nanowrimo

Pass the Branch: What Would Your Character Do?

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A busy, awesome week of progress and change for good this past w6854263759_5278eb4e4d_oeek–not much to update on personally though, other than to happily say that I think I have nearly mastered the art of the cover letter.  Hopefully, all the folk I’ve applied to so far think so as well.

The beloved and I are in the midst of preparing for his birthday getaway to Dex Con 18–a board gaming convention, and my first ever convention over all that doesn’t have to do with academia!  It’s promising to be an exciting time, made even more exciting by the fact that I have left myself open slots for each day there to sneak away and fulfill my Camp NaNoWrimo quota.

With so much going on but seemingly nothing of note to say, I was a bit nervous that I wasn’t going to have anything to write about this week, but nature proved me wrong quite literally this morning.

Every day, just about, I get up and I go about my getting-ready functions, and leave the house to go for a walk.  More often than not, I’m taking the long way to the coffee shop in town, which brings me through a nature trail alongside the river.  It’s a paved path, but this time of year, after all the rain we’ve had, the trail is overgrown with foliage.

In my path, where had been nothing before, was now a low hanging branch from a bush.  Well, not quite a branch.  It was a green, soft looking spine, like a vine pretending to be a branch, and it was stretched out, a bold imposing limb across my path. It stretched as though trying to touch the foliage across the way.

Admittedly, I was on my phone at the time, not quite paying mind, but when I saw the branch, I had a second to react and not a second longer.  And I chose to bow beneath it, and move on.

As I kept walking, I realized that in that one second I could have chosen to do anything, but I bowed.  I feel like that says a lot about me.  I respect nature and I respect in general, and I would rather avoid conflict but always follow through.  This started to get me thinking about writing, again, and the notion that this could prove to be a valuable prompt for character development.

What might you have done?  And specifically, what would your characters do?  There’s a lot of prompts out there that I’ve participated in, ranging from character’s favorite foods to who would your character sleep with if they could sleep with anyone and why.  There are lots of ways to project how characters will deal with conflict and interact with the world around them and how this makes them who they are.

So, how would your character pass a low hanging ranch, and what would it say about them?  Would they bow under? Swat it aside or break it clean?  Go around it (or try, perhaps, to leap over it?)  Or might they turn around and go another way?  Perhaps they would lift it up gently, or partake in a spontaneous limbo game.  I don’t know.  I can imagine a great number of ways and meanings.

Once more amazed at how simple daily happenings can provoke deep thought over something.

See you next week–Happy WriMoing in advance!

The Lazy Week before Camp NaNoWriMo

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20150515_114520Not much to catch up on this week–all in all it was busy, and uneventful.  Such is the way of things.  I’ve picked up The Wheel of Time, Book I by Robert Jordan again–and I’m going to finish it this time.  It’s no discredit to Jordan that I keep putting it down.  It’s rather the opposite.  Every time I get through the prologue, I’m inspired to run to the page myself, only to sit and stare blankly until I give up.  This time, I’ll stay put.  I’ll give it ample attention.

So what else?  I am fondly missing a green chair in a house where I’ve been sitting (in the literal sense, and in the caretaking sense) for the past two weeks while its owner was off on an adventure, and now they are home.  It was one of the best places I’ve ever read.  Simply perfect.

All in all, a lazy, busy week–which I guess is just fine, because next week is going to be jam-packed as I head to Dex-Con 2015 (mind your head on that flash intro), celebrate my beloved’s birthday, and start Camp NaNoWriMo.

As I’ve mentioned before, and for those that are still unfamiliar with Camp NaNoWriMo, it is inspired by National Novel Writing Month (in November), only it happens in April and July.  One unique thing about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you are randomly assigned to “cabins” with other people that may have similar goals or may be writing similar genres as you, that you can talk to and interact with as you go.  Another unique feature of Camp NaNoWriMo is that you can pick and choose your word count–so if your summer is far too busy for the full 50,000 words traditionally set, you can change your individual word count to be less. Or more, if that’s your thing.

Well, this Camp NaNoWriMo, that will happen to be my thing.  I am preparing myself to up the ante this year and finish my novel draft once and for all, by completing the challenge with 100,000 words.

With no school, and currently nothing more than freelance work and job hunting to do, I have no excuse not to be able to do it.

You see, I have been thinking a lot lately about getting my work published and out there.  It is really what I want to be doing, though to be fair I have many things that I want to be doing.  But first and foremost, I want to get my stories to readers.  I’ve been thinking about traditional publishing.  I’ve browsed the Kindle publishing page on Amazon.  I’ve thought of self-publishing in other ways as well.

But I really do need to finish them first.  They are all in my head, some of them from beginning to finish, but they’re not doing anyone any good there.  I need to get them out, and to have them exist as much outside me as within.

bane meme

NaNoWriMo is a terrific way to get a lot of writing out in a very short period of time.  It’s mildly competitive, there is no real prize for winning except for your own satisfaction (and maybe a coupon, and Internet bragging rights, of course), and it’s fun.  It puts the pressure

on and gives you no time to overthink about what you’re writing down–there will be plenty of time for that later.  I’ve participated often before, but often fell short of the goal, or even once used it for an Avengers fanfiction story I was writing.  (I love to write fanfiction.)

I am hoping that I can channel my competitive spirit for this one and really get it done.  50,000 words is already a great task.  It’s about 200 pages, give or take, given there are roughly 250 words to a page (type 12 font, double spaced).

Using the mighty power of math, 100,000 words will be roughly 400 pages total–and roughly 13 pages per day.  But it’s necessary to me.  Starbound is a part of me that is long overdue to be complete.

I still anticipate updating every Monday during this time, though the posts will probably be shorter.  But, by the end of it, I hope to have a draft that I can edit, re-edit and agonize over before submitting somewhere before October.

You’ve heard it here–I’m going to finish my novel this summer.  It’s going to be great!

Now, who’s with me?

Beginnings

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In the same way that a journey begins with a single step, a story begins with a single word.  Just one word.  Any word will do, if you make it count; if it is a word that begins things.  It can be hard to find that word, but once it’s found, it’s just a matter of putting one more word there, and another, and another, until you’re finished.

Simple?  Yes.  Difficult?  Oh, yes.

A Picture of Me

My name is Nikki, and I’m on the journey of beginning a lot of things.  I’ve recently graduated from master’s school, ending a long time career in college for the moment.  And here I am already, beginning other things.  As you can see, I’ve begun a blog.  I am beginning, again, a series of fantasy novels that have been wrapped intimately about my brain-space for years.  I’m also beginning a search for gainful employment.

I’ve always wanted to write, so no matter where I’ve gone and what I’ve done, I’ve written.  In college there is a lot of writing.  When I play video-games, specifically social ones like World of Warcraft, I’ve been heavily tied into networks surrounding the game to write about my experiences through my characters.  I’ve written profusely for my participation in Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.  I’ve written alone but also with friends, sometimes creating entire worlds for no other reason than leisure. So no matter where I go from here, and no matter what I do from this point, I know I’m going to be writing.

I think that is what this blog will be about: the journey, the story, one step and one word in front of the other–whatever that happens to entail.

Looking Ahead

Here are a handful of things that I know for a fact you can expect from me in the near future:

  • One blog post weekly, every Monday.
  • July’s Camp NaNoWriMo:  I participate in this event every chance that I can.  Hosted by the Office of Letters and Light, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a November-based event where writers are challenged to write 50,000 words within a month’s time.  The camps in April and July are unique because you can join “cabins” of like-minded writers and choose your word goal.  It’s a fun way to make oneself write a lot of crap, which is crucial to the writing process in my opinion.  You can learn more about them here.
  • Conferences:  I’m currently looking into attending conferences related to writing, games, and new media.  Any adventures I end up taking will certainly be featured.
  • Good Reads:  I love books, and I love discussing books and their writers.
  • Progress:  The good, the bad, and the ugly of how I’m doing on my manuscript and updates of any publishing I might get done.
  • Writing Prompts:  If I see a writing prompt I like, I’ll participate and share, and invite readers to join in the fun as well.

Talk to Me

Lastly, I’m imagining that this will be a very dry experience if all I am doing is shouting into the etherspace, hoping that you are listening without giving you leave to respond.  Please feel free to leave respectful feedback here on the blog, and participate in writing prompts and discussions as they come.

I’m also on Twitter as @bookjade, so feel free to follow and contact me there as well.

That’s all for now–a beginning!  One post to be followed by another.

See you next week. 🙂