Archive | October, 2011

NaNo Prep: Pending Insanity Mode

29 Oct

So we’re now roughly 50 hours away from NaNoWriMo kickoff, so I’m  getting myself into epic preparing for insanity mode. This is something I do every year, because it’s always better to be prepared when facing a month of abandoning all other free time to write a novel or two like a crazy person.

How am I preparing? Here’s the list:

1. Get comics straightened out 

I’m not updating Thursday’s Child during the month of November. Seems like a weird hiatus, but it will allow me to concentrate totally and completely on noveling instead of having to split my attention between two major projects. To do this I have to get three comics scanned and coloured so I have an update for the 31st (Before November) and updates prepped and ready for December so I don’t have to worry about them in a month. Thus, after I finish this up and drop in on a friend’s party I’ll be spending my evening dicking around with photoshop. Good times.

2. Wordcount: the starting point

This year I’m a nano rebel; I started writing Necromancer two weeks early. Why? I was inspired, and it was fun, and I was going a little insane at work and needed something creative to do on my lunch break. Before the 1st I need to have a definitive separation in scenes/chapters between my pre-november writing and my november writing, so as to keep an accurate word count. Thus, tonight or tomorrow I’ll be finishing up a scene so I have a clear November 1st starting point.

3. Stocking up 

I have a few sustenance requirements for NaNo: pixy stix, cookies and whiskey. I’ll be picking up all three at some point in the next two days, and setting them up at my desk within easy reaching distance. As well as this I’ll be picking up microwaveable meals and easy to cook foods like ramen so dinner won’t be as much of a distraction.

4. Printing and organizing 

I want my outline next to me in print at all times so I don’t have to muck around with switching to different documents while writing. So I have to print that, and organize all of the other things in my little story binder I set up a few weeks ago. It has maps, character information, timelines, plotlines and various derpery relevant to the stories I’m working on in this universe. Hopefully we’ll have enough paper and ink to get the outlines printed into hard copies for easy perusal.

5. Warning the world 

So hey guys, starting November first at about midnight, I’m out of commission. Assume that I’m at my keyboard typing frantically with no regard for the outside world unless I come to you. If I come to you, ask me if I’ve gotten my wordcount for the day and if I say I haven’t, chase me back to my computer with a pitchfork and don’t let me pester you until I’m done for the day. I CAN be social, but if I get behind then that’s it folks. This will happen especially during weekends since my weekdays are also full of 8 to 9 hours of working like a slave at the day jorb, so if I say I can’t hang out until I’m done writing, it’s just the way it has to be. I promise that December 1st, after I sleep a lot, will be a good day to hang out.

6. Rewards

This year my rewards for hitting wordcount goals will be videogames. I’m currently working my way through Batman: Arkham Asylum, I have Skyrim coming to me on the 11th and I bought Alice: The Madness Returns a few days ago. My life will consist of work, writing and videogames, and thus my plan is that whenever I finish my writing for the day, i’ll plop myself down in front of the TV and game to my sad little heart’s content. Nerdery is a great motivator.

7. Soundtrack

See previous post. My soundtrack has been assembled and I have a good-to-go playlist for all my writing needs. As long as I have the internet of course. >.>

8. Location, Location, Locaation 

I can’t prep my home writing space until my house guest leaves on Monday, but I know I won’t be doing all my writing at home, since distractions are far more abundant there. I have at least three coffee shops near my place of work downtown that have been welcome noveling havens in past years on my list, and I’m looking into some restaurants and cafes that have a good food supply so I can write into the late hours if necessary. I also want to attend at least a couple of write-ins just to see my fellow writing buddies in the local space and wish them luck and happiness in their novel excursions.


So I’m going to prepare for going insane now. Tonight I have a halloween party to drop in on and a bunch of comics to draw, and I should probably get that writing done. So we’ll see how it all goes. Those of you also joining in the madness, I hope your preamble is less insane but just as fun as mine.


Inspired by Melody

25 Oct

Something you’ll learn about me quickly if you spend more than about an hour with me: I adore music. It’s more than that even: I can’t exist without music. It’s a function of my existence as natural and necessary as breathing in and out, and I end up in one hell of a mess if I don’t have a constant stream of tunes running from my iPod to my ears.

Logic therefore dictates that when it comes to writing, the music I choose becomes part of the story for me. I weave the words around the music, find myself inspired with the simplest melody. I’ve had entire novels, entire worlds come into being based around a single artist, a single album, a single song.

Don’t think I’m joking either. My webcomic, Thursday’s Child, is inspired primarily by the music of The Hold Steady. In college my friend and I worked on a story together based on the concepts in Korn’s album See You On the Other Side. The entirety of the second book of the Undertaker series I’m working on now materialized in my head while I was listening to Nine Inch Nails’ The Collector off of the With Teeth album.

Sometimes it inspires a moment. Other times it brings a character to life. My main character Ali was closed off and unwilling to so much as peep at me (not good for a book written in the 1st person) until I discovered the song Loves Me Not by t.A.T.u. Her brother Mark comes from the song Take a Bow by Muse. Sometimes a song inspires nothing or no one in particular but it speaks to me in some other way relevant to the story. In this way a lot of songs about zombies have crept into my playlists lately.

Thus, I decided I’d write out my current playlist for The Undertaker Chronicles. All of the songs should be easily hunted down via youtube/grooveshark/spotify/iTunes, and I use a combo of all four while writing. I will most likely add things during the course of the writing process, but this is where it is now:

1. Puscifer – ‘Tiny Monsters’
2. A Perfect Circle – ‘The Outsider’
3. A Perfect Circle – ‘Passive’
4. Puscifer – ‘Sour Grapes’
5. Zeromancer – ‘Doctor Online’
6. Rob Zombie – ‘Living Dead Girl’
7. Puscifer – ‘Conditions of My Parole’
8. Nine Inch Nails – ‘The Collector’
9. Marilyn Manson – ‘Tainted Love’
10. Nine Inch Nails – ‘Somewhat Damaged’
11. AFI – ‘Miseria Cantata: The Beginning’
12. Nine Inch Nails – ‘Deep’
13. Kamelot – ‘Ghost Opera’
14. Puscifer – ‘Toma’
15. Muse – ‘Take a Bow’
16. Nine Inch Nails – ‘The Perfect Drug’
17. Depeche Mode – ‘A Pain that I’m Used To’
18. Puscifer – ‘The Undertaker (Renholder Mix)
19. t.A.T.u. – ‘Loves Me Not’
20. Blaqk Audio – ‘Stiff Kittens’
21. Natalia Kills – ‘Zombie’
22. t.A.T.u. and Rammstein – ‘Odno I To Zhe’
23. AFI – ‘Medicate’


In defense of my lack of variety, Puscifer’s most recent album released last week and it buried itself in my brain.


What music do you listen to when you write, if any? Anything inspire an upcoming novel? Feel free to share in the comments.


NaNoWriMo: Preparation Meme

23 Oct

I found a couple of NaNo related memes on LJ last year, and instead of writing a long, rambly blog about what my plans and plots for 2011 are, I figure filling this little form out will be much more informative. I highly recommend it, fellow NaNoers. If you decide to post it somewhere, leave a link in the comments – I’d love to see what everyone else is working on this year 🙂


Working Title: The Undertaker Chronicles Book I: Necromancer / Book II: Collector
Genre: Urban fantasy horror
Projected Word Count: probably 80 to 100k for each book, but I’m only aiming for 100k for NaNo. I’ve already started writing Necromancer, and am about 3k in.

Have an outline? Yes. Collector still needs an outline, but it’s on my To-Do list before the 1st.
Scene-by-scene? Yes – I work better in scenes
Know how it starts? Yes for both – Necromancer has a scene under its belt, and I’ve known how Collector was going to start since I figured out the end of Necromancer.
Know how it ends? Yes, for both of them. Bearing in mind that Undertaker as a series has at least six books in proto-planning, the beginnings and ends of all the books are mostly formed.
Have your climax in order? Necromancer is sorted. I know some things about the climax of Collector, but I’m still figuring out the details.
Know your main characters yet? Yes. My main characters are the same for the entire series, and I’ve been getting to know them for the last few months.
Plan to draw on your own experiences? In a few places. My MC just finished her PHD and is at a loss for how to fit into the world, which I experienced (am still experiencing really) in my post-BA life.

Funny? I’d use the word witty rather than funny. My MC’s usual reaction to danger is very Buffy-esque: snark and destroy.
Serious? Yes – fantasy often involves Fate of the World at Stake, so there’ll be serious moments, especially as the series progresses. Collector is going to be MUCH more serious than Necromancer from what I have in mind.
Sad? In places, but not overarchingly so, at least that’s not what I have in mind at the moment.
Semi-Autobiographical? Nope. I am not a necromancer, or any other kind of magic user or reluctant hero.
Based on another story? Not really. I’ve toyed with a couple of short stories in the same setting. The setting is similar to the one used in my ’09 NaNo, but different enough for a complete new universe.

A paper journal? Yes. Several actually, full of near-intelligible freehand notes and ideas
Multicolored pens? Not for structural purposes, just because I have those at my desk at work and sometimes inspiration strikes on the clock
A computer? Yes – I keep my outlines and initial notes on computer, as I type faster than I write by a longshot.
Index cards? Nope
Bulleted lists? For plot outlines and character development
Plot Charts? I don’t know what that is…
Character Charts? Little ones, just to keep track of everyone.
Character formulas? I don’t know what that is, so no
Favorite writing resource?: I love the internet in general as a research tool. Other than that just having people to chatter with on the NaNo website when I’m in a funk is infinitely helpful, and not just in November. Half my twitter friends are NaNoers, and they’re always up for a writing chat.

A line you would like to use: “You have your head so far up your self-righteous knightly ass you can’t see that your family – hell, the entire world – is in danger, and it has nothing to do with me!” Also: “NecroMANCER. Necrophiles are completely different and a lot less icky, and even though the two aren’t mutually exclusive, the ick factor is extremely high.”
A scene you would like to include: Both books will likely involve scenes of arguments around the family dinner table. These are always amusing.
A concept you would like to explore: Finding a place to fit in when you live in a small town that judges you because of who you are. The problems with religious bigotry. Bisexual characters.
A cliché you would like to avoid: Anything deus-ex. General fantasy cliches. Nothing fancy. The thing about genre writing is not to avoid the cliche but to find a way to make it your own in such a way that it’s fresh and amusing.
A character you would like to use: I have lots of them planned out, but I definitely want to do more with my MC’s siblings. The bartender should be fun too.

Do you expect to be able to complete it? I expect to complete Necromancer for sure. Collector may take a little longer, but it’ll be started.
Do you intend to complete it? Of course. And write another couple of sequels to boot.
Would you ever try to publish it? That’s the overarching plan.
What do you expect to get out of this month of frantic writing? A proto-first draft or two to spend the first half of 2012 re-drafting and tweaking for publishing, a bunch of sleepless nights and fun times with writing buddies, and the joy of writing something new again.


A week and two days to NaNo. Definitely getting excited.



Updates, Novel-Writing and Nerdery

22 Oct

Another instance of blog neglect for me – a month and a half since my last post! D: .

I’d be more apologetic, but I’ll be honest with you reader-folk, work ate me. My job rocks, but every now and then a couple of hell weeks pop up and I get completely devoured. The last two weeks of September were deadline central, so I barely had the energy to get comics drawn, let alone blog. I even neglected my Minecraft playing, and that’s when you know things are going to hell in a handbasket.

I am still alive though, somehow, since that last week of deadline-chasing gave me the stress cold from hell, which turned into the sinus infection from hell because I’m an idiot and decided I was too busy to go to the doctor. I did finally make it, and I’m just finishing up a ten day cycle of antibiotics that have made me feel much, much less like death, which I am grateful for.

As well as working for the last one and a half months, I went on vacation briefly, as I detail at my other blog, since it was a very geeky vacation. I returned home with a bag 20 pounds heavier due to all the books I bought. Because that’s just how I roll.

So now it’s October. My birthday is in just over a week, and I turn 24. Not sure if I’m ready for that, but time stops for no one, so I plan on just accepting it and using the day as a good excuse to go out for sushi.

I’m still mostly a hermit. Last night we had a Rapture party, since apparently the world was supposed to end. We watched Red State and Dogma and ate soup. That’s about as social as I’ve been.

I’m also still drawing comics. My comic is still updating 3 times a week. It’s almost November, so I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo 2011. I admit though, I’ve gone for Novel Rebellion this year because I couldn’t wait a month to start the book, so I’m most likely going to be writing a series for the rest of the year. My book, Undertaker, has turned into a series of at least six titled The Undertaker Chronicles, and the first book, Necromancer, is in process. I expect to complete that book in November, and continue on to book two, Collector, after that first 70-80k. Did I mention I’m going for 100k this year? I’m tired of not getting shit done, and this seems like the time to do it. Thus, November will be a writing frenzy, and I’ll most likely be on here blogging about it, since I’m tired of not blogging. I miss it. It’s fun, I get to ramble about silliness and vent about my days. At least partially – this is a public blog, and my coworkers live on the internet, so don’t expect work stories. Things are getting better at the workplace though, so part of that is I won’t have much to complain about.

Expect a writing-related blog post later this weekend, a little less vague than this one. I want to use this blog for my NaNo progress this year. Geek-related posts will be over at Not Your Gamer Girlfriend. Wordcounts and story progress will be here.

So, and I’m holding myself to it now, more blogging for the rest of 2011. Hope you still stick around to read 🙂