Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Preparations are Complete, Captain

So I've finished planning for Camp NaNoWriMo. The reason I say "planning" and not "plotting" is because I am one of those daring breeds that likes to write without an outline or strict map. Yep, I'm a pantser, writing by the seat-of-my-pants-or-more-often-my-pajamas. As long as I have a loose notion of where the novel is supposed to end up, and characters to drive the story, I find this works perfectly fine for me. Usually.

Yeah. Good enough.

What pre-novel planning I do do typically consists of:

  • character sheets for the main character(s) and any important minor characters
  • selecting character models or play-bys for said characters to help visualize
  • a brief plot synopsis that covers the gist of the story (while being deliberately vague)

This is all done.

In addition to these things, I've also come up with a title through a lengthy process of writing down lots and lots of titles because apparently I like coming up with them more than committing to one. I've even gone as far as to make a faux cover for the book. I like to think all this creative preparation helps keep me engaged with the story idea, which is especially important until I can begin getting the words down on the page.

The only downside to being so thoroughly prepared, by my own standards, is that I don't have anything else to do for the next three days, leaving me champing quite vigorously on the proverbial bit.

Which leaves me to ask the question: what do you do to prepare yourself for writing a novel, and how far in advance do you start planning?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let's Go to Camp!

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We're having a minor plot bunny infestation. Nothing to worry about.
For those who haven't heard, NaNoWriMo is launching a new program called Camp NaNoWriMo beginning July 1st. The details are all still a bit hazy, but Camp NaNo is supposed to be a year-round version of National Novel Writing Month, the only difference being that you can choose which month to participate.

This is good news for those who are too busy in November, or would like to participate in the high-octane/caffeine-filled days of nanoveling multiple times a year.

That being said, I myself have decided to take a break from my current novel to write something a lot more fun and silly for Camp NaNo. I'm hoping to revisit why I love to write so very, very much and NaNoWriMo is as great a venue as any to do it! Too often, it's easy to get caught up in perfectionism, particularly when in pursuit of publication, and lose sight of the beautiful, intricate chaos that is writing. I want to remember that sheer enjoyment, the kind of puerile joy I had as a young girl just starting out, typing up Legend of Zelda and Star Wars fanfiction in her spare time*.

If you're interested in noveling during July (or August, etc.), I'd definitely encourage you to check out the Camp NaNo site once it's up -- I'm not sure when that will be, but hopefully soon! *crosses fingers* I'll keep you posted!

Seriously, if you want to participate or have questions, drop me a comment! A strong support system (and/or some light competition) is essential for these sorts of manic write-a-thons, and I'd love to write alongside you this July!

* Let's be honest, I still dabble in both on occasion. Fangirl 4 lyfe! ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Quotes. Quotes Everywhere.

I'm a big fan of quotes, and you can quote me on that.

Whether they're quotes from a movie, a book, or just a friend's odd commentary, there's something about a memorable line that I love. I think it might be in part due to that human need to connect -- to know that someone else out there feels exactly the same way you do. That you aren't alone. We've all had days where we come across some phrase that perfectly captures our complicated existence. It's that feeling of discovery that I adore.

So I decided today I'd share four of my recent favorite inspirational quotes with you in the hopes that it helps spread the encouragement! Because, as writers, goodness knows we need it sometimes!

"Ambition comes from the brain leadin' the body, instead of the other way around."
- Elvis Presley

"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, the steady dignity that refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going."
- Graeme Fife

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."
- Marilyn Monroe

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great."
- Mark Twain

These are just a few out of many, many quotes that I fancy. I'd love to hear some of your favorite inspirational quotes! Please share in the comments!