saifai: (Purple Me (saifai))
Tis the season for NaNoWriMo. I've been doing it for years now, and I always enjoy it. Part of the reason is because it gives me a reason to write. Not that I don't already have ideas, but I tend to work best under pressure. I always was one of those people that waited until 3am to do my homework, or study for a test. I once prepared a presentation on Abraham Lincoln (complete with costume and poster board visual aid) in 24 hours in my final year of grade school. Got an awesome grade for that. The same process didn't work so well for my senior project, but that's another story.

NaNoWriMo is also a chance to expand my skills as a writer. I've never been a good student when it comes to English. All the rules and regulations make my head spin. I've always been a bit believer in if it sounds good, I'm okay with it. However, as a writer you look at things very differently. Especially when it comes to your characters.

I heard recently a tip given to someone if they're suffering from writer's block, that to work through it you can try writing a letter to your character to ask what they want to do. They'll usually surprise you. I've done variations on that before. I've written biographies for my characters, and that usually serves as a wonderful guide for me to experience my character from the inside out. It's always been my experience that if you truly know your character, they'll write the story for you.

It sounds weird if you've never experienced it. It gets even weirder if you're hearing the voice of your characters too. Some will have dreams where their characters nag them about differing plot points. I've been driven to write an entire email to a business client once in the voice of my character just because the character had something in my mind that I'd been ignoring.

I suppose that leads me to my next point. I almost always outline my story in some way. How I do that really depends on the story itself. One story I knew the background of my main character, and knew the end outcome of a secondary character. Once I put the two together it wrote itself. It required a hell of a lot of research to build that initial character. But another time I did the same background research, built an extensive outline of where I wanted the character to go, and then had my character hijack the story and take it in a different direction entirely. Never be afraid to just let go and see where it takes you.

I'm always learning, and always writing. I enjoy seeing different ways of doing things. The story I'm doing now is taking a far more traditional approach to the plot in how its structured. The characters are writing themselves to a point, but it's within the guidelines I've set for them.

As I said, it just depends on the story for me.

So how do you do it? Do your methods differ depending on the character or story line? Do you do it the same every time? Or does it just depend on the inspiration that's driven the story you're writing? I'm curious to know how others see the writing process when it comes to building your characters.
saifai: (Monday Again (secondverse))
I've been managing to keep up with my word count on NaNoWriMo, though only just. There are some days I don't write at all, but then do major sprints on another day. Not the best way to do it, but I've got a cold. I figure I'm allowed.

I've also been having issues with my hemiplegic migraines. Just the other night I had an attack. I hadn't realized at first what was happening. I had come across a word I wanted to use, but couldn't remember how to spell it. Brain fart, I thought at first. But then I knew what word I wanted to use, but couldn't quite figure out how to say it or spell it. I thought to ask my Mom, but then couldn't get the word out. All I could recall is that it started with a C. But I couldn't say the word. I really couldn't. The knowledge just wasn't there. In the end it took me a full 5 minutes to come up with the word "Compensate". O.o

Other than that, I've been sick since Sunday. Started out with the scratchy throat, and now I'm up to headaches and sniffly nose. I think I'm actually getting better, but my head is still killing me. My poor Mom got sick now too, though I don't think she minds much. She'd been planning a trip to a nearby town a couple hours away to do a big meeting for a project she's part of. She really didn't want to go. She kept bemoaning the fact she hadn't got sick yet for days now. LoL. Luckily for her, she woke up feeling awful today. Sore throat, temperature, and all. I think she'll be regretting that by tomorrow though. Be careful what you wish for.

Now, I'm off to get a few words caught up before I set off to have breakfast. With any luck I can pump out a few thousand words. We shall see.

Hope you all had a great weekend, and that your week will go swimmingly. :)
saifai: (BtVS - Spike Tainted (saifai))
I always love Fridays, even if it is a bad migraine day.

I went to breakfast with my mom at the Cracker Barrel. I love that restaurant. They've got this awesome breakfast with a yogurt, fruit, and granola parfait. Yummy! I always end up browsing around the store when I'm done too. They've got the most awesome things there and there's something new every time I go in. My current favorites are the crocheted scarves and cardigans

Actually, breakfast was a good time though. We ended up eating with three of mom's work friends. One is close to my age, the others are older. They're all lots of fun though. I don't get out much these days, so any chance to socialize is a good thing.

We got our grocery shopping done. I'm rather surprised I manged it with a migraine, but it was one of those that was very painful but I'm still mobile. There are degrees of pain when it comes to chronic conditions like that. I'm quite sure even a few years ago something like this would have knocked me on my butt. Such is life though.

I've got one more grocery trip to do tomorrow, though I'm not up to it today. There are some things you just can't get where I usually go, so I always end up going to at least two stores. I can get it all in one place if I wanted to pay 35% higher prices. My budget really can't take it these days. I don't mind though.

Later tonight we're having our pizza and a movie night. Just a rising crust frozen pizza, but it's one of my favorites. I'm not sure what we'll watch. Maybe Maleficent. I've got it on video and just haven't got around to watching it.

Nanowrimo is doing well. I'm staying over my daily word minimum at least, which is good. My migraines haven't been treating me very well, so it's about all I can manage. I'm happy to be getting even that done though, so I'm not complaining.

Hope you all have a great weekend yourselves!
saifai: (SeverusWriting (swanboat_icons))
Summer has completely passed me by. That's not entirely unusual, but I seemed to have a few more migraine issues this year than in the past. My fall has been a bit better. I'm writing more. I've been doing more around the house. I've gotten a few fall cleaning type projects done. I have a few more things I want to do before winter sets in though, so on the drier days I've got plans for some of those projects.

Anyone doing National Novel Writing Month? My NaNoWriMo this year is going fairly well. I'm already at 13,000 words. Not bad for four days work, I'd say. In the twelve years I've done it, this is the best start I've ever had. My first day I wrote over half of that total.

I've been reading a ton, but not been watching as much as I usually do. I've got caught up with another British mystery, this time "Rosemary & Thyme". Two older women, one recently divorced, start up a landscaping business. Of course, they're nosy as all get out and usually end up solving some crime or another. They're a hoot. They remind me quite a bit of Miss Marple, actually.

It's officially cold where I am now too. I'm set to go to the store tomorrow and fully plan on picking up some things for beef stew and hot chocolate. I'll probably make a pie too. I can serve it warm!

Hope all is going well where y'all are.
saifai: (SeverusWriting (swanboat_icons))
As I'm slowly getting back into the writing groove, I'm finding that my writing style has changed. It's really odd though, in that it's not just my writing style but my ideas.

I look back to my older stories and wonder how much different if I change things here and there. So is it a natural evolution of my writing style, or does the way you plot out a story change as you get older? I can't quite decide.

Either way I'm enjoying the changes. I've got lots of ideas for all my stories, not just the one or two. I've been able to push past the writer's block on every story I've ever got stuck on. It's a bit overwhelming, and brings to mind something an I heard an author say once (can't for the life of me remember who): There's no such thing a writer's block, as it's just something you do every day. That's a concept I've never understood, as many of my ideas come from my dreams. I dream in bits and never really form a complete thought on what the full story was supposed to be.

It's hard to explain even to myself, but I seem to be looking from a more objective point of view. It's always been hard for me to take a step back from my stories to look at the overall picture. But these days I'm finding it far easier to see it from a reader's point of view and ask, "What am I missing here?"

Part of the problem might be that I never really had any formal training other than cursory English classes in college, and being forced to write term papers. But part of the solution for that has been reading more. I really love reading, and I find myself gravitating more towards authors whose writing style I admire. That in itself is almost enough to give my ideas for my own stories in how to approach various plots that have in the past completely stumped me.

I don't know. What are your thoughts?
saifai: (Monday Again (secondverse))
I've had an intractable migraine since Sunday. This basically means it doesn't respond to many forms of pain medications. I was actually getting better until late Tuesday when I developed a cold. It rather compounds the issue, and has left me with oodles of time to reflect on all the ways I can be bored.

Boredom
I don't think I realize just how much energy I have, and just how much I love to be moving, until I'm restricted from doing so. That housework I've been putting off? Would love to do it right now. Weeding the flower beds, and transplanting various plants I've been procrastinating about? I'd be right on it about now if i could. Funny thing is I'm quite certain when I'm feeling better I'll find new ways to procrastinate about those very same things again.

Reading
I've been reading an incredible amount. I've wittled down my list of books to read down to nothing. I've started in on mass amounts of fan fiction to make up the gap. Can't say I'll run out of reading material any time soon as I've got shelves of books that are just waiting to be read, but still. There should be limits, shouldn't there?

Writing
I got a bit tired of reading now and again, or more accurately it inspired me to write my own stories. I've got plots and outlines for various books and fan fictions. I've been working on expanding on those, and transcribing some of the notes I've got laying around into a more formal format. No word yet on how far I get before any of that ever sees the light of day, but at least I'm getting around to it.

Netflix
Surprisingly I've not watched much of this, though I have watched plenty of Youtube. I've spent entirely too much time reading. I've added several new things to my queue though, and as my fever spikes again I'm sure it'll be my new entertainment.

And in conclusion...
On a side note to alll this, I think this is the longest I've ever been laid up in bed before. But then again I've never really had compounded medical issues hit me all at once before either. Hopefully I'll come out of this by next week ready to give the books a rest so I can finally rediscover that bright shiny orange globe outside, and maybe get some gardening done.
saifai: (Jon Stewart Eyebrow (fortunateizzi))
I woke up with this thought actually. One of my weird dreams you know, but it inevitably lead to a rabid plot bunny.

All the people that work for the PtB, such as the Whistler the Balance demon, are just that: demons (or as in the case with Slayers, humans hyped up with demonic powers).

Food for thought no? What type of higher power uses demons as messengers? Not one of the light side me thinks. I'd wager the only reason they're even around is to keep control over the denizens in their small world of influence.

Which of course lead to idly pondering how that would tie in to Supernatural. The Winchesters fight things that go bump in the night, battling the demons they come across (among other things).

Now that the Hellmouth has been effectively shut down and no longer of influence, you'd think they'd send another demonic "Champion" to take care of things for them.

Who might that be? It can't be the Winchesters, well at least as far as Dean's concerned as he doesn't fit the bill. He's not demonic or hyped up on demon juice.

Sam is though.

So, got that outta my system. Not gonna think about it more, I don't want another rabid plot bunny. But it's still an interesting thought.
saifai: (Jon Stewart Eyebrow (fortunateizzi))
I woke up with this thought actually. One of my weird dreams you know, but it inevitably lead to a rabid plot bunny.

All the people that work for the PtB, such as the Whistler the Balance demon, are just that: demons (or as in the case with Slayers, humans hyped up with demonic powers).

Food for thought no? What type of higher power uses demons as messengers? Not one of the light side me thinks. I'd wager the only reason they're even around is to keep control over the denizens in their small world of influence.

Which of course lead to idly pondering how that would tie in to Supernatural. The Winchesters fight things that go bump in the night, battling the demons they come across (among other things).

Now that the Hellmouth has been effectively shut down and no longer of influence, you'd think they'd send another demonic "Champion" to take care of things for them.

Who might that be? It can't be the Winchesters, well at least as far as Dean's concerned as he doesn't fit the bill. He's not demonic or hyped up on demon juice.

Sam is though.

So, got that outta my system. Not gonna think about it more, I don't want another rabid plot bunny. But it's still an interesting thought.
saifai: (Young!SnapeReading (d0rk_icons))
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] cordykitten

1) Why do you read fanfic?
An excellent question. Part of my answer relates to the second question, but it started out to answer questions. I saw ideas and questions come up in shows I was watching, and explored the answers through other's writing. These days, it's more of an escape. Same reason I read any other book. For entertainment value. There's still that part of me that will read to answer questions, but I find the answers come from the hive mind of fandom and I don't have to actively search them out much these days.

Cut for length. Click for the rest. )
saifai: (Young!SnapeReading (d0rk_icons))
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] cordykitten

1) Why do you read fanfic?
An excellent question. Part of my answer relates to the second question, but it started out to answer questions. I saw ideas and questions come up in shows I was watching, and explored the answers through other's writing. These days, it's more of an escape. Same reason I read any other book. For entertainment value. There's still that part of me that will read to answer questions, but I find the answers come from the hive mind of fandom and I don't have to actively search them out much these days.

Cut for length. Click for the rest. )
saifai: (TH FlirtyCoy Bill (spookiezombie))
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A couple years back my husband and I went with some friends from work to Jackpot for a weekend gambling trip. It was a group package thing that included a bus ride there and back.

We were all seated in the back of the bus, taking up most of the seats back there. The closest people to us were some people who didn't speak much english. In fact, they spent most of their trip speaking spanish to each other.

As it turns out, they didn't realize we could understand them. You pick up a few things working with school kids who're learning english as a second language.

They'd spent the entire trip talking about us. It's hard to ignore after spending a couple hours inadvertently listening to it. How fat we all were, us disgusting examples of americans. We must be so lazy...

It just went on and on. Not one of us took the time to let them know we understood them until when we got off the bus when we arrived there (as luckily they didn't ride the bus with us going back). It was one of our group, who is actually our training supervisor at work (who incidentally was the only one of us who could speak it fluently), who told them in spanish as we got off the bus, "It was nice sitting with you. Thank you for such a pleasant trip."
saifai: (TH FlirtyCoy Bill (spookiezombie))
[Error: unknown template qotd]

A couple years back my husband and I went with some friends from work to Jackpot for a weekend gambling trip. It was a group package thing that included a bus ride there and back.

We were all seated in the back of the bus, taking up most of the seats back there. The closest people to us were some people who didn't speak much english. In fact, they spent most of their trip speaking spanish to each other.

As it turns out, they didn't realize we could understand them. You pick up a few things working with school kids who're learning english as a second language.

They'd spent the entire trip talking about us. It's hard to ignore after spending a couple hours inadvertently listening to it. How fat we all were, us disgusting examples of americans. We must be so lazy...

It just went on and on. Not one of us took the time to let them know we understood them until when we got off the bus when we arrived there (as luckily they didn't ride the bus with us going back). It was one of our group, who is actually our training supervisor at work (who incidentally was the only one of us who could speak it fluently), who told them in spanish as we got off the bus, "It was nice sitting with you. Thank you for such a pleasant trip."
saifai: (WhoAskedForSnow (truly_tazi))
Who the hell asked for snow?!
We're getting snowed in over here. It's a bit late in the season for it, but I won't complain if there's school closures involved. Numfar, do the dance of Snow Day!!! Luckily the SaiMom and I had our bad weather early warning system kick in (migraines from hell) and thought to get all our shopping done before it hit.

On a side note for this, I'm amusing myself with watching the Weather Channel. There's this news guy reporting on the blizzard in North Dakota. He's out there in 10 below (F) weather saying such things as, "It's so cold here my eyes keep freezing shut!" They keep zooming in on his eyelashes waiting for them to stick.

Yes, weather people are nerds too. Apparently...

We has presents!!!
Yes folks, you heard right: I went Christmas shopping. Well, okay, food shopping too. But the Christmas shopping is done. The cards are filled out and ready to be mailed even. The presents, while not wrapped, are still all ready to go. Why yes, I am proud of myself. Why do you ask?

Behold, she writes!
In fandom news, I am writing a holiday story. You can thank [livejournal.com profile] lazuli_kat. It's for her annual Spander Christmas thingy, aptly titled Spander Illuminations. My day is on the 22nd (I think...). I'll post more as the day approaches.

This year's story for me involves actual research. So far the muses are working well with me. It'll be an interesting one. It's an idea I've been working on for ages. Should be interesting. There also might be graphic to go with it. We shall see.

Slashy Rec: Stargate Atlantis
Ah, and while I'm at it, I've got some interesting story recs for you. It's for the Stargate Atlantis fandom. I've been interested in the odd camaraderie between Todd the Wraith and Sheppard. As it turns out, there's some kink for it. Got a short list for you. Feel free to add to it:
saifai: (WhoAskedForSnow (truly_tazi))
Who the hell asked for snow?!
We're getting snowed in over here. It's a bit late in the season for it, but I won't complain if there's school closures involved. Numfar, do the dance of Snow Day!!! Luckily the SaiMom and I had our bad weather early warning system kick in (migraines from hell) and thought to get all our shopping done before it hit.

On a side note for this, I'm amusing myself with watching the Weather Channel. There's this news guy reporting on the blizzard in North Dakota. He's out there in 10 below (F) weather saying such things as, "It's so cold here my eyes keep freezing shut!" They keep zooming in on his eyelashes waiting for them to stick.

Yes, weather people are nerds too. Apparently...

We has presents!!!
Yes folks, you heard right: I went Christmas shopping. Well, okay, food shopping too. But the Christmas shopping is done. The cards are filled out and ready to be mailed even. The presents, while not wrapped, are still all ready to go. Why yes, I am proud of myself. Why do you ask?

Behold, she writes!
In fandom news, I am writing a holiday story. You can thank [livejournal.com profile] lazuli_kat. It's for her annual Spander Christmas thingy, aptly titled Spander Illuminations. My day is on the 22nd (I think...). I'll post more as the day approaches.

This year's story for me involves actual research. So far the muses are working well with me. It'll be an interesting one. It's an idea I've been working on for ages. Should be interesting. There also might be graphic to go with it. We shall see.

Slashy Rec: Stargate Atlantis
Ah, and while I'm at it, I've got some interesting story recs for you. It's for the Stargate Atlantis fandom. I've been interested in the odd camaraderie between Todd the Wraith and Sheppard. As it turns out, there's some kink for it. Got a short list for you. Feel free to add to it:
saifai: (NanoWrimo 2008)
Sort of.

You know I went into this blind. Well the first bit I wrote, the first day, I wrote out a dream I'd had (which ended up being written as a dream within a dream). Second day I had nothing. Today I had two dreams back to back that gave me characters (one of which I can't decide is boy or girl, so for now is androgynous and strongly resembles a certain German singer), a life to build on, and a plot.

Yay me!

Also? I'm mostly caught up.

Nano Word Count: 4917
saifai: (NanoWrimo 2008)
Sort of.

You know I went into this blind. Well the first bit I wrote, the first day, I wrote out a dream I'd had (which ended up being written as a dream within a dream). Second day I had nothing. Today I had two dreams back to back that gave me characters (one of which I can't decide is boy or girl, so for now is androgynous and strongly resembles a certain German singer), a life to build on, and a plot.

Yay me!

Also? I'm mostly caught up.

Nano Word Count: 4917
saifai: (Default)
It's getting weird. *shrugs* In other news, my Dad has decided to use me as a scapegoat for the reason he filed for divorce rather than admit he has a girlfriend. Gee, thanks Dad. Why? It's over money. Whatever.

Got my first two reviews of the fic I posted. The first was constructive, and hopeful. Maybe after I post the second half of the chapter it will come together a bit better. I'll be working through the part I've been stuck on today. Hopefully I can post it by Monday. *crosses fingers*

Meanwhile, before I get started with the writing, I'm gonna finish decorating my home for Christmas. (what can I say? I'm a late bloomer.) Actually, I've been avoiding this since I have to crawl around in the attic for the stuff. *eek* There's spiders up there.
saifai: (Default)
It's getting weird. *shrugs* In other news, my Dad has decided to use me as a scapegoat for the reason he filed for divorce rather than admit he has a girlfriend. Gee, thanks Dad. Why? It's over money. Whatever.

Got my first two reviews of the fic I posted. The first was constructive, and hopeful. Maybe after I post the second half of the chapter it will come together a bit better. I'll be working through the part I've been stuck on today. Hopefully I can post it by Monday. *crosses fingers*

Meanwhile, before I get started with the writing, I'm gonna finish decorating my home for Christmas. (what can I say? I'm a late bloomer.) Actually, I've been avoiding this since I have to crawl around in the attic for the stuff. *eek* There's spiders up there.
saifai: (Default)
I love words. Sometimes they can be so stupid, but other times you just have to start a mantra with a favorite word or phrase. Good ones I've learned while watching the Favorite Videos of 2003 on VH-1:

visual bon-bons (see my current journal icon for an example)
freak-a-thon
wanksta

In other totally unrelated news, I was in a fairly good mood today (read as not quite as neurotic as usual). I felt pretty productive, considering I really didn't do anything... er, productive. I went through my entire bulk folder on my Yahoo email account and either unsubsribed, filtered out, or otherwise sent out complaints to each and every message in there. Took me a couple hours. It probably will only make things worse, but I'm happy for the moment.

In other news, I'm thinkin' that the increase in my site traffic lately is a good thing. I have had a few people contact me lately asking about advertisements. It just surprises me I suppose, especially considering who some of the people are. It's a good thing though, as the last one actually paid me for it (rather than the usual link-exhange offers I get...). Oh, I suppose there are downsides. I actually had representatives from the owners of the Monty Python Flying Circus show (one of the ones featured on my site) and asked me to take down the episode transcripts. Despite having had to go through removing all the questionable content, is it bad that I actually felt pleased in the fact that someone bothered to ask me to do it in the first place? I don't know, I guess I feel special now. I'm weird I know, but then again I've been eating brownies again.
saifai: (Default)
I love words. Sometimes they can be so stupid, but other times you just have to start a mantra with a favorite word or phrase. Good ones I've learned while watching the Favorite Videos of 2003 on VH-1:

visual bon-bons (see my current journal icon for an example)
freak-a-thon
wanksta

In other totally unrelated news, I was in a fairly good mood today (read as not quite as neurotic as usual). I felt pretty productive, considering I really didn't do anything... er, productive. I went through my entire bulk folder on my Yahoo email account and either unsubsribed, filtered out, or otherwise sent out complaints to each and every message in there. Took me a couple hours. It probably will only make things worse, but I'm happy for the moment.

In other news, I'm thinkin' that the increase in my site traffic lately is a good thing. I have had a few people contact me lately asking about advertisements. It just surprises me I suppose, especially considering who some of the people are. It's a good thing though, as the last one actually paid me for it (rather than the usual link-exhange offers I get...). Oh, I suppose there are downsides. I actually had representatives from the owners of the Monty Python Flying Circus show (one of the ones featured on my site) and asked me to take down the episode transcripts. Despite having had to go through removing all the questionable content, is it bad that I actually felt pleased in the fact that someone bothered to ask me to do it in the first place? I don't know, I guess I feel special now. I'm weird I know, but then again I've been eating brownies again.

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