Writing Gizmos And Libations

P1030076People are asking on a forum or two what others’ NaNo set-ups are. They are not talking in these cases about what writing software has features that are most useful. That is discussed elsewhere. They are talking about what type of computer and paper and coffee one uses to write their novel. Is this related to keeping up with the Joneses? Do they think they will be unable to write a novel if they do not have the right kind of computer or coffee?

Seriously people, who cares what gizmos or libations others use to help write your novel? A purple felt-tip pen on paper napkins while drinking sake and eating twinkies will do the trick. The twinkies and sake of others—and likely yourself too—are irrelevant. Something will work. As long as you’re writing.

If you are busy worrying about whether your writing accessories are good enough, you are not busy writing.

Note to self: Go. Write. Now.

NaNo Nervous?

I am feeling increasingly nervous about writing a novel of 50,000 or more words for NanoWriMo in November. I have shit for brains. I know it.

I have written over 200,000 words this year in an ongoing story in three free-standing parts. None of these parts is under 50,000 words. I have twice this year written a single one of those three free-standing parts in a month. I have proven that, left to my own devices, for no more reason than I like to write a story, I can write a 50,000 word story in a month.

However, when I signed up on a website to write a 50,000 word novel along with a group of a few thousand strangers on the internet, I started to panic. I did not even sign up to show them the words I write. I just signed up to write them. The fact that I have proven to myself that I can do it became irrelevant in the face of this horror. I have shrieked and rent my garments and yelled and drooled.

Why, oh WHY, my God? Why have you done this to me?

Sadly, I can only blame God in my irrational dreams. God did not do it. I did.

The question is really not “Why did I do this to myself?”  It is “What did I do to cause this panic in my very breast?”

After taking a valium or three, I sat down to tease that one out. I petted the cat. I scrounged for candy corn. I cruised some forums. I chatted on Skype with a friend. I cleaned the toilet. I did anything I could find handy to do that did not include thinking about it.

Why? Because I do not need to think about it. I already know. I just do not want myself to know. It feels silly.

Hey me, the one chewing on her thumbnail there, suck it up. Spill.

Novel. That’s the problem. NaNo calls it a novel.

Whoa! The power of one little word. Think what you could do with 50,000 of them strung together.

So I have decided that I will not write a novel for NaNoWriMo. I will write a lengthy work of fiction that is 50,000 words or more for NaNoWriMo. I should probably sign up for the rebels forum now.

It is a damned good thing I do not write for a living. The first time an agent said the word novel I would have a stroke and be unable to put two sentences together for the project. I would starve.

Pantsing and Outlining

Need some hedge clippers?
I’m a pantser. Until I started poking around the NaNo forums I didn’t know what a pantser was. I certainly didn’t know I was one, in spite of the fact that I’ve written by the seat of my pants for decades now. I has identity!

I think I will try an outline this time. You know, an outline for my pants. If it sucks, I’ll go back to pantsing entirely. So far it’s amusing.

I have all these little boxes in this little program to fill with things. Writing things. Characters. Each has its own box, you know. Places, things, chapters, scenes. Some boxes are bigger than others. Some get other boxes placed inside them. Or on top. If the boxes are too confining, no worry. I have my hedge clippers too.

I’m finding hedge clippers oddly exciting now.


My box stacker is yWriter.  I tried many box stackers. That’s the one that suited me. You interested in box stackers? There’s info on a bunch on the Tech forum.