So, where have I been? I spent a couple of months in Figment-land. Apparently there was a big dispute about whether adjectives are good or bad in literature. Little Bo Peep and her crew were in favor; those with shorter names were often not in favor. It was a mess. After the Figments, I went to Cawdor High, but it was on something called “summer break”. No one there. I did hear a rumor that Riley and Mr. Boogerschniggle had moved o...

NaNoWriMo Prep: Step Three, Plotting Characters
NaNoWriMo Prep , Uncategorized / October 14, 2016

I’m going to get to the character part, but first I’m going to take a quick side step. What have you not prepped for that has nothing to do with writing in November? You have told family and friends that you will not be socializing unless it’s at a write-in You have told family and friends you can manage fifteen minutes of socializing at a time IF they bring food and caffeine You have stocked up on foodstuffs, eithe...

NaNoWriMo Prep: Step Two, Developing the Plot
Uncategorized / October 13, 2016

You can go into NaNoWriMo cold, with nothing. You can. I can’t. I break out in a cold sweat thinking about staring at that screen, knowing I have to write a minimum of 1,667 words that day, hoping something will come to me. No, thanks. I’m going into NaNo prepped. Those of you hardy souls who do not, I salute you. From far away. With a full CDC virus-protection suit on, just in case the insanity is contagious. Instead, I&...

NaNoWriMo Prep: Step One, The Plot
Uncategorized / October 12, 2016

Alright, you’re set for the realities of NaNo. It’s hard. You should be ready. But you still don’t have a story. I’ve known some writers to say that any writer who doesn’t have a plot isn’t a writer, but sometimes they’re just not trained in what they need to know to find plots. Because, you see, the plots are out there. They’re evil little bunnies with vicious teeth and sharp claws, an...

NaNoWriMo Prep: The Importance of Planning, Even for Pantsers
NaNoWriMo Prep / October 11, 2016

Dear Pantsers: I know every instinct is screaming for you to run for the hills. Stick with me. It’s worth it. -Z It is entirely possible to start NaNoWriMo on November 1st (or later) with no preparation. You can win with a late start. It’s also possible to scale Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen. If you’re a professional with the right physiology and a little luck, you can even survive it. That doesn’...

NaNoWriMo Prep: When Life Throws a Curve Ball in November
NaNoWriMo Prep / October 11, 2016

It invariably happens every single year in November: I see a frantic online post about how something urgent has come up that might interfere with finishing NaNo. First, let’s take a look at the big issue here: NaNoWriMo is a game, a challenge. It is not life. It should not be a substitute for life. Yes, take the challenge seriously. Follow the rules of the game as closely as you’re able and try to score a win. But it̵...

NaNoWriMo Prep: Prepping for THOSE Days
NaNoWriMo Prep , Uncategorized / October 7, 2016

I don’t feel like adulting today. In fact, I don’t feel like humaning. Maybe cat or dragoning. I could maybe deal with that. Here’s the thing: you will have a day like this during NaNo. Either the weather will be too nice and you’ll want to go out or the weather will be too bad and you’ll want to stay in (but curled up with a book) or the computer won’t work right or you won’t feel right or y...

NaNoWriMo Prep: Routines
NaNoWriMo Prep / October 6, 2016

I promised you that today we would go over setting up routines (and we will!), but I just wanted to bring up one more thing related to priorities first. I’m a runner. I’ve watched Zombieland; cardio is important if you want to survive the end of the world. I’ve learned almost any healthy person can do a 5k (that’s 3.1 miles for the metrically-challenged). Yeah, you might walk a lot, but even if you walk, that&...

NaNoWriMo Prep: Learning to Prioritize
NaNoWriMo Prep / October 5, 2016

I have let you down, dear Readers. I am late. But I’m not going to apologize because, as much as I adore my adoring public, I had my priorities straight this time. You see, I have a deadline that has to be met by tomorrow, so I was up late, burning the 2 am electricity, trying to get closer to that deadline while the inspiration was burning hot. I knew what my priority was, and that’s what I put first. And that’s wh...

NaNoWriMo Prep: What You Need to Know
NaNoWriMo Prep , Uncategorized / October 4, 2016

Yesterday, I started my yearly discussion about NaNo Prep. But maybe you’re really new to all this, so I dropped you into a discussion where the wind-speed of a laden RPG was mixed in a MOOC with OMG results and everything was pretty FUBAR. (That’s “funnied up beyond all recognition”, for those who don’t humor.) So, baby steps. What is NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, and it happens ...

It’s Here. Again. NaNoWriMo Prep Time.
NaNoWriMo Prep / October 3, 2016

It’s here. Again. I don’t know why it surprises me when it comes around every year. Supposedly, this is my ninth NaNoWriMo. No, I haven’t contracted some strange disease and I do not have an alien in suspenders hiding out in my home. NaNoWriMo, the brain-child of The Office of Letters and Light, stands for “National Novel Writing Month”. In other translations, it stands for “Naturally, No Writer...