October 25, 2007

nanowrimo newbie

I signed up for nanowrimo. I figure the very worst thing that could happen is that I drop out half way and then I’ve still produced more writing than I usually do.

I’ll be working on my new WIP Heart of Shadow. It’s historical romance noir set in mid-Victorian London, featuring a hero tortured by his wife’s suicide and a heroine masquerading as a spirit medium. I’m going to tie-in a character from my previous unfinished WIP Heart of Ash, so it can be the second in the series.

To prepare I used a variation on Erica Ridley’s story boarding technique (speaking of Erica Ridley, she is all over the contest winners section of RWA’s latest Romance Writers Report–go Erica!).

I also tried a new technique for my historical research. Probably everyone else has already discovered this. I assembled all of my character and historical research into a PowerPoint presentation. That way, when I’m writing and need a historical detail, say about what brand of cigars my hero smokes, I don’t have to go searching through all of my electronic notes, I simply open up my PP presentation and flip to the slide titled “Cigars.” It’s a great way to incorporate photos as well. I have slides for each house in the book with photos and layout diagrams. I really had difficulty keeping track of all my research before. I’m hoping this will keep it all in one place and easily accessible.

So is anyone else doing nanowrimo this year? If so, please buddy me here.


19 thoughts on “nanowrimo newbie”

  1. Yay for storyboarding! Where’s the pic of your board?

    I want to NaNo… I always want to NaNo, but my WIPs don’t seem to coincide. I am editing right now. Maybe I can do that.

    Best of luck!! Keep writing! =)

  2. I’ll post a pic today. Thank you for all your your writing on the subject. It really is a useful tool. I appropriated the different colored post-it notes from work. Mine is not quite as detailed as yours. But it’s a start…

  3. Wow, I love your powerpoint idea! I really need to start using some system of organizing my research. Right now, it’s completely random – some stuff in a file, some books lying around, a few bookmarks..

    I’m so proud of you for doing NaNo! I can’t really commit to it this year, but I’ve made a goal to finish my second book before the New Year, so I’ll have a good month or two for revising/editing before it’s due.

  4. Go Lenora!! Love your titles!

    I don’t do Nano too well; I am deep in revisions, and the whole “write like crazy for a month” thing just pulls me out of a workable schedule. But I think it’s great that it helps so many people.

    And the organization of your research is awe-inspiring. Maybe my girls could help me figure out how to do that…

  5. What a great idea to use PP for your research!

    Good luck with Nano…this is the first time in 3 years I’m NOT doing it (well, we’ll see if I’m still NOT when Nov 1 rolls around)

  6. Huar, I just saw some pretty hilarious pics of you as Frankenstein.

    I suppose I should start writing at midnight. It would be fun to go to one of the “write-ins” being hosted on Halloween night at various bars around town, but my bus doesn’t run that late.

  7. (Makes V-8 popping noise.) Wow, I could’ve had a PowerPoint! *;?)

    I can’t believe moi, the PowerPoint Queen, never thought of using it in this way. Brilliant!! Now, if I could just make an Excel storyboarding convert out of you, my Microsoft Mission in life would be complete.

    Ready for NaNo?? I think I am certifiable, but what the hey….

  8. Hmm, does Heart of Ash have anything to do with Daoism? I was reading Zhuangzi last week and it kept talking about aspiring to a heart like cold ashes.

  9. hellos, my beautiful, busy sister! I really don’t know anything about powerpoint but it sounds like a good idea, especially if it was birthed in the brain of our genius dungeon master bro. write write write! I’m proud of you in advance.

  10. I found an example, from Chapter 22 of the Zhuangzi:

    Yeh Chueh asked Pi I about the Tao, and Pi I said, ‘Attend to your body, concentrate upon the One, and the perfect harmony of Heaven will be yours.

    ‘Rein in your understanding, unify your stance and the spirit will dwell within you.

    ‘Virtue will be your beauty and the Tao will be your dwelling place.

    ‘You will seem like a simple new-born calf and you won’t try to understand the reason why!’

    Before he could finish what he was saying, Yeh Chueh fell fast asleep. Pi I was very pleased indeed and wandered off singing this song:

    ‘Body like a rotten tree stump,
    Heart like cold dead ashes,
    His understanding is true and real,
    Not inclined to pursue questions.
    Obscure, obscure, deeply dark,
    Heartless, no advice forthcoming,
    What sort of person is this!’

  11. Whoah, Huar. “Heart like cold dead ashes” really sums up my hero beautifully. I don’t know about the body like a rotten tree stump, though. Not too sexy. Hee.

  12. Hello – I followed the trail from Leigh Russell’s blog; I’m always on the look out for new ways to evade sitting down and getting on with the business of word mountain climbing. My inner editor will not be repressed, but after seven days at this she mostly taps me on the shoulder after I’ve shut down for the night, in those last few minutes between awake and asleep. Other than that I’m being very good at just writing and all of this is just a preamble to what I really wanted to say which is thank you for the super idea of powerpointing in the way you are using it. Come the dreary business of editing my WIP into shape it is another potential tool. Good luck with nanowrimo! (This is my first year.)

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