A marketer for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) says Camp is “an idyllic writers retreat smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life”. One experience with NaNoWriMo teaches writers that the international event is idyllic or a retreat from anything but reality.
Intense pressure is one of the most appreciated tools of any NaNoWriMo.
Basically, Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July is a month-long competition each participating writers has with themself.
My goal this month is to write 35,000 words for a novella. The story is based on a novel I started as a teenager. You can read more about it and see my progress through the month by visiting the new Dark Fiction page.
Another way to hear about it is to join my LGBT Dark Fantasy cabin on the Camp NaNoWriMo website. Anyone looking for support and willing to share ideas with a few of us bold enough to write about magical sex slaves, sirens, and other dangerous characters is welcome to join this week. You may use my site’s Contact form to ask for invitation to the cabin.
Today’s prompt for the monthly Twitter game #AuthorConfession asked about my main character’s favorite song. Honestly, Lexington Amis doesn’t have one, because it would fall into a retro-modern trend that doesn’t yet exist.
He could relate to any version of “Hello, Darkness” given the opportunity to hear it. But, then, who doesn’t?
Since no one can predict music in our near future, here’s what I’ve used to develop characters in my current project.
Someone asked on an online writers’ site for a description of our writing weaknesses.
Most of the answers were comforting for their familiarity. Overwriting? Done it. Underwriting? Same. Obsessively reworking, clinging to ineffective phrases, struggling to describe settings? Yep, lived that life. Isn’t it nice how as writers we push through the same drama on our individual paths?
For me, new issues develop weekly that are harder to explain.
I’ve been writing for most of my life. From the moment I could reproduce words on paper, I was trying to fit them together into stories.
In my twenties, a health scare inspired me to make panic-inducing decisions about what my aims in life. At the top of that list was Share my fiction.
That meant I had to write more. Nothing was going out into the world until I figure out what a mature story looked like. Most of my attempts were adolescents that needed to stay home.
In the following years, I read books on writing, attended writing groups, studied my favorite novels by picking them apart over and over, journaled and blogged about the writing process, pestered authors in my with social circles with questions, and of course, wrote.
Those years, the undesired break from writing fiction that spanned another few years, and the past several months of reentry into writing communities has provided me with more than enough time to identify my primary weakness.
Knowing What to Share
Self-confidence: (noun) realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc.
Figuring out what’s worth researching, titling, and finding images for is almost impossible without the ability to assess what people will read.
On average, I publish one out of every four blog posts drafted. Guessing wildly here: I save a draft post for every three ideas. Coming up with ideas is quick, growing out of my focus each day. Each post, however, takes hours to write and edit.
Parts of unpublished drafts end up in my story notes. They aren’t useless. The writing about links and new concepts can feel like a waste, however.
Some days, the most anxiety-filled ones, I wish my blog came with an actual editor–a person who would tell me what to write when. Other than the obligatory coffee chats and surprise check-ins, this could save not only time but also energy and sanity better sacrificed to my fiction.
Yeah, a leading editor would be nice.
Would you like to take on the role for a few minutes? Tell me what you really want to read more about.
Quick Thank-You for Support
An anonymous person showed me love through the Buy Me a Coffee button on my sidebar. Getting money for writing is an incredible feeling. Positive feedback is, too.
Thank you so much for the coffee and note, dear reader!
This post about Rainbow Awards was written in December, scheduled to post, then forgotten. (I’m no longer scheduling posts. Anything I don’t care for the day of remains in my Drafts folder.)
It’s come to my attention that the contest rules or any information specific to the 2017 Rainbow Awards have either been removed or buried within the contest creator’s websites. I have not participated in this contest before so don’t know the usual process. Please don’t get your hopes up that this contest will happen this year.
Do you know of any LGBT+ awards for fiction and/or creative nonfiction? Please share!
In March, the first round of reading starts for the Rainbow Awards, an annual contest meant to celebrate LGBT fiction and nonfiction. The Rainbow Awards is open to work focusing LGBT characters and people.
Instead of a direct submission fee, contest entrants must donate to a selected non-profit charitable organization as a part of the submission requirements. So, whatever else it offers to the queer writing community, it promotes several relevant causes.
You could find more entry and judging information on the contest creator’s site, ElisaRolle.com.
Likely, every creator has a process for getting into and maintaining the mood for a project. Music often is a part of mine. That’s because music that fits with the story help the words flow.
I like to assign a theme song–or three–to my main characters. For a novel I was writing years ago about a military experiment, the large cast of psychic teens contributed to a soundtrack four and a half hours long. Here was one of the songs for the main character.
I miss that soundtrack. It’s a poor fit for Changing Sides, full of melancholy songs about vulnerability, regret, and addiction. My current characters aren’t hyper-emotional teens dealing with life and death situations every day.
Only one song from that other novel’s soundtrack comes close to crossing over. It could work for Aaron if not for the theme of domination.
So far, I have a theme song for my primary point-of-view character: Cascada’s “Everytime We Touch” (via Vevo). It’s a strange song for a skittish punk, but it’s definitely his.
Because I have nothing else that fits, Cascada is on repeat while I write Lexi’s scenes.
That’s too much repetition.
Incorporating music in the creative process is fairly common. Nona Mae King on Writers Helping Writers Become Authors suggests that music helps writers in four ways: encourages focus, enhances mood, and promotes inspiration, and encourages us to seek inspiration.
So, what do you listen to when while you work? Anything?
Alright, I’m lying already. This post isn’t all that exciting. It’s a simple announcement of schedules.
On Wednesdays (but not all Wednesdays), I’ll be posting writing tips and bits about my novel’s world. Though my work-in-progress is Science Fiction Romance, the writing tips will at times apply to all genres.
On Fridays (but not all Fridays), I’ll be posting about freaky-cool futurist technology.
The current plan is to alternate Wednesday and Friday posts weekly, but you might get two posts a week.
Whenever I feel like adding them, you’ll also see new pages on this site. New today is the Fiction page, where you can read a free micro story written for my online writer’s group.