Thursday, December 18, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Many people find themselves unable to write consistently. I believe that this is because their reason to write is intangible. For instance, I want to write and finish a book because I want to be published and make a living as a writer. That goal is a long way away so I often find it difficult to sit down to the task of writing.
Conversely, I'm in a creative writing class for which I manage to consistently write and finish projects (albeit at the last minute). . . . .
Negative Reinforcement "strengthens a behavior because a negative condition is stopped or avoided as a consequence of the behavior."Consequences:
- Gentle Mode: A certain amount of time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing.
- Normal Mode: If you persistently avoid writing, you will be played a most unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
- Kamikaze Mode: Keep Writing or Your Work Will Unwrite Itself
These consequences will persist until your preset conditions have been met (that is, your time is up or you've written you wordcount goal or both)
This text box is not a word processor, it is not for editing, the way to save is to select all of the text, copy and paste into your own text editor. The idea is to separate the writing process and the editing process as much as possible . . .
Write Or Die | National Novel Writing Month: "One of my Nanowrimo buddies on the east coast pointed me to the Write Or Die website. It's really neat and I haven't seen it on the regional posts for Oregon so here's the info:"
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Dear NaNoWriMo author,
I am writing with excellent news.
The high-speed noveling deities have seen fit to bless us with five whole weekends in November. This hasn't happened since 2003, and the fact that we have three more weekends ahead of us pretty much guarantees that each and every one of us will coast to an easy NaNoWriMo victory. But even in cakewalk years like 2008 (ahem), it's sometimes nice to have short-term goals. So here's my idea: What if we all plan on getting at least 15,000 words by this Monday before we go to bed? That's slightly behind pace, but if we can pull it off, we'll levitate up into an important new stage of the noveling journey.
That stage is called Plot.
Week One of NaNoWriMo tends to be all about characters. Our imaginations have been leaving a lot of them on our doorsteps lately, and it’s pretty much all we can do to bring them in, give them names, and teach them the rudiments of steering their battle-yaks. Then our doorbell rings, and we're rushing off to welcome another group of newcomers to the party.
Because of this, the first week of November is largely a matter of crowd control. I love this part of NaNo, because it's hard to mess it up. This phase also contains one of the greatest moments of novel-writing—that point when characters first unstick themselves from the page and begin interacting with the world around them, revealing aspects of their lives and personalities we hadn't known were there.
This is a sweet moment in the noveling adventure, but now it's time to move on. Getting through the next week of NaNoWriMo will require we set our stories in motion by sending some winds of change howling through our characters' lives. The sooner we do this, the better. If you're stuck for story-launching ideas, consider borrowing from the menu of time-tested plot devices: deaths, firings, loves-at-first-sight, siege ladders quietly appearing against ramparts, disappearances, robberies, accidental wealth, plagues, road trips, illnesses, kidnappings, a shortage of gummi bears when there had appeared to be many gummi bears, mysterious letters, shocking discoveries, betrayal, and wiener dogs.
Any of these things will likely alter your characters' lives forever, which is tough for them but a boon for your book. Still, getting up the nerve to foist these game-changing events onto people you just met is a little daunting. It's easy to worry that you'll blow your potential-filled opening with a lame plot that takes your novel in the wrong direction.
Happily, there are no wrong directions in NaNoWriMo. The only bad plot move you can make in the next week is lingering too long at your story's crossroads, vacillating over the right path. Be bold. Plunge in.
And while you're sprinting through the second stage of your novel, know that some winds of change will likely be blowing through your own life as well. Week Two tends to be when the novelty of NaNoWriMo wears off, and the difficulties of making so many tough decisions in such a short time period add up. Enthusiasm dwindles, fatigue rises, and we begin squinting at our manuscripts, thinking, "This derivative pile of crap is my literary statement to the world?"
Everything gets better soon, trust me. You remember that jolt you felt when your characters first spoke up? Keep writing, and it will happen again. But this time, it will be your whole book rising off the page, pulsing with electricity and life. Today's tangents will become tomorrow's arcs, and unforeseen connections will tie up your loose ends in a way that will make you want to slap your head and holler at your accidental brilliance.
So turn off spell-check. Leave those ungainly sentences on the page, and let your punctuation be imperfect. And whatever you do, don't read your previous day's entire output. The next seven days are all about moving forward. Let's focus on hitting our daily word-count goals, and, before we know it, Week Two will be behind us, and the wonders of Week Three will begin.
See you on Monday at 15K!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
"Introducing StoryMill 3.1.
Mac OS 10.4.* or 10.5.*
The latest release in Mariner Software’s long line of writing and creativity software. StoryMill introduces aspiring authors to multi-level writing methods of tracking characters, scenes, and locations, while professional writers will appreciate StoryMill’s time-saving ability to oversee and manage the full creative process with Smart Views."
bargain price to November 3
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I had the idea of using the plot of a classic danish play, which turned out to have been borrowed itself by Ludvig Holberg
Jeppe på berget - Wikipedia: "Jeppe på berget (original Jeppe paa bierget) är en komedi av Ludvig Holberg 1722."
Jeppe på bjerget - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "a 1981 Danish film directed by Kaspar Rostrup and based on a play by Ludvig Holberg." which I loved
Stale urine in the pot by Jimmy's bed stank sweetly of spirits and a heavy days drinking. Behind the half closed curtains of the box bed the bobble on Jimmy's night cap wobbled with each gargantuan snore. Disgusting you modern readers think, but the twenty first century ecologists have not yet found out that piss, after being kept for fourteen days, is good for washing both the lanolin out of wool and the washing of the hair on their own heads. Two hundred or more years ago any sensible and thrifty farmer's wife like Jimmy's Nelly emptied their night pots into a barrel by the kitchen for future use.
Nellie was in the kitchen and her thoughts were fuming, her no good husband had been too drunk to get up for breakfast again and she had had to set the farm workers their tasks. It was market day and she was too busy to go herself because she was making butter and cheese and keeping the dairy maids at their work pounding the milk up and down with the old style barrel churn. If this was not done at once on a warm summer day the milk would go sour before it could be used or sold. She kept looking up at the riding crop hanging up by the great wood smoke blackened fireplace, she felt the crop,which she had named Master Eric was her only friend. Nellie was small of stature and when she was in a bad temper she would grab Master Eric and lash out. Woe betide any dog or lazy farm servant that stood before her, only a couple of days ag she had had to beat Jeppe about the head and shoulders to get him to do any farm work and take his manly responsibilities seriously. . . . . .
which text I kept in google Docs
National Novel Writing Month: November 2007: "''During the reign of the Caliph Haroun Alraschid, there lived at Bagdad a very rich merchant, whose wife was far advanced in years. They had an only son, called Abou Hassan, who had been in every respect brought up with great strictness.
'The merchant died when this son was thirty years old; and Abou Hassan, who was his sole heir, took possession of the vast wealth which his father had amassed, by great parsimony, and a constant industry in business. The son, whose views and inclinations were different from those of his father, very soon began to dissipate his fortune." one of the original sources also used by Shakespeare
new diary: November 2006: "Wednesday, November 01, 2006
before 1936 to 1942
My mother's life fell apart in 1942 . . . . .
to be continued
and yes I got hooked on research instead of writing for the third time in NaNoWriMo space"
Iron Way: "Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I heard my cell phone ring and then I woke up feeling scared. When I reached out and picked it up it was off. Was it a dream? My heart was pounding in my chest. Cold sweat beaded my brow.
I sat bolt upright and very very still in the dark bedroom. I could hear breathing."
Viking Novel: November 2004: "Monday, November 29, 2004
The left wingtip of the aeroplane seemed to reach out to brush the bare rocky hillside, but I was not scared"
Viking Novel: November 2004: "Those wooden swords were jiggling at their hips as the boys walked past the hut where their kinsman Einar from Suderoy still snored.
“Silly old fool – whenever he gets drunk he gets into fights,” said Thorer.
“And runs around waving his axe” answered Sigmund.
“Wicked!” was the reply as they vaulted the sheep proof stone wall around the inner field
of the village."
Viking Novel: May 2005: "Rule #5 is 'Turn off the television. For eight months.
Spend more time writing. You never waste time by writing—you only waste
time by not writing"
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Dear National Novel Writing Month Author,
Hi there! NaNoWriMo Program Director Chris Baty here. Before we get rolling, I wanted to give you a quick guide to our upcoming five weeks of literary domination.
Here's the plan:
Today: Make a tax-deductible donation to help us pay for National Novel Writing Month. So far, we've received donations from 3.4% of our participants, putting us 6.6% away from our goal. Chip in! Even $10 makes a big difference, and pays huge dividends in halos and noveling karma. We're a nonprofit, and we've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars readying this swashbuckling adventure for 110,000 adults and 15,000 kids and teens around the world. We need your support!
Tomorrow: Make sure you've set your time zone correctly (it's under User Settings). Some word-count features appear and disappear at midnight on November 1 and November 30, so dialing those in now will save you stress later. Join a local region, and find out when and where the first novel-writing get-togethers (called "write-ins") for your city or town will be held. Tune in to WrimoRadio, NaNoWriMo's podcast, and learn how you can be on the November 3 episode.
October 31: Get the first pep talk email. You'll receive about three of these a week—one from me and two from our panel of esteemed celebrity pep talkers—throughout November. Note: If you donate $50 or more today, you will receive six years of pep talks from me in a beautiful 80-page PDF, constituting about as much week-by-week NaNoWriMo advice and encouragement as any human being can handle without falling over.
November 1: At midnight, local time, start writing your book. You need to log 1667 words per day to stay on par. The site will be very slow for the first few days of the event, but with patience you can update your soaring word count in the box at the top of our site or on the "Edit Novel Info" page of your profile. Watch your stats graph fill. Send a link to your author profile to your friends so they can follow your progress. Revel in the majesty of your unfolding story. It's November 1! You are an unstoppable novel-writing machine!
November 2: Stop writing. Wonder if you should start over. Keep going. Feel better.
November 3: The first November episode of WrimoRadio goes up on the site, beaming out overcaffeinated messages of hope from Wrimos worldwide. We'll be podcasting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from here until December.
November 8: As the first full week of writing comes to a close, you will be at 11,666 words. This is more fiction than most people write in their lifetimes, and you did it in a week. Go, you! This is also Municipal Liaison Appreciation Day, a raucous international holiday that celebrates NaNoWriMo's volunteer chapter-heads (the folks who organized the write-in you went to last week). Chocolate, flowers, and gifts of expensive electronics are appreciated.
November 13: Nothing really happens on November 13.
November 15: After the second week of writing, you will be at 25,000 words. This is the approximate length of such legendary works of fiction as Animal Farm, Death in Venice, and Gossip Girl: I Like it Like That. You're halfway to winning! Attend a Midway Party in your town, or come to San Francisco, where the Night of Writing Dangerously Write-a-thon will set records for group noveling and candy consumption.
November 16: The second half of NaNoWriMo dawns. Writerly confidence builds. Your book comes to life, and characters start doing interesting, unexpected things. Nice. Weird.
November 22: After the third full week of writing, you stand at 35,000 words, the NaNoWriMo milestone universally recognized as The Place Where Everything Gets Much, Much Easier.
November 25: Novel validation and winning begins, and Word-Count Progress Bars turn from blue to green (over 50K) to purple (over 50k and a verified winner!). Check our FAQs for details on uploading your manuscript and winning. For the first time ever, a very limited number of 2008 Winner t-shirts will appear in the store. These will make you smile.
November 27: American Wrimos celebrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving by gathering together with friends and family, wolfing down a huge meal as quickly as possible, and then ditching those friends and family to hide in the bathroom with a laptop.
November 30: By midnight, local time, we will all be the proud owners of 50,000-word novels that we could barely imagine on October 31. Plan to attend your local NaNoWriMo Thank God It's Over Party, where grins will abound, champagne will flow, fives will be highed, and wrists will be iced.
You did it. We all did it.
December 1: Sleep will fall heavily across NaNoLand, as 125,000 writers close the book on one crazy, oversized dream, and go off in search of the next.
We begin very soon, brave writer! I can't wait to get started!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
"1. Because when I was 12 I decided that I would be a great novelist. I'm not, but I am at least a novelist every November.
2. Because I've written a novel every year for four years, and if I don't carry on doing it I'll feel like a failure.
3. Because my real job doesn't exercise my imagination.
4. Because I have a very slight and threadbare hope that I will still turn out to be a great novelist one day.
5. Because for one month a year I have an excuse to be unreasonably moody and artistic"
Thursday, October 16, 2008
It may be worth noting that Christopher Booker in his "Seven Basic
Plots -- why we tell stories" has a different take -- and it took him
35 years to draw his conclusions, having started in 1969!!
The man vs xxxx plots above would all be summarised as "overcoming the monster".
He gives us, (fogive me for desperately oversimplifying his magnus opus):
1. Overcoming the monster -- defeating some force which threatens...
e.g. most Hollywood movies; Star Wars, James Bond.
2. The Quest -- typically a group setoff in search of something and
(usually) find it. e.g. Watership Down, Pilgrim's Progress.
3. Journey and Return -- the hero journeys away from home to somewhere
different and finally comes back having experienced something and
maybe changed for the better. e.g. Wizard of Oz, Gullivers Travels.
4. Comedy - not neccesarily a funny plot. Some kind of
misunderstanding or ignorance is created that keeps parties apart
which is resolved towards the end bringing them back together. e.g.
Bridget Jones Diary, War and Peace.
5. Tragedy - Someone is tempted in some way, vanity, greed etc and
becomes increasingly desperate or trapped by their actions until at a
climax they usually die. Unless it's a Hollywood movie, when they
escape to a happy ending. e.g. Devils' Advocate, Hamlet.
6. Rebirth - hero is captured or oppressed and seems to be in a state
of living death until it seems all is lost when miraculously they are
freed. e.g. Snow White.
7. Rags to Riches - self explanatory really. e.g. Cinderella &
derivatives (all 27,000 of them)!!!
Each of these plots goes through 4 or 5 main phases which are
universally recognisable and re-used. Some stories choose to jump in
at phase 3 or leave early and often leave us feeling unsatisfied.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
basic plots novel -seven - Google Search
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Playwright Edward Albee, whose credits include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe and Zoo Story, has gained a sort of cranky perspective when it comes to awards. 'All prizes are peculiar,' he says. 'There's politics in everything, and some judges just don't know what they're doing.'
Albee points to a long list of great 20th century writers who were passed over by the Nobel judges: Leo Tolstoy, Marcel Proust, Jorge Luis Borges, James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov and W.H. Auden. . . .
Still, Prose says that Engdahl had a point when he criticized U.S. publishers for not promoting more literature in translation. Novelist Junot Diaz — who won this year's Pulitzer Prize in literature — says something good could actually come out of this controversy.
"If this encourages the average American to read one more book in translation — if only to spite the kind of sneering Eurocentric elitism of this one individual — that's not a bad thing," he says.
Nor would it be so bad, Diaz says, if it incited U.S. publishers to translate more work from other parts of the world. He has a tip for them: the young Mexican writer Marteen Solares. His work, says Diaz, is brilliant, but mostly unavailable in English — or, in Swedish."
November Spawned: a Novel Writing Handout (2007): "Here's a handout put together for those attending the kick-off meeting in Birmingham for NaNoWriMo 2007. It's part planning tool, part keepsake, and part something to let the MLs relax at the meet-ups, so we don't have to worry if we don't get through everything we'd like to say!
It's pretty much the same as last year's version, with just a few small tweaks after feedback we received last year (and our own experience of using it). For one thing, there are the correct number of notches in the word count axis of the graph! There are also changes to the character pages, timeline and the list of useful websites."
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Mariner Software Announces Contour Story Development App TotallyWrite Acquired and Redeveloped: "-Mariner Software, developers and publishers of professional and personal software, announced today an agreement made with LTW Productions Canada, Inc. to acquire and redevelop TotallyWrite, the popular story development software for Mac OS X. Newly-named Contour, will make its public debut under the Mariner brand with existing content and new features, before the end of 2008. Contour is the latest release in Mariner Software's award-winning line of personal creativity and writing software."
Mariner Software - Storymill: "StoryMill has been designed and developed solely for Mac OS X. As a long-time Apple developer (17 years), our commitment to Apple technology is reflected in our feature set. StoryMill is Intel-ready, Leopard-compatible, and fully supports Apple's high standards for an elegant user interface and intuitive functionality. Developing in Cocoa framework also lets us take advantage of Apple OS X functionality and take advantage of the world's most advanced operating system. StoryMill integrates with Apple Backup, Spotlight and more."
See your novel displayed across time.
Visually and interactively display your story across time with StoryMill's timeline view. An industry-first feature, timeline view allows you to visually arrange the scenes in your novel in chronological order. Why just page through your novel when you can get a 30,000 foot view?
Randy Ingermanson is a theoretical physicist and the award-winning author of six novels. He has taught at numerous writing conferences over the years and publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, the largest electronic magazine in the world on the craft of writing fiction, with over 13000 readers.
Randy is best known for his "Snowflake Method" of designing a novel. The "Snowflake" page on his web site has been viewed more than 640,000 times over the years.Randy believes that prepublished novelists fall into four distinct stages, Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.
Good fiction doesn't just happen, it is designed. You can do the design work before or after you write your novel. I've done it both ways and I strongly believe that doing it first is quicker and leads to a better result. Design is hard work, so it's important to find a guiding principle early on. This article will give you a powerful metaphor to guide your design.
Our fundamental question is this: How do you design a novel?For a number of years, I was a software architect designing large software projects. I write novels the same way I write software, using the "snowflake metaphor".
Cynthia Lanius' Lessons: A Fractals Lesson - Introduction: "They're everywhere, those bright, weird, beautiful shapes called fractals. But what are they, really?
Fractals are geometric figures, just like rectangles, circles and squares, but fractals have special properties that those figures do not have.
There's lots of information on the Web about fractals, but most of it is either just pretty pictures or very high-level mathematics. So this fractals site is for kids, to help them understand what the weird pictures are all about - that it's math - and that it's fun!"
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Start over on a new project - it is your only chance.
Feelings are irelevant only the job counts."
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Other ways I like to choose names is through Genealogy research of known family surnames in the area of where my books are set. These are accurate and appropriate. Tombstones and census records will tell you who lived in the area and when they lived there. You can't get more accurate than that, although keep in mind some of the spelling variations were different from place to place and family branch to family branch. This is because of dialect in regions, illiteracy, and people changing their names to accommodate the new area where they are living. Some great genealogy resource sites are http://www.ancestry.com/ and http://www.rootsweb.com/. These sites will get you started in the right direction."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
NaNoWriMo's 10th anniversary year is almost upon us! We have some NaNo news bits for you before the site relaunches on October 1 and another beautiful season of novel procrastination begins.
NANOWRIMO.ORG LOCKED ON SUNDAY FOR SCRUBBING
We'll be turning off new sign-ups, locking the forums, and turning off NaNoMail-sending from Sunday, September 21 until October 1 so we can archive the site and delete all forums posts. This will free up database space for the 800,000 new posts we're expecting this fall. We'll also be deleting all NaNoMails that are more than a year old. If you have any old NaNoMails that you want to keep, be sure to go in and grab 'em before Sunday.
DONATION STATION & STORE HAS GREAT "NEW T-SHIRT" SMELL
Thanks to Tavia's whip-cracking skills, we have our 10th Anniversary NaNoWriMo t-shirt, the Young Writers Program t-shirt, and our stunning new travel mug in the Office of Letters and Light store. Our donor goodies are ready too! You want seven years of NaNoWriMo pep talks from me with embarrassing behind-the-scenes commentaries? You got it! And, uh, this year's poster? Yowza.
OUR DREAM: 10 FOR 10
We have a 10th-anniversary dream that 10% of Wrimos will support NaNoWriMo with a donation this year. Please join our "10 for 10" revolution by chipping in something small towards our costs.
2008 PEP TEAM IN PLACE, RARING TO GO
One of the great things about NaNoWriMo is the pep-talking you get in November. These bi-weekly emails are scientifically calibrated to make you feel so inspired and/or guilt-ravaged that you sit down and work on your novel even when you don’t want to work on your novel. This spring, we asked what authors you would like to receive pep talks from, then tabulated your responses on the NaNoWriMo blog, and sent out invitations to the 50 most-requested folks. Who answered our Invitations to Pep? You'll have to wait until the site relaunches on October 1 to find out. But we're pretty dang excited.
NANOWRIMO SITE SWEETER, MORE SERVER-Y
Thanks to donations from our 2007 participants and our summer vintage-sticker fundraising drive, you'll see some new features and improvements when the site relaunches. These include the ability to update your word count from every page of the site, a place to add a synopsis and book cover image to your author profile, and a more feature-rich NaNoMail. We've also moved your "action links" into your profile (instead of hiding them up in the masthead) and invested almost $10,000 in extra hardware and server testing to give the site as much zip as possible. We know it'll still get very slow right around November 1, but our servers are now rippling with new muscles to help them lift the load better.
GEEK? LET US HIRE THEE!
Our longtime tech guru Russ is sadly retiring at the end of this year's event, so we're looking to bring a new Tech Director on board in December. We're interviewing candidates now. Check out the listing on our Help Wanted page. Then quit your job, move to the Bay Area, and come join our team.
Looking forward to seeing you in NaNoLand in a few weeks,
NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month