NaNo and VSS365 Double Header

Been doing a little planning for next month's NaNo attempt. Unlike in 2016 when I just used Pages on my MacBook I'll be using Scrivener. It'll be interesting to see how it helps. It certainly should as far as planning and sketching out some ideas and the view for distraction-less working is nice.

This morning I transferred some background info about the settings into the 'Places' folder in Scrivener. So far that is basically some headline words rather than any detail - in fact I haven't put anything in yet about Unique Features, Sights, Sounds etc but the standard sheets in the folder could prove quite useful to consider to help focus on the writing when it comes to November rather than looking things up on the inter web and all that (and the inevitable distractions that will bring).

Talking of distractions I'm hoping it's not bad timing for me being in charge of the words for #VSS365 in November. It may well mean I can't read and reply as much as I would like to all the contributions, which is a bit of a shame. I may also have to find another automatic Twitter timetabling programme as I currently use Buffer to upload the link to my daily song every morning (Class Song of the Day). If I use this then I will have to log in and put the links in every five days instead of ten (you can only schedule 10 messages on a free basis), which will be a bit of a pain. Will see if I can find another free (and easy) way of uploading the message each morning - of course I could go 'Old School' and just type it out each morning when I get up... How old fashioned? But then the messages would potentially go out at rather random times.
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NaYesWriMo 2018

I've decided to give NaNoWriMo a go this year. Hoping I can make enough time to do it It's one of those things where you've got to keep going at it, as 1667 words a day sounds fine but if you miss a couple of days you've got 4800 words to find, so it can suddenly get quite daunting if your not careful.
NaNo-Shield-Logo-Web

I've only tried once before and I found it okay with a relatively straightforward format. It was totally linear and in effect by compartmentalising it I could write it in ten bite sized chunks as if I was writing ten 5000 word short stories. I managed it anyway and 'Fergie Time' exists. I've had a couple of people read it and it largely held together pretty well considering it was written in a month. It does have fundamental issues though - it includes real people in imagined situations, which may have legal issues... Anyway, we'll see I do intend to finish it, even if it only every gets read by a few friends and family. But in the meantime I have NaNoWriMo 2018 to be getting on with.

This one will have only fictitious people and venues (albeit in real cities) so I shouldn't have any of the potential legal considerations this time. I had a couple of options for running with including Project Jaipur and Project Sarah Hughes or even expanding the short story from the recent DeadCades short story into a full length story. In the end I've opted for Project Jaipur now as 'To Hull and Back: A Wobbly Odyssey'. It's set as an epic comic odyssey across seven towns and cities and in some ways can therefore be similarly compartmentalised into effectively 7-10 sections or short stories.

So now I'm in the process of planning the chapters and set pieces and identifying the main characters, though once the story telling gets going next month heaven knows where it will arrive.

Here's to 50,000 words in 30 days. And a fun time.

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Unwanted: Dead (Questionnaire) Time

Today started badly. Up for work then get a text saying 'there's not enough routes, stay at home'. Been promised work for rest of week, so not the end of the world - just like to pick my weekend (today's my Sunday I guess (after last Sunday was my Saturday)). The damn gig economy.

On the positive side it's given me time to get my Infernal Clock Questionnaire finished and sent of to Steph ready for DeadCades. It'll probably need more editing than the actual story did - sorry Steph.

It'll also give me time to type up my edits from the weekend for Project: Jaipur - yes, Jaipur is still alive, write a blog or two (including this) and get stuck into more writing (probably on Jaipur) and yes, I will manage a bit of guitar strumming.

Last night I rushed out a quick Fantasy Footy team, naffly named the Anfield of Dreams. May have time to revisit it today to swop a few players - and maybe rename. Starting point anyway is:

AnfieldOfDreams

Keeping faith in Salah and Firmino though think it'll be hard for them to repeat last year's heights. Not a Man Utd player in sight - which is nice.
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Real Life in Fiction

I haven't yet decided whether to run with Project Jaipur or Sarah Hughes yet, but I have done a little more thinking about Jaipur. It is (expected) to be a buddy road (well probably rail) movie with beer - okay an epic pub crawl across many miles and days. It would like to grow up to be a comedy, but who knows?

I've already set out the nine chapter headings, which are largely geographically based, and I've the three main characters (and the princely sum of 2769 words down in Scrivener for it).

Peveril

So it's basically the story about a pub crawl. I should be on firm ground here, right?

I started of thinking I should use real pubs, to almost produce a travelogue that could really be followed. There are several issues with this. For a start I'd need a week or two off to 'research' this which would be costly (if fun) - and the notes each day would get progressively more patchy and scrawly. Of course the way the pub business is things change so fast that by the time the story was finished a couple of the places would probably be closed, have their names changed or at the very least refitted - and the people change all the time - making any focus on real life descriptions pretty pointless.

York

While as a real ale fan and even more a fan of actual pubs it was quite attractive to make these places real. But in reality it is the story and the characters which matter most. The settings will be important, but they can be totally fictionalised. Should the finished article ever get read by anyone the important thing will be the story not whether the pubs and bars are real places and they could in fact distract the reader if I did a bad job of it.

Wellington

So whilst I may use some real pubs in my head to set the stories in I'll change the names in all the cases to protect the innocent (and the guilty). This will mean less worrying about getting descriptions 'right' and more focus on getting the story right. When I wrote 'Fergie Time' I had a few real named places in it, but there were a lot less of them than would be in this story and the settings were less important than the narrative.

In summary, with Project Jaipur I have decided that while I will have lots of real venues in mind I'll change all the names. It'll be important to evoke the sense of these venues be they genuine or totally fictitious. Of course there will be plenty of real named places in Jaipur - just not the pubs - let's drink to that.

Over the next week or so I'll be deciding whether to run with Jaipur or Sarah. Looking forward to making the decision and then going with it.

Sheffield
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Project: Jaipur and Thanks Vicente

Well I downloaded Scrivener 3 the other day and have had a couple of days using so far. Not got to grips with all it can do yet but I am liking it so far. I didn't use it on Friday for Microcosms, I just stuck with Pages. Nice to get a quick story out and today it got a Honourable Mention from the first time judge Vincente Ruiz. Thank you Vicente!

Be Happy

Yesterday in forty minutes of writing I completed the first 700 words on Project: Jaipur. That works out at about 1000 words an hour; I can happily live with that for now. Not sure how long I wrote for today but it was another 1400 words or so - (so maybe an hour and a half) and I also wrote a quick story for Flash Feed, where I am currently ranked as a St Bernard. Woof! The prompt is the grinning bearded man above. If it strikes you as interesting then there's still time to get on over there and get a story out.

Bernie
That's me on the right.
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Whittling

The other day I sat down with my notebook from last year and looked at the plan for 2017. Boy, it was full of good ideas and intentions, but I failed to deliver. My bad.

I'd have been better off just choosing one to go with and attack that, surely? Maybe, maybe not. When I raised this on my beloved Twitter the other day Steph said write for all the projects and see which ones work the best and I think that is probably a fine idea - as long as I don't use it as an excuse to procrastinate.

whittle

So for this year I've whittled the projects down to five (yes, that does not sound like serious whittling) - and I haven't even included the Semi-Mythical "Fergie Time" from NaNo.

  • Project 1 - HbSt1 - Fantasy
  • Project 2 - TT1 - YA Fantasy
  • Project 3 - PS - Short story anthology
  • Project 4 - LRA - None Fiction
  • Project 5 - 2HAB - Fiction (comedy)

As I sat looking at the notebook I found myself asking some questions about the projects, including; which stories (or premise of) were the most interesting and which ones would be fun to write and get invested in? I think if it is going to be fun and/or most interesting to write I am more likely to get stuck in and run with it.

So from having five projects which were pretty equal in possibilities I got to a point where I could put them into a priority order.

The short story anthology could be relatively easy to complete, but I'm more interested right now in writing a novel or novella length piece so having that as an aim will just take me away from focusing on that aim. There is a similar argument with the none-fiction work - which also may be of limited interest. That leaves the three novel ideas. For the first one (HbSt1) I have a good idea for world setting and I think it has great possibilities, but I don't have
the story to tell yet in that world. Clearly, unless an idea pops into existence within my grasp, that project should be put on the back burner. As for Projects 2 and 5 I have the story ideas together already.

That means then I have indeed whittled - I really have - and come down to two novel ideas to work on: 2HAB and TT1. It'll be much better to work on two than five. And then if one takes off then all the better.

Before I get stuck into these two beauties I need to do one thing though... I can't call them "Project 2" and "Project 5" and certainly not "2HAB" and "TT1". I need to give them cooler project titles. So what do you give them? Well, me being me, naming the projects after beers or breweries seems like a mighty fine idea (and can be extended infinitely). Here we go then:

2HAB is now
Project: Jaipur
TT1 is
Project: Sarah Hughes

and for completion's sake, and a bit of fun, in case I dip back into the others:

HbSt1 is
Project: Neptune
PS is
Project: Tiny Rebel
LRA is
Project: Plum Porter

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