Scribblings and Musings

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And …. the plot thickens …

Here it is, 2 days before I start NaNoWriMo 2011 and the plot thickens. As I am re-reading my outline for the 4th time (so I can print it and work from it), I want to change a few things now I that I have the main idea down. That should be good, it would make it interesting, right?

Not with this story at least.

The direction my creative muse is going, is not where I want to go. I wanted to try something new, write outside my “comfort” zone for a change. My comfort zone is usually writing about police officers, FBI agents, NCIS agents; or writing my own “tie-in” stories about characters from TV shows. And yet, I am tempted to create an interesting “arc” for one of my characters by turning the main “male” character into a law enforcement officer to get my “law enforcement” fix in there.

That is not what this story needs right now.  I think this story would come across better as a “romance” rather than involving a crime in it to justify making the “main male” a law enforcement officer. Why have a law enforcement officer if there is no crime as part of the story? I can’t rationalize it. I will admit, there is a Marine Corps base in the town, and we know what is on a Marine Corps base. I don’t want to go that route though.

Despite reading something about sticking to one genre of writing, if I want to write a novel about “crime with a little romance”, I will do that later, or try to.

After all, right now, the main thing to do is to just WRITE.

Perhaps now might be a good time to try out that new Rory’s Story Cubes iPad app 🙂

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4 days to go …

I know I haven’t been very good at updating this blog. My “Post a Day” goal went awry, but I am back at it, again. Turns out my last few school assignments were a little tougher than I anticipated, but I do enjoy a challenge.

Not to mention, I have been writing here or there, working on other ideas as the “creativity” strikes. So I have been a tad busy.

Here it is, 4 days to go before NaNoWriMo 2011 begins — I’ve profiled my characters, and what characters they are 🙂 I am so proud of them already, even the bad one. Each story has to have an antagonist, so they might as well excel at being bad.

I’ve outlined the story and am currently making the last few revisions to the outline to make sure it isn’t too long, but long enough to tell the story. Since this is my first story, I am not hoping for much. It should prove to be amusing as well as inspiring. I haven’t even written the story and I feel as though I have already taken an incredible journey.

I can’t wait until I can begin writing this story.

November 1st will challenge me as I start my Introduction to Criminal Law class in addition to the writing challenge. I took the step to get my degree, now I need to take the step to become a writer.

 

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Completed Outline

I never thought this day would get here.  There were times I didn’t think I would have gotten as far as I have in my attempt to write a novel, especially “on-the-spot”. For me, the hardest part isn’t wanting to tell a story, or even telling the story…it is outlining and beginning the story

Today I completed the outline. Of course that means I will have to edit, revise, edit revisions…but the main thing is, it is done. I can take satisfaction in knowing I completed my first “non-TV” story outline. And, that is quite a challenge in itself.

I don’t really outline, so much as “free” write when I get an idea. I take my “excerpts”, piece them together and go from there. But I was excited to take this new turn and try something “out of the box”.

Now, to edit and revise….but first….some sleep 🙂

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A Little Absent

My weekend got off to a bad start on Wednesday (personal stuff), and by Sunday, the whole “weekend” sucked–emotionally and physically.

I don’t want to go into details here, as this is my writing blog, but I will post a link for those who are interested:

http://www.indycar.com/

Naturally, the one day I had set aside to work on my outline, turned into “yarn therapy”, minor story outlining and chatting with friends. My heart was not where it needed to be, but that is to be expected. While I did not follow Indy Car or Wheldon’s career, as a NASCAR fan, his loss impacted the racing world. In short, the weekend, like the race, was canceled. It was the only respectful thing to do.

I have personally driven on that track and those turns; I’ve seen NASCAR races there;  the hospital where Wheldon was taken, is the same one my mother works at….this story is very close to home. That is one story, I will never write. But, it is another chapter of my life.

So, if I am a little absent, you know why. I will be ok, I have faith in that. I will write, I will continue on. The only thing I ask? Hold your family a little longer and tighter. Say “I love you” a little more often.

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A Little Behind, but Catching Up

I apologize for the lack of postings here lately 😦

I’ve been winding down the last few weeks of Introduction to Criminal Justice and Composition I. As of Tuesday I will be in week 7, which I am thankful for, and there are only 2 days in “week 8” (October 25th & 26th). I will get a break from October 27th to November 1st, so I can likely catch up and breathe.

I will admit, the most recent assignments required more research than I first thought…HOWEVER…I have been working on my story outline too 🙂

Even if it is a little memo here, little note here … it is something. I have learned that a little writing is better than nothing. As long as I make a little progress everyday, it adds up.

On November 1st, I will start Criminal Law and #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) 2011 begins; so November is going to be a busy month for me.  Thankfully, I only have 1 course at a time. No more double courses for me (and yes, I am still considered a full-time student).

What is the reason for going to to 1 course? This is to accelerate my degree. I take 1 course every 5 weeks, as opposed to 2 courses every 8 weeks (Over 50 weeks = 10 classes per year, as opposed to an 8 class academic year).

Perhaps it will also give me more time for writing, which I will be quite thankful for.

I can stay connected to my characters, my story and perhaps my life. And, I might even have time for something new 🙂

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Heading Towards the End…of the Story

Despite the fact I did a little “school work” Monday night, I also worked on my story outline.

I  am now in the stages of the climax (rising action/protagonist vs the antagonist showdown), though it took several chapters to build up to it, ok half of the story, but there is some good stuff along the way. Some of it is funny, some sad, and some inspirational.

I have a slightly huge problem though …

I don’t want to drag out the climax, then again, I don’t want to rush it either. I want my characters to explain what they are doing and why they’re doing it, but I don’t want to “drone” on chapter after chapter, just rambling either.

This is another part that is difficult for me–getting to the “point”, winding down the story, then ending the story, and leaving the characters behind to live their lives.

Many of these characters become people I so dearly cherish, and I don’t want to leave them, especially when some are modeled after beloved family and friends. I haven’t yet thought about “sequels” or follow up stories. Although, there are other “stories” I have created specifically for that purpose, this is not one of them.

Although there are a lot of characters in this story, I don’t want to end up writing a long series of books to tell stories for each set of characters. I also don’t want it to move away from the main point and focus.

Essentially this is about one woman and one man who are finally connecting with each other; the others in it are family and friends who were influential along the way. It also tells of how my “leading lady” draws strength from her family, friends and finds herself in this journey. I don’t want the story to end, but I know it can’t go on forever.

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Saying Goodnight To My Characters

For me, leaving my characters and story overnight is troubling. I often want to make sure that I don’t leave anything undone or unsaid in my writing. And, I do worry about picking it back up. Will I remember where I was going? Will I still be interested?

I know I need sleep, and that if I don’t sleep, I won’t be able to focus my attention on my writing, but there is that little part of me that worries about the next day though.

I was lucky this past weekend. I gave myself a much needed break for writing. I was able to look through my notes, and I started back up where I left off. There were changes I wanted to make, and I am glad I did. It isn’t finished, not by any means. I did make some revisions to it though, which made it that much more interesting, and harder to leave behind, even if it is overnight.

I have quite a bit to do, but for now, I need sleep. My story will be there, with the notes, as will my characters. I believe they forgive me now, and know it is nothing personal. Like my family and friends, I will see them later on in the day or in the morning.

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Transitioning

Back about 9-10 days ago I decided to enter the National Novel Writing Month 2011 Challenge (#NaNoWriMo2011). I have spent the last eight days profiling characters, outlining my story, trying to decide where I want it to take place, while still trying to do my school work; which at the time I accepted this challenge, I was in the Week 4/5 mark.

The “story” notes I have been writing down in a notebook to “plan out” as sometimes it is easier to write than type.

My characters are already profiled, complete with families, sub-families, friends, friends’ families and even jobs. It has been interesting to me to learn so much through my own family to piece this story together.

The next step was to outline the story. I will admit I got stumped a few times, so I had to walk away. It wasn’t easy, but without a sense of direction it didn’t make sense to stay.

Also, trying to write a story, thesis, discussion question and read 3 textbooks did not make for an ideal situation. I am still behind on the reading, but my work is still in the A/B grade range so I can’t complain. I will have to take some time to read those textbook chapters in the next day or so (and draft more written work for class).

Because of the fact I was all caught up, I decided to take today off from school for a change. I spent the day outlining my story, which was stuck at the Chapter 6 mark.

It could have been worse, I could have been at Chapter 5 😉 As I moved closer to the middle and ending chapters I started having more and more ideas, thoughts, notes–the story was really coming to life even though I had to fix dinner and do laundry. Being that the outline was in pen, I didn’t want to re-write it or mark it up…so I am now transitioning it from pen & paper to computer to make it easier to add those “thoughts”.  It should save time as well.

Since I am caught up with the laundry, Sunday is going to be the day I put my outline into the computer and start outlining the remainder of the story.

As always, I will leave it open to revisit my characters down the road 😉

 

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Muses

Often creative muses come when they shouldn’t and sometimes they don’t show up when they should. I don’t blame them, they don’t get paid for the job they do, the service they provide or the push of encouragement.

However they are essential to writing or creating works of art.

Although I sometimes wish they wouldn’t wake me from a sound sleep to deliver their “help” 😉

As much as I need to work on my writing, if I don’t get good sleep I will be unfocused and scatterbrained during the day, which is counter-productive, which defeats the purpose of “helping”. I know I couldn’t write without them, so I definitely appreciate the assistance. However “timing is everything”.

To properly thank those creative muses, I am going to try to work on my writing later today and  take a break from school … if only for 1-2 days 🙂 …

In conclusion, my dear writing muses … I thank you for your help as always. If there is something very important you’d like me to write or note … please leave a message. I have plenty of pens, pencils and paper for you all to enjoy and I will gladly read your messages when I wake up 🙂 (but, I do need my sleep).

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Creating

There are good and bad things about working on more than one project at a time.

Multiple projects give me something else to work on when I’m stalled, I’m still writing and being creative. At least when writing on more than one project, something is getting done. In that respect, I am writing on every project at the same time. That should be good … right?

The bad thing? When I should be working on one project, I’m day dreaming about the other. And, in that respect, nothing is getting completed. It is a vicious cycle with work being done, but nothing getting done.

Another issue is having enough time in the day for everything I want to do. That is where taking a break from the computer (be it my writing or school work) helps. The thoughts are always rolling around in my head, so I need to get them out, then focus where they need to go.  Some days it is easy, other days easier said than done.

Perhaps this challenge in November will help me sort things out 🙂

It never hurts to try. I have always fretted during challenges, and in the end, I make the deadline and have good results. It’s all part of the creative process.

But, I just wish it was easier, lol 🙂

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