Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Character Names - NaNoWriMo 2013

8 days until National Novel Writing Month

I love coming up with character names. I love the creativity, the thought, that goes into it, finding new names that, even if they aren't the one, speak to you, and, most of all, that feeling you get when you finally find the perfect fit. Like putting the last piece in a jigsaw puzzle.

Yesterday, I made my final decisions on the character names for my NaNo novel. I'm super excited about them and thought I'd share.

Before I get into the names, however, I should probably tell you the main idea behind my novel. It is based off the concept that luck can be a gene. Naturally, this gives people varying advantages and disadvantages in life. Due to the nature of these advantages/disadvantages, certain activities, such as gambling, have been outlawed. This has prompted a sort-of second Prohibition. Traveling gambling houses, with names like MARCO'S HOUSE OF OCCASIONALLY PROSPEROUS GAMING, abound throughout the country. When my main character, who has an acute curiosity and a draw to card games, stumbles upon this very house, she runs away with it. This is a retake on the phrase "running away with the circus."

And now...

  • February St. Claude - protagonist, sixteen, lives in a compound away from society's "unluck" gene discrimination
  • Erie St. Claude - February's sister, fourteen, feels like she's in her sister's shadow, lives in compound
  • Rhys Baker - the boy everyone, including February, expects February to end up with, February's close friend, lives in compound
  • 'Van Jacques ["Jacques" of Spades] - travels with the gambling house, helps February satisfy her curiosity about the world, love interest
  • Kapri Jacques [Kap] - 'Van's sister, travels with the gambling house, becomes February's first close female friend
  • Christian Hart [Ian/Kit] - frequent visitor of the gambling house, from prosperous family, good friends with 'Van, takes a small romantic interest in February
  • Dillyn Elliott - Ian's girlfriend, disapproves of his gambling, slowly forms a friendship with February
  • Marco - the gambling house master
  • Mum [Ambrose Jacques] - 'Van and Kapri's grandmother, has large influence in the gambling house, becomes a sort of mentor to February

What do you think? Feel free to ask questions. I would love to talk NaNoWriMo with you. ^^

Now that I have the characters and their names settled, I'm going to focus more on my plot. I've begun to create this fantastic world in my mind and I want the plot to do it justice. So far, I've only done broad brainstorming. It's time to make decisions and add more details.

Also, would you be interested in reading excerpts about each character throughout November? I was thinking I might post them on my Tumblr, but would you rather read them here? Let me know!

How is your NaNoWriMo planning going?

P.S. I did a similar post to this back in October 2010 for THINKING OF YOU.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Productivity for the Win!

21 days until National Novel Writing Month

My NaNo is beginning to come together. A cast of characters has manifested and just thinking about their relationships makes excitement flutter in my chest. Prominent settings have been established. I also have the thinnest thread of a plot. And when I say thin, I mean nearly invisible. But at least there's something.

Planning isn't the only thing I've made progress on this week either. I have also added about another 1500 words to OBJECTION, putting it at a little over 45k. While this is great progress and makes me very happy, I think I'm going to have to alter my pre-NaNo goal. With everything I am trying to accomplish before November gets here, finishing the first draft of OBJECTION seems too ambitious. I am now aiming for at least 50k by October 31st. If I get farther than that, great. If not, I will have still made substantial progress.

That's not even the end to the good news. Recently, I've begun working with a new critique partner. This exchange has prompted me to take another step in my revisions of THINKING OF YOU. I completed the transfer to Scrivener and reordered the scenes to fit my new plot line. This is a big step because I can now see what I need to work on in an organized layout and tackle each task one at a time.

Overall, I am quite pleased with what I have managed to accomplish in my writing so far this week. I've gotten more done than I have in quite a while. This aura of productivity is the perfect lead in to NaNo.

What achievements, big or small, have you reached this week?

Sunday, October 06, 2013

NaNoWriMo Planning Has Officially Begun!

25 days until National Novel Writing Month

It's October, my official NaNoWriMo planning month.

With me, planning isn't a very extensive process. I like to have a list of characters (including their names), a title, and a general plotline. Perhaps a touch of worldbuilding. I need a direction to head in and a few provisions for the way, but not a map of every twist in the road. As these things occur to me, I write them down in a notebook that I carry throughout October.

Planning notebooks are another aspect of my writing that is affected by my color coding system. The color paired with this year's NaNo, my untitled lucky genes story, is yellow. Hence, my notebook must be yellow.

Notebook without Strap
I had the perfect notebook picked out for this October. During the back-to-school sale at Wal-Mart, I discovered notebooks similar to the one I used for this year's NaPoWriMo but in bright colors. They were even in the clearance section by the time I went to purchase one. However, I had failed to notice the notebook did not come in yellow. I was devastated. To make up for it, I bought the notebook in every other color. Then, to top it off, once I got home, the strap on the green notebook snapped.

That was it. I took that broken notebook and made it yellow myself with the help of this video.

Here are a few pictures of the process that go along with the steps in the video:

Step 3

Step 5


My Planning Notebook
After my notebook was satisfyingly yellow, I decided to snazz it up a bit with some stickers. I also replaced the strap with a yellow rubberband.

For the past five days this notebook has traveled with me. I have yet to put much in it, but it's still only the beginning of the month. Soon it will be filled with all sorts of planning goodness.

Are you participating in NaNo this year? How do you prepare?