The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More NaNoWriMo Tips

          Every day, I learn something as NaNoWriMo progresses. And I want you to benefit from my experiences. Here are some handy lessons if you want to be sure and succeed at crossing that 50,000 word finish line on November 30:

1.  Contractions are bad.  Do not use them under any circumstances. (Use the more formal two-word version instead, to increase your word count.)

2.  If you really want to make a strong point, say "very, very, very, very, very, very..." The rules are 50,000 words. No one said they can't be the same 50,000 words.

3.  I cut and pasted a few lines of a Joni Mitchell song (The Last Time I Saw Richard) into my story.  Accidentally, the whole song popped into place. I looked at my word count increase a great deal, with just a few clicks. Figuring "more is better," I cut and pasted all of the Blue album into my story. And eventually, all of Joni's song lyrics got embedded in my novel. Next are the songs of Zamfir...

If anyone else has some helpful tidbits, please send them my way! I'm still way behind...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Donna and Linda and Lynn, Oh My!

            This past Sunday was the debut of the Storm Country anthology. A gala was held on The Loop, and several creatures--some usually not seen sharing their work in the close vicinity of humans--were captured on film.

        The oh-so-rare Donna Volkenannt was spotted, but one had to look quickly and listen hard. She darted up to the microphone, read a page or two of her story, and then scurried back to her lair.

                                       Donna Volkenannt, author

          Another elusive animal, Lynn Obermoeller, was there. She was cool as a cucumber as she shared her story with the audience. She was so cool in fact, scientists are speculating if she is a reptile rather than a mammal.

          Unfortunately, a photo of the Obermoeller cannot be posted. Currently, she is under the witness protection program.  Hundreds of death threats have been sent to her blog, due to her horrendously large NaNoWriMo numbers.

           Our last creature captured on film that evening was Linda O'Connell. Normally, the Linda is a little less reserved. Not as shy as the Donna or the Lynn, she makes the rounds, performing her poetry and reading her stories for the public.

                                           Linda O'Connell, author

           It was a wonderful evening. The cause is marvelous as well. The book is being sold to help restock the school libraries that were flattened during the Joplin, Missouri tornado. If you were unable to make the event, and would like a copy of the anthology, I'm sure you could purchase it from Linda, Donna or Lynn.

            That is, if you are able to spot them, as they hide behind stacks of published works or hunch over their keyboard...


Sunday, November 13, 2011

NaNoWriMo's Lessons

Okay, I admit it. I began NaNoWriMo this year because last year I crashed and burned almost instantaneously. I hate to lose, I'm stubborn, and decided to give it another try. And although I am hopelessly way behind, currently I am at 12,000 words. Yesterday before I began writing I was at 8,000 words. It's amazing what staying up until 3:30 in the morning will do. I wonder if I can do that every night?

Certainly, it's way too early to claim I will finish in time. I might be at the Thanksgiving table with my laptop in front of me instead of a plate of turkey and sweet potatoes. (Maybe this could be the NaNoWriMo diet plan? Write thousands of words instead of consuming thousands of calories...) But I have learned some lessons--already--from NaNoWriMo, and here they are:

1.  You can become a novelist. I write personal essays and occasional poems. I don't do fiction. However, once the risk is taken, I've found it's good to stretch my skills and write outside the box(I cannot promise it will be an entertaining story, but it will be a work of fiction. More or less.)

2.   If you know the characters, they will drive the story. I began on November 1 with no storyline or plot. Oh, do I need one of those? I figured I did. Unfortunately, I went for a week just fleshing out the characters and still without a plot. Thankfully, a life-changing event dropped into my lap, and my story is meandering towards it.

3. Crime DOES pay. Last night, I broke into Lynn Obermoeller's house and stole her computer. I also took all her pencils, her pens, her lipsticks, her empty journals and her external drives. She must be stopped at all costs. A criminal, a word hog and hoarder, she has written so much already, she has finished crossed the 50,000 word finish line 3 times already, and was on her fourth lap before I threw a loose bolt into her creative cogs. Fuhgedaboudit, Lynn. Three will have to do it for you.

How do I know she has turned to crime?  There have been reports that she decided to make some money this year off NaNo. Police have gotten calls about people lurking at street corners, asking Lynn, "Can you sell me some words? I'm hooked. I want the good stuff." 

Stay tuned. On November 30, the exciting climax: will Sioux crash and burn, or will she be victorious? 


Is that stink some burned turkey grease in the oven, or is it Sioux's NaNoWriMo novel?