callistahogan: (I write.)
NaNoWriMo is starting again in a month, and I have absolutely no idea what to write about.

I am definitely doing it this year, although I will need to have more structure to my schedule in October/November to make it work. My Bio teacher had the idea of making a spreadsheet, laying out every half hour interval and scheduling in stuff like homework, etc. That way, I can move things around and make sure I don't procrastinate. I can do my homework for an hour, say, do something fun for a half hour, then do my homework, do something fun, and on and on. Schedule in some eating time and TV and bam, I'm good.

That will help me structure November, that's for sure. I'll probably get around to building one of those spreadsheets by the weekend.

However, I have no ideas what to write about for NaNo this year. I'm toying with the idea of a Greek-style original novel, but that idea doesn't really appeal to me because I would never be able to pull off something as awesome as Greek, my new favorite TV show. Other than that, I have no ideas. I might do something that's fantasy, I might do a romance, I might do something sci-fi-y, something realistic, pretty much anything. I might even go into it with nothing but my new brand-new Mini laptop, but that idea is not appealing to me.

Does anyone have any ideas? Give me a character, a line, a phrase, something you like in fiction, something you don't, and maybe that will jog my creative impulses.

Regardless, I can't wait! NaNo is always so much fun! And this is my fourth year running! Let's make it four for four, shall we?
callistahogan: (Default)
I wrote 1,036 words of an original story today.

I am very excited about this story so far. It is named (tentatively) An Assassin's Game, and it's sort of a modern fantasy combined with a bit of murder mystery and some alternative world history and some cute love story between two friends that grew up together. It's about a boy who feels trapped by his believed legacy and a girl who has her own demons to fight, and the events -- both light and dark -- that will shape their lives together.

I have had the main character, Jonathan, in my head, ever since he first gave me the line:

"My name is Jonathan, and I am a bastard child."

I mean, how can a good back story not come out of that?

It took him quite a while to tell me where he came from, but during Study Hall today, the idea just came to me while I was surfing the NaNo boards, so I immediately proceeded to write it. I'm not quite sure where it's going, but I know it is going to be a good story. I don't know too much about Jonathan, but I know enough to start writing about him. He is in many ways the quintessential American teenager, but burdened with something he doesn't quite understand. He is not a typical hero -- just as my story ideas are never just typical. They all have some sort of twist and, though I haven't thought of this story's yet, I know it will have one.

That's just the sort of writer I am: my stories go in unexpected directions, or at least my original ones do.

The only thing I'm worried about is that now that I'm writing this story before NaNo, what am I going to write about during NaNo? I do have a month to think about it, but I want to have an idea before October 15. I'm sure I'll think about something, but until then, I am going to be a little anxious. All I have to do is to keep my eyes and ears open, and hopefully I'll think about something wonderful to write about. Am toying with the idea of doing something other than fantasy, but I've found with fantasy you have just so much more leeway, and it makes it easier to circumvent rules...

Anyway.

One of my goals this November is to write 100K. WIth all my homework this year, it's going to be pretty impossible to juggle homework, NaNo, and life in general, but I can do it. Somehow. I might go crazy, but then again, have I ever really been sane?
callistahogan: (National Novel Writing Month)
I WON!

I didn't think I would actually do it this year, but lo and behold, I did it. While it was harder this year, seeing this just brightened up my entire day. (After all, how many people can boast that they got 50K exactly, according to the NaNo verifier, without even trying? Probably not many.)

However, I probably won't write a novel I care about this much for NaNo again. I thought I could handle writing such an important project for NaNo, but... nope, nope, not really. I went through about a week where I didn't want to write, and that was most likely because... well, this is the novel I want to get published. I want to look at this novel when I'm done with it, all done with all the rewriting and revisions that are always necessary, and say, "This is my book and I'm proud of it."

The no-holds-barred attitude NaNo has the power to give people does not bode well with "serious" novels. So no more books in the Yulian universe written for NaNo. If I try, kick me?

Next year, though... I'm going to go into it in one of two ways: either I am going to go in with only a character and write by the seat of my pants, or I'll think of a plot only during October (not two or three years before I finally commit it to paper) and don't think too much.

That said, I don't regret writing Yulian for NaNo at all.

I have 134 pages of novel.

Novel.

I wrote this during a month. And now I know where things are going. My novel has so much more depth, and I know that I can make Yulian a true great novel. I have the bones. All I need to do is fix the bones and then add flesh.

I can do that.

Just not now.

Now? All I want to do now is watch The Starter Wife (my guilty pleasure) and read until my brain explodes from all the greatness.

No more writing for a while.

(And go ahead, watch me write a 3 or 4K story tomorrow. Just watch.)
callistahogan: (Default)
Huh, interesting fact I found out on the news today:

Apparently there are many people in Maine that are saying they're going to push for a constitutional amendment legalizing gay marriage.  They want Maine to be the fourth (I'm counting California) state to actually legalize it. Of course, most every state agrees with this sentiment, but I just found it interesting to catch that fact, seeing as I live in Maine and all.

In other news:

Ugh. I reached 35K (not yesterday, but a while ago), and am pushing for 36K tonight. I was originally looking for 40K, but that's not about to happen.

Oh well.

I hope to get at least that amount by tomorrow, though, and finish by Thursday or Friday. Hopefully Thursday, because I'll be gone on Friday. I'm going to an overnight at one of the biggest youth groups in Maine, with Seventh Day Slumber (a really, really amazing Christian rock band) as a performer there. It's going to be so much fun. I just thank God for providing the thirty dollars necessary to pay for me to go.

All right, I think it's time for me to get that last 500 words out of the way. Sorry for all the pointless posts lately; I'll definitely write more posts of substance after NaNo is over.
callistahogan: (Books)
Today was a library day.

Thankfully, I got most of the books I wanted. Although The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong was not there (I wanted to read it partly because of [livejournal.com profile] miriammoules' recommendation: thanks!), I did get the following: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, Kingston by Starlight by Christopher John Farley, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, and Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

I started reading The Handmaid's Tale and Kingston by Starlight a few moments ago and, so far, they are very good. I am thinking I will like my introduction to Atwood, and the language in Kingston is just so rich, and the prose is just so flowy. The prose is actually something I'd want to write! I adore flowy prose, so I'm sure I'll love Kingston for that reason.

And, of course, I have heard wonderful things about Atwood.

The other two nonfiction books I checked out... well, let's just say I am probably one of the last people on the planet to read them, just judging by my trawling through [livejournal.com profile] 50bookchallenge because I am bored out of my skull and procrastinating on my novel.

Speaking of which.

35K, you are mine. Tomorrow.

Friends: please kick me if I don't get it by tomorrow? *grins*

Okay. Now I'm off to read for a bit!

Oh, and because I'm bored and I want to know a bit more about you all, I'm snatching something from [livejournal.com profile] technophile's journal, just because I loved the question:

What sort of God do you/would you believe in? Don't just say "Christian God" or "Muslim God" or whatever. Be specific. Even if you're an atheist, disregard that for a moment. Just, what god would you want to believe in (or think would actually exist IRL)?
callistahogan: (National Novel Writing Month)
I wrote pretty much nothing today.

Fail. Massive fail.

I certainly have to really start writing as soon as I'm done with my homework tomorrow. Because 35K is so close I can taste it.

And I will not wait until Friday to get there.
callistahogan: (Default)
I have a love/hate relationship with homework.

(I almost wrote "I have a love/hate homework with homework" there... I think I do need to get more sleep. Desperately.)

On the one hand, I hate homework because it prevents me from being able to write on my NaNo (since I procrastinated early this morning, I only reached 32K). I also hate homework if it comes to the Algebra or too-much-typing-on-serious-stuff English questions. I also hate it because it occasionally strikes me as absolutely pointless.

On the other hand, I love it because the English homework makes me feel really smart when my English teacher contemplates me on my writing and my insight (which he has done several times already, BTW). I also like it because I love being able to answer the aforementioned too-much-typing-on-serious-stuff English questions, especially when I can dig out my Bible and do cool Job/Elie Wiesel comparisons. Those were very fun. As was the whole "Describe how Elie's relationship with God changed during the duration of Night."

Those were really nice.

But now I am tired. Again.

I need sleep.

*plops down in bed and sleeps*

MILESTONE.

Nov. 10th, 2008 10:17 pm
callistahogan: (National Novel Writing Month)
I REACHED 30K!

I seriously didn't think I would reach it today, but I did. This is partly due to my ingenious strategy of figuring out how many pages makes up approximately a thousand words (in OO, it's between two and three pages, by the way), and then not letting myself stop writing until I've filled that amount of pages. Or, you know, until I finish one page.

This is helpful because, instead of waiting to take a break after a thousand words, I wait to take a break until after a page is done. Then, while I'm taking my break, I can calculate about how many pages I need to fill before I have written a thousand words.

Rinse, repeat.

This strategy is working quite well. I hope to use it tomorrow and who knows? I wrote four thousand words in about four hours (would have taken me less than that, probably, had I not gotten sidetracked by Dancing With the Stars), so I might be able to double that tomorrow.

I hope so.

--

In other news:

This morning in English class, we were discussing Elie Wiesel's Night and somehow it turned into some sort of whole theological debate, about whether God can be paralleled to Hitler or not, whether Moishe the Beadle's words to Eliezer were saying "You are God" or something else, and all of that incredibly dense stuff that people spend lifetimes studying.

I found it interesting, but after the Hitler comment, I spoke up, and I think I made a lot of sense. Of course, I could be wrong, but I just had to say something. There are so many differences between Hitler and God, definitely, and I could write a whole post on that sometime. Oh, and a whole post on a parallel I saw, about how Voldemort pretty much parallels Hitler in ways. I might write that.

Hmm.

*goes off to think*
callistahogan: (Default)
Okay, I lied.

There's not going to be a very long post today, just because I am incredibly tired and want to fall asleep. However, leeway is coming along with the... boyfriend situation, so I'm fairly happy about that. It's hard, though. Am currently trying to figure out what I should do now.

But that'll come.

Just gotta hope in the Lord for that.

In other news, Up is the cutest movie and I wanna see it right NOW. I don't wanna wait until March to see it. *wails pitifully*

And I have 23K. Will get 30K tomorrow even if it kills me.

Which, you know, it might.

But until then, g'night. See y'all in the morning.
callistahogan: (Default)
I found out something about my former boyfriend yesterday. To sum it up, yes, it's bad, no, I can't discuss it, and yes, I never want to see him again.

I really have nothing else to say today.

I hit 20K earlier. I wanted to reach 22K, but I think I am just going to take a break and relax for the rest of today. Take an early night, go to bed at ten, and then wake up and write again. Tomorrow, I hope to break 25K and I will, so long as nothing goes wrong on the ex-boyfriend front. And I really, really, really hope it doesn't, because something needs to be done right away.

Hmm. Let's see.

I haven't done a book review in a while. I've finished three books during this time (I know, sad, but I just am not reading quickly lately). Those three books are No Plot, No Problem! by Chris Baty, Brisingr by Christopher Paolini, and Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I am currently reading Night by Elie Weisel (school) and God's Politics by Jim Wallis (entertainment).

I know, I'm weird if I read political books for entertainment. But hey, I have a book of Islam coming up, so... I don't think I can get any geekier than I already am.

Okay. This post is pointless.

I think I shall go listen to angry songs ("Picture to Burn," "Never Again," all the really nasty songs you listen to when you just really want to rub your newfound independence in your ex's face) and/or read a book. A better post will be coming tomorrow.
callistahogan: (National Novel Writing Month)
So today was the first day I've had to juggle both NaNoWriMo and high school. Frankly, I feel I did incredibly well, considering how well I originally thought I would do.

My total word count at the end of today (day 3) is 14,069. I originally thought I was only going to get to 12K, but word wars are the most useful thing I have come across so far on this crazy NaNo journey. Here are my basic word counts for three of the major increments:

5 minutes: 150 - 250 words.

10 minutes: 400 - 500 words.

15 minutes: 500 - 600 words.

I'm impressed with those times, and I hope to see what my average for the twenty minute word war is soon. Maybe tomorrow, because I wanted to do one today and couldn't. That might be a nice goal for tomorrow, along with... say, 18K.

Yeah, that sounds good.

You know, I'm surprised at how well writing has gone today. Granted, I rambled on quite a bit (chapter three took up many more words than I thought), but the thing is, I see that and know I need to edit it. This gives me an empowering feeling, because I know now that this plot is where I want to go, and I know where I need to flesh things out more. It feels so fulfilling to know that I am finally writing the novel I've wanted to write for ages and I am somehow halfway decent with it...

--

All right, onto something else non-NaNo related: the elections.

I can't vote tomorrow.

I know who I would vote for if I could. If you've seen my political posts, you also know who I would vote for if I was old enough.

However, regardless of who you support, I encourage all of you to go out and vote if you haven't already. We must make a difference in this nation and we will so long as the people stand up for what they believe in. Personally, I support one particular candidate. However, the opposing candidate is not only an amazing politician, but a strong person as well.

I might not agree with the views of who gets elected. I wish I could make a difference this election. Unfortunately, I have to wait until four years from now.

This year, though...

This year nearly everyone on my flist can make a difference in the way the votes go (other than the non-Americans in the bunch, to whom I say: Hi! Other than tomorrow or Wednesday this'll be my last American politics post!). I encourage you to do so. But don't do it for me. Do it for yourself, your country, and the values you stand for.

As long as you believe in the candidate you vote for, I will support you every step of the way and others will too, I'm sure.

So get out there and vote.

I'll be wishing I'm right out there with you.
callistahogan: (National Novel Writing Month)
*yawn*

Today was a good day. Before I talk about NaNoWriMo, though, let me just say happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] greatalexanders! Hopefully it was everything you wanted it to be.

And now.

Day Two:

My total word count is 10,179. I could go further—there are only, at most, a thousand words left in this chapter, and only if I ramble on a bit—but I don't think I can squeeze out more words. Besides, my foot hurts and I have to go to bed in about half an hour.

As for my thoughts on NaNo... I'm fairly happy with what I've gotten so far. My characters are obeying me so far and my plot is coming along nicely. A lot of editing will be necessary at the end of this ordeal. I'd prefer not to think of that, though. *grin*

I would write more, but I'm tired.

So off to bed I go.

The next post will be longer.
callistahogan: (Default)
One: I will go insane if I see another word count update at either [livejournal.com profile] lj_nanowrimo or [livejournal.com profile] nanowrimo. News of your word count does not merit a separate post, and I hope someone will make a Word Count thread. My friends list is like spammed with all that stuff. How annoying.

Two: Whee. NaNoWriMo, I love you!

This year, it was a much more difficult start than I anticipated, though. I tried writing at midnight, deleted my beginning several times, but I eventually went to bed after about eight hundred words. However,  once I woke up, I wasn't happy with it. I started over and got 4K in one version... only to give up on it and go to my original. I deleted a bit of my original chapter, but then easily wrote over it. So far, I am very happy with what's been going on so far, but I already know I'll need a lot of editing.

But still!

I wrote 5,101 words today (not counting the 4K of the other version that I scrapped), so I'm really happy. I definitely think I will reach at least 10K tomorrow, even though I have a research paper to do and a 100 word paragraph for English.

How is everyone else doing at NaNo? Is it going well?

Three: Yeah. That research paper. It's due on Monday. I might work on it a bit tonight, but if not, that'll be my second priority, right after getting my 5K in NaNo. (I know, school before NaNo and all that, but you know, I don't care.) Blah.

Oh, and that paragraph.

That'll take at most a half hour (it'll only take that long because you can't use one word more than once, btw), so it's not that bad.

But blah.

I have written too many words today. This post is incoherent. I think I will go to bed a bit earlier today. Either that or do something mindless.

(I will definitely enjoy that extra hour of sleep tonight...)
callistahogan: (Default)
Twenty-five minutes left...

*bounces*

Is everyone else ready? I sure am! :D
callistahogan: (Default)
I find it interesting that the current number of messages in my inbox is 666.

But anyway. I am going to have to get into the habit of blogging everyday or I will never be able to do the NaBloPoMo. Which I want to do in conjunction (is that the right word?) with NaNoWriMo. As well as finish a writing notebook.

Yep, you heard me.

My dad just got back... um, never mind. I was about to say that my dad just got back with a Coke and a writing notebook for me to write in, but apparently it's only the Coke. Even though I find it hard to believe, there were no notebooks at the store, even though I went to the store a couple of weeks ago and there were plenty. There were all expensive too, so he'll have to get me one tomorrow.

Blah.

I really wanted to start writing in one today.

You see, I am reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. It is all about "freeing the writer within," as the subtitle says. One of the things Natalie Goldberg presses is this: Write every day. Don't go into it saying "I'm going to write a novel" or "I'm going to try to write something good." Go into every writing session with this mindset: "I give myself permission to write junk."

This is the basic premise of NaNoWriMo, obviously, but you know, if I went into every writing project with the same no-holds-barred attitude I did with NaNo, do I have any clue what I could come up? No. I would probably end up with junk, but there would be gems in that junk that might end up spouting a bigger and better story.

And there's no way to get to those "first thoughts," as Natalie Goldberg called them, if you don't let yourself just write whatever comes to mind and let go. After all, writing is supposed to be fun. Anyone can write, if they only put their minds to it and just do it. If you write, you will get better. If you write a lot, then you might learn the specific lessons necessary to excel at what you want to write (whether it is the next great American novel, a short story, a poem, or just a school essay) faster than you would otherwise.

Writing is so amazing. As Walter "Red" Smith says, "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." And if you open veins often, then... well, you let people know who you really are. And if you know who you really are, you can write emotions, feelings, and situations better than you could otherwise.

That's partly why I want to write in this notebook. I want to be able to curl up in bed with a notebook and pen and write to my heart's content. It'll be fun to write by hand for a change. Although it'll take a bit to get used to, I can't wait.

Now, if my dad would just get me my notebook, I'll be all set. And feel free to pester me if I don't finish a notebook in a month! *grin*

(Eeep. Speaking of writing, only two days, four hours, and fifteen minutes left until NaNoWriMo starts for me. And I got a friend to do it with me! *squee*

I'm excited, if you couldn't tell!)
callistahogan: (Default)
My post yesterday didn't say much, I think. I just ended up talking about my English teacher, but more has been going on than that. And since my brain has gone kaput, I won't even bother putting it in some coherent manner. So excuse the possibly-incoherent nature, please.

  • Research Papers: I have one of those evil things due October 31st. It is on French Polynesia, and I have no clue how to start it. Most of my research is already done, but my French teacher's stress on thesis statements seems to be prohibiting my creativity, or something. It's not deliberate, obviously, but I hate trying to force myself into a mold of what I believe the teacher wants, and I feel as if that's what I have to do. So I'm trying to just forget about the thesis and just write it. Oh, and then start that stupid visual, which I have to finish by October 31st. *sigh* So freakin' busy.
  • California's Proposition 8: Is it a bad thing if I am irrationally interested in the results of this? I mean, I live on the opposite side of the country, but I can't wait until I hear the results. I have my own views on this issue, but in interest of not starting a debate, I'll keep those issues to myself. Honestly, I think this is one of the most important things (a portion of) America is voting about this year.
  • Elections: Is it over yet? It seems as if it's just getting dirtier and dirtier as the days tick by. There's only about ten days left, but it feels like ages. John McCain doesn't look like he has much of a chance to win, unfortunately, and I have no clue what to think of Barack Obama. I will soon see, though.
  • Objections to Christianity: Recently one particular issue in regards to Christianity has been coming up constantly. This issue is summed up easily: "What gives Christianity the right to force their views on other people? Why can't I believe what I wish?" Or in other words: "I don't like being commanded or forced to believe in a religion. After all, there can't be just one true religion, can there?" I feel strongly on this issue and wanted to write a post about it, but couldn't figure out how to word it correctly. I might write it sometime this week, if people want to hear it, that is.
  • NaNoWriMo: Eeeeeek. There are only six days and two hours left until NaNo starts. This is exact; at the time of writing this post it is 10:01. I have quite a few things planned out so far, but I still have to flesh things out. I am now officially going into "panic mode." That is, I'm freaking out about not reaching 50K, even though I know I'll be able to do it. I just tend to go into a mode where I am second-guessing myself. That'll go away once I've got about 20K, though.
Oh, and did you know that over 60,000 people have already signed up for NaNo? That means that if only 20% of all writers reached the minimum goal, we would have written 600,000,000 words. That is insane. And that's not even counting the words of the people that won't win, the authors that will exceed 50K, and the writers that are yet to join. I find this amazing.
  • NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month): I'm doing this, I think. Expect lotsa updates in November about NaNo and me moaning/celebrating it. Oh, and if I don't seem to post by say, seven my time, kick me. 'Kay, thanks. :D
  • Brisingr by Christopher Paolini: I think the fact that I have yet to finish this book after a week says everything. This book isn't bad, not at all, but... wow. There are so many things I would change. The book could be cut in half and it would go over the same thing. If it was cut in half, it would have been good thing after good thing after good thing, but as it is, it is just blah. The dialogue is choppy (I mean, honestly, who ends a statement by saying "Those are my thoughts"? And why must everyone speak in such a formal language?), and it just doesn't appeal to me at all. However, it's a decent book. I should have it done tomorrow. I hope.
  • HSM3: I want to watch this movie. That is all.
  • Um, me?: I think I've been discovering a lot about myself lately. I feel as though I'm growing as a person, just by looking back at my reactions. For example, this morning I nearly had a fit and deleted my previous post because my brain kept saying "ugh, my last post was so stupid, why don't I just delete it now?" This just shows the fact that I am too insecure for my own good. And I remember a time when I was young, when I was determined that I would never get insecure, that I would always be comfortable in my own skin.
*sigh*

I feel so naive admitting that now, but it's true. I wish that my younger self is more a part of my older self. Not that I'm not happy with who I am, I guess, I just... don't know how to express that. I'm cripplingly shy, and I just want to quit it. I've been trying to but, like, what can I do? I'm trying, and I guess I'll just have to see where it leads me.

Maybe starting that literary magazine will be good for me...

All right, I've rambled long enough. I can see there are some things that perhaps merit elaborating on (Proposition 8, elections, that objection to Christianity, NaNoWriMo, my... um, me-ness), so just tell me if you want me to say something more. I'll try to do so, if I'm not too busy tomorrow with writing that research paper and doing that visual.

(See my bouncy penguin? Isn't it cute?)
callistahogan: (National Novel Writing Month)
At the moment, I am reading both Brisingr by Christopher Paolini and No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty. Brisingr is definitely not the best book in the world (I can look at it and pick up on things I could do better, and I'm a year younger than Paolini was when he started writing Eragon), but I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. As for No Plot, No Problem... well, I love it. It's incredibly inspiring, and it's making me want to start writing, even though I have pretty much nothing written of my outline.

There's one fact so far that has made me go wow, though:

Apparently NaNoWriMo is responsible for more fiction each year than all of America's creative writing programs. Combined. That's absolutely amazing, but I can't say I'm surprised. After all, if there are 35,000 participants (and I know there are more now, because in 2003, there was 25,000) and only, let's say, 20 percent won, that'd still be 350,000,000 words. (Don't take my word for it; my math might be wonky.) And that's only assuming everyone only reached 50,000 words, which isn't true, and that's assuming only 20 percent won, which also isn't true. And that's still not counting the words of people who didn't win...

I find that awesome. For something that only started as a group of twenty-one insane friends throwing caution to the winds and saying that they want to write a novel in 31 days (the original NaNoWriMo was in July), it's grown exponentionally since then. I can't believe it. How can something that small, something that absolutely off-the-wall, grow into a worldwide phenomenon?

It blows my mind.

But that's why I love NaNoWriMo so much—because it's an absolutely mind-blowing activity and once you do it and win you can't stop.

Honestly, NaNoWriMo this year is shaping up to be the funnest yet. I'm writing this novel, this book that I've been wrestling with in my head for two years, and my characters are talking to me, my plot is coming to life, and everyone I have talked to has been interested in it. Not to mention the numerous friends I've made over the past few weeks and who I believe I'll be able to sympathize with as soon as we swing into November and the insanity begins.

*sighs wistfully*

I'm not even halfway done with my outline and I still want November to come. Of course, that also has something to do with the election almost being done (FINALLY), which means I can go back to my normal life and politics will probably not show up in this journal that often.

Yes, I know you're all cheering. :D
callistahogan: (National Novel Writing Month)
I was in a bookstore today.

I didn't get anything, because the book I wanted wasn't there, but I did wander around a bit. Right before I left, I came across The Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens. Now, "portable" seems to imply small, right? Right.

Except apparently Christopher Hitchens (or at least his publisher) doesn't realize that.

The book was seriously huge. If I had to make a guess, it was probably twelve inches in height, maybe eight in width. That's not very portable. And it's bright yellow. With a black spot on it. That says "The Portable Atheist" on it in huge letters.

I seriously couldn't help giggling. 'Cause, seriously? Portable? When I think of portable, I think maybe a paperback, maybe the size of a romance novel, that you can slip inside your bag, not a huge book that would probably only fit in one of those huge bags celebrities carry around, the ones by Doone and Burke (bear with me if I got the name wrong; am going by memory because I don't follow fashion). But oh well. At least it gave me a good laugh.

Also, even though I didn't get anything, I ordered Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. Thankfully, it should be here tomorrow if there's no problems with shipping, so I am very excited about that.

--

There are only eighteen days left until NaNo, and I still have a ton left to do. As soon as I get that book, I am probably going to start reading it and outlining like my life depends on it. I desperately need to figure out my beginning, and then my characters will hopefully start talking. Because I have the bare bones of my plot, but everything else?

Needs a lot of planning.

I will probably be doing nothing else but planning for the next couple weeks, but hopefully I'll be done by... say, the 28th, so I'll have time to just get excited about NaNo without worrying about not having enough outline to carry me through 75K.

I can't wait, though. This year is the most important year yet, and I don't want to screw it up. And I can't wait until I get to the middle of my novel because, seriously, it's awesome. :D
callistahogan: (National Novel Writing Month)
Before I ramble on about NaNoWriMo again, let me just say happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] withoutmywingsx! You're an incredibly awesome person, and I hope your birthday reflects that. :)

But onto NaNo.

Yulian is coming along as best as I can possibly expect under the circumstances. I am waiting until I get the four books I requested from the library to outline my plot, but until then, my magic is coming wonderfully, as is my antagonist.

Unfortunately, the one thing I don't want to give out is the way my magic works. I am terribly afraid that, since this is a public journal, someone might come along and steal my idea, and I definitely don't want that to happen. If you're just that curious, PM me and I might tell you the bare bones, but I might choose to withhold that information anyway.

It all depends on my mood. Suffice it to say, however, that I am incredibly excited with how I rethought the magicseriously, I don't want anyone to know what the magic is like until you are holding the book in your hands. That's how much I want to protect it. If I let you know what it's like, it means that I like and trust you irrevocably.

Other than my magic, my antagonist is the only character that is currently speaking to me. He's already given me enough about himself for me to ascertain that he is a very complex character... and doesn't have a name.

I am being serious here.

My antagonist does not have a name. I don't mean that I just don't know it. He really does not have a name. He tells me that he used to have one once, but doesn't have one now. And he's actually being very nice to me. He's told me why he doesn't have a name, how old he is, what his ultimate goal is, and what he would do if he found out what his ultimate goal would do to humanity and the world he knows. He's being a very nice antagonist.

Now, if my main characters would start speaking to me, I'll be all set. Oh, and if they'll tell me where they want me to begin. I have the first couple lines ("People claim magic doesn't exist. They're wrong."), but am not sure if I should use it in the prologue or in the first chapter, or if I should just not use it because it's not something Ellie can say.

But oh well. I have twenty days left, and I will hopefully figure all this out by then.

This is seriously fun, though. Planning my novel, panicking about not being able to reach 75K, doing a little dance when my characters talk to me?

Ah, how I love thee, NaNoWriMo. 
callistahogan: (I write.)
"People who view fantasy as second rate or childish are usually people who don't read or understand it. I like to tell them that good fantasy is social commentary combined with good storytelling—Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, the Oz stories and so many others. Sure, the stories take place in an imaginary world. But those worlds mirror our own and tell us things about ourselves that need to be said and understood. I also like to tell them how often other forms of literature use fantasy as the bedrock of their own stories. Fantasy transcends its own form in wider scope than any other type of writing."

This quote by Terry Brooks is the reason why I love fantasy. I've found that, instead of fantasy somehow being "childish," it's actually more mature. After all, do you know how much work goes into figuring out a fairly original fantasy plot? And how much thought it takes to work out your magic, your characters, your world, and even your language if you choose to invent one?

Let me tell you, it's definitely not easy.

Yulian is not too different from medieval times, but there are so many more elements of my novel. It's not just medieval, it's more than that. My world works differently than the typical goddess-run world (am I the only one who has noticed that most fantasy novels either have a goddess or numerous gods, and only one major religion?), and the magic doesn't work in the typical fashion. I am working on making my characters likeable and complex, but the only one that's coming easily to me is my villain (who doesn't even have a name).

Fantasy... is something I've always wanted to write. I have no clue why, either. Have any of you ever had one of those experiences where you just know you want to do something, but you don't know why? I mean, I know I want to write, and know why I want to write, but I'm not sure why my eyes alighted on fantasy. Maybe it's because my favorite novels are fantasy.

I don't know.

All I know is that after trying to plan out my own fantasy novel, I have great respect for writers like Terry Brooks, J. K. Rowling, C. S. Lewis, Patrick Rothfuss and Naomi Novik, because they put twists on the classic fantasy novel and made it something fun to read. If I get even half as much fame as some of those authors have... well. I'll be quite famous.

And I want to write a book that people like as much as Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia, the Shannara books...

I can do it too.

I just need twists. I want people to be constantly guessing while they're reading my novel. And I can't wait to start writing it. All I need is character outlines, a world-building document, and a vague (or detailed; I can't decide yet) plot outline, and I'll be already to go. I have a four day weekend starting tomorrow too, so I'll probably actively planning tomorrow.

I am so excited. I have such a good feeling about this novel.

(Although it's mixed in with nervousness, which is quite expected, so it's not that bad!)

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