This year, I’ll be using a few choice writing books to act as a NaNoWriMo Guide System, one of these books will be Book In A Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt.
Now the BIAM system is 80000 words instead of 50000 words, however as I managed to write just over 50000 for last year’s NaNoWriMo, I think I can manage this. My first challenge was getting access to the worksheets, which was more difficult than I first anticipated, however most of them can be found here.
One of the Writing Exercises in BIAM was to answer a few questions with relation to the Novel Project the writer in question is about to embark upon, here are my responses:
Why do you want to write?
I think that deep down the majority of people who become writers are people who have a message to give the world and while I don’t expect anyone to read it or to receive a reply in return, I still want to send that message out into the world regardless.
Why do you have to write?
Well the honest answer is because I don’t think I’m good at anything else, I am not very talented at many things, Writing just happens to be one of things I’m willing to spend time improving upon.
How will your life be different after you finish this manuscript? What will change?
I don’t think my life will change in any kind of drastic way, but I will feel different about my life, by “finish” you mean written, edited and published right? Because that’s the definition I’m working with.
How will your life be different after you finish three manuscripts? (Will you feel like a “real” writer?)
I suppose I will feel more like a “real” writer, as in “Holy Shit-Balls! I can actually do this!”
How will you feel about yourself after you finish this manuscript? (Will you have more confidence?)
I suppose I’ll feel less like a failure and more like I’m actually practicing what I’m preaching
How will this feeling help you accomplish other things in life?
I’m not going to be naive and think, “If I can achieve my life-long dream of writing, editing and publishing a book, then I can do anything!” because I know that just won’t happen, but I hope the novel writing process will seem less intimidating afterwards
Write down a list of your main priorities so you will know where to draw the line when requests are made for your time:
~Writing my Novel
~Getting my driver’s licence
~While I know during November this might not be the best time, I’d like to try and catch up with friends more or at least try and be more social
Now that you know your priorities in life, write down a list of things that take up your time and are not on your priority list:
~Social Media – Blogging, Facebook and YouTube are my biggest sucks of time, however twitter is quite useful for Writing
~The Internet – Looking at stuff for faux-future-novel-research, especially cracked articles
Why don’t you want to finish this manuscript?
Umm… Did you perhaps mean “what might hold you back from finishing this novel?” because I can answer that one, fear of failure is a big obstacle for me, rejection is another because a part of me honestly wonders if I’m a good enough and, I’m not sure if this is the right term for it, but a lack of constructive criticism, I want readers to say they genuinely liked it because they liked it, not because they are just telling me what I want to hear or are afraid of hurting my feelings.
What will happen to you if you finish it?
Well I’ll have a finished manuscript
You would love to start this 30-day plan, however
Like any creative I have misgivings, I get easily distracted and I’m terribly insecure, but I’m going to do it anyway, because I firmly believe that a person’s value stems from the sum of their parts, flaws and facets, not the individual pieces.
If you became a great author
Umm… Well I suppose it depends on what your definition of a great author is. Me? I just want to set up my freelance business, write/edit/publish two-three novels a year, and teach creative writing, to me that would be greatness.
You can’t finish an entire manuscript in 30 days because
I suspect I’m terrible at time management, it’s area I’m hoping to improve upon
You can finish an entire manuscript in 30 days because
Because this is something I really want to do and the consequences of failure, looking like a phony hack, aren’t something I’m willing to deal with
If you did finish this manuscript, you would feel
Satisfied, happy and a little apprehensive, because as soon as you’ve finished the writing journey, the editing journey takes it’s place
Your writing benchmarks are
Action scenes, I’ve planned to have a few space-battles (if that’s the right term for it) and I’m looking forward to writing them, I’m also looking forward to the Character Arch my character Liliana is going to go through
What are you passionate about?
Many things, such as Reading, Writing, Tea, Nachos and Pokemon (just to name a few). You know come to think of it, nachos and Pokemon crop up in my Metamorphosis novel as bonding activities, I hadn’t realised that until now.
What gives you energy and motivates you?
Food and vast quantities of tea
What keeps showing up again and again in your stories or the stories you love to read?
Perseverance I suppose, unlikely heroes is another, how sometimes you may win the battle of the physical, but not the war of the minds (does that make sense? Oh well)
What is important to you creatively? Do you want to educate? Entertain? Scare?
I do want to educate, but I don’t want to preach, I want to point out shitty attitudes society has but holds in such high esteem, I also want to write about how it’s important to do the right thing, but people are seldom rewarded for it.
Do you have a personal cause or agenda that defines you? (Feminism?
Animal rescue? Global warming?)
I am a Feminist (*SHOCK/HORROR/GASP*) but I don’t define my whole personality around it.
What types of books do you enjoy?
Fantasy (Urban or Epic), I like Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance (when it’s done well and properly researched), but I will read stuff people I know have recommended to me, even if it doesn’t sound like my usual thing
What types of stories did you like as a child?
The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, The Far-Away Tree series, The Adventures of The Wishing Chair (and it’s terribly named sequel The Wishing Chair Again).
If you had to describe your work as a whole in a single line, what would that line be? (Heartfelt stories that make you cry? Smart, steamy romances? Hardcore heroes who risk everything?)
Dark and depressing Fantasy stories featuring snarky characters
How would you like your work to be remembered?
I suppose I would like to be remembered as a the dark feminist love-child of Terry Pratchett and JK Rowling (so, you know, no pressure), however that will probably never happen, but I would be willing to settle for the glamorous title of “That Aussie chick who writes dark fantasy”
Which genre is best for your writing style and interests?
Not sure, I love to read Fantasy but the majority of the stuff I write is Modern Suburbia type stuff, also Metamorphosis is Science Fiction, so work that one out.
Feminist Woman (and survivor of sexual assault) meets an Alien Robot (and his eccentric Robot Alien/Alien Shape-shifter family) and they have adventures in space(?) I don’t know, I’ll have to work on that one.