Nano 2010- After Action: Let’s not do that again.

It’s entirely possible that I misspelled my title. I can’t get it to not look wrong, now

This nano was an experience I was not expecting. I have devoted my life to writing in November for the past two years, (my family can attest to this) and word count has never been the issue. I mean yes, I usually burned out at about day 25, but I was already at 66,000 words, or some such thing.

And then this year I opened up my doc, and I felt like I had adequately drained myself dry if I could wrench 500 words from my chest and shove them onto the page. It was HAAAAAARRRRRRRRRDDDDDDD. *dramatic drape across the couch*

I can identify two reasons why this was so desperately painful.

  1. I was trying not to completely fail at work. I’m leaving in December and moving into the big city, and I want to go out on a high note, not on a “good grief, what is WITH that woman?”
  2. I didn’t have a plot. 
Reason one is pretty self explanatory. But it led into reason two, as well. You see, when I went into my last two nanos, I’d spent eight or five months thinking about the story. I knew who my characters were, I knew how the plot started and ended, if not the middle, and I knew the political structure of what was going on. (This is important when my default is to make people a. work for the govt, or b. rage against the govt.) So when I went, “Oh, I’ll just put people on a train and make them talk to each other,” I did have material to work with. This time I- what DID I start with? 
Oh yeah. I knew one MC woke up with no memory, another MC thought she was going mad but really she was telepathic and in scene two she’s going to be recruited by a government security group, and my other two MCs were going to escape an assassination attempt and, uh, survive. While all of this is terribly shiny, it isn’t really what you would call a PLOT. And with me spending my time while working thinking about (shockingly) my work, I didn’t have any time to MAKE a plot. 
So then for 50,000 words, I basically flailed madly around trying to figure out who was important or not, and why people were doing things and if that was important, and HOW ARE THEY ALL CONNECTED? It was my finest moment. (Not really.) Fortunately after about 20,000 words I was able to recognize that I had whole sections that totally contradicted each other, so basically this wasn’t a usable first draft. From then on it was able to be a world-building exercise, so my flailing was in broader and less coherent stripes. 😀 
Even so, by the last day I was 10 thousand words behind. Which led to amazing things like this. 

Hmmm, his name was breathed pretty distractingly into his ear. Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. The hmming here represents what’s happening because I can’t tell you Peter’s internal monologue. But I’ll do some stage directions.

AMBROSE: Put one hand on the back of Peter’s head, and rove around there. With the other arm, the one with the hand holding the knife, hang it down Peter’s back so that you hold yourself up with your elbow. Also, stand on your toes so you can knock teeth with him more efficiency. Also, make sure to knock teeth. Objective is to trade tongues, and you should try that diligently. It’s possible that the latch for your tongue is in his lips, so be sure to bite those several times. Otherwise, use your imagination. And your hips.

PETER: Do what feels right to you. NOT LIKE THAT- oh. Okay. Well, um. Yeah. We’ll take an intermission and you just- you do that. Okay.

When we left our anti-hero, he’d been breaking the law regarding legal ages for consent in the prep kitchen of a restaurant. (Peter is underage.) And when we return, Peter is STILL breaking the law regarding legal age for consent…

And he’s just produced handcuffs. I”M TOO YOUNG TO SEE THIS. *hides face while the cuffs levitate into the air by themselves, catch Ambrose’s hands and lock them behind her and hold her there while Peter steps away* Wait, what?

Yes, Audience, you read that correctly! (Audience? What are you doing in here watching freaky sketch happen? Not only many of you underage, there are sharp thing in here! You may become injured!) Peter mentally handcuffed Ambrose, and much more shockingly, he STEPPED AWAY. And it’s not just to admire the view with her shirt hanging open, though that was definitely a useful side effect of it. “Sorry, Ambrose, the Queen’s going to be paying for your meals for a while. You’re under arrest for illegal shellfish use, and use of mock firtute.”

“… and I don’t use mock firture!” Ambrose finished in angry, pretty tears. “It’s real!”

“That’ll have to go to a panel of experts to decide.” Peter said in his best tortured hero look, caught in the grip of virtue and following it nobly. Also, I hate myself. “But I know a holding temperature for mock eff when I see it. Did you really think you were fooling anyone?”

“You were fooled.” She glared. Breathing hevily, too! Well done, Ambrose, but Peter’s the virtuous hero, he’s too strong for you. He’s- um, Peter. Eyes up here. *snaps fingers* PETER. Eyes UP.

“I was having a little fun while we were waiting for the backup to get here.” Peter smirked. “Thanks for the entertainment, by the way, honey.”

EXIT OF REDNESS THEN WHITENESS THEN BLACKNESS THEN REDNESS THEN CHANGE SCENE.

This is the first make-out scene I’ve really written with more of an “that looked complicated” write-off. I think I’m going to go back to that method.

But yes, due to complete madness and some creative use of punctuation, I finished Nano!

HUZZAH.

Now I just have to re-write everything.

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"I’m going to dress professional. And by that I mean MY profession, not a streetwalker."

(Title quote from online conversations. Where all the insanity happens.)

I’ve learned so much this Nano. Like how I ALWAYS TALK ABOUT THE SAME SUBJECTS. Governments, Trust, Grief and Family, oh HAI! And colourful hair. That seems to be a theme. (And Fire. Heh.)

And also how what seems to be easy writing is actually based on MONTHS of thinking about the story, the characters, and how it all fits together. If I actually have to think it up when I’m writing it? I am lucky to crank out 500 words an hour.

Also I’m Lazy. 😀

But I got my hair cut last night!

I’ve been told this makes me look Taller, Shorter, Thiner, Curvier,  Healthier, Younger, Older, Prettier, and “just better!”
So it’s magic hair?
(Either way, I like it. ^_^)

Without further ado, I usher in Sylvie Stone!

Sylvie: *nods to everyone, with a slight smile*
Interviewer: “How old are you?”
S: “19, sir.”
I: “Height?”
S: “5 feet 4 inches, sir.”
I: “Do you have any bad habits?”
S: “Nothing that interferes with my work, sir.”
I: “What’s your hairstyle?”
S: *mild panic as this must be a trick question* “Regulation, sir.”
I: “Have any kids?”
S: “No sir.”
I: “Favourite food?”
S: “I enjoy pomegranates and strawberries, sir. Though usually not at the same time.”
I: “Killed anyone?”
S: “Yes sir.”
I: “Hate anyone?”
S: “Yes sir.”
I: “Any secrets?”
S: “Yes sir.”
I: “Love anyone?”
S: “Yes sir.”
I: “What is your job?”
S: “Sir! I am a Licensed Driver in the employ of Her Majesty, Sir!”
I: “Are you a boy or a girl?”
S: “Female, Sir!”
I: “Family? You can- tone down the yelling, Stone.”
S: “Sorry sir. I do have living family, sir. My mother and father, and two sisters and a brother. Sir.”
I: “Best Friends?”
S: “That would probably be my brother Goward, sir.”
I: “What was the most surprising moment in your life up until now?”
S: “I try not to be surprised, sir.”
I: “Where would you rather be?”
S: “I don’t understand the question, sir. I’m sorry.”
I: “Ever wish to be something else?”
S: “I believe everyone’s wished for more income, sir.” *smiles* “But that’s about the extent of it.”
I: “Ever kissed anyone that’s not a family member?”
S: “Could you define “kissing,” sir?

She’s just a bundle of personality, is our Sylvie. 😀

Rather light-headed.

So, I still intend to blog. But as you may have noticed, I’m also doing Nanowrimo. And there are only a certain amount of words in the old noggin per day. (At least that’s what’s happening this year…)

So for the duration of the month, I think I’ll direct you over to my writing blog, Stories Of Medusa, where whatever leftover words I have are coming to rest. There resides such FASCINATING things as me griping, interviewing my characters, and maybe someday, word counts!

So not much different from here. 😀

Anyhow, have a good day!

(Also I cut a foot of my hair off last night, to donate. My head feels rather funny.)

“A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.”

So yesterday I wrote a little over a thousand words!

*cringes*

Please don’t shoot me! I tried! I just- got distracted by other characters?

Alright, that is an excuse and not even a very good one. I’ll try to do better. I HAVE to do better, or I’m not going to finish. So yeah. *nods* Note to self. Concentration is for cool people. Look into that.

And now I need another interview so I can figure out who on earth I’m writing! Or, who in space, because it’s SF… Anyways. Say hi to Sym, everyone!

*Sym greets the chorus of “hi’s” with a guilty flinch, and then glares at everyone*

Sym: “What’s your problem? Huh?”
Interviewer: “How old are you?”
S: “Green.”
I: “Height?”
S: “I don’t care what any of the girls said, I can’t fit through there. They just like whining. It’s their hobby. Whining and being stupid.”
I: “Do you have any bad habits?”
S: “You know, that depends on- Wait….  Why do you ask?”
I: “What’s your hairstyle?”
S: “I don’t understand the question.”
I: “Have any kids?”
S: “Dozens. Get over it.”
I: “Favorite food?”
S: “There are kinds of food?”
I. “Killed anyone?”
S: “I’ve got amnesia, see. No idea. Probably thousands. OR YOU COULD LOOKING IT UP YOUR SELF ON YOUR FLATLINING COMPUTER YOU”VE GOT THERE YOU GIRL. So no, no idea really.”
I: “Hate anyone?”
S: “Only stupid people. So most of humanity, yeah. And all girls.”
I: “Any secrets?”
S: *smirks*
I: “Love anyone?”
S: *Tries to continue smirking, but goes red.* “Whatever.”
I: “What is your job?”
S: “No idea. Like I said. You’re a moron and a girl.”
I: “Are you a boy or a girl?”
S: *So. Much. Profanity.*
I: “Family?”
S: “What do YOU think, machine-headed girl-idiot-child?”
I: “Best Friends?”
S: “No one I’d tell YOU about.”
I: “What was the most surprising moment in your life up until now?”
S: “When I woke up and didn’t know who I was.” *laughs*
I: “Where would you rather be?”
S: “Where else COULD I rather be?”
I: “Ever wish to be something else?”
S: “Have something else? Yeah. Be someone else? MASK no.”
I: “Ever kissed anyone that’s not a family member?”
S: *so red*

"but I think you’ll be good to me/ I’ll be so good to you."

Today, at work, my plot finally arrived. It may have been fifteen days late, but it’s HERE!

Which really means I need characters. I realized, (belatedly, I know,) that my brain was still stuck on short stories. In them, you really only need one character trait, or maybe two. There just isn’t time to fit other things in them? And now I’m trying long form again. MUST SHUNT MY BRAIN ONTO NEW TRACK.

This post, therefore, is my attempt to nail down one of my characters. Say hello to Johanne, everyone!

Johanne: “Hi.” *dry tone*
Interviewer: “How old are you?”
J: “Seventeen? Why do you ask?”
I. “Height?”
J: “Tall enough…”
I: “Do you have any bad habits? “
J: “That depends on who you ask, really.” *bright, fake smile*
I: “What’s your hairstyle?”
J: “It’s- hair.” *looks at hair, nonplussed* “Dark and in a ponytail?”
I. “Have any kids?”
J: *stares* “Wow. That’s just- a special question. If you’ve seen me out and about, that would be my siblings? You know, not every family has 2.4 children? Some people get a bit edge about cutting their children into five pieces and only keeping two of the limbs. I’m just saying.”
I: “Favourite food?”
J: “Sandwiches? You know, I really don’t have an absolute favourite. I like cold food, but nothing really stands out.”
I: “Killed anyone?”
J: “I’d like to exercise my right to legal council.”
I: “Hate anyone?”
J: “Is my lawyer here yet?”
I: “Any secrets?”
J: “Have I been keeping my desire for a lawyer secret? Because I think I’ve been pretty open about that.”
*Later*
New Interviewer: “Do you love anyone?”
J: *small grin* “I wouldn’t say I’m incapable of emotion, no. I’m quite close with my family, even when we don’t get along. They’re very important to me.”
NI: “What is your job?”
J: “I’m a student, but for medical reasons I’m studying at home.”
NI: “Are you a boy or a girl?”
J: “Well, that sales woman was certainly lying about this shirt being flattering to my so-called curves.” *looks up as the pause stretches on. “That was a real quest- girl.” *sits back and folds her arms, eyebrows raised.* “I am medically female.”
NI: “Family?”
J: *pause* “I wasn’t cloned, no…”
NI: “Best Friends?”
J: “Are you capable of using verbs? I think that’s the questions we’re all waiting on!”
NI: “What was the most surprising moment in your life up until now?”
J: “WELL DONE, you. I applaud your use of language. I’d say that moment right up there, when you spoke so eloquently- that has to be in the top five.”
NI: “Where would you rather be?”
J: “Thank here? How long do I have to list places?”
NI: “Ever wish to be something else?”
J: “It is my fondest and most heartfelt desire to be a knife. Or a feather. I don’t know what I want. Where are you GETTING these questions?”
NI: “Ever kissed anyone that’s not a family member?”
J: *totally red* “N-no?”

So there’s Johanne. Touchy and mad, and not at all as worldly as she likes to tell herself. 😀

I think I like her. 😀

Nano Week 2: "[Insert Witty Quote Here]"

So, as you may have heard, Nano is HARD.

Picture’s worth a thousand words? Darn it, I just need eight more pictures to catch up. ^_^

And it just continues to BE hard. Gosh and Golly, it continues to be hard. This may be for a myriad of reasons, including my lack of plot, the fact that all my characters are the same person, or even the rest of my life, which is devouring my brain, soul and memory by the day. University searches, I LOVE YOU. (Wait, that last part was a lie. Oops.)

But the fact remains, I am stuck. I mean, my settings are all pretty, but there’s only so much drive I have to talk about settings, if there’s no PLOT!

*pokes novel with a stick*

Gah, I forgot to blog about something that makes me happy yesterday! Fail Jasmine- OH WAIT.

It wasn’t a fail, cause I was writing. ^_^

I’ve been having a really hard time with NaNoWriMo this year, but yesterday I left my sanity in a closet and cranked out 1300 words. Go me?

And here’s a quote from the 11th that delighted me.

“If you’re not going to use the mic when you lead a crowd in the singing of God Save The Queen, don’t do an interpretive version.”

Also, this song rocks my world