Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 14: Character Names

I always have a tough time with character names, and people are always asking me how I name my characters, so here's how.

Tara=I dunno, I wanted a "T" name. She was originally Tasha, but I didn't like that after the first page
Dylan=I've been promising myself to name a character Dylan for awhile now, because I like the name and it just fit for this cute 9 year old
Bartimus=I have no idea, it came as soon as I wrote "alchemist" I think
Serasai= It sounded like hissing, and I totally made it up...I think. I wanted an "S" name for sure though
Mo Wrinoan=My variation of Mr. Ian Woon (nanowrimo)

Suggestions for naming characters:
-Know the character first. If it's a regular kid, give it a regular name (remember guys like simple names girls like more unique pretty names)
-Use sites like Behind the Name and 20000 names if you get stuck
-If the character is from a different time period, open up a Bible. They have great names (the majority of my elemental council have names from the Bible). The first page of Matthew (first book of the New Testament) has a great list
-If you're really stuck, open up to a random page in the dictionary, this works really well with last names. (that's how I got Tessa Inselberg and Brian Tungstien)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

NaNoWriMo 11 Tips for Day 11

It's day 11 already! Wow, time sure flies when you're writing. I'm still a first timer keep in mind, but I've compiled a list of 11 tips for nanowrimo participants.

1. Chat. I've been in the MSN/Yahoo chats every weeknight (hosted by the great janipanda) with other wrimo writers and it has certainly helped my story! The word wars and suggestions they all make are great. And the people are very nice, they'll even offer up help. Last night I asked for help naming a character and they all jumped to help.

2. Word war. The idea is to write as much as you can in 15 minutes, some are themed some aren't. Just write in short bursts, it significantly helps your word count!

3. Steal all the time you can. Lock your door, eat your meals at your desk, write during your breaks, and realize that you don't have to answer every phone call.

4. Don't you dare give up! Avoid that week 2 wall and keep at it. Do as much as you can and if you don't get your 50000 at least you tried, and there's always next year. "The only thing you can't edit is a blank page"-WrimoRadio

5. Play some music in the background, it helps. Maybe an old movie you've seen thousands of times, just be careful not to put the plot from there into your story.

6. Manage your time wisely. Keep up with the daily quotas (1,667 words a day roughly) and try not to fall too far behind. If you can't be at your computer, bring a notebook with you and brainstorm. There's always the option of longhand too.

7. Compromise with your characters. If you made it to day 11, you've realized already they are not your's, you are their's. Allow them to make changes, but don't let them take over. Find some common ground and run with it.

8. Back up your file! I cannot stress this enough, in fact, this is the second time I wrote this post. Computers are malicious little devils, and you don't want one eating up your file. Email it to yourself, put a copy on that unused old laptop you have sitting around, or even better, on a flash drive. Just keep two copies and make sure it's always backed up!

9. Ignore how far you have to go. Lock away that calculator and don't worry about how many you have to write to reach your daily quota or until you reach 50000. Just write, write, and write, as much as you possibly can!

10. Ignore your inner editor. This is often easier said than done, I know. If you go back and read what you've got, that's fine I suppose, but don't ever cut anything out! Add things in, yes, that helps tremendously, but never take anything out--that'll take away from your word count too.

11. If all else fails, add in a cliché. Make it satirical of writing if you want, that's always fun. If you're low on plot, add in a love story, or a big battle between the good buy and the villain, a quest, a monkey, a vampire, the possibilities are endless! Don't dispare over lost plot, just keep going until you find it again. There's always the plot doctoring section of the nanoforums if you get stuck.

Above all, remember: November is for writing, December is for editing (and/or burning).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

October 2006 Reading List

It's very little I'm afraid, and my full year list is missing, oh dear.

Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
Young Zaphod Plays it Safe by Douglas Adams (short story)
Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams

I'm almost done with Specials by Scott Westerfeld, and I started Evolution's Darling, also by Westerfeld. I must say I found it slightly disturbing and left it be for November so I could write my novel.

NaNoWriMo Day 4

Sorry I couldn't update last night, I was on the computer without internet. So far NaNoWriMo is going pretty well, though I admit I haven't gotten much writing done for today. I've been very busy and away from my computer (either). I did however read what I have so far to my sister during a car trip and she likes it. She says I'm too wordy and that I need to use simpler terms, but my sister's not a big reader, in fact she doesn't like to read much at all.

Which reminds me, my challenge for myself during this (as if writing the novel wasn't enough of a challenge on its own) is to use as many of this semester's vocabulary words as I can. I've managed quite a few already, actually.

Just something I wanted to see when I was writing yesterday: what music I listened to while writing.
Bittersweet-Plumb; Black Horse and The Cherry Tree-KT Tunstall; Bohemian Rhapsody-Queen, It's On-Superchic[k]; Breakfast-Newsboys; Breathe Your Name-Six Pense None the Richer; Bring 'em Out-Hawk Nelson; Burn for You-Toby Mac; Burning Love-Wynonna; By Surprise-Joy Williams; California-Hawk Nelson; Candycoatedwaterdrops-Plumb; Commodity-Sarah Brendel; Concrete Angel-Martina McBride; Courage-Superchic[k]; Crazy Little Thing Called Love-Queen; Dancing Through Life-Wicked; Day by Day-Avalon; Diverse City-Toby Mac; Draw Me Close-Kutless; Endangered Love-Veggietales; Entertaining Angels-Newsboys; Route 66-John Mayer; As Long as You're Mine-Wicked; Our Town-James Taylor; Another One Bites the Dust-Queen; Other Side of the Radio-Chris Rice; Barlow Girls-Superchic[k]; Follow Your Leader-John Reuben.

I've learned I can listen to almost anything while writing, as long as I have something to listen to--and it can't be something I get really into singing like "Defying Gravity" because then I don't get anything done.
I have 3 chapters, a prologue, and 4,419 words. Tomorrow is another long trip, which means I'll be writing long hand which I'm never as good at, and possibly that my mum will read my story (depending on who's driving of coarse).

I'll also have a non-nanowrimo post coming up soon about something that's been bugging me as of late.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 2 post 2

NaNoWriMo Day 2

It's day 2 of NaNoWriMo and I'm already behind (going by the 1667 words a day quota). I have 805 words as of the last count and I know what my book is about.

My characters so far:
Tara-16, blonde, green eyes
Dylan-7, brown hair, brown eyes, Tara's new stepbrother
Lydia-Tara's mother
George-Dylan's dad
Bartimus-amature alchemist/wizard, obsessed with knowledge of Tara and Dylan's world

Dares from fellow participants I've taken the initiative of taking:
Have a character always carrying a towel (a la Hitchhiker)--Done, it shall be Bartimus
"you learn more if you don't knock"--still working on incorporating
"I like you, you smell responsible"--I want so badly to use this one, still working on how though.

2529 words left today (to meet the day 2 quota), 49195 total. Wish me luck!

EDIT: At last count here at 6 pm CST, I have 1073 words. I'm past my 1000 word milestone! And the first chapter "The Ferris Wheel" is complete. Novel remains nameless.


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