Archive for the ‘NaNoWriMo 2009’ Category

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NaNoWriMo Day 30

November 30, 2009

Being the last day of NaNoWriMo, I figured I’d give a recap of the month for me.

I began with an idea that had been cooking in my head for the better part of a year, inspired by (specifically) the pants of SOLDIER grunts and (more generally) the style of Midgar in Final Fantasy VII, as well as pirate lore and history.

I got off to a good start by beginning with an unplanned section of the story, which occurs about midway through the plot. Other than an extensive and mostly unnecessary (not to mention probably inaccurate) surgery sequence, this first chapter went well.

The second chapter swung back to the start of the plot and introduced the main character, Daniel, and put the narration in his hands. This seemed to work well up until the point where he began to speak with other characters and his narrative voice and speaking voice were completely different. I thought I could deal with this as the story was being told by the Daniel of the future, so I could allow him to grow into the narrative voice more.

I then began introducing some unplanned characters. They were Gregor and Rudy. They seemed to work well, although Rudy was a little one-dimensional, but I figured he needed time to get more depth, which would evolve through jealousy in the first half of the book. The other main character I introduced was the captain, John, who, rather than being the clever, manipulating and ambitious captain I wanted him to be, instead became an indifferent ass with no regard for life at all who was a bit of a gambler. To be completely honest, other than that gambling thing he was basically an author avatar who just happened to also be a pirate.

=D

Most of the problems with the plot were my exceedingly strict planning and overly high expectations.

I then tried to begin another story with superheroes, which I thought was interesting, but got distracted by video games so uh, that didn’t happen.

However, both of these stories are something I will come back to. Blackjack (the first story) will probably need a complete reset, and Patchwork (superhero one) will need the plans I’ve done stripped down to allow more freedom.

Next year, I will attempt NaNoWriMo again. I’m also going to go into it with no plans, no ideas, no expectations, no anything except a keyboard and a vocabulary (and arguably creativity and talent…very arguably :/).

also probably no fucking hope.

Whatever.

See you next year, NaNoWriMo.

-Vyperchild

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NaNoWriMo Day 14

November 14, 2009

PROBLEM AVERTED?

Nup.

Blackjack’s gone to crap. I can’t write dialogue, and my characterizations are all wrong. The main character is pretty much two different people, the first-person voice is completely different to when he’s actually speaking to someone. The captain is meant to be a highly ambitious, clever, would-be world ruler, but is instead an indifferent gambler with no motives. The only character that’s how he should be is the one-dimensional sadist Rudy who kills stray cats for fun, and was a character I came up with without any plans to include him.

I haven’t written in nearly a week. The plot is stagnant and slow and wrong.

So I’m going to scrap all of Blackjack. I’ll eventually come back to it at a later stage, starting from scratch, but it’s not working for NaNoWriMo.

You may ask then, what the hell is going to happen with my NaNoWriMo?

Go on. Ask.

Good dog.

The answer is that I have enough free time at the moment that I should be able to not only write 50,000 words in 30 days, but I believe I can try in 16 days.

So although it’s kind of against the rules, the spirit of NaNoWriMo is to test yourself and your writing abilities, so if I’m cheating, I’m only really cheating myself.

Therefore, I’m starting again, with a new story, and less convoluted plot. And less planning.

And I’m trying so very hard to keep my expectations low.

But I’m excited about my story.

Because superheroes.

Nuff said.

-Vyperchild, revitalised author

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NaNoWriMo Day 10

November 10, 2009

Okay. Last time I said I wanted to have some positive stuff to say here.

SO THIS IS A MASSIVE LETDOWN.

I’ve pretty much done nothing. I wanted to enter this week being about a day above the average. Instead, I’m three or four days behind, and have grinded to a standstill.

Nothing’s working out how it should be. The novel’s pacing is way too slow, and all the plot I’m working towards is too condensed. While the first half of the novel was meant to be about the main character, Daniel, integrating with Captain Derrith’s crew as Derrith’s plans begin to unfold, and the rest of the novel being the aftermath of those plans, there just isn’t enough worth putting in the first half, and too much to put in the second.

So I’m reconsidering how it’s happening. I’m going to us my non-linear story telling as a way of skipping large amounts of Daniel’s mostly unnecessary and boring ‘training period’, and cut straight to the unfolding of Derrith’s plans. Might be a bit of a cop-out, I’ll see how it goes.

Some of the characters that I’ll be investing some time in are Ghast, who I mentioned last time, who really likes killing people in highly theatrical ways, Turner Braide, who is the captain of what is essentially a turtle submarine fortress (huh?), Orvall Saint, who so far is just a name and a crew position, and Satoshi ‘Japanese-esque surname’, who leads some sea-faring Yakuza.

The problem is that I need to introduce many characters before I skip to the second half of the plot, but can’t

OH

OH WAIT

nevermind. I can do that. EVERYTHING IS FINE.

Okay, situation is: I need to introduce some of these characters before I skip to the second half of the plot. Then everything will be back on track.

PROBLEM AVERTED.

Now, as long as I can be motivated to catch up, I should be well on my way to correcting the slowness of the plot so far.

-Vyperchild, struggling author

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NaNoWriMo Day 7

November 7, 2009

I’m disappointed with my efforts so far. Not because it’s bad, it’s actually okay I think and the change of narrator voice has made it more entertaining, but I haven’t written as much as I had wanted to.

The goal by day 7 was 11669 words. I’m currently sitting at 8902. And now Dexter’s starting so I won’t do anything till tomorrow. So I’ve got a bit of catching up to do on Day 8 :/

However, not all is bad news. I’ve introduced some interesting characters and am ready to continue from where the first chapter left off (it’s five years after the second and third). There are even more interesting characters to introduce, many of them somewhat absurd, but I’m getting to that.

I think I’ll leave you with a quote today. Something I was quite proud of when I first wrote it. You might not think it’s that great. I don’t care. Whatever.

”The drivers were the lucky people, the ones who, even in Tamand, managed to live a regular civilian lifestyle. Or they were carjackers. Hard to tell really.”

That’s it for today. Hopefully next update, which should be in two or three days, is a bit more positive. It should be, because a few important characters, namely Executioner-Captain Ghast, will be getting introduced soon. And he’s going to be FUN.

-Vyperchild, author

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NaNoWriMo Day 3

November 3, 2009

This year I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month, at the urging of my fellows over at Unspeakable Evil.

This event is an exercise in focus, determination and the ability to lower your standards. I mean that last one in the nicest possible way. This is because the task is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words by the end of November. This averages to 1,667 words each day.

This is an undertaking of gargantuan proportions. Nevertheless, I am currently stubborn and am convinced I will see it through, and my dedication and motivation so far has been very much out of character (and this has been pointed out to me more than once).

So, I guess your main question would be: Whatcha writin’ ‘bout thar, mister?

And to that poorly phrased question, dear reader, I answer you this: Not frigging much.

Alright that’s toning it down a little, I actually have a fairly decent plan for the story which isn’t so extensive that I lose interest (which is usually the case when I do plans). I have also gotten off to a good start I think, although I had a small hurdle to overcome due to the tone of the third-person perspective I had been using in the first chapter, so the second chapter has been put in first-person through a moderately okay transition, and I feel that my writing is benefitting from being anchored directly to the protagonist.

But, it seems I’ve gotten sidetracked and failed to answer the question correctly. And so, I give you my novel synopsis, ripped straight from my NaNoWriMo page.

Daniel Morgan, a young man seeking adventure and fortune, joins the crew of pirate captain John Derrith. John is a very ambitious pirate, and he and his crew raid banks and commandeer ships to sell on the black market. After a time, Derriths’s crew begins to gather a reputation among fellow pirates, and even start forming alliances. However, the future doesn’t look good for Daniel, and he’ll be lucky to get out alive. But the future looks very good for John, whose aspirations are world-changing. And in the new world, John ‘Blackjack’ Derrith will rule both the seas and the land with an iron fist.

Daniel’s adventures will bring him into contact with many other pirates, from the barbarians of the Dread Spear, a ship captained by Kurgan, who prefers to ram a ship rather than shoot it down, to the tattooed warriors of Satoshi’s White Dragon. But the scariest of all is Ghast, the Executioner-Captain of the Black Gallows, a deceptively ruined ship which has been retro-fitted with modern technology to make it a killing machine, much like Ghast himself, who has used the guillotine aboard his ship to execute hundreds of innocents and pirates alike.

The setting is not a traditional pirate setting, and instead involves technology such as machine guns and torpedoes, as well as more futuristic tech like bionics. The setting draws a lot from locations such as Midgar  from Final Fantasy VII, and has a dystopian feel to it.

There you have it. The synopsis. In all it’s vague glory. Actually, there might nor be quite enough vagueness about the plot. WHATEVER. Can’t be bothered changing it.

Over the course of November, providing that I am able to push myself to write so much, I will bring you some updates about my progress, and maybe some excerpts. Currently, my word count sits at 4381, which is  behind where I need to be today, but I still have a couple of hours. I’m hoping that, going in to week two, I will have at least one day’s work more than I need, as something of a buffer zone in case I lose some motivation, or something comes up or whatever else, because I’d prefer not to have to try to catch up later.

For everyone else who is joining in on NaNoWriMo this year, I wish you luck.

-Vyperchild, author!