Adventures in NaNo

Writing

I’ve been revising and editing for long enough that I’d forgotten what putting words to keyboard/screen without having it all sketched out feels like. Granted, I still have a rough outline for what goes into the scene, but now I have the freedom to play with more generative plot hooks.

The key is finding that balance between freedom and having something to write about. If I don’t have enough guidance for myself, I run into choice paralysis and can’t write anything. But some good things do come to me spontaneously while I’m drafting, and I don’t want to miss out on too many of those. I would bet that the balance is different for every writer.

So far in drafting, I’ve unearthed some interesting character details and an important motivation for the antagonistic forces. Maybe the month will bring me more storystuff to fill in the plot holes. But for right now I’m plowing ahead with what I already outlined.

Anyway, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, best of luck to you! Whether you’ve written a hundred or a hundred thousand words by the end, you’ll have something you wrote. You’ll have created something.

 

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NaNo, giveaways, and Japan

Blog Writing

My trip to Japan filled my creative well. I read less than I’d aspired to, but I managed to soak in many new and unfamiliar experiences, especially in Sapporo . That’s what I require in order to create.

I’m happy to announce that I’m giving print books away via Whiskey With my Book. If you somehow read this blog and don’t read that, then I recommend rectifying the situation.

I’m also trying NaNoWriMo this year. I last participated three years ago, and got a chunk of my first manuscript done then. Since I want to work on something new, this is a good opportunity to grind out a good bout of words, get some momentum going. I’d love to get to 20k this month, but I guess I could shoot for the full word count.

In preparation, I’m making a skeleton outline and preliminary beat sheet. I have the beginning and the end of the story worked out: but how do they get from point A to point B? I hope I find out soon!

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Books and games for vacation

Blog

Part of the fun for vacation prep, for me, is figuring out what video games and books to take along. Here’s my current lineup:

Switch

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • Octopath Traveler

Well, what are you going to play in Japan besides Japanese RPGs? Okay, granted, that’s most of what I play anyway. I’ve started XC2 and have heard good things about it. I mean, it has the Nopon, who are super-cute.

On the other hand, it has Pyra, who cannot possibly be anatomically correct.

Well, at least there are shirtless men too?

Octopath Traveler is, I’m told, super crunchy. I don’t know if I’ll get around to playing it, but it’ll be good to have on hand if I’m feeling retro.

3DS

  • Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
  • Bravely Second: End Layer
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
I dig the aesthetic of SMT4

That’s a lot of colons, a lot of RPGs, and a lot of remakes. I still have a backlog of portable games, as you can see. 3DS and Vita seem to be continuing to wind down, and that’s okay with me because games are coming to Switch. Faster than I can play them, it seems. In any case, I’d love to finish Radiant Historia.

Books

  • Necrotech by KC Alexander
  • Medusa’s Touch by Emily Byrne
  • Mixed Signals by Alyssa Cole
  • Masked Possession by Alana Delacroix
  • Pure Sacrifice by Jami Gold
  • Inouye by JC Hay
  • Dangerous Promise by Megan Hart
  • You Only Love Twice by Bec McMaster
  • An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair
  • Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen
  • Psion by Joan Vinge

This is mostly science fiction romance with some paranormal romance and some science fiction. I will probably pick up a few historicals as well. Because between planes and trains, who doesn’t want to read? I doubt I’ll read all of them but I’d like to make a dent in my TBR.

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pitching and working

Blog

I was happy to enter Pitch Wars. I haven’t heard anything, but I didn’t expect to: this contest gets a lot of entries. Book matchmaking may be as difficult as finding a good romantic relationship!

I’m off to Japan again in two weeks. My goal is to have manuscript draft v3 done by then, so I can give it at least a temporary rest and potentially start on another story. Figure out whether I even want to continue writing just now, or want to do an independent programming project, or have some other big idea. I don’t have any LARPs that I want to run, though, and for tabletops, I’m not sure where to take my own. All that headspace is still consumed by the world I’ve built for writing.

Work, meanwhile, is more of the same. I think I need to figure out what I’m doing there and how to proceed. Ideally, the trip to Japan will give me some external perspective.

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GrubStreet Writers

Writing

I took a writing class at GrubStreet a few weeks ago. It was on some worldbuilding techniques. I hadn’t taken classes there before, so I was happy to find this class useful, informative, and fun. I loved seeing what ten different people did with the same prompts!

Inspired by that, I decided to try to get things ready for PitchWars this year. That means polishing my first chapter further, writing a query letter, and writing a synopsis…in less than three weeks. I think I can do it? At the very least it will be good practice. The community seems to involve a lot of Twitter. I’m not much for twitter. I would prefer to talk to humans. I’d love to find a writing group. I could find one there, but…again, I like talking to people in person. Especially about craft.

Also, I just realized I need a way to avoid killing the puppy in my next book. I write for myself, but if I ever want anyone else to read it, I can’t kill off the puppy. People have trouble with that even in horror. Maybe I’ll write a draft just for my own amusement in which I am awful.

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