NaNo ’16: The Snowflake

Before we get into it, I’d like to say that the main reason for this blog is not to show off my work (after all, most work I’m hoping I can use to make money sometime down the line), but instead to help inspire people being stuck in the same hole of creative meh-ness I often find myself in. Going over my own creative processes, showing some insight into my routines and attempts at them, might just help someone else to get going themselves.

Ever heard of the snowflake method?

It’s that thing you do to start building your story, the narrative, a character or more, history, whatever. You start with simple bullet points of whatever tickles your fancy. Then you go into each point and add some details. Then you add more details to each detail.

And so on.

And so forth.

Called snowflake for the obvious reason of the structure just spreading out and forming like a snowflake would from such a simple a beginning.

Maybe I got that wrong. I read about that in a self-help how-to-be-a-writer books. And that’s how I remember it working. Not like there’s one true way of how to build a story.

Usually, I am what they call a pantser. A type of writer that just jumps in and starts writing. However, as I’ve been whining about for a while now, I don’t really have much of a jumping-off point. So, maybe I need to be a bit more focused.

Last year I started NaNo by using a short I posted here, called The Drop. I wanted that piece of fiction to be my first chapter. Then, I sort of outlined the rest of Part 1 (which was Act 1 of the narrative), which I then wrote on day 1 of NaNo (just over 10,000 words). Which proofs that preparation really does work.

Holy shit!

Which is why I’m going down that road, again.Read More »

NaNo ’16: The What and How

Since I’m currently set on trying my luck on the Dark Fantasy idea following the misadventures of the undead warrior Áleifr, I started to think a little about just what I’m trying to do with that idea.

Truth be told: I’m not looking into writing a stand-alone novel this time around. For a while now, whenever the Dark Fantasy idea came to mind, I was more leaning towards writing a string of short stories, perhaps a few novella-length pieces, or even some shorter flash fiction. So, chances are that his is what will happen during NaNo this year. Which, of course, is no biggie, since we only concern ourselves with the daily word count, not how we get there day after day. I don’t assume each and every story will be finished during the month of November, but, maybe, enough will come together to form a solid base for future development into this fantasy universe.

One potential benefit I see is the fact that I can just leave one story alone and work on a different one altogether, should I ever get stuck. I did that with scenes during last year’s NaNo, but being able to just pick up a completely different set of concepts and circumstances might just be refreshing enough to learn more about what I’m trying to do in the bigger picture–which, in turn, can help getting over whatever got me stuck in the first place.

To that end, I was looking at a few possible story hooks, titles for inspiration, rough pitches, and so on. So, follow me down that rabbit hole, if you will. Note that these are just rough ideas, some of which I came up with as I was writing this post.

(Potential Spoilers incoming.)Read More »

NaNoWriMo 2015 — 30 Days Later

Today is December 1.

That means NaNoWriMo is now over.

Over the past month, I’ve written some updates on my progress during this annual November challenge to write 50,000 words. Mostly anecdotal stuff, nothing special. More like pouring out some thoughts on my current state. Let me now take some time getting into the meat of what that month was like for me.Read More »

NaNoWriMo 2015 — Final Stretch

Eight days left.

6,342 words to go.

I’ve kinda sorta broke through some of the issues I had lately, getting the narrative back on track. I had to skip to an emotionally damaging scene at the [beginning of the end] of part 3, and after that, I jumped back to where I actually stopped and pushed through. Worked, too.

After a week of relatively weak word counts of around 1000 per day, I’ve finally managed to push past the ideal 1667 today. And I have things to do for the next little bit, a good vision of how I get what I have now to where said damaging scene should fit.

Hitting the 50k shouldn’t be a problem. But the story won’t be as close to being finished as I wanted it be by that time. Still, hitting that number was the goal. Everything else will get fixed in post.