Thursday, May 31, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in just a few hours and I have just barely finished the last proofing of my first novel. It's not even in publishing manuscript form, so I still have a bit more work to do on it. I will probably tweak it some more after I get rolling on my Camp NNWM book.

I am so tempted to change the ending of my book. I thought I had a brilliant ending until I proofed it last night. It wasn't as brilliant as I thought, so I changed it. I know there is a better ending out in the ether somewhere. I just have to find it and am waiting for the inspiration to come to me. I worked on the last edits all the way until 6am. The last paragraph stumped me and I could've yelled out in frustration if other people were not sleeping in the house. I knew it could be better, but I was just so tired by then that I came up with a satisfactory ending, but not that great in my opinion. It'll come to me soon. It has to.

As for Camp NNWM, my approach is different this time since I have no time to work out a decent outline. A couple of days ago I was going to write about genetically engineered people and a girl in a psychic gift shop, but then looked at my log of story ideas and found other stories I'd rather do.

So now I'm trying to narrow it down from 7 different ideas to one. I'm not sure what I'm in the mood to write about. Secret agents/spies? Vampires? Kids with supernatural abilities? Witches? Vampires? Stories revolving around the Nazi Bell? Revenge? Haunted dolls? Whatever it is, I have only a few hours to pick one, flesh it out, and outline. Wonderful.

It took me a month to outline my first book and that was a "simple" love story. I didn't follow the outline anyway, so I'm not putting too much worry on it this time, but the ending is the most crucial right now, I think. Without it I think I'll meander around going nowhere. We'll see how this book goes with or without an ending on the first day, IF I don't come up with one in the next few hours. It's all a learning process and I'm experimenting as I go along.

One tip I do in MS Word that I'd like to add that I'm not sure if other people do is to highlight the names of my characters in the entire manuscript. I just hit Ctrl + F, type in the name of a character, do a Find All in the document, then change the color and/or bold the text. It changes them all at one time. That way if I need to refer quickly to what that character was doing a few chapters back, I can spot them easily as I scroll back.

I also color the key descriptions in red so I know not to repeat the description somewhere else in the document. 

With each draft, I change the color of the text so I know where I left off.

MS Word does not go back to the end of the document where I left off. That is so annoying to have to scroll all the way down. What I do now is put an odd word at the end of the document or where I want to go back to, then do a search for that word when I open the document up again. I use a word I haven't used in my story. It takes a second or two to get to where I need to go and saves time.

I guess everyone has odd ways of working. Those are just a few of mine.

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