Writing Notes by Today, I Wrote…

November 5

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NaNoWriMo Day 5: How I’ve Been Writing

by Ann-Kat

Word Count: 9,994 (so close to 10,000 I can taste it)
Remaining Words: 40,006

This year I actually have a map of my novel from beginning to end. This map contains a word or two which encapsulates each scene. Sometimes I’ll look at one of the words and the entire scene unfolds before my eyes. What’s intriguing to me, though, is how the story is being written.

I’ve never been a true linear writer—bits and pieces come to me, I write it down, and then I rearrange it until it all fits properly—but with this novel, I thought for certain I’d be able to write it straight from scene one to scene final, no problem. Wrong.

Since the first day of NaNoWriMo, I’ve been writing just before bed and I always write the scene that comes to me with the most emotional blow. The passion tends to come through in the writing because the words just pour out of me. But of course that’s not a problem.

My concern is the story I’ll be left with when it comes time to rearrange. Will it still be the same story I envisioned?

November 4

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NaNoWriMo Day 4: My Novel is Causing Nightmares

by Ann-Kat

Word Count: 8,572
Words Remaining: 41,428

It’s barely day four of NaNoWriMo and I’ve already woken from a disturbing dream.

(NB: Although I considered my dream to be tense and mildly annoying, years of watching, reading, and listening to horror, real and imagined, has desensitized me in a number of ways. Therefore by normal standards my dream was actually a terrifying nightmare.)

First, a bit of background about the novel I’m writing: Imagine Swimfan crossed with Fear.

In my dream I was the female protagonist of my book. I was being violently attacked but no one could see it. They were staring directly at me and my attacker, but to them it was if he were lacing me with kisses and affection. Everyone kept telling me I was being silly and foolish and that I was making a mistake by trying to leave him.

More disturbing was the setting of the dream—intense dank and darkness. Even my attacker looked heinous. But still, no one except me could recognize any danger. And I couldn’t get away.

What’s still more unsettling is that I woke with my novel in mind and an eagerness to write. So with bits of this revolting dream swishing around in my head, I’m off to add to my story’s bottom line.

November 4

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NaNo Board Almost Complete, or NaNoWrimo Day 2

by Ann-Kat

Cross-posted at Today, I Read…

Going into the second day of NaNoWriMo, I have just shy of 2,000 words complete (and by the end of the day, that total should jump to just shy of 4000—I hope).

The NaNo board still isn’t complete; it’s only halfway done, but I figured I might as well post up a progress report.

Unfinished NaNoWriMo Board

In case you’re wondering, yes those are pictures of Paul Walker. I was watching Into the Blue the other day and all of a sudden, I jumped up and screamed, “OMG! It’s Rick! It’s Rick!”

Of course, now my craziness is showing, but to explain, Rick Dawson is one of the main characters in my NaNoWriMo novel and he goes through many, many changes in the story; I needed someone who could visually pull it off. Paul Walker goes from a sweet pretty boy (upper left corner) to a gritty bad boy (bottom right corner) just like my MC.

paul-walker-20070223-216200paul-walkerwalker66

Unfortunately, I still haven’t found the perfect visual example of my leading lady and I’m afraid I may have to break down and draw her, but I’m keeping hope alive. (If you know of any young biracial models or actresses, please let me know.)

In the center of the NaNo board, I have the calendar that I printed from deviantART and colored in with water colors.

NaNo Board Calendar

To its left is my Magna Carta I, all the things I like in a novel, and to its right is the Magna Carta II, all the things I dislike in a novel.

Magna Carta IMagna Carta II

I still need to include the mind map cloud thing because it would be much easier to look up at the board for reference rather than dig through my notebook. Goodness willing I’ll get that finished and glued on there this afternoon.

November 4

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And So Begins NaNoWriMo…

by Ann-Kat

Cross-posted at Today, I Read…

I didn’t get the NaNo board finished yet, but it’s coming along. The calendar, Magna Carta I & II, and some visuals have been completed. The goal is to finish it up this weekend so I can hang it above my desk by Monday.

In the meantime, I’ve already set up Liquid Story Binder XE for my newest novel by resetting my global work logs from last year’s and preparing my Planner.

LSBXE Layout for 2009 NaNo Novel

I’m doing things a bit differently by incorporating Builders. The reason is that this time around, I’ve actually prepared a mind map for this particular novel—something I didn’t have last year (I flew by the seat of my pants).

Right now I hope to write as much as possible because I want a nice comfy cushion when those lean writing days arrive…and I know they’re coming.

I’d also like to keep a daily writing journal and post over at Today, I Wrote… (which is desperately in need of some love) as I go along. I hope I won’t become too preoccupied.

If you’re also participating in NaNo, buddy me. You can never have too much support.

November 4

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Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2009

by Ann-Kat

Cross-posted at Today, I Read…

NaNoWriMo.org

In less than a week, the mass month-long caffeination of hundreds (possibly thousands) or writers worldwide will begin. Yep, I’m talking about National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, where the participants are asked to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days’ time.

Impossible, you say? Not so. Last year I won, even if the 50,000 words I managed to churn out amounted to nothing more than a coaster made of recycled trees. (Yes, I really am using last year’s novel as a coaster right at this very moment.)

But learning from past experience, this year, I’m going in with (more of) a plan.

My brain likes structured chaos—you know, the stuff that looks like a hodgepodge but is really organization in disguise—and highly visual stuff—big and colorful so I can’t miss it.

The light bulb flickered on for me when I saw the extra 24×36 in. poster frame I had stashed in the corner of my room. I thought, “Hmmm, that’s big enough to fit a whole bunch of bright colorful stuff on. (sound of mental gears grinding.)” Story collages, mind maps, the magna cartas, inspirational quotes…a calendar…all smooshed together.

BAM! The NaNo board idea was realized.

With the easy part of the way, it’s a matter of figuring out how to implement it. (Wish me luck.) Here’s the blueprint so far:

  • Epicenter = mind map. A few months ago I came up with a story idea and drew up a mind map on an 9×12” sheet of paper.
  • Calendar below. I was going to create my own, but finding a link to all the NaNoWriMo calendars on deviantART saved me the trouble. (I printed out a fun one with coffee stains and quotes.)
  • Magna cartas on either side. No Plot? No Problem? (links to my review) discusses creating two magna cartas (aka lists), one detailing everything you like in a novel and the other detailing everything you hate.
  • Inspiration on the fringes. Pictures, other images, and words that relate to my story and help keep me in my inspired happy place while writing. (In other words, shinies in collage form. Looks like all those magazines I’ve saved since 2006 will finally come in handy.)

During the next few days, I hope to finish, in addition to the chaotically structured  NaNo board, my novel folder which will include character dossiers, location samples (i.e. maps, descriptions, random town facts), and fleeting bits of dialog.

When it’s all set up, I’ll be sure to take pictures and update.

Meanwhile, I need writing buddies. Hit me up please. :D

December 4

Comments: 5

Word Highlights

by Ann-Kat

What kind of freak reads the dictionary with a highlighter so she can highlight her favorite words? (Hint: you’re reading her blog right this minute.)

Dictionary Highlights

December 4

Comments: 6

Getting Started

by Ann-Kat

This site is relatively knew. It’s the sister site to my book review website and it came about because I also love to write. I didn’t want that part of me to seep too deeply into my review site because not every reader is a writer. So please pardon the dust as Today, I Wrote… comes together.

 

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