Malazan Empire: NaNoWriMo Twenty-Thirteen - Malazan Empire

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NaNoWriMo Twenty-Thirteen I was tired of seeing numbers

#41 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:58 AM

Spent most of today writing an essay.

Started writing my nano at like midnight, have 800 or so words now, and am calling it a night. Hopefully should catch up tomorrow, where I have more time.

Still no idea where I'm going with the plot or anything...

Cougar said:

Grief, FFS will you do something with your sig, it's bloody awful


worry said:

Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).
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#42 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 12:32 PM

Better than me Rictus, I brainstormed my whole idea after writing my initial bit and realized that my whole story idea was WAY too close to an existing one.

Scrapped and starting again today, and now I have to put 3000+ words down to catch up.

An inauspicious start.

I support you Rictus, you can do it. :)

This post has been edited by QuickTidal: 02 November 2013 - 12:32 PM

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#43 User is offline   Trull's son 

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 01:14 PM

Not sure how you'd be willing to scrap what you got down. I'd be pretty happy to have 3000 at this point, regardless of coherence (or relevance, for that matter...) I'm a bit swamped with writing for uni, but I've managed about 1100 words so far. This is harder than I thought it would be. Clueless and incompetent, as Rictus said, sums up the situation for me. Ah well, gotta keep the ol' filter off.
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#44 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 02:52 AM

Need to catch up here as well. I've a few ideas for scenes that will help, but it's all very disjointed at the moment. I can't get a good run of scenes strung together, and it's making it very hard to keep any momentum going.

It definitely sucks when you suddenly realise you've been accidentally taking things from elsewhere, and it's way too easy to do. On the bright side, at least you noticed early :)

Cougar said:

Grief, FFS will you do something with your sig, it's bloody awful


worry said:

Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).
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#45 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 07:29 AM

3,300 words right now, so I'm right on track. I hope that I can keep up this kind of pace after NaNoWriMo ends.

What I've got right now isn't all that great. I've had to push myself a little to keep going and not extensively rewrite passages over and over and over. There's a bit too much telling and nowhere near enough showing right now, but the general idea is getting conveyed. I have to keep reminding myself that this is only a rough draft and the first time I've honestly tried to write a novel. I'll have all the time in the world for extensive polishing, but first I need to get the actual story onto paper.
uhm, that should be 'stuff.' My stiff is never nihilistic.
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#46 User is offline   Rictus 

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:43 AM

Thanks QT, means a lot. :)
So, I'm making headway now, I think. Yesterday, I crafted a rough scene I hadn't known was planned. Apparently, I'm having disagreements with myself as to where the plot should proceed. Weird.
Anyway, I've encountered one slight obstacle: names. I'd managed to scribble a few notes together (a rough map with a bit of backstory) prior to diving into November, and I have a 'name bank.' Not big enough, it seems now.
At this point I'm still having misgivings about my protagonist's name. It seems giving characters unique names such as Madrun Badrun is totally out of my league. They don't really stick and I'm struggling to find new ones each time I introduce someone.
Do you have any strategies for naming characters?

This post has been edited by Rictus: 03 November 2013 - 09:43 AM

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#47 User is offline   Silencer 

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:09 AM

Names, I've found, are really, REALLY hard. But in all honesty, what sounds dull, cliche, boring, over the top, silly, or excessive to you probably won't make readers bat an eye. You're better off going with a name that seems a bit off and coming back to it later after you've run it past some people than fretting over it now. Unless it's really stunting your creativity, there's no point in worrying about having "super awesome creative protagonist name...OF DOOM!". It just isn't that important at this stage; and again, most *readers* probably aren't going to be bothered by it. It's something you can sink a few months into way down the track - and who knows, by then, your character's name might have grown on you. :)
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#48 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 02:59 PM

I feel a lot of character names in established works just don't seem silly because you get used to them and they're in a book, by an author.

If you sit and look at most of them long enough they start seeming a bit ridiculous, it's just you only agonise over it when it's your characters. If people can get past a character called Fiddler I'm sure you'll get away with it.

The thing I do think is important is consistency. If all the names of a race have a certain structure, it's weird to go outside this without justification. If all the names are outlandish/fantasy sounding then a random real world name can be jarring (looking at you here Kyle).

If I'm finding it's slowing me down I just put placeholders in: X, Y, [name], SOLDIER, etc.

Cougar said:

Grief, FFS will you do something with your sig, it's bloody awful


worry said:

Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).
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#49 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:37 PM

I agree with Grief: consistency is paramount. While Malazan names may seem odd at first, we're able to except them as the reality of that universe. This is especially true because all of the soldiers have their own uniquely Malazan names. Fiddler would stick out like a sore thumb if everyone else was Bob and Ted and Kyle (heh).

Personally, I've never been able to just fill in "x" and "y" for character names. No matter how small a part the character plays, I always need a name. Otherwise, they just seem like objects to me which then detaches me from the writing. I find that I do my best writing when I'm able to step into the skin of everyone I'm writing about, even if it's just for a few seconds.
uhm, that should be 'stuff.' My stiff is never nihilistic.
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#50 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:34 AM

Ok, the catching up has piled up on me a bit, but I spent today working out a plot that I think I can actually get somewhere with, beforehand it was too tied up just in themes and internal stuff with no motivation for the characters to actually do anything. Now it's got a love story and stuff. It's progress.

I've got a busy week, but I think I ought to be able to at least keep on top of it a bit better.

Cougar said:

Grief, FFS will you do something with your sig, it's bloody awful


worry said:

Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).
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#51 User is offline   Rictus 

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:42 PM

My protagonist is shaping up to be quite the anti-hero which is exactly what I intended, but - until now - I couldn't quite achieve the desired effect.
Now, the 10K milestone has come and gone and I'm still not yet done as Itkovian would say. I'm pretty impressed as my previous experiments went out the window after a couple pages.
An uneventful week awaits me, during which I plan to write till I drop dead.
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#52 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 01:51 AM

I've rediscovered write or die. Your mileage may vary, I find it really useful for getting my filter switched off and just focusing on getting the words out, even if they're imperfect. If you're having that sort of issue, I'd recommend giving it a try.

Watch out for your settings though, make sure they suit you. You can set it up to start deleting your words (I can't remember which setting it is, but I think it's the most evil one). Sometimes this panic can help, sometimes it can be counterproductive. Personally I find the default works fine.

Does anyone else have any particular tools/techniques they use? Not counting vast quantities of coffee, which are a bit of a given. :)

Cougar said:

Grief, FFS will you do something with your sig, it's bloody awful


worry said:

Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).
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#53 User is offline   Darkwatch 

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 04:38 AM

Friday started well then I went to a friend's place for the weekend and it kind of didn't really move during that time. I'm okay for the base nano word count but my personal goal is still lacking. At this rate I still need to do about 3500 words before bed then need to get ahead all week in preparation for next weekend. I will only have till about 15h on Friday to get any writing in. And I just did crtl+s here, which is useless!

Glad to hear that most of you are on target or very motivated. May it keep going!
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#54 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 05:06 AM

Honestly I'm impressed with your attitude towards your personal goal, I'm not sure I'd even consider it as realistically possible atm. Best of luck with it.

Today I managed to hit the target word count for the first time, so I'm pretty chuffed on that front. It felt much easier too, my plan is coming together a bit more and it's definitely helped. I feel I may be able to keep this up, getting my head back into the right pacing, to start with I was writing more the way you would a short story. The genre is rather outside my comfort zone, which is keeping it interesting too, if it means I can't fall back on tropes so easily to see where to go next.

Cougar said:

Grief, FFS will you do something with your sig, it's bloody awful


worry said:

Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).
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#55 User is offline   Trull's son 

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 05:22 AM

Well, I'm about a thousand words behind where I thought I'd be. Been a bit too busy, but I had an hour or so to work on it tonight. I do have to force myself to keep going and not get stuck on rough passages. To be honest, I'm not all that into the story I'm working on. I've had an outline for a while, but now that I'm actually getting the dirty work done, I find myself less interested in it the further along I get.

It might depend on the scene though. Had a bit of set-up to write, a short bit really, but damn I was bored. Hit another scene that's faster pace with a bunch happening, and lost myself in it for a while. Maybe I should put a bit more effort into writing the scene in a way that entertains myself, instead of simply writing only to move the plot along.

This post has been edited by Trull's son: 05 November 2013 - 05:23 AM

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#56 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 05:39 AM

Why not just write the scenes you're interested in writing first, and see if you think up interesting scenes that would link them?

Though there's always going to be a bit of dirty work I suppose.

You might also be able to change it enough to make it interest you more.

Cougar said:

Grief, FFS will you do something with your sig, it's bloody awful


worry said:

Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).
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#57 User is offline   Trull's son 

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:30 AM

Thanks Grief, I think I'll take your advice and write the scenes I'm most looking forward to. A bit worried I'll miss out on chances for foreshadowing and such, but at this point anything that helps get rough ideas on the page sounds good to me.

This post has been edited by Trull's son: 05 November 2013 - 07:31 AM

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#58 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:18 AM

It's probably easier to go back and put foreshadowing in after you've settled what it is you're going to be foreshadowing as well :)

I think I find it easier to start with later scenes and figure out how things got there, than to start with earlier ones and figure out where it's going.

I've already figured out most of my conclusion really (though it has two main parts and one might be getting cut, since I'm not sure I want that plot thread any more).

I'm way too busy for the first three weeks of November, and most of the fourth. At the moment I'm just trying to make sure I get something down every day.

Cougar said:

Grief, FFS will you do something with your sig, it's bloody awful


worry said:

Grief is right (until we abolish capitalism).
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#59 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:43 AM

View PostTrull, on 02 November 2013 - 01:14 PM, said:

Not sure how you'd be willing to scrap what you got down. I'd be pretty happy to have 3000 at this point, regardless of coherence (or relevance, for that matter...) I'm a bit swamped with writing for uni, but I've managed about 1100 words so far. This is harder than I thought it would be. Clueless and incompetent, as Rictus said, sums up the situation for me. Ah well, gotta keep the ol' filter off.


3000 words is a Saturday morning usually for me. So it's not that tough to start again. I still didn't like having to do it. Fixed now though, and back on track.
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#60 User is offline   Dolmen 2.0 

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 05:21 PM

Wow you guys make me feel bad. Can't commit to any story without all the pressure.

Stay strong, rooting for you all! Stumbled on the Myers Briggs character frame, anyone adhering to something similar to help you keep writing the Nano? I found further research into it really bust open alot the walls I kept hitting in character development for my personal work. not sure if you have the time but I thought it was pretty helpful, have it linked in this sub-forum over at the really short story thread.

Didn't feel right to double post but I hope it turns out just as useful in here.

This post has been edited by Dolmen+: 07 November 2013 - 05:21 PM

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