Montag, 19. November 2012

Sick & Tired

Are you sick of NaNoWriMo yet? I am. Wherever I go, whichever blog I visit, it's always "NaNo here, NaNo there". Really, I'm tired of it.

The reason why I can't stand reading about NaNoWriMo at the moment is simple: it's guilt. I had planned to write 2,000 words daily and finish my 50,000 words on time. But alas! I'm nowhere near that goal.

As always, life happened. I know, what a lame excuse! I just failed to write every day. On some days, I even hated thinking about writing one single word. There are so many different things to do, things that I have to do, need to do, how can I possibly make the time for writing 2,000+ words a day?

I've been so occupied with other things that I totally lost motivation. 

A couple of days ago, I made a bargain with myself: 

Write whatever you want to write, even it's not for WriMo, but write!

Did it work? Yes, it worked. Still works, or I would be writing this post.

If I can't bring myself to work on my NaNo-project, I choose a different writing project. There are always many, many WIPs waiting for me. I don't count these projects for WriMo, I'm very conservative about sticking to rules (even if they are my own). 

How has NaNoWriMo been for you so far? Do you still enjoy it? 

Mittwoch, 7. November 2012

Pen & Paper (Or: How I Write)

I write things twice. That's twice as much work, for sure. But I seem to tick this way.

I'm not sure if you could call me a traditionalist because of my need to write it all down by hand first, using a real (fountain) pen, but that's the way I write. I never realized it, though, until last week, when starting my NaNoWriMo-novel.

I outlined the whole story in longhand and than started writing the first draft on my computer. It came out all wrong and I deleted all of it. 

Then I discovered the urge to write it all down by hand - and I do so now (I'm using a 160-sheet-notebook and I write really small, in case you were wondering). The words won't come if I stare at the screen. Computers kill my writing, it seems.

Whenever I've write something in my notebook, I sit down in front of the computer a little later and put it all down again. Sure, I do some minor changes and corrections the second time.

So, while my official WriMo word count is only 3,000 words, I have actually written more than twice that much (I'm a chapter ahead). Do I think I'm wasting precious time? No, not a bit. I'm very much enjoying myself. Also, it makes me feel proud that I can write a whole story by hand in the age of technology.

When I wrote my first book in 1996, I did it the same way. I wrote it down using an expensive fountain pen and later typed it into my word-processing program (Word, of course).

What happened to the manuscript? I sent it to a publisher and got a contract. 

How do you write your first draft? 

Samstag, 3. November 2012

Hair Dye & WriMo-Wisdom

On November 1st, I wrote about 750 words. 

On November 2nd, I rewrote those 750 words: 790 words total on Friday. 990 words total right this moment.

What happened? I was trying to write a hot paranormal romance while all I really had in mind was a YA fantasy novel. And I hate writing stuff that doesn't feel right to my. I have to love what I do or else it will end in the trash.

So, did I just waste 750 words? I could have had a total of 1,740 words! 

No, not a waste at all, because I already learned my first WriMo-lessons:

  • Sometimes characters are more believable if one bisects their age.
  • If it sounds better in present tense, write in present tense.
  • Although a fight scene goes fast, fast, fast, you don't have to write fast. If the fight is only 30 seconds long you still don't have to write it within 30 seconds as well (not even when you're really excited about putting it all to paper).
  • Don't hurry too much. If you put yourself under too much pressure chances are you'll end up hating all you've written before.
I also learned that dark brown hair dye doesn't work for me. I'm still blond. :(

Have you gained any wisdom during the first days of NaNoWriMo? Please share.

Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Hopefully you'll all celebrate tonight or do something else you enjoy - and not suffer from what Sandy has done. Is everybody okay?

The post-Sandy pictures are horrible. I admire the courage of all those who have helped each other and those who have rescued both humans and animals during what they now call "Frankenstorm".

*     *     *
NaNoWriMo 2012 starts tomorrow. Are you excited yet? I am. But I'm sure we'll all have lots of fun, too. Good luck to everybody participating!

Samstag, 27. Oktober 2012

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

It's cold and chilly today and I haven't dared to leave the house yet. That's why it's the perfect morning for the last preparations concerning NaNoWriMo (add me if you're participating, I love having writing buddies --> SalFlorentine).

Many of youz have already blogged about their NaNoWriMo-tactics, offered tips, advice and general encouragement. As a first-timer, I feel I cannot add to the good stuff that's already out there, but here's a list of what I did to get ready for NaNoWriMo - and what I do for any writing project:

Hunting for inspiration

I make a list of things I find interesting and about which I'd like to write a. I look for additional inspiration in the news, history books, and things that happened to me personally.

Picking a subject to write about

The first inspiration that I wanted to write for NaNoWriMo seemed to promise so much fun putting it to paper, but after having outlined the whole thing I felt totally indifferent about the protagonists.
I found a different prompt on my inspirations-list and did another outline. When I came to the point where I needed to find the reason why the murderer had killed a bunch of innocent teenagers on a party I couldn't find one. Plus, the whole storyline was one large cliché.
On to the next topic on the list. Writing down the first outline was like floating. Ideas kept coming. 
Everything feels right about this one so I'm going to stick with it during NaNoWriMo.


If I like a story, I write more than one outline.
The first one is pretty rough, it doesn't contain any names or places. I only refer to City A and Person B.
The second outline is more complex. I add names and subplots. Conflicts get more complex.
That's what I did for my NaNoWriMo project, too: write three outlines.


Sometimes I know a character before I know the story. Sometimes I come up with plot and don't know the cast yet.
But no matter what, I always write down some basic stuff about a character.
  • What's his/her name?
  • Who/what is he/she?
  • What's her/his job?/What does she/he do?
  • What does he/she want? Why?
  • What does she/he fear? Why?
  • Details about her family.
  • Details about her appearance.

One-sentence blurb

I like the idea of one-sentence blurbs very much. One has to stop and think about a story's basic conflict and sum it up in one sentence only. 

Having done all that, I start writing.

What about you? How do you prepare for NaNoWriMo and/or any other project?

Dienstag, 23. Oktober 2012

Crazy Days & Crazy People

My good mood has just been DESTROYED by some stupid person parking his car on our property. 

When asking him to move his car, he just shrugged and said, "There's no sign telling me this is somebody else's parking lot" and off he went.

No, there's is no sign. Because there has to be no sign. It's private property. There's a house on it. In which I live.

Some people are just total [enter mean word here]!

Mittwoch, 17. Oktober 2012

Why I Don't Read Some Blogs

I love other people's blogs. I really do. 

I read them daily, mostly on my smartphone or my tablet (I use the Google Reader App). I love how easy it is to gather all the blogs I like in one place and read each and every post in chronological order.

Still, there are many blogs I don't read - and won't read. The reason is simple: I hate - HATE! - it when only the topic and the first two or three sentences appear in my gReader.

Cut-off Posts

Cut-off posts and/or one-sentence previews are used in feeds because bloggers don't want their posts stolen, which I totally understand, and that way you'll have to click directly to their blogs to read the full article.

I don't. I won't click that link telling me to "click here to read full article". I don't have the patience to wait for a blog to load on my smartphone and then discover it's not even made to be viewed on a smartphone/tablet. I'm impatient, lazy, and get easily annoyed.

I've seen many bloggers tagging their posts now. Some include "by blogger xyz" at the top of their posts (like I did), others include a bottom line, linking to the original post and naming the author. I've even seen bloggers use this bottom line: "If you read this post somewhere else except on MY BLOG or your feed reader, it's contents have probably been stolen."

So tell me, do you tag your posts in some way or another? Do you add each and every blog to your feed reader or do you delete some from your reading list as soon as you discover they only give you the topic and first line?


Unfortunately, there's something else I totally hate about some blogs: Captchas. They make me nuts because I usually read them wrong and have to repeat the procedure of typing them in two or three times. Captchas keep me from commenting, seriously (they should be turned off in my blogs; please let me know if they aren't). 

Don't worry, if you wrote a great article and I really want to comment or get in touch, I do. I will usually "like" your site on Facebook and drop you a note there. 

So, even if I don't comment (there are other reasons besides captchas why I might be quiet; my lousy English and my low self-esteem, for example), I'll always try to connect in some other way, mostly on Facebook or Twitter (@Sal_Kaye). 

What are your thoughts on captchas? Do you leave comments in weblogs? Or do you prefer other platforms (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter...)?