Writing Notes by Today, I Wrote…

Passionate prose is my PARAMOUR.

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.


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.

July 30

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Book in a Month and Other Stuff

by Ann-Kat

Already I’m sort of behind on Amanda B’s Journal. I didn’t write my 300 words on Tuesday and I just finished today’s 300 words—394 to be precise.

Oddly enough, I’m enjoying this low pressure way of writing. In fact, since I have such a limited amount of space to progress the story forward, I’m enjoying the new directions that it’s taking.

I think the most surprising thing, though, is how Amanda answers me. Yes, it’s true. Before I wrote each of my 300 word journal entries, I asked Amanda what happened next? Then I listened and wrote what she told me. So far I’m connecting with her and I really do like her, despite her faults. She’s quirky.

In other news, I had finished a short story (2000 words more or less) and it had a sort of open-ended question as an ending. Almost a cliffhanger, but not quite.

As I was discussing something along the same lines of the story’s subject matter, I had a spark of an idea—why not continue the story? Normally, short stories are just that, but this particular story could easily be expanded because of the question posed—the novel will answer it.

The short story needs one more round of edits before I start submitting it, but I’m getting excited about the prospect. When I recently re-read the story after letting it sit for weeks, it sparked a feeling that lingered with me. I didn’t want that feeling to end.

So, I’ve decided to push forward with the novel idea and get the rough hammered out during the month of August. Yes, NaNoWriMo-style. I already have a general outline, it’s just a matter of getting it all out on paper…in a month.

July 26

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Blogging a Book and Finding an Audience

by Ann-Kat

I’ve had the idea for a while (and by a while, I mean years). There’s nothing new about blogging a book. Others have done it before me and others will do it after me.

But with this particular book, in my humble opinion, blogging it is the perfect medium. My one worry is having my material ripped off or plagiarized. That said, it’s a chance I’m willing to take.

With that, here’s my goal: blog one page (300 words) from the book each day. (Not on this blog, mind you. I already have the book blog set up.)

Since it’s a first person journal-style book, I must plan out how to display the content—basically, make it easy for someone just jumping in to read from the beginning.

Something else that just popped into my head is whether to allow commentary on the individual pages. On one hand, it can help me build a following and offer great feedback/direction, but on the other, it can adversely hamper my own creativity (and negative comments could just plain make me feel bad).

Then there’s the question of how to get it from blog format into edited manuscript format.

And, of course, I’ll eventually have to explain that it’s a work of fiction.


Enough yammering, it’s time for me to start doing. I’ll work out all those little details later.

December 16

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Twilight Time and the Birth of a Story

by Ann-Kat

There’s a moment just before you drift off to sleep (or are just waking up) and I call this Twilight Time because your mind is in two stages.

It also happens to be when the ideas tend to come to me; sometimes I’m good about remembering them when I wake up, other times not so much. That’s why I’m here to preach the importance of having a notebook and pen sitting next to your bed (or wherever you happen to sleep).

Last night, as I was drifting to sleep, a fragment of an idea the size of a diamond fleck came to me. The Sandman had given me an extra dose, so I was fighting it as I clawed my way onto my side and grabbed the notebook off the nightstand, luckily the pen rolled onto the bed with it.

I scribbled that first small thought. Then another followed. Before long, I had the page completely filled with gems that I would need to gently thread into a story. But, I also had something I was not expecting.

Some time ago, I’d say about six months, I had developed a general premise for a story. No matter which way I spun it, however, it never quite felt right to me. I already had the title, which I loved, so I just let it sit. When I had finished scribbling my notes, I realized that one of the lines was the title to that story that never quite wanted to be written. Until now.

Stories are strange creatures. Some will let you know the moment they are conceived, but will force you into a gestation period–like the one above. Others won’t let you know they’ve been conceived until you’re delivering it right on the page.

December 5

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The Scene Playlist

by Ann-Kat

Linkin Park Meteora

Linkin Park Meteora

I was stuck in traffic when the song came on. It was by Linkin Park and I suddenly felt inspired to write a particular scene I’d been putting off because of its delicacy.

In that brief moment when I was able to let my mind drift and just listen to the song, the harsh beat (which is my male lead), the melody (who he is inside) and the words (his desires), I suddenly realized it was the song for his revelation.

Naturally, as soon as I got home, I set my iPod to “Repeat One” and wrote like a mad woman. Now, the scene’s not entirely perfect, but I was finally able to get the emotions, the tension, and the revelation out on paper and it was all thanks to a song. Continue reading »

December 4

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Word Carving

by Ann-Kat

I’m about 90% finished my first actual novel. (I say actual because I’ve written books in the past, but none were quite a full-length novel.) As I printed a hard copy of what I’d done so far and began reading it with a red pen, I remember an old man I once saw wood carving. Continue reading »


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