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Posts Tagged ‘#NaNoWriMo

The Joys and Sorrows of NeuroMarketing

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My Will be Done—in Shops as it is in SpreadsheetsNeuroMarketing-2-20160705

If you wonder why the prolonged absence from posting, it’s because I’ve been trying to write and submit articles and short stories to various markets. Since last year’s NaNoWriMo, I’ve fallen into the great fun of writing stories.

I’m currently writing “The Joys and Sorrows of NeuroMarketing™” in less than 2000 words. I’ve also been writing to find out what happened to the neurosurgeon, the failed theologian and the copywriter in The Naked Copywriter. Sadly, a medical device marketer in that story has gone rogue to develop a neuromarketing app.

In case you wondered.

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Dumb Sketch: Kirk Livingston

Listen to Your Story

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What I Learned from NaNoWriMo 2015

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Just do this to write a novel.

How much different is writing from life?

In both we make decisions that carry us forward. Sometimes those choices work out well. Sometimes they drop us in a dead end. Mostly it is not clear where the choice leads, and so we carry on.

Writing 1667 words a day through November’s National Novel Writing Month forced me to look at every scene and imagine how it might move the story forward. Within the first few days, every scene, every action, nearly every word seemed full of, well, pivot. The story could turn 180 degrees—except the commitments my characters held worked time and again as a rudder, pulling their choices along a true direction.

Choice after choice makes the story. Along the way we interact with characters who enter the story because of our choices. And these characters bring with them yet more choices. Our commitments impact how we choose, drawing us like a lodestar consistently one way or another. But even those long-term commitments enter the choice-making machinery of writing and life.

Do you agree that writing and life move forward in a similar way? One difference is that with writing you get to go back and change the story.

You can’t do that with life.

Or can you?

Producing my story brought to mind Parker Palmer’s book Let Your Life Speak, a book I’ve recommended to many friends. Palmer’s advice gets at the nub of both writing and living: peering into the facts so far and taking a courageous view on where those facts could lead. Palmer realized, in looking back over his life, that a particular commitment had been leading him in ways that did not fit with what was happening and where he was meant to be.

In writing you lop off a sentence (or paragraph or chapter) to move the story forward. In life you make tough but wise choices that put you on a better trajectory.

 

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Dumb Sketch: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

December 1, 2015 at 8:55 am

And we’re back

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As a big old winner, mind you.

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Written by kirkistan

November 30, 2015 at 8:25 am

The Naked Copywriter (NaNoWriMo)

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I’ll be absent for a month or so.

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November is National Novel Writing Month. Last year I wrote the 50,000 word Fresh Water Fetish. This year’s 50,000 words are dedicated to story and explication around what it means to live a creative life. This may be a novel. It may be creative non-fiction. But in 30 days and 50,000 words I’ll have a better idea.

If, in my absence, you wonder what “conversation is an engine” might say about any particular topic, just type your term in the search bar. There are more than 1130 posts here–feel free to browse.

Alternatively: write your own novel for NaNoWriMo!

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Written by kirkistan

November 1, 2015 at 5:00 am

Fresh Water Fetish (#NaNoWriMo Winner)

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So. That’s what all that writing was about.

Fresh Water Fetish Synopsis

WaterCo, an ethically-challenged international water broker based in Duluth, Minnesota, anticipates the coming fresh-water wars. Water will soon be more valuable than oil. Pericles Paladin, the immigrant founder of WaterCo, has invented an app to track all fresh-water movement and ownership. WaterCo lawyers have been quietly purchasing land rights for fresh-water aquifers worldwide, with the intent of charging nations, governments and individuals for volumes of water used–no matter how small. The seeming suicide of a copywriter in Minneapolis unearths the evidence that topples the large-scale nefarious scheme.

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

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Written by kirkistan

November 30, 2014 at 5:37 pm

#NaNoWriMo Update: Twin Cities—15 Million+ Words in 15 days

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24449 are mine

Nobody claims their words are any good—just to be clear. It’s all quantity over quality—so take that, Mr. Internal Editor. Anyway, that is the whole point of National Novel Writing Month.

I will say an unexpected suicide started the whole thing and now I think I see resurrection on the horizon. Loyalty and romance have turned up, plush a flash of skin and a skinny guy unafraid to take two jelly-filled donuts even with everyone watching. My main character is a strong, passionate woman who can make a CEO bite his lower lip–oh, and she’s been dead for at least a week. Did I mention the oracle named Franklin Delano Sjogren? I’d like to get a coffee with this guy and ask him my most vexing questions. My hometown of Stoughton, Wisconsin took a hit sadly. City fathers will not be pleased.

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As always, I have no clue how (if?) this will all wrap up. But for now I’m rooting for a couple characters as I move toward 25000 before midnight. But I sense danger.

Does this count as working out loud?

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Image credit: National Novel Writing Month

Written by kirkistan

November 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Five days ago I killed someone. I had to.

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Lessons Learned: 9000 Words into NaNoWriMoStreetLamp-2-11062014

  1. She took her own life, which shocked me. Maybe it was the best thing to generate all sorts of electricity in the people around her. For instance, I’m learning Irvina was fierce, respected and disciplined. She was a steady, planful presence. She was empathetic, maybe because of her failed first marriage and potential underworld connections. And now my characters are starting to wonder: is she really dead?
  2. Dialogue makes stuff happen. It also uses a lot of words, which is perfect for keeping up with the 1667 word daily goal. As Tim and Philip talk, I’m seeing the fierce loyalty they have to each other, their business, and to the woman who (potentially? maybe?) died. I was surprised to find out that Philip was an entitled SOB, but still likable. Who knew?
  3. The way forward is already present. Even with only 9000 words on the page, potential story arcs are presenting themselves. I’m seeing the whole thing laid out, and it remains interesting.
  4. Someone stuck an oracle into a fold of my story. Franklin Delano Sjogren showed up as a calm, deep presence. Where did this guy come from? I really want to sit at his feet and learn from him. I sure hope he circles back into the narrative.

Most of my usual writing is essay: persuasive, informative, educational. My work writing for clients is generally marketing copy for ad agencies, the medical device industry and other industrial clients, along with thought pieces and book chapters.

So writing a story for National Novel Writing Month is a new thing for me. So far so fun—but I hope Irvina survived.

Where can I find 1000 words before midnight?

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Image credit: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

November 6, 2014 at 9:59 am

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