Tag Archives: planning

Tuesday Untickle: The NaNo Prep Continues…

DSCN0394

I’m a crap photographer. But this is my ‘planning’ for NaNo. I’m still up in the air about what I’m going to write, but it’s starting to look more and more like the biopunk, which is the two rows at the top. Top row is my 7 Point Plot Structure. Below, is all the stuff that gets the guys from one point to the next one.

Third row is an NA contemporary. Again, top row is the Plot Structure, bottom row (heh!) is the stuff in between. It’s much less filled out because I’m still percolating that one. But if it comes up okay before Oct 31, that’ll probably be it.

I’m glad NaNo starts on a Saturday this year. I’ll have two good days to get some wordage done, then back to the grindstone at work. Where I’ll have those hour-long drives to percolate the next part of the story. (Yay?)

I need to come up with a name for the NA, though. Not a clue what it should be called, and it’s being very mysterious and close-mouthed. Wanna bet it has at least three different names before I’m done with it?

Yeah, I wouldn’t bet against a sure thing either. πŸ™‚

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Making Time and Taking Chances

Writing is the long game. It’s not the kind of career that’s made in a sudden flash of brilliance. It sometimes looks like that–we see someone who appears on the scene, seemingly out of nowhere, and the years of hard work and practice are lost in the blinding light of their ‘meteoric’ rise.

The reality is–there’s years of work that goes into a writing career. Years of reading, years of thinking, years of writing. And all of this takes time. We fit it in during spare moments when the family is occupies with their own pursuits, in random half-hours between classes, during lunch breaks and stolen ‘sick’ days. We give up movies, and restrict our TV watching to only the most interesting of shows. We write our million words instead.

A lot of writers take jobs that aren’t intellectually draining. We live on reduced incomes, scrape and save and budget and say no to ourselves, so that we have the time and the emotional energy to give to our characters; characters that we love, but have no guarantee anyone else will. As they say in show jumping, we ‘throw our hearts over the fence’, following our dreams with hope and determination.

I’ve been saving all winter, as hard as I could. I wanted the summer to spend on writing. It’s something of a catharsis for me, but also, I think, a necessary step on the road to–whatever this becomes. Hopefully a career, because I can’t think of anything more fun and less like work than this. The money I’ve saved, and all the things I gave up–the movies I didn’t see, the clothes I didn’t buy, the dinners out that I didn’t eat–will let me do this. At least until fall.

Not everyone can do it the way I have–I’m incredibly fortunate, and I know it. My plans for the summer are ambitious, in response. I hope I can follow through. The thought of five whole months with the freedom to focus on this and this alone…well, it’s amazing. And scary. I hope I don’t screw it up.

Even if you can’t afford to do it the way I am, I hope you can find some way to give yourself this gift, in smaller chunks. An evening a week with no interruptions and no other responsibilities. Saturday morning. Sunday evening. Every lunch hour. Whatever works, and gives you the time to fulfill the promise of your dreams and your ability. Make your plan and stick to it.

And please, if you see me wandering from my plan, grab me by the scruff and drag me back on track, okay? πŸ™‚

Learning About The Bells and Whistles

I’ve been playing around with Liquid Story Binder a bit more. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s similar to Scrivener. It’s a PC program and, as far as I can tell, is as full featured as anything Scrivener has to offer, though the interface is a bit different. (By the way, I just went to the website to get the URL, and it’s on sale for $23, so go check it out!)

Like Scrivener, there’s a bit of a learning curve to it, but it’s usable right out of the box. The reason I’m blogging this now is, because I have two monitors to work on, some of the options and functionalities that didn’t work for me before are now a bit more useful.

Here’s a screenshot of what I’m playing with now:

twoscreens

This is actually both screens. The left side is the laptop monitor, the right side is the second one.

On the right, you can see the short story, Forastero, that I’m working on, and something called a Planner, which is where you store your chapters/short stories.
chapters

On the left is something called a Storyboard, which works like a set of virtual notecards. You write in them, you can add images, and move them around however you want. I tend to think in chapters rather than scenes, so mine is broken into chapters, but it can also be used for organizing scenes.
storyboard
The storyboard is my new toy. I’m trying to get a little more into planning than I have been, to avoid some of the questions I keep running into. And I’m wondering if it might help speed me up a little. I didn’t do pictures in this one, but I may try them later in something else.

My favorite part of it is the planner, though, because I like being able to see all the chapters in order. You can move them up and down, or add new ones as you go. You can also write in scenes in the planner, instead of chapter like I do, and have the program build the manuscript for you later.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all works in conjunction with the whiteboards. πŸ˜€

I threw a bit more junk out of the office today and tried moving the desk to see if it really was as heavy as I remembered. (Yes, it was!) But not impossible. Maybe over Easter weekend I’ll move everything about.