Brace Yourselves: November is Coming

National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.

nanowrimo.org Mission Statement

As NaNoWriMo enters its 20th year (and I prepare for my 12th year of participation), it seemed the perfect time to dig a little deeper into what NaNoWriMo means not only for authors (a topic I’ve addressed fairly regularly), but also what it means for the people around them.

Without further ado:

Here Comes November

A Guide To The Care & Feeding of Your NaNoWriMo Author

What is NaNoWriMo?

According to the NaNoWriMo.org website:

“National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.”

Why do authors do it?

Every author who participates has a different reason for becoming a WriMo. For some, it’s an exercise in discipline. For others, an excuse to shut out the real world in favor of creating their own. For some, like me, it’s a matter of proving to yourself that you can finish the draft.

How do authors approach the challenge?

There’s no single way to approach NaNoWriMo and nothing will ever work for everyone: but there are three basic classes of WriMo you should be familiar with:

Planner:

This is the type of author your Language Arts teacher says you’re supposed to be. Planners have detailed outlines, character sketches, and new languages and creatures already fleshed out long before November 1 comes around. They plan. They are prepared.

Pantser:

Pretty much the opposite of the Planner, a Pantser tends to look at a blank page the morning of November 1 and finally get around to deciding what to write. A pantser’s mind if full of half-baked ideas, numerous plot bunnies, and a couple killer one-liners that someone is going to use this year no matter what!

Plantser:

A newly identified class who, for many years, been confused by Planners as Pantsers and Pantsers as Planners. A Plantser typically greets November with an idea, maybe a few character sketches in skeletal format, and a collection of notes that roughly resmeble an outline.

Your Role As The Keeper of a WriMo

Regardless what class your WriMo falls into, there are certain things that you can do to help make November run just a little more smoothly.

Encourage

November can be overwhelming for your WriMo. Let’s face it: November’s not exactly a quiet month anyway. Tons of holidays are closing in, usually followed by family members & social events. Weather tends to be meh – either cold and gloomy, hot and miserable, or some other combination of factors that basically make you want to crawl into a hole and be left alone for a couple months. Adding the average daily wordcount of 1,667 to the mix is crazy-making.

And yet, WriMos do it… year after year.

There are many ways to encourage your WriMo and help them through the insanity that is November.

Take on additional chores so they don’t have to worry about them.

Screen social engagement requests to help maximize writing time.

Listen when they share their ideas. You are important enough for them to not write while they talk to you – make sure they realize they are equally important and that you appreciate the fact that you are THAT high on their list.

Nourish

Many WriMos, particularly when they are in the zone, forget to address their own basic needs. As the keeper of a WriMo, you should always take care to make sure your WriMo has adequate water in addition to any other beverage of choice they may ingest while working.

Make sure to feed your WriMo regularly, too. In most cases, you shouldn’t have to actually feed your WriMo but placing a meal or snack in easy reach will ensure they are able to maintain their strength without the danger of losing their momentum to go find and/or prepare something to eat.

Get Acquainted With Their Muse

Every WriMo has a muse and repeat WriMos tend to be familiar enough with their muse to be able to introduce you. Getting to know your WriMo’s muse may well be your single most important task as the keeper of a WriMo.

Just as every WriMo is different, every muse is different. Learning about your WriMo’s muse will prepare you to help your WriMo seduce the muse back to the story when she wanders.

To Be Continued…

It’s been a crazy couple months:
My mentor & dear friend retired from the DayJob in June and I have been going slightly mad (just very slightly mad) learning all the things I didn’t know about her job now that it’s my job.

New side projects. Plot bunnies running amok. Human sacrifice. Dogs & cats living together… wait. That’s not it.

Bear with me, folks. I’m still here… at least until November 😉

Until next time…

Take a minute to breathe… to remember… to love.
Smell the roses, pet the dogs, and hug the people who have a place in your heart.

National Novel Writing Month

Friends, this will be short.

While my word count is still high enough to successfully complete the challenge, I’m behind my personal goals and… quite frankly… that just won’t do.

Youngest spawn’s cheer team gave an amazing performance on Sunday, 5 Nov. They brought home a well-earned first place and qualified for Jamz Youth Nationals in Las Vegas. If you’ve seen the info-memes on Facebook about giving books as holiday gifts, it would really help the cheer fund if you popped over to the order page for some of those gifts 🙂

This year’s NaNoWriMo project is the second episode of the Heroes of Vadim saga. Several elements of this particular story have surprised me, but I think it will all work out in the revisions.

My stats so far:
Your Average Per Day ~~ 1,976
Target Word Count ~~ 50,000
Target Average Words Per Day ~~ 1,667
Total Words Written ~~ 19,766
Words Remaining ~~ 30,234
Current Day ~~ 10
Days Remaining ~~ 21
At This Rate You Will Finish On ~~ November 26, 2017
Words Per Day To Finish On Time ~~ 1,440

 

Unfortunately, these words don’t count – so it’s back to work for me.

On a less pleasant note: I am not ignoring tragedies or burying my head in the sand when it comes to social issues. I told they would show up here and this particular post doesn’t even begin to really touch the terrors of today’s world. This is not because I am trying to avoid them – it’s because they make me physically ill to consider. For my own sanity (cue the peanut gallery), I must put my heart and mind far from life in the here-and-now.

This is why we tell stories and why we listen to (and read) them.
To keep the real world at a distance for a moment and recharge to face it.

Until next time, friends – believe in love.
Terror is hate, and hate can’t be fixed with more hate.
Practice believing in love. If we all do it, we can tip the scale.

Imitation Game

“All that I desire to point out is the general principle that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life, and I feel sure that if you think seriously about it you will find that it is true.”

-Oscar Wilde

I have been watching the world grow more and more cruel.

It’s not position I’d ever choose willingly, nor is it one that I occupy without actively opposing its growing strength. Nonetheless, this world we live in has brought me to it.

I can’t speak for others but I can tell you that, to me, the current state of the world is terrifying. Rather than being united against the overpowering darkness, we fight amongst ourselves… teach children to scream obscenities they don’t even understand… shed blood without bothering to realize that it’s all the same color when it’s spilling onto the ground… and there’s no end in sight.

It’s understandably disturbing to students of history: those that have studied the recurring patterns and the turbulent decades that follow.

It is just as disturbing, though, to those whose visions reach into the far future.

Seeing the current state of the world, I see the groundwork being laid for the dark futures some of us create. The toxic wastelands, unwarranted division of peoples, unchecked abuse by those who have managed to seize power… those nightmares crafted in the minds of the creative collective seem to be looming on the horizon.

I hope I’m over-reacting… but it is a little hard to tell.

And in other news:

The DayJob continues its quest to liquefy my brain.

Cheer season is in full swing and the youngest spawn has a full schedule until sometime in November (at least). Consequently, so do said spawn’s parental units.

We are back to triple-digit highs (37.7c and above, for those whose brains are metric) with thick clouds and random sprinkles.

And, just to make life interesting, I’m still writing and crafting as if none of the above items in this list have any bearing on anything.

Rain In August (and other oddities)

This is today’s weather forecast. Did I mention that windshield wipers were necessary during the morning commute to the DayJob? Yes – it’s as miserable as it seems it would be… especially for the denizens the Central Valley who are so often reminded we should appreciate the fact that “it’s a dry heat.”WTForecase

Speaking of the DayJob… it hasn’t quite sucked the life out of me – but it’s making a hell of an effort.

In other news…

I am still chipping away at the previously mentioned projects and, thanks to a comment on the Facebook page, have another one rattling around one of the currently unoccupied corners of my mind. Or maybe sharing space with another fledgling plot. It’s hard to tell, sometimes.

Youngest spawn has finished camp and cheer season has officially begun. Practice Tuesday and Thursday, games on Saturday. This (in addition to the DayJob and other year-round responsibilities) is my life for the next three months. You may “see” less of me out here in the etherworld, but if you happen to wander our direction in real life on a Saturday, you’ll probably end up at a youth football game. You’ve been warned.

In the grander scheme of things: the world in general (my country, in particular) continues its downward spiral. I fear the doomsday clock will move even closer to midnight next year – assuming they even wait that long to make the adjustment. I think, though, that’s all I’m going to say about that today.

I make no promises about what I may or may not say tomorrow.

Redefining Insanity

Things are crazy here.

Even crazier than normal… unless, of course, you consider that all the pieces and parts are still… well… normal.

For me, at any rate.

The world seems to continue to spiral into madness (in a related note: Dissension is still free, but time’s running out). Seriously, folks, there really are things more important than who was cast in a TV show.

Closer to home, the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County (central California) is not an immediate danger to us – but it’s devastating and my heart breaks a little more every time I see an update.
More than 74,000 acres have burned so far with only 15% containment.
Nearly 4,000 personnel are battling this blaze.

Even closer to home, the Day Job’s about to intensify exponentially and cheer season for the youngest spawn is right around the corner.

Then it will be back-to-school, and holidays, and…

Oh, and that cool story with the fantasy races in the post apocalypse? That’s still happening.
So’s another Rio Crew Novel.
And a couple other smaller projects that may or may not develop beyond brainstorming.

Blanket Fort

The “real world” has grown exponentially more depressing and my desire to hide away from it all is hard to deny.

But, as someone occasionally accused of being a responsible adult, I can’t just heed the call of the blanket fort without considering the consequences.

Thankfully, the Muse has finally decided she’s seen enough of the copper coffee pots.

She has taken me back (or is it forward?) to the days after the end of the world: a decade after a few superpowers chose play the very dangerous and deadly game of Whose Bomb Is Bigger, Anyway? and ended up destroying civilization.

Some saw the way things were headed and prepared: shelters were built and stocked and, when the bombs began to fly, evacuations began. Some were barely large enough to keep a single family safe but others were designed to house the populations of entire cities.

Others preferred to stay above ground: to fortify what they could, help each other as much as they were able, and let fate lead them into the future.

Still others blindly trusted in divinity and bureaucracy: content to wait for government assistance and/or the hands of the Gods to scoop them up out of harm’s way.

Survival has done a lot of things to the races that lived here and has, in some cases, made matters worse.

Did I mention the fact that the so-called fantasy races never died out? That some of the largest and most secure bunkers belonged to elvish royals and some of the greatest ground-level safe-zones were built by humans and dwarves working together? What about the…

Enh…

I’ll let you find out for yourself 🙂

They’re Already Here

I was once accused of not being able to do anything half-assed… and that what I considered half-assed was more effort than most people put into anything.

I guess that’s why, when I said I was going to start working, I jumped into a half-baked story that seems to need quite a bit more fermentation before it’s ready to be presented to the world.

While it brews, though, there’s something coming to a boil…

A world (in a different dimension) that evolved in-line with ours with one major difference – those races we know as “fantasy creatures” and “faery” are the dominant species. Mankind, as we know it, is greeted with the same sort of skepticism (and belief in them met with the same sort of stigma) as exists here.

But, like our world, there are folks who truly believe…
Intelligent, respected folks…
With evidence…

Getting someone to believe, however, is another matter entirely.

Not sure how much dimension-hopping will happen… but I think it’s going to be fun 🙂