around again, even if it is with a purple walking cane, and I’ve officially started driving again.  Just being able to do that has made me perk up a bit.  I’ve never felt so useless in my life than when I couldn’t drive my own car.  It hurt even more when I realized that I’d made three car payments with the thing not being moved but once a week.

I guess I’d better get to writing since I actually feel like it right now.  Maybe I’ll get in more than three sentences this time!

I’m Switching!

I love to read.  I really do.  And one thing I’ve noticed about the books I like to read is that they’re mostly in third person point-of-view.  I’ve read a few first person that were okay.  A couple that were just plain weird.  And another series that I probably wouldn’t have read if it hadn’t been that the book is always better than the movie.

So why am I trying to write in first person?  Like, really?

And that is why I’ve decided to start from my new beginning for Reapers, and start it in third person.  Maybe that’s why I’ve been stalled for the last couple of weeks.  I mean, it’s going to be ridiculous considering that I’ve got over 60,000 words down at this point.  Not to mention, the around-two-hundred-pages I’ve printed.  The story is still the same.  I’m going to edit what I’ve printed and use that to convert the narrator from first to third.  (Crossing my fingers this freaking works!)  I want to have a useable, readable draft by the end of the year.  And I’m going to do it, dangit!

Have any of you tried this–switching narrators so late in the game, so drastically?  Do ya have any tips?

While I’m mulling this over, I’m wanted to do a January Wrap-Up for all the books I’ve read since the beginning of the year.  I’ve been on a bit of a roll and am finally out of that stupid reading slump.  I’ve also told myself that I can’t buy any more books until I’ve read five.  I’ve noticed that reading while I’m writing helps.  If I go too long without reading a good book, I suddenly become stupid and incapable of description.

I’ve given myself one crazy To-Do list.  What’s on yours?

Long Time, No See

I am slowly, but surely getting back into the swing of things.  I’m not back to 100% yet, but it’s coming along.  I finally got rid of that annoying cast a couple weeks ago and now I’m in a walking boot.  I’m not that good at walking yet.  I’ll take what I can get.

I’m back to writing again.  I’m currently trying to plot out the new beginning to Reapers, and I’m a little stuck.  I know what I want to write, I just keep getting distracted and I don’t actually write anything.  I think most of it is because I’m using a few things from what happened to me back in November, and I really don’t want to remember it.  That being said, I really want to get this thing wrapped up and in editing condition by the beginning of the summer.  Time to bite the bullet.

I’ve also gotten back to reading!  I really like that part.  Last year was a year-long reading slump, and it was annoying.  I’ve set a Goodreads Goal for 50 books this year and I’ve already plowed through four, which is one ahead of schedule.  The most exciting book I’ve read so far was Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.  It was an awesome read.  And a fun/weird fact–if you look at the casualty list for the Copernicus, my name is listed there (middle and last name).

I’m going to try and get back to posting here on a regular basis, fingers crossed.  How’s your new year going?

I’ve Caught My Second Wind…

Kind of.  I was looking on Pinterest, of course, and I saw a picture.  It’s from way back in season 1 of Supernatural.  The picture is black and white, from Sam’s point-of-view, and looking over at Dean.  Dean is looking back (even though he should be looking at the road).  I know the context behind the picture in regards to the show.  I know the episode, the scene, and the lines that go with it.  Sam needed to get to the interview, but Dean didn’t want him to go.  They were a good team back there.  I’m obsessed with this show, I know.  I know.

I ended up staring at this picture for several minutes.  Then I got to thinking: What if, instead of Dean, his name was Sterling?  What if, instead of baby brother Sam, it was girlfriend, Melanie?  Where are they going?

Then it hit me.  She’s going home.

I haven’t gotten much down yet.  I was writing it in a spare notebook, but I’m going to start in on a Word document in a few minutes.  I have no plot at this point, and I only have a vague idea of what’s going to happen in my head.  I think I’m about 15,000 words behind on NaNoWriMo.

I’d better get to typing!