Dramaquill's All Things Writing

October 22, 2008

Nanowrimo help

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Does the idea of writing a complete book (or at least 50,000 words) in one short seem unbelievable difficult?

I’m sure that’s the reason many writers do not participate in Nanowrimo during the month of November.  Some will argue that they don’t work that way – scratching out more than 1500 words/day.  They worry about the quality of the writing.  Remember folks, this is just a first draft.  Chris Baty, Nano organizer and originator, isn’t claiming that by writing 50,000 words in a month, you’ll have the final, polished manuscript needed to attract a publisher.

Other writers just don’t believe they have the time to discipline themselves to write every day for a month on the same manuscript.  After all, they probably have full-time jobs or freelance projects that must take priority over this indulgence.

Well for those of you deciding to take the plunge, here are some resources that might help you prepare.  Remember, you still have 10 days.

Obviously, having an idea for a book is a must.  Hopefully you have a basic plot scratched out and your main characters picked and named. 

This year, I decided to try a genre I’ve never worked in before:  Chicklit.  I think I have a story that could be appealing to YA readers or adults and Nanowrimo will give me the kick in the pants I need to see where I can take this one.

So now that you’ve picked your genre, plot and characters, let’s see what else can help you realize the goal of creating this new manuscript in the month of November…

Check out these books listed at amazon (most likely you can go to your local library to get them if they can’t be delivered in enough time to read them before Nano begins)
http://www.amazon.com/NaNoWriMo-Help/lm/R2Q9ZSHG5SH5KK

Here’s a great blog with some useful info:  Nandini’s Niche
http://wendelin.blogspot.com/2004/10/nanowrimo-help.html

This novel help document is from the Zokutou conference in the UK.  It’s an interesting chart, giving you lots of avenues to explore.
http://www.zokutou.co.uk/tools/novel_rescue_matrix.doc

Here’s a site that has some brainstorming ideas with Nanorwrimo writers in mind.
http://www.wrimos.net/

Here are the basics for a successful Nanowrimo.
http://webstuff4writers.com/five-must-have-resources-for-nanowrimo/

Check out this article on character.
http://writeanything.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/nanowrimo-workshop-character/
and this one on POV
http://writeanything.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/nanowrimo-workshop-point-of-view/

Use the next 10 days to get organized and most of all to get psyched into achieving your Nanowrimo goal for this year.

Good luck!

October 18, 2008

It’s NANO time again

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I guess I really must be a writer.  I can’t imagine a day without writing something.  It’s right up there with breathing, sleeping, and of course, coffee.

I just got an email from the Nanowrimo organizers, reminding me that Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Event) will begin November 1st.  For those of you who remember, I did my first Nano event last year and managed about 36,000 words (if I remember correctly).

Now considering that I’ve tried to immerse myself in the Muse free writing conference this week, and still have a full-time job, extra curricular groups and a life (sort of, LOL), I wondered whether or not I should just let Nanowrimo pass this year.

Nope – can’t do it!

I’ve been waffling on a book idea for a couple of years now, but never seem to sit down and do more than scribble a couple quick points into a notebook now and then.  But, if I were to do Nanowrimo, I could actually work on this new book and see where it goes.

Yep – that’s all the persuading it took.  I’m registered and anxiously awaiting the start of this year’s Nano experience.

If you’ve got a book in you that you’ve always wanted to write, and I think almost everybody does, then why not sign up and try the Nanowrimo challenge for the month of November.  Even if you only write a few thousand words, it’ll be more than you’d likely do if you didn’t participate in the Nano event at all.

So here’s my challenge to all of you who want to write a novel.  Get thee to the Nanowrimo site, create a username and password, and register yourself for a crazy ride as you try to complete 50,000 words by Nov. 30th.

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Hope to see you there!

October 15, 2008

Muse Online Writer’s conference

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This week I’ve been online a lot, but not getting much writing or work done LOL

But it’s all good because I’m attending a free online writing conference and the wealth of information, discussion and chats is phenomenal.  This is my second year attending the event and I urge all of you to check it out and make sure you get signed up in plenty of time for next year’s conference.  You won’t regret it.

There are workshops and chats for everything:  kidlit, magic, worldbuilding, dialogue, character development, submission packages, querying, writing sex scenes, self promotion, creating a website, managing your “business” as a writer and more than I can remember or mention.

Here’s the link to this year’s event:

http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/

Check out everything they have to offer. 

I fully intend on donating at the end of the conference, as I did last year. 

So keep writing, keep reading and keep blogging.  As for me, you know what I’ll be doing for the rest of this week.

October 5, 2008

Can you really make me feel for the villain?

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As I continue to work on my final revisions for my adult suspense novel, I vaguely remember an article I read in one of the many ezines to which I subscribe.  The article addressed the villain character in novels, plays, movies etc.

What does the writer have to do to make the villain more than just a horrible, frightening individual?

Well for one, this article stated that the reader had to be able to find something “human” about the villain.  We have to remember that no one, not even our worst villain, is 100% bad. 

So, that’s had me thinking a lot about Mel, my villain, this week.  Basically, Mel is a controlling, abusive, obsessive guy who has killed the women who tried to leave him.  My heroine, Eleanor, ends up in a relationship with Mel, but finds out before long that Mel’s idea of a relationship means she will have to surrender to him in every way or be punished.

After almost a year and a half of verbal, emotional and physical abuse, Eleanor leaves Mel and changes her identity so he can’t find her. 

Now, as a reader, I don’t think you’re too crazy about Mel right now, are you?

But everyone has a story.  Mel was left in a dumpster by his biological mother when he was just a few months old.  He was a sickly little fellow with extremely bad asthma and spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals.  He moved from one foster home to another until his eighteenth birthday, never being allowed to  establish himself in a loving, family environment. 

We still cringe at the things Mel has done, and continues to do, but at least we have some insight into “why” he behaves as he does. 

Mel has a vulnerable side and longs to be loved unconditionally.  Unfortunately, because he does not know how to elicit love from the people who come into his life, every relationship ends in disaster.

I still cringe when I read the pages I’ve written detailing Mel’s horrific actions.  I still feel my heartbeat pounding in my chest when I watch my heroine try to escape.  I don’t like Mel one bit!

But, I do feel for him at times.

How does your villain stack up as a character?  What will your readers think of your villain?

Here are some good articles/blogs about creating villains:

http://blog.worderella.com/2008/06/developing-villainous-characters-part-1/

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU0711/S00197.htm

http://www.theromanceclub.com/writers/articles/article0042.htm

http://www.ehow.com/how_2222257_avoid-creating-weak-villain-creative.html

http://www.stellacameron.com/contrib/villains.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Credible-Villain-in-Fiction

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