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Posts Tagged ‘National Novel Writing Month

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

#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

Making It Up Daily: 1667 Words at a Time

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Do You NaNoWriMo?

It’s funny that those stories we’ve lived in since childhood were written by someone. Made up, one word at a time.

Books. Movies. Plays.

All made up.

By someone.

Writing.

Game of Thrones. Lord of the Rings. The Great Gatsby. Even Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man. All made up. Maybe they carried pieces of older stories, but someone composed them. We know the names of the authors.

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At some point in life I realized these very complete little worlds that seemed so alive were actually fiction. Funny that something made up could prove so real for so long. So concrete. But I had to pull back the curtain to realize this.

At some point—a bit later—I realized there was actually quite a lot made up: much of human interaction is made up (we call it “culture”). Oh sure, it presents as concrete reality, but behind the scenes people were literally making things up every day.

Business is a great example. Walk into a brick and mortar superstore and it seems like it’s been there forever. But we know they huge multi-million dollar inventories come and go. Same with banks. Same with restaurants—especially restaurants. Even the big institutions that are the pillars of our communities are making it up as they go. Sure, the rules of the game are there and seem to be unchanging as if handed down on stone tablets. But nothing is certain about business.

If you’ve ever been in a start-up company you’ll know that making it up as you go is expected. We need more folks willing to leap into the void of making it up. I believe making it up on paper translates to words which translates to action.

National Novel Writing Month is upon us again. And I’m joining in. It’s likely this blog will suffer inattention. But the challenge of creating a story from nothing (or more likely, from the disjointed and broken story-bits laying about in my mind and yours) is too great to resist.

National Novel Writing Month is a relatively painless way to try to produce a coherent story. Or, if not coherent, than at least something that has 50,000 words.

Where are you exercising your make-it-up muscle these days?

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Image credit: Alli Livingston. Photo: Kirk Livingston

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