Saturday, October 27, 2012

Getting Ready! NaNoWriMo

Five days, counting today, until National Novel Writer's Month.  I have been stuffing myself with a variety of books to get into the mood.  Most recently I finished How Not to Write a Novel and found it to be an unexpectedly fantastic read that pretty much says it how it is.  Also, it talked about vanity publishing and e-publishing as a possible option but not the end goal for serious authors.  Another book that I'm still reading is Writing Horror by Edo Van Belkom.  I have found this to be very informative in looking at the physiological effects that books have on their readers and how different genres affect different areas of the body.  For instance, fantasy affects the heart (the feeling of wonder and awe, hopefulness and bedazzlement). Science fiction affects the mind and forces the reader to think (it's up to the author as to exactly what they should be thinking about).  But in Horror, it's the gut.  Interestingly, Erotica also attacks the gut which is why erotic horror and sex and violence tend to be so closely linked.  I find this concept very fascinating.

For this November, I would like to focus on what part of the body I am trying to affect.  However, just as in acting, you can't put the desired outcome before the process.  You can't say 'be evil' when portraying Lady Macbeth and call it good.  You can't say 'I want this to make my reader hotter than July' and expect it to happen.  When trying to 'be evil' you have to feel what she feels, justify her every emotion to yourself, and imagine the most trivial of physical attributes such as nervous sweating and the way your tummy feels when you are angry.  And so, when you set out to make your readers guts twist in anticipation, you have to start by analyzing what sorts of things actually cause arousal.  During NaNoWriMo I would like to work with the building blocks of horror and eroticism and, hopefully, at the end of the month I will have something that affects the human body in just the right way.

But then again, it is NaNoWriMo, and while I'm aiming at creating a deliciously erotic tale of terror, I will be happy to just 1) accomplish the word goal for the month, 2) work on only one or two projects during the month and actually generate some length, and 3) have a complete or near complete manuscript to work with at the end.  I think a good exercise (one that is mentioned in Van Belkom's book) is to take time and generate ten really interesting story ideas.  They can be as comprehensive or as vague as you want.  My addition to this exercise is to add ten story endings to the mix.  They don't have to relate to the beginnings in any way.  In fact, you can write a story completely based off the ending idea rather than the beginning one.  I think that having an ending in mind can be a real life-saver (or a total downer depending on the writer and their process).  During the next five days, I will be making a list of ideas both new and old as well as doing various primer exercises.  I intend to grab November by the horns.

Amanda LaFantasie (Skoora) © 2012


  1. I should be Nano-ing right now. >.> *whistles*

  2. I have started my NaNoWriMo project, and am amused by some of the crap I've come up with. I'll hate it all tomorrow.