NaNoWriMo 2016: Calm Before The Storm

It’s Halloween, and for me that means in less than twenty four hours it will be time to begin NaNoWriMo 2016. I’m so excited, and yet nervous too. This is my first year attempting this. I’m itching to write. I already have the opening sentences in my head and I’m having to hold myself back from writing. Can’t say I have ever had to do that before. 

I tell myself all my prep work is done. Just enjoy Halloween, and if you’re still coherent at the stroke of midnight you can begin the story then. But my head is constantly barraged with what ifs and doubts. I need to kick them all in the head and tell them to shut up. So to fight all those inner voices predicting failure, I’ll share a few things with you today.
First, just a little more about the story that is my project for NaNoWriMo. It’s working title is “Time Of Our Death” and will tell the story of a group of five teenagers who in 1987 find themselves turned into ghosts after a fatal accident. The story will be narrated by one of the teens, a nerdish rocker named Christopher. He will be joined in the adventure with his best friend Donald, school bully Brian, goth girl Lori, and everyone’s all American cheerleader Kelly. Others I’m sure I’ll figure in the tale, but those are my main character names. Just think, if all goes well, you may meet them all tomorrow. 
Until then, here’s a few more images I created yesterday, trying to pump myself up for this project. Hope you enjoy!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Prep: Day 7

It’s Sunday and here I am finishing up my week long prep for 30 days of writing. I’m starting to get the jitters. I don’t think I have ever been so nervous about writing, yet I am so eager to start. I already plan on starting off at the stroke of midnight on Nov 1. Unless I’m so exhausted I can’t stay awake.  

So, today on my last prep day (no prep tomorrow, I’m kicking back and watching walking dead or something), I’m going to look back over all my materials. Plot outlines, character sketches,timeline research, all the little notes I have been taking since deciding to do NaNoWriMo this year. I don’t think there is much more I can add to them until I start the actual writing. A lot of times for me I get to writing and everything just seems to fall into place. I call it ‘the story writing itself’. I’m not used to outlines and notes and such. In this, I guess National Novel Writers Month is going to be a time of firsts.
I’ve never written with a deadline, or a required number of words, or a preconceived idea of where I’m going, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Wish me luck as I try to get it all together and follow through to completion. Like the daily serial, I am going to try and share what I write. Not sure how it’s going to look or read as I’m going to try and fight my inner editor, but I do want to share my progress. For this writer, half the fun of writing is sharing it with the world, or at least the world I’ve managed to surround myself with. 
Okay, enough blabbering, I’m out of here. But you know me, I’ll see you soon. Write on!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Prep Day 6: My Slow Day

Oh man, we are getting closer and closer, and I’m getting both excited and nervous at the same time. I had a little Prep setback yesterday in which I didn’t get to work on anything much. This is my fear once the competition starts, that things will happen at home or work to make me set aside my goals and focus on other things. Now don’t get me wrong, in my opinion and heart those things are more important than my writing, so they will always come first, but I do hope to stay consistent with my writing in November. When I read reasons why writers have failed to complete their 50,000 words, it’s usually because “life got in the way”. I’m hoping for everything to coexist together.In the course of being distracted from prep things, I did listen to some cool 80’s tunes that I’m adding to my writing playlist. Here’s a few of them:
Is This Love – Whitesnake
Ghostdancing – Simple Minds

Strangelove – Depeche Mode

True Faith – New Order

Wildside – Motley Crue

Just Like Heaven – The Cure

I Just Died In Your Arms – Cutting Crew

Little Lies – Fleetwood Mac

All these songs were popular in 1987, and most had been released or were singles within a few months of my time frame of October. I’m placing the story then because as I write it, we’ll just be moving out of that season and I’m hoping the mood will still be fresh. Also, I’d like to work a few Halloween related things into my story.
Okay ,so since sitting here typing this out isn’t really doing prep work, I’m going to head off and play prep catch up. I’ll return soon with another prep update. Until then, I want to encourage you to write something today. Anything. Any length. Just write on…

NaNoWriMo 2016 Prep Day 5: Index Cards

Yesterday was spent a little more leisurely as far as prep goes. Most of it was spent shuffling what I had of my outline so far. Often when ideas come they are not always in chronological order. Various scenes will pop into my head, maybe snippets of dialogue, but many times they are out of place. So in addition to jotting down a brief outline in my novel planner, I began to create an index card outline as well. 

The index card outline comes in handy when actually writing. I’ve used the method before to keep events in the tale straight. I should use it a lot more because it can be invaluable when you story becomes more involved. So, yesterday I began organizing ideas onto the index cards. During the writing process beginning Nov 1, I can then easily shuffle my ideas around, using the cards like puzzle pieces to rearrange the plot sequence as I write. That way I can make sure to include my earliest ideas, that otherwise get forgotten in the act of writing. 
For this competition, one thing I want to remember is not to accidentally abandon a concept or plot device. Many times when writing, I’ll get half way though a project and then realize I had left out an idea I had, only to try and go back and work it in. Because speed is of the essence in NaNoWriMo, there won’t be time for those kind of gaffes, and so I’m hoping the index card outline will help with that. While I know we aren’t supposed to focus on editing, and instead just write, I still want to keep the story concise enough to share it with my readers and followers who may be out there supporting me on this competition.
So today, i will continue to think about my story. Things I want to happen, perhaps minor characters to use, or locations for different plot lines. When plotting out a story in an outline form I still like to think of locations. From people’s house to businesses to outdoor recreation I try to amass a list of locations to use. Often just having a location causes events to fall into place for me. I will also think a little more of my timeline. Because my story will take place at a specific time in a past calendar year, I’ll research that by seeking out an actual calendar from then to keep my days straight. Other than that, I’m going to just tune out on some music and try to keep thinking about the story as I count down the days to begin writing.
Wish me luck, we are only days away now 😉

NaNoWriMo 2016 Prep Day 4: Cover Design

Wow, it’s really getting closer to writing time in this year’s competition. I’m just about done with all my prep work, so I thought today I would share some images I created as possible “covers” for my NaNoWriMo project. In case you missed my earlier prep posts, my title this year (my first time competing) is “Our Time Of Death” and will be about a group of teenagers in a tragic accident and trying to cope with the fact they are now ghosts. It is set in 1987 and will be told in first person narrative. Tomorrow I will introduce my character names, but today I’m asking if anyone out there knows an artist who wouldn’t mind drawing a few visual character sketches to help me visual my cast. If you know of any in that you think would be a fit for this, please let me know. Thanks.

In the order of graphics, here are a few of the graphic covers I made. 

If have the time, let me know which one you like best. Thanks!

If you’re taking part this year, feel free to add me as a buddy. Just look for me,  Paul D Aronson.

NaNoWriMo 2016 Prep: Day 3

Today as part of my preparations for National Novel Writing Month, I’m continuing on my outline. My outlines are quite bare with just the basic plot elements. For me, it’s designed to keep me on track with what I want to happen in the course of the story, and what has already gone on before. As writer, I find myself in danger of retelling things, thoughts, or dialogue that has already happened, so this helps keep me in line with my story chronologically. As I related yesterday, I don’t create an outline for the entire story, but just the first few chapters to get me going. I will sometimes add to the outline as I’m writing the actual body of the story, but that’s only so I know what needs to come next. 
Over the summer, I made an impulse purchase and got from Amazon a novel planner. I usually don’t use such things but at the time I thought it would be neat to have. I got it and then promptly set it aside. It would have gathered dust if not for NaNoWriMo, because when I decided to do this I was just going to get me a notebook and jot down a few notes. The Novel Planner winked at me however, and so today I will be using it a little more to get my thoughts and ideas in order, along with daily and weekly goals. 
I have to admit I’m getting a little nervous, telling myself it’s all going to be a fail. It’s that inner pessimism that gets me sometimes and causes me to abandon projects. I’m trying hard to be positive and tell myself that I can do this. After all, I just finished posting a complete novel on my blog in about a month and a half. I posted every day with a two hour window, and I only missed it twice. Of course, the novel was already written, just needed editing as I went along, so it’s not like writing fresh material every day, but I’m hoping the daily posting habits I’ve created will come in handy keeping me on course.
So, anyway, here we go with day three prep…
Write on 😉