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A November’s Journey, part 1

7 Dec

It’s December now. There is a chill in the air, but it isn’t a bitter and relentless sort of chill.

Recently, I received confirmation that my novel for NaNoWriMo has been validated. I naturally celebrated by gloating to my roommates, drinking the last of my apple cider, and marathoning season one of How I Met Your Mother. But how did I get that far? What was it about November that convinced me to write more than what I considered my maximum wordcount?

Kids, the first time I attempted NaNoWriMo was in 2009. That November promised good things: it was my first November free from the pressures of college, my first November with a full-time job, my first November living with people I loved in a place I loved. That year I had the idea for Project Infinite, but I didn’t dare write it. Project Infinite wasn’t ready.

Instead, I chose a story a friend and I discussed and wroodled ages before, known as Better Days. I made it all of one chapter in before news that my brother would be shipping off to the fields of war and I had to come home to say goodbye and wish him well. No biggie, right? I’d lose a few days, but it wasn’t such a travesty. Not like unexpectedly losing your job, right? Oh. Well, actually, that happened too–within the same week I returned from my short trip home, and at the beginning of a month-like throat illness, my job was ripped out from under my feet. I lost all interest in NaNoWriMo that year. Too many disasters.

The following year was 2010, and kids, I was ready. I decided to jump into Project Infinite. I had character notes set aside, something of an outline in my head, and ambition.

Unfortunately, I lost my job again. That same month, one of my pets died. So… again, NaNoWriMo was lost.

2011 came around and I needed this. I needed NaNoWriMo. I needed to know that life wasn’t all about death and war and disappointments. Most of all, I needed to prove to myself that I could complete a goal I started, that I could do anything I put my mind to. I had to accomplish the cheese of victory.

That, kids, is where my story begins.

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Wroodles, Scrivener, and the Macbook Air.

2 Sep

Hey fellow Writers!

First off, another apology. My main machine is busted and I had to wait for my secondary machine to ship. On top of that, I had guests over, discovered we will have to move places some time this month, and I simply have not been keeping up with my wroodles.

Wroodles? What, you don’t know this awesome term that I just now came up with? Wroodles is to Writing as Doodles is to Drawing. Spread the word! Tell your friends!

So, an update on how Project Infinite is going.

It hasn’t.

Some of you know that I decided to rework the manuscript, because the direction I was going was wrong. Sometimes writing by the seat of your pants is like finding your way through a maze. When you hit a block, you need to backtrack to find where you went wrong, and I went back quite a ways.

Don’t start your novel over. Just finish it and figure out what you’d like to fix, then go back and rewrite what you must. Do as I say, not as I do!

That being said, I’ve broken other rules…

Like the Bubble rule. Only opposite. I found that I simply cannot write at my house.I just… can’t. I can write at work, I can write in a cafe, I can write anywhere but at home. One reason is my house is full of distractions, like Netflix and the internet; the other is that I’m just so darn popular with my roommates that they must talk to me whenever they feel the urge.

Aside from my failure to continue on the Writer’s Path this summer, I have taken the steps I feel are necessary to improve my writing. I’ve been wroodling with friends, restructuring ProjInfinite, and did I mention I bought a secondary machine? That’s right, I broke down and dropped dollars on the Macbook Air.

The Macbook Air has so far proven to be a faithful, hassle-free companion to this writer. I’m a PC user by default–my main machine is Windows 7, and is a beautiful piece of equipment. But I use a Mac at work, and when my PC broke, I relied on the Macbook Pro to get by. I enjoyed the distraction-free OS and decided a Macbook Air would be a lovely secondary machine. I’ve been saving for a secondary machine for a few months at this point, something ultraportable with a full size keyboard, and the Macbook Air fit in perfectly with my requirements.

I also purchased Scrivener. Scrivener is, quite possibly, the only word processor I will ever use again. It’s easy to use–it took me less than an hour to setup a novel, import my writing, and assign a few necessary shortcuts the program seemed to be lacking. You have the ability to outline your document before you write it, using either the outline view or the–get this–CORKBOARD view. That’s right, you can assemble your very own digital corkboard, complete with chapter headings and notes. You can store your research in a binder (a menu on the left-hand side of the screen) that won’t be part of your manuscript, keep old drafts in their own folder, break down the document into scenes, and when you’re finished… you can compile the document into an editor-friendly document with little to no flibbity-flam on your part.

Scrivener was made for me.

With Scrivener and my little Air, I’ll be unstoppable. Once I finally move. And… settle into my new place. Sometime this month. I hope.