Sunday, November 23, 2008

Write or Die

Write or Die : Dr Wicked's Writing Lab: "Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you're fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences.

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."

  • 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:"

Write or Die website - Google Search

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NaNoWriMo - Wiki

NaNoWriMo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Chris Baty started the project in July 1999 with 21 participants in the San Francisco Bay area. Since then, the event has been held in November 'to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather.'[1] 2000 was the first year NaNoWriMo had a website; participants joined a Yahoo! group in the absence of official forums. It was also the year that many of NaNoWriMo's ground rules were laid out, such as disallowing works in progress or co-authored books. 140 participants attempted the challenge, and 21 wrote 50,000 words."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

[NaNoWriMo] Week Two pep talk from Chris

from my email:-

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

Mariner Software - Storymill

Mariner Software - Storymill:
"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

old attempts

last year in November 2007
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

Hilltop Farm

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
chapter 1
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
Chapter 1

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
Chapter 1
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"