Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

My NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

How long has it been? I’ve been between jobs, in and out of financial trouble, invited to join a band, and recently left a temp job that left me working every day for almost a month, and yet I’m still out here in the ether, writing and being the underdog (even if it hasn’t left much time for either of my blogs).

I hope NaNoWriMo is going well for the participants. I’m taking a short break in today’s writing to shout out to everyone and wish you the best of luck as we wade through week two. I’m not much of a pep talker, but I’ll say this. If you can take the time to read this, you can take the time to write. (Hell, I should take my own advice here.)

I know that there’s always something going on, and there’s never enough time to do it, so I just want you all to know that outside of NaNo, I do most of my writing between Midnight and 2:30 AM, even if I have to get up at 6:30 the next day. Make the most of your time, and when in doubt sit down and play some Donkey Kong. Writing is like Donkey Kong. You are the villain, throwing barrels into your hero’s path to his goal. Be like the great Kong, and withhold your hero’s desire until he/she has truly earned it.



NaNoWriMo Check in #2

Hey everyone! We’re 2 weeks into NaNoWriMo, and I hope everyone’s doing well. I’ve been a little bit ahead of the curve, and managed to hit the big 25000 a day early! Here’s to all of you making it that far and to the finish line!

I also have to thank Dreampunk Geek for nominating me for an award! I will do the required post for that tomorrow.

Best of luck everyone, and keep writing!

~ Underdog

A NaNoWriMo Check In!!!

Well guys, it’s been a week since my last post. I’ve been hard at work on NaNoWriMo, working late almost constantly, and trying to balance what little remains of my free time for everything else in between.

That’s why I decided to check in with you all today. Those of you participating, how far along are you? As of the end of November 7th, I can proudly say, I’m only a couple of words shy of 13,000  myself. Hopefully you all are coming right along with it.

While it is as of yet unnamed, I think it’s coming along better than expected.

With this, I leave you all 2 questions.

1) How many words have you written?

2) Are you looking for a writing buddy? I know that having someone to try to keep up with has been a huge help to me getting this far. I’m happy to extend the same service to those of you who ask. Just let me know, and I’ll leave you my NaNoWriMo user name.

Keep writing!

~ Underdog

Characters and Tropes – Part 2

Alright, let’s begin where I left off. Last time I touched on character description, and how we can bend tropes to make them unique without trying to look like we just want to be different.

I kind of charged into this without much of a plan, but let’s start a second part here. Story lines and ideas are always being repeated, so why haven’t all of the books been written? The answer? The characters. No matter how many times a story is told, the characters will almost always be different to some extent. If the heroes are the same, maybe their companions are different? They grow in a different way? Maybe they learn a new lesson?

Tropes are there as tools as much as blocks. Think of it like a sword. A double-edged one. If you aren’t careful, you can hurt yourself. However, once you learn to use it though, it’s a powerful tool towards your goals (As long as they include maiming, cutting, or skewering the other guy).

The point (eh, eh? I’m on a roll) is to use what you know. If you know classic/generic story lines, use them. Fairy tales? Go for it. Murder mysteries? WRITE THEM!!! (If that’s what you want.) This is one of those reasons I like reading in my genre, and writing my favorite. Once you start to see the patterns, you can tell just what to bend to make it your own.

Bending is what got us from Norse mythology to D&D. How, you might ask? In the best way possible. Wagner, the composer wrote a piece called Der Ring des Nibelungen. This piece shares many themes and ideas with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. While he denies it, there are enough similarities for people to consider the works as inspired by it. Now, Tolkien’s work was the original inspiration for D&D. Of course property rights, and a law suit gave us the modern D&D we see today. There you go. Norse->Wagner->Tolkien-D&D1->law suit->Modern D&D

The moral? Don’t be afraid to experiment or use a trope. The difference is in how you present it.

With that, let’s continue. NaNoWriMo starts in less than an hour from my posting this. Best of luck everyone!

~ Underdog

On Dreams?

Recently, Musings of a Steampunk wrote a post about getting a Dream Journal. Usually, things like that fly low on my radar of interest. I do dream from time to time, but I never remember them. Even when I do, I tend to pass it off as either weird and just a dream, or as something vague (vague is being polite in this case) that I should just forget. Unfortunately, I have my senses opened up pretty widely these days. A lot of things are requiring my attention, and I’m actively looking for information and ideas for NaNoWriMo.

Thus, it should be no surprise, that for the first time in a while, I’ve had a dream I want to explore. Forget that I already had my NaNo stuff mostly together. Nope. This dream, I can only remember one piece of it, and yet, I want to explore the story some more. Maybe add to it. Resolve it even? But I’m not sure how, or when, or where. If I just take notes, will the image be so clear in a few months when I can get to it? Or should I toss things aside and use NaNo to charge blindly into this?

Odds are it’ll be set aside, but one can wish they had a few clones to do these things.

More NaNoWriMo Prep

World building ahead of time when you don’t know where you want to begin writing can be a nightmare. After all, this is a novel writing session, and most world building can take forever. Unless you are writing  within our world or someplace similar some will need to be done, and even then if it’s a fictional town, and whatnot, it’ll pop up again. Can you afford to just slap something together and hope it works out for the best? Maybe? It’s true that there will be a good amount of that as you try to make the 50k word mark.

In preparation then, I’m putting down details, minute or not, that I’d like to remember. Religions, Cultures, Countries, Cities, People, Guilds/Factions. If any idea strikes me at a given moment, I’m ready to jot it down. It’s necessary to an extent, if only so I have something to draw on.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Why not make an outline? Because I try and tend to trip up keeping them together. I find mapping main events to be easy, but the connections in between always catch me, so I just have to write and write. Whether it’s a story at the end or not will remain to be seen.

Underdog’s 3rd Attempt at NaNoWriMo Beginning Checklist (This is a joke… mostly)

   X    Convince yourself you can do this

   X    Start laying out plans for the Novel

   X   Scrap plans

   X   Start taking notes and ideas down instead

___ Forget from October 31st-November 1st

___ Celebrate brother’s birthday on Nov. 1st

___ Panic around 5:00 PM (Nov. 1st) that it’s NaNoWriMo

___ Stare at computer screen and surf internet until about 6:00 PM

___ Start Writing

Tools to Help Prepare for NaNoWriMo

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, here are some tools to help get ideas going. While they may be a bit geared towards fantasy, I find that most tools can be re-purposed.


Naming People and Things:



A Bit of Everything

Starting Fresh and Planning Ahead

For NaNoWriMo, it’s better to start fresh. I’m more than happy to take up the challenge, though I’ve noticed a few inherent flaws with my plan, and that is that they include life. Between work, and a social life, I can’t exactly hermit up. Thanksgiving falls in here as well as a few birthdays and the beginnings of Christmas shopping.

That said, I’ve taken most weekends out of my writing plans. Given life, I can expect there will be some days that I won’t write either. Usually I make it to 7-10k words when I attempt this. Ambition drops off quickly, and forcing this novel becomes a chore. So, with that, I estimate at least 2000-2500 words per day will be needed to finish anything. Do I dare try?

I think I do dare, though I’m off to a bad start with 2 birthdays in the first week. I’d better make sure the plans are solid before charging in head first.