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The Fickle Protagonist

Oh dearie me, it’s been forever since I last posted. I got busy writing for Camp NaNo, and then I got interrupted by… more writing. Let’s just say that I did a ton of writing during the Camp NaNoWriMo month, but not all of it was for my story. Thus, I technically reached 50,000 words but didn’t finish the actual writing challenge. A girls gotta pay the bills, so I’m not terribly bummed.

The writing challenge did, however, allow me to better understand my main character who has been elusive and silent for many writing sessions.

Me: Excuse me, but can you please tell me who you are? I’m trying to write a book about you, you see, and it’s really hard to do that when all I know is that you’re female… you are female, right? If you’re not, that’s fine, but I’d really like to know what’s going on in that head of yours. How old are you, what’s your favorite color… Do you prefer Captain Crunch or Fruity Pebbles?

Main Character: ………………….

Perhaps I’m asking too much of them too soon, hmmm? My main character has warmed up to me a little bit more since our first encounter. Thank goodness because they were starting to seem as flat as a generic teen romance’s female protagonist. Meanwhile, the world was building up around my main character into something very interesting, but it could only go so far with a leading lady who refused to do anything.

What really helped me out was to stop worrying about what was going to happen next and to focus more on my MC’s past. You’d think that I would have done this before, but no. Without it, she was an obscure, blah character who had no real reason to be liked by her fellow characters, let alone the audience (*cough* Bella Swan *cough*). Now, I can’t particularly say that I know something as specific as her career at this point but I at least know what careers are out of the question, and which ones are most likely with her personality. And, there is no way she is going to be a depressed, angsty teenager like she was kind of becoming in the beginning. *shudders*

Well, toodles. Until next time.

Do you ever have trouble with your characters? Please share. Rant and give advice. It’s much appreciated.

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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Life, Writing

 

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Personal Enemy #1

Ever had one of those nights where you try to sleep — change positions, fluff the pillow, do a complete 180 in the bed to see if that’s more comfortable. — only to pop back up and decide, “Hey, I’m going to go online and write a blog post about my insomnia!” Well, you’re in luck ’cause you’re not alone.

Wait…. Okay, maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about food and how much I like to eat it because, you know, food tastes good (Warning: Not all food tastes good. Particularly that meat surprise casserole that “some people” think qualifies as food). When I’m not writing my fingers down to the bone or wasting time online or watching shows that waste my time… 20 things-that-waste-my-time later… I’m trying to make something that tastes good.Okay, that sort of wastes my time as well but I do need to eat; keep my strength up to do all that writing and time-wasting stuff.

And, where am I going with this?

Oh, yes, here’s my point — FOOD IS TAKING OVER

For example, there was a scene in my work-in-progress involving earmuffs (minds out of the gutter). One second I’m typing away and then the image in my mind of the fluffy earmuffs leads to a thought. That thought lead to another thought and another though.

Why are you writing about your protagonist getting earmuffs when you could be eating something? Delicious food. FOOD. Tasty FOOD. YUM.

Food is my enemy number one on the distraction list at the moment. Why do I have to go roam the kitchen every time I get up from the computer? Even at this moment, I’m anticipating what I’m going to eat as soon as I get up from this computer. *Sigh*

So, wanting to eat isn’t so much the problem as the fact that I haven’t given myself much time to select anything healthy since this writing challenge began. Word of advice — don’t do that. Therefore, I’m making a new goal from here on out. Cease the junk food munching and have more veggies on my plate. Let’s face it. No matter how many people may have the illusion that artists are supposed to be starving, on drugs, worn out and/or mildly insane I don’t fit into that image. Except for, perhaps, the insane part…. and, I don’t have much defense for the worn out part at the moment, considering I’m writing this blog instead of sleeping.

You can add this little tidbit to your list of things to know before attempting a writing marathon, though you’re probably way wiser than I. You don’t need to be told to eat well while you write, right?

Going to go be unconscious for a little while now….ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Cooking, Life, Writing

 

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Just Keep Going

I thought I’d just drop by the old blog and tell you that I’m still in the game. Write, write, write. I fell a little behind this weekend when my back started hurting — wow, do I sound old and decrepit… — from all the sitting I was doing. I’ve resorted to switching to an exercise ball for a seat and occasionally standing as I type. I also found this someecards card that I felt offered some good advice for times like these.

Well, back to writing. Toodles.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in Writing

 

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All moved in

 

I’m pretty excited. I blew the first day goal out of the water. Boo-yah! *cough*

Anyways…

I have more to write tonight, but I finished a scene and sort of rambled on in other parts in order to figure out certain aspects of the story. I’ve pushed through some awkward moments already, and some embarrassing moments. Yes, I had one of those moments that I talked about recently on this blog. I had to tell myself to just get it all out. No one was going to see it but me — for now — so I didn’t need to worry so much.

And, guess what? My cabin-mates are pretty awesome! We’ve started this little writing game to help us work through our stories. I was worried for a little while that it would just be two of in there, but nope.

That’s all for now, because I have some more writing to do. This was my temporary distraction and, no, it doesn’t count as writing for the challenge. See ya!

Eat. Sleep. Write. Write. Write.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Writing

 

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Packing for camp

Camping! …. Without the risks.

Sunscreen? Check. Sleeping Bag? Check. S’mores Supplies? Definitely Check.

Laptop?

Yes, I’m bringing my laptop to camp. Why? Because this is no ordinary camp, Kiddies. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo! If you’ve been following my blog, you already know the details. If not, in a nutshell, it’s a writing challenge. 50,000 words in one month– summer edition. This year, I’m in it to win it. There is no stopping me this time. Nuh-Uh.

I’ve checked in on my cabin every once in a while since they opened it and, so far, only one person has posted anything besides myself. And, I’m not sure I understand half of what they’ve said, which is sad considering this is a writing challenge. This might be similar to a chat room/board, people, but that doesn’t mean you have to write like you text. This person is nearly a decade older than me, so there’s no excuse for that teenage text speak.

Wow, I sound old….

The other cabin-mates are still silent. Hopefully they will at least say hello. It’s rather pointless to be placed in a cabin for Camp NaNo only to not talk to anyone. You could choose to do it alone instead, really. There is an option for that. I like having the virtual cabin, however, to turn to when I have questions or find myself in a writing slump. It’s also nice having that connection, especially if you live far from anyone else doing the challenge.

Now, besides “packing” for camp I’m preparing my brain for the road blocks that might be ahead. What do I do when the story just won’t come? What if one of my characters is rebelling? Stuff like that.

First things first, read as much as you can in your free time before the challenge starts. And, just because you’ll be spending several hours of your free time writing for the challenge, doesn’t mean you can’t read during that time either. When you find yourself stuck, go read something from one of your favorite authors. You can even mimic the style of that book to kick-start your own writing again. It’s okay to do that on the first draft.

Other things to do are:

  1. Change the view. Tired of looking for inspiration in the flat paint of your bedroom wall? Go to the kitchen table, a porch chair, a cafe. Anywhere else.
  2. Just go for a walk. Maybe you’ve already changed the scenery and that hasn’t worked, or you’re computer isn’t the portable type. It’s time to get some exercise, take a hike and take in the world around you. Carry some note cards and a pen with you because inspiration might hit while you’re out.
  3. Get elbow deep in another hobby. Take your mind off of your writing for a moment and go cook something or draw something. Do something that takes a different kind of creativity or no creativity at all.
  4. Go chat with fellow writers. In person, online, whichever one you have available.
  5. Participate in camp activities. Hey, it is Camp NaNoWriMo. Why not roast some marshmallows or sing camp songs? If you feel like the fun has disappeared from your writing, this can help bring it back.

So many things to do, hmmm. Anyways, the time is drawing closer and closer. For some, it’s already begun. I’ve still got quite a few hours to go. I mentioned this writing challenge to my young niece just last night — quite the blossoming writer — and she wants to try it as well. She was going to stay up late in order to do it too. Thank goodness she’s on summer vacation, or her mother might never forgive me.

Well….

Eat. Sleep. Camp. Read. Write.

 

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Writing

 

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Guess What?

So, according to WordPress I have 8 views from Finland. Finland? I’m not sure that’s accurate, but if it’s true then that’s kinda cool. If you’re from Finland and you’re reading this, leave a comment please. Where do my few and far between readers hail from, anyway? Sharing time again, people. Share because I definitely care.

Now, I decided to write another post today because I got an email last night that I’m very excited about. What is it? Camp NaNoWriMo! It’s just around the corner, as you can see:

Image

This is the final countdown! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself)

Camp NaNoWriMo is the summer version of National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words in 1 month. As some of you may know, I started this blog a little bit before my attempt at this challenge last year. I failed, unfortunately. This year, though, I think I’ll try again and see what happens. I feel good about this Camp NaNo, like I might actually succeed. It starts in June, which is going to be a pretty open month for me. So, might as well write like crazy.

If you’re interested in joining me in the mad dash for 50,000 words, check out the website. Sign up, join a cabin. You can choose to be put with people your age, in your genre or be surprised. Last year I chose to be surprised, but I decided to see what a same genre group would be like this year. If a cabin isn’t really for you, you can also work alone. Or, if you have someone in particular in mind, there’s an option for that too.

Hope you join me on this adventure! Maybe we’ll get put int he same cabin by chance.

 

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Have Some Character

Let’s just pretend that I haven’t been absent for days and days… *sweat-drop*

The Camp NaNo challenge is over. I almost made it, but instead of a 50,000 word novel I found myself with a few lessons instead.

Story, story, story. Why did I focus so much on story while ignoring the all important character development. That was my biggest obstacle. Because I was so concerned with the number of words I was able to crank out each day, I just started writing and found myself getting lost. If writing was like climbing a mountain then characters would be my gear. Without them I wind up lost, starving and running from angry, rabid raccoons.

I went into this “expedition” with low-quality gear, which is why I found myself faltering close to the end. I finally stopped and decided to think. Yes, thinking is one of my worst habits but it is also my best. It might get me into a lot of trouble, but it eventually helps me work through all of that. In this case, it brought me to the story of someone’s past, specifically a character who had popped into my head a couple of months before as I was making my first attempt at the writing challenge. He had intrigued me then, and I’d known that there was more to him than I was seeing. This hiatus that I’ve taken helped me see a little more of what that was. He now has a past, which means that he can now have a future.

So, my new goal has been made. Before I start writing again I’m going to get to know the characters more. I should have done this from the beginning, and I should have remembered to do it since I’ve had so many teachers and resources tell me to create a character driven story and not simply a plot driven one.

I have one character now, and while he’s quite the eye candy (or, rather, mental eye candy) all by himself a single character does not a very long story make. 🙂

Now, this is where I pump my fist and let out a battle cry. Onward to victory, yaaaah! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in Life, Writing

 

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