Monday, 29 October 2012

NaNo second thoughts

After last year's sabbatical I thought perhaps I would not manage to get back into NaNoWriMo - having an essentially lazy temperament - but I feel like I should not let myself off so easily - having just enthused about it at talks I gave on Saturday.

So, I have a couple of days to wobble, and then it starts!  It cuts down on my trivia (FB and Twitter) and my television time. It focuses the research game and my reading.  And it can prove fun!

So I decided to go for manifesting the cliche of a conspiracy thriller I outlined in a template previously.

That at least gives me a framework, which can shape my thoughts; it will allow me to use esoteric bits and pieces of Forteana; I can always have the investigators sit down and be given a lecture by 'the professor', just as I can drift into tourist information about the famous locations (leaving a trail for readers to pursue, if they so wish), etc.   Oh, and I might get to kill people off (I've always been too nice). Not sure I can manage the torture bit too well (it's a essential ingredient) but we'll see - perhaps I'll just place that in an abattoir, so the horror of what meat-eaters ignore every day is what makes the reader squirm.  Who knows?

I have started compiling my lists (see the template in the post linked above) - choosing a main city, a MacGuffin, a few of the goodies and baddies, etc.  I have a couple of maps and guides to stimulate thought.

And I will use Scrivener this time (I've never done a NaNo on Scrivener) - and perhaps it will bump start the autobiography all over again.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Grainy flashbacks

The second year I did NaNoWriMo I had some kind of game plan, and it seriously helped to have a vague outline, a theme, and a decision to create short chapters.

The social aspect of the NaNoWriMo community meant I had already been interviewed as an "Over 50" person for their podcast - so I explored the video channel they had, as well, in which you either cheer people on, and motivate them, or maybe brag about how well you are doing, or complain about getting stuck.

As I had got ahead on words, I did the podcast, and even thought "I could make a video, I have a webcam".

The hum from the fan on my computer in 2008 really interfered with the sound, so I added some Eno sounds to baffle that a little bit, and having no lighting, deliberately did it in minimal light - which increased the lines on my face, and looked pretty sinister.  Be aware, the sound and light all seem terrible quality to me now, but I just found them again on Viddler (I didn't even remember having a Viddler account!) so I have put them here for my own amusement and embarrassment.
Here's a direct link, if you have any problem with a four-year-old embed...

So that was at the end of the first week, and the written words were going fine (the comments come from other would-be writers). A couple of days later, and still using sounds to smother the whine of the computer, I decided to make another clip, using Movie Maker to edit bits and pieces.
Direct Link
And whaddya know, ten days later, in spite of fiddling around with videos and all that, I had completed the minimum target of 50,000 words and was, in the terms of the self-challenge which is NaNoWriMo, a "Winner" - you get a certificate, and everything!
So yeah, I made a bragging video, which was not intended to demoralize people who were still struggling (as I had the year before) but just to celebrate - not something I do much - and maybe hope to display what fun it was to just complete the task, whatever the actual quality of the book.
Direct link, if it helps (?)
I went on to commission a cover from Bobby Campbell, and produce a hard copy print edition on Lulu - all for the sheer fun of it. The whole thing remains amateurish, but remember that before that word came to mean 'rubbish', it originally meant people who do things just for the love (amo) of it. I tried to find the word (when hitching around Mexico) to explain why I juggled (and they asked if it was 'my job') - I wanted to say it was my hobby, but didn't have the right words, until someone offered that perhaps I was an 'aficionado' (amateur). And that nailed it.

I have always found 'work' that I can do for the love of it. If I get paid, as well, that seems like a perk. Money ain't the object.