NaNoWriMo Starts Tomorrow

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more apathetic about it.

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more apathetic about it. A few weeks ago I was very excited about a story idea, but now I’m in that classic writer’s mood that goes something like this: "So what if I write a cool story, nobody is ever going to read it anyway."

At least I think it’s a classic writer’s mood. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it means I’m writing for the wrong reasons. Shouldn’t I be writing because the writing itself is fun? But if nobody ever reads my writing, there is exactly zero chance of supporting myself as a weirdo reclusive author who lives in a cave.

Silencing Your Inner Editor

Writing Excuses recently challenged the standard newbie writing advice that you should "silence your inner editor" while writing. Personally I think Mary completely missed the mark on this one.

Writing Excuses recently challenged the standard newbie writing advice that you should "silence your inner editor" while writing. Instead, Mary advised that you need only silence your "inner heckler," while harnessing your "inner editor" to tell you when you need to improve your writing.

Personally I think Mary completely missed the mark on this one. (And I got the sense that Brandon wasn’t on board either.) The "inner editor" as I’ve understood it is not so much a heckler as it is someone who is obsessed with good grammar and who is terrified of making a mistake. Such a person will constantly revise and re-revise and re-re-revise every sentence before moving on to the next one. Listening to this editor will result in never finishing a book or never thinking it’s good enough to release. This is not the kind of thing you want to think about, particularly when you’re writing a first draft.

Even in Mary’s sense of the "inner editor"–that voice that seeks to improve your work–that voice literally always see things to fix and improve. There is never a time in any creative process when you can stop and say, "That’s perfect. It can never be improved." There is always a way to tweak and improve any creative work. If you ever want to finish a work, you have to pick a time to just walk away. Ie. you have to silence your inner editor. At least I do.

http://www.writingexcuses.com/2013/10/20/writing-excuses-8-42-the-internal-heckler-vs-the-internal-editor/

Story Locked In for NaNoWriMo 2013

I have my story idea for NaNoWriMo this year. I’m kind of excited about it.

I have my story idea for NaNoWriMo this year. I’m kind of excited about it. At least I was when I thought of it. It’s a bit of a meta-story, a pure fantasy that could not in any way happen in real life, or even alternate world life, and I would be lying if I said it did not in some way resemble John Scalzi’s inexplicably-Hugo-award-winning Redshirts­. I would say it has some elements of Redshirts and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One mixed up together. Possibly with a dash of Disney’s Tron.

My primary goal is to make myself laugh. Sometimes when I’m writing and I cannot think of what to actually write, particularly when I’m trying to meet a word count goal, I just start having the characters talk about the writing and the story. I find those moments incredibly fun and easy to write, and somewhat hilarious to read later. Sometimes I read those bits and think, "Hey, this is actually good." That’s the groove I will be trying to hit this year. The not-too-serious-but-hey-this-is-actually-kind-of-good-anyway groove.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Has Begun

Since Breaking Bad is gone, I guess The Walking Dead moves up to become the best drama on television. The first episode of Season 4 didn’t do much but set the stage for what’s to come in the rest of the season. Apparently, we are going to see a lot of: Muddy ground, bleak skies, bleak conditions, bleak people, and zombies.

Since Breaking Bad is gone, I guess The Walking Dead moves up to become the best drama on television, now starting its fourth season. This is traditionally the point in a show’s lifecycle when it starts to die out. Maybe not in TWD’s case, though, because the show didn’t really get going (imo) until its third season.

The first episode of Season 4 didn’t do much but set the stage for what’s to come in the rest of the season. Apparently, we are going to see a lot of: Muddy ground, bleak skies, bleak conditions, bleak people, and zombies.

One thing I had forgotten about TWD is how very, very depressing it is. I mean, I guess the total collapse of civilization and the loss of everything you hold dear would be a major downer in the best of circumstances, but good lord. The humans in this show are just as much zombies as the zombies are. There were some hints that they would deal with this in season 4, and I hope they do: These people have almost nothing to live for right now. They are just surviving. There’s no way that can sustain a story forever.

In preparation for the new season, I re-watched some of season 3. I didn’t realize just how much had happened. It feels like they’ve been in that prison for years, but at the beginning of season 3, they hadn’t even found it yet.

I know someone who has just recently started watching the show, and I was interested to hear them talk about how glad they were to see certain people killed. (Spoiler alert: Main characters sometimes die on TWD.) I guess that’s part of the fun of the survival horror genre. That got me to thinking about which characters I liked and disliked on the show. That got me to thinking that I don’t have any strong feelings about anyone one way or another. ("How very neutral of you.") The more I think about it, the less I seem to know about any of these characters. Almost none of them have any backgrounds or personalities or motivations. They are all completely defined by their actions post-zombies. There’s sheriff-guy, crossbow-guy, katana-gal, old-timey farmer, farmer’s daughter 1 & 2, and formerly-funny Asian guy. And some other people who are largely interchangeable survivors. Sort of cartooney. Or, heh heh, like comic book characters. See what I did there?

Anyway, I hope they start focusing on something besides survival in this season. Because I’m ready to move past the survival phase of this survival horror show.

Oh wait, I just realized that I don’t like Rick’s son, and honestly I wouldn’t be sad to see him go at all, so I guess there’s one person I have strong feelings about. I know he might have sort-of smiled once or twice in the season opener, but I still don’t trust him. He’s going to grow up to be a sociopathic serial killer or a traitor and somebody should put him down before that happens.

One Month Until NaNoWriMo

With NaNoWriMo coming up in a month, I’m not sure what to work on. There’s a distinct possibility that I might free-write 50k words.

With NaNoWriMo coming up in a month, I’m not sure what to work on. There’s a distinct possibility that I might free-write 50k words. That would probably be good for me. It will be an exercise in keeping-the-writing-fun and not-worrying-if-it-doesn’t-make-sense. First I need to come up with a character that I like, because I feel like that’s the main thing that keeps me writing.

I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting started on any other writing projects, so I’ve been spending most of my writing time revising last year’s Sovereign of Tel. I figure working on revisions has got to be better than doing nothing at all, right?

It’s actually been an interesting process. I’m really enjoying the story of one of the characters who was originally supposed to be a supporting character. As it turned out, the main character’s story isn’t all that interesting. So I’ve taken all the chapters from the supporting character’s POV and put them all together in a row and I’m working on trying to make it make sense.