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29 Oct 2011

NaNo Essentials

So in terms of research, outlines, and character info I'm prepared to actually write the story.  But for my writing process I sometimes need a little more to get in the mood for writing.  I feel like some of these are completely crazy but I've always felt they really help me write.

I'm guilty of lacking motivation and inspiration sometimes.  But for whatever story I'm working on I always need either music, a film, and all my research notes surrounding me or playing in the background.  For my NaNo project I'm writing about vampires so I'm definitely going to have the following near me:

1) Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Stephen King's tale of a small USA town slowly being taken over by vampires is one of my main inspirations.  I saw both adaptations, read the book, and fell completely in love with the story.  I liked the idea of these people slowly dying, succumbing to this vampire plague, and in the 1979 I became a fan straight away of their appearance.  Yellow eyed, rotting teeth and fangs, and generally acting uber creepy by floating outside windows and scratching at the glass to be let in.  I keep the book near me to be reminded of why I want to write this story: to bring the old school vamp back and turn them into the horror icons I love them to be.

2) Vampire films playing in the background
The poor boyfriend is going to have to put up with the numerous vampire films I'll be putting into the DVD player.  I don't know why but I always write better if something is on in the background, especially if it's the same genre that I'm writing for or a similar kind of story to what I want to write.  It helps keep me inspired.

3) Playlist
Yep, I'm another writer who uses music.  Although sometimes it is distracting for me so I don't listen to songs when I'm writing that much.  But when I'm not writing - either taking a break or getting some chores done - I like to have a playlist of songs that, like the films, inspire me.  Sometimes a song will create a scene in my head or a character so when I'm doing something else I like to listen to those chosen songs to keep me thinking about the story.

4) The research
I like to keep my research nearby so I can keep going back to it in case I want to find out more or just wanting to double check sometimes.
My research for the NaNo project includes:
  • The Case of Mercy Brown
  • Bite: A Vampire Handbook by Kevin Jackson
  • Vampires by Nigel Suckling
  • The Giaour: A Fragment of a Turkish Tale by Lord Byron

These books, Mercy Brown's case, and Byron really helped me get an idea of what vampires were going to be like in the story.  The books on vampires are also really fascinating so if you're also a vampire fan I definitely recommend them!

Chocolate, snacks, coffees and maybe the odd lucozade if I've been good and avoiding the sugary drinks for a while.  Gotta keep the energy up! So I've stocked up on Terry's Chocolate Orange, Mr Kipling's Lemon Slices, marshmallows, and mochas.  Also bought fruit so I don't feel completely guilty for eating unhealthy snacks all the time.

Hair tied back and a long, winter cardigan
Now this one you might think is weird but my hair feels like it just gets in the way if it isn't tied up and out of my eyes.  The cardigan? I honestly don't have an explanation for that one.  Just it's cosy and makes me feel more of a writer.  I know, it's a tad bizarre but I never said I was normal to begin with. ;)

Word Count Widget
To track my progress as I go along and also keep me determined to reach the 50,000 target.

And those are my (slightly weird) writing essentials. :) Anyone else need certain things or a certain atmosphere to write in?

27 Oct 2011

Let's get started then...

After years of putting it off purely because I'm a coward with these things I've finally signed up to NaNo and I'm doing it this year. :)

I always used university as an excuse, saying I was going to be too busy with essay assignments or getting my reading lists finished etc.  In reality I was shit scared because I thought I couldn't do it and didn't want to look stupid by signing up and coming out with only 1000 words due to bad procrastination on my part.  But recently I've written a short story for an anthology my friend's parents are involved in so a few of us have written either one story or more for it.  Mine is finished, sent, and currently waiting on any edits or changes I should do but overall... it's going to be my first published work.  I know it's not a novel but it's still a big deal for me and it's something small to start out with. :)  Other people will have submitted stories so I'm not as nervous as I would be with a debut novel since it isn't just my story being focused on. 

It's definitely given me more motivation to get this NaNo project finished so I'll have my first completed draft and that's the goal really.  To finish something without letting the brutal editor inside of me insult and criticise it to the point where I give up on it because I'm convinced it's rubbish.  I do have a bad habit of doing that, unfortunately.  Maybe learn to have a little more faith in myself?