NaNoWriMo 2017

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NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » August 30th, 2017, 10:01 pm

It's funny the random things you end up thinking about at midnight. Yes I know it's not even September yet but I was thinking about November already. The last four years of NaNo I haven't been able to finish anything I start, things keep happening to me that prevent me from finishing. So I was wondering if anyone else has moments like this where they just can't help but think ahead, I went looking for some pictures to try and trigger something for this year's NaNo and I found some. Problem is, I am not a planner I'm a pantser where I don't even have an idea until like Halloween night on what I want to write the next day when November starts. I know nothing about world building, language making, character back stories, or anything about the fantasy worlds I end up dreaming up. :heavybreathing:

So maybe hearing from other Boolproprians about what they are planning for November and maybe get some hints, tips, and inspirational words of wisdom on how to make my 2017 be the year I get back into NaNo writing.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Taube » August 31st, 2017, 12:26 am

Well, I'm the complete opposite on the pantser vs. plotter spectrum, so I don't know how helpful my ideas will be, but I'll share what I do. (Incidentally, this is my first year as a co-ML for my local group, so I'm into Nano in a pretty major way!) I like to have extensive info and preferably a fully-fleshed out outline (this does not always happen depending on what the year throws at me), so I start looking for inspiration in spring. I return to some of my favorite books, shows, and movies and try to think why I like them - not just the plot or characters, but what qualities of the story or types of stories do I enjoy? I also use dreams a lot for inspiration since I have very vivid, occasionally lucid dreams on a nightly basis. Usually the stuff my nocturnal brain comes up with is useless or derivative at best, way too weird at worst, but occasionally I get the germ of an idea. I then think on it for a few weeks, make notes, and consider other story ideas. One usually interests me more than others. By early summer, I've picked a story idea and have a general idea of what it's about, but I like to explore it more fully. During the two Camp Nano months, I do freewriting of backstory, world details, location sketches, character sketches, etc. A lot of this never gets used, but it gets me thinking just to be typing something. I think about my story and keep an app on my phone where I can make notes when the key piece to that one plot hole inevitably comes while in the grocery line or whatever. Late summer I start on my outline, and I have a pretty strong idea where the story is going and how it gets there. I usually take October off from thinking about the story so that I feel fresh and still interested at the stroke of midnight on November 1.

That's my process, and it serves me pretty well, but it is *obviously* not for everyone. My pantser friends think I'm crazy. I kind of think I'm crazy, but it works for me. A few things that might be more generally applicable: freewriting for brainstorming. Just write! To start my outline, I use the Snowflake Method for the first couple steps and then develop a W-Plot outline, and then flesh that out into a phase outline if I have enough time. The first two can be adapted to start the process of developing a story out of an idea, but phase outlines are only for the most dedicated of plotters. Take notes when you have a spare thought about the story, even if it doesn't seem to fit. You never know what might come together later. On that note, even if you don't have time/the inclination to develop a full world, consider doing some writing or thoughts about character and world backstory. This can really set up some constraints that will help shape your story. For example, I am writing a sci-fi story. I "found out" during my freewriting that the world had survived - barely - an apocalyptic robots vs. humans war, and that this has affected laws and attitudes about technology. This gave me a lot of information about who could use technology in my world and why and how other people would react to it. Even if this backstory stuff never officially makes it into your novel come November, it will color your ideas and I think that can be helpful.

Woo, that was a bit of a ramble. I hope at least a bit of that is helpful! It's helpful for me, at least. I don't know your situation, Ani-Mei, but I find participating in local write-ins and on the forums increase my drive and excitement. I hope you are able to have a successful November, whatever that means to you! I'll keep an eye on this thread because I am always up for talking about Nanowrimo with others. Good luck and happy writing! :highfive:
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Iya » August 31st, 2017, 11:15 am

@Ani-Mei, I have the same problems as you do. I don't think I have ever accomplished a complete sim story yet. I think it's simply has to do with how I can never bring myself to be mean to my sims. I want them ALL to have their happily-ever-after or at the very least a happy life. I don't know why. I feel guilty whenever if i ever so much as consider making one sim cheats on the other or have one child bully another. haha. It's embarrassing really. :oops:

@Tauve, I really like your method because it leaves room for lots flexibility. It fits alot into how i write.

I'm a writer myself and I always like to flesh out my characters, settings, plot, and developments before I write the story. However, in my experience, it's best the let the characters tell the story themselves. For example, I'm currently working on a few novels at my blog, and I remember distinctively that my character was supposed to be this meek and naive heroine who was rescued by the hero. But when I finally sat down to write the first chapter, what came out was anything but. Instead of waiting for hero to come and rescue, she's the one running around trying to rescue everyone around her and would have died trying at the end had the hero not arrived in time. I'm almost done with the first manuscript and let's just say the best laid plans did not happen. Not only did my characters seem to have of their own but my plot was not the same either. Characters that were meant to be static got the most development and ones that were supposed to drive the story turns flat and uninspiring. I'm in love with the villian of the story and the hero got his heartbroken. All in all, everything went to hell... in a good way. ^^

Lol, sorry for that long explanation, but I just want to say to just start writing and enjoy yourself. Whether you're planning ahead or let the story drives you and write itself, it's all you to. I found myself at my creative best when I let the story drive me because that's when the story flow the smoothest with the best results. But i also found that having plan ahead with their backgrounds, settlings, etc also goes along the way to help keep the story cohesive. As long as you let yourself be flexible and go with your heart, you'll be fine.

as for this NaNo, tbh, I don't know where I'm really going. It's half-plotted, half-documented but I'm ashamed to say that I don't want to be mean to my sims because I'm so attached to them. But I have to be if I want a interesting plot in the long run, lol. We'll just have to wait and see. :))
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » August 31st, 2017, 12:10 pm

For my first NaNo in 2009 The Children of Hidden City, it was based on an RP that ValQueen777 created way back on Boolprop 1.0. She said I could run with the idea and I did. My whole legacy, The Quest for Peace was based on the characters that came up during that RP. She had long forgotten about it and was surprised that I still loved it when I found her again on here, in that NaNo all my RP characters had back stories and childhoods, something that I had never done before, and nothing I've been able to do since. I've looked for pictures and I did find one that is perfect for my FMC, she doesn't have a name, a back story, or a home right now but there's plenty of time for that all to come up in the next two months. I have several pictures of what the world could look like, I just have to name the lands and landmarks. I will probably make her into a Sim since that seems to work for me when I get stuck on something, it definitely worked for my God of the Dead Reias when he fell for Roxie Sharpe and produced Solan, my most well loved and cherished character. I can see Dragon Valley as the place where my FMC would thrive since it fits the theme of the story I have toyed with.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby cynicalbadger » September 13th, 2017, 7:46 am

I will hopefully take part this year, but I also didn't finish my novel last year. I tried to pants it and it because very obvious that the story I thought I had in my head wasn't actually much of a story - this is my problem, I think of the main event or gimmick in the story and ignore things like plot :haha: though the NaNo where I actually finished I pretty much pantsed it. I suppose it depends on what the world has thrown at me that year and how strong I am to just charge forwards regardless of events in the story not making sense.

It's a tricky one to figure out. The best advice that's worked for me are the ones like don't look back, keep going forward but something new that I read this year was just run with it / make it up - basically if you want a three headed dragon in the world put it in there and you can figure out later how it fits into everything. Your first draft is supposed to be a work in progress and editing is there to make it better/ make sense later. My biggest flaw is when I overthink writing too, so personally, my advice is to ignore articles and websites that explain story processes and what you need in a plot because then I start to think my writing is bad because I can't specifically pick out an integral plot point or something.

It's a tricky thing because everyone is different. I think the best thing is to just WRITE and KEEP GOING - even if you think the idea has been done before, even if you think it's terrible one day (because the next it will probably get better, even if it doesn't make sense at first. And to take inspiration from everything - film, books, TV, just going outside.

For me, I'm doing my MA this year and want to commit all my time to it, but I know I have days where I'll sit and write just because I enjoy it. So I may work on the novel I've been stopping and starting for a year and a half (even though it's contemporary romance and I'm not really feeling that at the moment. I think I need a good book or film to rekindle my interest) because I can't decide on my main main character or if I should switch between POVs
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » September 13th, 2017, 11:10 am

I'm still debating it too, I've looked at pictures, been on the NaNo site talking to people there and still not sure. My FMC still has no name but I've come up with a pseudo-plot for it that took me a while to work on, though it's still bare bones and nothing really worked out yet. I still have a month and half to work it out some more. :smiley:
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