I Know Your Face!

The sign on the door read: Laundry Thief!  5’ 4”, brown hair, hiding under the stairs.  I know your face!

Um, okay.  The stairs leading to the basement of my apartment building, a.k.a the laundry room, are actually quite open and non-threatening.  Aside from knowing there are twenty-nine of them, I’m not too bothered by the climb.  The picture below is not the actual stairs, but it gives you a good idea of how a saw them.   See all the light?

safeStairs

 Thanks to that sign, written in brown marker, and taped to the inside of the main entry door, I now have to go to the laundromat.  

notSafe

The End – Pantsing NaNoWriMo 2016

NaNoWriMo is over for 2016 and I finished with 50k on the nose.  What I have for my 50k words is not at all what I had anticipated a rough draft to be.  Having not written more than 20k words on any subject in my life I found myself wandering in unproductive circles at the start.  The idea of going chapter by chapter had been my original intention but having never done it before, and working without any sort of outline my golden road didn’t exist.  Eventually I broke out the index cards, wrote out info about each character I wanted to include and began to slide them around my table like a puzzle, trying to assemble a time line and where everyone would be at each stage.  What eventually happened was, I simply created individual files for each character and wrote every scene I could think of for the story.  That worked better for me.  The only real problem that cropped up was being able to maintain a consistent word count as I went.  Some days I was working on three different files at a time, bouncing back and forth with ideas that I couldn’t let get away.

My finished draft is a mess of files that needs to be assembled into chapters.  I’m sure this is going to take a while and will, in the long run, increase my overall word count.  The scenes I wrote carry a good amount of emotional intention but to get what I really want from them will take a significant amount of rewriting.  I am not afraid!

I believe I will participate in NaNoWriMo again next year.  I really enjoyed myself with this project and have learned a lot about my own writing process.  A little bit of planning never hurt anyone but it seems to be something I’m not a fan of.  Flying by the seat of my pants is the only way to go.

Business as usual will commence next week.  Until then, Happy Holidays everyone!

A Mad Dash To The End

It is November 22, I still have 17k words to go and my mother is coming to visit on the 28th and will stay until the 30th.  I really need to hustle and get this finished, at least word-count-wise before that time.  Three days ago I was pecking out one word at a time, chewing my nails off and actively avoiding NaNoWriMo by playing countless games of Bejeweled Blitz while my mind struggled over plot issues and the fact that I had nothing scheduled for this blog.   I like to keep to a schedule as much as possible and when I am not able to do that I tend to get agitated and my thinking can break down.  I was definitely floundering.

My wife peers at my computer screen and asks how things are going?  She can see I’m playing Bejeweled.  I state my plot problems and the impending doom of my word count while I spin pretty, colored gems and try to get Blazing Speed going, and she says… “Why don’t you just write the ending?”

Why didn’t I think of that?

So here I am, tearing along again with a pot of coffee at hand and Bejeweled open on a tab in the back instead of the front.  My carefully thought out characters are dying one by one, the way I intended and I’m feeling like a vengeful God about it.  I have to admit, there are some twists I hadn’t actually meant to have but now that they are there I am rather impressed by them.  Hopefully the finished product will be as smooth as I want it to be.  Once I get to 50k, finished or not I will post a few more excerpts for everyone.

Cheers Wrimos and happy writing!

NaNoWriMo – Synopsis

Here’s the one thing that I keep getting asked for, a synopsis of the novel I’m working on for NaNoWriMo.  I started out listing this as Thriller/Suspense but have since changed it to Horror.  I have to say, this project is like no other that I’ve undertaken.  The month has barely started and I’m smashing keys like I have never done before.  Forced to be at my job during the official start of November I managed to tap out about about a thousand words on my phone throughout the night.  Thank you Google Docs. 🙂

Out of curiosity, what program do you write with?  I am seeing things in the NaNoWriMo forums that I didn’t know existed so my interest is piqued.  Is anyone writing with something specific and if so, why?  I use Office Libre and Google Docs.

And now, the synopsis.

Orphaned by a bus accident and being raised by his maternal grandmother Jeffrey has reached the age of five and is now required by law to participate in the annual North American Jack-o-lantern contest.  Having raised her own daughter to productive adulthood Caroline is certain she can do the same with her grandson but her heart really isn’t it.  

Neisha is thirteen already but, through a clerical error has been directed to enter a jack-o-lantern in this years contest.  Her mother, Nema, is racing the clock to try and get the error fixed before Devil’s Night arrives.

Samson has to file appropriate reports on the children he teaches in his first grade class.  The reports go directly to the JOC and play a part in the committee’s decisions about which jack-o-lanterns to officially smash each year.  Knowledge is definitely power but can he do what he knows he has to?  Can he file the report that may get a child’s pumpkin smashed?

Carl has no children of his own but he doesn’t let that stop him from participating in the contest in his own way.  According to the rules, if a jack-o-lantern is smashed the child it represents will be disposed.  It doesn’t matter if the JOC does the actual smashing or not.  Having lost his two older brothers to the JOC Carl knows there really are no exceptions.

With the JOC breathing down everyone’s neck for the next forty-five days tensions and motives run high for a cast of characters who all have their reasons for what they do.  Who’s pumpkin will still be smiling after midnight on October 31st?

 

New Things For A New Year

The Porch Stories turns 1 year old this month.  It took me a few months to get myself moving in the direction I had originally intended but I managed it.  Now it’s time to expand.  Along with my weekly short stories which that I post on Wednesdays I am adding Saturday Scene Day into the line up.  I know we all have those moments where a perfectly good scene flies into our mind but the rest of the story fails to follow.  I feel badly for these little orphans so I’m going to gather them here and hope I will eventually find a use for them.  Suggestions for their future are always welcome.

Also, I have added a Twitter account to my list of things to worry about.  If you wish to follow me please use the link on the left… is it on the left?  Yeah, there it is, right there on the left… the little orange bird.  Yup, that’s it.

I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo and I’m really nervous about that.  My chosen novel is actually based on my last post Smashing Pumpkins.  I wasn’t going to get officially involved this year but the Word Sprints sucked me in.  Having spotted a reference to them on Twitter my curiosity got the better of me and I jumped into the site with both feet.  I will be posting my progress along with excerpts as I go.  If anyone else is participating and would like to join me as a Buddy on the NaNoWriMo site feel free to look me up under the name Ian Nox.  My schedule is a bit off since I work my day job at night (3rd shift) but I would welcome the company.  Naturally this may effect my weekly blog schedule as far as the short stories go but I will do the best I can to keep things coming.

I wish you all a very productive month.  See you on the other side!