Sunday, October 31

PiBoIdMo 2010 & NaNoWriMo

Tonight at midnight my creative juices will be percolating... if I'm still awake by then.  Over the next month, I decided to add the Picture Book Idea Month to the mix.  I first heard about it last year over at InkyGirl and wished I had signed up then.  It was my first nano experience so I didn't want to overload my plate.

But this year is another story!  In fact, I hope to come up with an almost complete first draft to a novel, thirty picture book ideas and at least 2 short stories!  Are you doing both too?  What creative challenges are you signed up for this November?

Friday, October 29

NaNo Countdown & Links

October is almost over and the yearly writing challenge is so close I can feel my fingers itching to start my story.  I've been researching quite a bit and really loving my library lately but I wanted to share a few links to great nano posts and not open one book today.  I was really tempted too peek into the Dictionary of Napoleonic Wars by Stephen Pope but I resisted!

NaNo Posts
One site that I have been following for quite some time is Paperback Writer.  Every Wednesday she posted great resources to pump us all up for Nano.

Nathan Bransford has been doing NaNoWriMo Boot Camp.  I really like the idea of boot camp, especially one that won't make me sweat!

Yingle Yangle, a blog I found through the NaNoWriMo blogchain, has a series of posts preparing for nano.  Here is the most recent Countdown to NaNoWriMo Part 7: Why NaNoWriMo Naysayers Should Please Shut Up.  

StoryFix has some last minute NaNoWriMo tips and I found #3 on chapters and #4 story structure very helpful.

I've already linked to it everywhere but you need to head over and check out NaNoWriMo now if you haven't already.  Two days to go and while I'm anxiously waiting for my first AlphaSmart it is time for me to fill as many plot holes as I can.  Compared to last years "pantser" NaNo I'm extremely prepared but there is still so much I'd like to do before starting the book, like describing my main settings!  Now it is truly all about doing.  Oh and having fun.

Thursday, October 21

Regency Names

I've gone a bit mad.  I've been thinking and daydreaming about NaNoWriMo for months and really pulling a story together for about a month now.  Now 11 days away I'm trying to tidy up my loose ends, ignore gaping holes and give myself time to breath and remember that it is supposed to be fun even if it is a challenge.

I've really done far better in the name department this year.  Last year all my characters had ill-fitting names, if they were lucky to get one.  Even main characters were called NAME!  On my characters post from last year there are a few links to names.  I love the Regency Name Generator and the site has a few other generators that would can while away hours on.  But wait! If that doesn't sidetrack you here are a few more ways to help you name your dragons heroes and maids.

Read through The Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland by Debrett.  I read about it on a few different boards and looked through it filling a page or two of possible names.  Since these were real people in the same time period I deconstructed my names by doing mashups and in many cases using surnames for first names, which after seeing Henry, George, John and James realize that most regencies I've read use surnames.  After skimming the book for five 20 or so minutes I got back on track and scoured the Internet. 

Here are a few posts that you might want to check out too.
Historical Hussies:  Regency Names
Diane Gaston: What Is In a Name?*
Word Wenches has quite a few posts.
What's In a Name?  August 2010     April 2010     January 2007    
What's Not In a Name?  Post by Edith Layton back in 2008.

Don't forget one important thing
Keep track of names used.

Now I really need to get back to productive things, I'm building my hero's study in Sims3!

*After rereading this post I am going to get rid of one of my characters extra names.  My heroes father and an in-law will have less names which means now I can make more characters!

Wednesday, October 13

Regency Research: The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency & Victorian England

Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England from 1811-1901
The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency & Victorian England (from 1811-1901) by Kristine Hughes was the first of many Regency research books that I requested from the library.  Separated into three sections the 241 page book is full of tidbits that are useful to writers or others enthralled with these unique time periods.  It tries to give the reader an overview of what life was like; when gas lamps where first used to light London or what a middle-class family budget encompassed.

What I liked about the book
The introduction, appendix, and the end of each chapter are chock full of sources.  Not only does the appendix contain a bibliography that could keep me searching through books for ages but has a list of museums and societies.  It is now clear to me that I just need to plan a trip to England.

What I didn’t like so much
The book was an enjoyable read my only quibble is due to my own expectations.  I expected the book to have a clear division between the Regency and Victorian eras.  Since my story I am currently researching primarily takes place in 1815 I read a lot of interesting factoids that took place years after my story.  But like I said, that is just me!

Have you read this book?  What did you think?

Part of Regency Research Book series

Monday, October 11

Regency Research: Finding sources in unexpected places

Today I stopped by my grandparents for a quick visit and while I didn't get a chance to pick apart my grandfather, hobby historian that he is, I browsed through his shelves and found at least two books that I added to my wish list via the local library.

Apparently, I gushed like my teenage cousin would over a Hannah Montana movie and am still smiling over my unexpected finds.

ShipThe World Of Jack Aubrey Golden Age of Sail (Golden Age of Transportation)  

I haven't been able to crack them open yet, almost time for my nap before work, but am chomping at the bit to get started.  Don't overlook your family and friends as helpful sources to get you on your research path!
I'm finding instead of focusing on the social customs of a retiring country lady I keep getting drawn to the dirty and dangerous Royal Navy.  I've requested a few books on that subject but until then I think I might watch one of these movies also "purloined" from my grandfather.
Horatio Hornblower: Collector's Edition  Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition) 

*FTC disclosure:  All images are linked to Amazon of which I am an affiliate.

Sunday, October 10

I joined a Nano BlogHop

This is only my second attempt at a bloghop so we'll see how it goes!

Finally got a title for my Nano story!

Albeit a tentative one.  I wanted to put One Man's Duty but kept giggling, talk about maturity.  Instead I went with Sir Rycroft's Duty.  Okay, so I'm still chuckling.  This title is just my working one for a few reasons.  One of which is because I still haven't decided if Sir Rycroft will be his name.  What do you think of Sir Sebastian Rycroft for the second son of a so far unnamed lord (I was leaning towards an Earl but need to check my peerage information) who is an officer in the Royal Navy?

Here is a picture I took downtown Salem, Mass the other day and used it as my book cover over at Nanowrimo.  Excitement is building and I'm getting to know Sir Sebastian (who until a few hours ago was named MC) after I interviewed him.  Now I need to spend a bit more time getting to know FC whose age ranges from 12-22 throughout the story.

After November is through I'm planning on going through all my old stories and working on a few children series before I tackle anything of this magnitude again.

Currently reading:  1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose

Saturday, October 9

Signed up for Nanowrimo 2010

I started this blog over a year ago just for the national novel writing month and as you can see my posting since then has been less than spotty.

But I back ready for another attempt at the 50,000 goal. Will I make it? I'll be away for about a week on vacation and find it very unlikely that I'll get any writing done then but if I write 2,000 words a day plus a few 5,000 bonus days I'll make and surpass the goal.

I'm going down the historical fiction route again, yes it is a regency too. I've been researching quite a bit, it has been exciting to request books from all over the place and read biographies, history books and the like.  Last night I stumbled on some online books through google that are free to read. A big plus when you're writing something from so long ago.

Like last year I'll attempt to share what I learn on the way. Which means I'll need to update my getting started page.

Outlines     Characters     Research     Grammar

My handle on Nano is C.McKane
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