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It is the day before Nanowrimo October 31, 2010

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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.. and I am sure there are a thousand and one blogs around the world saying the same thing. Ah well.

So, a month of plotting and planning. And I surprised myself by not doing much. Planning book 5 in my series, I have discovered that the setting is already established. Where the story is going to, I already know. I already have the characters, the players in my game. I already know what I am going to do to them, where they are, who they are with.

So, all I am doing now is perusing for inspirational art. Pictures of space ships, cargo vessels, space stations and the like. Character portraits for NPC’s and walk-on roles.

And I am also gearing myself up for this crazy run. It is a strange feeling. I have gone 8 for 8 on Nanowrimo, and yet I still have this fear of- will I get enough time to write? Will I be inspired? Will it be enough inspiration?

But, added to all the pressure this year is ending my saga. I little sad I am. I have lived with these characters for so long, and now I will bring their story to an end. Oh, I know I can write sequels galore, but, yeah, it’s a bit sad. I know them so very well. I did write some shorter fiction for them. I took Jarred and Jasmine to an auction for a rare Earth Genuine history book. That was fun.

My November writing schedule will include having my net-book with me on the train to and from work, and a half hour write at lunch time. I plan on going to a Tuesday all-day write in (Melbourne Cup public holiday. Love it…) and I may drop by a cafe on a Sunday.

It is a uniquely Nanowrimo thing for me, writing with other people, in a group like that. No other time do I do this. I hear of 2 or 3 people meeting and writing together, but that just seems, strangely anti-social to me. The Nanowrimo meet-ups, it is a different vibe. While I take nanowrimo seriously, in that I want to produce a novel. I find the casual style of it, the groups etc, actually work for me. They are a little distracting, but that’s okay. There is an abundance of awesome snack foods as well.

I will aim to update weekly my progress and word count. I will post word count to twitter as well, each night.

I will reward myself for hitting halfway, and for completing the challenge. What those rewards are, I don’t know yet, but quite possibly game related. I do like to take my brain offline for a month after doing Nanowrimo.


The Month of Plotting and Planning October 11, 2010

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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November is creeping closer. Of course this means- National Novel Writing Month. This will be my ninth ‘season’ of Nanowrimo. I have crossed the finish line all eight times previous. And by gum it feels good saying that.

This year I have the grand finale book for my current science fiction series. I have put some implied pressure on myself, I must admit. It’s the end of a series! It has to go out with a bang! Last book I thew a space station into a planet. How will I top that? How will I bring to a satisfying close this series, these characters I like and enjoy and have journeyed with. I have created a history, a family, for these characters. And now I am ending it for them.

Questions arise. Firstly, how long should the book be. Last year I nudged 80 000 words. But for THE END, should it be bigger better and badder? Do I kill off the hero? Some of his friends? Would it be more satisfying to leave the bad guy alive? Or kill him in a dramatic shoot out? Things to consider.

And I do this during October. I leave all my plotting and planning to the month before. I have done this a few times now and quite like the process. I Grab old characters, figure out the story, create new characters I would like, new situations. All in the month prior to actually writing, so I am familiar yet fresh with the idea, as opposed to thinking of the idea, and letting it sit and become slightly stale.

The way I plan novels is what I want to see happen. Big events that NEED to happen for the story to work. And then I get my characters from point to point in whatever way I see fit. A little bit of structure, a little bit of chaos.

This year I need Group A, who just blew up a lot of stuff and took a prisoner, to reunite with the Mercenary Leader.

I need Group B, who witnessed the space station crashing into the planet, to reunite with Group A, and have a heartfelt, tear jerking reunion over the loss of their captain, and then become steely and resolved to get revenge.

I need an epic space battle with the combined forces of the Mercenaries and the Pirates, and I need it to fail.

I need the OH MY GOD moment of said captain coming back from the dead, with an awesome new ally.

I need this awesome new ally to combine the left-over forces of the mercenaries and the pirates, and guide them on how to truly defeat the corporate bad guy.

I need say, ten mini adventurers in showing how to defeat the bad guys, and my characters to be involved with one of them.

I need the final confrontation with the three original characters, and the corporate bad guys who started this whole thing off.

And I need a resolution that satisfies me.

Then the fluffy ending.

That’s what, 8 actual events with 10 mini events? Okay, so now I am going to go away and throw my creative juices on to these needs and see what I come up with.

Some of them will write themselves. The first couple, Group A & B meeting up and being sad? That will happen. The epic space battle? Beside a set-up, it should write itself. Explosions, death and destruction. Ship boarding, and then the chaotic attempt at a retreat.

The rest? Well, I have some ideas, which I will write down. But who know what may happen when I actually get there in the book? I am quite excited to find out.

More plotting and planning updates soon….