FACT 162 – NaNoWriMo 2010

oh yeah, baby, it’s that time of year again. when writers everywhere put on their viking helmets and go into battle against the interminable stretch of blank pages and horrible syntax that make up NaNoWriMo. (^_^) this year, i’m turning away from my pantsing origins (this would be the planner vs pantser debate; do you plan your novel or write it by the seat of your pants) and delving into that mysterious land known as Outlining. (^_^) i’ve been trying the Snowflake method, which turns out to be kind of perfect for me, since it’s nearly what i do anyway. the webpage is pretty “sale-y” and fairly obnoxious to read, but basically what you do is this: write a one sentence summary of your story. now expand that sentence to a five sentence paragraph. now expand each of those sentences into its own paragraph. now expand each of those paragraphs into more paragraphs, etc etc etc, wash rinse repeat with maybe some character building exercises thrown in to make sure you aren’t writing crap, and keep expanding until you have a novel. voila. it’s a way of tricking yourself into thinking that Writing is Easy, and it works pretty well, at least for me. the software’s $100, so there’s no way i’m paying for that, and honestly there’s no need to. he explains the whole method right there on the page. the software’s just some appropriately marked boxes, for those who have trouble making their own boxes, i guess. anyway, i’ve been ‘flaking it out (an accurate phrase in more than one way~) and i’ve been fairly energized about my story so far. i’ve tried to write this thing for 2 previous ScriptFrenzys, but i think i’m just going to have to come to terms with the fact that i am not a script writer. (^^;) considering my track record with NaNo (5 tries, 5 wins, not including this year) it’s hard to believe how epic-ly i have failed at ScriptFrenzy (2 tries, 2 fails, barely even 20 pages between them). but the story won’t go away, so i’ve decided to try my hand at novelizing it. it was originally going to be a fake documentary about a team of brilliant young scientists who build an android who passes for a human, and the social implications of their invention, but now it’s going to be the accompanying book. a lot of documentaries have books that go with them, so why should my documentary be any different. just because it’s fake doesn’t mean it can’t get the same respect. (^_^) i was going to write a time travel story about a couple of long-lost twins who cause several rather serious space-time distortions in their attempt to reunite, but then i saw a blog post on the Office of Letters and Light blog about synthetic biology. the people over at iGem (a supercool synthetic biology competition for high school students), in their attempts to get the word out about how cool science in general, and their competition in specific, are, were looking to feature some synthetic-biology-featuring fictions on their website, so they sent a little email out, fishing for novelists. i got myself a spot on their novel-featuring page, which you can check out here: the iGem NaNoWriMo page. there are rather more of us than i expected writing about or around synthetic biology, which i guess just goes to show you that there are always deeper-than-expected NERd depths waiting to be plumbed in NaNoWriMo, no matter how deep you expect them to be. (^^;) for instance, this afternoon, i went to a NaNo kick-off party, which was held at the main branch of the library, and it featured several dozen NERds all NERding out together. of which i was one. (^_^) we got a little noveling kit, complete with origami plot bunnies, encouraging stickers, and soothing tea for when we just can’t take it anymore. like, on november 2nd. we had pretty much every genre you can think of represented, including the ever-popular “I have no idea what i’m writing about and i’ve only got five days to figure it out oh god what am I going to do” genre. there seemed to me to have been a lot of urban fantasy, and a fair amount of young adult writers in the room. i don’t know if i’ve just been living in a cave, but it seems like the YA genre is exploding recently. everybody’s trying to write one, everybody’s reading one, and even adults who previously would have thumbed their nose at the YA section in the book store are now over there thumbing through the latest garth nix thing. or whatever his name is. i must be the only adult on the planet who does not read YA novels. i’m not trying to belitte the YA phenomenon, in fact i think it’s awesome, because the more we can get a kid to read while he’s still a kid, the more likely we are to produce a reading adult, i just think it’s weird. it’s like, harry potter made a bunch of money and twilight proved that people will read anything if it’s marketed properly, and now everybody wants into the pool. i suppose if everybody’s off in the kiddie pool, it’ll make the adult swim a lot easier, but honestly. weird. in other, more bookbinding-related, news, i’m having a book sale in honor of NaNoWriMo. it was originally just for NaNo participants, but in the interest of proclaiming the joys of writing from the nearest soapbox, i’ve decided to open it up for everyone. if you head on over to my fancy pants artfire shop and put in the coupon code NANOWRIMO when you check out, you’ll get 25% your order (not including shipping. sorry, but the post office won’t to give me a NaNo discount~). it’s good until November 30th, so get writing. i was going to try and list some more lined books before NaNo, but my risograph ran out of ink, and my paycheck schedule means i can’t purchase any more until midway through november. (T_T) i am, however, in the midst of designing some little bookmarks to grace my packages, so you’ll get one of those if you order. (^_^) the other thing i’m in the midst of redesigning is my website (because, no, i don’t have enough to do already…) and i will be sending out a special preview on my newsletter, so if you want to see that, head over to the sign up page and subscribe. i only send it out once a month, at the end of the month, and it’s always got a shiny picture or two, and the occasional coupon, so check it out. you can read through the archives if you want to see what i’ve sent out previously:

and now i have to head off and do some more “planning.” every year, i say, this is is the year i will PLAN! and then i never do. but this year i didn’t say anything about planning, indeed i said to myself, self, give it up. you’re a pantser, you have been a pantser, you always will be a pantser. so of course, this is the year i plan. whatEVER. (^_^) this post brought to you by the planning vs pantsing debate. .

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