Monday, 31 December 2012

So long, 2012

I think I just want 2012 to be over already, which fortunately happens in another couple of hours. Clean slate, coming right up. Before that, though, I have to write one last blog post to say goodbye to 2012.

Friday, 30 November 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: a month in review

Words written on my novel: 81,685

Words written on other things: 19,508

Okay, that's the boring numbery part. Now I'll go on to the actual reviewing of the month.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

NaNoFiMo: National Novel Finishing Month

National Novel Finishing Month (NaNoFiMo) is exactly what it says on the tin: a month-long "finish the novel" challenge. It's been running for a number of years, but various events led to the challenge moving to in 2011 and me ending up as assistant Admin. This year I'm once again more or less running the site, so I figure a blog post telling everyone how awesome the challenge is might be in order.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing

Earlier this month I was tagged by Nicole Tan, who is currently writing Trails of Destiny: The Elm Tree. The challenge? Answer ten questions about my current work-in-progress.

On the 21st of November.

Well, I'm only a couple of days late. I'll plead a combination of migraines and NaNoWriMo and go for it anyway.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 20: Parental guidance

So, this evening Dad told me he had nothing to read at the moment and wanted to know if I had anything with an ending lying around. He may have phrased it a little more kindly than that, but close enough. Then Mum commented that she'd been reading stuff on my old laptop and she remembered me saying that I had a complete version of Dark Star. I was left with nowhere to hide, so now my parents are going to read the first complete draft of a book I've been working on since 2002.

Monday, 19 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 19: The Great Train Heist

A bunch of minor characters are going to rob a train. Their plan is terrible and doomed to failure for all kinds of reasons involving physics, law enforcement and the fact that a couple of my main characters had to choose that particular moment get take a train trip.
"One team gets on at one station," one man said. "They blow the coupling and then just get off at the next station. Easy in, easy out. Nobody would suspect a thing."

"Yeah, and the second team unloads the carriage onto a bunch of horses and makes for the coast," another man said. "If Team One blows the coupling at exactly the right time..."

"You really think someone can blow a coupling at exactly the right moment to leave the carriage in the right place?" The objection came from the only woman at the table. "Gary, the Tullup reaches speeds of over three hundred kilometres per hour between some stations. Have you ever heard of a thing called 'momentum'?"

Sounds like the kind of plan that comes with the words "what could possibly go wrong?" attached. Fine times ahead, characters...

*evil laugh*

Saturday, 17 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 17: 50k!!!

I am a surprised and somewhat confused writer at the moment. I have no idea what to say about anything and after writing 5k today to hit the goal I'm not sure the 'random word vomit' function is working well enough to pull out a blog post.

Anyway, 50k. According to the first draft I'm a whisker under halfway through the story. According to my vague intention of doing a lot more expansion in the second and third sections of the story, I'm probably somewhere around a quarter of the way through. According to my goal of making this draft 150k, I've just hit 1/3. Well... technically I did that when I hit 50k on the draft the day before yesterday. I started NaNo with 8k already written. I know, bad me - continuing a WIP instead of starting from scratch.

Now to attempt some random word vomit:

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

NaNoWriMo day 14: this may actually count as an epiphany

 The image to the left is my current desktop. It's either screen grabs or a descent into fangirling and the search for perfect death metal hair. WARNING: if I remember to get my favourite wallpaper off my other computer, I'll be able to combine the two things.

So anyway, I realised something a bit frightening today. If I wasn't doing NaNoWriMo, I probably would have stopped writing this story by now. I would have succumbed to the voice that tells me that some other story would be easier or that I need to spend more time planning before diving into a second draft. With no deadline, I wouldn't have been able to find the motivation to keep going in the face of all the problems I know I haven't fixed.

Monday, 12 November 2012

A message from the universe

Also known as "Sucker! Nobody reads your blog!"

Yeah, so anyway...

At this point I'm starting to think it's a good time to crawl back under my rock. Nobody making me feel like my story sucks, no Wordpress making ancient and mystical signs in my direction, no issues with software or planning methodologies and no pressure to do anything other than maintain the worms and beetles at an an acceptable volume.

Edit 2014/08/24: For the record, this post was about the fact that the last four bars on the stats graph look like a fist with middle finger raised. Nothing to do with actual numbers.

My story sucks and I have no idea what to do about it

Oh, look - a day that requires a blog post and a depressed writer. Seems like a match made in heaven, doesn't it? I guess that means I'm gearing up for a gloomy ramble about how much my story sucks.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

NaNoWriMo update: day 11

So, blogging every day is going well. I've been writing and I have a healthy-looking NaNoWriMo wordcount, but keeping up with the social media isn't going so well. Regular tweeting fell by the wayside, I have to make myself go on the NaNo forum and my aim of having different writing challenge every day on Arrow of Eloquence sort of stopped along with the regular blogging. I've been doing stuff, though. Like I said, my wordcount is looking pretty good. I've also installed a whole new operating system on my laptop and I'm settling in with a bunch of new writing tools.

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Frozen Tear

I have no idea what to post today. Actually, yes I do: the 'probably won't be changed much until after I've finished the draft' version of the synopsis for The Frozen Tear, my NaNoWriMo novel.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The NaNoWriMo Lunatic

Today is poetry day in Siana-land. I wrote this some time in 2011 and this seems like a good time to share it. Welcome to 'The NaNoWriMo Lunatic':

She seemed no different from the rest
Just a boring normal girl
Her mother always did her best
And she was daddy's pride and joy

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Writing through the fear

The Frozen Tear is now sitting on 16666 words, 8163 of which are countable for NaNoWriMo. I freak out every time I even think about writing more, but I'm doing it anyway. I'm wondering if this is what the whole story is going to be like and the answer is probably 'yes'. I've felt the same way about all the other things I've written so far this year.

Friday, 2 November 2012

The delights of the second draft

Right now I'm 13,624 words into the second draft of The Frozen Tear, originally my NaNo 2010 novel and now once again a NaNo project. It was my first ever completed draft and I was so proud of it that I actually gave it to my parents to read. They said it needed work... as in the kind of 'work' that would make it about three or four times its original length. I said "yeah, okay, so I'll turn it into a trilogy". Then I sat on it for two years and wrote a whole lot of other stuff.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 1: midnight madness

There's something special about sitting in front of the computer at 11:59 pm on the last day of October, waiting for that final minute to be over so that NaNoWriMo can begin. Even though I'm a NaNoRebel this year, I still went for the midnight start and ended up writing 2,317 words before going to bed.

Friday, 26 October 2012

NaNo Prep 2012: Siana's escape from the Pit of Suck

A hand emerges from the black mire at the bottom of the Pit of Suck and grabs wildly for something - anything at all - to use as an anchor. The hand closes on nothing but slick clay and it sinks back into the blackness, defeated for now. The owner of the hand sinks deeper and the darkness is complete.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

NaNo Prep 2012: an introduction

For some reason I decided try blogging every day during NaNoWriMo 2012. I can see why - it was a resounding success during Camp NaNo earlier this year. Well, I'm doing it anyway. Fun times lie ahead, everyone. Now, on with the introduction.

Monday, 1 October 2012

SeptNoWriMo winner's certificate

The winner's certificate for SeptNoWriMo 2012.

Yes, I earned one of these. No, it doesn't feel like it means much when I ran the wrimo and designed the certificates.

Monday, 30 July 2012

July: a month in review

This month I've been beaten up by goats, eaten brownies and tried to figure out what I'm going to do in the way of a 'serious' project that I can prepare for publication. I've also spent a fair bit of the month dealing with pain and dreaming about various pieces of dairy equipment. Yes, I mean that literally. It's called a 'quarter milker' if you feel like searching the internet to see the kinds of things that occupy my sleeping hours.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Yeah, but how do you pick just one project?

This is sort of a 'part 2' to my previous post so you may want to read it first.

In 2010 I did NaNoWriMo for the first time and wrote a 75k draft that I've since realised probably should be expanded into at least three books. Inspired by my NaNo success, I went on to finish the vampire story I'd started writing for a dare.

I don't know what I was thinking when I signed up for a 1kk WriYe (a million words) in 2011. I have even less idea what made me think I could write 12 drafts in a year. Somehow I actually managed to do both things, which left me with a stack of 14 complete drafts, any of which could probably be picked up as a 'serious' project in 2012.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Siana Blackwood's insane plan

A random picture of Gypsy the kitten.
I'm trying to get my writing life in some kind of order, so I spent part of yesterday typing random stuff until I started to draw conclusions about myself. It works surprisingly well - everyone should try it once in a while. I call it 'wandering down the psycho path' after a joke I heard once:

Q: How do crazy people get from place to place?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Microwave brownies recipe #2

You will need

1 egg
3/4 cup soft icing mixture
Pinch salt
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup cocoa
Somewhere between 1/2 and 1 cup of rolled oats

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Microwave Brownies

Giant biscuit-shaped brownie!

I tweeted a couple of things about brownies over the past couple of days and ended up making up some kind of random weirdness about finding a way to shove them into the internet to be reconstituted in the homes of my followers. Since that turned out to be impossible as well as weird, I've decided to post the quickest and easiest brownie recipe I know. So, here it is: microwave brownies, with a total time from decision-making to eating of about fifteen minutes.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A writer's life with goats

I caved in yesterday and wrote about 300 words on Doom. I'm never going to know how much it would have hurt by the next day, though, because I have this awesome life involving goats. The ways you can get injured around goats could make a book (and in fact have appeared in several of my drafts). I've been kicked in the head, had a goat fall off the milking stand and land on me, been dragged through mud, almost dislocated my shoulder trying to stop an invasion of what seemed like a thousand goats...

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Just a quick update...

Six days left until I'm allowed to write again. I'm not sure if I'll be able to hold on that long. At first there was enough pain to warn me off, so I buried myself in reading. Then I started to feel edgy. My brain was tossing out ideas and I found myself wondering if it was really going to be that bad going back to the computer. I held that off for a few days by handwriting, with the result that I now have four stories in the planning stage. By the end of June there could be more. I have a fair-sized back catalogue to choose from.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 16: the end...?

I don't know if this is going to be the absolute end of my Camp NaNo campaign, but at the end of Day 16, with 29,084 words written I'm at the point where the (very bad) pun of calling it a 'cam-pain' comes to mind.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 15: rest and relaxation?

I have no idea what to say at the end of Day 15. I only wrote about 500 words and while that still puts me a little way ahead of par, it also makes four days in a row when I haven't met the daily goal. Things are not going well and I'm struggling to find reasons to post something other than Doom and Gloom. You may have noticed that by the talk of kittens and stretching lately.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 14: vitally important exercises for writers

 See? Even this random kitten understands the importance of stretching.

I could just do another brain-dump Camp NaNoWriMo post, but this is IMPORTANT!!!

Repetitive strain injury, musculoskeletal disorder,carpal tunnel... All these phrases should strike terror into the hearts of people who sit in front of a computer. Ignore the early warning signs and at some point it's all going to come crashing in on you and even typing a few words will be impossible.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 13: What do you want, characters?

This is Gypsy the kitten. Isn't she cute?

First things first: yesterday I talked about Gypsy the kitten. Now I have a (somewhat blurry) photo of her to share. Taking pictures of scared kittens in dark sheds isn't easy and my phone's attempts at compensating for it haven't really helped matters. Anyway, that's Gypsy.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 12: Gypsy

Day 12: This post really has nothing to do with Camp.

I'd like to start with two things:

  1. I live in a nice spot in bush with lots of native birds and small animals around the place.

  2. I own cats, but because I'm a responsible cat owner they have a combination of indoors and an outdoor secure run as their territory.

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 11: yeah, something must have happened...

Day 11: Okay, nothing happened. I wrote words, at least.

This is the latest I've been with a post this month - already midmorning on Day 12 and I should be starting the new day's writing instead of playing on the internet. Poor Toby has no idea that he's in the process of walking into a trap and I need to make sure he survives. Killing the main character in the earliest book of his timeline would be bad... which spoils the suspense a bit, doesn't it? I know he's going to survive no matter what happens to him.

I have no idea what to say today. Maybe I'll just leave this one short and go and do something about that trap.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 10: I almost broke my character

Day 10: This is an advance apology to Toby. He deserves about a million of them.

Day 10 was that word I still haven't found that describes the state of mind of a writer who wouldn't like to call what she does to her characters 'fun'. I didn't quite shatter my main character, which surprises me a little. I put him in a position where I expected him to crack and he saved himself by going into a state of complete retreat.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 9: the Booker Award

I arrived at my blog to write the day 9 entry and discovered that fellow blog-post-every-day-of-Camp participant Raine Kingsley had passed me the Booker Award. The rules for this award are:

  1. This award is for book bloggers only. To receive this award the blog must be at least 50% about books (reading or writing is okay)
  2. Along with receiving this award, you must also share your top five favourite books you have ever read. (More than five is okay) You must give this award to 5-10 other lucky book blogs you adore.
So far this blog is mostly writing with occasional mention of reading and goats. Therefore, rule 1 is okay. Now to attempt to fulfil rule 2...

Friday, 8 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 8: metaphors gone too far

Day 8: I should start coming up with weird post titles...

So, today I wrote a massive 1.1k on Doom. As far as I know, that still puts me ahead of the 50k goal. I'm trying to be happy about that rather than descending into Doom and Gloom over the fact that I'm 6.7k behind my personal goal at the moment. It's not like I can't catch that up.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 7: get that bunny out of here!

Day 7: *sneezes*

Today I've just been sneezing at everything. 'Object X' is not to be sneezed at? Well, I beg to differ. I've used up almost everything in the house that can be used for nose-blowing. I might as well have eaten cardboard for dinner, too, because my head is so stuffed up that I couldn't taste a thing.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 6: help?

Day 6: Help?

I'm irritated by Liquid Story Binder already. That took a long time, didn't it? I used it for almost a whole week.

The trouble with LSB is that it takes a lot of time and effort to sort out where to drop everything. I have the story, I have the first drafts of the other three books in the series and half a second draft, I have around 10k of supporting material...

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 5: Liquid Story Binder and line notes

Day 5: software makes things better, right?

In view of the fact that I have to post something EVERY DAY...

This time I'm going to talk about the piece of writing software that currently irritates me the least, which surprisingly turns out to be Liquid Story Binder. I've decided I like it again, for a reason that on the fact of it seems pretty dumb. The reason is this:

Monday, 4 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 4: a day off

Day 4: ...

I should have things to say about Day 4, but since the day didn't end up including any writing time I'm finding myself at a loss. I got up, did the usual morning jobs around the dairy and then by the time I'd eaten breakfast I just wanted to go back to bed. What had started as a neck-ache the previous day had decided to spread out and include my head, back and arms. Add to that a change in the weather making my knee and lower leg ache...

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 3: why I should trust my character

Day 3: it turns out Toby knows a lot more about the story than I do. Am I surprised?

I really need to learn to trust my characters more. I created Toby Moonstone in April of 2011 and since then I've written over 250,000 words about him. It's pointless to suggest that at this point I'm doing anything other than typing like hell while he tells the story. There's no reason to doubt him. He knows what he's doing, even if I don't.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 2: the bloodthirsty child

Day 2: letting the bloodthirsty child tell his own story.

I've been told off about my overthinking of the Planner vs Pantser thing enough that it's getting embarrassing. Being told to stop stressing by Stephen Blackmoore was almost as weird and alarming as the time I had a dream about Chuck Wendig giving me 25 reasons why everything I write is crap. Yes, my subconscious really did do that to me.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo day 1: just write

Day 1: my character is a psychopath

For some reason, I decided that my not-exactly-enthusiastic campaign of Blog Necromancy would be helped along by a commitment to write thirty blog posts during Camp NaNoWriMo. Coupled with my resolve to curtail my 'Doom and Gloom' habit this month... well, it should be interesting.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo day -6: hoping my countdown is right

Counting down! Are you ready to write?

Best spam comment ever:
I consider good-looking bright to suffer with against your cobweb verso and look dorsum behind to so peculiar more sparkling minutes reading here. Thanks a caboodle again on the consentaneousness.

Seriously, WTH? I mean, I have to save the text of this comment for posterity just because it's clear evidence that the internet is indeed trying to communicate with us. Although something about verso cobwebs is bothering me. Does that mean it's true that nobody reads the publishing/printing information at the start of the book?

Friday, 25 May 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo day -7: Inside my character's head

Camp NaNo 2012. Scared... but doing it anyway.

So, I have this story. It used to be a trilogy, but then I somehow found the plot for a fourth book that answers a lot of questions about MMC Toby. You see, I dumped him into the first story already broken and not quite interested enough in life to want to seek revenge for the events that had changed his life. I went on from there and never really looked at the events that had broken him.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Word-vomit, pillow-fights and camping

Right, I've given myself a choice: either word-vomit myself a blog post NOW or I have to post the somewhat embarrassing pillow-fight with my muse that I wrote last night. Guess which choice I'm going for?
"If we're going to pillow-fight, we'd better make it fair," Siana said. She shoved her pillow right to the end of the pillowcase and stood up, holding her 'fighting pillow' up in the most threatening way she could manage.
"Why are we...?" Scott started. Siana hit him across the head with her pillow before he could finish the question.
"Why are we having a pillow fight?" Scott asked, catching the pillow as Siana took another swing.
"Because you were looking crabby and you wouldn't talk," Siana said.
"Crabby?" Scott demanded.
"Yeah, and you've gone all broody and ignory again."
"All what?"
"Never mind. What are you - my editor?"

*coughs awkwardly*

I was going to go for the word-vomit, actually. I thought I might talk about Camp NaNoWriMo, trilogies that refuse to stop at three books...

What do you mean, you would have preferred to read about the pillow-fight?

Yeah, this blog post isn't really going well. It's probably more entertaining than something serious, though, so I guess I'll keep ploughing on and see if I stumble across something interesting. That's a surprisingly effective strategy when WriMo-ing season rolls around, by the way. It also works to let the characters get irritated with the lack of action and go and cause some mayhem. If you're not too attached to a few of your other characters, anyway.

Now, about the trilogy-that-isn't-a-trilogy and Camp NaNoWrimo. They're linked by the fact that the June session of Camp is where I'm going to be writing the fourth book of my ex-trilogy. If you feel so inclined, you can read what I pretend is a synopsis on my Camp novel info page. At some point I'm planning on replacing that with a real synopsis, but the curse of the pantser is that I really don't know a lot about what happens in the story at this point. I have a list of questions that need to be answered during the story and I know some of the characters - okay, one of the characters - but finding out the rest is going to be an adventure.

Right, that should keep my blog not-quite-dead for a couple more days. I was supposed to post at least four times in May, so I'd better get a move on with three more posts.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Who are we writing for, anyway? The second half.

This week's (or whatever week - I know I'm a bit slack with some of these posts) WriYe Blogging Circle topic is all about who we write for. I've answered the first part in a previous post, but this second part is too long to be tacked onto the bottom of that. There are limits to how much I can expect people to read in one hit and it really does look like two different topics.

Anyway... fanfiction, editing, rewriting and why I keep going:

Who are we writing for, anyway?

This week for the WriYe blogging circle we've all been invited to answer the following question: Who Are We Writing For Anyways? My answer is... um... a little wordy... so I'm splitting it into two posts. This post answers the question "Who do we write for? Ourselves or to please others?"

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Finishing the first draft

Today I wrote the last words of an almost-230k project. Then I sat back and looked at it for a few minutes and didn't really think about anything much. I just felt tired. No euphoria, no tears, not even a massive sense of loss. This was a project and a character I'd spent over a year with and the only reaction I could come up with after putting a close to his story was a general sense of tiredness.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Why my story titles are a combination of muse-dust and random songlyrics

Titles. I've been told everything from that the story title is incredibly important to that I might as well just name it 'untitled' because the publisher will pick the title anyway. Not that I thought about it much until relatively recently, of course. Until some time in late 2010, I'd only ever named stories after the main female character. It was kind of a tradition - in far too many files to count, there was only one story that actually had a title.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Somewhat ironically, I've avoided writing this post for almost a week. I guess now you know that I'm not going to identify my blog as one of the places I go when I'm avoiding something that really needs to be done. Anyway, this is a WriYe blogging circle post and I'm supposed to explain the following things about my procrastination:

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Planner vs. Pantser - why it doesn't matter

If you've been reading my blog, having my forum posts inflicted upon you or (surely not) reading my mind, you'll know I spend a lot of time thinking about the whole Planner vs. Pantser issue.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A writer's confession

So, it seems it's my turn to come up with the post for the WriYe blogging circle. I've been thinking about this for a while and never quite getting my head around a topic. That would be why I post so often, wouldn't it? I could just talk about that, but that's boring, so here's what I'm going to do instead:

I'm going to invite the people of the WriYe blogging circle to make a confession about their writing.

The (metaphorical) death of a first draft

At first there is nothing but darkness. Then a match flares and is applied to a single candle, which is in turn used to light more candles. The light reveals a man dressed in black – a leather jacket, cargo pants and a cloak with a deep hood. The man's face is concealed behind a steel mask and he exudes an aura of menace that is only emphasised by the heavy leather-bound book tucked under one arm.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Writer's Block

WriYe blogging circle posts seem to fit a distinct pattern. There are the topics I look at and wonder how the heck I'm supposed to make up something halfway intelligent and there are the topics that give me the uncontrollable urge to release some insanity. Writer's Block fits into the second type of post, so brace yourself.

Monday, 20 February 2012

A writer's insanity

Read through my last few posts (all of 2012, really) and you'd probably agree that we're dealing with one loopy writer here. This is a WriYe blogging circle post, though, so I'm not just talking about me being a bit freaky. It's my characters that are the focus.

Specifically, those characters who like to invade my head and start talking.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A pantser's crisis of confidence

This is what's going through my brain at the moment:

I am not a published author. I've written 14 complete first drafts, but I have yet to take the next step. I've never tested my methods to find out if a first draft written by the seat of my pants really can be turned into an acceptable novel. People all over the internet say it can't, that I wasted my time writing that crappy first draft. I should have just sat down and written a decent outline in the first place and then I wouldn't be smack bang in the middle of a crisis of confidence right now.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Same universe, different series

Yet again, the WriYe blogging circle provides me with a subject that makes me go blank. Aside from a brief reference to a scary-beyond-all-reason girl called Stella, I've never really re-used a universe. I don't even know if that counts - it's just a convention of my writerly multiverse that girls called Stella are always bad news. She's appeared in three separate stories, most recently as the personification of my Inner Critic.

So, let's talk about other people who've re-used a universe.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

How I write

I don't know whether to regard this as conclusive proof of my insanity or just a random comment in a sea of random comments, but for all of February I've been suffering from an epic crisis of confidence. This was to the point of sitting at the computer for hours on end and barely writing a word, having nightmares about writing when I go to bed and engaging in dangerous levels of procrastination rather than actually opening a story file. My muse had a couple of goes at kicking me into shape, but nothing worked until today.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Random McPsycho and other weird things from the world of story preparation

  • conversations with characters and/or my necromusenomancer
  • staying up till midnight to see what song plays while my media player is on random
  • panicking
  • calling a character Random McPsycho
  • NOT writing up a blow-by-blow description of the plot
  • WriMo addiction

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Project management for writers: an experiment

Aside from being a total spreadsheet nerd (seriously - you should see my set of spreadsheets for 2012) I'm also a web designer by profession.

Actually, that's I was a web designer. I'm now a dairy farmer and proud of it.

As a web designer, though, I was exposed to a whole heap of ideas about project management and I always imagined that they needed to be applied to writing. Even though I'm comfortable writing first drafts without pre-plotting now, the project manager in me thinks there must be a better way than this profusion of notebooks, bits of paper and random text files for keeping track of what I'm doing. The spreadsheets go some of the way towards that (and I'll talk about them in another post), but what I keep wanting is a nice friendly-looking, simpler-to-use version of the project management software I used for web design projects.

Enter Collabtive.

Monday, 30 January 2012

The humble sidekick

This week for the WriYe blogging circle we're talking about sidekicks and I have no idea what to say, but I'm muddling my way through it anyway. Yep, best post introduction I've ever written.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Villains and Heroes

This week for the WriYe Blogging Circle we're all talking about our villains and heroes. I took several days to figure out what I wanted to say and it's still really just a vague idea, so here's hoping the post doesn't somehow head somewhere weird.

Like my previous post. I'm still torn over whether I think that was okay or cringe-worthy. Anyway, on with the post.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Inspiration v. Motivation

I sort of promised myself I'd post on Mondays, so at somewhere close to 1am on Tuesday I guess that means I'm a little late this week. I've been half-heartedly thinking about what to say all day and finally I came up with the topic of inspiration and motivation. People talk about this a lot, but it seems to me that they're always treated as the same thing. On the other hand, I tend to treat them as somewhat interchangeable.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

WriYe Blogging Circle post 2: Naming Characters

Hot on the heels of my post on character depth comes one on character naming.

(I joined the circle late, so I'm a little behind and had to do two posts right away. My poor blog has not seen so much activity... well, ever. If the server crashes we'll just call it karma and hope it recovers quickly.)

So how do I name my characters?

WriYe blogging circle post 1: character depth

So, apparently the rest of the world is awaiting with breathless interest my response to the question: how do I give my characters depth?

Monday, 9 January 2012

First blog post of 2012!!!

Blogging is apparently not something that comes easily to me. All through last year I used the excuse that I was writing a million words for WriYe and blog posts didn't count, so I'd do one after I'd met my word count goal.

Yeah, that went well.

This year, I told myself, is going to be different. Two posts a week every month. So how did it get to the ninth without a single post?

Therefore, hello and welcome to the first post of 2012. No, make that the first of many posts of 2012.

Things I'm going to blog about in 2012:

  • 2011. Last year I wrote 12 first drafts and a million words and told nobody about it. That achievement deserves at least a couple of blog entries
  • My 2012 projects. This year I'm aiming for the only thing that could possibly be more awesome than a million words. What's that, you ask? Publication.
  • Writing software. I've recently started trialling Liquid Story Binder, the first piece of writing software I've actually met that I didn't hate on sight. Whether this continues or not is still open to debate. I also like full screen text editors and I'm looking for an operating system that lets me have light text on a dark background system-wide. I'll give Windows 7 a chance, but I know Linux can do what I want, so we'll see...
  • Writing. It wouldn't be much of a writing blog if I didn't talk about writing, would it? One of the big things here will be my 'seat of the pants' attitude and how it fares as I move into rewriting and editing. I've got some first drafts to do this year as well, though, so maybe we'll see the development of a detailed creative paradigm here.
  • Books. Reviews, electronic v. paper, book-binding projects, book repair... I really don't know what, but I love books in all their forms and I really think everyone else should share my passion.
  • Other stuff. Music, writing groups, writing months, random things about writing, cute pictures of my cats and goats (who are of course the most awesome cats and goats in the universe), and I guess the occasional link to something I think is awesome and needs to be shared.
So anyway, look! First blog post of 2012!