Excuses and NaNoWriMo

So I totally forgot to post something last week, but I have an excuse…an adorable excuse:

Freddy Fred

Meet Fred. I found him on the 22nd (October) and have spent the last week bringing him back to full health. He was smaller than my knee when I took him home.

He’s looking much better now, which is good since NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow.

I’m not going to go into great detail about NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. There are hundreds of blog posts on the internet for you to read if you want to know more.

This year I’m writing HFI (see last post for more details). I might write it in 1st Person after all, and edit it to 3rd after NaNo. I tried 3rd, but the writing felt stale.

I’ve been using The Story Grid to plan it. I recommend you at least give the site a look. There is a book you can buy, but everything in it has been posted on the website (often word for word). It reminded me to ensure every scene, chapter, and act had a beginning (Inciting Incident), middle (Complication, Crisis), and end (Climax, and Resolution). If there are any OYAN students reading this, I suggest you read a few pages. A lot of the information appears in the OYAN course.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on for long enough. I’m spending the rest of the day preparing for a long month =)

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

Voice Issues

For the last two years, I’ve been trying to write a book I wittily named Out of Time (I like using puns in my titles). So far I’ve written three vastly different chapter outlines, numerous backstory re-writes, and just over 20,000 words of the actual novel. Unfortunately, I’ve had to strip back 12,000 of those words to accommodate the new outlines.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy with the alterations. The plot improved each time I revised, and has become something I’m excited to write.

So, why haven’t I finished the novel?

Voice. I’m struggling to find Kasia’s voice.

In the original plan, Kasia was a character full of hopes and dreams. Sure, her situation was terrible, but she pushed her fears aside to pursue her goals. Kasia pretty much vomited rainbows and butterflies.

As you can imagine, she didn’t make a very good narrator. There were times when she was so positive and eager that I wanted to gouge my eyes out.

Cue backstory re-write.

I made her suffer. In fact, I think I went a little too far in terms of psychological trauma. Oops.

Oh well, she lost that annoying Little Miss Sunshine tone and entered Mr Grumpy territory. I cringed as I typed that analogy. Ugh.

New Kasia is angry—and a little unstable. She has a bad temper and poor impulse control, which occasionally leads to dangerous and life-threatening behaviour.

Ah, much better. I could talk about New Kasia for hours.

What I haven’t been able to do, however, is write as New Kasia. I tried switching to third person limited, to no avail. Next I tried writing a synopsis in first person to get a feel for her voice. While it produced some good material, she sounded far too angsty.

In the end I caved and randomly generated a scene from some site I can no-longer recall. I wanted something unrelated to the story so as to avoid growing attached.

Massive failure.

In an unexpected twist, the scene flowed without effort. I enjoyed writing it so much that I want to include it in the novel (dun duuun). As for her voice, I think I found it. I still haven’t used it in a planned scene, though, so I don’t want to count my chickens just yet. Fingers crossed.

What about you? Are you having trouble with your character’s voice, or do you have a method of finding it?

Umm, Hi

I’m not new to blogging. In fact, I’ve had a blogger.com account since 2011. Though, that doesn’t mean I’m any good at it.

Truth be told, I suck at posting regularly.

I feel like my life isn’t a particularly interesting one, so I don’t want to bore you with weekly posts about life on a cattle property. Maybe I’ll do a monthly update or something… (kidding–sort of)

Since this is my first post here, I should probably tell you a bit about myself. I’ll give you ten facts as I don’t feel like dragging this post out too much.

  1. I live on a family owned and run cattle (beef only) property.
  2. Since graduating high school in 2013, I’ve worked full-time on said property. My Granddad passed away during my senior year, leaving my Dad to run it. Instead of going straight to university, I decided to give him a hand. This is the only reason I’m still here. If he wasn’t my father, I would’ve quit after a few months.
  3. I’m applying for university next year. I’m looking at a few options (Vet Science, Speech Pathology, Psychology, or English) but I’d like to start with a general diploma to get back into the swing of studying.
  4. I write books. Two have been published, but they were collaborations with many other authors. I have finished one for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but don’t intend to publish it.
  5. Last year I started the One Year Adventure Novel course. I’m still writing the novel, so I guess for me it’s the Two Year Adventure Novel course.
  6. I’m raising two poddy (orphan) calves.
    DexterElmo
    The left is Elmo, right is Dexter
  7.  I currently own 543 paper/hardback books. While ebooks are easy to carry around, I don’t count them. If they’re any good, I’ll buy them in physical form anyway.
  8. Just in case 7 wasn’t clear enough: I have a SERIOUS book buying problem. My record for most books bought in a single day is 32. I plan on reading everything, but I need to find the time.
  9. I’ve kept a diary since 2010, so I don’t know why I’m so inconsistent with a blog
  10. My favourite authors are Richelle Mead and Sarah J. Maas. The first made me want to write, the second introduced me to the fantasy genre (I had an irrational dislike for it until I read THRONE OF GLASS). Now I want to write fantasy.

Okay, I think I’ve gone on for long enough. Time to go feed the calves.