Thursday, October 22, 2009

Whoo hoo!

What can make 176 nine-year olds stand up and cheer? What makes them giddy with excitement? What on earth could get them to voluntarily write during LUNCH?

NaNoWriMo notebooks, of course!

These cute, small (3.5" x 5.5"), 200-page notebooks did it! ($1 each from It's absolutely amazing to have them come show you they've written another page of plot ideas or developed a great villain for the novel they haven't even begun writing!

Meanwhile, I've planned my MCs except for the name for my librarian...she's almost 50, miserable with her lot in life (which is part of the plot!), and anxiously awaiting the day after her 50th birthday when her dreams will come true (so long as the MC, Fortune, makes the right birthday wish). Any suggestions to a great name for this unlucky lady?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo Preparations

Today we began our "hype" for NaNoWriMo with our students. Each student has a little 200 page notebook (3"x5"...I do mean little!) for writing ideas, notes, character info, and their novel (if they choose not to type it.) The excitement was huge!

I have my own little notebook in my purse, decorated with smiley faces and several pages of notes. Poor Fortune Applewhite. She has a huge decision to make with the help of the ghost of Great Grandma Agnes, the local librarian, and her teacher/neighbor/mentor Mrs. Wagner. (Like most almost 13 year old girls, she's constantly at odds with her parents and her little brother) Her dilemma (which I can't write about until Nov. 1) makes me wonder if I would have been able to make the right decision at her age. Could I have doomed my family and myself (until the age of 50) to a life of unfulfilled dreams, poverty, bad luck, etc. (but good health) for the sake of an entire community? Or would I have ensured our good fortune by giving away good health and good fortune for neighbors, friends, and strangers? Tough question for my girl to answer on her 13th birthday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fortune's Gift

Last night was a productive night of planning and outlining for NaNoWriMo. I've played with five different titles, and decided to go with the original, Fortune's Gift. It's a play on the name of the MC (Fortune Appleton) and the theme of the novel about fortune vs. misfortune. I'm liking what I've done so far, and I wish I could go ahead with writing but I'm being good! I'll start the actual writing on Nov. 1 as we drive to a soccer game in Lumberton (2-1/2 hours each way!).

Tonight I'm going back to my promise to myself to work on Josiah's synopsis and cover letter.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Profile Pic

I decided to change the profile pic because, well, the old one was out-of-date. Now, we don't have a new puppy. This picture is to remind me that things that are cute and small can grow and become cute and BIG! Isn't that the way our writing works? We get a neat little idea for a story, and suddenly it's several chapters long with no end in sight to its growth until it's this really involved book! (Kinda like my dog!)

Character building

Using NaNoWriMo's lesson plans (with many modifications since we're in the library), we've began our character building, pre-writing. Do you know who your main characters are, I mean, REALLY know who they are? What do they do for fun? What annoys them the most? What one thing in the world would motivate them to do something he/she would never do on their own? It's a lot more involved than looks, age, and name.

The students really like the idea of creating the three types of characters since most have only dealt with main characters. They are beginning to see the importance of supporting characters (and needing to know just as much about them to make them believable). Of course, most were even more excited to spend time writing about their villian(s). It will be interesting to see which type of villian they choose: the bully, person in authority, or enemy to battle against.

For my NaNoWriMo, the main character is a "just-turned-13" girl (the story begins on her birthday) who must make a life-altering decision by sundown when she'll blow out her birthday candles. (And it's not her life alone that will be affected by her decision, but the lives of everyone living in the valley.) Her supporting characters include her family, an ancestor's spirit, and friends and neighbors in the community. The villian? Herself. (No, she doesn't have a split personality. She simply has an internal battle with her wants/needs/wishes versus her conscience.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


We've begun the prewriting activities at school for NaNoWriMo...right now we are thinking about characters. Imagine your favorite character: age, looks, location...easy, right? Now think about the things that character does for fun...what annoys him/her...favorite color, food, TV show, music...How would your character react to certain situations?

Our students are really getting into this project, which is great. Of course, they only have to write 2,000-5,000 words per their teacher's goal sheet. I have to write 50,000. In 30 days. On a new novel. I keep wondering, is it really cheating if I take the 5000 words in Troll Quest and I add 50,000 words to it? It's not like I'm THAT far into the novel! The idea of beginning yet another new project is rather daunting and slightly discouraging. Finding time to write is getting more difficult, and 30 days on yet another novel means 30 days of no writing on Amelia, the Trolls, or Josiah's synopsis.

Grrrrrr for starting Troll Quest a few months ago! Grrrrrr for not finishing Amelia so I'd have one less novel on my flash drive! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr in general just because I want to growl some more (and get my dogs to look at me really funnily!) :-)