Monday, November 15, 2010

To NaNo, or not to NaNo...

Oh Monday, you've been gone for a week. I wish you'd stay gone.

There are people all over the interwebs right now, arguing about the usefulness (or lack thereof) in NaNoWriMo. Some people are out there saying that the entire exercise is pointless, a giant waste of time. Others argue that it is about learning and building habits that are useful to every writer...

hmmm... Let's look at something from the NaNoWriMo website, CLICK ME IF YOU WANT TO GO THERE

"Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down."

I think the bigger arguments, for and against NaNo are built around this bit of info. The NaNo naysayers argue that, "writing a lot of crap" is a giant waste of time for thousands of people. Also, the fact that NaNo is an event made entirely for people that want to write a novel seems to invalidate everything done therein.

umm, who else should "National Novel Writing Month" be geared to?

Sorry folks, I am wholly on one side of this argument. You'll get no unbiased blogging here, and I'm not even a participant!

NaNoWriMo is for people interested in writing. If you're not interested, you probably don't know what it is, and probably don't care. I'm ok with that, you don't need to care.

Take me for instance, I am not a chef. If there is a "National Cook Your Heart Out" week, or NaCoYoHoWe, I am not interested. Even if most of what is cooked in that month tastes like dirty pants. I don't have to taste it, or even know how cooking shoes can help to make you a better chef. I do understand, however, that if NaCoYoHoWe helps one person to become a better Chef, then it is worth it. Especially to that one person.

I have written crap. You have probably also written crap. Therefore, WE have written crap, without a reason, and possibly without any encouragement or hope of making that crap better. NaNoWriMo gives a reason, encouragement, and hope to lots and lots of people.

It also might help people to realize that they are not writers, and that's ok too. Why waste years thinking about writing a novel, if after a week, you hate pens and paper and computers and everything that has to do with writing?

NaNo can also help people to become better and more disciplined. I know that making writing a part of your daily routine can be very hard to do, and if this project helps with that, then I'm sure you'll think that it was worth it. Even if everything you write this month really is crap.

Blah... wow that was a lot of soapboxin... sorry about that.

To the NaNoers out there, good luck :)
To everyone else, good luck as well :)

Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Friday, November 12, 2010

Works In Progress... plus coffee

It's Friday, it's Friday!!! (happy dance, trying not to spill my coffee)

So, it's friday (see above for confirmation) and that means that it is time to share about the work that has gone into the last week. It's all pretty exciting for me :)

As far as "Clockwork Charlie" is concerned, she is resting peacefully as the story forms and shifts and forms again in the ol' noggin. I have dedicated November to revisions and editing of "The City" but I'll be back to work on CC soon!

Revisions on The City: Going very well! New file created, writing commenced. I already have Chapter 5 put back together, and am also editing as I go... back and forth, in craziness, but I'm loving it. The story is coming back together, and I think the changes have already added so much.

First draft word count through Chapter 5: 36,067 words

Second draft word count through Chapter 5:(editing not finished) 35,020 words (lots of dead little darlings there)

I think that's about it as far as my WIPs are concerned, let me leave you with a little Jonathan Coulton:

Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ahh, so Bachman is really...

Hey there, you... wink wink

So the other day, I talked a lot about my reading experiences as a younger lad. Today I want to talk about one writer, that may have had the most impact on my reading journey, from then, til now.

I must have been around thirteen or fourteen when I read my first Stephen King novel, although it was published under the name, Richard Bachman. I loved every minute of "The Regulators" and have been hooked ever since. (Yes, I was a horror kid, even then. My dreams involving Freddy Krueger were not horror movies, but action/adventure flicks, or sometimes even more like buddy comedies)

Of course, immediately after finishing that book, I jumped into "Desperation," which was its counterpart, published under Stephen King. From then on, I was hooked.

I followed Mr. King's work from horror to fantasy and back again. Even in his world, where demon clowns or evil dogs may eat your fingers, his writing seems very honest. His characters have weaknesses and flaws that usually outweigh whatever hero-qualities they possess (just like people here in real life), and even his villains have their upside.

Mr. King is also one of my favorite short story writers. I grabbed a collection of his, titled "Everything's Eventual" from an airport kiosk when I was traveling from Spokane WA, to Reno, NV. I made it through all of those stories in one day, even though my flight was only three hours. Airport benches are not the most comfortable, but they'll do in a pinch if you need a place to sit and read.

What is the point of all this musing?
There may not be one. I love Stephen King, and if you have somehow not read any of his works, you should. (is that a point?)(Hey, I never promised these blogs would be well formatted)

Any thoughts on Mr. King?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Boys Don't Read!

Boys don't read!

That's not true, not even a little bit. I'm jumping a little late onto the bandwagon here, but I have an opinion, and a internet access. so there.

I have read a lot of blogs about the boys and their reading habits. Do they read? What do they read? Why don't they read? ...etc. To be fair, most people seem to agree with me. They know that boys do read, and some boys read a lot.

My experience as a reading boy leads me to ask, "Why is there even a question?"

When I was a young boy (elementary age) I already loved to read. So did most of my friends, who were also boys (yes, most of my friends were boys. no, I did not worry about cooties...). We read kids books; The Hardy Boys, Shel Silverstein, and anything about Batman (Comics count as reading!).

As a matter of fact, I don't remember any girls that I knew when I was that young that liked to read (though, to be fair, I didn't really pay attention).

Now, middle school was a different story. My group of friends began to change. Some of those boys that loved to read like me began to disappear, and girls became an integral part of everyday life. Sports became important to so many people, and reading seemed to fall by the wayside for a lot of others, pushed there by video games.

For the most part, though, reading was still abundant. R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" stories were a great way to continue reading, without having to worry about books covered with pictures of kissing. (Man, there were a lot of those) My friends and I even began our journeys to Middle Earth and Narnia around this time, leaving plenty of room for Batman, of course.

It continued through high school, though the flock did thin again. R.A. Salvatore became a daily part of our conversations, along with Terry Brooks and whatever our teachers sent us home to read. (Dracula and Shakespeare were among these. Kudos to teachers willing to share their libraries!)

So when people say boys don't read, what are they talking about? I believe they mean boys don't read YA (Young Adult). And, for the most part, they're right. YA books are usually romance centered, even when funny, and often have kissy faces all over them.

Batman does not. (well, most of the time)

This may be a strange, rambling post... but there you are.
Any thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment.
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The leaves, the Revisions and the Schedule (or Fall for Just1Writer)

Hey there, long time no see. How are you today? I'm good, rushed but good. thanks for asking!

Ahh, November. It really is a beautiful month, especially here in northern Idaho (at least compared to Nevada, where you live may be just as gorgeous, who knows?). The leaves are golden and orange, and scattering themselves... well everywhere. There is also lots of wonderful rain, and nice cool days to bask in.

I love to see the seasons change, and this, has inspired me. Of course, you may already know that since it is November, I have started revisions. Today actually, I was a big slacker yesterday and didn't do anything. Today, however, went really well. I'm cruising through Chapter 1, and I believe there is already vast improvement. Yay! (sorry, I get a little enthusiastic) My goal for this revision, is to have it done by the end of the month.

Is this a lofty goal? Yes. Is it attainable? Yes. Will I actually be done before the end of November? Maybe, maybe not, but it makes me feel better to have a goal. There are some parts of this revision that will be long and painful, I will be killing lots of my little darlings, rewriting a secondary character arc, and doing lots of editing. Editing. Editing. Editing.

Still, there will be other bits that I can skim over. Parts and places and people that do not need tinkering. THAT is very exciting for me, and I'll use the juice from that, to keep myself going in the rough patches.

In other changing news, I've decided to set up a real schedule for this blog. It's worked so well with my word count, I can't help but think it will be good for this part of my writing as well. Starting next week, (because I already missed Monday) I'll be posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There is a formula.

Monday will be general writing stuff day. I'll talk about parts of the journey, questions, topics of interest, etc...

Wednesday will be about other writers. I want to share some of my favorite books, find out about gems that I may not know about already, and maybe even talk about other bloggers and what I have learned from this community.

Friday. Friday will be about my Works in Progress; word count, schedule, and all of my little darlings.

As for this week, well...

Clockwork Charlie is on a hold while I dive into revisions (you know, unless the muse starts cracking the whip on that one). As of now, CC sits at 7,016 words, and I feel great about all of them right now.

Revision of The City has started, and I'll be updating on that as we go.

that's it for now,
thanks for stopping by,
buh bye then