Tag Archive | plotting

NaNoWriMo 2011 T Minus 6 Hours

NaNo 2011 starts in about 6 hours. That means it’s 726 hours until it’s over. That doesn’t sound all that much really!

This morning boyfriend suggested I wrote 1,000 words in preparation. Good idea, however I want to save all my energy for tomorrow. He he, any excuse eh!

I do have a plan for tonight – to plan the hell out of this novel. I was thinking about it earlier, and although I’ve done lots of planning, I don’t really know what’s going to happen when. That’s pretty scary! The first day or so of writing is going to be easy, it’s a really exciting scene that I can’t wait to write. But after that, I’m not 100% sure. I’m so unsure I don’t know if the novel is going to be from 1 POV or 2, or maybe even 3.

Lizzie, the MC, is going to have the main part. It’s her novel after all. I think maybe Ben should have one too, it might make it interesting (or hard?), but then if Ben (‘The Man of My Dreams’) has one, then surely Nathan should too? I’m thinking a chapter per person – or something like that. But I don’t know. Maybe it should just be Lizzie’s story? The only reason I think it shouldn’t be is that I’ve got one scene in mind for him, when Lizzie isn’t around. So he’d have to have his own bit.

Of course, I could do the novel 3rd person, which would make it easier, but I’m a really big fan of 1st person. I’ve said why so many times, so sorry if you’ve heard it before, but this is my reason: I think 1st person gets the reader more involved. You discover things as the character does, which I like more. Besides, NaNo year one I did 3rd person, Holiday is 1st person (present) so 1st past will give me a selection of them all.

For ‘Holiday’ a couple of months ago, I made a pretty pattern on my bedroom wall with post-it notes making up the time line. I really want to do this (need to do this!) for this novel. At the moment I have no idea about where anything is and I found the post-it notes helped. The problem is I only have boring yellow ones, I want fun ones. For ‘Holiday’ I used these funky pink lip shaped notes, I want something like that. So much so… I’m going to go shopping when I’ve finished this to see if I can find some. He he. Boyfriend’s going out tonight so who can say what wall will be decorated when he gets home? Top of my list is the floor to ceiling mirror in the bedroom, but I’m not sure how that will go down?

Right, I’m off home (shopping) and then home to get on with some plotting. I can’t believe the madness starts soon. 1,667 words a day. I’ve done it twice, lets hope I can do it again!!

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NaNo Kick-Off Party London

Last night was the Kick-Off Party for NaNoWriMo which starts on Tuesday – eek!

I was a little apprehensive about going, I hate walking into things like that on my own. What I forgot was that I knew a load of people from NaNo last year, so walked in knowing people! Lots of people. I felt like someone walking into a room of friends I hadn’t seen for a while. Well a table or two of friends and a room of people I didn’t know.

The thing with it is that everyone is in the same position – most came alone and a lot didn’t know anyone else. We were saying how great it is that there is never an awkward silence at things like this, because there’s always something to talk about – how many times you’ve done NaNo, what you’re book is about, the events you’re going to be going to – it’s great.

Last year I went to the launch party. It was the first time ever I’d spoken to anyone about writing, well spoken to writers about writing, it was great, and it was still the same last night. There’s this energy among the writers (and maybe a little alcohol!) that gives off this buzz. I guess it’s also excitement – 50,000 words in 30 days – if that doesn’t get you excited, I wonder what would!

For the first time since I came up with the idea, I started discussing what my novel’s about. I think I’d run it by my boyfriend previously, but no one else. It had quite a positive reaction, people who I wasn’t expecting to be interested said it sounded good. Maybe they were just saying it, but maybe they actually meant it. It’s given me a little more faith in it!  

I found sleeping a bit of a struggle last night. Different ideas for my novel kept going through my head. I’ve got this main idea, that I need to write down cause it’s pretty good! But other ideas kept coming to me, and I was going over them. I’m pretty tired now because of it – probably nothing compared to how tired I’m going to be for the next month!

Oh nearly forgot (thanksLenafor reminding me), I’m pretty sure I’ve got the title of the novel. Or the ‘working title’ anyway. It’s going to be ‘The Man of My Dreams.’ I’m not sure if it’s a little corny, or if it needs a question mark or anything, but for now, it works. And it’s better than ‘Holiday,’ so that’s good!

Have a good weekend everyone. If you’re taking part in the NaNo mentalism enjoy your last ‘free’ weekend 🙂

Writing… Yep I’ve Done Some

For the first time in what seems like months, but is probably only just over a week, I did some writing last night. And, not just a little bit – I managed 580 something words. Woop! The best thing is they came pretty easy to me. Double woop!

I know 580 is nowhere near the NaNo daily word count of 1,667 words, but it’s given me a little more hope that I can do it (I know I can do it, I’ve got two years under my belt showing that I can do it – I’ve just been scared about it this year). Of course it’s also the pages of planning that I did the other day that are helping to remove the fear.

I’ve got the NaNo Kick Off Party to go to tonight. I’ve been really looking forward to it, but now it’s here, I’m not so much. It’s the walking into a room of people I don’t know (or hardly know) on my own thing. I know I’m being silly, the London WriMos are brilliant friendly people, but there’s still a little fear there. I’m going to make myself go regardless. Writing it here makes me HAVE to go, I can’t write about it today then admit tomorrow I didn’t. Plus, if I don’t I’ll kick myself afterwards.

Just in case I needed another reason to go (or not to…?) if I didn’t I’d probably end up going shopping and buying a new pair of shoes. So really I need to go to stop myself from doing that!!!

I’ve got an hour before I need to leave work for the Kick off Party (see I am going) and was planning to do some writing or plotting in this hour. Stupidly, I forgot to download (upload?) the scene I’m working on from the laptop, and can’t remember where I got to. I also left the notebook I’m working on plotting in at home. Bad morning.

I figure it’s easier to plot without seeing the previous page, so I’ll go with that one. A bit of characterisation I think. Or… I don’t know. I did have another idea for a twist in it today, so I’ll get that down – hopefully that will lead to more ideas.

I’m tempted to take this weekend off writing and plotting – I’ll be hard at it for the next four weeks with NaNo, but I don’t think I will – not officially. I think if I want to do some, I will, and if not, I won’t beat myself up about it (how often do I say that?!).

Totally off the subject of writing etc – I went to the gym last night. It’s the first time for about a year when I cancelled my membership because I was moving, and haven’t found a new one. It sounds a little crazy, but going reminded me how much I loved it. I really do. I’ve only got a 3 day pass, so it’s not the shape of things to come, but I think I’m going in the right direction.

When the 3 day pass is up, I’m going to get one for another gym – then decided which I like the most and join. I was loving the idea last night when I was there, but then when I left I started wondering what the hell I’m thinking.

I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to now – and I’m going to throw another activity at myself. One that will probably take up 4-5 hours a week. That’s 4-5 hours less of writing, or blogging, or reading, or whatever. But, it will be good for my health, and my weight loss, and my training for a 10 mile run, and all that, so I’m going to do it.

I kind of hope it will make me more productive. If I have less time hopefully I’ll be more productive with it. That’s the plan anyway! Besides, I used to walk home from work a couple of times a week, but now it’s too dark to. If I don’t start doing some exercise I’m going to start putting some weight on – not something I want to happen.

If I don’t get a blog in tomorrow (which is doubtful – I think I need to go shoe shopping at lunch, then am gyming it after work) have a great weekend all.

NaNoWriMo Starts Here!

I know it’s a few days early, but in a roundabout way, NaNo is just about to start for me: I’m off to my first ever NaNo event. Yippee!

Last year (my first  NaNo – which I ‘won’ I might add) I planned to go to the Kick off party, but I was working during one, and had won tickets to a comedy evening during the other. I then planned to go to some write ins, but I ended up being more ill than I thought I would be after my operation. There were after parties I could have gone to, but that kind of felt wrong after my non attendance to everything else.

But this year… this year I’m doing it properly! Tonight’s the first Kick off party and I’ll be there with my party hat on (metaphorically anyway). I’ve even cancelled some other plans to go – that’s dedication for you! I haven’t decided which write ins I’ll go to, but I’m going to go to some. This year I’ve got an awesomely light laptop that I can pretty much take anywhere (I don’t think it would be to happy if I took it swimming or surfing to be honest!) so will be easy to drop into any event. Plus this year I finish work at 17.30 instead of 18.30, so the after work write ins are possible for me. All and all it’s looking pretty good.

The other night I made a more detailed plan of what I think the novel’s going to be about. I’ve got the main idea, although I’m still not 100% sure it’s going to work, but it should do. I hope. I need to work on character names (as always), the setting, need some research on school subjects/programs and more. But, I’m feeling really positive about it.

I think I’ve come up with the title too. I was thinking of a little alliteration – Dating Day or Date Day, or something like that, but it wasn’t really working for me. Then I did a little brain storming and came up with The Dating Project. I kind of like it, but I’m not 100% sure. It works for the plot, but I think it maybe sounds like a TV show or something. I’ll decide fully in the next couple of days. What do YOU think of it?

My plan for this year is to try to rack up a high word count at the beginning of the month – it’s my boyfriend’s birthday the last weekend of the month, so I’m likely to be out partying then and I don’t want to fail at the last hurdle! I’ve booked one day holiday next week for another reason, but I’m hoping I can get a high word count in there. Plus boyfriend is away for the beginning of next week, so I should be able to get a lot done then.

I’m also going to be doing some at lunch times – I’ll probably bring my lunch in so I can just sit at my desk and write. Some days anyway.

Roll on 1st November!

Plotting and Praise

I’ve just been reading some of ‘Holiday.’ Yeah I know I should be plotting, but I randomly found one of the scenes on my desk top, so in the process of moving it to the correct file I got reading. Now, considering I wrote the scene I read when I was in a really happy relationship, I got the break up pretty accurate. It totally reflected what  I went through a few months ago (when I had a break up myself). I’m actually pretty impressed with it – it almost made me a little sad.

It’s actually (I think) a really good way to start a novel. In the first few chapters you have to get the reader into the story and empathise with the MC – getting dumped and feeling the pain of that from a 1st person narrator sure is a way to do that (I hope). I read a review of Rowan Coleman’s The Happy Home for Broken Hearts yesterday – JessJess50 the reviewer did exactly the same as me and cried on page three. If I can get that much emotion so early on (ok so it’s going to be more like page 5) I’m laughing. Well, maybe not laughing, but defiantly on the right track!

Reading through though, I realised how much I’ve learnt in the year since I wrote that bit, e.g. putting just one space after a full stop and the punctuation involved with speech. Not huge things, but enough for me to be really happy that I’ve improved in a year.

Last night and the night before I did some more writing on ‘Holiday’. I knew I wanted to write something,  but wasn’t sure what, so Holiday was the logical choice! It’s a scene that may get wiped out, but maybe not, something I need to have though.

This morning, I started writing my scene cards for ‘Holiday’. I also got an A4  page and wrote the major plot points. I got a little carried away and towards the end they read more like prompts of what happens. That’s because I’ve not really got that much of the end in my head and I kept thinking of things to do with it – more and more detail. Maybe I’ll have to change and do it on the computer. Aghhhhh, I don’t know.

Oh wow. I can’t believe I forgot about THIS. It really should’ve gone up top – it’s probably the most important thing I’ll blog about this week! I got my writing course assignment back yesterday. Actually, I got it back on Monday, I just totally forgot to check my emails (very unusual – when I’m waiting for an assignment usually I check 4-5 times a day!).

I wouldn’t go as far as saying she loved it, but there were some pretty positive comments in there. One section was to write about a maternity ward. I was a little worried about that, you know, never having been to a maternity ward, or had kids to describe the feelings etc. She said it took her right back to when she had her kids. WOW!

Also, I wrote a line that she must have liked – she said ‘nice phrase – and a cleverly subtle way of conveying…’ Woo hoo! She said all four pieces were realistic and so on. So today, I gotta say I’m pretty happy. And I have a feeling I CAN do this whole writing thing.

I’m sure there’s more I want to write, but I want to make some notes on the course module I finished reading this morning, so will leave it there for now.

About the Wirting Course, My Novels and A Chick Lit Event

As I’m trying to get back in the habit of blogging at least five times I week, I’m writing this blog. At the moment I can’t really think of anything to write about, but knowing me I’ll find something.

I can write about my writing course. I’ve read another module today. It’s the module about Plotting your novel. Having read it, I cannot put into words how much I want to get going on plotting ‘Holiday’. It may sound a little weird that I want to plot it when I’ve already written 20k words, but I think that’s maybe why I’ve not got any further.

I always thought I’d be a pantster – me, plan something? Nah. Not really my style. But when I originally started writing ‘Holiday’ I planned some scenes then wrote them. When it came to NaNo, I realised to be able to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I needed to know what I was going to write. So I made a plan of what was going to happen. Not in great detail – a lot of what happened surprised me. But I knew it would start where it would start, and the main things that happened on each of the four or five days the novel panned.

I think that’s where I’m going wrong with ‘Holiday’. I know what happens in the beginning and nearish the end.  But not the middle, I don’t know how I’m going to link the two – when the link needs to be about 10 days long. Hmmm. This is where planning is going to come in.

I’ve got these little cards that I’m going to use for the planning. Each one is going to have something that happens in the novel. Then I guess it will grow from there. I may actually start it tonight I’m that excited!

What I also really need to do is some book reviews for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge. I’ve reviewed and posted only four novels to the site (Book Chick City), when I’ve actually read eight for the challenge. So yeah, that’s four reviews I need to do. Soon.

I’m pretty pleased I’m at eight novels for the challenge. You have to read 12 this year, so I’m exactly on target for the year. Plus I picked up the next book I’m going to read for it last night. That will make it 9 in 8 months. Excellent.

It was a mistake picking up the book last night. I started reading it, and couldn’t put it down. I got through the first chapter, then had an internal battle with myself over whether to carry on or not. ‘Not’ won, which is good because A. I was really tired and had to get up early and it was already late, and B. I’m still reading a book.

A book which I need to finish tonight (want to), because I’m going to see the author tomorrow. Woop! There’s a Chick Lit Event tomorrow at Brixton Library where Kate Harrison (current novel author – the book is Brown Owl’s Guide to Life and it’s great), Lisa Jewell and Jenny Colgan (and others) are going to be. The night’s going to be ‘Laughter, discussion, questions and books.’ Seriously there is one excited woman typing this!

See, I knew I could find enough rambling to make a blog!

Making decisions

I do have a slight problem when I’m plotting or writing things.  If I have a couple of ideas that could go in, I add them in brackets or italics and say maybe this happens, (maybe that happens).  I find it really really hard to decide which option to take. 

I find it so hard in fact that on the short story I wrote recently, I created a new ‘version’ of it so I could keep the original notes, in case I changed my mind about any ideas.  Is this normal?  I can’t imagine it’s good.  I guess it’s a sign that I’m a very inexperienced writer as I don’t know which ideas to chuck and which to keep.  I hope as I write more and more I’ll be able to make decisions easier.  And also throw away writing that’s bad.

That’s another habit I have.  I sometimes keep sentences/stories/paragraphs I edit, just in case I go back and think the last version is better.  Surely if I’m changing  what’s written it’s because there’s a better way of saying it.  I need to get out of the habit of this – imagine how many versions of the same thing I could have if I let myself.  I shudder just thinking about it.

I started writing a scene for ‘Holiday’ that’s been in my head for ages today.  I didn’t get very far as work and writing this got in the way, but I’ve started it, that’s good.

I came up with an idea I’m going to use for plotting ‘Holiday’ today.  At work we use these small cards for visitor badges, then just throw them away at the end of the day.  One side is blank.  I’m going to use these for different ideas and things that happen in the novel.  I read this idea a while ago, but am only just seeing the potential brilliance of it.  It means I can write ideas I have then discard them easily.  Also, at the  moment I’ve got loads of different word files with different ideas on – it will be good to see them in one place to see how I’m doing with it.  And how much of the story is in my head and how much I’ve actually written down. 

Right, home time.  Pizza.  Yum yum.