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Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2020

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Valka D'Ur, Jul 1, 2020 at 5:24 AM.

  1. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Summer is upon us, or so the calendar says (it's a matter of opinion in some regions that don't have much summer-like weather at present).

    Be that as it may, on July 1, veterans of NaNoWriMo and newcomers seeking a different kind of challenge commit to a writing project for the month of July. As always, the goal is to produce (or continue) a story/novel that meets the word-count goal the contestant has chosen (Camp events allow participants this choice, though the November event remains fixed at a minimum of 50,000 words to claim a win).

    Signup is here.

    If you already have an account, you just need to log in, go to your dashboard, and announce your project. If you don't have an account, you'll need to make one. Have a username in mind (my name there is Timewalker).

    Announcing your project involves deciding what genre it's in (yes, fanfiction is a genre!), and how many words you want to do between July 1 - 31st. You can upload an avatar and "book cover" for your project, if you want (my avatar there is a stylized cartoon beaver; might as well go for a Canadian stereotype, right? ;)).

    I invite all CFC members who are taking part to post here, share whatever ups, downs, and sidewayses (that is now a word; I have declared it so :queen: ) they might have, triumphs and frustrations, questions and answers, and observations.

    If you're not taking part, feel free to join the conversation - ask questions, make observations, encouragement is always appreciated, and if we can persuade you to join in, so much the better.

    Late signups are okay; I think they allow that for at least a week into July, but check the website to verify.

    The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to encourage people to write - first, get into the habit of writing. Don't worry about quality at first - improvement will come with practice. Second - have fun. It's going to be a challenge this summer for the folks who prefer to gather with other NaNoWriMo participants, as many of the coffee shops, parks, and other public areas where gatherings happen will still be closed.

    But that's where our little group here can help. We're all in this together. We're not competing with each other. We're only competing with ourselves, to improve our writing skills and tell our stories. What we can do here is offer encouragement, feedback, and help each other.

    Feel free to post your daily progress, any excerpts you might like to share, any rants or raves or musings.

    July has begun. Write on!
     
  2. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    Noon: 325 words.

    You'd think that'd be easy, wouldn't you? I just entered the same login info that I used this morning, but now NaNoWriMo claims it is invalid. :mad:

    18:30 local time: 558 words.
    I was planning on writing more tonight, but I just spent nearly an hour trying to log in. :gripe:

    23:00...868 words & chapter 1 done. :smug:
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020 at 12:12 AM
  3. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    They still need to fix a plethora of problems with the new website. It went live far sooner than it should have last year.

    And... I see they still haven't fixed the utterly crappy way to edit your word count. I missed the midnight deadline by 2 minutes due to a slow computer and problems getting out of my old project and into my new one. So now the system thinks I've written 1066 words, when it's actually just half that.

    I HATE WHOEVER REDID THAT WEBSITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :gripe: scream.gif Tantrum.gif

    So anyway, here's the official, real count:

    Day 1: 533 words.
     
  4. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    Hrumph, it's happening again. :mad: My story's going great, but then I get to a scene with a lot of violence, and I simply won't write it. :shake:
    Here, the Hellenistic Star Confederation should be loosing its wrath upon Ilium Prime, but I can't destroy the planet. :badcomp: In Pizza Delivery guy I got to the shootout between the kidnapper and the pizza delivery guy, but I couldn't write it. In "With Charity for None," an assassin chases down a woman with critical information, runs her off the road, but I can't write the part where he takes a flachette submachine gun to her. :scared:

    Maybe I should change my focus to writing "cozy" murder mysteries, which are known for the lack of bloodshed. :c5faith:

    I can't start a cozy for this NaNoWriMo, because a murder mystery takes A LOT of planning. :think:
     
  5. CKS

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    What if you "fade to black" and then have another character come along afterward to see the results? Just skip the violence and move to the aftermath.
     
    Valka D'Ur likes this.
  6. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Is it the idea of violence? I'd guess not, because you've plotted these events.

    You can sanitize it so there aren't any graphic descriptions. That's what happened in the actual game of King's Heir... the king was murdered, but we don't see any blood. A character is found dead on the floor, we're not sure how he was killed, but it's obvious that he's dead (I assumed either by hanging and the body was cut down by the murderer, or maybe being hit on the head and we just don't see any blood). One character is tortured, but he must have been fastened to the rack with invisible velcro, because I remember looking at the scene and wondering how he was staying on there - did they use invisible tape or glue? There should have been ropes around his wrists and ankles and there weren't... The actual combats between the heir's brother and the enemy soldiers are equally bloodless.

    Of course I assume this is so the game can retain a "family" rating, but I decided my story is going to be more realistic.

    So if I can research medieval torture methods and write a description of somebody being tortured on the rack (not to the point where he can't recover fairly quickly with medical help - such as it is in the 11th century - but enough to hurt and cause psychological issues since it's a notorious method for inspiring terror in the victims even at the sight of it)... you can destroy a planet. Just consider how various episodes of Star Trek did it - graphic in some cases, not-graphic in others. I'm assuming this is a "Trojan War in space" situation, right? Well, how did the Greeks ultimately destroy the city? They pretended to leave but not before building the horse as a "gift". It was a trick, so maybe the people on the planet could be tricked into destroying themselves. Just tossing out a suggestion or two.

    You can still kill people but maybe in less violent ways? I'm not sure I could write a shooting either, unless it's with an arrow. I did write a scene last year in which Randall's sister kills a would-be assassin with a crossbow. There are ways to make it clear that someone is dead without actually getting into the messy details.

    If you don't like killing your characters, you can always imagine another scenario in which they don't die. I've wondered how the King's Heir story would have gone in yet another alternative way if the old Ulmer duke had survived instead of being found dead on the floor of his study before he could reveal the truth about the true heir.


    I do sympathize, because no matter how I write this, there will be some kind of war, some kind of battle, and I'm not sure how to write it. It will mean some characters will have to die, as it's not realistic that all the good characters will survive, and there will be destruction among the very people the good characters are trying to save. Some people will hail the heir not as a savior, but as a murderer, because while their lives were difficult under the usurpers, at least they were alive and at this point they're experiencing too much grief to see the larger picture.

    As for individual characters, I've already killed off one of my favorite original characters (I really liked Rory, but his death was necessary to move events along in another direction years later; I killed him by having him swept off the deck of his boat into the lake during a storm, and he drowned). Everyone assumes it was an unfortunate accident at the time, but over two years later, it's revealed to have been more sinister than that.

    This is another method. It works on soaps, in novels, on TV shows... in many ways it can convey much more horror to the audience than showing the killing in the first place and the reader can imagine that part him/herself.
     
  7. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    I set my goal to 9000. I took 300 words a day and multiplied by 31 and that got 9300 so I went just a little under.

    Day 1: 241 words.
    Day 2: 541 words (!!!!)
     
  8. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    I reopened Chapter 1 and am now at 1039 words.:yup:
    This is Day 3, so I should end at 1,500 words.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020 at 8:08 AM
  9. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles watermelon

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    Day 1: 241 words.
    Day 2: 541 words
    Day 3: 359 words.
     
  10. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    I'm in the middle of Day 4.
    1258 words are done. I'd like to finish today at 2,000 words.
    My starship has been trashed. I need to figure out how it works so I can figure out how it's broken so I figure out how to fix it. :hammer:

    Thanks to the "fade to black" suggestion. :hatsoff:That let me tap dance around all that repulsive violence. :dance:

    Edit: 12 hours later. Only 1292 words of my targeted 2,000 words finished. :sad:
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020 at 12:14 PM
  11. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    After a couple of days of having to muck around with adjusting the dates (I typed the words on time, but my computer and the website couldn't get their collective <anatomies> together so I could post on time), I have finally managed to do it right.

    Day 1 total: 533 words.
    Day 2 total: 1174 words.
    Day 3 total: 1712 words.

    Don't forget to check your messages for badges you've earned. We've all updated 3 days in a row, right? So we should now have 3 badges each: one for announcing/starting our projects, one for updating 2 days in a row, and the third for updating 3 days in a row.

    If you explore your account, there's a place where you can award yourself some fun badges (these are on the honor system).


    I'm discovering a conundrum. On the one hand, thinking and writing every day has made me extremely familiar with my characters, their situations, and where I want to go with them.

    On the other hand, I don't seem able to stick to an outline, because dialogue keeps popping into my head that deals with many different situations, in both the original version and the alternative version (they're very different after the point where I split them off).

    What I've been writing is the birth of the new King's heir (as mentioned, since the source material refers to him as the "last great king of Griffinvale", either his male heirs are average at best, or else his heir is female; there's precedent for a Queen Regnant because there's one shown in the royal portrait puzzle). So they're expecting a daughter, and a culture clash is coming. Queen Julia is from the neighboring kingdom of Ravensmoor, where they have different customs when it comes to royal births.

    Not everyone is happy about the fact that there's about to be a new heir... even three years after the events of the game, there are some nobles who disapprove of a king who is 1. half-commoner; and 2. wasn't raised at court, but rather was fostered in another duke's house and has tended to favor that house somewhat since the coronation.

    And I really need to finalize my list of names for the Seven Dukes of Griffinvale, both before and after the old king's death...
     
  12. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Day 4 total: 2271 words.

    I just realized that I never settled on a last name for Duke Edmund's housekeeper. She's one of the earliest original characters I created for this story, she's integral to the Ulmer family... yet she's only got half a name!

    Gotta fix that.
     
  13. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    I thought it would be good to change my story into a musical. :culture: It wasn't. :shake: I tried two different opening songs. There were both lousy. :thumbsdown::thumbsdown:

    I'm going back to my thief story. :hide: NaNoWriMo Bye bye. :salute:
     
  14. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    So once again I'm going to be talking to myself here? :cry:

    Honestly, it's the word count that matters for NaNoWriMo purposes. They don't have to be good - the point is that this is first draft. There are other times of year when they focus on editing.

    Did you try writing just the words or original music besides? If you based it on an already-existing melody, maybe it's just the technical aspects that need a tweak or two. One of the most common issues I see with this sort of music is getting the rhyme scheme and scan wrong.

    Or... here's an idea. I recently found not only that Voyager/Bonanza crossover I mentioned; I found a free-verse poem I wrote when I was obsessively writing fanfic for The Crow: Stairway to Heaven. This poem is 7 PAGES long (handwritten on a steno pad).

    So if I can blather on for 7 double-sided pages about four characters in one episode of a 22-year-old urban gothic TV series, I encourage you to try again.

    It's early enough that you can revise your word count goal to something a bit less ambitious, and take the opportunity to experiment.
     
  15. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    No. AFAIK Amiee's still here & I'll be kibitzing.

    I like writing lyrics. I couldn't write music to save my soul. :shake:

    The bottom line is the more I work on my NaNoWriMo project.the less I like it. :badcomp:
     
  16. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    So change it. You're at the point now that I was in back in November 2018 when I had writer's block and switched from my Park Ranger story to Kingmaker (as the game was called then) and it made all the difference in the world, even though I had to really hustle to make up for the lost time.

    You have the advantage this time: You still have time to adjust your word count goal downward if you want, so you can still finish. I didn't have that luxury in November, because the November event HAS to be 50,000 words minimum. We don't get the choice to do less and still expect a winner's badge. With July you do have that choice.


    Writing music is something I've had experience with over many years. I started playing when I was 7, years before I learned to read music, so playing by ear and hearing music in my head is more natural than learning from sheet music. One of the reasons I got involved in backstage work in musical theatre was so I'd have an excuse to attend rehearsals and listen to the songs. I was able to learn quite a few that way, go home, and play them for my grandmother. She was so pleased when I learned "Wunderbar" (from Kiss Me, Kate) and "Edelweiss" (from The Sound of Music).

    Fast-forward a whole bunch of years, though, and one of my music teachers talked me into not only doing the Western Board of Music exams for organ, but also the written exams for theory. Composition is part of the theory exams, so I had to learn how to do that. This is how I spent a lot of time in the '80s and '90s - hours a day practicing the organ and at least 2 hours a day on theory and composition. This was in addition to my lessons and studio practice sessions.

    Most of my composition efforts that were done for fun instead of exams were either waltzes or polkas - because that's the kind of music my grandmother liked. But there were times when I tried other kinds of music (well before then I'd gotten into filking), and one day when I was re-reading Lord Valentine's Castle and came to the scene where Carabella sings a rather melancholy song about a woman whose lover has gone away on a pilgrimage to the Isle of Sleep, a melody just came into my head, I grabbed a sheet of manuscript paper, and started writing down notes and chords. Next thing I knew, I'd put the lyrics to a melody. There are other songs in the novel that I'd love to compose melodies for.

    And I've never gotten over being too chicken to tell Robert Silverberg about this. I've been part of his online group for years, and have no idea if he would be pleased, indifferent, or upset at not being asked permission before doing this. But the thing is, like stories where dialogue just pops into my head, there are times when music does that as well. At that point I have to write it down ASAP, and then I can work with it to refine it to what sounds best to me.
     
  17. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Day 5 total: 2806 words.
    Day 6 total: 3573 words.

    My stats page estimates I will finish on July 25, at this rate. Today's words involved tea, cookies, and hitching up a wagon to take said tea and cookies to the castle - some home-baking for King Randall (you can take the knight off the waterfront, make him a king, and tell him to live in the castle, but he will still always appreciate the home baking he grew up with).
     

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