Friday, August 28

Characters

When I first read Phyllis Whitney’s “Guide to Fiction Writing “ I really honed in on her tips for outlining and setting up a folder.  Both tips helped me immensely and I really like the idea spending extra time on character development.
Later, I got a better grasp on my characters when I took an online writing class from Writer’s Village.  I’m still a beginner and will be adding other online resources here for character development.  If you any favorite sites or books that you’ve found useful then don’t hesitate to share them here.

Hover over links to see where they’re from!

I found this page on Charlotte Dillon’s site chock-full of Character building resources.  Keep in mind that it doesn’t look like it’s been updated since 2000 so many of the links are broken.  What is there is worth the look.
Naming Your Characters
Ever get stumped on naming your main character or all those secondary ones?  I do.  I used to use a fictional character name book for idea.  Baby name books are good too.  Here are a few sites where you can get some great ideas. 
Behind the Name:  Gave myself giggles on this name generator; which has options for rappers, hillbillies, and transformers too. 
“Bubba-bob Chickenplanter” was the hillbilly name I got.  Needs a bit of work don’t you think!
The Name Generator:  A generator using US. Census.  I’m trying out the Google gadget right now but you can also use it on Facebook, your iPhone and more.
Regency Name Generator:  Really excited about this one.
Seventh Sanctum:  I have yet to try these name generators.  The fact that there are name makers for Taverns and Pirate Ships as well is interesting.
There are so many sites online that it’s easy to lose track of time.  In fact, I have to cut myself off now and go back to baby name books, otherwise I’ll be adding pirates to my story where they just wouldn’t fit!

Tuesday, August 25

Regency Romances: Why?

Photo Credit Obenson on FlickrLove ‘em?  Hate ‘em? 

Regency romances from the funny to melodramatic are one of the most prolific settings for historical romances.  Regencies come in all shapes and sizes; pirates, spies, country living, Russian royalty and the heady swirl of upper crust society are just a few examples of what you may encounter. 

Written during the time period they are named after and right up to today, some of the most drooled over heroes (Darcy, anyone) and memorable villains populate this genre.
I’ve been reading regencies for a long time but in the past year I’ve immersed myself in them.  Why?  They keep me awake, I find them amusing and I like them.  Reading has never had a sedative effect on me, this is a blessing and a curse.  Staying up until two or three AM in high school to finish a novel made staying awake at school more of a challenge.  You did it too though, right?  Tell me I wasn’t the only teenager who did that?  Did you ever bring a book to detention?  It made the time pass so quickly, ahh but I digress. 
Now that I work nights and my sleep pattern is sporadic at best I try to always have a book handy when I’m driving others on their errands.  Otherwise I am reminiscent of Rowan Atkinson (AKA Mr. Bean) in Rat Race and fall asleep in the strangest locations and positions.
Many times comedic elements are added to regencies, usually in the form of secondary characters which makes me giggle.  Other times I’m not quite sure if the story was supposed to be funny but when the characters are extremely dramatic or flamboyant I can’t but help to see the humor in it. 
I love the way the characters find love even in a rigid society.  Unique characters shine as danger, dancing and history swirling around their stories.  Plus, you have to the love the bantering.  A good regency has plenty of bantering.
What do you like or dislike about regency romances?
Do Share.
*Photo Credit: obenson on Flickr

Getting Started for NaNo 2009

Cross Apogee
Photo Credit: churl on Flickr

While I physically cannot begin to write my story until November 1st, there are many things I can do to get ready.
Rather than wing it, which is my natural inclination, I began browsing the forums at NaNoWriMo, read other blogs and their experiences and got quick ideas via twitter. 

I’m focusing on four areas to help my writing process.

Outlines
Characters
Research
Grammar

I’ll write about each topic and share tips & tricks I stumble across on this crazy challenge.  More than likely I’ll be asking more questions than answering!

Friday, August 21

How did you pick your story?

Need a story, need a plot...
Photo Credit: Old Shoe Woman on Flickr


Since this is my first year attempting National Novel month I’m very curious how others have gone about picking what story to write. 

If you are like me I have an idea box (okay maybe two) that has scraps of paper with story ideas, pictures or anything that strikes my writing fancy.  I also have notebooks full of stories (mostly unfinished) that have accumulated over the years.  Lately, I’ve gravitated towards picture books, sans the pictures but writing a 50,000 word picture book seems inconceivable to me.
I found an old quest-like fairy tale, but again doubt it’ll make 50,000 words so I continued sifting through all my ideas but couldn’t decide.

Have you randomly hit upon an idea for NaNoWriMo or has it been simmering in a tiny section of your brain?
In my case, I had dreams three nights in a row.  Each night showed a little bit of potential and after much brainstorming (i.e.. daydreaming) I found a way to interconnect all of them, yes I am a sucker for series and I settled on one to work on.  Did I mention they were all regency romances?

”Oh la sir” may pop into your mind as well as mine.  We can talk about my chosen genre later, right now I’m curious about you.

So what’s your idea for this year?  Still looking though your idea box?  Leave a comment below or send a tweet to @cmckane.

Next:  Regency Romances!  What’s so special about them?


Thursday, August 20

Meet the Dabbler

Get out the typewriter!Photo credit: Zen on Flickr
Hello! I'm C. This year I decided to test my sanity to the limit by signing up for NaNoWrimMo.
The Goal:
50,000 words in one month.

Conflicts:
Four college classes a week.
Four nights of work a week.
A disorganized mind and desk.

Pre-Nano:
Research my heart out.
Outline, Character sketches, and the like.
The Plan:
2,000 words a day.
Enjoy every second!
What can you expect in the coming months at Word Dabbler?
Since I am already playing catch up on my fictional character blog I'm only committing to posting here two days a week; Tuesday and Friday. That way I'll be able to spend more time on writing!

Just a warning to any who happen to stumble across my quest; I ramble, I rant and generally make no sense which I blame on lack of sleep.

What about after NaNoWriMo is over and sanity returns?
Naturally work on the mess that is my first draft of a novel!
In the NaNoWriMo off-season (sorry I just made myself giggle) I'll post reviews of book, mainly fiction (children's, fantasy & regencies) with a smattering of non-fiction.
Are you getting ready for the NaNoWriMo too?
Add your link to Twitter, your blog or profile on NaNoWriMo's website.

I'll be using @cmckane for writing updates but you can also find me @opinionatedant. My profile and this blog!

Check back soon or add the feed to your favorite reader.

Have you done the novel writing challenge before? What was your experience like? Any tips for new people (me) and seasoned challengers alike? Leave a comment below!

c

Next Post tomorrow: Picking my story. How did you pick yours?

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