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[Camp NaNoWriMo] again? If you insist...

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  • AmaliaAmalia AuthorFace Registered User regular
    So I went to that Nano Plot-prep meet-up and our ML was all "SNOWFLAKE METHOD!" and I was like "....Quoth? is that you?"

    It was an awesome meet-up with like 25 people, and I actually *gasp* plotted. A little.

    Sometimes I blog. Other times I tweet. But I'm always writing. (and so is that other Amalia)

    Give the Gift of Thor! Or maybe you'd be interested in that Orc Book I wrote.
    Quothtapeslinger
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    I ran a prep session on Saturday and that was one method I mentioned. I actually listed a bazillion of them so people would have options. A bunch were stolen from Wendig, as he took the time to compile them like the good Penmonkey he is.

    tapeslinger
  • AmaliaAmalia AuthorFace Registered User regular
    Our ML only presented the one, and only the first two steps, really. And then she said something about how world building is not important unless you are writing fantasy and I wanted to shout NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! but I did not want to be THAT GUY.

    so I just kind of winced instead. Because Worldbuilding ALWAYS matters.

    Sometimes I blog. Other times I tweet. But I'm always writing. (and so is that other Amalia)

    Give the Gift of Thor! Or maybe you'd be interested in that Orc Book I wrote.
    tapeslinger
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    Here is the list of outline types I made:

    Snowflake method - start with a sentence and expand (http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/)
    Standard outline - bullet points with hierarchy, Roman numerals, etc.
    Reverse outline - start at the end and work backwards to the beginning
    Tentpole moments - note vital big events and connect them
    Beginning, middle, end - one paragraph each
    Series of sequences - groups of related scenes
    Chronological - what happens, in order, timeline style
    Chapter by chapter - how the reader will see it
    Beat sheet - every scene and what it's meant to do, very detailed
    Mind-map - central hub connected to other spokes, aka Spider
    As you go - one scene or chapter at a time as you write, plan for next day
    Character arcs - how characters change from start to middle to end
    Synopsis first - write it like your novel is finished and you're trying to land an agent
    Index cards - one card per scene, chapter, plot point, etc.
    Whiteboard - any format, like collage or notebook or floating index cards
    Notebook - notes, scraps, pictures, etc.
    Collage - like notebook but more visual
    Spreadsheets - track plots and beats (see http://www.slashfilm.com/potd-jk-rowlings-plot-spreadsheet-for-harry-potter-and-the-order-of-the-phoenix/ as example)
    Story bible - everything about world and characters, in detail (maybe try a wiki like http://pbworks.com/)
    Templates - hero's journey, Lester Dent master plot, etc.
    Stream of consciousness - blank page, just go, write whatever comes to mind
    Storyboard - like a comic book, draw a picture for each scene or "shot" to visualize everything

    tapeslingerKCWiseMagellAmalia
  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Thanks for the advice, Tape. I think you are right. I'm going to do my best to finish both and then I'm going to write the supernatural one. I am still really worried that it will be a pile of uneditable crap...but it is better to expand and extend and challenge myself. I really like the story, anyway.

    Quoth, I LOVE this list!

    I've never really done snowflake before. Do ya'll actually do it? I'm outlining in a funky way--as if I'm explaining it in a bookreport/narrative kind of way. Highlighting key points in dialog that comes to my head and I know I'll use. I guess it is a combination of chronological/synopsis first/series of sequences. I am focusing on my protagonist, but not necessarily on other characters. I used to do a standard outline and then move to scene index cards (in Scrivener) but I haven't done that yet...I'm running out of time. Just curious what you guys are doing...

    KCWise on
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    I don't snowflake, I go with the tent pole method. I know like five major events that happen and I have to write myself from point to point and figure out how everything happens there. I like that method because the idea of discovering how the story plays out is a big hook in actually writing it for me, so I don't want to know too much before I start writing it, I just want the important parts so I don't get lost while writing.

  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    Great post, Quoth! I'm enjoying these jots that they are posting on the blog. I hope my new ML is half as cool as you are. I used to be in the Boston region, which is really active--now that I've moved to the central part of the state, I'm learning that my new region is a little...dead... in comparison. :(

    Anyone doing a big character focus in their planning? I am feeling weird about knowing a lot about my plot and not necessarily my characters...feeling a little naked...

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Character usually develops across the novel. I usually try to create a few in-world people who fulfill basic ideas for those times when I need supporting cast, but I feel like nine times out of ten any character work outside of broad definition tends to evaporate November 1st anyway.

    KCWise
  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    I like that, Tape... that makes a lot of sense. Maybe I'll write out some quick growth arches so that way I feel like I know where I'd like to steer my characters if I can....

    tapeslinger
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    I usually keep a paper index card for each character and modify as I go so that I remember key points and stuff like who "owes" something, which characters don't get along (+why, in their own perspective), etc

    I try to avoid painting in stereotypes if I can, like I won't say a character is "brave" but I might mention a key moment of bravery ("rescued kittens from tree", "shot bad guy in face") to give myself a more accurate picture of what 'brave' is in context.

  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I have short notes for all my characters and here is what they look like for the four main characters of this Nano story
    Tarek Karp - Tall, well built, dark hair. Acerbic wit & a Ladies man. Captain of Terraphin. Fights with a rapier & dagger. From Raskaria, Esker

    Aleksa Bauer - Average looking woman, black hair. Smart, decisive trader. Up and coming "middle-man." Trained to fight with a rapier. From Matawan, Frelans

    Captain Kazak Morgan - Short, stocky soldier. Matawan soldier, royal guard position, proven in combat. Very loyal to his nation and royal family, religious. Fights with halberd & short sword.

    Starn Takyl - tall, slender, black hair. Prince of Matawan. Fourth son in line for inheritance of title. Dislikes being sheltered as a member of the family. Trained to fight with a long sword and compact bow.

    All of my characters are created as filling an archetypical role, but they usually become something much different once I start writing. I also have lots of stuff I know about the characters that I'm too dumb/lazy to write down. Basic physical appearances are important to have an idea of, just so things don't shift as you're writing it, and it's important to note when you add something so you'll have that knowledge for later.

    Magell on
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    I never used physical description for anyone except Dav and Wink, I don't think. I usually cast an actor/personality in my head and mod them accordingly. Some characters I never actually came up with a casting choice for them. I was working on some Rena Nomula dialogue today and realized she's been Aisha Tyler for a while, so I think I should stick with that.

  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    I usually cast an actor too. The problem is that someone in everything I write is The Rock which would end up being Kazak which would make him not short, but fuck it, got to have The Rock.

  • FearghaillFearghaill Slickiwikiwikest there is Wow WowRegistered User regular
    It's weird, I have much less trouble getting into my RPG character's heads than any story characters, and I've spent the last day or so trying to figure out why that is. I think the difference is, with an RPG character, the character, and to a much lesser extent the setting, is all I know. When it's a story character, I know what I want the character to do, and that informs my development of their personality and backstory, so I'm writing them from both ends and hoping to meet in the middle which hasn't worked all that well for me so far.

    Luckily, for this NaNo idea I have a rough setting in mind, and a character, but I don't have much details on an overarching plot yet. For the sake of getting to know the character, I'm going to hold off on thinking about plot for as long as I can, and see how that works.

    490NIyw.png
  • AmpAmp King of Card Games Registered User regular
    Im at the cross road of how to describe my characters. Im erring on the side of having how they look, act, feel come out through dicussion rather than; "Enyo was a tall olive skined woman with one eye and a glaswigan accent" sort of thing.

    Its hard getting into the head of some characters as most have very opposing and complex views that make it a pain in the arse.

    Calix Maus Imbranus
  • KupotheAvengerKupotheAvenger Destroyer of Cake and other deserts.Registered User regular
    My first time doing Nano and actually...my first time posting in this particular forum. Kind of terrified, honestly. I've done two novels in the past, so hoping this will get me back on the proverbial writing horse.

    fc: 1821-9801-1163
    Battlenet: Judgement#1243
    psn: KupoZero
    Misfits_Signature.jpg

  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    Amp wrote: »
    Im at the cross road of how to describe my characters. Im erring on the side of having how they look, act, feel come out through dicussion rather than; "Enyo was a tall olive skined woman with one eye and a glaswigan accent" sort of thing.

    Its hard getting into the head of some characters as most have very opposing and complex views that make it a pain in the arse.

    I never describe a character with a straight up description like that. And if you want to do a description I think it's best to kind of stretch it out with other characters noting certain features at certain times in the prose.

    And for the love of god never describe your character by having them look in a mirror.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    Haha! My main character has a moment of self-doubt when she looks in the mirror and isn't satisfied, not sure if that counts. :P

    Regarding character development, I really don't know if my characters develop all that much. I need to get some opinions on this stuff.

    Anyway, just in case I actually do know what I'm doing, I tend to have a starting place and ending place with a vague idea as to how they got there. It doesn't always work out that way, though. My stories really do tend to be organic. They almost never end the way I'd planned, although it tends to be close.

    Tube wrote: »
    No, I hate D&D more than the other subforums because it's more of a pain in my arse.
  • AmaliaAmalia AuthorFace Registered User regular
    My first time doing Nano and actually...my first time posting in this particular forum. Kind of terrified, honestly. I've done two novels in the past, so hoping this will get me back on the proverbial writing horse.

    Welcome!! We don't bite! And it is my personal opinion that the greatest benefit of Nano is just in developing and redeveloping a daily writing habit! As long as you're writing every day, you're winning!

    Sometimes I blog. Other times I tweet. But I'm always writing. (and so is that other Amalia)

    Give the Gift of Thor! Or maybe you'd be interested in that Orc Book I wrote.
    Nova_CMagelltapeslingerFearghaillKCWisechiasaur11
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    Nano is always very productive for my word count and focusing on one project. I didn't succeed at Nano last year, but I got over 40K in the month and I'm close to wrapping the project up now. So that puts my productivity on a single project at 40k in a month and about 20k in the next 11. Not that I didn't write much, I just didn't focus on the one project.

  • Curly_BraceCurly_Brace Prototype Mimiga VillageRegistered User regular
    I came to realize today I'm not really "feeling" my old novel idea. I'm not excited about it anymore, possibly because I am having some serious issues with the beginning. Thus I am not sure what to write for NaNo.

    tom_sig2.jpgYKjfRSx.png
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    The problem with not feeling your novel might be that you're not starting it in the right place. I've found in my own writing a need to set everything up, that isn't really needed and knowing that part is shit and throwing it away is a good help.

    Which is how this Nano novel came about as I tried it for Camp Nano and clearly started it like 10 chapters too early the way I was writing it.

  • Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Hello WB. I'm probably going to post in this thread as well as the SE one because you guys are pleasant and wise in book stuff.

    I wasn't going to bother with NaNo this year but was persuaded to by a friend who wants a writing buddy. Both previous years I have failed, hitting around the mid 20k mark before stalling out.

    My priority this year is just to have fun so I hopefully complete it, try not to worry about what I'm writing and if it makes sense, and only write things that are fun to write.

    I decided to start by writing what I thought was an interesting back-of-book blurb and reverse engineering it from there. So I know I have these key things I need to include but I'm trying to avoid bogging myself down in too much detailed planning. Maybe using the tent pole method or something?

    So now I have 4 characters with independent goals and I know I want to bring them together somehow and have them all converge in one place. But no idea as yet how that's going to happen.

    I suck at endings. Not that I write bad endings, I never make it to the end of anything so I have no idea how to do them. I have a bad habit of not finishing books I'm reading too so I don't even know how other people do it really.

    I just bought the third First Law book to read as "research". I wasn't a huge fan of the story by the end of the second one, but I think it could be useful because it involves a bunch of characters in different places doing different things, and I am curious to see how that all gets brought together.

    I'll stop rambling now. Hello. And if anyone has any advice on endings and bringing plot threads together I'd be very interested!

    Brovid Hasselsmof on
    “When the last tree is cut, the last river poisoned, and the last fish dead, we will realise that we cannot eat money.”

    Blog: All's Veld That Ends Veld
    Fearghaill
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    For me, endings aren't as hard as middles. The end is where you take all the thread you've spun out over the course of the story and make sure it's all woven together and the loose bits are tucked in somehow. Your character reaches her goal, or doesn't but has realized the goal is somehow irrelevant anyway. She has changed over the course of the story so that her success is believable, or she has stayed the same so that her tragic ending is also believable. The other characters have had their own arcs and successes or failures. Mostly, you want your reader to get to the end and feel satisfied, like things turned out how they were meant to, even if it sucked or wasn't super happy.

    KCWiseNova_Cchiasaur11
  • KupotheAvengerKupotheAvenger Destroyer of Cake and other deserts.Registered User regular
    smof wrote: »
    Hello WB. I'm probably going to post in this thread as well as the SE one because you guys are pleasant and wise in book stuff.

    I wasn't going to bother with NaNo this year but was persuaded to by a friend who wants a writing buddy. Both previous years I have failed, hitting around the mid 20k mark before stalling out.

    My priority this year is just to have fun so I hopefully complete it, try not to worry about what I'm writing and if it makes sense, and only write things that are fun to write.

    I decided to start by writing what I thought was an interesting back-of-book blurb and reverse engineering it from there. So I know I have these key things I need to include but I'm trying to avoid bogging myself down in too much detailed planning. Maybe using the tent pole method or something?

    So now I have 4 characters with independent goals and I know I want to bring them together somehow and have them all converge in one place. But no idea as yet how that's going to happen.

    I suck at endings. Not that I write bad endings, I never make it to the end of anything so I have no idea how to do them. I have a bad habit of not finishing books I'm reading too so I don't even know how other people do it really.

    I just bought the third First Law book to read as "research". I wasn't a huge fan of the story by the end of the second one, but I think it could be useful because it involves a bunch of characters in different places doing different things, and I am curious to see how that all gets brought together.

    I'll stop rambling now. Hello. And if anyone has any advice on endings and bringing plot threads together I'd be very interested!

    I find a really helpful method for my own writing is to have a picture of a scene and then building toward that picture. Its in essence very similar to having the interesting blurb in the back of the book first because you have the story you're trying to evoke (minus all the good tidbits) distilled in that blurb. Are your four characters going to have intersecting goals? Those always come together well, although maybe the idea of a common goal that each is trying to pursue through competing or opposite methods? Just sort of spitballing, and I'm sure there are more qualified writers in this group that you should be taking advice from, but that's my own personal take on it.

    fc: 1821-9801-1163
    Battlenet: Judgement#1243
    psn: KupoZero
    Misfits_Signature.jpg

  • Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    As it stands right now they all have independent goals, but all of them are in some way connected to the same city. There are various factions fighting for control of the city and each of my 4 protagonists is either involved in the fight or connected to someone who is.

    That probably doesn't make a lot of sense.

    I need to sit down and work out which faction ends up victorious and do some character work for everybody.

    “When the last tree is cut, the last river poisoned, and the last fish dead, we will realise that we cannot eat money.”

    Blog: All's Veld That Ends Veld
  • KupotheAvengerKupotheAvenger Destroyer of Cake and other deserts.Registered User regular
    smof wrote: »
    As it stands right now they all have independent goals, but all of them are in some way connected to the same city. There are various factions fighting for control of the city and each of my 4 protagonists is either involved in the fight or connected to someone who is.

    That probably doesn't make a lot of sense.

    I need to sit down and work out which faction ends up victorious and do some character work for everybody.

    Actually it makes plenty of sense. I could see them sort of meeting each other in passing or hearing of each and then some sort of conflict or central sequence happens that brings them together, neatly tying things up. For instance two characters might live in New York City, but one is a struggling actor and another is a spoiled kid from the upper east side. They could end up in the same coffee shop when say, a meteor slams down through the building and they're the sole survivors. Now two separated threads are tied together, but their separate motivations continue on, despite the common purpose.

    I'm rambling again.

    fc: 1821-9801-1163
    Battlenet: Judgement#1243
    psn: KupoZero
    Misfits_Signature.jpg

  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    I, too, have a really hard time with middles. I hate, hate, hate middles--movies, books, cartoons... eventually my brain kicks in and it's like "Oh, are we still doing this?"

    What's good about this is it really helped me find a great way to get to the potential end of this story that I've outlined. I'm going to try to have the other outline done by Wednesday and move on to scene cards. Just want to keep it organized in Scrivener. I'm thinking about background stories for main characters a little bit, but I've never spent a lot of time on that kind of stuff before. Mostly because I've never figured out a way to do background stories without severe info-dumping which is decidedly non-sexy...

    They brought back 30 Covers in 30 days! Has anyone ever had a cover done for their book? I try every year, but never win. :(

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    How do you even get considered for it?

  • AmpAmp King of Card Games Registered User regular
    I have the problem that I had a dozen or so "scenes" that I want to show that all are important but im lacking the main rope of story to tie onto. Spending tonight working on it at work. We are going to have fun crew.

    Calix Maus Imbranus
  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    So there is a nomination thread in the forums. Everyone usually floods it. You're supposed to have your novel information totally filled out and I guess appetizing enough to inspire an artist to want to take it?

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    oh snap.
    I might have to hunt it down and give it a try, I feel like I have my hook together

  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    http://nanowrimo.org/forums/30-covers-30-days

    Just to save you the trouble

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    KCWise wrote: »

    I found it! I am in there now... I am sure the torrent of steampunk and paranormal romance stuff will bury me, but here's mine:

    http://nanowrimo.org/forum_comments/3425053

    KCWise
  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    Wow, I really hope that gets a cover.
    and I hope you publish that--because that's a book I'd totally read!

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Aw, thanks!

    We'll see how it goes. This is basically a top down rewrite of a book I started several Nanos ago; it was always really aimless and sort of deliberately tongue-in-cheek, but then somewhere along the road I figured out what this story is at least sort-of about and suddenly I had to fix the original story because I actually need it to be more than what it is right now.

  • KCWiseKCWise Barefoot in my Husband's KitchenRegistered User regular
    Just got this interesting link of plotting if anyone is interested.

    livewritethrive.com/2013/10/07/ways-novelists-can-brainstorm-plot-and-scenes/

  • AmpAmp King of Card Games Registered User regular
    I had a bit of a brake through last night in that I realised I had created a serries of discussions that I wanted my characters to have but no reason for them to have them. After that I found suitable reasons and events to cause these discussions. As an example one of my characteres dies causing another to question the vailidity of the gods, prompting a discussion between one of the androids and them over why people believe in gods. Before that it was jsut a discussion that came up when cooking with no other motication with that. In short the problem I was having was finding motivation for characters to have these conversations rather than the conversations themselves. Im sure that this sounds like a jumble but I needed to get it out of my head.

    Calix Maus Imbranus
  • Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    I still struggle with developing my characters. I've read a ton of stuff about it but it still doesn't click.

    I have trouble working out a character's primary need. I think I always just think of needs as biological ones - you need to eat, breathe, drink, sleep. Beyond that you don't really need to do anything. Everything else is a want.

    I guess I just wonder how you decide what a character's need is? It's more confusing because I try and use myself as an example to think about things and I can't even identify what would be my own need. But it's no shock to me to learn I lack motivation. I'd like to have characters that are more motivated than me!

    “When the last tree is cut, the last river poisoned, and the last fish dead, we will realise that we cannot eat money.”

    Blog: All's Veld That Ends Veld
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