October is Death's favorite month

Well, she's the favorite month of one former Death god and presently still cosmic serpent, Vikenti. And only because she makes a mean pumpkin pie.

Welcome to October everyone. Yes, I know it's like halfway through the month already, but that's no reason not to be polite. October's a cool month because there's Halloween, and who doesn't like an excuse to eat candy and dress without fear of people judging you for your unusual appearance? Who, I ask? Also, it means it is almost time for National Novel Writing Month aka Nanowrimo aka OMG-isn't-this-unconstitutional-because-it's-cruel-and-usual-punishment- oh-crap-I-guess-it's-not-because-I-signed-up-for-this-madness, or OMGWTFBBQ for short. (November, by the way, happens to be the favorite month of another Death.)

All of this leads me to ask, what are you going to be for Halloween and what are you going to be up to in November? If you're doing Nanowrimo, what kind of project are you thinking of doing?

My answer to the first question is I HAVE NO IDEA. My answer to the second is I'm going to be doing Nanowrimo. There, I said it. It's out in the world, making it embarrassing if I back out last minute like a coward (which, I'm not gonna lie, I don't put past myself). I will make a full-on Nanowrimo post a little later as it will likely have proof that I have signed up and proof that Alz has also signed up. I blame my participation on her, by the way, but I've wrangled another of our friends into doing it to. Misery loves company. It really does.

The point of this post though, in prep for Nano, is to list the things I learned from last year's Nanowrimo. I meant to do a post on that earlier, but obviously that never happened. So it's happening now.

1. Wow, you can actually write a lot if your only concern is word count. I ramble a lot when I blog, but when I actually write, I tend to be more concise. My word count tends to be small, but I'm also slow. Why? I'm one of those constant revisionists. I'm wouldn't say I'm a perfectionist, but I'm one of those people who tweaks things every time I open the doc or reads back every few paragraphs. It makes for slow going but is possibly why I don't revise often/much. Don't judge me. This is how I write, period - revise-as-I-go and then a once over. It's how I wrote essays and papers throughout my academic career and I came out of that okay! However, it is slow and not conducive to getting out that first novel draft. I really didn't think I'd be able to get 50,000 words out of me in a month. I didn't, but I did get over halfway there, which was a surprise.

2. Momentum/Discipline is key. Ideally, writing every day helps, but if you can't (and let's face it, sometimes you can't), having a writing schedule helps. I did not do either of these, but I wrote way more and way more consistently than usual. When I did write for consecutive days, I got a lot done because even when I was stuck I just fought my way through. But once I stopped for more than a day, it was so much harder to get back on the wagon.

3. Characters will walk all over you if you let them. A problem with turning off the inner editor is that it's a lot easier for characters to gain control. They can and they will and it's not always a good thing. Case in point, Vikenti in last year's Nano. I love Vikenti, but his adorable sullenness and my love for cute things with the tendency to bite destroyed my ability to keep him out of the story and running every which way with the plot. Okay, he wasn't that bad, but he shouldn't even have BEEN in the story and suddenly he was and not even being a minor character about it.

4. Planning is not necessary... I went into Nano with a general idea, a very beginning, and an end. No middle to speak of. I winged it. Interesting things happened (like Vikenti). It's pretty cool to just see where things take you.

5. ...but planning helps...a lot. The coolness of not planning aside, my plot got way out of hand. In an effort to make sense of things and to make the plot more "interesting," I overly complicated it, which hobbled the entire story. I ended up with way too many characters involved and the story became more about supporting characters who I happen to like a lot than about my MCs. Also, I hate to say it, but the Nano-go-to rule of "kill someone" only works so many times and it doesn't necessarily solve anything! Needless to say, I'm going to outline this year (something I never do).

And there you have it. I'll post more if I can think of anything else, but until then I'm off to sleep. It's going to hardcore rain tomorrow, which means I have to be up and leave earlier for work because in southern California, any kind of rain causes people to forget how to drive and panic. All in all, very slow going.


Tere Kirkland said...

Oy. I think I'll rewrite a fairy tale for NaNo, but only if I get my WiP finished.

Actually, I think I'll have my own novel writing month after I finish the WiP, just to let it stew. Doesn't have to be November, and I don't need to sign up to participate.

Have fun with it if you do!

Merc said...

I swear, one day I WILL do those nanowrimo posts on my blog like I keep meaning to. O:)

Great to hear you're doing it again, Krispy. B-) Are you on (signed up) on the boards? I can stalk--er, buddy you if so. O:)

(Oh, and good post. I'm not caffeinated yet. I ramble. Yo.)

My NaNoWriMo this year is about... ah... three dudes out to kill or destroy each other. Kinda.

It also involved fedoras, dirigibles, the Forces of Good getting totally pwned, and other fun things. :P

Ok, caffeine is badly needed... looking forward to another NaNo post!

Krispy said...

Tere- Thanks for stopping by! I rewrote a fairy tale for NaNo last year and somehow managed to write myself into a knotty mess. Haha. I find the group effort of NaNo helps keep me motivated, but you def don't have to do it in November. Good luck on your WiP & on your non-November NaNo month. :D

Merc- LOL, one day. This one was a long time coming for me too. I haven't signed up at the site yet, BUT I WILL. And then it would be my honor to have you stalk me (just not at night; I scare myself enough w/my overactive imagination).

Your NaNo sounds very, well, Merc-ish. Haha. I don't know how you keep all that destruction in line and unconfused. I may request more details on this project. :D

I will elaborate on my project in a later post & also link to my profile or whatever on the NaNo site. But I think it'll be sorta fantasy quest-ish, involving an old curse and set in pseudo-Asia (yes, I'm trying my hand at that setting. Wish me luck.).

Caffeine is good, but I ramble regardless. XP