Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Thing About Titles

I mentioned something about titles a day or so ago. The thing is, I've never been able to actually start writing a story until I have a title for it. At least some sort of working title. And I mean I really cannot put down a word, no matter how well formed the plot idea may be. It's weird. So there have been times when a perfectly good idea just sits there because I'm stymied on a title. I can't just put anything at the top of the page, either. No "This is the Title" or "Googly-goo Nonsense". It's gotta be concrete and relative to the story. Not that the titles always stay. There are times when the story mutates from the original idea, and so the title must also. But I always have to start with something. So, this year's NaNovel?

"Bridge Cat"

Monday, October 26, 2009

NaNo Nesting

Or that's what I call it. anyway.  The urge to clean off my desk and surrounding area, tidy up the bookcases, empty the trashcan, and even vacuum that hits me right before NaNoWriMo starts.  I still have to figure out how to hang the corkboard and whiteboard.  I don't know if I will use them, I just know that if I don't get them up, it will bug me all month long.

Where does this urge to order my space come from?  I'm not sure.  Some of it is my very organization-oriented mindset, I know.  I like to know things are ready to go well before I need them.  When we are getting ready for a chili cook off, or a trip, or have visitors coming, I make lists and lists of things I need to do/get/accomplish.  Even daily chores are usually written out as a list.  It feels good to cross each item off!

I also think there is some creative energy at work.  I can't actually start writing, and the prep work just doesn't quite feel as satisfying.  I'm anxious for the actual "moment of birth."  So, much like a pregnant mother in the last weeks before the baby is born, I have the urge to collect all the stuff I think I need and have it all ready to go.  It's instinctual.  And a little crazy.  There's a little bit of mental teetering going on, and it gives me somehting to do.

So, for now, the desk is relatively neat.  It won't last.  Once November hits, there will be a pile of books- dictionary, theasaurus, reference books- next to the computer screen.  Print outs of bits and pieces will start to pile up.  I won't be able to find my glasses (not an uncommon problem, anyway).  But, for now, let's just enjoy the momentary look of a clean desk and an uncluttered space.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Twist

So I have the title for the NaNo project this year (have I mentioned my weirdness about titles?  No? Well, that's another blog...).  It's going to be called "Bridge Cat," and it's a fantasy involving cats, an old church, and a demon (I think).  I have a basic plot description written, as well as several characters figured out.  Sound good, right?

Yeah.  Last night, a whole new idea pops up in my head.  Same title, same basic genre, but this time it's a kid's story and so far from the original idea, I couldn't even see it in the distance!  What's up with that?  Shiny, new ideas are not supposed to rear their pretty little tempting heads now.  So far, I've resisted the urge to follow its lead and try some plotting. 

I'm going with the original idea.  I am.  Really.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

And So It Begins

Another NaNoWriMo is set to begin.  Along with the writing process this year, I have decided to try blogging about the experience.  I really intend this to be more for my own benefit.  A place to put the triumphs, losses, good days, bad days down for later review.  Also, a place to hash out problems or roadblocks that will come up.  Sometimes, I think better if I write it down. 

So, since no writing can begin until Nov. 1, what am I doing?  Well, working (mentally for now) on the plot.  Yes, I have one- sort of.  It's a little fuzzy right now, but it's working itself out, little by little.  More will unfold as I start writing.  That's how it almost always happens.  I rarely start out writing a fully realized plot.  The basics are there; the rest fleshes out as it goes.  I've also started working on character descriptions and bios.  Not that I ever form a fully complete picture of characters, but it helps if I start out with an idea of who they are and what they look like.  Some basic outlining may get done, as well. 

A week to go.  I'm getting excited to start.  And nervous!

(Here's the link for the low down on this NaNoWriMo thing:  http://www.nanowrimo.org/)