3 Hours Till Midnight

Last night was our region kick-off party. This is the first year this area has had its own region. Typically we've been lumped in with the rest of Arizona as “Elsewhere”. I was hoping for maybe 7-8 people. Nope, that was wrong, by a long shot! People just kept filtering in! By the time the meeting really got going we had a total of 15 people! WOW! 

We have a really diverse group in terms of ages, occupations, interests, writing genres and gender. There seemed to be quite a few of us that had really good sense of humors. I think it'll make for a really fun group. We already have 2 scheduled write-ins, one on Sunday, another Tuesday night. I'll be going to the Sunday one, but Tuesday probably won't happen. I'm heading for the dentist on Tuesday, and I don't think I'll feel like going out of the house again once I get home.

Tonight I almost pulled out the plot outline to read it through one last time to see how it looked. Then I thought better of it. I did a lot of good work on it, and put it away on October 16th. I'm going to trust myself that it's still good, and come tomorrow I'll be looking at it with fresh eyes *AS* I'm actually writing on the novel.

Am I waiting up till Midnight to type my first words? Afraid not. This is a work night, and I already have to be up around 4:30 AM in order to get to work on time. I already suffer from exhaustion, I don't need to be trying to go to a full days work on a few hours nap. πŸ˜‰

But come 4:30, you better believe I'll be getting ready as quickly as I can so I can get in a few hundred words before work!

Which brings this to mind:

For those of you looking for the 2007 NaNoWriMo tracking spreadsheet, I finally found it. This is a direct link to where the spreadsheets can be downloaded: http://nanowrimo.nidonocu.com/

I tried the simpler XLS version and it opened fine in Office 2001 and Office/Excel X in a Mac OS 10.4.10.

Enjoy!

Scene Structure

Here is one of the template I came up with for plotting out the book I'll be doing this NaNo. There are other options out there on the internet. The important thing is to find one that works for you.

Scene POV:
Scene/Character Motive or Goal:
Scene Requirements:
Conflict:
Scene End Disaster:

Scene POV: This is pretty much self-explanatory. From whom's eyes are we seeing this scene? Typically it should be from the person who knows the least or has the most to lose.

Scene/Character Motive or Goal:
What does this scene need to accomplish? What is a character wanting to gain, obtain or accomplish?  How does this scene move the story forward?

Scene Requirements: This is a place to put quick notes on things you know you need to accomplish with this scene. This is also a great place to put notes in on foreshadowing that is needed to be placed to set up future events. For instance: Mary needs to pass by the odd looking man with the striped scarf OR Gary feels ashamed while in front of class, unable to remember his lines. Foreshadows ending scene when Gary walks into the Prom.

Conflict: What is going to deny the desires of the characters? What is going to go wrong? What is the fight, whether mental or physical, going to be against? Will the conflict be against another person, an internal fight, spiritual or environmental?

Scene End Disaster:
This may seem an odd one, but if you want to create a book that a reader can't put down you need to give them a reason to keep reading instead of putting the book down to go to bed. Ending a scene with a disaster of some sort, essentially upping the ante on the conflict of the book, is a way to do that. This can be the character not gaining their goal, something going wrong in the scene, or something new popping up. It can even be a new internal conflict or a complication that causes the story to veer into a new direction. Give the reader no choice but to continue reading.  πŸ™‚

Countdown: 4 days to NaNoWriMo!
Countdown to Kick-Off party: 2 days

All are safe and sound!

Good news on the San Diego front. The fires have been beat back and Qualcomm Stadium is supposed to close down as a refugee center today. Anyone who still can't go home will be transferred to the Del Mar fairgrounds, but at this point, that's not a huge amount of people. Last I heard as of yesterday, the amount of people at Qualcomm had dropped from around 10,000 to 1,600. The smoke and ash that is in the air has been a bother, but Jason and Co are now bringing things back into the house from the vehicles. I'm sure that's a relief to their little dog, Scout. He knew something was going on with his silly humans, but not what! He wouldn't let any of the family out of his sight, and anytime they went outside he would stare at them with a gut-wrenching, pitiful expression from the screen door.

Back to NaNoWriMo, 4 days and counting to the local kick-off party on Tuesday.

Countdown for writing: 6 days and counting.

Woohoo!

And the muses just won't quit. I now have an idea for yet ANOTHER novel. Making notes on it, but I'm not going to let it derail my plans on which project I'm going to work on for this November!

So far okay…

Not about writing, but important to me…

As many of you already know, my fiance, Jason lives in San Diego. I've been in contact with him several times a day throughout this mess with all the fires in California. His area has been in a state of emergency since Sunday night, and Qualcomm Stadium, which is only a short distance from his house, has been opened as a shelter.

The family packed up their vehicles Sunday night, in case they needed to leave quickly, but so far have been able to stay at their house. Every night they have been taking shifts sleeping so that someone is always up with the local news on. The fires are getting closer, and the smoke in the air worse, but so far no evacuation notice has hit their specific area. As of Noon today, the winds have not been as bad as they have been in the past few days, so I'm hoping the firefighters will be able to gain the upper hand.

On the bad side, some people are starting to stream into Qualcomm Stadium from Santee after they saw the fire starting to rope its way down the hills towards them, and that isn't far from where Jason is.

I'll keep you posted.

P.S. There's gotta be a story scene involving all this for a future book…

Countdown!

Over at NaNoWriMo they set up a region for the area I live just this past week. Already 10 people have popped up and said hello. Of course, out of those 10 are included Mother Hen and I. It's nice to know a few other people in this area are going to also be participating in this craziness. πŸ™‚

A kick-off party is being set up, and we're both intending to go! Bring out the hot tea and hot chocolate!

This weekend, for the first time this season, we lit a fire in the fireplace. Ahhh, I love watching a fire. πŸ™‚  The very first leaves are changing colors, and with how badly the wind has been blowing I have no doubt the tress will be stripped in no time. Fall is here, with winter a close behind!

There's something about a fire that makes me feel creative. As the planning for the NaNo novel is pretty much set, I've been working on other things to keep up the creative momentum. That means doing a little writing and/or editing on other projects. Oh, and art. Been doing a bit of drawing as well.

As the last full week before NaNo the time to wake up in the morning has been pushed back another 20 minutes. From this point forward I will be getting up at 4:30 AM. Ouch. But this will give me a solid 45 minutes to write before going to work. It'll be interesting what I'll be able to average in word count by doing this, once November 1st rolls around.

Countdown: 10 days and counting to NaNoWriMo!