Camp NaNo and Hunting Words

My biggest problem with this month’s Camp NaNo attempt at major progress in my story, as with the first time I tried to NaNo Almagest, was underpreparedness. There were a few characters in my head, but not enough; can one truly do a good heavy court intrigue with only four, and most of them on [...]

Camp NaNo and the Spirit of the Rules

It begins the way these stories always begin: Shinali talks me into signing up for (a variant on) NaNoWriMo, and chaos ensues. This time, though, is different. It isn’t the official month—it’s June, and we’re doing the “Camp” version instead. This time I’m leaving the Generic Villain behind and taking a stab at Almagest again, [...]

Learning from NaNo, Round 2: Longhand vs Typing

During my sojourn into NaNoWriMo this month, I found myself not merely torn between writing longhand and typing, but actively doing both, and needing in some cases to choose between one and the other. This gave me an active chance to compare the two in a way that no other work had really allowed.
The bulk [...]

Freewriting and NaNo: Falling Behind

Two days ago, for the first time this month, I fell behind on National Novel-Writing Month.
It’s not that I wasn’t expecting to at some point. I went in fully aware that I was operating against pretty titanic odds by my standards, that what I was trying to do was considerably more complicated than either of [...]

Learning from NaNo, Round 2: Written and Visual

One of the interesting things about trying to hybridize novel and graphic novel for my NaNo/the Generic Villain project has been determining what to render in words and what to render in pictures. I’d thought originally that most of my content would be writing, like on the blog; certainly, in the prologue, I ignored illustrations [...]

Learning from NaNo, Round 2: Nonsequential

I wasn’t too successful when I attempted National Novel-Writing Month last year. I had a few ideas, but the story didn’t write; I hadn’t pushed it hard enough to get it to start writing itself the way some of my older projects had. This year, though, I didn’t have the excuses I had before. I [...]

Learning from NaNo, Round 2: Raven Moments

I’ve always had a strong competitive streak: a constant drive to excel, to show the world how I measure up, particularly when I’m operating at what they consider to be a disadvantage or supposedly “can’t” do it. So something like NaNoWriMo, with its inherent scoring mechanic, is practically begging for me to turn my full [...]

Learning from NaNo, Round 2: Technicalities

This year, egged on by participatory friends, I decided to take another stab at National Novel-Writing Month. The project: that serial/graphic novel hybrid featuring the Generic Villain that I’ve been threatening to write for a good chunk of this year now, which will probably be a lot more than 50,000 words by the time I’m [...]

Learning from NaNo: Placeholders

One of the biggest problems I’ve had with my attempt at participating in NaNo is how the emphasis on speed interferes with the ability to produce good names. Names are important to me, to the point where I can ignore the question on Mary Sue litmus tests about whether the name means something relevant because [...]

Learning from NaNo: Write What You Don’t Know

Write what you know. It’s one of those truisms verging on clichés that you generally hear three or four variations on before you’ve gotten very far as a writer. Its advantage is that it’s rather hard to mess up something you know inside out; even if your writing has issues, the subject itself will not [...]