October has been a bit of a whirlwind. I’m back at ‘real work’ and juggling a workday, writing, marriage and household has been challenging. I’ve made some progress on my sci-fi book but nowhere near as much as I’d like ANNNND Nanowrimo is right around the corner and I’ve got 0% prepwork done and I’m not entirely sure which project I want to start on. I mean, I’m about 50% sure which story I want to start, but I have no idea where it is going in my brain. Hopefully that is a good thing, but I’m a planner, damn it.
Plus, I still have to finish sewing my dog’s Halloween costume. Priorities, right? She’s going to look soooo cute when I’m done with it though.
Right. Focus. Nanowrimo planning.
I’ve only done Nanowrimo twice. The first time resulted in Pendraline. The second one resulted in the sci-fi book that I’m currently working on and editing (trying so hard to have it done to give to my husband for Christmas!). Both times, I had some planning done. I’ve found that having at least a rough outline helps me to stay on track during the month and keeps me semi-on-target. It’s always mildly terrifying when I start going off course a bit; I’ll look at my writing and think, “Where did THAT come from? I actually wrote that?”. Sometimes, it’s a hit and other times it’s a hit-my-head-on-the-desk kind of thing.
I also get mildly obsessive about my characters. I usually have a list of names on hand, both first and last. I’ve learned my lesson before: if I can get stuck on pairing first and last names together, I WILL. It’s almost as bad as naming a child or pet, and you can have a lot more characters and their names are a source of stress and anxiety until you find the perfect one.
My current rewrite/revise/edit project for example. The main character’s name was ridiculously easy: Barden Thornton. I swear, it sprang into my head and stuck there. My idea was that his parents named him so that his name would basically look nice on a shiny brass nameplate, but they didn’t want a completely “traditional” name. And then the image with the name sprang into my head. Boom, he was named. Other characters, however, have given me strife. I think I’ve renamed one minor character (always the tricky ones) about three times already. I can’t get a fix on her! Bleeeeeh!
When I get REALLY obsessive with a character, I start Sims3-ing them. Yeah, that’s right. I do. I make Sim versions of my characters. I am that much of a nerd. But it works! The Sims3 has some awesome customization/character creation, so it’s super helpful if you’re trying to get a fix on a character in your mind. Plus it’s just fun. And distracting, which probably isn’t such a good thing, but oh well.
Back to the grind again. Time to get my Sunday started!