Tag Archive | NaNoWriMo

Acceptance Speech Time!

Well, I made it! 50,000! Actually I made it on Wednesday night, and then I realized I should say something about it- and then I came up with something bigger to do, sense it was just recently Thanksgiving and I realized how many things have helped me in this story. So I’ll go ahead and do something Oscar acceptance speech-style.

*hysterical giggles* First of all I’d like to thank the brilliant minds behind Nation Novel Writing Month! *gasp* Without you I probably wouldn’t have written numerous novels, including this novel. You’re the best!

*talking very quickly* I would also like to thank all my family for their patience with me and willingness to let us do this crazy trial! We wouldn’t have made it this far without you! (of course I need to make sure they take a look at this post) Thank you, Daddy, for letting me use your laptop so much! *wiping away a tear or two*

I would like to thank Hans Zimmer, Steve Jablonsky, *gasp* David Crowder Band, Newsboys, Jars of Clay and so many others for creating music that inspires me and helps me to write. So many scenes and emotions were inspired by your creations!

*starting to feel like I’ve been onstage too long but I must write this!* *Shaky voice* And there are so, so many other people that helped in the creating of this story- Shelby Foote and many other people who wrote about PTSD, as well as the veterans who were willing to speak about their struggles. You made my story real.

And last but far from least (in fact the inspiration for this idea) I must thank Doctor Who for the many years’ worth of timey-wimey training to help me figure out the timey-wimey stuff in my stories. With that training, so many plot holes have been mended, so many plots have been born and- most likely- so many possible readers will be totally confused! But I couldn’t have done it without you, Doctor Who. Most of my stories probably wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for you (and therefore I might’ve written much likelier, sensible stuff) (Douglas Adams, I still can’t match your wit. The world won’t know a genius like you again. RIP)

Thank you! Thank you, so much! Thank you again! *gasp and sob. Stumble off stage*

Now I just need to finish my story!

(In writing this, I must also remember the people who may not make it. They still can! There’s another day! My sisters are writing amazingly and their stories sound fantastic! You are doing a great job- this goes for all the people doing NaNoWriMo who might not make 50,000.

It is so not right when Word decides to have problems with your document so about 1,000 words are lost when you’re at the end of November!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Believe me, sister dear, millions of NaNoWriMo-ers feel great sympathy for you! Many prayers and wishes that your story gets pulled up again successfully! You- and it- deserve it!)

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A Horror Story for the NaNoWriMo-ers and All Authors

Something came to mind as I was about to start writing, and I thought I should let everyone know about it. At first I thought it would be good for just writers, but actually a lot of what people do can be effected by mistakes like the one I made.

On Thanksgiving day a couple years ago (yes, it is possible to write on Thanksgiving) I was using my sister’s laptop to write on and my story was on my thumb-drive. As I was pulling myself out of my couch (which likes to eat people slightly) the laptop slipped from my hands and my thumb-drive was broken. Fortunately the laptop was OK, but several stories I had been working on, including my first NaNoWriMo novel- a sentimental favorite and turning point in my writing- were lost. Fortunately the novel I was working on that year was up and so it was OK, and actually my sister may be able to retrieve the other documents (I’m kind of confused about that).

The main tragedy of the event was that I’d lost my other stories- I mean, I hadn’t backed them up somewhere else, even though I had had plenty of time, I just didn’t think it was necessary. It is necessary though! So always, always remember to back up your work onto something else, maybe even several other places!

If you know someone, maybe doing NaNoWriMo, and they never pay attention to the ‘back-up your novel day’, please tell them about this or show them this post. It is very important. (actually I’ve forgotten to back-up what I’ve done so far too. oops)

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

I should probably give a quick explanation for what NaNoWriMo is. It’s short for National Novel Writing Month, takes places in the month of November, during which time you try to write a novel- which is about 50,000 words. That’s the quick explanation. You can do a lot of variations, because it’s a wonderfully relaxed challenge- though fortunately not so relaxed or bizarre (for me) that I forget about it. You can go on working on an old story, do poems instead, write several short stories and, of course, challenge yourself to a different goal.

I always look forward to November, or the last few Novembers, since finding out about NaNoWriMo. It’s actually the reason why I realized I wanted to write as a profession, because I was looking forward to it a great deal.

Obviously it takes a lot of preparation. You want to know what you’re going to write, know enough of the steps you want to take to get to 50,000 (or the end of the story), which could be anything from basic character developments and plot turns, to extensive and obsessively detailed outlines of everything from the plot, to characters to every scene.

I will be writing the third part of a trilogy about the Civil War and time traveling. It’s been a little more complicated because I have to know enough about history to be able to be comfortable (which is technically still an issue) among many other details.

This story was even harder because my main character develops Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a fascinating and complicated subject, but I wanted to know it well enough so that I didn’t have to look at my notes every single page, as well as- more importantly- being able to write it so it didn’t sound staged.

So, I started studying PTSD some time last year, hoping to be able to write this story last November. That didn’t happen, because I still didn’t know the subject well enough, and it’s taken me that long to feel comfortable with it and like I vaguely know what I’m talking about, which is much longer than it usually takes me to study a subject. (I’m actually sorry to admit that, sense it seems like I ought to be studying such things for years, all the time, as well as editing for months and months)

It’s been interesting working on it, actually. I’ve had to go back and change several things to fit with this final, unpleasant development. Here is a short example of what I had to change. My main character, Mark, is outside the battlefield of Gettysburg, it’s nighttime:

“The young man laid down against a tree. He covered his ears and tried to get some much needed sleep amidst the fighting.”

That was the original. Here is the revised version:

“The young man laid down against a tree. He tried to get some much needed sleep amidst the fighting.”

Leaving out the part about him covering his ears I think implies that he is mentally blocking out the trouble around him. He is in a state of mind where he’s been put into a situation he’s certainly never faced and isn’t used to dealing with, and he doesn’t want to fully deal with the idea of the magnitude of death, so, whether he realizes it or not, Mark is shutting off a part of his brain so that he can act and work in this situation. He doesn’t fully realize what’s happening.

Hopefully this makes sense according to the symptoms of PTSD. Of course, if any of you that read this know anything about PTSD or know someone that does, please let them see this and tell me what they think.

So, anyway, I think I know enough so I am going ahead and writing the ‘fun’ stuff next month. I encourage anyone that’s interested in NaNoWriMo to plan for it, even if you’re not writing a character that’s dealing with PTSD.

Now this next month is going to be even more interesting than usual. My Dad is out of a job. Enough said, I think. Basically, my fellow author sisters and I will, in addition to the usual craziness of writing a novel in a month and of course Thanksgiving, we will be dealing with the emotional and mental problems of unemployment. November’s going to be interesting, but I want to enjoy it.

I have only a few important things to say before I finish this post. First of all: to all those people with PTSD or who had PTSD or know someone that has it, especially veterans, I have a new understanding of it. I cannot express easily or quickly overall everything I feel about it. God bless you and I am praying for you.

And secondly, to anyone that’s experienced unemployment, basically I owe you an apology. For some reason I never thought I would have to go through it- it was one of those things that happened to other people. Now I know how hard and unpleasant it is, especially when there’s no end in sight. So sorry, and I pray, for those that are unemployed, that you will soon get a job.