Liz's Looming Lunacy

An author trying to find her place in the world.

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Location: Bayport, New York, United States

Swain's world (The Cosmic Unicorn #1); A Day in the Life (Alternate Hilarities #3); The Lawnmower that Ate Manhattan (NIEKAS, I forget the issue); Spring Cleaning (Sound Waves); Shadow Play (The Parasitorium II: Parasitic Sands, 2007); Crow's Feat (Free Fall (February, 2007) Oh, and Obligatory Holly Lisle Affiliate Link for writing workshops and stuff.


[NaNoWriMo] 33 Days & Counting

I moved my countdown to NaNoWriMoNatter: But, for the last one here:

The demonic paradox of writing: when you put something down that happened, people often don't believe it; whereas, you can make up anything, and people assume it must have happened to you.
- Andrew Holleran


[NaNoWriMo] 34 Days & Counting

NOVEL, n. A short story padded.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)
American satirist, journalist, and short-story writer The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

~ * ~

We're getting there: and in a few minutes I'm going to write today's installment of my pre-NaNo. I actually have a reasonable idea for today's writing, I merely hope that I can achieve and maintain momentum.


[NaNoWriMo] 35 Days & Counting

I heard Sinclair Lewis say to his son, "Don't write what you know-you'll run out of material!" It always fascinated me.
- Fay Wray

Trying to keep up with some things and catch up with others, during the days preceding NaNoWriMo, is going to be the death of me; especially with people who want to argue the possibility of detectives in Harry Potter. I'm going to concentrate more on my pre-story, and try to deal with things as they come up, because they will inevitably come up in the NaNo itself, and the minimum of 1,776 words per day (though I'll aim for more, since I plan for two free days per week--I inevitably need them) won't leave much time to gather these details; if I do it now, that leaves more free time for writing. Not revising, though, that only comes after the month's done.


[NaNoWriMo] 36 Days & Counting

"I am a pretty good writer, and a pretty good editor, and a pretty good businessman.
But I find it difficult to be all three at once."
- Ford Madox Ford



[NaNoWriMo] 38 Days & Counting

I am not awake. Thank you. (I've written noe paragraph of my preemie, offline, and on lined paper. I'll see if I get any more done tongiht, I've been trying to post it, as written, to Works in Progress.)


[NaNoWriMo] 40 Days & Counting

By the calendar I linked, it's 40 days to NaNo. I was off by one day.


The turning point in the whole cycle of growing is the emergence of a focus or a theme.
It is also the most mysterious and difficult kind of cognitive event to analyze.
It is the moment when what was chaos is now seen as having a center of gravity.
There is a shape where a moment ago there was none.
- Peter Elbow, Writing Without Teachers


NaNoWriMo Countdown: 41

According to the counter that I downloaded, it is now 41 days to National Novel Writing Month.

Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved to write a book.

Edward Gibbon (1737 -1794) English historian


NaNoWriMo: 42 Days and Counting

Hypergraphia, the inability to stop writing.

I can think of a few NaNoers who wish they had this type of affliction. ^_^

Ar, it be talk like a pirate day, me 'earties. Avast, ye parrots. Hoist the crackers, we be chompin' off.


43 Days and Counting

43 Days and Counting

Words are, of course, the most potential drug used by mankind.
- Rudyard Kipling

I am catching up on mundane matters before November. It's taking a bit of self-encouragement; but procrastination never wrote a bestseller. ;-)

Possible things to do, while preparing for November:

          Pre-cook things like stews and soups, and freeze them. This can also be done with pre-prepared meals, so that you don't have to resort to things like TV dinners. ;-)
          Stock up on snacks/brain food. When you're on a roll, you're not on a bagel. (Sorry: I can't resist a bad pun, or even a good one.) Same goes for beverages--or make sure you have enough coffee/tea to last for a bit. Basically, it's like stocking up for a fall-out shelter, only this time it's for NaNoWriMo, rather than radiation levels (I know: to some folks, there's little difference, lol).
          Carpool arrangements for getting your child to school.
          Don't worry about hiring anyone to walk your dog or cat, or ferret, or aardvark: getting away for a walk might actually help you write, when you're stuck on something; it gives you a chance to mull events over, at least subconsciously.
          Above all, have fun with what you're writing. By this, I mean, torture your characters to tell a story. Wait, that didn't sound right... lol. Character conflcit is rather important to tell a good tale, though; give your character things, obstacles, to overcome. Sometimes, thinking about these can actually be fun, and can be gratifying when your character does finally win out, in the end.



Before I continue my pre-NaNo Pre-Story, I need to do a bit of thinking; because the next big scene is dinner, and then, the post-dinner scene with Alexandra. I have a few ideas, especially since this looks like it will lead to some conflict/argument. I'm glad to play around with it, though; it's actually fodder for future books in the series.


46 Days and Counting

One of life's quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself and watch yourself softly becoming the author of something beautiful, even if it is only falling ash.
- Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It


47 Days until National Novel Writing Month

"Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with,
it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes
a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it
becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just
as you are about to be reconciled to your
servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him
to the public."

- Sir Winston Churchill


Works in Progress

I finished catching up with my GMail and my prominent journals, not to mention the moderation of my Yahoo groups. Now, I plan to have a cup of coffee, and then I'll try to do somethin today for my pre-NaNo pre-story (getting me from there to the start of my planned NaNo). Hopefully, I will manage to write more than 6 paragraphs today. I hope I can find some Tylenol TM, too--I've had this headache since yesterday.


What I did wrong last year? I let the plot grow backwards while I was trying to write it forwards, because a few things needed extrapolation for them to make sense. I put that one on the back burner for this year, and I'm going for a story that I already have pretty well plotted out (having had, like, 13 years to think about it, lol: last year's was older, but I hadn't put quite so much into it as I'd had the other, which i gave a break for NaNo '04, where I worked on a story in the same universe as the one I did for last year, and I won NaNo, but still haven't finished the story). At least this year's has finished growing backwards (a prequel is in the plotting stages, but I'm not writing it until this series is finished), I know exactly where the events begin, and I am posting a pre-NaNo pre-story to one of my blogs which will help me get from point a to point b (where the word first comes to where my story actually begins).

Sometimes, though, I wish Blogger had a spell check. *sigh* Since it's refusing my email and I have to post on site (and I noted that one post finally got there, but it's a redundancy *sigh*).


50 Days and Counting

It's only been three days since I started my pre-NaNo writing (the events leading uop to the point at which my novel will begin on 01 November 2006). I'm not posting the NaNo on-line, but the pre-story, I'm posting to my WIP blog. Still, that's three day's worth of writing, even if I'm not in the middle of the pre-story yet.

Now, all I need is a good night's sleep. *sigh*


The Novel Outline

Story Outline
Sample Story Outline (for general tips. It's for a shorter work, but it's one example of a basic outline.)

The elements of fiction from the Fiction Writing page of Wikipedia has some tips on forms of outlining. I haven't seen all of them used for any given outline, but I have seen some parts recommended, like plot, for outlining. Heck, outlining is plotting, essentially, so... ;-)

How to Write A Short Story By Paul Saevig He mentions in passing at the end of the article that much the same method is useful for writing novels.

The Synopses  A synopsis is the bare bones of a story, an outline at its most essential, sans subplots and side stories. These are some examples of bare-bones synopses.

How To Create a One-Page book or Screenplay Outline by MaxiiJ
 This seems to be a concise method, which incorporates some of the other methods of outlining that I've read, over the years.

Effectively Outlining Your Plot by Lee Masterson is an excellent resource.

Synopsis Vs. Outline by Vicki Hinze is an excellent guide and supplement to the task at hand.

Using Index Cards to Plot A Novel
by Marilynn Byerly talks about the method of using index cards as a tool to help you outline scenes for your novel; the theory being that an index card is the proper size for outlining so that you don't write, say, a 10k-word scene summary. ;-)

Finally, Building Novel Templates by Rob Parnelli seems as if it would be particularly useful for outlining.


I think that the novel template and the index cards would be the most useful; what do you  think? With the other links for use as supplemental material when we need additional help with outlining?

Elizabeth Anne Ensley

Mustard's no good without roast beef.
  - Chico Marx