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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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » October 6th, 2017, 9:07 pm

So I was bored and went into research mode, I played around with some name generators and I think I got a good list of names for my FMC 1, MMC, FMC 2, the villain, the realm/world but still have no title for it or a cover!
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Taube » October 12th, 2017, 2:09 am

That's great, Ani-Mei! Naming is one of my Achilles' heels, so I actually have several novels with some variation on a title of Untitled. So creative. :roll: This year I kind of fell into my main characters' names and novel title, but the antagonist still just has a 'temporary' name because I have to call him something!

This is my first year as an ML so I've been spending more time planning parties, fundraising, and write-ins with my co-ML than actually working on my story. I've got a very basic outline and a lot of world-building, but I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be, and I'm taking a creative writing course online right now, so all my writing time/energy is going towards that. At least I'll start pretty fresh on it when I pick up my notes. I kind of wanted to work on this psychological thriller story I had started during Camp, but I felt like, as a new ML, I probably shouldn't rebel my very first year, so it's back to the sci-fi story. That's ok. It's all about the fun and having a first draft, no matter how questionable, when you come out the other end. :chill:
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » October 12th, 2017, 5:05 pm

Being an ML is nice, I'm not involved enough to become one where I am but I think we've already got ours for this year. No one has posted in the ML forums so they probably will start coming out of the internet later on this month.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » October 14th, 2017, 9:48 pm

I think I've come up with my NaNo genre this year, Fantasy Steampunk. I was stalking the NaNo forums and I suddenly remembered one of my most beautiful Sims who never really got to shine in her generation. She can be my modern heroine who my fantasy heroine is searching for. Morgan Pryce my fourth gen Monster Mash spare, she's a witch and totally rocks the steampunk look.

Spoiler:
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And this is the inspiration for my fantasy heroine I think her name is going to be Breia Elarieth she's my elf princess looking for the magical key jewel to open the door between the realms.

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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ally » October 21st, 2017, 2:52 am

I am so excited for NaNo this year :D

I have always been a plan (I've attempted to pants once, and it ended horribly, so we'll just skirt over that...). I normally begin with having some sort of concept already in my head - I use a journalling app called Day One to write down any ideas, thoughts, characters etc that come into my head, and you can also add pictures into that as well, so if there is imagery that inspires me for a story, I normally add that in too - so I begin by going through my notes to see what story idea catches my eye, and speaks to me.

My next step with planning is character. For each character, I'll put together a mood board of colours or clothing that I would associate with them, as well as filling in a chart of their full name, birthday, motivations, fears etc

Then the next step in my planning process is plot. I write a brief overview plot, and then plan chapter by chapter, with exactly what is going to happen, as well as any specific lines I want to write into it as well.

... I should probably start planning now :lol:
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » October 22nd, 2017, 1:26 am

Yes considering it starts in 9 days. I keep meaning to write an outline but things keep distracting me...
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » October 23rd, 2017, 4:24 pm

I got my cover done! I think I like this title the best of all and the picture really fits.

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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby cynicalbadger » October 24th, 2017, 12:59 pm

Very cool cover!

I've decided to not officially take part but I might try and find time to write this month - make the effort!
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby DSLady » October 24th, 2017, 4:05 pm

I'm doing the same thing I've done every year since I discovered NaNo; work on my own book! Though, it's been seven years and I'm still no further through than around 10,000 words. So, I don't have high hopes (considering my boyfriend's graduation is in the middle of November, too) but I'm just going to treat it as a month to dedicate to my book. Now, if only I could solidify what I want my plot to be :cry:
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » October 30th, 2017, 10:35 pm

I got my Word Count Widget added! Let's hope I can see that awesome purple WINNER! in it this year.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Taube » November 1st, 2017, 3:02 pm

I got a good jump on my wordcount right at midnight! That felt good, especially because I have a lot to do today, so no matter what I get done later, I still get to feel accomplished today. I'm kind of just 'eh' on my story. I might change it to another one I have rattling around, but I don't want to give up on the first day because I am typically slow to start, so I can't judge yet.

On the ML side, it was really tough planning our Kick-Off party and my co-ML was being a lazy you-know-what and I was so stressed! We've made up and now we just have the write-ins (which are easy) and a TGIO party to do. Our sister region, which we are geographically close to and coordinate events with, is running the Midway. Fundraising between the two regions is still a gigantic question mark. That part of it is all a lot less fun than writing, but I still feel good about giving back to something that I've enjoyed so much over the years.

On another note, did anyone else sign up for the Coursera NaNo classes? I just barely finished my last assignment by dinner yesterday, and then I'll do the capstone course in December. The feedback system has been illuminating.

Happy writing, everyone!
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby Ani-Mei » November 1st, 2017, 3:52 pm

No I didn't, I didn't even know it was a thing. But I will start writing today because it's what I wanted to do and since here it's 6 hours till midnight and I haven't written a single word I have to get to it.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby cynicalbadger » November 2nd, 2017, 10:52 am

Omgosh DS I stole your Pokemon word counter because it is the BEST THING EVER!

I'm technically one day ahead because I couldn't wait for midnight :lol: but I really don't think I'll reach 50,000 in one month. Which I'm fine with, I'm going to continue in December too because I love my novel. It's YA and is basically the story I wish I had when I was a teen.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2017

Postby DSLady » November 2nd, 2017, 3:09 pm

cynicalbadger wrote:Omgosh DS I stole your Pokemon word counter because it is the BEST THING EVER!

Isn't it adorable?? I'm not entirely sure how I found it, but it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.

I broke 3k on my story last night, but I'm not predicting a good outcome from tonight's session. I'm fighting hard against the urge to bunk off and just play Shadow of Mordor instead... :pan:
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