Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNo Anxiety

NaNo officially starts for me in just over four hours, so naturally i'm freaking out.

the last week and a half has been spent planning, worldbuilding, techbuilding, character building, and so on. no actual outlining, because outlines apparently make my writing suck. but i know who is going to be in the story, i know where it starts, and i have some idea of where i want it to go, and how to get there.

other than that, i'm relying on my mad pantsing skillz to pull me through. we'll see how that goes.

it has veered so far away from the original prompt that inspired it, it's kind of hilarious. besides one character name, and the general idea of computer hackers and the social network, it's entirely unrecognizable. but it's incredible what you can come up with from a few simple sentences.

the tech stuff has been the trickiest, because even though i don't have to fully explain how it works in the story (at least not up front) i need to know in order to be consistent. and it would be helpful if i could come up with names for all these things i'm inventing. i need a name for the implants, and for the terms they use for communicating through the implants, and what they call people with implants vs people without, and the ones with apparently malfunctioning implants (oops, spoiler alert). right now i've just got a bunch of placeholder terms, and i'm just hoping something better will come to me at some point in the next 30 days.

is anyone reading this? doing NaNo? add me as a writing buddy (i'm divy over there).

i'm gonna go hyperventilate for a few hours.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

it's almost time! NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a novel in the month of November. last year's nano is what got me started writing for real. it was a fantastic, mind-opening experience.

the novel i completed last year has been going through various betas, revisions, edits, stompings-on, etc. for about 6 months. i'm starting to accept the fact that it might be a trunk novel, or at the best, something i will revisit and re-plot/re-write in a few years when i'm better at this stuff. but the experience was invaluable, so naturally i'm doing it again.

now to me, nano is definitely about challenging oneself, in some way or another. just finishing 50K is a big enough challenge, but this year i've managed to take it even further. sigh.

my writing buddy and i agreed to do a plot-swap; we came up with very basic ideas for each other, a main character with a goal and a general sense of what their major obstacle will be. i was totally into the idea because I tend to get emotionally attached too characters too easily, so that i'm afraid to properly torture them ;) he also fully admitted to me that he wanted to force me to write outside of my comfort zone.

i admit i wasn't inspired by his ideas at first (he gave me a choice, which was part of the problem. i'm terrible at decision-making.) but i persevered and finally something clicked. i've been brainstorming most of last night and today, and i've come up with something i'm really really thrilled with. i can already see a bunch of different ways it can go, sub-plots i can expand upon, major crises for my MC that i can just keep piling up until she begs for mercy.

and apparently it's going to be some sort of cyberpunk/speculative fiction deal. umm, okay? i have never written anything remotely fantasy/sci-fi before. (save about 9K words of weird fantasy drivel that was probably more romance than anything, just with magic and shit.)

but the idea hit, and it won't let go. it's got mind-controlling brain implants and government conspiracies, neuro-hackers, etc. the main character is a teenager, so i'm probably also going to work in some standard edgy YA themes (drugs, disobedience of parents, runaways, etc.)

(i'm going to add here that i'm incapable of synopsising anything to save my life. i go off on tangents and ramble and completely lose the thread of what i was talking about... i know, shocking, isn't it. but once i get a hold on the meat of this thing, i'll post my synopsis here, or link to my nano profile, or something)

on the one hand, i'm totally freaked out because i haven't read much in this genre (or at all) and they (they who? i dunno) always say you should read in the genre you're writing. but then, this is nano, i'm not looking to send it out to publishers on dec. 1st or anything. it's an exercise more than anything.

now because i haven't read anything, not even the major names (i'm totally kicking myself for not picking up my dad's copy of Neuromancer that sat on his bookshelf for my entire life) there's also the possibility that i'll write something totally derivative and unoriginal, without even trying to.

i've been googling 'brain implants' and such (whoo, there's a lot more out there than i thought) and it seems a lot of my ideas aren't unique at all. they also might not be really all that unrealistic. but the underlying premise of the story relies on the fact that the majority of this society has willingly implanted themselves (or their children) with these devices. i'm not sure how i'm going to wangle that.

i am going to need to constantly remind myself that i can write anything i want, and if it's crap, then that's okay, because nano is really really good for writing crap.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

september who?

yeah, so i missed a month. bite me. september sucked big fat donkey balls.

plus i had nothing worth blogging about. and frankly, i was reluctant to push the baby picture post down. still feeling bereft of smooshing. but i will be home for christmas, so babysmooshes for the holidays!

knitting is great these days. finished several projects, including Buttercup in hempathy (omg, i love hempathy so much) and my 2 year (!) sweater project in malabrigo sock yarn. yeah, if you care about this stuff, you're already on Rav, so i'm not going to even bother linking. i'm lazy like that.

writing is going... weird. i've decided to write from an outline. i actually wrote an outline. i know what most of the scenes in this story are going to be, and i know how the character arcs will work. i even whipped up a freaking timeline in a spreadsheet. so now i have to write it.

and i like the story. i like the characters. my protagonist is fun to write (he's a very sweary teenage boy, and he's kind of a jerk, and a total player. it's awesome.) and this has the potential to be really good, in my opinion (though i'll grant i'm a little biased).

but right now, all it is is potential. there's no story yet. the words that go on the page to tell the story aren't coming. i'm writing scene after scene, plugging along, but they're all disjointed and wrong, and they're too short, and not enough happens. i mean, stuff happens plot wise, but all i have is the stuff that furthers the plot. the inbetweeny stuff, the deeper characterization, the setting, any description at all, is just gone, and i don't know where the part of my brain that writes that stuff went. (also missing? the part of my brain that writes concise, non-convoluted sentences. sorry about that).

so writing it has just become this frustrating exercise of blah. and blogging about it, while not productive for the story, makes me feel like i'm doing something. (something besides procrastinating? well, no.)

feel free to give me kicks in the ass, i can probably use them.