Hot Patootie! Bless My NaNo!

Happy Halloween folks! To celebrate, have Meat Loaf singing Hot Patootie! Bless My Soul! from the classic musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show:

As well as being Halloween, we are just hours away from the start of National Novel Writing Month. You might have guessed from the amount of NaNoWriMo Prep posts I have rebloggd and you might have also guessed that I am planning to enter this year.

I have a story surrounding two characters who work in a hotel. In basic, one character is a witch, a trainee concierge at the hotel, who ends up having to go to Berkshire, South of London, for a family reunion which ends up turning into a big family argument (what do you mean that always happens anyway?!) and ends up revealing a very nasty side of the witch. My other character is a werewolf, a receptionist at the hotel, who ends up going undercover to investigate a crime, under the direction of his pack alpha. I have probably not sold the story too well but I am looking forward to writing it. As you can probably tell, one story is more thought out than the other but the witch has talked to me more than the werewolf. Once the month gets under way, that might change.

Whether I get to the magical 50k or not, I don’t know; it will just be nice to be able to write something that is purely for fun! Being in competition with other WriMo’s could help push my word count up since I can be very competitive. I know I can and I do try to harness all that energy and use it all up during NaNo. I will end up revealing more about my story no doubt as I attempt to actually keep up with NaNo updates on here this time instead of having to bundle a bunch of days together like I have done in the past in one update. Who knows? I might even pluck up the courage to get to a write in or two in my local area! (What are you laughing at? It could happen!)

So bonus points if you got the joke I tried making with my title without looking at the video. I hope you are having fun and staying safe this Halloween, getting ready for NaNoWriMo in your own way if you are doing this session (don’t forget! Discounted Halloween sweets tomorrow!) and, because I am such a geek, have a levitating pumpkin from the Royal Institution!:

#NaNoPrep 11: Seek Your Leader

Creativity In The Box

NaNo Me Who’s got two thumbs and an ML’s halo? This girl!

But, you may be asking, what is an ML? Have you wandered off into code again? Yes, yes I have. I am very tired, please bear with me, it’s nearly November.

National Novel Writing Month wouldn’t run without the dedicated support of a band of volunteers all over the world. Every year the Municipal Liaisons are there, reachable by forum, NaNoMail and email, organising write-ins and other community events, and generally steering their bedraggled ducklings through to 50,000 words. Now, if you haven’t done it, is a really good time to go and find your ML.

On the main site you’ll find a tab called My Region. If you’ve already set your home region you’ll go straight there, and if you haven’t you’ll be prompted to do so. Now you can see your local forum, where (I hope) you’ll find…

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#NaNoPrep 10: Keep the Wheels of Noveling Turning

If you are able to support NaNoWriMo, even just via GoodSearch, go for it!

Creativity In The Box

NaNoWriMo has brought me an incredible amount of joy over the years, and I hope that anyone reading this is about to embark on that journey or is already as fond of it as I am. My friends all do NaNo, and it’s the one time of year when I really allow myself to sit down and write for the sheer love of it. Some days it can seem like a chore, and then I remember that it’s NaNoWriMo and whatever I want to do can go in this novel. When the rainbow space hamsters make sense, you know it’s November.

I really do hope that you’re going to enjoy this coming month as much as I will. But there’s one organisation that makes it all possible, makes sure that there’s someone nearby organising events for you to go to, keeping the website up and running so you can share…

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#NaNoPrep 9: Warn your family

Or better yet, rope them in! Granted, there are only a couple of days before November starts…

Creativity In The Box

Yesterday’s advice was to get outside and get some fresh air, today’s is to spend some time with those you love most. If you’re going to need every second to get your words out, they might feel left out. Now is a good time to warn them of the madness on which you are about to embark, and to make sure you do actually get to see them over the next month. You want their support and encouragement, not their nagging. If you can, negotiate your way through the month in advance. Maybe Wednesday and Sunday are family days, when you don’t get to write but do get to see their lovely faces. Or maybe you’re going to write after dinner, and get the rest of the day with them, or get up early and have the house to yourself without someone asking strange questions.

Now is the best time…

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#NaNoPrep 8: Enjoy the fresh air whilst you can

Also see your loved ones!

Creativity In The Box

NaNoWriMo is coming! Hide! No, wait, the other thing.

If I were on track, this would have been several days ago, and you would have an extra two days to follow my advice. Instead, I’ve been following my advice. In the northern hemisphere the nights are drawing in, the clocks are changing, the leaves are dropping, and the weather is turning towards winter. There’s a bite in the air, although not much of one in England at the moment, and everything smells of autumn.

Now is a good time to get out and enjoy it. If the weather allows, go and sit in your city centre and watch the birds feeding up for winter, the early Christmas shoppers and the confused first years settling into university. Take a tea or coffee to keep you warm and a notebook to keep your notes, because town is full of inspiration. If you’re…

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#NaNoPrep 7: Plan Your Assault

Some planning advice ahead of NaNoWriMo starting this Saturday.

Creativity In The Box

Step 1: Do not go away for a week on the 24th of October.

But if you do, it’s not the end of the world. You just need to make sure you find a little bit of space to, for instance, write your blog posts on preparing for NaNo.

Now, there are two ways to do NaNo, which are Planning and Pantsing The official blog explains it so much better than I can, but basically a planner plans and a pantser doesn’t. The only way to get through the month is to do what works for you. If you’re a pantser, you can stop reading at this point and come back for the next blog entry.

I can’t pants it. I have tried in the past, and I lose steam in the middle of the month. The words stop, because I don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. If…

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#NaNoPrep 6: Meet Your Nemesis

More NaNo Prep help!

Creativity In The Box

Stories are made of two things:
The things that get in their way.

A good antagonist is both. Sometimes the conflict comes from the situation or the setting, but most of the time it’s a person. Some of the greatest characters of all time have been the antagonists – think of the Joker, the Master and Loki for some recent examples. The best antagonists are at least a little sympathetic. They’re not doing what they’re doing because they’re evil and it drives the plot forwards, they are driving the plot forwards because what they want conflicts with what the protagonist wants.

Admittedly, the Master and Loki want to rule the world, which conflicts with what all the other characters want, and there is a showdown I want to see.

Ideally, you should know your antagonist as well as you know your protagonist. You should be able to flip the…

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