Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NaNoWriMo and Novel Update

November is National Novel Writing Month, and lots of people about the blogosphere are buckling down to get their 50,000 word goal tackled.

I decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year simply because it doesn't really work for the way I write.  NaNoWriMo encourages you to get lots of words out on paper and edit them later, which is definitely great for a lot of writers and is effective for them.

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I don't do so well when word-vomiting however.  Even if I get enough words down, I usually panic when there is a lot of editing to go back and do because I hate editing.

I like to work on small sections--a chapter or so--at a time and "perfect" it before moving on.  I've accepted that NaNoWriMo is just not really for me.

As most of you know, I have finished the first draft of le livre, although it is only a fourth of the length I was aiming for.  I have gone back and made some editing marks and my goal in the coming week is to go back and fix my errors in the actual document itself.

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In addition to grammatical errors, there are a few continuity errors and a lot of plot points I want to fix, particularly as it pertains to character development.

Before I go back and fix the document, I want to make sure I have a good handle on my characters and what I want them to do.

I am visualizing these characters by sketching them and also writing about their physical attributes.  Here is an example of a character profile I wrote for the main character.

Estella Juliette


Physical attributes

Cinnamon-brown, light and feathery hair.  Mid-shoulder blade length, commonly tied up in a pony-tail.  Fair skin.  Blue eyes.  Medium height.  Small ears.  Grecian nose. 

Past

Has always been raised to trust the crew of the ship.  Attributes all her success to the crew.  Was once convinced she had been saved from death as a baby by the crew and whole-heartedly trusts the crew because they were the ones who saved her when Earth could not.  The truth is that she was ill as a baby and they tried to expel her, but something went wrong.  She doesn't know this for awhile though, and her recovery (supposedly) from sickness is what leads her to want to pursue a career as a health care technician.  Has never been good at making friends and sort of relies on Matthew a lot because otherwise she has no friends.

Character arc



If you are trying to plot out your characters, I would recommend trying to do something similar to what I 
have done. I find this to be extremely helpful and probably it would be best to do this before you write a draft, depending on how you work, because some of the motives I came up with for characters ended up shaping the whole plot differently.

Alrighty, are you doing NaNoWriMo?  Are you excited, or nervous?  Or both?

How do you plot out your characters?

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