NaNoWriMo 2015

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I am taking the plunge. But I will be cheating a bit– I need (let’s say) another 20K words for Blood Rain, and 30K for Downward Dog. So my NaNoWriMo experience won’t be focused on one project. I know it’s against the rule. I don’t care. Do you think I became a writer because I was interested in rules?! (And, yes, the edge of hysteria in the last sentence is part of the NaNoWriMo crazy that hits me every year).

The word count as of this moment (link opens a new tab)

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Basing Characters on People and Real Life

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Question: Do you base characters and situations on real people and real life? 

So far, no, I have not based any of my characters on real people and real life. I think even if I were to try to do so, eventually characters start to breathe on their own. That’s a pretty exciting part of the writing process. I feel like I’d be doing something wrong if I tried to reel a character back into whatever box I wanted them in. “Hey stop it, you’re based on my great aunt Matilda, and she would never do that!” If I let characters breathe on their own, it ends up better anyway. In the early versions of Blood Rain, for example, Dougherty was a homophobic jerk. As I got deeper into writing him and probed the layers of why he did police work, that started to change. Now he gets some of the coolest lines, and is an admirable bad ass. He’s a nice foil for Suzanne, who is often awkward and uncertain.

One thing to be really clear on– I never write “me”. People make the assumption that writers who work in first person POV have cast themselves in the starring role. It seems like that assumption gets made with some frequency regarding women writers especially. I’m not Suzanne. My issues and concerns are not hers. My early childhood wounds and adult-life vulnerabilities are not hers, either.

Situations in my writing take even less from real life, primarily because I write UF. Since we don’t actually live in a world where magic is real, vampires exist, people can communicate with the spirits of the dead, and so on, I end up having to make stuff up. I don’t mind, it is my job as a writer to make stuff up.

Anti-distraction software for writers

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Mac users (you weirdos!) have the option of Write Room, an alternative to MS Word that gets the computer out-of-the-way.  It creates a full screen environment that lets you focus on your writing. Dark Room is the Windows clone.

For very large projects, you might want to use Scrivener. Scrivener is bisexual (i.e. is compatible with both Mac and Windows environments).

If you don’t want to use software you have to download or install, you could also try the web-based app Writer. Writer claims that it is used by over half a million writers. All you have to do is create a free account and get writing. A ‘pro’ version (that costs money) is available.