Thank Goodness It’s Over (TGIO)
This weekend I carpooled to Santa Monica for the NaNo LA region’s TGIO party. That was a fun event where the LA region’s Municipal Liaisons (A.k.a. MLs) hosted and congratulated all who showed up for participating. I chatted with others, ate Japanese fast food, and took a group photo. To boot, I even won a nice prize from a raffle. One dark and white chocolate later I was officially ready to start my December, by reading.
The raffle prize I picked up was Wake Up Your Muse: 1001 Story Starters for Fiction Writers by Jan Christiansen. It’s a short read of 1001 first line prompts of stories you can write. I’ve already noted a few starters that will make for fantastic prompts for me and I can’t wait to use them.
A few gems from the book:
“I didn’t know I had an uncle until I read the obituary.”
“They arrested every girl who had attended the slumber party.”
“She took one look at the handsome doctor and vowed never to eat apples again.”
I have discovered a few apps to help you keep writing. If you use them, may they lead you to lots of productive movement of your progress meters for whatever you choose to write:
750 words – Write a daily quota of 750 words to keep that ingrained habit of writing consistently. Fortunately this is far less than the 1667 words a day required of NaNo’s effort.
Instant Boss – This is meant to micromanage your time spent writing.
OmmWriter – This one uses pretty colors and sounds in the background while you write. Oh, boy!
Mac Freedom – All the cool writers use this one, apparently.
Write or Die – A place to write to a predetermined goal or else…
Written? Kitten! – A kinder version of Write Or Die, but with KITTEHS!
How did I do?
I accomplished the challenge itself, but as for my personal goal to do this by writing consistently… Well, I knew from my previous efforts that I could write relatively quickly– over 2K words per hour when in the zone. Just look at the beautiful exponential curve of effort there toward the end on my author page. Those stats don’t lie.
I’m a pantser, meaning that I intended to write this with no outline. This year I decided on a whim to download a writing tool promoted in the NaNo forums called Storyist. This tool made it easy to outline my story’s setting and create a background for each of my characters so I did just that. It helped a bit to know in advance how my characters would act or react in certain situations. Unfortunately, I somehow changed a page layout setting in the program using a keyboard shortcut that I couldn’t figure out how to undo. I finally managed to undo the changed layout setting using the tool menu after about a week. The program was otherwise easy to use and I felt like I was creating a publishable manuscript which was cool.
Leave it to a looming NaNoWriMo deadline for me to get more sleep each night and have cleaner dwelling than I have in all the other months of the year. I knew I wouldn’t let myself get to the point of non-progress where I couldn’t possibly catch up, though mentally, I was much more hare than tortoise. And like the fable it’s true that it wasn’t much fun being anywhere near the point of getting too far behind. Just knowing that I had to write so much quickly just to “catch up” to the daily word count made it harder to get started each day. Fortunately I knew from previous years to expect that feeling and I did not let it stop me from starting.
I learned several other things about my writing over the last month which I may detail later but today I’m gearing up for a trip to my local museum row for a relaxing day away from my computer screen.