Writing Notes by Today, I Wrote…

Passionate prose is my PARAMOUR.

March 7

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My Lonely Blog and Heart-Bursting Fear

by Ann-Kat

I know I should blog for myself (at least, here) and for the most part I do. But I’ve slacked off on updating because I just assumed no one read my posts. Well, I received a comment the other day which served as a little wake-up call…people (at least one) read and (I hope) enjoy this blog, so in that spirit, I want to update it a lot more than I do now.

Lately my time has been spent reading or catching up on my Netflix queue. It seems that I’m procrastinating. I’m not sure why exactly. A few weeks ago I started writing this story that ignited such passion in me and then a few days ago I just stalled out. It’s like this fear reached into my chest and squeezed my heart until it felt like it would burst. Not sure why or where it came from, all I know is that I want it gone.

OK, that’s not entirely true. I do know what the fear is: Not getting it right. I’m so in love with my story that I’m afraid I won’t do it justice, like I’m not the person who should be writing it. When I think about it—really think about it—I know it’s silly. That doesn’t make it go away though. And my solution is to distract myself (by reading and catching up on my Netflix queue).

So, at this late hour when the world is still asleep, I’m awake and making a promise to myself. I’m going to power through my fears. I’m going to blog here more. (Apologies in advance if some of the entries sound like random crap spewing from my head.)

I really enjoyed posting my shitty first paragraphs while I was doing NaNo (which I eventually won, by the way), so I think I’ll continue in that vein. Instead of the shitty first paragraph, though, I’ll probably start posting up shitty first pages. I also plan to transcribe some of my hard copy writing journal entries (yes, I have an actual writing journal). I also want to publish some of my short stories here as well.

The goal, ultimately, is to get back on track with my writing.

March 31

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Writing Journal Day ???

by Ann-Kat

Writing Sample

I’ve been bad about keeping up a writing journal. I’ve been bad about writing, period. But I’m resolving to update here with my thoughts on the writing process, and at very least my word counts. And since I have no idea which day it would be, I’ll just start my next entry as Day 2.

Today (the past few days actually) I’ve been working on a couple short stories. One is more involved than the other and I’ve hit a point of stagnation. When it comes to that, I’ve learned to just wait it out. In the meantime, I’ve been working on the other story, which is a bit lighter in tone and concept and a bit more fun. (It’s a fantasy whereas the former is sci-fi.)

As far as word counts go I will be rounding off since I’ve been writing these stories longhand. (When I transcribe it, I’ll update with actual word counts.)

Sci-fi short story working title: The Romans
Word count: ~1,658

Fantasy short story working title: The Angel & The Porcelain Doll
Word count: ~476

Both of these stories are less than halfway finished, but I hope to have the first drafts done by this weekend so I can put some spit & polish on them.

November 14

Comments: 2

NaNoWriMo Day 14: State of the NaNo Board

by Ann-Kat

Word Count: 18,697
Remaining Words: 31,303

Time flies. It’s cliché, but true. We’re already two weeks into NaNoWriMo and I should be roughly halfway through my novel. I’m not. But I’m not fretting (yet). I am, however, (much more than) halfway done with my NaNo board.

NaNo Board - Almost Done

I’ve finally found the face of my female MC, Tessa Harding, and that face belongs to Christina Milian. She has the perfect balance of sweet cuteness, and sultry sexiness.  Christina Milian

I also managed to find the faces of two supporting characters, Sydney Averdale and Christian Cooper, portrayed by Meagan Good and Ian Somerhalder.

Meagan Good Ian Somerhalder

At one point, when I was adding the additional character photos to the board, I became choked up. It’s the moment I realized that I love my characters, even the flawed (and some might say, downright evil) ones. Granted, I love those characters in a different way; I’m trying to figure out how they became such broken people.

NaNoWriMo Novel Mind Map

I’ve finally added my mind map, which should help with the journey—no more needing to dig through my notebook to find sequence of events and such.

Just looking at the board gets me fired up, but I still see whitespace and that must be rectified.

And I’m not entirely sure this is NaNoWriMo related, but I’ve been inspired to write more short stories lately. Frankly, I think it’s a stalling tactic my mind conjured up to aid its procrastination efforts, but some of the ideas I’ve had are exciting. But I’m just jotting down the bare minimum of notes so I can write them later and focus on NaNoWriMo now.

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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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

July 27

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Project Amanda B’s Journal

by Ann-Kat

For now, I’m going to call this project Amanda B’s Journal. Yeah, the main character’s name is Amanda and the journal is being written from her point of view.

I just finished writing the second page of my newly started blogging a book experiment.

First day’s word count is 322 and the second day is 375.

Both days are a bit above average, so I’ll have to try and scale back a bit in the future, or just do two journal entries per day (600 words).

For now, the goal will remain unchanged because I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself–I still have project g writing goals to keep in mind.

July 26

Comments: 1

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.

*sigh*

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

   
 

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